By Gustavo Vieira - Monday, June 25, 2012 - 0 Comments
He was mad for his mountain bike, but he’d just met a girl. He wanted to introduce her to the sport he loved.
Joël André Gauthier was born in Rockland, Ont., on June 15, 1993, the first of two children to Lynne, a homemaker, and Pierre, an IT salesman; his sister Michèle followed two years later. Growing up, Joël was a meticulous child who hated getting his hands dirty. He kept his toy cars in a neatly arranged display in his bedroom. “Once I moved one of his cars about half an inch to tease him. He knew right away someone had been there,” says his uncle Mario Beauchamp. For the rest of his life, Joël would always keep his room and its contents—CDs, bike tools, clothes—in perfect order. “His room was immaculate,” says his aunt Sylvie Bowman.
At Sainte-Félicité elementary school in nearby Clarence Creek, Joël had a rough start with his classmate, Mathieu Halloran. “We bullied each other a bit, had a couple of fights,” says Mathieu, but their parents intervened, and the two boys made up, laying the foundation for what became a lifelong friendship. Soon Joël and Mathieu were riding around the neighbourhood together on bikes, pulling tricks and testing their skills on the trails in the woods behind their houses. Using saws and axes they built jumps and ramps from scrap wood. “We spent more time building than riding,” says Mathieu. At 14, Joël, to his father’s dismay, pulled apart a brand-new $500 bike he’d received for his birthday—“down to every nut and bolt,” according to Pierre. “He said he could rebuild it,” Pierre adds, “and, sure enough, he did.”
By the time Joël graduated from Rockland’s L’Escale high school, he was seriously into downhill mountain biking, hitting the trails whenever possible. Every other weekend, Joël and his buddies would drive three hours to Bromont or Chelsea, in Quebec, where they’d race down the slopes, dodging rocks and tree roots, careful not to fly over their handlebars as they navigated sharp turns and ramps as high as 12 m.
By Gustavo Vieira - Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 11:00 PM - 0 Comments
His daily text messages and photos to family spread his good cheer. But his real passion was running the streets of Halifax.
John Stephen Dunn was born in Halifax on April 5, 1954, the first of five children of Muriel, an administrative assistant, and Ron, a Korean War veteran and navy officer. Ron and Muriel, who started calling their youngest Steve when he was a baby, had a home where the whole family ate dinner together every night. The kids shared chores, such as doing the dishes. When it was time to play, Steve was always on the move. “He must have thought he was a cowboy or something then,” says his sister Linda, recalling a time when Steve used to run around the house chasing his siblings with a toy lasso.
Steve was a teenager when the navy relocated his dad to Saint-Bruno, Que. When he wasn’t playing Beatles songs on his guitar in his bedroom, Steve learned French and worked first as a newspaper carrier, then as a lifeguard, and finally as a caddy in a golf club during the summer with his pal Glenn Pate. “We saw Black Sabbath for $2,” recalls Glenn, who fondly remembers hanging out with Steve, eating fries dripping with vinegar, and listening to Steppenwolf on the jukebox in the early ’70s.
When the family returned to Halifax a few years later, Steve graduated from St. Patrick’s High School and went straight to the Nova Scotia Technical College, where he graduated in 1978 from chemical engineering. That same year, he got a job as an engineer with Air Liquide in Mount Pearl, Nfld.
By Gustavo Vieira - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 9:23 AM - 0 Comments
Glenn Gould’s historic Steinway CD 318 piano will be set on permanent display at…
Glenn Gould’s historic Steinway CD 318 piano will be set on permanent display at the mezzanine of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa today. The not less famous folding chair Gould’s father made him will also be part of the display, just only on special occasions.
For the past 30 years, the piano and the chair had been with Library and Archives Canada, which transferred the two items to the National Arts Centre last fall. After a few months in storage, what’s possibly Gould’s “most important piano,” according to the NAC’s archivist Gerry Grace, will be set into its permanent display, starting with this morning’s open rehearsal by the 17-year-old piano prodigy Jan Lisiecki.
Gould found the piano by accident in 1960 when he walked into Toronto’s iconic Eaton Auditorium. He started to play the piano, with which he said he had “a romance with three legs.” That phrase turned into the title of a book by former New York Times journalist Katie Hafner on Gould’s obsessive quest to find the Steinway CD 318.
For those who can’t make it to the rehearsal, the Ottawa Citizen has uploaded this video of Angela Hewitt playing the piano when it was in storage recently.
By Gustavo Vieira - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 5:30 AM - 0 Comments
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been reportedly taken off life support and is…
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been reportedly taken off life support and is in a coma, adding more tension to Egypt’s delicate political situation.
Results of the recent presidential election are only to be confirmed by Egypt’s election commission on Thursday, but the campaigns of Mubarak’s former prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohammed Morsi, both claim they won.
According to the Guardian newspaper, “no matter who [the commission] names as victor, his rival is likely to reject the result as a fraud.”
More than 50,000 protesters gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Tuesday night to protest a move by Egypt’s military last week to overpower the next president. Supported by a decision from a court of judges appointed by Mubarak, generals dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood dominated Parliament, imposing a new interim constitution which gives the military broad powers to draft a new permanent constitution.
From the New York Times:
Mr. Mubarak’s lawyer told CNN on Tuesday that his wife, Suzanne Mubarak, was by his side, and he expressed anger that Egypt’s military rulers had not moved him to the hospital sooner.
It will be their responsibility “if he dies,” the lawyer said.
In Tahrir Square, the news of Mr. Mubarak’s health was met with familiar doubts. “They say Mubarak really died,” said Hatem Moustafa, 22. “Maybe this time it is really true.”
But he was not convinced. “I think the military council is saying this so that we will leave Tahrir Square,” Mr. Moustafa said. “They would say anything to get us to leave the Square.”
By Gustavo Vieira - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 3:09 PM - 0 Comments
Canada is set to join negotiations for a massive free-trade agreement with nine other…
Canada is set to join negotiations for a massive free-trade agreement with nine other countries, including the United States, Australia, Singapore and Chile.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in a statement on Tuesday the current members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to accept Canada into the talks of the potential deal. On Monday, the previous negotiating members of the TPP had agreed to invite Mexico to the talks.
A statement from the PMO was released Tuesday from Los Cabos, Mexico, where Harper is wrapping the G20 summit. With the inclusion of Mexico and Canada, a potential free trade agreement with the other countries in the TPP–the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam–would account for 658 million people and a combined GDP of $20.5 trillion.
Harper’s official words in the statement said “joining the TPP would provide greater economic opportunity for Canadians and Canadian businesses.” Critics of the government’s voracious appetite to close free trade deals were quick to respond. The Liberal Party’s international trade critic, Wayne Easter, released a statement calling on the government “to be transparent and provide details of this trade negotiation,” singling out the preservation of Canada’s supply management system.
Industry Minister Christian Paradis said before question period, “We always said that we stand by supply management,” the CBC reports.
The Globe and Mail found a number of experts and critics who suggested many issues will remain contentious for Ottawa on the TPP negotiating table.
By Gustavo Vieira - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 11:06 AM - 0 Comments
Mike Tyson, the knockout machine boxing champion from the 1980s, also a convicted rapist,…
Mike Tyson, the knockout machine boxing champion from the 1980s, also a convicted rapist, ear-biter and racing pigeon fancier, among other many things, is adding yet one more feat to his collection of incredible accomplishments and failures: starring in a Broadway show.
Directed by Spike Lee, Tyson will be the lone star of a Broadway show portraying his own life entitled “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.” In plenty of style, wearing sleek suits and even sparring for the cameras, the tattooed-face former heavyweight champion and the film director announced the show Tyson opened in April in Las Vegas will be on Broadway this summer.
As for what happens in the show, Tyson said he is “a great actor” and described the self-portrayal spectacle at the press conference like this (from the Wall Street Journal):
“How this happened, and how I lost all this damn money, and how I had all these children and I go to prison and…you know. You know what happened, guys.”
Lee did not see Tyson’s show in Vegas, according to the New York Times, but when a friend told him about it and after watching a video of it, he thought “We’ve got to take this thing to Broadway.”
By Gustavo Vieira - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 9:27 AM - 0 Comments
As the G20 summit comes to a close in Los Cabos, Mexico, Prime Minister…
As the G20 summit comes to a close in Los Cabos, Mexico, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to announce on that his government has inched closer to China in trade talks, according to the CBC. The announcement probably involves support from the Obama administration on a deal to support Canada’s admission into the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, a scoop the Globe and Mail’s Steven Chase and Bill Curry have learned from “a Canadian official.”
The highlight of Monday in Los Cabos, however, was an answer from the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, at a press conference. When the national bureau chief of Sun Media, Canadian journalist David Akin, asked why Canada should risk its financial good name to bail out European banks, Barroso blew up:
“Frankly, we are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy and in terms of how to run an economy because the European Union has a model that we may be very proud of,” he said.
It wasn’t just Akin who reacted with surprised to Barroso’s snap answer. The Guardian’s assistant editor, Michael White, was left wondering what on Earth, or rather, in Europe, was making Barroso proud:
“How much self-deluding error can you pack into a 50-word temper tantrum? It’s only a detail, but how hard must it have also been to choose a Canadian to pick on for your ‘I’ve completely lost it’ outburst?” wrote White, who added that he didn’t think Canada could be blamed for the problems of Greece or Barroso’s native Portugal.
By Gustavo Vieira - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 8:25 AM - 0 Comments
Martin Patriquin of Maclean’s will be at court today for Luka Rocca Magnotta’s appearance. …
The main suspect in the case of the death and dismemberment of Chinese student Jun Lin returned to Canada aboard a military plane Monday evening.
News of Luka Rocca Magnotta’s arrival prompted wide coverage from the country’s news outlets. Tuesday morning’s headlines are all about the operation to bring Magnotta back and what’s next for the man dubbed “Canadian Psycho” by the European press. Here are just some of the details:
Martin Patriquin and Nicholas Kohler authored Inside the twisted world of Luka Rocco Magnotta in the June 11 issue of Maclean’s.
- Security was tight at Montreal’s Mirabel airport, where “a large convoy of marked and unmarked vehicles” awaited. Magnotta disembarked from a Royal Canadian Air Force Airbus CC-150 Polaris just after 7 p.m. Monday from Germany, the Globe and Mail reported.
- The CBC notes that Magnotta will appear in a Montreal courtroom Tuesday, when he is expected to be formally charged.
- Now that Magnotta is back in Canada and available to authorities for interrogation, Montreal police turns to the one lingering question in Jun Lin’s death. The National Post’s Allison Cross calls the quest to find Jun Lin’s head “a gruesome question that befits a gruesome crime.” Lin’s hands and feet were mailed to two political parties’ offices in Ottawa, two schools in Vancouver and his torso was found in a suitcase in Montreal.
- The Toronto Star’s columnist Rosie DiManno provides plenty of colour on Magnotta’s escape from Montreal last month, as well as on his attention-craving, narcissistic online persona. “The media audience he courted so cravenly — in vain — will be there. For the vain and the craven,” writes DiManno.
- From Montreal, the Gazette focused on the circus surrounding Magnotta’s return at Mirabel Airport. The Gazette’s Rene Bruemmer reports that bail is highly unlikely for Magnotta, according to Quebec’s prosecutor’s office, and that two investigators will be interrogating him to find out the location of the missing body part.
By Gustavo Vieira - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 11:29 AM - 0 Comments
Canada and the governor of Michigan have reached a deal for a second bridge…
According to the Globe and Mail, the deal will become official as soon as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet aproves it, which is expected to happen on Wednesday.
The Toronto Star says the Prime Minister himself and the Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will be posing for an official announcement by the Windsor waterfront as soon as Friday.
The deal has drawn positive comments even from the opposition. The NDP’s border relations critic Brian Masse was quoted by the CBC, saying: “I feel good about the potential here. I feel very confident that we will see something happen in a positive way [Wednesday].”
The new bridge would cost approximately $1 billion to build and another $2.5 billion for its surrounding infrastructure, but it has been a long time coming. Trade estimates put 25 per cent of all goods sold between Canada and the United States cross the border over the existing Ambassador Bridge, which has been privately owned since it opened in 1929. The Moroun family, which controls the Ambassador Bridge is expected to continue opposing the new project.
By Gustavo Vieira - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 11:26 AM - 0 Comments
Canada has been deemed the fourth most peaceful country in the world, behind only…
Canada has been deemed the fourth most peaceful country in the world, behind only Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand on an annual ranking of peacefulness released Tuesday by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The organization is an Australian-American think-tank that produces the Global Peace Index using data from the Economist Intelligence Unit to show how valuable peace can be.
Rising from eighth place last year, Canada reached fourth place in the Global Peace Index as a result of reduced troop casualties in Afghanistan. The least peaceful place in the world, according to the ranking, is Somalia, which had the same position last year. The civil war in Syria caused it to suffer the worst drop in the ranking, falling 30 positions, followed by Egypt and Tunisia, largely due to the Arab Spring uprisings last year.
Overal the world is a more peaceful place this year than in 2012, says the GPI report, mostly because of budget cuts from six of the world’s top military spenders: Brazil, France, Germany, India, UK and the US, as well as improvements in the Political Terror Scale, which measures levels of political violence and terror.
The report attached to the GPI rankings also put a monetary tag price on the world’s peace:
If the world was completely peaceful in 2011, the additional economic impact would have been an estimated US$9 trillion (equal to the size of the German and Japanese economies combined). While a total elimination of violence may not be possible an achievable 25% reduction in violence could reap a peace dividend of at least US$2.25 trillion.
This amount would easily cover the European Financial Stability Facility’s $1 trillion allocation to deal with the European sovereign debt crisis while also covering the yearly cost of achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
By Gustavo Vieira - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 7:52 AM - 0 Comments
A string of bomb and shooting attacks has killed at least 63 people in…
A string of bomb and shooting attacks has killed at least 63 people in Iraq on Wednesday, wounding dozens more, according to the Associated Press.
The attacks targeted mainly Shiite pilgrims commemorating the anniversary of the 8th-century death of Imam Musa al-Kadhim. More than 30 people were killed in separate attacks in and around Baghdad, while at least 19 others were killed in the central Iraq city of Hilla. These were the third attacks this week targeting the pilgrimage of hundreds of thousands of Shiites who descend on Baghdad every year on foot for the religious cerimonies.
The violent attacks, the worst since American troops left the country, renewed fears of a sectarian civil war in Iraq.
From the Associated Press (via CBC):
Baghdad military command spokesman Col. Dhia al-Wakeel said Wednesday’s attacks meant to reignite all-out sectarian bloodshed, “but Iraqis are fully aware of the terrorism agenda and will not slip into a sectarian conflict.”
Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks but they bore the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents who frequently target Shiite pilgrimages in Iraq.
By Gustavo Vieira - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 10:24 AM - 0 Comments
A Stanley Cup rioter has been sentenced to one month in jail, despite the…
A Stanley Cup rioter has been sentenced to one month in jail, despite the fact he turned himself in, pleaded guilty and did not previously have a criminal record.
Twenty-year-old Emmanuel Alviar, of Surrey, B.C., was also given 16 months’ probation and 160 hours of community service. He has also been instructed to send letters of apology to Vancouver’s mayor and police chief.
The exemplary sentence given to Alviar was in connection with him kicking garbage at a vehicle on fire, pushing another car that was later badly damaged and smashing a window in the riots that ensued in downtown Vancouver after the Canucks lost last year’s game 7 of the Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins.
Judge Reg Harris denied the Crown’s request for a four-month jail term, but said general deterrence was warranted in the case. Alviar’s lawyer, Gary Botting, had requested a conditional sentence.
From the Globe and Mail:
“Many more might have come forward had they seen that there was going to be just a conditional sentence,” Gary Botting told reporters outside Vancouver Provincial Court. “It would seem that from the reasons that the judge gives that it would be now unreasonable for any other judge to give less of a deterrence. A conditional sentence is now pretty well not a possibility.”
By Gustavo Vieira - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 9:59 AM - 0 Comments
TD Bank announced on Monday that Lord Gus O’Donnell, also known in the British…
TD Bank announced on Monday that Lord Gus O’Donnell, also known in the British media by his initials GOD, has been hired as a strategic adviser to its CEO, Ed Clark and the bank’s senior executive team.
O’Donnell was until recently the head of the British civil service among other senior positions within the UK’s government, including being a former press secretary to Prime Minister John Major.
That TD hired a strategic adviser isn’t really breaking news. But it’s worth pointing out for two reasons. First, TD doesn’t have a very large U.K. operation, so it isn’t very clear where exactly Mr. O’Donnell will fit in. The bank simply said that he will offer “advice and counsel on a range of economic, government, regulatory and strategic matters, travelling between Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.”
Second, and maybe more importantly, his nickname is God, and that’s perfect for puns. As the FT put it: What would God do?
The National Post’s John Greenwood seems to have found a plausible answer:
TD is heavily focused on the North American retail banking market with roughly as many branches in the U.S. as it has in Canada. It does own one of the leading discount brokerages in Britain but the bank has given little indication that it wants to significantly expand its operation.
Craig Fehr, an analyst at Edward Jones, said that by signing up Lord O’Donnell, the bank is most likely just looking to gain a clearer view the crisis in Europe.
By Gustavo Vieira - Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 8:35 AM - 0 Comments
An Australian coroner decided on Tuesday a dingo indeed took baby Azaria from a…
An Australian coroner decided on Tuesday a dingo indeed took baby Azaria from a campsite, just like her mother had been saying since 1980. The decision is probably the final word in a case that has been embedded in Australians’ minds since Azaria’s mother, Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton, cried out “the dingo’s got my baby” when her daughter went missing from her tent next to Ayers’ Rock, now known as Uluru.
Chamberlain-Creighton had been previously convicted of murdering Azaria, served three years in jail, only to be later cleared of any wrongdoing, while always maintaining that a dingo had taken the baby from the tent.
The latest decision is the result of a fourth coroner’s inquest into the case, which was also investigated in the murder trial against Chamberlain-Creighton and her husband at the time, Michael Chamberlain, as well as by a royal inquiry commission. This time, the coroner’s inquest sought to clarify that a dingo had indeed taken the baby; as Azaria’s body had never been found, her official cause of death remained as “unknown” until now. The coroner ruled that “the cause of her death was as the result of being attacked and taken by a dingo.”
In a press scrum outside the coroner’s office in Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory, Chamberlain-Creighton and her husband seemed finally vindicated, according to Australia’s ABC. “No longer will Australians be able to say that dingoes are not dangerous, and that they only attack if provoked,” she said.
By Gustavo Vieira - Monday, June 11, 2012 at 11:28 AM - 0 Comments
Markets were trading on a positive note this morning after Spain announced on Saturday…
Markets were trading on a positive note this morning after Spain announced on Saturday a $129-billion deal to refinance its ailing banking sector. That optimism, though, seems to be fading already as investors ponder the details of the deal and start fretting about the Greek election next Sunday.
On Sunday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy insisted financial aid for his country was unlike the bailout packages given to Portugal, Greece and Ireland, saying that it would require Madrid to reform its banks, but not dictate harsh austerity measures.
European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, however, had a word of advice for Spain: “Whoever gives money, never gives it for free,” he said. “There’re people coming here [to Spain] to make sure the money will be properly used,” Almunia said on Spanish radio Cadena Ser, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal.
According to Reuters, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission would oversee the process of restructuring Spain’s faltering banks, as the European Commission combs through Spanish state finances.
The bank rescue package will add up to 10 percentage points to Spain’s debt-to-gross-domestic-product level, taking it close to 90 percent, while the country faces a grinding recession, with nearly one worker in four unemployed.
Some economists believe Spain will eventually need a full state bailout, and that Italy may be next in line because of a similar combination of high debt and no economic growth, despite reforms initiated by Prime Minister Mario Monti.
By Gustavo Vieira - Monday, June 11, 2012 at 11:27 AM - 0 Comments
Some people have a special ability to say the most inappropriate things at the…
Some people have a special ability to say the most inappropriate things at the most inconvenient times. Take Toronto’s city councilor, Doug Ford, just for example.
His brother, Rob Ford, is the mayor of the city and the two host a weekly radio show on Sundays at Newstalk 1010, a local radio station. Their latest show opened with a discussion about the Euro 2012 soccer championship. That’s when Doug came up with the following:
“They’re so many great teams, I wouldn’t want to pick one over the other. I guess (in the) Euro, you go back to the ancestors — boy, we go back quite a ways, but I’m not too sure — is there any WASPy teams on there? We’re just Canadian,” he said with a laugh. “Anyways — well, you’re married to the Polack, so you gotta cheer for the Polish team.”
The mayor didn’t seem much offended by the derogatory term used to describe his wife, Renata, who is of Polish descent.
At the end of the show, Doug, who once said “I would have a clue who she is,” speaking of Margaret Atwood, apologized to his “extended Polish family,” saying he didn’t realize calling someone a Polack was derogatory before the conversation veered toward Polish sausages and perogies.
By Gustavo Vieira - Monday, June 11, 2012 at 9:36 AM - 0 Comments
David Cameron may have one million things to think about, busy as he is…
David Cameron may have one million things to think about, busy as he is being the British Prime Minister. Keeping track of his kids shouldn’t be too far down on his list, but sometimes it gets overlooked.
Cameron arrived to the prime minister’s country home known as Chequers in Buckinghamshire, England, from a lunch with friends at a local pub only to realize his eight-year-old daughter, Nancy, had been left behind. A British PMO spokesperson confirmed the case saying Cameron quickly called the pub and returned to pick her up after she had been left there for about 15 minutes. Nancy stayed behind, according to The Sun, because Cameron left the pub in one car with his bodyguards and his wife, Samantha, left in a different car with the couple’s other children, both thinking Nancy was in the other car.
“It’s not like you can look up David Cameron in the phone book and then ring to say, ‘You’ve left your daughter behind,’ said a staff at the nearby Plough Inn quoted in The Sun.
By Gustavo Vieira - Monday, June 11, 2012 at 8:44 AM - 0 Comments
Click here for Aaron Wherry and everything you need to know on Bill C-38. …
It’s a crucial week for Members of Parliament as the government’s highly criticized omnibus bill enters its final reading in the House of Commons.
Oppositions MPs have prepared hundreds of amendments with deletions and other changes to Bill C-38, the government’s omnibus bill implementing its budget, which aims to change more than 70 laws, as well as to create some new ones, in areas as disparate as border security, retirement and the environment.
The Speaker of the House is expected to rule on Monday at noon, how the amendments will be dealt with along the week, whether every one of them needs to be voted separately or some will be grouped or dismissed. The move to file so many amendments at once is a last-ditch effort of the opposition to force an exhausting voting marathon as they failed earlier in persuading the governing Conservative majority to split the bill into separate areas to debate individually.
“The content is flawed in many respects and they just want to bulldoze through the whole process,” said NDP deputy finance critic Guy Caron, quoted in the National Post. On the other side, the government is accusing the opposition of simply delaying the process.
“The opposition aren’t looking to change this. Let’s be frank – they’re looking to stop it, to delay it, to obstruct it,” says the government House leader Peter Van Loan to the CBC.
In the whole process, one particular MP may come out this week much more visible than she was a week ago. Green Party Elizabeth May, who as an independent MP is technically allowed to propose changes to the bill while the Liberals and the NDP can only suggest deletions. “My amendments are not about delaying,” said May to the Globe and Mail, “My amendments are about ensuring that C-38, if passed, is not a disastrous piece of legislation.”
For continuing coverage of Bill C-38, keep watch on Aaron Wherry’s blog.
By Gustavo Vieira - Friday, June 8, 2012 at 1:28 PM - 0 Comments
A sizable 1,000 to 3,000 barrels of oil leaked from an Alberta pipeline into…
A sizable 1,000 to 3,000 barrels of oil leaked from an Alberta pipeline into Jackson Creek, a tributary of the Red Deer river near the town of Sundre, Alta.
The leak was discovered Thursday night by Sundre Petroleum Operators Group, a not-for-profit group, which then alerted the operator of the pipeline, Plains Midstream Canada, a subsidiary of Plains All American American Pipeline LP.
The company says it shut down all of its operations in the area to isolated the pipeline, which leaked 160,000 to 475,000 litres of light crude oil into Jackson Creek. The Energy Resource Conservation Board, Alberta Environment and Alberta Health are working with the company to track the evolution of the spill and investigate its causes.
According to the Globe and Mail, Plains is the same company that saw a 28,000-barrel leak from one of its pipelines in northern Alberta last year.
By Gustavo Vieira - Friday, June 8, 2012 at 9:01 AM - 0 Comments
Scores of protests flooded Montreal streets again Thursday night, this time targeting the opening…
Scores of protests flooded Montreal streets again Thursday night, this time targeting the opening festivities for this weekend’s Formula One Grand Prix, one of Canada’s largest tourist events, attracting as many as 300,000 visitors every year. Police however blocked the protesters from reaching the events, using the tactic of “kettling,” arresting dozens of protesters and cutting access to streets leading up to the Grand Prix celebrations.
The Montreal Gazette said the city centre was “a carnival” and called the demonstration “one of Montreal’s most colourful nightly student protests” even if police and protesters had a few clashes and foot chasing ensued throughout the evening.
The final tally of the evening was 37 people arrested, according to Montreal police quoted in the Gazette, while the CBC reported 39 arrests.
From the Montreal Gazette:
The downtown core was packed with Montrealers and tourists, eating dinner outside or roaming the sidewalks taking in the scene, as if it was all part of the season of summer festivals in Montreal.
Some smiled, laughed or covered their eyes at the sight of the naked marchers. Virtually everyone had their phones out, snapping photos.
By Gustavo Vieira - Friday, June 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM - 0 Comments
Spain is expected to request a bailout to its European partners on Saturday, say…
Spain is expected to request a bailout to its European partners on Saturday, say sources quoted by Reuters. If confirmed on Saturday’s conference call amongst the finance ministers of the 17 member-states to the Euro’s currency area, the bailout request would come only two days after Fitch Ratings downgraded Spain’s sovereign credit rating on Thursday.
A Spanish bailout would be the fourth in the embattled Eurozone, after Greece, Ireland and Portugal, all of which got financial assistance from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. None of those aid packages have been able to placate the crisis that has spread throughout the old continent, threatening the Euro itself as a currency, as well as the Eurozone’s existence, while looming large over the world’s economy.
There was no immediate official comment from the Spanish government. The EU and German sources spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Fitch said the cost to the Spanish state of recapitalising banks stricken by the bursting of a real estate bubble, recession and mass unemployment could be between 60 and 100 billion euros ($75 and $125 billion).
An International Monetary Fund report, due to be published on Monday, is expected to estimate Spanish banks’ capital needs at a lower figure of 40 billion euros, but market conditions have deteriorated since that data was collected, officials said.
By Gustavo Vieira - Friday, June 8, 2012 at 8:44 AM - 0 Comments
Thomas Mulcair’s controversial comments on a possible case of Dutch disease in Canada have…
Thomas Mulcair’s controversial comments on a possible case of Dutch disease in Canada have not hurt his party’s support across the country. At least that is what a Nanos poll released Friday indicates, says Nik Nanos, president of the polling firm.
According to the poll, the Conservatives and the NDP are in a dead heat, separated only by one tenth of a percentage point (0.1), which technically means the two parties are in a statistical tie for popular support. The biggest surprise in the results is that the 0.1 advantage belongs to Mulcair’s NDP, a lead the federal new democrats have taken for the first time in history.
From the Globe and Mail:
While the survey suggests that support for the New Democrats fell in the Prairie provinces during the time the comments about Dutch disease were in the news, support increased in British Columbia and Quebec and held steady elsewhere.
Quebec and British Columbia are two key provinces for the NDP, Mr. Nanos said. But the Prairies, he said, are not critical for the party to hold on to the job of Official Opposition and to be competitive nationally.
By Gustavo Vieira - Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 2:51 PM - 0 Comments
The National Football League is being accused of hiding information on game-related brain injuries…
The National Football League is being accused of hiding information on game-related brain injuries in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Philadelphia. The lawsuit consolidates more than 80 other similar pending actions, say lawyers quoted by the Associated Press.
The plaintiffs are former NFL players themselves, hoping to hold the league to account and make it responsible for the care of players undergoing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions caused by head traumas when they were playing football.
From the Associated Press (via CBC):
The suit accuses the NFL of “mythologizing” and glorifying violence through the media, including its NFL Films division.
“The NFL, like the sport of boxing, was aware of the health risks associated with repetitive blows producing sub-concussive and concussive results and the fact that some members of the NFL player population were at significant risk of developing long-term brain damage and cognitive decline as a result,” the complaint charges.
“Despite its knowledge and controlling role in governing player conduct on and off the field, the NFL turned a blind eye to the risk and failed to warn and/or impose safety regulations governing this well-recognized health and safety problem.”
The league has denied similar accusations in the past.
By Gustavo Vieira - Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM - 0 Comments
In the wake of reports of yet another massacre in Syria’s central province of…
In the wake of reports of yet another massacre in Syria’s central province of Hama on Wednesday, when activists say government forces and militia killed as many as 86 people in the village of Mazraat al-Qubair, including women and children, the UN says the government of Bashal al-Assad is blocking international observers from the site.
General Robert Mood, head of the UN’s observers in Syria, was quoted in the Washington Post, saying monitors were being stopped from reaching the area. The Syrian government decried the opposition claims to the mass killing, calling it “absolutely baseless” and reaffirming it’s helping the observers.
From the Washington Post:
General Robert Mood, the leader of the observer mission, said monitors were trying to enter in Qubair, near the central Syrian town of Hama, to see what had happened, but they were being prevented from doing so.
“They are being stopped at Syrian Army checkpoints and in some cases turned back,” Mood said in a statement. “Some of our patrols our being stopped by civilians in the area.”
The Associated Press quoted an eye witness to the massacre in Mazraat al-Qubair saying government troops shelled the village for five hours before militiamen entered the area “killing and hacking everyone.”
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has been quoted in the Guardian saying UN monitors had been shot at while trying to reach the town of Mazraat al-Qubair. He called the killings an “unspeakable barbarity.” Moon’s comments came as he and the former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, began two key meetings in the UN to brief its members in what’s expected to be a last-ditch effort to save a peace plan to deal with the 15-month conflict between the government of Syria and the opposition that has killed more than 10,000 people.
By Gustavo Vieira - Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM - 0 Comments
McCain Foods Canada Ltd. announced a temporary closure of its processing plant in Grand…
McCain Foods Canada Ltd. announced a temporary closure of its processing plant in Grand Falls, N.B., due to a shortage of potatoes. The closure will affect 120 workers at the plant, which had been bringing potatoes from Prince Edward Island. A McCain spokesperson told CBC the company cannot get enough potatoes to keep the plant going through the summer.
From the CBC:
[Calla] Farn said the company is going to try and minimize the impact on the 120 workers.
“We have scheduled essential training during the shutdown and we have redeployed some of our people to other areas,” she said.
Bad weather in the last growing season is at the root of the problem which will shut the plant down until the next harvest in August or September.