By Colin Perkel and Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stayed silent for a fourth day Tuesday…
TORONTO – Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stayed silent for a fourth day Tuesday amid allegations a drug dealer had recorded him on a cellphone video smoking crack cocaine and making homophobic and racist comments.
As the scandal that has garnered international attention swirled around the mayor, others were less reticent about weighing in.
In Ottawa, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau decried Ford’s alleged use of an anti-gay slur against him.
“I just hope the words he is alleged to have used are not true,” Trudeau said.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:14 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Teens who had a schoolmate die by suicide are more likely to…
TORONTO – Teens who had a schoolmate die by suicide are more likely to consider or attempt taking their own lives than those who haven’t lost a peer to suicide — and the fallout can be longer lasting than once thought, a study suggests.
That effect, known as “suicide contagion,” can last two years or longer, researchers reported Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The findings are based on 1998-2007 data from a biennial Statistics Canada survey of more than 22,000 children aged 12 to 17 from across the country.
Researchers found that the suicide of a schoolmate magnifies the risk of suicidality for adolescents, even if they didn’t personally know the young person who died.
“One of the questions they were asked was: ‘Have you seriously considered attempting suicide in the last year?’” said senior author Ian Colman, Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa.
By Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:11 PM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – A “very upset” Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried to settle down a…
OTTAWA – A “very upset” Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried to settle down a scandal-rattled Conservative caucus Tuesday with talk of accountability and Senate reform, but shed no new light on the $90,000 transaction that cost him his chief of staff.
Conservative MPs and senators heading into Tuesday’s caucus meeting had hoped Harper would provide more facts behind the growing scandal that forced his right-hand man, Nigel Wright, to resign over the weekend.
But if Harper’s speech — opened up on this occasion to the media, a rarity — was any indication, they didn’t get much.
“I don’t think any of you are going to be very surprised to hear that I am not happy,” Harper said in his first public comments since revelations last week that Wright wrote a personal cheque worth $90,000 to embattled Sen. Mike Duffy.
By Jennifer Ditchburn, The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:09 PM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – The Liberals in the Senate are trying to trigger special parliamentary hearings…
OTTAWA – The Liberals in the Senate are trying to trigger special parliamentary hearings in the hopes of forcing the prime minister’s former top aide and others to testify about a secret $90,000 payment to a Tory senator.
Liberal Senate leader James Cowan was expected to argue later Tuesday that Stephen Harper’s office violated the sacrosanct privileges of parliamentarians, and may well be in contempt of Parliament.
Harper’s chief of staff Nigel Wright gave Conservative Sen. Mike Duffy $90,000 to pay off improper housing expenses earlier this year. Wright resigned Sunday, and Duffy quit the Tory caucus on Thursday, after the details began to emerge.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:07 PM - 0 Comments
QUEBEC – Quebec’s Coalition party, which promises a zero-tolerance approach to political corruption, has…
QUEBEC – Quebec’s Coalition party, which promises a zero-tolerance approach to political corruption, has suddenly suspended one of its own members.
Legislature member Daniel Ratthe has been punted from the party caucus amid allegations he engaged in illegal financing back when he was in municipal politics.
Leader Francois Legault said he suspended Ratthe after being told he had met earlier Tuesday with investigators from the Charbonneau Commission looking into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry.
The Coalition leader described the allegations as “extremely serious.”
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:00 PM - 0 Comments
HAMILTON – “Speculation” surrounding the accused in the case of a Hamilton, Ont., father…
HAMILTON – “Speculation” surrounding the accused in the case of a Hamilton, Ont., father found dead after taking two men on a test drive is unfairly poisoning the suspect’s image, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Deepak Paradkar said some media reports and police statements are turning public opinion against his client, Dellen Millard, and could threaten his right to a fair trial.
“I hope it doesn’t taint the jury pool because people are watching this carefully and we just want open-minded people, people who are liberal in their thinking and step back and think, ‘Let’s not rush to judgment in this, let’s look at this fact by fact,’” he said in a phone interview.
“Clearly if somebody is leaking little bits of information… trying to implicate my client, then obviously it’s not fair to my client,” he said.
By Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 4:16 PM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – A Mountie who was once part of the famed Musical Ride is…
OTTAWA – A Mountie who was once part of the famed Musical Ride is suing the national police force, alleging she was sexually assaulted, harassed, repeatedly doused in cold water and dragged through horse feces by colleagues.
In a statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court, Staff Sgt. Caroline O’Farrell and her lawyers say the cruel behaviour she suffered in the 1980s left her with post-traumatic stress, led to a marriage breakdown and stunted her prospects with the force.
“The events on the Musical Ride are responsible for stalling Caroline’s career at the RCMP,” says the claim.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 2:59 PM - 0 Comments
WASHINGTON – David Jacobson is leaving his post as U.S. ambassador to Canada in…
WASHINGTON – David Jacobson is leaving his post as U.S. ambassador to Canada in July to become vice-chairman of one of Canada’s largest banking groups.
Jacobson is joining the board of directors of BMO Financial Group (TSX:BMO) in October. He’ll be based in Chicago, his hometown, where BMO’s main U.S. operations are headquartered.
Jacobson, U.S. envoy for four years, is a Windy City lawyer who worked as a major fundraiser for Barack Obama as the junior Illinois senator ran for president in 2008. Jacobson arrived in Ottawa in October 2009 after the U.S. Senate signed off on his nomination.
While a new U.S. ambassador has yet to be officially announced, another top Obama fundraiser — Bruce Heyman, also from Chicago — is the reported front-runner.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 2:16 PM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney is leaving Canada with some parting…
OTTAWA – Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney is leaving Canada with some parting advice — seize the country’s natural advantages.
The central banker said Tuesday in his last scheduled public appearance before departing for the Bank of England next month that Canada can coast and wait out the decade-long damage-repair process in the rest of the G7 economies, or build on its strengths for the emerging new global economy.
Carney said the Canadian government is correct in seeking out new trade deals, particularly in emerging economies, because they represent one half of the world’s imports growth and also are essential to securing a position in global supply chains.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 11:27 AM - 0 Comments
MONTREAL – Three years of negotiations between Resolute Forest Products and environmental groups aimed…
MONTREAL – Three years of negotiations between Resolute Forest Products and environmental groups aimed at protecting Canada’s boreal forest have ended in failure, with talks breaking down over how much land to set aside for conservation.
Resolute (TSX:RFP) said Tuesday it could not accept a proposal from environmentalists that it says would have threatened thousands of jobs in remote communities.
“The final asks of the environmental organizations that were brought to us last evening were so extreme, were so draconian they would have forced the closure of multiple mills, multiple projects throughout Quebec and Ontario,” said company spokesman Seth Kursman.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 11:21 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – The U.S. ambassador to Canada will become vice-chairman of one of Canada’s…
TORONTO – The U.S. ambassador to Canada will become vice-chairman of one of Canada’s largest banks after his diplomatic appointment ends in July.
BMO Financial Group (TSX:BMO) says Ambassador David Jacobson will join the bank’s board of directors in October.
Jacobson will be based in Chicago, where BMO’s main U.S. operations are centred, and he’ll help build and strength relationships with the bank’s key customers.
BMO president and chief executive Bill Downe says Jacobson’s knowledge of U.S.-Canada relations make him qualified for the role.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 11:19 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford continued to hold his tongue Tuesday regarding allegations…
TORONTO – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford continued to hold his tongue Tuesday regarding allegations that he was recorded on video appearing to smoke crack cocaine.
But he didn’t keep quiet when it came to a controversial proposal to build a casino in the city.
When the mayor stood to speak during a special council meeting on the matter, many hoped he would address the latest scandal to plague his tenure.
Instead, he delivered a six-minute speech on the casino issue, then left the room without taking questions.
Earlier, Ford ignored a crush of reporters waiting outside his city hall office on the chance he might comment on the alleged video. Continue…
By macleans.ca and The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 10:06 AM - 0 Comments
Play by play, news and transcript of the PM’s address to Conservative MPs
First, the play by play:
Here’s a report on the speech from the Canadian Press:
OTTAWA – A “very upset” Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants any federal Conservative who is in politics to seek personal gain from public office to get out of his caucus.
Speaking to his MPs and senators in the midst of a scandal that took down his own chief of staff, Nigel Wright, over the weekend, Harper also promised to tighten Senate expense rules.
“I don’t think any of you are going to be very surprised to hear that I am not happy,” Harper said in his first public comments since revelations last week that Wright wrote a personal cheque worth $90,000 to embattled Sen. Mike Duffy.
“I’m very upset about the conduct we have witnessed, the conduct of some parliamentarians and the conduct of my own office.”
Harper reminded his caucus about a pointed warning he first issued in 2005: no one seeking elected office to line their own pockets would be welcome.
“Anyone who wants to use public office for their own benefit should make other plans, or better yet, leave this room,” Harper said, jabbing his finger for effect.
Many in the caucus looked sombre as they awaited Harper’s arrival, but they greeted his speech with an ovation.
Before the meeting began, Heritage Minister James Moore was asked expressly whether he believes Duffy should resign his Senate seat.
“I think Canadians expect members of Parliament and senators to respect taxpayers’ dollars,” Moore said. “Anybody who is not here respecting that commitment to Canadians, they should get out, they should leave.”
Duffy and Sen. Pamela Wallin have already left the caucus amid lingering questions about their expense claims. In Duffy’s case, an independent audit has already red-flagged more than $90,000 in housing expenses and per diems.
The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed last week that Wright, one of Harper’s most trusted confidantes, wrote Duffy a personal cheque to cover paying back the expenses. Wright stepped down on Sunday.
Harper said he has discussed the situation with Sen. Marjory LeBreton, the government leader in the Senate.
“She has my full support to accelerate changes to the Senate’s rules on expenses and close any loopholes in those existing rules,” he said. “And I expect Conservative senators, regardless of what opposition you may face, to get that done.”
Harper said the Conservatives came to office pledged to clean up Ottawa politics and they have to follow through.
Quebec Sen. Jacques Demers said anyone who takes money they are not entitled to should pay a price.
“If these people have done what has been speculated that they have done, they should be fired, they should not just be going to independent,” he said.
The former Montreal Canadiens hockey coach stressed that he supports the prime minister, but is pondering his own future. Demers said he may have to leave if the scandal isn’t cleared up to his satisfaction.
“I really, really trust Mr. Harper,” he said. “I’m in reflection period. It means I’m going to see what’s going to happen. I want to see if I’m going to stay in the Senate.”
For the record, here’s a transcript of the PM’s remarks:
Good morning, everyone.
Colleagues, obviously the reason I’m speaking to you this morning is I want to talk about some events that have transpired recently. And I don’t think any of you are going to be very surprised to hear that I’m not happy, I’m very upset about some conduct we have witnessed — the conduct of some parliamentarians and the conduct of my own office.
We’ve worked hard collectively as a party, as a caucus and as a government to dramatically strengthen accountability rules in Ottawa and to apply those standards to ourselves. I need not remind you that in 2006 this government was first elected to clean up the Liberal sponsorship scandal, to ensure the rules are followed and to ensure there are consequences when they are not. Since that time, we have taken unprecedented measures to achieve that end.
Our Federal Accountability Act, the toughest accountability legislation in the history of this country, forever changed the way business is done in Ottawa. We have strengthened the powers of the Auditor General, toughened the office of the Ethics Commissioner, reformed political party financing, dramatically tightened lobbying rules and beefed up auditing and accountability within government departments.
Canada now has one of the most accountable and transparent systems of governance in the entire world and this is something Canadians are rightly proud of.
It is also something, colleagues, that we can never take for granted because, as I said, in fact as I said in the room across the Hall in the fall of 2005 when we first pledged to bring in the Federal Accountability Act, I said this: “No government will be perfect because none of us are perfect. We cannot dream a system so perfect that no one will have to be good.”
Therefore, just as we continue to toughen rules, we must also uphold a culture of accountability. And I know that the people in this room have. We have reduced our budgets and travel as a government. We are the caucus that finally bit the bullet and reformed the MP pension plan so that we will pay our fair share.
And I know that, like me and my family, you are scrupulous about paying expenses of a personal nature yourselves.
But, that said, let me repeat something else I said in that same speech in 2005 — and let me be very blunt about it.
Anyone – anyone who wants to use public office for their own benefit should make other plans or, better yet, leave this room.
Now, colleagues, let me also address the issue of the Senate. As Canadians know, I did not get into politics to defend the Senate. And it was this party that put Senate reform on the national agenda.
It was this government which has placed before Parliament a bill, opposed by both the Liberals and the NDP, to allow for Senate elections and to put term limits on senators. And in this room our colleagues from the Senate who’ve agreed to sit in the other place in order to support our efforts to achieve fundamental, irreversible reform.
Colleagues, we have heard from Canadians loud and clear. They want us to continue our efforts. They are asking us to accelerate those efforts.
The Senate status quo is not acceptable. Canadians want the Senate to change.
Now, as you know, our Senate reforms have been tied up in Parliament for years. Earlier this year, we asked the Supreme Court of Canada to rule on whether the reforms we have proposed can be accomplished by Parliament acting alone. We’ve also asked the court to rule on options for abolishing the Senate completely.
And, as we prepare to receive and act on the judgment of the Supreme Court, we will also take further steps in the area of Senate expenditure and accountability. Senator LeBreton and I have discussed this and she has my full support to accelerate changes to the Senate’s rules on expenses and close any loopholes in those existing rules and I expect Conservative senators, regardless of what opposition you may face, to get that done in the Senate.
Colleagues, we have an active and important agenda on the issues that matter to hardworking Canadian families and there is much work to be done. When distractions arise, as they inevitably will, we will deal with them firmly.
But we cannot lose sight of our top priority. The world we are in remains a deeply uncertain place.
Canadians are looking to us to protect them — their jobs, their families, their communities. That is what we must be focused on and what we will continue to do: continue to implement our Economic Action Plan, continue to work on expanding trade, continue our focus on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, and continue to ensure that through all the ups and downs of the world economy there remains no better place to be than this country, Canada. So let’s get back to work.
By Steve Rennie, The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:19 AM - 0 Comments
One of every five chairpersons on the Employment Insurance Boards of Referees gave money to political parties
OTTAWA – Dozens of people appointed to plum patronage jobs have been donating to the Conservative party, despite government rules that forbid it.
A Canadian Press investigation found as many as one of every five chairpersons on the Employment Insurance Boards of Referees gave money to political parties, riding associations and election candidates while they served on the tribunal.
All but one of the dozens of donations went to Conservatives, Election Canada records show. The lone non-Tory donation went to a Liberal riding association in the Toronto area.
Those donations run afoul of guidelines for administrative tribunals, such as the EI referees boards, which hear complaints about EI decisions about issues such as denied benefits and fraud.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:14 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Toronto city hall will be watched closely today to see if Mayor…
TORONTO – Toronto city hall will be watched closely today to see if Mayor Rob Ford’s camp responds to allegations that he was recorded on video appearing to smoke crack cocaine.
The mayor’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, told a Vancouver radio station (CKNW) this weekend that he would respond today to reports regarding the alleged footage.
It’s not known if the mayor himself will be back at work this morning.
The Toronto Star and the U.S.-based website Gawker.com reported the controversial video story last week, stating they had separately viewed the cellphone footage which they claimed appears to show Ford smoking crack.
On Friday, Ford slammed the Toronto Star report on the video as a smear job and called it “ridiculous,” while his lawyer Dennis Morris called the reports “false and defamatory.”
Morris told The Canadian Press on Sunday that he had not received any instructions from Ford about launching legal action against the Star and Gawker, saying the matter was in “pause” until it’s known whether a video will become public.
The media outlets reported the video was shown to them by an alleged drug dealer who has been reportedly trying to sell the video for at least $100,000.
Gawker has been trying to crowdsource $200,000 to buy and publicly post the footage and had raised $84,839 by early Tuesday.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 5:12 AM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – The prime minister is jetting out of Ottawa today, leaving behind one…
OTTAWA – The prime minister is jetting out of Ottawa today, leaving behind one of the worst political storms ever faced by his Conservative government, to contemplate a trade alliance membership in South America that many consider unnecessary.
Before he leaves, though, Stephen Harper is expected to address the Conservative caucus and talk about his right-hand man, Nigel Wright, who resigned Sunday as a result of his role in a ballooning controversy involving the disallowed expenses of Sen. Mike Duffy.
Wright wrote Duffy a personal cheque for $90,000 to cover the senator`s improper housing claims, a quiet transaction critics say violates ethics rules prohibiting senators from accepting gifts.
The embattled Duffy quit the Conservative caucus last Thursday. Sen. Pamela Wallin, who is facing her own expenses audit, “recused” herself from caucus on Friday.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 20, 2013 at 8:46 PM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – Conservatives gathered Monday night to mourn the passing of a key architect…
OTTAWA – Conservatives gathered Monday night to mourn the passing of a key architect in their rise to power — and to brace for the toughest test Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has faced since taking office on a promise to clean up politics in the national capital.
A who’s-who of Tories had few words for the handful of assembled journalists at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, where a memorial service was being held for Conservative senator and party stalwart Doug Finley, who died earlier this month.
Solemn-looking cabinet ministers, senators, aides and strategists declined to speak to reporters about a burgeoning Senate scandal which is likely to receive continued attention this week.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 20, 2013 at 5:18 PM - 0 Comments
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – An accounting executive for AEG Live LLC testified on Monday…
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – An accounting executive for AEG Live LLC testified on Monday that the company spent $24 million producing Michael Jackson’s ill-fated “This Is It” concerts.
Julie Hollander, a vice-president and controller of event operations for AEG Live, testified during the trial of a lawsuit filed by Jackson’s mother against AEG claiming the company was negligent in hiring the doctor later convicted in the death of the pop star.
The tally involved expenses compiled through October 2009, roughly three months after the singer’s death, Hollander said.
Budget documents shown in court indicated the company made no payments to the doctor, Conrad Murray.
AEG budgeted $150,000 a month for Murray’s treatment of Jackson, but the singer died of an anesthetic overdose before he signed Murray’s agreement.
Hollander said Murray’s contract was the only one she had ever seen in which an artist had to approve a contract for services on a tour. She believed Jackson’s signature was required because of the personal nature of the doctor’s services.
In total, Murray was projected to receive $1.5 million in payments over the first few months of the “This Is It” tour, which was slated for 50 shows at London’s 02 Arena.
Attorneys for Jackson’s mother are trying to prove that AEG hired Murray and missed numerous red flags about the pop singer’s health before his death.
AEG denies it hired Murray and says it bears no liability for Jackson’s death.
Hollander also testified that Jackson was responsible for 95 per cent of production expenses if his comeback shows were cancelled. Budget documents indicated the production was more than $2 million over budget.
Hollander was the first AEG executive to testify in the lawsuit. The company’s general counsel Shawn Trell began testifying on Monday.
Plaintiff’s attorney Brian Panish questioned Trell about a July letter sent to Jackson’s estate asking for more than $30 million in reimbursement, including $300,000 for Murray’s services.
Trell said it was a mistake to include Murray’s payments as production costs.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 20, 2013 at 4:59 PM - 0 Comments
WINNIPEG – Hundreds of people lined up inside the Manitoba legislature Monday to pay…
WINNIPEG – Hundreds of people lined up inside the Manitoba legislature Monday to pay their respects to Elijah Harper, the aboriginal politician whose quiet but firm resistance to the Meech Lake constitutional accord became a symbolic moment for indigenous rights.
“He gave us all inspiration to know that it’s OK to say no sometimes,” Derek Nepinak, grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said before taking his turn to walk by Harper’s casket.
“I think the legacy that he left will continue to inspire us and keep us on a good path.”
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 20, 2013 at 4:58 PM - 0 Comments
EDMONTON – Police in Edmonton have laid numerous impaired driving charges after a toddler…
EDMONTON – Police in Edmonton have laid numerous impaired driving charges after a toddler was killed by an SUV that smashed through a restaurant patio.
Investigators say a family was dining at an outdoor table at a restaurant in southwest Edmonton on Sunday evening when an Acura MDX crashed into them, pinning a two-year-old boy to a wall.
Paramedics rushed the child, along with his family, to hospital where the two-year-old boy died.
His father suffered rib and back injuries, and his mother and one-year-old sibling suffered minor injuries.
Police arrested a 62-year-old man at the scene.
Richard Suter faces charges of impaired operation causing death, refusing to provide a breath sample and two counts of impaired operation causing bodily harm.
He is being held in custody until his first court appearance on Tuesday morning.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 20, 2013 at 12:33 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – For decades visitors to the D-Day beaches on the northwest coast of…
TORONTO – For decades visitors to the D-Day beaches on the northwest coast of France have looked out at the English Channel, taking in the journey made by Allied troops that marked a turning point in the Second World War.
The view from some of those sites — including Juno Beach where 359 Canadians died — could soon change if a plan succeeds to build an army of wind turbines some 10 kilometres offshore.
Canadians now have a chance to voice their opinions on that plan as a French commission holds public consultations on the project.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 20, 2013 at 7:39 AM - 0 Comments
Reed Hastings discusses the biggest challenge for Netflix in Canada
TORONTO – Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is standing in line at a bustling Toronto coffee shop, summing up a speech he’s set to deliver later in the day on the future of television, when he spies an example of his vision that’s so perfect it almost seems planted by his PR team.
Smiling, he points to a young couple oblivious to their surroundings in the crowded, noisy cafe. They’re snuggled together behind a laptop, sharing a pair of earbud headphones, and engrossed in a video they’re streaming via the in-house WiFi.
“People look to Netflix when they have some time to relax, some time to kill and want some stimulation, and that’s not limited to the living room at 8 p.m.,” Hastings later says in an interview.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 20, 2013 at 7:31 AM - 0 Comments
A group that includes some prominent Canadian actors, writers and politicians is calling on…
A group that includes some prominent Canadian actors, writers and politicians is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to change the name of Victoria Day.
Author Margaret Atwood, Green Party leader Elizabeth May and actor Gordon Pinsent are among those behind an online petition to rename the public holiday, which is celebrated on Monday, as “Victoria and First Peoples Day.”
Peter Keleghan, an actor and spokesman for the group, says the new name would give Canadians a chance to honour both the Crown and the indigenous peoples of Canada.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, May 20, 2013 at 7:29 AM - 0 Comments
Get ready to break out the sunscreen Canada, but don’t worry about sizzling all…
Get ready to break out the sunscreen Canada, but don’t worry about sizzling all season.
Meteorologists at AccuWeather.com say the majority of Canadians can look forward to a more “typical” summer this year, when hot spells will be interspersed with cooler periods.
“The biggest takeaway from this forecast is it’s not going to resemble last year’s summer, which was the warmest summer on record for Canada,” Brett Anderson, lead forecaster for Canada, told The Canadian Press.
“We’re going to see much more changeable weather. Yes, we will have spells of heat, we will have spells of very dry weather but we do not expect patterns where it’s going to lock in for weeks on end of hot dry weather.”
By The Canadian Press - Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 9:45 PM - 0 Comments
TABUSINTAC NEW BRUNSWICK, – A minister of a United Church in a New Brunswick…
TABUSINTAC NEW BRUNSWICK, – A minister of a United Church in a New Brunswick village says the community is in mourning after several weeks marred with tragedy for the local fishing industry, including the death of three fishermen.
Olive Ann Archibald of the Tabusintac Pastoral Church said the crowd at Sunday morning’s service was “sombre,” as search and rescue teams continued to comb the waters offshore for two missing fishermen.
Later that day around 4 p.m., the bodies of the two men, a 35-year-old man from Tabusintac and a 32-year-old man from Brantville, were located in an area near where their boat hit a sandbar in rough seas and started taking on water Saturday morning.
The lobster fishing vessel carrying three men had issued a distress call around 5:30 a.m. About eight hours later, the body of a 23-year-old man from Tracadie-Sheila was found near the site of the now-submerged boat.
Two weeks ago, five fishing boats were gutted by a fire at the Tabusintac Wharf.
The tight-knit community is now “broken,” said Archibald.
“They were trying to get over the episode of the burning boats, and then this,” she said in an interview on Sunday afternoon. “It’s very hard on the whole community.”
New Brunswick Conservative Serge Robichaud, who represents the Miramichi Bay-Neguac area in the legislature, said on Saturday that the captain of the vessel that ran aground had rented it after his fishing boat was destroyed in the May 5 blaze.
Chris Avery, chair of the Tabusintac Local Service District, said the fishermen have “paid the ultimate price.”
“They were sons, husbands, fathers, and loved by so many,” said Avery in an email on Sunday. “As we reflect on our own impermanence, let’s hold dear and cherish those close to each of us.
“Hearts are heavy here.”
It’s a community where everyone knows everyone, said Archibald, and it seemed the entire village was helping with the search efforts for the fishermen.
“It injures everybody when that happens,” said Archibald, who was also offering counselling for community members. “It was very rough yesterday on the waters. Today the water is so calm out there, it’s almost scary.”
The recovery effort for the men resumed at 7 a.m. on Sunday, with five search and rescue teams combing the shores of Tabusintac and nearby Neguac.
RCMP Const. Scott Messier said local fishing boats and community members on all-terrain vehicles tirelessly assisted in the search.
He said those fishermen and residents played an integral role in the recovery, providing the officers with invaluable knowledge of the area and using their boats to transport search teams.
“Without their help and knowledge, it would have made our effort much more difficult to accomplish,” said Messier. “We can’t thank them enough.”
Messier said an underwater recovery team had also been searching the area where the fishing boat capsized, about five kilometres offshore of Tabusintac.
He said weather conditions were great for searching on Sunday — a stark contrast from the rain, snow and high winds experienced the day before.
A platoon from the military base CFB Gagetown was also deployed to the area to assist the Mountie’s efforts.
The Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax called off their search around 3:45 p.m. Saturday, saying two Coast Guard vessels and a Cormorant helicopter had done all they could to find the remaining two fishermen.
The Transportation Safety Board was sending a team to investigate the incident.
It’s not the first fishing tragedy to hit the Maritimes this year. In February, five young Nova Scotia fishermen were aboard the Miss Ally when it capsized during a violent storm more than 100 kilometres off the province’s southwest shore.