Tag Archives: Canada

Advocate and introduce legislation promoting the free movement of citizens between the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

We believe in the citizens of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (the CANZUK countries) benefiting from a freedom of movement initiative, advancing the ever growing cultural, historical, economical and political connections that we already share through our Commonwealth ties.

Continue reading Advocate and introduce legislation promoting the free movement of citizens between the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

Canada to lift Tehran sanctions, allow Bombardier to export to Iran

By Randall Palmer and Allison Lampert

OTTAWA/MONTREAL (Reuters) – Canada confirmed for the first time on Tuesday that it plans to lift its sanctions on Tehran and said that if Airbus is allowed to sell to Iran, then its aircraft maker Bombardier Inc should be allowed to export there as well.

“If Airbus is able to do it, why (will) Bombardier not be able to do it? In which way (is it) helping Canada, or the Iranian people, or Israel, or anyone, that Canada is hurting its own industry?” Dion said in an exchange with reporters.

Read more » Reuters
See more » http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0V42IL

Finally! Science proves that Canadians are way more polite than Americans.

by

It is a generally assumed principle, much like the sun rising in the east or bears hibernating in the winter, that Canadians are an unfailingly polite people. They don’t like to argue; they apologize for mistakes that others make.

We accept that Canadians are exceedingly polite — and now we have some data to prove it. Two doctoral students at McMaster University, a bit outside of Toronto, compared millions of geotagged tweets from the United States and Canada from 2015. They looked at the top 10 percent of words most likely to be used by Canadians and compared them with the top 10 percent most likely to be used by Americans.

They found that Canadians, true to form, are just way nicer on Twitter. This is a word cloud of each country’s most-used words — note that some on the American side had to be blurred out, as they were not appropriate for the university’s website:

Read more » Vox
See more » http://www.vox.com/2016/1/7/10729110/canadians-polite-twitter

Today, I wish Pakistan and India could be more like Canada

Dear Pakistan and India,

Today was a beautiful day in Canada. The sun was shining bright, and it was a warm day in the cold month of November. The temperature in my city was 20 degrees centigrade. Warmer still were the temperatures of hearts in Ottawa where our new handsome Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, whom you loved when he relished biryani in a mosque or performed bhangra with the desi community, was taking the oath of office along with 30 other ministers. Half of these ministers are women.

A 12-year-old boy from the indigenous aboriginal community led Trudeau to the ceremonial hall. The ceremony began by paying tribute to the Algonquin community on whose territory they were standing. Two indigenous ministers were sworn in. Acknowledging the centuries old injustices to the indigenous people, one of them was named minister of justice.

Today was the first time in Canada that a Muslim minister was sworn in, and that too a woman, who came here as a refugee with her widowed mother and sisters after fleeing war-torn Afghanistan.

There are three South Asians taken in as ministers. One of them holds the coveted position of minister of defence. Another was a bus driver before he came into politics. Two individuals with disabilities, one with impaired vision and another on wheel chair also became ministers. Yet another one of the minister’s parents worked as immigrant factory workers all their lives. A doctor became the health minister, and a university scientist became the minister of science. A new portfolio of immigration, citizenship and refugees was created.

An incredible step has been taken towards celebrating diversity today. The world has been watching Justin Trudeau with awe.

And yes, our premier (chief minister) of Ontario is a gay woman who is a grandmother and says family comes first.

But why am I writing this all down for you?

I was 24-years-old when, as an Indian, I married a Pakistani, and embraced my Pakistani-Indian status. I know some people would frown and wonder how that could work, but I have loved every minute of my marriage. It has been 25 years since then. But that’s another conversation.

In contrast to that, I have been a Canadian for only five years, yet I feel safer here than back home.

Sitting here, witnessing diversity unfold its virtues in Canada, my heart weeps for the havoc that has been created by ‘otherising’ and demonising diversity in India and Pakistan.

From the persecution of Ahmadis, to the killings of Shia youth, to burning Christians, to forced conversions of Hindus, to the recurrent Hindu-Muslim communal riots, to the lynching of Muslims for eating beef, to the burning of low caste children, with every new tragedy a little of Pakistani-Indian dies within me.

The unending arguments of how different Indians and Pakistanis are, despite sharing the same history, same geography, same ethnicity and even the same genetic pool, looks more ridiculous when you watch different skin colours and different ethnicities stand together in peace at the swearing in ceremony in Ottawa.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/30132/today-i-wish-pakistan-and-india-could-be-more-like-canada/

In 1972 Richard Nixon predicted Justin Trudeau would be PM

As calls of congratulations rolled in to Canada’s Prime Minister-designate from leaders around the world, it appears Nixon’s gracious comment was a prophecy.

By: Thestar.com and The Canadian Press

As Justin Trudeau took calls of congratulations from world leaders Tuesday, a story emerged of a prediction for his future made a few months after his birth, by a former U.S. president.

It has already been dubbed “the Richard Nixon prophecy.” At a state dinner in Ottawa in 1972, when Justin Trudeau was just a few months old, the then-U.S. president toasted the baby’s arrival, and joked that Pierre Trudeau’s son would himself become prime minister someday.

It’s an obvious thing to say about the offspring of a fellow world leader. But it is also now the case that Nixon, who made errors and misjudgments that finally brought down his presidency, called Justin Trudeau’s ascension correctly.

Read more » The Star
See more » http://www.thestar.com/news/federal-election/2015/10/21/in-1972-richard-nixon-predicted-justin-trudeau-would-be-pm.html

Community Dialogue: Sindhi Nationalism and Urdu Speaking Sindhi population of Sindh

Toronto, Canada – (Press release): The World Sindhi Congress a leading Sindhi organization of Sindhi diaspora is going to organize an event in Mississauga, Canada, on July 11, 2015, from 12.00 Noon – 5.00 pm at Mississauga Valley Community Centre, 1275 Mississauga Valley Blvd, Ontario, The theme of the dialogue is: Community Dialogue: Sindhi Nationalism and Urdu Speaking Sindhi population of Sindh.

Sagir A. Shaikh, Dileep Ratnani, and several other prominent Canadians of Sindhi, Urdu speaking Sindhis, and Baloch origin of human rights activists will attend this highly interactive and candid event.

Other topics of the programme are;
1- Introduction of World Sindhi Congress – Dileep Ratnani
2- Changing fabric of Sindhi Rights movements – Sagir A. Shaikh
3- Community dialogue: Sindhi nationalism & urdu speaking Sindhi population of Sindh – Open dialogue between Sindhi and urdu speaking Sindhis.

4- Refreshment.

News courtesy: Received via Facebook message box.

Canada’s economy shrinks for fourth month, raising spectre of recession

By Gordon Isfeld

OTTAWA — Canada’s economy began the second quarter of 2015 the same way it finished the previous three-month period, continuing to contract as the collapse of oil prices squeezed output in the energy sector and the hoped-for turnaround in manufacturing again failed to materialize.

That will be discouraging news for the Bank of Canada, which has been looking for signs of a rebound in this country and in the United States after a harsh winter start to the year — greatly aggravated by the plunge in crude and an uncertain global economy.

Statistics Canada said gross domestic product — the widest measure of goods and service produced the country — declined 0.1 per cent in April. That was the fourth straight monthly contraction in the economy. The last time output declined over that many months was between November 2008 and May 2009, at the tail end of the recession.

Most economists had forecast 0.1 per cent growth in April.

Canadian GDP shrinks four months in a row

Read more » Financial Post
See more » http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/canadas-economy-shrinks-again-raising-spectre-of-recession

Canada to deport Pakistani accused of plotting to bomb US consulate

flagCaBy AFP

OTTAWA: Canadian immigration authorities on Friday ordered the deportation of a Pakistani man accused of plotting to bomb the US consulate and financial buildings in Toronto.

Jahanzeb Malik is the second Pakistani national in recent months to be ordered out of Canada on national security grounds.

Read: Pakistani accused in US consulate plot held in Canada

According to the immigration board’s written decision, Malik “planned to conduct a violent attack against a United States government building and other targets in the financial district of Toronto, which could have resulted in the death and/or serious injury of persons as well as the destruction of property”.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1186565/

Toe-to-Toe with Putin: Canada Is Keeping an Eye on Expanding Russian Military In the Arctic

by Ben Makuch

Today, in the morning hours of Moscow time, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave orders for snap military exercises in the Russian Far North. The sudden “combat readiness” maneuvers of the Northern Fleet are just the latest military flexing in the Arctic by Putin since the Ukraine crisis began in 2013.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is quoted in Sputnik News, the English wing of the state media apparatus, explaining that the exercises are designed to test Russia’s ability to defend its Arctic regions.

“New challenges and threats of military security demand the further heightening of military capabilities of the Armed Forces and special attention will be paid to the state of the newly formed strategic merging [of forces] in the North,” said Shoigu.

Back in January, Putin announced major spending plans for Russian military infrastructure in the Arctic as well as expanding the very Northern Fleet currently testing its mettle.

Canada, a major Arctic player and key opponent to Russia in the quest for expanded borders in the Far North looked at that military expansionism with concern.

“Canada is aware of Russia’s announced military infrastructure developments in its North,” said a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs at the time, “[W]e remain vigilant in our surveillance of the Arctic.”

Along with Canada, Russia and other Arctic nations are making competing United Nations bids over potentially lucrative Arctic lands, staking a claim on a region with reportedly 90 billion barrels worth of oil sitting untapped beneath the frozen crust.

“Our objective has been to obtain the most expansive continental shelf for Canada. We are working to ensure that Canada secures international recognition of the full extent of our continental shelf, including the North Pole,” said the Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

At the same time, the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) is detecting an uptick in Russian long range bombers approaching the the US and Canadian Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ)—something that hasn’t happened as regularly since the end of the Cold War.

Continue reading Toe-to-Toe with Putin: Canada Is Keeping an Eye on Expanding Russian Military In the Arctic

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on terrorist attack on Ismailis in Pakistan

Ottawa, Ontario – 13 May 2015 – Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the terrorist attack on Ismailis in Karachi, Pakistan, that killed many people and injured several more:

“Canada condemns the cowardly terrorist attack on a bus carrying Shi’a Ismaili Muslims in Karachi.

“It is particularly chilling that gunmen opened fire indiscriminately, murdering many Ismailis regardless of their gender or age. It is an affront to everyone who cherishes religious freedom. We urge the Government of Pakistan to bring the perpetrators to justice and to ensure that all religious minorities in the country are protected and their religious freedom guaranteed.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who perished in this murderous attack. We also offer our heartfelt prayers that those injured may have a speedy recovery.

“I have worked closely with His Highness the Aga Khan over the years and know first-hand of the peaceful nature of the Shi’a Ismaili community here in Canada and around the world. We mourn with His Highness and the entire Shi’a Ismaili Imamat who have consistently stood for peace, pluralism and religious freedom.”

News courtesy: http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2015/05/13/statement-prime-minister-canada-terrorist-attack-ismailis-pakistan#sthash.SA9slwmZ.dpuf

Alberta delivers harsh message to Harper Conservatives

By The Canadian Press

EDMONTON — The New Democrats have toppled the 44-year-long Progressive Conservative dynasty and will form the next Alberta government.

The NDP, under leader Rachel Notley, was on its way to taking every seat in the capital of Edmonton.

The party was also making significant gains in the traditional Tory stronghold of Calgary.

Notley, the daughter of popular former NDP leader Grant Notley, will be the province’s 17th premier.

The Tories and the Wildrose were left to fight over who would finish second and form the official Opposition.

News courtesy: Vancouver Observer
Read more » http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/alberta-delivers-harsh-message-harper-conservatives

Former PM Jean Chrétien to meet with Vladimir Putin in Moscow

By STEVEN CHASEThe Globe and Mail

OTTAWA – Former prime minister Jean Chrétien is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week, a tête-à-tête that comes even as relations between Ottawa and Moscow are severely strained over the invasion of Ukraine.

The former Liberal leader, whose law firm, Dentons, has an office in Moscow, is expected to meet Mr. Putin on Thursday in the Russian capital and discuss the current state of relations between his country and the West.

Read more » The Globe And Mail
See more » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/former-pm-jean-chretien-to-meet-with-vladimir-putin-in-moscow/article24124208/

Toyota to move Corolla production from Canada to Mexico to cut costs

Toyota to move Corolla production to Mexico to cut costs

(Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T, the world’s biggest automaker, plans to move production of its Corolla compact cars to a new factory in Mexico from Canada to benefit from lower costs, the Globe and Mail reported, citing sources familiar with the situation.

Costs at Toyota’s assembly plants at Cambridge and Woodstock in Ontario are higher than at its U.S. factories and it makes sense to produce the more expensive vehicles in Canada, the newspaper quoted sources familiar with the matter as saying.

Sources told Reuters that Toyota will spend $1 billion to build a car factory in Mexico, which is expected to begin functioning from the summer of 2019, ending a self-imposed three-year freeze on new investments. Toyota also plans to announce a new car factory in Guangzhou, China, this week.

Continue reading Toyota to move Corolla production from Canada to Mexico to cut costs

Poloz reiterates bright outlook as Bank of Canada holds key rate

BY BARRIE MCKENNAThe Globe and Mail

OTTAWA — Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz says there’s a brighter future ahead if people can look beyond an economy that’s teetering on the brink of outright contraction.

The central bank kept its key overnight lending rate unchanged Wednesday at 0.75 per cent, even as it released a new forecast showing Canada’s oil-dependent economy stalled and likely didn’t grow at all in the first three months of the year.

The no-growth forecast is a sharp downgrade from the 1.5-per-cent annual growth rate the bank predicted just three months ago, when Mr. Poloz rattled financial markets with a surprise quarter-percentage-point rate cut.

But Mr. Poloz insisted the economy would snap back in the second half of the year as the shock of the oil price collapse fades – optimism that suggests more interest rate relief likely won’t be needed.

“By the middle of the year we should be seeing only the good stuff,” Mr. Poloz told reporters in Ottawa.

The Canadian dollar rebounded, gaining 1.2 cents to 81.30 cents (U.S.), as investors bet that Mr. Poloz’s upbeat tone makes another rate cut this year less likely.

Some analysts aren’t convinced Mr. Poloz is right. He got the first quarter wrong and now he’s overoptimistic about what the rest of the year will bring, said Ben Homsy, a fixed-income analyst at Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel in Vancouver.

“The impact from low oil prices on the Canadian economy is not a one-quarter event,” Mr. Homsy said. “We’ll see that reverberate through the second and third quarters.”

He pointed out that dismal factory sales, which fell for a second consecutive month in February, suggest the lower Canadian dollar isn’t yet helping non-energy exporters.

Read more » The Globe and Mail
See more » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/bank-of-canada-cuts-outlook/article23965431/

Paul Martin blasts Conservative economic plan ahead of budget

By Evan Solomon, CBC News

Dismissing the Conservative economic plan as “an absolute disgrace” and “nonsensical,” former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin has leapt into the debate over Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s newly announced April 21 budget.

In an interview on CBC Radio’s The House, Martin told host Evan Solomon Canada is facing a “very serious” economic situation and he accused the government of doing nothing about it.

“[The government] is not doing the right things now and we have not been doing the right things for the last decade,” Martin said.

Taking a cue from Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, who suddenly cut Canada’s key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 0.75 per cent and said recently the first quarter results in Canada will be “atrocious,” Martin called on Joe Oliver to kick start a fiscal stimulus program.

“Fiscal policy and monetary policy have to work hand in hand, they cannot contradict each other,” Martin said. “If the governor of the central bank is talking about the need for monetary stimulus, he also understands there has to be changes made in the [fiscal policy] and those changes have to be investments.”

Read more » CBC
See more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/paul-martin-blasts-conservative-economic-plan-ahead-of-budget-1.3020162

Amazon tests delivery drones at secret Canada site after US frustration

Exclusive: Guardian gains access to unnamed British Columbia site where tech giant’s roboticists and engineers, stymied by American regulation, are now developing their unmanned domestic delivery service

By  in British Columbia

Amazon is testing its drone delivery service at a secret site in Canada, followingrepeated warnings by the e-commerce giant that it would go outside the US to bypass what it sees as the US federal government’s lethargic approach to the new technology.

The largest internet retailer in the world is keeping the location of its new test site closely guarded. What can be revealed is that the company’s formidable team of roboticists, software engineers, aeronautics experts and pioneers in remote sensing – including a former Nasa astronaut and the designer of the wingtip of the Boeing 787 – are now operating in British Columbia.

The end goal is to utilise what Amazon sees as a slice of virgin airspace – above 200ft, where most buildings end, and below 500ft, where general aviation begins. Into that aerial slice the company plans to pour highly autonomous drones of less than 55lbs, flying through corridors 10 miles or longer at 50mph and carrying payloads of up to 5lbs that account for 86% of all the company’s packages.

Amazon has acquired a plot of open land lined by oak trees and firs, where it is conducting frequent experimental flights with the full blessing of the Canadian government. As if to underline the significance of the move, the test site is barely 2,000ft from the US border, which was clearly visible from where the Guardian stood on a recent visit.

The Guardian was invited to visit Amazon’s previously undisclosed Canadian drone test site, where it has been conducting outdoor flights for the past few months. For the duration of the visit, three plain-clothed security guards kept watch from the surrounding hills.

Amazon’s drone visionaries are taking the permissive culture on the Canadian side of the border and using it to fine-tune the essential features of what they hope will become a successful delivery-by-drone system. The Guardian witnessed tests of a hybrid drone that can take off and land vertically as well as fly horizontally.

Read more » the Guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/mar/30/amazon-tests-drones-secret-site-canada-us-faa

Toronto becomes first renminbi (Yuan) trading hub in North America

Direct exchange hub could smooth way for businessess doing deals in China

By Pete Evans, CBC News

After stock markets closed on Monday, Toronto became the first trading hub in North America for China’s currency, known as the renminbi or yuan.

Chinese government dignitaries, Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver and his Ontario compatriot Charles Sousa attended a ceremony in Toronto Monday evening to formally announce the first conversion from yuan to Canadian dollars.

The announcement makes Toronto the first such trading hub in the Americas that has permission to be a clearinghouse for Chinese renminbi (which means “people’s money” in Chinese). There are currently only a handful of such hubs outside China, including Paris, London, Moscow, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney, Australia.

In practical terms, such hubs make it easier to do business with China because without one, Chinese money has to first be converted into a currency like the U.S. dollar before being again converted into loonies to make investments here, or even pay for supplies.

“What the hub does is it provides the potential to get a good price,” says David Watt, the chief economist of HSBC. “It sets up a way for Canadian businesses to call their local banker and say “we’ve got a deal to import Chinese material and we’d like to pay for it in RMB not U.S. dollars.”

The hub eventually will allow people on both sides to take out that middle man and convert renminbi directly into Canadian dollars and vice versa. “It should give Canadian businesses the confidence to increase trade.”

Read more » CBC
See more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/toronto-becomes-first-renminbi-trading-hub-in-north-america-1.3005726

Electric car buyers get $5K rebate under new B.C. government incentive

e-carProvincial government is introducing new rebate program for clean energy vehicles

People who buy a clean energy vehicle — including some electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles — after April 1, 2015 will be eligible for a rebate of up to $6,000, the B.C. government announced Monday.

The incentive program will provide B.C. residents with up to $5,000 off the pre-tax sticker price for new battery electric, fuel-cell electric, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and up to $6,000 for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, said a release from the New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia.

The announcement expands on a rebate program that expired last year, and comes one week after Scrap-It, a non-profit society, offered British Columbians a $3,250 rebate to trade in old vehicles for electric cars.

“With transportation representing 37 per cent of total provincial greenhouse gas emissions, clean energy vehicles are essential to reducing emissions and maintaining healthy air quality,” B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak said in a government release.

Read more » CBC
See more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/electric-car-buyers-get-5k-rebate-under-new-b-c-government-incentive-1.3005979

Peter Zeihan says Alberta would be better off as 51st U.S. state

American author of The Accidental Superpower argues provinc  should join America

By CBC News

Western separatism is an old theme in Alberta, but Peter Zeihan is bringing it back into the spotlight.

Zeihan’s new book is mostly about the United States and its place in the world, but he’s dedicated an entire chapter to Alberta.

It’s there that he lays out the economic case for why Wild Rose Country should bid farewell to Confederation [Canada] and join the United States. 

“Alberta as a U.S. state would not simply be rich — the richest in the Union, in fact — but would have a vibrantly well-financed and diverse economy that would put its former (and a lot of its new-found) countrymen to shame,” writes the American author in The Accidental Superpower.

”Alberta as a U.S. state would not simply be rich — the richest in the Union, in fact — but would have a vibrantly well-financed and diverse economy.’ – Peter Zeihan, The Accidental Superpower

He argues that demographics are another reason why Alberta should jump ship.”Alberta produces more energy than the rest of Canada put together, their primary export market is the United States and a merger would eliminate everything from tax liabilities to foreign currency fluctuations,” said Zeihan.

Zeihan says the province is a lot younger than the rest of Canada and as a wave of baby boomers starts to retire, the rest of the country will become increasingly dependent on Alberta.

“As the price of that retiree bulge rises, and it’s already pushing the Canadian budget to the limit, there is really only one place that Canadians can tax to fund their retiree system that they have promised their citizens. And that is Alberta,” said Zeihan.

Zeihan says if Alberta ever did choose to go out on its own, he suspects Canada’s second richest province — Saskatchewan — would follow.

Courtesy: CBC
Read more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/peter-zeihan-says-alberta-would-be-better-off-as-51st-u-s-state-1.2998453

Refugees pay more income tax than millionaire investor immigrants

Only 39% of investor immigrants paid any income tax 5 years after arriving

By CBC News

Refugees who have come to Canada over the past 30 years have paid more income tax in this country than immigrant investors admitted under the now defunct immigrant investor program, critics say.

Ian Young, a South China Morning Post journalist based in Vancouver, crunched the numbers with data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Canada seeks 50 millionaire immigrant investors under pilot program

Only a small proportion of the immigrant investors who have come to Canada under the program since 1980 end up staying here, Young said, again relying on numbers from the federal government.

“After five years, only 39 per cent of investor immigrants declared any income. Not only that, those who did, their average incomes were very low,” he said in an interview with CBC Radio’s The Current on Friday.

Not much Canadian income

They may have been millionaires, but they were earning very little money here in Canada. Immigrant investors declared about $18,000 to $25,000 of income annually, he said.

“Why? Either because they were living off existing wealth, or they weren’t declaring their [global] incomes,” Young said.

Read more » CBC
See more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/refugees-pay-more-income-tax-than-millionaire-investor-immigrants-1.2984982?cmp=rss

White House Says Obama Would Veto Keystone Pipeline Bill

By Coral Davenport

President Obama will veto a bill authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline if it passes Congress, his spokesman said on Tuesday, setting up a clash between the White House and the new Republican-led Congress.

“I would not anticipate that the president would sign this legislation,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said during a briefing. He later clarified that the president would indeed veto the bill.

The Keystone bill was the first introduced in the Senate in the new Congress, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the new majority leader, has vowed to make it the first measure sent to the president’s desk. The House is expected to pass the bill on Friday, while the Senate is expected to take up the measure next week.

It was widely expected that Mr. Obama would veto the measure. As written, the bill would remove the requirement that the president authorize the construction of the oil pipeline to Canada, and instead give that authority to Congress. Mr. Obama issued a veto threat to a similar bill passed by the House in 2013.

News courtesy » The New York Times »» FirstDraft
Learn more » http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/01/06/?entry=7990&action=click&contentCollection=Personal%20Tech&region=Footer&module=TopNews&pgtype=article

– – – – – –
More » via Twitter » Sanders Statement on Tar Sands Pipeline Veto Threat
See more » http://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-statement-on-tar-sands-pipeline-veto-threat

Canada condemns ‘sinister’ terrorist attack on Pakistani school

By Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

The burned-out buildings dotted the landscape of Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled Swat Valley as veteran Canadian aid worker David Morley drove the bumpy roads with a local aid worker more than three years ago.

“This used to be a boys’ school, that used to be a girls’ school, that used to be a clinic,” Morley recalled his Pakistani colleague telling him.

“What’s he going to be thinking today?”

‘I think it is beyond our comprehension why somebody would target children’ -Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Morley, the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Canada, did not mince words Tuesday as news emerged of the suicide attack that killed at least 141 people — the vast majority of them children — at a school in Peshawar, the Pakistani city abutting the Khyber Pass leading to Afghanistan.

“This is a crime against humanity and it’s against civilized norms because we want to nurture and care for our children,” Morley said in an interview.

“We want them to learn and educate, and this is heinous act against all of those norms.”

The attack sparked similar condemnation in Canada and abroad. Many viewed it as a new low in the behaviour of Taliban terrorists, who took responsibility for the attack.

Students ranging from Grade 1 through Grade 10 accounted for most of the dead. They were killed along with their seven attackers, all of whom were wearing explosive suicide vests. Another 121 students and three staff members were injured.

Harper offers condolences

Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered his condolences to the families of the victims. It’s hard enough to understand the motives that underlie a terrorist attack, he said, but even more so when the targets are innocent children.

Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird has condemned the attack on the school, which he called cowardly and sinister. (Hasan Jamali/Associated Press)

“It’s hard for any of us, as rational and compassionate people, to understand terrorism — to understand why people would want, in the name of some political cause, to simply terrorize, hurt kill innocent people, whole sections of society,” Harper told a news conference in Quebec City.

“But I think it is beyond our comprehension why somebody would target children. As a father, your heart just breaks when you see that kind of thing.”

Read more » CBC
Learn more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-condemns-sinister-terrorist-attack-on-pakistani-school-1.2874900

Peel schools lower flags in support of people killed at Pakistan school

By

TORONTO – Flags will fly at half-mast outside of Peel District School board schools in support of those killed at Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan. The flags outside of the schools will fly at half-mast until the end of day Friday, Dec. 19.

“We were all shocked and saddened by the tragic events that transpired at Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, today. Our thoughts are with all those affected, and we acknowledge the bravery of everyone who reacted immediately to protect the children and staff,” a press release from the school board read. A spokesperson for the Pakistani military said Tuesday that 132 children were among the 141 people killed when the school was attacked by Taliban fighters.

Read more » Global News
Learn more » http://globalnews.ca/news/1729686/peel-schools-lower-flags-in-support-of-people-killed-at-pakistan-school/

Canadian dollar sinks

 

Weaker loonie won’t save Canada’s low-skilled manufacturing sector, top economist says

By Greg Quinn, Bloomberg News

Canadian makers of goods such as dishwashers shouldn’t look to a depreciation of the nation’s currency to save their businesses, said Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics.

Parts of Canada’s manufacturing industry will be wiped out by lower-cost Asian rivals, according to Weinberg, who said the country doesn’t have any competitive advantage when it comes to the business of bolting together cars and appliances from imported kits.

Read more » Financial Post
See more » http://business.financialpost.com/2014/10/02/weaker-loonie-wont-save-canadas-low-skilled-manufacturing-sector-top-economist-says/

30,000 Canadians are homeless every night

200,000 Canadians are homeless in any given year, national report says

By CBC News

Despite sporadic success in addressing homelessness in Canada, little progress has been made toward a permanent cross-country solution, says a national report into the extent of the problem.  The report’s initial numbers tell a grim story. Among the report’s findings:

At least 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness in any given year.
At least 150,000 Canadians a year use a homeless shelter at some point.
At least 30,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night.
At least 50,000 Canadians are part of the “hidden homeless” on any given night — staying with friends or relatives on a temporary basis as they have nowhere else to go.

Read more » CBC
See more » http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/30-000-canadians-are-homeless-every-night-1.1413016

 

Soldier dies after Parliament Hill attack, gunman also shot dead

Ottawa shooting: Cpl. Nathan Cirillo dies of wounds, gunman also shot dead

Downtown Ottawa remains in lockdown as police conduct searches around parliamentary precinct

Parliament Hill came under attack today after a man with a rifle shot and fatally wounded a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, before seizing a car and driving to the doors of Parliament Hill’s Centre Block nearby.

The slain soldier is Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, a reservist from Hamilton.

Moments later, MPs and other witnesses reported 30 to 50 shots fired inside the main Parliament building.

Read more » CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ottawa-shooting-cpl-nathan-cirillo-dies-of-wounds-gunman-also-shot-dead-1.2808710

Anger grows as wages soar for health-care CEOs while services cut for patients.

Kathleen Wynne must clean up home-care mess: Hepburn

Workers on the front lines of health care are angry that executive salaries are soaring while vital health services are silently slashed.

By:

She sits in her car and cries after telling a war veteran suffering from Parkinson’s disease that she can’t approve visits by a nurse to his home to give him the insulin he needs.

Read more » The Star

Sneak peak at Russia’s ‘under renovation’ Arctic base

Kotelny Island is a nondescript piece of frigid wasteland of no particular note. Except hosting a military base-in-the-making, the first of many from which Russia plans to project its military might to and across the Arctic. RT visited with the Navy.

The island is the largest in the Novosibirsk Archipelago, located in the Laptev Sea off the eastern Siberian coast. Back in the soviet days the military deployed an observation post and a radar station on the Kotelny Island, but with the fall of the country all the troops were withdrawn, leaving behind only a civilian meteorological station.

But now, after decades of desolation, the former military base is being rebuilt. Last year sailors and engineers of the Russian Northern Fleet began construction works, cleaning up rusty barrels and broken vehicles abandoned on the island and constructing a landing strip so that supplies could be airlifted rather than air-dropped.

Read more » RT
http://rt.com/news/188712-arctic-russia-military-base/