By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–The Canadian military is expected to officially apologize early next year for including the Mohawk Warrior Society in a draft version of the military’s counter-insurgency manual, APTN National News has learned.The text of the apology has been approved by the upper echelons of the military command, but details still need to be worked out on how to deliver the statement and on how big of an event should be staged.A draft 2006 version of the military’s counter-insurgency manual was released publicly in March 2007 and it included a reference to the Mohawk Warrior Society in a section describing different types of insurgencies.First Nations leaders immediately reacted with anger, saying it appeared to equate First Nations with terrorist groups like Hezbollah and the Taliban.The apology is expected to be delivered in either January or February.The Assembly of First Nations and representatives from Akwesasne are involved in the discussions.A draft 2006 version of the military’s counter-insurgency manual was released publicly in March 2007 and it included a reference to the Mohawk Warrior Society in a section describing different types of insurgencies.First Nations leaders immediately reacted with anger, saying it appeared to equate First Nations with terrorist groups like Hezbollah and the Taliban.Former Akwesasne council Chief Cheryl Jacobs began writing letters to National Defence Minister Peter MacKay demanding an apology.It wasn’t until 2009 that she received a response indicating that the military was considering the request.Jacobs welcomed the news that an apology was in the works.“I can’t wait for it to become a reality,” she said. “The black brush-stroke across all Aboriginal people in Canada will go in reverse.”The reference to the Mohawk Warrior Society is highlighted in a section under the heading: Overview of Insurgencies and Counter-Insurgencies.It quotes directly from the master’s thesis of military historian Timothy Winegard who has written a book on the 1990 Oka Crisis.“The rise of radical Native American organizations, such as the Mohawk Warrior Society, can be viewed as insurgencies with specific and limited aims,” reads Winegard’s text, from his thesis titled The Court of Last Resort: The 1990 Oka Crisis and the Canadian Forces. “Although they do not seek complete control of the federal government, they do seek particular political concessions in their relationship with national governments and control (either overt or covert) of political affairs at a local/reserve…level, through the threat of, or us of, violence.”The military said it had deleted the reference from the manual.
APTN National NewsThe people who search for former students for Blott and Company work for a company called Honour Walk.The connection between Honour Walk and Blott and Company is clear.Honour Walk was incorporated on Jan. 6, 2007. An Alberta corporate search reveals that one person is listed as an officer of Honour Walk. His name is Thom Denomme.On a Web site for another of his business ventures, Thom Denomme is described as “a self-made entrepreneur who has been working with the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada for close to twenty years. [H]is extensive background in First Nations communities adds an important dimension to the group. He is the founder of the Residential School Healing Society of Canada, CEO of Honour Walk, and a director of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce’s Aboriginal Opportunities Committee.”Denomme was also listed as an officer of the Residential School Healing Society of Alberta, originally incorporated on Nov. 9, 2006.On June 2, 2008, the company changed its name to the Residential School Healing Society of Canada as it expanded its operations beyond the Alberta border.Honour Walk and the Residential School Healing Society of Canada are closely connected.A call to a number listed as the Residential School Healing Society of Canada office in Hobbema, AB during business hours on Nov. 16 reached this recorded message:“Tansi, you’ve reached the office of Honour Walk in Hobbema. We do IAP applications at this office. So if that’s what you’re phoning about please leave your name and number and then we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you currently have a claim with Blott and Associates, in order to get the status of your claim, please call [phone number]. Hai hai.”Then another recorded voice added:“The mailbox belonging to Residential School Healing Society of Canada is full.”When the Residential School Healing Society of Alberta originally applied for incorporation, the application form was signed by Trevor LaFayette, of Tofield, AB. The officers listed (in order) are: David Hamm, of Calgary; Thom Denomme, of Bragg Creek, AB; Jennifer MacKenzie, of Bragg Creek; Nadine Standing Alone, of Cardston.The witness who signed the application for incorporation was David Blott.The signatures of all those people also appear below the statement of corporate by-laws, with Blott once again signing as the witness.LaFayette works out of Honour Walk’s Edmonton office.Hamm and Denomme are Calgary entrepreneurs.MacKenzie signs her emails “Paralegal for Blott & Company.”Standing Alone worked for the now-closed Chief Mountain Healing Centre in Alberta. She is from the Blood Reserve.Many people interviewed by APTN Investigates on the Blood Reserve last summer said it was well known in the community that Standing Alone recruited clients for Blott and Company.When the Residential School Healing Society of Canada changed its name, two new directors were added to the list: Lee Aaron, of Edmonton, and Michael Smith, of Brocket, AB.Aaron works for Honour Walk in Edmonton.After the company name changed, McKenzie was no longer listed as a director or officer of the company. Hamm is no longer named on the list of directors but he is listed as the company secretary.Honour Walk employs many form fillers. A house in Bragg Creek, AB houses about a dozen of them. The company also has offices in Edmonton, Hobbema, Cardston, AB, Saskatoon and Regina.That house in Bragg Creek is another clear connection between Blott and Company and Honour Walk. The registered corporate office address for the Residential School Healing Society of Canada is a post office box in Bragg Creek.A search of land title records shows that a numbered corporation of which David Blott is the sole officer, purchased the home and the 9.34 acre lot for $1.1 million on June 28.Earlier this year, neighbors complained to the local government that nobody was living in this house in an upscale rural residential neighborhood but instead a business employing 10 to 15 people was being operated there, in violation of local by-laws. An angry group of local residents found out who owned the house and contacted Blott with their complaints. But they say it was Thom Denomme and Jennifer McKenzie who arrived to explain what was going on. They said the home was the base for the Residential School Healing Society of Canada.Municipal District of Foothills by-law enforcement officer Denise Stewart told APTN Investigates she informed the owner of the property that he had to apply for a variance of the by-law or he would have to shut the business down. She would not comment on whom she communicated with.Coincidentally, area residents say Blott applied for that variance on October 31, the same day the court suspended his firm from contacting clients. The by-law matter will go before the local council in the coming weeks.One of the many sources who approached APTN Investigates with concerns about how Honour Walk form fillers do their work is Kelly Busch. She worked as a manager and form filler for Honour Walk in Saskatoon and provides another connection between Honour Walk and Blott and Company.“Honour Walk did not have an office in Saskatoon. It was Blott and Company’s office and I was given office space and a key to the building in Saskatoon by . . . David Blott,” she said.It appears the Residential Schools Healing Society of Canada has now been wound up. The company was “struck off” the corporate rolls in Alberta on May 2 for “failure to file annual returns.” Annual returns for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 are still outstanding, according to corporate records obtained on Nov. 25.Sources familiar with corporate procedure in Alberta say it is not a sign of any wrong doing for a company to be struck off. But the fact that this company is no longer an active corporation does narrow the number of companies doing form filling for Blott and Company down to one: Honour Walk.Honour Walk mentions Blott and Company in its legal forms that clients must sign to complete their IAP application form. It appears that the law firm and the form filling company deal only with each other.APTN Investigates asked two lawyers who handle IAP claims in Alberta if they had ever had clients referred to them by Honour Walk. Both said “no.”“We have never had any clients referred to us by Honour Walk,” Jon Faulds of Fields Law in Edmonton said.“To my knowledge they worked exclusively with Mr. Blott, but I do not have all the evidence on that point,” Vaughn Marshall said.Several sources told us Honour Walk pays the form fillers a certain amount per form filled out. One documents obtained by APTN Investigates shows that there was an ongoing struggle to get the forms filled out correctly. Each form filler received $150 or more per client signed up correctly, but they would be docked money for mistakes. The two-page long document points out many errors and demands they be corrected or money will deducted from future pay cheques.The document also reveals that clients were “disappearing” from the company’s database.“I am to check [two clients] who have disappeared. In addition to that, the permanently missing are the first 8 from the April 24th list dating all the way back to Aug 13th of last year. These have also disappeared off the database for some reason so I feel sorry for these folks,” stated the person who wrote the document.Vaughn Marshall says he was approached by then Residential School Society of Alberta company director David Hamm, once several years ago, about establishing a form filling relationship with his firm. He says he told Hamm that neither he nor any of his clients would have any dealings with him.He made his feelings known about Honour Walk’s approach early on.“We believe the applications should be done by lawyers. I’ve known about Honour Walk since almost the beginning and I myself would not have any dealings with Honour Walk, nor would I have any dealings with Mr. Hamm. I was approached by Mr. Hamm and I told him we would have no dealings with him or his company. He expressed surprise, which I found surprising. I told him I thought it would be improper for us to have any dealings with him. More importantly, we would not have any dealings with him on behalf of ourselves or on behalf of our clients. Period. End of story,” Marshall said.The lawyer said he believes most law firms would not enter into the kind of arrangement Blott and Company have with Honour Walk.“It would surprise me if they dealt with anybody else because how would they get the approval on the upfront fee that had to be paid to Honor Walk? I believe that if any lawyer in the National consortium was presented with the kind of paperwork that Honor Walk made the clients fill out, they would immediately set aside that and inform the company who obtained that kind of documentation that there would be no payment on it,” he said.IAP clients signed up by Honour Walk must sign an “Acknowledgements, Representations and Agreements” form which states “I understand and agree that any law firm retained by me shall be required to pay Honour Walk’s $4,000 document collection fee on my behalf otherwise such fee is my own responsibility and I am fully liable for its payment.”Marshall sees that to be an assignment, something expressly forbidden by the late Donald Brenner in 2007 when he was chief justice of the British Columbia Supreme Court.
Trina Roache APTN National NewsA new study kicks some stereotypes about Indigenous people to the curb.It shows that Mi’kmaq, Maliseet and Innu bands are economic drivers.In fact, the boost is about $1 billion a year to the East Coast economy.
Shaneen Robinson-DesjarlaisAPTN National NewsAn estimated 4,000 veterans filtered into Standing Rock over the weekend.Just hours earlier, the United States Army Corps of Engineers announced the pipeline is on email@example.com
Nation to NationTen years ago Thursday, Cindy Blackstock filed a human rights complaint against Ottawa for discriminating against First Nation children by underfunding child welfare services on reserve.Last year, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled Ottawa was discriminating against First Nation children.Blackstock, who heads the First Nation Child and Family Caring Society, sits down for an in-studio interview with Nation to Nation.The Nation to Nation political panel also debates whether the Justin Trudeau Liberal government’s words on First Nation child welfare match the actions required by the Human Rights Tribunal.
Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsFriends and family in two provinces are mourning the woman they call ‘Sunshine Girl’ after she was shot and killed by Calgary police May 17.The body of Josephine Pelletier, 33, was buried on the Muskowekwan First Nation June 9, her mother Donna Pelletier said Wednesday.“She had a hard life – she did struggle lots,” Donna said of her second-oldest daughter.“She tried her best but then she would meet the wrong people and off she would go.”Josephine, 33, was living in a half-way house in Calgary after spending most of her life behind bars. She spoke to APTN News in 2016 about wanting to turn her life around.Donna says she was told Josephine was missing from the half-way house for about two days when she spied an open door to a basement suite and went in.“They went in an open house. Nobody was home.”But someone upstairs called police who say they responded to the report of a home invasion with a K9 unit before summoning the tactical team.News reports say at least two officers fired on Josephine and the male she was with saying they heard sounds of distress and found the pair barricaded inside.Awo Taan Healing Lodge Executive Director Josie Nepinak ‘There is a war on Indigenous women in Canada,,, Just two weeks ago here in Calgary there was Indigenous was women who was shot 7 times by Calgary City Police’ #mmiw #inquiry #canada #alberta #calgary #yyc #testimony pic.twitter.com/wYdjYiw0oA— Lowa Beebe (@LowaBeebe) May 31, 2018Her close friend Tanya Sugar says the women grew up in Regina together.“Josephine, you were loved, man. You were my little sister.”Sugar says Josephine died at the scene after being shot seven times. Something she was able to confirm after accompanying Donna to view her daughter’s body.Sugar says the male, who was injured after police fired rubber projectiles at him with an ARWEN launcher, remains in custody on various charges. He was unable to attend Josephine’s funeral, Sugar added.I am a former corrections officer who spent a lot of time with Josie. This breaks my heart— Tanja Campbell (@tanja_lynn) June 12, 2018Police say the male suffered serious stab wounds, allegedly inflicted by Josephine before she was shot, but Sugar and Donna don’t believe it.“Calgary Police are lying,” Donna said. “She didn’t hurt (him)…it was the police who hurt him.”The fatal incident is now being investigated by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), which takes over when officers are involved.APTN is still waiting to receive more information from ASIRT.“Nobody deserves (to) leave this world the way she did,” her sister Mariah G-Lynn said on Facebook.“She had heart, she had love, she had a mother and a son, she had brothers and sisters. She was a mother herself.”“She was not a target to be shot at many times by multiple cops,” added her sister Shalene Jobin.Josephine, also known as JoJo and Josie, struggled with drug addiction, Sugar said, but was trying to become clean with traditional ways.“I watched her grow and mature and become a beautiful Indigenous woman the past five years,” Sugar said on a memorial page.“She was praying and singing (and) coming to the sweat when she could. She just didn’t have enough support in her life that were healthy and teach her a better way.”Sugar hosted an event in Calgary to help raise $2,000 so Donna could take her daughter home and bury her.Donna says she was shocked at the condition of Josephine’s body.“I had to have a closed coffin,” she said through tears.Donna says the half-way house gave her the wrong clothes – “three times bigger than Jo” – and victim services was unable to help because her daughter was shot by officers.“They said it was a conflict with city police,” Donna said in a telephone interview from her Saskatchewan home.A spokesman for Alberta Justice was unable to comment on a specific case due to privacy issues, but offered a link to eligibility requirements that confirmed a crime must be involved to access funds.Link to victim services in AlbertaDonna says she works but doesn’t make much money and didn’t have the savings to cover the unexpected travel and funeral expenses.She says Alberta Human Services gave her funds to get “to the Saskatchewan border.”She plans to buy a headstone when she “can do fundraising” and needs to save up “the $200” needed to buy her daughter’s autopsy firstname.lastname@example.org@katmarte
INGERSOLL, Ont. – GM Canada has been hit with its first assembly plant strike in more than two decades as uncertainty on North American trade negotiations loom over contract talks with workers at its CAMI operation in Ingersoll, Ont.The 2,500 members of Unifor local 88 walked out Sunday at 10:59 p.m. as the two sides failed to reach agreements on plant operations, economic issues, and especially job security.Local 88 president Dan Borthwick, reached by phone on the picket line, said the union is pushing to have the plant designated the lead producer of GM’s Chevrolet Equinox to ensure jobs aren’t shifted to Mexico.He said the issue has become more pressing after GM shifted production of its Terrain small SUV from the plant to Mexico earlier this year at a loss of more than 400 jobs.“We’re done with that. We need some job security and commitment,” said Borthwick.“GM just has to get around their corporate greed. They need to start sharing the $12 billion they make a year.”The company said in a statement that it’s disappointed the two sides couldn’t reach a deal, but said both sides have made progress on issues in recent weeks and encouraged Unifor to resume negotiations.GM said it committed $800 million in 2015 to prepare the CAMI plant for the latest Equinox model, but with some production of the vehicle already happening in Mexico, Borthwick said he wasn’t reassured by the investment.“The $800 million was spent when the Terrain was here, so there’s no guarantees.”The shifting of work to Mexico is a key issue for the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations, and creates significant complications for automaker labour negotiations, said Brendan Sweeney, project manager at McMaster University’s Automotive Policy Research Centre.“There’s so much uncertainty. How can they make these commitments today when obviously NAFTA is being renegotiated? I don’t know how they can do that; they’re kind of hamstrung.”Sweeney said GM and other automakers were able to reach contract agreements last year, with Unifor securing large investments from GM in its Canadian operations including its assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont.But workers at the CAMI plant operate under a different contract from other GM employees, and their renewal negotiations have come at a tricky time as automakers face uncertainty on key policies like how many cars they’ll be able to import to the U.S. from Canada and Mexico, and whether those vehicles will face tariffs.“Any movement one way or another on those issues will impact what companies do. But the companies won’t do that stuff until they know. So it’s just crappy timing to be bargaining,” said Sweeney.Unifor president Jerry Dias said CAMI is a “poster child” for what’s wrong with NAFTA, where GM shifted production from one of the most productive plants in the world to Mexico to pay workers $2 an hour.He said trade negotiations will have to address the low wages for workers in Mexico, where automakers have opened eight assembly plants with more on the way after closing four in Canada and 10 in the U.S.“NAFTA in itself is a complete and utter disaster,” said Dias. “Workers from all three countries got screwed. Canada and the U.S., we lost our jobs, and Mexico they never gained as a result of it.”The strike is the first assembly plant strike in Canada since GM workers walked off the job in 1996, with Dias saying union members are fed up with the continuing job losses.“The fact is we’ve just had enough, everyone’s just had enough.”
OTTAWA – The secret, golfer Ben Hogan famously declared, is in the dirt. But on Dave Druken’s high-tech practice range, there’s not a speck of the stuff.In truth, Golftec’s indoor teaching facilities are more laboratory than lesson tee: sensors and video cameras capture the swing in minute detail, while screens around the room display what’s happening from every conceivable angle.With a flip of the club, a “button box” on the ground lets students — sensor-equipped cables dangling from their shoulders and hips — review their positions frame by frame, all without even abandoning their posture at address.No faded yardage markers. No beat-up tractors gathering range balls in the distance. No divots — no real grass, even. And perhaps most importantly, no snow, not even in the dead of the national capital’s infamous off-season.“It’s a great option here in Ottawa to commit to making changes over the winter,” says Druken, Golftec’s local manager and director of instruction.“You don’t have to worry as much about taking it to the course right away, and that gives you the ability to slow it down and enjoy the journey to better golf.”Welcome to the world many observers see as the future of golf instruction: warm, dry and open for business 12 months a year, with specially trained experts who know how to turn raw numbers into better ball-striking.Winter may be coming, but long-suffering hackers can take heart: hope springs internal.“One of them most gratifying things that I see is, people that are a little bit older really picking up the game and doing very well with it,” said James Suttie, the chief executive of Vancouver-based Golftec Canada.So-called experts often say the future of golf depends on introducing the game to new players. Suttie, who understands a thing or two about how frustrating golf can be, knows better.“It’s not just getting people introduced to the game,” he says. “It’s keeping them in the game.”Canada is fertile ground for Golftec’s data-based approach.On a per-capita basis, some 21 per cent of Canadians have at least a passing interest in golf — second only to New Zealand, and roughly twice that of the United States. And yet when it comes to successful pro players, Canada pales in comparison to smaller places like Sweden and Australia.“We’re golf crazy. The unfortunate thing is we’re not necessarily very good,” Suttie says. “That is one of the things that I think we really could do a lot better at: getting the country better from a golfing standpoint.”After just seven years in Canada, Golftec represents a whopping 19.5 per cent of all the private lessons taught in Canada, he says. That percentage is just under 26 per cent in the U.S., where Golftec has been in operation since 1995.“So we’re very quickly catching up to the penetration that the U.S. has,” Suttie says.“We have a large percentage of very avid golfers, but we’re frankly not as good as the Americans are in golf, which is not a surprise because of the money that’s been spent there teaching.”Golfers themselves aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits. For teaching professionals, high-tech tools can make traditional outdoor range instruction seem like working with a blindfold on.“It’s huge,” says Druken, who like all Golftec instructors underwent a comprehensive training course at the U.S. parent company’s Denver headquarters.Where traditional instruction has often struggled to help students understand the differences between “feel” and “real,” the scientific, numbers-oriented approach all but eliminates the uncertainty that can undermine progress, he preaches.“It’s one thing to have theory about what you think the student should do, but to be able to measure gives you clear direction, and allows the student to buy into the process with trust,” Druken says.“For a novice coach, the training they receive and the tools at their disposal allow them to have direction, even when they may not know how to act from previous experience.”To prove his point, Druken quickly diagnoses a visitor’s long-standing frustrations with swing plane, spotting a shoulder tilt that’s not where it should be. The Golftec system shows a yellow or red number — not good.He activates an electronic tone that will only sound once the shoulder plane is in the green zone. A couple of false starts, then suddenly — beep! — a picture-perfect position at the top of the swing that looks yanked from the pages of Golf Digest.“We’re a numbers-driven society,” says Suttie. “Once you start to understand the numbers, it makes it a lot easier to be able to communicate effectively, so you’re working on the right things.”The indoor element makes a difference, too. Working on a swing change in the middle of the golf season borders on the impossible for all but the most dedicated players, since it often means a difficult period of adjustment at the most inopportune time.Building a new swing in the dead of winter, on the other hand? What else were you planning to do besides shovel the driveway, scrape the ice off the windshield and maybe brave the mall for a relaxing bit of Christmas shopping?“That is a great way of practicing, as opposed to going to the driving range and pounding balls for an hour, which is what I used to do all the time,” says Suttie.“It never got me better.”
MONTREAL – A Swedish prosecutor says he is considering appealing Wednesday’s acquittal of a Russian employee in the Swedish branch of train maker Bombardier for aggravated bribery in one of the country’s biggest corruption cases to date.“We’ll definitely consider that at this point,” Thomas Forsberg said from Stockholm.Prosecutors have three weeks to decide whether or not to appeal the court decision, but will likely make a decision by next week, he said in an interview.The Stockholm District Court said “it could not be proven” that Evgeny Pavlov, an employee of Bombardier Transportation Sweden AB, “has promised or offered an unfair advantage, which is a prerequisite for the existence of a bribe.”Pavlov had been accused of bribery to win a contract for a signalling system with a contract value of around US$340 million. He was facing a six-year jail sentence and deportation.In a statement, Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) said it was “pleased with the outcome” in court.“Bombardier had always denied any allegation of criminal wrongdoing, and we are happy to see the court’s conclusions in this regard,” spokesman Simon Letendre wrote in an email.In 2013, Bombardier was part of a consortium awarded a contract to supply signalling equipment for a 500-kilometre (300-mile) track along a corridor connecting Asia and Europe to Azerbaijan Railways.“He has been acquitted. This is really positive,” his lawyer Cristina Bergner told The Associated Press, adding she had not been able to speak to her client yet.When Pavlov was released Oct. 4 after seven months in jail, “we knew he would be acquitted.”He was arrested in March and ordered held in pre-trial custody to prevent him from fleeing or tampering with evidence. Emails seized in October 2016 during a search of Bombardier offices in Sweden were considered evidence in the case.Bergner had repeatedly said her client is innocent.The court said prosecutors “have not proved that … there was expectation that the official would affect the railway authority in the procurement.”Forsberg said he was more surprised than disappointed by the verdict.He said the preliminary investigation is still ongoing and charges against others could still be laid next year.“We will continue our efforts investigating this in localities and any other people from Bombardier who might be involved,” he added.___With files from The Associated Press and Julien Arsenault. Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Argentina’s president defended a pension reform bill approved by Congress Tuesday that has prompted violent protests and a general strike, saying it seeks only to benefit retirees.The measure passed in the lower house by a 127-117 vote after more than 12 hours of debate, much of which came as demonstrators clashed with police outside the chamber.The legislation, which had already cleared the Senate, would change the formula by which pension benefits are calculated, basing them largely on inflation instead of wage growth and tax contributions. It’s a key part of the economic changes pushed by President Mauricio Macri’s government to reduce Argentina’s high deficit and attract investments.“We’ve created a formula that defends (retirees) from inflation and guarantees that they will be better,” Macri said at a press conference at the presidential palace. “Our priority is to take care of the retirees.”But opposition lawmakers, union leaders and other critics complain the bill will cut pension and retirement payments as well as aid for some poor families because consumer prices are expected to be lower.“We’re sad. This law is bad,” said opposition lawmaker Agustin Rossi. “We tried to impede it from passing, but we couldn’t get the numbers. This harms retirees.”Argentina’s largest union called a 24-hour general strike that has grounded hundreds of flights. About 150 people were also injured and about 60 were arrested in clashes between police and demonstrators Monday outside the Congress building. Some retirees who were protesting the measure were caught up in the middle of the violence when some demonstrators hurled rocks and gasoline bombs, and riot police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.Macri told reporters that the violence had “clearly been orchestrated” and would be investigated.In peaceful protests, demonstrators banged on pots in several neighbourhoods of the capital late into the night. The protests hold deep symbolism for Argentines, who have haunting memories of the 2001-2002 economic collapse, when pot-banging marches forced presidents from office and made the country practically ungovernable.“I respect that there are people who believe that these reforms are not good,” Macri said. “It would be illogical to have unanimity. But I’m asking them not to doubt the intention because I’m convinced that it will help them.”Since taking office in 2015, the conservative leader has promised to rein in government spending and revive Argentina’s lagging economy. The pension overhaul is expected to save the government about $3.42 billion.Macri has been credited with ending a longstanding legal dispute that returned Latin America’s third-largest economy to international credit markets after nearly 15 years. But his ordering of job cuts and slashing of utility subsidies has stoked labour unrest. In October, Macri said that he would seek deeper reforms in tax and labour after his governing coalition notched a decisive victory in congressional elections.
HALIFAX – Celebrity businessman Kevin O’Leary has been ordered to pay legal fees to a philanthropic organization that is suing him over allegations he backed out of a speaking engagement and cost the group more than $25,000.The decision, handed down Wednesday by Nova Scotia Supreme Court Judge Mona Lynch, rejects O’Leary’s attempt to dismiss the suit or move it to another jurisdiction, and awarded $3,500 in costs to the Canadian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.The chamber had been seeking $12,000 in costs, while O’Leary suggested legal costs of $1,000 after failing to have the suit dismissed after a half-day hearing last Dec. 7.In her analysis, Lynch said she was made to consider facts around the wealth of O’Leary, the brash star of the ABC show “Shark Tank” and former panellist on CBC’s “Dragon’s Den.”“The plaintiff asks me to consider that the defendant is a wealthy man who touts himself as a leading high-tech entrepreneur and investment guru; who prefers to be called ‘Mr. Wonderful’; who professes his knowledge and love of money; and who derides the death of money,” her decision reads, noting that she had never watched the show “Shark Tank.”“The award of costs that is just and appropriate in the circumstances and would do justice between the parties is $3,500.”The decision is part of a broader suit against O’Leary by the chamber’s Nova Scotia branch, which alleges that O’Leary reneged on a promise to be keynote speaker at the group’s gala event in Halifax on May 18, 2017.The group’s statement of claim, filed last Dec. 8, contends that O’Leary committed in February 2017 to speak at the Cedar and Maple Gala fundraising dinner in Halifax.It says the group set about booking a space and printing promotional materials for the event with O’Leary, who was in the midst of a leadership bid for the federal Conservative Party.But, the 10-page claim states that O’Leary abruptly pulled out of the speech without warning.Gavin Giles, who is representing the chamber in the proceedings, said O’Leary had another change of heart and agreed to speak only if a minimum of 50 members pledged to donate $1,550 to the Conservative party, “with 90 per cent of each donation being funnelled back” to O’Leary’s leadership campaign.That statement says he again withdrew when the chamber refused to agree to the conditions.The group says it had to seek out another speaker — author David Chilton — at a cost of more than $25,000, which it is seeking to recover from O’Leary along with other damages and costs.In his statement of defence, O’Leary’s lawyer Christopher Madill denies all of the allegations against his client and says the suit should be dismissed.It states that O’Leary agreed to give the address on Feb. 4, 2017, on the understanding that it would raise a minimum of $40,000 at $1,550 per person for his political run.“The defendant says that he agreed to give a keynote speech in consideration for the plaintiff organizing a major fundraising event for the defendant’s political campaign,” the defence states.“The plaintiff completely and unequivocally failed to honour its contractual obligations under the agreement.”Madill was not immediately available for comment.
WHISTLER, B.C. – Group of Seven nations moved closer to a trade war with the United States on Saturday, as six members of the exclusive club singled out their American partner over tariffs they warn have undermined open trade and shaken confidence in the global economy.The group’s highly unusual public rebuke of one of its own members called out the U.S. for hefty steel and aluminum tariffs the Trump administration imposed in recent days on its G7 friends.U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs are driving a wedge in the G7 — and laying the groundwork for a potential clash among its leaders next week in Quebec’s Charlevoix region.Allies including Canada and the European Union are threatening retaliatory tariffs in hope of forcing Trump to back down from his position.G7 finance ministers and central bankers crafted a message to Washington Saturday at the end of a three-day meeting in Whistler, B.C. The gathering, meant to explore economic issues ahead of the leaders’ summit, featured discussions on trade that one minister described as “tense and tough.”In the joint “chair’s summary,” they asked their counterpart, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to “communicate their unanimous concern and disappointment” to his boss.Ministers urged the U.S. to quickly abandon the tariffs ahead of the leaders’ summit before the move causes deeper divisions within the G7.“The international community is faced with significant economic and security issues, which are best addressed through a united front from G7 countries,” said the summary, was agreed to by the ministers.“Members continue to make progress on behalf of our citizens, but recognize that this collaboration and co-operation has been put at risk by trade actions against other members.”Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who chaired the Whistler meetings, said even though the group found common ground on many subjects, G7 members are now forced to do whatever they can to convince Trump to move back from the tariffs.“We are concerned that these actions are actually not conducive to helping our economy — they actually are destructive. And that’s consistently held across the six countries that expressed their point of view to Secretary Mnuchin,” Morneau told reporters in Whistler.“I would expect that those sorts of sentiments will be passed along to the leaders’ round, and they will have a similar sort of discussion.”Morneau has called the steel and aluminum tariffs “absurd,” because Canada is by no means a security risk to the U.S. He’s warned the measures will destroy jobs on both sides of the border.France’s Bruno Le Maire, the finance and economy minister, was more blunt in his assessment of the Whistler meetings, where ministers confronted Mnuchin.“It has been a tense and tough G7 — I would say it’s been far more a G6 plus one than a G7,” said Le Maire, who called the tariffs “unjustified.”“We regret that our common work together at the level of the G7 has been put at risk by the decisions taken by the American administration on trade and on tariffs.”Le Maire said it’s now up to the U.S. to take action to rebuild confidence among G7 members — and to avoid any escalation next week during the G7 leaders’ summit.That summit, which will be hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will also mark Trump’s first visit to Canada as president.On Saturday, Mnuchin told a news conference in Whistler that despite the differences in the room over trade, there were many areas the group was “completely united on.”“I think there was a comment out there that (this was) the G6 plus one. It was not… We believe in the G7, it’s an important group,” Mnuchin said.“I’m sure that the president looks forward to coming to Canada and meeting all the other leaders with many, many important issues going on throughout the world.”Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter
Companies in this story: (TSX:ZZZ)The Canadian Press TORONTO — Sleep Country Canada Holdings Inc. says it will acquire online mattress retailer Endy for nearly $89 million.The Toronto-based company says it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the mattress-in-a-box firm, a Canadian start-up that launched in 2015.Sleep Country Canada will pay $88.7 million, with $63.7 million cash at closing and up to $25 million more in cash in early 2021 if certain growth and profitability targets are achieved in the previous year.The company’s revolving credit facility will be upsized by $60 million to $210 million to finance the transaction.The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and expected to close on Dec. 6 of this year.Sleep Country already sells a mattress-in-a-box product, Bloom, which comes in four different styles and price levels.
B.C. Premier John Horgan says he will do whatever it takes to keep the pipeline from being built and has threatened to use regulations to stop additional oil from flowing through the line even if it is built.The Vancouver Board of Trade also said today Trudeau has to sit down with Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley immediately to solve the impasse or exert Canada’s jurisdiction through other means.Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr says Canada will consider financial, legal and regulatory options, but insists the government has approved the pipeline in the national interest and, one way or another, he says it will be built. OTTAWA, O.N. — Pressure is mounting on the federal government to use money or the Constitution to back up its claims that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project will be built, no matter what.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet is in Ottawa today for an emergency meeting following news that Kinder Morgan is suspending all non-essential spending on the pipeline until it and its investors feel secure the project won’t fall apart amid strong opposition from the British Columbia government.Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta’s United Conservative party, says since Trudeau had no qualms withholding more than $60 million from Saskatchewan for not joining the Liberal carbon tax plan, he should follow suit by withholding transfers to B.C. for blocking a pipeline it has no jurisdiction over.
GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – The Grande Prairie RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating a woman who hasn’t been seen in nearly two months. 45-year-old Leona Lee Hommy was last seen in Grande Prairie on March 11th. Hommy is described as Caucasian, standing 5’5” tall, weighing 140 lbs., with red hair, and green eyes. She was last seen wearing a hat, coat, and pants, though police do not know the colour of her clothing.There is a concern for Hommy’s well-being, and the RCMP would like to locate and speak with her as soon as possible. Anyone with information about Hommy or her whereabouts asked to call the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5700. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1.800.222.8477 (TIPS) or by Internet at www.tipsubmit.com. Photo by RCMP
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Outrage over the federal government’s announcement about buying the Trans Mountain pipeline to ensure it gets built could fuel unprecedented protests, says a prominent environmentalist who was at the forefront of British Columbia’s so-called War in the Woods in the 1990s.Tzeporah Berman said the fight against the pipeline expansion is even bigger than those over logging in Clayoquot Sound.Canadians are angry the government is shelling out $4.5 billion to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline rather than investing in clean energy after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate-change promises during the 2015 election and his later commitment to the Paris climate accord, she said. “The protesters and the opposition, and the civil disobedience is probably going to increase,” Khelsilem said.“Our mandate from our people is to continue to defend our rights as a people and to protect our territory, not just for us but for future generations. We’re going to continue to stand with our allies that support our Indigenous rights and change the story of Canada, that Canada is no longer a country that disregards Indigenous rights.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS) “My experience is that people are motivated by betrayal, they’re motivated by a lack of fairness, they’re motivated by a sense of shared common purpose and outrage. In this case we have all of that,” said Berman, who was cleared of aiding and abetting protesters at the Clayoquot blockade and is now an adjunct professor of environmental studies at York University in Toronto.Berman said the Liberal government “made a very big mistake” by backing Kinder Morgan’s project and alienating voters to create “a perfect storm” that would prompt people to take action.“I think a lot of us who knocked on doors for the Trudeau government really believed them when they said they were going to bring evidence-based analysis and science and democratic process back to pipeline reviews.”Berman is a director of Stand.earth, one of the groups that organized an anti-pipeline protest in Vancouver on Tuesday after Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the government’s plans for the pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C. Another protest is planned in Victoria on Thursday.“My expectation is that the outrage is going to grow and we’re not just going it see it here in British Columbia but we’re going to see it nationally and internationally,” she said, adding social media makes it possible for activists to connect in ways that didn’t exist at the height of anti-logging protests in 1993.Chopper 9 hovered over a rally was organized by First Nations and environmentalists opposed to the Kinder Morgan project. Extended: https://t.co/puolrDQOQU pic.twitter.com/eG77JC8N3l— CTV Vancouver (@CTVVancouver) May 30, 2018 “We didn’t have email, we didn’t have cell phones. It was a remote location that took most people five to seven hours to get through. This is a pipeline project that runs through urban centres,” she said of Trans Mountain.Khelsilem, a Squamish Nation council member who goes by his first name, said the federal government’s decision to pursue completion of the pipeline expansion threatens Indigenous communities if there was a spill of bitumen from increased tanker traffic in B.C. waters.“Trudeau had promised during the election that he would create a new environmental process that would protect Indigenous rights and that the Kinder Morgan project would be included and sent back to be done through the new process, and on both those counts he’s failed completely,” he said.Along with multiple legal challenges involving the pipeline, the Squamish Nation and five other First Nations are involved in a Federal Court of Appeal case that targets Ottawa’s approval of the project.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of FSJ seeks to amend the Cemeteries Bylaw and Council asked for the City to consult with the local Funeral provider for input on the desired changes and return with a report.The City presented a request for a change to Bylaw 2433 at the Committee of the Whole meeting with a presentation developed from a 2016 Master Study and comparison to other communities.The City seeks to change the Bylaw in several areas which included, the Cemeteries operational hours, prices, ornamentation and the language used in the Bylaw. Councillors were concerned with the requested time change. Current hours of operation are 8 am to 5 pm and want them changed to the hours of 9 am to 4 pm. The concern is that the new hours could put additional financial stress on a grieving family if there were to be a reduction in working hours causing overtime charges when dealing with interment.During the City Council meeting, Council directed the staff to consult with the local funeral provider for their input on the presented changes and to bring back a report that also includes a better outline for cost recovery, timeframes for an increase per year based on other communities and the Master study.
CALGARY, A.B. – Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the government remains committed to putting the Trans Mountain pipeline and its proposed expansion back in private hands as he unveiled four principles for including Indigenous groups in those discussions.But he says timing and details of the sale of the pipeline depends on when it is “de-risked” and therefore can’t be determined until consultations now underway with affected Indigenous groups are completed.The minister says discussions of potential Indigenous ownership could proceed if the communities would have “meaningful economic participation”, if the deal can proceed in the spirit of reconciliation, and if the resulting entity works to the benefit of all Canadians and on a commercial basis. Morneau is in Calgary to promote last week’s federal budget. His next stops are in Vancouver and Edmonton.Chanting and honking horns could be heard from a large gathering of pro-pipeline picketers across the street from the Fairmont Palliser hotel while Morneau spoke to the Economic Club of Canada.In his speech, he said Ottawa realizes that resource-dependent provinces like Alberta have different economic challenges than others and vowed to continue to implement measures that encourage confidence and optimism.“We’ve been very clear that we see the importance of getting our resources to international markets. We’ve also been very clear that the only way these projects can get done is if they’re done in the right way,” he said.“I hope and expect that Albertans will see that we’re comporting ourselves in the way we need to in the face of getting a project done.”
Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, says the last two seasons have been the worst for wildfires and that these grants should reduce the risk of wildfires.“The last two summers have shown the need for better preparation in advance of wildfire season. To help keep people and communities as safe as possible, it’s more important than ever that we invest in programs that reduce the risk.”The Union of B.C. Municipalities administers this program and processes grant applications.The application deadline for the next intake is October 18, 2019.For more information on the Community Resiliency Investment program, you can visit the Province’s website. PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Government of British Columbia has allocated another $574,840 in Community Resiliency Investment program grants for the Prince George Fire Centre.According to the Government, the grants will be given to eight local governments and First Nations communities in the Prince George Fire Centre to help support wildfire risk reduction projects.These grants are in addition to the more than $6 million in funding provided to 85 municipalities, regional districts and First Nations throughout B.C. in May.
Mumbai: The Shiv Sena Saturday said L K Advani would remain the “tallest leader” of the BJP irrespective of his poll presence, two days after the party nominated its chief Amit Shah from Gandhinagar, a seat represented by the BJP patriarch. In an editorial in the party mouthpiece “Saamana”, the Sena said Shah contesting in place of Advani is politically translated as the ‘Bhishmacharya’ of Indian politics being “forced” to retire. “Lal Krishna Advani is known as the ‘Bhishmacharya’ of Indian politics, but his name does not feature in the list of BJP’s candidates for Lok Sabha polls, which is not surprising,” the edit said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The Sena said the development underlined that the BJP’s Advani era has come to an end. “Advani has been elected from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar constituency six times. Now, Amit Shah will be contesting from that seat. This simply means Advani has been forced to retire,” the editorial said. Marking a generational shift in the BJP, the party recently announced candidature of Shah, who will be contesting his debut parliamentary election, from Gandhinagar. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Advani, 91, had served as Union home minister and deputy prime minister. He won the Gandhinagar seat six times. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP to massive victory in 2014 and Shah was made the party president, Advani was made a member of Margdarshak Mandal (group of mentors). The Sena said, “Advani was one of the founding members of the BJP, who along with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee steered the rath of the party ahead. “But today, Modi and Shah have taken the place of them (Vajpayee and Advani). An environment has already been created in the party to ensure that seniors do not get any responsibility this time,” it stated. The Sena further said Advani has played a “long innings” in politics and would remain the “tallest leader” of the BJP. The Sena is contesting the next month’s Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the BJP. The Sena said it didn’t believe that a leader retains his top position only if he continues to be in active politics. The Uddhav Thackeray-led party also attacked the Congress which has said the Gandhinagar seat has been snatched from Advani. “The party (Congress) should not talk about insult to elders. The then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao, who had steered the Congress governments in difficult times, was insulted by the party even after his death,” it said. The Sena also referred to the 2013 incident when Rahul Gandhi tore an ordinance (on protecting convicted lawmakers) in the presence of the then prime minister Manmohan Singh. “What happened with Sitaram Kesari (former Congress president who was succeeded by Sonia Gandhi)?….Therefore it does not suit the Congress to talk about respecting elders,” the Sena said. Praising Advani, the Sena said he was responsible for expanding the BJP’s footprint across the country. “Every shining sun has to set. The BJP could reach the top because of Advani’s ‘Rath yatra’ in Ayodhya in 1990s. The BJP is reaping (dividends) because of Advani’s toil,” the Sena said.