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TOPSTORIES

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    It was the end of “Mueller Monday,” a bruising day for U.S. President Donald Trump, and all eyes were on John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff, the man some media called “the adult in the room” to comment on the shocking developments.

    Days later, nobody remembers what Kelly had to say about the federal indictments of Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Robert Gates, accused of money laundering and committing crimes against the United States, among many charges.

    What caused shock waves were his views on the Civil War, which he attributed not to slavery, but a “lack of an ability to compromise,” on Fox News. “And men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had to make their stand.”

    Very fine people, on both sides.

    People gasped, historians groaned. Descendants of abolitionist Frederick Douglass — who escaped slavery himself — called it emblematic of “historical whitewashing.”

    Even the descendant of Confederate general Robert E. Lee said Kelly would be better off keeping Trump “from tweeting and enacting racist policies, rather than engaging in a debate over the racist past of the South.”

    Kelly’s insistence of goodness on both sides of the Civil War isn’t about the nitty-gritty of historical facts. It’s a declaration of principles that underpin this administration’s motives. If you diminish slavery, you can deny racism.

    With his fiction-based revisionism, Kelly prised the Lost Cause out of the grasp of academia and gave it a White House stamp of approval.

    His views aren’t surprising. As a section of the population knows, these attitudes have always existed when it comes to racism.

    A few years ago, I was at dinner at someone’s house when another person showed up without her husband. “He’s at home with a friend,” she explained awkwardly. “And the friend is nice, really nice . . . he’s just um . . . he’s just a little ah . . . he’s kind of racist.”

    Nice racists.

    I’ve come to learn that nice racists are those who are capable of pleasantness only to white people.

    This is a learning of epiphanic proportions that I’ve since placed at the root of the good-people-on-both-sides argument.

    Anybody who has tried to speak out against racism knows the conversation goes something like this: “Your boot is on my neck, take it off.” The response: “Are you saying I’m not a good person?”

    This is why systemic police brutality against racialized and Indigenous people is dismissed as individual instances of a few bad apples.

    Discriminatory hiring is passed off as meritocracy. The best were hired, they just happen to be mostly white.

    Racist Halloween costumes find the good-at-heart defence: Meant no harm.

    Historical figures: Flawed heroes. Also, don’t apply today’s values on them. Orchestrating famines, owning people, killing, kidnapping, mutilating, raping them were the norm. Not criminal or abusive at all.

    Thus the cycle continues. We were good people. We are good people.

    It’s an instinct that television host Stephen Colbert could not resist Tuesday night when he lambasted Kelly’s words on the Civil War on his show, then said, “Or maybe, Kelly knows better, and is just being wilfully ignorant. Because as the chief of staff, he’s now forced to defend the positions of an idiot.”

    Can you hear it, too? Kelly just might be a good person in a bad spot.

    In the context of the Civil War, this desire to be labelled good isn’t just a Southern fetish.

    “One of the biggest myths,” the New York Times Magazine journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones told the podcast Uncivil, “is that the North is not implicated in slavery. That somehow, if your ancestors lived in the North, you have clean hands.”

    Slavery caused the Civil War, but it doesn’t mean the North was fighting to stop it. “They were fighting to preserve the Union, which isn’t the same thing,” she said.

    Slavery enriched all the states. The cotton produced by forced Black labour fuelled the Industrial Revolution in the textile-producing North, she said, and it implicated every industry, from shipbuilding to banking.

    The Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln — considered the good guy in all this — did not in fact, free all slaves. It only freed those who were in places that had left the union. A slave owner living in a state that was in the union could keep his slaves.

    Forget both sides, there were no good guys in the Civil War. There were victims, who passed their spirit of resistance to their progeny.

    It’s they who have become an inconvenient truth challenging a self-woven narrative of goodness. That explains this fact-free revisionism.

    Shree Paradkar writes about discrimination and identity. You can follow her @shreeparadkar


    John Kelly’s words on Civil War were a declaration of racist principles: ParadkarJohn Kelly’s words on Civil War were a declaration of racist principles: Paradkar

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    Canada will raise its annual immigrant intake by about 13 per cent to 340,000 by 2020 under a multi-year plan unveiled by Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen on Wednesday.

    The plan will bring the country’s yearly immigration level to 0.9 per cent of the population, up slightly from its current 0.8 per cent level, in order to offset the economic effects of an aging population and low birth rate.

    In 2017, Canada has a population of 36.5 million people and will welcome an estimated 300,000 newcomers.

    However, the 2020 target still falls far short of the 450,000 level recommended by the federal government’s own economic advisory council as the Liberals carefully manage the often sensitive and divisive immigration file.

    Under its 2018 immigration plan, the government will phase in the increase over three years by raising the intake initially to 310,000 next year and 330,000 in 2019 before reaching the 340,000 target in 2020.

    Sixty per cent, or 48,000 of the additional spots over the next three years, will be reserved for economic-class immigrants such as investors and skilled workers. The rest will be split among refugees and newcomers in the family class — spouses, parents and grandparents.

    “The increase is to meet Canada’s ever-growing demand for skilled labour. We will continue to wisely use immigration as a tool to power our economy,” Hussen told the Star in an interview.

    “The multi-year planning will ensure predictability and stability for provinces and cities to plan ahead and do their parts. We are proud of this plan.”

    According to government data, there were 6.6 people of working age for each senior in 1971. By 2012, the worker-to-retiree ratio had dropped to 4.2 to 1, with projections that put the ratio at 2 to 1 by 2036, when five million Canadians are set to retire. More than 80 per cent of the immigrants admitted to Canada have been under 45 years of age.

    Immigration alone cannot solve the demographic challenge, but can alleviate the negative effects by maintaining economic growth and social infrastructure such as health care, public pensions and other social programs.

    “Canada’s economic growth is high and we can afford to absorb more immigrants. We do need more immigrants to continue our strong growth. With new immigrants, there’s the demand for properties and goods, new payroll taxes,” said immigration policy analyst and lawyer Richard Kurland.

    “There will always be backlash. The reality is we’ve passed the tipping point. The label of visible minority really has no meaning any more with so many Canadians being foreign-born.”

    Kareem El-Assal, the Conference Board of Canada’s senior associate researcher on immigration, said a multi-year plan is much better than the traditional “tap-on-tap-off” approach to immigration intake because it allows local communities to plan for housing, transportation and social programs based on longer-term immigration forecast.

    The last time the Canadian government introduced a multi-year immigration plan was from 1982 to 1984 but it was quickly scrapped after the country was hit by a recession, he said.

    “A 1 per cent increase is prudent,” said El-Assal. “We need the resources, strategic investment and public support in place. It is in line with our research at the Conference Board of Canada.”

    The 2016 census found 22 per cent of the Canadian population is foreign-born while the same ratio identified themselves as visible minorities. In Toronto, 51.5 per cent said they are from visible minority communities.

    In Markham, where 80 per cent of residents are visible minorities, news of Canada’s increased immigration intake was well received.

    “We view our diversity as an absolute strength. New Canadians have created economic prosperity,” said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “We know employers are looking for a diverse and talented workforce. From a city point of view, that positions us well as Canada’s high-tech capital.”

    With more immigration, Hussen said the government will invest additional resources to process the increase in applications and in immigrant settlement services.

    Refugee advocacy groups were disappointed that the annual immigration level will be lower than the 360,000 they had been lobbying the government to adopt. Refugees make up 13 per cent of the newcomers to Canada anticipated in 2017.

    “We have an opportunity to offer protection to more people who are in desperate need, people who are fleeing for their lives,” said Loly Rico, president of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

    “Opening our doors to more refugees is not only the right thing to do because it saves lives, it is also good for Canada as refugees contribute in so many ways to our country.”

    Currently, 63 per cent of newcomers come under the economic class, 24 per cent through family reunification and the rest as refugees or on humanitarian grounds.


    Canadian government to raise annual immigration intake by 13% by 2020Canadian government to raise annual immigration intake by 13% by 2020

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    The childhood friends from Argentina had been planning the trip to New York City for years.

    The men all hailed from Rosario, Argentina’s third largest city, about 300 kilometre northwest of Buenos Aires. As teenagers, they had bonded in the halls and classrooms of the Instituto Politecnico, a technical high school in Rosario, and graduated together from there in 1987.

    Through the decades — despite job changes, marriage, children, moves to far-flung corners of the world — they remained close friends. And on Saturday, eight of the former classmates gathered to fly to the United States to celebrate their 30th graduation anniversary.

    They were in their late 40s now, firmly in the realm of middle age. But as they posed for a photograph just before their departure, the old friends slung their arms over one another and grinned like schoolkids. They donned matching white T-shirts emblazoned with the same word: “LIBRE.” Free.

    It is unclear when exactly they arrived in New York; they had planned to stop in Boston, to meet up with another former classmate. But what is certain is that on Tuesday — a beautiful, brisk fall afternoon in Manhattan — the men rode bicycles along a bike path flanking the Hudson River.

    As they pedalled along the West Side Highway, a white rented Home Depot truck turned onto the path as well.

    The truck would soon plow into a crowd of pedestrians and cyclists, killing at least eight people — including five of the Argentine men. At least one other former classmate from the group was injured.

    The Home Depot truck would later careen into a small school bus, injuring four more inside, officials said.

    After leaving behind a trail of chaos, the 29-year-old driver of the truck was shot and arrested by police, ending what authorities described as a terrorist attack. Officials said the suspected attacker, Sayfullo Saipov, left a note pledging his allegiance to Daesh, also known as ISIS and ISIL. New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Saipov was believed to be a lone wolf who was “radicalized domestically” after moving to the United States from Uzbekistan six years ago.

    The brazen daytime attack, which took place less than 10 blocks from the World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial, sent shock waves through the city — but also thousands of miles away, as friends and family in Argentina coped with the sudden loss of five of their own.

    The Argentine Foreign Ministry identified the five dead Argentine nationals as Hernan Diego Mendoza, Diego Enrique Angelini, Alejandro Damian Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernan Ferruchi. The New York Police Department said all of the men were 47, except for Erlij, who was 48.

    The others killed in the attack were American and Belgian, said police, who identified those victims as Darren Drake, 32, of New Milford, N.J.; Nicholas Cleves, 23, of New York; and Anne Laure Decadt, 31, of Belgium.

    The Argentine Foreign Ministry said a sixth member of the group of friends from Rosario, Martin Ludovico Marro, suffered injuries and was hospitalized in the Presbyterian Hospital of Manhattan. He is in stable condition, the government said, citing medical officials.

    “They were five young entrepreneurs, model citizens in Rosario society,” said Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, in Buenos Aires. “We all must stand together in the fight against terrorism.”

    The mayor of Rosario declared flags to be flown at half-staff for three days of mourning, according to the city’s local newspaper, La Capital.

    Read more:

    ‘This was an act of terror,’ mayor says

    Mangled school bus, bikes and bodies everywhere in the aftermath of New York City attack

    Trump orders Homeland Security to ‘step up’ its vetting program after New York City attack

    It was Erlij, 48, who had organized the reunion trip for the classmates, paying for those who couldn’t afford it, according to Mary Bensuley, a longtime family friend. Erlij was a well-known Argentine businessman who owned Ivanar, an iron and steel works company.

    “I can say the family has a great spirit of solidarity,” Bensuley told The Post. “Their trip was to mark the 30-year anniversary after graduation ... They’re great people. They have a good economic position, and they were always offering to help.”

    She described Erlij’s family as “devastated.” Like many Argentines on Wednesday, Bensuley was having a hard time processing the motivation for the attack.

    “Here, everyone lives in peace, and religion has never been a big subject of conversation,” she said in a Facebook message. “There are big debates about politics and soccer, but religion? Not really. We’re Catholics and we have Jewish, atheist and Mormon friends. Muslim friends, too. Our pain is for the innocent and unjust deaths of people who have nothing to do with the craziness that brought people trapped by their fundamentalist ideas to cause such terrible damage.”

    Erlij was at the airport in Rosario on Saturday, but did not depart with the group, instead catching up with the others in New York on a private flight the following day, according to the Argentine newspaper Clarin.

    Erlij’s friend, Luciano D’Amelio, told The Washington Post he was successful and generous, a gym buff who made time for workouts despite his busy life. Erlij was Jewish, though his wife was not, D’Amelio said. The couple had three children, she said.

    “I’m still in shock,” D’Amelio said in a Facebook message. “The incident really hit us. Never in our wildest imaginations did we think something like this could happen.”

    Jose Lo Menzo, another one of Erlij’s friends, described him as an “excellent person and father” who was also very intelligent.

    “(Erlij) studied in a public, middle-class school, and he managed to become a successful businessman, without forgetting about his friends,” he said. “It is a loss without meaning.”

    At least two of the victims, Ferruchi and Angelini, were architects, according to La Nacion.

    Ornee Pagnucco, 18, one of the three daughters of victim Alejandro Pagnucco, told The Post the 48-year-old and his friends had been planning their reunion trip for more than a year. Alejandro Pagnucco worked for a construction materials company and had never travelled much, but he saw New York as iconic. Visiting the city, she said, had been his “dream.”

    After her father left, he sent photos of his hotel room and selfies of him walking through New York’s streets, Ornee Pagnucco said. She added she knew terrorist attacks had happened there but never considered them a serious risk.

    “We’re shattered,” she said. “It’s been really hard.”

    Early Wednesday, a friend of Pagnucco posted a Facebook tribute to “a good student and son, a great worker.”

    “(The attacker) did not care who you were, did not care about the three beautiful daughters you have. Nor your dear brothers,” Gustavo Repizo wrote on behalf of his late friend. “You destroyed a family that was not interested in the religious or monetary problems of the world.”

    “Picho,” Repizo added, using a nickname for his friend, “was a person of peace.”

    Cecilia Piedrabuena, the wife of Ariel Benvenuto — one of the Argentines who survived the attack — told Rosario’s Radio LT8 her husband had been bicycling behind the others when “he felt something go past by him.”

    “He saw (the attacker’s van) veer toward five of his friends,” Piedrabuena told the radio station. “He said it was going at more than 150 kilometres per hour … terrible.”

    Her husband had called her from New York shortly after the attack; she listened to him in disbelief, she said, unable to grasp what had happened at first because it wasn’t yet on the news.

    Piedrabuena described the group of Argentines as being the “10 closest friends from high school.” They saw each other frequently, she said, at least a few times a year. They had planned the trip for this year because Erlij had offered to pay for those couldn’t afford it, she told Radio LT8.

    Their plan that day, Piedrabuena said, had been to bicycle through Central Park, and then over the Brooklyn Bridge.

    “They didn’t make it,” she told the radio station.

    Estefania Garcia, a Rosario resident and alumna of the high school, told The Post she knows Marro, the man currently hospitalized for injuries from the attack, and spoke with his sister-in-law Tuesday night.

    Though details behind the photo of the men in matching T-shirts were not yet confirmed, Garcia said it was “no coincidence that they wore T-shirts with the inscription ‘free.’”

    “Freedom” is one of the essential values taught at their alma mater, Garcia said. She described it as a tight-knit community that leads to lasting friendships. It has a demanding curriculum, with long days of workshops, meaning classmates become very close. She said she was not surprised to hear that a group of alumni were still close friends, three decades after graduating. Garcia herself remains very close with her friends from the high school.

    “We all love it,” she said. “Graduates live all over the world.”

    Marro is a longtime U.S. resident living in the Boston suburb of Newton, and he works as a biomedical researcher at Novartis Institutes in Cambridge, according to Newton City Council member James Cote.

    Cote, a Republican, said Marro hosted a fundraiser for him last week that was also attended by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Cote said Marro and his wife, an architect, “are not political people” but had offered to host the event because Marro’s wife is a friend of Cote’s wife, who is also from Argentina.

    Marro has two sons in elementary school in Newton, Cote said, and Marro coaches soccer.

    “They are very nice, very quiet people,” said Cote. “They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

    Mendoza was remembered for being an athlete in his youth who never lost his love of sports.

    “I had him as a player for many years, before he became an architect,” Salvador Capitano, technical director of Renato Cesarini, a soccer school and club in Rosario, said in an interview via Twitter. “Throughout his career, we maintained a close relationship. He was an exceptional person in every aspect. A father of three children, he was very happy bringing his son to play soccer. He was a simple, nice and honest person.”

    The Argentine government expressed its “sincere condolences” and said its consulate remains in contact with police authorities, hospital staff and the victim’s relatives in Argentina.

    “We accompany the families in this terrible moment of deep pain, which all Argentines share,” the government statement read.

    On the Instituto Politécnico campus, students planned a candlelight vigil Wednesday night in memory of the group of “Poli” alums who died.

    “It hurts us as students, because they took the same steps as us,” Agustín Riccardi, president of the student centre at the Instituto Politecnico, told The Post. “We are all hurting. It’s a very close community. Everyone has a family member who went to ‘Poli.’”

    Ricardo Berlot thought it was a bad joke Wednesday morning when he read a WhatsApp message saying five of those killed in the Manhattan attack were “rosarinos” — from Rosario, his hometown. In fact, they were from the same school he had graduated from 30 years earlier and where Berlot is now a teacher. The victims had been students in his computing class.

    “What happened affects us as if we were all of one body,” said Berlot, 58, speaking to the press outside the school on Wednesday. “At this institution, we create strong bonds ... It’s absolutely normal that former students get together for an ‘asado’ (Argentine-style barbecue) and to talk about the school.”


    They went to New York to celebrate their 30-year high school reunion. Five were killed in Tuesday’s bike path attackThey went to New York to celebrate their 30-year high school reunion. Five were killed in Tuesday’s bike path attack

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    A publicly funded building that opened two years ago is inaccessible to people with disabilities and is another example of how weak provincial regulations are failing to ensure new buildings can be used by everyone, says a Toronto lawyer.

    Ryerson University’s $112-million Student Learning Centre is dangerous for people with disabilities, advocate David Lepofsky says.

    Lepofsky released a video showing how Ryerson’s building poses what he says are risks for people with blindness, low vision, mobility disabilities, dyslexia and balance issues.

    The video follows Lepofsky walking with his white cane trying to navigate the centre’s steep staircases and student socializing areas. Several times in the video, he walks into pillars, including one that stands in the middle of the staircase in the path of a handrail.

    Two other pillars lean in an angled position, one in front of an elevator and next to a ramp so it’s difficult for a walking stick to detect.

    “Ryerson tried to do the right thing, they wanted to make the building accessible,” said Lepofsky, head of a grassroots alliance that monitors progress on the province’s landmark Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

    “But the problem is twofold — one: Ontario’s building laws are weak and don’t require buildings to meet the needs of those with disabilities and two: architects are not properly trained in accessibility and nor do they give it priority.”

    The eight-storey structure, which opened in February 2015 at the corner of Yonge and Gould Streets, provides space on campus for students to socialize and work. The building won an award from the Canadian Architect Magazine for its proposed design in 2012.

    It was designed by the architectural team of Zeidler and Snøhetta. The building’s designer Zeidler Partnership Architects could not be reached for comment.

    Andreas Kyprianou, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Accessibility, said the province is well on its way to remove barriers so that people with disabilities can participate in all aspects of daily life but recognizes that there is more to do.

    “Accessibility in buildings, including accessible washrooms, wheelchair ramps, and elevators, are regulated by Ontario’s Building Code and is administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs,” Kyprianou said in an email. “It is the responsibility of municipalities to enforce the Building Code, including reviewing building plans, issuing permits, and conducting construction inspections.”

    A spokesperson for Ryerson said the university has been taking immediate measures to make the Student Learning Centre more accessible.

    “The SLC held an open, community wide charrette to hear concerns and share ideas on how to improve accessibility at the SLC,” said spokesperson Johanna VanderMaas. “Ryerson University is committed to providing an accessible learning and employment environment for students, employees and members of the Ryerson community.”

    It’s the second time that Lepofsky has used a video to show his concerns regarding accessibility laws and new buildings in Ontario. Lepofsky made a video last year showing accessibility issues at Centennial College’s Culinary Arts Centre shortly after it opened.

    In his video released Sunday, Lepofsky highlights how the Ryerson building poses risks for people with blindness, low vision, mobility disabilities, dyslexia and balance issues.

    Lepofsky argues that many of the accessibility issues could have been easily avoided but that architects and designers gave priority to the building’s aesthetic look instead of focusing on whether it can be used by everyone.

    The video shows Lepofsky walking with his white cane trying to navigate the centre’s steep staircases and student socializing areas. Several times in the video, he walks into pillars. One problematic pillar, he shows, stands in the middle of the stair case, while two others lean in an angled position in front of an elevator and next to a ramp.

    In the video, he also shows how the award-winning building has angled railings that make it very difficult to climb stairs for people who are blind or have balance issues and how labels written in Braille in the elevators are mislabelled.

    “People generally assume that new buildings are more accessible than old buildings because we improved the laws and it’s not something we have to worry about anymore,” Lepofsky said. “That’s not true, here you see a very new building with significant accessibility problems.”

    Although the university had tried to make an accessible building, Lepofsky said the underlying problem lies in that Ontario has insufficient accessibility laws, and design professionals have inadequate accessibility training.

    In a letter dated Oct. 23 to the Ontario Ministry of Accessibility, Lepofsky asked the government to launch a new strategy to address the recurring disability accessibility barriers in the province.

    The student centre, Lepofsky said, would not have been built with these issues if the Ontario Building Code and Ontario’s Disabilities Act had more strict regulations and standards. The government and other institutions need to also focus on training architects on accessibility, he added.

    “If we don’t change the laws and if architects are not being trained sufficiently about accessibility, then we are creating more generations of problems and paying for it,” he said. “Someone shouldn’t be getting a license to be an architect or a design professional without being really trained to design a building that everyone could use.”


    Ryerson’s student centre is dangerous for students with disabilities, advocate saysRyerson’s student centre is dangerous for students with disabilities, advocate says

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    NEW YORK—The man accused of mowing people down along a bike path went on the deadly rental-truck rampage “in the name of ISIS” and planned it for weeks, closely following the extremist group’s online instructions, police said Wednesday.

    The FBI is looking for information on a second man in connection with the deadly truck attack.

    The bureau on Wednesday issued a poster saying it is seeking the public’s help with information about 32-year-old Mukhammadzoir Kadirov. The poster doesn’t say why investigators want to know more about the man.

    The poster says he was born in Uzbekistan. So was 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov, who was charged Wednesday with providing material support to a terrorist group and violence and destruction of motor vehicles. Authorities say he drove the truck down the path intentionally, killing eight people. Investigators recovered a cellphone that had Daesh, also known as ISIS, propaganda.

    Saipov’s lawyers haven’t returned a message seeking comment.

    Investigators have questioned Saipov in his hospital bed, working to extract information about the attack. Saipov was shot by a police officer after jumping from his Home Depot pickup.

    He left behind knives and notes, handwritten in Arabic, that said in essence that Daesh “would endure forever,” said John Miller, deputy police commissioner for intelligence.

    “He did this in the name of ISIS” and seems to have plotted it “for a number of weeks” and conducted reconnaissance, Miller said. “He appears to have followed, almost exactly to a T, the instructions that ISIS has put out.”

    Miller said would not give any details on Saipov’s preparations for the attack other than to say that he conducted reconnaissance.

    In the past few years, Daesh has exhorted followers online to use vehicles, knives or other close-at-hand means of killing people in their home countries. England, France and Germany have all seen deadly vehicle attacks since mid-2016.

    A November 2016 issue of the group’s online magazine detailed features that an attack truck or van should have, suggested renting such a vehicle and recommended targeting crowded streets and outdoor gatherings, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a militant-monitoring agency.

    Carlos Batista, a neighbour of Saipov’s in Paterson, New Jersey, said he had seen the suspect and two friends using the same model of rented truck several times in the past three weeks.

    Read more:

    5 Argentinians, Belgian among the victims of New York terror attack

    Mangled school bus, bikes and bodies everywhere in the aftermath of New York City attack

    Trump orders Homeland Security to ‘step up’ its vetting program after New York City attack

    It was not clear whether Saipov had been on authorities’ radar. Miller said Saipov had never been the subject of a criminal investigation but appears to have links to people who have been investigated.

    In Tuesday’s attack, Saipov drove his speeding truck for nearly a mile along a bike path, running down cyclists and pedestrians, then crashed into a school bus, authorities said. He was shot in the abdomen after he jumped out of the vehicle brandishing two air guns, one in each hand, and yelling “God is great!” in Arabic, they said.

    In addition to those killed, 12 people were injured.

    The aftermath took a political turn Wednesday when U.S. President Donald Trump slammed the visa lottery program that Saipov used to come to the U.S. in 2010. Trump called the program “a Chuck Schumer beauty,” a reference to the Senate’s top Democrat.

    The program dates to 1990, when Republican President George H.W. Bush signed it as part of a bipartisan immigration bill. Trump called on Congress to eliminate it, saying, “We have to get much tougher, much smarter and less politically correct.”

    Schumer, who represents New York, said in a statement that he has always believed that immigration “is good for America,” and he accused the president of “politicizing and dividing” the country.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saipov appeared to have acted alone after becoming radicalized while in the U.S.

    Assailants in a number of other recent extremist attacks around the world were found to have been “lone wolves” — inspired but not actually directed by the Islamic State. In some cases, they never even made contact with the group.

    On the morning after the bloodshed, city leaders vowed New York would not be intimidated, and they commended New Yorkers for going ahead with Halloween festivities on Tuesday night.

    They also said Sunday’s New York City Marathon, with 50,000 participants and some 2 million spectators anticipated, will go on as scheduled.

    “We will not be cowed. We will not be thrown off by anything,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    While the mayor said there have been no credible threats of any additional attacks, police said they were adding more sniper teams, bomb-sniffing dogs, helicopters, sand-truck barricades and other security measures along the marathon route, in the subways and at other sites.

    The attack killed five people from Argentina, one from Belgium and two Americans, authorities said. Nine people remained hospitalized in serious or critical condition, with injuries that included lost limbs and wounds to the head, chest and neck.

    A roughly three-kilometre stretch of highway in lower Manhattan was shut down for the investigation. Authorities also converged on Saipov’s New Jersey apartment building and a van in a parking lot at a New Jersey Home Depot.

    Runners and cyclists who use the popular bike path were diverted from the crime scene by officers at barricades.

    “It’s the messed-up world we live in these days,” said Dave Hartie, 57, who works in finance and rides his bike along the path every morning. “Part of me is surprised it doesn’t happen more often.”

    The slight, bearded Saipov is a legal, permanent U.S. resident. He lived in Ohio and Florida before moving to New Jersey around June, authorities said.

    Birth records show he and his wife had two daughters in Ohio, and a neighbour in New Jersey said they recently had a baby boy.

    Saipov was a commercial truck driver in Ohio. More recently, he was an Uber driver.

    In Ohio, Saipov was an argumentative young man whose career was falling apart and who was “not happy with his life,” said Mirrakhmat Muminov, a fellow truck driver from heavily Muslim Uzbekistan.

    Saipov lost his insurance on his truck after his rates shot up because of a few traffic tickets, and companies stopped hiring him, said Muminov, 38, of Stow, Ohio. Muminov said he heard from Saipov’s friends that Saipov’s truck engine blew a few months ago in New Jersey.

    Muminov said Saipov would get into arguments with friends and family, tangling over even small things, such as going to a picnic with the Uzbek community.

    “He had the habit of disagreeing with everybody,” Muminov said.

    He said he and Saipov would sometimes argue about politics and world affairs, including Israel and Palestine. He said Saipov never spoke about Daesh, but he could tell his friend held radical views.


    FBI seeking 2nd suspect in connection with New York City truck attack FBI seeking 2nd suspect in connection with New York City truck attack FBI seeking 2nd suspect in connection with New York City truck attackFBI seeking 2nd suspect in connection with New York City truck attack FBI seeking 2nd suspect in connection with New York City truck attack FBI seeking 2nd suspect in connection with New York City truck attack

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    When allegations of plagiarism exploded in early 2013, Chris Spence lost his sterling reputation and his job leading Canada’s largest school board.

    Last year, he was stripped of his teaching licence, and in June, a University of Toronto tribunal recommended his PhD be revoked.

    But Spence, disgraced former director of the Toronto District School Board, continues to fight back.

    On Thursday, his lawyers will appeal the June decision by an independent tribunal at U of T, which found him guilty of plagiarism in his dissertation, and recommended he lose his PhD and be expelled.

    That ruling was made after the tribunal was presented with 67 examples of passages in Spence’s paper that were not properly credited to others or cited as sources.

    But Spence’s notice of appeal argues the tribunal erred by failing to grant an adjournment when he was unable to attend the proceedings for medical reasons. As a result, Spence was “denied the opportunity to present a full defence,” says the notice.

    It alleges potential bias on the part of the tribunal chair, a conflict of interest by the university’s law firm and concludes the penalty recommended “was excessive” and didn’t properly consider Spence’s circumstances or less severe options.

    Spence, currently living in Chicago, is not required or expected to attend the Thursday appeal, his lawyer Darryl Singer said in an email.

    The U of T hearing in June came after years of procedural delays by Spence’s previous lawyers. When Spence did not appear, his lawyer at the time, Carol Shirtliff-Hinds, requested yet another postponement, arguing she was concerned for his mental state and was unable to get clear instructions from him about his defence. That request was denied.

    Spence also cited medical reasons last year when he didn’t appear in front of the Ontario College of Teachers disciplinary committee, which later imposed its harshest penalty by revoking his teaching licence.

    Spence has filed an appeal of that decision through Ontario divisional court.

    The fallout has been going on for almost five years since the first allegations in January 2013 that Spence had lifted passages of other writers’ work without crediting them in newspaper articles, including in the Star, as well as blogs and books.

    Spence has had some loyal supporters who cite his dedication to students, particularly at-risk youth, and argue the penalty imposed by the college was too harsh.

    However, a crowdfunding website launched last spring as part of what was dubbed “the Spence Defence” to help cover legal costs fell far short of its goal.

    “I’m not involved any more,” said Bruce Davis, a former TDSB chair who conducted an interview posted online last May as part of the “Let Spence Teach” campaign.

    “I still believe the (Ontario College of Teachers) punishment was disproportionate. Really, Chris has got to take the lead to defend his reputation.”


    Chris Spence fights to keep his PhD amid plagiarism findingsChris Spence fights to keep his PhD amid plagiarism findings

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    Ontario is dispatching its Emergency Medical Assistance Team to set up a tent in Moss Park to provide a heated and insulated space for safe injections.

    “This is an overdose crisis. People are dying and, today, Minister Eric Hoskins and the Ontario government have stepped up,” Councillor Joe Cressy said Wednesday night. The tent will be set up Thursday and replace a temporary site run by the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society (TOPS). The ministry will work with TOPS staff, Cressy said.

    Earlier in the day, harm-reduction workers had gathered for a press conference in Moss Park to draw attention to the need for warm and safe space for the people they serve and how red tape in a time of crisis is endangering lives.

    “We are in a public health emergency,” harm-reduction worker Zoe Dodd said. “We are asking the province and the federal government and the city to ignore legal exemptions and let rooms open to save lives across the province.”

    The tent opened in August and was set up and taken down each day by TOPS members. Staffed by off-the-clock nurses and volunteers, the tent supervised 1,976 injections and stopped or reversed 85 drug overdoses, according to staff.

    The organizers had been speaking with the city and multi-service agency Fred Victor about moving their services into the agency’s basement while they waited for an exemption from the federal government that would allow them to operate legally.

    That move will not be possible, they have been told, without federal approval. With winter approaching, the tent is not sufficient shelter for them to provide lifesaving work, they said. In the interim, they want city support to open a trailer in Moss Park and the province to declare a state of emergency.

    Fred Victor’s executive director, Mark Aston, said the agency is deeply supportive of the work being done in the park, but after lengthy in-house discussions, they determined they need the exemption before they can provide a space for this service.

    “This issue has hit everyone,” and the systems preventing swift care for people in crisis, or preventing TOPS from expanding, must be examined and fixed, he said. They are in the final stages of finishing the application for the exemption, he said.

    Mayor John Tory and Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins wrote a joint letter to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor on Tuesday requesting the application be approved immediately.

    “Under the circumstances and the urgency of this local situation, we ask that you provide a short-term or conditional exemption to enable the service to open as soon as possible,” they wrote.

    “Many people are using the overdose prevention site, and many lives have been saved by overdose reversals. However, operating this type of health service in a park is not sustainable, not least because winter is approaching.”

    Petitpas Taylor told the Star Wednesday that once the application arrives she has instructed her staff to move as quickly as possible, but could not provide a timeline. “We do know it is time-sensitive. We recognize that winter is fast approaching,” and want to make sure people are getting the help they need, she said.

    Meanwhile, at the tent, organizers say an exemption isn’t the solution to a worsening and deadly crisis.

    “We are in an emergency situation and in an emergency what you need is to be fast and dynamic and responsive to changing needs,” said Sarah Ovens, a social worker and organizer with TOPS. “The exemption process is the opposite of that.”

    The city has opened an interim safe injection site, with more planned for Toronto and across Ontario.

    On Monday, the city’s public health committee heard that 70 people have died as a result of homelessness in Toronto this year. Most died in the emergency shelter system or inner city hospitals. Four died outdoors.

    That next day the city’s emergency shelter system was at 95 per cent capacity and Wednesday marked the start of the city’s Out of the Cold programs, a volunteer-led cold relief endeavour operating out of faith-based organizations across the city.

    Leigh Chapman, a registered nurse and TOPS organizer said people will be seeking warm places to use drugs including Out of the Cold sites.

    “The city is acting as if we have time to wait. The province is acting as if we had time. We buried a volunteer on Monday,” said Chapman, speaking about a 22-year-old who had been supporting the tent since it opened.

    Leon “Pops” Alward, 46, told the Star he overdosed at a friend’s place in October and was revived using Naloxone, a medication that blocks or reverses opioid overdoses. People are relying on each other for harm reduction and without low-barrier sites like the tent, he said, deaths are guaranteed to rise.

    “People are dying, consistently,” he said.

    City staff said workers at the Out of the Cold programs and the city’s five cold-respite centres are expected to have Naloxone kits and training on how to use them.

    Councillor Cressy said the city has an “ethical obligation” to address the needs of a vulnerable population.

    “If the federal government is not willing to expedite the exemption or willing to change the law I believe the city and the province should ignore them,” he said.

    With files from David Rider


    Province intervening at Moss Park injection site with a medical assistance teamProvince intervening at Moss Park injection site with a medical assistance team

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    A gunman opened fire at a Walmart in Thornton, Colo., on Wednesday evening, striking multiple people, the police said. Two men were confirmed dead, and a woman was taken to the hospital.

    It was unclear whether the gunman was among those shot.

    The Thornton Police Department confirmed the shooting on Twitter at 6:27 p.m. local time and urged people to stay away from the area.

    About an hour later, the department said there was no active shooter “at this time,” but that it was an “active crime scene.”

    Witnesses told local news outlets that they had heard multiple shots, and that panic had erupted.

    “I was by customer service and I started to hear pops, loud pops, and they kept going, pop pop pop, probably six pops,” a Walmart employee told KDVR, Fox’s Denver affiliate. “Everyone got down. Everyone started screaming. It was crazy.”

    Videos posted on Twitter showed a large police response, and Nick Metz, the police chief in nearby Aurora, tweeted that his department’s SWAT team would “assist as needed.”

    Local news outlets reported that families of possible victims had been instructed to gather a few blocks away. The Walmart is part of the Thornton Town Center, a shopping complex steps from Interstate 25.

    The police asked witnesses to go to the northern end of the centre’s parking lot.

    Thornton, a city less than 20 kilometres north of Denver, has about 136,000 residents.

    More to come.


    2 killed, 1 injured in shooting inside Colorado Walmart: police 2 killed, 1 injured in shooting inside Colorado Walmart: police 2 killed, 1 injured in shooting inside Colorado Walmart: police2 killed, 1 injured in shooting inside Colorado Walmart: police 2 killed, 1 injured in shooting inside Colorado Walmart: police 2 killed, 1 injured in shooting inside Colorado Walmart: police

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    OTTAWA—Canada is stepping up efforts to put gender issues front and centre in conflict zones, including the deployment of more women soldiers on peace support missions, elements of a strategy that will be part of long-awaited peacekeeping initiatives expected in the coming weeks.

    In a possible preview of the priorities for that peace mission, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled Ottawa’s action plan on women, peace and security Wednesday, saying that a “feminist foreign policy” is needed now more than ever in the face of “angry reactionary movements.”

    “We must take courageous action towards gender equality, especially where women are most vulnerable,’ Freeland said.

    The foreign affairs minister denied that such an agenda was about political correctness or “virtue signaling.” Rather, she said that putting such a focus on foreign issues has practical impacts that bring changes on the ground.

    “It matters because where women, in all their diversity, are included in our collective security, everyone is safer,” she said.

    The plan earmarks a total of $17.1 million in all for gender initiatives to encourage the participation of women and girls in efforts to prevent and resolve conflict.

    It includes funding to help train female police officers for UN peace missions, improve gender equality in UN operations and promote the inclusion of women in peace building.

    The investments support initiatives in places such as Mali, Colombia and Haiti, which have been named as possible locales for Canada’s peace deployment.

    Elements of the plan, a follow-up to a strategy first rolled out by the Conservatives in 2011, also include cracking down on abuse and sexual assaults by security personnel and peacekeepers.

    “There can be no impunity for these crimes. Not for soldiers. Not for civilians. Not for those sent to keep the peace or provide assistance,” Freeland said.

    In a strong show of support for the policy, four of Freeland cabinet colleagues were on hand, including International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef, and several foreign diplomats, among them Kelly Craft, the new U.S. ambassador to Canada.

    It comes as Ottawa is closing in on a decision to deploy up to 600 soldiers and 150 police officers on a peace support mission. During the 2015 election, Justin Trudeau pledged that a Liberal government would return Canada to United Nations peacekeeping but his government has dragged its feet on making a decision.

    Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff, met with cabinet ministers on Tuesday and it’s believed that the peace mission was the focus of that discussion.

    The Star had reported that while Mali was one likely destination for the deployment it’s possible that Canada’s peace mission — comprising trainers and support, such as transport aircraft and helicopters — will be spread among several countries.

    Vance, who was present for Wednesday’s announcement, would only say that the government “will announce its decision when it’s made its decision.”

    But he said that elements of Wednesday’s strategy are a priority for the Canadian Armed Forces.

    “The military deployments that will occur as part of peace-support operations will be announced in due course and will be consistent with exactly what has been briefed today,” Vance told reporters.

    As the Star has previously reported, Ottawa has committed to deploy more women on the upcoming peace mission and Vance said that can be “critical” to the success of such operations.

    “There are clearly instances when a high percentage of women is very valuable in terms of accessing populations, putting in place the kind of measures necessary to protection the population but also to find out what is going on,” he said.

    “But it’s more than that and I think Canada’s ambitions will be higher than that, in terms of how to make peacekeeping more effective overall,” Vance said.

    Some form of an announcement is now expected before Canada plays host to a UN peacekeeping summit in Vancouver in mid-November.

    During an appearance at the Senate earlier in the week, Sajjan cited changing conditions on the ground as one reason for the delayed announcement of a peace mission.

    “When I talk about the changes on the ground, we’re talking about the different radical groups, different events, how the corruption are impacting things, the elections as well,” he said Wednesday.

    But Sajjan said too that Canada’s approach to the coming peace mission will involve more than just the military.

    “While we look at the military role of what they can do, that we also have to keep in mind that this is not just a strictly a military solution and should not just be a military question,” Sajjan said.

    “We have to be looking at it from a whole-of-government perspective and those are some of the initiatives that have been ongoing,’ he said.


    Canada to deploy more female troops to conflict zones in new ‘feminist foreign policy’ to tackle gender issues abroadCanada to deploy more female troops to conflict zones in new ‘feminist foreign policy’ to tackle gender issues abroad

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    The widow of a gas station attendant, dragged to his death by a SUV driver when he tried to prevent the thief from stealing gas in 2012, said she has had no peace or happiness since losing her husband.

    Crown attorney Jenny Rodopoulos read aloud Vaishali Prajapati’s victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing for Max Tutiven, the SUV driver who killed Prajapati’s husband Jayesh Prajapati. Last month, a jury foundof second-degree murder.

    On the night of Sept. 15, 2012, Tutiven drove his SUV to a Shell station at Roselawn and Marlee Aves., where Jayesh, 44, was working as an attendant. Tutiven filled up with $112.85 worth of gas and proceeded to drive away without paying. Jayesh tried to stop him, but was hit and dragged by the vehicle for 78 metres down Roselawn Ave. Tutiven fled the scene.

    Vaishali described the scene hours later, when police knocked on the door of the Prajapatis one-bedroom apartment. Vaishali answered and was asked to sit down. Police said that Jayesh, the father of her then-12-year-old child and the man who “meant everything’ to her, had been killed.

    “I didn’t know what was happening,” she said. “I went and laid down on my bed and cried. I cried for days and nights. I was in paralyzing shock. I was not eating or drinking anything. I was incapable of walking. If I tried, I would fall down.”

    Jayesh and Vaishali had saved almost enough money to buy their first home. But when Jayesh died, Vaishali could barely afford to provide for her son Rishabh. They now live in a small, basement apartment, she said. She works as a labourer and does not earn a regular or reliable income.

    “I haven’t been able to experience a single day with peace or happiness,” Vaishali said. “My son has bared too much pain for a lifetime.”

    Rishabh, now 16, said he is thankful for the times his father carried him on his shoulders, even when he was getting too big, and taught him how to love others.

    “I want to thank you for being the first person I ever loved,” he said in his victim impact statement. “I would be completely lost in this world without you.”

    Jayesh would spend the mornings before work with his son, helping him get ready for school, or on weekends teaching him about chemistry.

    “He was such a loving, caring father. I always miss him,” Rishabh said. “But then I think about his happiness and I feel that it is better off he is in heaven than this deceitful world.”

    Tutiven stared without expression straight ahead as Rishabh and Vaishali spoke. He rocked forward once in his seat, briefly bowing his head, only when Crown attorney Joseph Callaghan asked the judge that he be ineligible for parole for 17 years.

    For second degree murder, Tutiven faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment and can’t apply for parole for at least 10 years. Defense lawyer Edward Sapiano requested he be eligible in 12 years, saying he’s an “honest criminal.”

    Tutiven has 69 past convictions for theft, assault and dangerous driving. He had fled two prior accident scenes and in 2008 had his driver’s licence suspended for life.

    Sentencing will resume next week.


    ‘I haven’t been able to experience a single day with peace or happiness’: gas-and-dash victim’s widow‘I haven’t been able to experience a single day with peace or happiness’: gas-and-dash victim’s widow

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    Experts reacted with surprise on Wednesday to news that the Competition Bureau is investigating possible price-fixing of bread products by suppliers and retailers in Canada’s grocery industry.

    “I think it’s unlikely that it’s a widespread or very senior scheme,” said Mark Satov, strategy adviser and founder, Satov Consultants Inc.

    Satov was reacting to the news that Competition Bureau investigators, accompanied by RCMP and local police forces, on Tuesday raided offices in Toronto, Montreal and Stellarton, N.S., where Sobey’s Inc. headquarters are located.

    Read more:Are Canada’s grocers fixing bread prices?

    “They arrived in our Stellarton and Ontario offices (Tuesday),” said Sobey’s spokesperson Jacquelin Corrado. “We are co-operating to support the investigation and have advised employees internally of the process underway.”

    Loblaw and Metro have also confirmed the investigation, which is looking at activity as far back as 2001.

    The idea that upper management was aware of the activity seems remote, said Satov, given the potential downside, which includes criminal charges and fines. But information can flow through many different channels in the grocery industry.

    Recent trends in the price of bread don’t seem to support a case for price-fixing, said food market analyst Kevin Grier, who tracks food prices using Statistics Canada data.

    “We’ve been in deflationary mode since June 2016 on bread and rolls. Between May 2016 and September 2017, the Consumer Price Index for bread and buns has dropped nearly six per cent,” said Grier.

    Engaging in price-fixing would break the public’s trust in grocers, he added.

    “We trust that our grocers are giving us safe food and we trust that they are pricing the food competitively. We trust that we’re getting value. If they break the trust — if this is true — then that trust is broken and it will take a long time to fix.”

    Gary Sands, senior vice-president, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), said that while his organization has been aware of concerns around bread pricing, his association did not file a complaint with the Bureau.

    “We will await the results of this process, like everyone else,” said Sands.

    Canada Bread Company Limited confirmed it is included in the industry-wide investigation by the Competition Bureau into pricing conduct dating back to 2001.

    Canada Bread describes itself as the leading producer and distributor of packaged fresh bread and bakery products, including grocery store staples like Dempster’s, Villaggio and Vachon. It was purchased by Grupo Bimbo, headquartered in Mexico City, in early 2014.

    Grupo Bimbo is the world’s largest baking company, with operations in 22 countries.

    Canada Bread employs 4,175 people across Canada.

    “Canada Bread operates with the highest ethical standards and complies with all legal and regulatory standards. The company has not been charged with any offences,” according to a statement from the company.

    George Weston Limited, which operates one of Canada’s largest bakeries, has also indicated it is aware of the investigation, as has Walmart Canada Corp.

    With files from the Canadian Press


    Competition Bureau’s bread price-fixing probe leaves experts surprisedCompetition Bureau’s bread price-fixing probe leaves experts surprised

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    VANCOUVER—Ballet Victoria has cut ties with a choreographer after renewed media attention to allegations that he took nude photographs of underage dancers in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Bruce Monk was fired by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 2015 after Maclean’s reported that several women were co-operating with a Winnipeg police investigation into photos he took of them as teenage dancers.

    The investigation concluded without charges and Monk declined comment on the allegations this week through his lawyer.

    He is facing two lawsuits, one filed by a woman in Winnipeg alleging he took nude photos of her when she was 16, and a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in Toronto.

    In a statement of defence in response to the Winnipeg suit, Monk denies taking any photographs of the woman when she was a minor and calls her allegations “false and meritless.”

    CBC reported on Monday that Monk has been doing volunteer and contract work with Ballet Victoria. Artistic director Paul Destrooper is quoted in the article as saying he believes Monk is innocent and nude photographs are not unusual in ballet.

    On Wednesday, Ballet Victoria issued a statement saying Monk would no longer work with the company.

    “Ballet Victoria cares for the physical and emotional health of all artists, staff and volunteers with great care and diligence,” it says. “To (ensure) the integrity of the company Bruce Monk will no longer be involved with Ballet Victoria.”

    The statement says Destrooper worked with Monk at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for 11 years from 1990 until 2001 and was never aware of any inappropriate behaviour or allegations.

    It says Monk came to the company as a guest choreographer in 2008. When criminal allegations were made, the working relationship was suspended, but it resumed when no charges were laid.

    In late 2016, he began working on small contracts as a lighting and production designer and volunteered his services in the office and as a driver, the statement says.

    Sarah Doucet, who filed the proposed class-action suit in Toronto, said she first became aware Monk was involved with Ballet Victoria in September 2015 when she saw a photo of him rehearsing with a woman on the company’s Facebook page. She said she contacted the company’s board.

    When the company severed ties with Monk on Wednesday, Doucet said she felt relief.

    “It’s unfortunate that it took public pressure for Ballet Victoria to finally do the right thing,” said Doucet.

    Doucet alleges in her statement of claim that she was a student at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s dance school, aged about 16 or 17, when she approached Monk to take photos for her portfolio, as it was common knowledge that the instructor would take headshots of students.

    She says he complained the straps of her bodysuit were ruining her neckline and alleges that he coerced her into removing the top half of the bodysuit, so her torso was naked. She was humiliated and overwhelmed by a deep sense of personal violation, the lawsuit alleges.

    None of the allegations has been proven in court and the class action has not been certified. The Canadian Press was not able to determine if a statement of defence has been filed in the case.

    Doucet’s lawyer, Margaret Waddell, said a court date is scheduled for the end of November to set a timetable for proceeding with the certification motion and she hopes to have it heard early in 2018.


    Ballet Victoria cuts ties with choreographer after allegations he took nude photos of underage dancersBallet Victoria cuts ties with choreographer after allegations he took nude photos of underage dancers

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    NEW YORK—A seething U.S. President Donald Trump is placing blame for the current state of the widening Russia investigation on his son-in-law Jared Kushner, according to a report Wednesday.

    As indictments were unsealed against former Trump campaign staff and special counsel Robert Mueller revealed Monday that at least one former Trump campaign adviser has pleaded guilty to federal charges, Trump’s frustration with Kushner has grown exponentially, Vanity Fair reported.

    The charges against former campaign chairperson Paul Manafort, which Trump himself said happened “long before” he joined the eventual GOP nominee’s team, should also worry the president, according to former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg.

    Read more:

    Donald Trump handily survives latest Russia revelations: Walkom

    Upstairs at the White House, fuming with the TV on: How Donald Trump digested the Russia indictments

    Papadopoulos claims Trump campaign officials agreed to pre-election meeting with Russia

    “Here’s what Manafort’s indictment tells me: Mueller is going to go over every financial dealing of Jared Kushner and the Trump Organization,” Nunberg said. “Trump is at 33 per cent in Gallup. You can’t go any lower. He’s f ---ed.”

    Manafort and business associate Rick Gates face 12 felony counts, including money laundering, conspiracy and acting as unregistered foreign agents.

    In a call Tuesday with former White House Chief strategist Stephen Bannon, Trump laid the blame for the expanding scandal surrounding Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference squarely on Kushner’s shoulders, Nunberg told Vanity Fair.

    “Jared is the worst political adviser in the White House in modern history,” Nunberg said. “I’m only saying publicly what everyone says behind the scenes at Fox News, in conservative media, and the Senate and Congress.”

    Bannon, back at his old role as the head of conservative news site Breitbart, has reportedly advised the president to shake up his legal team and do all he can to pressure Congress to defund Mueller’s investigation, sources told Vanity Fair.

    “Mueller shouldn’t be allowed to be a clean shot on goal,” a Bannon confidant told the magazine. “He must be contested and checked. Right now he has unchecked power.”

    In an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, Trump insisted he wasn’t upset about Mueller’s moves.

    “It has nothing to do with us,” Trump said.

    Asked about another report that he’s been “angry at everybody,” Trump told the paper, “Actually, I’m not angry with anybody.”


    Trump blames son-in-law Jared Kushner for Mueller’s widening Russia probe, report saysTrump blames son-in-law Jared Kushner for Mueller’s widening Russia probe, report says

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    NEW YORK—Sayfullo Saipov sped a rented truck down nearly a mile of a Hudson River bike path on Tuesday afternoon, crushing eight people to death and injuring 11 more, before crashing in front of Stuyvesant High School in Tribeca.

    Then he began to run.

    But at Chambers St., there was Officer Ryan Nash.

    Nash fired nine shots at Saipov, ending the worst terrorist attack in New York City since Sept. 11, 2001. The police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, said Tuesday that one bullet struck Saipov in his abdomen. Saipov, who police say is responsible for the attack, was brandishing two weapons, which turned out to be a pellet gun and paintball gun.

    Read more:

    Suspect in New York City truck attack charged with terrorism

    They went to New York to celebrate their 30-year high school reunion. Five were killed in Tuesday’s bike path attack

    Mangled school bus, bikes and bodies everywhere in the aftermath of New York City attack

    “To NYPD Officer Ryan Nash-thank you for your bravery & quick action in stopping yesterday’s terrorist attack,” William J. Bratton, a former commissioner of the New York Police Department, wrote on Twitter. “Truly one of New York’s Finest.”

    In a news conference on Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he had spoken to Nash since the attack. “He is a good young man; he was very humble about what he did, but what he did was extraordinary,” the mayor said. “And it gave people such faith and such appreciation in our police force.”

    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo joined in the praise, calling the officer “talented” and “brave.”

    Nash is a five-year veteran of the force, working day tours in the First Precinct in Lower Manhattan, according to a person familiar with the details of Tuesday’s incident. He was one of four officers responding to a call from Stuyvesant High School at 345 Chambers St. on Tuesday afternoon. Nash and his partner, Officer John Hasiotis, had been summoned to help with a student who was in the nurses’ office and had indicated that he wanted to kill himself. Two other officers had been called as backup.

    Outside, Saipov’s vehicular rampage was ending with a crash at Chambers St. and West St., where he slammed his white rental truck into a yellow school bus and fled into the streets.

    The four officers rushed out of the school, turning east toward the highway and confronting Saipov on the street. He had what appeared to be pistols in each hand and turned toward the officers as they approached. Nash was the closest, and fired nine times from his department-issued service gun.

    When Saipov dropped to the pavement, a civilian — who had previously attempted to tackle the suspect as he was getting out of the rented truck — approached the wounded man, who was still clutching the two weapons.

    The civilian kicked the guns out of Saipov’s hands.

    Saipov, an Uzbeki immigrant and sometime Uber driver living in Paterson, N.J., was hospitalized at Bellevue Hospital Center, police said.


    With 9 shots this NYPD vet ended the worst terrorist attack in the city since 9/11With 9 shots this NYPD vet ended the worst terrorist attack in the city since 9/11

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    The Yukon government has spent $2.5 million on settling approximately 40 sexual abuse lawsuits since 2000, the territory’s justice minister revealed in a statement.

    The statement from Justice Minister Tracy McPhee comes weeks after two Toronto Star stories, also published in the Yukon News, revealed that the territorial government has been quietly settling lawsuits over sexual abuse by a former school principal identified only as “J.V.” Reporter Jesse Winter uncovered at least seven lawsuits involving J.V. and found that the settlements often involved confidentiality agreements preventing the victims from talking about the settlements.

    The Yukon News has since identified at least one more sexual abuse case involving another government-affiliated official settled in a similar fashion.

    “Some cases have been dismissed or discontinued, and most have been settled.… Settlements are tailored to the individual circumstances of each case, therefore not all settlement amounts are the same,” McPhee said.

    The payouts would include the territorial government’s payments, money paid by insurers and, in some cases, the plaintiff’s legal costs, the statement says.

    The territorial government had previously told Winter — before his stories were published — that it could not disclose how many sexual abuse cases existed or how much it has spent settling them.

    The Yukon government and justice department declined to comment on how many of the “approximately” 40 cases had actually been settled, dismissed or discontinued, if any cases are still active, the range of settlement payouts and how many cases, if any, were launched before 2000.

    In an emailed statement, the communications director for the minister’s office said McPhee is “committed to reviewing the available information and providing as much information as possible to the public.”

    In the Oct. 30 statement, McPhee said lawyers for the government have “never insisted on non-disclosure clauses that would prevent a victim from disclosing their personal circumstances, including any details about any abuse they suffered.”

    “Our focus has always been on ensuring that the actual settlement negotiations and settlement details remain confidential. This is not to deter victims from coming forward but to encourage settlement by allowing for detailed discussions about themerits of each case by all parties,” the statement says. “We believe that coming to a settlement is always a better alternative for those involved but in particular for the victim.”

    Whitehorse lawyer Dan Shier, who has represented clients in cases involving J.V., said he thought McPhee’s statement was a “positive step.”

    He disagreed, however, that confidentiality clauses “encourage settlement.”

    “It just doesn’t work,” Shier said. “So what (McPhee is) saying is that they’ve never tried to stop people talking about their experience and that’s fine, that’s never been part of a confidentiality agreement that I know of.”


    Yukon has quietly spent $2.5M settling sexual abuse cases since 2000Yukon has quietly spent $2.5M settling sexual abuse cases since 2000Yukon has quietly spent $2.5M settling sexual abuse cases since 2000Yukon has quietly spent $2.5M settling sexual abuse cases since 2000

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    This week, as we count down to the Star’s 125th anniversary, we revisit stories that have inspired readers and changed lives.

    For Phillipa Lue, the death of her 6-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, was not in vain.

    Nearly three decades have passed since the plight of the terminally ill Toronto girl, in need of a bone marrow donor, spurred strangers in this city to come forward and assist in extraordinary ways.

    In March 1990, a frantic four-month campaign was launched to try to save Elizabeth. The brave girl with long hair and short bangs suffered from aplastic anemia, a very rare disorder caused by the failure of her bone marrow to make blood cells.

    Elizabeth required marrow from a stranger, so her normally shy mother put her HR job on hold and reached out for help to launch a massive drive in search of a matching donor.

    As the Save Elizabeth Lue campaign began, the Star was the first news outlet to write about it, and did dozens more stories, as other media joined in. Her face was all over the news.

    But no match was found. Elizabeth died that August.

    Her mother, and those who were close to the campaign at the time, say her legacy lives on. As a result of the campaign, Canada’s registry of potential bone marrow and stem cell donors was bolstered by thousands of new names, particularly those from the Chinese community and other Asian communities.

    In memory of her daughter, Phillipa Lue is encouraging more visible minorities to sign up as potential donors, to improve the chances of survival for people from diverse communities who need bone marrow and stem cell transplants. Lives have been saved.

    Just over $1 million was donated by the public to help pay for the testing needed in the search for a matching donor for Elizabeth. And remaining money in the foundation set up in her name has since been used to support bone marrow and stem cell drives for more than a dozen other people.

    The effort to find a match for Elizabeth also brought forward Torontonians, Canadians and people around the world — not just of Chinese descent.

    “I underestimated the passion and generosity of Canadians,” said Dr. Joseph Wong, a family physician and one of the key organizers of the Elizabeth Lue drive 27 years ago.

    The campaign began after Phillipa and her husband, Gary, got the news from doctors Dec. 29, 1989, that Elizabeth was terminally ill with aplastic anemia.

    “Then you watch her just waste away in front of your eyes and you’re not able to help her to bear the pain and suffering she’s going through,” Phillipa, who lives in Markham, said in a recent interview.

    Neither Phillipa nor Gary nor Elizabeth’s brother Michael were suitable matches for a bone marrow donation. Nor were there matches on the Canadian Red Cross registry (now Canadian Blood Services). To get on the registry at that time, you had to be a blood donor.

    One possible solution emerged: mount a campaign to find a stranger to donate marrow.

    The chances of finding a suitable match for Elizabeth in the Chinese community were better at 1 in 4,000 — due to genetic similarities. But that meant people had to put their names on the bone marrow registry. They had to have blood drawn and consent to donate marrow if their blood test revealed a match.

    Marrow is in our bones and produces oxygen-carrying red cells, white cells used to ward off infection and platelets that clot blood and stop bleeding. Aplastic anemia halts production of these cells. To treat it, damaged bone marrow is destroyed, then replaced by a donor’s healthy marrow.

    Matching donors provide marrow through a process in which doctors stick a needle into the donor’s pelvic bone to draw the jellylike bone marrow out.

    But there were challenges in trying to rescue Elizabeth. For one thing doctors gave her only a few months to live after the diagnosis. There were the logistics of rallying volunteers to help launch the drive. And there would be costs to test people who came to the drive — $75 (U.S.) a person.

    What’s more, in parts of the Chinese community, giving blood was not something done readily. According to cultural beliefs held by some, bones, blood, human tissue and organs are considered sacred because they are passed down from one’s parents.

    Phillipa called Dr. Wong, a leader in Toronto’s Chinese community, for help to find a donor.

    Busy with his medical practice and other commitments, he was reluctant. He knew that about 120 volunteers would be needed to launch the search. And where would the money come from for the testing?

    “I agreed after agonizing consideration that I could not bear to see a 6-year-old girl die due to the excuse I’m too busy,” Wong, 69, said in a recent interview.

    He assembled a team including Lue’s parents and some of their relatives. There were also volunteers such as Pauline Tong, who was active in the Chinese community; Dr. Marshall Deltoff, a Toronto chiropractor; and Helen Cox, a lab company executive who helped organize IV nurses, lab technicians and people experienced in taking blood.

    Dr. Wong contacted Star reporter Tony Wong (no relation) to get some exposure. Tony met Elizabeth at the Hospital for Sick Children.

    “I saw Elizabeth and my heart broke,” Tony Wong, now a television critic for the Star, said recently. “I knew we (the Star) had to do something.”

    The Star carried its first story March 16, 1990, with the headline “Right donor could save life of 6-year-old with anemia.”

    Clinics were set up in Scarborough, Toronto, Markham and other locations for potential donors to give blood. Dr. Wong arrived at the Toronto clinic in Grange Park at 8:30 a.m. on April 1 to get ready for the 10 a.m. opening, and was shocked by what he saw: 100 people already in line.

    A total of 1,800 people showed up at the clinics that first day. And financial donations from across the country would soon pour in through banks.

    “Donations from places I’d never heard of in Canada — the response was so amazing, not just from the Chinese community,” Dr. Wong recalled.

    Added Pauline Tong, 68, a key volunteer: “I think a lot of people really identified” with Elizabeth.

    Helped by some friends, Dr. Wong secured a $150,000 line of credit — money needed to send the blood collected to a U.S. lab for testing, to get marrow data.

    Potential donors were tested for human leukocyte antigens, which are immune system recognition signals. Six antigens needed to be identical to the recipient.

    By early June 1990, more than 5,300 people had been tested in clinics, costing nearly $450,000. No match was found.

    As interest in the story spread, the registry grew and the search expanded overseas. In June two potential donors were found in Taiwan. But they were soon deemed not close enough a match for Elizabeth.

    Elizabeth’s tissue type was sent to Singapore, and officials in China and Hong Kong — along with Jamaica, where Elizabeth’s family comes from — were contacted, with no success.

    By early July 1990, 10,000 people had been tested in Canada, their names added to the registry. The number of Asians on registries in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan had also increased.

    But by late July the search for a donor for Elizabeth was abandoned. Her condition had worsened to the point she wouldn’t survive a transplant. On Aug. 31 she died in her mother’s arms.

    For Phillipa and the family, anniversaries of her death, birthdays and holidays are painful. But she knows some good also came from the tragedy.

    Among the people helped by the bolstered registry was a New Jersey woman named Cammy Lee.

    Lee, 44, is alive thanks to a bone marrow transplant from Virginia Lau of Richmond Hill in 1992. That operation was performed to treat Lee’s leukemia. Shortly afterward, Lee received four life-saving doses of Lau’s fresh T cells from her blood, a procedure used to treat Lee’s lymphoma. Lee has been cancer-free ever since.

    Lee met Lau in Toronto in 1994 — along with Elizabeth’s parents, who came face to face with a woman saved by the campaign for Elizabeth.

    On the phone from New Jersey, Lee said “Virginia saved my life.” She is also grateful to Elizabeth.

    Lee would become a recruiter for the National Marrow Donor Program in the U.S. She sought out Asian Americans, and encouraged them to become marrow and stem cell donors.

    Stem cell transplants are now the more common method because donors only lose the stem cells in their peripheral blood — a tiny fraction of one’s whole blood.

    According to a recent statement from Canadian Blood Services, almost 420,000 volunteer donors are registered with the service’s OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network to help any patient in need. OneMatch is also part of an international network of 75 registries and 53 (umbilical) cord blood banks that are part of a global database.

    Currently 32 per cent of the OneMatch registry is non-Caucasian, Canadian Blood Services says. When Elizabeth was seeking a donor it was 2 per cent.

    Elizabeth Lue’s mother wants to see further increases.

    “If you’re a patient and you’re a racial minority, your chances (of finding a bone marrow/stem cell donor) are slim. Most of the banks in the world are Caucasian and our bank in Canada is about (70 per cent) Caucasian,” said Lue.

    Looking back, Lue says her daughter “really didn’t stand a chance” during the 1990 donor drive because the pool was just too small.

    “Time ran out . . . it’s a numbers game. That’s just the way it is.”

    Read more on the Star’s 125th anniversary in Saturday’s special Insight section and athttps://www.thestar.com/anniversary.html


    Little Elizabeth Lue left a legacy that has helped save livesLittle Elizabeth Lue left a legacy that has helped save lives

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    Police have arrested a suspect after a prank call about an armed hostage-taking that shut down a section of King St. W. for about three hours last week.

    Emergency Task Force officers surrounded the 365 Dispensary and the Underground Garage, at the southwest corner of King St. W. and Blue Jays Way, on Oct. 26 following the call. When police entered the building, they found it empty.

    Police then released security camera images of a person they suspected had falsely reported the armed hostage-taking from a payphone near Spadina Ave. and Cecil St.

    Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said police received a tip about the man’s whereabouts and he was arrested without incident around midday Wednesday. She said he was arrested in the downtown core “close enough” to the King St. W. and Blue Jays Way area.

    “There is enough evidence to charge him but the specifics of his motive aren’t known,” said Douglas-Cook.

    Gregory Frank Goodridge, 54, of Toronto was charged with public mischief.


    Police charge Toronto man with public mischief in King St. hostage hoaxPolice charge Toronto man with public mischief in King St. hostage hoax

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    OTTAWA—The constitutional guarantee of aboriginal rights does not give Indigenous groups the right of a veto over land development in the name of religious freedom, says the country’s top court.

    In a landmark decision on how courts should protect not only Indigenous religious beliefs, but all religious beliefs, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday that a British Columbia First Nation, the Ktunaxa people, could not block the development of a ski resort in the Jumbo Valley because they fear the Grizzly Bear Spirit they worship would depart.

    The high court says the constitution’s religious freedom guarantee protects Canadians’ freedom to hold beliefs and to practice their faith, but does not require the state or courts to protect what they believe in — the “object of beliefs or the spiritual focal point of worship, such as Grizzly Bear Spirit.”

    “Rather the state’s duty is to protect everyone’s freedom to hold such beliefs and to manifest them in worship and practice, or by teaching and dissemination,” wrote Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Justice Malcolm Rowe.

    The high court said the provincial government’s decision to approve the ski resort and efforts over two decades to accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of the Ktunaxa people were reasonable, and entitled to deference by the courts.

    The case was a precedent-setting clash of rights — the freedom of religious belief and aboriginal rights against land resource development in the broad public interest.

    But the high court said the courts must tread carefully when deciding such cases, and not overreach.

    The decision was 9-0, written mainly by McLachlin and Rowe. Justices Michael Moldaver and Suzanne Côté wrote separate reasons that concluded the development’s approval did infringe the religious freedom of the First Nations group. Yet they agreed the province had acted reasonably in its limitation on those rights.

    The court didn’t set out new ground on the duty of government to consult and accommodate aboriginal rights, however it set new limits on what the religious freedom guarantee in the Charter really means.

    Ktunaxa Nation representatives were not immediately available for reaction, the council’s office said.

    Assembly of First Nations national chief Perry Bellegarde said the decision is a blow to the Ktunaxa and shows a “lack of awareness and understanding from the Supreme Court” about their “world view.”

    “Whether it be a potlatch ceremony, or a sun dance ceremony or a sweat lodge ceremony, we are inextricably tied to the land and the waters,” he said.

    Bellegarde said now that the judicial branch has said “one thing” about the development, it’s up to the executive and the legislative branch “if they’re really true about nation-to-nation reconciliation” to truly listen to the Ktunaxa’s concerns.

    “We have a lot of work to do…to fully implement the UN declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples,” he said.

    New Democrat MP Wayne Stetski, whose constituency includes the Ktunaxa, told the Star in an interview the ruling is “important because it says spiritual aspects from First Nations have to be properly considered. In this case the province had adequately consulted around the spiritual aspects of Jumbo Valley.”

    But, he added, “the majority of my constituents do not support it,” and neither does he.

    “I don’t think we need another downhill ski area in my riding — we have 10 already if I remember the count — so from my perspective, this area is really important to the Ktunaxa; I’d like to see it stay in its natural state,” said Stetski.

    The case pitted the religious freedom and aboriginal rights of the Ktunaxa (pronounced TeNaHa) against the B.C government and the company Jumbo Glacier Resorts.

    The Ktunaxa Nation Council, representing people whose traditional territorial claim straddled the Canada-U.S. border, opposed a proposal by Glacier Resorts.

    The company wanted to build a year-round overnight ski resort in the Jumbo Valley, about 55 kilometres west of Invermere, with lifts to glacier runs that were previously reachable via helicopter — a $900 million project that would create up to 800 permanent direct jobs.

    Although the company did not immediately react to the Supreme Court ruling either, its website has pushed back against critics, including those in a documentary that airs on Netflix. It says the area is not a pristine wilderness, but is centered on an old sawmill site. It said the closest First Nation, the Shuswap Indian Band, lives 55 km from the project and was “consistently supportive” of the project, while the Ktunaxa Nation, located “approximately 188 km away from the project, has been vociferously opposed.”

    The company said the Ktunaxa were involved since the beginning in 1991 and “did not bring the notion of ‘spiritual values’ to the table until 2009 — when one elder recalled its existence.” The company says grizzly bear hunting is allowed in the project area, and since the project was first proposed, more than 70 grizzly bears have been killed in the area for “sport.” The company also points out that Ktunaxa support the grizzly bear hunt and are involved in guide outfitting.

    The high court said throughout two decades of negotiations and consultations, the province tried to accommodate the Indigenous concerns, but consultations “are a two-way street.”

    When the Ktunaxa finally asserted in 2009 a “novel claim” — that development must be barred altogether to protect the presence of the Grizzly Bear Spirit itself and the “subjective spiritual meaning they derive from it” — the court said the Ktunaxa got it wrong.

    “This novel claim that would extend [the religious freedom guarantee] beyond its scope and would put deeply held personal beliefs under judicial scrutiny,” the court wrote.

    McLachlin and Rowe said the B.C. government had met its duty to consult and accommodate the First Nation’s concerns. The government reduced the resort development area by 60 per cent, had ordered on-site environmental monitors, allowed for continued use of the area for traditional practices and “measures designed to reduce the impact of the development on grizzly bears,” the court said. Moreover, the government rejected development on the lower Jumbo Creek area and a ski lift on the west side of the valley because of perceived greater visitation by grizzly bears in these areas.” It established a wildlife management area and offered to continue to protect the grizzly bear population through law and policies.

    “The duty is to consult and, where warranted, accommodate. Section 35 guarantees the process of consultation and accommodation by setting out its claims clearly…and as early as possible. There is no guarantee that, in the end, the specific accommodation sought will be warranted or possible,” the ruling says.

    “The ultimate obligation is that the Crown act honourably.”

    The high court noted that another Indigenous group, the Shuswap, had been involved in the early negotiations and agreed their concerns were met, and the Ktunaxa’s later attempts to completely bar the development sought effectively to ask the courts “in the guise of judicial review of an administrative decision, to pronounce on the validity of their claim to a sacred site and associated spiritual practices.”

    While Section 35 of the Canadian constitution guarantees potential rights “embedded in as-yet unproven Aboriginal claims,” those rights cannot be established via a court sitting in judicial review of an administrative decision,” McLachlin and Rowe wrote.

    “Aboriginal rights must be proven by tested evidence.”

    Justices Moldaver and Côté agreed the minister had balanced his statutory obligations with the aboriginal group’s claim, however they disagreed with the majority’s conclusion that the Ktunaxa’s religious freedom wasn’t infringed. The result, Moldaver wrote, is that the development of the ski resort would desecrate the area the Ktunaxa call Qat’muk and “cause Grizzly Bear Spirit to leave, thus severing the Ktunaxas connection to the land.”

    “As a result the Ktunaxa would no longer receive spiritual guidance and assistance from Grizzly Bear Spirit. All songs, rituals, and ceremonies associated with Grizzly Bear Spirit would become meaningless,” he wrote.

    Read more:

    Controversial B.C. resort to appeal minister’s decision

    E


    Supreme Court approves B.C. ski resort development on Indigenous landsSupreme Court approves B.C. ski resort development on Indigenous lands

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    Staff and students at Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts have had to endure the deaths of three of their own in the span of a month.

    This triple tragedy has brought a sombre and numb feeling to the building, said Wexford’s principal Tom Lazarou.

    While principals and teachers aren’t specifically trained to help students process grief, Lazarou said, they can do their part by listening.

    Wexford’s first loss was Susan Longuet, a guidance counsellor for 11 years, who died of cancer on Sept. 16.

    “She did things for students away from Wexford and we had no idea. It’s a huge loss,” said Lazarou, adding that she would help students from home, supporting them with their plans for the future.

    Two weeks later, Nicole Sutton, a French teacher who had been at Wexford for 16 years, died of a brain aneurysm.

    “It shocked us a great deal because she was very young and it’s tragic; she worked Friday and she passed away Saturday,” he said.

    The biggest shock for students was 15-year-old Isaiah Witt, who died after being stabbed in East York on Oct. 7.

    Mohamad Ayoub, 15, couldn’t sleep the night he found out his friend died.

    “I didn’t believe it,” Ayoub said. “If he’d see someone lonely he’d go up and ask to be friends. He was just so nice.”

    After hearing about Witt’s death, students at Wexford began to wonder who would be next.

    “I was telling my parents, 'if anyone else dies I’m leaving the school',” Ayoub said.

    But Lazarou assures the community that students are safest in school with their peers and teachers.

    Wexford turned to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) for assistance to help students deal with the three losses.

    According to TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird, the board has 115 social workers who can aid staff and students.

    “Some issues may only require one counsellor, while issues affecting a large number of students may require multiple counsellors,” Bird said.

    A team of four grief counsellors was brought to Wexford for two days.

    “The biggest part of a loss is to go through the process and deal with it and be more resilient about it,” Lazarou said.

    Lazarou is positive the school will get through this. Teachers are resuming classes as normal and students are back to learning.

    “I think what I’ve realized through this is that I’m human too,” he said.


    Scarborough's Wexford school community mourns loss of counsellor, teacher, student in one month spanScarborough's Wexford school community mourns loss of counsellor, teacher, student in one month span

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    The head of Google’s parent company contrasted divisive U.S. politics against Canada’s innovation and immigration-friendly policies Thursday, adding his company owes this country a favour — one the Prime Minister said he’d be sure to call in.

    Alphabet Inc. chairman Eric Schmidt said during an onstage chat with Justin Trudeau in Toronto that his company is “enormously thankful to Canadians” for the country’s artificial intelligence innovations.

    “We now use it throughout our entire business and it’s a major driver of our corporate success,” he said at Google’s Go North conference. “So we owe you, right. And we remember.”

    Read more: Thales creates new artificial intelligence hub in Montreal

    Facebook follows Google, Microsoft to Montreal with new AI research lab

    Trudeau replied that Canada would make sure to hold him to it, now that it was “on record.”

    “We’ll make sure that works out,” the prime minister quipped.

    Google is among the backers of the Vector Institute, a Toronto-based artificial intelligence research lab which is part of Ottawa’s strategy to drive innovation in Canada. Ottawa is putting up to $50 million into the institute, Ontario is investing $50 million and more than 30 private-sector companies are set to invest $80 million.

    That’s in addition to Google’s AI lab in Montreal, which the tech giant launched in November 2016.

    But as Google’s relationship with Canada becomes increasingly cozy, relations between the U.S. and its northern neighbour have come under pressure.

    The U.S., Canada and Mexico have been in prolonged negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement, a deal Schmidt said has been “enormously successful.”

    Schmidt added that he was worried about the impact that U.S. identity politics under Donald Trump — in contrast to Canada’s focus on inclusivity and diversity — would have on the countries’ dealings.

    Schmidt noted that the U.S. is “critically dependent” on supply chains from Canada, “including the back and forth that we have in the tech industry.”

    “I’m concerned that the politics in the United States are going to drive various wedges between the excellent historical relations between Canada and the United States,” said Schmidt, who wore socks were emblazoned with the Canadian flag.

    The former Google CEO added that the North American Free Trade Agreement has been very successful and asked the Prime Minister about a timeline for when the negotiations will be complete.

    Trudeau said Canada is “carefully evaluating everything they put forward” and warned of dire consequences if the deal collapses.

    “As soon as you thicken that border, or shut things down, there are going to be negative impacts on the American economy, on American workers,” he said.

    “Of course there can be way more impacts on Canada because we are much smaller and more dependent on the U.S. But, at the same time, it’s gonna hurt if we fail to move forward with NAFTA.”

    He also noted Canada recently signed a trade deal with Europe and said the country is engaging with Asia as it looks to “diversify a certain bit.”

    Meanwhile, Trudeau said there is a “unity of approach and purpose on this” across the political spectrum in Canada, which is an “advantage.”

    “We are not going to be pushed into accepting something that is bad for Canada.”


    Google parent chair says company owes Canada, worried about U.S.-Canada relationsGoogle parent chair says company owes Canada, worried about U.S.-Canada relations

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