Nova Scotia has received its highest-ever credit rating from Standard and Poor’s bond-rating agency. The agency cited strong fiscal management as it upgraded the province’s long-term credit rating from A+ to AA- with a stable outlook. In the agency’s credit report, it notes that the province is expected to outperform most Canadian provinces in the next two years, with strong management practices translating into solid budget outcomes. “We have worked hard with Nova Scotians to put our province on a sustainable fiscal path. More people are working in Nova Scotia than ever before, exports are booming and our population is at an all-time high,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “This credit rating is yet another sign that we are moving in the right direction as we build a stronger province together, where everyone can grow and succeed.” The province’s debt-to-revenue ratio is also expected to be the lowest in the country. “Nova Scotia’s fiscal health is crucial for us to maintain the capacity to provide public services to all Nova Scotians, as well as to attract new businesses that will help create more jobs and continue to drive our economy,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Karen Casey.
Businesses, prospectors and academics now have more support for innovative projects in the mining sector that attract investment, grow Nova Scotia’s economy and creates jobs, especially in rural areas. As part of Budget 2019-20, the province is increasing the Mineral Resources Development Fund by $800,000 to a total of $1.5 million. Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette opened the fund to applications today, April 9. “Mining is a globally competitive sector that creates career opportunities for our young people, while generating revenue for programs and services that benefit all Nova Scotians,” said Mr. Mombourquette. “These investments make connections and develop new ideas that help our companies stay at the forefront of technology and environmental protection.” Saint Mary’s University professor Jacob Hanley and PhD student Kevin Neyedley received $47,500 from the fund in 2018. They are working on research and gathering geological information about how strategic minerals formed. This will help identify where deposits may be located and then extracted with minimal environmental impact. “It is vitally important for Nova Scotians to have access to the most current scientific knowledge, gathered using cutting edge research tools,” said Mr. Hanley. “Our research can help attract companies by reducing exploration costs for industry and reduce the impact that grass-roots exploration has on the environment through narrowing the size of mineral deposit targets,” said Mr. Neyedley. Last year, the province supported 28 projects including mineral exploration programs, professional development, innovation, university research and training opportunities for young people. “Our investment in Nova Scotia can be directly attributed to efforts made by the province to support prospectors,” said Greg Collins, chief operating officer at Transition Metals, a mineral exploration company based in Sudbury, Ontario. “The fund has helped us generate some very encouraging results that could attract new investment and allow us to consider acquiring additional projects in Nova Scotia.” To apply or find out more about the fund, visit https://novascotia.ca/natr/meb/mrdp.asp .
Mumbai: Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salmaan’s The Zoya Factor will now arrive in theatres on September 20. The film was earlier scheduled to release on April 5 this year and then it was shifted to June 14. Sonam recently took to Instagram to share the poster of the film along with the new release date – September 20. “We’re back after the strategic timeout. Catch ‘TheZoya Factor’ in cinemas on 20th September, 2019. Starring @DQSalmaan, directed by #AbhishekSharma,” Sonam wrote on Instagram. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die’As per media reports, the reason for the delay in the release is the upcoming cricket World Cup, while some suggest the film is being postponed because the post-production work is not over yet. The Zoya Factor is based on novelist Anuja Chauhan’s book of the same name. In the film, Dulquer is playing the role of the captain of the Indian Cricket team, while Sonam will be seen as an executive in an advertising agency. Produced by Fox Star Studios and AdlabsFilms, the movie is directed by Abhishek Sharma and also stars Sonam’s uncle Sanjay in pivotal role.
New Delhi: Former Australia skipper Ian Chappell believes the Virat Kohli-led India has variety in their bowling department, making them a strong contender to win the 2019 World Cup beginning May 30 in England and Wales. Chappell said the team which has the ability to pick wickets at regular intervals, particularly in the middle overs, was likely to lift the coveted Cup. “In an era where big bats and big scores, with occasional monumental battering, have proliferated ODIs, there are still some seriously good bowling attacks gearing up for 2019 World Cup,” Chappell wrote in his column in ESPNcricinfo. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun”Wicket-taking is going to play a crucial role in deciding this World Cup. Despite the modern gung-ho batting style, this is not an easy contract to fulfil when the tournament reaches the knockout stage. The team that consistently takes wickets — particularly through the middle overs — is the one most likely to lift the trophy,” he added. According to Chappell, India — despite not possessing the “outright pace” like that of England and Australia — do have great variety and a trio of fast bowlers who can be exceptional in favourable conditions. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-up”If there’s any moisture in the pitches then Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are skilled enough to take full advantage. If, however, the pitches start to wear and the conditions are dry, then Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are a dangerous wicket-taking combination,” said the 75-year-old. “Throw in Hardik Pandya as a handy fast-bowling all-rounder and Virat Kohli has plenty of options,” he added. India though lost the first warm-up game against New Zealand by six wickets on May 25. The Indian batting line-up, which boasts of having Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Kohli and M S Dhoni, bundled out for a mere 179 at The Oval which the Black Caps easily chased down with around 13 overs to spare. The Men in Blue will now take on Bangladesh in the second warm-up game on Tuesday before beginning their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5.
Gurugram: Samsung on Tuesday unveiled its Galaxy Watch Active, Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Fit e wearables in India for Rs 19,990, Rs 9,990 and Rs 2,590, respectively. Targeted at millennials and Gen Z, the Galaxy Watch Active takes a holistic approach to monitoring exercise, sleep, stress and health. “Galaxy Watch Active is a beautifully crafted sports watch that brings stress management and blood pressure monitoring to users. The Galaxy Fit and Fit e give users a first-time access to the ecosystem of Samsung Health with never before features like 90+ activity trackers,” Aditya Babbar, Director, Mobile Business, Samsung India, said in a statement. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app Made for all types of fitness enthusiasts, Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Fit e support active lifestyles. With thin, lightweight form factor, Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Fit e are comfortable to wear all week long, the company claimed. Galaxy Watch Active is available in black, silver, rose gold and deep green colours while Galaxy Fit is available in silver and black colours. The Galaxy Fit e comes in black, white and yellow colours. The Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy Fit would be available across retail stores and Samsung Opera House starting June 25. The Galaxy Watch Active would be available also on Amazon.in and Samsung e-Shop. The Galaxy Fit would be available on Flipkart and Myntra as well as Samsung e-Shop.
Indore: The Indore civic body officer attacked by BJP MLA Akash Vijayvargiya with a cricket bat Wednesday has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a private hospital here, a doctor said Friday.The officer, Dhirendra Singh Bais (46), was hit by a cricket bat-wielding Akash Vijayvargiya, the son of BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, in full public view when an Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) team went to demolish a dilapidated house at Ganji compound here. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: ShahBais was admitted to the ICU of a private hospital in the Palasia area late Thursday night for treatment of high blood pressure, said the doctor of the medical facility. He is stable now, the doctor said. The first-time MLA was arrested and produced in a magistrates court within hours of the assault. The court had sent him to jail under judicial custody till July 11. The BJP legislators bail plea had been turned down two times by local courts in as many days. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey ColonyAkash Vijayvargiya’s counsels are now likely to move a bail plea in a special court in Bhopal designated to fast track cases related to MPs and MLAs of Madhya Pradesh, said a Bhopal-based district court lawyer. The special court would seek case diary from the Indore district police after the bail application comes up for hearing before it, he said. This will take some time and the MLA’s bail plea is likely to be heard Saturday, the lawyer added. The incident, which was caught on camera, took place when the 34-year-old MLA from the Indore III seat was opposing demolition of the dilapidated house.
Canning (West Bengal): The police on Friday recovered a decomposed body of an elderly woman from a house in Budge Budge area of South 24 Parganas district. Police reached the spot after neighbours complained of a foul smell emanating from the building in the southern fringes of Kolkata. They broke open the door, found the decomposed body and sent it for post-mortem examination. According to neighbours, the 65-year-old widow, who used to stay alone, went into depression after her son went missing four years ago. She is survived by a daughter, who lives elsewhere.
Washington DC: The Trump administration is proposing 57 per cent increase in the merit-based legal immigration and half of those would be based on family and humanitarian grounds, in an effort to overhaul the outdated system. Senior presidential adviser Jared Kushner, who is also the son-in-law of United States President Donald Trump, said having an immigration policy that would attract talented and meritorious people from across the world would create over USD 500 billion in tax revenues over 10 years. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang”It brings in a lot of people that are paying into the social safety nets. Not people who are coming in and then immediately taking from the social safety nets, which right now have to support Americans who are currently citizens,” Kushner told the Cabinet during a meeting at the White House. At the direction of Trump, Kushner is leading the immigration reform project, which he said was now into its final stages and expects to make it public soon. Also Read – Want to bring back US forces engaged in endless wars: TrumpKushner rued that America’s immigration system was a very outdated compared to some of the peer countries that it competes with for talent. He said just 12 per cent of people become legal immigrants through merit-based system right now. “Compare that to some of our peer countries like Canada. They’re at 53 per cent, New Zealand at 59 per cent, Australia 63 per cent, Japan at 52 per cent,” he said. “Under President Trump’s proposal, we’ll go to 57 per cent, which puts right in the range and it will make us competitive.” Last year 1.1 million people has become citizens. “We are keeping the number the same. But we want to change the composition of what’s that made up of,” Kushner said. The adviser said they came up with the proposal after studying the immigration system and the best practices of a lot of the other countries. He asserted that the US deserved to have the best immigration system in the world, adding that the Trump administration believed in safe, legal immigration but against illegal and random migration. “We think we can have an immigration system that really is the envy of the world and also a border security system that keeps all of our citizens safe,” he said. “This bill will create a modern, merit-based immigration system that allows the best and the brightest from throughout the world to compete based on objective criteria to become American citizens,” he said.
New Delhi: The country will need to grow by 9 per cent every year for five years continuously and raise aggregate investment rate to 38 per cent of GDP to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of turning India into a USD 5 trillion economy, EY has said. In its latest edition of Economy Watch, EY said assuming India grows by projected 7 per cent in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2020, the size of the economy will grow to USD 3 trillion from USD 2.7 trillion in the previous year. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal It will have to grow by 9 per cent in each of the five subsequent years to take the size of the economy to USD 3.3 trillion in FY21, USD 3.6 trillion in FY22, USD 4.1 trillion in FY23, USD 4.5 trillion in FY24 and USD 5 trillion in FY25. “Assuming an inflation rate of 4 per cent which is the target inflation rate as per the Monetary Policy Framework, a real growth rate close to 9 per cent would be required to increase the size of the Indian economy to USD 5 trillion by FY25. This implies a nominal growth rate of 13 per cent, assuming an average annual depreciation of the rupee viz-a-vis the US Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost at 2 per cent,” it said. In FY19 (2018-19), the gross investment rate, estimated at 31.3 per cent, was able to deliver a real growth rate of 6.8 per cent. The implicit incremental capital-output ratio (ICOR) was 4.6, it said. “This is relatively high because of deficient capacity utilisation.” Historically, India’s average ICOR during the three-year period from FY17 to FY19 has averaged 4.23. The highest achieved investment rate in India was 39.6 per cent in FY12. EY said achieving such levels would be consistent with the requirements of our demographic dividend. In China, average saving and investment rates of close to 45 per cent have been maintained for a long period. Total investment is the sum of public investment, household investment and investment by the private corporate sector. Raising the growth rate to 9 per cent in FY21 would require uplifting the investment rate to close to 38 per cent of GDP as against 31.3 per cent in FY19, it said. “If the inflation rate is lower than 4 per cent on an average and if the exchange rate depreciation is higher than 2 per cent per annum, reaching the size of USD 5 trillion would be delayed even beyond these target years.” While the central government plays a four-fold role in determining the overall investment rate through its budgetary capital expenditure, spending through PSUs, policy initiatives inducing private investments and coordination with state governments, the Centre’s share in country’s aggregate investment was quite small at 1.6 per cent of GDP in FY19. As per actuals from the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), this constituted only 5.1 per cent of the aggregate investment. After adding central PSU’s capital expenditure of 2.4 per cent of GDP in FY19, the Centre’s contribution to the investment increases to 4 per cent of GDP, which is 12.6 per cent of the total investment. “This can be substantially improved. The center may therefore provide a policy framework to induce the state governments and the private sector to uplift their investment rates,” EY said. “Furthermore, if the central government can successfully reduce its revenue deficit, there would be room for higher capital expenditure with the same fiscal deficit. It can also induce additional investment through the CPSEs while keeping in mind, the overall constraint of resources in the form of savings in the system.”
Amaravati: Authorities in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday served a notice on former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to vacate the house on the banks of Krishna river here in view of the flood situation. With rising Krishna water threatening to inundate houses along its banks, revenue officials asked the residents to move to safer places. Officials said notices were served on 32 houses to prevent any loss of life. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and Leader of Opposition in the Andhra Assembly Chandrababu Naidu and his family members had left the house a few days ago. As nobody was available at Naidu’s house, Undavalli Village Revenue Officer (VRO) pasted the notice on its entrance. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ However, leaders of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) allege that Naidu has “run away to Hyderabad since the onset of floods”. Earlier on Friday, Naidu alleged that there was a conspiracy being hatched against him after a drone was seen hovering over his house. TDP workers staged a protest claiming that the drone was taking pictures of their party chief’s house. Water Resources Minister P. Anil Kumar, however, clarified that the drone was deployed by the Water Resources Department to take visuals of the water and monitor the flood situation. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had earlier alleged that Naidu was living in a house built on river bank in a violation of the River Conservancy Act and other environment norms. In June, state authorities had served a demolition notice on Lingameneni Ramesh, from whom Naidu had taken the house on lease after he shifted here from Hyderabad in 2016. The government also demolished Praja Vedika, a meeting hall build adjacent to Naidu’s residence.
Lahore: Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, a UN designated Pakistani terrorist whom the US has placed a USD 10 million bounty on, challenged his arrest in the terror financing cases in the Lahore High Court here on Tuesday. In a fresh petition, Saeed and 67 other leaders of the banned Jamaat-ud Dawa (JuD) and its charity wing Falah-i-Insaniat (FIF), challeneged the FIRs of terror financing against them in the LHC through their counsels, Advocate A K Dogar, Ahmad Abudullah Dogar and Ghulam Yasin Bhatti. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe petitioners have made the interior ministry, the Punjab home department and the Counter Terrorism Department of Punjab police respondents in the case. The court will fix hearing of this case later. Saeed was arrested on July 17 in a terror financing case and the anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Gujrat (some 200-km from Lahore) will take it up on September 2. He is kept at the Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail in high security. The petitioners said JuD chief Saeed and others (67) are not members of Lashkar-e-Taiba either they have any nexus with it. They also cited some previous courts observations in this regard. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsSaeed and others prayed to the LHC to declare the property detailed in this petition was “dedicated for the purpose of mosques and is being used as such therefore FIRs are without lawful authority and of no legal effect.” “It is prayed that this learned court be pleased to declare that none of the petitioners and pro-forma respondents are linked with LeT and therefore the FIRs are without lawful authority and of no legal effect (be quashed), they prayed. Saeed-led JuD is believed to be the front organisation for the LeT which is responsible for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people. He was listed under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008. The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Police had registered 23 FIRs against the petitioners on the charges of “terror financing” in different cities of Punjab province. The cases have been registered in Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan for collection of funds for terrorism financing through assets/properties made and held in the names of Trusts/Non Profit Organisations (NPO) including Al-Anfaal Trust, Dawatul Irshad Trust, Muaz Bin Jabal Trust, etc. The CTD said investigation launched into financing matters of proscribed organisations — JuD and LeT — in connection with implementation of UN Sanctions against these Designated Entities and Persons as directed by NSC (National Security Committee) in its Meeting of 1st January 2019 chaired by the Prime Minister Imran Khan for implementing the National Action Plan. “These suspects made assets from funds of terrorism financing. They held and used these assets to raise more funds for further terrorism financing. Hence, they committed multiple offences of terrorism financing and money laundering under Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. They will be prosecuted in ATCs (Anti-Terrorism Courts) for commission of these offences,” the CTD said. The US Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the US, since 2012, has offered a USD 10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice.
Padma Bhushan Dr Uma Sharma presented a programme of Nritya-Abhinaya (Kathak) to celebrate Janamashtmi with her disciples of Bhartiya Sangeet Sadan (Uma Sharma School of Dance and Music). More than 400 people gathered to enjoy the evening at the India International Centre, on August 24, 2019.The programme featured her ‘Abhinaya’ on Radhe – Govind, which was a unique dance presentation consisting of traditional Raas of Brindavan with classical Kathak. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe items performed to celebrate Krishna Janmasthami were based on the Leelas of Krishna such as the ‘Kalia Mardan Leela by the disciples of Dr Uma Sharma’. (It is the story of Krishna going into a pond to retrieve his ball, finding the serpant Kalia there, and deciding to punish him for wanting to kill his village people.) To satisfy and pacify the gopies Krishna started the Maharaas dance which is a spiritual experience. With his supreme powers he multiplied his form so that each gopi felt that Krishna was at her side and dancing with her alone. Another performance by Dr Uma Sharma’s senior disciple Radhika Shah, where Krishna dances with the milkmaid on ‘Brindaban Kunjan Racho Raas Aali – Aali Ban Mali, Nirtat Sab Sakhi De Taali’, was breathtaking. Uma Sharma presented the Abhinaya based on Meera Bhajan ‘Vaari – Vaari Shyam Hoon Vaari’ and a bhajan based on the poem written by Surdas which also shows Makhan Chori Leela.
Leeds: Ben Stokes’ epic unbeaten knock of 135, which helped England level the Ashes series in remarkable fashion, has floored his England colleagues past and present who waxed praises on the all-rounder. Former England captain Nasser Hussain tweeted after the game: “You cannot do that Ben Stokes …” England started the fourth day looking to prevent Australia from retaining the Ashes. They got to 286/9, still needing 73 runs for an improbable victory. But World Cup hero Stokes joined hands with number 11 batsman Jack Leach and did the unthinkable by smashing eight sixes to all corners of the ground and helped England get to touching distance of their highest-ever second-innings total to win a Test match. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh “I’m not sure I’ve seen anything better than that on a Test ground,” Australian great Ricky Ponting said as quoted by Sky. “Some of that hitting today was just brilliant, but also the decision-making under the most extreme pressure.” Stokes, in the process, matched Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff’s feats in 1981 and 2005 respectively. Botham took six wickets in the first innings of the third Ashes Test and scored a 50 with the bat. In the second essay, slammed a match-winning 149 not out to turn the tables on Australia as they won by 18 runs. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later Flintoff scored 68 and 73 in both innings of the second Test in 2005 and picked up seven wickets to help England win by two runs in an epic contest. “I rate our chances very highly,” said Joe Denly as quoted by Sky. “There is a lot of belief in that changing room and excitement going into tomorrow.” “Incredible,” said Stuart Broad, moments after England clinched the craziest of victories. “The bloke has got the heart of a lion. “He didn’t celebrate his fifty, didn’t celebrate his hundred. It was just all about winning this Test match. He deserves everything that comes his way.” “Not all Test wins are equal,” said Atherton. “The Edgbaston game in 2005 switched the narrative of that series, with England riding a tidal wave to Old Trafford, Trent Bridge and The Oval. “I just feel it is going to be mentally very difficult for Australia to recover from this. A game they had nailed, that they should’ve won and had opportunities to win. Psychologically, that’s hard to come back from.”
CALGARY – A Calgary man has been charged with impaired driving in the death of his own daughter.Police say a man was driving with two teens in a Jeep Liberty last October when the SUV spun into a median and rolled across lanes of traffic.All three were thrown from the vehicle.Meghan Bomford, who was 17, died and her friend Kelsey Nelson, who is 16, was injured.Michael Shaun Bomford, who is 52, faces dangerous driving causing death, impaired driving causing death and other charges.He is to appear in court on Oct. 5.Sgt. Colin Foster said the investigation was challenging.“We had no witnesses who were actually able to identify who the driver was because everybody was ejected from the vehicle,” he said Friday.“There were certain things we had to prove to determine that Bomford was actually the driver at the time, and that’s why this investigation took as long as it did.”Nelson continues to recuperate from her injuries.(CTV Calgary)
REGINA – Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says his government was taken by surprise by federal legislation that calls for imposing a carbon tax on the province.Moe says the federal Liberals didn’t give Saskatchewan any notice of the bill that was introduced Tuesday in Ottawa.He says he is not aware of the details of the federal legislation but reiterated that his government plans to challenge it in court.Saskatchewan is the only province that has refused to sign the federal Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.The federal government has said that means the province won’t receive up to 62 million dollars for emissions-reduction programs.Moe says the Liberal plan to impose a carbon tax on Saskatchewan is “underhanded” because it is buried in a 556-page omnibus bill.“We will be moving with our reference case to the court of appeal here in the province of Saskatchewan in the coming weeks,” Moe said Wednesday.“A carbon tax just simply does not work. Nowhere in the world does a carbon tax actually reduce emissions.”The Trudeau government has said since the carbon tax is a levy, the budget omnibus bill properly addresses it. (CTV Regina, CJME, The Canadian Press)
SASKATOON – A pair of NHL stars visited the nine members of the Humboldt Broncos still recovering in hospital from the April 6 bus crash to help raise their spirits.Edmonton Oiler Connor McDavid and Ryan O’Reilly of the Buffalo Sabres looked in on the injured players at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.The two also visited schools in the community of Humboldt earlier in the day, talking to students.They also made a point of stopping at Elgar Peterson Arena in Humboldt to pay their respects to all of the 16 people who have died as a result of the collision that involved a transport truck.Two of the nine people still in hospital remained in critical condition.McDavid says they made a point of joking with the Broncos at the hospital in the hope the players could forget about what they are going through for awhile.“Just to be here and interact with them, and joke around with them a little bit,” McDavid said Tuesday.“There’s only so many text messages, or so many times people can say, ‘Stay strong,’ or, ‘Get well soon.’ I think you want to take their mind off it, and talk about something other than that.”O’Reilly said it was very special to meet the injured Broncos.He was also touched by how young people in Humboldt have been affected by the disaster.“Going into the one school, when Connor walked in one of the kids had an Oilers shirt on and just broke down crying,” O’Reilly said.“I think it was just a shock to see him, and it was pretty special to be a part of that and witness that — how coming here made such an impact.” (CTV Saskatoon)
CALGARY – Global Affairs Canada says it is concerned by reports in Turkey that a Calgary imam has been sentenced to prison there.A report on the website of news outlet Haberturk says Canadian Davud Hanci has been handed a 15-year sentence.Hanci, who has dual citizenship, was detained in Turkey two years ago on allegations he was connected with an attempted coup.His family has said he is a peaceful man who had nothing to do with the violence in 2016.Relatives have said Hanci was visiting the city of Trabzon, on the coast of the Black Sea, to visit his sick father at the time.Global Affairs spokesman John Babcock says officials are in contact with him, and an email from the department says a consular official was present as an observer at the most recent hearing.Babcock says consular officials have also been in contact with local authorities to gather information and are assisting Hanci’s family. He says no other information can be released for privacy reasons.Following the failed coup on July 15, 2016, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan instituted a state of emergency that ended this month. During that time, Turkey has arrested more than 75,000 people for alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric whom Ankara blames for the attempted government overthrow.
OTTAWA – Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc was found in breach of conflict of interest rules Wednesday for approving an Arctic surf clam licence to a company that employed a family member — a violation that comes with no penalties.Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion said in a report issued Wednesday that LeBlanc knew his wife’s first cousin was involved in the Five Nations Clam Co. and knew the cousin would have benefited financially when awarding the company a multi-million dollar license in February.Dion says LeBlanc should have recused himself from the decision.“If a public office holder is aware of a potential opportunity to further the private interests of a relative through the exercise of an official power, duty or function, the public office holder must be vigilant in avoiding such conflicts of interest.”The decision comes less than two months after the government cancelled the licence and started the process over to award a fourth Arctic surf clam license to encourage Indigenous participation.LeBlanc said Wednesday he accepts Dion’s findings “without reservation.”“Canadians expect when mistakes are made that people assume those mistakes and, more importantly, commit to doing better in the future and that’s exactly what I’m doing.”However, the veteran MP also qualified that Dion’s ruling “confirms that no financial benefit was created in this circumstance and no preferential treatment was given.”The deal to award a fourth fishing licence for Arctic surf clams would have ended a 19-year monopoly on the Arctic clam fishery held by Clearwater Seafoods, offering 25 per cent of the catch to local Indigenous communities.But it first came under scrutiny when documents filed in a court challenge of the decision suggested the company did not meet the federal government’s eligibility requirements, and that Five Nations Clam Co. had close ties to the federal Liberal party – including the family ties to LeBlanc, and also connections to one current and one former Liberal MP.LeBlanc was shuffled out as fisheries minister in July, the same month the government decided to cancel the license and start the process over.New Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said in August this cancellation had nothing to do with the ethics issue facing LeBlanc and that he didn’t think LeBlanc had acted inappropriately.Cancelling the licence means Clearwater Seafoods will continue their monopoly at least until 2020.Court documents show LeBlanc awarded the licence to Five Nations in February despite knowing the bid didn’t meet all the parameters of the tender.LeBlanc argued that he is not close with Theriault and that he did not believe Theriault’s spousal ties would define him as a relative within the conflict of interest law.“One of my wife’s 60 first cousins was involved in one of the proposals. I obviously didn’t think that this was caught by the definition of relative or family in the act,” LeBlanc said Wednesday.Dion disagreed with this, and also noted LeBlanc met with Theriault prior to awarding the clam licence to Five Nations, during which time they discussed the issue.“The inclusion of Mr. Theriault’s name in the proposal, while no doubt adding to its credibility due to his extensive involvement in the seafood industry and with First Nations in New Brunswick, should have put Mr. LeBlanc on notice of the existence of a potential conflict,” Dion writes in his ruling.LeBlanc says he accepts Dion’s determination on this point, but a member of his staff stressed this marks the first time the commissioner has defined what constitutes a family member.No penalty is attached to the ruling. Only financial penalties exist under conflict law and they only apply for certain types of breaches. This case isn’t one of those cases, a spokeswoman for the commissioner’s office said.The only direct result of this ruling is “shedding light on the activity examined,” she said.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer stopped short of calling for LeBlanc’s resignation, saying only he condemns the culture in government that allowed this to occur.“The prime minister didn’t resign when he was found guilty of breaking these rules, the minister of finance, himself, didn’t resign when he was found to have breached these types of rules, so we have no expectation that somehow they’ll start applying this now.”The Liberals have faced a number of ethics probes since taking office in 2015.Last year, then-commissioner Mary Dawson found Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke Canada’s ethics laws over two all-expenses-paid family trips to a private island in the Bahamas owned by the Aga Khan. Trudeau also had to pay a $100 fine earlier this year for failing to disclosing a gift of sunglasses from the premier of P.E.I.Finance Minister Bill Morneau has also been investigated several times by the ethics czar. He was cleared in two of those probes, which involved sponsoring a bill that reformed Canadian pension regulations while he and his family members held shares in a pension firm as well as accusations of insider trading over the sale of those shares.He was fined $200, however, for failing to disclose a villa he owns in France via a holding company.NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said in a tweet the ruling is “a sad reminder that this government’s ethical shortcuts are a real roadblock to reconciliation and sustainable development for Indigenous communities.”Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter
OTTAWA — A proposed class action has been filed against the government of Alberta on behalf of Indigenous women who say they were subjected to forced sterilizations.The lawsuit seeks $500 million in damages, plus an additional $50 million in punitive damages, and has been brought on behalf of all Indigenous women sterilized in Alberta without their prior and informed consent before Dec. 14 this year.The claim alleges Alberta — including senior officials and ministers— had specific knowledge of widespread coerced sterilizations perpetrated on Indigenous women.It also alleges the government turned a blind eye to that conduct and breached its fiduciary responsibilities.Celeste Poltak, a lawyer with the Toronto-based firm Koskie Minsky LLP, says the coerced sterilization of Indigenous women is “yet another dark chapter” in the relationship between governments and Indigenous Peoples.A proposed class action is also underway in Saskatchewan that names the Saskatoon Health Authority, the Saskatchewan government, the federal government and a handful of medical professionals as defendants.The Canadian Press