IT Ministry may back storage curbs for critical sensitive data not for

first_imgNew Delhi: The IT Ministry is likely to propose that personal information which neither qualifies as ‘critical’ nor ‘sensitive’ should be allowed to be stored and processed anywhere, while data classified as ‘critical’ should be kept only in India under the draft Personal Data Protection Bill. The proposal is significant as it marks a departure from the original draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill, which had recommended that copy of all personal data should be stored in the country. The tweaking of this provision, if accepted, will spell a relief for companies. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe draft Data Protection Bill submitted by Justice B N Srikrishna committee last year had also suggested that personal data that is of ‘critical’ nature should mandatorily be stored only in India, a stance that will be backed by the IT Ministry. According to a government official, the IT Ministry is, however, of the view that not all personal data needs to be stored in India, and only critical and sensitive data should be kept here. While ‘critical’ personal data should be mandatorily stored only in India, ‘sensitive’ personal information should be stored and processed in India but permitted to be transferred outside the country, the official pointed out. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe IT ministry feels that there are adequate safeguards in the proposed Bill and even if a copy of all personal data is not stored in India, such information will anyway be governed by the stringent provisions of the data protection law, including penalty in event of a breach. After the Justice Srikrishna panel submitted its draft version of the Bill, the IT Ministry had sought public feedback on the provisions, and fine-tune the proposed document. The draft legislation will now be placed before the Cabinet, after which it will be introduced in Parliament. The official said the change in the clause pertaining to all kinds of personal data was primarily driven by industry feedback – both Indian and global companies – which argued that maintaining one copy of all information may become cumbersome, expensive and increase compliance burden on firms. “Most important change is that the original draft said that a copy of all personal data should be stored in India…ultimately, the Cabinet will take a call on the matter…IT Ministry is proposing that with regard to personal data only such data which is to be categorised as sensitive or critical needs to be stored in India,” the official said. Justice Srikrishna panel – which submitted its report on data protection as well as the draft Personal Data Protection Bill in July 2018 – had recommended that “every data fiduciary shall ensure the storage, on a server or data centre located in India, of at least one serving copy of personal data to which this Act applies”. The original draft had also stated that central government should notify categories of personal data as ‘critical’ that shall only be processed in a server or data centre located in India. The committee left it to the government to define critical personal data. The IT ministry is learnt to be of the view that Data Protection Authority of India – envisaged in the Bill – in consultation with the sector regulators and industry should recommend to the government what kind of personal information qualifies as critical data. The original version defines ‘Sensitive Personal Data’ as personal information related to passwords, financial data, health data, sex life, sexual orientation, biometric data, genetic data, transgender status, and caste or tribe, religious or political affiliation; or other category of data specified by the authority.last_img read more

Smoking can trigger severe pain in legs

first_imgResearchers have found a strong link between smoking and peripheral artery disease – a circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs – and this elevated risk can persist up to 30 years after quitting smoking. A recently published study also found that the link between smoking and peripheral artery disease was even stronger than that for coronary heart disease and stroke. “The study suggests that campaigns about smoking’s health risks should emphasize the elevated risk of peripheral artery disease, not just coronary heart disease and stroke,” said senior study author. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe study found that compared with never-smokers, those who smoked for more than 40 pack-years had roughly four times more risk for peripheral artery disease, versus 2.1 times and 1.8 times more risk for coronary heart disease and stroke, respectively. A pack-year is a parameter of smoking – 10 pack-years can mean one pack per day for 10 years or two packs per day for five years or some other combination. Similarly, participants who reported currently smoking more than a pack per day had a relative increased risk – 5.4 times more for peripheral artery disease versus 2.4 for coronary heart disease and 1.9 for stroke – compared to those who had never smoked. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardPeripheral artery disease features the atherosclerotic build-up of cholesterol-laden deposits in arteries serving the legs. The reduction of blood flow leads to limb pain, poor wound healing, and other signs and symptoms. The effect of smoking on peripheral artery disease risk was not just stronger; it was also longer-lasting. Only after 30 years of smoking cessation did the peripheral artery disease risk for former smokers return to the baseline level seen in never-smokers. By comparison, coronary heart disease risk took about 20 years to return to baseline after smoking cessation. The good news is that quitting smoking appeared to bring a meaningful drop in peripheral artery disease risk fairly quickly. “We observed a lower risk for peripheral artery disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke within five years of smoking cessation,” says Ning Ding, a data analyst and author of the study. “Smoking almost always starts in adolescence or early adulthood, and it’s very important that young people understand how long the elevated health risk persists even after they’ve quit,” the researchers noted.last_img read more

BJP achieves target of 50 lakh new members in UP

first_imgLucknow: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh has achieved its target of enrolling 50 lakh new members, ahead of the August 20 deadline. The party is now aiming to enrol a total of 80 lakh members by the deadline. According to party’s organising secretary, Sunil Bansal, the party’s state unit now ranks first in the country on the membership drive. The party’s membership drive was launched on July 6 and the BJP in Uttar Pradesh now has a total of 1.36 crore members. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Bansal said the party has managed to make 60 to 70 per cent members in booths where the party did not have any members. “We have made about three lakh members per day and this number reached 6 to 7 lakh per day after the scrapping of Article 370. We had set a target of having more than 50 per cent members at every booth,” he said. The BJP leader said that from August 16 to 25, a campaign for verification of members would be done. The process of organisational elections would be launched from September 1, beginning at the booth level. Uttar Pradesh minister Ashutosh Tandon has already been appointed in-charge of organisational polls in the state. The BJP is also preparing to launch a campaign to spread awareness about the scrapping of Article 370 and the ‘freedom’ of Kashmir in the true sense of the term.last_img read more

Awareness initiative on state development plans

first_imgBALURGHAT: South Dinajpur district administration with the objective to create awareness about various development projects undertaken by the Mamata Banerjee-led state government conducted ‘Apnar Duare Proshason’ (Administration is in your door) at Majhikhanda football ground in Tapan block on Wednesday.District magistrate Nikhil Nirmal has taken innovative steps to reaching out to people through ‘Apnar Duare Proshason’. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also held similar administrative meetings in different districts with departmental secretaries after coming in power in 2011. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”The chief aim of the programme is to provide an avenue to the common public to interact with the administrators and air their grievances for grievance solution. On Wednesday we have conducted first of such programmes in Tapan block. Similar programmes will be held in other blocks of the district in future also,” Nirmal said. According to him, it is modelled on the administrative review meetings conducted by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wherein she goes from district to district with her secretaries. “It is an initiative to bring administration closer to the public,” he said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayIn the programme, government officials reviewed the progress of all the development schemes such as Kanyasree, Shikhasree, Sabujsathi and Khadya Sathi undertaken the state government. “We have intimated the people about the development schemes undertaken by the state government so that they can get aware of the schemes and may get benefitted,” said Nirmal. A local Tapan-based NGO has demanded immediate reformation of decades old Tapan Dighi (Tank) from pollution. A memorandum has also been submitted to the officials regarding the demand. In reply, DM Nikhil Nirmal said positive step regarding the matter of reforming the Dighi soon. The beneficiaries have also received the benefits of different development projects by the officials. District Police Chief Prasun Banerjee, Additional District Magistrates, Ranjan Kumar Jha, Krittibas Nayek, Pranab Kumar Ghosh, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Sukumar Dey, District Information and Cultural Officer, Santanu Chakraborty, Officer-in-Charge (Kanyasree) Mahadyuti Adhikary attended the programme.last_img read more

Toll in AP boat tragedy rises to 12 search on for 21

first_imgAmaravati: The toll in the boat tragedy in Andhra Pradesh rose to 12 with the recovery of four more bodies including that of an infant, on Monday morning, official sources said. With 21 more people missing, extensive search operations were being carried out by Indian Navy, NDRF, SDRF and state authorities. While bodies of eight passengers were recovered from the river till Sunday night, another four were retrieved at the accident spot at Kachhuluru in East Godavari district on Monday morning, sources in the State Disaster Management Authority here said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details One helicopter of the Indian Navy and another of the ONGC have been pressed into service while eight boats were being used by NDRF and SDRF personnel to search for the people feared drowned. Crest gates of the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage at Dowaleswaram have been shut to prevent the possibility of the bodies from getting washed away downstream. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy undertook an aerial survey of the accident spot. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The boat ‘Royal Vasishta’ was on its way to the picturesque Papikondalu tourist spot in the middle of the river when it met with the accident, apparently on colliding with a large rock formation, at Kachchuluru, about 200 km from here. As many as 27 people survived the tragedy and were rescued by villagers of Tutugunta. The survivors were taken to the area hospital in Rampachodavaram and government general hospital in Rajamahendravaram for treatment. Most of the tourists were from Hyderabad and Warangal in neighbouring Telangana and state chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced an ex-gratia of Rs five lakh each to the bereaved families from his state and deputed ministers to coordinate in the relief works and help the injured.last_img read more

Pot activist Marc Emery gets fine after guilty plea on trafficking charge

first_imgMONTREAL – The self-styled Prince of Pot has pleaded guilty to trafficking cannabis and will pay a $5,000 fine.The charge against Marc Emery stemmed from the opening of Cannabis Culture boutiques in Montreal in December 2016.Two other charges of possession and conspiracy were dropped.The prosecution says it’s an appropriate sentence that was negotiated over months.The shops were only open for a few hours before police shut them down.Emery tweeted earlier Wednesday he would plead guilty and pay a fine.In a brief exchange later with reporters at the Montreal courthouse, he criticized Quebec’s plan to sell pots in government-run stores.The federal Liberal government plans to allow legal recreational cannabis by late summer, but the manner of selling of it is left up to the individual provinces.Pot dispensaries are illegal under current federal legislation unless they have a licence from Health Canada to sell it for medical purposes.last_img read more

BC NDP MP Peter Julian drops bid to replace Mulcair at federal

first_imgOTTAWA – British Columbia MP Peter Julian pulled the plug Thursday on his bid to lead the federal New Democrats, saying he’d failed to raise the kind of money necessary to stay in the marathon race to succeed Tom Mulcair.Julian — the first to throw his hat in the ring — acknowledged a long line of politicians who have forked over their own funds through the years to keep campaigns afloat, only to suffer personal consequences.“I’ve seen the graveyard of politicians who have invested a lot of their personal money because they thought they could change the dynamic financially, and many of those people … are still paying off huge debts,” he told a news conference in Ottawa.“You evaluate and you say, ‘Well, if we move forward, that could mean a lot of personal debt.’”Julian said he is not ready to impose a financial burden on his family, and that dropping out — while difficult — is easier than going into the red.“I accept the verdict of the membership,” he said with a wry smile. “That’s why I’m making the decision I’m making today.”Julian, a veteran MP who represents the British Columbia riding of New Westminster—Burnaby, was one of five candidates so far to join the leadership race, which isn’t scheduled to reach a crescendo until October.Other contenders include MPs Niki Ashton, Charlie Angus and Guy Caron, as well as Ontario legislator Jagmeet Singh.Angus and Caron used social media Thursday to thank Julian for his contributions to the race, while Singh and Ashton both issued statements saying they are saddened to see him go.Julian said he’s pleased his policy positions had an influence on the course of the campaign, particularly on the issue of pipelines.“We were the only ones raising opposition to pipelines like Kinder Morgan and Energy East, and all the other candidates have come in our direction,” he said.“We’ve had an impact and I think we can be proud of the work that was accomplished.”Earlier Thursday, Ashton announced a tax plan designed to tackle inequality that includes a pledge to raise income taxes on the wealthiest Canadians and a promise to expand disability and seniors’ benefits.The next NDP leadership debate is scheduled to take place on Tuesday in Saskatoon, followed by events in Victoria and Montreal in August and one in Vancouver in September.Online voting in the leadership race will begin on Sept. 18, with results to be announced in October after each round of balloting.—Follow @kkirkup on Twitterlast_img read more

Mother son pulled out to sea by strong current on PEIs north

first_imgCHARLOTTETOWN – A P.E.I. woman and her 12-year-old son were enjoying the beauty of an Island sunset and wading in the shallow waters of a beach she knew from her childhood when she said the sand suddenly fell away underfoot and the pair was swept out to sea in a matter of seconds.Beth Johnston said she and her son, Charlie Ross, were standing in thigh-deep water near Savage Harbour on the Island’s north shore on Saturday shooting video with the young boy’s Go Pro camera when they lost their footing as a rip current pushed them quickly away from the shoreline under a darkening sky.The 45-year-old mother of two young sons said Monday that she realized they were in trouble when Charlie said he couldn’t touch bottom, was scared and too tired to keep swimming, as waves smashed down on top of them and pushed them under.“It was truly terrifying that something could happen that quickly in such a familiar place, that you could be in such danger within a matter of 30 seconds,” she said from her home in Charlottetown.“When I saw the terror in his face I thought, ‘OK, we’ve got a really bad situation here.’ It just hit me, we were in trouble because we’re really far offshore and he needs help and I can’t help him.”Johnston, who grew up spending half the year on the north shore, said she kept reaching out to her son telling him to hold her hand as they drifted further out to sea, but she had little strength left to push him closer to the beach.“You’d swim as hard as you could to get ahead of the wave and then the wave would crash on top of you and suck you back, so you were back further than when you started,” she said. “It felt like swimming on a treadmill.”As she fought, she was calculating how long it would take a boat from a nearby harbour to reach them. The timing didn’t look good, she said, as it would be difficult to find the pair in the dark with no one on shore able to hear or see them.Johnston said she wanted to tell her story to warn people about the risk of rip currents and urge them to learn what to do if caught in one. She said she did exactly the opposite of what is advised by trying to swim right into shore. She said there was little discernible sign of the trouble in the water at the time, but has since learned that an electrical storm the night before had created ideal conditions for rip currents.Environment Canada recommends that a swimmer carried seaward by a rip current “should not struggle against it, but swim across it, parallel to the beach. Once out of the narrow rip current, the waves will tend to carry the swimmer shoreward.”She estimated they were about 30 metres from shore before they started making progress against the forceful current, which claimed the life of a 52-year-old New Brunswick man hours earlier after he got caught in the powerful tide and waves in the same area.Johnston, who swims regularly on that stretch of shore, said her son made it back to the beach first after about 20 minutes in the water, but it took her another 10 minutes to do the same.Charlie said when he finally got onto the beach, expecting to see his mother beside him, he was terrified when he found himself alone.“I rolled over and I was going to talk to my mom and I realized she was still out as far as when we started, and I was like, ‘No, no, no, no,’” he said.“I was going to get my phone and call 911, but my phone was way down the beach and I didn’t want to lose an eye on her.”Charlie said the pounding of the waves and pushing of the water was exhausting.“It was like when you got sucked underwater, you’d come up for a big breath and then you’d get crushed by a wave and you’d get a mouth full of salt water,” he said. “It was a kind of traumatizing experience.”– By Alison Auld in Halifaxlast_img read more

BC court orders insurance firm to pay for mans emergency surgery in

first_imgVICTORIA – An insurance company that refused to pay for a British Columbia man’s emergency heart surgery has been ordered by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in Victoria to cover the US$180,000 bill.Paul Fletcher took the Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company to court when it refused to pay, claiming an exclusion clause applied because there was medical evidence that the man might be hospitalized while travelling.Fletcher testified that his doctor told him his angina was stable and he was safe to take a trip to Mexico.He booked a return flight to Canada when he began having chest pains, but when his symptoms worsened his plane made an emergency landing in Seattle where he underwent coronary artery bypass surgery.The insurance firm’s expert physician criticized both Fletcher and his doctors at trial, saying there was a reasonable expectation that treatment or hospitalization could be required while travelling.But Justice Jacqueline Dorgan said in a ruling posted online this week that the exclusion clause does not apply and she ordered the firm pay for the emergency surgery.“The plaintiff’s evidence is that following consultations with his treating physicians, he was satisfied the trip would pose no risk to his health and that it was safe for him to travel. There is no evidence he had medical evidence or opinion to the contrary,” the judge concluded.She also ordered the insurance company cover his legal fees.last_img read more

Ontario budget to include major investments in health care throne speech

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, whose Liberals face an uphill battle in the spring provincial election after 15 years in office, countered her opponents’ election promise of change with one of her own Monday, saying only her party can deliver “big change.”Wynne made the comments just hours after the government delivered a throne speech that promised major spending in health care to tackle hospital wait times and expand home-care and mental-health services, while reducing the overall deficit.“I’m proposing that we make big changes in the way we support care for each other,” Wynne said in an interview with The Canadian Press. “Yes, it’s an extension of what already exists but it’s a real leap forward in terms of putting supports in place.”While touting her party’s plan, Wynne took a swipe at her main rival, newly minted Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford whose party is leading in the polls.“What Doug Ford’s suggesting is actually going backwards in status quo,” she said.Wynne said her plans — to be spelled out when the government tables its budget on March 28 — will help address the challenges she believes people in Ontario are currently facing. She praised NDP Leader Andrea Horwath for some of her ideas, which Wynne said were designed to care for people.“I like some of her ideas,” Wynne said of Horwath. “It’s the same impulse to really respond to the anxieties people are feeling. What Doug Ford’s proposing will not address people’s anxieties.”The speech from the throne, read out by Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, offered no specific numbers for the promised investments but suggested that health care is poised to be a major focus of the coming budget.The government also announced plans to expand the OHIP Plus program that currently offers free pharmacare to residents under the age of 25, saying it wants to make the program available to a larger swath of the population.“Your government’s plan for care and opportunity is the right way forward for Ontario’s people, and Ontario’s economy, because the well-being of both are intrinsically linked,” Dowdeswell told the legislature.Last week, Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office warned that a growing and aging population is adding pressure to Ontario’s health-care system and spending isn’t keeping up — a situation that could result in compromised quality of care if left unaddressed.In 2012, the province tried to slow health spending by imposing a four-year freeze on hospital funding, increasing hospital efficiency and by restraining wage growth in the sector.Since then, the province ratcheted up spending with a so-called “booster shot” of $6.9 billion of funding in the 2017 budget.The speech also hinted at measures to address the cost of child care, which it identified as a “stumbling block” for many families.It also contained promises for later in the child’s life cycle, saying it would expand the program that currently offers free tuition to thousands of people.The government said last week that the 2018 budget will run a deficit of one per cent gross domestic product — which could be as high as $8 billion — would map out “a clear path” back to balance.Hours after the throne speech, Ford told a boisterous rally in Toronto that the province can’t afford the Liberal government’s promises, adding that it amounts to billions in new spending and debt.“The problem with Kathleen Wynne, the problem with her government — we saw it today in her throne speech — they will say and promise anything to stay in power,” Ford told supporters on Monday night. “(She) wrote a lot of cheques with the taxpayers’ bank account. … We all know the finances of this province and I can tell you all those cheques are going to bounce.”Horwath likened the plan to her own dental-care platform announced on the weekend, which saw her promise to invest $1.2 billion to subsidize dental care for 4.5 million residents.“The difference is New Democrats actually believe these things and will implement them upon being elected,” Horwath said, adding that the Liberals often change their tune after they’ve already been voted in. “We believe in these things before elections and after elections.”Horwath has said the money for the dental care program, dubbed Ontario Benefits, would be raised through tax increases on corporations and wealthy individuals. She has said her government would run a deficit, but not provided additional details.last_img read more

Quebec willing to contribute to Newfoundland and Labrador link Couillard

first_imgQUEBEC – Quebec is willing to contribute financially to the building of a link connecting Labrador to the island of Newfoundland, Premier Philippe Couillard said Thursday.“Not only are we willing to participate but because of the nation-building character of this project, we believe it would be natural for the federal government to be partnering with us,” Couillard told a news conference alongside Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball.The Quebec premier said it’s too early to say how much the province would give to a project that a study released Wednesday estimates would cost about $1.7 billion and take 15 years to complete.The proposed link would offer increased mobility to Labrador’s 27,000 residents and potentially bring more tourism dollars to communities around Yankee Point in Newfoundland, as well as saving travel time for truck drivers crossing from Quebec.Couillard’s “nation-building” reference came a day after Ball made a similar comment and said the project would benefit all Canadians.On Thursday, Ball repeated that sentiment.“I can imagine a corridor that when you drive from St. John’s, Newfoundland, into Vancouver, going through Route 138 (in eastern Quebec), it’s a significant piece of the infrastructure that would be required to make that work,” he said.“Route 138 would be an important piece of that investment for us and, feeding into a fixed link, would indeed be a nation-building project.”On Wednesday, Ball compared the potential link to P.E.I.’s Confederation Bridge, which was built in the late 1990s.Also on Thursday, Ball and Couillard announced a partnership to develop a mineral-rich area that straddles the provinces’ border.The partnership is aimed at developing the mining potential of the Labrador Trough, a 1,200-kilometre geological belt that holds major deposits of iron and other minerals.Under the agreement, the provinces will collaborate in such areas as geological mapping, transportation infrastructure, telecommunications and labour.Ball said the provinces want to create high-quality jobs and help the region compete for global mining investment dollars.The premiers announced the beginning of talks on co-operation last July.last_img read more

Melania Trump not attending G7 summit in Charlevoix later this week

first_imgOTTAWA – Style experts who have been eager to pit the fashion selections of Sophie Gregoire Trudeau against those of Melania Trump at this week’s G7 summit are going to be sorely disappointed.The American first lady is sending her regrets.Melania’s spokeswoman confirmed she will not travel to either Quebec for the G7 or Singapore later this month for the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.Jean Harris, a politics professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, says skipping Singapore makes some sense because there is no clear social role for a spouse amid the tensions of that meeting. However, there are always partner programs at summits like the G7 to help showcase the local region and build additional relationships between the leaders of the world’s biggest democracies.“You do expect spouses at the G7,” said Harris. “There’s lots of media attention.”The first lady’s absence is adding fodder to the Trump critics and online conspiracy theorists who say Melania Trump has not been seen publicly since May 10 and wonder if it’s because she’s no longer willing to play the pretty spouse role on the president’s arm in the wake of revelations about his payoffs to women with whom he allegedly had affairs since marrying Melania.The more likely reason, said Harris, is that Melania underwent surgery for a benign kidney condition on May 14th.She did attend the G7 summit last year in Italy and also travelled to Germany in July for the G20, although she spent part of that trip trapped in her hotel suite while violent protests raged outside. Her security guards didn’t feel it was safe for her to go out.The first lady has been to Canada once before, travelling to Toronto for her first solo foreign trip last September for the Invictus Games, where she represented her husband and met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife and their two eldest children.Melania and Gregoire Trudeau also participated in the meeting between their husbands at the White House last October.While Melania has been on most of her husband’s foreign trips to date, she did cancel plans to join him at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January just days before Trump’s departure, citing scheduling conflicts. She also skipped the last two stops on his Asian trip in November, going with him to Japan, South Korea and China but staying behind in Beijing when her husband went on to Vietnam and the Philippines.Canadian officials working on the G7 summit did not respond to requests Monday about what will be on this year’s spouses’ agenda. It’s possible a boat trip on the St. Lawrence, tours of the local art galleries and a presentation of regional cuisine will highlight the agenda.Last year at the G7 in Sicily, the spouses flew over Mount Etna in a helicopter and visited city hall. In Japan in 2016, the spouses visited a Shinto shrine and watched divers extract pearls.last_img read more

Legault and his Coalition make history as supporters bask in victory

first_imgQUEBEC CITY, Que. – Addressing Quebec for the first time as premier-designate Monday night, Francois Legault touched on a theme he returned to repeatedly during the 39-day election campaign.On the hustings he promised to make Quebec stronger and richer and to rekindle a sense of pride, and he had just been given a mandate to follow through.“We will build a stronger Quebec — a prouder Quebec!” he shouted, his voice almost cracking.Monday’s election was third time lucky for the Coalition leader as the party won 74 of the province’s 125 ridings.Seven years after creating his party and following two election attempts that fell short, Legault will become the first premier since 1966 to win a general election leading a party other than the Liberals or Parti Quebecois.Legault has positioned his party as a federalist, economically minded alternative to the Liberals, and a nationalist replacement for the Parti Quebecois.He says his government will be focused on protecting Quebec’s culture and negotiating more powers from Ottawa.But he also says his party will be federalist and “never, ever,” hold a referendum on sovereignty.During his speech, he addressed a few lines in English to the province’s anglophones.“Fellow English-speaking citizens, during this campaign you’ve been exposed to a heated debate,” he said. “The election is over now. Let’s start working together for the benefit of all Quebecers.”Legault, 61, the multimillionaire co-founder of Air Transat, chose to celebrate in the provincial capital, the centre of his political base, where his promise of lower taxes and a “business” approach to politics first gained traction.The crowd was modest for the size of the convention centre — about 300 people — but they were loud.Lorraine Simard, 65, said she has been involved in the party “since the beginning, beginning, beginning!”“Young people don’t want to separate from Canada — the wave is moving in another direction, and it’s time for something else,” she said, as images of winning Coalition candidates flashed on the jumbo screens in front of her.“I used to be a sovereigntist, but now that I see the young people, we need new ideas, new people.”Samuel Massicotte, 22, said he’s been volunteering for the Coalition for the past year and a half.He’s always been nationalist, and Legault represented “a leader I wanted to follow in a party that inspired me,” he said.“Nationalism means advocating for Quebec’s interest without wanting independence. It’s the best of both worlds.”Victorious Coalition candidates were on the floor of Quebec City’s convention centre barely 30 minutes after polls closed, smiling and confidently telling reporters they were ready to assume power.“I am not surprised, actually,” said Genevieve Guilbault, who was re-elected in her Quebec City riding. Her 2017 byelection victory — when she grabbed a Liberal seat with more than 50 per cent of the vote — was a harbinger of what was to come province-wide Monday.“Mr. Legault called for a vote of confidence and tonight we are having that,” she said. “We are seeing that Quebecers believe in us — they wanted change, and they saw us as the only possible avenue for that.”A few steps away from Guilbault was 73-year-old Emilien Caron, holding a noisemaker and celebrating with a glass of beer.“Let’s see what they can do!” he said enthusiastically of the Coalition, adding that his main concern this election was health care.“We gave a chance to (the Liberals) and look what they did — the health-care system is the same.”Legault used to be staunchly pro-independence as a key member of former PQ governments. But he quit the party and formed his own in 2011, vowing to extricate Quebec from the federalist-sovereigntist divide.The campaign was tough on Legault, who began the political race atop the polls only to see his lead decrease steadily after a series of gaffes on the issue of immigration.He had difficulty defending his policy of forcing newcomers to pass a French test or face expulsion from the province. Legault wavered and evaded questions regarding how immigrants would be removed.Despite the missteps on immigration, Legault’s party benefited from an important factor. Successive Liberal governments have been in power — except for a 2012-14 PQ minority government — since 2003. Polls consistently indicated a majority of Quebecers wanted change.In one particularly touching part of his victory speech, Legault told the crowd how “I’ve told you this before: the first quality of a premier is to love Quebecers. I will never forget that. Never!”last_img read more

Ottawa First Nations agree to protect NWT area twice the size of

first_imgFORT PROVIDENCE, N.W.T. – It’s where elders hunt and children hear their stories by the campfire. And after a deal signed Thursday between First Nations and the federal government it’s likely to stay that way.Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and four Indigenous communities from the Dehcho region in the Northwest Territories have agreed to create Edehzhie, an area more than twice the size of Banff National Park where all industrial development will be banned.“It is a place our ancestors used from time immemorial,” said Dehcho Grand Chief Gladys Norwegian.Edehzhie will cover more than 14,000 square kilometres of forest, wetlands and lakes — a wilderness where birds fill the sky, fish teem in rivers and vast caribou herds roam the plains.“It’s a really exciting opportunity,” said McKenna. “It’s a huge area and it’s part of what we’re trying to do, work in real partnership with Indigenous people.”McKenna said Edehzhie will be Canada’s first Indigenous Protected Area, a new classification that offers the same protection as a National Wildlife Area. Such regions will be crucial to Canada meeting its international commitment to protect 17 per cent of its land area by 2020.“They’re extremely important,” McKenna said. “There’s a variety of different ways that we’re going to need to look at how we meet these goals, but certainly Indigenous people are very keen to be part of the solution.”Areas like Edehzhie —also known as the Horn Plateau — have advantages over new national parks, she said.“Parks are limitations from the perspectives of Indigenous people. This allows you to be much more creative.”Ottawa has created several other protected areas with guidance from and managed by First Nations, including Haida Gwaii in the Pacific and Lancaster Sound in the High Arctic.The Dehcho communities of Fort Providence, Jean Marie River, Fort Simpson and Wrigley have been working to preserve Edehzhie since 1988. They took the former Conservative government to court in 2010 after it quietly dropped protection from mining.The Dehcho government agreed to preserve Edehzhie in a vote at its council last summer.“To put it simply, it’s just to protect another piece of our way of life” Norwegian said.She said everyone has memories from the area, including first trips on the land with their fathers and the older men, or afternoons sitting in the sun.“It’s a lot more than just sitting there. It’s living with the land, taking and giving of the land, a relationship with the land.”Edehzhie is known as the “breadbasket” of the Dehcho, a place of abundance when times are tough elsewhere.“It’s a land of plentiful berries, wildlife and medicine plants,” Norwegian said.Edehzhie is closely connected to Dene sprituality as well. Several of its landscapes are associated with the adventures of Yamoria, the great mythic hero and law-giver of the Dene.That island in the middle of Willow Lake? That’s where two giant beavers built a dam while fleeing him.Local people will monitor activities on the land and keep an eye on things. It will be administered by a committee with federal representatives but dominated by the four communities.Environment Canada has committed $5 million over five years for the effort.“It will continue to be used freely for hunting, for any kind of need,” Norwegian said. “We’ll be able to pass it along to our children.”— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow @row1960 on Twitterlast_img read more

Calgary continues push to attract Vancouver workers

first_imgBews says people in other major cities have also expressed interest in making the move.“They’re interested in the cost of living and the fact that they can move here and put a little extra cash in their jeans and continue to have a great lifestyle.”The campaign started in the fall. VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Calgary continues to try and sell itself to Vancouverites.Weeks after Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi was in the city trying to lure tech-savvy workers, new ads targeting engineers and geoscientists have appeared in the City Hall SkyTrain station.Robyn Bews, VP of Business Development for Calgary Economic Development, which is behind the ad, says it’s part of a $1.2 million campaign to attract workers from major cities in Canada and the U.S.“Probably like everybody else, our focus is on big cities that have, you know, big, explosive tech sectors,” says Bews.“And if you look at the cities that we’re interested in and talking to, or talking to the talent in, they are cities that are quite expensive to live in.”And it appears their campaign is working in Vancouver. Since Nenshi’s visit at the end of October, a number of people in Vancouver have accepted a job in Calgary.“We’ve had a number of job offers that have already been made and my understanding is that there’s a number of people moving to Calgary as a result of that,” says Bews.“We’re tracking at about four or five that have been hired directly from that trip in the past two weeks.” Watch: Calgary Needs Tech-Savvy Youthlast_img read more

A bythenumbers look at the federal governments new social finance fund

first_imgOTTAWA — The Canadian government is promising almost $800 million for an experimental way to pay for charitable work, charging into the world of “social financing” to help charities and non-profits find new, and potentially cheaper, ways of delivering social services. Here are some figures to explain the pledge in this week’s economic update.$755 million: Combined value of federal spending over 10 years for the social-finance fund.$121 million: Actual hit the Liberals expect against government books from administrative costs and expected investment losses over the next five years.$500 million: Funding a government panel recommended this summer for the fund.$436 million: Capital managed by a similar fund in the U.K., adjusting for population and size of economy, according to government calculations.$50 million: Additional spending over two years the Liberals promise to help smaller groups build know-how to access money through the new fund.3-5: Range, in percentage points, of returns to private investors the government believes will help double or triple the pool of capital available for social-finance initiatives.$2 billion: Estimated economic activity the Liberals hope to generate from the decade-long program.100,000: Estimated number of jobs the Liberals hope to maintain or create over the next decade as a result of the spending.$13 billion: Amount the federal government spends annually on grants and contributions to non-profit organizations.(Sources: Fall Economic Statement 2018; Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy Co-Creation Steering Group)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Creditor protection given to cigarette maker suspends order to pay billions to

first_imgMONTREAL — The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health said Monday that smokers who won a recent court victory are being denied justice after an Ontario judge granted cigarette maker JTI-Macdonald Corp. protection from its creditors last week.JTI-Macdonald was among three companies that lost in the Quebec Court of Appeal March 1. The court upheld a landmark judgment ordering them to pay billions of dollars in damages to Quebec smokers. Now that JTI-Macdonald is under creditor protection, however, the company will not have to disperse any funds to tobacco victims for now.The Ontario Superior Court decision suspends legal proceedings against all three companies until April 5, even though only JTI-Macdonald sought protection from creditors. Benson & Hedges and Imperial Tobacco made no such request.The Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health led two class actions against the companies and won in 2015, when Quebec Superior Court Justice Brian Riordan ordered the companies to make payments of more than $15-billion to smokers who either fell ill or were addicted. At the time, the ruling was believed to be the biggest class action award in Canadian history.Philippe Trudel, one of the lawyers representing tobacco victims in the class action, called the Ontario court’s decision to suspend proceedings against all three companies “unusual.” Mario Bujold, spokesman for the Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health, said the Ontario court’s ruling can be extended beyond April 5 and he worries victims will never see any money.“Companies are very good at finding strategies to avoid paying damages they were ordered to pay,” Bujold said, adding the court’s decision will be contested.“The Superior Court in Ontario is suspending the rights recognized by six judges in Quebec,” he said. “It’s unacceptable.”In a statement released Friday, JTI-Macdonald said it needed to seek protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act in order to “protect 500 Canadian jobs and carry on its business operations with minimal disruption.“We fundamentally disagree with the court decision and are taking all necessary and appropriate measures to defend our lawful business,” it said.The three companies are also considering appealing the $15-billion judgment rendered against them to the Supreme Court of Canada.Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Canada wont extend peacekeeping mission in Mali Freeland

first_imgOTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the Trudeau government will not extend Canada’s peacekeeping mission in Mali despite a UN appeal for it to stay longer.The eight Canadian helicopters and 250 military personnel in Mali are scheduled to cease operations on July 31.However their Romanian replacements won’t be ready to take over until mid-October and the UN last month formally asked Canada to stay on to prevent a gap in the provision of lifesaving medical evacuations for injured peacekeepers.Freeland wouldn’t explain why Canada is refusing to extend the mission except to say that the government is honouring its commitment to Canadians, the UN and allies.Critics have pointed to the Liberals’ refusal to extend the mission as emblematic of the government’s failure to make good on its larger promise to support the UN and peacekeeping.Freeland’s comments came at the end of a major peacekeeping summit in New York today, where Canada pledged $15 million to increase the number of women deployed on UN missions.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Calgary ranks 33 in poll of best places to live

first_imgTake Our Poll CALGARY – When it comes to Canada’s top places to live, the bragging rights go to Ontario.That’s according to Maclean’s magazine which ranked 415 communities across the country.The number one place to live is Burlington, ON while 16 other cities in that province were ranked in the top 20, the other four belonged to B.C.So how did Alberta fare in the rankings? According to the report, only three cities in the province made the top 50: St. Albert at 23, Canmore at 28 and Calgary at 33.FULL RANKINGS “Even though the oil and gas sector has been struggling a little bit in Alberta which has hurt the province in the rankings, Calgary is emerging as a solid pick for a place to live,” said Claire Brownwell with Maclean’s.The rankings take in several factors including affordability, crime stats and wealth and economy.The No. 1 city in Canada is in a hybrid location that gives residents the option to commute or work within its limits— Maclean’s Magazine (@macleans) August 8, 2019Brownwell said that Calgary’s top draws are urban amenities, entertainment and commute times.“It has the third most bars and restaurants of anywhere in the country in Calgary. It’s population is growing quickly, it’s grown ten per cent over the past five years.”She adds that small towns dominated the list with 31 of the top 50 places having populations under 40,000.While Calgary was able to crack the top 50, the same can’t be said for the Alberta capital, Edmonton was ranked 79th overall.READ MORE: The best community is Canada is…Unfortunately, other nearby communities didn’t rank so well in the report. Airdrie was placed at 346, Cochrane 143 and Strathmore was 308.The community at the bottom of the list: Mountain View County which surrounds the towns of Carstairs, Didsbury and Olds. Do you agree with Maclean’s ranking Calgary as the 33rd best community to live in Canada?YesNo, it’s too lowNo, it’s too highVoteView Resultslast_img read more

Grits Tories start election campaign in dead heat NDP Greens tied Poll

first_imgOTTAWA — Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives were running neck-and-neck during warm-up laps for the start of the 40-day federal election campaign, a new poll suggests.The Leger poll — released just hours before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to fire the starting gun Wednesday — suggests Jagmeet Singh’s NDP and Elizabeth May’s Greens were also in a dead heat, competing for a distant third place.It put Conservative support at 35 per cent nationally to the Liberals’ 34 per cent — essentially a tie.The NDP and Greens were also tied at 11 per cent, with Maxime Bernier’s fledgling People’s Party bringing up the rear with just three per cent.The poll of 1,546 eligible voters selected from Leger’s online panel was conducted Sept. 6-9. Internet-based surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered random samples.The poll suggests the Liberals were ahead in Ontario and Quebec, the two provinces that account for almost 60 per cent of the 338 seats up for grabs, but the battle among the smaller parties could ultimately decide which of the two main parties wins the big prize.In Ontario, support for the Liberals stood at 37 per cent, compared to 31 per cent for the Conservatives, 15 per cent for both the Greens and NDP and two per cent for the People’s Party.In Quebec, the Liberals enjoyed the support of 37 per cent, well ahead of the Conservatives at 22 per cent, the Bloc Quebecois at 21 per cent, the Greens at 10 per cent, the NDP at six per cent and the People’s Party at five per cent.The Liberals are counting on making gains in the two largest provinces to compensate for losses elsewhere. But Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque said Liberal hopes of cashing in on a possible NDP collapse in Quebec could be stymied by the Conservatives and the Bloc. Both were in the range needed to pick up seats in the province.The Liberals were also leading comfortably in Atlantic Canada, with 53 per cent support compared to 28 per cent for the Conservatives, nine per cent for the NDP, seven for the Greens and three for the People’s Party.The Conservatives were the overwhelming favourites in Alberta and Manitoba/Saskatchewan, with 60 per cent and 57 per cent respectively — provinces where they already hold the vast majority of seats and have little to gain.British Columbia was more of a toss-up, with the Conservatives at 36 per cent, the Liberals at 33, the NDP at 15, the Greens at 10 and the People’s Party at four.Twenty-six per cent of respondents said they’re likely to change their minds before election day on Oct. 21, with supporters of smaller parties most likely to shift.That compared to 68 per cent of Liberals, 67 per cent of Conservatives and 61 per cent of Bloquistes who said they’ve already made their final choices. Just 50 per cent of Greens, 42 per cent of New Democrats and 22 per cent of People’s Party supporters were firm.The poll suggests the Liberals still have hope of picking up Green and NDP supporters, although that’s somewhat diminished by the fact that the Greens and NDP are now more likely to trade votes. Among Green supporters, 31 per cent picked the NDP as their second choice, 22 per cent the Liberals and just five per cent the Conservatives. Among New Democrat supporters, 33 per cent picked the Greens as their second choice, the same percentage as picked the Liberals, with just 14 per cent choosing the Conservatives.The Conservatives were the preferred second choice only of the small band of People’s Party supporters (40 per cent).The national numbers suggest that on the eve of the election call, neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives were in position to win a majority of seats and that the Tories, with the least potential for second choice votes, face the hardest climb to get a majority.Yet, 57 per cent of respondents said they want a change in government and 56 per cent said they want a majority government.Twenty-five per cent picked Trudeau as the best prime minister and 23 per cent picked Scheer, with just eight per cent choosing May, seven per cent choosing Singh and four per cent choosing Bernier.Asked to choose the two most important issues that will determine which party they’ll support, 35 per cent picked the level of income taxation. Another 35 per cent chose job creation and economic growth and 30 per cent chose fighting climate change. Public finances, debt and seniors issues followed with 20 per cent each. Nineteen per cent named fighting poverty as a top issue and 17 per cent named immigration.The poll also asked respondents to choose the best campaign slogan.The Greens’ “Not left. Not right. Forward Together” was preferred by 22 per cent, followed by 19 per cent for the People’s Party’s “Strong and Free,” 16 per cent for the Conservatives’ “It’s Time for You to Get Ahead,” 13 per cent for the Liberals’ “Choose Forward” and six per cent for the NDP’s “In it for you.” Joan Bryden, The Canadian Presslast_img read more