Bhopal: BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya Saturday expressed ignorance about the party issuing any show-cause notice to his MLA son Akash for assaulting a civic official with a cricket bat in Indore last month.There have been contrasting statements by party leaders on the notice. While Madhya Pradesh BJP president had Thursday said that no decision was taken on the matter, a senior national leader had asserted that a notice was issued. When asked Saturday whether any such notice has been issued to the MLA, Satyendra Bhushan Singh, office secretary of the state BJP, said, “Nothing like that, at least in my knowledge.” Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!The issue of imminent action against Akash came up after Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday disapproved of his conduct and language. BJP leaders have feigned ignorance whether any notice has been served to Akash asking him to explain his conduct. Akash had assaulted an official of the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) on June 26 during an argument over razing of a dilapidated building, which was caught on camera. He is currently out on bail. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed”I don’t know about it. I (just) reached here (Bhopal) from Delhi but I read in newspapers that Akash was served something,” Kailash Vijayvargiya told reporters when asked about the show-cause notice against his son. In reply to a question whether he scolded Akash over the incident, the Vijayvargiya senior said that he had done whatever he was supposed to do as a father. “Dantna (reprimanding) and ‘samjhana’… I don’t want to discuss it publicly,” he added. When asked about Akash not seen in public after the prime minister’s statement, his father said, “Ask him. He will be here to attend the state Assembly session (on July 8).” After his release from jail, Akash was given a hero’s welcome by some BJP workers. Though he remained unapologetic over the act, Akash had said that he would try to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s path of non-violence while raising public issues in future.
New Delhi: Citing “insignificant number” of officers willing to work at the Centre, the personnel ministry has asked all states to ensure that required number of bureaucrats are nominated for central deputation to ensure career progression and exchange of relevant experience.It said there is “extremely low” representation of officers on central deputation, especially at deputy secretary or director level. The personnel ministry had in December last year asked all states to send officers for appointment on deputation to the posts under central staffing scheme and for the posts of chief vigilance officers (CVOs) who act as distant arms of the Central Vigilance Commission to check corruption in central public sector enterprises. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”Although a period of six months has passed since applications for 2019 were called for, the number of nominations received so far has been ranging from ‘Nil’ to an insignificant number. Attention in this regard is also invited to the extremely low representation of officers from various cadres/services under central staffing scheme especially at DS/director level,” the ministry said in a communique. Every cadre is allowed a deputation reserve to ensure that officers have the opportunity to work on deputation including that under the central staffing scheme, which adds to their experience, it said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed”Under utilization of this reserve, particularly at deputy secretary/director level, causes serious gaps in cadre management,” the ministry pointed out. This aspect would also be kept in view while considering cadre review proposals, to be received in future, it cautioned. “The cadres that have not been forwarding adequate nominations for central staffing scheme at various levels may have to settle for less number of additional senior duty posts in future by way of corresponding reduction. These aspects have been duly conveyed to the cadre-controlling authorities during the recent meetings taken by the secretary, Department of Personnel and Training,” the ministry said. It is, therefore, requested that larger number of officers may kindly be recommended for appointment at DS/director/joint secretary level under the central staffing scheme so that the central deputation reserve/deputation reserves are duly utilized for this purpose, the order said. The states were also asked to ensure that the officers who are at the verge of promotion to senior grades are “not nominated” as it often necessitates their early repatriation to avail of promotion in the cadre. “It may be ensured that the names of only those officers are forwarded who are likely to remain available under the central staffing scheme for full tenure,” it said. In its 2018 letter, the ministry had said the movement of officers from the states to the Centre and back is crucial for building up the capabilities at the state level and contributing towards developing state perspectives in the Government of India or national perspective in the state at the decision-making levels. “Considering the general shortage of lAS officers at deputy secretary/director level, it would be appropriate if a conscious effort is made to nominate officers from your cadre and share the shortage proportionately between the Centre and the states. This will also ensure that every eligible officer has an opportunity to serve at the Centre at least once at the middle management level,” it had said. The ministry had shared figures with the states showing “adequate number of officers” were not being nominated to work at the Centre. According to the data, eight IAS officers of West Bengal cadre were working at the Centre against their central deputation reserve of 78. Similarly, 44 IAS officers of Uttar Pradesh cadre were working at the Centre as against 134. As few as 20 IAS officers of Karnataka were working at the Centre against the strength of 68. Chhattisgarh has sent seven IAS officers against 38, Madhya Pradesh has nominated 27 against 90, Bihar has sent 36 such bureaucrats against 74 and Odisha has nominated 20 against 51. A total of 19 IAS officers were working at the Centre against the strength of 81 from West Bengal, Haryana has sent 12 against 44, Gujarat has nominated 17 against 64, Andhra Pradesh has sent 18 against 46 and Jammu and Kashmir has sent 14 IAS officers against 30, among others. The central government has also decided to appoint 40 private sector specialists at the posts of deputy secretary and director, considered as crucial decision-making levels in the bureaucratic hierarchy. PTI
New Delhi: If Naresh Goyal, founder of the cash-strapped Jet Airways, wants to go abroad, he should first deposit as guarantee Rs 18,000 crore his company owes to lenders, the Delhi High Court observed Tuesday while refusing to allow him to leave India. The high court however sought the Centre’s reply on his plea challenging a look out circular (LOC) issued against him. No interim relief can be granted to Goyal at this stage, Justice Suresh Kait said. “If you are ready to deposit Rs 18,000 crore bank guarantee, you can go abroad” he observed.
Seoul: North Korea said Sunday leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test-firing of a “newly developed super-large multiple rocket launcher,” another demonstration of its expanding weapons arsenal apparently aimed at increasing its leverage ahead of a possible resumption of nuclear talks with the US. The North’s Korean Central News Agency said Saturday’s weapons test was successful and cited Kim as saying the rocket launcher is “indeed a great weapon.” Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USKim underscored the need to “continue to step up the development of Korean-style strategic and tactical weapons for resolutely frustrating the ever-mounting military threats and pressure offensive of the hostile forces,” according to the KCNA. The “hostile forces” likely referred to the United States and South Korea, whose recently ended regular military drills infuriated North Korea. The North has called the drills an invasion rehearsal and conducted a slew of missile and rocket tests in response. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsSome experts said North Korea aims to show off its weapons to try to get an upper hand ahead of a possible restart of nuclear negotiations, which remain largely stalemated since the second summit between President Donald Trump and Kim in Vietnam in February fell apart due to squabbling over US-led sanctions on North Korea. The two leaders met again at the Korean border in late June and agreed to resume talks. Trump downplayed the latest launch, saying “Kim Jong Un has been, you know, pretty straight with me. … He likes testing missiles but we never restricted short-range missiles. We’ll see what happens.” South Korea’s military said North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on Saturday morning and that they flew about 380 kilometers (236 miles) at the maximum altitude of 97 kilometers (60 miles). It was the seventh known weapons test by North Korea in about a month. North Korea has been pushing to develop powerful multiple rocket launch systems, whose projectiles resemble short-range missiles, some experts said. On Aug. 1, North Korea said it tested a large-caliber multiple rocket guided system, a day after South Korea said the North fired two short-range ballistic missiles. Most of the North Korean weapons tested in recent weeks have shown short-range flight distances. This suggested North Korea still doesn’t intend to lift its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests, which would certainly derail the negotiations with Washington. The latest North Korean launches came two days after South Korea said it would terminate its intelligence-sharing deal with Japan amid trade disputes between the US allies. Washington expressed its disappointment at the South Korean decision. In a development that could possibly further complicate ties between Seoul and Tokyo, South Korea’s navy on Sunday began two-day exercises on and around a group of islets controlled by South Korea but also claimed by Japan. Japan’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the islets belong to Japan and called the drills “unacceptable.” South Korean navy officers said the drills are the first of two regular exercises held every year near the islets called Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese. They said the drills involve aircraft landing on the islets and warships maneuvering nearby. Local media said South Korea originally planned the first drills in June, but delayed them in consideration of relations with Japan.
NEW DELHI: On Wednesday night, a 22-year-old man was stabbed to death following a scuffle with three to four men in the Tigri area of South Delhi.According to the police, the deceased, identified as Rohit was stabbed eight times before being shot at twice from close range by the accused Akash, his brother Annu, Kapil and a few others. According to police, Akash has previous cases against him including that of murder. The deceased also has a case registered against him of a minor scuffle. The locals called police after the incident of stabbing. When the police reached the spot, Rohit was shifted to Batra Hospital by his relatives. He succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead on arrival. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe south Delhi police have registered a case under Section 302/34 of Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act at the Tigri police station. Parminder Singh, the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), South district, said, “During the investigation, it was found that Rohit had an altercation with Akash during the day. In the night, Akash, his brother Annu, Kapil and few others intercepted Rohit and stabbed and fired at him multiple times,” said Singh. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”We did not find any apparent enmity between the deceased and the accused. It seems they got into a random altercation and entered into a fight which turned out to be fatal,” said Additional DCP South Parvinder Singh. The South Delhi police are scanning the CCTV footage in the area in order to know the crime sequence and whereabouts of the accused. The body has been sent for postmortem and an investigation is underway to arrest the absconding accused.
Los Angele: Singer Bebe Rexha has revealed that she was told to lose weight by the people in the music industry, when she was only nine stone. In an interview to Cosmopolitan, the ‘I got you’ hitmaker opened up about her journey with body image. She said: “‘When I first got signed, the label said, ‘Are you ready to get in boot-camp shape?’ They wanted me to lose 20lb (almost a stone and a half).’ Back then I was so small, I was only 130lb’.” Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”It f**ked me up. I was so cold all the time. I would starve myself before filming a music video. She’d (a female creative director) sit opposite me at the dinner table and say, ‘You’re not losing enough.’ All I was eating was salad.” Bebe Rexha earlie called out the designers who refused to dress her for the Grammys because of her shape, reports metro.co.uk. “It broke my heart. I was so sad, so depressed. I felt like I was garbage. I thought to myself, ‘This is bulls**t.’ I was mad. I wasn’t trying to get back at anyone, but I wasn’t standing for it any more. I was in the studio and I just left, went into the kitchen, and made a video on my phone.” “If a (US) size 6/8 is too big then I don’t know what to tell you…That’s crazy. You’re saying that all the women in the world that are a size 8 and up are not beautiful and they cannot wear your dresses… f**k you, I don’t want to wear your f**king dresses,” she added.
New Delhi: The importance of community participation in curbing noise pollution was one of the important points discussed during a meeting of the Joint Pollution Control Review Committee.Sources told Millennium Post that the meeting was held in the first week of September under the chairmanship of an officer of the rank of Additional Commissioner of Police at Delhi Police headquarters. Officials from Delhi Police, MCD, DPCC, NGO and paralegal volunteers were present. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderSources added that various points were discussed in the meeting between the officials and at the end, it was observed that no initiative can be successful without the participation of the community. The people have to be sensitized about the ethics of the environment, ill defects and disadvantages of noise pollution. “Though prosecution is essential for enforcing environment but without the support of the community, the menace can’t be controlled. The volunteers should come forward and contact local authorities for cooperation in organizing programmes,” was one of the observations made at the meeting. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsSources further added that talks were held regarding the exclusive website of noise pollution. “Directions were issued that district DCsP should dispose of pending grievances at the earliest,” sources said. Noise pollution helpline number was another important topic of the discussion. During the deliberations of the meeting, proposals of mass awareness programmes were put forward by the members of the committee. One of the members proposed that community meetings may be organised in collaboration with the RWAs of the area. The programmes may be organised on the pattern of Mohalla Panchayat, Nukkad Dramas and Sabhas. The volunteers may be involved in this programme. Another member pointed out that if there is any violation during any functions, effective check and control may be imposed on such social conglomerations. Another official stated that social media is one of the significant platforms of mass mobilisation, thus it may be used to spread awareness. “Exhibitions, song, dramas, poster competition may be organised in educational institutions to sensitize children,” a member said.
An Ontario court has ruled that a provincial mental health facility ran therapeutic programs for years that amounted to torture for the patients involved.Justice Paul Perell’s ruling came in the midst of a lengthy lawsuit filed by past and present residents of the Oak Ridge division of the Penetang Psychiatric Hospital in Penetanguishene, Ont., that alleges patients were gravely mistreated.Perell says three programs at the hospital that involved the forced administration of drugs, physical restraint and sleep deprivation, amounted to both physical and mental torture.Two doctors and the province of Ontario, who are defendants in the suit, argued that the programs at the heart of the lawsuit fell outside the statute of limitations and could not be the subject of a court proceeding.Perell dismissed that claim in his June 1 ruling, but said the plaintiffs now need to establish whether or not they were harmed by programs run at Oak Ridge between 1966 and 1983.Lawyers representing the plaintiffs say they will proceed with the case. Lawyers representing the defendants did not immediately respond to request for comment.In his ruling, Perell outlined the various premises of the three programs used to treat many patients who had been accused of serious crimes such as rape and murder.They were developed at Oak Ridge and administered in part by Dr. Elliott Thompson Barker and Dr. Gary Maier, the two psychiatrists named as plaintiffs in the suit, the ruling said.Defence Disruptive Therapy (DDT) involved forcibly giving patients hallucinogenic and delirium-producing drugs in order to break down the patients’ defence mechanisms and force them to confront their abnormal behaviour, Perell wrote.The Motivation, Attitude, Participation Program (MAPP) involved forcing patients to complete 14 days of perfect behaviour, including adhering to rules about “unauthorized talking or movement,” he wrote.One component of that program involved forcing patients to sit on a bare floor with hands cuffed and only allowing them to move four times within four hours in a confined space of three square feet. Failure to comply could result in forced sedation or being placed in solitary confinement, Perell noted.The third initiative, called the Capsule Program, involved chaining up to seven people together in a room, stripping them naked, and keeping them in that state for days at a time, Perell said.The room was continuously lit and featured holes in the walls through which occupants were fed only liquid foods through straws. Patients were kept under constant surveillance and often given hallucinogenic drugs against their will, Perell said.“The three programs designed by Dr. Barker and implemented by the doctors and other employees of Oak Ridge — even if designed and implemented in good faith and even if the programs could be proven to be in some way therapeutic — were torture and a degradation of human dignity,” Perell wrote in his decision.“It is an inexcusable breach of fiduciary duty for a physician to torture a patient.”Plaintiffs alleged a breach of fiduciary duty when they first launched the suit in 2000, and Perell said that particular claim was not beyond the statute of limitations at that time.As a result, Perell dismissed the defence’s position that the plaintiff’s claims fell outside of the statute of limitations.He did, however, order a trial or other motions to “prove victimization, harm, causation of harm and to quantify the individual plaintiffs’ damages, if any” for the 31 plaintiffs in the lawsuit.No date has yet been set for this next step, and it is not known whether the defendants plan to appeal Perell’s ruling.Perell conceded that the doctors were likely running programs based on accepted medical practices of the day, but said that argument still could not excuse what was done to Oak Ridge patients.“I appreciate that apart from professional renown and advancement, there was no self-serving gratification for the defendant physicians at the expense of the plaintiffs,” he wrote.“But, in my opinion, that does not negate the circumstance that it is a breach of a physician’s ethical duty to physically and mentally torture his patients even if the physician’s decisions are based on what the medical profession at the time counts for treatment for the mentally ill.”
HALIFAX – They feared being swallowed by ocean, but the 78 residents of Gabarus, N.S., never waved a white flag before the federal government.For decades, a seawall made of timber and rock protected the tiny 300-year-old fishing village in Cape Breton from the punishing waves of the Atlantic.But as the 70-year-old structure started to crumble, the very existence of Gabarus was under threat — and governments were not helping, each level claiming the wall was not its problem.The plight of Gabarus sparked a years-long battle with Ottawa and kindled a community spirit that has banded together life-long residents with newcomers who settled in the scenic town for its beauty and simplistic way of life.Their story is chronicled in a new documentary titled “Only 78,” set to screen at the Atlantic International Film Festival on Sunday in Halifax.“The people of Gabarus are remarkably resilient and inspiring,” said Toronto filmmaker Jawad Mir, the film’s creator. “They’ve shown that it doesn’t matter how small you are, you can fight. You just have to go for it.”Residents of Gabarus have long argued that Ottawa, which built the seawall in the 1940s, owns the structure and is responsible for maintaining it. But the Fisheries Department has repeatedly said the wall sits almost entirely on Nova Scotia-owned land and is therefore a provincial and municipal responsibility.“Who cares who owns it? We need to have responsible people step forward and say that this isn’t right. We need to have it fixed… The Atlantic Ocean doesn’t give two hoots about us, but our elected representative really should care,” Gabarus resident Heather Hayes said during a public meeting in Sydney, N.S., that is shown in “Only 78.”If the wall was breached, it would put at risk the local fishing industry — its only economy — as well as road access to the village, and many homes. It failed before in the 1980s and was fixed by the federal government, according to research compiled by Gabarus residents.A powerful storm in 2010 that battered the seawall made matters worse, adding to the urgency.Tim Menk, 64, and his partner Gene Kersey, 71, moved to Gabarus from the United States in 2008 and realized the community was “under existential threat.”Armed with hundreds of documents and the blessing of the village’s elders, Menk and a small group of residents set out to fight for funding to repair the seawall.The Friends of Gabarus Society was born and claimed to have evidence that the seawall was the federal government’s responsibility — a notion outright rejected by Ottawa on many occasions.“Those of us who arrived found ourselves enchanted by this place and by its lovely people who were so welcoming… It didn’t matter that we were biracial gay couple from the States. And we felt we owed something to the community because they have given so much to us,” said Menk.“But the attitude was that the government is going to do what the government’s going to do. So we were driven by a sense of moral outrage that the government wasn’t doing the right thing here.”Mir said he was drawn to the story of Gabarus after reading a newspaper article in April 2013. He self-funded the film, travelling to Cape Breton several times over four years on his own dime, inspired by the relentless advocacy in Gabarus and aiming to help their cause.“There are many communities across Canada under similar threat, so I thought it was important to tell their story,” said Mir. “I’m always about the underdog.”After eight years of meetings, media interviews and even a complaint filed with the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner’s office, Gabarus eventually won repairs for its seawall in early 2014 through a $700,000 shared-funding agreement with three levels of government.It served as a catalyst for continued community activism in the historic fishing village. Gabarus also won funding to move its 125-year-old lighthouse away from a cliff’s edge to escape coastal erosion, and its residents raised money to expand the local firehall — all of which gained tiny Gabarus a community spirit award from the lieutenant-governor.Menk said he hopes the story of Gabarus inspires other small communities to take on governments, noting that “Only 78” also touches on the experience of Little Anse, N.S., which has lobbied Ottawa — so far, unsuccessfully — to fix its breakwater.“We’re in the same leaky boat together in these coastal communities,” said Menk. “Row in the same direction. Unless we do that, we have little chance of survival in the long term.”Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.
QUEBEC – Lawyers for a man accused of killing six men at a mosque in Quebec City last January are appealing a lower court decision to have certain confidential documents made accessible to the media.In a motion filed earlier this week, lawyers for Alexandre Bissonnette say the Quebec court judge committed an error in law in allowing the documents released.Bissonnette, 27, faces six counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder using a restricted firearm.Prosecutors filed a preferred indictment against Bissonnette and say they are ready to set a trial date on Dec. 11A consortium of seven media organizations including Radio-Canada, Montreal La Presse and TVA had asked the court to remove the seal on 10 search warrants carried out between Jan. 30 and Feb. 6.They received part of the documents in mid-October after Judge Alain Morand ruled they were in the public interest, but the rest remained sealed to allow for an appeal.“The publication of this information would cause real, serious, significant and irreparable harm to the fairness of the trial, and the adverse effects are greater than the beneficial effects on the right to freedom of expression and the public’s right to information,” defence lawyers Charles-Olivier Gosselin and Jean-Claude Gingras wrote.Arguments are expected to be heard on Friday.
CALGARY – Suncor Energy Inc. says over the next six years it expects to deploy more than 150 electric autonomous haul trucks at its company operated-mines — a move expected to decrease its equipment operator positions as early as 2019.The Calgary-based oil and gas firm says it will continue to work with the union on strategies to minimize workforce impacts, with phased implementation to start at its North Steepbank mine.The company says the implementation of AHS will change roles and required skill sets for some employees at Suncor’s operations over time.Suncor says, following evaluations completed over the past four years, it has validated that AHS technology can be used safely, effectively and efficiently in its operating environment.It says the technology offers many advantages over existing truck and shovel operations, including enhanced safety performance, better operating efficiency and lower operating costs.Suncor says its planned deployment of AHS technology is one of the largest such investments in the world.Companies in this story: (TSX:SU)
MONTREAL – Quebec’s new UNESCO chair on the prevention of radicalization and violent extremism is the first of its kind in the world, say members of three universities who launched the project Friday in Sherbrooke, Que.The research centre will be directed by a team of professors from Concordia University, Universite de Sherbrooke and Universite du Quebec a Montreal.Co-director David Morin said the chair’s mission is to create a “pole of excellence” that will bring together experts in both research and field work.“(The goal) is to be able to develop programs, to evaluate them and to support the political decision-makers and the stakeholders in the field on the subject of prevention of radicalization,” said Morin, a professor at the Universite de Sherbrooke.He said the chair’s mission as well as its governance model make it a world first.“What is unique in the world is a UNESCO chair that’s tripartite — that brings together three universities that signed the agreement with UNESCO — but beyond that, it’s the gathering of national and international partners that are coming together to share their expertise,” Morin said.The project was conceived during the UNESCO conference on radicalization that Quebec hosted in 2016 and will become one of the international body’s 700 institutions in 116 countries that encourage inter-university cooperation around the world.The centre has an international focus and will collaborate with a network of over 40 partners across North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.Quebec has pledged $100,000 a year for the next four years to support the initiative.The current staff includes a chairholder from each school as well as a scientific director based at Universite de Sherbrooke.Co-chair Vivek Venkatesh said the centre’s activities will include providing training to people who work in marginalized communities and creating public engagement tools to counter hate speech and violent propaganda.As an example, he cited an ongoing project in Montreal’s East End that teaches marginalized youth to use music and literature to describe their experiences with hateful speech or actions.The chair will bring together multiple disciplines including political science, international development, social services, and psychology.It’s tripartite structure means each school can contribute their own resources and sources of funding, Venkatesh said.“This is a coming together of institutional allies but also people from disciplines from three different institutions,” the Concordia professor said.“Our training and our respective cultures are coming together in a very unique way.”The secretary general of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO praised the chair and its governance model as “a first in Canada and the world.”“We look forward to working with the chair to counter the rise of radicalization and violent extremism in Canada and the world,” Sebastien Goupil said in a statement.
HALIFAX – A male Acadia University student accused of sexually assaulting a female student has failed in his bid to stop the school’s Equity Office from investigating the allegation.In a decision released Thursday, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge dismissed the male student’s application for an injunction.The court’s decision, which only refers to “Student X” and “Student Y,” says the female student was a minor when she complained to the university’s security service that she had been sexually assaulted by a male student at his off-campus residence on Nov. 19, 2016.The complaint was handed to Acadia’s judicial board, which on March 6, 2017, found the male student guilty of sexual assault and recommended he be dismissed from the university, banned from the Wolfville, N.S., campus, and prohibited from contacting the complainant.However, the male student filed an appeal with the university’s disciplinary appeals committee. It rendered a not guilty verdict on May 8, 2017, issuing a three-line statement outlining its reasons.Less than a month later, the female student filed a complaint of sexual harassment with the university’s Equity Office, under its discrimination and harassment policy.When the male student was told of the complaint process, his lawyer responded that his client would not be taking part because the case had already been dealt with by another administrative quasi-judicial process.The lawyer then sought an injunction to stop the investigation.In its submission to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Acadia University argued that while the female student’s two complaints were made on the same facts, “the two processes do not involve the same question nor lead to the same result,” the decision says.The university said its equity policy is narrower in scope than its judicial policy.“Its purpose is to maintain a learning environment free from sexual harassment,” the decision says. “Under the judicial policy, neither the judicial board nor the (disciplinary appeals committee) considered whether the alleged conduct constituted discrimination or harassment under the equity policy.”In the end, the court agreed and dismissed the male student’s application.A spokeswoman for the RCMP says the Mounties could be investigating this case as a criminal matter, but she could not confirm that was happening because there isn’t enough detail provided in the court ruling.
TORONTO – The owner of a now defunct Toronto-area restaurant chain has been jailed for 90 days for failing to comply with a government order to pay former employees wages and other money they were owed.In addition, Ontario court justice of the peace Karen Walker fined Yuk Yee (Ellen) Pun and the companies behind the Regal restaurant chain $900,000 for the failure.In one of the largest cases of its kind, Pun and the corporations she controlled breached Ontario employment laws by failing to pay more than 60 employees $676,000 in wages, overtime and other mandatory compensation. In June, 2015, the Ministry of Labour ordered her to pay them more than $457,000.However, Pun and her companies failed to pay the full amount, prompting Walker to convict them in Newmarket, Ont., this week under the Employment Standards Act. All pleaded guilty to the charges.Avvy Go, a lawyer with the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic in Toronto, said the punishment meted out is not common.“It is one of the few cases where the court has imposed a jail sentence on a director of a company for failing to comply with the Employment Standard Act,” Go said in a statement. “This sentence shows the seriousness of the breach committed by Ellen Pun and her companies.”The Ministry of Labour said the claimants were administrative staff, food services providers and cleaning staff. Many spoke little English and required an interpreter and the legal aid clinic to file their claims.Between June 2013 and April 2014, the ministry received 68 complaints from employees of the 12 corporate defendants, none of whom is still in business. Each claim involved unpaid wages ranging from a few hundred dollars to as much as $45,000 earned from May 2013 into February of 2014, the ministry said.Although the total amount the workers were short-changed was more than $676,000, the ministry could not legally order restitution of more than $457,000 plus an administrative fee. However, Pun paid only $104,800, leading to the court case and sentence.“It sends a strong message to other employers that they must respect the rights of their employees under the law,” Go said.The restaurants shut down in 2013, leaving the employees without jobs, weeks or months of back pay, and termination money. In all, 68 individuals filed claims. The initial Labour Ministry order followed a year-long investigation.Among the dozen corporate entities fined in the case were Ellen’s Health Food, Ellen’s Investment Holding and various numbered companies.Coincidentally, the Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday refused Pun’s leave to contest her unrelated fraud conviction and 30-month jail sentence. In that case, an Ontario court convicted her after she convinced a doctor to give her $620,000 to buy land but the money vanished and no land was ever purchased.
MONTREAL — A jury has found a Montreal man guilty of manslaughter in the killing of his ailing wife.Michel Cadotte was on trial for second-degree murder in the suffocation death of Jocelyne Lizotte, who was in the last stages of Alzheimer’s disease.The Crown had argued that Cadotte had intended to kill his wife of 19 years, who was unable to care for herself.Defence lawyers argued their client was in a disturbed state of mind and acted impulsively on Feb. 20, 2017, seeking to end his wife’s suffering.Jurors had only two verdicts open to them: second-degree murder or manslaughter.More to come.The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — When the British Columbia and Yukon division of the RCMP issued an April Fools’ Day announcement seeking a few good cats, it probably didn’t expect any applicants.But the intervening weeks have been just long enough for at least one to send in a kitty curriculum vitae.RCMP say in an online post that a resume has been received from Penny Cirque, a cat once destined for an acrobatic career with Cirque du Soleil but now interested in law — or claw — enforcement.Her resume letter notes she is small and cuddly but has the tough exterior necessary for police work.Unfortunately, the RCMP says the application came without any contact information.The original job posting for the new cat services unit suggested applicants be aloof, pensive, even moody and “capable of working for almost 15 minutes a day before getting bored.”The RCMP doesn’t say if Penny Cirque’s application will survive the vetting process.“The bad guys could easily be taken in by my charm and I am sure they would tell me all the bad things they have done, especially if I offered to let them stroke me when they had confessed and made amends,” the letter says.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The federal government is rejecting most of the amendments proposed by Conservative senators to Bill C-69.A senior government official speaking on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter, said after going through every amendment — there were 187 by one count — the government has concluded most of the proposals by Conservative senators were designed to weaken the bill.“The vast majority of conservative proposals are simply unacceptable,” he said.About 90 per cent of the Conservative amendments will not be agreed to, he said, including allowing the new Impact Assessment Agency flexibility to decide whether to take into account a project’s effect on Indigenous rights or climate change.The government is also rejecting amendments that would make it harder to challenge a project approval in court and limit who can participate in review hearings.The official said the government is OK with the Impact Assessment Agency having discretion to decide how the public can meaningfully participate, but legislating away people’s right to be heard was “just flat out not acceptable.”Many of those amendments were heavily criticized by environment groups that said C-69 provided some balance between protecting the environment and economic growth. They blamed the Conservatives for wanting to give full reign to the oil and gas sector to run roughshod over the environment.Environment Minister Catherine McKenna served notice late Tuesday of her intention to table the government’s motion responding to the Senate amendments in the House of Commons after question period Wednesday.Conservative senators, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and five conservative premiers have all said that every single amendment has to be accepted or the bill will be the death knell for Canada’s oil and gas sector.The premiers this week warned Trudeau he was threatening national unity if he didn’t accept all the changes. In turn, he accused them of irresponsibly playing games with national unity simply because they weren’t getting their way.The legislation overhauls how major national resource and transportation projects, such as pipelines, mines and interprovincial highways, are assessed for their impact on the environment, the economy, and the health and social well-being of Canadians.It fulfills a Liberal election promise to replace a 2012 process brought in by the former Conservative government. That process, used to review both the Northern Gateway pipeline and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, ended up with a federal court overturning the cabinet approval because the review process didn’t adequately consider environmental effects and Indigenous rights.There are many amendments, mostly made by independent senators who were appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau since 2016, the government will accept. Those include changes to reduce the discretion of the minister of the environment to interfere in a review process.The government initially wrote the bill so that the minister would be able to intervene to lift time constraints placed on the review process, to appoint the panellists who will review major projects, and, in some cases, to force a proposed project to be assessed under the act even if it isn’t among the list of the types of projects to which the bill is supposed to apply.The changes transfer those authorities from the minister to the head of the new Impact Assessment Agency.Changes that improve the role regional assessments can play to look at proposals will be accepted as the government wants to reduce duplication of reviews at provincial and federal levels. Also, changes that give more clarity to how a new planning and design phase will work are also acceptable to the government.The planning phase is meant to force project proponents to put their cards on the table early so any potential concerns from affected communities can be raised immediately.Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
EDMONTON — Alberta health officials are declaring a province-wide outbreak of syphilis after rates of the sexually transmitted infection increased last year to levels not seen since 1948.Alberta Health Services says a total of 1,536 cases of infectious syphilis were reported in 2018 compared with 161 in 2014, which is almost a tenfold increase.Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer, says syphilis rates jumped 187 per cent between 2017 and 2018.She adds Alberta Health Services is expecting higher numbers for this year.Hinshaw says the province has seen similar rates of congenital syphilis in which the infection is spread from a mother to her unborn child.She says a provincial outbreak co-ordination committee is to be set up on how to increase testing for sexually transmitted diseases, promote public awareness and reduce the overall number of syphilis cases in Alberta.Hinshaw says she can’t comment on how Alberta compares with the rest of the country, because other jurisdictions have not released recent syphilis figures.The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — An inquiry into British Columbia’s high gas prices has found an “unexplained” difference of 13 cents per litre between Metro Vancouver and Seattle.Prices in southern B.C. are set according to prices in the Pacific Northwest of the United States because it is a nearby region and a similar price is considered justifiable.However, the inquiry by the B.C. Utilities Commission found that even after accounting for transportation costs and higher B.C. fuel standards, Metro Vancouver drivers were still paying 13 cents more than those in Washington.Commission CEO David Morton says there is no evidence to suggest there is collusion among retail operators nor is their evidence of cartel behaviour, but prices can be controlled by five refiner-marketers.He says the wholesale market for gasoline in B.C. is not truly competitive because of high market concentration levels, high barriers to entry and their ability to influence prices.The inquiry concluded that regulation could potentially reduce the wholesale or retail margins to what is justifiable in comparable jurisdictions and reduce price volatility, but further investigation is needed.The Canadian Press
EDMONTON — Several families affected by the deadly Humboldt Broncos hockey bus crash say they are upset by an Alberta review of trucking regulations.Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba implemented mandatory training for truck and bus drivers after the crash in April 2018.Alberta Transportation Minister Ric McIver has confirmed in a Facebook post that the province is taking another look at the rules for school bus drivers and farmers.Families of the 16 people who died and 13 who were injured took to social media to criticize the review.They have called the review disgusting and say a two-tiered system is ridiculous.Toby Boulet, whose son Logan was killed in the Broncos crash, says the same rules need to apply to commercial and farm truck drivers.“I will speak face to face with anyone who believes a load of grain has more value than my son’s life,” the Lethbridge dad said on Twitter.McIver was not made available for an interview, but he said in the Facebook post late Tuesday that the province hasn’t made any changes.“No decisions have been made or will be made until we hear from all interested parties about the best way to proceed,” said the posting. “Our top priority at Alberta Transportation is the safety and security of drivers and families on Alberta’s highways.“Let me reassure you that we will not make any changes that compromise safety on our roads.” Premier Jason Kenney made similar comments in Calgary on Tuesday, although both he and McIver suggested the rules for school bus drivers and farmers could be relaxed.“If a farmer is simply taking their grain truck to the local elevator or perhaps to a regional terminal, and they have a perfect driving record and they’re just driving their own product, I think some consideration might be given there, because they’re not professional truckers in that case. They’re not full-time truckers,” Kenney said. “This is a complex issue.”Boulet and the other Alberta-based families involved in the Broncos crash say there’s nothing complex about it.Shelby Hunter, whose brother Logan Hunter was killed, called it a terrible idea.“As families, we are after change and I believe one day we will live in a world where driver regulations are much stricter,” she wrote on Twitter. “Breaks my heart to know how many people’s lives are at risk on these roads!”The Straschnitzki family in Airdrie, Alta., has also criticized the potential move in interviews and on social media.“Typical govt,” wrote Tom Straschnitzki on Twitter. “Come visit all 29 of us and explain why they would do this. Hope it never happens to any of their kids or spouses or relatives.“If it did, betcha changes would happen sooner than later.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2019.— With files from Lauren Krugel in CalgaryColette Derworiz, The Canadian Press