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Sask. RCMP officer recognizes high driver, charges White Bear First Nation man

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Charges that include impaired driving have been laid against a Saskatchewan man after a test by an RCMP officer trained in recognizing whether someone is high on drugs.


READ MORE:
Police seize cocaine and cash in Weyburn, Sask.

Mounties say the test was given to a driver pulled over near Arcola last Wednesday and the results backed up an impaired driving charge.

Police also say a stolen illegally altered gun was found in the vehicle.


READ MORE:
Regina police lay 70 charges against six people in drug trafficking investigation

The 41-year-old accused from the White Bear First Nation was to appear in an Estevan courtroom on Monday.



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Wife of gymnastics coach on trial for sexual assault suspended from coaching

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The wife of a former national gymnastics coach undergoing trial for sexual assault has been suspended by Gymnastics Canada. 

The suspension of Elizabeth Brubaker, a coach at the Bluewater Gymnastics Club in Sarnia, Ont., comes less than a month before her husband, Dave Brubaker, will learn his fate in a Sarnia court. Dave Brubaker is a former Olympic women’s gymnastics coach who has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation. Elizabeth Brubaker is facing no criminal charges.

A judge is expected to hand down a verdict on the charges facing Dave Brubaker on Feb. 13.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Gymnastics Canada said it suspended Elizabeth Brubaker after receiving « a number of written formal complaints… that outlined alleged violations of Gymnastics Canada’s ethics and code of conduct policies over an extended period of time a number of years ago. »

Gymnastics Ontario wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of the complaints but said the provisional suspension « is in keeping with Gymnastics Canada’s complaint management protocol. » An investigation into the complaints is expected to take up to a month to complete.

« In the meantime, Gymnastics Canada and Gymnastics Ontario will work closely with the Bluewater Club to ensure that the competition and training needs of all athletes in the Club remain well served, » the Gymnastics Canada statement said.

Elizabeth Brubaker has also been provisionally suspended by Gymnastics Ontario and the Bluewater Gymnastics Club.

Coached at Rio Olympics

The complainant in the case against Dave Brubaker testified in court in December that Brubaker touched her inappropriately during sports massages, starting when she was 12 years old. Brubaker denies the charges, but admitted that he would kiss the complainant on the lips to say hello and goodbye.

The charges relate to alleged incidents between 2000 and 2007. The complainant is now in her 30s.

Brubaker was Canada’s head gymnastics coach at the 2016 Rio Olympics and was the women’s national team director at the last year’s world championships in Montreal, where Halifax native Ellie Black captured the women’s all-around silver medal.

Dave Brubaker has been placed on administrative leave by Gymnastics Ontario.



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Kamala Harris, schooled in Montreal, announces bid to unseat Trump in 2020 – Montreal

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A suburban Montreal high school is leading the cheers north of the border for graduate Kamala Harris, the California senator and former prosecutor who confirmed Monday she’s seeking to become the first black woman elected president of the United States.

“Run Kamala Run!!” Westmount High School’s social-media feeds gushed after Harris confirmed what much of the rest of the U.S. had assumed: she plans on being the Democrat who pries President Donald Trump out of the White House in 2020.

READ MORE: Democrat Kamala Harris officially enters 2020 presidential race

In a memoir Harris describes the heartache of moving from Oakland to chilly Montreal so her mother Shyamala Gopalan, a breast-cancer researcher, could take a job at McGill University.

“The thought of moving away from sunny California in February, in the middle of the school year, to a French-speaking foreign city covered in 12 feet of snow was distressing, to say the least,” she writes in The Truth We Hold: an American Journey released earlier this month.

Her initial foray into Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, a school for native French-speakers, was a challenge: “I used to joke that I felt like a duck, because all day long at our new school I’d be saying, ‘Quoi? Quoi? Quoi?’”

WATCH: Kamala Harris speaks about presidential bid, how she’ll win


By the time she was enrolled at Westmount, Harris had mostly adjusted to her life in Quebec, recalling fondly how her by-then divorced parents both attended her graduation, her mother resplendent in a bright red dress and heels.

“We’re super happy, we’re super proud — we’re always happy when a Westmount grad does well,” said teacher Sabrina Jafralie, whose school counts songwriter Leonard Cohen, former Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day and prime ministerial spouse Mila Mulroney among its famous alumni.

“I think she’s a role model for all of us. Coming from a great school like Westmount, possibly to the White House, is a great story to tell.”

It’s no accident that Harris, whose mother is from India and father from Jamaica, chose Martin Luther King Jr. Day to confirm her plans, which she did during an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.

“My parents were very active in the civil-rights movement, and that’s the language that I grew up hearing,” she said.

“(King) was aspirational like our country is aspirational. We know that we’ve not yet reached those ideals. But our strength is that we fight to reach those ideals … We are a country that, yes, we are flawed, we are not perfect, but we are a great country when we think about the principles upon which we are founded.”

Harris was far from the only Democratic hopeful, declared or otherwise, who was out and about on what would have been the civil-rights leader’s 90th birthday — evidence that thorny issues of race, gender and ethnic tensions will be prominent in the coming primary battles among an already dense and growing field of candidates.

READ MORE: Elizabeth Warren makes first step towards 2020 presidential run

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the 2016 challenger to eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, attended a church service and a rally Monday in South Carolina, where he fell short two years ago and will need support from black voters to contend again.

“It gives me no pleasure to tell you that we now have a president of the United States who is a racist,” Sanders told rallygoers.

WATCH: Kamala Harris says the government needs to reopen, slams Trump for shutdown over border wall






Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, both in the race, also attended public MLK events, as did a number of other “maybe” names, including former vice-president and presumptive front-runner Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Gillibrand said “white women like me” must share the burden of fighting for equality. Warren offered a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right to vote. And Biden, who lingered on his close relationship with former boss Barack Obama, lamented his support for a crime bill in 1994 that imposed harsher sentences for crack-cocaine possession.

WATCH: Presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand tells crowd ‘I will fight for your children’






Harris, too, faces tough questions on issues of justice.

As a California district attorney and later as the state’s attorney general, Harris frequently opposed or ignored criminal justice reform measures aimed at levelling a playing field critics say is unfairly tilted against black defendants, the former director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent wrote last week in the New York Times.

During a question-and-answer session at Howard University in Washington, Harris acknowledged having regrets about some decisions during her tenure. But her office also introduced a number of initiatives to address racial profiling and bias in law enforcement, as well as sentencing reforms, she said.

“Instead of deciding either you’re soft on crime or tough on crime, let’s understand that if we’re going to be smart with the taxpayer’s dollars, let’s get people out of the system instead of cycling through the revolving door of jail,” she said. “One of my biggest regrets is that I’ve not had more time to do more, but it’s my intention to keep fighting for it.”



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Liberals taking new approach for First Nations on-reserve education funding

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The Trudeau government is changing how Ottawa allocates nearly $2 billion in annual funding for First Nations education to help ensure on-reserve students benefit from support comparable to what’s offered in provincial school systems.

Starting in April, the federal government will take a new approach it says will mean a more predictable base of money for First Nations elementary and secondary schools.

Education is a service the federal government pays for on reserves but provincial governments handle in much larger systems off reserves. A 2016 report from the Parliamentary Budget Office estimated that the federal government spent $336 million to $665 million less than would be needed to provide educations comparable to those students get elsewhere.

Some First Nations students stay at home and get substandard facilities, resources and teaching. Some leave home for better schooling but lose connections to their homes and families.

Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan said Monday that the new model was developed after an extensive engagement process involving several organizations, including the Assembly of First Nations.

« This is very good news because we know when First Nations lead these initiatives and when we’re there to work in partnerships with them with funding we know that we will get greater outcomes, » O’Regan said in Ottawa shortly after the new approach was announced.

« This is about communities taking greater control of their education to make sure that it’s specific to their community, that it’s specific to their cultures and traditions and to their language. »

More to do to create equity, says Archibald

Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald called the changes a « strong step, » but she stressed there’s a lot more to do to create equity when it comes to First Nations education and communities.

Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald leads the AFN’s education portfolio. (Supplied/Laura Barrios)

« As the largest growing demographic in the country, investing in First Nations students and young people is investing in Canada’s future, » Archibald, who also leads the AFN’s education portfolio, said Monday in a statement.

« Fair and sustained funding for First Nations children and students, including languages and cultures, will lead to better outcomes for everyone. »

Under the new approach, First Nations schools will also receive $1,500 per student every year towards language and cultural programs. Schools will offer full kindergarten for on-reserve kids aged four and five, O’Regan said.

In a statement, AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde credited the new approach as a significant move toward closing the education gap, saying it will enable First Nations to plan and build quality school systems that address their needs.

Changes to make funding more reliable

The funding will be within the jurisdiction and control of chiefs and band councils, O’Regan said. He added that Ottawa will work with the communities on the issue of accountability.

O’Regan said the changes mean First Nations will have an easier time budgeting for education because they’ll know the money will be there for them year after year.

In the 2016 federal budget, the Liberals promised to spend an additional $2.6 billion over five years to improve education for First Nations children living on reserves.

Ottawa is expected to spend $1.89 billion in 2018-19 on First Nations elementary and secondary education. The annual commitment is set to increase each year until it rises slightly above $2 billion in 2020-21.



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