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Canada to host Lima group Feb. 4 in effort to find solution to Venezuela crisis

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Canada will host members of the Lima group of South and Central American countries next Monday in an effort to find a resolution to the turmoil in Venezuela, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said today.

The move comes days after Canada recognized Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader, as interim president of the country and rejected Nicolas Maduro’s government as autocratic and illegitimate.

Guaido, the democratically elected leader of the opposition in Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself interim president last week.

« Since August 2017, Canada has been working closely as a member of the Lima group, which is comprised of over a dozen Latin American countries and the Caribbean, to address the Venezuelan crisis, » Freeland said.

« The Maduro regime relinquished any remaining legitimacy when it seized power through fraudulent and undemocratic elections on May 20, 2018. We now call upon Nicolas Maduro to cede power to the National Assembly, the only remaining democratically elected institution in Venezuela, in line with that country’s constitution. »

The Lima group was formed in the summer of 2017 and includes Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Guyana and Saint Lucia.

Canada has hosted the group for meetings before, including a ministerial level meeting in October of 2017.

Election deadline

Freeland also said that Canada — along with Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru — referred the ongoing human rights abuses and squashing of dissent in Venezuela to the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s office for investigation in September.

She also noted that the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain also stated over the weekend that they, too, recognize Guaido and would continue to do so unless free and democratic elections are held in the country by Saturday.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says that Canada will host a meeting of the Lima Group, in Ottawa on February 4th, to discuss the ongoing situation in Venezuela. 1:45

The move to recognize Guaido by these European powers followed similar recognition by Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia last week.

Bolivia, Cuba, Turkey and Russia, among others, have not followed suit and continue to back Maduro as the rightful president, accusing the U.S. and others of interfering in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

A major oil producer, Venezuela has been wracked by hyper-inflation, food shortages and intense crime since Maduro came to power in 2013. Maduro’s government accuses the U.S. and others of launching an « economic war » against Venezuela, blaming it for most of the country’s problems.

Maduro, who was first elected president in 2013 by a thin margin following the death of socialist leader Hugo Chavez, is deeply unpopular.

Maduro was inaugurated on Jan. 10 to another term in office following a widely boycotted election last year that many foreign governments described as a fraudulent. His government accuses Guaido of staging a coup and has threatened him with jail.



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Anglais

A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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Anglais

9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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