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Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs calls out ‘racist and sexist’ treatment of Wilson-Raybould

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A group of First Nation leaders is calling on the prime minister to quash what they view as  « racist and sexist innuendo » dogging Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould

The former justice minister is at the centre of recent claims that the Prime Minister’s Office pressured her to help Quebec -based engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

Over the weekend, The Canadian Press ran a story quoting anonymous sources who described Wilson-Raybould as someone who had « become a thorn in the side of the cabinet » before she was shuffled to her new role last month. She was also called « someone … [who] was difficult to get along with, known to berate fellow cabinet ministers openly at the table, and who others felt they had trouble trusting. »

A source, described as an « insider who didn’t want to be identified, » told the news agency that Wilson-Raybould has « always sort of been in it for herself » and « everything is very Jody-centric. »

Those comments « cowardly low blows, » says a statement released Tuesday by the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

« They perpetuate colonial-era, sexist stereotypes that Indigenous women cannot be powerful, forthright and steadfast in positions of power, but rather confrontational, meddling and egotistic, » says the news release from the group, which has been critical of the Liberal government in the past on pipeline issues. 

« These comments from your staff must be recognized for what they are — blatant sexism. »

Investigation launched 

Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes also leapt to her caucus colleague’s defence online, tweeting Sunday that Wilson-Raybould is « fierce, smart, and unapologetic. »

« When women speak up and out, they are always going to be labelled. Go ahead. Label away. We are not going anywhere, » she wrote.

« It has been reported by insiders of your government that she was someone ‘who others felt they had trouble trusting’ and has reportedly ‘been in it for herself’ such that « everything is very Jody-centric. »

The B.C. group — headed by Grand Chief Stewart Phillip —  urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau « to take responsibility for your behaviour and that of your government, » and called into question his commitment to the Crown-Indigenous relationship.

« If you do not condemn these harmful statements and apologize … you not only reaffirm a colonial belief system that Indigenous women are inferior and disposable, but the hypocrisy of your professed feminism and ‘most important relationship’ with Indigenous people will be laid bare for all Canadians to see, » the group’s release concludes.

On Monday, federal Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion launched an investigation into allegations the PMO wanted Wilson-Raybould to direct federal prosecutors to make a « deferred prosecution agreement » (DPA) — a deal akin to a plea bargain — to avoid taking SNC-Lavalin to trial on bribery and fraud charges.

Dion informed the NDP MPs who requested the investigation that there is sufficient cause to proceed with an inquiry.

Watch the Power Panel discuss the latest developments in the SNC-Lavalin controversy

The Power Panel – Rachel Curran, Brad Lavigne, Yolande James and John Paul Tasker discuss the federal ethics commissioner’s announcement that he’s looking into the SNC-Lavalin controversy. 11:58



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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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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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