Vancouver Police search for missing senior with dementia  – BC


Vancouver Police are asking for the public’s help to find 67-year-old Glen McKim.

He was last seen Sunday, February 17 at 2 p.m. in the area of Granville Island. Mr. McKim has a number of medical issues, including dementia.

Mr. McKim is described as white, 5’8” tall, medium build, and with balding salt-and-pepper hair. He was last seen wearing a grey jacket over a grey shirt, and black pants. He is not expected to be using a walker.

Anyone who sees Glen McKim is asked to call 9-1-1 and stay with him until first responders arrive.

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Missionaries land safely in Calgary after fleeing unrest in Haiti


A dozen missionaries working in Haiti landed safely at the Calgary airport on Sunday after violent riots centred in the country’s capital stranded them for days.

Working for the aid group Haiti Arise, the missionaries had been stranded at a compound near Grand Goave, about 65 kilometres west of the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

« I was sad to leave because I have family down there and friends. And it was different because I hadn’t been in that kind of situation before in all the times I’ve been to Haiti.… It is scary because I know a lot of people in the general area where the riots are happening, » said 12-year-old Miesha Honorat, whose parents co-founded the group and whose father remains in Haiti.

« He didn’t want to send the wrong message, that anytime there’s something wrong we just all leave, » said Lisa Honorat, Miesha’s mother.

Around two dozen Haiti Arise missionaries, who had planned to return on Wednesday, were airlifted by helicopter to Toussaint Louverture International Airport in three waves on Saturday. From there, the group flew to Miami, where they spent Saturday night.

While 12 missionaries returned to Alberta on Sunday, at least a dozen other members of the group are still waiting for flights out of the U.S.

The cost of the evacuation for the whole group is about $6,900, which they are paying themselves.

They were originally scheduled to leave the country on Wednesday, however the ongoing protests meant ground travel was impossible as several of the main streets and roads are blocked or damaged.

Honorat said the family remains committed to their humanitarian work and plans to return once circumstances are safer.

« They always bounce back somehow. So we just try to be there and support and help in any way we can, » she said. 

Most of last week’s demonstrations occurred in Port-au-Prince, with protesters demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse over skyrocketing inflation and the government’s failure to prosecute embezzlement from a multi-billion dollar Venezuelan program that sent discounted oil to the country.

Protests are expected to resume this week.

A group of missionaries from Alberta wait for a helicopter to take them to the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on Saturday. (Haiti Arise/Facebook)

On Tuesday, Global Affairs Canada issued an advisory warning against all non-essential travel to the country. On Thursday, it advised against all travel.

The Canadian Embassy in Haiti was also closed on Wednesday due to the unrest.

Working in the country since 2002, Haiti Arise has three compounds near Grand Goave.

Among the Canadians trapped in Haiti were missionaries, medical personnel, tourists and students. Many have been slowly making their way to the airport via helicopter or, in some cases, dangerous road journeys.

Demonstrators run away from police who are shooting in their direction, as a car burns during a protest demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday. The protests have blocked access to the airport. (Dieu Nalio Chery/Associated Press)

Some 113 Quebec tourists who had been trapped at a Haitian resort by the protests were also evacuated to the airport by helicopter and were flown to Montreal Saturday night on a chartered commercial flight.

Air Transat also said a group of high school students from Victoriaville, Que., and their chaperones, who had been on a humanitarian trip, were on a flight that was expected to land in Montreal on Sunday evening.

Also travelling home on Sunday were another group of Christian missionaries based out of Montreal, who had been staying in a village some 200 kilometres west of Port-au-Prince.

Michel Bougie, a spokesperson for La Bible Parle, said the group had to hire a Florida-based plane service to get its 26 members to the airport after the Canadian government didn’t step in to offer any practical help.


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‘You don’t look like a lawyer.’ Female lawyers and lawyers of colour angered by mistaken identity in court


During the early years of her career, Lori Anne Thomas would sit near the front of the courtroom, only to be told to move by court staff as the area was reserved for lawyers.

Except she is one.

“I’ve heard more than enough times, ‘You don’t look like a lawyer.’ I know exactly what that means, which is that I’m not a tall, white man,” said Thomas, a Toronto lawyer who specializes in criminal law and who recently became president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers.

“It hits at you and just on top of dealing with everything else, being a recent call (to the bar), trying to figure out how to do everything and navigate the legal community and also build a practice, to then also have that obstacle of being constantly reminded that you’re kind of not expected to be here.”

Thomas’s story is one shared by other female lawyers and lawyers of colour, some of whom have been mistaken in courtrooms and other legal settings for assistants, interpreters and even an accused person.

Toronto criminal defence lawyer Janani Shanmuganathan said she’s been mistaken several times for a Tamil interpreter at the Scarborough courthouse, where staff or a Crown attorney will approach her in the hallway telling her she’s needed in a courtroom.

Other times, staff will approach her in the courtroom, even though she’s seated in the reserved area for lawyers.

“I don’t think people are saying that to be mean or in a negative way, but I think the gut reaction for people is that I don’t fit the stereotype of who they think a lawyer should be,” she said.

“It’s very frustrating and sad. I’m a child of immigrants. I’m the first lawyer in my family. I worked really hard to get to where I am. It’s unfortunate that I have to constantly be demanding my space and the right to be recognized for the lawyer that I am. It’s disheartening.”

According to the Law Society of Ontario, which regulates the legal profession in the province, about 43 per cent of lawyers are women. And the final report released in 2016 from the law society’s Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group noted that the proportion of racialized lawyers in Ontario had doubled between 2001 and 2014, from 9 per cent to 18 per cent.

Ottawa lawyer Erin Durant, who specializes in civil litigation, said she’s become increasingly annoyed as the years go by, having been mistaken for a court reporter or an assistant.

“It’s tough. What I would like to say, especially if it’s an older male lawyer, is: ‘No, are you an assistant?’ But I haven’t grown the guts to say that yet,” she said. “I think it’s more of a societal change and letting the public know that not only are there female lawyers, but we’re actually pretty close to being the majority.”

Toronto lawyer Raj Anand, who co-chaired the law society’s working group, told the Star that the issue of unconscious bias, and people assuming who are lawyers and who aren’t, was something heard “loud and clear” during his group’s study.

“I think it’s part of a culture change,” he said. “One would hope that both court offices and judges would clearly recognize that we’re dealing with a changing demographic, and more than half of students graduating from law school are women, and something like 25 to 30 per cent are racialized in Ontario. That obviously plays a role in who appears in court.”

He said education and greater awareness for the judiciary and court staff could be helpful — something that his group recommended be done for lawyers.

Thomas said it’s a systemic issue, highlighting that the court staff in Brampton who told her she couldn’t sit in the lawyers’ area in the courtroom were also people of colour.

“It’s not just this perception of white or non-racialized individuals,” she said. “It is a systemic belief that is ingrained in all of us that people in certain positions look a certain way.”

The Ministry of the Attorney General, which is responsible for staffing and operating the courts, takes this issue “very seriously,” said spokesperson Brian Gray.

Staff and managers receive training on a number of topics, including “bias awareness, unconscious bias, diversity dialogues and anti-racism,” he said.

Lawyer Trevin David said he can’t even count the number of times he’s been confused for a Tamil interpreter at the Scarborough courthouse. He also recalls an incident at a Toronto courthouse where a Crown attorney confused him for an accused criminal.

“I was in the Crown’s office waiting to speak to somebody else and the Crown attorney runs in and starts yelling at me about how I’m late, and I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ And it becomes very clear that he thought I was a self-represented accused person,” David said. “And he didn’t apologize. He just said he was really busy.”

David said it takes a few moments to process what is going on in such exchanges, and sometimes the conversation is over by the time he’s ready to react.

“Even when you’re confused with being the interpreter, you’re still ultimately there for your client, so sometimes it might not be in your client’s best interests to get really angry, even though that’s what your initial reaction is. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and laugh it off,” he said.

“It’s not that these are just other random members of the public. These are people that work in the courts every day. These are Crowns and clerks. If they can’t imagine that you’re a lawyer, what larger story does that tell?”

Jacques Gallant is a Toronto-based reporter covering legal affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @JacquesGallant


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‘I feel like I’ve been deserted:’ B.C. woman trapped in Haiti says Canada not doing enough to help – BC


A woman with roots in Kelowna says Ottawa is letting her down as political unrest in Haiti has left her trapped in the Caribbean nation.

“I’m crushed, I feel like I’ve been deserted,” Laura Allan told Global News on Sunday.

Alberta missionaries among the Canadians heading home from riot-stricken Haiti

Allan is currently stuck in Jacmel on Haiti’s southern coast where she’s been doing aid work with her organization Shelters International Disaster Response.

Other groups of Canadians returned to Calgary and Montreal over the weekend, but Allan says roadblocks and looters have made it too dangerous for her to travel to the airport in Port Au Prince.

She says the Canadian government should be doing more to help her and the 20-odd Canadians she says are still in the Jacmel area.

WATCH: Trio of Maritime medical professionals share their harrowing escape from Haiti

“There is no way for any of us to get through this unless we are air-evacuated or by sea,” Allan said.

Trio of Maritime medical professionals share their harrowing escape from Haiti

In a statement Sunday, Global Affairs Canada said they are on top of the situation in Haiti and they are making consular services there available to Canadians who need it.

Haiti has been gripped by political violence and unrest as demonstrators call for the resignation of President Jovenal Moise over skyrocketing inflation and a scandal over oil imports.

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Athlète de jeux vidéo professionnel, une carrière derrière le clavier


Niklas Mouritzen, alias Pengu

Avec ses 420 000 abonnés sur sa chaîne Twitch, Niklas Mouritzen est l’un des joueurs les plus populaires du tournoi. Le Danois de 21 ans évolue au sein de G2, l’équipe que la plupart des observateurs s’attendent à voir remporter le championnat.

Une photo de Pengu, un jeune homme aux cheveux roux courts. Il porte un t-shirt noir et blanc sur lequel le logo de son équipe et ceux de ses commanditaires sont imprimés.Niklas Mouritzen, alias Pengu, joue pour l’équipe G2, les favoris du tournoi. Photo : Radio-Canada / Karl-Philip Vallée

Question : Comment vous assurez-vous d’être dans le bon état d’esprit avant un match?
Réponse : Dans le cas d’un événement comme celui-ci, la préparation commence environ deux semaines avant. On pratique énormément et on bloque le plus de distractions possible : les amis, les copines, le travail, l’école, etc.

En arrivant à l’événement, on se concentre sur les choses simples : quelle est la prochaine équipe qu’on va affronter? On doit les connaître par cœur : quelles sont leurs habitudes, quel est leur style de jeu, quelle est leur philosophie?

C’est exactement comme dans les sports traditionnels. Par exemple, un boxeur va toujours vouloir savoir si son adversaire préfère frapper de la droite ou de la gauche. Dans les sports électroniques, c’est un peu la même chose. Les équipes ont tendance à répéter les mêmes stratégies. Les bons joueurs et les bonnes équipes sont capables d’analyser et d’apprendre les stratégies de leurs adversaires.

Q : Avez-vous une superstition avant un match important?
R : Pas moi, mais mon coéquipier Fabian [Hällsten] en a une. Il doit toujours mettre un soulier avant l’autre. Il a pratiqué beaucoup de sports traditionnels auparavant, alors ça lui vient peut-être de là. Mais pour moi, j’essaie juste de placer mon clavier et ma souris à des angles qui me sont familiers. J’ajuste aussi ma chaise et ma posture pour qu’elles soient confortables, ça m’aide à me concentrer.

Q : Rêviez-vous de gagner votre vie en jouant aux jeux vidéo en grandissant?
R : J’avais 4 ans quand j’ai dit à mes parents que je voulais devenir un joueur de jeux vidéo professionnel. Ma mère m’a dit que ça n’existait pas. En 1997, ce n’était pas vraiment quelque chose de commun.

Q : À quel moment avez-vous senti que les sports électroniques pouvaient devenir une carrière?
R : Quand j’avais 16 ans, je jouais à League of Legends de façon compétitive. Je n’étais pas un professionnel, mais je faisais de mon mieux. Dans la plupart des jeux, il faut avoir 18 ans pour pouvoir évoluer dans une ligue professionnelle. Dès que j’ai atteint cet âge, j’ai compris que je pouvais tenter ma chance.

Je m’entraînais déjà beaucoup à Rainbow Six Siege. Deux mois après avoir eu 18 ans, j’ai écrit sur un forum en ligne que je désirais devenir un professionnel, et moins d’un mois plus tard, une équipe m’a recruté.

Q : D’où vous vient votre côté compétitif?
R : Je n’ai jamais vraiment pratiqué de sport traditionnel de façon compétitive en grandissant. Comme vous pouvez le voir en me regardant, je n’ai pas la corpulence pour pratiquer des sports de contact! Mais mon père était très compétitif. Il me disait : « Finir deuxième, c’est être le meilleur perdant. » Je pense que cette mentalité s’est implantée en moi très jeune, mais c’est en jouant aux jeux vidéo que je m’en suis vraiment rendu compte.

Q : Que pense votre famille de votre carrière d’athlète électronique?
R : Ma famille me soutient entièrement. Au début, je m’entraînais 12 heures par jour pour participer à des tournois et je faisais environ 100 euros par semaine. C’est fou non?

Un matin, le lendemain d’un tournoi, j’ai dit à ma mère que je n’avais pas envie d’aller à l’école. Pour elle, ce n’était rien de nouveau (rires). Je lui ai fait comprendre que je ne voulais plus aller à l’école du tout et que je voulais gagner ma vie en jouant à des jeux vidéo. J’avais un appartement et j’avais économisé assez d’argent pour payer mon loyer pendant cinq mois. Elle m’a dit que tant que je pouvais payer mon loyer, elle était d’accord. Elle m’a aussi donné une condition. Le prochain semestre d’école débutait dans six mois. Si j’arrivais à dégager un profit avant le début du semestre, je pourrais continuer à jouer, sinon il faudrait que je retourne à l’école. Mon équipe et moi avons gagné notre premier tournoi, avec 25 000 $ à la clé, et c’est comme ça que tout a commencé!

Q : À quoi ressemble une journée d’entraînement typique?
R : Je me réveille vers 22 ou 23 h et je joue en ligne pendant 6 ou 7 heures. Je diffuse ces parties sur ma chaîne Twitch. Ensuite, je passe une heure à enregistrer des vidéos, à donner des entrevues ou à remplir mes obligations auprès de mes commanditaires. Après, je m’entraîne de cinq à six heures avec mon équipe. Une journée de travail de 12 heures est la norme pour moi. Je travaillerais huit jours par semaine si c’était possible!

Lorsqu’on devient professionnel, ce n’est pas rare d’abandonner tout le reste : les copines, le cercle social, le travail, l’école. C’est possible de trouver un équilibre, mais je ne pense pas qu’on peut exceller si on ne se concentre pas sur le jeu à 100 %.

Q : Auriez-vous des conseils pour des jeunes qui aspirent à devenir des professionnels?
R : Je pense que le talent découle du rêve, mais qu’il faut aussi arriver à être réaliste. Je ne pense pas que d’abandonner ses amis, sa relation amoureuse, son travail et ses études soit une bonne idée quand on commence, parce que si l’on échoue, on n’a plus rien. Je leur conseillerais d’abord de jouer le plus possible dans leurs temps libres. S’ils sont vraiment doués et qu’ils s’entraînent beaucoup, ils vont finir par y arriver. Et une fois qu’ils y seront arrivés, ils pourront commencer à donner la priorité au jeu. Je dirais aussi que le meilleur moment pour s’entraîner, c’est entre 14 et 18 ans. À la majorité, c’est le moment d’y aller à fond.

Troy Jaroslawski, alias Canadian

Troy Jaroslawski, 22 ans, est le capitaine de l’équipe Evil Geniuses et, comme son surnom l’indique, il est l’un des deux seuls Canadiens des phases finales du tournoi. Il a quitté son Oakville natale, en banlieue de Toronto, pour parcourir le monde avec ses coéquipiers. Son équipe est parmi les favorites de l’événement.

Un jeune homme aux cheveux bleus courts. Il porte une veste bleu marine sur laquelle le nom et le logo de son équipe sont imprimés, ainsi que de nombreux logos de commanditaires.Troy Jaroslawski, alias Canadian, est l’un des deux seuls Canadiens à participer aux phases finales du Six Invitational. Photo : Radio-Canada / Karl-Philip Vallée

Question : Comment vous assurez-vous d’être dans le bon état d’esprit avant un match?
Réponse : Je suis un joueur assez concentré, alors je n’ai pas besoin de faire quoi que ce soit de spécial. Normalement, je me réchauffe en jouant un peu et je discute avec mon équipe.

Q : Avez-vous une superstition avant un match important?
R : Je ne suis pas très superstitieux, alors non.

Q : Rêviez-vous de gagner votre vie en jouant aux jeux vidéo en grandissant?
R : Ça n’a jamais vraiment été un rêve pour moi en grandissant. Je jouais beaucoup au hockey, j’ai joué à un niveau assez élevé, mais j’ai finalement dû arrêter. C’est à ce moment que j’ai commencé à jouer à des jeux vidéo plus sérieusement.

Q : À quel moment avez-vous senti que les sports électroniques pouvaient devenir une carrière?
R : Quand Rainbow Six Siege est sorti. J’ai commencé à prendre ça un peu plus au sérieux et je suis devenu meilleur. J’ai quitté l’école pour essayer de devenir un professionnel.

Q : Que pense votre famille de votre carrière d’athlète électronique?
R : Ma famille m’a toujours soutenu, en particulier ma mère. Elle m’a dit que tant que j’arrivais à payer mes factures, elle n’avait pas de problème avec ça. Au début, je ne gagnais pas beaucoup d’argent, évidemment, mais peu à peu ça s’est amélioré. Ma mère a vu que j’avais du potentiel. Et maintenant, je n’ai pas de problème à payer mes factures (rires)!

Q : À quoi ressemble une journée d’entraînement typique?
R : Je me réveille, je fais un peu d’exercice physique, puis je prends une douche et je déjeune. Ensuite, mes coéquipiers, notre entraîneur et moi discutons des stratégies que nous voulons pratiquer avant de jouer des parties en ligne. Un peu plus tard, nous visionnons les enregistrements des parties du jour pour cibler nos erreurs, puis nous avons du temps libre, pendant lequel j’ai l’habitude de jouer d’autres parties. Je dirais que je joue de six à huit heures par jour.

Q : Auriez-vous des conseils pour des jeunes qui aspirent à devenir des professionnels?
R : Je ne crois pas qu’il existe de secret pour devenir un professionnel. Il faut juste choisir un jeu qu’on aime vraiment. Personnellement, j’ai toujours été compétitif. Mais évidemment, comme pour n’importe quoi d’autre, il faut investir énormément de temps dans un jeu avant de devenir vraiment bon. C’est pour ça que c’est important de choisir un jeu qu’on aime. Rainbow Six Siege n’a jamais ressemblé à du travail pour moi.

Matthew McHenry, alias Acez

Matthew McHenry a fait le voyage de l’autre bout du monde pour venir compétitionner à Laval… littéralement! Le joueur originaire de l’Australie a tout donné avec son équipe Fnatic en phases préliminaires, ressortant avec une fiche parfaite. Ils se sont toutefois inclinés dans le premier match des quarts de finale face aux Japonais de PET Nora-Rengo.

Une photo de Matthew McHenry, un jeune homme avec des lunettes, les cheveux noirs peignés vers l'arrière et une barbe noire fournie. Il porte un chandail à capuchon noir et gris sur lequel le logo de son équipe et ceux de ses commanditaires sont visibles. Il tient une peluche de kangourou dans sa main droite.Matthew McHenry, alias Acez, est venu tout droit d’Australie avec ses coéquipiers pour se frotter aux meilleures équipes de la planète. Photo : Radio-Canada / Karl-Philip Vallée

Question : Comment vous assurez-vous d’être dans le bon état d’esprit avant un match?
Réponse : Ça prend beaucoup d’entraînement. Mon équipe et moi avons passé deux semaines à Londres à nous entraîner avant l’événement, parce que le niveau des équipes européennes est plus élevé que celui des équipes australiennes.

Q : Avez-vous une superstition avant un match important?
R : J’essaie de toujours porter le même chandail. J’ai aussi une routine les jours de match. Je fais les mêmes choses, je mange les mêmes choses. Ça m’aide à me concentrer.

Q : Rêviez-vous de gagner votre vie en jouant aux jeux vidéo en grandissant?
R : Pour mon équipe et moi, c’est arrivé un peu par surprise. Nous avons participé à un événement de qualification sans avoir d’attentes particulières et nous nous sommes qualifiés. Nous étions au bon endroit au bon moment.

Je pratiquais pas mal de sports d’équipe en grandissant, comme le rugby et le cricket, mais je me suis blessé à plusieurs reprises et j’ai dû arrêter. C’est à ce moment-là que j’ai commencé à jouer un peu plus aux jeux vidéo. Et soudainement, je me suis retrouvé dans une ligne mondiale.

Q : À quel moment avez-vous senti que les sports électroniques pouvaient devenir une carrière?
R : Ce n’est pas vraiment devenu une carrière pour moi avant que Fnatic nous approche pour nous recruter, en avril 2018. Jusque-là, nous avions participé à quelques tournois et nous avions eu un peu de succès, mais je n’avais pas l’impression que c’était mon métier. Fnatic nous a offert des salaires, un système d’entraînement et de l’encadrement.

Q : Que pense votre famille de votre carrière d’athlète électronique?
R : Ma famille me soutient entièrement. Elle regarde probablement le tournoi à la maison [en Australie], en ce moment. Il doit être 3 ou 4 h, là-bas.

Q : À quoi ressemble une journée d’entraînement typique?
R : On se réveille vers 8 h, on déjeune, puis on commence à jouer des parties en ligne pendant environ trois heures. On prend une pause pour dîner avant de jouer un autre bloc de trois heures. Après, on peut continuer à jouer, mais on n’est pas obligés. Pendant la journée, notre entraîneur est toujours en train d’analyser nos parties pour nous aider à améliorer de petits détails. Notre journée commence à 8 h, mais ce n’est pas si rare qu’elle se termine vers 2 h le lendemain matin.

Q : Auriez-vous des conseils pour des jeunes qui aspirent à devenir des professionnels?
R : Le plus important, c’est de trouver des coéquipiers qui sont aussi motivés que vous. Une fois que vous en avez trouvé, vous pouvez travailler ensemble pour faire de votre rêve une réalité.


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Haitian asylum seeker ‘living in hell’ 6 months after deportation from Quebec


Amid violent protests and civil unrest, the Canadian Border Services Agency halted deportations to Haiti on Friday, offering a temporary reprieve for 421 Haitian nationals still under an enforceable removal order.

Unfortunately this reprieve came too late for Oberne Pierre, a Haitian asylum seeker whose claim was denied after a year of living in Quebec.

Pierre crossed into Quebec at Roxham Road in the summer of 2017, but his refugee claim was denied and he was deported in August 2018.

Canadian authorities determined there was not enough evidence to prove Pierre’s safety was « at risk » in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital.

Oberne Pierre’s home, on the left side, doesn’t have clean drinking water or reliable electricity. (Radio-Canada/Laurence Martin)

Like hundreds of Haitian asylum seekers who were denied the right to stay in Canada, Pierre had to pack his bags.

Returning to the life he had before has been difficult, especially since getting a taste of what his life could have been.

« I’m very frustrated, » Pierre said, « but we must abide by the law. »

Pierre’s dream of finding a better future in Canada is over, but he says his nightmare in Haiti is all too real.

« Haiti isn’t a life. People who live in Haiti, I don’t know, but for me it’s hell. We’re living in hell. » 

He told Radio-Canada that it’s been difficult to access even the most basic services, and finding clean drinking water has been a challenge.

« It’s been three days now that I haven’t found water, » he said, adding that his family only has access to limited electricity and sometimes goes days without it.

The water shortage is affecting millions of Haitians and is linked to the protests. Roadblocks make deliveries of gas to pumping stations impossible, and the government has been using petroleum imports as leverage to try and quell the demonstrations.

« It’s thanks to the grace of God I’m still living. Because I have nothing. No work, nothing at all, » he said.

He lives in a tiny home with a kitchen and bedroom in Pétionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince.

Oberne Pierre said he wants to make a better life for his eight-year-old Tanorah. (Radio-Canada/Laurence Martin)

While living in Quebec, waiting for news about his claim, Pierre worked for a temp agency in Laval and sent money home to his wife and daughter.

Now, he says his hope lies with his eight-year-old daughter Tanorah, who stayed behind with his wife in Haiti while Pierre attempted to claim asylum in Canada.

« I’m going to fight so her future doesn’t happen in Haiti, » he said.

​Frantz André, a Montrealer who has been helping many Haitian asylum seekers through the Action Committee for People Without Status, worked on Pierre’s case and got to know him before the deportation.

André described him as « a gentleman, » saying that « he was the hope of the family since he came here. »

He said taking Pierre to the airport on the day he had to leave was « really painful » and the two still keep in touch every week.

« I’ve called everybody that I know in Haiti who could perhaps give him a job. » said André. « Right now he has not a penny to his name. »

Frantz André advocates on behalf of Haitian asylum seekers in Montreal. (Verity Stevenson/CBC)

André said that Haitian asylum seekers currently make up the largest proportion of those being deported from Canada.

He said it’s hypocritical that Canada has closed its embassy in Haiti and is advising Canadians not to travel there, but continued deporting people up until Feb. 15.

« Suddenly, because we have a 113 Canadians that are stuck in a hotel, they suddenly have to realize, ‘Okay we better put a moratorium.' »

The CBSA told CBC in an email Sunday that officials are « aware of the situation in Haiti and its impact on persons facing removal » and that the temporary stay on deportations is in effect until further notice.


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Renowned journalist Marie Colvin’s bravery well documented but none hold a candle to the woman she was


Marie Colvin is the journalist I wish I could have been.

Utterly fearless, stubbornly rebellious, committed to recording the suffering of civilians in conflict zones. And God she had style: Always wore La Perla lingerie underneath her combat fatigues.

Hard-drinking, chain-smoking, swore like a sailor. But wrote beautifully.

Yet here I am, on a Sunday afternoon in Toronto, in front of a keyboard. And Colvin is . . . a dead legend.

Targeted and murdered amidst the ruins of Homs seven years ago by the Bashar Assad regime after crawling through an abandoned storm drain below the city, intent on putting the lie to assertions that Syrian forces weren’t indiscriminately bombarding civilians.

A U.S. federal court judge in Washington recently found the Syrian regime guilty of murdering the London Sunday Times war correspondent, awarding her family $302 million (U.S.). Judge Amy Berman Jackson found President Assad had deliberately targeted Colvin, in an “extrajudicial’’ murder, to silence her reporting from the besieged enclave of Baba Amr in Homs during the frenzied first year of that brutal civil war.

“Officials at the highest level of the Syrian government carefully planned and executed the artillery assault on the Baba Amr media centre for the specific purpose of killing the journalist inside.

“A targeted murder of an American citizen, whose courageous work was not only important, but vital to our understanding of war zones and of wars generally, is outrageous.’’

Investigators assembled their lawsuit from interviews with witnesses who’d fled Homs and defecting Syrian officials who provided a trove of internal government documents. The Centre for Justice and Accountability, which helped to fund the case, noted it was a landmark ruling, first time the Assad regime had been held legally responsible for war crimes.

Read more:

Marie Colvin’s final piece on Syria

Early on the day that she was killed, Feb. 22, 2012, Colvin had emailed her editor: “No other Brits here. Have heard that Spencer and Chulov of the Torygraph’’ — what “Private Eye’’ dubbed The Telegraph — “and Guardian trying to make it here but so far we have leapfrogged ahead of them. Heavy shelling this morning.’’

Relentlessly competitive, you see. Get the story first, eyes-on. Never could resist a front line. Even as she railed against what the profession was becoming during a merciless war left largely to civilian journalists uploading videos because Assad had banned reporters from entering the country.

“How do I keep my craft alive in a world that doesn’t value it?’’ she told a close friend, as recounted by Marie Brenner in a Vanity Fair article three months after Colvin was killed.

“I feel like I am the last reporter in the YouTube world. I am inept with technology.’’

Colvin had snuck over the border with photographer Paul Conroy. She’d heard, while in transit (in Beirut) that the army was under orders to kill journalists. That didn’t dissuade her.

It may be that, by turning on her satellite phone to communicate with the office and send her dispatches, Colvin inadvertently led the regime to pinpoint her location — a two-room makeshift media centre in a building where the top floors had been sheared off by shelling. The bombing was a direct hit, killing Colvin and esteemed French photographer Remi Ochlik instantly, Conroy severely wounded.

Was it worth it, taking such risks? Colvin posed that question rhetorically at a 2010 church service honouring reporters killed in killing zones. “We always have to ask ourselves whether the level of risk is worth the story. What is bravery and what is bravado?”

But Colvin couldn’t abide any other way of doing her job, despite having a “bad feeling” as she left for her final reporting assignment, against the advice of colleagues and humanitarian agencies monitoring the carnage in Syria.

Twice-divorced Colvin also sent an email to her lover at the time.

“My darling, I have come back in to Baba Amr, the besieged neighbourhood of Homs, and am now freezing in my hovel with no windows. I just thought, I cannot cover the modern day Srebrenica from the suburbs. You would have laughed. I had to climb over two stone walls tonight, and had trouble with the second (six feet) so a rebel made a cat’s cradle of his two hands and said, ‘Step here and I will give you a lift up.’ Except he thought I was much heavier than I am, so when he ‘lifted’ my foot, he launched me right over the wall and I landed on my head in the mud! . . . I will do one more week here, and then leave. Every day is a horror. I think of you all the time, and I miss you.’’

Colvin, a Yale graduate who made her bones on Fleet Street, was a highly complex person, driven by a yearning for truth, the thrill of the scoop and the adrenalin rush of danger. She suffered from PTSD — the real thing, not the lazy diagnosis so common today but the psychosis of witnessing more slaughter than most soldiers — and panic attacks and alcoholism.

At age 56, long in the tooth for a combat correspondent, Colvin could have slowed down, mentored younger colleagues — always generous-hearted. Instead, she kept on going, pushing herself even harder. She’d survived aerial bombings in Chechnya and a daring escape over a 12,000-foot mountain range, spent nine weeks sleeping on a medical clinic floor during the siege of Misurata, stayed behind in East Timor to help fleeing civilians, raced across the “Green Line” in West Beirut in the midst of the Lebanon-PLO conflict, under fire, to report from inside a refugee camp, and fended off the advances of Moammar Gadhafi during an exclusive interview.

I crossed paths with Colvin in East Timor in 1999 — she still had two eyes back then, later losing the left one when struck by shrapnel from a rocket-launched grenade in Sri Lanka while embedded with the Tamil Tigers, ever-after wearing a black eye patch that only furthered her rakish repute — and in Afghanistan and in Libya and in Iraq, where she infamously fell asleep with her sat phone still on, racking up a $37,000 bill. That only burnished her bona fides.

It is unlikely the Colvin family will ever see a penny of the awarded multi-millions — which her sister says would be put toward a memorial foundation. But, even symbolically, with Assad now the clear victor in the Syrian war, having crushed the rebels — at least 400,000 killed — the judgment resonates.

The Committee to Protect Journalists identified 54 journalists who died violently last year alone, 34 of them murdered in direct retaliation for their work, from Mexico to Yemen, more than a dozen in Afghanistan, which remains the most dangerous place on earth for correspondents. Reporters Without Borders puts the figure at 80, if citizen journalists and other media employees are included. None died more gruesomely than author and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, assassinated and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi, Colvin and Austin Tice — a former U.S. marine turned freelance reporter who disappeared in Syria after being kidnapped in 2012 — were honoured in a 60-second commercial broadcast during the Super Bowl, paid for by the Washington Post and narrated by Tom Hanks. Afterwards, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted that media could avoid paying millions for a commercial to “gain some undeserved credibility . . . how about report the news and not their leftist BS for a change.’’ Because repugnant behaviour runs in the family.

Colvin’s adventurous life has been told in documentaries and books and in A Private War, a movie released last month, based on Marie Brenner’s article, with Rosamund Pike delivering a ferocious performance as the heroic and deeply traumatized journalist, with all her physical and emotional scars. But none of it can hold a candle to the blood-and-flesh woman she was.

The Star doesn’t cover wars anymore. Too costly and few reporters willing to go anyway. Easier, sadly, to just piggyback on the Washington Post and the New York Times. And maybe the data metrics show no significant audience for it. I hate news judgment in thrall to readership analytics.

Colvin’s own words, spoken when she accepted an award for her work in Sri Lanka, provide the most poignant epitaph for the greatest war correspondent of our era.

“Bravery is not being afraid to be afraid.”

Rosie DiManno is a columnist based in Toronto covering sports and current affairs. Follow her on Twitter: @rdimanno


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‘It’s something new every single time:’ Kelowna music school gets ready to rock n’ roll – Okanagan


Rehearsals are underway for one of Kelowna’s biggest rock concerts of the year.

But the performers are not rock stars: They’re students.

“We’re putting on a tribute to our fallen heroes,” said Noel Wentworth, vice president of education at Wentworth Music. “It’s a musical celebration, so people like Prince and David Bowie and Michael Jackson.”

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Wentworth, the largest music school per capita in Canada, has been hosting these rockin’ recitals twice a year for over a decade and it’s their 25th recital this time around.

“We’ve received international attention. We’re doing something that very few other schools are doing,” Wentworth said. “I get people on a regular basis saying ‘this is a really good show.’ The seven o’clock show usually sells out.”

Billionaire Richard Branson announces Venezuelan benefit concert

The music school has over a thousand students –- anywhere from six years of age to 76 — with many performing at the recital.

“I’m nervous but I’m excited because, apparently, a lot of people come to watch it,” said piano student Emily Fortin.

Fortin is new to Wentworth and this is her first rock concert performance.

“If you want to pursue music, you have a lot of open doors for you instead of just taking at-home lesson,” Fortin said.

And from newbie to veteran, Reece Wernicke has been with the school since he was three years old and has performed in 23 of the 25 recitals.

“It’s really evolved and it’s gotten so much bigger,” Wernicke said. “It’s just a really exciting thing that I get to do twice a year and it’s something I look forward to.”

The concert is a fundraiser, with all proceeds going to support youth.

“We’ve raised over $212,000 now for the Kelowna General Hospital to help children,” Wentworth said. “We’re making a difference in people’s lives by doing something that we love to do.”

Watching these students perform, it’s difficult to believe many of them are beginner musicians.

“I love seeing students succeed,” Wentworth said. “I love seeing them go from square one, and the process of them stumbling and learning, and then, by the time we get to do the show, they’re nailing it. That’s what it’s about.”

The Legacy – A Musical Celebration of Our Lost Legends concert takes on Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite but they are selling out quickly, especially for the evening show.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Vox pop : quels sont vos meilleurs souvenirs de jeux vidéo?


Guy Macchiata, Eric Tavares et Luana Figuete

Deux jeunes hommes et une jeune femme sourient en regardant vers l'objectif.Guy Macchiata, Eric Tavares et Luana Figuete Photo : Radio-Canada / Karl-Philip Vallée

Guy : « Mes meilleurs souvenirs sont rattachés au Nintendo 64 et plus précisément au jeu GoldenEye 007. Je me souviens d’avoir joué énormément avec mes amis et de m’être beaucoup amusé. Récemment, je suis allé au Lan ETS et il y avait une console Nintendo 64 avec GoldenEye. J’y ai rejoué avec mes amis et ça nous a rappelé de beaux souvenirs. »

Eric : « Je me souviens d’avoir beaucoup joué à BlackShot, un vieux jeu de tir à la première personne. Je jouais beaucoup avec un de mes amis, on pouvait jouer jusqu’à 12 heures par jour. »

Luana : « Quand j’étais petite, mon père avait une PlayStation 2 et il jouait à Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Je n’avais que 6 ans, alors évidemment il ne voulait pas que je joue parce que c’était trop violent, mais tous les matins, je me réveillais avant lui et j’allumais la console pour conduire les voitures dans la ville. Avant qu’il se réveille, j’éteignais la console et je retournais dans mon lit. Il ne s’en est jamais rendu compte. »

Antoine Vachon, Philippe Bégin et William Bégin

Une photo de trois jeunes hommes qui sourient.Antoine Vachon, Philippe Bégin et William Bégin Photo : Radio-Canada / Karl-Philip Vallée

Antoine : « Je me souviens que ma passion pour les jeux vidéo a été déclenchée quand j’ai reçu une console GameCube de Nintendo. Super Smash Bros. Melee et The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, tout part de ces jeux. »

Philippe : « Avec mon frère juste ici, on jouait toujours à la GameCube en revenant de l’école, en particulier à Mario Kart et à Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. C’est ça qui a parti ma passion pour les jeux vidéo. »

William : « Comme je suis un peu plus jeune que mon frère, mes souvenirs tournent surtout autour de Minecraft. Quand j’étais au primaire, je passais toutes mes soirées à jouer à Minecraft. »

Valerie June

Une jeune femme avec des lunettes sourit.Valerie June Photo : Radio-Canada / Karl-Philip Vallée

« Je jouais beaucoup avec mon frère en grandissant et, évidemment, j’étais toujours le joueur numéro deux. On a commencé à jouer avec une console PlayStation et un GameCube, mais aujourd’hui on joue beaucoup à l’ordinateur ensemble. J’ai beaucoup joué aux jeux de Mario quand j’étais petite. »

Gregory Liebman, Jacob Peranovich et Evan Ganz

Trois jeunes hommes sourient pour la photo.Gregory Liebman, Jacob Peranovich et Evan Ganz Photo : Radio-Canada / Karl-Philip Vallée

Gregory : « On se connaît depuis la sixième année du primaire environ. On joue à Rainbow Six Siege ensemble depuis longtemps, plusieurs fois par semaine. Je chéris beaucoup ces moments, c’est toujours beaucoup de plaisir. »

Jacob : « Je me souviens que j’aimais beaucoup jouer à The Simpsons: Hit and Run avec mon père en grandissant; c’était vraiment bien. »

Evan : « Je jouais plutôt à des jeux en solo. J’ai joué pas mal à Star Wars Episode I: Racer; ce n’était pas un mauvais jeu. »

Terrell Gregory

Un jeune homme qui porte une tuque, un casque d'écoute et des lunettes pose pour la photo.Terrell Gregory Photo : Radio-Canada / Karl-Philip Vallée

« Mon meilleur souvenir des jeux vidéo en grandissant, c’est le jeu PaRappa the Rapper sur la première console PlayStation. Ça m’a pris tellement de temps à le finir. Je me rappelle que je me suis senti tellement fier quand j’y suis arrivé. C’était vraiment difficile parce que j’étais très petit à l’époque. »

John Sully, alias Coconut Brah sur YouTube

Une photo d'un jeune homme qui sourit.John Sully, alias Coconut Brah sur YouTube Photo : Radio-Canada / Karl-Philip Vallée

« Mes deux jeux préférés de tous les temps sont Halo 3 et Rainbow Six Siege parce que c’est tellement facile avec ce genre de jeux de m’amuser avec mes amis et de connecter avec un groupe de personnes comme moi. »


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Decision on Trans Mountain pipeline’s fate might not come until summer


Canada’s energy regulator will tell the federal government this week whether it still thinks the Trans Mountain pipeline should be expanded, but cabinet’s final say on the project’s future is still several months away.

The National Energy Board is reconsidering the project’s impact on marine life, including highly endangered southern resident killer whales, after the Federal Court of Appeal ruled last year that the NEB’s 2016 approval failed to properly take into account how the whales would be affected by having additional oil tankers in their waters.

The report’s delivery will start the clock on a 90-day deadline for cabinet to decide whether the controversial project will proceed, a deadline officials are already signalling could be pushed back.

In addition to the NEB review, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi has ordered a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities to satisfy the court.

A team of 60 people has been assigned to consultation teams that have met with 70 communities since October, but that leaves more than 60 affected communities line still waiting for a meeting.

There is no deadline for those consultations to wrap up, but officials in Sohi’s office have told The Canadian Press a final decision on whether the pipeline proceeds won’t be made until those they are complete.

Meantime, cabinet is under immense pressure to decide the fate of the pipeline before the federal election in the fall.

There is also pressure to get the expansion built because Ottawa bought the existing pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion last August, after political opposition to the expansion left the company’s shareholders reluctant to proceed.

Impact on killer whales key to discussion

The impact of the expansion on the southern resident killer whales — of which only 74 survive — is key to the discussion. Conservationists say the pipeline will make their recovery nearly impossible.

« The decision really comes down to: Will the federal government say that the economic interests associated with the pipeline outweigh the presence of having southern resident killer whales on the landscape, » said Misty MacDuffee, a biologist with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

The whales started the year on a high note with the birth of a new calf, and two more females in the population are pregnant. But the happy news comes with a major caveat: no southern resident baby has survived more than a year since 2015.

The whales are being harmed by everything from boat noise and the decline in chinook salmon to contaminants in the water from sewage. The National Energy Board in 2016 did conclude the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would « further impede » the recovery of the whales, but still gave the project the go-ahead because it said its mandate was to consider the impacts of the pipeline itself, not from project-related marine shipping.

Southern resident killer whales are pictured off the coast of B.C. (C. Emmons/NOAA Fisheries)

Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said he won’t prejudge what the National Energy Board will say, but he is confident the government has put in place enough new protections for whales and other marine life to mitigate the impact of the pipeline.

« No government has ever taken these kind of steps to try to address a critical species like the southern resident killer whale, » he said.

The Oceans Protection Plan, a $1.5 billion federal policy unveiled in 2016, includes new protected areas for the whales; attempts to recover their main food source, Chinook salmon; new research on water contaminants; and plans to reduce noise from the thousands of boats that travel near the whales each year.

The plan was not in place when the National Energy Board first reviewed the project, and Wilkinson notes the court didn’t take it into account either.

MacDuffee said there is nothing that can currently be done to reduce the effects of boat noise on the whales. She adds that while the government says only six more tankers a week will be added, those six tankers will mean the whales will go from being in the presence of boats about 85 per cent of the time, to more than 95 per cent of the time.


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