‘We try to continue on with prayer’; A vigil for Colten Boushie

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The family of the late Colten Boushie wanted to mark the one year anniversary of the trial that saw the man accused of his murder go free.

Saturday afternoon approximately 20 people gathered in North Battleford, Sask. for a pipe ceremony and candlelight vigil to remember the man they lost.


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Debbie Baptiste said this anniversary only serves as a painful reminder of the loss of her son.

“My heart is going to be broken,” she said. “With the candle lights and the prayers and support behind me, I will be okay.”

Colten’s brother Jace, said as a family, they are still trying to cope with the grief.

“These type of anniversaries we try to continue on with prayer,” he said. “[It’s]a tragic reminder that we have.”

Colten Boushie was in the driver’s seat of his Ford Escape on the property of the farmer Gerald Stanley.

Stanley admitted to shooting Boushie in the back of the head, but was not found not guilty of second-degree murder.


READ MORE:
Gerald Stanley found not guilty of murder of Colten Boushie

Jace said they are still trying to move forward as a family.

“We cope with it,” he said. “Still coping with it.”

Boushie’s family has been calling for justice for all Indigenous people in Canadian courtrooms. The Whitstone trial was the first time Baptiste felt her voice was being heard.

“I did see some natives on a jury trial,” she said. “I was like in shock surprised, happy; there is still hope that we can get fair equal justice in the courtroom.”

Baptiste said she plans to continue being an advocate for equal representation and wants to see more done.

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

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Drug, vaccine shortages likely to continue, warns N.S. pharmacy association

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An ongoing shortage of common drugs and vaccines is likely to continue and will possibly worsen, warns the head of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia.

Over the last few months, health providers across the country have been left scrambling to deal with supply gaps in blood pressure medications, antidepressants and vaccines for travellers. 

« It’s a sense of helplessness, » said Curtis Chafe, a pharmacist and the chair of the provincial association.

He said the shortage is the worst he’s seen in a career spanning nearly two decades.

« You want to make the patient healthy and look after them, but your hands are tied in the most part. »

According to a survey conducted last fall for the Canadian Pharmacists Association, one in four adults in the country has either personally been affected by a shortage in the last three years or knows someone who has. 

In the past, pharmacists would have trouble getting lesser-known drugs, said Chafe. Now it’s more commonly used medications that are off the shelves, including those that contain valsartan to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

In that case, certain valsartan products were recalled last year because of a contaminant in the manufacturing process.

Nova Scotia’s International Travel Clinic has been rationing yellow fever vaccines since last summer, dividing what is typically one dose into as many as five. (Robert Short/CBC)

But often, the cause of the shortage is unknown. The lack of answers frustrates front-line workers like Chafe.

« The thing is, there’s not very much transparency when it comes to drug shortages, » he said.

« We have to do a little detective work and even then we don’t know what the root cause is. We don’t know whether or not it’s a quality assurance issue with the raw material … we don’t know if a factory failed an inspection. We don’t know if there was any kind of disaster or flood in the factory. »

The common antidepressant Wellbutrin is also hard to find across the country. And last year, people with severe allergies were left scrambling during an EpiPen shortage.

Travellers are being advised to plan ahead when it comes to getting their vaccines, as Nova Scotia’s International Travel Clinic has faced many shortages. (Robert Short/CBC)

At the International Travel Clinic in Dartmouth, Public Health officials are grappling with a shortage of the vaccines for yellow fever and hepatitis B. The clinic offers consultations and vaccines for people traveling outside of the country.

Its shelves of the common hepatitis A and B vaccine Twinrix have just been restocked, and the shots are being used « judiciously, » said Cara-Leah Hmidan, health protection manager for Public Health.

The clinic, which has seen people come from across the Atlantic region seeking shots, is warning would-be travellers not to wait until the last minute to get vaccinated. 

« We had one client from Newfoundland who is travelling to a high-risk area, » said Hmidan. 

The clinic has been rationing doses of its yellow fever vaccine since last summer because of production issues. That means one vial is now being shared between three to five people who receive it at the same time, said Hmidan.

Cara-Leah Hmidan says people have travelled from Newfoundland and New Brunswick to the travel clinic in Dartmouth in search of hard-to-find vaccines. (Robert Short/CBC)

« There are some logistics around that, » she said. « We have somebody co-ordinating that behind the scenes so we don’t waste anything. »

The change of dose means instead of being protected for life, travellers are now protected for just a year.

While the clinic is facing shortages, Hmidan said there is enough hepatitis B vaccine available for the province’s school immunization program.

Chafe said he doesn’t want people to stress or panic about the shortages. Health professionals will do everything possible to find suitable alternatives, he said.

« We can work to get your blood pressure covered, which is the important thing — not necessarily that you’re on a specific chemical, and work to make sure that you’re not at risk for having bad outcomes, » he said.

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Despite Chinese threats, Canada will continue building ‘coalition’ with allies, Champagne says – National

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Canada will continue working to gather allies in its fight with China despite recent threats.

In an interview with the West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson, Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said threats from China last week that Canada should stop gathering allies to speak out against its detentions of two Canadians after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou will not stop the work at building a “coalition” of partners.

READ MORE: This is why China’s feud with Canada is only getting worse

“We’re going to continue our advocacy, we’re going to continue building the coalition to make sure that the voice of Canada is heard. There’s a number of discussions at high levels. We will always defend Canadians in situations like that,” he said.

“I don’t think threats are necessarily useful or helpful in any of these situations.”

WATCH BELOW: China threatens ‘repercussions’ on Canada if Huawei 5G banned






Global News had initially requested an interview with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale or International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr to speak about China but was told Champagne would be the only one available to speak on the matter.

Freeland and Carr, as well as Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Finance Minister Bill Morneau, are among those heading to Davos for the World Economic Forum later this month, where it is expected they will continue work to get allies on board with supporting Canada against China.

Last week, Chinese ambassador Lu Shaye warned against doing exactly that.

WATCH BELOW: Trudeau says they’ll continue to remind China that Canada abides by rule of law






But Champagne said the allies supporting Canada realize that the risks go beyond what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the “arbitrary” detentions of two Canadians and reflect broader concerns about the need to maintain the rule of law against authoritarianism.

“It’s not just about these two individuals,” he said.

“I think the coalition realized if you want to have a world order where the rule of law prevails, where human rights prevail, we have to stick together. We have to speak with one voice and everyone in the world watching should defend these two Canadians against this arbitrary detention.”

The goal, he said, remains to find a diplomatic solution.

He also wouldn’t say whether the threats and rhetoric coming from China should give Canada pause when deciding whether to allow Huawei to build the 5G telecommunications infrastructure set to come up for auction either this year or next.

“The lens we will be applying will be the lens of national security. We’ll listen to our experts but I would say for the rest, we’ll do what’s right for Canada,” he said.

“Whatever other people think or so, we will do what’s right for Canada.”

The government is currently conducting a review of the security of Huawei’s 5G technology.

No date has been set for when that review will be complete.

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

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Calgary council votes to freeze pay for 2019; investigation into councillor’s comments to continue – Calgary

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Calgary city council voted on Tuesday to freeze its pay for 2019, but also voted to continue an integrity investigation from 2018 into a councillor’s comments on the freeze.

Back in December, council voted against a pay freeze based on administration’s advice, but Ward 11 Coun. Jeromy Farkas said that the council had rejected the pay freeze without an explanation.


READ MORE:
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At that time, Farkas was asked to retract his comments and apologize, and when he didn’t, he was ejected from council chambers.

The integrity commissioner was asked to investigate whether Farkas broke the council’s code of conduct, and last night councillors voted overwhelmingly in favour of continuing that investigation.

Farkas said he is disappointed with the council’s decision.

“I think the better way to go is just to acknowledge what happened in December as a misunderstanding,” Farkas said. “I think many, if not all of us, regret what happened and right now the focus is on moving forward as positively as we can, so obviously I am disappointed this is going to continue to drag out.”


READ MORE:
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Mayor Naheed Nenshi said it’s important the commissioner be allowed to investigate the incident.

“I think it’s important for the integrity commissioner to rule on that,” he said.

With files from Global News’ Nathan Taylor

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

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Lobster fishery likely to continue inside federal Eastern Shore Islands protected area

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Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans appears ready to allow lobster fishing inside the proposed Eastern Shore Islands marine protected area.

A draft ecological risk assessment prepared by the department says the local lobster fishery poses little risk of harming juvenile Atlantic cod, eel grass and kelp beds.

« Based on the results summarized above, the Department does not propose additional restrictions for the lobster fishery within a future MPA, » Wendy Williams, a DFO director in the Maritimes, said in a recent letter to stakeholders.

Significant eel grass and kelp beds and a cod nursery are unique ecological features within the 2,000 square-kilometre area — a pristine Nova Scotia archipelago of hundreds of islands that stretches from Clam Harbour, near Jeddore Harbour, to Barren Island, near Liscomb Point.

Why everyone is watching Eastern Shore Islands

Canada has committed to protect 10 per cent of coastal and ocean waters by 2020.

Eastern Shore Islands is the first large marine candidate in Canada with an inshore fishery. The boundary extends just 25 kilometres from the coast.

The ecological risk assessment is part of consultations involving fishermen, community groups, academics and First Nations.

Lobster fishermen in particular have feared the designation as a marine protected area could result in no-take zones where harvesting is banned.

Susanna Fuller, an Oceans North environmentalist, said the lobster assessment was fast-tracked and should assuage fishermen’s concerns.

« It really comes down to how they respond to getting essentially what they ask for, » Fuller said.

Recognizing the obvious

But fisherman Peter Connors wonders what took the government so long to recognize that the lobster fishery poses little threat.

« We should have started from that premise, » said Connors, president of the Eastern Shore Fishermen’s Protective Association.

Connors does not trust the federal government and even considers the risk assessment itself an insult to fishermen.

« And the fact they are only coming out now with a statement that the fishery won’t be affected when they see the opposition is so great that this can’t go ahead, » Connors said.

Advisory committee meets later this month

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans declined to speak about the draft assessment saying it will wait until a Jan. 22 meeting. At that time the report will be presented to an advisory committee.

The advisory committee was created last year to make recommendations on zones, boundaries and allowable activities for future marine protected areas.

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Home sales decline in Saskatoon during 2018 as prices continue to slide – Saskatoon

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Five per cent fewer homes were sold in Saskatoon in 2018 compared to 2017 as prices continue to decline.

The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR) said there were 3,329 total sales for the year.


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It was the fourth straight year sales declined, SRAR said, and down almost 25 per cent from 2014 when 4,417 homes were sold.

Sales for the month of December were off 20 per cent from December 2017, with 164 transactions.

Prices continue to trend downward, with the home price index (HPI) for a single-family home at $307,000 at the end of December, off from $310,900 in November, but virtually unchanged from the beginning of the year, SRAR said.

The benchmark for a single-family home peaked in May 2015 at $329,500.


READ MORE:
CMHC expects recovery in housing starts, slow price growth in Saskatoon for 2019

The HPI for townhouses was $215,800 at the end of 2018, down from $233,900 a year ago, while the benchmark for apartment-style condos was $178,900, off $11,700 from December 2017.

SRAR said the total number of homes listed for the year totaled 7,956, down 11 per cent from 2017. The five-year average for listings is 9,081.

The total number of active listings at the end of December was 1,487, which SRAR said was consistent with the five-year average of 1,480.

WATCH BELOW: Breaking down Saskatoon’s real estate numbers






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

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La laïcité continue de diviser à QS

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Dans son édition du samedi 29 décembre, en page B 1 dans « L’année 2018 en dessins », Le Devoir revient sur la question de la laïcité, qui reste un enjeu non résolu dans la population et dans les partis politiques.

Décrivant la position de QS, il est écrit : « Québec solidaire hésite encore entre une laïcité à la Bouchard-Taylor et l’ouverture inclusive tolérant les signes religieux portés par les employés de l’État. » Cela n’est pas exact ; la division est bien plus profonde. S’il est vrai que certains prônent une laïcité dite inclusive, il en est d’autres pour une laïcité fortement affirmée où le devoir de réserve s’appliquerait à l’expression de toute idéologie (politique, religieuse ou autre) pour tous les employés de l’État pendant qu’ils sont dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions.

La position actuelle de QS sur la laïcité date de 2008 et est fondée sur le rapport publié par la commission Bouchard-Taylor. C’est à cette position que les candidats se sont ralliés lors de la dernière élection même si certains étaient peu à l’aise à l’idée de la défendre activement, et cela, d’un côté comme de l’autre. C’est un compromis qui avait été adopté pour éviter la dissension quant à la promesse de Françoise David à savoir que le véritable débat devrait se faire plus tard.

Cette question a continué à entretenir un malaise parmi les membres de QS, mais l’appareil du parti a réussi à tenir le couvercle bien serré sur la marmite. L’arrivée de François Legault et son projet de loi sur les signes religieux ont changé la donne. On ne peut plus prétendre qu’il s’agit d’un faux problème, et c’est pour en discuter que QS tiendra un conseil national en mars 2019.

Manon Massé rappelle, avec raison, que de tenir un débat est un signe de santé démocratique ; malheureusement, celui-ci ne réglera rien. En effet, le CCN (Comité de coordination nationale) manoeuvre pour restreindre l’ordre du jour, et ce ne sera donc pas un débat de fond portant sur la laïcité. Il n’est pas question de savoir ce que les membres du parti pensent ; il est uniquement question de fixer l’interprétation du programme actuel, dont les points en examen n’ont pourtant jamais été débattus ni votés par les membres.

Si le CCN réussit sa manoeuvre, seulement deux options seront proposées aux délégués. On peut les résumer comme ceci :

Affirmer que la position actuelle, inspirée du rapport de Bouchard-Taylor, est toujours pertinente.

Au nom de la liberté de religion, permettre le port de signes religieux par tous les employés de l’État, peu importe leur fonction.

Il existe, dans le membrariat de QS et dans la population en général, un désir de promouvoir une laïcité plus affirmée, mais cela ne sera pas examiné lors de ce conseil national. La position que devra prendre la députation de QS par rapport au projet de loi de la CAQ ne sera pas discutée non plus.

En somme, rien n’est fait pour crever l’abcès, et l’on doit conclure que oui, à QS, la laïcité continue de diviser. De part et d’autre, on s’affuble de qualificatifs réducteurs, mais QS aurait mieux à faire que d’entretenir une chicane entre les laïcs « racistes islamophobes » et les inclusifs « idiots utiles de l’islam politique ». Une véritable solution ne peut provenir que d’un véritable débat, ouvert, complet et respectueux.

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BC Hydro expects power outages to continue Christmas Day in some areas

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BC Hydro is sending more crews to help restore power on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands, as more than 24,000 customers are still without power.

The utility says it has 800 personnel working around the clock, but despite that, some people will still be without power for days.

« Unfortunately, we will have some customers out in the most severe hit areas through Christmas Day, » said Tanya Fish, spokesperson for BC Hydro.

A few hundred customers are still without power in the Hope and Pemberton areas, but they were expected to be back on the grid later Monday.

‘They’re working around the clock and they are working in challenging, often dangerous conditions,’ said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. (Michael Laviolette/Facebook)

As of noon PT Monday, BC Hydro said the following communities will likely be without power on Christmas Day:

  • Bamfield/West Bamfield/Nitinat
  • Thetis Island/Penelakut Island
  • Protection Island
  • Parker Island

Crews from other parts of the province, as well as Alberta and the East Coast, have also been brought in.

At the height of Thursday’s massive windstorm, almost 400,000 customers were without power.

One of the challenges for Hydro crews is the number of trees that have been downed and are blocking roads and side streets, making it difficult to access some neighbourhoods.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said it’s too early to say what the cleanup and response will cost, but repairing the damage will be expensive.

« What’s amazing is that you’ve got men and women who are giving up their Christmas holidays, » said Farnworth. « They’re working around the clock and they are working in challenging, often dangerous conditions. »

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Police continue to watch for anyone possessing or uploading the St. Mike’s video

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Months after a sexual assault scandal rocked the St. Michael’s College School, Toronto police said they are continuing to investigate the video distribution of the original incident.

“Despite the various warnings, we have credible evidence to suggest that people are still in possession of this video and/or have made attempts to upload it on social media,” said Insp. Domenic Sinopoli, the head of Toronto police sex crimes unit, at a press conference Wednesday.

St. Michael's College School is shown in Toronto on Nov. 15, 2018. A sexual assault scandal has rocked the school.
St. Michael’s College School is shown in Toronto on Nov. 15, 2018. A sexual assault scandal has rocked the school.  (Frank Gunn / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

He said police consider the video to be child pornography and altering or cropping it does not change its digital identifiers. The video, which captures parts of the alleged sexual assault that took place in a locker room on Nov. 7, shows a group of boys holding down a teen boy and allegedly sexually assaulting him with an object that looks like a broomstick.

Sinopoli warned the public that whoever is making these sharing attempts will be caught and charged.

“The video and its distribution is a constant reminder to victims of the trauma they have endured,” he said at the conference. “In many ways, this can be far more detrimental than the assault itself.”

The alleged continued circulation of the video is one of the “terrible” outcomes of the rise of social media, said Judith Taylor, a sociology and gender studies professor at University of Toronto.

“It’s hard to believe that this kind of thing happens,” said Taylor, whose research includes issues of toxic masculinity. “It is a shocking thing, and so people want proof of it themselves, and they can’t really imagine the conditions under which it happens.”

She said it is unlikely that students at St. Mike’s would circulate the videos, as their parents would have warned them they are part of a criminal investigation and sharing the video could land them in trouble.

But the fact the video could still be circulation, shows a lack of understanding as to how awful and detrimental it is to the victims and society at large, said Kale Munro, a Toronto psychotherapist.

“It’s bad enough for the victims to have gone through this, but to think that others are distributing and looking at it, and you could run into somebody who has seen it, it’s just horrifying,” she said.

While the issue will inevitably create a “great deal” of trauma and shame, those affected need to know that it is mainly being talked about in a supportive manner, said Munro. Victims need ongoing and long-term therapy to understand it’s not their fault, but this kind of experience can be haunting for years, she said.

“If it gets pushed aside too quickly, then it will linger,” she said.

Gilbert Ngabo is a breaking news reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @dugilbo

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CUPW rejects latest offer from Canada Post: Rotating strikes to continue

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The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has rejected Canada Post’s latest offer in their labour dispute as a delivery backlog weighs on consumers placing orders for packages during the busiest shopping period of the year.

On Saturday, the union representing postal workers rejected the Crown corporation’s latest offer — so rotating strikes are set to continue. 

The company had imposed a deadline of midnight on Saturday for the union to accept its offer. The union said the offer was not good enough to put before its workers.

Kevin Matthews, spokesperson for the union, told CBC News on Saturday the offer didn’t address the issue of injured workers. He criticized what he called arbitrary deadlines set by management. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged the two sides to work out their differences. « The Christmas & holiday season is here – and Canadian businesses and families depend on Canada Post. We urge both sides in this labour dispute to resolve their differences quickly and reach a deal, » Trudeau said on Twitter after the union rejected the company’s latest offer. 

Union in 4th week of rotating strikes

« It’s clear they’ll have to do better, » the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) said in a release Friday, as the union continued its fourth week of rotating strikes.

« A vote will take place when Canada Post presents offers that meet our demands for health and safety, gender equality and more full-time jobs, » the union’s national president Mike Palecek said in a separate statement.

Workload is at the heart of the dispute, because postal workers are delivering more and more packages, primarily because of internet shopping.

Our weekend business panel discusses CUPW’s rejection of Canada Post’s latest contract offer:

Our weekend business panel discusses the Canadian Union of Postal Workers rejection of Canada Post’s latest contract offer, Toronto’s failed bid for Amazon’s new headquarters and plummeting prices in the oil and gas industry. 12:36

Palecek said employees are overworked right now and delivering late into the night, with some walking up to 30 kilometres a day.

Canada Post suspended delivery-time guarantees to its customers last Tuesday as it reported a 30-day delivery backlog resulting from the dispute.

The company has since asked its international partners to halt mail and parcel shipments to Canada. It said more than 600 trailers are now parked at Canada Post yards, waiting to be unloaded.

In an interview with CBC News on Friday, Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton said the backlog is a record for Canada Post. He said each of the trailers contain an average of 2,500 parcels.

Decisions on how to end job actions by postal workers could come as early as Sunday, said a federal government source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, adding that « all the options include legislating. »

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