Barton Village hosting monthly events, including Winter Wonder festival – Hamilton


Barton Village is going to be hosting monthly events called Barton First Fridays.

Hamilton police respond to reports of gunshots on Barton St. East

The events kick off this Friday, Feb. 1, with the Winter Wonder festival.

It will take place from 3-9 p.m. between Victoria and Oak streets, where you can check out exhibits from local artists, live musical performances, an interactive hockey tournament, as well as an outdoor fire pit.

The monthly event is an effort to showcase Barton Village as an attractive place to work, play, live, shop and invest.

Police arrest wanted man after traffic stop in Hamilton

For more details, click here.

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


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Tories rev up fundraising machine with big-ticket events featuring Premier Doug Ford, energy minister


Premier Doug Ford’s governing Progressive Conservatives are revving up their money machine.

After loosening campaign finance laws introduced by former premier Kathleen Wynne following a 2016 Star exposé of Liberal fundraising, the Tories are banking on a cash windfall.

Miele touted the premier’s dinner as “the biggest fundraiser in our party’s history.”

Last Friday, Ford attended a modest $25-a-plate spaghetti dinner for 200 supporters at Kitchener’s Bingemans Conference Centre.

Under Wynne’s restrictions, all MPPs, candidates, and staff were forbidden from attending any event where money was raised for political parties.

But last November Finance Minister Vic Fedeli changed the law to enable politicians and their staff to go to fundraisers.

That had been the case prior to Wynne’s reforms almost three years ago amid accusations of the Liberals accepting “cash-for-access.”

Green Leader Mike Schreiner said Tuesday he was “disappointed” with the trend back to such fundraisers.

“Cash-for-access dinners have made a return to Ontario politics and it’s a bad sign for democracy. Pay-to-play politics is good for those with deep pockets, but not good for the people,” said Schreiner.

“At $1,250 per-plate to buy the ear of the premier, this is not a ‘government for the people.’ It’s a government for big banks, big developers, big nuclear, and big oil.”

In his amendments last fall, Fedeli retained the Grits’ prohibition on corporate and union donations, but some loopholes have emerged in the new legislation.

The Tories repealed a section that forced donors to “certify, in a form approved by the Chief Electoral Officer, that the person has not acted contrary” to the ban on trade unions or corporations donating cash in the name of their members or employees.

Both Conservative and Liberal fundraising experts have privately said all political parties could exploit that.

“If you don’t fill out a disclosure form, then what’s to stop a corporation donating on your behalf?” a veteran Liberal confided last fall, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the fundraising practices.

“It was the only thing in the act that required any threshold of activity on behalf of a donor to prove that a corporation wasn’t funnelling money through the backdoor,” the Liberal said.

A veteran Tory, who also requested anonymity, joked at the time that “it’s a loophole you could drive a Brink’s truck through.”

However, Ford’s government has said filling out the disclosure form was a nuisance to donors. The Tories stress that it is still illegal to accept money from a corporation or union to donate as an individual.

The revamped provincial legislation mirrors existing federal campaign laws.

In the 2016 Liberal bill, donors would have to certify in writing that they did not donate “funds that do not actually belong to the person; or any funds that have been given or furnished by any person or group of persons or by a corporation or trade union for the purpose of making a contribution.”

Fedeli is also phasing out the public $2.71 per-vote subsidies for political parties before the 2022 election.

The governing Tories, who got more than 2.3 million votes, receive almost $6.3 million a year, while the NDP get $5.2 million, the Liberals around $3 million, and the Greens about $700,000.


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How events unfolded after foreign affairs minister sent tweet rebuking Saudi Arabia


Months before a firestorm erupted over a federal government tweet criticizing a Saudi civil rights crackdown, Canadian diplomats had been trying to delicately address the issue behind closed doors.

Those efforts came crashing down after Global Affairs Canada publicly called out Saudi Arabia on Twitter for arresting activists and demanded their release.

A trove of over a thousand pages of emails and memos from officials in Ottawa and the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh, obtained by CBC News through an Access to Information request, tells the story of how events unfolded.

Earlier tweets elicited no reaction

While it was the tweets in early August that triggered an international diplomatic crisis, tweets posted May 23 similar in tone and message seemingly went unnoticed. That same day, Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland made a statement during question period condemning the arrests of activists.

Redacted emails from an unknown sender had two days earlier recommended against issuing any public statements or tweets and instead proposed alternative approaches. The concern was that a show of support for the civil rights activists would feed rumours that they were working on behalf of foreign embassies.

During the summer, the Canadian Embassy requested meetings with Saudi officials to follow up on « the arrest and detention of several civil society activists. » Invited to the meeting were diplomats from Australia, Switzerland and Norway, embassy documents show.

New round of arrests prompted new tweets

On June 27, a confidential summary of new Saudi crackdowns was circulated among Canadian officials. The memo stated that, just days after the Saudi government lifted its long-standing prohibition on female drivers, « this latest move suggests that the government’s campaign to crack down on civil society and make clear its intolerance for political activism is far from over. »

On July 31, news came that two more civil rights activists had been arrested — one of which was Samar Badawi, the sister of jailed activist Raif Badawi, whose wife fled to Canada. The next day, bureaucrats began planning out the wording for tweets.

« I spoke to my management and we agree that a tweet is warranted, » wrote an employee whose name was redacted. After after a series of discussions over which hashtag would yield the most reach on social media, an email was forwarded to the minister’s office recommending the tweets be approved in order to « express concern regarding these arrests. »

Calm before the storm

On August 2, a first tweet from the minister’s account went live, and reaction was being closely monitored. Early on, emails suggest staff were disappointed with how little traction the message received online.

The next day, two more tweets were sent out: one from the departmental account, and a version translated into Arabic from the embassy’s account. Staff pointed out that the minister’s earlier tweet included explicit mention of Samar Badawi and proposed that the new ones do so, as well.

The reaction from Saudi Arabia was swift. Just hours after the second round of tweets was published, the Saudi government retaliated, announcing it was expelling Canada’s ambassador, and it would sell off Canadian assets, cease flights to Canada, stop buying Canadian wheat and barley and suspend student exchange programs.

Damage control, media frenzy

On Aug. 5, staff became aware of reports indicating that the Saudi government intended to expel Canadian diplomats from their country. The documents show that staff were learning many of the developments from media reports and from inquiries being made by reporters to their department. By now, the Privy Council Office and the Prime Minister’s Office were fully engaged in the discussions over how to manage the situation.

Emails from staff were circulating expressing shock and sadness for embassy and consular staff. Someone working within the overseas team sent a long email thanking their colleagues.

« I couldn’t have asked for a better team to close out my career with. Despite the way it ended, I think we were able to do a lot of good things together, » read the message.

« The saddest part in all of this is that [redacted] will not have the chance to say a proper goodbye. »

As officials were trying to come up with a communication strategy to put out fires, they were getting swamped by questions from national and international media. The foreign affairs department carefully monitored media publications and online reaction.

In one email from the minister’s office, a request was made to try and find any evidence of support from « like-minded » groups or countries.

Ninety minutes later, a staffer responded that that there was « very little » to be found in terms of online backing from other countries.

At the same time, the department was receiving emails from Muslim community leaders inquiring about travel advice for Canadians intending to travel to Saudi Arabia for Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.

Then came calls from industry players like Bombardier. The company’s government affairs contact was trying to set up a meeting to discuss the impact of the situation. Another email discussed the future of the billion-dollar light-armoured vehicle contract Canada held with the Saudi government.

Even a representative for the government of Prince Edward Island reached out to Global Affairs for assurances the issue would be dealt with, as a local company had just struck a deal to provide lobster to a Saudi restaurant group and shipments were to begin two weeks later.

Staff were also preparing lists of stakeholders and attempting to quantify the impact the rift would have on Canadian post-secondary institutions and medical schools, which host about 10,000 students a year. 

« The point is, these are not starving students … they are generally from more affluent families — and come with families who spend money. Something to bear in mind, if the threat to withdraw KSA students is real — and materializes, » a departmental employee wrote.

As the spat began to draw international attention, there was an online backlash from Saudi social media accounts telling Canada to mind its own business. In one notable incident, a Saudi youth group tweeted an image appearing to show an Air Canada plane heading toward the CN Tower in a way that is reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.

Staffers were tasked with keeping tabs on these types of hostile reactions, as well.

Once the dust had begun to settle, records show Freeland held talks with politicians from other countries, including the U.K., Germany and Sweden. On August 7, her office made a formal request to set up a call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but it is not clear based on the records if this meeting occurred.

In late September, Freeland expressed a desire to mend fences with Saudi officials by discussing their differences on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

However, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said at the council meeting that if Canada wishes to move on, it must first apologize for demanding the release of Saudi women’s rights activists and stop treating the kingdom as « a banana republic. »

Weeks later, the controversy surrounding the murder of Saudi dissident and writer Jamal Khashoggi captured the international community’s attention, leaving the situation over the initial Twitter rift in limbo.


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What’s happening Waterloo? Here’s your guide to the region’s events this weekend – Kitchener


Christmas parades in Kitchener and Cambridge will dominate the landscape on Saturday but there are plenty of other great events throughout Waterloo region this weekend.

Here are a few interesting events throughout the area this weekend.

Let’s get the Christmas markets out of the way first.

READ MORE: Santa Claus is coming! Parades in Waterloo region

Christmas bazaars or craft shows will be held at the following locations on Saturday:

  • Faith Lutheran Church in Kitchener (8:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.)
  • Fairview Mennonite Home in Cambridge (9 a.m.-1 p.m)
  • Salvation Army Kitchener Community Church (9 a.m.-1 p.m)
  • Knox Presbyterian Church Waterloo (9 a.m.-2 p.m)
  • Steinmann Mennonite Church in Wilmot (9 a.m.-2 p.m)
  • St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church in Kitchener (9 a.m.-3 p.m)
  • St. Gregory’s Catholic Church (9:30 a.m.-2 p.m)
  • St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cambridge (10 a.m.-2 p.m)
  • St. Andrew’s Memorial Anglican Church in Kitchener (10 a.m.-2 p.m)
  • First United Church in Waterloo (10 a.m.-2 p.m)

Other events throughout the weekend:

Bingemans Gift of Lights

The Bingemans Gift of Lights opens on Friday night and runs through Jan. 5.

Visitors will get an opportunity to drive through a special display of lights including two tunnels while listening to a special radio accompaniment.


This event features 12 special pickle-inspired plates produced by a wide variety of the region’s finest eateries along with beer from 11 local breweries.

It takes place at the Museum in downtown Kitchener on Friday night from 7 pm. until 10 p.m.

Waterloo Potters Sale

Over 50 potters will have their goods on display at this event over the weekend.

Mugs, jewelry, serving dishes and other unique art items will be available Friday through Sunday at RIM Park.

Descendants Vintage Market

Quality vintage and handcrafted items will be available at Descendants Brewery on Sunday.

In addition, you will also be able to get food and craft beer at the restaurant.

K-W Titans Season opener

The K-W Titans will host the Sudbury Five on Sunday as they open their third season.

Tip-off for the local basketball team will be at 2 p.m. at the Aud.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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‘A very special Remembrance Day’: Canadian events mark 100 years since end of WW I


Remembrance Day ceremonies on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and at city halls, places of worship and military bases across Canada Sunday commemorated the end of the First World War a century ago.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan headed the ceremony, which began in sub-zero temperatures, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Paris for events with other world leaders.

Sajjan arrived at the National War Memorial along with Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, who recently returned from Belgium, where she attended additional commemorative events.

Among those Payette greeted as the ceremony got underway was Winnipeg resident Anita Cenerini, who was named as the 2018 National Silver Cross mother, representing all military mothers who have lost a child to war. Cenerini fought for her son, Pte. Thomas Welch, to receive full military honours after his suicide.

This is the first time the legion has chosen a mother who lost a child to suicide for the year-long designation. After serving in Afghanistan in 2003, the 22-year-old ended his life on May 8, 2004, at the army base in Petawawa, Ont.

At 11 a.m. Sunday, a sombre silence was broken by the beginning of a 21-gun salute and the deep tolling of a bell marking the solemn occasion. Five CF-18 Hornet aircraft from Cold Lake, Alta., also soared over the crowd at the National War Memorial in a « missing man » formation. The crowd paused at 11 a.m. to reflect on the sacrifices of Canadians who gave their lives in conflict around the world.

During the First World War, more than 66,000 Canadians died on the battlefields of Europe and more than 45,000 lost their lives during the Second World War. The Remembrance Day ceremonies acknowledged the contributions of all Canadians who have served and are still serving today.

Thousands gather for Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa:

Remembrance Day ceremony on Parliament Hill commemorates the end of the First World War a century ago. 3:28

Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gré​goire Trudeau, accompanied Sajjan at the ceremony, and was joined by Senator Peter Harder, Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon representing Veterans Affairs Canada and Thomas Irvine, national president of Royal Canadian Legion.

‘Very special Remembrance Day’

As the Ottawa Children’s Choice sang In Flanders Field, wreaths were laid at the foot of the war memorial to remember the fallen. Payette put down the first wreath, followed by Cenerini on behalf of « The Mothers of Canada, » then Sajjan on behalf of the government, as well as others representing various federal departments, and even one representing the young people of Canada and another on behalf of Indigenous people.

In an interview before the ceremony began, Sajjan told CBC’s Hannah Thibedeau that this is a « very special Remembrance Day » because of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice, ending the so-called Great War.

« We as a nation have been defined by it in many different ways, » said Canada’s defence minister, a Canadian Armed Forces veteran.

Poppies are pinned to a cross at Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Grand Parade in Halifax on Sunday, one of the many events across Canada. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

« Even today our men and women in Armed Forces are deployed all over the world. And let’s not forget the families as well who serve alongside them. »

Sajjan also stressed the important role of peacekeepers.

« World War I was a consequence where peace was not found … when we look at the work they do, we’re proud of the resilience in not only reducing conflict, but also preventing it. »

Honouring the fallen

In a statement Sunday from the Prime Minister’s Office, Trudeau emphasized the role Canadians played in the First World War.

« One hundred years ago today, the Armistice between Germany and the Allies ended the First World War. As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the armistice, we also mark Canada’s Hundred Days, » his statement says, in part.

« During the ‘100 Days Offensive,’ Canadians spearheaded attacks that overcame the last lines of German defences and paved the way to final victory. These soldiers were the face and strength of a young country that sacrificed beyond measure and never faltered in its duty. »

Trudeau also encouraged people in Canada to take time out for two minutes of silence, to « remember every Canadian who has sacrificed their future for generations beyond their own. We stand today, free and at peace, because of them.

Mayor John Tory, centre, participates in a wreath ceremony during the sunrise Remembrance Day service at Prospect Ceremony in Toronto on Sunday. (Canadian Press)

« Lest we forget. »

In Toronto, among the events across the city, there was a military parade through the downtown streets, with the primary ceremony happening at Old City Hall, with Mayor John Tory in attendance.

Premier Doug Ford hosted Ontario’s official Queen’s Park Remembrance Day ceremony in Toronto, where he encouraged Canadians to remember soldiers past and present as they reflect on the centennial anniversary.

After a ceremony that saw as many as 500 troops march towards the Ontario Legislature while John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields was read aloud, Ford told the crowd that « Canadian heroes span every conflict and every generation. »

On the East Coast, ceremonies included ones in Nova Scotia, where crowds of people filled the square at Halifax’s Grand Parade. As the clock struck 11 a.m., the gun on nearby Citadel Hill fired the first of 22 shots.

And in Prince Edward Island, hundreds gathered in Charlottetown to honour the fallen. The sombre crowd stood in near silence as it reflected on the battles that ended a century ago, and those that have come since.

Montreal’s main ceremony began at the Quebec Provincial Command, at Place du Canada. Quebec City’s event took place on the Plains of Abraham with Premier Franç​ois Legault in attendance.

Meanwhile, a church in Fernie, B.C., commemorated the 100th anniversary of the armistice by ringing its bell 100 times. Thousands of people also turned out for commemorations at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.

With files from The Canadian Press


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