Hall of Famer, pioneering manager Frank Robinson dies at 83


Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, the first black manager in Major League Baseball, the final manager of the Montreal Expos and the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues, died Thursday. He was 83.

Robinson had recently been in hospice care at his home in Bel Air. MLB confirmed his death.

An MVP with Cincinnati and Baltimore, Robinson cemented his legacy when he became Cleveland’s manager in 1975. The Reds, Orioles and Indians retired his No. 20 and honoured him with statues at their stadiums.

READ MORE: Montreal is ready and willing to welcome Major League Baseball team: study

Fearsome and fearless in the batter’s box, Robinson hit 586 home runs — he was fourth on the career list behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays when he retired and now ranks 10th. He won the Triple Crown while leading the Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966.

An All-Star outfielder in 12 seasons and a first-ballot selection to Cooperstown, Robinson also was a Rookie of the Year and picked up a Gold Glove.

Robinson’s place in the game’s history extended far beyond his abundant playing skills.

READ MORE: New York museum exhibit marks Jackie Robinson centennial

While still active, Robinson fulfilled his quest to become the first African-American manager in the big leagues. In his first at-bat as a player-manager for Cleveland, he hit a home run.

Robinson also managed San Francisco, Baltimore and Montreal. He became the first manager of the Washington Nationals after the franchise moved from Montreal for the 2005 season — he also was in the Nationals’ Ring of Honor.

WATCH: Montrealers weigh in on possible return of the Expos

More than half the major league teams have had black managers since his debut in the Cleveland dugout.

Robinson later spent several years working as an executive for MLB and for a time oversaw the annual Civil Rights Game. He advocated for more minorities throughout baseball and worked with former Commissioner Bud Selig to develop the Selig Rule, directing teams to interview at least one minority candidate before hiring a new manager.

For all he did on and off the field, Robinson was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005.

READ MORE: Montrealers weigh in on bringing back the Expos

Born Aug. 21, 1935, in Beaumont, Texas, Robinson attended McClymonds High School in Oakland, California, and was a basketball teammate of future NBA great Bill Russell. But it was on the diamond, rather than court, where fame awaited Robinson.

Former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer, who also gained first-ballot entry into the Hall, once called Robinson, “the best player I ever saw.”

Starting out in an era when Mays, Aaron, Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams were the big hitters, Robinson more than held his own over 21 seasons. He finished with 1,812 RBIs and hit .294 — he played in the World Series five times, and homered in each of them.

READ MORE: Montrealers stand proud as Expos’ Tim Raines inducted into Hall of Fame

Robinson was the only player to hit a ball completely out of old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and once connected for grand slams in consecutive innings of a game. But didn’t just slug away, as evidenced by a .389 on-base average boosted by 1,420 walks against 1,532 strikeouts. Extremely alert on the bases, he had 204 steals.

Robinson played the game with grace, yet was known as fierce competitor who combined hard work with natural talent. He crowded the plate, yielding to no pitcher, and didn’t seem to care about being brushed back or getting hit by a pitch 198 times.

READ MORE: Montreal’s Olympic Stadium to host pre-season games between Jays and Brewers

“Pitchers did me a favour when they knocked me down,” Robinson said.

“It made me more determined. I wouldn’t let that pitcher get me out.”

And opposing pitchers noticed.

“Frank Robinson might have been the best I ever saw at turning his anger into runs. He challenged you physically as soon as he stepped into the batter’s box, with half his body hanging over the plate,” Hall ace Bob Gibson once wrote.

WATCH BELOW: Remembering the Montreal Expos

“As a rule, I’m reluctant to express admiration for hitters, but I make an exception for Frank Robinson,” Gibson wrote.

Robinson carried a similar philosophy as a baserunner, unapologetically sliding spikes high whenever necessary.

“The baselines belong to the runner, and whenever I was running the bases, I always slid hard,” Robinson declared.

Robinson broke in with a bang as a 20-year-old big leaguer. He tied the first-year record with 38 home runs for Cincinnati in 1956, scored a league-high 122 times and was voted NL Rookie of the Year.

Robinson was the 1961 NL MVP after batting .323 with 37 homers and 124 RBIs for the pennant-winning Reds, and reached career highs in runs (134) and RBIs (136) in 1962. He was an All-Star, too, in 1965, but Reds owner Bill DeWitt decided Robinson was an old-ish 30 and time to make a move.

That December, Robinson was the centerpiece in what would ultimately be one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history, going to Baltimore for pitchers Milt Pappas and Jack Baldschun and outfielder Dick Simpson.

READ MORE: Jackie Robinson Day: ’42’ wins weekend with $27.5M

Robinson became an immediate hit with the Orioles in 1966 as the unanimous AL MVP.

On May 8, he hit a ball out Memorial Stadium. The drive came against Cleveland ace Luis Tiant and the spot where the ball sailed over the left-field wall was marked by a flag that read “HERE” that remained in place until the Orioles left for Camden Yards in 1991.

Robinson batted .316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBIs during his first season in Birdland. He then homered in the first inning of the 1966 World Series opener at Dodger Stadium and capped off the four-game sweep of Los Angeles with another homer off Don Drysdale in a 1-0 win in Game 4.

Robinson hit two home runs against the Reds — of all clubs — in teaming with future Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson to win another crown for the Orioles in 1970.

‘Frank Robinson broke the ice’

All told, Robinson was an All-Star in five of his six seasons with Baltimore, reaching the World Series four times and batting .300 with 179 home runs. The cap on his Cooperstown plaque carries on O’s logo.

Pappas went 30-29 over two-plus seasons with the Reds, Baldschun won one game in 51 appearances over two years with Cincinnati and Simpson hit five home runs as a part-time outfielder for the Reds during two mediocre seasons.

READ MORE: Philadelphia to officially apologize to Jackie Robinson for 1947 racism

Robinson was traded to the Dodgers before the 1972 season. He played for the California Angels in 1973 and was dealt to Cleveland late in the 1974 season.

Hired to guide the Indians in 1975, he made an immediate impact. Opening at home, and batting second as the designated hitter, Robinson hit a home run in the first inning as Cleveland beat the Yankees.

Robinson had coached for the Orioles and worked in their front office when he became their manager in 1988 after the team opened at 0-6. Things didn’t get much better right away as Baltimore went on to lose its first 21 games and finished 54-107. The next season, the O’s went 87-75 and Robinson was voted AL Manager of the Year.

WATCH: Montreal Expos star poised to be inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Tough and demanding, he went 1,065-1,176 overall as a big league manager.

A no-nonsense guy, Robinson also had a sharp wit. That served him well in Baltimore where, in addition to being a star right fielder, he was the judge for the team’s Kangaroo Court, assessing playful fines for missing signs, uniform mishaps and other things he deemed as infractions.

At the time, the Orioles had a batboy named Jay Mazzone, whose hands were amputated when he was 2 after a burning accident. Mazzone capably did his job for years with metal hooks and became good friends with Robinson.

READ MORE: Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s colour barrier – starting in Montreal

Some players, though, initially weren’t sure how to treat the teen.

“Frank Robinson broke the ice,” Mazzone said. “He was running his Kangaroo Court and calling a vote among the players, whether to fine somebody or not.”

“It was either thumbs up or thumbs down,” he recalled. “After the vote, he said, ‘Jay, you’re fined for not voting.’ Everybody laughed. After that, I was treated just like everybody else.”


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In Quebec, Conservatives are hoping Liberals can’t fight city hall


The Conservatives want to pick up seats in Quebec in October’s federal election and are lining up veterans of municipal politics to get them.

The latest name added to that list is Robert Coutu, who was announced on Tuesday as the Conservative candidate in the riding of La Pointe-de-l’Île on the island of Montreal. Coutu, the mayor of Montréal-Est, will try to win the seat currently held by the Bloc Québécois.

The Conservatives and their predecessor parties haven’t won a seat on the island of Montreal since 1988. Most of those seats subsequently flipped over to the Bloc in 1993. It is no coincidence that Michel Gauthier, a former leader of the Bloc, was present for the announcement of Coutu’s candidacy. The path to Conservative gains in Quebec runs, in part, through the sovereignist party.

It also runs through territory swept by the right-of-centre Coalition Avenir Québec in last fall’s provincial election.

For Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to target a seat on the island of Montreal is ambitious, as his party has long struggled to breakthrough into the suburbs surrounding the city, let alone on the island itself. But the CAQ accomplished the feat, making it the first small-c conservative party since 1976 to win seats there. Both of those seats are located within the boundaries of the federal riding of La Pointe-de-l’Île at the far eastern tip of the island.

Nevertheless, Coutu has a supremely difficult task ahead of him. The Conservatives took just eight per cent of the vote in the riding in 2015 while the Bloc won it in a three-way race with the Liberals and the NDP. Mario Beaulieu, the incumbent Bloc MP, has some profile as the on-again, off-again leader of the beleaguered party. Only last week, he made way for Yves-François Blanchet, the latest occupant of that title.

And while Coutu has some local renown, his appeal is likely to be somewhat limited. Montréal-Est is a small municipality of less than 4,000 in a riding of over 100,000 people.

Local credibility to compensate for Scheer’s low profile

Coutu is one of a number of candidates the Conservatives have recruited to fill some of the credibility gaps that Scheer has in the province.

Quebecers have a long history of preferring homegrown leaders over those from other provinces. In that regard, Scheer — who grew up in Ottawa and now represents a riding in Saskatchewan — will be the odd-man out on a debate stage that will include not only Blanchet and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but potentially People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier as well.

For a party whose main pitch to Quebecers is that a Conservative government will respect provincial jurisdiction — Scheer has said he would be prepared to work with Premier François Legault on lowering immigration and having Quebecers file only one tax return to the provincial government — leaning on local champions might prove to be a winning strategy.

The party has already drawn from that playbook. Alain Rayes, Scheer’s Quebec lieutenant, picked-up the riding of Richmond–Arthabaska for the party in 2015 thanks in part to his profile as the former mayor of Victoriaville.

Conservative MP Alain Rayes speaks during question period in the House of Commons at Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 19, 2018. (David Kawai/Canadian Press)

Quebec MPs Luc Berthold and Bernard Généreux are also former mayors, while the party scored a stunning upset in the Chicoutimi–Le Fjord byelection last year on the strength of a strong local candidate. Richard Martel, who won the riding away from the Liberals, is a former coach of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens, a major junior hockey team.

The Liberals have also used this strategy with success. Ramez Ayoub, Anthony Housefather and Jean Rioux, all former Quebec mayors, were newly-elected for the Liberals in the 2015 federal election. More recently, the Liberals won the riding of Lac-Saint-Jean in a byelection in 2017 thanks to Richard Hébert, former mayor of Dolbeau-Mistassini. In 2015, the riding had been the Liberals’ worst east of the Prairies.

Mayor lined-up to take down Bernier

In addition to Coutu, the Conservatives have two mayors nominated in ridings they currently do not hold. Mario Provencher, who was the mayor of Rouyn-Noranda from 2009 to 2017, will carry the party banner in Abitibi–Témiscamingue. The CAQ holds one of the two provincial ridings that make up the federal district and came a close second in the other.

Here again the Conservatives face an uphill climb — the party had just seven per cent of the vote in a riding won by the NDP’s Christine Moore with 42 per cent in 2015. Provencher was also defeated in the 2017 municipal election, though he still managed 28 per cent support in the city of 42,000 people.

But the most interesting candidacy might be Richard Lehoux’s in the riding of Beauce. The Conservatives are focused on defeating Bernier in his own seat to nip his People’s Party in the bud.

Richard Lehoux, left, will run for the Conservatives in the riding of Beauce, currently occupied by People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Lehoux was the mayor of Saint-Elzéar from 1998 to 2017. Though the small town has a population of 2,400, Lehoux has also served as the president of the Fédération québécoise des municipalités, an organization representing small municipalities across the province. A poll conducted in November by Mainstreet Research found Lehoux ahead of Bernier with 38 to 35 per cent support, though the margin of error of the poll effectively put the race as a toss-up.

There have also been persistent rumours that Yves Lévesque, long-time mayor of Trois-Rivières, would run for the Conservatives. Lévesque recently stepped down for health reasons, potentially putting a jump to the federal level on hold. But when Lévesque announced his departure, his spokesperson would not rule out a future run for federal office.

Unlike some of these other ridings, the Conservatives have good prospects in Trois-Rivières. The party had 19 per cent support in the riding in 2015, putting it third in a four-way contest. The NDP’s Robert Aubin won it with just 32 per cent of the vote. 

The CAQ also comfortably swept the three ridings that share territory with the federal seat.

The Conservatives haven’t limited their candidate search to mayor’s offices — François Corriveau, a former MNA for the Action Démocratique du Québec, which merged with the CAQ in 2012, will take on the Bloc in the eastern Quebec riding of Manicouagan. Corriveau is the president of the junior hockey team Baie-Comeau Drakkar. François Desrochers, another former ADQ MNA, will run for the Conservatives in Mirabel, where the CAQ romped to victory in the fall.

Scheer’s Conservatives still lag behind the Liberals in Quebec by a significant margin in the polls. Barring a sudden case of Scheermanie sweeping the province, if the party is going to make gains it will have to be riding by riding. Recruiting reputable candidates with pre-existing local networks of support is a good place to start.


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Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay to be inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame


Roy Halladay is headed to Cooperstown.

The late former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher was selected by voters to gain entry to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot.

Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner with a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter on his resume, earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner with a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter on his resume, earned induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.  (Tony Bock / Toronto Star file photo)

Halladay was part of a four-player class that included reliever Mariano Rivera, the first player to be named on every ballot, designated hitter Edgar Martinez and starting pitcher Mike Mussina. Reliever Lee Smith and DH Harold Baines were elected earlier by a veterans’ committee.

Halladay and Martinez received 85.4 per cent of the votes each, and Mussina received 76.7 per cent of the votes. A player must appear on 75 per cent of the more than 400 ballots submitted by eligible Baseball Writers Association of America Members to be inducted, and on five per cent to remain on the ballot another year.

Halladay, who died in a plane crash in November 2017 at the age of 40, will be the sixth player elected posthumously through the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s process and the first since Rabbit Maranville in 1954.

The native of Denver was selected by the Jays in the first round of the 1995 draft. He made his big-league debut as a September call-up in 1998 and went on to become one of the most dominant pitchers of his ERA.

« Of the countless players that have worn the Blue Jays uniform, few have done so with the determination and elegance of Roy Halladay,” said Jays president Mark Shapiro said in a statement. “Today is a bittersweet day for our community and organization, as we remember a beloved pitcher, teammate, and family man, but we can take comfort in the boundless impact Roy had on Canadian fans nationwide and the game of baseball. »

The two-time Cy Young Award winner went 203-104 with a 3.38 ERA in 12 seasons with Toronto and four with Philadelphia. He was known for his consistency and durability over the course of his career. The six-time all-star threw 67 complete games in 390 starts. Among Toronto starters, he ranks third with a 3.43 ERA, second with 1,495 strikeouts and 148 and first with a 1.20 WHIP.

In Philadelphia, he led the team to consecutive National League Championship Series. He pitched the second no-hitter in post-season history in 2010, the same year he pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history.

Former teammate Pat Hentgen, now a special assistant to the organization, remembered Halladay as “one of the greatest baseball competitors I have ever seen. »

“His work ethic, mental toughness, professionalism, and consistency on the mound were unmatched, » Hentgen said in a statement. « Every fifth day that he pitched, he held an intense focus on one goal: to give his team the best possible chance of winning. Any player who had the honour of sharing a clubhouse with Doc will agree that they are better having known him.”

It will be up to Halladay’s family, including wife Brandy and sons Braden and Ryan, to decide whether he goes into the hall with a Jays logo or a Phillies logo. The induction ceremony will be held on July 21 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Halladay told reporters in Toronto in 2016 that he would go into Cooperstown wearing a Jays cap, because it’s where he spent the bulk of his career. It was for that reason that Halladay chose to sign a ceremonial one-day contract with Toronto when he retired, to finish his career as a Jays player.

If he enters as a Jays player, he plaque will bare the second Toronto logo in franchise history, after Roberto Alomar Jr. was inducted in 2011.

Read more:

Halladay looks destined for Cooperstown, but which hat will he wear?

Blue Jays saw hall in Halladay on and off the field

Richard Griffin: Halladay loved baseball but family was his biggest passion

There were 35 players on this year’s ballot, including 15 holdovers from last year and 20 first-timers. A player must play at least 10 full seasons in the big leagues and be retired for five years to be eligible for the Hall of Fame.

Those that fell short this year included pitchers Curt Schilling (60.9 per cent) and Roger Clemens (59.5 per cent), and outfielders Barry Bonds (59.1 per cent) and Larry Walker, the Maple Ridge, B.C., native who made major gains to get to 54.6 per cent. The former Montreal Expos outfielder, a career .313 hitter and a former National League MVP in Colorado, has one year left on the ballot.


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Andrew Scheer takes questions from public at Toronto town hall


Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is taking questions from the public at a town hall event in Toronto on Saturday.

CBC News will stream the event live and provide analysis starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBC News, CBCNews.ca and CBC News’s social channels.

Before Parliament returns from its winter break a week from Monday, Scheer and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been criss-crossing the country meeting with Canadians and fielding questions on a diverse range of topics.

During his swing through Alberta, Scheer encountered people angry about the state of Canada’s energy sector after the Federal Court of Appeal quashed construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project pending further environmental review and consultation with Indigenous peoples.

Scheer had to get out of his vehicle and walk to the venue in Nisku, Alta., because of a 22-kilometre convoy of truckers protesting Trudeau’s carbon tax and environmental policies. Scheer sought to reassure people by promising to scrap the prime minister’s carbon levy designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Scheer also answered questions about what the Conservative party would do about a growing meth problem on the Prairies as the drug claims more lives each year. Scheer vowed to better equip police and unveil a gang prevention strategy.

Trudeau, for his part, has had a lot of questions about Canada’s immigration system and how the federal government is handling a spike in asylum seekers entering the country by foot.

In Quebec, Trudeau was also confronted by a dairy farmer who was upset with the concessions the federal government has made on dairy in striking trade deals with the U.S., the EU and Pacific rim countries.

The town hall tour by the prime minister and the leader of opposition comes ahead of a federal election later this year. The various parties are soliciting feeback to help them craft the policy platform they will present to voters in October.


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Trudeau questioned on pipelines, carbon tax, Indigenous rights in Regina town hall


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fielded questions on everything from pipelines to Indigenous rights to his favourite childhood toy Thursday evening before a lively Regina crowd.

There was no clear issue that dominated the event. He took about 20 questions and was asked about everything from a controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia, immigration, deficits, support for mental health, as well as steel tariffs and the carbon tax.

One man who works in the steel industry asked Trudeau why his government inked a new trade deal with the United States with steel and aluminum tariffs in place.

In response, Trudeau said in every conservation he has with U.S President Donald Trump he raises the issue that « these punitive American tariffs » are hurting both Canadian and American workers.

« Yes, I would have liked to have been able to convince the president to pull back the steel and aluminum tariffs before signing, » Trudeau told the crowd.

« That was not going to be possible. That was very clear from the U.S. administration, » he said, adding that the choice came down to whether or not to secure the trade deal, which he said is worth $2 billion a day to the Canadian economy.

The town hall took place a day after a similar, but more raucous meeting Trudeau held in Kamloops, B.C., where he faced questions about pipelines and reconciliation with Indigenous people.

In a repeat from the previous evening’s event, the question of pipelines was front and centre.

« You’ve got yourself in a hell of a predicament. You pissed off the Greens, you pissed off your base, you pissed off us that don’t like you and the pipeline still isn’t in the ground, » the same questioner said during the town hall, which had more than 1,000 attendees.

« You can legalize marijuana, but we can’t twin a pipeline, an existing pipeline to the coast. »

Yellow Vest protesters outside event

Before the town hall began, roughly a dozen protesters gathered outside the venue — the University of Regina’s kinesiology building. The group included a pro-oil and gas protester and an Indigenous rights protester.

« I’m not pleased with what’s going on, » said protester Gloria Armstrong.

« He’s giving away money to so many other people — the $10.5 million that was given to the so-called criminal [Omar Khadr] and veterans are not getting money. »

As the event got underway, a convoy of trucks gathered outside. 

Protesters voiced their displeasure with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of his town hall meeting in Regina on Thursday. (Bryan Eneas/CBC News)

Thursday’s event was not without its interruptions, however, including when Trudeau answered questions about pipelines. 

At one point a woman stood in an aisle and held a sign expressing solitary with the members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, who earlier this week set up checkpoints on a service road in B.C. in protest of a proposed natural gas pipeline.

She asked about the actions of the government and the RCMP, which arrested 14 people. 

One person in the crowd shouted, « Is that reconciliation? »

Later in the evening, Trudeau received praise from elder Noel Starblanket, seated at the front of the crowd, who said Trudeau has done more for Indigenous peoples than any other prime minister in Canada. 

Trudeau defends immigration system

Thursday’s crowd grew particularly animated when Trudeau fielded a question from a man who wanted to know what the prime minister is doing about border control.

At first. some audience members cheered at the question, but boos followed when during an exchange with Trudeau, the man said that Islam and Christianity don’t mix and « they » want to kill « us. »

Trudeau said there is no open border and defended Canada’s immigration system as effective at both allowing people into the country and integrating them into society, singling out Syrian refugees. 

On Friday, Trudeau is expected to make several stops around the city in the company of Ralph Goodale, the Liberals’ lone MP in Saskatchewan.


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‘Be a man!’: Indigenous protesters assail Justin Trudeau at B.C. town hall


“I don’t want to see your crocodile tears!”

That was one of a number of comments with which Indigenous protesters confronted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a town hall at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops, B.C. on Tuesday night.

WATCH: We can’t decide ‘right solution’ for First Nations people, Trudeau says

The town hall came in the same week that 14 people were arrested in the province’s northwest as they protested the construction of a natural gas pipeline by Coastal GasLink that’s a key piece of infrastructure for the LNG Canada project.

The arrests came Monday, on the same day that Mounties enforced a B.C. Supreme Court injunction requiring that any obstructions to the project be removed near a bridge on a forest service road that runs south of Houston.

Further developments came Wednesday, as hereditary chiefs with the Wet’suwet’en people said they would open a checkpoint gate they had erected at what’s known as the Unist’ot’en Camp, a longstanding structure aimed at preventing the pipeline’s construction.

WATCH: Trudeau visits B.C. amid angry pipeline protests

Trudeau largely seemed to address a friendly audience — questions included, “What’s your favourite part of your day?” — before frustrations over pipelines, and the federal government’s approach to climate change and First Nations, started to boil over.

First to assail Trudeau was Will George, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

“You lied about being a climate leader. You don’t build pipelines by being a climate leader,” George said.

“You want truth and reconciliation with First Nations and you get our people arrested.”

Trudeau, who was answering a question about oil and gas emissions, asked George to “please respect” an audience member’s ability to ask a question. But George continued.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau holds town hall in Kamloops, B.C. amid dueling protests

“You’re a liar and a weak leader. What do you tell your children? Pipelines do not make climate leaders,” he said.

“I apologize to you, I’m not going to listen to your lies anymore, you’re a weak leader and a liar and you’re not welcome here.”

Trudeau later faced a question from a woman named Tilly, who identified herself as a member of the Stl’atl’imx Nation.

“What are you going to do to stop oppressing and holding our people under your colonization,” she asked.

“When are you going to give us our rights back, when are you going to start giving a s*** about who we are as people, and not just seeing us for our land?”

Trudeau responded that Canada has a “long and failed history in regards to Indigenous people,” saying it has “consistently failed as a country to live up to the spirit and intent of the treaties.”

“We have not treated Indigenous peoples as partners and stewards of this land.”

Trudeau said the federal government is focusing mainly on two areas when it comes to Indigenous peoples: services and relationships.

WATCH: Trudeau reacts to LNG protest arrests as police probe death threats

He started talking about how “too many Indigenous communities are existing under boil water advisories” when Tilly interjected.

“You are afraid to lose your comfort,” she said.

“No I’m not, Tilly,” Trudeau responded.

“I am ready to work in partnership with you and that is what we have been doing with you over the last three years.”

READ MORE: Anti-pipeline protesters descend on Ottawa, delay Trudeau appearance

The pair continued to exchange words, with Tilly saying, “I don’t want to see your crocodile tears, I don’t want to see you apologize.”

She said she wanted “amends,” that she demanded it “on behalf of my people.”

Another protester yelled out, “be a man! Be a man!”

Trudeau then said, “we need to be respectful of everyone who came out tonight to engage in this conversation.”

He went on to say that no one checked with Indigenous people when Canada’s railroads were laid down.

“Nobody checked with the people who had lived here for millennia, whether or not we could throw a railroad down in a given place,” Trudeau said.

“That is not how we will continue to do things.”

  • With files from The Canadian Press

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


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Trudeau’s Kamloops town hall combative in wake of pipeline protests


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced a combative crowd in Kamloops, B.C. Wednesday night at a public town hall meeting dominated by questions about reconciliation with Indigenous communities and the future of several pipeline projects.

The meeting, staged in a packed university gymnasium, came amid a tense standoff between RCMP and First Nations in northern B.C., which has sparked protests across Canada.

Since Monday the Mounties have been enforcing a court injunction granting workers with the Coastal GasLink natural gas pipeline project access to a road and bridge from which they had been blocked by opponents of the project.

On Monday, the RCMP entered the first of two blockades and arrested 14 people. Hours before Trudeau’s townhall meeting, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and RCMP reached a tentative agreement allowing workers access to the pipeline.

Arnie Jack from the Schuswap nation confronted Trudeau about a standoff between RCMP and First Nations in northern B.C. (CBC)

Arnie Jack from the Shuswap nation in the B.C. Interior confronted Trudeau about RCMP actions in northern B.C., saying that without the consent of the people, the Prime Minister would have to « go through us first. »

« You can stand up all the elected chiefs that you want and say that you have consent, but you do not have consent from the people on the ground, and you said yourself that these major projects would not be approved without community consent, » Jack said.

« What you did to the Wet’suwet’en, that’s a national disgrace. »

Trudeau responded by saying there are a broad range of Indigenous perspectives regarding the project.

« We are going to have to work together, » he said amid heckles from the crowd.

« I understand your frustration. »

Trudeau addressed the issue again in a later question, saying the process of reconciliation should not be rushed.

« We’ve gone from a place where Indigenous people were not listened to, were not consulted, were not included, and we are doing a better job of it, » he said.

« If we choose to determine what the right solution is for Indigenous peoples, we’re — however well-meaning we may be — compounding the mistake that has gone on forever. »

Protestors, jokes

The meeting, attended by over 1,000 people, is part of Trudeau’s annual tour of town halls around the country during January, which he describes as an important exercise in democracy. 

Trudeau came face-to-face with demonstrators even before the packed event. Earlier on Wednesday he was met by more than 100 anti- and pro-pipeline demonstrators as he arrived at a Liberal party fundraising luncheon.

One of the most contested topics in Kamloops remains the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, with some adamantly supporting the pipeline because of the jobs it could create, and others opposing it for environmental reasons.  

Indigenous demonstrators stood in support of the Wet’suwet’en people’s pipeline blockades. (Glen Kugelstadt/CBC)

The town hall meeting also had lighter moments —Trudeau was grilled on his problem-plagued India trip in 2018 — to which he replied, « it was a trip that happened. »

He was also asked about his favourite part of being Prime Minister, his favourite part of the day, and at one point, was offered a beer if he would « push the U.S. President off a cliff. »  

Trudeau’s next scheduled town hall meeting is in Regina, Sask. 


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Montreal City Hall hosts annual holiday open house – Montreal


Montrealers stood in line outside city hall Saturday morning, waiting for a chance to visit with Santa and catch a glimpse of Mayor Valérie Plante for the city’s annual holiday open house.

Once inside, children and their parents could partake in various activities, from crafts to face painting to, of course, a photo shoot with Santa and the mayor.

READ MORE: Montreal elementary school gets Christmas treat from Generations Foundation

Firefighters and police officers were also on hand, some playing live music and others distributing colouring books and other goodies.

Plante, for her part, took the time to greet residents and wish them happy holidays.

WATCH: Making the holidays brighter for some Montreal families

“It’s so great to be here today,” she said.  “It’s such a great moment for me to talk to citizens and families.”

READ MORE: ‘I felt like I was important’: Batshaw tradition spreads holiday cheer one gift at a time

When asked if she had a Christmas wish, Plante said she was looking forward to spending some quality time with family, adding it was her wish for all Montrealers.

“We work hard, we dedicate a lot of our energy for our jobs,” she said, “But then, it’s time to also cool down with our family and loved ones so we can get energized.”

Visitors to city hall were also encouraged to meet other elected officials in council chambers and take part in a tour to learn more about the democratic process.

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


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Marriage in the council chambers? Vancouver politician proposes City Hall weddings – BC


A Vancouver politician has a marriage proposal for City Hall.

Melissa De Genova is calling for a simple process that would open up the council chamber to couples who want to get hitched at City Hall — in order to cut red tape and offer affordable options for wedding ceremonies.

“People have asked me if it’s possible to book council chambers or areas of City Hall for weddings and they were quite surprised that there’s an entire program offered on Vancouver.ca, our city website, for booking park facilities. There’s a one stop shop permit program there, but not here at City Hall,” said the Vancouver NPA councillor.

WATCH: Massive pop-up wedding in Vancouver’s Robson Square

Even though the Vancouver Park Board offers permits for public wedding options on its sites, the City of Vancouver currently has no formal program in place for weddings at its heritage building — although couples have tied the knot outside.

More than 140 couples tie the knot in Vancouver ‘pop-up’ weddings

Mira Oreck and Stepan Vdovine got married on the Helena Gutteridge Plaza on Vancouver City Hall grounds this past summer — but the couple had to apply for an $800 film and special events permit — and rent their own washrooms for the big day.

“There isn’t infrastructure here. There aren’t bathrooms, there’s not shade cover for the sun or for the rain. There’s not an inside space to put any personal items so I think it’s a great idea but I think it needs to be supported by some infrastructure and resources,” Oreck told Global News.

WATCH: Secrets to marital success: BC couple celebrate 7 decades together

De Genova wants the city to consider its council chamber, Helen Gutteridge Plaza and the garden at City Hall as possible wedding venues.

In a motion set to go to council on Tues. Dec. 18, the NPA city councillor states that many other Canadian cities “including Victoria City Hall, Calgary City Hall, Fredericton City Hall, Ottawa City Hall and Toronto (both Old and New City Halls) offer the opportunity for couples to book in advance and hold wedding ceremonies on-site.”

These couples had $15,000, $35,000 and $85,000 weddings. What their big days looked like

At Ottawa City Hall, wedding costs range from “$141.30 for week day ceremonies to $212.00 for weekends, subject to availability.”

A marriage licence can also be obtained on-site for a $161.60 fee – provided all requirements are met.

In the capital city, couples can say “I do” at the heritage City Hall building four days a year – when three one-hour ceremonies are offered each day for a room rental fee of $150.

On Fri. Dec. 14, Vic PD’s top cop crashed one couple’s municipal wedding. Chief Del Manak posting a photo with the tweet, “Love is in the air @CityOfVictoria City Hall. Ran into a happy couple coming to City Hall to get married. Now @vicpdcanada is a part of their wedding pics. Congrats to Peter and Sandra. Such a great couple! May you enjoy a life of laughter and #happiness.”

De Genova wants the city to consider the structure city halls across Canada practice in providing marriage venues and services – and then report back to council by December 2019 with recommendations, including any budget implications, and recommendations for a possible pilot or trial program for holding weddings on set days of the year or regularly at Vancouver City Hall.

Vancouver’s City Hall opened in 1936 and was designated a heritage building in 1976.

This couple is saving a bundle on wedding costs — thanks to Facebook

The city of Vancouver website states that, “On the third floor, the ceremonial and formal spaces including the Council Chambers are substantially intact.”

Currently, the Vancouver council chamber is not available for external bookings.

In a statement to Global News, the city of Vancouver wrote that since Helena Gutteridge Plaza opened earlier this year, it has received some inquiries about the use of the space – and one wedding, Oreck and Vdovine’s, has been held there.

WATCH: Shanel Pratap and Jay Durant crash wedding in Green Bay

Oreck says she and her husband chose the venue for a reason.

“My husband and  I met actually campaigning, door knocking for Vision Vancouver many, many years ago and so this was a meaningful space for us — but it was also meaningful because of Helena Gutteridge Plaza. It’s named after the first woman elected to city council, a labour activist, a suffragette.”

The emailed city statement says a permit to hold a wedding at a city-managed public space such as the Helena Gutteridge Plaza can be requested via the Film and Special Events group and that “the fees associated with that depend on where/how many people/what type of event, etc.”

The city says it can’t comment on what a more formal program or fee structure might look like until after the Dec. 18 council meeting.

“It’s a fun light-hearted motion for our last council meeting of the year, ” said De Genova.

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


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Councillor exit interview: Bob Monette talks about ‘sentimental’ retirement from Ottawa City Hall – Ottawa


Bob Monette was ready and set to run a fifth campaign for a city council seat, but decided in June it was time to leave politics after nearly 13 years at Ottawa City Hall.

Friday marked Monette’s last day on the job as councillor for Orléans, a ward in the city’s east end where he has lived for the last 40 years. Before his time at city hall, Monette – born and raised in Ottawa – served as a councillor in the former Cumberland township from 1985 to 1991.

Outgoing Ottawa city councillors bid farewell at final council meeting of term

After amalgamation, he was first elected to Ottawa City Hall in the 2006 Orléans byelection. Most recently, he served as one of Ottawa’s deputy mayors and sat on the audit committee, the finance and economic development committee and the transportation committee.

Global News sat down with Monette on Nov. 28, before the final city council meeting of the term.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: How are you feeling today, before your last city council meeting?

A: I mean it’s special. I’ve had a long career in politics, 19 years… everything comes to an end. Today is going to be a bit sentimental but I don’t regret the decision. It’s the right decision to move forward.

Q: How did amalgamation change the nature of your job as a councillor?

A: Oh, drastically. Before amalgamation, it was a more hands-on approach. When I was in Cumberland township, I did not have staff, so basically everything I did, I did on my own. We had constituents come to your door and you deal with the issues … they’d be calling you at home. I had one constituency office for all the councillors, so it was very difficult. But it was more hands-on and the staff lived in the community and knew the community.

Here are your City of Ottawa council members for 2018-2022

Q: Over the time you’ve served at Ottawa City Hall, what are you most proud of?

A: For city issues, I think my involvement with Lansdowne was something I will really cherish. It was a very difficult file, you had people who were strongly opposed to it and I always felt it was a right decision at the right time. I attended all the public meetings from one end of the city to the other end, spoke out… I’m pleased with what we have today.

Another city file is the Ottawa River Action Plan. As you know, direct sewage going into the rivers has been a problem for many years. In Ottawa, what we had seen in the sewage, E. coli spiked … to amounts … like something we had never seen. People were talking about: “Why is there raw sewage going into our Ottawa River?” From that time, we have had federal, provincial and municipal governments put in over $200 million to rectify that problem. This is a legacy that you’re leaving your children and you want a clean water system for your children. So that’s something I’m very proud of.

Petrie Island… I mean when I first started it was no service, none at Petrie Island. We were able to get services brought into Petrie Island, we were able to get a lifeguard facility as well as washrooms.

We have festivals now – we never had festivals in Orléans when I started in 2006. It’s creating an identity and social benefits, economic benefits for our community.

Q: What are some aspects of the job that surprised you or were more difficult than you anticipated?

A: I think when I first started, technology was a lot different in 2006 than it was in 1985, obviously. In 1985, 1988, we didn’t work with computers … I think technology was a big one. I think the bureaucracy was a lot more difficult to work with and I was very successful working with the bureaucracy but you always have to remove red tape. For a long time, it was easy for staff to come in my office and say: “No, you can’t do this or you can’t have this.” And I changed the mindset on that. Any staff or anybody who came to my office, I would tell them: “Do not tell me how I cannot do it, tell me how I can do it and what are the consequences of doing that.” By doing that, the bureaucracy and staff were then open to coming to the office with solutions. And once they tell me the consequences, sometimes I’d say: “Okay, I understand, we can’t do it.” But most times we were able to find something different by thinking outside the box.

Ottawa election results 2018

Q: What were the family considerations that prompted your decision to retire from politics?

A: I had submitted my name again to run one more time. I think it was at the point … in April, I guess it was, we were down in Cuba, we had a trip me and my wife. And on the last day, she told me, she says: “Why don’t you pack it in?” I wasn’t ready to pack it in and she supported that. But it was, I guess, a couple of weeks into May … two or three days in a row I’d wake up in the middle of the night … it was around 3 in the morning and I just came to realize: “Why am I doing this? I’ve done everything I want to do.” Then I waited for my wife to wake up and mentioned it to her and she was very supportive, obviously. And from then on, we decided to move on. I don’t regret that decision. My family has supported me every election and they would have supported me if I would’ve run, but they also supported that it’s time to take time for the family.

Q: So you feel like you’re leaving any work unfinished?

A: No, definitely nothing unfinished. There are a couple of files that are coming up (and) I met with the incoming councillor. Light rail transit to Trim Road is going to be a very important file for our community. We have the funding in place, it needs to move forward. The marijuana legislation, that’s going to be a big issue coming forward. How will that affect kids? How close will the shops be to schools? How close will they be to recreational complexes?

Q: You’ve mentioned that you still plan to remain actively involved in the Orléans community. Are you able to say how you plan to do that?

A: No, not yet, because I don’t know! What I want to do right now is take two, three months off… family time sort of thing. Just slow down… you know, get up every second Wednesday of the month and watch council on TV, that will be my hobby. But no, I want to spend more time with my family and go on a trip or two. And then after that, what I have said is I’d be open to different opportunities. Whether that’s part time or … committee work, I’d be open to that.

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


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