Charles Tisseyre, Peter Simons et Henri-Paul Rousseau nommés au sein de l’Ordre du Canada

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La gouverneure générale du Canada, Julie Payette, a annoncé jeudi une centaine de nouvelles nominations au sein de l’Ordre du Canada.

Par voie de communiqué, le bureau de la gouverneure générale a précisé qu’il s’agissait de 103 nominations, parmi lesquelles on retrouve notamment le président du Cirque du Soleil, Daniel Lamarre, le chef de l’entreprise La Maison Simons, Peter Simons, le journaliste scientifique Charles Tisseyre et l’économiste Henri-Paul Rousseau.

L’Ordre du Canada a voulu reconnaître M. Tisseyre et « son dévouement à la vulgarisation scientifique et à la défense des médias d’information ».

M. Lamarre est récompensé pour « sa contribution à l’univers des communications et du divertissement », tandis que M. Simons a été choisi « pour son leadership dans le monde des affaires et son militantisme au profit de l’industrie du commerce de détail ».

Les récipiendaires seront invités à recevoir leur insigne au cours d’une cérémonie « qui aura lieu à une date ultérieure », indique-t-on dans le communiqué.

Créé en 1967, l’Ordre du Canada rend hommage aux personnes dont les services « transforment la société ».

Les nominations sont faites par le gouverneur général, selon les recommandations du Conseil consultatif de l’Ordre du Canada.

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Peter MacKay, Scott Brison could be called as witnesses in Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s trial

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The Crown in Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s breach of trust case tabled its witness list today — and it reads like a political, military, bureaucratic and business who’s-who of official Ottawa.

It includes current and former cabinet ministers, a high-profile lobbyist, a former journalist, senior military brass and well-known business executives.

The list, dated July 5, 2018, was presented to the Ontario Superior Court on Friday during pre-trial arguments over the disclosure of federal government documents requested by Norman’s defence.

Federal Treasury Board President Scott Brison, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and former Conservative defence minister Peter MacKay are among 24 witnesses who might be called to testify against the former commander of the navy.

The list was presented to Judge Heather Perkins-McVey to help her decide on the relevance of documents being requested by the defence.

It is subject to revision. The Crown is under no obligation to call each person and no subpoenas have been issued yet.

The trial will not get underway until next August — just before the next federal election campaign kicks off.

During submissions on Friday, Norman’s lawyer, Marie Henein, said the Liberal government has been watching the case closely for political reasons.

« We have a variety of information that would suggest that there are explicit discussions between the PCO and the PMO office about the timing of this trial as it affects the next federal election, » she told the court.

Norman is accused of leaking cabinet secrets to executives at the Davie shipyard, in Levis, Que., in the run-up to the signing of a $668 million lease contract for a temporary navy supply ship.

He is also alleged to have leaked the results of a Liberal cabinet decision to temporarily put the program on hold in November 2015 to a now-former CBC reporter, James Cudmore — who is also on the Crown’s witness list.

Spencer Fraser, the Davie executive whom Norman is alleged to have fed secrets, is another one of the names on that list. So is Kevin McCoy, the president of rival Irving Shipbuilding.

The country’s top military commander, Gen. Jonathan Vance, is on the list, along with the current commander of the navy, Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, who was Norman’s deputy at the time the leased supply ship deal went down.

There are a number of senior current and retired members of the military, as well as current and former officials at Public Services and Procurement Canada, who may end up being called to testify.

Brian Mesereau, chairman of Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada, one of the biggest lobby firms in Ottawa, is also named as a potential witness.

Crown lawyer Mark Coven told the judge Friday the list has been through several revisions since he and his colleagues began drawing it up.

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‘I wish we had known’: Peter MacKay defends record over transfer of child killers to healing lodges

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Two former top Tory cabinet ministers said Wednesday they simply didn’t know so many child killers had been transferred to Indigenous healing lodges to serve out their sentences — even though some of those transfers happened on their watch while in government.

The federal Conservative Party launched blistering verbal attacks on the Liberal government in recent weeks after federal bureaucrats authorized the transfer of Terri-Lynne McClintic — serving a life sentence for the brutal rape and murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford of Woodstock, Ont. — to an Indigenous healing lodge in Saskatchewan.

« It’s totally inappropriate and clearly the criteria at Correctional Services Canada was inappropriate then and inappropriate now, and further changes have to be made going forward to ensure the protection of the public, » former justice minister Peter MacKay said in an interview with CBC’s Power & Politics Wednesday. « I would suggest there is a blazing red line when it comes to the transfer of a child killer.

« I only wish that we had known this 10 years ago and taken proper steps to make those changes maybe this entire situation and the trauma for the Stafford family and others could have been avoided. »

Stafford’s father, Rodney Stafford, has strenuously opposed McClintic’s transfer to the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge for Aboriginal Women on Nekaneet First Nation in southern Saskatchewan.

The Conservative party has said someone like McClintic — a convicted rapist and murderer who has served only eight years of a life sentence — should not be held in a facility like the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge, which does not have the traditional characteristics of a federal penitentiary, which lacks a secure perimeter to keep prisoners from escaping.

But despite the Conservatives’ strenuous opposition to McClintic’s transfer, she’s not the first child-killer to be transferred to one of Canada’s healing lodges — Indigenous-led, Correctional Service Canada-run facilities that focus on traditional spiritual practices as a means of redemption for convicted criminals.

Power & Politics reported Tuesday that as of September 23, 2018, there were 11 people convicted of first or second degree murder of a minor serving time in healing lodges. And between the fiscal years of 2011-2012 and 2018-19, 22 convicted child-killers have been held for some period of time in healing lodges.

Former justice minister Peter MacKay says he was surprised to learn that child killers had been transferred to healing lodges while the Conservatives were in power. 7:34

Between the fiscal years 2011-12 and 2014-15 — when Conservatives Vic Toews and Steven Blaney were ministers of public safety — 10 new offenders were sent to healing lodges.

« It is beyond comprehension this happened in the first instance. Correctional Services Canada has to do a deep dive as to how this occurred, » MacKay said.

Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt also served in cabinet under former prime minister Stephen Harper and has been leading the charge in the Commons against the Liberals on the McClintic file. She said she was surprised to learn so many child killers have been serving time at healing lodges.

‘We did not see the public outcry’

She said the Conservative government she served was simply unaware child killers were serving part of their sentences in these facilities. If it had known, she said, it would have acted quickly.

The Liberal government did order a review of the transfer policy when the Stafford story came to light.

« I can say confidently that we did not see the public outcry for any of those transfers, even during my government, that we did with Mr. Stafford. At all, » Raitt said today. « And what we reacted to was a parent’s cry for justice, and that’s why we brought up in the House of Commons and you know, along the way, if we needed to change the policy, then it’s the right thing to do. »

In the face of persistent criticism from the Tories, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale had said he has no legal power to intervene in individual cases, and that decisions about correctional and security classifications are made by public servants based on what is considered best for the offender’s rehabilitation and for public safety.

Last week, however, Goodale announced stricter transfer policies for Indigenous healing lodges for women.

Under the new policy, transfers will have to be authorized by Correctional Service Canada’s deputy commissioner for women, who will be required to ensure that Indigenous communities are engaged in transfer recommendations.

McClintic was transferred back to a traditional prison in Edmonton last week.

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Peter Khill files statement of defence in $2M civil suit saying Styres acted ‘menacing’

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Peter Khill, who was acquitted of murder after he killed a Six Nations man on his property, has filed a statement of defence in a more than $2 million civil suit brought by the man’s spouse and two young daughters.

In court documents filed on Nov. 2, the Hamilton-area homeowner denies Jon Styres’ family suffered the injuries, losses and damages described in their statement of claim and rejects most of the other points raised in the suit filed by Hamilton’s Hooper Law Offices.

Khill, a former Canadian Forces reservist, admitted he shot and killed Styres in Feb. 2016. He was found not-guilty of second-degree murder in June after a two-week trial in Hamilton Superior Court.

Khill’s statement of defence takes the same position as he did in his criminal trial, that he fired in self-defence. His civil case defence also claims he felt an « immediate threat of death and/or serious bodily harm » to both him and his wife when he woke up around 3 a.m. and saw someone had broken into his truck.

The defence rejects the lawsuit’s claim Khill fired « suddenly and without warning » and that he intentionally shot to kill the 29-year-old man from Ohsweken on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve as he « fled. »

The direction Styres was facing when he was shot was a point of contention during the criminal trial, with prosecutors arguing blood spatter evidence showed he was facing toward the truck and the defence claiming he was facing away.

Investigators marked 74 separate specks of blood inside the passenger side of Peter Khill’s truck. (Ministry of the Attorney General)

In his statement, Khill says he knew a garage door opener in his truck could be used by Styres to gain access to the house leaving him to fear a « potentially armed home invasion » was imminent.

The defence adds Styres was « acting in a menacing and or threatening way. »

In their lawsuit, Styres’ family said Khill made no attempt to contact the authorities before confronting him. But in his statement, Khill denies this, despite testifying during the criminal trial that his actions that night were dictated by his military training, which did not include calling 911.

None of the allegations in the suit have been tested in civil court.

Brian Simo, the lawyer representing Khill, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on his client’s defence.

Khill claimed self-defence

In the criminal trial, a jury found Khill, who is white, not guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in Styres’ death.

The former military reservist never denied firing the two close-range shotgun blasts that killed the First Nations man, but said he pulled the trigger because he was following his training and believed Styres was armed with a gun.

Khill never denied shooting Styres twice with this 12 gauge shotgun at close range, but maintains he fired is self-defence. (Ministry of the Attorney General)

Court heard Styres did not have a gun. He did have a folding knife, but it was closed and found by police in the pocket of his pants.

Public reaction to the verdict was deeply divided. Some some supported the decision, while others pointed to race as factor in the jury’s decision despite each juror being screened for bias during the selection process.

The case drew comparisons the death of Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation, who was shot and killed by Gerald Stanley, a white farmer, in Saskatchewan.

A jury with no visibly Indigenous jurors reached its not guilty verdict for Stanley in August 2016. The decision led to outrage across the country and a pledge from federal ministers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to change « systemic issues » in the justice system.

Following the Khill verdict, Indigenous leaders and activists also called for changes to Canada’s justice system and for the verdict to be appealed.

Family and friends of Jon Styres hug outside court after hearing Khill was found not guilty on June 27, 2018. (Laura Clementson/CBC)

Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald issued a statement describing Styres as « another victim of senseless violence. »

« This sort of extreme violence – shooting an unarmed man – is not acceptable in Canada, » she said. « No one should place the value of a possession over the sacred life of a human being. »

In August the Crown announced it is appealing the not guilty verdict on the basis that Superior Court Justice Stephen Glithero failed to properly instruct the jury about self-defence and let an unqualified witness give opinion evidence on military training.

The lawsuit launched by Styres’s spouse, Lindsay Hill and her two daughters was filed on Jan. 31, 2018.

In it the family claims damages of $2 million, aggravated and punitive damages of $250,000, pre and post-judgement interest and any other costs the court deems just.

The damages are based on « mental distress, » a loss of income and services from Styres as well as a loss of « care, guidance and companionship as the result of his death. »

A trial date has not yet been set.

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