New Delhi: Capital markets regulator Sebi on Friday fixed the minimum duration of the staggered delivery period at five working days for all commodity futures in order to bring uniformity in the timeline across exchanges. Staggered delivery period is the duration during which sellers or buyers having open position may submit an intention to give or take the delivery of the contract. At present, there is no uniformity in the length of staggered delivery period for commodity futures contracts across exchanges even for the same commodities, according to the Sebi circular. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal “All compulsory delivery commodity futures contracts (agriculture commodities as well as non-agriculture commodities) shall have a staggered delivery period,” the circular mentioned. “The minimum duration of staggered delivery period shall be at least five working days,” the circular stated. It clarified that the exchanges shall have the flexibility to set higher duration of staggered delivery period for a commodity futures contract after taking into account factors such as historical open interest, volume near expiry etc. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost In this regard, for the benefit of the market participants, the exchanges have been asked to jointly prepare and publish a detailed framework outlining various circumstances and factors which would require longer duration of staggered delivery period in a commodity. While giving a detailed framework, the markets watchdog said the seller or buyer having open position shall have the option of submitting an intention of giving or taking delivery on any day during the staggered delivery period. To ensure that all buyers have an equal opportunity of being selected to receive delivery irrespective of the size or value of the position, exchanges shall allocate received intentions to give delivery during the day on each day, except for the expiry day. “However, preference may be given to buyers who have marked an intention of taking delivery, which may be based on aspects such as location, quality etc,” Sebi said. Besides, pay-in and pay-out for the allocated deliveries shall happen within two working days after allocation. All open positions after expiry of the contract will result in compulsory delivery and will be settled at final settlement price of the respective contract while “pay-in and pay-out shall happen latest by the second working day after expiry.”
Kolkata: Police have arrested an app-cab driver in connection with the death of a biker at Remount Road in Kolkata Port area on July 21. The case that had initially seemed a fatal one has turned out to be murder during the course of investigation by the Fatal Section of the Kolkata Police’s Traffic department.According to police sources, at around 11.05 pm on July 21, one Sanjay Halder (31) was riding his motorcycle and was knocked down from behind by an app-based cab on Remount Road. The biker, a resident of Karl Marx Sarani in Kidderpore, fell on the ground and sustained grievous injuries on his head. He was rushed to a private hospital in Alipore where he was declared brought dead. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”We registered a case under Section 304 a (causing death by negligence) of IPC at South Port police station and the fatal section of the Traffic department started a probe. During the investigation, it transpired that just before the incident, the victim visited a street-side eatery beside a petrol pump located nearby. There a scuffle broke out with him and one Dilip Ram, a cab driver. Later it was Ram who, in a fit of rage, intentionally dashed him. We have already arrested Ram and he had confessed to the crime,” a senior official of Kolkata Police said. The police have already amended the section of the case to murder under Section 302 of IPC. The arrested was produced at Alipore court on Saturday and was remanded to police custody till August 8.
Our Correspondent New Delhi: PNB Housing Finance on Tuesday said its net profit rose 11 per cent to Rs 284.50 crore during the first quarter of the current fiscal year. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 255.80 crore in the corresponding April-June quarter of 2018-19. Total income for April-June quarter of 2019-20 increased to Rs 2,232.58 crore from Rs 1,648.31 crore in the same period of the previous fiscal, PNB Housing Finance said in a release. Net interest income registered a growth of 45 per cent to Rs 625.50 crore from Rs 432.8 crore. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe company’s net interest margin — a key gauge of profitability — rose to 3.14 per cent in June quarter from 2.74 per cent a year ago, it said. Gross non-performing assets (NPA) stood at 0.85 per cent of the loan assets as on June 30, 2019 as against 0.43 per cent as on June 30, 2018. At Asset Under Management (AUM) level, gross NPA was at 0.76 per cent. Net NPA stood at 0.67 per cent of the loan assets as against 0.33 per cent last year. The cumulative ECL (expected credit loss) provision as on June 30, 2019 was Rs 598 crore. In addition to the ECL provision, the company has Rs 156.5 crore as a steady state provision for unforeseeable macro-economic factors, it said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostTotal provision to assets stood at 0.99 per cent as on June 30, 2019 compared with 0.74 per cent on June 30, 2018, it further said. The company’s disbursements stood at Rs 7,634.3 crore during June quarter as compared with Rs 9,767.3 crore in the same quarter last year. Its corporate disbursement fell 81 per cent to Rs 604.5 crore from Rs 3,172 crore. The AUM stood at Rs 88,332.9 crore as on June 30, 2019, up from Rs 68,577.5 crore a year ago.
New Delhi: Delhi Police on Saturday urged a city court to prosecute Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for abetment to suicide or “in alternative” on murder charge in the case of death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar in 2014.”Please frame sections 498-A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty), 306 (abetment of suicide) or in alternative 302 (murder) IPC against the accused (Tharoor),” the probe agency told special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar. Senior public prosecutor Atul Srivastava made the submissions during arguments on framing of charges in the case. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe former Union minister, who is currently on bail in the case, was charged by Delhi Police under Sections 498-A and 306 of the Indian Penal Code. Reading out a statement of the couple’s domestics help, who is one of the witnesses in the case, the prosecutor said that the couple had fight over a girl named ‘Katy’ and some Blackberry messages. The prosecutor said that before her death, Pushkar wanted to address a press conference on the IPL issue and had said “I will not leave him (Tharoor)”. The witness had told police that one year prior to the demise, the couple used to fight a lot. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe agency told the court that Pushkar was “distressed” and “felt betrayed” in her marital life. Police told the court that Pushkar was suffering from mental agony due to a strained relationship with her husband. She had a scuffle with her husband and had various injury marks few days before her death, they said. Police accused Tharoor of torturing his wife which abetted her to commit suicide. The probe agency told the court that according to the post-mortem report, the cause of Pushkar’s death was poisoning and 15 injury marks were found on various parts of her body, including in forearm, arms and legs. The prosecutor further told the court that Tharoor’s relation with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar also added to Pushkar’s mental agony. The prosecutor also apprised the court about Pushkar’s friend and journalist Nalini Singh’s statement, which is part of the charge sheet, that the relation between the couple was tense and bad. “She (Pushkar) told she helped Tharoor a lot in IPL matter. She had found some messages between Tarar and Tharoor. She refused to go to their house and instead went to Leela hotel. The relation between the couple was very bad,” Singh had said in her statement. Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Tharoor, refuted the submissions, saying the arguments made by the prosecutor were contrary to the bare reading of the charge sheet and the charges pressed by him were “absurd and preposterous”. The case is now listed for the next hearing on October 17.
HALIFAX – An ejected Tory candidate says she is looking into continuing her bid for public office, as she traded fresh barbs with the party’s leader about whether she faced a double standard when she was dropped because of online comments.Leader Jamie Baillie insisted Wednesday there was no double standard in dropping Jad Crnogorac in Dartmouth South while standing by a male Tory candidate who jokingly acted out what he called a “Chinese fire drill” in an online video.Questioned at a campaign stop in Halifax, Baillie said Crnogorac’s postings crossed the line and she could not remain on the ballot.Crnogorac had posted a joke on Twitter about a date-rape drug known as “roofies,” and also tweeted that white people not winning Black Entertainment Television awards was an example of “inequality.”Baillie maintained that the case differed from one involving Matt Whitman, a Tory candidate who faced criticism over a YouTube video condemned for racial stereotyping and insensitivity to Chinese people. Baillie said Whitman apologized and had no intent to hurt anyone, whereas Crnogorac had “numerous other posts that were close to the line if not over.”“Making fun of a date rape drug is not funny under any explanation,” he said. “I think you’re comparing apples and oranges and a line has to be drawn and I drew one that I stand beside.”In an email Wednesday night, Crnogorac said she is running as an independent and is waiting to hear back from Elections N.S. on the process.“I have had over whelming support from friends family and total strangers all over social media,” she said. “And (I) decided my name is on the ticket and I’m not a quitter.”Crnogorac has said the party jettisoned her without allowing her to explain what the tweets said and the context in which they were made. She said she was asked to step down, but refused and accused Baillie of employing a double standard when it came to her and Whitman.“So Matt Whitman can have a racist comment and drive illegally and film himself and you guys stand by his side and defend him?” Crnogorac said she asked them. “And you want me to step aside quietly? That’s not happening.”“I said … you guys are going to have to remove me because this is not fair. You haven’t even asked me what my tweets said, what I meant by my tweets, nothing.”She posted a social media response apologizing for her comments, but said she’d been let down by Baillie and the party. Crnogorac, a former personal trainer and university basketball player, said the party also repeatedly asked her to remove a picture of her from her Instagram profile.Baillie said all candidates are vetted and that includes reviews of social media issues, but that Crnogorac’s tweets were missed by party volunteers.“Obviously our system didn’t work as it should have in this case and we are taking internal steps to strengthen it,” he said, adding that her removal was due to the content of her comments. “I have no interest in the gender of the candidate. I think everyone should be treated equally and with the same standard. The line that was drawn was around the issues that had been posted.”Crnogorac is the third candidate to be dropped during the campaign, one each for the three major parties.Her withdrawal came a day after Dartmouth East NDP candidate Bill McEwen withdrew after CTV published material from his old website, the Bullpen.The former military officer and journalist had attempted to take the website down — after not posting on it since 2013 — but someone managed to find it from a cached archive.In addition to derogatory terms for gay people, the opening statement of the site’s mission noted, “in a world of breast implants, fast food and cheap beer, what’s not to love about being a man.” The content included a number of columns on sexual topics with titles such as “ovulation: man’s best friend,” and “forbidden fruit.”Last week, the Liberals dismissed candidate Matthew MacKnight over comments he made on social media in 2013. The Pictou East candidate purportedly called someone an expletive and used the hashtags #downsyndrome and #stupidcustomers on May 28, 2013, according to Global News.
WINNIPEG – A man accused of killing an indigenous woman whose body was found in a farmer’s field has been denied bail.Brett Overby, who is 30, looked over to his family in the courtroom as a judge ruled he must stay behind bars while awaiting trial on a charge of second-degree murder.Overby is accused of killing Christine Wood last August.The 21-year-old was from Oxford House First Nation and disappeared while visiting Winnipeg with her parents.Overby was charged in April when police said they found evidence in his house.Wood’s body was found last week by a farmer inspecting his crops just outside the city.Details of the bail hearing cannot be published under a court order.A trial date has not yet been set.
HALIFAX – A Halifax man is in custody after a vehicle was driven onto the city’s picturesque waterfront boardwalk Sunday night, striking a pedestrian before fleeing the scene.Police say the 22-year-old motorist was arrested in Hammonds Plains, a suburb northwest of downtown, and remains in custody while police investigate the hit and run.Halifax Regional Police say a 19-year-old man was taken to hospital but is expected to survive his injuries.The collision took place near Bishop’s Landing, a busy stretch of the Halifax waterfront and a popular tourist destination.The hit and run took place at 7:30 p.m., a time when foot traffic can be heavy as tourists and locals search out a bite to eat at one of the area’s restaurants.Police did not say whether the 19-year-old man was targeted or whether the hit and run was accidental.
VANCOUVER – The 2017 wildfire season in British Columbia set records as the most destructive in the province’s recorded history. Here is a look at the season by the numbers:12,164 square kilometres: Area burned, equivalent to more than a third of Vancouver Island. The worst level of destruction since 1958 when 8,560 square kilometres burned.$562.7 million: Estimated cost of fire suppression. The previous record was $382 million in 2009.45,000: Approximate number of people displaced at the peak of the fires.65,000: Total number of people displaced over the entire wildfire season. The previous record was in 2003 when about 45,000 people were forced from their homes.70 days: Duration of the state of emergency that was declared on July 7. The last time wildfires prompted the province to announce a state of emergency was in 2003, which lasted 43 days.1,351: Total number of wildfires.176: Number of fires that started over a single 48-hour period on July 7 and 8.4,700: Approximate number of personnel deployed at the height of the wildfires, including firefighters and support staff. The tally encompasses the more than 1,200 personnel from outside the province or Canada and the more than 2,000 contractors who helped out.300: Approximate number of Canadian Armed Forces personnel who assisted.236: Aircraft deployed, including planes and helicopters.Zero: People who died in the fires.Source: BC Wildfire Service
TORONTO – No winning ticket was sold for the $10 million jackpot in Friday night’s Lotto Max draw.That means the jackpot for the next draw on Jan. 19 will be approximately $15 million.
TORONTO – The family of an 11-year-old Toronto girl has reportedly apologized for the “pain and anger” they caused, after the girl’s claim that a man cut her hijab turned out not to be true.“This has been a very painful experience for our family,” said the statement, first reported by the Toronto Star.“We want to thank everyone who has shown us support at this difficult time. Again, we are deeply sorry for this and want to express our sincere apologies to every Canadian.”Toronto police began investigating the alleged incident as a hate crime last Friday, after the girl said she was attacked twice on the way to school by a man who cut her hijab with scissors.The alleged incident made international headlines and drew swift public condemnation from the prime minister, Ontario’s premier and Toronto’s mayor.On Monday, police announced that their investigation was complete and the alleged incident did not happen.They said no charges would be laid.Spokesman Mark Pugash said in an interview that police weren’t prepared to discuss how the situation escalated.He stressed that it’s “very unusual” for someone to make such false allegations, and he hopes it will not discourage others from coming forward.Canadian Muslim organizations expressed similar concerns, saying they feared others who experience hate crimes may be reluctant to report them out of worry that they will not be believed.In their statement Wednesday, the girl’s family said when they heard her story, they “assumed it to be true, just like everyone else.”They added, “We only went public because we were horrified that there was such a perpetrator who may try to harm someone else.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story to clarify a comment attributed to police spokesman Mark Pugash
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s health minister says he won’t step in to fix a payment issue that’s stopping doctors in the province from prescribing the abortion pill.Randy Delorey said Thursday physicians have requested a new billing code to prescribe Mifegymiso, a publicly funded two-drug combination used to terminate an early pregnancy.The province’s fee committee — made up of representatives of Doctors Nova Scotia, physicians and the department — has expedited the review of an application for a specific code for prescribing the abortion pill, he said.“There has been a request for consideration of a mechanism to provide additional compensation … that’s being considered by the joint committee,” Delorey said. “The drug is available and can be prescribed.”However, the abortion pill remains largely out of reach of most women in Nova Scotia.Physicians have said the existing billing structure doesn’t adequately compensate them for the time involved with counselling patients, providing education about options, and ordering multiple tests before prescribing Mifegymiso.The outcome is that most women in Nova Scotia currently cannot access the abortion pill, despite the provincial government’s decision to fund Mifegymiso last fall.The situation has left women seeking to terminate unwanted pregnancies using pills scrambling to find one of the handful of doctors in the province rumoured to be willing to prescribe Mifegymiso.However, most doctors and the province’s only abortion clinic are not offering the alternative to surgical abortion, according to Dr. Lianne Yoshida, medical co-director of the Termination of Pregnancy Unit at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.Although it’s unclear when the fee committee will review a new billing code for Mifegymiso, Delorey said he won’t bring in an interim billing code for overseeing an abortion using pills.He said it’s more important to have sustainable solutions in health care rather than “quick fixes.”“There’s a situation in health care … often we love to have quick fixes,” he said. “I think it’s more important to have sustainable and appropriate solutions.”Delorey added that doctors can currently prescribe Mifegymiso and bill for it under an existing code that pays doctors for discussing the risks and benefits of any new drug with a patient.Dr. Ken Wilson, medical consultant with Doctors Nova Scotia, said earlier this week that doctors’ fee for prescribing Mifegymiso doesn’t “adequately remunerate them for the time they spend and what’s involved, including counselling patients.”Wilson, co-chair of the fee committee, said a new billing code for prescribing Mifegymiso is on a high priority list, but the committee is also in the midst of examining new fees for other critical issues including methadone management and medically assisted death.The Department of Health has considered interim billing codes in the past, and Wilson said if it appears the delay will continue beyond six months he will push the government to usher in a temporary fee.Meanwhile, Yoshida has said the province’s only abortion clinic still does not have an ultrasound machine, which could add to delays to accessing Mifegymiso.The abortion pill is approved in Canada to terminate early pregnancies up to 63 days gestation, but an ultrasound is required first to rule out potential health risks and confirm gestational age.But Delorey said it’s up to the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) to determine equipment needs.“It’s important that in our health care system we make the optimal use of the equipment that is available,” he said. “I do rely on advice that comes from the NSHA in terms of identifying their priorities for equipment.”The Nova Scotia government announced universal coverage of Mifegymiso last fall after The Canadian Press reported on issues with abortion access in the province.The province also removed the requirement for a physician’s referral to obtain a surgical abortion, allowing women to “self-refer” to the abortion clinic.The NSHA is in the midst of setting up a single phone line that women across the province can call to make appointments and seek advice, expected to be available in the coming months.– With files from Keith Doucette
Five stories in the news for Wednesday, March 1———STATUS OF WOMEN OFFICE TO GROWThe Liberal government has given Status of Women Canada a major role to play in its feminist agenda and, now that the federal agency is set to grow into a full-size department, it could also be changing its name. “It’s a possibility,” Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef said when asked whether the department would shed its 1970s-era name for something that better reflects a more inclusive vision of equality.———PARTY ISSUES LAID BARE AT ONTARIO PC DEBATEThe four candidates for Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives leadership held their second and final debate in Ottawa and spent a good deal of time on allegations of corruption within the party. Following heated exchanges on the issue, candidate Christine Elliott eventually called for a focus on the Tories’ real enemy — Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne. The new party leader will be named on March 10.———CANADIAN AIR FORCE CHOPPER DROPS RAFT ON U.S. HOMEThe Canadian Forces is seeking answers after one of its helicopters dropped an inflatable life raft that smashed a hole in the roof of a home in Miami. The helicopter was on a training exercise in Florida on Wednesday and returning to a U.S. Coast Guard air station when the uninflated raft became detached. The raft crashed into a bedroom where a woman reportedly suffered minor injuries.———SEVEN BLOC QUEBECOIS MPs QUITShortly after seven of the 10 Bloc Quebecois MPs quit yesterday citing Martine Ouellet’s leadership style, the embattled leader defiantly told reporters she wasn’t going anywhere. “I am staying on as leader,” Ouellet said after news broke she was losing 70 per cent of her caucus, leaving the once-powerful party in complete disarray. The seven members will now sit as Independents.———HEDLEY TO TAKE ‘INDEFINITE HIATUS’Canadian band Hedley, which is facing mounting allegations of sexual misconduct, will be taking an “indefinitely hiatus” after its cross-country tour at the end of March. Members of the Vancouver-based band have been under fire since sexual misconduct allegations began surfacing online two weeks ago, suggesting inappropriate encounters with young fans. Hedley earlier withdrew itself from consideration for the next Juno Awards.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will discuss the federal budget at an event in Montreal.— Finance Minister Bill Morneau will address the Canadian Club of Toronto.— Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer discusses the federal budget at a Toronto Region Board of Trade event.— Provincial byelections will be held in the Saskatchewan ridings of Swift Current, Melfort and Kindersley.— Look for quarterly results today from TD Bank, Cascades, Telsat, Sleep Country Canada and TransAlta.— Statistics Canada will release Canada’s balance of international payments for the fourth quarter.— Alberta government officials in Edmonton will hear from survivors of the ’60s Scoop.— Man who allegedly directed a crude phrase at a reporter to appear in a Halifax court.
BURNABY, B.C. – Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his caucus is united behind him, despite recent discord over his decision to punish a veteran member of Parliament.After a backlash, Singh reversed his decision to oust Hamilton Centre MP David Christopherson from his role as vice chair of the procedure and House affairs committee.“We’re New Democrats. People are going to have different opinions. It’s not a big deal,” Singh said Thursday after touring a steel fabrication company in Burnaby, B.C.“Many New Democrats are activists. They are used to speaking truth to power. I’m not so arrogant as a leader to believe that once I make a decision, that’s it.”Singh dumped Christopherson from his position last week after the MP voted against the New Democrats on a Conservative motion. The motion — defeated by Liberal and NDP members — condemned the Liberal government’s new policy requiring groups that apply for funding under the Canada Summer Jobs program to affirm their respect for abortion rights.Ontario MP and former leadership rival Charlie Angus publicly chastised Singh for the decision and the leader reinstated Christopherson this week.Singh insisted on Thursday that he had the full support of his 44-member caucus. Unlike “other leaders,” he said, he doesn’t shout members of his caucus down or tell them to “shut up” and toe the party line.“We’ve got a strong caucus. It’s a united caucus,” he said. “My style is to listen to folks and to hear them out. I think that’s what Canadians want.”The 39-year-old former Ontario provincial politician still does not hold a seat in the House of Commons after winning the federal leadership in October. He said he’s “comfortable” where he is.“If an opportunity does present itself, I’ll still keep an open mind to that. But right now, I’m comfortable with the fact that I’ll spend this time touring the country and meeting folks and hearing their concerns.”Before speaking with reporters, Singh toured architectural steel manufacturer George Third & Son. He said he wanted to meet with workers who stood to be affected by potential U.S. tariffs.“We’ve got a strong and vibrant industry … that needs to be protected.”
The three NAFTA countries are in Washington trying to come to terms on the broad outlines of an interim agreement.Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, dined with her U.S. and Mexican counterparts last night, and the three are in meetings Friday.Sources say that if there is to be such an agreement in the coming weeks, Friday’s meetings will be key.What remains unclear is what form such a deal might take.One trade insider says there are two realistic possibilities for a quick deal.According to Eric Miller, one is a very preliminary statement where the countries agree to general principles and resume detailed negotiations after July’s election in Mexico.The second possibility, Miller says, is a modest revamp of NAFTA he describes as the South Korea model: the U.S. recently agreed to less-drastic-than-expected changes to its agreement with the Koreans.But several sources both inside and outside government are skeptical that a bona-fide, wide-ranging renegotiated NAFTA is possible this spring.It’s unclear the countries have even discussed in any detailed way key sticking points like dairy. Yves Leduc of the Dairy Farmers of Canada says he’s in Washington following the discussions, and whether his sector is part of them.The talks lately have revolved around one key industry: autos.Multiple sources say the U.S. has softened its earlier demands, and is now presenting a proposal that would encourage production in high-wage jurisdictions _ namely, the U.S. and Canada.The U.S. proposal is based on the idea of granting credits to parts-makers that pay wages beyond $15 per hour. Higher salaries would help auto makers meet the proposed U.S. floor of 85 per cent North American parts for a car to avoid a tariff.It’s an extension of a Canadian proposal from January. Canada proposed doing away with an old list for counting parts, and replacing it with a new formula that credits jurisdictions for producing high-value content.
TORONTO – Director Stephen Dunn says making the first Heritage Minute about Canada’s LGBTQ community reminded him of the countless other queer stories which have gone mostly untold over the years.His sliver of history debuted Wednesday recounting gay activist Jim Egan’s work for equal rights, in what Dunn hopes will mark a small step towards putting some of those stories on record for the entire country.“Generally queer history isn’t really well documented for a number of obvious reasons,” the St. John’s filmmaker said, pointing out that gay sex wasn’t decriminalized in Canada until 1969, which likely pushed many stories into the closet.“I really struggle as a queer person to find people throughout history to look up to,” he added.The one-minute clip about Egan begins early in his career during the early 1950s when he wrote opinion columns in newspapers trying to dissolve negative perceptions of gay culture in the mainstream. He eventually became one of the first openly gay politicians in Canada.But Egan garnered far more attention when he launched a lawsuit against Ottawa for the right to claim a spousal pension under the Old Age Security Act. The case led to the Supreme Court’s decision to deny him and his partner Jack Nesbit spousal rights in 1995.Even though he was defeated in the courts, Egan’s social and political contributions helped usher in another generation of activism, Dunn suggested.“What he was doing laid the groundwork,” said the 29-year-old director, whose semi-autobiographical “Closet Monster” won the 2015 Canadian feature film award at the Toronto International Film Festival.Producers at Historica Canada, the organization behind the Heritage Minute, picked Dunn to join historians in a quest for candidates that could represent the struggles faced by Canada’s LGBTQ people.But settling on Egan’s story took some time.Research lasted roughly three months, Dunn said, as they culled through Toronto’s Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives and other resources.A number of other public figures and incidents were considered for the Heritage Minute, Dunn said, including the Brunswick Four, a group of lesbians whose arrest is credited with mobilizing activism in the 1970s, and the story behind the Fruit Machine, a device used by civil services in Canada to supposedly identify gay men.The latest Heritage Minute follows a goal set by leaders at Historica Canada to widen the focus of Canada’s history to consider some of its more shameful moments.Recent additions to the series acknowledged the country’s racism with stories that addressed residential schools and segregation.Having grown up watching Heritage Minutes on television and in movie theatres, Dunn said he wanted to be involved making them himself.Earlier this year he oversaw telling the story of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the “Anne of Green Gables” book series, which delved into issues surrounding mental health.“The stories tend to not shy away from the more complex stories of Canadian history,” he said.“They’re doing cinematic and edgier pieces that don’t quite portray Canada as the glossy utopia it’s often regarded as.”Follow @dfriend on Twitter.——Watch Jim Egan’s Heritage Minute: https://youtu.be/rac4WiTDQHg
ELSIPOGTOG FIRST NATION, N.B. – An autopsy was conducted on Sunday for a 22-year-old woman found dead in a New Brunswick First Nation — a death police have deemed suspicious.Police found the woman’s body outside a residence in Elsipogtog First Nation just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday, according to RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh.She says officers are now trying to determine the young woman’s cause of death in order to continue the investigation.A man was taken into custody and is being assessed in hospital, although Rogers-Marsh declined to comment on his condition and did not refer to him as a suspect.She also did not say if he and the victim knew each other.
FORT MCMURRAY – It was May 8, 2016, and the Fort McMurray wildfire was in full blaze.Municipal and provincial leaders had gathered to discuss a response when Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation walked in wanting to know how their plans would affect Indigenous communities.“All these heads started looking at each other and they had no answers for me,” he recalls. “It was clearly evident they had no plans for emergency procedures for First Nations in the surrounding area.”That’s also the main conclusion of a lengthy report by 11 Indigenous communities in and around Fort McMurray. It was funded by the Red Cross and is the result of two years of surveys, meetings and focus groups.“You had this breakdown in understanding,” said Tim Clark, the consultant who wrote the report.READ MORE: Report reveals shortcomings when dealing with Fort McMurray wildfireThe Fort McMurray wildfire became one of Canada’s worst natural disasters.More than 88,000 residents fled their homes and more than 2,400 structures were damaged or destroyed. The estimated cost was pegged at about $10 billion and nearly 6,000 square kilometres in northern Alberta were scorched.There were no deaths directly caused by the fire, but the report suggests that wasn’t because things went smoothly.Nobody knew who was in charge, it says. Between municipalities, the province and Ottawa, responsibility for Indigenous communities was up in the air.There were few relationships and less trust between government and First Nations groups, says the report. Indigenous leaders weren’t included in the Regional Emergency Operations Centre.“You had Fort McMurray First Nation, just east of Fort McMurray, and they didn’t even know there was an emergency operations centre,” Clark said. “(The municipality) did not reach out to First Nations because it assumed they were being dealt with by the federal government.”Most residents from the nearby hamlet of Janvier left for safety in Lac La Biche, 175 kilometres away. But when a few Janvier kids acted up, everyone, including elders, was rousted and moved again — some back to Janvier, which was still under threat.Re-entry after the fire was similarly tone-deaf, the report says.Registration centres were held in schools, institutions many Indigenous people are reluctant to enter.“The moment you opened up the Friendship Centre re-entry centre, it was immediately filled with people,” said Clark. “There were a lot of people who weren’t going to those (schools).”There was also initial doubt about whether residents would be allowed to rebuild in the Waterways neighbourhood — one of the oldest parts of Fort McMurray and settled by Indigenous people generations ago.“The municipality understood it in financial terms,” Clark said. “The Indigenous people understood it in more of a cultural, historical perspective.”Governments also failed to consider the circumstances of Indigenous communities, he said. Many houses damaged in the fire started off in bad shape. Fewer Indigenous homeowners were insured.READ MORE: Mental issues from Fort McMurray fire linger but human contact helps: studyAbout one-quarter of Indigenous people in the survey lost their homes — a far higher percentage than in Fort McMurray as a whole. About one-third of those who lost homes had no insurance.It wasn’t until March 2017 — months into the recovery effort — that Indigenous representatives joined a recovery task force. Clark also found First Nations and the provincial agency managing federal relief funds worked poorly together. Metis communities weren’t eligible at all.Clark writes that the Willow Lake Métis spent more than $100,000 supporting members during the wildfire. The Fort McMurray Métis spent their reserves to the point where they could not get a bank loan.The survey found that 70 per cent of respondents would prefer disaster management services from Indigenous groups if there were a similar disaster.And there will be a next time, said Clark.“There are still a lot of areas in northeast Alberta that are at high risk for disaster events.“We can’t just say we had a big wildfire so it won’t happen again. We need to start repairing these relationships now.”Adams said it can’t happen soon enough.“What happens now? What’s the plan for us? If the (municipality) doesn’t have a plan for us, who does? Aren’t we all supposed to be working together?”— Follow Bob Weber @row1960 on Twitter
Francis Pegahmagabow went to a recruitment office almost immediately after war was declared in 1914.The Ojibwa sniper from Wasauksing First Nation of Parry Island would serve with the 1st Infantry Battalion and went on to become one of the most decorated soldiers in the First World War.When he returned to Canada, his reputation as a brave soldier counted for very little and he didn’t receive the same rights or benefits as his white comrades.“They’d gone from being a soldier to just an Indian again,” said Scott Sheffield, associate professor at the University of Fraser Valley and author of a report on First Nations veterans that prompted a federal government apology in 2003.Indigenous people were part of every 20th-century conflict Canada was involved in and served in the Canadian military at a higher per-capita rate than any other group.About 4,000 First Nations men served in the First World War. After the armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, they returned to Canada still unable to vote and largely shut out of the meagre benefits on offer.Although veterans were eligible to borrow money through the government for farm land, it was almost impossible for First Nations veterans to qualify.“Worse than that, around 80,000 acres of reserve land that was good for farming was actually taken away from reserves, mostly in the Prairies, and largely given to white settler veterans,” Sheffield said.That didn’t stop Indigenous people from taking up the call again when Canada joined the Second World War — about 4,300 enlisted.Thomas (Tommy) Prince, a member of the Brokenhead Ojibwa Nation in Manitoba, enlisted in 1940 and eventually was assigned to the Canadian-American First Special Service Force, known as the Devil’s Brigade. He became a legendary sniper, was awarded multiple medals and also served in the Korean War.Back in Canada, Prince ended up living in shelters and on the streets of Winnipeg until his death in 1977.After the Second World War, Indigenous veterans couldn’t get information from trained veterans affairs counsellors, and had to go through their Indian agent. It was difficult for them to connect with non-Indigenous comrades because they weren’t allowed in legion halls.They were also unable to get a loan-grant combination that helped veterans set up careers and businesses.But Indigenous men and women continued to enlist and serve in the military — from NATO duties during the Cold War to more recent tours in Afghanistan.Now an effort is underway to honour their sacrifice.Randi Gage, a Saginaw Chippewa from Michigan and a United States army veteran, organized the first Aboriginal Veterans Day in Manitoba in 1993. She wanted a day to honour them in their own communities but still allowed them to gather for Remembrance Day ceremonies.Nov. 8 was chosen because the number turned sideways is the Metis infinity symbol and it’s connected to some First Nations teachings, Gage said. She wrote letters to communities and veterans organizations to spread the word about the event.“Most of the letters came back the most racist, disgusting: ‘What the hell do you think you are doing?’, ‘What makes you so special?’” she said.But the event went ahead with a handful of veterans.The next year, National Aboriginal Veterans Day was inaugurated by Winnipeg’s city council. Gage said thousands of people attended to honour Indigenous veterans.“To see the pride in those guys, it still gets me today,” she said, starting to cry. “It started the discussion. It started people talking.”The 25th Aboriginal Veterans Day is being celebrated Thursday but Gage said there is still more work to do.The federal Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs has launched a study of benefits for Indigenous veterans.Veterans Affairs said in an emailed statement it is committed meeting the needs of Indigenous veterans and is talking to Aboriginal groups to determine the way forward.Meanwhile, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa is holding a photographic exhibition, presented by the Embassy of Belgium, to celebrate the diversity of those who fought for the Allied effort. It includes images of Maori soldiers from New Zealand, Sikhs from the Indian Army Corps, and a photo of Indigenous recruits and elders from File Hills, Sask.A photo of Inuk sniper John Shiwak, who died on the battlefield in 1917, also hangs on the wall.Peter MacLeod, the museum’s director of research, said he hopes it changes the perspective of people who fought in the First World War.“There is a huge story there about the diversity of the Canadian corps and the war effort in general,” he said. “This exhibition … makes Canadians a bit more aware of the diversity in our country’s history and the contribution that all groups have made to Canada.”
PENTICTON, B.C. — The British Columbia Prosecution Service says murder charges have now been laid against a suspect in the shooting deaths of four people in Penticton.Spokesman Dan McLaughlin says three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder have been laid against John Brittain.The 60-year-old remains in custody and is due to appear in court in Penticton today.RCMP have said the shootings began at around 10:30 a.m. Monday when a 71-year-old man was killed outside a duplex in downtown Penticton.The suspect then drove about five kilometres to a second location where the other three people were attacked, but investigators say the motive for the shootings is still undetermined.McLaughlin says the names of the victims are currently being withheld pending notification of relatives.More coming. The Canadian Press
William Shatner, one of America’s most versatile stars and philanthropists formally announced today that he and John Sotoodeh , Wells Fargo LA Metro/Orange County Regional Bank President, will host a gifting ceremony and media breakfast to distribute grants to the charities supported by the annual Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show, sponsored by Wells Fargo.The Hollywood Charity Horse Show is in its 23rd year.The event will begin at 8:00 A.M. on Wednesday, January 16th at Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani’s Firenze Osteria, 4212 Lankershim Blvd in Toluca Lake, CA.Proceeds from the Priceline.com Hollywood Charity Horse Show, Sponsored by Wells Fargo benefit special-needs children across the City of Los Angeles through local charities including AHEAD With Horses, Camp Max Straus, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Hollenbeck Police Activities League (PAL), St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The Painted Turtle and others.“Over the last 22 years, we have helped thousands of young Angelinos thanks to the support we receive from our generous sponsors and attendees,” commented William Shatner. “We are so happy to award the funds raised at the 2012 event to these special-needs organizations.”Source:PR Newswire