APTN National NewsThe RCMP’s M Division is asking the Yukon public to give them a report card.APTN National News reporter Shirley McLean reports that the police is not getting a passing grade.
APTN National News OTTAWA–The federal Aboriginal Affairs department cut its specific claims research budget as part of on-going government-wide belt-tightening in a move that one senior British Columbia chief says is contributing to creating the same environment that produced the 1990 Oka crisis.Aboriginal Affairs’ Negotiations Support Directorate said in a recent letter to one First Nation organization that the specific claims contribution budget was cut in the coming fiscal year “in order to meet government-wide efforts to identify efficiencies and streamline departmental operations.”The department’s budget cut means First Nation claims research organizations across Canada saw their own budgets sliced from 35 per cent to 60 per cent, said the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).The money is used by First Nations to research specific claims, which centre on historical grievances like the mismanagement of trust funds and the loss of lands.“These massive funding cuts signal clearly the Harper government’s intent to walk away from specific claims,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the UBCIC. “These are the same circumstances that preceded Oka: Canada walked away from the federal duty to address specific claims and was dismissive of First Nation grievances.”In 1990, the Quebec government asked for military intervention after armed Mohawks blocked the development of a golf course threatening burial grounds in Kanesatake.Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s office, however, said in a statement the money was cut because the department has managed to settle the majority of specific claims. Valcourt’s office said Ottawa had reduced its “backlog” from 541 claims to 92 since to 2007 and negotiated $2 billion worth of agreements.“As a result, fewer claims are submitted each year and even fewer claims are at the assessment stage, resulting in a reduced caseload,” said the statement. “Canada will continue to work closely with research groups affected by the change to research funding to ensure they have adequate support to advance priority claims over the coming year.”The UBCIC responded to Valcourt’s statement saying the department cleared its backlog by delivering take-it-or-leave-it offers to First Nations across the country. The organization said the department’s rejection or file closure rate had jumped to 86 per cent.“Clearing the backlog is not the same as mass rejections and file closures since these claims are unresolved,” said the UBCIC. “The number of new claims is in fact increasing, especially in B.C…Funding cuts mean new specific claims and ongoing claims under development will, at best, be delayed, and at worst, not have access to justice.”The Specific Claims Tribunal recently criticized the Harper government for its take-it-or-leave-it tactic to clear specific claims calling it “paternalistic, self-serving, arbitrary and disrespectful.”The Jan. 17 ruling by Judge Patrick Smith eviscerated Aboriginal Affairs’ specific claims branch for its handling of a claim filed by the Aundeck Omni Kaning (AOK) First Nation, which is on Manitoulin Island, and its attempt to block it from accessing the tribunal.The tribunal was created by the Conservative government through a political agreement with the Assembly of First Nations. Its creation was announced in 2007 with the looming threat of a day of action scheduled for that June 29.The agreement managed to calm much of the tension that had been building throughout the spring. Only Mohawks from Tyendinaga took action that day blocking Hwy 401 and rail lines for 11 hours.The Harper government jointly announced an education agreement recently with the AFN. The bulk of the promised $1.9 billion for education is expected to flow after the next federal election scheduled for firstname.lastname@example.org
APTN National NewsA cell phone video has now emerged from the hockey fight APTN reported on Tuesday evening.The game between the Thompson King Miners and the Norway House Northstars turned ugly quickly after a Northstars player was ejected from the game.As APTN’s Jaydon Flett reports, race may not have played a role in the incident.
Trina RoacheAPTN InvestigatesLeah Bull, a 46-year-old Cree woman is suing the RCMP and several of its officers, asking the court to award her $450,000, after an Alberta judge ruled she acted in self-defence when she struggled against being forcibly confined without being lawfully arrested.In the early morning hours of Jan. 2, 2011, RCMP officers at the detachment in Hobbema, Alberta got a call about a woman lying in a snowbank.Officers responded. But something went terribly wrong.In the end, Bull, had a black eye and numerous bruises and scrapes. She was left naked in a holding cell for close to four hours.Because of the civil lawsuit, none of the parties would agree to an interview.But the story of what happened unfolds in court documents and exhibits.Bull was originally charged with assaulting the police officers.She was acquitted in 2012 because the judge couldn’t determine it was clear she was under arrest.“The officers were not in lawful execution of their duties,” the judge ruled, meaning Bull’s actions were self-defence.When two RCMP officers responded to that early morning call in 2011, Bull stood up. She didn’t want to give her name, or have anything to do with the police.During Bull’s assault trial, Constable Scott Hearn told the court he could smell alcohol on her breath.“I told her she was under arrest for public intoxication and it immediately went sideways,” he said.Bull dropped to the ground. She testified later that she never heard the officer tell her she was under arrest.And neither did the second officer on the scene, Constable Krystal Moren.“The female is just limp . . . she is laying down on her stomach face down . . . the female is very uncooperative . . . she is not saying anything . . . she is just limp,” Moren testified.Watch: This cellblock video from 2011 shows Leah Bull in cells at the Maskwacis (Hobbema) RCMP detachment in Alberta where the Cree woman was left naked for close to four hours. Court transcripts show the officers pulled Bull up and tried to get her into the police truck.“She continued to struggle, fight the whole time,” said Hearn. “It was a pretty big fight.”Two more officers arrived on scene. Court testimony and police notes describe a chaotic scene in which the officers are punching and striking Bull to subdue her. And Bull is swinging her arms, kicking and spitting, going limp; resisting attempts to put her in the truck.None of that scene is captured on camera. But once the police arrive back at the detachment, police videos show Bull being dragged out of the truck and put on the floor of the garage. A spit hood is placed on her head.There were, at that point, seven officers dealing with Bull.She was shoved against the truck, then back to the floor, handcuffed and finally dragged out of the garage to the cell.Once in the cell, officers testified that Bull said she wanted to die. And so a group of officers, including men, held her down and stripped her.The operation manual for RCMP K division, which is Alberta, refers to using a “restraint jacket if a prisoner is considered suicidal.”But in the court exhibits, a document titled “Guard room meeting,” for the Hobbema detachment, now called Maskwacis, specifically states “all suicidal prisoners will be dressed in baby dolls.”The baby doll is a garment given to the inmate to preserve modesty, and it’s designed in a way that makes it harder to use for self-harm.In the video, the officers leave Bull lying on the floor of the cell, naked, with the baby doll placed over her head. She lies there for several minutes, unmoving.The notes from the guard room meeting also state “all prisoners are to be treated with respect and dignity.”And the policy outlined in the RCMP operational manual’s section on strip searches is to “conduct a strip search only on a person of the same gender.”“When the police had stripped me, when they had stripped me, the men and the women, there was more men than women. And I felt violated…they hadn’t raped me physically but they raped me spiritually. They stole that from me,” Bull testified at her trial.When she was left in the cell, Bull said she couldn’t get the baby doll down over head to wear it.She flung herself against the door. She stuck her head in the toilet, but said later that it was only a frantic attempt to get out of the cell, to get medical treatment.Male and female officers quickly entered the cell.In the cellblock video, Bull appears to lay passively on the floor while the officers empty the toilet of water.The officer in charge at that time, Corporal Ray Starzynksi, took the baby doll dress away and Bull was left naked in cells for another three and a half hours, still under surveillance.Starzynksi did not record notes of the incident at the time. He wrote what’s called a supplementary occurrence report four months later.He said described Bull as a “high risk” female that “needed to be dealt with accordingly.” He referred to her as “overweight,” and “obviously mentally disturbed.”The RCMP operations manual states, “Members are not qualified or expected to make a diagnosis of mental illness.”And in contrast, the paramedics who took Bull from the detachment to the hospital hours later, described her as “in obvious distress,” her injuries from “assault in RCMP custody.”At Bull’s trial for her assault charges, Starzynksi testified she bit his arm when he and other officers were trying to get her in the police truck. He struck Bull several times with an empty hand.He was concerned that she was a potential drug user or had HIV.“Hepatitis A, B, C, it’s rampant in First Nations communities, we know that,” Starzynksi said on the stand.But Bull hadn’t broken his skin and Starzynksi was not required to take a cocktail of drugs as a precaution.The Crown asked Starzynksi why, if Bull had bitten him, that she was not charged with assaulting him as well.“I inquired as to additional charges in regards to the assault upon myself,” replied Starzynksi. “And I was told by my supervisors or superiors at the detachment that it seemed vindictive.”Though Bull was acquitted of the assault charges, the trauma of what happened to her remains.Click below to read Leah Bull’s statement of claim against the RCMPDownload (PDF, 941KB)Her civil suit against the RCMP is now before the Queen’s Court of Bench in Edmonton.Her filed statement of claim in the civil suit outlines the impacts on Bull; significant bruising, an orbital fracture, tinnitus, and memory problems and psychological injuries.Bull has been undergoing counselling since the incident, her medical records citing post-traumatic stress disorder.The claim states the officers assaulted her. That they were negligent. That the RCMP itself is negligent for not providing better training and supervision. And the file claims one officer in particular was “reckless, callous, high-handed, oppressive and reprehensible.”Bull and her lawyer Shelagh Weir Bowen don’t want to comment on the civil suit while it’s still before the courts.The RCMP in Alberta emailed the following statement to APTN:“The RCMP in Alberta is committed to ensuring the safety and security of the communities it serves. That is a responsibility we take very seriously. Though our members face challenging situations during the course of their day-to day duties, they are trained to respond to situations based on the behaviour of the person or persons involved. In this particular instance, there were concerns for the individual’s safety and for the safety of our employees. The RCMP in Alberta understands that public trust is essential to effectively serve and protect our communities and we are committed to safeguarding that trust by ensuring any reports about employee actions are fully examined. At this time, we have a limited ability to comment on particulars of this case as the matter is still before the courts.”The case is still before the courts. It’s been adjourned while the two sides dispute some of the evidence.No word on when it will email@example.com@trinaroache
Chris StewartAPTN NewsThe Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina is celebrating National Indigenous History Month with, among other things, a blanket exercise.The lesson tells 500 years of history in an firstname.lastname@example.org@aptnchris
Amber BernardAPTN NewsOnion Lake Cree Nation member Charmaine Stick is trying to give a Saskatchewan judge a helping hand in ordering her band council to hand over its financial information.On Thursday, Stick, along with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation delivered a petition with 30,000 signatures to force the Trudeau Liberals to enforce the First Nations Financial Transparency Act (FNFTA).“I believe that in all structures of government there needs to be accountability and transparency, otherwise you don’t have a foot to stand on,” Stick told APTN News during a media scrum Thursday.On July 24, a Saskatchewan judge ordered the financial statements of Onion Lake Cree Nation to be publicly posted online by the end of this month.If the first nation band does not comply, it will face a $10,000 fine.“I’m glad the judge sees the importance of accountability and transparency,” said Stick.For years, Stick has been urging her community to disclose financial statements and salaries.In 2014, she went on a 13 day hunger strike after her community’s leadership refused to show her the band’s finances.Then in 2016, she teamed up with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).“It’s really a travesty,” said Aaron Wudrick, director of the CTF. “It should not be up to brave people like Charmaine to do this, the government should be enforcing their own law.”The First Nations financial transparency act was passed into law under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in 2014.The piece of legislation also known as Bill C-27, requires First Nation bands to upload financial documents publicly.While the Onion Lake Cree Nation has published some of its finance from 2014 to 2016, there are still gaps.The community has until the end of August to upload remaining years.Now Stick and the CTF are trying to force the federal government to act.“There’s no point in having a law requiring First Nation bands to post their expenses, if they’re not going to follow it,” said Aaron Wudrick.Stick said she’s been through a lot and people have been upset with her since launching the case against Onion Lake. Especially when former chief Wallace Fox told her she wouldn’t get anywhere with her demands during her hunger strike and discouraged her from pursing any action against the band.“Just the words I remember from him at the time was ‘go ahead, sit there and starve you’ll never get anywhere,’ today I just find it funny and look at where I’m at today,” Stick said.Onion Lake has lost twice in court trying to dismiss Stick’s demands.Abernard@aptn.ca@Abernardnews
TORONTO – Shares of Linamar Corp. fell more than 10 per cent in early trading after reporting a drop in third-quarter earnings compared with a year ago, hurt by one-time costs.Linamar shares were down $9.61 at $67.31 in late-morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.After the close of markets Tuesday, the auto parts maker said it earned $107.3 million or $1.62 per diluted share in its third quarter.That compared with a profit of $122.2 million or $1.86 per share a year ago.However, the company said that before non-recurring items and foreign exchange impacts its earnings increased 9.2 per cent.Sales for the three months ended Sept. 30 grew to $1.55 billion, up from $1.46 billion in the same quarter last year.
SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa – A Minnesota-based company said on Friday that it is considering moving production of some motorcycles out of the country because of European tariffs, just days after Harley-Davidson announced a similar moveA spokeswoman for Polaris Industries acknowledged that the company could move some production of its Indian Motorcycles from northwest Iowa to Poland.“Nothing is definitive,” Polaris spokeswoman Jess Rogers said. “We’re looking at a range of mitigation plans.”Harley-Davidson announced Monday that it was moving production of motorcycles sold in Europe from U.S. factories to facilities overseas because of retaliatory tariffs.President Donald Trump had used the iconic American motorcycle maker as an example of a U.S. business harmed by trade barriers in other countries before imposing steep tariffs on European steel and aluminum. The European Union responded with measures that hit around $3.25 billion (€2.79 billion) worth of American-made products, including on American-made motorcycles.Harley-Davidson said the new tariffs would add about $2,200 per average motorcycle exported from the U.S. to the EU.Since its announced moved, Harley-Davidson has endured harsh criticism from the president, who has said in a tweet that any shift in production by the company “will be the beginning of the end.” He added: “The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!”That criticism is no doubt on the minds of Polaris executives as they seek ways to mitigate the effects of the tariffs.In its first quarter earnings released in April, Polaris projected around $15 million in additional costs in 2018. Rogers said the latest tariffs would raise costs further, declining to estimate by how much.“But we’re definitely seeing an increase in costs,” she said.Polaris employs around 650 people at its Iowa plant in Spirit Lake.___This story has been corrected to show that Polaris’ first quarter earnings were released in April, not earlier this month.
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The NHL announced a multiyear agreement Monday to provide MGM Resorts International with data for use in betting, the second major U.S. professional sports league to strike a deal with the casino giant since the Supreme Court opened the way for expanded gambling last spring.Las Vegas-based MGM is the league’s first official sports betting partner, just as it is with the NBA and WNBA. That deal was reached in July.As part of the agreement, MGM gains access to proprietary NHL data that could eventually include puck and player tracking information once that goes through a testing phase. Access to that data will allow MGM to provide customized game details along with betting opportunities for U.S. customers where gambling is legally available.The data will not be exclusive to MGM. The NHL is not getting a cut of gambling profits, but other terms were not disclosed.“The new sports betting landscape presents a unique opportunity for fan engagement utilizing technology and data that are exclusive to our league,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Fan engagement, technological advancement and innovation are paramount to our progressive approach and will be at the forefront of everything we do.”MGM and other casino operators are moving aggressively to capitalize on the U.S. sports betting market, which is expanding after the Supreme Court ruled in May that states could take sports bets if they wanted. MGM has made a series of significant moves, including the multiyear deal with the NBA and WNBA.Bettman and MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren said the NHL’s agreement differs from that with the NBA.“I’m led to believe by Jim that our deal is more encompassing and includes basic sponsorship that we have together,” Bettman said.The deal will include promotions during the league’s marquee events, including the Stanley Cup playoffs, the All-Star game and the Winter Classic.“We couldn’t be more excited to enter into this historic partnership with the NHL,” Murren said.Bettman said player tracking will be implemented next season.“That’s been the plan,” he said. “While we’ve tested it in some forms at the World Cup, that was 16 games in two weeks at one arena. Having to scale this for 1,271 regular season games in 31 arenas is a little bit harder.”There are no plans to change the way teams report player injuries, which are often described only in generic terms like upper-body or lower-body.“Our players tend to play hurt,” Bettman said. “I’m not sure we have any interest in changing our reports. We’re comfortable with the way things are because it’s important to the well-being of our players. We don’t want them targeted when they’re playing injured.”Bettman said the league and the NHL Players’ Association will split the “fixed revenue” generated by the partnership with MGM, as the collective bargaining agreement calls for. Bettman cited a report commissioned by the American Gaming Association that estimated expanded sports betting could increase league revenue by more than $200 million.Bettman also said the deal with MGM would not preclude teams from striking deals with individual sports books. Earlier this year, bookmaker William Hill struck deals to do promotional work and post odds at the home arenas of the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the New Jersey Devils.NHL executive vice-president and chief revenue officer Keith Wachtel said being able to provide enhanced data and analytics to MGM will allow “some creative and unique things that don’t really exist in the sport right now.”“The more data and analytics that a gaming operator can have, the better it will be in enabling them to set odds,” Wachtel told The Associated Press. “Whether or not they’re using the data for actual purposes of creating prop bets and things like that certainly is something (that’s possible). But more importantly, they’re going to use it to be able to set odds and proper odds that they’re going to be able to create.”In an email to The Associated Press, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said MGM “will access (NHL data) through our third party vendor, SportRadar. That may or may not change in the future.” SportRadar also provides NBA data.Some leagues, including Major League Baseball and the NBA, had called for an “integrity fee” — essentially, states would give leagues a cut of the money wagered on their games to pay for expanded monitoring of suspicious betting and to protect intellectual property. The effort has been largely unsuccessful thus far.“We have no concerns about the integrity of our game, of our players, our officials,” Wachtel said. “We’ve never had an issue. Secondly, the integrity of the sports betting landscape is just as important to the bookmakers, which is why the NHL does not have a discussion and we don’t talk about this notion of integrity fees.”Bettman dismissed concerns that NHL players could be persuaded to gamble on or even throw games.“We monitor all of the games,” said Bettman. “Through third party resources. We watch what goes on, whether or not betting lines shift and the like … It hasn’t been an issue and we don’t anticipate it being an issue.”Scott Butera, MGM Resorts’ president of interactive gaming and a former Arena Football League commissioner, outlined how the puck and playing tracking data will help bettors.“If I know one player is faster than the other, if I know one expends less energy than the other, if I know one has a faster slap shot than the other, it gives me information that I can bet,” he said. “If I’m betting on who will score the most goals, I have that tool. Ultimately when enough data is collected on that, we’ll be able to actually bet on that data itself. So you could have a bet on which player’s going to have the highest average slap shot throughout the game.”Butera said MGM believes expanded sports betting will eventually be available in 25 to 30 states. The 24 U.S.-based NHL teams play in 18 different states, with seven more in Canada, which does not allow single game betting. The league is moving toward adding a 32nd team, in Seattle in what would be its 19th state (Washington).Bettman said the seven Canadian teams “have been working with the lotteries who control gambling on a provincial basis.”“I think that will continue,” he said. “I know there have been a lot of discussions about going to single game betting as opposed to parlay, which is what currently exists. And as the law evolves, you will see our evolution in dealing with it.”___AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.
Fresh off their 18 month 50th Anniversary Tour, the iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in Country Rock and American Roots Music, continues to add to their legendary status. With multi-platinum and gold records, strings of top ten hits such as “Fishin’ In The Dark” and “Mr. Bojangles”, multiple Grammy, IBMA, CMA Awards and nominations, the band’s accolades continue to accumulate. Their 1972 ground-breaking “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” album has been inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress as well as the Grammy Hall of Fame. The bands’ recording of “Mr. Bojangles” was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2014 “Fishin’ In the Dark” was certified platinum for digital downloads by the RIAA.Today, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter) continue their non-stop touring in their 52nd year together. Three musical powerhouses joining them on stage in 2018 are Jaime Hanna, Jim Photoglo and Ross Holmes. Recent tour stops have included Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Stagecoach, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and many more. They’re recently sold out concert filmed and recorded live for the 50th Anniversary at The Historic Ryman Auditorium is an Emmy Award-winning PBS Pledge Special. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The legendary Nitty Gritty Dirt Band are bringing over fifty years of performing folk, rock, bluegrass and country blues together, to the Encana Events Centre in Dawson Creek, BC for one unforgettable night on Saturday, November 10th, 2018.Tickets are $74.45 and $54.45 and go on sale to the general public on Friday, July 27 at 10 AM. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Tiger Box Office Plus at the Encana Events Centre, Systems Sound Source Ticket Outlet in Fort St. John, BC, online at www.tigerboxofficeplus.ca or by phone at 1-877-339-8499.Watch the Moose FM Facebook page, for information on how you can win tickets before they go on sale. Plus sign up for the Energetictickets.ca Newsletter for your chance to buy tickets before anyone else. If you sign up before the end of the day Tuesday, you’ll get an email with all the information about how to buy tickets.
The company expects to drill 77 operated wells, including 49 liquids-rich natural gas wells at Dawson, Attachie West, and Parkland, 27 light oil wells at Ante Creek, Tower, and Pembina, and one water disposal well at Attachie.At the Arc Ante Creek 10-36 gas processing facility, the company expects to add approximately 15 MMcf per day of natural gas processing and 2,500 barrels per day of liquids-handling capacity, supposed to be on-stream by the second quarter of 2020.Then at their Attachie West Phase I gas processing and liquids-handling facility, the company expects to have 60 MMcf per day of natural gas processing, 10,000 barrels per day of condensate, and 4,000 barrels per day of NGLs-handling capacity, supposed to be on-stream in the second quarter of 2021. CALGARY, A.B. – ARC Resources has announced they will spend $775 million on its 2019 capital program.The capital program will include more drilling in the Montney and Pembina regions and upgrades to their processing plants in Northeast B.C.The ARC Dawson processing facility will undergo two upgrades in 2019 to add 3,000 barrels per day of liquids-handling production. This work should be completed by the fourth quarter of 2019. The next phase of the expansion will then add 90 MMcf per day of natural gas processing, 7,500 barrels per day of condensate, and 3,000 barrels per day of natural gas liquids-handling capacity, expected to be on-stream in the second quarter of 2020.
Changes to the Income Tax Act allow for the implementation of the tax credit for LNG development in the province.Horgan says the government set four stringent conditions for liquefied natural gas production in B.C., including a fair return for natural resources, jobs for residents and partnerships with First Nations.The premier says the LNG Canada project meets those conditions and is expected to generate $23 billion in government revenues. VICTORIA, B.C. – The British Columbia government has secured the last steps of the fiscal framework for liquefied natural gas projects in the province.The legislative assembly passed the Income Tax Amendment Act Thursday, and Premier John Horgan says that will secure the largest private-sector investment in Canadian history.The joint venture, which includes Petronas, Shell Canada Energy and PetroChina Canada Ltd., announced last year that LNG Canada’s $40-billion project on B.C.’s northern coast would proceed.
Parties have sent signals their platforms will include vows in these areas and business leaders from Canada’s urban centres hope to start the conversation at the outset of the campaign, which begins Wednesday.“The permeation of technology in nearly every aspect of our lives mandates the need for new legislation that creates a predictable and level playing field for businesses while ensuring that Canadian interests are protected,” the Canadian Global Cities Council, which is made up of chambers of commerce from the country’s eight largest cities, said in its pre-election release.The document also noted new “serious concerns around privacy and personal control of data.”Jan De Silva, CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, said the council has been actively discussing the need for these policies with political parties.“I would say there’s heightened awareness on the part of all parties in terms of what’s next with the economy,” De Silva said in an interview. “From my travels, this is a top-of-mind issue in many markets around the world.”The council will also release additional recommendations Wednesday to press parties in several other areas such as diversifying trade, helping smaller companies get government business and conducting a comprehensive review of the tax system. Among its recommendations on the digital economy, the council is stressing a need for the next federal government to improve business access to data and research held by Statistics Canada and to take steps to make it easier for companies to capture the value of IP.It’s also calling for a national data strategy to guide companies on data portability, privacy, security and commercialization.After taking office, the Liberal government said it would work toward a national data strategy. Last spring, it released principles under a “digital charter” that critics say lacked firm policies, regulations or standards. Political parties, for the most part, have yet to say very much about these issues. Last week, however, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said, if elected, he would set regulatory standards for the ethical use of artificial intelligence and to protect the privacy of consumers and their data. OTTAWA — Chambers of commerce from Canada’s biggest cities will release a campaign wish list Wednesday urging political parties to commit to establishing national data-governance standards, making government research more available for businesses and fully harnessing the value of intellectual property.These issues are likely to draw more attention from politicians than in the past. Experts, however, have doubts any party will go far enough to prepare Canada to compete in the new economy and to fully protect the privacy of its citizens.Four years ago, issues related to data governance, intellectual property and digital privacy received few, if any, mentions in party plans. Since then, there’s been a surge in awareness about the opportunities tied to the fast-growing innovation economy as well as in public concerns about the risks. Since the 2015 election, the “surveillance economy” has become a bigger public concern for a number of reasons, says Dan Breznitz, co-director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.For instance, he said more and more of people’s lives are now managed through their smart phones, which has made the issues very personal. He also said there are deepening worries about technological disruption of the labour force and how the inappropriate use of social-media data can alter electoral outcomes.The Liberals, he said, came to power with a realization that the innovation economy was important and they talked about it. Business leaders and public intellectuals fuelled the public debate.Politicians, however, are reluctant to make major changes because innovation policies are longer-term, complex, sometimes hard to explain and attract limited media attention, he said.“On one side, those issues are much more prominent, and business leaders and people … start to realize that those things — data and IP and innovation — will determine whether we can continue to be a prosperous society,” he said.“On the other, there’s still a very … confused understanding of what innovation is all about and, therefore, what should be the IP and data policies involved.”Dan Ciuriak, an innovation-policy expert, said he doesn’t expect serious debate about the data-driven economy during the campaign. He noted the issues cannot be addressed through “sound-bite messaging,” nor will they swing many votes.He recommended Canada adapt its regulations and policies on such an important issue in a manner “free of ideology.”“The federal civil service is really only starting to grapple with the issues,” Ciuriak, a former deputy chief economist of Canada’s foreign-affairs department who now runs a consultancy, wrote in an email.“Change is happening at a speed that is overwhelming the ability to learn about governance from experience.”Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press
NEW DELHI: The AAP is neither open nor closed for any alliance with Congress but as the Congress is yet to reach any concrete decision over the alliance the AAP decided to announce all the candidates without any delay, asserted AAP Delhi Convenor Gopal Rai. He also said the party waited for long but could not afford to lose more time owing to “Congress’ state of confusion” over an electoral alliance in the city.Sources said the AAP was in talks with the Congress over seat-sharing but both the parties wanted to contest from the same seats due to which they could not reach a consensus. Moreover, Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit has not been in favour of an alliance with the AAP but many leaders and workers in the Delhi Congress were in favour of the alliance. Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit appeared to be isolated over the issue of alliance with AAP for Lok Sabha polls, as AICC in-charge PC Chacko on Friday claimed that “many” in the party were in favour of such up tie-up. He, however, said that a final call on the issue of alliance with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi will be taken by the Congress president Rahul Gandhi. In 2013, AAP received less votes than the BJP but briefly formed a government in a post-poll coalition with the Congress. In 2014, AAP improved to 33 per cent but the BJP jumped to 47 per cent and swept all 7 Lok Sabha seats. In 2015, AAP shot up to 54 per cent to sweep 67 of the 70 Assembly seats. In the 2017 Assembly elections, AAP remained at 24 per cent and won 20 seats to emerge principal Opposition against the Congress (38%, 77 seats) while SAD-BJP slipped to 29 per cent and 18 seats.
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre not to revoke till April 15 the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) status of controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi’s daughter, who has moved a plea seeking grant of an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card.According to a Government of India notification of January 2015, all PIO card holders are deemed to be OCI card holders. However, when Qureshi’s daughter, Pernia Qureshi, applied for the OCI status, she was informed that she was ineligible as her mother and grand parents were Pakistani citizens. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Justice Vibhu Bakhru granted her the interim relief, saying she was an Indian citizen for 12 years before becoming a PIO card holder. He directed the ministries of Home Affairs and External Affairs and the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) not to revoke her PIO/OCI card till the next date of hearing on April 15. The ministries, represented by central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia, had contended that according to a provision in the Citizenship Act 1955, “no person, who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the central government may, by notification in the official gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an OCI card holder”. The government’s stand was opposed by Qureshi’s lawyers who contended that the provision was not applicable to her.
New Delhi: The NITI Aayog will organise the FinTech Conclave 2019 on financial technologies in the national capital on Monday, according to an official announcement here. A NITI Aayog statement on Sunday said that the conclave, to be inaugurated by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das, will be attended by senior government and RBI officials, as well as more than 300 representatives from the leading financial institutions “The objective is to shape India’s continued ascendancy in fintech, build the narrative for future strategy and policy efforts, and to deliberate steps for comprehensive financial inclusion,” it said. “The Conclave will be featuring representatives from across the financial space – central ministries, regulators, bankers, startups, service providers and entrepreneurs. “The conclave will host more than 300 representatives from the leading financial institutions, including HDFC Bank, IndusInd, ICICI Bank, SBI Card, Tata Capital and fintechs like BankBazaar, PhonePe, Capital Float, Zerodha, PayTM, MobiKwik and PayU,” it added. Leading venture capital investors, state governments, micro, small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and industry experts will also be present. The statement also said the valedictory session of the conclave will have presentations consolidating sector-specific findings of the various panels on themes such as “digital onboarding of customers and merchants for financial inclusion, building financial products for millennial India and emerging areas of fintech.” Citing industry research that $1 trillion, or 60 per cent, of retail and SME credit will be digitally disbursed by 2029, it said that India is one of the fastest growing fintech markets globally. The Indian fintech ecosystem is the third largest in the globe, attracting nearly $6 billion in investments since 2014, the statement added.
Kolkata: Outgoing BJP MP from Asansol Babul Supriyo, who is contesting from the same constituency, triggered controversy yet again on Sunday morning as he was accused of playing the theme song of his party, which has already been banned by the Election Commission.The theme song had been sung by Supriyo himself. The commission had, however, issued a ban on the song immediately after it found the lyrics to be derogatory in nature. The commission had instructed the state BJP leaders to change the lyrics and the language of the song, as it had attacked Trinamool Congress and its supremo Mamata Banerjee in a subtle way. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) had clearly stated that the song could not be played under any circumstances by Supriyo or any other BJP leader, during the election campaigns. The CEO’s office had also told BJP that they would only consider lifting the ban after the party submits a revised version of the song, with changed lyrics and language. The commission had asked the BJP leaders to remove some lines from Supriyo’s song, as it had been identified as ‘derogatory in nature’. The election officials made their stand clear that they would give a go-ahead to the party only if they find the song devoid of any subtle attack on any other political party. Supriyo had also not obtained any prior permission from the Election Commission to sing the theme song for his party. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayIn sharp contrast and blatant disregard for the directive of the CEO’s office, BJP leaders and activists were seen playing the song on loudspeakers fitted in their vehicles, on their way to the rally at Brigade parade ground which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. Supriyo had taken out a rally in Asansol on Sunday morning, when the controversial theme song was played in a speaker fitted on a tableau. The commission is currently looking into the matter. They are also keeping a tab on the media cell. However, Supriyo told the media that he did not receive any letter from the commission regarding the ban. He said what he had received from the commission was a letter asking for a revision in the lyric of the song. The legal cell of BJP is looking into the matter, Supriyo told the media in Asansol.
Lucknow: Congress leader and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi will file her nomination for the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. Sonia Gandhi, who has been representing the seat since 2004, will contest against Dinesh Pratap Singh, who had recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party after leaving the Congress. The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have not fielded any candidate in the Congress bastion. Rae Bareli goes to polls on May 6 in the fifth phase of the general election. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Sonia Gandhi had won the seat in 2004, 2006 (bypolls), 2009 and 2014. In 2014, there were 15.94 lakh voters in the constituency and the poll percentage was 51.73 per cent, in which Sonia Gandhi had got 5,26,434 votes. Since 1957, the Congress has won the seat 19 times, including three by-elections, and lost the seat only three times — 1977, 1996 and 1998. In 1977, after Emergency, Bharatiya Lok Dal’s Raj Narain had defeated the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. In 1996 and 1998, BJP candidate Ashok Kumar Singh won the seat. The constituency has five assembly segments — Bachhrawan, Harchandpur, Rae Bareli, Sareni and Unchahar. The seat was represented by Feroze Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Arun Nehru, Sheila Kaul and Satish Sharma in the past.
Kolkata: Around 3,000 artists from all over the state took part in a rally to celebrate the World Art Day here on Monday.Well-known artist Jogen Chowdhury, who set up the Artist Forum of Bengal, was the convener of the programme. The artists took part in a walk that started from Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Gol Park and ended at Deshpriya Park via Rashbehari Avenue. Young artists painted colourful motifs at Gol Park and Deshpriya Park. April 15 is observed as World Art Day to commemorate the birthday of Leonardo Da Vinci. The aim behind the celebrations is to create awareness about art. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaBesides Chowdhury, Debabrata Chakraborty, Asit Pal, Samir Aich, Manasij Mazumdar, Atanu Paul, Bimal Kundu among others took part in the rally. Chakraborty said the Artist Forum of Bengal is a non-political body whose only purpose is to create awareness about art among the younger generation. “One should connect deeply to appreciate art. This needs training and regular visits to the art galleries. Art is the best medium of communication which breaks the barriers of religion, caste and creed.” Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe forum will organise seminars, workshops and exhibitions as a part of the awareness drive. This was the second year of the rally. Chakraborty regretted that the media organisations are indifferent about the young artists and their work. “We have produced some of the finest painters and artists such as Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Ganesh Pyne, Ganesh Haloi, Bikas Bhattacharya and many more. Media’s patronage is needed to inspire budding artists,” he said.
Lucknow: Over 35 per cent voter turnout was recorded Monday till 1 pm in 14 Lok Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh where Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi are in the fray.Among early voters in the state capital included Home Minister Singh, BSP supremo Mayawati, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, DGP OP Singh and Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkElection officials here said polling was going on smoothly, barring some complaints of EVM malfunctioning which were attended to immediately.Union minister and the BJP’s Amethi candidate Irani alleged that the Congress president was “ensuring booth capturing” in the constituency.She said Rahul Gandhi are contesting against each other in the seat.”Alert @ECISVEEP Congress President @Rahul Gandhi ensuring booth capturing,” Irani said on Twitter.She also tagged a video in which an elderly women is seen alleging that her hand was forcibly put on ‘panja’ (hand), election symbol of the Congress, though she wanted to vote for the ‘kamal’ (lotus), the BJP’s symbol. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenHowever, there is no written complaint on the matter.Till 1 pm, 35.43 per cent polling was witnessed in the state, EC officials said.Maximum 40.39 percent voting was witnessed in Banda, while Lucknow recorded 33.14 per cent voting.Rae Bareli and Amethi witnessed 32.60 per cent and 33.94 per cent turnout respectively, the officials said.The BJP had bagged 12 of the 14 seats in 2014 with the Congress winning Rae Bareli and Amethi.Polling was underway in Dhaurahra, Sitapur, Mohanlalganj (SC), Lucknow, Banda, Fatehpur, Kaushambi (SC), Barabanki (SC), Faizabad, Bahraich (SC), Kaiserganj and Gonda constituencies where a total of 182 candidates are in the fray. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is contesting on five seats – Dhaurahra, Sitapur, Mohanlalganj, Fatehpur and Kaisarganj.Its ally Samajwadi Party (SP) is fighting on seven seats – Lucknow, Banda, Kaushambi, Barabanki, Faizabad, Bahraich and Gonda.In Amethi and Rae Bareli, the SP-BSP alliance has not put up any candidate, leaving the two constituencies for the Congress.The Union Home Minister is seeking re-election from Lucknow, while his colleague at the Centre Irani is again taking on Rahul Gandhi in Amethi.In the Faizabad parliamentary constituency, under which the temple town of Ayodhya falls, sitting BJP MP Lallu Singh is taking on Nirmal Khatri of the Congress. Khatri is a former Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief.Former Union minister and Congress candidate Jitin Prasad is contesting from Dhaurahra against former Chambal brigand Malkhan Singh.In Lucknow, the SP has pitted Poonam Sinha, wife of actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, as the joint ‘mahagathbandhan’ candidate against Rajnath Singh.