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Christmas gift finally opened – Canada News

Dec 7, 2018 / 6:57 am | Story:

A couple facing a second trial in the meningitis death of their son are calling for charges against them to be dropped and an estimated $ 4 million from Alberta Justice.

David Stephan and his wife, Collet, were found guilty in 2016 of failing to provide the necessaries of life to the 19-month-old Ezekiel.

Their trial in Lethbridge, Alta., Heard evidence that they treated the boy with garlic, onion and horseradish rather than take him to a doctor.

The Stephans eventually called 911 but the toddler died in hospital in 2012.

Last May, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered a new trial in a ruling that the original trial judge did not properly instruct jurors.

During a court appearance, the couple filed applications for a stay of the proceedings as well as an order asking Alberta Justice for up to $ 4 million to cover their court costs.

David Stephan told the court that the applications were the result of a recently released disclosure that suggests that 719 pages of defense material was released to the Crown by RCMP.

The Lethbridge Court on Jan. 18.

The couple now live outside of Grand Prairie, Alta.


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A man in Edmonton who made international headlines for a wrapped Christmas gift from a high school girlfriend who dumped him nearly 50 years ago finally learned what it was on Thursday when she traveled to the city and opened it for him.

Adrian Pearce, now a married father of two, received the little present wrapped in shiny, purple paper shortly before Christmas 1971 from Vicki Allen, who was his very first sweetheart at George S. Henry Secondary School in Toronto.

But when she handed it to him, she broke up with him. Dejected, Pearce returned to his family's home, threw it under the Christmas tree and vowed never to open it.

The story last December about the unopened gift appeared on TV, newspapers and websites around the world. And as Allen stood on a stage in a packed cafe northwest of the city and peeled away the paper with Pearce standing beside her and his wife, Janet, in the audience, she herself did not know what she would see because it was so long ago and she'd forgotten.

"Oh no!" Allen exclaimed when she finally saw. "I can not give that to him!"

It was a small book called "Love Is: New Ways to Spot That Certain Feeling" with cartoons and sayings about love.

"The irony is extreme," Allen cried.

The event was a fundraiser for the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton, and a local charity that provides Christmas meals to families in need.

"Love is all of us, all of you, here tonight for the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton," Pearce responded.

Days after Pearce's story appeared last Christmas, and a friend who knew them both in high school sent Allen and link to one of the many articles written about it. Allen responded by clicking "like" on some of Pearce's Facebook posts, and Peace figured out who it was. They got in touch, and eventually Pearce and his wife were invited to meet her where she now lives in British Columbia.

They learned that they all got along. They also learned the reason Allen dumped Pearce all those years ago.

It turned out that while Allen was shopping for Pearce's gift at the mall, she met another boy and she kissed her on the spot.

"It would not have been so bad, but I kissed him back," Allen said.

Dec 7, 2018 / 5:33 am | Story:

A Chinese telecommunications executive who was arrested after an extradition request from the United States is scheduled to appear in a Vancouver court for a bail hearing today.

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, was arrested Saturday while in transit at Vancouver's airport.

The company says she faces extradition to the United States on unspecified charges.

Chinese officials have expressed concern about the arrest, with Chinese Embassy in Ottawa calling it a serious violation of human rights, while Chinese Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said the Canadian officials should reveal their reasoning for the arrest.

Canada is not providing further details about the case because of a court-ordered publication ban.

Huawei is the most prestigious tech company in China and was founded by Meng's father, Ren Zhengfei.

The company has said that it is not aware of any wrongdoing by Meng.


Dec 7, 2018 / 5:27 am | Story:

By the time he wraps his day-long talk fest with provincial and territorial leaders, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may well rue the day he has promised to hold first ministers' meetings annually.

Friday's closed-door gathering is the third summit of Trudeau with premiers and promises to be the most turbulent – and probably the least productive.

Gone are the days when he was surrounded by friendly provincial Liberal allies. Now, he faces a phalanx of conservative premiers who are putting their opposition to some of his signature policies, especially his plan to impose a federal carbon tax next year.

And one of them – Ontario Premier Doug Ford – has vowed to ensure Trudeau's Liberals are defeated in next fall's federal election. Federal officials in private believe that it will include efforts to derail Friday's meeting, potentially even staging a dramatic walkout – a scenario Ford and his aides did not rule out Thursday.

But it's not just conservative premiers who are bound to cause headaches for the prime minister. He's got Liberal and New Democrat premiers who also have bones to pick with the federal government.

They are all showing up to Friday's meeting with a laundry list of issues they want addressed, but no agreement among themselves about what are most pressing or what should be done about them.

For example, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs wants to revive a proposal for an Energy East pipeline. Quebec's Francois Legault says there's no way Quebecers will ever approve a pipeline through their province.

Alberta's NDP prime minister, Rachel Notley, is furiously demanding federal action to help her province get its oil to tidewater for shipment to overseas markets rather than being captive to the discount price paid by the United States.

She and Saskatchewan's Scott Moe want the oil price crisis to top the agenda for Friday's meeting. They also want Trudeau to scrap the Bill C-69, legislation to beef up environmental assessments of energy projects.

Their concern that C-69 will scare off investors in things like pipeline projects is shared by Newfoundland and Labrador's Dwight Ball and Nova Scotia's Stephen McNeil, both Liberals.

But then there's British Columbia's NDP Premier, John Horgan, who has gone to court to stop the one pipeline project Trudeau's government has approved – the Trans Mountain expansion.

Four conservative premiers – Ford, Moe, Higgs and Manitoba's Brian Pallister – have also gone to court but, in their case, it is to stop what they refer to as Trudeau's "job-killing carbon tax." They want to push the issue to the forefront of the agenda.

Dec 7, 2018 / 5:21 am | Story:

A senior paramedic in British Columbia is encouraging homeowners to buy carbon monoxide detectors and inspect their appliances following a spike in poisonings in the past week.

Leon Baranowski, Paramedic Practical Leader with B.C. Emergency Health Services says that the colorless and odourless gas can be emitted from fuels including wood, gasoline, coal and propane when they do not burn completely.

"At this time of year, as people start to turn on their water heaters, their gas appliances, fireplaces and panel heaters in unventilated spaces, carbon monoxide has the potential to build up in that environment. patients and affect them, "Baranowski said.

A family of five from Barriere, BC, was airlifted to a hospital in Vancouver in a serious but stable condition on Thursday. Two family members were unconscious when they were pulled from their home and the monitors worn by paramedics indicated high levels of gas when they entered the home.

On Wednesday, 13 people with carbon monoxide poisoning were taken to hospital from an office building in Vancouver. Energy company FortisBC said that a technician has identified a problem with a boiler.

There were at least another three cases on the Lower Mainland in the past week, said Shannon Miller, Emergency Health Services Communications Officer.

Paramedics in the province respond to about 100 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning over the course of the year, she said.

Baranowski said patients at the lower end of the spectrum may have cold and flu-like symptoms, including a dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

"As the symptoms progress after prolonged exposure, this can lead to increased shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, loss of consciousness and, in the worst case, even death." Carbon monoxide begins to replace oxygen in the body, which we all need to function, "he said.

Dec 6, 2018 / 5:11 pm | Story:

The Salvation Army in Calgary says it has had to cancel volunteer shifts and close a warehouse because the agency has not received enough Christmas toys for workers to sort.

There are 7,000 children under the age of 14 registered for the agency's program in the city.

Officials say 18,000 toys have been received so far, but about 40,000 are needed.

Spokeswoman Karen Livick says that in the past the agency has sometimes seen fewer toys donated in some age groups than in others.

But this year's donations are down generally.

Livick says the organization is aware that buying a toy may not be in everyone's budget.

"I think it's a direct result of the economic crisis that we are seeing and … starting to feel again in Calgary," said Livick. "We've started to feel it for a couple of years, but this year .. people are a little unsure about their job situation and what's going to happen in the new year.

"They're finding themselves … not being able to buy that extra toy to donate."

There is uncertainty about oilpatch right now because the price for Alberta oil is low and Premier Rachel Notley is bringing production cuts in the new year.

People can drop off new, unpacked toys until Dec. 15 at various locations around the city. Livick points out that the Salvation Army also accepts monetary donations.

Dec 6, 2018 / 1:24 pm | Story:

Hundreds of First Nations chiefs booed Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer on Thursday when the opposition leader told them they will have to wait until his platform is released to see how he differs from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Assembly of First Nations chiefs were meeting in a downtown Ottawa hotel. During a question-and-answer session with the opposition leader, the chiefs asked Scheer how he's different from Harper, with one asking him to name one policy stance he holds that's different from Harper's and another asking how he plans to rebuild trust with First Nations people that "Harper lost."

Chief Elaine Johnston of the Serpent River First Nation in northern Ontario told Scheer that First Nations did not have positive relations with Conservative governments, including the new one in Ontario.

"My concern here is when you are talking about the spirit of reconciliation, what are you going to do in that spirit of reconciliation that is going to be different than your predecessors in the Conservative government? not seeing it. The rhetoric is there, but there has not been positive action, "she said.

Jessica Jacobs, a councilor for the Ta'an Kwach'an Council in Yukon, asked Scheer flatly how he felt about Indigenous people and issues and how he plans to fix the relationship between the Conservative party and the Indigenous people in Canada.

"First two questions were kind of similar … the differentiation between myself and the previous Conservative government specifically when it comes to politics. So on that I'm going to have to ask you to have a little bit of patience for when our platform gets released, "Scheer said, and was hit by the wave of boos.

Scheer quickly added that Indigenous people will see change. In the last election, the Conservatives did not win support from a large majority of First Nations communities and people, and he wants to fix that, he said. "Part of that is coming to these kinds of meetings, in a respectful way."

But Scheer suggested his party would seek to protect and promote indigenous languages, saying he and AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde have already talked about it.

That would be part of an entire segment of the election platform's Conservative party, said Scheer, which he would not be crafted by his inner circle.

"I would be happy to come back to the future and explain the more detailed aspects of what we are going to be campaigning on, but it will be a different approach to the Liberals. , but also getting results, "he said. "You talked about what we're going to do to overcome the relationship challenges that we may have had in the past. It's frustrating for me as a Conservative when I think about the great things we did in terms of policies."

He said it was a Conservative government that recognized the First Nations nation and the First National Nations Senator. He also raised Harper's apology in the House of Commons, which acknowledged the legacy of the residential-school system.

"So we have these legacies but clearly when you do not have the relationship right … often tangible results get overlooked or at least get viewed in a different way."

Scheer said the big hurdle for the Conservative party is to get that relationship back on track so the party and the indigenous people can work more closely together "in that spirit of trust."

"I see the Indigenous Canadians as an integral part of our society, their current contribution to Canadian history, a great deal of respect for all they have done for the Confederation, the way they have been partners in building this society we have, m very proud to represent a dozen First Nations communities in my own riding, "the Saskatchewan MP said.

Dec 6, 2018 / 11:00 am | Story:

The biggest change to the country's pension plans in more than a decade will take place in the new year, but the effects will be felt differently depending on which generation you belong to.

Beginning in early 2019, the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan will phase in enhanced benefits over the next seven years to provide more financial support for Canadians after they retire.

However, while pension contributions will gradually increase for all employees and employers, younger generations will see lion's share of enhanced benefits as improvements slowly make their way through the system.

"Do not get too excited unless you're 30 years old or less," said Doug Runchey, an independent consultant who specializes in Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security.

Currently, employees contribute a percentage of their pensionable earnings until they reach an annual limit, while their employers pay an equal amount per employee. Self-employed people pay both amounts.

Under the enhanced plan, CPP contributions will go up in two ways.

One increase will involve a series of higher contribution rates from 2019 to 2023 and the other will involve a higher ceiling on annual income subject to contributions in 2024 and 2025.

On Jan. 1, 2019, the total rate paid by employees and employers will rise to 10.2 per cent per employee from 9.9 per cent (employee share of contributions rises to 5.10 per cent from 4.95 per cent).

The contribution rate is scheduled to gradually increase to 11.9 per cent of the employee's pensionable earnings in 2023 (of which employees contribute 5.95 per cent).

Until 2023, the contributions will be applied to a maximum annual income ceiling that rises most years under an established formula.

In each of 2024 and 2025, however, the ceilings will be determined by a new formula – meaning people earning over a certain threshold will contribute more and receive more CPP benefits than they would under the original calculations.

As a result of the increase, benefits will also increase gradually – although it will take decades and a lifetime of employment for most of them to be fully available to retirees.

In general, baby boomers and generation Xers will stand to gain less than millennials or generation Z because it will take 45 years to achieve maximum benefits, although they go up slightly every year of employment starting in 2019.

Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labor Congress, says the benefits of CPP enhancements will more than offset the increased costs and help the overall economy by giving retirees more purchasing power.

"I think the premium increase will have little or no impact, both on the workers but also on the employers who will have to contribute," says Yussuff, who has been campaigning for several years to get support for the enhancements.

He says small business owners – like their employees and self-employed – have difficulty saving for retirement.

"So the CPP is going to guarantee they get something out of the system," Yussuff says.

"Of course it will take some time for this new enhancement to deliver the benefits, but that's the nature of all pensions."

Dec 6, 2018 / 10:05 am | Story:

A jury in and a Calgary murder trial has heard how cellphone calls from a man charged in the deaths of a woman and her young daughter led to the discovery of one of the alleged victims.

Edward Downey is charged with a first-degree murder in the July 2016 deaths of Sara Baillie and her five-year-old child, Taliyah Marsman, and has pleaded not guilty to both counts.

Jurors heard Wednesday that Downey and a woman exchanged a number of texts and photos for about three days before his arrest, and that information from those calls was later passed to the police.

Patricia Pace, who specializes in cellphone analysis for Calgary Police, has testified that she had examined the call records for the Downey phone number connected to the phone at the time of his arrest.

She said she noticed extensive activity in the area of ​​some cellphone towers east of Calgary near where Taliyah's body was discovered.

A map produced from the data helped investigators locate her remains.

Pace is expected to continue her testimony today.

The jury has previously heard that Taliyah's body was discovered in some bushes on the morning of July 15, 2016.

Baillie was found dead in her basement apartment on July 11. She had been in duct tape and stuffed inside a laundry hamper in her daughter's closet.

The court has also heard both Baillie and Taliyah died of asphyxiation.

Canadian taxpayers subsidize government pensions to the tune of $ 22 billion a year, a new study by the Fraser Institute reveals.

The most striking feature of Canada's pension system is arguably the large and growing gap between pensions in the public and private sectors, the think-tank says.

"Only 10 percent of private sector workers can make the same claim," says co-author Philip Cross.

Defined benefit plans typically offer larger pensions, earlier retirement, and full inflation protection.

"The issue is not whether government employees should have defined pensions, but how much should they pay for these pensions," says Cross.

The study finds that public sector pay less for their pensions than private sector workers would be expected to.

"There is nothing wrong with government workers having good pensions – as long as they pay a fair price for these pensions," Cross adds.

Moreover, poor accounting of public sector pension plans leads to government, ie. taxpayers, propping them up.

"It is the ability to enrich public employees by shifting large, undisclosed investment risks to taxpayers without fair compensation." By our estimation, this provides an unacknowledged $ 22 billion annual subsidy to Canada's public sector DB plans and, ultimately, the members of these plans, "the reports states.

Dec 6, 2018 / 7:24 am | Story:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government plans to limit access to handguns and assault weapons to face gun violence in the country.

Speaking to Montreal radio station 98.5 FM today on the anniversary of the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique Massacre, Trudeau did not rule out a full ban when asked by the host.

The prime minister says the government is looking at different alternatives to address a situation he called unacceptable. But he says the goal is to limit the easy access of criminals to handguns and assault weapons.

In 2015, Trudeau campaigned on a promise to get handguns and assault weapons off the streets, but gun-control advocates recently criticized the government for failing to follow through.

Today's comments come as Montreal marks the 29th anniversary of shootings that killed 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique engineering school.

Trudeau is scheduled to join Premier Francois Legault and other dignitaries at the end of the day at a memorial event on Mount Royal.

Dec 6, 2018 / 6:31 am | Story:

Contentious wording in Ottawa's summer jobs program that tied pro-abortion beliefs to funding eligibility is dropped after a backlash to what was styled last year as a test of values.

Instead, the Federal Liberals have re-enlisted the 2019 version of the Canada Summer Jobs program to require applicants to declare that they do not work to violate any Canadian's legal rights.

In the 2018 version of the program, groups required to maintain constitutional, human and reproductive rights were not actively involved in their core mandate.

Labor Minister Patty Hajdu says the change – made after informal consultations over the past few months – should clear up concerns from faith-based groups who have expressed outrage over this past year's requirements.

"They felt this was about their values ​​and beliefs and not about the jobs and performances of the students in particular roles and we took that to heart," said Hajdu in an interview.

"We've been working on making sure we do what we intended to do, which stands for the rights of Canadians … but we also work closely with faith-based groups and others so they can see how they themselves would fit into this program. "

Additional changes have been made to the eligibility criteria to disqualify any project or summer job that restricts access to women's ability to access sexual or reproductive health services. Other disqualifying traits include jobs that restrict the exercise of human rights or that discriminate based on sex, religion, race or ethnic origin.

"This is a program about quality jobs for children, so we should not be asking kids in any circumstances to do work that would put them in a position to undermine or restrict the rights of others," Hajdu said.

"That's not the kind of job experience we would want young people to have, especially for, often times, their first job."

The change is one of several made to the popular program to be outlined today to MPs. Employers can begin to apply later this month.

The Liberals are opening the program to any young person aged 15 to 30, no longer requiring them to be students to qualify for funding.

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