Celebrated chef Jiggs Kalra passes away

first_imgNew Delhi: Celebrated chef and culinary revivalist Jaspal Inder Singh Kalra, popularly known as Jiggs Kalra, passed away early morning on Tuesday.He was 71. Announcing his father’s demise, the iconic chef’s restaurateur son Zorawar Kalra said his father was his “mentor, inspiration and his biggest hero”. “With profound grief and sadness, I would like to announce the demise of my beloved father, Jiggs Kalra. He was my mentor, my inspiration and my biggest hero,” Zorawar said. Kalra, who held titles like the “Czar of Indian Cuisine” and “Tastemaker to the Nation”, conferred upon him by eminent writer Khushwant Singh, was best known for his role as a culinary revivalist.last_img read more

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Thackerays Ayodhya visit wont help Ram temples cause Athawale

first_imgMumbai/New Delhi: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Saturday took a potshot at NDA ally and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray on the latter’s plans to visit Ayodhya next week. Speaking to mediapersons, Athawale said that “even if Thackeray goes to Ayodhya 10 times, it wont’ help the cause of the Ram temple till the Supreme Court verdict comes”. Embarrassed Sena leaders in Mumbai declined to react to the Republican Party of India (A) President’s statement, saying they would comment on it at an appropriate time. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC “If Thackeray wants to take all his newly-elected MPs for sight-seeing to Ayodhya, that’s fine. But it will not help the cause of the Ram temple construction in any way,” Athawale pointed out. He added that the Ram temple will come up only after the Supreme Court delivers its verdict in the matter, and that nothing will happen “even if Thackeray goes to Ayodhya 10 times”. Athawale said that he was personally very keen that the temple should come up as soon as possible, but everyone will have to await the apex court judgement on the issue which will pave the way for the temple construction. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citations His remarks were prompted by Thackeray’s decision to take all the 18 Sena Lok Sabha MPs elected last month to Ayodhya for a “thanksgiving darshan of Ram Lalla” on June 16. During his high-profile visit to Ayodhya last November, Thackeray had said: “Pehle Mandir, Phir Sarkar” (First temple, then government), attempting to bring the issue back to the centre-stage ahead of the last Lok Sabha polls. His upcoming visit is intended to build pressures on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime to expedite the construction of the Ram temple which suddenly seems to have been relegated to the backstage after the elections, analysts said. Meanwhile, Athawale’s aides in Mumbai said that there are no immediate plans for the RPI(A) chief to visit Ayodhya though he is passionate about the Ram temple construction.last_img read more

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Kothari wins Pacific International Snooker Cship

first_imgKolkata: Reigning World billiards champion Sourav Kothari lifted the 2019 Pacific International Snooker Championship – The Reventon Classic, in Melbourne on Monday. In a best of nine frames, Kothari got the better of Tyson Crinis of Australia to bag the crown. Kothari won 5-1 games with scores of 70-13; 89-26; 77(43)-46; 44-62; 71(67)-46; 85-1 according to information received here. In the finals, the former national and Asian Billiards champion showed nerves of steel to take 3-0 lead. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun After losing the fourth in a close battle, Kothari sprang back in the fifth and made a great come back with a finishing break of 67 to establish a commanding lead for the title. Tyson made a couple of unforced errors in the sixth game and that saw Kothari sail through the sixth to win the frame and match. Kothari also brushed aside challenges from some highly reputed snooker players, especially Kurt Dunham of Australia, during the meet. After beating multiple world Billiards Champion Peter Gilchrist of Singapore 4-0 in the quarterfinals, Kothari produced a remarkable performance in the semifinals when in a nerve wracking match he defeated another champion Australian Cueist James Mifsud.last_img read more

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High Court grants bail to Upendra Rai in money laundering case

first_imgNew Delhi: The Delhi High Court has granted bail to journalist Upendra Rai, arrested in a money laundering case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions, noting that he has already spent more than 13 months in custody and the trial is likely to take some time.Justice Mukta Gupta granted the relief to Rai on furnishing a personal bond of Rs one lakh with a surety of like amount and directed him not to influence any witness or tamper with the evidence of the prosecution. The court also said he shall not leave the country without prior permission. Rai was arrested on June 8, 2018 by the Enforcement Directorate under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) at the Tihar jail here, moments after he secured bail in a Central Bureau of Investigation case related to alleged extortion and dubious financial transactions. The CBI had arrested him on May 3, 2018.last_img read more

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One LiveAction shot in The Lion King revealed

first_imgLos Angeles: Filmmaker Jon Favreau has shared a snapshot of the only “real” scene in his latest release, The Lion King. It is the first scene of the film, depicting a sunrise photographed in Africa. “This is the only real shot in The Lion King. There are 1,490 rendered shots created by animators and CG artists. I slipped in a single shot that we actually photographed in Africa to see if anyone would notice,” Favreau captioned the image, adding: “It is the first shot of the movie that begins (the song) ‘The circle of life’.” Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaFavreau took to Twitter to share the photograph of the rising sun. The image is conisdered iconic and found space in the 1994 animation version of The Lion King, too. The new film brings back the adventures of Simba, the lion cub who is to succeed his father Mufasa as King of the Pride Lands. The film updates the classic tale with photo-realistic and computer-generated animation. Favreau had earlier helmed the 2016 global blockbuster, The Jungle Book.last_img read more

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CBSE hikes exam fees SCST general category to pay more

first_imgNew Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has increased the fees of Class 10 and 12 board examinations for SC and ST students from Rs 50 to Rs 1,200, while the amount has been doubled for those from the general category, who will now have to pay Rs 1,500.The students appearing for the Class 10 board exams are registered for it when in Class 9, and those appearing for Class 12 are registered when in Class 11. The board notified the changes in the fees last week and has asked the schools who had already begun the registration process and charged students as per the old fee structure, to now collect the difference in amount. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsAccording to the revised norms, the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students will have to pay Rs 1,200 for five subjects, while earlier they were supposed to pay Rs 50 for the same, a hike of 24 times. The general category students who were paying Rs 750 earlier, will now pay Rs 1,500 for five subjects. “The fees is applicable for both Class 10 and 12 examinations,” a senior CBSE official said. For appearing for an additional subject in Class 12 board examination, the SC and ST students who were earlier not supposed to pay any extra fee will now have to pay Rs 300. General category students will also have to pay Rs 300 for an additional subject, instead of Rs 150 earlier.last_img read more

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GCDCP organises conference on Artificial Intelligence

first_imgNew Delhi: In view of the rapidly growing demand of Information Technology-enabled new tools such as Artificial Intelligence, and Analytics, Global Council for Development of Consulting Professionals, a global forum, organized a National Conference in the city. Dr Omkar Rai, DG, STPI India, delivered the keynote address. The Conference was also addressed by Nishith Pathak who is India’s first and only Artificial Intelligence Most Valuable Professional and Microsoft Regional Director (RD).last_img read more

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FICN of Rs 55L smuggled from Pak via Nepal border seized

first_imgNEW DELHI: Special Cell of Delhi Police busted an international syndicate indulging in circulation of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) in Delhi NCR, Bihar and other parts of India. FICN amounting Rs 5.50 lakh has been recovered from the arrested Nepal national identified as Aslam Ansari aged 27 years.He is a resident of Beerganj District Parsa (Nepal). The arrested accused has revealed that FICN was smuggled in India from Pakistan via border through Indo-Nepal border. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderOn August 24, a specific information was received that a Nepal national Aslam Ansari , who is a key member of the syndicate would reach Delhi at Nehru Place Bus Terminal to deliver a big consignment of FICN to his one of contacts. Having received the above information, police team swung into action and a trap was laid near the said bus terminal and the accused Aslam Ansari was nabbed and 275 high quality Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) in denomination of Rs 2,000 amounting Rs 5.50 lakh were recovered from his possession. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”He used to receive FICNs from three persons (all Nepal nationals). Aslam Ansari used to further supply FICN in India through other members of this syndicates,who are residents of Raxaul, Bihar. It has also been disclosed by accused Aslam Ansari that he has been involved in supply of FICN for the 5 years. He further disclosed that recovered FICN was being smuggled in Nepal from Pakistan and same was further brought in India via Nepal border,” said PS Kushwaah, DCP Special Cell. All the recovered FICNs are of fine quality that it is difficult to distinguish it from original ones. Investigation of case is on to identify/arrest source of FICN and to receiver of same in India & Nepal.last_img read more

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NRS nurses demand salary hike recruitment to fill up vacant posts

first_imgKolkata: Tension sparked of at the NRS Medical College and Hospital on Wednesday when nursing staff members of various government-run hospitals and medical colleges staged demonstrations on the hospital campus to press for various demands.The nursing staff members refused to withdraw their agitation despite repeated appeals from senior police officers deployed outside the hospital. The demands include a hike in the salary of the nurses and filling up the vacant posts in nursing. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAccording to the agitating nursing members, the number of nursing staffers is pitifully low in some hospitals as a result the patients-nurses ration is hampered. It becomes extremely difficult for the nurses to provide desired treatment to the patients due to a shortage in the staff strength, said the agitating nurses. They also demanded that their salary should be hiked at par with the Centre. They also took out a rally with an intention to submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister. The police stopped the rally. A representative of the agitating nursing staff members later decided to visit the Chief Minister’s office to submit the memorandum. Police officer conducted a campaign by using microphones in the NRS Hospital not to stage demonstration as they had no prior permission.last_img read more

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Panel to hire teachers in 4th phase on Sep 4 5

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal Central School Service Commission (WBCSSC) will conduct the 4th phase for recruitment of assistant teachers in Classes XI and XII on September 4 and 5.The candidates whose name figure in the waiting list has been asked to appear for counselling. A notification in this regard has been published by WBCSSC. According to the notification, the counselling of waitlisted candidates in the first state level selection test (SLST) for recruitment in government aided and sponsored higher secondary schools will be held during this period. The counselling will be held at WBCSSC office at Acharya Sadan in Salt Lake. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe schedule of counseling will be notified in the commission’s website www.westbengalssc.com on Monday evening and the details of vacancies will also be available in the website from Monday evening. Intimation letter for counseling can be downloaded by the concerned candidates from the commission’s website by putting their 14 digit roll number and date of birth from Monday evening. A senior official of WBCSSC said there were around 600 vacancies of assistant teachers in Classes XI and XII. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe candidates in the Hills will not come under the purview of this counselling. “After we finish the counseling for XI and XII we will do 4th phase of counseling of teachers for class IX and X,” the official added. It may be mentioned that the state Education department is all set to introduce online procedure for declaration of vacancies and will also do away with the existing system of publication of waiting list. “We have gone through all School Service Commission (SSC) related documents. We are ushering in change in the SSC rules with the aim to have more transparency in the system. The schools would upload their vacancies online and the School Education department would allot teachers accordingly. This system would do away with the role of district inspectors, who presently forward the schools’ vacancy lists to the department,” a senior official of the state Education department said. Education minister Partha Chatterjee during the assembly session in July had said that his department has proposed a revision in the rules of SSC and Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) for transparency and fast tracking of teachers’ recruitment. “If things go as per plans, the rules will come into effect before the next SSC examination,” the official added.last_img read more

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Maha Noted surgeon cabbie killed in accident on Expressway

first_imgPune: A prominent city-based surgeon and his cab driver were killed and two other doctors injured when a bus hit them on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway near here in Maharashtra, police said on Monday. The mishap took place near Somatane village around 10.30 pm on Sunday when Dr Ketan Khurjekar (44), a spine expert, and two other orthopedic surgeons were on way to Pune from Mumbai in a cab, Talegaon Dabhade police station’s inspector Kishor Mhasawade said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ When the cab reached Somatane village, the driver stopped the vehicle on a roadside to replace one of its punctured tyre. After all of them came out of the vehicle, Khurjekar went to help the driver. While the cab driver was changing the damaged tyre, a private bus coming on that side hit all of them from behind, the official said. Khurjekar and the cab driver, Dnyaneshwar Bhosale (27), died on the spot, he said. The other two doctors received injuries and were admitted to Sancheti Hospital for treatment, he added. Khurjekar, a gold medalist, was head of the department for spine surgery at the Sancheti Hospital. He had performed around 3,500 complicated surgeries.last_img read more

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Good news for NB TransCanada to reopen Friday as floodwaters recede

first_imgFREDERICTON – New Brunswick has hit a major flood-recovery milestone: Transportation officials hope to reopen the crucial Trans-Canada Highway between Fredericton and Moncton at noon Friday.The four-lane stretch — used by an average of 10,000 to 12,000 vehicles daily — has been closed for the past week because of record-breaking flooding in the province.The water has receded from the road but crews were removing debris Thursday, mainly logs and driftwood, as inspectors walked the route looking for damage.“The evidence at this point is that there is erosion to the shoulder with a minimal amount of undermining,” said Norm Clouston, general manager of Maritime Road Development Corp., which manages the key stretch of highway.Premier Brian Gallant announced Thursday that the province has asked the Armed Forces to conduct a “reconnaissance mission” to determine if the military could provide assistance in the cleanup.“We are asking them to see if there are tasks that are appropriate to delegate to the Canadian Armed Forces during the recovery and cleanup. We certainly hope that the answer will be yes, because we would like to see as much support as possible to try to get the cleanup done as quickly as possible,” Gallant said.While water levels are receding, Gallant said, there are still many people with flooded properties, and efforts are focused on keeping them safe.Geoffrey Downey, spokesman for the Emergency Measures Organization, said it may be safe for some residents to return to their homes, but he urged people to take a cautious approach.“If it’s safe to get back into your home and begin, then absolutely. That’s the key thing we’re preaching right now. You have to do it safely,” he said.“I can only imagine how eager people are to get back and start figuring out what their immediate future holds, but it doesn’t make any sense if your home is still filled with water and part of the river. Hold on if you can and wait and do it safely.”In Fredericton, water levels were down to 6.8 metres after reaching 8.1 metres on Monday, and 8.36 at their peak. Flood stage in Fredericton is 6.5 metres.In Saint John, waters had gone down to 5.23 metres Thursday after being up to 5.75 metres days ago. But, he said the city is still well over flood stage.Downey said 1,516 people from 655 households had registered with the Red Cross, indicating they had evacuated their homes.The provincial government launched a Disaster Financial Assistance program last week to help businesses, municipalities and individuals who suffered damage during the flood. The maximum assistance for private homes is $160,000, and $500,000 for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations. It is not available for recreational properties.On Thursday, Gallant said his government will help people with damage to recreational properties but have not come up with a program yet.“I want to set expectations very clearly that if we get to a point that there is a program in place — which we’re confident there will be — it will not be as much financial support as those that have residential properties that have been damaged would receive,” he said.The federal government pays about 90 per cent of the assistance for residential properties, and Gallant said if Ottawa would help cottage owners, his government would match it.Officials say residents still need to be careful handling the water, since it has likely been fouled by different contaminants.The Canadian Red Cross has begun distributing flood cleanup kits, which include a mop, broom, scrub brush, sponges, latex gloves, masks and garbage bags.Mary Hamilton of Fredericton, who lined up to get a cleanup kit Thursday, said her brother’s apartment was flooded.“He had at least two feet of water in his apartment. So I’m here to pick up a clean-up kit so I can give him a hand,” she said.“Obviously everything in his place is under water — even his cleaning supplies — so we don’t know how useful they would be, so I picked up a kit today.”last_img read more

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Ottawa man arrested in two homicide cases

first_imgOTTAWA – Ottawa police say they have arrested a suspect in the shooting deaths of two men on Monday.Alam Gabriel Buoc have been the subject of a nationwide warrant until his arrest on Thursday night.The 30-year-old man was being sought in connection with the deaths of 26-year-old Abdulrahman Al-Shammari and 27-year-old Dirie Olol, who both died of gunshot wounds Monday.Police were also seeking a suspect in the shooting of a third man, who remains in serious condition in hospital.Officers had responded to a hospital around 7 a.m. Monday for a report of a man suffering from gunshot wounds. Police later found the body of Al-Shammari in the city’s west end, and the body of Olol in an abandoned vehicle.Buoc is scheduled to appear in court Friday to face two charges of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder.last_img read more

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Canada imposes sanctions of members of the Maduro regime in Venezuela

first_imgOTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada has imposed sanctions against key figures in the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.Freeland says the targeted sanctions are aimed at 40 officials and individuals — including Maduro himself — who are helping to undermine the security, stability and integrity of democratic institutions in Venezuela.The sanctions freeze any assets the individuals may have in Canada and bans Canadians from engaging them in business dealings.Canada has accused Maduro of moving his country toward dictatorship and has repeatedly spoken out against him.Maduro, who assumed office in 2013, was a close associate of former president Hugo Chavez.For most of his presidency, Maduro has ruled by decree and has sidelined the elected national assembly.During his tenure, the Venezuelan economy has teetered near collapse.Freeland said Canada supports democracy in Venezuela.“Canada will not stand by silently as the government of Venezuela robs its people of their fundamental democratic rights,” she said in a statement.“Today’s announcement of sanctions against the Maduro regime underscores our commitment to defending democracy and human rights around the world.”last_img read more

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Canadian contribution to peacekeeping reaches new low under Liberals

first_imgOTTAWA – The Trudeau Liberals may have promised to ramp up Canada’s role in peacekeeping, but new UN figures show there were fewer Canadian peacekeepers in the field last month than at any point in recent memory.The revelation comes as Canada prepares to host a major peacekeeping summit in Vancouver next month, raising fears the country will be badly embarrassed unless the numbers start rising — and fast.The Liberals promised last summer to make up to 600 soldiers and 150 police officers available to the UN for future peacekeeping missions, but have yet to make any concrete commitments.The intervening year has instead seen a steady decrease in the number of Canadian blue helmets and blue berets deployed around the world, from 112 peacekeepers in August 2016 to 68 last month.The decline is largely attributed to 44 fewer Canadian police officers being deployed to Haiti, where the UN is closing down its 13-year stabilization mission in favour of a much smaller effort.Walter Dorn, an expert on peacekeeping at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto who has studied the numbers, says the result is the smallest Canadian contribution to peacekeeping since at least 1990.By comparison, Canada’s smallest contribution to peacekeeping under Stephen Harper, who made no secret of his dislike for the UN, was 88 soldiers and police officers in October 2014.“The government is at an all-time low while saying that it wants to re-engage in peacekeeping,” Dorn said. “Its numbers are lower than the Conservatives ever were.”Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s spokesman, Adam Austen, said the government remains convinced that Canada has an important role to play in peacekeeping and that it is committed to do more.Defence Department officials have drawn up a list of possible missions for the government to review, sources have told The Canadian Press, one of which would involve sending transport helicopters to Mali.While the Liberals reportedly hope to make a decision before the upcoming peacekeeping summit in Vancouver on Nov. 14-15, there is no certainty they will.The government has repeatedly said it will not be rushed into a mission, which Austen repeated on Monday, saying in an email: “We are doing this carefully and thoughtfully, as Canadians expect.”But the UN expected last year when it agreed to let Canada host the peacekeeping meeting that Canadian troops would already be on the ground.The summit, to be hosted by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, is only supposed to be open to officials from countries that have made concrete pledges to peacekeeping missions.UN officials and foreign diplomats have expressed varying degrees of frustration and disappointment with the Liberal indecision over the last year, which Dorn echoed on Monday.“Not only has Canada not lived up to its promises, it has actually decreased its contribution,” he said. “Canada is setting a poor example as the host for a pledging conference.”The fact there are any Canadian peacekeepers in the field may come as a surprise to many people.While the Liberals promised a return to peacekeeping during the last election campaign and again last year Canada has, in fact, continued to contribute soldiers and police officers to UN missions for decades.But last month’s numbers continue a trend of declining participation that has seen Canada move from being one of the largest contributors to peacekeeping in the 1990s to the bottom half of the pack today.There has also been a gradual shift from deploying Canadian military personnel to police officers; of the 68 Canadian peacekeepers in the field last month, 40 were police.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

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Nova Scotia government expands treatment for addicts of opioid painkillers

first_imgHALIFAX – Nova Scotia is expanding treatment for opioid addicts, as overdoses continue to take a steady toll of lives in the province.The Liberal government outlined on Wednesday how it will spend $800,000 annually at a dozen treatment centres, with new locations in Antigonish, New Glasgow and on the province’s south shore.The centres will offer methadone maintenance programs, exchange needles, provide antidote kits for overdoses, and make referrals to family doctors for ongoing treatment.The province says the added money — announced in the recent budget — will mean services will be available to 250 more people, for a total of over 1,600 people annually.Health Minister Randy Delorey said the funding will eliminate a waiting list, which addictions specialists say is crucial to bring down the death toll of about 60 Nova Scotians annually.So far this year, 39 people have died from overdoses, with 11 more probable deaths in Nova Scotia — figures similar to last year’s death rate, said Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer.Specialists say getting addicts into contact with treatment systems quickly is a key part of bringing those numbers down.“It can’t be overstated. An increase in the capacity of our opioid use disorder treatment programs will save lives,” said Dr. Sam Hickcox, a family physician who also is an addictions specialist, who attended the news conference at the Nova Scotia Hospital.“The majority of the individuals we see do not need admission to hospital to manage their addiction to opioids. They recover best in the community.”Hickcox also said he’s pleased that $70,000 annually will be used to set up an advice line for family physicians and others who encounter addicts.That may include having the doctors themselves administer methadone and begin counselling people how to gradually come off the highly addictive painkillers, he said.Strang said that while the overdose figures are remaining steady in the province, the risk of coming into contact with potentially lethal fentanyl-laced versions of opioids is rising.Cindy MacIsaac, the director of the Direction 108 methadone clinic, says that adds urgency to getting people into treatment.The veteran advocate described how in the past her centre had to tell addicts calling in and seeking help that nobody was available, losing opportune moments to begin treating their substance abuse.Having four additional staff at her centre in Halifax will change that, she said.“When that moment of opportunity opens, and they call, you can say, ‘Come on in, we’re going to get you assessed and we’re going to get you to see a doctor right away,’” she said.“Well, then there’s hope.”However, MacIsaac said the province still badly needs a supervised safe injection site, a program that the province and the federal government have yet to arrange.She said the sites give her staff a chance to engage with addicts to ensure they are using the potentially fatal drugs safely.“As a result of that you can refer them on to treatment. Some may choose not to go on to treatment, to others it’s an opportunity,” she said.“It’s essential to keeping people alive.”Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.last_img read more

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Ontario Liberal government moves to introduce legislation to end college strike

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s Liberal government is moving to introduce back-to-work legislation that would end a nearly five-week strike by college faculty, though opposition from the NDP means it may not happen quickly.Premier Kathleen Wynne said unanimous support of the legislation would have meant students could return to class on Monday morning.“We have said repeatedly that students have been in the middle of this strike for too long and it is not fair,” she said in a statement. “We need to get them back to the classroom.”But the NDP blocked a government attempt to table the bill by refusing unanimous consent to allow the Liberals to do so Thursday evening after the normally scheduled time period for introducing legislation.Some 500,000 students have been out of class since the strike by 12,000 college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians, began Oct. 15. It is now the longest strike in the colleges’ history in Ontario.The legislature will now reconvene Friday, when it does not normally sit, and the Liberals will again try to introduce the legislation in the afternoon. If it is again blocked, they say they intend to sit through the weekend.NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said her party does not support any legislation that takes away workers’ rights.“It looks like Kathleen Wynne wanted to use anti-worker back-to-work legislation all along,” Horwath said in a statement, criticizing the premier for what she called five weeks of inaction.Horwath also wants students back in the classroom Monday, she said, but wants that to happen through a deal.NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson said the government has the tools to pass the legislation over the weekend.Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews said with unanimous consent the legislation could have been introduced and sped through first, second and third readings Thursday night.“We could have done it in 10 minutes and then students would know they’re back in the classroom on Monday,” she said. “It was very disappointing that the NDP decided to block it.”The legislation would have to pass on Friday for the province’s 24 colleges to prepare for classes to resume Monday, Matthews said.The College Employer Council, which represents the colleges, said it supports the introduction of back-to-work legislation as soon as possible.The president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents the striking faculty, said Thursday morning that he would not support any back-to-work legislation.“From my perspective, if they do that, the labour movement has to oppose that,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Labour rights are enshrined in law and to this point in time they’ve respected the collective bargaining process.”Wynne had asked the colleges and the union to return to the bargaining table Thursday after workers voted to reject a contract offer, but within several hours the two sides reached an impasse when they could not agree to binding arbitration.OPSEU had recommended the colleges’ contract proposal be rejected.The colleges have said the offer included a 7.75 per cent salary increase over four years, improved benefits and measures to address concerns regarding part-time faculty, with language surrounding academic freedom remaining as the only major outstanding issue.But the union said the offer contained “serious concessions” that were not agreed to, which would erode faculty rights and contribute to an unsustainable staffing model.Under the proposed back-to-work legislation, the strike would end and all outstanding issues would be referred to binding mediation-arbitration.Earlier Thursday, Matthews had sharp words for both the colleges and the union.“I would say that both parties share the failure, and it is a failure,” she said. “Both parties need to recognize that their approach to this date has not resulted in any kind of success. They have to focus on students.”Matthews also said that the semester can still be salvaged.“We are approaching the time where we will start to see people with lost semesters but we are not there yet,” she said. “We need to get them back immediately so that the semester can be saved.”The provincial government has ordered the colleges to create a fund — using savings from the strike — to help students who may be experiencing financial hardship because of the labour dispute. Matthews has estimated Ontario’s colleges have saved about $5 million so far.Hu Zhengtao, an international student from China attending George Brown College to study business and marketing, said the labour disruption has thrown his plans to graduate in December and return home into serious doubt. He spoke with Matthews on Thursday to express his concern about the strike.“Because of the strike I don’t know when I can finish my classes and graduate,” he said. “The school has nothing to say right now. … They say they’re planning but can’t say exactly what they’re going to do because they don’t know if the strike will keep going.”Law firm Charney Lawyers filed a proposed class action against the 24 colleges Tuesday, saying 14 students have come forward to potentially stand as representative plaintiffs.The notice of action alleges the colleges breached contracts with students by failing to provide vocational training and a full term of classes. It seeks full refunds for students who choose not to continue with their programs and refunds “equivalent to the value of the lost instruction” for students who do want to continue.last_img read more

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Alberta third province to allow Sikhs to ride motorcyles without helmets

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta is to allow turban-wearing Sikhs to ride motorcycles without helmets.The exemption to the province’s Traffic Safety Act that will apply to adult motorcycle drivers and passengers is to go into effect on April 12.Transportation Minister Brian Mason says the change follows a request from the Sikh community.The decision means Alberta will be the third province to make the exemption after British Columbia and Manitoba.Private member bills which would exempt Sikh motorcyclists were introduced in Ontario by former NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh in 2013 and 2016, but the rules in the province haven’t changed.Mason notes that Alberta has the third highest Sikh population in Canada.“The Sikh community has urged us to grant this exemption in recognition of its civil rights and religious expression,” Mason said Thursday in a release. “Our government is committed to these principles.”The Sikh Motorcycle Club of Ontario praised Alberta’s decision and says Ontario should follow suit.“We call upon the government of Ontario to set aside its unfounded subjugation and allow Sikhs to ride motorcycles with turbans in Ontario,” the club said in a statement.“It is unfortunate that the Liberal Party of Ontario under Premier Kathleen Wynne remains adamant on its stand to deny the Sikhs this basic right.”Jagdeep Singh, the Ontario club’s secretary, said Sikh motorcycle clubs in B.C. and Manitoba are also pleased with Alberta’s move and hope other provinces will grant Sikhs helmet exemptions.Baltej Singh Dhillon, first RCMP officer to wear a turban, also lauded Alberta’s move. He said it shows respect for diversity and religious rights.“The decision by the government of Alberta to allow Sikhs to be able to ride their motorcycles without having to remove their turbans, which is an integral part of the Sikh identity, demonstrates a deep respect for the traditions and customs of the Sikh community,” he said in a release.last_img read more

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One worker dead after being trapped in derailed train in Manitoba

first_imgTHOMPSON, Man. – A railway worker has died and another suffered serious injuries after rescuers spent hours trying to free them from the wreckage of a derailment in northern Manitoba.The Arctic Gateway Group, which recently purchased the Hudson Bay Railway, said in a statement that authorities have confirmed the death, adding that a second employee sustained serious injuries from the wreck south of Thompson on Saturday evening.RCMP said the man who died was 38 and was from The Pas, Man. The man who survived is 59 and is also from The Pas, police said, noting his injuries were life-threatening.“On behalf of the entire Arctic Gateway Group, and all of our employees, our hearts go out to the families of these dedicated employees,” Murad Al-Katib of AGT Foods, one of the group’s partners, said in a statement.The company said the train had three locomotives and several dozen railcars, some of which were carrying liquefied petroleum.It said that based on information it has received, it believes that none of the railcars has been compromised and there doesn’t appear to be any environmental danger.Deputy Chief Selby Brown said the workers were trapped in the train for hours as first responders worked into the early hours of Sunday morning trying to free them.He said the train went off the tracks on a washed-out trestle bridge in a swampy area at about 6:30 p.m.The Arctic Gateway Group is a public-private consortium which bought the Hudson Bay Railway earlier this month from U.S.-based Omnitrax. Sections of the railway north of the derailment washed out in 2017 and Omnitrax had refused to make repairs, claiming the line was been losing money for years and would cost tens of millions of dollars to fix.The railway is the only land link to Churchill, Man., a community of about 900 people on the shores of Hudson Bay, and crews have been working since the sale to try to reopen the connection before winter.“We have said repeatedly that we will not compromise speed for safety and this is a stark reminder for us as we repair the northern section of the rail line to Churchill,” Al-Katib noted in the company’s statement.Police said that officers were flown to the crash site, more than 500 kilometres north of Winnipeg, on Saturday evening and remained on scene until rescue personnel and specialized equipment could be brought in.RCMP said that Transport Canada will investigate the derailment with assistance from police.The Arctic Gateway Group said it is co-operating with the emergency services teams on site and will also be conducting a full internal review to determine the cause of the derailment.The names of the workers were not released and the company said police were still notifying families on Sunday.last_img read more

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Alberta buying its own rail cars to move oil without feds Notley

first_imgOTTAWA — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says her government will buy its own rail cars to transport more oil to market.She says her province wanted co-operation from the federal government to buy them, but with Alberta oil prices just about at record lows, it can’t wait any longer.While plans for pipelines are stalled, Notley wants other means to get the product from Alberta’s oilpatch to buyers.The deal should be done within weeks and Alberta expects the two new train sets will mean an extra 120,000 barrels of oil can be moved every day.Notley says the world price of oil is low but Alberta is suffering even more because the oil it produces is stuck far away from refineries.Notley is in Ottawa Wednesday to try to push the federal government to move faster, because Alberta’s problems are damaging the whole Canadian economy.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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