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Cyndi Lauper To Be Honored At Women Who Care Luncheon

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first_imgLoreen Arbus, Founder & Chair of Women Who Care and Edward R. Matthews, CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City, today announced the honorees for the 12th Annual Women Who Care Luncheon.The honorees are:SHARON GREENBERGER – SVP, Facilities Development & Engineering, New York-Presbyterian HospitalCYNDI LAUPER – Entertainer & HumanitarianLYNN TILTON – Founder & CEO, Patriarch PartnersMAYSOON ZAYID – Comedian, Actor & Disability Rights ActivistThe event, to be held Monday, May 6th, at Cipriani 42nd Street, benefits United Cerebral Palsy of New York City and celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of women as professionals, caregivers and philanthropists. Susan Lucci, the Emmy Award winning actress for her portrayal of the iconic Erica Kane on “All My Children”, and now starring in the highly anticipated new series “Devious Maids” created by Marc Cherry and premiering Sunday June 23 on Lifetime, will host.“This year’s honorees represent a diverse cross section of the community. Their commitment to giving their time and energy back to society, both in their personal lives and professional fields, is a wonderful testament to their character. It is a great privilege to be able to celebrate their extraordinary accomplishments at the Women Who Care Luncheon, which continues its tradition of honoring female role models who inspire women around the world to achieve their full potential,” said Loreen Arbus, Founder & Chair of Women Who Care.Sharon Greenberger, the Senior Vice President of Facilities Development and Engineering at New York Presbyterian Hospital, is responsible for developing and maintaining high quality medical facilities for patients, their families and the community. With nearly two million patient visits a year, Ms. Greenberger is tasked with overseeing existing facilities and driving the hospital’s long term infrastructure planning program.For over 30 years, Cyndi Lauper has dazzled fans all over the world. A multi-talented artist and one of music’s most beloved icons, she has racked up global record sales of over 50 million (with 14 Grammy nominations) and has won countless awards including a Grammy, an Emmy and numerous honors for her tireless activism. An unwavering advocate for equality for all, Cyndi details her journey, including her co-founding of the True Colors Fund in 2008, in her recent New York Times Best Selling autobiography, Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir. Most recently, she wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway adaptation of Kinky Boots, in which an entire community is revitalized through the power of acceptance.As the founder and CEO of Patriarch Partners, Lynn Tilton is tirelessly committed to rebuilding America, one company at a time and one job at a time. Over the last decade, she has provided operational and strategic expertise to more than 150 companies – saving 250,000 jobs that would otherwise have been lost through liquidations. It is her belief that America’s most valuable asset is human capital, and that job creation is the essential element to sustainable economic prosperity. With over 75 companies comprising the Patriarch portfolio, Ms. Tilton is not only one of the country’s most successful businesswomen, she also champions the cause of wounded servicemen and women returning from the Middle East.Maysoon Zayid is a multi-talented actor, comedian and philanthropist and is the founder of the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival. She is also the co-founder of Maysoon’s Kids, which provides educational scholarships for Palestinian children with disabilities where she spends 3 months each year. Ms. Zayid herself has cerebral palsy.Ellen Levine, Editorial Director of Hearst Magazines, is Honorary Chair of Women Who Care. Robin Givens (“90210”), Ali Stroker (“Glee” and “The Glee Project”) and Paula Zahn (“On The Case With Paula Zahn”) are Co-Chairs. Donna Hanover, former First Lady of New York, is Honorary Co-Chair. Hearst Corporation is Presenting Sponsor of the Women Who Care Luncheon.The Women Who Care Luncheon to benefit UCP of NYC is an established New York Tradition that generates worldwide media attention. Celebrity presenters for this star-studded event include “Inside Edition” Host Deborah Norville, as well as previous honorees: ABC’s “Good Morning America” Anchor Robin Roberts, and designer and Co-Founder of FEED Projects Lauren Bush Lauren.In past years, honorees have included Diane Sawyer, Gayle King, singer Amy Lee and Ann Curry. Past celebrity presenters include: Cynthia McFadden, Diane von Furstenberg, Jimmy Smits, Oprah Winfrey, Cynthia Nixon, Ivanka Trump, Danny Glover, Meredith Vieira, Alan Rickman, Dr. Oz, Martha Stewart, CBS News Anchor Maurice DuBois, “Mad Men” star Cara Buono, Good Day New York’s Mike Woods, former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet, and CEO of the Hearst Corporation Frank Bennack, Jr.last_img
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Todd Heremans Foundation To Host Third Annual Hoops For Help

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first_imgWith more than 600 attendees since the inaugural event in 2013, The Todd Herremans Foundation is back this year with the third annual Hoops for Help Fundraiser.The basketball-themed event, which takes place on Thursday, March 26, 2015, will be held at Vie Restaurant, 600 N. Broad Street. The evening will feature dinner, live and silent auctions and entertainment, as well as athletes, celebrities and more. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting here.Todd HerremansCredit/Copyright: TCOPR / Low Tide PhotographyIndividual tickets are priced at $325, and guests will receive entrance to the event, dinner and drinks, and a chance to mix and mingle with local athletes and celebrities. Attendees will also be randomly assigned to one of the NCAA’s final sweet sixteen teams. In past years, those on a first place team received iPads and GoPro cameras, and second place received an autographed Todd Herremans jersey. Sponsorships and tables are also available starting at $3000.Past beneficiaries from the event included Alzheimer's Association Recreation Center of Philadelphia, Bringing Hope Home, Cooper Hospital Social Work Division, Kevin from Heaven, Magee Rehabilitation and Zhang Sah Martial Arts/MostSports+.This year, selected charities will receive a surprise visit by Todd to make a check presentation at their offices soon after the event. Joining Ameriprise, ACME Markets and Cherry Hill Imports, additional sponsors this year include Lelas/Madigan/Curtis Wealth Management Group, Lincoln Financial Group, REIT Management and Research, LLC and United Doors. Sponsorship opportunities are still available and for more information, please call 231-740-5809 or email Marilee@herremansfoundation.org.last_img
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Reba McEntire To Celebrate Her Birthday At Celebrity Fight Night

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first_imgMuhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night is back, and will be again hosted by Grammy Award-winning superstar of country music Reba McEntire, who will be celebrating her birthday that evening.This will be McEntire’s tenth consecutive year hosting Celebrity Fight Night. The black-tie evening will begin with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner, an exciting live auction and entertainment including performances by Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, honoree Josh Groban and more. 16-time Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer David Foster will be returning for his 16th consecutive year as the evening’s Musical Director.This year, Muhammad Ali will honor Seattle Seahawk Quarterback Russell Wilson with the 2015 Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Award.The Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards were established as a way to acknowledge leaders in the sports, entertainment and business communities who best represent the qualities associated with the Champ’s fight to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Previous award recipients throughout the years have included Halle Berry, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Howard Schultz, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin, Joe Montana, Tony Hawk, Robert De Niro, Kevin Costner, Magic Johnson, Reba McEntire, Michael Buble, Jim Carrey, Forest Whitaker, Donald Trump, Clive Davis, Larry King, Jack Nicklaus, Emmitt Smith, Wayne Gretzky, Michael J. Fox, Michael Phelps, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Evander Holyfield to name a few.WHEN: Saturday, March 28, 2015WHERE: JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa5350 E. Marriott Drive
Phoenix, Arizona 85054Find out more here.last_img
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Partnership With Native Americans Receives 25000 Grant From Newmans Own Foundation

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first_imgPartnership With Native Americans (PWNA), a nonprofit organization committed to championing hope for a brighter future for Native Americans, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from Newman's Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman.Newman’s Own Foundation made the award to PWNA as part of a broader commitment to support programs that increase access to fresh food and nutrition education in underserved communities. This funding will help PWNA promote healthier diets for Native Americans living on remote and often impoverished reservations through its Project Grow service.Project Grow utilizes a Native American chef/nutritionist to teach healthy cooking and food preservation skills to people across Arizona and New Mexico. Once trained, the students will be able to instruct their own tribal communities about critical daily needs such as healthy eating habits, food preparation, etc.“Many people may not realize that nearly one in four Native American households experiences food insecurity,” said PWNA President and CEO Robbi Rice Dietrich. “Through the generous support of Newman’s Own Foundation, Partnership With Native Americans can continue our mission of supporting long-term solutions for strong, self-sufficient Native American communities, and help tribal residents maintain sustainable nutrition programs in their own communities. We are incredibly grateful for their support.”Native Americans living in remote areas face many food security issues, including scarce access to grocery stores, inflated prices and limited selection of quality food in geographically-isolated communities. PWNA’s Project Grow will equip local trainers and build local capacity that is critical to helping Native communities make healthier lifestyle choices and combat nutrition-related diseases.“We are proud to fund Partnership With Native Americans as they work to make a difference in our communities,” said Bob Forrester, President and CEO, Newman’s Own Foundation. “They are one of the many organizations helping to identify needs and fill the gaps for children and families who lack access to healthy foods.”Newman’s Own Foundation has been supporting food and nutrition programs for more than 30 years and has given more than $11.5 million to nutrition-focused organizations since 2014. The Foundation continues Paul Newman’s commitment to give all net profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own food and beverage products to charity. Since 1982, more than $475 million has been donated to thousands of charities around the world.last_img
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TORONTO IS NOW PLAYING ITSELF IN MORE MOVIES AND TV SHOWS

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first_imgIn the trailer for the forthcoming The Handmaid’s Tale television series, Toronto plays a city in the Republic of Gilead. Of course, Toronto’s used to taking on various new identities in a slew of popular movies and TV shows.Two weeks before The Handmaid’s Tale premieres on Hulu, however, a new digital series will start streaming on CBC.ca. It’s called Save Me and it follows a group of paramedics responding to 9-1-1 calls throughout Toronto. Twitter Creator and director Fab Filippo (who appeared in Queer as Folk, Guidestonesand Buffy the Vampire Slayer) describes Save Me as a sort of anthology. Aside from the main cast (the paramedics), it features new characters each episode. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisementlast_img
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Hedley Cageless Tour continues band withdraws from JUNOs

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first_imgAdvertisement “In the coming days – and throughout this current tour – we intend to take responsibility, and talk about how we have let some people down, and what we intend to do about it.That starts right now. As a band, we have decided to withdraw our name from consideration for any awards at the JUNOs. We do not wish to be a distraction at Canadian music’s biggest night or to, in any way, take the focus away from the tremendous honour that is the JUNO awards.We want to ensure that everyone understands our collective commitment to change, and to do better, is real. Saying a rock’n’roll lifestyle was to blame – or saying certain things happened because we were younger – isn’t good enough. We owe it to our families, our crew, our friends – and most of all, our fans – to do and be better.The easy thing to do would be to cancel the tour and hide. We don’t intend to do that. We intend to start making positive changes, starting right now.” The tour will see the popular Canadian band taking on eighteen other dates from Quebec City to Kelowna, BC, before wrapping up on March 23.In making the decision to go on with the tour – and to respectfully withdraw their award nominations from consideration at this year’s JUNOs – Hedley also made the following statement: TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2018 – Canadian pop-rock group Hedley continues their cross-Canada tour tonight with a show in Barrie, Ontario before turning to shows in Ottawa, Laval, and Atlantic Canada. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img
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CANADALANDS THUNDER BAY PODCAST ABOUT DEATHS OF INDIGENOUS YOUTH TO BE ADAPTED

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first_imgRyan McMahon, the podcast’s host and an executive producer on the TV series, says the adaptation will delve deeper into these themes while reaching a wider audience.The Anishinaabe comedian, writer and activist says the show will draw from the real-life stories in the podcast, but will feature elements of fiction that speak to broader truths.He says the impacts of systemic racism on Indigenous communities extend well beyond Thunder Bay, and the drama will “create a world we want to talk about.”“I hope … the people of Thunder Bay don’t feel like they’re going to be attacked in a dramatic television series. That’s not the intention,” McMahon said by phone from Winnipeg.“The intention is to continue the conversation and the investigation into how we make things better in this country.”McMahon and his fellow executive producers, Miranda de Pencier of Northwood Entertainment and Jesse Brown of the news site Canadaland, are in the process of finding a showrunner for the series.McMahon said one of the key criteria for the role is understanding the cultural context of the show, rather than relying on the tropes that have dominated representation of Indigenous Peoples on TV since the medium’s inception.“It’s really a unique opportunity, I think, to have a series like this led through an Indigenous story lens, right from the start. Not once the story is made and we need a cultural fixer,” he said.“We’ve been dehumanized for too long. And I think at the end of the day, making a series like this will really bring the humanity to the forefront, and show non-Indigenous people that we are very much the same as them.”He thinks the project signals a change within an entertainment industry that is willing to tell Indigenous stories to an audience that is ready to hear them.“We’re not just at the table as participants. We have a strong voice,” said McMahon.By Adina Bresge ~ The Canadian Press Advertisement Advertisement TORONTO – A true-crime podcast probing the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous youth in Thunder Bay, Ont., is set to be adapted for the small screen.Northwood Entertainment and the producers of Canadaland’s Thunder Bay are teaming up to develop the podcast into a TV drama series.Downloaded more than a million times worldwide, the podcast examines how the forces of crime, corruption and colonialism put Indigenous youth at risk in the northwestern Ontario city. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Twitterlast_img
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A family celebrates return of girl from foster care

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first_imgAPTN National NewsIt’s estimated that approximately forty percent of children in foster care in Canada are First Nations, Inuit or Metis.In B.C. more than half the children in foster care are Aboriginal.But in one northern community, a First Nations family is celebrating the return of a little girl who was taken into custody after her mother was murdered a year ago.With more, here’s APTN’s Wayne Roberts.last_img
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Man armed with baseball bat shot by RCMP on Long Plain First

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first_imgAPTN National NewsA 28 year-old man is in stable condition in hospital after being shot by an RCMP officer this weekend in Manitoba.The incident happened in the early morning hours Saturday. RCMP responded to a call of an assault on the Long Plain First Nation near Portage La Prairie.A man armed with a baseball bat allegedly threatened the RCMP officer responding to the call.Regina police have been called in to investigate the shooting, which is standard procedure after the discharge of a police weapon.The incident occurred after a fight broke out following a drinking party.last_img
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People furious over report of chiefs per diem rate double dipping has

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first_imgTrina Roache APTN National NewsPeople across Nova Scotia are furious after finding out chiefs make hundreds of dollars in per diems for doing as little as sitting on a conference call for the Mi’kmaw Family Services Agency.“This double dipping has to stop,” said Daniel Toney, a member of Annapolis First Nation in Nova Scotia.Toney was part of a protest there earlier this month.People are upset over the amount of money his chief, Janette Peterson takes home.The chief gets her salary but also pulls in travel costs and per diems that double her salary. Peterson wasn’t available for comment.“They’re already being paid to represent the department of Indian Affairs in whatever they’re doing,” said Elizabeth Marshall, member of Eskasoni, Cape Breton. “And I don’t know what they’re doing in all these meetings. What are they accomplishing?”Marshall said she doesn’t see any benefit play out on the ground in her home community. What she sees is poverty, addiction, domestic abuse and high numbers of kids being taken into care.“The chiefs are sapping many of these organizations,” said Marshall. “Are they meeting just for the honorariums or there to help our people?”One of those organizations is Mi’kmaw Family & Children’s Services (MFCS); a cash-strapped agency tasked with child welfare on reserves in Nova Scotia.Ottawa may be to blame for the agency’s chronic deficit, but a 2013 review of the agency points out “the cost of board expenses has risen 171 per cent in five years” to the tune of over $100,000 a year.In 2011, the agency couldn’t afford full board meetings. The review by Cooney Consulting points out “the number of meetings decreased and the costs increased.”It’s the chiefs who make up the board. And according to the report, decided a few years ago to raise their per diems to $500 “regardless of time commitment.”A per diem is paid out even for a phone call.The report recommends putting community members on the board.Brenda Cope, an administrator with MFCS, said the chiefs offer an advantage.“What we find is that the chiefs are more powerful than community members,” said Cope. “So when we’re talking to AANDC, it’s better to have the chiefs involved.”Cope said the board costs are still running at over $100,000 because the chiefs are “meeting more often and because they’re doing more.”But she added, the chiefs are looking at making changes to “bring it more into line with other organizations.”Some effort to curb the cost of bringing chiefs to the table has been made said Potlotek Chief Wilbert Marshall.“Sometimes we have three meetings and people would get paid the full three meetings, the whole thing. Now we changed that part,” said Marshall. “If you’re already there you don’t have to travel, right? You get the honorarium. And some places are dropping theirs to $300 a day.”Marshall said he racks up over 100,000 km a year on his personal car traveling to all these meetings. It’s demanding work he said.“It’s hard because you’re gone every week,” said Marshall. “This week alone, I’ll be here for two days. I was gone one day. Next week? I’m gone all week.”And the chiefs have some big agenda items on their plates, whether it’s child welfare, governance or treaty rights.“There are a lot of expectations placed upon chiefs in terms of sitting in and playing a role in various initiatives,” said Chief Paul Prosper.Chiefs can be a powerful advocate for an agency. But that comes at a price. For the Mi’kmaq child welfare agency the $500 per diem is steep.Prosper said it’s about striking a balance.“There have been some initiatives that are undertaken to try to look into that and bring that cost down,” said Prosper. “Because you don’t want to saddle an agency with that kind of cost, the chiefs do recognize that.”The chiefs are now looking at the question of how often they should meet and how much they should get paid.Elizabeth Marshall said they already are.“If you’re there to help the people, you don’t need the per diem. They’re already getting a salary, sometimes six figures. Even with Transparency Act,” said Elizabeth Marshall, “per diems don’t show up.”And she said nobody wants to talk about the kickbacks for chiefs.“Any type of whistle blowing, anybody who challenges the chiefs, they’re blacklisted,” she said.Marshall is shocked by the dollar figure attached to per diems, that a two meeting can mean $1,000 for a chief.“As a poor person, even the travel costs are outrageous,” said Marshall. “Without the per diems, I doubt the chiefs would even have any meetings.”Daniel Toney said people don’t know what happens behind closed door meetings. Or how much money the chiefs pocket. He wants that to change.“People aren’t aware of it,” said Toney. “Until we lift the veil, most will continue to follow blindly.”The Cooney review of MFCS provides a rare glimpse.It was never made public. But it has led to changes.According to a written release from chair of the board, Chief Debra Robinson, “the agency has approved new by-laws, a human resources manual, board governance manual and revised job descriptions. All of these changes have led to clarity on the role of the board and staff with respect to governance and management.”The Assembly of Nova Scotia Chiefs is looking at how to make its meetings to deal with the business of the nation more affordable but there’s no timeline on that.And no drop yet in per diem rates.Prosper wants to spend more time in the First Nation that elected him last year. Technology may be way to do it.In the age of Skype and video conferencing, per diems and travel costs could be a thing of the past, though it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.troache@aptn.calast_img
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AFN fears unjust labelling of First Nations activists as terrorists under proposed

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first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe Assembly of First Nations will be seeking to appear as a witness before the House of Commons committee currently studying the Harper government’s proposed anti-terror bill.The AFN’s main concern is about its potential impact on First Nation dissent, according to a document from the national chiefs organization which analyzes Bill C-51.To voice concerns about its potential impact on First Nation dissent, according to a document from the national chiefs organization which analyzes Bill C-51.The AFN will also be seeking standing as a witness before the Senate committee taking over study of the anti-terror bill once it passes through the House of Commons, which is expected because the Harper government has a majority.The AFN analysis document says the proposed bill could lead to the “unjust labelling of First Nations activists as ‘terrorists.’”“Many of the provisions drafted in the proposed Act could potentially apply to activities of Indigenous peoples living in Canada and there are very few provisions proposed that would prevent the legislation from being interpreted against First Nations people,” said the analysis.The AFN will also be seeking to meet with officials and MPs on both sides of the debate to have amendments considered in discussions on the proposed bill.“Our office will seek to meet with government and opposition officials to seek amendments to the draft legislation,” according to the AFN’s analysis which was finalized Tuesday. “Our office will be working with First Nation leadership and interested organizations to assess the potential impacts of the legislation.”The proposed anti-terror bill will give the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency police-like powers. It also gives police more leeway when it comes to arresting individuals suspected of committing acts of the terror. The bill also aims to crack-down on online speech that is perceived to promote terrorism.The Harper government has rejected calls for more oversight to accompany the new powers the bill will give to law enforcement agencies.The Liberals have stated they want amendments to the bill, but will support its passage even if their amendments are rejected.The NDP has stated it intends to oppose the bill.The AFN is among a list of 60 potential witnesses the NDP is planning to submit to the Commons Public Safety committee studying the bill. The NDP will also be including Indigenous activists on the list of potential witnesses.It’s unclear at the moment when the committee will actually begin to hear from witnesses. On Tuesday, the Conservatives reportedly tried to limit the amount of days spent hearing witnesses while the NDP responded by filibustering, pushing the meeting to the four-hour mark.The committee meets again in camera Thursday and NDP public safety critic Randall Garrison is expected to table a motion to have the committee sit during evenings and through break weeks to hear from as many witnesses as possible.During question period Wednesday, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair accused the Harper government of trying to limit debate on the bill. He asked why Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn’t want to hear from First Nation leaders on their concerns about the bill. Mulcair quoted from a statement issued by the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs last Friday which said the proposed anti-terror bill “directly violates the ability” of Indigenous people to assert and defend their constitutionally protected rights.“First Nations are raising the alarm,” said Mulcair. “Again, Bill C-51 goes well beyond terrorism and will impact constitutionally-protected dissent and protest. Why is the prime minister afraid to hear from First Nations themselves?”Harper wasn’t in the House of Commons for question period, but Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney fielded the question. Blaney said First Nations had nothing to fear from the bill.“For greater certainty, it does not include lawful advocacy, protest, dissent and artistic expression,” said Blaney, quoting directly from the bill. “Please read the bill and then we can have a debate.”The AFN analysis also references the same section Blaney used to argue First Nation dissent did not face a threat, but came to a different conclusion.“Although most First Nations demonstrations could be considered as lawful advocacy, protest or dissent, it is likely that there would be disagreements between First Nations and the government as to what would constitute unlawful activity,” said the analysis. “The legislation does not account for disagreements or who would determine in the event of an ambiguous situation, such as if a demonstration was considered a lawful protest by a First Nation, but deemed an interference with critical infrastructure by the federal government or law enforcement agencies.”The analysis also raises concerns about another section of the bill that covers activities that “undermines the security of Canada” including interfering with the government’s capabilities around defence, intelligence, border operations, public safety and the economic and financial stability of the country.“This definition could be problematic for First Nations communities or citizens who may be engaged in various activities to: assert inherent or recognized rights and title; protect their land and water rights and interest; or oppose major development projects on their traditional lands that threaten the enjoyment of their Aboriginal or Treaty rights,” said the analysis. “The proposed legislation could result in the unjust labeling of First Nations activists as ‘terrorists,’ such activists who: seek to exercise their freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to assert First Nation’s collective rights, title and jurisdiction; march across or set up blockades at the border of the Unites States and Canada; set up a blockade along a major highway or railway; block access to a road or railway’ or publicly encourage such actions.”The analysis also said the AFN was watching Bill C-639, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code, protection of critical infrastructure, which is a private member’s bill introduced by Conservative MP Wai Young last December. Bill C-639 aims to expand the Criminal Code definitions of critical infrastructure to also encompass everything from telecommunications, to transportation to finance, health care and food, said the analysis.“The critical infrastructure provision in (the Bill C-51) closely resembles…Bill C-639,” said the analysis. “Unlike Bill C-639…Bill C-51 is very broad and will embody any activity that ‘undermines the security of Canada.’”jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img
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Blood Tribe trying to keep new drug from hitting community

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first_imgChris Stewart APTN National NewsHundreds of people across Alberta have died from the drug fentanyl.Just last year, the Blood Tribe declared a state of emergency because of the increase in overdoses.Now, police have discovered a new drug one hundred times more toxic and the community is trying to keep it.last_img
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Alberta Metis sign agreement to negotiate as a nation

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first_imgChris StewartAPTN NewsAfter decades of lobbying, the Metis Nation of Alberta (MNA) will finally have a distinct voice heard within the federal government.The MNA signed an agreement with Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett that will allow it to negotiate with Canada as a Nation.“We the Alberta Metis are a part of this countries fundamental roots,” said MNA President Audrey Poitras. “Our collective cultures are bound. After decades of persistence, we have secured a formal means to the beginning of a new relationship with the Government of Canada.”The agreement states that in one year, there will be concrete action to assist the MNA and its membership.“Negotiations will cover a range of important topics including Metis self-government, lands, rights, and a proper consultation protocol,” said Bennett.Bennett said the agreement is long overdue.“Today, we send a message loud and clear. The status quo is no longer acceptable. The Metis are no longer in the shadows. No longer the forgotten people. For generations, you have sought true and meaningful reconciliation with Canada.“It is time for fairness and justice for all people of the Metis Nation.”Poitras said there will be tangible benefits for the MNA’s nearly 100,000 members.“A mutually agreeable arrangement allowing no-fee access for MNA citizens to National Parks in Alberta,” she said. “An agreement establishing terms of reference with a view to settling outstanding claims on the Metis Nation within Alberta.“And an engagement with Indigenous Affairs Canada and Canada and Mortgage Housing Corporation in order to ensure the unique needs of the existing structures dealing with Metis housing in Alberta.”last_img
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Necessary Force For the last two years Nunaviks police force has been

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first_imgKnown in Quebec by their French acronym BEI, Quebec’s independent investigation bureau is mandated to investigate cases where a person is grievously injured or killed by police. Formed in July 2016, the BEI has investigated the KRPF 10 times. Many of the cases involve shootings, but not all.One case from April 2017 involved a young Inuk man dying in KRPF custody in Puvirnituq’s jail, despite the fact that in 2016, Quebec’s ombudsmen released a scathing report describing overcrowded conditions in jails in Nunavik as third world and unsanitary. They called for a complete overhaul for how people in Nunavik are detained a year before the Inuk man died in the Puvirnituq jail.Another open BEI investigation includes that of Mina Aculiak, who sustained several broken ribs, six fractured vertebrae, a broken left arm, a punctured lung, as well as a lacerated kidney and liver after being hit by a pursuing KRPF patrol car in Umiujaq, QC.“When I heard that she got struck by a police truck, it came to my mind, ‘why?’” Aculiak’s partner Paul Tookalook told APTN News in June.The petit Aculiak said she was running from police after shoplifting knives.“Why not run after her, pepper spray her? Not hit her,” asked Tookalook.The seriousness of most of Aculiak’s injuries were not immediately reported to the BEI by the KRPF, even though they are obligated to do so.  KRPF maintains that when Aculiak was medivacked to a hospital, it was thought that she only had a broken arm, and that the BEI was notified more than once about her more serious injuries.“When we noticed that the injury, a few weeks, I think a month later, it was more injured, we called back and told them that,” explained KRPF chief Jean Larose.Yet it wasn’t until Aculiak’s case received media attention two months after the incident that the BEI started investigating. When asked why the KRPF has so many violent encounters with Inuit, Larose states the KRPF is doing its best under difficult circumstances.“Right now, our police force, my men, is really out of breath and we are kind of on the respirator,” Larose said, exasperation showing through his normally calm demeanor.In 2017 Nunavik saw more than 11,000 criminal offences, 4,000 more than a decade earlier. For a population of 13,000, that’s almost one incident per person. Larose says when compared to the Montreal suburb he used to police, those rates are nearly 20 times higher.While Inuit in Nunavik still maintain strong ties to their land, language, and culture, they are also recovering from decades of colonial practices that include, but are not limited to, residential schools, forced relocations, and a sled dog slaughter by RCMP. The 11,000 criminal offences from 2017 include over 3,000 assaults and nearly 450 sexual assaults. Statistics show the majority of these crimes are alcohol related. Factor in that a rifle is rarely far from reach, and dangerous situations will arise.In June Larose was called to testify as an expert for the National Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls inquiry. There he described the KRPF as overworked, understaffed, and under-equipped to deal with the realities of policing Nunavik.“I was very shocked by the amount of work and the amount of incidents I’ve seen on my first five months on the job,” he testified, despite the fact colleagues had warned him that the job was going to be challenging.Larose also testified that in order for the KRPF to adequately police Nunavik, they need 30 more officers. Despite rising crime and population rates, they haven’t had a staff increase in 15 years. He also says a call centre, more specialized training, and equipment is a must.“It’s kind of basic things that we are asking, and I think that they understand, but the bottom line is, the money has to come,” stated Larose.The KRPF’s 2017 budget was $20 million, but this year they find themselves in limbo. While Quebec has increased its funds for KRPF, the federal government has yet to sign off on a new agreement.Larose says the five-year offer on the table isn’t much more than the rate of inflation.Public Safety Canada, who pays for 52 per cent of funding for Indigenous police forces (while the provinces pick up the remaining 48 per cent), declined to be interviewed for this story. In January of this year, they announced an increase in funding for Indigenous policing by nearly $300 million for nearly five years.“When you look at the crime statistics in communities that have the [Indigenous] policing program, you see a distinctly better pattern than elsewhere, so the program works, it simply needs to have more horsepower,” said Public Security Minister Ralph Goodale at a January press conference announcing the funding increase.The feds say a chunk of the new money will pay for some of that horsepower, including up to 110 additional police officers. But those new officers are to be spread out among 185 Indigenous police forces across Canada, an average of less than one officer per Indigenous police force. Which means the KRPF is in tough to get the 30 officers they say they need.“We’re way behind what the program is offering us, and we have to apply and we’re not sure if we will have some officers in Nunavik from that federal program,” said Larose.When asked about why $20 million isn’t enough, Larose adds that remote forces such as his have unique challenges. For instance, about 15 per cent, or $3.3 million a year of KRPF’s budget is spent on moving Inuit detainees back and forth from prison in southern Quebec to Nunavik for trial because there is nowhere to hold them long term in Nunavik.Sometimes an Inuit detainee will fly back and forth a half dozen times before their case is settled.Larose also points to KRPF’s high turnover rate and that training new officers costs them $20,000 more a year than other police forces as other reasons the existing budget doesn’t cut it.“I believe that the Inuit community deserves a good police force with all the services as they do back in the south. That’s why we are insisting in this agreement and we want what we ask for, it’s a must,” said Larose, who hopes to have to have a new agreement with the feds before the end of the year.(Elisapi Napartuk is the sister of Jobie Napartuk, who was killed by police in 2014. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTN)He also acknowledges that for many in Nunavik, the police have a public relations problem.Lucy Nowra puts it succinctly.“Inuit people don’t trust police because they think they’re gonna get shot.”But KRPF also have reason to be wary. Visit the Canadian police officer’s memorial in Ottawa, and you’ll see among the 850 names that of 27-year-old Steve Déry. In 2013, KRPF officer Déry was shot to death while responding to a domestic violence call in Kuujjuaq, QC.Another officer was seriously injured before the Inuk shooter took his own life.“It’s still in the memories,” said Larose when asked if the Déry murder hangs heavy over the KRPF.Larose says that, agreement or not, he has implemented new measures to reduce violence and regain trust in Nunavik’s 14 communities. He emphasizes that KRPF officers now receive sensitivity training from an Inuk Elder and increased efforts to recruit more Inuit officers are underway.“I can understand their mistrust because I understand what happened in the past. What I can tell them is that I am somebody who is very open minded and I believe in prevention and working with them. And our police officers also want to get involved and they want more good relations with the Inuit population,” concluded Larose.Lucy Nowra acknowledges that the police have a difficult job here. She would know, she’s had her own run ins with the law.“I started drinking a lot. Smoking a lot. It was my way of coping with the losses that I had. So it led me to drug dealing. In 2013, it was a way for me to get free drugs and alcohol. So I didn’t think of it that way and the impacts back then because I was younger, and then it all caught up to me, I got arrested and was sent to jail for six months.”Nowra has long since turned things around. Now a 30-year-old responsible mother to three who involves herself in the community, she is currently finishing cooking school. She just wishes that some of the people she knew, such as Jobie Napartuk, Jimmy Kingalik, Alakagiallak Nowkawalk, had gotten the same second chance.Which is why the self-described loud mouth decided to speak up. She felt somebody had to.“It’s very hard for Inuit to just complain because we’re usually people who forgive easily and forget,” said Nowra.But after years of violent confrontations, forgiving and forgetting isn’t coming easy.Most would agree the status quo only continues to worsen Nunavik’s frayed relationship with its own police force. And while change may be just over the horizon…in the vast isolated land of Nunavik, the horizon has a way of appearing very far away.tfennario@aptn.ca@tomfennario “It was really shocking for the community. It was like people were dying one after another in the hands of the police officers” – Lucy Nowra Tom FennarioAPTN InvestigatesThe cell phone video is gritty and the camera’s shakiness adds an ominous touch.In the video, the remnants of dusk are fading in what looks to be a remote community.A shadow can be glimpsed running on the gravel road beside a row of houses.A sharp rifle shot rings out, and the shadow, presumably a police officer, crouches behind a vehicle for cover. Tommy NingiukLucy Nowra filmed this from her window just across the street.“I live a few houses down and tried talking him out of it. But when I fell asleep this early morning he started shooting again,” wrote Nowra in a Facebook message to APTN Investigates mere hours after the incident.On Sept. 4, 2018, Tommy Ningiuk, 40, fired several shots from his home in Inukjuak, Qc.At one point he paused to send a selfie to Nowra during the 14 hour stand-off with police.In it Ningiuk is holding a hunting rifle, a thin smile on his face. Nowra’s phone shows that she missed a video call from Ningiuk just before 3:00 a.m.He also sent her a brief message near 8:00 a.m. that simply read “Hi.” By the time Lucy wrote him back at 12:30 p.m., he had died in an exchange of gunfire with the police.“I talked him out of it, but I fell asleep,” wrote Nowra, her words tinged with guilt. “I’m so hurt, another soul lost to this.”Most small towns like Inukjuak (population 1,600) would consider an armed stand-off with police an extraordinary event. But for Nowra, it’s not even the first time an armed stand-off has happened on her street.(Lucy Nowra is from Inukjuak. She thinks the police need to do more to prevent volatile situations from turning violent. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTN)In November 2015,  Peter Weetaluktuk, 18, was shot by police after brandishing his rifle.“It was that house, that brown one over there,” said Nowra in July of 2018, pointing to a house about 100 metres down her street.“That’s how close it was to our place.”Weetaluktuk survived the shooting, but others have not been so fortunate.Jobie Napartuk“Many people in town have been shot. Some of them have been killed,” said Nowra, who thinks Inuit are all too often blamed for getting shot. She believes that police need to do a better job diffusing situations that turn volatile.“It was really shocking for the community. It was like people were dying one after another in the hands of the police officers,” Nowra said.It started in 2014 when Elisapi Napartuk’s 29-year-old brother Jobie was shot and killed by police. She describes Jobie as good father who had an oddball sense of humour.“He could’ve lived more. He was only 29 years old. He had eight children, they were all under 18 years old and he left them,” lamented Napartuk.(Jobie Napartuk, pictured here with the youngest of his eight children, was 29 years old when he was shot and killed by police. Photo courtesy of the Napartuk family)Police were called to Jobie Naparktuk’s house “to ensure the safety of his family” according to the coroner’s report. He had traces of cannabis and more than two-and-a-half times the legal amount of alcohol in his system when he threw a frying pan and casserole dish at the officers, who then went outside to wait for back up, according to the coroner’s report.That’s when Napartuk came outside, this time brandishing knives. Officers ordered him to drop the knives but he refused and went back inside his house. Police followed him, fearing he may hurt someone inside, according to the report. Once inside they fatally shot him. After an investigation, police were found to have followed procedure despite  Jobie Napartuk’s  death.Many people in Inukjuak wonder to this day why deadly force was necessary. When asked what she felt the police could have done differently regarding her brother’s death Elisapi Napartuk said, “Not to shoot him, like, at least use a taser.”Members of the Kativik Regional Police Force (KRPF) shot Jobie Napartuk. They police Inukjuak and 13 other communities in Nunavik, what the Inuit call their territory in subarctic Quebec.A rash of KRPF incidents that led to injury and death prompted Inukjuak residents to band together in 2014.They demanded less deadly force including tasers to handle precarious situations. Kativik police in Inukjuak did eventually receive tasers, but not until four years later, in Spring 2018.“It’s really unacceptable to take this long,” said Nowra. “I’m sure some of them should’ve ended better, instead of fatally.”Allie and Jimmy KingalikNowra points to the Kingalik brothers as an example.Allie Kingalik was paralyzed by a police shooting in 2014. A year later his younger brother Jimmy was killed after he went into the Inukjuak police station with an ax.(Elisapi Kingalik (R) has had 2 sons shot by police. One is dead, the other has limited mobility from the waist down. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTN)Their mother Elisapi says 27-year-old Jimmy was angry about his brother’s shooting, but after a shed fire that left him severely burned to the point of being handicapped, she doesn’t see how Jimmy could’ve posed much of a threat to police.“He was weak. I don’t know why they did that to a person who was handicapped,” said Kingalik in Inuktitut. “They could’ve got a shield for themselves and then grabbed the weapon from him. They’ve could’ve asked for some assistance.“Why did they do that?”Aibillie Niviaxie was in a jail cell at the station when Jimmy Kingalik was shot. He recalls that from his vantage point, he was able to see the officers, but not Kingalik.“When Jimmy came into the police station, and they gave him three shots,” said Niviaxie, turning his hand into the shape of a hand gun, “and maybe he was trying to get up again and the police was screaming and shot him three times again.”The coroner’s report differs, saying police shot five times, hitting Kingalik with four bullets, the last of which killed him.The report does confirm, through security camera footage, that after being hit twice, Kingalik fell and tried to get up before being shot twice again. It also says there was no apparent motive for Jimmy to threaten KRPF officers with an ax, even though his brother had previously been paralyzed by a KRPF bullet.What the family has the most trouble grasping is why the police didn’t disarm a handicapped Jimmy after the first bullets knocked him down. Elisapi Kingalik said that she’s been waiting eagerly on the investigation being done on her son’s death to find out.But the investigation was completed in 2016, she just hadn’t been told about it.  Instead APTN Investigates informed her that the investigation has been concluded and that the officers had been found to be acting correctly.“So no one will explain to me who was at fault?” Kingalik asked, seemingly to no one and everyone at the same time.(Aibille Niviaxie witnessed the police shooting of Jimmy Kingalik. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTN)One person who might be able to answer is Jean-Pierre Larose. With nearly 40 years of experience in policing, Larose took over the post of KRPF Chief in February. He says equipment and training for less lethal force are being introduced, but that it’s not as simple as handing officers a taser.“We can use it in certain circumstances and I’m aware of that, especially up north when Inuit have parkas outside, there’s no effect on them, the tasers, so we are looking into some alternative impact weapons right now,” Larose explainedHe also adds that he’s implementing more follow up care after violence, for both police and family. Specifically, Larose says he’s spoken to the body that investigates police shootings, the Bureau des Enquêtes Indépendantes (BEI) about reporting back to family members such as Elisapi Kingalik.“I explained to them the importance of explaining of what’s going on, what’s going to be the investigation, not only with the family but with the town council,” Larose stated.Alakagiallak NowkawalkBut for some families, there’s no solace to be had. In 2015, 23-year-old Alakagiallak Nowkawalk fired a shot in his girlfriend’s direction after she left his house following an argument. It set into motion a three day stand-off with police that led to Alakagiallak’s death. It was ruled a suicide: something the Nowkawalk family refuses to accept.(Alakagiallak Nowkawalk died after a 3 day stand off with police. His death was ruled a suicide, but his family thinks differently. Photo courtesy of the Nowkawalk family)Charlie Nowkawalk, Alakagiallak’s uncle, says the family’s doubts come from examining his corpse. What doesn’t make sense to Charlie, an experienced hunter, is that there was no exit wound.“I checked the body, I looked at the body, I even took some pictures of the body and there was a little teeny, tiny hole right there right in the centre and nothing in the back,” Charlie said, pointing towards his sternum.Quebec’s provincial police, who took over from the local Kativik police during the stand-off, told the coroner that Alakagiallak turned the gun on himself after they stormed the house.The report states they took that drastic action after 28 hours of negotiations went nowhere. Also according to the coroner report, Alakagiallak had a burn on his chest that indicates he was shot from very close, or even point blank range with a Tikka brand .223 found near his body. But Charlie said the rifle his nephew used to allegedly kill himself was too powerful to not leave an exit wound.Charlie is also convinced that his nephew didn’t own a .223 rifle, but rather an even more powerful .243 rifle.“If he used that big rifle, .243 which we use for caribou hunting or big game hunting, that’s a strong rifle. If he used that there would have been a big hole in his back,” said Charlie, who frequently hunted with Alakagiallak.Alakagiallak Nowkawalk’s mother Minnie Nowkawalk is sitting on her couch next to her husband Noah Ehalook. He comforts Minnie frequently as she repeatedly breaks into tears while discussing the death of their son. Chief among Minnie’s complaints are that negotiations with Alakagiallak were handled poorly.“They work alone, we weren’t even able to phone him. Only the police were able to call him,” Nowkawalk said in Inuktitut.Neither the KRPF nor Quebec provincial police have negotiators who speak in Inuktitut, the mother tongue of the vast majority of Inuit. Out of 48 KRPF patrol officers, three are Inuit.“There was absolutely no help between my son and the police. Both sides were lacking help,” said Minnie Nowkawalk.Lucy Nowra says that she has firsthand experience that Inuk negotiators work. When she heard on the local radio that there was yet another stand-off with police, she drove to the house where it was happening.“Three police trucks were blocking the road. They were stopping us from going in but I just passed them, I went in and I continued. I didn’t care if they were going to arrest me. I was thinking ‘my God, I don’t want to lose another person I don’t want to lose another family member,’” recalled Nowra.When asked about getting Inuktitut speaking negotiators for perilous situations, KRPF Chief Larose wasn’t sure how it could be implemented, but stopped short of dismissing the idea.“There’s special rules. It’s the SQ [Quebec Provincial Police] that takes over the operation and they have their own negotiator. But I think that it would be effective to maybe have an Elder, maybe beside the negotiators, to get involved. I don’t know but it would be interesting to have that right away in the community, to have somebody close to the negotiator to help us,” Larose said.“Our culture is different from Qallunaat, white people’s culture, it would be more comfortable to speak with an Inuk who’s understanding, rather than someone else, who’s white who wouldn’t understand what I’m going through or what I’m trying to say,” explained Nowra.It’s impossible to know if Inuktitut speaking negotiators or translators would’ve helped Jobie Napartuk, Jimmy Kingalik, or Alakagiallak Nowkawalk, who all died violently less than a year a part.What is known is that since then there have been others all over Nunavik. From July 2016 to Tommy Ningiuk in September 2018 Kativik police were involved in about 10 percent of all cases where police kill or seriously injure people in Quebec. That’s third in the province out of 26 police forces and, according to CBC research into police shootings, the most fatalities for any Indigenous police force in Canada during that time.For perspective, KRPF has had nearly half as many officer-involved fatality cases as the Montreal police. yet they KRPF officers police an equivalent of less than one per cent of Montreal’s population. Crunch the numbers, and the rate the KRPF kills or injures someone is 55 times that of Montreal police.last_img
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Read the OIRPDs 44 recommendations for the Thunder Bay police service and

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first_imgAPTN NewsThe Office of the Independent Police Review Director issued 44 recommendations to the Thunder Bay Police Service, Ontario Coroner and Pathologist.1. Nine of the TBPS sudden death investigations that the OIPRD reviewed are so problematic I recommend these cases be reinvestigated.2. A multi-discipline investigation team should be established to undertake, at a minimum, the reinvestigation of the deaths of the nine Indigenous people identified.3. The multi-discipline investigative team should establish a protocol for determining whether other TBPS sudden death investigations should be reinvestigated.4. The multi-discipline investigation team should also assess whether the death of Stacy DeBungee should be reinvestigated, based on our Investigative Report and the Ontario Provincial Police review of the TBPS investigation. The team should also assess when and how the investigation should take place, without prejudicing ongoing Police Services Act proceedings.5. TBPS should initiate an external peer-review process for at least three years following the release of this report.Recommendations Regarding TBPS Investigators and the Criminal Investigations Branch.6. TBPS should immediately ensure sufficient staffing in its General Investigation Unit in the Criminal Investigations Branch. Adequate resources must be made available to enable this recommendation to be implemented on an urgent basis.7. TBPS should establish a Major Crimes Unit – within the Criminal Investigations Branch – that complies with provincial standards and best practices in how it investigates serious cases, including homicides, sudden deaths and complex cases.8. TBPS should provide officers, who have taken the appropriate training with opportunities to be assigned to work with Criminal Investigations Branch and the Major Crimes Unit investigators to gain experience.9. TBPS should develop a formalized plan or protocol for training and mentoring officers assigned to Criminal Investigations Branch and the Major Crimes Unit.10. TBPS should develop a strategic human resources succession plan to ensure the General Investigations Unit, Criminal Investigations Branch and the Major Crime Unit is never without officers who are experienced in investigations.11. TBPS should establish procedures to ensure occurrence or supplementary reports relevant to an investigation are brought to the attention of the lead investigator or case manager. This must take place regardless of whether a case has been earmarked for Major Case Management.12. TBPS should develop procedures to ensure forensic identification officers are provided with the information necessary to do their work effectively.13. TBPS should immediately improve how it employs, structures and integrates its investigation file management system, Major Case Management system and its Niche database.14. TBPS should, on a priority basis, establish protocols with other police services in the region, including Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service and Anishinabek Police Service to enhance information-sharing.Recommendations Regarding Other TBPS Operational Areas15. TBPS should fully integrate the Aboriginal Liaison Unit’s role into additional areas of the police service. This would help to promote respectful relationships between TBPS and the Indigenous people it serves.16. TBPS should increase the number of officers in the Aboriginal Liaison Unit by at least three additional officers.17. With Indigenous engagement and advice, TBPS should take measures to acknowledge Indigenous culture inside headquarters or immediately outside it.18. Thunder Bay Police Service should make wearing name tags on the front of their uniforms mandatory for all officers in the service.19. TBPS should implement the use of in-car cameras and body-worn cameras.20. TBPS should, through policy, impose and reinforce a positive duty on all officer to disclose potential evidence of police misconduct.Recommendations Regarding Missing Persons Cases21. I urge the Ontario government to bring into force Schedule 7, the Missing Persons Act, 2018, as soon as possible.22. TBPS and the Thunder Bay Police Services Board should re-evaluate their missing persons policies, procedures and practices upon review of the report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, due to be released on or before April 30, 2019.23. TBPS and the Thunder Bay Police Services Board should re-evaluate their missing persons policies, procedures and practices upon review of the Honourable Gloria Epstein’s report on Toronto Police Service’s missing persons investigations due to be released in April 2020.Recommendations Regarding the Relationship between the Police and the Coroner’s Office.24. The Office of the Chief Coroner, Ontario’s Chief Forensic Pathologist, the Regional Coroner, and TBPS should implement the Thunder Bay Death Investigations Framework on a priority basis and should evaluate and modify it as required, with the input of the parties, annually.25. The Office of the Chief Coroner should ensure police officers and coroners are trained on the framework to promote its effective implementation.26. The Office of the Chief Coroner and TBPS should publicly report on the ongoing implementation of the framework in a way that does not prejudice ongoing investigations or prosecutions.Recommendations Regarding the Relationship between the Police and Pathologist27. The Ontario Forensic Pathology Service should train all pathologists on the Intersection of Police and Coroners for Thunder Bay Death Investigations as set out in the framework.28. TBPS should reflect, in its procedures and training, fundamental principles to define the relationship between investigators and pathologists.29. The Ontario Forensic Pathology Service should establish a Forensic Pathology Unit in Thunder Bay, ideally housed alongside the Regional Coroner’s Office.30. If a Forensic Pathology Unit cannot be located in Thunder Bay, TBPS and the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service should establish, on a priority basis, procedures to ensure timely and accurate exchange of information on sudden death and homicide investigations and regular case-conferencing on such cases.31. The Ontario Forensic Pathology Service should provide autopsy services compatible with cultural norms in Indigenous communities.Recommendations Regarding Racism in TBPS Policing – General32. TBPS should focus proactively on actions to eliminate systemic racism, including removing systemic barriers and the root causes of racial inequities in the service. TBPS should undertake a human rights organizational change strategy and action plan as recommended by the Ontario Human Rights Commission in October 2016.33. TBPS leadership should publicly and formally acknowledge that racism exists at all levels within the police service and it will not tolerate racist views or actions. TBPS leadership should engage with Indigenous communities on the forum for and content of these acknowledgements. This would be an important step in TBPS advancing reconciliation with Indigenous people.34. The Thunder Bay Police Services Board should publicly and formally acknowledge racism exists within TBPS and take a leadership role in repairing the relationship between TBPS and Indigenous communities. This too, is an important step in TBPS advancing reconciliation with Indigenous people.35. TBPS leadership should create a permanent advisory group involving the police chief and Indigenous leadership with a defined mandate, regular meetings and a mechanism for crisis-driven meetings to address racism within TBPS and other issues.Recommendations Regarding Racism in TBPS Policing – Training36. TBPS should work with training experts, Indigenous leaders, Elders and the Indigenous Justice Division of the Ministry of the Attorney General to design and implement mandatory Indigenous cultural competency and anti-racism training for all TBPS officers and employees, that:a. Is ongoing throughout the career of a TBPS officer or employeeb. Involves “experiential training” that includes Indigenous Elders and community members who can share their perspective and answer questions based on their own lived experiences.c. Is informed by content determined at the local level, and informed by all best practicesd. Is interactive and allows for respectful dialogue involving all participantse. Reflects the diversity within Indigenous communities, rather than focusing on one culture to the exclusion of others.f. Explains how the diversity of Indigenous people and pre and post contact history is relevant to the ongoing work of TBPS officers and employees. For example, Indigenous culture and practices are highly relevant to how officers should serve Indigenous people, conduct missing persons investigations, build trust, accommodate practices associated with the deaths of loved ones and avoid micro-aggressions. Micro-aggressions are daily verbal or non-verbal slights, snubs, or insults that communicate, often inadvertently, derogatory or negative messages to members of vulnerable or marginalized communities.37. TBPS should ensure the Indigenous cultural competency training recommended in this report is accompanied by initiatives in collaboration with First Nations police services that allow TBPS officers to train or work with First Nations police services and visit remote First Nations to provide outreach.38. TBPS leadership should provide greater support for voluntarism by attending relevant sporting or community events.39. TBPS should develop and enhance additional cultural awareness training programs relating to the diverse community it serves.Recommendations on Racism in TBPS Policing – Recruitment and Job Promotion40. TBPS should implement psychological testing designed to eliminate applicants who have or express racist views and attitudes. In Ontario, such specific testing is not done. It can be tailored to the TBPS experience. This testing should be implemented in Thunder Bay on a priority basis.41. TBPS should, on a priority basis, create and adopt a proactive strategy to increase diversity within the service, with prominence given to Indigenous candidates.42. TBPS leadership should link job promotion to demonstrated Indigenous cultural competency.Recommendations for Implementation of Recommendations43. TBPS should report to the OIPRD on the extent to which the recommendations in this report are implemented. This is imperative given the crisis in confidence described in this report. The OIPRD should, in turn, report publicly on TBPS’s response and the extent to which the recommendations in this report are implemented.44. On an annual basis, TBPS should provide the public with reports that provide data on sudden death investigations. These reports can provide data, in a disaggregated Indigenous and non-Indigenous manner, detailing the total number of sudden death investigations with a breakdown of investigative outcomes, including homicide, accidental death, suicide, natural death and undetermined.news@aptn.ca@aptnnewslast_img
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Conductor fired for safety issues disparaging remarks Canadian Pacific Railway

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first_imgCALGARY – Canadian Pacific Railway says a conductor involved in a 2014 derailment was fired for a second time because she disparaged the company and was photographed in unsafe situations.Stephanie Katelnikoff was sent an evidence package before her dismissal in November. The package — which was provided to The Canadian Press — had screen grabs of her Facebook and Instagram profiles that include several revealing modelling photos.While many photos in the package showed Katelnikoff nude or in lingerie, CP Rail said in a statement Wednesday that her termination only concerned ones that were related in some way to railway safety and the company.Some of the shots show her in cutoff jean shorts and a midriff-bearing top posing on railway tracks.“Railway safety is a top priority at CP,” the railway said. “Ms. Katelnikoff’s termination related to her decision to post photos of herself in unsafe situations on railway property and equipment, committing railway safety violations, along with disparaging remarks regarding the company.”The investigation package had online comments that included a 2016 Facebook post under the name Steph Kat that calls the railway’s code of ethics a “short fictional comedy.”Another profile under the name Stevie Rae says: “Resumé: Google Banff train crash,” followed by a laughing emoji.The package also included a warning letter from August 2016 regarding a YouTube video by Katelnikoff that she says was meant to be an open letter to then-CEO Hunter Harrison.“Stephanie, your conduct in posting the YouTube video not only displayed gross insubordination and insolence, but also constituted a serious breach of CP’s Code of Business Ethics,” the warning letter read.CP Rail says it doesn’t normally comment on individual cases, but wanted to clarify the reasons for Katelnikoff’s firing because she had spoken out publicly.Katelnikoff has said she was shocked at how painstakingly the company had combed through her social media profiles and didn’t understand what her risque photos had to do with her ability to do her job.The railway said Katelnikoff has brought a grievance to her union and will receive a hearing through that process.Katelnikoff said Wednesday that she doesn’t buy the railway’s explanation.“I call shenanigans,” she said in an email. “I don’t know why the investigating officer would’ve commented on the rest of my photos, why they would’ve even been included in the evidence package, and why they made a general statement regarding my ‘inappropriate social media content’ in the dismissal letter.”On Boxing Day in 2014, a train Katelnikoff was conducting derailed, sending 15 cars off the tracks in Banff, Alta. A product used to make concrete called fly ash, as well as soybeans, spilled into a creek. The Transportation Safety Board determined that a broken piece of track caused the crash.Katelnikoff had some respiratory symptoms from breathing in the ash, but no one was otherwise injured. She was fired a month later and the company said it was because she violated rules around injury reporting and protecting an accident scene.She had been on the job less than six months and later criticized the training she received in the press.In February of 2016, arbitrator Maureen Flynn found in Katelnikoff’s favour, saying the company’s grounds for termination were “discriminatory” and in “bad faith.”(Companies in this story: TSX:CP)last_img
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Privacy czar decries gap in law for political parties handling personal info

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first_imgOTTAWA – The fact that political parties are excluded from federal laws on handling personal information — such as social media data — amounts to “an important gap” that could jeopardize the integrity of the electoral process, Canada’s privacy czar says.There should be a law governing the use of personal data by parties to prevent manipulation of the information to influence an election, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien said Thursday in an interview.“From a privacy perspective, personal information is unregulated with respect to political parties, so that’s clearly not a good thing,” Therrien said.Neither of the two federal privacy statutes — one for government institutions, the other for private-sector organizations — covers political parties.“The absence of regulation facilitates the manipulation of information to influence elections in a way which I think is completely contrary to the public interest,” Therrien told The Canadian Press.Therrien’s comments come as he begins investigating the alleged unauthorized use of some 50 million Facebook profiles — possibly including those of Canadians — by Cambridge Analytica, a firm accused of helping crunch data for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.Therrien said his officials will meet Facebook representatives to determine whether the data of Canadian users was involved. If Canadian information was harvested, the commissioner’s office will look at whether Facebook respected the federal privacy law covering private companies.Facebook Canada has said it’s strongly committed to protecting personal information and would answer any questions from Therrien.This week’s events have shown that weak privacy safeguards can have serious effects that go beyond the commercial realm, potentially distorting democracy, Therrien said. “It’s a wake up call, frankly, if not a crisis in confidence.”Therrien wants other legislative changes to usher privacy laws into the era of big data and artificial intelligence, including new powers for his office to audit companies, make binding orders and levy fines.To ensure a political campaign’s success, all parties have long been heavily dependent on access to quality data about voters.After news emerged about the Facebook breach, Scott Brison, the acting minister for democratic institutions, said he’d be open to strengthening federal privacy laws, although he did not specify whether any change could include applying privacy laws to political parties.Either way, public concerns over the use of private Facebook data will likely force political parties to re-examine how they use data — particularly as they prepare for the 2019 federal election.Karl Belanger, the NDP’s former national director, agrees Ottawa must broaden privacy laws to include political parties if it truly hopes to calm fears.“I think that people who are concerned about their private information should be worried and should demand changes in the law,” Belanger said in an interview.Melissa Bruno, the NDP’s current national director, said political parties are covered by some privacy rules and regulations on the use of data. The NDP fully respects them, Bruno said in a statement.When asked whether parties should be explicitly subject to federal privacy laws, Conservative spokesman Cory Hann wrote in an email: “On the laws, we’ll do what we’ve always done, and that’s follow them.“We recognize the importance of privacy and personal information, especially in light of these latest stories, and we take every step to keep that data protected,” Hann said.A spokesman for the Liberal Party insisted it follows the laws as well as a strict privacy policy. The party protects the information of Canadians it engages as a “foremost priority,” Braeden Caley wrote in an email.On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Liberals will continue to use social media as a way of connecting with people and getting their message out — but he insisted they will do it responsibly.He said he’s been calling on Internet companies to act responsibly as well.“There’s no question that Facebook and other Internet giants wield an extraordinarily large amount of power and influence over modern society, over the lives of individual citizens,” Trudeau said at an event in Sussex, N.B.Trudeau sidestepped a question on whether the Liberals would use Facebook data to target voters in the 2019 election campaign. He said the government would make ensure it protects citizens and online communities as well as electoral processes.This week, reports by The Canadian Press forced the Liberals to disclose that in 2016 their caucus research bureau awarded a $100,000 pilot project to the Canadian data scientist at the centre of the international uproar over Facebook users’ data being inappropriately mined for political gain.The research bureau says that after seeing a sample of Christopher Wylie’s services, it decided not to move forward.Wylie, who has not been accused of any unethical activities or of breaking the law in Canada, has argued that the profiling approach he helped create went too far.On Thursday, the all-party House of Commons ethics committee voted unanimously in favour of inviting Wylie, Facebook officials and Therrien to appear in front of them to discuss the privacy implications for Canada related to the data breach.— With a file from Lee Berthiaume— Follow @JimBronskill and @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img
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