Whistler sled dog slaughter probed

first_imgAPTN National NewsWHISTLER, B.C.–There is growing outrage in British Columbia after dozens of sled dogs slaughtered by a tourism operator.Around 100 sled dogs were shot dead last year by an outdoor adventure company in Whistler, B.C.Last April, after tourism dollars dried up following the Winter Olympics, the company resorted to shooting the dogs.The animals were dumped in a pit with some reportedly buried alive.The SPCA and police are investigating the allegations.last_img

Complaints filed against Vancouver police for targeting Downtown Eastside with bylaw infractions

first_imgAPTN National NewsVancouver police are targeting the poor people of Downtown Eastside with an abundance of bylaw infractions from jaywalking to public urination according to newly released information.According to a report, 95 per cent of some bylaw offences have been enforced exclusively in the troubled neighbourhood.Statistics show that 1448 tickets were given out in the Downtown Eastside under the Street and Traffic Bylaw over the last four years, with the next closest neighbourhood, the downtown core, receiving only 28 according to information obtained through a Freedom of Information request by two Vancouver organizations.The infractions range from vending, jaywalking, public urination/defecation and spitting.Wally Oppal, head of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, recently agreed in his final report that issuing such tickets creates a barrier between police and the poor.Oppal recommended police and the city should reduce the number of tickets they give out.As a result complaints have been filed against the police department alleging discrimination hoping to have them follow Oppal’s recommendations.“These tickets have many negative consequences for people in our community; increasing stress and anxiety among already marginalized people because they have a ticket they cannot hope to pay,” said Aiyanas Ormond, community worker with the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), who along with Pivot filed the complaints.last_img read more

Bloodvein First Nation boy mauled by dog house burned down

first_imgAPTN National NewsTragedy striked twice for the Johnson family.As their son recovered from being mauled by a dog on the Bloodvein First Nation their home was burned down.Now two girls, 12 and 14,  are charged with arson.APTN’s Ntawnis Piapot has the story.npiapot@aptn.ca@ntawnislast_img

First Nation infants subject to human experimental work for TB vaccine in

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe nutritional experiments conducted in First Nation communities and in Indian residential schools were not the only example where Canada’s Indigenous population faced treatment as “guinea pigs,” academic research shows.First Nation infants were used for Saskatchewan trials of a tuberculosis vaccine that was mired in controversy at the time of the experiment in the 1930s and 1940s.The subject of nutritional experiments exploded last week after reports surfaced on a study by University of Guelph food historian Ian Mosby. The study found that experiments were conducted in six residential schools and communities in northern Ontario, northern Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia between 1942 and 1952.Previous and ongoing academic research shows, however, that the nutritional experiments were part of a wider pattern in the medical and scientific community’s approach to Indigenous people at the time which included experimentation and the persistence of certain types of surgeries that were no longer conducted on non-Indigenous people.Academic research also shows that many Indigenous people who died undergoing medical care for diseases like tuberculosis (TB) were buried in unmarked graves because Indian Affairs would not pay to take their bodies back to their home communities.“Historians have been reluctant to question medical care because we are enthralled with the power of medicine,” said Brock University professor Maureen Lux, who published a paper on the vaccine trials in 1998 and is currently working on a book that delves into the still thinly-explored realm of the treatment of Indigenous people in sanatoriums. “Once I started looking at what was going and how they were operated and in whose interest, it becomes a fairly dark story.”The vaccine trial on First Nation children from the Qu’Appelle reserves in southern Saskatchewan is one of those threads in that story.The bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine trials were backed by the National Research Council and Indian Affairs. While the trials were eventually successful and the vaccine is still around today, one of the doctors involved with the experiment at the time worried about the dangers and believed Ottawa could find itself on the hook if something went wrong.It was already apparent to medical officials before the trials that TB rates were dramatically lowered by improving the living conditions of First Nation people living on reserve, according the study written by Lux titled, Perfect Subjects: Race Tuberculosis and the Qu’Appelle BCG Vaccine Trial.Between 1930 and 1932, the tuberculosis rate had been cut in half after a federally-backed Qu’Appelle Demonstration Health Unit began focusing on changing the situation on the ground. It replaced one-room log huts with frame houses, drilled wells to improve water supply, provided families with hens and seed and improved the food given to school children and pregnant women, according to Lux’s study. A nurse was also hired to give care to children suffering from infections disease in their own home.“The general death rate and the infant mortality rate both also fell. Thus, before the BCG vaccine trials were begun, the tuberculosis death rate had been reduced by half by marginal improvements in living conditions, and especially by segregating those with active tuberculosis,” wrote Lux.But vaccines were cheaper than paying to improve the conditions of Indian residential schools and reserves or treating people in sanatoriums which could turn into lengthy stays.Lux said the urgency to conduct the vaccine trials on First Nation infants in southern Saskatchewan was also driven by a fear that Indigenous people would infect the non-Indigenous population with TB.“They were seen as vectors of disease because TB rates in the non-Aboriginal community were falling quickly. They were better fed and housed, but not so on-reserve,” said Lux, in an interview. “My point in the article was that TB wasn’t the big threat…the big threat was poverty because more kids died of poverty related diseases than from TB.”The BCG vaccine at the time was controversial. A German experiment in 1930 led to the deaths 71 children after they were given a contaminated strain. At the time of the Qu’Appelle trial, close to 400,000 children had been vaccinated and trials had been conducted in Montreal, but it was still unclear at the time whether the vaccine would regain its virulence. The United States and Britain did not use the BCG vaccine at the time “because of fears that the vaccine was not stable,” wrote Lux.Worries over the vaccine were expressed in a confidential memo to federal authorities.“I feel as though it would be unwise to initiate human experimental work among Indian children who are the direct wards of the government, and for which reasons they are not in a position to exercise voluntary cooperation,” wrote Dr. R. George Ferguson, the medical superintendant of the Fort Qu’Appelle Sanatorium, to the president of the National Research Council. “Furthermore in case of difficulties arising, the government itself could not be without responsibility.”The trial went ahead in 1933 and it proved successful. According to Lux, between 1933 and 1945, 306 infants were vaccinated and 303 were used as a control group. Only six vaccinated infants contracted TB and two died. In the unvaccinated group, 29 caught TB and nine died.But the vaccine could not protect children from death. Poverty proved to be a far deadlier killer than TB. According to Lux’s paper, 105 children died from causes other than TB within the first seven years of the study. They died from pneumonia and gastroenteritis.“The BCG trial was a success, but unfortunately the patients died,” wrote Lux.Lux said in an interview that First Nation patients also underwent trials for streptomycin, an antibiotic that was used to cure TB, at the now defunct Charles Camsell hospital in Edmonton.Lux said doctors also continued to surgically remove TB from Indigenous patients into the 1950s and 60s, after the procedure was no longer done on the non-Indigenous population.“Do we interpret that surgeons and medical directors thought they were doing right and never questioning the assumption that these people were going to actually spread TB when they actually weren’t?” said Lux. “They could do it and they did it and that is as shocking as any kind of experiment.”During her research on the book about sanatoriums and Indian hospitals, Lux said she interviewed many elders who believed they underwent medical experiments.“Every one of them said, ‘yeah, they were using us as guinea pigs.’ Whether they were, or people didn’t understand what treatments they were getting, or physicians weren’t telling people, it is really hard to pin down…as a historian to say yes…But the people who spent time in the hospitals felt they were guinea pigs.”Whether there were other types of experimentation beyond what has already surfaced, Lux said she can’t give a definite answer.However, the existing record of the medical system’s treatment of Indigenous patients is already a dark one, she said.“It is pretty depressing. It is just document after document. They treated these people like they were not even human,” she said. “It is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done.”Lux’s book goes for peer review this fall and should be published in about a year.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Outside the Circle The status of Jordans Principle Part 1

first_imgAPTN National NewsOutside the Circle, the status of Jordan’s principle is a three-part series looking at the status of a motion that was supposed to bring equality to First Nations children.In 2007, the house of commons unanimously passed the motion after a Cree boy with a severe disability died in hospital waiting for Canada and the province of Manitoba fought over who was going to pay his home care.Here is APTN’s Trina Roache with part 1.last_img

Billy Ray Cyrus commits to addressing issue of missing and murdered Aboriginal

first_imgAPTN National NewsFresh off his concert at the Ab Day Live festival in Winnipeg, singer Billy Ray Cyrus sits down with APTN’s Shaneen Robinson.The talk soon turns to what can be done about the number of Aboriginal women and girls who have either gone missing or have been murdered.And what he’s planning to do about it.last_img

Winnipeg police used surveillance footage to track suspect linked to murder of

first_imgAPTN National News WINNIPEG—Winnipeg police investigators used footage from several downtown surveillance cameras to track the suspect linked to the murders of two men whose bodies were found across the street from each other Saturday, APTN National News has learned.The Winnipeg police service is expected to announce charges against the suspect during a press conference scheduled for 1 p.m. local time.The body of Donald Collins, 65, was found at about 12:45 a.m. Saturday. The body of Stony Stanley Bushie, 48, was found at about 6 p.m. the same day.Winnipeg police previously released images of a man they called a “person of interest” that were captured by a surveillance camera from the Quest Inn downtown hotel.Investigators used surveillance footage from several other cameras to track the suspect’s movements through the downtown area as he passed behind homeless shelters and other downtown hotels, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.Surveillance cameras mounted on the outside of the APTN building in downtown Winnipeg captured the final moments of Bushie’s life who was killed shortly after 9:14 p.m. Friday.The surveillance video shows a man leading Bushie around a construction zone before dragging him to the ground and beating him with a blunt object.The video shows a man, dressed in a dark-coloured, long-sleeve top and carrying a backpack, dragging Bushie’s limp body to the place where it was later found. Bushie’s body was found 21 hours later by a security guard doing his Saturday evening rounds. The body was found behind a small trailer surrounded by a red pylon, a plank of particle board and a pile of pipes.Police investigators have also not ruled out a link between the two weekend murders and the April 10 killing of another homeless man.news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more

Nunavut MP Aglukkaq silent as Franklin fracas claims Pulitizer prize winning journalist

first_img(From L to R: Ryan Harris, Parks Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq at the Franklin Expedition announcement. Photo: PMO)Kent DriscollAPTN National NewsIQALUIT — Canada’s MP for Nunavut and Minister of Environment is remaining silent after accusations surfaced that the federal government meddled in the story around how two lost ships in the Franklin expedition were discovered.On Monday, Toronto Star photojournalist, and Pulitzer prize winning reporter Paul Watson quit, stating that it was because the paper wouldn’t let him investigate the story of the scientists who discovered the HMS Erebus last summer.“I had traction on a story, and began reporting, to try to finish it, and I was ordered to stop,” Watson told APTN in an interview Wednesday. “It is the first time I’ve been asked to stop working on a story before I’ve even written it. At a meeting with management in Vancouver, I explicitly asked, ‘Yes or no, will you let me finish this story?’ I was told by the Star’s editor Michael Cooke ‘We’re not interested in that story.’ That was a kill order, and I quit.”The Toronto Star denies the allegations.In an article published in the paper Wednesday, publisher Jim Cruikshank wrote to staff stating the accusations are false.“Let me publicly deny this extremely odd idea. There is no truth whatever to the suggestion.” He went on to describe the conflict as “fundamentally a personal matter.”Watson received the Pulitzer prize in 1994 for spot news photography for photos he took for The Star of the 1994 war in Somalia.Most recently, he has been covering Arctic issues for The Star, Canada’s largest daily newspaper.Watson said he had to go public, because the scientists were frightened.“They’re frightened of losing their jobs. I was shocked at how far widespread that fear is,” he said. “Hard working people, experts in their field, who are afraid to speak the truth, because they fear that they will be slapped down and perhaps lose their jobs over it,” said Watson.Paul Watson, Author Photo: Toronto StarAccording to Watson, John Geiger, CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, who just received the new Polar Medal in Whitehorse Wednesday, is one of the reasons scientists are upset.He said according to scientists, Geiger only joined the team a year before the discovery of the Franklin ships, and doesn’t deserve the award.“I don’t know anything about motive, and I won’t allege anything about motive. But I do know that it doesn’t smell right. It was stated to me as a fact, on more than one occasion, that John Geiger, who’s the former head of the Globe and Mail editorial board was a former colleague of a few of us here (at the Toronto Star) an editor told me. I had a reasonable suspicion that he might have access to my reporting,” said Watson.“Four people as I understand it received that (Polar) medal. I think, clearly, that three of them are important to the discovery of HMS Erebus. They deserve that medal … I challenge anyone, as my sources have, to find evidence that John Geiger had any direct role in the discovery of that ship. Or did anything else that would warrant a medal from the Governor-General, awarded on behalf of the Queen,”APTN National News contacted Geiger and the Royal Canadian Geographic Society for comment but calls were not returned.Watson told APTN he also tried to contact Geiger.“My first attempt to contact Geiger was seven weeks ago yesterday,” said Watson. “I’ve contacted members of his staff, including communications director. I’ve spoken to her on the phone. I’ve also sent more than one email. I’ve contacted his wife, who was hired as Special Sections editor at The Star not long ago. She won’t reply either,” said Watson.Watson isn’t the only person who thinks something doesn’t “smell right” about the decision to give so much credit to Geiger and his team.Canadian businessman Jim Basillie, chair of Arctic Research Foundation, funded much of the research to find the lost ships.Basille wrote Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq in April of this year, dismayed at the way media coverage had turned out.In the letter, Basillie wrote: “I am concerned that the documentary contains information that runs contrary to the planning meeting we held in your office on June 9th, 2014 and filmed for the Prime Minister’s on-line news channel. The narrative, as currently presented, attempts to minimize the role of the Government and its respective agencies and private partners. It also creates new and exaggerated narratives for the exclusive benefit of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and its own partners. I am raising my concerns with you now because I understand that the Government of Canada has final approval of the content of this documentary and subsequent communications outputs”Arctic Research Foundation letterDownload (PDF, Unknown)The documentary Basillie is referring to is the CBC Nature of Things episode “Franklin’s Lost Ships”.APTN contacted Basillie to find out which officials told him the federal government had final edit of the documentary.According to Basillie’s assistant, Karen Paquette, “Mr. Balsillie has no comment at this time. He has communicated his concerns about the Franklin project (as well as ideas for Northern communities to benefit from the project) to relevant partners directly.”The producer of the Nature of Things episode denies the allegation.APTN contacted producer Andrew Gregg about the accusations and whether the federal government had final edit on his work.“Not at all. Parks Canada wanted to see the doc before it went to air, but we were doing this in conjunction with CBC and there is a very definite policy at CBC, that you do not allow pre-screens of the doc,” said Andrew Gregg.APTN also contacted Nunavut MP and Minister of Environment Leona Aglukkaq, to ask who nominated Geiger for the award, whether government scientists were being muzzled, and if Basillie had been given assurances that the documentary was subject to government approval prior to airing.Aglukkaq did not respond.kdriscoll@aptn.caFollow @kentdriscolllast_img read more

Duty to consult doesnt equal a First Nations veto over energy resource

first_img(Photo of a recent anti-pipeline protest in New Brunswick. APTN/file photo)APTN National News OTTAWA—New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant says the duty to consult with First Nations on natural resource and energy projects does not give a veto to those Indigenous communities.Gallant, whose province will be the end-point for TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline, said the duty to consult must be met whenever projects infringe on the rights and territories of First Nation communities, but that does not include the power to veto.“I think it’s important for us to recognize that there’s not a veto that comes with a duty to consult,” said Gallant. “There’s a duty to consult, a duty to accommodate if ever their rights would be infringed by development of natural resources or energy projects….That’s something that has been upheld and made very clear by the Supreme Court of Canada. And, of course, it’s the right thing to do as well.”Gallant partly won the last provincial election because he promised a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing following intense 2013 demonstrations and confrontations between an exploration company, the RCMP and resident of the Mi’kmaq community of Elsipogtog and supporters from other First Nations along with area Acadian and Anglophone residents.Gallant said consultation with First Nations is key to ensuring the success of new energy and natural resource projects.“We’re also going to have to continually show them that we’re doing it in a sustainable and responsible way,” said Gallant, who was speaking to reporters before Monday’s Ottawa meeting between premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of the upcoming climate change conference in Paris.news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more

Survey finds majority of Winnipegs homeless are Indigenous people

first_imgAPTN National NewsAn overwhelming majority of those living on the streets of Winnipeg are Indigenous.That’s just one of the findings of a recent survey conducted over a 24 hour period.APTN’s Dennis Ward has this story.last_img

Cree and Inuit gather to share knowledge in launch of Hudson Bay

first_imgDanielle Rochette APTN NewsLucassie Arragutainaq is from Sanikiluaq, an Inuit community located on the Belcher Islands of Hudson Bay.Since the 1990s he has wanted to collaborate to share Inuit and Cree knowledge of the ecosystems of Hudson Bay and James Bay.“We understand what is going on exactly. That is what it matters really,” said Arragutainaq. “We just want to be a part of the process and understand what is going to happen within Hudson Bay and James Bay.”Arragutainaq dream came true this week as more than 200 Cree and Inuit gathered in Montreal to launch the Hudson Bay consortium.“How can we keep the bays healthy for future generations, how can we make sure that young people can learn Indigenous knowledge and go out and hunt” said Joel Heath, co-founder of the Arctic Eider Society, explaining its purpose.MP Hunter Tootoo says it’s positive to see everyone around the same table for a common goal.“For us that live there, and rely on it, we all have something at stake,” said Tootoo. “I think it is important that everyone come together and collectively come up with a plan on how to preserve and protect and monitor the waters that we rely on for livelihood.”drochette@aptn.calast_img read more

New plan with Ottawa will see Manitoba Metis a selfgoverning nation

first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsThe Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is one step closer toward reaching a self-government agreement with the federal government.Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett was in Winnipeg on Saturday to announce a three-part plan for moving forward to advance reconciliation with the Manitoba Metis community.The plan builds on the Framework Agreement for Advancing Reconciliation, which was established in 2016, and includes $154.3 million of funding from Ottawa.The announcement was made during the MMF’s annual general assembly in Winnipeg.MMF President David Chartrand became emotional as he described how this announcement signifies a new relationship with Canada.“This is going to change lives,” Chartrand told the crowd. “No longer can our unique history, rights and self-government be denied.”Some of the money will be put toward improving the social and economic well-being of the Manitoba Metis community.MMF Minister Judy Mayer said she hopes to see the money go toward housing for members in her community. She works in The Pas in northern Manitoba and said some of the smaller Metis settlements near there have inadequate housing.Funding will also go toward helping the Manitoba Metis community gain full jurisdiction over legal status and a future of self-determination.At the announcement Bennett said this is a big step toward reconciliation with the Metis people.“This demonstrates concrete progress between the MMF and Canada,” she said. “It is an example of progress we want to be making coast to coast to coast with all Indigenous people.”The self-government negotiations with the MMF are the first talks to get underway with a Metis collective in the southern provinces.last_img read more

Tŝilhqotin Nation in court to stop Prosperity Mine project – again

first_imgTina HouseAPTN NewsAbout 100 people gathered on the steps of the courthouse in downtown Vancouver Friday to show support for the Tŝilhqot’in Nation in its fight to save Fish Lake from the new version of the Prosperity Mine project.“What I call it is genocide. You know with our history that’s what happened and today is no different – the genocide is still here,” said Chief Francis Leceese of the Tl’esqox First Nation when he addressed the gathering.The Tsilhqot’in Nation is against a new plan by Taseko Mines to begin drilling around Fish Lake, known as Teztan Biny.Taseko’s proposed New Prosperity Mine was approved for development by the provincial government in 2010 and received a drilling permit in 2017 to collect geotechnical information.The federal government had twice rejected the mine.Chief Jimmy Lulua says the land must remain untouched.“You can’t put a price on our fish and you can’t put a price on our burial sites, our spiritual teachings – can’t put a price on it! It doesn’t matter how much money they have, it’s not enough.”At Friday’s court hearing, a high-profile supporter showed up to support the nation.“It may seem like a remote battle going on somewhere else but environmentalism teaches us everything is connected so what they are fighting for in terms of their sacred land is a fight for us as well because from those waters come many of the salmon that feed the whales here in the Salish Sea, it’s all interconnected,” David Suzuki told the gathering.(David Suzuki at the Vancouver courthouse Friday. Photo: Tina House/APTN)The company initially wanted to turn Fish Lake into a tailings pond.But in July 2010, a federal review panel found the project would have significant adverse environmental effects on the land and water.For the Tŝilhqot’in people it’s a sacred place with ancient burial grounds and an abundance of fish.For Taseko – it’s the seventh largest deposit of gold and copper in the world.In 2011 the project was renamed the New Prosperity Mine.The new proposal didn’t involve draining fish lake – however the Tŝilhqot’in Nation continued to oppose the project.Three years later in 2014, the Tŝilhqot’in won a landmark land rights case in the Supreme Court of Canada – which put the project on hold once again.But in July 2017, on former B.C. Liberal premier Christy Clark’s last day in office  – she approved permits for the company to begin exploratory work in the area.According to Chief Jimmy Lulua of the Xeni Gwetin First Nation, they haven’t ramped up yet.“They are exploring I don’t think any drilling going on but they have been given their go – ahead on the 19th but I’m pretty sure they are just opening roads and doing whatever else but nothing too drastic yet,” he said.thouse@aptn.ca@inthehouse7last_img read more

Northern tanning camp takes over downtown Yellowknife

first_imgCharlotte Morritt-JacobsAPTN NewsThe smell of fire and the sound of scraping hide is back in Somba K’e park.It’s the fourth annual Urban Hide Tanning Camp in downtown Yellowknife hosted by Dene Nahjo, a local Indigenous not-for-profit.Shirley Drybones from Behchokǫ̀ grew up watching her mother work on hides in the summer.“It is natural I know what I’m doing. I don’t really need to ask,” Drybones said.Now she is handling a caribou hide, something she hasn’t done in years.“It is a different type of job with variety. Taking the hair off, taking the skin off, trying to make it smooth, dye it, tan it,” she said.“It’s a lot of work.”For ten days each year the camp sets up shop, bringing together community members to witness and learn skills from elders and master tanners.According to participants it’s a long process that pays off.“I want to get it done. Get all of this off and get it done,” Drybones laughs as she readjusts her hide and sharpens her scraper.For Stephanie Poole of Łutselkʼe said she goes to any and all hide camps she’s invited to.“I enjoy spending time with other hide tanners and just have time away from other responsibilities to work on hides together is really fun,” Poole said.She practices her Dene tradition as a way of exercising her sovereignty.“It’s also really important for me to keep our relationship with the land, the water and all the animals in our territory. I think that’s part of our responsibility as Dene and Indigenous people,” she said.Each day the camp tours two classrooms of kids. Poole shares her expertise with Indigenous and non-Indigenous guests.“I like hosting all the school kids here. They will often bring their families back after hours or on the weekends,” Poole said.The camp runs until May 21, 2019. Dene Nahjo will also offer a new mentorship hide tanning camp in  Whatì June 24 – July 5.cmorrittjacobs@aptn.ca@aptncharlottelast_img read more

BC securities regulator changing crowdfunding rules to help companies

first_imgVANCOUVER – The B.C. Securities Commission is changing its crowdfunding exemption rules to enable B.C.-based issuers to access investors in Alberta.The regulator says the changes will also increase the amount that some will be able to invest.The changes increase the limit to $5,000 from $1,500, if an investor has obtained advice from a registered dealer that the investment is suitable for them.Crowdfunding allows businesses to raise small amounts of money from a large number of investors, often for a specific project.The BCSC made the changes after consultations with technology industry stakeholders and businesses earlier this year.last_img read more

Unite Here wins 18th victory over Unifor in battle for 24 Torontoarea

first_imgTORONTO – A union local that represents nearly 8,000 hospitality workers in the Greater Toronto Area says it continues to represent employees of Four Points by Sheraton after they voted against joining Unifor.Unite Here Local 75 announced the victory Thursday after a sealed ballot count by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.It’s a setback for Unifor — the country’s largest private sector union — after it left the Canadian Labour Congress in mid-December after complaining about CLC’s regulations around allowing workers to change unions.Unifor had attempted to represent workers at 24 of the 48 hotels represented by Unite Here Local 75, but the majority have voted to remain with Unite.Results from most of the votes were announced in February but several were delayed by sealed ballot counts by the province’s labour relations board.With the vote at Four Points, Unite Here continues to represent at least 18 of the 24 contested hotels, while Unifor won over Unite Here members from at least five hotels. The one uncounted vote is for the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel.Companies in this story: (TSX:)last_img read more

Poll Half of young Americans see better financial future

first_imgAbout half of young Americans expect to be financially better off than their parents, according to a new poll, a sign that the dream of upward mobility is alive but somewhat tempered.The poll, by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV, found that half of 15- to 26-year-olds think they eventually will be better off than their parents in terms of household finances. About 29 per cent expect to do as well as their parents, and 20 per cent expect to be worse off.Parents were slightly more optimistic: 60 per cent think their children will do better than they did, a view that held true for parents across all income groups. Overall, only 12 per cent of parents said that they felt their children might do worse.It’s no longer a guarantee that children will achieve upward income mobility. About half of the Americans born in 1984 earned more at age 30 than their parents, down from 92 per cent in 1940, according to the study by famed economist Raj Chetty and others that was released in 2016.Jennifer Narvaez, 23, is among those who anticipates her financial future will be a bit brighter than that of her parents. Narvaez said she expects to have more opportunities as a college graduate to get a job and own a home than her parents, who grew up in Nicaragua and immigrated to the United States. The Miami resident holds an undergraduate degree in biology and is planning on attending medical school to become a cardiologist.Narvaez is less certain about the prospects of the U.S. economy, particularly as the nation appears to be marching into a trade war with China.“It’s a weird time,” she said. “I feel like it’s hard to predict what will happen because of the kind of administration we have.”Alex Barner, 20, also felt optimistic that he might fare better than his mother, who had him at age 18 and raised him as a single mother. He is attending college in New Mexico and is considering a future career in business management.While Barner is hopeful he will do well in life, he also has some concerns about the trajectory of the nation and its economy. Like Narvaez, he’s concerned by the trade policy of President Donald Trump’s administration.Barner also said he feels politicians need to focus more on matters that affect people in the here and now, such as health care and student loan relief.Respondents were divided about how they expect the nation’s economy will fare in the year ahead. About 29 per cent of young people expect the economy to improve, 30 per cent expect it will get worse and 41 anticipate it will stay the same. Similarly, 35 per cent of parents expect improvement, 27 per cent expect conditions to get worse and 38 per cent expect the economy to stay as is.___The Youth Political Pulse poll was conducted Aug. 23 to Sept. 10 by the AP-NORC Center and MTV. The poll was conducted using NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. It includes 580 young people ages 15-26 and 591 parents of children in the same age group. The margin of sampling error for all young people is plus or minus 6.6 percentage points, and for parents it’s plus or minus 7.5 percentage points.___Online:AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research: http://www.apnorc.orglast_img read more

Bankruptcy filing provides rare window into diocese finances

first_imgALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s largest Catholic diocese has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months on lawyers to fight claims of clergy sex abuse and to prepare for a potentially lengthy battle in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s petition for reorganization provides a rare look into the finances of a religious organization that for decades has been wrestling with the financial and social consequences of a scandal that rocked churches across the country.Archbishop John Wester describes the filing as an equitable thing to do as church reserves dwindle. He says compensating the victims is a top priority.National watchdog groups and attorneys for victims of clergy sex abuse said Tuesday the archdiocese’s actions suggest otherwise.They point to the money spent by the archdiocese on lawyers over the last three months and the tens of millions of dollars in real estate that has been transferred to parishes in recent years, effectively reducing the amount of assets held by the archdiocese.About 20 dioceses and other religious orders around the U.S. have filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of clergy sex abuse claims, and victims’ advocates say there are trends. That includes the shifting of assets to other funds or parishes, a tactic that has been used elsewhere, including dioceses in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Southern California.In Pennsylvania, documents associated with an August grand jury report that detailed decades of abuse and coverup included letters between church officials and attorneys that talked about pushing assets around.In one of the most publicized cases, lawyers for abuse victims accused Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York of creating a trust fund to hide money from their clients when he was archbishop of Milwaukee. Dolan wrote to the Vatican in 2007 that transferring more than $50 million in assets would provide “improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability.”Dolan had dismissed allegations that he was trying to shield church assets, and an appeals court later ruled that the fund was not protected from creditors.There also were clashes over assets belonging to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as part of that bankruptcy case.Terence McKiernan, co-founder of BishopAccountability.org, an online resource of documentation about the scandals, pointed to efforts by church officials there to value a massive granite cathedral at just $1.“The Catholic Church is real estate wealthy beyond our wildest dreams,” he said. “And it’s a bit of a conundrum — how much is the diocese worth? How do you value ecclesiastic property?”In its bankruptcy petition, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe claims nearly $50 million in assets, including real estate valued at more than $31 million.The filing also states that more than $57 million in property is being held in trust for numerous parishes and property transfers worth another $34 million were done over the past two years. State records also show that individual parishes were incorporated as part of an effort that started in 2012 under Wester’s predecessor.Despite the archdiocese’s efforts to financially separate itself from its parishes, some lawyers say there’s still a connection as the bankruptcy filing shows the archdiocese would be on the hook for indemnifying parishes if they were sued or had to pay out damages of any kind.“So it really does seem to us to be a shell-game,” McKiernan said of the cases that have already played out. “No one thinks for a moment that the bishop is relinquishing control of these assets, he just hopes the bankruptcy judge won’t consider them assets.”The New Mexico bankruptcy case came as the state attorney general’s office served a pair of search warrants last week, seeking documents related to two former priests who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.The warrants describe in graphic detail the abuse endured by children years ago at the hands of the two priests.The tip of the iceberg is how attorney Paul Linnenburger described the warrants. He’s a lawyer with one of the New Mexico firms that has several cases pending against the archdiocese.The archdiocese has said $52 million in insurance money and its own funds have gone to settling 300 claims over the years.Linnenburger said the details of many of those cases have remained secret due to nondisclosure agreements and protective orders. He accused the church of hiding behind those orders and its religious mission to avoid liability for pending and future cases.“The writing is on the wall now,” he said, “and it’s going to come out and once it does, the people of New Mexico are finally going to see and understand just how much damage the church did to them over decades.”Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Presslast_img read more

UK lawmakers head off on break with Brexit decision looming

first_imgLONDON — British lawmakers are heading off for a holiday break with visions of Brexit dancing in their heads, and a big decision to make.Parliament breaks up Thursday for a 17-day Christmas recess, with no decision on whether to approve the government’s divorce deal with the European Union.Prime Minister Theresa May postponed a vote on the deal last week to avert heavy defeat. It has been rescheduled for the week of Jan. 14, but opposition remains strong across the political spectrum.Amid the impasse, Britain and the EU have triggered plans to try to limit the economic chaos if Britain leaves the bloc on March 29 with no deal.The government hopes the prospect of a disruptive Brexit will persuade lawmakers to vote for May’s deal when they come back.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Chinese newspaper warns US not to push too hard on trade

first_imgBEIJING — An official Chinese newspaper has warned Washington not to demand too much from Beijing as talks on ending their tariff war entered a second day with no word on possible progress.The Global Times said Tuesday the Trump administration is dealing with an increasingly strong China that has pressing needs. The newspaper said Washington “cannot push China too far” and must avoid a situation that “spins out of control.”Negotiators began talks Monday on their fight over Beijing’s technology development tactics but there was no sign either side changed its stance. They agreed Dec. 1 to suspend additional tariff hikes on each other’s goods for 90 days while they negotiate, but economists said that probably is too little time to reach a final agreement.The Associated Presslast_img read more