OTTAWA — The federal government is increasing employment insurance premiums and going after drinkers, smokers and tax cheats to help finance a 2017 budget long on vision — high-tech growth, job retraining, lowering barriers for working mothers — but lean on actual spending.
The budget details how $11.2 billion will be meted out to cities and provinces for affordable housing over 10 years, and an “innovation and skills plan” for six sectors: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital industries, health/bio-sciences and clean resources.
It also details $7 billion in spending over 10 years for Canadian families, including 40,000 new subsidized daycare spaces across Canada by 2019, extended parental leave and allowing expectant mothers to claim maternity benefits 12 weeks before their due date.
The federal deficit, meanwhile, is projected to be smaller than expected: $25.5 billion for 2017-18, not including a $3 billion contingency fund, before declining to $15.8 billion in 2021-22.
EI premiums will climb five cents to $1.68 for every $100 of insurable earnings, as will taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, with annual increases tied to the rate of inflation. A crackdown on tax evaders and avoiders is also planned.
The 71-year-old Canada Savings Bonds program, long synonymous with painless, low-interest savings for risk-averse adults and gift-giving grandparents, is also being phased out.
A year to the day after his beloved and berated brother died from a rare form of cancer, Doug Ford is questioning why the city hasn’t taken steps to honour the legacy of long-time councillor and former mayor Rob Ford.
“There’s never been a politician like Rob, good or bad,” Ford told Breakfast Television on Wednesday morning. “There’s never been a mayor that answers his phone at 11 p.m. at night and shows up to people’s doors.”
“Rob had the most diverse group of people supporting him that I’ve ever seen in my life. He was passionate about the people.”
Doug pointed out that when NDP leader and former Toronto councillor Jack Layton passed away, it was Rob, despite his political differences with Layton, who urged city council to quickly honour him.
A bronze statue was subsequently erected near the Harbourfront, and the ferry docks were renamed after Layton.
Ford says he doesn’t expect anything over the top for Rob, but suggested what he considers an appropriate commemoration.
“There’s a stadium in Etobicoke — a small one that doesn’t have a name — in Centennial Park,” he said. “We’d like it to possibly be named the Rob Ford stadium. He coached there … he played himself there and it’s local. It’s a pretty modest ask.”
He also expressed disappointment that Mayor John Tory hasn’t acted on behalf of his predecessor. “Tory has known our family for 25 years,” he said. “We haven’t heard a word from John Tory and that’s not a slag against John, it’s just we haven’t heard anything from him.”
Mayor Tory, speaking with CityNews via Skype from India, said he only recently became aware of the family’s wish to have the stadium named after Rob Ford.
“The first I heard of the desire they have to have a football stadium named after him, I heard it through a Toronto radio station,” Tory said. “The family hadn’t communicated to me a wish they had to have a proposal considering (his name) for this football stadium, but now I know about it …”
Tory also noted that the family rejected a previous proposal to rename a Toronto park after Rob.
But now that the family’s desires are clear, Tory said the process of honouring the late mayor can begin.
“What we are going to do is find a way … to have a suitable memorial to Mr. Ford’s life and his public work, and we will do that in orderly fashion as quickly as it allows us to get in done properly.”
“I think something that does relate to football and his passionate love for sports might be quite appropriate,” he added.
A celebration of Rob Ford’s life will take place on Wednesday night at Woodbine Banquet Hall near Highway 27 and Rexdale Boulevard.
Doug says “everyone is welcome” to join the celebration, which will include free food and drinks, as well as dancing. The event runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
A vehicle mowed down pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing at least one woman and leaving others with injuries described as catastrophic. Around the same time Wednesday, a knife-wielding attacker stabbed a police officer and was shot on the grounds outside Britain’s Parliament, sending the compound into lockdown.
Authorities said they were treating the attacks as a terrorist incident. Some of those injured were French high school students, France’s prime minister said.
The threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. was already listed at severe. Wednesday was the anniversary of suicide bombings in the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people, and the latest events echoed recent vehicle attacks in Berlin and Nice, France. There was no immediate claim of responsibility and it was not clear if there was more than one attacker.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who was rushed from the building within minutes, will chair a meeting of the government emergency committee. London Police Commander B.J. Harrington said a full counterterrorism investigation was underway.
The incident in London unfolded within sight of some of the city’s most famous tourist sites, including the London Eye, a large Ferris wheel with pods that overlook the capital. It stopped rotating and footage showed the pods full as viewers watched police and medical crews on the bridge, which has at its north end Big Ben and Parliament, two iconic symbols.
“The whole length of the bridge there were people on the ground,” Richard Tice, a witness, told Sky News. The London Ambulance Service said it had treated at least 10 people on the bridge, and British port officials said a woman was pulled from the River Thames, injured but alive.
Colleen Anderson of St. Thomas’ Hospital said a female pedestrian died and around a dozen people were hurt.
“There were some with minor injuries, some catastrophic. Some had injuries they could walk away from or who have life-changing injuries,” she said.
French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve offered support to the British and to “the French students wounded, their families and their schoolmates.” London is a common destination for French school trips.
The French Foreign Ministry said that three students on a school trip from Saint-Joseph in the Brittany town of Concarneau were among the injured. The ministry said it was in contact with British authorities.
Witness Rick Longley told the Press Association that he heard a bang and saw a car plow into pedestrians and come to a crashing stop. Images from the scene showed pedestrians sprawled on the ground, with blood streaming from a woman surrounded by a scattering of postcards.
“They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben,” he said. “A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman. I have never seen anything like that. I just can’t believe what I just saw.”
At Parliament, a body was seen lying in the yard. It wasn’t clear if it was the attacker.
Dennis Burns, who was just entering Parliament for a meeting, told the Press Association he heard a radio message saying an officer had been stabbed. Police and security rushed outside as he was going in.
“When I got inside I was wondering what the hell was going on and I saw dozens of panicked people running down the street,” he said. “The first stream was around 30 people and the second stream was 70 people. It looked like they were running for their lives.”
Daily Mail journalist Quentin Letts said he saw a man in black attack a police officer outside Parliament before being shot two or three times as he tried to storm into the House of Commons.
“He had something in his hand, it looked like a stick of some sort, and he was challenged by a couple of policemen in yellow jackets,” Letts told the BBC. “And one of the yellow-jacketed policemen fell down and we could see the man in black moving his arm in a way that suggested he was stabbing or striking the yellow-jacketed policeman.”
Lett said the other officer ran to get help and the man in black ran toward the entrance.
“As this attacker was running towards the entrance two plain-clothed guys with guns shouted at him what sounded like a warning, he ignored it and they shot two or three times and he fell,” he said.
As lawmakers were voting inside Parliament, they reported hearing the sound of gunshots.
Parliament was locked down for two hours, and the subway station outside was shuttered.
British security has thwarted some 13 terror plots over the past four years, but the UK has largely been spared major international terror attacks such as the ones seen in Belgium and France.
Last year, a far-right supporter shot and killed British lawmaker Jo Cox, who had campaigned for the U.K. to remain in the European Union. Prior to that, an attacker stabbed three people at a train station in east London in response to the Royal Air Force’s bombing of the Islamic State group in Syria.
The most gruesome recent attack occurred in 2013 when two Muslim converts of Nigerian descent attacked Lee Rigby, a British Army soldier who was walking down the street. The men ran Rigby down with their vehicle and then used a cleaver to hack him to death as bystanders watched in horror.
The worst peace time attack on Britain this century was on July 7, 2005, when four Al-Qaida-inspired bombers blew themselves up on three subway trains and a bus in London, killing 52. Three of the bombers were British-born, all of Pakistani descent; the other emigrated from Jamaica.
Paisley Dodds, Sophie Berman and Rob Harris in London, and Lori Hinnant in Paris, contributed to this report.
When students get hazed, they endure the treatment under an unwritten contract that they themselves will one day be hazers. Perhaps they, too, will threaten rookies with paddles, make them eat onion-flavoured vomit, or think up their own games with horrific creativity.
However, as universities, coaches and advocates try to phase out hazing, the hope is that a generation of students who were hazed themselves will get past the seeming unfairness of not paying the barbarianism forward. “It’s called going across a subliminal space,” says Hank Nuwer, an anti-hazing advocate in the United States. “By doing it to someone else, it gives it legitimacy. Now they have to say, ‘It wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t the honour I thought it was.’ They’ve been deprived of this [reciprocity], but it has to be done.”
This disconnect is one of the toughest barriers in the decades-long campaign to stopping hazing—an effort given new urgency by the investigation of basketball players at McGill University, which back-tracked on its claim of being a “hazing-free environment.” Although students might learn how the ritual is dangerous and worsens team performance, the previously-hazed people—who may have sacrificed their dignity during initiation—will unavoidably get an unfair deal. “Maybe some of them lost their eligibility,” says Nuwer. “Maybe some of them got expelled. Now we’ve eliminated it and it seems, ‘what I went through that I was so proud of was a foolish and ridiculous and potentially dangerous act.’”
Schools are still far from eliminating hazing. Although McGill declares itself a “hazing-free environment” on its website, its deputy provost admitted it does not uphold the promise. The concession came in an interview with The Globe and Mail regarding a recent report on the hazing of an 18-year-old basketball player in 2015. His head was pillow-cased, his hands duct-taped to a bottle of vodka, and his experience happened to mark the 10th anniversary of a notorious incident in which a McGill hockey rookie was forced onto hands and knees and assaulted with a broomstick.
McGill has become just one hazing crime zone. In universities across the country, not only senior athletes but also senior students in programs from nursing to engineering have initiated newcomers with gagging, hair removal and other acts approaching the cruelty of the 2005 attack on the McGill hockey player.
While American schools tend to treat each incident as one-off misdemeanours or crimes, Canadians have come to recognize hazing as an epidemic. Mike Havey, athletic director at the University of Windsor, says the school holds mandatory anti-hazing workshops to convince seniors not to perpetuate their own suffering. “I think that’s the cycle we have to try to break,” says Havey. “Just because it happened to you doesn’t make it right.” Given that hazing can make teams perform worse, Havey says the workshops try to “appeal to their competitiveness,” rather than present new hazing restrictions as “a loss of opportunity to get revenge.”
Vengeance is a motivating force for many hazers. “It vindicates them from being hazed,” says Jay Johnson, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Manitoba who has studied hazing among more than 1,000 students. “You’re going to have people who were hazed and are waiting to be the hazers, but when the change comes down or is adopted, the transition has to be made.”
The transition period must offer alternatives. Johnson has taken teams on canoe trips and high-ropes courses, in hopes that the ziplines and obstacle courses will fulfill the need for team bonding, as well as give the seniors some power over rookies. “Sport operates as a dictatorship, from the coach down,” says Johnson. “Doing something like tweaking the culture is really tough. You can involve the military aspect of it, do something where the rookies are not still in control.”
Although a coach might prevent athletes from subjugating rookies on buses or at practice, Johnson says athletes are finding new methods. “They have become pretty sophisticated at working around the system,” he says. “Young people are savvy enough to protect themselves, so people who shouldn’t hear about it don’t hear about it. That’s where we get into dangerous territory.”
Dangerous territory, in recent years, has included a frat house at the University of Alberta where students in 2010 were threatened with wooden paddles, made to eat onions, vomit, and eat those onions again. The fraternity faced little punishment except the loss of its status as a student group. Similarly, the men’s and women’s basketball teams at McGill were merely put on probation, with the terms of the probation kept confidential.
Still, the end of hazing may be on the horizon. Tristen Giusto, a first year football player at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., says his welcoming involved only the encouragement to stand on a public bench and sing. He felt no pressure to do so, and he doesn’t understand why any rookie would tolerate abuse. “You’d have to be pretty stupid,” he says, “to get yourself in a situation to get hit by a paddle.”
I walked up the snow-covered steps of a quaint bungalow, excited to meet a two-month-old little boy and his mama. She had sent me an email a few days prior; all it said was, “I need help with my baby, he’s crying all the time. Can you do anything?” This is common story in my inbox. I replied I could be there Wednesday.
I knocked on her door, and a beautiful thirty-something woman answered, bouncing a bundle. We sat down on her couch and started to chat. She said he’d been born on his due date, a beautiful delivery, and she was back at home 24 hours later. Breastfeeding hurt in the hospital, but she was told that was “normal” and it would get better. A week later, still trying to “push through”, she couldn’t take it any longer, and went to her local breastfeeding clinic. Her little man had a tongue tie, they said, a common reason for breastfeeding pain. The physician clipped the tongue tie in the office and sent her home with instructions on how to move forward. She continued “pushing on” and did feel some relief, but continued to struggle with supply and latch issues. She was back and forth between clinics and private consultants, as she was desperate to breastfeed. She had dreamed of nursing her baby, like many moms, and the journey had consumed their household. She could not get a comfortable latch no matter what she tried or whose help she enlisted. She was consumed with trying and not giving up. I watched this woman become more teary and shaky as her story progressed. She told me he was gaining weight, but was very fussy and cried at the breast and throughout most of the day and night. Her husband had taken the day off work to be home for our appointment and he sat quietly with his arm around his wife and babe.
I first told her she was doing a beautiful job with her son. I told her the best part of my morning so far was getting to witness the way she looked at him and that I could hear the efforts she had been putting in to try to establish pain-free breastfeeding and an ample supply. I acknowledged that her path sounded full of challenges and I asked her simply, “How are you feeling?”
She broke down. Sobbing in her living room, she told me that breastfeeding was a number one priority for her, and she had read all the books and had sought out so much help and support, but that she just couldn’t do it anymore. She went on to tell me that the stress of nursing had taken all the joy out of becoming parents and it was all both her and her husband could think about. I could see that this woman was full of anxiety and had some real red flags of depression. She shared that she cried alongside her baby throughout most of the day, and was starting to wonder how she was going to keep going. She wasn’t leaving the house and spent all day feeding and pumping.
“Do you want to keep breastfeeding?” I asked her. Both her and her husband looked at me in silence. I realized in this moment what this woman needed from me, a registered nurse and lactation consultant. She needed permission. I told her that the most important thing was that her baby felt loved and that as a mom she had the ability to nurture and care for her baby. I told her flat out, “It is okay to stop and give him a bottle of formula.”
She and her husband hugged and both started to cry. Minutes later, they said, “Thank you, we needed to hear that.”
This is such a controversial topic. #Fedisbest is flooding the internet, and there are so many varying opinions. As a lactation consultant, I am an advocate for breastfeeding, and will go the distance with any family to ensure it happens. But it is not up to anyone but that mother to decide when she has reached her limit. A mama’s mental health trumps breastfeeding. Every time. Breastmilk does not care for, nurture and bond with the baby. A mother does. I am not arguing the health benefits of breastfeeding. Those are known facts. I am talking about the part that just isn’t talked about enough: a mom’s mental health.
Last year, for a few days anyway, the whole country was talking about it. Suffering from postpartum depression, Vancouver mother Florence Leung ended her life two months after her baby was born. On her memorial Facebook page, her husband recently wrote the following:
“To all the new moms experiencing low mood or anxiety, please seek help and talk about your feelings. You are not alone. You are not a bad mother. Do not EVER feel bad or guilty about not being able to exclusively breastfeed.”
As you can guess, despite being an advocate for breastfeeding, I agree completely. Somewhere along the way, our well intentioned, health-benefit focused campaigns on breastfeeding have fueled the message of guilt, shame and pressure on moms that are struggling and it is time for that to change.
I recently received a card and photo in the mail from the mom who gave up breastfeeding after our visit. It was her guy’s one-year birthday. In the picture, I saw a healthy, thriving family. The note said that the day I gave her permission to stop breastfeeding was the day she felt a shift. The tears stopped. She started enjoying the little moments with her boy and their bond grew. She said she still has moments when she feels sad that she and her son missed out on the nursing experience, but she knows that stopping is what her family needed.
We need to stop arguing about what is better. Breastfeeding, formula, bottles, pumping. It isn’t something that is up to “us.” It is not social media’s business, your neighbour’s, your mother’s, or the business of that mom group you belong to. It is yours exclusively.
As much as I like #fedisbest, I think it should evolve into new movement: #momsmentalhealthmatters. A healthy mom is necessary for a healthy, thriving baby—and that is what matters.
Carrie Bruno is a registered nurse, lactation consultant and sleep coach who runs The Mama Coach in Calgary, Alberta. Some details of this story have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.
The U.S. and British governments, citing unspecified threats, are barring passengers on some international flights from mostly Middle Eastern and North African countries from bringing laptops, tablets, electronic games and other devices on board in carry-on bags.
Passengers flying to the United States from 10 airports in eight countries will be allowed only cellphones and smartphones in the passenger cabins, senior Trump administration officials said. Larger electronic items must be checked.
The British security rules will affect flights from six countries and will bar passengers from taking “any phones, laptops or tablets larger than a normal sized mobile or smartphone,” into the cabin.
The U.S. rules took effect Tuesday, and airlines will have until 3 a.m. EDT Saturday to implement them or face being barred from flying to the United States, the officials said.
They said the decision was prompted by “evaluated intelligence” about potential threats to airplanes bound for the United States. The officials would not discuss the timing of the intelligence or if any particular terror group is thought to be planning an attack.
Trump administration officials briefed reporters on condition they not be identified publicly. That was despite President Donald Trump’s repeated insistence that anonymous sources should not be trusted.
The electronics ban affects flights from international airports to the U.S. from in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. About 50 flights a day, all on foreign carriers, will be affected. The officials said no U.S.-based airlines have nonstop flights from those cities to the United States.
The British security rules will apply to flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
With the order affecting flights from predominantly Muslim nations, the ban may invite comparisons to Trump’s orders barring travel from several Muslim-majority-nations, which have been blocked by courts. Early in his candidacy, Trump had called on barring Muslims from entering the United States.
But the comparison has its limits. The travel ban was more severe, separating families and barring students from studying in the U.S. The laptop ban is more of an inconvenience and its stated reason is to protect the very travellers who are affected by it. Still, it’s bound to annoy powerful business people and diplomats, and could affect the travel plans of wealthy tourists sought after by the U.S. travel industry.
Details of the electronics ban were first disclosed by Royal Jordanian and the official news agency of Saudi Arabia.
In its statement, Royal Jordanian said the electronics ban would affect its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.
A spokesman for Royal Jordanian says the airliner has not yet started to enforce the new U.S. regulation. Basel Kilani has told The Associated Press that the airline was still awaiting formal instructions from the relevant U.S. departments, which could possibly come later on Tuesday.
EgyptAir officials said the airline will implement that ban on Friday, while Emirates officials said the new security procedures would start on Saturday for its passengers.
However, the Mideast’s biggest airline is confirming that U.S.-bound passengers will be prevented from carrying electronic gadgets aboard aircraft.
Dubai-based Emirates said Tuesday the ban takes effect on Saturday. That guidance differs from the information provided by senior Trump administration officials, who have said the ban is in place from Tuesday
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly phoned lawmakers over the weekend to brief them on aviation security issues that have prompted the impending electronics ban, according a congressional aide briefed on the discussion. The aide was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The administration officials who briefed reporters about the ban said foreign officials were told about the impending order starting Sunday.
A U.S. government official said such a ban has been considered for several weeks. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose the internal security discussions by the federal government.
The ban would begin just before Wednesday’s meeting of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Washington. A number of top Arab officials were expected to attend the State Department gathering. It was unclear whether their travel plans were related to any increased worry about security threats.
Most major airports in the United States have a computer tomography or CT scanner for checked baggage, which creates a detailed picture of a bag’s contents. The equipment can warn an operator of potentially dangerous material, and may provide better security than the X-ray machines used to screen passengers and their carry-on bags. All checked baggage must be screened for explosives.
Associated Press writers Adam Schreck in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Karin Laub in Amman, Jordan; Maamoun Youssef in Cairo, David Koenig in Dallas, Paisley Dodds and Danica Kirka in London, and Matthew Lee, Joan Lowy and Ted Bridis in Washington contributed to this report.
Parents whose children have previously attended public school are lining up to register their children for a Catholic high school in Brampton.
They’ve been waiting outside Cardinal Ambrozic Catholic Secondary School on a cold Tuesday night for Wednesday’s registration to begin.
This is not an unusual circumstance, Bruce E. Campbell, a spokesman for the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, told CityNews on Tuesday. In the past, parents have begun lining up as early as 3 a.m. This year, the lineup began the night before. It also happens at other schools.
The students must live in the catchment area of Cardinal Ambrozic and the lineup happens every year. The school gives priority to Grade 9 students from the Catholic elementary feeder schools. After that, there are approximately 85 spaces available for open access students or those looking to attend from other school boards, Campbell said.
Enrolment is capped at 320 students per grade.
Campbell said that there is a perception that the school “is a good place to learn, is very safe, maintains good discipline, and performs well. Also, parents have commented on ‘liking’ uniforms.”
Click here to see more requirements for registration.
The Trudeau government will unveil a federal budget Wednesday that’s expected to be heavy on policy and light on spending.
The second budget of the Liberal mandate is poised to focus more on the social policies central to its agenda – from skills to job training, from child care to affordable housing.
In particular, the government plans to take steps they hope will help – and reassure – those who fear being left behind by a coming sea change in how economic engines function around the world.
The budget comes at a time when Ottawa has very little room to introduce new spending. The country has struggled with disappointing growth, and the Liberals have already made billions and billions of dollars worth of commitments in last year’s budget.
But even without big-ticket spending, a government source sought Tuesday to counter lowered expectations for the budget, insisting instead that the document would contain “transformative” and “bold” policy direction.
“Not everything is spending, not everything is money,” said one Finance Department source, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss details in advance of the budget’s release.
“The budget’s a public policy document and I think the story will be much more into where the country needs to go as opposed to dollar amounts… If you’re just looking at tables, that’s not where this story is going to be.”
A key budget theme will be the government’s focus on easing concerns about the future of Canada’s labour market.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau dropped some major hints in a speech last week in Germany, where he argued that “anti-globalization, protectionism and even anti-immigration sentiments” are stoked when people feel nervous about their future.
“They look at the pace of technological change, and the seemingly never-ending need for new skills, and are understandably stressed about the future. It’s hard to feel confident, and to face every day with optimism, when you can’t see what’s around the corner.”
One way to respond to that challenge, Morneau said, would be “a culture of lifelong learning, helping people develop the skills they need at every stage of their life to succeed in the new economy,” which he said he would be taking steps to create.
And while the annual tradition of the finance minister buying a new pair of shoes often brings clues about the budget narrative, the symbolism this year seemed heavier than most.
The dress shoes, black with laces, were designed by the two Canadian sisters behind Poppy Barley, an Edmonton company that says its shoes are hand-crafted by fairly paid artisans in Mexico. Morneau donned the shoes in a Toronto classroom, surrounded by children of diverse backgrounds, including girls wearing the Muslim hijab.
The Opposition, meanwhile, wants to see more than just bold ideas.
“Justin Trudeau has racked up the credit card and now he needs money to pay the bill,” said interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, who said she expects to see tax increases in Wednesday’s document.
New Democrat MP Alexandre Boulerice said the time has come for the government to close tax loopholes that benefit the rich, and use the proceeds to help more people.
“We can bring back billions of dollars for our social programs and public services,” Boulerice said.
Page 2 of 267«12345...102030...»Last »