Independent topical source of current affairs, opinion and issues, featuring stories making news in Canada from immigrants, newcomers, minorities & ethnic communities' point of view and interests.

funding reprieve: The funding reprieve comes as the White House and congressional leaders are negotiating a longer-term agreement, building off a Thursday meeting involving Trump and congressional leaders, according to The Chronicle Herald. The White House and lawmakers said the bill will give them more time to negotiate several end-of-the-year agenda items, including the budget, a children's health program and hurricane aid. The president signed the two-week spending measure in private at the White House after the House and Senate acted to prevent a government shutdown this weekend. Administration and congressional aides were continuing the talks on Friday. I think that will happen, Trump said Thursday in the Oval Office. We hope that we're going to make some great progress for our country. ( As reported in the news.

country: He fought for a year in the war against Russian-backed separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine that broke out a few weeks after those protests, according to CTV. Back then, we just had stones and sticks. He's tougher now than during the massive 2014 protests that drove Ukraine's pro-Russia president to flee the country, he says. Now most of us are military men -- we have been to war and we have nothing to lose, the 55-year-old said. But the current protests, focusing on Ukraine's endemic corruption, tap a deep strain of discontent in a country prone to upheaval. The protesters have set up a few dozen tents, a far smaller showing than the sprawling encampments that filled parts of downtown in the 2014 demonstrations and the 2004 Orange Revolution that forced a rerun of a fraudulent presidential election. ( As reported in the news.

house meeting: The measure passed the House 235-193, mostly along party lines, and breezed through the Senate on a sweeping 81-14 tally barely an hour later, according to Toronto Star. It would keep the government running through Dec. 22, when another, and more difficult, shutdown problem awaits. The shutdown reprieve came as all sides issued optimistic takes on an afternoon White House meeting between top congressional leaders and U.S. President Donald Trump. The bill now heads to Trump for his signature. The trickiest topic, and a top priority for Democrats, involves protections for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. Read more U.S. lawmakers OK bill to make it easier to carry concealed weapons across state lines Topics at the White House session included relief from a budget freeze on the Pentagon and domestic agencies, extending a key children's health program and aid to hurricane-slammed Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida. ( As reported in the news.

lot: When I learned about some of these songs, everybody knows White Christmas and a lot of people know it's Irving Berlin and a lot of people know that Irving Berlin was Jewish, according to CBC. But Sammy Cahn and Johnny Marks and Gloria Shayne Baker and Mel Torm and Jay Livingston and Ray Evans ... all wrote these wonderful Christmas songs, and I couldn't believe that nobody had actually told this story before, Charters told the Calgary Eyeopener. And that this trend hadn't really received a lot of coverage got writer/producer Jason Charters thinking. And the documentary Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas was born. My mom is Jewish and my dad is Anglican. Jewish mom, Anglican dad I grew up with these two traditions, he explained. ( As reported in the news.

group hezbollah: In Paris, he received the reassurances he was looking for, according to The Chronicle Herald. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States and other attendees wanted to help Lebanon move forward on security and prepare for national elections slated for May. Saad Hariri, who scrambled Lebanese politics by resigning from his post last month and then rescinding the move, has turned to Lebanon's global backers to endorse a policy of dissociation that many hope will extract the tiny country from the escalating rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. He added that it was critical to ensure the disengagement of the militant group Hezbollah from regional conflicts, including Yemen's civil war. Lebanon has been buffeted by regional rivalries and the war in neighbouring Syria. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Belgium would host a conference next year to find ways to help Lebanon handle its massive refugee population. ( As reported in the news.

house: These kids don't just need a bed or a room, said Karen Francis, executive director of Matthew House, according to Toronto Star. They need a community, they need a family, they need a place to belong. Five unaccompanied youth refugees will move into a cozy four-bedroom home, operated by Matthew House, a non-profit charity that helps refugees with their settlement needs. The long-term youth home is the second residence of its kind. The new house was purchased by C3 Toronto, also known at Christian City Church International, and the residents will live rent-free, with utilities and maintenance covered by the church. The organization's first residence for refugee youth houses seven. ( As reported in the news.

leadership accelerator: If we want to attract more new Canadians, if we want to grow our population, they need to be able to see themselves reflected in leadership roles, see a future for themselves in New Brunswick, said Alex Leblanc, the executive director of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council, according to CBC. If province wants immigrants, it has to take big steps, advocate says New Brunswick welcomes first Syrian refugees A Syrian man's desperate plea, a former refugee's answer More than 4,000 immigrants settled in New Brunswick last year, many of them young and looking for bright futures. Imagine NB, a two-year bilingual leadership accelerator, is aimed at teaching immigrant youth the skills to be decision-makers in areas they're passionate about. A recent report by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council estimated an additional 5,500 newcomers arrived in 2017. They were chosen based on leadership potential, their level of engagement, and their ability to speak English or French. At the end of October, a committee of judges named 28 young newcomers from across the province to the Imagine NB youth delegation. ( As reported in the news.

ont .,: Also returning from that rink are vice-skip Ina Forrest of Armstrong, B.C., and Dennis Thiessen of Sanford, Man., at second, according to Metro News. Ideson, from London, Ont., will also be joined by newcomers Marie Wright of Moose Jaw, Sask., at lead and alternate James Anseeuw of Oak Bluff, Man. He played lead on the team that won gold four years ago in Sochi. Team Canada is a very dedicated group of athletes that have been completely focused on performance excellence and exceptional team dynamics, Curling Canada high-performance director Gerry Peckham said Friday in a release. Canada will try to win Paralympic gold for the fourth straight time. They will do the Maple Leaf proud, on and off the ice. ( As reported in the news.

mariam manaa: Paquette is chair of the Halton Indigenous Education Advisory Council, according to Rabble. Manaa wanted to create an online petition asking the federal government to redesign the current Canadian Citizenship guide and exam to acknowledge Indigenous history. Petition E-1228, an initiative of Mariam Manaa, a former summer intern in the office of Oakville North-Burlington Liberal MP Pam Damoff, is supported by Stephen Paquette, a member of the Anishinaabe from Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island. Paquette volunteered to play a supporting role to Manaa's initiative. The citizenship exam would be modified to include a question about the traditional territories new Canadians inhabit. The petition calls on the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada IRCC to continue working in consultation and partnership with Indigenous Nations across Canada as well as the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to redevelop the study guide curriculum to acknowledge Indigenous Treaty Rights and educate new Canadians on intergenerational effects of residential schools and the legacy of colonialism. ( As reported in the news.

lottery ticket: Other critics insisted that apologizing to victims is a symbol of current attitudes which find fault in outdated traditions judged to be colonizing and discriminating by today's standards, according to Rabble. As a victim of government policies of systematic discrimination towards Muslims after 9/11, I totally disagree with those arguments. Some argued that his late father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, would not have done so; in this patriarchal analogy, a son has to follow in the footsteps of his dad, whether he is right or wrong. Apologies are not merely monetary gifts won through a lottery ticket, or hollow words pronounced in public by teary politicians. They are highly symbolic gestures that are instrumental in building a collective memory, defining our history as a country and restoring faith in institutions. They are crucial steps for mourning victims and supporting survivors. ( As reported in the news.

places exposure: It urged its citizens to stay inside and avoid crowded places, according to The Chronicle Herald. China's exposure to militant attacks has risen in recent years as its overseas footprint expands. The Chinese Embassy in Islamabad said on its website Friday it had information about a series of terror attacks planned against Chinese organizations and personnel, without giving details. The Islamic State group said in June it kidnapped and killed two Chinese teachers in Quetta. The port and road-building projects in Baluchistan province have come under frequent insurgent attacks. China has invested heavily in Pakistan, where thousands of Chinese workers are employed in 60 billion worth of infrastructure projects under Beijing's Belt and Road initiative. ( As reported in the news.

roy hollett: Friday, according to CTV. By the time firefighters arrived, the family had already escaped the home. Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency say they were called to the townhouse on Princess Margaret Boulevard around 2 15 a.m. Halifax Fire believes the father was checking the furnace in the basement when it exploded. At this time we don't know what happened, what caused the explosion, says Roy Hollett, Deputy Fire Chief of Halifax Fire. The man found his way to the top floor, threw a small mattress out the window, and the family jumped. ( As reported in the news.

syrian: The UNHCR said it is co-ordinating with local authorities, adding that families who lost their homes and possessions in the fire have gathered at the local municipal hall, according to Metro News. It said they have received food, water, blankets, winter clothing and other humanitarian assistance. Lebanon is home to more than a million Syrian war refugees. ( As reported in the news.

samara canada: The greatest joy for me is how much I get inspired every year meeting folks like Lorelei, Jane Hilderman, the non-profit's executive director, told Metro in a phone interview, who have actually been doing this for a while but haven't necessarily hit the national platform yet they deserve, according to Metro News. Lorelei has managed to find a way to take tragedy the experiences that affected her family and turn that into something other people can relate to, be involved in, and offers some healing. Keeping it secret until it's announced has been hard I wanted to see my kids' reaction! That announcement that she was chosen by Samara Canada out of nine shortlisted Canadians was unveiled Thursday evening in a Toronto ceremony. Hilderman hopes Williams can use Thursday's award to talk about her work on missing and murdered Indigenous women that's she's been tirelessly devoted to. It's an issue she knows personally, and speaking out through a steady stream of media interviews, through her dance troupe Butterflies in Spirit, and through the Aboriginal policing centre where she works hasn't been easy, she revealed. The 37-year-old Skatin and Sts'ailes First Nation member, who studies Aboriginal justice at Vancouver's Native Education College, has been one of B.C.'s most outspoken advocates for missing and murdered Indigenous women. ( As reported in the news.

school i: Maya and her classmate, Rebecca Weinberg, wanted to put up Hanukkah-themed decorations such as the menorah alongside the Christmas trees and wreaths at the school, according to CTV. I have nothing against Christmas. I don't feel like everybody is being recognized in the way that they should be, said 11-year-old Maya Sontz, who attends General Gordon Elementary in the city's West Side. I just think they should add more Hanukkah and other religions, Rebecca told CTV News. Maya's mother, Sheila Sontz, said she also asked the principal, Hope Sterling, to include some Hanukkah songs during the school's Christmas concert, which will take place during the Jewish holiday this year. I would really like to feel represented. ( As reported in the news.

translator job: The YMCA of Greater Saint John provides support to Syrians settled in the area, including interpreters, according to CBC. But several newcomers told CBC News that the majority of the interpreters provided aren't qualified or aren't available when needed, which could be a serious problem when medical visits are involved. At the core of the issue is access to interpreting services. Arabic interpreter leaves translator job in Saint John school district Speaking through an interpreter, Mohammad Khawdam said refugees primarily use interpreters for medical visits. Newcomers rely on interpreters primarily for medical visits but say they often aren't up to the task. A lot of people here, they don't speak very good English, and they've been at the hospital translating for people, Khawdam said. ( As reported in the news.

villa charities: And it is doubly rotten when a body such as the TCDSB, a creature of the province and sustained by taxpayers' money, will build a new school on land to be acquired from Villa Charities for more than 20 million, according to Toronto Star. Especially when it already owns two schools and about 6.5 hectares of land immediately south of the CC campus, plus an additional 1.3 hectares it acquired in January for 18 million from Sisters of the Good Shepard. There is certainly much rotten when two bodies entrusted by the community to preserve and enhance our cultural heritage ally themselves in a project whose ultimate outcome is the development of five hectares of the Columbus Centre campus for private gain. These forays in land assembly and land speculation should definitely be within the scope of the provincial auditor general. I understand change is evitable and could be for the good, but with the current proposal, the entire city of Toronto will lose a huge treasure. Article Continued Below Joseph Baglieri, TorontoI have serious concerns about the restructuring demolition of the iconic Columbus Centre. ( As reported in the news.

wall: Wall reminisced about giving up his private identity for a public one when he first ran for office in 1999, according to National Observer. He said he never lost a feeling of awe when he walked through the front doors of the legislature to represent his community. Wall is retiring next month after holding the Swift Current seat for the Saskatchewan Party for almost 20 years. I have been humbled and blessed with the honour of my working life, Wall told his colleagues and many guests sitting in the gallery. I'm so grateful to my colleagues and my family. I've gotten too much credit for the good things and not enough blame for the bad things. ( As reported in the news.

pamela geller: Pamela Geller, co-founder of Stop the Islamization of America SIOA is scheduled to appear at a speaking engagement organized by the Jewish Defence League JDL at Canada Christian College on December 18, according to NOW Magazine. The JDL, which has come under increasing scrutiny from its own supporters in the Jewish community over its alignment with neo-Nazi and anti-immigrant groups at anti-Muslim rallies in Toronto and around the GTA in recent months, is promising a barnburner. An American blogger described as the world's top Islamophobe, has been invited to speak in Toronto. A promotion for the event on the group's website says the evening will include excerpts from the documentary Can't We Talk About This The Islamic Jihad Against Free Speech, which features interviews with far right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who has also written the forward to Geller's new book, and many other heroes of freedom. An exclusive meet Pamela dinner is also being organized the day before the Canada Christian College event. Geller's speech will be followed by a one-on-one interview with Rebel Commander Ezra Levant of Rebel Media, the only truthful media outlet daring to talk about radical Jihad and radical Islam, according to the JDL promo. ( As reported in the news.

idea: But a handful of new organizations are trying to channel that anger into reinvigorating the country's democracy by luring fresh faces into a political establishment widely seen as closed off and unrepresentative, according to CTV. The idea was simple how to turn indignation into political action, said Jose Frederico Lyra Netto, a co-founder of Acredito, one of the new non-partisan movements. After one of the deepest recessions in its modern history, the largest corruption scandal in Latin America and more than a year under what may be the most unpopular president in the world, Brazilians are desperate for something different - so desperate that some are calling for the return of a military dictatorship. Acredito and another group called Agora! hope to each field about 30 candidates in next year's elections who have never held office before. Their efforts focus on state and federal legislatures. They're asking people across the country to help create their platforms by suggesting solutions to Brazil's thorniest issues inequality, crime, failing schools and an aging population with a faltering social security system. ( As reported in the news.

effervescent excitement: So after years of toiling and hoping and working disposable jobs, Tran is now a movie star, the kind of person who holds hands with Laura Dern at media events and considers Gwendoline Christie a good friend, according to The Chronicle Herald. I know, right Let me pinch myself real quick, Tran said, her effervescent excitement bright and obvious. The 28-year-old was about to give up on her dreams of becoming an actress when she landed a breakthrough role in The Last Jedi. I am just trying to stay present and really trying to experience every moment of this. Tran was plucked from obscurity to play Rose Tico, a Resistance mechanic in The Last Jedi. It still feels very impossible and very much like it's all a big dream or something. ( As reported in the news.

executive commission: But Hungary and Poland have taken none at all, while the Czech Republic has accepted 12, according to Metro News. The EU's executive Commission sought reasons why but was given no satisfactory explanations. Under the plan, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic were supposed to take in a combined 10,000 people. The Commission said Thursday that the three remain in breach of their legal obligations and have given no indication that they will contribute to the implementation of the relocation decision. The refugee relocation plan was adopted in a legally-binding vote by a majority of EU member states, but not the three refusing to take part. Their cases are being referred to Europe's top tribunal, the Court of Justice. ( As reported in the news.

journalism theory: But to a lot of us in community and alternative media, it's what we've always done, according to Rabble. According to traditional journalism theory, it's the job of a journalist to tell people what's going on. Solutions-focused media is a new concept to many mainstream journalists. But once they get that information, what happens afterwards isn't a journalist's job anymore. Solutions-focused media turns that on its head. Put out the info and let whatever is going to happen, happen. ( As reported in the news.

jubilee auditorium: Looking for a gift for the football fan in your life The locker room sale at Commonwealth Stadium Saturday may be the ticket, according to CBC. Doors open at 10 a.m. for season seat holders and from noon until 2 p.m. for the general public. The lights on Candy Cane Lane flicker to life Friday along 148th Street between 92nd and 100th Avenues in support of the Edmonton Food Bank. The Muttart Conservatory's feature pyramid is showcasing holiday events. Alberta Ballet's version of The Nutcracker is on until Sunday. Muttart Conservatory A Christmas classic hits the stage at the Jubilee Auditorium. ( As reported in the news.

legislature: Wall is retiring next month after holding the Swift Current seat for the Saskatchewan Party for almost 20 years, according to CTV. He told the legislature he never lost a feeling of awe when he walked through the front doors of the legislature to represent his community. Wall gave his final speech to the house after an hour of memories and praise shared by colleagues and opponents alike. I have been humbled and blessed with the honour of my working life, Wall told his colleagues and many guests sitting in the legislature gallery. Wall, saying he believed renewal would be good for the Saskatchewan Party and the province, announced in August that he was retiring. He said the names on the doors of ministry offices change, but the institution of democracy will remain. ( As reported in the news.

libyan camps: But Hungary and Poland have taken none at all, while the Czech Republic has accepted 12, according to Toronto Star. The EU's executive Commission sought reasons why but was given no satisfactory explanations. Under the plan, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic were supposed to take in a combined 10,000 people. Read more Migrants living in inhuman' Libyan camps, say African and EU leaders Article Continued Below Analysis How Poland became a breeding ground for Europe's far rightEU court rejects Hungary, Slovakia appeal in refugee case The Commission said Thursday that the three remain in breach of their legal obligations and have given no indication that they will contribute to the implementation of the relocation decision. react-empty 164 Their cases are being referred to Europe's top tribunal, the Court of Justice. The plan never worked well. The refugee relocation plan was adopted in a legally-binding vote by a majority of EU member states, but not the three refusing to take part. ( As reported in the news.