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.

concerns: Canada announced last week it intends to proceed with the extradition case, according to CTV. This is a rare case in the extradition context, if not unique, Richard Peck told a judge in British Columbia Supreme Court on Wednesday. Meng Wanzhou was arrested in December at Vancouver's airport at the request of U.S. authorities, sparking outrage from China. There are serious concerns of a legal and factual nature that arise, concerns not common in the extradition jurisprudence There are concerns involving the political character of the motivations, comments by the U.S. president ... There are issues arising out of the treatment of Ms. U.S. President Donald Trump has said he'd intervene in the case if it would help secure a trade deal with Beijing. Meng on her arrival at the Vancouver International Airport and her detention and subsequent arrest. ( As reported in the news.

christmas island: The island is 5,170 kilometres 3,210 miles northwest of the Australian capital, Canberra, and is closer to Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, according to Toronto Star. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seen inside a high care accommodation room as he tours North West Point Detention Centre on Christmas Island. Prime Minister Scott Morrison flew to tiny Christmas Island on an overnight flight to announce his government's strategy aimed at preventing asylum seekers from reaching the Australian mainland. Lukas Coch/AAP Image Australia pays Nauru and Papua New Guinea to accommodate almost 1,000 asylum seekers who have attempted to reach the Australian coastline by boat since 2013. Medical evacuations have proven to be a crack in the policy. Boats carrying asylum seekers from Africa, the Middle East and Asia had been arriving daily from Indonesian ports, but the smuggling attempts have all but stopped since the government announced that no refugees who arrive by boat will ever be allowed to settle in Australia. ( As reported in the news.

education review: Buckle up, according to Rabble. With the province's recently announced review of public education, it seems much of the K- 12 system is up in the air. Education Minister Goertzen had heated exchange with Winnipeg school trustees on Twitter earlier this month regarding education funding and taxes. This will be an important conversation; we all want the best for Manitoba children. The following is some basic background for the public education review. Education is the cornerstone of healthy, safe communities and of democracy. ( As reported in the news.

resettlement plan: Carlos Osorio / Toronto Star File Photo The 1,200 refugees were sponsored by the federal government and were housed and fed at the North York hotel while awaiting permanent housing, according to Toronto Star. Since December 2016, the City of Toronto has leased the hotel on Wilson Ave., near Hwy. 400, to accommodate the overflow at its shelter system, spending 5 million on the service. For five months in 2016, the Toronto Plaza Hotel was a temporary home for at least 1,200 Syrian newcomers who arrived here as part of Canada's massive resettlement plan that would eventually see the country welcome 60,000 Syrians who fled civil war in their homeland.A group of Syrian refugee boys play soccer in the hallway at the Toronto Plaza Hotel, where they were being housed temporarily while awaiting permanent housing. Although the pending redevelopment means the city will lose as many as 199 rooms with a total capacity of up to 500 clients per night, the impact is not expected to be felt immediately. Article Continued Below If such a closure were to happen, the city does have contingency plans in place to address this, however, we do not anticipate this in the short term. The city is not aware of any imminent plans for the closure of the building or for a change in services from those currently being offered to the families staying in the hotel, said Greg Seraganian of Toronto Shelter, Support and Housing Administration. ( As reported in the news.

right: Councillor Joe Cressy, shown with architect Michael McClelland, left, and waterfront advocate Cynthia Wilkey, right, says the provincial government should work with Toronto rather than forge ahead independently on a redevelopment of Ontario Place, according to Toronto Star. David Rider / Toronto Star Thirty-six presentations were heard during the meeting, which went on for more than three-and-a-half hours but didn't lack thoughtfully and passionately presented ideas ranging from museums to a houseboat community to a family-oriented music theme park. Public consultations on the future of the neglected waterfront park and the local landmarks contained therein began Tuesday evening at city hall, and the boisterous turnout was enough to fill an entire committee room and half the overflow room across the hall. The two rooms were packed with representatives of activist groups such as the newly formed Ontario Place for All and Waterfront for All, the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, community groups from Parkdale, Dundas and Ossington and nearby Liberty Village, as well as numerous regular citizens who simply care about preserving the space. The rooms erupted in applause after each proposal was made. Also in attendance were at least one retired civil servant from the Ontario tourism ministry, former Ontario Place manager Max Beck, and even a guy from a group called Toronto Slackline. ( As reported in the news.

extradition request: The news becomes public on Dec. 5, according to Vancouver Courier. Dec. 6 China demands Canada release Meng and immediately correct the mistake officials made in arresting her. Dec. 1 Canadian authorities arrest Meng at Vancouver's airport while she is en route from Hong Kong to Mexico, after an extradition request from the Americans. The Chinese also say they were not briefed on the reasons for Meng's arrest. Dec. 7 Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada's envoy to China has briefed Chinese officials about Meng's case. In Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Meng's case is part of an independent legal process with no outside political influence. ( As reported in the news.

obama: Nobody is exempt from that conversation, according to National Observer. He said fossil fuels have provided a cheap and plentiful source of energy since the Industrial Revolution. Obama spoke first to a near-full arena in Calgary, home to several oil and gas company headquarters that are replete with empty office space due to a years-long industry downturn. ; All of us are going to have to recognize that there are trade-offs involved with how we live, how our economy is structured and the world that we're going to be passing on to our kids and grandkids, Obama said. The remark drew a loud whistle and applause from the audience. At the current pace that we are on, the scale of tragedy that will consume humanity is something we have not seen in perhaps recorded history if we don't do something about it. The crowd also clapped when Obama said there is indisputable science that the planet is getting warmer. ( As reported in the news.

british newspaper: At issue is a poor olive harvest that has, by some estimates, seen Italian olive oil production drop by 57 per cent, to the lowest level the country has seen in 25 years, according to CTV. Italian olive oil industry association Italia Olivicola says part of the problem comes from the Xylella bacteria, which has been infecting groves in the Salento region. According to British newspaper The Times, agricultural union Coldiretti has said Italy's domestic olive oil supply will be fully depleted by April. The group says four million olive trees in Salento have been destroyed by the bacteria enough on its own to reduce Italy's olive production by 10 per cent. Coldiretti says 25 million trees in Puglia have been destroyed due to frost and other unusual weather activity over the winter. More serious is the situation in Puglia, where approximately 40 per cent of Italy's olive oil is produced. ( As reported in the news.

focus tuesday: The 23 people killed in the nation's deadliest tornado in nearly six years came into focus Tuesday with the release of their names by the coroner, according to Toronto Star. They included 6-year-old Armando Hernandez Jr., known as AJ, torn from his father's arms two days after singing in his first-grade class musical; 10-year-old Taylor Thornton, who loved horses and was visiting a friend's home when the twister struck; and Jimmy Lee Jones, 89, who perished along with his wife of six decades, Mary Louise, and one of their sons. Relatives said one extended family lost 10 members. Just keep those families in your prayers, Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said, two days after the disaster. Tami Chappell / AFP Article Continued BelowA search and rescue team walk past damage from a tornado which killed at least 23 people in Beauregard, Alabama on March 4, 2019. Damage is seen from a tornado which killed at least 23 people in Beauregard, Alabama on March 4, 2019. ( As reported in the news.

oxfam canada: Lauren Ravon, director of policy and campaigns for Oxfam Canada, says overall the Trudeau government is making good progress in advancing its feminist agenda, which she says is cause for celebration, according to CTV. Some of the major milestones that we hit in 2018 are really significant, she said. The charity released its 2019 feminist scorecard before International Women's Day on Friday, assessing steps the government took between March 2018 and February 2019 to make meaningful progress toward gender equity. We got pay-equity legislation, gender-budgeting legislation -- these are things that will make a difference in people's lives. But while the Liberal government's feminist words have translated into new policies and initiatives, they have not had serious money put behind them, Ravon said. Ravon pointed also to the introduction of the first-ever Poverty Reduction Act, the creation of the Department of Women and Gender Equality and the doubling of funding for Canadian women's movements as other wins over the last year in advancing women's rights in Canada. ( As reported in the news.

state workers: We're not going to collaborate any longer with the dictatorship, Guaido said after a meeting at the offices of an engineers' association in Caracas, according to CTV. He urged state workers to prepare for a strike, though no date was given and he said an immediate priority will be to promote a law guaranteeing rights for public workers. Guaido said police officials were among those at a meeting that he held with leaders of public employee unions, which rely heavily on subsidies from Maduro's government to get by in a country suffering from hyperinflation and shortages of food and other necessities. The 35-year-old leader of the National Assembly said he would call a meeting of the legislature on Wednesday to craft the law. At least one pro-Maduro Supreme Court judge has accused Guaido of illegally usurping power, putting him at risk of arrest. Guaido and his backers say Maduro's re-election last year was invalid, making the legislative leader interim president. ( As reported in the news.

mike duffy: Senator Gerstein confirmed that his channel into Deloitte is open and is happy to continue assisting us, Bayne reads to me at one point, according to National Observer. Tanned, with snowy-white hair and the trim build of someone who runs triathlons, the 73-year-old Bayne is one of Canada's top criminal attorneys. The lawyer is in his cluttered corner office at Bayne Sellar Ertel Carter, a downtown Ottawa law firm, located just around the corner from city hall. He's arguably most famous for defending Mike Duffy during the senator's 2015-'16 trial for fraud and bribery leading to Duffy's acquittal. I was trying to find out if an audit commissioned by the Senate into Duffy's expenses, which was carried out by Deloitte, was truly objective and how its findings were leaked to senior members of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper's inner circle before the Senate saw them. While researching a story about auditors for The Globe and Mail, I had traveled to Ottawa last spring to meet with Bayne to discuss an overlooked aspect of the Duffy case specifically the role played by Deloitte, Canada's largest auditing and management consulting firm. ( As reported in the news.

buddhism hinduism: II . It has a clear background more political than pretended or projected socio-religious that gave birth to it, according to Rabble. In a desperate attempt to historicize this myth Kashmiriyat number of theses & theories have been written & advanced during the past two to three decades by linking its genesis in what is described as liberal Islam III differentiated from orthodox Islam IV that despite its predominance in the valley, it is claimed, was accommodative of several Brahman & Buddhist practices into its fold that produced a confluence of Kashmiri Shaivite traditions & mystic Sufi practices, or a blend of religious belief systems of Islam, Buddhism & Hinduism. I . However, the term did not emerge ex-nihilo from the soil of Kashmir. V This uniquecommixture of mutually conflicting core factual realities or inherent Kashmiris communal harmony, mutual respect & peaceful co-existence . VII adsbygoogle window.adsbygoogle .push ; The protagonists further state that Kashmiriyat which wedded Kashmiris to the shrines of Sufis &Rishis, VIII is exposed to grave danger by Islamic radicalization. Missing reference to religious transformation of Medieval Kashmir But the votaries of Kashmiriyat who view them as pioneers of Kashmiriyat forget to make reference to the times they preached the values of mutual tolerance, harmony & respect among religious communities of Kashmir. IX The protagonists ofthe fancied idea of Kashmiriyat try to trace it to the times of Brahman Lalleshwari or Lal Ded X and Muslim Sheikh Noor ud Din Noorani or Nund Reshi XI both somewhat contemporary patron saints, respectively, of mystic orders of Rishism & Sufism of the Kashmir valley. ( As reported in the news.

cabinet: However, I have been considering the events that have shaken the federal government in recent weeks and after serious reflection, I have concluded that I must resign as a member of Cabinet, according to CTV. In Canada, the constitutional convention of Cabinet solidarity means, among other things, that ministers are expected to defend all Cabinet decisions. It has been an honour to play a leading role in progress that has shaped our country bringing Syrian refugees to Canada; legislating a balanced approach to Medical Assistance in Dying; negotiating a health accord with new resources for mental health and home care; improving infrastructure for First Nations to provide clean water on reserve; and reforming child welfare to reduce the over-apprehension of Indigenous children. A minister must always be prepared to defend other ministers publicly, and must speak in support of the government and its policies. Unfortunately, the evidence of efforts by politicians and/or officials to pressure the former Attorney General to intervene in the criminal case involving SNC-Lavalin, and the evidence as to the content of those efforts have raised serious concerns for me. Given this convention and the current circumstances, it is untenable for me to continue to serve as a Cabinet minister. ( As reported in the news.

movie stars: It brings 3,000-plus delegates to the ornate Great Hall of the People in Beijing for two weeks of speeches, meetings with senior leaders and political ritual to endorse the ruling Communist Party's economic and social welfare plans, according to CTV. A gathering of noncommunist groups held at the same time brightens Beijing's drab winter, drawing tech billionaires, movie stars and ethnic minorities in distinctive traditional dress. The battle with China's biggest trading partner is overshadowing the National People's Congress, the country's highest-profile event of the year. That gives President Xi Jinping's government a platform for advertising changes aimed at ending the fight with President Donald Trump that has disrupted trade in goods from soybeans to medical equipment. Trump cited complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology when he slapped punitive tariffs on 250 billion of Chinese imports in July. The technology measure is part of a proposed law on foreign investment that aims to address complaints by Washington, Europe and other trading partners that China's system is rigged against foreign companies. ( As reported in the news.

nato member: And in Estonia, they did, according to CTV. While the centre-right Reform Party, which ran on a low-tax, small-government platform, will be tasked with forming a government, the anti-immigrant, euroskeptic Estonian Conservative People's Party more than doubled its seat tally in parliament. Political observers watched a parliamentary election held Sunday in the Baltic nation, an EU and NATO member that borders Russia, as a continental barometer for whether far-right nationalists would continue making gains. Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas is expected to become the country's first female prime minister after her party finished with 28.8 per cent of the vote. The far-right party nevertheless captured a larger platform for its positions, some of which critics see as homophobic and racist. The party said before the election it would not consider the Estonian Conservative People's Party, or EKRE, as a potential governing coalition partner. ( As reported in the news.

prison grounds: He remains a citizen, but New Zealand officials say his detention abroad and apparent lack of travel documents are obstacles to his return and he may face legal consequences for his actions, according to Toronto Star. In this image made from video taken March 3, 2019, captured Islamic State soldier New Zealander Mark Taylor is led through prison grounds in Qamishli, Syria. Mark Taylor is among a half-dozen or so New Zealanders thought to have joined the militant group. Taylor, among a half-dozen New Zealanders thought to have who joined the Islamic State group, has been captured in Syria says he regrets not being able to afford a slave and expects to return home. Taylor told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation from a Kurdish prison that after five years with the Islamic State, he fled in December and surrendered to Kurdish forces because life had become unbearable. AP / Australian Broadcasting Corporation Known by the Twitter handle Kiwi Jihadi, Taylor notoriously forgot to turn off Twitter's geotagging function in 2014, alerting outsiders to the location of Islamic State fighters. ( As reported in the news.

trade sanctions: Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, shown in December, is facing extradition to the United States for allegedly violating its trade sanctions against Iran, according to Toronto Star. She'll be in court Wednesday. Meng filed a notice of civil claim on Friday alleging her rights were violated by authorities during her arrest on Dec. 1 at the Vancouver International Airport. Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press File Photo While the lawsuit itself is on solid footing and refers to established Supreme Court precedent, awards in civil claims like the one brought by Meng are generally only in the thousands of dollars, said Kyla Lee, a Vancouver-based criminal lawyer with Acumen Law Corporation. On its face, this appears to be part of an overall legal strategy, because there is no financial incentive for her to bring this lawsuit, and what she's claiming is financial damages, Lee told the Star Vancouver in an interview. Meng's extraordinary wealth suggests the likely motivation for the lawsuit is its use as a tool in her longer-term bid to avoid extradition to the United States to face criminal charges, she said. ( As reported in the news.

rights 'more: Noem said she wants make sure there's enough funding so local governments don't bankrupt themselves during construction, according to Vancouver Courier. She also wants officials to be able to aggressively pursue people who financially back violence and gain access to those funds as well.article continues below Trending Stories Barack Obama brings message of hope to Vancouver Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou sues Ottawa, border services for breaching constitutional rights'More than 40 men arrested in underage Vancouver sex sting Where do our plastics go And how do we get rid of them The push comes late in the state's 2019 legislative session, timing that critics panned. Kristi Noem said Monday that she's proposing a new framework for oil pipeline construction before building starts on the Keystone XL pipeline, introducing legislation that would require companies behind such projects to chip in on protest-related expenses and create a way to go after the money of those who fund destructive demonstrations. To the best of our knowledge, this type of approach has not happened anywhere in the nation before, and this next-generation pipeline construction model was developed to directly address issues caused by out-of-state rioters funded by out-of-state interests that have attacked nearby projects, Noem said. Noem's bills come after opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline staged large protests that resulted in 761 arrests in southern North Dakota over a six-month span beginning in late 2016. The current model for developing major energy infrastructure projects clearly needed to have an update. ( As reported in the news.

ka lee: They were among the first wave of Indochinese boat people welcomed to Canada under a then-new sponsorship program that allowed Canadians to directly resettle refugees caught up in humanitarian crises abroad, according to Toronto Star. Ka Lee-Paine, now a teacher in Kitchener, holds a photo of herself at 2, taken when she was living in a refugee camp in Thailand. Lee-Paine arrived in Canada in 1979 as a 2-year-old refugee, along with her parents and a brother. Lee-Paine was among the first wave of Indo-Chinese refugees resettled in Canada by the Mennonites after private sponsorship began in 1979. SUPPLIED PHOTO Ka Lee is shown at age 2 holding a sign for immigration purposes in 1979 in Thailand. Steve Russell / Toronto Star Ka Lee-Paine at her 40th birthday celebrations with Rosella and Jim Leis. ( As reported in the news.

action plan: The European Commission today published a comprehensive report on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan it adopted in December 2015, according to Rabble. The report presents the main results of implementing the action plan and sketches out open challenges to paving the way towards a climate-neutral, competitive circular economy where pressure on natural and freshwater resources as well as ecosystems is minimised. This will contribute to boost Europe's competitiveness, modernise its economy and industry to create jobs, protect the environment and generate sustainable growth. The findings of the report will be discussed during the annual Circular Economy Stakeholder Conference taking place in Brussels on 6 and 7 March. This report shows that Europe is leading the way as a trail blazer for the rest of the world. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development, said Circular economy is key to putting our economy onto a sustainable path and delivering on the global Sustainable Development Goals. ( As reported in the news.

anita camp: I've got nowhere else to go, according to CTV. That's why I'm here in the first place, he said, adding he has lived in the camp for almost a year and a half. Newton, 28, said he was the last resident to leave Anita Camp, after police and firefighters taped off the area and enforced an evacuation ordered on Saturday. The provincial fire commissioner ordered the evacuation at the request of the city's fire chief, after three fires in the camp in just two days this week exploded propane cylinders and threatened the safety of residents. Any fires before that were minor, but he said one this week destroyed about a quarter of the camp. Newton said the three recent blazes followed several others at the camp that seem to have increased in severity, beginning with one in December that injured his wife. ( As reported in the news.

people: Wilson-Raybould frames her position as being determined by her ethnic origin, according to Toronto Star. She makes much of coming from a long line of matriarchs and behaving in accordance with the laws and traditions of her people. However, one aspect of Wilson-Raybould's statements, touched upon by columnists Tanya Talaga and Rick Salutin, deserves to be discussed. Indeed, it has been highlighted that her Kwak'wala name means born of noble people. Her actions, in her own words, would be determined not only or primarily by her analysis of the situation and understanding of legal rules, but at least as much by some innate, hereditary righteousness that allows her to act ethically where other people who do not share her heritage are unable or unwilling to do so. It is striking to see how much this self-characterization harks back to European 19th-century notions of the noble savage, as elaborated by Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. ( As reported in the news.

vietnamese refugees: Vietnamese refugees fleeing the communist chaos after the end of the Vietnam War wade to shore in Malaysia in 1978 after their boat sank offshore, according to Toronto Star. K. Gaugler / UNHCR My family and I wouldn't be here without it, said Ka Lee-Paine, who was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and came here at age 2 with her family in 1979, among the first wave of people accepted under the private refugee sponsorship program. The 11-page sponsorship agreement, signed between Ottawa and the Mennonite Church on March 5, 1979, in response to the boat people crisis, became the blueprint for Canada's private refugee resettlement program that has allowed Canadians to play an active role in helping refugees start a new life here. We had complete strangers helping us out. Ninety-nine per cent of us do understand how fortunate we are to have made it to Canada and we strive to be productive citizens of this country. The sponsorship meant I could have a good life, get a great education and be a strong woman, added the now 42-year-old Kitchener teacher. ( As reported in the news.

american history: I know where I came from, Sanders boomed in his unmistakable Brooklyn accent, according to CTV. And that is something I will never forget. My experience as a child, living in a family that struggled economically, powerfully influenced my life and my values. The Democrats in the 2020 race have taken varied approaches to Trump, with some avoiding saying his name entirely, while others make implicit critiques of his presidency. The Vermont senator positioned himself in opposition to Trump administration policies from immigration to climate change. Sanders has never shied from jabbing Trump in stark terms, and during his speech at Brooklyn College, he called Trump the most dangerous president in modern American history and said the president wants to divide us up. ( As reported in the news.

bernie sanders: We have got to understand this is not about him, it's about us, and we should not be motivated by what we are against by what we are for as a country, Booker said, according to CTV. As other Democratic hopefuls campaigned in early voting states, Sen. Asked during a Charleston, South Carolina, town hall meeting how best to oppose President Donald Trump without running an overly negative campaign, the New Jersey senator said Democrats need to look inward and focus on issues important to many of them, such as health care and education. Bernie Sanders of Vermont made Brooklyn the official launch site of his second run for the White House, telling supporters that his campaign is tailor-made to defeat Trump. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts courted voters in Iowa while Sen. Sen. ( As reported in the news.