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.

toni jacob: Toni Jacob, the program director, says It all started when I realized that a lot of Africans coming to Ottawa, it is their first Christmas and they don't know anything about Canadian Christmas, according to CTV. We just wanted to welcome the newcomers coming to Ottawa and having their first Christmas in Canada. Close to 100 people gathered in a party room of an apartment building on Donald Street for the 4th Annual 1 Resource Annual Christmas Giving Program. Jacob says the first Christmas in a new country can be challenging as many try to adjust to new cultures, new languages and different traditions. Not being able to come out and find people to help them get around. Finding support is the biggest challenge. ( As reported in the news.

trudeau: Some municipal politicians in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, concerned about deadly shootings, have called for measures to control handguns in their cities, according to CTV. The Trudeau government plans to empower provinces and cities to take steps to manage the storage and use of handguns within their individual jurisdictions, given that they have different needs and concerns. In an interview with The Canadian Press, Trudeau also defended his government's intention to allow handgun prohibition on a city-by-city basis rather than enacting a sweeping federal ban. We have heard from a number of particularly large cities saying that they want to be able to ban handguns within their city limits, Trudeau said during the wide-ranging interview in Ottawa this week. And we feel that it would be a solid step to move forward and give cities and provinces those tools to do that. That is something we are hearing from some very specific places across the country but not everywhere across the country. ( As reported in the news.

nation rise: The company behind the site, EDP Renewables, must lay off the 200 employees working on Nation Rise just before the holidays and stands to lose the 230 million in capital it has already sunk into the project, according to National Observer. But EDP Renewables has now launched a court challenge to try to overturn the province's decision, alleging it was fuelled by politics instead of evidence, National Observer has learned. Nation Rise Wind Farm, nestled among dairy farms and fields of corn, was three months away from completion when Ontario Environment Minister Jeff Yurek cancelled it earlier this month, citing concerns over possible risks to local bat populations. The government's move clashes with earlier testimony given by the province's own experts, according to the application filed in Ontario Superior Court on Dec. 10. What people are reading Banking regulator compares climate change risk to asbestos fallout Shrinking populations in Caribbean due to climate change Coal isn't dying. To do this so late in the game is very, very damaging, Tom LoTurco, director of development for EDP Renewables in Eastern Canada and the United States, told National Observer this week. ( As reported in the news.

bathroom breaks: Last month, a bus drivers' union in Vancouver averted a strike by coming to an agreement with the city, according to CTV. In all of those cases, the issue of bathroom breaks was a primary concern for bus drivers who work long hours on tight schedules with few opportunities for bathroom breaks. A week earlier, Ottawa's bus service came under fire when one of their drivers wrote a scathing open letter concerning his working conditions. Bus drivers aren't alone, either. In the case of the Ottawa bus operator, Chris Grover, he wrote in his open letter to the Ottawa Citizen newspaper that OC Transpo drivers have virtually no time between runs and sometimes don't even get a minute for a bathroom break. For workers in other industries, such as trucking, food production, or auto parts assembly, where an abrupt pause can delay the entire operation, bathroom breaks can be a point of contention between employers and employees. ( As reported in the news.

beachside shack: Federal relief has mostly benefited tourist areas, and tourism has returned to pre-hurricane numbers, according to National Observer. To Latona, however, Vieques is meaningfully different. Business is booming at the bar and hostel Stephanie Latona manages, a colorful beachside shack popular among visitors. One of the most noticeable things that's changed since the hurricanes, Latona says, is that there are fewer familiar faces. People who left after Maria or even Irma stuck around until the next storm, but eventually gave up trying to rebuild and left. The community definitely feels like it's gotten smaller, she said. ( As reported in the news.

elena vavilova: It's been difficult, a lot of anguish and stress, Vavilov said shortly after his arrival, according to CTV. I'm happy to be back in Canada, to be here without this constant kind of doubt over my head, with the ability to finally start putting some roots down again and be able to build a new life for myself. The court decision and flight marked an end to a long-running ordeal for Alexander Vavilov and his brother Timothy that began nine years ago when his parents were arrested in the United States and indicted on espionage-related charges. He brandished his Canadian passport and grinned as he said, I get to keep it. The family moved to the United States and, after their arrest, admitted to being Andrey Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova. Vavilov, 25, and his brother, 29, were born in Canada to parents who used the aliases Donald Howard Heathfield and Tracey Lee Ann Foley. ( As reported in the news.

scotiabank arena: Echoing the cultish pastel athleisure of the congregations that showed up to Kanye West's Sunday Service shows this year, their total commitment to Ari's aesthetic was charming, but also a little bemusing, according to NOW Magazine. To be honest, I was actually more struck by the rigour of Ari's faithful than her IRL concert presence. At Ariana Grande's sold-out Sweetener world tour stop at Scotiabank Arena in June, they were there in their uniformed citizenship, clad in their oversized sweaters, thigh-high boots and double buns. But that fervour this year, at times, turned nasty. In both cases, Grande was surprisingly muted in chastising her fanbase. Look no further than their relentless targeting this spring of her ex-boyfriend, Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson the muse of her breakup anthem thank u, next and the racist and violent threats they directed at Toronto writer Roslyn Talusan in response to her Playboy essay critiquing Grande's pattern of Black and Asian culture appropriation. ( As reported in the news.

news conference: What comes next is a trial in the Senate early next year that could, but probably won't, cost him the White House, according to CTV. So what happens now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not commit Wednesday night to sending the two articles of impeachment to the Senate. He is still the President. That would have been our intention, but we'll see what happens over there, the California Democrat signaled at her news conference. Pelosi said Democrats will make the decision as a group on when to send the articles to the Senate. Some progressives have urged Democratic leaders to withhold the articles until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, agrees to procedures for the trial that Democrats have called for, as well as agreeing to bring in firsthand witnesses like acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to testify. ( As reported in the news.

christmas: This could be by gifting someone an item that, when bought, a donation is given to a specific UK or international charity, according to Rabble. Another option is to donate to a cause in someone's name. One way to make Christmas go further is by choosing unusual presents that have a charity attached to it in some way. We certainly love the idea of using Christmas gifts to give back to the community. Clothing and accessories 1. Here, you can find a list of our top charity Christmas gifts, including everything from jewellery to more specific forms of aid. ( As reported in the news.

commissioner: Olsen suggested perhaps it was because women have a more acute sense of smell that Wright-Gilbert noticed what he did not, according to CTV. The comment prompted Wright-Gilbert to demand an apology, which Olsen was reluctant to give, at first. That's how citizen Transit Commissioner Michael Olsen begins his written apology to his fellow commissioners, following comments he made Wednesday . Male transit commissioner says foul stench at Parliament station is a 'gender equity thing', women are more sensitive to bad smells During discussions about the source of a lingering, foul odour at the Parliament LRT station, Olsen suggested the problem was a gender equity thing because he did not smell anything Wednesday morning, whereas Commissioner Sarah Wright-Gilbert could. He sent a letter late Wednesday, admitting fault and apologizing without reseveration. I understand why. I know that my original apology to Commissioner Wright-Gilbert has been labelled as insincere. ( As reported in the news.

supreme decision: The relief I feel reading the Supreme Court's decision is indescribable, Alexander said in a statement issued by his lawyer, according to CTV. It is recognition that not only do I feel Canadian, but I am Canadian in the eyes of the law. In its judgment, the high court upheld a Federal Court of Appeal decision that effectively affirmed the citizenship of not only Alexander but also his brother Timothy. Aside from addressing the citizenship matter, the Supreme Court ruling aimed to bring clarity to the nature and scope of judicial review of decisions by administrative officials. The parents were arrested nine years ago in the United States and indicted on charges of conspiring to act as secret agents on behalf of Russia's SVR, a successor to the notorious Soviet KGB. Heathfield and Foley admitted to being Andrey Bezrukov and Elena Vavilova. Alexander, 25, and Timothy, 29, were born in Canada to parents using the aliases Donald Howard Heathfield and Tracey Lee Ann Foley. ( As reported in the news.

gideon christian: She plays a huge part in raising these kids, she also plays a huge part in making it possible for myself and my wife to be able to work, said Christian, according to CTV. Christian's mother Lucy Mgbowula currently lives in the United States, where he said his younger brother was able to sponsor her as a permanent resident within six months. Gideon Christian had to leave his new job at the U of C before the end of the semester and return to his wife and two young sons back in Ottawa after his mother's permanent residence application still had yet to be approved. Christian first moved to Ottawa in 2006 and for the past five years worked as legal counsel for the Department of Justice. Christian has been trying since 2013 to sponsor his mother to come to Canada. This summer he took a job at the U of C, which was only possible because his mother was in Canada to help care for his children. ( As reported in the news.

election effort: Griffith undertook the analysis as part of an election effort called Diversity Votes, a project aimed at providing a deeper understanding of the ethnocultural makeup of the electoral map, and its implications, according to CTV. The growing diversity of the Canadian electorate has seen the federal parties finding more ways to woo voters in specific ethnic groups, especially in ridings where single communities have enough voters to swing a race. One can't assume nor should one assume that the ethnic vote in Canada is separate than the mainstream vote, said Andrew Griffith, a former director of multiculturalism policy for the federal government. In the 2019 campaign, that took the form of everything from promises targeted directly to certain communities, ads in a variety of languages and, in a first, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh answering questions in Punjabi, which he speaks fluently. Ethics, relations with China and climate change were widely covered, as were the parties' strategies and tactics, which he said was partially a reflection of the use of translated stories from the English or French press. But Griffith said that despite what the campaigns may have been trying to do, his findings show the ethnic press were covering the same issues as the mainstream media. ( As reported in the news.

housing strategy: A government source with knowledge of the agreement says the costs will be split 50/50 between the province and Ottawa, over eight years, according to CTV. The government first announced the 4-billion Canada Housing Benefit as part of its National Housing Strategy back in November 2017. The Canada Housing Benefit agreement will be announced Thursday in Toronto, by Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen, and Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark. The government said the program will help 300,000 families afford their rent by providing up to 2,500 a year to those who qualify. The Trudeau government hopes to strike similar deals with the other provinces and territories in 2020. In Ontario, this rental subsidy will be available to those on, or eligible to be on, a social housing waiting list, and may include survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. ( As reported in the news.

long-ago decision: Quebec continues to boast North America's lowest electricity prices, was last year's business-as-usual update in one trade publication, according to National Observer. With climate crisis looming, that long-ago decision earns even more envy. It's hydropower, and specifically the mammoth dam system in Northern Quebec that has been paying dividends since it was first built in the 70s. Not only do they pay less, but Quebeckers also emit the least carbon per capita of any province. What people are reading Good news for climate change India gets out of coal Downstream of oilsands, death by cancer comes too often Bomb threat called into Tides Canada an extension of political theatre It's a shell game, said one angry blog post by the Natural Resources Council of Maine. It may surprise most Canadians, then, to hear how most of New England has reacted to the idea of being able to buy permanently into Quebec's power grid. ( As reported in the news.

surveillance network: Her fall from being the eyes and ears of one of Africa's most repressive governments to a neighborhood punchline illustrates how Ethiopia's once ubiquitous surveillance network has crumbled, according to Rabble. My work is harder now, she said, wistfully. Now she is mocked and ignored. People don't listen anymore. But the system, which detractors say was twisted into a tool to silence government critics, began to unravel with the outbreak of deadly protests in 2015 which undermined the EPRDF's authority. Rahmat worked for a system set up by the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front EPRDF coalition in the early 2000s, officially to help implement central policies across the country of 105 million people. ( As reported in the news.

report problems: While it's important to report problems and issues I believe there's so much in the world that just needs to be found and promoted, he told CTV News Channel, according to CTV. Gatti lives with anxiety and felt clickbait headlines and a constant drip of negative stories were making my condition worse. To do that, Los Angeles Illustrator Mauro Gatti has created an online art project called The Happy Broadcast, which uses stylized cartoons to highlight positive headlines from around the world. So last year, Gatti decided to use his creativity to spread some positivity and the good happening in the world. One of Gatti's cartoons features news out of Canada about the country creating an Arctic conservation zone almost as big as Germany to protect its sea birds, whales and polar bears. The cartoons, which feature stylized depictions of real news stories, highlight good deeds, government programs or people helping out those who need it. ( As reported in the news.

labour-backing areas: That could mean Britain leaving without a deal on trade terms at the start of 2021, a prospect that alarms many U.K. businesses, according to CTV. The pound plunged on the news, falling 1% to less than 1.32. Johnson's office said the government would insert a clause into its Withdrawal Agreement Bill -- which ratifies the country's departure from the EU -- to rule out extending Britain's trade negotiations with the EU beyond next year. Johnson's Conservatives won an 80-strong majority in Parliament in last week's general election -- the most decisive Tory victory since the 1980s -- as voters in formerly Labour-backing areas rallied to Johnson's promise to get Brexit done. Chairing his first post-election Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Johnson called the election result seismic and said his Conservative government would work flat out to repay voters' trust. The majority gives Johnson the ability to overcome opposition to his Brexit plans and implement his legislative agenda -- unlike his Conservative predecessor Theresa May, who led a minority administration and failed to win lawmakers' backing for her Brexit blueprint. ( As reported in the news.

syrian town: Right now we've qualified it as too dangerous for Canadian officials to go into Syria and into those refugee camps, he said, according to CTV. It has been almost a year since Amira was discovered wandering alone in the Syrian town of Baghouz after her family -- Canadians who had left the country in 2014 to fight for ISIS -- were killed in an airstrike. In a one-on-one interview with CTV News' Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme, Trudeau said that he was aware of the little girl's story, but that the safety of Canadians who work in the Middle East needs to be considered. Amira was taken to the detention camp in northeastern Syria where she was living with a surrogate family, in a situation that Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale has previously called horrendous. It is estimated that at least 33 Canadians women and children are detained in al-Hol and a second nearby camp. Life inside the camp is often described as desperate, with lack of water and access to medical care major concerns for the more than 11,000 foreign women and children of ISIS fighters are detained. ( As reported in the news.

toronto man: Commissioned by the developer Camrost Felcorp and made by celebrated German artist Stephan Balkenhol, Toronto Man 2019 is one of the city's newest public artworks, according to NOW Magazine. It got a mixed reception when it was unveiled in August. A 25-foot-tall sculpture of a man cradling a condo, standing on multi-coloured cubes. Balkenhol spends his time living between Meisenthal, France and Karlsruhe, Germany, where he teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts. His comments made clear why he thinks his work has sparked dialogue The sculpture is just a pretext for a conversation Toronto needs to have with itself about rapid development in the city. He's been a commanding presence on the European art stage for decades, and the work is the sculptor's first commission in North America.NOW spoke with Balkenhol by email over a number of weeks this fall. ( As reported in the news.

christmas: This could be by gifting someone an item that, when bought, a donation is given to a specific UK or international charity, according to Rabble. Another option is to donate to a cause in someone's name. One way to make Christmas go further is by choosing unusual presents that have a charity attached to it in some way. We certainly love the idea of using Christmas gifts to give back to the community. Clothing and accessories 1. Here, you can find a list of our top charity Christmas gifts, including everything from jewellery to more specific forms of aid. ( As reported in the news.

breakdowns centred: One of the main breakdowns centred on Article 6 which covers international accounting for climate pollution and credits between countries, according to National Observer. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers along with politicians like Jason Kenney and Andrew Scheer, had been making misleading suggestions that Article 6 could be used to give Canada credit for exports of LNG and other fossil fuels. The countries gathered in Madrid for COP25 were unable to agree on the main objectives of the negotiations and kicked the most important decisions down the road to next year's meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.A coalition of countries seeking higher ambition were blocked by a group of big polluters insisting on accounting tricks such as hot air credits, opposing help for nations suffering the impacts of climate change, and demanding that human rights protections get removed from the main sections of the agreement that COP25 was intended to resolve. The High Ambition Coalition includes island countries like the Marshall Islands which are threatened by rising sea levels as well as European countries which, just this week, dramatically strengthened their own climate plans. Lives are at risk here, Stiell told National Observer. Simon Stiell, a minister from Grenada who spoke for the coalition, put blame for COP's failure squarely on the United States, Brazil and Australia. ( As reported in the news.

inuvialuit: The grizzly bears are moving into new areas, said Vernon Amos, chairman of the Inuvialuit game council, in an interview from Inuvik, N.W.T. At about 3,400 residents, Inuvik is the most populous community within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region that stretches across about 100,000 square kilometres of land, according to National Observer. What people are readingUN climate negotiations end in 'demoralizing, enraging' failureCOP25 derailed as polluters prioritized over people and planet Now who will lead Canada's Conservatives Grizzlies have long roamed the four mainland Inuvialuit communities, including Inuvik, but there are more of them and they're appearing for the first time around the two more northerly communities of Sachs Harbour and Ulukhaktok, he said. Inuvialuit hunters and trappers say grizzly bears are showing up in increasing numbers on islands of the Beaufort Sea and experts say climate change is likely a driving factor. Amos, 42, grew up in Sachs Harbour and says the ecosystem has changed significantly over his lifetime. There is a much longer melting and growing season. While the seasonal freeze used to begin in August, this year it occurred toward the end of September or early October an increasingly common occurrence, he said. ( As reported in the news.

johnson ascendant: Johnson ascendant your general election recap Read more The world of the 2010s is over, according to Rabble. From 2010 to 2015, the Conservatives were in coalition, and the Liberal Democrats could moderate their excesses. Of all the necessary mental adjustments, this will be the hardest to make. From 2015 to 2019, the Conservatives had a small majority and then no majority. Opposition could be felt and heard. Backbenchers and rebel alliances were free to dictate policy as if we were reliving the 19th century. ( As reported in the news.

page: And the current cast of characters is eerily reminiscent of those in that childhood classic -- if not even more bizarre. if page width onload 479 document.write ' ' ; ; You may recall that the original tale was about a young girl who nods off to sleep and dreams that she runs after an agitated white rabbit and unexpectedly falls into a warren of strange misadventures from which she finally awakens -- just in the nick of time to avoid the evil Red Queen's edict, Off with her head! Thus far, however, Americans have unfortunately not awakened from the nightmare of the contemporary Malice in Blunderland, the congressional impeachment hearings whose shifting Schiff-controlled narrative has been advanced by Trump-hating Democrats and likeminded loathers brought into the proceedings to validate their biased claims, according to Rabble. With its bungled series of changing charges, the presidential impeachment scenario can aptly be described as curioser and curioser. Originally orchestrated by Mad Hatter Adam Schiff, the plot of the impeachment hearings has been every bit as preposterous as that of the Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, written over a century and a half ago. If any fun is to be found in all of this nonsense, it might come from comparing the current wild-eyed crop of impeachment pushers to the hodgepodge of fantastical characters Alice encounters in Wonderland. Mad Hatter Schiff and Dormouse Nadler who snoozed at his own hearings! -- have played their parallel roles looking much like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumber. The scampering white rabbit, for example, could well be white pants-suited Nancy Pelosi, nervously flitting here and there, eager to retain her personal power by acquiescing to the demands to impeach Trump, and then acknowledging -- as she scurries off to join her colleagues -- I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date. if page width onload 479 document.write ' ' ; ; But the current impeachment hearings have been anything but a tea party. ( As reported in the news.

andrew scheer: Just two weeks ago, Scheer pleaded with Alberta Tories that loyalty to the party meant loyalty to him personally, according to Rabble. Conservatives organizing to oust Scheer from the top job told me at the time that they expected to have him out before Christmas. Andrew Scheer pledging days earlier to fight to the bitter end to stay on as federal Conservative Leader fell on his sword Wednesday morning. I agreed that Scheer had little chance of surviving, but considered their prognostications of a pre-Christmas bloodletting wildly optimistic. Joining a large contingent of grassroots members and activists calling for his head was a respectable number of insiders who's careers are mostly as political operators. For not the first time, I was wrong. ( As reported in the news.