Dark memories from the forgotten war

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Korean War was the first armed conflict in the Cold War. North Korea and the Chinese army, supported by the Soviet Union, fought South Korea which had the backing of the United Nations.Both sides traded blows until the battle became a firmly entrenched stalemate.It was then that a young Metis man enlisted. Tired of his dead-end job, Leonard Desjarlais went to war.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith has this story.last_img

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Future of Mohawk internet casinos threatened by new Quebec government bill

first_imgdrochette@aptn.ca Danielle RochetteAPTN National News The Mohawk council of Kahnawake is raising serious concerns about a new law making its way through the Quebec legislature.Bill-74 is aimed at preventing Quebec residents from being able to choose from different online gaming sites. The intention is to make Lotto Quebec an online monopoly.But as Danielle Rochette reports, the Mohawks say that’s an infringement of their sovereignty and their territorial rights that extend into cyberspace.last_img

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60s Scoop survivors speak out in Québec

first_imgTom FennarioAPTN National News The walls of Nakuset’s home are mostly devoted to her children.Walking down the hallway, she passes drawings and merit awards from elementary school before stopping at an enlarged photo.Shot in 70s washed hues, is a toddler in a pink dress, squinting at the camera as if trying to divine its purpose.“This is part of the 60s scoop,” said Nakuset who is now 46. “This is what they did. They took pictures of Indigenous children and put them into catalogues and then sent them all over the country.”She would know. Nakuset is the three year old girl in the photo.“They would go into the communities and they would take children and say, ‘oh you don’t have any running water?We’re going to take your children. You have an outhouse? We’re going to take your children? You don’t have a fridge?’” she told APTN, anger rising to the surface. “If you’re deemed as poor, they would take your children.”Nakuset pauses to ponder the photo some more.“I’m not sure why they decided to adopt me, because I think I was kind of funny looking, but I guess they saw something cute in me and they said ‘send her over,’” she said. “So the next day I was on a plane from Manitoba to Montreal.”Nakuset Sohkisiwin as a three year old. The photo is from her “adoption catalog,” Nakuset’s records show that her birth mother was abusive, and she said that in many ways it was for the best that she was taken away.But she said she resents that she was separated from her siblings for decades.“My older sister Sonya says she looked after me, but one day she woke up and I was gone.”Nakuset is not the name she was born with, or even the name her adoptive parents gave her.It means “the sun” and in her 20s it was given to Nakuset by a Mi’gmaq elder. She took it on not just as an act of pride, but of protest.“The social workers said to the parents, don’t tell them that they’re Native, don’t tell them where they come from, don’t tell them about their roots, this is the best practice,” she said.Nakuset Sohkisiwin. FacebookNakuset said her parents took that advice to heart.“They told me to tell people that I was Israeli,” she said of her Jewish adoptive parents “They could never understand why I wanted reconnect with my roots.”Nakuset said eventually she broke off all connection with her adoptive parents after finding that they were withholding letters from her biological older sister.She’s been on a quest to rediscover her Cree heritage to this day.“I feel like all these things I’m supposed to know, I don’t know,” said Nakuset as her voice breaks for a moment. “I wasn’t brought up that way, I don’t know how to …,” she says, snapping her fingers for emphasis. “Okay now you’re an Indian. Now you’re gonna go back, you’re gonna go live off the land your gonna know your culture you’re gonna sing the songs, your gonna speak your language, you’re gonna bead, you’re gonna do all of these things (and) I don’t know any of it.”It can be argued that Nakuset has more than made up for it.She’s currently the president of the Montreal Native Women’s shelter and an advocate for Indigenous services and rights as the co-chair for the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Strategy Network.Still, the effects of being a part of the 60s scoop linger.“As much as I have this persona for being successful in work, I find that interpersonal relationships are very difficult for me,” she said.Watching Nina Segalowitz throat sing is to witness a feat of endurance.Be it husky breathing or urgent high notes she pushes her breathing longer than most lungs can bear.But for the longest time, Segalowitz had no one to throat sing with.The part Dene, part Inuit woman didn’t meet another Indigenous person until she visited Montreal’s Native Friendship Centre for the first time at the age of 18.Mother of Nina Segalowitz in an undated photo.“It was the most emotional day,” she said. “I remember her face, and she smiled at me and I just started crying…because for the first time, there was a woman who could possibly be my aunt. I knew that she was Inuit because I recognized her and it was a very healing moment for me and from then on I was just a sponge.”Segalowitz is now the president of the Montreal Native Friendship Centre. She has an excellent relationship with her adoptive family.Her adopted parents even travelled to Fort Smith, NWT to meet with her biological father after Segalowitz found him.“My parents showed him [her birth father] picture books of me when I was growing up, he just cried. He was so thankful for my parents…” said Segalowitz, looking off to the distance before collecting herself and exhaling. “He said ‘thank you for taking care of my little girl.’”Segalowitz said that part of what made the meeting so difficult is that her birth parents had never intended to give her up.“I had an ear infection and so they brought me there [the hospital] to get treated, and the doctors and the nurses that helped me for the admission they made my parents sign papers,” she said. “And because my parents had gone to residential school they didn’t really know what they were signing. So the next day when my parents went back to the hospital to get me, I was gone, and that what they actually had signed was adoption papers.”Segalowitz’s birth mother died before they could meet, but from what Segalowitz heard, she was devastated losing her daughter.“My parents couldn’t get to me. The doctors said that they would never find me, [that] they had no right to me because they were unfit parents,” said Segalowitz. “So for days after that, for weeks and weeks my mom would go to the hospital and try to get me back and they kept refusing her, telling her she would never see me again.”Despite a happy upbringing, Segalowitz laments the day she was taken.“Myself, along with a lot of other Native adoptees, have always felt disconnected. We lost so much, we didn’t grow up with our brothers and sisters we didn’t grow up with our aunties and uncles, we didn’t grow up with our language and that was taken away from us, in the name of modernizing Indians and colonizing us and we lost all of that. I’ve never gone hunting, I’ve never lived on the land because the government decided it would better for me to grow up in a non-Native home,” she said.For Segalowitz, last week’s (link please) 60s Scoop ruling in Ontario court has set more than one precedent.“That’s where the healing starts, it’s good to be acknowledged,” she said. “And it gives us a strong foundation to do our own class-action suit.”But lawyers aren’t so sure.Lawyer David Schulze specializes in Aboriginal law at Montreal’s Dionne Schulze law firm. He opines that going after the provinces is a harder case to make and will make for a more drawn out court battle.“You can expect them [the provinces] to raise limitations issues, which the federal government doesn’t seem to be raising,” he said. “I mean, this happened a long time ago and there are certain kinds of cases where we don’t enforce limitations periods, generally with respect to sexual abuse, but you can expect either the provinces or [adoption] agencies’ lawyers might say, ‘well just because the federal government is not raising limitations issues doesn’t mean that we’re not going to raise it’. ”For her part, Nakuset has been approached by an international law firm to be the potential face of a Québec-based class-action suit against the federal government, but she isn’t sure she has the stomach for lengthy legal skirmishes.Already she found last week’s ruling in Ontario to be emotionally draining.“The moment that the court said ‘yes, you were mistreated’ I was like ‘oh….wow, like validation’,” she said. “But for me it takes me back to every negative thing that you just kind of absorb, it all came back like whoosh, like everything just came forward.”Still, not all the things from her past that have emerged are negative. Last year, Nakuset and her older biological sister Sonya were reunited with their Austrian-raised youngest sister, Rose Mary. They all hope to physically meet for the first time since being scooped this summer.“She writes me almost every day,” Nakuset said. “And I send her a necklace and earrings and I sent her a medicine bag, and A Tribe Called Red album, and just try to like infuse her with Native stuff, because obviously she’s not going to get anything authentic in Austria.”The concept of authenticity is something that Nakuset has struggled with in the past but she said she’s at a place in her life where she now feels comfortable.She looks forward to making up for lost time and discovering even more about her Cree heritage with her sisters…something she’ll do with or without a 60s scoop settlement.tfennario@aptn.ca “My older sister Sonya says she looked after me, but one day she woke up and I was gone”last_img read more

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NDP turning to First Nations candidates in Northern Ontario

first_imgWillow FiddlerAPTN NewsIn northern Ontario the federal NDP are turning to First Nations candidates in an effort to harness the Indigenous vote.A number of Indigenous leaders have joined the New Democrats in an effort to unseat the governing Liberals in a riding that’s home to about 60 First Nations and more than 10,000 on-reserve voters.One of the party’s new candidates is Rudy Turtle, chief of Grassy Narrows First Nation in the province’s Kenora riding.Grassy Narrows has suffered from mercury poisoning for decades.Turtle said in recent years the NDP has stood out as the part that cares about the people of Grassy Narrows.“They’ve spoke on our behalf really strongly — like, Charlie Angus has really spoke up and same with Nikki Ashton,” said Turtle.“So, I felt that because they’ve been speaking up for Grassy that it would be the right place, the right combination.”Anna Betty Achneepineskum, a former deputy grand chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, has thrown her name in the hat for the riding of Thunder Bay–Superior North.“The NDP has made a full commitment to ensure that we fulfill, whether it’s safe drinking water, housing, employment — it’s all part of our New Deal,” she said. “It’s very important that First Nations people are part of this process.”In 2015 former NDP candidate Tania Cameron led the grassroots First Nations Rock the Vote campaign — one that helped increase voter turnout in the last federal election.“I originally intended to focus on the Kenora riding because there’s 42 First Nations here and I ran it as a non-partisan project,” she told APTN News. “This time around I’ve committed to work for the NDP and get Rudy Turtle elected in the federal election.”The NDP hired Cameron this election to help the party get Turtle and Achneepineskum elected.In 2015 voter turnout on-reserve across the country increased by about 14 per cent, according to Elections Canada.Cameron said Indigenous voters united to oust the Harper Conservatives.“In this election it’s going to be what matters to the individual Indigenous voter,” she said. “For some of us, like myself personally, it’s about climate change and the climate crisis we are currently in. [For] others, it’s electoral reform, it’s people unhappy the Trudeau Liberals buying the pipeline and not putting in the safety regulations, environmental regulations on our waters and lakes. It’s a variety of issues.”Achneepinekum said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has let down First Nations people.“There was a lot of promises made, and the TRC report and MMIW Inquiry — those were all opportunities for them to ensure that that mandate of reconciliation and ensuring that they acknowledge the first people of this country was fulfilled, and that has not happened,” she said.wfiddler@aptn.calast_img read more

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Trudeau Xi face off on future of trade as PM China trip

first_imgBEIJING, China – Smiles and warm handshakes, ceremony and splendour — all of it will be on vivid display on Monday when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang extends a red-carpet welcome to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.But the spectacle that will envelop Trudeau’s arrival at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People will shroud a starker reality: Canada’s uphill fight to forge a fair trading relationship with a big, ambitious country that plays by its own rules.The government is playing down the possibility that this trip would mark the start of formal free trade talks, but the prime minister will be looking to attract Chinese investors and move economic relations forward. China is eager to get on with actual negotiations after several long rounds of “exploratory” discussions with Canada.But Canada needs something else first: guarantees from China the talks won’t be strictly business.Senior government officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, say Canada wants China to agree to a framework for free trade talks that will include its so-called progressive trade agenda — environmental and labour, gender and governance issues.International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Saturday that Canada has raised those issues in exploratory talks in order to gauge the reaction of the Chinese.Chinese officials have repeatedly said any free trade deal with Canada should be divorced of human rights considerations. But Canada wants to continue to add what it sees as this broader progressive trade agenda that it successfully entrenched in its free trade deal with Europe and in the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Pacific Rim countries, not including China.As one of the architects of the current world trading order after the Second World War, Canada wants to protect and advance the rules of progressive international trade. Exactly how Canada persuades China to take a broader view has become a major preoccupation across many federal departments, officials say.“This is our turf in many respects. We’re not really going to let anyone else rewrite the rules,” one official said.The recently completed rounds of the exploratory talks were “about gathering intel, about understanding the situation.”Canada isn’t interested in negotiating a basic goods-and-services agreement similar to Australia’s pact with China, nor is it interested in negotiating piecemeal, sector by sector, the official said. That’s because if Canada and China strike a deal in aerospace, for instance, the principles that guide that agreement wouldn’t necessarily be applicable when a dispute arises in another, say agriculture.Champagne said in a recent speech that Canada wants to establish a broad framework “where issues can be addressed and rule of law is paramount.”Canada wants to level the playing field with a much larger country, including protecting the interests of small and medium sized companies, the minister said. And it is not interested in backing down from its progressive trade agenda.“When it comes to trade, Canadians expect us to be resolute and steadfast in the promotion of our values abroad, in preserving and protecting our national security, and all the while growing our economy,” Champagne said.“We must see the entire chessboard and plan our moves accordingly.”But many analysts say that chessboard is heavily stacked in China’s favour.Canada faces China’s most powerful leader in decades: President Xi Jinping, who solidified a bold vision for China’s future at a landmark party congress in October. With the protectionist Trump administration in Washington, Xi has positioned himself as the protector of liberalized trade. But his speech to the party congress promised to project a China worldview that he called “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”“They have made crystal clear the future for China is not democracy and western human rights, not today, not tomorrow and not in the long term,” said Paul Evans of the Institute of Asian Research at the University of British Columbia.“It means they are more rigid than even on their approach to human rights,” he added.“Chinese leadership is really going to be welcome in several fields but it may be changing the rules in ways we should be nervous about.”David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said Canada needs a more comprehensive China strategy that addresses its continued rise as well as Canada’s interests and values. So far, he said, he has not seen that.“Xi is less interested in market forces than his predecessors, much more inclined to state intervention and much more inclined to do things that really cause the playing field to be skewed in China’s favour,” said Mulroney.“Negotiating this with Xi Jinping makes the job a lot more difficult, but not impossible.”Trudeau is to meet Xi on Tuesday in Beijing.Wendy Dobson, co-director of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, said she doesn’t think Canada is prepared to start formal trade talks with China. The two countries need to establish some guidelines at the start “so that we’re not surprised later.”“The template for us is CETA and TPP, which are very high-standard agreements, which include goods, services, investment, competition policy, state-owned enterprises,” said Dobson.China’s view is more straightforward. “It’s probably agriculture and natural resources and maybe kick us in the pants to build a pipeline to the west coast.”Champagne argued in his speech that Canada is more than a county of 35 million people because it has preferential access to a market of 1.2 billion through trade deals such as the Canada-EU pact and the much-threatened NAFTA.Mulroney said Canada has other leverage, too. The Chinese continue to place stock in the long-standing historical connections to Norman Bethune and former prime minister Pierre Trudeau’s breakthrough in establishing diplomatic relations.“We may think it’s quaint, but it’s real to them,” added Dobson.“They’ve got 5,000 years (of history) and this is only five minutes ago.”last_img read more

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Uber investors sell at big discount but still make billions

first_imgDETROIT – Investors in the Uber ride-hailing service didn’t get all they wanted in selling at least part of their holdings to a group led by Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank.But don’t show them too much sympathy.Even though they sold at roughly a 30 per cent discount from what the shares were worth in 2016, those who invested early made nearly 100 times their initial stake, going from around 35 cents per share to just under $33, according to one investor who requested anonymity because the sales are private.Uber was valued around $68.5 billion during a 2016 capital investment, but it dropped to somewhere above $48 billion in the SoftBank deal announced last week. The reasons for the discount are many, among them the seemingly endless string of scandals, lawsuits and fights that plagued Uber through almost all of 2017. Also, competition has gotten tougher from Lyft and Grab in the U.S. as well as Ola in India and several emerging services elsewhere.During the past year, Uber has been rocked by revelations of rampant sexual harassment in the company, technological trickery designed to hinder regulators, and a yearlong coverup of a hacking attack that stole personal information of 57 million passengers and 600,000 drivers.Rohit Kulkarni, managing director of SharesPost, a company that analyzes private company investments, says three big events that happened around the time that SoftBank began courting investors combined to discount the shares. Just before SoftBank’s intent to shop for shares was announced, regulators in London refused to renew the cab-hailing app’s license to operate. Then the data hack and coverup were revealed, and the company told investors its third-quarter net loss had widened to $1.46 billion on huge legal costs.The events helped SoftBank’s group get a better deal, Kulkarni says.Many big Uber investors include venture capital firms that got in early. They hedged their bets, selling part of their stake to bring big profits to their shareholders while holding the rest for big gains if the company gets past the scandals, the investor said.“This is still a good deal,” said Gartner analyst Michael Ramsey. “The earlier the investment, the bigger the payout.”All-in, the SoftBank group will pump about $9 billion into Uber, including $1.25 billion in new shares that were purchased at the 2016 valuation. SoftBank acquired about 15 per cent of Uber, while other investors in its group got around 3 per cent.The deal, due to close this month, also brings management stability to Uber, reducing the influence of ousted CEO Travis Kalanick. SoftBank, which has global investments in other ride-hailing companies, gets two seats on the board and will help Uber navigate the tough global competition, says Kulkarni.Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and COO Barney Harford are experienced executives who successfully increased share value at travel booking companies, says Kulkarni, who expects Uber to be worth a total of $100 billion by the time it offers shares to the public sometime in 2019.To get there, though, they must get a handle on regulatory disputes with governments like the one in London, and they have to show at least a trend line toward making money, he said.“A pathway to profitability is a must,” Kulkarni said.____This story has been corrected to fix spelling errors in the final two references to SharesPost Managing Director Rohit Kulkarni.last_img read more

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Governor General calls Southwest Airline pilot a hero for showing nerves of

first_imgMONTREAL – Canada’s governor general says a Southwest Airlines pilot who landed her plane safely after a mid-air engine explosion is rightfully being called a hero and a role model to many.Julie Payette told aviation officials Thursday that Capt. Tammie Jo Shults showed strength as she deployed years of training as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot to avoid greater injury.“Everyone in the last two days, rightly so, said the pilot had nerves of steel, she was extraordinary,” the former astronaut said in a Montreal speech.One person was killed and seven others were injured after the twin-engine Boeing 737 blew an engine at 30,000 feet Tuesday and got hit by shrapnel that smashed a window.Media reports following the incident have drawn attention to the fact that Shults is a female pilot, in an industry still heavily dominated by men.But Payette asked why anyone would be surprised that a woman who is extraordinarily well-trained could excel in the face of danger.Alexandre de Juniac, director general of the International Air Transport Association, told the largely female luncheon audience that more needs to be done to address the severe underrepresentation of women in the industry, particularly at the airline association itself.IATA is taking a small step in a few weeks with the appointment of its first female board member.“I think that for our industry, hiring and promoting diverse talent will make us stronger, better and we’ll enjoy a much better business environment,” he said.IATA says the percentage of female aviation executives lags other industries. Just three per cent of aviation CEOs were women last year, compared with 12 per cent in other sectors.By contrast, about one-third of human resources directors are women, compared with 23 per cent in other industries.Kendra Kincade, founder of Elevate Aviation, which encourages women in the industry, said seeing Shults’ action will be an example for young women to consider aviation.“I think she just made us feel more secure in having women as leaders. I think she just helped propel that,” the Edmonton air traffic controller said in an interview.Val Wilson, president of Women in Aerospace Canada, said the shortage of women is on display every year at the world’s largest air show which takes place alternatively nearly London and Paris.“It’s a sea of black suits,” she said in an interview. “There are very few women that were there representing their companies other than in administrative positions.”Wilson, who is vice-president of Toronto area aerospace supplier Dishon Ltd., said the situation is slowly changing as more younger women enter engineering schools, which is frequently a stepping stone to higher positions.She said the paths are similar for other industries and working conditions are no more a roadblock in aviation. Wilson added that she doesn’t believe sexual harassment is any bigger an issue in aviation than other sectors.Wilson expects it could take another 15 years before change is seen in the C-suites.She said companies need to be aware of any hiring bias and should interview women for open positions.Former astronauts Payette and Roberta Bondar are huge role models for women interested in aviation careers, she added.“Roberta is always very positive when she speaks and Julie is in a position now to really do some good for women. So I think it’s very positive for us.”Payette said that recruitment of women isn’t enough, noting that questions about female representation have been asked for 30 years.She said efforts must be made to retain and promote women so they assume leadership positions.It’s been 40 years since Judy Cameron was hired by Air Canada, becoming the first woman hired as a pilot for a major Canadian airlines. Five years earlier, Rosella Bjornson became Canada’s first commercial pilot.There are currently 210 female pilots at the country’s largest airline and Air Canada Rouge, representing six per cent of total pilots employed.Women account for similar shares of pilots employed by WestJet, Air Transat and Jazz.According to Nav Canada, the private company that manages Canadian civil air navigation, less than 25 per cent of the workforce at the country’s air traffic control centres are women.About 19 per cent of the Royal Canadian Air Force officers were women in late 2017, including five per cent pilots, 15.7 per cent in air operations and almost 18 per cent in aerospace engineers.Aerospace schools are also trying to promote careers in aviation to women.Montreal’s Academy of Aeronautics says 11 per cent of its student pilots are women, an increase from past years.It says there is a surge of inquiries this year from high school graduates.Fang Lui, secretary general of the International Civil Aviation Organization, told an IATA conference this week that work needs to be done to attract women.“Both the public and private sectors need to be more proactive to achieving gender parity in aviation.”Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:WJA, TSX:TRZ, TSX:CHR).last_img read more

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California makes people ask for straws sodas with kid meals

first_imgSACRAMENTO, Calif. – If you want a straw with your drink or a soda with a kids’ meal at a California restaurant, you’ll need to ask for them starting next year.A law signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown makes California the first state to bar full-service restaurants from automatically giving out single-use plastic straws. Another law he approved requires milk or water to be the default drink sold with kids’ meals at fast-food and full-service restaurants.Neither law is an outright ban on straws or sugary drinks in kids’ meals. But some Republicans have called the measures government overreach by the heavily Democratic state.California restaurants that don’t comply with the straw law will get two warnings before being fined. Lawmakers changed the legislation to add a $300 annual fine limit. It will apply only to sit-down restaurants where customers are waited on by restaurant staff, not fast-food establishments.Health inspectors will be responsible for enforcing the law.Democratic lawmakers who support the policy call it a small step toward reducing ocean pollution.Brown, who has made environmental issues a signature priority, pointed to the large amount of plastic dumped in oceans every year that can kill whales and fish and contaminate people’s food and water supplies.“Plastic has helped advance innovation in our society, but our infatuation with single-use convenience has led to disastrous consequences,” Brown said in a statement. “Plastics, in all forms — straws, bottles, packaging, bags, etc. — are choking the planet.”California’s law doesn’t go as far as those in cities, including San Francisco and Seattle, that ban straws outright.Critics argue California’s straw law won’t significantly improve the environment. Some say restricting straws hurts disabled people who rely on them.And some lawmakers who voted against the measure said it would unfairly punish restaurants, although the restaurant industry didn’t oppose the proposal.The law doesn’t address the biggest causes of plastic ocean pollution, such as fishing nets, and doesn’t apply to some of the biggest users of plastic straws: fast-food restaurants, said Tod Hardin, director of operations and communications for the non-profit Plastic Oceans International.“That in some ways makes it a little bit weaker than we would have hoped for, but it’s a step toward changing behaviour and raising awareness,” he said. “It’s a move in a positive direction.”The sugary drink law will still let restaurants and fast food chains sell soda or juice with children’s meals. But it says only milk; a non-dairy milk alternative; or sparkling, still or flavoured water can be handed out as a default and advertised on the menu.Democratic Sen. Bill Monning says his measure aims to combat diabetes, obesity and other health problems in California.Both laws take effect Jan. 1.last_img read more

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Japan Economy shrank at 25 per cent annualized rate

first_imgTOKYO — Japan’s economy shrank at an annualized rate of 2.5 per cent in July-September, a worse contraction than preliminary data indicated last month.The earlier data put the contraction at 1.2 per cent, as consumer spending, investment and exports fell.The revised data released Monday by the government Cabinet Office shows seasonally adjusted gross domestic product — the total value of a nation’s goods and services — dipped 0.6 per cent in the third quarter from the previous quarter.The data showed private demand and investment fell at a deeper pace than the initial estimate.Japan’s economy, the world’s third largest, grew in April-June, but contracted the quarter before that. That contraction ended the longest straight period of expansion for Japan in nearly three decades.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Aeroplan loses partnership with Esso as it moves to Loblaws PC Optimum

first_img“The number of miles you earn on any particular transaction is pretty low so it’s really not financially a big deal,” she said in an interview.Drew McReynolds of RBC Dominion Securities said Esso accounts for an undisclosed fraction of the 10 to 12 per cent gross billings from non-financial and non-Air Canada partners. However, the minimal financial impact doesn’t convey the overall effect on Aeroplan as it prepares for the departure of Air Canada.“The optics of any accumulation partner defections between now and 2020 are negative in our view, making new Aeroplan partner announcements between now and 2020 that much more critical to stem changes in member behaviour,” he wrote in a report.Loblaw Imperial Oil announced Tuesday they have signed a deal that will allow PC Optimum members to earn points at more than 1,800 Esso gas stations starting this summer. The company said members will earn 10 points per litre on fuel as well as 10 points per dollar on eligible convenience store purchases and car wash services at Esso stations. Registered members may also receive targeted offers.The PC Optimum program was launched earlier this year when Loblaw brought together the PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum programs. The company faced some issues during the merger, with some members complaining online about troubles with the new app and points conversions. The PC Optimum program is already available at Mobil gas stations.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Aimia’s shares gained nearly four per cent at $1.60 in morning trading. MONTREAL, Q.C. — Aeroplan loyalty card members will not be able to directly earn miles at Esso gas stations effective June 1 as Imperial Oil Ltd. shifts its relationship to Loblaw Companies Ltd.The loyalty card program notified members of the change to its 14-year partnership in an email. It noted that 1.5 miles for every dollar spent will continue to be earned when using Aeroplan-affiliated credit cards for purchases at any retailer, including Esso. Direct miles will continue to be earned at more than 75 partner brands, including Home Hardware, Toyota, Costco.ca, Avis and Marriott hotels.Aimia, the operator of Aeroplan, said it is working on a promotion to earn more miles with existing partners and developing a strategy for how the program will change once the long-term partnership with Air Canada ends in 2020. Cheryl Kim, Aimia’s vice-president of corporate reputation and public affairs, said Esso is not a material contributor to Aimia’s financial results and won’t affect the company’s financial guidance or strategy.last_img read more

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Canada to oppose Alaska oil drilling on caribou habitat Minister

first_imgYukon Environment Minister Pauline Frost said her government will fight any attempt to allow industrial activity in what is one of the most pristine areas left in the U.S.“We do not want to proceed with development. We in Yukon are taking a very strategic and proactive approach to protecting the Porcupine caribou herd,” she said. “We have a treaty obligation that the U.S. has committed to.”The N.W.T. is also preparing a submission to the Alaskans.“Some of the areas we would look for in the (environmental impact study) would be full consideration of potential impacts on the Porcupine caribou herd, polar bears, migratory birds and grizzly bears, allowing adequate time for consultation and respecting obligations established in international agreements and land claim agreements,” said a statement from Environment Minister Robert McLeod. Last Friday, the U.S. opened a 60-day public comment period before environmental hearings on allowing drilling on the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd.The herd is the largest and healthiest in the North and one that is considered crucial to the physical and cultural health of Indigenous people in Canada’s northwest.The animals are protected under a U.S.-Canada treaty, which commits both nations to preserve it. While it calves in Alaska, the 218,000-strong herd spends most of its time in Canada.Caribou is a regular part of the diet of Gwich’In people and remains key to their culture.The governments of Canada, Yukon and Northwest Territories, as well as several First Nation governments, met in Inuvik, N.W.T., last December to discuss fears the refuge would be opened. They all signed an agreement promising to fight to uphold the treaty.“We, the parties, reaffirm our commitment to co-operate to take action to achieve effective conservation and management of the Porcupine caribou population throughout its range, specifically the conservation of important calving areas,” the agreement said. OTTAWA, O.N. — Three levels of Canadian government say they will oppose the latest attempt to open the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.“Canada supports the continued conservation of the Porcupine caribou herd’s habitat, including in the Arctic refuge, and opposes opening this area to resource development,” said Global Affairs Canada spokesman John Babcock.“The federal, territorial and Indigenous governments in Canada are united in their commitment to conservation of the herd and its habitat.”center_img Babcock pointed out Canada has established two national parks in an effort to protect the herd.Frost, a Gwich’In herself who represents a riding where people depend heavily on caribou, said her people began fighting the latest attempt to open the refuge as early as last fall, when the U.S. Congress was considering the bill that eventually allowed it. Band representatives were in Washington to ensure legislators understood Canadian concerns, she said.Further speaking tours with American lobby groups are likely, Frost said.But it’s not a new fight. The Gwich’In have been lobbying Americans to keep development out of the refuge for 30 years.“It was 20 years ago when I was sent off on a lobbying effort to the United States,” Frost said.“I (spoke) for three weeks straight every day. The young people of the community are as committed today as we were back then. We will continue to advocate and fight for protection.”By Bob WeberTHE CANADIAN PRESSlast_img read more

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Dust Advisory remains in effect for Fort St John

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Dust Advisory that was issued for Fort St. John on Monday remains in effect today.Environment Canada issued the advisory due to high levels of road dust in the air. Dust levels have increased due to higher traffic volumes and winter traction material on dry road surfaces. Levels of dust tend to be highest around busy roads and industrial operations.Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise near busy roads until the advisory is lifted. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease. Although the current dust concentration in Fort St. John below the Provincial objective, the forecast suggests the dust concentration will increase until there is precipitation or more dust suppression. The advisory will be in effect until further notice.Real-time air quality observations and information regarding the health effects of air pollution can be found at www.bcairquality.ca.last_img read more

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China to stay on path of ‘peaceful development’ & continue to be ‘positive force’: Premier Li

first_imgBeijing: China will stay on the path of “peaceful development” and continue to be a “positive force” and contribute for regional and global peace, Premier Li Keqiang said here on Friday, amidst global concern over Beijing flexing its muscles in the region. Li, who addressed over two-and-a-half-hour press conference at the end of the Chinese legislature the National People’s Congress, mostly answered selected questions on China’s economy and internal social issues as well as ties with the US, Russia and the EU. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang However in his closing remarks, he said that China will continue to follow the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in developing relations with its neighbours. “China will stay on the path of peaceful development and continue to be a positive force and contributor for regional and global peace,” he said. China asserts nearly all of the resource-rich South China Sea as its territory, while Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam have counter claims over the area. Also Read – Want to bring back US forces engaged in endless wars: Trump The US has been conducting regular patrols in the South China Sea to assert the freedom of navigation in the area where Beijing has built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. When asked about China’s priority regarding the conclusion of the China-Japan-South Korea Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Li said it will depend on the efforts made by parties concerned. “Whichever will be concluded first, China will take a welcome attitude to the development,” Li added. Though he did not comment on the current situation in South Asia, Foreign Minister Wang Yi in his annual press conference last week said that India and Pakistan should quickly turn the page after the Pulwama terror attack, meet each other halfway and transform the present crisis into an opportunity for a long term and fundamental improvement in their bilateral relations.last_img read more

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Windies rope in Ramnaresh Sarwan to mentor batsmen

first_imgBarbados: Former West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan has accepted the invitation of the country’s cricket board to work as a mentor and provide batting tips to the Caribbean side’s batsmen in the run-up to the tri-nation series in Ireland and the World Cup. The 38-year-old, who played 87 Tests, 181 ODIs and 18 T20Is between 2000 and 2013 for the West Indies, will spend the remainder of the week working with the players, especially the batsmen, helping them to fortify their game. However, it is not certain whether he will travel with the West Indies side for the World Cup slated to be held in England and Wales from May 30. “I have come here to act as kind of a mentor to the players and try my best to assist them in any technical ways and with any shortcomings where I think they can improve, and to offer as much help to the head coach, Floyd Reifer, and his coaching staff,” said Sarwan. He admitted that the Indies batsmen have struggled to rotate the strike in the past and thus he would be helping the players to improve their running between the wickets and in finishing games. “I know our batsmen have struggled in the past with rotating the strike, so I am trying to see how best we can get them to improve in this area,” he said. “It’s not an overnight fix, but it’s important to share ideas with them, so that they have something to build on,” he said. Reifer, who took over as coach last week, is expecting Sarwan to have a “wealth of knowledge” to share. “We are hoping he can help the batsmen get a better understanding of how to finish games, the mindset, how to approach batting first, how to approach batting last, so we thought that kind of knowledge was very important to share. He fitted in very well. He did a lot of talking and a lot of work with the batsmen,” he said. alast_img read more

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Job creation down 1.7% in Feb to 15.03 lakh: ESIC payroll data

first_imgNew Delhi: Job creation dropped by 1.73 per cent in February to 15.03 lakh compared to 15.30 lakh in the same month last year, according to the latest payroll data of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). The data showed that during September 2017 to February 2019, nearly 3 crore new subscribers joined the ESIC scheme. The ESIC has been releasing payroll data from April 2018, covering the period starting September 2017. The ESIC provides health insurance and medical services to insured persons covering all those establishments which have 20 or more workers and all those employees whose monthly wages are up to Rs 21,000. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalAccording to the data, the gross new subscribers addition remained the highest at 19.81 lakh in July 2018. The data showed that 2.34 lakh women subscribers joined the ESIC scheme in February 2019 while around 12.69 men enrolled under the scheme. The number of subscribers of Employees State Insurance (ESI) scheme also gives an idea of the level of employment in the formal sector. However, contrary the ESIC data, the retirement fund body EPFO’s latest payroll data showed that net employment generation in the formal sector almost trebled to 8.61 lakh in February compared to 2.87 lakh in the same month of last year. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has also been releasing payroll data from April 2018, covering the period starting September 2017. According to the latest data, the highest job creation was recorded in January 2019 at 8.94 lakh against the provisional estimate of 8.96 lakh released last month. During February 2019, the highest number of 2.36 lakh jobs were created in the 22-25 years age group, followed by 2.09 lakh in the 18-21 years age bracket. The data showed that 80.86 lakh new jobs were created in the 18 months period from September 2017 to February 2019.last_img read more

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WC bound Kedar sustains shoulder injury, set to miss IPL play-offs

first_imgMohali: World Cup bound Kedar Jadhav on Sunday hurt his left shoulder while fielding during Chennai Super Kings IPL game against Kings XI Punjab here, with head coach Stephen Fleming virtually ruling him out of the play-off matches. Asked if there was any update on Kedar, Fleming said at a post-match press conference, “He is getting an X-ray and a scan (done) tomorrow.” “We are hopeful for him although I don’t think we will see him again in this tournament for us. He is in some discomfort, but we just need to be accurate with our assessments tomorrow. Fingers crossed that it is nothing serious, but it did not look that good,” Fleming gave an open-ended reply. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuIt could be safely concluded that Kedar is not being risked as BCCI has blanket instructions that any injury to World Cup bound players will be given utmost priority. With exactly a month left for India’s first game, the BCCI will not risk the veteran Maharashtra all-rounder, who is a vital cog in Virat Kohli’s Plan A for the World Cup. The pint-sized cricketer didn’t bowl a lot in IPL unlike he doe for India and it has been learnt that his dodgy hamstring is one of the reasons for that as an aggravation could have affected his World Cup chances. Kedar hurt his shoulder while diving near the boundary ropes to save an overthrow in the 14th over bowled by Dwayne Bravo who failed to collect the throw from Ravindra Jadeja.last_img read more

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