Jet Saga Buyers await regulators scrutiny of airlines flying license

first_imgNew Delhi: With prospective buyers lining up to take a shot at bagging Jet Airways cheap, its prime asset — the flying license — is under the aviation regulator’s scrutiny that might derail the NCLT-backed resolution process. Industry insiders privy to the development say that buyers are waiting for the final word from the regulator which is expected to be announced on July 16. Even the bankers to the now grounded airline are nervous. A revoked Air Operator Certificate (AOC) will render lower than expected recovery from the airline which has an outstanding of over Rs 8,000 crore. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep A meagre return will be equivalent to bank’s taking a massive haircut, somewhere in the tune of over 90 per cent. However, since the NCLT has stated that matter of resolution at Jet Airways is considered to be of “national importance”, the resolution professional is widely expected to request the aviation regulator to extend the AOC’s validity. At the same time, buyers have shown interest in the grounded airline. Recently, London-based AdiGroup partnered with Jet Airways Employee Consortium partnered to bid for 75 per cent stake of Jet under the insolvency resolution process. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to Customs AdiGroup Chairman Sanjay Viswanathan said the combined bidding entity expects a likely investment of Rs 2,500 crore-Rs 5,000 crore, adding that the exact figures will be reached once complete financial details about the company’s liability emerge. Similarly, he did not reveal the source of funding, but said that AdiGroup will hold 49 per cent followed by employees consortium’s 26 per cent and the rest will be handed to Indian lenders. The NCLT process entails that resolution professional will first finalise a list of genuine claimants of due money from Jet. It has asked all to submit claims before the IRP by July. A committee of creditors will then be formed which will invite expression of interest (EoI) from potential bidders. If a bid is approved by a majority of CoC members, only then resolution can move ahead. A formal concurrence from the NCLT, though, will be required. Till recently, domestic lenders group led by SBI was in the process of selling the airline to recover their dues of over Rs 8,000 crore, but the plan fell apart as only Etihad gave its offer. Consequently, last week, a SBI insolvency plea was admitted by the NCLT to take the company under the resolution process. Besides the lenders, the airline is estimated to have a total liability of about Rs 25,000 crore which includes dues of operational creditors. Running out of cash, Jet Airways had suspended its entire operations on April 17. Subsequently, the government re-allocated the airline’s slots and foreign traffic rights to rival carriers.last_img read more

TN government will follow 69 reservation

first_imgChennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K.Palaniswami on Tuesday said the government will follow the existing 69 per cent reservation policy in medical college admissions. Speaking in the Assembly on the issue of 10 per cent reservation of economically weaker sections (EWS), Palaniswami said a decision will be taken on the issue after discussions with recognised political parties. Palaniswami said the government will not take a unilateral decision. Earlier DMK President M.K.Stalin queried the state government’s stand on the 10 per cent reservation for EWS. He also asked the government to call for an all party meeting to discuss on the issue.last_img

Lynch mobs turned Lord Rams name into murder cry Nusrat Jahan

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool MP Nusrat Jahan says so-called “cow vigilantes” have turned Lord Ram’s name into a murder cry and has appreciated members of civil society groups speaking up for human life. “There are numerous incidents of citizens being attacked by so-called ‘cow vigilantes’ over rumours of eating beef or cow-smuggling, etc. The government’s selective silence and inaction hits us hard. Lynch mobs have actually turned Lord Ram’s name into a murder cry,” Jahan said in a tweet. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja According to the actress-turned MP, mob lynching criminals “are nothing but enemies of our country and are terrorists”. In an open letter, Jahan has urged fellow citizens to raise their voice as “hate crimes and mob-lynchings are on a steep rise in our country”. She mentioned that the period 2014-19 has recorded the most number of hate crimes against Muslims, Dalits and other minorites. “2019 by now has witnessed more than 11 hate crimes and 4 deaths. They are all minorities and suppressed,” she wrote. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway Expressing astonishment about the silence of the government, Jahan said: “The Hon’ble Supreme Court last year on July 17 has called on the government to come up with a law to tackle these horrendous acts of mobocracy. But the government is silent”. “As a young MP, representing new age secular India, I request this Government and all lawmakers to frame a law to stop such assaults on democracy by mob-lynchers,” she added. Jahan ended the letter with the poet Muhammad Iqbal’s lines “Mazhab nahi sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna” (Religion does not teach us to bear ill-will among ourselves).last_img read more

Basu says Kohli hasnt had a cheat day in 2 yrs

first_imgNew Delhi: He came in when the Indian cricket team was “looking for a fitness culture” and former strength and conditioning coach Shankar Basu says his stint has ended with the satisfaction that none of the players would be able to “leave the regimen even if they wanted to”. The 50-year-old’s four-year tenure ended with the World Cup. While Kohli was always a “freak” who has not taken a cheat day in the last two years, the Chennai-based professional is most satisfied about the transformation he has brought in the fitness levels of speedsters Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”When I started it was a challenge to transform the culture, now 90 per cent of the team trains very professionally. There will always be one or two in every team who require the extra push,” Basu, whose contract with the Indian team ended on July 30, said. He also worked extensively with the others including KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ishant, Dinesh Karthik and Ravichandran Ashwin. The list goes on. Ravindra Jadeja, according to him, is a natural athlete who knows his body well and probably the best fielder in the world. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterBasu decided against continuing with the Indian team due to family reasons and says it time for him to move on to the next phase in his life. “Looking back, I came at the right juncture (in 2015). The Indian team was looking for changes and that was one of the responsibilities thrust on me, to bring about the culture. To be very honest I was very blessed with a set of boys who were looking for this change. “When I joined I made a pact with myself that I will tirelessly work to bring in the much needed improvisations and culture to augment the team’s needs. I was very fortunate to work with a coaching and support team which allowed me to make independent decisions with regards to training. “Most of the boys had already worked with me during their Under-19 days and it was easy to sell the concepts.” And having a leader like Kohli in the side helped him in being more effective in his job. “When you see someone like him, it is difficult not to be inspired,” said Basu.last_img read more

Ambani to sell stake to Aramco BP for Rs 115 L cr

first_imgMumbai: On a mission to cut debt in Reliance Industries, billionaire Mukesh Ambani on Monday announced plans to sell stakes in the firm’s oil and chemicals business to Saudi oil giant Aramco and in fuel retail network to BP plc for Rs 1.15 lakh crore, and said its telecom unit Jio will begin offering fibre-based broadband services from next month. Saudi Aramco will buy a 20 per cent stake in the oil and chemicals business of Reliance, including the 1.36 million barrels a day Jamnagar refining complex in Gujarat, for an enterprise value of $75 billion. BP will buy 49 per cent stake in the firm’s 1,400 petrol pumps and aviation fuel selling facilities at 31 airports for another Rs 7,000 crore. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe twin deals along with deleveraging of telecom arm Jio’s infrastructure assets will help Reliance become “a zero-net debt company within the next 18 months, that is by March 31, 2021”, Ambani said at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) here. Reliance as a whole has an enterprise value of about $134 billion, including telecom and retail businesses. The company, which had a net debt of Rs 1,54,478 crore as on March 31, 2019, also intends to list its retail and telecommunication units within five years, he said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostA zero-net debt company would mean that borrowings fall below cash reserves with the firm, a level Reliance hasn’t seen since 2013. It had an outstanding debt of Rs 2,88,243 crore as on June 30, 2019, and a cash balance of Rs 1,31,710 crore as on June 30. Reliance has invested Rs 5.4 lakh crore, mostly in debt, in the last five years in the expansion of its oil to chemicals business, creating 4G wireless telecom network that offers high-speed internet and in setting up India’s largest retail chain. The debt levels had raised concerns among analysts including at Credit Suisse Group AG which felt the ballooning borrowings would weigh on growth. Ambani sought to allay those fears. “With these initiatives, I have no doubt that your company will have one of the strongest balance sheets in the world,” he said. “We will also evaluate value unlocking options for our real estate and financial investments.” Announcing a ‘new Reliance’, Ambani said the Saudi investment is “the biggest foreign investment in the history of Reliance” and “among the largest foreign investments in India.” BP had previously bought a 30 per cent stake in 21 oil and gas blocks of Reliance for $7.2 billion in 2011. The deal with Aramco covers all of Reliance’s refining and petrochemicals assets as well as the remainder of stake the firm has in fuel retailing business after selling 49 per cent to BP, he said. The world’s biggest crude producer, Aramco will also supply 5,00,000 barrels of crude oil to Jamnagar refineries, roughly double of the amount Reliance buys from Saudi Arabia currently. Stake in Reliance business is apart from 50 per cent interest Aramco along with UAE’s ADNOC is picking up in a planned $60 billion refinery on the west coast of India. These investments are part of Aramco’s plan to double oil processing capability under its belt to 10 million barrels a day by 2030, locking in friendly buyers for the Kingdom’s crude. The deal is subject to due diligence, definitive agreements, and regulatory and other approvals, Ambani said. Later talking to reporters, Reliance executive director P M S Prasad said the Aramco deal is targeted to be completed by March 2020. “Within five years, the oil-to-chemicals business will be carved out as an unlisted subsidiary of Reliance and will operate as a business division of RIL with the Aramco having 20 per cent economic interest.”last_img read more

A league of his own

first_imgThe oomph boy has done it again! The stylish, infamously prickly, can-explode-will-explode Indian captain has managed to establish himself as the most proactively charming, sporting icon that the world is witnessing these days. From grinning like a lover boy in the field celebrating his team’s success, riding atop a nub of immaculate character in commanding fans to be nicer to his Australian opponents, to indulging in brotastic handshakes with his rivals, upholding cricket’s mantle of calm and aggression at the same time along with seeking blessings from an 87-year-old super-fan whose presence at India’s games have gone viral – he’s done it all. And, it is time his character assumed an unexpected arc of its own! Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhOn a rain-laden August afternoon, Virat Kohli, on his way to his 43rd ODI 100, became the only batsman on the planet to score 20,000 international runs in a decade. Kohli’s second 100 on the trot on Wednesday night also helped him equal Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most number of centuries against a single opposition in ODI cricket. He is currently averaging 60.31, his highest at the end of an innings in ODI cricket. Kohli has scored 20,502 runs in all formats, out of which he has scored 20,018 from 2010 onwards. He made his Test and T20I debut in 2010 but had already scored 484 runs in ODI cricket by that point in the previous decade, having made his ODI debut in 2008. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterThe Indian captain’s accomplishment takes him ahead of former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, who held the record for the most international runs scored in a decade with 18,962 runs in the 2000s. Tendulkar has nine centuries against Australia in ODI cricket whereas Kohli has eight. Both batsmen have eight centuries against Sri Lanka as well. Kohli scored an unbeaten 114 runs from 99 deliveries including 14 fours. He came in to bat as Rohit Sharma got out in the third over after a terrible mix-up with Shikhar Dhawan. He stitched a crucial 66-run partnership with Dhawan. After the two quick wickets, he got things back on track with Shreyas Iyer by his side. The two shared a partnership of 120 runs to take the game away from the West Indies and chased down the revised DLS target of 255 with 15 balls to spare. On the list of most international runs scored in a decade, Kohli is followed by Ricky Ponting (18,962 runs), Jacques Kallis (16,777 runs), Mahela Jayawardene (16,304 runs), Kumar Sangakkara (15,999 runs), Sachin Tendulkar (15,962 runs), Rahul Dravid (15,853 runs) and Hashim Amla (15,185 runs). Kohli has been breaking batting records at will. The maverick monster is just 30-years-old and already has 77 hundreds to his credit, only 23 less than Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time record that, at one point in time, looked impossible to break. His bat is behaving like a toy. He is not only making the craft of batting look absurdly easy but he is also scoring at an unprecedented consistency across all formats of cricket. This run machine has been on a roll and after a relatively quiet World Cup, by his standards, he is back to doing what he does best – scoring centuries and chasing down totals. There are predictions that with this sensational one-day form, he might just end up with 75-80 centuries in the format. Not often is cricket described as trailblazing; rather, it’s catalytic. The days in the dirt have taught many superstars many important lessons. From spending days spatting with opinionated opponents, missing out narrowly on chests-out clashes, to allowing a transformation of the alter ego, forcing eruption tendencies to settle down into the veins, rendering superhuman strength and energy – cricket has a great levelling quality. All this has been quite pronounced in Kohli’s transformation from an immature, puerile adversary to the one who can laugh off a probable confrontation, an aggressive alpha male who dominates the space around him and makes his bat do the talking. Talent is indeed a gifted proposition, provided it is saddled with endurance and hard work. The more sweat and muck the nets witness you shedding, the better a player you become. You need to learn to hit hard when you get a full toss, to drive when a half-volley comes your way, to leave an out-swinger, to defend well against an in-swinger and you should also know to duck the unplayable bouncers. There is only a slight shade of difference between good and great players and subsequently, between great and greatest players. Undoubtedly, Kohli belongs to the group of ‘greatest’. After the end of an era – since the 2019 World Cup concluded that is – another phase of cricketing history has begun that leads us to the next World Cup in India in 2023. Many next-gen cricketers’ paths have crossed during the recently-concluded ODI series between India and West Indies. Hence, it has become all the more important to regroup and refire. Kohli is perhaps the best batsman of the modern era. Consistency is his biggest strength. When the Captain plays, records happen automatically. If he continues playing like this for a few more years, all the big records of the game are sure to crumble. As per the Indian team’s current schedule, their next ODI series would be a three-match contest against West Indies in December this year. Then, Team India will play three ODIs each in the first three months of 2020. In January, they will play Australia; in February, New Zealand; and in March, South Africa. Then comes the IPL season, followed by, from October 2020, the World T20 championship. India is expected to play three ODIs each against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and England between the end of the series against South Africa in March and the World T20 in October. Now, with a billion expectations on Kohli, we can only hope that he produces the classy cricket he is capable of every time he walks out. South Africa, New Zealand, Australia may not be easy opponents to score centuries against but Kohli has scored many runs already against all of them before. Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe should be easy; however, there are chances that he is rested for these series. Keeping in mind the World T20, India would not definitely like to cause any enervation for him.last_img read more

Parineeti shares bruised avatar from The Girl On The Train

first_imgLondon: Actress Parineeti Chopra gave a sneak peek of her “intense” look from her upcoming film the Hindi remake of Hollywood thriller “The Girl On The Train”. Parineeti on Wednesday took to Twitter to share her first look, which she described as “most difficult”. In the new still, she appears heavily bruised, sitting in a bath tub with an expressions of shock on her face. “Something I’ve never done before. And the most difficult character I have ever played in my life,” she captioned the image. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “The Girl On The Train” is based on Paula Hawkins’ 2015 bestseller of the same name, which has already been made into a Hollywood blockbuster starring Emily Blunt, Rebecca Fergusson and Haley Bennett. It is a psychological thriller about a divorcee woman, who gets entangled in the investigation of a missing person, which in turn throws her life out of gear. The Bollywood version, which also stars Kirti Kulhari, is produced by Reliance Entertainment.last_img read more

At AIIMS Special Judge holds hearing to record Unnao rape survivors statement

first_imgNew Delhi: Special Judge Dharmesh Sharma has reached the All India Institute of Medical Sciences to hold court proceedings to record the statement of the rape survivor who had accused lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar of rape in 2017. The expelled BJP legislator represents Bangarmau in the Uttar Pradesh assembly. The rape survivor was air-lifted from Lucknow hospital to AIIMS in the national capital for treatment of injuries during a road accident in Uttar Pradesh. Her family alleged Kuldeep Singh Sengar was behind the road accident in Rae Bareli that killed two of her aunts and injured the woman and her lawyer. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Last week, the Delhi High Court issued a formal order allowing special judge Dharmesh Sharma to hold court to record “the testimony of the victim in the premises/building of trauma centre of AIIMS in addition to the Tis Hazari District Court Complex during trial of the cases”. News agency PTI said Sengar, who is a key accused in the 2017 Unnao rape case, was also brought to the temporary court along with co-accused Shashi Singh for the proceedings. Sengar was expelled from the Bharatiya Janata Party last month after the Supreme Court took up a petition demanding a CBI probe into the road accident. Sengar faces charges of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping and rape under the penal code and a special law to deal with sexual offences against children.(Inputs from Hindustan Times)last_img read more

Driver was operating pickup truck while seated in folding lawn chair police

first_imgTHUNDER BAY, Ont. – Police say a driver pulled over in Thunder Bay, Ont., had an unusual seating arrangement — a folding lawn chair where a driver’s seat should have been.They say an officer stopped a pickup truck on Monday afternoon after noticing the licence plates were allegedly not authorized for that vehicle.Upon approaching the driver, police say the officer noticed the suspicious seating arrangement — the driver was sitting in a lawn chair placed in front of the steering wheel.And investigators say that wasn’t the only thing wrong with the pickup.They say it was impounded for a multitude of defects, including a broken windshield blocking the driver’s view, a defective door handle that effectively trapped the driver inside the truck, and no seatbelt buckles.Police say a young driver is charged with a number of offences related to the condition of the truck, as well as driving while suspended, and operating a vehicle on a highway with no insurance.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version carried an incorrect day for when the incident occurred.last_img read more

Killer of BC gang leader gets life without parole for 18 years

first_imgKELOWNA, B.C. – A man who admitted to killing a British Columbia gang leader in August 2011 has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for 18 years.B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allan Betton sentenced Jason McBride on Wednesday for the second-degree murder of Jonathan Bacon.McBride will serve a consecutive 15-year sentence for the attempted murder of four others who were inside a vehicle peppered with over three dozen shots.Sgt. Brenda Winpenny with the Combined Special Enforcement Unit said the six-year investigation into the murder “was one of the largest and most complex in B.C.’s history” with policing costs of over $9 million.“Today will hopefully bring a form of closure to all those adversely impacted by the violence that took place here,” she said outside court on Wednesday.Betton also sentenced two other men who admitted to planning the murder to 18 years in prison, minus credit for time they already served while awaiting trial.Michael Jones and Jujhar Khun-Khun pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to murder Bacon, Hells Angel Larry Amero and James Riach, who the court heard was a member of the Independent Soldiers gang.Bacon, Amero, Riach and two women were in a Porsche Cayenne in busy tourist area in Kelowna when masked gunmen riddled the vehicle with bullets. One of the women was left paralyzed in the shooting.Bacon was the oldest of three brothers which police have said had links to the Red Scorpion gang.Kelowna RCMP Superintendent Brent Mundle said outside court that the 2011 attack was “a brazen daytime shooting that was directly related to organized crime.”“The shooting which left one person dead and four wounded took place in a public space and put others in the area at risk,” he said. “While thankfully rare, I recognize that these violent and public crimes can have a dramatic impact on the people who live, work in and visit our communities.”Crown lawyer Dave Ruse told the court on Tuesday that the three accused had actively searched out Bacon, Amero and Riach with the intention of killing them in the summer of 2011.Ruse said the shooting was in retaliation for the murder of Gurmit Dhak, the leader of the Dhak Group gang, who was killed in October 2010.The court heard that McBride has 35 previous convictions from 1990 to 2007 for crimes ranging from weapons offences to attempted robbery.Khun-Khun was previously convicted of kidnapping and fraud.Jones has no previous criminal record.— With Files from Andrea Peacock, Kelowna Daily Courierlast_img read more

Canadian working with Kenya opposition party detained to be deported

first_imgA campaign data company says a Canadian working on the opposition party’s campaign was detained in Kenya and is facing deportation.A spokeswoman for Aristotle, Inc. – a political consulting company that provides various services to campaigns, including strategy and data analysis – says the Canadian senior vice-president of global services, Andreas Katsouris, and CEO John Aristotle Phillips were detained Friday night. They’re expected to be deported Saturday night.Spokeswoman Brandi Travis says Katsouris is a Canadian working out of Toronto.Travis says the two men were in the African country assisting opposition candidate Raila Odinga, and had become involved in the Kenyan election because they thought it had the potential for irregularities.Saturday was the last day of campaigning in the election, which is set for Tuesday.Global Affairs Canada says it is providing assistance to a Canadian detained in Nairobi but would not give any further details. The U.S. Embassy in Kenya said on Twitter that they were “safe and departing” the country.The detentions occurred at around the same time that armed and masked police raided an opposition vote counting centre, intimidating workers and seizing equipment, said James Orengo, a senior member of the opposition National Super Alliance.Kenyan police on Saturday denied allegations that officers broke into political party offices on Friday, saying no report of a burglary has been made to any police station.Recent elections in the East African high-tech and commercial hub have been hotly contested, and more than 1,000 people were killed in post-election violence a decade ago.Kenyatta prevailed over Odinga in a 2013 vote that was mostly peaceful but tainted by opposition allegations of vote-rigging. Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is among the thousands of expected election observers this time around.Some in the nation of 44 million people have been leaving the capital because of the threat of chaos, while many are simply going home to vote.The torture and killing in recent days of a key election official in charge of the electronic voting system has some concerned about the possibility of vote tampering.last_img read more

153 million in federal cash to fund child care and education training

first_imgVANCOUVER – Help is on the way for cash-strapped British Columbia parents struggling with expensive daycare fees and long waiting lists, say federal and provincial politicians after signing a bilateral child care agreement Friday.The federal government’s investment of $153 million was announced in B.C.’s budget this week and is part of the province’s three-year plan to make child care more affordable as it works toward establishing a universal system.“We all know that child care is expensive and hard to find, and for too long it’s been left to get worse,” said Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s children’s minister, speaking in a Vancouver family centre while toddlers squealed and played.“That’s left too many parents feeling squeezed because they can’t afford to take time off and they can’t afford the child care.”The agreement will create 1,370 new infant and toddler spaces, help care providers administer low-cost programs and apply new funding streams to train early childhood educators over three years. It will also expand child care for Indigenous children and kids with special needs.Jonathan Wilkinson, the member of Parliament for North Vancouver, said the investment is similar to what the federal government has committed to other provinces as part of its $7.5 billion child care investment over the next 11 years. But he noted B.C. has unique challenges.“Just like in the rest of Canada, raising a child in British Columbia can be very costly, and perhaps here in the Lower Mainland and in many other parts of British Columbia more costly than many other parts of the country,” he said.The announcement had been scheduled for earlier this month but was abruptly cancelled by the federal government, leading B.C.’s Opposition Liberals to argue that the province’s actions on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion were taking a toll on federal-provincial relations.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley had banned the sale of B.C. wines to Alberta in response to B.C.’s proposal to limit diluted bitumen shipments, but she lifted that ban Thursday after B.C. Premier John Horgan announced his government would ask the courts to decide if it can restrict the shipments.Both Wilkinson and Conroy said the previous cancellation had nothing to do with the pipeline dispute.“The issue was simply one of scheduling,” said Wilkinson. “This is a very important issue for the federal government, as it is for the government of B.C.”The B.C. budget earmarked an additional $1 billion for child care over the next three years. Beginning April 1, funding will be given to licensed care providers to cut $350 a month from the cost of a child care space, while a benefit of up to $1250 a month per child will start being paid to providers in September.The province’s child care crunch is hard on families and the economy, because businesses are losing out on the skilled workers they need, said Conroy.“Universal child care will allow parents to return to work secure in the knowledge that their children are being cared for by qualified early childhood educators.”— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.last_img read more

Cases of residential school abuse uncompensated because of signature rule

first_imgTORONTO — Legitimate cases of residential school abuse are going uncompensated under a class-action settlement because the victims died without signing an application form, a situation one lawyer calls arbitrary and the fault of the federal government.In at least one such case, compensation was initially awarded in March last year to relatives of a victim but taken back after a review determined the deceased applicant had never signed the application form.“This is so formulistic, it is remarkable,” said David Schulze, the lawyer handling the case. “The claimant meets the criteria, the abuse is proven, and yet the government of Canada runs around saying: ‘Oh, but he didn’t sign himself, so we can all agree our employees raped him but his heirs get nothing’.”Based on eyewitness testimony, an adjudicator under the independent assessment process (IAP) awarded $27,222 to the estate of a residential school sexual-abuse victim known as A-16726, who had died without signing the application form. While Canada raised objections about the lack of a signature, it did not oppose the claim.However, when the estate tried to argue the compensation amount was too low, a reviewing adjudicator overturned the award altogether.“I must overturn the initial adjudicator’s decision and substitute a zero award,” Wes Marsden, deputy chief adjudicator wrote in his decision last July. “IAP rules clearly state that the claimant must sign an IAP application.”Even though other estate compensation claims without signatures had previously been accepted over Canada’s objections, Marsden said he was simply following decisions in two other cases by chief adjudicator, Ben Shapiro, from March and April last year.On Sept. 6, Shapiro published the signature-needed rule on the adjudication secretariat’s website after a case involving a disbarred Calgary lawyer, David Blott. Because of Blott’s negligence, scores of files related to compensation were never processed and more than 150 of them lay rotting in a warehouse for at least six years.“It was deemed advisable to post a notice to our website advising that claims that did not meet the criteria set out in (one of Shapiro’s rulings) would not be eligible,” Roger Tetreault, executive director of the adjudications secretariat, wrote last month. “To do otherwise would potentially have worked an unfairness by causing family members of deceased former students to incur significant expense (on) claims that would be doomed to failure.”Latest data from the adjudication secretariat show 59 of 78 estate claims not signed by the claimant were dismissed — some for a lack of evidence — but it is unclear just how many were rejected based only on the signature rule. Regardless, Schulze called the requirement unconscionable given that proving an estate claim is difficult enough.Schulze, who is challenging Marsden’s decision, said there is no basis under the Indian residential school agreement to deny estate claims as long as the victim was alive as of May 30, 2005 and the claim was filed in time. The chief adjudicator, the lawyer said, had no authority to come up with the signature rule.The lawyer has now asked an oversight committee, which Shapiro has said is the forum to resolve such disputes, to weigh in.A spokesman for the oversight committee said its chairwoman, Maya Moran, would not comment. Neither Shapiro nor Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett responded to questions about the situation.Colin Perkel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Fisheries Department announces conservation measures to protect chinook in BC

first_imgVANCOUVER — The federal government has announced commercial and recreational fishing restrictions in British Columbia as a way to conserve chinook salmon returning to the Fraser River this season.The Fisheries Department’s regional director general Rebecca Reid says urgent protection measures include the closure of a commercial fishery involving seven endangered stocks.Reid says an independent committee of wildlife experts and scientists conducted an assessment last November and determined seven chinook populations on the Fraser River are endangered, four are threatened and one is of special concern.One area salmon was considered not at risk while three others were not assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.Reid says harvest management measures alone won’t deal with declining numbers of chinook in recent years due to multiple factors including warming waters because of climate change and destruction of habitat that must be rebuilt.She says last year’s catch reduction by one-third to limit pressure on the stocks was not enough and the decrease in chinook also affects southern resident killer whales that depend on the salmon as their preferred prey.Reid told reporters during a conference call on Tuesday that Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a five-year plan to manage chinook and is committed to working with the B.C. government.“Collaboration with the B.C. government, Indigenous groups and stakeholders is a cornerstone of the implementation plan,” she says, adding the department will also consult with the province on land and water-use policies that impact critical habitat.“Community advisers and DFO work alongside the stewardship community, building partnerships with the community to support salmon and salmon protection and education activities at the local level across British Columbia.”Regional resource manager Jeff Grout says protection measures for the commercial sector in the northern community of Haida Gwaii mean no retention of chinook until August 20, a delay of about two months from the normal start of that fishery.Nicole Gallant, chief of enforcement operations for the department’s Pacific region, says 140 fisheries officers will be conducting patrols by land, air and water in order to monitor compliance.She urges the public to report poachers.The department says it will work with recreational and fish harvesters to look for additional fishing opportunities for stocks such as coho and halibut.Other limitations include:— On the west coast of Vancouver Island, the troll fishery that typically starts in May has been closed until August 1 to allow stocks of high concern to migrate there.— A small fishery that harvests chinook for sale in Kamloops Lake has been closed for the season.— A mix of management measures in the recreational sector on the west coast of Vancouver Island mean chinook can be retained starting this week and until July 14, after which there will be a return to the normal limit of two chinook a day.— In the southern Strait of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, measures to protect chinook stocks of concern will include no retention of the salmon until July 31 before one chinook a day will be allowed in August, followed by an increase to two chinook daily.— For the recreational fishery in the Fraser River, no fishing for chinook will be allowed until late August and then no chinook can be retained for the season.— No new measures have been announced for the northern B.C. recreational sector, where the normal limit is two chinook per day.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Victim in Quebec dog attack thanks community for outpouring of support

first_imgMONTREAL — A Quebec woman who was seriously injured in an attack by three dogs last month in the Eastern Townships is thanking the community for its support.The message from Dominique Alain and her family was published on the website of Potton Township today, thanking first-responders and staff at the hospital in Sherbrooke, Que., for taking care of her following the mauling.Alain was attacked while jogging along a road in Potton Township on March 29, about 125 kilometres southeast of Montreal.Animal welfare authorities deemed the dogs too dangerous to be returned to their owners, and local councillors voted to euthanize the animals.Mayor Jacques Marcoux, who knows Alain personally, says she is out of intensive care but will be in hospital for sometime.Marcoux says the entire community — several villages make up the township — was deeply affected by the attack.A Go Fund Me page launched in April to help pay for prosthetics, retrofitting of her home and other expenses has raised more than $21,000 so far.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Chilliwack pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

first_imgTEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS — A British Columbia woman says her brother was killed in a plane crash in Honduras on Saturday. He was the pilot.In a phone interview with The Canadian Press on Sunday, Jenna Forseth confirmed her brother, Patrick Daniel Forseth — who was from Chilliwack — was killed in the crash in the Roatan area, a popular island destination for tourists to the Central American country. She said her brother was “well-loved” in the area, and that “the whole town is in mourning.”The family is expressing their grief and asking for privacy.“The Forseth family, along with the other families, have suffered a tremendous personal loss and out of respect for the families, the ask that sufficient time be given to the professionals investigating the accident to find the actual cause of the accident without speculation on the cause. They further ask that the media have the courtesy to respect them in their time of mourning,” reads a statement.Earlier on Sunday, Global Affairs Canada confirmed a Canadian citizen had died in the crash, but did not identify them due to privacy concerns.The Piper Cherokee Six plummeted into the Caribbean Sea shortly after takeoff from the popular tourist destination en route to the port of Trujillo. The military said in a statement that rescue boats with police divers and firemen recovered four bodies within minutes of the crash, and transported another to a hospital, where he died shortly after of internal injuries.Global Affairs confirms a Canadian is among the five foreign tourists killed in a private plane crash off the coast of Honduras. Statement provided to @CityNews: pic.twitter.com/HOPgMgwpVY— Caryn Ceolin (@carynceolin) May 19, 2019Stefano Maro, with Global Affairs, says Canadian consular officials in the capital, Tegucigalpa, are in contact with local authorities and providing consular assistance to the victim’s family.Local media report that all five people who died in the crash were foreigners, and the U.S. Department of State has confirmed that four were American citizens.Maron says Global Affairs’ thoughts are with the Canadian citizen’s friends and family.last_img read more

New rules governing unpaid interns in federally regulated sectors released

first_imgOTTAWA — Unpaid interns in federally regulated industries are getting closer to having some of the same labour protections paid employees get.They include 40-hour work weeks, holidays, maternity-related reassignments, leave and breaks.The federal government posted the proposed rules under laws that extended standard health and safety protections to unpaid interns and limited those internships to placements that are part of educational courses.The rules would also require an employer to collect paperwork from each intern’s school explaining just how the work placement fits into an education program and how many hours they’re supposed to put in.Eliminating unpaid internships in federally regulated environments was a Liberal campaign promise in 2015.Legislation to do it was delayed until December 2017 because labour groups, student unions and others representing interns said the protections weren’t strong enough in the Liberals’ first attempt.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

A look at some of the recommendations in Albertas financial report

first_imgCALGARY — A panel looking into Alberta’s finances says the province has been overspending for years and needs to make changes. Here are some of 26 recommendations its report makes:— Use alternative medical service delivery, including private clinics, for day procedures and other medical services that don’t have to be done in hospitals.— Limit the high cost of doctor services by having physicians move to alternative payment plans, renegotiate its agreement with the Alberta Medical Association and also consider legislation.— Revise school funding. Specifically decrease the amount that goes to administration and governance.— Lift the current freeze on post-secondary tuition. Have institutions rely less on government grants and more on tuition and alternative revenue sources.— Create legislation that sets salary levels for all public-sector workers and applies to all negotiations and arbitrations. It would form the basis for back-to-work legislation.— Adopt a fiscal rule that limits annual increases in total program spending to the projected increase in total household incomes.— Balance the budget by 2022-23 and introduce a legislated plan to eliminate the net debt by 2043-44.— Establish a fixed budget date.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Conservatives still working on candidate harassment policy promised this year

first_imgOTTAWA — The federal Conservatives are still working on an anti-harassment policy that would apply to candidates in the coming election campaign.The party promised a code of conduct for its candidates in response to a report on how former Conservative MP Rick Dykstra remained on the ballot in 2015 even after the party learned he was accused of assaulting a woman who worked for another MP.Dykstra, who lost his seat in the southern Ontario riding of St. Catharines in the 2015 election, denies doing anything wrong.The Conservatives hired lawyer Carol Nielsen to investigate how they handled the allegations, and earlier this year she recommended changes to human resources policies, which the party promised to make.Party spokesman Cory Hann says the Tories expect to have the policy ready by the time the campaign officially begins.Hann says the party has already strengthened its candidate vetting procedures, brought in more thorough police record checks and completed harassment training across the country.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Only Make Believe Expands To Washington DC

first_imgOnly Make Believe, the New York City based non-profit organization that brings laughter and imagination to children suffering from chronic illnesses and disabilities is expanding their reach to help children and families in Washington D.C.Since 1999, this organization has brought interactive theater performed by professional actors to over 25,000 children and families in 50 hospitals in the tri-state area. With celebrity support from Jude Law, Mike Myers, Sir Ian McKellen, Julia Stiles, Rachel Weisz, Alan Cumming, Kathie Lee Gifford and more, Only Make Believe has brought joy and hope to the hearts of families and children facing hard times and will now have the opportunity to bring the healing power of laughter to children in Washington D.C.Dena Hammerstein founded the non-profit Only Make Believe in 1999 in memory of her late husband, Broadway producer and director James Hammerstein, son of Oscar Hammerstein part of the legendary musical writing and composing duo Rogers and Hammerstein. The organization was created to bring live interactive theater free-of-charge to children living with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Only Make Believe provides theatrical workshops conducted by teams of professional actors, once a week for six weeks, free-of-charge to hospitals and other medical institutions. In only 13 years, this organization has expanded from performing at just one hospital for 100 children to reaching over 5,000 children in 50 hospitals.Only Make Believe’s interactive live performances encourage children to participate and perform alongside actors, transporting them from a hospital to the enchanting world of make believe. Director of Child Life at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center explained, “It was truly wonderful to see the patients clapping, singing and dancing to the music when often times we just see them lying in bed.” While Only Make Believe does wonders to help bring happiness to the lives of children suffering from chronic illness and disease, it also helps to bring joy back into the hearts of parents. One parent explained, “After each play, I feel like a new person who’s ready to face life. This show helps me gain my sense of humor again.” For children and their families, Only Make Believe strives to uphold the principle that freeing a child’s imagination is a valuable part of the healing process.For more information, please visit: www.OnlyMakeBelieve.org.last_img read more