NEW DELHI: To avenge the suicide of his uncle, a man hired contract killers to murder a woman in Dwarka whom he believed to be into a relationship with his uncle and also for ruining his married life.Chandraprakash fixed the deal to 5 lakhs for murdering Kiren bala, a local property dealer. The two contract killers on bikes shot several rounds on the woman while she was returning after leaving her child in the school near Radisson Blue Hotel on July 11. The woman received gunshots on her neck and is still into a vegetative state. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderAccused Chandraprakash is a tour and travel service provider but the business was not yielding enough income. He started committing a crime in the area and was arrested in 2015 in a murder case in Najafgarh. During his jail term, he came into contact with several criminals and became their friends. Giri Raj Singh Tomar was also jailed in a rape case and in another case. His uncle Premchand was engaged in the Property business in Najafgarh area. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsHe came into contact with the lady victim of the case and both became friends. In December last year his uncle Sh Premchand, committed suicide and his aunt held the friendship with the lady victim responsible for his suicide. “Chandra Prakash pledged to take revenge for the death of his uncle. He contacted his jail time friend Giri Raj Singh and asked to murder the lady and deal was fixed for Rs. 5 lakh in Jan 2019. He paid Rs. 2 lakh advance also and provided vital information about the lady. Giri Raj accepted the offer and roped in his friends Pinku and Narender to complete the task. While Gulab arranged for weapons, Narender arranged for motorcycles, all five have been arrested,” said Madhup Tiwari, Joint CP Western range. Though Police initially suspected the husband of the victim but on technical surveillance, he came out clean and this made Delhi Police to investigate other angles. The woman is still in critical condition and a team of doctors is monitoring her health.
Singapore: Two Singapore soldiers were charged in military court Wednesday over the death of a popular actor during reservist training in a case that has sparked calls for changes to the country’s system of conscription. Aloysius Pang, who starred in Singapore-produced Chinese language TV shows and movies, was completing compulsory reservist training in New Zealand in January when he suffered serious injuries while repairing artillery. The 28-year-old, who first rose to fame in the predominantly ethnic Chinese city-state as a child actor, died later in hospital. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USPang’s death — and those of three other servicemen in the space of 17 months — prompted widespread criticism over safety and calls for changes in the conscription-based system, a major plank of Singapore’s defence strategy since independence in 1965. Male Singapore citizens are required to undergo two years of national service upon turning 18 and are also called up for further training in the following years, which sometimes takes place overseas.
Tel Aviv: Israeli Prime Minister Banjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday asked Indian real estate developers to partner with Israeli counterparts to boost productivity and profitability. Addressing the realtors’ apex body CREDAI conference through video messaging, Netanyahu said Israel and India are already collaborating in many areas like security, agriculture, cyber and IT, and now construction and real estate. The prime minister said CREDAI is holding conference in Israel is another sign of the growing ties between Israel and India. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”The future belongs to those who innovate Israel is innovation nation,” he said. Stating that the world is changing rapidly because of technological advancement, Netanyahu said: “Technology is changing every industry, including the construction industry. The confluence of big data, connectivity, artificial intelligence is revolutionising the world and no area is going to be exempt”. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I recognised this and that is why we are fostering closer relations in every field from security, to cyber, IT, agriculture and now we have construction and real estate,” he added. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostNetanyahu asked Indian developers to consider the possibility of partnering with Israeli counterparts. “You can increase the productivity and profitability of your own enterprises by partnering with Israelis who are eager to partner with you to seize the future together,” he added. Speaking at the event, Indian ambassador to Israel Pavan Kapoor said there is lot of scope for collaboration between India and Israel in the construction and real estate sector. Kapoor said the bilateral trade between India and Israel is $5.5 billion, of which only $102.6 million is in construction services (including equioment installation).
New Delhi: The Delhi Police Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has booked Amrapali builders after investigating a cheating case in which complainant alleged that he was duped by the real estate company on the pretext of providing flat.Police have named four persons including managing director and other directors as suspects in the case. The complainant told police that Amrapali had launched a project in the year 2010. The company officials through various brochures, advertisements and communication misrepresented the public including the complainant. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”The date of completion of the project as represented by the company was three years from the date of its launch,” police said. Quoting complainant’s statement, the investigating agency further said that company and it’s officials represented MS Dhoni, the then Indian Cricket team captain as their brand ambassador of the project. The complainant further said that the company officials, at the time of launch of the project, misrepresented him (complainant) that they have all rights, title and authority from regulatory authorities to take bookings of flats. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”The company through its authorised signatory executed an allotment cum flat buyer agreement on October 2010 with the complainant,” police said. Complainant further alleged that under the agreement the company had misrepresented that they will develop the project in accordance with the sanctioned building plans and necessary permissions from the concerned government authorities. “The construction of the flat was to be completed by the end of 2013 (including grace period of six months). However, it has been almost 100 months from the date of signing of agreement but till date company failed to complete the project,” police said. The complainant have purchased the apartment and had regularly paid all the installments on or before due dates as per payment plan of the agreement. Recently EOW has arrested two prominent senior level staff of Amrapali Builders in case of cheating. In press statement Delhi Police said, “The accused were nabbed for being instrumental in creating large number of bogus companies for the purpose of diversion of funds of home buyers.”
Greater Noida: A 32-year-old man committed suicide by hanging himself from the ceiling fan while his wife slit her wrist several times after seeing her husband dead at their residential flat in Gaur city society of Greater Noida West on Monday night. Cops suspect a family feud to be reason behind the incident.According to police, the incident occurred in fourth avenue of Gaur city society. “The man identified as Sunny Sinha, a native of Himachal Pradesh, worked as manager with Samsung company, died in the incident while his wife Priyanka (30) has been critically admitted to Safdarjung hospital in Delhi,” said police officials. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderRK Prasad, Priyanka’s father said that the couple got married around two years ago at their home town in Chhapra district of Bihar and it was an arrange marriage. “At the time of marriage, Priyanka was working with TATA consultancy Services (TCS) in Bangalore and got transferred to Noida around six months after her marriage. The couple worked at different IT companies in Noida and lived at a rented flat,” said Prasad. Narrating the incident, Prasad said that Priyanka had called him for help on the night of incident and urged him to reach her flat immediately. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”I also live at a residential society in Greater Noida West along with my wife. Priyanka had come to meet us on Monday evening and nearly half an hour later she left our home, I received a call from her and she asked me to immediately reach her flat. Before I could ask anything, she disconnected the phone. When I reached her flat I found her to be missing from home but later police informed me that she has been admitted to Safdarjung hospital and reported the incident to me,” he added. Manoj Kumar Pathak, Station House Officer of Bisrakh police station said that they suspect a family feud to be reason behind the incident. “Police received information from a man who identified himself to be a friend of the deceased and told police that Priyanka had called him for help. A team rushed to the spot and found the man hanging from the ceiling fan while the woman was lying in a pool of blood with multiple cuts in her wrist. Police immediately took the woman to a nearby hospital from where doctors referred her to Safdarjung hospital in Delhi. The body of deceased was handed over to his family after getting the postmortem done,” said Pathak. “Preliminary investigations into the case showed that the man first committed suicide and then his wife tried for the same. We suspect that a family feud might have led to the incident. We have not received any complaint into the matter,” added Pathak.
Washington: A 27-year-old Indian student has drowned after jumping off from a recreation spot into the Crater Lake in the US state of Oregon, authorities said. Sumedh Mannar, jumped off the “Jumping Rock”, a popular recreation spot at the lake on Sunday around 4:40 pm (local time) and did not resurface, Marsha McCabe, a spokeswoman for Crater Lake National Park, was quoted as saying by the Oregonian newspaper. McCabe said the cliff Mannar, a graduate student at the Oregon State University, had jumped from was about 25 feet high. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe cliff was not a prohibited area for jumping, she said, adding that officials have not yet determined exactly why he drowned. In the summers, the surface of the lake warms up to about 15 degrees Celsius, but the average temperature of the lake is around 3 degrees. Swimming is only allowed in the area around Cleetwood Cove and along the shore of Wizard Island. Immediately after Mannar disappeared, people on scene threw a life ring into the water, and Crater Lake hospitality staff took a small boat out to the area to help search, she said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsPark staff came to the area to help with the search, but choppy waters and poor visibility conditions made the search difficult. After about three hours of searching and no sign of Mannar, officials called off the search for the night and resumed it Monday morning. Divers on Monday morning dove in the last known spot Mannar had been seen and found him about 90 feet straight down in the water on a rock ledge. Beyond that point, the lake drops off dramatically to a depth of more than 1,200 feet.
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked his party’s workers and followers living abroad to help highlight the Kashmir issue internationally.The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf decided to highlight the Kashmir issue at all the world forums.Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USIndia has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality. During a meeting with his party’s Overseas Secretary Abdullah Riar on Wednesday, the prime minister directed the party leaders and workers to hold protest in New York against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the UN General Assembly session next month.
Washington: A 64-year-old Sikh man from India was stabbed to death by an unidentified person in the US state of California while he was on his evening walk, according to a media report. Parmjit Singh was attacked in Gretchen Talley Park in Tracy around 9 pm on Sunday. He died from his injuries, ABC News reported. Detectives say a passerby spotted the man bleeding on the ground and immediately called 911. Police have launched a homicide investigation. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Police don’t have any clear suspects just yet. On Monday, they asked for the community’s help identifying a man captured on video hopping a fence and running away from the park around the time when the incident took place, according to the report. “We just need to figure out who that is, why they were in the area, what they may have seen and potentially any of their involvement in the incident,” said Tracy Police Spokesperson Lt Trevin Freitas. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls Singh was wearing a traditional Sikh turban as he always would for his walks twice a day. Some residents are worried Singh may have been attacked because he was Sikh. Police said they cannot say if it was a hate crime. We can’t say what it was right now. We’re keeping all possibilities open. We have no information that would lead us to the motive of this crime. It is something that we can’t disprove at this time and we’re actively investigating all possibilities,” Freitas said. Harnek Singh Kang, the victim’s son-in-law, said Singh immigrated to Tracy from India three years ago and was an active member of the Sikh community. “We feel very safe in the country, so whatever happened, this is unacceptable,” he said. Singh had two kids and three grandkids. The attack has left the neighbourhood shaken. Neighbours said they are all deeply saddened by what happened. “Absolutely stunned. This is a very safe neighbourhood, very decent area of Tracy,” neighbor Dave Roychowdhury said. “Nothing has ever happened like this here,” he said. Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman in a statement said, “We take pride in our safe, close-knit community. The loss of one of our own to violence has shaken us to our core and is felt by the entire community. “On behalf of the Tracy City Council, we offer our sincerest condolences to Mr Singh’s family, friends and to the members of our Sikh community. This violence will not be tolerated and we are dedicating every available resource to ensuring that the person(s) responsible for the death of Mr Singh is brought to justice,” Rickman said. The Sikh community is in shock after the incident, CBS Local reported. In an emergency meeting on Monday, the mayor and police chief talked with the Sikh community to calm fears and answer their questions. The community is offering a USD 1000 reward for identifying the suspect. There have been a number of attacks targeting Indian-Americans and Sikhs in the US in recent years. In August last year, a Sikh man has been stabbed to death at his store in the US state of New Jersey In July last year, another Sikh man was attacked while putting up campaign signs in support of a Republican Congressman.
New Delhi: Prominent Muslim face Arif Mohammed Khan, who quit the Rajiv Gandhi government in protest against the enactment of a law to nullify the Supreme Court verdict in the Shah Bano case, was on Sunday appointed as Governor, along with three BJP leaders.BJP leader and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari, 77, has been appointed the Governor of Maharashtra, while BJP’s Tamil Nadu chief Tamilisai Soundararajan, 58, moves to the Raj Bhavan in Telangana, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan communique. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsFormer Union minister Kalraj Mishra, who was recently appointed the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, has been shifted to Rajasthan.Seventy-eight-year-old Mishra will succeed former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, who completed his five-year tenure as the Governor of Rajasthan.Former Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatraya, 72, has been appointed as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, replacing Mishra.Koshyari replaces Vidya Sagar Rao as the Maharashtra Governor, while Soundararajan will succeed ESL Narasimhan as the Telangana Governor. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdaySixty-eight-year-old Khan, who replaces former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam in Kerala Raj Bhavan, has been a vocal critic of the practice of instant triple talaq and calling for reforms in the Muslim personal laws for long.Khan’s speech in Parliament in 1985 in the wake of the Shah Bano judgement extending the Rajiv Gandhi government’s initial support to it was much acclaimed.However, when the Rajiv Gandhi government did a U-turn under alleged pressure from Muslim clerics and brought a bill to nullify the Supreme Court order, he resigned from the ministry. The Uttar Pradesh politician later joined the BJP but remained inactive since 2007.Recently, when the Modi government brought a bill to criminalise the practice of instant triple talaq, Khan supported it.In the Shah Bano case, the Supreme Court had delivered a judgment favouring maintenance given to an aggrieved divorced Muslim woman.”The above appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said.
WINNIPEG – A Manitoba man imprisoned for 23 years for first-degree murder before spending the last nine years on probation is on the verge of having his name cleared.Lawyers for the Crown and defence told the Manitoba Court of Appeal on Monday that they agree Frank Ostrowski’s 1987 conviction in the shooting death of a drug dealer was a miscarriage of justice and cannot stand.“His trial was unfair,” Crown attorney Randy Schwartz told the three judges hearing the case.“The parties agree that this case should be terminated permanently.”The Crown is asking for a judicial stay of proceedings, which would put an end to the case. The defence wants the court to go a step further and formally acquit Ostrowski, now in his late 60s.Ostrowski was found guilty of ordering the shooting of a fellow drug dealer and was convicted largely on the testimony of a key witness — Matthew Lovelace — who had separate charges of cocaine possession stayed in exchange.Ostrowski’s lawyers and the jury were never told about the deal and Lovelace told the trial he did not receive any favours in exchange for his testimony.Ostrowski’s lawyer told the Appeal Court that the Crown attorney in the original trial, George Dangerfield, crossed a line by not correcting Lovelace when he testified he did not receive a deal.“He was trying not to cross it. But the reality is he did … by not interrupting and saying, ‘Hang on a sec. Lovelace isn’t telling the truth,’” James Lockyer said.Ostrowski maintained his innocence throughout his incarceration and, in 2009, a Court of Queen’s bench judge cited serious concerns with the conviction and released Ostrowski on bail. In 2014, then-federal justice minister Peter MacKay ruled the case a likely miscarriage of justice and ordered the Manitoba Court of Appeal to review it.Schwartz said Monday that while it was wrong to not reveal Lovelace’s testimony deal, it is not clear whether the Crown at the time knew about the deal or whether police had withheld that information.Schwartz also said there was other evidence that might cause a jury to link Ostrowski to the killing — mainly other witness testimony about his fear that the victim was going to tell police about Ostrowski’s drug activities.For that reason, Schwartz said, Ostrowski does not meet the legal criteria for a full acquittal.The Appeal Court judges reserved their decision to an undetermined date. Ostrowski remains under bail conditions for now.His case is one of a few high-profile wrongful murder convictions that have come to light in Manitoba.James Driskell was convicted of killing a friend in Winnipeg in 1990. The verdict was based partly on testimony from a witness who was given tens of thousands of dollars in expense payments as well as immunity on an arson charge. The trial was not told about the deal. Driskell’s conviction was quashed in 2006.Kyle Unger was convicted, based partly on hair samples found at the scene, of killing a teenage girl at a rock festival in 1990. DNA tests years later showed the hair did not belong to him.Thomas Sophonow was found guilty of killing a waitress in 1981. That was based largely on the testimony of a witness who contradicted in court what she had told police. The defence was not told about the contradiction and Sophonow spent four years in prison before he was freed.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly referred to Crown attorney Randy Schwartz as Schultz in later paragraphs
CACOUNA, Qc – Officials involved with the rescue of a wayward beluga whale earlier this month in northern New Brunswick are cautiously optimistic for its future.The beluga, which is about two metres long, was captured in the Nepisiquit River on June 15 — where it was alone — and transported to Quebec where it was released near Cacouna in the St. Lawrence Estuary.The whale was outfitted with a satellite tracking device so officials could monitor its movements.Marie-Eve Muller of the Quebec City-based Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals says that over the last few days the whale has been near Trois-Pistoles.The area is heavily frequented by belugas, giving hope to researchers that the beluga is in communication and perhaps even in physical contact with other members of its species.The population of the St. Lawrence belugas has been declining since the early 2000s and it’s believed there are fewer than 900 of them still in existence.They were placed on the endangered species list last fall.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Three Labrador protesters jailed after refusing to obey a court injunction ordering them to stay away from the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project site are to be released.The trio — Jim Learning, Eldred Davis and Marjorie Flowers, who activists describe as Inuit elders — were taken into custody July 21 and held at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s, N.L.Their incarceration became a focal point for protests around the Muskrat Falls megaproject, with about two dozen protesters rallying Monday at the Confederation Building in St. John’s, where they presented a 3,000-name petition calling for their release.“People are trying to have their voices heard and sending them to a penitentiary in St. John’s thousands of kilometres away from their home is definitely a bit extreme,” said protest organizer Angela Giles, who said the three are simply trying to protect their land and the environment.All three were released to return home after court appearances Monday, VOCM reported.Davis signed an undertaking, while Flowers and Learning will be under house arrest until their next court appearances, VOCM reported. Learning is 79 years old and being treated for prostate cancer.Andrew Parsons, the province’s justice minister, said in a statement Monday he was not involved in the decision to transfer the trio to St. John’s.“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador fully appreciates that people have legitimate concerns with the Muskrat Falls project. Our government supports the right to lawful and peaceful protest however once the level of protest exceeds the limits laid out in the law, we must respect judicial decisions,” he said in the statement.A smaller protest, organized by the Council of Canadians, was also held Monday outside the Halifax headquarters of project partner Emera Inc.Emera is funding the $1.6 billion Maritime Link, a 170-kilometre subsea cable that will eventually carry electricity from Newfoundland to Cape Breton.Giles said the public needs to show opposition to the Muskrat Falls project by contacting provincial and federal politicians.“Nova Scotians are implicated in this as well through the Maritime Link,” she said.Giles said her group hasn’t yet attempted to talk to Emera officials.In addition to dropping the charges against Learning, Davis, and Flowers, the protesters said they want a methylmercury agreement signed in 2016 to be honoured by lowering water levels and clearing vegetation around the Muskrat Falls site. They also want an independent review on the stability of an earthen dam near the site and a forensic audit of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Crown utility Nalcor Energy.“From the very start we were concerned about the lack of information, the lack of due diligence performed by Nalcor . . . and the lack of adherence by Canada to consult with indigenous peoples who will be impacted by this project,” said Gretchen Fitzgerald of Sierra Club Canada.Nalcor announced in June that it would adjust the spillway gates to lower the water levels in the river above the Muskrat Falls generation facility.At the time Nalcor Energy CEO Stan Marshall said the utility was working with Labrador aboriginal leaders to address methylmercury concerns.Marshall said he wasn’t looking to “do anything that will endanger people.”The cost of the beleaguered project is estimated at $12.7 billion with financing — a figure about $5 billion higher than when the project was sanctioned five years ago.– By Keith Doucette in Halifax
NEWMARKET, Ont. – Police in York Region north of Toronto have arrested a 35-year-old Sudbury, Ont., man in connection with the violent robbery of an elderly woman at an ATM machine on July 31.Video released by police shows the 81-year-old woman withdrawing cash from the machine in Aurora, Ont., and once the transaction is complete, a man tried to grab her money.The woman resisted, she was shoved to the floor, and the man grabbed her cash and ran away.The victim was taken to hospital suffering from non-life threatening injuries.Police say the they received a large number of tips from the public and made an arrest on Wednesday night at a residence in Aurora.Terrence Rocks is charged with robbery and is scheduled to appear in court in Newmarket, Ont., on August 8.
CHARLOTTETOWN – Nine men affiliated with a Toronto-area Hells Angels chapter have been arrested by a new police task force targeting P.E.I.’s growing outlaw motorcycle gang presence.Police say the nine — reportedly aged 19 to 63 — are “hangarounds” with the Hells Angels in Woodbridge, Ont.They face charges relating to involvement in a criminal organization as well as lottery and gaming counts.They were arrested early Thursday by the P.E.I. Organized Crime Task Force — a joint group including municipal forces and the RCMP.Members affiliated with the Hells Angels chapter set up shop on Prince Edward Island last December.The Angels were without a beachhead in the Maritimes since police disbanded the former Halifax chapter in 2001.But the gang has begun to reassert itself, strengthening its presence mainly through affiliate or so called “puppet clubs” in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I.
TORONTO – Two winning tickets were sold for Saturday night’s $7 million Lotto 649 jackpot — one in Ontario, the other in the Prairies — and each is worth $3.5 million.The guaranteed $1 million prize was claimed by a ticket holder in Ontario.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Nov. 8 will be approximately $5 million.
MONTREAL – Quebec must change its policy that systematically denies parents the right to accompany their children during urgent medical air evacuations, the Canadian and Quebec paediatric societies said Tuesday.The call by the child-advocacy groups follows a similar demand by three physicians who wrote to the Quebec government in December, urging the health minister to reconsider the policy they say disproportionately affects northern Inuit and First Nations communities.Remote northern areas often don’t have medical infrastructure to care for critically ill people, and as a consequence patients are transported to southern cities for services.Sending children, especially from First Nations communities, alone on medical flights can be traumatic, said Catherine Farrell, president-elect of the Canadian Paediatric society, in an interview.The reason parentless flights are especially damaging to native people is due to “intergenerational trauma from the forced removal of children during the residential school system and during the tuberculosis epidemic,” Farrell said.“(Children) suffer from the absence of their parent,” she added. “Not just during transport, but in the period following transport when we are taking charge of a patient’s care and making decisions without their parents being present.”Quebec is the only jurisdiction in the country that routinely denies parents the ability to fly with their sick kids, she said.The paediatric society is calling on the Quebec government to change its policy on air flights and to prioritize space on the plane for a parent or relative to accompany their child.“I think what we are looking at is rejigging the space (on the place) that’s required for one person to sit,” Farrell said. “I think it’s doable because in other provinces it’s completely doable.”In January, Quebec Health Minister Gaetan Barrette denied the policy is discriminatory toward Inuit and First Nations and noted the government picks up the bill to fly parents to be at their children’s bedsides.He said at the time Quebec’s air ambulances are designed to make multiple stops to pick up patients, which leads to a lack of space on the aircraft and added a plane’s medical equipment doesn’t leave much room for seats, and those need to be reserved for medical personnel.In response to the Canadian and Quebec paediatric societies call for change, a spokeswoman for Barrette said via email he was “reflecting” on the issue.Asked whether the government’s position had changed, spokeswoman Catherine Audet simply repeated her one-line response: “Our reflections continue on the subject.”Farrell said the costs associated with renovating the aircraft to allow room for parents would be defrayed by the savings in paying for commercial flights after their children arrive in hospital.“We will maintain pressure so that (the issue) really gets looked at by (Barrette),” she said. “So that at a minimum, changing the policy is top priority and then making the change a reality is the last step.”
OTTAWA – Diplomats from some of Canada’s closest allies are quietly expressing frustration with how the Trudeau government handled this week’s announcement that it plans to send military helicopters to Mali.The news that Canada had finally committed resources to the peacekeeping mission was greeted with relief-tinged applause, but diplomats — speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter — say the government has failed to explain that the mission is both necessary and that the Canadians will be relatively safe, compared to the thousands of other peacekeepers working across the country.They fear the government has allowed incorrect information to spread unchallenged, threatening to undermine Canadian public support for what they say is a critical contribution to the UN peacekeeping effort.“It seems the government missed the opportunity to inform (Canadians) about the mission,” one diplomat said. “I believe they have to do more.”The government is still hammering out the details after what appears to have been a quick decision to help the UN, which appealed for Canada’s assistance last week.Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Monday that Canada will send six helicopters to Mali to help with medical evacuations and the transporting of UN troops and supplies.The 12-month mission was in direct response to an urgent request from the UN, sources have said, but many specifics remain up in the air, including when the helicopters will arrive and how many troops will accompany them.That is despite the government and military officials having studied the possible deployment of Canadian military helicopters to Mali in late 2016, which was subsequently shelved for more than a year.“Details regarding the final structure and chain of command of the Canadian mission in Mali are still to be determined, as negotiations with the United Nations have yet to begin,” Sajjan’s spokeswoman, Byrne Furlong, said in an email Friday.“It is important to keep in mind that preparing for a mission can take several months. Mission requirements need to be defined.… All of this must be supported by ongoing diplomatic engagement with the UN, partners, and host nations.”Jocelyn Coulon, an expert on peacekeeping at the University of Montreal who advised then-foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion, said that could partly explain what he also felt was the government’s understated approach to Mali.But he said questioned the government’s failure to challenge allegations that Canadian peacekeepers will be at grave risk or explain the broader importance of the mission, which he believed had resulted in a proliferation of misinformation.“And I find this very strange because we have been working on a Mali plan since summer 2016,” Coulon said. “I don’t understand what happened.”The government is sending a delegation to Berlin next month to meet with officials from Germany and the Netherlands, both of which have previously operated helicopters in Mali and have large contingents in the country.The Department of National Defence is also planning a reconnaissance mission to the West African nation to get a firsthand look at the UN base in Gao where the Canadians will be stationed, known as Camp Castor.One diplomat described the base as being up to “gold standards,” with protections that include Dutch and German guards and equipment including anti-aircraft weapons and surveillance drones to monitor the surrounding area.“They’re not going into a Third World camp with Third World soldiers defending them,” the diplomat said of the Canadian troops.In criticizing the Trudeau government for agreeing to the UN’s request for Canadian helicopters, the Conservatives have questioned the purpose of the mission and emphasized the potential dangers.More than 160 peacekeepers have died in Mali since 2013, only nine have been from western countries and six of those fatalities were caused by accidents — a point that defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance has made in interviews.But the diplomats felt the government has not done enough to challenge the narrative that Canadian troops will face significant danger in Mali.The envoys also said the government failed to explain how the UN mission in Mali is helping secure the country after years of war and ensure it doesn’t become a safe haven for Islamic militant groups.The Canadian helicopters will essential to that effort, they said, by supporting the thousands of other peacekeepers who are out working and patrolling in different parts of the country.— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.
WOLFVILLE, N.S. – It didn’t take Prime Minister Justin Trudeau long to get a chuckle from a crowd of Liberal partisans in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley Thursday, following an intense day in which Canada responded to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium.“It’s been a busy day,” a relaxed Trudeau said to laughter from the dozens of supporters who attended a party fundraiser at a winery near the university town of Wolfville, N.S.“You all know what it’s like when you have discussions with the neighbour about something. But we have been standing up for Canada as you all know.”Trudeau then joked about actions that will see Canada retaliate dollar-for-dollar against a 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium.“We are polite as Canadians but we are also firm. When push comes to shove we know how to use our elbows in the corners on the hockey rink, so you draw on what you do, but this is an opportunity to remind people how important it is to stand together,” he said.Trudeau spoke for just over 15 minutes before dozens of supporters and party luminaries including federal Treasury Board president Scott Brison, along with Nova Scotia provincial cabinet ministers Keith Colwell, Iain Rankin, Zach Churchill and Kelly Regan.The prime minister took the opportunity to thank workers for their support and told them he believes there is a sense that people are working together not just in the Atlantic region, but across Canada.Returning to a theme he pitched during the national Liberal convention held in Halifax in April, Trudeau urged those gathered to continue working to let people know what the Liberals have been doing while in power.He said it’s important to “stay involved in building a better country.”“The one thing we are discovering about democracy is that we can’t take it for granted,” said Trudeau.Following the speech, Trudeau circulated in the room taking pictures with supporters.He is scheduled to speak Friday before a conference of big city mayors in Halifax before heading to Quebec next week for a meeting of the G7.In a news release, the federal Liberal Party said it was committed to openness and transparency, and a list of guests at the event would be available within 45 days.The party said these events are hosted in publicly accessible spaces, and it has also committed to facilitating media coverage.
Five stories in the news for Tuesday, June 5———PM TO MEET INDIGENOUS PIPELINE SUPPORTERSThe prime minister is expected to meet with Indigenous leaders in British Columbia today, including a First Nations chief who has been a vocal supporter of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Justin Trudeau will be in the Fraser Valley where he’ll speak with the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee, a group that monitors existing pipelines and the construction of the Trans Mountain’s expansion project.———ONTARIO BUS CRASH INJURES 24Provincial police in eastern Ontario are seeking the cause of a bus crash that sent at least 24 people to hospital, including four with life-threatening injuries. Const. Suzanne Runciman says the bus carrying Chinese tourists crashed into a rock cut Monday afternoon between Brockville and Prescott. She said the bus carried about 37 people, including the driver and a tour guide, when it went off the highway.———DOUG FORD’S SISTER-IN-LAW FILES LAWSUITOntario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford denies allegations that he mishandled the estate of his late brother Rob Ford, causing financial harm to the late mayor’s widow and two children. The allegations, which have not been proven in court, are in a lawsuit filed by Renata Ford and her two children just days before the Ontario election.———WETTLAUFER INQUIRY TO START TODAYA public inquiry examining the circumstances that allowed a long-term care nurse to kill elderly patients in her care is set to get underway in St. Thomas, Ont., today. The inquiry will examine the systemic factors that allowed Elizabeth Wettlaufer to inject more than a dozen patients with overdoses of insulin while working at long-term care homes and private residences in southwestern Ontario for nearly a decade.———REPORT: STROKE AFFECTS WOMEN DIFFERENTLY THAN MENThe Heart and Stroke Foundation has issued a report showing how stroke can affect women differently than men. It says one-third more women die from having a stroke than do males, and women are 60 per cent less likely to regain their independence afterwards, with a worse prognosis for recovery than men. Less than half of stroke patients who participate in rehabilitation programs are female. Women are also less likely to return home after being treated: twice as many women as men go into long-term care following a stroke.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to visit the Kinder Morgan Edmonton Terminal South.— Annual Canada 2020 Conference in Ottawa. Former FBI director James Comey delivers keynote address.— Finance Minister Bill Morneau will appear before the Senate national finance committee.— Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will hold a media teleconference following his visit to Vietnam.— Statistics Canada will release labour data for the first quarter.— Gov. Gen. Julie Payette will honour 43 recipients with various awards.— The Calgary Stampede will announce the 50 new Midway foods for 2018.
TORONTO – A murder trial in Toronto has heard that an aviation executive was very excited about a new business venture in the weeks before he died from a single gunshot wound to the head.The death of 71-year-old Wayne Millard on Nov. 29, 2012 was initially ruled a suicide, but in 2014, his son — Dellen Millard — was charged with murder in the death of his father.Court heard that Wayne Millard had recently moved Millardair — his family-owned aircraft servicing and maintenance company — from Toronto’s Pearson airport to Region of Waterloo International Airport, where he had built a massive hangar.Chris Wood, the general manager of the Waterloo airport, testified today that on Nov. 1, 2012, Wayne Millard had received a crucial certification for his business from Transport Canada and was very happy.Wood says Wayne Millard told him he was investing in Millardair because the legacy of the family company was really important to him.Dellen Millard, a twice-convicted murderer who is serving two consecutive life sentences, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.Wood testified that Dellen Millard was not interested in running the family company, and after his father’s death, he quickly fired all Millardair staff and returned the valuable government certification.“We thought that was a poor business decision,” said Wood. “If you’d like to get maximum return out of business, you sell the business with the hangar with certificate and staff in place.”Court has heard that Dellen Millard, now 32, told police his father suffered from depression, alcoholism and was under a lot of stress from the new business.Millardair was started by Carl Millard, Wayne Millard’s father, in 1963 and operated as a cargo airline, then a passenger airline, before the business shifted into renting out its hangar at Toronto’s Pearson airport.Wayne Millard took over the business when his father died in 2006.Wood told court he approached Wayne Millard in 2009 to woo him away from Toronto. In short order they had an agreement, he said, and construction began in 2011 on a hangar that was triple the size of any other hangar at the Waterloo airport.Wayne Millard was taking his company in a new direction to service and repair aircraft. Then, after more than a year of work, Millardair received the Transport Canada certification.“He was very excited, very happy … there was a lot of excitement at the airport. It was a very large hangar and a real big win to have this type of business come to our airport,” Wood said.That excitement soured after Wayne Millard died, he said. The hangar was full of “junk,” he said, including old cars, a couple small planes, a helicopter and a bunch of car parts.“It became more and more clear it was not going to be used for what it was intended,” Wood said.“We were growing increasingly frustrated that 90 jobs were promised and aircraft were going to start coming, so we ratcheted up pressure to enforce the lease.”The hangar was later sold to another company, Wood said.Court has heard that Dellen Millard called his dad a failure and blamed him for the company’s financial problems. Court documents show Dellen Millard’s DNA was on the handle of the gun that was found next to Wayne Millard’s body.A shooting reconstruction expert testified Thursday that forensic testing suggested it was “unlikely” Wayne Millard shot himself.