APTN National NewsHuman remains discovered in northern Manitoba are believed to be those of a 14 year-old Aboriginal girl.While RCMP say they can’t confirm the identity of the body, sources say it is likely that of Heather Mallett.Mallet went missing from Wabowden, a Metis community about 600 kilometres north of Winnipeg.The body was discovered near the community.
APTN National NewsCaribou stew? Sliding parties? Ice golf? Iqaluit’s annual spring festival, Toonik Tyme, features fun for everyone, and APTN National News reporter Kent Driscoll got in on some of the action.
By Kenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsTwo of the chiefs that stormed Parliament Hill a year ago say the actions of the prime minister indicate he couldn’t care less about murdered Indigenous women and have thrown their support behind direct action to force a national inquiry on the issue.Chiefs Patrick Madahbee and Isadore Day fielded questions from APTN National News based on the recent ultimatum by Tyendinaga Mohawk activist Shawn Brant.Brant is giving Prime Minister Stephen Harper until the end of the month to call an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women or face unspecified direct action.“Shawn has demonstrated that he backs up his words,” said Madahbee, grand council chief of Anishinabek Nation in northern Ontario. “I support anything that is done with the intent of protecting our rights.”Brant is a well-known Mohawk activist and led a blockade of Hwy. 401 in 2007 for 11 hours. At the same time he blocked the railway tracks and local road choking the route.The Harper government has refused to call an inquiry and the Prime Minister’s Office didn’t respond to questions sent by email.Madabhee said direct action is typically the only way to get the government’s attention and tactics like passing out leaflets or getting signatures for a petition don’t work.“The government has become used to that tactic. It doesn’t move them,” he said.Madahbee said Harper has no sympathy for the growing number of missing and murdered that ranges between 600 to 3,000 according to various studies.“This prime minister just doesn’t care,” he said.Madahbee was there with Chief Isadore Day of Serpent River First Nation, in northwest Ontario, when they stormed Parliament Hill Dec. 4, 2012 and tried to get into the House of Commons to confront Harper. It was arguably the beginning of the Idle No More movement as the cross-country protest escalated from that day forward.Day says he backs direct action for a national inquiry, however his answer was a little more complex.“I support direct action but think if it’s going to have an impact we must include others in that march,” he said. “Direct action must be done with the inclusion of others relevant to process.”So far Brant has refused to say exactly what he has planned but has told APTN it will be more than a blockade of a highway or railway tracks.“The notion of having all the details of a campaign is very natural. We are asking for unconditional support for a cause that needs to be concluded by whatever means necessary,” said Brant, whose Mohawk community sits near Belleville, Ont. “I understand it takes tremendous courage to trust our judgment.”Brant’s 2007 highway and railway blockades cost the Canadian economy about $100 million, according to the Canadian Security and Intelligence ServiceBrant and the “Mohawk men of Tyendinaga” have been given a mandate by the community protect Indigenous women and the first step he said is national inquiry.“We are only asking our leadership to look into their hearts and decide for themselves if tactical uncertainty is worse than the on-going slaughter of our mothers and daughters. Doing nothing is no longer an option,” he said.Day agrees doing nothing is no longer an option and said the murder and abductions of Indigenous women is an issue to draw a line on.“My opinion is we should leave the political soapbox far away from this issue and do all we can in our communities for our women and girls and contribute to a collective push to hold the federal government accountable for every loss of life of our Indigenous women,” he said. “Our First Nation women are being marginalized in a national policy by the Conservative government that is not only disgraceful (but) refusing a national inquiry is a national embarrassment to all Canadians.”Gladys Radek and Gail Nepinak have both lost family members. In Radek’s case her niece went missing in 2005 and has not been heard from since, while Nepinak lost her sister to serial Killer Shawn Lamb and her body is supposedly buried in a Winnipeg dump underneath trash.The Native Women’s Association of Canada issued another call for an inquiry last week presenting the names of over 23,000 people who want one too at a media conference in Ottawa.President Michele Audette remained neutral on the call for direct action but said she appreciated Brant’s support.At the same media conference last week, Algonquin elder Annie Smith St. George said everyone should come together in a peaceful way.“We should a never stop speaking about it, we should take it and work together, it’s time to come together in a peaceful way,” said Smith St. George. “If we can do a peaceful dialogue and not going against each other, because you know, you get hurt.”email@example.com
APTN National NewsRegional chiefs arrived at the Assembly of First Nation offices in downtown Ottawa Monday ready to talk about what comes next for the organization now that its national chief has stepped down.There are several options open to the chiefs.APTN’s Annette Francis reports.
APTN National NewsHow can there be a land shortage in the Arctic?Iqaluit is facing one and that shortage means no social housing units built this year in Nunavut’s capital.APTN’s Kent Driscoll explains.
Tina House APTN National NewsIn the second part of a look into the fight to save the Peace River Valley APTN takes a closer look at the economy generated the Site C dam would bring if it’s built in northern British Columbia.However, some see it as a difficult balance between saving the environment and the creation of jobs that the project will bring to an area hard hit by the crash of the oil boom.
Kenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsPeters First Nation’s three-member band council were allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars over a two-year period to operate a band with 12 homes on 131 hectares and little infrastructure.The money was much more than what band council claimed to Indigenous Affairs from 2013 to 2015 according to the First Nations Transparency Act.But the money just didn’t go to council.It was also allocated to members who are known to vote for council every two years. A close look at the finances over those years indicate that over 90 per cent of all expenditures to band members went to those who voted for council.This happened while the British Columbia reserve was in a bitter membership battle that continues to this day on a nation that receives around $300,000 in annual funding from Indigenous Affairs.But it doesn’t end there.Documents show questionable payments not only to the children of council but one of their mothers received tens of thousands in social assistance and allegedly didn’t qualify, while one councillor had over 10 jobs, an APTN National News investigation has uncovered.A recent audit uncovered that the band kept little paper trail of supporting documents for social assistance, and council members were signing cheques over to themselves, all of which the auditor said opened the band to the potential for “inappropriate payments” during the fiscal year of 2014/2015.Indigenous Affairs (INAC) approved the audit without question.More so, Indigenous Affairs funded the National Child Benefit program that year without any supporting documents, asking the band to submit details of how the money would be spent later.That was just one of the many programs led by Victoria Peters, a longtime councillor who is also – to name a few – the band manager, bookkeeper, income assistance administrator, community health representative, on the membership committee, accounts payable/receivable and social worker.Chief Norma Webb has refused to comment directly on any part of APTN’s investigation supported by confidential ledgers, audits, band council resolutions, internal emails, INAC documents and interviews with band members spanning more than three months.APTN has also been following two court cases involving Peters band council where band members are suing the council for breaching its fiduciary duty by allegedly misusing band money, not keeping records and appointing themselves to all the jobs.Peters First Nation along the Fraser River about 130 km east of Vancouver. Submitted.The band council, at the same time, is trying to enforce an injunction to have “confidential” documents returned to the office, alleging former employee Frances Genaille and her son, Andrew stole them and, in part, are using the documents against council to seek INAC to investigate the band council.“Andrew has disclosed confidential information regarding the Peters social assistance program that could only have been obtained from Peters’ files,” wrote the band council recently in its petition for an injunction. “INAC has requested an immediate review of Peters social assistance program as a result.”Andrew Genaille wrote to INAC March 20 alleging former councillor Leanne Peters’ mother, Donna Peters, had been receiving social assistance since 2011 and didn’t qualify.“Donna Peters owns her own home,” he wrote. “Donna Peters husband, Clifford Peters, already receives disability. Clifford Peters also receives a paycheque from Peters First Nations. Donna Peters is Leanne Peters mother, and sister in law to both Victoria Peters and Norma Webb.”Victoria Peters used that email to amend Peters’ petition for an injunction two weeks ago, that was first filed last November.APTN can confirm between 2012 and 2015 Donna Peters received all the social assistance funding – about $12,000 annually – based on the band council’s ledgers for those years. APTN can also confirm Clifford Peters received about $9,000 a year from the band during that time partially for odd jobs, like snow removal.When APTN called the home of Donna and Clifford Peters, Donna answered and quickly hung up when asked about the payments.Peters also refused to comment on the allegations. Webb first said she couldn’t comment because the documents were stolen, then suggested they may be fabricated and demanded to know APTN’s source of information.APTN informed Webb the ledgers showing the allocations were, at the very least, with their accountant who prepared them, as APTN has emails the accountant sent council during those years. The emails had digital copies of the ledgers as attachments.INAC was also told by another member of the band in March that she was aware that other people were being denied social assistance.“Due to all of the court proceeding in progress at the Band Level, this was used to deny access to the social program delivery at the request of Peters Band Members,” wrote Samantha Peters to INAC. “I would like it noted on record that Victoria is getting paid to deliver a program that nobody seems to have access to.”APTN is unaware of where Indigenous Affairs is with its investigation into the social assistance program but INAC has appointed a financial investigator in Ottawa to assist the Vancouver regional office.Samantha Peters has been a thorn in the side of council since 2012 when she first began fighting for 66 people to become members of the band. The majority had status through Peters but were not members and not has been approved for membership, including children of current band members.But it’s been a fight that started much earlier and has been happening since Peters got control over its membership through Section 10 of the Indian Act about 30 years ago.Council is accused of limiting membership since 1987, thus staying in power all these years as Peters band is basically one big family – everyone is related, yet don’t get along.It’s divided the nation, just not evenly as the one side has had the votes to stay in power leaving Samantha Peters’ side of the family, about 18 members, on the outside, as previously reported by APTN.In depth: Promise to dying mother sees daughter take on ‘rigged’ band council to bring her family homeRelated: Elder died wanting to be member of reserve she was born onA review of the ledgers between 2012 and 2015, show the lion’s share of funding those years went to members who are known to vote for council.In fact, in the 2014/15 fiscal year 93.1 per cent of funding, just under $500,000, went to council, their families and those who voted for them.The fiscal year before that it was 91.2 per cent of about $400,000 in funding.On top of the funding from INAC, Peters band also receives money for health and payments for hydro and forestry. APTN has learned the band council was able to draw from other revenue and trust accounts to make up for deficits, like in 2013-14 when it pulled about $285,000 from the accounts according to a band council resolution and an email from their accountant.Graph is based on the 2014/15 ledger belonging to Peters First Nation.Some members who voted for council are said, according to court documents, to allegedly received “questionable payments”.Andrew Genaille, a filmmaker and writer, and his sister Lisa Genaille, who is taking steps to start medical school, are suing the band for “misusing their powers” by allegedly appointing themselves to paid positions, refusing band members “equitable access” to resources and receiving inappropriate payments.Both were once close to the council and describe growing up in the band office as their mother, Frances Genaille, worked there for three decades as the assistant band administrator until late last year when she was fired. She is suing the band for wrongful dismissal.The siblings were so close to council that when it received 66 membership applications in 2013 council hired the siblings to review the applicants.Lisa and Andrew say when they got access to all the band’s files and they learned how the band was allegedly being operated.“The band’s archives and record keeping were done very poorly and were very disorganized,” Andrew alleges in court, saying he was given “unlimited access” to files.He tried to hold council accountable but it didn’t last long.“Once I began questioning Victoria Peters about questionable payments being made,” Andrew details in an affidavit, “she would not provide answers to any of my questions and I was no longer allowed access to the archives.”Those questionable payments allegedly include money going to Victoria Peters, as a review of the ledgers show she was allocated much more than what she claimed to INAC in the band’s annual audits.Victoria Peters claimed about $90,000 in salary and $8,000 in expenses but a review of the ledger that year shows she was allocated closer to $170,000, while Webb claimed $35,000 and was allocated $63,000. Leanne Peters claimed $12,000 and was allocated $17,000.Graph is based on the 2014/15 ledger belonging to Peters First Nation.In the 2013/14 fiscal year, Victoria Peters claimed $88,000 while the ledgers shows she allocated $142,000. Webb claimed $24,000 and was allocated $53,000. Leanne claimed $6,000 and was allocated $9,000.Various programs Victoria Peters was in charge of saw her collect large sums but when asked about them Victoria Peters refused to respond.Graph is based on the 2013/14 ledger belonging to Peters First Nation.One of the questions was about allocations made to one of her children, a minor – one was for hundreds of dollars for “rent” and $6,000 under the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program and another $15,000 was allocated to Victoria from a total budget of $31,000.APTN has been told there is nothing to suggest the child qualified for the funding and Victoria Peters refused to comment when asked.Victoria Peters also controlled a large budget co-funded by the First Nations Health Authority and INAC.In 2014/15, the band council received about $140,000 in funding under the FNHA and $70,000 was allocated to Victoria Peters, while the majority of the rest was allocated to people who vote for council and just under $8,000 went to families known to vote against council.Victoria Peters would not respond to questions about her qualifications to hold the position or why she was claiming so much money from the programs.That same year the Peters band had its books audited by a firm in Chilliwack, B.C. who found a list of issues with Victoria Peters’ bookkeeping.“Supporting documents for social assistance and payroll transactions are weak,” wrote the firm MNP after an audit of the bands books. “Cheque requisition forms should be used to show evidence of council approval for social assistance and payroll expenditures.”MNP also found that social assistance reporting to INAC was not consistent with “actual expenditures incurred.”Program reimbursement forms and invoices didn’t have signed authorization of chief and council and complete budget information was not prepared for all band operations.“Expense approval process and supporting documentation is weak which could result in inappropriate payments,” wrote MNP. “In addition, insufficient processes and controls results in increased audit work.”MNP also had a problem with people receiving payments from the band that had cheque-signing authority, which was Victoria Peters and Chief Norma Webb.“Recipients of payments who have cheque signing authority should not sign cheques made out to themselves,” the auditor wrote. “Cheques should be signed by authorized individuals who are not also the payee on the cheque.”Meanwhile, the two elders on Peters say are not surprised by APTN’s investigation.“We’ve known this for 30 years,” said Robert Peters Jr., whose son is currently before the Federal Court of Canada asking the court to appoint him as a member as council rejected him.“It’s just awful how they treat people.”Robert Wilmer Peters. APTN photo: Luke Smith.His brother, Ed Peters, 74, is the eldest and his children are not members either as their applications were part of the 66 that were denied. They are members of the Seabird Island First Nation just across the Fraser River.“We just want it to be fair for everyone,” said Ed Peters, adding he believes council is fueled by “greed.”He also said jobs Victoria Peters holds, and all others held by Webb and former councillor Leanne Peters, were never posted to for everyone to apply.“My daughter is the financial advisor for Seabird. She could run the finances at Peters but she never got the chance,” he said.Samantha Peters also had to look for work at a different nearby First Nation where she works in the forestry sector of the band. Peters has logging rights to land and Samantha said she’s never been approached to help the band.“On more than one occasion I have openly extended an invitation to chief and council to help with negotiations, agreements, forestry, resources,” she said. “I never heard back from them.”She said there are a number of qualified people from Peters with various expertise but are not included.“They use their own personal discretion too often and it’s unprofessional and it costs the band money,” said Samantha. “This is what they learned and it’s dangerous.”firstname.lastname@example.org
(Editors Note: APTN National News has decided not to use the real name of the artist because she has concerns over her safety.)Willow Fiddler APTN National NewsThe family of Norval Morriseau is speaking out about a planned exhibition of paintings by Amanda PL that bears a striking resemblance to the late artists work.“We promised our father that we would try to carry on his legacy and if this thing opens up to, if non-natives start painting like my dad the meaning of his artwork is going to be lost,” said Eugene Morrisseau, one of Norval Morrisseau’s seven children.Eugene Morrisseau is also an accomplished artist. (Eugene Morrisseau is one of Norval’s seven children and is an accomplished painter in his own right. Photos Willow Fiddler/APTN)He said the family doesn’t like her style of painting.“Seeing this lady portray exactly like my dads artwork is almost like, I didn’t like it and as if shes copying,” he said.Side by side images of Amanda PL’s work and that of Norval Morriseau’s made the rounds on social media prompting claims of plagiarism… and support.Senator Murray Sinclair said Amanda PL’s work (signed Amanda PL) “clearly appreciates and is inspired by Norval Morrisseau and I for one applaud her for directing her talent that way.”But Eugene Morriseau isn’t so sure Amanda PL knows the deeply spiritual teachings in his father’s work.And this worries him“Even ten years from now that her work is probably going to hang up somewhere and my dad’s artwork will be hanging right next it and people aren’t even going to know what it means,” said Eugene Morrisseau.He said the teachings that Anishinabe artists depict are thousands of years old; passed along through generations.“Oh they’re going to tell stories, Ahchoogahnoog eh, that’s where I used to go to listen to these stories through my grandparents,” he said. “Through the Elders, this is what this means when you pass on, put it on canvas this is how you tell the story.”Morrisseau said you can’t just pick up what he knows from the internet or books.Amanda PL told APTN in an email she was taught the untold history of Canada by an Anishinabe teacher during her studies in Thunder Bay.“As an artist, I do have an ethical and social responsibility to respect, acknowledge, and adhere to laws, protocols, rights and freedoms of indigenous artists and communities,” she said.But when asked about criticism, particularly by Morriseau’s children, that her work compromises Morriseau’s legacy Amanda PL said she doesn’t see it that way.“I don’t engage with critics. critics work is to critique, artist work is to paint, write, compose, and share their creations,” she wrote. “Whether people or critics like it or not, it isn’t for me to decide.”That’s not good enough for the family.“We don’t want that door open and if she does, somebody else is going to do it then all stories and all the storytelling, they’re not going to be there no more, it’s going to be meaningless,” said Eugene Morrisseau.An exhibit of Amanda PL’s Morrisseau-esque work at the Visions Gallery in Toronto was cancelled amid the bad publicity.Senator Sinclair sad it’s the gallery owners who deserve criticism for throwing her under the bus.Amanda PL said she won’t reconsider her style of art. <>
Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsFrom the road it looks like a refugee camp.Nylon tents and makeshift shelters flatten the grass in Regina Park, where about 120 homeless people live in a small tent city in the District of Saanich.A hand-printed sign says the park, which overlooks the Trans-Canada Highway, has been seized for “breach of Territorial Law.”That’s a nod to the way settlers cleared Canada, says camp spokeswoman Chrissy Brett.“Indigenous, homeless people face systemic, colonial, white-washed hate in displacement from governments, from municipalities, from the province and the federal government,” she says.(Chrissy Brett is a spokesperson for the tent city residents. Photo: Kathleen Martens/APTN) William Billie and his 19-year-old son, Trevor, are from the Nam’gis First Nation further north on Vancouver Island and live in a tent facing the busy road.They say people in passing cars shout insults at them.“One day I heard a person say, ‘Oh, look it. You Native people are making Victoria look bad’,” says Billie.“Some trucker drivers lay on the horn,” says Brett.“At 3 in the morning that’s not a supportive honk.”Ordered to Leave Despite the problems the vibe remained upbeat Monday as they faced a court-ordered deadline to vacate the park by 7 p.m. Tuesday.Some people were busy packing up but others planned to defy the injunction.“We run smoothly and with our own laws,” says Charles Walkus of the community they call Camp Namegans, which means ‘we are one.’Brett says they were invited to shelter here on unceded Coast Salish territory.“We are trying to support people the government failed,” she says, reciting a litany of reasons people find themselves on the street.“Some people were ‘reno-victed’, lost their jobs, don’t have money for a deposit, don’t feel safe in homeless shelters, are day labourers, or don’t want to be separated as couples.”(Tent city in Saanich, B.C. Photo: Kathleen Martens/APTN) Workers with various social organizations could be seen in the park Monday trying to help.But Brett says employees with the big ones – municipal and provincial housing and social welfare agencies – don’t make house calls.“Some of us refer to those organizations as ‘poverty pimps’ because their outreach services require people to go in to them if you want services,” she says.“If you have services and you’re an outreach service why do I have to go to your office when your (clients) are on the street, they are here, they are in parks.”email@example.com@katmarte This camp is one of about half a dozen tent cities in B.C, where mortgages and rent are among the highest in Canada.Homeless people want the right to live legally in a park when housing isn’t available to them, says Brett.She says Camp Namegans gives people the freedom to leave and apply for services – even look for housing – while their tent and belongings are protected.“This is a stable place where people have a roof over their heads. They don’t have to worry about their things being ransacked by other homeless people or parks (staff) or police (officers).”It also gives people a chance to stay in one place and maybe dry out or come off drugs, she adds.No Serious CrimesBrett, a Nuxalk woman and the camp founder, says contrary to what some politicians and police officers say the camp is violence and fatal-overdose free.“This is way safer than government-run programs that are out there because we treat people with humanity, kindness and compassion,” she says.Sgt. Andy Stuart, with the Saanich police community engagement division, has been coming regularly to check in with residents.He says he’s reviewed the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help him “recognize past harms” while working “with today’s problems.”“What’s happened in the past doesn’t fit very well with the current laws of Canada and municipal bylaws,” says Stuart.(Sgt. Andy Stuart of the Saanich Police Service. Photo: Kathleen Martens/APTN) Brett says that shows how these camps are educating public officials about homelessness.And Indigenous issues.“They have a choice in how they deal with us,” she says. “We’ve been here since May and they need our co-operation and compliance.”Earlier this summer, Brett was charged with assault and obstruction of justice after blasting an air horn when firefighters were responding to an emergency in camp.She says she was using it as a teachable moment.“They arrested me but he was going to throw away what he said was garbage. Those were somebody’s belongings.”Still, police say homeowners near the camp are reporting an increase in property crime. And the Saanich Police Service has identified a street gang member in camp they are concerned about.Brett says simply he is homeless like the rest of them.Stay in One Place Billie says living in this tent city with his son has been a gift.“This has been like a home,” he says of his three months in the park where someone gave him a single mattress to sleep on.“I don’t have to take down my tent and pack my suitcase and drag it all around everywhere, every day.”(William Billie stands outside his tent covered in signatures. Photo: Kathleen Martens/APTN)
WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emerged from a day of meetings in the U.S. capital Wednesday continuing to champion a continental trade deal that many around him suggest may be doomed.But even Trudeau finally acknowledged his enthusiasm for the North American Free Trade Agreement can only go so far and there exists the possibility the trilateral pact with the United States and Mexico is in trouble.“It is very important and very possible to get a win-win-win … out of these negotiations,” Trudeau told a news conference on the roof of the Canadian Embassy.“So saying, I think it’s been clear that circumstances are often challenging, and we have to be ready for anything — and we are.”What anything could look like was raised by U.S. President Donald Trump in his talks with Trudeau earlier Wednesday at the White House.Terminating the deal is one option he alluded to, and in the past Trump’s said doing so would allow something completely new to be written.Or perhaps separate bilateral deals with Canada and Mexico will be the way forward, the president suggested.“It’s possible we won’t be able to reach a deal with one or the other; in the meantime we’ll make a deal with one,” he said.But the U.S. president also said it’s too early to give up on the negotiations, which resumed Wednesday in nearby Alexandria, Va.“I think we have a chance to do something very creative that’s good for Canada, Mexico and the United States.”Trudeau heads Thursday to Mexico for his first official visit to the country and his sit-down with President Enrique Pena Nieto comes as officials in that country appear to be preparing for the deal to collapse.Mexico’s foreign relations secretary, Luis Videgaray, said Tuesday his country won’t accept “limited, managed trade,” an apparent reference to demands for higher U.S. and regional content rules on products like automobiles.“We have to be prepared to say no, and if necessary to get up from the table and if necessary leave the treaty,” Videgaray said, adding, “It would not be the end of the world.”Trudeau wouldn’t say Wednesday at what point Canada might be prepared to walk away, if ever.But repeating the “ready for anything” sentiment multiple times suggested a conscious decision to acknowledge that the outcome of the talks may not go Canada’s way.“I continue to believe in NAFTA; I continue to believe that as a continent working together in complementary ways is better for our citizens and better for economic growth, and allows us to compete on a stronger footing with the global economy,” Trudeau said.“So saying, we are ready for anything and we will continue to work diligently to protect Canadian interests, to stand up for jobs, and look for opportunities for Canadian business and citizens of all of our friends and neighbour countries to do well.”Trudeau didn’t rule out bilateral deals either.“We are very aware that there are other potential paths out there, we will address them as they arise.”Trump’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, said it’s not new that Trump would consider bilateral agreements.“The president had indicated earlier that he was receptive to a trilateral, or two matching bilaterals, or (ending) NAFTA,” he told a panel discussion late Wednesday.“I think all he’s really saying is he’s keeping his options open.”There are multiple sticking points in the talks, some of which were raised at meetings Trudeau held earlier Wednesday with the key House of Representatives committee that oversees trade.The committee chair, Republican Kevin Brady, called the countries, “great allies,” and said, “when North America wins, America wins.”But he also asked for more access to Canada’s dairy market. A Democratic colleague called on Canada to loosen its protections for cultural industries, exempted from the current NAFTA.Trudeau defended Canada’s limits on dairy imports, according to a lawmaker present in the meeting, saying the prime minister countered by pointing out the U.S. has plenty of support programs propping up its own farmers.– with files from Alexander Panetta and the Associated Press
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Former premier Danny Williams told the Muskrat Falls inquiry on Monday that the wildly overbudget megaproject was in Newfoundland and Labrador’s best interest — and critics who attack him for championing it are “reckless.”Williams maintained “good intentions and good faith” were behind the planning of the hydroelectric dam that has doubled its estimated cost, leaving the province’s ratepayers worried the endeavour might be paid out of their pockets.“This is something we can be really proud of,” the boisterous former Tory premier said of the Labrador project.“The fact that the project is getting disparaged reflects on all the people who worked so hard in order to put this together.”The independent inquiry, led by provincial Supreme Court Justice Richard LeBlanc, is looking into cost and schedule overruns of the $12.7-billion dam on the lower Churchill River.The 824-megawatt hydroelectric dam, being developed by the Crown-owned Nalcor Energy, will send power to Newfoundland and later Nova Scotia through subsea cables.During his term, Williams championed Muskrat Falls as a form of energy independence from Quebec, before retiring from politics shortly after announcing the plan in 2010.The dam near Happy Valley-Goose Bay has since been described as “the greatest fiscal mistake in Newfoundland and Labrador’s history” by current Liberal Premier Dwight Ball.Williams, a businessman and lawyer, was comfortable and confident on the stand on Monday – but he didn’t mince words when addressing criticisms from his detractors.Commission co-counsel Barry Learmonth asked Williams to respond to criticisms that he pushed the megaproject through for the sake of his own ego and legacy.Williams called such criticisms “reckless, irresponsible and shameful.”“Nothing, I’m under oath, could be further from the truth,” said Williams.Williams maintained that his government “turned over every stone” by researching financial and legal options before his successor as Tory leader and premier, Kathy Dunderdale, sanctioned Muskrat Falls in December 2012.Williams also praised a paper that historian Jason Churchill presented to the inquiry last month. It found that Quebec’s stronghold on the Churchill River’s resources has long blocked Newfoundland and Labrador from accessing elusive energy markets.Williams detailed his own frustrations with Quebec, including the long-standing debate over Labrador’s borders — which, according to commission exhibits, are not reflected in some Quebec maps.Williams also referred to former premier Jean Lesage’s 1965 comments that any electricity passing through Quebec territory would “become property of Hydro-Quebec.”“They will do whatever they can to cut us off, it’s shocking,” Williams said. “(But) I need to point out that we still tried.”Learmonth asked Williams about testimony from megaproject scholar Bent Flyvbjerg, who said last month there can be an increased risk of cost overruns when those overseeing the project have less experience in hydroelectric projects.But Williams said he was “not at all concerned” the Nalcor Energy team was underqualified to oversee a hydroelectric project, despite mainly being experts in oil and gas projects.He said he had no reason to believe Nalcor staff had misrepresented cost estimates in communications with him.Williams also dismissed the “rumours” that he continued to influence Muskrat Falls management decisions after he resigned as premier in 2010, attributing such comments to “Danny haters.”“The day I went out the door, I was done,” said Williams. “Whoever is putting that out there is putting it out there for the wrong reasons.”Williams said concerns over doubled power rates are the result of “fear-mongering,” and the project’s long-term benefits will outweigh rate increases that Williams said were on the horizon anyway.“Critics can’t throw all of this on the back of Muskrat Falls,” said Williams. “I can guarantee the people of this province that these rates will not double as a result of Muskrat Falls.”The former premier said Nalcor will become more profitable over time, and its profits will help mitigate the costs.“There was never an understanding that we would get this for free,” Williams said of Muskrat Falls.Williams will continue his testimony Tuesday.
DES MOINES, Iowa — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it must delay the release of key crop reports due to the partial government shutdown.The announcement Friday left investors and farmers without vital information during an already tumultuous time for agricultural markets. The USDA planned to release the reports Jan. 11 but said that even if the shutdown ended immediately, the agency wouldn’t have time to release the reports as scheduled.Grain market analyst Todd Hultman says the situation will worsen if the shutdown continues.The lack of information comes amid the uncertainty of trade with China, where tariffs led to an abrupt drop in U.S. exports to the country. There were indications that China was beginning to resume purchases of U.S. crops, but because of the government shutdown it’s unclear what’s happening.Scott McFetridge, The Associated Press
CALGARY, A.B. – An industry-sponsored fund designed to help develop clean technology using Canadian natural gas is launching a $3-million call for project proposals.The Natural Gas Innovation Fund says the call for applications, with a February deadline, is being made possible by the addition of seven western Canadian natural gas producers to a membership previously made up of six natural gas utilities.The new members include the Canadian branches of two partners in the proposed $40-billion West Coast LNG Canada project: Royal Dutch Shell and Petronas; along with Canada’s largest natural gas producer, Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Fund managing director John Adams says the new program will target projects in the upstream or producing part of the industry, making up to $1 million available per project to cover as much as 25 per cent of its eligible expenses.Adams says the fund, created by the Canadian Gas Association, has over the past two years issued about $9 million to projects focused on energy efficiency.The fund is also announcing a partnership with federal, Alberta and British Columbia governments to collaborate and consider co-funding successful applicants with projects that deliver significant greenhouse gas emission reductions.The upstream fund members were introduced at an event at the Calgary Petroleum Club on Wednesday.“As a producer of natural gas, we’re big believers in the need for affordable, clean energy for all people worldwide,” said CEO Mark Fitzgerald of Petronas Energy Canada Ltd. in a statement.“In an age where technology has become the catalyst for exponential advancements in our industry, we’re excited to be involved in the Natural Gas Innovation Fund which pursues diversity of thought and provides a platform for sharing solutions.”
Approximately 32 grams of Methamphetamine10 Fentanyl tabletsApproximately 1.5 grams of Fentanyl8 grams of CocaineTwo license plates Additional weapons A stolen vehicle 2 Firearms GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – On the evening of Friday, May 10, the Grande Prairie RCMP Crime Reduction Unit executed a search warrant at a residence located in the City of Grande Prairie.The search warrant was in connection to a possible stolen vehicle to the residence.According to RCMP, one individual has been charged, and the following items were seized and recovered as a result of the investigation; Facing charges is 35-year-old Shane Anthony Haugen of Grande Prairie.Haugen is facing the following charges:Possession of property obtained by crime x 6Unsafe storage of a firearm x 2Possession for the purpose of trafficking x 3Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purposeObstruction of a peaceUnauthorized possession of a firearm/ammunitionHaugen remains in custody and is scheduled to appear at Grande Prairie Provincial Court on May 13, 2019.
Kolkata: A stray canine, rescued by the police, has become the first street mongrel to join the elite dog squad of West Bengal Police. Asha, as named by the Kolkata Police officers who rescued her from stone-pelting kids on the city streets, has been trained in the last one-and-half years to become member of the dog squad of the West Bengal Police Training Academy, Barrackpore, deputy inspector general of police Dipankar Bhattacharya said. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”Initially, we did not have plans to train her or include her in our dog squad as we never had any street dog in the squad. But the then inspector-general (Training) K Jayaraman thought of providing training to the stray dog and see if she could be included in the canine squad,” Bhattacharya said. Asha who will be joining “pedigreed” members such as German Shepherds and Labradors in the dog squad, has proved to be a good sniffer dog in detecting explosives, the DIG said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja “I am happy that Asha has proved that not only pedigreed dogs can be part of a police dog squad. She has proved herself to be as smart and intelligent as pedigreed dogs. “We are proud that we are successful in training a stray dog to handle situations. She is ready for work and will join the squad soon,” the IPS officer said expressing his willingness to try to include more street mongrels in the squad after training them. “Asha is a well-mannered dog. She picked up very quickly and started following instructions on how to heel and walk, crawl, lie down, roll over and salute just like others pedigreed dogs,” another senior officer in the West Bengal Police’s dog squad said. “But if you ask me, I will tell you that Asha was very good at training and most of the times, she was better than the pedigreed dogs. She is the fastest runner dog in our squad and quite clever. That’s her mettle,” the officer said.
Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Wednesday said she will not contest the Lok Sabha elections. “Keeping in mind the current political situation, I have decided not to contest the Lok Sabha elections,” Mayawati told the media.
Tashkent: The Indian U-23 national team ended its AFC U-23 Championship qualifying campaign with a 2-0 loss to Tajikistan in its second match of the group stage here on Sunday. Daler Yodgorov’s 30th minute strike and Solehov’s 85th minute goal proved to be the difference between the two sides as India succumbed to their second defeat of the qualifying campaign, ending without a point out of a maximum six. The opponents had mounted a barrage of attacks in the early minutes of the match, trying to unsettle the Indian defence but some astute goalkeeping by Dheeraj Singh kept them at bay. In the 10th minute, the custodian made a fine save to deny the opponents an early breakthrough at the Pakhtakor Stadium. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhIndia could have surged ahead into lead in the 12th minute but Sarthak Golui’s header off a Komal Thatal free-kick failed to find the net, leaving the Tajik goalkeeper to scramble to clear his lines; courtesy of an onrushing Anwar Ali in pursuit of the rebound. After a nervy start, the Indian team found themselves some bright spots and in the 27th minute, Rahim Ali found Komal Thatal inside the box. With defenders closing in, Komal could only launch the ball over the woodwork in an attempt to give India the lead. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterIndia’s attacking momentum was short-lived as Tajikistan took the lead in the 30th minute with Daler finding the back of the India net from inside the box. Attempting to find the equalizer before half-time, Rahim Ali went on a run down the middle and found Anirudh Thapa, whose shot was blocked by the Tajik defence line. India’s quest for the equaliser kept them on their toes and soon after the second half restarted, India cajoled an opportunity in the 48th minute. Rahim Ali brought the ball down inside the box and passed it to an onrushing Abdul Sahal, who failed to hit the target from outside the box. Restricting the opponents in the half for much of the second half, India had a chance in the 60th minute and once again it fell to Sarthak Golui, who headed wide a Vinit Rai free-kick. India tried to keep Tajikistan on the defence and score the equaliser but could not find the decisive goal. Tajikistan held on to their slender lead and committed bodies in defence.
New Delhi: State-run power giant NTPC Wednesday said it has raised $450 million (about Rs 3,105 crore) through five-year bond offering in the international market under its $6 billion (about Rs 41,400 crore) medium term notes (MTN) programme. NTPC had opened the issue of $450 million five-year bond offering in the international market on Tuesday, the company said in a statement. In terms of geographical distribution, Asia took the bulk of the subscription at 90 per cent (of the $450 million MTN), with supplemental demand of 10 per cent from Europe, Middle East & Africa and offshore US accounts, the statement said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe distribution of investors was well diversified as fund managers took 69 per cent of the subscription of the MTN issue, followed by banks with 22 per cent, insurance/pension with 8 per cent and PB (private banks)/others (wealth manager) with 1 per cent, it said. The company intends to use the proceeds of the issue to finance its ongoing and new power projects, coal mining projects, acquisition of power plants and renovation and modernisation of power stations, it added. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe issue was to close on April 3. The notes carry a coupon (rate) of 3.75 per cent per annum payable semi-annually. The notes will mature on April 3, 2024 and all the principal and interest payments will be made in US Dollars. The notes represent direct, unconditional and unsecured obligations of NTPC and will rank pari passu among themselves and all other unsecured obligations of NTPC, it said. The notes will be listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd, India International Exchange (IFSC) Ltd and NSE IFSC Ltd. The company expects to list the notes in the first week of April after receiving the funds. NTPC’s $6 billion MTN Programme was set up in 2006 and this issuance was the tenth offering under the programme, taking the cumulative amount raised under the MTN Programme to $4.30 billion (about Rs 29,600 crore). According to the statement, the offering was met with a strong demand from the investors and the order book reached $1 billion within the first hour of deal announcement and further increased to $2 billion by noon. However, the company raised only $450 million. The order book attained a peak of $3 billion. The final order book was over $1.80 billion, an oversubscription of nearly four times, with orders from more than 100 accounts. The bonds were finally priced with a yield of 3.773 per cent and the coupon was fixed at 3.75 per cent per annum, it said. Axis Bank, Mizuho, MUFG, SMBC Nikko and Standard Chartered Bank were the joint lead managers and bookrunners for the offering.
New Delhi: Following the violence that erupted during a sealing drive in Mayapuri, traders from the area met with Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari on Tuesday to discuss issues troubling them. Tiwari said that Arvind Kejriwal’s reaction to the sealing drive shows that he wants to mislead traders in Delhi by turning them against the saffron party. He said his party always has and always will stand by traders. Levelling accusations against the Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi, Tiwari said that the Chief Minister pressurised officials to conduct the sealing drive. The North-East Delhi MP said, “Kejriwal uses all the types of tactics to mislead the traders but they know the reality and they also know that whenever the traders faced any problem the BJP solved it.”
Jalore: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doing “injustice” to the people of the country in the last five years, saying the ‘acche din ayenge’ slogan has now been replaced by ‘chowkidar chor hai’. Gandhi was addressing an election rally at Jalore in Rajasthan. “Demonetisation and GST were ways to rob poor, labourers, small traders, the Congress’ NYAY scheme will benefit them,” he said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “Five years ago there was a slogan ‘acche din ayenge’. Now people say ‘chowkidaar chor hai’ everywhere in the country,” Gandhi said while addressing the rally here. The Congress president said if his party is voted to power, GST will be simplified, 22 lakh government jobs will be given in one year and no permission will be required for three years for start-ups. “Not a single farmer of the country will be jailed for not paying off bank loans if the Congress voted to power,” he said.