Sachin Tendulkar Allen Donald inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

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first_imgLondon: Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar has been inducted into the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Hall of Fame alongside South African pace legend Allan Donald. Tendulkar became the sixth Indian to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame, the previous bigwigs being Sunil Gavaskar, Bishan Singh Bedi, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid. Joining Tendulkar and Donald in the Hall of Fame was two-time World Cup-winning Australian woman cricketer Cathryn Fitzpatrick. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open”It is an honour to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, which cherishes the contribution of cricketers over generations. They have all contributed to the growth and popularity of the game and I am happy to have done my bit,” Tendulkar said at the induction ceremony held here. He thanked his family and coach, who has supported him in his journey in international cricket for close to two and half decades. “On this occasion, I would like to thank all of those who were by my side over a long international career. My parents, brother Ajit and wife Anjali have been pillars of strength while I was lucky to have someone like coach Ramakant Achrekar as an early guide and mentor,” the maestro said. Tendulkar, the most prolific batsman in history, was inducted immediately after becoming eligible for induction, which requires that a player should have played his last international match at least five years before. The 46-year-old former right-hand batsman is regarded the greatest to have played the game along with Sir Donald Bradman and remains the top run-accumulator in both Tests and ODIs.last_img read more

German prosecutors charge former Audi boss with fraud over dieselgate

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first_imgFrankfurt Am Main (Germany): German prosecutors said Wednesday they had charged former Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler with fraud over the Volkswagen subsidiary’s role in the “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal. “Professor Rupert Stadler and three other defendants… are accused of fraud, falsifying certifications and illegal advertising,” the prosecutors said, linked to over 430,000 VW, Audi and Porsche cars fitted with “defeat devices” to fool regulators’ emissions tests.last_img

Indian national arrested for spying claims Pakistan police

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first_imgLahore: Police in Pakistan’s Punjab province claimed to have arrested an “Indian spy” in the town of Dera Ghazi Khan. Quoting police, local media reported that they arrested an Indian national who “admitted” himself to be a spy. Spying is punishable by death in Pakistan. Police said the accused, identified as Raju Lakshman, was arrested on Wednesday from Rakhi Gaj area of Dera Ghazi Khan district, some 400-km from Lahore. He has been shifted to an undisclosed place for further investigation. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Police said Lakshman was arrested while entering the town from Balochistan province, the same province from where Pakistan claimed it arrested Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav. Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017 following which India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ), seeking a stay on his death sentence and further remedies. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The ICJ ordered Pakistan last month to undertake an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay. Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.last_img read more

Helmet maker Steelbird offers to set up plant in JK

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first_imgNew Delhi: Asia’s largest helmet manufacturer Steelbird Hi-tech India on Tuesday offered to set up a manufacturing plant in Jammu & Kashmir, a day after article 35A granting special status to the state was revoked by the government. This will help the Kashmir Valley kickstart a new industrial revolution and employment for the citizens, said Steelbird in a statement welcoming the government’s move. “It is a much awaited move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to overrule Article 370 . This fantastic move ensures that the Valley enters the Indian mainstream and becomes a part of our nation’s collective growth,” said Steelbird Helmets Chairman Subhash Kapur. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal Until now, most of the manufacturing activity in J&K has remained restricted to the state’s inherent capacities in agriculture and handicraft, it added. “We think it will kickstart with the companies tying up with established local players to build the ecosystem. This is how most cities and states grow and we see it as a great opportunity for localites first,” said Steelbird Helmets MD Rajeev Kapur. “We plan to come up with manufacturing facility in accordance to the upcoming investor summit in the month of October. We hope the decisions will allow the businesses to operate freely under the same rules in the Valley,” he added. Steelbird already has invested Rs 150 crore in the manufacturing plants at Baddi, Himachal Pradesh and is now planning to enhance the production capacity to 44,500 helmets a day. It intends to replicate the same success story for the Valley as well, the statement added.last_img read more

James Wan says he is going back to indie roots with next

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first_imgLos Angeles: Filmmaker James Wan has shared few details of his next directorial venture, saying that he is planning to return to his “indie roots”. In an Instagram post, the 42-year-old director said the new project is a “hard-R thriller” and based on an “original horror idea”. “There’s been a bit of speculation as to what my next project is… All I’ll say is, I’m super excited to go back to my indie roots with this hard-R thriller. An original horror idea (not a reboot/remake or anything based on existing IP) with old school, practical effects and no giant, blue screen sets,” Wan wrote. The filmmaker, who made a name for himself with “The Conjuring” and “Saw” franchises, took a turn towards mainstream blockbusters with films like “Fast and Furious 7” and “Aquaman” in the last couple of years. He is currently scouting for locations for his yet-to-be-titled project.last_img read more

Will surrender in court in next 34 days Anant Singh

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first_imgPatna: Controversial Bihar MLA Anant Singh, evading arrest in a case under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, has said he will surrender in court in the next three-four days.In a video message, the independent MLA from Mokama, who has several serious cases pending against him, also said he will interact with journalists on his return from hiding. “I am not afraid of getting arrested. I have come to see my ailing friend and will surrender in the court in next three-four days. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”But first of all, I will go to my flat and interact with journalists,” the legislator said in the video clip sent to media houses on Sunday. Singh was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) after a police team raided his ancestral house at Ladma village in Patna district and seized an AK-47 rifle, a magazine, live cartridges and two hand grenades on Friday. Parliament had recently passed an amendment to the anti-terror law to give powers to the Centre to designate an individual as terrorist and seize his properties. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe accused legislator claimed he had sought an appointment with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar but failed. Contending that he had not visited his ancestral house in the past 14 years, Singh asked, “Why would I keep weapons like AK-47 in a house which is shared by my enemy?” Singh has a running feud with his cousin Vivekanand Singh, a gangster. Police conducted a second raid at the 1, Mall Road, official residence of Singh in Patna on Saturday but he was not present, Superintendent of Police Kantesh Kumar Mishra said.last_img read more

Car drags two for 300 mtrs 1 killed another hurt

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first_imgGhaziabad: A 25-year-old youth was killed while his brother was critically injured after they were dragged to nearly 300 meters by the car which they had gone to buy.Cops said that the former owner of the car tried to flee with the vehicle after receiving money but the victims tried to catch him and got stuck in the vehicle. According to police, the deceased has been identified as Aarif and his cousin brother is Farmaan, both natives of Hapur district. Police officials said that the victims found the second hand car on OLX app. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderHaji Nusrat, father of deceased said that his son and his nephew had gone to see the car and make payment in Indirapuram area of Ghaziabad. “Aarif was looking for a second hand car and found a Maruti swift car on OLX app. When he contacted with the person who had posted the add, the deal was fixed for Rs 2 lakhs 60 thousand. As Aarif was interested in buying the vehicle, he called the owner of vehicle for a meeting at my nephew’s hotel in Hapur area on August 21,” said Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsNusrat. “The deal was fixed after they checked through the documents of the car and they had gone to a court in Ghaziabad to make the transfer related formalities. Aarif had paid Rs 2 lakhs against the vehicle while the rest of the amount was promised to be paid after the transfer formalities gets completed. However, while returning to home, the accused asked them to drop him at his house near Dabur crossing” he added. Cops said that the car broke down on the way and the accused asked the duo of brothers to step outside and push the car. “Victim’s family members told police that both the brothers had gone to drop the former owner of car to his house in Indirapuram police station area near Dabur crossing. They told police that the car broke down near Yashoda hospital and the accused asked them to step out and push the vehicle,” said Shlok Kumar, Superintendent of Police (city), Ghaziabad. “The accused sat on the wheels to start the car and as the car got started her tried to flee away with cash and the car but both the brothers caught hold over the car and they were dragged to nearly 300m before they fell off the car at a sharp turn and the accused ran over Aarif. A few passerby rushed them to a nearby hospital where doctors declared Aarif brought dead while Farmaan sustained critical injuries,” added Kumar. Police are trying to trace the driver of car by the registration number- UP 23 U 1801. “A case has been registered under IPC section 279 (punishment for rash driving), 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust) and teams have been formed to work out the case,” said Kumar.last_img read more

Mike Harris Jr son of former premier will run for Tories in

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first_imgTORONTO – Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford has appointed candidates in nearly a dozen ridings ahead of the upcoming provincial election, and they include the son of a former premier.With Ontarians set to go to the polls on June 7, the PCs released a statement Saturday announcing 11 appointees for ridings where a nomination meeting hadn’t been scheduled.They include Mike Harris Jr., the son of former Ontario premier Mike Harris, who led a Tory government in the province for nearly seven years from 1995 to 2002.Harris Jr. has been appointed to represent the PCs in the riding of Kitchener-Conestoga — a seat currently held by a politician with a strikingly similar name.Michael Harris — no relation to Harris Jr. — announced earlier this month he would not be running for re-election due to medical reasons.He was later booted from the Tory caucus amid allegations of harassment from a former intern.Another candidate selected by Ford on Saturday was Doug Downey, who was appointed to run for the Tories in Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte.The party’s former leader, Patrick Brown, had been nominated to run for the Tories in that riding, but the party’s nominations committee announced in March that he would not be eligible to run.Brown stepped down as the party’s leader in January amid allegations of sexual misconduct, plunging the Tories into turmoil and leading to Ford’s successful leadership bid.Meanwhile, former PC leadership contender Tanya Granic Allen won the party’s nomination to run as the Tory candidate in Mississauga Centre.Granic Allen is social conservative whom the Ontario Liberal Party accused in a Saturday release of having “an addiction to hateful rhetoric.”Ford’s appointments were met with criticism by some within his own party.“After nearly two years of campaigning for the Ontario Progressive Conservative nomination in London West, I learned this morning that another candidate had been summarily appointed,” Jake Skinner wrote in a statement on Twitter. “Frankly, I’m in a state of shock. I am deeply disappointed for our members.”The province’s Tories were plagued by controversial nomination battles in ridings across the province, including allegations of vote-stuffing that predated Ford’s leadership.The party reopened several races shortly after he was elected leader.Ford also issued a statement Saturday, saying the PCs are “only 47 days away” from defeating the Liberals under Premier Kathleen Wynne.“Help is on the way,” Ford said. “We have a strong team of candidates who are committed to delivering change that works for the people.”last_img read more

Tories trounce Liberals have momentum following firstquarter fundraising race

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first_imgOTTAWA – If money equals momentum, the federal Conservatives appear to be chugging along with a strong head of steam heading into next year’s federal election.New fundraising numbers show the Tories raked in nearly twice as much cash as the Liberals during the first three months of 2018 en route to one of the best first quarters by a federal party in a non-election year.The Conservatives raised more than $6 million from 40,000 donors between January and March, far outpacing the 29,000 donors who gave $3.3 million to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.The federal New Democrats came a distant third with nearly $1.4 million raised from 16,000 donors followed by the Greens at $533,000 from 7,393 donors.The Bloc Quebecois, which is in disarray under embattled leader Martine Ouellet, reported having raised only $101,000 from fewer than 1,000 donors.While money is essential for a modern political campaign, fundraising numbers are also seen as a rough way to gauge how much support a political party enjoys.The latest figures come as some polls have suggested the Liberals are in a mid-mandate slump, thanks in part to Trudeau’s disastrous trip to India, anger over the Kinder Morgan pipeline and steep deficit spending.“My guess is the Conservative party was able to tap into the public mood of frustration that was evident in the polls during the first quarter of 2018,” said political strategist Tim Powers, vice-chairman of Summa Strategies.The result also represents good news for Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, who took the helm last May and has now posted two strong quarters on the fundraising front, though the party is still off its record in terms of total donors.The Tories reported nearly 42,500 donors in the first quarter of 2017, which remains the high-water mark since the Conservatives’ election defeat in October 2015.Not that it was all bad news for the Liberals, as the $3.3 million raised by governing party between January and March represented a $500,000 increase from the same period last year.The party also saw consistent growth from one quarter to the next through all of last year, unlike the Conservatives who saw a strong start and finish to 2017 with declines in the middle. The Tories still raised more than the Liberals during those quarters despite the declines.But one cause for concern among Liberals, aside from the fact the Conservatives continue to raise more money, is the fact that there were fewer donors during the last quarter than at any point in the last three years.Liberal spokesman Braeden Caley played down such worries, saying the donor numbers were consistent with where the party sat at the same time leading up to the 2015 federal election.“And we’re encouraged to see further growth from last year’s (first quarter) after being the only party to see growth in fundraising support from one quarter to the next throughout 2017,” he added.Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, meanwhile, appears to have stopped his party’s slide into fundraising purgatory as the $1.4 million raised between January and March was $450,000 more than the same period last year.It was the third straight quarter in which the NDP raised more than $1 million.The party similarly saw more donors, with more than 16,000 people having contributed during the first quarter of 2018 compared with nearly 13,500 last year, the same number as in early 2016.Yet former NDP national director Karl Belanger said the party has a long way to go before it catches the Conservatives and Liberals, a task made all the more important with the looming election and the party’s $3 million debt from the last election.“This is a good sign. Turning things around is important and the fact they’re going up and in the right direction is encouraging,” Belanger said. “But there’s still a lot of work to do if they want to compete for government in 2019.”– Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

Trudeau talks tech at top studio in BC after meeting with Washington

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first_imgBURNABY, B.C. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demonstrated a new virtual camera used by game makers at an Electronic Arts Canada studio near Vancouver on Thursday after promoting the country’s technology sector to officials in Washington state.Trudeau held the camera on his shoulder as two actors wearing special suits pretended to box at the company’s Capture Lab, an animation facility in Burnaby.The prime minister also attended a roundtable at Electronic Arts with business leaders from health care, clean technology, digital animation and visual effects.“We’re going to talk about how the government can be a better partner, or better get out of your way in some cases, to allow you to continue to grow, to succeed, to create great opportunities for innovations that are going to advance success in Canada, create good jobs for Canadians and draw in great people from around the world,” Trudeau said before the discussions began.Jon Lutz, vice-president of financial planning and strategy at Electronic Arts, said the company that has created some of the world’s most successful video games is always looking for the most qualified people.“We need the best people from all over the world so we welcome any strategies that grow the talent pool in Canada and enable us to compete on the global stage,” he said.“We certainly welcome greater collaboration with our partners in the U.S. and anything that helps build the talent base up in Vancouver,” Lutz said, adding the interactive entertainment industry is a key subsector of technology and could continue growing in Canada.Later Thursday, Trudeau attended a Liberal party fundraiser in downtown Vancouver, where he applauded local members for signing up 7,000 newcomers since last summer.Trudeau called on his supporters to keep working hard as he warned about the momentum that upcoming leadership races could give the party’s rivals.“We’ve got competition. The Conservatives are electing a new leader next weekend. The NDP will do the same later this year. And history has shown that these things matter,” he said, speaking to a room of a couple hundred people.Outside the venue, protesters carried signs calling for an end to Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, whose terminus is in Burnaby, and to the Site C hydroelectric megaproject in the province’s north.Earlier in the day, Trudeau met Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in Seattle where they discussed the development of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, an initiative that aims to strengthen technology industry ties between British Columbia and Washington.The pair also spoke about trade, investment opportunities and innovation in the energy sector, said Trudeau’s office. In brief remarks before the meeting, the prime minister said Washington and Canada share common goals.“We’re both strongly engaged on issues of climate change, on issues of openness to trade, on leadership on refugees as well and an understanding that diversity can be a real source of strength,” he said.Inslee said the state and country share an “incredible commitment” to defeating climate change and a recognition that they can grow their economies at the same time.“It is a great pleasure to know we have a national leader in the North American economy that is committed to that,” he said.But protesters clad in yellow hazardous material suits that read “Keystone XL Toxic Cleanup Crew” gathered outside the hotel to criticize Trudeau’s environmental record, arguing his support of pipelines is at odds with any global warming promises he has made.Chanting “Tar sands or clean lands, Trudeau you have a choice,” the group of about a dozen people demanded that the prime minister rescind his support of Keystone XL and the Trans Mountain expansion, two pipelines that have generated considerable debate in the U.S.Janene Hampton of the Colville Okanagan Tribe in northern Washington said Trudeau claims he cares about indigenous people yet he sides with companies that want to build pipelines that threaten the water sources of Aboriginal Peoples.“He’s approving these pipelines and the things that they’re asking for. He’s supporting the corporations. He says that he’s an indigenous peoples’ ally. Well, that’s not being an ally,” she said.Protester Mike Foster said he’s especially concerned about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta to the West Coast and the impact that increased tanker traffic will have on Washington state’s endangered killer whale population.“We have 78 orca whales left in Puget Sound and the number of tankers coming through these waters would be increased 700 per cent,” he said.Kinder Morgan Canada’s $7.4 billion pipeline expansion, approved by Trudeau’s government last year, would increase the number of tankers in coastal waters from about five per month to 34 per month.In 2015, former U.S. president Barack Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Alberta to Nebraska, but President Donald Trump overturned the decision this year.— With files from Laura Kane in Seattle.last_img read more

Quebec victim of attempted murder wants violent crimes to be Jordan exempt

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first_imgMONTREAL – Dannick Lessard feels victimized by the justice system.In October 2012, the Quebec man took nine bullets outside a bar in an attempt on his life.Earlier this year, his alleged attacker, who was already serving life for another murder, was granted a stay on the charge of attempting to murder Lessard.The reason for the proceedings being dropped: a 2016 Supreme Court ruling that sets strict time limits on criminal cases getting to trial.Lessard said he’d anticipated the outcome and had accepted the Quebec Superior Court decision that ended the case against Ryan Wolfson.“He wouldn’t have been given more time, so for me I would have liked to have brought it to a close: the person who (allegedly) attacked me is in jail, I’m moving on to other things,” Lessard reasoned.But his feelings began to change as he considered the absurdity of the outcome.“I thought that it makes no sense that I took nine bullets and the person who (allegedly) assaulted me can get out of it so easily,” Lessard told The Canadian Press.“Yes, I know he’s still in prison, but you can’t absorb nine bullets … and come out of it with a stay of proceedings.”None of the allegations in the case have been proven in court.Lessard, who turns 39 later this month, says he has nothing against the Supreme Court ruling dealing with court delays — but he doesn’t believe it should apply to more serious, violent offences.Now, Lessard is on a personal crusade of sorts “so that victims aren’t victims a second time.”“When you commit a serious crime against a person, if it takes six years for the case to be heard, then it takes six years,” he said.Lessard had finished playing in a semi-pro hockey game for the now-defunct Cornwall River Kings on that fateful day in October 2012 and had been dropped off in Mirabel for his other job at a bar.Hours later he would be fighting for his life after a masked figure attempted to gun him down outside his workplace.How he escaped remains a mystery to him. Lessard said he had just enough time to arch out of the way as the first volley of bullets came his way.He was shot three time in the right shoulder, three in the chest and one each in the thigh, elbow and lower back before he found cover inside the bar.During the attack, he even had the wherewithal to rush his aggressor, destabilizing him in the process.As he sat bleeding, Lessard’s thoughts drifted to his parents who’d both died in accidents when he was young. He asked them to give him strength to carry on as his own son was due in two months’ time.When ambulances arrived, Lessard was able to walk to a stretcher under his own power.He would spend 10 days in a medically induced coma and, upon waking up, was told by Quebec provincial police they had made arrests.Lessard, who was released from hospital in December 2012, said he feels victimized by the judicial system but is happy the Crown has appealed the court’s decision to stay the case against Wolfson.Lessard is also suing the federal government as Wolfson was allegedly on the lam from a halfway house at the time of the shooting.After the decision in his case, he wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, among others.Conservative MP Luc Berthold, who represents the Quebec riding that encompasses Lessard’s hometown of East Broughton, sponsored Lessard’s petition on the House of Commons website calling on the federal government to provide additional judges in Quebec.“It’s not normal that people are freed from criminal accusations because of delays,” Berthold said. “I think it’s the responsibility of elected officials — federal as well as provincial — to make sure these types of things don’t happen again.”Lessard hasn’t worked since the attack. He’s still under the care of doctors and health professionals, having had his latest surgery in June.“I will live with scars for the rest of my life: I lost half a lung, I lost use of my arm, I’ve lost my health, I suffer from post-traumatic stress,” he said.“Being the victim of a criminal act is a full-time job.”— Follow @sidhartha_b on Twitterlast_img read more

Getting refugee status in Canada isnt easy Couillard reminds asylumseekers

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first_imgSHERBROOKE, Que. – Would-be asylum-seekers need to understand it isn’t easy to get refugee status in Canada, Quebec’s premier said Saturday.Philippe Couillard said it’s important that anyone who is considering joining the surge of people who have been crossing the United States border into Canada in recent weeks know what they’re facing.“We can’t take people’s hope away, but people must be presented with a real picture of the situation, especially people who are still in the United States and may be tempted to do the same thing,” he said outside a meeting of his party’s youth wing in Sherbrooke, Que.“Arriving in an army camp isn’t exactly a comfortable experience.”In the first week of August, 1,798 people crossed the Canada-U.S. border to claim refugee status.As of Friday, 1,200 people were waiting to be processed at the Lacolle border station, some staying in the dozens of tents that were hastily erected by the army earlier this week.Many of the new arrivals are Haitian nationals who fear they could be deported if the U.S. lifts a program that granted them so-called “temporary protected status” following the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010.Canada already lifted its own stay on deportations to Haiti last year.Couillard pointed out there are strict rules governing who gets political asylum and historically only about half of the applicants from Haiti are approved.In 2016, Quebec accepted 207 of 412 refugee applications from Haitian nationals.There have been reports that many of those arriving in recent weeks were motivated by false rumours that getting into Canada would be easy.Couillard said he was ready to go to the media to set the record straight.last_img read more

Canadas cattle producers caution against American protectionism during NAFTA talks

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first_imgThe agency representing Canada’s beef producers is urging trade negotiators to resist U.S. protectionism during NAFTA talks.According to John Masswohl, Director of Government and International Relations with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the existing NAFTA deal has worked well for the cattle industry in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. He said producers in all three countries are generally in agreement when it comes to cross border trade.However, Masswohl wants to see negotiators chip away at ‘Buy America’ provisions that restrict access for Canadian producers in some cases.“Anything that has federal funding, like school lunch programs, women-infant children nutrition programs has to all be ‘Buy America,’ ” Masswohl said. “That’s a huge market in the U.S. that we don’t have any access to right now.”In addition to resisting protectionist measures, improving cross-border movement is also an issue.“We can make the border work a little more efficiently so we don’t lose money just by having inefficient borders,” Masswohl said. “When you’re talking about a perishable product in the back of a truck, like a live animal or beef, then you’ve got to have an efficient border so it doesn’t siphon value off.”The U.S. remains Canada’s biggest trading partner when it comes to cattle. In 2016, Canada exported about $3-billion worth of beef south of the border, according to Masswohl.last_img read more

Morneaus goals for tax proposal tweaks wont come easy experts say

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first_imgOTTAWA – Tax experts say Finance Bill Morneau’s plan to adjust his controversial tax proposals is easier said than done.Morneau has tried to calm the anger surrounding the federal government’s small business tax package with some hints on how he might address some of the concerns.But tax experts who have studied the government’s tax proposals warn that while there are some options, delivering on many of Morneau’s tweaks will be challenging.Even Finance Department officials have acknowledged at least one expected change is posing a major problem.Earlier this week, as a 75-day consultation period on the three-part plan came to a close, Morneau conceded that “changes are going to be required” to the proposals he announced in mid-July.Morneau said the government’s next steps will guided by the several “key principles” based on the concerns it received during the consultation.He has offered a few clues on where some adjustments to the proposals might be made.The highlighted concerns that Morneau has signalled he will seek to fix include: avoiding any change that would complicate the intergenerational transfer of family farms; ensuring women entrepreneurs will be able to put away money within their firms for maternity leaves; and making sure businesses won’t be subjected to additional, onerous administrative work.Morneau also said this week that he would make sure angel investors and venture capitalists — whose financing so often helps start-up firms grow — won’t face “unintended consequences” from the tax changes.The finance minister has tried to reassure owners of farming and fishing businesses on the family succession issue by saying “technical fixes” may be on the way. There are concerns the reforms could add significant costs for those who seek to keep these businesses in the family.“Is the challenge that they’re dealing with difficult? No question,” said Kim Moody, a director at Moodys Gartner Tax Law.“And, frankly, I don’t have any easy suggestion for them, either, because I’ve racked my brain in terms of how they could solve what they’re trying to solve.”Officials from Morneau’s own department have also admitted that finding a fix to the succession issue hasn’t been easy.“We’re still struggling to find another approach to this and, to the extent, when we’ve been talking to farm groups and others we’ve really been trying the emphasize the point that we’re looking for comments on this,” Brian Ernewein, the department’s general director of legislation in the tax policy branch, told a Senate committee Tuesday.“I can’t say that we’ve…looked at all the submissions because most of them just landed with us in the last couple of days with the consultation period closing.“We’re hopeful that there’s something in there that will give us inspiration.”Morneau argues the proposals are designed to create a fairer tax system, especially for those in the so-called middle class. He also hopes the tax reforms will unlock cash for business investment and help lift the country’s “productive capacity.”His proposal package includes restrictions on the ability of business owners to reduce their tax rate by sprinkling their income to family members in lower tax brackets, even if those family members do not contribute to the company.Morneau has also proposed limits on the use of private corporations to make passive investments that are unrelated to the company. Another change would limit the ability of business owners to convert regular income of a corporation into capital gains, which are typically taxed at a lower rate.Critics of the plan say it would hurt entrepreneurs who take personal financial risks when they decide to open a business, hire staff, save for retirement, save for maternity leave and sock away funds for economic downturns.Tax experts, including Moody, do see a couple of ways the government can make changes to the reforms to fit the principles Morneau laid out this week.To address a number of those issues, Moody suggested the government “dramatically simplify” the income-sprinkling rules by extending the existing regime to only allow business owners to split income with family members aged 24 and above. He also recommended that the system should continue to allow income transfers with spouses.“I think that would be a big one,” Moody said.“What they’ve got right now is just a whole bunch of complexity and a whole bunch of uncertainty, and both of those just are not good policy tenets.”Jack Mintz, a tax expert with the University of Calgary who has been critical of the proposals, agrees that dropping spouses from the legislation and raising the age of family members eligible for sprinkling — even to 28 or 30 — would solve some of the problems.On the succession issue, Mintz said changes are needed to help families avoid double taxation, but making it happen will be difficult.Mintz said some of Morneau’s other potential fixes will also be complicated to pull off, including making sure the reforms will enable women to save for leaves through their corporations.He said there are many reasons why someone would want to retain earnings in a company and that it will be difficult to carve out selected categories.“He’s just putting a band-aid on a bad proposal,” Mintz said.Moody said he didn’t know how the proposals could be adjusted for women business owners. One possibility, he noted, could be making women entrepreneurs eligible for Employment Insurance.When it comes to ensuring angel investors and venture capitalists are not hit by unintended consequences of the changes, Mintz said the government would likely have to eliminate the passive investment income proposal altogether.He said these investors would be “heavily hit” by the new passive income rules.“I think (the proposal) is completely unworkable,” he said.“I would drop it altogether, but I suspect that’s not necessarily going to happen.”Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

Legs together former judge Robin Camp to ask for return to law

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first_imgCALGARY – A former judge who resigned over his treatment of a sexual assault complainant is to make his case today for why he should be allowed to practise law again.The Law Society of Alberta is to hold a day-long reinstatement hearing for Robin Camp in Calgary.Camp stepped down from Federal Court in March following a Canadian Judicial Council recommendation that he be removed from the bench.Court transcripts from the 2014 sexual assault trial show that Camp — a provincial court judge in Calgary at the time — called the complainant “the accused” numerous times.They show he asked the young woman why she didn’t resist by keeping her knees together.Camp found the accused, Alexander Wagar, not guilty, but the Appeal Court ordered a new trial that resulted in him being acquitted for a second time.Camp apologized for his remarks and has undergone training and counselling.When law society members become judges, they are automatically no longer part of the organization.The law society said that when a former judge applies to be reinstated as a lawyer, the steps taken depend on whether he or she retired in good standing or was otherwise removed from the bench.The application may be approved quickly if the person satisfies competency and conduct requirements, but in other cases it’s more complicated.“If there are concerns around credentials and education or competency to practise law, the individual may be referred to various committees comprised of benchers (law society board members) and volunteers for further review,” the society said in an emailed statement earlier this month.“The law society may investigate to see if the individual has previous disciplinary proceedings or criminal convictions, and may refer the application to the conduct committee if such concerns are identified.”Camp, who was born in South Africa, originally had a legal-aid practice which included some criminal law. As he became more senior, he took on mostly litigation cases.An agreed statement of facts said he was involved in the anti-apartheid movement and represented members of the African National Congress.After moving to Calgary in 1998, his practice focused mainly on contractual, bankruptcy and trust law, as well as on oil and gas litigation.He was named an Alberta provincial court judge in 2012, but did not receive training or judicial education on sexual assault law or how to conduct sex assault trials.last_img read more

The Tuesday news briefing An ataglance survey of some top stories

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first_imgHighlights from the news file for Tuesday, Nov. 21———COST TO FIX PHOENIX TO SKYROCKET, AUDITOR SAYS: The federal government’s chronic salary struggles will take more time and more dollars than the three years and $540 million projected to fix the snafu-stricken Phoenix public service pay system, the auditor general warned Tuesday — an escalating “fiasco” that the governing Liberals laid squarely at the feet of their Conservative predecessors. Auditor Michael Ferguson even went so far as to warn that the government may be “in a similar situation” to Australia, where a comparable problem has already cost more than $1.2 billion over the last eight years and still isn’t completely fixed. Ferguson’s review found that, in all, there were 150,000 employees with pay problems that needed correcting at the start of summer, and a value of over $520 million worth of mistakes. The Liberals will provide a full and detailed cost estimate to fix the system, but not until next May, with plans to finalize by next month a preliminary road map of dozens of projects aimed at fixing Phoenix.———CANADIANS GETTING BAD SERVICE FROM CRA, AUDITOR FINDS: Some taxpayers may be filing tax returns using erroneous information supplied by the Canada Revenue Agency, the federal auditor general warned Tuesday after tabling an audit that found just getting through to the department’s helplines is an even greater challenge than the government lets on. Michael Ferguson’s latest report to Parliament said callers all too often get a busy signal or a message to hang up and try back later when they try to contact the taxman by telephone — and when they do get through, they’re not guaranteed of getting the right answers to their questions. “When we called the call centres of the Canada Revenue Agency and we posed our questions, about 30 per cent of the responses that we got back were not right,” Ferguson told a news conference — a “very concerning” finding that could be causing problems for Canadians who file their own returns. Ferguson couldn’t say how many people might be affected — only that some surely have been.———MUGABE RESIGNS AS ZIMBABWE’S PRESIDENT AFTER 37 YEARS: Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, who once vowed to rule for life, resigned Tuesday, succumbing to a week of overwhelming pressure from the military that put him under house arrest, lawmakers from the ruling party and opposition who started impeachment proceedings and a population that surged into the streets to say 37 years in power was enough. The capital, Harare, erupted in jubilation after news spread that the 93-year-old leader’s resignation letter had been read out by the speaker of parliament, whose members had gathered to impeach Mugabe after he ignored escalating calls to quit since a military takeover. Well into the night, cars honked and people danced and sang in a spectacle of free expression that would have been impossible during his years in power, whose early promise after the end of white minority rule in 1980 was overtaken by economic collapse, government dysfunction and human rights violations. Recently ousted Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was to take over as the country’s leader within 48 hours so that he can move “with speed to work for the country,” said a ruling party official, Lovemore Matuke.———TRUMP DISCOUNTS ACCUSATIONS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AGAINST MOORE: U.S. President Donald Trump discounted allegations of sexual assault against Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore and said Tuesday that voters should not support Moore’s “liberal” rival. Trump addressed the swirling controversy surrounding Moore for the first time since top Republican leaders called on Moore to step aside more than a week ago. “We don’t need a liberal person in there,” Trump said of Moore’s rival, Democrat Doug Jones. “We don’t need somebody who’s soft on crime like Jones.” Trump said he will announce next week whether he will campaign on Moore’s behalf. Trump spoke to reporters Tuesday at the White House before leaving for a Thanksgiving break at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Six women have accused the Republican Moore of pursuing romantic relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. Two have accused him of assault or molestation. Moore has denied the allegations. Trump dismissed questions from reporters about him backing a man accused of sexual assault over a man who is a Democrat. He pointed to Moore’s assertion that the candidate did nothing wrong. He also noted that the allegations came from behaviour alleged to have happened decades ago.———ROUND OF NAFTA TALKS END WITH DEADLOCK ON HARD ISSUES: A round of NAFTA talks concludes Tuesday with all key issues still deadlocked. Sources say the negotiators made progress on a variety of technical files, nearly concluding some less-controversial chapters like digital trade. But on hot-button files like autos, dairy and dispute resolution, they cite no real progress. Different sources from the host country, Mexico, say their negotiators have been aligned with Canada on most of these controversial files; they spent this week-long round delivering presentations explaining how various U.S. positions will hurt all three countries. The Mexicans especially played hardball on the issue of Buy American: they warned that if the U.S. insists on ramping up protectionism in public procurement, they could do the same and the net result would be more painful for the U.S. The Mexico City round ends with uncertainty on multiple fronts, including: whether President Donald Trump will try pulling out of NAFTA and what will happen if a deal isn’t done by the end of the current schedule of talks ending in March.———FEDS RELEASE SUITE OF CANNABIS REGULATIONS: Health Canada has unveiled a consultation paper with a suite of proposed cannabis regulations, including mandatory warnings on all products, similar to those on tobacco. The regulations released Tuesday are now up for public consultation for the next 60 days. They include a proposal for the development of health warning messages for areas including the risks associated with cannabis use during pregnancy, the dangers of impaired driving and dangers of combining cannabis with other substances, including alcohol. Health Canada says the purpose of the consultation paper is to solicit feedback. Earlier Tuesday, Statistics Canada said it plans to start measuring the economic and social impacts of recreational pot — even before Canada legalizes it. The statistical agency says it wants to gradually develop capabilities to capture and report information on non-medical cannabis prior to its legalization.———INQUIRY TOLD INDIGENOUS FAMILIES CONTINUALLY RETRAUMATIZED: The aunt of an Indigenous woman who was found dead at the bottom of a hotel laundry chute says families shouldn’t have to continually go before the media to be heard. Delores Stevenson testified about the death of her niece, Nadine Machiskinic, at the national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women in Saskatoon. Stevenson said families are being repeatedly traumatized as they push for accountability in the justice system. The coroner ruled Machiskinic’s death in January 2015 was accidental, but the jury at a coroner’s inquest said it could not determine the cause of her death. Stevenson told the inquiry that she approached the coroner’s office many times and that it has been a nightmare trying to get answers for the last 2 1/2 years. Machiskinic’s family questioned how she fit through the opening of the laundry chute, which was only 53 centimetres wide, and why it took police 60 hours to begin investigating. Stevenson has said it was presumed that Machiskinic walked into the laundry room and passed out or overdosed.———LAURIER APOLOGIZES TO TEACHING ASSISTANT: An Ontario university is apologizing to a teaching assistant after her superiors criticized her for airing a clip of a debate on gender-neutral pronouns. Lindsay Shepherd, a teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University, played a clip from TVO’s current affairs program “The Agenda” featuring a debate involving outspoken University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who has refused to use gender pronouns other than he and she. Shepherd says she played the clip to two communications tutorials in a bid to demonstrate that grammatical constructs such as gender-specific pronouns can have unexpected impacts on society. After a student complaint, Shepherd said her superiors criticized her for failing to condemn Peterson’s views, noting that they told her a neutral approach was akin to remaining neutral on the views of Adolf Hitler. Laurier President Deborah MacLatchy has issued a statement saying she heard recordings of the meeting between Shepherd and her bosses and says the meeting does not reflect the university’s values. Shepherd’s immediate supervisor also issued an open letter apologizing to her, saying she was right to encourage discussion of opposing views but emphasizing the need to put controversial topics in context.———RBC JOINS RANKS OF BANKS DEEMED TOO BIG TO FAIL: The Royal Bank of Canada is the first Canadian lender to be added to the Financial Stability Board’s list of global systemically important banks, which are deemed too big to fail. The FSB, which co-ordinates the work of national financial authorities and international standard-setting bodies, added RBC as it removed French bank Groupe BPCE, keeping the total number of institutions on the list at 30. “This designation reflects the size and scale of RBC’s global operations,” RBC said in a statement Tuesday. Banks that receive this global systematically important banks (G-SIBs) designation face increased regulatory expectations designed to reduce the likelihood of a failure, and the ripple effects on the global economy. That includes a higher capital buffer and higher supervisory expectations. RBC, which is Canada’s largest bank by market capitalization, says it was ranked in the lowest G-SIB capital surcharge bucket and that it already meets the requirement of a one per cent capital buffer. The bank “does not expect any impact to its capital position with this designation,” RBC added.———SINGER MICHAEL BUBLE HOSTING 2018 JUNO AWARDS: Canadian singer Michael Buble will be the host the 2018 Juno Awards. Buble had been tapped to host the music awards show last year before he bowed out when his son Noah was diagnosed with cancer. The native of Burnaby, B.C., announced earlier this month that he was getting back to work next year. Bryan Adams and Russell Peters hosted last year’s Junos in Ottawa. The 2018 Juno Awards will be staged at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on March 25. This is the fourth time Vancouver has played host to the awards ceremony, which celebrates achievement in Canadian music. The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced earlier this year it is reinstating the comedy album of the year category after a 33-year hiatus.———last_img read more

Halifax pastor shocked by obscene graffiti on church Easter Sunday

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first_imgHALIFAX – A Halifax pastor says he felt “violated” after the front doors of his parish were vandalized.St. Agnes Church was one of two Catholic churches in the Nova Scotia capital that were hit with obscene graffiti overnight on Saturday.Father Paul Morris was preparing to deliver the 10:30 a.m. Easter mass when a concerned parishioner alerted him to graffiti on the front doors of the building.Someone had spray-painted obscene words and drawings on the building, where Morris was expecting nearly a thousand people to attend the service.“When you’re the victim of crime, there is a great feeling of being violated. And that’s how I felt. I felt sad, I felt angry, my head was spinning,” he said in an interview Sunday.“I think it’s atrocious. It’s appalling that someone would desecrate any house of worship.”Morris said he contacted the police a few minutes before the mass began.He said the service went as well as could be expected. It was well attended, and he briefly addressed the vandalism in his opening words.“I said, ‘I want everyone to see what was done to us. So take a look when you leave,’” he said, adding that he could forgive the person who did this if they were brought to justice.Saint Benedict Church in the suburb of Clayton Park was also vandalized overnight.Father James Mallon of Saint Benedict tweeted a picture of the graffiti with the caption: “Someone said to me this week that Christians were not persecuted in our country. This morning we woke up to this.”Halifax police believe the two incidents are related.last_img read more

Trudeau Scheer and Singh court voters in Quebec on Fete nationale holiday

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first_imgMONTREAL – For the second time in two days, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was confronted on Sunday by a protester during a visit to Quebec to coincide with the Fete nationale holiday.A woman approached Trudeau at a family celebration in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, west of Montreal, and called him “a traitor.”“Happy Fete Nationale,” Trudeau said in response, as he continued to greet members of the crowd.A day earlier, a man confronted Trudeau at an event in his riding and suggested the prime minister had come to speak English and taunt Quebecers in their home.The incidents were blips in an otherwise pleasant weekend of meet-and-greets the prime minister attended at a number of public events organized to mark the June 24 holiday.Trudeau’s visit will wrap up Sunday afternoon following a visit to a circus festival in the company of his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau.Trudeau’s brief encounters with protesters were downright tame when compared to the angry reception his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, received exactly 50 years earlier at Montreal’s annual St-Jean-Baptiste parade in 1968.In what would be remembered as one of the most politically charged moments in Quebec history, people tossed bottles in his direction and the event degenerated into violent clashes between police and protesters. As those sitting near him tried to drag him to safety, the elder Trudeau stood his ground and refused to leave the stage.The next day his Liberals easily formed the government.The leaders of the other major federal parties were also in Quebec for Sunday’s holiday, which is also known as St-Jean-Baptiste Day.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s agenda included stops in at least four municipalities, ending with a Fete nationale celebration in Quebec City.In Montmagny, an hour’s drive east of the provincial capital, Scheer highlighted his party’s recent successes in the province, which include the recruitment of a former Bloc Quebecois leader as a member and a victory in a federal byelection on June 18.Conservative candidate Richard Martel captured 52.7 per cent of the vote in a federal byelection held in Chicoutimi-Le Fjord, more than 5,000 votes ahead of Liberal Lina Boivin, who took 29.5 per cent.In a Sunday morning speech broadcast on his YouTube channel, Scheer referred several times to Martel’s victory, blasted Trudeau’s Liberals and spoke of Quebec’s “undeniable” importance to Canada.“Without (Quebec), Canada would be quite simply not be the same,” he said. “Quebecers form a nation that gives Canada its colour.”Scheer said he and his MPs were holding roundtables around the province to devise a political strategy that is by, and for, Quebecers.“Our goal is to make a political offer that responds to the aspirations and ambitions of Quebecers,” he said.Jagmeet Singh is scheduled to be in Montreal’s Rosemont neighbourhood on Sunday afternoon, where he’ll join the celebrations alongside NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice.“On the occasion of St-Jean-Baptiste, we accompany Quebecers to celebrate the rich culture of Quebec and share this beautiful French language that makes Quebec such a formidable place,” Singh said in a video published on his Twitter account on Sunday morning.last_img read more

Summer snow falls in parts of Newfoundland Never seen it this late

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first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – It may be summer, but snow was falling in parts of Newfoundland Tuesday.John Jack Lushman said there were roughly five centimetres of snow Tuesday morning on the deck of his cabin near Burgeo, N.L.“I never seen it this late in June. I seen it in June but can’t remember it being this late and this much,” said Lushman, who shared a photo of a flowers he had planted on Sunday that were now buried in snow.Environment Canada said the snowfall set a record for June 26 in Gander, N.L., where about two centimetres had fallen by mid-morning Tuesday. There was no previous snowfall recorded on that day.“We’ll be in the record books for that,” said meteorologist Justin Boudreau. “But we’re not complete strangers to late-season snowfalls in Gander.”Boudreau said 3.2 centimetres of snow fell in Gander on June 20, 1996. The city also saw .8 centimetres of snow on June 29, 1952 and .2 centimetres on June 30, 1995.The province’s Transportation Department was warning residents to drive cautiously and tweeted a photo of a Burgeo road covered in a thin layer of snow.Other photos on social media show wet snow covering cars and a sprinkle of snow on deck furniture.Jake Reid tweeted: “Newfoundland: where snow tires are considered all-season tires.”Meanwhile, Twitter user Colin Ian Murray declared his love for the province, despite the snow.“Hard to swallow, but still beats living anywhere else!” tweeted Murray.Boudreau said the temperature was hovering around the freezing mark in Gander Tuesday morning, and was only forecast to reach 3 C, which would break another record. The previous coldest June 26 was 4.4 C. The average normal temperature is around 19 C, and the highest was 32 C.“We’re opening a pretty wide range of temperatures for this time of year,” said Boudreau.But it didn’t appear the snow would be sticking around.The national weather forecaster had issued rainfall warnings for eastern and central parts of Newfoundland, where between 40 and 70 millimetres of rain were expected to fall by Tuesday evening.last_img read more

Letter warns UNESCO about Olympic impact in Banff National Park

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first_imgCALGARY – A Canadian environmental group wants a United Nations agency to warn the federal government about the possible impact of holding Winter Olympic events in Banff National Park.The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has written a letter to UNESCO saying ski events at Lake Louise could threaten the values that have made the park a World Heritage Site.“We are asking that the World Heritage Committee make a recommendation to Canada or a statement against large-scale events or development that would have negative long term impacts in the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site,” said the letter sent in April.A feasibility study presented to Calgary city council, which is considering bidding for the 2026 Winter Games, suggests Lake Louise should be considered as a venue for ski speed events.Concerns have been raised about how the park would be affected by crowds attending the races, as well as by grandstands, media facilities and other infrastructure that would be required.An Olympic bid committee has suggested that Nakiska ski resort might be an alternative. Nakiska is outside the park and was the site for ski events during the 1988 Winter Games.However, a spokesman for the bid committee acknowledged that Lake Louise is still in the mix.“They’re exploring all options,” said Chris Dornan. “Nothing’s been finalized. It’s a very early stage.”Banff National Park is part of the Canadian Mountain Parks World Heritage Site that includes Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho national parks and Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and Hamber provincial parks.“With rugged mountain peaks, icefields and glaciers, alpine meadows, lakes, waterfalls, extensive karst cave systems and deeply incised canyons, the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks possess exceptional natural beauty,” says UNESCO’s description.UNESCO monitors its sites and can request member nations to report on them and propose ways to fix problems. The federal government is currently developing plans to improve Wood Buffalo National Park after UNESCO raised concerns about it.The letter says Banff is already overloaded with visitors and carrying as much infrastructure as it can stand.“Visitation to the Park has skyrocketed and the government of Canada has failed to safeguard the ecological integrity of the area. The park is bursting at the seams, and crowding, traffic and human-wildlife conflict have become major problems,” it says.“The scale, scope, and cachet the Olympic Games have will greatly and inevitably (exacerbate) the pressures and impacts the park is already challenged with.”The letter points to a 2016 Parks Canada assessment that suggests Banff’s ecosystems are only in fair condition.Dornan said no official venue proposals will be made for a while. He said concerns such as those raised in the letter will be heard.“There’s a lot of parties involved here. We’re listening to everybody.”Lake Louise holds regular World Cup ski races.A non-binding citywide plebiscite is expected for the late fall on whether Calgary should proceed with a bid.The Parks and Wilderness Society said it’s not opposed to the Olympics, just using national parks as a venue. It warned that doing so would increase controversy around an event that is intended to bring people together.“The idea that the Olympics may be held in a national park and World Heritage Site is a contentious issue and will divide Canadians,” the letter says.— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow him on Twitter at @row1960last_img read more