Thiruvananthapuram: As normalcy was slowly returning to rain-battered Kerala, people have started moving to their homes from relief camps, even as the toll climbed to 113 on Saturday, with more bodies being retrived from the landslide hit districts of Malappuram and Wayanad. As per the 9 AM update, 50 people have so far lost their lives in Malappuram and 12 in Wayanad, the two northern districts, where 28 people are still missing. Search operations are continuing at Kavalappara in Malappuram and Puthumala in Wayanad, the two areas which were the worst hit in the second spell of South West Monsoon rains since August 8, where massives landslides had wiped out two villages. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ A team of experts from Hyderabad are expected to arrive at Kavalappara on Saturday with Ground Penetrating Radars (GPR) which would help in detection of bodies buried under mounds of earth. In Malappuram, 21 are missing, 7 in Wayanad and one person in Kottayam, the update said. Seventeen deaths have been reported from Kozhikode, nine each from Kannur and Thrissur and five from Idukki. As rains receded, people have started returning to their homes after cleaning the accumulated mud and filth. Good samaritans from neighbouring districts are also lending a helping hand in the clean up operations. At least 12,761 houses were partially and 1,186 were fully destroyed in the rains and in the 805 camps, 1,29,517 people are still residing.
Dubai: An Iranian-flagged oil tanker pursued by the US amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington changed its listed destination to a port in Turkey early Saturday after Greece said it wouldn’t risk its relations with America by aiding it. The crew of the Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1, updated its listed destination in its Automatic Identification System to Mersin, Turkey, a port city in the country’s south and home to an oil terminal. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USHowever, mariners can input any destination into the AIS, so Turkey may not be its true destination. Mersin is some 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of a refinery in Baniyas, Syria, where authorities alleged the Adrian Darya had been heading before being seized off Gibraltar in early July. Iranian state media and officials did not immediately acknowledge the new reported destination of the Adrian Darya, which carries 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude oil worth some 130 million. Nor was there any immediate reaction from Turkey, whose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan deals directly with Tehran and Russia over Syria’s long war. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe ship-tracking website MarineTraffic.com showed the Adrian Darya’s position as just south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. At current speeds, it estimated the Adrian Darya would reach Mersin in about a week. The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The tanker’s detention and later release by Gibraltar has fueled the growing tensions between Iran and the U.S. after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers over a year ago. In the time since, Iran lost billions of dollars in business deals allowed by the deal as the US re-imposed and created sanctions largely blocking Tehran from selling crude oil aboard, a crucial source of hard currency for the Islamic Republic.
Kolkata: Five persons have been arrested by Howrah City Police in connection with the murder of a youth at Liluah bridge on Wednesday. One of the accused persons was arrested on Wednesday night from Liluah area. The other four persons were arrested from Asansol railway station on Thursday morning.According to sources, the police suspect that the deceased youth identified as Chandan Singh (20) had some enmity with the accused persons. After the murder took place, the police started gathering information about the accused persons who were seen by local residents. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAt night, the police received information that a person identified as Kunal Prasad was hiding in Liluah area. Based on the source information, the police raided a place on N. S Road in Liluah and nabbed him. During questioning, the police came to know that four persons were trying to escape from the state through Asansol. As soon as the police were informed about this, a team consisting of police personnel from Liluah police station and Detective Department of Howrah City Police reached Asansol. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAfter reaching Asansol, the police got in touch with Asansol Government Railway Police (GRP) as the police was informed that the accused persons would flee from the railway station. Later, on Wednesday morning, Howrah City Police and Asansol GRP conducted a joint raid and two accused persons. Later, they were compelled to call the other two and ask them to meet them at railway station. When they arrived, the police arrested them. The accused persons arrested from Asansol were identified as Subhas Singh, Vijay Tewari alias Chattu, Hari Tewary and Dibakar Jha. All the accused persons have past criminal records. The police are trying to unearth the motive behind the murder. The accused persons have been remanded to police custody for eight days. So far investigators came to know that Chandan was known to the accused persons and used to meet them often. The police are searching their database to find if Chandan has any past criminal record.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A massive, fast-moving fire at a public housing complex has forced about 35 people out of their homes in a blaze that sent large plumes of smoke billowing above St. John’s, N.L.Fire platoon Chief Brian Tucker said Tuesday they were called to the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Authority apartment units on Froude Avenue at about 6 p.m. Monday, finding flames spewing out of the second storey.“We were there three to four minutes after it started and it was fully engulfed,” he said from the scene, where firefighters were cleaning up and monitoring hot spots. “The fire spread very rapidly.”Everyone in the 12-unit complex was evacuated, but Tucker said one person was taken to hospital to be treated for possible smoke inhalation and other injuries. He said some pets were reported missing.He said the apartment complex was destroyed and had pancaked in on itself, adding that crews may have to bring in additional equipment to tear down the remaining building.Tucker said firefighters had issues with the water supply and had to call in a water tanker for extra support. He said they didn’t have enough water because of the way the water lines are looped between different hydrants.“We did have a bit of an issue with water. With a big fire, we need big water and big water was not available to us here,” he said. “So we brought in our tanker.”He said they determined there was little hope of saving the first building and concentrated on fighting the fire in another one. He says they had it under control by about 11:30 p.m.Hundreds of people lined the streets to watch the blaze, with many being driven from their nearby homes due to smoke. The siding on several neighbouring houses melted due to the extreme heat.“There was a big crowd…(the smoke) was noticeable from all over town,” Tucker said.The Canadian Red Cross said it was assisting the 35 residents from 13 families, including adults and children who lived in the three buildings that each four townhouse apartments. It said the housing authority was putting the tenants up at hotels and that some were staying with friends and family.
OTTAWA – Tearing down tributes to historical figures would be “counterproductive” to reconciliation efforts between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, says the former chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.Sen. Murray Sinclair, who spent six years documenting the long-standing impacts of Canada’s residential school system, says the debate over whether to remove Sir John A. Macdonald’s name from Ontario elementary schools takes up time that could be better spent exploring how to honour and elevate Indigenous heroes.“It is not about taking off names off buildings, it is about whether we can find a way to put Indigenous names on buildings,” Sinclair said Tuesday in an interview with The Canadian Press.“The problem I have with the overall approach to tearing down statues and buildings is that is counterproductive to … reconciliation because it almost smacks of revenge or smacks of acts of anger, but in reality, what we are trying to do, is we are trying to create more balance in the relationship.”Sinclair’s remarks come after the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario passed a controversial motion calling for the removal of Macdonald’s name from schools.The motion recognizes that Macdonald has been celebrated based on an incomplete version of Canadian history, the union said, noting he played a key role in developing systems that “perpetuated genocide against Indigenous people.”“It is probably a fight, had I been asked, I would have said to avoid it,” Sinclair said, adding his approach would be to include “shameful information” on a plaque along with prominent information.Macdonald clearly played a significant role in the establishment of Canada but the establishment of the country also played a significant role in the destruction of Indigenous culture and societies, he said.“He clearly attempted to eliminate Indigenous culture by removing children from their families and placing them with people of another race … for the purpose of wiping out the race of people known as Indian,” Sinclair said.Macdonald also created circumstances that fuelled hardship for Indigenous people to the point where their potential to survive was challenged, Sinclair said.“Both of which are right within the definition of genocide within the convention on genocide,” he said, referring to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime Genocide adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “unequivocally” there are no plans to remove Macdonald’s name from buildings or sites that are in the purview of the federal government.“Reconciliation is not just about the relationship between government and Indigenous peoples,” Trudeau said while standing outside the Governor General’s residence after a cabinet shuffle.“Non-indigenous Canadians have an essential role to play in how we shape a better and more responsible future for everyone who shares this land and these conversations are extremely important to have to reflect on our past and to build the right future forward together.”In June, Trudeau decided to remove the name of Hector-Louis Langevin, a father of Confederation and architect of the residential school system, from the Ottawa building that houses the Prime Minister’s Office.“He bears a significant responsibility when it comes to the issue of residential schools and he deserves, in my view, very little credit,” Sinclair said.—Follow @kkirkup on Twitter
Highlights from the news file for Tuesday, Oct. 17———TENSIONS ERUPT AS NAFTA TALKS PUSHED TO 2018: The tensions at the NAFTA negotiating table have exploded into public view, as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced NAFTA talks are being extended into 2018. The next negotiating round is being pushed back almost three weeks in a tacit admission that negotiators aren’t going to meet their original deadline for a deal by year-end. The proposals tabled at the latest round have revealed huge chasms in negotiating positions, on everything from dairy and autos to even the basic architecture of an agreement — and the tone of Tuesday’s news conference made clear the talks have turned downright frosty. Lighthizer said other countries are struggling to accept the reality that the U.S. wants to rebalance its trade agreements. He said other countries and industries must stop counting on easy export access to the U.S. market. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland sounded a marginally more diplomatic note. But she made it clear Canada believes others at the table are preventing progress from being made. Mexico’s Economic Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo acknowledged that the talks would be difficult. He said obstacles to progress remain and that all sides need to work towards constructive solutions.———UNDER SIEGE, MORNEAU SAYS HE’S NOT LEAVING: The federal ethics watchdog confirmed Tuesday that she advised Finance Minister Bill Morneau there was no need to put his substantial assets in a blind trust. “I told him that it wasn’t required,” ethics commissioner Mary Dawson said, although it was ultimately up to Morneau to choose how to handle his affairs. Dawson’s confirmation came amid a continuing furor over Morneau’s personal financial arrangements, which have combined with the angry backlash to his small business tax reform proposals to leave his credibility in tatters. So politically damaged has Morneau become that he was even asked Tuesday if the escalating ethics controversy has him reconsidering his career in politics. “Absolutely not,” he said in French after an event in Montreal. Rumours have been circulating around Parliament Hill for months that the wealthy former businessman is disenchanted with politics after two years in the Finance hot seat. He’s unlikely to feel more positively about politics now that the focus has shifted to his personal fortune and ethics.———LIBERALS TO CHANGE PASSIVE-INCOME PLAN: The federal government is moving to pare down its controversial tax proposal on passive income so that it will only affect three per cent of private corporations. Finance Minister Bill Morneau will be in New Brunswick on Wednesday to unveil changes to his passive investment proposal so that it only targets unfair tax advantages used by the wealthy, a senior government official told The Canadian Press. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement, said Morneau will also share updated estimates showing there’s between $200 billion and $300 billion in assets sitting in the passive investment accounts of just two per cent of all private corporations. The finance minister will also point out that the dollar figure has been growing by $16 billion per year as wealthy incorporated individuals reap what the official described as unlimited benefits from tax-advantaged savings accounts over and above RRSPs and TFSAs, the official said. The government wants to prevent all of this cash, which it contends is not being reinvested into the businesses or the economy, from piling up in these savings portfolios over generations, the official added.———FEDS PROMISE TO GUARD JOBS AFTER CSERIES DEAL: The Trudeau government is promising to build in safeguards to make sure this week’s stunning deal between Bombardier and European rival Airbus doesn’t hurt Canada’s aerospace industry. Airbus wants to buy a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries commercial planes, whose future has been in question after U.S. officials proposed a hefty 300 per cent import duty on the jet program. Airbus and Bombardier hope that by working together, they can skirt the duties by building CSeries planes for U.S. customers in Alabama instead of outside the U.S. That has raised questions about whether the deal will hurt jobs in Quebec, where Bombardier is based, but Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains hopes it will have the opposite effect. The deal still needs federal approval, and Bains promises the Trudeau government will include specific long-term promises from Airbus about keeping jobs in Canada before signing off. But he says he is cautiously optimistic such requirements won’t be needed and that the deal will actually create jobs in Canada by helping sell more CSeries planes around the world.———BANKING REGULATOR PUTS OUT CHANGES TO MORTGAGE GUIDELINES: Canada’s banking regulator said Tuesday it is going ahead with a new stress test for home buyers who don’t need mortgage insurance, who will soon have to prove they can make their payments if interest rates rise. The move is expected to reduce the maximum amount buyers will be able to borrow to buy a home, even if they have a down payment of 20 per cent or more, starting Jan. 1. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions set out final guidelines on the changes to its residential mortgage underwriting guidelines Tuesday, the broad thrust of which are similar to what it had proposed in a draft consultation in July. The regulator tweaked the calculation of the qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages to address concerns that using the contractual rate plus two per cent could lead borrowers to seek out shorter terms. Would-be homebuyers will need to prove they can still service their uninsured mortgage at a qualifying rate of the greater of the contractual mortgage rate plus two percentage points or the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada. An existing stress test requires those with insured mortgages to qualify at the Bank of Canada benchmark five-year mortgage rate.———CANADIANS CHARGED IN MASSIVE U.S. OPIOID PROBE: Two men imprisoned in Canada are accused of playing a leadership role from behind bars in what American authorities are calling one of the world’s most prolific fentanyl-trafficking and money-laundering operations. The charges in the case, which come as North America grapples with an increasingly deadly opioid crisis, are said to the first in the United States against designated Chinese manufacturers of fentanyl and other opiates. The U.S. Justice Department says customers bought pure fentanyl and other dangerous drugs online directly from Chinese factories. According to the indictments, Jason Berry and Daniel Ceron ran the Canadian end of the alleged criminal enterprise while imprisoned in the Drummond Institution in Drummondville, Que. Further details about them were not immediately available, but they are accused of arranging shipments of fentanyl and other drugs from Canada to Florida and Portland Ore., in 2014, according to documents filed with an American court. The duo are among five Canadians facing charges, U.S. authorities said. Two Chinese nationals were indicted as overall leaders of the group that operated from January 2013 through August 2016.———SURVIVORS CAN PRESERVE DOCUMENTS, BENNETT SAYS: Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett says there is a proactive effort underway to tell residential school survivors that their records can still be preserved if they so choose. The move comes after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled earlier this month that records detailing the abuse of former students can eventually be destroyed. The court unanimously upheld a lower court ruling that said the sensitive material collected for independent assessments should be destroyed after 15 years. The federal government and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission argued survivor accounts are a critical part of Canadian history that should be preserved. Bennett, who expressed her disappointment following the court’s decision, tells The Canadian Press she fears researchers will not be able to explore central questions about the residential school legacy if the documents are in fact destroyed. She says it will be important to give assurances to survivors that their names will remain anonymous.———INDIGENOUS NAFTA CHAPTER KEY, BELLEGARDE SAYS: The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations says an Indigenous chapter in NAFTA mustn’t be allowed to fall by the wayside, regardless of the challenges and tight timeline currently confronting negotiators. Perry Bellegarde, who is also part of an advisory committee on the talks, tells The Canadian Press he wants officials to understand the importance of including the interests of Indigenous Peoples, noting they were left out of the original NAFTA negotiations in the 1990s. Bellegarde spoke Tuesday at the National Congress of American Indians in Wisconsin to build support for the chapter among U.S. tribes. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has called for “progressive” elements to be included in a renegotiated NAFTA, such as stronger labour standards, tougher environmental protections and chapters on gender and Indigenous rights. Ottawa has been exploring how provisions in the trade agreement can support Indigenous economic development while it also considers how to make the pact compliant with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.———TSB PROBING COLLISION BETWEEN DRONE AND PLANE IN QUEBEC: The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating last week’s collision between a drone and a commercial aircraft near Quebec City. The Beech King Air A100 with two crew members and six passengers was approaching Quebec City airport last Thursday when it struck the drone at an altitude of 1,500 feet. Aircraft rescue and firefighting services were deployed and the aircraft safely landed. No one was injured. The federal agency says it is the first time it has investigated such an incident. Officials say gathering information has been complicated by the fact the drone has not been found and that its owner has not yet been identified. “Given this is a first — and I believe not just in Canada because as far as I know this hasn’t happened anywhere in the world — we’re trying to see what can be done to improve transport safety,” TSB investigator Isabelle Langevin said in an interview. “Because drones are here to stay.” Transport Canada has previously issued a series of interim safety measures for drone operators as it continues to work to regulate the industry. Under these rules, it is illegal to fly a recreational drone within 5.5 kilometres from an airport and 1.8 kilometres from a heliport without special permission.———TRIBUTES POUR IN FOR ‘TRAILER PARK BOYS’ ACTOR JOHN DUNSWORTH: As foul-mouthed alcoholic supervisor Jim Lahey on the comically crass mockumentary series “Trailer Park Boys,” John Dunsworth was a slurring, stumbling mess with a drink in hand and a bitter attitude. Behind the scenes, he couldn’t have been more different, say those who knew him. Word of the beloved Halifax actor’s death Monday night prompted a flood of celebrity tributes that painted a picture of a vibrant, intelligent actor who devoted himself to the craft, served as a mentor and lived an alcohol-free lifestyle. “For a guy who doesn’t drink a drop, he was the most affable drunk in the country,” Lucy DeCoutere, who co-starred with Dunsworth on the “Trailer Park Boys,” said Tuesday in a phone interview from Italy. “He wasn’t a drinker but I guess because he could embody the inhibitions that come from being intoxicated, he was able to add the nuance and subtlety that comes from being a raging booze hound.” Dunsworth died “peacefully after a short and unexpected illness,” according to a Twitter post by his daughter Sarah, who was also on “Trailer Park Boys.” He was 71. Many stars took to social media to express condolences, including members of the “Trailer Park Boys,” late-night talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel, Canadian rockers Rush and actor Tom Arnold.———
CALGARY – A loud whir is followed by a deep rumbling roar as the engine of a decommissioned Canadian Forces armoured recovery vehicle comes to life.A big cloud of black smoke belches out of the rear exhaust port.“You see that?” asks John Senior, thumping his chest. “That’s why people are here. When that starts up you should see the smile on the guys’ faces and their glow. Their aura just amplifies.“We veterans are keeping that running and it is keeping us running. You see that connection. The happiness. The joy.”Senior is the leader of the Ghost Squadron at The Military Museums in Calgary. He works for the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada as an operational stress injury social support co-ordinator.The Ghost Squadron consists of volunteers who keep decommissioned military vehicles running. Between nine and 20 of them get together every week to do some mechanical work but, more importantly, to bond in some informal group therapy.Most of the participants are suffering from occupational stress injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.David, who suffers from PTSD and didn’t want his last name used, started coming a year ago after leaving the military filled with anger and resentment.“A lot of us when we got out of the army … didn’t want to have anything to do with the army. I didn’t want to see stuff on TV. I still don’t watch war movies,” he said.“It’s done me a world of good. These guys, they’ve seen the vulnerability and they still treat me like I never said a thing.”David said everyone has had difficulties reintegrating into civilian life.“This group, it reminds me of how … the legions started — misfits all getting together and going, ‘Hey, no one gets it but us,’ and that’s what this group has become,” he said.“This drags guys out of the basement who are drinking themselves to death and has given them a purpose.”Senior said that, in his day job, he has a list of about 200 veterans he has reached out to in southern Alberta. Most have all their limbs but struggle with mental health. He said the success of the informal therapy comes down to shared experience.“You’re there with people who have the same mission mindset, same feelings.”Scott Vanderveer and his wife, Heather, served in the military and both were diagnosed with occupational stress injuries.Vanderveer, a former corporal, said his problems came gradually. They started with anxiety and unexplained anger. He still only sleeps an hour or two a night.Connecting with fellow veterans has made a world of difference.“When any one of us are having a bad day, the other guys are there. You know your brothers care for you when they’re razzing the hell out of you.”Heather Vanderveer, who was also a corporal, said she left the Canadian Forces because of constant harassment from co-workers and superiors.“I kind of tease everybody that I’m the president of the angry corporals club. That’s what we call it in our house,” she said. “I wanted to fulfil my duty as a soldier and my trade. I feel that was taken from me so the minute I left I was angry.“I knew, for me, something wasn’t right. I suffered from anxiety, lack of self-esteem, nightmares.”She doesn’t tinker with engines but said she’s included in all group activities.Brian McGregor retired as a corporal 24 years ago and nobody has to pretend.“My wife laughs at me because I’ll be cranky and miserable when I leave, because I’m job hunting and nobody’s talking to me. I will come back from one of these nights — greasy and dirty and smelling remarkably like I stood in a diesel fire — with a big smile on my face.”Senior makes sure he keeps his day job and his volunteer gig separate but has noticed the benefits, especially for veterans who have retreated from society and haven’t sought help.“I’ve seen that just a little bit of contact here goes a long way,” he said.“From here I can say, ‘Hey, you might want to look at getting some outside source help.’”— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
OTTAWA – The social media movement known as #MeToo prompted people around the world to share their stories of sexual assault and harassment, but elected women on Parliament Hill appear unsure about where things are headed.In a recent Canadian Press survey of female MPs about their experiences with sexual misconduct, 55 per cent of respondents said they believe the global conversation that grew out of allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein marks a key turning point.However, about a quarter of the respondents said they believe the movement could prove fleeting.“I fear that this is only temporary because the apologists will soon come forward and say the stories are exaggerated and driven by ambitious or scorned women,” said one of the 38 out of 89 female MPs who took part in the voluntary, anonymous survey.“The balance of power and control in the world still rests with men.”Another MP expressed concern that the pendulum could swing too far.“I believe it is a good thing that people are being exposed for past behaviour, however I am concerned that some are possibly being swept up in the fray, fired, etc., like a nationwide lynching without research into accusations.”More than half of respondents to the survey — 58 per cent — reported having personally experienced one or more forms of sexual misconduct during their time in office, including inappropriate or unwanted remarks, gestures or text messages of a sexual nature.The survey also asked about the process for handling complaints regarding harassment, set up in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct levelled in 2014 against two Liberal MPs who were subsequently booted from caucus and barred from running again for the party.The process made headlines again late last year when Liberal MP Sherry Romanado expressed her dissatisfaction with the outcome after she filed a complaint against Conservative MP James Bezan regarding inappropriate remarks he made while they were posing for a photo with a veteran in Ottawa.One-third of the survey respondents said the process is difficult to evaluate, while MPs called it a first step, but insufficient on its own. Only five MPs called it both necessary and effective.Some MPs shared their thoughts on the process; one called it “punishing to the victim,” adding that it “takes way too long and becomes public.”Another MP said: “This needs to be in place, but (it’s) frustrating that it’s used as a political tool to discredit in some instances.”The House of Commons is working to bring in-person training on workplace harassment to MPs, with about 20 two-hour sessions expected to be offered beginning next month. That’s in addition to the 620 people — including 560 MPs or their staffers — who have viewed an online harassment prevention course launched in December 2016.Liberal MP Alexandra Mendes said she found it a useful exercise, but was also struck by how much comes down to basic good manners.“If you learn to be courteous and respectful of others, a lot of these things wouldn’t happen,” Mendes said in an interview last month.The MPs who participated in the survey said there are many things the federal government should be doing to prevent sexual misconduct and to better respond to victims in general, both on and off Parliament Hill.The most popular response was mandatory sexual education in schools, including on issues surrounding consent — an idea supported by 66 per cent of respondents. Nearly as many called for more awareness campaigns.Simplifying the complaint process, training for police officers and judges and better enforcement of existing laws were also popular answers.Only six MPs, however, recommended introducing tougher laws.A couple of respondents highlighted the need to involve men — both as perpetrators and bystanders — in solving the problem, including by offering help to men who want to change their ways after years of working in a culture that tolerated what is now deemed to be unacceptable behaviour.Another MP said it is important to focus on prevention.“I believe that most people are good people and very few mean to be awful to people and treat people badly,” she wrote.“Let’s work as hard on prevention — helping people how to be in a workplace — as much as we work on helping victims.”— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitter
HALIFAX – Two RCMP doctors under police investigation allegedly abused their power over vulnerable young recruits who were “deeply afraid” that speaking out would damage their careers in the national police force, a lawyer who represents RCMP sexual-misconduct victims says.Megan McPhee, a principal with a Toronto-based law firm serving as counsel in a class-action lawsuit, said women have come forward with similar stories about sexual misconduct during medical examinations by RCMP physicians in Nova Scotia and Ontario.“The issues we’re hearing with respect to the Halifax doctor are arising very early in the employment, when there is a potential power imbalance between a doctor and a woman who is trying to fulfil her dream of becoming an RCMP officer,” she said. “Women simply don’t feel comfortable coming forward because they’re so deeply afraid of the impact that speaking out could have on their careers.”The Halifax doctor, nicknamed Dr. Fingers, has been accused of inappropriate and unnecessary vaginal and rectal examinations, while the Toronto doctor was particularly focused on women’s nipples, McPhee said.“We’re hearing from claimants about common practices and nicknames for both a doctor in Halifax and one in Toronto,” she said.The complainants don’t believe there was any medical necessity to some of the examinations, she said.“For example, an allegation of a woman having a prostate exam,” McPhee said. “Other women have expressed having their breasts fondled for lengthy periods of time and it’s difficult to ascribe any sort of medical necessity to that sort of examination.”The allegations against the doctors mirror widespread complaints about sexual harassment in the force that led the federal court to approve a landmark settlement last May.The claims also reflect a broader societal reckoning with male predatory behaviour that has sparked the Me Too movement and toppled powerful men accused of sexual misconduct.“There are lots of organizations where their history and their structure may be set up to enable the sort of things we’ve heard described here, which is the Old Boys Club,” McPhee said. “For us to see change going forward we need to address the Old Boys Club.”She added: “One of the fundamental goals of the settlement, particularly for the class members, is to shine a light on the harassment that has occurred and to address and prevent future harassment so that we don’t see a recurrence. We’re working to make the force a safer place for the generations of women to come.”Halifax police spokeswoman Carol McIsaac said Friday the force has now received 50 complaints from both men and women against a retired doctor in the Halifax suburb of Bedford.Toronto police investigating sexual assault allegations against a retired doctor in the RCMP’s Ontario division would only confirm Friday that they have received “more than one” complaint.“We will not confirm any details of the allegations that have been brought to our attention except to say that they are historic incidents,” Meaghan Gray with the Toronto Police Service said. “Any allegation is being investigated thoroughly and charges will be laid, if appropriate.”McPhee said her law firm has noticed a “significant increase” in the number of women coming forward to share their stories ahead of the class action settlement deadline of Feb. 8.Some of the allegations are “quite disturbing,” she said.“For some it can be very freeing to be sharing a story with somebody, in some cases for the very first time,” McPhee said. “For many of the claimants, filing a claim can be very traumatic because they are reliving and revisiting traumatic events that they may have compartmentalized or buried so that they could try to deal with their everyday lives and be able to function.”The RCMP sexual harassment class action settlement is uncapped. McPhee said all approved claimants will be entitled to receive compensation, regardless of the number of claims approved.
HALIFAX – After two meetings and a phone call with the head of Nova Scotia’s teachers union, Premier Stephen McNeil says his government is ready to introduce its education reform bill on Thursday.The move comes three days after McNeil emerged from a one-on-one meeting with union chief Liette Doucet saying he felt there was room for compromise over Liberal government’s reform plans, which include the removal of 1,000 principals, vice-principals and supervisors from the union.McNeil said Wednesday he told Doucet about the legislation in a phone call, and sent a copy to the union.Neither he nor Doucet would discuss the bill’s contents, and the premier was coy on whether it included changes based on concerns raised by the union.“I’ve considered them and I’ve sent the bill to her and all of you will see the bill tomorrow,” McNeil told reporters.In a statement late Wednesday, Doucet confirmed the union has seen “an embargoed copy” of the bill and said: “The NSTU provincial executive will be meeting tomorrow to discuss the contents of this bill, and to determine an appropriate response.”McNeil said he wants to get the legislation passed before the March break.In a vote last week, more than 80 per cent of public school teachers voted for strike action to protest the province’s decision to largely endorse reforms contained in a recent report from education consultant Avis Glaze.Glaze said principals and vice-principals should be moved into a new professional association to eliminate any potential conflict of interest when both management and employees are in the same union.Her report also recommends eliminating the province’s seven English-language school boards and creating a provincial college of educators to license and regulate the teaching profession.McNeil was asked whether teachers would be happy with the legislation.“I hope they are,” he said. “The reality of it is I’ve yet to make a decision here that’s made everybody happy. My goal is to do what is in the best interest of all of us and I’m doing what I believe is in the best interests of kids.”McNeil said his conversation with Doucet was cordial and said they didn’t discuss whether the bill would prompt some kind of job action by the union.Any strike would be illegal — and teachers could face fines of up to $1,000 a day.Doucet also met with Education Minister Zach Churchill last Friday.The extensive reforms come a year after teachers walked off the job for a day and staged a protest outside the provincial legislature. The Liberal government eventually passed legislation ending a 16-month contract dispute with teachers, which also ended a work-to-rule job action.
TORONTO – It might be called the “shame game” — a parent embarrassing a child on social media as a way of disciplining them for bad behaviour with the hope they will learn their lesson and mend their ways.But parenting experts say such public humiliation isn’t an effective means of discipline for altering behaviour and can have long-lasting effects on a child’s self-esteem.The comments were in response to a recent incident in which a Windsor, Ont.-area mother had her two young sons walk seven kilometres to school, carrying a hand-lettered cardboard sign saying they had been “rude to our bus driver.” Her Facebook posting that included a photo of the boys on their two-hour trek quickly went viral and garnered international media attention.The mother, who is not being named by The Canadian Press to protect the identities of the two boys, said she took the action after receiving a call from her sons’ school about them acting out on the school bus, and that if their behaviour didn’t improve, they would not be allowed back on.In media reports, the woman said she decided to make the kids walk, by her side, to help them understand that riding on the bus is a privilege, not a right — and she never imagined the tactic would generate such attention.Still, she’s hardly alone in her decision to wield social media as a virtual strap. There are reportedly more than 30,000 YouTube videos in which parents use public shaming in a bid to make their kids shape up.For parenting expert Alyson Schafer, such child-shaming deeds are a form of bullying that needs to stop.The Toronto family counsellor said such disciplinary actions reflect misguided thinking on the part of the parents, who believe that if a child is made to feel guilty, they won’t repeat their misdeed.“Unfortunately, that’s not the way discipline works,” she said. “When we use punitive (measures) — and in this case, extremely punitive because this is public shaming and humiliation — it’s not only shredding the relationship between the parent and child, but it’s also damaging the child’s self-esteem and is very hurtful to the soul.”Charles Helwig, a professor of developmental psychology at the University of Toronto, said research has shown that using “psychological control” as a means of trying to improve behaviour is associated with an increased incidence of depression and anxiety in children.“I hate to blame the parent directly,” he said. “Parents can do things that they think are in the best interest of the child … And obviously the parent was concerned about the behaviour and thought this would be a good way to control it.”But “when you put it on social media, it’s essentially permanent, so it’s something that can come back to haunt the children throughout their lives. Publicizing it in this way is something that can’t be taken back.“So it adds to the potential embarrassment and harm.”Children as young as five start caring about their reputations, according to a research review published in March in Trends in Cognitive Sciences journal. In the article, researchers note kids will change their behaviour based on how they believe it will affect their image.Schafer said that if a child feels guilty about something they’ve been admonished about, they don’t differentiate between the behaviour and themselves as a person.As a result, children tend to feel they are unlovable, and that can become integrated into their self-concept, said the author of the book “Honey, I Wrecked the Kids.”“They look to their parents to know their lovability and their worth. And when they’re shamed, it says ‘I am bad.’”In family counselling, said Schafer, the goal is to try to separate “the deed from the doer.” Parents are encouraged to say, for instance, “I love you, but I don’t love your hitting” or “I love you, but I don’t like how you’re treating the bus driver.”A more constructive way of dealing with a child’s transgressions is for parents to have a discussion about the motivating factors, she said: “What was the child attempting in being rude? Was he trying to impress his friends? Does he need to prove to the world that he needs to be superior to other people?“So we have to find out what the psychological underpinnings are of the child’s motivations and help him understand … and give him the skill sets to find his sense of importance and belonging through constructive means.”Helwig agreed, saying that educating mom and dad about alternative ways of parenting is healthier for the child and also more effective in the long term.Children, he said, respond more positively to “autonomy supportive practices,” in which parents or caregivers explain the reasons why a certain behaviour was inappropriate and then have the child take the perspective of the person on the receiving end, asking: “How would you feel if this were done to you?”“If the behaviour continues or is indicative of some broad pattern that isn’t being brought under control, then the parent should seek professional assistance. It might be a reflection of something else going on.”—Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.
BOSTON – The Boston Bruins and the Boston Bruins Foundation have announced two fundraising initiatives to help support those affected by the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.The Boston Bruins Foundation will host a 50/50 raffle on Thursday night in Game 1 of the team’s first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.All proceeds raised from that jackpot will be donated to support the Humboldt Broncos community. The winner is guaranteed to win at least US$25,000.Meantime, an online raffle for a private box at Game 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs is underway.The team and the foundation have pledged to donate a minimum of $50,000 to the Humboldt community through these efforts.The Humboldt Broncos’ bus was heading to a Sakatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game in Nipawin, Sask. Friday night when it collided with a semi-truck. Fifteen people in the bus were killed, with 14 injured.
SURREY, B.C. — RCMP have released more photos of the suspected gunman in a shooting that injured a transit officer in Surrey, B.C.Police say they are still searching for Daon Gordon Glasgow, who they allege shot Const. Josh Harms on a transit platform during the busy commuter hours on Wednesday afternoon.They say the mugshots span 20 years and illustrate how Glasgow has altered his appearance many times.There has been a heavy police presence in the Bridgeview neighbourhood where the shooting took place but RCMP say they are wrapping up their search.Investigators say Glasgow may try leaving the province to evade police and they have notified officers in other jurisdictions to keep a lookout.They say Glasgow is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for being unlawfully at large with respect to an unrelated incident.An RCMP command post will remain at the Scott Road SkyTrain station parking lot so people with information about what happened can speak directly with officers.Investigators are also asking anyone with dash camera footage from the area around the time of the shooting to come forward and a tip line has also been established.Public officials, including Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and Premier John Horgan issued statements of support for Harms, who Metro Vancouver Transit Police say has been released from hospital.The Canadian Press
QUEBEC — Francois Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec government will table its first budget on March 21.Finance Minister Eric Girard announced the date today, telling Quebecers they can expect good news for the health and education sectors.The Quebec budget will come two days after the federal budget is tabled in Ottawa.Girard says his inaugural budget will aim to reduce Quebecers’ tax burden, but he was unwilling to say by how much.The budget will establish the true size of the provincial surplus, which has been a subject of debate since the Coalition party defeated the Liberals in the Oct. 1 provincial election.Last week, the Institut du Quebec think tank reported that the surplus for 2018-19 should be between $3.4 billion and $4.6 billion. Girard set the figure at $1.65 billion in his December economic update.The Canadian Press
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The families of two inmates who died in Newfoundland jails have filed lawsuits claiming that negligence by the province exacerbated their loved ones’ mental health conditions and led to their untimely deaths.Skye Martin, 27, died after harming herself in April 2018 while serving a sentence at the Newfoundland and Labrador Correctional Centre for Women in Clarenville, N.L.Douglas Neary, 37, died by suicide in August 2018 while being held on remand in Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s, the province’s Victorian-era jail notorious for its outdated facilities and overcrowding.Neary and Martin’s cases, along with those of Samantha Piercey and Christopher Sutton, were the subject of an independent review launched after four people died in the province’s jails in the span of one year.In a statement Friday, a lawyer acting on behalf of Neary’s estate and family pledged to expose what he called “the antiquated, inhumane and neo-medieval managerial approach to corrections” at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.“Mr. Neary was an individual who needed help. He had no criminal record. He was not convicted of any criminal offence,” Bob Buckingham wrote. “He was improperly treated while incarcerated and, as set out in the statement of claim, his death was preventable.”Buckingham argues the province failed to modernize its correctional facilities, despite decades of inquiries and reports into alleged mistreatment of inmates and deaths in custody, creating a “recipe for disaster in Mr. Neary’s circumstance.”In her report last December into the four custodial deaths, retired police Supt. Marlene Jesso found conditions in the facilities contributed to the inmates’ poor mental health, but she did not conclude that action by staff could have prevented their deaths.Specific details about the four deaths were redacted in the public version of Jesso’s report, but the statements of claim in the Martin and Neary cases lay out key incidents leading up to their deaths.Both suits say the inmates had been taken off their prescribed medications and had shown signs that their mental health conditions were worsening in the days before their deaths. The suits also argue the inmates’ charter rights were violated and that they were subject to discriminatory treatment because of their mental health conditions.The statements of claim contain allegations that have not been tested in court, and court dates have not been set for either case.Provincial justice minister Andrew Parsons said it would be inappropriate to comment on the specifics of cases that are before the courts. “This has been a very difficult time for the family and friends of the deceased, and I again express my sincere condolences,” he said in a statement.In Neary’s case, it is alleged that the 37-year-old father of two told penitentiary nursing staff he had been taking psychiatric medication and suffered from social anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. Family members say they informed police of Neary’s struggles with addiction upon his arrest.While in jail, the claim says Neary was denied medical care for days while suffering from a fractured hand. It says he was taunted and threatened by correctional staff to the point that he was afraid to leave his cell.The claim says Neary was taken off his medication days before his Aug. 30, 2017 death. In medical assessments he had complained of increased anxiety and panic attacks and said he felt overwhelmed as a first-time inmate.“The plaintiffs state Mr. Neary’s medical crisis and subsequent death arose due to the negligence and/or reckless indifference of the defendant by its employees and agents,” the claim, filed Aug. 30, reads.A lawsuit filed by lawyer Jerome Kennedy on behalf of Skye Martin’s mother, Natasha Martin, says Martin had been a patient at Waterford Hospital, a mental health facility in St. John’s, when a jail sentence stemming from 2017 assault charges was increased.Before Martin’s transfer to the women’s facility in Clarenville, a forensic psychiatrist at the hospital sent a letter to the prison superintendent outlining Martin’s medication regime, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and history of substance abuse.According to the statement of claim, a psychiatrist at the prison assessed Martin in March 2018 and determined she was not depressed or suicidal, choosing to reduce and ultimately discontinue her medication regime.The claim also outlines previously redacted sections of Jesso’s report, which said Martin spent significant periods of time in segregation and was placed in “various forms of restraint to help manage her self-harming behaviour.” She asked to go to the hospital the day before she died but was told by the facility’s lieutenant to “refrain from this type of manipulative behaviour,” the claim states.On April 21, 2018, Martin was found choking on a sandwich in her cell and died later that day.Jesso, quoted in the statement of claim, wrote that although Martin’s death was not a suicide, “she accidentally died as a result of self-harming behaviour which had escalated during her incarceration and particularly in the days immediately before her death.”The suit alleges the “refusal to provide Skye with her required medication, and the use of segregation to deal with Skye’s mental health conditions, caused Skye to experience severe mental anguish and emotional injury.”Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press
Renowned for its classic designs that are worn by musicians, sports stars and vintage-style lovers the world over, and for having been designed by the most legendary frontman in rock music, Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green label has been a global hit since it was founded in 2009.As a British-centric label it will come as no surprise that the Beady Eye singer’s clothing range is completely fur-free. In an e-mail sent to PETA, Pretty Green’s chief executive officer confirmed that the company has a no-fur policy and that it is now labelling any faux-fur trim on its garments. In addition, the company has requested to be added to the animal rights organisation’s list of fur-free fashion brands.“Only the truly arrogant can ignore the suffering of minks who go mad from being confined to small cages and foxes who chew off their own limbs to escape painful steel-jaw traps”, says PETA’s Senior Programme Manager Yvonne Taylor. “We are delighted to add Liam to the list of truly talented visionaries and trendsetters who are able to design stylish, fashionable and popular clothing without the use of fur.”Animals on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy cages before they are beaten, gassed or anally electrocuted. Sometimes, they are even skinned while they are still alive. More than 2 million cats and dogs are skinned in China every year – many while fully conscious. Designers such as Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and Vivienne Westwood have all publicly sworn off fur. With so many stylish alternatives available, there’s no excuse to harm a hair on an animal’s back.For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.
Make-A-Wish will soon be sending a team of fans to the New York City-area in the form of 13 kids with life-threatening medical conditions who wished to attend Super Bowl XLVIII.The wishes are made possible through the generous support of the NFL and others.The young football fans and their families are traveling from ten states and will arrive in New Jersey and New York on Wednesday, Jan. 29. They will enjoy a welcome reception and a weekend of visiting Super Bowl Boulevard and other activities before the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos face off in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 2.“Our wish kids and their families will have the time of their life as they take part in a weekend of experiences and memories that they can reflect upon long into the future,” said David A. Williams, president and chief executive officer of Make-A-Wish America. “Through these wishes, the NFL is helping us change the lives of kids with life-threatening medical conditions and everyone involved in the wishes, forever.”Wishing to attend the Super Bowl is a wish that continues to transcend generations. This year marks the 32nd consecutive year that a wish kid will be present at the Super Bowl. For the wish kids who will be in attendance, attending the Super Bowl represents their one, heartfelt wish; however, the positive impact of a wish-come-true begins long before kickoff. Wish kids often say the anticipation of their wish helps them find strength to continue medical treatments and the memories of the experience itself serve as a constant source of hope and joy. The NFL, by continuously demonstrating support for Make-A-Wish, helps to make these long-lasting, impactful experiences possible.Make-A-Wish, the NFL, and Super Bowl wishes have a long history. In 1982, the NFL helped Make-A-Wish grant its first Super Bowl wish to a 12-year-old Arizona boy at Super Bowl XVI in Pontiac, Mich., the 9th wish in the organization’s young history. Since then, every Super Bowl has been attended by at least one wish kid; more than 130 Super Bowl wishes have been fulfilled in the last 10 years alone.
Legendary musicians and some of the world’s top artists and filmmakers – including Annie Lennox, Harry Belafonte, Oscar winner Laura Poitras, Jesse Williams, Piper Kerman, and MTV World General Manager Nusrat Durrani – will join Steven W. Hawkins, the executive director of Amnesty International USA, for a press event scheduled during the organization’s 50th Annual General Meeting.A plenary discussion, “The Gatekeepers of Truth,” featuring the musicians and artists will immediately follow the press event at 4 p.m.The gathering coincides with the relaunch of Amnesty International USA’s Art for Amnesty program in partnership with the global Art for Amnesty, which works with artists, musicians, filmmakers, museums, art galleries, and entertainment industry non-profits around the world committed to human rights. By adding their voices to the organization’s campaigns, artists help reach out to their audiences. Using their exceptional skills and talents, they spread the human rights message across countries and continents and inspire people to act.The Annual General Meeting will be held in Brooklyn, N.Y. from March 20-22 at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. AIUSA will be celebrating 50 years of gathering human rights activists from around the country who come together to engage in networking opportunities, actions, inspiring plenaries, outstanding key notes, and hands-on workshops as well as to shape the policies of the organization.The theme of this year’s AGM is “From Moment to Movement” because AIUSA believes every action taken to defend and advance human rights makes the global human rights movement stronger and ever more unstoppable. The event will elevate all the ways Amnesty International sustains activism and drive impact while celebrating their collective power to create solutions that respect everyone’s human rights.The Annual General Meeting gives AIUSA members, staff and allies the opportunity to come together to take action, participate in workshops and hear from experts, policymakers, celebrities and activists on pressing human rights issues.In the past year, AIUSA has been at the forefront of human rights developments both in the U.S. – including observing the protests in Ferguson, Mo. and calling for reparations for those tortured decades ago while in the custody of the Chicago Police Department – and abroad, including calling for the protection of civilians terrorized by the armed group Boko Haram in Nigeria and urging for the release of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia.Updates to the conference schedule, including event descriptions, notable guests and media opportunities, will be posted regularly to www.amnestyusa.org/events/human-rights-conference. WHAT: Press Conference with Artists for Amnesty leadership during Amnesty International USA’s 50th Annual General Meeting.WHEN: March 21, 2015, 3:00 PM EST followed by 4:00 PM plenary with the artists, actors, musicians, and filmmakers.WHERE: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn BridgeSource:AmnestyUSA.org
The SKECHERS Foundation today announced a $1.5 million fundraising goal for the eighth SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk, an annual event to support children with special needs and education.Media sponsor NBC4 will join returning presenting sponsor Nickelodeon and a team of celebrities – including Sugar Ray Leonard, Brooke Burke-Charvet, Tommy Lasorda, Denise Austin and Camila Alves – for the event on Sunday, October 23 in Manhattan Beach.“The SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk has grown from a passionate community event devoted to children with special needs and education, to a star-studded movement that has broken records every year and raised $1.4 million for kids last year alone,” said Michael Greenberg, president of SKECHERS. “Over the years, our message has remained the same – to support, educate and inspire our children. We’re truly grateful to have so many join forces to realize this year’s $1.5 million goal for our kids: from dedicated, longstanding partners like Nickelodeon, to a respected media organization like NBC4, and all of the local businesses and individuals that have put their hearts and souls behind this walk for nearly a decade.”“Nickelodeon is proud to continue its support of the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk and the amazing work that will benefit from it, providing support for children with special needs and education opportunities,” said Sharon Cohen, executive vice president of Partner Marketing, Nickelodeon.“NBC4 is proud to be the first and exclusive media sponsor of an event that gives generously to children with special needs,” said Steve Carlston, president and general manager of NBC4 Southern California. “NBC4’s commitment to local communities runs deep and the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk is another meaningful way to support neighborhoods in the South Bay.”Since its inception in 2009, the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk has dramatically grown its event in order to build awareness for children with special needs and education. Supported by its dedicated community and distinctive sponsors, the Walk has raised approximately $7 million to date, which has helped education foundations improve school technology, science labs, libraries and music programs, reduce class sizes and save teachers’ jobs. The Walk also provides critical funding for The Friendship Foundation – an organization that assists children with special needs and their families through one-on-one peer mentoring and social recreational programming including field trips, summer camps and music classes.With more than 12,000 participants attending the 2015 Walk, SKECHERS is anticipating an even larger turnout at the 2016 event – which will include special performances by triple threat Asia Monet Ray, social media star and singer Jordyn Jones, pop group New District, and dance sensation Aidan Prince. Starting at 9AM, the 3.4-mile route will begin at the Manhattan Beach Pier, traveling to the Hermosa Beach Pier and back. To register or make a donation, visit skechersfriendshipwalk.com or follow SKECHERS on Facebook and Twitter.In addition to headlining sponsor Nickelodeon and media sponsor NBC4 Southern California, the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk thanks its sponsors that include: Wells Fargo, Steel Sports, The Claudette and Ethan Rickett Care Foundation, Ross, Zappos.com, Vertra, WSS, United Legwear & Underwear Co., Mattel, Body Glove, Premier Displays & Exhibits, Kids Foot Locker, JAKKS Pacific, Marshalls, Cushman & Wakefield, Caskey & Caskey, Siltanen & Partners Advertising, Continental Development, Northrop Grumman, Equinox, Chevron, and many others who have provided funds and support to provide a better future for children.
Sanders Institute Founding Fellow Danny Glover has revealed why he supports the organization dedicated to transforming democracy through research, education, outreach and advancement of bold, progressive ideas and values.“The present state of our country and of our world beckons to all of us,” wrote the actor in an email to supporters of the Sanders Institute. “As we confront climate change, multiple refugee crises, the threat of global conflict, and a disturbing normalization of fascism, our collective future mandates that we unite around calls for justice with a sense of urgency – justice for women, justice for LGBTQ communities, justice for immigrants, justice for racial and ethnic minorities, justice for religious minorities, justice for the economically disenfranchised, justice for our environment. We are called to defend the self-evident truths upon which democracy is built – equality, freedom, and the ability to pursue personal fulfilment – from forces rooted in falsehood, manipulation, and demagoguery. To do so, we must inform ourselves thoroughly and organize effectively. It is in this spirit that I support the Sanders Institute in actively engaging citizens and media in the pursuit of progressive solutions to economic, environmental, racial, and social justice issues.”Glover is a Sanders Institute Fellow with Jeffrey Sachs and Harry Belafonte. The mission of the Sanders Institute is to revitalize democracy by actively engaging individuals, organizations, and the media in the pursuit of progressive solutions to economic, environmental, racial, and social justice issues.“The Sanders Institute’s focus on individuals and media speaks directly to the terrain of the digital age,” wrote Glover. “Its emphasis on progressive solutions speaks to our collective need to defend our highest ideals by effecting positive change. While mendacity can be a shortcut to power, that power is ultimately unsustainable. We must speak powerful truths to power; truths rooted in our diversity and interconnectedness. In recognizing the ways in which we all have something to contribute and the ways in which we all depend on one another, we harness the value of our differences to establish powerful coalitions; coalitions that can effectively counter the rigidity and isolation of illiberalism. As a Fellow of the Sanders Institute, I offer my experience in supporting social justice movements around the world on issues like environmental justice, labor, economic inequality, and racism, and I hope to inspire a new generation of socially engaged citizens in fighting for justice and equality for all.”To find out more about the Sanders Institute, click here.