Water crisis in Cape Breton First Nation community is an emergency, says chief
Chief Wilbert Marshall says authorities will visit Potlotek next week

Officials from Health Canada, Indigenous and Northern Affairs and a group of engineers will be coming to Potlotek First Nation Tuesday, Oct. 4, to address the domestic water crisis in that community, according to Chief Wilbert Marshall.

“They’re going to explain to our community members what’s the next steps,” he said, following a meeting Wednesday at the Health Canada office in Halifax. “We gotta get this settled. It is an emergency.”

He added that officials suggested it would take two years to solve the problem of dirty, undrinkable water in Potlotek.

“That’s unacceptable.”

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“Marguerite Walitier / Vive La France 12 Aout 1918″

A Canadian soldier from the 1st Machine Gun Battalion shows off a large zucchini which was presented to the Prince of Wales. Photo taken in Valenciennes, France in October, 1918.

Original Image Source: Canadian Library and Archives


Winter Walk by Ian McGregor
Via Flickr:

Montreal SPCA taking city's controversial pit bull bylaw to court
Animal welfare agency wants sections on 'pit bull-type dogs' declared illegal

Montreal’s SPCA will ask the Quebec Superior Court to review the city’s new animal control bylaw in a bid to have the sections targeting “pit bull-type dogs” declared illegal.

The SPCA said the action will be presented at the Montreal courthouse on Thursday.

The bylaw, which will ban new ownership of pit bulls and pit-bull type dogs, was passed by city council on Tuesday, and goes into effect Oct. 3.

But the SPCA wants the sections of the new bylaw concerning “pit bull-type dogs” declared illegal on the following grounds:

  • It discriminates by creating additional and punitive obligations for owners and guardians of pit bull-type dogs, which the SPCA argues are not dangerous.
  • It is “vague and imprecise” in its definition of pit bull-type dogs and makes it “impossible to know which dogs fall into this category.”
  • It fails to include a means to challenge the designation of a dog as a pit bull-type breed.
  • It contravenes Article 898.1 of the Civil Code of Quebec, which grants animals the status of sentient beings, as well as sections of the Animal Welfare and Safety Act.
  • It is unreasonable that the bylaw treats all pit bull-type dogs as dangerous dogs despite what the agency says is the lack of credible evidence that they are inherently dangerous.

Animal rights advocates have criticized the bylaw, pointing out that many cities that have implemented similar legislation have since repealed the laws.

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Migrant workers say they're Canada's "modern-day slaves"
Tens of thousands of migrant farm workers toil in fields across Canada without the possibility of applying for permanent residency, health care coverage or basic labour rights

The Harvesting Freedom Caravan arrived outside the Ontario Food Terminal on the Queensway Sunday morning, September 25, to mark the 50th year of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program – and to call for permanent immigration status and better working conditions for temporary foreign agricultural workers. The caravan had headed out from Leamington September 4 on three-week trip to Ottawa to demand support for workers. Demonstrators carried large signs in the shapes of vegetables. On the yellow bell pepper were the words “You’re eating injustice.”

Tens of thousands of migrant farm workers from the Caribbean, Mexico, Guatemala, The Philippines and Thailand toil in fields across Canada without the possibility of applying for permanent residency, health care or basic labour rights. In Ontario, for example, there is no minimum wage for farm workers. Many are tied into contracts with single employers and can be sent home without cause. NOW spoke with two former migrant farm workers at the rally.

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Liberals elevate the art of the flip-flop: Terry Milewski
Governments don't endure. National interests do. So they often win out over election promises

“Nations have no permanent friends or allies; they only have permanent interests.” So declared Lord Palmerston, a durable British prime minister of the 19th century.

A French president, Gen. Charles de Gaulle, sang the same song in his time. As le grand Charles told Clementine Churchill, “France has no friends, only interests.”

Could all this have something to do with Justin Trudeau’s emerging fondness for Conservative ideas?

In election campaigns, of course, parties must claim to be vastly different from the nincompoops they hope to replace. Different on taxes! Different on the environment! Different on health! Different on everything!

Once in office, though, they seem to differ little on Canada’s enduring interests. So it is that Stephen Harper’s modest targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions now exert a strange appeal upon the not-so-different Liberals. And, once painted as parsimonious, Harper’s health-care budget is suddenly portrayed as equally prudent.

Citing both miraculous conversions on Tuesday, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair demanded of Trudeau, “Was this always the Liberal plan? Attack Stephen Harper’s policies to get elected and then, once in government, adopt those exact same policies?”

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Newfoundland Judge approves $50M residential school settlement
'It's over. We don't have to live this nightmare anymore'

Justice Robert Stack has approved the $50-million class-action settlement for survivors of residential schools.

The settlement, nine years in the making, was given the green light in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The settlement was reached in May, but required Stack’s approval before any money can be paid to more than 800 survivors in the province.

With the approval, cheques are expected to start going out to the class-action’s members this year.

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Jermaine Carby’s family suing Peel police for $12 million | Toronto Star
Two years after Jermaine Carby was fatally shot by police following a traffic stop, his family has filed a $12 million lawsuit alleging racial profiling by the Peel officers involved.

Two years after Jermaine Carby was fatally shot by police following a traffic stop in Brampton, his family has filed a $12-million lawsuit alleging racial profiling, claiming Peel Regional Police service’s practice of “carding” has disproportionately targeted racialized people, especially young black men.

In a statement of claim filed Tuesday against the Peel Regional Police Services Board, Chief Jennifer Evans and seven Peel officers, Carby’s family alleges he was racially profiled and subjected to an unlawful “street check” by police on the night of his death, setting off a fatal chain of events.

Far from an isolated incident, Carby case was “just one example of a systematic and co-ordinated policy and practice employed by (Peel Police),” at the direction of Evans and the Peel police board, according to the statement of claim.

“In this case, the unlawful street check led to a confrontation which ended when Mr. Carby was shot and killed,” the lawsuit, prepared by Toronto lawyer Davin Charney, alleges.

Carby’s family also claims police failed to employ de-escalation techniques to avoid a dangerous confrontation with a man they knew was suffering from a serious mental health issue.

Lorna Robinson, Carby’s mother, is seeking compensation for psychological injuries including depression, anxiety and nervous shock.

“It’s affected me a whole lot, as well as my family, and we deserve compensation,” Robinson told the Star. “We miss him.”

None of the allegations have been proven in court. A statement of defence has not yet been filed.