BC Ranchers look for more help from the Province

first_imgThe B-C government is being urged to review lands in the Agricultural Land Reserve and do more to promote the cattle industry.The recommendations come from the Ranching Task Force set up by the provincial government to find ways to help the industry, which produces annual revenues of 250 million dollars but, has been hit hard by the recession and drought.The panel wants a review of land in the Agricultural Land Reserve to make sure the reserve boundaries properly reflect acreage that would be good for ranching or farming.- Advertisement -Among other things it also suggests, more efforts to promote B-C beef in butcher shops and restaurants, faster spending on fencing, and increasing the term of grazing licenses from 10 to 20 years.last_img read more

A different world

first_img And, while critics say a child’s most important need is a stable home, many experts insist that adoptive families understand that race – how you look on the outside – shapes identity and how people are judged. “We often think love will conquer all, but we know that it doesn’t,” said Maria Quintanilla, executive director of the Latino Family Institute – the only agency in Southern California specializing in placing Latino children. “First of all, we need to remember that adoption is created through loss,” Quintanilla said. “(Children) are already coming in with multiple losses – their siblings, their neighborhoods. And, on top of that, they are losing their culture, their history. “It’s one loss after the other.” Colorblind placements For much of the 1970s and ’80s, social workers in major metropolitan areas favored same-race adoption. But then came the 1989 case of Maurice West, a 2-year-old African-American who was taken from a white foster home in Ohio and adopted by an African-American couple in New York. Eight weeks later, the toddler died of repeated beatings by his adoptive parents. That case prompted then-U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio to sponsor the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act, which prevents race from becoming the primary factor in determining placement. The 1994 rule was amended two years later to prohibit agencies from considering race at all, essentially ensuring agencies are colorblind. Social workers could no longer delay or deny an adoption because of race and, in some cases, couldn’t talk about ethnicity with families. But the bill also required greater recruitment in communities with adopted children. “The feeling was that agencies were not placing kids from foster care in families because they couldn’t locate enough families (of the same race),” said Kate Cleary, executive director of Consortium for Children, a San Rafael, Calif.-based group that mediates open adoptions. “They thought we would see loads of kids adopted … because they removed this artificial barrier. “The effect has been negligible. We still have huge numbers of kids waiting for families.” Recently, the Department of Children and Family Services has expanded recruitment in African-American and Latino churches. The department also is partnering with faith-based groups to feature an adoptable child in the church bulletin and is training adoptive parents how to recruit other would-be parents. But some like Quintanilla say the department still has this ideal of what a family should look like and don’t have enough outreach in the Latino community. Maintaining family ties “Who is gorgeous?” Israel Segal coos as he hugs Ziggy. The toddler giggles, dropping his head to his chest, then quickly peeking at his dad. “Who is gorgeous?” Segal repeats, tickling the little boy as he wiggles around. More giggles. “Not me,” Ziggy replies, with a wide smile. “Nooollllllaaa,” he says pointing to his sister. The twins are very close, and Segal hopes they’ll remain that way so they can help each other deal with cultural questions as they grow older. The couple has also found support in the black community and has promised to attend holiday functions hosted by the African-American family that adopted the twins’ half-sisters and half-brothers. While Segal and Holweger make an extra effort to bridge the racial gap, others hardly give it a thought. Bertha Monroy, a 57-year-old Salvadorean immigrant, says she really never considered the heritage of her two African-American children until somebody brought it up. “Briona was something very special,” she said of the 5-year old African-American girl who arrived at her house last year. “She came with marks (of abuse) on her body. Somebody did something very terrible. I started to love her.” And vice versa. Briona picked up Spanish within two weeks and clung to Monroy, staying up late to clean up the North Hollywood house. “She says, ‘Mommy, I want to help you with dishes.’ I had to pretend to go to sleep so she would fall asleep. She stole my heart.” On the day of adoption, another foster mother caring for Briona’s older sister met the olive-skinned Monroy at the court. “She told me, ‘What are you going to do with a black girl?’ and I said, ‘Listen to me. I am black, too. Don’t you see my color skin?’ … I was so angry.” She eventually adopted Briona, as well as her elder sister Tatina. She learned from a friend how to take care of the girls’ hair and skin. But, she said, she is not going out of her way to go to certain churches or expose them to different people because the girls are black. Instead, she said, she will wait for them to lead the way. “They are human and similar to me,” she said. “One day they are going to decide to go to their neighborhood and if they want me to go then I will follow.” It’s perhaps the best move a parent could make, stepping back. “This is not a walk in the park,” said Mei Lin Kroll, a 30-year-old West Los Angeles loan officer, who is the adopted daughter of Joe Kroll, executive director of North American Council on Adoptable Children. She was just 3 when her parents adopted her through an international Korean adoption agency. As a youth, they enrolled her in Korean culture camp, signed her up for a preteen Korean group and made lifelong friends with a Korean-American baby sitter who taught her the Korean language. But they couldn’t stop children from teasing her about her flat face or small eyes. And, in the end, that was fine with Kroll, because they let her learn for herself. “Sometimes my parents didn’t have answers for things … but they realized there was nothing they could do.” Rachel Uranga, (818) 713-3741 rachel.uranga@dailynews.com ADOPTIVE FAMILIES Nearly a decade after Congress forced adoption agencies to throw out race as a deciding factor, interracial adoptions have surged. In Los Angeles County alone they have doubled over the last five years. Fiscal Year Statewide Adoptions/ Los Angeles Adoptions/ Interracial Adoptions in L.A. 1999 6,806/ 1,865/ 559 2000 7,607/ 2,841/ 641 2001 8,161/ 2,604/ 1,006 2002 6,097/ 1,629/ 703 2003 7,071/ 1,793/ 1,042 SOURCE: California Department of Social Services160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It took just a few life-changing seconds for Dane Holweger and Israel Segal to fall in love with Ziggy and Nola. But even with that boundless love, the two know they can’t protect their adopted African-American children from racism. As Caucasian men, they just don’t have the experience. “I can’t raise them as a black parent because I am not black,” Holweger said of the 3-year-old twins. “But we are hugely supportive of our children as black children. We want to provide for them culturally.” Nearly a decade after Congress forced adoption agencies to throw out race as a deciding factor, the numbers of interracial adoptions have surged. In Los Angeles County, they have doubled over the last five years. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Still, the adoption rainbow is hardly idyllic. A debate over the propriety of cross-racial families rages behind closed doors. Some who advocate placing children in same-race families fear that speaking out could cost them federal funds tied to ensuring adoptions are colorblind. Segal admits that, when he and his partner initially talked about adopting a child of a different race, he was hesitant, even frightened. But more heartbreaking was the long list of African-American boys and Latino siblings who were waiting for adoption. “(Our social worker) said people didn’t want children of color, especially boys,” said Segal, the son of a Holocaust survivor. “They were kind of afraid of black boys. It shocked me. But once you meet that child, that’s the child you want and all that goes out the window.” Los Angeles County officials estimate about 1,200 children are available for adoption at any time. About half are Latino, one-third are African-American, 13 percent are Caucasian and 2 percent are American Indians or Pacific Islanders. last_img read more

Ramón Laureano’s rapid rise to A’s Opening Day leadoff man

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceTOKYO — Things were a lot different for Ramón Laureano just a year ago.Around this time in 2018, the A’s center fielder was frustrated in extended spring training down in Arizona in the aftermath of breaking his left pinky finger after he was hit by a pitch in a Cactus League game. The injury robbed him of re-establishing himself as a top prospect with his new organization after the Houston Astros had soured on him …last_img read more

More expected of public servants: Zuma

first_img22 February 2013 Civil servants will be expected to work harder and become more effective in serving ordinary South Africans, while giving taxpayers more value for their money, President Jacob Zuma told Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday. In his State of the Nation Address last week, Zuma said that a Presidential Remuneration Commission would be set up to review the salaries of public servants. In his reply on Thursday to the debate this week on his address, Zuma said the training of public servants will be prioritised to further improve the capacity of the state. This he said would bring in much-needed skills and reduce the amount that the state spends on consultants. “It is for this reason that we say if we are to pay public servants better, we want a return on our investment,” he said.Monitoring of frontline services He said frontline services to South Africans would also be boosted, adding that over 300 unannounced visits were undertaken during the past year. “Repeat visits to sites indicate that, in many cases, the monitoring has resulted in improvements,” he said. He said a model example was that of Pearl Bhengu and Mondli Mazibuko and the staff at the South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) office in Umzimkhulu in KwaZulu- Natal. “After an unannounced visit, they acted on the findings and improved the queue management, provided chairs and a shelter for the waiting area and ensured that toilet facilities were working.” Zuma said the monitoring of management practices in the public sector by the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation was beginning to bear fruit. He singled out that the average time to fill funded vacancies in the public sector had come down from nine months in 2010 to four months last year. Added to this, the average time taken by the Department of Home Affairs to issue an ID book went from 150 days to about 30 days, while the average application time for a social grant also fell last year from 30 days in 2010 to 21 days, he said. The bar-coded green ID book will begin to be replaced by a new ID smart card in the 2013 financial year, he said.Economy the biggest focus The economy was his administration’s biggest focus, Zuma said, adding that a Grant Thornton report last week indicated that South Africa had maintained its position as a leading investment destination in Africa, climbed one place to 14th position in a ranking of the 27 largest emerging economies. Zuma said tax incentives announced in 2011 had resulted in an increase in foreign investment – including the announcement by Unilever last month that it would build an R800-million plant in Boksburg, and the opening last year of two new factories by Nestle in Babelegi, near Pretoria. He said it was important to rebuild confidence in the mining sector, adding that the Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu had met with mining role players, including business, unions and the government, to push for a framework to ensure stability in the sector. On the issue of job creation, Zuma said the youth unemployment incentive schemes discussed at Nedlac would complement the National Rural Youth Service Corps, the Expanded Public Works Programme, the Community Works Programme and job creation programmes within the SA National Defence Force. Turning to education, Zuma said the Department of Basic Education’s Annual National Assessments had revealed that the introduction of workbooks and the training of teachers in 2011 had resulted in progress in learning outcomes in lower school grades. Zuma also highlighted South Africa’s increased life expectancy, which increased from 56 years in 2009 to 60 years in 2011. This, he said, had been praised by the World Health Organisation.Debate on violence against women He encouraged MPs to continue debating issues around the Traditional Courts Bill following criticism that the Bill was unconstitutional and that it limited women’s rights in the former homelands. Condemning violence and abuse against women and children, he said South Africa had to nurture values such as ubuntu and respect for one another’s rights and property. South Africa had build on the success of last year’s National Cohesion Summit to build better and more stable communities. To this end, the Department of Basic Education was looking at inculcating values of citizenry and ethics, he said. The National Assembly is set to host a debate on violence against women next week. Zuma said South Africa was a much better country today than it was in 1994, with a Constitution that extended equal rights to all. “It has not been an easy road, as President Mandela told us in 1994. And it is a long road to the type of society we want to achieve, but we are getting there steadily.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

7 Bold Predictions Of What The Mobile Industry Will Do In 2013

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement dan rowinski Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#2012 Trends#mobile My prediction is that the next version of Android will not be Android 4.3, but rather Android 5.0. Yet, by the end of the year, the most up to date devices will be running something along the lines of Android 5.1 or 5.2.5 or something similar to that naming scheme. Google will release it around or before Google I/O and update it at least once to fix some issues. It will then come out with another major release, like it did in 2012, towards the end of the year to reveal more Nexus devices. 3. Motorola Makes A Nexus DeviceMotorola has never technically made an official Android flagship device for Google. The original Droid on Verizon was kind of the Android flagship when it was released in 2009, but that was before the popular wave of Nexus devices. Google has to be careful with how it manages its manufacturing partner ecosystem, and letting Motorola create a Nexus device may upset some of its current partners like LG, Samsung, HTC and Asus. The Droid Razr MYet, it might be time that Google really doubles down on Android manufacturing. Hell, it owns Motorola for a reason. And that reason has as much to do with the patents Motorola owns as it does with making money. If Google can put together its Nexus design engineers with the Motorola hardware people, we might see the best Android device ever to be released. It is time for Google to do it and 2013, in my prediction, will be the year. 4. Research In Motion Succeeds With BlackBerry 10Yes, this might be absolutely ridiculous and we might be looking back on it in December 2013, after RIM has been sold piecemeal to patent vultures, that this was a foolish prediction. But, I am starting to get a hunch that RIM might actually find a modicum of success with its BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Not the type of success that puts fear into the hearts of Apple executives or Android manufacturers, but enough that RIM is not in danger of going out of business immediately. People will like what RIM has done with BB 10 and many of the loyalists that left for the iPhone or Android will come back into the fold. That will be enough to get RIM back near the 8% to 10% market share of the smartphone industry by the end of the year, though nowhere near the 23%+ it had in 2010 and earlier. 5. Microsoft Keeps Plugging Away At Windows PhoneMobile is too important to Microsoft to pull the plug on its Windows Phone 8 platform. Microsoft is often extremely stubborn. See: Xbox. That does not mean that Microsoft will eventually see the same type of success with Windows Phone as it did by pouring years and year and millions of dollars into marketing for Xbox. Consumers have thus far been very lukewarm to Windows Phone, especially from Nokia, and I do not see that changing dramatically in 2013. Not until Nokia can take a Samsung-like approach and release four different models of the same type of phone to all four major U.S. carriers in one blow, the way that Samsung does with the Galaxy S series. For instance, the fact that the top Windows Phone device from Nokia is the Lumia 920 available only through iPhone-centric AT&T is a very big problem for both Nokia and Microsoft.Nokia Lumia 920It is not just distribution that holds Windows Phone back. It is also the user interface. Some people (especially tech media pundits) love how different Hubs and Tiles are. Consumers, on the other hand, have not shown an appreciable affection for it. Microsoft will continue to build and market Windows Phones for the next several years, but it would ultimately be surprising if it eclipses 10% of total smartphone market share by 2015. 6. Consumer Location Apps Remain StagnantIn 2011, Foursquare made a lot of noise about reaching 15 million registered users. We have not heard a lot from Foursquare this year in terms of users, but it has mentioned on its blog that it has near 25 million users. This is not the Twitter-like exponential growth that people expected from Foursquare several years ago.Other consumer-based location apps like Highlight have seen hypes cycles come and then diminish. The “ambient location app” for finding people in your area along with game-based location apps like Foursquare is just not a very big market in the United States. That is not likely to change in 2013.Note, this prediction does not include maps apps, which nearly everyone uses in one form or another. 7. Mobile Payments Begin To Gain TractionWe keep on expecting a sudden boom in mobile payments, led by NFC-based smartphones and apps. So far, we have been bitterly disappointed that the market has not materialized. A good reason for this is infrastructure. For NFC payments to take off, brick-and-mortar stores need the proper payment equipment and consumers need smartphones that actually, you know, have NFC. With near 60% of users from the top three U.S. carriers (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon) carrying iPhones (which does not have NFC), the critical mass of NFC capable consumers has not yet been reached. The explosion will not happen in 2013. But, progress will be made as major players in the ecosystem start pushing mobile payments to retailers and startups gain more traction. The early adopter types will be using their smartphones for a variety of purchases by the end of 2013 that will set up success for mobile payments players that will evolve for the rest of the decade.  It seems like every year, that darned rodent in Punxsutawney, Pa., predicts six more weeks of winter. Never mind the fact that Groundhog Day is technically six weeks before the official start of spring. We hail Punxsutawney Phil as the seer of seers, prognosticator of prognosticators. How can you not trust a psychic rodent?We like to think that Punxsutawney Phil is just giving his best educated guess. Well, when it comes to predicting what will happen in the tech industry over the course of the next year, we too are making our best educated guesses. But, in the end, our predictions are just about as meaningful as those of the famous groundhog. But, just like Punxsutawney Phil, sometimes we get things right. For instance, some of my predictions for the mobile industry in 2012 were spot on. I said that Google would only unveil one major version of Android, which it did with its Jelly Bean rollout (even if Google did split Jelly Bean between version 4.1 and 4.2). I also said there would be two different iPad tablets, which was almost true. Technically, there were three, though there was not an appreciable difference between the third and fourth generation iPad. I said RIM would fall on extremely hard times, which did not take a genius to figure out. I said Apple would remain No. 1 with developers, despite the fact that Google chairman Eric Schmidt predicted Android would take over as the primary interest of app publishers. I called the fact that many niche app stores would fold (so long, Verizon App Store). Yet, I also said we would not see a new iPhone in 2012. In retrospect, that was very dumb. I said that Windows Phone would take off, which also has not happened. I thought this would be the year for HTML5 and it would start crowding out other mobile operating systems and native development languages. Facebook did me no favors there. All in all, my predictions from last year were not horribly inaccurate. Looking back, they were all pretty safe too. Google taking a greater interest in its app store was easy to identify, for instance. With all that said, let us take a look into the crystal ball to see what the mobile industry might hold in 2013. 1. Apple Flips Script On iPhone/iPad Release ScheduleI learned my lesson. No more predicting that Apple will not release a new iPhone in any one given calendar year. I have already predicted that we will see a genuine Apple TV product coming in Q1 2013, so I will not rehash that prediction here. What I do think will happen is that Apple will flip the script on when it announces new versions of its existing product lines. Apple made an interesting choice to offer a refresh of the iPad next to the announcement of the iPad Mini in late October this year. The announcement came about a month and a half after the iPhone 5 announcement. It is then natural to assume that Apple will not make two tablet launches in a row. That means that the next mobile product we will see from Cupertino will be an iPhone. I am predicting it to be announced earlier in the year than Apple has done in recent years, somewhere around July. Apple has been going after the year-end sales for iPhones in recent cycles, but must see that Samsung has done well with the Galaxy S III that was released in July this year and figure that it can replicate that same type of success.In turn, that means that Apple will save its next iterations of the iPad and iPad Mini until the end of Q3 or in Q4 next year, somewhere between around late September or October. 2. One Major Android Flavor, Android 5.0 With Three IterationsGoogle (sort of) slowed down on new flavors of Android in 2012. It only announced one actual flavor in Jelly Bean that came at Google I/O in June, but it was broken into two parts with 4.1 and 4.2. In 2013, I expect Google to do something similar but have a couple different updates.  What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Ateneo stops Adamson on its tracks, bags 8th straight win

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. The 5-3 Soaring Falcons fell to third place relinquishing its share of the second spot to defending champion De La Salle that has a 6-2 card.BJ Andrade gave Ateneo its biggest lead of the game at 71-50 with a booming triple with 2:02 left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAfter a close 31-24 first half, the Blue Eagles eventually managed to shake off the Soaring Falcons in the third taking a 13-point lead, 54-41, into the final period.“It was a defensive game, Adamson is a very good defensive team, the 23 points we scored in the third quarter was the pivotal cushion for us,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next After Game 1 struggles, Cone expecting huge fightback from Meralco Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “We wanted to make sure our defense did not let us down and that the defense would lead opportunities for us on the break.”Ateneo’s vise grip held Adamson to season-lows in points scored as the Soaring Falcons converted just one of their 18 tries from deep.The Blue Eagles also hounded Adamson’s shot takers with the Soaring Falcons tallying just five assists.Thirdy Ravena led Ateneo with 15 points and nine rebounds while Vince Tolentino added eight points and six boards.Papi Sarr had 15 points and nine rebounds to lead Adamson.ADVERTISEMENT BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  LATEST STORIES View comments Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAteneo reached a different altitude in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament after scoring its eight straight win at the expense of Adamson University, 71-59, Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The league-leading Blue Eagles soared to an 8-0 card while putting a stop to the Soaring Falcons’ four-game win streak.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

TFA Sport Education Framework

first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) commenced a review and implemented updated Sport Education curriculums and resources from September 2013. This was to ensure a direct link from our athletes to our coaching, refereeing and supporting volunteer resources across all areas of the sport.TFA provides this update as a summary of the projects which have now been completed, along with an outline of the remaining items and future direction.For more information, please click on the attachment below. Related Filessport_education_framework_update_august_2015-pdfRelated LinksSport Education Frameworklast_img read more

Photo: ESPN’s Chris Fowler Got A Selfie With Jim Harbaugh And Urban Meyer At Dick Vitale’s V Foundation Gala

first_imgJim Harbaugh addresses a group of reporters.Not many people in the sports world can bring Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer toghether, but Dick Vitale is one of them. The legendary college basketball analyst hosted his annual V Foundation gala last night, and many top figures in the college sports world turned out, including the rival Michigan and Ohio State coaches. Harbaugh and Meyer actually teamed up on stage to announce the winner of a raffle for a 2016 Mercedes Benz, and later took a selfie with ESPN’s Chris Fowler.Yes @OhioStateFB Urban Meyer & @umichfootball Jim Harbaugh are on stage together @DickieV gala @TheVFoundation pic.twitter.com/dp3bKQ8TRt— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) May 14, 2016OK, this Harbaugh/Meyer selfie is focused better. So I’ll also share it for posterity, never to be recreated! pic.twitter.com/siZZt5LXaF— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) May 14, 2016 That is quite the photo. At the end of the night, Vitale announced that the gala, which honored the late Chad Carr, had raised an estimated $2.8 million for pediatric cancer research. A wonderful job by Dickie V, and everyone else involved with the gala this year.last_img read more

Montreal group pressing authorities to block concert by former Haitian president

first_imgMONTREAL — A group of Haitian Montrealers is appealing to federal and municipal authorities to block an upcoming concert by former Haitian president Michel Martelly, citing what they say are his misogynistic comments and his alleged complicity in corruption scandals.As part of the campaign, women’s groups sent a letter Monday asking Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante to use  “all your political power” to block a concert this Friday by the former leader, a popular singer who performs as Sweet Micky.“Michel Martelly, alias Sweet Micky, a notorious misogynist who is an apologist for rape, is scheduled to come perform on stage in Montreal on March 22,” reads the letter, which is signed by seven groups, including the community organization Maison d’Haiti.“This situation is even more worrying due to the fact that the regime currently in power in Port-au-Prince, accused of corruption and repression, is the heir of the party of Martelly, an ex-president of Haiti whose administration is also implicated in the corruption scandal and misappropriation of funds that is currently rocking the country,” it continues.Marie Dimanche, a member of Montreal’s Haitian community, says the singer has no place performing in Montreal.Dimanche recently founded the support group Solidarite Quebec-Haiti in response to anti-government protests in Haiti over the rising cost of living and the alleged disappearance of billions of dollars from PetroCaribe, an oil subsidy program intended to help the impoverished Haitian people.While nobody has been charged, a Haitian Senate investigation has alleged embezzlement by at least 14 former officials in Martelly’s administration.In a phone interview, Dimanche said Martelly is well-known for his sexist and degrading comments directed at women, some of which have promoted sexual assault. “The things he says are degrading, violent towards women,” she said in a phone interview.“I’m not particularly in favour of censorship, but hateful speech that calls for violence towards a group of people — half the population —  I feel it’s not acceptable.”Dimanche and her group are hoping Plante will declare that Martelly is not welcome in Montreal, as former mayor Denis Coderre did in 2016 with the French comedian who performs as Dieudonne. Dieudonne, who has been charged multiple times in Europe with hate-speech violations, flew to Canada but returned to France shortly after without performing, leading to speculation that he was turned back by immigration authorities.“We think there’s a good chance that (our plan) works, because Valerie Plante is sensitive to questions of women’s rights, and I think she will be sensitive to the question,” Dimanche said. An official in Plante’s office said Monday he needed time to look into the matter.If Martelly is allowed to enter, Dimanche says her group will protest outside the downtown venue in an attempt to stop the show.The possibility of protests doesn’t faze the show’s promoter, Carl-Edward Osias, who knows Martelly personally.In an interview last week, Osias, president of Bass-Mint Management Group, said Sweet Micky’s Montreal shows were well-attended in the past, both before and after his stint as Haiti’s president from 2011-16.He said the Montreal protest is begin fuelled by Martelly’s political opponents and those who don’t understand that Sweet Micky is a persona known for outrageous antics. “He’s a provocateur,” Osias said. “He’ll wear a skirt. He’ll say stupid things. He’ll make jokes. He’s an artist who provokes, who creates controversy.”He says he has no problem with people protesting but doesn’t think it’s right for them to try to block the show, which he has no intention of cancelling.Martelly was accused more than once of using coarse and sexist language during his tenure. A sexually charged comment he made to a female critic at a campaign rally in 2015 prompted a politically allied party to announce the resignation of three officials from Martelly’s administration, including the minister for women’s affairs.And just before leaving office, he released a pop song jeering at his critics and aiming sexually suggestive lyrics at award-winning female journalist and human rights advocate Liliane Pierre-Paul. The song, titled Bal Bannann Nan — Haitian Creole for “Give Them the Banana” — featured Martelly and backing vocalists repeatedly singing suggestive lyrics while referring to bananas and Pierre-Paul.Dimanche and Osias disagree about whether there are more Sweet Micky fans or critics in Montreal’s Haitian community of 132,000, including over 75,000 who were born in the Caribbean country. Osias believes the fans outweigh the critics; Dimanche hopes the opposite is true.“I think if people knew who he was, we would be very numerous in having this opinion,” she said.Quebec sociologist Frederic Boisrond wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several cabinet ministers in January, asking them to block the entry of the singer, whom he described as “misogynist, violent, and dangerous.” Martelly’s rhetoric “openly apologizes for rape, normalizes and glorifies violence against women,” he said in his letter.Boisrond said representatives from Trudeau’s office, as well as those of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, wrote back to say they were studying the issue, but the final decision lies with Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.Hussen’s office said it could not comment on specific cases without the consent of the individual.— With files from The Associated PressMorgan Lowrie, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Site C battle splashes in Edmonton

first_imgChris StewartAPTN National NewsThe construction of BC Hydro’s Site C Dam cleared a major hurdle this summer after approval of some permits by Ottawa.Treaty 8 members from B.C. and Alberta, however, are continuing their opposition to the massive project they say will damage their water supply.Now a group whose goal is to protect water in Canada has joined the fight.last_img