Too many victim impact statements Sentencing delayed for Winnipeg teens killer

first_imgWINNIPEG – A sentencing hearing for a Winnipeg man who pleaded guilty to murdering a teenager and stuffing his body in a garbage bin has been delayed.The hearing for Nicholas Bell-Wright got underway Monday morning, but had to be adjourned to Jan. 22 because of a large number of victim impact statements.The Crown said 96 statements were submitted and legislation prevents lawyers from making a determination about which ones to include.The body of Cooper Nemeth was discovered in the bin a few days after he was last seen leaving a house party for his hockey team on Feb. 14, 2016.Investigators said at the time that they believed the teen was killed somewhere else and his body moved to the bin on private property — not far from where the party was held.Police also said they did not think there was any gang involvement, but that the killing was drug-related.On Monday, court heard concerns that the number of victim impact statements could have a disproportionate effect on the outcome of sentencing. The Crown told court it needs time to figure out how to proceed.Justice Glenn Joyal said he had never seen that many impact statements in a case. He also wondered why the issue wasn’t dealt with prior to the start of the hearing.“Victim impact statements are an important conciliatory part of the process,” Joyal told Court of Queen’s Bench.Bell-Wright’s lawyers told court they understand the Crown’s position and said that they, too, would need more than one day to review all of the victim impact statements.Nemeth’s mother, Gaylene, said outside court that she was willing to wait because she believes all of the submissions should be heard.The minimum sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.A memorial for Nemeth after he was found attracted hundreds of people. It was organized by the Bear Clan patrol, a group of volunteers who walk Winnipeg’s streets at night to promote safety and provide support to the inner city.(CTV Winnipeg, The Canadian Press)last_img read more

WATCH Trudeaus crosscountry town hall tour takes him to Winnipeg

first_imgPrime Minister Justin Trudeau will holding a town hall at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.It’s the latest in a series of cross-country question-and-answer sessions the Prime Minister has been holding with Canadians.You can watch it live here at 6 p.m. Mountain.Trudeau said the town halls are an opportunity for citizens to engage with him directly “about what’s on their minds, to give people an opportunity to participate in a fundamental democratic process about holding their leaders to account.”One of the topics expected to be on people’s minds tonight is allegations of sexual misconduct which resulted in the resignations of sports minister Kent Hehr and Conservative leaders in Nova Scotia and Ontario.Trudeau said they are doing the best they can “on a case-by-case basis” when it comes to dealing with harassment and abuse within party ranks.“I don’t have a rule book that’s been handed down to me from Wilfrid Laurier as leader of the Liberal party on how to handle these situations,” Trudeau said on Tuesday. “Every case will be different, but we need to make sure that we’re doing right in every given situation.”last_img read more

Timeline of events in the case of alleged Toronto serial killer Bruce

first_imgTORONTO – A timeline of key events in the case of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur based on information released by Toronto police:___September 2010 — Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40, disappears from Toronto’s gay village.October 2012 — Majeed Kayhan, 58, of Toronto, is reported missing.November 2012 — Police launch Project Houston to investigate the disappearance of three men from Toronto’s gay village, including Navaratnam and Kayhan.April 2014 — Police close Project Houston, saying none of their findings would classify anyone as a suspect of a criminal offence.August 2015 — Soroush Mahmudi, 50, of Toronto, is reported missing.May 2016 – July 2017 — Police believe Dean Lisowick, 43 or 44, of no fixed address, was killed by McArthur during this time span.April 14, 2017 — Selim Esen, 44, is reported missing from the area of Toronto’s Yonge and Bloor streets.June 26, 2017 — Andrew Kinsman, 49, is reported missing from the area of Parliament and Winchester streets.August 2017 — Police launch Project Prism to investigate the disappearances of Esen and Kinsman.September 2017 — Project Prism officers identify Bruce McArthur “as someone to be included or excluded as being involved in the disappearance of Andrew Kinsman.”Dec. 8, 2017 — Police Chief Mark Saunders says the force will review its practices in missing persons investigations. He denies that there is evidence suggesting a serial killer is walking the streets of Toronto.Jan. 17, 2018 — Police uncover evidence suggesting McArthur was responsible for both Kinsman and Esen’s deaths, along with the deaths of other unidentified people.Jan. 18, 2018 — McArthur is arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Esen and Kinsman. Police say McArthur is believed to be responsible for other deaths.Jan. 19, 2018 — McArthur has his first court appearance.Jan. 29, 2018 — McArthur is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Mahmudi, Kayhan and Lisowick. Police call McArthur an alleged serial killer and say more victims may be identified.Feb. 8, 2018 — Police say they’ve recovered the remains of six people from planters at a house where McArthur worked as a landscaper, and say they expect to lay more charges.Feb. 13, 2018 — Police say excavation at the home’s backyard turned up no human remains, but suggest they may “revisit the scene” when the weather warms up.Feb. 23, 2018 — Police lay a sixth charge of first-degree murder against McArthur, identify Navaratnam as one of the alleged victims whose remains were found in the planters.last_img read more

Police release photos of suspected truck in Aboriginal mans hitandrun death

first_imgFREDERICTON – Police have released pictures of a GMC pick-up truck suspected to have been involved in a hit-and-run death that has left a New Brunswick First Nation grieving and seeking justice.RCMP Cpl. Jullie Rogers-Marsh says the investigation continues into a hit-and-run in Saint-Charles that took the life of 22-year-old Brady Francis of the Elsipogtog reserve.Francis was struck and killed around 9:30 p.m. after he left a party on Feb. 24. RCMP have said they found a GMC truck logo at the scene.“We are asking people to look closely at the pictures we’ve released in the event they may have seen the vehicle that day and can provide us with information on the vehicle and who was in it,” Rogers-Marsh said Tuesday.Many Elsipogtog residents are calling for criminal charges in the case, and have alluded to Aboriginal anger at the jury acquittals in the killings of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine on the Prairies.Social media posts were circulating following the incident with pictures of Boushie, Fontaine and Francis side by side, and many were tweeting #justiceforbrady, echoing hashtags used after the recent Prairie verdicts.About 40 community residents went to the alleged truck driver’s house on the morning after the incident, but Francis’s grandfather urged the crowd to disperse.The pickup truck was seized by police on Feb. 25 and later returned to the owner.“The truck is a grey 2003 GMC Sierra 4 X 4 pick-up truck, and it would have been travelling on the local roads around Richibucto on Saturday, February 24 between noon and 10 p.m.,” Rogers-Marsh said Tuesday.“We’re looking for basically a timeline of where the vehicle was prior to the incident and if anyone saw the vehicle around the Saint-Ignace, Saint-Charles and Saint-Louis-de-Kent area prior to the incident.”The truck has a camouflaged coloured wind deflector on the hood, camouflaged window deflectors over the driver and passenger side windows, a “Browning” decal over the front windshield, several camouflaged decals on the tailgate and there are also decals on the rear window.Rogers-Marsh said police are working through their investigation and anyone with information is urged to contact the RCMP or Crime Stoppers.last_img read more

Concert postponed after musician Matthew Good collapses during Edmonton show

first_imgEDMONTON – Matthew Good’s concert scheduled for Wednesday night in Prince George, B.C., was postponed for a day as the Canadian rocker recovered from pneumonia.A post on his social media accounts Tuesday said the concert with him and Our Lady Peace at the CN Centre will now take place Thursday.It said all tickets purchased for Wednesday’s show will be valid Thursday.Those who can’t make it Thursday can inquire about a refund through the TicketsNorth box office or its phone number.Good, who hails from Vancouver, was taken to hospital Tuesday night after collapsing onstage during a performance at Edmonton’s Jubilee Auditorium.His social media accounts say he was taken to hospital “as a precautionary measure.”In a video from the concert posted on social media, Our Lady Peace singer Raine Maida told the crowd that Good “wanted to do the show and he tried to do it and you saw what happened.”The crowd then burst into applause when Maida urged them to give Good a “big hand for even getting up there.”Good and his band are on a cross-Canada tour with Our Lady Peace that began March 1 in St. John’s, N.L.The two acts also performed at the Jubilee Auditorium on Monday night.The tour will also have a show in Kelowna, B.C., on Friday and end in Abbotsford, B.C., on Saturday.last_img read more

Quebec culture minister scolds Netflix over LacMegantic footage in Bird Box

first_imgMONTREAL — Quebec’s culture minister has penned a letter to Netflix’s CEO to express the government’s outrage over the streaming service’s decision to include footage from the Lac-Megantic rail disaster in its movie “Bird Box.”In a letter to Reed Hastings dated yesterday, Nathalie Roy questioned how Netflix could have decided it was appropriate to use images of the rail explosion that killed 47 people in the context of entertainment.Roy said she believed the footage should be removed and should only be used for documentary purposes, and suggested the film and TV industry should explore implementing a code of ethics that would prevent similar problems from arising in the future.At least two dramas currently on Netflix’s Canadian platform, including the hit “Bird Box,” briefly use stock footage of the 2013 tragedy.Netflix has thus far refused to remove the footage from its hit movie, despite an appeal from Lac-Megantic’s mayor.But Mayor Julie Morin said a Netflix executive assured her the streaming company would ensure the images wouldn’t appear in any future productions.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Street checks should be strictly limited – or banned outright NS report

first_imgHALIFAX — A new report on street checks and racial profiling by Halifax-area police has found they have a disproportionate and negative impact on the African Nova Scotia community, contributing to the criminalization of black youth.The independent report released today by Scot Wortley, a University of Toronto criminology professor, recommends banning or strongly regulating police street checks in the province.He says police street checks have contributed to an erosion of trust in law enforcement and undermined the perceived legitimacy of the entire criminal justice system.Ontario banned police carding in specific situations in 2017 — a controversial practice that is similar to street checks.Wortley’s report, commissioned by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission in 2017, comes more than two years after data showed black people were three times more likely than whites to be subjected to the controversial practice in the city.In community consultations and surveys, Wortley says black Nova Scotians spoke of being treated rudely or with disrespect by police, and felt intimidated or afraid of police in their community.The 180-page report includes an analysis of street check data, an examination of potential racial bias and recommendations to improve or curb the practice.The report found that in Halifax, the odds of being stopped for a street check was highest for black men, followed by Arab males and black females.Across Canada, the report found the average annual street check rate was highest in Toronto, with Halifax in second place.Despite an overall reduction in street checks in Halifax in recent years, Wortley says the over-representation of minorities has remained constant.Wortley also held a dozen consultation meetings with police, who said street checks — when conducted properly — can solve crimes and increase public safety.But some officers said many street checks are of questionable quality, the result of a performance evaluation system and efforts to “get their numbers up.”In response to why black people are over-represented in street check statistics, police said the data reflect the reality that black people in Halifax are over-represented in serious, violent crime — including gun and gang activity.The report found that of 142,456 street checks conducted in Halifax between 2006 and 2017, 32.8 per cent involved an individual who had not been charged with a crime, while 58 per cent had been charged at least once.Wortley was hired after a report from the Halifax RCMP in January 2017 found that in the first 10 months of 2016, 41 per cent of 1,246 street checks involved African-Nova Scotians.Halifax Regional Police figures showed that of the roughly 37,000 people checked between 2005 and 2016, almost 4,100 were black — about 11 per cent of checks — despite making up only 3.59 per cent of the city’s population, according to the 2011 census.Wortley told a board of police commissioners meeting in the fall of 2017 that the crime-fighting potential of police street checks must be weighed against the possible negative impact.Halifax Regional Police Chief Jean-Michel Blais has argued in the past that the valid street checks performed by police officers in Halifax differ from the random stops or carding practices that are now restricted in Ontario.  Brett Bundale, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Will gender bias follow us to Mars and beyond

first_imgIt was supposed to be a historic moment—the first all-female spacewalk. And then it was cancelled, for reasons that only reinforced the need for it. But space is unforgiving, and the slightest slip can be fatal, so when a second suit in a woman’s size couldn’t be found, there was no other choice. Instead of a legendary achievement towards equality, the world got a good look at the challenges facing women in traditionally male-dominated fields.It’s a problem that goes beyond spacesuits—but when physician and astronaut Shawna Pandya heard the news, she recognized a phenomenon she’d experienced everywhere in her career, from the operating room to a simulation of a mission to Mars. We used to say the world is made for men—does that apply to space, too? Even in 2019?GUEST: Shawna Pandya, physician and citizen scientist-astronaut candidatehttp://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/p/radio.pmd.rogersdigitalmedia.com/podcasts/thebigstory/tbs_04032019.mp3?_=1You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.last_img read more

Sports Stars Make Wishes Come True For ESPN My Wish Series

first_imgImagine waking up one morning to find out that you get to meet your favorite athlete. Imagine tossing a football with your NFL idol, or going up to bat with your favorite MLB team. Imagine how your whole life would change in that moment. Five wish kids not only imagined these things, they lived them, and now their stories are being shared on the eighth-annual ESPN “My Wish” series.From NASCAR to tennis from the NFL to Major League Baseball, the sports-themed wishes granted by Make-A-Wish will begin airing Saturday, Aug. 17, on ESPN and will run through the week. The summer series profiles wishes as they come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Each segment takes viewers on an in-depth and often emotional journey into the children’s lives, medical conditions, their wish-reveals and the transformative wish experiences they have with their favorite athletes or teams.Emmy Award-winning reporter Chris Connelly will again host with participation from the following wish granters: Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Washington Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin, III, NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne and tennis star Roger Federer.“All of our wish kids and their stories are inspirational,” said David Williams, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “We are pleased to once again have ESPN tell the transformational stories of five of them in a way few others can. We continually learn that wish experiences can make kids feel better, sometimes get better, and certainly can help them become ambitious for the future again.”Each wish will be the subject of a SportsCenter feature segment beginning Saturday, Aug. 17, at 11 p.m. ET with a new piece premiering each day through Wednesday, Aug. 21. Each feature will also be available at ESPN.com following its original airdate.last_img read more

Point Foundation To Honor FiveTime Olympic Medalist Greg Louganis

first_imgPoint Foundation will present five-time Olympic medalist Greg Louganis with the Point Legend Award, which recognizes an individual who has achieved greatness in their professional career and unapologetically supported the LGBTQ community.The award will be presented to Louganis at the landmark New York Public Library April 11. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.“I am deeply honored to be receiving the Point Legend Award this year,” said Louganis. “Point Foundation’s service to help LGBTQ youth overcome all the obstacles, challenges, prejudices that I myself endured is so inspirational. To see these young men and women get the opportunity to obtain higher education degrees truly touches my heart and I am so proud of each of them. I look forward to cheering them on, both scholars and mentors on this very special night.”“Greg Louganis is rightfully an icon of perseverance and courage for so many people, as well as a person with a genuine magnanimous spirit,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “Greg has participated in a number of Point events, and our scholars and alumni are always inspired by what he has to say and the example he has set as an LGBTQ advocate and athlete. With the Summer Olympics fast approaching, it is a fitting time to honor Greg with the Point Foundation Ledged Award.”As previously announced, Pete Nowalk, Executive Producer and creator of ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder” will also be honored at the gala with the Point Leadership Award. Celebrity participants include Michelle Collins, Jack Falahee, Billy Gilman, and Conrad Ricamora. Additional celebrity attendees to be announced.

Some of Point’s 85 current scholars and 217 alumni will be present at the event to share with the audience their inspiring stories about how they have overcome challenges to get their higher education degrees.Information about attending or supporting Point Honors is at www.pointfoundation.org/Honors2016.last_img read more

Elton John To Deliver Landmark Lecture On HIV In Remembrance Of Princess

first_imgThe Diana, Princess of Wales Lecture on HIV will be delivered by Elton John in front of an invited audience of politicians, health workers, journalists, civil society leaders, celebrities, and people living with HIV, on June 8th, 2018 in London.The lecture was launched by United Kingdom’s National AIDS Trust (NAT) in 1999 as a living tribute to Princess Diana (who was a patron of NAT until her tragic death in 1997). This lecture is being delivered in partnership with Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and is supported by Gucci. Sir Elton follows in the footsteps of Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton who delivered previous NAT lectures in Diana’s memory in 1999 and 2001, respectively.During the lecture, Elton will set out a vision for an AIDS free future. He will call on governments and the private sector to show leadership and accountability in order to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to end AIDS by 2030. He will also reflect on his close friendship with Princess Diana and their shared commitment to ending HIV.Elton said, “I am delighted to be able to deliver this lecture and to remember the enormous contribution Diana, Princess of Wales made to this cause. In the quarter century since the Elton John AIDS Foundation was established, the global AIDS fight has changed beyond recognition. Yet tolerance and courage has never been more important in the fight to create an AIDS-free generation and make the world a more accepting place for those living with HIV.”Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT said, “It’s an honor to have Sir Elton John deliver our Diana, Princess of Wales Lecture on HIV. In our 30th year, it is particularly timely to focus on the challenges ahead in the fight against HIV, as well as paying tribute to the lasting impact of Princess Diana’s work.“2018 is a critical time in the global HIV epidemic. We have all the tools we need to beat HIV, yet we lack the level of investment or political priority necessary to use them fully. We are delighted that Sir Elton John, who has enormous credibility in this battle, will be speaking on this subject.”Anne Aslett, Executive Director of EJAF UK said, “The Elton John AIDS Foundation has been a supporter of the National AIDS Trust from its inception. We share a commitment to ending AIDS in the UK and around the world. Today, we are at a critical inflection point where we can commit to consigning this disease to history, or we will blight another generation with death and loss.”last_img read more

UPDATE2 CRTC tweaks policy framework for Certified Independent Production Funds to mixed

first_img Facebook Twitter Advertisement OTTAWA – In what it says is an effort to provide greater flexibility in the funding of Canadian programs, the CRTC has unveiled changes to its policy framework for Certified Independent Production Funds (CIPFs).As part of the current funding system, the Commission mandates certain indirect financial contributions by BDUs to the creative sector through production funds, including the Canada Media Fund (CMF), which receives funding from both the mandated contributions of BDUs and the federal government.  A number of independent production funds, known as CIPFs, have also been certified by the CRTC to receive funding from BDUs and tangible benefits packages, when the Commission approves changes in the ownership and effective control of television programming services.The Commission said Thursday that he primary objective of this review is “to ensure that CIPFs contribute to the development of a robust Canadian production sector as it evolves in an increasingly multi-platform environment”.  The decision and policy framework revisions are available here and the revised policy will be effective September 1, 2016. Speaking on behalf of the country’s independent producers, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) threw its support behind the CRTC’s “modernization” of the framework for CIPFs.“The updated policy will allow producers more flexibility to innovate and develop diverse content for the full range of viewing platforms used by Canadian audiences today”, it said in a statement Friday.  “Our members also welcome the potential to access funding for development, promotion, and discovery, as this reflects the comprehensive role that producers play through the entire lifecycle of a project.”But the Writers Guild of Canada described the revisions as “an attack on Canadian creators”, taking particular issue with the decision to lower the Canadian certification points for CIPFs to fund a production.“This is hugely disappointing,” said WGC executive director Maureen Parker, in a statement on Monday.  “That the CRTC, a public authority charged with regulating Canadian broadcasting, would effectively denigrate Canadian showrunners and screenwriters and suggest our country’s creators cannot deliver international success is shocking. It’s also verifiably untrue.” Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

Katie Cassidy Is Coming Back To Arrow But Its Not Quite How

first_imgAdvertisement Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: Katie Cassidy played the beloved “Arrow” character Laurel Lance for four seasons before being killed off. Well, it turns out Cassidy is coming back to her “Arrow” family … but Earth-1’s Laurel Lance is not. Advertisementcenter_img Facebook “One of the things that most excites us about ‘Arrow’ is that we go where the story takes us,” said executive producer Marc Guggenheim in a statement. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cassidy has signed on as a series regular for Season 6. She’ll be reprising her role as Black Siren, Laurel Lance’s doppelgänger.last_img read more

MICHAEL IRONSIDE IN BERLIN

first_imgPublicity still for The Harrowing courtesy of Film Mode Entertainment. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Toronto, ON – We’re not sure if the veteran Canadian actor will actually be there, but his 2017 film The Harrowing will have its World Market Premiere screening and European Film Market debut in Berlin tomorrow, February 18th.Written and directed by veteran horror director Jon Keeyes (American Nightmare, Fall Down Dead), in addition to Michael Ironside, the horror feature costars Matthew Tompkins (Sicario), and Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy, G.i. Joe).“The Harrowing is a movie that is going to get audiences excited across the world,” said director Keeyes. “We’ve carefully crafted an intelligent, suspenseful, tense thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats while driving them down a road of psychological twists and turns. Right out of the gate, we pull them in with an explosive opening sequence, and then keep them guessing as the mystery unfolds until we blow their minds in the final moments. Being able to construct such an intricate puzzle like this – that is both entertaining and thought provoking – has been a joy.” Advertisementcenter_img Facebook Login/Register With: Ironside plays Carl Logan, a jaded police lieutenant who must decide whether or not his officer is a killer. Vosloo plays Dr. Whitney, who runs a forensic hospital that’s conducting secret experiments on its patients. The film focuses on vice detective Calhoun, played by Matthew Tompkins, who is accused of the ritualistic murder of his best friend. Bent on finding the truth, he is plunged into Hell when he The Harrowing, movie, poster,goes undercover and discovers that demons might be real. This is a hard-boiled thriller in the vein of genre classics Jacobs Ladder and Angel Heart. Advertisementlast_img read more

HAVE A PROJECT IN THE WORKS PITCH IT AT THE HOT DOCS

first_img Facebook Have a project in the works?Want to pitch it in front of the world’s most influential industry decision makers?Applications for the 2019 HotDocs Forum close on January 7! North America’s most effective international documentary market, the Hot Docs Forum is a dynamic pitching event that stimulates international co-production financing.Taking place over two days, pre-selected international projects are presented to a round table of leading commissioning editors, film fund representatives, financiers, programming executives and delegates from around the globe. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Any filmmaker with a feature, broadcast-length, series and cross-platform project can apply.HOW IT WORKSSeven-minute pitch…eight-minute feedback…endless potential.Selected documentary producers pitch their projects to a room of over 200 key international decision makers and accredited observers.CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION last_img read more

Bellegarde apologizes to Anna Mae Aquashs daughter over statement about Leonard Peltier

first_img(Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. APTN/File photo)APTN National NewsAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde says he’s sorry for the pain caused to the daughter of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash by his recent call for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to bring up the case of imprisoned American Indian Movement (AIM) activist Leonard Peltier when he meets with U.S. President Barack Obama this week.Aquash’s daughter Denise Maloney Pictou released a statement Tuesday expressing outrage over Bellegarde’s statement in support of Peltier. Pictou believes Peltier protected Aquash’s killers and was involved in events that led to her death.“Our family and community are heartsick about this,” said Pictou, in the statement. “It was our hope that a (murdered and missing Indigenous women) inquiry would mean healing and continued justice for our MMIW families, this conflict and contradiction has thrown salt back into the wounds.”Pictou released the statement after Bellegarde told CBC News Monday he’d like to see Trudeau to bring up the Peltier case during a Washington D.C. visit this week.Bellegarde said he was sorry for hurting the family and that he is planning on speaking with Pictou later Wednesday.“I regret that my statement caused some hurt and pain and I apologize for the pain I caused her and her family,” said Bellegarde. “That wasn’t my intent.”Bellegarde said he still would like to see Peltier freed. He said the case is a separate issue from AIM’s execution of Aquash.“I called for that (Peltier’s release) because there is an injustice there,” said Bellegarde. “So I will continue to advocate for that.”Bellegarde said two previous AFN national chiefs have made the same call which is also backed by Amnesty International and prominent individuals like the Dalai Lama.Peltier was extradited from Canada to the U.S. in December 1976. He was eventually convicted in connection with the killing of two F.B.I. agents who were gunned down during a 1975 a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota.Warren Allmand, Canada’s solicitor general at the time of Peltier’s extradition, has since stated the F.B.I submitted false information to have Peltier extradited. One of the false pieces of evidence included an affidavit from a mentally unstable woman who claimed to have been Peltier’s girlfriend.Aquash’s daughter said in the statement that Peltier interrogated Aquash at gunpoint and knew who was behind her killing.Former AIM members Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham were convicted of killing Aquash. U.S. authorities believe the two men were likely acting on orders that came from the AIM hierarchy which believed Aquash was an informant.Aquash’s body was found at the bottom of an embankment near the Pine Ridge reservation on Feb. 24, 1976, by a rancher. She had been shot in the back of the head at close range, execution-style. She is buried in Sipeknekatik, a Mi’kmaq community in Nova Scotia. Aquash was 30 at the time of her death.news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more

Prescott group home owner Amy Owen didnt die in our care

first_imgKenneth Jackson APTN National NewsThe owner of a group home in Prescott, Ont. where a First Nations girl was said to have died by suicide while in their care last month says the 13-year-old girl had been transferred a few months prior to another home in Ottawa.Amy Owen, of Poplar Hill First Nation, died April 17 and it’s been reported by media, including APTN National News, that she was in a Prescott group home at the time of her death based on information from her family.“I cared for Amy like she was my own daughter,” said an emotional Esther Aiken, owner of Beacon Home. “It’s not us.”Aiken said Owen was moved from her home Jan. 8 because she kept threatening to run on nearby railway tracks to kill herself.“I had to get her away from those railway tracks,” said Aiken.When she heard Owen had died her heart sunk, she said.“I thought, ‘Oh my god. I made the wrong decision. I made the wrong choice,’” she said Wednesday breaking down in tears. “The poor kid. The poor family.”Owens father, Jeffrey Owen, told APTN and other media that his daughter was in a Prescott group home when she died.When reached on Wednesday in Poplar Hill, a First Nation on the Ontario/Manitoba border about 2,000 km from Ottawa, Jeffrey Owen was surprised.He had thought all this time his daughter died in a different city.“That’s news to me,” he said. “There’s no communication whatsoever.”When his daughter was in the Prescott home she was under 24-hour care, with one-on-one supervision, meaning a staff member was with her at all times said Aikens.Aikens said at night it was the hardest and Owen would try to self-harm or take off for the railway tracks.“That is when she wanted to run,” said Aikens.A staff member would be outside her door through the night.She doesn’t know if the 24-hour supervision was lifted after Owen was transferred, but Jeffrey Owen said he was told it wasn’t and questions how his daughter was able to die by suicide.Owen was one of three First Nations girls that died while living in Ontario group homes in the last six months.Courtney Scott, 16, of Fort Albany First Nation, also died in Ottawa on April 21 after a fire in her group home in the Orleans suburb of the city.Kanina Sue Turtle, 15, also of Poplar Hill First Nation, died in late October 2016 while living in a group home in Sioux Lookout. Her family said they were told it was death by suicide, as well.kjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

First Nations leaders assess Liberal track record ahead of federal election

first_imgAssembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde reiterated his core message of the past year that the federal government has made progress on First Nations rights but have much work ahead. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsThe Liberal government’s track record and First Nations influence in this fall’s federal election were front and centre Tuesday in Fredericton as the 2019 Assembly of First Nations’ Annual General Assembly got underway.“First Nations priorities are Canada’s priorities. First Nations issues are Canada’s issues,” AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde told delegates gathered at the Fredericton Convention Centre in unceded Wolatoqey territory, as federal representatives  Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, Bennett’s Parliamentary Secretary Marc Miller and Conservative Opposition Critic for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Cathy McLeod looked on.“So if you want to become prime minister or a member of parliament you better listen to our people and our issues and concerns because we vote now and we are important and we have impact. That’s what’s going to happen in October. We’re not going to be pushed to the side anymore.”Bellegarde’s message followed recap of what the AFN leader noted as successes on policy and legislative fronts, including the recent passing of the Indigenous languages and child welfare legislation.But every achievement Bellegarde noted, like the dozens of long term drinking water advisories that have been lifted under the Trudeau government’s tenure, was accompanied by acknowledgements of remaining crises.“Yes we’ve seen the boil water advisories on reserve go down from over 130 down to 57. Good movement, positive movement,” Bellegarde said in his address.“But yet today the people of Attiwapiskat and Eabametoong can’t drink their water, can’t bathe in their water. There’s still a water crisis.”Bennett later addressed the assembly, echoing Bellegarde’s admission that more needs to be done, but assured leaders the government is working on a path of reconciliation and decolonization.“You have a constitutionally protected right to self-determination and self-government, but it has to be based on how you want to define and govern yourselves, based on your laws and your traditional practices, and how you want to describe your relationship with the Crown,” he said.“Only together can we address Canada’s legacy of colonialism and the barriers you have faced under the Indian Act which still regulates almost every aspect of community life on reserve, literally from cradle to beyond the grave. We need to make it easier for your nations to get out from under the Indian Act. You are doing the hard work and setting the path for decolonization and reconciliation.”But some delegates weren’t happy with the minister’s platitudes.“She talks about nation to nation, and so does Trudeau. He says the same thing: nation to nation and reconciliation,” said Hart Perley, proxy for Tobique First Nation Chief Ross Perley.“Well, you know what? Canada is not a nation. It never was and it never will be. Canada is a corporate state. And as soon as you look at that and recognize that and admit it, then maybe the Indigenous peoples across this land will start believing what comes out of your mouth,” she said as some delegates applauded her message.When AFN organizers encouraged her to wrap up, Perley asked Bennett directly: “When, Ms. Bennett, did Canada become a nation? And when, Ms. Bennett, are you going to stop lying to the Indigenous peoples right across this country?”Multiple leaders criticized the Liberals for splitting Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada into two departments in 2017 without consulting First Nations.The result was Bennett’s new department, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services Canada.While Bennett lauded the move, saying it would facilitate First Nations’ move toward self-determination, some argued Tuesday that decisions of such significance shouldn’t be done without First Nations’ inclusion and support.The federal election will remain a focus Wednesday when Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, McLeod, and NDP MP Guy Caron all address leaders.The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ final report will be a featured topic of discussion Wednesday, as will the Trudeau government’s efforts to overhaul major policies dealing with First Nations Aboriginal and land rights.jbrake@aptn.ca@justinbrakenewslast_img read more

Water flowing again on Neskantaga First Nation but chief awaiting allclear

first_imgWillow FiddlerAPTN NewsOfficials in Neskantaga First Nation say their water issue appears to be fixed.Last week, more than 200 members of the Ontario community were sent to Thunder Bay after a broken water pump affected water pressure in homes.However, the chief is waiting to get an all-clear the water is safe for drinking before bringing people back home.wfiddler@aptn.calast_img

Northern Dynasty to file for key permit for its controversial Pebble Project

first_imgVANCOUVER – Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. is starting the federal and state permitting process for its controversial Pebble Project in Alaska.The company says it has finalized documentation and will file Friday for a US Clean Water Act 404 permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.Northern Dynasty (TSX:NDM) reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year that saw the federal agency clear the way for Pebble to apply for the permit.The company has struggled to advance the project in the Bristol Bay area of Alaska, home to a major salmon fishery that environmentalists and Indigenous people have fought to protect.It unveiled plans for what it says will be a smaller, safer project earlier this year in hopes of moving it forward.Earlier this week, First Quantum Minerals Ltd. signed a deal for an option to acquire a 50 per cent stake in the Pebble copper-and-gold mine project.First Quantum (TSX:FM) has agreed to pay a total of US$150 million in four equal payments over four years for the option to acquire a 50 per cent stake in Pebble for an additional US$1.35 billion.last_img read more