Minister Introduces Bill to Create Transportation Authority

first_img An act to create a Capital Region Transportation Authority wasintroduced in the House of Assembly today, April 27. Ron Russell, Minister of Transportation and Public Works, saidthe authority will help co-ordinate transportationresponsibilities between the province and Halifax RegionalMunicipality. “More and more people are moving into the urban and suburban coreand more and more vehicles and drivers are using our roads andhighways,” said Mr. Russell. “Consequently, the need forefficient co-ordination of provincial and municipaltransportation resources is vital to the growth and success ofthis region. It is our belief that the creation of thistransportation authority will help meet the needs of the region,now and in the future.” The transportation authority is expected to co-ordinate thevarious transportation modes in the region to provide forefficient movement of people, goods and services. The authority will be governed and administered by a board ofdirectors. Mr. Russell said the composition of the board will bedetermined by regulation after consulting with the municipality. TRANSPORTATION/PUBLIC WORKS -Minister Introduces Bill to CreateTransportation Authoritylast_img read more

New Route Chosen for Coke Ovens Brook

first_imgAn engineering report on the Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens cleanuprecommends rerouting Coke Ovens Brook along two branches. Previous studies recommended moving the brook to an area where itwill not pick up contaminated groundwater as it passes throughthe Coke Ovens site. Moving the brook will also permit a morethorough cleanup of the stream bed, where contaminantsaccumulated during a century of coke production. The full report of the conceptual design by the engineering firmsDillon Consulting Ltd. and Franz Environmental Inc. is availableon the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency website at www.gov.ns.ca/STPA/reports/Coke_Ovens_Brook_Realignment_2004.pdf . The Sydney Tar Ponds Agency will commission a detailedengineering design of the realignment, and conduct anenvironmental screening. Work on the project will begin in thesummer of 2005. “This is an exciting development,” said Richard Morykot, theSydney Tar Ponds Agency engineer who supervised the project.”It’s the first concrete step in the big cleanup.” The newly realigned brook will have two branches. The south branch will start at the outflow from the MAID Pond,behind the Schwartz building on Vulcan Avenue. It will run alongthe southern boundary of the Coke Ovens site, parallel to VulcanAvenue, through an area known as Mullin’s Bank. Near the westernboundary of the site, the brook will merge with Cagney Brook andrun north, parallel to Victoria Road, and then follow theexisting channel under the Victoria Road overpass. The north branch will run along the Whitney Pier side of theSydney Coal Railway track and the SPAR road, picking up flowsfrom several smaller brooks along the way. It will cross underthe tracks and the Spar Road at a point just east of Lingan Road,and follow the rail spur through the Coke Ovens site to join thesouth branch at the Victoria Road overpass. Part of the relocated south branch will be piped underground, andportions of both branches will be lined with synthetic materialor clay to prevent recontamination. Engineering work continues on three other projects that have beenadvanced to prevent environmental damage while the cleanupundergoes mandatory environmental assessment. The projectsinclude the construction of a coffer dam at Battery Point, theclean up of the cooling pond at the southwest corner of the Syscoproperty, and the relocation of the Victoria Road water main. The report was funded under the 1999 federal-provincial-municipalcost share agreement for the Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens cleanup.last_img read more

Traffic Advisory Highway 103 Exit 4 Hubley

first_imgTRANSPORTATION/PUBLIC WORKS–Traffic Advisory, Highway 103, Exit4 (Hubley) HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 103, Exit 4 (Hubley) The existing bridge at Exit 4 (Hubley) has been removed and workhas begun on its replacement. Motorists crossing Highway 103 onTrunk 3 are being asked to detour, with caution, over a temporarystructure. Efforts will be made to minimize delays at peaktravelling times. The work at Exit 4 will continue until the end of January 2005. -30-center_img Local Area Office: 902-835-2702 Fax: 902-835-1860last_img read more

Traffic Advisory Flooded and Closed Roads

first_imgTRANSPORTATION/PUBLIC WORKS–Traffic Advisory, Flooded and ClosedRoads Crews from the Department of Transportation and Public Worksadvise that some sections of roads are closed and others arepassable with caution until further notice due to high winds andflooding today, March 9. Motorists are advised to drive with caution, use alternateroutes, and to avoid crossing blockades. Damaged or flooded roads that are not marked can be reported tolocal bases by calling the toll-free line at 1-888-432-3238. The following is a partial list of roads and bridges affected inthe last 24 hours. ANNAPOLIS COUNTY A number of roads are flooded or washed out in Annapolis West,including sections of the following: Trunk 1 towards UpperClements Park, various sections of Route 201 between Annapolisand Bridgetown, sections of Morse Road, Guinea Road and HarrisLane off Route 201. A number of roads are flooded or washed out in Annapolis East,including sections of the following: Gates Mountain Road (underthe 101 overpass), Trunk 1 in Wilmot near Frenchy’s, Trunk 1 inBrickton, Ruggles Mountain and Spa Spring Road, Forest Glade,Dalhousie Road, Arlington Road, Route 201 (sections between Trunk10 and Bridgetown), Baker Lane, Torbrook Mountain, East Torbrook,Dodge Road, Inglesville, Bloomington, Balcom Road, VarnerMountain, Trunk 10, Elliott Road and Craig Road. COLCHESTER COUNTY Route 311 at Park Street to Trunk 2 in Onslow is open butpassable with extreme caution. In Truro and Bible Hill, the following roads are closed: ParkStreet, Farnham Road and Salmon River Road (from Vernon Bridge toCheese Plant). In Tatamagouche, the following roads are closed: New River Road,Lake Road, Cooper Road, Trout Brook Road and Cross Road. DIGBY COUNTY A number of roads are flooded or washed out in the area,including: sections of Lighthouse Road, Colloden Road, SouthRange Cross, North Range Cross, Weymouth Falls, Bloomfield Road,the Journey Town Bridge area, and Mink Cove. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY Trunk 3 at Boutilier’s Point is closed due to downed power lines.Traffic is being diverted through Island View Drive. The following roads have some water damage but are passable withcaution: Trunk 3 in Queensland, Conrads Road in Queensland,Indian Point Road in Glen Haven, Paddy’s Head Road in IndianHarbour and Route 333 (Peggy’s Cove at Peggy’s Point Road). HANTS COUNTY In Hants West, Highway 101, between Exit 6 at Windsor and Exit 7at Falmouth, is closed until further notice due to downed powerlines. Motorists travelling west must detour at Exit 6. Motoriststravelling east must detour at Exit 7. No other roads are closed in Hants West, although there is someflooding throughout the area on secondary roads. In Hants East, all primary roads are open in Milford, althoughthere is some flooding on secondary roads and some washoutsthroughout the area. All primary roads are open in Noel, although there are washoutsthroughout the area and flooding on some secondary roads. Minor washouts are reported near Chezzetcook and Spry Bay. TheWest Side East River Road is closed until further notice due to ablocked culvert. KINGS COUNTY Washouts are reported in all sections of the county, includingsections of Trunk 1 in Kings South. Avonport Station Road isclosed until further notice due to washouts. A section of BlackRiver Road is closed until further notice while crews removedebris. Meadowvale Road in Kings West is closed due to downedpower lines. In Kings East, various sections of roadways are closed due todowned power lines. -30-last_img read more

31Million Paving Contract Awarded in Halifax County

first_imgA $3.1-million paving contract awarded in Halifax County will result in an improved main road between the Musquodoboit Valley and points west. The Department of Transportation and Public Works has awarded a $3,096,250 contract to repave Route 224 from Cooks Brook, east to the intersection of Exhibition Grounds Road — a distance of about 12.3 kilometres. The contract was awarded to Basin Contracting Ltd. The work is scheduled for completion by this summer. “Route 224 is the major road connection between the Musquodoboit Valley and Highway 102,” said Transportation and Public Works Minister Angus MacIsaac. “This contract will make this section stronger and better able to handle all types of traffic including industrial and agricultural vehicles.” The Department of Transportation and Public Works’ highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.last_img read more

New Infrastructure Program Invests 47 Million in Water and Sewer Project

first_imgPhase two of the regional Port Hawkesbury sewage treatment system and the Port Hastings water distribution project will receive more than $4.7 million from a new Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund. This project includes completion of the wastewater collection system for Port Hastings and the Town of Port Hawkesbury, the completion of the regional sewage treatment plant, and water transmission, distribution and storage for Port Hastings. Federal and provincial funding of $3,183,334 was announced today, April 28, by the federal and provincial governments. The Municipality of the County of Inverness and the Town of Port Hawkesbury will fund the balance upon formal acceptance of the agreement. The announcement is the first in a series of federal-provincial infrastructure funding announcements expected under the new infrastructure program. “Our government is committed to making Nova Scotia communities stronger, safer and healthier,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. “Through the new Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund program, we are strategically investing in projects that will help our communities grow and prosper.” “The government of Canada recognizes that infrastructure is the foundation of our quality of life, our economic progress, and our environmental sustainability,” said Peter MacKay, federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “It is the driver for attracting new business, expanding existing ones, encouraging immigration, retaining our young people, and drawing our family and friends back home.” The new infrastructure program supports community infrastructure improvements, such as water, wastewater, solid waste, and environmental energy improvement projects. “Completion of the sewage treatment plant is our number one priority,” said Billy Joe MacLean, mayor of the Town of Port Hawkesbury. “This project will have some significant benefits for the health of our community and will make a real impact on the quality of life of our citizens.” “We are delighted to receive the funding to complete this important project,” said Duart MacAulay, warden of the Municipality of the County of Inverness. “This project is of great value to our community and will have a significant impact on the well-being of our community.” The new $111-million, six-year Canada-Nova Scotia Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund is administered by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities are members of the management committee.last_img read more

Pension Benefits Amendment Proclaimed

first_img An amendment to the Pension Benefits Act that further protects pension plan members when their employer voluntarily closes was proclaimed today, Dec 21. During the recent legislative session, government introduced an amendment that will ensure all pension plans are fully funded when a company leaves the province or winds down its pension plan. The amendment does not cover companies that close down through bankruptcy or are placed in receivership. “We committed to getting the amendment proclaimed as soon as possible and we’ve done that,” said Mark Parent, Minister of Environment and Labour. “All employees in Nova Scotia working in the private sector and municipal governments will know that legislation is in place to protect them if their pension plan winds down.” The amendment applies to companies that announced closures effective May, 1, 2007. For more information the Pension Benefits Legislation, visit the website at www.gov.ns.ca/enla . ENVIRONMENT/LABOUR–Pension Benefits Amendment Proclaimedlast_img read more

Young People Learning to Manage Relationships Conflict

first_imgYoung people across Nova Scotia are learning new ways to manage relationships and conflict by being encouraged to think about how they, and their actions, affect others. Education Minister Ramona Jennex and Ministerial Assistant for Youth Mat Whynott, on behalf of Justice Minister Ross Landry, announced the expansion of restorative approaches in schools, October 24, at Sycamore Lane Elementary School in Lower Sackville. Nova Scotia will be the first Canadian jurisdiction to initiate a provincewide restorative approach. “School is a big part of our young people’s lives and what happens there can guide them on how to create healthy relationships, and deal with conflict in all other parts of their lives,” said Ms. Jennex. “Restorative approaches will also have a direct impact on bullying and other harmful behaviours, and will have a ripple effect into the home and community.” The approach helps students understand relationships and conflicts and gives them knowledge and skills to manage them effectively. Benefits include less conflict in schools, more time for teachers to teach, better school morale and a stronger student connection to their school. “The schools that have used this approach have noticed a huge drop in office referrals and suspensions,” said Mr. Whynott. “Students have become more respectful of others and the schools have noticed a calming effect.” It uses a number of methods, including classroom circles where students discuss the impacts of behaviour or share information about themselves that helps develop relationship with classmates. Students can also largely avoid the stigma of being “sent to the office” or being suspended. Instead, they deal with the behaviour with their fellow students and teachers. “I was unsure about restorative approaches at first, but now I see many benefits,” said Eva Clement, a Grade 4 teacher at Sycamore Lane. “My students are now finding their voice. They are starting to acknowledge each other and the issues they may have to deal with in their daily lives at school, home and their community. It’s very much a learning experience for all of us.” A provincewide program will be developed based on the 27 schools that already use some form of restorative approach. A restorative approach in schools supports the province’s crime prevention efforts. The province invests in programs that support crime prevention and community safety, including the Lighthouses Program, Additional Officer Program, and mental health and domestic violence courts. A restorative approach in schools also supports Kids and Learning First, the province’s plan to help every student succeed. To learn more about restorative approaches in school, visit www.ednet.ns.ca or www.novascotia.ca/just.last_img read more

Together For Christmas

first_imgStella MacIsaac and Todd Goyetche belt out John Denver’s classic Take Me Home Country Roads from his 1971 breakout album Poems, Prayers and Promises. They sing the familiar melody in sync — country roads, take me home, to the place I belong. “I’ve got the words memorized now,” says Todd. “We sing it everywhere we go.” It’s an appropriate soundtrack for the reunited couple who have traveled a long road to be together. Today, their life is filled with music, poetry, faith and laughter. This Christmas marks the first anniversary of living in their Dartmouth duplex together. In 2014, they moved into their home just before Christmas, supported by Community Services’ Disabilities Support Program. The goal of the independent living program is to increase housing opportunities, with appropriate supports available, in the heart of the community. The couple first met more than 25 years ago when they were living at the Halifax County Rehabilitation Centre on Bisset Road, Cole Harbour. Todd has an acquired brain injury and for most of his life he’s been living in group residential settings. “I was always able to go and visit my mom a lot. But there’s lots of restrictions living in a group home, and I’m not too fond of those,” says Todd. Stella has struggled with mental illness. In 1988, she became sick and went into the hospital on October 19 — a significant date. “We said see you later then,” says Stella. “We did not say good-bye.” Still, over the years they lost track of one another. Many years later, Todd and Stella were both living in Dartmouth in separate group homes managed by the same service provider. Colonial Community Services oversees staffing and provides appropriate services. Their staff organized a field trip for residents to attend the Pumpkin People Festival.Stella was crossing the road in Kentville when she recognized a familiar face. “I asked ‘Are you Todd?’ and he looked at me and he said right away ‘Are you Stella?'” she laughs. The happy coincidence took place 25 years to the day that they’d separated. And speaking of dates, Todd proposed on Valentine’s Day in 2014. “We talked it over. We wanted to get married and move in with one another,” says Stella. “We love each other as we are and we love helping people.” The wedding was on September 27, 2014. During the ceremony, Stella sang Todd a song that she had written for him. “This was always their plan. They wanted to get married and to live together,” says Lisa Burton, Department of Community Services. “Everyone really wanted to support them and there were a lot of smiles going around when a solution came together.” “Colonial believed in us from the beginning. They had a really nice wedding reception for us,” says Stella. Like other newlyweds, they’re working on the details of living together. Stella is the one who likes cooking more, but she credits Todd for taking care of the laundry. Stella has seen a positive difference in Todd since they’ve been living independently. “He’s come a long way. He goes to work with the Salvation Army once a week at their food bank.” Todd is also a published poet who loves sonnets and the rhythm of iambic pentameter. He has written literally thousands of poems. Stella has found her voice in her music, writing original songs and volunteering. “I use music to help people with mental illness. People need to have a voice,” she says. -30-last_img read more

Unsafe Ggn Sadar Another trader robbed of Rs 10 lakh

first_imgGurugram: Barely two weeks after a trader was shot dead in the oldest and busies meet of Gurugram there has been another incident where a trader was mugged and robbed of Rs 10 lakhs.According to law enforcement officials, Yash Kalra, the victim and owner of Hari Sweets, was walking towards his car, parked near his shop, around 10.45 pm, when the accused man snatched the bag of cash from him. “I started walking towards my car. I was carrying my bag which contained around Rs 10 lakh in cash — collection from the sales over three days. Suddenly, a man on a scooter came and snatched my bag. When I screamed for help, my staff ran after him but could not catch him,” Kalra said in his first information report. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in DenmarkThe brazen incident again highlighted the rising number of criminal activities where traders in and Gurugram are being targeted. The problems of traders and businessmen being targeted by goons have been a major law and order challenge in the outskirts of Gurugram. However, the incidents of traders and businessmen being targeted are also being reported on a large scale from the city centre. Complaining of law and order, traders have now been stating that not only thefts but now the trader community are being victimised with extortions, kidnappings and even murders regularly. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsThe traders have been demanding that is a need for more police vigilance in the outskirts of the city like Sohna, Pataudi and Badshahpur where the rates of crime against the traders are rising rapidly. “There is no doubt that a trader in the city does not feel safe and secure in the city. Today he can be easily targeted and harmed by the gangsters. Today the gangsters are emboldened that they can carry out a heist or murder in the daylight and get away with it. The Police must increase its presence in Gurugram,” said Pawan Bansal who runs a garment shop in Sadar Bazaar Gurugram.last_img read more

Trinamool leader Anubrata Mondal admitted to Kolkata hospital

first_imgKolkata: Senior Trinamool Congress leader and strongman Anubrata Mondal underwent a minor surgery at the state-run SSKM Hospital here on Sunday, the hospital sources said. According to the doctors, Mondal, Trinamool Congress’ Birbhum district President, has been kept under observation as he is also suffering from high diabetes and high blood pressure. “Mondal was admitted to SSKM on Friday (July 5) with high diabetes. Today he underwent a fistula operation. We kept him under observation for the first two days as he had high blood sugar and blood pressure,” said the doctor monitoring Mondal. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers Noting that the operation was successful, the doctor said Mondal was expected to be released from the hospital in the next 48 hours if his condition remained stable. Mondal, who shares a cordial relationship with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, has been in news many times for making controversial statements in public, including asking the party activists to “hurl bomb at the police”. During the 2019 general elections in the state, Mondal was kept under strict surveillance on the polling day in Birbhum after he allegedly threatened the poll officials to work in favour of his party. However, the firebrand leader remained largely away from public eye after the 2019 poll results were announced. Though Trinamool Congress managed to hold on to the two Lok Sabha seats in Birbhum, the BJP, went ahead in a number of Assembly segments.last_img read more

Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini released on parole

first_imgChennai: One of the convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case, S. Nalini, was released from Tamil Nadu’s Vellore jail on one month parole on Thursday.The Madras High Court on July 5 had granted a one month parole to Nalini on her plea for a six month parole to make arrangements for her daughter’s wedding.Nalini argued her case in person.The court had stipulated that Nalini should not meet politicians and media.In her plea, Nalini said every life convict was entitled to one month of ordinary leave after completing two years in prison and she had not taken the leave even once during the past 27 years she had spent in jail.Besides Nalini, the six other convicted in the case are her husband V. Sriharan alias Murugan, A.G. Perarivalan, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and Ravichandran.All the seven convicts have been in prison since 1991 after a female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew herself up while meeting Gandhi at an election rally near Chennai.last_img read more

Money laundering case against Prajapati 5 IAS officers

first_imgLucknow/New Delhi: In more trouble for former Uttar Pradesh Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday said it has registered a case of money laundering against him, five IAS officers and others for illegal sand mining in Deoria and Fatehpur districts. A senior ED official in Delhi told IANS: “The agency has registered a case of money laundering against Prajapati, then Principal Secretary Jiwesh Nandan, Special Secretary Santosh Kumar, then District Magistrates Abhay Kumar Singh and Vivek and unknown others.” Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The ED said it registered a criminal case on the basis of a CBI FIR registered last month. The ED had on July 16 questioned Prajapati in Lucknow’s King George’s Medical College for three hours. Prajapati, who is in judicial custody in an alleged gang rape case, was recently shifted to hospital after he complained of being unwell. The ED has questioned Prajapati about his role in giving three sand mining licences to Shiv Singh and Sukhraj in Fatehpur district. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The official said the agency suspects that the money generated from Shiv Singh and Sukhraj was used to buy properties in cities like Lucknow, Rae Bareli and Amethi. The agency also plans to question Prajapati’s sons Anil and Anurag to identify the money trail. The CBI last month searched Bulandshahr District Magistrate Abhay Kumar Singh’s and former Deoria District Magistrate Vivek’s premises among others. Abhay Kumar Singh was earlier the District Magistrate of Fatehpur while Vivek is presently the Director of Training and Employment in Lucknow. During the searches, the CBI seized Rs 47 lakh in cash from Abhay Kumar Singh’s residence while Rs 10 lakh was found from the premises of Devi Sharan Upadhyay, a former Additional District Magistrate of Deoria, now posted as CDO, Azamgarh. The development can spell trouble for former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav since he has been linked to illegal mining. Abhay Kumar Singh has been under the CBI scanner for alleged irregularities in mining when he was the District Magistrate of Fatehpur when Akhilesh Yadav was the Chief Minister (2012-17). Akhilesh Yadav was also the Mining Minister in 2012-13. The illegal mining allegedly took place between 2012 and 2016. According to the CBI sources, a total of 22 tenders passed by the Uttar Pradesh government between 2012 and 2016 were being scrutinised. Of these, 14 were passed when Akhilesh Yadav held the mining portfolio and the rest when Prajapati was the Mining Minister. In June, the CBI searched Prajapati’s three premises in Amethi. In February, the ED registered a case of money laundering against IAS officers B. Chandrakala and others in illegal sand mining cases on the basis of the CBI FIR. The CBI registered the FIR after the Allahabad High Court directed it to investigate allegations of illegal mining in Shamli, Hamirpur, Fatehpur, Siddhartha Nagar and Deoria districts.last_img read more

Ghats inundated Varanasi lanes turn into cremation grounds

first_imgVaranasi: As the waters of the Ganga river in Varanasi inundated the ghats, cremation of dead bodies is now being done in the lanes of the holy city. The cremation ground at Harishchandra Ghat and Manikarnika Ghat are now underwater and the last rites of the dead are being performed in the narrow by-lanes and in the backyard of houses adjoining the ghats. Wooden logs kept for cremations could be seen floating in the flood waters. “The pyres are being burnt in a dry small space, which is barely enough to accommodate a pyre and some people attending the last rites. Most of those coming with bodies for cremation are forced to wait on the main road as the entire ghat area is submerged, “said Acharya Rakesh, a priest. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Bahadur Chaudhary, who belongs to the Dom community that performs the last rites, said: “We are helpless. This is sheer callousness of the administration that has failed to construct a high platform for cremations despite availability of funds. “The problem has worsened owing to the fact that the gas-based crematorium at Harishchandra Ghat is lying defunct due to a technical snag. It has two furnaces. While one stopped working last week, the other developed the snag after heavy rains lashed the city on Sunday night.” A large number of bodies from eastern part of the state, as well as Bihar, are brought for cremation to Varanasi, as according to Hindu belief cremation in this city leads to salvation. People are also complaining of a sudden and exorbitant increase in prices of wooden logs and other material used for performing the last rites.last_img read more

Urmila Matondkar quits Cong cites petty inhouse politics

first_imgMumbai: Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar on Tuesday announced her resignation from the Congress within six months of joining it and unsuccessfully contesting the maiden Lok Sabha election, owing to “petty in-house politics”. The announcement by Matondkar, who had bagged 2,41,431 votes across six segments of the Mumbai North seat, came as a huge embarrassment for the Congress which is struggling to keep its flock together ahead of the Maharashtra assembly polls, slated to be held next month. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Matondkar, who joined the Congress in March this year, was defeated by BJP stalwart Gopal Shetty in the polls. In a statement, Matondkar observed the key functionaries of the Mumbai Congress are either unable to or are not committed to transform the party. “I have resigned from the Indian National Congress. My political and social sensibilities refuse to allow vested interests in the party to use me as a mean to fight petty in-house politics instead of working on a bigger goal in Mumbai Congress,” she said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Matondkar said the first thought of resignation came to her mind when she realised that “no action” was being taken despite her “repeated efforts” on her letter dated May 16 addressed to the then Mumbai Congress presidentMilind Deora. In her letter, Matondkar had criticised the conduct of Sandesh Kondvilkar and Bhushan Patil, close associates of Sanjay Nirupam, a former Mumbai Congress president. “Thereafter, to my utter dismay, the letter containing privileged and confidential communication was conveniently leakedto the media, which according to me was an act of a blatant betrayal. “Needless to say, no one from the party was apologetic or even concerned towards me for the same despite my repeated protests,” she said. Matondkar claimed some of the persons named in her letter for the “shoddy performance” of the Congress in the Mumbai North contest were “rewarded with newer positions” instead of fixing responsibilities. “It is obvious that the key functionaries of the Mumbai Congress are either unable ornot committed to bring about a change and transformation in the organisation for betterment of the party,” she said. Matondkar’s statement is mum on her next political move. However, she added that she stood by her “thoughts and ideologies” and will continue to work for the people “with honesty and dignity”.last_img read more

ED seeks 5 more days of custodial interrogation of Congress leader D

first_imgNew Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Friday sought 5-day extension of Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar’s custodial interrogation. Shivakumar, arrested on September 3 by the ED in a money laundering case, was produced before a Delhi court on the expiry of his 9-day custodial interrogation. The court had on September 4 sent him in the ED custody till today. The Congress leader was produced before special judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The probe agency told the court that Shivakumar was evasive and gave irrelevant answers during the interrogation, and many of his properties are ‘benami’. “As per probe against Shivakumar, tainted money is more than Rs 200 crore and there is Rs 800 crore worth ‘benami’ property, Additional Solicitor General K M Natraj said. He said the ED needs to confront him with voluminous documents it has collected in the case. The ED told the court that Shivakumar was withholding information which was solely in his knowledge. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “I am sure he won’t answer questions in the next five days either. Why do you need his custody,” the judge asked ED, to which the agency replied that there are statements by some other accused and Shivakumar needs to be confronted with that. The court had allowed ED to interrogate the politician in custody, saying the allegations made against him were serious in nature. Meanwhile, Shivakumar’s daughter Aishwarya had appeared before the ED on Thursday in connection with its money-laundering probe against him, the ED officials had said. The 22-year-old management graduate was questioned and her statement was recorded under PMLA. According to the sources, she was also confronted with documents and statements made by Shivakumar with regard to a trip to Singapore he made with her in 2017. Aishwarya is a trustee in an education trust floated by her father. The trust, holding assets and businesses worth crores, operates a number of engineering and other colleges and Aishwarya is the main person behind them, they said. The former cabinet minister and sitting MLA from Kanakapura seat had appeared before the ED for questioning on September 3 for the fourth time at its headquarters here. After a long session of grilling, Shivakumar, 57, was placed under arrest as per provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED had in September last year registered the money laundering case against Shivakumar, Haumanthaiah, an employee at Karnataka Bhavan in New Delhi, and others. Shivakumar had to appear before the ED after Karnataka High Court last week dismissed his petition challenging the summons issued to him by the agency. The ED had filed the PMLA case against him and others based on a charge sheet (prosecution complaint) filed by the Income Tax Department against them last year before a special court in Bengaluru on charges of alleged tax evasion and hawala transactions worth crores. The I-T department has accused Shivakumar and his alleged associate S K Sharma of transporting huge amount of unaccounted cash on a regular basis through ‘hawala’ channels with the help of three other accused.last_img read more

Trudeau to Trump Auto import tariffs would hit US economy just as

first_imgPrime Minister Justin Trudeau said he plans to tell U.S. President Donald Trump that his threat to slap tariffs of up to 25 per cent on vehicle imports would have an “incredibly negative effect” on the American economy.The president’s request on Wednesday that U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross consider whether the imports of automobiles and auto parts threaten national security is likely linked to troubled negotiations to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement, the prime minister said.“We know everything is tied to the ongoing negotiations with NAFTA,” Trudeau told reporters in La Malbaie, Que., site of the upcoming G7 Summit in early June.“It’s clear we don’t take anything lightly but it’s certain that to try and understand what the links are between the national security of the U.S. and cars potentially made in Ontario, it’s starting to become less and less pertinent or justified in any kind of rigorous or intellectually logical way.”Tariffs that hurt Canada will hurt the competitiveness of the U.S. auto industry as well, Trudeau said, adding some automobile pieces cross the border six times before they end up in an assembled car.“We will continue to be very firm in our defence of Canadian auto workers while underlining that to attack Canada, it will end up hurting the U.S. too, and no one wants that,” the prime minister said.The tariff threat is “perplexing” because it would make cars more expensive in the United States if imposed, said David Adams, president of Global Automakers of Canada, which represents Japanese car manufacturers Honda Motor Company, Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp.“The prospect of a tariff on imported vehicles is obviously disconcerting and I would think particularly so for American consumers who would end up paying more for their vehicles,” he said Thursday.The harm in Canada caused by tariffs would vary depending on how severe and wide ranging they are, he said.“Maybe other countries were in mind when the president was contemplating that but the reality is the two largest importers into the United States are Canada and Mexico,” he said.The Canadian auto sector supports about 500,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association. About 95 per cent of Canadian-made vehicles are exported to the United States.A vehicle tariff that includes Canada could penalize American manufacturers Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp., which have assembly plants in Canada, as well as Italian-American Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.The tariffs could be devastating, but it’s doubtful the U.S. will go through with them because the resulting higher costs would give competitors in Europe and elsewhere a competitive advantage, said Sui Sui, an associate professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management.“From Canada’s side, higher tariffs mean higher prices and also less demand,” she said. “In that case, there’s the possibility that factories close down, things move to the U.S.”The threat is typical of Trump’s “brinkmanship” negotiating style, she added, and not necessarily indicative of his intentions.Talks aimed at rewriting NAFTA have stalled between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with the discussions at an impasse over rules for car production. The initiation of the trade investigation could be seen as an attempt to gain leverage in the talks with the two U.S. neighbours.Trump said in a statement on Wednesday that “core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a nation.”U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that efforts to renegotiate the trade agreement could spill into next year.Trump brought a little-used weapon to his fight to protect auto workers: Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. The provision authorizes the president to restrict imports and impose unlimited tariffs on national security grounds.The Trump administration used that authority in March to slap tariffs of 25 per cent on imported steel and 10 per cent on aluminum imports, although it gave a reprieve to Canada and Mexico.Critics fear that other countries will retaliate or use national security as a pretext to impose trade sanctions of their own.The tariff threat is likely meant to pressure Mexico into accepting U.S. demands for NAFTA changes that would shift more auto production to the U.S. from Mexico, said Daniel Ujczo, a trade lawyer with Dickinson Wright PLLC.But he questioned whether it would work.“I do not believe that it will have the desired effect,” Ujczo said. “Everyone knows that (the investigation) will take too long and has no chance of surviving any legal challenge.”Mexico has so far resisted U.S. attempts to get higher regional content rules in the auto industry and move production to higher-wage U.S. and Canadian factories.The U.S. has also sought to change NAFTA’s dispute-resolution system and include a sunset clause that would allow countries to exit after five years.— With files from Giuseppe Valiante in Montreal and The Associated PressFollow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more

Possible ferries names includes Mikmaq poet black activist LGBT advocate

first_imgHALIFAX – Halifax’s two new ferries could be named after a slain gay rights activist, a black human rights leader, the creative force behind the Pier 21 immigration centre, a Mi’kmaq poet or a hero from the Halifax Explosion.The city is asking residents to cast their vote online for names for two replacement harbour ferries, which are slated to be delivered this fall and summer 2018.People submitted hundreds of names this spring, with the final five selected by a committee that included Mayor Mike Savage and a member of three community councils.The list includes Vincent Coleman, who died after warning an inbound train about the impending Halifax Explosion in 1917; Ruth Goldbloom, who led the fundraising campaign for the creation of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21; and, Rita Joe, known as the “poet laureate” of the Mi’kmaq people.Burnley “Rocky” Jones, a prominent political human rights, race and poverty activist, and Raymond Taavel, an advocate LGBT rights who was killed in 2012, are also candidates.Each of the new ferries will bear one of the two names receiving the most votes, with voting closing May 21.last_img read more

Passenger tried to bring semiautomatic on board flight from Winnipeg RCMP

first_imgWINNIPEG – A man whose brother was beaten and killed earlier this month has been charged with trying to bring a semi-automatic handgun onboard a flight from Winnipeg to Toronto.Mohammad Peyawary, a 35-year-old from Toronto, faces several charges including unlawful transport of an unsecured restricted firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.Police said the gun was found inside a carry-on garment bag as a man passed through security on Monday at the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.RCMP spokeswoman Tara Seel says the gun was not loaded, the passenger was not carrying any ammunition and there was no risk to the public.Seel said Peyawary is the brother of Mustafa Peyawary, a 29-year-old who was found dead inside a Winnipeg apartment Aug. 13.Mustafa Peyawary had been beaten over an extended period of time and suffered massive blunt force trauma, according to Winnipeg police — two men were later charged with first-degree murder.Seel said any potential motive behind the airport incident was not immediately clear.“The investigation is definitely ongoing and we have brought in our experts from the (RCMP) national weapons enforcement support team,” Seel said.Peyawary remains in police custody.The two men charged in his brother’s killing are Damir Kulic, 27, of Vancouver and Ahamed Althaaf Ismail, 29, of Edmonton.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the gun was found on Tuesdaylast_img read more

Cut down on court delays by supporting victims of crime ombudsman

first_imgOTTAWA – Making sure those who experience the biggest impacts of crime have the support they need would do a lot to speed up the wheels of justice, says the federal ombudsman for victims of crime.“We have to have a criminal justice system that is effective and efficient,” Sue O’Sullivan said in an interview before releasing Tuesday a set of reports on how the Liberal government could keep victims in mind as they prepare to introduce reforms.“Let’s look for a system that is going to meet the needs of victims instead of looking for alternatives when the system isn’t working.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould the mandate to review changes to the criminal justice system and sentencing reforms the previous Conservative government brought in as part of its tough-on-crime agenda, including mandatory minimum penalties.The need to improve the criminal justice system has been given an increased sense of urgency since last summer, when the Supreme Court released its groundbreaking ruling, R v. Jordan, that came down hard on serious delays that can mean years pass by between the laying of charges and the conclusion of a trial.The top court imposed strict new ceilings on the amount of time a case could take to make its way through the system — 18 months in provincial courts and 30 months in superior courts. The only remedy for going over the limit is a stay of proceedings, no matter how serious the charge.The impact that court delays — and having cases tossed as a result — can have on victims of crime was one of the issues that came up over the summer as O’Sullivan held cross-country consultations to gather perspectives from victims and advocacy groups on criminal justice reforms.“Court delays are typically cast in terms of the rights of the accused but not the rights of victims,” said one of the five reports released Tuesday.“Yet victims also have an important interest in a criminal justice system that is not delayed,” the report said. “Having charges stayed as a result of delays hurts victims. Remedies that emphasize both the rights of the accused and the rights of the victim must be found.”In an interview, O’Sullivan argued that giving victims of crime the resources and information they need can cut down on judicial delays.She pointed to a pilot program in England and Wales that boosted support for victims and witnesses, including with basic needs such as child care, addressed concerns such as fear of intimidation and provided them with greater communication throughout the process.“There was an increase in the number of victims and witnesses that could testify,” she said. “There was an increase in early guilty pleas.”O’Sullivan said those who took part in her engagement process understood systemic root causes of crime often blur the line between victim and perpetrator, but they would like to see a greater balance between their rights and the rights of the accused.“They want to make sure that the legs of the stool are equal,” she said.Heidi Illingworth, executive director of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, said too many people have lost confidence in the ability of the justice system, including both courts and the police, as evidenced by the low reporting rates for sexual assault.“We need to do a better job of making sure our courts are friendly and responsive to people who have been harmed,” she said.One of the reports focused on bail reform, including the Liberal campaign promise to create a reverse onus on bail for those who have previously been convicted of intimate partner violence. A commitment to toughen bail conditions in domestic assault cases was also in the mandate letter.The report urges the federal government to act on this, but also recommends ensuring victims are considered in all aspects of bail reform, such as by requiring judges to ask whether a victim has been consulted about their safety and security needs as they decide whether to grant bail.The mandate letter for Wilson-Raybould said sentencing reform should result in greater use of restorative justice.Many of those who participated in the consultations expressed apprehension over this, including the concern it could be a way to reduce penalties, or avoid them altogether.There were also concerns about restorative justice being used for gender-based violence, given the power imbalance these cases can involve.O’Sullivan said the key is that victims should have a say.“I think what we have to do is ask victims,” said O’Sullivan.A common theme throughout the reports is that victims need stronger and better enforced rights, but also more information about what those rights are in the first place.O’Sullivan said could be helped by involving everyone in the justice system, from police officers to the federal government, in doing more to create awareness of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights.The federal justice minister said in a statement Monday that she has included victims groups in her consultations on criminal justice system reform, including a roundtable devoted to these issues.“The minister remains committed to fulfilling all aspects of her mandate letter, including toughening bail conditions in cases domestic assault,” her office said in a statement.— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitterlast_img read more