Courtesy: CBC.CA Online
Newly elected Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau took to the stage before a crowd of over 1,000 supporters with a message of unity and hope with an eye to the next election in 2015.
Trudeau acknowledged expectations are high and in an effort to rally Liberals of all stripes said, “I don’t care if you thought my father was a great or arrogant.”
“It doesn’t matter to me if you were a Chretien-Liberal, a Turner-Liberal, a Martin-Liberal or any other kind of Liberal. The era of hyphenated Liberals ends right here, tonight.”
Trudeau was elected through a preferential ballot based on a points system that gave each of the 308 ridings in the country 100 points for a total of 30,800 points.
Trudeau, the eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was elected on the first round with 24,668 points — he only needed to obtain 50 per cent plus one, or a total of 15,401 points.
Well Done Justin.
McGill Metro Station – Green Line – Montreal
The Mayor is pissed, the Premier is pissed and Montrealer’s are getting pissed as well. Who’s to blame for this action today? Nobody is sure. But these kids are adamant and just hitting their stride. This could go on for months. I’ve seen marches like this before, and once a movement gets galvanized, there is little that they can do about it unless the authorities get drastic and the government moves its ass and changes their tune …
The summer festivals will begin soon and the city doesn’t want this taint on our city, nor do we residents. Somethings got to give, and give soon, or else Montreal is at the mercy of the angry student movement.
Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay is urging people to “take back their city” after a series of smoke bombs paralyzed the public metro system, sending the island’s transit service into chaos at the peak of rush hour.
“No cause, legitimate or not, can justify any criminal action that jeopardizes public security,” a livid-looking Tremblay told reporters at a news conference.
Although the attacks haven’t been directly linked to ongoing student protests, Tremblay also urged students and politicians to get back to the negotiating table to settle their tuition dispute, and restore civil order.
This photo was talked about on the news particularly the fact that these two were on the ground amid all the destruction that was going on around them. It hit Tumblr earlier tonight.
You wonder what they were doing there and if anyone else in the photo was paying attention to them.
*** *** *** ***
CBC.ca’s online hunt for Vancouver’s kissing couple …
The search for the couple began on Twitter shortly after 10 a.m. ET Thursday.
Our followers immediately retweeted, and within minutes tips began trickling in.
At first the sense was the photo was actually staged, or even art. Or was it an homage to “The Kiss,” an art show staged at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 2010?
And then a second image of the couple appeared, this time on Facebook.
Seen from a rooftop, the couple looked far less romantic than they did in the first shot, which led many to speculate about the couple’s condition – and whether the woman in the couple had suffered a medical emergency.
The search for the couple spread, around Canada and then to the U.S.
It wasn’t long before the couple – or at least their image – began to appear in all sorts of unlikely places.
Yet as the fun got underway, many still doubted the legitimacy of the image.
At 3:25 p.m. ET, Esquire, which earlier had declared the photo:
published an interview with the photographer who snapped the iconic pic, Rich Lam of Getty. “It was complete chaos,” Lam wrote for Esquire of the riots. He was running from riot police when he “noticed in the space behind the line of police that two people were laying in the street … [with] a raging fire just beyond them.”
“I knew I had captured a ‘moment’ when I snapped the still forms against the backdrop of such chaos,” Lam told Esquire.
Lam told the Vancouver Sun he has more pictures of the couple that he’s prepared to release.
In the meantime, the search for the couple continues. Will they come forward? Do they even know they’re being sought?
Do you know the couple? If you can help us identify them, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Report Via: CBC.CA Online
Canadians should expect to see more severe cases of swine flu — including some deaths from the virus — as the outbreak spreads, the country’s chief public health officer warned Monday.
“Simply because we are seeing mild cases so far does not mean we can take this for granted,” said Dr. David Butler-Jones during a news conference in Ottawa with federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
“We will likely see more cases, we will likely see more severe illnesses and we will likely, unfortunately, see some deaths as well. We hope not, but it is a normal part of an influenza outbreak.”
There have been six confirmed cases of swine flu in Canada since the outbreak was first reported in Mexico. All six people — four in Nova Scotia and two in B.C. — had a mild form of the illness and have recovered, Butler-Jones said.
Along with the cases in N.S. and B.C., medical authorities in Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan are investigating cases of suspected swine flu.
Canada has heightened its surveillance system to more closely monitor the spread of the disease and will focus on rigorous infection control, he said.
The government is also considering advising travellers against all non-essential travel to Mexico, said Aglukkaq.
Provinces test for swine flu
Ontario deputy premier George Smitherman told reporters on Monday that about 10 to 12 potential cases of swine flu in the province are being checked.
“We first of all want to identify, we want to contain, we want to control any possible infectious outbreaks,” Smitherman said.
Dr. Donald Low, medical director of Ontario’s public health laboratories and chief microbiologist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, told CBC News he suspects the cases will be identified in the next 24 to 48 hours.
“We’re in a unique opportunity in history that we’re watching, I think, a pandemic unfold,” said Low, who provided regular updates to the public during the SARS crisis six years ago.
“I don’t think anybody’s thinking that this is not across Canada.”
In P.E.I., the province’s chief health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said Monday eight people who recently returned from Mexico are being tested for human swine flu and have been asked to isolate themselves.
In Saskatchewan, the province’s chief medical health officer Dr. Moira McKinnon said eight people who showed flu symptoms had been tested. The results for five came back negative and the other three have been asked to stay home and have been prescribed the anti-viral medication Tamiflu.
Public health officials in Sherbrooke, Que., are following one suspected case of swine flu in a local resident who returned from a trip to Mexico with flu symptoms.
Canadians should take precautions
Aglukkaq has urged Canadians to take precautions to prevent the human-to-human transmission of this strain of swine flu by washing their hands with hot water and soap, as well as covering up their mouth and nose when sneezing.
She also advised people to stay home and contact their family physicians if ill, particularly if they’ve recently visited Mexico and have flu-like symptoms.
Aglukkaq said she is in regular contact with officials at the WHO, as well as her counterparts in the U.S. and Mexico. The government is also working “very closely” with the provinces and territories, she said.
“Canada is well-positioned to deal with the issue,” she said during question period in the House of Commons on Monday. “We have a national plan to deal with disease outbreaks.”
The federal government also said Monday it does not plan to ban seasonal workers from Mexico from entering Canada, but will require they have enhanced medical checkups before leaving Mexico.
It is Sunday night and all is well here. There has been talk as of late of persons diagnosed with this swine flu and for what I can gather from the news that three suspected cases on the West Island have all been cleared. There are quarantine measures that will be put in place should we get a confirmed outbreak here in Montreal. Let us cross our fingers.
As of the 9 p.m. news several cases have been diagnosed on the west coast in BC and also on the far east coast of Nova Scotia. Canada is closely watching this medical issue – and we are being told to be vigilant and not to panic. I won’t be going near any hospital any time soon. There is too much possibility that a sick and infected person will go to a hospital and an outbreak occur. Our hospitals here in the city are not the bastions of cleanliness and safety.
We are monitoring this situation by the hour and I am keeping an eye on just where this virus is spreading. With all the travelers going to Mexico and the Mayan Riviera you never know how many of these travelers now on their trips might just bring something back with them.
Other than this outbreak of illness world wide, all is quiet on the home front. I have stayed indoors and this week is my last week of down time before the Summer sessions begin. So that’s all I have for you tonight.
This from the CBC tonight:
Federal health officials have confirmed six cases of human swine influenza in British Columbia and Nova Scotia and are warning more cases are likely in the near future, as medical personnel around the world test for the virus linked to a serious outbreak in Mexico.
Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said at a news conference in Ottawa on Sunday that two people from B.C. and four from Nova Scotia had “relatively mild” symptoms of H1N1 swine flu and have since recovered.
“But these cases are likely not the last we’ll see in Canada,” she said.
Aglukkaq urged Canadians to take precautions to prevent the human-to-human transmission of this strain of swine flu by washing their hands with hot water and soap, covering up their mouth and nose when sneezing, and staying home and contacting their family physicians if ill, particularly those who recently visited Mexico and have flu-like symptoms.
Aglukkaq said she is in regular contact with her provincial counterparts as well as the World Health Organization, and has ordered the Public Health Agency of Canada to alert border authorities, quarantine officers and other officials.
“To have our first confirmed cases is of course troubling,” said David Butler-Jones, chief public health officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada. “However, as the minister has said, we needed to be ready for this and we are.”
The agency is talking with drug manufacturers about a vaccine for this swine flu and is preparing information sheets that will be available at airports this week for people travelling to Mexico, Butler-Jones said.
To provide some perspective on this particular flu virus, health officials said that flu viruses in general kill about 4,000 people a year in the country.
4 in Nova Scotia are students
Earlier, Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer, Dr. Robert Strang, said the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg confirmed late Saturday that four young people in the province are recovering from “relatively mild” cases of the swine influenza H1N1 virus.
Strang said the four are between the ages of 12 and 18 and all attend King’s-Edgehill School in Windsor, N.S. However, only one of those students had been on a recent school trip to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, headmaster Joe Seagram later told reporters.
“I am very pleased to report that all four of those students are feeling very well and much better,” Seagram said. “In fact all of the students who have been sick over the last few days are recovering nicely or have recovered completely.”
Seagram said the private school has a separate medical facility and students who are ill with the flu will be asked to go into isolation for seven days. Classes will continue as usual, but for now community activities on campus, as well as off-campus sports and field trips, will be curtailed, he said.
Also, B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control confirmed cases of swine flu involving two people from the province who recently returned from Mexico.
The centre’s Dr. Danuta Skowronski said these are two separate and mild cases, both involving young men from the Lower Mainland.
U.S. confirms 20 cases of swine flu
In the United States, health officials declared a public health emergency on Sunday as they confirmed 20 cases of swine flu in the country and said they expected to see more as scientists probe the outbreak. The declaration was a “standard operating procedure” that allows the federal and state governments to provide for easier access to flu tests and medications, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.
In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed Sunday that eight students attending St. Frances Preparatory School in Queens have swine flu. Tests returning positive results were carried out by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga.
More than 100 students at the private high school have been suffering from fever, sore throat and muscle ache since Thursday. The mayor stressed that their symptoms of influenza were “mild.”
Some of the students had recently travelled to Mexico, the New York Times and New York Post reported.
There have been 12 confirmed cases elsewhere in the United States this month: seven in California, two in Kansas, two in Texas and one in Ohio.
All of these infections have been relatively mild, with only one person staying in hospital for a brief time, said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the World Health Organization’s director-general for health security and environment.
Swine flu originated in Mexico
In Mexico, 86 people were suspected to have died from the new strain of swine flu virus since April 13. Twenty-two of those victims are now confirmed to have died from the virus and more than 1,300 others have become ill with suspected cases of the infection.
President Felipe Calderon on Saturday invoked special powers that authorize his government to run tests on sick people and order them isolated, a day after all public events in Mexico City were ordered suspended until further notice.
The World Bank said Sunday it will give Mexico an immediate loan of $25 million US and $180 million in long-term assistance to address the outbreak, along with advice on how other nations have dealt with similar crises.
In Mexico City, church services were cancelled on Sunday. Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral was broadcast over the radio.
The latest measures come one day after experts advising the WHO on the outbreak met at its headquarters in Geneva. The UN health agency declared the epidemic “a public health emergency of international concern.”
The panel will convene on Tuesday to advise the WHO whether to raise the global pandemic alert level. The current alert level is three on a scale of one (low risk of human cases) to six (efficient, sustained transmission between humans).
Swine flu is suspected in New Zealand, France and Spain
New Zealand Health Minister Tony Ryall confirmed on Sunday a group of Auckland college students who returned from a three-week visit to Mexico on Saturday “likely” have swine flu.
“Ten of the 13 students who had flu-like symptoms have proven positive for influenza A and the swine flu is a subset of influenza A,” he said. “So we’re going to send the swabs to Melbourne for further analysis. We should have that information in a matter of days, but our officials here think it’s highly likely they have.”
French Health Ministry officials said four possible cases of swine flu are under investigation, including a family of three in the Nord region and a woman in the Paris region. The four recently returned from Mexico.
Spain’s Health Ministry said three people who just returned from Mexico were under observation in hospitals in the northern Basque region, in southeastern Albacete and the Mediterranean port city of Valencia.
‘The makings of a pandemic’
Dr. Donald Low, the chief microbiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto who played a key role in battling the SARS crisis in 2003, said earlier that it was probably just a matter of time before cases appeared in Canada.
“Considering that we see about 600,000 people travel from Mexico to Canada each year and that we’ve just come through the March break period, it wouldn’t be surprising at all for us to recognize cases in Canada, and we’re preparing for that, as we have been preparing for a pandemic in the last five years,” he told CBC News.
“What you’re seeing here is the makings of a pandemic,” Low said. “You’re seeing a new virus that we have no natural immunity to. You’re seeing a virus that can cause disease, and in causing disease, can transmit from person to person.
“All it needs to complete that equation is the recognition that it’s spreading over a wide geographical area. And I think that’s what we’re hearing this weekend, that it’s actually happening,” he said.
Rex Murphy of CBC on Canada’s possible coalition government
Justin Trudeau, right, and his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, acknowledge supporters in the Montreal riding of Papineau. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)
‘I need to do the right thing,’ the former PM’s son says, rebuffing any Liberal leadership plans
The son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau will follow in his father’s footsteps to Parliament Hill, but has indicated he’s not anticipating any return to his birthplace at 24 Sussex Drive in the near future.
Justin Trudeau, appearing on CBC Newsworld on Wednesday morning after being elected member of Parliament for the Montreal riding of Papineau, was pressed to answer questions about possibly being a candidate if there is a Liberal leadership convention. In the post-election interview, he hastened to squelch the idea, and make clear his plans for the future.
“I just got hired to do a job,” the 36-year-old said.
‘I’ve never been in the caucus discussions and backroom dealings that may be in my near and immediate future. I’ll figure it out as I go along.’—Justin Trudeau
“I need to do the right thing, and the right thing is to represent the people of Papineau, to listen to them, and to make sure their voices are heard in the House of Commons.
“And that’s the focus for my existence in politics.”
Trudeau defeated Bloc Québécois incumbent Vivian Barbot in Tuesday’s federal vote. He won with 41.5 per cent of the popular vote, while Barbot took 38.63 per cent.
Barbot, a Quebecer of Haitian descent, won the seat in 2006 by 990 votes.
The Liberal party and Bloc Québécois focused much of their campaigning attention on the riding and the Trudeau-Barbot battle.
Trudeau, a bona fide political star and choice recruit for the Grits, despite his inexperience, was asked Wednesday about when a Liberal leadership race might be held, given the Liberals’ poor showing behind the minority-elected Conservatives and the questions surrounding Stéphane Dion’s leadership.
Trudeau pointed out that he is a first-time MP, a neophyte.
“I’ve never been in the caucus discussions and backroom dealings that may be in my near and immediate future. I’ll figure it out as I go along.”
Liberals hoped Trudeau would help in revival in Quebec
Trudeau left a teaching career to run for the Liberals, who had hoped he would help revive their deflated fortunes in Quebec in the wake of the sponsorship scandal.
The Papineau riding was once a Liberal stronghold, where former foreign affairs minister Pierre Pettigrew was elected three times.
Leading up to Tuesday’s election, Trudeau campaigned in the working-class, ethnically mixed central Montreal riding for more than a year.
His team honed in on the riding’s rich array of immigrant minorities, which make up more than a third of the area’s population and include substantial communities from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and North Africa.
Trudeau was aided in his canvassing by his mother, Margaret, who recently moved to Montreal from Ottawa.
His father’s political legacy is still viewed suspiciously in Quebec, and Trudeau faced virulent attacks from sovereigntist groups that accused him of denying the Québécois nationhood.
Before Tuesday’s election, Trudeau said he believes his father would be proud of him.
“I think that he’d be pleased that I did this my way … not anyone else’s,” he said.
His bilingual campaign video was spoofed by comedy groups on the internet, and a fringe separatist group launched a “No Trudeau in Papineau” campaign.
Barbot, a 67-year-old former teacher and past president of the Quebec Women’s Federation, had called Trudeau a formidable opponent, but questioned his commitment to Quebecers and Quebec.
Four members of Canada’s gold medal-winning men’s eight rowing team show off their hardware after arriving at Vancouver International Airport Monday. Left to right, Dominic Seiterle, coxswain Brian Price, Adam Kreek and Malcolm Howard. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
79 per cent satisfied with athletes; 72 per cent liked how CBC covered Games
When rower Krista Guloien led a contingent of 100 Canadian Olympians returning from Beijing down the escalator at Vancouver International Airport Monday she found a country more than satisfied with how the Summer Games turned out.
A new Canadian Press/Harris Decima poll shows Canadians happy with everything from the athletes’ efforts at the Games, the organization of events by the host country, China, and the Olympic coverage shown on CBC television.
Canada won 18 medals in Beijing (three gold, nine silver and six bronze), the country’s second-best performance ever at a non-boycotted Games. (The Atlanta Games in 1996 produced 22 medals.) And that left everyone in a good mood.
“In the run-up to these Games, it wasn’t clear whether broad attention was going to be captured, and obviously it wasn’t clear whether people were going to come away pleased with the outcomes,” said Bruce Anderson, president of Harris Decima.
“As it turned out, the general sentiment is that the Games were a success, Canada’s athletes performed admirably and the coverage provided by the CBC was well regarded, too.”
Among the highlights of the survey of more than 1,000 people across the country:
- Canadians were satisfied with the performance of the national team in Beijing. Fully 79 per cent of those surveyed were either very satisfied (26 per cent) or satisfied (53 per cent). Only nine per cent were dissatisfied.
- China’s efforts at organizing and running the Olympics met with a solid majority of support as 66 per cent of those surveyed said they were either very impressed (31 per cent) or somewhat impressed (37 per cent). A total of 21 per cent were either not too impressed or not impressed at all.
- Television coverage by CBC Sports, English and French, also received high marks. Seventy-two per cent of Canadians who answered the survey thought the coverage was either excellent (35 per cent) or good (37 per cent). Just one in 10 believed the coverage to be fair (eight per cent) or poor (two per cent).
Across the country, 77 per cent said they watched some portion of the Games on television, with the average person taking in 13.76 hours (the survey was taken between last Thursday and the closing of the Games on Sunday).
Those who watched the Games had the highest number of positive reactions toward the athletes, organizers and the CBC.
A sample of this size has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent 19 times out of 20.
Michael Phelps’s bid to tie the record of seven gold medals at a single Olympics on Day 8 will likely face the greatest opposition, if any, from two swimmers born in America, one of whom is representing Serbia.
Phelps can tie the record established by Mark Spitz at the 1972 Munich Games with a win in the 100-metre butterfly at the Beijing Aquatic Center. The final is set for 10:10 p.m. ET on Friday.
Phelps made it six gold medals — and six world records — blowing away Ryan Lochte and the rest of competition in the 200-metre individual medley on Day 7.
Not that Phelps needed the help, but Lochte had just won gold in the 200 backstroke in world-record time about a half hour earlier.
Most observers are eyeing countryman and current world 100m butterfly record holder Ian Crocker as the man who can derail the quest for history, but not Gary Hall Jr.
Hall, who has won 10 Olympic medals and five gold in his career but didn’t qualify this year, is picking Milorad Cavic of Serbia.
Cavic set an Olympic record in the preliminary heat with a time of 50.76 seconds. He also had the top time in the semis, at 50.92.
The Serb’s result helps heighten interest for the final even more after Phelps and Crocker had collectively held the top 17 swims ever in the event heading into Beijing.
“An upset would be the upset of all upsets, it’s true, but I think Mike [Milorad] can beat Michael,” Hall said Friday in a column for the Los Angeles Times.
Cavic, 23, was born in Anaheim and attended the University of California at Berkeley.
The six-foot-five Cavic, who has battled back problems in the past, said in a posting on his website Friday: “So here I am, in the eve of battle, feeling physically better than ever with a chance to show the world and myself what I’ve worked so hard for. I’m feeling good … and I’m excited, so here we go.”
Baltimore native Phelps may not be feeling “better than ever” but he appears in as good shape as a man can be after 15 elite races in seven days.
Crocker looking to turn tide
Within an hour of winning medal No. 6, Phelps came back to win his semifinal butterfly heat in a time of 50.97 seconds.
“I have to conserve as much physical and emotional energy as I can now that I’m down to the last two races,” Phelps told reporters afterward.
The potential record-breaking race for Phelps is Sunday when he is due to take part in the men’s 4×100 medley for the United States.
Crocker beat Phelps at the 2003 and 2005 world championships, setting a world record in the latter meet in Montreal in the process (50.40).
Recent history, however, hasn’t suggested Crocker will pull off the Olympic upset, despite this being his only event in Beijing.
The two were involved in a similar scenario at the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb. In the last of his eight events at the trials, Phelps was the one fresher at the end, overtaking a brief Crocker lead to win in a time of 50.89.
The turning point in the rivalry between them seems to have been the 2007 championships in Melbourne. Phelps edged Crocker by 0.05 seconds to win the butterfly, and heading into Beijing had posted the three fastest times of 2008.
Crocker said he is not getting caught up in history or past results.
“You can start by not worrying about what everybody else thinks,” Crocker said. “Nobody knows what I’ve really gone through in the last eight years and what has gotten me to this point, besides myself and a few people that I know well. So it’s my own personal deal at this point.”
Crocker was second to Phelps in the semifinal heat despite being the more rested, but it may well have been a tactical move. The Portland, Me., native shared the third-best qualifying time, with Australia’s Andrew Lauterstein.
Spitz has been complimentary of Phelps although he has also said he would have taken eight gold in Munich had the 50m freestyle been in existence. Of the many swimmers Spitz defeated at the 1972 Games, one was Gary Hall Sr.
With two days of swimming left, the powerful U.S. team has piled up 25 medals, including 10 golds.
Brian Johns leans on teammate Brent Hayden, left, as Colin Russell looks on in disbelief following Canada’s failed bid to win a medal in the men’s 4×200-metre freestyle Tuesday. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)
Canada lost out on perhaps its best chance for an Olympic swimming medal on Wednesday as the men’s 4×200-metre freestyle relay team finished fifth, capping a mostly disappointing day for the country’s swimmers.
The squad of Colin Russell of Oshawa, Ont., Brian Johns of Richmond, B.C., Brent Hayden of Mission, B.C., and Andrew Hurd of Oakville, Ont., posted a national-record time of seven minutes 5.77 seconds, but it wasn’t enough to make the podium at Beijing’s National Aquatics Centre.
Earlier, Hayden failed to advance past semifinal of the 100 freestyle, though Mike Brown of Perth, Ont., made the final in the 200 breaststroke.
Michael Phelps and the United States team cruised to the gold medal in the 200 free relay in a world-record 6:58.56. Russia claimed the silver in 7:03.70, and Australia took the bronze in 7:04.98.
The Americans’ victory gave Phelps his second gold medal of the day and fifth — all in world-record time — of the Beijing Olympics.
Phelps, who won six golds among his eight medals at the 2004 Athens Games, upped his record for most career Olympic titles to 11. He won an unprecedented 10th gold earlier Wednesday by taking the 200 butterfly.
Canada’s Russell, Johns, Hayden and Hurd had hoped to give their country its first medal in Beijing, a feat that seemed possible after the team posted the third-best time in qualifying despite swimming without Russell and Hayden.
Despite the disappointing finish, Johns rejected the notion that Canada’s swimmers aren’t competitive on the world stage.
“Absolutely false,” Johns told CBC Sports. “In Athens we were bystanders watching a great swim meet. This time it’s an even better swim meet and we have people in the finals.
“Everybody’s racing, everybody’s competing, we’re having a great meet, and we’re showing that we belong on this stage.”
Then Canada should have had a medal by now !!!
Brown shines in breaststroke semis
Canada’s failure to grab a medal in the relay capped a tough day for Hayden, who missed out on the final of the 100 free after finishing 11th in the semifinals.
Hayden, the co-world champion in the event, clocked 48.20 seconds to finish sixth in his heat at the Water Cube.
Eamon Sullivan of Australia qualified first for Thursday’s final with a world-record time of 47.05 in Hayden’s heat. Alain Bernard of France had to settle for second despite establishing a short-lived world record of 47.20 in the first heat.
Brown later finished second overall in the 200 breaststroke semis, touching the wall in 2:08.34 to win his heat and lower by half a second the Canadian record he set in the preliminary round.
World-record holder Kosuke Kitajima of Japan beat Brown for the top semifinal time, winning the other heat in an Olympic record 2:08.61.
“His best time is 1.3 [actually 1.33] seconds faster than mine now,” Brown told CBC Sports. “He’s capable of going faster, but I’m a great morning swimmer. I just broke my Canadian record again, so I’m looking forward to it tomorrow morning.”
Canada’s Brent Hayden will swim in the finals of the men’s 4×200-metre freestyle relay, and semifinals of the men’s 100-metre freestyle on Wednesday in China. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)
All eyes will be on Canadian swimmer Brent Hayden and the men’s 4×200-metre freestyle relay team as they attempt to win gold medals Wednesday at the Beijing Games.
Also going for gold on Day 5 of the Summer Olympics will be Julia Wilkinson in the 200-metre individual medley.
The Canadian relay team advanced to the final after posting the fifth-fastest qualifying time on Tuesday.
Brian Johns of Richmond, B.C., Victoria’s Rick Say, Trenton, Ont., native Adam Sioui and Andrew Hurd of Oakville, Ont., finished third in the first heat of their relay heat with a Canadian-record time of 7:08.04.
That sets up a busy Wednesday for Hayden, from Mission, B.C., who will swim in the semis of the men’s 100-metre freestyle before rejoining the team for the final of the 4×200 free relay roughly one hour later.
Hayden, the co-world champion in the men’s 100 free, won his qualifying heat in 47.84 seconds.
Hayden was happy with his performance, but knows he’ll have to post better times if he hopes to win a medal in his specialty event.
“I’m pleased with the time,” he told CBC Sports following his heat. “There was some parts of it that didn’t go so well. Coming out of the turn, I got a whole load of water as I was trying to breathe, but I got my head in there and my hand on the wall.”
Wilkinson competes in 200 IM final
Wilkinson, from Stratford, Ont., finished 0.19 seconds behind Nathalie Coughlin of the U.S. in the semifinals of the 200 individual medley on Tuesday.
Wilkinson posted a time of 2:12.03, a new Canadian record.
Two other Canadian swimmers will also be looking to take another step towards reaching the medal podium.
Competing in semifinals Wednesday will be Mike Brown of Perth, Ont., in the men’s 200 breaststroke, and Montreal’s Audrey Lacroix, in the women’s 200 butterfly.
Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine, in headdress, watches as Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially apologizes for more than a century of abuse and cultural loss involving residential schools. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)
Stephen Harper stood in the House of Commons on Wednesday to say sorry to former students of native residential schools — in the first formal apology from a Canadian prime minister over the federally financed program.
“Mr. Speaker, I stand before you today to offer an apology to former students of Indian residential schools,” Harper said in Ottawa, surrounded by a small group of aboriginal leaders and former students, some of whom wept as he spoke.
“The treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history.
“Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country,” he said to applause.
“The government now recognizes that the consequences of the Indian residential schools policy were profoundly negative and that this policy has had a lasting and damaging impact on aboriginal culture, heritage and language,” Harper said.
“While some former students have spoken positively about their experiences at residential schools, these stories are far overshadowed by tragic accounts of the emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect of helpless children, and their separation from powerless families and communities.”
Apology broadcast during nationwide events
Above the floor in the Commons gallery, hundreds of former students, church representatives and others watched Harper’s statement, which began at 3 p.m. ET. About 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities throughout most of the last century and forced to attend residential schools.
‘Today’s apology is about a past that should have been completely different.’—Stéphane Dion, Liberal leader
Harper’s speech was followed by a statement from Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion.
“Today’s apology is about a past that should have been completely different,” he said. “But it must be also about the future. It must be about collective reconciliation and fundamental changes.
Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion addresses the House during the government’s apology to former students of native residential schools. (CBC)
“It must be about moving forward together, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, into a future based on respect. It is about trying to find in each of us some of the immense courage that we see in the eyes of those who have survived.”
NDP Leader Jack Layton denounced the residential schools program as “racist,” and called Wednesday’s event an important moment for Canada.
“It is the moment where we as a Parliament and as a country assume the responsibility for one of the most shameful eras of our history,” Layton said in an emotional address.
“It is the moment to finally say we are sorry and it is the moment where we start to begin a shared future on equal footing through mutual respect and truth.”
Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe offered his own apology, adding that the most meaningful expressions of regret are followed by concrete action.
“This is something that must be done concretely by the government …The federal government has not invested enough for young aboriginal people.”
Televisions set up in a room outside the House and on the lawn of Parliament Hill broadcast the statement to overflow crowds, while more than 30 events were staged across the country so the apology could be viewed live.
While aboriginal leaders were not expected to have an opportunity to respond on the record in the House of Commons chamber, House leaders agreed at the last minute to allow it.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine, himself a former residential school student, was one of several aboriginal leaders who took the floor, saying the occasion “testifies nothing less than the accomplishment of the impossible.”
“For the generation that will follow us, we bear witness today…Never again will this House consider us the Indian problem just for being who we are,” he said.
“We heard the government of Canada take full responsibility for this dreadful chapter in our shared history. We heard the prime minister declare that this will never happen again. Finally, we heard Canada say it is sorry,” Fontaine added.
Connie Brooks, who attended the Shubenacadie Residential School in the early 1960s, during a “Letting Go” ceremony in Shubenacadie, N.S., on Wednesday. (Mike Dembeck/Canadian Press)
Wednesday marked the first time a Canadian prime minister has formally apologized for the physical and sexual abuse that occurred in the now-defunct network of federally financed, church-run residential schools.
Former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien offered a statement of reconciliation on behalf of the government in 1998, although it was largely rejected by members of the aboriginal community as lip service. In advance of Harper’s apology, many have said they want to see a sincere, heartfelt apology from the prime minister.
Working business was cancelled in Parliament on Wednesday in order to mark the apology. The day began with a sunrise ceremony on an island in the Ottawa River behind Parliament Hill, where about 100 people gathered to say prayers for former residential school students who didn’t live to see the historic event.
In partnership with Health Canada, the Assembly of First Nations arranged for counsellors to be available at Parliament Hill and other gatherings planned across Canada to provide support for those overwrought with emotion.
Survivors can call crisis line
The Assembly of First Nations said survivors watching the apology who need support can call a 24-hour toll-free crisis line at 1-866-925-4419. Other support information is also available on the AFN website.
Overseen by the Department of Indian Affairs, residential schools aimed to force aboriginal children to learn English, and adopt Christianity and Canadian customs as part of a government policy called “aggressive assimilation.”
There were about 130 such schools in Canada, with some in every territory and province except Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, from as early as the 19th century to 1996.
In September, the government formalized a $1.9-billion compensation plan for victims. The government has also established a truth and reconciliation commission to examine the legacy of the residential schools.
The commission was scheduled to begin its work this month.
With files from the Canadian Press
Prime Minister Stephen Harper toured the former death camp at Auschwitz on Saturday, a historic site in Poland that has come to symbolize the Nazi genocide against Jews during the Second World War.
Harper walked through the grounds accompanied by Piotr M.A. Cywinski, director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, and laid a wreath at the foot of a wall where thousands of prisoners were gunned down.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives at the Wall of Death for a moment of reflection at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
(Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)
The prime minister then toured the rest of the camp in southern Poland where an estimated 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, were killed.
Harper saw the barbed wire fences that kept prisoners penned in, gallows where they were hanged, gas chambers where they were slain in staggering numbers and ovens where their bodies were burned.
The prime minister said nothing publicly during his visit. His message in a book of remembrance read, “We are witnesses here to the vestiges of unspeakable cruelty, horror and death.”
Harper is the second Canadian prime minister to visit Auschwitz. Jean Chrétien paid a visit in 1999.
Earlier on Saturday, Harper met briefly with former Polish president Lech Walesa, the founder of Poland’s Solidarity movement.
Walesa, who organized strikes and protests in the 1970s and 1980s against Poland’s then Communist government, has an office in the old town section of the port city of Gdansk.
After meeting with Walesa, Harper travelled to Wawel Castle, near Krakow, to view wall tapestries and other artifacts that Canada helped preserve during the Second World War.
He arrived in Poland on Friday, flying in from a NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, where he secured a commitment from allies for increased troops for the war in Afghanistan.
Montreal’s Gay Village will be closed to cars this summer and declared a pedestrian mall.
The Ste-Catherine Street blocks between Berri and Papineau streets will be blocked to traffic from June to September with access granted to emergency and delivery vehicles.
It may exacerbate traffic in the area, which is heavily travelled during rush hour because of the Jacques Cartier bridge’s proximity — but drivers will have to adjust, said Ville Marie borough mayor Benoît Labonté.
“If some people crossing the bridge every day get fed up, if they get fed up with the traffic, they can use public transit,” he said Tuesday at the announcement at Cabaret Chez Mado.
The mall will attract tourists to the area and improve quality of life for residents and business owners, he said.
The majority of members of the Village Merchants’ Association support the initiative, said president Denis Brossard.
“Everybody’s walking on the street with a big smile, and all the merchants are clapping because there is so [many] more people walking and sitting at their restaurant, or their club, or whatever,” he told CBC.
Some business owners are concerned about parking but people will have to adjust, said local resident and pharmacy owner Sylvie Duchesne.
“I think it’s always hard at the beginning, you know, the first year, the second year, the third year,” she said. “But when it’s something installed and running after a couple years, I think it’s worth it.”
People will be able to park at the Bibliothèque Nationale at Berri and Ontario streets.
The city of Montreal will also install additional bike racks in the area.
Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who ruled the Caribbean island nation for nearly half a century, announced Tuesday that he is stepping down as president.
Cubans on their way to work pass by a huge poster depicting President Fidel Castro on Tuesday morning.
(Adalberto Roque/AFP/Getty Images)
In a written statement, published on the official Communist party’s website Granma, Castro said he would not accept a new term as president when the newly elected parliament meets on Sunday.
His resignation effectively ends the longest rule in the world for a head of government and paves the way for his brother Raul to permanently take over.
“I will not aspire nor accept, I repeat, I will not aspire nor accept — the post of president of the council of state and commander in chief,” read the letter signed by the 81-year-old president.
Although there has been much speculation about his position as leader since he fell ill in July 2006, there had been no advance warning of Castro’s plan to permanently give up power.
The new National Assembly is meeting Sunday for the first time since January elections to pick the governing council of state, including the presidency Castro holds. Raul Castro, who is first vice-president of Cuba’s Council of State, is the constitutionally designated successor.
Castro had temporarily relinquished power to his 76-year-old brother Raul on July 31, 2006, when he announced that he had undergone intestinal surgery. Raul had long been his brother’s designated successor.
“My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath. That’s what I can offer,” Castro wrote. “It would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer. This I say devoid of all drama.”
Castro has not been seen in public lately, appearing only sporadically in official photographs and videotapes.
Raul’s rule could bring economic, social change
Raul has hinted over the past 18 months that he wants to loosen the government’s control on economic and social issues, CBC’s Connie Watson reported. Raul has also acknowledged that government wages that average about $19 a month do not satisfy basic needs.
“They say the revolution will continue, but they have to ease up on some of the things that are making people frustrated,” Watson said.
Despite stepping down as president, Castro remains a member of parliament. He will also retain the post as first secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party.
U.S. President George W. Bush expressed hope Tuesday that the end of Fidel Castro’s presidency will launch a transition to democracy.
“What does this mean for the people in Cuba?” Bush asked rhetorically at a news conference in Rwanda during his trip to Africa. “They’re the ones who suffered under Fidel Castro. They’re the ones who were put in prison because of their beliefs. They’re the ones who have been denied their right to live in a free society.
“So I view this as a period of transition and it should be the beginning of the democratic transition in Cuba.”
10 U.S. Administrations tried to topple him
Cuban rebel leader Fidel Castro poses with two unidentified women who joined the rebel forces as nurses in this Feb. 6, 1958, file photo.
In 1959, Castro led a band of guerillas and toppled the Batista government. Although the United States was the first to recognize Castro, relations soon began to deteriorate as the new leader reshaped the country into a Communist state.
Castro’s government nationalized many American-owned businesses, and within a year Cuba and the Soviet Union began developing close ties. The U.S. would later impose a trade embargo on the island in an attempt to put pressure on Castro’s regime.
He was the target of CIA assassination plots, and 10 U.S. administrations tried to topple him, most notably the failed CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961.
The country became the focal point of a possible war between the U.S and the Soviet Union after it was discovered that nuclear missile bases were being established on the island. The weapons were eventually pulled out.
On Jan. 26, 1976, then prime minister Pierre Trudeau became the first Canadian leader to pay an official visit to Cuba. Trudeau and Castro developed a close personal relationship and remained friends for years. Castro was among the world leaders at Trudeau’s funeral in Montreal in 2000. But critics have condemned him as a totalitarian dictator, who ran a repressive regime that quashed individual rights and carried out political executions.
With files from the Associated Press
Castro’s move talk of the town in Miami
MIAMI – Cuban exiles in Little Havana welcomed Tuesday’s news thathad officially resigned power, but most in the heart of the weren’t optimistic the move would bring major changes or democracy to the communist nation.
As news of the resignation spread, motorists honked vigorously at police patrol cars and television reporters. Shouts of “Free Cuba!” echoed in the streets, and small groups gathered to chat in local eateries. But there was no widespread celebration, just caution.
“I hope this is the beginning of the end of the system, but we have to wait,” said 35-year-old chemist Omar Fernandez, who leftfor the U.S. six years ago.
Repeated rumors of Castro’s death over the years helped prepare residents and officials for a day that all knew would eventually come. The community’s reactions so far were calm, peaceful and not as boisterous as when thousands took to the streets after Castro temporarily handed power to his brother Raul in July 2006.
Most exiles view Castro as a ruthless dictator who forced them, their parents or grandparents from their home after he seized power in a revolution in 1959. Police said they were “keeping a sharp eye” on Little Havana, but residents weren’t gathering in large numbers to celebrate. Nothing indicated a need for increased patrols offor that a mass migration was imminent, said Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Chris O’Neil.
Ulises Colina, a 65-year-old electrical technician, said he was not certain if the resignation would bring any change. “I think it was a foregone conclusion that his political career would be over soon,” Colina said.
Colina theorized that any change in Cuba would have to come from within the military.
“Changes? Well, he’s the leader of the gang but he has a bunch of auxiliary gang members who don’t want to see change,” Colina said.
At a popular Cuban restaurant farther from Little Havana, the sentiments were similar.
“Even though this is great news for Cubans and for me personally, but I don’t think anything is going to change,” said Jose Miranda, 46. “Last time I was here was when the news said that he was really sick and we thought that he was dead. And look what has happened. Nothing.”
About 1.5 million Cubans and Cuban-Americans live in the U.S., two-thirds of them in Florida, and the majority in, according to the U.S. .
Since they began arriving, the Miami area has become a mostly Hispanic, bustling city that is a hub for international trade and finance, but also deals with poverty. What was once a city marked by Southern drawls in English transformed into a place where Spanish is spoken everywhere.
The first wave of Cubans who fled the island immediately after Castro took power, often sending their children ahead of them on so-called “” flights, generally support the most hardline U.S. policies toward the island. With waning family ties to the island, they are among the most vocal backers of the U.S. embargo.
The views of the successive waves of Cuban immigrants are more complicated. Those who came over since 1980 are more likely to have grown up under the Castro government and still have family on the island. They chafe under the Bush administration’s 2004 restrictions, which limit the money that can be sent home as well restrict island visits to once every three years for immediate relatives only.
experts in the U.S. didn’t expect any immediate changes, or for Castro to completely disappear from view.
“For Cuban-Americans it doesn’t mean a whole big deal. It’s the continuation with a different face,” said Andy Gomez of the‘s Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies.
Joe Garcia, former executive director of theand now a Democratic candidate for Congress, cautioned that it was unlikely there would be any immediate political openings in Cuba.
“Today Castro announces the end of the revolution. That doesn’t mean it’s all over, but that means it allows people to finally begin to move beyond,” he said.
Associated Press writers Matt Sedensky and Laura Wides-Munoz contributed to this report.
I’ve spent the day pondering writing more on this topic, and I think I will. As you know I am not much of a political writer, but I do pay attention to world news and Ms. Bhutto’s desire to return to Pakistan. She was interviewed by Peter Mansbridge on CBC some time ago, and I have to say I was moved by her desire to return to her homeland and turn the tide, so to speak, so that Pakistan would not slide into becoming an Islamic state over run by fundamental and radical elements that threaten the entire stability and security of the world.
We all know that Pervez Musharraf is in trouble. His credibility has fallen and it was thought by many around the world that an arrangement would be reached for new rule to take place and that – that new rule would stem the tide of radical fundamentalism.
In October Ms. Bhutto spoke about the fact “that no Muslim man would wage an attack on a Muslim woman, because that was forbidden, and that if a Muslim man did so, he would burn in hell.”
We can imagine that he who shot her – was most likely the same man who blew himself up killing hundreds of people along with her. I am sure he was not greeted with 72 virgins and a first class ticket to Muslim paradise. Ms. Bhutto knew going in that her return was going to be fraught with danger, and she also knew that it was entirely possible that she may be killed. Her father was hanged, her two brothers were murdered, and now the last in a long line of “leader lineage” has been silenced forever.
I was very saddened by the news this morning. Ms. Bhutto is being flown to her families estate where she will be buried on Friday. We send our thoughts and prayers to her family and supporters. We pray for the soul of Ms. Bhutto, Eternal Rest Grant her and may Perpetual Light shine upon her.
We call for a period of mourning and we call for the people of Pakistan to rise up and turn your rage and anger to those who deserve it. Do not let her memory die in your rage. Do not let her killing stop the tide from turning to better government. We cannot allow fundamental extremists to attain any type of rule in Pakistan. Because that would endanger the entire world community on a grand scale. Turn your anger and rage into votes for the right party upon the day of elections. Do not let Ms. Bhutto’s efforts die with her. Stand up and vote your consciences…
Here are some thoughts from The Angry Black Bitch on the days events.
The former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, has been assassinated.
When I heard that she had been wounded while at a political rally this morning I thought of her family.
People lost a loved one today.
When I heard that she was critical and in surgery I thought of Pakistan, the country that she knowingly put her life on the line to defend against the forces of military oppression.
The Pakistani people lost an advocate today.
Then the news came that Benazir Bhutto is dead.
What happens next will determine what the world lost today.
Freedom requires opposition…dissent and the passionate defense of the right to voice dissent…not religion, or constant agreement or any of the love it or leave it bullshit those who fear the masses toss out as if an argument where a terroristic threat.
Silence the opposition and you smother freedom.
Smother freedom and the will of the people will struggle to catch fire.
I think that’s why Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan despite all the risks….because of the risks…to nurture the fire.
Benazir Bhutto was 54 years old.
Sharif’s party to boycott elections…
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – Pakistani opposition leaderannounced Thursday his party was boycotting next month’s elections following the assassination of . He demanded that resign immediately.
“The holding of fair and free elections is not possible in the presence of. After the killing of Benazir Bhutto, I announce that the Pakistan Muslim League-N will boycott the elections,” Sharif told a news conference, referring to his party.
Sharif urged other parties to join the boycott of the Jan. 8 parliamentary elections. A collective response, including by Bhutto’s own party could seriously undermine the legitimacy of the vote as Musharraf attempts to engineer a transition to democracy after eight years of military rule.
“I demand that Musharraf should quit immediately,” he said. “Musharraf is the cause of all the problems. The federation ofcannot remain in tact in the presence of President Musharraf.”
Sharif, 57, was a longtime rival of Bhutto as the two vied for power in the late 1980s and 1990s. He was ousted in the 1999 coup that brought Musharraf to power.
Sharif said after three days of mourning, he would chalk out a strategy to challenge Musharraf’s rule but he rebutted suggestions that he could gain political capital from her demise.
“I think nobody stands to gain and nobody should be looking for any gains,” he told the. “It’s a very serious situation for the country today.”
As word of Bhutto’s death spread throughout a shaken and distraught Pakistan, Sharif rushed to the Rawalpindi hospital where she died and sat silently next to her body.
“Benazir Bhutto was also my sister, and I will be with you to take the revenge for her death,” he said afterward, his eyes at times welling up with tears. “Don’t feel alone. I am with you. We will take the revenge on the rulers.”
Bhutto, like Sharif a two-time former prime minister, was hopeful of winning a third term. Election authorities have disqualified Sharif from contesting a seat because of court convictions.
Bhutto’s death will leave Sharif as the most prominent leader of a secular political party in Pakistan.
Bhutto’s supporters erupted in anger and grief, attacking police and rioting in several cities. At the hospital where she died, some smashed glass and wailed, chanting slogans against Musharraf.
The gathering unrest stoked fears of mass protests and violence across the nuclear-armed nation, an important U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.
For Sharif, the path forward was far from clear.
“I think we all have to seriously think about how to move ahead because such incidents are something absolutely unusual or unheard of,” he told CNN. “We have never been confronted with this kind of a situation in our public life in Pakistan.”
Pakistan, however, has seen its share of political violence, and Islamic militants have repeatedly targeted top figures in Musharraf’s government. Last weekend, a suicide bomber targeted former Interior Ministerinside a mosque, killing 56 other people.
Sharif, a law graduate and the son of a leading industrialist who is considered religiously conservative, rose to prominence under Gen. Zia ul-Haq’s military regime in the 1980s, becoming the chief minister of the eastern province of Punjab.
He went on to lead the Pakistan Muslim League and became Bhutto’s chief rival in the struggle for power during a turbulent decade of civilian rule.
Sharif was ousted in 1999 by then-army chief Musharraf. Sharif went into exile, living for most of the time in, before returning last month to challenge Musharraf once more.
RCMP officers involved in the fatal Taser takedown of a Polish immigrant at Vancouver International Airport should be prosecuted for their “excessively brutal and unjustified” actions, a spokesman for the Polish Foreign Ministry said.
“No attempts were made to use other means to solve the situation, but from the very start the toughest means available to the police was used,” Robert Szaniawski told the Associated Press.
“We want the matter clarified and we want those guilty named and prosecuted.”
An eyewitness’s video capturing Robert Dziekanski’s death during an Oct. 14 confrontation with four RCMP officers was released Wednesday and has garnered international attention from millions of viewers.
The officers’ actions have prompted widespread condemnation, including criticism from other law enforcement officials, who have questioned the need for a Taser under the circumstances shown in the video.
The 41-year-old Dziekanski, who spoke no English, died shortly after the officers stunned him at least twice as he behaved strangely in a secure airport waiting lounge. He had spent hours at the airport waiting in vain to meet his mother, who had left thinking he had missed his flight.
Currently there are four probes underway into Dziekanski’s death. The B.C. coroner, the RCMP, the public complaints commissioner for the RCMP and the Vancouver Airport Authority are all conducting their own investigations.
Szaniawski’s comments came a day after Piotr Ogrodzinski, Poland’s ambassador to Canada, said his country has invited his Canadian counterpart in Warsaw to meet Polish officials on Monday to discuss the case.
Ogrodzinski told CBC News the Polish embassy has been flooded with e-mails and phone calls from Canadians expressing sympathy and outrage over what happened to Dziekanski.
This “Killing” was a terrible tragedy.
The airport customs people who decided NOT to go look for Robert in the waiting area are to blame for the first people in this case. There was a gross miscommunication between airport employees and the mother waiting on her son who was coming to Canada to start a new life.
If he was wandering around in the waiting area and nobody noticed it – where was airport security and did anyone see him on cctv in the airport security room? Then the RCMP come after hours as Robert was probably hungry, angry, and lost, and as the interview stated he was probably a little delusional not having food or water for so long.
The RCMP is not going to explain their way out of this, this “Killing” was a GROSS issue of police brutality and the blatant misuse of power on a defenseless man. I have seen the video and listened to the news reports, and it is my perception that they “Shot first” and I don’t think they even ventured to ask questions second.
Firstly, the airport customs employees and secondly the RCMP involved with this “Killing” must be held accountable for their GROSS and BLATANT actions in this case. Tasers should be taken OUT of the hands of law enforcement, since we have seen more than one killing at the hands of PUNCHY cops who shoot first and ask questions later.
This was a terrible tragedy that only paints the RCMP into another corner where they cannot escape and should be held accountable and punished, there is blood on the hands of the RCMP.
There is no way out of this situation except prosecution to the fullest extent of the law, even if these men were law enforcement. They abused their position and they killed a man. Therefore, they should pay the price for gross abuse of power.
An eyewitness’s video recording of a man dying after being stunned with a Taser by police on Oct. 14 at Vancouver International Airport has been released to the public.
The 10-minute video recording clearly shows four RCMP officers talking to Robert Dziekanski while he is standing with his back to a counter and with his arms lowered by his sides, but his hands are not visible.
About 25 seconds after police enter the secure area where he is, there is a loud crack that sounds like a Taser shot, followed by Dziekanski screaming and convulsing as he stumbles and falls to the floor.
Another loud crack can be heard as an officer appears to fire one more Taser shot into Dziekanski.
As the officers kneel on top of Dziekanski and handcuff him, he continues to scream and convulse on the floor.
One officer is heard to say, “Hit him again. Hit him again,” and there is another loud cracking sound.
Police have said only two Taser shots were fired, but a witness said she heard up to four Taser shots.
ecomes still and silent.
Shortly after, the officers appear to be checking his condition and one officer is heard to say, “code red.”
The video ends shortly after.
Minutes later, ambulance attendants arrived but their efforts to revive Dziekanski were unsuccessful and he was declared dead.
RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dale Carr said no one can judge what happened to Dziekanski by just watching the video.
“It’s just one piece of evidence, one person’s view. There are many people that we have spoken to,” RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dale Carr said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
“What I urge is that those watching the video, take note of that. Put what they’ve seen aside for the time being. And wait to hear the totality of the evidence at the time of the inquest,” Carr said.
But retired superintendent Ron Foyle, a 33-year veteran of the Vancouver police who saw the video tape, said he didn’t know “why it ever became a police incident.”
“It didn’t seem that he made any threatening gestures towards them,” Foyle said.
Much of the video was shot through the glass walls that separate the international arrivals lounge from a secure area outside the Canada Customs exit.
The video was recorded in three segments. The first segment shows Dziekanski before police arrive.
He is clearly agitated, yelling in Polish, and appears to be sweating. He can be seen taking office chairs and putting them in front of the security doors. He then picks up a small table, which he holds, while a woman in the arrivals lounge calmly speaks to him in apparent effort to calm him down.
In the second segment, Dziekanski picks up a computer and throws it to the ground. Three airport personnel arrive and block the exit from the secure area, but Dziekanski retreats inside and does not threaten them.
Officers arrive in lounge
Then four RCMP officers arrive in the lounge. Someone can be heard mentioning the word Tasers.
Someone replies, “Yes,” as the officers approach the security doors.
Police have said repeatedly that there were only three RCMP officers involved in the incident, but the video shows four men in RCMP uniforms.
People in the lounge can be heard clearly telling the police Dziekanski speaks no English, only Russian. His mother later said he only spoke Polish.
Police enter the secure area with no problems and can be seen with Dziekanski standing calmly talking with officers. They appear to direct him to stand against a wall, which he does.
As he is standing there, one of the officers shoots him with a Taser.
RCMP officers have also said police did not use pepper spray because of the large number of people at the airport at the time. But the video shows Dziekanski standing alone with the four officers in an otherwise empty area, which is separated from the public area by a thick glass wall.
Pritchard hired lawyer
Paul Pritchard shot the video with his digital camera, but afterward he surrendered it to police for their investigation on a promise that they would return it within 48 hours.
The next day, police told Pritchard they would not be returning the recording as promised.
Carr previously stated investigators kept the video longer than they anticipated in order to protect the integrity of the police investigation while they interviewed witnesses.
Saying he feared a coverup by police, Pritchard then engaged a lawyer to start legal proceedings to reclaim the recording. Police returned the recording to him on Wednesday.
Dziekanski, 40, died on Oct. 14, hours after he arrived at Vancouver International Airport. He was on his way to Kamloops to live with his mother in the B.C. Interior.
The Polish immigrant arrived from Europe the previous day around 4 p.m., but for some unknown reason he did not clear customs until after midnight.
Dziekanski’s mother had already returned home to Kamloops after waiting for several hours at the airport. She claims airport officials offered her no help locating her son.
The RCMP’s integrated homicide investigation team, the B.C. coroner’s service, the Vancouver International Airport Authority and the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP are each conducting their own investigations into the incident.
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama looks on during a function to commemorate the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against China’s occupation of Tibet, at the Tsuglakhang Temple in Dharamsala, India, Wednesday, March 10, 2004. The Chinese occupation began in 1951. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)
Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, has been much in the news of late. This month his worldwide tour brings him here to Canada, where he is to meet the prime minister, a week after the United States bestowed on him the Congressional Gold Medal. There’s even a new movie out called 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama.
A year ago, Parliament named the Tibetan spiritual leader an honorary Canadian citizen, a rare acknowledgement with international repercussions.
Each time another honour is conferred on the cherubic 72-year-old spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people, China, which regards him as a dangerous separatist, gets hopping mad, threatening all manner of rancorous retribution against those who praise him.
The Dalai Lama is on a world tour and this weekend visits Ottawa to speak to thousands of the faithful at Lansdowne Park. He will also have an audience with Prime Minister Stephen Harper before he heads to Toronto to speak to thousands more at the Rogers Centre.
When news leaked that Harper would meet the revered Tibetan Buddhist, Lu Shumin, China’s ambassador to Canada, warned that this would hurt relations between Canada and China. No details of where the meeting will be have been released, but when the Dalai Lama met with former prime minister Paul Martin in 2004, it was at the private residence of Ottawa’s Roman Catholic archbishop.
Many interpret the Dalai Lama’s recent high-profile trips as a way to pressure China into taking a more conciliatory attitude toward Tibet, cognizant of the fact that China is especially sensitive to world opinion as it prepares for the Beijing Olympics next summer.
This interpretation will gain more credence on Sunday, when the “surprise” master of ceremonies at the gathering in Ottawa is expected to be none other than Canadian Olympic swimming champion Mark Tewksbury.
The 14th Dalai Lama was born Lhamo Dhondrub on July 6, 1935, to a peasant family in Taktser, a small village in northeast Tibet. He has lived in exile since 1959 in the Indian town of Dharamsala, the base of Tibet’s government-in-exile. Some 120,000 Tibetans have chosen to live in Dharamsala to be with their leader.
In 1937, when Lhamo Dhondrub was two years old, the Tibetan government appointed a mission to find a successor to the 13th Dalai Lama, who died in 1933. The mission found the boy in Taktser and determined he was the reincarnation of previous dalai lamas.
Tibet and China
He was installed as Dalai Lama on Feb. 22, 1940, taking the full name Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso. Regents ruled Tibet while the boy began his education and training as a monk. In 1950, at 15, he was named head of state and government soon after 80,000 soldiers from China’s People’s Liberation Army entered Tibet.
In 1951, the Chinese army occupied Lhasa and forced Tibet to sign a treaty with Beijing recognizing China’s rule. Under the treaty, Tibet became a “national autonomous region” ruled by a Chinese commission, with the Dalai Lama as a figurehead ruler.
China began to suppress traditional Buddhist monasticism and much of the culture of Tibet. The young Dalai Lama was thrown into the midst of this crisis, and in 1954, he went to Beijing to meet Chinese leaders Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping.
In March 1959, the People’s Liberation Army invited the Dalai Lama to visit an army camp outside the capital, Lhasa. Rumours spread through the city that the Chinese planned to kidnap and imprison the Dalai Lama.
Escape to India
On March 10, 1959, there was a huge demonstration in the Tibetan capital demanding the Chinese leave Tibet. The Chinese army attacked. On March 17, the Chinese began firing mortars at the Dalai Lama’s palace. The Dalai Lama disguised himself as an ordinary Tibetan soldier, slipped out of the palace and, with a band of loyalists, began a 500-kilometre trek through the Himalayas to India.
Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru allowed the Dalai Lama to settle in Dharamsala and establish a Tibetan government-in-exile. The Dalai Lama appeared before the United Nations in 1959, 1961 and 1965, calling on the Chinese to allow self-determination for Tibet. In 1963, the exiled leader proposed a democratic constitution for Tibet, combining Buddhist principles with Western concepts of human rights.
In 1966, China proclaimed Tibet as one the People’s Republic’s “internal autonomous regions.” In the late 1960s, Tibet was one of the main victims of the Red Guards, who attacked monks and nuns, wrecked monasteries and destroyed priceless religious relics. The government of Mao Zedong banned the practice of Tibetan Buddhism, a ban that lasted until 1976.
The Dalai Lama’s attempts to influence China met with little success. Tibet is still considered an autonomous region within the People’s Republic, but in the past 20 years many Chinese colonists have moved to Tibet, and now there are seven million Chinese and six million Tibetans.
The Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for advocating “peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people.”
The Dalai Lama said he will express reservations about Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan if the topic comes up during his historic meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday.
But he added that his meeting has no “particular political agenda.”
“My main interest or main commitment is promotion of human values, promotion of religious harmony,” the Dalai Lama told reporters in Ottawa, hours before his scheduled meeting with Harper.
Asked about Canada’s role in Afghanistan, the Dalai Lama said he believes “non-violence is the best way [to] solve problems.”
“Using violence, counter-violence, sometimes it creates more [complications], he said.
The Dalai Lama said he didn’t attach any significance to meeting the prime minister on Parliament Hill, a move likely to cause friction with China.
For the first time, Tibet’s exiled Buddhist leader will greet the Canadian prime minister in that venue, lending the meeting a politically charged air compared to previous sessions with Canadian politicians.
The Dalai Lama said he’s no expert on diplomatic formalities.
“I don’t care. The important [thing] is meeting [the] person, that I consider is the most important. So whether meeting prime minister in [his] office or private house doesn’t matter so long as meeting with person face to face.”
The Dalai Lama gestures during a speech to an arena filled with well-wishers in Ottawa Sunday.
(Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)
When former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin met the Dalai Lama three years ago, for example, the encounter took place on what was described as politically neutral territory — the home of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Ottawa.
Tenzin Gyatso, a 72-year-old Buddhist monk who is the 14th Dalai Lama, arrived in Canada Sunday and addressed a crowd of 8,000 at the Ottawa Civic Centre.
His message at the sold-out venue was one of compassion.
“We all want happiness, happy life, successful life.”
But he also took time to express “reservations” about some American policies, including the war in Iraq. The Dalai Lama met with U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington last week.
Bush met with him privately in the White House. The monk also received Congress’s highest civilian honour, the Congressional Gold Medal.
The U.S. president and Harper join a growing group of Western leaders who have chosen to greet the Dalai Lama in official venues despite criticism from China.
China says the Dalai Lama is a separatist political leader and considers it interference in China’s domestic affairs whenever a world leader is seen to be offering support.
But Jason Kenney, the federal secretary of state for multiculturalism, said he is more concerned about what Canadians think than the Chinese.
‘Important world figure’
The Dalai Lama offers a white scarf, called a kata, as he is greeted at the Ottawa International Airport on Sunday. The kata offering is a traditional Tibetan greeting symbolizing purity of intention.
(Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
“As public opinion polls have indicated, the vast majority of Canadians believe the prime minister should meet with the Dalai Lama. He is an important world figure, a spiritual leader,” said Kenney.
Some experts warn, however, that the government should tread carefully during this visit because China is an emerging economic powerhouse and an increasingly important trading partner for Canada.
“Canada-China relations is somehow cool, if not the lowest point since the 1970s,” said Wenran Jiang, acting director of the University of Alberta’s China Institute.
He said if the goal is to help Tibetans, Canada should have a more balanced approach when dealing with China — using moral statements rather than “political theatre” meant to grab votes.
China invaded Tibet shortly after the 1949 Chinese Revolution. The Dalai Lama has lived in exiled since staging a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to travel to Toronto on Tuesday, where he will hold a public talk Wednesday night on “The Art of Happiness” at Rogers Centre.
The Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of Tibet’s Buddhists, arrived in Ottawa on Sunday to begin a visit to Canada that will include a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Tenzin Gyatso, a 72-year-old Buddhist monk who is the 14th Dalai Lama, was scheduled to address a large gathering at the Ottawa Civic Centre in the afternoon.
The Dalai Lama offers a white scarf, called a kata, as he is greeted by Senator Con Di Nino, co-chairman of the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, upon his arrival at the Ottawa International Airport on Sunday.
(Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Some observers have speculated that his meeting on Monday with Harper on Parliament Hill could hurt relations between Canada and China. Chinese authorities have said they see any public meeting between the Dalai Lama and political leaders as interfering in China’s affairs.
The country invaded Tibet shortly after the 1949 Chinese Revolution. It considers the Dalai Lama an agitator with secessionist ambitions for Tibet. The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since staging a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.
During the Dalai Lama’s last visit to Canada, in 2006, Chinese officials protested when Parliament decided to grant him honorary Canadian citizenship.
“Since the late 1980s, the Dalai Lama has clearly expressed his view that all Tibetans want is cultural and religious autonomy under Chinese sovereignty,” said Jacob Kovalio, a professor of Asian history at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Foreign leaders have shown they are increasingly willing to risk discord with Beijing to underscore concerns for human rights in Tibet, he told CBC Newsworld on Sunday.
“Canada is saying to China, like many other nations — for example, India — that human rights [and] religious freedom are important, and that there is such a field for which China has to adjust itself to the international community instead of imposing the kind of approaches which simply don’t fit the times,” Kovalio said.
Paul Martin was the first Canadian prime minister to meet with the Dalai Lama in 2004 in what was described as a politically neutral setting, the home of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Ottawa.
The spiritual leader’s latest visit to Canada caps a multi-country tour that has taken him to the United States, Europe and Australia.
Last week, U.S. President George W. Bush met with him privately in the White House and before Congress, when the monk received Congress’s highest civilian honour, the Congressional Gold Medal.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to travel to Toronto on Tuesday, where he will hold a public talk Wednesday night on “The Art of Happiness” at Rogers Centre.
CBC cameras follow actress Mia Farrow on an emotionally harrowing journey through the desolate refugee camps along the Chad/ Darfur border.
The United Nations has called Darfur “the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.” The United States has called it “genocide”. The death toll estimates for this western region of Sudan range from 200,000 to 500,000, with two and a half million people forced from their homes and the sex crimes too rampant to count.
The desolute landscape outside the refugee camps in Chad.
Photo Credit: Joe Passaretti
“Never Again” vowed the world after the genocides in Rwanda and Srebrenica brought the “bloodiest of centuries” to a close. But three years into the 21st century a national government was once again aiding and abetting the brutal destruction of an ethnic group within its borders And now in the year 2007, as refugees in the camps of neighbouring Chad attest, the Sudanese government still carries out its grizzly task. The United Nations, an institution charged with making the world a safer place, looks on, virtually helpless to stop the slaughter of black Africans at the hands of Arab horseman known as Janjaweed –devils on horseback.
DARFUR: On Our Watch examines why it took the UN so long to respond to the obvious early warning signs of an horrific ethnic cleansing. It will document in chilling detail how politics, oil, guns and money trumped human rights as powerful interests on the Security Council blocked the world from acting; how the United States, weakened by wars in Somalia and Iraq could not influence the world forum to act.
But a clamorous coalition of ordinary citizens, international activists and major celebrities now offer the one real hope for Darfur. Through the relentless campaigning of a growing band of citizens in schools, universities and corporate corridors, through tens of thousands on the march, and the tireless efforts of Hollywood stars like Mia Farrow and George Clooney, the world and the Chinese government are being shamed into action.
Finding shelter in one of the many refugee camps.
Photo Credit: Debbie Bodkin
Mukesh Kapila, a British doctor and the United Nation’s Humanitarian Co-ordinator for the Sudan, is the Roméo Dallaire for Darfur. He sounded the alarm. People, who had trekked all the way from Darfur, started arriving in his office in Khartoum in early 2003 describing the atrocities that were occurring. Dr. Kapila reported back to his bosses at UN Headquarters in New York.
On December 18, 2003 he wrote to his boss Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Kieran Prendergast, Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, informing them that “the security situation in Greater Darfur continues to worsen… An estimated 670,000 people have been newly displaced, 70,000 fled to Chad, and one million others are directly affected by the war. Our Office receives daily reports of human right violations throughout the region.”
By March 22 2004 he was reporting “ethnic cleansing” to Iqbal Riza, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s chief aide, in the hopes that action would be taken. Sir Kieran Prendergast explains that the United Nations was late in responding to the crisis in Darfur because peace negotiations to end the 21-year civil war between north and south Sudan were looking promising and the political wing of the United Nations was hesitant about raising the profile of Darfur, for fear of upsetting the peace process.
While the UN was waiting for the comprehensive peace agreement to be signed, Mia Farrow, Eric Reeves and Debbie Bodkin were documenting the atrocities unfolding. In the world’s latest abomination, resolve has come from individuals filling the void left by institutions.
Mia Farrow has visited Darfur seven times since 2004.
Photo Credit: Joe Passaretti
Movie star, activist, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and grandmother Mia Farrow has traveled to the Darfur region seven times. “My first trip into Darfur was in 2004. Simply put, it changed the way I needed to live my life.” CBC and PBS Frontline travelled with Mia Farrow to the camps in eastern Chad in June 2007 to talk to Darfur refugees and internally displaced people (see her journal of the trip on her website).
In Chad, Mia Farrow meets Fatih Younnis a former chief or Omda for the district of Mukjar in western Darfur (ground zero in the Darfur crisis), who fled into Chad in the summer of 2003 with 4,500 other refugees. And she reunites with Khadeiga Abdullah whom she had met on previous visits. Abdulla survived the attacks, but was raped and one of her children was killed on her back as she fled her village. Today she lives in a refugee camp with seven children, in desperate poverty. Abdulla Idris Zaid is 27. He tried to collect his harvest before fleeing his village and his eyes were gouged out. Today he sits in a lawless land waiting (see photo at top).
Mia Farrow struggles to comfort the afflicted and alert the world to their pain. With Eric Reeves, her celebrity voice has helped shame the Chinese Government to action on the Darfur crisis. They started a campaign called the “Genocide Olympics” to raise awareness about China’s role in the crisis in Darfur.
Activist Eric Reeves has been raising awareness about the atrocities in Sudan for eight years on his website and he doesn’t withhold his exasperation at the international community: “It’s almost impossible for me to describe the scale of the international failure and how dismaying it is and how obvious it is we’ve learned nothing. I’m given to saying that in the wake of Rwanda it’s as though the gods of history looked down on us and said your failure was so appalling… we’ll give you another chance and we’ll give you a lot of time and we’ll call it Darfur. And we failed just as badly as we failed in Rwanda.” If anyone has turned the whisper of “never again” into a relentless tapping at the world’s conscience it is Eric Reeves. Eric Reeves is also a professor at Smith College in Massachusetts and author of A Long Day’s Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide.
UN soldiers arrive at a refugee camp.
Photo Credit: Debbie Bodkin
Sergeant Debbie Bodkin is a 20-year-veteran of the Waterloo regional police in Ontario. She has served in the homicide, the sexual assault and the drug squads. She thought she’d seen everything until the summer of 2004 when she used her vacation time to travel to Chad as a member of the Atrocities Documentation Team for a US State Dept inquiry. She and colleagues interviewed 1,136 victims. Then in November 2004 she joined another investigation team. This one authorized by the UN. She suffered from post-traumatic stress due to her experiences, but she continues to move people to action through her lectures.
In 1994, General Dallaire commanded the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR)—he explains that states are reluctant to risk casualties if there is no self-interest. Samantha Power, author of “A Problem from Hell: American and the Age of Genocide” adds that there are few repercussions if states don’t get involved, but many if there are casualties and that is why all US administrations throughout the century have shied away from action. Alex de Waal, puts Sudanese history in context. He is the author of Darfur: A Short History of a Long War with co-author Julie Flint. Sudan’s U.N. Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem presents the government of Sudan’s perspective on Darfur.
The children in Chad can only hope for a better future.
Photo Credit: Joe Passaretti
But there is hope. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, says the Security Council referral of the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court, was a result of public pressure. And he argues that the worst perpetrators of the violence in Darfur will eventually be brought to justice, it is just a matter of time. And on July 31 2007 there is unanimous agreement to send 26,000 troops to Darfur by the end of the year with a mandate to protect civilians. Peacekeeping troops for Chad have also been agreed upon. Whether troops will arrive fast enough only time will only tell, but Mukesh Kapila, Samantha Power, Eric Reeves, Roméo Dallaire, Luis Moreno-Ocampo and Mia Farrow all agree that without the strong activist voice applying pressure on the governments of the world, Darfur would be in a much worse situation today.
This riveting one-hour documentary was filmed in high-definition and is a co-production with CBC TV and PBS Frontline. It is written, produced and directed by Neil Docherty, one of Canada’s foremost documentary filmmakers, narrated by writer and actor Ann-Marie Macdonald, with an original musical score by Andy McNeill.
The Columbia Icefield is the hydrologic apex of North America. Its meltwaters feed rivers throughout the continent which eventually spill into the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
The world famous Athabasca glacier is grinding down the Rocky mountains as it retreats.
A ‘moulin’ running down from the surface of the glacier carries water to a river running underneath. About 275 meters down.
You can join the tour of the earth via the CBC Website Geologic Journey
I saw this episode twice tonight on CBC television. And I have to tell you how breathtaking the Rockies are, from Canada down through the United States. The program was just amazing. The beauty of our country is unparalleled. Such incredible beauty, the entire nation of Canada included, the Rockies are incredibly beautiful and majestic.