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It’s All About Justin …

Justin-Trudeau-and-his-wife-Sophie-Gregoire

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.


Montreal mayor livid over metro smoke bomb attacks

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.

CBCNEWS.CA

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.

(more…)


In the Middle of it all …

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.

*** *** *** ***

This from the CBC news website

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.

Tweet.

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?

Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.Tweet.

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.

Tweet. Tweet.

It wasn’t long before the couple – or at least their image – began to appear in all sorts of unlikely places.

Tweet. Tweet.

Yet as the fun got underway, many still doubted the legitimacy of the image.

Tweet.

At 3:25 p.m. ET, Esquire, which earlier had declared the photo:

Tweet.

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.

Tweet.

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 yournews@cbc.ca


Swine flu likely to worsen in Canada, says top health official

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.


Montreal Update

the-net

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:

Health officials confirm 6 cases of swine flu in Canada via CBC.ca

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.

Health officials also advised Canadians to get flu shots as well as visit www.fightflu.ca and www.voyage.gc.ca for more information.

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.


We Love Rex Murphy

Rex Murphy of CBC on Canada’s possible coalition government


Trudeau pledges loyalty to constituents after Papineau win

Justin Trudeau, right, and his wife, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, acknowledge supporters in the Montreal riding of Papineau. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

CBC.CA News

‘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.


Olympic poll says Canadians happy with athletes, China and TV

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)

CBC Sports @ CBC.CA

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.


Seventh heaven for Phelps?

CBC Sports @ CBC.CA

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.


Canadian relay swimmers fall short

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)

CBC Sports @ CBC.CA

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.”


Canadian relay team has shot at swimming medal

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)

CBC Sports @ CBC.CA

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.


PM cites ‘sad chapter’ in apology for residential schools

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.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 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


PM cites 'sad chapter' in apology for residential schools

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.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 \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


Harper visits Auschwitz

CBC.ca Story Here

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.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 Gay Village main strip car-free this summer

Pride Flag

CBC News.ca 

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.