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Teen killed by fallen tree at camp in B.C., another person in hospital

Teen killed by fallen tree at camp in B.C., another person in hospitalSOOKE, B.C. — One teenager has died and another is in critical but stable condition after a tree fell on at least one of them at a camp near the Vancouver Island community of Sooke, B.C.Officials with the Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department say they were called to Camp Barnard after a report that a boy was trapped under a tree.One person was seen being transported by ambulance while rescuers attempted CPR on another person on a nearby river bank.Crews battling a nearby brush fire say winds hit 80 km/h around Sooke.An ambulance helicopter was sent to the area near a hatchery and the BC Coroners Service has been contacted.Camp Barnard offers wilderness camping and a variety of programs for children and young adults. (CTV) The Canadian Press


Raptors coach Nick Nurse says meeting in the works with Prime Minister Trudeau

Raptors coach Nick Nurse says meeting in the works with Prime Minister TrudeauToronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse says a meeting is in the works with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Nurse says he hasn't heard from the U.S. White House about a congratulatory meeting, but the team has been in contact with Ottawa. "I have heard nothing about the White House.


Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate plan

Tax credits, penalizing big polluters, key to Conservative climate planOTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says his climate plan will be "Canada's best chance" to hit its targets under the Paris climate-change agreement and that it can happen without a carbon tax.Scheer outlined his climate policy in the backyard of a private home in rural Chelsea, Que., Wednesday evening, not far from where flooding linked to climate change hit for the second time in three years this spring. Flies and mosquitoes swarmed and a handful of protesters gathered on the gravel road in front of the property."Conservatives fundamentally believe that you cannot tax your way to a cleaner environment," Scheer said. "Instead, the answer lies in technology."The environment, and climate change in particular, are garnering the most attention ever heading into a federal campaign as Canadians in all parts of the country are dealing with more frequent forest fires, droughts, floods and storms.The plan does not specify how much any of its 55 elements would cut emissions and suggests Canada's path to meeting the targets would include using Canadian products to reduce emissions in other countries."Greenhouse-gas emissions do not recognize borders," Scheer said. "Nor are the impacts of climate change proportional to any one country’s emissions. Whether emissions are reduced in Canada or in China, the scientific impact on global climate change is the exact same."His platform, dubbed A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment, looks at introducing a capital cost allowance for industries that show they are reducing emissions in other countries. He specifically mentions using Canadian liquefied natural gas to replace coal as a source of electricity and exporting more Canadian aluminum, which he says is made with fewer emissions than aluminum in other countries.Canada's commitment under the Paris climate-change agreement is to cut emissions to 70 per cent of what they were in 2005 before 2030. Canada needs to get to 513 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year to hit that target. In 2017, the most recent year for which statistics have been compiled, Canada's emissions were 716 million tonnes.There is an allowance in the Paris accord for "co-operative mechanisms," which allow for reductions in one country to be counted towards the targets of another country as long as both countries agree. The rules for that allowance have not yet been set and the intention was for it to be used for countries to strengthen their targets beyond the original Paris commitments.The targets in the Paris accord are not legally binding, however, so there is no monetary penalty if Canada misses them. In a question-and-answer session after the speech, Scheer refused to be drawn on how much his plan could be expected to reduce Canada's emissions.Canada's existing climate plan under the Liberal government leaves the country about 80 million tonnes shy of its Paris targets in 2030. The national price on carbon, set at $20 a tonne this year, rising to $50 a tonne by 2022, will reduce emissions between 50 million and 60 million tonnes a year, an Environment Canada analysis says.Scheer's plan is to make scrapping that carbon tax one of his first actions as prime minister.He also intends to replace the Liberals' system for applying the carbon tax to major industrial emitters with one that requires them to invest in clean technology for their own companies.Scheer promises to give companies a tax break on income earned from developing and patenting green technology in Canada. Homeowners will get a tax credit worth as much as $2,850 for making energy-efficiency upgrades to their homes, such as installing solar panels or putting in better-insulated windows.He also intends to create a green-technology fund with $250 million in federal money to draw private investments in green technology that could repay the federal contributions when the technology is sold.Liberal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna took to a microphone on Parliament Hill to scorn the Tory plan shortly after Scheer finished talking."I guess we now know why Andrew Scheer waited until the dying hours of this Parliament to shovel out his ideas to tackle climate change," she said. "It's because he has a fake plan. No numbers, no serious measures and no commitment to move the needle on climate action. He says we can save the planet but we don't have to make any changes. Pollution can be free, we can burn coal, develop oil forever, build as many pipelines as oil lobbyists want. Just invent some technologies and sell them to other countries — that'll do it. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that. The Paris agreement requires every country to do their part … You can't export your way out of this problem."The New Democrats' Peter Julian called the Tory plan "a collection of boutique tax credits and a rebranding exercise ... But I would say to the Conservatives, 'Nice pictures, though.' Because that's the only benefit I see from the plan they presented today."Environment groups likewise panned the Scheer plan, saying it is similar to requests from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which released a climate plan a few weeks ago."This is a plan only an oil lobbyist could love," said Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist at Greenpeace Canada.Catherine Abreu, executive director of the Climate Action Network Canada, said the Scheer strategy is a research-and-development plan, not a climate-action policy."This might be a plan to cut other things but it is not a plan to cut emissions," said Abreu. "Is Canada somehow going to save the world by increasing our own emissions?"—With files from Joan Bryden and Teresa WrightMia Rabson, The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version gave an incorrect name for Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada.


Saskatchewan to continue using 'birth alerts' despite calls by inquiry to stop

Saskatchewan to continue using 'birth alerts' despite calls by inquiry to stopREGINA — The Saskatchewan government says it will continue to track or seize at-risk babies despite a call to stop from the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.The inquiry's final report recommends governments and child-welfare agencies immediately abandon what are known as birth or hospital alerts.Saskatchewan's Social Services Ministry said the alerts are registered if there is a concern about a mother and the potential safety of her baby.It said social workers or health professionals can make the reports. The alerts allow government officials to be informed when a baby is born so a report can be investigated, which can result in a newborn being seized.The ministry said 153 newborns were apprehended in Saskatchewan for their own safety as a result of 588 alerts issued from 2015 to 2018."We only do that in extreme circumstances," Social Services Minister Paul Merriman said."At the end of the day, if a child is temporarily taken into care — no matter what age they are — our end goal is always reunification with the family to make sure that they have the opportunity to be a family as a whole."The ministry said more than 60 per cent of babies taken into care were placed with their extended family while staff worked with the parents.The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations questions that figure and said the government is unwilling to change its policies when it comes to delivering child welfare."When mother and baby are separated, obviously the mother is very distraught. She’s overwhelmed. She’s heartbroken," said Morley Watson, first vice-chief of the federation, which represents Saskatchewan's 74 First Nations."Rather than help the mother and child as a unit they're saying, 'Well you know we're working on prevention but we'll take the baby away,' ... 'Mom, we hope you get better and do well.'" In Manitoba, figures for birth alerts are much higher. A government spokeswoman said that in 2017-18, Manitoba child-welfare agencies issued 558 birth alerts for high-risk mothers, but did not have figures on how many of those resulted in apprehensions.Cora Morgan, a family advocate for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, has said, on average, a newborn is apprehended every dayIn January, social media videos surfaced showing a newborn baby girl being taken from the arms of her Indigenous mother by Manitoba social workers and police. The move prompted outrage and renewed calls for changes to child welfare in the province.A judge granted guardianship of the baby to the mother's aunt in March.Reunification can often be difficult because apprehensions in Manitoba trigger a court process that requires a woman or her family to pay court costs, Morgan added.Morgan said the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs lobbied the MMIW inquiry to look at child welfare."Our elders have said that the most violent act you can commit to a women is to steal or take her children away," said Morgan. "It's torturous for the mother."An Indigenous woman living in Saskatoon credits her family for helping keep her daughter in her care when social services staff paid her a visit in hospital hours after giving birth.The Canadian Press is not identifying the woman in order to protect the identity of her child.The woman said 10 years ago she was a 25-year-old single mother and had given birth to her second child when officials informed her they were investigating and looking to apprehend her baby.“It was devastating," she said.“I started crying, I didn’t know what was going on."The woman said concerns were raised about her daughter’s exposure to drugs and alcohol because of drug use by her ex-partner, whom she was separated from.She also believes her own past addiction issues played a factor.Over three days, the woman said her family provided them with documents to show she was in recovery and able to care for her child.Years later, she said she still experiences anxiety whenever her daughter leaves.“It was supposed to be a day of remembering how beautiful a birth was. It turned into the most traumatizing, heart-aching story.” Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press


Protests, legal challenges planned to block Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Protests, legal challenges planned to block Trans Mountain pipeline expansionVANCOUVER — Opponents of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion are preparing for a long summer of legal challenges and protests aimed at blocking construction of the project.Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation said it will file a legal challenge in the Federal Court of Appeal and he is certain it will be successful after Ottawa approved the project on Tuesday."I'm not even worried," he said. "I've never felt more confident in what we have to bring victory to us. We will win again."The First Nation in North Vancouver, B.C., was among the Indigenous groups, environmental organizations and cities that won a legal challenge in the Federal Court of Appeal last August. The court struck down the project's approval, citing the National Energy Board's inadequate Indigenous consultation and failure to consider marine impacts.After a second energy board review, the federal cabinet approved the project again.Khelsilem, an elected Squamish Nation councillor, said his band will also file a legal challenge. It will argue the consultation was "shallow" because it was rushed to meet an arbitrary deadline, he said."Constantly, we were being told, 'We have to get your response by this date, and we have to get this report in by this date, because cabinet's making a decision in June,' " he said."The actual substance that we were able to get into was completely undermined by the government's own self-imposed deadline."Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said Tuesday the city will join any legal challenges that are filed. British Columbia Premier John Horgan said he'd first have to look at the applications, but if it was in B.C.'s best interest to join, it would.Chief Leah George-Wilson of the Tsleil-Waututh said the nation will also argue in court that the consultation was not meaningful. The government has not addressed any of the nation's concerns about the way diluted bitumen responds in water or how much noise southern resident killer whales can tolerate, she said."It fell short because they had a limited mandate and a compressed timeline, and they weren't really able to address any of our issues," she said.The government tasked former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci with overseeing the latest round of consultations. It said Tuesday it had made several accommodations to address Indigenous concerns, including a long-term investment strategy to help First Nations monitor southern residents.It also said it had amended six conditions imposed upon the project, including to increase Indigenous participation in marine response plans and monitoring activities during construction.George-Wilson said the Tsleil-Waututh has always participated in spill response and the accommodations don't address its concerns about the shortcomings of the federal government's response capacity.Eugene Kung, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law, said there are a number of legal arguments opponents could advance, including that the Trudeau government's $4.5-billion purchase of the project put it in a conflict of interest."It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that when they bought the pipeline, it made it a lot harder to make an unbiased, open-minded decision," he said.It appeared the minds of federal cabinet members were already made up before the latest round of consultations, reducing the process to a note-taking exercise rather than a meaningful conversation, Kung said.Kung added that the government is not only the decision-maker and proponent, it's also in charge of enforcing laws such as the Species At Risk Act, prosecuting a spill if one occurs, and acting in trust for First Nations whose territories are crossed by the pipeline.Eric Adams, a law professor at the University of Alberta, said the conflict of interest argument is a "novel and creative" way to attack the federal government's actions, but he doubts it will hold water in court."I suspect a court will be concerned with the logical extension of that chain of reasoning, which is that any time the government is an owner or part owner of infrastructure, by definition it's incapable of consulting in good faith," he said.Opponents are also planning protests, including a 20-kilometre march on Saturday from Victoria to the Saanich peninsula. Marchers will lead a tiny house along the route in solidarity with First Nations who have built small homes on the pipeline path in B.C.'s Interior.Will George, a Tsleil-Waututh man who rappelled from Vancouver's Ironworkers Memorial Bridge to protest the project last year, promised more "direct action" at a rally that drew hundreds on Tuesday night."When I choose to go hang off another bridge, I need you guys here," he told the crowd. "There are three more bridges, right? So we got options."— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.Laura Kane, The Canadian Press


Thursday 20th of June 2019 02:57:31

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