Mumbai: Deepika Padukone is set to star in upcoming sports drama, “83” with her husband, actor Ranveer Singh. Deepika will essay the role of Romi Dev, wife to cricketing legend Kapil Dev, to be played by Ranveer. Ranveer made the announcement on Wednesday on Instagram. “*drum roll* All smiles as All-star @deepikapadukone joins the #83squad! @83thefilm @kabirkhankk,” he wrote alongside a photo with Deepika and film’s director Kabir Khan. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die’ In another post, Ranveer dished put details about his frequent co-star’s role. “Who better to play My Wifey than My Wifey?! @deepikapadukone plays Romi Dev in @83thefilm! Genius casting courtesy @kabirkhankk,” he said. This will be the duo’s fourth collaboration after last year’s release “Padmaavat”. Later, Deepika took to Twitter to confirm her casting. “& on to the next… Thank You @kabirkhankk for this incredible honour! #RomiDev #Day1 @83thefilm @RanveerOfficial,” she wrote. Also Read – ‘Always looking for that one great love’ Kabir said he is excited to have Deepika on board as he was looking for an opportunity to work with her for a long time. “I’m totally thrilled to work with someone I have admired for so long… Welcome to ’83’ @deepikapadukone! You had to be Romi! #83OneMoreTime,” the director wrote on Instagram. “83” will chronicle India’s win under Kapil’s captainship, when the Men in Blue defeated West Indies in the final to clinch their first-ever World Cup trophy in 1983. The much-awaited film will release on April 10, 2020. “83” is produced by Madhu Mantena, Vishnu Induri and Kabir, and presented by Reliance Entertainment. The shooting is underway in Glasgow.
Kolkata: A Kolkata-based magician, who attempted an underwater escape trick like legendary magician Harry Houdini, is feared to have drowned in the Ganga as his body could not be found till Monday afternoon, police said. Chanchal Lahiri, who goes by the stage name of ‘Jadukar Mandrake’, was on Sunday reportedly lowered into the river from Kolkata’s Millennium Park area with his hands and legs tied as part of the stunt but could not come out of the water. “The disaster management teams conducted search operations on Sunday night and Monday morning but his body could not be found. “It is possible that the body has been swept away. We are also conducting searches on the nearby riverbanks on both sides of Ganga but nothing has been found so far,” an officer from River Traffic Control Department told IANS. Lahiri had gone to the mid point of the river just underneath the bridge; his hands and feet were tied up. From there he was picked up by a crane and thrown into the river near pillar number 28 of the bridge. The magic was that Lahiri would come up from water, by untying himself on his own. However, the spectators waiting there, started to panic after Lahiri did not come out of water even after more than 10 minutes. The River Traffic Control personnel shortly launched a search and rescue operation but Lahiri have not been found since.
Kolkata: In a sensational turn of events, four departmental heads of the Rabindra Bharati University have stepped down alleging racist slurs targeted against them by state’s ruling Trinamool Congress students wing members. The Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad leaders, however, termed the allegations as baseless, and counter-charged that these were only a ruse on the part of the professors to fend off accusations that they did not take classes regularly. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France The four departmental heads submitted their resignations to Vice Chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury on Monday. They also blamed some leaders of non-teaching staff union of insulting them repeatedly. “it is impossible to work like this. We can’t continue,” said one of the departmental heads, almost breaking down. Alarmed over the developments, state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said such happenings, if true, would besmirch the reputation of the reputed institution. Chatterjee, who discussed the issue with Ray Chaudhury, said his department was looking into the matter. There were also allegations of old cases of caste and racial slurs not being probed properly.
Gurugram: The Gurugram police has arrested a 50-year-old woman for allegedly possessing 3.6 kilograms of marijuana.According to the police, the woman allegedly procured the banned substance from Bihar and peddled it in smaller quantities. The woman had procured the consignment for Rs 52,000 and sold it at Rs 100 per 10 grams. The police said the suspect was identified as Mira, a native of Chautham village in Bihar. She was living in a rented accommodation in Sirhaul for the past 20 years. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderShamsher Singh, the assistant commissioner of police (crime), said that she does not have a past criminal record, but some of her relatives have been arrested under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act in the past. “During questioning, it was revealed that she used to buy the drugs from a Delhi-based man, who also belongs to her village. We are now looking for him,” he said. During questioning, the woman told the police that the kingpin of the trade sourced the marijuana from Andhra Pradesh and Odisha and sold it at Rs 50 per 10 grams. Police said they received a tip-off about a consignment of drugs that were to be delivered in their jurisdiction. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsA team of the Palam Vihar crime investigation unit set up a trap to apprehend the woman from a tea kiosk, out of which she allegedly used to operate. The seized drugs will be sent to the forensic lab at Madhuban in Karnal, the police said. A case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act was registered at the Sector 18 police station on Friday night. The woman was produced at the district court on Saturday and sent to 14-day judicial custody. Being the richest district of the state the drug mafia along with illegal liquor trade is now posing a major law and order challenge to law enforcement officials. Not only are the officials from Gurugram police but now even the special task force (STF) has become involved in curbing the drug mafia in the city. According to sources most of the big criminal gangs that are operating in the city are now shifting their focus from illegal land deals, extortion to transportation and supply of drugs.
Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress’ mass outreach programme, “Didi Ke Bolo” has received over 10 lakh responses in a month, party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday. “I am humbled with the overwhelming response of the people on the ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ platform. In the last 30 days, over 10 lakh people have reached out to us with their words of appreciation for the initiative, valuable suggestions and grievances,” Banerjee wrote on social media. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja “Didi Ke Bolo” (Talk to Didi), is a helpline for people to reach out to the government with their grievances. Thanking the people for their support and acknowledgement, she further wrote: “We take note of their valuable suggestions and are committed to working overtime to resolve their grievances to an extent possible in an expeditious manner.” As many as 10,00,350 people reached out with their grievances, suggestions, appreciation and other miscellaneous messages through phone calls and the website. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway A total of 214 people in distress reached out, of which 161 cases were resolved on priority, the Chief Minister added. The campaign is a brainchild of election strategist Prashant Kishor, who was roped in after the state’s ruling party fared badly in this year’s Lok Sabha elections where the BJP tally jumped to 18 seats from just two in 2014. After Kishor agreed to offer his professional service to the Trinamool Congress, he advised Banerjee to start a “conversation” with her electorate where they can pour their heart out.
The mother of a Canadian killed while secretly fighting Islamic State militants in Syria says she’s relieved she’ll finally be able to lay her son to rest months after his death.Tina Martino says a funeral will be held at St. Andrew’s United Church in Niagara Falls, Ont., on Wednesday for her 24-year-old son, Nazzareno Tassone.She says Tassone’s body, which was repatriated just over a week ago, will first travel from Toronto down the Highway of Heroes.Martino says the memorial will take place exactly a year after her son left home and exactly six months after his death — a coincidence she says she was shocked to discover.Tassone was killed on Dec. 21 in the city of Raqqa while fighting militants associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL.The young man had told his family that he was going to Iraq to teach English, but he secretly slipped into Syria to join forces with a U.S.-backed Kurdish group called the YPG.The YPG told Tassone’s family that his body was taken by ISIL militants, and wasn’t recovered until May.A few weeks later, Martino received the results of an autopsy conducted in Iraq, which she said concluded her son died from a blow to the head, not a gunshot wound as she had previously been told.The autopsy report also found her son had broken bones, cigarette burns to his body and face, and marks that suggested he had been bound, she said.It confused the family, however, because it listed Tassone as having a different hair colour, being several inches taller than he was and more than a decade older.Even after officials said they had confirmed his identity through dental records, Martino said she initially had her doubts that the man whose body had been brought back was her son.An autopsy has since been conducted in Canada, and while the full results are not yet available, Martino said the coroner’s office confirmed the body is indeed that of her son.“I’m relieved to know that it was him,” she said Tuesday. “On the other hand I was pretty depressed to find out from the autopsy that was done in Iraq what had happened to his body.”Martino said she’s proud her son will be honoured in a procession and hopes saying goodbye will help her get closure.“Knowing that he was coming home, a different feeling came over me, that it’s time to get back to work,” she said. “All my answers have been answered.”
MONTREAL – Justin Trudeau marched with his Irish counterpart in Montreal’s Pride parade on Sunday, marking the first time a foreign head of government has joined a prime minister in a Canadian Pride celebration.Trudeau waved a rainbow flag and occasionally danced, while Irish leader Leo Varadkar walked beside him and waved to the crowds that lined the street.At an earlier news conference, Trudeau highlighted the importance of working with foreign allies to continue the fight towards greater equality.“For all that we celebrate here in Canada, there is a lot of work to do around the world, and we need to build up our allies and stand together strongly for rights, for opportunities and for the values we know unite our countries.”Varadkar, who is Ireland’s first openly gay prime minister, said more progress is needed in areas such as sexual health and the prevention of homophobic bullying.He added Canada and Ireland have a responsibility to work together to advance the cause of equal rights in areas of the world where they are under threat.“I think Ireland and Canada have a lot in common,” he said.“What we have most in common that we are countries that understand that diversity is our strength and our differences make us better.”The two prime ministers were joined in the parade by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Bloc Quebecois leader Martine Ouellet, and a number of federal and provincial politicians.Trudeau donned white jeans and a light blue shirt and carried a flag as he shouted “Happy Pride!” flanked by Varadkar, Couillard, and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.At an earlier event Sunday, Trudeau said that the celebration is representative of the kind of place Canada is, in contrast with an anti-immigration rally in Quebec City.He says a small “angry, frustrated group of racists” don’t get to define Canada or change its core values.
STRATFORD, P.E.I. – A father who was irked at a parking spot for new mothers at a P.E.I. grocery store has successfully prodded Sobeys to include new dads too.On Monday, Justin Simard was on his way to drop off his nine-month-old son Charlie at his aunt’s when he stopped at the Sobeys in Stratford to pick up some baby food.“I pulled into Sobeys and I saw they had new parent parking, which my wife and I have used many times in the past, and when I was getting out of the car there was a woman getting her children out of her car… and she gave me a really dirty look,” he said.“I was confused, and I pulled my son out of the car and suddenly her whole demeanour changed and everything was fine … Then I looked over at the sign and saw that this isn’t new parent parking, it’s new mother parking.”Simard said he tweeted a photo of himself holding his baby in front of the sign that said “Expecting Mothers; Mothers with Small Children,” and asked Sobeys: “… am I allowed to park here? #notababysitter #dadissues.”About an hour later, Sobeys tweeted back at Simard, saying he is most definitely entitled to the parking spot and indicated it would be updating its signage at the store in Stratford.In an email to The Canadian Press Tuesday, a spokesperson for Sobeys thanked Simard for bringing the issue to the company’s attention.“All expectant mothers and parents of small children are welcome to park in the expectant parents parking spots in all our Sobeys stores,” spokesperson Katie MacNevin said in the email.“As we are still looking into this, we do not have signage to share yet and we cannot comment on whether we will be updating signage right away in all our stores company-wide.”Simard, a 38-year-old classically trained opera singer whose work as a voice instructor allows him to take care of Charlie while his wife works part-time, said parking signs that are mother-specific are not inclusive and do not consider modern families.“This little guy is kind of heavy. And in the winter, in the snow or the rain, you don’t really want to be walking very far with an infant,” said Simard, originally from Halifax and now living in Melville, P.E.I.“It just seems a little silly that it’s gendered in that way. I know that as a man, it’s weird to be complaining about a sexist policy — I get that. But what about two parents that are fathers? It’s not inclusive.”Simard said he posted the photo on Facebook and has heard from other new fathers who are supportive of Sobeys’ response, including a dad who was confronted by a woman who questioned why he was using the parking spot at a Superstore grocery store.Simard said he was impressed by the quick response from Sobeys and hopes other grocery stores follow suit.“They seemed incredibly open to addressing it immediately, which is so refreshing,” he said.— By Aly Thomson in Halifax.
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is standing by his embattled finance minister as he faces opposition accusations of gross conflict of interest for failing to place his personal assets in a blind trust after being appointed to cabinet almost two years ago.It was a heated question period Wednesday as Trudeau returned to the House of Commons for the first time since a furor erupted over news that Bill Morneau still owns an estimated $40 million in shares in Morneau Shepell, the pension management and human resources firm founded by his father.Morneau holds the shares through two private companies – one in Calgary and one in Ontario – in which he is the sole owner.Trudeau put his own personal investments into a blind trust in 2013 after becoming Liberal leader, proclaiming that he’d set “the gold standard” for ethical conduct. The day he was appointed to cabinet in 2015, Morneau told reporters he expected to do the same with his holdings.This week it came to light he had not.The Conservatives and NDP alike say there is an enormous conflict created by a finance minister regulating an industry that includes a company in which he owns some $40 million in shares.“The prime minister can’t defend this conflict of interest,” said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.Not to mention, said Scheer, the government has spent the summer suggesting pizza shop owners and mechanics were tax cheats trying to use their companies to hide assets and pay less tax, and it turns out the finance minister was doing the same thing.He quipped that while Trudeau claims to be governing for the “middle class and those working hard to join it” what he’s really doing is “protecting wealthy millionaires and those trying to hide it.”Trudeau accused Scheer and company of “gutter politics” and said they were “making wild accusations” because they had nothing of substance to say about changes announced this week to the government’s controversial small business tax reform proposals.However, the prime minister refused to say when he found out Morneau’s assets weren’t in a blind trust, despite being asked several times by Conservative MPs. He repeatedly said Morneau followed the advice of ethics commissioner Mary Dawson.“When the finance minister first got elected two years ago, he approached the ethics commissioner, as many of us did, to talk about his situation and ask her advice on how he could ensure that all the rules and all the principles were followed,” Trudeau said.“He followed all of her advice and, indeed, has recently asked her if there is more he can do to go above and beyond what she originally asked of him. That is the kind of integrity Canadians expect from all members of this House.”Dawson said this week she advised Morneau a blind trust wasn’t required because his shares were indirectly held through private companies and were not, therefore considered a “controlled asset” under the Conflict of Interest Act.Dawson had advised the previous Conservative government in 2013 that it should amend the act to require blind trusts for personal assets regardless of whether they were directly or indirectly owned. That change has not been made.Morneau’s office has set up a conflict of interest screen, overseen by the minister’s chief of staff, to ensure he abstains from any discussions or decisions that could benefit his personal interests.However the opposition said Morneau should have known his shares were still created a conflict of interest because, even though they’re technically owned by private companies, Morneau is the sole owner of those companies.In the only appearance of a concession that he didn’t go far enough before, Morneau wrote to Dawson this week to request another meeting to discuss if a blind trust should be considered now.Scheer scoffed at that.“Ooh, a letter,” he said in French in the House.Dawson’s office confirmed she has arranged to meet with Morneau but did not say when that meeting will take place.The Liberals were hoping to spend this week digging out from the political mess Morneau created with plan to put an end to measures which the government maintained allowed wealthy individuals to use incorporation to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.Morneau has not been in the House of Commons so far this week; he’s been on the road announcing changes to the tax proposals, as well as cut in the small business tax rate, in a bid to soothe the ruffled feathers.— follow @mrabson on Twitter.
A member of the so-called Toronto 18 terrorist group has been denied parole after a panel found he needed to undergo more counselling for deradicalization.In a decision released Wednesday, the two-member Parole Board of Canada panel says Saad Khalid has “outstanding needs” that need to be addressed before he can be granted day or full parole. It noted, however, that deradicalization counselling sessions were not readily available for Khalid.The panel says that while Khalid has shown genuine remorse for his actions, he remains at a medium-security classification and would present an undue risk to society if released now.Khalid, 31, was among 18 people arrested in the summer of 2006 in what came to be known as the Toronto 18 terrorist group.The group planned to build and detonate bombs in three locations to protest Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan. Eleven group members were ultimately convicted.Khalid pleaded guilty and was initially sentenced to 14 years but that was later increased to 20 years after Crown prosecutors appealed, minus seven years credit for pre-sentence custody.The Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear his case and those of two other Toronto 18 members who sought to appeal their sentences.Khalid had sought to be released on full parole to live with his parents, or on day parole, which would have seen him live in a halfway house and work as an office assistant and apprentice in a mechanic shop.The parole board acknowledged Khalid showed more insight into his behaviour and motivations during his hearing last week, noting he recalled being angry with Canadian foreign policy in Afghanistan and growing more radicalized through listening to extremists.“Your presentation at today’s hearing was insightful and forthcoming. You did not shy away from your responsibility and you were very articulate. Your remorse was genuine,” the panel wrote.“At the same time, while your criminal history consists only of your index offence, the board views as an aggravating factor the seriousness of your crime and the catastrophic damages that your plot would have caused had your group been successful in moving ahead,” it said.Khalid, who immigrated to Canada from Saudi Arabia in 1995, has behaved well while behind bars, the board said.He received counselling from an imam for three years but those sessions came to an end in 2013 after the imam’s contract ended, the panel said.“Although your institutional conduct has been appropriate and you have availed yourself of all the opportunities within the institution, you still have outstanding needs, including counselling with respect to deradicalization,” it said.“Given the level of radicalization you admit to, a very gradual reintegration is warranted starting with the fact that your progress should be tested in a more open environment,” the panel said.“Given the foregoing, the board denies day and full parole as it is of the opinion that you will present an undue risk to society if released and that your release will not contribute to the protection of society by facilitating your reintegration into society as a law-abiding citizen.”
OTTAWA – The Mounties say they are going to take a new look at 284 sexual assault cases that they originally classified as unfounded.The decision comes after the RCMP reviewed 2,225 sexual assault files from 2016 in which police concluded that no violation of the law had taken place or was attempted.The force says 1,260 of the unfounded cases were misclassified and the 284 need further investigation.The RCMP says a team in Ottawa reviewed reports from divisions across the country to assess all aspects of sexual assault investigations, consult with external stakeholders, partners and experts and provide direction on how to improve investigations.In all, the Mounties say they responded to 10,038 reported sexual assaults in 2016.Before the review, 22 per cent of the cases were ruled unfounded, but that label now covers 9.6 per cent.The force says it is committed to supporting victims of sexual assault and treating them with compassion, care and respect.It promises to conduct investigations consistently and to the highest professional standards.Among other things, it says it wants to “increase public awareness and trust of RCMP sexual assault investigations and encourage greater levels of reporting.”The Mounties announced the review last February, after a series of Globe and Mail reports that the newspaper said exposed deep flaws in the way investigators treat sexual assault allegations.The Globe analyzed data obtained through freedom-of-information laws from scores of police services, and concluded that police across Canada close about one in five sex-assault cases as unfounded.As a result of consultations with 30 NGOs and 44 government partners, including victim advocates, Crown prosecutors and health care workers across the country, the RCMP plans to develop a new sexual assault training curriculum.It said the training will look at existing legislation and consent law and focus on trauma-informed investigative tools and approaches.It will also highlight common myths and stereotypes, reinforce victim rights and support services and bolster supervisory oversight and review.“This training will be inclusive of vulnerable populations including but not limited to: Indigenous people, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, sex trade workers, children and youth under 18,” The force said in a statement.“It will also be reflective of the diverse cultures and communities the RCMP serves.”
TORONTO – Toronto’s subway operator has reiterated its long-standing desire to build platform barriers that could prevent deaths such as one this week where a 73-year-old man was killed after allegedly being pushed in front of a moving train.But implementing platform edge doors, as they’re known, would cost well over a billion dollars for the city’s entire subway system and the funds are currently lacking, said Stuart Green, a spokesman for the Toronto Transit Commission.“This would be a massive undertaking for the TTC, not just from a financial standpoint, but also from an engineering standpoint,” Green said. “We see benefits to having them, but it’s not a simple matter of let’s go ahead and do that.”Toronto’s mayor discussed the barriers with reporters this week, but raised questions about the cost.“I don’t mean to bring this back to money when you’re dealing with trying to save lives, but in the end, this is a huge undertaking for us to do if we did it retroactively to all the existing subways,” John Tory said. “The question would arise as to how you would pay for it.”Homicides are rare on the city’s subway system. A man has been charged with first-degree murder after police say 73-year-old Yosuke Hayahara was pushed onto the tracks at a busy station on Monday. The city’s transit agency said the last similar incident took place in 1997.But suicides and attempted suicides are more common. Six people have killed themselves on the subway system this year, according to the TTC’s data. Last year, 19 people killed themselves and in total there have been 730 suicides and 728 attempts on the subway lines since 1954.The platform barrier system — which Toronto Public Health recommended in 2014 in a larger report on suicide prevention — would save lives, Green said.The TTC has already commissioned a study on the installation of platform barriers, with the report expected in 2020. It will outline the cost, logistics, timelines and a slew of other issues to retrofit the system, Green said.The project, however, would be “extremely complex,” he said.First, the system needs “automated train control” — a computer-controlled system that would allow subways to stop at the precise locations of the platform doors.That system is currently in place on a recently opened extension of one of the city’s subway lines and is being implemented on the rest of the line, with completion expected by 2020, Green said. The TTC has designed the six new stations on the extended portion of the line in a way that would allow quick installation of platform doors, Green noted.The automated system is also on the TTC’s wish list for the city’s other two subway lines, but there is no timeline for that implementation, Green said.There is also the issue of ventilation. Most stations do not have heating or cooling systems and only have air coming in from street level. Platform barriers would affect air flow, Green said, which is something that will be examined in the study.The logistics of constructing the barriers also have to be considered, Green said. Many platforms would have to be rebuilt and cabling installed, he said. And all that work means stations would likely be left without subway service for extended periods of time.But the barriers, if installed, would bring multiple benefits.In addition to saving lives, they would also stop debris from falling on tracks and causing small fires, Green said. They would also stop people from going down to the tracks, which is a common occurrence, Green said.“We have many delays by people jumping down to retrieve cell phones and also others who want to run across to the other side rather than going back up to take the stairs,” he said.But one expert observer said the city isn’t likely to see platform barriers any time soon, if ever.“Even the (TTC’s) report will take two years,” said Matti Siemiatycki, an associate professor in geography and planning at the University of Toronto.Siemiatycki said he doesn’t know of a subway that has retrofitted its entire system to install barriers — they’re all brought in on new builds.“It’s on the list,” he said. “But the TTC has an extremely long list of what it needs.”
CALGARY (660 NEWS) – “Tune in and get some popcorn,” Ward 3 councillor Jyoti Gondek told 660 NEWS before heading into council chambers on Wednesday.Just hours before Calgary City Council is set to vote on a motion ending the 2026 Olympic bid, the Bid Corporation has announced the provincial and federal governments have agreed to consider a new funding proposal.The deal is on a revised budget of $2.875 billion dollars, down from the previous amount of $3 billion that was needed from taxpayers.In a funding letter, provided by BidCo, each level of government would be responsible for paying the following amountsCity of Calgary$370 million cash$150 million in preauthorized Victoria Park and Stampede access improvements in conjunction with the Government of AlbertaInsurance redemption amount of $200 million which covers a defined contingency, the City of Calgary would pay $20 million of that upfront.Government of Alberta $700 million cashGovernment of Canada$1.423 billion matching the financial commitments to the core event costs by the Government of Alberta, City of Calgary and Town of Canmore$30 million of leveraging initiatives identified in the hosting plan The letter announcing the deal is signed only by Premier Rachel Notley and Federal Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan, the spot for Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s signature is blank.When it comes to the motion of ending the bid process for the 2026 Games, at least two councillors have said they will not support it.A minimum of 10 councillors need to agree to end the process for it to be dead.READ MORE: Calgary Olympic dreams hang in the balance of committee vote“I guess we’ll see today. There are a lot of questions that need to be asked. I think especially because BidCo released the terms of the proposal publicly. I would be surprised if we need to go in-camera to have the discussion since everything is before us,” Gondek said, who is unsure of which way she will decide.But Ward 6 councillor Jeff Davison and Ward 5 councillor George Chahal both said they want Calgarians to decide and will vote to move forward with the process.“I think for what we have to do to build infrastructure in the city moving forward. (We have to) rehabilitate all our existing facilities, build a fieldhouse, potentially a mid-sized arena and all that other work. Spending those funds that we’re going to have to spend anyways but leveraging the investment from the federal and provincial government to get 2,600 units of affordable housing as well and getting over $4 billion of investment in our city. I think it’s something we need to consider as a city and the public needs to weigh in and see the pros and cons of making these decisions. I think November 13th is very important that we allow our democratic process to move forward,” Chahal said.“I think when you boil that down, likely the City of Calgary over the next two budget cycles will spend $350 million of that money anyways for an additional $40 million to leverage $4.2 billion. It’s insane that we wouldn’t consider this,” added Davison.READ MORE: Calgary councillor still thinks city can’t afford the gamesThe lower cost estimate comes from efficiencies in security costs, according to James Millar, the communications director for Calgary 2026.“In September in the draft hosting plan, we were very generous with the amount that we put in the budget for security. It is a federal responsibility but we were transparent in putting that amount in our budget. The RCMP and other security officials have spent the last number of weeks looking at that number. They came back to us last week and said this can be done for less. Also, with a security budget that would be lower, there wasn’t as high a need for a combination for security personnel to come in from outside of Calgary, outside of Alberta — so we were able to find efficiencies there,” Millar said.But security costs in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games were estimated to come in just below $200 million, while the actual total came in around $900 million.“You can’t compare Vancouver and Calgary. (Vancouver) is a coastal community, so that added a lot more logistics, added a lot more personnel, added a lot more cost. Another thing that occurred in the past eight years since Vancouver had them is the RCMP and others like any organization does, it has become more efficient and this is through technology and other means. It’s looked at better ways to provide security and still keep people safe. I think one thing that many would say ‘does spending more money mean you’re safer?’ I think the authorities would look at it and say ‘we’re the experts — we know what we’re doing and we can find efficiencies just like any other organization,’” Millar added.In terms of how the process all played out, ending with an overnight agreement from the federal government, councillors are still confident to trudge forward.READ MORE: Alberta accuses Ottawa of ‘bad-faith tactics’ in 2026 Olympics talks“I think everyone is playing the chicken game. A lot of different tactics have been used to get us here. I think what we need to focus on right now is that we have a good deal in front of us and we need to focus on the fact of ‘do you want the Olympics or not?’ and stop letting a bunch of clutter get in the way of what the intent here actually is,” Davison said.“I’ve taken the position from the beginning that Calgarians need to weigh in on this decision. They should be able to exercise their right through the plebiscite. I’m going to stand by that — so I’m going to be supporting that we move forward to November 13 and Calgarians decide the outcome of the 2026 Olympic bid,” said Chahal.“There are members of the public that are extremely well informed and often know things at the same time we do when things are leaked to the media. There are still other people who are still extremely uninformed. Some because they couldn’t find the information and others because they have been reading misinformation. Your guess is as good as mine,” added Gondek.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said either way, the decision comes down to Calgarians.“We support the Calgary Olympic bid. Calgary is a world-class city. It would be great to host the Olympics in Canada but obviously, the ultimate decision is up to Calgarians and Albertans themselves. We will be there as a federal government to support the same way we’ve supported when it came to the Vancouver Olympics, when it came to the Pan-Am Games, the same way we’re doing with the Jeux de la Francophonie in Moncton. We are happy to have an opportunity to showcase Canada to the world.”The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee issued a release Wednesday morning urging council to support the process.“The COC and CPC ask the city councillors to remember what the Games will mean for Canadians and to embrace the opportunity to renew and create new legacies for generations to come,” the release said.“A home Games in 2026, will inspire a new generation of Olympians and Paralympians and show the world once again the best of Canada.”With files from Mark Strashok and Craig Lester.
LAVAL, Que. — When her two daughters were found dead in the family playroom on March 31, 2009, dressed in their school uniforms, Adele Sorella was going through a difficult time, a jury heard Monday.Her husband Giuseppe De Vito was “on the run” following a 2006 police operation targeting organized crime, and she had tried to end her own life more than once, Crown prosecutor Nektarios Tzortzinas said in his opening statement at Sorella’s murder trial.“Even though the exact cause of their deaths remains undetermined, the simultaneous and unexpected death of two sisters in good health rules out any evidence of a death from natural causes,” Tzortzinas said.“Our theory is that the accused Adele Sorella had the exclusive opportunity to commit the murder of her daughters, Amanda and Sabrina De Vito.”The prosecutor said Sorella’s mother had moved in with her after the first suicide attempt to help care for the two girls.The day the girls died, Sorella’s mother left the house at around 9 a.m. after looking after the dog, making breakfast and getting the girls ready for school. She was supposed to meet her daughter later in the morning, but Sorella never showed up, Tzortzinas said.Instead, Sorella’s brother got a call from his sister that made him worried enough to go to the home, where he found the lifeless bodies of his nieces. “Ms. Sorella was nowhere to be found,” Tzortzinas said. She was arrested that night following a car accident.The opening statement is not evidence at the trial but an outline of what the prosecution intends to prove during the trial, which is scheduled to last three months.Sorella, 52, had drawn features as she sat next to her lawyers in the courtroom. In a soft voice, she pleaded not guilty as the charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of Amanda, 9, and Sabrina, 8 were read out.Justice Sophie Bourque of Quebec Superior Court advised the jury of six men and six women they must consider all the evidence before reaching a verdict.“You have to keep an open mind and listen to the evidence without prejudice and without sympathy,” she said.Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press
ESQUIMALT, B.C. — Sport fishing, tourism and business leaders from across Vancouver Island say their livelihoods would be damaged by an extension of federal fishing closures to protect endangered southern resident killer whales.About two dozen leaders gathered today at a popular sport fishing marina near Victoria to warn the federal government almost 10,000 jobs are at stake as well as the survival of several small coastal communities that base their economies on recreational fishing and tourism.B.C. Chamber of Commerce president Val Litwin says its member organizations across the Island have formed a coalition called Thriving Orcas, Thriving Communities to protect their cities, towns and villages.The federal government has extended a 5,000 square kilometre critical habitat zone off the southwest coast of Vancouver Island that could result in fishing closures to protect the whales, whose population stands at 74.Karl Ablack of the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce says recreational fishing generates almost $1 billion for the B.C. economy and employs more than 8,400 people.Ryan Chamberland of the Sooke area chamber and a fishing lodge operator says sport fishing closures in Sooke-Port Renfrew last year hurt businesses and charter bookings, which are down up to 80 per cent for this coming season. The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — Memories of vomiting, diarrhea and unrelenting stomach pain as he withdrew from opioids in prison had Rob MacDonald repeatedly asking for addiction treatment before he left a maximum-security facility but despite dozens of formal complaints, he says he didn’t get any help.“I was thinking, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I’m going out onto the street with this addiction,’” MacDonald said recently a week after being released on supervision from the Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B., his fourth facility in over a decade behind bars.MacDonald, 41, said he feared his 15-year opioid addiction would cause him to returned to crime while using illicit drugs on the outside so he tried desperately to get treatment from the federal prison service. “I put 150 requests in, probably 70 complaints, for a 15-month period, trying to tell them, ‘Put me on it. I need it before I get out. I want to get help, I don’t want to go back into the community in a high-risk situation, I don’t want to re-offend,’ ” he said from Halifax, where he lives in a halfway house.He said he complained to the warden and then appealed to the commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada. One of his complaints to the commissioner was upheld but he said he was placed on a wait list because there was a limit on the number of inmates receiving treatment.When he was incarcerated at British Columbia’s Kent Institution between 2017 and 2019 for drug-related offences and robbery, MacDonald said debilitating withdrawal symptoms had him seeking potentially deadly fentanyl-laced drugs that were smuggled into the prison.“At least eight guys died in the 17, 18 months I was at Kent,” he said.The Correctional Service linked MacDonald to a clinic in Halifax upon his release nearly two weeks ago and he is now prescribed the opioid substitute Suboxone. But he said he should have received the medication in prison as part of the agency’s treatment program, which also includes methadone, so he could focus on finding a construction job to get his life back on track.Ivan Zinger, Canada’s ombudsman for offenders, said the Correctional Service has failed to provide adequate addiction treatment, programs and staff at a time when more drugs are contaminated with fentanyl.“I think when you’re dealing with a large inmate population that has such a long history of substance abuse you should be providing an awful lot more treatment and programming in addition to opioid substitution therapy,” said Zinger, who called for the reallocation of funding to provide those services.“It’s unclear to me why the budget has remained the same and decreased in the past when clearly the number of incidents is increasing,” he said of overdoses that caused 41 deaths between 2010 and 2018.Zinger said programs such as counselling are provided just before offenders are released instead of throughout their incarceration.“That’s a problem when you have a highly addicted inmate population that has a lot of time on their hands and are in sometimes difficult conditions of confinement. They will find ways to bring in drugs.”The Correctional Service said in a statement that 66 per cent more prisoners have accessed treatment in the last two years, but a jump of 115 per cent has been recorded in the Pacific region, where the opioid crisis is most acute.It did not respond to requests for information on whether its budget will be increased to meet the demand for more treatment.Kent Elson, a lawyer for an offender at Joyceville Institution in Kingston, Ont., said the Correctional Service did not accommodate his client’s disability of addiction so he filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission last November.Elson said his 50-year-old client, who is serving a four-year sentence, had been on methadone but alleges the medication was withheld without explanation for five days when he was transferred from another facility in November 2017.“He needed medical help and he got forced, cold-turkey withdrawal in a feces-smeared segregation cell and cruel mistreatment from guards. And it was so unbearable that he tried to kill himself three times,” Elson said from Toronto.While Correctional Service guidelines state a doctor is required to interview offenders before they are involuntarily tapered or cut off from methadone or Suboxone, Elson said his client was not seen by a physician.“This whole experience was incredibly traumatic and he ended up with PTSD,” he said.“The impact on him was terrible but everybody wins if prisoners get the right treatment. Suffering from PTSD is not going to make them easier to integrate back into society.”The Correctional Service did not respond to a request for comment on the human rights complaint filed by Elson or another from the Prisoners’ Legal Services. The B.C. group’s complaint was filed in June 2018 on behalf of offenders who accused the Correctional Service of discriminating against them.Nicole Kief, an advocate for the group, said about 100 inmates reported three main concerns: long wait lists for treatment, being cut off Suboxone after false accusations of diverting it and not receiving addiction counselling.“Of the people that I’ve talked to there has been a real sense of urgency, with people calling me and saying, ‘I’m worried about dying,’” she said.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.Camille Bains, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says making an accused person wait in jail before trial should be the exception, not the rule, in a decision that affirms a key legal safeguard intended to ensure speedy justice.In a 9-0 ruling today, the high court says people accused of crimes are automatically entitled to periodic reviews of their detention under provisions set out in the Criminal Code.In clarifying how the provisions should work, the court says Parliament intended to ensure that people awaiting trial have their cases reviewed by a judge at set points in time to consider whether keeping them in jail is justified.It means jailers must apply to a judge for a hearing on behalf of the accused at the 30-day mark in cases involving lesser offences, and at the 90-day mark in cases involving indictable offences.The case landed at the high court as a result of an appeal by Corey Lee James Myers, who was arrested on several firearms charges in British Columbia three years ago.Though Myers eventually pleaded guilty to reduced charges, he also challenged a decision to keep him in custody pending trial.The Canadian Press
FREDERICTON — Former House of Commons sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers has been acclaimed as New Brunswick’s Liberal leader.The party announced Wednesday the political rookie’s ascension was made official during a board of directors meeting Tuesday night.“I am incredibly humbled to become the next leader of the New Brunswick Liberal Party,” Vickers said in a statement released by the party.“My life has been shaped by so many people that have helped to build this province. I’m thrilled to do my part in the months and years ahead to ensure that New Brunswick’s future is one that is filled with hope and opportunity.”He will take over from interim leader Denis Landry next Wednesday.Vickers was the only candidate left in the race after his lone rival, Rene Ephestion, withdrew earlier this month.The party has decided to forgo a leadership convention planned for June.Vickers was hailed as a hero for helping to end the 2014 attack on Parliament Hill, and has also served as Canada’s ambassador to Ireland.Vickers, who in his early 60s, has drafted a five-point plan that calls for growing the province’s economy and population, improving health care, “transforming” education, ensuring environmental protection and making sure provincial finances are well managed.Vickers has acknowledged spending many years away from the province, but he has also focused on his deep roots in New Brunswick.Vickers had a long career of public service, including 29 years in the RCMP. He also served as aide-de-camp for the lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick. He served as sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons between 2006 and 2015.On Oct. 22, 2014, Vickers was serving as sergeant-at-arms of the Commons when he shot and helped take down a man armed with a .30-30 rifle. Michael Zihaf Bibeau had barged into Centre Block on Parliament Hill after killing honour guard reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial.The provincial Liberals under then-premier Brian Gallant won just 21 seats in an election last fall – one fewer than the Tories – and they relinquished their hold on power in November after losing a confidence vote in the legislature.Premier Blaine Higgs’ minority government is relying on support from a third party – the right-leaning People’s Alliance, led by Kris Austin.That arrangement is set to expire next year.The Canadian Press
Following Uganda’s private member’s bill for harsh punishments on gay people, Richard Branson called for a boycott of Uganda on his website.“Ugandan MPs have passed a new law making homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment,” says Branson. “The law also means people who do not report gay people can be sent to prison. Uganda must reconsider or find it being ostracised by companies and tourists worldwide.”Though he has been approached by government officials to do business in their country, Branson says it would go against his conscience to support a country that is perpetrating a witch hung against the gay community.“Governments must realise that people should be able to love whoever they want.”Copyright ©2014Look to the Stars
The Prostate Cancer Foundation has established the 2015 Jerry Weintraub – PCF Young Investigator Award.This prestigious 3-year award will be bestowed upon an early career scientist whose work embodies Jerry’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit, his willingness to take risks, and his “never say no” approach to accomplishing the unimaginable.The Prostate Cancer Foundation wishes to celebrate the life and legacy of their dear friend and honorary board member Jerry Weintraub, who passed away on July 6, 2015. His larger than life persona was always evident in his considerable accomplishments as a producer, manager and leader in the arts and entertainment industry.This award perpetuates Jerry’s passion for prostate cancer cures into the next generation of the very best scientific minds across the globe. Jerry Weintraub was a genius in spotting talent in music, movies and production. His genius is reflected in PCF’s ability to spot the most innovative research projects with the greatest potential to save lives.As an honorary member of the PCF Board of Directors, Jerry was a beloved attendee at many PCF events over the years. He was an avid participant in tennis events, annually opening up his award winning home for amateur and professional players, donors, guests and board members during the Indian Wells Tournament. His generous efforts helped create a platform that has resulted in more than $2 million raised for prostate cancer research.