JERUSALEM – Israel’s Chief Rabbinate has compiled a list of overseas rabbis whose authority they refused to recognize when it comes to certifying the Jewishness of someone who wants to get married in Israel.The list, obtained by The Associated Press, includes a number of prominent Orthodox rabbis in North America. Among them are a New York social activist who has advocated for greater rights for women, a Canadian rabbi who is friendly with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a colleague of the rabbi who converted Ivanka Trump.The Canadian who is on the list, Rabbi Adam Scheier, who leads an Orthodox congregation in Montreal and has ties with Trudeau, called it “an affront to the hard work and devotion of so many of my colleagues — of all denominations.”The list, he said, appeared to be “one of the many cases in which the Chief Rabbinate has carried out its function without transparency or process.”The rabbinate, which oversees religious rituals for Israeli Jews, such as weddings, births and burials, would not say why it had rejected the overseas rabbis’ credentials or provide the criteria for securing their recognition. But it insisted its decision would not prevent them from re-applying in the future.The list, which includes 160 rabbis from 24 countries, threatened to deepen a rift between overseas Jewish communities and Israeli religious authorities.One of Israel’s chief rabbis, David Lau, reacted angrily to the publication of the list, saying it had been compiled by a low-ranking bureaucrat without his knowledge.“How can it happen that a list is publicized without notifying the rabbi, not about the list or about its publication?” a top aide to Lau wrote in a letter to the rabbinate’s director general.He said “it cannot be” that a clerk decides which rabbis are authorized. He also said the list would cause “severe ramifications and harm to certain rabbis, and mainly to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.”The letter said Lau would deal with the issue with “utmost severity” and expected an explanation this week.Tensions have already been mounting between the world’s two largest Jewish communities since the Israeli government last month froze plans to create an expanded egalitarian prayer section at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray.The rollback of a deal reached last year to open up the holy site to liberal streams of Judaism was seen as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s capitulation to pressure by his ultra-Orthodox coalition partners. Those ultra-Orthodox partners also control Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.In order to marry in Israel, Jews born overseas must provide evidence of their Jewishness to the rabbinate, often through a letter from a rabbi in their country of origin. The Chief Rabbinate takes a strict line.For instance, it does not recognize the validity of Reform or Conservative Judaism, which is practiced by the vast majority of North American Jews. But the new list included some prominent Orthodox rabbis as well.Rabbi Avi Weiss, an Orthodox clergyman based in Riverdale, New York, who advocates a “more open and inclusive Orthodoxy,” said he was unaware of the list and could think of no reason why he was placed on it.“The whole thing seems to be nonsensical on every level,” Weiss said. He said its existence was “tragic” because it would “alienate” fellow Jews.Rabbi Daniel Kraus of Kehilath Jeshurun, a major Orthodox synagogue in Manhattan, also is on the list. Kraus serves with Haskel Lookstein, the rabbi who converted Ivanka Trump. Lookstein’s name was not on the list, and while his conversions have been questioned by the rabbinate in the past, they are now accepted.Also rejected were rabbis teaching at Yeshiva University, the flagship university for the U.S. Modern Orthodox movement, a rabbi with the Chabad movement at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and prominent Modern Orthodox rabbis pushing for greater openness in Judaism.The list was released following a legal challenge by ITIM, the Jewish Life Advocacy Center, an organization that helps Israelis deal with the rabbinate’s bureaucracy. Under court pressure, the rabbinate agreed to release the names of rabbis whose certification letters were rejected last year.ITIM’s founder, Rabbi Seth Farber, said the rejections amounted to a blacklist. “The rabbis who had their letters rejected are essentially being told, ‘You aren’t rabbis. That is the blacklist term,” he said.Farber charged that the rabbinate has no explicit criteria for determining the Jewishness of people who wish to marry in Israel.“There’s little rhyme or reason,” Farber said. “These are peoples’ lives at stake.”In a statement, the rabbinate did not use the term blacklist and said letters filed by the rabbis were rejected for “various reasons.” It said new marriage applications are examined on a case-by-case basis without reference to previous rejections.The statement gave no details on what criteria had been used to reject a rabbi’s letter testifying to the Jewishness of marriage applicants. It also did not spell out the criteria for approving or rejecting the Jewishness of an applicant.Rabbi Itamar Tubul, the rabbinate official responsible for determining the validity of rabbinical letters testifying to marriage applicants’ Jewishness, did not respond to requests for comment.
WINNIPEG – A resident of a small Hutterite colony west of Winnipeg says a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed during a game of target practice on the weekend.Sam Hofer, who lives on the Lakeside Hutterite Colony in the Rural Municipality of Cartier, identified the boy as his relative, Brendan Hofer.He said Brendan and a younger friend were using tin cans to practice shooting when the accident happened.He said the older boy walked in front of the targets just as his friend fired a .22-calibre rifle.“Just as (his friend) was pulling the trigger, he ran in front of the gun,” Hofer said Monday.“Why he would go in front of a gun … as the guy was aiming at the targets? We don’t really know. It’s just one of those tragic accidents that happen.”RCMP said they received a call on Sunday that a youth had been shot. They say they boy died at the scene and was with other young people at the time.The death has hit the community of roughly 110 residents hard.“It’s very traumatizing. You can’t put it into words,” Hofer said.A STARS helicopter ambulance was called to the scene and arrived within 20 minutes, but could not save the boy.“A critical care nurse and an advanced care paramedic provided care on scene,” STARS spokesman Cam Heke said.“Unfortunately, transport was no longer medically required at that point.”
WINNIPEG – The Manitoba government isn’t about to pay for repairs to a washed-out rail line that links the community of Churchill on Hudson Bay to the rest of the province.Premier Brian Pallister says he is waiting on a response from the federal government.The rail line’s owner, Denver-based Omnitrax, said on Tuesday that repairs to flooding damage could be completed over two months this fall and would cost up to $60 million.Omnitrax said it will not put up the money, because it has already spent $75 million on the track since 1997 and can’t justify paying any more.Pallister told CJOB Radio in Winnipeg that the province has been working on several temporary solutions.Earlier this week, the province said it would increase its subsidy for milk, infant formula and fresh fruit and vegetables that have to be flown into Churchill.When asked if the provincial government would buy the rail line if Omnitrax backed out, Pallister replied “of course not.” He said it is a federal issue.Churchill, a popular tourist destination for watching beluga whales and polar bears, has been cut off ever since the track was damaged in May.Without the rail line, goods have to be flown in to the community of 900 at a much higher cost. A four-litre jug of milk currently costs $12.(CJOB)
OTTAWA – The newly-appointed federal lobbying watchdog won’t look any further into a complaint about a private fundraiser the late Barry Sherman hosted for Justin Trudeau.Nancy Belanger cites the billionaire’s death in December as the reason for ending the investigation in a letter to Democracy Watch, the group that filed the initial complaints.Barry and his wife Honey Sherman were found dead in their Toronto home on Dec. 15, 2017.Democracy Watch had asked Belanger’s predecessor to review two fundraisers Sherman, the founder of generic drug giant Apotex Inc., held for Trudeau and the Liberals in August 2015 during the last federal election, and in November 2016, a year after Trudeau had been sworn in as prime minister.At the time of both events, Apotex was registered to lobby the Prime Minister’s Office.Democracy Watch argued that Sherman shouldn’t have hosted the 2015 fundraiser attended by Trudeau at the Sherman home, nor helped sell tickets to a 2016 event involving Finance Minister Bill Morneau.Former lobbying commissioner Karen Shepherd concluded Sherman didn’t break any rules with the 2016 event and her successor has now closed the book on the 2015 event.“In light of Dr. Sherman’s passing, the purpose of the investigation to ensure his compliance with the (lobbying) code can no longer be fulfilled,” Belanger says in the letter dated Jan. 24.
TORONTO – Billionaire generic drug tycoon Barry Sherman and his wife Honey were victims of a targeted double killing but no suspects have been identified, Toronto police said on Friday.Det. Sgt. Susan Gomes, of the homicide squad, said thousands of hours of investigation have led police to that conclusion in a case that has grabbed public attention both for who the high-profile victims were and the mystery surrounding how they died.“I believe in the six weeks of evidence that we’ve obtained that they were targeted,” Gomes said. “Honey and Barry Sherman were found deceased in the lower-level pool area, hanging by belts from a poolside railing in a semi-seated position on the pool deck.”Barry Sherman, 75, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical giant Apotex, and Honey Sherman, 70, were dressed when found, police said.Autopsy results revealed they died by “ligature neck compression,” Gomes said. However, it was initially unclear whether the couple died by double suicide, homicide-suicide, or double homicide, leading police to initially classify the deaths as “suspicious.”“Facts guide our focus,” Gomes said. “Conjecture and speculation have no place.”The couple was last seen alive on the evening of Dec. 13. Police, responding to a 911 call, found the bodies on Dec. 15 in their three-storey north-end home. Since then, investigators have been scouring the house, which was only released Friday morning to the family.“There are no signs of forced entry on all access points to the home,” Gomes said.Gomes refused to say if anything was taken from the house or reports that marks were found on their wrists.The Sherman family, upset by initial media reports that the deaths were a murder-suicide, hired their own team of investigators but Gomes said contact with relatives has been consistent and ongoing. She said she understood their concerns about the pace of the highly complex probe.“For them, it’s been difficult to balance their patience with their frustration with us and our investigation, not unlike any other family who has suffered such a sudden and profound loss,” Gomes said. “They have been understanding, co-operative and hopeful that this investigation can give them some answers.”In a statement Friday, the couple’s children said they had expected confirmation by police of what they had suspected from the start — that their parents were victims of a double killing.“This conclusion was expressed by the family from the outset and is consistent with the findings of the independent autopsy and investigation,” their statement said. “The family continues to support the Toronto police service in their efforts to seek justice for their parents and pursue those responsible for these unspeakable crimes.”Gomes refused to discuss any suspects, beyond saying they hadn’t zeroed in on any.“We haven’t developed any suspects outside of understanding that people are outstanding for, or a person is outstanding for, this event.”She also gave only vague information about some of the evidence police have gathered or seized from the home, a second Sherman property and Apotex. Items include 2,000 hours of security video from commercial and residential properties.The detective, who said officers were speaking to a “significant list” of people, appealed to anyone with any information that might help the investigation to come forward.Sherman was well known for his many legal tangles, a fact Gomes alluded to.“Legal complexities in some executions have been challenging, given the litigious nature of Barry Sherman’s businesses, in particular the search and seizure of electronics in Barry Sherman’s workspace at Apotex.”
OTTAWA – Colten Boushie’s family is in Ottawa meeting federal ministers after a Saskatchewan farmer accused of fatally shooting him was acquitted late last week.Boushie’s cousin, Jade Tootoosis, said Monday the family has no specific goal beyond building relationships with people who have the power to change the way First Nations people are treated in the criminal justice system.“We’re not in a rush because we want things done right,” Tootoosis said shortly after meeting with Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett.“We have little to no faith in the justice system. We’re here to talk about that.”The family of Colten Boushie day they feel hopeful after their initial meetings on Parliament Hill #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/a9a5LogDsA— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) February 12, 2018On Friday, a jury found Gerald Stanley, 56, not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2016 killing of Boushie, a 22-year-old member of the Red Pheasant First Nation.Boushie’s relatives are expected to sit down with Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould on Tuesday.Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, said justice for Colten would mean a change to the justice system.Chris Murphy, a family friend and lawyer, said the family discussed the issue of jury selection with Bennett.The apparent all-white makeup of the jury has been widely criticized, along with so-called peremptory challenges, which allow lawyers to reject jury candidates without needing to provide a justification.The family of Colten Boushie hopes to to see a change in jury selection process #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/HbBLl9Qs8s— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) February 12, 2018Tootoosis said she would like to see the government do away with peremptory challenges.Wilson-Raybould, who is the country’s first Indigenous justice minister, tweeted Saturday in the wake of the Stanley verdict that Canada “can and must do better.”Aboriginal Sen. Murray Sinclair posted a poem online saying he grieves for First Nations youth “who now see no hope,” and says Indigenous Canadians have been grieving for so long it has become part of their DNA.“I grieve for a family that has not yet seen justice from the moment a handgunned farmer (why does a farmer need such a gun?) pulled the trigger and killed their son,” Sinclair wrote.Kevin Seesequasis, a Cree Nation councillor in Saskatchewan, said both Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents are reeling from what he describes as a horrible failure of the criminal justice system.“Colten Boushie was not just the victim of a senseless murder,” Seesequasis said.“If we cannot find some way toward real change for Indigenous people in the criminal justice system, Colten Boushie will also be the victim of a criminal justice system that was stacked against him from the start and a government indifferent to that reality.”Indigenous faculty members and allies sent an open letter to heads of universities across Canada describing the Stanley verdict as “yet another iteration of the systemic violence that Indigenous peoples in this country have faced for over 150 years.”The letter, signed by more than 20 faculty members from schools as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, calls for universities to support anti-oppressive education and enhance institutional accountability towards First Nations communities.‘We must and we can do better,’ Trudeau says in wake of Boushie murder trialJustin Trudeau says much needs to be done to fix the way First Nations people are treated within Canada’s criminal justice system.Trudeau was answering a question from NDP member Charlie Angus, who pointed out that Indigenous people have suffered injustices in Canada throughout modern history.“When Indigenous adults make up three per cent of our population but 26 per cent of our incarcerated population, there is a problem. When Indigenous Canadians are significantly underrepresented on juries and in jury selectin pools, we have a problem. We have much we need to do together to fix the system, in the spirit of reconciliation.”“We understand that there are systemic issues in our criminal justice system that we must address. We are committed to broadbased reform to address these issues as a country. We must and we can do better. Our government is committed to working hard every day to ensure justice for all Canadians,” he adds.But the prime minister says it would be “completely inappropriate” to comment on the specifics of last week’s acquittal.Appeal possible?With many calls for an appeal, we’re asking our legal analyst what one could look like, if the Crown pursued that option.“It’s a question that will need to be examined by the prosecutors over the next 30 days,” says NEWS 1130 legal analyst Michael Shapray. “Because it’s a jury verdict, the jury doesn’t have to explain the reason for their verdict. The issue on an appeal will be whether or not the trial judge who directed the jury on the facts of the case and the legal principles they had to consider made any errors.“Any appeal will be based on an examination of the trial judge’s… ‘charge’ to the jury, and whether or not any errors were made in that charge. It won’t be about the jury’s verdict particularly, although there is one ground of appeal called an ‘unreasonable verdict,’ which could examine the actual facts and whether the verdict was unreasonable. But more likely, it’s going to be an examination of what the judge told the jury their job was, and how the law was reviewed and the facts were reviewed in the case.”But what about the legal concerns about the prime minister or other cabinet ministers commenting on this case?“It’s unusual and we generally let these cases play out before the courts,” says Shapray, who highlights the line politicians have to walk in these scenarios. “Expressing sympathy for someone who’s lost a loved one and who’s just been through the justice system is one thing, but commenting on the system may be failing, without really having more information about the case may be premature.”
VANCOUVER – Several conservation groups say the federal government’s failure to issue an emergency order reducing threats to endangered orcas off the B.C. coast ahead of fishing and whale-watching season could mean the species’ extinction.The organizations say Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna did not recommend an emergency order to cabinet by March 1, which could have seen priority feeding refuges established, fishing restricted and speed reductions for commercial vessels put in place for the season.“Their time is running out and we’re looking for concrete action to reduce threats, not just promises and not just more research,” said Misty MacDuffee, wild salmon program director for the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.MacDuffee said Friday the situation is critical for the remaining 76 southern resident killer whales, adding that they have up to a 50 per cent chance of disappearing in the next century. The population has declined from a high of 96 in 1993.She gave the mapping of potential foraging refuges as an example of an action that is useless without also keeping recreational fishermen and whale watchers out of those zones.“They can’t just create a map and say, ‘Here are the areas that are important, these are the key areas,’ and then not do anything to reduce the threats that are occurring in those areas,” MacDuffee said.Raincoast, Ecojustice, the David Suzuki Foundation, Georgia Strait Alliance, Natural Resources Defence Council and World Wildlife Fund sent a petition on the issue to LeBlanc and McKenna on Jan. 30.Department of Fisheries and Oceans spokesman Vincent Hughes said the ministry is reviewing the petition and takes orca protection seriously.The ministry is already doing several things to reduce threats to the species, he said, including spending $7.2 million on digital hydrophone and oceanographic technologies to monitor underwater noise.It’s also working with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to conduct trial vessel slowdowns in the Haro Strait. On Friday, the Port of Vancouver said early results confirmed that commercial vessels participating in the trial produced less noise when they slowed down.The ministry has also proposed fishing closures to reduce competition for chinook on a trial basis in four areas, including the mouth of the Fraser River, the west side of Pender Island, the south side of Saturna Island and in part of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The trial is proposed for May to September, to coincide with the orcas’ expected foraging, according to a Feb. 15 discussion paper.Last month, a report was released reviewing the effectiveness of recovery efforts so far. In it, the department identified priorities similar to those expressed in the groups’ petition.The report found that while some initiatives, like banning contaminants, have slowed the species’ disappearance, they are not enough. No concrete measures are in effect that directly aim to reduce ship noise and improve prey availability, which would provide the best chance of positive progress in the near term, it said.Focusing on the orcas’ key foraging areas either by increasing the abundance of prey or reducing underwater noise so they can forage better is “critical,” the report said. It also identified ship strikes as a new threat to the species.The species is on a trajectory to disappear, unless further efforts are taken, the report said.Research biologist Linda Nichol, who is one of the report’s authors, said addressing some of the threats to southern resident killer whales requires co-operation with the United States, as well as participation from many stakeholders — including the shipping industry, whale-watching industry and both commercial and sport fishermen.“The types of management things we might want to try and look at to reduce noise and disturbance, increase prey availability for these animals, could influence different sectors of our society on both sides of the border,” Nichol said.
WHITECOURT, Alta. – The province of Alberta is apologizing to the families of three people killed in a plane crash almost 65 years ago after cleaning up the wreckage without warning.A memorial site in central Alberta included the debris of the small plane that went down on Nov. 22, 1953.The Cesna-180 was on a mercy flight from Grande Prairie to Edmonton because polio patient Lloyd Williams, 33, needed to be put on an iron lung. Others on board included the pilot Gordon MacDonald and Dr. Donald Wilson, who volunteered to make the flight.They crashed about 15 kilometres north of Whitecourt, Alta., and all three men were killed. Their families put up a memorial plaque and scattered ashes nearby.The memorial is still there, but the plane’s wreckage was cleaned up by Alberta Environment and Parks last fall.“There was a protective notation on the location for the memorial, but not the debris,” said Matt Dykstra, a spokesman for the department.Crews cleaned it up for safety reasons because of increasing public use in the area, he said. But he said the province should have consulted the families before removing the plane’s wreckage.“That was a mistake,” he said. “We’re very sorry this happened.”Whitecourt-Ste. Anne MLA Oneil Carlier, who’s also the minister of agriculture, said the province is trying to fix the mistake.“My heart goes out to them, and I understand how this would have impacted them,” Carlier said in a statement. “I’ll be reaching out to the families to see how I can make this right, and how the memories of the victims can best be respected.”
REGINA – A group that advocates on behalf of prisoners says a Regina inmate was given an insulting complaint form that called them a whiner.Sherri Maier, a legal assistant who also works for Beyond Prison Walls Canada, posted a snapshot of the “hurt feelings report” form online last Friday.Maier said she was given the form by an inmate who says they received it from a guard at the Regina Correctional Centre in April. She said the inmate has since been released.One of the questions on the form — which appears on Ministry of Corrections and Policing letterhead — asks if the inmate requires a tissue for their tears and if the incident led to permanent feeling damage.One section on the form asks what date the individual’s feelings were hurt, “time of hurtfulness” and the name of “real man/woman who hurt your sensitive feelings.”Under a section where it asks for reasons for filing out the report, the options include “I want my mommy,” “I have woman/man-like hormones,” and “I am thin skinned Saskatchewan Corrections needs to fix my problems.”Maier said she was alarmed.“With all the mental health issues, you give somebody that, it’s kind of like a slap in the face: here, we don’t care,” Maier said Wednesday. “Fill out the cry baby form or the whiner’s report.”Noel Busse, a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, said in an email that the form isn’t an official document and is not supported by the ministry.“Corrections and Policing takes all complaints seriously and is extremely disappointed that this document suggests otherwise,” Busse said.An investigation is underway, he said.Maier said she doesn’t know if the form was intended to be a joke, but she said it’s unprofessional.“Whether a guard made it on their spare time while they’re at work or a guard made it at home and brought it in as a joke, still somebody has to be held accountable for it,” she said.— Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitter
NORTH BAY, Ont. – History repeated itself on Sunday, as more than a thousand people stood outside of the Dionne quintuplets’ birth home in North Bay, Ont., hoping to see one of the two surviving identical sisters.All were gathered for a ceremony during which a plaque was unveiled to commemorate the national historic significance of the quintuplets, who became international sensations after their birth on May 28, 1934.“It brings the past back to life,” said Annette Dionne, who is now 84 years old. Cecile Dionne was supposed to attend the ceremony, but could not make it due to health issues.The quintuplets were born near the village of Corbeil, Ont., just south of North Bay. Soon after their birth, the Ontario government placed the quintuplets under the control of a board of guardians and the girls spent their first nine years at “Quintland,” a speciality-built facility where they were featured as a tourist attraction.“Historic designations provide an opportunity to connect with our past and I encourage Canadians to learn more about the Dionne quintuplets’ place in Canadian history,” said Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing-Timiskaming.Surrounded by children, Dionne walked through the door of the house she was born in for the first time in decades on Sunday. The house was purchased by the city of North Bay in 1985 and turned into a museum dedicated to the family’s story.She said she was moved by the fact that so many people were still interested in the quintuplets’ story.“You know … it’s an old story,” she said laughing.Young and old stood in line waiting to have their picture taken with Annette Dionne, while others signed a book that was there for people to write messages and memories that they share with the quintuplets.“I’m so honoured to be able to be here today and be able to see her,” said Kathy Heino, who came to North Bay from Minnesota with four members of her family.“I have been following them and I have all kinds of books about them … it’s my obsession because the story is so dramatic,” she said.“I used to be a teacher and children are so important to me, so following them and their story has been really important to me,” she added.Anita Gravelle, 85, also said she has been following the quintuplets for as long as she could remember.“I had the same doctor as them,” said Gravelle, who was born in Callander, Ont., and now lives in North Bay. “It was also him who delivered me a year earlier when I was born.”She said she remembers meeting the older siblings of the quintuplets while she was growing up. She had brought one of the books she has read about the quintuplets to the ceremony.“It is just such a fascinating story.”During the ceremony, the quintuplets’s spokesman Carlo Tarini said in a speech on their behalf that the two sisters wished to take the opportunity to remind Canadians of the importance of children and childhood.“Open your heart to meritorious causes, turn your passions into compassion and ensure that children in need are rescued,” he said, while the crowd cheered loudly.
CHARLOTETOWN, P.E.I. — Prince Edward Island Green Party candidate Josh Underhay and his young son have been killed in a “tragic accident” according to a statement issued late Friday night by Green Party leader Peter Bevan-Baker.The statement does not provide any information about the accident, but asks that the privacy of Underhay’s family be respected at this time.Underhay, a married father of two boys, had been the Green’s candidate in District 9, Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park.“I simply cannot imagine how much he will be missed,” Bevan-Baker said in his statement. “Josh has been a dear friend and colleague of mine for many years, as a volunteer, musician, passionate cycling advocate and Green Party supporter. He has touched the lives of everyone who knew him.”He added that all Green Party election activities will be suspended for the rest of the campaign for next Tuesday’s provincial election. The Canadian Press
Four stories in the news for Tuesday, May 28———SCRUTINIZE CBC’S WORK FOR CANADIANNESS: SCHEERConservative Leader Andrew Scheer says if he is elected prime minister in the fall, he’ll want to make sure the CBC is telling enough Canadian stories. Scheer tells The Canadian Press he’d like to scrutinize the national public broadcaster to see that it’s fulfilling its mandate. He pointed to an increased focus on American politics on CBC platforms in recent years. When asked whether he would reduce government funding to the CBC, Scheer did not directly answer, saying that he has only ever promoted the idea of ensuring the broadcaster is doing the work it is mandated to do.———CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN ‘SISTER WIVES’ MURDER TRIALLawyers are to present their closing arguments today at the Winnipeg trial of a man accused of killing a woman whose body was found in a barrel. Perez Cleveland, 46, has pleaded not guilty in the 2016 death of 42-year-old Jennifer Barrett. Court has heard that Cleveland shared a house with his adult daughter and five women who were described by one of them as “sister wives.” Four of the women testified that they experienced extreme physical abuse, surveillance and manipulation in the home. The Crown has said that Cleveland became convinced Barrett was cheating, so he tortured her for days before she was killed.———TWO DEAD AFTER PLANE CRASH IN YUKONThe Transportation Safety Board says two people have died in a plane crash in Yukon. Spokesman Jon Lee says the single-engine Cessna 170 crashed into trees shortly after taking off from the airport in Whitehorse on Monday afternoon. Lee says it happened about 600 metres from the end of the runway, and that there was a fire afterward. He says neither of the plane’s two occupants survived. The privately registered aircraft had been on its way to Anchorage, Alaska. A team of investigators with the TSB that is based in Edmonton will head to Whitehorse today.———AS THEY TURN 85, DIONNE SISTERS REFLECT ON CHILDHOOD FAMEToday marks the birthday of the five Canadian babies who became known as the Dionne Quintuplets. There are only two survivors of the miraculous births. And Annette and Cecile Dionne — who are 85 — are warning of the dangers young people face when their lives are exploited at an early age like theirs were. They commented at a time when pint-sized content creators dubbed “kidfluencers” are growing in numbers on social media. The sisters have a warning for parents: childhood is a precious time that shouldn’t be exploited for profit.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— The House of Commons agriculture committee will hold a news conference today about its study of mental health challenges facing Canadian farmers, ranchers and producers.— Robert Andrew Leeming to appear in court on second-degree murder charges in the deaths of Calgary woman Jasmine Lovett and her toddler daughter.— Canadian Armed Forces holds a court martial for retired corporal C.R. McGregor, accused of seven charges, including sexual assault, voyeurism and possession of a device for surreptitious interception of private communications.The Canadian Press
In today’s Big Story podcast, elections take forever, and then they sneak up on you. There are fewer than 100 days until Canada votes on Oct. 21, and the polls show a near tie between the Liberals and Conservatives. Those same polls predicted a firm Liberal second term in 2018, and had the Conservatives near a majority earlier this year.So what do we actually know about this coming campaign? Where do we stand, and what happens next? What role will climate change play? Do people still care about the SNC-Lavalin scandal? And did Jagmeet Singh already blow his chance to make a dent?GUEST: John Geddes, Ottawa Bureau Chief, Maclean’sAudio Playerhttps://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/chtbl.com/track/G9G45/rogers-aod.leanstream.co/rogers/thebigstory_dai/tbs_07152019_dai.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and SpotifyYou can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.
Elton John’s fourth annual Grey Goose Winter Ball will take place on November 10 in London.Proceeds will go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.This year the Ball will bring a touch of a classic Côte dAzur summer to a wintry Battersea Power Station. The food is by the Michelin Starred chef, Hélène Darroze and music by Emeli Sandé and Labrinth.The Foundation’s collaboration with Grey Goose has already helped thousands of men, women and children who are living with HIV by funding landmark programmes in Zambia, Cambodia, and in the UK. This year they will fund a huge scale-up of HIV testing for people at risk in the UK and around the world, so that they can access affordable medical treatment. This will not only save their lives, it will reduce their chances of passing on the virus, and so protect millions more. In this way, with your support, they will make the future AIDS free.Grey Gooses commitment to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation means that every penny of income from the event will go to support the vital work of the Foundation.To find out more, click here.
Rock For Recovery; a rock concert benefiting Hurricane Sandy victims in the Greater New York Area, was held Thursday night, January 17, 2013 at the Gramercy Theater in Manhattan.Tickets were on sale for $25 at livenation.com or at the Gramercy box office.Sid Wilson of Slipknot, Adam Gontier, Art of Dying, Hurt, Smile, Empty Soul and Edisun joined Sirius XM DJ Kayla Riley, Live Nation and Ghost Rocket for live acoustic performances.Items from ESP Guitars, Affliction Clothing and Live Nation were auctioned throughout the evening with all the proceeds donated directly to Hurricane Sandy victims in the city.Back in October of 2012, New York City and the immediate surrounding area were pummeled by Hurricane Sandy leaving thousands of New Yorkers homeless or displaced. Multiple events have been planned in the wake of the storm because New York was so poorly prepared for what happened that fateful week.To find out more about Rock for Recovery and other events happening in and around New York City check out www.nyc.gov.Copyright ©2013Look to the Stars
Make-A-Wish went behind-the-scenes of the Stars Dance Tour to hand deliver the Chris Greicius Celebrity Award to Selena Gomez.Make-A-Wish Presents Selena Gomez with the Chris Greicius Celebrity AwardCredit/Copyright: Make-A-WishSelena’s tour made a recent stop in Phoenix, Ariz. – the home of the global headquarters for Make-A-Wish. Staff from the non-profit’s headquarters met Selena backstage at the US Airways Center to personally present her with the award and thank her for her unwavering support for granting wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.Selena was announced as a Chris Greicius Celebrity Award recipient at the Annual Conference for Make-A-Wish in October 2012. The award – now in its 24th year of existence – is given to celebrities for outstanding dedication to wish granting.An accomplished actress and multi-platinum recording artist, Selena is consistently requested by wish kids nationwide. Over the last five years, Selena has granted 91 wishes through Make-A-Wish. She will add to that number as she grants a total of 7 wishes during her in-progress Stars Dance Tour.In addition to the impressive number of wishes granted, Selena deserves recognition for making each wish experience one that the wish kids and their families never forget. She generously devotes her time to developing a personal connection with wish kids, giving them an opportunity to feel normal again and momentarily forget about their medical conditions.“A wish-come-true helps wish kids feel better and in some cases get better,” said Make-A-Wish America president and chief executive officer David A. Williams. “Celebrities, like Selena, can make a very real, lasting impact on wish kids’ ability to handle and overcome the medical challenges they face.”In fiscal year 2012, Make-A-Wish granted nearly 14,000 wishes for kids with life-threatening medical conditions; almost 900 of those wishes involved a celebrity. Celebrity meetings continue to be an incredibly popular wish request, and Make-A-Wish is extremely thankful for its celebrity supporters.
Tourpedo, Inc., a Raleigh, North Carolina-based software company, is launching its online auction division with a music memorabilia auction containing memorabilia from some of the world’s most popular artists.What makes this online auction unique is that 100% of the memorabilia sales from the campaign will support Make-A-Wish Foundation, Tourpedo’s charity partner for this auction. Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy every 37 minutes.Some auction highlights include the following items: signed guitars by Moby and Rodney Atkins, a signed shirt worn on tour by Michael Buble, 2 tickets to the Toby Keith concert of your choice, a signed poster by Dave Matthews Band, and more. The auction will start on Monday, July 20th @ 9 AM EDT and will close on Thursday, July 30th at 9 PM EDT. To bid, go to www.tourpedo.com/auctions.Tourpedo live streams concerts for premier artists, venues, and festivals, both for profit and to support charitable organizations. Tourpedo decided to launch this new division in order to provide its artists with another way to give back to charities. The company incorporated online auctions into its model because Tourpedo’s co-founders have years of experience in that industry, having previously started NextLot, Inc., which has run over 10,000 online auctions for auctioneers.According to Emily Finkelstein, co-founder of Tourpedo, “This event is a great opportunity for music fans worldwide to acquire memorabilia from some of their favorite acts with all of the proceeds going to support a great cause.”
Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF) hosted its ‘Collaborating for a Cure’ Benefit Dinner and Auction, honoring fashion designer John Varvatos, and featured a special musical performance by legendary American Singer-Songwriter John Fogerty, on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at Cipriani Wall Street.John Varvatos at Collaborating for a Cure Benefit Dinner and AuctionCredit/Copyright: Jared Siskin PatrickMcMullan.comThe annual event, now in its eighteenth year, raised $2.5 million to support the Waxman Foundation’s research efforts to produce a cure for cancer.Notable attendees included Dr. Samuel Waxman (Founder and CEO, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation); Marion Waxman; Michael and Elin Nierenberg (18th Annual Collaborating for a Cure Hosts); Chris Wragge (Co-Anchor of CBS 2 News This Morning); John Varvatos (Honoree; Fashion Designer John Varvatos); John Fogerty (Special Musical Guest); Spencer Waxman (President, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation); Cristina Cuomo (Presenter; Editor-In-Chief, Manhattan Magazine); Hugh Hildesley (Executive Vice President & Auctioneer, Sotheby’s); Kenneth Fishel (Board of Directors, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation); David Hinkelman (Board of Directors, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation); Howard Kurz (Board of Directors, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation); Robert Kantor (Board of Directors, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation); Howard Shlafmitz (Board of Directors, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation); Baron Silverstein (Board of Directors, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation); Mary Kantor (Honorary Board Member, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation); Dena K. Weiner (Board of Directors, Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation); Ruth Finley (Founder, Fashion Calendar); Coppy Holzman (Founder & CEO, Charity Buzz); David Burke (Chef, The Wayfarer) and Jean Shafiroff (Philanthropist).John Fogerty at Collaborating for a Cure Benefit Dinner and AuctionCredit/Copyright: Craig Barritt GettyImages.comThis year’s event was attended by more than 750 corporate executives, board members and their guests. The money raised will support the Waxman Foundation’s research efforts to produce a cure for cancer by reprogramming cancer cells and to deliver tailored, minimally toxic treatments to patients. The scientists funded by the SWCRF have made significant breakthroughs in cancer research, including identifying pathways to deliver novel therapies to treat cancer.SWCRF Chairman and Collaborating for a Cure host Michael Nierenberg gave opening remarks welcoming attendees to the Dinner & Auction and thanked the SWCRF’s many supporters for their continued efforts to raise funds for cancer research. The evening’s Master of Ceremonies Chris Wragge then took the stage to introduce Dr. Samuel Waxman whose remarks highlighted the importance of investing in cancer research and developing less toxic therapies for cancer patients of all ages, which is a large part of the SWCRF’s mission. After dinner, Wragge introduced Cristina Cuomo, Editor-In-Chief of Manhattan and Beach Magazine, to present the SWCRF Fashion Cares Award to John Varvatos. In accepting his award, Varvatos lauded Dr. Waxman’s work and the research of the SWCRF. He also shared that his father battled leukemia, his sister underwent a double mastectomy and his brother recently received a prostate cancer diagnosis.The evening’s exciting live auction, which was led by Hugh Hildesley, Executive Vice President of Sotheby’s Auction House. Guests the opportunity to bid on exclusive items such as: a $10,000 shopping spree and lunch with John Varvatos which sold for $17,000; an America’s Cup Yacht Race experience captained by former America’s Cup Team Members, sold twice for $10,000; a private wine tasting at Italian Wine Merchants for $17,000; an exclusive opportunity to meet John Fogerty and receive a flannel shirt autographed by the legendary rock star, which sold to the highest bidder for $10,000. The highest bid of the night, $60,000, went to a five day, four night stay for 10 people at the Ian Fleming Villa at the GoldenEye Hotel in Jamaica via private jet. Other travel packages included a CMH 4-day Heli-skiing trip for 2 in Canada sold for $17,000; A Milwaukee Bucks experience including G4 flight to a game and team memorabilia, which sold twice for $20,000 and an Italian wine and truffle adventure in Italy donated by Palm Bay International, which went for $32,000.Online auction items, which will be available for bidding online at CharityBuzz.com until November 24, 2015 include: Private Suite for 24 People to See the NFL’s New York Jets vs. New England Patriots on December 27, 2015 at MetLife Stadium; 6-Day/5-Night Charter of the Lady Tatiana of London or Lady Alhena of London for up to 11 Guests; Victory: A Song of Thanksgiving, 1968 Signed Lithograph by Salvador Dali and 2 Tickets to the Tadashi Shoji Fall/Winter 2016 Runway Show at New York Fashion Week in February Plus a Dress to Wear to the Show.After the auction, guests were treated to an exclusive, live performance by John Fogerty, who performed hits from his solo career and from his legendary run as lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revival.Known affectionately by New Yorkers as “The Waxman,” the yearly fête is considered to be among the top fundraising events in New York City. In recent years, “The Waxman” has raised several million dollars to support the Waxman Foundation’s research efforts to produce a cure for cancer. Past musical performers at the Waxman Gala have included the Warren Hayes Band, Kid Rock, Chevy Chase, Steely Dan, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley and Counting Crows.
The Jim Henson Company is hosting “Puppets for Puppetry,” a fundraiser for The Center for Puppetry Arts honoring the esteemed puppeteer Dave Goelz, best known to fans around the world as the performer of iconic puppet characters like The Great Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Boober Fraggle, Traveling Matt, and many more.The event will be held at The Jim Henson Company’s historic Hollywood studio lot on September 24, 2016 – a doubly auspicious date for Henson friends and fans as it would have been Jim Henson’s 80th birthday. The unique live performance will be led by Tony Award-nominee John Tartaglia (Avenue Q) and promises to be a musical and fun evening.The event benefits The Center for Puppetry Arts, whose mission is to inspire imagination, education and community through the global art of puppetry. The Atlanta-based nonprofit is the nation’s largest and only resource of its kind, featuring a worldwide puppetry collection, vibrant theatre spaces, and an education department that develops puppetry talent through workshops and performances. The Center for Puppetry Arts also uses the latest technology to offer its award-winning Distance Learning programs for PreK-adult through videoconferencing and recorded content. The arts-infused workshops and interactive puppet performances are conducted via videoconferencing and are tailored to specific classroom topics and curriculum. The programs complement national curriculum standards in language arts, social studies, science, math and other areas and serve schools nationwide.The Center for Puppetry Arts recently expanded to include a new gallery housing the Jim Henson Collection and the Worlds of Puppetry Global Collection. These two permanent exhibits together represent the most definitive display of both Henson puppets and other puppetry traditions from around the world.“The Center for Puppetry Arts is the only location of its kind in the U.S., and is particularly special to me and the entire Henson family,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. “My father dedicated the Center for Puppetry Arts at its opening, and he continued to support both the Center and the art forms of adult and traditional puppetry throughout his years of success with the Muppets.”“The Center for Puppetry Arts is extremely happy to have The Jim Henson Company’s continued support which allows us to bring programs that educate and inspire imagination to communities across the country,” said Vincent Anthony, the Barbara and Bill Wylly Executive Director at the Center for Puppetry Arts.“Dave Goelz is an inspiring puppeteer and has brought some of the world’s most beloved characters to life,” said John Tartaglia. “From a ‘whatever’ who eats rubber tires, to an explorer fascinated by ‘silly creatures,’ Dave’s characters are full of joy and have a love of playfulness. We are planning an exciting performance to honor his incredible contribution to the art of puppetry.”“Puppets for Puppetry” is hosted by The Jim Henson Company with support from The Muppet Studio. Individual tickets start at $250 with tables and sponsorship packages beginning at $7,500. For additional information, click here.
The Elders today condemned the continued devastating attacks on civilian targets in the Syrian city of Aleppo by government forces and their Russian allies, and called for an immediate cessation to allow unimpeded access for humanitarian aid.They deplored the paralysis of the United Nations Security Council in the face of such a brutal military assault, which has shown utter disregard for civilian life as well as facilities such as hospitals that, under international humanitarian law, must always be protected.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said: “The assault on Aleppo is an assault on the whole world. When hospitals, schools and homes are bombed indiscriminately, killing and maiming hundreds of innocent children, these are acts that constitute an attack on our shared, fundamental human values. Our collective cry for action must be heard, and acted upon, by all those engaged in this dreadful war.”The Elders deeply regret that the cease-fire established thanks to the serious efforts of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry has collapsed a mere few days after it came into effect.Lakhdar Brahimi, Elder and former UN Special Envoy to Syria, added: “The people of Aleppo and the rest of the world, in their agony, will not forget and will not forgive until the leaders of Russia, the United States and the other members of the Security Council act with strength and unity to bring this bloody war to an end. As the current President of the Security Council, Russia has a great responsibility to resume active cooperation with the US and work with all others concerned to forge consensus and to devise a viable strategy capable of ending Syria’s agony.”