Celebrating Canada Day Doesn’t Erase Its Ugly History, So, What Can We Do?

Last year's Canada Day celebrations at Parliament Hill drew a huge crowd.

July 1 is a national holiday in a country that doesn’t always agree on all that much. Most people get the day off work. In non-pandemic years, there are Canada Day parties and BBQs and specialty beers and discounts at furniture stores. It’s a day to think about the freedoms we have in this country. It’s also a day that celebrates genocide.

Reconciling those ideas is something Canadians struggle to do at all times of the year, and have for generations. But this year, three years after the Canada 150 conversation, it feels like it’s taking an even more urgent hold. Anti-Black and anti-Indigenous violence, which happen constantly, are impossible to ignore.

RELATED Anti-Canada Day Events Urge Rethink Of Colonial, Anti-Black Histories

When I was little, I loved celebrating Canada Day. My parents would help me put temporary maple leaf tattoos on my hands on arms, sometimes on my cheek. We got to play outside all day. In the evening, we would walk down to the park by the water to watch the fireworks. I was such a scaredy cat as a kid that I would sometimes watch wearing earmuffs to protect myself from the loud noises, an incongruous accessory on a humid July night.

Like a lot of white people, I didn’t grow up particularly aware of racism. We didn’t learn much about colonialism at school. I knew there was Mohawk territory across the lake from the Montreal suburb where I watched those fireworks, but I didn’t particularly know what that meant.

I never thought about what it might feel like for the people living there, to see fireworks celebrating the establishment of a country that resulted in their genocide.

Kevin Daniels from the Plains Cree nation in Saskatchewan, joins Mohawks in a peace march in 2010, on the 20th anniversary of the Oka crisis. The crisis played out in Montreal suburbs, near where I grew up.

Canada doesn’t do a good job acknowledging the horrors in our history. Our education system is rarely honest about the extent of the atrocities that led to our country being formed. I didn’t learn about residential schools until outside of the classroom, in my late teens.

“Laws were enacted in Canada offering bounties for scalps of Indigenous men, women and children. The treaty negotiation process itself was conducted under conditions of starvation or threats of violence,” Mi’kmaw lawyer Pamela Palmater wrote in a piece about Canada 150 for Now Toronto.

“While some argue that these acts were committed pre-Confederation, it must be kept in mind that they are in fact how Canada became Canada.”

These aren’t issues of the past. Indigenous women continue to be harmed in what experts call a genocide. Nearly 3,000 homes on First Nations don’t even have access to clean drinking water.

Watch: Cree Nation In Manitoba Still Waiting For Safe, Clean Drinking Water. Story continues after video.

As a white person, I’m lucky to live in Canada. I can make a good life for myself here, a life where I can get an education and choose what kind of career path I want to follow. I have the right to vote. I live in freedom, and I’m allowed to publicly criticize the government without fear of suppression or jail time. My grandparents, who lived in various parts of Eastern Europe, didn’t have the luxury of living that way.

Lots of immigrant communities celebrate Canada Day because of the freedom the country offers them. Not all, of course — some refugees are turned away, or treated with cruelty when they arrive. But for many people fleeing persecution and tyranny, finding a home in a country that allows them freedom is

But that doesn’t erase the ugly truth about Canada’s history. And as that relief becomes less immediate — for those of us who are the children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren of those immigrants — it gets harder and harder to justify our place here. Because we have to reconcile the fact that we’re able to live a good life here — a better life than we might be able to live in our parents’ or grandparents’ homeland — with the fact that that promise came out of an existing culture’s suffering.

RELATED Let's Celebrate Immigrants This Canada Day To My Immigrant Parents: Thank You For Taking A Chance On Canada My Parents Arrived In Canada On Thanksgiving, And I'm Grateful Every Day (Blog)

Canada “simply would not be the wealthy country it is, one of the best countries in the world to live and raise a family, were it not for the removal of Indigenous peoples from the source of Canada’s wealth,” Palmater wrote.

That’s true. Many Canadians live in the space between being grateful for our freedom and aware of the cost it took, and continues to take. That queasy, uncomfortable in-between is what Canada is for us.

To live with that understanding in any meaningful way means consistently unlearning a lot of what we grew up assuming to be true. It means checking in on our own motivations, to ask if they’re purely selfish. 

“Being an ally goes beyond checking actions off a list and it is not a competition,” according to the Indigenous Ally Toolkit, a great resource published by the Montreal Indigenous Community Network. “Being an ally is about a way of being and doing. This means self-reflection, ‘checking in’ with one’s motivations and debriefing with community members is a continual process; it is a way of life.”

For those of us living in that uneasy expanse, the least we can do is try to educate ourselves. Here’s a very short and not even close to exhaustive list of some of the work worth watching, reading, or donating to this Canada Day. 

Watch

“Angry Inuk”: Director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril joins a new tech-savvy generation of Inuit as they campaign to challenge long-established perceptions of seal hunting. Rent it from the National Film Board.

Canada’s State of Emergency: Layer and activist Pamela Palmater’s TED Talk is a short intro to some of Canada’s unjust treatment of Indigenous peoples. Watch it on YouTube.

“Colonization Road”: Comedian Ryan McMahon travels Ontario’s colonization roads learning about their impact on First Nations and settlers. Watch it on CBC Gem.

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up: Centred around the death of Colten Boushie, a young Cree man who was shot and killed by a Saskatchewan farmer in YEAR, the documentary looks at the colonial history of the prairies and the racism embedded within Canada’s legal system. Watch a 44-minute version for free on CBC Gem, or watch the 98-minute version with a National Film Board subscription.

“Rocks at Whiskey Trench:” A comprehensive look at the fallout from the 1990 Oka Crisis, when Mohawk people fled their land that was occupied by the Canadian army, only to be pelted with rocks by non-Indigenous protesters. Watch for free from the National Film Board.

Urban.Indigenous.Proud: A series of very short films that provide a window into some of the facets of urban Indigenous life throughout the province. Watch them for free from the National Film Board.

You can also browse the National Film Board’s archives for many more titles.

Read

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Realityby Bob Joseph

A history of residential schools in Canada,” CBC News

Canada: Blind Eye to First Nation Water Crisis,” Human Rights Watch

The Inconvenient Indianby Thomas King

A Mind Spread Out On The Ground by Alicia Elliott

Seven Fallen Feathersby Tanya Talaga

Whose Land Is It Anyway? A Manual For Decolonizationby Peter McFarlane and Nicole Schabus

Why Adam Capay spent 1,560 days in solitary,” Macleans

RELATED Métis Podcaster Wants To See More Everyday Joy In Indigenous Stories Listen

All My Relations,” a podcast about what it means to be Indigenous today.

Métis in Space,” a podcast that takes an anti-colonial approach to science fiction.

Missing and Murdered,” an investigative podcast about the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous women.

The Secret Life of Canada,” a podcast about largely unknown parts of Canada’s history, including many episodes about Indigenous issues.

Thunder Bay,” a Canadaland podcast about the deaths of nine Indigenous teenagers in the city with the highest hate crime rate in the country.

Donate

First Nations Child & Family Caring Society supports Indigenous youth by launching education initiatives and public policy campaigns.

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund runs programs that support reconciliation through education and action.

Indspire invests in education and wellbeing for Indigenous people across the country.

The Legacy of Hope Foundation raises awareness about the intergenerational impacts of oppression.

Native Women’s Association of Canadasupports the political voices of Indigenous women, through a variety of issues such as employment, labour and business, health, violence prevention and safety, justice and human rights, environment, early learning childcare and international affairs.

Native Women in the Artsraises money for Indigenous women in artistic careers who want to advance Indigenous people through their work. 

Reconciliation Canada facilitates community outreach programs that teach the tenets of reconciliation.

True North Aidprovides humanitarian support for northern Indigenous communities.

Also on HuffPost:

MORE Let's Celebrate Canada Day And Use It To Learn From Our Past: Advocates Canadian Black And Anti-Racist Groups You Can Support Now As An Indigenous Mountie For 17 Years, I Became Numb To The Casual Racism Meanwhile In Canada, We Don't Want To Face Up To Our Own Racism
Load more
Read full article on: huffingtonpost.ca
GOLDSTEIN: Paying students to ‘volunteer’ a bad idea from the start
Now that the We Charity has withdrawn from administering the Trudeau government’s Canada Student Service Grant, the question is why was the program created at all? On Friday, by agreement with the feds, We withdrew from administering the $912-million initiative that pays post-secondary students to do volunteer work, at well below the minimum wage. This […]
Toronto Sun
Airdrie rallies and repaints Pride walkway after acts of vandalism
After two acts of vandalism on a rainbow walkway, Airdrie Pride got the community together to drown out the hate.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Dad Calls Mermaid Swimsuits Safety Hazards After Daughter Nearly Drowns
Until we get Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” starring Halle Bailey, the closest mermaid-obsessed kids can get to satisfying their obsessions may be to swim as one. But parents looking to buy mermaid tail swimsuits may want to heed the cautionary tale of a father who says he almost lost his daughter because of the popular swimwear accessory.New York-based communications professional Adam Lisberg shared his harrowing experience in a Twitter thread on Thursday. His daughter Annabelle, 5, was hospitalized for almost drowning while wearing a mermaid tail swimsuit.He told the Today Show that he and his wife had purchased the swimsuits for their two daughters, who wore them in a shallowly filled inflatable pool. “We knew that with it blocking their feet it’s harder to kick or walk — and they knew that — but we figured (the pool) is two feet deep. Even if they sit down they can get themselves up,” Lisberg said.She’s 5. She and her big sister Ruby, who’s 7-1/2, love mermaids. So when we got an inflatable pool for the driveway for our isolated summer, we also ordered mermaid outfits. Aren’t they cute? Two-piece swimsuits with matching tails. pic.twitter.com/N1eIsvg2Sd— Adam Lisberg (@adamlisberg) July 1, 2020The couple supervised their daughters in the pool, taking their eyes off them only to deal with their son making a mess in their kitchen. In those moments, Annabelle decided to play “potato” and hide her entire body in the tail. Sadly, she got stuck and was found lying down unresponsive by her parents after her big sister, Ruby, pulled her out of the pool.Fortunately, Ruby is the best big sister in the whole world. She saw Annabelle wasn’t coming up, so she pulled her head out of the water and then pulled her completely out of the pool, scary wide-open eyes and all. She guessed Annabelle was only under for about 30 seconds. 12/— Adam Lisberg (@adamlisberg) July 1, 2020Thankfully, Annabelle survived and was immediately hosptialized. Those seconds underwater still required two days worth of medical attention. ″Even a little water in the lungs, especially if it has chlorine, can spark a delayed reaction as the body fights the injury,” Lisberg wrote on Twitter.Annabelle spent two days in the pediatric ICU. Even a little water in the lungs, especially if it has chlorine, can spark a delayed reaction as the body fights the injury. She had a temperature and elevated pulse and breathing for almost a day after. Needed oxygen to kick it. 15/ pic.twitter.com/FIg9Dj2e01— Adam Lisberg (@adamlisberg) July 1, 2020With almost 400 Canadians drowning every year and the Red Cross reporting that drowning is a major cause of death for kids under four, Lisberg’s story is a terrifying reminder that swimming safety requires both supervision and for kids to be able to tread water freely — that means not wearing anything that will obstruct their arms and legs, mermaid tails included. Best to leave the tails to professionals like Ariel.With Summer here its crucial to teach your kids about safety, especially when swimming in a mermaid tail. It is not a toy and you have to be very careful. Don't ever swim in one without a monofin and do not pull it up over your arms.https://t.co/Y4bMgEw1dg— Amara (@shimmygoddess) July 3, 2020MORE PARENTS 7 Activities To Do As A Family This Summer People Love Using Google's Search Update To Walk With Dinosaurs This Dancing Baby From Canada Will Help You Forget About 2020 Troubles Also on HuffPost:
Huffington Post Canada - Canadian News...
Quebec government pulls ads from Facebook for one month
The province is joining the movement to pressure Facebook into policing hate, racism and discrimination on its platform.
Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines...
OHS investigating workplace death of tree planter in northern Alberta
Occupational Health and Safety is investigating the death of a tree planter in northern Alberta on Thursday.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Hockey Canada cancels 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
The weeklong tournament was set to open Oct. 31 in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I.
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
‘Devastating’: B.C. parents fighting to raise millions for three-month-old daughter’s treatment
"We're so in love and she's the perfect addition to our family. So the news of her diagnosis was really devastating and shocking to us."
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Man who allegedly crashed truck through Rideau Hall's gate with four guns is soldier troubled by COVID conspiracies
The RCMP won’t say what their officers talked about for an hour and a half with an armed intruder, crouched beside the greenhouse on the Rideau Hall property where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lives, but it’s easy to see how it could have been cordial. It is equally easy to see how it might have been dark and bizarre. Corey Hurren, 46, who grew up a farm boy in rural Manitoba, is a serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces, the military confirmed. He is also the owner of a small meat company with a flagship garlic jalapeno sausage he is proud of. A father and a member of the local Lions Club, he was described as “a community-minded personality” in the local paper, back when his only notoriety was how spicy his “Ring of Fire” sausages were. The COVID-19 pandemic and its emergency restrictions brought considerable change to Hurren — to his work, his military life, his public pastimes and, perhaps, his state of mind. Rideau Hall intruder faces 22 criminal charges including possession of a loaded weapon Armed man arrested near PM's residence roamed the area for 13 minutes before police found him His social media history suggest a deteriorating response to the pandemic. He moves from jokes of hoarding toilet paper and making masks out of strips of bacon to dissatisfaction with Trudeau’s compensation plan, imagery of apocalyptic anarchy and an embrace of paranoid conspiracy theories pushed by fringe online groups. Hurren apparently drove from his home in Bowsman, in northern Manitoba, to Ottawa, carrying four guns, ammunition and what appeared to be military food rations. Shortly before he crashed his Dodge Ram pickup truck through the heavy gates around Rideau Hall early Thursday, a conspiracy theory meme supporting the notion that global elites purposely launched the novel coronavirus, was posted to his meat company’s Instagram account. If Hurren himself posted that less than an hour before the point of no return on a life-changing, and potentially life-ending, mission, it suggests the issue weighed heavy on his mind. Talking to the RCMP in an armed standoff on the restricted grounds of the Queen’s official residence in Ottawa is a long way from his family farm roots. Growing up in nature Hurren grew up surrounded by wilderness and provincial parks, outside of Birch River, 520 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg. On his family’s farm they raised animals and hunted and fished for food, including bison, he said in a news interview for the local paper when his meat company was launching in 2018. He attended Swan Valley Regional Secondary School in Swan River, Man., followed by computer and information sciences programs at both Red River College in Winnipeg and Brandon University, according to his LinkedIn page. Hurren first enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in April, 1997, as part of the primary reserve with the 10th Field Artillery Regiment in Regina, Sask. He was released from the military in October, 2000, with the rank of corporal, according to the Canadian Armed Forces. He re-enrolled in the military as a member of the Canadian Rangers and currently is with the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, a primarily aboriginal Canadian Forces reserve unit of members who live and patrol remote northern communities. Hurren said on Facebook he worked with military headquarters in Winnipeg on the creation of the new Ranger unit and was named second-in-command of the patrol. Proud of his experience as a bushman since his childhood, Hurren said he helped teach wilderness survival to other members of the military and the RCMP. Then COVID-19 happened COVID changed the nature of his work with the military. As part of Operation Laser, the Canadian military’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hurren was put on call, meaning he switched to full-time service. Under a military Class C contract, he did full-time work with the same pay and benefits as Regular Force members. “He was considered ‘on duty’ at the time of the incident on 2 July as he was supporting Operation Laser,” the military said in a statement. Hurren, who had the rank of master corporal, travelled to Ottawa of his own accord without the knowledge of his chain of command, the statement said. There is no indication any of the guns Hurren may have had with him when arrested in Ottawa were Canadian Forces weapons. The rifle he was issued is still in the possession of the Canadian Rangers, the military said. Hurren spent 20 years working in the meat industry, including at the Maple Leaf bacon plant in North Battleford, Sask., he said. He moved back to northern Manitoba in 2001 when his father became sick, he told a reporter with the Star and Times in Swan River, Man., in 2018. Hurren turned his passion for cooking meat into a fledgling business in 2014, starting GrindHouse Fine Foods, a cured meat and sausage company. He had ambition for GrindHouse and his Ring of Fire specialty, boasting of having his sausage served inside the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ stadium and tickling the palette of celebrity investor Arlene Dickinson, of Dragon’s Den fame. View this post on Instagram It has been just over a year now since I rejoined the military, this time as a Canadian Ranger. About twenty years ago I had been in the Royal Canadian Artillery when I was living in Saskatchewan. When the Rangers began recruiting in our area of central Manitoba to form a new Patrol in the Swan River Valley, I put in my application right away. I had heard of the Rangers but never thought I would have a chance to be one or even be in the military again. The Rangers are usually in the more northern and remote areas of Canada but I guess that is really saying something about Swan River.
National Post | Canadian News, Financial...
2 home invasion suspects surrounded by group of residents prior to arrest in Princeton, B.C.
Police say the two suspects are connected to a home invasion in Salmon Arm on Monday, June 29th.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
How are Toronto youth faring amid COVID-19? Many are ‘really struggling’
A new study from Maximum City about the impact of COVID-19 on children and youth showed that the majority of respondents — 72 per cent — are going outside their homes less than once a day.
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
EMSB chair claims 'political vendetta' after scathing report
After a 273-page report claimed Angela Mancini is manipulative and unaccountable, the English Montreal School Board chair denies wrongdoing and says she was railroaded.
Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines...
3 teens charged after Long Point cottages broken into, vandalized: OPP
The owner of a cottage on Hastings Drive arrived around 8 a.m. Thursday to find it had been broken into and damaged.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Stampede spirit forging ahead in Calgary despite COVID-19
There will be no rodeo, midway or parade in Calgary this year due to COVID-19, but the Stampede spirit remains strong in the hearts of many across the city.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Justin Trudeau Faces Ethics Probe Over Government’s WE Charity Contract
OTTAWA — The Prime Minister’s Office would not say Friday whether Justin Trudeau recused himself from a cabinet decision awarding a multimillion-dollar contract to a charity with close ties to his family — a question that is now at the heart of an investigation by Canada’s ethics watchdog.Mario Dion, the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner, confirmed Friday he has accepted a complaint by Tory MP Michael Barrett and will look into concerns alleging Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act when he afforded preferential treatment to WE Charity, in a sole-sourced contract that did not follow the government’s normal contracting process.The announcement came hours after Trudeau and the WE Charity announced they were ending their partnership.BREAKING: Ethics Commissioner launches investigation into Justin Trudeau's involvement in awarding $900M contract to charity with close ties to his family and the Liberal Party. #cdnpolipic.twitter.com/E6IMWNm36n— Michael Barrett (@MikeBarrettON) July 3, 2020Trudeau’s director of communications, Cameron Ahmad, declined to tell HuffPost Canada Friday whether the prime minister had recused himself from the decision and discussion at cabinet surrounding a $912-million program placing post-secondary students and recent graduates with paid volunteer opportunities. “I’ll let you know if we can be more specific in our answers,” Ahmad said. “We will of course collaborate with the commissioner and answer any question he may have,” he later offered. “[I] just can’t add anything further right now.”If Trudeau did not recuse himself from the discussion surrounding the WE Charity contract, Duff Conacher, the co-founder of Democracy Watch, believes the prime minister is in breach of the law. The act states that public office holders are in a conflict of interest when they exercise their official duties in a way that provides an opportunity to further their private interests or those of their relatives or friends.Watch: Trudeau had said WE Charity was only organization capable of running COVID-19 volunteer program “You’re also not allowed to give preferential treatment to any organization on the basis of the identity of the people who represent the organization, and given, again, the ties between his family, especially Sophie and her work for the charity, it would also violate that preferential treatment rule,” said Conacher.Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, co-hosts the WE Well-Being podcast with Craig Kielburger’s wife, Leysa Cerswell Kielburger. She has interviewed her mother-in-law, Margaret Trudeau, on the podcast, and the two, along with the prime minister, are regular guests on the WE Day stage in Canada, as well as in Britain and in the United States where they motivate young people to help others. Trudeau has appeared at WE Day more than half a dozen times since becoming a member of Parliament in 2008.PMO: Grégoire Trudeau not paid for podcastTrudeau’s spokesman said Grégoire Trudeau is not compensated for the podcast although her travel, accommodation and expenses are paid for by the organization when she attends WE events.“She is not paid,” Cameron Ahmad told HuffPost. “It is volunteer work, but when there are expenses related, her expenses incurred as part of the volunteer work, they have been covered.”In a tweet, Dion’s office confirmed they had been in touch with Trudeau’s office and were looking into possible contraventions of three parts of the act. “Examinations are conducted in confidence & report is released when completed,” the ethics watchdog’s office wrote.Trudeau has twice been found to have violated the Conflict of Interest Act. Last year, Dion found the prime minister improperly pressured his former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to intervene in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. In 2017, Dion’s predecessor, Mary Dawson, ruled Trudeau had broken the law when he accepted family vacations on the Aga Khan’s private island.Friday morning, Trudeau said WE Charity, the not-for-profit arm of Craig and Marc Kielburgers’ WE organization, would no longer manage the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) program. In a statement, the government said WE Charity had also “decided to return any funds that had already been received.”RELATED WE Charity, Feds Pull Plug On $900-Million Partnership Amid Backlash Tories Urge Watchdog To Review Government Contracts With WE Charity WE Charity Walks Back Claim PM’s Office Reached Out Over $900M Program “The decision taken by WE this morning to withdraw from this work with the government is one that we support,” Trudeau told reporters assembled at the Moisson Outaouais food bank in Gatineau, Que. “This situation unfolded in a way that is truly unfortunate, because one of the things that ends up happening with this is that young people won’t, maybe, have the same kind of access to programs that they … would have [had],” he said. Trudeau added that the government would “need to reflect carefully on what exactly went wrong and how we can make sure that we’re doing a better job of supporting young people in the coming months and years.”In its own statement, WE Charity said questions had been raised about the program’s origins, the outsourcing of the program’s operations, its own selection as a government partner, and about the merits of paid volunteer service.“These are all valid questions, and the government has provided explanations for each,” WE’s co-founders Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger said. “However, controversy has not abated.”“Our concern is that to continue in this way, the program itself will begin to suffer — and as a consequence, opportunities for students might be negatively affected.”WE Charity said it would hand the program’s operation back to the government. A senior Liberal not authorized to speak publicly about the matter said WE would complete the placing of 20,000 students and the government would go back to the drawing board on implementing the next round of volunteer contracts. The CSSG program, first announced on April 22, offers post-secondary students or new graduates, under 30 years of age, payments of $1,000 for every 100 hours of volunteer service, up to a maximum of $5,000. WE Charity stood to receive $19.5 million to administer the program, but, the co-founders said in order to put questions to bed about its motivations for getting involved in the initiative, they would waive all costs associated with establishing and administering the CSSG and would return any money earmarked for the organization and its staff.The Kielburgers wrote that they were approached in late April by officials at Employment and Social Development Canada to lend support to the program, citing a likely reason being WE’s relationship with more than 125 school boards across Canada. In a June 12 call obtained by the National Post, however, Marc Kielburger says his organization was asked directly by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to help implement the CSSG the day after it was announced. WE Charity told the paper that Kielburger “misspoke.”Trudeau, who appeared defensive about the original contract, repeated Friday that the selection of WE Charity was a decision made by bureaucrats.“We knew from the beginning that because of work that has been ongoing between this government and WE, that this was a decision made — that needed to be made by our professional public service. They made the decision in a transparent and open way … and a rigorous way … to ensure that we have the right partnerships to move forward on this opportunity for young people,” he said.Trudeau has appeared as a volunteer several times at WE Day events since becoming prime minister. Ahmad said he did not know whether Trudeau or Grégoire Trudeau had been paid by the WE organization before his becoming a member of Parliament. Trudeau’s chief of staff formerly had ties to charityThe spokesman was unable to say whether other members of Trudeau’s cabinet may have dealings with WE, or how frequently they or the PMO had been lobbied by the Kielburgers or other staff from the WE organization.  WE Charity did not respond to inquiries from HuffPost Canada. Trudeau and his family aren’t the only people in his entourage with former ties to WE. His chief of staff, Katie Telford, is a co-founder of Artbound, a Toronto charity that puts on glamorousparties to raise money in support of arts education abroad. Their first project involved funding an arts program in a school run by WE Charity (then known as Free The Children). According to the latest Canada Revenue Agency filings, Artbound’s largest donation in 2018 was a $30,000 gift to WE Charity in 2018 for a project in Haiti. It also gave WE Charity more than $50,000 the previous year. Telford is not involved in the running of the organization, and her ties ceased before she became Trudeau’s chief of staff, Ahmad said. According to WE Charity’s annual reports, she was last listed as an “outstanding partner and supporter” in 2017. (Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s former principal secretary is also listed that year, as is AOL Canada, which is a sister brand to HuffPost. Both are now owned by Verizon Media). Telford’s close friend, Liberal strategist and CBC pundit Amanda Alvaro, is fellow Artbound co-founder and remains one of the charity’s directors. She and Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan, when he was still a CTV anchor and Artsbond’s honorary chair, travelled to Kenya in 2011 and stayed at WE’s for-profit social enterprise camp in the Maasai Mara when they went to help build their art school. (O’Regan’s office said he paid his own way. Telford did not go on that trip.) The government’s contract with WE has drawn criticism from several corners.Union casted doubt on government’s claimsThe union of public servants, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, cast doubt on the government’s assertions that WE Charity was the only group that could administer the new grant program, saying that was not only “factually wrong” but also “insulting” to its members. Bureaucrats worked hard to support the government’s evolving response to the coronavirus pandemic, such as establishing the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), PSAC National President Chris Aylward said in a statement.“Keeping administration of the [grant program] public would support accountability, oversight and proper handling of private applicant information,” Aylward said.Conservative MPs have raised concerns about the contract and asked the procurement ombudsman and the auditor general to look into the matter. Taking the program outside of the government meant it was not covered by several transparency and accountability measures.Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre tweeted Friday that opposition MPs on the finance committee were working to force an investigation into “how much Trudeau already spent on the WE boondoggle and how the scandal got this far.”Some stakeholders have also wondered why Canada Service Corps, a national volunteer organization run by the federal government that Trudeau himself established in 2018, had not been tasked to do the job. Youth Minister Bardish Chagger’s director of communication, Dani Keenan, told HuffPost that Canada Service Corps already had 1,500 projects and “was not in a position to do a project of this scale.”WE Charity also raised eyebrows earlier this week for posting on the program’s volunteer bank hundreds of applications for positions within its own organization. The Kielburgers said the postings, such as 1,250 opportunities as a “wellbeing digital resource creator” were the results of being “asked to provide a certain number of WE Charity service opportunities” in order to “help anchor the program at launch.” Also on HuffPost: But with more than 24,000 placements available with other not-for-profit groups, WE’s co-founders said the volunteering guarantees were no longer necessary and WE would no longer offer the positions to avoid “any perceived undue benefit.”Some teachers also raised concerns after receiving unsolicited emails from WE Charity offering them up to $12,000 this summer if they recruited, led and mentored 75 to 100 students into the program before the end of June. One teacher, who feared professional repercussions, told HuffPost she thought the offer was “very shady.” The Canadian Teachers’ Federation said it would seek more information but would be concerned if teachers were under pressure or required to recruit youth. Greg Thomson, the research director at Charity Intelligence Canada, a group that pores over financial reports and helps donors make decisions about which charities to support, told HuffPost that his group has received several inquiries about the WE organization. WE Charity’s relationship with ME to WE, the pro-profit arm of the Kielburgers’ organization, has led to questions, Thomson said, as has “the huge overhaul in their board earlier this year…[which] was almost unprecedented in terms of a large charity.” Charity watchdog: ‘It was a bad decision-making process’Discussions with WE Charity’s have not been as fruitful as Charity Intelligence Canada had hoped, Thomson said. “We’ve found them to be not as transparent as we would like, and getting less so,” he said, noting the charity has not provided its 2019 financial statements yet, or posted them online. Thomson said he found the multimillion-dollar untendered contract to WE Charity “very, very odd. “It was a bad decision-making process as far as we are concerned,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense.”If WE Charity had been asked to work with middle school kids, Thomson said, it would make more sense, since the group has a good network with school boards, but administering a program for post-secondary students is not its usual focus.Thomson said he thinks WE Charity was right to pull out of the project since the controversy was overshaddowing the program. “I think ending the relationship was good all around. I’m sure WE doesn’t want to be under the microscope like they have been,” he said.With files from Ryan MaloneyThe author of this article travelled to Free The Children/WE Charity’s Maasai Mara camp in 2014 as part of a corporate team-building event that was partly funded by Althia and AOL.
Huffington Post Canada - Canadian News...
Police officer who stopped Elijah McClain fired over photos reenacting chokehold
"The fact that three on-duty, in-uniform police officers thought that it was appropriate to reenact the murder, jokingly, shows that the department is rotten to the core," said Mari Newman, the McClain family's lawyer who saw the photos before they were publicly released.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
B.C. reports 13 new COVID-19 cases, deadly outbreak at Langely Lodge declared over
British Columbia has confirmed 13 new cases of COVID-19, but recorded no new deaths on Friday.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Heat warning in effect for Toronto and southern Ontario
Environment Canada warns of temperatures of more than 30C for this weekend and into the week.
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Water levels drop at Manitoba’s Rivers Dam, but province warns more rain coming
In a flood and highwater update Friday, the province said widespread rain — up to 100 mm — is forecast for many southern Manitoba watersheds over the next week or so.
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
‘Hamilton’ review: You say you want a revolution
Filmed in front of a live audience, the streaming version of the musical feels like a peek into the bygone era of 2016.
1 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
MANDEL: They don’t make dames like Yolanda Ballard any more
A name from the past appears on the social media of today, a personality who commanded the headlines of a different time. Yolanda Anna Ballard, 1933-2020 I had missed last month’s obituary. The blowsy-blonde once known, and vilified by many, as YoYo — the First Lady of the Gardens — passed last month at the […]
1 h
Toronto Sun
Coronavirus: Board of health to take on mandatory mask issue in Hamilton
Hamilton's medical officer of health says outcomes in other regions of Ontario will likely influence a board of health decision on mandatory masks, next week.
1 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
‘Unsolved Mysteries’ returns, because 2020 isn’t scary enough
The show, which has been brought back by Netflix, debuted in 1988 and endured for decades on various networks and cable channels.
1 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Stu on Sports: Giving Canadiens fans a reason for optimism vs. Penguins
Fresh start could let them use speed, while coach Claude Julien will need to mix experience and youth. Also catching up with Mike Ribeiro.
1 h
Montreal Latest News, Breaking Headlines...
Love Viral Rollerskaters? Celebrate The Black History Behind The Trend
Rollerskating is having a moment right now, thanks to TikTok, which has flooded feeds with clips of carefree skaters cruising on eight wheels as they soak up sunshine on pavement and boardwalks. The mesmerizing trend— which has been slinking in the background of recent pop culture, like HBO’s “Euphoria” and “Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey” — seems to be the perfect antidote to pandemic blues: Strapping on a pair of skates is synonymous with summertime fun, no social distancing required.It helps that experienced skaters like Berlin-based Oumi Janta and instructor Coco Franklin make the recreational hobby looks effortless, pulling off dance moves with heel flicks and carving through concrete like butter.  View this post on InstagramA post shared by O U M I J A N T A (@oumi_janta) on Jun 22, 2020 at 2:23pm PDT View this post on InstagramA post shared by C
1 h
Huffington Post Canada - Canadian News...
Coronavirus: 31 MLB players, 7 staff test positive for COVID-19 — a rate of 1.2%
The positive tests occurred among 19 of the 30 teams, according to results of the samples sent to the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in South Jordan, Utah.
1 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
The real lessons of Telfar, Kanye and the Gap
For the embattled retail company, dropping one Black creative for a more famous one could not have come at a worse time.
1 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
U.S. billionaire’s superyacht arrives in B.C. for ‘necessary repairs’ amid COVID-19
The vessel arrived on the North Shore Tuesday from Port Angeles, Wash., as the U.S. continues to struggle to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
1 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Many Saskatchewan First Nations residents are travelling hours to get coronavirus treatment
The novel coronavirus poses a heightened threat to Indigenous communities because of limited access to health-care services and socio-economic factors have made them more vulnerable.
1 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Intervention to free Meng Wanzhou would make Canada look ‘untrustworthy’: expert
Using political intervention to free the Huawei CFO would hurt Canada's reputation, one expert says, favouring a global alliance against China to force the release of the Two Michaels.
1 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
More than 1,880 caught speeding by Toronto police in ticketing blitz
Speeding tickets were issued between June 22 and June 28, and 827 tickets were issued for aggressive driving, and 18 for stunt driving.
1 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Woodbine jockey Isabelle Wenc dislodged, but avoids serious injury
Woodbine rider Isabelle Wenc proved yet again on Friday afternoon that thoroughbred jockeys are some of the toughest athletes in the world. In the first of eight races on Friday’s card, the three-year-old bay filly Five Days in May dislodged Wenc as the field charged down the backstretch. Wenc went down hard and spun on […]
2 h
Toronto Sun
Alberta confirms 57 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday
The province has confirmed another 57 cases of COVID-19 Friday, but no additional deaths.
2 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Cineplex sues Cineworld for $2.18B in wake of failed acquisition
The Canadian movie theatre chain filed the suit in Ontario Superior Court on Friday, detailing what it claims was ``a case of buyer's remorse'' on the part of the U.K. company in the middle of a pandemic.
2 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Edmonton man with 2 small children charged with impaired driving in Caledon, Ont.
On Wednesday night, officers say they received a report about a white sedan travelling south on Highway 10.
2 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
Ujiri accuser not off the hook just yet
You might have forgotten Alan Strickland’s name by now, but Raptors president Masai Ujiri hasn’t. Nor has karma, apparently. Strickland is the would-be opportunist and an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy whose attempted lawsuit against Ujiri following a Game 6 altercation last June never saw the light of day. In the lawsuit, Strickland claimed Ujiri “hit […]
2 h
Toronto Sun
What the new Hong Kong security law means for Canadians — everywhere
Sweeping law imposed by Beijing creates various ways to get into legal trouble — and also applies to anyone outside the region.
2 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
Float Plane Crash Near Edmonton Airport Kills 3: RCMP
LEDUC COUNTY, Alta. — RCMP say three people have died in a plane crash south of Edmonton.Mounties say they were alerted Friday morning that a float plane went down in a field in Leduc County east of the Edmonton International Airport.Three bodies were found in the wreckage.Cpl. Laurel Scott said it’s believed no one else was on the aircraft.A manager at the nearby Cooking Lake Airport said the plane’s owner, who is from the area, had gone up with an experienced flight instructor to learn how to use new amphibious floats on the light utility Murphy Moose.Sophie Wistaff, a spokeswoman with the Transportation Safety Board, said two investigators were to arrive in the afternoon at the crash site.She said she could not provide other details.RCMP said officers and firefighters were holding the scene.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2020Also on HuffPost:
2 h
Huffington Post Canada - Canadian News...
Trudeau to 'collaborate' with ethics watchdog amid probe into his involvement with WE Charity deal
The federal ethics commissioner has launched an investigation into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over his government's now-cancelled decision to have WE Charity manage a $900-million federal program, which is slated to pay students and new graduates for their volunteer work this summer.
2 h
CTV News | Top Stories - Breaking News -...
Exhibition Place could be future transportation testing ground
The idea is to create a real-world testing environment that could be used by researchers and industry, whose findings could help improve Toronto’s transportation network.
2 h
thestar.com | Toronto Star | Canada's...
2nd retail cannabis store coming to Peterborough
A second legal cannabis retail store will be opening in Peterborough this summer. The owners tell Global News how they have had to adapt opening plans in light of COVID-19.
2 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...
John Ivison: Ottawa cautiously considers opening Canada's doors to Hongkongers fleeing their 'Tiananmen moment'
Hong Kong has just experienced its “Tiananmen moment,” according to China watcher Margaret McCuaig-Johnston. One of the world’s great cities is having its autonomy, dynamism and creativity leeched from it by the Communist Party of China, following the introduction of a draconian new security law. The law, introduced on June 30th,  subjects everyone in Hong Kong to a strict ban on political activity that Beijing deems a danger to national security. Canada’s response has been limited to expressions of concern, at least until Friday, when Justin Trudeau announced the suspension of this country’s extradition treaty with Hong Kong; a new travel advisory, warning of a “increased risk of arbitrary detention” in the territory; and, the revocation of export permits for “sensitive goods,” like crowd-control equipment used by the Hong Kong Police Force. NP View: The day democracy died in Hong Kong Section applying Chinese national security law to whole world chills Canadian activists Trudeau said Canada is joining the international community in expressing its growing concerns. That’s not strictly true. When the United Nations Human Rights Council took a vote, 53 countries supported China’s crackdown, while only 27 countries criticized the law. The voting pattern shows how effective China’s debt-trap diplomacy has been: Support came from a mix of autocracies like North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Syria, and countries deeply indebted to China as part of its Belt and Road infrastructure project. Francois-Philippe Champagne, the global affairs minister, said Canada is in good company criticizing the law, alongside a number of liberal democracies. Champagne said Ottawa is considering additional measures around immigration, in conjunction with the U.K. and Australia, which have already talked about a “pathway to citizenship” for Hongkongers who want to leave the territory. (Three million Hongkongers born before the 1997 handover hold British National (overseas) passports, which will allow them to settle in the U.K. for five years before applying for citizenship.) Champagne said freedom and liberty are the “pillars” on which Hong Kong was built. “I went there for the first time in 1986 and anyone who has ever been in Hong Kong realizes that there is something special there. This is a significant step back,” he said in an interview. The new security law claims human rights will be respected and “freedom of speech, of the press, of publication and of association… shall be protected”. “Time will tell,” said Champagne. The new law applies life sentences for crimes of terrorism, subversion, secession and collusion. Even the U.N. says the law includes “poorly defined crimes,” easily subject to abuse and repression. What remains to be seen is how strictly those provisions are applied, but the early signs are not encouraging. The law was introduced at 11pm on June 30 and there have been 10 arrests already, with one person detained for carrying a pro-independence flag. Subversion could mean simply “disrupting or undermining” the government. The protesters slogan: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” has already been deemed seditious, since it condones Hong Kong independence. A new Office for Safeguarding National Security will be created under the legislation, gathering information and handling “complex” cases that may end up being prosecuted on the mainland. The office, which is not subject to Hong Kong law, will “strengthen the management” of relations with international organizations, NGOs and foreign news agencies. The Department of Justice will establish a specialist prosecution division. Trials will be presided over by judges picked by the government, who may decide to dispense with jurors. The package of 66 articles is much worse than anyone had anticipated. The Chinese government has gambled that its clampdown will not kill the golden goose. Hong Kong accounts for just three per cent of Chinese GDP, down from around 25 per cent at the time of the handover in 1997. But the prospect that any criticism of the regime might be interpreted as subversion or collusion with a foreign country will, inevitably, kill the magic that made the territory a magnet for talent and money. McCuaig-Johnston, senior fellow at the China Institute at the University of Alberta, said the dilemma for many people who live there is not about promoting Hong Kong independence, but whether they can protest to protect the level of democracy that already exists. Prominent Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law has already fled the city for his own safety. McCuaig-Johnston said Canada should take in Hongkongers who want to come here, if China permits them to leave. Champagne confirmed the government will have more to say in the coming days and weeks. But Ottawa has to weigh the impact of such a move on its efforts to free Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig from Chinese jails. China has called on Britain and Australia to “remedy their mistake,” following their announcements of possible help for Hongkongers. Champagne said “the world is watching” what happens in the territory. But China is oblivious to shaming and impervious to pressure. Xi Jinping simply has no incentive to conform to international rules, as he tries to upturn the status quo in the western Pacific through stealth and intimidation. I write this with immense sadness, knowing that these views could leave me open to arrest if I ever re-visit Hong Kong, a city I love.Carrie Lam, the territory’s puppet chief executive, said Hong Kong will remain an international city for international businesses and international media to come and carry out their activities as normal. That is wishful thinking. Who in their right mind is going to risk their liberty doing business in what is now a surveillance state? It’s a tragedy. Rudyard Kipling wrote that East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet. But then he’d probably never eaten dim sum at 3am in the colourful chaos of Wan Chai. jivison@postmedia.com Twitter.com/IvisonJ
2 h
National Post | Canadian News, Financial...
Why Mandatory Masks Indoors Helps Fight COVID-19 In Canada
Over the last couple of weeks, a particular genre of amateur filmmaking has begun clogging up our social media feeds. Each is filmed in some seemingly arbitrary location, a setting unaccustomed to the spotlight of internet infamy. Grocery stores. Curb-side cafes. Local Walmarts. In all of these clips, the viewer bears witness to the unfolding of a modern horror story: customers, emboldened by their private sense of justice, refuse to wear their masks. Most of these clips have been filmed in the United States, but that isn’t to say versions of them don’t occur in Canada, too. At the end of May, for example, the owners of a convenience store in Toronto reported being attacked by four men after forcibly removing a customer who refused to wear a mask. One of the owners said it was tough to listen to the sounds of her own screams on the video recording from a camera outside. The other’s face was bruised for six weeks after.Municipalities across Ontario have been “seriously exploring” the idea of making face masks mandatory in indoor spaces over the last couple of weeks. And on June 30, as if to answer that strain of bewildering video, Toronto City Council voted unanimously in favour of requiring people to cover their faces in all enclosed public places, including:retail storesconvenience storesmalls, shopping plazasgrocery stores, bakeries, farmer’s markets (enclosed areas)restaurants, bars (when permitted to open for indoor service)indoor recreational facilities, gyms, swimming pools (when permitted to open)librariescommunity centrescommunity service agenciespersonal service settingschurches, mosque, synagogue, temples and faith settingsart galleries, museums, aquariums, zoosbanquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums, and other event spacesreal estate facilities such as open house, presentation centrescommon areas in hotels, motels and short-term rentals (e.g. lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms)entertainment facilities including concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinosbusiness offices open to the public“It is about respecting and protecting each other,” mayor John Tory said, per CBC, at a news conference on occasion of the temporary bylaw. “We know we are at a critical time in the fight against COVID-19, and that we must do everything we can to avoid the flare ups that we’ve seen in other places.”This makes Toronto the only Canadian city other than Windsor to officially mandate face coverings in indoor public spaces, though similar measures have been or are presently being considered in Quebec, Alberta and Ottawa.To protect the health and safety of our communities, today, Toronto City Council voted unanimously in favour of requiring masks or face coverings in all enclosed public places as of July 7 to help stop the spread of COVID-19. News release: https://t.co/zUEeTD0NdXpic.twitter.com/eNZsNMbr25— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) June 30, 2020What’s in the new bylaw?The new rule will go into effect on July 7, and corresponds with a matching initiative, launched July 2, to make face coverings mandatory on public transit. (There is a plan to circulate one million non-medical masks to transit users, with a particular focus on those from low-income and marginalized communities.) It’s all part of an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus as we wade further into Stage 2 of the pandemic.Though mayor Tory has announced the city won’t be aggressively enforcing the new bylaw, the city solicitor told CBC that she anticipates the corresponding fine to be “in the ballpark” of $750 to $1,000 — a lot of money, for not wearing a mask.There are a couple of exceptions, as there are to any rule. Those who cannot wear masks for medical reasons, as well as children under the age of two, will not be required to cover their faces. Similarly, residents will be allowed to temporarily remove masks while having meals, receiving services or doing fitness activities. The bylaw also won’t apply to apartment buildings, condos, childcare facilities, schools, or unenclosed areas like patios.Watch: How effective are homemade face masks? Story continues below.Why does this matter?The decision comes on the heels of a new study released on Thursday in Proceedings of the Natural Academy of the United States of America, which learned that mandatory face masks helped prevent more than 78,000 infections over a month’s span in Italy, and more than 66,000 during a three-week span in New York City. Basically, bylaws like the one just introduced in Toronto have been scientifically proven to prevent interhuman transmission of the virus.If you can recall — and who has any sense of time, nowadays — it was just back in May when over 100 of the world’s most prominent academics signed an open letter asking the government to mandate face coverings in public spaces.After an international cross-disciplinary review of scientific research conducted by 19 experts, they called on governments to mandate the masks in all public places, as well as business leaders to require their employees to wear them even where it wasn’t required by local law. “I think the biggest thing with COVID now that shapes all of this guidance on masks is that we can’t tell who’s infected,” infectious disease specialist Peter Chin-Hong told UCSF. “You can’t look in a crowd and say, oh, that person should wear mask. There’s a lot of asymptomatic infection, so everybody has to wear a mask.”A refresher on the benefits to wearing masksSince the beginning of the pandemic, masks have been a political flashpoint in the national conversation about how to stay safe. At first, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially discouraged people from wearing them, but later circled back on their recommendations after more evidence had surfaced.“It is a simple, inexpensive measure that can have a significant impact in reducing the spread of the virus,” Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease physician at South Shore Health in Massachusetts, told ABC News. “We have to remember if we don’t take these measures there will be more cases and more deaths.”Insightful: Japan doesn’t even require people to wear masks. Yet people do it anyway because people respect each other and put protecting public safety as paramount. As result, here is Japan versus the US and even Europe. If you can barely see Japan, it’s at the bottom. #covid19https://t.co/5nL4xgMJIxpic.twitter.com/ohJD2ohbww— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) June 28, 2020The benefits to wearing masks in public are manifold: accumulating evidence has found they can both prevent you from spreading respiratory droplets to others, in the event that you’re infected, and might prevent some of the viral particles from worming their way into your nose and mouth, though that argument has been much shakier than the former.Many people are still out there who are asymptomatic, and don’t realize they’re infected by the virus. Making masks mandatory for everyone helps to reduce the risk of transmission in these scenarios. If everyone takes precautions, everyone is safer.RELATED 3 Ways To Make Your Own Face Mask At Home The Questions We All Have About Wearing Face Masks There's ASMR For Your COVID-19 Anxiety Now, Because Of Course When And Why Should You Wear A Face Mask In Public?
2 h
Huffington Post Canada - Canadian News...
Public safety task force tackles violent crimes on Calgary streets
Calgary's newly-formed public safety task force met for a second time on Friday.
2 h
Global News | Latest & Current News -...