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Police tell MMIW inquiry human trafficking under reported source of violence – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Oct 15, 2018 

By Holly McKenzie-Sutter

THE CANADIAN PRESS

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. _ Police say human trafficking is strongly linked to high rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls, but there are major knowledge gaps that keep pervasive trafficking activities hidden in plain sight.

RCMP assistant commissioner Joanne Crampton told the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls on Monday that current statistics on human trafficking fall short of capturing the scope of the issue.

Crampton presented data showing 455 known cases involving human trafficking specific charges between 2005 and 2017, but she said there’s a huge gap between those numbers and the reality.

“I think it’s a huge under-reported number,” Crampton said. “We’re very confident that those stats are not anywhere near what the real picture would be.”

The inquiry is holding its final hearings this week in St. John’s, N.L., with experts providing testimony on sexual exploitation, human trafficking and sexual violence.

Crampton touched on the challenges of policing when it comes to human trafficking in Canada, citing a lack of accurate data stemming from under-reporting and the vulnerabilities of Indigenous women to exploitation.

The data available on trafficking cases is broken down in some cases by age and gender, but does not include information on the victims’ race.

Crampton said this is one of many gaps in the current picture of human trafficking in Canada, a wide-reaching phenomenon the RCMP is aware of, but doesn’t have accurate data to back up.

Crampton explained that human trafficking has only been a crime under Canada’s criminal code since 2005, and since then the law has been “very under-utilized” by law enforcement and the judicial system.

She said many cases, if they are detected, are classified as assault instead of trafficking.

Crampton stressed the necessity of collaboration across multiple police jurisdictions in tackling trafficking cases, and said she hopes the inquiry’s final report will help with the current issue of under-reporting.

Insp. Tina Chalk testified about her work training the Ontario Provincial Police to recognize the signs of trafficking, saying she likely missed instances of it earlier in her career because she couldn’t detect the signs and didn’t ask victims about their experiences.

“I’ve spoken to many of my colleagues, and they think the same thing. We probably missed it,” Chalk said.

Chalk said there have been definite gaps in the OPP’s training, saying she thinks there has been insufficient training around the vulnerabilities of Indigenous populations.

One piece of new training meant to address these gaps in the OPP’s training involves making police officers aware they should look for signs of trafficking in unexpected places like routine traffic stops.

Chalk discussed how experiences with poverty, isolation, past abuses and encountering racism make victims especially vulnerable to trafficking, and addressed the role of the Internet in luring people

She mentioned educational initiatives for people in other occupations who often come in contact with trafficking situations, like truck drivers, hospitality workers and health care workers, so they can more easily detect the warning signs.

Chalk also addressed the importance of improving the relationship between Indigenous people and the police.

She said educating the public about the realities of human trafficking is essential so victims understand that what is happening to them is a crime, but acknowledged that trust in law enforcement must be built so victims feel comfortable coming forward.

“Police trust is absolutely lacking,” Chalk said. “That’s a long road and that’s a road that police are responsible for.”

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary police chief Joe Boland spoke about building trust in the St. John’s police force and efforts to tackle officers’ unconscious bias against Indigenous people.

Juanita Dobson, Ontario’s assistant deputy attorney general, spoke about her government’s recent efforts to assist trafficking victims, like a program launched earlier this year offering free legal help for people bringing a restraining order against a human trafficker.

Dobson said the Ontario government is in the early stages of developing services for victims, and said more understanding of the issue is necessary to helping victims.

Commissioner Michele Audette opened the day noting the historic significance of the hearings.

Audette said inquiry staff did the best they could despite the federal government’s recent rejection of the inquiry’s request for a two-year extension, opting instead for six months.

INDEX: HUMAN INTEREST NATIONAL JUSTICE ATLANTIC

Hunting and Trapping – Offences and penalties – Hunting with light at night – The Lawyer’s Daily

October 15, 2018

Appeal by the defendants, Paul and Francis, from an appellate decision affirming a conviction under the Wildlife Act. The defendants were Mi’kmaq members of the Eskasoni First Nation with a constitutionally affirmed aboriginal right to hunt for food. They were arrested for hunting for moose at night with the assistance of their truck’s headlights. The defendants submitted that they were exempt from s. 68 of the Wildlife Act, as they were in the process of exercising their aboriginal right to hunt for food. The trial judge convicted the defendants and fined them each $362. A summary conviction appellate court affirmed the conviction. Both judges rejected the defence submission that the aboriginal right exempted the defendants from liability, concluding that hunting at night with a light was unsafe, and was neither a traditional Mi’kmaq practice, nor predated European contact. The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeal.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The trial judge did not err in characterizing the defendants’ aboriginal right and did not misapprehend the expert evidence in concluding that hunting with the use of headlights was not a logical evolution of a pre-contact practice. The evolution of Supreme Court case law regarding the aboriginal right to hunt for food did not implicitly overturn the NSCA decision in Bernard, which found that s. 68 of the Wildlife Act did not infringe that right. The conclusion that there was no prima facie infringement of the defendants’ right by s. 68 of the Act was reasonable and supported by the evidence. The finding that the defendants’ conduct posed a significant safety risk was supported by the evidence. It was reasonable to conclude that such safety measures were appropriate under the Sparrow test for prima facie infringement.

Read More: https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/articles/7554

A spirited celebration at Dal’s Mawio’mi – Dal News

October 15, 2018

Rain didn’t dampen the spirits or the smiles of those present for Dal’s ninth-annual Mawio’mi on Thursday, October 11.

Held in the McInnes Room of the Student Union Building, the event brought together Indigenous and settler individuals alike for a celebration of Mi’kmaw heritage, culture, art and performance. Featuring a meal, market and the powwow itself, it was an event full of energy and enthusiasm.

Read More: https://www.dal.ca/news/2018/10/15/a-spirited-celebration-at-dal-s-mawio-mi.html?utm_source=dalnewsRSS&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=dalnews

Police tell MMIW inquiry human trafficking under reported source of violence – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Oct 15, 2018 

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. _ Police say human trafficking is strongly linked to high rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls, but there are major knowledge gaps that keep pervasive trafficking activities hidden in plain sight.

RCMP assistant commissioner Joanne Crampton told the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls today that current statistics on human trafficking are “not anywhere near” the real picture.

The inquiry is holding its final hearings this week in St. John’s, N.L., with experts providing testimony on sexual exploitation, human trafficking and sexual violence.

Crampton touched on the challenges of policing when it comes to human trafficking in Canada, citing a lack of accurate data stemming from under-reporting and the vulnerabilities of Indigenous women to exploitation.

Insp. Tina Chalk testified about her work training the Ontario Provincial Police to recognize the signs of trafficking, saying she likely missed instances of it earlier in her career because she couldn’t detect the signs.

Commissioner Michele Audette also noted the historic significance of the hearings, saying inquiry staff did the best they could despite the federal government’s recent rejection of the inquiry’s request for a two-year extension, instead extending it for six months.

INDEX: HUMAN INTEREST NATIONAL JUSTICE ATLANTIC

Protecting nature the best way to keep planet cool: report – Digital Journal

The best — and fairest — way to cap global warming is to empower indigenous forest peoples, reduce food waste and slash meat consumption, an alliance of 38 NGOs said Monday.

Restoring natural forest ecosystems, securing the land rights of local communities and revamping the global food system could cut greenhouse emissions 40 percent by mid-century and help humanity avoid climate catastrophe, they argued in a 50-page report based on recent science.

Approximately half of the reduced emissions would come from boosting the capacity of forests and wetlands to absorb CO2, and the other half from curtailing carbon-intensive forms of agriculture.

On current trends, Earth is on track to warm up an unlivable three or four degrees Celsius (5.4 to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, far about the 1.5C climate-safe threshold endorsed last week by the UN in a major climate change assessment.

Read More: http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/protecting-nature-the-best-way-to-keep-planet-cool-report/article/534626

Alleged sexual abuse case raises red flags about lack of Indigenous foster homes – CBC

New Mi’kmaq child welfare agency focusing on recruiting families, says lack of homes not ‘critical’

Oct 15, 2018

A child protection case involving a family of seven children from Eel Ground First Nation is raising alarm bells about the challenge of finding foster homes in Indigenous communities.

Seven children were placed in the temporary custody of their mother after a nine-year-old girl accused her father, known only as “PW,” of repeatedly sexually abusing her.

The mother, known only as “HH,” is a recovering drug addict who lost her bid for custody in 2017, court records show. She is the biological mother of all but one of the children.

Child protection officials have been involved with the family for nearly a decade. Most of the complaints “involved alleged domestic violence either involving the spouses or the father and the children.”

Read More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/eel-ground-child-protection-case-1.4860683

Fortis Inc. Provides New Five-year Outlook and Announces 5.9% Quarterly Dividend Increase

October 15, 2018

Highlights

  • Five-year capital investment plan of $17.3 billion for 2019 through 2023, up $2.8 billion from the prior year’s plan
  • Average annual dividend growth target of 6% extended through 2023
  • Fourth quarter 2018 dividend increase of 5.9%, marking 45 consecutive years of annual common share dividend payment increases
  • Regulated investments in grid modernization, delivery of cleaner energy and natural gas infrastructure drive growth

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland and Labrador, Oct. 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fortis Inc. (“Fortis” or the “Corporation”) (TSX/NYSE: FTS) today announced its five-year capital investment plan of $17.3 billion for the period 2019 to 2023, up $2.8 billion from the prior year’s plan. Consolidated rate base is projected to increase from $26.1 billion in 2018 to approximately $32.0 billion in 2021 and $35.5 billion in 2023, translating into a three and five-year compound annual growth rate of 7.1% and 6.3%, respectively. The Corporation’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) also announced a $0.025 or 5.9% increase in the fourth quarter 2018 common share dividend.

Fortis President and CEO Barry Perry said: “Our five-year capital investment plan has increased nearly 20% over the plan announced at this time last year.”

“Key industry trends including grid modernization, the delivery of cleaner energy and electrification, will result in incremental investments in the U.S. Midwest ($900 million), Arizona ($600 million) and Ontario ($600 million),” said Mr. Perry. “Projects that address system capacity and improve safety and reliability for our customers are also driving additional investment at our natural gas operations in British Columbia ($600 million).”

The Corporation’s capital investment plan is virtually all occurring at its regulated utility businesses and consists mostly of a diversified mix of highly executable, low-risk projects. It is expected that the capital investment plan will be funded with cash from operations, debt raised at the utilities and common equity from the Corporation’s dividend reinvestment plan. The remaining funds required to finance the increased growth in regulated North American assets are expected to be generated from asset sales, with approximately $1 billion to $2 billion of proceeds expected over the five-year planning period. The Corporation’s at-the-market common equity program will also be available to provide further financing flexibility.

“We are committed to maintaining our investment grade credit ratings as we continue to grow our regulated utility businesses across North America and deliver on our 6% average annual dividend growth target,” said Mr. Perry. “Our portfolio of high quality regulated electric transmission, electric distribution and natural gas distribution utilities, coupled with our expected growth rate, presents a compelling low-risk value proposition for our shareholders.”

Beyond the base capital investment plan, Fortis continues to pursue additional sustainable organic growth and near and long-term development projects. Key development projects not yet included in the capital investment plan include a small-scale LNG export terminal at the Tilbury facility in British Columbia; the fully permitted, cross-border, Lake Erie Connector electric transmission project in Ontario; and the Big Chino Valley Pumped Storage project in Arizona.

Marking its 45th consecutive year of increased dividends, the Board declared a common share dividend of $0.45 per share on the issued and outstanding fully paid common shares of the Corporation, payable on December 1, 2018 to the common shareholders of record at the close of business on November 20, 2018. In addition, the Corporation has targeted average annual dividend per common share growth of approximately 6% through 2023 based on an annualized dividend of $1.70.

The continuation of our dividend growth guidance is premised on several assumptions, including the continued good performance of our utilities, growth in our service territories, the expectation of reasonable outcomes for regulatory proceedings, and the successful execution of the Corporation’s five-year capital investment plan.

The Board announced the following dividends on the Corporation’s First Preference Shares and Common Shares:

  1. $0.3063 per share on the First Preference Shares, Series “F” of the Corporation, payable on December 1, 2018 to the Shareholders of Record at the close of business on November 20, 2018;
  2. $0.2745625 per share on the First Preference Shares, Series “G” of the Corporation, payable on December 1, 2018 to the Shareholders of Record at the close of business on November 20, 2018;
  3. $0.15625 per share on the First Preference Shares, Series “H” of the Corporation, payable on December 1, 2018 to the Shareholders of Record at the close of business on November 20, 2018;
  4. $0.18075 per share on the First Preference Shares, Series “I” of the Corporation, payable on December 1, 2018 to the Shareholders of Record at the close of business on November 20, 2018;
  5. $0.2969 per share on the First Preference Shares, Series “J” of the Corporation, payable on December 1, 2018 to the Shareholders of Record at the close of business on November 20, 2018;
  6. $0.2500 per share on the First Preference Shares, Series “K” of the Corporation, payable on December 1, 2018 to the Shareholders of Record at the close of business on November 20, 2018;
  7. $0.25625 per share on the First Preference Shares, Series “M” of the Corporation, payable on December 1, 2018 to the Shareholders of Record at the close of business on November 20, 2018; and
  8. $0.45 per share on the Common Shares of the Corporation, payable on December 1, 2018 to the Shareholders of Record at the close of business on November 20, 2018.

The Corporation has designated the common share dividend and preference share dividends as eligible dividends for federal and provincial dividend tax credit purposes.

About Fortis
Fortis is a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry with 2017 revenue of C$8.3 billion and total assets of C$50 billion as at June 30, 2018. The Corporation’s 8,500 employees serve utility customers in five Canadian provinces, nine U.S. states and three Caribbean countries.

Fortis shares are listed on the TSX and NYSE and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be accessed at www.fortisinc.com, www.sedar.com, or www.sec.gov.

For further information contact:

Investor Enquiries:
Ms. Stephanie Amaimo
Vice President, Investor Relations
Fortis Inc.
248.946.3572
investorrelations@fortisinc.com

Media Enquiries:
Ms. Karen McCarthy
Vice President, Communications and Corporate Affairs
Fortis Inc.
709.737.5323
media@fortisinc.com

NT4

Live: Missing and murdered Indigenous women inquiry starts in St. John’s – CBC

Four days of hearings begin Monday

Oct 15, 2018

Sexual exploitation, human trafficking and sexual violence are set to be explored as the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls begins four days of a hearings in St. John’s on Monday.

Nine people will testify at the hearing, which is open to the public, at the Sheraton Hotel.

First to take the stand is Tina Chalk, a veteran of the Ontario Provincial Police force who has been a lead investigator in many sexual assault, missing persons and human trafficking cases.

The inquiry involves three parts. The first focuses on hearing from families and survivors, and the second on institutions. The St. John’s hearing is part of its third effort, to gather testimony from experts and officials, including those from government, law, academia and the community.

Read More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/missing-murdered-indigenous-women-inquiry-st-johns-1.4862870

Canadians share their views on eliminating plastic waste as the Government of Canada looks to next steps

From: Environment and Climate Change Canada

October 12, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canadians know that plastic pollution is choking our oceans, lakes, and rivers and damaging the places we love. Beating plastic pollution means getting plastic out of our waters and eliminating plastic waste. From April 22 to September 21, 2018, the Government of Canada asked Canadians to share their views on the topic “Moving Canada Toward Zero Plastic Waste.”

Canadians submitted over 1,900 comments and emails and 12,000 campaign letters. Summaries of what we heard have now been published. Initial feedback made it clear that Canadians recognize the need for prompt action to reduce plastic waste and marine litter and acknowledge that everyone—government, industry, and consumers alike—shares responsibility for managing plastics throughout their lifecycle.

Canada is taking action. We are working with provinces and territories and gathering input from Indigenous Peoples, industry, municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, and research institutions to develop an approach by the end of 2018. Environment ministers will meet in November at the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment to discuss a Canada-wide framework for eliminating plastic waste and reducing marine litter. Discussions will continue into 2019 through the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and with other levels of government, Indigenous communities, industry, and others to identify specific actions to reduce plastic waste and its pollution.

Throughout its G7 presidency, Canada has been a champion on international efforts to reduce plastic pollution, including spearheading the launch of the Ocean Plastics Charter at the G7 leaders summit last June. This leadership role continued at the G7 Environment, Energy and Oceans Ministers meeting in Halifax, last month, where plastic pollution remained a priority for discussion and collaboration with international partners.

Canada is committed to protecting our environment and preserving our waterways so that all Canadians can continue to enjoy the beauty, health, and economic benefits that our oceans, lakes, and rivers provide.

Quotes

“Plastic pollution is choking our oceans, lakes, and rivers. I’m so grateful that so many Canadians have spoken and told us how important protecting our waterways from plastic pollution and marine litter is. It’s on all of us to change the way we use plastics—as consumers, businesses, and governments. Together, we can move Canada to be a nation of zero plastic waste.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Quick facts

  • Canadians identified a variety of potential solutions for reducing plastic pollution. The most common suggestions included
    • improving recyclability and packaging standards
    • increasing environmentally sound alternatives and providing incentives for their use, such as reusable items and compostable plastics
    • creating incentives for alternatives and fees for non-environmentally friendly plastics
    • implementing limits or fees on single-use plastics and packaging (e.g., prohibiting the sale of non-recyclable packaging)
    • investing in improved recycling programs and infrastructure
    • increasing awareness of plastic waste and solutions through educational campaigns
  • Worldwide, there are more than 150 million tonnes of plastic waste in the ocean.
  • Every year, approximately 8 million tonnes of plastics enter our oceans from land, globally.
  • Globally, less than 10 per cent of all plastics are recycled and kept in the economy. This reality represents the loss of a valuable commodity.
  • Plastic pollution is found on all of Canada’s ocean coasts and in freshwater ecosystems, including the Great Lakes. It is on shorelines, in waters, sediments, sea ice, and even in wildlife.

Associated links

Contacts

Caroline Thériault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
613-462-5473
caroline.theriault2@canada.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
ec.media.ec@canada.ca

NT5

New state-of-the-art health centre opens in Eskasoni First Nation

From: Indigenous Services Canada

Now the largest on-reserve health centre in Atlantic Region

October 12, 2018 – Eskasoni First Nation, District of Unama’ki in the traditional unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people, NOVA SCOTIA – Indigenous Services Canada

The Government of Canada is working in partnership with First Nation communities to improve health and well-being, and address health infrastructure needs.

Today, Member of Parliament Mark Eyking, on behalf of the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated Eskasoni First Nation on the grand opening of their new, state-of-the-art health centre. It is more than twice the size of the former space, and makes it the largest on-reserve health centre in the Atlantic Region.

The new facility will enable access to quality care in the community by supporting a wide-range of health services and programs under one roof, including a dental clinic and pharmacy.

The health centre will provide space for programs and services for people of all ages, including mental wellness, health promotion, disease prevention and primary care.

Indigenous Services Canada provided an investment of $6.6M for this project, and Eskasoni First Nation contributed $3.5M.

Quotes

“I would like to congratulate Eskasoni First Nation on the grand opening of their new state-of-the art health centre that will meet the needs of their growing population. In partnering with First Nation communities, our government is pleased to invest in health infrastructure on-reserve to support the health and well-being of all community members.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services

“This new Health Center is another great development in Eskasoni, I commend the leadership of the community in making this new facility a reality. It is a wonderful facility in a beautiful location in the community. Eskasoni is the fastest growing community in Cape Breton and this new facility is greatly needed and will be well used by many in the community.”

The Honourable Mark Eyking, P.C., M.P.

“As Chief and Council, our main priority is to look after the well-being of our community members. Access to quality health care is imperative to each and every community member and their collective well-being. Our new health center allows for our community members from all ages to have access to vital health services right here in our community. Meeting this goal was a lengthy process, which involved a lot of work and dedication. We still have lots of work to do, we will continue to work towards meeting objectives for every aspect our community’s well- being.”

Chief Leroy Denny
Eskasoni First Nation

Quick facts

  • Eskasoni First Nation is the largest Mi’kmaq community in the Atlantic Region. It is located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and has an on-reserve population of approximately 3,867 people.
  • The new facility is 1650m2. It is the largest health centre on-reserve in the Atlantic Region.
  • Budget 2016 allocated $270M over five years to address health infrastructure needs for First Nations communities.

Associated links

Contacts

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Indigenous Services
819-934-2796

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
SAC.media.ISC@canada.ca

NT5

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