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China blocks canola shipments from Viterra, saying pests found among the grain

China blocks canola shipments from Viterra, saying pests found among the grainChina blocked canola shipments from a second Canada-based producer on Tuesday over alleged contamination issues, a move that has prompted Ottawa to consider dispatching a delegation to the Asian country. A statement on China's General Administration of Customs website said officials detected several hazardous organisms in canola shipments from Regina-based Viterra Inc. Canola shipments from Viterra are now blocked, it said.


Toronto man arrested in Chinese student's abduction, no sign of missing man

Toronto man arrested in Chinese student's abduction, no sign of missing manA Toronto man was arrested Tuesday in connection with the alleged abduction of a Chinese student, as police said they were closing in on suspects.A massive manhunt remained underway with police working around the clock to find Wanzhen Lu, 22, who was violently taken from an underground parking garage in Markham, Ont., on Saturday. The incident was captured on surveillance cameras. Const. Andy Pattenden with York Regional Police said a 35-year-old the man was arrested in the early hours Tuesday, but has yet to be charged. Police said they remained "very concerned" about the well-being of Lu, who also goes by the name Peter."Let me make this message very clear to the suspects that are still out there: It's time to release Mr. Lu unharmed and time to seek legal counsel and turn yourself in," Pattenden said.Police said Lu was walking with his friend toward the elevator after parking his car at his condominium around 6 p.m. when a black wheelchair-accessible minivan came up behind him.Investigators say three men jumped out of the van while the driver remained behind the wheel, grabbed Lu, shocked him multiple times with a stun gun and dragged him into the van before speeding off.Lu's friend, a young woman, was not injured in the incident, but was traumatized at what police have called a "brazen" and "violent" attack.Investigators so far have been baffled as to why this has occurred, Pattenden said. They've heard nothing from the suspects, including ransom or any other demands. Nor do they have a motive.Those are questions that can be answered once they find Lu in good health, he said.Police found the van Sunday at an undisclosed location in Toronto after a tip from the public."Our forensic identification unit has been poring through that van to gather evidence," Pattenden said.Lu's parents have arrived from China, he said, and are "traumatized" by their son's abduction.Pattenden would not say whether the man they've arrested is one of the four suspects they are seeking. Security images released show three men wearing winter jackets with their hoods wrapped tight to their faces.Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact York Regional Police or call 911.Liam Casey, The Canadian Press


Refugee who sheltered Snowden hopes others who helped can join her in Canada

Refugee who sheltered  Snowden hopes others who helped can join her in CanadaTORONTO — A newly arrived refugee who helped shelter whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong pleaded with Canadian officials on Tuesday to grant asylum to others who assisted the American fugitive years ago. Vanessa Rodel said her excitement at now being in Canada with her seven-year-old daughter Keana was tempered by the knowledge that people with whom she still feels a strong bond have not been so lucky.At a news conference in Toronto, held hours before she was to travel to Montreal and move into her new home, Rodel said her fellow members of the group that came to be known as Snowden's "Guardian Angels" should be allowed to join her."I don't want them left behind," she said of the group of five, who include Keana's father and two half-siblings. "I don't want to feel that I forget about them because I'm here now in Canada. They're still hoping they can come in Canada to feel safe and free."Rodel and Keana arrived in Toronto on Monday afternoon, two months after the federal government formally granted them refugee status.Their arrival brought an end to what her lawyer Robert Tibbo described as a saga dating back to 2013.At that time, when Snowden fled to Hong Kong after divulging classified documents from the U.S. National Security Agency, Tibbo said Rodel and a handful of others banded together to help in the whistleblower's early days as a fugitive.The information Snowden leaked exposed the scope of massive government surveillance operations. He currently lives in Moscow and is wanted in the United States on charges related to the leaks. Five other people in the "Angels" group represented by Tibbo — three adults and two children — remain in Hong Kong. They had fled Sri Lanka years ago, and their applications for asylum in Hong Kong have been rejected.Rodel, who went to Hong Kong after fleeing gender-based violence and human trafficking in the Philippines, said the group members all developed an unusually close bond."When we are ... facing lots of problems, we always stick together," she said. "We feel like we are family."The group gained notoriety in 2016 when their existence was revealed in Oliver Stone's film "Snowden," and Tibbo said they have since faced political persecution in Hong Kong.The so-called "Angels" have been identified as a couple from Sri Lanka named Supun Kellapatha and Nadeeka Paththini, and their two young children. The fifth is Ajit Kumara, a Sri Lankan soldier who deserted the military. Rodel said Kellapatha is Keana's father. Tibbo and three Montreal-based lawyers set up a group to raise money for his clients. They filed asylum applications on their behalf, and collected about $350,000 for their expenses in Hong Kong and in Canada, should they all arrive as privately sponsored refugees.Tibbo called on Ottawa to extend the same welcome Rodel and Keana received to the rest of the group."Canada needs to step forward," he said. "The government of Canada has done the right thing for Vanessa and her daughter, but really what should have been done is all the families should have been brought into Canada at one time."Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has said the government cannot weigh in on private refugee cases or comment on individual situations.But Ethan Cox, spokesman for advocacy group For the Refugees, questioned that claim."The government has the ability to intervene and expedite the processing of the private-sponsored refugee claims of the remaining five Snowden refugees," Cox said. "That is what we are asking today is for the government of Justin Trudeau to finish the job."Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press


Ottawa ordered to pay $20M for placing mentally ill inmates in solitary

Ottawa ordered to pay $20M for placing mentally ill inmates in solitaryAn Ontario judge has ordered the federal government to pay $20 million for placing mentally ill inmates in solitary confinement, with the money earmarked to boost mental health supports in correctional facilities.In a ruling issued this week, Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell says the Correctional Service of Canada violated the charter rights of thousands of inmates who filed a class-action lawsuit against the agency over its use of administrative segregation.Perell found those who were involuntarily placed in administrative segregation for more than 30 days, or voluntarily for more than 60, experienced a systemic breach of their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Those who were in segregation for less than 30 days can still make claims later in the case.Compensation for individual members of the class has also not yet been determined and submissions will be heard at a future date.The judge says the $20 million sum will go to "additional mental health or program resources" in the penal system as well as legal fees."The funds are to remedy to the harm caused to society which has suffered from the Correctional Service's failure to comply with the charter and also its failure to comply with the spirit of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and its purpose of rehabilitating mentally ill inmates to return to society rather than worsening their capacity to do so by the harm caused by prolonged solitary confinement," Perell wrote in his ruling.The Correctional Service of Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Administrative segregation is used to maintain security when inmates pose a risk to themselves or others and no reasonable alternative is available.The practice has faced legal challenges in Ontario and British Columbia, both of which found extended solitary confinement to be unconstitutional.Ontario's top court has given Ottawa until April 30 to fix its solitary confinement law, while B.C.'s has extended the deadline to June 17.The government has pointed to Bill C-83, now before the Senate, which eliminates administrative segregation and replaces it with "structured intervention units" meant to emphasize "meaningful human contact" for inmates and improve their access to programs and services.However, the bill does not include hard caps on how many days or months inmates can be isolated from the general prison population, and civil liberties organizations have said it does not go far enough.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press


PM stays mum on clash with Wilson-Raybould over high court pick, leak of info

PM stays mum on clash with Wilson-Raybould over high court pick, leak of infoWINNIPEG — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is staying mum about whether he rejected former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould's 2017 recommendation for chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.Sources tell The Canadian Press that Trudeau turned down Wilson-Raybould's recommendation that Glenn Joyal be elevated from chief justice of Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench to chief justice of the Supreme Court over Joyal's views on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Joyal said Monday he withdrew his candidacy due to his wife's health.Trudeau would not answer direct questions this morning about what transpired two years ago, nor would he say whether his office was involved in the leak of what is usually a highly confidential appointments process.Trudeau says it is the prime minister's choice of who to nominate for the Supreme Court, as well as for chief justice, and that Canadians can and should continue to have faith in their judicial system.The House of Commons ethics committee will meet this afternoon in Ottawa to debate an opposition request to probe further into Wilson-Raybould's allegations of political interference in the criminal prosecution of Quebec engineering and construction firm SNC-Lavalin.The Canadian Press


Tuesday 26th of March 2019 05:34:44

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