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3 confirmed dead in plane crash on B.C.’s Gabriola Island | CBC News

Three people died in the plane crash on Gabriola Island on Tuesday, which happened after the Nanaimo Airport received a report of an “equipment issue,” a preliminary report by Nav Canada says. The aircraft hit the ground with such force that investigators struggled to even verify the plane’s registration, according to the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).  The TSB has…

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3 confirmed dead in plane crash on B.C.’s Gabriola Island | CBC News

Three people died in the plane crash on Gabriola Island on Tuesday, which happened after the Nanaimo Airport received a report of an “equipment issue,” a preliminary report by Nav Canada says. The aircraft hit the ground with such force that investigators struggled to even verify the plane’s registration, according to the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).  The TSB has confirmed the plane was on a private pleasure flight that had taken off from Bishop, Calif., and was headed to Nanaimo, B.C.  Aviation experts say the evidence suggests there was some kind of mechanical or technical trouble before the plane could land. Alex Bahlsen, 61, has been identified as the pilot. Bahlsen owned the plane and had decades of experience both flying and instructing. The BC Coroners Service confirmed Friday that it had identified one of the victims as a man in his 60s from Mill Bay, B.C. The agency said a man and woman also died in the crash, and work is underway to confirm their identities. It will not release the names of any of the victims due to privacy.  The pilot of the plane has been identified as Alex Bahlsen, 61. (Facebook) TSB investigators wrapped up their work at the crash site Friday after three days of surveying the wreckage, collecting data and interviewing witnesses. The TSB said the wreckage has been removed and will be stored for further analysis. Part of the TSB’s investigation in the coming days will include examining data from electronic devices that may be found in the plane, and by studying maintenance records and weather information.  Aviation experts who reviewed the crash photos and radar approach of the plane on the evening of Dec. 10 say the details of how it suddenly seemed to fall fits the scenario of some kind of instrument failure. “If you lost those instruments, it’s pretty much like losing your eyes,” said former TSB investigator Bill Yearwood. “I can tell you I certainly feel anxiety even thinking about it. I am a pilot and being in that situation and losing critical flight instruments … to think about it scares the hell out of me.” Transport Canada publishes a report of Civil Aviation Daily Occurrences called CADORS. In the Gabriola Island crash, the aircraft was approaching Nanaimo on track for a landing using an instrument landing system when an “equipment issue” was reported and the pilot turned away from the approach, according to the CADORS report. Within minutes, the aircraft dropped off the radar. Nav Canada is the company that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation service. CADORS reports are preliminary and are subject to change. RCMP at the crash scene after a small plane went down on Gabriola Island on Tuesday night, killing everyone on board. (Kathryn Marlow/CBC)
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Jagmeet Singh is getting what he wants from the Liberals — but will voters give him credit? | CBC News

The NDP did not do well in the last federal election — but it did get lucky. The NDP lost 15 seats in last year’s vote and was knocked down to fourth-party status in the House of Commons. With just 24 MPs remaining, the party was reduced to its lowest share of the House since Jack…

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Jagmeet Singh is getting what he wants from the Liberals — but will voters give him credit? | CBC News

The NDP did not do well in the last federal election — but it did get lucky. The NDP lost 15 seats in last year’s vote and was knocked down to fourth-party status in the House of Commons. With just 24 MPs remaining, the party was reduced to its lowest share of the House since Jack Layton’s first election in 2004.But although it stumbled into the race in a perilously weakened position, Jagmeet Singh’s NDP was not wiped out. Instead, the New Democrats fell backwards into a chance at relevance — because Justin Trudeau’s Liberals also lost seats. On any given day, those 24 NDP MPs could represent the difference between a Liberal minority government passing legislation or falling on a confidence vote. As a result, the NDP can have a direct and meaningful impact on public policy. But there is no guarantee that the party will be any better off for that whenever the next election comes. The NDP used the parliamentary math to its advantage this week when it persuaded the government to expand federal sick leave and implement a more generous income support program for unemployed workers. Those changes were demanded in exchange for the NDP’s support for the throne speech. Watch: Singh on the Trudeau government’s pandemic package The Liberal government is asking Parliament to fast-track its latest COVID-19 economic recovery package. The new bill would set up three new benefits for Canadians who don’t qualify for EI but are still affected by the economic crisis generated by the pandemic. 12:30 “We were talking about the throne speech quite a bit and then … acknowledging that it didn’t really mean that much. At a certain point, we decided that we were going to operate that way,” says Anne McGrath, national director of the NDP and a former senior aide to Layton. Parliament’s return was set to coincide with the expiry of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), so the NDP chose to focus on that, and on an outstanding commitment by the government to implement a national sick leave plan. Through the spring and summer, the NDP was nimble enough to get ahead of the policy debate with demands that the Liberals do more, either broadly or in specific areas. Maybe the Liberals would have gotten there anyway — but the New Democrats still found themselves in a position to claim credit for pushing the government to act. In April, the Liberals agreed to increase direct aid for students to win NDP support for a relief package. In May, the prime minister made that commitment to paid sick leave after Singh made it a condition of NDP votes. Policy deals don’t win elections Such dealmaking can cut both ways — Conservatives criticized the NDP in May for working with the Liberals to set aside normal parliamentary business over the summer. Still, the NDP has not been irrelevant over the past six months. New Democrats have been in this position before. From 1972 to 1974, the NDP was the primary partner for Pierre Trudeau’s minority government. In 2005, Jack Layton’s NDP negotiated new spending with Paul Martin’s Liberal government in exchange for passing the budget. In 2009, Layton agreed to support changes to Employment Insurance proposed by Stephen Harper’s minority Conservative government. But such practical and parliamentary relevance does not necessarily translate into political rewards. There was, for instance, no electoral dividend from cooperation with the Liberals in 1974 — in fact, the NDP lost half of its seats when Trudeau’s Liberals regained a majority. Layton’s NDP gained seats in each election after 2004, but its breakthrough in 2011 — when the NDP won 103 seats — might have had as much to do with a succession of weak Liberal leaders and Layton’s own profile as it did with any manoeuvres in the House of Commons. A political identity crisis Though they’re not perfectly analogous, the experiences of smaller parties in Europe are also worth considering. A 2019 study of 45 years of elections in 28 European countries found that “junior partners” in coalition governments tended to do poorly when they next faced voters — in part because the smaller party’s identity ended up subsumed by that of the larger partner. “Voters see little difference between junior and senior partners — and thus see no reason to vote for the junior, less powerful party in the next election,” the study’s authors wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post last year. Jagmeet Singh meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just weeks after the 2019 election that reduced the Liberals to a minority. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press) But as McGrath notes, a coalition arrangement usually involves the partners agreeing to not criticize each other in public. That could be the crucial difference here: Singh’s New Democrats remain in opposition and they have not stopped castigating the Liberal government. “Every step of the way, with any victory that we won for people, we had to fight tooth and nail,” Singh told the House on Tuesday. In working with this (apparently cold and heartless but not inflexible) Liberal government, the NDP can hope to build up a body of evidence that it can take to voters whenever the next election comes. “What we want to say is we have been able to extract a variety of things during this period of time. Think how much better would be if we were the ones actually doing it,” McGrath said. “If we were the ones in government, then there wouldn’t be a need for all this kind of brinksmanship and deadlines and tension and worry because we would know what has to be done and we would do it.” Still, there’s a chance the Liberals will get the vast majority of the credit if voters decide they like what the federal government does over the coming weeks or months (or even years). In 2013, two researchers surveyed international examples and summarized a few lessons for the Liberal Democrats in the United Kingdom, who were then the junior partners in a coalition with the British Conservatives. Despite the differences between coalition and opposition, at least two of those lessons are likely worth noting for New Democrats. First, “smaller parties … need to be able to demonstrate their distinct contribution to government.” Second, “successful junior coalition partners have leaders with a strong public profile and a clear personal record of achievement in government.” For as long as the NDP is able or willing to find reasons to support Liberal legislation, New Democrats have a chance to show those distinct contributions. And as long as the NDP is doing that, Singh — perhaps like Layton before him — has a chance to build up the sort of profile that might make him a more formidable candidate in the next election.
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First U.S. presidential debate ‘not a very good night’ for America | CBC News

The first debate of this fall’s U.S. presidential election achieved the rare feat of uniting the pundits in a notoriously divided country. They found unity in their dismay.The point of agreement was that this was a sad spectacle for what’s sometimes described as the world’s oldest democracy. The 90-minute affair concluded with a surreal exchange…

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First U.S. presidential debate ‘not a very good night’ for America | CBC News

The first debate of this fall’s U.S. presidential election achieved the rare feat of uniting the pundits in a notoriously divided country. They found unity in their dismay.The point of agreement was that this was a sad spectacle for what’s sometimes described as the world’s oldest democracy. The 90-minute affair concluded with a surreal exchange about whether the United States is in fact about to have a clean election. In this debate, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, complained about mailed ballots and said: “It’s a rigged election.”  Several minutes earlier, the moderator had asked him to condemn white supremacists and militia-like groups, and the president pushed back. WATCH | ‘Stand back and stand by,’ Trump says to Proud Boys group:  U.S. presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace asks U.S. President Donald Trump if he will condemn white supremacist groups involved in violent clashes over policing and racism in some U.S. cities. Trump replies, ‘Sure’ and asks ‘Who would you like me to condemn? Who? Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,’ referencing one of the groups involved. 1:30 “What do you want to call them? Give me a name,” Trump responded, and when his opponent Joe Biden mentioned the Proud Boys group, the president said something that triggered a celebratory reaction in far-right online circles.  “Proud Boys — stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.”  Trump’s response drew sharp rebukes from viewers and pundits, including this from political commentator Van Jones: Only three things happened tonight:1. #DonaldTrump refused to condemn white supremacy.2. The #POTUS refused to condemn white supremacy.3. The #CommanderInChief REFUSED to condemn white supremacy on the GLOBAL STAGE.NOW LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING ONLINE.THIS IS NOT OKAY. pic.twitter.com/OhANFUYqNS—@VanJones68 It was a far cry from the first televised presidential debate in 1960.  In that one, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon spoke in complex and complete sentences; avoided interrupting each other; and began with an exchange on the need to become a fairer and more racially equal country that shines its example unto the free world. Trump game plan: Constant attack Trump clearly entered this one with a more prosaic game plan: maul away at Biden so consistently, so aggressively, that he’d struggle to complete a point. The president dominated the stage in the first half of the debate, repeatedly interrupting and knocking the former vice-president off-kilter. WATCH | Recap of the first U.S. presidential debate: U.S. President Donald Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden faced off in their first presidential debate, with Trump looking to increase lagging support and Biden trying to disprove doubts about his age and abilities. 5:51 A number of Trump’s interjections comprised falsehoods. In the very first segment, Biden warned that an upcoming Supreme Court case over the so-called Obamacare health law could harm insurance coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions and he mentioned that 100 million people have such conditions. Debate-watchers say Biden won first debate, but most felt “annoyed” – CBS News poll https://t.co/4hlkiDxaHt—@CBSNews Trump interrupted, for the first of many times, to deny that 100 million people have pre-existing conditions.  His own Department of Health and Human Services says it’s actually somewhere between 50 million and 129 million people, though far fewer actually make use of one of the Obamacare plans. WATCH | Science vs. politics and the COVID-19 vaccine:  Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden becomes exasperated with President Donald Trump’s interrupting during the first presidential debate. 0:34 The former VP initially struggled to get his points across. The president lobbed comments at him — like, “Forty-seven years [in politics], you’ve done nothing” — that broke his flow.  At the moment where Biden began to lace into the president over a New York Times report that he paid little or no income tax some years, and started to make a broader point about his own plan to raise taxes on companies and the rich, Biden’s initial attempt was cut off; his second was a bit muddled.  ‘Shut up, man’ The tide turned somewhat. It began with exasperated insults from Biden like: “You’re the worst president America has ever had. Come on,” and, “It’s hard to get any word in with this clown,” and, “Everyone knows he’s a liar,” and, in a distant cry from the rhetorical style of past televised debates, Biden told Trump, “Will you shut up, man?”  The moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, then called Trump to task. He told the president to stop speaking out of turn.  “I’m appealing to you, sir,” Wallace said. When Trump asked whether he’d issue the same order to Biden, Wallace replied: “Frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting.”   Eventually Biden settled into his own game plan — to look at the camera, speak directly to the American people and, in this difficult year, exude empathy. WATCH | ‘Will you shut up, man?’ Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says he and his running mate Kamala Harris trust the scientists when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine prompting Donald Trump to question Biden’s intelligence. 1:54 “Under this president we’ve become weaker. Sicker. Poorer. More divided. And more violent,” Biden said. He waffled when Trump asked about a highly controversial idea gaining ground on the left: expanding the Supreme Court as punishment for the latest Republican nomination.  More than once, Trump set out to damage Biden’s left flank.  Trump raised policies embraced by the farther-left elements of the Democratic Party, like the Green New Deal and defunding the police. Biden replied each time that these were not his policies. The Democratic nominee stressed that he — not socialists — spoke for the Democratic Party. “The fact of the matter is I beat Bernie Sanders,” Biden said. “I beat him [by] a whole hell of a lot.” Trump’s response to that was striking.  Trump tries damaging rival on his left The president, at two moments in the debate, offered something that sounded like political punditry. Trump chimed in, “He just lost the left. You just lost the left.”  Trump repeated a similar comment later about Biden losing left-wing votes, during an exchange about the Green New Deal. It was self-serving punditry, to be sure.  But it was also revealing, as it highlighted one way Trump can still win this race: depressed turnout on the left. All across America, people are ready to take a shower.—@DanRather Trump has had trouble cracking the mid-40s in national polls and in swing-state polls. One way to win, if he doesn’t grow, is to take Biden down a peg. Meaning, if enough progressives vote Green or stay home, Trump has a better chance. Whether this debate did anything to help the president is far from certain.  Trump entered Tuesday night deemed the underdog, and it’ll become clearer within a few days whether he gained a critical boost. Initial reactions give Biden edge According to the first post-debate polls by CBS and CNN, Biden was viewed as the winner. The CBS poll said, however, that most people were annoyed by the debate. Undecided voters in a focus group organized by Republican operative Frank Luntz were also uninspired. The first five post-debate panellists commenting on Fox News were unconvinced this was a game-changer.  These early debate reactions are to be handled with caution.  In 2012, and in 2016, the first post-debate polls hailed Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton as the winners; neither became president. One broad point of consensus however, on both the left- and right-leaning networks, was that the debate had one big loser. “Maybe America lost,” was the immediate post-debate reaction from Fox News’ Bret Baier. Over on MSNBC, veteran Democratic strategist James Carville said: “It was not a very good night for American democracy at all.”
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Military member with links to far-right groups says he’s ‘done nothing wrong’ | CBC News

A Canadian military reservist whose membership in two far-right groups is being investigated by the army has spoken publicly about the matter for the first time, telling a local print and online publication in British Columbia that the allegations against him are “rubbish.” Erik Myggland, who belongs to the Canadian Ranger Valemount, B.C. patrol, spoke recently to The Rocky…

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Military member with links to far-right groups says he’s ‘done nothing wrong’ | CBC News

A Canadian military reservist whose membership in two far-right groups is being investigated by the army has spoken publicly about the matter for the first time, telling a local print and online publication in British Columbia that the allegations against him are “rubbish.” Erik Myggland, who belongs to the Canadian Ranger Valemount, B.C. patrol, spoke recently to The Rocky Mountain Goat, a weekly publication, about the military’s effort to release him from the service. A CBC News investigation last month chronicled Myggland’s prolific online support for the Three Percenter movement — a survivalist organization originally from the U.S. that conducts military-style training — and the Soldiers of Odin, a group with white supremacist roots in Europe. Myggland was interviewed by the military’s counterintelligence branch, which is charged with keeping tabs on possible threats within the service. Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, a brigadier general at the time, speaks with Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk, commander of the Canadian Army, in the Wainwright Garrison training area during Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE on June 2, 2016. (DND Combat Camera/Master Corporal Malcolm Byers) He is still serving as a Ranger, although his own unit recommended he be removed more than a year ago. The army is now investigating to learn why he hasn’t been ejected from the Rangers to date. Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre, commander of the Canadian Army, said recently that Myggland is not expected to be formally released until later this fall.”I’m fine with being released, but it absolutely matters why,” Myggland told the newspaper, adding that he “can’t stand for” being publicly linked with hate groups. CBC News reached out to Myggland — who has posted anti-government screeds online and described Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a “treasonous bastard” in one social media post — on several occasions before its first story on him was published in late August. He initially agreed to talk but then went silent. After publication of his recent interview with the local weekly, CBC News again reached out to Myggland to verify his remarks and again offer him the opportunity to comment on his online posts and involvement with both groups. A tweet by Erik Myggland responding to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Vimy anniversary tribute on April 9, 2018. (Twitter/CBC News) Myggland refused to be interviewed by CBC News. In an email, however, he claimed that coverage of his story has been biased and has failed to cite his years of community service, working with troubled teenagers and teaching self-defence courses to women, and his work with the Rangers and the local volunteer fire service, which he said included 400 emergency responses and life-saving calls. “You see you have no interest in these things. You have no interest in the truth,” he wrote. “You are more interested in trying to destroy a good man that has done NOTHING wrong!” His email did not address his involvement in either right-wing group and did not answer questions related to his case. In his interview with The Rocky Mountain Goat, Myggland did address the military counterintelligence investigation of his activities. The media outlet quotes him saying that he was asked by his commanding officer to meet with counterintelligence officers and insisting that he “promptly complied and fully briefed them on his past activities with the Soldiers of Odin and his current activities with Three Percenters in B.C.” ‘We weren’t doing anything wrong’ The army launched a summary investigation after a CBC News investigation reported that the Canadian military counterintelligence branch  interviewed Myggland about his affiliations but allowed him to continue serving. There was no mention of Myggland’s social media posts in The Rocky Mountain Goat article, although it does quote him strenuously insisting he is not racist. “The most intriguing question [asked by CBC journalists …] in that article was why did the Armed Forces allow me to serve for two years after being investigated? It’s a pretty simple answer: because we weren’t doing anything wrong,” the article quoted Myggland as saying. The story also paraphrased his patrol commanding officer, Clayton Gee, as saying Myggland did not preach hate or try to recruit other Rangers while serving. Myggland vehemently denied being “racist or hateful” in his interview with the weekly and claims that, as a Facebook administrator for the Three Percenters of B.C., he would call out those who displayed such behaviour. He said the Three Percenter movement is all about teaching survival techniques and preparing people for the collapse of society — something which its members believe is inevitable. ‘Anathema’ Myggland is quoted as saying the B.C. Three Percenters would practice with firearms at a local firing range and “conducted military drills with Airsoft rifles.” Section 70 of the Criminal Code of Canada gives the federal government the power to prohibit assemblies without lawful authority for the purpose of conducting military exercises. Barbara Perry is an expert on far-right groups at Ontario Tech University, in Oshawa, Ont. She said she was surprised to see a case of suspected far-right activity within the military handled so “nonchalantly, or so informally.” A counterintelligence investigation should have sounded the alarm all the way up the chain of command to 4th Canadian Ranger Group headquarters and beyond, said Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. “It really needs to be communicated to every level of commanding officer in the Armed Forces that membership in a hate group is anathema to serving in the Forces,” Balgord said. The Department of National Defence (DND) would not comment on Myggland’s public statement, saying that in light of the army’s investigation, “it would be inappropriate for us to publicly discuss further.” It also refused to discuss “the sensitive nature of its intelligence work,” adding that information collected during an investigation by counterintelligence officers is protected under the Privacy Act and needs to be safeguarded to protect current and future investigations. “That being said, we can firmly say that the entire institution remains unwavering in its commitment to fighting hateful conduct,” said Dan Lebouthillier, DND’s head of media relations. “We will not tolerate racist or harmful behaviour in our ranks or among our civilian personnel.” Myggland pointed out in his interview that neither the Three Percenters nor the Soldiers of Odin are on any state lists of terrorist organizations. That’s true, said Perry — but even a simple Internet search five years ago would have revealed the anti-Muslim rhetoric being traded among members of the Three Percenters in the U.S., and the blatant white supremacy and anti-immigrant commentary dominating the discourse among Soldiers of Odin organizers, especially in Europe. A Facebook photo of Erik Myggland on Aug. 24, 2019 wearing a Three Percenter patch (Facebook/CBC News) “You would have to have been willfully blind” to claim ignorance about those groups because of the “explicitness of the narratives” at the time Myggland joined, said Perry. Even before the recent introduction of the anti-racism policy framework, Canadian military policy officially barred members from joining groups “that they knew or ought reasonably to have known” would promote violence and hatred.
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