Day: October 7, 2019

Financial cards stolen from vehicle in Halton region used in BramptonFinancial cards stolen from vehicle in Halton region used in Brampton

Halton police are looking for a man in his mid to late twenties after several financial cards were stolen and then used in Brampton. Police say in the early morning hours of Oct. 2, someone took several items including the financial cards from a vehicle parked in a driveway near 3 Side Rd. in Campbellville.The cards were used a short time later in Brampton by a man who was captured on a surveillance camera. Investigators are looking for a man with a heavy build, a full light-coloured beard and was wearing black and red high top shoes, long black shorts, a plain red hooded sweater and a black New York Yankees cap. Police say a red, four-door sedan with a sunroof and one working fog light was also captured in the video. Anyone with information that may help police with this investigation is asked to contact Detective Constable Cameron Bokstein at 905-825-4747 ext. 2484. read more

Teachers union sues DeVos over embattled loan relief programTeachers union sues DeVos over embattled loan relief program

A major teachers union is suing the U.S. Education Department over a program designed to forgive student loans for public workers but which has been beset by problems.The American Federation of Teachers filed a federal lawsuit in Washington on Thursday alleging the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program has been mismanaged, violating the Constitution.The program was created in 2007 and promised to forgive student loans for graduates who made 120 monthly payments while working as teachers, nurses or other public workers.Just 1% of applications have been approved. Many applicants say they were wrongly rejected or weren’t notified they had the wrong type of loans.The lawsuit asks for improvements to the application system and a new appeals process.The department said it does not comment on pending litigation.Collin Binkley, The Associated Press read more

UKs reputation takes global hit with Parliament shutdownUKs reputation takes global hit with Parliament shutdown

LONDON — It’s long been known that Britain’s Parliament building must be vacated for urgent repairs that will take years and cost billions, but the problem now goes beyond the water leaks and vermin infestation to Britain’s global reputation as a model of democracy-in-action.In parts of the world where Britain’s parliamentary system and adherence to the rule of law provided a model to emerging nations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s brusque decision to shut down Parliament for crucial weeks ahead of the looming Brexit deadline is seen by some as proof that Britain, too, can be subject to a power grab.Johnson’s gambit may pay off if he is able to make Brexit a reality on Oct. 31 without doing grave damage to Britain’s economy, but the widely held perception that he is shuttering Parliament to squelch debate (despite his claims to the contrary) has been roundly condemned in key parts of the former British Empire, including some where Queen Elizabeth II is still accorded the status of head of state.Many Britons — politicians and the public alike — have a lofty view of the country’s role in world affairs, emphasizing its seat on the United Nations Security Council, its nuclear arsenal, and its traditional influence in trouble spots like the Middle East. But the prolonged impasse over Brexit, which was approved more than three years ago but still hasn’t taken place, has taken a toll on how much of the world views Britain’s vaunted political institutions.Nicholas Sengoba, a columnist in the former British colony of Uganda, said Johnson’s action shows that Britain is not immune to the abuse of power that has plagued some African nations. “The whole notion that a British prime minister cannot be as powerful as an African dictator has been stripped off,” he said.The prolonged Brexit stalemate in Britain has made the former colonial power “look extremely bad” because there is no clear leadership and no consensus on what the actual consequences of a “no deal” Brexit might be, he said.Britain’s longstanding reputation for openness and fair play has been tarnished by a years-long rift in the opposition Labour Party over whether party chief Jeremy Corbyn and his top advisers tolerate anti-Semitism — there has even been a police investigation of some party members — and a desire to keep foreigners from settling in Britain under liberal European Union regulations was at least in part responsible for the 2016 Brexit vote in favour of leaving the 28-nation bloc.Many academics warn that the loss of EU funding, and a stiffening of rules that made it easy for Europeans to study, research and teach in Britain, will lower the standards of Britain’s world-class scientific and medical institutions, and perhaps even dim the quality of the country’s brilliant arts scene. Even the respected royal family is not untouched, with new photographs and stories that document Prince Andrew’s association with pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in prison in August.Some have also been surprised by the queen’s role in the shutdown of Parliament. As head of state in a constitutional monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II is required to maintain strict neutrality on all political issues, which left her little choice but to approve Johnson’s request to shutter Parliament for a longer-than-usual time period.No one outside her closest family members and inner circle of advisers is likely to ever know whether she felt Johnson’s request was appropriate or gave the executive branch too much power by limiting debate in the legislature, just as no one in the media or public can say with certainty how the queen feels on the underlying question of whether it is wise for Britain to leave the EU.Britain’s tortured path toward Brexit — perhaps now nearing its climax — has exacted a price. In New Zealand, another former colony, the latest moves by Johnson have provoked some talk about whether it’s time to change its status as a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth as a figurehead head of state (she does, after all, reside nearly 12,000 miles away) and instead transform into a republic.In a satirical tweet, newspaper columnist Dave Armstrong wrote that it would be dangerous for New Zealand to become a republic “as it would sever our ties with the UK — a stable parliamentary democracy where coups, dictatorships and tyranny by the minority simply doesn’t occur. Discuss.”University of Otago professor Robert Patman told a New Zealand newspaper that other countries are suspicious that Britain, which he described as gripped by its worst economic and diplomatic crisis since World War II, is behaving like a banana republic, and those suspicions have been deepened by Johnson’s latest actions.“At the moment there’s a very dangerous situation in the U.K.,” he said.Johnson’s suspension spawned protests in many British cities Saturday, a phenomenon familiar in Canada, where the queen is still the head of state. Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper sparked major protests after he suspended Parliament in 2008 and 2009, but the protests eventually dwindled and he managed to remain in power despite a no-confidence vote accusing his government of contempt of Parliament.The influential Toronto newspaper The Globe and Mail said in an editorial that Johnson’s suspension of Parliament must be reversed: “It’s wrong. It’s undemocratic. It certainly isn’t British,” the newspaper said.A cartoon in the Toronto Star newspaper showed Johnson with the queen on a boat that’s about to go over a waterfall. Johnson says: “Hold on to your knickers, not even democracy can stop me now!”The spectacle of Britain’s prolonged political impasse over Brexit, and now the decision to shutter Parliament at a key time, is contributing to a sense in Canada that the old colonial power is in decline.Robert Bothwell, a University of Toronto professor of Canadian history, said Britain has been receding in the Canadian consciousness since the 1960s.“There is about a 150-degree change in the way Canadians see Britain since the 1960s,” he said. “It’s not gone but it doesn’t exercise the same political economic draw as it did fifty years ago.”___Associated Press writers Rodney Muhumuza in Kampala, Uganda, Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand and Robert Gillies in Toronto contributed.___Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and British politics at: Katz, The Associated Press read more

How major US stock indexes fared TuesdayHow major US stock indexes fared Tuesday

A late burst of buying left stocks mostly higher on Wall Street Tuesday after the major indexes spent most of the day lower.Industrial, energy and health care stocks helped power the market higher. Banks also notched solid gains as bond yields rose sharply. For the second straight day, traders unloaded technology sector stocks in favour of shares in smaller companies.On Tuesday:The S&P 500 index inched up 0.96 points, or 0.03%, to 2,979.39.The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 73.92 points, or 0.3%, to 26,909.43.The Nasdaq slid 3.28 points, or 0.04%, to 8,084.16.The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 18.76 points, or 1.2%, to 1,542.99.For the week:The S&P 500 is up 0.68 points, or 0.02%.The Dow is up 111.97 points, or 0.4%.The Nasdaq is down 18.92 points, or 0.2%.The Russell 2000 is up 37.82 points, or 2.5%.For the year:The S&P 500 is up 472.54 points, or 18.9%.The Dow is up 3,581.97 points, or 15.4%.The Nasdaq is up 1,448.88 points, or 21.8%.The Russell 2000 is up 194.43 points, or 14.4%.The Associated Press read more

Royal Bank raises prime rate to 37 per cent following Bank ofRoyal Bank raises prime rate to 37 per cent following Bank of

TORONTO — The Royal Bank has raised its prime lending rate after the Bank of Canada increased its overnight lending rate to financial institutions.RBC says it will increase its prime rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3.70 per cent, effective Thursday.The rate has been set at 3.45 per cent.What the Bank of Canada rate hike means for your mortgage and savings accountBank of Canada raises rates as Poloz’s tale of recovery from Great Recession finally comes trueThe increase will raise the cost of borrowing for customers with loans linked to the prime rate such as variable rate mortgages and lines of credit.The Bank of Canada raised its target for the overnight rate to 1.5 per cent today.It was the central bank’s fourth rate increase in the last 12 months.

Planting for the futurePlanting for the future

“We’re growing or creating a buffer to help protect Backus.”The forest will also help wildlife.“When we think of wildlife and movement, we think in terms of corridors – areas that enable them to move,” Vasseur said. “So in addition to building a buffer we’re also creating a place for animals to live and move from one place to another.”The NCC is Canada’s leading national land conservation organization. It is a private, non-profit organization that partners with individuals, corporations and other non-profit organizations and governments to protect natural areas and wildlife.The NCC has helped conserve more than 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres) of ecologically significant land across Canada since 1962.Speaking about the tree planting in Norfolk on Saturday, Vasseur said the area will look like a young forest in about 50 years. It will look like a mature forest in about 100 years.The weekend tree planting is a good example of the partnerships the NCC develops with groups to conserve land. The NCC provided the leadership, expertise and did some tree planting. It was local Scout groups and the Lions Club that brought the volunteers to the site to plant trees.“We’ve done this for three years now,” Paul DeCloet, of the Tillsonburg Lions Club and the Lions Club district A2 environmental chair, said. “We have Lions Club members from across the region here today and each club raises money to purchase the trees.”The trees are purchased from the Long Point Region Conservation Authority.Although the temperatures were a frosty 3 C with a lot of wind on Saturday, DeCloet wasn’t complaining and neither was anyone else.“This is a wonderful day,” DeCloet said. “I get to see Lions Club members and Scouts working together for the future.“One day people from around the world will look at what we’re doing and say we set an example for the rest of the world to follow.”The tree planting was one of two events held by the conservancy in conjunction with Earth Day. On April 20, volunteers participated in a roadside cleanup along Highway 24 and East Quarter Line road near the Backus It takes a lot of time, patience, trees and hands to grow a forest.Fortunately, there was plenty of all four on display at a 25.5 hectare (63-acre) swath of land just north of the Backus Heritage Conservation Area on Saturday.“When we’re doing a project like this we at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) don’t think in terms of having it done overnight, next week, month or even a few years from now,” Julie Vasseur, of the NCC, said. “We think in terms of perpetuity because our projects take a lot of time and patience.“Our projects go on and on.”Vasseur was one of a large number of people – members of area Lions Clubs and scouting groups – who were busy planting trees that will one day be a forest. Right now, the property consists of several sand dunes, a couple of ponds and large flat areas.But now, thanks to the efforts of many volunteers,  the area is dotted with saplings.The tree planting is an important project for a lot of reasons, Vasseur said.“We have a lot of environmentally sensitive areas in Norfolk – areas like Backus and the St. Williams Forestry Centre,” Vasseur said. “We want to do everything we can to protect those areas and the way to do that is create buffers and that’s what we’re doing here. jpg, SR Julie Vasseur of the Nature Conservancy of Canada helps plant trees in a former farm field beside Backus Woods near Port Rowan on Saturday. Vincent Ball/Postmedia News Laura Vaughan of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, is joined by volunteers, Rachel Radauskas, Michelle Radauskas, Ken Suthons, Carol Suthons and Michelle Burrows at a tree planting near Backus Woods in the Port Rowan area on Saturday. Vincent Ball/Postmedia News jpg, SR read more