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Canada

Catholic teachers union blasted for WorldPride Parade plans

The union representing the province's Catholic school teachers should not have an official presence at the WorldPride 2014 Parade, a parent's group says.

Teresa Pierre, president of Parents As First Educators (PAFE), said a petition has been launched in response to a Catholic Register report that the church leadership is opposed to plans by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) to send a delegation to the event, which will be held in Toronto on June 29.

The petition, which drew more than 1,000 signatures over Easter weekend, urges the Ontario Catholic school trustees to demand OECTA change course, she said.

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Syrian extremists threaten to 'destroy' Canada in online video

The most extreme armed faction in Syria has threatened to "destroy" Canada, as Western governments are struggling to deal with radicalized citizens infatuated with Al-Qaeda ideology.

Speaking in flawless English, a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant said in an online video that after fighting in the Middle East, the group would turn on North America.

"This is a message to Canada and all the American tyrants: We are coming and we will destroy you, with permission from Allah the almighty," the unidentified foreign fighter said.

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'Those actions speak for themselves,' Harper says of Trudeau's admission to smoking pot as MP

Justin Trudeau, who has endorsed legalizing marijuana, is making no apologies for smoking pot once as a Member of Parliament, while Prime Minister Stephen Harper had a decidedly unimpressed reaction to the revelation.

"For Mr. Trudeau, I think those actions speak for themselves and I don’t have anything to add," Harper told an audience in Nunavut Thursday.

The Liberal leader told The Huffington Post Canada's Althia Raj that he had a "puff" three years ago. He was first elected in 2008.

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Protocol of Understanding on the Creation of a Strategic Partnership

The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing relationships with key partners in order to further promote issues of common interest. To this end, on February 27, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and His Highness the Aga Khan signed a Protocol of Understanding committing both sides to regular, high-level consultations on a range of global and regional issues. 

The Protocol of Understanding aims to solidify the important partnership that Canada has developed with the Ismaili Imamat over many years. More specifically, the Protocol of Understanding will further strengthen Canada's ties with the Aga Khan and his network by consolidating their excellent development cooperation relationship; expanding the relationship to include a broader foreign policy and trade dialogue on regions and issues of mutual interest; institutionalizing the relationship through the reciprocal appointment of representatives and the holding of annual consultations; and demonstrating how much Canada values the relationship by expanding the number of courtesies extended to the Aga Khan and his representatives in Canada.

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Scott Stinson: Ontario byelection split means consolation prize for all parties

All the usual caveats about overestimating the significance of byelection results still apply, of course, but that won’t stop all three parties from claiming significant victory on Thursday night.

Kathleen Wynne can take solace in having not been shut out, but no one was predicting that the Premier would be restricted to such a consolation prize when the five races were called less than a month ago. The timing of election day, falling on the day before a summer long weekend, was conveniently favourable to the government — low turnout tends to benefit the incumbent party in byelections — and Ms. Wynne had so far limited the damage from McGuinty-era controversies by trying to draw distinctions between her office and the one that preceded it.

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Canada's not-so-secret plan to spy on everyone

Yes, they are following us. All of us.

And no, they don't plan to stop.

That's the take-away from the ever-so-polite questioning of Canada's top spymasters by a Senate committee Monday.

For the public, it was a rare chance to see legislators quiz the who's who of spookdom: Communications Security Establishment Canada chief John Forster, Canadian Security Intelligence Service director Michel Coulombe, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's national security adviser, Stephen Rigby.

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Scott Stinson: Clock ticking on Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government no matter who wins Ontario byelections

There are five provincial byelections on Thursday. The forecast for Friday is for an intense downpour of spin with pockets of hyperbole and scattered fibbing.

The most significant change since Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the Aug. 1 votes a month ago are the expectations. Where once it looked like her Liberals would win three or four of the ridings sending new representatives to Queen’s Park, it now appears likely they will lose that many.

Where it was the opposition Progressive Conservatives who once complained the Liberals were “cheating” by calling votes for the middle of summer, the day before a long weekend, it’s now Ms. Wynne who is talking about how byelections are a risk-free way for voters to signal their displeasure with a government without worrying about putting someone else in charge.

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Supreme Court decision may make Canada sex tourism hub, Justice Minister warns

OTTAWA, January 10, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The recent decision by the Supreme Court which struck down laws against prostitution as unconstitutional puts Canada at risk of becoming a mecca for the sex trade, according to Justice Minister Peter MacKay.

"We do not want Canada to become a haven for sex tourism," MacKay told QMI Agency.

On December 20, Canada's Supreme Court unanimously threw out the country's anti-prostitution laws - banning brothels, communicating for the purpose of prostitution, and living off its profits - stating that the current laws imposed dangerous conditions on a profession that is legal, infringing prostitutes' Charter right to security of the person.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin noted that the case, Bedford v. Canada, did not deal with whether or not prostitution should be legal.

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Liberal 'coverup' bigger than gas plant cancellations

TORONTO - PC MPP Lisa McLeod thinks the deletion of thousands and thousands of e-mails pertaining to the cancellation of two gas-fired plants in Oakville and Mississauga is one of the "most elaborate coverups" in the history of the current Liberal regime at Queen's Park.

Although the amount of money squandered away on the two cancellations may end up being the same as the eHealth debacle - $1 billion - she thinks this scandal is far worse because it shows that public tax dollars have been there purely "for the pleasure of the Liberal party."

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Canada loses 45,900 jobs in December in surprise setback

OTTAWA - Canada's job market suffered a surprise setback in December, finishing off the worst year for hiring since 2009, according to the latest in a string of weak data that has increased speculation about the possibility of an interest rate cut.

The economy lost 45,900 jobs in the month as full-time jobs disappeared over a broad range of sectors, Statistics Canada said on Friday in a report that sent the Canadian dollar to a four-year low.

The agency said also said the unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent from 6.9 percent as more people looked for work. This pushed the Canadian rate above the 6.7 percent rate in the United States. The two countries measure their jobless rates differently, however.

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John Baird welcomes EU decision to outlaw Hezbollah

Blaming Hezbollah for international terrorism and fighting on the side of the Syrian regime, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird welcomed the European Union’s decision Monday to outlaw the group’s “military wing.”

Although Canada outlawed the Lebanese Shi’ite group in 2002, European governments resisted. But Hezbollah’s role in the Syrian conflict and evidence it bombed tourists in Bulgaria and attempted a similar strike in Cyprus prompted the EU to act.

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Pensions, salaries eyed as auditor general set to release OPG report

TORONTO - Ontario is looking at electricity worker pensions and public executive salaries as the province's auditor general gets set to release her annual report.

As the Toronto Sun revealed, Ontario Power Generation will be the focus of a highly critical auditor's report that will likely focus on pensions and expenses.

On the day before its release, the Ontario government announced it has appointed Jim Leech to provide advice on making electricity sector pension plans "more affordable and sustainable," noting these plans tend to require a lower share of contributions from employees while providing generous benefits that are eventually passed on to customers.

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Gay columnist wishes Ontario’s Premier was ‘more up front from the outset about her gay activism’

TORONTO, July 3, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A lesbian columnist in Toronto is calling out Ontario’s recently-appointed Premier, Kathleen Wynne, for downplaying her homosexual activism in her successful campaign for the leadership of the province’s governing Liberals.

“The premier who told reporters in January she doesn’t want to be defined by her gay agenda made sure we knew she was front and centre at no less than six Toronto Pride events last week— not counting the parade,” wrote the Toronto Sun’s Sue-Ann Levy on July 1st. Levy has been “married” to to her female partner for four years.

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Saskatchewan rejects transgender rights proposal petition

REGINA, Saskatchewan, November 21, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A petition to include "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Human Rights Code in Saskatchewan was rejected yesterday.

Jack Fonseca, a spokesman for Campaign Life Coalition, was pleased with the Saskatchewan decision.

"The belief by sexually confused men that they're really a girl trapped inside a male body, or vice versa, has always been diagnosed as a mental disorder by the psychological profession," explained Fonseca. "What these poor people need is compassionate, psychological treatment to overcome this disorder. They don't need a harmful law that essentially normalizes their confusion and which tends to discourage them from seeking professional help."

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Canada closes embassy in Egypt

Canada has closed its embassy in Egypt "for security reasons," the department of foreign affairs announced Tuesday morning.

In a tweet, the department said the embassy would be closed until further notice.

Canadians in Egypt are encouraged to register with the department online.

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Tying teachers' pay to performance a controversial topic

It may be as popular as a worm in an apple with some teachers but merit pay is an idea that refuses to die.

The Fraser Institute raised the spectre of teacher performance pay in a recent report, Obtaining Better Teachers for Canadian Public Schools, and several American school jurisdictions are experimenting with versions of idea in hopes of rewarding and retaining their best staff.

Different models have been tried with teachers rewarded for how well their students do on standardized exams, total school performance, extra effort, expertise - or some combination of such factors.

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Former Education Minister who wanted to ban pro-life from Catholic schools leaves politics

TORONTO, June 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The former Ontario Education Minister who oversaw the passage of Bill 13, the Liberal government’s "anti-bullying" bill that forces homosexual clubs on the province’s schools, has resigned from the legislature.

Laurel Broten, 46, who was demoted from the prestigious education file by Premier Kathleen Wynne in February and became Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues, will move to Halifax with her husband and twin sons before the school year starts in September.

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Vladimir Putin shouldn’t have a veto on world security, Stephen Harper says

Russia should not be handed a veto over how the world responds to an unprecedented threat to its security, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday as Canada and nine other nations backed the American position on Syria.

They were some of Harper’s toughest words yet on the global impasse that played out at the G20 summit over the last two days in the imperial Russian capital, pitting Moscow against Washington.

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Liberals buy union votes with taxpayers' cash in elementary teachers deal

Congratulations. You’ve been successfully blackmailed.

Education Minister Liz Sandals released details of the deal hammered out between the government and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Thursday.

Did I say hammered?

More like spoon-fed.

The government’s given the union just about everything they want.

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Almost half of all Canadians support Quebec’s plan to implement ban on religious headwear, symbols: poll

A new Forum Research poll says 42% of Canadians approve of Quebec’s controversial proposed Charter of Values, which would prohibit public employees in public offices from wearing religious headwear and symbols.

Forum compiled the poll by looking at responses from 1,189 Canadians 18 years of age and older throughout Canada on Aug. 23. Approval was highest in Quebec, where 58% of citizens support the proposed charter.

“If you define a nation by social cohesiveness, then Quebec is a true nation,” said Forum Research President Lorne Bozinoff. “They resemble the Swiss in their eagerness to protect their, forgive the term, historic social monoculture. Canadians at large, used to years of immigration, don’t understand this, but Quebec is always in mortal fear for its soul.”

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Blizzard grades the politicians at Queen's Park

TORONTO - The raucous, rocky spring session at the provincial legislature has lurched from one crisis to another — from gas plants to a “will-she-won’t-she” tease about NDP support for the budget.

It’s expected to wrap up on Tuesday when MPPs head home for the summer barbecue circuit.

Your kids will be getting report cards soon, so it’s appropriate to hand out scores for our politicians as they head for the hills.

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