Alberta to be hit with 10 cm of snow. It’s June, by the way.
Ah, June. It’s the month where summer begins, and we can say officially say goodbye to cold days, and welcoming warm days with open arms.
Unless you’re in Alberta, of course. Yesterday, the fine people in Alberta had to deal with a storm that hit them with not just some run of the mill storm, but one that pelted them with hail and threatened flooding.
Environment Canada has now issued a snowfall warning (!!!) for parts of Alberta, with large parts of the province under a rainfall warning, with some parts expecting up to 10 centimetres of snow.
If you haven’t checked the calendar for a while, you may not know that it’s already June 19th. Alberta, you are currently on fire, flooding, and freezing all at once. I’m sure it’s nothing though.
The hail in Alberta is also nothing to scoff at. The hailstorm was labelled “severe” due to the sheer size of the hail, which some photos reveal to be the size of nickels. Some areas have even reached golf-ball sized hail, as the storm continues to move east in Saskatchewan.
Alberta, we know things are rough. Just hang in there, and surely, at some point, you will get a full week of summer.
Omar Khadr, the infamous, well-paid convicted terrorist and real-life supervillain will be featured as a keynote speaker at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
According to Dalhousie University’s website, Khadr will be speaking at an event titled Children’s Rights Upfront: Preventing the Recruitment and Use of Children in Violence in February, 2020.
The event will be hosted by the CBC’s Nahlah Ayed and will feature others who served as child soldiers, notably Ishmael Beah, now Sierra Leonian activist.
Khadr, who is well known for his victory in Canadian court for winning over $10 million dollars for human rights abuses, has been on somewhat of a media tour in recent months. After purchasing an Edmonton-area strip mall, Khadr appeared on CBC’s Tout Le Monde En Parle, a French-language TV show which gave him a hero’s welcome.
The event will also feature remarks from Dr. Shelly Whitman and author and Canadian hero Hon. Roméo Dallaire, who is well known for his work in Rwanda during the nation’s genocide.
“The event coincides with the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers Red Hand Day on February 12. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Dallaire Initiative’s partnership with Dalhousie University,” the event description reads.
In 2019, a judge ruled that Khadr’s war crimes had been expired and that he was to be relieved of bail conditions, which also included his not being allowed to obtain a Canadian passport.
Yesterday, the Canada Border Services Agency released information stating that they have made searches of over 27,000 travellers’ devices between 2017 and 2019. That is the largest number that has been revealed yet. Some MPs have advocated for more privacy protection against these random searches through people’s personal information through things like phones and iPads.
The Border Services Agency has not disclosed the number of cellphones that they have seized. They also would not say which crossings made the most searches.
According to Blacklocks, privacy commissioner, Daniel Therrien said, “Those devices contain a lot of sensitive information. So, we should be very concerned.”
The Commissioner found that the CBSA breached the Privacy Act twice in an investigation conducted in 2019.
According to the agency, approximately 60 percent of searches don’t require additional investigation. Staff noted, “Approximately forty percent of device examinations resulted in a customs-related offence.”
A 2017 report by the Commons committee called Protecting Canadian’s Privacy At The U.S. Border noted that Canadians travelling between countries should have more protection from these types of searches. MP’s wrote, “Electronic devices contain very sensitive personal information. The law should therefore recognize this new reality and redress the balance between border protection, national security and the protection of Canadians’ privacy.”
Bob Zimmer, a Conservative MP in B.C. told reporters, “Many Canadians are concerned about protecting their personal information when travelling beyond our borders. That is why we are recommending the government modernize the Customs Act to ensure personal information on electronic devices is protected and should only be examined with reasonable grounds.”
Wayne Long, a Liberal MP for Saint John-Rothesay, N.B., mentioned in committee hearings that he was detained at the border for around 30 minutes while his phone was being searched by agents.
Long noted, “They don’t have to give you entry to the States, but from a Canadians’ viewpoint, how concerned should Canadians be?”
“We cross now with our iPads and laptops and our phones, and in my phone is my banking information and my emails,” Long said. “It’s not just texts and pictures anymore. It’s basically your life history and all your records. On a scale of one to ten, how concerned as Canadians should we be?”
Commissioner Therrien replied that he is “very concerned” and said, “As a matter of principle, it is right to say these devices contain a lot of personal information, very sensitive information, and when the law—including Canadian law—continues to treat the contents of electronic devices as goods, it is just not realistic.”
An Indian man has died after being attacked by his own rooster en route to a cockfight.
According to local police, Saripalli Chanavenkateshwaram Rao was killed after the man’s rooster slashed him in the neck with a blade tied on the rooster’s claw.
The man was taken to the hospital where he succumbed from his injuries.
A police officer told CNN that Rao was a local cockfighter, with his cock having attempted to run away on the way to his cockfight.
Rao hailed from a southern Indian village in the state of Andhra Pradesh, and passed away at the age of 55.
The Independent reported that the man was cut in the stomach rather than the neck, and was holding the cock to his stomach.
Though cockfights became illegal in India in 1960, cock enthusiasts continue to pit the birds against each other as a form of gambling and entertainment. The practice remains popular, as many believe state authorities “turn a blind eye” towards it.
“It is not just for entertainment that these animals are made to fight, but it is [also] due to the heavy betting and gambling that goes on in the garb of these events,” one animal rights activist told CNN.
The country’s Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld a ban on cockfights, to little avail.
Potential leadership candidate Richard Decarie has been lampooned by Conservative leadership contenders after he suggested that being gay was a choice.
Speaking on CTV’s Power Play program, Decarie stated that LGBTQ was a “Liberal term,” and that homosexuality was a “choice,” sparking outrage within Conservative circles who are desperately attempting to seem less anachronistic.
Decarie is a prospective leadership contender. His qualifications include serving as Harper’s deputy chief of staff and was also an advisor to Quebec Liberal premier Jean Charest.
Leadership frontrunner and former Harper minister Peter MacKay responded to Decarie’s comment by saying, “Being gay is not a choice and nobody should be running for office on a platform to roll back hard-won rights.” MacKay rounded all this up nicely by posting an image of the top candidates condemning Decarie: “The future of the Conservative Party looks bright.”
Conservative MP and leadership candidate Marilyn Gladu, who distanced herself from the abortion debate, and offered to march in a gay pride parade, told her twitter following that “I have been clear: I will stand up for the rights and freedoms of every Canadian. What has been said is unacceptable.”
Former Harper Minister, Conservative Shadow Minister of Finance, and Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre also rapidly responded to Decarie’s comments by saying that his utterances were “as unacceptable as they are ignorant … Being gay is NOT a choice. Being ignorant is.”
Leadership contender and former Veteran Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole, who also serves as the Conservative Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs, similarly slated the former Harper staffer. O’Toole stated indignantly, “The Conservative Party is open to ALL Canadians.”