Over 30 arrested including kingpin in Ontario-based sex trafficking operation
A central “kingpin” and 30 others have been arrested, with 300 charges being laid in a major investigation into human trafficking and organized crime.
The investigation started when two Quebec women reached out to police in Ontario, with the investigation following suit over the next year.
Left-wing activist Jaggi Singh has been released of all charges in a Quebec City court, due to the city’s inability to hold a trial in English.
Singh, who was facing charges of Obstruction of Justice, was also facing charges of impersonation after being arrested by police and giving the name “Michel Goulet,” with a home address of “the Colosseum,” attempting to impersonate a former Quebec Nordique of the same name.
After 29 months of charges being laid, the trial began—but Quebec’s chief prosecutor Steve Marquis had to postpone the trial.
Mainly due to the fact that the main prosecutor, Marie-Helene Guillemette, has been absent on maternity leave.
This meant that Marquis would have to carry out the trial, but due to his very limited English, the trial would not be proceeding as planned.
Judge Guillemette had set the trial for January without mentioning that she would be absent on maternity leave, something that judges say boiled down to disorganization.
With no one able to hold the trial, Justice Bordeleau announced that Singh would be acquitted of the two charges against him.
In an interview after the decision, Singh chalked up the acquittal to the court “self-sabotaging,” knowing that the Crown would lose in a full trial.
Singh later returned to Montreal, telling media that his struggle “is not in the courtrooms,” but is rather against the “far right.”
Singh has a long history of activism in his hometown Montreal and throughout Canada.
In 2002, Singh participated in an anti-Israel protest against Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, held by the Hillel club at Concordia University. The talk was later cancelled, as the event turned into a violent clash between protestors and security.
In January 2003, Singh was deported by Israeli authorities after having gone to the West Bank.
On April 19, 2006, Singh was arrested at a pro-Palestinian poetry event at El Salon cafe. There are conflicting reports as to why Singh was arrested, though local police say they were responding to an alleged assault on a taxi driver.
The Ford government has released its eligibility outline for parental support during the Ontario teacher strike.
The outline, which announces eligibility to all parents whose children are enlisted in school which will be fully closed due to strikes, will details prices for those affected.
According to the outline, all parents who meet the first set of requirements and have children in grades 1 to 7 will be eligible to receive $25 per day. Parents of those in junior or senior kindergarten will be eligible for $40 a day, and $60 per day for children under the age of six who are not enrolled in school, “but attend a school-based child care centre that is required to close on account of the strike.”
Additionally, $40 per day will be given to parents for students in junior kindergarten to grade 12 with special needs.
Tensions remain high between the Ford government and teachers unions, with all the ladder being in the position to strike later this week.
Teachers in the Ontario English Catholic system announced on Monday that they would be holding a strike for one day on Jan. 21, which would be in line with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, which has held rotating strikes in recent weeks.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Wednesday that the measures to ensure parents have coverage would cost “up to $48 million a day” if all unions went on strike at the same time and if all parents of all eligible children were to apply.
No, Ontario isn’t about to have the next Chernobyl or Fukushima nuclear disaster.
An alarm that was sent to Ontarians’ smart phones at 7:23 a.m. Sunday morning warned residents that there was an “incident” at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.
“This is a Province of Ontario emergency bulletin which applies to people within ten (10) kilometres of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. An incident was reported at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station . There has been NO abnormal release of radioactivity from the station and emergency staff are responding to the situation . People near the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station DO NOT need to take any protective actions at this time,” read the emergency alert.
A second message sent to Ontarians’ phones later cleared the air and the anxiety the first message caused residents, letting them know they weren’t going to be burned to death in a nuclear apocalypse.
“There is NO active nuclear situation taking place at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. The previous alert was issued in error. There is no danger to the public or the environment. No further action is required.”
Premier Doug Ford’s Solicitor General, Sylvia Jones, released a statement a 12:29 p.m. addressing the false alarm:
“Earlier today, an emergency alert was issued by the Province of Ontario stating there was a situation at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. The alert was issued in error to the public during a routine training exercise being conducted by the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC).
“There was no incident at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station that should have triggered public notification. Nor was there ever any danger to the public or environment.
“Emergency exercises are a critical component of ensuring preparedness for emergency management and response agencies. The PEOC conducts training exercises regularly and there was no intention to notify the public in this instance.
“The Government of Ontario sincerely apologizes for raising public concern and has begun a full investigation to determine how this error happened and will take the appropriate steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Top trends on Twitter quickly became “Pickering”, “Chernobyl” and “#everythingisfine”, with many creating memes to laugh off or mock the government-issued the false alarm.
Some residents near the Pickering nuclear plant reminded others that in case of a real emergency those living near the power station can get pills from the government.
This latest false alarm raises questions for Pelmorex, parent company of the Weather Network, its Alert Ready system (the software used to send out the mass emergency messages to Canadians’ smart phones, including Amber Alerts) and the Ontario government.
Doug Ford’s Ontario government is leading the way when it comes to creating employment in Canada, according to data published in a Statistics Canada report.
Since December, employment in Ontario has risen by 25,100 and since June 2018, which is when the Progressive Conservative Party won the Ontario election, employment in the province has risen by 296,700.
Much of the successes of Ontario’s economy derives from slashing of unnecessary bureaucratic red-tape. The former Premier, Kathleen Wynne, was often criticized for implementing red tape for ideological purposes, often resulting in a strained economy. In 2018, Ontario punished the Wynne administration in the election, resulting in their loss of “recognized party status.”
Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Job Development and Trade, also tied Ontario’s growth to the dismantling of red tape: “We are working to create an environment that attracts investment and encourages entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create high-paying, good quality jobs in Ontario, and we are seeing the results of that.”
Much of the Progressive Conservative’s mandate relied on their promise to create an environment that improves the ease of doing business. Recently, the Ontario government passed another bill to address this, and will seek to introduce further legislation to reduce the regulatory burden.
Alberta, on the other hand, lost a thousand jobs, with Edmonton suffering the highest unemployment of any major Canadian city. These losses have much to do with the economic instability aided by Justin Trudeau’s dither and delay on the TMX pipeline.
In total, the Canadian economy added 35,200 jobs, reserving some of the job losses suffered in November of last year.