Federal government drops contentious anti-abortion test for summer jobs funding - The Globe and Mail - Canadanewsmedia
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Federal government drops contentious anti-abortion test for summer jobs funding – The Globe and Mail

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Contentious wording in Ottawa’s summer jobs program that tied pro-abortion beliefs to funding eligibility is being dropped after a backlash to what was styled last year as a values test.

Instead, the federal Liberals have re-tooled the 2019 version of the Canada Summer Jobs program to require applicants to declare they don’t work to infringe on any Canadian’s legal rights.

Wording on the application for the 2018 version of the program required groups to say neither their core mandate nor the jobs being funded actively worked to undermine constitutional, human and reproductive rights.

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Labour Minister Patty Hajdu says the change — made after informal consultations over the past few months — should clear up concerns from faith-based groups who expressed outrage over this past year’s requirements.

“They felt this was about their values and beliefs and not about the jobs and the performances of the students in particular roles and we took that to heart,” Hajdu said in an interview.

“We’ve been working on making sure we do what we intended to do, which is to stand up for the rights of Canadians…but that we also work closely with faith-based groups and others so that they can see how they themselves would fit into this program.”

Additional changes have been made to the program’s eligibility criteria to disqualify any project or summer job that tries to restrict access a woman’s ability to access sexual or reproductive health services. Other disqualifying traits include jobs that restrict the exercise of human rights or that discriminate based on sex, religion, race or ethnic origin.

“This is a program about quality jobs for kids, so we shouldn’t be asking kids in any circumstance to do work that would put them into a position to have to undermine or restrict the rights of others,” Hajdu said.

“That’s not the kind of job experience we would want young people to have, especially for, often times, their first (job).”

The change is one of several made to the popular program to be outlined today to MPs. Employers can begin to apply later this month.

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The Liberals are opening the program to any young person age 15 to 30, no longer requiring them to be students in order to have their position qualify for funding.

Widening eligibility is a step towards a revamp of the summer jobs program that a government-struck expert panel called for last year.

The panel’s final report recommended the Liberals expand eligibility for the Canada Summer Jobs program to include those who are not in post-secondary studies and make funding accessible throughout the year and not just during the summer months.

Available positions will also be posted on a newly released mobile app that lets users search through the federal government’s job bank.

At the end of the summer, employers and employees will be required to fill out a survey so the government can get better feedback about their experiences to help fine-tune the program going forward. Hajdu said employers will also be required to follow mentorship plans for their workers as part of efforts to ensure only “quality” jobs are funded.

The data collected won’t be used to screen out employers in subsequent funding years, but to evaluate the program overall, Hajdu said.

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“This is a really great jobs program for kids, they make some money, they get that experience, but we want to make sure it is actually resulting in quality experience,” she said.

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Court hearing on Chinatown’s request to close Edmonton safe injection sites – Global News

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The location of supervised consumption sites in Edmonton’s inner city is going before the federal courts on Monday. The Chinatown and Area Business Association wants the sites closed, and filed an injunction in Oct. 2017.

READ MORE: Court date set for Chinatown business association’s effort to close Edmonton safe injection sites

There is a total of four supervised consumption sites in the city and Edmonton’s Chinatown area sits in the middle of three of them: Boyle McCauley Health Centre, Boyle Street Community Services and the George Spady Society. The other site is a few blocks north, inside the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

WATCH BELOW: The Chinatown and Area Business Association’s battle against Edmonton’s supervised consumption sites moves to the courtroom on Monday.







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The Chinatown association is challenging the federal minister of health’s approval of the sites. A judicial review at the Federal Court of Canada will take place Monday morning in downtown Edmonton.

The association claims the community doesn’t want the sites, and there was not enough consultation prior to the sites being approved.

Access to Medically Supervised Injection Services Edmonton (AMSISE) is a coalition of community, medical, academic and public sector groups that created the model for the city’s four service sites.

The legal team representing the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition fear — if the business association is successful in court — it could create new barriers to supervised consumption services, which could infringe upon the charter rights of people who use drugs.

READ MORE: Overwhelming demand at Edmonton supervised consumption sites in first 6 months

Statistics showed there have been 932 unique visitors, with a total of 22,316 visits to the four sites as of Nov. 18. During that period, the data suggested staff were able to intervene on 252 overdoses that were reversed.

— With files from Scott Johnston, 630 CHED

— More to come…

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'Stolen' SUV returned to owner with full tank of gas – CBC News

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A woman who called 911 Sunday evening to report her SUV stolen from a parking lot in Hammonds Plains, N.S., not only got her vehicle back, it was returned with a full tank of gas.

RCMP said the woman told police that around 6:30 p.m. she had parked her white Hyundai Santa Fe on Hammonds Plains Road beside an identical vehicle and entered a business. When she came back out it was gone.

It turns out the driver of the other SUV had gotten in and managed to drive away. He even filled it up with gas before realizing his mistake. The "stolen" SUV was returned to the woman, who reimbursed the man for filling her tank. 

RCMP Cpl. Dal ​Hutchinson said police don't believe either vehicle was left running in the parking lot. Some push-button start vehicles can be started without the keyless fob actually in the vehicle.

"Both vehicles were identical in make and model, however one was a 2016, the other was a 2017," said Hutchinson. 

"I think all of us have done it at one time or another … have gotten into a vehicle and realized that this isn't my vehicle, and have climbed out before we actually drove off.

"But in this case he drove off, filled it full of gas, and then discovered the fact that it wasn't his and took it right back to the owner." 

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Blacks more likely to die during interactions with Toronto cops: Report – Toronto Sun

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The Ontario Human Rights Commission says numbers uncovered during an inquiry into Toronto Police suggests black city residents are right to be concerned about their interactions with the force’s officers.

The commission is releasing an interim report today that documents findings uncovered part-way through its investigation into racial profiling by the force.

The report says black people are grossly overrepresented in cases where Toronto Police use force that results in serious injury or death.

The commission says black people make up only 8.8 per cent of Toronto’s population, but were involved in 70 per cent of fatal police shootings between Jan. 1, 2013 and June 30, 2017.

It says during that time, black people were also disproportionately represented in everything from Toronto police use-of-force investigations, sexual assault complaints filed against city officers, and inappropriate or unjustified searches and charges.

The commission says comparisons to data from a decade earlier shows discrimination toward black residents hasn’t improved over the years and is calling on the force to acknowledge and address the problem.

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