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Canada to give $25000 to Canadian families of Flight PS752 victims – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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The Canadian Press


Published Friday, January 17, 2020 7:47AM EST


Last Updated Friday, January 17, 2020 1:25PM EST

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa will provide $25,000 to the families of each of the 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents who died when Iran shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet last week.

Trudeau says the money is intended to cover the cost of funeral arrangements or travel, and it’s on top of an earlier commitment to waive fees and speed up processing times for visas for those affected by the crash.

“This is a unique and unprecedented situation, because of the international sanctions placed on Iran and the difficulties that that imposes on these families,” Trudeau told a news conference in Ottawa Friday.

“I want to be clear: we expect Iran to compensate these families,” he said, but noted that could take time.

“I have met them. They can’t wait weeks. They need support now.”

[IN PHOTOS: Some of the victims of the Ukrainian airliner crash who have been identified so far]

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne was in Oman to meet with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, to talk about the shooting down of the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, which killed 176 people last week.

That meeting comes after Canada and four other countries with citizens aboard the downed airliner came up with a list of demands for Iran, which includes pressing that country to co-operate with the investigation.

The countries are all asking that Iran punish those responsible and compensate the families of victims.

It has been just over a week since one – and possibly a second – Iranian surface-to-air missile took down the passenger jet minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport.

The Canadian Press has independently confirmed at least 90 victims with ties to Canada, many of them students and professors returning after spending the December break visiting relatives in Iran.

In a rare sermon during Friday prayers, Iran‘s supreme leader called the downing of the civilian airliner a bitter accident that saddened Iran and made its enemies happy.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran‘s international rivals have seized on the crash to question the country and its armed forces.

He also attacked the United States for its killing of a top Iranian general, which was a factor in putting Iranian air defences on high alert, and called President Donald Trump a clown.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2020.

– With files from The Associated Press

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Canada's policy time bomb: Rising home prices and homelessness – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
When you watch the news or read the latest macroeconomic data, things in Canada seem good. Unemployment remains near historic lows, interest rates are under control and Canada is back on the list of the top 10 largest economies in the world. Sounds pretty good.

How is it that even with all this good news Canadians remain anxious about our economic state of affairs? Research suggests that there is a fundamental disconnect between the macroeconomic data and how people feel. Only a little more than 15 per cent of Canadians, according to the Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index remain upbeat about the coming year and a significant number of Canadians are outright worried about a recession in 2020.

Views on real estate are a double-edged sword. Canadians who are homeowners feel better when they see housing prices in their neighbourhood rise but the other side of that sword is that for those Canadians that are not homeowners, rising prices make both homeownership more difficult to attain and affordable rentals more elusive to find.

In a new eye-popping national study on homelessness for the Ottawa Mission, a majority of Canadians reported that someone they cared about was at risk of being homeless. Only 35 per cent of respondents reported no one they cared for was at risk of being homeless (43 per cent reported a small risk, 15 per cent a medium risk, and five per cent a high risk). When you walk down the street in your neighbourhood, one in five of your neighbours have someone they care about and think that person may have a high or medium risk of being homeless.

The same study suggests that a majority of Canadians believe that the issue of homelessness will have a serious or somewhat serious impact on Canada as a country. If you live in the hot real estate market of British Columbia or you are a woman, this sentiment rises to eight in ten.

When you factor the current problem of homelessness and overlay population growth in Canada one should become even more concerned. Canada is among the fastest growing countries in the G7 and StatCan projects that Canada could have a population of 48.8 million people by 2050. The forces of population growth and lack of affordable housing will collide with inaction.

The good news is that Canadians do not lay finding a solution at the feet of one level of government. Asked who should be responsible for dealing with homelessness no clear player or level of government comes out way ahead. Twenty-three per cent cite the federal government, 18 per cent municipal and provincial governments, 14 per cent family and friends of the homeless and 16 per cent say everyone should be responsible. This speaks to the need to organize a common sense of purpose.

The unspoken truth is that Canadians are worried that someone they care about is at risk of being homeless. Everyone should take note of this policy time bomb.

Nik Nanos is the Chief Data Scientist for Nanos Research and the Official Pollster for CTV News

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B.C. woman calls for Canada to help extract daughter from quarantined Chinese city – CTV News

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VANCOUVER —
An instructor at a Metro Vancouver university says her daughter is stranded in the quarantined Chinese city of Wuhan, and she’s asking the Canadian government to join France and the United States in their efforts to evacuate their citizens from the area.

Lily Liu, who teaches at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, told CTV News Vancouver her daughter Fiona Dong left for China on Jan. 10 to visit her father and grandparents in Wuhan.

She was planning to stay through the Lunar New Year and leave China on Feb. 10, but changed her departing flight to Jan. 27 as the outbreak of a novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan began to spread, Liu said.

Then, on Wednesday, China cut off all travel into and out of Wuhan, and Dong’s airline cancelled her departing flight, leaving her stranded in the city.

“She is my only daughter,” Liu said. “I’m worried every day. Also, all my family members who are in North America, we are so worried about her.”

She said she has been speaking to Fiona daily since the city was quarantined. She said media reports her daughter has seen in China have suggested the city will be closed “at least eight weeks.”

“The longer she stays there, the more dangerous,” Liu said. “She’s healthy now, but we don’t know, you know, what will happen to her … If she can’t get out now, every day her life is being threatened.”

Liu spent much of Saturday morning on the phone, talking to relatives and trying to get assistance from the Canadian government.

Since cutting off trains, planes and other links to Wuhan, as well as public transportation within the city, China has steadily expanded the lockdown to 16 surrounding cities with a combined population of more than 50 million. That’s a greater total population than that of New York, London, Paris and Moscow combined.

On Friday, France confirmed three cases of the coronavirus within its borders, the first three cases reported in Europe. Cases have also been recorded in the United States, Japan, Australia, Malaysia and elsewhere.

French automaker PSA Group says it will evacuate its employees from Wuhan, quarantine them and then bring them to France. The Foreign Ministry said it was working on “eventual options” to evacuate French citizens from Wuhan “who want to leave.” It didn’t elaborate.

U.S media sources, including CNN, have reported that the United States is working on chartering a flight to get Americans out of the country, but the U.S. State Department had not confirmed those efforts Saturday.

Liu said she hoped Canada would make similar plans, but her calls so far have not been fruitful. She said the Canadian government’s advice to travellers so far has been to follow the instructions of the local government in China.

“I’m so frustrated, because if the government doesn’t take any action to help, for us, personally, we have no way to get out of the city,” she said.

Global Affairs Canada has warned Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located and the novel coronavirus was first discovered.

CTV News reached out to Global Affairs to ask about what plans, if any, Canada has for evacuating its citizens from affected areas of China, as well as how many Canadians are currently in the country.

In a statement, the federal agency said it is “closely monitoring the situation.”

“GAC is closely working with Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada to provide guidance to our diplomats serving abroad and their families for staying healthy and safe,” the agency said.

“Canadians in need of emergency consular assistance can contact the Embassy of Canada in Beijing at 86 (10) 5139-4000,” the statement continued. “Canadians can also call the department’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885 or email sos@international.gc.ca.”

Global Affairs Canada said it is aware of multiple Canadians who are currently in Hubei province, but it couldn’t provide a concrete number.

With files from the Associated Press and CNN 

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Canada's first 'presumptive positive' case of coronavirus found in Ontario – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Ontario’s chief medical officer has confirmed Canada’s first ‘presumptive positive’ case of coronavirus.

In a news conference Saturday, officials said the man in his 50s fell ill after travelling to Wuhan, the Chinese city at the heart of the outbreak. The patient is in stable condition at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Officials in Ontario have been in contact with Canada’s public health agency and are working in collaboration with Toronto Public Health to “prevent any spread” of the virus.

Dr. Eileen De Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, said officials are focused on finding out who the patient may have come into contact with and what types of settings they may have been exposed to.

“It is understandable that people may be concerned with today’s news of our first case and that people may worry,”” de Villa said in a press release.

“But I assure you that based on the lessons we learned from SARS now 17 years ago, and given our experiences during the flu pandemic of 2009 and more recently, with Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, we have learned, shared knowledge and built a stronger public health system that is ready to respond, as needed.”

So far, two coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S. Australia and Malaysia reported their first cases of the virus Saturday, while Japan confirmed a third case. France confirmed three cases Friday, the first in Europe.

China’s National Health Commission confirmed Saturday that the death toll from the new virus had climbed to 41, with the number of people infected rising to 1,287.

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