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Girl Guides of Canada shares options to replace ‘Brownies’

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TORONTO –

Girl Guides of Canada is asking its members to vote on two new name options for its Brownies program — comets or embers.

Last month the national organization told members it would be changing the name of the program for girls aged seven and eight because the name has caused harm to racialized Girl Guides.

Girl Guides says that some Black Canadians, Indigenous residents and people of colour have chosen to skip this program or delay joining the organization because of the name, adding a change can ensure more girls feel like they belong in the program.

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Members were invited to vote for one of the two new name contenders in an email sent Tuesday.

The email says the name comets was chosen because they inspire as they travel through space, boldly blazing a trail, and the name embers was selected because they are small and full of potential that can ignite a powerful flame.

Girl Guides says members can vote until December 13 and the new name will be announced in late January.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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Canada sharing Haiti sanctions evidence, in bid to convince UN peers to freeze elites

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Canada sharing Haiti sanctions

Ottawa is sharing confidential dossiers in a bid to convince countries like France to join its efforts to sanction Haiti’s elites, says Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations.

“We continue to share whatever information we can — with respect to the decisions that we have made — with other countries,” Bob Rae said in an interview.

“Canada still maintains the right to make its own decisions as well, which is what we’re doing.”

Rae visited Haiti last December as part of Canada’s efforts to try forming a political consensus on how western countries should best respond to the country’s cascading political and humanitarian crises.

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Violent, feuding gangs have taken over the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince since last summer. A UN report last October said gangs are sexually assaulting women and children, in addition to curtailing access to health care, electricity and clean water.

The gangs have reportedly killed and kidnapped hundreds, while filling a power vacuum in a country led by politicians whose terms have expired. No elections have been held since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country’s unelected prime minister, Ariel Henry, has requested a foreign military intervention, which Washington says Canada ought to lead, though the idea is divisive among Haitians.

Instead, Canada has sought a political consensus in Haiti, and has sanctioned 15 of the country’s political and economic elite, accusing them of emboldening the gangs.

Canada has not publicly shared the evidence upon which it has based those decisions. The length of its Haiti sanctions list is unmatched.

The U.S. sanctioned just four Haitians last year over alleged ties to gangs, in addition to three whom Washington had sanctioned in 2020.

Most countries have opted to follow a United Nations process to identify people affiliated with gangs who should be subject to sanction. It has listed just one person since October — gang federation leader Jimmy Cherizier, known locally as “Barbecue.”

Anyone who ends up on that list will see a nearly global travel and assets ban. But Rae said it is expected that countries will take a long time to agree on who merits such heavy restrictions.

“Canada knew the process at the UN could become a complex one,” he said.

“We thought it was important for us to get ahead of that process, which we fully respect, and look forward to hearing from the experts.”

In an interview with The Canadian Press last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on European governments to follow Canada’s lead and implement their own, unilateral sanctions on Haiti’s elites. That hasn’t happened yet.

In an interview earlier this month, former governor general Michaëlle Jean, who has roots in Haiti, singled France out for doing “nothing at all” on sanctions.

The French embassy in Ottawa deferred to the speech France gave Monday to the UN Security Council, suggesting that the country is sticking with the UN sanctions process.

“France welcomes the establishment of the (sanctions) committee and its panel of experts. We hope that this committee will quickly get to work to make proposals,” senior diplomat Nathalie Broadhurst told the council.

“It is with a sense of great urgency that France calls on the international community to redouble its efforts.”

Rae said sanctions from France would likely have a strong effect. He also noted that the neighbouring Dominican Republic is a haven for Haitian elites, but it lacks laws to sanction individuals.

“We’re having some discussions with the EU and with the French and others. We’re continuing to have as constructive a dialogue as we can,” he said.

“Our experience in Haiti has been that the sanctions have had a strong impact. And obviously, their impact is increased when other countries join in.”

To that end, Rae said Canada has been giving the UN sanctions committee and other countries the evidence that Ottawa has used in its decision-making.

“We’ve been talking to the panel and sharing information, and sharing as much documentation as we can,” said Rae, who said that the evidence can’t be made public.

Unlike other countries such as Britain, which publishes detailed reasons when it places someone on its sanctions list, the Canadian approach is to keep reasons confidential.

Former Haitian prime ministers Laurent Lamothe and Jean-Henry Céant have both demanded that Canada reveal its reasoning, with both denying Ottawa’s claims that they have supported gangs. Lamothe has filed a claim in Federal Court, while Céant asked the UN this week to intervene against Canada.

“We have to deal with this information carefully. It’s important for everybody to know that the law has to be followed carefully,” Rae said.

“None of these decisions are taken lightly, and they’re all taken in the awareness that many people will naturally not be happy about being sanctioned, will be obviously exercising the rights they have under our legal structure.”

In Haiti, the National Network for the Defence of Human Rights has reported that Canada’s sanctions have slightly alleviated the suffering, with gangs loosening their grip on locals’ movements.

“They were ordered to calm down,” director Rosy Auguste Ducena told Radio France International earlier this month in French.

“Those who have not yet been affected by these sanctions have decided to slow down their relations with the armed bandits.”

Yet a former U.S. envoy for Haiti, Dan Foote, has doubts. He resigned in September 2021 over frustration with western policies he witnessed in Haiti, which he argued in his resignation letter “consistently produce catastrophic results.”

“For sanctions to work, those sanctions need to be transparent,” Foote said in an interview.

He added that sanctions can have unintended negative consequences. “There are a few people who would have brought a lot of Haitians to the table who are now under sanctions.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2023.

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Lotto 649 winning numbers for Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

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The winning numbers in Wednesday’s Lotto 649 draw for an estimated $5 million: 05, 13, 24, 33, 35 & 41.

Bonus: 43

The winning number for the guaranteed $1 million: 06007245-01

In the event of any discrepancy between this list and the official winning numbers, the latter shall prevail.

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Monopolies control Our Economies

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Rogers-Shaw deal
The proposed Roger-Shaw Merger is feared to be a stepping stone for increased costs to consumers. Multi Billions of dollars have to be exchanged, and the controlling agent will have to make this cost up somehow. Further fear of a shrinking Communications Monopoly within Canada has spurred politicians to seek a reason for this merger. Monopoly economics has been rooted in Canadian Business Models for many years. A smallish population, distributed over a very large land mass, presents businesses with huge challenges and costs to be assumed.
Many of our industrial and agricultural sectors are controlled by monopolies that allowed them to grow to astronomical power levels by those who these monopolies support financially, and control politically.
Control by monopoly
Agriculture: 85 % of all seed manufacturers are controlled by 5 corporations worldwide, leaving only 12-15% to the free market distribution and sales. Every fertilizer and seed provided to our farmers has been controlled through patents by 5-6 corporations.
Grocery: Canada has only 5-6 major corporations that control and manage a huge network of grocery stores, supplier lists, and distribution networks. A monopoly exists within this sector, with price fixing and lackluster supply chain control nationwide.
Manufacturing: American cars cannot be bought in the US and brought up here. Try it. An agreement in kind exists limiting Canadian consumers to Canadian-supplied vehicles. Furthermore, the Car Giants are limiting the introduction of domestic and foreign manufacturers to enter our economy and market. Believers in a free market when they actually control said market. New technology is not allowed to develop on its own, establishing its own production facilities. The auto giants will manipulate these manufacturers and acquire any said technology through hook or crook methods. Protectionist activities go with monopolistic methods, limiting competition and driving their financial goals forward.
Communications-Technological Sector: Acquiring, amalgamating, and coopting their sector’s competition is the monopolies methodology. The cost of doing business in this field has driven prices to the roof making Canada’s Communication Sector the most costly in the world. Profits upon profits, where corporations making billions of dollars receive taxpayer’s funds as a corporate welfare scheme. The Federal Government is investigating these monopolies in turn, and while they have the opportunity to open the marketplace to American Businesses, driving Rogers-Bells prices down, they will not. These same said firms donate millions to our political institutions. Greasing the wheels of industry, it is said.
Canada’s economy is equivalent in size to some American states, yet is controlled by said monopolies and the Federal Government. Often working hand in hand, these organizations work for the benefit of shareholders, private equity funds, and owners, not the consumer. Big Government requires Big Bucks to function. It is always easier to work with an oligarchy than a large group of let’s say, legislators, citizens, and consumers. Big business is not democratic in the least but prefers to set certain boundaries that monopolies and authoritarian regimes offer.  Look at your marketplace where ever you may be, whether in North or Central America, The Caribbean, Asia, or the EU. You will find the tentacles of monopoly everywhere, with its often hidden influences upon your local governments.
The Canadian and American Marketplace is not a free market, but controlled, manipulated, and regulated by the not-so-new gangsters on the block…Monopolies and their storm troops (The Federal Government). Our North American Economy will continue to be controlled by a smaller and smaller group of financial giants.
Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario
skaszab@yahoo.ca
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