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Mendicino says email from Lucki doesn’t mean Emergencies Act was unnecessary



OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino is brushing off concerns about an email the RCMP commissioner sent to his office hours before the government invoked the Emergencies Act last February that casts doubt on the notion that police needed the act’s extraordinary powers.

The email from Commissioner Brenda Lucki to Mendicino’s chief of staff, Mike Jones, said she didn’t think the police had exhausted every tool at their disposal to end the weeks-long occupation of downtown Ottawa by protesters demanding an end to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Feb. 14 email was submitted as evidence to the Public Order Emergency Commission, which is investigating whether the government was justified in declaring the emergency.

Asked about the new evidence on Tuesday, Mendicino repeated that the unprecedented use of the legislation was “necessary” to resolve the situation. He reiterated that the government was acting on the advice of its partners.

In the email, Lucki had laid out a list of “additional tools that would be useful to have on the enforcement front” if the act were invoked, including designating protected places around airports, ports and transit stations to deter protests; giving police the power to commandeer heavy equipment such as tow trucks to remove vehicles; and banning people from bringing things like gas and diesel to a protest.

But she followed that list by saying, “I am of the view that we have not yet exhausted all available tools.”

“There are instances where charges could be laid under existing authorities for various Criminal Code offences occurring right now in the context of the protest,” Lucki wrote, adding that the provincial state of emergency recently declared in Ontario would also help police.

The note stands in contrast to Mendicino’s previous statements to Parliament.

In April, he told a parliamentary committee studying the Liberal government’s decision to use the act that the government was in regular consultation with the RCMP at the time.

He said his government “invoked the act because it was the advice of non-partisan professional law enforcement that the existing authorities were ineffective at the time to restore public safety.”

Following his testimony, the Ottawa Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police and RCMP all denied that they had asked for the emergency powers.

Lucki told members of Parliament and senators in the spring that the powers were useful in dislodging the protesters who were entrenched in Ottawa’s streets for weeks.

She said there were times at which the RCMP would have used the powers sooner, had they been available to officers. She made no mention of her Feb. 14 email to the public safety minister’s office.

On Tuesday, Mendicino pointed to Lucki’s committee testimony and said it was clear that she felt invoking the law was necessary.

“She said very clearly that the Emergencies Act was needed to resolve the situation on the ground, not only in Ottawa but across the country,” he told reporters.

“This was a government decision. We listened carefully to the array (of) advice that we were getting at the time. We consulted with various partners provincially, territorially, etc., but we took the decision because it was necessary.”

Both the parliamentary committee study and the public inquiry are required under the Emergencies Act as an accountability measure.

Mendicino and Lucki are both expected to testify before the commission, which is holding public hearings until late November.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Oct. 25, 2022.


Sarah Ritchie, The Canadian Press


In Times of Struggle: How Prayer Can Help



What is prayer? We are told it is a solemn request for help or an expression of thanks to the Divine. Communing with and aligning our hearts and minds with the divine. (Thomas Merton-Trappist)

Sigmund Freud once said, “Religion is comparable to a child’s neurosis”. Prayer may be a part of this neurosis, a neurosis that gives us what we seek, answers, solutions and meaning in life. To be a child makes all things simpler and truer, seeking to educate and understand ourselves, with the advice and direction given to us by family, friends and those who are wise. Prayer inspires life.

Prayer can be very abrupt,
asking for this, and asking for that.
Perhaps selfish to be true,
prayer presents possibilities to you.

Like the sun in the morning lifting high into the sky,
like incense floating to our perceived divine.
How different a prayer can be challenges us all,
as what is on our minds says it all.

What is prayer to me is a daily thing,
I walk and talk to “J” like He’s my friend.
My issues and concerns I unload upon Him,
and I listen to my thoughts again and again.

Is prayer essential to the human race?
Can we live without it, bear witness to our disgrace?
The world is full of fear, hunger and strife,
people we don’t know are helplessly dying.

The pain of every kind has conquered our world my friend,
illness, loneliness and intolerance are felt again and again.
What are we lacking, a solution perhaps,
that all the mayhem is human my friend?

Prayer gives us two things so needed today,
the ability to understand ourselves clearly,
and Hope that can overcome even pain and distress.
Hope is the gift of the divine we must seek out at best.

Pray gives us a chance to talk to ourselves,
like therapy, allowing us to realize a significant thing,
That the evils of the world are created by our fellow men,
but also unknowingly by you and me.

A solution to our peril rests solely upon our shoulders,
as the divine inspires humanity with Hope to touch eternity clearly,
prays to lift us up, encourages selfless acts and empathy for all,
for without prayer the meaning of life is truly shallow for all.

Prayer demands Less of me, why, want or I’ll cry,
but to lift up a collective expectation of humanity’s hopeful desires.
To think about the beauty, and magnificence of our world and people as one,
would surely demand a prayer from you and me to lift up and inspire us,
as we live in a world connected to eternity in time.

Steven Kaszab
Bradford, Ontario


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Ethics commissioner flags conflict at Sustainable Development and Technology Canada



OTTAWA – The ethics commissioner says the former chair of a foundation responsible for doling out federal funds for sustainable technology projects failed to recuse herself from decisions that benefited organizations to which she had ties.

Sustainable Development and Technology Canada was abolished last month in response to an auditor general report that cited lapses in the green fund’s handling of public money.

Annette Verschuren became chair of the board for Sustainable Development and Technology Canada in 2019, but also continued to serve on the boards of the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment and the MaRS Discovery District.

Ethics commissioner Konrad von Finckenstein finds that she failed to recuse herself from decisions that benefited the two organizations with which she was affiliated, though she did often abstain from voting.

She also remained chair, CEO, and majority shareholder of NRStor Inc. — a company she founded.

During the COVID-19 pandemic she voted to give emergency relief payments to all companies that had previously been approved for funding, including her own.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 24, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Lotto Max winning numbers for Tuesday, July 26, 2024



There could be a new millionaire in Windsor-Essex. A MAXMILLIONS winning ticket worth $1 million was sold in the city for Tuesday’s LOTTO MAX draw. The winning numbers for the draw were 04, 12, 14, 16, 27, 35, 41, with the bonus number 32.

In addition to the Windsor-Essex winner, two tickets worth $132,165.90 each were sold in the Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry area. Two ENCORE prizes worth $100,000 each were sold in the Dufferin/Peel area and Welland.

The $70 million jackpot remains unclaimed for this Friday’s draw, which will also include an estimated 12 MAXMILLIONS prizes.

Winning Numbers Breakdown:

  • Lotto Max Winning Numbers:
    • Main Numbers: 04, 12, 14, 16, 27, 35, 41
    • Bonus Number: 32
    • Extra Numbers: 1, 7, 22, 29
  • Prize Breakdown:
    • 7/7: $70,000,000.00 (0 winners)
    • 6/7+: $132,165.90 (2 winners in Ontario)
    • 6/7: $5,183.00 (51 winners)
    • 5/7+: $857.30 (185 winners)
    • 5/7: $104.20 (3,550 winners)
    • 4/7+: $49.30 (5,901 winners)
    • 4/7: $20.00 (78,971 winners)
    • 3/7+: $20.00 (77,134 winners)
    • 3/7: $5.00 Free Play (764,794 winners)
  • MAXMILLIONS Prize Breakdown:
    • 7 10 16 20 26 32 40: $1,000,000.00 (1 winner in Ontario)
    • 11 18 29 32 39 42 50: $1,000,000.00 (1 winner in Quebec)
    • 22 33 34 42 43 46 48: $1,000,000.00 (1 winner in Western Canada)
  • Lotto Max Extra Prize Breakdown:
    • 4/4: $500,000.00 (0 winners)
    • 3/4: $1,000.00 (60 winners)
    • 2/4: $10.00 (3,730 winners)
    • 1/4: $1.00 (76,565 winners)


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