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P.E.I. woman scrambles to save beloved horse from slaughterhouse



Tyra Perry sat bolt upright in her bed early on Nov. 4. She says her hands shook as she held her phone and read the message: Mittcent Vangogh, the gentle racehorse she had grown to love, was being taken to a slaughterhouse.

“I jumped out of bed. I was very, very upset,” Perry, 19, said in an interview this week from her home in Tignish, P.E.I.

Last summer, Perry’s family sold the 11-year-old standardbred back to the New Brunswick dealer where they had bought him because he had a sore foot and could no longer race. She imagined the rest of his days would be peaceful. “He’s a very big boy,” she said. “And he is just the gentlest horse I’ve ever met.”

The family bought the horse in 2019, and Perry and her father took him out to the harness racing track in O’Leary, P.E.I. While her father raced, she was Vangogh’s groomer. The horse, she said, usually came in second or third.

But as Vangogh’s injury worsened, the family decided to sell him even though Perry was fond of the animal. “My dad said I can’t keep every racehorse that goes through our barn,” she said.

After selling Vangogh last year, she lost track of him until a friend messaged after reading news about the animal on a horse-rescue Facebook page. The horse was in Pennsylvania and would be sent to Quebec to be slaughtered for meat.

“I couldn’t let him be slaughtered. It broke my heart,” Perry said.

She reached out to Kimberly Hale of New Start Standardbreds in Ontario, who had initially posted on Facebook about Vangogh, for help to save the horse from the slaughterhouse. New Start Standardbreds was founded in 2020 to find new homes for horses in Ontario and Eastern Canada.

Hale said in an interview that she had watched videos sent by a volunteer in Pennsylvania who spotted Vangogh outside the slaughterhouse, and the horse looks “totally fine.”

“He’s in good shape,” Hale said. “You know, there’s no reason he should have landed where he was. Just kind of bad luck.”

The first step Perry said she had to take was raise about $1,800 to get Vangogh away from the slaughterhouse.

“Amazingly, I got that in the first week. It was all my friends and family from just my little community,” she said. “I raised the $1,800 to get him out as fast as possible. Now he’s in a safe home in Pennsylvania.”

When she first got the message from Perry asking how her horse could be rescued, Hale said she felt relief.

“Those horses that have people looking out for them and care about them, it’s an extra good feeling, knowing that we can help them get them out, rather than the ones that don’t have anybody, because those ones are a lot harder,” she said.

The U.S. has a ban on equine slaughter, although horsemeat is sold across North America. Canada has two of the biggest slaughterhouses — in Quebec and Alberta.

Hale said Vangogh is in quarantine to make sure he’s disease-free.

Perry is hoping to raise about $1,500 more by the time Vangogh is out of quarantine so she can transport him back to P.E.I., where he will live with a friend on his farm in nearby Nail Pond. The friend has a horse, she said, so Vangogh will have a friend.

“If everything goes fine, he’ll be here before Christmas,” she said. “That’d be a nice Christmas gift for him.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2022.


Hina Alam, The Canadian Press




Court Ruling on CRA Audit Condones Government Overreach, Says Leading Muslim Charity



The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) has expressed strong disapproval of a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision, claiming it allows the federal government to violate Charter rights with impunity. The court’s decision upheld a ruling that permits the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to continue its audit of MAC, a process the charity alleges is tainted by systemic bias and Islamophobia.

MAC, an organization that promotes community service, education, and youth empowerment, serves over 150,000 Canadians through its mosques, schools, and community centers. The association argues that the CRA’s audit infringes on their Charter rights, specifically the guarantees of equality, freedom of religion, expression, and association.

The association initially sought to halt the audit through the Ontario Superior Court, arguing that the audit process was fundamentally biased. However, Superior Court Justice Markus Koehnen rejected their request last year, stating it was premature to intervene in the ongoing federal review. Koehnen acknowledged the validity of many of MAC’s arguments but emphasized that court involvement was inappropriate while the audit process was still active.

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently upheld Justice Koehnen’s decision, agreeing that the challenge was premature. The panel of judges found no error in the previous ruling, emphasizing the necessity of allowing the CRA’s internal processes to conclude before judicial intervention.

MAC’s representative, Sharaf Sharafeldin, criticized the decision, stating that the “prematurity principle” imposes significant legal and administrative burdens on charities. These costs, according to Sharafeldin, lead to financial hardship, reduced programs, and compromised charitable work, preventing effective challenges to Charter violations by the time the audit is completed.

In a statement, MAC highlighted that the decision disproportionately harms visible minorities and disadvantaged communities, who already suffer from systemic discrimination by government agencies.

The federal government has argued that the CRA’s selection of MAC for audit and subsequent review did not infringe upon Charter rights. The audit process includes potential internal appeals within the CRA, appeals to the Tax Court of Canada in the event of financial penalties, and to the Federal Court of Appeal if charitable status is revoked.

This ruling underscores the tension between government oversight and the protection of Charter rights, particularly for minority and disadvantaged communities. The outcome of this case could set a significant precedent for how charitable organizations can challenge perceived systemic bias and government overreach in Canada.

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Canada Post to honour acclaimed director Norman Jewison with commemorative stamp



Canada Post is set to honour the legacy of Toronto-born filmmaker Norman Jewison with a commemorative stamp.

Jewison, best known for directing Academy Award-winning films “In the Heat of The Night,” “Moonstruck” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” is considered one of Hollywood’s most prolific filmmakers.

Throughout his career, Jewison has worked on more than 40 television and film productions.

He was nominated for the Academy Award for best director three times and received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his body of work in 1999.

Jewison died at the age of 97 at his home in Malibu, Calif., in January.

Canada Post will unveil Jewison’s stamp at an event in Toronto on July 24.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 18, 2024

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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Ryan Reynolds BLEEDS for Deadpool! Sacrificed Salary to Keep Franchise Alive!



Marvel fans, rejoice! After a whirlwind journey filled with setbacks and triumphs, Deadpool & Wolverine is finally clawing its way onto the silver screen. This highly anticipated pairing of Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman has had its fair share of challenges, from production delays due to Hollywood strikes to struggling to solidify a cohesive storyline. But through it all, Reynolds’ unwavering dedication to the project has shone through, proving that sometimes, the biggest victories come from the most unexpected sacrifices.

The road to Deadpool & Wolverine began in May 2023 with a triumphant start to filming. However, that momentum was abruptly halted by a wave of strikes that swept through Hollywood, forcing a hiatus until late winter. This wasn’t the only obstacle the project faced. The creative team, including Reynolds himself, wrestled with crafting a narrative that lived up to the outrageous charm of the Deadpool character while seamlessly integrating Wolverine into the fold. There were even whispers of the entire project being shelved altogether, leaving fans anxious about the fate of this dream team.


Reynolds’ Pockets Take a Hit, But His Vision Persists

But amidst these uncertainties, a heartwarming detail recently emerged, shedding light on Reynolds’ incredible commitment to the Deadpool franchise. In a revealing interview with The New York Times, Reynolds opened up about the financial sacrifices he made to ensure the success of the original Deadpool film.

“Deadpool wasn’t just a movie; it was a decade-long passion project,” Reynolds confessed. “Honestly, when they finally greenlit it, I wasn’t thinking about box office numbers. I just wanted to see this crazy character come to life on screen. I even gave up my acting salary for the project just to get it off the ground.”


However, Reynolds’ generosity didn’t stop there. The studio, it seemed, wasn’t convinced of the importance of having the film’s screenwriters, Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, readily available on set. “They wouldn’t allow my co-writers on set, which was a huge blow,” Reynolds continued. “So, I took what little money I had left after forgoing my salary and paid them myself to be there. We basically formed a makeshift writer’s room right there on set.”

This wasn’t the first instance of Reynolds’ financial commitment to the Deadpool universe. Writers Reese and Wernick had previously shared on the AMC show Geeking Out that Reynolds also personally financed aspects of Deadpool (2016) to ensure the film achieved the level of quality he envisioned.


A Commitment That Reaps Rewards


Looking back on the original film’s scrappy beginnings, Reynolds described it as a labor of love fueled by limited resources and boundless creativity. “There wasn’t a lot of money, but I poured my heart and soul into every detail,” he said. “That experience taught me a valuable lesson: the importance of having a strong creative team by your side, no matter the project.”

Reynolds’ unwavering dedication wasn’t just about financial backing; it was about safeguarding the film’s creative vision. His actions ensured that the core team behind Deadpool’s success – the writers, the director, and himself – remained on board to bring their vision to life. This commitment is sure to translate into Deadpool & Wolverine, a film that promises to be a landmark achievement in the wacky world of Deadpool. Mark your calendars, fans – Deadpool & Wolverine slashes into theaters on July 26th!

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