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‘Prepared to wait all night’: Long lines as Queen Elizabeth lies in state

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LONDON — Members of the public joined a line that stretched for kilometres along the south bank of the Thames River on Wednesday, waiting hours to say an in-person goodbye to the woman who ruled the United Kingdom for 70 years.

In the coming days, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth, whose lying-in-state began Wednesday afternoon in London after a military procession from Buckingham Palace.

People filed past slowly on either side of the closed coffin, which was placed on a raised platform under the medieval timber ceiling of Westminster Hall. Many had waited hours for their last, brief encounter with the queen.

Some paused to bow and curtsy while others shuffled past, wiping tears. The crowd was kept moving — except for a brief pause to change the guard every 20 minutes — although many members of the public paused for a backwards glance as they exited the hall.

Equipped with sleeping bags, books and backpacks of food, the mourners formed a queue that was nearly four kilometres long as of 8:13 p.m. local time. With Westminster Palace silhouetted across the river, people waited patiently as the line wound its way past the London Eye and across Lambeth Bridge.

Erin Hutchinson, who is originally from Guelph, Ont., said she was prepared to stay all night if needed.

“Being Canadian, the queen has always been part of our life growing up,” said Hutchinson, who now lives in Pittsburgh. She said it was important to mark a moment in history and pay tribute to the only queen she and her family have ever known.

“To have a new monarch, and to have her passing, feels very historic and I’m just happy to be here,” she said.

The mood in the line appeared upbeat, as people exchanged names, shared food and offered to step out to fetch each other cups of tea. Those who entered the line were given wristbands that were periodically checked by security.

Andrew Villosa said he left his newborn baby’s side to come line up, on behalf of family who he said couldn’t make the trip. “Hopefully it’s not too long,” he said. However, he made it clear he wouldn’t be leaving the line no matter how long it took.

“It’s something everybody will know about for the rest of our lives. It will probably be in our kids’ kids’ history lessons, so it’s a very big deal,” he said.

While people were prepared for long waits, the line appeared to be orderly and was moving at a brisk walking pace an hour after the lying-in-state began.

Michelle Cozzi, who is originally from Fiji, said she came to honour the queen’s life of “dignity, duty and devotion to people, wherever they are.” Cozzi remembers being a little girl in her school uniform, waving a flag for the queen during the monarch’s 1963 tour of her home country. “So this is like a bookend of my experience with the Crown,” she said.

Earlier, King Charles III and other members of the Royal Family walked behind the queen’s flag-draped coffin as it was brought by horse-drawn carriage from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.

The crowds who lined the barricades pulled out phones and sometimes wiped away tears but stayed largely silent as the military procession passed.

The coffin was draped in the Royal Standard and topped with the Imperial State Crown — encrusted with almost 3,000 diamonds — and a bouquet of flowers and plants, including pine from the Balmoral Estate, where Elizabeth died on Sept. 8 at the age of 96.

The roads near the procession were blocked off hours before it began in order to limit the crowds, leaving masses of people wandering the suddenly maze-like streets of London, looking to find a way in or out.

Beverley Gould and her sister, Teresa Brouter Khazanchi, were two of the lucky ones who got a spot for the procession.

Dressed head to toe in Union Jack apparel, they said they were there to witness a historical moment. After mourning five of their relatives that died in the last year, this feels like another loss, they said.

“It seems very personal,” Gould said. “It seems like one of your family.”

The queen’s coffin will be on display for public viewing 24 hours a day until the morning of her funeral, which is set for Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2022.

— With a file from The Associated Press

 

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

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Iran protests: Canada sanctioning 'morality police' – CTV News

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Canada will be imposing new sanctions on Iran as a result of a continuing violent crackdown on protesters, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.

The sanctions will be levelled on “dozens of individuals and entities, including Iran’s so-called morality police,” the prime minister said.

“We’ve seen Iran disregarding human rights time and time again, and now we see with the death of Mahsa Amini and the crackdown on protests,” Trudeau said, referencing the death of a 22-year-old who was detained for allegedly violating the country’s forced veiling laws. Her death has sparked outrage and has prompted a wave of international demonstrations, seeing some women cut their hair or burn their hijabs in revolt.

“To the women in Iran who are protesting and to those who are supporting you, we stand with you. We join our voices, the voices of all Canadians, to the millions of people around the world demanding that the Iranian government listen to their people, end their repression of freedoms and rights, and let women and all Iranians live their lives and express themselves peacefully,” Trudeau said.

While no official notice of the new sanctions has been published by Global Affairs Canada, the prime minister noted they come in addition to outstanding measures Canada has taken against Iran.

In an email to CTV News, Adrien Blanchard, press secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said that Trudeau “announced Canada’s intention” to issue these sanctions, pledging more details “in due course.” 

Joly, as well as MPs from all parties, have spoken out about the escalating tensions and use of force against civilians in Iran, with the House of Commons unanimously passing a motion last week offering “solidarity to the women of Iran who are fighting for their rights and freedoms.”

With files from CTV News’ Michael Lee 

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Maine power workers cross border without incident to help in Nova Scotia

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OTTAWA — Nova Scotia Power says there were no issues delaying American power crews from crossing the border to help repair the electrical grid from the devastation of hurricane Fiona.

On Sunday, the utility company and Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston had both said an issue related to the controversial ArriveCan app was delaying power crews from crossing into Canada.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said this morning that the order making the app mandatory and requiring that foreign citizens be vaccinated to come to Canada will expire on Friday.

Power crews helping to restore electricity are considered essential workers and are exempt from the border measures.

In a new statement Monday afternoon, Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman Jacqueline Foster says there was some confusion about the app but it is now confirmed there were no problems.

Versant Power says 15 line workers and two mechanics left Bangor, Maine, for Canada early Monday morning without issue, and Central Maine Power reports more than a dozen two-person crews and 10 support workers crossed the border without incident at around 7 a.m. Monday.

“We now know there were not any issues with ArriveCan,” said Foster. “Our contractor crews have made their way over the border and we are grateful to have them as part of our restoration efforts here in Nova Scotia.”

The Canada Border Services Agency reported that it cleared 19 power trucks at the Third Bridge border crossing in St. Stephen, N.B., just after 7 a.m. Monday. The CBSA said the average processing time was between 30 and 60 seconds per vehicle.

The ArriveCan app has been fodder for heated political debates for months and Conservatives have repeatedly demanded that the government shut it down.

During question period on Monday, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre cited the allegations that ArriveCan delayed power crews to demand that the app be scrapped ahead of schedule.

He asked, “Will the prime minister suspend the ArriveCan app today, not Saturday, so that no more holdups happen at the border for those who are trying to help those in desperate need?”

Trudeau said he can “confirm that there were no delays at any border because of ArriveCan or otherwise.”

The utility company had said Sunday that crews were physically stuck at the border, but confirmed a few hours after question period on Monday that this had never been the case.

Foster suggested the error was a result of “confusion” after a concern arose Friday — before the storm actually hit — that crews from Maine might not be able to cross the border because of ArriveCan.

No New Brunswick border crossings reported issues over the weekend.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

 

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

 

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Former top civil servant, medical association president appointed as senators

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OTTAWA — Ian Shugart, a longtime bureaucrat and the country’s top civil servant during the first part of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been tapped for a seat in the Senate.

Dr. Gigi Osler, a Winnipeg surgeon, University of Manitoba professor and president of the Federation of Medical Women in Canada, is also set to become a senator.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the picks today after the two were recommended to him by the independent advisory board for appointments to the upper chamber.

Shugart, who will represent Ontario, stepped down as the clerk of the Privy Council in early 2021 to undergo cancer treatments and formally retired in May after a long public service career.

Trudeau also appointed him to the King’s Privy Council today, adding his name to a list that includes past and present cabinet ministers and people “honoured for their contributions to Canada,” according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Osler, who will represent Manitoba, became the first female surgeon and the first racialized woman to hold the presidency at the Canadian Medical Association in 2018.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 26, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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