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Surrey Police Board confident police transition continues despite pro-RCMP mayor

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VICTORIA — The Surrey Police Board is expressing confidence the city’s police transition process from the RCMP to a municipal force will continue despite the election of a pro-Mountie mayor.

Mayor-elect Brenda Locke, who defeated mayor Doug McCallum in Saturday’s municipal elections, pledged to keep the RCMP in Surrey during her victory speech Saturday.

McCallum made replacing the Surrey Mounties with a civic police force a major initiative during his four-year term, which now ends with his defeat.

Police board executive director Melissa Granum says in an interview the board wants to meet as soon possible with Locke, who now becomes the board’s chair, to update her on the police transition process.

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She says the Surrey Police Service has already hired about 350 staff employees, with more than 150 police officers, including a chief.

Ian MacDonald, a Surrey Police Service media spokesman, says in a statement talks with the new mayor and council are welcome, but any decision to change course will require the approval of the provincial government who approved a municipal police service in Surrey in 2019.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 16, 2022.

 

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Canada is a possibility for those looking to work abroad

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Canada is a country with a very good reputation regarding of living standards. It is one of the countries with the best quality of life available. It offers many possibilities for Canadians and foreigners looking to start a life in its territory. It offers many things to those who decide to undertake the adventure of leaving their home country to work abroad.

In Canada, many job opportunities are available thanks to the development in all sectors. In addition, their immigration policy is regarded as one of the best in the world. Showing open arms to welcome for all those who wish to explore labor options in their cities. Their immigration policies are something of which they are very proud of, as shown by the statements of their minister, Sean Fraser. Their work conditions are also very favorable when residing in the country for an undetermined period of time for work. So much so that Canada has welcomed thousands of foreigners over the years, and statistics show that the country expects to welcome 1.4 million migrants over the next three years.

These numbers certify that Canada is a very attractive country for people looking to go abroad to work. For the Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, this is a boon for companies looking for new business employees.

Moreover, there are opportunities in practically all sectors. Although Canada is not as big as the United States, many job opportunities are available. In big cities like Toronto, Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa, you can find work in big, medium-sized and small companies. Also, regardless of whatever sector you are prepared for, whether primary, secondary or tertiary, there is an opportunity waiting for you in Canada. However, this does not mean everything is handed to you on a silver platter: you need to actively look for a job and fight for it.

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Certain jobs are modernized and performed remotely. For example, nowadays, the casino sector has increased and can be accessed very easily from the net in the country. These sites offer a great variety of games as well as free spins no deposit Canada. Many online casinos in Canada offer signup promotions in the form of a deposit bonus, a no deposit bonus, free play credits or free spins. Various promotions accumulate funds and increase them. It is also possible to play for free, but only with real money, you can take advantage of these bonuses. In addition, more and more people want to bid live dealers, so you can always apply for this job.

 

But then why are there so many job vacancies if there are workers?

One of the contradictions is that there seem to be jobs available for people who want to work, but unemployment rates are not decreased. According to studies, over one million people cannot find work. However, there are actually more than 900,000 open vacancies. This leads one to think that perhaps the native Canadian population does not meet the requirements set by that companies are looking for newly qualified workers, a possible reason as to why there are so many foreigners. Another reason could be that people do not live in the cities where these vacancies are available and do not want to relocate.

Unlike other countries such as the United States or England, Canada does not control the number of migrants entering the country each year to stay and work. The border is open to anyone who wants to try their luck. This may indicate that companies prefer to hire foreigners because they are willing to sacrifice living in their own countries for job opportunities in Canada.

Finally, some jobs might be more enticing to foreigners. It is clear that Canada has an open-gate policy concerning foreign workers, and they are constantly looking for various new profiles. There is a wide variety of offers for professionals, ranging from the medical sector to construction, entrepreneurs, hoteliers, and tourism. Although the most requested offers come from within the health sector, for example, there is also a gradual increase in jobs requiring software engineers.

If you are looking to work abroad, Canada is a good option. It is a country of primarily western values, although with its own cultural traditions. The weather can be another abrupt change one will have to get used to over time. However, their immigration policy is quite enticing, alongside an outstanding rate of quality of life. It’s a combination of all these that make it an attractive destination. So if you plan to work abroad, consider Canada.

 

 

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King Charles’ three-day visit to Canada cost taxpayers at least $1.4 million

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King Charles’ three-day 2022 Royal Tour of Canada cost Canadian taxpayers at least $1.4 million, according to documents obtained by CTVNews.ca.

The whirlwind May 17 to 19 trip saw the then- Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit Newfoundland, Ontario and Northwest Territories over approximately 57 hours, at a cost of more than $25,000 per hour.

The $1.4 million does not include government, military and police salaries, or normal operational costs, which would make the true bill higher. It also does not include costs covered by local governments and police forces.

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It does include overtime, fleets of vehicles, VIP flights and armed security paid for by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Department of National Defence and Canadian Heritage, the federal department that oversaw the trip and its planning.

The figures are based on a pair of access to information requests filed with Canadian Heritage, as well as data provided by the Department of National Defence, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other government departments and agencies. The Canadian Heritage figures should be considered preliminary, and are very likely to increase when official data is released in March 2023.

“The accounting process for the 2022 Royal Tour is still ongoing,” a Canadian Heritage spokesperson told CTVNews.ca. “For all Royal Tours, costs are shared between federal and provincial/territorial governments, based on the duration and the number of events taking place in each region.”

 

Charles became King and Camilla became Queen Consort following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8, 2022. Their May 2022 visit to Canada was meant to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee, which marked a historic 70 years on the throne.

National Defence footed the bill for Charles and Camilla’s air transportation to, from and within Canada aboard what’s commonly known as Can Force One: the bedroom-equipped VIP Airbus CC-150 Polaris jet that frequently shuttles the prime minister and dignitaries overseas. In total, the trip would have covered over 12,000 kilometres.

According to a National Defence spokesperson, the $568,000 is approximate and includes the costs of flying the plane “and associated support services to transport members of the Royal Family, along with personnel for the Royal Tour as identified by Canadian Heritage.” Approximately 450 Canadian Armed Forces personnel participated, including roughly 100 who supported air transportation and at least 100 for the honour guard at a May 17 welcoming ceremony in St. John’s, N.L.

The RCMP was primarily tasked with security. Outside of salaries, the RCMP spent $172,175 on overtime and $189,156 on travel expenditures like meals, accommodation and transportation for a total of $361,331. An RCMP spokesperson said additional costs may still be processed.

According to two access to information requests filed by CTVNews.ca, the more than $509,714 spent by Canadian Heritage included at least $221,634 on travel and hospitality costs like flights, accommodation, meals and per diems; more than $11,453 on fleets of rental cars, taxis and buses; more than $11,496 in overtime for just three employees; $6,404 in fees to Ottawa’s historic Lord Elgin Hotel; at least $5,287 for scores of COVID-19 rapid tests; $3,550 for image copyrights; $2,945 for printing services; and other costs like flowers, medical personal protective equipment, “VIP Agency Services” and gifts. Canadian Heritage also footed the hospitality bill for 20 to 30 members of the British delegation, who included staff from Clarence House, which is King Charles’ London residence. A breakdown of the preliminary Canadian Heritage costs can be found at the bottom of this article.

“It is customary for hospitality costs, including those for Clarence House staff, to be assumed by the host country,” an April 2022 memo prepared for Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez states. “As the lead federal department for the planning and delivery of the 2022 Royal Tour, the Department of Canadian Heritage will assume hospitality costs.”

Canadian Heritage also covered $140,685.64 in costs from Services and Procurement Canada, which included overtime for 20 employees, and $35,718.91 from the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, which went towards planning work, accommodation and meals for royal visitors and support staff, and a reception at Rideau Hall, which is home to the Governor General, the monarch’s appointed representative in Canada.

Additional costs were likely absorbed by other departments, police forces and levels of government.

In statements to CTVNews.ca, the Ontario government and the cities of Ottawa, Yellowknife and St. John’s reported incurring no costs due to the 2022 Royal Tour. The governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Northwest Territories said numbers are not yet finalized. Ottawa Police Service and Royal Newfoundland Constabulary did not respond to requests for comment, and Ontario Provincial Police stated figures would only be released through a freedom of information request. The National Capital Commission, a Crown corporation that oversees federal properties in and around Ottawa, reported spending $283.40 on audio-visual services for an event at Rideau Hall. The $1.4 million also does not include costs covered by British taxpayers.

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla’s last Royal Tour of Canada, which spanned three days in the summer of 2017, cost Canadian Heritage $487,660. Since 2010, there have been eight official Royal Tours to Canada by members of Royal Family, which have come at a price of more than $7 million to Canadian Heritage alone. The late Queen Elizabeth II’s final nine-day visit to Canada in 2010 was the most expensive of all, costing Canadian Heritage at least $2.79 million.

 

Visits like these represent just a fraction of what Canada’s ties to the throne cost Canadian taxpayers each year.

According to the Monarchist League of Canada, our constitutional monarchy cost the government almost $58.75 million in just the 2019 to 2020 fiscal year, which includes costs associated with operating the Governor General’s Office, their overseas trips, the salaries and expenses of provincial lieutenant governors, and royal tours. That’s approximately $1.55 per Canadian a year – slightly below the nearly $2.10 the Crown costs each citizen of the U.K.

The Monarchist League of Canada believes that represents good value for Canadians.

“The Queen and now the King, together with members of their Family, do not come to Canada to benefit Britain or indeed any of the other Commonwealth Realms,” the league’s dominion chairman, Robert Finch, told CTVNews.ca. “The purpose of these homecomings is to highlight Canadians, their achievements, yes – their challenges and problems being worked on – and to celebrate important events in the life of the nation.”

The Monarchist League of Canada was recently awarded a $187,500 grant from Canadian Heritage to distribute 70,000 educational booklets to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee this year. Finch explains that all Royal Tours come on invitation of the host nation, and that there are also many private visits, such as by members with hospital patronages or honorary military ranks. He describes Canadians’ relationship and attitude to the monarchy as “deep and abiding.”

“Canada’s polity is one of democratic institutions and freedom under the Crown,” Finch said. “To change that polity would demand the unanimous agreement of the ten provincial legislatures and Parliament – and the complexity would not merely centre on why such a change should be made, but what new institution would replace it, and be demonstrably better.”

Tom Freda, director of the Citizens for a Canadian Republic advocacy group, believes that Canadian support the monarchy is “declining,” partially because of the large costs of hosting visiting royals.

“We don’t see much purpose at all, really,” Freda told CTVNews.ca. “Obviously, state visits in general are a necessary part of international relations and diplomacy. As a host country, we cover the costs of all visiting dignitaries.”

The group, which wants to replace the British monarch with a Canadian head of state, has used access to information requests to uncover data on the costs of past Royal Tours.

“Canada does seem to go overboard on royal visits,” Freda said. “Near as we can tell, they’re designed to bolster support for the royals (ironically, it does the opposite by raising attention to their presence and the cost), and to allow political and business elites the opportunity to socialize with royalty.”

Obtained through two access to information requests, the above documents outline costs incurred by Canadian Heritage during King Charles’ 2022 Royal Tour of Canada.

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In The News for Nov. 29: How much did Canada’s economy grow in September?

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Statistics Canada’s preliminary estimate for the third quarter suggests the economy grew by 0.4 per cent.

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That’s in contrast to 0.8 per cent growth in the second quarter of this year.

In a client note, RBC says residential investment likely fell in the third quarter, along with other business investment as the economic outlook weakens.

Higher interest rates from the Bank of Canada are expected to further dampen economic growth in the fourth quarter and into 2023.

Also this …

A public inquiry is turning its attention to the role of online misinformation this morning as it continues probing Ottawa’s use of emergency legislation to quell last winter’s “Freedom Convoy” protests.

The Public Order Emergency Commission is slated to begin the day with a panel of policy experts on misinformation, disinformation and the role of social media.

Another panel on the flow of essential goods and services, critical infrastructure and trade corridors is set to follow in the afternoon.

The inquiry is seeking the expert input to bolster its analysis of whether the federal government was right to use the Emergencies Act in response to protests that took over downtown Ottawa and halted trade at several border crossings.

The policy phase this week follows six weeks of fact-finding hearings into the events leading up to that decision, which included testimony about online threats and U.S. officials’ concerns about trade.

The commission is on a tight timeline to complete its work, with Commissioner Paul Rouleau expected to submit final recommendations to Parliament at the beginning of February.

And this too …

Canadians appear to be slowly cutting back on their use of plastic straws and grocery bags ahead of a national ban on such items that will take effect next month, new statistics show.

The Canadian government is looking to curb domestic plastic pollution by the end of the decade as negotiations toward a formal plastics management treaty begin this week in Uruguay.

Canada is one of nearly three dozen countries lobbying heavily for an international agreement that would end global plastic pollution by 2040.

“Enough is enough,” Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said in a tweet.

About 22 million tonnes of plastic ends up where it shouldn’t every year, including in lakes, rivers and oceans worldwide, he said. In Canada, about 29,000 tonnes of plastic garbage, mainly packaging, ends up in the environment each year.

Another 3.3 million tonnes of plastic garbage ends up in landfills. Less than one-tenth of the plastic Canadians throw out is actually recycled.

In a bid to cut down on all plastic waste, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised in 2019 that some single-use plastics would be banned by 2021. It took the government a year longer than it planned to figure out which items to ban and how to do it.

The final regulations were published in June, and as of Dec. 20, it will no longer be legal in Canada to manufacture or import most plastic shopping bags or straws, along with stir sticks, cutlery and takeout containers. One year later, the sale of those items will also be banned.

The manufacturing and importing of six-pack plastic rings for drink containers will be banned in June 2023, with their sale ending a year after that.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

WASHINGTON _ The Supreme Court is taking up a dispute over a blocked Biden administration policy that would prioritize deportation of people in the country illegally who pose the greatest public safety risk.

Republican-led states sued and won a nationwide court order that is meant to limit immigration officers’ discretion in deciding whom to deport. The justices are hearing arguments in the case Tuesday.

It’s the latest example of a Republican litigation strategy that has succeeded in slowing Biden administration initiatives by going to GOP-friendly courts.

In a separate ongoing legal dispute, three judges chosen by President Donald Trump are among the four Republican-appointed judges who have so far prevented the administration’s student loan cancellation program from taking effect.

At the centre of the immigration legal fight is a September 2021 directive from the Department of Homeland Security that paused deportations unless individuals had committed acts of terrorism, espionage or “egregious threats to public safety.”

The guidance, issued after Joe Biden became president, updated a Trump-era policy that removed people in the country illegally regardless of criminal history or community ties.

The administration said in a written high-court filing that the “decision to prioritize threats to national security, public safety, and border security was both reasonable and reasonably explained,” especially since Congress has not given DHS enough money to vastly increase the number of people it holds and deports.

Texas and Louisiana, which sued over the directive, responded that the administration’s guidance violates federal law that requires the detention of people who are in the U.S. illegally and who have been convicted of serious crimes.

The states said they would face added costs of having to detain people the federal government might allow to remain free inside the United States, despite their criminal records.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

BEIJING _ Chinese universities are sending students home as the ruling Communist Party tightens anti-virus controls and tries to prevent more protests after crowds angered by its severe “zero COVID” restrictions called for President Xi Jinping to resign in the biggest show of public dissent in decades.

With police out in force, there was no word of protests Tuesday in Beijing, Shanghai or other major cities.

Some anti-virus restrictions were eased Monday in a possible effort to defuse public anger following the weekend protests in at least eight cities. But the ruling party affirmed its “zero COVID” strategy, which has confined millions of people to their homes in an attempt to isolate every infection.

Tsinghua University, Xi’s alma mater, where students protested Sunday, and other schools in Beijing and the southern province of Guangdong said they were protecting students from COVID-19. But dispersing them to far-flung hometowns also reduces the likelihood of more activism following protests at campuses last weekend.

Some universities arranged buses to take students to train stations. They said classes and final exams would be conducted online.

“We will arrange for willing students to return to their hometowns,” Beijing Forestry University said on its website. It said its faculty and students all tested negative for the virus.

Authorities have ordered mass testing and imposed other controls in areas across China following a spike in infections. But the move to disperse students was unusual at a time when many cities are telling the public to avoid travel and imposing controls on movement.

On this day in 1798 …

The legislature of the Island of St. John voted to change its name to Prince Edward Island. The name was chosen in honour of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, who was stationed with the army in Halifax at the time. It was felt that the change was necessary because the Island was being confused with Saint John, N.B. and St. John’s, N.L.

In entertainment …

NEW YORK _ “Everything Everywhere All at Once” won best feature at the 32nd Gotham Awards on Monday, taking one of the first major prizes of Hollywood’s awards season and boosting the Oscar hopes of the anarchic indie hit of the year.

Also taking an award for his work on the film was Ke Huy Quan, the “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” child star who made a lauded comeback in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and won for best supporting actor.

“This time last year, all I was hoping for was a job,” said an emotional Quan who had nearly given up acting before landing his role in the film. “For the first time in a very long time, I was given a second chance.”

The Gotham Awards, held annually at Cipriani Wall Street, serve as a downtown celebration of independent film and an unofficial kickoff of the long marathon of ceremonies, cocktail parties and campaigning that lead up to the Academy Awards in March. Presented by the Gotham Film & Media Institute, the Gothams last year heaped awards on Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter” while also, with an award for Troy Kotsur, starting “CODA” on its way to best picture.

But aside from any possible influence, the Gothams are also just a star-studded party that gets the industry back into the awards-season swing. Last year’s ceremony was the first fully in-person award show for many after a largely virtual 2020-2021 pandemic-marred season. This year, the Gothams were held amid mounting concern over the tepid box-office results for many of the top awards contenders. Though moviegoing has recovered much of the ground it lost during the pandemic, adult audiences have inconsistently materialized in theatres this fall.

But in feting “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the metaverse-skipping action adventure directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheiner, the filmmaking duo known as “the Daniels,” the Gothams selected an unlikely runaway success. Released in March, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” made more than $100 million worldwide against a $14 million budget, making it A24’s highest grossing film. The warm affection for the absurdist film now has it poised to potentially play underdog at the Oscars. The film also recently led nominations to the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

The Gothams give gender neutral acting awards, which meant that some awards favourites this year that wouldn’t normally be head-to-head, like Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”) and Cate Blanchett (“Tar”), were up against each other. Todd Fields’ “Tar,” starring Blanchett as a renowned conductor, came into the Gothams with a leading five nominations and went home with an award for Fields’ screenplay.

But “Till” star Danielle Deadwyler ultimately prevailed in the crowded lead acting category. Deadwyler, who plays Mamie Till-Bradley in the piercing drama, wasn’t able to attend the ceremony. “Till” director Chinonye Chukwu accepted on her behalf.

Did you see this?

OTTAWA _ Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has had her department summon Russia’s ambassador over social media postings against LGBTQ people.

In recent days, Russia’s embassy in Ottawa posted on Twitter and Telegram that the West is imposing on Russia’s family values, and that families can only include a man, a woman and children.

The embassy posted images of a crossed-out rainbow flag and Orthodox icons of Adam and Eve. It decried Canada for “conflating the concepts of individual sexual preferences and universal human rights” and repeated old tropes about pedophilia.

The first post appeared Nov. 24, just days after five people were killed in a shooting at a gay bar in Colorado.

The tweets came as Russia expanded a ban on exposing children to so-called homosexual propaganda, meaning that authorities can now prosecute Russians for doing things they argue might entice adults to be gay or transgender.

Canada was among 33 countries that signed a joint statement condemning the legislation, prompting the embassy to push back.

“Our country is not interfering in the Canadian domestic affairs,” the embassy claimed, seeking a “corresponding respectful attitude toward the legislative process in Russia.”

Despite ample documentation of persecution of LGBTQ people in Russia, including forced disappearances in Chechnya, the embassy asserted that “there is no discrimination in Russia with respect to the rights of sexual and other kind of minorities.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2022.

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