Connect with us

News

Trudeau blasts Catholic Church for ignoring role in indigenous schools

Published

 on

The Catholic Church must take responsibility for its role in running many of Canada‘s residential schools for indigenous children, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday, after the discovery of the remains of 215 children at one former school last month.

“As a Catholic, I am deeply disappointed by the position the Catholic Church has taken now and over the past many years,” Trudeau told reporters. “We expect the Church to step up and take responsibility for its role in this.”

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops did not respond to a request for comment.

Between 1831 and 1996, Canada‘s residential school system forcibly separated about 150,000 children from their homes. Many were subjected to abuse, rape and malnutrition in what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015 called “cultural genocide”.

Run by the government and church groups – the majority of them Catholic – the schools’ stated aim was to assimilate indigenous children.

The discovery this week of the remains of the children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, which closed in 1978, has reopened old wounds and is fueling outrage about a persistent lack of information and accountability.

From 1893 to 1969, a Catholic congregation called the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate ran the Kamloops school, which was once Canada‘s largest.

On Friday, Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimir, on whose land the Kamloops school still stands, told reporters the nation has not received any records from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate that would help identify the children.

“We do want an apology” from the Catholic Church, Casimir said. “A public apology. Not just for us, but for the world.”

In 2008, the Canadian government formally apologized for the system. Trudeau said many are “wondering why the Catholic Church in Canada is silent, is not stepping up.”

He added: “Before we have to start taking the Catholic Church to court, I am very hopeful that religious leaders will understand this is something they need to participate in and not hide from.”

Trudeau has not directed such pointed comments at the Catholic Church over the residential schools since taking office in 2015.

On Wednesday, Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller said on Twitter “the Church was unquestionably wrong” and his archdiocese would be transparent with its archives and records regarding residential schools.

The Conference said on its website that each diocese is separate and responsible for its own actions.

The Catholic Church as a whole in Canada was not associated with the residential schools, nor was the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops,” it said.

Separately, United Nations human rights experts on Friday called on both Canada and the Vatican to further investigate the deaths of the children found in Kamloops.

“It is inconceivable that Canada and the Holy See would leave such heinous crimes unaccounted for and without full redress,” they said in a statement.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer and David Ljunggren; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Continue Reading

News

Brazil’s Vale says output begins at Reid Brook nickel deposit in Canada

Published

 on

Vale’s Voisey’s Bay nickel mine in Northern Labrador has started the production at its Reid Brook deposit, the Brazilian miner said in a securities filing on Tuesday.

Vale said the Canadian Reid Brook and Eastern Deeps mines are likely to produce 40,000 tonnes of nickel by 2025.

 

(Reporting by Carolina Mandl; editing by Jason Neely)

Continue Reading

News

EU, U.S. agree to talk on carbon border tariff

Published

 on

The United States and European Union agreed on Tuesday to hold talks on the bloc’s planned carbon border tariff, possibly at the World Trade Organisation, EU chief executive Ursula von der Leyen said.

U.S. President Joe Biden met European Commission President von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel on Tuesday for a summit tackling issues from trade to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The leaders also discussed climate change policy, including the EU’s plan to impose carbon emissions costs on imports of goods, including steel and cement, which the Commission will propose next month.

“I explained the logic of our carbon border adjustment mechanism,” von der Leyen told a news conference after the summit.

“We discussed that we will exchange on it. And that WTO might facilitate this,” she said.

Brussels and Washington are keen to revitalise transatlantic cooperation on climate change, after four fractious years under former president Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, they outlined plans for a transatlantic alliance to develop green technologies and said they will coordinate diplomatic efforts to convince other big emitters to cut CO2 faster.

But the EU border levy could still cause friction. A draft of the proposal said it would apply to some U.S. goods sold into the EU, including steel, aluminium and fertilisers.

Brussels says the policy is needed to put EU firms on an equal footing with competitors in countries with weaker climate policies, and that countries with sufficiently ambitious emissions-cutting policies could be exempted from the fee.

The United States and EU are the world’s second- and third- biggest emitters of CO2, respectively, after China.

A draft of the EU-U.S. summit statement, seen by Reuters, repeated commitments the leaders made at the G7 summit at the weekend to “scale up efforts” to meet an overdue spending pledge of $100 billion a year by rich countries to help poorer countries cut carbon emissions and cope with global warming.

It did not include firm promises of cash. Canada and Germany both pledged billions in new climate finance on Sunday, and campaigners had called on Brussels and Washington to do the same.

The draft statement also stopped short of setting a date for the United States and EU to stop burning coal, the most polluting fossil fuel and the single biggest of greenhouse gas emissions.

Brussels and Washington said they will largely eliminate their CO2 emissions from electricity production by the 2030s.

 

(Reporting by Kate Abnett, additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Marguerita Choy, Andrew Heavens and Barbara Lewis)

Continue Reading

News

U.S. fine Air Canada $25.5 milliom over delayed refunds

Published

 on

The U.S. Transportation Department said on Tuesday it was seeking a $25.5 million fine from Air Canada over the carrier’s failure to provide timely refunds requested by thousands of customers for flights to or from the United States.

The department said it filed a formal complaint with a U.S. administrative law judge over flights Air Canada canceled or significantly changed. The penalty is “intended to deter Air Canada and other carriers from committing similar violations in the future,” the department said, adding Air Canada continued its no-refund policy in violation of U.S. law for more than a year.

Air Canada said it believes the U.S. government’s position “has no merit.” It said it “will vigorously challenge the proceedings.”

Air Canada obtained a financial aid package this spring that gave the carrier access to up to C$5.9 billion ($4.84 billion) in funds through a loan program.

The carrier said it has been refunding nonrefundable tickets as part of the Canadian government’s financial package. Since April 13 eligible customers have been able to obtain refunds for previously issued nonrefundable tickets, it said.

The Transportation Department disclosed it is also “actively investigating the refund practices of other U.S. and foreign carriers flying to and from the United States” and said it will take “enforcement action” as appropriate.

The administration said the Air Canada penalty sought was over “extreme delays in providing the required refunds.”

Refund requests spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 2020, the Transportation Department has received over 6,000 complaints against Air Canada from consumers who said they were denied refunds for flights canceled or significantly changed. The department said the airline committed a minimum of 5,110 violations and passengers waited anywhere from five to 13 months to receive refunds.

Last month, a trade group told U.S. lawmakers that 11 U.S. airlines issued $12.84 billion in cash refunds to customers in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic upended the travel industry.

In May, Democratic Senators Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal called on carriers to issue cash refunds whether flights were canceled by the airline or traveler.

($1 = 1.2195 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by David Shepardson in WashingtonAdditional reporting by Allison Lampert in MontrealEditing by Matthew Lewis)

Continue Reading

Trending