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Photos for January 2016

(Click on photos to enlarge)

blackstock1The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) decision Jan. 26 that the federal government discriminates against First Nation children on reserves was a “complete victory” for children, says Cindy Blackstock, director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. In 2007, Blackstock and the Assembly of First Nations filed a complaint with the CHRT against the government, arguing that Ottawa failed to provide First Nations children with the same level of welfare services available to other Canadians. The CHRT said the government has discriminated against First Nations children and families on reserve since the beginning of residential schools. It requires the federal government to work with parties to the case to identify a process for remedy, which includes returning to the CHRT in coming weeks for an order on remedies. It said the government must “cease the discriminatory practice and take measures to redress and prevent it.” But, Blackstock told reporters, “Why did we have to bring the government of Canada to court to get them to treat First Nations children fairly? Why would it ever be OK to give a child less than other children?”

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The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) decision Jan. 26 that the federal government discriminates against First Nation children on reserves was  nine years in the making, said Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde.  “Today the kids win. Today the children are put first,” he said.

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Former governor general Adrienne Clarkson was among the Canadian and international political elite who paid tribute in Ottawa Jan. 27 to former public servant Maurice Strong, who died last November at the age of 86. Clarkson and her husband, author and philosopher John Ralston Saul, organized the celebration of Strong’s life that included tributes from several speakers including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former prime minister Paul Martin, and James Wolfensohn, former World Bank President. Strong was a key figure in establishing Canada’s role in international aid and development.

 

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was among several Canadian political and international leaders to pay tribute in Ottawa Jan. 27 to Maurice Strong who died last November at the age of 86. Trudeau said Strong was “a brilliant businessman, devoted environmentalist, an inspirational philanthropist.” In a written tribute, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan called Strong the “father of the world environmental movement.”

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Former justice minister Peter MacKay is joining the Toronto office of global law firm of Baker & McKenzie as a partner. However, MacKay isn’t ruling out running for Tory party leader to replace Stephen Harper. The party will chose a new leader May 27, 2017.

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Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr announced Jan. 27 major energy projects such as pipelines will need to clear an interim review process before they can be built. “We believe it is important and, in fact, essential to rebuild Canadians’ trust in our environmental assessment processes,’ McKenna said. “We need to take into account the views and concerns of Canadians, respect the rights and interests of indigenous peoples and support our natural resources sector.”

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File photo

Fire in a women’s emergency shelter in Ottawa operated by Cornerstone, a ministry of the Diocese of Ottawa (Anglican), displaced more than 60 women early Jan. 30 and caused an estimated $100,000 damage. The residents of the four-storey building were given shelter in a community centre while firefighters battled the blaze but were allowed to return later in the day.  No injuries were reported. In November 2009, a 61-year-old woman died in a fire in Cornerstone’s McLaren street facility, which provides permanent affordable housing for women.

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A deer buck in woods near Ottawa approaches a feeder Jan. 13 only to find a hare in his food. Don’t you just hate when that happens?

The presiding Bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, says his church’s acceptance of gay marriage won’t be rolled back despite sanctions imposed by Anglican leaders. In a Jan. 14 interview with the Associated Press, Curry said he told his fellow top Anglican archbishops meeting in England they should expect no change. “They basically understand we made our decision, and this is who we are, and we’re committed to being a house of prayer for all,” he said. Archbishops overwhelmingly agreed at the meeting to impose sanctions against the U.S. Episcopal Church and issue a statement in support of the “traditional doctrine” that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

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Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said the decision of top Anglican leaders meeting in England to impose sanctions against the U.S. Episcopal Church “will weigh into” the Canadian church’s own deliberations about same-sex marriage in July, the Anglican Journal reported Jan. 15.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Dec. 15, 2015

 

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A portrait of Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, taken at the Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa Nov. 11. The Canadian television host and public speaker has become a fashion icon.

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Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, arrives at the National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa Jan. 14 to hear a panel discussion on art and reconciliation. The event was part of  NAC’s aim to showcase Indigenous storytelling and reconciliation in the New Year. “Sophie has taken a very active interest in the reconciliation process,” the emcee told the gathering.

 

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Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, arrives at the National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa Jan. 14 to hear a panel discussion on art and reconciliation. The event was part of  NAC’s aim to showcase Indigenous storytelling and reconciliation in the New Year. “Sophie has taken a very active interest in the reconciliation process,” the emcee told the gathering.

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Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, arrives at the National Arts Centre (NAC) in Ottawa Jan. 14 to hear a panel discussion on art and reconciliation. The event was part of  NAC’s aim to showcase Indigenous storytelling and reconciliation in the New Year. “Sophie has taken a very active interest in the reconciliation process,” the emcee told the gathering.

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Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, chats with former prime minister Joe Clark before listening to a panel discussion on art and reconciliation. The event was part of NAC’s aim to showcase Indigenous storytelling and reconciliation in the New Year.

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American-Canadian actor Colm Feore attended the opening Jan. 14 of the “100 Years of Loss” exhibition at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The event was part of NAC’s aim to showcase Indigenous storytelling and reconciliation in the New Year. Feore portrayed Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in the television mini-series, “Trudeau,” and won a Gemini Award.

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World-renowned Ottawa-born classical pianist Angela Hewitt was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada on December 30. Hewitt, whose father was choirmaster at Christ Church Cathedral (Anglican) in Ottawa, performed a benefit concert for restored St. Jude’s Cathedral in Iqaluit, Nunavut, in 2013. The Igloo-shaped church was destroyed by fire in 2005.

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Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Minister of Canadian Heritage, says the Trudeau government will increase funding to “battered” arts and cultural institutions, including the CBC, but that they should adapt to the digital age. She made the comment in a CBC Radio interview in December.

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The Conservative’s controversial plan to build a monument to victims of communism land close to the Supreme Court building was scrapped in December by the Liberal government. Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, says the memorial will instead be built at the Garden of the Provinces and Territories, which is located on green space below Christ Church Cathedral (Anglican.)

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Work is to start in the spring on the restoration of the National War Memorial in Ottawa at a cost of more than $5 million. Public Works and Government Services wants to the work done before sesquicentennial celebrations in 2017. Firms interested in bidding on the contract must submit their qualifications by Feb. 2