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Ottawa Star • November 7, 2013

By Diana Mehta, The Canadian Press

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ORONTO—The drug scandal involving the mayor of Canada’s largest city received international attention as police revealed they had found an alleged video that appears to show Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine. Toronto’s controversial mayor has drawn the attention of friends and foes since May with his abrupt dismissal of media reports carrying details of the alleged video— which he had said did not exist, while denying that he ever smoked cocaine. But confirmation from the city’s police chief that the video was in the hands of authorities forced Ford into the spotlight, with his troubles becoming an international talking point. “Toronto police link mayor to cocaine,” blared a headline on the front page of the New York Times website. “Toronto mayor drugs video found,” said another on the home page of the BBC website. News outlets as far as India, Europe and Australia also carried coverage of the bombshell revelations. U.S. gossip website Gawker, which along with the Toronto Star newspaper was the first to report on the alleged

video earlier this year, criticized Ford after the mayor said he had no reason to resign. “Well, there’s the crack tape! But, sure, pal,” a piece on the website said. Vanity Fair chimed in: “the most anticipated film of the year is not ”Gravity“ or ”Blue is the Warmest Color“ or even ”Last Vegas”…it is an independently produced amateur documentary that purportedly shows Toronto Mayor Rob “Oh Yeah, Rob Ford” Ford smoking crack.“ Some U.S. observers compared the Ford affair to the case of former Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry, who was busted smoking crack cocaine by an FBI sting in 1990. “Marion Barry had one of the best mayors-smoking-crack videos of all time. Yes, even in terrible scandal, Canada is still decades behind the United States of America,” wrote the author of a cheeky piece on the National Journal political news website. The article noted that Barry was reelected as mayor after serving a sentence for drug possession. “While the Rob Ford news is reasonably astonishing…it definitely isn’t unprecedented,” the piece said. “Canada just can’t escape its southern neighbour’s sad, sad shadow.”

Quebec plans to take in less immigrants Continued from page 1

The target for 2014 has been set between 49,000 and 52,500 and will be reduced the following year to between 48,500 and 51,500 people. The province struck a deal with the federal government decades ago to gain some control over its immigration programs. More recently, the Charest Liberal government had planned to stabilize immigration levels around 50,000 new arrivals per year, a target that was regularly exceeded. It did close some valves leading to a decline in immgrants from Africa. Now Quebec’s fiscal and demographic pressures raise the question of whether the province might actually be taking in too few immigrants—not too many.

In recent years Quebec has actually been taking in a slightly higher share of immigrants to Canada—at 21.3 per cent last year, from a low of less than 13 per cent in the two years leading up to the 1995 referendum. But that has not stopped the province’s demographic clout from dropping within Canada. The province has gone from having 29 per cent of the national population in 1951 to 24 per cent in 2011, as Quebec lagged behind some other provinces in population growth. Quebec has also announced that it will spend an additional $13.5 million per year during the next three years to teach immigrants French. A public consultation is planned to help revise guidelines and set desirable immigration levels for the future.

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