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Vol 16 - Issue 38

Saturday, October 21, 2017




Saturday, October 21, 2017


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Vol 16 - Issue 38

Student dies after being run over by his school bus The driver of a school bus that rolled over a seven-year-old student in Abbotsford, B.C. has been fired, but the boy’s family is still calling for answers while he remains in intensive care. Rupinder Gill says she’s praying that her nephew, Gurtaj, will recover from serious injuries he sustained in the incident, which occurred when the boy was dropped off after school on Oct. 6. The bus started moving as the boy was crossing in front of it, seconds after he disembarked. “He has his pelvic (bone) broken. It’s a really bad injury, and he had some major stomach bleeding,� Gill told CTV Vancouver. She says Gurtaj underwent multiple surgeries, and remains in serious condition at the B.C.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Fruiticana Diwali Shopping Festival 2017

Founder & President of Fruiticana, Tony Singh, (right) and General Manager Surrey Honda Nasir Kamrudin (left) with the winner of 2017 Honda CRV Gurneet Kaur (second from right) and her husband.

Fruiticana has always celebrated community events with zeal and enthusiasm. This year was no different, as the Fruiticana Diwali shopping festival gained much

Continued on page 6

CRA seeks to identify BC condo-flippers The Canada Revenue Agency is casting a wide net in its investigation of condo presales, with court documents indicating the agency will seek “any and all correspondence, including emails,� between all parties involved in the transactions, including developers, buyers and agents. The agency in July obtained two court orders related to large condo projects in Vancouver and in September, applied for two more, after CRA investigators flagged potential problems in the sector. The CRA wants to ensure all applicable taxes have been paid when a person flips, or assigns, a sales agreement for as-yet-unbuilt condo to another buyer. The CRA knows “from past experience� that profits from assignments may not have been reported for income-tax purposes, CRA investigator Amandeep Sandhu said in a Continued on page 12


popularity. The gift items distributed amongst 49 lucky winners included small home appliances, and a grand prize of 2017 Honda CR-V. Moreover, Continued on page 7

Quebec bans niqab                 Niqab-wearing Quebec women who want to ride the bus, visit the library, go for a medical check-up or meet with their child’s teacher are now legally required to uncover their faces while receiving provincial and municipal government services. Quebec’s National Assembly adopted Bill

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard

62 Wednesday morning, a controversial law that is the Liberal government’s answer to a decade-long debate over the accommodation of religious minorities in the province. The bill passed despite opposition from the Parti QuÊbÊcois and Coalition Avenir QuÊbec, Continued on page 12

Surrey girl, 14, dies from overdose A 14-year-old girl is believed to have died from an overdose earlier this month in Surrey, according to Surrey RCMP. Police found the girl in distress after being called to a residence in the 13300 block of 103A Avenue shortly before 9 a.m. PT on Oct. 6, wrote Cpl. Scott Schumann in an email to CBC News. She was taken to hospital where she was

pronounced deceased from an “apparent� overdose, Schumann said. Police said that a warrant was executed at the scene to obtain evidence. A person of interest was detained for questioning, but was released without charges, Schumann said. The investigation is being led by the Surrey RCMP General Investigation Unit.



Saturday, October 21, 2017

Lack of ride-sharing legislation stalls an innovative industry

By Gerard Lucyshyn Director of Research Frontier Centre for Public Policy


he ride-sharing industry faces regulatory roadblocks as it tries to gain traction across the country. Led by Uber, the industry is disrupting traditional transportation by providing people with alternatives to taxis and buses. The competing choices now include one’s own vehicle, public transit, taxi or Uber (or a similar service). As the ride-sharing industry spreads throughout Canada, provincial and municipal governments are working toward regulating it. The industry is not yet as widespread in Canada as in other countries. Only three provinces, so far, have Uber. Transportation legislation varies from province to province. In some cases, legislating ride-sharing is a provincial responsibility; in others, it’s up to municipalities. In Alberta, for example, Edmonton,

Calgary, Lethbridge and Red Deer have adopted bylaws to regulate ride-sharing companies. Edmonton amended Vehicle

for Hire Bylaw 17400 and Calgary amended the Livery Transport Bylaw, which allows transportation network companies to operate if they meet a number of conditions, such as proper vehicle insurance, mandatory vehicle

inspections, valid driver’s licence and criminal record checks. Manitoba, however, is Uber-less. But the legislature is debating Bill 30, the proposed Local Vehicles for Hire Act. It would dissolve the Manitoba Taxicab Board and allow municipalities to set rules. Saskatchewan is also Uber-less. Municipal councils and the provincial government are struggling with regulations around insuring and licensing the industry players. British Columbia is similarly Uber-less. The provincial government is working on passing legislation, Bill M206 - Rideshare Enabling Act, 2017. The bill proposes that transportation network company drivers must provide proof of authorized vehicle use, registration, a valid driving licence and insurance. Drivers must have annual criminal background checks and provide yearly provincial driving records. Additional rules include annual vehicle inspections, only allowing electronic payments and receipts, and no soliciting or accepting street hails. Quebec proposed regulations that would require ride-sharing drivers to have 35 hours of training and have criminal background checks. These regulations will help the industry and ensure the safety of riders. Surprisingly, Quebec is the only jurisdiction that will require mandatory training for drivers. Quebec Transportation Minister André Fortin has made his position very clear: “My job is to put a regulatory framework in place. Whether a specific private company decides to operate within it, it’s not for me to be for or against that.” While it’s the job of provincial and municipal governments to regulate Uber, best-practice frameworks must be adopted. The ride-sharing industry must operate within a competitive environment rather than be regulated out of the public’s choice. Gerard A. Lucyshyn is the vicepresident of research with Frontier Centre for Public Policy. # 202 - 7028, 120th Street, Surrey, BC V3W 3M8 Ph: 604-591-5423 Fax: 604-591-8615 E-mail: Editor: Umendra Singh Associate Editor: Chhavi Disawar Marketing and Sales: Ravinder S. Cheema........604-715-3847 Shamir Doshi....................604-649-7827 Harminder Kaur...............778-708-0481 Parminder Dhillon..........778-859-9234 Layout: Avee J Waseer Pre-Press: Iftikhar Ahmed Contributing writers: Jag Dhatt, Akash Sablok, Kamila Singh, Jay Bains

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New address: # 202 - 8388, 128 St., Surrey, BC V3W 4G2 All advertising in The Asian Star is subject to the publishers’ approval and the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publishers against claims arising from publication of any advertisement submitted by the advertiser.

Saturday, October 21, 2017



6 From page 1


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Student dies after being run over

Children’s Hospital. This still image from a neighbour’s security video shows a sevenyear-old boy about to be struck by a school bus, mere seconds after he disembarked in Abbotsford, B.C., on Oct. 6, 2017. The collision was captured on security camera, but Gill says it’s too “intense” for her to watch it. “I can’t,” she said. The video shows the bus stopping to let Gurtaj and his older sister out in front of their house. The bus is initially stationary, with its door open and its front safety barrier extended to prevent students from walking in the driver’s front blind spot. The girl can be seen getting off the bus first and running across in front of it, to reach her house. Gurtaj can be seen getting off the bus a

few seconds later, but the bus retracts its safety barrier and starts rolling just as he starts to cross in front of it. The boy doesn’t react to the movement until he’s squarely in front of the bumper. He can be seen trying to run for a moment before he falls under the bus between the wheels. The driver was initially suspended by the Khalsa Centre mission school that runs the bus service. The driver has since been fired. “We reviewed all of our transportation practices and reinforced safety protocols with our bus drivers,” the school told CTV Vancouver in a statement. “Khalsa School’s first priority is the care and well-being of our students, and to ensure our transportation practices are safe.” Police are investigating the incident.

Large crowds join the Parliamentarians at the17th National Diwali celebration

Deepak and his wife Neena Obhrai are joined by Andrew Scheer, Indian High Commissioner Vikas Swarup and Members of Parliament to light the Diwali lamp at the 17th National Diwali Celebration on Parliament Hill.

Deepak Obhrai, P.C., M.P. hosted the 17th National Diwali Celebration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday evening (October 18). Mr. Obhrai was joined by the Hon. Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Official Opposition, Parliamentarians representing all political parties, members of the Ottawa diplomatic corps and an enthusiastic crowd of people from Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa. At the celebration, Mr. Obhrai along with Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra, Indian High Commissioner Vikas Swarup, Mr. Scheer and Conservative Party Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt unveiled two special stamps to mark Diwali and in celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary. This is the first time Canada Post and India Post have jointly issued a stamp. Mr. Obhrai said: “This has always been a community-driven event. This is your Diwali. It will continue with your support.” This year’s Diwali Celebration was organized with the cooperation of Hindu Temples and Indo-Canadian Community Organizations from across Canada. Among the institutions are: Overseas Friends of India Canada; BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto; Laxmi Narayan Mandir Toronto; Hindu Society of Calgary; Hindu Mandir Montreal; Bharat Mata Mandir Brampton; Vedic Hindu Cultural Society of Surrey, BC; Vishwa Shakti Durga Mandir Ottawa; Jai Durga Hindu Society of Scarborough; Canadian Hindu Association Toronto; Arya Samaj Vedic Cultural Center Markham; Hindu Sabha Mandir Brampton; Shri Hanuman Mandir Brampton; Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA) Canada; India Canada Organization of Montreal; and Indo Canadian Community Centre Ottawa.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Woman’s body found in Langley dumpster A woman’s body has been found following a dumpster fire in Langley. RCMP were called to the area of 20150 Langley Bypass just before 6 a.m. Friday. In the process of extinguishing the fire, firefighters discovered the body of a woman. Langley RCMP Serious Crime unit has taken over the

investigation. The area surrounding the scene will be cordoned off for a significant amount of time. Police say there is limited information at this time as to the cause of the fire and the identity of the woman but they are confident the remains are not those of the missing person, Kristina Ward. If anyone has information that might assist with this investigation, they are asked to call Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200.

Fruiticana Diwali Shopping Festival 2017 From page 1 storewide sale on different products including Diwali items added glamour to the overall event that continued from 1st September to 19th October. However, the Fruiticana Diwali Shopping Festival 2017 prize distribution ceremony took place on the 18th of October at Fruiticana Scott road location and the CR-V car giveaway took place on same day at Fruiticana warehouse. Surrey Honda sponsored the 2017 Honda CR-V. All the winners of home appliances and short-listed car candidates were invited to the event. The car giveaway was a good end to a beautiful journey and all the credit goes to the loyal customers and supporters of Fruiticana!





Saturday, October 21, 2017

Diwali celebration on the Parliament Hill

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lights the Diya on Parliament Hill on Wednesday to celebrate Diwali

Banaye Celebrations Khaas

Find your


Saturday, October 21, 2017

NDP resistance to ride-hailing hard to understand, says Green leader BC Green leader Andrew Weaver, whose support keeps the NDP government in power, expressed bewilderment Thursday that Premier John Horgan won’t back his bill to allow services such as Uber and Lyft. Weaver tabled legislation for a third time that would set up an insurance and registration system for ride-hailing, including mandatory background checks and vehicle inspections. His attempts were twice rejected by the previous Liberal government, and the NDP government has already signalled that it too will likely let the Green bill die. “Our economy is changing, and ride-sharing is but one example of that change,” Weaver told

the legislature. “As legislators, we cannot bury our heads in the sand and ignore this change.” He said the three parties in the legislature committed to ride-hailing during the last election. “It’s time we fulfilled that promise collectively. In introducing this bill, I’m offering a way forward, one that lets us to grapple with the questions that this industry presents us with.” Under Weaver’s proposed legislation, companies like Uber and Lyft would not be able to pick up street hails, but only accept electronic payments. The bill would also allow the Insurance Corp. of B.C. to develop a pay-peruse insurance system for ride-hailing drivers.

Former UBC student accused of attempted murder claims he got message from Qur’an to kill A former UBC student charged with the attempted murder of a female student testified Thursday that he got a message from the Qur’an to kill the victim. Thamer Hameed Almestadi, 19, has pleaded not guilty to the October 2016 attempted murder of Mary Hare in the victim’s university dorm. The main issue at the trial is whether Almestadi is not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder. The accused told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Margot Fleming that he was agitated after attending a math class and believed that his math professor had singled him out by making comments about him. Almestadi, an international student from Saudi Arabia who is Muslim, returned to his student residence and listened to an audiorecording of a passage of the Qur’an several times in an attempt to calm himself. The story he listened to involved a person having been killed and Allah telling Moses to tell people to sacrifice a cow, he told the judge. He said he listened to the story several times because he was “confused” about the message but eventually concluded he was being told to

go and kill someone. “I was supposed to go and kill Mary,” he told the judge. Almestadi said he got a steak knife that he had purchased and kept in his room and went to look for Mary Hare but could not find her. He had only met her briefly once before, outside the Salish House residence where both students lived. He said he saw two guys who were saying to each other that if “Plan A” didn’t work out, they should go to “Plan B” and that the conversation between the two men was somehow linked to his math professor. Mary Hare, the UBC student allegedly attacked by a knife-wielding assailant inside her dorm outside the Vancouver Law Courts, on the first day of the trial of the accused, TAlmestadi said he went up to the third floor of the residence, where Hare resided, and saw her name tag on the room. He said that Hare’s description of the attack, in which she said he attacked her with the knife and tried to choke her when she opened her door, was accurate. “I remember she opened the door and I said, ‘Hi,’ and smiled and I attacked her,” Almestadi said under cross-examination.




Saturday, October 21, 2017

Surrey schools short on support for students with special needs Arlene Lang used to spend her days teaching small groups of first and second grade students with special needs how to read. But this year, some of her learning groups doubled in size — reducing the amount of time she gets to spend with each student. “Right now, I have groups that are so big that I’m not able to be as effective,” Lang said. “It’s really, really affecting our kids negatively.” Lang is a learning support worker at Surrey’s Green Timbers Elementary and is dealing with a swelling caseload after the Surrey School District cut 66 support worker jobs earlier this year, due to budget constraints. Surrey schools will have 66 fewer support teachers in September “It’s really really frustrating, because you want to do what’s best for these kids. You want to do what’s right for these kids — and you can’t.” Lang says some students that would have received support in the past have found themselves without a support worker for the school year. According to the Surrey School

RCMP investigate targeted shooting in Surrey Surrey RCMP is investigating a driveby shooting in the Whalley area of Surrey Wednesday night. Officers received a report of shots fired in the 13300 block of 90th Avenue about 9 p.m. Investigators say the occupants of a light-coloured sedan fired shots at a darkcoloured SUV. Both vehicles sped away, travelling eastbound on 90th Ave. Police do not have a description of the shooters. Officers were canvassing the neighbourhood early Thursday and speaking with witnesses. They say they believe the shooting was not random. Anyone with information on the vehicle or the incident is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.

District, the jobs were axed following the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling to reduce classroom sizes and restore bargaining rights to teachers. District spokesperson Doug Strachan says the jobs were originally financed by the now-defunct provincial Learning Improvement Fund (LIF), which was put in place in 2012 to support special needs students and deal with increasing class sizes. He says the LIF dollars have been rolled into B.C.’s Classroom Enhancement Fund, a stream that’s allocated for hiring new teaching staff. “We’ve hired 350 teachers, but funding for the learning support teachers is the subject of ongoing negotiations between the government and the B.C. Teacher’s Federation.” Students with special needs and learning disabilities aren’t always getting the interventions and one-on-one support they need as support workers are often called to fill in for sick teachers.

House fire in Surrey One man is in serious condition after a house fire in Surrey late Wednesday night. Surrey assistant fire chief Jason Cairney said the blaze broke out in the back of the house shortly before midnight near 116 Avenue and 140 Street. When firefighters arrived they were told that one man was still in the residence. Crews worked to put out the fire, while another firefighter went into the burning house where they found the man on the upper floor. Cairney said when the firefighter pulled the man out of the house, he had no pulse and was not breathing. First responders performed CPR, and revived the man. He was taken by ambulance to hospital. Four other occupants, all believed to be members of the same family, evacuated the house safely. Cairney said he heard reports that neighbours had rushed into the burning house to save some of the residents.

Woman alleged to have unlawfully injected botox for years under investigation B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons is indicate she allegedly kept doing it even after seeking an injunction against a woman who finally signing an undertaking in August they say posed as a doctor and unlawfully 2016 to “refrain from providing the service injected scores of people with botox and of medicine” and “cease using titles which other filler substances. are reserved ... for registrants of the college” The injunction would stop her from She called herself Dr. Rajji and her handle practising medicine. was “drlipjob” on Instagram, according to Rajdeep Kaur Khakh is alleged to have statements filed as part of the injunction injected botox into application. She clients at salons in offered specials and various municipalities, contests as part at “botox parties” and in of her advertising their homes and cars. c a m p a i g n . Only physicians, Rajdeep Kaur dentists, and nurses Khakh came to the or licensed practical college’s attention nurses under the direct in March 2015, supervision of a doctor after it received are allowed to do such an anonymous tip injections in B.C. about a woman “Unregulated who was going individuals and One of the Instagram posts that is part of the to be performing estheticians are not College of Physicians and Surgeons evidence “injectables” at a spa qualified or authorized in Tsawwassen. The showing before and after photos to inject botox,” the college determined college told her in a letter dated April 2, 2015 it never had a Dr. Raj Khakh registered in that was filed in support of the application. B.C. and asked the spa to “cease and desist” Rajdeep Kaur Khakh is not a registrant from offering the services. That same month, with any health profession college, and the Khakh contacted the college and told its College of Physicians and Surgeons says she investigator, Etienne van Eck, that she had is violating the Heatlh Professions Act. In attended medical school in India and had a phone interview, Rajdeep Kaur Khakh sai taken botox training at Vancouver Laser, she is remorseful and stopped providing according to court documents. While she botox and filler injections after being served told van Eck she got the botox from India, she with the injunction on Oct. 5, the same day recently told CBC she only injected Canadian it was filed in B.C.Supreme Court. However, botox. According to van Eck’s affadavit, she her advertisements were still showing up also told him she only gave injections to on Instagram a full week later. The court herself and her family members. That same documents show the college has been trying month, the college sent her the first copy of to get Khakh to stop for over two years but the undertaking to stop practising medicine.


Saturday, October 21, 2017


Husband pleads guilty in connection with 2009 killing of his wife Kulwinder Gill


he husband of Kulwinder Gill, 42, who was killed in April 2009 in what initially appeared to be a hit-and-run accident, pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy to commit murder in relation to her death . Iqbal Gill, 53, from Abbotsford was one of four men charged with Kulwinder’s death and the third to plead guilty. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 1 in BC Supreme Court in New Westminster. Kulwinder Gill (pictured) had been out for a walk with her husband on April 27, 2009, when she was struck by a pickup truck in the rural area of Townshipline and Bell roads,

east of Highway 11, in Abbotsford. Responding officers were flagged down by her husband, who led them to a water-filled ditch, where Kulwinder had been thrown by the impact. A suspect vehicle with signs of damage was seized by police on acreage several blocks away. The incident was initially believed to be a hit-and-run collision,

Charges laid in probe of alleged BC drug-cash money-laundering Criminal charges have been laid against Silver International Investment, a moneytransfer business that RCMP allege was involved in money laundering, had ties to underground banking and used suspected drug cash to fund Chinese VIP gamblers in B.C. casinos. During the RCMP’s Project E-Pirate probe, Mounties allege they uncovered more than $500 million from a Richmond money-laundering service they said handled up to $1.5 million a day. “The Public Prosecution Service of Canada can confirm that charges have been laid against Caixuan Qin, Jian Jun Zhu, and Silver International Investments Ltd. in relation to Project E-Pirate,” spokeswoman Nathalie Houle stated in an email on Wednesday. “We have no other information to provide at this time.” RCMP and B.C. government documents obtained through freedom-of-information allege that organized criminals used Silver as an illegal bank to wash drug money. According to the allegations, a network of “private lenders” in Richmond lent cash from Silver to VIP gamblers recruited from China. These high-rollers visited B.C. for gambling junkets, according to these allegations, and received hockey bags full of cash. Officials allege these loans allowed wealthy gamblers to get money in Canada, bypassing China’s tight-capital export controls, and pay back the loan through underground banks in China. The VIPs were able to buy betting chips with street-cash $20 bills, mostly at Richmond’s River Rock Casino, and later cash out with $100 bills more suitable for investment in B.C., an audit by B.C.’s gaming enforcement policy branch alleges. According to court records, Qin, born in 1984, and Zhu, born in

1975, face five counts, including laundering proceeds of a crime, possession of property obtained by crime, and failing to ascertain the identity of a client. Silver International faces the same five counts. The accused are scheduled for a first appearance in Richmond provincial court on Oct. 30. Matthew Nathanson, lawyer for Silver International, did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. The Canada Revenue Agency “is currently involved in this ongoing investigation,” spokeswoman Heidi Hofstad said Wednesday. “These cases are complex and require months or years to complete,” Hofstad said. “The time it will take will depend on … the number of individuals involved, the availability of information or evidence, cooperation or lack thereof of witnesses or the accused.” Corporate records indicate that Caixuan Qin is the director of Silver International. Qin’s mailing address for Silver is an apartment unit in Richmond. Qin is not the owner of the apartment, according to title documents. Caixuan Qin is listed as owner of a $2.5 million home in south Vancouver. Silver, which was incorporated in 2014, operated in a unit of an office complex at 5811 Cooney Rd. in Richmond. Little else can be found about the company in B.C. registry documents. An October 2014 filing in B.C. small claims court alleges that the owners of Silver International failed to pay a Richmond contractor for installing a glass door with an electric lock at Silver’s office. Silver International counter-claimed for deficient work, alleging: “It was a material term of the contract that the glass must be bullet-resistant.”

No parole for 17 years for a man who killed Surrey teenager A British Columbia man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 17 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. Raymond Caissie was sentenced Friday in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster for the September 2014 slaying of 17-year-old Serena Vermeersch. Her body was found along railway tracks in Surrey, B.C., a day after she was reported missing. Caissie had been released from prison just a year earlier. He had served his entire 22 year sentence

for a violent 1991 sexual assault and kidnapping and parole documents said board members believed he was likely to commit another offence causing death or serious harm. Documents written in 2010 show Caissie told prison officials he feared he would commit further violence after his release, but he later denied making those statements Jagmeet Singh celebrates with supporters after winning the first ballot in the NDP leadership race to be elected the leader of the federal New Democrats in Toronto on Sunday, October 1, 2017.

but police soon began investigating it as a suspicious death. Gill and three other men – Gurpreet Atwal, Sukhpal Johal and Jaspreet Sohi – were charged in April 2013. Sohi, 32, of Surrey pleaded guilty in October 2015 to a charge of being an accessory to murder after the fact and was sentenced to time served

plus one day in jail. A first-degree murder charge was stayed. Johal, 30, of Surrey pleaded guilty in June 2016, also to a conspiracy charge, and received a 10-year sentence. After he was give double credit for time already served, he was left with three and a half years in prison. Evidence already presented in court is under a publication ban because Atwal, 30, has yet to go to trial on a charge of first-degree murder. The trial is slated to begin in May 2018. The publication ban prohibits outlining the role that each man played in the killing and the role that Atwal allegedly played.

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to make campaign-like stop in Vancouver Newly minted federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will make a Vancouver stop on the Western swing of his cross-country, campaign-style tour as he begins his bid to find political support ahead of the 2019 election. Elected Oct. 1 to succeed former leader Tom Mulcair, Singh kicked off his national tour Sunday in Ottawa and will make an appearance scheduled for 10:30 a.m. this morning in Chinatown with NDP Vancouver East MP Jenny Kwan. If the weather clears up, Singh and Kwan will hold a media availability at the Chinatown Memorial Monument at the corner of Keefer and Columbia streets, but will move indoors across the street in the case of rain. Singh embarked on the tour to help build a profile in suburban ridings around Toronto

and Metro Vancouver in particular, but is holding his first event in one of the NDP’s urban strongholds in Vancouver, Kwan’s Vancouver East riding, which was held for 18 years by Libby Davies. The NDP won 12 B.C. seats in the 2015 federal election, failing to make a hopedfor breakthrough in the Lower Mainland where the Liberal party made gains including wins by prominent Aboriginal leader Jody Wilson-Raybould, who won the Vancouver Granville riding and is now Justice Minister and Harjit Sajjan who won Vancouver South and is now Minister of National Defence.

12 From page 1


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Quebec bans niqab

which argued the legislation does not go far enough in restricting the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols. Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée has maintained that the bill’s requirement that government services be provided and received with the face uncovered is not aimed at any religious group. “Having your face uncovered is a legitimate question of communication, identification and security,” she said on the eve of the bill’s adoption. But the title of the law — “An act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality” — leaves little doubt of the true motivation. An act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality Initially aimed only at provincial services, the Liberals widened the law’s scope in August to embody municipal services, including public transit and subsidized housing offices. Vallée this week clarified that the ban, which comes into force as soon as it receives assent from the lieutenant-governor in the coming days, will apply for the full time that a service is rendered. In other words, it would not be enough for a woman to show her face as she boards a bus; she would have to keep it uncovered for her entire trip. Nicole Filion, coordinator of the Ligue des droits et libertés, a human-rights defence group, warned that the law will “have a discriminatory effect on religious groups who are targeted, in particular women.” In the past when debate has intensified over the wearing of religious symbols, Quebec has seen a spike in incidents of verbal and physical abuse toward Muslim women wearing the hijab head covering in public. Filion said the government has offered no clear guidelines on how public-sector workers are expected to enforce the law. “It makes no sense that it be left up to a bus driver to decide that such

a thing be respected,” she said. “I don’t know how it will be done in reality.” Division over religious symbols in Quebec takes centre stage ahead of NDP leadership showcase After outcry, Quebec hospital restores crucifix taken down in interest of ‘religious neutrality’ Eve Torres, Quebec representative of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said the law infringes on religious freedom and will almost certainly be challenged in court. “After the January attack (in which six worshippers were killed in a Quebec City mosque), in a context with the growth of the extreme right, I think the government has a responsibility to protect this minority and not marginalize people who already face discrimination, who already have trouble finding jobs and housing,” Torres said. “It creates a climate where people are again excluded.” An Environics Institute survey last year found that three per cent of Canadian Muslim women wear the niqab. One Quebec researcher has estimated that fewer than 100 Quebec women wear the garment, which covers the face except for the eyes. Quebec has wrestled with the issue of religious accommodation since it became a central issue in the 2007 provincial election, leading to a public commission. In 2013, the Parti Québécois government introduced a Charter of Values that would have prohibited public-sector workers from wearing any conspicuous religious symbols. The PQ was defeated before the charter was adopted. The Liberal government of Philippe Couillard has been accused by the opposition of being soft on the defence of Quebec identity. During final debate on Bill 62 Tuesday, PQ secularism critic Agnès Maltais said Couillard is a disciple of Canadian multi-culturalism

From page 1

CRA seeks to identify BC condo-flippers

for one of the court proceedings. CRA crackdown on real-estate taxes fails to track collection results Investigation: Vancouver real estate speculators taking advantage of loopholes and lax oversight The CRA is seeking information that would help it identify people who buy and sell presale contracts before a building is completed. Currently, only the transfer of legal title from the developer to the final purchaser is registered with the BC Land Title Office, the affidavit said; any assignments along the way are not registered. As a result, the agency is unable to identify the assignors – people who sell, or assign, their contracts – from the BC Land Title Office “or any other sources to which the CRA has access,” the affidavit says. Developers targeted in the proceedings say they want to co-operate with the CRA but must also comply with privacy laws, and so are releasing information only under court order. The court actions come amid continuing concerns over housing prices in the province, particularly the Lower Mainland. Last week, citing affordability concerns, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson announced he would introduce a motion at the next city council meeting to prioritize sales of new homes to local residents. And housing concerns dominated discussion leading up to Saturday’s Vancouver by-election, in which Non-Partisan Association candidate Hector Bremner took a seat formerly held by a Vision Vancouver councillor. (Mr. Robertson and other Vision Vancouver councillors now hold six of 11 council seats.) It is difficult to determine the scope of potential tax issues that may result from presale flips or assignments. The CRA does not track any statistics specifically related to presale flips or

assignments. Individual developers track the transactions, which usually involve a fee for developers, but that information is not public. In general, about five or six per cent of overall condo sales in a given year are assigned, or flipped, said Anne McMullin, president of the Urban Development Institute. That percentage varies according to projects and areas and tends to increase when demand is high, she added. According to figures from Urban Analytics, a real estate consulting firm, only 3 per cent of all high-rise units in preconstruction or under construction and scheduled to complete between now and the end of 2022 remain unsold. “This speaks to why prices have continued to escalate, which in turn makes assignments increasingly prevalent,” managing principal Michael Ferreira said in an e-mail. The B.C. and federal governments could work together to improve reporting requirements for presale assignments, said Ron Usher, a lawyer and one of the members of a 2016 panel struck to review real estate regulation in B.C. “We’ve not had a system in place … that requires reporting of the acquisition and disposition of real estate, or interests in land-like contracts that get assigned,” Mr. Usher said. Authorities could address that gap by making it mandatory to report the acquisition and sale of land, including assignments, Mr. Usher said. CRA could match up the information with tax returns, just as the agency does currently with information for, say, mutual funds or other investment income, he added. People assign contracts for many reasons and the tax consequences vary according to circumstances, Mr. Usher said – some people might be taxed on income, for example, while others might be taxed on a capital gain.

Saturday, October 21, 2017



Canadian family was held captive in Pakistan for five years The head of the CIA Washington, which said on Thursday a has threatened to U.S.-Canadian couple cut military aid and kidnapped by Islamist take other punitive militants in Afghanistan measures against were held inside Pakistan. However, neighboring Pakistan for two Taliban sources Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman five years before being with knowledge of freed. “We had a great outcome last week the family’s captivity said they had been when we were able to get back four U.S. kept in Pakistan in recent years. The citizens who had been held for five years Haqqani network operates on both sides inside of Pakistan,” CIA Director Mike of the porous Afghan-Pakistani border Pompeo told the Foundation for Defense but senior militants have acknowledged of Democracies think tank in Washington. they moved a major base of operations to Pompeo’s remarks appeared to be the the Kurram region. As part of a strategy first time a U.S. official has publicly stated unveiled in August to end the war in that the couple and their children spent Afghanistan, the Trump administration is their captivity in Pakistan, contrary to demanding Pakistan cease providing what accounts from Pakistani officials. U.S. officials say is safe haven to militants, Pakistan’s military and government have or face repercussions. Those measures indicated U.S. citizen Caitlan Coleman, could include further cuts in U.S. assistance her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and and sanctions targeted at Pakistani officials their children were rescued shortly after with links to militant organizations. entering Pakistan from Afghanistan. U.S. Navy SEALs first spotted Boyle The couple were kidnapped in 2012 family in captivity and pressured Pakistan while backpacking in Afghanistan and to make a move or they would their children were born in captivity. Taliban denies Canadian’s claim its U.S. officials, speaking on condition of fighters raped his wife and killed his baby anonymity, have previously said there was Canadian freed from captivity says no indication the hostages had been in family was targeted because wife was Afghanistan in the days before they were pregnant: ‘America will pay for you’ freed. The officials said the United States Pompeo’s remarks came ahead of a visit believed the hostages were probably held to Pakistan next week by U.S. Secretary by the Haqqani militant group in or near of State Rex Tillerson, who said on its headquarters in northwestern Pakistan Wednesday the United States expected the entire time. Pakistan “to take decisive action against Regarded as the most fearsome and terrorist groups.” effective Taliban ally, the Haqqani network A senior Trump administration official, gets support from elements of the Inter- speaking on condition of anonymity, said Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s powerful on Thursday the United States considers military-run intelligence agency, U.S. the family’s rescue a “template for more officials say. Pakistan denies it. A senior cooperation” by Pakistan. Pakistani security source said last Friday “We see this as a first step and we hope that Pakistani troops and intelligence that we can build on it,” said the official, agents, acting on a U.S. intelligence tip, adding that Washington is “very frustrated zeroed in on a vehicle carrying the family that Taliban and Haqqani militants as they were being moved into the Kurram continue to find sanctuary in Pakistan.” tribal region near the town of Kohat, some “It’s freedom of movement, it’s the ability 60 km (37 miles) inside Pakistan. Pakistani to transport weapons and materiel, the officials bristle at U.S. claims Islamabad ability to raise funds. This is what makes is not doing enough to tackle Islamist a sanctuary,” the official added. Pompeo militants, particularly the Haqqanis. said the United States would do everything After the release of the family, Pakistani if could to bring the Taliban to the officials emphasized the importance of negotiating table in Afghanistan. co-operation and intelligence sharing by

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Review taxi regulations first, look at ridehailing later, says transportation minister The provincial government’s newly hired industry consultant will focus his work on making recommendations to regulate the taxi industry and not ride-hailing services looking to enter the market in British Columbia. Dan Hara of Hara and Associates said he will also look to speak with municipalities across the province to get a better sense of each community’s needs. “We’ll be looking for those [municipalities] that are outspoken, because it’s a rural issue as well,” he said. Hara said he is open to hearing from any existing stakeholders, including app-based service providers. However, in an interview with CBC’s The Early Edition, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the focus of Hara’s work will be on how the taxi industry should be regulated. Dan Hara has been consulting for public

regulators on taxi and transportation issues for more than 20 years. (LinkedIn) “He’s going to be looking at the taxi industry right across the province; how it works, how it can work; how it fits with all the regulations,” she said. “Then come up with recommendations on how we can make steps with the taxi industry, at which point we can deal with app-based ride-hailing.” Uber criticized the scope of the review for excluding “ridesharing companies, public safety organizations like MADD Canada, and the general public,” in the process. Hara’s background is in economics with a specialization in industrial organization. He works primarily with government and regulators. He has recommended changes to taxi regulations in a number of Canadian cities, including Vancouver.

2 city employees, 1 contractor killed following Fernie ammonia leak at arena It has now been confirmed that two city employees and one contractor were killed in Fernie on Tuesday following what is believed to be an ammonia leak at the local hockey arena. Their names have not been released at this time, however, it has now been confirmed the contractor worked for CIMCO Refrigeration. “Tragically a Cimco employee died yesterday in Fernie B.C., along with two other individuals,” said Paul Jewer, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Toromont Industries, the parent company of CIMCO. “Details are unavailable at this early stage. We have staff on the ground and will assist as appropriate.” “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the team.” The CIMCO employee was from Calgary and had been called to Fernie to work at the arena.

“We’re devastated, we’re absolutely devastated here. We’ve lost a member of our family,” said Jewer. “All I cal tell you is they were doing routine maintenance, it was suspected that an ammonia leak was happening, consultants were called in that have expertise in this matter and then at 2:30 [p.m. Tuesday] I was notified that there had been three fatalities,” she said. “So this was very shocking news, it travelled really quickly.” Giuliano said although the identities of the victims have not been released, everyone knows who the employees are because it is a small town. “And so there’s utter disbelief and utter shock and our heart just goes out to the families. I can’t tell you how devastating this is for our town,” she added. Sgt. Trevor Tribes from Elk Valley RCMP say they will not be releasing the names of the victims. The coroner may release names later.

BC urges drivers to be more truck aware in new safety campaign Commercial trucks and passenger vehicles may share the roads smoothly most of the time but when things go wrong, the stakes are high. Large trucks are involved in less than one per cent of all crashes on British Columbian roads but, when it comes to deaths, are part of nearly one-in-five fatal accidents. A province-wide education campaign is underway to highlight the risks and urge drivers to “Be Truck Aware.” The campaign is part of B.C.’s Road Safety Strategy and a collaboration between the B.C. government and a number of road safety stakeholders in

the province. “We’re asking drivers to consider their own driving behaviour around large trucks. If we want our roads to be safer, we first need to start with ourselves,” said Lindsay Matthews, director of road safety at ICBC, in a press release. Bruce Meadley, a commercial truck driver who works primarily around Metro Vancouver, said he regularly sees dangerous driving around his truck. “I see a lot of passenger vehicles that exhibit very eroded driving behaviour and one thing that leads to it, is a competitive driving nature — ‘I’m going to beat the truck, I’m going to beat the red light,’” he said.

Prince Rupert stabbing deemed a homicide

Homicide investigators are now part of a fatal incident in Prince Rupert, B.C. According to an RCMP release, early Wednesday morning officers responded to a home in the 400 block of 9th Avenue West for a report of a stabbing. When they arrived around 2 a.m. PT, Mounties arrested a teen male, and found a man and a woman, both 69, with injuries. Despite treatment from emergency crews, the male victim died. The woman is now be treated in hospital with serious injuries. “The investigation is still in its early stages, but we will be looking at what happened,” said Prince Rupert RCMP Sgt. Jagdev Uppal. “We just want the public to be aware that we don’t believe there’s anybody at risk at this time.” The incident occurred just metres from a nearby middle school.


Saturday, October 21, 2017


British Columbians want choice and competition in auto insurance: poll Lower Mainland residents want change and competition in auto insurance market: poll According to a new poll released by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), British Columbians want more options, when it comes to auto insurance. Almost 80 per cent of British Columbians expressed their desire for more choice and competition in our auto insurance system. The poll also found 89 per cent believed having more choices would allow them to shop around and save money on coverage. “British Columbians pay amongst the highest premiums in this country for auto insurance. What’s more worrying is that they actually receive less

when they go to make a claim compared to drivers in other provinces,” said Aaron Sutherland, Vice President of the IBC. “It’s how it works in every other jurisdiction in North America. The question is why it doesn’t happen in B.C.” Sutherland said drivers in other provinces pay less for insurance, and even if they have an accident, are subject to higher payouts. B.C. ranks second last when it comes to average payouts nation-wide, said Sutherland. With more competition, Sutherland said it could also be easier to gather information about auto insurers.

Do you know this man? Surrey RCMP seek suspect in two groping incidents One man is now suspected in two sex assaults on young girls in Surrey this month, according to police. Investigators are asking for help identifying the suspect in both groping incidents, which took place in the Clayton Heights neighbourhood within a week of each other. The first, on Oct. 11, saw an 11-year-girl reporting that a strange man had grabbed her buttocks as she walked along the 18800 block of 65th Avenue in the early evening. The second assault took place on Oct. 17 at about 7:50 a.m.; a 15-year-old student reported that she was on her way to school at Clayton Heights Secondary when she was grabbed from behind and groped. Both girls caught a glimpse of their assailant and provided a description to RCMP officers. Investigators have also canvassed the

area, gathering surveillance video and speaking with witnesses. Investigators have produced three composite sketches of a suspect in two groping incidents in Surrey’s Clayton Heights neighbourhood. (RCMP) The suspect is now believed to be a white man between 30 and 40 years old, between five feet, 10 inches to six feet tall, 170-180 pounds, with brown hair, thick eyebrows, full lips, long ears and lobes and facial hair. He may have been wearing glasses. Surrey RCMP have released a still image taken from surveillance video as well as three composite sketches. Anyone with more information about the suspect or the assaults is asked to call RCMP at 604-599-0502, or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800222-TIPS

Convicted human trafficker sues Canada over non-kosher prison meals Reza Moazami, convicted of luring 11 teens into prostitution and sentenced to 23 years jail time is suing the Attorney General of Canada — claiming he was wrongfully denied kosher meals in prison. Moazami was found guilty on 30 charges in 2015, including sexual exploitation, sexual assault and living off the avails of prostitution. His 11 victims ranged in age from 14 to 19, and his case was the first humantrafficking conviction in the province. At trial, court heard Moazami, then in his mid20s, recruited vulnerable girls by promising them drugs, alcohol and — in one instance — a puppy. A B.C. Supreme Court notice of claim filed by Moazami states he was denied a kosher diet for approximately nine months due to negligence on the part of correctional staff. The claim states Moazami is half Jewish and strictly abides by his religious principles — those that conform with Jewish dietary law. Claims discrimination by correctional staff Moazami also claims he was discriminated against by correctional staff for being denied medications, and because his mail was illegally read and seized. Moazami is a federal inmate at the Mountain Institution in Agassiz, BC In a statement, Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), spokesperson Lyndsay Hollaway said inmates are provided appropriate diets to meet their faith requirements by the “commissioner’s directive 880.” “The (CSC) is obligated to assist inmates to live out their faith practices in an authentic manner, as closely as possible to how the

community practises the faith,” wrote Holloway. Moazami’s notice of claim seeks $250,000 in relief from the Attorney General of Canada for negligence and breached duty of care. In a statement, Department of Justice Canada spokesperson Lyse Cantin said the Attorney General’s office has yet to file a

“We only have what they’ll [ICBC] show us, unlike Ontario or Alberta where insurers are regulated and they have to disclose detailed financial findings. Here in B.C. they don’t.” “If you bring in competition, either private industry is able to deliver a product at a cheaper price for drivers and they save money, or they can’t and we have the same situation we have today.” The provincial

government is currently reviewing ICBC following complaints from critics that the system is broken. ‘The cupboard is bare’: B.C. attorney general announces ICBC rate hike ‘The cupboard is bare’: B.C. attorney general announces ICBC rate hike ‘The cupboard is bare’: B.C. attorney general announces ICBC rate hike ICBC considering raising premiums by 30%



Saturday, October 21, 2017

Vision Vancouver demolished in by-election

NPA gains a fourth councillor while four ousted trustees return to school board The Non-Partisan Association has snagged a fourth seat on Vancouver city council while four school board trustees fired last year by the previous provincial government will return to their positions. Saturday’s byelection, the city’s first in 25 years, drew nine council candidates to fill a single seat vacated over the summer by Vision Vancouver’s Geoff Meggs, who, after nine years in council chambers, left to take a job as Premier John Horgan’s chief of staff. The NPA’s candidate, Hector Bremner (pictured), came out victorious with 13,372 votes or close to 28 per cent of the 48,645 ballots cast, according to unofficial results reported at press time late Saturday. Official election results will be declared by the chief election officer by Oct. 18, according to the city. Bremner will now join NPA councillors George Affleck, Elizabeth Ball and Melissa De Genova on city council. His term will end shortly after the next Vancouver civic election

in October 2018. “We’ve worked very hard to bring a message of hope to people and I feel like it connected,” said Bremner, just as unofficial results showed a clear path to his victory. “Right away, we’ve got to sit down and talk about how we’re going to fix housing.” The prodevelopment Bremner, who ran for the B.C. Liberals in New Westminster in 2013 and is vice-president of public affairs for communications firm Pace Group, campaigned on a platform focused on fixing the city’s housing crisis.Bremner proposed zoning changes to increase density, bolstering the

use of city-owned land for social and marketrental housing, and streamlining the buildingapproval process.Saturday night, he vowed to work with the NPA to address homelessness, a rental-stock shortage and the overdose crisis. “I hope Vision will work with us, and (Green) Adrianne Carr,” he said. “I think it’s time to park the partisanship and we’ve got to work together … the reality is, people are hurting and they don’t want partisan sniping and they don’t want positioning.” As councillor, Bemner will receive a salary of $82,029 plus an annual supplement of $3,048.

With his election, Vision is left with five councillors with Mayor Gregor Robertson giving the party a single-vote majority of six Vision votes out of 11. The NPA’s four seats will effectively block Vision from “supermajority” votes on major matters requiring two-thirds approval such as issuing grants and selling or swapping city-owned land. Trailing not far behind Bremner was independent candidate and longtime anti-poverty advocate Jean Swanson with 10,263 votes. Swanson, who was endorsed by COPE, failed to win on her campaign of implementing a mansion tax and rent freeze but took a hefty 21.5 per cent per cent of votes without carrying any party’s banner. The Greens’ Pete Fry was a percentage point behind Swanson with 9,759 votes. He ran for council in 2013 too, and is the son of Liberal MP Hedy Fry. OneCity’s Judy Graves, a homeless advocate who has worked with the city in various capacities for four decades.

Homeless BC nomads pitch tents at tony Oak Bay park after week at city hall A nomadic group of homeless people has chosen one of Canada’s wealthiest communities to pitch some tents and draw attention to housing shortages for disadvantaged people across British Columbia. The latest location for the wandering group of 15 people is Willows

Park, a seaside recreation area in the Victoria suburb of Oak Bay, known for its tea rooms, elderly population and turn-ofcentury mansions worth millions. Chrissy Brett, a homeless activist and spokeswoman for the campers, said the campers arrived Wednesday after taking down their tents

at the District of Oak Bay’s municipal hall. She said the campers spent seven nights on municipal property. “Every municipality should look at currently having a municipal campground available,” she said. “This is more comfortable here than wandering the streets.” Brett spoke as a pelting rain with gusting winds threatened to lift her tent from its supports, while large waves crashed upon the nearby beach. “The government needs to recognize Canadian citizens who are homeless,” she said. “In Canada, you’re a fourth-world person in a first-world country if you are Indigenous

or homeless.” Housing Minister Selina Robinson said she is disappointed to hear about people living in tents anywhere in the province. “It breaks my heart because that’s not the kind of province I want to be living in where people can’t find a home,” she said Thursday. “At the end of the day, no British Columbian wants to see people in tents, in parks or on beaches.” Robinson said the government promised in its budget update last month to provide 2,000 modular units for the homeless and funding for staffing and support services. She expects at least 1,000 of the homes to be ready this winter.

Majority of BC residents support legalizing pot but divided on where it should be sold: poll A new poll suggests a majority of British Columbians support legalizing marijuana, but are divided about how pot should be sold. The Insights West survey found while 70 per cent are in favour of legalizing marijuana, only a small percentage (23 per cent) want to see it sold in liquor stores, and only 22 per cent favour drugstores and pharmacies. The poll shows only 44 per cent of respondents think stand-alone shops should exist for

the sole purpose of selling cannabis. Most of those respondents (60 per cent) are those who already use marijuana a few times a week or more. The poll also asked respondents about whether they favour legalizing six other drugs. It suggests 79 per cent are opposed to legalizing heroin, 80 and 81 per cent are against ecstasy and cocaine, respectively. The numbers go up to 85 per cent for crack, crystal meth, and fentanyl. Three-in-

four British Columbians (76 per cent) say they are “very familiar” or “somewhat familiar” with discussions related to marijuana legalization. When asked what should be the legal age for a person to acquire marijuana and marijuana-related products in the province, 43 per cent chose 19 years, while 23 per cent said 21 years. Mario Canseco, a spokesman for Insights West, said British Columbians appear to have many questions about legalization. “There is no clear consensus on how to sell cannabis legally, or on the age a person should be in order to become a legal buyer,” he said, in a statement. The survey of 809 B.C. residents was conducted between Oct. 5 and Oct. 9. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Saturday, October 21, 2017





Saturday, October 21, 2017

B.C. tracks biggest boost in consumer spending among provinces: Moneris British Columbia saw the biggest boost in consumer consumption among provinces, according to the point-of-sale-payments firm Moneris, which tracked a 6.3 per cent year-over-year increase in spending in the province over the three months ending in September. In its third-quarter analysis of transactions released Oct. 19, Moneris saw B.C. post the biggest increase in spending among provinces in categories ranging from alcohol purchases to hotel stays. And the rise beat the national average of five per cent. “It’s encouraging

to see growth spread across a variety of different industries,” said Moneris CEO Angela Brown in a news release. “Visitors to our country as well as Canadians clearly enjoyed the summer months to their fullest, bt based on the data, Canadians are also looking ahead and making practical, longer term investments.” After BC, Moneris reported that Manitoba and Ontario saw the second biggest increases in consumer spending at 5.6 per cent, and summer spending by foreign visitors surged 12.2 per cent over the same quarter a year ago.

Federal Minister for Immigration Ahmed Hussen (third from right) along with MP John Aldag, MP Sukh Dhaliwal, MP Randeep Sarai, MP Ken Hardy and supporters at a meeting in Surrey last Friday.

Families frustrated by delays that could free accused killer Jamie Bacon For 10 long years, Eileen Mohan has hoped and prayed for justice for her murdered son Christopher. He was 22 when he was dragged into a penthouse apartment across the hall from his family’s home and killed with five others in what became known as the Surrey Six murders. Ed Schellenberg, also a bystander, was servicing the fireplace in suite 1505 at the Balmoral when he got caught in the slaughter that Friday afternoon. The others who died were young men involved in the drug trade — brothers Corey and Michael Lal, Ryan Bartolomeo and Eddie Narong. Mohan says her life stopped on Oct. 19, 2007, when she lost her only son. Christopher Mohan, in the wrong place at the wrong time when a drug gang murder plot played out in 2007. Wayne Leidenfrost / PNG Ed Schellenberg was servicing a fireplace in the suite where killers showed up to take out four gang members. “Only I understand what it is like to go home every single day to a silent home that used to be filled with love, laughter, food, everything. The one thing I miss most is being called Mom,” she said this week as she stood by her son’s grave. She said there have been moments of temporary relief in the decade since the slayings. Like when charges were laid in 2009 against four Red Scorpion gangsters, including the alleged plot mastermind, Jamie Bacon. Like when another gang member pleaded guilty to three of the murders, including that of her son, and agreed to testify against his associates. Like when two of those charged, Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston, were convicted of first-degree murder in 2014 and sentenced to life in prison. But there have been many more moments of despair over her unimaginable loss. “There are days where I feel fortunate to be alive and seek justice for him and see justice going through. And there are days that I really want to be with him,” she said. Her greatest fear is that Bacon, who is accused of ordering the hit on rival drug trafficker Corey Lal that spiralled out of control, may soon get out of jail without ever going to trial. The Red Scorpion boss at the time of the murders, Bacon has been in pretrial custody for eight and a half years, a near record in B.C. His trial is set for March 2018, almost nine years after he was arrested in a dramatic police takedown outside his Abbotsford home on April 4, 2009. Media has confirmed that Bacon’s legal team has filed a “Jordan” application to have the murder charge against him thrown out becauseoftheextraordinarydelaysinthecase.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Ottawa man not guilty of sexual assault because he thought he could have sex with wife anytime An Ottawa man has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting his wife because of his honest belief that he had the right to have intercourse with her whenever he wanted. In a written ruling, Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith said the Crown failed to prove that the accused had formed the required criminal intent — mens rea — to sexually assault his wife in 2002. “I find that the accused probably had sex with his wife on many occasions without her specific consent, as both he and she believed that he had the right to do so,” Smith said. However, the judge ruled the man was not guilty of sexual assault because the Crown had failed to establish that he knew his behaviour was, in fact, criminal. The decision, issued earlier this week,

followed a five-day trial in June. The man was part of an arranged marriage in Gaza. His wife, a Palestinian who grew up in Kuwait, lived in Ottawa and the family settled in this city. She testified that during their marriage, she considered it her obligation to have sex with her husband. Often, she told court, she did not consent, but they both believed it was his right. The couple separated in January 2013, but they had difficultly making child arrangements work. Court heard that it was during a dispute over child access — after speaking to a police officer — that the woman came to understand she had the right to refuse sexual relations with her husband. She subsequently complained to Ottawa police about a 2002 incident.

Trudeau’s greeting ‘Diwali Mubarak’ leads to criticism for use of Arabic term Prime Minister Trudeau’s Twitter feed is lighting up with comments from irritated members of Canada’s Indian community, after he used an Arabic word to wish them a happy Diwali. The Diwali festival of lights is traditionally observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. But it’s not of particular significance to Muslims, whose religious texts are in Arabic. Nevertheless, Trudeau used the Arabic word for “blessed” in wishing people a happy Diwali on Twitter this week. “Diwali Mubarak!” Trudeau tweeted on Monday. “We’re celebrating in Ottawa tonight. #HappyDiwali!” The tweet included a photo of Trudeau lighting a candle, while wearing an Indian sherwani. His use of Arabic triggered a flood of comments on the tweet, with some eager to correct the PM on his choice of language. Many of our canadian team were disappointed in your language. although any form of greeting is appreciated, you could have done more 1/2

Others came to his defence, with some pointing out that there are Arabic- and Urdu-speaking parts of India where “Diwali Mubarak” is more common. “‘Mubarak’ is as Indian as ‘Shubh,’” wrote user @RubyKhan9. “Shubh” means “happy” or “auspicious.” Thank you! Shubh Diwali A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office said that the expression has been used in the past by other politicians. I n d e e d , Trudeau isn’t the first to use the phrase. In 2013, thenC on s e r v at i v e MP and Minister of National Defence Jason Kenny tweeted the expression in French. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished Gujarati people a happy new year in 2015 by tweeting “Gujarat-Saal Mubarak.” Trudeau tweeted a video wishing people a happy Diwali on Thursday morning. He did not repeat the phrase “Diwali Mubarak” in the video. Sophie & I wish all those celebrating a joyful #Diwali and #BandiChhorDivas:

19 Naheed Nenshi wins 3rd term as Calgary’s mayor Naheed Nenshi has been re-elected for a third term as Calgary’s mayor and all of the incumbent councillors have secured their seats following an election day marred by long voter lineups, ballot shortages and slow results. Nenshi’s main rival, Bill Smith, conceded at midnight when Nenshi had 112,503 Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi talking with a cheering crowd after being re-elected for a third term votes to Smith’s 97,756. one of you,” Nenshi said. “Being your “Today, we confidently said as a people, as a community, that we will mayor is the best job in the world. This be bold, we will move forward and we will city is the best city in the world. And our do it together,” said Nenshi to a cheering best days are still ahead.” A much shorter crowd at The National bar on 10th Avenue speech was delivered at Smith’s election S.W. after Smith conceded. By about 6 night headquarters earlier, as he conceded a.m., with all 234 of 234 of the ward voting the campaign. “I talked to Mayor Nenshi stations reporting and 32 of 32 city-wide just a few moments ago to congratulate voting stations reporting, Nenshi had him,” said Smith. “We’ve had what some 199,122 votes, compared to 169,367 for suggest was a divisive battle over the last Smith. Voter turnout was higher than few weeks … and I think we need to put it’s been in more than four decades, that aside and get behind our mayor and with 387,306 votes cast by 58.1 per cent press the issues important to Calgarians of the electorate, according to Elections that have to do with taxes, spending and Calgary. Nenshi said he was humbled by how we treat Calgarians.” At one point, the support and also from looking back the race seemed split between Nenshi, on some of his mistakes over the past Smith and Andre Chabot. But the seven years. “I can’t promise you I’ll be longtime city councillor seemed to get a different person and I’m not sure you squeezed out as the campaign progressed want that, but I can promise you I’ll do and he had garnered only 11,945 votes my very best, put my pants on every day by early Tuesday morning when all the and go to work every single day for every ballots were counted.




Hit-and-run driver given ‘possibly the largest punitive damage award in Canada’ “She doesn’t want any of this; defendant her or his just deserts, deter similar future misconduct she wants her life back,” he added. “No amount of compensation will and mark the community’s make Veronica whole, ever, but collective condemnation. I hope at least these reasons for ICBC is on hook for most of judgment give her some comfort, damages up to any insurance limits some vindication and allow that may apply, Rice said, but not Veronica to get the treatment the punitive award. “While the and support she is going to need Veronica Howell, 22, has defendant may look to continue for the rest of her life.” He added received possibly the largest with bankruptcy proceedings to that to his knowledge “it is the punitive damage award in evade our efforts at collecting Canada against a hit-andlargest punitive damages award damages, our expectation is that run motorist. in Canadian history for motor the punitive damages award vehicle negligence.” Punitive damages are will survive and we intend to pursue every an uncommon and extraordinary remedy collection remedy available to Ms. Howell in civil court and are designed to give the at law, no matter how long it takes,” Rice

Saturday, October 21, 2017

South Asian woman’s claim of racist death threats unravels as police drops investigation The man whose name and photo were connected to online racist death threats against a Calgary school board trustee candidate says not only did he not do it, but he dated the woman he’s accused of targeting. Now, Calgary police confirm their hate crimes unit is no longer investigating the comments Shawn Street allegedly made to Ward 3 and 4 school trustee candidate Nimra Amjad (pictured) back in August. “I did not do this, I had nothing to do with this in any way shape or form,” said Street, who was fired from his job following the media attention and public outrage around the story. Street says he was told by Calgary police that Amjad was uncooperative with their investigation, refusing to provide a statement and failing to return the investigator’s phone calls. Police wouldn’t go that far, but did

say when the investigator asked Amjad for further information, it “was not immediately provided and the complaint was then withdrawn.” “Investigators are respecting the wishes of the complainant and the case has now been closed,” said CPS in a written statement. The day after she cancelled a meeting with him 20 minutes before it was supposed to take place, Collins tells Amjad that he has “spent a considerable amount of time and effort in conducting this investigation, which the Calgary Police Service takes very seriously.” “I note that you have utilized the media in regard to this incident …This investigation is reaching Day 6, and you have not provided any formal statement to the police, despite numerous attempts by the police to obtain your statement.”

Two Quebec inmates took part in massive fentanyl distribution ring linked to China: US prosecutors It could easily have been overlooked as another sad-but-inevitable outcome of the fentanyl scourge sweeping North America. But the overdose death of an 18-yearold in North Dakota in early 2015 sparked a global investigation that has uncovered a massive illicit drugdistribution network spanning the U.S., Canada and China.

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors in the U.S. announced that charges had been laid against several people — including five Canadians — in the still-unravelling case. Indictments allege the buying and selling of synthetic drugs took place over the dark web using virtual currencies and a slew of aliases, such as “Phantom Pharma” and “Toxic Storm.” According to court documents, two individuals —

Saturday, October 21, 2017

New mortgage rules will push borrowers to unregulated lenders Canada’s banking regulator will move ahead with controversial new mortgage stress-testing rules in an effort to curb risky lending practices at banks, but critics say the changes will drive more borrowers to unregulated alternative lenders and add risk to the financial system more broadly. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) unveiled a final draft of new mortgage qualification rules Tuesday, tweaking its earlier proposal to ensure home buyers will not have an unintended incentive to sign up for shorterterm mortgages. The new rules met with criticism that OSFI is offloading risk to the unregulated lending sector, which doesn’t come under OSFI control – an outcome that OSFI superintendent Jeremy Rudin acknowledged Tuesday but said he cannot prevent from occurring. “That would not be an intended

consequence, nor would it be a completely unanticipated consequence,” he told reporters. Mr. Rudin said his mandate is to ensure federally regulated banks have secure lending practices. He said OSFI has “ongoing contacts” with provincial regulators that oversee many credit unions and alternative lenders, but “we can’t control what we can’t control.” Paul Taylor, president of Mortgage Professionals Canada – an industry association representing lenders, mortgage brokers and mortgage insurers – said he understands OSFI has a narrow mandate, but there should be broader policy debate about the risks of encouraging more people to borrow at higher rates in the unregulated “grey market.” He said Canada’s housing sector weathered the 2008 financial crisis because banks had high underwriting standards and the system was backstopped by strong mortgage insurance coverage.

Trudeau, Trump governments trade criticism as NAFTA talks falter The vast divide between Canada and the United States over the future of North American trade burst into public view on Tuesday as top officials for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump traded blame for their negotiating impasse. In an acrimonious joint appearance that trade experts called highly unusual, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer exchanged sharp criticism while standing a metre from each other on a stage in Washington. Their remarks went beyond the standard posturing give-and-take over particular subjects of dispute. Their speeches confirmed that important parts of the talks are going poorly, hampered not only by disagreements about policy but about basic facts of continental trade. Freeland, for the first time, challenged the Trump administration’s general approach to the negotiation, saying the “win-win-win” Vice-President Mike Pence claimed to be seeking “cannot be achieved with a winner-take-all mindset or an approach that seeks to undermine NAFTA rather than modernize it.” Certain proposals, she said, would “turn back the clock on 23 years of

predictability, openness and collaboration under NAFTA.” She emphasized her opposition to a protectionist U.S. proposal for auto manufacturing, saying it would cost tens of thousands of jobs. Lighthizer, meanwhile, castigated both Canada and Mexico for what he called a “resistance to change,” saying they were fighting to preserve “one-sided benefits” enjoyed by their companies and refusing to endorse policies they agreed to as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that Trump killed. The U.S. proposals “put in jeopardy tens of thousands of jobs across North America,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Tuesday. The U.S. proposals “put in jeopardy tens of thousands of jobs across North America,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Tuesday. They held the joint appearance with their Mexican counterpart at the end of a weeklong negotiating round at which U.S. negotiators delivered a series of demands so unpalatable to Canada and Mexico that trade experts were left wondering if Trump, who has been publicly indifferent about the future of an agreement he calls a “disaster,” prefers to blow up the talks rather than reach a new deal.

Freedom Mobile takes on Big Three with 10 GB data package for $50 Shaw Communications Inc.’s Freedom Mobile is spicing up Canada’s wireless market with new data plans far cheaper than those offered by its Big Three competitors. On Thursday, Shaw will launch what it describes as an “in-your-face” national marketing campaign for “Big Gig” branded plans on Freedom’s upgraded LTE network. The most notable plan provides 10 gigabytes of data for $50 per month (this does not include a device subsidy) – less than half the price of comparable bring-your-own-device plans from competitors’ main and second-tier brands, which all charge at least $115 for 10 GB. “Offering our customers access to this much data on our new LTE network resets the marketplace and redefines what Canadians should be paying for data,” Freedom’s chief operating officer Paul McAleese said in a statement. “Until now, the approach to wireless data pricing has been deliberately punitive, and out of line with customer usage.” This marks Shaw’s first major move to grab customers since it entered the wireless market in spring 2016 with its $1.6-billion purchase

of Freedom (formerly called Wind Mobile). It has since invested hundreds of millions of dollars to buy spectrum and upgrade its network. Big 4? Shaw’s rise to major wireless player ‘unquestionable’: Barclays Shaw Communications Inc sells ViaWest for $2.3 billion to invest in wireless spectrum, network Executives haven’t hid Shaw’s ambitions to eventually grab a quarter of the wireless market share, but they haven’t made any aggressive moves given the gap in network quality between Freedom and wireless giants Rogers Communications Inc., BCE Inc. and Telus Corp. The Big Three boast larger networks (Bell and Telus share a network) that allow subscribers to roam free nationwide, whereas Freedom charges customers for roaming outside its coverage zone in major cities in Ontario, B.C. and Alberta. PCMag’s latest comparison of wireless carriers’ speed and reliability found Freedom lagged. This isn’t the first time Shaw lowered wireless prices to lure customers seeking affordability perhaps at the expense of quality.





Prachanda’s Maoist party to quit Nepal govt Former prime minster Prachanda-led being a part of the Leftist alliance, his party CPN (Maoist Centre) on Tuesday decided would continue its support to the government. He said that his party does not intend to to quit the Deuba government in Nepal, days after it joined a Leftist alliance of main topple the Deuba government, but would opposition CPN-UML to fight quit the government if Prime Minister Sher the next general elections, Bahadur Deuba wants so. according to a media report. Prachanda’s Maoist Centre “We are not for affecting the polls by was key coalition partner of toppling the government. the Deuba government and it had been facing criticism However, if the prime for staying in the government minister and his party, the Nepali Congress, despite forging an alliance Prachanda ask us to leave, we won’t with the main opposition. CPN (Maoist Centre) on October 3 continue in the government,” he had said. Prachanda had said that the decision to announced an alliance with the country’s largest communist bloc CPN-UML, ahead forge an alliance with the UML was a result of the general and provincial elections of “extreme pressure and compulsion”. next month. The elections are seen as the The Maoists have dominated Nepal’s final step in the Himalayan nation’s post- politics for more than 20 years after waging war transition to a federal democracy. a decade-long insurgency against government Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba forces that claimed more than 16,000 lives. The civil war ended in Nepal in 2006 during the final parliament meet on October 14 had hinted towards removal of CPN and Maoist leader Prachanda became the (MC) ministers from the government. country’s first post-war prime minister. Earlier, Prachanda had said that despite

India eyes airport in Sri Lanka, near Chinese belt and road outpost China runs the seaport with a 99-year lease India is in advanced talks with Sri Lanka to operate an airport on the southern tip and was planning to expand its footprint of the island, where China has invested in the area with the refinery, which would heavily as part of its Belt and Road be Sri Lanka’s largest, and an investment initiative, a Sri Lankan minister said. zone of about 6,000 hectares (15,000 acres). Beijing’s projects, backed by loans extended Sri Lanka’s civil aviation minister, Nimal Siripala, said the country had been looking for by the Chinese government and initiated by a previous Sri Lankan alternative investors in the government, have Hambantota area, where faced widespread China has built a seaport and is in discussions opposition in Sri Lanka. Local residents to build an investment facing eviction to make zone and a refinery. way for the projects “It was during have staged numerous this time India came protests. Other critics up with a proposal,” say the Sri Lankan Siripala said. “They A proposed Indian airport on Sri Lanka belt were ready for a joint government signed up for unnecessary venture with the Airport and Aviation Services Limited,” he said, and loss-making projects, pushing the referring to the state-run company that country into long-term indebtedness. India has offered to set up a joint venture runs Sri Lanka’s main airport in the capital Colombo and the one in the south, in Mattala. with Sri Lanka to manage and expand The town of Hambantota sits near one of facilities at the loss-making Mattala airport, the world’s busiest shipping lanes and is an which sits adjacent to the Hambantota important part of the Belt and Road initiative, seaport, according to Siripala and an Indian aimed at building trade and transport government source, who requested anonymity links across Asia and beyond to Europe. because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Bangladesh’s first Hindu Chief Justice to face corruption investigation Bangladesh’s first Hindu Chief Justice S K Sinha will face a probe for “grave” graft charges and moral lapses, the Law Minister said on Saturday, a day after he was accused of money laundering following his d e p a r t u r e to Australia. Minister Anisul Huq said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will investigate “almost all of the allegations” levelled against Sinha by the country’s president Abdul Hamid. “Nobody is above the law,” Huq told reporters after the apex court issued the statement, sparking a media uproar. He, however, said “it is the prerogative of the President to take (the subsequent) actions if the charges are proved”. The government’s row with the judiciary sparked in July this year when the apex

court delivered a verdict declaring void 16th constitutional amendment, scrapping parliament’s authority over impeaching Supreme Court judges. In an unusual move, the country’s Supreme Court (SC) said on Friday the apex court judges earlier this month decided not to sit in the bench of Sinha over 11 “grave” charges brought brought to their notice against him by the President. The Supreme Court issued a statement as Sinha overnight left for Australia, saying he was “embarrassed” over the controversy surrounding his July ruling. He also denied claims by the government that he was sick. “I am not sick (as claimed by the government) and I am not fleeing either,” Sinha said while leaving, adding that his departure was “temporary”.

UN says 582,000 Rohingya have now crossed into Bangladesh Some 582,000 Rohingya refugees have now fled Myanmar for Bangladesh + since late August, the United Nations said on Tuesday, warning that thousands more were still stranded at the border. The UN said between 10,000 and 15,000 new refugees have arrived at the border in the last 48 hours alone, fleeing violence in Myanmar+ , where Rohingya villages are being burned to the ground. It expressed deep concern about newly arrived refugees including children and elderly people dehydrated and hungry from the long journey who are stranded near the border. One Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) official told AFP on condition of anonymity that the new arrivals were being held in an area of no man’s land, although it was not immediately clear why. Spokesman Andrej Mahecic said the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) was advocating with the Bangladesh authorities “to urgently admit these refugees fleeing violence and increasingly difficult conditions back home”.

He said UNHCR staff had spoken with people who described walking for a week to reach the Bangladesh border. Most are still squatting in paddy fields in Bangladesh, and were waiting for permission

Rohingya refugees to move away from the border, he said. “Every minute counts given the fragile condition they’re arriving in,” said Mahecic. Mahecic said many had chosen to remain in their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state despite repeated threats to leave or be killed. “They finally fled when their villages were set on fire,” he said.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Capt Amrinder seeks relief for border farmers Union Home Chief Minister Capt Minister Rajnath Amarinder Singh said Singh promised today that Hussainiwala “all possible help”. would be developed as The CM an eco-tourism hub, for sought liberal which he announced a compensation special grant of Rs 1 crore. from the Centre The CM demanded for land damaged the acquisition of land and rendered beyond the border unfit for farming fence by the Centre, Chief Minister Punjab Capt. Amarinder Singh saying that it was not due to military being optimally used for agriculture due to deployment. He reiterated the state’s demand security restrictions imposed by the BSF. for similar tax incentives and promotion “Till these pieces of land are acquired, schemes for the region as were being given the farmers should be compensated to the hill and north-eastern regions. for the loss of livelihood,” he added. “The border roads of this area should be taken He said the state government was mulling up for special development and maintenance a special package for the development of under the National Highway Programme” border districts — Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Capt Amarinder said, adding that this would Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur and Fazilka. provide better access to the defence forces He sought the Centre’s support for the in securing the border and ensure greater state’s development programmes, to which connectivity for the region’s development.

Every third sample of sweets fails test

Punjab health department officials intensified raids on sweet shops

The sample of almost every 10th sweet or bakery item collected over the past two weeks in Punjab were found unsafe for human consumption. The samples were collected by the state’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA). About 1,150 samples have been analysed during a special campaign to check adulteration in food items during the festival season. About 35 per cent of the samples were found sub-standard and around 10 per cent were found unsafe for human consumption. The adulteration in milk items and sweets were very high. Dr Amritpal Singh Warring, nodal officer, FDA, said that in the past two weeks, a large quantity of synthetic “khoya”, sweets stored in unhygienic conditions and artificial milk were seized. Such items were destroyed. The FDA would take the accused in cases of adulteration to court, he added. In September, 1,106 samples of food items were analysed and more than 35 per cent were found substandard and about 10 per cent unfit for human consumption. In view of the festival season, the FDA’s laboratory in Kharar is analysing more than 200 samples every day. Earlier, Health Minister Brahm Mohindra had instructed the health authorities to strictly implement the Food Safety and Standards Act, and to act against big food and beverages operators, small food shops and street vendors for complaints of adulteration. 500-litre spurious milk seized, 1 held Sangrur: The Crime Investigations Agency (CIA) and a team of the Health Department seized about 500 litres of milk, suspected to be spurious, along with some chemicals and other material from the district’s Binjoki village on Tuesday.



Bike used by Gosain’s killers found The motorcycle, Honda Stunner, used by the assailants of RSS leader Ravinder Gosain was recovered today. The bike was found abandoned near the Jalandhar-Ludhiana highway at Manj Phaguwal village. Senior police officials, including ADCP Surendra Lamba, and ACP, North, Dr Sachin Gupta, CIA team along with a dog Police inspect the motorcycle found abandoned near the squad and forensic team reached the spot. Jalandhar-Ludhiana highway Lamba said the bike was noticed by the Laduwal police staff who were the present owner of the bike,” Lamba added. conducting probe into some accident case. As per sources, the record with the District When policemen noticed the bike, they Transport Office indicated that the bike has informed the SHO, Laduwal, who then been registered in the name of Kishan, son of sounded an alert and informed senior officials. Suran, house No 45, Phullanwal village, Baba “The bike was lying in bushes alongside the Inder Singh Nagar. It was registered on February road. We have seized the bike and are now 8, 2010. The police reportedly conducted raid trying to trace its owner. Its number PB10 CU at the house, but the house was found locked. 7223 indicates that the bike is registered with the Ludhiana transport office. We are tracing



Saturday, October 21, 2017

NGO helps rescue woman from Saudi Arabia An NGO, helping hapless, run by Amanjot Kaur Ramoowalia claimed to have helped in the rescue of a Jalandhar-based woman, Bachno (40), from Saudi Arabia where she had been allegedly harassed while working as a domestic help. Bachno, wife of scrap dealer Chand Ram, said she had moved to Saudi a in February 2016. “I was working as a help with a Sheikh’s family there who was a retired police officer. He had 16 children. They kept me well for the first three months and paid 1,000 Riyal per month. However, soon they started harassing me. They used to beat me and give me little food. I wanted to return but my passport had been taken away so there was no way out,” said the woman. The victim said she had been lured to Saudi Arabia by her friend, who too worked for another family there. “I have three children and was working here too as domestic help to make

both ends meet. But I got lured by my friend’s call and contacted a travel agent, Arman, who is based in Delhi. He told me to get in touch

Bachno (left) who was rescued from Saudi Arabia siting with NGO head Amanjot K Ramoowalia in Jalandhar

with Iram, his Jalandhar-based contact. They took Rs 1 lakh from me in lieu of a two-year contract. But when I came back, I just had 3,000 Saudi Riyal.

CM Amarinder Singh greets the public on Diwali Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has greeted people on Diwali with the hope that it would be the harbinger of progress and prosperity for one and all. In his Diwali eve message, the Chief Minister exhorted the people to celebrate the festival of lights in an eco-friendly manner, without damaging the environment in any way. “Let us also, on this auspicious occasion, remember those tens of thousands of our soldiers who protect our borders day and night to enable us to enjoy our festivities in peace,” the Chief Minister said. He urged the people to spare a thought for the poor who could not afford to revel in such celebrations and hoped that this Diwali

would wipe out the darkness in their lives. Punjab Governor and UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore along with the First Lady Alka Singh Badnore extended heartiest greetings and best wishes to the people in general and the officers and employees of Raj Bhawan in particular. Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Rana KP Singh, Cabinet ministers of Punjab, namely Brahm Mohindra, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Charanjit Singh Channi, Aruna Chaudhary and Razia Sultana, also extended their warm greetings to all the Punjabis living in the country as well as the members of the diaspora settled abroad on the holy eve of Diwali as well as Bandi Chhor Diwas.

Govt issues notification on debt waiver Giving practical shape to the announcement of loan waiver, the Punjab government today issued a notification regarding the same. Commissioner of the Agriculture Department Balwinder Singh Sidhu confirmed the development. With this notification, around 10.22 lakh debt-ridden farmers will get benefit of Rs 9,500 crore out of the scheme. As per the information, till March 31, 2017, Punjab’s farmers owed Rs 59,620 crore to the banks. As per the notification, the basis of loan waiver will be the loan amount which farmers owe only to cooperative, public sector and private banks till March 31, 2017. Even those farmers who will pay their installments to banks will get benefit of the scheme. On June 19, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had announced to waive debt up to Rs 2 lakh of farmers who owned land holding up to 2.5

acre and with certain conditions to those farmers also who owned between 2.5 and 5 acre land. As per the notification, the banks which hold accounts of farmers will furnish the entire information at one place and the process of linking all the bank accounts to Aadhar number is almost in the last leg. The bank branches will also send information regarding accounts of the farmers to DCs and SDMs. As per the process prescribed in the notification, first of all loans taken from cooperative banks will be waived and it will be followed by public sector banks and then private banks. Then the entire information will be made public and objections will be invited from farmers. The money will be paid to banks from the account of state’s Director, Agriculture. Finally, banks will issue “loanfree certificate” to farmers.

8 killed in truck and car collision in Mansa Mansa: Eight people, including three women and two children, were killed and seven others injured as the MUV they were travelling in collided with a truck on Bhikhi Road here. The victims, all residents of Kansal near Chandigarh, were on the way to Gogamedi shrine in Rajasthan to pay obeisance. The accident took place when the MUV driver tried to overtake a bus. The impact of the accident was such that six persons died on the spot, said Bhikhi police station SHO Paramjit Singh. The injured were first taken to the Civil Hospital in Bhikhi, where two more succumbed to their injuries. The rest were then taken to the Civil Hospital in Mansa from where two seriously injured were referred to Rajindra Hospital in Patiala. SSP Parambir Singh Parmar, SDM Latif and

civil surgeon Dr Sunil Pathak reached on the spot. “Although the truck driver managed to flee the spot, we have impounded the truck. A case has been registered,” the SSP said. As per the police, Anil Kumar, who used to give his car on rent, was driving his family to Bangar village in Rajasthan. Anil Kumar, Pratap Singh, Aarti, Rithik, Hari Singh, Vidyawati, Ramavati and Munim lost their lives in the accident. Rohit Kumar, Binder Kumar, Bindra Rani, Ajay Kumar, Chander Bhan, Lakshmi Devi and Guddi are undergoing treatment. The vehicle got badly damaged in the accident and people had a tough time taking out the injured as well as the bodies out of the multi-utility vehicle. from where two seriously injured were referred to Rajindra Hospital , Patiala.

‘Parallel’ Jathedar detained On the eve of Bandi Chhor Divas (Diwali), the Amritsar Rural police today detained Takht Kesgarh Sahib “parallel” Jathedar Amrik Singh Ajnala and his supporters at Taksal Dera in Ajnala. Ajnala said, “Only time will tell who will deliver the address at Akal Takht? Let the ‘sangat’ decide who should be eligible to read out the ‘message’ — Akal Takht ‘acting Jathedar’ Dhian Singh Mand or Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh?”

SSP (rural) Parampal Singh said, “Ajnala has been detained till the culmination of Bandi Chhor Divas to maintain law and order.” To prevent “parallel” Jathedars from reaching Akal Takht, the police cordoned off the places they were staying put. Takht Damdama Sahib “Jathedar” Baljit S Daduwal said the police were deployed outside a gurdwara, where was he was staying put. “I fear that the police would take me in custody the moment I step out,” he said.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

PM Modi celebrates Diwali with troops along the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated Diwali with the troops posted along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez sector and lauded the soldiers for their penance and sacrifice saying he considered them his family. In an unannounced visit, Modi arrived at Gurez to celebrate Diwali with the army and BSF soldiers posted along the LoC, officials said. He spent two hours with the soldiers in Gurez valley, which is shouting distance of Pakistanoccupied Kashmir and has witnessed many gunfights with infiltrating militants in the past 27 years. Chief of the Army Staff Gen BS Rawat and other senior Army officers were present on the occasion. Modi offered sweets and exchanged greetings with the jawans, the officials said. Addressing the jawans, he said like everyone else, he too wished to spend Diwali with his family. Therefore, he had come among the jawans of the armed forces, whom he considered to be his “family”, he said. Modi said he got new energy when he spent time among the jawans and soldiers of the armed forces and appreciated their penance and sacrifice, amid harsh conditions. The

US wants stronger India economic, defence ties, says Tillerson US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said before a visit to India next week that the Trump administration wanted to “dramatically deepen” cooperation with New Delhi, seeing it as a key partner in the face of negative Chinese influence in Asia. Speaking on Wednesday, less than a month before President Donald Trump is due to make his first state visit to China, Tillerson said the United States had begun to discuss creating alternatives to Chinese infrastructure financing in Asia. In another comment likely to upset Beijing, he said Washington saw room to invite others, including Australia, to join US-India-Japan security cooperation, something Beijing has opposed as an attempt by democracies to gang up on it. The remarks coincide with the start of a week-long Chinese Communist Party congress at which President Xi Jinping is seeking to further consolidate his power.

Prime Minister said he had been told that the jawans present at the gathering regularly practised yoga.


‘India, US must look for OBOR alternative’ Days ahead of his visit to New Delhi, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson effectively called for India and the US to forge an alternative to the grand “One Belt, One Road (OBOR)” Chinese project, without naming it. China’s financing models, especially in

the Indo-Pacific region, on mind, he called for India and the US to be in the business of “equipping other countries” and providing them alternative finance mechanisms to “protect their sovereignty” for a louder voice in regional security architecture.



Saturday, October 21, 2017

Taj Mahal was built on Shiva temple: Vinay Katiyar BJP leader Vinay Katiyar said it was Lord Shiva’s temple, called ‘Tejo Mahal’, which was converted into a mausoleum by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. He, however, said he did not want the monument to be demolished. “It was Tejo Mahal, Lord Shiva’s temple, where Shah Jahan buried his wife and turned it into a mausoleum,” said Katiyar. “It was constructed by Hindu kings. The rooms and carvings there prove that it was a Hindu monument... “Like a Shiva temple, water drips from the Taj Mahal ceiling, which is not the case in any mausoleum anywhere, and it is like a Shivlinga,”

Lord Shiva

Katiyar, an accused in the Babri case, said. On Ram Temple, he hoped the court verdict would come in a year’s time as the hearing was being held on a dayto-day basis. “I hope some way will be found to build Ram Temple or else we can construct it on the lines of Somnath temple... We will look at alternatives,” he said. —

Mamata born rebel, say Pranab Mukherjee Former President Pranab Mukherjee has The former President recalled that after described Mamata Banerjee as a “born rebel” media reports said the top leaders of the West and recalled how she once stormed out of a Bengal Congress, including Banerjee, wanted meeting, leaving him feeling “humiliated and a consensus election to avoid an open contest insulted”. Noting that there was an aura that could bring out the “ugly factionalism” in the party, then about her which was “difficult to explain but impossible to ignore”, Mukherjee said Prime Minister and Congress in his new book ‘The Coalition Years’ chief PV Narasimha Rao asked him to mediate and find a solution. that she had built her career fearlessly and aggressively and was the “outcome “One day, during the winter of of her own struggle”. “Mamata Banerjee that year, I requested Mamata is a born rebel,” he wrote, adding that Banerjee for a meeting to discuss nothing illustrated this trait better than Mamta Banerjee some of the observations she had an episode in the West Bengal Congress made. During the discussion, organisational election in 1992, in which she Mamata suddenly flared up and accused me was defeated. He recollected how she suddenly along with other leaders of a conspiracy against demanded an open contest in the party unit her,” he said in the book, the third volume in his after advocating elections by consensus. series of political memoirs.

Govt: Central forces can’t be substitute for state police Amid controversy over the Centre’s decision to withdraw central forces from the troubled Darjeeling hills in West Bengal, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for their deployment in future. The MHA impressed upon the state governments that paramilitary forces cannot be a substitute for the local police and should be put into force only in emergency. In a written communication to all states, a copy of which is with The Tribune, the MHA has also asked them to set up a committee for examining requirements of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) while keeping in view the internal security, intelligence inputs and availability of central forces in nearby locations. It also said the Centre has formulated SOPs for deployment of CAPFs and according to which the central forces would be able to meet more pressing commitments like guarding borders, fighting insurgency, antinational operations and in related situations, which need immediate mobilisation of forces.

Yogi Adityanath pitches for Ram Rajya at Ayodhya

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath welcomes the performers dressed up as Lord Ram, Sita and Lakshman

Former President Pranab Mukherjee has described Mamata Banerjee as a “born rebel” and recalled how she once stormed out of a meeting, leaving him feeling “humiliated and insulted”. Noting that there was an aura about her which was “difficult to explain but impossible to ignore”, Mukherjee said in his new book ‘The Coalition Years’ that she had built her career fearlessly and aggressively and was the “outcome of her own struggle”. “Mamata Banerjee is a born rebel,” he wrote, adding that nothing illustrated this trait better than an episode in the West Bengal Congress organisational election in 1992, in which she was defeated. He recollected how she suddenly demanded an open contest in the party unit after advocating elections by consensus. The former President recalled that after media reports said the top leaders of the West Bengal Congress, including Banerjee, wanted a consensus election to avoid an open contest that could bring out the “ugly factionalism” in the party, then Prime Minister and Congress chief PV Narasimha Rao asked him to mediate and find a solution. “One day, during the winter of that year, I requested Mamata Banerjee for a meeting to discuss some of the observations she had made.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


dIvwlI Aqy bMdI CoV idvs dIAW l`K-l`K vDweIAW




Saturday, October 21, 2017

Diwali message of unity from the PM Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama wishing every Fijian a joyful Diwali. “All across the nation, Fijians are lighting candles and setting off fireworks to commemorate this important national holiday and, more importantly, spending time with their families and loved ones to reflect and celebrate the joy and goodness of life,” he said. “We are a nation blessed with many cultures and religious traditions, and we are a people blessed with a spirit of openness that allows us to come together to share in each other’s celebrations. Our acceptance and our unity, as one nation and one people, are our greatest strengths, and those values will continue to carry Fiji to

even greater heights in the years ahead.” The National Federation Party said it hoped that truth, justice and righteousness would prevail in the country in the spirit of Diwali. Party leader Professor Biman Prasad says the diya (traditional lamp) that Hindus light during the celebration symbolises the illumination of the lives of all people to dissipate the darkness and clouds of uncertainty hanging over them. Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said Diwali was celebrated to signify the victory of good over evil but it also signified the liberation of the people from their oppressors.

Fijian man dies in a car crash during his visit to Edmonton A 36-year-old Fijian who was residing in in peace. “Never in my life did I think I will have to Edmonton, Canada, died on October 12 after a serious car crash at Edmonton. post something like this. Nalini Mudliar confirmed said “Kavish and I miss you so much.” According to media that her husband Sunny Mudliar had died and funeral ceremony the crash occurred between would be held in Fiji. Edmonton and Sherwood Mrs Mudliar in a Facebook post Park on Thursday evening said: “Sadly informing everyone around 6pm. Mrs Mudliar refused to give further details that my husband and father of our of her husband. son, Sunny Mudliar is no more. “He Sunny Mudliar (right). died in a car accident around 6 pm, Thursday Oct 12 “May his soul rest

30 police officers dismissed Around 30 police officers have been dismissed by Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho since he took up office in 2015. In an interview with The Fiji Times yesterday, he confirmed this number would rise with more than 80 case files against police officers before the Director of Public Prosecutions. Brig-Gen Qiliho said this was part of his effort to ensure that police officers were not treated differently from ordinary citizens. “If we do wrong, we do

investigations as well. There have been a good number of police officers that I’ve removed from the institution for disciplinary issues,” he said. “Those have gone on the wrong side of the law. I’ll be writing to the DPP soon, I have about 80 odd cases pending against police officers over the last few years. “We are just cross checking some details with him and we are trying to get some closure to these cases.”

$8m worth of illegal drugs seized Since the opening of the detector dog unit at the Nadi International Airport in November last year, the Fiji Police Force has removed $8 million worth of methamphetamine off the streets. This was revealed by Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho in an interview with The Fiji Times yesterday. He said drugs was an issue that was nottalked about, but was out there.

“In the past few months since we got our dog detector unit operational at Nadi airport, we’ve managed to remove $8m worth of those drugs off the streets. That has come through the mail system,” Brig-Gen Qiliho said. “We have to move into other areas, certainly our sea ports.” For more on this story, purchase a copy of today’s the Fiji Times or subscribe to our e-Edition.

Man receives $150k settlement A LAUTOKA resident has been awarded about $150,000 for a head injury sustained during a car accident in Chand Mari St, Rifle Range in 2009. The civil case between Arun Kumar and defendants Vijay Prasad and Ashreen Lata reached a settlement of $149,716.13 at the High Court in Lautoka on October 12. High Court judge Justice Anare Tuilevuka said Mr Kumar had sustained serious head injuries when the car, driven by Ms Lata

and owned by Mr Prasad, backflipped and overturned, landing on top of the victim. He said the group were closely related and were at a wedding. During the hearing, it was revealed that Mr Kumar suffered nerve damage as a result of the accident and his eyesight was permanently affected. The court also heard a psychiatrist’s assessment of Mr Kumar who was deemed isolated, withdrawn, easily fatigued and displayed depressive symptoms.

Bid to raise $100 million US A green bond aimed at raising $F100 million ($US50m) was issued by the Fijian Government announced at the close of the PreCOP23 Ministerial Dialogue in Nadi. Only the first emerging economy to issue a green bond, the proceeds is aimed at adaptation methods with a climate resilience focus. The tenders of the bond will close on October 31 and the first parcel will be issued on November 1. While announcing the issuance of the bond, Minister for Economy and Minister Responsible for Climate Change, Attorney-

General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the Government had identified a number of projects it would fund via the bond. “They shall be issued as 13-year bonds with 6.3 per cent coupon rate and five-year bonds with a 4 per cent coupon rate. “The decision to include a five-year bond is largely due to the interest, for the first time I might add, of commercial banks domiciled in Fiji.” He said discussions had taken place with partners and countries represented at PreCOP to invest in the bond and reiterated the invitation for investment in the green bonds.

6 houses destroyed in a fire in Nabua National Fire Authority has confirmed that they are working to investigate the cause of the fire that destroyed six houses in Nabua yesterday. It is a bleak Diwali for six families who lost everything in a fire that destroyed six houses at the Suva Muslim League settlement in Nabua earlier this afternoon. The fire started in one of the houses in the settlement just after 2pm The first house was vacant at the time. People living in nearby houses then

evacuated the area. When firefighters arrived at the scene, it was difficult for the fire trucks to reach the area. However they managed to extend the hoses to reach the affected area. Some boys also went on the roof of one of the nearby houses and were throwing buckets of water to try to stop the fire from getting closer to their house. The National Fire Authority officers and residents managed to control the blaze at about 3.30pm.

Ba man given life sentence for murdering wife A 57-year-old man charged with the murder of his wife has been sentenced to life imprisonment by High Court Judge Justice Salesi Temo. Mohammed Yasin has to serve 18 years in jail before a presidential pardon may be considered. The incident occurred on 16th November, 2014. Yasin was convicted for one count of murder after he stabbed his wife with a kitchen knife in Ba. While delivering

his sentence, Justice Temo told Yasin that he was married for 26 years, had two daughters and a son and worked as a taxi driver. He said that Yasin and his wife were happily married but in 2014 their marriage took a turn and Yasin would have arguments with his wife and this led her to place a Domestic Violence Restraining Order against him.


Saturday, October 21, 2017


Army Chief returns from Saudi and UAE after a ‘hushed’ visit Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, returned to the country, after a threeday visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, the Dawn quoted sources, as saying. General Bajwa’s quiet visit to the two Middle East countries coincided with a meeting of representatives from Pakistan, Afghanistan,

China and the US, in Muscat, Oman, to revive the stalled Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG). During the tour, the army chief reportedly met key Emirati leaders, including Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and the Prime Minister of the UAE. According to Arab News, he thanked the UAE government

Hafiz Saeed and other terror outfits working continuesly Government of Punjab sought an review board approves. According extention of the detention of Hafiz to Pakistan watchers, does not feel the need to continue with Saeed under public safety law, on Tuesday two days after it withdrew the façade of pretending to rein its application to prolong his house in one of its strategic assets (read Saeed) once it successfully pulled arrest. The flip-flop continues despite recent admission by Foreign Minister off the caper of “rescuing” Western Hafiz Saeed that Hafiz Saeed has become a liability hostages from a terror organisation. for Pakistan. Hafiz’s house arrested ends Authorities had earlier detained Hafiz under on October 24. Under Pakistan law, the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). Hafiz and his government can detain a person for up to outfit Jamat-ud Dawa (JuD) is banned by three months under different charges. This the United Nations and the US has put $10 detention can be extended only if a judicial million bounty on his arrest.

Suicide bomber rams police truck, kills 7 A suicide bomber rammed a car into a police truck in the southwestern city of Quetta on Wednesday, killing at least seven people, police said. The attack killed five police officials and two passers-by on the outskirts of the volatile frontier city, Quetta police chief Abdur Razzaq Cheema said. He said another 22 people were wounded, eight of them critically. Sarfraz Bugti, the home minister of Baluchistan province, told Reuters: “It was a suicide blast.” Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province and lies about 100 km (60 miles) east of the border with Afghanistan. Bugti said the truck carrying the police officials was on its way to the city

to drop them at their posts when the suicide bomber rammed into the vehicle, ripping it apart. Television pictures showed the burnt wreckage of the vehicles. The Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella of various militant groups within Pakistan and loosely allied to the Afghan Taliban, issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack. Separatists fighting against to demand more of a share of the gas- and mineralrich region’s resources. They also accuse the central government of discrimination. The Taliban, Sunni Islam militants and sectarian groups linked to al-Qaida

for extending “humanitarian assistance” to Pakistanis residing in the country. General Bajwa also attended the inaugural session of the second International Conference on C4I Solutions at the King Saud University in Riyadh. The conference was

organised by the Saudi Defence Ministry with the theme “Alliance Against Terrorism: Strategies and

Capabilities”. Gen. Bajwa also met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the conference. There was no official word about this visit or the army chief ’s meetings. He also reviewed the scope of the bilateral relationship with the Commander of the Saudi Ground Forces, Lt. Gen. Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz.

US navy SEALs were ready if Pak forces failed to free Canadian family held as hostages A CIA drone was circling a remote valley in northwestern high mountains in Pakistan when it picked up an unusual sight: a young woman and children in a militant camp. To intelligence analysts, she appeared to be an American abducted five years earlier while backpacking in Afghanistan with her Canadian husband. The grainy images were a breakthrough. Military planners mobilized members of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, an elite group of commandos, to mount a rescue, according to senior US officials. But the operation was

called off amid concerns, and days later, the CIA watched in alarm as militants drove the family out of the camp and across Pakistan’s lawless tribal lands. The top US diplomat in Pakistan, Ambassador David Hale, turned to his host country, one of the officials said, delivering an urgent message to the Pakistani government: Resolve this, or the United States will. The implication was clear. If the Pakistanis did not act decisively, the United States would set aside its unease and launch a raid deep inside the country to free the family.

China to speed up construction work in occupied Kashmir China plans to complete ahead of schedule a $2 billion hydropower project in Pakistanoccupied Kashmir to ease energy crisis in Pakistan. Karot Hydropower Project is being built on Jhelum river on “Build-OwnOperate-Transfer” basis for 30 years. It will be owned by the Chinese company for 30 years, after which ownership will be turned over to the government of Pakistan. Karot Power Company Limited, a subsidiary of China Three Gorges South Asia Investment, owns the Karot Power Station, state-run Global Times reported today.

The company said in a statement that the project will help ease Pakistan’s power shortage and generate local employment. The report has not mentioned the new timeline for the project. Karot Power Station has a capacity of 720 megawatts and China Three Gorges South Asia Investment also has other power projects in Pakistan, including hydro, wind and solar power, which would largely solve Pakistan’s problem, it said. “India has repeatedly expressed its concern over the project since the project is located in Pak-occupied Kashmir.




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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Telugus perform Lambada dance at Diwali celebrations in London The Telugu community in London showcased the lambada dance at the Diwali celebrations organized at Trafalgar square on October 15 by the Indian community. The mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who was present at the celebrations described the atmosphere as ‘fantastic’. “Great to see Londoners from all walks of life celebrating together,” he said. Diwali celebrations are being organized by the Indian community at Trafalgar square for the last 16 years but this is the first time that folk art identity of Telugus was showcased. The London-based Sanskruti Centre presented the Lambadi dance before thousands of people

who took part in the celebrations. In their speeches, Khan, the first person of Asian-origin to become the mayor of London, Deputy Mayor Rajesh Agarwal, the first Indian to hold the position, High Commissioner of India YK Sinha, Chair of 2017 Diwali in London committee highlighted how Diwali brings communities together. The presentation of Lambadi dance was also relevant as a cultural milestone, as 2017 is being observed as the UK-India Year of Culture. Later in the evening, Lambada dance was the only dance showcased at the Tattershall Castle Ship in addition to the Peacock dance

Donald Trump celebrates Diwali in Oval office US President Donald Trump has hailed the extraordinary contributions of IndianAmericans to science, medicine, business and education in the country as he celebrated his first Diwali at the White House Trump was joined by senior IndianAmerican members of his administration including Nikki Haley, his Ambassador to the United Nations and Seema Verma Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Ajit Pai, Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission and Raj Shah, his Principal Deputy Press Secretary also joined Diwali celebrations. “As we do (celebrate Diwali) so, we especially remember the People of India, the home of the Hindu faith, who have built the world’s largest democracy,” Trump said in a Facebook post along with a video of his Diwali celebrations

inside the Oval Office. Trump said he greatly valued his “very strong relationship” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trump said he was deeply honoured to be joined by so many administration officials and leaders of the Indian-American community in celebrating Diwali -- the festival of lights. The p r e s i d e n t ’s daughter Ivanka also joined him in celebrations, according to a picture released by the White House. In his remarks, Trump said Indian-American neighbours and friends have made incredible contributions to the country - and to the world. “You have made extraordinary contributions to art, science, medicine, business and education. America is especially thankful for its many Indian-American citizens

3-yr-old Indian girl disappears in USA One week since a three-year-old Indian During an interview with detectives, Wesley girl vanished during an alleged incident of Mathews said he checked around his home bizarre late-night punishment meted out by for Sherin and then went back inside to do her Indian foster father, police in laundry. He was released from Richardson are yet to find a clue as jail last Sunday after posting his to what happened to her, US media USD 250,000 bond. Neighbours reports said on Sunday. of the Indian-American couple Sherin Mathews vanished last have turned the tree across the Saturday after her father Wesley backyard alley from Sherin’s Mathews told police he left her home in Richardson in Dallas, outside at 3am as punishment for Texas into a memorial to the not drinking her milk. Mathews little girl. People have left teddy bears, balloons, angel figurines, claimed that when he went to check Missing US India girl on her around 3.15am she was gone. Police said he waited five hours before reporting Sherin missing.

a box of written prayers, and even a single gallon of milk, WFFA TV reported.

Indian-origin teenager is UK’s ‘youngest millionaire’ An Indian-origin teenager has made a fortune by selling houses through his online estate agency business during his school lunch breaks and has become one of UK’s youngest millionaires, a media report said. While other youngsters were kicking a ball around the playground, Akshay Ruparelia, 19, (pictured) was quietly negotiating huge property deals on his mobile, the Daily Mirror reported. He hired a call centre service to answer his company switchboard while he was in class and rang clients back after the school bell rang. Within months, investors were buying shares in Ruparelia’s firm “”. In little more than a year, the company has been valued at 12 million pounds and the teenager has sold 100 million pounds worth of homes. Ruparelia’s school friends nicknamed him “Alan Sugar” after Baron Sugar, the business tycoon and “Apprentice” star. The teenager said he is now on a mission to put traditional High

Street estate agents out of business because they charge thousands of pounds in commission to sell a house - and he does it for just 99 pounds. His idea is proving so popular that this week Ruparelia’s company became the 18th biggest estate agency in the UK - just 16 months after his website went live, the Mirror reported. The firm, which the teenager started after relatives loaned him 7,000 pounds, already employs 12 people and is set to double in size with investors having already handed him 500,000 pounds to get their hands on shares. He is raising five million pounds with a share issue and is recruiting an expanding network of mums across the UK who work self-employed showing clients around properties he has been asked to sell. “I want to rip up the old-style way we sell homes in this country,” said the teenager, who set up the business between lessons at Queen Elizabeth High School in Barnet, London,


Saturday, October 21, 2017









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Saturday, October 21, 2017

‘Hopeful that my ďŹ lm will get a theatrical release’ As Village Rockstar wins big at MAMI, director Rima Das wishes victory enables it to reach wider audience

The winners:

I am waiting to work with SRK: Raju Hirani RAJKUMAR Hirani says he has wanted to work with Shah Rukh Khan for a long time, though no project is in the pipeline as of now. “For a long time, we have been waiting to work with him. Every time we meet, we talk about working together.

Silver Gateway for India Gold section: Machines by Rahul Jain Grand Jury Prize in India Gold section: In The Shadows by Dipesh Jain India Gold Special Jury Mention: S Durga Special Jury Mention Award for India Gold: Up, Down AnA sideways by Anushka Meenakshi and Ishwar Srikumar Excellence in Digital Content Silver: Mandi by Yashovardhan Mishra Excellence in Digital Content Special Mention: Detour by

At the moment, there is no ing. But, hopefully, I wo write a script,� he said on sidelines of the Jio MAMI tival. There were reports t Hirani will be teaming up w Khan soon. It was speculated that rani wanted to make his dir torial debut, Munna B MBBS (2003) with Khan in lead role. However, the ac turned the offer down. I also said that Khan was rani’s first choice for Aa Khan-starrer 3 Idiots as we Agenc













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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sonam brings Jani-Khosla back to Bollywood 15 years after working on Devdas, designer duo returns to craft outfits for Veere Di Wedding SONIL DEDHIA FIFTEEN years after they enabled Sanjay Leela Bhansali to create the visual magnificence that he did in Devdas (2002) by customising the celebrated outfits for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit-Nene, couturiers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla are set to return to Bollywood with Veere Di Wedding. It took a fair share of convincing, we hear, but, the National Award-winning designers have given their nod to create the traditional outfits for the wedding sequences of the Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Swara Bhaskarstarrer. A source tells midday that the designers will scroll through archives to dig out their finest creations for the leading ladies. Confirming the news to mid-day, Khosla says, “We haven’t worked on a film since Devdas because we have been busy growing our brand. So, we are excited to be part of this project. This was the ideal film for us to return with, because it re-

volves around a wedding; we love Indian weddings.” Khosla heaps praise on producer Rhea Kapoor, who, much like sister Sonam, “knows a lot about fashion and styling”. With TV czarina Ekta Kapoor, who Khosla describes as “a trendsetter in television” also being co-producer, the designer acknowledges that there are several minds involved in the visual depiction of the sequences. “We have decided that we will work as per a brief that everybody agrees to.” Given that the duo has been designing outfits for Kapoor since she made her debut in Saawariya (2007), Jani says the decision to return with this film was fitting. “Sonam has always been a trendsetter. This will be the first time we will be working with Kareena, and we are looking forward to it. We will be able to showcase some of our most amazing and elaborate designs,” say the duo.

Janak Toprani

Celebs shower praise on comedy

Kareena Kapoor Khan; (right) Sonam Kapoor; (left) Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla; (inset) Still from Devdas

FILMQUEST Entertainment’s rib-tickling comedy, Call For Fun, marks the debut of nine fresh faces and is backed by a National Awardwinning technical team. Directed by Janak Toprani and produced by Hardik Patel, the film is gearing up for release on October 6. Ahead of its release, here’s what industry veterans feel about the youth-centric comedy. Ronnie Screwvala: I have known Janak from our theatre days and with his flair for comedy, I’m sure he’ll make a smooth transition to films. Anand Mahindra: Janak was an accountant at the Mahindra Group. He left the job to pursue his passion for theatre. I have no doubt that he’ll make a successful foray into films. Prem Chopra: It will be a refreshing change to see a film convey a social message through humour. Ram Madhvani: I’ve been part of Janak’s theatre group

called Creators. He’s a gem, I wish him much success. Sharman Joshi: Every production that Janak helmed earned acclaim in the world of theatre. Call For Fun will leave a mark in films too. Ranjeet: I have seen so many comedies and yet this film’s trailer made me laugh so hard. I enjoyed the film thoroughly! Parmeet Sethi: It’s a film that every teen in this country needs to watch. Full marks to Janak for putting the entire project together in less than six months. Harry Baweja: Janak is extremely talented. He has what it takes to make a film adroitly, just like he has previously helmed acclaimed plays time and again! Bharat Dabholkar: Kudos to Janak for taking a huge risk of launching nine newcomers. I wish him great success and look forward to many more such films in the future.

What Akshay Kumar did? when couple forgot their wedding date In times when breakups and divorce have become a regular thing, Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna are writing their love story even after 16 years of their marriage. They, undoubtedly, are the power couple of the tinsel town. They might have contrasting character traits but when it comes to loving each other Akshay and Twinkle give some hard relationship goals to their fans. However, just like us, they too experience moments when one of them forgets another’s birthday or their wedding anniversary. But what is untypical about them is they don’t lose their calm and have perfect ways of making up for it. In a recent video shared by Khiladi Kumar




*ing: Annu Kapoor , Akhilendra Mishra



Call for Fun

*ing: Zaan Khan , Charu Asopa,

on his social media accounts, Twinkle finds it difficult to recall their wedding date and she asks him about it. Surprisingly, instead of getting angry about it, Akshay tries to comprehend what he did wrong to make his better half forget an important date of their lives. To make his beloved ‘Tina’ remember the date forever,

Akshay has a special present for her. Sharing the video, the Gold actor wrote, “You can’t put a price tag on love but some things just help you express it a little better :)” Though the video is a TVC, the love in their eyes and their chemistry is giving us the feels. Akshay

New Released Bollywood Films Oct Chef


*ing: Saif Ali Khan , Svar Kamble


has time and again maintained that Twinkle is her biggest critic and his support system. Twinkle too calls Akshay her best friend and we can’t forget her comments on Koffee With Karan. She was just unstoppable. In another hilarious moment, Akshay read out the speech written by Twinkle at an award show where she proudly took the credit for him being the ‘Man of the Decade’ at the Vogue Beauty Awards. On the work front, Akshay is currently seen judging the comedy show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. He will be next seen in PadMan also starring Sonam Kapoor and Gold which marks the Bollywood debut of Mouni Roy.


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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali


Happy Diwali



Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Happy Diwali

Hema Mistry, REDFM 93.1 host for the Gujarati programme “Aavo Mari Saathe” draws rangoli for Diwali.





Saturday, October 21, 2017

have you heard? THEN



Sonakshi Sinha, Sidharth Malhotra and Akshaye Khanna-starrer Ittefaq’s trailer will be launched today. The thriller, a remake of the 1969 Rajesh Khanna and Nanda-starrer of the same name, marks Abhay Chopra’s directorial debut


The great big dance-off The long-in-the-making Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar and Amy Jacksonstarrer 2.0 still has a song shoot left. Word is Amy has begun dance rehearsals for Shankar’s bilingual (Tamil and Hindi). The UK import, who plays a robot, will get jiggy with the Thailaiva in the sci-fi thriller. The song, with multiple costume changes, is slated to be shot later this month. Jackson has been downing energy drinks to keep up with the pace. Remember Rajinikanth runs until the treadmill gets tired! The Republic Day 2018 release will unveil its first look next month.

Celebrations continue New mum Soha Ali Khan turned 39 yesterday. It was a small celebration at home as the actor delivered a baby girl, Inaaya Naumi, on September 29. Soha and her baby have their birthdays four days apart. Brother Saif Ali Khan, who was in Dubai for the promotions for Chef, picked up gifts for his niece as well as Soha, Kareena Kapoor and Taimur.

OMG! Uday is unrecognisable We did a double take when we saw this snapshot of Uday Chopra (right). The Dhoom franchise actor looked a far cry from his usual hunky self with grey hair. Aditya Chopra’s brother seems to have let himself go. On Wednesday, he was papped while exiting Emraan Hashmi’s home in Bandra. Uday, who is based in the US, looks after the

home banner’s international division. He used to be active on Twitter with his sharp-witted posts, but for a while now he has steered clear of social networking. Last seen on the big screen in Dhoom 3 (2013), he found himself in the news due to his rumoured relationship with Nargis Fakhri. Buzz is that they have split. Has Uday found comfort in food?

Mistaken identity

What a crowd Initially, there were two films clashing at the box office on November 10 — Vineet Kumar’s Mukkebaaz and Kapil Sharma’s Firangi. The makers of the Rajkummmar Rao-starrer Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana later chose the same date. Yesterday, the producers of Irrfan Khan’s next film, Qarib Qarib Single, announced that the social drama will release on November 10. The film has Malayalam actress Parvathy as his co-actor. The more the merrier, but won’t it wreck the box office collections of each?

Tinge of nostalgia Parvathy Omanakuttan’s film career may not be happening, but she is creating ripples on social media. The Pizza (2014) actor, who was also seen on Khatron Ke Khiladi last year, recently posted a picture on Instagram. Several social media users mistook her for Sonam Kapoor. The resemblance is uncanny. From the spectacles to her hair, pout and dress. Sonam certainly won’t be amused.

Yesterday, Shabana Azmi was on an emotional trip. October 4 is special because hubby Javed Akhtar, who she fondly calls Jadu, set foot in filmdom to chase his dreams on that day. She wrote on Facebook, “It was on October 4, 1964 that Javed Akhtar arrived in Bombay at the age of 19, with two pairs of clothes, a few books and lots of dreams. Today marks the 53rd year of that arrival. He slept on the streets, at Khar railway station, graduated to studio compounds, dressing rooms and Mahakali caves. He went without food for days. On his most desolate day he told himself, “Things will change, I wasn’t born to die on the streets..” Respect for his indomitable will and for the person he is — rising above bitterness and anger to become the compassionate person he is. Proud of you Jadu.” Though Azmi is currently on an all-girls road trip in Italy with her besties, she did not forget the date.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Sonam brings Jani-Khosla back to Bollywood 15 years after working on Devdas, designer duo returns to craft outfits for Veere Di Wedding SONIL DEDHIA FIFTEEN years after they enabled Sanjay Leela Bhansali to create the visual magnificence that he did in Devdas (2002) by customising the celebrated outfits for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit-Nene, couturiers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla are set to return to Bollywood with Veere Di Wedding. It took a fair share of convincing, we hear, but, the National Award-winning designers have given their nod to create the traditional outfits for the wedding sequences of the Sonam Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Swara Bhaskarstarrer. A source tells midday that the designers will scroll through archives to dig out their finest creations for the leading ladies. Confirming the news to mid-day, Khosla says, “We haven’t worked on a film since Devdas because we have been busy growing our brand. So, we are excited to be part of this project. This was the ideal film for us to return with, because it re-

volves around a wedding; we love Indian weddings.” Khosla heaps praise on producer Rhea Kapoor, who, much like sister Sonam, “knows a lot about fashion and styling”. With TV czarina Ekta Kapoor, who Khosla describes as “a trendsetter in television” also being co-producer, the designer acknowledges that there are several minds involved in the visual depiction of the sequences. “We have decided that we will work as per a brief that everybody agrees to.” Given that the duo has been designing outfits for Kapoor since she made her debut in Saawariya (2007), Jani says the decision to return with this film was fitting. “Sonam has always been a trendsetter. This will be the first time we will be working with Kareena, and we are looking forward to it. We will be able to showcase some of our most amazing and elaborate designs,” say the duo.

Janak Toprani

Celebs shower praise on comedy

Kareena Kapoor Khan; (right) Sonam Kapoor; (left) Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla; (inset) Still from Devdas

FILMQUEST Entertainment’s rib-tickling comedy, Call For Fun, marks the debut of nine fresh faces and is backed by a National Awardwinning technical team. Directed by Janak Toprani and produced by Hardik Patel, the film is gearing up for release on October 6. Ahead of its release, here’s what industry veterans feel about the youth-centric comedy. Ronnie Screwvala: I have known Janak from our theatre days and with his flair for comedy, I’m sure he’ll make a smooth transition to films. Anand Mahindra: Janak was an accountant at the Mahindra Group. He left the job to pursue his passion for theatre. I have no doubt that he’ll make a successful foray into films. Prem Chopra: It will be a refreshing change to see a film convey a social message through humour. Ram Madhvani: I’ve been part of Janak’s theatre group

called Creators. He’s a gem, I wish him much success. Sharman Joshi: Every production that Janak helmed earned acclaim in the world of theatre. Call For Fun will leave a mark in films too. Ranjeet: I have seen so many comedies and yet this film’s trailer made me laugh so hard. I enjoyed the film thoroughly! Parmeet Sethi: It’s a film that every teen in this country needs to watch. Full marks to Janak for putting the entire project together in less than six months. Harry Baweja: Janak is extremely talented. He has what it takes to make a film adroitly, just like he has previously helmed acclaimed plays time and again! Bharat Dabholkar: Kudos to Janak for taking a huge risk of launching nine newcomers. I wish him great success and look forward to many more such films in the future.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Multicultural marketing trailblazer, Sharifa Khan is a finalist in the prestigious 2017 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards


record-breaking 6,400 women entrepreneurs were nominated in this year’s Women of Influence’s 2017 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards and multicultural marketing trailblazer, Sharifa Khan has been announced as one of the 18 selected finalists. Khan, the president and CEO of one of Canada’s longest running multicultural communications agencies, Balmoral Multicultural Marketing is in company with some exceptional finalists from across the country, and is the lone representative this year from the communications industry. These women, including Khan, were chosen for their accomplishments from a host of diverse industries including: finance, technology, construction, hospitality and health services. Khan is up for the prestigious TELUS Trailblazer Award, a category that searches for Canada’s top trendsetters. The finalists and ultimate winner of this award must have recognized a new market, product, service, technological advancement or opportunity and led the way. She had to demonstrate outstanding leadership, not just within her company, but also within her market, and she had to have set standards for originality, quality and successful management. “When I started Balmoral 28 years ago, I saw a wave of immigrants coming to Canada

– all of whom looked forward to building Central: Rula Sharkawi, My Little their lives here as Canadians and while I Chickpea knew there was an important East: Trina Bailey, communications need there, Bailey Veterinary it was just a seed of a dream,” Surgical Specialty said Khan. “Today, being in Ltd. RBC Momentum company of these incredibly Award West: Rachel inspiring and accomplished Mielke, Hillberg & finalists and looking back on Berk Central: Mandy my entrepreneurial journey to Rennehan, Freshco date, I am so very honoured.” East: Kara Angus, Go The RBC Canadian Women Go Group Inc. Social Entrepreneur Awards will be Change Award West: announcing its winners at this Glori Meldrum, Little year’s 25th Annual Awards Warriors Gala on Wednesday November Central: Melissa 22, 2017 at the Fairmont Royal Sariffodeen, Ladies York Hotel in Toronto. To Learning Code date, this premier national East: Cathy Deagleawards program has received Gammon, Dartmouth over 75,000 nominations, and Adult Services Centre Sharifa Khan selected just 450 finalists who DASC TELUS have demonstrated excellence in economic Trailblazer Award West: Claudia Sjoberg, growth and social change both locally and The Pedalheads Group Central: Sharifa globally, across a multitude of sectors. The Khan, Balmoral Marketing Inc. East: complete list of finalists for the 2017 RBC Natalie Voland, Gestion Immobilière Quo Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award Vadis/Complexe Dompark TEC Award Finalists are as follows: for Excellence in Entrepreneurship West: Micro Business Award West: Angel Allison Grafton, Rockwood Custom Guerra and Angela Dione, Market Collective Homes Central: Janet Zuccarini, Gusto 54 Central: Kalpana Kundra, Unstick by Restaurant Group DaughkunB East: Geneviève Lévesque, East: Christiane Germain, Groupe Arteria Gallery Staples Start-Up Award Germain Hôtels These Awards recognizes West: Marlo Brausse, Barre Body Studio female business owners from across

Canada who make impressive and substantial contributions to the local, Canadian or global economy. Candidates share a strong entrepreneurial vision and a relentless passion in pursing their dreams. The 2017 RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards are presented by RBC. Award sponsors include Staples, RBC, TELUS, TEC Canada and the official Due Diligence partner, Deloitte. About the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards: The RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards are the pre-eminent national business awards recognizing the country’s leading female entrepreneurs. The awards are an initiative of Women of Influence, an award-winning organization dedicated to advancing women globally. About Women of Influence Worldwide Inc: Women of Influence, now in its 23rd year, is one of North America’s leading organization offering solutions to further women’s career advancement. With courses in executive leadership, global events, and print and digital content, Women of Influence annually reaches over 200,000 professional women and men across Canada and internationally. Signature events include the Women of Influence Luncheon Series and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. For more information, please visit www.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

SFU celebrates 10th anniversary Diwali Gala


imon Fraser University hosted its 10th annual Diwali Gala at Surrey’s Aria Banquet Hall on Oct. 17. The event is held annually to celebrate the festival of Diwali along with the University’s initiatives in India and engagement with B.C.’s South Asian diaspora. This year’s event, marking a decade of celebrations, drew one of its largest gatherings—more than 350 business and community leaders joined SFU students, faculty, staff and alumni at this year’s event, which opened with a street-fair style reception and featured South Asian cuisine and performances by the Mohamed Assani Trio and Shiamak Dance Team of Vancouver. In his welcoming address SFU President Andrew Petter told the gathering that over

the past 10 years, the event has raised more than $180,000 to support SFU’s India Student Mobility Award fund, helping more than 140 SFU students travel between B.C. and India. Petter also thanked past and present members of the SFU-India Advisory Council for “donating their time and energy” to provide guidance to SFU on its India Strategy. The council was established a decade ago and has been integral to the University’s success in engaging with India, and in furthering relationships within B.C.’s South Asian community. He also noted that over the past decade, more than 1,500 visa students from India have undertaken undergraduate and graduate studies at SFU, adding that SFU’s student

population from India is now the fastest growing of all countries in the world. Daivik Mehta, a PhD student from India, shared his experiences as a one of the first graduate students accepted into the SFUIndian Oil PhD program. The program was created in 2014 when SFU and Indian Oil signed an agreement to further fuel and cell technology research. Mehta is in his third year as a PhD student in SFU’s School of Mechatronic Engineering. Meanwhile Christine Lukac, who is among students who’ve benefitted from SFU’s India Mobility Initiative, sent thanks to the gathering for the event’s support over the years for volunteer student projects created through Destiny Reflection, a

venture established in India to help empower women and girls. Emceed by Wally Oppal, former B.C. Attorney-General and co-chair of the SFU-India Advisory Council,the gala benefited this year from many sponsors including: title sponsor - TD Canada Trust; gold sponsors - City of Surrey A.S. Bubber & Associates, Sandhurst Group, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, Tien Sher; silver sponsors – Ansatel, BCCIE Binary Stream, Sikka Foundation; media sponsors – Darpan Magazine, The Surrey NOW-Leader, Spice Radio, the Indo-Canadian Voice, RED-FM, The Link Newspaper, Desibuzzbc, Drishti Magazine, The Asian Star, and South Asian Woman.


Classifieds / Jobs

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Community / News



Saturday, October 21, 2017

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Vol. 8 No. 38 - Saturday - October 21, 2017

Average Canadian house price up 3% in past 12 months, CREA says The average price of a Canadian home rose by three per cent in the year up to September, even as sales came in 11 per cent lower than they were a year ago. The Canadian Real Estate Association said Friday that the deceleration in price gains largely reflects softening price trends in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe area, which stretches around the southwestern corner of Lake Ontario. Double-digit annual increases were the norm in the region throughout 2016, before a slowdown earlier this year that saw price increases slow to single digits and then briefly dip into negative territory before recovering. ‘The market has changed,’ and buyers welcome the Toronto housing cooldown “National sales appear to be stabilizing,” CREA president Andrew Peck said in a statement. “While encouraging, it’s too early to tell if this is the beginning of a longer-term trend.” While sales were down 11 per cent from last year’s level, 2016 marked the busiest September for home sales on record. When discussing Canada’s real estate picture, the Toronto and Vancouver markets get a lot of attention — because they are large and have had such outsized gains, which skewed the national numbers higher, the realtor group has long warned. “The national result continues to be influenced heavily by trends in Toronto and Vancouver, but housing market conditions vary widely across Canada,” Peck said Friday. Vancouver took steps in the summer of 2016 to cool its market via a foreign buyers tax, and Toronto did the same in April 2017. Both appear to have had a cooling effect on their respective markets, although they are both at different stages in the cycles. After an initial slowdown in the summer of 2016 after the new rules came in, Vancouver prices are bouncing back sharply, with the average selling price in the city up more than 17 per Continued on page 15

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Real Estate

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Real Estate

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Average Canadian house price up 3% in past 12 months, CREA says From page 13 After an initial slowdown in the summer of 2016 after the new rules came in, Vancouver prices are bouncing back sharply, with the average selling price in the city up more than 17 per cent to $1,046,982. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Greater Vancouver area, in particular, is once again showing signs of heating conditions with sales up strongly and prices nearing record levels,â&#x20AC;? TD Bank economist Michael Dolega said of the CREA numbers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Still, we expect rising mortgage rates will take some steam out of this market given the affordability pressures, with slower price growth on the horizon.â&#x20AC;? One year on, Vancouver house prices are on fire again




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Realtors brace for the end of the housing market boo Torontoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still a little behind on that path as average prices in the Greater Toronto Area are still digesting Aprilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rules changes. The average selling price in the city has risen by just over four per cent to $785,099. Prices in the GTA seem to have peaked, in the short term, around May. Nationally, the average price of a Canadian home sold last month was $487,000. If Toronto and Vancouver are stripped out, that figure drops to just above $374,500. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Further tightening of federal regulations aimed at cooling housing markets in Toronto and Vancouver risks creating collateral damage in markets elsewhere


Garry Grewal

Saturday, October 21, 2017



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