Page 1 Vol 17 - Issue 6

Saturday, March 10, 2018


‘Shocked and devastated’ Atwal says he’s no terrorist


aspal Atwal, a man convicted of attempted murder for his role in an attack on an Indian politician, said today he’s not a terrorist and is sorry for any “embarrassment” his invitation to an event at the Canadian High Commission in India might have caused. When photographs surfaced of Atwal posing with Canadian officials in Mumbai, media in India and

Why is Premier Horgan afraid to ban foreigners from buying real estate in BC? Umendra Singh

The CEO of Canada’s largest bank says that foreign cash is like gasoline on Vancouver’s overheated real estate market. And David McKay, while speaking at a bank conference in New York this past week, called for the government to clamp down on foreigners investing in residential real estate in Vancouver and rest of Canada. However, BC’s NDP Premier John Horgan, like his predecessor, Liberal Continued on page 4

Vancouver gas prices highest in North America A “perfect storm” of factors including a taxed Trans Mountain pipeline have saddled Metro Vancouver with gasoline prices at $1.50, among the highest prices in North America, according to analysts. “It’s pretty much an outlier in the Canadian market,” Jason Parent, vice-president of the Kent Group, a downstream petroleum consulting company, said of the Vancouver region. The Kent Group’s daily pump price survey pegged Vancouver at $1.50, with Victoria running behind at $1.41. By

Continued on page 7

Canada asked how the convicted criminal was able to obtain a travel visa and secure invitations to formal events linked to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s official tour. Speaking to reporters in Vancouver Thursday, Atwal said he has “nothing but regret and remorse” for his role in the 1986 attack on an Indian minister of state, adding he is no longer a supporter of the Sikh

independence movement. Atwal read from a prepared statement and refused to answer questions from reporters, leaving those to his lawyer. “I, like the vast majority of Sikhs who once advocated for this cause, have reconciled with the nation of India,” Continued on page 2

Foreigners using Canadian homes as piggy banks - RBC CEO Foreign cash is ‘gasoline’ on Vancouver’s housing market Foreign inflows are distorting Canada’s already constrained housing market and aren’t the kind of investment the country needs, the chief executive officer of Royal Bank of Canada said. “We do not need foreign capital using Canadian real estate as a piggy bank,” David McKay, said Tuesday at a bank conference in New York hosted by the Toronto-based

lender. “If capital is coming in to sit in a home, unproductively, and is distorting your marketplace and the livelihood of your residents — no thank you.” McKay, whose bank is Canada’s largest mortgage lender, says he’s supportive of government taxes and other measures targeting foreign buyers, as well as other regulatory Continued on page 7

Canada lent an NRI family $41 million to buy a luxury jet, which is now missing


f you spot a sleek Bombardier Global 6000 business jet sporting tail number ZS-OAK, the federal government would love to hear from you. The jet belonged to South Africa’s notorious Gupta family, whose alleged corruption helped trigger the scandals that recently forced President Jacob Zuma out of office. But the Guptas bought the plane with help from a $41-million loan from Export Development

Canada, or EDC. EDC was helping Bombardier Inc., the Montreal aerospace firm, land the jet sale. But that turns out to have been a poor bet: EDC now says the family defaulted on the loan in October and still owes the bank $27 million. And with an arrest warrant outstanding for Ajay Gupta, one of three brothers in the family, there are other worries, too. “There is a Continued on page 7

Daylight saving time Springs ahead this Sunday


f it feels like you’re about to wake up and spring might be close, it’s because daylight saving time is right around the corner. This year, daylight saving time begins on

Sunday, March 11 at 3am PT and ends on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 am PT. That means you should turn your clocks one hour ahead on Sunday morning.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

From page 1

feign ignorance about his criminal past are being disingenuous. “He assumed he was vetted appropriately. He has not hid who he is. If you Google Mr. Atwal, you will find information about him,” Gill said. “He was a political embarrassment to the prime minister, that’s obviously accepted ... but let’s make sure this is on the record — Mr. Atwal presents absolutely no security threat to this country or any other country.” Sarai has since apologized for inviting Atwal and has resigned as the Liberals’ Pacific caucus chair. Atwal said this was not his first visit to India since his release from custody, adding he travelled to his homeland twice in 2017 and received a visa from the Indian government without trouble. “At all times I visited India lawfully and with the full permission of the Indian government,” he said. A senior government official with knowledge of the prime minister’s security protocols suggested to reporters in a background briefing, arranged by the Prime Minister’s Office, that Atwal’s invitations were arranged by factions within the Indian government. Conservatives later identified the official as Daniel Jean, Trudeau’s national security adviser. When asked about the notion that his client had been invited by rogue elements in the Indian government, Gill said he’d like the official who made that suggestion to go on the record with formal accusations. “Mr. Atwal at no point has considered himself, or been approached in such a fashion by any Indian representative, that he would act as an agent of some sort. There was some bandying about of the word informant — that is not correct, he absolutely denies that,” he said.

‘Shocked and devastated’ Atwal says he’s no terrorist

reconciled with the nation of India,” he said. “I have nothing but regret and remorse for my actions and the suffering I caused to the victim. What I did was described as an act of terror by the judge who dealt with this matter. I accept full responsibility. I do not disagree with the court’s conclusions.” Atwal was convicted of the attempted murder of Indian cabinet minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu during a visit to Vancouver Island in 1986. He was also charged — but not convicted — in a 1985 attack on Ujjal Dosanjh, who later became B.C. premier and a federal Liberal cabinet minister. More recently, he was found liable in an automobile fraud case. Atwal said he has been active in IndoCanadian politics for years — meeting with Liberal, Conservative and NDP politicians alike — and visited Parliament Hill three times in 2013 and 2014.

“I have met and been photographed with many politicians, from all parties,” he said. “I have met many politicians who have wanted to reach out to the Indian community. I have had assisted with making sure the Indian community was able to communicate with Jaspal Atwal, right, with his lawyer Rishi Gill at a press conference in Vancouver politicians.” Atwal said he reached out to “When my attendance became the Liberal MP Randeep Sarai before the trip to news story that brings us here today, I was India, asking if he could secure an invitation completely shocked and devastated,” he said. to the official reception with Trudeau at the Atwal’s lawyer, Rishi Gill, said his client Canadian High Commission. He said he went through the “proper channels” to get “assumed there would be no problems” with an invitation to the event, adding those who his presence at the event.

Where is car insurance headed if the system doesn’t change? C o s t of f u l l i n s u r a n ce

BC leads in employment numbers

By 2019, B.C. drivers could pay an average of $400 more for insurance. A big part of this is the increasing cost of car repairs and minor injury claims (for things like aches and strains), which have reached record levels. Put simply, premiums aren’t enough to cover the cost of payouts.

Learn more about what we’re doing to change the system, at

Statistics Canada figures released Friday morning shows that British Columbia continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in Canada. B.C.’s jobless rate for February was pegged at 4.7 per cent, down one-tenth of a point since January and well below the national rate of 5.8 per cent — which also dropped one-tenth of a point last month. Canada’s unemployment rate nudges down to 5.8% in February Since February 2017, the B.C. unemployment rate has dropped four-tenths of a point, from 5.1 per cent. Statistics Canada says the economy added 15,400 net new jobs Continued on next page


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Canadian man pleads guilty to US terror charges in murder conspiracy A Canadian man pleaded guilty Tuesday to He was held in Edmonton until he lost an U.S. charges that he sent money and provided extradition fight in 2015. long-distance support to Tunisian jihadists An extradition request cited wiretap believed responsible for a 2009 suicide attack evidence and an interview of Muhammad in Iraq that killed five American soldiers. The ‘Isa that U.S. authorities claim linked him to deal could spare him a term of life behind bars. the terror network that used a suicide bomber Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa entered the to detonate an explosives-laden truck outside plea in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., for the gate of the U.S. base in Mosul, Iraq, on a murder conspiracy charge that carried a April 10, 2009, killing the soldiers. During maximum life sentence. He instead faces a 26- the interview, Muhammad ‘Isa admitted he year prison term followed by deportation corresponded by email with two as part of the deal, which a judge still of the jihadists while they were must sign off on. in Syria, and that they were on Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Baldwin a mission to kill Americans, the told the judge that prosecutors met in paperwork said. The documents person with the families of each of the allege he corresponded with victims before agreeing to a sentence “facilitators” who were trying to the government believes “will serve to get the attackers into Iraq, and Faruq Khalil punish (the defendant) and deter others, wired one of them $700. Muhammad ‘Isa while also requiring the defendant to U.S. authorities alleged that admit his participation in these heinous the day after the attack on acts.” Defence lawyer Mildred Whalen said the U.S. base, Muhammad ‘Isa asked in an in a statement: “We are mindful of how electronic communication, “Did you hear difficult this case is for so many, but think about the huge incident yesterday? Is it that the proposed plea agreement would known?” He also identified the bomber as “one be an appropriate resolution of the case.” of the Tunisian brothers,” to which a facilitator Muhammad ‘Isa, 50, is a Canadian citizen responded, “Praise God.” Muhammad ‘Isa told and Iraqi national who was arrested in 2011 investigators in the interview that by “huge on a U.S. warrant after an investigation by incident” he meant an explosion, the papers authorities in New York, Canada and Tunisia. said. No sentencing date was set.

From page 2

BC leads in employment numbers

across the country last month, although most of those positions were part-time jobs. Across B.C., only Victoria saw a hike in unemployment, with its rate up half a per

cent to 4.4 in February, compared with 3.9 the month earlier. Kelowna’s jobless numbers dropped dramatically to 5.8 per cent — seventenths of a point below January’s 6.5 per cent mark.

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University of the Fraser Valley professor off the work after alleged Creep Catchers bust professor at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) is on leave after an alleged bust by Chilliwack Creep Catchers. The university confirmed Wednesday that an employee was off work pending an investigation, after the group released a video that showed the individual allegedly trying to meet with a 13-year-old boy for sex. The video shows a man being confronted and asked, “How old is the boy you came to meet?” The encounter happened at a McDonald’s in Chilliwack on Tuesday night. The professor, who has been placed on administrative leave, has not been charged, so Global News is not identifying him. “The University of the Fraser Valley is aware that allegations have been made against one of its employees,” said Dave Pinton, the

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school’s communications director. “We take these allegations seriously and we are investigating.” The professor will remain on leave until after the investigation has been completed. Pinton went on to say that the university is not aware of any complainants from UFV at this time. The Chilliwack RCMP is aware of the incident, and has opened a file. “We are in the initial stages of our investigation, we haven’t spoken with any of the parties involved yet,” said Staff Sgt. Stephen Vrolyk. “I would just like to state that the RCMP do not condone or recommend people take the law into their own hands. There is a risk that investigations can be compromised and evidence be lost when this occurs.”

Fiji is star attraction this weekends HSBC Canada rugby 7s in Vancouver The tiny nation of Fiji will b the star attraction when 16 of the world’s top men’s rugby sevens nations hit the ground at Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium this weekend, their friends and families around the globe will be cheering them on. The World Rugby Sevens Series has a growing international audience. This weekend, over 100 accredited media will attend from Japan, France, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, the United States, Fiji, Kenya, Samoa and elsewhere. TEP funding is providing $125,000 for broadcast activities, enabling millions around the globe to follow the action. A further $25,000 from the provincial Sport Branch is supporting event hosting. “I’m excited to welcome the popular HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series back to B.C.


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for the third time,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “There is very significant international exposure, tourism impact and economic activity brought to our province through this event. B.C. rugby fans are in for a weekend of great sport!” Vancouver is the sixth stop on the 2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. With over one-third of the more than 76,000 expected spectators attending from outside the Lower Mainland, the impact on the local tourism economy is high. Visitors are expected to stay for three days, while athletes, coaches and officials are here for seven days. Organizers estimate the economic impact at over $24 million. This weekend’s action will be carried internationally to 133 countries on host broadcast networks and reach an estimated 7.4

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Why is Premier Horgan afraid to ban foreigners from buying real estate in BC? Christy Clark, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are too scared to heed such advice. They are sitting on their hands, doing nothing. At an earlier press conference, I asked Premier Horgan, what is he planning to do about foreign and other real estate speculators distorting the housing market beyond the reach of local taxpayers and their children (the future BC taxpayers). The good Premier replied that he does not want to hurt the investment of investors by government intervention in the real estate market. In other words, he and his government planned to little or nothing. In last month’s budget, Finance Minister Carole James, upped the foreign buyers tax by 5 percent to 20 percent. One a millions dollar purchase, the foreign buyers would pay tax of $200,000 instead of $150,000. So how is an extra $50,000 tax going to deter a foreign multi millionaire from buying a residential property in Metro Vancouver ? It won’t! And the little increases in property purchase tax and property tax is also not going to deter foreign speculators. Horgan, who is no expert in real estate or finances, and

From page 1

his finance minister, should listen to people like McKay, who do this for a living - and have been doing this for many, many years. “We do not need foreign capital using Canadian real estate as a piggy bank,” he said. “We’ve got this cocktail of factors that are leading to unconstrained growth in home prices.” He supports taxes and other measures targeting foreign buyers in British Columbia. And he disputes that foreigners buying residential real estate are actually investing in Canada. The foreigners are actually parking money in Metro Vancouver and other parts of Canada. In McKay’s words, these foreign speculators are using our real estate as “piggy banks.” The money they spent on houses which have already been built does not create jobs or helps in growth of our economy. It just sits there until the house is sold by the foreign speculators for profit. It is not like they are building and sustaining a factory that employs hundreds of local taxpayers. Horgan’s coalition partner, Green Party leader, Andrew Weaver, has called for a ban on foreigners buying residential real estate and promised to bring a

motion to support this move - but he has not done so yet. “We need the public support, we need the CEOs of RBC and others’ support,” Weaver said. “The more the people who speak out the quicker we’re going to get a resolution to this.” Weaver is calling for a full ban on home purchases using foreign capital and says the NDP is not doing enough. He says the new speculation tax in the 2018 budget will punish Canadians as well as foreigners. “If the government wanted to deal with this they could bring in legislation next week to clamp down on foreign purchase in B.C.,” he said. “The barrier is not legislative, the barrier is political will.” And it appears that Premier Horgan and his cabinet have less political will now than they did during the election campaign to ban foreign, non tax paying speculators from buying residential real estate. And Weaver appears to lack political will to bring a motion in the legislature banning foreign buyers as he promised to do so.

Confusion and chaos at Trudeau’s reception in New Delhi The reception for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held by Canada’s High Commissioner in New Delhi was like a South Asian wedding in Canada. The organizers ran out of Crown Royal in the first hour. And a group of uninvited guests crashed the party - apparently they were friends of a South Asian Liberal MP from Toronto area. He apparently distracted the RCMP guard by arguing with them as his uninvited friends snuck into the party i the CanadianHigh Commissioner’s compound. The atmosphere at the reception at the residence of Nadir Patel, the Canadian High Commissioner to India, was more like “spring break” than a formal diplomatic party, according to those who attended. There was so much heavy drinking that the bar ran out of Crown Royal within the first hour. Brampton, Ontario, area Liberal MP Raj Continued on page 9 # 202 - 8388, 128 St., Surrey, BC V3W 4G2 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.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Canada lent an NRI family $41 million to buy a From page 1 luxury jet, which is now missing concern that the aircraft may be used to escape justice or for some unlawful means,” wrote EDC in a recent application to a South African court seeking permission to ground the jet. A table is set for dining aboard a Bombardier Inc. Global 6000 business jet during the Singapore Airshow held at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore, on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg But EDC first has to find the plane; the Guptas made the plane’s location data private after EDC sought the jet’s exact whereabouts in a court filing. The disappearance of the plane is noted on FlightAware, a website that allows the public to track the location of planes around the world. “This aircraft (ZSOAK) is not available for public tracking per request from the owner/operator,” the site says. The plane has been spotted in recent weeks at airports in India, Russia and Dubai. Ehsan Monfared, a Toronto aviation lawyer, says the case is unusual. Most people or entities who buy business jets of that size and value don’t have credit issues, and banks like EDC make sure they’re well protected. EDC, for its part, insists it performed due diligence on the Guptas. Phil Taylor, a spokesperson for EDC, said the bank’s motion seeking to ground the aircraft is due to be heard in Johannesburg on March 6, but he declined to comment further. A separate court case is also underway in Britain. An effort to contact the Guptas through their London law firm was not successful. A 360-degree views of the interior of a

Vancouver gas prices highest in North America From page 1 comparison, the price was running at $1.24 for Toronto. The findings echoed those of, a Boston-based company that monitors gas prices across North America through an app that allows people to report prices. From London, Ont., Parent said the Vancouver region has been hit by the impact of factors that include demand for the Trans Mountain pipeline between Alberta and the Lower Mainland. Plans to expand that pipeline have fuelled political tensions between the Alberta and B.C. governments, as well as protests over the environment risks of such a project. But Parent also said relevant factors include a weak Canadian dollar that has driven up wholesale gasoline prices across Canada, and increasing prices as refineries start to prepare for the summer-driving season. “It’s a perfect storm of factors,” he said. Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst for, said they are seeing about $1.50 at most pumps in the Vancouver area. From Toronto, he said it’s clear the price situation is causing some alarm. “The $1.50 mark has been the proverbial rubicon. When you cross that number, it triggers a psychological response. People are quite upset,” Mr. McTeague, a former Liberal MP, said from Toronto. He blamed the situation on a supply shortage. He said another issue affecting gasoline prices is continuing renovations at the Parkland Refinery in Burnaby that are affecting the supply of gasoline and forcing a search for supplies from three refineries in the United States. “That’s really pushing prices up to levels one would probably not have assumed would be the case for this time of year,” Mr. McTeague said. Annie Cuerrier, communications director for the Parkland Fuel Corp., said in a statement issued on Wednesday that the refinery is down for planned maintenance. “As you can understand, we don’t talk about gas pricing in any one market, but prices, in general, are driven by market dynamics,” she wrote from Calgary.

Bombardier Inc. Global 6000 business jet is seen during the Singapore Airshow held at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore, on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. Seong Joon Cho/Bloomberg It’s certainly an embarrassing incident for the bank. But Karyn Keenan, the director of Above Ground, a human-rights and development nonprofit, finds it ironic that EDC is now worried about risking its reputation when it should have known of the corruption allegations against the Guptas that were circulating in South Africa at the time of the loan deal. “This loan should never have been made,” she said. “Everybody in South Africa knew who the Guptas were. They had been investigated by South African authorities.”

From page 1


Foreigners using Canadian homes

efforts to cool the country’s housing market. He’s seeing some impacts from these rule changes, with “a little bit more healthy dynamics.” Toronto home sales plummet 35% as new mortgage rules bite Governments bent on cooling home prices could get more than they bargain for Expect Toronto to follow suit if Vancouver’s ‘very aggressive’ speculation tax on property succeeds “Demand is down and house prices have been stable,” McKay said. “There’s still intensive bidding, but to a lesser degree.” Toronto, Canada’s biggest housing market, has been correcting over the past few months amid a slew of regulations put in place to steady booming prices and increasing debt. Toronto home sales fell 35 per cent

in February from a year earlier, marking the weakest month of sales in nine years, though benchmark prices were up 3.2 per cent on the year, according to data released Tuesday by the Toronto Real Estate Board. Canada’s housing market has been on edge this year as mortgage guidelines came into effect, making it harder for prospective buyers to qualify for loans. A surge of foreign money into Canadian housing had been adding “gasoline” to markets in Vancouver and Toronto, McKay said. He identified a “cocktail of factors” that led to unconstrained growth of Toronto and Vancouver home prices, including a growing population, land constraints, lack of supply and highly stimulative interest rates that caused people to funnel more disposable income into their homes in addition to foreign money.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

USA is replacing Saudi Arabia as World’s largest oil producer

In 2016, the United States produced around 12.4 million barrels of oil a day, 82 per cent more than the last decade. The growth comes on the back of exploitation of tight oil, of which shale oil is the most important source. While Saudi Arabia continues to be one of the top producers– since 2014 the US has consistently been pipping both Saudi and Russia (the other major oil producer) — in terms of barrels produced per day. In its January Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts “explosive” growth in U.S. oil production, in reaction to rising oil prices. In a recent congressional hearing, Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, described the United States as “the undisputed oil and gas leader in the world over the next several decades.” U.S. production is forecast to exceed This incredible surge in production begs the question—is the United States taking on Saudi

Arabia’s role in the oil market? It’s an interesting question, and certainly one that the current administration raises with its emphasis on “energy dominance.” But the answer is no—the U.S. industry will never play a similar role to Saudi Arabia’s in the oil market, no matter how much U.S. oil production grows. To understand why, it’s helpful to consider recent oil market events. After oil prices reached more than $110 per barrel in 2014, the benchmark Brent crude oil price collapsed to as little as $30 per barrel in early 2016. In response, OPEC combined with Russia to decrease oil production, with the goals of increasing oil prices and decreasing oil inventories. The deal to reduce production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bbl/d) was struck in late November 2016 and has since been extended through the end of 2018. The Saudis have delivered the largest portion of the supply decrease, significantly exceeding their agreed-

upon cut of 486,000 bbl/d. Since the production cuts, the oil price has risen by roughly $25 per barrel. This result certainly looks like a success for OPEC. But given changes in the global oil market, OPEC’s overall gains are likely to be temporary. The shale oil that dominates U.S. production growth delivers oil faster with much lower up-front costs than traditional oil and gas. This allows U.S. production to be very responsive to price swings like the one that OPEC has created in the last year. (I described this in an earlier post.) This responsive U.S. production is rapidly counteracting the OPEC production cut. In fact, the IEA forecasts that increasing The rapid increase in U.S. oil production leaves OPEC in a difficult position. OPEC has shown its ability to compel production cuts from its members and raise the oil price, but at the cost of losing market share as U.S. production has grown in response to higher prices. This loss of market share may be even more harmful to OPEC in today’s world of energy abundance. Predicting the timing of peak oil demand is becoming a parlor game among oil economists. While nearly all agree that the world will see one to two decades of continuing oil demand growth, maintaining market share in this changing world is more important than in the past. OPEC may have won the battle to raise the oil price, but it appears to be losing the market share war. The United States is a crucial oil producer, but not a “dominant” one. The United States has become an important oil producer and changed the landscape of the global oil market, particularly with its ability to more quickly rebalance the market in response to price

changes. But important differences between the U.S. and Saudi oil industries mean that the United States will not take over the Saudi role in global oil markets, even though it is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia in terms of production volume. Saudi oil is all produced by a single entity— Saudi Aramco—which is owned and operated

by the Saudi government. Saudi Aramco does not operate on a simple profit motive like a for-profit company. Concerns about politics and management of the global oil market influence production decisions in a way that would not occur at a company solely focused on profit. Saudi Aramco plans to sell shares equaling five percent of its value in an initial public offering (IPO) in the second half of this year, but the fundamental structure and decisionmaking at the company will remain controlled by the government. In the United States, the oil industry is made up of dozens of companies that make individual investment and production decisions, based on their own costs, financial positions, and appetites for risk. The U.S. oil industry will never act as one to manage the market or raise prices. In fact, such behavior is illegal under anti-trust law. But this is exactly how Saudi Aramco and the other OPEC members operate—it is the very purpose of OPEC.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

BC woman convicted of counselling tax evasion sentenced to 4.5 years jail A woman integral to a Chilliwack group Anderson’s sentencing hearing, which began that counselled hundreds of people to be March 5, became quite bizarre as rather than income tax cheats was sentenced to 4.5 years in enter submissions for her sentence, the 59-yearjail and fined $35,000 in B.C. Supreme Court old continued to argue her case and perpetuate on Friday. Defiant to the end, belligerent to the debunked Paradigm scheme. Justice the court process, and seemingly oblivious Neill Brown exhibited significant patience as to the fraudulent nature of the scheme she Anderson outlined her reasons why she should adhered to and foisted on others, Debbie not have to pay taxes in Canada, why the case Arlene Anderson said she against her uses false documents will appeal her conviction as and is a fraud, and why Brown an educator with Paradigm should recuse himself while she Education Group. Anderson complains to the Judicial Council was convicted on Nov. 3, 2017 about him. Anderson earned at of tax evasion and making least $165,000 over 2005, 2006 false statements under the and 2007, and declared zero Income Tax Act (ITA), failure income for the first two years to make GST payments under and did not file an income tax the Excise Tax Act (ETA), and return for 2007. At a sentencing counselling others to commit hearing in January, Crown asked fraud under the criminal code. for a 4.5-year jail sentence and Paradigm’s found and leader a fine of $35,000. Anderson was Russell Porisky was sentenced supposed to enter her sentencing to 5.5 years prison and fined submission in court March 5, $274,000 following a second but instead tried to derail the trial in 2016. proceedings and re-argue the As part of Paradigm case she lost last year. Education Group, which To start with, Anderson asked taught the “natural person” that Brown recuse himself and theory, Anderson was said have the case transferred to a clan to have approximately 100 Debbie Anderson outside the grandmother of the Métis nation. Chilliwack Law Courts students who paid seven He denied the request, and even per cent of their income in order to arrange pointed out the woman in question is herself their affairs to pay no income tax or GST. In in a conflict with the Canada Revenue Agency. all, Paradigm was said to have 800 students. Anderson repeated her ongoing claim that the The basis of the scam is that, according to court documents that spell her last name all Porisky and his acolyte Anderson, “income in upper case constituted “false documents” tax is nothing more than an internal federal and made the entire case against her a “fraud.” excise tax which is only mandatory for those She insists the use of all capitals is a “gloss,” who choose to work as a legal representative, something used to write the symbols down under an implied contract of service, for the expressed by someone using American Sign benefit of a federally created legal (artificial) Language. Because there are a mix of upper person known as a ‘taxpayer.’” His YouTube case and lower case on court documents, videos posted in 2008 that outline the “natural Anderson said they are fraudulent. “I maintain person” theory are still online. The problem is these are two different languages,” she said. that the Canada Revenue Agency and many “English and French are the two official B.C. Supreme Court justices say they are languages in Canada, not American Sign wrong. There can be no division of the person Language or Latin.” “I’m of the opinion the case either in law or reality, so paying income tax is, should be set aside,” Anderson said pointing to quite simply, mandatory. what she claimed are “false documents.”

Killers who shot wrong man in 2009 targeted hit in Vancouver lose appeal Two gangland killers who mistakenly shot the wrong person in 2009 have lost their appeal of their first-degree murder convictions. Kevin Jones and Colin Stewart were convicted by a jury two years ago of the Sept. 29, 2009 slaying of Rajinder Soomel in Vancouver. Right before Soomel was gunned down in the middle of Cambie Street, the killers had barged into the nearby Dick Bell-Irving halfway house and demanded information about another inmate, Independent Soldiers founder Randy Naicker. A worker at the house erroneously said Naicker had gone out to a store, when it was Soomel who had in fact left the house

that night. The jurors heard that horrified bystanders watched two men chase Soomel across Cambie Street and fire 10 shots, eight of them hitting Soomel in the back and face. The Crown’s case was based on circumstantial evidence, including DNA of the accused found on items discarded by the shooters in a panicked getaway and the cellphone records of the accused. On appeal, Jones challenged the admissibility of a statement he made to police months after the shooting, as well as the judge’s instructions to the jury, while Stewart claimed his Charter rights were violated by the admissibility of the DNA and other evidence.

Confusion and chaos at Trudeau’s reception in New Delhi From page 4 has denied he did anything to help any gate crashes get into the party without invitation. At least two other Liberals MPs posed for pictures with former Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who was first implicated four years ago in

connection with alleged money laundering and links with Canadian drug dealers. Majithia’s name came up in statements from former wrestler-turned-police superintendent-turned alleged drug lord Jagdish Singh Bhola, an accused drug trafficker.





Saturday, March 10, 2018

Porsche SUV crashes into lobby of Richmond restaurant Richmond’s Thai House Restaurant is not a drivethru. Don’t be fooled by the car-shaped hole in the front entrance. That’s new. O n Wednesday, a Porsche SUV jumped a curb and smashed into lobby of the restaurant, located at 4940 No. 3 Rd near Alderbridge Way. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident, which

occurred around 2 p.m. Somehow, the vehicle, a late model Porsche Macan, emerged mostly unscathed as well, according to eyewitnesses. Richmond RCMP confirmed that driver, a woman in her 60s, was not injured. She was the lone occupant of the vehicle. A violation was issued due to driver error, police said.

Charges pending for man identified in Vancouver cannabis shop robbery Police have recommended charges On March 7, Vancouver police against a 21-yearreleased images old man, alleging from the security he assaulted two footage in a bid to employees and robbed identify a suspect. a Weeds Glass and Gifts With the help of a shop in east Vancouver. number of tips, a Surveillance footage man was arrested from Nov. 4, 2017 Investigators released surveillance footage later that evening. showed a man entering of the suspect earlier this month “The tips are still the Weeds shop on coming in,” said Victoria Drive and striking up a conversation with the woman Const. Jason Doucette on Thursday. “This behind the counter. Then, the video is a great example of teamwork between the shows the man jumping over the counter, VPD, our media partners, and the public.” The suspect has been released assaulting the employee and grabbing from custody and ordered to abide by products from the shelves before fleeing. Outside the shop, the man assaulted a several conditions. Charges have been recommended and are awaiting approval. second employee.

Surrey’s ‘Women in Business’ award winners celebrated on International Women’s Day Surrey’s Women in Business award winners were celebrated during an annual luncheon hosted by Surrey Board of Trade on Thursday (March 8). The ninth annual event, hosted by CTV News’ Tamara Taggart and presented by Vancity, featured guest speaker Kim Campbell, the former Tory prime minister and current chair of the nation’s Supreme Court Advisory Board. The awards recognize “the hard work of Surrey’s business women and their contributions to the community,” according to the business organization. Six award winners were announced during the event, held on International Women’s

Day. Winner of Entrepreneur category award is Yvonne Hogenes, of Malary’s Fashion Network. The Professional award went to Shalini Das of Symbiosis Pediatric Therapy, Inc. Ingrid Kastens, of Pacific Community Resources Society, was given the Not-forProfit Leader award. The Corporate/Leadership award went to Rowena Rizzotti of The Lark Group. Elly Morgan, of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, was given the event’s Social Trailblazer award. The Indigenous Entrepreneur award went to Roxanne Charles.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Cab driver brutally beaten with metal bar in apparent road rage incident Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the vicious beating of a Maple Ridge taxi driver. The alleged assault, apparently the result of a road rage incident, happened on Feb. 25, and left the driver in hospital with a cracked jaw, eight shattered teeth, stitches in his face and a swollen eye. The cabbie, who does not want to be publicly identified, says he was crossing the Golden Ears Bridge when he encountered a white pickup truck that was swerving across multiple lanes. When he honked at the driver, the truck stopped on the bridge and boxed him in, he said. The truck driver then got out of his vehicle and allegedly told the cabbie, “I am going to kill you today.” He then got a metal bar, smashed the cab’s window and hit the cab driver in the face twice. Ridge Meadows RCMP confirm it was called to the bridge around 3:20 a.m. Sunday, and says it is looking for a white, older model pickup

truck. Police are asking for any witnesses who saw the altercation, or who saw a white pickup driving in the area that day to come forward. “We know that this is a very dynamic event, and that is a very well-used roadway, and we’re just hoping that somebody saw this incident or perhaps they saw this white pick-up truck driving erratically in the area during that time,” said Cpl. Amanda Harnett. While there are cameras in the area, there was no surveillance video from the cab and there is no detailed description of the suspect vehicle. The cab driver is an independent contractor and as such does not have extended benefits. He said it isn’t clear if WorkSafeBC rules or ICBC insurance apply to his case — and that he could be off work for a month-and-a-half while he recovers. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ridge Meadows RCMP, or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.

Gov’t to upgrade red light cameras to catch speeders B.C.’s NDP government will upgrade redlight cameras at some of the most dangerous intersections to crack down on speeders, and reduce crashes and fatalities. The change is a departure from the previous Liberal government’s move to reduce intersection crashes, which was to simply increase the number of cameras aimed at catching red-light runners. According to the Ministry of Public Safety, an average of 84 crashes occur at each camera-equipped intersection every year. The ministry says speed is a top contributing factor in crashes. Data collected from B.C.’s 140 redlight camera locations between 2012 and 2016 shows that 120 million (17 per cent) of the

nearly 700 million vehicles annually travelling through the intersections were speeding, with 1.5 million entering the intersections at 30 km/h or more over the limit. “This is about slowing down the fastest drivers at intersections where we know that speed is a factor in causing accidents, so everyone on these busy corridors will be safer,” said Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. Former B.C. Solicitor General Mike Morris, who is now an Opposition Liberal MLA, said the issue of speeding at intersections did cross his desk while serving as the province’s top cop, but he chose to increase the number of red-light cameras, not turn them into speed monitors.





Saturday, March 10, 2018

BC approvess coverage for life-saving heart-failure drug after cardiologists’ plea The B.C. government has approved coverage for an expensive heart-failure drug, after several cardiologists urged the province to fund the life-saving medication. Sacubitril-valsartan, or brand name Entresto, is now available for heart-failure patients, the government said this week, but only by application from a cardiologist or an internal medicine specialist. In December, several prominent cardiologists, including Dr. Mustafa Toma, medical director of heart transplant at St. Paul’s Hospital, sent letters to Health Minister Adrian Dix urging affordable coverage of sacubitril-valsartan because it is considered the new standard of care in patients with symptomatic heart failure. In his letter, Toma said heart failure is the

most common cause of hospitalization for patients over 65, and half of those patients will die within five years of diagnosis. But clinical trials of sacubitril-valsartan showed that hospitalization and death were significantly reduced, and, as Toma noted, the final trial stopped early because of the “overwhelming benefit” of the drug. “I think most cardiologists who treat heart failure are enthusiastic about this decision.” Toma said Thursday. “It has been a long time coming, but we are glad the ministry has moved on this.” Many of Toma’s patients are older and living on pensions, so they could not afford the approximate $260 a month drug. Now he anticipates their quality of life will improve, they will require fewer hospitalizations and possibly live longer.

$10,000 reward for information leading to capture of Burnaby bank robber Burnaby RCMP has renewed its call to He stands about 6-foot-1 with a thin build, the public for help in finding an alleged and may walk with a slight limp, according to police. Police warn that bank robber, Sean Bishop. Police appealed to the public anyone who spots Bishop three days ago, but the second should call police immediately and not approach him, as he is appeal comes as the Canadian Bankers Association announced considered violent. Burnaby RCMP’s robbery Thursday a $10,000 reward for unit continues to investigate, information leading to Bishop’s and asks that anyone with arrest and conviction. The information regarding his Burnaby RCMP has renewed whereabouts contact the its call to the public for help in Burnaby RCMP at 604-646locating alleged bank robber 9999 and ask to speak with Sean Bishop. Handout / Burnaby RCMP There is a warrant out for RCMP asking for public’s help Cst. Chad Premack For more Bishop’s arrest. He is wanted in for locating alleged bank robber information on the terms and Sean Bishop conditions of the Canadian relation to alleged involvement in a bank robbery that took place in late Bankers Association reward, please contact February. Bishop is described as a Caucasian Malcolm Chivers by calling 416-362-6093, male with brown eyes and a shaved head. extension 330.

Dozens of drivers ticketed for distracted driving despite helpful warning signs North Vancouver police even tried to make it easy by putting up warning signs for drivers. Despite that, 74 were still issued tickets for distracted driving after they were caught checking their phones at intersections. On Tuesday, North Vancouver RCMP, West Vancouver Police and the Lower Mainland Integrated Road Safety Unit put up a number of road-side signs that reminded drivers to stay off their phones, while warning them there were “police ahead.” During the twohour safety blitz on Tuesday afternoon, officers stationed at two intersections — near Marine Drive and Capilano Road, and Marine Drive and Taylor Way — pulled over

89 drivers. Of those, 74 were handed tickets for distracted driving while the remainder were for various other offences. “The use of personal electronic devices while driving has been banned in B.C. since Jan. 1, 2010,” said Cpl. Richard De Jong of the North Vancouver RCMP. “It is evident there is still more education and enforcement needed to make our roads safer.” The penalty for distracted driving in B.C. is a $368 fine, as well as four penalty points on a driver’s record. For a first infraction, the driver is also required to pay a penalty point premium of $175, for a total fine of $543 for a first distracted driving infraction.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Gang murders against trend toward a less violent Canada, summit told Long-term, Canada is becoming a less violent society. But one subset of killings is stubbornly bucking the trend, delegates heard today at a national summit on gun violence hosted by the federal government: gun homicides involving members and associates of criminal gangs. Both the rate of homicides, and of gun homicides specifically, have fallen by half since they reached their historic high points in the years 1975 to 1992. There have been spikes since, most notably in the mid-2000s. In Toronto, the year 2006 is still remembered as the “summer of the gun” because of a spate of 52 shooting deaths. 2008 was the peak year for gang homicides in Canada, with a rate of 0.42 per 100,000, followed by a fairly steep decline up to the year 2013. But while the big picture sees the rate of violent crime holding steady or declining, the subset of gang-related homicides has been ticking upwards again. ‘The ongoing and expanding opioid crisis is, of course, making this problem even worse.’ - Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale The rates of both fatal shootings and gang-related murders are now essentially back where they were 10 years ago, after an encouraging decline stalled and then reversed itself starting

in 2013. It reflects the stubborn persistence of an increasingly violent subculture within an increasingly non-violent broader culture: the drug-dealing street gang. Most gang murders — over three-quarters of them — are carried out with firearms, compared to only 20 per cent of non-gang-related murders. The killings typically aren’t random. But as the city of Ottawa — which is hosting Wednesday’s summit — can attest, that’s little consolation in the neighbourhoods where the gunplay is concentrated. Ottawa saw its annual number of shootings more than double between 2013 and 2017. The shootings sometimes involved two parties blasting multiple rounds at each other on public streets, striking homes and cars. Gang killings are also harder to solve, partly because they involve groups retaliating against other groups, and victims who had many potential enemies. Although only a quarter of Canadian homicides in 2016 involved gangs, those gang-related killings accounted for 61 per cent of the nation’s unsolved killings. Ottawa police typically find that when victims survive shootings, they are unwilling to co-operate with investigators.

Vancouver condo developer one step closer to extradition on US fraud allegations A longtime Vancouver condo developer was briefly taken into custody Thursday morning after a ruling by a B.C. Supreme Court judge moved him one step closer to extradition on criminal charges in the US, a few hours before a B.C. Court of Appeal judge decided the accused fraudster should be released on bail pending an appeal. While Thursday’s extradition hearing concerned the alleged conduct of Vancouver developer Mark John Chandler a decade ago in California, court also heard details of his more recent real estate dealings back in B.C., and of a new, ongoing police investigation. An FBI investigation into Chandler’s participation in an alleged scheme involving a purported Los Angeles condo development appears to have produced a legitimate case supporting allegations of fraud, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Duncan said Thursday morning in her reasons for ordering Chandler committed for extradition. Chandler, 54, stood in the prisoner’s dock while Duncan advised him of his right to appeal, then he was

handcuffed by a sheriff who escorted him out of the courtroom. Chandler’s lawyer Michael Bolton immediately filed a notice of appeal, and an hour later, Bolton and a lawyer for the Government of Canada were upstairs before a B.C. Court of Appeal judge, arguing over whether Chandler should be released on bail pending his appeal on the committal order. During the course of the hearing over Chandler’s bail, court heard details of Chandler’s latest Metro Vancouver real estate project, a 91-unit Langley condo development which has in recent months become mired in a complex tangle of multi-million dollar lawsuits alleging breach of trust, been ordered into receivership, and drawn the scrutiny of B.C.’s real estate regulator. And now, court heard Thursday, B.C.’s real estate watchdog has referred their investigation into Chandler’s Murrayville House development — in which they found “serious allegations of misconduct” — to the Langley RCMP for a criminal investigation.





Port Moody man sentenced to 18 years for setting home on fire and killing his wife BC Supreme Court judge has sentenced a heard screams inside from his wife. She man to 18 years in prison for setting fire to his suffered burns to 98 per cent of her body and Port Moody home in a fit of rage and killing later died. Some of their children were also his wife. The man cannot be named because inside at the time but made it out safely. One of a publication ban. He pleaded guilty to one of the children came home as the incident count of manslaughter and one count of arson was unfolding to see their mother on fire. In explaining the with a disregard for human life. At his reasoning for the sentence, Justice sentencing hearing Verhoeven talked on Wednesday, the judge called it a case about the impact of spousal homicide the crimes had on the couple’s that shook the family c h i l d r e n . and the community as a whole. “This was the Aftermath of fire in Port Moody where husband killed his senseless killing “The crimes he wife and set home on fire in July 2016. of an innocent pleaded guilty to are shocking, senseless and horrific,” said woman,” said Justice Verhoeven. “The children Justice Verhoeven. ‘The senseless killing of lost their mother in horrifying circumstances an innocent woman’ Police were called to the ... their lives were shattered.” Both the Crown family home in Port Moody in July 2016 for a and the defence filed a joint submission for an domestic incident. They arrived to find smoke 18-year sentence for the manslaughter charge coming out of the house. Inside, they found and a 10 year sentence for the arson charge, the man trying to put out the flames with a both sentences to be served concurrently. blanket. As they brought him out, officers

Saturday, March 10, 2018

BC man should face trial in California over cold case murder, judge says There’s enough evidence to send a Vancouver Island man to the U.S. to face trial in the murder of a California widow 28 years ago, a judge said Tuesday. But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Duncan held off on signing a formal committal order for the extradition of Anthony Michael Kubica. That’s because a lawyer for the accused Shawnigan Lake man plans to argue that the legal process has gone

on for too long. “We’ll be raising issues concerning the possible effect of that delay,” defence lawyer Robert Mulligan said. The victim of the homicide, 78-year-old Marie Darling, was bludgeoned to death in Palm Springs in 1990. Her body was found dumped in the desert. Kubica is being held in custody while he awaits a decision on extradition.

Man pleads guilty to 2016 shooting death in Maple Ridge Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said a man has pleaded guilty in the 2016 shooting death of a man in Maple Ridge. In a statement, police said Deane Sahanovitch pleaded guilty to manslaughter with a firearm Friday. He was charged for shooting and killing 32-year-old Jonathen Patko on Sept. 24, 2016. ‘Targeted’ shooting under investigation in Maple Ridge, IHIT says. “IHIT investigators, supported by the Ridge Meadows RCMP,

worked diligently in order to secure the evidence in this investigation,” said Frank Jang IHIT spokesperson, in a statement. Police said the shooting, which took place on a residential street in the Albion neighbourhood, was targeted. Neighbours expressed shock over the shooting, saying it was a safe, quiet neighbourhood. Patko was shot in the early hours of the morning and taken to hospital, but died of his wounds.

BC gov’t hints at changes to speculation tax so it doesn’t impact locals with vacation homes Finance Minister Carole James gave hints on Wednesday the government would be generous with exemptions to local residents that have vacation homes that could be impacted by the new speculation tax. “We’re working on those details now, including all of the issues people have been raising,” said James, who said some details of exemptions to the tax — which will be assessed at two per cent of a vacant property’s value beginning in 2019 — would be released this spring, months earlier than they had originally communicated. “We’re aiming to make sure we get speculators out of the market,” she said.

When it was pointed out that the proposed tax, as outlined, would financially penalize some locals with vacation homes held for decades, James said “that’s not our aim. It’s to make sure we get speculators out of the market.” When James announced the tax last month, the government said it would apply to British Columbians and non-British Columbians alike who owned residential property that either wasn’t rented out or wasn’t their principal residence, in the following areas: Nanaimo Regional District (including Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Gabriola Island). Municipalities of Kelowna and West Kelowna.

Anti-racism campaign in BC school district draws backlash from parents An anti-racism program in a rural B.C. school district has caused an uproar among some parents. In January, administration for School District 74 — which includes Cache Creek, Ashcroft and nearby smaller communities — plastered anti-racism posters in the halls and classrooms of the elementary and high schools in the area. The posters feature administration members reflecting on racism, in their own words. Fair enough, say critical parents. But one poster featuring the superintendent of schools, Teresa Downs, is being seen as a step too far. “I have unfairly benefited from the colour of my skin. White privilege is not acceptable,” reads the poster. Downs, who has worked in education for 16 years and as superintendent for seven, says the administration was inspired by a billboard campaign in Saskatoon and felt compelled to do something similar in a school district with 60 per cent Indigenous children. “We’re doing things to improve the sense of belonging and cultural safety for students of Indigenous ancestry,” said Downs. “So conversations on racism, privilege and prejudice are important for us to have.”


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Body found at Brampton plaza identified as missing South Asian woman

A body found in a car parked at a popular Brampton plaza on Wednesday, March 7, has been identified as a young woman who went missing last week. Peel police say the death of Mandeep Tagger, 25, nicknamed “Honey,” who went missing March 2 from her home in the area of Oaklea Boulevard and Tumbleweed

Trail, is no longer considered suspicious and have said the woman was “in crisis.” She disappeared and was believed to be driving a grey Nissan Altima, which she was found in Wednesday. It’s believed a tow-truck driver made the tragic discovery at the Heart Lake Shopping

Disturbing Instagram video leads to arrest of high school student Saanich police say they have arrested a student from Stelly’s Secondary School in Saanichton after reports of a distressing social media post. Police said in a statement the Instagram video showed the teenaged male student firing a gun into a target with the caption “practising for school.” The student’s classmates reported the video, said Central Saanich police spokesperson Sgt. Andy Duke. “Obviously, the current climate creates a great deal of anxiety among the school population and parents

as well,” he said. Police say the student was arrested Monday without incident and released with conditions and a promise to appear in court. Teens charged after firearms threat at Red Deer high school Edmonton man charged with uttering threats against PM on social media How a gun threat in Ohio wound up frightening students in western Newfoundland Duke would not comment on where the video was filmed or what type of gun was seen in it.

Seven people taken to hospital after serious crash in Vancouver Seven people have been taken to hospital, including two in serious condition, after a two-vehicle head-on crash in Vancouver Friday morning. Vancouver police Const. Jason Doucette says the collision happened shortly before 6 a.m. on Grandview Highway near Penticton Street. He says it appears a grey Ford Focus and a black Mercedes G-wagon SUV collided head-on just over the centre line of the four lane street. The three occupants of the Ford,

and four from the Mercedes, were taken to hospital with a variety of injuries. Doucette says at least two people are in serious condition. Officers from the VPD’s Collision Investigation Unit have closed Grandview Highway between Nanaimo and Penticton streets while they conduct an investigation. Officers are expected to be on scene throughout the morning.

More than 2,000 Vancouver property owners fail to declare status for empty homes tax More than 2,000 property owners in Vancouver failed to notify the city before the March 5 deadline whether their homes are subject to the empty homes tax. As a result, the 2,132 undeclared properties will now be

included in the total of 8,481 homes that could be subject to the tax, the first of its kind in the country. The total also includes properties that applied for an exemption, for reasons such as home renovation or the resident living in a long-term care facility. “Vancouver housing needs to be for homes first, not just treated as a commodity,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a release. “We brought in an empty homes tax because Vancouver has a near-zero vacancy rate and many people are struggling to find a place to rent.” The city received 183,911 declarations, accounting for more than 98 per cent of Vancouver’s property owners.

Under the city’s rules, properties lived in for less than half of the year are subject to a tax of one per cent of the assessed taxable value.

Centre around 3:40 p.m. when he arrived at the plaza at the corner of Sandalwood Parkway East and Kennedy Road North to tow the car. Related Content ‘It’s frightening’: Dead woman found at popular


Brampton p l a z a There was a large police presence at the plaza. Residents in the area expressed their concern on social media. “There’s yellow tape all over the plaza,” tweeted Kathy Zawadzkie. “It’s frightening. Lots of police cars and fire trucks.” Zawadzkie later added “it’s so sad” when she learned of the identity of the woman.



Saturday, March 10, 2018

Handful of homeless Vancouverites turn down housing because of neighbourhood protests At least five people who have spent years sleeping on Vancouver’s streets or in its parks turned down a spot in a brand new apartment development for the homeless because of the level of opposition in the neighbourhood, the property manager says. “They were afraid because of the protests,” says Julie Roberts, executive director of Community Builders, a non-profit organization that operates the 78unit temporary housing complex in the southend neighbourhood of Marpole. “They weren’t sure if they were going to be safe.” The project consists of two buildings made up of stackable units that were built in a factory and assembled on site over the course of three months. It took just three months to assemble the two buildings of stackable, modular units. It’s part of a nearly $300-million investment to build 2,000 temporary homes in the province over the next two years. The units can be quickly assembled on vacant land and deconstructed and moved elsewhere in the future. The new Marpole residents began moving in back in mid-February despite thousands of people having signed a petition asking the city to move the housing because it was too close to an

elementary school. Last November, when the project was announced, hundreds of residents from the neighbourhood turned out to protest. They carried placards that read, “Right idea, wrong location,” and “Kids’ Safety First. They crowded the sidewalk in front of the work site, forcing BC Housing and the City of Vancouver to get an injunction to disperse the protesters and continue construction. Community Builders staff found some of the protesters’ signs staked in the dirt in front of the housing units on Feb. 25, after some of the new tenants had already moved in. Roberts says the signs were quickly removed, but the opposition has made some of the residents very uncomfortable. “It is definitely affecting their ability to settle in the neighbourhood.” The Marpole site is staffed by at least two people at all times. They provide support to the residents, many of whom haven’t lived in an apartment or even cooked for themselves in years. There is also help for those who struggle with addiction and health issues. Julie Roberts, executive director of Community Builders, says the tenants are well aware of the opposition to the housing project.

Vancity reports that BC women feel more stress over finances than men For Naomi Alexander, every day is a mission to make ends meet. A single mother of two boys, aged seven and 13, Alexander worked hard to get herself through a culinary program and get off welfare. But her struggle continues. “It’s stressful,” said the 36-year-old. “Every day is a mission of trying to find out where our next meal is coming from or how the next bill is going to get paid.” After going from job to job in the male-dominated restaurant industry, Alexander decided to be her own boss. She’s working to get two businesses — a catering company called Ital Eyez Catering and a kombucha company — off the ground. The kitchen is a “man eat man world,” said Alexander, who has witnessed sexual harassment or innuendo targeted at women in the workplace. “Women are underpaid, undermined and undercut. It’s kind of crazy.” Alexander’s struggles put a human face on a new Vancity study released Wednesday on the eve of International Women’s Day. Money Troubled: Inside B.C.’s Financial Health Gender Gap found that women in B.C. face more challenges to their financial health and wellbeing than men, despite years of fighting for gender equality. The report found 52 per cent of B.C. women rep or te d exp er iencing “extreme emotional stress” over their finances compared to 38

per cent of men, while 39 per cent of women said their money worries made them physically unwell compared to 30 per cent of men. It also found millennial women aged 18 to 34 and Generation X women aged 45 to 54 experience greater financial stress and less confidence about their financial affairs. The heavier toll on younger generations is disheartening, said Vancity wealth advisor Sophie Salcito, particularly since women in these generations attain higher levels of education. “That younger generation should be ahead of everybody else, but it’s going backwards,” she said. “We are seeing that over 50 per cent of Canadian graduates are women, not men. We are getting a higher level of a so-called education, but along the way, we’ve lost how we used to teach our children about financial management.” The Vancity report uses data from the 2017 Financial Health Index survey conducted last year with 5,200 respondents across Canada. The report also uses data from Statistics Canada to lay out how women in B.C. are paid less per hour than the national average for women, and are more likely to be hit with higher housing prices and rising cost of living compared to women in the rest of Canada. About 86 per cent of B.C. women say housing affordability is an issue compared to 61 per cent of women nationally. Women also earn an average annual income of $34,149 in B.C., according to Statistics Canada — about 35 per cent less than men. Reasons for the disparity include women being over-represented in lower-paying jobs, more likely than men to work part-time; and more likely to perform unpaid labour, such as household chores or caring for children or seniors. Salcito said the federal government’s budget initiatives aimed at reducing gender disparities.

Police seek victims of man who dated women, stole their cash in Coquitlam If you’ve had your heart — and cash — stolen by this man, Coquitlam police want to speak with you. Reza Moeinian, 37, remains in custody, charged with wooing women and developing a relationship with the goal of stealing “substantial amounts of money.” Investigators are now releasing Moeinian’s photo (albeit one less flattering than those likely on his dating profile) in hopes other victims will come Reza Moeinian, 37, forward. “We also want to reassure potential victims that police will never release their identity,” said Police. According to Coquitlam RCMP, Moeinian would date a woman for months “in order to develop a deep romantic bond” before convincing the woman to sign up for credit cards or lines of credit, which were promptly drained. Another man from Nanaimo wanted on cross-country warrant for defrauding women via Plenty of Fish, social media. Moeinian used a dating referral service and online dating sites to meet women and typically introduces himself using a pseudonym. He has also told romantic partners he is a foreign businessman. The Maple Ridge man is now charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000, one count of theft over $5,000 and one count of causing someone to use a forged document. He is described as a Middle Eastern man with a medium complexion who can pass as Italian or European, and is about 5-feet-8 tall, weighing 135 pounds with a slender build. He has short brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Moeinian is asked to call the RCMP non-emergency line at 604-945-1550 and ask for Const. Alex Bojic and cite file 2017-17634.

Saturday, March 10, 2018





Saturday, March 10, 2018

Alberta premier threatens to cut off oil to BC in fight over pipeline: throne speech Alberta government is taking a page from the playbook of former premier Peter Lougheed by threatening to cut oil exports in its fight against B.C.’s efforts to stop the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. In Thursday’s throne speech, the government threatened to “invoke similar legislation” if B.C. takes “extreme and illegal actions” to stop the $7.4-billion project. Premier Rachel Notley suggested in a news conference earlier in the day that the province is particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in supply. “There is no question that the Lower Mainland of B.C. in particular struggles from rather high gas prices and that they have a

very high sensitivity to supply changes,” she said. Notley said some British Columbians who are concerned about the environment seem not to understand that decisions that affect the economy don’t just hurt Albertans but have impacts across this country. In 1980, Lougheed fought Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s national energy program by passing a regulation to restrict the amount of oil and gas leaving Alberta by 15 per cent. The government also stopped issuing permits for natural gas exports. Notley said her government will refine and update existing legislation that gives Alberta the ability to limit oil and gas exports.

Income-sprinkling tax changes a windfall for government, budget watchdog says Federal tax revenues from new incomesprinkling rules for small businesses could be about twice as much as Finance Department projections, states a new report from Parliamentary Budget Officer JeanDenis Fréchette. Measures to restrict the use of income sprinkling by incorporated small businesses went into effect Jan. 1, even though small-business advocates said the federal government had not given them enough time to prepare for the new rules. The stated goal of the changes is the ensure that income sprinkling – also known as income splitting – is used to compensate family members for actual contributions to a small business, as

opposed to being used as a way of paying less tax. PBO officials conducted an in-depth review of anonymized corporate income-tax returns filed by incorporated small businesses and personal income-tax returns of their owners. The report also analyzed T4 slips to review employee salaries and T5 slips to study dividends issued by the businesses. The report concludes that the new tax measures could be expected to bring in $356-million in 201819 – compared to the Finance Department projection of $190-million. The PBO says the amount will rise to $429-million by 2022-23, in contrast to the government’s projection of $220-million in new revenue that year. The PBO acknowledges that such projections are highly sensitive to a wide range of assumptions. The report presents two alternative scenarios. One would see new federal revenue of $262-million in 201819 – which is still higher than the Finance Department projection – while another scenario would produce $659-million in revenue, which is more than three times the government estimate.

College of Dental Surgeons of BC tried to sweep sexually inappropriate comments ‘under the rug’: Report The College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia “poorly” handled allegations of sexually inappropriate comments made by its chief executive, “intended to mislead” and attempted to “sweep this serious matter under the rug,” an internal investigation has found. The report, written by Vancouver lawyer Peter Gall and seen by The Globe and Mail, said the college needs to apologize to Dr. Rachel Staples and require its registrar, Jerome Marburg, to apologize and take counselling and sexual-harassment training. The review also concluded the board made a “serious error in judgment” when it accepted Mr. Marburg’s denial that he made the controversial remarks to Dr. Staples, a Victoria dentist, rather than accept the findings of the independent investigator hired by the college who concluded that he did make the remarks. “Based on my investigation, I have concluded that [the college] has handled the matter very poorly,” Mr. Gall wrote in the opening sentence of his report. He added later: “In my opinion, Dr. Staples is right in saying that the board attempted to sweep this serious matter under the rug.” The B.C. government announced late Thursday that it had ordered an outside review into the college’s board, citing “a series of unrelated complaints made against the college.” The B.C. Health Ministry declined to confirm the nature of those complaints. The government also announced five new appointees to the college’s board, who will be added to the 17 already on it. The college is the oversight body that regulates more than 3,600 dentists, seven dental therapists and more than 6,500 certified dental assistants in B.C. It has a mandate to “serve and protect the public by ensuring the ongoing competence and good conduct of its registrants.” In an e-mail, college president Dr. Don Anderson said the college would not be commenting.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

First Nations demanding a cut of cannabis tax after pot legalization A leading voice on First Nations finances wants the federal government to surrender taxation powers over cannabis to band councils, arguing Indigenous peoples should get a cut of the billions of dollars in revenue expected from legalization. Manny Jules, chief commissioner of the First Nations Tax Commission, is urging senators to amend Bill C-45, the government’s pot bill, to hand taxing authority to First Nations governments so they can impose their own levy on cannabis manufactured and sold on reserves. The federal Liberal government reached a deal with the provinces to divide up the excise duty collected on the sale of cannabis — a 7525 split in favour of the provinces, owing to the costs they will incur with legal pot. First Nations say their governments also will face new challenges from legal cannabis, but they stand to gain nothing from Ottawa’s plan. Under Jules’ proposal, Ottawa and

the provinces would cede ground to First Nations to collect taxes and provide some much-needed revenue to their cash-strapped communities. The funds could be used to develop cannabis-related laws and regulations on reserve, fund campaigns to educate young people about the dangers of the drug or bolster First Nations police forces, Jules said. Jules said that despite the prime minister’s talk of a new nation-to-nation approach with Indigenous peoples, very little consultation on revenue-sharing happened before the legislation was rolled out, leaving a legal “dog’s breakfast” on reserves across the country. “I think that people are very disappointed that we weren’t considered early on,” said Jules, the former chief of a band near Kamloops, B.C. “The challenges [First Nations] face are even larger than those of the provincial governments.”

Tutor, 80, charged after young girl sexually assaulted: Police Toronto police have charged an 80-year-old suspect after a 12-year-old girl said she was sexually assaulted at her tutor’s home. A man was tutoring the girl at his home on Feb. 28. Investigators allege that while she was there, she was sexually assaulted. Police said a suspect

was arrested on Monday. Sivalingam Vallipuram, 80, of Toronto, has been charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation. None of the charges have been proven in court. Sivalingam Vallipuram, 80, the tutor

Loonie wobbles as Bank of Canada cites trade fears in interest rate decision The Bank of Canada did what was expected on Wednesday, opting not to change its benchmark interest rate from its current level of 1.25 per cent. But in a statement, it seemed to hint at concern over growing trade protectionism in justifying the decision to not raise rates again this time around. “Trade policy developments are an important and growing source of uncertainty for the global and Canadian outlooks,” the bank said in an apparent reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s controversial willingness to raise tariffs to protect U.S. industries. The decision to stand pat was exactly what was expected. But the cautiously negative tone of the accompanying statement sent the loonie lower, losing about half a cent after the decision came out to dip below 77 cents

US. That’s down by three cents in less than a month. The loonie later gained back much of the day’s losses amid word from the White House that Canada and Mexico may get exemptions from pending U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. The bank noted disappointing Canadian GDP numbers, which have showed the Canadian economy expanded at an annual pace of just 1.6 per cent in the last half of 2017 — less than half the pace seen in the first half. Earlier on Wednesday, Statistics Canada revealed that Canada posted a trade deficit of almost $2 billion for the month of January, as exports fell by almost five per cent. “The data releases are on the bank’s mind, including the weak merchandise trade data for January which is added to the list,” said Arlene Kish, an economist with IHS Markit.


Federal gov’t to gather data on every new vehicle registered in Canada Natural Resources Canada issued an advance contract award notice on Tuesday morning for the creation of a “data collection system” that will be “required in the coming years (2018 to 2023) and will focus solely on vehicles in Canada.” There will be two databases, according to the department. The first will be an inventory of all new vehicle registrations, broken down by year. It will contain detailed information about light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, including brand, model, series, type of fuel, province of registration and “detailed information with respect to the motors.” The second database will be “a detailed inventory of all lightduty vehicles currently on the road,” identifying the registrations by brand, model, series, type of fuel, province of registration and, again, detailed information about the motor. A light-duty vehicle is classified as a vehicle weighing under 10,000 pounds. “The data for ‘all vehicles on the road’ is needed to produce energy consumption estimates for the transportation sectors in Canada and the provinces,” explained a spokesperson for Natural Resources Canada. As for the “new registrations,” that

information is being gathered to analyse and track trends in the types of vehicles being purchased by Canadians, the spokesperson said. “There are no concerns or issues pertaining to privacy as the data does not include any vehicle owner information such as names, addresses or other identifying information,” the department noted. The Office of Energy Efficiency at Natural Resources Canada is responsible for doing detailed reviews of the fuel consumption of vehicles in Canada, and the resulting impact on the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. Canada has committed to a 30 per cent reduction in emissions levels (measured against 2005 levels) by 2030. The government says it’s open to a formal bidding process for the database contract, but it has pre-identified DesRosiers Automotive Consultants in Richmond Hill, Ont., as “the only known supplier that meets the mandatory criteria.” Founded in 1985, the company bills itself as “the only consulting and market research company in Canada that works exclusively in the automotive sector.” The government says it will spend a maximum of $510,000 on the contract.



Saturday, March 10, 2018

Trudeau would lose if an election were held tomorrow, India trip a symptom of shift in mood: Ipsos poll According to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News, public reaction to a recent troubled trip by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India two weeks ago might be a symptom of a growing problem. Liberals would win 33 per cent of the national popular decided vote if Canadians went to the polls this weekend, while Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives would receive 38 per cent of the same vote and win the election. The NDP would get 21 per cent support, while the Green Party would get five per cent of the vote. Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs, said the declining fortunes

for Trudeau and the Liberals are likely due to self-inflicted wounds. “It’s the first time we’ve shown, since before the election, any time the Liberals have been behind. They’ve been consistently four or five points ahead of their nearest competitor; sometimes more than that for the last two years and a bit,” Bricker said. “The remarkable thing about it is very little of it has to do with any of the qualities of the opposition parties. This is really people evaluating the government on its own terms and the Liberal Party on its own terms.”

A slim majority of 54 per cent now disapproves of the performance of the Liberal government under Trudeau while a minority of 46 per cent approves. Of that, only nine per cent of respondents said they strongly approve of the government, while 37 per cent said they somewhat approve. Twenty-eight per cent said they strongly disapprove and 26 per cent said they somewhat disapprove.

Bricker said the poll suggests a shift in public perceptions of Trudeau himself and many of the aspects of the party that initially drew in voters during the 2015 campaign, and suggested the recent trip to India is a prime example of that change. “Something seems to have turned in terms of people’s reaction to the things that the government typically would do and get praised for,” he said. Last week, Trudeau and his family, along with 14 Liberal MPs, spent a week in India that was meant to be focused on boosting trade and cultural ties between the two countries. However, the trip was dogged by criticism about

BC couple awarded $1.7M after wrongful prosecution by CRA A Vancouver Island couple has been awarded nearly $1.7 million in damages after a judge

criticized the Canada Revenue Agency for the “ruination” of their business and personal lives

by “high-handed, reprehensible and malicious” actions. Justice Robert Punnett of the Supreme Court of British Columbia says Tony and Helen Samaroo of Nanaimo were the victims of an “egregious” prosecution based on unfounded theory and suspicion about alleged tax evasion at the couple’s restaurant and other businesses. The Samaroos were operating a restaurant, night club and motel in Nanaimo in 2008 when they were charged with 21 counts of tax evasion for allegedly skimming $1.7 million from the business. They were acquitted of all charges in a provincial court trial in 2010 in what the judge hearing the case agreed amounted to the Crown using “voodoo accounting” to support its case. The couple sued for malicious prosecution, alleging prosecutor Brian Jones, the Canada Revenue Agency and its senior investigator, Keith Kendal, targeted them, despite lacking any direct evidence of wrongdoing. Punnett’s ruling says Jones failed to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” but clears him of malicious intent. It criticizes the agency and Kendal in assessing punitive and aggravated damages on behalf of the Samaroos. “The CRA used the powers of the state in the form of a criminal prosecution to wrongfully and maliciously prosecute,” writes Punnett. The judge also criticizes Kendal for misleading the prosecution, almost from the beginning, finding he knew evidence that was required to support any allegation of skimming could not be gathered. “The behaviour of Mr. Kendal respecting the suppressing and misstating of evidence deserves rebuke. It offends this court’s sense of decency and was a marked departure from conduct expected of an individual in Mr. Kendal’s position and an agency such as the CRA,” Punnett writes in his judgment dated Friday. The ruling discusses what the judge calls “the unfortunate culture” within the Canada Revenue Agency. It describes an email to Jones and Kendal from another investigator during discussions

about 88 proposed charges against the Samaroos, quipping that “after 85 charges, doesn’t a guilty verdict call for a guillotine?” Later, after 21 charges had been approved, the same author wrote to Jones, pointing to a front page newspaper story about the case, with the comment, “I can’t wait to read the edition after the guilty verdict.” Punnett writes that agency employees “looked forward with unprofessional glee to the plaintiffs’ anticipated conviction and sentencing and their resulting ruination,” an approach he calls “deeply troubling.” “The CRA and Mr. Kendal do not acknowledge their wrongdoing or their violation of professional standards. They expressed no apology and were without remorse. Given the opportunity they would pursue the plaintiffs again on the same basis,” says Punnett. The Samaroos were seeking $6 million for the violation of their Charter rights as an alternative to punitive damages, but Punnett awarded them $750,000 in punitive damages. He also writes that no amount will cause the tax agency financial hardship, but the award will “bring home to the CRA and its employees that conduct such as has occurred here is not acceptable.” The Samaroos have also been awarded $300,000 each in aggravated damages for the “irrevocable” harm to their reputations and about $348,000 to cover their legal fees. Lawyer Steven Kelliher (pictured) also said that, while Tony and Helen Samaroo have been acquitted of tax evasion in criminal court and awarded $1.7 million for mistreatment in civil court, the CRA still appears bent on pursuing them in tax court. “What does it take? What does it take to tell these people they made a mistake and move on? This is all about them being right and a bit of vengeance thrown in,” he said. “It’s relentless persecution and someone in the CRA ought to have the judgment to be able to discontinue this action.” The provincial court judge who acquitted the Samaroos in 2011 said an analysis of the their net worth was based on “completely inaccurate assumptions.” Kelliher says he can’t see how the CRA can

Trudeau visit deepens Indo-Canada relations, says Indiam Minister Narindra Singh Tomar Recent visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India has deepened and strengthened bilateral relations, Union Minister for Mines Narendra Singh Tomar has said. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a joint statement have reaffirmed their commitment to the ongoing diversification and growth of the strategic partnership, based on shared values of democracy, diversity, pluralism and the rule of law,” Tomar said here.

“The joint statement shows that both countries resolve to realise the full potential of bilateral trade and investment, expand and diversify bilateral economic and commercial relations, and enhancing people-to-people contacts,” Tomar said. He was addressing an event organised by the Consulate General of India, at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2018 Conference in Toronto on Wednesday.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Canada and Mexico exempted from US tariffs on steel and aluminum at the last minute Canada and Mexico will be exempt from tariffs on steel and aluminum imported into the United States, but there’s no guarantee that will be the case forever. A little after 3:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed off on two proclamations taking aim at the imports of two metals where the U.S. economy uses far more than it produces. “The actions we’re taking today are not a matter of choice,” Trump said. “They’re a matter of necessity for our national security.” ‘True Team Canada effort’: Freeland praises work to secure reprieve from Trump’s steel tariff White House economic adviser Gary Cohn stepping down. One order imposes a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel, while another slaps a 10 per cent levy on aluminum. “They drove our plants out of business,” Trump said, speaking of foreign metal companies that sell their products in the U.S. Trump first floated the proposal last week, which set off howls of opposition that the moves would kick off a trade war full of reciprocal shots from America’s trading partners. The most notable is Canada, which supplies more than a sixth of all the steel that the U.S. uses and more than 40 per cent of its aluminum. But the tariffs, which are being enacted under section 232 of the little used Trade

Expansion Act of 1962, will exempt both metals coming from Canada and Mexico on national security grounds — at least initially. The so-called “carve out” of Canadian steel and aluminum will allow U.S. trade negotiators to have what a senior administration official described as “ongoing discussions” about various issues involving the three countries. That’s a thinly veiled reference to NAFTA negotiations, which are currently in their eighth round of talks as the three countries seek to update the more than two-decade old agreement that governs trade between them. At the signing ceremony, the president was even more blunt: “We’re going to hold off the tariff on those two countries to see whether we can make the deal on NAFTA.” That sets up the potential that should the U.S. not get the concessions it wants from those talks, Canadian metal producers could soon find themselves subject to the same punitive tariff as everyone else. Canada exported a combined $15 billion of the two metals to the U.S. last year, so a tariff would bite deep and likely prompt some sort of retaliatory tariff on U.S. goods imported into Canada. “Our industries have been targeted for years and years by unfair foreign trading practices,” Trump said at the signing ceremony, “And that’s going to stop.”

The WTO can authorize Canada to hit US with $3.2 billion in trade retaliation Canada would be entitled to trade retaliation measures of US$3.2 billion if U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum are found to have violated World Trade Organization rules, according to a report from the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics. Relying on data from the Trump administration’s own models, the report found that Canada would endure the toughest trade losses under the tariffs. Of a total US$14.2 billion in losses imposed on partners, the European Union would take the next largest hit at US$2.6 billion followed by South Korea and Mexico at around US$1 billion each, according to Chad Bown, senior fellow at the institute and author of the report. China – targeted by Trump as the main culprit in flooding the world with steel and aluminum – would suffer only US$689 million in estimated trade losses, according to the report. Trump rattled world markets last week when he proposed

tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum, arguing the imports posed a threat to national security. Rules established by the WTO would permit a country to retaliate if there is a legal finding that this rationale is baseless. “The compensation—or retaliation—limit has historically been set at the value of an exporting country’s lost trade,” Bown writes. It follows that Canada, as the nation most injured, would be entitled to the largest retaliation at US$3.2 billion, he added. How would it work? First, the U.S. would have to impose the levies. Then Canada would have to challenge the country’s claim that the tariffs are justifiable under the “national security exception” in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Should a WTO panel rule against that reasoning, the U.S. would be required to amend the tariffs. If it refuses, Canada can request compensation and the WTO can establish an “authorized retaliation.”

RCMP raising concerns about Liberals’ changes to criminal background checks RCMP is taking issue with changes the Liberal government made to criminal background checks and the pardons system, pointing to cases of people with “disturbing” records applying to work with vulnerable individuals, according to media reports. The force’s concerns were summarized in a briefing note prepared by public safety staff to update Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale on the changes to the system. The issue is how criminal background checks conducted by police for people applying to work with individuals considered “vulnerable” — children and the elderly, for example — are handled in cases where a person has received a record suspension, commonly known as a pardon. A record suspension helps give a past offender a clean slate when it comes to renting an apartment or applying for a

job. But the offence isn’t completely erased, just set aside. Criminal background checks required under vulnerable sector regulations do turn up those record suspensions, mainly previous sex offences. The federal public safety minister has the final say when it comes to disclosing someone’s past criminal record under vulnerable sector regulations — even if they’ve had an offence suspended. The Criminal Records Act calls on the minister to take a number of factors into consideration in such cases, including whether the suspended offence involved violence, children or a breach of trust. If the disclosure is approved, a copy of the suspended record is returned to the applicant and the police service that oversaw the request. If it’s denied, the background check is returned as having found “no record.”





Saturday, March 10, 2018

Supreme Court allows Karti Chidambaram to withdraw plea, asks him to approach Delhi HC The Supreme Court has asked Karti Chidambaram to approach the Delhi High Court on Thursday for seeking any interim relief in the INX Media money laundering case. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra requested the acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court to allocate Karti’s matter to an appropriate bench so that it could be taken up for hearing on Friday. The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, also allowed Karti to withdraw his plea pending with the apex court related to the money laundering case. The top court had on March 6 refused to grant

any interim protection to the son of former Union finance minister P Chidambaram. Karti had approached the apex court seeking direction to declare that the Enforcement Directorate had no jurisdiction to conduct any investigation unrelated to the allegations in the FIR lodged by the CBI on May 15, 2017. He had also sought the quashing of summons and all the proceedings initiated by the ED, terming it “unreasonable, without jurisdiction, without authority of law, in colourable exercise of power and vitiated by mala fides”. Karti was arrested on February 28 in Chennai immediately after he returned from abroad.

N Chandrababu Naidu to pull TDP out of NDA govt The TDP tonight decided to pull out of the NDA government at the Centre and asked two of its ministers in the Narendra Modi government to tender their resignation tomorrow, but kept the door for ties with the BJP ajar. The TDP took the “painful decision in the interest of the state” as it was left with “no other option”, party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said at an emergency press briefing. The two ministers in the government are Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State for Science and Technology YS Chowdary. In a tit-for-tat action, the two BJP ministers in the Naidu government—K Srinivasa Rao and T Manikyala Rao— too announced their decision to quit. “When the intended purpose (of joining the Union Cabinet) has not been served, there is no point in continuing. For me the sole agenda is to safeguard the interests of the state,” he said. The TDP has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha. Naidu’s announcement came barely hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told a press conference in New Delhi this evening that funds equivalent to what a special category state receives would be extended to Andhra Pradesh, but drew a line saying politics cannot increase the quantum of money. “We have now come out of the NDA. Partyto-party (TDP-BJP ties) issue will be decided later,” he added, hinting that their alliance may

continue in the future. Jaitley said giving special category status, as demanded by Naidu, to any state apart from those in the North-East and three hill provinces was not constitutionally possible after the implementation of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations. For special category status states, the Centre meets 90 per cent of the funds required in a centrally sponsored scheme as against 60 per cent in case of normal category states. The remaining funds are provided by the state governments. Naidu said Jaitley’s announcement was the “last straw” for the TDP. Naidu had repeatedly insisted on special category status for Andhra Pradesh following mounting pressure from the Opposition. “I told them about the people’s sentiment and tried to convince them in every manner… Jaitley’s statement was nothing but insulting us,” Naidu said, after a threehour teleconference with party MPs and state ministers following Jaitley’s assertions. He said the TDP joined the NDA government only to protect the state’s interests following its bifurcation, but claimed the Centre was taking unilateral decisions without thinking about the solutions to the state’s problems. The CM said he tried to speak to PM Narendra Modi over phone “as a courtesy” to inform him about the decision to pull out of the NDA government, but “the PM did not come on line.”

SC sets aside Kerala high court order that annulled ‘Love jihad’ marriage The Supreme Court today said that Hadiya’s marriage with her husband Shafin Jahan is legal and valid, and a relationship she has formed of her free will and consent. In doing so, the apex court overturned an earlier order of Kerala HC, which had cancelled the marriage saying it wasn’t legal as she entered into it out of coercion or was brainwashed into it. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said it was restoring Hadiya and Jahan’s marriage, as it had interacted with the former and found that she had

exercised her consent in getting married. With today’s order, the two will be deemed legally married and can live as a couple without being harassed by any state agency. The SC, however, said that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the alleged ‘love jihad’ phenomenon would be taken to its logical conclusion by the agency in accordance with the law. In its status report submitted to the SC, the NIA had said that a welloiled system prevailed in Kerala to indoctrinate people to embrace Islam.

CBI registers new Rs 321 cr case against Nirav Modi CBI on Thursday said that it has registered a fresh case against diamantaire Nirav Modi for causing a loss of Rs 321 crore to Punjab National Bank (PNB) by availing different credit facilities between 2013 and 2017. According to a Central Bureau of Investigation official, the case was registered after the bureau received a fresh complaint from the PNB on Sunday. Former finance president of Nirav Modi’ Firestar Diamonds International Ltd. Vipul Ambani, chief finance officer Ravi Gupta, other directors and officials of the company, and unidentified public servants of the bank were also named in the complaint, they said.A This is the second CBI case in which Nirav Modi has been named by the investigating agency. In its complaint to the CBI, the bank alleged that during its internal investigation it had spotted circular transactions between the diamantaire promoted partnership firms namely -- Solar Exports, Stellar Diamonds and Diamond R Us -- and Firestar group of companies.

The head office of the bank had declared the accounts of Firestar Diamonds and Firestar International as fraud and reported it to the Reserve Bank of India on Sunday, it said. Nirav Modi, along with his uncle Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Group, has been accused of defrauding the PNB of Rs 12,600 crore, with Rs 1,300 crore being added to the fraud kitty on February 26. The CBI had filed the first FIR in the scam on February 14 against Nirav Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal, Choksi and his firms Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamond. Modi, his family and Choksi had left the country in early January. The CBI filed a second FIR on February 15 over a Rs 4,886.72-crore fraud against Choksi’s Gitanjali Group. To date, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has carried out searches at over 198 locations across the country and seized properties worth nearly Rs 6,000 crore, while the CBI has arrested at least 19 persons in the case so far.

Fugitive jeweller Choksi tells CBI its impossible for him to return to India Fugitive jeweller Mehul Choksi, accused of causing fraud worth crores of rupees to the Punjab National Bank, has said it was “impossible” for him to return to India because his passport had been suspended. “It is impossible for me to travel back to India. I wish to point out that the Regional Passport Office, Mumbai, has not given me

any explanation as to why my passport has been suspended and as to how I am a security threat to India,” Choksi said in a letter to the CBI, which is probing the alleged fraud. He has said that he was travelling “abroad for my business” and had embarked on the journey before the probe agency filed an FIR against him.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Probe panel accuses Sukhbir Badal of spreading ‘misinformation’ Lambasting state’s former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for spreading “falsehood” and “misinformation”, the Justice Ranjit Singh commission has given him another opportunity to share information on incidents of sacrilege in the state. In a memorandum submitted to the Governor, Sukhbir had, among other things, mentioned that a deeprooted conspiracy, having international ramifications, was behind the incidents. Taking a note of his utterances in the memorandum, Justice Ranjit Singh (Retd) had asserted that evidence to this effect had not surfaced before him.

In a communication to Sukhbir, Justice Ranjit Singh had written that information on the incidents mentioned in the memorandum was vital for the ongoing inquiry. He was asked to urgently share the information through a duly sworn affidavit either by appearing in person or through post. Sukhbir, in return, had shot off a communication to the commission stating that they had “resolved not to reply”. In a fresh communication to Sukhbir, Justice Ranjit Singh has asserted that the tenor of his letter showed that he was aware of the deeprooted conspiracy. Yet, he was not prepared to share information with the commission.

Sikh group plans judicial review over Britain’s role in 1984 Operation Bluestar Lawyers representing a UK-based Sikh group over its demand for a public inquiry into the exact nature of Britain’s alleged involvement in 1984’s Operation Bluestar have initiated the process for a judicial review in the case. KRW Law, which is representing Sikh Federation (UK), sent its “pre-action protocol” letter for a judicial review in the case to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) this week. It follows an earlier request by the group for a public inquiry being refused and the process could now end up in the UK High Court. “The fact that

Punjab teachers to be transfered every seven years Teachers in Punjab will be transferred every seven years. A policy in this regard was okayed by the Punjab Cabinet today. No teacher can ask for a transfer in the first three years of posting, lays down the “Transfer Policy 2018”, which the government plans to enforce from this academic session. General transfers will be made once a year. A notification on probable vacancies will be available on the department website by January 15 every year. Transfer orders will be issued in the last week of March and teachers will have to join their new posting by the first week of April. Official sources said the policy had been drafted under CM Capt Amarinder Singh after exhaustive deliberations with stakeholders, including teachers, school heads and teacher unions. It has been suggested that unmarried women teachers be given a one-time option at the time of their marriage to opt for a particular posting, irrespective of their length of service, and that the benefit be extended to those legally separated from spouses. All schools are to be divided into five zones, depending on the distance from the district headquarters and other parameters. The teachers will be evaluated as per their posting, with a higher consideration for those serving in backward areas. Overcoming staff shortage “Rationalisation Policy 201819” aims to obliterate various categories of teachers (primary, middle, senior secondary) and allow them posting anywhere. The move is aimed at overcoming staff shortage. The post of head teacher will be created in primary schools only if the number of students exceeds 60. The teacher:student ratio in Punjab’s primary schools is 27, middle schools 22, high schools 16 and senior secondary 29.

military assistance was provided in the runup to the Amritsar Massacre (sic) is a matter



Khaira asks Amarinder to expose names behind illegal mining only tipper drivers and some Adding more fuel to the illegal mining issue, Leader of workers of the mining mafia, Opposition Sukhpal Khaira on Khaira said it is unfortunate that Thursday asked Chief Minister despite the CM himself flagging the issue, the police could not expose Capt Amarinder Singh to make public the names of those running those behind the sand mining. the illegal mining cartel in the state. Khaira also accused the Congress government of being Addressing a press conference here, Khaira demanded that hand-in-glove with their Akali as the CM had highlighted the counterparts in the “lucrative illegal sand mining issue on Punjab opposition leader, trade” whose profits ran into crores. “It seems like a deal between the Twitter, he should also tweet Sukhpal Khaira about the follow-up action and two parties as the Akalis just before name those behind the illegal mining cartel. the end of their tenure gave a clean chit to “How is it possible that only truck drivers Amarinder Singh in the Ludhiana city centre and a handful of workers have looted the and Amritsar Improvement Trust scams,” natural resources of the state worth Rs Khaira alleged, adding that the CM even 10,000 crore and robbed the riverbeds applauded the role of former chief minister of its precious minerals,” asked Khaira. Parkash Singh Badal for conceptualising Slamming the “inaction” of the police the Jung-e-Azaadi memorial at Kartarpur, officials who had registered cases and arrested which is nothing but a white elephant.



Saturday, March 10, 2018

Jaya Bachchan is Samajwadi Party candidate for Rajya Sabha Samajwadi Party has decided to give Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Jaya Bachchan a fourth term in the Upper House confirmed party spokesperson Rajendra Chadhury. Chaudhary said Jaya Bachchan was likely to file her nomination in Lucknow on Friday. Party insiders say that the move to re-nominate active and articulate MP Jaya Bachchan in preference to strong contenders like Samajwadi party national vice-president Kironmoy Nanda and senior leader Naresh Agarwal indicates national president Akhilesh

Yadav killing several birds with one stone. Jaya Bachchans animosity with Akhilesh Yadavs beta noir Amar Singh is well known. This also saves Yadav from causing heartburn by choosing between the other two claimants to the solitary seat SP can safely win. Jaya Bachchan was first nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2004 then 2006 and 2012 and is now set to be re-elected in 2018. The other retiring SP MPs whose terms are coming to an end on April 2, 2018 are Chaudhury Munawwar Salim, Darshan Singh Yadav and Alok Tiwari.

Rajinikanth-Kamal Haasan rivalry reaches into politics Velvet gloves off, actorpolitician Kamal Haasan seems to have decided to confront his film world rival Rajinikanth head on in politics. Three days after Rajinikanth used an MGR statue unveiling function + held at an educational institution in Chennai to tell students not to enter politics, Kamal on Thursday exhorted student community to take a plunge into politics. Addressing students of a premier institution -- SSN College of Engineering -- Kamal said: “I want you students there in politics to move this state of Tamil Nadu forward. Makkal Needhi Maiam is looking for people like you.” Calling upon the student fraternity to vote without fail, Kamal said: “Only because many like us kept away from voting booths we are in this dire straits today. Bring your ideas to us. We will listen to you and learn from you.” Many veteran politicians had reacted to Rajinikanth’s speech and reminded the superstar of the massive student power and their participation in bringing political change in Tamil Nadu. Asking students to stay away from politics was not right things to do in Tamil Nadu context, they said. College lecturer-turned politician C N Annadurai, who mentored leaders like M G Ramachandran and M Karunanidhi, rode on student upsurge, besides sentiments

against Hindi imposition, to dethrone the Congress and capture power in 1967. Kamal seems to be trying to bank on student power to broaden his maiam. Rajinikanth, on the other hand, triggered a huge enthusiasm among students but dampened their spirits by asking them to stay off politics and, instead, concentrate on their studies. Kamal opened another front, too, against Rajinikanth. The latter, during his speech at Dr MGR Educational and Research Institute in Chennai earlier this week, said he could not be MGR but he could bring back MGR rule in Tamil Nadu. When this was referred to Kamal and when he was asked about his type of rule, the actor shot back: “I will bring people’s rule (makkal aatchi).” Kamal has thus tossed up another debate -- MGR aatchi (MGR rule) of Rajinikanth versus makkal aatchi (people’s rule) of Kamal Haasan. Of course, the earliest and most fundamental difference between the two actors who have now turned to politics has been Rajinikanth’s ‘spiritual politics’ and Kamal’s aversion to anything saffron and his left-of-centre utterings. However, while unveiling his party flag and agenda, Kamal had made it clear that he was neither left nor right. “I am at the centre, that is why the party itself has been named maiam,”

Dawood Ibrahim’s aide Farooq Takla deported from Dubai, to be produced before TADA court “This is a huge success. NEW DELHI: Farooq He was involved in 1993 Takla, a close aide of fugitive Mumbai bomb blasts, gangster Dawood Ibrahim the links of which can be has been brought to Mumbai traced back to Dubai. This after being deported from is a big blow to D-Gang,” Dubai, news agency ANI has Nikam remarked. One of reported. Takla fled India 25 the conditions laid down years ago after the 1993 serial by the gangster is that he be blasts in Mumbai and a Red lodged in the high-security Corner Notice was issued against him in 1995. Arthur Road Central Jail (ARCJ) in Mumbai. He was brought to Keswani’s statement comes Mumbai earlier on Thursday months after Maharashtra and taken to the CBI offices Farooq Takla Navnirman Sena (MNS) for questioning. He will be produced before a TADA court in the city later president Raj Thackeray made similar in the day for remand.nSenior advocate Ujjwal remarks, claiming that Dawood was reportedly Nikam called the development a “big blow” to negotiating a ‘settlement’ with the Centre. the don’s gang.

Student gets 5 years in prison for revenge porn A court in Tamluk, East Midnapore, sentenced a third year BTech student from Panskura to five years in prison and slapped him with a fine of Rs 9,000 for uploading objectionable photographs and videos of a girl he knew through internet. In this case, being touted as one of the swiftest deliveries of justice in India, third judicial magistrate Gautam Kumar Nag directed the state to treat the girl as a rape survivor and pay compensation accordingly. Advocate Bivas Chatterjee said, “The complaint was lodged and accused — Animesh Boxi— arrested on July 21, 2017 and proceedings got over on February 28, 2018. While the CID took up the investigation, I was appointed the special public prosecutor. The girl complained she knew Boxi for three years and trusted him. With a promise to marry her, Boxi obtained some private photographs and videos from her. He threatened to upload them if she didn’t have physical relations with him. When she

refused, he uploaded the photographs. I told the court that this was revenge pornography and the girl underwent virtual rape every time somebody clicked on one of her photographs.” The CID submitted a chargesheet against Boxi in 42 days. After 50 days, charges were framed. Witness examination took another 60 days. According to Chatterjee, this is the first conviction in the state in such a case. Eighteen witnesses deposed before the court and two experts from the central forensic sciences laboratory submitted their findings. “The girl, who was devastated after the incident, regained composure and fought back. She withstood two days of rigorous cross-examination and gave clear and honest evidence in court. We cited nearly 300 judgments of the Supreme Court and over 200 electronic and nonelectronic evidences were exhibited,” Chatterjee said.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Sukhi Bath honoured

Renowned Indo-Canadian businessman and social activist Sukhi Bath was honored by former Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh at Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College in New Delhi last week. Prominent in the pictures are Tarlochan Singh, Rajya Sabha member, G.K. Singh, President Delhi Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and Manjinder Singh Sirsa, Akali Dal official.

Sukhi Bath attended several social & community events in India



Saturday, March 10, 2018

Child marriage drops in South Asia UNICEF says a significant fall in child marriages in South Asia has reduced the rate of marriage for girls globally. The statement released on Tuesday says more educational opportunities and government investment in adolescent girls and strong advocacy about the illegality of such marriages saw 25 million fewer child marriages across the world in the last decade.

The mullahs will be unhappy about this trend. Please expect another FATWA soon. Joe Kool The UN Children’s Fund says progress in India helped reduced the risk of a girl in South Asia marrying before her 18th birthday to about 30 percent from nearly 50 percent. Some 650 million women living today were married as children.

Sri Lanka blocks social media networks to stop sectarian violence Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) will block social media networks such as Facebook Inc. Viber and Whatsapp across the country for three days to prevent the spread of communal violence, officials said on Wednesday. The government imposed a state of emergency in the island after Buddhist mobs attacked mosques and businesses belonging to minority Muslims in the central highlands district incensed over an altercation over the weekend. It is right time for Budhists in Sri Lanka to take

in charge of their peaceful country before Islam population rises unprecedentedly. Muslims most be kicked out as will produce more childres and cau... Read MoreNORTH POLE Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told reporters that government has asked service providers to block social messaging networks after posts appeared on Facebook calling for attacks on Muslims. “The director general (of TRC) will inform all the subscribers about blocking Facebook, Viber, and Whatsapp for 72 hours,” a TRC official said.

Pak will continue to threaten our interests: US Intelegence Chief Pakistan will continue to threaten US interests by deploying new nuclear weapons capabilities, maintaining ties with militants, restricting counterterrorism cooperation and drawing closer to China, American spymaster said on Tuesday. Testifying before the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee on worldwide threats, Director of National Intelligence Daniel R Coats said the ties between India and China are expected to be tense and possibly deteriorate. “Militant groups supported by Islamabad will continue to take advantage of their safe haven in Pakistan to plan and conduct attacks in India and Afghanistan, including against US interests,” Coats said. He had made a similar statement recently before another Congressional

committee. “Pakistan’s perception of its eroding position relative to India, reinforced by endemic economic weakness and domestic security issues, almost certainly will exacerbate longheld fears of isolation and drive Islamabad’s pursuit of actions that run counter to US goals for the region,” Coats said. He warned that the relations between India and Pakistan are likely to remain tense, with continued violence on the Line of Control and the risk of escalation if there is another high-profile terrorist attack in India or an uptick in violence on the LoC. “We expect relations between India and China to remain tense and possibly to deteriorate further, despite the negotiated settlement to their three-month border standoff in August.

Bangladesh madrassa burns students’ cellphones An Islamic seminary in Bangladesh has burnt hundreds of mobiles seized from students claiming that they were getting distracted by it, according to a media report. The superintendent of the Hathazari Barha Madrassa said on Monday resident students are not allowed to use mobiles, media reported. “We seize mobile phones, especially the ones

that play music and videos, from the resident students during admission every year,” he said. He did not specify whether the mobiles were destroyed. Some students said authorities burnt around 400 mobiles on Sunday, media said. The seminary was not against technology but the negatives of cellphones that far outweigh positives, a spokesman for the madrassa said.

Islamic State group calls on Muslims to immigrate to Afghanistan The Islamic State group in Afghanistan is inviting Muslims worldwide to come to the war-torn country if they cannot reach Syria or Iraq, as it seeks to expand its foothold. A 25-minute propaganda film released by the Islamic StateKhorasan Province (IS-K) on March 4 promotes IS strongholds in Afghanistan’s north and east as an “option for immigration”, the SITE Intelligence Group said Tuesday. “O you Muslims in every corner of the world! Immigrate to Khorasan! If you are incapable of immigrating to Iraq and Sham (Syria), come to Khorasan,” a fighter said on the video. The name Khorasan refers to a historic region which includes parts of modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and neighbouring countries. The video comes amid growing concerns that IS fighters fleeing battlefields in Syria and Iraq are finding their way to Afghanistan, where the group has a small but potent presence. AFP recently reported that French and Algerian fighters, some arriving from Syria, had joined IS in the northern Afghan province of Jowzjan.

A German national was also recently arrested with the Taliban in the restive southern province of Helmand, Afghan officials said last week. He is one of the only Europeans found among the militants throughout the 16-year war. The IS video published with an Arabic narration showed some fighters delivering messages in Pashto, Persian and Uzbek languages. It opens with a narration mocking US President Donald Trump’s vow to destroy the group in Afghanistan and goes on to show executions of prisoners and the training of child soldiers. IS-K was attempting to turn “rumours” of foreign fighters moving to Afghanistan from Syria “into reality”, Borhan Osman, a senior analyst at International Crisis Group said.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

‘Acts of genocide’ suspected against Rohingya in Myanmar: UN The United Nations human rights chief said on Wednesday that he strongly suspected that “acts of genocide” may have taken place against Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state since August. Reports of bulldozing of alleged mass graves showed a “deliberate attempt by the authorities to destroy evidence of potential international crimes, including possible crimes against humanity,” Zeid Ra’ad alHussein added in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled Rakhine into Bangladesh since insurgent attacks sparked a security crackdown in August, joining 200,000 refugees from a previous exodus. Zeid noted that his office said on Tuesday that it believes ethnic cleansing is still underway in Rakhine. Rohingya are still fleeing because of “systematic” if lowerintensity persecution and violence there, he said. “Victims have reported killings, rape, torture and abductions by the security forces and local militia, as well as apparently deliberate attempts to force the Rohingya to leave the area through starvation, with officials

Sri Lanka declares state of emergency in wake of communal violence

Rohingya refugees blocking their access to crops and food supplies,” Zeid told the Geneva forum. “This Council is aware that my office has strong suspicions that acts of genocide may have taken place in Rakhine State since August,” he added. There was no immediate comment by the Myanmar government. In the Council, its delegation is allowed to respond on Thursday. His office had received reports of land inhabited by Rohingya b e i n g appropriated and members of other ethnic groups replacing them.

Serial killer, two others sentenced to death in Bangladesh


A state of emergency has been imposed in Sri Lanka for the first time since the civil war following days of communal violence between theisland’sSinhaleseandMuslimcommunities. The special measures, enacted by the government Tuesday, will see soldiers deployed across the island for an initial 10-day period in a bid to prevent the unrest from spreading. Violence has so far centered in and around the city of Kandy, located in the island’s Central Province, where the death of a Sinhalese Buddhist youth on March 4, allegedly at the hands of a group of Muslim men, has sparked riots and arson attacks on Muslim businesses and mosques. A local Muslim politician, who did not want to be named through fear of reprisals, told CNN Wednesday that four mosques, 37 houses, 46 shops and 35 vehicles were destroyed in the initial outbreak of violence, though he cautioned the true number could be higher,

with sporadic incidents continuing to flare-up. Images shared on social media show widespread damage to Muslim areas of the city and nearby villages, with stores and businesses destroyed and buildings vandalized. On Tuesday morning, the body of a 28-year-old Muslim man was pulled from the burned-out wreckage of a house set on fire the previous day by Sinhalese Buddhists in Aluthwatte, some 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) north west of Kandy. “We want to make sure the communal violence doesn’t spread all over Sri Lanka. We have to think about all the communities in the country. That is why the government imposed the state of emergency in the country to control the situation,” Dayasiri Jayasekara, a government spokesperson, told CNN. Sri Lankan police commandos on the streets ofPallekele,asuburbofKandy,onMarch6,2018.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

1,040 confirmed dengue fever cases so far this year Major works to start soon to fix Rakiraki flooding Health Minister Rosy Akbar says that 1,040 confirmed dengue fever cases have been reported to date. The Ministry of Health had earlier declared an outbreak of dengue fever in Nadi and Ba where 312 confirmed cases in the Western Division had been recorded since the beginning of this year. The symptoms of dengue fever, which typically begin 5 to 7 days after

being infected by a dengue virus-carrying mosquito, include the sudden onset of high fever with a severe headache, pain behind the eyes/ eye socket, joint pains, muscle pains, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, or skin rash. The symptoms can last 3-7 days before you start to feel better.

82 Fijian absorbed in NZ seasonal workers scheme Eighty-two Fijian workers will leave this week at one time to work in New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme. According to a Government statement issued this afternoon by the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, the workers received their pre-departure certificates today to work for Apata and Eastpack New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme. This is the largest single number of seasonal workers to leave at one time, the Government said. Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial

Relations permanent secretary Salaseini Daunbuna presented the pre-departure certificates to the selected seasonal worker and also relayed words of encouragement. “You will be representing Fiji and it is our hope that you will do well in your area of work. Some of the returning seasonal workers have returned based on their good work and this can also be for your case if you stay focused and set a goal that you know you will work towards,” Ms Daunabuna said. “Upon your good works, others will get the opportunity to participate in the RSE scheme,” she said.

New Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Qian Bo meets Minister for Industry, Trade & Tourism Nw Chinese Ambassador to Fiji in a courtesy call met with Trade Minister Faiyaz Koya. Trade Minister Koya held discussions on investment, trade and tourism with the new Chinese Ambassador to Fiji in a courtesy call on Tuesday. Mr Koya, who is also the Minster for Industry, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources, in receiving Ambassador Qian Bo, spoke highly of China-Fiji relations, according to a Government statement. Both parties, the statement said, agreed to further enhance the existing bond through collaborative efforts in the areas discussed. The statement said Ambassador Bo spoke of a need for balance while securing bilateral interests between the countries. Mr Bo said his duty was to safeguard national interests while promoting Fiji in China. He called on Fiji to maximise on the benefits from an international Import Expo that will be held in China this November. China’s Ministry of Commerce website says it welcomes all countries for the expo to board the country’s “development train.” It says the country expects to import more than $USD10 trillion (FJD $20.35tr) worth of goods and services in the next five years. The nation’s transformative One Belt-One Road economic development

Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Qian Bo meets Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources, Faiyaz Koya and Permanent Secretary Shaheen Ali.

initiative was also part of the discussions with Mr Koya. The statement said the Ambassador also highlighted his agenda to help facilitate the One Belt-One Road Initiative to the Fijian National Development Plan and other reforms undertaken by the Fijian Government. A senior academic told Xinhua this month that the initiative has advanced trade liberalisation to benefit both developed and developing countries. “The Belt and Road Initiative is intended to integrate markets, promote infrastructural development and co-operation,” University of the South Pacific economics

The Ministry of Waterways will soon embark on a number of projects to counter frequent flooding in Rakiraki Town and nearby areas. Minister Dr. Mahendra Reddy told Parliament today that the tender for the dredging of the Penang river mouth where 140,000 cubic metres of silt material has to be removed was advertised last week and will soon go to the tender board. Dr. Reddy says 3.5km of Nakauvadra River needs to be dredged and the massive amount of debris from upstream needs to be cleared. He says they will be advertising for tenders for this project in a few weeks time. The Minister for Waterways adds that they have also allocated $212,000 to the Rakiraki Town Council to undertake drainage work around the town area. Dr. Reddy says new drains will be created, existing drains will be cleaned and closed drains will be opened up. Mahendra Reddy told the parliamentarians that they

are also proposing to widen the mouth of the Penang River which will increase the flood discharge capacity. Dr. Reddy says the Penang river mouth is deposited with huge amount of sand and silt due to upstream deforestation and land degradation. He says some people are saying that rivers in Rakiraki did not flood 30 or 40 years ago. However, Reddy says this amount of sedimentation did not come into the river 30 or 40 years ago as now there is an increased amount of agricultural and logging activity in Rakiraki.

Biman hits out at A-G for misleading Parliament National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad yesterday accused AttorneyGeneral Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum of misleading Parliament on census information. Raising a point of order during yesterday’s Parliament sitting, Prof Prasad said he had asked Mr Sayed-Khaiyum a question on Monday about why ethnicity data from the 2017 census had not been released. Mr SayedKhaiyum had answered that no ethnicity data was collected and there had been no aggregation of data based on ethnicity under the “2000 census and the 2017 census”. Prof Prasad said he had asked a supplementary question during Monday’s sitting, which had led to Mr Sayed-Khaiyum “blatantly misleading the House that no ethnic data was collected by the 2017 census enumerators,” Prof Prasad said. Prof Prasad said no census had taken place in 2000, but there was a census done in 2007. “In the 2007 census there is public information readily available that clearly shows aggregation

of data based on ethnicity.” HE said the people of Fiji were up in arms over the issue. “There is already a hashtag called #MyEthnicityCounts starting on social media. “Everyone who was counted willingly allowed complete strangers in the form of census enumerators into their houses to extract very private and confidential information from them, with the understanding that this information is to be used for enhanced government services and support. “They are now being told that the Bureau of Statistics has a competence issue which I find very hard to believe because the previous statements are contrary to the statements of the bureau today (yesterday)especially when this exercise has cost taxpayers $14.5 million.” Prof Prasad also sought a ruling by the Speaker that Mr Sayed-Khaiyum immediately apologise to Parliament for misleading it. Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni said she needed to look further into the evidence before she could make a ruling at a later date.

Government MP denies assault charge Government parliamentarian Balmindar Singh today pleaded not guilty to one count of assault causing actual bodily harm. Mr Singh appeared before Magistrate Asaga Bodaragama.

He is alleged to have assaulted a bus driver at a nightclub on December 17 last year. The hearing date for the case against Mr Singh will be set on March 29.


Saturday, March 10, 2018 When officials here learned last month that Pakistan was in danger of being sanctioned by a global task force on terrorism financing, they sprang into action. After quickly amending national anti-terrorism laws, the government

Pakistan blames US for its return to a terror financing watch list ordered a financial crackdown on several controversial Islamist groups. Most notably, officials moved to seize the assets of a charity controlled by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, a

fiery anti-India cleric who was accused of masterminding a 2008 terrorist siege in Mumbai that killed 166 people. It did not work.

Krishna Kumari Kolhi - Pakistan’s first Hindu woman senator


n a historic move in Pakistan, Engineer Gianchand was the second Dalit to be elected a Dalit woman from country’s marginalised Hindu community has as senator on a general seat been elected to the Senate, the upper by PPP in 2015. Kolhi hails from Nagarparkar village in house of the Parliament. Krishna Kumari Kolhi, a 39-year-old Hindu Tharparkar district of Sindh Dalit woman, was elected senator on province, where women are deprived of basic fundamental a women’s seat from Sindh. She is a member of People’s Party (PPP). rights. Being a victim of bonded labour along with her Her election represents a major milestone for women and minority parents, a common practice rights in Pakistan. Earlier, PPP had in Tharparkar, Kolhi fought hunger and poverty in her elected first Hindu woman named early life. She was married to Ratna Bhagwandas Chawla as a Krishna Kumari Kolhi Lalchand at the age of 16, when senator. Dalits, too, have been elected on PPP tickets from Sindh in the past but she was studying in 9th grade. However, she Kolhi is the first woman from the scheduled pursued her studies, and in 2013, she did caste to become a senator. First non-Muslim masters in sociology from the Sindh University. Dalit senator was Dr Khatumal Jeewan. He was “Fortunately my husband and inlaws were also elected by PPP on a general seat in 2009. extremely supportive and encouraged me to

Supreme Court gives anti-corruption court two more months to wrap up cases against former PM Sharif Supreme Court extended two on September 8 against Sharif, 68, and more months the deadline given his family and one case against Dar. The Supreme Court today granted to the anti-corruption court to three-month extension to the trial complete hearing of cases against disqualified PM Nawaz Sharif and court to conclude the corruption case against Dar. The trial of the accused his family in Panama Papers scandal. started on September 14, 2017 and In its July 28, 2017 ruling in the Panama Papers case, the apex the deadline was expiring on March court had given the National 13. But it had become clear that the Accountability Court in Islamabad Accountability Bureau (NAB) six months to complete its proceedings would not be able to wrap up the Nawaz Sharif on the corruption cases against proceedings on time. members of the Sharif family. Acting on the National Accountablility Bureau (NAB) apex court’s order, NAB had initially filed four prosecutor general approached a three-member cases against the Sharifs and former finance bench of Supreme Court with the plea to extend minister Ishaq Dar. Three cases were registered the deadline.

continue my education,” she told a local news channel. “We didn’t have electricity so I used to study with the help of an oil lantern,” she added. While at university, she actively worked againstbonded labour, sexual harassment at workplaces, and for the rights of women and poor people of her village. “I will not only represent women of Tharparkar but


The Financial Action Task Force, meeting in Paris for deliberations that were marked by geopolitical intrigue and byzantine procedures, voted to place Pakistan on a “watch list” act as a representative for women across the country and speak for their rights,” Krishna said while highlighting child marriages and forced conversions as major issues faced by the people of Tharparkar. “I will struggle for implementation of the laws in constitution drafted for the rights of women. There are laws for rights of women but none of them have been implemented,” she said.

Court orders Govt not to arrest Hafiz Saeed Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday ordered Federal and Punjab Gov’ts not to arrest or place Hafiz Saeed under house arrest until further orders. Saeed had filed a petition in January this year, seeking the court’s direction to restrain the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government from arresting him and

taking action against Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), his banned organisations which are included in the UNSC sanctions list. His counsel A K Dogar had argued in court that the government, under pressure from the United States

Russia embraces Cold War foe Pakistan As US influence in Islamabad wanes, Pakistan’s former adversary Russia is building military, diplomatic and economic ties that could upend historic alliances in the region and open up a fastgrowing gas market for Moscow’s energy companies. Russia’s embrace of Pakistan comes at a Army Chief General Bajwa (right) meets Russian Ambassador time when relations between the Alexey Yurevich Dedov in Islamabad. United States and its historical ally cooperation promise to spark life into the are unravelling over the war in Afghanistan, Russia-Pakistan relationship that was dead for a remarkable turnaround from the 1980s, many decades. “It is an opening,” Khurram when Pakistan helped funnel weapons and US Dastgir Khan, Pakistan’s defence minister, said. spies across the border to aid Afghan fighters “Both countries have to work through the past battling Soviet troops. Though the Moscowto open the door to the future.” Diplomatic ties Islamabad rapprochement is in its infancy, and have so far been focused on Afghanistan, where it is neighbour China that is filling the growing Russia has ties to the Afghan Taliban who are void left by the United States in Pakistan, a fighting US troops. slew of energy deals and growing military

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

SBI sets up global NRI centre in Kochi The non-resident Indian (NRI) book of SBI has increased following the merger of associate banks with the lender. Given the high concentration of NRI business in Kerala, SBI has decided to set up a global NRI centre for servicing non-resident accounts outside the country in Kochi. At the centreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s launch, SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar rolled out a

host of new services which for the bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s NRI customers. These include a wealth management product, a dedicated chatbot â&#x20AC;&#x201D; SBI Intelligent Assist, a free post-box service for shipping documents to India from overseas branches and a new remittance facility for US-based customers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have witnessed consistent growth of our NRI banking portfolio.

NRI returns to his village to power young minds Having realized the need for good education especially in villages, a 47-year-old UK-based NRI and son of a former school headmaster has returned to his native Barudi village, 33 kms from Ludhiana, to support young children pursue their bigger dreams. Charan Kanwal Singh Sekhon, who is a senior environment officer of an agency with the UK government, had left the country and relocated in Bedford, UK, in 1995, while pursuing greener pastures. He had started Social Education Voluntary Association (Seva) Trust in Bedford in order to spread awareness on education and environment, health and wellbeing. Sekhon said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Belonging to middle class, I had faced several hurdles during my youth days. It was not easy for any youngster to establish abroad, especially when he did not have proper guidance and resources. Therefore

I want to become that guide and adviser to the students here in my country.â&#x20AC;? He said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to support those youngsters who wish to study and succeed in life but lack financial resources. I have noticed that there is still a lot of discrimination on the basis of caste and religion which is unjustified.â&#x20AC;? Talking about his plans, Sekhon said he would rope in professors and lecturers for his project to groom students of his village. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want the universities and IIT professors to share their knowledge with these students through online lectures. The students will be groomed and taught soft skills too,â&#x20AC;? he said. Sharing details about his trust, Charan Kanwal said the foundation works for awareness on education among Asian students, promotion of jobs for them in the public sector and holds yoga classes for Asian and UK natives.

Case registered against NRI womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family Sadar police registered a case against an NRI womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family, for allegedly duping a Ludhiana resident of Rs 5.50 lakh on the pretext of solemnising his marriage with the woman and sending him abroad. The family had asked for Rs 90,000 Australian dollars in three instalments, and they were paid Rs 5.50 lakh in the first instalment by the manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family. However, after getting the money, the

womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family ended all connection with the prospective groom and his family. Following the complaint of the youthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s father â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Kulwinder Singh from Manakwal, Ludhiana â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Sadar police have registered a case under Section 420 (cheating) of the IPC against Krishan Kumar Khatri of Basti Sheikh, Ghah Mandi Chowk, who is the father of the NRI woman. Kulwinder stated Khatri had released

Man who killed Indian tech work and injured others pleads guilty of his crimes in Kansas A Kansas man pleaded guilty in state court Tuesday to killing an engineer from India in a high-profile hate crime that drew international attention and raised fears of growing intolerance Adam Purinton, 52 in America. Adam Purinton, 52, also pleaded guilty to injuring two others during the shooting incident at a sports bar in February 2017. Witnesses told media that Purinton, yelled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Get out of my country,â&#x20AC;? before shooting Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani at Austinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bar and Grill in Olathe. A third man, Ian Grillot was shot and injured as he tried to intervene. Kuchibhotla, who later died from injuries sustained in the attack, and Madasani were both originally from India and worked as engineers at Garmin, a tech company that makes GPS devices. Purinton pleaded guilty to one count of premeditated first-degree murder in Kuchibhotlaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder

in the shootings of Madasani and Grillot, officials said. He faces additional hate crime charges in federal court. K u c h i b h o t l aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s widow, Sunayana Srinivas Kuchibhotla, Dumala, said the plea â&#x20AC;&#x153;will send a 32 died in hospital after shooting in Kansas strong message that hate is never acceptable. We must understand and love one another,â&#x20AC;? media reported. After attacks, Indian immigrants reconsider the American dreams. The incident began after a Purinton allegedly became agitated with the two 32-year-olds who were having a drink after work. Grillot, a regular at the bar, approached the man and asked him to leave. The suspect left the bar and drove away, according to Grillot. He allegedly returned later and allegedly opened fire in the bar, according to prosecutors. Grillot, who was shot in the hand and chest, was praised as a hero for attempting to intervene and subdue the suspect. Purinton was arrested hours later at an Applebeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

NRI found dead in hotel after meeting woman A 37-year-old man was on Wednesday, found dead under mysterious circumstances in a private hotel in Ambala. However, the police claimed the accused fell unconscious following which he was taken to the hospital where doctors could not save him. The deceased has been identified as Parvinder Singh of Khanna division in Ludhiana district. Sources revealed that the deceased had invited a girl in his room. The police have failed to reveal the reasons behind the death maintaining the reports of

the autopsy are awaited. However, they have registered a case under Section 174 of CrPC at Pudau police station. Station House Officer Pudau police station said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The case has been registered to initiate the probe into this matter. The deceased was taken to the hospital after someone reported about his illness. He was 40 and his wife, an NRI, was living in USA for the last many years. The body was handed over to the family of the deceased after the post-mortem.â&#x20AC;?


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Saturday, March 10, 2018

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Staying relevant for 20 years is challengingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; says Neha


rom the film world to a podcast show, judging television nonfiction entertainers to running a marathon â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Neha Dhupia is doing it all. The actress and former beauty queen says entering the film industry was an adventurous step she took around 20 years ago, but staying relevant during all these years has been quite a task. Dhupia, who made her screen debut with a Malayalam movie in 1994, and forayed into Bollywood with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Qayamat: City Under Threatâ&#x20AC;? in 2003, has been doing non-fictional shows like â&#x20AC;&#x153;MTV Roadies - Roadies Xtreme,â&#x20AC;? podcast â&#x20AC;&#x153;#NoFilterNehaâ&#x20AC;? and other chat shows, apart from movie projects of late. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are so many TV shows that go off (the) air within three months of their beginning. MTV Roadies is one of the adventures TV shows that has earned the

Sridevi, Shashi Kapoor remembered at Oscars 2018

credibility of 15 years from its audience. And I am the only female judge on the show. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I earned the show because of my body of work. Staying relevant for 20 years is challenging.â&#x20AC;? As for adventures in her own life, she said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think the most adventurous thing that I have done in my life is to become part of the Indian cinema industry, being a complete outsider. So today, when I am getting an offer of one of the longest-running youth show on Indian television, it is purely a by-product of my credible work in the industry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have enough and more stories to share. At the same time, I have a lot of gratitude for what I have got.â&#x20AC;? Neha Dhupia actively participated in the Mumbai Marathon and is also associated with charitable social work.


ndian cinema icon Shashi Kapoor and Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first female superstar Sridevi were honored at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony here during the â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Memoriamâ&#x20AC;? montage. The Indian stars got a musical tribute by Eddie Vedder who took the stage to sing Tom Pettyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Room at the top.â&#x20AC;? Actress Jennifer Garner introduced the segment by paying tribute to late star Audrey Hepburn. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no joy without sorrow,â&#x20AC;? Garner said, and then acknowledged the loss of film world with the departed souls. Son of Prithviraj Kapoor and younger brother of Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor made his debut in Bollywood with the 1961 film â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dharmputraâ&#x20AC;? after working as a child artist. He passed away in December 2017. Bollywoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ultimate â&#x20AC;&#x153;charm houseâ&#x20AC;? Shashi Kapoor then went on to make a name for himself globally by associating with international cinema. He was honored with the Padma Bhushan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the third highest civilian honor â&#x20AC;&#x201C; by the Indian government in 2011. In 2015, he was bestowed with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Sridevi, known for her ability to slip into myriad roles, expressive eyes, sheer comic timing

and her fluid dancing skills, died on Feb. 24. Her death left everyone shocked, and saddened. They were included in the annual montage along with stars such as John Heard, Tony Anne Walker, Jane Foray, Robert Osborne, Martin Landau, Glenne Headly, Roger Moore, George A. Romero and Jerry Lewis. With Jimmy Kimmel as the host, the ceremony was held at the Dolby Theatre here March 4 night. akistani American actor Kumail Nanjiani, who presented the award for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Achievement in Production Designâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; with Lupita Nyongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;o, used the opportunity to show his support for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;dreamersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C;














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        '  $   could encourage you to move out of your    ' " !    $  ! you are to delve into new subjects, travel, and !  - ! $      sun in a more intense sector of your chart aligns with potent Pluto, you could make a choice that  .  !     !   !/$       $ 

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Sunny Leone & husband Daniel Weber complete their family with surrogacy Twin

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unny Leone and husband Daniel Weber have got twins from surrogacy. On this happy occasion, Leone released a quote as follows: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is truly Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plan! We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know we were going to have a chance to have such a big beautiful family. We are beyond overjoyed and are truly blessed to have all 3 miracles in our life. Our family is complete. The Weberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s!! Lolâ&#x20AC;? Leone added, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We chose to do surrogacy with a fertilized egg from Danielâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s genes and my genes. Asher and Noah are our biological children and God sent us an angel surrogate to carry our boys until they were born.â&#x20AC;? Leone stated that June 21, 2017, was the day they found out that they might be having three children. They have been

named Asher Singh Weber and Noah Singh Weber. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our boys were born a few weeks ago but were alive in our hearts and eyes for many years,â&#x20AC;? she said. The elder daughter, adopted last year, has been named Nisha Kaur Weber and, when adopted, was a 21 month-old from Latur, Maharashtra.

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Bollywood Starsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Birthdays






Saturday, March 10, 2018

Film: ‘ 3 STOREYS ’

3 Storeys: The film weaves together three stories set in a Mumbai chawl.While the first narrative involves a businessman looking for accommodation in Mumbai who eventually zeroes in on a house that’s overpriced, the second one revolves around a wife dealing with an abusive and alcoholic husband.The third story narrates the tale of forbidden love --- where a Hindu girl and a Muslim boy fall for each other. 3 Storeys Review: Debutant director Arjun Mukerjee’s 3 Storeys attempts to shatter the perception that the inhabitants of a regular Mumbai chawl live seemingly staid lives. Each story ends with a delicious twist, throwing light on human frailties and also lays bare the circumstances, which often go against human wishes and desires. In fact, the screenplay doesn’t shy away from making the point that life can’t be viewed through rose-tinted

glasses and reality is often a bitter pill to swallow. Renuka Shahane as an elderly Christian lady living alone and quoting an exorbitant price for her house manages to slip into her character with ease. Her unassuming demeanor acts as the perfect foil for what follows in the story.Pulkit Samrat as a businessman who comes to purchase her house is competent. Meanwhile, Masumeh Makhija as a housewife who faces abuse at the hands of her husband and also nurses a broken heart for her ex-lover, uses her eyes to convey her feelings. Sharman Joshi delivers a measured performance as a man who is overwhelmed with mixed feelings when he faces his ex-lover. Debutants Aisha Ahmed and Ankit Rathi are well cast as young lovers who believe that they can overcome the odds stacked against them. Richa Chadha, despite limited screen time, leaves a mark as a seductress who is also the film’s sutradhar.3 Storeys cleverly demonstrates the art of skillfully telling a story wherein all the loose ends of a plot are tied together into a neat whole. Watch it because fact is stranger than fiction, but fiction when narrated well, can make movie watching an immersive experience.




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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Mrs Rajkumar Hirani’s book launched

Veteran Actress Shammi dies in Mumbai



eteran actress of yester-years Shammi, best remembered for her role in the Nineties sitcom Dekh Bhai Dekh, died in Mumbai at the age of 89 last week. Amitabh Bachchan, who shared screen space with the actress in 1992 film Khuda Gawah, was one of the first celebs to mourn “Shammi Aunty” (as she was popularly known as) on Twitter. From Big B’s tweet, it appears the actress may have been suffering from prolonged illness. “Shammi Aunty... prolific actress, years of contribution to the industry, dear family friend... passes away. A long suffered illness, age. Sad. Slowly, slowly they all go away,” tweeted Amitabh Bachchan. Rishi Kapoor’s tweet read: “Shammi Aunty bids good bye.” Her funeral was held at Mumbai’s Oshiwara cemetery, which was attended by celebrities such as Sushant Singh, Farah Khan and Boman Irani among others. Politician Priya Dutt, Sanjay Dutt’s sister, also remembered the veteran actress on Twitter. Shammi was a family friend of Sanjay Dutt’s parents - Nargis and Sunil Dutt. “Shammi, aunty to me and a great actor of yesteryears, passed away today. She was my mother’s dear

friend and someone we all loved very much. May her soul rest in peace and her laughter and contagious smile rock the heavens. Be in peace with your friends,” tweeted Priya Dutt. Veteran actress Asha Parekh was barely able to contain her sobs after the news of the demise of her best friend and “guardian angel” Nargis Rabadi, universally known in the film industry as Shammi Aunty, broke on March 6 morning. Shammi had no relatives except an adopted son Iqbal Rizvi, who stayed close by but not in the same apartment as his fostermother. She was alone when the end came. Shammi, who lost her only sister – the famous designer Mani Rabadi – a few years ago, had rapidly become immobile and forgetful.

ajkumar Hirani’s wife Manjeet Hirani’s book “How To Be A Human” was launched on Mar. 5. Aamir Khan formally launched the book based on the dog the Hiranis adopted during the making of Khan’s “PK.” Rajkumar Hirani along with veteran journalist Anupama Chopra (Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s wife) were present at the launch. Khan shared his experiences with his pets. “I think they are wonderful, It never occurred to me until Manjeet wrote the book, and I read its title. It is so true that we can learn so much from our pets. Because they are really very less judgmental than we are. We are judgmental on many things for many reasons on which we really don’t need to be so. But animals are judgmental only when concerned about their survival. Like a deer when it sees a lion that might kill it.” Manjeet spoke at length about her book and her experiences with her pet Buddy Hirani. “The major thing that I’ve learned from Buddy is that when there are guests in the house, Buddy always wants to be there

to greet all the guests at the door. Some people do not like dogs, so we ask Buddy to go inside, but when you ask him to go away, he just doesn’t want to budge. He’ll sit like a rock, so then we get some chicken sticks, and we send him in, but when the guests are gone, he comes back with the same energy as if nothing has happened. He has forgotten that,

and he doesn’t show any attitude, which we all do.” Manjeet Hirani is a pilot, influencer, and speaker. In her book, Manjeet has written about attachment, parenting, and Karma among other things, and how having a dog in the house can alter your perspective and change the way you experience life.

Diljit Dosanjh’s album ‘Con.Fi.Den.Tial’ storms UK charts at No 4 Punjabi actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh’s new album, “Con. Fi.Den.Tial,” produced by T-Series, created history by debuting on the UK iTunes Top Albums Chart at No. 5 within a few hours of its India release. It is important to note that no Punjabi album has ever debuted on any UK mainstream music chart at such a high position within a few hours of its international release. In fact, within a few hours of its debut on the UK chart, it moved up to No. 4, breezing past Justin Timberlake’s Feb. 2- released “Man of the Woods.” “Con.Fi.Den.Tial” is currently at the No. 1 position on Indian charts, and No. 2 on the Canadian and New Zealand charts. The album has lyrics by Rav Hanjra, and the music is by Snappy. One of the first songs on the album, “High End,” saw an early solo release Feb. 20 and immediately stormed the charts and earned 14 million views on YouTube. The video, which was shot in Los Angeles, is directed by Ben Griffin, who last year had directed the international chartbuster “Gucci Gang.” With nine peppy tracks on the album, and all ruling the charts, this has been an experiment for both Dosanjh and Bhushan Kumar of T-Series, who dared

to create an entire album at a time when most artists and music labels only create singles. Said Kumar, “Diljit and our company worked together on another album five years ago. We realized then that he is going to be big. So, when he approached us to collaborate on this album, we didn’t hesitate to produce it for him because we believe in him and his music. Plus, he is hugely popular with a massive following, so that helps too!” Dosanjh added, “I cannot thank Bhushanji enough for making this happen and also my loyal fans, who constantly believe in me and love me. I want to do more such albums because I have so much music in me, I cannot restrict it to a single.” The British editors at iTunes said, “Diljit Dosanjh uses his signature drawl to impressive effect on ‘Con.Fi.Den. Tial,’ a collection of Punjabi mood-setters that takes its cue from pop and streetwise R&B. ‘Raat Di Gedi’ sets the tone with the opening track “High End,” an unabashed love letter from a fanboy to his Instagram superstar sweetie, while an insistent bass line drives the mid-tempo ‘Big Scene.’ The subtle drama in Dosanjh’s vocals is a reminder that this busy actor-singer makes an impact

Police file FIR against veteran actor Jeetendra Film actor Jeetendra has been booked by Shimla Police after his cousin lodged a complaint accusing him of sexually assaulting her 47 years ago when the actor and she had stayed in a hotel in the town The woman, who was 18 at that time, had sent an email to Himachal Pradesh Director General of Police SR Mardi in February this year seeking registration of an FIR against the actor. Jeetendra, whose real name is Ravi Kapoor, was 28 then. Shimlaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Superintendent of Police Umapati Jamwal confirmed the development, saying â&#x20AC;&#x153;an FIR under section 354 IPC has been registered at Chotta Shimla police station. After her email, we got in touch with the complainant, who later had also sent

us a written complaint to support her versionâ&#x20AC;?. The woman will now record her statement before a magistrate. She has also been asked to provide any evidence she may have about her stay in the hotel. The SP, however, clarified that investigations in the complaint will be carried out as per the old provisions of the section 354 IPC, in keeping with the law prevalent in 1971 when the alleged crime took place, and not the new and amended provisions. The police said the woman has so far neither given the name of the hotel nor any proof of her stay.






Saturday, March 10, 2018

Salman Khanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new show teaser for Sony The new and exciting teaser of Salman Khanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brand new show on Sony Entertainment Television is out (they are not yet revealing the name that is an open secret, really!) and the mega-star and ace

actor is all set to entertain his fans and viewers after whetting their curiosity with this intriguing teaser (Watch here). So â&#x20AC;&#x153;When,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whereâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whyâ&#x20AC;? is our Salman Khan coming back? Do watch!

Pyarelal Wadali passes away Pyarelal Wadali, one of the singers of legendary Sufi set Wadali Brothers, passed away here on Friday after cardiac arrest. He was the younger brother of Ustad Puran Chand Wadali. The Wadali Brothers, adept in various styles of singing including Kaafian, ghazal and bhajan, had their first musical performance outside their village in Harballabh Temple in Jalandhar. They entered Bollywood in 2003 and are famous for their songs such as Aye Rangrez Mere (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Tanu Weds Manuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;) and Ik Tu Hi Tu Hi (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mausamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;).




Ranveer Singh knows how to please his female fans. He gets two of them to pose with him

Shruti Haasan with mom Sarika



as with Imtiaz Ali, a em n ci es ss iscu l Subhash Ghai d gaon film schoo re o G is h at y b s the latter drop

Dharmendra, Salman Kha and Sonakshi Sinha gear u to shoot a song at a Band studio


More power to you

IN STYLE Mandana Karimi looks radiant as she attends a Women’s Day event in Bandra

Deepshikha Deshmukh DEEPSHIKHA Deshmukh and Aleya Sen are excited about their latest film, Dil Juunglee, which they have produced and directed, respectively. Starring Taapsee Pannu and Saqib Saleem, the film hits screens today. “Many women have made a mark as actors, producers and directors in the Hindi film industry because of their talent and ambition. Today,

Something tickles TV actor Hina Khan’s funny bone at an awards event in Kurla

Aleya Sen the film sets have a lot more women than the years gone by and we are so proud,” says Deshmukh, adding, “I was elated to work with Aleya. She’s excellent at what she does.” Being a female director was no mean feat for Sen. “It involves a lot of hard work, passion, knowledge and sacrifice. That’s what makes me a filmmaker. My greatest


learning has been to make my voice heard by defying gender discrimination. The compliments I received while shooting on international shores and managing a crew of 200 people motivated me. I didn’t get affected by comments regarding my gender, because frankly, Bollywood is purely driven by talent, passion and hard work,” she says.

BADA MAZA AAYA Sunny Deol enjoys smearing cake on birthday boy Anil Sharma (filmmaker) at a Juhu hotel


Saturday, March 10, 2018


He’s changed his frames, finally! We have been seeing Aamir Khan wearing thick red frames since 2016 (inset). The actor would not be spotted without them as they are prescription glasses. Of late, he has been sporting a rounded pair. Aamir has finally changed his frames. He attended events in Mumbai and New Delhi, where he sported them. Yesterday, he arrived in Jodhpur for the shoot of Thugs Of Hindostan in the same pair. Change is certainly welcome.


A new shot

IN MEMORY OF SRIDEVI Anil Kapoor, Manish Malhotra and Boney Kapoor performed asthi virsarjan at Haridwar yesterday. PIC/AFP

Karan Johar and Kareena Kapoor Khan are in London with buddies Natasha Poonawalla and Poonam Damania. The besties have been living it up. KJo shared snapshots on social media and wrote, “All dressed up for no reason at all (sic).” Karan can’t do without his designer threads, Bebo without her pout.

Govinda’s wife Sunita and daughter Tina are also in London. It’s the family’s favourite getaway. The recent spell of snow and bonechilling temperature has made their holiday even more special.

Madhuri Dixit and hubby Sriram Nene recently launched their production house. Their first venture will be a Marathi film. With Mads’ hubby collaborating with her on all her endeavours, we have been wondering if he will give acting a shot in the near future. He has already featured with Madhuri in an ad. He’s got the looks too.

Aisha Ahmed is Rukhsar’s daughter

Yesterday, a group of fans of Bhumi Pedneka visited a municipal school in Kurla to discuss the necessity of hygiene and sanitation (above). Access to toilet is limited and cleanliness levels are poor in the school. The fans spoke to girl students and later wrote to the Toilet: Ek Prem Katha (2017) actor on social media. Bhumi replied, “This is just so lovely. What an amazing way to celebrate Women’s Day (sic).”

Not many know that Aisha Ahmed, who features in today’s release, 3 Storeys, is actor Rukhsar’s daughter. Aisha’s father, Asad Ahmed, and Rukhsar divorced when she was a kid. Later, Rukhsar married Faruq Kabir, director of Allah Ke Banday (2010). Though Aisha featured in Tum Bin 2 (2016), Rubaroo (2016) and Bewajah (2017), she went unnoticed and not many knew the connect. The proud mom had been sending invites for the special screening of 3 Storeys. Rukhsar, who began in the early ’90s with films like Inteha Pyar Ki, was later seen in films like D (2005) and The Stoneman Murders (2009).

OMG! Jacqueline’s derriere just got bigger Looks like there is a new bootylicious girl in town. Jacqueline Fernandez seems to have grown a Kim Kardashianesque butt in her new ad for a juice brand. The actor’s tight-fitted outfit accentuates her curves, but it’s her back that’s got our attention. It appears to be inflated, perhaps with the help of butt pads. A couple of years ago, there had been tattle of Priyanka Chopra and Shahid Kapoor resorting to some back support as well. Now, Jackie has a back story to tell.

Inspiring act


Pitch battle Actor-host Shardul Pandit and comedian Rajiv Thakur allegedly had a bitter fight at one of Ekta Kapoor’s box cricket league matches recently. Shardul claims Rajiv suddenly accosted him in the commentary box and told him to shut up. Rajiv, on the other hand, maintains that Shardul was talking too much and disturbing the players!

Rememberin Madhubala An American newspaper has doffed its cap to Bollywood legend Madhubala, who is among 15 remarkable women across the world it pays homage to. The New Yor Times has gone back in time to remember the contribution of these women by writing their obituary.


Saturday, March 10, 2018


To tackle gender inequality in industry, Priyanka’s production house promises to hire more female staff, rejig contracts, back women-oriented films Continued from page 1

Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao in Mental Hai Kya

IN their bid to support pay equity, Priyanka’s studio, Purple Pebble Pictures, has included a rider in the contracts of their artistes clearly stating that gender won’t be one of the determining factors in their remuneration. Madhu Chopra asserts that the inclusion of women in the production house isn’t restricted to direction or acting. “We have women story writers, directors and camera technicians. So in every aspect of filmmaking, we are encouraging women. Although I would reiterate that we give equal opportunity, there is a certain bias towards women at the moment because they are marginalised and we have to give them an additional push.” Ask her about pay equity and she says that they are creating a setup where lead actors of projects will be paid at par, irrespective of their gender. “The pay scale is determined by the merit, qualification and talent. So there are different parameters, but gender is definitely not one of them. We believe in gender equality and that applies to remuneration too.” Priyanka is also keen on backing

‘Can identify with Kangana, Raj’s drive’ Ekta on why she reunited Queen actors for thriller MOHAR BASU MID-DAY had earlier reported how Kangana Ranaut had requested Salman Khan to part with the title Mental since she was keen on naming her next so. Though that didn’t work out, producer Ekta Kapoor devised a way to get another title that she says is “more fitting” for the Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao-starrer — Mental Hai Kya. Kapoor says that she wants to give a facelift to the thriller genre with this project. “This is one of my favourite scripts. We’ve tried to bend the genre by adding dollops of black humour to it. With the crazy looks, the aim is to redefine thrillers.” The Prakash Kovelamudi-directed film sees Kapoor scoring a hat-trick with Ranaut and Rao. “I have worked with both of them before. Raj and Kangana teaming up together after Queen further adds to the excitement. They have always taken the road less travelled, and played characters that have been emotionally and physically challenging. As artistes, they are hungry for something different and I identify with this drive.”

Sridevi movie tribute in town

SONIL DEDHIA IN what may best be seen as a means to come to terms with her sudden demise, industry folk began to pay tributes to Sridevi soon after news of her death on February 24 trickled in. Now, PVR cinemas has decided

to pay tribute to the veteran by showcasing her popular films across their branches all day today. On schedule the event titled The Sridevi Legacy — also a celebration of Women’s Day — is Chandni (1989), Chaalbaaz (1989), Lamhe (1991), English Vinglish (2012) and Mom (2017), with select shows catering exclusively to women. The actor’s husband Boney Kapoor says, “I am honoured that someone has taken this initiative. It feels good to know that some

‘We believe in gender equality and that applies to remuneration too’ Dr Madhu Chopra more women-oriented stories helmed by women filmmakers. While their recently wrapped-up film Firebrand has National Award winner Aruna Raje at the helm, the studio’s last offering — the Sikkimese film Pahuna: The Little Visitors — was directed by Paakhi Tyrewala. Madhu adds, “Female-centric stories make the most impact on people. Everyone knows that women are strong enough to be talked about. The impact that I am expecting [from these developments] is that women will rise from where they have been put and walk shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.”

Take your pick from Women’s Day celebrations P28

of Sridevi’s best works is going to be celebrated. I can’t think of a better way to honour her. It will be a treat for her fans to revisit her films.” Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Ltd believes that there can be no better way to celebrate womanhood than by honouring the industry’s first female superstar. “The festival is an extension of our special weekly property dedicated to women. We wish to contribute towards women empowSridevi and Anil Kapoor in Lamhe erment.”



Saturday, March 10, 2018

Written word

R Madhavan joined the likes of several Hollywood artistes in stating that India needs to give more credit to its writers than it does. “In Hollywood, the screenplay writers and dialogue writers are treated as superstars and are paid well. It [writing] is a flourishing career there. Unfortunately in Bollywood, it is not rewarding.”

No South remakes Although his upcoming venture, Rohit Shetty’s Simmba, is a remake of Junior NTR’s Temper (2015), Ranveer Singh is no mood to work on any more films that are rehashed from South releases. If the grapevine is to be believed, Singh has been offered a gamut of projects inspired by successful South Indian ventures, but he has turned them down. After following his act as Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat with a masala entertainer, the actor hopes to work on an entirely different genre.

Deepika wants more Even though she has been advised bed rest for four months due to a back injury, Deepika Padukone has been utilising her time away from the set to read up as many scripts as possible. Sources say that the actor has been struggling to find a part that rests as much power in her hands as her act as Rani Padmavati from Padmaavat did. While Padukone is hoping to work on a light-hearted venture after the demanding Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed project, she is hoping to find one that sees her at par with her male contemporaries. Padukone shouldn’t have it any different, we think!

10 to go for Saqib

Saqib Saleem has started beefing up for the climax sequence of his upcoming film, the Salman Khan starrer, Race 3. The actor is on a weight gaining-spree and hopes to pack on 10 kilos ahead of the second schedule, which will roll in Abu Dhabi. A source tells mid-day of the selfconfessed foodie, “Saqib’s character needs to look hefty, especially for the climax sequence. Saqib will be seen flaunting his chiselled physique. His diet will be devoid of salt for the entire duration of the shoot. He will need to significantly up his protein and carbohydrate intake.”

KJo to go off the grid for a year? Bollywood geeks had assumed that Karan Johar would take a break from cinema when he welcomed his twins, Roohi and Yash, into the world early last year. But, the filmmaker continued to work on his ventures, choosing instead to defer his hiatus for later. mid-day has learnt that Johar now intends to take a year-long break to spend time with his kids, who’ve only recently begun responding to his voice and face. The filmmaker has even decided to postpone his chat show, Koffee With Karan, to January 2019, we hear.

Hrithik wants to befriend you Hrithik Roshan is inarguably among the finer actors in the industry, but he has struggled to add a hit to his repertoire of films in the recent past. In order to ensure that he strikes gold with his upcoming biopic on mathematician Anand Kumar, Roshan, we hear, is changing his promotional strategy. Taking a cue from the younger breed of actors, he plans to be more active on social media so that he can personally connect with his fans. He hopes his increased interaction with them will result in increased viewers in theatres.

Nothing’s original Ayushmann Khurrana, who turned up with co-actor Bhumi Pednekar to shoot for a chat show, revealed, that “all singers and actors use auto-tune.” He was quick to add that the only exception in this lot was in fact, him. Khurrana, however, admitted that even he resorted to the voice editing technology for his acclaimed song, Paani Da Rang. While a growing league of actors have been putting their ‘singing skills’ on display, this confession unveils many secrets. But Parineeti Chopra, Khurrana said, is the only actor to refrain from using the technology.

Guess who’s back? Weeks after Ekta Kapoor stated that she was recreating a two decade-old hit series — the reference to her hit saga, Kasautii Zindagi Kii being evident — came reports that she would rope in Shaheer Sheikh to play the role of her leading man. Now, speculations are rife that Kapoor plans to cast Sheikh’s rumoured girlfriend and former costar Erica Fernandes for the female lead, formerly played by Shweta Tiwari. While Sheikh and Fernandes’s chemistry was lauded in their last show, Kuch Rang Pyaar Ke Aise Bhi, the series was axed due to low TRPs. Let’s hope Kapoor is able to create magic this time.

Adventures of Isabel Salman Khan went all out to promote Katrina Kaif in Bollywood, but the actor doesn’t seem to harbour the same interest in introducing her sister, Isabel, to the industry. Khan is apparently not convinced about her acting prowess, and has been hesitant to include her in his Da-Bangg tour, despite requests from Katrina. Sources suggest the aspiring actor is working hard to break into the industry, but paving her way has been harder than expected.


Classifieds / Jobs

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Community news South Asian Seniors - Filing 4( 6  + From February 26 to 91:10; Vedic Seniors Parivar Centre of Vedic Hindu Cultural Society Surrey informs South Asian Seniors that during the Tax

       Income Tax Returns for the year 2017 " "    

  volunteer program of Canada Revenue 5 " *,,/5  30th 2018. If you are living in Surrey / Delta. The eligibility Criteria are as follows 1.Single individual with annual    @E////!,!6           @ L////! E! Q     @! L,=// L! *   @!L=///=!*       @! LU=//  ! 5 @ 2500 for additional members. Interest      @ ///!//    income will be included as total eligibility. X                     income and no capital gain or loss. Sin#

card and photo identity will be required to prove the documents. Project funded by Government of Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New Horizons for Seniors Program for Hindi speaking seniors. If you are eligible then please contact Surendra Handa Coordinator Tel. 604 - 507 - 9945 for further information. ------------------------------------------South Asian Seniors - Group <   0=>  ?   9:10;  0011  :91 Vedic Senior Parivar Centre of Vedic Hindu Cultural Society Surrey invites South Asian Senior members to attend group Birthday of 14 Senior members born in U\E^   will be celebrated on March 3rd 2018 ( Saturday ) from 11.00 am to 2.30 pm at Shanti Niketan hall of Lakshmi Narayan Hindu Temple 8321 - 140th street Surrey BC. The program will start with serving  >  "  $                $>

90 90,0 $90,000 vernm nme bonds in government an grants ggra ra ants and

RDSP ( Registered Disability Savings Plan )


Please Call:-

Sandeep Ahuja,CHS


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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Synopsis of Maile Haath

We invite you to

An Evening Filled with Hope & Inspiration

5,000 Years of Civilization Reborn

Maile Haath is a story that follows a young woman’s journey alongside her family, as they learn to understand and cope with sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is an issue that lacks certain awareness; the play tackles difficulties and barriers that may arise through the characters, that they each face individually and together as a family. The story highlights certain cultural and societal pressures that amplify the impact on not only the survivor but towards the family. Maile Haath aims to shed light on just some of the effects that sexual abuse may have on an individual’s life and those around them. Purpose and Objective We have chosen to take the topic of sexual abuse on because we feel passionate about children and we want to be a voice for those who may not have one, or for those who may struggle to find theirs. Through the medium of theatre we feel we may be able to reach our community in a way that may resonate with them and leave them with an understanding

of what a survivor and their family may face. Sexual Abuse remains a taboo topic in our society and knows no differences within any culture, religion, socio-economic status and education. By raising awareness of sexual abuse and bringing this topic to the forefront we hope that we may help people understand the depth and severity of the silence they keep and the issues that it creates. Today the #metoo campaign globally has been creating a much needed storm, however; when you look at the South Asian community as a whole we still remain vulnerably silent, even though it’s rampant throughout our communities and our native countries. We would like people to be able to talk about the issue of sexual abuse so a survivor doesn’t feel shame, guilt or blame when the topic is brought up or when they begin to share their story of being a victim. We would like to begin to eradicate those feelings of shame, guilt and blame to be replaced with feelings of love, empowerment, confidence and pride. Nimi Chauhan Founder, Sahara Services 778-877-1310

Shen Yun’s unique artistic vision expands theatrical experience into a multi-dimensional, deeply moving journey through one of humanity’s greatest treasures—the five millennia of traditional Chinese culture. Featuring one of the world’s oldest art forms—classical Chinese dance—along with patented scenographical effects and all-original orchestral works, Shen Yun opens a portal to a civilization of profound wisdom and divine beauty.

“There is a massive power in this that can embrace the world. It brings great hope. It is truly a touch of heaven.” —Daniel Herman, Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic

“These beautiful, gifted people are expressing something that’s both pure and good.” —Philadelphia Weekly

“Epic! One of the greatest performances ever existing on the planet. I will remember it for the rest of my life.” —Arion Jay Goodwin, veteran music producer

“They’re performing through their spirit. It’s a breath of fresh air. I felt a sense of happiness and peace.”


r Singh knows how to his female fans. He gets hem to pose with him

—Elvis Stojko, world champion figure skater & Olympic medalist

“The spirit of hope, beauty, and blessing ... it’s a fabulous gift to us.” —Sine Mckenna, Canadian award-winning Celtic singer Shruti Haasan with mom Sarika

All-New Program from New York with Live Orchestra

March 23–25

Queen Elizabeth Theatre


TheSold-Out Holiday Gift Filled Hope andTickets Inspiration Shows Across North with America. Book Your Today!


CAUGHT YOU as with Imtiaz Ali, cusses cinema school Subhash Ghai dis hi Goregaon film

Dharmendra, Salman Kha and Sonakshi Sinha gear to shoot a song at a Band studio

Vol. 9 No. 6

Saturday - March 10, 2018

Vancouver housing sales slump as market braces for tax impact Home sales slumped 9 per cent last month in the Vancouver region as transactions for detached properties sagged while prices remain high, with the full impact yet to be felt of new residential taxes levied by the B.C. government. In its budget delivered on Feb. 20, the NDP minority government announced a variety of measures designed to reduce home prices, including what it calls a speculation tax imposed on out-ofprovince residents. The NDP also increased and expanded the provinceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foreign-buyers tax beyond Metro Vancouver, a region originally targeted by the former BC Liberal government in August, 2016.

While industry experts caution against reading too much into Februaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statistics, they say the cumulative impact of the tax measures will be seen in the months ahead as the market enters the traditionally busy spring season for real estate. February sales of detached houses, condos and townhouses totalled 2,207 in Greater Vancouver, compared with 2,424 transactions for the same month in 2017. The average price for condos sold in the region hit $750,052 last month, up 24.2 per cent from a year earlier and just shy of the record $751,358 in January. The average price for townhomes reached a new high at $938,805 last month, up 13.4 per cent from February, 2017. The price for detached houses, by contrast, slipped 1.2 per cent over the past year to an average of $1,737,030, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Friday. Sales volume for detached houses saw the biggest decline as 621 properties changed hands last month, down 16.6 per cent from a year earlier. Over the past year, condo sales fell 7.1 per cent to 1,185 deals in February, while townhome sales slipped 0.7 per cent to 401 transactions in the Vancouver area. Continued on next pages

Tel: 604-591-5423



Real Estate

Vancouver housing sales slump as market braces for tax impact From page 13 Last month’s sales of detached properties rang in 39.4 per cent lower than the 10-year average for the month of February. Cameron Muir, chief economist at the B.C. Real Estate Association, said what the province calls a speculation tax is more accurately described as largely a vacancy tax that will scare Albertans away from buying recreational property in major swaths of B.C. and spur others to sell their existing secondary homes and look at places such as Palm Springs, Calif. “There will be substitutes outside of Canada that will be considered,” Mr. Muir said. “I would argue that if you’re buying a B.C. place in Nanaimo or Parksville as an Albertan, you might be planning on living there full time when you retire, but that isn’t the same as purchasing in Palm Springs.” Real estate economist Tom Davidoff of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business said he supports the NDP’s move against Albertans and residents from other provinces, though he acknowledges there will be hardship cases that arise, such as seniors on fixed incomes. He suggested that in those instances, the NDP could encourage Alberta seniors to defer taxes owed until their B.C. property is eventually sold. “It’s outrageous that a grandma from Alberta will have to pay the tax. But it’s also outrageous that many people can’t afford to work and live in Vancouver. I don’t mean to sound heartless,

but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs,” Prof. Davidoff said. A notable tax measure that industry experts say will likely cool off the higher-end housing market is an increase in the property transfer tax. In 1987, the Social Credit government at the time

Saturday, March 10, 2018 increasing the rate on the portion above $3-million to 5 per cent from the previous 3 per cent. On a $3.5-million purchase, for example, the property transfer tax totals $93,000. In addition, if it’s a foreign buyer, that purchase will be subject to $700,000 in foreign-buyers tax, which rose from 15 per cent to 20 per cent, effective Feb. 21. Last month’s B.C. budget also includes an increase to the province’s school tax, affecting the portion of the value of a

property assessed above $3-million. Story continues below advertisement Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University’s city program, said the definition of luxury within the City of Vancouver is far above $3-million. Mr. Yan studied BC Assessment data for valuations on July 1, 2017. He found that 19,399 detached houses, or 24 per cent of the total in that category, were assessed at $3-million or more within the City

Stress tests, foreign buyers and higher rates likely to impact housing market in 2018

introduced the tax: On the initial $200,000 of the purchase price, the home buyer forked over 1 per cent and then paid a 2-per-cent tax rate on the amount above $200,000. That formula remained untouched until February, 2016, when the BC Liberals unveiled a new calculation in what they portrayed as higher taxes on luxury properties. In its budget last month, the BC NDP raised the rates for what it terms “high-value” homes. The 1-per-cent rate still applies on the first $200,000. A 2-per-cent rate kicks in on the portion between $200,000 and $2-million, 3 per cent on the part between $2-million and $3-million, with the NDP

Two percentage points higher than whatever rate able to get from a lender. At the five-year average posted rate, according to the Bank of Canada, which currently sits at 4.99 per cent. Anyone who fails the test can’t get the loan they are applying for, which means they’ll have to either buy something less expensive with a smaller mortgage or sit out entirely. It’s not just a concern for first-timers either, and it could lead to a surge in unregulated lending, said Ratehub Inc. co-founder James Laird. “Canadians who need to refinance and no longer qualify will be forced this way, while

some who are looking to purchase and no longer qualify with a regulated lender will choose to go this way,” Laird said. That’s far from the universal view, however. While the OSFI rules are significant, economist Doug Porter at the Bank of Montreal says he expects the market will largely be able to withstand the impact of new stress tests, just as it has withstood other policy changes.

Property assessment data shows big increases for many condo and townhouse owners Condominium and townhouse owners throughout Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley will likely get a shock when they open their property assessment notices this week, thanks to a region-wide increase in strata property values. On Tuesday, B.C. Assessment released its 2018 property assessment data, that showed across Greater Vancouver there were assessment increases in the five- to 35-per-cent range between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017. In the Fraser Valley, the increases ranged from 10 to 40 per cent. “The strata market is quite different. It’s been very robust — it’s really outstripped the single-family market,” said B.C. Assessment spokesperson Tina Ireland. Last month, the authority sent warning letters to 67,000 homeowners, telling them to expect above average increases on their 2018 property assessment notices. According to B.C. Assessment data, Vancouver strata homes went up on average 15.2 per cent over the previous year’s assessment, while in Surrey they went up 23.8 per cent. The City of Langley saw an even bigger jump — 26.2 per cent. A typical strata townhouse in Whistler Village went up 30 per cent, while a townhouse in Squamish’s Garibaldi Estates saw a 20-percent increase. “I think the extent to which things really cooled down in single family but not in condos was very, very striking because we tend to think of condos as something where you can add more supply, and single family it’s harder to add more supply,” said Tsur Somerville, professor and director of the University of B.C.’s Centre for Urban

Economics and Real Estate. Since the assessments took place on July 1, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president Jill Oudil said the trend has continued. “Detached has calmed a bit, although it’s still what we consider a balanced market,” she said. “Condos and townhomes haven’t changed as far as both being in high demand.” Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore, who also chairs the Metro Vancouver board of directors, said it’s not a surprise to see condo and townhouse assessments going up. It happened in Vancouver a number of

years ago, and now the suburbs are catching up. Strata residential values went up about 20 per cent in PoCo, and a typical low-rise condo in the city’s downtown saw a 28 per cent increase. “What I hear most about is not necessarily the assessment percentage going up, it’s how unaffordable it is for people to now even afford a condo in the suburbs,” Moore said. Somerville agreed that the affordability of condos and townhomes is “worrisome.” “When you see a lot of price appreciation in the thing that’s really the entry level product, then you’re really more concerned about people being shut

Real Estate

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Condo developer demands 15% more money from buyers after project hits delays in New Westminster


group of prospective homeowners in New Westminster are crying foul after being told they need to pay tens of thousands dollars more for their presale condominiums or risk losing their future homes — despite signing a contract nearly two years ago. Earlier this month, Jago Development notified buyers of the Westbourne Residences project at 5th Avenue and 13th Street that the purchase price of their homes would be increasing by 15 per cent to cover unforeseen cost overruns caused by major delays. It was gut-wrenching news for Laurie Macleod, 55, who had poured his life savings into his dream one-bedroom condominium after renting his

whole life. Worried your presale condo might be cancelled? Research the developer first “If I do not live here in this development, I will never be able to buy a home again. I won’t be able to afford a down payment,” he said holding back tears. The cost increase means another $40,000 out of his pocket — money he doesn’t have. The 55-unit project was sold in 2016 at about $475 per square foot, according to the developer. Prices in nearby developments are now closer to $600 and as much as $700 per square foot depending on proximity to the Fraser River. Westbourne Residences was expected to be complete in the spring or

summer of 2017. That date has been pushed back until this summer. In a statement, Jago Development vicepresident Jennifer Tung wrote she was “deeply troubled” by the turn of events and that the company was doing all it could to complete the project while keeping the best interests of its clients in mind. It blames factors beyond its control for the delays, including the discovery of an underground stream, the icy winter of 2016/17 and a labour shortage. All are circumstances that Macleod says an experienced developer like Jago should have had contingency plans for. He and other homeowners are now mobilizing in hopes of

Woman fined for living in condo left to her by mother It was meant to be a gift to pay the fines that from her dying mother. now amount to more But not only is Coralee than $15,000, and Stevens not allowed to live continue to grow, in the condo she inherited though she says she no — it is also costing her longer lives in the suite. thousands of dollars in fines. Stevens lives on a Stevens’ mother died in disability pension. 2015. She left her condo She said she was told unit in Central Heights by provincial officials Manor in Abbotsford, B.C., that she couldn’t to Stevens. The building rent out the unit is for residents aged 55 because she receives An Abbotsford woman living on and older. Stevens is 48. a disability pension. disability is wondering what happened “She believed I would No one from to compassion after being ordered to pay have a home for the thousands of dollars in fines because the condo strata rest of my life,” Stevens was available she’s too young to live there. said. “She worked for an interview. her entire life to give me this home.” Tony Gioventu, with the Condominium BC Supreme Court documents show Home Owners’ Association of B.C., Stevens wrote a letter to the strata, requesting says the age restriction is enforceable. an exemption from the age restriction. “The difficulty the strata corporation The strata rejected the request, but has is they didn’t have any choice,” said according to court documents, Stevens moved Gioventu. “There is no exemption ever in anyway. As a result, the strata imposed granted for age restriction bylaws.” fines of $200 per week, which she didn’t pay. He urges anyone who is inheriting Owes more than $15,000 a condominium to read the bylaws. Eventually, the strata took Stevens Stevens is now looking for a to court in a bid to collect the fines. lawyer to help her sell the home. A BC Supreme Court ruling forced Stevens

#106 - 7565 132 St. Surrey, BC 604.572.3005

finding an alternative solution. Some have even posted signs on nearby posts to round up others like them. “I don’t want to lose my unit,” he said. Buyers have until Feb. 28 to agree to pay the extra money. For those who give up their purchase, the developer is offering options that promise some return on investment in recognition of the “sacrifice” buyers made. Buyers can choose to take back their deposit and receive an additional 50 per cent. Or, if they are willing to wait until the units are sold to new homeowners at a higher price, they can get 40 per cent of the difference between the new and original sale price, minus administrative costs such as taxes, legal fees and commissions.


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The Asian Star March 10 2018  
The Asian Star March 10 2018