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Trudeau talks 'united India' with outspoken foe of Sikh nationalists

Advertisment Trudeau talks 'united India' with outspoken foe of Sikh nationalists

Meeting was a fence-mending effort after Amarinder Singh accused PM of keeping separatists in cabinet

By Evan Dyer, CBC News Posted: Feb 21, 2018 8:07 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018 2:29 PM ET

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Defence    Minister Harjit Sajjan, left, meet with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Amritsar, India, on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, left, meet with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Amritsar, India, on Wednesday. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Close Trudeau on Sikh extremism

Trudeau on Sikh extremism 2:02

Trudeau on Sikh extremism 2:02

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met today with his most prominent critic in Indian politics â€" Amarinder Singh, chief minister of Punjab â€" and reported afterwards that he told the fierce opponent of Sikh separatists that while his government supports a united India, it's unwilling to muzzle non-violent Sikh nationalism at home.

Trudeau started the day with a tour of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest site in the Sikh faith, where he was received by enthusiastic crowds eager for a glimpse of the four Sikh members of his cabinet: Navdeep Bains, Bardish Chagger, Harjit Sajjan and Amarjeet Sohi.

Some Punjabis said the community sees Bains, Chagger, Sajjan and Sohi as evidence of the success of the Sikh diaspora in Canada and a source of pride. Two of the four, Sohi and Sajjan, were born not far from the Golden Temple, while Bains and Chagger were born to immigrant parents in Ontario.

That might explain why Singh â€" who has accused Trudeau of harbouring ministers sympathetic to the separatist cause in his cabinet â€" appeared keen to mend fences today.

And while to all appearances his meeting with Trudeau today went well, accounts of what was discussed â€" and how deeply the participants went into the fraught topic of Sikh nationalism â€" differ widely.

Singh, a former captain in the Indian Army, has cultivated an image as a dogged opponent of the Sikh separatists who want to create a nation they call Khalistan. He publicly snubbed Sajjan when he visited Punjab last year, accusing the minister of sympathizing with the Khalistan movement.

Trudea   u India 20180221

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh in Amritsar, India on Wednesday. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

On this visit, it was the Canadian delegation that seemed unwilling to meet, saying that no talks were expected with the chief minister even after Singh had told local media he was looking forward to meeting Trudeau.

Three days ago, Sajjan again reached out to the chief minister. Singh accepted the invitation but tweeted only that he was meeting Trudeau, without mentioning the defence minister.

It remained unclear as the delegation departed Mumbai for Amritsar this morning whether Sajjan would again be excluded.

But in the end, Singh met with both Trudeau and Sajjan after their visit to the Golden Temple. The meeting took place in a nearby hotel.

Indeed, from the moment the Canadians arrived in Amritsar, signs were evident that the chief minister wanted to reduce tensions. Th e Punjabi government had plastered Amritsar with large billboards bearing the slogan, "Welcome the Right Hon'ble Justin Trudeau," flanked by the faces of Trudeau and Singh.

Differing accounts

After the meeting, though, the two sides offered markedly different accounts of what was discussed.

The closest the Canadian side initially came to acknowledging that the issue of diaspora separatism had been discussed was a written statement that confirmed "the prime minister conveyed his support for a united India," adding that Trudeau also "discussed his views on freedom of expression and the importance of dialogue to establish common ground and understanding."

The term "freedom of expression" has been used by Canadian leaders in the past to resist Indian pressure to crack down on nonviolent Sikh separatists in Canada. In 2012, when pressed by India over similar issues, Prime Minister Stephen Harper responded: &qu ot;We can't interfere with the right of political freedom of expression."

Trudeau India 20180221

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

The Trudeau government's written account of the meeting, known as a readout, went on to mention familiar Trudeau themes such as the empowerment of women and girls.

But Singh himself gave a very different account to Indian media, saying that he had raised the issue of support for Khalistan in the Canadian Sikh diaspora and adding that Canada is one of the countries from which diaspora money flows to separatists in Punjab.

According to Singh's account, Trudeau responded by saying he "would look into the issue."

Singh made no mention of any other issue.

Sajjan gave f ew specifics about the meeting, but said he found common ground with Singh over their shared military service. He said he pointed out to the chief minister that the Canadian regiment in which he served, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, had once fought alongside Singh's former Indian Army regiment on the First World War battlefield of Ypres.

Sajjan also stated again that he supports a united India.

'We will always stand against extremism'

A few hours later in New Delhi, Trudeau was pressed again on the issue and acknowledged that the topic had been discussed in the meeting "off the top."

"We recognize that there have been misunderstandings and strong words in the past, and I was pleased to be able to make very, very clear that Canada supports one united India and that we are unanimous as a government, as ministers on this issue," he said.

"We look forward to continuing to work toge ther â€" understanding, of course, that Canada values freedom of expression, defending human rights, and a broad range of perspectives.

"We will always stand against extremism, either at home or abroad, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada."

Trudeau also acknowledged that he told Singh that he would look into certain more detailed allegations, although neither man said what they were, or whom they concerned.

"We received information from him, as we receive from a broad number of sources and partners around the world on things they would like us to follow up on, and they will be followed up on," Trudeau said.

Whatever the two talked about, Singh did seem satisfied with what he heard.

After the meeting with Trudeau he posted on his Facebook page that he "was happy to receive categorical assurance from him that his country does not support any separatist movement. His words a re a big relief to all of us here in India and we look forward to his government's support in tackling fringe separatist elements."

The meeting was the day's only real instance of political tension for Trudeau, who entered the Golden Shrine compound to cries of "Bolay So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akal" â€" a Sikh religious greeting that translates loosely as, "Whosoever speaks is enlightened, God is timeless."

Trudeau India 20180221 TOPIX

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, and children, Xavier, 10, Ella-Grace, 9, help to make roti along with Liberal cabinet ministers as they visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Within the compound, several thousand people ringed a vast pool of water surrounding the Golden Temple's inner sanctum, which is linked to the shore by a causeway.

The crowd appeared to police itself, with people in the front row joining hands to prevent pushing and shoving.

That kind of co-operation was on display throughout the temple compound. In the Langar, or communal kitchen, rows of men and women sat together on the floor while servers walked among them ladling soup into bowls. The temple often feeds more than 100,000 people a day.

In rooms behind the eating area, groups of women kneaded dough to prepare rotis â€" flatbread â€" which they passed on to men who cooked them on large flat-top stoves. Other men stirred enormous, bubbling iron cauldrons of lentil stew over gas burners.

Trudeau and wife Sophie sat down and prepared rotis alongside the women, before completing a circuit of the pool and crossing the causeway to the inner sanctum that contains the Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book completed more than 300 years ago by the 10t h and last of the founding gurus of Sikhism, Gobind Singh.

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  • Brantford flooding Mother lost grip on toddler as she tried to escape van caught in flooding video
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    The Prime Minister spoke to reporters after his brief trip Wednesday to Amritsar and the Golden Temple

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    The Prime Minister spoke to reporters after his brief trip Wednesday to Amritsar and the Golden Temple

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NS teachers union gets strong strike mandate, but says no immediate action

HALIFAX â€" The president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union says it has received a strong strike mandate from its membership, but there won’t be any immediate job action.

Liette Doucet says 93 per cent of the union’s membership participated in a vote Tuesday, and 82.5 per cent voted in favour of authorizing an illegal strike.

Doucet says the union is now calling on Premier Stephen McNeil and Education Minister Zach Churchill to hold meaningful consultations with teachers on proposed education reforms before passing any legislation.

She says if the union decides to take some kind of job action it will give parents enough notice to make alternate arrangements for their children, but she isn’t saying how much time that will be.

Churchill has questioned the union’s decision to seek an illegal strike mandate, saying job action is not in the best interests of students.

The union called the strike vote last week to protest the province’s decision to largely endorse a consultant’s report recommending education reforms, including the removal of 1,000 principals, vice-principals and supervisors from the union.

The report by consultant Avis Glaze makes 22 recommendations, including eliminating the province’s seven English-language school boards and creating a provincial college of educators to license and regulate the profession.

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3-year-old missing as southern Ontario cities cope with floods

Advertisment cbc masthead logo Hamilton LIVE Toronto More Streams Radio One Listen Live host picture Breaking 3-year-old missing as southern Ontario cities cope with floods

Cities in many areas are coping with high water and floo ding

CBC News Posted: Feb 21, 2018 8:13 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 21, 2018 2:31 PM ET

Flooding after an ice jam on the Grand River in Brantford 1:53

The OPP has confirmed that a three-year-old boy is missing in the Orangeville, Ont., area after a van left a roadway and wound up in the Grand River as southern Ontario communities deal with flood ing.

Dufferin OPP said the child slipped from his mother's arms as she was getting out of the submerged van.

Heavy rains and a deep thaw are behind the flooding and high water along rivers and streams across southern Ontario, with the Grand River watershed seeing the worst of the effects so far.

A state of emergency was declared Wednesday in Brantford, after parts of the city were evacuated due to flooding along the Grand River.

"The levels and height of the water are something that have not been seen in this community in a very, very long time," said Brantford Mayor Chris Friel.

Boy swept away in river

Dufferin OPP said about 2:30 a.m. ET a female driver went past a roadblock put in place because of flooding, and her van was swept into the river near Orangeville. As the woman was exiting the vehicle, the child slipped out of her arms. The mother was taken to hospital.

The intensity of the fast-moving river s wept the vehicle downstream about two kilometres toward a bridge at Line 109 and Tenth Line to its resting point.

OPP Const. Paul Nancekivell told CBC News that "it's an ongoing police investigation.

"We have our OPP emergency response team walking the bank and searching the area."

Downstream alerts

The flooding is expected to get worse downstream from Brantford later today, in places like Six Nations and Cayuga.

Reports of flooding stretched across southern Ontario, including London, Waterloo, Cambridge, Dunnville, St. Marys, Chatham-Kent and Orangeville.

Officials said ice in the river is blocking water and forcing the heavier flows to find ways around the jams.

In Six Nations, the elected council said it convened its emergency officials and will be monitoring the potential for flooding.

Six Nations fire officials visited residents along 744 West to Bateman and helped anyone who wanted to v oluntarily relocate.

Brantford evacuation orders

Brantford made the emergency announcement Wednesday morning, noting there is ongoing flooding in the neighbourhoods of Holmedale, Old West Brant and Eagle Place. Anyone living in those areas was urged to evacuate their homes.

"It's important to keep in mind the levels are very much tied to the ice jam," said Grand River Conservation Authority engineering director Dwight Boyd.

"How it erodes or releases will determine how quickly levels will recede."

He said levels were stable as of 11 a.m. but that they would remain high through the day and into tomorrow.

Police are going door-to-door in the affected neighbourhoods, asking people to leave immediately.

"Buses are available to help evacuate @ Eagle Ave & Foster St., Baldwin & Erie Ave, Erie & Aberdeen Ave. Those requiring shelter can go to Woodman Comm. Centre," the tweet advised .

Jeff Whitbread was one of the residents who left his home. He told CBC News that the process seemed to be handled well.

"The police and services have been around our neighbourhood and talked to all the residents and its very calm. It seems to be pretty well organized.

"We're just going to pick up a few things and head on out to a friend's house."

Brantford flooding

Parts of Brantford are under an evacuation order because of rising water levels. (Annie Poulin/Radio-Canada)

The Grand River Conservation Authority said Wednesday morning "an ice jam upstream of Parkhill Dam released at approximately 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. When this ice jam released, it sent a surge of water downstream."

The agency warned the public in a post on its website to exercise extreme caution around all water bodies.

"Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and, when combined with current weather conditions, pose a serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from all watercourses and off frozen water bodies, which will be extremely unsafe as a result of the warming trend."

Robert Putt, a resident in the evacuation area, said he woke up around 2 a.m. to the sound of trees breaking and snapping. When he got up this morning the water level had increased by about a metre.

"You're hoping not to lose property or value or have things damaged, you certainly don't want to see anyone get hurt," he said.

Putt said he's lived in his house for almost 30 years and has never seen flooding like this.

"It's a large amount of water and large amount of ice."

The following schools are closed because of the flooding:

  • Princess Elizabeth.
  • Agnes Hodge.
  • Jean Vanier.
  • Bellview.
  • Ecole Dufferin.
  • Ste Marguerite.
  • Ste Marie.

On mobile and can't see the live blog? View it here.

Brantford flooding

Police have been going door-to-door in three Brantford neighbourhoods urging people to leave their homes. (Annie Poulin/CBC)

The Grand River Conservation Authority issued a flood warning Tuesday for townships and cities including:

  • Town of Grand Valley: Waldemar.
  • Township of Mapleton: Drayton.
  • Township of Woolwich: St. Jacobs.
  • City of Cambridge.
  • Township of Wilmot: New Hamburg and Ayr.
  • City of Brantford.
  • Town of Cayuga.
  • Town of Dunnville: Port Maitland.
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Michael Lynn to be extradited to Ireland next week

Fugitive struck off solicitor Michael Lynn is due to be extradited from Brazil next week, the High Court has heard.

Michael O’Higgins SC, for Mr Lynn, told Mr Justice Michael McGrath Mr Lynn expects to be extradited to Ireland on February 28th. His side had got word of that late on Tuesday night, he said.

Mr Lynn has taken proceedings for a declaration that his time in a Brazilian prison will be taken into account should he be convicted in Ireland.

Mr Lynn, who fled f rom here in 2007, allegedly leaving an estimated €80 million in debts, is being held at Cotel remand prison in Recife in northwest Brazil.

He faces over 20 charges relating to alleged theft and has been imprisoned since 2013 when Brazilian federal police, acting on behalf of Interpol, arrested him.

His judicial review challenge relates to the DPP’s offer to Brazil of a guarantee that Mr Lynn’s time served in that country would be offset against any prison term he might get here if convicted.

On Wednesday, Mr O’ Higgins submitted the Irish authorities have no legal power to do that and Mr Lynn needs a declaration from the High Court.

Sean Gillane SC, for the DPP, argued the proceedings should be dismissed and that the High Court was being “lassoed” into the Brazilian proceedings.

Mr Justice McGrath reserved judgment, indicating he hopes to rule by Friday given the extradition is scheduled for February 28th

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Fugitive ex solicitor Michael Lynn to be extradited to Ireland next week

Fugitive solicitor Michael Lynn is due to be extradited from Brazil next week, the High Court has heard.

The struck-off solicitor, who fled in 2007, allegedly left Ireland owing an estimated €80 million in debts.

His counsel Michael O’Higgins SC told Mr Justice Michael McGrath, Michael Lynn expects to be extradited back to Ireland on February 28 next.

Counsel said his side had got word late on Tuesday night the extradition is set to take place next week.

Michael Lynn has taken a legal challenge seeking a declaration that his his time in a Brazilian prison will be taken into account should he be convicted in Ireland.

The court heard Mr Lynn “is due to be extradited on February 28 next from Brazil".

Michael Lynn solicitor

He is being held at Cotel remand prison, in Recife in northwest B razil.

He faces over 20 charges relating to alleged theft and has been imprisoned since 2013, when Brazilian federal police, acting on behalf of Interpol, arrested him.

He has now brought a judicial review challenge relating to the DPP’s offer to Brazil of a guarantee that Mr Lynn’s time served in that country would be offset against any prison term he might get here if convicted.

On Wednesday Mr O’Higgins said the Irish authorities don’t have it within their legal remit to do that and Mr Lynn now needs a declaration from the High Court.

Sean Gillane SC for the DPP submitted the legal challenge should be dismissed and said the Irish High Court was being “ lassoed”in to the Brazilian proceedings.

Mr Justice McGrath reserved judgment in the case and indicated he hopes to give his decision soon given that the extradition is scheduled for Thursday, February 28.

The judge said he hoped to have his decision by this Friday.

Source: < a href=https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/fugitive-ex-solicitor-michael-lynn-12066402 target="blank">Google News

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Recruiter for Citizens Assembly suspended after replacement members enlisted through personal contacts and not ...

Recruiter for Citizens Assembly suspended after replacement members enlisted through personal contacts and not randomly

Citizens’ Assembly chair Ms Justice Mary Laffoy. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Citizens’ Assembly chair Ms Justice Mary Laffoy. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Allison Bray

Allison Bray Twitter Email

A recruiter f or members of the Citizens Assembly has been suspended from duty pending an internal investigation after it emerged that seven replacement members were enlisted through the recruiter’s own personal contacts and not randomly as required.

The replacement members, who attended just one session of the assembly held on January 13 and 14 dealing with “The Manner in Which Referenda are Held” have been relieved of their duties. The session was discussing terms for holding referenda in general.

Retired judge, the Hon Mary Laffoy, who chairs the 99-member citizen’s convention said she is satisfied that “this is an isolated incident and that it has no impact on the work of the Assembly on previous topics.”

However she said she is “obviously disappointed that the Assembly finds itself in a position where these seven individuals, who were recruited in December 2017 and January 2018, have been recruited in a manner which is inconsistent with the agreed me thodology.”

A spokeswoman for RED C Research and Marketing, which is responsible for recruiting members of the Assembly, said the seven members were identified as potential candidates “through friends and family of the recruiter.”

All seven were recruited by the same recruiter during telephone conversations in December, 2017, she said.

The accepted protocol for recruiting citizen members is through “cold calling door-to-door households in the allocated geographic area which is issued to them by RED C,” she added.

The recruiter, who has worked for RED C for the past five years without issue, is currently suspended from duty pending a “ full employment disciplinary process,” she told The Irish Independent. The issue was uncovered during a “randomised check” of the recruitment process.

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Breaking Man (31) j ailed for transporting cannabis worth €224k into country

A Malaysian elevator technician has been jailed for...

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Man (39) raped student in her home after following her off bus, court hears

A man who raped a foreign student in the hall of...

Victims Laurence and Martina Hayes, from Athlone, Co Westmeath

'I remember hearing the whizz of bullets' - Irish tourist recall Tunisia terror attack at...

Irish holiday-makers in Tunisia barricaded the door of...

Ulster and Ireland rugby player Paddy Jackson arrives at Laganside Magistrates court Picture By: Pacemaker.

Rugby rape trial hears from defence team's forensic medical expert

Most victims of sexual assault allow the attack to...

Graham Dwyer. Photo: Collins Courts

Dwyer's High Court challenge: No independent oversights on mobile data requests in...

Lawyers representing Graham Dwyer have told the...

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

'This is about patient safety' - Taoiseach rules out restoration of Versatis patch funding

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has offered little comfort...

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Elderly man suffered 'horrific death' 30 minutes after transfer to public nursing...

An elderly man who was transferred from...

Image provided by An Garda Siochana

Cash, vehicles, watches and imitation gun seized in two separate CAB raids

Two separa te raids in Wicklow and Dublin by the...

M50 Motorway

Transport bosses warn failure to invest in maintenance will lead to €600m annual...

Continued failure to invest in road maintenance will...

VIDEO: Trump proposes ban on rapid-fire gun devices

US President Donald Trump said he has signed a memo directing the Justice...

VIDEO: Dog that went missing from its home reunited with owner one year later

A family in Dublin has been reunited with...

VIDEO: Man discovered with serious injuries on roadside following suspected hit and...

Gardaí are appealing for information...

VIDEO: Dangerous sulky race blocks up busy Dublin road

Motorists were left frustrated by "dangerous driving" causing delays on one of the...

VIDEO: Evidence from friend of alleged victim at Belfast rape trial

Evidence from friend of alleged victim at...

VIDEO: 38-year-old woman brutally murdered before her body was wrapped in a sleeping bag and stuffed in a wardrobe

WATCH: Gardai intervene with batons as football fans clash in Dublin

Gardai were forced to intervene with batons as...

VIDEO: Evidence from friend of alleged victim at Belfast rape trial

A WITNESS in the rape trial of two Irish rugby...

WATCH - Alarming footage: Government allocates €2m this year to crack down on illegal dumping

VIDEO: Shane Ross accuses former minister of being 'histrionic' during dramatic...

Transport Minister Shane Ross has accused...

Lisa Gerencser and Agnes Toch, Hungry taking part in The New Years Day Bray Sea Swim at Bray PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN

In Pictures: Hardy people enjoy a New Year's Day swim

Matt Murphy sent this lovely photo of his family who spend each Christmas in Freiburg, Germany to take advantage of the weather

In pictures: How the Irish abroad are spending Christmas away from home

Cpl Lily Ray Carlow (111 Inf Bn, UNIFIL) Wishing my girlfriend Celine a very happy Christmas miss you and wishing my family and all the gang from Gallbally and the girls from Kiss a wonderful Christmas Love Lily

In pictures: Irish soldiers stationed abroad send Christmas messages home

Fina Dooley from Mount Merrion greets her Grandchildren Daniel Kelleher 4 & Nicholas Kelleher 2 from London Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

A festive welcome at Dublin Airport

Kevin 'Boxer' Moran T.D. arrives for the Irish premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Savoy Cinema, O'Connell Street, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Star Wars premiere in Dublin

Bonny a Cavachon King Charles cross cocker spaniel from Cabra during a Carol Service with Peata Therapy Dogs at Chirst church Cathedral , Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

In pictures: A canine carol service

Santa and his Elves, Harry Potter, Trolls, Beauty and the Beast transform Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin into a magical fantasy land on their Annual Ho Ho Day. Pictured is two and a half-year-old Oliver Jalowiecki from Galway pictured with Santa Claus (Gerry Cully) from CMRF and Mrs. Claus (Pauline Robinson) from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. PHOTO: Mark Stedman

In pictures: Santa and his elves visit Our Lady's Children's Hospital

Gerard Heneghan took this picture at his home in Clonberne, County Galway of his dog Riley

A Winter Wonderland: Some of the best pictures from around the country as cold snap continues

The most amazing snow pictures so far as freezing blast hits

No. 3 Howth Court. Picture: Ganly Walters Estate Agents

In pictures: No 3 Howth Court

Source: Google News