(Kenneth Deer, right, had a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican in May. Photo courtesy: Kenneth Deer)Paul BarnsleyAPTN National NewsROME— A senior Roman Catholic Church official is considering a request from Indigenous leaders to rescind the 15th century church decrees that formed the legal basis for colonialism.Kahnawake Mohawk Kenneth Deer, a representative of the Haudenosaunee External Relations Committee, which represents the Iroquois Confederacy Council on international matters, was part of a delegation – that called itself the Long March to Rome — that attended the May 4 meeting with senior members of the Catholic Church.The meeting followed a short, face-to-face encounter in Vatican City with Pope Francis.Each Wednesday, the pope greets the public in St. Peter’s Square. There were approximately 20,000 people present on May 4, Deer said.The delegation wanted the meeting on that date because it was the anniversary of one of the papal bulls of discovery, decrees issued by the pope of the day which lent the church’s approval to the colonization of lands because they were “terra nullius” or lands empty of Christian people.The pope appeared on a stage and addressed the crowd.The Long March to Rome delegation was invited to sit on the stage and await their short face-to-face, individual meetings with the pontiff.The delegation issued a press release saying they were seeking revocation of three papal bulls because: “They were the ‘blueprint’ for conquest of the New World; they provided moral justification for the enslavement and conquest of Indigenous peoples worldwide; they are an ongoing violation of contemporary human rights legislation; and other communities currently struggling to save their lands are threatened by modern-day ideologies of inequality anchored in the papal bulls.”The original plan was for representatives of Indigenous nations around the world to assemble in Paris and actually march to Rome to demand a meeting with the pope, raising awareness of the issue as they progressed.But as negotiations with Vatican officials got more serious, the plan was changed. A smaller delegation met in Florence, about 300 km north of Rome, to wait and see if the meeting in the Italian capital would happen.David McKinnon, a Canadian lawyer who now resides in Amsterdam, worked closely with the Indigenous leaders to push for a meeting with the pope. The group had been working towards that day for more than a year.The call finally came the day before and the 11 delegates then made their way south.“The leaders were determined to tell Pope Francis that it was time for the Vatican to own up to its responsibility for legitimizing a genocide committed against Indigenous peoples and to show its good faith by revoking three Papal Bulls of Discovery: Dum Diversas (1452), Romanus Pontifex (1455) and Inter Caetera (1493), still in force today,” the delegation’s press release states.Claiming they carried the weight of 370 million Indigenous Peoples on their shoulders, the delegation says it represented the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, the Assembly of First Nations, representing 634 First Nations from across Canada with 1.4 million citizens from 58 different Indigenous nations, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Umatilla confederacy of the Pacific Northwest, the Yakama, Oglala Sioux, Shawnee, Mapuche, Navajo Diné and Apache Ndee.Kenneth Deer set the scene for APTN National News. He first met with a priest who served as the pope’s interpreter.“When he came up to me I told him we were going to talk about the papal bulls that make up the doctrine of discovery and we want the pope’s support to rescind it because states are still using it today. And right away he got very defensive and said, ‘Well that was a long time ago and we already rescinded them and it’s not necessary to say anything because we’re not using them to dispossess Indigenous people.’ I said, ‘That may be so but states are still using them today in court cases. In the United States and Canada they continue to use the papal bulls to dispossess and disempower Indigenous people,’” Deer told APTN. “So he said OK. When it was our turn to see the pope, the first two were [former Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner] Willie Littlechild and [former South Thompson Indian Band Chief] Keith Matthew. And they talked to him about the bulls as well.”Then it was Deer’s turn.“I greeted him and we shook hands and I told him that we want his support to rescind the papal bulls that make up the doctrine of discovery because states are still using it today,” said Deer.“The pope was very kind. He kept eye contact and he was very attentive. And all he said was ‘I will pray for you.’ That’s the only thing he said. And he gave me a little red box with a set of rosaries in it. And that was it.”Then it was time to get down to business.“Right from there, then we got whisked to the little compound in Rome. It’s not in the Vatican City. There’s not enough room,” he said.“The most important part of May 4 was meeting with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. There we met with Cardinal Silvano Tomasi, who is the chair. And that was the key meeting. That was the meeting where we addressed the whole issue of the papal bulls and the doctrine of discovery. That was key. That was the original intent. That was the original appointment,” he said.At first it appeared the archbishop was not going to listen to the Indigenous leaders.“At first when he first started he started giving the usual spiel that the papal bulls are no longer in effect, that they’ve been superseded by other papal bulls and there was no need for us to do anything. Then we interrupted him to do an opening prayer,” Deer said. “Then we did introductions around the table and then we got into the issues. By the time we had done with him he was changing his position. At the end he said, ‘Maybe the Vatican does have to make a statement. We have to consider making a statement.’”That was a very significant choice of words, Deer said.“He didn’t say rescind, he said abolish – a much stronger word – he said we have to abolish the papal bulls and that maybe there should be an apology from the pope,” he added.That was more than the delegation had asked for.“We didn’t ask for an apology. I’m not a big fan of apologies. I need something stronger than that,” Deer said. “Then he said they would need to have further meetings on this to discuss . . . we’d like to discuss what kind of statement he would make. So he was open to that idea. He committed himself to meetings but he wouldn’t commit about when and where because he wasn’t prepared for that when we came in there.”The group feels they got what they travelled to Rome to get.“We thought that was the most significant part of the whole trip was Tomasi saying that maybe we should make a statement,” said Deer.The message has reached the ears of one of the most highly placed clerics in the church. Archbishop Tomasi has been mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed Francis when the time comes, Deer said.“That’s what I’ve heard. And he’s a good friend of the pope, a confidante of Pope Francis. And some of us knew him because he was stationed in Geneva for few years. So he’s familiar with some of us. So I thought that was amazingly significant,” he added.The process of working towards the goal of getting rid of the roots of the colonial era has commenced, Deer said.“The other thing he wanted was to get more information about how states are using the doctrine of discovery today. So we’ll have to send him some documents how the Canadian government is using them in their court cases. And apparently they’ve been using them as recently as last year from what I’m hearing,” he said.Deer acknowledged that the idea gained strength because this pope seems more open to dealing with the matter than his predecessors.“I think the people felt that if there’s a pope that’s going to do anything it’ll be this one,” he said.Deer said Canadian lawyer David MacKinnon worked for more than year to make the meeting happen. Deer praised MacKinnon’s “tenacity in getting the appointment with the pontifical council.”“In the end he didn’t go to the meeting because he wanted us to take the lead,” he said.The Indigenous leaders are now waiting to see if Tomasi will follow through with action.Deer said that when he sees how hard it is to get that second meeting he’ll get a better idea of the church’s email@example.com
The Canadian PressKAMLOOPS, B.C. — Residents of a village in British Columbia’s southern interior are anxious to see what is left of their homes after one of the hundreds of wildfires raging across the region tore through their community, engulfing dozens of properties and forcing people to flee with little warning.Mark Sutherland of the Ashcroft Indian Reserve west of Kamloops said Sunday he had only seconds to escape with his girlfriend and two young children before flames overtook his home.“By the time we got everyone into the cars and we were getting out of the reserve, coming around the bend, (the fire) was already past the house. The next few houses were on fire,” said Sutherland, who used to work on a forestry firefighting ground crew.“It was so fast. Everything was happening so fast.”There is no end in sight as provincial officials expect more gusty winds and hot, dry conditions to fan the flames of the more than 220 fires that have destroyed an area covering at least 230 square kilometres.Kevin Skrepnek, chief information officer with the BC Wildfire Service, said the number of people forced from their homes is likely to rise from the latest estimate of 7,000.“The situation around evacuation alerts and orders could be quite fluid,” said Kevin Skrepnek, chief information officer for the BC Wildfire Service, on Sunday.“I would anticipate there would be expansions over the next few days.”B.C. has committed $100 million to help communities and residents rebuild, while the federal government is sending aircraft.Christy Clark, the outgoing premier, announced the fund Sunday in Kamloops. She said $600 will be made immediately available by electronic transfer through the Red Cross to people who have registered after being forced from their homes.“We are just, in many ways, at the beginning of the worst part of the fire season and we watch the weather, we watch the wind, and we pray for rain,” she said.“But our prayers aren’t always answered in these things and so we need to be there to support people in the meantime because there are hundreds and hundreds of people who are scared to death right now.”She said the transition team for premier-designate John Horgan’s incoming government has been briefed on the establishment of the fund.Horgan said the outgoing government has been very co-operative and that he would honour the $100 million Clark had committed to, adding that the province would likely provide even more support as the cost of the disaster grows.“Whatever is needed to make sure that people are whole after this, we’re going to make sure that happens,” he said, after meeting with officials in Kamloops.Horgan said he spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Sunday afternoon, who assured him the federal government stood ready to help.“To have the prime minister say the federal government is there for us when we need it is very reassuring,” he said.Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Ottawa has agreed to federal assistance.The Canadian Armed Forces are helping residents affected by evacuations and airlift emergency workers and equipment.Three Canadian Armed Forces Griffon helicopters were expected to arrive in Kelowna on Sunday and some larger fixed-wing aircraft are to arrive over the next few days, said Chris Duffy, executive director of Emergency Management BC.Duffy said the aircraft would be on standby and ready to help wherever they were needed, but that they would not be assisting with fire suppression at this time.The hardest-hit regions were the central and southern Interior. There were also major blazes burning in northern B.C. but they weren’t posing as immediate a threat, said Skrepnek.Highway closures trapped Cache Creek resident Jacquie McMahon and her husband overnight Friday on the north side of Lac La Hache, near the 100 Mile House wildfire.“The orange glow on both sides of us was so surreal and it was growing, growing, growing,” said McMahon, whose home was spared in the fire.“I just lost my mom (in March), and mom always told us: ‘Never go anywhere without everything you need.’ ”She added, wiping away tears. “So we had everything we needed. And thank goodness.”A provincewide state of emergency was declared Friday after about 140 new fires ignited and crews grappled with intense winds. The government said the state of emergency allows it to more easily co-ordinate a response to the crisis.On Saturday, 98 new fires sprang up and existing fires grew in size, Skrepnek said.The four biggest fires ranged in size from about 20 to 44 square kilometres and drove thousands from their homes in the communities of Ashcroft, Cache Creek, 100 Mile House, 105 Mile House, 108 Mile House, 150 Mile House and the Alexis Creek area.Dozens of public parks in the Cariboo and Chilcotin region were closed to the public.The province has been marshalling all the personnel it can to battle the flames, protect property and try to keep people safe.The BC Wildfire Service employs more than 1,000 firefighters and all were either deployed or on days of rest. At least 200 contractors backed them up, while an additional 300 firefighters recruited from other parts of Canada and are expected to arrive on Monday and Tuesday.Despite the crews’ efforts, Cache Creek Mayor John Ranta said a fire burning between Ashcroft and Cache Creek had destroyed dozens of buildings, including at least five houses, 30 trailer park homes and two hangars at a regional airport.B.C. has seen 552 fires to date in 2017, about half of which broke out over the past few days. Skrepnek said the province had spent $46 million fighting wildfires this year as of end-of-day Friday.
Angel MooreAPTN NewsThe Kingsclear First Nation in New Brunswick is divided.Not by politics or any particular issue – but by a highway.For years cars have been speeding through the community – and the route has now turned deadly.On September 7, a 27-year old mother was killed trying to get across.Now the community is vowing to hold a vigil at the site until the province helps to make the crossing firstname.lastname@example.org@angelharksen
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Amazon said today that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico hoping to be the home of the company’s second headquarters.The online retailer kicked off its hunt for a second home base in September, promising to bring 50,000 new jobs and spend more than $5 billion on construction.Proposals were due last week, and Amazon made clear that tax breaks and grants would be a big deciding factor on where it chooses to land.Amazon.com Inc. did not list which cities or metro areas applied, but said the proposals came from 43 U.S. states, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, three Mexican states and six Canadian provinces.Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Halifax and Calgary are some of the Canadian cities that submitted proposals.Besides looking for financial incentives, Amazon had stipulated that it was seeking to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand that headquarters to more than 740,000 square metres in the next decade.Generous tax breaks and other incentives can erode a city’s tax base. For the winner, it could be worth it, since an Amazon headquarters could draw other tech businesses and their well-educated, highly paid employees.In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie has endorsed Newark’s bid, saying the state and the city are planning nearly $7 billion in tax breaks. Detroit bid organizers have said its proposal offers Amazon the unique chance to set up shop in both the U.S. and Canada. Missouri officials proposed an innovation corridor between Kansas City and St. Louis rather than a single location.The seven U.S. states that Amazon said did not apply were: Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.Ahead of the deadline, some cities turned to stunts to try and stand out: Representatives from Tucson, Arizona, sent a 21-foot tall cactus to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters; New York lit the Empire State Building orange to match Amazon’s smile logo.The company plans to remain in its sprawling Seattle headquarters, and the second one will be “a full equal” to it, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in September. Amazon has said that it will announce a decision sometime next year.
VANCOUVER – Bravo pasta sauce fans are stocking up on the product that’s reappeared in some Giant Tiger stores after Kraft Canada announced it would bring the recently discontinued sauce back for a limited time following social media outcry.While stores say they’re quickly running out of the pantry staple, die-hard fans hoping to buy a lifetime supply shouldn’t fret because more shipments will arrive soon.“My phone has not stopped ringing for the last two days,” said Richard McKay, owner of a Giant Tiger store in Sudbury, Ont.The store received about 4,000 cans on Nov. 27, which McKay said he put out on the floor that morning. By the evening, there wasn’t any left.It’s a similar scene in many of the other Giant Tiger stores reached by The Canadian Press. Employees said some customers would leave with one or two, while others bought in bulk.A Toronto-area store worker said their location received 144 cans on Tuesday and had less than two dozen left by Thursday morning.A Brampton, Ont., store employee said the initial 128 cans their location received and promptly sold out of was a test and they’re awaiting a “by far” bigger shipment for January.On Kraft Canada’s Facebook page, one Facebook user posted a photo showing a tower of more than a dozen flats of the sauce stacked that she said was in her home.“I’ll fill up my whole room with it,” she said in the accompanying post, asking the company to bring it back permanently.About 180,000 cans were shipped to Giant Tiger stores in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I., said Alison Scarlett, a Giant Tiger spokeswoman, in an email. Certain stores in western provinces also received shipments, she said.Some home cooks expressed frustration at how quickly the product sold out at nearby locations, especially when the company first announced the sauce would arrive in stores Dec. 10 rather than late November.Kraft Canada did not respond to a request for comment, but the company answered consumer gripes on its Facebook account.The sauce’s return is a limited time offer and individual stores determine whether to stock it, the company said, encouraging sauce seekers to scour their local Giant Tiger’s flyers to find out when it’ll be available again if it’s currently sold out.Scarlett said some stores have sold out, but the company is doing its best to replenish supplies quickly.McKay said he expects to receive another shipment by Dec. 10. He initially ordered 6,000 cans, but is now trying to get even more.Though, McKay added, he’ll continue to limit customers to 12 cans per person.The discontinued sauce returned after a Welland, Ont., man started an online petition, saying Kraft Canada’s decision left him with beloved family recipes he’ll no longer be able to make.Nearly 11,000 people signed the petition urging the company to bring back the sauce and Kraft Canada announced in mid-November that it would make the product available for a limited time at Giant Tiger stores.It has yet to make a commitment to permanently reinstate the sauce, despite continuing consumer pressure.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.
OTTAWA – One of the world’s largest short-term rental websites is inviting the Trudeau Liberals to create a regulatory regime for the burgeoning industry — something its critics have long advocated and raising pressure on the government to set rules in the market.Airbnb’s budget proposal to the House of Commons finance committee asks the federal Liberals to avoid forcing “old and outdated rules” for traditional hotels onto Airbnb hosts, pushing instead for a simple-to-understand regime.In its five-page submission, the company bluntly says: “We want to be regulated” — a step beyond last year’s request for the government to apply a “light” regulatory touch.“We think as a platform our hosts should pay taxes. I know people get shocked when we say that, but we do. We think we should be contributing,” Alex Dagg, Airbnb’s public policy manager in Canada, said in an interview.“We just need to figure out what are the appropriate rules in place to do that and how can we facilitate that.”The submission leaves the Liberals with mounting requests and offers from online service providers themselves to set some regulations around their work, including applying sales taxes, all of which the government has thus far shied away from.Quebec, British Columbia and a handful of cities have enacted rules and struck deals to get tax revenues from bookings on Airbnb, which is one of the few services of its kind to negotiate tax agreements with Canadian governments. Quebec’s deal netted the province about $2.8 million over the first six months of the tax agreement.In April, a Liberal-dominated Commons committee urged Ottawa to make online service providers based outside the country collect and remit sales taxes as part of a series of recommendations to help Canada’s small businesses compete online.In late May, the national broadcast regulator released a report calling on the federal government to pry more commitments — monetary or otherwise — from online streaming giants like Netflix and Spotify and consider new internet levies to fund Canadian content.Federal officials have told groups that they are looking at how to tax and regulate online service providers, but don’t seem to have a clear idea of how to do it.The Hotel Association of Canada said Thursday the Liberals should require online businesses to also hand over detailed information on all home-renting activity so tax authorities have a list of all short-term rental hosts and can force those with high earnings to pay taxes like hotel chains.The industry group argued it wasn’t interested in targeting the casual home owner who rents out a room or unit for a few nights a year, instead putting a bull’s-eye on hosts who rent out multiple homes or units for months on end as part of a larger commercial operation.“We are not against Airbnb and we’re not against the competition. Competition is, in fact, a good thing. What we’re looking for here is fairness and a level playing field,” said Alana Baker, the association’s director of government relations.Airbnb says there are some 80,000 people who offer places to rent in Canada, and they earn on average about $5,500 annually.— Follow @jpress on Twitter.
TORONTO — Uber Technologies Inc. says its self-driving vehicles have returned to the streets of Toronto in a modified program after it halted testing earlier this year when one of its autonomous vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona.The company said Thursday that the limited relaunch of a few vehicles in the Toronto area will have a driver in control at all times and include a second operator as a precaution. The Arizona crash in March happened while an operator was streaming a television show and the vehicle was operating autonomously.Raquel Urtasun, chief scientist at Uber Advanced Technologies Group in Toronto, said in an interview that since the incident Uber has reviewed safety measures company-wide, including at the research group.“Since the tragic incident, ATG has been working, has really been looking at all of our processes and the way we develop the technology.”She said safety comes first and the company has looked to emphasize more simulations in autonomous development.“We have revamped all our offline testing such that we minimize the need for tests on the roads, and instead we leverage all of our data collection processes and we can test and create simulations so that we minimize the risks until the technology is ready.”The Toronto testing will focus on development and data collection for the company’s artificial intelligence systems including map building, more-so than testing the real-world self-driving capabilities of the vehicles, said Urtasun.Self-driving vehicles generally require high-definition road maps to operate and supplement the various on-board sensors. The company says it’s working to build technology that will allow map building in real-time to speed up the mapping process.Uber says it has also restarted testing in Pittsburgh, where vehicles will be operated in a fully autonomous mode with two safety operators, and in San Francisco where drivers will control the car similarly to the Toronto program.The company says it also plans to move its ATG research and development hub a couple kilometres west from its current base in Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District tech hub as it plans to double the size of its AI research team to 100 next year. The growth of the AI research team is on top of plans announced in September to invest upwards of $200 million and hire 200 engineers in its first engineering facility in Canada. The Advanced Technologies Group will relocate to a mixed-use development under construction by RioCan called the Bathurst College Centre.Urtasun said the company hasn’t had problems with recruitment yet despite strong demand in the Toronto technology sector.“This is one of the fundamental problems that, you know, is going to influence the way we live in this century. So everybody’s very excited to be working in self-driving.”Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press
The magazine also cites the average annual household income in Fort St. John of $124,000, saying that it takes just 3.1 years of the average resident’s household income to buy an average home in Fort St. John, valued at $386,000.The magazine said that the city had an unemployment rate in March of 5.7 percent thanks to its oil, natural gas, forestry and agriculture industries.The two Sea-to-Sky Country cities of Squamish and Whistler ranked 2nd and 3rd on this year’s list respectively, saying that the two communities have a large number of recreation attractions, along with fairly high average earnings.Delta and North Vancouver rounded out the Top 5 in B.C.The magazine ranked Oakville, Ontario as the best place in Canada to live, while Lacombe, Alberta has ranked the best place in Western Canada, and 5th overall.The full rankings can be found here: https://www.moneysense.ca/canadas-best-places-to-live-2018-create-your-own-ranking/#. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – MoneySense magazine has ranked Fort St. John as the best place to live in B.C. and the three Canadian territories, and 15th best place to live in Canada.The magazine, which is owned by Rogers Publishing Ltd., cites the city’s low taxes, relative affordability of housing, and amenities as reasons for ranking the Energetic City at the top of the list.The magazine’s Best Places to Live edition ranked 415 cities across Canada for this year’s list, looking at everything from transit access, arts and community, demographics, health, and crime rates, among a host of others.
The Corporation is anticipating phase eight to be placed into service in stages starting in 2020 through the first half of 2022, subject to regulatory and environmental approvals.President and CEO of Pembina, Mick Dilger, says the system expansion will allow Pembina to deliver timely and reliable transportation service solutions for their customers, adding that they are pursuing development with a long-term outlook.“Our strategic footprint continues to provide opportunities to complete staged expansions, enabling us to deliver timely and reliable transportation service solutions for our customers. Our customers continue to recognize the favourable economics in the Deep Basin and Montney areas and like us are pursuing development with a long-term outlook. Further, they appreciate the new markets we are developing such as the Prince Rupert Export Terminal and the proposed PDH/PP facility.”Phase eight will include new 10 and 16-inch pipelines in the Gordondale to La Glace corridor of Alberta, as well as six new pump stations or terminal upgrades located between Gordondale and Fox Creek, Alberta. Phase VIII will enable segregated pipeline service for ethane-plus and propane-plus NGL mix from the central Montney area at Gordondale, Alberta, into the Edmonton area for market delivery.It is expected that the majority of the $500 million capital spending will occur in 2020 and 2021.Pembina says this expansion advances their ultimate vision of having segregated liquids transportation service for ethane-plus, propane-plus, crude and condensate across at least four pipelines between Gordondale, Alberta and the Edmonton area. As well as achieving fully their powered-up market delivery capacity of 1.3 million barrels per day across the Peace and Northern Pipelines, which could be fully realized with a phase nine expansion, currently being engineered. CALGARY, A.B. – Pembina Pipeline Corporation has announced that it has approved an additional expansion of its Peace Pipeline system.Pembina says this system will accommodate incremental customer demand in the Montney area by debottlenecking constraints, accessing downstream capacity, and further enhancing product segregation on the system.According to Pembina, phase eight of the system has an estimated capital cost of approximately $500 million and is supported by 10-year contracts with significant take-or-pay provisions.
POUCE COUPE, B.C. – August 1st, 2019 Argo Road Maintenance will be continuing maintenance on the South Peace roads for the Region.Caribou Road Services Ltd time working the area spanned 15 years as they shared on their FB Page they successfully battled blinding snowstorms, bitterly cold temperatures, snowdrifts, mud, huge ‘200-year’ flood events, forest fires, droughts, and just about everything in between.The company shares further their gratitude to their employees by acknowledging their hard work and team spirit and sharing ‘We are proud of what we have accomplished together.’ The new contractor Argo Road Maintenance uses social media platforms and can be found on Instagram @argoroads and Twitter @ArgoSouthPeaceTo view the website; CLICK HERE To view Caribou Road Services Ltd post; CLICK HERE