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  1. Predicación pública en Red Deer, Alberta, Canadá.
  2. The roll weighs the equivalent of two Volkswagen Beetles and is used in 23 minutes
  3. While Americans continue to fume over President Barack Obama’s directive last week that schoolchildren must be allowed to choose the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, and not their birth certificate, Canadians are bracing for a related fight. While receiving an award for his commitment to fighting transphobia and homophobia, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his administration would introduce new legislation Tuesday morning to protect the rights of transgender citizens. “I am proud to announce that tomorrow, on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, we will be tabling a bill in the House of Commons to ensure the full protection of transgender people,” Trudeau said on Monday in Montreal at an event hosted by Foundation Emergence, a gay rights group. “We must continue to demand true equality.” Trudeau also announced that he would be attending the Montreal pride festival this summer, the first prime minister to do so. The prime minister didn’t offer specific details in the announcement, but CBC News reported that he asked Justice Minister Jody Wilson Raybould “to add gender identity as a prohibited ground for discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to the list of distinguishing characteristics of ‘identifiable group’ protected by the hate speech provisions of the Criminal Code.” U.S. civil rights laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 make mention only of color, race, religion, national origin and sex. Advocates have repeated and unsuccessfully attempted for years to add “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” to Title VII through an “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” (ENDA). In the absence of such explicit wording, however, a number of lower federal courts, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and the Obama administration have interpreted the law to cover such discrimination. On that basis, the administration justified its letter last week to the states insisting that bathrooms and locker rooms be open to individuals on the basis of their gender identity rather than their gender assigned at birth. It remains vulnerable to court challenge in part because of the law’s silence on the subject. The call to action from Trudeau is no surprise — he campaigned on the action before he was elected last year. And it’s not the first time Canadians have pushed for an amendment to their laws to include gender identity protections; proposals to do so have already passed the House of Commons twice, CBC News reported. In 2010, one bill never matured because Parliament was dissolved for an election soon after it passed the House, according to CBC News. Then in 2013, another proposal passed the House but stalled in the Senate. Similar to the U.S., the reason is bathrooms. Opponents in both countries have argued that extending protections could make it easier for sexual predators to target children in public bathrooms. This attempt may be different, in part because of Trudeau’s backing. His administration holds a majority in the House of Commons, the Guardian reported, making passage likely. Support in the senate, though, is still unclear. During his announcement, Trudeau made it clear he hoped Canada would rise as a leader on the issue. “I sincerely believe that in Canada we can and must do more,” he said. “Not just here, for us, but to show the rest of the world that an open and free society is the greatest thing we can aspire to together.” Since North Carolina lawmakers passed a law requiring people to use the bathroom that aligns with the gender on their birth certificate, an already simmering debate about transgender rights in America has boiled over, provoking multiple lawsuits between gay rights advocates, the Tar Heel state, the federal government and advocacy groups. Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/05/17/canadian-prime-minister-justin-trudeau-announces-new-transgender-rights-bill/
  4. ... the Worldwide work fund. They read a letter today after the Sunday morning meeting. They were also highly encouraging people to volunteer to go to the fort to clean up brothers houses.
  5. As the new Tesla Model 3 electric car was unveiled last week, hundreds of people in Montreal lined up to make a $1,000 deposit to reserve one of the cars. Montrealer Guillaume Tardif stood in line for three hours in the rain outside the Tesla dealership on 5350 Ferrier Street. Despite being caught in the bad weather, Tardif said it was worth the wait. "We weren't prepared for this weather. We thought they would set up tents or something instead of making us freeze," he said. 'We're buying a dream'- Guillaume Tardif, Soon-to-be Tesla owner "I worry if I wait too long that we won't get the government incentives. If this becomes a mass market car like they think it will, then the incentives are going to be pulled out. So if you save $8,000 by being here this morning it was worth it." Details about the car were unveiled by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk in Hawthorne, California on Thursday and more than 130,000 people have already put down payments on the vehicle. The Tesla Model 3 electric car was unveiled in Hawthorne, California Thursday night. (Tesla Motors Canada) The going price for a Tesla Model 3 starts at $35,000 US and Musk confirmed the new model will go at least 345 kilometres on a single charge. The vehicles are expected to go into production in 2017 and buyers in Quebec are jumping at the chance to take advantage of the provincial rebate. Quebec buyers are eligible for rebates between $6,000 and $8,000, while buyers in Ontario are eligible for up to $14,000. Like many, Tardif put his deposit down site-unseen. He's not worried about what the final product will be like. "We're the early adopters. Right now we're buying something, even on paper, we're buying a dream." Others travelled from out of town to reserve their spot in line. 'This is the future' Ian McKay drove down from Ottawa on Thursday to pay his deposit. " partly because it's fun to do and partly because they are making them to order," McKay said. "So it makes a big difference getting a reservation, because otherwise you'll be waiting months and months while all the orders get processed before you can buy off the line." McKay said he has faith in the company's product, considering their successes with the Model S and Model X. "They've proven that they can make a good car off the bat," he said. Millie Amoros went by the dealership last November to test drive the Model S, before deciding to put the deposit down on the newest version. "It drives amazing. If [the Model 3] is anything like what I drove it's a good deal," she said. "I do think this is the future." Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/tesla-model-3-quebec-rebate-1.3516325
  6. 2015 Registered charity information return for Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Canada / La Tour de Garde Société de Bibles et de Tracts du Canada. The information displayed below has been manually entered by the Canada Revenue Agency from the registered charity’s Registered charity information return. This information has not necessarily been verified for accuracy or completeness by the Charities Directorate. Link donations are at an all-time high, up by 10% (line 4500). More staggering, gifts from Other Charities exploded to $33.5 million (line 4510). As a result, Total Revenue is at a staggering $83.3 million (line 4650). However, Expenses are still high, with Supplies increasing by $5 million (line 4891). (Really explains the push to digital, and discontinued publications.) As a result, the deficit has remained, and is at $6.8 million. Much better than the previous 3 years, but still very sickly compared to 2010's $20 million surplus. Also notable, Canada sent $35.9 million to Brooklyn (or offshore) in 2014. 2015 is down to $3.5 million (line 5050). (For future reference - 2011, $82,420 - 2012, $2,045,845 - 2013, $216,022 - 2014, $35,921,399 - 2015, $3,485,726 ) Synopsis - arresting the hemorrhaging is important - but, they are still negative. Will next year be a break-even year?
  7. A judge has ordered a religious order, the Clercs de St. Viateur du Canada, and the church-run Montreal Insitute for the Deaf to pay $30 million to a group of former students who were sexually assaulted by priests, making it the largest settlement for sexual assault in Quebec history. At least 60 deaf students were assaulted by members of the religious community and lay people working at the school between 1940 and 1982. The school changed its name to the Institut Raymond-Dewar in 1984. The judgment brings to an end a long and painful process that began with the authorization of a class action suit in 2012. Represented by Robert Kugler, of the firm Kugler Kandestin, which also secured a landmark decision last week when its client was awarded $8 million for a hockey injury, the plaintiffs will now apply to an adjudicator, former Appeal Court Justice André Forget, in private, and with a sign-language interpreter. The plaintiffs include students who were as young as eight years old when they were repeatedly assaulted at the boys boarding school. Twenty-eight religious staff and six lay people were named in the class action, of which only five or six are believed to still be alive. Source
  8. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been victims of persecution in many countries, Canada and the United States among them. In the United States the persecution has often been a reaction, especially during wartime, to their lack of adherence to expected standards of patriotism. They do not vote, they refuse to salute the flag, and they will not serve in the country’s military. During World War I their opposition to the war led to their leaders in the U.S. being charged, convicted, and imprisoned under the Espionage Act; but the convictions were overturned. Between the wars, American Witnesses’ vigorous attacks on other religions, especially Roman Catholicism, led to a number of state and local governments passing legislation designed to put a damper on their activities. During World War II, Witnesses were even the object of mob violence in the U.S. because of their anti-war views and preaching. Frank Roncarelli furnished bail for 375 Jehovah's Witness members in three years. Before looking at the Witnesses and their Canadian experience, it is necessary to take note of a major difference between civil liberties in Canada and the United States. In the United States, the Bill of Rights has served as an important protector. The Canadian experience is quite different. In Canada a Bill of Rights, effective only at the federal level, was enacted under the initiative of Conservative prime minister John Diefenbaker in 1960. The more broadly applicable Charter of Rights and Freedoms was adopted only in 1982, as part of the new Constitution Act. The Constitution Act also contains what has been termed the “notwithstanding” clause. That clause allows a federal, provincial, or territorial government to override a provision of the charter on a particular piece of legislation for a period of time, subject to renewal. The clause has rarely been used, except in Quebec, where a secessionist Parti Québécois government during its period of power, till it was defeated in a 1987 election, tacked a notwithstanding clause onto every law adopted. All this rights legislation was adopted after the successful struggles of Jehovah’s Witnesses for their rights. In the United States, cases in which Witnesses sought to exercise their rights to freedom of speech, press, and religion have had a major impact on American First Amendment jurisprudence, a fact long acknowledged by legal scholars. A long list of such cases have made their way to the Supreme Court. Among the decisions, the Court found that a permit could not be required for Witnesses canvassing door to door, nor could they be charged for distributing literature. They were also found to have the right to use loudspeakers in parks. Among cases that they lost, the Court held that calling a sheriff “a damned Fascist” is not protected under the guarantee of freedom of speech. As well, the Court held that Massachusetts could prohibit minors from selling religious literature. The Court also upheld legislation requiring a permit for a parade. As in the United States, the perception that Jehovah’s Witnesses were unpatriotic during wartime was a major element in their persecution in Canada. In 1940 they were banned under the War Measures Act. Some of their children were expelled for failing to take part in opening exercises, and in a few cases the children were put in foster care or juvenile detention. Some Witnesses were victims of mob violence. Those refusing military service were sent to forced labor. The ban was seldom enforced after 1940; was partially limited in 1943; and finally repealed in 1945. That was the story for most of Canada, where matters were largely uneventful. However, the Quebec picture was very different. Maurice Duplessis was premier in Quebec from 1936 to 1939 and again from 1944 to 1959. His party, the Union Nationale, was formed by an amalgamation of the Conservative Party and a breakaway fraction of Liberals. His period in power is today known as the Grande Noirceur, or the Great Darkness. A devout Catholic, he acted to advance the interests of his church. He fought unions, Communists, and progressives, unashamedly using his power to thwart them. His period in power was characterized by social conservatism and disregard of human rights. In spite of this repressive situation, the Witnesses undertook a militant proselytizing campaign. Few in number, they produced and distributed virulently anti-Catholic literature. In this very Catholic province, they went door to door with their message, often using portable phonographs. They also drove along the streets with loudspeakers playing their message. To say that the Catholic Church, Duplessis, and Quebeckers in general (85 percent Catholic at the time, and many quite devout) were bothered would be a gross understatement. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Maurice Duplessis, the premier of Quebec (above), had overstepped his authority by revoking the liquor license of Frank Roncarelli, a Jehovah's Witness. The main way in which Witnesses were restricted was through local bylaws limiting their activities. Laurier Saumur was arrested more than 100 times in Quebec City for distributing literature without a permit. Canada’s Supreme Court ruled for him, finding speech and religion to be matters of federal jurisdiction: local and provincial governments could not legislate in these areas. Aimé Boucher, a farmer, was convicted of distributing seditious literature—Quebec’s Burning Hate—but the Court found that the pamphlet was not seditious. Two cases recognized that Witnesses had the right to sue police for their actions. Esymier Chaput sued because police invaded a worship service in his home and seized literature, without a warrant. Louise Lamb was arrested on a charge of distributing seditious pamphlets. She was acquitted, the and Supreme Court found she also could sue. As in the U.S., the Jehovah’s Witness cases helped to give a legal definition to religious freedom and freedom of expression. The Roncarelli case was the most monumental. So who was Roncarelli, and how did he earn Duplessis’ wrath? Frank (Franco) Roncarelli was born in Italy in 1904 and immigrated to Canada with his family as a child. His father opened the Quaff Café in 1912, one of Montreal’s trendy eateries. Frank studied engineering, but eventually took over the restaurant trade from his father. He also returned to Italy for a time, where he saw the closeness of the Catholic Church to Benito Mussolini. That experience soured him on Catholicism, and in 1935 he became a Witness and dedicated himself to promoting their cause. With his sons, he managed, as part of a group of Witnesses, to escape from a mob intent on harming them in Châteaugay in 1945. Because of his affluence—in addition to the restaurant, he owned properties in Montreal and elsewhere—he was able to serve as surety for Witnesses arrested for their missionary work. Police even called him to get him to bail them out, when they found themselves overwhelmed by the number of arrests. He acted this role for almost 400 cases. To punish Roncarelli, Duplessis arranged to have Quaff Café’s liquor license pulled. On December 4, 1946, Quebec Liquor Police descended on the restaurant—it was full of diners at the time—and seized all the liquor. The same day, Duplessis held a press conference in Quebec City to say that he had ordered the cancellation of the license because of Roncarelli’s support of the Witnesses, especially for going bail for them. Roncarelli reacted by seeking legal assistance from Albert-Louis Stein, a Jewish lawyer concerned with civil liberties. Stein sought co-counsel among French Canadian lawyers, but none came forward to take on Duplessis and the Catholic Church. He ended up enlisting Frank Scott, a renaissance man who was a law professor and a distinguished poet, as well as a socialist. One handicap: Scott had no courtroom experience. Efforts to sue the Liquor Commission and its manager, Edouard Archambault, were rebuffed. Such a suit would require the permission of the attorney general. As well as being premier, Duplessis also held that post. Roncarelli’s only recourse was to sue Duplessis himself. Judge Gordon MacKinnon heard the suit in Superior Court in May 1950 and delivered his decision a year later, finding that Duplessis acted beyond his authority by intervening in the jurisdiction of the Liquor Commission. Duplessis appealed, and Roncarelli cross-appealed, seeking to increase the award of $8,123.53 plus interest that MacKinnon had determined. The Appeal Section of the Court of Queen’s Bench reversed MacKinnon, finding that there was a lack of evidence that the Liquor Commission did not act independently. One judge dissented, finding with MacKinnon. And so it was off to the Supreme Court. Thirteen years after the case began, the Court rendered its decision in 1959, siding with Roncarelli by six to three. Three of the six argued that Duplessis acted ultra vires—beyond his authority. Two said he acted in bad faith, and the other one concluded that he was not immune to suit. They also increased the settlement to $33,123.53 plus costs, still leaving Roncarelli financially ruined. Almost all opinion on the case on the part of citizens, judges, and the press divided on language; French for Duplessis and English for Roncarelli. Duplessis’ “war without mercy” benefited him considerably at the polls in this heavily French-speaking Catholic province. Yet the case had an impact for change. It was one element in bringing about the Quiet Revolution, drastically limiting the power of the Catholic Church and moving the province toward modernity. The church lost control of public education. Most Quebeckers are still Catholic, but often little more than nominally. Quebeckers used to talk about the revenge of the cradle, by which they would conquer. On the contrary, in 2011 among the 10 provinces and three territories, the fertility rate for women from 15 to 49 stood seventh, with a rate of 1.69 children per woman. The bare replacement rate is 2.1. Almost a third of all couples in Quebec are common-law. In effect, Duplessis lost more than the Roncarelli case. He lost the Catholic soul of the province. One important difference between the U.S. and Quebec persecution of the Witnesses was in the official reaction. Eleanor Roosevelt took to the airways to condemn the persecution and then-attorney general Francis Biddle ordered an investigation of the violence. In Quebec, Duplessis encouraged the persecution. In later years Witnesses turned down the tone of their propaganda. Yet it was the virulence of it that brought the repression, without which Canada and Quebec might not have had the benefit of the legal precedents limiting the arbitrary exercise of power by officials. As for Roncarelli, he was unable to find a future in the province, and headed for the States. For a while he had a restaurant in Watertown, New York, on the border. Then he worked as an engineer with the St. Laurence Seaway Authority, later on road construction in Connecticut. He died there in 1981, but his legacy is Canada’s. Every Canadian law student knows of him and his legal battles. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been victims of persecution in many countries, Canada and the United States among them. Roncarelli v Duplessis - Wikipedia Whatever Happened To… Roncarelli v. Duplessis Supreme Court of Canada Roncarelli v. Duplessis, [1959]
  9. The Canadian Prime Minister caused a storm of social media fury after his official statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day appeared to contain no mention of Jews. Justin Trudeau has already faced scrutiny for his Government’s handling of Canada’s relationship with Israel, especially when compared to that of the previous pro-Israel Prime Minister Stephen Harper. His statement reads: “On this day, we pay tribute to the memory of the millions of victims murdered during the Holocaust. We honour those who survived atrocities at the hands of the Nazi regime, and welcome their courageous stories of hope and perseverance. “The Holocaust is a stark reminder of the dangers and risks of allowing hate, prejudice, and discrimination to spread unchallenged. It also reminds us that silence must never be an option when humanity is threatened. “As we pause to educate ourselves and our families on the bitter lessons of the Holocaust, we also strengthen our resolve to work with domestic and international partners to continue defending human rights and condemning intolerance.” The fact that there was no direct mention of the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust caused a stir on social media, with some users claiming that he was forgetting history. Of course, Jews were not the only group targeted by the Nazis. Others to face murder in the concentration camps included homosexuals, the disabled, communists and Jehovah's Witnesses, among others. However, the fact that around two thirds of the Jews in Europe—around one third of the Jews worldwide at the time—were exterminated has forever linked the Holocaust with the Jews. In response to the outrage, Trudeau posted a link to his statement on Twitter alongside a note about fighting anti-Semitism. http://www.albawaba.com/loop/social-media-fury-canadian-pm-forgets-mention-jews-holocaust-statement-799720

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