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Pope Francis endorses civil union laws for gay couples in new documentary

The pontiff makes the comments in documentary Francesco

The Associated Press · Posted: Oct 21, 2020 10:45 AM ET | Last Updated: 1 hour ago
Pope Francis's comments about civil unions are consistent with those he made as Argentina's archbishop, but the most definitive during his time as leader of the Catholic Church. (Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary Francesco, which had its premiere at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday.

Francis's comments came midway through the film, which delves into issues he cares about most, including the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income inequality and the people most affected by discrimination.


"Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God," Francis said in one of his sit-down interviews for the film. "What we have to have is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered."

Francis, believed to the first pope to use the word gay publicly, famously told a reporter in 2013, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"

Three years later in a papal exhortation, Francis said, "every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while 'every sign of unjust discrimination' is to be carefully avoided, par­ticularly any form of aggression and violence."

Evolving views on homosexuality

Francis has never come out publicly in favour of civil unions as pope.

While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for gay couples, but he criticized a gay marriage bill passed into law in Argentina in 2010 as a "destructive attack on God's plan."

He has also been opposed to adoption by gays.

Director Evgeny Afineevsky, who received an Oscar nomination for his 2015 documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom, had access to cardinals, the Vatican television archives and the pope himself in making the film. 

WATCH | The trailer for documentary Francesco:

One of the main characters in the documentary is Juan Carlos Cruz, the Chilean survivor of clergy sexual abuse whom Francis initially discredited during a 2018 visit to Chile.

Cruz, who is gay, said that during his first meetings with the pope in May 2018, Francis assured him that God made Cruz gay. Cruz tells his own story in snippets throughout the film, chronicling both Francis's evolution on understanding sexual abuse as well as documenting the pope's views on gay people.

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Had the police been properly defunded this would never have happened. These teens are clearly victims of systemic racism, police brutality and colonialism that dates back 200 years before they were born. 


BTW, gang bangers have been putting those CERB payouts to good use. Illegal gun sales and importations are surging. 

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John Robson: Canadians need to wake up to the financial mess we're in

It's as if we’ve been given the opposite of a truth serum, some drug that renders us groggily incapable of blurting out what we know

Author of the article:
John Robson
Publishing date:
Oct 20, 2020  •  Last Updated 6 hours ago  •  4 minute read
Canadian_banknotes-scaled-1.jpg?quality= Canada needs to stop living beyond its means, warns writer John Robson. PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES

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A new geopolitical order is taking shape. The globe is rapidly realigning under American and Chinese spheres of influence and the pandemic has only raised the stakes. How can Canada finally get serious about its internal stability and external security so it can effectively play a role as a middle power? That is the question this National Post series will answer. Today: John Robson discusses Canadians’ stupor when it comes to government spending.

In an early instalment in this series Sean Speer sure woke me up by writing “We need to snap out of this collective stupor.” Exactly. He was talking geopolitics, but his appeal applies far more broadly, from health care to the rule of law. And the topic I’m here to deliver a slap on, public finances.

COVID-19 Update: 323 new cases; Asymptomatic cases "very rare", testing paused

As Dale Carnegie warned, you never persuade anyone with “You’re an idiot because …” let alone “You’re a stunned idiot because …” But you can shout “Hey, wake up, the house is on fire,” and even shake them if necessary. It is.


Article content continued

Why are we not living within our means?


As I was drafting this column the C.D. Howe Institute released one of its typical studies by a smart, detail-oriented guy, Don Drummond, warning of “Canada’s Foggy Economic and Fiscal Future.” And, as so often, it hit the mark exactly and missed by a mile at the same time, not easy with a single shaft.

As part of my offend-everyone plan, language like “The next generation may be hard pressed to handle a large stock of inherited debt” is not well-calculated to dispel any looming stupor. But not because its English translation “We’re putting our kids in hock up to their eyeballs” is wrong. The problem is that if people were willing to listen to such analysis, it wouldn’t be necessary. It would be intuitively obvious, and we wouldn’t be in this mess.

For years I’ve been preoccupied less with what we should be doing in public policy than with why we’re not, from defence to health to living within our means. It’s rare that both problem and solution aren’t obvious. But we’ve been given the opposite of a truth serum, some drug that renders us groggily incapable of blurting out what we know.

parliament-1.png?quality=100&strip=all&w Prime Minister Justin Trudeau officially tables the throne speech, outlining government spending plans, as Parliament resumes in Ottawa on Sept. 23, 2020. PHOTO BY PATRICK DOYLE/REUTERS

Thus the Canadian Snowbird Association recently did a victory dance over forcing the Ontario government to cover their medical bills in warm, sunny climes they can afford to go to. Some court said refusing to would violate the CHA’s “portability” provisions or some such wealth-conjuring oogabooga. And as my colleague Kelly McParland wrote “Seniors, as did most Ontarians, voted heavily for Ford and his pledge to get spending under control” but “Apparently their concern applied only to limits on other age groups.”


Article content continued

What explains this facile, unconscious hypocrisy? “Baby boomers have spent a lifetime electing governments that borrowed heavily to finance generous programs to make life easier, creating a legacy of debt that future generations will have to deal with.” And, he added, not just boomers. “Canadians have for years indicated they want a country they can’t afford.”

Indeed, when challenged about our parlous national finances, new Finance Minister of Everything Chrystia Freeland said “these are things we just can’t afford not to do.” Now McParland is not responsible for anything I say, let alone how. But these are his words: “That’s not an answer, it’s a slogan, and a tired, empty one at that. No country can afford to live on loans forever … Country after country has discovered the price of that reality.”

You can’t play make-believe forever


Note again the language of fog, tiredness, lack of mental acuity. Or consider Doug Ford’s decision to cut power prices in Ontario because the system is drowning in debt and excessive costs due to idiotic decisions by Dalton McGuinty and his not-so-merry-persons that voters somehow slept through and applauded simultaneously.

The only thing to do was say from now on we pay the real cost and yes it’s going to hurt because the problem is real. Which no politician or voter is going to do.

Well, until they have to. At some point, Kipling warned, the Gods of the Copybook Headings return in a foul temper. You can’t play make-believe forever. What? House fire? Leave me alone. Zzzzzzzzzzz. Owwwwww.


Article content continued

So with all due respect to Don Drummond and his four thoughtful, data-driven scenarios sticking in a tree way over yonder, here’s what a serious nation would be serious about fiscally:

• Wealth must be created before it can be distributed;
• Money is not wealth;
• Borrowing has costs;
• Who does not work shall not eat; and
• Stealing from your kids is wrong.

In some sense refusing to face reality is childish and stupid. But of course it’s ingrained with a great many who are chronologically adults and not formally stupid. As Thomas Sowell wrote in A Conflict of Visions, too many people have always believed we can have whatever we can imagine, provided our sunny ways turn to a vicious snarl if anyone tries to disturb our pipe dreams of world peace, free love or free money with practical difficulties and past experience.

The day the county hauls our belongings away ’cuz we’re busted, dumping us unceremoniously on the bare floor, we will wonder how we could have been so stupored.


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As you read this, reflect on the notion (and my long standing assertion) that liberals will never be willing to pay for what they say they want. That's why they have zero credibility with me and I consider all of their finger wagging deliberate fraud and fakery. The notion of "we will tax the 1% to pay for this" is a long standing worn out lie continually recycled by serial liars who don't even believe it themselves. In fact, they are the first to flee when the bill comes.

Pay your damn bills: 


Now take a moment and consider the damage these fools could do with open borders, free tuition, free medical, free dental, free prescription drugs, defunded police departments, disbanding Homeland Security and defanging ICE. That's the short list BTW, the green new deal deserves it's own thread.

Here at home, not a single person, including MPs and MPPs will answer a simple question from me. Where does the 80 megatons of carbon we need to shed to hit Paris Accord targets come from? If you can't answer that, your opinion on the subject is worth the berries in bear crap.

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Demonstrators, OPP clash over video recorded near Caledonia land reclamation camp

Dan Taekema  4 hrs ago

cbc.ca logoDemonstrators, OPP clash over video recorded near Caledonia land reclamation camp
image.png.f0ce8d885776354b312faf0723ac19bf.png%7B© Dan Taekema/CBC 1492 Land Back Lane spokesperson Skyler Williams says the police presence around the land reclamation camp has escalated the situation.

Provincial police and Six Nations demonstrators blocking a housing development in Caledonia, Ont. are clashing over a video the OPP Commissioner shared on social media.

The clip runs just over a minute long and shows a man carrying a lacrosse stick approaching an OPP cruiser while shouting it's "time to go." An officer in the driver's seat can be seen using the radio to describe what's happening as the man hits the car with the stick and another throws a rock, cracking the windshield.

In a tweet sharing the video Sunday evening, Commissioner Thomas Carrique said protesters have "falsely blamed" the OPP for escalating the situation.


"Extremely proud of my officers for their professional and measured response to keep the peace & preserve life while under attack," he wrote, without providing any further context about where or when the video was recorded.

Those details are important, according to Skyler Williams, a spokesperson for the demonstrators who have been occupying a camp they call 1492 Land Back Lane for the past 100 days.

"I think it's really despicable content that you show a one-minute clip out of context. That was just following rubber bullets being fired at people, a guy getting Tasered," he said during a media conference Monday.

"These are the tactics that we're used to seeing from not just the OPP, but police in general, across the county when it comes to dealing with people of colour. This is why Black Lives Matter is the way it is. This is why Indigenous standoffs are happening across the country."

The police presence near the camp came just hours after a judge granted a permanent injunction against the demonstrators and a skirmish with police took place.

Williams believes the video was recorded moments after provincial police arrived at a smaller camp next to Argyle Street South, where a group of people, including elders, were sitting around a fire.

He stressed that area is not covered by an injunction, but said those there were almost hit by a rubber bullet.

The people shown in the video were upset and "trying to tell the cops you're not allowed to shoot at our elders," he added, noting nobody besides police knew they had rubber bullets.

Const. Rod LeClair, spokesperson for Haldimand County OPP, said the video was recored on Oct. 22 and the cars were parked on the street to "keep peace in the town."


Video: Vernon police investigating white supremacy leaflets identify 'possible suspect vehicle' (Global News)ed and a Taser was used to "gain control of the assaultive suspects," said LeClair.

Premier Doug Ford weighed in on the video Monday, saying what it showed was "disgusting" and "unfortunate."

"Don't be attacking our police officers, They're there to help you, to support you, to keep law and order," he said. "Just imagine if we didn't have the police, there'd be anarchy."

In an update shared on Twitter Monday afternoon, OPP said that when officers tried to make arrests they are confronted by a larger group throwing rocks and pieces of wood.

One of the people involved has been identified and will face charges. 

To date, 33 people have been arrested in connection with the camp, including five who have been arrested a second time, said LeClair.

'Canada's new land claims policy'

Williams said he's been in contact with OPP daily, telling them the increased police presence in the area is only escalating things.

The situation did not need to come to this, he said, pointing to the federal and provincial governments and saying officials have been dragging their feet.

The property being blocked by demonstrators is part of the Haldimand Tract, granted to Six Nations of the Grand River in 1784 for allying with the British during the American Revolution. The granted land encompassed 10 kilometres on both sides of the 280-kilometre Grand River which runs through southern Ontario and into Lake Erie. Six Nations now has less than five per cent of its original lands.

The Six Nations elected council has an ongoing court case, filed in 1995, against Ottawa and Ontario over lost lands. It is scheduled to go to trial in 2022.

%7B© Dan Taekema/CBC Demonstrators, including Skyler Williams, second from the left, walk back towards a barrier blocking Argyle Street South in Caledonia on Oct. 26, 2020.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett's office said in an emailed statement that it wants to meet with the community "at the earliest opportunity."

The statement said "Canada deeply values its relationship with Six Nations" and wants to work "collaboratively" to deal with the "historical claims and land right issues."

Williams said he remains hopeful, but that police showing up with guns is not the "honest and open dialogue" that's needed for a nation-to-nation approach.

"I think this is Canada's new land claims policy, This is what that looks like — violence. How can you have fruitful negotiations when you've got the barrel of a gun pointed at you?" he asked.

"We've been at this for 100 days now and they should have been there 99 days ago."





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Things fall apart in the United States — and Canada takes a hard look in the mirror

We assume we're immune to the forces now threatening the American experiment. We shouldn't.

Aaron Wherry · CBC News · Posted: Oct 31, 2020 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 6 hours ago
A protester carries a U.S. flag upside down — a sign of distress — next to a burning building on May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis during protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody. (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

John Turner, who passed away in September, was particularly fond of a phrase that could stand now as an abiding lesson for everyone who has watched the chaotic last four years of the American experiment.

"Democracy," the former prime minister used to say, "does not happen by accident."


He seemed to have meant that as a call for democratic and political participation. It works equally as well as a broader statement on democracy itself and the steady progress it's supposed to facilitate — neither of which can be taken as automatic or inevitable.

"America is no fragile thing," former president Barack Obama said nearly four years ago as he prepared to leave the White House. "But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured."

The United States has offered the world a demonstration of how things can fall apart — not in one cataclysmic moment, but slowly and steadily over a long period of time as institutions and ideas erode and crumble.

Every other country on earth has to deal with the ramifications of what's happening now in the U.S. But beyond those consequences, there's another question for every other democracy: how do you make sure your own country doesn't end up like that?

An age of optimism ends

Everything was not all right for the United States before 2016 — but it was easier to take a great many things for granted. "Until recently, we Americans had convinced ourselves that there was nothing in the future but more of the same," the American historian Timothy Snyder wrote in On Tyranny. "We allowed ourselves to accept the politics of inevitability, the sense that history could move in only one direction: toward liberal democracy."

Four years later, the United States is a global symbol of political and state dysfunction, "constitutional hardball," corruption, misinformation, tribalism, racism, nationalism, conspiracy theories, falsehood, distrust and civil unrest.

In the past six months, more than 225,000 Americans have died of a contagious disease — at least in part because their government could not be roused to properly confront it — and the governing party's members and supporters were not willing to abandon it in response.

Paul Benson, left, clashes with Eric Artmire, one of many protesters who came to support a Back the Blue event happening at the same time and location as Democratic Congressional candidate Hank Gilbert's Protest for Portland rally on the downtown square in Tyler, Texas, on Sunday, July 26, 2020. (Sarah A. Miller/Associated Press)

Now, at the conclusion of another presidential election campaign, the ability of the United States to fulfil even the basic requirements of democracy — free and fair elections and a peaceful transfer of power — is in doubt. "Democracy is on the ballot in this election," Harvard political scientist Pippa Norris recently said.

How did it come to this? There's no shortage of possible explanations. Legislative gridlock. A poorly designed electoral system. A lack of regulation over the use of money in political campaigns. The treatment of politics as entertainment or sport. The weakening of mainstream media and the rise of partisan outlets and social media. A failure of major media outlets to properly grasp or respond to the challenges of the moment. Maybe even a national history of conflict.

Norris has argued that populist authoritarianism has been on the rise around the world because of "a cultural backlash in Western societies against long-term, ongoing social change." In other words, those who fear losing power or being left behind have turned to leaders who speak to their grievances.

The four horsemen of a political apocalypse

In their book Four Threats, political scientists Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman point to four broad issues that have defined every moment of crisis in the history of American democracy: political polarization; conflict over social belonging and political status along lines of race, gender, nationality or religion; high and growing economic inequality which spurs the wealthy to protect their own interests; and excessive executive power. Only now, they argue, have all four of those threats been active at the same time.

There are reasons to believe the Canadian democratic system is better designed and more durable than that of the United States. But no system is foolproof — and centralization of executive power and the overbearing nature of party discipline are longstanding concerns in Canada.

Chadwick Workman leads chants as protesters march down Monroe Street during a "Manifesting Our Momentum" event at the Lincoln statue in front of the Illinois Capitol building in Springfield on Sunday, June 7, 2020. The rally and march featured U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., as well as other community, faith and elected officials. (Ted Schurter/Associated Press)

It's not obvious that our institutions and media would respond effectively to a populist authoritarian leading one of the country's major political parties and trampling democratic norms and rules at will. For that matter, it's fair to ask how well our political system has responded to challenges over the past decade — everything from aggressive parliamentary tactics like prorogation and omnibus legislation to policies that specifically target immigrants and ethnic minorities.

If public cynicism is a concern, there was some solace in survey results released this week by the Samara Centre for Democracy — which found that 80 per cent of Canadians are satisfied with the state of democracy in this country. But significant skepticism remains: 63 per cent of those surveyed agreed that the "government doesn't care what people like me think," while 70 per cent said that "those elected to Parliament soon lose touch with the people."

Canada is not necessarily immune to any of the forces that might be driving what has happened to the United States, including polarization.

As Mettler and Lieberman write, differences across political parties can be good and healthy. There's a downside to fetishizing centrism or bi-partisanship. But the system can start to break down when politicians and citizens view each other as enemies rather than rivals.

Mutual contempt

"We are so locked into our political identities that there is virtually no candidate, no information, no condition that can force us to change our minds," American journalist Ezra Klein wrote in Why We're Polarized. "We will justify almost anything or anyone so long as it helps our side, and the result is a politics devoid of guardrails, standards, persuasion, or accountability."

There is evidence that Canada's federal parties and their supporters have polarized — though not to the same degree as in the United States. "As our political parties have become more ideologically distinct, their strongest partisans have tended to feel more distant from each other," a team of researchers reported last fall.

Climate change activists and a few counter-protesters supporting the oil and gas industry gather for a march and rally with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Dave Chidley/The Canadian Press)

Canadians themselves have not become more extreme in their beliefs, said Eric Merkley, a researcher at the University of Toronto — but the ideological beliefs of party supporters are now more distinct and partisans in Canada increasingly dislike those on the other side of the fence.

Americans still register higher levels of discomfort with the idea of a close association — like an in-law — being a supporter of the other party. One other possible difference, Merkley suggested, is that the social identities of Canadians — such as race and religion —are not nearly as aligned with political identity as they are for Americans. It's also possible that American institutions are "not as capable of dealing with polarized parties" as those in other systems, such as the Westminster parliamentary model in Canada, Merkley added.

When ideology meets regional alienation

Merkley said he's not worried yet about polarization in Canada — in some ways, it only makes sense that partisan sorting has occurred — but it is still something to keep an eye on.

In the Canadian context, stark political differences might manifest as threats to national unity — like the current split between Conservative voters in the Prairies and progressive voters elsewhere.

Consider the not-unrelated debate over climate change, which still threatens to be less about how to solve the problem than whether to even try. The challenge of transitioning to a low-carbon economy while holding the country together remains profound.

A protester wearing a yellow vest was one of a few hundred people who gathered on Parliament Hill on July 1, 2020 to protest the Trudeau government, mandatory mask policies and other issues. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

Canadian politics still seems downright placid in comparison with the United States. But the evolution of fundraising techniques and social media have also put a premium on inflaming passions and resentment to drive dollars and clicks. That sort of trend does not foretell a crisis, but it's also not perfectly benign.

There are other reasons to worry as well. A study released by the University of British Columbia's Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions this week found that, out of a sample of a million tweets sent to candidates during the last federal election, 16 per cent could be classified as "abusive." Concerns about the safety of MPs and their staff were raised even before a Canadian Armed Forces reservist crashed through the gate at Rideau Hall and allegedly threatened the prime minister.

Are we forgetting how to disagree?

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, authors of How Democracies Die, have argued that democracy depends on the acceptance of two basic norms: "mutual toleration" and "forbearance." Mutual toleration requires an acceptance that one's political rivals are legitimate. Forbearance means that leaders will practise "self-restraint in the exercise of power" — that they will not abuse their authority to do everything they might legally do because of the real and lasting damage that could follow.

In that respect, political leaders should be regarded as stewards of the political process itself. The very fragility of democracy should impose a duty of care.

"We cannot take it for granted that democratic politics will endure if we do not pay careful attention to the democracy-enhancing (or democracy-eroding) consequences of the things we do in politics," Mettler and Lieberman write.

American politics is Canada's second-favourite spectator sport. And we have long defined and measured ourselves by how unlike the United States we are. Though the term fell out of use during the Obama era, it used to be that accusing someone of participating in "American-style politics" was a grievous charge in Canada.

That oppositional tendency might serve Canada well now. But this is hardly the time for anyone to feel smug. The United States is reminding us now that nothing is guaranteed, nothing can be taken for granted.

Democracy can be silly and entertaining and a wonder to behold. But it is not a game.


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Sad ...... if not for them, you would living or maybe not living under a regime that would kill anyone who disagreed with it.  Our freedom was bought with the sacrifice of many lives.  REMEMBER who gave their their lives.....

Remembrance Day display in Kelowna vandalized, but organizers forging ahead

By Doyle Potenteau  Global News
Posted November 6, 2020 4:25 pm
 Updated November 6, 2020 4:31 pm
Organizers say around 100 small Canadian flags in the Field of Crosses display were torn or damaged during the early hours of Nov. 5.

Organizers say around 100 small Canadian flags in the Field of Crosses display were torn or damaged during the early hours of Nov. 5. Facebook

Organizers of a Remembrance Day display in Kelowna that was vandalized this week aren’t letting the damage overwhelm the bigger picture.

The Field of Crosses memorial display in City Park honours Kelowna military members killed while serving Canada in both World Wars, the Korean and Afghanistan wars and peace-keeping missions.

Yet this week, organizers say around 100 Canadian flags attached to crosses in the display were either torn or damaged during the early hours of Nov. 5.

“This is so disrespectful to the memory of those who have fallen,” Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers said in a social media post.

Gordy Charles of the Rotary Club of Kelowna said the damage has been repaired, but noted that it takes a large amount of work to create the display.

“It was a nasty act, but we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture,” said Charles, adding members of the Rotary Club, Legion and Military Museum annually combine their efforts to create the display.

“It was extreme disappointment, the fact that people were being disrespectful. We don’t know if it was one person, we don’t know who it was … but the bottom line they did something that wasn’t appreciated at all.”

Click to play video 'Legion transforms poppy campaign during pandemic'2:05Legion transforms poppy campaign during pandemic

Legion transforms poppy campaign during pandemic

Charles said this was the display’s third year.

“We feel that this is one small way we can say thank you for your sacrifice,” said Charles.

“With the main (Remembrance Day ceremony in Kelowna) being cancelled, we still hope people will come down, show their respects and enjoy our presentation,” said Charles.

Carol Eamer, display coordinator with the Rotary Club, said “everything’s back to normal, and we welcome everybody to come down, take some time (to visit).”

Click to play video 'Reduced Remembrance Day ceremonies'3:41Reduced Remembrance Day ceremonies

Reduced Remembrance Day ceremonies – Oct 29, 2020

With the coronavirus pandemic still raging around the word, Eamer said the display is a great way for “people to pay their respects to the fallen and still be physically distanced.”

If you have any information regarding this incident, you are asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300 or Crime Stoppers at 1.800.222.8477.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Enterta
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6 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

Sad ...... if not for them, you would living or maybe not living under a regime that would kill anyone who disagreed with it.  Our freedom was bought with the sacrifice of many lives.  REMEBER who gave you their their lives.....



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First Nations chief calls $1-billion Clearwater deal a “generational acquisition”

By Brett Bundale  The Canadian Press
Posted November 10, 2020 12:40 pm

A First Nations chief is calling a billion-dollar deal to buy Atlantic Canada’s largest seafood company a “generational acquisition,” saying it will benefit Indigenous communities “for the next seven generations.”

Premium Brands Holdings Corp. and a group of Mi’kmaq First Nations have banded together to buy Clearwater Seafoods for $1 billion – the largest potential investment in the seafood industry by a Canadian Indigenous group.

Membertou First Nation Chief Terry Paul said Tuesday the acquisition would create an enduring legacy for Mi’kmaq communities.

READ MORE: Mi’kmaq coalition acquires 50% of Nova Scotia-based seafood giant Clearwater Seafoods

“The Mi’kmaq will be fishing in the waters until the rest of time,” he said. “Acquiring Clearwater will have lasting positive impacts on the economics of our Mi’kmaq communities.”

The deal immediately raised questions about the potential affect on the region’s “moderate livelihood” fishery.

Tensions over the treaty rights-based fishery boiled over last month after non-Indigenous fishers destroyed the catch of Mi’kmaq fishers and burned a lobster pound to the ground.

Click to play video 'Mi’kmaq solidarity group rallies in front of Clearwater Market'0:52Mi’kmaq solidarity group rallies in front of Clearwater Market

Mi’kmaq solidarity group rallies in front of Clearwater Market

Paul said the Clearwater purchase is “strictly a commercial transaction” that does not impact efforts to establish a moderate livelihood fishery.

“Our investment in the commercial offshore fishery is completely separate from our commercial inshore and moderate livelihood fisheries,” he said.

“We are still incredibly committed to our other fisheries … this deal does not impact the processes and discussions taking place in the livelihood fishery.”

Paul said it’s too early to say whether Clearwater could purchase lobster from the moderate livelihood fishery.

READ MORE: Indigenous moderate livelihood lobster fishery expands in Nova Scotia

Meanwhile, he said the long-term plan is to integrate Mi’kmaq workers into the seafood company.

He said through attrition and retirement of existing workers, Clearwater could expand its Indigenous workforce.

The deal announced Monday comes eight months after Halifax-based Clearwater said it was exploring a possible sale.

The Mi’kmaq First Nations coalition, led by the Membertou First Nation, and Premium holdings will each acquire half ownership of Clearwater through the new partnership FNC Holdings Ltd.

Click to play video 'Sipekne’katik First Nation chief set to meet with other Mi’kmaq chiefs'1:43Sipekne’katik First Nation chief set to meet with other Mi’kmaq chiefs

Sipekne’katik First Nation chief set to meet with other Mi’kmaq chiefs – Oct 27, 2020

The Mi’kmaw coalition will put up $250 million, financed by a 30-year loan from the First Nations Finance Authority.

“This enables us as a collective to invest in this meaningful deal without impacting our finances for other community needs,” Paul said.

Premium Brands said it will raise $250 million of new equity capital from a $200-million bought deal public offering and a $50-million concurrent private placement with CPP Investments.

The $1-billion sale – including debt – would see Clearwater shareholders receive $8.25 per share, which represents a 60.2 per cent premium to the average volume-weighted average price for the 20-day period preceding the strategic review announcement on March 5.

The transaction has received unanimous approval of Clearwater’s board and is subject to approval by Clearwater shareholders in January.

Click to play video 'Another First Nation developing plans for moderate livelihood fishery'2:18Another First Nation developing plans for moderate livelihood fishery

Another First Nation developing plans for moderate livelihood fishery – Oct 26, 2020

The Mi’kmaq expect to hold Clearwater’s Canadian fishing licences within a fully Mi’kmaq-owned partnership.

Paqtnkek, Pictou Landing, Potlotek, Sipekne’katik, and We’koqma’q have confirmed their intention to participate with Membertou and Miawpukek in the investment.

Clearwater chairman Colin MacDonald said the transaction will “enhance the culture of diversity and sustainable seafood excellence that exists at Clearwater.”

“I am very pleased to recommend this transaction,” he said in a statement. “It represents great value for shareholders, leverages the expertise within the company while advancing Reconciliation in Canada.”

Each of Clearwater’s directors, plus the CEO and chief financial officer, who cumulatively control 63.9 per cent of outstanding shares, have entered into agreements to vote in favour of the transaction.

READ MORE: Sipekne’katik First Nation re-elects Chief Mike Sack for 3rd term

Christine Penney, vice-president of sustainability and public affairs at Clearwater, called the sale “a historic opportunity for the Mi’kmaq to become significant players in the offshore commercial fishery and the global seafood industry.”

Penney said the seafood company is expected to continue under the existing Clearwater brand and operationally “will look very much as it does today.”

The sale is expected to close in the first half of 2021, subject to conditions including court and shareholder approval.

Clearwater is a vertically integrated seafood company, with fishing operations, processing facilities and a sales and marketing team.

The company fishes a variety of seafood, including scallops, lobster, clams and crab in Canada, Argentina and the U.K, with sales in 48 countries around the world.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2020.

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I was going to put this into the Alberta thread but it might be more appropriate here as there’s a bit more to the cow theme I mentioned (somewhere else). I see it as a huge part of what ails our society and it manifests itself in ridiculous scenarios like our collective Paris Accord failures to date.

Simply put, the lack of real world experience which provides immediate consequences for complacency and instantly rewards good decisions has been lost. Look at virtually any elite military training courses and you will find “attention to detail” a key element in success.

58% of people have never undertaken a DIY project or built so much as a bird feeder. 43% have no outdoor experience at all, things like camping, hiking, hunting, canoeing etc and 33% have never seen a live cow.

27% have never seen the sunrise and 19% have never cooked a meal from scratch.

I know, it all seems off topic, but it really isn’t IMO.

The complete inability to rationally consider cause and effect, monitor trends, jump on good ideas and reject bad ones is pervasive and I’ve been wondering how this could be for a while now.

I’m starting to think it's that lack of immediate consequences. Nothing else (IMO) accounts for the notion that doing the work and earning the win isn’t the easiest, fastest and most efficient route to success in any endeavour. Through in willingness, attention to detail, and acknowledgement of the fact that simple doesn’t mean easy and you find the recipe for success.

People need to see that those values have merit and experience the success/failure modes for themselves.

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Too bad we didn’t have a law for FN financial accountability:

From 12 years ago.........


The chief of a tiny Mi'kmaq community in Nova Scotia defended Thursday the $1.7 million in salary and compensation she and three councillors received in 2008.

Somehow, I don’t think they have taken pay cuts!!

There was also a news release from Mike Sack, leader of the band that said he was paid 31k from just going to AFN meetings......oddly, I can find the link but it won’t open. Equally odd, it wasn’t in mainstream media, just local papers in NS and PEI.


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