Thursday , March 4 2021

Coerced into sterilization – Canada News

| History:

When he was 17, Liz was coerced by a child support worker to have an abortion and be sterilized in a hospital in northwestern Ontario, according to her, an experience that has been for 40 years.

"It was a matter of me almost (be) cornered, if you do it, by my worker at the moment saying:" It is better to have an abortion because if you do not, in any way, we will take that child from you, "" Di Liz.

The new research shows that forced sterilization of Indian women is not just a shameful part of Canadian history. The reports from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and the territories suggest that it is still happening.

The tubular leagues carried out on unwanted indigenous women are one of the most "atrocious" health practices that occur throughout Canada, says Yvonne Boyer, a lawyer and former Metis nurse who is now a Ontario senator.

She was contacted for the first time by Liz (who asked not to have her last name published, so she could talk freely about something so personal) in 2017 after a detailed investigation of the news produced by Boyer with the doctor and researcher Metis, Dr. Judith Bartlett. His report detailed how indigenous women were coerced with tubular bonds: the separation, burning or stinging of fallopian tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus – after giving birth to the Saskatoon Health Region.

Boyer now wants the Senate to study the scope of the issue nationally, which makes it the first address of the upper chamber.

"If it happened in Saskatoon, it occurred in Regina, it occurred in Winnipeg, it happened where there is a high population of Indian women," says Boyer in an interview. "I have had many women to contact me from all over the country and ask me for help."

Some Indian women interviewed for the report also felt pushed to sign the consent forms of the procedures while they were in active work or in operating tables, according to Boyer, noting that a judicial process against the Saskatoon Health Region was launched in 2017 by two of affected women.

Each claimed 7 million dollars for damages. Now about 60 women are part of the trial, he adds.

"If there are 60 women only in the Saskatoon area, there are many more that have not appeared in that area and there are many more who wanted to come forward but were too traumatized," says Boyer. "There are many more who buried those memories."

Alisa Lombard, an associate with Maurice Law – a leader in the proposed class action – says women outside of the Saskatoon Health Region also reported being sterilized without proper and informed consent. She says she learned from others in Saskatchewan, as well as in Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta.

The records and the investigations show that the practice was also frequent in the Territories of the Northwest and in Nunavut, it adds.

Lombard says his company will be subject to the forced sterilization of indigenous women in the UN Committee against Torture this month.

In his presentation to the committee, the Lombard company claims to the provincial and federal authorities not to investigate and punish those responsible for the practice despite receiving "numerous reports of numerous cases of forced sterilization."

It also describes specific steps to combat the practice, including criminalizing forced sterilization through the Criminal Code and having the health guide of Canada to healthcare professionals about sterilization procedures.

"I think that all the attention that is brought to such violations of human rights so demanding is not only necessary, but it must be expected," says Lombard. "I think about any type of understanding that something so terrible is happening, that is informed and the fact that many women are … I think our governments have the obligation to look deeply and solve it, especially important."

Canada must ensure the detention of the practice, says the Minister of Indian Services, Jane Philpott, with policies, education and awareness raising.

"The issue of forced sterilization of vulnerable people, including indigenous women, is a very serious violation of human rights," he said, noting that he has continued in Canada for a long time.

She also calls what happened to Liz "absolutely frightening and reprehensible."

"The story that is telling you where you not only have learned to be threatened … that they were forced not only to abandon the baby they were carrying, but to give up their future unborn children, it is frankly a horrible concept," says Philpott.

Liz is amazed at what she stole from her. Sometimes she hears her baby sleeping.

"I had some dreams … where you could hear a baby crying or you could have the meaning of a baby," she says. "The first time I had it I did not know if I was a boy or a girl. And again that I had it, I was a boy."

She says she had been years before she realized that what happened was not her fault.

"He said to himself:" I deserve this, this is my sacrifice, this is my cross to endure. ""


November 11, 2018 / 7:00 am | History:

Imagine producing a bumper crop of a high demand product around the world, just to know that you have to settle for a discounted price because there is no easy way to market your product.

Canadian beans experienced this situation in 2013 and again last winter when their harvest exceeded the transportation capacity of the Canadian railway companies. Western oil companies in Canada are now in the same boat thanks to production gains that were not combined with export capacity capabilities.

Like farmers, oil producers filled up storage to burst while waiting for a solution to appear. Price discounts or "differentials" that mainly affected heavy oil will extend to light petroleum and will update raw synthetic lubricating oil as the gas pipeline is reinforced.

Estimates on the cost to the economy vary tremendously, but the Canadian Oil Producers Association officially estimates the impact of at least C $ 13,000 million in the first 10 months of 2018.

She estimates the cost at around C $ 50 million per day in October as discounts for crude oil from Western Canadian Select bitumen in front of West Texas Intermediate traded in New York reached her maximum of $ 52 per barrel.

"The differential has come to such an extreme level for two reasons, lack of access to markets and the fact that we really only have one client (United States)," said Tim McMillan, CEO of CAPP.

Obtaining an exact number on the amount of discounts that cost Canada is impossible thanks to the sectoral secret rooted in transportation and marketing, he said, adding that it is totally possible that real costs can reach 100,000 million dollars per year.

The producers' exposure at WCS prices varies depending on the type of oil they produce, where they are sold and how they are transported.

The Imperial Oil Ltd., based in Calgary, for example, says that about a quarter of its production of 300,000 barrels of bitumen per day is influenced by the prices of WCS; the rest is used in its Canadian refineries or is sent by tube or rail to the Gulf of the United States Coast where WTI prices are approached.

The company announced last week that it will build a 75,000 bpd oils project, following the belief that the pipelines will be in operation when production begins in about four years (a perspective that emerged on a Thursday when a US judge set TransCanada Corp. The Keystone XL gas pipeline is waiting until more environmental study is conducted.)

Meanwhile, rail freight is increasing from its Edmonton co-ownership terminal as quickly as possible.

Other oil producers, including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Cenovus Energy Inc. They are cutting production to avoid selling at current prices.

The problems of the industry receive little sympathy on the part of environmentalists like Keith Stewart of Greenpeace.

"Following the problem is that companies maintained the expansion of production even when they knew there was no new transport," he said.

But McMillan said that it has been planning for years, gaining regulatory approvals and construction projects.

For example, producers would not have known beforehand that the Northern Gateway pipeline project of 525,000 barrels per day approved in 2014 by a conservative government would then be rejected by a liberal government in 2016, he said.

"If Northern Gateway arrived as planned, we will not be in this situation," said McMillan.

In a report last February, analysts at Scotiabank estimated that the differential would lower C $ 15.6 million in revenues every year, with a rapid barrel crude ramp that was expected to reduce its success to C $ 10.8 billion until the fall.

At that time, the discounts were expanded to around US $ 30 per barrel with an average of approximately $ 13 in the previous two years.

Shipments of crude oil by rail increased to a record 230,000 bpd in August but did not reduce the differential.

According to the net energy based on Calgary, the WCS-WTI differential reached an average of $ 45.48 per barrel in October and has an average of $ 43.75 until now in November.

In an analysis last March, Kent Fellows, associate researcher at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, estimated that the differential would turn into an economic loss of $ 13 million during a year – $ 7,200 million for the government of Alberta, 5 , $ 3 million for the industry and $ 800 million for the federal government.

The spread came much worse, he said in an interview this week, which means that the lost opportunity is proportionally worse.

The highest differences reached provincial governments in the form of lower than expected royalties: their cut of each barrel produced from land where mineral rights are property of the Crown, while the federal government will see lower taxes on corporate income, second Fellows.

"If this continues and we begin to see a lack of growth or more fall somewhere in this production … it is losing jobs and even the personal income tax," he said.

The Alberta government estimates that each average annual increase of $ 1 in the WCS-WTI differential of US $ 22.40 per barrel costs its C $ 210 million.

In Saskatchewan, another major oil-producing province of Western Canada, each $ 1 change in the differential equals about $ 15 million in revenues, based on a WTI price assumed at $ 58 per barrel, according to the government.

Finance minister Donna Harpauer said in an interview that if current discounts continued for a year, the lost revenue from the Saskatchewan industry would be $ 7.4 billion.

Part of the reason for the WCS discounts were wider in October. WTI, which opened the year to US $ 60.37 per barrel, jumped more than $ 76. Manufacturers exposed to the WCS did not get the benefit of the highest oil prices in the United States.

McMillan said potential energy investors detect spreads. CAPP expects a capital investment of $ 42,000 million in Canadian oil rent in 2018, below $ 81,000 million in 2014.

"We are losing hundreds of millions of dollars that will subsidize drivers in the United States."

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Companies mentioned in this article: (TSX: IMO, TSX: CVE, TSX: CNQ)

November 11, 2018 / 6:38 a.m. | History:

The ceremonies of the commemoration day of Canada will mark today 100 years since the signing of the armistice that ended World War I.

Harjit Sajjan Defense Minister will be at the national ceremony in Ottawa representing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau spends the weekend of the Memory Day in France and his office says he will attend the ceremonies of the Armistice Day in Paris, marking the end of the "war to end all the wars."

Back in Ottawa, Governor-general Julie Payette will attend the national ceremony next to Sajjan, after returning from Belgium where he attended additional commemorative events.

Dominion Carillonneur, Andrea McCrady, will play the bells at Parliament Hill at sunset as part of an initiative organized by the Royal Canadian Legion. The bells will call as the night falls in one place after another through the country, including in the counties and places of worship, in military bases and ships, and in ceremonies to honor the veterans who served during the First World War.

McCrady will play "The Last Post" in the Tower of Peace carillon, followed by hitting the bigger bell 100 times, at intervals of five seconds, which represents the moment in 1918 when bells throughout Europe settled as the war it's over


November 10, 2018 / 1:07 p. M | History:

The police say only one of the two explosions that shook a barrage east of Edmonton earlier this week was deliberate and say the suspect died after the incident shot himself.

The RCMP had already identified Kane Kosolowsky, 21, as the man who was discovered injured Tuesday night in a vehicle at a Sherwood park complex that houses the Civic Offices of Strathcona County, a library and a restaurant.

He later died in the hospital.

The investigators now state that the initial explosion was intentional and that the suspect returned to his vehicle and suffered a self-inflicted bullet wound.

They say the first explosion damaged several nearby vehicles and that there was a second explosion when a gas tank in one of these vehicles burned.

The police say they have no reason yet, and they continue to say they are not looking for any other suspect.

"The RCMP explosion removal unit and special tactical operations have spent three days searching for buildings and surrounding areas for additional threats to public safety. No additional threats were found," a police press release on Saturday said.

The second explosion occurred after the police arrived, but no one was injured in the explosions.

The RCMP said that there is no evidence that Kosolowsky was connected to any group or ideology.

The man's family said in a statement Thursday that what happened was unknown to him and they are impressed and devastated.

The police said yesterday that the Kosolowsky family cooperated completely with the investigation, and that their thoughts are with their loved ones and also they look for answers.

The launch said the forensic examiners are working to determine the type of explosive that was used for the first explosion, but that investigation will take several weeks.

An examination of the suspect's vehicle led to the taking of multiple firearms, the launch said, but no additional explosives were found on their vehicle or on other vehicles.

About 600 employees work outside the county building, but county mayor, Rod Frank, said most of them had fled to the day the explosions took place.

The library was open at the time and was safely evacuated.

November 10, 2018 / 8:45 a.m. | History:

The iconic monument of Vimy Ridge served this Saturday as a reminder of the Canadian war sacrifice, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made another visit to the memorial one day before the world turned 100 years since the end of World War I.

Running hands along the carved names of the dead Canadian war and walking among tombs, some with names, others simply marked as "a soldier of the great war" – Trudeau and his veteran affair ministers held hands with veterans and thanked them for their service .

The monument became the symbol of Canada's experience during the "War to end all the wars", during which approximately 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundland served: a number considered remarkable since the population of the country had about eight million.

The prime minister visited Vimy Ridge last year to mark the centenary of the battle.

On Sunday, more than 60 world leaders are scheduled to meet in Paris to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, making the Trudeau stop in politically symbolic Vimy.

Roland Paris, a former Foreign Affairs advisor at Trudeau, claims that the combination of events this weekend gives the prime minister's symbol to put behind his repeated public impulse so that governments do not overthrow international alliances.

On Sunday, Trudeau and other leaders will meet along with French President Emmanuel Macron in the celebrations of the Armistice Day in Paris. Later, Macron will host a peace forum that the French government will hope to make an annual raffle for civil society and political leaders.

"Going to Vimy and celebrating the Day of the Armistice … offers the opportunity for the prime minister to emphasize why Canadians have sacrificed in the past and the importance of maintaining the international order-based order," said Paris.

Some 66,000 Canadian soldiers died during the First World War, between 1914 and 1918, and another 172,000 were injured. Those who were buried in Vimy and other places believed that defending Canadian values ​​"have earned this sacrifice," said the Secretary of State for Veterans Affairs, Seamus O. Regan.

"We must remember the lesson of these conflicts: that freedom is not free. That is not easy. By the way, it is difficult to fight," said Regan.

"But remembering these lessons is to remember those who fought against these battles and who fought still."

A lesson that world leaders have learned since World War I is how a regional dispute can go into a wider and more global conflict, said Matthew Barrett, an expert on Canadian military history at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

That preoccupation with entangling in a conflict informs the discomfort of President Donald Trump with military alliances such as NATO, which in turn keeps Trudeau talking about the maintenance of alliances.

Some 11,000 names of Canadians who died in France are enrolled in the Vimy monument, marking the crest that Canadian soldiers took from the Germans in April 1917.

November 9, 2018 / 3:25 pm | History:

An alleged white supremacist expelled from the United Conservative Party of Alberta found a new political home in the new Canadian People's Party of Maxime Bernier (at least briefly).

The name of Adam Strashok has disappeared from the list of members of the "People's Network – Alberta" page on Facebook, along with virtually all other tests of his previously active life on social networks. But a cache version of the page from mid-September shows that it joined the party and signed two others.

A party spokeswoman did not respond directly when asked if Strashok is still a member of the party and, if so, if his membership would be revoked.

"I can tell you that it was not elected to any interim council of the Electoral Electoral Association (EDA) and, as we know, is not involved in the organization," said Martin Masse in an email.

In an attempt to isolate themselves from extremists, the People's Party asks all members of their horseback associations across the country to sign a compromise promising that they "did or did not say anything in the past and will or will not speak in the future to shame the party ".

But Masse said that the vetting system only applies to riding board members, "not our 32,000 members or the thousands who attended a meeting or commented on Facebook."

However, he added: "We were always very clear that anyone with extreme points of view was not welcome at the party."

Asked again if the People's Party would cancel the membership of Strashok, it was discovered that he is still a member, Masse said: "I repeat: we are always very clear that anyone with extreme opinions was not welcome at the party."

The Canadian Press could not come to Strashok to ask about his affiliations to the party.

UCP leader Jason Kenney denied last month to Strashok after reports through online media. Ricochet and Press Progress revealed that he posted anti-Semitic and white supremacist messages on social networking sites and participated in an online store that sells memorabilia that glorifies the minority rule Rhodesia, the colonial precursor of Zimbabwe.

Kenney, who had used the Strashok to direct his call center during the UCP leadership contest last year, issued a statement saying he was "surprised and disturbed" by the reports. He said he ignored the "extreme visions" of Strashok and had ordered party officials to refuse their membership.

It seems that at least until last August, when Bernier was divided with the conservatives to form his own party, Strashok actively participated with the federal conservatives.

He will serve in the club club club executive at the University of Calgary and worked for Bob Calgary Bob Benzen. He spent a summer working as an intern for the representative of Calgary Michelle Rempel when he was Minister of State for Western economic development and published photos of himself with groups of conservatives, including Rempel, Benzen and MP Blake Richards.

The conservative party financial records presented in the Canadian elections show that Strashok donated $ 290 for the holiday in May 2016 and $ 532 in June this year. Party spokesman Cory Hann said these donations were registration fees paid to attend party conventions, the last one held in Halifax in August.

Hann said Strashok's opinions "obviously do not reflect the views of our party."

November 9, 2018 / 3:21 pm | History:

The new Tory government of New Brunswick has taken power, with a 17-member cabinet that includes four women and the only French-speaker MLA of the party as Deputy Prime Minister.

"Today we were confident of the next chapter in the history of New Brunswick," said Prime Minister Blaine Higgs, after swearing as the 34th premier of the province.

The ceremony, in provincial legislation on Friday, came just a week after the liberal government of Brian Gallant was defeated by a vote of confidence.

At the age of 64, Higgs is the oldest person to take the premier post in a province with a history of young leaders' selection.

Higgs thanked friends, relatives and supporters and called for the help of all New Brunswickers to solve the problems facing the province.

"I humbly ask each and every one of you to help me fulfill this responsibility. This can not be achieved only," he said.

Higgs has appointed a cabinet of 17 ministers, including himself.

Robert Gauvin, a solitary member of the Tories in northern New Brunswick, was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

The cheerleader and playwright said that while he was a North American speaker, he hoped to work with people from across the province.

"We will have to take off their sleeves and talk to each other, find ways to respect and do the work," he said.

There are four women in the cabinet, including the novice Andrea Anderson-Mason, who becomes Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

Ted Flemming returns to the cabinet as Minister of Health, a position he held under the former government of then-Prime Minister David Alward.

Flemming said that he will work quickly to help find a solution to the paramedical shortages that affected the ambulance service in the province.

"I will study the situation and we will move forward and you will not have to wait long," said Flemming.

On Friday, Higgs repeated a promise to find a solution in a week, saying it could make an announcement next Friday.

At the age of 71, former Parliamentary member Greg Thompson was appointed Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Dominic Cardy, a former NDP leader in the province that ran to the Tories in the September elections, was appointed Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

The positions in the 49-seat legislature are 22 Tories, 21 Liberals, three Green Party members and three MLAs of Popular Alliances. The three members of the Alliance of the People's Alliance committed themselves to support the Tory government by trusted votes for at least 18 months, but did not sign any formal agreement with them.

November 9, 2018 / 2:53 pm | History:

Alexander Archbold met the homeless man as a kind and kind man who sometimes entered his antique shop to sell several trinkets and treasures from scum.

If Archbold wished the items or not, he bought it so the man would have enough money to buy lunch.

It was in September when the man who only knew how Adam entered Curiosity Inc. in Edmonton with an old bag that contains a Bambi drawing in a torn and dirty frame.

Adam asked $ 20 for the match. Archbold accepted.

"I thought, well, it's Bambi. I'll probably be able to clear," Archbold reminded Friday.

Later, he said, when he removed the picture from the painting, he realized that it was valuable. A certificate on the back said it was a real 1937 animated sky from the classic Disney movie.

"I just thought that my goodness is the truth and it is worth much more than I thought. And I have to do something to help this guy."

Archbold detailed the discovery on YouTube where a man from New York, who had been homeless, took an interest. That man ended up buying the sky after Archbold posted on eBay for $ 3,700.

Archbold said that he then did his mission to track Adam and give him his share of the benefits.

He also wanted to do more to recover the man.

"I drove up and down every street alone. I went for shelters. I went to all places where I could go and try to find it."

Finally, Archbold spoke with other homeless people who knew Adam and passed the message that Archbold wanted to see it.

Adam returned to the store earlier this week. Archbold handed him $ 1,600, he took him to a bank to help him reactivate an old account and then took him out to lunch.

He said that Adam told him that his life collapsed after he had fallen into a depression. He has been working as a panel mixer, but he has lost his job, his wife and his home. Three of his four children were taken into account. At the age of 38, he had lived in the streets of Edmonton for three years.

Their children live with their mother in Ontario, and he wants to move there to be with them.

Archbold said that he is trying to do this. Installed a GoFundMe page for Adam. He made $ 5,200 or Friday afternoon.

November 9, 2018 / 10:21 | History:

A minister of the United Church who faces an unprecedented ecclesiastical judicial hearing about his professed atheism is no longer in danger of blurring after the two parties have reached an agreement in the case of long duration.

In an unexpected development this week, Rev. Gretta Vosper and the church set themselves up in front of what some point to as an "heretic trial," leaving him free to minister to his congregation in Toronto.

"It will be wonderful," Vosper said in an interview on Friday. "We will be underneath that heavy cloud. Now we can fly."

The settlement, whose terms are confidential, came during what was supposed to be a week of routine preliminary proposals before the full hearing later this month.

The church did not respond immediately to a comment request on Friday, but said in a statement that the formal hearing had been canceled in the light of the agreement, while the law Rev. Richard Bott, who was elected in July to lead the United Church Canada, said in a public message that he was satisfied with the resolution.

At the same time, Bott acknowledged the controversy surrounding Vosper and the initiative of the church to shoot. In a message to the adherents, Bott pointed out the fundamental values ​​of the Church's faith in God and the inclusion.

"The dance between these fundamental values, the way they interact and inform themselves, is what we continue to explore as followers of Jesus and children of the creator," he said. "As a Christian church, we continue to wait for the ministers of the United Church of Canada to offer their leadership in accordance with our shared and agreed declarations of faith."

Vosper, 60, who was ordained in 1993 and served as Minister of West Hill United Church since 1997, has been aware of his atheism and non-belief in the Bible for years.

The majority of their current congregation support their opinions but some have been critical, saying that their beliefs are in fundamental tests with the doctrine and the values ​​of the United Church, the second largest religious denomination in Canada.

Things came to a head after he wrote an open letter to the spiritual leader of the church after the massacre of Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January 2015 in which he indicated that belief in God can motivate bad things.

Despois de queixas, o comité de entrevistas da Conferencia de Toronto realizou unha revisión que atopou nunha decisión dividida en 2016 que Vosper non era axeitado para continuar no ministerio ordenado porque "non cre en Deus, Xesús Cristo ou o Espírito Santo".

O avogado de Vosper, Julian Falconer, o convocou un día importante para a Igrexa Unida de que o seu cliente xa non tiña un risco de sanción.

"Ambos os dous partidos fixeron un longo ollo no custo-beneficio para realizar unha proba de heresias e se era bo para calquera (e) os resultados falan por si mesmos", dixo Falconer. "Recoñeceron que hai un lugar para Gretta e que non hai razón para separar o ministro e a congregación".

Vosper, quen se lle permitiu manter a súa posición en espera do resultado da audiencia abortada, é libre para continuar o seu ministerio sen ningunha restricción. Ela chámase ateo para describir a súa non crenza nun teísmo, intervencionista, sobrenatural chamado Deus.

9 de novembro de 2018 / 10:15 | Historia:

O dono dunha empresa de camións de Calgary implicada no fatal accidente de autobuses de Humboldt Broncos fixo a súa primeira aparición no xulgado.

Sukhmander Singh de Adesh Deol Trucking non conservou un avogado e foi representado polo avogado de deber, quen pediu que o asunto se fixese ata o 30 de novembro.

Singh, que é 36, non falou con ninguén no seu camiño cara ao tribunal.

Até dezaseis mortos e 13 resultaron feridos no Saskatchewan rural cando o autobús de Broncos e un camión de propiedade de Singh chocaron na primavera pasada.

Singh enfronta oito acusacións relacionadas co incumprimento de varias normas de seguridade provinciais e federales.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, que dirixía a unidade de semi, está acusado de conducir perigoso causando a morte e condución perigosa causando danos corporais.

9 de novembro de 2018 / 7:31 | Historia:

A Corte Suprema de Canadá afirma que a Constitución permite a Ottawa e as provincias establecer un regulador nacional de títulos.

Na súa decisión unánime hoxe, o tribunal tamén considera que o proxecto de lexislación federal para a supervisión nacional de accións, títulos e outros investimentos está dentro das competencias do Parlamento no comercio e comercio.

The decision could help advance plans for a national regulator of capital markets, an idea under discussion since at least the 1930s.

Supporters of the concept say it would eliminate duplication, reduce red tape and ensure more consistent enforcement and investor protection.

But the division of constitutional powers has made Canada an anomaly — a leading industrialized country with a patchwork of provincial and territorial regulators instead of a national one.

In an earlier ruling, the Supreme Court said in 2011 that a draft bill to create a national regulator strayed beyond federal jurisdiction, as the provinces and territories have constitutional authority over most elements of securities regulation.

However, the court said it was open to Ottawa and the provinces to exercise their respective powers over securities harmoniously, in the spirit of co-operative federalism.

With that in mind, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Yukon and the federal government signed a memorandum of agreement to create a new regulatory system.

The plan includes a common regulator, a council of ministers to play a supervisory role, a model law that provinces and territories could pass, and federal legislation to manage systemic risk, allow for data collection and address criminal matters.

Nov 9, 2018 / 7:10 am | Story:

In the heart of downtown Regina, Royal Canadian Legion's Regina Branch 001 has provided communal space for Canadian military veterans since it was first chartered in 1926.

Today, it hosts a museum for Saskatchewan's military stories and its doors are open to any veteran struggling to file paperwork, find proper medical help or even temporary housing when times are tough.

The legion provides free, essential walk-in services for veterans in Regina — and yet, the branch had to start a GoFundMe campaign last month to scrape together enough money to stay open.

Branch 001's story is not unique. Most members served in the Second World War and the Korean War. Many have now passed away, and it's an ongoing challenge to keep the space open.

Across the country, Royal Canadian Legion branches are facing the realities that come with aging member demographics.

About half of the legion's 270,000 members are aged 65 or over — a statistic that's taking a toll on everything from filling poppy campaign shifts to paying the monthly rent.

Ronn Anderson, president of the Manitoba and Northwest Ontario command, said it's an issue affecting city and rural branches alike, with closures in small towns and big cities like Winnipeg.

"We are having a problem within the Royal Canadian Legion with our aging population," Anderson said.

"We're getting some younger people in but not enough to keep our numbers up, and there are some branches that find themselves in financial difficulty because they're not getting the patronage they need to remain open."

Thomas D. Irvine, the legion's dominion president, said Dominion Command in Ottawa is trying to tackle the issue by modernizing older spaces and reaching out to younger veterans who may not think the legion is for them.

"The bottom line here is the modern-day veteran doesn't like the older facilities, they want modern things, they want something to be able to walk into, for their families to do, to get involved in," Irvine said.

"Playing shuffleboard (is) not really the modern day family activity they want to get into."

The nature of the legion as a gathering place has also changed over the years, said Irvine.

In earlier conflicts, soldiers from the same town would go to war and come back home together, making the legion a logical gathering space.

Now, Irvine says, it's often one person from a town who joins the military alone and returns home with his or her colleagues spread out across the country.

That's why Irvine is trying promote installing internet at local branches to make it easier for veterans to keep in touch with their friends. Other modernization initiatives include promoting online sign-ups and game rooms for kids.

While membership is still 75-per-cent veterans and their families, any Canadian is now able to become a member — but Irvine stressed that a veteran does not need to be a member to walk into a legion for help at any time.

And he's optimistic that the efforts to modernize the legion are working, even if change is slow. Irvine said so far in 2018, the number of membership losses is significantly lower than in previous years.

"The word's getting out there that we are changing. The numbers are turning," Irvine said.

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