Police in Ottawa, KS are still investigating the shooting of a 4-year-old boy resulting in the arrest of his mother’s boyfriend. This happened around 12:30 p.m. Friday in the 1100 block of North Oak when the mother’s boyfriend was showing someone how to handle the gun but didn’t realize it was loaded. The 4-year-old was shot in the leg. Police say they’re not considering the shooting an accident because the mother’s boyfriend intentionally pulled the trigger. He’s charged with aggravated endangerment of a child and criminal discharge of a firearm.
House Rules: Elizabeth May Went to Ottawa to Champion Environmental Issues. Now She Is Out Is Out to Rescue the Democracy
OUR SCHEDULED forty-five-minute interview has stretched well past an hour, but Elizabeth May still has plenty to say. She launches into an answer, veers onto a different thought, sidesteps into another story, and just when I think she has lost the thread she grabs it and pulls it into a firmly knotted conclusion. Democracy, climate change, family, religion: we have covered a great deal of ground by the time her legislative assistant, Paul Noble, knocks on the door of the boardroom, two floors below her suite of offices in the Confederation Building, just west of Parliament Hill. Noble tells May that the Liberals won’t field anyone in the House of Commons today to speak to C-7, the Senate reform bill. If the New Democrats don’t fill their time either, and if she hustles over to the House, she could score a ten-minute speaking slot to address the Conservatives’ proposed reforms. Calling for a nine-year, non-renewable term limit for senators and an optional nominee selection process, the proposals fall short of the Green Party’s demand for an elected Senate, and May’s personal position that the legislative body should be abolished altogether.
May fires off instructions, asking Noble to dig up C-7 material, to click off her laptop but not close the lid until the lights are off, and to grab her green briefcase and her coat and come back in fifteen minutes. She manages to work in a please and thank you, but when the door shuts behind him she says, “This is how I talk to people; it’s terrible. I have to be very, very concise to save time.” At the appointed minute, Noble returns and they’re off, hopping onto a green minibus that shuttles MPs and political staffers between outlying office buildings and Parliament Hill. May clutches her coffee mug and calls out cheery greetings to fellow passengers from her seat near the front, while Noble perches near the back with her briefcase.
It’s a short ride to Centre Block. After quickly smoothing her hair and straightening her green jacket, which is adorned with an Officer of the Order of Canada pin, the fifty-seven-year-old Member of Parliament for Saanich–Gulf Islands, British Columbia, slips into the House of Commons, desk 309, up against the gold curtains in the back row. Parliamentary expert and Queen’s University professor emeritus Ned Franks once described the House as being much like the country it serves, ‘a vast sparsely populated tract dotted with isolated human settlements.’ That image resonates this morning. May is stationed farthest from the Speaker, on the Opposition side, alongside the remains of the Liberals and the Bloc Québécois. Beyond her, the near-empty chamber is a study in perpetual slow motion. MPs drift in, address the House, chat with their seatmates, and then disappear. High above, the public galleries empty and refill, as late-November tourists wander through.
The war in Afghanistan can’t be determined by polls, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday, asserting that the U.S. must continue with its strategy in the decade-old conflict despite plummeting American confidence in the war.
Panetta said that there is no question that the American people are tired of war. But, he said, the public understands the U.S. is engaged in Afghanistan because of the attacks on Sept. 11, and to prevent al-Qaida from again finding safe havens there to launch attacks.
“We cannot fight wars by polls. If we do that we’re in deep trouble,” Panetta told reporters at a press conference after a day of meetings with Canadian and Mexican defense ministers here. “We have to operate based on what we believe is the best strategy to achieve the mission that we are embarked on. And the mission here is to safeguard our country by insuring that the Taliban and al-Qaida never again find a safe haven in Afghanistan.”
A New York Times/CBS News poll found that 69 percent of those questioned believe the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan, and roughly the same amount say the fighting is going either somewhat or very badly. The numbers are up sharply from four months ago, when a bit more than half said the U.S. should not be at war in Afghanistan.
The survey reflects a growing frustration among the public and on Capitol Hill with the war, even as the Obama administration tries to map out an exit strategy that would shift the security lead to the Afghans by mid-2013.
Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay was even more blunt about the poll, saying that as one prime minister of Canada put it: “Polls are for dogs.”
“This is our generation’s war, this is a test of perseverance,” said MacKay, whose country has about 1,000 troops in Afghanistan, largely doing training. “Our ability to carry through for the long-term security of not just Afghanistan but the region and also the entire world, so there is a lot at stake. Canada will be there with our NATO partners.”
Panetta said that a lot of lives have been lost in the war, and “our commitment must be to insure that those lives have not been lost in vain.” He said that he and his military commanders are convinced that 2011 was a turning point in the war and that the levels of violence are declining.
Panetta was in Ottawa to meet with his defense counterparts, in what U.S. officials hope will be a continuing effort to address shared security threats, including drug trafficking, cyber breaches and border issues.
A two-year investigation into immigration fraud could lead to 2,100 people having their citizenship revoked and another 4,400 not being able to move from permanent residency status to full citizenship, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Friday.
Kenney said the people who face losing their citizenship obtained it fraudulently, paying consultants to make it look as if they were living in Canada to fulfil the residency requirement, when they actually spent little or no time in the country.
Of the 4,400 permanent residents under investigation, he said, 1,400 have voluntarily withdrawn their applications for full citizenship. In some cases, the government will withdraw their permanent resident status.
“We will apply the full strength of Canadian law. Where evidence permits, we will seek the revocation of permanent resident status or citizenship and in some cases the deportation of anyone perpetrating such fraud,” Kenney said.
The announcement is the culmination of two years of investigations by Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP following reports of consultants who would provide fake proof of residency — such as utility bills or receipts for rent — so people could meet that requirement of their application.
Kenney said he started to hear rumours of systematic fraud by consultants when he became minister three years ago. He also credited Radio-Canada’s Enquête, which investigated crooked consultants.
“If you are a consultant involved in selling Canadian citizenship fraudulently to people …we are on to you. It’s just a matter of time,” he said.
Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae says fraud has always been illegal, and he sees no real change in what Kenney announced.
“I don’t know anyone who’s in favour of fraud…it’s a question of giving the sense that he’s doing something when he isn’t doing anything new,” Rae said.
“[Fraud is] something that has to be proven. You can’t just announce that’s what you’re doing. There have to be the facts to back it up and there has to be a due process of law… where these issues are settled not just unilaterally by the minister.”
NDP Foreign Affairs critic Hélène Laverdière said there are plenty of immigration issues that need more attention, including family reunification. But she admitted the party has nothing against cracking down on immigration fraud.
“For example, there are enormous delays on family reunification. When we’re talking about, really, many years before we can complete a family reunification, that’s dramatic. There’s a lack of resources at a number of levels.”