Archive | December, 2017

Soha Ali Khan launches her book, Saif-Kareena graces the event

Posted on 22 December 2017 by admin

Soha Ali Khan launched her new book title ‘The Perils of Being moderately Famous’ in the attendance of her close family members and other dignitaries. Soha’s mom and veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Sabah Ali Khan were present at the book launch.

At the event. big brother Saif Ali Khan shared an interesting incident of Soha and it left her embarrassed.

Saif recalled an incident when Soha went on a date and accidentally texted the person saying he was ‘boring’.

“She had gone out for dinner once,” Saif tok a pause and asked Soha if he can go ahead with the story and continued: “It was before she had met (Kunal) Kemmu (I hope he doesn’t mind me for saying it). It was kind of a date. He was a really wealthy guy, a big industrialist… he was talking to Soha and Soha was really bored… I don’t know if she was already seeing Kunal at that time (Kareena and Soha cut in saying, ‘No’) She just went out to be polite. So, a friend messaged her to ask how was it (the date) going and Soha replied saying, ‘It’s boring’. Only she messaged the guy. And now this is Soha – She asks the guy for his phone, takes it, deletes the message, hands over the phone and carries on. That’s my sister, Soha.”

Soha’s new book on Tuesday in Mumbai also saw her husband and actor Kunal Khemmu. Kareena looked stunning in a Bibhu Mohapatra dress.

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Kangana Ranaut supports Zaira Wasim after the teenager receives backlash over molestation case

Posted on 22 December 2017 by admin

Zaira Wasim, Dangal and Secret Superstar actress, has been in headlines recently after an alleged harassment in a flight. The teen actor was traveling on the Vistara flight from Delhi to Mumbai when she said that a passenger sitting behind her put his feet on her armrest.

In the Instagram live video, Zaira Wasim narrated the ordeal after deboarding the flight and broke down several times during the live session. Since then, the accused man was arrested by Mumbai Police. Although the industry members are supporting Zaira, the actress received tremendous backlash for the same.

Coming down heavily on the trolls against Zaira Wasim who spoke about a man harassing her on a flight, Kangana Ranaut said we should encourage women and not judge them when they speak about harassment. “The backlash this young girl is getting is so upsetting. Instead of lauding a girl for speaking up, people are judging and questioning her, “added Kangana at an event held to launch Shobhaa De’s book.

While there has been an enormous amount of support from sections of public and Zaira Wasim’s colleagues from the industry, there has also been a constant criticism against her reaction to the apparent incident and doubts have been raised at the authenticity of her claims.

When asked if she is scared to get into controversies for speaking out, Kangana Ranaut said,  “If I don’t talk, someone else will. It is not that if I don’t talk and act like an ostrich, no one will bring it to notice. I have always had options (to let things go) but I won’t succumb to that.”

Further elaborating, she added, “The intention is never to be disliked. There might be a wrong impression of me for taking a stand today but maybe 10-14 years down the line, I know I will be respected for my stand and my convictions, if not loved.”

According to the recent reports, the person who was arrested for molesting actress Zaira Wasim has been sent to judicial custody until December 22. The defendant has filed a bail plea which will be heard on December 15.

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Padmavati censor certification again put off

Posted on 22 December 2017 by admin

It looks like the censor certificate for Sanjay Bhansali’s Padmavati would elude the film, for some time longer at least. Sources close to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) say plans for the Censor Board to finally view Padmavati this week have been put off. The reason, according to sources, is the dispute over the disclaimer mentioned in the application for censor certification by the Padmavati producers which has raised many new questions.

Says a source close to the CBFC, “We can’t disclose details. But the new disclaimer on the application form of Padmavati has created a whole new debate as to how the film needs to be viewed and certified. At the moment we can only reveal that it is a complicated process that requires experts to intervene.”

With these complications further impeding the process of censor certification, it seems unlikely that Padmavati will be released in the near future.

 

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23 years later, Hum Aapke Hai Koun actors Madhuri Dixit and Renuka Shahane to reunite for a Marathi film

Posted on 21 December 2017 by admin

Renuka Shahane might not have done many films but one can’t deny that she is one of the powerhouses of talent. Her performance in Hum Aapke Hai Koun is still unforgettable. Also, the manner in which she left a huge mark in the world of television in the early 90s is remarkable. And now she’s all set to be back with an exciting film. Renuka Shahane will be seen in Tejas Vijay Deoskar’s next Marathi film.

But that’s not all. This untitled film has Madhuri Dixit in a leading role. Both her and Renuka Shahane were seen together last in Hum Aapke Hai Koun as lovely sisters. But Tejas Vijay Deoskar has clarified that in his film; both the talented actresses are not playing sisters but are connected through the narrative.

Renuka Shahane revealed that Tejas Vijay Deoskar used to make documentary films and had approached her for a project nine years ago. Though things didn’t work out between them then, they kept in touch. Then he approached her for this film and she readily agreed to do it. It was only then that she was told that Madhuri Dixit is playing the lead. She was thrilled to know that as she had hoped for the longest time that Madhuri Dixit should do a Marathi film. She also added that this film is a perfect launch for her in Marathi cinema.

Renuka Shahane then went back in time and shared some wonderful memories from Hum Aapke Hai Koun sets. She said that Madhuri Dixit’s mom used to accompany her on the sets and Renuka would chat with her in Marathi. She shared a warm relationship with Madhuri despite she being a big star. Renuka then even went on to say that if one gets a chance to work with Madhuri Dixit, he/she should be offering money to the producer instead of the other way round.

The untitled film is being shot in Mumbai and will proceed to Pune. A foreign schedule is also on the cards, most probably. The filming commenced last week and Renuka Shahane said that both took off from where they had left off. She observed that both she and Madhuri Dixit had a lot of things in common – both are married and both have two boys in the same age group.

 

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Quebec Liberals promise guaranteed minimum income for some residents

Posted on 14 December 2017 by admin

The plan to guarantee income for those deemed unable to work came as part of the party’s anti-poverty strategy.

QUEBEC—Premier Philippe Couillard is promising to create a guaranteed minimum income for certain Quebecers as part of a $3-billion anti-poverty plan.

Couillard and Employment Minister François Blais presented the government’s five-year anti-poverty strategy in Quebec City on Sunday.

The plan would boost the annual income of those who are unable to work by more than $5,000 to about $18,029 a year and establish a guaranteed minimum income for them.

Those deemed able to work would not receive increased benefits under the plan but could be eligible for subsidized training or job search bonuses.

The Quebec government says the plan would help lift about 100,000 people out of poverty by 2023 but anti-poverty groups are already denouncing it, saying it creates two classes of poor by punishing those who are deemed able to work.

The next provincial election is set for October 2018.

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Brampton power plant ‘gamed’ Ontario electricity system for millions, fined $10M

Posted on 14 December 2017 by admin

Ontario Energy Board found Goreway Station Partnership “repeatedly exploited defects” in the system by which the provincial Independent Electricity System Operator pays suppliers for power.

A Brampton gas plant that the government admits “gamed”Ontario’s electricity system for $120 million in overbillings will pocket $10 million despite a $10 million fine and $100 million repayment order.

The situation uncovered in a month-old Ontario Energy Board report Tuesday left Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals on the defensive with a provincial election just six months away.

Opposition parties raised concerns the 2015 settlement with the Goreway Station Partnership — which rejects assertions it “deliberately” gamed ratepayers — was hushed up for political reasons and called for a deeper investigation, possibly by police.

“This company gamed the system and paid a price for doing that,” Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid said of the record fine and the repayment order levied on Goreway by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator.

IESO vice-president Terry Young confirmed to the Star that the overbilling tally totalled $120 million over several years, leaving $10 million in Goreway coffers after the fine and the $100 million repayment figure, which was blacked out in the energy board report.

“There’s a process in place where these kinds of things are determined,” Duguid added when asked why Peel Region police were not alerted.

But critics said the settlement leaves unanswered questions about Goreway’s “ineligible expenses” for firing up its natural gas-fuelled power plant and how long it took to flag costs that were higher than for all other gas plants combined.

“Taxpayers and electricity customers in Ontario were being bilked . . . that’s lot of money,” said Progressive Conservative MPP and energy critic Todd Smith, who is insisting on full repayment by Goreway.

The Conservatives will consider alerting police, as they did over concerns about deleted documents in the scandal over two gas-fired power plants that were cancelled before the 2011 election, and events related to a 2015 Sudbury byelection. Both resulted in investigations and charges, although the Sudbury case was dismissed by a judge.

“It’s something that we’re definitely going to look into because we have to act in the best interests of hydro customers in Ontario,” Smith added. “This is just another example of how the Liberals have been asleep at the wheel.”

The NDP said the Liberal government is known for issuing scads of self-promotional press releases but was content to leave details of the Goreway case quietly buried in the Ontario Energy Board’s website.

“This $100 million is a massive fraud and the people of Ontario are the victims,” New Democrat MPP John Vanthof charged during question period in the legislature.

“Why did this Liberal government keep this information so quiet and not do a press release, as it does will all other hydro announcements?”

Duguid later told reporters that it’s up to Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault, “to determine if any further actions ought to be taken” over the way the case was handled from a public relations and settlement perspective.

“There’s no defending this company here and this government has no intentions to do that,” said Duguid, standing in for Thibeault, who was absent because of a sudden death in the family.

Thibeault’s office said Goreway has repaid $91 million of the $100 million repayment order to date. Duguid confirmed Goreway executive Rob Coulbeck was removed Dec. 1 from a panel studying ways to renew the electricity market.

Smith said having a Goreway official on the body advising Thibeault on modernization measures was “kind of like putting A-Rod in charge of getting steroids out of baseball.”

Coulbeck did not reply to a request for comment. A source said he did not join the company until after the questionable expenses were detected.

Provincial auditor general Bonnie Lysyk’s annual report, to be released Wednesday, will examine whether surveillance of electricity suppliers by the Ontario Energy Board and IESO are “sufficient.”

Young, of the IESO, said police were not called about Goreway because the agency, which runs the day-to-day needs of the power grid to keep the lights on across the province, was following the regulations it established for companies in Ontario’s electricity marketplace.

“We do have market rules that are designed to deal with this type of situation . . . to recover these costs,” Young added, noting the agency had to consider the additional expense of trying to drive a harder bargain in the settlement.

“We used the process.”

The Goreway settlement was one of nine in which recovery orders totalling $168 million were issued based on $200 million in “ineligible costs” discovered through audits after suspicions were raised starting in 2009, Young said. Goreway was the only company fined and the IESO would not reveal the names of the eight other suppliers.

In a statement to the Star Tuesday, Goreway, which has 41 employees, said its management team has changed since the ineligible costs were billed.

“None of the current executives of Goreway were on the executive team during the period in question,” said chief compliance officer Emma Coyle. “The project sponsors have also taken active steps to enhance internal controls and compliance oversight.”

Coyle added she does not know if any Goreway staff, past or present, have been contacted by police.

“Not that we’re aware of.”

Goreway is now working closely with the IESO to ensure its billings are “consistent” with requirements and said payouts remain subject to audits under market rules.

“Though the exhaustive audit process, it was determined that some of the costs Goreway submitted for reimbursement should be refunded to the IESO, which Goreway agreed to do,” Coyle said.

“Goreway rejects any assertion that it deliberately ‘gamed’ the IESO reimbursement programs” as stated in the Ontario Energy Board report, she added.

That report stated “Goreway routinely submitted what were obviously inappropriate expenses to be reimbursed by the IESO and ultimately borne by Ontario ratepayers.”

The rules by which suppliers are reimbursed for expenses are complex and create “opportunities for exploitation,” the report warned.

Young said regulations for eligible expenses have been “strengthened” and reduced disputes to $23 million last year compared with $61 million in 2014, for example.

Goreway, opened in 2009 to meet intermittent peak power needs, is a subsidiary and joint venture of Toyota Tshusho Corporation and JERA Co. Inc.

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Ontario’s fiscal watchdog doubts books are balanced

Posted on 14 December 2017 by admin

The Financial Accountability Officer (FAO) said Monday that there will be a $4 billion deficit in 2017-18 even though the Liberals maintain the books are in the black.

Ontario’s fiscal watchdog warns the provincial budget is not balanced — due to a difference of opinion over accounting that was first raised by the auditor general last year.

The Financial Accountability Officer (FAO) said Monday that there will be a $4 billion deficit in 2017-18 even though the Liberals maintain the books are in the black.

J. David Wake said the government’s “decision not to adopt the auditor general’s accounting recommendations has contributed to a significant and growing gap between the fiscal outcomes projected by the FAO and the province.”

At issue is whether around $11 billion in the government co-sponsored Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union Pension Plan and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan can be counted toward the bottom line at Queen’s Park.

Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk and her predecessors booked the holdings as an asset starting in 2002, but she changed her mind last year.

The government appointed Tricia O’Malley, chair of the Canadian Actuarial Standards Oversight Council, to lead a blue-ribbon panel to study the accounting change.

O’Malley — along with Murray Gold, of Koskie Minsky LLP, Uros Karadzic, of Ernst and Young and Paul Martin, a controller with the New Brunswick government and former partner at Grant Thornton LLP — concluded the Liberals’ accounting was sound.

But Lysyk said she is not changing her mind and devoted a whole chapter to the accounting dispute in her annual report to the Legislature last week.

Her argument is bolstered by Wake’s fall update.

The FAO also backed the auditor general in questioning the complex mechanism the government has developed to bankroll the 25 per cent electricity rate cut, known as the Fair Hydro Plan.

Because of the actuarial tussle “it is becoming more difficult for legislators and the public to assess the government’s fiscal projections.”

Even though the economy is growing at a pace ahead of the Canadian average, the accounting adjustment left the FAO projecting shortfalls of $7.1 billion in 2018-19, $7.8 billion in 2019-20, $9 billion in 2020-21, and $9.8 billion in 2021-22.

“The FAO is projecting very strong growth for the Ontario economy in 2017,” Wake wrote in his 28-page report.

But that will be more than offset by increased spending, leading to the deficits, he warned.

That could lead to Ontario’s net debt eclipsing the $400 billion mark in the next four years.

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Tories want OPP to investigate ‘ineligible expenses’ billed by power plants

Posted on 14 December 2017 by admin

 “Generators claimed thousands of dollars for staff car washes, carpet cleaning, road repairs, landscaping, scuba gear and raccoon traps,” wrote auditor general Bonnie Lysyk.

The Progressive Conservatives are calling on police to investigate $260 million in “ineligible expenses” — including staff car washes and scuba gear — billed by nine power plants, as revealed in last week’s auditor general report.

These are “abuses so egregious that a second look by law enforcement is only prudent,” Tory MPP and energy critic Todd Smith says in a one-page letter to OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes.

“I have serious concerns about what appeared to be a broad and systemic abuse of the energy system and, ultimately, the hard-earned money of ratepayers,” Smith added.

“I have no faith in the Liberal government’s ability to punish the companies responsible.”

Previous requests for police investigations from opposition parties at Queen’s Park have resulted in charges against two of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal organizers in the 2015 Sudbury byelection — although a judge dismissed that case in October.

There were also criminal counts in regard to allegedly deleted documents after two gas-fired power plants were scrapped by then-premier Dalton McGuinty before the 2011 election.

A verdict in that trial, involving two former key McGuinty aides who have pleaded not guilty, is due Jan. 19. McGuinty was not under investigation and co-operated with police.

The hard-hitting report by auditor general Bonnie Lysyk blamed lax oversight of electricity companies by the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) for the questionable expenses getting through.

Once they were discovered through internal audits, the agency responsible for meeting Ontario’s daily electricity needs issued orders for repayment of $169 million against nine power plants.

One company, which operates the Goreway natural gas-fired power plant in Brampton, was fined $10 million and directed to repay $100 million in a 2015 order.

While the Goreway case was revealed in an Ontario Energy Board probe, the IESO says it cannot name the other companies in question because of privacy rules.

The Conservatives and NDP have been calling on the Liberal government to force full repaymentof the monies, arguing $92 million of the $260 million cited by Lysyk as outstanding and should be returned to hydro ratepayers.

But IESO vice-president Terry Young has said the $260 million number is “extreme,” with $200 million being a more “reasonable” interpretation.

“We aren’t going to be taking further action,” he told the Star last week, adding the eligibility of some expenses was in dispute, and the agency determined that the costs of litigation were not worth the financial risk.

Police were not called about the ineligible expenses because the IESO has been acting under regulations it established for companies supplying power to the grid in Ontario’s electricity marketplace, Young has said.

But Smith, who represents the Belleville-area riding of Prince Edward-Hastings, said the internal rules don’t go far enough.

“Abuses by the insiders at these electricity companies, including at the publicly owned Ontario Power Generation, appear to be flagrant, systemic and repeated,” his letter to the OPP said.

Smith noted the Liberal government has been warned by the Ontario Energy Board since 2009 about the possibility for companies to exploit the expense rules.

He also said the Wynne administration, which is up for re-election next June 7, “deliberately swept them (the expense abuses) under the rug.”

In her report, Lysyk detailed a number of ways ineligible expenses were being reimbursed.

“The ISEO was not reviewing all cost claims submitted by generators before paying,” she wrote.

“Generators claimed thousands of dollars for staff car washes, carpet cleaning, road repairs, landscaping, scuba gear and raccoon traps, which have nothing to do with running power equipment on standby.”

One unidentified company claimed $175,000 for parkas and coveralls over a two-year period. Goreway’s claims included $300,000 for landscaping, $6.5 million for gas to fuel a steam turbine that does not consume any gas and another $17 million for which it had no supporting records, according to the auditor general’s report.

Under the rules, power companies called on to produce electricity on short notice to meet peak demand from consumers are entitled to claim only the “incremental costs” involved in being on standby, Lysyk said.

Another way power companies got around the rules was to shut down their equipment while on standby, only to restart again within two hours.

“This allowed generators to submit their equipment start-up costs,” Lysyk’s report said. “Running their equipment continuously would have saved money, but generators could not have then submitted the additional start-up costs for reimbursement.”

A spokesperson for Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault said risks of questionable expenses being reimbursed have been “corrected” because the IESO has now changed its procedures so that eligible costs must be pre-approved.

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Ontario’s police watchdog says it has evidence Peel detective conducted ‘biased’ investigation

Posted on 14 December 2017 by admin

Ontario’s police complaints watchdog alleges that a Peel Regional Police detective conducted a “biased” extortion probe against two men, including a York Regional Police sergeant, then authorized a “misleading” media release containing “inaccurate” information.

After a lengthy investigation, Ontario’s police complaints watchdog says it has found evidence that a Peel Regional Police detective conducted a “biased” extortion probe against two men, including a York Regional Police sergeant, then authorized a “misleading” press release erroneously linking the men with firearm offenses.

The findings of an investigation by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) are the latest developments in a complex case that has already seen two York police officers and a Brampton businessman sue the Peel Regional Police Services Board , alleging they were victims of a “malicious” investigation into an alleged extortion scheme investigated by Peel Det. Robert Crane.

The watchdog’s findings come as a relief to York police Sgt. Gurdip Panaich and civilian Surjit Brar, both of whom say their health, relationships and reputations have suffered as a result of being charged in March 2015 with extortion. Panaich was also charged with obstruction of justice and was briefly suspended from his job with York Regional Police.

The charges against both men were withdrawn by the Crown a few months later. The OIPRD investigation alleges that Peel police did not have reasonable grounds to arrest and charge the two men, and that Crane’s evidence against them did not fit the Criminal Code definition of extortion.

“I hope and pray that no other person in the community is subjected to such false charges and a fabricated press release,” Panaich told the Star, calling the OIPRD’s findings “a big relief for me and my family.”

The allegations against Crane have not been tested at a police disciplinary tribunal. The OIPRD, which investigates complaints against police, has found evidence to substantiate five counts of misconduct as defined under Ontario’s Police Services Act, including discreditable conduct, unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority, and neglect of duty.

However, professional misconduct charges have not yet been laid against Crane. Panaich told the Star that, because the probe by OIPRD investigators took longer than six months, the Peel police board must now determine whether the delay in the case was reasonable, a provision in the Police Services Act intended to avoid prolonged misconduct investigations.

Peel Regional Police Sgt. Josh Colley confirmed Monday that Crane has not been formally charged under the police act and said the OIPRD report is under review.

 “Once the review is complete, Peel Regional Police will proceed as directed,” Colley said.

Colley said Crane would not be able to comment because of the ongoing review. Crane did not respond to a request for comment from the Star Monday.

Peel Regional Police Board did not respond to a request for information by email or phone Monday.

The Peel police board has denied allegations of a negligent investigation in response to a $1-million lawsuit filed in 2016 by Panaich, Brar and York Const. Sukhdeep Brar, Brar’s brother, who was investigated by Peel but never charged. In a March 2016 statement of defence, lawyers for the Peel police board and Crane, who is also named in the lawsuit, “expressly deny” malicious prosecution and false arrest.

“Det. Crane was, at all material times, acting in good faith in his conduct of the investigation and in compliance with his duties under the (Police Services Act),” the statement of defence says.

The incident dates back to 2014 and involves multiple players connected to a Brampton real-estate broker Dale Mundi, who came to Peel police with allegations that he was being defamed online.

As previously reported by the Star, and based on the Panaich and the Brar brothers’ statement of claim, the ordeal stems from a dispute with an employee who Mundi later suspected was responsible for a website containing defamatory statements about him.

According to the statement of claim, in late 2014 Mundi and Surjit Brar met with a man who apparently had text-message evidence implicating Mundi’s employee in the posts. The man was hesitant to give Mundi the evidence, so Mundi offered $25,000 for the text message that the man could use if a lawsuit arose, the statement of claim says. Mundi and the man proposed that Surjit Brar hold the money because he could be an independent third party.

Surjit Brar then contacted Sgt. Panaich, who worked with his brother in the York police, to tell him about this proposal, according to the statement of claim; Panaich and Const. Brar later told Surjit Brar not to get involved, the claim states.

But when Mundi met with Crane, he claimed the man with the text message had, in fact, demanded $25,000 in exchange for the evidence, according to the statement of claim. Mundi said these men could get away with such extortion “because of their ties to the police,” the claim says.

Bhupinder Nagra, Mundi’s lawyer, told the Star Monday she was unable to comment due to ongoing litigation.

Surjit Brar and Panaich were arrested in March 2015. According to the OIPRD, the charges were later withdrawn at the request of the Crown after thoroughly reviewing the case.

But Panaich and Brar say damage was already done, thanks to a Peel media release sent out after their arrests. The Peel media release linked Panaich and Surjit Brar to “an extortion plot” involving five men. It referred to 14 firearms-related charges against a Caledon man.

The OIPRD’s findings back up Panaich and Surjit Brar’s claims that the charges against the Caledon man stemmed from an “unrelated investigation.” Panaich and Surjit Brar say the inclusion of that man’s charges tarnished their reputations further, making it appear that there was a gang operating in Brampton involving police officers and people with guns.

The watchdog alleges the release contained misleading and inaccurate information and the name of an individual who was not connected to the investigation involved Panaich and Surjit Brar.

Crane made a number of comments during an interview with Mundi that demonstrated “bias in his investigation” and that he had “made a determination regarding arrests and charges at the commencement of his investigation,” according to the OIPRD.

 

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Over 1,000 Stand for International Law, and call the Canadian Government to stand against a Israeli-Only Jerusalem

Posted on 14 December 2017 by admin

Today, over a 1,000 people came together in front of the US Consulate to stand for international law, and against a Israeli-only Jerusalem.  People from all walks of life, Jews, Christians, Muslims and other faiths, joined together to send the message “Hands Off Al Quds/Jerusalem.” Their message is that USA decision to name Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the US embassy has innumerable serious consequences.

This emergency rally was one among a number happening across Canada including in Montreal, Ottawa, London, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.  All around the world, citizens are coming together in front of US diplomatic office to speak out against Trump’s unilateral and illegal recognition of Jerusalem.

Trump administration’s plans run counter to longstanding international consensus.  It is a major violation of many United Nations Security Council resolutions) and the principles of international law, which consider all Israeli actions and laws aimed at changing the legal and historical status of East Jerusalem null and void. These resolutions ban the establishment of diplomatic missions, the transfer of embassies or the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

These resolutions consider East Jerusalem as an integral part of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967. Any recognition of the city of Jerusalem as the capital of the occupying power, the establishment of any diplomatic mission in Jerusalem or its transfer to the city is a violation of International law and the Fourth Geneva Convention

On November 30, 2017, the UN General Assembly last week voted overwhelmingly that “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.” The rally is important said organizers not only because of the Trump Administration decision, but because, Canada was one of just six countries that voted against this resolution on Jerusalem.

Canadians have clearly spoken that the Canadian government is out of line with public opinion when it comes to Palestine.  In a March 2017 EKOS poll, Canadians indicated they believe overwhelmingly that sanctions are a reasonable way for Canada to censure countries violating international law and human rights, and a strong majority of Canadians believe that government sanctions on Israel would be reasonable.

The message is that the Canadian government’s decision not to follow the US  example is not enough. Canada has an obligation to condemn the actions of the US government based on Article 1 of the Geneva Convention which requires that Canada “ensure compliance” with the Geneva Convention by other High Contracting Parties.”  This makes it essential that the Canadian government issue a clear statement condemning the action of the US government, and to publicly and diplomatically oppose all foreign embassies in Jerusalem.

Speakers were from the Palestinian and Arab communities, the United Church of Canada, the Muslim community, the Jewish community, labour, the Canadian Federation of Students (Ontario), the Christian Peacemaker Teams, Solidarity Against Fascism Everywhere, Canadian Peace Congress, and others who stand for justice and international law.  Over 40 groups endorsed today’s emergency action to speak against the move for a Israeli exclusive Jerusalem, and for a universal city where all are welcome.

 

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