2 Wednesday, F ebruary 1 1 , 201 5 Symbolism Of The Canadian Flag unquestionably the Leader Reaching over 100,000 readers weekly PRIDE NEWS 158 Harwood Avenue, South, Suite 209 Ajax, Ontario L1S 2H6 Tel: (905) 686-8868 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.pridenews.ca Established since January, 1983 Wed. February 11, 2015 Volume 33; Number 05 Sunday, February 15, 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of our Canadian flag which has become a powerful symbol of freedom, democracy and diversity. THE WAKE-UP CALL Therefore, on this historic day we should pause and reflect upon the symbolism of this red and white Maple Leaf flag, and what it really means to us. For me, the display of the Canadian Maple Leaf represents not only independence, freedom and democracy, but compassion, generosity, and By Rupert Johnson opportunity. It is also a symbol of hope and racial integration. In these respects every Canadian should be a proud standard-bearer. We should, therefore, salute the Maple Leaf flag anywhere it is flown. On the first day of July when our surroundings are adorned with an impressive array of the Maple Leaf flag, and the night skies are lit up with brilliant fireworks, my heart is always filled with pride and enthusiasm. But my respect and admiration for this beautiful country is not limited to the celebrations of July 1. This feeling of admiration remains with me all the time. First of all let me say that Canada is not an idyllic paradise. No country is. But when I compare and contrast Canada with all the other countries in the world today there is no other place that I would rather be. In terms of diversity, health care initiatives, educational opportunities, universal old age security, Continued on page 14......... On Pride’s cover: Ziggy Marley performs at the Austin City Limits music festival in 2007. Ziggy -- the eldest son of the late legendary Jamaican reggae singer, Bob Marley -- who would have turned 70-years-old last week -- won a Grammy at the awards ceremony here on Sunday night. The Grammy is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The 46-year-old singer won in the category “Best Reggae” for his album “Fly Rasta”. He won from a field that also included SOJA’s Amid the Noise; Sly & Robbie featuring Spicy Chocolate (The Reggae Power); Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry (Back on The Controls); Sean Paul (Full Frequency); and Shaggy (Out of Many, One Music). For more on Ziggy’s award, see page 10. Cover photo by Jay West. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. WORDS OF WISDOM “Don’t gain the world and lose your soul; wisdom is better than silver or gold.” --- Bob Marley “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live!” --- Bob Marley “Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny.” -- Bob Marley PUBLISHER/EDITOR Michael Van Cooten INTERNATIONAL NEWS AGENCIES Caribbean Media Corp. (CMC) International Press Service (IPS) ADMINISTRATION/SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Narissa Van Cooten COPY EDITOR Sharmon Carrington ARTISTIC CO-ORDINATOR Afro Media COLUMNISTS Allan Jones Amirah Cerise Fairfax Dr. Virginia Nsitem L. Ardor/Lamoi Rupert Johnson Sandy Daley CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Beverly Browne Lincoln Depradine Neil Armstrong Pride News, reflecting the ambitions, aspirations, accomplishments and achievements of the African & Caribbean Canadian community, is published and distributed every Wednesday. PRIDE’S MISSION STATEMENT: To act as a catalyst for the advancement, empowerment and happiness of peoples of African and Caribbean heritage. Continued on page 12..... 3 Wednesday, F ebruary 1 1 , 201 5 Medical Marijuana May Not Benefit New York’s Poor Patients By Roger Hamilton-Martin New York Correspondent NEW YORK, New York (IPS) -- A bill which will bring medical marijuana to New York State in 2016 will leave the treatment inaccessible to low-income patients, community groups warn. New Yorkers spoke out about limitations to the draft regulations of the Compassionate Care Act, which should introduce medical marijuana to the state early next year. At a public forum held last week Tuesday in the Bronx, concerns were raised about the proposed regulations, including access for low income patients, and the small number of illnesses which qualify for the treatment. “The Department of Health can create incentives for industry,” said Julie Netherland of the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug-reform advocacy organisation that worked with legislators during negotiations. “One of the things they could weigh as criteria for selecting companies who will produce the strains, would be their plan to support low-income patients,” said Netherland. The bill was signed into law last July, but the programme will likely be implemented in New York State in January 2016. This will be nearly two decades after medical marijuana was first introduced to the United States, with an initiative in California to allow medical cannabis in 1996. Some 23 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalised cannabis for medical use, and four allow its recreational use. In their current form, the regulations allow treatment for only 10 illnesses: cancer, HIV/AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflamma- Medical marijuana from a dispensary in California. Photo credit: David Trawin/cc by 2.0. tory bowel disease, neuropathy, and Huntington’s disease. The commissioner of health for New York State, Howard Zucker, has the power to include any number of conditions as he sees fit. To pass the bill, legislators were forced to drastically narrow the eligibility criteria, according to the Alliance. In the bill’s original form, marijuana was to be prescribed at a physician’s discretion. Partway through negotiations, it was reduced to 25 conditions, then in the final days before being passed, it was cut to just 10. Those with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and rheumatoid arthritis would be ineligible for the treatment. Bill Gilson, president of the New York City chapter of Veterans for Peace, told IPS, “I have stage four prostate cancer, so I have access, but I’m trying to broaden this for those who aren’t included. I’m concerned about veterans with post-traumatic stress, victims of Agent Orange, traumatic brain injury from IEDs (improvised explosive devices), and the effects of depleted uranium poisoning. “The Department of Health has to broaden the eligibility conditions,” he said. There is no requirement that insurance cover medical marijuana, raising concerns that the treatment will be inaccessible to low-income groups. Also under the regulations, as patients are not allowed to smoke the drug, they will be using vaporisers, which range in cost, and a registration fee is needed in order to receive a patient identification card. The Drug Policy Alliance is calling on the department of health to make companies who want to produce the marijuana come up with a plan to sup- Jamaican Government Recruits Carleton Accessibility Experts for Gordon House Audit OTTAWA, Ontario -- Carleton University accessibility experts are lending a hand to the government of Jamaica in a project to make the country’s legislative building, George William Gordon House, accessible to those with disabilities. On February 15, Dean Mellway, acting director of Carleton’s READ Initiative, and third-year architecture student, Quayce Thomas, will travel to Kingston, Jamaica, to meet with government officials, planners and architects. They will be joined by two representatives from Toronto architecture firm, Quadrangle. Over three days, they will conduct an audit of the three-storey building, which was built in 1960. Jamaica has recently passed a slate of new accessibility laws, and given the progress for people with disabilities, government officials decided it was time to bring their legislative buildings up to the same standards. Carleton was invited to participate by Jamaican Justice Minister, Mark Golding. Carleton’s goal is to embed learning about accessibility across the university and use its expertise to help solve problems around the world. port those with lower incomes who need the treatment. Another option could be for the state government to divert some of the significant tax money to support those in need. Medicaid will not provide for the treatment. The small scale of the proposed programme was also criticised. There will be only five producers of the drug and 20 dispensaries across the whole state. Netherland from the Alliance told IPS, “It’s insufficient to meet patient demand. Also geographically, having just 20 dispensaries across a state 54,000 square miles large isn’t enough.” Many see the regulations as a step toward full legalisation of marijuana in the state, including New York City Council member Mark Levine, who told IPS, “I’m really excited, but there are many limitations we need to address. I see this legislation as a step towards taxation and regulation.” Limitations have also been placed on the delivery method the treatment will take – only oils and extracts are allowed, no smoking. As the 45-day public comment period comes to a close on February 13th, those with concerns are encouraged to submit testimony on the New York State Department of Health website. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, although four states have now legalised it for recreational use, and 23 states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana laws. Helen Redmond, a clinical social worker for the NGO Community Access, told IPS, “The exciting thing is, for the people who I work with, medical marijuana will help. Some people with mental illness have symptoms that are very distressing, for example, hearing voices, anxiety. “Marijuana lowers the anxiety that they feel, and can boost a sense of wellbeing. It’s a beautiful thing. There are few side effects. “Having a registration fee is problematic,” she added. “Also oils and extracts cost more to produce compared to having plant material – people can’t afford that. There are so many people in New York who are at poverty level or below. People who need medicine, their lives matter.” Grow your business; advertise it in PRIDE 4 Wednesday, F ebruary 1 1 , 201 5 Grenada Celebrated 41st Anniversary Of Political Independence ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Grenada celebrated its 41st anniversary of political independence from Britain, last Saturday, with Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell urging nationals to unite so as to ensure the future socio-economic development of the island. The celebrations included the traditional military parade and in his address, Prime Minister Mitchell said, that while “everyone has the right to their own political affiliation, and indeed, there will be a time when we will join in political debates; but the interest of the country must not be sacrificed at the altar of political posturing and maneuvering. “This is not about an individual, or a political party, or a religious group. This is about our country,” said Mitchell, indicating that the projections for economic growth this year “are even better” than the last few years. “But we are not satisfied. We will never be satisfied until more of our young people find work; until more of our people are taken out of poverty; until we modernize our services; train and educate our citizens; provide avenues to reduce the basic costs of goods and services; and until every family has a decent place they can call home.” But he said that the cost of energy continues to be a major concern for Grenada. “We cannot continue to support monopoly services that do not result in real costs reduction in basic goods and services for the consumer; whether it is for water, telephone, internet or groceries. “To that end, we are partnering with our friends regionally and internationally to find ways to invest in diverse services that yield more opportunities for competition; thus building that stronger nation—not just for today, but for a sustainable future. The needs of our people are urgent and they are varied.” Prime Minister Mitchell said that housing continues to be a major challenge, even though his administration had made significant strides in that regard. “Only a few days ago, the first batch of residents moved into their new low income homes. In the coming days and weeks, we will see more of the same. Determined as we are to not rest until we secure solid housing solutions, we have already moved forward to sign an MOU with the People’s Republic of China for the construction of more houses.” Mitchell told Grenadians that it was important to solidify the foundation being built for the next generation and to not forget those who worked tirelessly to pass this legacy on to the next generations. “On this anniversary, government commits itself to giving comfort to our retirees, who are now in their twilight years,” he said, adding that his administration will recognise the ruling of the courts here regarding the payment of contributions to the National Insurance Scheme (NIS). But he reminded the country that Grenada cannot be built by those in the political directorate, but by all of the ordinary people who continue to do extraordinary things in their communities. Veteran Calypsonians Out Of This Year’s Finals In T&T PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – For the first time in a long time, there will be no veteran calypsonian who has won the Calypso Monarch competition, appearing at this year’s grand final this weekend. The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Calypso Organization (TUCO) has named 11 calypsonians for the finals on Sunday, February 15, following the semifinals held at Skinner Park last Saturday. Two former monarchs, Winston Bailey, the “Mighty Shadow”, and Michael “Sugar Aloes” Osouna, who were among the 41 contestants, did not make it to the finals. But, Winston Scarborough, “The Original De Fosto Himself”, from the old brigade, made it to the finals with his tune “Games”. Crowd favourite, Devon Seales, whose tune “My Humble Plea” calls on Prime Minister Persad Bissessar and her government to leave office and call fresh general elections, is among the 11 singers that include former monarch, Karen Asche, with her tune “Every knee shall bow”. Another former monarch, Duane O’Connor, is in the finals with his tune “Citizen’s Pride”, while the other singers seeking the crown are Joanne Rowley “Tigress” with her tune, “What you Willing to Die for”; Myron Bruce, “The Incredible Myron B”; Victoria Cooper, “Venting”; Heather Mac Intosh, “Ah Gone”; Selvon Noel, “Target”; Brian London, ”Wishful”; and Neville Brown, “Multi Crisis”. They will challenge the reigning monarch, Roderick “Chucky” Gordon. Increased Fines For Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol In T&T PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – It is going to cost motorists significantly more if they get caught driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding or even failing to take a breathalyser test. The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is reminding drivers that new fines have come into effect and that drunk drivers could expect to pay fines ranging from TT$12,000 (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents) to TT$22,500. The TTPS said that the amendment to the Motor Vehicle Road Traffic Act, which went into effect at the end of January, would also result in persons facing fines of TT$1,500 for driving without a valid licence, up from TT$500. For exceeding the speed limit, the fine has been increased from TT$4,000 to TT$6,000, while motorists caught driving under the influence of liquor, will notice that the fine has moved from TT$8,000 to TT$12,000 for a first conviction. In cases of repeat offenders, the fine can range from TT$15,000 to TT$22,500. If a motorist fails to provide breath specimen, the fine has increased from TT$8,000 to TT$12,000 for first conviction, and if the driver fails to provide breath or attempts to alter specimen for analysis, the fine has increased from TT$8,000 to TT$12,000 for first conviction; and from TT$15,000 to TT$22,500 for second conviction. Refusal to provide blood sample for analysis will result in an increased fine of TT$12,000 for first conviction; and TT$22,500 for second conviction. The police said that they would be conducting in collaboration with Arrive Alive, voluntary alcohol breath testing at “Sober Zones set up at certain preand post-Carnival events.” Grenada Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell “Grenada owes a debt to the teachers and the policemen, the public servant, the business owners -- and the people out there in the communities who have repeatedly shown the toughness and sacrifice, that gives the nation its new character. “That is the flexibility and the country-first mentality that convinced our social partners—the churches, the business community, the trade unions, the Nongovernmental organizations—to work together with Government, to chart the way forward for the future of this country.” He said that the resolve of that group to unite for the sake of country has seen the island attaining a feat of historic proportions a few weeks ago, when most of the parties signed on to a Social Compact—a binding agreement that we will always champion the cause of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique ahead of self interest. “Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, the signing of the Social Compact and the demonstration of its precedents for our sustainable economic growth has caught the attention of the international community. “We have sent a message to everyone that we are serious about development—enough to make the tough decisions collectively that are necessary to get us out of the economic slump. We have been encouraged by the promises of support from our international partners. “In fact, we have been able to secure more than the expected funds to expand our safety net programs that take care of our poor and marginalized,” he said, adding that it is because of that “buy-in” that Grenada is the confidence of investors and visitors alike, who want to come here and lend to the economic growth. Prime Minister Mitchell said that “Project Grenada”, which brings together all the stakeholders in the socio-economic development of the island, was now bearing fruit, adding that the initiative will form the backbone in the attempt to build a stronger nation. Mitchell said the advent and rapid expansion of Information Communication Technology (ICT) will also help the island attain its true independence, “and the bases for enabling our children to be globally competitive. “This is why we are bringing technology within our schools, public service and services in general, and embarking on training our people appropriately to use those services. “The world has changed. The way we educate our children has changed. The way we do business has changed, and we need to ensure that we change also. This is how Grenada takes its place among the community of nations, and makes its name on the international stage.” 5 Wednesday, F ebruary 1 1 , 201 5 Body Believed To Be That Of Caribbean Airlines Director Found PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Law enforcement authorities say, forensic tests will have to be carried out to determine whether or not the body found Monday, in a rural village, is that of Caribbean Airlines (CAL) director, Azad Niamat, who has been reported missing since January 29. The body was discovered in Brazil village on Monday a few miles from where the vehicle, which the retired pilot was last seen driving, was found abandoned a week ago. Relatives have offered an undisclosed amount of money as a reward for information leading to the whereabouts of the 69-year-old, who is reported to have left his home in Chaguanas, in central Trinidad, on January 29, indicating that he was going to purchase a part for a wireless router and has not been seen since. A friend of the family, Imam Morland Lynch, who saw the body, told the Express newspaper Monday, that the body was clad in the same clothing that Niamat was last seen wearing. “My contact number was on flyers that were posted seeking information on him. Someone called that number this morning and said that they found his body. I came up here and the body had his same clothes. I contacted his wife and his brother. The person who informed me of the body contacted the police.” Niamat’s burgundy coloured Toyota Prado has been found and appeared not to have been tampered with. A relative told reporters that Niamat had pressed his GPS (Global Positioning System) in his van, which sent a message to his daughter in Florida. The family said they have not received any ransom demands for the father of two. CAL director, Azad Niamat Guyana’s Ruling Party Claims High Court Challenge Is “Attempt To Throw Spanner In The Works” GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) says the decision to challenge in the High Court, the constitutionality of the two term presidential limit, is suspicious and “is an attempt to throw a spanner in the works.” The PPP, in a statement, said that it had taken note of the challenge against the two term presidential tenure as provided for in the Constitution of Guyana. “What is of interest is the timing at which this challenge is being raised and by whom. Guyana is on the cusp of National and Regional Elections. Many challenges lie ahead, the most important being to ensure that the Elections are free and fair. Clearly, this new development is an attempt to throw a spanner in the works,” the ruling party said. Attorneys for Cedric Richardson, an ordinary citizen, have filed a motion seeking to have the term limit removed from the Guyana Constitution. They have named Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman, as respondents. The Guyana Constitution states that a person elected as President after the year 2000 is eligible for re-election only once. It also states that a person who acceded to the presidency after 2000, and served therein for a single occasion for not less that such a period as may be determined by the National Assembly, is eligible for election as President only once. The PPP has already named the incumbent Donald Ramotar as its candidate for the May 11 presidential election. In the motion, Richardson contends that the amendment to the Constitution in 2001 by a two-thirds majority of parliamentarians that purportedly alters Article 90 “curtails and restricts the sovereign and democratic rights and freedom as a qualified elector to elect the person of former President Bharrat Jagdeo as the Executive President of Guyana.” But the PPP said that the “sponsors of the legal challenge appear to have a hidden agenda in the real sense of the term other than invoking or blocking the boogie of a ‘third term’ for Bharrat Jagdeo.” “The interest of those behind the challenge lies in the darkest and deepest crevices of a democracy comparable to the galleries of Hades,” the PPP said, adding that it wanted to state “unequivocally” that Jagdeo “had publicly affirmed time and again his respect for the Constitution and that he has no interest whatsoever in any so called ‘third term’ Presidency.” “It is now become obvious that Mr. Jagdeo’s assertions fell on deaf ears and that his expression of disinterest in returning to the Presidency notwithstanding, the modern-day Quislings working in close collaboration with the local satraps, continue to generate and peddle this absolute nonsense, elevating it to useless legalistic twaddle.” The PPP said that since 2011, Jagdeo has made clear his disinterest in this matter within the party, and beyond and that while the former president remains “a highly popular figure within and beyond the membership and supporters of the PPP, this popularity is in no way intended to be translated into a ‘third term’ candidature.” The party said that while it is aware that many of its members and supporters hold the former president in high esteem, and would have liked to see his return to the presidency, “they are very much aware that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing in our society who seek to sow discord and to engage in deceitful and artful fandangle aimed at misleading and confusing PPP supporters. “While the other political parties are still dithering to name their Presidential Candidate, the PPP has already done so,” the PPP said. Richardson said he wants the re- spondents, Nandlall and Trotman, to respond within eight days after the service of the summons. 6 Wednesday, F ebruary 1 1 , 201 5 Eastern Caribbean Leaders Reject Establishment Of OECS Consumer Protection Body CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC – Leaders at the just concluded 60th OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) Authority meeting in Martinique, have rejected a proposal for the establishment of the Eastern Caribbean Competition Commission, which would serve as the main consumer protection body for member states. Instead, they have decided to latch onto the already existing CARICOM (Caribbean Community) Competi- Jamaica Records Increase In Visitor Arrivals In 2014 KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Jamaica recorded a 3.6 percent increase in tourist arrivals in 2014, Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has announced. McNeill said that the island had received an estimated US$2.2 billion in revenue from the sector last year, a 5.8 percent increase over the similar period in 2013. He said that Jamaica welcomed more than two million stopover visitors during last year, as compared to 2013, describing the figures as unprecedented. “This surpassed the two million we did in 2013. Between January and December 2014, we welcomed 2,080,181 stopover visitors, which represents an increase of 3.6 percent over the 2,008,004 stop over visitors recorded for 2013,” he said. He said overall, Jamaica welcomed over 71,000 more visitors during 2014, than the previous year and that the major contributors were increased arrivals from the source markets, with stopover arrivals out of Europe growing by 10.7 percent; Canada 5.2 percent; and the United States two percent. McNeill said that there had also been a 9.2 percent increase from the Asian market. McNeill said that Jamaica also recorded a 12.5 percent growth in cruise ship arrivals over 2013. “In 2014, the island welcomed 1,423,797 cruise visitors, which represents an increase of 12.5 percent over 2013. In other words, Jamaica welcomed over 158,000 more cruise ship visitors in 2014 than we did in 2013. “So, in total, Jamaica welcomed some 3.5 million visitors to the island in 2014,” McNeill said, noting that for December 2014, the first month of the current Winter Tourist season, arrivals recorded an increase of 5.9 percent over 2013, with 213,129, and that cruise ship was also up 12.6 percent. McNeill said that preliminary arrival figures for January 2015 are very promising, and from all indications, Jamaica should experience a very strong (rest of) the winter season, and that things are shaping up for the summer. tion Commission, based in Suriname. The decision comes against the backdrop of a major push by telecommunications giant, Cable and Wireless, to buyout Columbus International; the parent Company of FLOW. Telecommunications Regulator, ECTEL, has expressed concern that the deal could lead to a monopoly in a number of services in the sub-region, including cable TV and internet. Private Sector Welcomes Reduction In Electricity Rates In Guyana GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The Private Sector Commission (PSC) Monday, says the reduction in electricity rates announced by the government will contribute to a reduction in the production costs of manufacturers and service providers. President Donald Ramotar, addressing the commissioning of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) substation Monday, said as of next month, consumers would benefit from a 10 percent reduction in electricity rates. “Since the reduction in electricity costs will contribute to a reduction in production costs of both manufacturers and service providers, the Commission would also like to see the cost of other energydependent goods and services going down.” “It is, therefore, calling on its members to pass any reductions on to their customers,” the PSC said in a statement. Nationals have long complained of being saddled with high electricity charges, which has resulted in widespread electricity theft. Government last month, announced a 30 percent reduction in the prices of gasoline, kerosene and diesel and the PSC has called on bus drivers and other transport providers to reduce their costs. “The Private Sector Commission would like to urge the purveyors of public transportation services to follow suit and reduce the cost of their services so that commuters can benefit from the drop in the price of fuel.” Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit In response to the proposed merger, ECTEL called on the OECS Commission in November 2014, to “move with some haste to establish the OECS Competition Commission.” At a news conference, following two days of talks in Fort de France, OECS Chairman, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt of Dominica, said, “The issues which we would have to deal with, in so far as trade disputes are concerned or dumping in the OECS, would not be a significant number of matters to consider.” Therefore, he said sub-regional leaders felt, “we may want to consider conferring that responsibility to the already existing CARICOM Competition Commission.” “OECS Heads mandated the conduct of technical and legal work on this matter ahead of the upcoming 26th inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, February 26th and 27th, 2015 in the Bahamas” according to a Communique released after the meeting. On its website, the CARICOM Competition Commission pledges to “promote and maintain fair competition within the Caribbean Community for the enhancement of economic efficiency and consumer welfare.” 7 Wednesday, F ebruary 1 1 , 201 5 Unions Widen Strike Action At University of Guyana GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The University of Guyana (UG) is facing a full blown strike by staff and students Monday as the dispute over increased wages and better working conditions escalates and the unions involved announcing plans for a relief fund. The UG has appealed to staff members to end their industrial action that has been ongoing since late last month. The workers are demanding a 60 per cent salary increase, but the University has said it could only St. Lucia Government Announces New Reductions In Fuel Prices CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC – The St. Lucia government, on Monday, announced a further reduction in fuel prices in the wake of threats by the main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) to stage public protests over high prices for fuel and petroleum products. Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony in a statement Monday said the new adjustment follows a review of the three month pricing mechanism which he announced earlier this year. “I did indicate that if the price of a barrel of oil declines even more sharply in the next few weeks, it may well make sense to adjust the period of calculation from a period of twelve weeks to eight weeks or even less in the short term.” He said that having reviewed the movement of prices in the last few weeks, his administration has decided that to adopt a flexible approach to deal with the uncertainty that prevails in fuel prices. “In this current period of lower fuel prices, the government will apply the pass through mechanism every three weeks instead of three months, to allow consumers to benefit from any further downward movement in prices. “However, if prices show an upward movement, the Government will consider reverting to the three month pass through mechanism or a variation of it to restore greater stability in prices as it had done so successfully in the past three years,” Anthony said. The price of unleaded gasoline Monday declined from EC$13.65 to EC$10.65 a gallon, (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) while the price of diesel fell from EC$13.21 to EC$11.07 a gallon .The price of kerosene remains unchanged at EC$10.11. The government also said that there would be reductions in the price of propane gas and urged consumers to make use of the reductions since it is not known how long the prices would remain low. The price of oil on the world market dropped from a high of US$105 a barrel in June to below US$50 dollars as of last week. Meanwhile, the government says it is “blatantly false, dishonest and mischievous” to suggest that it is collecting an extra EC$2.50 in taxes on fuel as claimed by members of the UWP. “The government wishes to emphasize to consumers that prices remain highly unpredictable. In recent times, there has been an upward movement in prices but as of now there is mounting uncertainty whether prices will fall further or begin to rise again. The situation will have to be closely monitored in the days ahead.” UWP leader Allen Chastanet said his party welcomes the announcement of the reduced prices for fuel and petroleum products after weeks of persistent calls for the government to do so. “The UWP recognizes that while the next scheduled adjustment was slated for April 2015, the SLP (St. lucia labour Party) administration did the right thing, for once, and provided the much needed relief that St. Lucians have been yearning for,” he said. “This victory belongs, not only to the United Workers Party but to all St. Lucians who feel the squeeze from high fuel prices, rising cost of living, VAT, unemployment, increase in water and light bills and VAT on non-prescription medication and boldly expressed their discontent through their participation in the 29th of January 2015 march,” he said, assuring St. Lucians that the part would remain vigilant and a strong advocate for more balanced socio-economic policies. “The government has now shown, both in the last quarter and with this recent unplanned change, that there were substantial surpluses, but is yet to confirm who the beneficiary was. We are once again asking the government to bring clarity on this matter,” Chastanet said. increase salaries if government increases its subvention, decrease part-time expenditure by 50 per cent, reduce programme offerings with low enrolment and maintain an increase in tuition fees. The University of Guyana Workers Union (UGWU) and the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) met over the weekend and agreed to step up their industrial action after UG Vice Chancellor, Jacob Opadeyi, withdrew wage increase offer on the grounds that the Uiversity would not negotiate under duress The unions say while they fully understand the strain the action will have on staff they have commenced collecting strike relief to be given in the first instance to the most vulnerable who have expressed solidarity with the call for industrial action. The unions have also prepared letters that will be sent to all the commercial banks and credit institutions advising them of the industrial action and requesting that they allow affected staff members time to honour their obligations without imposing late payment penalties. The unions have also indicated that they will write to President Donald Ramotar requesting his urgent intervention in the crisis before he dissolves Parliament for the upcoming May 11 elections. Letters will also be sent to Labour Minister Dr. Nanda Gopaul noting the breakdown of talks and requesting the Ministry’s intervention in resolving the crisis. Last week, students joined the industrial action blocking the entrance to the institution and demanding an end to the dispute. Wednesday, F ebruary 1 1 , 201 5 Jamaica Considering Legislation On Restorative Justice KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – The Jamaica government says it is pursuing legislation that will facilitate the formal recognition of Restorative Justice in the criminal justice system. Justice Minister, Mark Golding, said, that the legislation would guarantee confidentiality to participants in the Restorative Justice, especially the offender. “In a restorative justice session, an offender, for example, may openly take responsibility for his actions without fear that the information shared will be used against him. “In the legislation, the information shared in a conference (session) is not admissible in court proceedings, if the matter breaks down and (the case is not resolved in the Restorative Justice session),” he said, adding that this is an important element to facilitate open dialogue and authentic communication in the conference. Golding also said that the legislation would enshrine a referral system in the formal criminal justice process that will begin with the police and continue through to the courts. He said this would allow each party to engage the restorative program. “The Restorative Justice can be engaged from the very early stage of an incident, through to a post trial situation where someone has been convicted and sentenced. [If the person is a] potential parolee, an engagement can be made with him or her … to assist with their reintegration into society when they are released,” he noted. He said that the focus for Restorative Justice is very broad, in terms of how it interacts with the criminal justice system. “The offences that can be referred to the Restorative Justice centres, will initially be limited to an array of minor offences, and these may be expanded over time. Judges and Resident Magistrates will be empowered to refer to the Restorative Justice program, any case that they consider may be appropriately dealt with in that manner, given the circumstances,” Golding said. He said that there is discretion that will allow judges or magistrates to refer a case that is not on the prescribed list for Restorative Justice referral, in the event that it is perceived that the case can be better resolved that way. In Jamaica, Restorative Justice is still in the Barbados Places Ban On Poultry Products From Several Parts Of The United States BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Barbados has placed a temporary ban on the importation of all live birds, hatching eggs, and on fresh, frozen and chilled poultry meat and products, including table eggs, originating from the North American states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and California. It said this follows the confirmation of an outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8 and H5N2 in backyard and commercial poultry farms in the United States. The Ministry of Agriculture said the import restriction does not apply to commercial imports of products originating outside these states; to products originating from the affected states that were produced before January 1, 2015; nor to processed poultry products, and by-products processed (heat treated) to ensure the destruction of the avian influenza virus. “Personal passenger imports of all fresh or cooked poultry products, with the exception of fully-cooked products in hermetically sealed packages, are restricted from the United States as a whole. “All permits issued prior to this notice are revoked with immediate effect,” the Ministry of Agriculture added. 8 Jamaica Justice Minister, Mark Golding pilot phase and cases from communities that are already being referred to the Restorative Justice Centres include failure to repay loans or fulfill other financial commitment within the community, failure to pay rent, disputes over money, property damage, boundary disputes, minor wounding, assaults and confrontations, defamation of character and threats, among others. “So, we are already active. We are going to Cabinet shortly for approval to issue the drafting instructions for legislation to be prepared,” Golding said. He said this would involve additional training of magistrates and judges at the appropriate time, in order to implement the program on a national level. 9 Wednesday, F ebruary 1 1 , 201 5 Jamaica Opposition Leader Issues Apology To Former Senators KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Leader of the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Andrew Holness, has publicly apologised to Arthur Williams and Dr. Christopher Tufton, following Friday’s ruling by the Constitutional Court that their removal from the Senate was unconstitutional, as well as null and void. Holness made his apology Sunday, while addressing members of the Boulevard Baptist Church in the Corporate Area. “Standing here at the moral compass of the nation, it is important to acknowledge that if I have done something wrong, or if my actions have been declared wrong, then I have a duty to apologise to those whom I have wronged, and so …I do so to my colleagues and friends, Arthur and Chris.” Holness said that legal advice has been sought to address what he described as a thorny issue. Earlier, Holness said he had asked a team of lawyers to research and advise him on the implications on the ruling handed down by the Constitutional Court last Friday. In a case brought by Williams, the Constitutional Court ruled that the “request and procurement of pre-signed and undated letters of resignation, and letters of authorisation by the leader of the opposition, from persons to be appointed or appointed as senators to the Senate of Jamaica, upon his domination inconsistent with the constitution, contrary to public policy, unlawful, and is, accordingly, null and void.” Williams, who admitted crafting the letter before he became a senator in 2012, had argued that Holness used the document to remove him from the Senate, because he did not support him in the internal leadership elections in November 2013. But he said the letters were only to be submitted to the Governor General, if any of the senators did not support the JLP’s position of a referendum, on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The JLP has consistently said there is need for a referendum before Jamaica joins the CCJ making it the final court APNU Says Race Not A Factor In Choosing Candidates GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The main opposition grouping, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), last Friday, said race would not play a factor in determining its presidential and prime ministerial candidates for the May 11 elections. APNU general secretary, Joseph Harmon, speaking on television here, said the grouping had taken note “of the historical damage that racial hatred and political prejudice has wrought.” The APNU, a predominantly AfroGuyanese party that includes the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), will soon engage the minority Alliance For Change (AFC) in talks for a possible coalition ahead of the polls. They will face the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) that has drawn most of its support from the indo-Guyanese community. But Hamon said, that the two main parties have drawn their support traditionally along racial lines and that has led to much of the “damage” and “hatred” in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country. Harmon dismissed the practice as a failed model, noting that it has led to many groups here, such as the Amerindians, Portuguese, Chinese and Europeans, being disenfranchised. “I would not venture to say that’s ok, you must have an Indian and a Black, or a Chinese and a Portuguese or an Amerindian, because that formula will always exclude a certain racial group in this country. “There are six races in this country and if you always have a formula that always has two, one at the top and the other at the bottom, as the case might APNU general secretary, Joseph Harmon be, you will always exclude at least four others,” he said. He said, the APNU has already indicated that race “is really not the prime motivation in the way we select our leadership in the APNU.” He told reporters that there were other considerations including age and gender. “At the end of the day, it will be what the membership decides,” he added. The PPP/C has already named incumbent President, Donald Ramotar as its candidate for the presidential election. Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness for the island, instead of the Londonbased Privy Council. In its ruling Friday, the three-member Constitutional Court also found that the pre-signed and undated letters of resignation, and letters of authorisation, as well as the manner of their use to effect the resignation of Senators, “are inconsistent with the constitution, contrary to public policy and are, accordingly null and void as to cost.” In his initial response to the court ruling, Holness said the judgment would not affect the present composition of the Senate, but since then the validity of that assertion has been challenged. In a statement over the weekend, Holness said, “It was never my intention to act unconstitutionally” and that he, on the advice of attorneys-at-law, including Williams “in whom I had reposed the utmost trust and confidence, as persons competent in advising me on constitutional matters.” “My overriding consideration, as Leader of the Opposition, was in discharge of my duty to safeguard the spirit and intent of the constitutional provisions which provide for the protection of the Constitution from changes which may not be in the best interest of the Jamaican people. My action therefore, in accepting the advice of the claimant, regarding resignation of Senators, in that manner, was to ensure the effective administration of the government for the people……” Holness described the situation as a regrettable one that had caused embarrassment to all involved. Wednesday, February 11, 2015 10 Jay Martin Signs On To Perform At ACAA’s 30th Anniversary Gala TORONTO, Ontario – When the body smiles, the soul glows. As Toronto gets poised to honour some of the many icons who have contributed to the growth and excellence of the African Canadian community, it is also preparing to roar with laughter. Jay Martin, fondly referred to as Canada’s Renaissance Man and Canada’s answer to US comedy icon, Steve Harvey, will give a special performance at this year’s African Canadian Achievement Awards of Excellence’s (ACAA) 30th Anniversary gala. Martin’s reputation for naturally eliciting robust laughter from audiences – with a clean comedy act – was instrumental in him being selected to appear at this annual, prestigious Black History Month celebration. Founded in June, 1985 by Michael Van Cooten, Publisher and Editor of Pride News Magazine, the ACAA unearths, pays tribute to, and celebrates, the achievements and excellence of African Canadians of distinction, in varied categories of vocation. Over its 30-year existence, the ACAA, one of Canada’s most-anticipated awards shows, has been bestowed upon over 350 distinguished Black Canadians, including Jazz icon, Oscar Peterson; former Ontario Lieutenant Governor, Hon. Lincoln Alexander; Canada’s first Black MP, Rosemary Brown; award-winning author, Austin Clarke; and Opera star, Measha Brueggergosman, among a vast array of other notable individuals. Martin — who reportedly lost his mother and brother before he was 16 years old — turned tragedy into what he has become today: the most vibrant and charismatic face of comedy in Canada. Born of Jamaican parentage, growing up Martin was always the entertainer, cracking up school friends with his spot-on accent imitations — from mimicking his father to his East Indian neighbours. Comedy was not something Martin ever thought of taking seriously, until close friends convinced him to perform on the comedy stage in 2003, when he unexpectedly received an unprecedented standing ovation after his debut set. This experience boosted his confidence to pursue a career in comedy and sure enough he ended up headlining at Toronto’s premier comedy club, Yuk Yuk’s, shortly after. Kalabash As fate would have it, one night, Canadian comic giant, Russell Peters, happened to be sitting in the audience, and was immediately impressed with Martin’s first public performance. Such was the impact of raw talent, that Peters decided to take Martin under his wing and invited him to open for him across the country — and, the rest, as the saying goes, is history. Martin has toured with many giants since then, including, Jamie Foxx, Brian McKnight and Kirk Franklin. In 2009 he left a senior management position at one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies to pursue his talent and passion fulltime. He has also started his own platform called the Jay Martin Uptown Comedy Series, where he has featured acts such as Tommy Davidson, Eddie Griffin, Cedric the Entertainer, Bill Bellamy and Aries Spears. Jay Martin To add to his impressive resume, Martin is also a talented vocalist and producer; he has brought nostalgic R&B acts, such as SWV, Faith Evans, Tamia and LL Cool J, to mature audiences across Toronto. Martin provides continuous laughter throughout his shows, as he moves from traditional stand-up fare, to spontaneous grilling of audience members, to singing amazing ballads with his stellar singing voice. His versatility on stage makes Martin a dynamic force in the industry that will enhance this year’s ACAA event with a complementary, lustrous halo. The ACAA has earned a refined reputation and loyal following from ram-packing its annual program with exceptional, extraordinary, dazzling performances, including entertainment royalty, such as: Canada’s queen of jazz and R&B, Jackie Richardson; Liberty Silver, Canada’s princess of jazz and R&B; the Canadian prince of pan, Earl LaPierre Jr.; Canadian soca monarch, Macomere Fifi; Canadian prince of jazz piano, Joe Sealy; and Canada’s queen of reggae gospel, Kay Morris, to name a few. This 30th year promises more of the same. Sharing the stage with Martin will be Kalabash and DAEI Elite. Kalabash is a contemporary jazz sextet based in Toronto that focuses on using the steel drum as a lead voice in a jazz ensemble, while experimenting with the layering of rich jazz harmonies over the folk and popular rhythms of the Caribbean, from Reggae, Son and Salsa in the north, to Calypso, Soca, Rapso and Zouk from the Eastern Caribbean. With two CDs released so far, it is apparent that the result of this fusion is a scintillating blend of North America and the Caribbean, in a contemporary jazz fusion that has made Kalabash a hit with world music and jazz festival audiences. Professional performance dance crew, DAEI Elite, which stands for A New Dance Academy for the Entertainment Industry, was created in August 2014, by dance educators, Tonya Burke, and dancer/actress/ celebrity choreographer and judge, Tré Armstrong. Along with her judging duties on CTV’s “So You Think You Can Dance Canada”, Armstrong is the choreographer behind MTV’s film, ‘Turn the Beat Around’; ‘Repo: The Genetic Opera’ (Lionsgate); ‘Breakin’ In: The Making of a Hip Hop Dancer’ (NFB) and assisted on the Sundance Film Festival favourite, ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ (ABC). She has also performed on Top O’ the Pops (BBC), BET’s 106 n Park (BET), Saturday Night Live (NBC) and numerous award shows. The versatile choreographer showed her acting skills in the film ‘How She Move’ and will appear in the upcoming feature film ‘Sons 2 The Grave’ being filmed in Toronto. Armstrong has worked with various artists, including Jay- Z, Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, Sean Paul, Ne-Yo, Sarah Brightman, Phylicia Rashād, Missy Elliott, Jason Derulo, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Wyclef Jean, Rihanna and Ludacris. DAEI Elite’s members have performed for CocaCola/Olympics ceremonies in Toronto, the Much Music Video Awards, major television shows and more. DAEI, which infuses various street, cultural and classical styles of dance into its repertoire, says its performances “are about fun, passion and increasing self-esteem while building confidence and key life skills.” Rounding out the evening’s slate of high-powered entertainment are: Award-winning R&B singer/ songwriter, Selena Evangeline; Spoken word artiste, Lamoi; R&B songstress, Qeisha Wint; R&B balladeer, Gary Beals; gospel rising star, Shaina McPherson; vocalist, Natalie Morris. The ACAA’s Black History Month 30th anniversary gala – sponsored by RBC, Hitachi Canada, NHI, JNBS, Formula Honda, Dr. Sheridan Cyrus, Dr. Joseph Daly, Grace Carter-Lyons, Grant Morris, Jon and Don McKay and Benjamin Law – will be held at the Jane Mallett Theatre, inside the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front Street East, Toronto. Tickets to the event cost: adults $50.00 and students $25.00. For more information visit www.africancanadianachievementawards.com; email [email protected] bellnet.ca; or call (905) 686-8868. Ziggy Marley Wins Grammy Award LOS ANGELES, California, CMC – Ziggy Marley, the eldest son of the late legendary Jamaican reggae singer, Bob Marley, won a Grammy at the awards ceremony here on Sunday night. Ziggy Marley The Grammy is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The 46-year-old singer won in the category “Best Reggae” for his album “Fly Rasta”. He won from a field that also included SOJA’s Amid the Noise; Sly & Robbie featuring Spicy Chocolate (The Reggae Power); Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry (Back on The Controls); Sean Paul (Full Frequency); and Shaggy (Out of Many, One Music). Marley’s first solo Grammy came in 2007 for “Love is my Religion”. Three years later, he won a Grammy for Best Musical Album for “Children with Family Time”. Ziggy Marley also won three Best Reggae Album Grammys with the Melody Makers, a group that included his brother, Stephen, and sisters, Sharon and Cedella. Wednesday, February 11, 2015 11 Wednesday, February 11, 2015 12 Saturday, February 14 On February 14th, 2015, The Real Single Ladies of Toronto ® is hosting an event called “The Way to a Man’s Heart”. This event is an old fashioned cook-off... where The Real Single Ladies of Toronto® (RSL) will be competing against each other for a Grand Prize: the “Man’s Heart Trophy”. This event will be held at Ellesmere Center, 20 Canadian Rd., Scarborough, from 8 pm - 11 pm. For more information contact: Elle, CEO/ Founder, The Real Single Ladies Of Toronto at 647784-1540 or [email protected] or visit: http://therealsingleladie. wix.com/rslcookoff. Shardeashaq Production and Gospel Café present A Formal Affair “An Evening with Ruth Sullivan & Friends” on Feb. 14th at Gospel Café & Restaurant, 5120 Dixie Rd. Unit #9, Mississauga. Dinner: 6:30 pm. Show 8:00 pm. Admission (Dinner & Show): Singles $50, Couples $90. Tickets are available at The Gospel Café or call Sharon at 416988-1886. For more info call 905-282-9007 or visit: www. thegospelcafe.ca. Muse Valentine’s Day Gala & Charity Event raising awareness for Alzheimer’s & dementia will be held on February 14th inside Pearl King, 291 King St. West, Toronto. Doors Open at 7:30 pm. Dinner at 8 pm. Dinner: 4 Course Meal, Vegetarian Meal. The event will include: Silent Auction, Entertainment: Fashion Show (lingerie, swim suits etc.), DJ Mark Anthony, Dance Performance, Poetry, Comedy, Games, Artists (Singers), and Body Painting by Trish. Ticket Price: $75. Bottle Service & Limousines Available Upon Request. For tickets & more info. call 647381-2692. Sunday, February 15 For The Love Of Ayiti, Bese Saka & Sankofaincipher present… Part 1 – Fundraising Show & Dance let’s educate liberate -“Mother Afrika’s Children” which will be held on Sunday, February 15, 2015. Doors open: 5 pm. Showtime: 6 pm. Donation: $20 advance; Adult $25 the door (Show Dance only); Children 12 and under: $10; Children under 6: Free. For more info: 647.995.2624. Book dinner reservations @ 416.651.8228. Don’t miss the 4th annual Underground Railroad show on Feb. 15th inside The Great Hall, 1087 Queen W, Toronto. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Showtime: 8 pm sharp! Tickets: $20 Advance/ $25 door. Ticket Reservation: http://ucrtoronto.brownpapertickets.com/. Wednesday, February 18 Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz – and of the work itself, The Nathaniel Dett Chorale, under the direction of Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, will perform Michael Tippett’s secular cantata A Child of Our Time on Wednesday, Feb.18, 8:00 pm inside Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre - 427 Bloor St. W. Inspired by the events of Kristallnacht, Tippett saw the interconnection between Black and Jewish communities as the result of oppression. As a compliment to this significant repertoire, the concert will begin with readings from American poet, Langston Hugh’s Let Us Remember - a six poem cycle that was commissioned in 1964 by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations. African spirituals will be interpolated as song bridges between the poems. For tickets call: 416.408.0208 or email: [email protected] a true story of four young girls who paid the price for a nation’s ignorance. This movie will be shown at the George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire Pl. @ Varsity, Toronto on Thursday, February 19, 2015 beginning at 7:00 P.M. Admission is only $15.00 per person. There will be live African Drumming before show time. For more info please contact Logie @ 647-933-9079. In her dazzling poetry, award winning fiction and glorious Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage, Olive Senior celebrates the stories of her beloved island nation. Her latest book is Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal. Join Olive Senior in conversation with critic Donna Bailey Nurse for a memorable evening of dynamic readings and lively discussion. This event will be held at Pickering Public Library (Central Library), One The Esplanade, Pickering from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Registration is required. For more info visit: www. picnet.org. Join us for a Live Music Experience & Celebrate Black History Month on Thursday, February 19th at Alleycatz, 2409 Yonge St. Eglinton hosted by Andre Blenman headlined by Juno Awards Nominee Melanie Durrrant, who releases her new album Anticipation LP on Feb 17th. Melanie Durrant will be Live with the Recipee Band, Corden Barrett on Sax and Featured Artist Quincy Bullen. Music by D’Enforcas from G98.7FM. Doors open: 8:30pm. For more info call 647-222-7178 or email [email protected] For Advance Tickets: visit Ticketgateway.com. Thursday, February 19 Citizens for the Advancement of Community Development (CACD) and the Mississauga Valley Community Centre (MVCC) are celebrating Black History Month with a day-long celebration with the theme “Learn, Honour, Celebrate”. There will be an array of cultural activities including, African drumming, poetry recital, singing, dancing, art and craft display, cultural food sampling, and presentation from prominent members from the Black Once again the time has come when the Toronto Bathurst Lions Club celebrates with the city of Toronto for “Black History Month” in February 2015. For the past several years we have been presenting a “Movie Night” as a fundraiser and have been successful. The funds from this event will go towards our Scholarship fund. This year’s presentation will be a Spike Lee film “4 Little Girls”, Community. All activities will be held at the Mississauga Valley Community Centre (MVCC), 1275 Mississauga Valley Blvd. For more info contact Ron Cunningham (Executive Director) at 905-361-2421 or email [email protected] com or visit the website at www.cacdcanada.org. Thursday, February 19 & Saturday, February 21 Pickering Public Library is hosting a Black History Month Freedom Quilt event for children 9 to 12 years old. Learn how secret messages were hidden in quilts to help slaves escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Make your own quilt square to add to the Library’s freedom quilt. For a guaranteed spot be sure to register. There will be limited spots available at the door. They will be given on first come first served basis. Dates/ Times/Locations: At the Central Library – Saturday, February 21 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm and At the Petticoat Creek Branch – Thursday, February 19 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. For more info visit: www.picnet.org. Saturday, February 21 Pride News presents Black History Month’s most prestigious Gala Event, the 30th Anniversary of the African Canadian Achievement Awards of Excellence which is to be held on February 21st, 7:30 pm inside Jane Mallet Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, 27 Front Street, East, Toronto. Admission: Adults $50; Students $25. Don’t miss out! Book your tickets now by calling the office at (905) 686-8868. Visit the website: www.africancanadianachievementawards. com. The Peel United Cultural Partners, a collaboration of the Congress of Black Women (Brampton Chapter) and the United Acheivers’ Club of Brampton, (www. unitedachiversclub) announce their Annual Black History Month Concert to be held on Feb. 21st from 5:00 - 8:30 PM inside Lester B. Pearson Theatre, Brampton Civic Centre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton. Guest Speaker: Kerry Lee Crawford - Host at G98.7 FM. Admission: $6:00 Children 12 and under $4.00. Tickets & Additional Information: 905-789-1551 (Congress); 905-796-1916 (United Achievers’ Club); 905-796-5488 (Hyacinth); or 905-459-1942 (Lucinda). “Championing our Future: Think it. Dream it. Achieve it.” is the theme of the 8th Annual Cultural Expressions Black History Month Celebration, presented by Cultural Expressions Art Gallery Inc. in partnership with the Town of Ajax, Durham District School Board, Durham Black Educators’ Network, The Congress of Black Women and the Welcome Centre Immigrant Services. Everyone is welcome to this free event, Saturday, February 21, 5 – 8 p.m. The community fair with refreshments and networking runs from 5 to 6 p.m. For more info, contact: Esther Forde, Founder & Chair, Cultural Expressions Black History Month Celebration: 905427-2412. Jamaica Celebrates 70th Birthday Of Bob Marley KINGSON, Jamaica, CMC – Last week, Jamaica celebrated the 70th birthday of its late Reggae icon, Bob Marley, with Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, reminding nationals of the need to “Get Up, Stand up” for their rights. “Bob Marley was a musical giant, whose voice in the wilderness rang out loud and strong during a very difficult time in our national and global journey,” she said in a message to mark the occasion. She said, as the country reflects on Marley’s birthday, it is fitting that Jamaica is celebrating it “at the same time that we are observing Reggae Month under the theme: “The Journey is the Destination”. “As we reflect on the amazing journey of Reggae Music over the years, we are mindful that, in keeping with our history, we must Get Up, Stand Up for our rights,” she said, adding “the ‘legendary’ Bob Marley represents us as a people of great strength, endless talent, creative genius, and advocates against oppression and injustice. “Bob Marley’s philosophies live on among us. His music has remained the eternal conscience of our nation and the world,” she said, adding “so much of Bob Marley’s work continues to carry the profound message of National Hero…Marcus Mosiah Garvey, who taught us that “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” “As a global icon, Bob Marley transcended local issues. He was a global ‘buffalo soldier’, but one rooted in what has come to be known as Jamaican ‘livity’; that uplifting way of being which is uniquely Jamaican, and had always been the inspiration for his positive message-music.” Across Jamaica, many radio stations were blaring Marley’s music and the debate continued as to his influence not only on Jamaica, but the Rastafarian movement of which he was a member. Marley died in 1981 from cancer at the age of 36. He had several hits including “Redemption Song”, “Is this Love”, “Stir it Up”, “Babylon System” and “Turn Your Lights Down Low”. Marley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and his album “Exodus” was named Album of the Century by Time Magazine. Bob Marley Wednesday, February 11, 2015 13 Three Top Tips For Starting That First RSP NC – Now that your career path is starting to take shape, are you thinking about retirement? This idea may not be as crazy as it sounds. “It’s never too early to start investing in your future,” says Jim Vlahos, senior vice president at Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. “Often there’s a tendency to delay contributing to your retirement account due to other priorities like a new house, marriage, career change or children. But continuing a comfortable lifestyle later should also be given attention. Even a small amount each year can make a big difference over time.” Here are three tips for making your first Retirement Savings Plan (RSP) contribution this year: 1. Understand your risk tolerance and time horizon. Can you take market ups and downs in stride or do you have trouble sleeping at night if there is a lot of volatility? Are you planning to retire early at the typical age of 65 years, or continue working into your seventies? 2. Do your homework. Start by gaining an understanding of common asset classes equities help provide growth and bonds help provide stability. Safe havens do not usually exist, as even the value of cash is eroded by inflation. Diversify and ensure your portfolio is balanced. Investment advisors have their fingers on the pulse of the markets and can map out a plan to help you achieve your goals while managing your risk exposure. More information on finding an advisor is available online at franklintempleton. ca. Flexible Work Hours Improve Family Life NC – Canadians suffering from the back-to-work blues would be happier if their employers offered a flexible working program, according to the findings in a new study. The research analyzed a flexible workplace program by Telus, called Work Styles. More than 2,000 team members participated in the study nologies and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets in the workplace, many employees now have the ability to work from anywhere at any time. However, in order to capitalize on the benefits of transitioning to a flexible work environment, businesses will need more than technology; leaders must be fully committed and adapt their leader- © Can Stock Photo Inc. - pablocalvog and researchers found that mobile and home-based workers reported that their work interfered less with their home lives and that they were less likely look for a new job than their peers who worked in an office. “Mobile and home-based employees maintained their performance, and experienced lower stress and less family/ work conflict,” says Alison Konrad, a professor of organizational behaviour at The Ivey Business School, who coauthored the study. “We also found flexible workers to be as equally productive as their in-office counterparts and far less likely to leave the company.” Thanks to new collaboration tech- ship styles. “There needs to be a strong culture of trust between leaders and their employees, and in some cases management styles need to be reshaped,” Konrad explains. “We found that Telus leaders focus less on face time in the office and more on the quality and consistency of deliverables.” The study’s findings arrive as great news for both Canadian employers and employees, as the country’s mobile worker population is set to increase to 73 percent of the workforce, or roughly 13.3 million mobile workers, by 2016 according to the research firm IDC Canada. Wednesday, February 11, 2015 14 OPINION Consent—Its Urgency And Its Dismissal By L. Ardor | Lamoi Pride Columnist On any given day, if you were to scroll down a social media platform feed, you will no doubt see the plethora of video uploads exposing people in the throes of their humanity. Thanks to the advancement of smartphones and social sites, along with the general disinterest of the welfare of human beings, a startling normalcy towards cyber-bullying, and a functioning grey area to what exactly forms consent, no one is safe from being captured, uploaded, and reduced to this afternoon’s hashtag or meme. At the height of my mean girl phase in High School, I was quick witted with a quick tongue. I was prompt to judge, ridicule, and shame others based on their choice of clothing, hairstyles, or general disposition. Now that I am older, and conscious of my place in the world as a Black Woman, I have grown to appreciate the need to celebrate our choices, whether I agree with them or not, because they are our choices. We cannot deny that there is a fight. Black men, women, and children are fighting for that which they should never have to fight; the right to exist on our own terms, individually and as a community, local and international. And if we are fighting for the right to disengage from respectable politics, the policing of our bodies, the rights of our existence, and systemic racism and its culture, then let us fight every subheading attached to the cause. I remember when the private nude pictures of many actresses were leaked via the hacking of Apple’s Cloud last fall, social media erupted in a frenzy, with many people clamoring not to their aid, nor protesting the violation of their safe spaces, rather they became the gawkers, sharing links and posting comments on these actresses’ bodies. Gabrielle Union, a [Black] actress wellknown for the lead role in “Being Mary Jane”, whose nude pictures sent to her now husband Dwayne Wade were leaked, was right when she stated to Abigail Pesta for Cosmopolitan, “No one deserves to have a private moment stolen, whether it’s a photo, text, or email. Everyone has intimate parts of their life they don’t want the public to see.” She added, “It’s a new form of sexual abuse.” As a human experiencing the world with 3 identifiable strikes against her— Black, Woman, single mother—and as a part of the Black community finding its voice, and [re]building its foundation in this heightened place of race, culture, and existence, I have one heartfelt request: Can we please stop participating in the shaming of (our) people Our fight does not stop at the encouragement of body positivity, sex positivity, the understanding that we are not immutable, that we are allowed our contradictions, that we are free to be, love, dress, and act as we want to, it also extends to not aiding in the shaming of those choices we are supposed to be allowed to make. Although video and photo sharing platforms like WorldStarHipHop, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, Facebook, and Tumblr is no respecter of race, economic background, or gender when it comes to humiliating people, the wound bleeds just a little bit more for Black people. Since the history of power, and the desire to dominate others, people of colour have had the agency over their own bodies unceremoniously taken from them, and at the height of that violence have been women and children. Our bodies, the right to our well being and our inherent freedom continue to be available for public consumption, and invasion, and like the evolution of Symbolism Of The Canadian Flag ...Continued from page 2 economic and political stability, and democratic rights and freedoms, it is hard to find a country that parallels Canada’s record. One of the many things that really endears me to Canada is the fact that it has proven itself to be a very caring and compassionate society. This positive attitude towards the less fortunate has manifested itself in the enshrinement of not only a universal health care policy, but the preservation of universal old age security. These two initiatives have gone a long way in helping the poor and downtrodden with their basic needs. In addition to these two initiatives, free education for all elementary and secondary school children, along with free literary and skills training for adults have certainly made Canada the nearest thing to an egalitarian society within the boundary of capitalism. Although Canada has embraced the free enterprise system, it has also embraced the policy of direct govern- ment involvement in such things as the country’s infrastructure, and also the establishment of regulatory agencies. This pragmatic blend of both private and public initiatives has certainly put Canada in the category of a balanced country. We must also not forget that Canada’s parliamentary democracy, and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms have provided this country with the necessary tenets for political stability and untrammeled liberty. Like all other countries, Canada has its list of shortcomings such as pockets of covert and overt racism, but it is by far the best country of the world in which to live. We should, therefore, stand tall and be proud bearers of our Canadian Maple Leaf flag for it enshrines the symbol of hope, freedom, and democratic values. Rupert can be reached at: [email protected] sympatico.ca. © Can Stock Photo Inc. - HighwayStarz racism, the routes of our degradation, and dismissal continue to evolve as well. The struggle over our displacement does not end, therefore our fight does not end; it does not take breaks, nor does it play favourites. Case in point: The 57th Grammy Awards Show allowed social media to do what it does best, shade, criticize, degrade, and dismiss those we have collectively put into the spotlight. It became a night where the world’s online activists took time off, to engage in the slander of those for whom we claim to be fighting. I thought we were here for Black Women, and Black Men doing whatever they wanted, wearing whatever they wanted, and middle fingering those that want to police everything, from our existence to our fashion choices. Does that right to be free from scrutiny and shaming only apply to the scrutiny from non-people of colour? Does that mean that we have the right to dismiss our own, because we have the shared commonality of the struggle? All of our choices stem from our stories, they make up who we are, they are the culmination of our lived and remembered experiences, they are our healing, they are our fears, they are our boldness, and our revolution. Coupled with our choices, is our consent—our right to say yes, and our right to say no. We have the right to live, and be, and make mistakes, and we have the right to bounce back from them. We have the right to not be reduced to a worldwide catch phrase, meme, or hashtag. We have the right to not be the focus of someone’s hidden camera, or uploaded without our knowledge or consent. We have the right to experience life in all of our freedoms. We have the right to expect the Golden Rule in its theory and in its application. This does not speak to those that are engaging in behaviours that cause others harm, because I am in support of throwing murderers, rapists, child abusers, pedophiles, and those that cause deliberate harm, and pose a danger to society individually and collectively into the fire. This speaks to the humans that are living life, just as we are living life. In speaking of choice, the question, “Don’t I have the choice to laugh, enjoy, and share that which amuses me?” is valid, and the answer is simple: Yes, of course you do! And to that I will pose the question: “But where is the consent ” Does your enjoyment stem from the borderline cyber bullying of others How far does your fight for safety of spaces, boundaries, and the inherent exercise of one’s freedom extend Is it easier to dismiss those that you do not know, and stand in solidarity with those with whom you most identify? I had the blessing of seeing my little girl turn two-years-old a few weeks ago, and as I reflect on her place in the world, I want her to have the safe space to be as assertive, loud, bold, and as clumsily human as she wants to be. In my protection of her, I have reverted to not posting any pictures of her on social media, as my two year old cannot provide me with her consent, and I fear the day someone captures and uploads a video of her in the throes of her humanity to a social media page without her consent. L. Ardor is a writer who believes that everything in life stems from love. Her mission is to spread her philosophy to all brave enough to embrace. You can find Ms. Ardor on twitter: @LaLaArdor. Wednesday, February 11, 2015 15 Former Jamaica Prime Minister Appears Before Commission KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Former prime minister, Bruce Golding, Monday, said he had no prior knowledge that motors would be used by the security forces, as the Commission of Inquiry probing the events of May 2010 in West Kingston, that left several people dead, resumed after a break of almost two months. The security forces had gone into the area in a bid to arrest Christopher “Dudus” Coke who was facing extradition to the United States. At least 76 people, including 73 civilians, were killed during the operations as the security forces battled gunmen loyal to Coke, the reputed leader of the notorious Shower Posse gang. Golding, who was prime minister at the time of the incursion, told the Commission, chaired by the prominent Barbadian jurist, Sir David Simmons, that he had received numerous reports from residents that mortars or bombs were being used in the operations. The former prime minister said he had raised the issue with the then Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Stewart Saunders, who informed him that “these were not incendiary devices. “That they have more bark than bite,” he reported Saunders as saying, adding that the army official had also indicated that the motors were being used as a distraction. “My understanding was that it was more a shock and awe effect that the military was seeking to get,” Golding said, telling the Commission that his lack of prior knowledge of the use of mortars by the military, was not within the remit of the Defence Board, which he chaired at the time. “The Defence Act places the operational functions of the Force squarely on the Chief of Defence Staff,” Golding told the three-member Commission. Golding told the Commission, Monday, that he had emphasised the importance of avoiding, at all cost, any injuries to law abiding citizens, especially women and children, during the operation. Golding said that at the start of the operation residents called in to complain about the activities of the security forces. “Some of the complaints were quite hysterical,” he said, adding “complaints of people being killed and being murdered and that continued until Monday.” The former prime minister said that the number of casualties reported to him by then Public Defender, Earl Witter, head of Red Cross and Bishop Herro Blair, was “significantly higher than what was being reported to him by the police.” He said, he asked the three officials to visit the area because he was concerned about the discrepancies in the security forces’ report, and what was being reported to him by the Tivoli residents, some of whom were heads of churches and whom he considered to be credible. Golding told the Commission that the three officials, at a meeting on May 25, briefed him and had expressed concern about what they had seen in Tivoli Gardens. He said, as a result, Witter wanted to immediately investigate possible human rights breaches. The Red Cross head offered to provide motor vehicles to take the injured to hospital and to provide medication, while Blair agreed to mobilise food for the people still in Tivoli Gardens. During his testimony, Golding acknowledged knowing Coke, and that they spoke on a number of occasions prior to the issuing of an extradition request. He said he had last spoken to Coke in December 2007. He said he had stopped talking to Coke because the security forces had informed him that men from the Stone Crusher gang were seeking refuge in Tivoli Gardens. “I cut off all communication with him (Coke) and stopped supporting his community programs,” he added. Meanwhile, the Office of the Public Defender has said, it now has a copy of the video footage taken by Bruce Golding a United States aircraft, during the May 2010 Tivoli Gardens operation. The Commission will sit for two weeks and the secretary, Maria Jones, said “the Commission is proceeding to call witnesses in a chronological order, relating to how the events of May 2010 unfolded in West Kingston, starting with the former prime minister, going back to the residents.” Former national security minister, Dwight Nelson, will also testify before the Commission. The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), which missed two previous deadlines last month, has now submitted a significant number of statements to the Commission. The Jamaica Constabulary Force has provided 164 statements regarding activities, during the search for Coke, who was wanted in the United States on drugs and gun trafficking charges. Coke waived his right to judicial proceedings in Jamaica and was transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshals service and the DEA. Coke was flown to New York on June 24, 2010. Last month, the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) criticised the high cost associated with the Commission, but the government dismissed the statement. European Union Funds For Three Caribbean Islands BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The European Union is providing more than EC$36 million in budgetary aid to Grenada, Montserrat and Anguilla. Anguilla is receiving EC$11.7 million under the General Budget Support Program of the 10th European Development Fund, as part of an overall total of approximately EC$36 million the EU has been allocated to the Overseas British Territory (OBT). The grant aid will go towards the continued reform of the Public Finance Management systems, and the implementation of a credible Medium Term Fiscal Plan, to provide increased incentive for private sector entities to invest in Anguilla. “Our aim is to assist Anguilla in restoring macroeconomic stability, stimulate sustainable and diversified economic growth, to support social development and social protection, as well as reduce the country’s environmental vulnerability,” said the head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Ambassador Mikael Barfod. Since the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2013, the government is required to put systems in place that would ensure borrowing limits are implemented by 2017. This aim of this new act is to strengthen fiscal management, improve fiscal transparency and incorporate the Fiscal Framework for Sustainable Development. Tax reform is also underway with the establishment of a property tax unit, collection units and a taxpayer services unit. These reforms are expected to widen the tax base and increase Anguilla’s fiscal space. Grenada is benefitting from EC19.8 million, to assist the island in maintaining a stable macro-economic framework, implementation of public finance management reform and budgetary transparency. In general, the EU funding will help the country transition towards a new economy that will comprise a world class tourism, yachting and marina destination. This will be complemented by efficient business, finance and information technology services, an efficient light manufacturing sector, a well-diversified agriculture sector focused on value added products, a dynamic oil, gas and renewable energy sector and a highly efficient agro-industrial sector. “It is important that the government continues to implement measures to maintain the stability of the economy, and improve its budgetary transparency, while keeping focus on the drivers of growth,” said Barfod. The EU said the emphasis on promoting growth in Grenada focuses on building resilience by stabilizing the macro-economy, enabling the business environment, leveraging growth sectors and developing sustainable energy. “In addition, attention will be placed on building competitiveness, which includes education, human resource development, social transformation and social care, youth development and gender equity,” it said, noting that releasing the funds was subject to Grenada meeting certain conditions that include progress in implementing the 2014-2018 Grenada Poverty Reduction Strategy with special attention to education, social development, youth empowerment and agriculture areas. The European Union is providing Montserrat with EC$14.2 million, the third tranche of an overall total of EC$51 million, which was located to the territory by the OBT. The assistance will support the continued modernization of the public finance management systems, and the implementation of the 2008-2020 Montserrat’s Sustainable Development Plan (SDP) and Sustainability Road Map (SRM). “This roadmap will contribute to the recovery and sustainable development of the British Overseas Country and Territory. The objectives of the Sustainable Development Plan are prudent Economic Management, Human Development, Environmental Management, Disaster Mitigation, as well as Governance,” the EU said. In general, the EU’s assistance is intended to assist with the transformation of Montserrat’s business environment so that the country becomes more attractive to private investment. The Montserrat government has set an ambitious target of having the private sector contribute more than 50 percent to the economy by 2020, a significant increase on the 34 percent in 2011. The EU said this transformation will require significant changes in improving the business environment; developing Montserrat as a tourism destination; and strengthening Government’s capacity to deliver “The main thrust is to put in place an enabling environment, legislation, policies and institutional arrangements that can provide the framework for the development of a diversified economy, the facilitation of sustained growth and the generation of employment opportunities,” said Barfod. Emphasis will be placed on the alignment of the education curriculum with the labour market that should lead to greater private sector development and growth, public sector reform, in an effort to increase port and airport efficiency and the adoption of a regulatory framework for the energy sector. In addition, the authorities are expected to increase access to housing, as the country continues its decade long recovery following the eruption of the Soufriere Volcano, which destroyed almost half of the island. 1 6 Wednesday, F ebruary 1 1 , 201 5 Former T&T Attorney General Calls For Resignation Of Three Senior Government Ministers PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Former attorney general, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, has called for the resignation of three senior government ministers, as the fallout continues from the police investigation into former attorney general, Anand Ramlogan, on charges of seeking to pervert the course of justice. He said the law states that “where persons are present witnessing the commission of a crime and even if they remain silent, they were present, and they could aid and abet the commission of a crime. Both the Prime Minister and the Commissioner of Police have a duty to the public to act swiftly,” Lawrence told reporters Sunday. Media reports, Sunday, reported that dismissed national security minister, Gary Griffith, had presented police with a report of a meeting, at which he was being pressured to withdraw a statement he made, in support of the Director of the Police Complaints authority (DCA). David West. Griffith told the police that Communication Minister, Vasant Bharath; Housing Minister, Dr. Roodal Moonilal; and Labour Minister, Errol Mc Leod, who was then acting prime minister, were present at the meeting, but that McLeod and Moonilal kept quiet, while Bharath sought to have him withdraw the statement, that he had been asked by Ramlogan to contact West in relation to a witness statement, filed in the lawsuit between the former government minister and the Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Keith Rowley. Maharaj told the news conference that “if what I read in the newspapers is true, there is an obligation for the three ministers of government to offer their resignations to the Prime Minster.” He said failure to do so, would mean Prime Minister, Kamla Persad Bissessar, would have to act and “in any event there is a firm duty on the acting Police Commissioner (Stephen Williams) to announce that the probe would be extended to cover these three ministers.” F ormer attorney general, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj Maharaj said, while an offence may or may not have been committed, “there is an allegation and if there is such an allegation, then the minister has a duty to resign, and if he does not resign, under our Constitution, the Prime Minister takes full responsibility for all actions.” “If there is, under the Constitution of Trinidad and Tobago, a corrupt government, then every member of the cabinet is collectively responsible for that. If there is an honest government, then every member of the cabinet is responsible for that,” he added. Maharaj said Prime Minister, Persad Bissessar, had treated Griffith unfairly “and undermined and subverted the values of integrity in public office, the values of the Constitution and the rule of law by Jamaica Wants Realignment Of Cable And Telecom Sector KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Jamaica has called for a realignment of the cable and telecommunications sector, in order to bring enlightened access to the global society. “Despite the remarkable progress in the globalized communications environment, there continues to be obsolete, lop-sided models that are not appropriate for a society with new and different demands for enlightened access,” Information Minister, Sandrea Falconer, told the 32nd Annual General Meeting of the Caribbean Cable and Telecommunications Association (CCTA), that ended in Montego Bay in St. James on Thursday. “By enlightened access, I am not only talking about the availability and use of technology, but a higher level of access. It involves the creation of a digitally literate society, where consumers interact with content that not only shape and reinforce national values, but showcases the best of our culture,” she added. She said in the case of Jamaica, the Portia Simposn Miller government is taking steps to ensure that the people are on the right side of the digital divide. “As a government we are pursuing digital switch over and are engaged in a process of legislative reforms to impact the industry. “Some of the provisions of the legislative changes include an expanded flexible definition of broadcasting, to capture not only traditional, but new and evolving services, platforms and services; greater protection of cultural diversities and the protection of indigenous high quality content, through the establishment of the local public service content fund to finance more local productions of a non-commercial nature,” she added. The CCTA meeting was being held here for the first time and Falconer said the United States Virgin Islands-based association is a very important element in the development and future sustainability of the cable and telecommunications industry. She said the meeting was held at a time when the cable and telecommunications sector is undergoing monumental and rapid changes, which makes it difficult to define the parameters of the industry. “There is extensive integration of tools, techniques and technologies. There are multiple accesses to communications on common platforms, greater speed, more immediate transfers of ideas, with a constant inter-play of societies and cultures.” The meeting was held under the theme “Riding the waves of the Future” and Falconer said it provided an optimistic outlook of the transformation which is now underway. She said that the cable and telecommunications world is always in a change mode, with competitors becoming partners, content purveyors becoming content providers, and down-loaders becoming uploaders. “We welcome these changes in the environment and must embrace them with creativity, flexibility and responsiveness. “In a climate where the value of content is being undermined by piracy and access is constrained by obsolete release windows…riding the waves demand that this industry and its business processes be characterised by an ethos of innovation and cooperation,” she told the meeting. putting Mr. David West, Mr. Gary Griffith and the Leader of the Opposition in the same category as Mr. Anand Ramlogan, when in truth, and in fact, it is only Mr. Ramlogan who is the subject of a police investigation. “The others have done no public wrong,” he said, questioning why Persad Bissessar had taken so long to deal with the matter involving Ramlogan. Last Monday, Prime Minister Persad Bissessar removed both Ramlogan and Griffith from her Cabinet, and called on President Anthony Carmona to set up an independent commission to probe West. Maharaj has already said that West cannot be removed from his office based on the statements of the prime minister. Meanwhile, Griffith has said he intends sending a pre-action protocol letter to Bharath in the next few days, following statements made against him in a press release. “Mr. Bharath was not speaking the truth when he said that I breached Cabinet confidentiality. The truth is going to come out. I maintain, I did nothing wrong and took a stance on principle,” Griffith said. Former Trinidad PM No Show For Screening Ahead Of General Election PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Patrick Manning, the longest serving parliamentarian in Trinidad and Tobago, may have brought down the curtains on his political career, when he failed to show up for screening, by his People’s National Movement (PNM) party, to contest the seat he has held since 1971 in the upcoming general election. Manning, 67, who is recovering from a stroke that left him partly paralysed, had earlier told supporters of San Fernando East, that he was prepared to be their representative and would present himself for screening by the party. “The advice that I needed to get I now have. In case of the Washington doctor, she said, I had made tremendous strides but, unfortunately, I was not completely healed as yet. “In the case of my doctor in San Fernando, he said, my suitability for politics depended on me and me only,” he added. However, on Monday, Manning was a no show and the party selected attorney, Randall Mitchell, as its flag bearer in the election that could be held before the constitutional deadline month of September. “During the course of the screening it came to us that Mr. Manning told the vice-chairman that he would not be coming for the screening,” PNM general secretary, Ashton Ford, said, on television Tuesday. He said, he hoped Manning, whom he described as a stalwart, would continue to make a contribution to the development of the party. Manning, a geologist by profession, was the country’s fourth prime minister, who served from 1991-95 and 2001-10. But he led the PNM into defeat when he called a snap general election in May 2010. Manning’s chances of being the PNM’s candidate for the San Fernando East seat, improved significantly late last month after the party rejected the three candidates that had been proposed, giving the constituency until February 6 to name new candidates. “If you wish to have me as your parliamentary representative then I am prepared to do so... and I [will] make myself available for screening,” Manning said then. Wednesday, February 11, 2015 17 Valentine’s Day And The Single Girl: How To Survive The Dreaded Day! So the ever-dreaded Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, and for a single girl, that is the day that you almost wish to never wake up. From the constant badgering from your mom as to,”when were you going to find a nice young man with whom to settle down, in order to give her grandchildren,” to your annoying girlfriends, who “cannot wait to spend the time with their significant others.” It’s almost enough to lead one to the bottle! However, do not despair my single gals, as auntie Sandy is here to help you get over the Valentine’s Day blues, and will not allow you to hit your girlfriend over the head with a bottle because you are so jealous, and she is oh so annoying with her new boyfriend crap! It may be depressing, yes I know my lovelies, but here are some tips to get over the chocolatey, Victoria Secret, roses are red, violets are blue, will you be my lover too, season! Tip number one: Throw a party for you and your single girlfriends. Nothing beats the Valentine’s blues like a party – the more impromptu the better. Why be sad and alone on such a day? Trust me, you are not the only one in this world who will be without a man on this day, so get a bunch of your girlfriends together, order in some amazing food, along with your favourite bottles or wine and spirits, and have a ball at your place or someone else’s. Also, dress to the nines’ as if your life depended on it! Only the sexiest dress will do, as you remind yourself and others that you are a great catch, filled with inner beauty, class and the exotic beauty of any Miss Universe contestant. Kaci Fennell has got nothing on you! The one thing that I am quite certain of is that confidence begins with you, and whatever you believe will manifest itself. The next thing to do is to begin to plan for your Mr. Right who will be in your life by next year.Plan for the newyear ahead! Valentine’s Day is a definite reminder that a new year is still upon us, and looking back on the failures that occurred in the past, is not the way to move ahead progressively, with positive changes. So what if you spent last year all alone? This is a new year and anything can change on a dime! So be open to new things and to new experiences; that includes perhaps meeting your perfect Mr. Right! Last but not least, enjoy the day and be thankful for what you have! Many times we look at the things that we do not have, i.e. a partner, a boyfriend or even a husband, and we forget to be thankful for the things that God has done for us thus far. Be patient, as the right man will come along! So, enjoy your single status until things change. Being content with one’s self, especially at this time, will allow you to be more appreciative of everything else when things do change. The fact that you do not have a partner should not be seen as a strike against you, no matter what your mother says! View it as more time to appreciate yourself without having to please others. In order to truly appreciate yourself, you must fully understand what makes you tick, and only by time spent alone © Can Stock Photo Inc. - pre s s m as te r will that be accomplished. “So Sandy, are you saying that I must not want to find myself a man ” my friend Julie asked me once. “No, that is not what I am saying my dear,” I replied. “The thing is, true love really begins with loving yourself and only when you accomplish this, will you be able to love someone else,” I added. I think that she got the point! So, my single friends, enjoy Valentine’s Day without feeling depressed, as your day is surely around the corner! Sandy Daley is a columnist, radio and television personality and actress. She is also the author of “Whose Vagina Is It, Really?” She can be contacted at: Website: www.sandydaley.com, Facebook: [email protected], Twitter: https:// twitter.com/whosevaginaisit and/or Email: [email protected] gmail.com. HEALTHY REASONING: The Connection Between Autism And The Measles Vaccine By Allan Bucka Jones Pride He alth Colu m nis t Last Friday, Toronto Public Health said the city now has six laboratory-confirmed cases of measles. They do not appear to be linked, indicating that the measles is “currently circulating” in Toronto. With this outbreak of measles in Toronto, and the ensuing debate over whether the measles vaccine can cause autism, it is a good time to recall a May 2008 report in the reputable medical journal, The New England Journal of Medicine. They reported on a girl named Hannah Poling living in the United States.When she was 19 months old, Hannah, the daughter of Jon and Terry Poling, received five vaccines including measles–mumps–rubella (MMR). When she received the vaccines, Hannah was interactive, playful, and communicative. Two days later, she was lethargic, irritable, and febrile. Ten days after vaccination, she developed a rash consistent with vaccine-induced varicella. Months later, the child was diagnosed with behaviours matching autism or autism spectrum disorder. Hannah’s parents believed that vaccines had triggered her problems. They sued the US Department of Health and Human Services for compensation under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and won. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, responded to the claims that vaccines had caused the child’s autism, by stating that the US had made absolutely no statement indicating that vaccines are a cause of autism. The biggest challenge was defining the term “autism.” Autism is a clinical diagnosis and children are labeled as autistic on the basis of a collection of clinical features. Also, theVaccine Injury Compensation Program’s concession to Hannah Poling was poorly reasoned. Plus the child had other medical challenges that were not related to vaccines. And so the disagreement continued, to vaccinate or not vaccinate. The cause of autism is not known, however a better understanding of the disorder has led to the development of better coping mechanisms and strategies for the various manifestations of the disability. Boys are four times more likely than girls to develop autism. There is continuing controversy surrounding the claim that the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR), contributes to the development of autism spectrum disorders in children. This claim was based on the 1998 publication of a fraudulent research paper in a medical journal. Investigations revealed that the researcher who published the claims, had multiple undeclared conflicts of interest and manipulated the evidence. The research paper was retracted in 2010, and the author no longer practice as a doctor. However the controversy continues, and many are still sceptical of having the MMR vaccine administered to their children, fearing their child will develop autism spectrum disorder. As Toronto’s measles outbreak continues to grow, a new survey reveals that one in five individuals still believe that the measles vaccine cause autism. On the other hand,66% of those surveyed, say unvaccinated children should be barred from child-care facilities. Meanwhile, an Ottawa based daycare facility is pursuing a vaccine free environment.The debate continues on whether to take or not take the measles vaccine. Under Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act, students are required to provide vaccination © Can Stock Photo Inc. - pre s s m as te r records to attend school. Without proof of vaccination, they can be suspended from school unless they submit an exemption form. Parents can complete a Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief exemption form, have it signed by a commissioner of oaths and submit it to the school or Toronto Public Health. Parents do not have to explain why they are requesting the exemption. For a Statement of Medical Exemption form, parents need to have the form signed by a medical doctor, a nurse or a nurse practitioner. If you are still unsure whether you should take the measles vaccine, please talk to your family doctor very soon. Allan Bucka Jones is a Health Promoter and Broadcaster. He can be heard on “Allan Bucka Jones LIVE”, Sundays from 3 to 5pm on CHRY 105.5 FM, www.chry.fm option RDO.to , Rogers Digital Cable 945, Bell Fibe 973 or mobile app TuneIn Radio. You can contact Allan Bucka Jones at [email protected] Wednesday, February 11, 2015 18 5 Important Tips For The DIY Renovator NC – Of course, just a splash of paint in a few places, or a bit of grout here and there, and voila, your home will be like new again. Dream on, say most reno experts. Anyone who has ever undertaken a renovation project on his own knows that renovations are not quite as simple as that. Unlike the magic of television shows, often the process is drawn out and full of surprises along the way. Denise Hayward, manager for the GTA Home + Reno Show, shares her top tips for aspiring do-it-yourself renovators: 1. Understand the project. Make a plan and find out what it takes to accomplish it before you start. Read the manuals, get the right tools, and measure, measure, measure. 2. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Often DIY renovators start off on ambitious projects, and then realize they cannot complete it until they are halfway through. Start small and complete each reno, before starting a new one. 3. Call on friends. More hands make lighter work. For bigger projects, enlist friends who can help get the job done. Make sure they know exactly what they’re coming for so there are no surprises on reno day. 4. Think long term. Are you tempted to forgo the dining room update to make room for an 85-inch TV? Look ahead and plan renovations that will still work in five years’ time. Often what makes sense now can change, especially for new homeowners starting a family. 5. Call the experts. Some renova- tion projects are best left to the experts. Roofing work, re-sizing a room, or re-doing a bathroom, are all critical renovations that can impact the structural integrity of a home. Leave these projects to the experts and maintain your peace of mind. “Proper planning is crucial,” says Hayward. “A DIY renovation is a true commitment and you need to start off on the right foot to see it through.” Hayward also points out that the up-coming GTA Home + Reno Show is one of the best places to get organized because it houses everything under one roof. Open this year from February 13 to 16 at the International Centre in Mississauga, it showcases more than 250 top contractors, home experts, and suppliers. Photo credit: GTA Home + Reno Show. 5 Secrets For Winning A Post-Secondary Scholarship NC – Each year, thousands of Canadian students earn scholarships that help them offset their education costs. Surprisingly, over $15 million of the $70 million available each year in scholarship dollars goes unclaimed, according to industry estimates. “Scholarships are a good source of education funding – one that you don’t have to pay back,” advises Melissa Jarman, director of student banking at RBC Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18) HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Calm, cool and collected should be the approach you take towards people who are instigating frustration in you. Pisces (Feb 19 - March 20) If you are active on social media then look forward to a great big surprise. If you are not active on social media, then your good surprise will come via phone call, or mail. Aries (March 21- April 19) Be willing to admit when you are wrong. Stubbornness is not a mature state of mind. Remain open minded to the fact that you could be mistaken. Taurus (April 20 - May 20) Conflict is not necessary. Pick your battles wisely. Royal Bank. “Don’t write yourself off as an unqualified candidate. In addition to funding school with your savings, a part-time job, or a student loan, you could receive an unexpected top-up. Even smaller scholarships will help out with your expenses.” Scholarships are available throughout the year, so here are five tips to help you explore your options: 1. Research: Check your college or Gemini (May 21- June 20) Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22) Through your inspirational friendship and guidance, you will fill others with confidence. Friends and family will want to share time with you. Make some special time for them. Cancer (June 21- July 22) Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21) Be mindful of your surroundings and especially while driving or when walking on a street where there is a lot of traffic. Speaking up for yourself is a great thing to do, but not when you are speaking up for yourself while speaking down to others. Leo (July 23- August 22) Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) Give it all you got! Doing more for your life now will help you later. Now is not a time to worry. Faith not fear. Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22) When your opinion is asked for, offer it honestly. However, on the flipside, if your opinion is not solicited then it is best to curb it. If you must express your opinion, then at least do it with tact. Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19) Give love and express appreciation. Cerise F airfax is a Life Coach and can be reached at: ( 41 6) 722-5233 and cerisefairfax @ gmail.com. V isit www.cerisefairfax . com for life coaching advice and daily inspiration. university’s financial aid department. If you are in high school, check to see what scholarships are available to graduating students. Take advantage of online resources such as studentawards.com and scholarshipscanada.com that match you to available scholarships. 2. Be optimistic: If you’re not a straight-A student, be aware that not all scholarships are based on academic standing. Some of them reward civic engagement, leadership experience, your heritage, affiliations, or a parContinued on next page ... Wednesday, February 11, 2015 19 Ten Strategies For Harnessing Stress Submitted by Dr. George Traitses Stress has become a fact of life, and for some, the daily norm. Although occasional stress can help improve our focus and performance, living with chronic stress can backfire by causing anxiety, depression, and serious health problems. Understanding who we are, knowing our major struggles, putting them in perspective, and taking action can help us deal with stress. The following strategies can also improve stress tolerance and help lessen the effects of stress on our health. Think Positively “Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into positive,” said Hans Selye, author of the ground-breaking work around stress theory. When optimism is hard to muster, cognitive-behavioral therapy, which trains people to recognize negative thinking patterns and replace them with more constructive ones, can also help reduce the risk of chronic stress and depression. Get Out and Enjoy Nature While modern civilization has made our lives more convenient, it has deprived us of an essential source of stress relief—connection with nature. Studies show that interacting with nature can help lessen the effects of stress on the nervous system, reduce attention deficits, decrease aggression, and enhance spiritual well-being. “Smell the Roses” for Better Mood Aromatherapy, or smelling essential plant oils, recognized worldwide as a complementary therapy for managing chronic pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and stress-related disorders, can help you unwind. Orange and lavender scents, in particular, have been shown to enhance relaxation and reduce anxiety. Relax with a Cup of Tea During stressful times, coffee helps us keep going. To give yourself a break, however, consider drinking tea. Research shows that drinking tea for 6 weeks helps lower post-stress cortisol and increase relaxation. Habitual tea drinking may also reduce inflammation, potentially benefiting your heart health. Laugh It Off Humor relieves stress and anxiety and prevents depression, helping put our troubles in perspective. Laughter can help boost the immune system, increase pain tolerance, enhance mood and creativity, and lower blood pressure, potentially improving treatment outcomes for many health problems, including cancer 5 Secrets For Winning A Post-Secondary Scholarship ...Continued from previous page ticular skill. 3. Tap your network: You may find scholarships are offered by your employer, sports league or your bank. Ask your parents if their employers offer funding to children of employees. 4. Plan ahead and start early: Be prepared to devote time towards fulfilling scholarship criteria. There are often essays, questionnaires and school transcripts to submit, so allot your time wisely for maximum impact. 5. Be conscientious: Proofread your application and ensure you followed all the instructions. Ask friends and family to review your application before you send it. Jarman says that RBC provides over $550,000 in annual scholarships, including the Students Leading Change Scholarships, the Aboriginal Student Awards Program and Scholarship Program for the Children of RBC Employees. More information is available online at scholarships.rbc.com. and HIV. Humor may also be related to happiness, which has been linked to high self-esteem, extroversion, and feeling in control. Build a Support System Relationships are also key to health and happiness, especially for women. Women with low social support, for example, are more likely to increase blood pressure under stress. Loneliness may also contribute to stress in both men and women, also leading to poorer outcomes after a stroke or congestive heart failure. On the other hand, active and socially involved seniors are at lower risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Social support also helps cancer patients to boost the immune system and maintain a higher quality of life. Employ the Relaxing Power of Music Music, especially classical, can also serve as a powerful stress-relief tool. Listening to Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D major while preparing a public speech helps avoid anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure, which usually accompany public speaking. Singing and listening to music can also relieve pain and reduce anxiety and depression caused by low back pain. Group drumming also showed positive effects on stress relief and the immune system. Music therapy can also elevate mood and positively affect the immune system in cancer patients and reduce fatigue and improve self-acceptance in people with multiple sclerosis. To help people deal with stressful medical procedures, music can help reduce anxiety before surgery. When played during surgery, it can decrease the patient’s post-operative pain. Aiding recovery, a dose of calming music may lower anxiety, pain, and the need for painkillers. Calm Your Mind In recent decades, many forms of meditation have gained popularity as relaxation and pain relief tools. Focusing on our breath, looking at a candle, or practicing a non-judgmental awareness of our thoughts and actions can help tune out distractions, reduce anxiety and depression, and accept our circumstances. In cancer patients, meditation-based stress reduction enhances quality of life, lowers stress symptoms, and potentially benefits the immune system. Guided imagery, such as visualizing pictures prompted by an audiotape recording, also shows promise in stress relief and pain reduction. Based on the idea that the mind can affect the body, guided imagery can be a useful adjunct to cancer therapy, focusing patients on positive images to help heal their bodies. © Can Stock Photo Inc. - d u nd anim Enjoy the Warmth of Human Touch Just as the mind can affect the body, the body can influence the mind. Virginia Satir, a famous American psychotherapist, once said that people need 4 hugs a day to help prevent depression, 8 for psychological stability, and 12 for growth. While asking for hugs may not work for some, massage can help us relieve stress and reduce anxiety and depression. Massage has also been shown to reduce aggression and hostility in violent adolescents, to improve mood and behavior in students with ADHD, and to lead to better sleep and behavior in children with autism. Massage has other therapeutic properties, as well. Regular massage may reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension and may lead to less pain, depression, and anxiety and better sleep in patients with chronic low-back pain. Compared to relaxation, massage therapy also causes greater reduction in depression and anger, and more significant effects on the immune system in breast cancer patients. Give Exercise a Shot To get the best of both worlds, affecting the mind through the body while getting into good physical shape, try exercise. In one study, a group of lung cancer patients increased their hope due to exercise. Exercise can also reduce depression and improve wound healing in the elderly. Tai chi, which works for people of all ages, may enhance heart and lung function, improve balance and posture, and prevent falls, while reducing stress. No matter what stress-relief methods you choose, make it a habit to use them—especially if you feel too stressed out to do it. As someone once said, the time to relax is when you don’t have time for it. For more information on health and safety visit the Ontario Chiropractic Association Web site at www.chiropractic.on.ca or call 1-877-327-2273. Dr. George Traitses, 416-499-5656, www. infinite hea th.co . Wednesday, February 11, 2015 20 Valentine’s Day place on 2 dinner plates with potatoes and broccoli rabe. Serve lamb with sour cream sauce. Serves: 2. © Can Stock Photo Inc. - M SPhotographics Milk Chocolate Pots de Crème 10 ounces 3 ounces 1 cup 1 cup ¼ cup 5 © Can Stock Photo Inc. - ollzha Pomegranate-Champagne Punch 1 ½ cups 1 cup ¼ cup 1 bottle pomegranate juice pear nectar orange-ﬂavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier (750-milliliter) Champagne Preparation: In a large pitcher, combine pomegranate juice, pear nectar, and orange-flavored liqueur. Slowly add Champagne. Serve over ice. © Can Stock Photo Inc. - robynm ac 1 Mustard-Crusted Lamb ¼ tsp. ¼ tsp. 3 tbsp. 2 tbsp. 4 tbsp. ¼ cup 3 2 tbsp. ½ bunch(es) 1 tsp. 3 tbsp. (1-pound) New Zealand lamb rib roast (rack of lamb), 8 ribs, ﬂap trimmed salt pepper Dijon mustard with seeds chopped fresh mint or basil leaves chopped shallots panko (Japanese bread crumbs) small (3 ounces each) red potatoes, each cut into 4 wedges water (16-ounce) broccoli rabe, tough stem ends trimmed olive oil reduced-fat sour cream Preparation: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Place lamb, meat side up, in small roasting pan. Sprinkle lamb with ¼ teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. In small bowl, stir together mustard, mint, and 2 tablespoons shallots. Reserve 2 tablespoons mustard mixture for sauce; spread remainder on lamb. Pat on panko to coat. Roast lamb in oven 25 to 30 minutes for medium-rare (140º on meat thermometer) or until desired doneness. Meanwhile, heat 4-quart saucepan of water to boiling on high. In microwave-safe medium bowl, combine potatoes and 2 tablespoons cold water. Cover with vented plastic wrap, and microwave on High 4 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain; toss with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm. Add broccoli rabe to boiling water in saucepan, and cook 3 minutes. Drain well; wipe pan dry. In same saucepan, heat oil and remaining 2 tablespoons shallots on medium-high; add broccoli rabe and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Toss with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm. Stir sour cream into reserved mustard mixture. Cut lamb into 2-rib portions, and milk chocolate, ﬁnely chopped bittersweet chocolate, ﬁnely chopped milk heavy cream sugar large egg yolks Crème fraîche, for garnish Chocolate shavings, for garnish Preparation: In a large heat-proof bowl, combine milk and bittersweet chocolates. In a medium saucepan, bring milk, heavy cream, and sugar to a boil, whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved. In a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk egg yolks. Gradually whisk in half of the hot cream. Whisk egg-and-cream mixture into saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the custard coats the back of the spoon, about 4 minutes. Pour custard over chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until very smooth, about 1 minute. Pour mixture into eight 4-ounce ramekins and refrigerate until chilled, 2 hours. Let pots de crème stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Garnish with crème fraîche and chocolate shavings; serve. Serves: 8.
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