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Nova Scotians demand action against mill

Residents of Pictou, Nova Scotia, are demanding that the Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation mill be held accountable for damages to health and to the environment caused by its pollution since its opening in 1967.

Discussion surrounding the mill and its effect on residents has been a point of contention, as it remains a source of employment for approximately 250 residents of the area and puts millions of dollars into the economy of the region.

According to residents, pollution from the mill has begun to take a toll on the environment and the health of residents. The mill’s production of paper products results in the release of toxins into the air and waste being dumped into the surrounding natural area.

The town has the nation’s seventh highest rate of cancer per 100,000 residents of Canada’s 106 health regions. Residents who believe that the high cancer rate is due to pollution caused by the mill are demanding change.

Two local residents have created an online petition called, “Premier Darrell Dexter: Clean up the Pictou Country Pulp Mill,” which urges the premier to address the issue. The petition has received nearly 1,700 signatures to date.


G20 officer convicted three years later

On Thursday, Constable Babak Andalib-Goortan became the only police officer to date to be found guilty of using excessive force during the G20 protests of June 2010.

1,105 demonstrators were detained by police as a result of the G20 protests over three years ago, and many have criticized police for using excessive force. Thursday’s ruling found Andalib-Goortani guilty of using violence while arresting protestor Adam Nobody and detaining him in jail for over 30 hours.

The constable, whose sentence will be announced in November, faces a maximum sentence of 18 months jail time or a $5,000 fine. He is also charged with assaulting a member of the media with a weapon, a case that will proceed to trial in February.

The plaintiff, Nobody, is pursuing a $14.2 million lawsuit against officers implicated in the event. Multiple other civil cases, including a class-action lawsuit launched by 1,000 people, are awaiting court dates.

Yasmin Nakhuda loses court case to reclaim IKEA monkey

On Sept. 13, Darwin, the infamous monkey found strolling around an IKEA parking lot last year, was placed in the custody of an animal sanctuary.

He was seized from Nakhuda by Animal Services and placed in the care of Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario. Nakhuda, who had signed over ownership of the monkey to the City of Toronto earlier this year, sued the Sanctuary, claiming that the seizure of Darwin was unlawful on the basis that he was domesticated.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Mary Vallee dismissed Nakhuda’s claim, citing that Nakhuda’s ownership of Darwin was no longer valid the moment he escaped from her care.

“A high onus regarding provision of secure housing for wild animals is appropriate to place on their owners,” Vallee’s decision reads “Wild animals, particularly exotic ones, can be dangerous to the public.”

Aptly nicknamed the “IKEA Monkey,” Darwin originally lived with his previous owner, Yasmin Nakhuda, her husband, and their two children. Last December, at an IKEA in North York, Ontario, Darwin escaped from Nakhuda’s car and, soon afterwards, an image of him wandering the parking lot dressed in a shearling coat went viral.


Montreal student released from Filipino jail

Université de Montreal student Kim Chatillon-Meunier, age 24, returned to Canada on Sunday after spending several days in jail in the Philippines.

Chantillon-Meunier was in Manila for a government-funded internship working with impoverished women, when she was arrested on Friday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as she was about to board a plane out of the country.

Her quick release from jail can be attributed to pressure from the human rights organization KARAPATAN, and lawyers from the Philippines’ National Union of People’s Lawyers.

The Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration officers took her into custody Friday night due to her participation in one of multiple anti-government protests on July 22, many of which were deemed illegal for failing to gain a permit from the government to hold a demonstration. Chantillon-Meunier’s boyfriend  Emile Kinley-Gauthier, who was not arrested, said the two were merely observing the rallies.

The demonstrations fell on the day of President Benigno Aquino’s state-of-the-nation address, and were in protest of his administration’s alleged abuses of human rights.


Senator Wallin pays off falsely claimed expense money

On Friday, Canadian Senator Pamela Wallin finished paying off the last of the expenses that she had wrongly claimed, starting in December 2010 until November 2012. Wallin paid back the $100,600.98 plus interest—an additional $13,938.19—in personal cheques to the federal government.

Wallin’s senate expense scandal began in May of this year, when it was found that she was using taxpayer dollars for extra travelling expenses.

After paying her expenses Friday, Wallin made a public statement in which she accused the auditing firm who conducted the review of her expenses, Deloitte, as well as the Senate internal economy committee of treating her unfairly.

“Evidence that casts doubt on the correctness of the amounts owing was either ignored or disregarded during the review,” Wallin said in a statement released by her office.

Despie the scandal, Wallin has also said that she does not plan to resign as a Senator.

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