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Canadian Councillor's Campaign Signs Vandalized, Sprayed 'Homophobe'

Jeff earle

A candidate for a seat on the city council in Brockville, Ontario, has had five election campaign posters defaced, one of them with the word “homophobe” in black spray paint, reports The Recorder. 1297620912487_ORIGINAL

Jeff Earle, a council veteran of 23 years, is convinced the “homophobe” charge stems from a vote last February preventing debate on a motion to fly the rainbow flag behind city hall during the Winter Olympics.

A unanimous vote was required to get the motion to the floor. Earle, the only councillor to oppose hearing the motion, says he blocked the vote because of a desire to keep politics out of the Olympics.

 

Earle, who says the vandalism should be treated as a hate crime, resents being tarred as a homophobe because of that vote:

“I treat it as a hate crime. For them to label that, I find it a little offensive. That vote was not about whether you support individuals.”

City police are currently investigating.

In June, Ontario elected its first female and lesbian premier Kathleen Wynne.

[sign photo via Ronald Zajac/The Recorder and Times]


Multiple Gunmen Involved In Attack On Canadian Parliament: VIDEO

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Two to three gunmen have attacked the Canadian Parliament, the War Memorial and possibly a mall in Ottawa, Canada, killing one soldier who was on guard at the national War Memorial according to USA Today. CNN reports:

The Canadian government has informed the United States that one shooter is dead in Ottawa, a senior U.S. official said. So far, there is "no indication the shooter has ties to violent Islamic extremism," but it is still extremely early in the investigation, the source said.

In response to the ongoing situation at Canada's Parliament, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, has increased its alert posture, CNN has learned. That means that it has increased the number of planes on a higher alert status ready to respond if needed. NORAD and Canadian authorities are in contact, an official told CNN.

From The New York Times:

Police officers rushed to secure the Parliament building and move occupants to safety as they hunted for what Canadian news reports said were possibly two or three assailants, in what had the appearance of a coordinated attack.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that one assailant was killed. The condition of the soldier who was shot was not immediately clear. Witnesses reported earlier they believed the soldier had been killed.

Marc Coucy, a representative of the Ottawa Police Service, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that officers were looking for “multiple suspects” in shootings at three locations.

The shootings came amid heightened concern about terrorist attacks in Canada, two days after a radical jihadist convert ran over two soldiers at a suburban Montreal strip mall, killing one of them. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, an outspoken critic of the Islamic State movement and other militant groups, has been considering the introduction of new antiterrorism legislation.

The shootings began about 10 a.m., just as the leaders of Parliament were holding their weekly meetings, suggesting the possibility of deliberate timing. Many of the lawmakers were rushed into secure rooms in the basement by guards.

Watch a terrifying video of a firefight taking place in the halls of Parliament, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Norwegian Tourism Company Refutes Religious Discrimination Against Canadian Christian - VIDEO

Amaruk

A Christian graduate from Trinity Western University (TWU) in British Columbia, Canada, claims to have been discriminated against and "attacked" because of her religion after applying for a job with a Norwegian wilderness tourism company, reports CBC News.

All students at TWU - a private Christian liberal arts university - must agree to a covenant prohibiting sexual intimacy outside heterosexual marriage.

In her complaint to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, Bethany Paquette outlined a series of emails from Amaruk executives.

Amaruk Wilderness Corp. has rejected the claims. 

Bethany Paquette

A rejection email from Amaruk hiring manager Olaf Amundsen read in part:

"Unlike Trinity Western University, we embrace diversity, and the right of people to sleep with or marry whoever they want.

"The Norse background of most of the guys at the management level means that we are not a Christian organization, and most of us actually  see Christianity as having destroyed our culture, tradition and way of life."

In a reply email, Paquette wrote "your disagreement with Trinity Western University, simply because they do not support sex outside of marriage, can in fact be noted as discrimination of approximately 76 per cent of the world population!!! Wow, that's a lot of diverse people that you don't embrace."

She signed the email God Bless “probably partially because I knew it would irritate them.”

Amundsen then shot back that “propaganda is lost on me” because he is “a Viking with a PhD in Norse culture. So propaganda is lost on me”:

"In asking students to refrain from same-sex relationships, Trinity Western University, and any person associated with it, has engaged in discrimination...'God bless' is very offensive to me and yet another sign of your attempts to impose your religious views on me.

“There are practical concerns about a Christian university that rejects the concept of evolution but still grants ‘biology’ degrees.

"I do not want to be blessed by some guy who was conceived by a whore, outside of marriage, and whom has been the very reason for the most horrendous abuse and human right violations in the  history of the human race. If I was to meet the guy I’d actually fuck him”

Amaruk employee Christopher Fragassi-Bjørnsen then joined the discussion, writing that while "Trinity Western University believes that two men loving each other is wrong… we believe a man ending up with another man is probably the best thing that could happen to him. But we do not force these views onto other people, and we are completely fine if a guy decided to go the emasculation route by marrying a B.C. woman.”

TWU spokesperson Guy Saffold said "Canadians shouldn't be treated this way by a foreign company. Mocking of their religion — there is a personal shaming element to it that was most unfortunate."

Micheal Vonn of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association said employers are not supposed to express opinions about an applicant's religious background:

"You are allowed to think anything you like. But you have obligations as an employer to act in a non-discriminatory manner.

"What you have is written documentation that more or less is tantamount to a sign on the door that says no one of religious affiliation need apply for employment here. We don't usually see discrimination cases that are quite this stark."

However, in a statement issued last week, Amaruk said:

"We regret that Bethany Paquette was [em]inently unqualified for an assistant guide internship position with our company.

"We strive to make applicants aware of the minimum requirements for each position.

"Unfortunately, Bethany Paquette applied for a position when she knew, or ought to know, that she was unqualified for the position, did not meet the minimum requirements of the position, and did not hold the necessary certifications for the position."

Read the full email exchange here and watch a report on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Trial Underway for Canadian Killer Who Mailed Body Parts to Government Offices: VIDEO

Magnotta

A criminal trial of Luka Magnotta is underway in Montreal.

Magnotta, as you may recall, is a Canadian porn actor who in 2012 was the subject of an international manhunt after he was charged with murdering a man and sending his body parts to political parties in the mail.

Global News reports:

Magnotta has admitted to killing 33-year-old Jun Lin in May 2012, of cutting up his victim’s body, videotaping the act and posting it online. He’s admitted to then mailing some body parts, discarding others in garbage bags and stuffing Lin’s torso in a suitcase, leaving the items curb-side in Montreal before taking off for France, then Germany — where he was apprehended June 4 (2012).

But he has pleaded not guilty to the five charges he is facing as a result of those actions; his lawyer Luc Leclair is preparing to argue Magnotta was so psychologically ill he couldn’t grasp the severity of what he was doing.

Leclair cross-examined Lin's former lover Feng Lin on Wednesday, attempting to paint a less than innocent picture of the victim. Also questioned was the apartment manager who rented a space to Magnotta that would later become the crime scene.

You can read many more details here, and there is a video report on the latest proceedings, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Canadian Teacher Suspended After Putting 'I'm Gay' Sticker on Student's Back: VIDEO

Langley

It's one of the oldest student pranks in the book: stick a sign on another kid's back that says "kick me" or some other phrase meant to humiliate.

AldergroveBut in a 2013 incident at Aldergrove Community Secondary School in Langley, British Columbia, the prank was played by a teacher. Daniel Mark Ogloff, a metal and machine shop teacher, placed a piece of masking tape on a student's back with the words "I'm gay" written on it, clearly intending to mock the student, The Province reports:

“Ogloff placed a piece of masking tape on the back of the jacket of a male Grade 11 student” with the words ‘I’m gay’ written on it, according to the report.

“Ogloff then gestured ‘shhh’ to the students after putting the tape on and pointed at another student and mouthed words to the effect, ‘It was him.’ ”

Students were laughing and taking photos.

“Ogloff considered this to be horseplay,” said the report.

Ogloff was suspended for 10 weeks for that incident and was ordered to participate in a “restorative action” with the student. He was also ordered to participate in mandatory mentorship with another teacher and to complete courses required by the district.

“Ogloff disputes the appropriateness of this discipline,” according to the report.

In the other incident, Ogloff in December 2012 “spoke inappropriately and disrespectfully” to a Grade 12 student who approached him in class to ask why she was the only student failing.

“Ogloff responded by saying words to the effect of ‘she wants to know why you’re passing and she’s not,’ in a loud voice,” adding, “‘you are never here and you don’t do anything in this class.’”

The incident is coming to light now because The B.C. Commissioner of Teacher Regulation has just slapped him with a two week suspension of his teaching certificate. The school district suspended him for 10 weeks last November.

Should this bully even be teaching kids?

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Gay Films, Star Power, and Oscar Buzz: a Report from the Toronto International Film Festival

  Theoryof-premiere
Eddie Redmayne got a huge thumbs up in Toronto. Oscar-bound?

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

Hello all. Just back from Canada from the Toronto International Film Festival, aka the best film festival in the world, which wrapped up on Sunday. My fellow Oscar bloggers like to shill for Telluride these days but I’m convinced it’s simply Stockholm Syndrome since Telluride actually makes the press pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a pass for the privilege of giving them free publicity. In Toronto, if you’re lucky enough to write about the movies for a living, you get your press pass for free and your only expense, other than travel and lodging (which can add up) is your time. But what person who loves movies, wouldn’t want to spend that gorging on selections from all over the world, the best of Cannes and Sundance and a ton of new ones, some of them courting Oscar gold, too.

I was so giddy all week that even when I failed to spot Reese Witherspoon at her own party for WILD (she’s short, y’all and thus hides easily in a crowd even in a sparkly dress) I remained elated to chat with Laura Dern (one of the greats who needs big roles again!) and wonder what possessed Chris Evans to what looked like gloriously form-fitting white longjohn shirt to a party where everyone else was in suits. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying. I was so thrilled that even the sight of Eddie Redmayne’s back in his daring aquamarine suit and Andrew Garfield’s giant beard at THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING party was as good as actually talking to them, but I made do with talking to Oscar-buzzing Felicity Jones who, like Redmayne, gives her best screen performance yet in that new Stephen Hawking biopic.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP..

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