Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With: Remembered as a “brilliant entertainer” and “mentor,” members of the LGBTQ community are mourning the loss of Chris Edwards, a popular Toronto drag entertainer, after his passing on Tuesday.“(He) was a very special person, that I have had the pleasure of knowing for over 27 years,” Dean Odorico, general manager of two Church St. bars — Woody’s and Sailor — told the Star.On Aug. 26, Edwards was performing at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre when he collapsed during the show, theatre staff told the Star. He was rushed to Toronto General Hospital Twitter
Twitter Facebook Baritone Clarence Logan, mezzo Rose-Ellen Nichols, and soprano Melody Courage. – PHOTO BY EMILY COOPER READ MORE As a playwright, director, and multimedia artist, Marie Clements is known for her fearless determination to tell Indigenous stories—but even she was hesitant, at first, to explore the new-to-her world of opera while writing about missing and murdered women.“When you’re asked to write on this theme or this reality, sometimes your first response is ‘Oh, I don’t know if I can go in there,’ just because of the gravity of it,” she tells the Straight from Toronto, where her musical documentary, The Road Forward, is screening at the ImagiNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival.But the story needed to be told, and Clements is not one to back away from a challenge. The result is Missing, her collaboration with Toronto-based composer Brian Current, City Opera Vancouver, and Pacific Opera Victoria, produced in partnership with Vancouver Moving Theatre/DTES Heart of the City Festival. Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement
Advertisement Facebook The onesie, by Montreal-based Novel Teez, was made in China with cotton and polyester and retails for $7.99. Meanwhile, the Bebe Fete romper is made in Canada with bamboo and cotton and sells for $59.95.CityNews confirmed on Tuesday the Novel Teez onesie was still for sale at a Toronto Toys”R”Us store. The retailer said it contacted its distributor for an explanation. A Toronto-based designer of a children’s streetwear line says Toys“R”Us is selling a knock-off of her creation.Ivy Chen said she and her business partner design the cheeky illustrations on Bebe Fete clothes for babies and toddlers.Chen said a friend tipped her off after seeing a onesie at a local Toys”R”Us which looked like one of her designs. After comparing the two products, Chen was certain it was. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Twitter
Long live the queen of CanCon. (Lauren Tamaki) Advertisement All 14 of the Dion sibs — baby Céline included — would perform at their mom and dad’s piano bar back in the day, and there are stories of her singing songs on top of the family dinner table when she was barely out of Pampers. But this moment, animated by Siobhan Gallagher, illustrates a turning point in Céline’s life. Céline Dion turns 50 this week, and since the moment she entered the world — belting a pitch-perfect high E that would melt bonhommes de neiges and make lumberjacks weep — Céline’s never stopped moving.She’s so loved, in our country and beyond. I can’t imagine a world without her.– Lauren Tamaki , artistThe pride of Charlemagne, Que. has been working a stage since childhood, and as special tribute on this milestone birthday, CBC Arts commissioned six Canadian artists to salute the queen of CanCon. From the Titanic era to her current fashion-monster moment, it’s an animated timeline of her life and career.1973: Introducing Céline Facebook Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: (Siobhan Gallagher) Twitter
8th Annual Vancouver Digital Entertainment Career FairWhen: April 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.Where: Vancouver Convention Centre East, Ballrooms A, B and C, 999 Canada Pl. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Tickets and info: Free at Vancouvereconomic.comSpider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film means even more global focus is turned toward Vancouver’s digital entertainment sector. The oft-reported pace of growth in film, TV, animation, VFX and gaming business in B.C. is indeed exceptional. Oscar love for locally based Sony Pictures Imageworks means even more business.The global entertainment industry backs winners. B.C. has them. And there are a lot of plans in motion to keep the machine well-oiled.According to the Vancouver Economic Commission, from 2012-2018 the VFX and animation sector nearly tripled from around $342 million to $960 million annually. The VEC projects that by the end of 2019 that figure will exceed 1 billion. These figures are preliminary as the final audits aren’t in, but little variation is expected. Setting right rumours that the B.C. film industry spending only recently surpassed Ontario’s, the VEC reports that it was 2012 when that happened (Ontario spent $1.28 billion versus $1.6 billion for B.C.).VEC film commissioner David Shepheard and animation and VFX expert Nancy Basi discussed some of the plans in place to keep growing the industry.First up is the first Animation FAM (familiarization) Tour. Titled the Vancouver-London Animation Business Exchange, it’s the first of its kind in the city’s history March 13-17, which sees representatives from such U.K. studios as Axis Animation (League of Legends, The Elder Scrolls); Lupus Films (The Hive Series, Ethel and Ernest); and Jellyfish Pictures (Star Wars) coming to Vancouver for a look around. This is the first outbound trip Film London has taken in five years. Shepheard previously was involved in the inbound versions of these FAM events. Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse. Miles gets his Spider-sense. ~ SONY PICTURES ANIMATION / PNG Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Twitter
TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey will be honouring Meryl Streep at the festival’s first Tribute Gala event. THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: There may not be any plans for Keanu Reeves to attend the Toronto International Film Festival this year, but he is always welcome in the Bailey household.“We watched Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” Mr. Film Fest was saying, about the Keanu mission that he and his 10-year-old, Tate, have been on recently.We had arranged to assemble at Soho House for a little rendezvous in the weeks leading up to Cameron Bailey’s biggest of the year, when some 300 movies unspool in Toronto (333 this annum, from all over the world), and he prepares to host well over a hundred celebrities who manifest in this town (including, on the Monday of the fest, at the first ever, seriously star-studded TIFF Tribute Gala) Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Twitter
APTN National NewsA Manitoba MP is recruiting some Hollywood muscle in her fight to save a refinery in her riding.NDP MP Niki Ashton says if Brazilian mining company Vale is allowed to close its smelter and refinery in Thompson, Man., it will devastate the community.Ashton says filmmaker Michael Moore will be posting her message about Thompson on his website along with a serious of letters written by people who will lose their jobs.
APTN National NewsA Yukon First Nation theater group is premiering a new play this week in Whitehorse.Cafe Daughter is a one-woman memory play inspired by a true story.It tells the tale of a Chinese-Cree girl growing up in rural Saskatchewan in the 1950s and 1960s.APTN National News reporter Shirley McLean has more.
(Members of an RCMP tactical until involved in Oct. 17 raid on anti-fracking camp blocking SWN’s vehicles)APTN National NewsELSIPGOTOG FIRST NATION, NB–SWN Resources Canada is planning to resume its controversial shale gas seismic exploration work on Wednesday, according to Elsipogtog War Chief John LeviLevi said SWN’s lawyer Michael Connors, who is a partner with East Coast law firm McInnes Cooper, met with several dozen people from Elsipogtog First Nation and the surrounding communities late Sunday afternoon.Levi said Connors told the people that SWN would withdraw a lawsuit against several community members if the Houston-based firm was allowed to finish its exploration work unimpeded.“We said no, we are going to be there,” said Levi, in an interview with APTN National News. “What we told him was we are going to be there Wednesday.”The meeting was held at a longhouse erected at an anti-fracking encampment used over the past summer. The area sits off Hwy 116 near Elsipogtog First Nation.Connors told the people in the longhouse that SWN would be working for 14 days and warned them not to block the company’s movements or they would face violence.“I’m not asking anyone not to protest, but I am asking that we don’t do anything that would lead to violence,” said Connors, according to video of the meeting posted on Facebook by Brian Milliea. “Unfortunately, blockades lead to violence.”Connors said SWN just wants to finish its work and leave the area.“We don’t want violence and if we can get through two weeks then we will go away for awhile,” said Connors. “I am not saying we are not going to come back, we may not come back, but I think everybody needs some time, you know a break.”Levi told Connors that the community would not be backing down.“We are going to be there. Whatever happens, the ball is in your court. Whatever happens, you’re the ones who are going to make the calls,” said Levi, according to the nine minute video. “Us as Natives and the protectors of this land, we are going to protect it, it is our land, we never ceded this land and we are going to protect it before these waters are contaminated.”A woman in the crowd, who identified as non-Native, also pledged opposition to the exploration.“As non-Natives we are going to protect the future of our children,” said the woman, in the video. “So non-Natives and Natives are together.”SWN has faced intense and prolonged opposition to its shale gas exploration work around Elsipogtog First Nation which exploded after heavily armed RCMP tactical units raided an anti-fracking camp along Route 134 on Oct. 17. The camp was blocking several of SWN’s exploration vehicles in a compound owned by JD Irving Ltd. in Rexton, NB.While the raid freed SWN’s trucks, it sparked day-long clashes between Elsipogtog residents and the RCMP. Several RCMP vehicles were torched and about 40 people were arrested.A camp still remains on Route 134, which sits about 15 kilometres southeast of Elsipogtog.SWN was initially expected to resume its exploration work last Monday. Elsipogtog Chief Aaron Sock told reporters last Sunday that SWN’s lawyers had informed him the company was planning to finish its seismic exploration work along Hwy 11.While community members mobilized to confront the company, the thumper trucks, which are used in the seismic exploration, did not appear.Levi said Connors told the meeting that the company would be laying out geophones on a section of Hwy 11 on Tuesday and that the thumper trucks would return on Wednesday.Geophones pick up the vibrations from thumper trucks to create imaging of shale gas deposits.The exploration area is about 46 kilometres north of Elsipogtog.People in Elsipogtog and surrounding communities fear the discovery of shale gas would lead to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The controversial extraction method is viewed by many as posing a dire threat to water sources.“They are pretty desperate for trying to arrange something like that,” said Levi. “We are not taking the bait and we are going to be there protecting mother earth.”email@example.com
Conservation Minister Tom Nevakshonoff Two men from the Saanich Nation in British Columbia argued the Tsartlip people had practiced night hunting since time immemorial. Though times had changed, and rifles and spotlights took the place of bows and arrows and torches.The Supreme Court steered away from a blanket sanction on night hunting, adding it’s not a treaty right to do so dangerously.There are limitations on treaty rights that the province can regulate. The Manitoba hunting guide outlines the rules that apply for First Nation hunters in general. No shooting a firearm from a public road or highway. No selling the meat. But for spotlighting, the limitations are vague; don’t “discharge a rifle or shotgun at night where it is dangerous to do so.” But it has to be on Crown land.George Moosetail, a band councillor on the Pine creek First Nation in Manitoba, went hunting one night in January.He wanted to harvest deer meat for an elder in his community.He took APTN National News on a ride to show what happened.Moosetail asked his friend Jason to drive us.On a snowy back road lit up only by the truck’s headlights, he motions for his friend Jason to slow down. Indigenous leaders and lawyers use the words ‘adversarial’ and ‘strained’ to describe the relationship between Indigenous hunters and conservation officers.Anishinaabe hunters talk about feeling bullied and harassed, including Chief Charlie Boucher.“Trucks up ahead of me. Conservation is stopping everybody.” Boucher explains a typical encounter. “Conservation comes and looks in each of the trucks. I’m in the fifth truck, well, they come and talk to me first.”Watch Treaty Part 3 Nepinak calls Saskatchewan’s handling of the raid “an abuse of power and authority.”With the case still under investigation, Premier Brad Wall won’t comment on specifics.“But I’ll just answer hypothetically,” Wall told reporters in January. “Treaty rights don’t trump certain provincial provisions that allow provinces to manage the conservation issue as we would all want. They also don’t trump private property. We respect treaty rights, but there are certain things treaty rights do not trump when it comes to hunting. And we’ll let that information come forward and let this process play out.”It’s been nearly three months since the raid and there are still no clear answers.But there are a lot of questions.“This issue around treaties has to be dealt with because we have ignorant leaders who are saying things like treaty rights do no trump provincial jurisdictions,” said Niigaan Sinclair. “There is nothing more wrong than that.” Charlie Boucher at this hunting cabin. Watch Part 1 of Treaty Rights A Lesson on Treaties We have federal and provincial leaders in major decision making positions that have little to no knowledge of treaty. If there’s a blemish in this country, it’s that.” Niigaanwewidam Sinclair, Treaty Expert RCMP cruisers and K-9 unit arrive in Pine CreekRCMP and Conservations officers on the Pine Creek First NationRCMP and Conservation officers in Pine CreekConservation officers search the home of George LamirandeConservation officers search the home George Lamirande on the Pine Creek First Nation “We are capable people. We are willing people,” said Boucher. “We want to relate in a beautiful way.”The chief was to pin down expansive issues like reconciliation in a tangible way. In the long-term, he’s talking co-management of resources.For today, he wants answers on why Saskatchewan conservation officers raided his house after he went moose hunting in that province. He wants to know what can be done about hunters feeling bullied and harassed by game wardens in Manitoba.It’s why he brought in the Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to meet with the community recently.And Derek Nepinak wants details.“All the people that have had their vehicles confiscated or their rifles confiscated. We’re going to need to talk to you all,” he told everyone.As for a response to the raid, Nephinak is gearing up for a battle. “We have brilliant minds, experts in Canadian law who can punch holes right through Mr. Wall’s political rhetoric and his failure to respect treaty rights and we plan on bringing the fight to him.”What that fight looks like is still unclear.Sinclair said the framework is already there. “If we look at those treaty documents they were intended to be about the future not the past.”Boucher wants to work with government and says, if it’s about the environment, then they’re on the same page.So that reconciliation can begin on the firstname.lastname@example.org Derek Nepinak, Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in Pine Creek. But Cook said there’s no discretion with the law. And the loss of a truck is felt deeply in remote Indigenous communities.“These people’s livelihoods are on the line. You have a $40,000 truck for somebody who makes $16,000 a year, that’s huge, that’s the biggest asset they’re ever going to have and their credit is ruined. So these are high stakes,” said Cook.She tells stories of a client who was about to lose his job because he lost his truck, though he hadn’t been the one hunting. Zealous Crown attorneys that pursue hunting charges like criminal cases and clients who won in court, but the bill for the two day trial rang in at $10,000, and legal aid doesn’t cover the costs.Cook is torn over these cases. She grew up in BrokenHead Ojibway Nation in Manitoba.She’s proud to take on cases involving Aboriginal and treaty rights, but…“These people are poor. They need help and there’s very limited ways that I can help them.” Cook paused, and then admitted, “It’s depressing. It’s depressing for them and for me.”Cook called the truck seizures unfair and wants the law changed.“It’s exacerbating and amplifying poverty and isolation by having these trucks even seized for a year, eighteen months,” she said. But forfeited? Manitoba needs to do what other provinces do. They need to make this automatic forfeiture discretionary.”Though the circumstances around the penalty may vary, the province’s position is clear.Conservation Minister Tom Nevakshonoff said government recognizes the Aboriginal right to hunt and fish for food, but safety is a foremost concern.“If people break the law in the course of their activities then they are subject to penalty,” said Nevakshonoff. “And hunting illegally, we discourage to the utmost degree and seizure of vehicles is part of that.”As for complaints from Indigenous hunters of harassment by conservation officers, the Minister was surprised to hear the question. THE LINE ON TREATYA a tattoo on forearm of Niigaan Sinclair shows a map of the traditional clans that live along the Red River and signed the Selkirk Treaty in Manitoba. Boucher has hunted for 50 years. He offers tobacco and shares the meat with his community. But he feels targeted when he out in the bush.“My treaty card is what they look for,” he said.Some of the conflict arises when Indigenous people hunt in ways that regulated hunters can’t.Treaty people don’t have to follow the same set of provincial regulations.It might vary from province to province, but generally there’s no bag limit, or seasonal restrictions. And Indigenous people can hunt at night with lights, a controversial practice called “spotlighting.”But an Aboriginal treaty right upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2006. Last November, Ed Hayden, a former chief of the Roseau River First Nation in southern Manitoba, went hunting in Saskatchewan.He was respecting a ban on moose hunting in his province. Over-hunting, disease and predators have led to a drop in the population.“To me there’s no border,” said Hayden. “There may be to the province, but for us that understand treaty, like I said, my treaty is portable. I can go anywhere.”So he left Treaty No. 1, along with a few other Anishinaabe hunters, and took down three moose on Crown land in Saskatchewan.Conservation officers arrived shortly after and told him he couldn’t hunt there because he “didn’t belong in this treaty area.”Hayden was given a warning for “Unlawfully hunting. Exercising treaty rights where not recognized.”Download (PDF, Unknown) The warning said to look “into Saskatchewan treaty rights before hunting in the province.” Conservation officers told him to bone the animals right there in the field.“So we spent over three hours doing that,” said Hayden. “Taking the meat off the bones and then we left.” George Moosetail There was no courtesy to make a phone to call to the Government of Pine Creek First Nation in Treaty 4 Territory.” Chief Charlie Boucher, Pine Creek First Nation, MB Lawyer Christina Cook George Moosetail shows APTN what happened the night his truck was seized. Ed Hayden, Roseau River First Nation, Man. THE PATH FORWARD If we’re not pulling the moose meat from the bush, then we’re getting sick off the processed foods and that’s exactly what’s happening.” Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Going hunting? Click here and read this first Names like Sparrow, Corbierre, Marshall and Tsilhqo’ten headline key decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada that uphold Aboriginal and treaty rights.“But at the same time,” said Sinclair, “the federal government needs to stop this continual march to the Supreme Court involving this issue and really take a leadership role in being able to rectify and engage and recognize that rights are a fundamental part of the country.”The language the new Liberal government is using around reconciliation, respect and nation-to-nation relationships might not be enough.Sinclair said it’s a refreshing mindset, but one at odds with the machinations of government.“Canada is invested in continually wanting to get out of the Indian business,” he said. “And that’s what the Indian act is intended to do.”Sinclair calls treaties a ‘one-off’ for government; a historical agreement used to gain access to land whereas “if we look at those treaty documents, they were intended to be about the future not the past.”Indigenous people are unlikely to be the ones to walk away from the treaty table. “There’s always boundaries,” said Boucher. “No hunting signs. Fences. There were no fences before.”Chief Charlie Boucher rides a skidoo back to the family hunting cabin of George Moosetail, a band councillor in Pine Creek.It’s a half hour trek along a winding path in the woods, cutting across flat fields of snow, and skirting farm land.Moosetail said he feels like traditional Anishinaabe lands are shrinking.The hunting cabin has become a refuge.“It’s like all we got as Anishinaabe people,” said Moosetail. “This is the only place I can come out to hunt where I feel safe … it’s our own little sacred place to come.”When asked what that means for his treaty rights, Moosetail pauses before answering, “Treaty to me is a white man’s word. I see us as all Anishinaabe – Treaty 1, Treaty 2, Treaty 4…I see us all as one.”Those borders matter to government.Watch Part 2 of Treaty Rights From what happened next, it’s clear what the farmer did.“I got a phone call from Chief Boucher while I was driving down the street,” said Cook, recounting the confusion over what was happening. “He said, ‘I haven’t been charged but there was a search warrant executed on my house.’ I said, ‘For what?’”Boucher didn’t know. He told her they were looking for guns but didn’t find anything. He sent her a copy of the search warrant.“And what’s interesting about the search warrant is that it was applied for in Saskatchewan, endorsed in a Manitoba court, and it was executed by the RCMP,” said Cook. “And again, Chief Boucher and the Pine Creek First Nation government was not advised or told that the RCMP would be rolling in with lights flashing and a K-9 unit.”The only warning Boucher had, was from a community member who had seen Saskatchewan conservation trucks traveling in a line of RCMP cars, heading toward Pine Creek.“I looked at the search warrant and of course I’m going to comply,” said Boucher. “But I told the officer, this is wrong you should have at least gave me the courtesy to give me a call as chief of Pine Creek First Nation.” Provincial governments have to find a role within treaty in order for us to have any sense of reconciliation in the country.” Niigaanwewidam Sinclair, head of Native Department Studies, University of Manitoba FROM TREATY TO THE TABLE … Treaty expert Niigaan Sinclair is the head of Native Studies department at the University of Manitoba. For Pine Creek Chief Charlie Boucher, who lives in Treaty 4, the provincial border cuts through his territory.But it’s not a cut-off line for treaty rights.In a phone interview, Saskatchewan’s Assistant Deputy Minister for Environment Kevin Murphy agreed.His government recognizes the rights of any First Nation with a Numbered Treaty that overlaps the border. That includes Pine Creek in Manitoba.So though Murphy won’t comment on an ongoing investigation, Chief Boucher was within his rights to harvest moose in Saskatchewan as long as he was on unoccupied Crown land, or had permission from a private landowner.But Ed Hayden, according to the province’s view on treaty rights, was not.“If the treaty does not overlap our jurisdiction then we don’t honour the treaty rights within our jurisdiction and that’s according to case law,” said Murphy.Indigenous leaders take issue with that.“What’s happened since they created those boundaries is that they acquired with it a false sense of authority over Anishinaabe people,” said Grand Chief Derek Nepinak. “But they bring it through the use of force. Because they’ll bring their guns right into your house.”Nepinak was recently in Pine Creek to meet with Boucher, who’s been trying hard to drum up attention and action over what he views as violation of treaty rights.Charlie Boucher said it’s bigger than the raid on his house by Saskatchewan conservation officers.Here in Manitoba, Boucher wants to sit at the table with the province. He wants a say in how resources are managed.“Treaty. Treaty basis. A Crown relationship. Anishinaabek,” said Boucher, emphatically. “Like I said, we never abandoned our sovereignty. We want to relate in a good way, in a proactive way with Manitoba and Saskatchewan.” Last fall, Boucher sent a letter to the province asking for a meeting to talk about co-management.He didn’t get a response.But in an interview with APTN National News, Conservation Minister Tom Nevakshonoff was open to the idea.“I would be very interested in working with the various chief and councils around the province to work specifically on co-management endeavors,” said Nevakshonoff. “That makes total sense to me. Ultimately, the responsibility of the department is the preservation of the species. That’s what comes first.”When it comes to protecting the environment, Boucher says Indigenous people and Manitoba Conservation are on the same side.Though sometimes, it doesn’t feel that way. Ron Sparrow (left) and Donald Marshall Jr. Photo courtesy Tuma Young, Mi’kmaw lawyer and Professor, Unama’ki College It’s exacerbating and amplifying poverty and isolation by having these trucks even seized for a year, eighteen months. Manitoba needs to do what other provinces do. They need to make this automatic forfeiture discretionary.” Lawyer Christina Cook On December 15, 2015, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood on a stage in Ottawa and talked about reconciliation for Indigenous people in Canada.Treaty expert Niigaan Sinclair was there to watch his father Justice Murray Sinclair, present six years of work as a Truth and Reconciliation Commission commissioner.The TRC released its full report with 94 recommendations, calling on Canada to “renew or establish Treaty relationships.”Sinclair recounts the optimism he felt on that day watching an emotional Trudeau take part.“The man smudged. I saw it. I was right there,” said Sinclair. “I think he’s very open to a relationship and to an engagement on these issues.”But Sinclair said that’s not enough.“Provincial governments have to find a role within treaty in order for us to have any sense of reconciliation in the country.”Sinclair said that discord is evidenced by what happened thousands of kilometres away, in Manitoba, on the same day as the TRC event on Ottawa. There was no call. No heads up. Just a number of RCMP vehicles, Conservation officers and a police K-9 unit.That’s what Chief Charlie Boucher remembers about Dec. 15, 2015, as Prime Minister Trudeau was speaking in Ottawa.Boucher said his treaty rights were violated that day on the Pine Creek First Nation in Manitoba.According to the search warrant, authorities were looking for evidence he’d been hunting moose in Saskatchewan.Boucher, and Christina Cook, an Anishinaabe lawyer based in Winnipeg, are still trying to figure out why.“That’s just it. We don’t know,” said Cook. “Really? You can execute a search warrant and not tell us why?”Ten days earlier, Boucher, his nephew George Lamirande and a few others from Pine Creek, took down a couple of moose on Crown land in Saskatchewan.At the time, Boucher had a nasty run-in with a local farmer.“Right away, he was very negative,” said Boucher. “Saying, ‘well, don’t you have enough, you Indians?’ I always practice my rights in the best way. And he alleged other things, like, ‘you guys are always over-harvesting.’ What? Again, it’s not appropriate actions and comments and statements by the farmer. He should have phoned the authorities.” Trina Roache APTN National News STRAINED RELATIONSMi’kmaq hunters clash over a moose harvest on Cape Breton Island. “Okay, this is where I stopped right here,” said Moosetail. “This is that little strip of private land I was telling you guys about.”Except Moosetail didn’t see any sign indicating it was private property. He also didn’t see conservation trucks parked close by.“They probably could’ve stopped us from shooting if they knew we were on private land,” he said. “But to us it was Crown land. Our land. Our traditional hunting grounds.”But Moosetail was mistaken. Crown land was still a five minute drive down the road.Conservation officers charged him with spotlighting and his truck was seized.In February, he went to court and pleaded guilty.Moosetail’s case is just one of several on the desk of Anishinaabe lawyer Christina Cook.She’s had other cases recently where the charges of spotlighting are questionable.In one case, hunters with an unloaded gun in the backseat of the car, shining a light to look for Crown land, which is often unmarked.“Really?” said an unimpressed Cook. “Make shining a light illegal if that’s going to the case.”A big issue Cook is fighting in court are the penalties for hunting at night.Manitoba Conservation automatically seizes any meat, hunting gear and vehicles. Even if the owner of the truck is not hunting.Cook said she’s had cases where she’s won in court, but even with an acquittal, the hunter was without his truck for months.The penalty is meant to deter poachers from spotlighting. The officers also carried out a search at the house of Boucher’s nephew George Lamirande. The officers took frozen meat from the freezer, though Lamirande said it wasn’t moose meat from Saskatchewan.“And now the Province of Saskatchewan is DNA testing the moose,” said an unimpressed Cook. “Really? Really? How much money are you going to spend prosecuting the Indians? Really. No seriously, it’s insane. This is, best case scenario, a misunderstanding between neighbors. We can’t figure out this issue in a better way on a nation-to-nation or government-to-government dialogue than DNA testing a moose, and three RCMP vehicles and K-9 unit?”The irony that the raid was carried out on the same the prime minister was talking reconciliation isn’t lost on anyone from Pine Creek.“The Liberals are using a lot of really colourful rhetoric. Empowerment rhetoric,” said Derek Nepinak, grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC). “It’s nice to hear, but you know, what happens in the colourful ballrooms of Ottawa is a far cry from what’s happening in the bushes around here when we come up against conservation officers that are pointing their guns at us. “Before Nepinak took on the AMC leadership, he was chief here in Pine Creek. “I was shocked to hear that this was happening in my community.” The provincial government’s trying to regulate First Nation’s access to traditional foods and how we exercise our treaty rights, our inherent rights. It furthers the problems our people have with their diets.” Regina Atkinson Southwind, Roseau River First Nation, MBRoseau River has started the Community Freezer Program as a way to make sure people can put food on the table.Volunteer Regina Atkinson Southwind counts names on a list. Close to 80 people were on it the day Hayden went hunting last November. Behind her, a shelf is stocked with cans of soup and boxes of pasta.The good stuff is kept in the freezer.“We want to provide traditional foods,” said Southwind. “So we have the deer meat, moose meat, we have someone donating fish.”Most people in the community don’t hunt or fish anymore. They don’t have the knowledge or resources to do it.“All these attempts by the government in the past to limit how our people, to assimilate our people into their society,” said Southwind, “We don’t know how to take care of ourselves how we used to, you know?”Southwind said that loss of connection to the land has had a big impact on health.“The provincial government’s trying to regulate First Nation’s access to traditional foods and how we exercise our treaty rights, our inherent rights,” said Southwind. “It furthers the problems our people have with their diets. Diabetes, cancer and having too much processed food.”The food bank relies on hunters like Hayden to fill the freezer. Despite the warning from a Saskatchewan conservation officer, he’ll go back.But Hayden has big questions. For provincial governments. For Canada. For Indigenous leaders.“My question is,” asked Hayden. “What are you going to do to protect our Treaty rights to hunting?” “They gave themselves, the bison, to the Anishinaabe people for their clothes. To keep warm. For tools,” said Moosetail.It’s estimated that the Prairies were home to millions of bison prior to European settlement.By the 19th century, over-hunting brought the animal close to extinction.As Canada looked to expand west, the kill-off of bison was a purposeful means to control Indigenous nations by starving them out.Treaty expert Niigaan Sinclair says what was then the District of Saskatchewan led the resistance to the treaty making process.“Food or the withholding of food has had a long history in Saskatchewan,” said Sinclair. “At the end of 1880s, people in Saskatchewan are starving so they’re being forced to sign treaties and forced to move to the Southeast part of the region by the federal government in order to make way for the train line.”Given the history, Sinclair isn’t surprised at recent issues Indigenous hunters from Manitoba have faced when they cross the provincial border.Saskatchewan Conservation officers raided the home of a Pine Creek Chief Charlie Boucher, looking for moose meat and rifles.And Ed Hayden, from Manitoba’s Roseau River First Nation in Treaty 1, was given a warning for hunting where “treaty rights not recognized.”Hayden was respecting a ban on moose hunting in Manitoba. Because his treaty rights are portable, he went to Saskatchewan. He was hunting to provide meat for the food bank in his community. “I can’t speak to specific incidents unless it’s brought specifically to my attention,” said Nevakshonoff. “I know that our staff are doing their utmost to do their jobs in the field but they’re also fully aware of First Nation rights.”Moosetail lost the truck he was driving. When he pleaded guilty, he paid a $1,200 fine. But still no truck.When Chief Boucher called a meeting in Pine Creek to talk about hunting issues, Moosetail shared his story.It goes beyond the charge for spotlighting. He’s frustrated with the strained relations between Anishinaabe hunters and conservation officers.“I’m getting sick and tired of getting pushed. We always have to prove it’s our land,” said Moosetail. “Growing up, I always hunted at night, spotlighting on a quad where I don’t have to see a farmer. Like you’re going out stealing … and you’ve got to go farther, you know? ‘Cause we’re in a swamp.”When Moosetail finished talking, people nodded their heads in agreement. The elders shook his hand. Many there had been on the receiving end of meat he’s harvested.Grand Chief Derek Nepinak sat and listened and believes their stories are a sign of a much larger problem.“It’s about all those men and women over the years, my own family included in this, that have been raided by these people coming into our homes, going through our freezers and taking meat,” said Nephinak. “For no reason other than to bully and harass and try and scare our people off the land.”And that cultural connection to the land is vital to Indigenous people. Treaty rights are a practical, tangible way of putting healthy food on the table. Food security is a major issue facing indigenous people in Canada.Nepinak draws the lines very clearly.“There’s a direct correlation between the strong armed tactics of government to keep us confined within our reserves and the rise in diabetes in our communities,” said Nepinak. “We’re suffering. We’re not thriving. And people need to wake up to that.” Niigaan Sinclair was recently talking treaties to his class at the University of Manitoba where he heads the Native Studies department. A wide range of ages and faces, many Indigenous, fill the stadium seats.It’s a class Canadian politicians should pay attention to. Sinclair is critical of government’s take on treaties. A recent raid on a chief’s house by conservation officers looking for moose meat has raised questions around jurisdiction.And highlights what Sinclair calls an “epidemic of ignorance.”“It is a complete condemnation on the education that we have federal and provincial leaders in major decision making positions that have little to no knowledge of treaty,” said Sinclair. “If there’s a blemish in this country, it’s that.”Education on Aboriginal, Métis and Inuit history, culture and treaties is a key step toward reconciliation.Optimism among Indigenous leaders soared since the Liberals won the last federal election and the new language coming from the prime minister is of respect and nation-to-nation relationships.Sinclair was in Ottawa for the release of the full report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.“If you look at what Trudeau said on that day,” said Sinclair. “The man smudged. I saw it. I was right there. I think he’s very open to a relationship and to an engagement on these issues. But then he goes up on stage and the first thing that he says, ‘my teacher never taught me anything to do with Indigenous people. He taught me nothing.’”To hear the prime minister admit he knew little about the country’s Indigenous peoples stuck in Sinclair mind.“It’s a real indication of how much profound ignorance there is in this country about Canadians not understanding what it means to be Canadian,” said Sinclair. “Because to be Canadian is to be a treaty person.”In Saskatchewan, government officials won’t comment on why conservation officers crossed the border into Manitoba, and then came on to the Pine Creek First Nation, unannounced, to raid Chief Boucher’s house.But Assistant Deputy Minister for Environment Kevin Murphy said the province does offer Aboriginal awareness training for employees. He said the department “insists upon it” for those working in conservation and resource allocation.The province was handed jurisdiction over lands two decades after it joined Canada in 1905.In the 1930 Natural Resources Transfer Act, the federal government handed control over resources to the three Prairie provinces.Murphy said treaty rights are “preeminent,” but conservation and regulation of hunting, fishing, and trapping are left to the province.“The province has a hierarchy of recognition rights,” said Murphy. “Conservation of the resource is our primary objective. Recognition of inherent and treaty right of First Nations and Metis Peoples comes second. Regulated hunting and user groups are below that level in terms of our allocation policy.”It’s a priority list Indigenous leaders take issue with and raises the potential for conflict over competing views on the law of the land.“It’s all about their system,” said Chief Charlie Boucher. “Their laws they implemented without our consent. I obeyed provincial law. When are they going to obey our original law?”There’s a fundamental difference in the language used by Indigenous people and government when it comes to land, to treaties. Boucher talks about a connection to the land that’s not based on ownership. Sinclair explains that, instead, Indigenous own the “relationships with the land.”Derek Nepinak sets the bar for treaty rights as “the expression of freedom to the land,” but one that gets whittled down by government regulations. The high cost of foods has made headlines in northern Inuit communities. But food security is an issue for Indigenous communities throughout Canada. An Aboriginal Peoples Survey by Statistics Canada in 2012 links it to poverty and poor health.More than a quarter of First Nations people are obese which has lead to a diabetes epidemic.In Manitoba specifically, one out of four Indigenous people living off reserve struggle to feed themselves.There’s little data for communities on reserve, but Indigenous leaders like AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak said food security is a major concern.“If we’re not out there trapping, the fur bearers, if we’re not pulling the fish from the lake if were not pulling the moose meat from the bush, then we’re getting sick off the processed foods and that’s exactly what’s happening,” said Nepinak.Nepinak used to be chief of the Pine Creek First Nation.He said one of the best things he did was bring the bison back home. The community has a herd, though it’s too small to harvest right now.Pine Creek band councillor George Moosetail checks on the bison, standing among them as he throws down a bucket of grain.“Very proud, very spiritual animals,” said Moosetail. “I come out here when I need advice. When I feel like I’m stuck and I have no one to talk to. I come and offer tobacco.”Moosetail doesn’t look to the bison for food. He says the impressive beasts already made their sacrifice. Hayden’s story highlights a discord between Indigenous and provincial understandings of treaty rights.“The spirit and the intent of the right to hunt and fish for the purposes of livelihood and cultural survival, cultural continuance, is not tied to border,” said Niigaan Sinclair.Sinclair heads the Native Studies Department at the University of Manitoba. He teaches treaties in class. He lives it, having grown up in Treaty No. 1. Sinclair wears it on his skin.He rolls up his sleeve and traces the lines of a tattoo on his forearm. A map of the traditional clans that live along the Red River and signed the Selkirk Treaty in 1817; the first in Manitoba.A series of eleven Numbered Treaties cover parts of what is now Ontario and the Prairie provinces.In 1930, Canada formally handed over jurisdiction to Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba through the Natural Resources Transfer Act.The provinces were given responsibility over lands, resources, education – key aspects that affect the daily lives of Indigenous peoples.“And so the provinces say, well this is our control because this is our territory,” said Sinclair. “And Indigenous peoples would say well, we never ceased those rights. We only have relationships with the Crown in order to ensure these things that we have our hunting and fishing territories, our own ways of life; that we continue on forever.”The lines on a modern-day map overlay traditional lands and treaty areas established in the making of Canada. RAIDS AND RECONCILIATION To me there’s no border. There may be to the province, but for us that understand treaty, like I said, my treaty is portable. I can go anywhere.” Ed Hayden, Roseau River First Nation, Man.
Tamara Pimentel APTN NewsFrom the small community of Mallard, Man., to representing her country and making history.That’s what Brigette Lacquette is about to accomplish when she suits up for the Canadian women’s hockey team next month at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.Once she steps on the ice she’ll be the first First Nations woman to play for Team Canada.“It’s something very special and exciting for me. I’m humbled by it,” said Lacquette.Besides being on the ice preparing for competition she’s also been helping those who will be cheering her on .For months, she has been working with students from Eagle Lodge Family School.“I’ve been doing video chats with them, sending them videos, sending them work to do. To finally get to see them and meet them and interact with them is pretty amazing,” she said earlier this week.“To be that person for them and show them and encourage them. You can achieve anything you want. Just set your mind to it. It doesn’t matter where you come from.”email@example.com
LONDON – The British government has referred Twenty-First Century Fox’s bid for satellite broadcaster Sky to competition authorities on public interest grounds, a move that sets up a six-month investigation into Rupert Murdoch’s takeover plans.The Competition and Markets Authority said Wednesday it “will now examine how the deal would impact media plurality and broadcasting standards in the U.K.”The move was widely expected after Culture Secretary Karen Bradley told lawmakers last week she planned to refer the deal to regulators.With Murdoch already owning the Sun and The Times newspapers, there are concerns about too much power concentrated in one company.Murdoch’s media group wants to buy the 61 per cent of Sky it doesn’t already own. The takeover values Sky, which broadcasts Premier League soccer, at 18.5 billion pounds ($25 billion).
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Harvey Weinstein was indicted Wednesday on rape and criminal sex act charges, furthering the first criminal case to arise from a slate of sexual misconduct allegations against the former movie mogul.Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said the indictment brings Weinstein “another step closer to accountability.”The announcement came hours after Weinstein’s lawyers said he’d decline to testify before the grand jury because there wasn’t enough time to prepare him and “political pressure” made an indictment unavoidable.A statement issued through a Weinstein spokesman said the 66-year-old film producer, who has denied the allegations, learned of the specific charges and the accusers’ identities only after turning himself in Friday. With a deadline set for Wednesday afternoon to testify or not, his request for more time was denied, the statement said.“Finally, Mr. Weinstein’s attorneys noted that regardless of how compelling Mr. Weinstein’s personal testimony might be, an indictment was inevitable due to the unfair political pressure being placed on Cy Vance to secure a conviction of Mr. Weinstein,” the statement said, referring to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.Vance said in a statement that the Weinstein camp’s “recent assault on the integrity of the survivors and the legal process is predictable.”“We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand,” Vance said.Weinstein was charged Friday with rape and criminal sex act charges involving two women in New York, as a grand jury continued hearing evidence in the case; the panel has been at work for weeks. Defendants have the right to testify in a grand jury’s secret proceedings but often don’t, for various reasons.Weinstein faces rape and criminal sex act charges involving two women in New York. Dozens more women have accused him of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault in various locales.He has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex, and his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said Tuesday that Weinstein was “confident he’s going to clear his name” in the New York prosecution.Brafman called the rape allegation “absurd,” saying that the accuser and Weinstein had a decade-long, consensual sexual relationship that continued after the alleged 2013 attack.The woman, who hasn’t been identified publicly, told investigators Weinstein confined her in a hotel room and raped her.The other accuser in the case, former actress Lucia Evans, has gone public with her account of Weinstein forcing her to perform oral sex at his office in 2004. The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assaults unless they come forward publicly.Vance, a Democrat, came under public pressure from women’s groups to prosecute Weinstein after declining to do so in 2015, when an Italian model went to police to say Weinstein had groped her during a meeting.Police set up a sting in which the woman recorded herself confronting Weinstein and him apologizing for his conduct. But Vance decided there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges.Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also a Democrat, ordered the state attorney general to investigate how Vance handled that matter.
OTTAWA – Imperial Tobacco says Health Canada’s proposed plain packaging regulations for cigarettes are confusing and warns it may have to go to court if changes aren’t made.Eric Gagnon, head of corporate and regulatory affairs at Imperial Tobacco Canada, says his organization is “shocked and confused” by the proposed regulations.“There’s a number of provisions that are basically impossible to comply with,” Gagnon said Monday.Health Canada published its draft regulations last week and opened a 75-day consultation period for people to provide written submissions on its proposed changes to cigarette packages, which aim to make them drab, unattractive and unappealing to youth.The proposed measures would also restrict how brand names are displayed and would require all tobacco packages to be the same colour.“We still cannot understand how this government can justify legalizing marijuana while imposing such extreme measures on tobacco products. We feel that the discrepancy is really astonishing,” said Gagnon.One of the regulations Gagnon is taking issue with is a proposal to axe flip-top packaging and return to old-school “slide-and-shell” packs — a change that would take at least two years because of a need to build new machines to retool for a new format.Meanwhile, he said, Health Canada is asking tobacco companies to comply with the new regulations six months after they come into force, a deadline he called “impossible.”According to Health Canada, requiring every pack of cigarettes to have the same shape, size and opening could minimize their appeal to young people. Young adults in Australia, for instance, found wider packs similar to the Canadian slide-and-shell design less appealing than the flip-top version, the agency says.Gagnon said Imperial Tobacco will raise its concerns during the consultation period and hopes they’re considered — otherwise it may have to go to court.“Going to court with the government is never something that we want to do or something we take easily, but if we don’t get heard I think it’s one of the options that we will have to consider.”Peter Luongo, managing director of Rothmans Benson & Hedges, said he’s meeting with officials from the Tobacco Control branch of Health Canada on Tuesday to tell them their timeline is “unrealistic.”Luongo said there are not enough machines to make the new design and to support the market, so the timeline is “extremely tight, if not impossible.”But his company’s primary concern is that Health Canada is prepared to insist plain packaging be applied to all tobacco products.“The packaging will be the same and there are other provisions … that prohibit us from properly communicating the health differences between the products.”Luongo said his organization would like to see anyone who uses nicotine switch to options that are less risky than cigarettes, such as so-called heat-not-burn products.“We would like to get to a smoke-free future in Canada as quickly as possible and we’re just hopeful the regulations will support that vision.”Meanwhile, the proposed regulations have health organizations cheering the federal government.Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society, called the changes “the best in the world.”The consultations will run until Sept. 6, 2018.
BEIJING — China is preparing to launch a ground-breaking mission to soft-land a spacecraft on the largely unexplored far side of the moon, demonstrating its growing ambitions as a space power to rival Russia, the European Union and U.S.With its Chang’e 4 mission, China hopes to be the first country to ever successfully undertake such a landing. The moon’s far side is also known as the dark side because it faces away from Earth and remains comparatively unknown, with a different composition from sites on the near side, where previous missions have landed.If successful, the mission scheduled to blast off aboard a Long March 3B rocket early Saturday local time will propel the Chinese space program to a leading position in one of the most important areas of lunar exploration.The Associated Press
UPDATE – The Highway is now open to single-lane alternating traffic.FORT NELSON, B.C. — The Alaska Highway is closed because of a spill involving a fuel truck between Liard Hot Springs and the Yukon border.According to the B.C. Ministry of Environment, at around 1:00 am this morning, a transport truck carrying roughly 55,000 litres of fuel was reported to have overturned on the Alaska Highway at Mile 543. No leak was reported at the time of the crash, but in an update at 7:45 a.m., the RCMP confirmed that the load was leaking. Members of the Watson Lake Fire Department and additional RCMP are en route to the incident site. The overturned truck is approximately 500 m from the Liard River.The responding Environmental Emergency Response Officer with the Ministry has reached out to the local Emergency Program Coordinator and local First Nations to notify them of the incident. The officer is currently preparing to conduct an overflight of the incident site.The Alaska Highway is currently closed in both directions. Biil Woodworth with the federal government agency responsible for the Alaska Highway north of Mile 84 says that an update on the situation is expected at noon.This is a developing story, and we’ll have an update once we receive more information.
Mumbai: At least 4 people were killed and 34 others injured when a portion of a footbridge came crashing down near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus here on Thursday evening. The incident occurred as the bridge was reportedly overloaded with commuters hurrying to their homes, said the BMC Disaster Control Room. The bridge, connecting the CSMT with the B.T. Lane near The Times of India Building and the Anjuman-e-Islam School, is used by thousands of daily commuters rushing to catch the local trains on Central Railway and the Harbour Line. Rescue teams of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, Fire Brigade and others are at the site to help the victims. The injured have been rushed to the St. George Hospital and Sion Hospital, said officials. Due to the debris at the site, the peak hour traffic from south Mumbai towards Byculla and Dadar and beyond had been diverted, creating massive snarls across south Mumbai.
Gurugram: Rashid Khan and Shubhankar Sharma shot contrasting second rounds of two-under-70 and one-over-73, respectively, but both managed to keep Indian hopes alive at the halfway stage of the Indian Open at the DLF Golf & Country Club here on Friday. Two-time Asian Tour winner Khan and two-time European Tour winner Sharma were the best-placed Indians at the end of round two at tied 19th with a tally of two-under-142. The duo trailed the leader Julian Suri of the US by eight shots at the $1.75 million event. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhPGTI member N Thangaraja (71-70) of Sri Lanka returned a two-under-70 to end the day in tied 12th place at three-under-141. He gained 16 places from round one. The cut was declared at two-over-146. Seventy professionals made the cut. Out of a total of 37 Indians, eight made the cut. Khan (72-70) made significant gains in round two as he climbed 27 spots from his overnight tied 46th position after mixing four birdies with two bogeys for a 70. Khan, a winner of two events on the PGTI tour in the last four months, reaped the reward of getting some good practice at the Kalhaar Blues & Greens course in Ahmedabad last week that prepared him well for the daunting challenge at the DLF course. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterSharma (69-73) slipped 12 spots on Friday after a sedate 73 that saw him make two birdies and three bogeys. After a consistent first round, Sharma, the 2018 European Tour Rookie of the Year, made a flying start in round two with a birdie on the first. However, his putting let him down thereafter as he dropped bogeys on the fourth and eighth and found it hard to recover subsequently. S Chikkarangappa (70) and Rahil Gangjee (74) were the next best Indians in tied 41st at even-par-144. Ajeetesh Sandhu (71) was a further shot back in tied 53rd. The trio of Gaganjeet Bhullar (74), Gaurav Pratap Singh (73) and two-time Indian Open champion SSP Chawrasia (72) also made it to the weekend as they totalled two-over-146 to be placed tied 61st.
NEW DELHI: Delhi Police has arrested two criminals who posted their dance videos brandishing pistols in hands-on social media. They used to dance on popular music and gained sensation on a mobile app used to upload short videos. They have been identified as Shahzada and Akash, both residents of Delhi.Both used to roam on roads and enter into social functions with arms and brandish these to impress upon the other boys. They are fan of a famous Punjabi singer and also copied the hairstyle of the singer. They had shot a video, one week back, wherein they could be seen brandishing pistol at a social function. They hoped that more young boys would get enticed to join the Gouri gang and they can be their leader. On March 29, they were planning to roam on the roads while brandishing firearms but they were trapped by Special Staff/Dwarka District. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Both have girlfriends and used to spend their entire earnings on gifts to the girls. Lust for easy money brought them close to area criminals and they got associated to the notorious Gouri gang of Uttam Nagar. The gang provided to them weapons and the task to lure more youths to join the gang,” said DCP Dwarka Anto Alphonse. While one accused was found in possession of one Pistol and one live cartridge, other was also possessing one country-made pistol with one live cartridge.
Amaravati: Sporadic violence marred the polling to assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh Thursday, reportedly leaving two YSR Congress and one ruling TDP member dead as the state witnessed over 73 per cent voter turnout.Incidents of EVM damage and stone pelting marked the high octane polling that saw a large number out of the over 3.97 crore eligible voters turning up braving the scorching summer heat.1 The election will decide the fate of incumbent chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and main opposition YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy, son of late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Other contenders include the Congress, BJP and the Jana Sena of Pawan Kalyan, who has tied up with BSP. Official sources said clashes between TDP and YSRC workers were reported in Guntur, Anantapuramu, West Godavari, Prakasam, Kurnool and Kadapa districts, but did not specify deaths. The polling was not affected in any place, they said. Police also did not confirm the election-related killings. Telugu Desam and YSR Congress issued statements reporting the deaths of their party members accusing each other of being responsible for the violence. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KWhile about 73 per cent of polling was reported by closing time at 6 pm, authorities expect the final figure likely to cross 80 per cent. The state had recorded 76 per cent polling in 2014. Polling was held Thurday simultaneously for 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state, in the first general election after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of Telangana in June, 2014. The ruling TDP raised a hue and cry over malfunctioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and blamed the Election Commission for failing to conduct the elections properly. Chandrababu Naidu went to the extent of claiming that 30 per cent of the EVMs encountered problems across the state, a charge the EC denied. All allegations against the Election Commission are completely motivated. There was nothing amiss with the electronic gadgets though about 0.3 per cent of EVMs encountered technical glitches, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi said. The YSRC said one of its workers was attacked with sickles by the TDP men and killed in Veerapuram village under Tadipatri constituency in Anantapuramu district while another was done to death in Tamballapalle in Chittoor district. The TDP said its worker Sidda Bhaskar Reddy was killed by the opposition party in Veerapuram. Five other people were injured in the violent clash in Veerapuram.