Cabinet Approves Backlog Reduction Strategy

first_imgCabinet has given approval for the implementation of a backlog reduction strategy, to deal with the high number of court cases and their slow rate of disposal.Making the announcement at a Jamaica House press briefing on Wednesday, June 26, at the Office of the Prime Minister, Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, explained that from 2007, the Jamaica Justice System Reform Task Force had recommended in its report, that there be a focused backlog reduction strategy.“This would help to dispose of the older cases and build momentum toward a more comprehensive and permanent reform in the justice system,” she explained.Cabinet has given the nod for amendment of the Criminal Justice Act, to allow for reduced sentences on guilty pleas.It will also facilitate reviews by the Court of Appeal of mandatory minimum sentences imposed by the trial court.Contact: Alphea Saunderslast_img read more

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Outgoing chief adjudicator criticizes lawyers in residential school compensation process

first_imgBy Kathleen MartensAPTN InvestigatesWINNIPEG – If he had to do it over again, Dan Ish would make a few changes.Top of the list for Canada’s chief adjudicator? Forcing lawyers to apply to the court to be part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement’s Independent Assessment Process (IAP).That way they would be approved and monitored throughout the process of obtaining compensation for their clients, former residential school students. A relationship of trust that Ish says several lawyers have violated during his six-year term.“It’s been a very difficult job for me,” Ish said in a telephone interview from Saskatoon. “I travel all the time, I don’t live in the city (Regina) where the main office is. After a while you just run out of steam and that’s what happened to me.”Those are some of the reasons Ish has resigned from the high-profile position as head of the Indian Residential School Adjudication Secretariat (IRSAS). He’ll leave the post in June to make room for a new adjudicator he says will need to be hired for at least the next four years.That’s a lot longer than he signed up for and, at 66, Ish says he’s ready to move on. He’s already served six years of what was originally supposed to be a five-year term.“Six years! My God, I’m older than dirt…There’s absolutely no question that had the original schedule stayed in place I’d have stayed till the end of it. Or even if we were a year away from completing , I’d complete it. But we’re four years away from completing it.”That’s double the time Canada thought the process would take. But Ish says IRSAS received triple the number of expected applications from former students for compensation for serious physical and sexual abuse. Already $1.8 billion has been spent.Ish says that’s been a highlight of the job-seeing abuse survivors get compensated. The secretariat trains and oversees more than 100 adjudicators who preside over the confidential compensation hearings with claimants and their lawyers.“The adjudication side runs very well. The roughest side is the job that fell to me,” he said, referring to the issue of monitoring private lawyers involved in the process. No other parties to the settlement agreement took responsibility, Ish said, noting the Assembly of First Nations was interested but lacked the resources to do it.“We went after (Winnipeg lawyer Howard) Tennenhouse, and then got involved with (Calgary lawyer David) Blott and (Vancouver lawyer Stephen) Bronstein…and numerous other cases (with lawyers) that didn’t get to that level but where we intervened on behalf of claimants to make sure they got what they were entitled to.Ish personally reported Tennenhouse to the Law Society of Manitoba, who eventually disbarred the veteran lawyer and repaid clients nearly a million dollars. A Vancouver judge barred Blott and others he worked with from further IAP work after claimants complained of wrongly being charged loans, fees, penalties and interest-something forbidden under the IAP. The investigation into Blott’s action cost taxpayers $3.5 million.And just last month, the IRSAS requested an investigation into Bronstein but settled for a “review” of his practice and alleged connection with a paroled murderer doing IAP intake work.“And it hasn’t been fun. That part’s been no fun at all. Like, it’s a totally negative part,” Ish said.Ish says there was nothing written into the agreement about monitoring or regulating lawyers, nor was it part of his job description. But he says it will be part of the job for his successor.Meanwhile, IRSAS does have authority over legal fees and Ish says lawyers regularly challenge the payment decisions.For each IAP application, Canada pays lawyers 15 per cent and they can request up to another 15 per cent from claimants. Ish says lawyers were often seeking the full 30 per cent even though the settlement agreement reserved that amount for the most complicated cases.“Again, when we started that I thought it would be a small deal but it turned out to be a huge deal. Because early on the lawyers threw everything but the kitchen sink to try to thwart the supervision or the assessment of their fees.”Ish said arguing its position in court cost IRSAS about a million dollars, adding: “The courts are quite clear. One judge said 30 per cent must be reserved for the most complex of cases.”In hindsight, Ish says there should have been a process where lawyers have to qualify to represent claimants and then go through training before signing an agreement to abide by certain regulations.It wouldn’t solve all the issues but it would streamline the process, he noted.More than 100 lawyers are involved in the IAP across Canada. Their professional association – the law society in each province or territory – is responsible for disciplining them. The Law Society of Manitoba disbarred Tennenhouse, but the Law Society of Alberta has yet to take disciplinary action against Blott.Meanwhile, Ish is not the only official involved in the settlement agreement to move on. Sources say in the past five years, there have been three executive directors of the IAP, four directors general of Resolution Services, two assistant deputy ministers, two courts counsel and now two chief adjudicators.Ish, a former university professor, will return to his labour law practice. He also sits on various boards including one that regulates the finance industry in [email protected]@katmartelast_img read more

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Morneau promises fiscal update next week detailing state of Canadas finances

first_imgOTTAWA – Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he will deliver a fall economic update Tuesday to document the recent strong growth in the Canadian economy, but did not say whether it will include a plan to eliminate the federal deficit.Morneau says the update will “affirm” plans to reverse course and cut the small business tax rate to nine per cent by 2019.He says the update will also end tax advantages for “the wealthy few” — a plan that has landed the finance minister in a world of controversy.He made the announcement in the House of Commons despite being under siege in recent weeks from opposition critics over the proposed changes, as well as allegations of conflict of interest involving his considerable financial assets.Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have subsequently tweaked the tax measures this week amid outrage from small business owners, doctors, farmers, fishers and even some Liberal backbench MPs.The fiscal update comes as the Canadian economy is on a roll.The Finance Department notes that real GDP growth reached a 4.5-per-cent pace in the second quarter, with a budget deficit for 2016-17 that was $11.6 billion lower than projected in the 2016 budget.The government says real GDP has grown at an average rate of 3.7 per cent—the strongest four-quarter period of expansion since 2006 — and 400,000 new jobs have been created in the last two years.In recent months, Morneau has tied Canada’s strong economic performance to his government’s strategy to run deficits, which helped it finance measures such as lower income-tax rates for middle earners and enhanced child benefits.He also says Ottawa is sticking to a plan to invest more than $180 billion in infrastructure over the next 11 years, adding to annual, multibillion-dollar shortfalls across Ottawa’s five-year budgetary outlook — and perhaps beyond.Opposition Conservatives have long been critical about the government’s plan to add to the federal debt to fund new measures, while some economists have urged Ottawa to limit fiscal uncertainty by mapping out a plan to return to balance.last_img read more

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Eurozone ministers reach compromise deal on reform package

first_imgBRUSSELS — Eurozone finance ministers have agreed to strengthen the single currency bloc’s defences against any future financial crisis.Eurogroup President Mario Centeno said early Tuesday that “after several months of intense negotiations and a very tough and long meeting we delivered a comprehensive plan to strengthen the euro.”Centeno said that new measures will be introduced to keep on top of any further financial crisis and to enhance debt sustainability. One proposal will see the bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, provide financial assistance in times of need.The discussions among the 19 eurozone finance ministers pitted France against several northern European nations.The plan now moves to next week’s EU summit of government leaders.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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State focuses of alternative electronics hubs

first_imgKolkata: The state government is laying emphasis on developing alternative hubs for the manufacture of electronic equipment, ranging from mobiles, drones, solar and other components.”We have developed three Electronic Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs) at Naihati, Falta and Sonarpur. The lands for all these EMCs are ready for allotment. Apart from mobile manufacturing, we are welcoming solar, drones, robotics and LCD TVs in these clusters as well,” a senior official of the state Information Technology & Electronics department said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAdditional Chief Secretary of IT&E Debashis Sen recently visited the EMC at Naihati situated on 70 acres of land and took stock of the services on offer. “The facilities in this park have been developed by WEBEL. A site office will come up soon. We are expecting a lot of electronic units here as the place has its locational advantage. It is an hour-long drive from the city and is very close to the industrial park of West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation,” the official added. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAccording to a senior official from WEBEL, the EMC at Falta has 70 acres of land while the one at Sonarpur has 10 acres. The state government has already invited applications from investors across India for setting up electronic manufacturing units on developed land parcels in these parks. The land allotment will be processed on first-come first-serve basis. It may be mentioned that the rise of mobiles in India has been phenomenal, driven by the cheapest data in the world. In 2011, there was only one mobile manufacturing unit in the country, whereas now there are more than 400 with most of them located around Noida. The move on the part of the state government assumes significance with a top US based advocacy group recently claiming that about 200 US companies are seeking to move their manufacturing from China to India after the general elections.last_img read more

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Never thought I would be so successful

first_imgLos Angeles: Actor Anne Hathaway never thought her acting career would go this well. She says she feels really lucky to be where she is now. “I never thought that things would go this well, and I never thought that I’d still be like hitting the pavement as hard as I am now. But I do love it. I really feel lucky to do it,” Hathaway told etonline.com. Despite her success, the Ocean’s 8 star says she hasn’t been able to “stop hustling”. She says acting never gets easier even when stars have achieved high levels of fame as they still have to “work just as hard in a different way”. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold Schwarzenegger”I had a mistaken idea that there would be a point where you’d made it enough that you would be able to stop hustling.” “That never really happened. When people say you really have to love acting because it’s hard, like that’s an aspect of it that I don’t think people think (about). Because people think, ‘Oh, I’m gonna get famous and it’s just gonna be this really glamorous lifestyle,’ but you really will have to work just as hard in a different way than you do in the beginning when nobody knows who you are.”last_img read more

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Kovind Naidu Modi greet nation on Buddha Purnima

first_imgNew Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday greeted the nation on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. “Greetings and good wishes to fellow citizens and to the global Buddhist community on #BuddhaPurnima. Lord Buddha’s message of peace, non-violence and compassion hold even greater significance today. May his teachings guide us towards universal fraternity,” Kovind tweeted. Naidu in a series of tweet extended greetings and good wishes to the people of the country. “On this happy occasion, let us commit ourselves to the path of Dharma (righteousness), Karuna (compassion) and Maitri (universal friendship) shown by Lord Buddha,” he said. In another tweet, he said: “His eternal message of non-violence and compassion continues to inspire humanity across the globe to strive towards a more fulfilling life and a world where all people live together and shape it together into a peaceful, inclusive, sustainable globe.” “Lord Buddha was one of the most illustrious spiritual leaders to have walked this earth. He preached the most profound truths,” Naidu said. Modi also took to Twitter, and said: “Greetings to all countrymen on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. Messenger of truth, non-violence, mercy, compassion and peace, Lord Buddha’s message will continue to inspire the countrymen forever.”last_img read more

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Gerrard urges Rooney to move to MLS

first_imgRangers manager Steven Gerrard has urged his former England teammate Wayne Rooney to go ahead with his move to the MLS this summerThe England and Manchester United record goalscorer has been strongly linked with a move to America this summer after arriving in Washington last month to discuss a prospective transfer to DC United.Gerrard, who himself played for LA Galaxy between 2015 and 2016, has encouraged Rooney to make the move from Everton to the MLS at this stage of his career.“I hope he does, I hope he makes it. I enjoyed my time at the MLS and enjoyed the life experience,” said Gerrard, as stated on the Daily Star.wayne rooney, harry kane, englandReport: Rooney talks Engalnd Kane and Guardiola George Patchias – September 12, 2019 Wayne Rooney has spoken of his England record, Harry Kane smashing it and Pep Guardiola for England.In an interview on his Wayne Rooney podcast…“I think where Wayne is now in his career I think it would be great for him and his family to go and settle in an incredible state and see a lot of America.“It is certainly a life experience I’ll never forget and I hope he goes and has the same. The league is a good league, the players are fit and mobile and it is competitive and I enjoyed it at that stage of my career.”After sealing a return to his boyhood club Everton last summer, Rooney ended the 2017/18 season as the club’s top scorer with 10 Premier League goals.last_img read more

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Champions League group is difficult Mourinho

first_imgThe Manchester United manager believes his biggest threat is Juventus, after drawing the Italian club in the UCL group stageAfter teams were drawn in the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League group stage, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho knows they have been put into a difficult group.The Red Devils landed into Group H together with Italy’s Juventus, Switzerland’s Young Boys and Spain’s Valencia.And the United boss has spoken for the first time about his rivals.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“A very difficult group with one of the biggest candidates to reach the final [in Juventus] and a team who made an incredible investment on top of a fantastic team they had, so a big, big candidate,” he told the club’s official website as quoted by The Sports Review.“Valencia is also one of the top four teams in Spain and that says everything.”“Young Boys is, of course, a team that comes from the fourth pot and the world will say it’s the team that didn’t have a chance to qualify but for some reason they qualified, they went to Croatia and won in the playoffs [against Dinamo Zagreb], for some reason they beat Basel and they won the Swiss title,” he added.“On top of that, they play on an artificial pitch, which is a big advantage for them and a big disadvantage for the other teams.”last_img read more

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Pioli happy to end Fiorentinas winless run

first_imgCoach Stefano Pioli is buzzing after defeating Empoli 3-1 in what ended a six-weeks winless run.Fiorentina faced one of the in-form teams Empoli who have amassed 10 points in the previous four games but eventually ended their bad run with a comeback win.“This was a very challenging game, but we were driven and we gave it everything we had,” said Pioli after the match and cited by Football Italia.“After Juventus, Empoli are the team that picked up the most points over the last four games. Considering the context, we did really well.“What I liked the most was our never-say-die spirit. We did not give in after the opponents took advantage of our mistake and scored a goal. We wanted a victory, and we earned it.”Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“I wasn’t expecting an easy encounter. The greatest risk was conceding first, and it happened, but then my lads reacted wonderfully. Today will serve to teach them a lot.“We kept things simple. After all, that’s what we needed at a time like this. My formation was simple too, with three defenders facing up to their two strikers, parity of numbers in the midfield, and easy manoeuvres.“This was just the game we needed, although we might have resolved it earlier.“Now I won’t look at the standings until the winter break. We’ll have three games in close succession to worry about. Milan, Parma, and Genoa are tough opponents, but not out of our reach.”last_img read more

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