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Spinal cord repair restores independent breathing

first_img Tweet Share Sharing is caring! Share 19 Views   no discussionscenter_img HealthLifestyle Spinal cord repair restores independent breathing by: – July 14, 2011 Share By James GallagherHealth reporter, BBC NewsDamage to the spinal cord in the neck can result in problems breathingThe ability to breathe has been restored to mice with spinal cord injuries, in what US researchers describe as a medical first.Some patients with damaged spinal cords need ventilators as they are unable to breathe on their own.A report in the journal Nature showed a nerve graft, coupled with a protein, could restore breathing.Human trials could begin soon, which the charity Spinal Research said could be “potentially life-changing”.Damage at the top of the spinal cord, around the neck, can interrupt messages to the diaphragm – a layer of muscle involved in breathing.ChallengeThe cord is notoriously resistant to repair. Techniques such as nerve grafts, which worked in the arms and legs, had shown limited success with the spinal cord, doctors at the Case Western Reserve University said.The spinal cord scars after it is damaged, and molecules – chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans – prevent nerves repairing and forming new connections.The researchers used a nerve graft to form a bridge across the scar at the same time as injecting an enzyme – chondoitinase ABC – which attacked the inhibitory molecules.Three months later, tests showed the mice had recovered 80-100% of breathing function.Professor of neuroscience and lead researcher Jerry Silver said: “The use of the enzyme, that’s helped get the nerve fibres out and we were amazed at, once they get out, how well they can reconnect.“The spinal cord can just figure things out and restore really beautiful functional breathing patterns.”Researchers hope to begin trials in humans. They are also investigating whether bladder function can be restored, which can be lost when the lower spine is damaged.Dr Mark Bacon, from the charity Spinal Research, said: “Long distance regeneration has remained quite elusive in the field of spinal cord injury repair, so to achieve this and at the end of it establish functional connections that actually do something useful – restore breathing – is remarkable.“It is potentially life-changing if this or similar techniques can be translated to the clinic.”last_img read more

Pittsburgh ICE brings hockey to youth

first_imgARN CRISWELL Arn Criswell and Isaac Eubanks eat, sleep and breathe the game of ice hockey.“I wanted to play hockey because I saw Sidney Crosby on television and he scored a goal and I said ‘I can do that. I want to score a goal,’” said Criswell a 14-year-old Propel School ninth grader who lives in the Hill District. “As a goalie you’re always a leader.”Criswell currently serves as a goal tender for the Castle Shannon-based Pittsburgh Predators ice hockey team.The first year that the Pittsburgh Penguins went to the Winter Classic, Eubanks knew he wanted to take that same journey one day.“I took my brother’s skates and we were playing street hockey. It was a lot of fun and I thought it was more fun than any other sport and I started asking my parents to buy hockey equipment,” said Eubanks, a 14-year old Propel Junior High School eighth grader who resides in Whittaker. He currently serves as center defenseman/forward on the Pittsburgh Predators team along with Criswell.Both boys learned the ins and outs of hockey from the Pittsburgh ICE (Inclusion Creates Equality) hockey team.According to Kimberly L. Slater-Wood, director of outreach for the Pittsburgh Penguins, “Pittsburgh ICE falls under the Pittsburgh Penguins youth hockey program and is supported through the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation. Additionally, Pittsburgh ICE is included under the NHL Diversity program Hockey is for Everyone.”Pittsburgh ICE was created in 2000 with the support of the Pittsburgh Penguins and its alumni association. It provides boys and girls the chance to learn the game. Pittsburgh ICE is one of more than 40 Hockey is for everyone programs in the United States. Used equipment is donated to the program reducing the cost for players to $40, which covers registration.“By deepening its footprint, particularly in the urban communities, more African-American children between the ages of 5-18 will have an opportunity to learn to play the great game of ice hockey under the direction of coach Howard Smith and his staff,” Slater-Wood said.Both Criswell and Eubanks have learned invaluable lessons about ice hockey and life under the tutelage of Smith.“What I saw special in Arn and Isaac is what I saw in myself years ago,” said Smith who has coached Criswell for five years on the Pittsburgh ICE hockey team and Eubanks for four years. “I saw two individuals who were really dedicated to the game of hockey. As these guys progress, the sky is the limit. I really hope Arn and Isaac take hockey to the next level and play at the college level. They are both good role models and mentors to the other kids on the team.”Slater-Wood concurs with Smith.“Arn and Isaac are skilled youth hockey players and stellar young men. They are among several trailblazers in a sport that is primarily homogenous when it comes to race. These young men are focused, diligent and love to play the game of ice hockey. Their athleticism in youth hockey began with the introduction and exposure to an untraditional sport for most African-Americans. Willie O’Ree broke the color barrier in ice hockey and Arn and Isaac are carrying the torch,” Slater-Wood said.Both Eubanks and Criswell believe that if more Black kids were exposed to ice hockey, they would want to play the sport.Despite the low number of African-Americans, Criswell and Eubanks are like brothers when on the ice whether it be with the Pittsburgh Predators or Pittsburgh ICE.“We work hard and motivate each other,” both boys said.  In addition to learning how to skate on the ice and the basics of hockey, the members of Pittsburgh ICE are taught commitment, perseverance and teamwork.“It teaches them to respect authority and how to negotiate and that carries over into adulthood,” said Criswell’s mother, Lereeta Payne about the Pittsburgh ICE program. “They travel to places like Penn State, Detroit, Washington, D.C. Pittsburgh ICE allows Arn to see other parts of the world. We are very proud of him.”The Eubanks family agree.“We’re very proud of Isaac. We’re proud of how he’s learned the sport of hockey. He’s not aggressive, he’s patient. He knows that you’re going to either win or lose,” said his mother, Elnora and father, Isaac, Sr. (Anyone interested in learning more about Pittsburgh ICE is encouraged to contact Slater-Wood at [email protected])last_img read more

SKA ‘a chance for Africa to shine’

first_img9 October 2012 Winning the right to co-host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) has given South Africa and Africa as a whole a platform to prove to the world that the continent has what it takes to deliver a cutting-edge science project, says SKA associate director Professor Justin Jonas. Speaking at a gala dinner in Carnarvon on Monday, ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s visit to the site of the SKA in the Northern Cape, Jonas expressed faith in the ability of South Africa and its partners on the continent to successfully pull off the venture. “I am confident we are going to do that,” said Jonas.SA, Australia to share hosting of SKA In May this year, the SKA Organisation announced that South Africa and Australia were to share the hosting of the most advanced scientific project in the world. The two biggest components of the SKA will be built in Africa, while one will be built in Australia. About 70% of the facility will be built in Africa. Both South Africa and Australia have been working on precursors to the SKA, the 64-dish MeerKAT telescope and the 36-dish SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) respectively. According to Jonas, the SKA will be a massive scientific infrastructure, and its development and construction will require participation by a wide range of industries to achieve its ambitious performance, schedule and cost targets. Jonas is confident that by 2016, the project will be ready. In all, more than 2 500 dishes are expected to be built.SKA to draw scientists, engineers to Africa South Africa, as co-host of the SKA, is expected to become a global centre for information technology, fundamental physics, astronomy and high-tech engineering, drawing top scientists and engineers from around the world. Dr Bernie Fanaroff, SKA project director, said he was confident that South Africa and its partners would make the SKA project a reality. “We have an outstanding site for the SKA, as well as the people and the expertise to build and operate this mega-instrument,” said Fanaroff. The MeerKAT Array, currently taking shape in South Africa’s Karoo region, is a world-class radio telescope designed to do ground-breaking science. It will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the southern hemisphere until the SKA is completed around 2024. Close to 100 young scientists and engineers are working on the MeerKAT project. The MeerKAT will consist of 64 dishes of 13.5-m diameter each, with an offset Gregorian configuration. The commissioning of the MeerKAT will take place in 2014 and 2015, with the array coming online for science operations in 2016. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Ind vs Eng T20 World Cup Live Blog; Live cricket scores and commentary

first_imgWelcome to India Today Online’s coverage of India vs England T20 World Cup match from the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. ScoreInd vs Eng T20 World CupBrief score: India 170/4 ( Gambhir 45, Kohli 40, Rohit 55 n.o.; Finn 2/33) beat England 80 all out in 14.4 overs (Kieswetter 35; Harbhajan 4/12, Pathan 2/17, Chawla 2/13)MATCH SUMMARY: Who would have thought that the three most underrated Indian players- Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla, would be the architects of a win against the defending champions. What’s more, dismissing them for below 100 and in the process achieving their heaviest win (by margin of runs). To be fair, England’s batsmen had no clue against some pretty decent spin bowling. Some of the shots played by the batsmen were inexplicable. The scorecard paints a sorry picture, but it is a very correct one. Take Kieswetter out of the equation and England’s score stands at a miserable 45/9.Both as teams have defeated Afghanistan, so both have reached the Super 8s of the World T20, reducing this match to that of an academic interest.10:30 pm | 14.4 overs: WICKET! And it’s all over for England! Yuvraj to Finn, out Dernbach Run Out!! Tossed up on middle, Finn comes down the track and inside edges it to short fine leg. Dernbach went for the single, Dhoni shouted bowler, bowler as Finn was late to run. But Balaji sent in a direct hit at the striker end and Dernbach was just short. That’s it. Dernbach run out (Balaji) 12(7) [4s-2] (Eng 80 all out in 14.4 overs)Will the current champions England fold for the lowest T20 score ever? 67 is the lowest score, by Kenya.advertisementJade Dernbach, right handed bat, comes to the crease10:18 pm | 12.1 overs: WICKET! Dinda to Broad, out Caught by Gambhir!! Short and outside off, Broad pulls it away, straight into the hands of Gambhir at deep square leg. This is absolute carnage by the Indian bowlers. Broad c Gambhir b Dinda 3(3) (60/9 in 12.1 overs)Steven Finn, right handed bat, comes to the crease10:15 pm | 11.4 overs: WICKET! Another one for Bhajji! Harbhajan to Swann, out Stumped!! Fourth wicket for Harbhajan. Floated up outside off, Swann comes down the track and looks to push, is beaten as there is no turn. Dhoni takes off the bails and England are two wickets away from a big loss. Harbhajan blows an imaginary trumpet, I’m sure he’s not the only one doing that. Swann st Dhoni b Harbhajan 0(3) (Eng 60/8 in 11.4 overs)Graeme Swann, right handed bat, comes to the crease10:12 pm | 11.1 overs: WICKET! Harbhajan to Buttler, out Bowled!! Third wicket for the Turbanator. Flatter on middle, Buttler makes just too much of room, looks to cut and misses. The ball crashes into the stumps and that is the third wicket for Harbhajan. Buttler b Harbhajan 11(12) [4s-1] (Eng 60/7 in 11.1 overs)Stuart Broad, left handed bat, comes to the crease10:05 pm | 9.6 overs: WICKET! Pretty soon it will be curtians for England!  Harbhajan to Bresnan, out Caught by Gambhir!! Gone. Second wicket for Harbhajan. Boy what a comeback. Tossed up on middle, Bresnan tries to sweep and top edges it straight into the hands of Gambhir at deep backward square leg. England are 54/6. Bresnan c Gambhir b Harbhajan 1(8)6. (Eng 54/6 in 10 overs)Tim Bresnan, right handed bat, comes to the crease10:00 pm | 8.1 overs: WICKET! That’s the fifth one and England are in big trouble now… Chawla to Kieswetter, out Caught by Virat Kohli!! Second wicket for Chawla and he has dismissed the opener. Floated up outside off and turning away, Kieswetter looks to drive and gets a thick outside edge which is lapped up by Kohli. It’s the same old story, England are collapsing against spin. Kieswetter c Virat Kohli b Chawla 35(25) [4s-4 6s-2] (Eng 51/5 in 8.1 overs)Jos Buttler, right handed bat, comes to the crease9:55 pm | 6.6 overs: WICKET! Chawla to Bairstow, out Bowled!! Bairstow, the darling of England masses, has been cleaned up by India’s reserve spinner. Tossed up on middle, it was the straighter one, Bairstow went for the big hit and is clean bowled. Chawla does his regular finger rotating celebration and England sink further. Bairstow b Chawla 1(8) (Eng 42/4 in 6.6 overs)Jonathan Bairstow, right handed bat, comes to the crease9:47 pm | 5.2 overs: WICKET! Harbhajan to Eoin Morgan, out Bowled!! Ohh yes he can. Flatter delivery darting in after pitching, Morgan looks to cut and misses it completely, the ball crashes into the stumps and the off stump is knocked off. The dangerous Morgan has been dismissed and India are on a roll. Eoin Morgan b Harbhajan 2(6) (Eng 39/3 in 5.2 overs)Eoin Morgan, left handed bat, comes to the crease. Slip in place.advertisement9:34 pm | 2.4 overs: WICKET! Another one for Pathan… he is on song! Irfan Pathan to Luke Wright, out Lbw!! Second wicket for Irfan. Wright is not at all happy about that decision. Length delivery pitched on middle and seaming in a tad, Wright looks to pull and is hit on the pads. There was the question of the inside edge, umpire Taufel thought about it for a long time and in the end raised the finger. Luke Wright lbw b Irfan Pathan 6(4) [6s-1] (Eng 18/2 in 2.4 overs)Luke Wright, right handed bat, comes to the crease9:25 pm | 0.6 overs: WICKET on the last ball of the first over… Irfan Pathan to Hales, out Bowled!! Brilliant bowling from Irfan, gets the dangerous Hales. Full on middle, Hales cleared his front leg to smash it through midwicket, he misses the ball crashes into middle. Irfan is ecstatic and why wouldn’t he. He has bowled a really good first over. Hales b Irfan Pathan 0(2) (Eng 2/1 in 0.6 overs)9:20 pm | ENGLAND INNINGS: Kieswetter and Hales are at the crease. Kieswetter is on strike. Irfan Pathan will open the attack INDIA INNINGS SUMMARY: India never seemed to be going past the cruise mode but have managed to eke out a decent total. Just 1 six in the inning summarizes that. Kohli and Gambhir provided the start, but it was Rohit who played the innings that took India to a healthy score. The pitch seemed to be slowing up as the innings proceeded. India will back themselves to defend this score.9:15 pm | 19.6 overs: INNINGS FOR INDIA! Dernbach to Rohit Sharma, 2 runs, the slower ball from Dernbach, Sharma backs away and cuts it square on the off-side, Wright fumbles and allows the batsmen to get back for the second run. India end up on 170/4Suresh Raina, left handed bat, comes to the crease9:06 pm | 19.4 overs: WICKET! Skipper Dhoni departs… Dernbach to Dhoni, out Caught by Hales at long on!! Excellent job from Buttler, Dhoni got underneath the slower ball, gets plenty of height but not the elevation nor the distance. Buttler gets across from long on, settles underneath the ball and takes the catch, he realises that he was going over the ropes, throws the ball back in towards Hales before going across the ropes. The umpires check for the legality of the catch before sending Dhoni back. Dhoni c Hales b Dernbach 9(8) [4s-1] (India 166/4 in 19.4 overs)9:02 pm | 19.2 overs: A four and that’s bring up Rohit Sharma’s 50. It came of just 31 balls. Dernbach to Rohit Sharma, FOUR, to backward square leg.9:00 pm | 19.1 overs: Massive SIX that! Dernbach to Rohit Sharma, SIX, the first six of the innings, this was a low full toss outside off, Sharma gets across and slices it up and over point for a maximumMS Dhoni, right handed bat, comes to the crease8:40 pm | 15.5 overs: WICKET! And Gambhir falls 5 short of his half-ton! Finn to Gambhir, out Caught by Kieswetter!! Gambhir walks! The change of pace does the trick, this was a slower ball from Finn, the leg-cutter, Gambhir was making room to go over cover, gets a thick edge through to the keeper. Kieswetter dives in front and holds onto the ball. Gambhir walked before Taufel could send him on his way. Gambhir c Kieswetter b Finn 45(38) [4s-5] (India 119/3 in 15.5 overs)advertisement8:30 pm | 13.1 overs: 100 up for India! Broad to Gambhir, FOUR, clumsy work from Finn, this was full and outside off, Gambhir caressed it past extra cover, Finn came charging across from sweeper cover, puts in a slide and allows the ball to sneak throughRohit Sharma, right handed bat, comes to the crease8:20 pm | 10.3 overs: WICKET! Breakthrough for England as Kohli departs! Swann to Virat Kohli, out Caught by Bairstow!! Swann has been rewarded for some excellent bowling. This was tossed up nicely and spins back in, Kohli skips down the track, whips it with the spin but finds Bairstow placed perfectly at deep mid-wicket. He is furious at himself as he walks back to the hut. Virat Kohli c Bairstow b Swann 40(32) [4s-6] (India 81/2 in 10.3 overs)8:15 pm | 10 overs: India are 80/1 at the stage with opener Gautam Gambhir (26) and one-down batsman Virat Kohli (40) in the middle.8:00 pm | 5.4 overs: A big one off Gambhir. Finn to Gambhir, FOUR, square of the wicket. And it’s 50 for India.7:58 pm | 5.1 overs: Finn to Virat Kohli, FOUR, sublime, super stuff from Kohli, this was full and outside off, Kohli lunged across languidly, closes the face of the bat and drives it past the diving mid-on fielder for a boundary.Virat Kohli, right handed bat, comes to the crease7:45 pm | 2.4 overs: WICKET! Finn to Irfan Pathan, out Bowled!! The experiment to open with Pathan has not quite worked, this was full and shapes away from middle, Pathan was looking to play the extravagant drive, misses the line completely and sees his off-stump tumbling away. India lose their 1st wicket after a decent start. Irfan Pathan b Finn 8(8) [4s-1] (India 24/1 in 2.4 overs)7:30 pm | 0.1 overs: Finn to Gambhir, 1 run, Finn tumbles over as he loses his poise, on a length just outside off, Gambhir pushes forward and gets a thick edge through to third man7:28 pm | Gambhir and Irfan Pathan are at the crease. Gambhir is on strike. Finn will open the attackTeams India (Playing XI): Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Rohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Ashok DindaEngland (Playing XI): Craig Kieswetter(w), Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Jonathan Bairstow, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad(c), Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, Jade DernbachDhoni: “Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, Manoj Tiwary and Ravichandran Ashwin are not playing today. We will need to execute our plans, every match from now onwards are going to be tough games. The match against Afghanistan was a one off, we are looking forward to this match. We believe that we have a good chance of winning the tournament.”Broad: “We will bowl. The pitches seem to have changed a bit here, this one looks a bit dry, we will hope to restrict India. Just one change, Bresnan is in for Samit. India are a top team, we will look to beat them.”7:00 pm | TOSS: England have won the toss and elected to fieldTeam NewsIndia: Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side were all over the place in the field, in their game against the Afghans. The fielding was quite poor and the bowling was pretty lacklustre. Zaheer Khan doesn’t appear to be the perfect bowler for the shortest format, however, there isn’t much on the bench to fall back on. Death over bowling still is a problem for this side and at some point in time during this tournament, that might just cost India a game.England: Stuart Broad’s side looked absolutely on top of their game in the previous encounter and were perfect in all departments. Luke Wright scored a brilliant 99 against the Afghans and the positive for this English side is the fact that he was supported well by the other middle order batsmen.last_img read more

The Graduates – Nathan Norford

first_imgIn the fourth edition of The Graduates, austouch.com.au caught up with former Queensland Secondary Schools Touch (QSST) player, Nathan Norford, who played for the North Queensland Tropical Cyclones at the 2010 X-Blades National Youth Championships. After two years playing for QSST, Nathan Norford’s final National Youth Championships was a chance to play for his permit, North Queensland, for the first time at the NYC level.And it turned out to be an impressive performance from the Tropical Cyclones 18’s Boys team, making it to the semi finals of the event. Norford hopes that his experience and leadership at this year’s NYC helps the side for years to come and hopes he can continue to help the side in other roles in the future. “Further down the track I’d love to coach these boys and mentor them. I’ve got my little brother playing in the side and he played really well and all the young boys, it’s a good chance for them to play on a bigger stage,” he said. Norford had his chance to play against QSST on day one of the NYC, and says that he was ‘a bit nervous’ but enjoyed playing against his former team.  “We played them early in the tournament, we came out and matched them for close to 10 to 15 minutes and then Queensland kept their same intensity and we couldn’t match it for the whole game I guess,” Norford said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever played for Cyclones, everyone likes to play for their region. At the same time, you’ve got a little bit of rivalry between the New South Wales and the Queensland teams. It’s a little bit of pressure on yourself to stand up to that.”Norford has plenty of fond memories of his time at the National Youth Championships over the past three years and says that he is ‘pretty disappointed’ that it has all come to an end, but knows there is plenty to look forward to in the future. “You always love coming away to these championships, and it’s a good way to test out your ability but there’s still 20’s and there’s still Open’s, so there’s a lot to look forward to.”“Probably the biggest thing I enjoy about Youth Champs is playing a good standard of Touch. Week in, week out we probably don’t get that as much in Townsville or North Queensland compared to the southern areas. (I also enjoy) meeting new people, seeing some many people, and you’re all here for the same passion.”last_img read more

10 months agoCardiff striker Gary Madine explains Sheffield Utd move

first_imgCardiff striker Gary Madine explains Sheffield Utd moveby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff City striker Gary Madine insists he’s happy to move to Sheffield United on-loan.The 28-year-old was with United’s city rivals Sheffield Wednesday between 2011 and 2015.In February 2017, Blades boss Chris Wilder accused Madine of “a lack of respect” after the forward was filmed criticising striker Billy Sharp.Madine has failed to score in 20 appearances for the Bluebirds.He told the Sheffield United club website: “There were other teams interested, but believe it or not when I knew Sheffield United was interested, I was buzzing and jumped at the chance.”I’ve played with some of the lads and against them too, I was dying to make the move happen.”Some people have this perception I don’t like Sheffield United, but that’s not true. I’ve had over 20,000 supporters booing me when I’ve played here before, it’s an intimidating place to come and some players would crumble.”But I’ve always thought I wouldn’t mind being part of that and it is certainly a club on the up, one who play some excellent football.” TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoDONE! Hudson-Odoi delighted to sign £180k-a-week Chelsea extension

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say DONE! Hudson-Odoi delighted to sign £180k-a-week Chelsea extensionby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveCallum Hudson-Odoi has officially signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea.After year-long negotiations, the 18-year-old winger has signed a £150k-per-week, but with performance add-ons could end up totalling £180k-per-week.”It’s an amazing feeling,’ Hudson-Odoi said. “It’s been a long wait but it’s done now and I’m really happy about that. I’ve been a Chelsea player since I was eight and this is the right club for me to be at.”I want to lift as many trophies as possible, win as many games as possible and contribute to as many goals as I can as well.”As a team, we just want to work hard to achieve the best results we can. I’m delighted everything has been agreed and now I’m just looking forward to properly getting back.”Hudson-Odoi handed in a transfer request in January and was the subject of four rejected bids from Bayern Munich. last_img read more

Supreme Court set to rule on voting rights for longterm expat Canadians

first_imgTORONTO — Long-term Canadian expats are set to find out on Friday whether a 25-year-old law barring them from voting in federal elections is constitutional.The pending decision by the Supreme Court of Canada should settle a legal battle begun in earnest during the former Conservative government of then-prime minister Stephen Harper, and which gained prominence in the election that brought the Liberals under Justin Trudeau to office.Observers said they would be watching to see whether the country’s top court might justify limits on a constitutionally guaranteed right that potentially affects more than one-million Canadians who live abroad.“What makes this case so interesting is that the Constitution sets no limits on citizen’s voting rights, so does that mean legislatures get to impose one?” Toronto-based lawyer Andrew Bernstein said on Thursday. “Do the reasons why someone has moved make a difference? How strict will the court be when the government seeks to justify an infringement?”While the Constitution guarantees all Canadian citizens the right to vote, Canadians who have lived abroad for five years or more lose that right under provisions of the Canada Elections Act enacted in 1993. However, it was only under Harper that Elections Canada began enforcing the provisions more strictly, prompting the court battle.Two long-time expats living and working in the United States launched the charter challenge after they were denied the right to vote in the 2011 federal election.Essentially, Jamie Duong, of Ithaca, N.Y., and Gill Frank, 40, an academic living in Richmond, Va., argued nothing warranted the abridgement of their constitutional right to vote. They insisted they maintain deep ties to Canada, and taxes and other laws passed by Parliament could still affect them.For its part, the government maintained the rules were reasonable and fair to Canadians living in Canada, who are more directly impacted by what goes on in Ottawa. The case, which garnered attention from civil liberties groups, initially went in favour of Duong and Frank when an Ontario Superior Court justice sided with them in 2014. However, the federal government appealed and in a split decision in 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the earlier ruling, paving the way for the current Supreme Court tussle.While the Appeal Court agreed the law infringed on the rights of citizens, the majority found the infringement was justified in a democracy because the rules preserve the “social contract” between voters and lawmakers.In arguments before the Supreme Court, the government noted almost all Canadians living abroad were barred from voting before the 1993 law changes. Ottawa also argued the five-year rule was a policy decision that aimed to maintain the fairness of the democratic system given that long-term non-residents have “different and less onerous responsibilities” under Canadian law.The expats responded by calling the five-year threshold an arbitrary marker that did not take into account their ongoing connection to Canada.In the 2015 election, celebrities such as Donald Sutherland, Canadian business groups abroad and other expats rallied against Harper and the expat voting ban.The campaigning Liberals promised a review and the Trudeau government, which faces an election campaign in October, introduced legislation in November 2016 to extend the franchise to all Canadians abroad. The legislation never got beyond introduction despite government claims it was a priority.The issue, Frank has said, is that voting rights should not be “subject to the political whims of Parliament.”Colin Perkel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

More Canadians using food banks report says

first_imgAPTN National NewsA new report shows more Canadians are relying on food banks now more than ever before.The report was released Tuesday by Food Banks Canada.APTN National News reporter Nigel Newlove has this story.last_img

Fed Chair Powell highlights importance of independent Fed

first_imgWASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the Fed’s independence from political pressure plays a key role in enabling the central bank to fight inflation, stabilize the economy, and regulate the financial system.His remarks Friday come after Kevin Warsh, a former Fed official who President Donald Trump interviewed for the chairman post, said in an interview with Politico that Trump did not appear to view the Fed as an independent body. He said Trump was direct about how he thought interest rates should be managed.Powell warned against taking that independence for granted given its recent success in keeping inflation low.Powell warned, “We must not forget the lessons of the past, when a lack of central bank independence led to episodes of runaway inflation and subsequent economic contractions.”last_img read more