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OTTAWA – The politics of military procurement preoccupied the federal leaders today as they fired rhetorical missiles at each other over the future of Canada’s ill-fated attempt to buy new fighter jets.

Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair both blasted Justin Trudeau for announcing yesterday that he would scrap the multibillion-dollar purchase of F-35 stealth fighters to replace the current aging fleet of CF-18s.

The Conservative and NDP leaders both said it showed a lack of judgment by the Liberal leader.

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Trudeau promises no penalty to cancel F35 deal, jobs in London won’t disappear

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Harper questioned “what planet” Trudeau was living on, while Mulcair said Trudeau was pre-judging the public tendering process.

Experts say the F-35 purchase would cost taxpayers about 44-billion dollars over the four-decade lifespan of the Lockheed Martin jets.

The F-35 project is on hold after the auditor general offered a scathing critique of the procurement, so the military is working to extend the lifespan of the current CF-18 fleet.

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©2015

Toronto Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson has been called a lot of things this season – clubhouse leader, fierce competitor, MVP. Add trendsetter to that list.

The third baseman’s unique hairstyle has garnered almost as much attention as his stellar season. A hybrid between a mohawk cut and samurai tail, the do is buzzed short at the sides with lines sometimes shaved in above his ears, trimmed into a V-shape at the back, and long at the top with his light brown locks gathered in a small bun or ponytail at the crown.

It’s a unique look that Jays fans have been emulating. Donaldson says he often receives photos of similar cuts via 桑拿会所 and isn’t surprised it has caught on.

“I knew that would happen,” Donaldson said in a recent interview. “When my barber was first cutting my hair like this he was like ‘Hey, people are going to start getting this haircut all over the city,’ and they did. I think it’s pretty funny.”

Toronto Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson celebrates after sliding safely into third base with a triple against the Cleveland Indians during fifth inning AL baseball action in Toronto on Monday, August 31, 2015.

Fred Thornhill/

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Donaldson, whose MVP-calibre season has helped propel the Blue Jays to the top of the American League East, hasn’t really thought about a name for the cut. He has enough trouble just describing it.

“I kind of think of it as more of a top knot than a man bun,” he said pensively. “But it’s also got a bit of a samurai look to it, which is what I wanted.

“I’m sure a fan will come up with a name for it. Maybe we should do a poll or something.”

No matter what it’s called, it doesn’t require much maintenance.

READ MORE: Rogers Centre flooded as urinal ripped from wall at Friday’s Blue Jays game

He’ll typically shave the sides down once a week to “keep it looking clean,” and add a line or two if the mood strikes. But aside from occasionally running some mousse through it “to make it look not so terrible,” he doesn’t use many styling products.

Donaldson has experimented with his look in the past. During his stint with the Oakland Athletics he famously rocked a rat tail, which he sometimes braided, in addition to his mohawk.

The two-time all-star, known for his intense demeanour on the field, uses his hair to help show off a more playful side.

“I like to have fun with it,” Donaldson said. “Thankfully I’ve been a part of two organizations that have given me leeway as far as what I want to do to express my personality.”

READ MORE: Blue Jays fans make hilarious parody of Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’

So what do his teammates think?

“I was kind of expecting to get (teased) about it but I think the guys actually really like it,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll change it eventually, but I’m not going to do anything different right now.”

©2015

TORONTO – Green Leader Elizabeth May should be allowed to participate in the Munk debate later this month, her Liberal rival said Monday, as she tried a last-ditch effort to get into the discussion on foreign policy.

The Greens have filed a complaint with the Canada Revenue Agency alleging the Munk debate format violates the agency’s policies that limit the political activities of charities.

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The Aurea Foundation, a registered charity with the CRA, is helping fund the debate.

“I’m going to let the lawyers hash out the details of this one, but I will say that I was disappointed,” Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said in Toronto.

“She should be in the Munk debate because we know of all the different international issues facing Canada and the world, climate change is possibly, certainly one of the very top ones when we look at the future that we’re building for our kids and our grandkids.”

In-Depth: Federal Election 2015

Trudeau also said the decision to exclude May from last week’s economic debate in Calgary, hosted by the Globe and Mail, touched him on a personal level.

“My daughter watched my debate last Thursday night and it kind of bugs me that when she sees the people who could become prime minister, there wasn’t a woman among them,” he said.

“I think that’s yet another reason why Elizabeth May should be in the Munk debate and all debates.”

WATCH: Miss the debate on the economy? This three-minute video has everything you need to know. 

The Greens argue that excluding May from the debate has put the Aurea Foundation in violation of the Income Tax Act. The law says it’s illegal for a charity to directly or indirectly support or oppose a political party and are calling on the CRA to conduct an immediate audit of the charity’s activities.

WATCH: In this full-length interview Elizabeth May discusses her party’s role in a minority situation, and how long she’s prepared to stay on as party leader.

The party says it will withdraw the complaint if May is invited to the debate, scheduled for next Monday at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

In a letter sent to the CRA, Green party executive Emily McMillan writes that May was excluded from the debate because organizers only wanted to have the leaders of parties recognized as such under the Parliament of Canada Act.

READ MORE: Elizabeth May pleads with party leaders to participate in televised debates

With only two seats in the Commons, the Greens don’t have party status. But McMillan argues there is nothing in the Parliament of Canada Act to limit the meaning of “political party” that would justify May’s exclusion.

©2015

Zachary Levi switches gears from playing the goofy star of Chuck to something much darker in his new thriller, Heroes Reborn.

The gregarious actor admits the role is a bit of a left turn for those familiar with the hero of his defunct beloved spy dramedy.

“The tone of these two shows is very different. In Chuck there was a lot of lightheartedness, there was a charm, there was a heart,” Levi said during a stop in Toronto to promote the series in June.

“And Heroes is a dark and complicated world and I play a dark and complicated guy.”

Since his cult NBC series left the air in 2012, Levi has tackled material on big and small screens including the stop-motion comedy Robot Chicken and the super-hero spectacle Thor: The Dark World, in which he played the warrior Fandral.

But Heroes Reborn arguably resets his career with his darkest role yet — his character Luke is a vigilante bent on exacting vengeance for the death of his son.

Show Trailer: Heroes Reborn

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Show Trailer: Heroes Reborn

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‘Heroes Reborn’ 1 of 6 television series recognized at TIFF

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TIFF featuring TV series ‘Heroes Reborn’ in its high-profile lineup of programming

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‘Heroes Reborn’ star Zachary Levi doesn’t understand how to get around Toronto effectively




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The show continues Tim Kring’s saga of ordinary people suddenly bestowed with superhuman abilities, introduced in the four-season Heroes.

Levi said the new story picks up five years later, with a war brewing between those with abilities and those without.

Jack Coleman reprises his role as HRG, a.k.a. Noah Bennet, while other returning characters include Greg Grunberg as Matt Parkman and Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura.

New characters include the awkward teen Tommy, played by Robbie Kay, who learns of a new ability that terrifies him; and Tokyo’s quiet Miko, played by Kiki Sukezane, who is searching for her missing father while hiding an extraordinary secret.

Without detailing his own character’s arc, Levi noted this is a world where many regular humans are shaken by the fact their neighbours possess what could be dangerous powers.

“Lots of bad things are happening. Some people with powers abuse them and some people without abilities are afraid of them and fighting back.”

Heroes Reborn debuts Thursday on Global and NBC.

©2015

TORONTO – Elementary teachers escalated their work-to-rule campaign Monday and threatened one-day strikes as Premier Kathleen Wynne urged them to accept essentially the same deals as their colleagues in high schools and the Catholic system.

“I’m not happy about the fact there’s increased disruption in our public elementary schools,” said Wynne. “I don’t think kids should be caught in the middle.”

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The government is offering the elementary teachers virtually the same deal that was ratified last week by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation and the Catholic Elementary Teachers Association, added Wynne.

READ MORE: Elementary teachers union threatens rotating strikes in October if deal not reached

“The fact is we have been able to come to agreements with all of the other teacher groups,” she said.

The two other large teachers’ unions voted to approve agreements that included a one per cent bonus and a 1.5 per cent pay increase, while the union representing teachers in Francophone schools also reached a tentative contract.

There are special situations in elementary schools that will be addressed, but teacher must be willing to accept what their colleagues have accepted, said Wynne.

“Obviously it will be a similar agreement to the other teachers because…the parameters are set,” she said. “So my hope is that we’ll be able to get there quickly.”

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation said its members will not take part in parent-teacher meetings or class trips and will not fill in for absent colleagues. Teachers may also wear shirts or buttons protesting the lack of a contract, and the union warned it would start one-day rotating strikes within two weeks if there’s still no deal.

READ MORE: Elementary teachers’ union reject Wynne’s ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to deal

“Despite what the government is implying, it has not offered our members the same conditions as secondary teachers,” ETFO president Sam Hammond said in a release.

Hammond said there is “a significant disparity” in how elementary and secondary schools are funded.

“That funding gap results in larger class sizes, fewer student supports and poorer working conditions in our elementary schools,” he said. “The deal the government insists ETFO accept does absolutely nothing to close that gap.”

Wynne insisted she was not concerned by the union’s decision to call the one-day rotating walkouts “Wynne Wednesdays,” insisting it’s never personal for her.

“It’s being personalized because that’s a political tactic,” she said. “It’s not about my personal feelings. It’s about how do we get an agreement that’s in the best interests of kids in this province.”

Wynne said she was prepared to explain to her granddaughter why a teacher may have the premier’s picture or name across the front of a T-shirt.

“What I’ll say to her is: ‘Livvy, we’re trying to get this agreement in place, to work with the teachers so that you can have the best year possible in Grade 1,”‘ she said.

Hammond said ETFO’s last contract expired in August 2014, and no new negotiations have been scheduled.

“If the Liberal government had stayed at the table and not walked away, it’s possible we could have reached a deal by now, and the escalation of ETFO’s work-to-rule could have been avoided,” he said.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is also trying to negotiate a new contract for 50,000 non-teaching staff in Ontario schools.

©2015

Volkswagen Canada Inc. has suspended the sale of several models amid a U.S. investigation into whether the car-maker purposely rigged vehicles to trick emissions tests.

“Volkswagen Canada has issued a stop sale order for all vehicles affected by this issue,” a statement from VW Canada spokesperson Thomas Tetzlaff said.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleged last week that the German car maker used software that allowed cars sold in the United States to release fewer smog-causing pollutants during tests than in real-world driving conditions.

The cars, built in the last seven years, include the Audi A3, VW Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat models.

Tetzlaff said the affected models in Canada carry the 2.0-litre TDI engine and pertain to Jetta vehicles made between 2009 through this year; Golf models between 2010 and this year; 2013 to 2015 Beetle models and Passets manufactured in 2012 and this year.

Models with that engine were sold both in Canada and the United States. The EPA alleges about 500,000 diesel cars in the United States contained the software.

“We will work with our colleagues at Volkswagen of America as well as our parent company in Germany to resolve this matter in the most timely fashion,” Tetzlaff said in an email message.

MORE: VW chief ‘deeply sorry’ for rigging cars to violate U.S. pollution laws

On Sunday, the CEO of Volkswagen apologized. “I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn said in a statement. He said VW has ordered an investigation and promised that the company would co-operate with regulators.

The U.S. agency has ordered VW to fix the cars at its own expense but said individual car owners do not have to take any immediate action. VW also faces fines that could add up to billions of dollars. Volkswagen shares plummeted 20 per cent Monday in reaction to the controversy.

Industry analysts said the VW CEO also faces difficult questions himself in the coming days, particularly at a scheduled board meeting Friday.

“At the moment, I’d be surprised if Winterkorn can ride this out, but in Germany there’s often a slightly slower process in these matters,” said Christian Stadler, professor of strategic management at Warwick Business School.

Environmentally friendly

Volkswagen marketed the diesel-powered cars, which account for about 25 per cent of sales, as being better for the environment.

The EPA insisted that the violations do not pose any safety hazard and said the cars remain legal to drive and sell while Volkswagen comes up with a plan to recall and repair them. However, it said the cars pose a threat to public health.

The EPA also indicated the scale of the fines that could be imposed. It said the carmaker could be hit with up to $37,500 per vehicle for the violations — a total of more than $18 billion.

The California Air Resources Board is also investigating, while German authorities are looking into whether the company bent the rules there too.

“The auto manufacturers have to work closely with U.S. authorities to comprehensively clarify the matter,” Michael Schroeren, a spokesman for Germany’s environment ministry told reporters in Berlin. “We expect reliable information from the car manufacturers so that (German authorities) can check whether comparable manipulation has happened in Germany or Europe.”

— With files from Global News

The son of the Syrian refugee tripped by a Hungarian journalist accompanied Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo onto the pitch before the team’s Spanish league game on Saturday.

Zaid Abdul Mohsen, accompanied by his father Osama and brother Mohammad, toured the Bernabeu stadium and had a kick-about on the pitch ahead of Real Madrid’s match against Granada.

Mohsen was captured on video carrying seven-year-old Zaid when Hungarian camerawoman Petra Laszlo tripped him and sent him tumbling to the ground in a field full of other migrants running from authorities near the Hungarian village of Roszke.

Images of him being tripped by the Hungarian journalist provoked outrage across the continent.

WATCH BELOW: See the original footage of Mohsen being tripped while carrying his young son Zaid which shocked Europe and the world

 

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The family arrived in Germany last week exhausted from the long journey and the international spotlight that followed them after the tripping incident, but young Zaid still had the strength to open a broad smile and declare his love for soccer and his greatest idol: “Cristiano Ronaldo.”

After the incident in Hungary, Mohsen ended up in Germany, where media reports revealed he had been a soccer coach in Syria. That prompted a Spanish soccer academy to offer to rebuild his life.

The CENAFE school in the suburb off Getafe helped bring Mohsen to Spain and will give him a job and a place to live near its training facility.

“Hopefully this will serve as an example to the rest of Europe,” said school president Miguel Galan.

“We need to help these people.”

READ MORE: Syrian tripped by Hungarian journalist arrives in Madrid

Galan will now try to bring Mohsen’s wife and his other two children from a refugee camp in Turkey. Getafe authorities will also work to get the family legalized in Spain as soon as possible so Mohsen can start working as a coach. He and his family will also have to learn Spanish.

©2015The Associated Press

MONTREAL – The walls are coming down and bulldozers are moving in.

Demolition began this weekend at the Tannery Village in Saint-Henri, a week before excavation was set to finish.

READ MORE: Old settlement discovered at Turcot Interchange construction site

The 18th to 19th century village was discovered when work began on the new Turcot Interchange.

The site needed to be removed to install infrastructure, including a new sewage collector.

Municipal opposition councillors have come out insisting that the demolition was done quietly and with little warning.

READ MORE: Tannery Village vigil lights up Saint-Henri

There has been grassroots movement to save the site.

A candlelight vigil was held earlier this month when it was announced the site would be demolished.

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Transports Quebec told Global News they’ve been clear about the timeline.

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“We were very transparent with our communications and what we were planning on doing in this particular area,” said spokesperson Sarah Bensadoun.

“We had neighbourhood committees, we advised the population and we did several media interviews.”

About 150 boxes of artifacts were taken from the site to be catalogued and parts of the village still stand for the time being.

The $3.7 billion highway project is expected to be completed in 2020.

©2015

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau says a Liberal government will cancel the planned purchase of the controversial F-35 fighter jets and instead invest that money in the Navy.

He said over the weekend that there would be no penalty for not buying the F-35s, and maintained on Monday that Canada is under no obligation to do so.

“There is no contract right now for the F-35s,” Trudeau said. “We were part of the international community contributing to the development of it and got jobs through it, but we were never obliged to actually purchase the F-35s.”

But is that correct? Yes and no.

Canadians companies wouldn’t lose current projects, but they wouldn’t be able to bid on huge amounts of future opportunities.

Canada is part of an international group that’s building a slate of F-35 fighter jets. As part of that coalition, Canadian companies are able to bid on, and have received, hundreds of millions in contracts. In a 2014 report, Canadian companies have received $637 million so far.

WATCH: Justin Trudeau was asked Monday to explain how Canada could pull out of a deal to purchase new F35 combat fighters without penalty

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And they could win at least $10.6 billion over the next 25-40 years – if Canada buys the jets.  If the government chooses to withdraw from the program, they would lose out on those contracts.

“If we withdraw from that program then Canadian companies would no longer be eligible for that work,” Dave Perry, a senior analyst at the Global Public Affairs Institute, said in an interview Monday.

But if Canada buys a different plane instead, that loss could be offset.

“If you went another route and acquired a different aircraft using the traditional model using a dollar-for-dollar offset, you could guarantee a potentially higher dollar-value worth of work that would accrue from whatever Canadian industry would do in support of those acquisitions,” Perry said.

Canada’s defence procurement rules force foreign companies to invest 100 per cent of the contract’s value in Canada, Michael Byers, a Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia said during an interview.

Two Lockheed Martin F-35B aircraft fly in formation on Nov. 10, 2010 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Lockheed Martin – Andy Wolfe

So if a foreign company wins the contract, that money is still getting to Canada.

“So put it head to head, the benefits that the Harper government says it’s going to get from the F-35 in terms of industrial development, versus the industrial regional benefits, the normal system, out of competition, and I suspect they’re pretty even,” Byers said.  “They’ll come to Canada, those $10 billion regardless of which plane is chosen.”

Montreal, which includes Trudeau’s riding of Papineau, would be among the cities most affected by the government not buying the F-35s.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper, whose government initially pledged to buy 65 F-35s before backing out in favour of a review, didn’t hold back when criticizing Trudeau for his announcement, saying Trudeau’s plan would lead to lost business and shows a “profound lack of understanding in the Canadian economy.”

“The Liberal Party is living in a dream world if they think we could pull out of the development project of the F-35 and not lose business. I don’t know what planet they’re living on,” Harper told reporters while taking questions in St. Jacob’s, Ontario, Monday morning.

“This is incredible the Liberal Party says they want to create jobs, build our manufacturing sector. The single, biggest, direct thing the government of Canada does in the manufacturing sector we do is government procurement, and particularly we do defence procurement.”

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NDP leader Tom Mulcair too was critical of the Liberal leader saying his announcement was “one of the more surprising things that I’ve heard Mr. Trudeau say.”

“When he says things like that, he’s just showing his total lack of experience. That’s just not the way these things work,” Mulcair said. He did not, however, say whether the NDP would go ahead with buying the F-35s.

And Byers echoed Mulcair saying writing off one plane for political purposes is a bad decision, suggesting instead Lougheed-Martin, the maker of the F-35, should be able to compete in an open bidding process.

“I think that Justin Trudeau has made a mistake here, I think the next government, or the Harper government… shouldn’t rule out any one plane based on its own political assessment,” Byers said.

Follow @jamesarmstrong7

With files from Bryan Mullan 

Residents of a west-central Saskatchewan community helped Mounties capture two alleged break and enter suspects. The break in happened late in the evening on Sept. 17 in Wilkie.

Originally, police received a report that a large man dressed in black attempted to steal 2 golf bags from a shed. When he was confronted by the homeowner, the man left without the golf bags.

Minutes later, police received a report that two men had broken into the Wilkie Pharmacy.

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When officers arrived, they found some residents had grabbed a man has he was attempting to crawl out of the store through a broken front window. Mounties placed the man under arrest.

One resident had the presence of mind to drive a truck to the back of the pharmacy and block the back door. A second man was arrested without incident.

Police said the actions of the residents prevented the men from leaving with between $20,000 and $30,000 in drugs.

READ MORE: Prince Albert police charge 3 in armed robbery

A woman was also arrested after being found in a truck that was taken from North Battleford without the owner’s consent.

Richard David Bear, 26, of North Battleford, Joshua Roy Tucker, 24, of Cochin, and Angel Lee Bear, 25, of North Battleford, are facing numerous charges including break, enter and commit theft, and possession of break and enter instruments.

The two men, who are scheduled to appear Monday in North Battleford provincial court, are also facing charges of wearing a disguise with intent.

©2015