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Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mother says

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  • GLACE BAY, N.S. — The mother of a Cape Breton teen with cerebral palsy says her son has forgiven a group of students who bullied him last week — telling him to lie in a shallow stream as other students walked over him.

    But she said he is still afraid to return to his high school because he doesn’t feel safe.

    In an interview Tuesday, Terri McEachern said her son, 14-year-old Brett Corbett, received an apology over the weekend from two of the students involved.

    School administrators said Tuesday they wanted to assure parents and the community that they would “work with students, staff and parents to address this behaviour.”

    The stream, known as Burr-Bank, is near Glace Bay High School where Corbett is a Grade 9 student.

    The incident was recorded and ended up posted on Facebook, causing wide-spread concern and condemnation.

    “To see the video of your kid laying there and kids mocking, ridiculing, it tore my heart out,” said McEachern, who added that she has been dealing with calls from media outlets as far away as Washington, D.C., and Africa since the story about her son broke.

    McEachern said the family saw the video, but it didn’t become public until a girl posted it on social media to counter those who said the incident didn’t happen.

    She said a boy and a girl who were involved came to her home this past weekend to apologize in person.

    “He’s accepting of the apologies, he’s forgiving of them,” she said. “He was OK with then coming here and apologizing so I’m OK with that.”

    An emotional McEachern said while it’s been hard to deal with a situation she still can’t believe happened, she has to try to forgive as well.

    “I don’t hold hate and resentment in my heart. It hurts, it was wrong, it’s unacceptable, but hate only grows, it’s a dark emotion.”

    On Tuesday, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education released a statement promising action.

    “This incident is tremendously harmful to both the individual involved and the school community as a whole. We are disappointed and saddened by the behaviour that led to the incident on the video.”

    The statement said that in addition to dealing with the individuals involved, the school would conduct a restorative practice process.

    “A restorative practice approach involves students, staff, parents, School Advisory Council and members of the school community, in a process that acknowledges the harm done and gives a voice to all in planning our way forward within a respectful, safe and secure learning environment.”

    However, McEachern said school officials hadn’t yet contacted her, and she’ll be looking for reassurance that her son will be safe in school.

    “An apology and a one day suspension doesn’t change tomorrow how Brett feels about what happened,” she said.

    McEachern said she will keep her son at home until Monday to see what develops.

    The Canadian Press


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    National

    ‘We take action:’ Alberta investing $3.7B to move oil by rail, leasing cars

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  • EDMONTON — The Alberta government says it’s investing $3.7 billion to move the province’s land-locked oil to market by rail.

    It says 4,400 leased railway cars will move up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day by 2020.

    Shipments are expected to begin as early as July.

    “Pipelines will always be the best, most efficient, most economical long-term solution,” Notley told a news conference Tuesday.

    “We must take action today to provide more relief to our energy workers and the families who rely on these good jobs across this province and this country.

    She says her government has been studying the plan since November and is ready to move forward.

    “Albertans don’t just stand by. We take action.”

    The province estimates the plan will lead to a $5.9-billion increase in royalties, tax revenues and profits over three years, meaning a net gain of $2.2 billion.

    It expects the discount for Western Canadian heavy oil versus U.S. light crude will shrink by US$4 a barrel.  

    The rail investment is meant to be a medium-term measure as new pipelines to coastal ports, such as the Trans Mountain expansion to the West Coast, remain in limbo.

    The Canadian Press


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    National

    Canadian retaliation to U.S. metal tariffs causing pain: ambassador

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  • OTTAWA — Canada’s ambassador to the United States says he’s hearing complaints from some Americans about the pain caused by Ottawa’s retaliation against the Trump administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs.

    David MacNaughton was referring to Canada’s imposition of $16.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on American imports last year after President Donald Trump used a section of U.S. trade law to impose tariffs of 25 per cent on Canadian steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.

    The Canadian “countermeasures” hit products in U.S. states where Trump prevailed to win the presidency in 2016.

    They targeted a wide range of goods, including ketchup from Pennsylvania, bourbon from Kentucky, orange juice from Florida, toilet paper from Wisconsin and Ohio and panels for circuit breakers and fuses from Michigan.

    Mexico was also hit with the American tariffs and MacNaughton says the “strategic retaliation” the two countries have responded with is causing anxiety in some “important” states.

    MacNaughton told the Canadian Global Affairs Institute in Ottawa that the government is pushing hard to have the tariffs lifted.

    The Canadian Press


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