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Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard to stand trial in sex assault case

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medley frontman to stand trial

TORONTO — Jacob Hoggard, the frontman for the Canadian rock band Hedley, will stand trial on three sex-related charges involving a woman and a teenager, a judge ruled Friday.

Ontario Court Justice Mara Greene decided that the case should proceed after prosecutors gave an overview of their evidence and Hoggard’s lawyer agreed it met the threshold for a trial.

The evidence was presented over a two-day preliminary hearing in Toronto.

It cannot be divulged, however, due to a publication ban meant to protect the accused’s right to a fair trial. A publication ban is also in place to protect the identities of the complainants.

Hoggard, 35, nodded silently as the judge gave her decision, then sat back down next to his lawyer.

Earlier in the hearing, the singer pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual interference. He also requested to be tried by a jury.

Hoggard was arrested and charged last summer after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged.

Toronto police have said the charges relate to three separate incidents involving a woman and a girl under the age of 16 that allegedly occurred in the Toronto area in 2016.

Hoggard has previously denied engaging in non-consensual sexual behaviour, but has said he acted in a way that objectifies women.

“I understand the significant harm that is caused not only to the women I interacted with, but to all women who are degraded by this type of behaviour,” he said on Twitter last year. “I have been careless and indifferent and I have no excuse. For this I am truly sorry.”

Hedley, a two-time Juno-winning band based in Vancouver, has been on an indefinite hiatus since the allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. Its last show was in Kelowna, B.C., on March 24, 2018.

The group was also dropped by its management team, blacklisted by several radio stations and renounced by other performers booked on their tour.

Fans of the band have attended at least one previous hearing in the case even when Hoggard was absent.

A trial date has not yet been set but a hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 23.

Paola Loriggio , The Canadian Press

Edmonton

LISTEN: TRUDEAU STORY VS. POVERTY: YOU DECIDE

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So on this historic day of a United Way campaign kick off we are bombarded by the Trudeau story. .

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Canada takes centre stage in Bannon film based on Huawei exec Meng’s detention

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Steve Bannon

OTTAWA — Canada plays a starring role in a soon-to-be-released film aimed at exposing China’s bid for world domination through technology — produced by one-time Trump strategist Steve Bannon.

The film, “Claws of the Red Dragon,” is fiction, but “inspired by” Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and China’s subsequent retaliatory measures, including the detention of two Canadians for alleged espionage and death sentences meted out to two other Canadians convicted of drug crimes.

Bannon has said the movie is aimed at exposing ties between Huawei, which he describes as the “greatest national security threat” to the United States, and China’s communist government, which he maintains is “the greatest existential threat the West has ever faced.”

He’s also been clear that his objective is to stiffen U.S. President Donald Trump’s resolve to shut Huawei out of development of next generation wireless networks over fears the telecommunications giant is controlled by the Chinese government and its equipment could be used to spy on or sabotage other countries.

The film is to be released next month by New Tang Dynasty Television, part of the Epoch Media Group that is closely associated with the Falun Gong spiritual movement and includes the pro-Trump and vehemently anti-Beijing newspaper, The Epoch Times.

The 54-minute movie follows fictional Chinese-Canadian journalist Jane Li as she reports on Canada’s arrest of the chief financial officer of Huaxing Hi-Tech; along the way she “exposes the company’s ties” to the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese military, according to a New Tang Dynasty news release.

The film features a Canadian cast, including Eric Peterson of “Street Legal” and “Corner Gas” fame.

A trailer for the movie, replete with ominous soundtrack, shows Peterson — playing a character named James MacAvoy and bearing an uncanny resemblance to Canada’s former ambassador to China, John McCallum — meeting with a detained Canadian named Michael.

In real life, Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been detained in China since December, accused of espionage shortly after Canada detained Meng, who is wanted by the U.S. on charges of fraud related to evasion of American sanctions on Iran.

The trailer also shows Peterson telling someone who looks remarkably like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the Chinese “just arbitrarily sentenced a Canadian to death. There’s no telling where this retaliation will end.”

In the New Tang Dynasty news release, Bannon calls the movie “a seminal and timely work exposing the inner workings” of the Chinese Communist Party and Huawei.

“Run by a radical cadre of the Chinese Communist Party, China’s Communism today is the greatest existential threat the West has ever faced,” Bannon says. “Huawei, the technology and telecommunications arm of the CCP and the People’s Liberation Army, is the greatest national security threat we have ever faced, as it is already in the process of a global tech domination via 5G and 6G (wireless networks).”

Bannon told Bloomberg earlier this month that he hopes the film will be screened for Trump at the White House.

“The central issue in the 2020 presidential campaign is going to be the economic war with China: manufacturing jobs, currency, capital markets and technology,” he told the news agency. “Huawei is a key part of that and this film will highlight why it must be shut down.”

Joan Bryden , The Canadian Press

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november, 2019

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