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Millard called dad a failure, blamed him for family business woes, trial hears

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  • TORONTO — Days before an aviation executive was found dead in his bed — a bullet lodged in his brain — his son called him a failure and blamed him for the financial woes the family-owned business was facing, a murder trial in Toronto heard Tuesday.

    Dellen Millard, 32, a twice convicted murderer who is serving two consecutive life sentences, is accused of killing his father, Wayne Millard, on Nov. 29, 2012. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in his father’s death, which was initially ruled a suicide.

    A retired forensic detective showed court scores of text messages Millard sent after purportedly finding his father dead in bed. Jim Falconer said the texts were recovered from one of Millard’s computers seized from the home he shared with his father in Toronto’s west end.

    At 5:56 p.m., Dellen Millard sent a text message to his friend Andrew Michalski.

    “Bro please come over, I don’t want to be alone, something terrible has happened,” he wrote.

    Court has heard Michalski went to Millard’s home for a brief visit.

    Millard texted his girlfriend in the early morning hours of Nov. 30, 2012, that his 71-year-old father had suffered from depression and had shot and killed himself.

    In the texts read out by Falconer, Millard tells Christina Noudga his “world has never been so upside down.” At the time, Dellen Millard was working for his father, who was in the middle of transforming Millardair from a company that rented out hangars to a maintenance and repair company and had built a massive hangar at the Region of Waterloo International Airport.

    “The last time I spoke to him, I told him the company’s financial troubles were his doing and that he was a failure,” Millard wrote. “Usually he tells me not to worry. But this time he said maybe I was right.”

    Millard also told her his father has “always had depression, but he’s never been suicidal.”

    Within days of his father’s death, Dellen Millard changed the locks at the hangar and fired everyone working at Millardair, court heard.

    On Dec. 4, 2012, Millard called all Millardair employees to the new hangar, which included 11 mechanics and five managers, including John Barnes, a longtime aircraft maintenance and repair manager.

    “We were advised of Wayne’s death,” Barnes testified. “We were told at the time it was an aneurysm and that the business was going to be closed down.”

    Barnes said he met Wayne Millard the day before his death to discuss what benefit packages to sign the new employees up for. The company had recently received a crucial licence from Transport Canada to operate the business.

    “He seemed excited, enthusiastic,” Barnes said.

    But money was tight, Barnes added, and Wayne Millard was dipping into his personal fortune to help finance the new business along with a multimillion-dollar business loan he took out.

    The elder Millard told Barnes he had taken out a mortgage on the hangar and on the family home.

    Barnes said Millardair had a customer lined up in Halifax, and there were other opportunities as well.

    The company, he said, was “going to be viable,” but at that point did not have any contracts signed.

    Barnes said he wasn’t sure of the younger Millard’s role in the business other than that Dellen Millard’s property company was doing the interior work on the hangar. He later found out Dellen Millard owned half of Millardair.

    “He (Wayne) told me it was to leave something to Dellen,” Barnes said. But Wayne and Dellen Millard “didn’t see eye to eye.”

    Dellen Millard had a collection of vehicles and trailers on the hangar floor and the washrooms were used, but never cleaned, Barnes said. “It was deplorable,” he said, adding that he couldn’t show the hangar in that state to either Transport Canada or potential clients.

    The trial has heard that Dellen Millard bought the handgun found next to his father’s body from a weapons dealer. Dellen Millard’s DNA was found on the handle of the gun.

    Millard told police he last saw his father alive around noon the day before and said he stayed the night at his friend Mark Smich’s house. Phone records indicate one of Millard’s phones moved from Smich’s house around 1 a.m. on Nov. 29, 2012, to his father’s home where it stayed until shortly after 6 a.m.

     

    Liam Casey , The Canadian Press


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    National

    In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why.

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  • OTTAWA — On a historic Remembrance Day, a century after the end of the First World War, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a Paris crowd that decaying trust in public institutions will lead citizens to look for easy answers “in populism, in nationalism, in closing borders, in shutting down trade, in xenophobia.”

    The implication was clear: if nations turn in on themselves and treat outsiders as threats, we might again find ourselves in a bloody conflict with fronts all over the world.

    But a series of surveys suggest the idea of being a nationalist, and nationalism in general, are viewed fairly positively by most Canadians.

    What the data suggest is that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States, where the term is often linked with white-nationalist groups, and then with white supremacy and racism.

    Rather, Canadians appear to have constructed their view of nationalism on the idea of feeling connected to our country and ensuring that others feel connected as well — even as we watch the term pilloried globally.

    “It is used in different ways — when people are talking about the Trump nationalism, they would say (it’s) bad. But in Canada, they accept it because it is equated with certain communities and they see it as a way it’s helping vulnerable populations find their place in Canada,” said Kathy Brock, a political-studies professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

    “Canadians have just acclimatized to this dual view of nationalism.”

    In the 1950s and 1960s, Canadians often reported feeling greater attachments to their particular communities or ethnic groups than they did to the country. In the intervening years, connection to country has strengthened while connection to community has faded, said Frank Graves, president of EKOS Research Associates, a polling and market-research firm. The opposite has happened in Europe, he said.

    Research also suggests Canadians’ attachments to their ethnic groups have weakened over the last 20 years in favour of an attachment to country, Graves said, even as census data shows the country’s population is becoming ever more diverse.

    “We don’t have a common ethno-linguistic homogeneity that produces a definition of ‘the people.’ It’s more civic nationalism,” Graves said.

    “In Canada, national identity has been created through a dialogue between citizens and the state and the public institutions — medicare, the Mounties, Parliament Hill. It isn’t as much steeped in history or common race and identity, which probably inoculates it from some of the more disturbing expressions of nationalism.”

    Newly released survey data from the Association of Canadian Studies says that 60 per cent of respondents hold a somewhat or very positive view of nationalism, compared with about 45 per cent in the United States. The results were similar in both English and French Canada.

    There also appears to be an association between Canadians’ views on nationalism and their views on multiculturalism.

    “In contrast to the European idea of nationalism, having that ethnic component to it, most Canadians don’t see nationalism as ethnically driven. They see it more as a form of patriotism,” said Jack Jedwab, the association’s president. “It doesn’t intersect as much as it does in the European context with anti-immigrant sentiment, or a sentiment against diversity.”

    The Leger Marketing survey of 1,519 Canadians on a web panel was conducted for the association the week of Nov. 12. Online surveys traditionally are not given a margin of error because they are not random and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.

    A day after his Nov. 11 comments, Trudeau was asked how he defined nationalism and where he saw it in Canada.

    “In Canada, we’ve demonstrated many times that identities are complimentary,” he said. “I’m an extremely proud Quebecer, I’m an extremely proud Canadian and like most Canadians, they don’t see a contradiction in that.”

    Experts say the more negative forms of nationalism are nevertheless simmering in Canada. Jedwab’s survey data suggest that respondents who have positive views of nationalism are somewhat more worried about immigration and security along the U.S. border than those who have negative views of nationalism.

    Part of what fuelled U.S. President Donald Trump’s political rise, and his populist rhetoric, was financial worry — or what Graves described as the idea of the everyman versus the corrupt elites. Brock said Canada has thus far avoided similar concerns about class and finances, particularly coming out of the recession a decade ago, and a similar rise of nationalist rhetoric.

    “Now, we’re facing some really serious economic challenges and if they come to pass, then we could see a different manifestation of this,” she said. “So I don’t think those (polling) figures are necessarily set in stone.”

    — Follow @jpress on Twitter.

    Jordan Press, The Canadian Press


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    National

    British Columbia trade trip to China cancelled over Meng detention

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  • VICTORIA — The detention of a top Huawei executive in Canada has derailed British Columbia’s trade mission to China.

    The delegation led by B.C. Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson will no longer be stopping in China, and will instead end its trip after a visit to Japan.

    The decision follows the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who was detained while changing flights last week in Vancouver.

    “The Province of British Columbia has suspended the China leg of its Asian forestry trade mission due to the international judicial process underway relating to a senior official at Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.,” the province said in a statement, adding that British Columbia values its strong trade relationship with China.

    “It is anticipated that Minister Donaldson will work to reschedule events planned for the Chinese portion of this mission at the earliest convenient moment.”

    B.C. Trade Minister Bruce Ralston declined an interview request Sunday and Global Affairs Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The United States is seeking to have Meng extradited on allegations that she tried to evade American trade sanctions on Iran. A bail hearing began in Vancouver on Friday, and Meng is spending the weekend in jail before it continues next week.

    The Chinese government has warned Canada that if Meng is not released, the country will face “grave consequences.”

    A report by the official Xinhua News Agency carried on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website said that Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng called in Canadian Ambassador John McCallum on Saturday over Meng’s detention.

    Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies and has been the target of deepening U.S. security concerns over its ties to the Chinese government. The U.S. has pressured European countries and other allies to limit use of its technology, warning they could be opening themselves up to surveillance and theft of information.

    Le told McCallum that Meng’s detention at the request of the United States was a “severe violation” of her “legitimate rights and interests.”

    “Such a move ignores the law and is unreasonable, unconscionable, and vile in nature,” Le said in the statement.

    “China strongly urges the Canadian side to immediately release the detained Huawei executive … or face grave consequences that the Canadian side should be held accountable for,” Le said.

    On Sunday, Le summoned U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad for a similar meeting, demanding Washington cancel the order for Meng’s arrest, Xinhua News Agency said.

    Le called the United States to “immediately correct its wrong actions” and said it would take further steps based on Washington’s response.

    The Canadian Press



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