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Ottawa Citizen rejects Senators’ request to take down players’ Uber video

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  • A major Canadian newspaper said Wednesday it has no intention of taking down a secretly recorded video of several Ottawa Senators players despite a legal notice insisting leaving it online violates provincial privacy laws.

    The Ottawa Citizen flatly rejected the legal notice from the National Hockey League team, saying the video shot surreptitiously by an Uber driver was circulating on social media when the paper decided to report on it.

    Editor-in-Chief Michelle Richardson also countered allegations contained in the notice signed by team lawyers, which asserted the footage of players badmouthing the club and a member of its coaching staff violated their privacy under provincial law and did not contain information of public interest.

    “The public interest in the Senators as an organization extends beyond the team’s performance on the ice,” Richardson said in a statement, adding that the paper did not view the sharing of the video as a privacy violation.

    “The organization is involved in one of the biggest development projects in Ottawa’s history, a project that hinges on the Senators being here to play in a downtown arena. On-ice performance, ticket sales, attendance, discord in the locker room and public support of the organization are all relevant when it comes to discussing the overall health of the team.”

    In the legal notice sent to Richardson on Wednesday, lawyers blasted the newspaper for its decision to share the surreptitiously shot video on its website.

    The five-minute clip, which shows seven Senators players ridiculing Senators assistant coach Martin Raymond and scornfully discussing the team’s penalty-killing performance, was shot without the players’ knowledge by the driver of the Uber vehicle they were riding in while on the road in Phoenix, Ariz. The video shared by the Citizen also appeared on websites of other publications owned by Postmedia Network Inc., the paper’s parent company.

    “The Citizen’s mass publication of the video is a clear and obvious violation of the rights of the Senators players involved under Ontario law and has damaged the Ottawa Senators,” the letter reads. “The Ottawa Senators demand that the Citizen immediately remove the video from the Internet.”

    The notice also asserts that the newspaper published the video while fully aware that it had been shot without consent, arguing that the contents were of no “genuine public interest.”

    The players captured in the video released a statement Monday apologizing for their remarks, while also clearly stating that the footage was both shot and shared without their permission. Individual players have since spoken out affirming their support for Raymond and saying they’re trying to put the saga behind them.

    An Uber spokesperson said the recording was a “clear violation” of the company’s community guidelines, adding that Uber had helped to have the video taken down.

    The notice to the Citizen noted that the video had already been pulled from YouTube on the grounds that it was shot in secret.

    Scholars and industry observers voiced concern about the incident, calling it a clear violation of the players’ privacy.

    Senators Chief Operating Officer Nicolas Ruszkowski agreed, saying the legal notice to the Citizen was meant to protect the team’s best interests.

    “Martin Raymond and our players have earned our support through years of hard work, leadership and devotion to their community,” Ruszkowski said in a statement. “Privacy is paramount, and we won’t allow a precedent to be set in which peoples’ reputations can be impaired by voyeuristic journalism.”

    Ruszkowski declined to comment on the Citizen’s intention to keep the video online.

     

     

     

    Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press

    Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version described Nicolas Ruszkowski as the Senators’ CEO


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    National

    Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability

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  • OTTAWA — The federal government is poised to try to improve RCMP accountability by placing some external eyes on the national police force.

    Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki are expected to announce the plans at a news conference in Ottawa on Wednesday.

    The long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale over internal bullying and harassment.

    Insiders say the measures to be announced Wednesday are the beginning of a process that involves several steps to ensure the force benefits from independent advice and scrutiny.

    The announcement will represent the Liberal government’s response to two critical 2017 reports.

    In the first, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP said the force lacked both the will and the capacity to address the challenges that afflict its workplaces.

    The commission urged the government to usher in civilian governance or oversight for the paramilitary-style police force.

    The second report, a review by former auditor general Sheila Fraser of four harassment lawsuits from female members, also called for substantial reforms.

    At the time, Goodale said both reports described “similar serious and long-standing concerns” and would “inform further action” to ensure that the RCMP is a healthy and respectful employer.

    Lucki became the RCMP’s first permanent female boss last year when she took over the commissioner’s post from Bob Paulson.

    Before he left, Paulson delivered an apology to hundreds of current and former female officers and employees who were subjected to discrimination and harassment dating back as far as four decades.

    The words of regret came as the Mounties settled class-action lawsuits stemming from allegations that cast a dark pall over the force.

    The Trudeau government has directed Lucki to modernize and reform the RCMP’s culture, protect employees from harassment and workplace violence, and foster reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

    Goodale’s mandate letter to Lucki, issued last year, also asked her to make the force representative of Canada’s diverse population by embracing gender parity and ensuring that women, Indigenous members and minority groups are better reflected in positions of leadership.

    Another priority is implementing measures to improve health and wellness after an auditor’s report found the force was failing to meet the mental-health needs of its members due to a lack of resources, poor monitoring and meagre support from supervisors.

    Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press


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    National

    Google wants court to decide whether search curbs would infringe charter rights

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  • OTTAWA — Google wants the Federal Court to decide whether limiting search-engine results in the name of privacy would infringe Canadians’ constitutional guarantee of free expression.

    The leading internet search engine advocates broadening an upcoming court hearing to squarely address the question.

    Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien has asked the Federal Court to clarify if Google’s popular search tool is covered by the law governing how companies handle personal information.

    A man who says a Google search reveals outdated and highly personal information about him will be the test case that helps a judge decide whether the search engine must remove the links from its results.

    Therrien argues the federal law on private-sector use of personal information includes such a right to de-indexing.

    In documents filed with the court, Google says the privacy commissioner’s reference application is illogical and inefficient because it is too narrow and therefore won’t fully explore the relevant constitutional questions.

    The Canadian Press


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    january, 2019

    mon14jan - 31jan 1410:00 amjan 31Kindergarten Registration Begins at Red Deer Public SchoolsRegister your child for Kindergarten10:00 am - 3:00 pm (31)

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