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Poll suggests younger Canadians interested in attending Remembrance Day events

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  • TORONTO — A new survey suggests Canadians of all generations are more likely to honour military veterans by attending a Remembrance Day ceremony this year.

    A poll commissioned by Historica Canada, the organization behind the popular Heritage Minutes videos, found a 10-per-cent spike in the number of respondents who planned to take part in a ceremony this year compared to 2017.

    The online poll, conducted by Ipsos, found 39 per cent of those surveyed had firm plans to attend a ceremony on Nov. 11 compared to 29 per cent the year before.

    The survey found plans were relatively consistent across demographics, with millennial respondents expressing the most consistent enthusiasm for attending Remembrance Day events. It found 41 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds polled planned to attend, compared to 40 per cent of respondents over 55 and 38 per cent of participants between 35 and 54.

    Historica CEO Anthony Wilson-Smith called the findings around millennials gratifying, saying the poll results challenge the theory that the generation with the fewest tangible connections to the two World Wars would be most likely to ignore Remembrance Day.

    “We are now at a point where we have to contemplate that the day will come when there aren’t any more World War Two veterans,” Wilson-Smith said in a telephone interview.

    “That leaves you to wonder if, when everyone is gone, will people still be able to grasp the significance of war, of sacrifice, of the causes that drove people to war, and the outcomes,” he said.

    “The answer would appear to be yes.”

    Wilson-Smith speculated that at least part of the surge in interest in Remembrance Day ceremonies stems from the fact that this year’s events will mark the 100th anniversary of the armistice that brought the First World War to an end after four years of strife.

    But he said the younger generation’s apparent connection to the day may also come from personal ties to those who served in more recent conflicts, such as the war in Afghanistan in which 158 Canadian soldiers and two civilians were killed.

    The poll found 95 per cent of those surveyed felt Remembrance Day ceremonies should honour veterans of recent conflicts. It also found 83 per cent of respondents planned to wear a poppy in the run-up to Nov. 11, with baby boomers showing the most enthusiasm for that idea.

    The online poll of 1,002 Canadians also surveyed how many respondents had visited a cenotaph or other war memorial in their community or elsewhere.

    Participants in British Columbia were most likely to have done so, the survey found, noting the provincial response rate of 64 per cent was well above the national average of 46 per cent.

    The Ipsos survey was conducted between Oct. 25 and Oct. 29, Historica said.

    The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error as they are not a random sample and therefore are not necessarily representative of the whole population.

    Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press



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    Mistrial declared in Dennis Oland murder retrial, jury is dismissed

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  • SAINT JOHN, N.B. — A mistrial has been declared in the retrial of Dennis Oland for the second degree murder of his father.

    The stunning development comes just over a month after jury selection was completed for the complex trial, which was expected to take at least four months.

    Justice Terrence Morrison of the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench announced the mistrial on Tuesday at what was expected to be the start of evidence presentation in Oland’s second trial for the 2011 bludgeoning death of his father, Richard Oland.

    The 16-member jury has been dismissed, and the trial will continue Wednesday by judge alone. 

    Morrison said there were improprieties in the selection process.

    Oland will have to be re-arraigned and enter his plea.

    Then there will be opening arguments and, finally, the retrial of Dennis Oland will get underway.

    “It cannot be helped,” Morrison told the jury as he thanked them for their service.

    “Your services are no longer required.”

    Richard Oland’s body was discovered on July 7, 2011, in his uptown Saint John office.

    The 69-year-old businessman and former executive of Moosehead Breweries Ltd. had been beaten to death.

    Dennis Oland, his only son, was charged with second-degree murder in 2013 and tried in 2015, but the jury verdict in that case was set aside on appeal in 2016 and a new trial ordered.

    The Canadian Press


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    National

    Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

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  • OTTAWA — Brynn Vincent was only 13 when she started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Two years later, she was addicted and had run away from home and then she found out she was pregnant.

    She sought treatment for addiction at a rehab facility then moved into a homeless shelter.

    “Being in treatment with other women who are cranky and coming off of all types of drugs and alcohol while being pregnant was so hard,” she says. “But I finally decided I need to change, I need to get better — I’m having a baby, obviously I can’t bring a baby into this type of lifestyle.”

    Now 19 and sober, Vincent is living in her own apartment with her daughter and is finishing her education at the Youville Centre in Ottawa, a charity that provides mental-health treatment and other supports to adolescent mothers and their children.

    But her daughter is one of 1.4 million children living in poverty in Canada, 29 years after the House of Commons voted to end child poverty by 2000. Campaign 2000, a group formed to hold the government to its promise, is releasing an annual report card on it today.

    The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

    Anita Khanna, national co-ordinator with Campaign 2000, acknowledges the Liberal government has introduced important measures to tackle this problem, including boosting the Canada Child Benefit — a tax-free monthly benefit to help with living and child care costs — two years earlier than planned. The benefit will now increase annually, tied to inflation.

    But while this benefit does help low-income families, it does not fully address the need for better access to child care as a way to help lift families out of poverty, she said.

    “A system of cash transfers is not the provision of good child care. It doesn’t build spaces for child care, and right now that is a huge part of the problem,” she said.

    Vincent credits the work of volunteers and staff at both the shelter and at the Youville Centre for helping her navigate the patchwork of supports for low-income teen single mothers.

    But her struggles are not over. Her limited income means she regularly has to get help from food banks and other charities.

    Her income is only about $7,000 a year. Without a provincial child-care subsidy, she could never have dreamed of completing her education, she says. 

    But if the federal government were to adopt universal child care, it would help mothers like her who are struggling to make ends meet while also trying to build more for their futures and those of their children, she says.

    “That would take a lot of stress on parents living in poverty, it would just be one less thing to have to worry about constantly,” Vincent said. “A lot of working parents in poverty work solely to pay for child care. So if I’m working every day and I’m only making enough money to put my child in daycare so that I can work … in my eyes that’s ridiculous.”

    Canada now has only enough regulated child care spaces for about 30 per cent of the Canadian kids up to the age of five, Khanna said. Campaign 2000 is calling for Ottawa to send $1 billion a year to the provinces and territories to build more daycare spaces.

    The Trudeau government recently announced Canada’s first-ever anti-poverty law, which includes a pledge to reduce the number of Canadians living in poverty 50 per cent by the year 2030. No dollar figure is attached to the bill.

    Campaign 2000 applauds the law but is calling for the Liberals to spend $6 billion on this strategy and to adopt more aggressive targets: it wants to see the 50-per-cent poverty reduction target achieved within five years rather than 12.

    “We really feel there’s impatience on this for action on this,” Khanna said. “Frankly, aiming to lift only half of those children out of poverty in 12 years is not ambitious enough and we know that collectively we can do much better.”

    — Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.

    Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press




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