Father with albinism and son escorted off Toronto bus by police after suspected abduction

TORONTO —; Jason Thompson took his four-year-old son Xavier to see Zootopia on Tuesday, but when they missed the show —; their day went from bad to worse.

The father and son were at Victoria Park subway station, singing Row, Row, Row, Your Boat while waiting for the #12 bus.

As they boarded, Toronto police said another member of the public reported Thompson to police because he has albinism and does not look like his son.

“Someone potentially believed the child had been abducted,” said Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu.

Jason Thompson believes he was escorted off a Toronto bus because he has albinism and does not have the same skin tone as his son.

Jason Thompson

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That’s when Thompson said the bus suddenly stopped en route and the driver refused to let anyone off.

“It’s sickening to me that someone would actually take that step,” said Thompson.

“Just as I’m sitting there looking at my phone two police officers are standing outside.”

Thompson said one of the officers came onto the bus and asked him if Xavier was his son, to which he responded that he was, and the officer then asked him to get off the bus.

He said he then asked why he was being singled out and the police officer allegedly told him, “You don’t want to do this here, let’s just get off the bus.”

Thompson said the officer quickly realized he and Xavier were, in fact, related despite having different skin tones.

“I was so dumbfounded, I probably just stood there with my mouth open,” he said.

“The officer knew I was offended and said, ‘It’s okay, it’s okay.’ They kept on reassuring me and were very sympathetic and understanding.”

Jason Thompson says he was offended after being escorted off a Toronto bus with his son Xavier

Police attempted to follow up with the original caller to get more information, but they did not answer their phone.

“To that person I would say think again. A white guy with a brown kid doesn’t mean that anything is going on. This is Toronto,” said Thompson

“We’re a multi-cultural city, let’s embrace it and relax everyone.”

Thompson said he had to then explain the humiliating situation to his four-year-old.

“I said, ‘Somebody called and said I’m not your daddy and they were worried.’ And he looked at me and said, ‘You are my daddy.’”

Police say they take every call related to children very seriously, and anyone who witnesses anything suspicious should give them a call.

Thankfully a day that began horribly ended a bit better for Thompson and his son.

“My son starts crying and the officer was like, ‘Don’t worry we’ll give you a ride home,’” he said.

“So we get back in the patrol car, we’re heading down the street and my son’s like, ‘This is where the bad guys sit’ and the officer’s like, ‘No, the good guys sit there too.’

“We’re good guys right now.”

Jason and Xavier Thompson were escorted off a Toronto bus after a member of the public thought the child was being abducted.

Jason Thompson

How deep will the federal deficit go: Experts ponder Ottawa’s shortfall

OTTAWA – It’s become the multibillion-dollar question – how big, exactly, will the federal deficit be?

Analysts have made predictions leading up to next Tuesday’s spring budget on the magnitude of Ottawa’s shortfall, which is already poised to reach tens of billions.

READ MORE: Liberals announce $18.4 billion deficit, expect oil to hover around $40

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The Liberal government has acknowledged the deficit could rise above $20 billion as it fulfills election vows and introduces economy-boosting measures, such as infrastructure spending.

The government has kept mum on the final figure, but many experts anticipate Ottawa will be $30 billion in the hole in 2016-17 – at least.

Some have even recommended how large – or small – the government should allow the deficit to grow in its budgetary blueprint.

The C.D. Howe Institute is the latest to weigh in with the release today of its annual “shadow” budget, a document that urges the Liberals to show some spending restraint.

READ MORE: Federal Finance Minister blames projected budget deficit on falling oil prices

The think-tank suggests a fiscal approach that will produce deficits of $15.3 billion and $12.2 billion over the next two fiscal years – levels significantly lower than other observers.

On the other end of the spectrum, a couple of big banks and the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives have recommended the government inject even more fiscal stimulus, which will create a deficit as high as $40 billion in 2016-17.

TD Bank, meanwhile, has said the federal government is on track to run $150 billion in budget deficits over the next five years.

The projections come as the government prepares its maiden budget at a time when the economy is struggling with the negative consequences of low commodity prices, particularly oil.

The country’s economic situation darkened in the months that followed the October election, which prompted Finance Minister Bill Morneau to take the rare step last month of releasing a fiscal update only weeks before the budget.

The document revealed the treasury was projected to produce a shortfall of at least $18.4 billion in 2016-17, a projection that didn’t account for roughly $10 billion in Liberal spending commitments.

The updated numbers also predicted a $15.5-billion deficit in 2017-18.

The projections also included an additional $6 billion per year for economic prudence that the government argued was necessary to account for risk.

In November, shortly after they were elected, the Liberals predicted shortfalls of $3.9 billion in 2016-17 and $2.4 billion in 2017-18.

The Liberals made a counter-intuitive promise during the election campaign when they vowed to run deficits over the next three years in order to pay for infrastructure projects to stimulate the weak economy.

They had pledged to cap annual shortfalls at $10 billion over that span, a vow they are now poised to break. The Liberals have also backed away from their campaign promise to balance the books in four years.

READ MORE: Deficits could total $90B over Liberals’ first mandate: bank study

In releasing the grimmer numbers last month, Morneau insisted the government’s starting point was “much further back” than the Liberals thought.

He has come under attack by Conservative opponents for breaking election promises and for planning to drive Canadians deeper into debt.

Morneau, however, has repeatedly maintained that spending is necessary to revive economic growth and create jobs.

The C.D. Howe Institute argues in today’s report that the Liberals can support economic growth and still return to a balanced budget by 2019-20.

“Ottawa must temper the sense created by the election campaign and early post-election announcements that there are no limits to what the federal government can spend and borrow,” reads the document, which includes calculations that cut the government’s annual economic prudence of $6 billion in half.

Last week, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released its “alternative” budget that called for major investments in infrastructure as well as support for social programs and low-income households.

The group propose generating additional government revenues by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy, raising corporate taxes, introducing a national carbon tax and ending subsidies for the energy industry.

Terminally ill man set to ask Ontario Superior Court to die by single lethal injection

TORONTO —; A terminally ill man who hopes to win court approval for an assisted death wants to die from a single lethal injection.

If Ontario Superior Court grants the man his wish on Thursday, a hematologist has offered to help him die in accordance with Quebec’s detailed protocol, court filings show.

The hematologist involved says he would be willing to prescribe two drugs – pentobarbital or secobarbital – in a dose that would be deadly if taken orally.

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READ MORE: Judge rules physicians in Ontario’s 1st doctor-assisted death case won’t be named

“However, based on inquiries I have made, I do not believe these drugs are currently available in Ontario in an oral dose of this amount,” the physician states. “Therefore, I am also willing to assist (the man) in dying by following…the ‘Quebec protocol.”‘

The protocol calls for a three-step process that starts with sedation, followed by putting the patient into an artificial coma, then administering a powerful muscle relaxant that causes breathing and the heart to stop.

“First the patient will be helped to relax, then he will be put in a deep sleep and will not feel anything when he stops breathing,” according to the protocol, which stresses the patient can change his or her mind at any time.

“It is advisable to explain to those present, before starting the injections, that death might come relatively quickly, and that the heart may keep beating for a long time after breathing has stopped.”

READ MORE: Manitoba resident granted right to die by doctor assisted death

In an affidavit, the 80-year-old married grandfather says he understands the planned drug injection would result in “my certain death.”

None of those involved in what is the first such case in Ontario can, by court order, be identified.

Court documents show the man, who says he has lived a “wonderful and exciting life” and has seen “so much of the world,” was diagnosed in 2012 with lymphoma. He is currently bed-ridden and in unbearable pain. His family, physicians and a psychiatrist say he is lucid and support his request to die.

READ MORE: Calgary woman with ALS first in Alberta to be granted physician-assisted death

“It is crippling emotionally to see someone you love in so much pain, so much distress,” the man’s daughter says in court documents.

“I am so lucky to have a beautiful family who remain close to me,” the man says in his affidavit. “Although the decision to end my suffering is one that I alone have made, it is important to me to know that I have their support.”

Under the protocol, the dispensing pharmacist is required to prepare two identical sealed kits – in case there’s an issue with the first one – containing the deadly drugs along with the needed injection materials for use by the doctors.

READ MORE: Vancouver MDs get assisted-dying guidelines

The document suggests using the barbiturate phenobarbital – a drug Arkansas has used in executions – to induce coma, and then quickly injecting the muscle-paralyzing agent rocuronium bromide to induce death.

The protocol also discusses the need for the utmost sensitivity and respect when proceeding with assisted death.

“Medical aid in dying should be marked by a profound solemnity,” the protocol states. “Touching the dying person with emotion is more important than counting his breaths.”

Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down laws that bar doctors from helping someone die, but put the ruling on hold for one year. The court later granted the government a four-month extension, but said the terminally ill could ask the courts for an exemption to the ban during that period.

Both the federal and Ontario governments have told they would not oppose the man’s wish for a doctor-assisted death.

Concerns loom over massive summer road projects as city tries to minimize impacts

The Regent Street and Prospect Street intersection sees approximately 47,000 vehicles each day, but this summer that number will take a dive when three road projects get underway.

“We’re basically going to be renewing what’s there for infrastructure,” said Jon Lewis, the city’s traffic engineer. “We’re going to be digging the road up and putting in new water and sewer lines, new pavement, new curbing and then a new wider sidewalk.”

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Estimated to run from June 1 to Aug. 31, the work will also see dual left turn lanes from Regent to Prospect Street along with the concrete being swapped for high-performance asphalt.

Regent Street to Wayne Squibb Boulevard will also be repaved while the Regent Street underpass will be removed and replaced with one with a higher clearance.

“The clearance is posted on the bridge and folks know what the limits are,” says Josh Fox, resident engineer with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. “But it seems that once in a while someone will squeeze through and try to fit underneath it when they shouldn’t.”

“We needed to replace what was out here but at the same time we might as well make it better as we have the opportunity to do so,” said City of Fredericton traffic engineer Jon Lewis.

Stuck in the middle of the projects is the City Motel.

Staff at the 55-room facility say it’s already difficult enough for clients to get in and out of their parking lot and that upgrading the intersection is coming at a bad time.

The City Motel is located directly beside the Regent & Prospect Street intersection

Jeremy Keefe

“It’s our peak season June, July and August,” said Will Philips, who works in the Motel’s office. “It’s the peak revenue season for any motel so that’s our biggest concern.”

Acting manager Sherry Forbes says she knows firsthand how the construction will affect travelers entering the city from the east as she makes the trip each morning from Oromocto.

“We’re not going to have a lot of people travelling in here or who want to come through that construction zone to come into the motel,” she said.

A pedestrian bridge will be installed to keep walking traffic flowing and the city hopes that with motorists planning ahead of time, traffic congestion will be kept to a minimum.

“It’s time to start talking to your employers about is there an opportunity to take vacation time or flex time,” says Lewis. “Just thinking about how can you travel differently during those days.”

For more information on the upgrades and tips to keep travel impacts to a minimum visit 长沙夜生活fredericton长沙夜网/regentconstruction

More than 12 punished for deadly Afghan hospital attack by US

WASHINGTON – More than a dozen U.S. military personnel have been disciplined – but face no criminal charges – for mistakes that led to the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital that killed 42 people in Afghanistan last year, U.S. defence officials say.

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The punishments, which have not been publicly announced, are largely administrative. But in some cases the actions, such as letters of reprimand, are tough enough to effectively end chances for further promotion. The military has previously said some personnel were suspended from their duties but has given no further details.

READ MORE: People shot while fleeing Afghan hospital bombing: report

The disciplined include both officers and enlisted personnel, but officials said none are generals.

The officials, who were not authorized to discuss the outcomes publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity, said the disciplinary process is nearly complete. It is derived from a military investigation of the Oct. 3, 2015, attack, the results of which are expected to be made public in a partially redacted form in coming days.



Doctors Without Borders spokesperson demands answers into US bombing of hospital



‘Hospital was mistakenly struck’: Doctors Without Borders demands answers after U.S. strike in Afghanistan



Airstrike that killed 22 at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz was requested by Afghan forces according to the U.S.



Aftermath of Doctors Without Borders clinic bombing in Afghanistan



‘A mistake is quite hard to understand’: MSF releases report on Afghan hospital bombing

The hospital, run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders in the northern city of Kunduz, was attacked by a U.S. Air Force special operations AC-130 gunship, one of the most lethal in the U.S. arsenal. Doctors Without Borders called the attack “relentless and brutal” and demanded an international investigation, but none has been undertaken.

Army Gen. John Campbell, who was the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan at the time but has since relinquished command, has called it a “tragic but avoidable accident caused primarily by human error.”

The attack was unleashed as U.S. military advisers were helping Afghan forces retake Kunduz, which had fallen to the Taliban on Sept. 28. It was the first major city to fall since the Taliban were expelled from Kabul in 2001.

READ MORE: Doctors Without Borders leaves Afghan city after deadly airstrike

Afghan officials claimed the hospital had been overrun by the Taliban, but no evidence of that has surfaced. The hospital was destroyed and Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French acronym, MSF, ceased operations in Kunduz.

President Barack Obama apologized for the attack, which was one of the deadliest assaults on civilians in the 15-year war.

The U.S. command in Kabul said in February that it has expressed condolences and offered payment to more than 140 families and individuals affected by the attack.

In November the U.S. military provided an outline of what happened. It said the crew of the AC-130 gunship, which is armed with side-firing cannons and guns, had been dispatched to hit a Taliban command centre in a different building, 450 yards away from the hospital. However, hampered by problems with their targeting sensors, the crew relied on a physical description that led them to begin firing at the hospital even though they saw no hostile activity there.

Many chances to avert the error were missed, officials said.

At a November news conference, Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, a spokesman for Campbell, said the actions taken by the U.S. aircrew were “not appropriate” to the threat they faced, suggesting that a number of them could be faulted.

Campbell and Shoffner said that neither the U.S. Special Forces commander who called in the strike at the request of Afghan forces, nor the U.S. aircrew, was aware that a hospital was being hit until it was too late.

The main U.S. military investigation was completed on Nov. 15 but has not yet been publicly released. U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and across the greater Mideast, rejected in December an AP Freedom of Information Act request for the report, which it said was approximately 5,000 pages long.

A separate U.S. report on the incident, obtained last fall by The Associated Press, said the AC-130 aircraft fired 211 shells at the hospital compound over 29 minutes before commanders realized the mistake and ordered a halt. Doctors Without Borders officials contacted coalition military personnel during the attack to say the hospital was “being ‘bombed’ from the air,” and the word finally was relayed to the AC-130 crew, the report said.

Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.