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Thousands say goodbye to Beliveau at Montreal funeral

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Dec 10th, 2014

A who’s who of the hockey and political worlds paid an emotional farewell on Wednesday to Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau, whose death last week unleashed a national outpouring of grief.

Dickie Moore remembered his longtime teammate as a “great man.”

“It is a tremendous honour to stand here for my teammate and friend Jean Beliveau,” said Moore, the first person to deliver an eulogy at the emotional funeral. “Everyone has said so many wonderful words about him, words like strength, dedication, devotion and elegance.

“I was lucky to have been with Jean for many glorious years with the Canadiens, lucky to share amazing moments together, lucky to have him as a friend.

“Would you rather be good or lucky? I was lucky. He was good,” he said to chuckles from the congregation.

Moore was followed to the podium at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral by Yvan Cournoyer, one of six pallbearers at the sombre event.

Cournoyer spoke about Beliveau, 83, in revered tones as his “captain” and described what he called almost a father-son relationship with the late icon.

“Oh captain, my captain, bon voyage,” Cournoyer said, his voice choking.

Other teammates who delivered eulogies were Serge Savard and Ken Dryden, who recalled being Beliveau’s roommate toward the end of the 1970-71 season as the goaltender was breaking into the league.

“He treated everyone with respect,” Dryden told the service. “He said the right things and in the right way, in French and in English, because that’s what he believed and that’s what he was.

“He made every occasion better. He made everyone who was there feel that their town, their organization, their province, their country, their event mattered. That they mattered.”

Canadiens owner Geoff Molson also addressed the service and spoke of Beliveau as an athlete, a friend, a champion and an example to follow.

“He was a special man, a Jean Beliveau like no other,” he said.

Beliveau’s casket was draped with the flag of the Canadiens, the team with which he won 10 Stanley Cups as a player and another seven as a team executive.

The other designated pallbearers were Savard and former Canadiens players Phil Goyette, Guy Lafleur, Robert Rousseau and Jean-Guy Talbot.

Those attending the funeral included Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Gov. Gen. David Johnston, former prime ministers Jean Chretien and Brian Mulroney, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and ex-Quebec premiers Jean Charest and Bernard Landry.

Former NHLers included Mario Lemieux and Luc Robitaille.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also travelled to Montreal.

“He was just great to be around,” Bettman told reporters before the service. “And he’s going to be terribly missed.”

He was asked about suggestions that the Conn Smythe Trophy could eventually be named after Beliveau.

“We’ve been focused more on his passing and that loss and celebrating his life and I know at the appropriate time we’ll focus on what is a remembrance fitting for someone like Jean Beliveau,” Bettman said.

Harper described Beliveau as someone who transcended his sport.

“We’ve obviously lost a great citizen, somebody who was admired and respected by everybody everywhere in the country,” he said on his way into the service. “I certainly have admired Mr. Beliveau since I was a young boy.

“He was an individual who was great in his sport but ultimately even greater than his sport. He’s already part of the Hockey Hall of Fame and now he’s become part of the history of our country.”

A few hundred seats were reserved for fans on a first come, first served basis. Those who couldn’t get inside were able to watch the ceremony on giant screens nearby.

Montreal police, who have been wearing camouflage pants and red ballcaps in recent months to protest pension plan reforms, wore their regulation uniforms out of respect for Beliveau.

Beliveau entered the Hockey Hall of Fame the year after his retirement in 1971.

Thousands of people filed into the Bell Centre on Sunday and Monday to pay tribute to Beliveau and shake hands with his wife, Elise.

On Tuesday night, the Canadiens honoured him before their game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Jian Ghomeshi arrested on sex assault charges, released on $100K bail

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Nov 26th, 2014

Ex-CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi has been released on $100,000 bail after facing five charges in a College Park courtroom on Wednesday — hours after he surrendered to Toronto police.

Ghomeshi was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of overcoming resistance by choking.

His criminal lawyer Marie Henein said Ghomeshi will plead not guilty and will fight the charges “fully and directly” in court. She also said Ghomeshi wouldn’t be making any media statements.

Under his bail conditions he is required to live with his mother and is forbidden from contacting alleged victims. He must also surrender his passport and remain in Ontario. He will be back in court on Jan. 8, 2015.

The charge of overcoming resistance by choking carries a potential life sentence according to the Criminal Code.

The head of CBC media relations Chuck Thompson said, “we don’t comment on police matters, criminal investigations or anything before the courts.”

Police chief Bill Blair also said he couldn’t comment on a case that’s before the courts but said it was important for the alleged victims to come forward.

Follow real-time updates from our reporters below:

The arrest comes exactly a month after he was fired by the CBC, and a day after the formerhost dropped a $55-million lawsuit against the CBC, alleging defamation and breach of confidence in his statement of claim.

The broadcaster fired him on Oct. 26 after saying it was shown “graphic evidence” that he had physically injured a woman.

Since his dismissal, nine women and one man have come forward with allegations, some dating back a decade, that Ghomeshi sexually or physically assaulted them.

The charges stem from complaints by three of them.

Former Trailer Park Boys actress Lucy DeCoutere is the only complainant who waived the publication ban on her identity. The other two can’t be named.

DeCoutere released the following statement on Wednesday:

“The past month has seen a major shift in the conversation about violence against women. It has been an overwhelming and painful time for many people, including myself, but also very inspiring. I hope that victim’s voices continue to be heard and that this is the start of a change that is so desperately needed.”

Ghomeshi, 47, admitted in a lengthy Facebook post published on Oct. 26, the day he was fired, that he engaged in “rough sex,” but insisted his encounters with women were consensual.

In a follow-up post a few days later, he said he would meet the flurry of allegations against him “directly,” but has not made any public statements since. The Facebook posts have since been deleted.

With files from The Canadian Press

Soldier killed in shooting near Parliament Hill identified

Sarah-Joyce Battersby, Cormac MacSweeney, Toronto staff, and The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Oct 22nd, 2014

A Canadian army reservist has died and a gunman was shot dead inside Parliament Hill after armed attackers opened fire on multiple Ottawa targets on Wednesday morning.

The slain soldier, who was standing guard at the War Memorial when he was shot, has been identified as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, from Hamilton’s Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He left behind a young son who recently started kindergarten, his friend Mat Petersen said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rushed away from the building to an undisclosed location, officials in his office said.

A high-ranking federal official confirmed to The Canadian Press that the dead gunman was Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. Little else is known about the man, but one media report said he’s Canadian and was born in 1982.

In a live televised address Wednesday evening, Harper called the shooter a terrorist and said the shootout inside Parliament’s Centre Block was an attack on all Canadians.

“Attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governments are, by their very nature, attacks on our country,” Harpers said. “Let there be no misunderstanding; we will not be intimidated.”

Harper said the tragic incident will strengthen Canada’s resolve to track down would-be terrorists at home and to help our international allies rout terrorists in Iraq.

“This week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world,” he said.

“I have every confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges.”

Police continued combing a locked-down national capital for other potential threats on Wednesday.

“This is an ongoing police operation and there is no one in custody at this time,” Ottawa’s police chief said.

The Ottawa Hospital said that three patients, not including Cirillo, were admitted and discharged later in the day.

In Toronto, police are working to increase security at high-profile areas, including malls, the TTC and Queen’s Park.

MPPs appear to be conducting legislative business as usual.

“There were some suggestions that perhaps we should suspend question period,” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said during the session.

“Our belief is that people who are using violence to undermine democracy want us to be silenced, and we refuse to be silenced.”

For more details on Toronto’s increased safety measures click here.

In Ottawa, heavily armed tactical officers could be seen searching rooftops in the immediate parliamentary precinct.

Police would only say they are investigating “several shooting incidents in downtown Ottawa.”

Initial reports of incidents at Rideau Centre and a pursuit on a highway were false, Ottawa’s police chief said.

For the latest updates from our reporters in Ottawa follow our live blog.

Parliament Hill reporter Cormac MacSweeney was on the phone with his editor, talking about possible assignments, when the shooting started at Parliament Hill shortly before 10 a.m. He then turned on his recorder, and below is the audio:

He heard screaming and running from the front doors of Parliament followed by gunshots.

A witness told MacSweeney he saw a man wearing body armour walk through the front doors of Parliament Hill with what appeared to be a long gun. He was able to fire a few shots before security guards returned fire.

“There were at least six shots fired. The guy seems to be about middle age, he was wearing a hat, a shotgun or a rifle, I am not sure. We just ran when the firing started and ran down the stairs to the lower level, and we’ve taken shelter in one of the offices of the centre block on Parliament Hill,” the witness, named Frank, said.

MPs are crediting Kevin Vickers, 58, sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons for saving lives. Vickers reportedly shot the gunman dead as he was moving through the halls of Parliament towards the caucus.

Police herded bystanders off the street into a major office building and warned people to stay away from the windows.

Military bases across the country are reportedly now being closed to the public.

The Prime Minister’s Office released a statement ahead of Harper’s address.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were attacked,” read the statement.

“The police continue to do their important work and we are still gathering the facts.”

Cabinet minister Tony Clement tweeted that at least 30 shots were heard inside the building, where Conservative and Liberal MPs were holding their weekly caucus meetings.

Most of those MPs remain locked down in their caucus rooms.

The NDP caucus was evacuated along with the Liberal Senate caucus.

A witness reported that a man drove up in a black vehicle, got out carrying a rifle and ran into the Centre Block — the seat of the House of Commons under the Peace Tower.

The vehicle, with no rear licence plate, parked directly in front of the Langevin Block.

Witnesses report seeing a man dressed in black with a scarf wrapped around his face, carrying a double-barreled shotgun.

Follow live coverage by reporters of CityNews, 680News and Maclean’s magazine.

Apple unveils 2 iPhones & Apple Watch at launch event

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Sep 9th, 2014

Apple has unveiled two new iPhones and the Apple Watch at its launch event in California.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be 50 per cent more energy-efficient than the previous iPhones, the technology giant says, and will be available on September 19. The two phones are the thinnest iPhones ever made.

CityNews technology specialist Mike Yawney was at the event in Cupertino, Calif., where Apple has its headquarters.

See the transcript of Yawney’s coverage below.

Apple replacing faulty batteries in some iPhone 5 units

CityNews | posted Monday, Aug 25th, 2014

Apple is acknowledging a problem with a small number of iPhone 5 units.

Some of the phones have faulty batteries that have very short battery life and need to be charged more frequently.

The affected devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013.

The tech giant is replacing batteries for free in Canada on Aug. 29. It’s already available in the United States and China.

If you have an iPhone 5, click here to input your phone’s serial number to see if you are eligible for a battery replacement.