Gareth Southgate worried about disorder in Prague and racism in Sofia

first_imgGareth Southgate has admitted he fears the worst when it comes to England’s next two qualifying matches and the potential for disorder involving the team’s supporters in the Czech Republic as well as the risk of players being racially abused when they move on to Bulgaria.Southgate said he was not confident the game in Sofia on 14 October would pass without any racial abuse, citing what had happened when England visited in 2011 and the monkey chants directed at Ashley Young, Theo Walcott and Ashley Cole. England play in Prague three days earlier and Southgate, in keeping with the general feeling of the Football Association, has serious reservations about thousands of travelling supporters descending on one of Europe’s stag-do capitals for a Friday-night fixture.The FA is so concerned it has successfully applied for England’s ticket allocation to be increased from 1,100 to 3,800, the thinking being that it would be better to reduce the number of ticketless fans who might seek to enter home sections of the stadium.“It’s sad we have to appeal to people going to follow us to behave,” Southgate said. “So many thousands of fans went to Portugal [for the European Nations’ League] in the summer. So many of them represented us so well and yet some of them let themselves down and let their country down.“I always feel the need to differentiate between those two groups because, although there are larger numbers than we would want who let people down, there are thousands and thousands who have supported us so brilliantly, whose stories I have loved hearing and who are so important to us. It should be a given [that they behave] and sadly it isn’t.“Sadly, we are going to a place where people travel anyway for nights out from our country. What we don’t need to see is that behaviour that I am afraid happens on our own high streets. It is not something that is just England supporters, it is a societal issue of people with alcohol who are unable to control themselves. We certainly don’t want to be taking that abroad and that being a representation of our country.” Share on Messenger news England’s progress in Group A has already been tarnished by the racist abuse directed at Raheem Sterling and Callum Hudson-Odoi in Montenegro in March. Bulgaria are repeat offenders and Uefa has ordered that 5,000 seats remain unused next month as a punishment for racial chanting during matches against Kosovo and the Czech Republic in June. A Bulgarian supporter was ejected from Wembley on Saturday after allegedly directing racial abuse towards Sterling.Southgate’s players have told the manager previously they do not want to walk off in protest if it happens again, but he intends to ask if that remains the case. “It is a concern,” Southgate said. “It’s something we’ve already planned and we’re going to discuss it with the players before we go. We’re aware that there is history there and we want to make sure that we’re all prepared for what might happen and how we want to respond.“We are going to address that when we all get back together. We didn’t think it was right to do it this month because it’s too far away, but we have to hope – we’re not confident – that we’ll go there and nothing will happen.” Football violence Read more Jadon Sancho the difference as blunders mar England’s 5-3 win against Kosovo Share on Pinterest Gareth Southgate Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Topics Euro 2020 Share via Email Euro 2020 qualifying England England must learn from mistakes against Kosovo, says Jordan Henderson Share on LinkedIn Reuse this content Read more Share on WhatsApp Racelast_img read more

Montreal Impact 2018 season preview

first_imgMLS Montreal Impact 2018 season preview: Roster, projected lineup, schedule, national TV and more Ben Valentine 22:09 2/13/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Ignacio Piatti Montreal Impact Jean-Yves Ahern/USA Today MLS Montreal Impact After a disappointing 2017 sparked an offseason overhaul, the Impact look to return to postseason in 2018 In November 2016, the Montreal Impact were an extra time away from the MLS Cup final.It might be easy to forget how close that group of players came to the league’s top trophy given how 2017 went and the turnover on the roster this winter. Veteran stars Didier Drogba (departed after 2016), Laurent Ciman, Patrice Bernier and Ambroise Oyongo are among those gone from that squad, along with coach Mauro Biello.It’s a a new day in Montreal as former Ligue 1 and Premier League manager Remi Garde steps into the head coach role. And with him enters a bunch of new faces, one from a familiar place (owner Joey Saputo’s other club, Serie A’s Bologna), others from MLS and some from beyond. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player It will be a new coach with an overhauled XI, though star Ignacio Piatti remains. Will it be enough to get the Impact back to the playoffs?How did the Montreal Impact perform in 2017Montreal Impact2017 finish: Ninth in Eastern Conference (11-17-6), missed the playoffsThings unraveled for the Impact last season after finishing strong in 2015 under then-interim boss Biello and making a deep playoff run in 2016. While the Impact had good pieces, such as Piatti, on-loan midfielder Blerim Dzemaili and youngster Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, it just never came together in 2017. Montreal mustered an average attack and below average defense en route to a disappointing campaign. Montreal Impact’s key offseason lossesBlerim Dzemaili Montreal ImpactBlerim Dzemaili was a big midseason addition for the Impact, but he’s off to Europe once more. So too is Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, who signed on with the B side of La Liga giant Barcelona. Laurent Ciman was traded to Los Angeles, Patrice Bernier and Andres Romero retired.Also departing was Hernan Bernardello, who rejoined Newell’s Old Boys. Ambroise Oyongo signed with Montpellier of Ligue 1. Midseason acquisition Shaun Francis and Hassoun Camara have also left the club.Montreal Impact’s key offseason additionsSaphir Taider BolognaThe team’s conveyer belt with Bologna continued as Dzemaili left, with Algeria international Saphir Taider coming into that midfield slot. Canada international Michael Petrasso has come back home, coming in from Championship side Queens Park Rangers, while 20-year-old midfielder Jeisson Vargas joins up from Universidad Catolica.The Impact also made use of the expansion draft by acquiring two LAFC selections, Jukka Raitala and former Toronto FC spark plug Raheem Edwards. They also brought in Ligue 2 veteran Zakaria Diallo on free transfer. Full Montreal Impact roster entering 2018 seasonSamuel Piette Anthony Jackson Hamel Montreal ImpactGoalkeepers: Jason Beaulieu, Evan Bush, Clement Diop, James PantemisDefenders: Victor Cabrera, Zakaria Diallo, Chris Duvall, Kyle Fisher, Daniel Lovitz, Thomas Meilleur-Giguere, Michael Petrasso, Jukka RaitalaMidfielders: Louis Beland-Goyette, David Choiniere, Marco Donadel, Raheem Edwards, Dominic Oduro, Ignacio Piatti, Samuel Piette, Shamit Shome, Saphir Taïder, Jeisson VargasForwards: Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Matteo Mancosu, Michael SalazarMontreal Impact’s projected starting lineupMontreal Impact Projected XIBush started 31 of the Impact’s 34 games in goal last season, and Diop is unlikely to challenge him. The team also added 20-year-old homegrown signing Pantemis.The back line looks to be Petrasso, Cabrera, Diallo and probably Raitala, though Lovitz did start 19 games for the Impact last season. Duvall would be the choice if Petrasso can’t stay fit.The midfield will have last year’s midseason acquisition Piette in a holding role, with Taider in a central midfield slot. Vargas will likely take up an advanced role. While Vargas can play a variety of attacking midfield positions, it seems likely Piatti will remain on the left side. Edwards could start anywhere wide, with Odoro another option at striker or on the right side.The Impact are a bit bereft of great attacking options after Mancosu scored six goals in 26 games last season. Jackson-Hamel, who scored nine times in 21 games (11 starts) is another option, though he fared better a substitute than a starter.Montreal Impact’s national TV coverageRemi Garde Montreal ImpactVancouver Whitecaps vs. Montreal Impact – Sunday, March 4, at 6 p.m. ET on TSNNew England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact – Friday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. ET on TSNToronto FC vs. Montreal Impact – Saturday, Aug. 25, at 8 p.m. ET on TSNMontreal Impact vs. Toronto FC – Sunday, Oct. 21, TBD on TSNlast_img read more

Familiar MLS faces in new places for 2018

first_imgMLS Familiar faces in new places – Nagbe, Kljestan and the biggest MLS names with new homes in 2018 Ben Valentine 22:00 3/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Darlington Nagbe Atlanta United MLS 02102018 Christopher Hanewinckel MLS Orlando City New York RB LA Galaxy Every year in professional sports brings change, and that change opens up new opportunity for players who have found a new place to call home. Making the most of a change of scenery is something a host of players in Major League Soccer will be looking to do in 2018 as they have traded their old addresses for new ones.Some of those players decided to move on via free agency, while others found themselves on the move thanks to trades, with some requested and some not.  Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But they’ll all be looking to make their new teams and new fans happy to see them in their new colors with some likely aiming to make their old employers regret moving them on.Here is Goal’s list of 15 familiar MLS faces who this year will strive to make an impact after changing teams this offseason.last_img read more

How Much Money Kyler Murray Reportedly Wants To Play Baseball

first_imgkyler murray speaks after winning the heisman trophyNEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 08: Kyler Murray of Oklahoma poses for a photo after winning the 2018 Heisman Trophy on December 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has until tomorrow to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft, though the Oakland A’s are still trying to get the two-sport star to commit to them for next year and beyond.Oakland took Murray in the top 10 of last April’s MLB Draft and gave him a signing bonus of nearly $5 million. However, after originally saying he would focus on baseball, Murray is reportedly leaning toward the NFL.Earlier today, reports emerged that the A’s were sending a large contingent of team officials, including team president Billy Beane, to meet with Murray.  Their goal was to convince him to choose baseball.Now, the latest report from WFAA’s Mike Leslie indicates Murray might want big money to choose hardball over the gridiron.According to a source close to the situation, Kyler Murray’s number is $15M.He wants big time money to stick with baseball, otherwise he will enter the NFL draft tomorrow.The A’s are doing everything they can, sending their top brass, led by Billy Beane, to meet with him.— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) January 13, 2019If this report from Leslie is accurate, let’s assess this from both sides. It makes sense for Murray to want to get as much guaranteed money as possible, particularly if he really wants to play football.However, allocating that much to him might not be worth it for Oakland. That is a lot of money for a college outfielder who isn’t a sure bet to make the major leagues.Obviously, the A’s love Murray’s talent, but he’s regarded as a prospect who needs time to develop. We’ll see how this all turns out soon.last_img read more

The Best Post-Holiday Detox Plan Ever

first_imgIn one week, the holidays will be officially over and we can finally get back to normal, everyday life. Which means we totally need to start detoxing from the copious amounts of booze and food consumed during the last month. But not to fear because we enlisted the help of fitness expert and one of the country’s premiere strength and core trainers Will Torres (pictured above) to tell us how we should be eating and working out to maximize our efforts as much as humanly possible. Check out his plan below and you’ll be looking and feeling fly again in no time.We have one more week until New Years, then the holidays are officially over. What are some of the best ways to motivate yourself to hit the gym following the festivities?To hit the gym running in 2014, you’ll want to create some rocking playlists to get you in the right mood and ready to sweat. Create two or three to kick things off. Another great way to motivate yourself is to find a friend to workout with, someone who is already in great shape and self-motivated. Two unmotivated people will not inspire each other, so you need to find someone who’s going to make you step up your game. I also think it’s important to update your gym attire. New apparel will look better, breathe better, improve your performance and, most importantly, you will show up in-style.That’s great advice to get started, but how do we keep ourselves motivated once the initial adrenaline rush wears off?The above are all great ways to get motivated for Jan 1, but it is indeed important to create motivation that will stay with us well into 2014. So many people start an exercise program without getting clear on what it is they want to accomplish, so they begin January 1 in full force but lose sight by February. The best way to motivate yourself long-term is to determine exactly what resolutions you want to tackle. To do this, ask yourself, “What do I really want for my body in 2014?” Know your target, write it down and be as specific as possible. Then ask yourself, “Why do I want this?” This is the anchor to keep you on target. When you know why you want to accomplish your goals, it will get you out of bed early in the morning, give you the strength to skip dessert and the will to keep trying even when things get off track. Lastly, what steps on you going to take to get there? Do you need to research nutrition? Do you need to hire a trainer? Are you going to enlist a friend to help you along the way? Now schedule it! When are you going to hit the gym? Don’t wait for it to happen by chance.So many people say it’s painful and dreadful to work out, but how many mornings, days, nights and year’s have been wasted stressing about your body and weight? That to me is real pain, real torture. Know your target and aim high!Okay, now that we got ourselves to the gym, where should we start? What types of workouts/exercises should we be doing to detox from heavy holiday eating and drinking?My research has shown our clients who have achieved the best results invest 6-8 hours a week to their bodies and health. If you are just getting started, you may want to begin with 3-4 hours and work your way up over the course of 3 months. When it comes to lifting, it is important to do it every 48 hours. After 72 hours of not lifting, you begin to lose progress started from your last session. When it comes to cardio, this decline happens even sooner, so it’s recommended to tackle 30 minutes of cardio activity every day. It’s important to note a balanced workout includes both lifting and cardio; most people focus on the cardio portion, and even though they’re getting good workouts, cardio alone will slow down your metabolism (meaning the initial weight loss you experience early on will not continue). There are more efficient ways in which we combine lifting and cardio workouts into a super-charged STEALTH session that maximizes your time and results. It’s also extremely important to recharge and repair. For this you can go to yoga, get a massage, meditate or join a breathing class.The best way to detox is to start eating clean. It takes time to get the body back to balance – it will not happen with a 5-day juice cleanse. To start the detox you want to:– Increase your water intake. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces. (150 lb man = 75 oz of water each day)– Cut out alcohol for 30 days or more.– Increase your veggie intake.– Decrease sugar and processed foods like fruit juice, dried fruits, breads, muffins, candy, chips and cookies.– Be patient. You may not see change right away, but stick to the coarse and it will all pay off.What if we’re super busy? How do you suggest sneaking in that workout when there just aren’t enough hours in the day?If you are super busy and just can’t find the time, you must find a professional coach who is going to inspire you to raise the bar and help you get the most from each session. That being said, the one resource we all have the same amount of is time. How we manage that time is another story. Think about this: your body is the vehicle that takes you down the “road of life.” The fitter you are, the more energy you will have to contribute to your family, work and relationships. I do not suggest sneaking in a workout here and there. Your workouts, your nutrition and your rest must be the priority.To say there is “no time” is a limiting story. I know this because I had the same excuse once. I found when I made myself the priority, I was able to create more for our clients, team and my family and friends. There is always time and if there isn’t, change your situation to create time for what really matters – you.We know we have to eat right in addition to frequenting the gym. What should we be eating for our three meals of the day? Or should we be chowing down more often than that?We recommend our clients eat 5 meals spaced throughout the day beginning soon after awaking and completed some time around or before 8pm. There are many variables that must be considered when selecting meals, including food allergies and intolerances, personal preferences, health status and genetics. So it’s difficult to give specifics on a diet that might work for the masses. But here are some things to chew on:– Digestion starts in the mouth. The better you break down your food, the more nutrients will be released. It is important to chew your food at least 25 times before going for the next bite. Most people chew only 3-8 times before swallowing.– The longer you go without eating, the hungrier you will become and the poorer choices you will make. Eat every 3-4 hours so your body has the ability to digest smaller meals spread throughout the day.– Too much fat is not a good thing even if it’s healthy fat. Be careful not to snack on healthy fats all day.– When making a salad, if you add nuts, avocado and cheese, it can be a recipe for weight gain. Even though they’re all healthy fats, the combination can spike up your calorie and fat count significantly, making it difficult to drop weight.– When pouring olive oil, use a tablespoon to measure quantity because it is very easy to over-pour. FYI, 1 tablespoon has 110 calories and 14 grams of fat.– Peanut butter should not be considered a protein source. It is a healthy fat, but if you’re putting it on an apple, do not snack on nuts later in the day.– The more extreme the diet, the more likely you will fall off and regain any lost weight. Consistency trumps intensity every time. Make small incremental changes that you will keep long term.– If the scale is not moving, you must take a look at quantity and/or quality of food. For example, if you really want a bagel for breakfast, eat half at 9am and the other half at 12pm.Will Torres is a fitness expert and personal trainer in NYC. Check out his high-caliber training studio Willspace to get the best workout of your life. Pickpocket Prevention: Don’t Become a Mark While Traveling Editors’ Recommendations Ready and Rare-ing to Go: How to Make Steak Tartare Stirred or Shaken? How to Make a Perfect Vodka Martini The Best Netflix Food Documentaries to Savor Right Now The Best New Men’s Grooming Brands You Need to Know About last_img read more

Muslims to have their own cemetery in Quebec City

first_imgQUEBEC – Muslims in Quebec City are going to have their own cemetery after all.The cemetery will be located on a parcel of land of about 6,000 square metres the city is selling for about $270,000 plus taxes, Mayor Regis Labeaume and members of the Muslim community said at a news conference Friday.It is expected to be ready this fall.The news came just three weeks after a proposal aimed at setting up a Muslim cemetery in a town southwest of Quebec City was defeated in a referendum by a 19-16 margin.Quebec City’s Muslims have been looking for a cemetery for two decades, but made a renewed push after they completed the payment for the city’s main mosque in 2011.It was there last January that a gunman shot dead six men in the main prayer hall and injured 19 others. The bodies were sent overseas and to Montreal for burial.The mosque’s Mohamed Labidi praised Labeaume for keeping his promise to forge ahead with plans for the cemetery.“It’s a great day,” Labidi said. “It is a historic day for Quebec City. Today, we are reaping the benefits of 20 years of hard work.”Boufeldja Benabdallah, interim co-ordinator of the cemetery project, also welcomed the news.“Earlier, Mr. Labeaume was praising the land and its beauty,” he said. “I told him, ‘You’re going to push us to die earlier because we want to take advantage of the land.’ It’s just to say there is joy today and we are all going to die in peace and with respect.”Benabdallah also stressed the importance of remembering those who died in the shooting in January.“I’ll finish up with a fraternal thought for our six brothers who died in the tragedy last Jan. 29,” he said. “Today’s announcement will put a bit of balm on this tragedy.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also endorsed the decision.“An important and courageous step for dignity and decency. Congratulations Mayor Labeaume for taking action,” Trudeau tweeted Friday..last_img read more

Ontarios top court to hear case that deals with sentencing black offenders

first_imgTORONTO — Ontario’s top court is set to grapple this month with just how much weight should be given to systemic racism when it comes to sentencing black offenders.In a case that could change how judges punish black people, the Court of Appeal is scheduled to hear the Crown’s challenge to what it calls a manifestly unfit 15-month sentence handed to a black Toronto man for carrying a loaded firearm.Last year, Superior Court Justice Shaun Nakatsuru handed Kevin Morris, a 26-year-old first-time offender, a sentence of 15 months in custody — further reduced by three months for charter breaches related to his arrest — on account of the disadvantages and systemic anti-black racism he had faced growing up in Toronto.“Social structures and societal attitudes that were born of colonialism, slavery, and racism have a very long reach,” Nakatsuru wrote. “We must not forget this. Our memory of past injustices must be long enough to do justice in an individual case.”The prosecutor had asked for a four-year sentence, arguing illegal gun possession is an urban scourge resulting in the “often immeasurable” human cost of gun crimes. The defence wanted 12 months.Nakatsuru, after taking into account two expert reports commissioned by the defence, said he could not give into the community’s fear.“In our system, a sentence is not just about the crime,” Nakatsuru wrote. “It must be also about the offender.”Currently, the courts are required to take into account the backgrounds of Indigenous offenders before sentencing. A defence win in Morris’ appeal could lead to a similar requirement to assess the impact of race and culture on black offenders.Such assessments — written by qualified experts — attempt to explain an offender’s experience with systemic racism and how that should factor into sentencing. In Nova Scotia, such reports are called cultural assessments and can be requested by a judge or submitted by the defence counsel.Morris was raised by a single mother in a neighbourhood with high levels of violence and criminal activity, according to court documents. He was stabbed twice in his youth and never graduated high school. He said he felt unsafe to go to work, because he would have to travel through rivalling neighbourhoods. In 2013, he was diagnosed with PTSD and paranoia after being stabbed and critically wounded for a third time.“You clearly did not feel you got the help you needed,” Nakatsuru wrote in his sentencing judgment.The defence also submitted an expert report — accepted by the judge — on the impact of crime and criminal justice on black Canadians. The report details how they experience barriers to education, employment and discrimination in social services.According to a 2016 report by the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, black people make up 8.5 per cent of the Toronto population but represent 40 per cent of children in care. The expert report also stated black students are twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school compared to white students.“It’s clear to everyone in the Toronto area that there are disproportionate numbers of young black men that are prosecuted and sentenced by judges based on pretty rudimentary information on who they are, where they came from, and why they got to the point of committing the crime they are being sentenced for,” said defence lawyer Faisal Mirza.Still, the prosecution maintains there was no clear evidence of a link between systemic discrimination and Morris’s crime. The rise of gun violence in Toronto, the Crown argues in its factum, required the judge to have given an “exemplary sentence.”There are 14 interveners in the appeal, including civil rights activists and legal clinics that serve racialized communities.“Indisputably, for many black offenders, the coalescence of historical and systemic background factors have played a role in bringing them before the courts,” the Criminal Lawyers Association says in its factum. “This appeal provides this honourable court with an opportunity to craft a framework for admitting evidence during sentencing of these unique historical and systemic factors.”In a joint submission, several other interveners — the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic among them — call for culture assessments to apply to all minority groups, not just black offenders.“The over-representation of racialized communities among those living in poverty is well established,” their factum states. “These communities are over-policed and, consequently, over-represented in the justice system.”Lidia Abraha, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

2 Chainz Donates A Home To A Family In Need

first_imgGrammy nominated rap artist, 2 Chainz, is steadfastly continuing his philanthropic endeavors.Video: 2 Chainz Donates a 5 bedroom House to a Family of 11 (9 kids)Following a charitable holiday season, which included assisting a disabled veteran pay her rent for a year and hosting “TRU 2 Hoops Holiday Basketball Classic” at North Clayton High School where concession stand proceeds benefited a now paralyzed former student, 2 Chainz remains altruistic by recently donating a five bedroom house to a family of eleven for an entire year.After Atlanta’s Progression Church adopted a family for the holiday season, they started a Go Fund Me campaign to assist with some of the family’s needs. 2 Chainz and the TRU Foundation found the family’s Go Fund Me page, and decided to help.“This is just a part of extending giving back past the holidays. A lot of people do it around the holidays; it’s the beginning of the year, and I’m looking forward to seeing their smiles. I’m looking forward to the kids growing up knowing that Uncle 2 Chainz came through. All you gotta do is pray; you gotta have faith,” stated 2 Chainz in his video documenting his latest charitable moment.This home donation was made possible through his organization, TRU Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting balanced, respectful , and enriched relationships. The organization also creates life changing moments and helps build positive outcomes for the young generation.To learn more about TRU Foundation, their Facebook page.Copyright ©2016Look to the Starslast_img read more

Lankan Navy denies attacking Indian fishermen

According to reports, a complaint had been filed with the Indian police on Tuesday stating that Sri Lankan navy personnel had allegedly assaulted three Indian fishermen and snatched their mobile phones while they were fishing in Sri Lankan waters. After being told to leave, one of the fishermen alleged that the navy personnel had jumped into their boats, assaulted them and snatched their mobile phones. “The Sri Lankan Navy is a highly disciplined military organization and we conduct all our duties within the country’s legal framework. Indian fishermen who have entered local waters have been arrested and handed over to the relevant authorities for onward action,” Silva said.The Indo-Lanka fishing dispute has been a long standing issue with several rounds of talks to resolve the matter between the two countries resulting in a deadlock.Indian fishermen often stray into Sri Lankan waters to catch fish as the island nation has rich fishing resources. (Colombo Gazette) Reports said that more than 500 Indian boats had been in the sea for fishing when the incident had taken place. The other fishermen had left the scene immediately.Commander Silva however said that such an incident had never taken place and maintained that the navy had never engaged in any such behavior. The navy denied reports that it had attacked a group of Indian fishermen who had strayed into Sri Lankan waters.Navy Spokesperson Commander Indika Silva said that the navy had never engaged in any unruly behavior and conducted its duties within the country’s legal framework. read more

Audit flags spending irregularities on Cote First Nation

Chiefs demand treaty promises be fulfilled as “health crisis” grips three First Nations Onion Lake Cree Nation ordered to post financial docs online A member of the Cote First Nation says the results of a forensic audit back up long-running concerns around alleged mismanagement of band funds.Stanley Cote said a Deloitte audit, delivered to the current band chief and council on July 26, has its roots in the First Nation’s 2016 election.He said many people in the community had become concerned about a lack of progress on housing and youth programming in the years after the band was awarded about $130 million in a 2012 land claim settlement.“Nothing was happening on the reserve for housing, for programs for the youth, for adults, for the elders. There wasn’t much being done to help our First Nation.”Cote said this eventually led to calls to replace several councillors and former chief Norman Whitehawk.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Nine of 12 council positions went to new people after the 2016 vote. Whitehawk did not seek re-election and was replaced by current Chief George Cote.The new council hired Deloitte to do a forensic audit looking at the period from June 2012 to February 2018.The auditors’ report, a copy of which was obtained by the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, outlines instances when money appeared to be paid out with little accountability.Cote said he is hopeful that band members will keep calling for accountability and transparency as the First Nation prepares for another election to be held at the end of August.Travel expenses were one area of concern flagged in the audit. The report authors wrote that they found cases where expenses were paid out far in excess of estimated costs for the travel. In one case, the First Nation reportedly paid for 10 people to attend an Assembly of First Nations event held in Whitehorse, Yukon in 2013. The auditors found each individual was given a $5,168 travel allowance. Supporting documents suggested the figure was determined based on the cost of driving by motor vehicle from Kamsack, Sask. to Whitehorse, a distance of about 2,900 kilometres, requiring more than 30 hours of travel. The auditors compared this to an estimated cost based on what were described as “reasonable assumptions,” including the use of air travel to make the trip. They found the First Nation had overpaid by roughly $2,300 per person. The report’s authors went on to note that no supporting documents were filed to confirm whether people who got payments actually attended the conference. The auditors also noted potential conflict of interest concerns surrounding payments made by the band.In one case, a parcel of land purchased by former chief Whitehawk in 2011 for $35,000 was sold to the First Nation in 2015 for $100,000. The auditors found no indication of a third-party valuation supporting the price the band paid. They also found Whitehawk had signed off on one of the band council resolutions (BCR) authorizing the payment.“Given that the BCR relates to the purchase of land from him at a price of $100,000, there would be an apparent conflict of interest with Whitehawk signing the document,” the authors noted. The report detailed salary, benefit and expenses packages totalling well into the six-figure range for many involved in the First Nation’s leadership during the period covered by the audit.Cote noted that during the audit period, conditions on the First Nation were deteriorating. In 2016, Cote was one of three Yorkton-area bands to sign on to an open letter to the federal and provincial governments declaring a crisis around addictions, mental illness and chronic diseases.“We’re freaking millionaires. No one on Cote First Nation should be hurting,” he said.Neither former chief Whitehawk, nor any current members of the band council or anyone from the band office could be reached for comment. A notice on the First Nation’s website indicates the band office is closed until Aug. 31.blevy@postmedia.comRelated read more