Good Monday morning all! Today I featured Kobo eReading specials for the month of March.
eReading company Kobo, founded in Toronto in 2009 by Michael Serbinis has the obligatory millions of books collection in 190 countries. But what stands out is the company’s continued emphasis on children’s content, now almost 100,000 titles strong.
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It has features like 18+ and parental controls, so parents can let their kids pick their own titles. Kids can make notes, highlight and look up words in the built-in dictionary while parents can set reading goals for their children and track progress with detailed reading stats.
Kobo has dedicated March as “Kobo Kids Month” with special deals and offers, in addition to Sesame Street titles are being added to the Kobo Kids Store. More than 50 Sesame Street titles including The Monster at the End of This Book, Count to 10, and How To Be A Grouch are now available worldwide starting today at the Kids’ Store.
In North America The ABCs of Cookies, an audio eBook that normally sells for $4.99, will be discounted to $0.99 cents for North American readers until March 22.
Kobo Arc 10 HD eReader on Android supplied
Kobo Arc 10 HD eReader on Android
Kobo tablets purchased at Indigo, Best Buy or Future Shop in Canada between March 5-27 include free titles valued at $30: “Cavemice: The Stone of Fire” by Geromino Stilton, “Spirit Animals” by Brandon Mull and “Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater
There’s more deals folks:
Get “Captain Underpants” by Dav Pilkey free after downloading the Kobo app in Canada only between March 5th – 30th and up to 70% off children’s eBooks for the entire month of March on titles like:
“Travels with my family” by David Homel available for $3.98 (Canada and US)
“Judy Moody #1” by Megan McDonald available for $1.99 (Canada and US)
“It’s a Dog’s Life, Snoopy” by Charles M. Schulz available for $5.99 (Canada and US)
One nice feature with Kobo is that you can share your library between all your devices, switch between Android, Apple, Windows and BlackBerry devices and continue reading where you left off.
Check out Kobo’s newest slick eReader Arc 10 HD on Android with ultra sharp screen, $299.95 in most shops.
OTTAWA – Canada has denounced the controversial referendum in Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula on Sunday that showed overwhelming support to split off and join Russia, saying it would lead to further isolation of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
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“The so-called referendum held today was conducted with Crimea under illegal military occupation. Its results are a reflection of nothing more than Russian military control,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.
“This ‘referendum’ is illegitimate, it has no legal effect, and we do not recognize its outcome,” the prime minister said, adding Canada is working with other countries on the possibility of further sanctions.
READ MORE: Crimeans overwhelmingly vote to leave Ukraine, join Russia
“Any solution to this crisis must respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine as well as the constitution of Ukraine. Mr. Putin’s reckless and unilateral actions will lead only to Russia’s further economic and political isolation from the international community.”
Earlier Sunday, protesters in at least two Canadian cities joined the international condemnation against the ballot.
WATCH: What happens in Crimea could set a precedent for another region of Ukraine threatening to break-away. Mike Armstrong reports.
Some protesters applauded Harper’s decision to travel to Ukraine this Friday to show support for the temporary government in the face of Russian aggression in the strategic Black Sea region.
“This is an already an important symbolic visit showing support to the Ukrainians,” said Lada Roslycky, a human rights campaigner who organized an Ottawa protest across the street from the Russian embassy.
About 100 protesters staged a mock referendum outside the heavily-guarded embassy. They brandished signs that denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin as organizers passed out fake cash, and urged mock voters to vote as often as they liked for either of two options to cede from Russia – yes and yes – as demonstrators in military garb stood over a fake ballot box.
They were joined by hundreds in downtown Toronto who braved frigid temperatures to march against what they called an illegitimate ballot.
They took to the streets just hours before the committee managing the referendum released results that said 95 per cent of voters supported joining Russia. That was based on half of the ballots counted by Sunday evening.
WATCH: Both Russia and Ukraine have agreed on a truce in Crimea until Friday. Nonetheless, the Ukrainian army is putting more army reserves in the area. Chief political correspondent Tom Clark reports.
Standing across the street from the Russian embassy, Yaroslav Baran, a former senior Conservative aide, denounced the Crimea ballot as “an old style Soviet election.”
“It’s really frightening,” said Baran, who is of Ukrainian descent and has relatives living close to the Crimean Peninsula.
“This is classic Putin playbook. We’ve seen it in Georgia, we’ve seen it in Azerbaijan – doing this in the name of protecting minorities … and it turns into a permanent military occupation.”
Andrew Tsylke, a Kyiv native living in Ottawa, was visibly struggling with his emotions as he contemplated the situation in his homeland.
READ MORE: Harper, Obama denounce proposed Crimean referendum
“It’s a very dangerous situation. It’s close to real war,” he said.
Roslycky suggested Canada and its allies could impose travel restrictions on the wives of Russian oligarchs, “the ladies who are associated with the men who are running the Crimea because they have a tendency to go and shop in very expensive places, spend a lot of money in Europe and in the U.S.”
Roslycky said that could put pressure on Russian officials “to cool it.” She said Russians who typically get to travel abroad are not the poor people who suffer under Putin’s oppression.
WATCH: As the referendum ballots are being counted in Crimea on whether the province will join the Russian Federation, Torontonians protest against Russia’s interference in Ukraine.
Canada and its allies say Sunday’s snap referendum is illegal and they will not recognize its result.
In Toronto, marcher Olena Wachna said Sunday’s referendum was bogus and slanted against Crimea remaining in the country.
“I don’t think the questions asked in the referendum represent democracy. I think that the choices they’ve given to people – to separate or to become part of Russia – are just there to support Putin’s bad reasoning to invade Ukraine,” she said, adding she’s worried about her family in Ukraine.
Olha Sorokivska, who came to Toronto from Ukraine two years ago, said she’s concerned about what will happen to those who oppose the referendum, which she called pro-Russian.
“I’m really worried for people who are against that, because they can be prosecuted and their rights can be not protected there,” she said.
Sunday’s controversial ballot comes two weeks after Russian-back forces took control of Crimea, which has as large Russian population.
Many of its residents have said they fear the new Ukrainian government that is now in place after their Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia.
– with files from Will Campbell in Toronto
©2014The Canadian Press
SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Blades finished off their 50th season with a record $70,000 jackpot grand prize going to a lucky hockey fan.
Saturday’s game against the Prince Albert Raiders was the final matchup for the Blades this season.
Approximately 8,870 people came out for the team’s annual fan appreciation night at Credit Union Centre (CUC) and to watch the Blades sporting their classic bulldozer jerseys.
To commemorate the night, the Blades started their 50/50 pot at $50,000.
As far as Blades managing partner Colin Priestner gathered earlier this week, it’s the biggest starting pot for a 50/50 prize in Western Hockey League (WHL) history.
The final tally at the end of the game was around $140,500, a franchise record. All proceeds will go to the Saskatoon Blades Education Fund.
To end off the night, the jackpot winner, Cory Didur, was announced before a fireworks display on the ice to close out the home team’s 2013-14 WHL season.
A $70,000 win tonight for Tamara and Cory. This will help pay for their wedding! Congrats. #BleedBlue pic.twitter杭州夜网/dNwuGaHSqK
— Saskatoon Blades (@bladeshockey) March 16, 2014
Last season, the Blades and CUC started a pot with $25,000 for their 25th anniversary celebration. That pot ended up reaching more than $130,000.
Saskatoon Blades drop season finale to Prince Albert Raiders
Lev Tahor family to appear in Guatemala court; spokesman calls attempts to retrieve children ‘hate crime’
TORONTO – A family from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Lev Tahor sect is set to appear in a Guatemalan court Monday afternoon to determine whether the family’s six children should be returned to Canadian authorities and put in foster care.
An Ontario judge has issued an apprehension order for the children, and eight others, to be placed in foster care. The Lev Tahor community has claimed parents have done nothing wrong and are the victims of persecution.
VIDEO GALLERY: 16X9’s in-depth investigation into Lev Tahor
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Lev Tahor families in Trinidad, Guatemala as authorities work to resolve stalemate
Third Lev Tahor child hospitalized due to hunger strike: spokesperson
Two Lev Tahor children stopped at Calgary airport: reports
16X9: Under the veil of Lev Tahor, Jewish sect accused of abuse
Guatemalan authorities say Canada asked them to keep watch on one of two Lev Tahor families that arrived there at the beginning of March.
The Lev Tahor members – six children and three adults – arrived in Guatemala legally on March 4 and have broken no laws in the country, according to Guatemalan immigration spokesman Fernando Lucero.
He said Canadian authorities requested the members be watched since the children were removed from Canada during an investigation into allegations of child abuse and neglect.
READ MORE: Third Lev Tahor child hospitalized due to hunger strike: spokesperson
Uriel Goldman, a spokesman for the Lev Tahor group in Canada, said two families were ordered to appear in family court in the Guatemalan town of Solola on Monday.
“No charges have been laid,” Goldman told Global News. “Two years is more than enough time to try to do something against the community,” he said, referring to an investigation that opened in Quebec last year. “It’s never happened because there’s no evidence there; it’s just allegations and rumours. … It’s obviously political pressure.”
The Lev Tahor families\’ settlement in Chatham-Kent, Ontario. Kirk Neff / 16×9
The Lev Tahor families\’ settlement in Chatham-Kent, Ontario.
Kirk Neff / 16×9
Goldman believes pressure started from Israel two years ago, which is what he said prompted the investigation in Quebec.
“They didn’t find anything wrong. If you look into court documents, into reports—they didn’t find anything,” he added. This was perhaps an allusion to a letter from Montreal doctor Rachel Rubenstein saying she found skin irritations including a foot fungus after examining some of the children, but emphasized “unequivocally, that these problems do not reflect parental neglect or abuse.”
Goldman said the six children in Guatemala are all siblings, and that two more siblings are in a Canadian hospital, apparently on hunger strikes after being taken from their parents. The children cannot be identified.
READ MORE: How Canadian officials can retrieve Lev Tahor children from Guatemala
“These two families—the only crime they’ve committed is to belong to our community,” Goldman said. “What is the punishment if someone does not come to court in child protection? Private jets with police with intelligence people on board to grab people like animals? This is a much bigger crime than not to show up in a family court: This is a hate crime.”
Lucero said the surveillance applies only to a couple and their six children—aged between 15 years and 8 months—and not to a second family that is also in Guatemala.
He said they were arrested in Panajachel last week under suspicion of having committed a crime, but released after appearing before a judge on Friday.
Members of Lev Tahor walk through their former community in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec. Kirk Neff / Global News
Members of Lev Tahor walk through their former community in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec.
Kirk Neff / Global News
A spokesman for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs said consular officials in Guatemala had been in communication with local authorities on the issue.
A Quebec court ordered late last year that 14 Lev Tahor children be placed in foster care.
About 200 members of the sect left Quebec for Chatham, Ontario last year and several members left Canada for Guatemala earlier this month in the face of child custody hearings.
Two other sect families with nine members attempted to reach Guatemala but were intercepted in Trinidad and returned to Canada.
Child welfare officials also took two minors into custody after they were apprehended in Calgary and they were returned to Ontario.
The group has denied all allegations of mistreatment.
With files from Global News reporter Anna Mehler Paperny
©2014Shaw Media and The Canadian Press
Watch the video above: Local Ukrainian Canadians react to referendum results
SASKATOON – Many local Ukrainian Canadians spent Sunday hooked to social media sites, dreading the outcome of the Crimea referendum.
In the end, over 95 per cent of voters approved splitting off and joining Russia.
READ MORE: Crimeans overwhelmingly vote to leave Ukraine, join Russia
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Saskatoon photo exhibition reflects crisis in Ukraine
Saskatoon’s Ivanka Siolkowsky has family in Ukraine and couldn’t take her eyes off of Facebook. She says she had a foreboding sense of dread on Sunday in the pit of her stomach.
“Fear, I think, is my biggest reaction. This is the 21st century, and I didn’t think this sort of behaviour happened today. I thought this was what we read in history books,” she explained.
Crimea is an autonomous republic that’s currently part of Ukraine. It is home to a large ethnic Russian population.
Russia has now effectively taken control over Crimea. This week, Russia vetoed a UN resolution declaring Sunday’s referendum on the future of Crimea illegal.
“I have a friend of mine back in Edmonton who’s from Crimea, and she still has family there,” said Andrea Kopylech, with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ Saskatoon branch.
“She would be extremely concerned for her family there, with everything that’s going on,” she said.
Kopylech said her friend was very proud to be part of Ukraine.
“She spoke Ukrainian, her children went to a Ukrainian bilingual school. She was very proud to be part of Ukraine,” Kopylech explained.
Many Ukrainian-Canadians say they worry this is only the beginning of Russia’s takeover efforts.
“What people need to understand is that this does not only affect Ukrainians and people of Ukrainian heritage,” said Siolkowsky.
“This is going to affect everyone.”
WASHINGTON – Washington linemates Joel Ward and Jason Chimera often play in the shadow of their higher-profile teammates.
On Sunday afternoon, they sparked the Capitals to a much-needed victory.
On a day when Alex Ovechkin was held to one shot on goal, the Capitals’ third line scored twice in a three-goal first period and the Capitals held on for 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Ward had a goal and an assist and Chimera also tallied for Washington, which scored on three of its first five shots for a 3-0 lead
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“I’ve counted on Wardo and Chimmer all year long,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “They play together — penalty kill, power play. Big bodies that we count on for a lot of minutes.
“It’s good to see them get rewarded because you don’t get a lot of accolades based on that. You know, doing grunt work.”
Ward, in his seventh season, reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time and added his 20th assist, while Chimera scored his 13th goal and has points in seven of his past nine games.
“A lot of the time (Ward) and Chimmer and (centre Eric Fehr) get overshadowed because of the names we have on this team,” Troy Brouwer said. “Night in night out, I think they are our most consistent line.”
Brouwer scored the other first-period goal for Washington and added an empty-netter with four seconds left to seal the win after Toronto had pulled within 3-2 in the second period.
The Capitals begin a three-game swing Tuesday in Anaheim, Calif.
“You’ve just got to win them all,” Oates said of upcoming games at Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose. “I know they’re better than us in the standings, but you’ve got to have the attitude you’re going to beat them.”
Recently acquired goalie Jaroslav Halak, making his fifth straight start, had 27 saves in the win.
Karl Alzner assisted on two Washington goals.
Dion Phaneuf had a goal and an assist for Toronto and Troy Bodie also scored. The Maple Leafs are 2-2 on their five-game road trip.
“Obviously we were pretty flat the first period,” Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. “It looked like we were still in our afternoon nap. Playing an afternoon game just took us a good part of the game to get warmed up and get awake.”
James Reimer, starting in place of regular goalie Jonathan Bernier, who suffered a lower body injury in Thursday’s win at Los Angeles, finished with 29 saves.
Washington’s power play was 2 for 4. Toronto was 0 for 3. The Capitals have 12 power-play goals in their past 10 games.
“They got a good power play,” Bodie said. “We know that. They kind of picked us apart.”
Phaneuf pulled Toronto within 3-2 at 8:05 of the second period when he floated a shot from the point through a screen and past Halak for his eighth goal.
Toronto then came up empty on three consecutive power-play chances over a seven-minute stretch.
Two of Washington’s first-period goals were the result of crisp passing sequences.
With Toronto a man down, Marcus Johansson took a pass behind the goal line from Nicklas Backstrom and fed Brouwer in the slot. Brouwer one-timed low shot past Reimer for his 19th goal just 3:34 into the first period.
Ward’s effort in front made it 2-0 minutes later. Alzner’s shot was stopped in front, but Ward outdueled Reimer for the puck and his backhand deflected off Chimera, who was credited with the goal.
“We weren’t good enough in the first 10 minutes,” Reimer said. “You can’t spot a team three goals. We just weren’t sharp, you know? Myself included. And it cost us.”
The Capitals soon got another power play, and this time it was Evgeny Kuznetsov who made nice pass in front, to Dustin Penner. Penner, stationed to the left of Reimer, shovelled a backhand pass across to Ward, who buried it in the open net.
“Chimmer is one of the fastest guys in the league. I just try to give him the puck,” Ward said. “There’s no secret. I just try to hide in the weeds and try to look for some loose pucks.”
Toronto didn’t get its second shot on goal until the 17:15 mark of the first period, but it went in as Bodie beat Halak over his right shoulder.
NOTES: The Capitals are 20-0-3 this season when leading after the second period. … Capitals C Brooks Laich (lower body injury) was a scratch and has missed two of the past three games. Oates said he’ll visit a doctor in St. Louis this week. … Toronto concludes its road trip Tuesday in Detroit.
EDMONTON – Alberta is preparing tanning equipment legislation to be introduced this year that aims to help protect young people from skin cancer.
But it’s not clear if the bill will ban people under 18 from using tanning beds – which the World Health Organization has linked to cancer, including deadly melanoma.
Health Minister Fred Horne says the legislation could be introduced this spring or in the fall.
He says the final contents of the bill will depend on the political process.
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Calgary teen petitions province to ban indoor tanning for minors
Saskatchewan rejects youth tanning bed ban again
Despite law, tanning salons still provide services to minors
Ontario to ban minors from using tanning beds
Every other province except Saskatchewan and Manitoba bans young people from using indoor tanning equipment.
Saskatchewan leaves it up to individuals to decide what is best for them.
Manitoba allows people under 18 to indoor tan if they have permission from a parent.
The Canadian Cancer Society says it fears Alberta may follow Manitoba’s lead and introduce parental consent-type legislation.
The society says the parental consent idea won’t reduce the number of young people who use tanning salons.
It plans to release updated skin cancer information for Alberta in May with a special focus on melanoma in the hope of creating more buzz about the health dangers of indoor tanning.
©2014The Canadian Press
EDMONTON – The Edmonton Police Service says a growing number of identity thieves are targeting younger victims.
March is fraud prevention month and the EPS is reminding residents that fraudsters don’t discriminate.
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Fraud prevention month shines spotlight on popular scams
Lessons learned from social media identity theft
Fraud prevention month puts emphasis on education
More and more young people are falling victim to fraud and identity theft. Police say this is because teenagers are online more often than adults, making them prime targets for Kijiji and social media scams.
“Visa just did a study and there’s 92 per cent of people under 35 are targeted,” says EPS Cst. Nadine Swist.
“Of course, youth fall under that category, and I think youth are a growing concern because they are growing with the internet.”
Sixteen year-old Keana Kachmar shares “personal pictures, just day-to-day life stuff,” online.
“We’ve gotten concert tickets before,” adds her 14-year-old sister Kennedy.
“Some people put their phone numbers,” admits Keana.
“Things like information about themselves that not everyone should know,” says Kennedy.
While the Kachmar girls are aware of the danger, they are surprised to hear that police say, in some cases, fraudsters are going after children as young as six months old.
“You don’t want to put too much information about your child – birth date, name, full name, whatever – out there, where people can easily just pull that information out and create Social Insurance Numbers and other identity papers,” says Cst. Swist.
“That’s weird,” says Kennedy. “That’s just creepy.”
“Fraudsters look at everybody as a potential target for them and fraudsters don’t care if you’re six months old or you’re 90 years old,” explains Cst. Swist.
“They look at you as a potential person they can steal your identity. They look at you as a potential person they can steal whatever they can from you.”
“It’s kind of scary to think that someone could do that to me to me,” says 16-year-old Connor Jones. “I guess the only way to prevent it is to just not post that information.”
So how can you protect yourself and your children?
Experts suggest changing your PIN and passwords regularly, and not giving your personal information out to people or companies you don’t know.
“Talk to your kids about having passwords, about giving your identity – your information – to strangers,” says Cst. Swist. “Even people who think are trustworthy, if you don’t see them face-to-face, you don’t really know if they’re trustworthy.”
“You really have to keep an eye on what they’re doing on the internet. IT’s hard because there are so many internet access points.”
With files from Laurel Gregory, Global News
Fred Phelps Sr., the founding pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, is dying in a Kansas hospice, according to one of his sons.
The Topeka, Ka.-based Westboro Baptist Church “preaches against all forms of sin,” but with a particular focus on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
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Phelps Sr.’s estranged son Nathan Phelps, who now lives near Calgary, said in a Facebook post on Saturday the patriarch is “now on the edge of death.”
He also said his 84-year-old father was “ex-communicated from the ‘church’” last August.
“I’m not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made,” Phelps wrote.
According to the post, his father is in the care of Midland Hospice House in Topeka.
No one from Midland Hospice was available for comment on Sunday. But Westboro Baptist Church spokesperson Steve Drain confirmed to The Associated Press Phelps Sr. is being cared for in a Shawnee County facility.
“I feel sad for all the hurt he’s caused so many,” Phelps’ Facebook post read. “I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved. And I’m bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their good-byes.”
Global News reached out to Phelps to obtain a comment on his post, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Phelps, the sixth oldest of 13 children, has been estranged from his father for years and moved to Canada as an adult, he told Salon in 2012.
He told Salon about the abuse he said he endured as a child at the hands of his father, which Phelps said was his father justified by using verses out of the Bible.
He left the family and moved to California in 1981, later moving to Vancouver and then Calgary.
Phelps works as an advocate for LGBT rights.
Phelps Sr. and his followers have become notorious for holding protests at funerals of LGBT people, particularly those who have died as a result of hate crimes.
Most notably, the group picketed the 1998 funeral of Matthew Shepard – a gay Laramie, Wy. man who died five days after he was abducted, beaten, pistol-whipped and left tied to a fence for 18 hours in frigid temperatures.
Rev. Fred Phelps, from Westboro Baptist Church, protests the meeting between the Rev. Jerry Falwell and the Rev. Mel White in Lynchburg, Va., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 1999. Doug Koonts, New and Advance/AP Photo, File
Rev. Fred Phelps, from Westboro Baptist Church, protests the meeting between the Rev. Jerry Falwell and the Rev. Mel White in Lynchburg, Va., on Saturday, Oct. 23, 1999.
Doug Koonts, New and Advance/AP Photo, File
Phelps Sr. and his Westboro Baptist Church followers have also protested outside funerals and commemorations for fallen U.S. soldiers, claiming they died as a result of God’s punishment for U.S. policies supporting gay rights.
The group is also not a fan of Canada, which it refers to as “fag friendly” on its website.
In 2008, the Canadian government blocked members of the church from entering the country to protest the funeral for 22-year-old Tim McLean, who was decapitated on a Greyhound bus on July 30 of that year.
Phelps Sr., who founded the Westboro Baptist Church in 1955, attended the Prairie Bible Institute, located in Three Hills, Alta., his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper confirmed.
She said her father attended the evangelical institution in 1949 and 1950, according to an article posted on the Vancouver Sun website in Sept. 2013.
Global News made several email, phone and social media requests to Phelps Sr.’s family and the Westboro Baptist Church to comment on his health and his status within the organization, but none of the requests were responded to in time for publication.
A message on Westboro’s voice mail said, “If you are calling about gay rights, yikes! God hates fags. God hates fag enablers. Therefore God hates you.”
Based on tweets from the Westboro Baptist Church’s 桑拿会所 account, which was very active on Sunday, its supporters were protesting against LGBT rights outside a church in Roseland Park, Ka., while other tweets called out South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade organizers for not allowing them to be a part of this year’s procession.
READ MORE: Sam Adams pulls out of St. Patrick’s parade over exclusion of gay groups
With a file from The Associated Press
Above: Canada’s ambassador to Afghanistan Deborah Lyons speaks with The West Block host Tom Clark from a heavily-guarded Canadian embassy in Kabul about what lies ahead for the region.
KABUL — For more than 12 years, Canada had soldiers in harm’s way, trying to bring peace to a troubled Afghanistan.
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Last week, the mission wrapped up with little fanfare, leaving some wondering what the future holds for the region and whether there’s a possibility of the country falling back into the hands of the Taliban.
“Could it slip back?” Canada’s ambassador to Afghanistan Deborah Lyons asked in an interview on The West Block with Tom Clark. “It would slip back if the world community moves away and if we don’t continue to work with the Afghans on building that brighter future.”
Lyons volunteered for her position and has even asked for an extension because, in her words, “it’s the right place to be at the right time.”
The region, she argued is among the most important for the 21st century, nestled among some of the countries identified as having key economies to watch; namely China, Russia and India.
“Of course, you’ve also got Pakistan and Iran as neighbours. This part of the world is critical from a security perspective and an economic perspective,” she said.
Keeping the political focus on Afghanistan could prove difficult, however, especially after the last of Canada’s military left the region last week.
WATCH: The Canadian Press’ Murray Brewster and Graeme Smith, a journalist who was stationed in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2009 and has published the book The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan discuss the end of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.
“I think that my job as ambassador is to constantly be bringing evidence back to the Canadian politicians … and to the Canadian people to stay the course of Afghanistan,” Lyons said. “This is a country that is trending toward stability … because of Canadian blood that has been sacrificed here, and because the Afghan people so badly want it and so badly deserve it.”
Lyons was distinctly positive in her assessment of the situation, noting “terrific progress” in terms of security, decreasing number of attacks, building institutions and working toward enacting legislation to help support business partnerships.
But, she warned, “It is not all a happy picture at all. There are loads of challenges and loads of problems.”
WATCH: The uncut interview with Canada’s ambassador to Afghanistan.