Watch the video above: Former MP Steve Mahoney registers to replace Hazel McCallion. Laura Zilke reports.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – A former Mississauga city councillor who also spent time in federal and provincial politics is joining the race to replace the city’s longtime Mayor Hazel McCallion.
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Steve Mahoney filed his registration Monday to be a candidate for the job being left open by the 93-year-old McCallion, who has announced she won’t be running in October’s municipal election.
Mahoney, 66, was a Liberal member of the Ontario legislature from 1987 to 1995 and a Liberal MP from 1997 to 2003, when he served as a cabinet minister under then-prime minister Jean Chretien.
He spent time on Mississauga’s city council from 1978 to 1987 and also spent several years as chairman of Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board until 2012.
He’s the third person to officially register in the mayor’s race so far, but is the most prominent candidate.
McCallion has been Mississauga’s mayor for more than 3 1/2 decades since being elected in 1978.
Mahoney says the Oct. 27 election will be pivotal for the city west of Toronto and that he can offer “experienced leadership.”
“With Hazel McCallion not seeking re-election, the decisions we make this fall, and for the next four years, will determine the sort of city we pass on to our children,” said Mahoney.
He says he’ll officially launch his campaign next month.
©2014The Canadian Press
WATCH: Talking or texting behind the wheel will cost demerit points under proposed Ontario legislation. Alan Carter reports.
TORONTO – It’s time to make distracted driving as unacceptable as drunk driving, Transportation Minister Glen Murray said Monday as he introduced wide ranging legislation that would greatly increase penalties for motorists illegally using cellphones.
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Distracted driving top killer on Ontario roads
Drivers to face higher fines for distracted driving as of March 18
The government heard the same message from police, coroner’s reports, the Canadian Automobile Association and several other road safety organizations, Murray said.
“All our consultations going back over a number of years on that… everyone has been coming out and saying you’ve got to put (distracted driving) in the same range as drinking and driving,” he said.
Murray’s road safety bill would impose three demerit points in addition to increasing the maximum fine for distracted driving to $1,000. Drivers who get demerit points can face higher insurance premiums.
The CAA said education and awareness have turned out not to be enough to stop distracted driving so new tools are needed to fight the problem.
“Half of the surveyed members feel that driving is less safe than it was five years ago, and the need to focus on the road is paramount,” said CAA’s Teresa Di Felice.
Join the discussion: Should the penalty be increased? Visit Global News on Facebook and let us know.
Last month, Chief Justice Annemarie Bonkalo of the Ontario Court of Justice signed an order increasing the set fine for distracted driving to $280, including surcharges, from $155 starting March 18.
Current legislation allows for fines ranging from $60 to $500. That would jump to $300 to $1,000 under the proposed new legislation.
“Most of our more serious offences are in the $300 to $1,000 range, and the justices were obviously sending us a message,” Murray told reporters.
The new bill would also increase fines for motorists who open their car door and hit a bicyclist to up to $1000 and boost demerit points to three from the current two.
The legislation would also allow bicycle lanes to go in the opposite direction to traffic on one-way streets and let cyclists use paved shoulders of divided highways. It would also require motorists to leave a distance of at least one metre between their vehicles and cyclists when passing, a clear rule Murray said he found is needed as he bicycles to and from the legislature in downtown Toronto each day.
“I’ve had cars that have come within an inch of me and ones that are a foot away and ones that are ridiculous and go three metres out, and that is what’s dangerous,” he said. “We don’t need people swerving three or four metres away from cyclists and we don’t need cyclists pulling up one inch beside a car.”
Eleanor McMahon of the Share the Road bicycle advocacy group said the government’s proposed changes “strike quite close to home” and might have saved her husband’s life if they had been in place in 2006 when he was struck and killed by a motorist while bicycling on a narrow road.
“My husband, OPP Sgt. Greg Stobbart, was killed by a motorist who pulled out to pass him unsafely and had this bill been in place years ago, Greg might be with us here today,” she said. “As the wife of a police officer, I’m proud that this law will give our officers the tools they need to keep our roads safe for our most vulnerable.”
The legislation also mandates intensive alcohol education, treatment and monitoring programs for motorists convicted of repeated drinking and driving offences.
It also looks at broadening the number of health professionals who could recommend someone should have their drivers’ licence taken away for medical reasons, but Murray said it will also look at methods to return the licence in future if possible.
“We need clearer rules, and the Canadian Medical Association and the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons are in the middle of establishing those,” he said. “We are looking to work with those health care professionals to establish those rules and then create a system where people understand what the choices are.”
Murray said one option Ontario may consider is reverse graduated licences for seniors, similar to the restricted licences new drivers are given, which would be for those who only want to drive occasionally and not at night.
The legislation would also require drivers to yield the whole roadway to pedestrians at school crossings and pedestrian crossovers.
“Pedestrians still represent about one in six of all motor vehicle-related fatalities in Ontario, and 41 per cent of these occurred at intersections,” said Murray.
Another aspect of the bill would increase the maximum length of double tractor-trailers in Ontario to 27.5 metres from 25, but the Ontario Truckers Association said it’s not about carrying bigger loads.
“Before anybody starts to panic, that does not mean we’re going to see longer trailers,” said Truckers spokesman David Bradley. “This is purely and simply to allow for a longer tractor to be able to accommodate all of the new environmental and safety devices that are now required across the country and across North America.”
The opposition parties also welcomed Murray’s proposed legislation, which incorporated aspects of several private member’s bills on road safety issues.
“This is an all-party bill and I hope it will quickly gain the confidence of this House,” said Murray.
©2014The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG – It’s time for Greg MacKay’s annual St. Patrick’s Day weather photo, for which he may or may not don suitable footwear.
When the temperature soared to an unseasonable 19.2 C on March 17, 2012, MacKay commemorated the event with a photo of his bare feet in his green backyard.
The weather was so lovely on March 17, 2012, Greg MacKay took this photo of himself relaxing in his Winnipeg backyard. Submitted by Greg MacKay / Global News
The weather was so lovely on March 17, 2012, Greg MacKay took this photo of himself relaxing in his Winnipeg backyard.
Submitted by Greg MacKay / Global News
The next year, the temperature plummeted to an unseasonably cold -27.8 C – and MacKay decided to reproduce the barefoot photo, this time in his snow-covered backyard.
Greg MacKay’s feet got a little chilly when he reproduced a March 17, 2012, photo a year later — with snow on the ground. Submitted by Greg MacKay / Global News
Greg MacKay’s feet got a little chilly when he reproduced a March 17, 2012, photo a year later — with snow on the ground.
Submitted by Greg MacKay / Global News
His girlfriend combined the two photos and submitted them to Global News for the Your Manitoba weather feature.
“I just put the two together and we always watch the news,” said Pam Petznik, so she sent them in.
When the photos were posted on the Global Winnipeg Facebook page, they went viral, racking up thousands of shares and many more views.
MacKay plans to take another photo this year and to forward it to Global so it can be shared with viewers again.
“This year, of course, it’s even worse,” Petznik said, referring to the couple’s backyard in the West End. “There’s lots of snow back there.”
Despite the snow, the temperature is a little closer to normal, with a forecast high of -2 C. The normal high is 0 C and the normal low is -10 C.
It was a Monday in April 2005 and Laurier Haughton had hosted her best friend’s wedding shower the weekend before. Still excited from the party, Haughton was in the middle of telling her colleagues at work all about the event until she was interrupted.
“It just felt like somebody had stuck a dagger through me. That was the start.”
The pain in Haughton’s abdomen was so severe, she was immediately sent home from work.
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A year later, the tests from a laparoscopy returned and the 27-year-old was diagnosed with endometriosis, an incurable disease most often linked to infertility and severely painful menstruation. “In the beginning it was very much mourning to a loss,” explained Haughton upon hearing her diagnosis. “A body who used to treat me well has completely betrayed me. There was a lot of resentment, a lot of anger and depression.”
Other symptoms associated with the disease include pain in the abdomen and back, menstrual irregularity, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting, painful bowel movements and/or urination and painful intercourse. It is not yet known what causes the disease, but some theories suggest estrogen levels may be a factor.
Catherine Maurer, registered nurse at the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, says that although the disease affects women, it can have an impact on families and partners. “Dealing with someone who has pain a lot of times, people sometimes don’t get the understanding from their partners because you can’t see the disease,” she said. “It’s totally debilitating and it adds stress to people’s lives because of patients having to see doctors and take so much time off of work.”
According to The Endometriosis Network Canada, about 11 hours per person per week are lost due to debilitating symptoms. Although there is no cure, there are treatments available for women to manage painful symptoms and can vary from person to person. Relief drugs are most often used to manage the pain, like paracetemol, or hormonal treatments can be used to control ovulation and menstruation. There are also surgical procedures available to remove tissue buildup.
One out of every 10 women, or an estimated 800,000 women in Canada, is affected by what’s known as the “invisible” disease. And thanks to The Endometriosis Network Canada and Health Canada, the country is now joining Endometriosis Awareness Month, a worldwide event, for the first time this March.
Although Haughton was fortunate enough to be diagnosed within a year, the majority are not. The disease, which affects women between the ages of 15 and 50, is difficult to detect: It often takes seven to 12 years to diagnose.
Erika Myers-Khan waited eight years for her diagnosis.
“I was visiting doctor after doctor and I basically got the same tagline of ‘You are just weak and you have a low pain tolerance,’ and so on. And initially I thought this was something I would have to deal with.”
But the symptoms became more frequent and severe. Myers-Khan searched for yet another physician after her boyfriend’s aunt suggested what she was experiencing may be endometriosis. This time she found a surgeon who could help.
Myers-Khan was 24 years old when she was diagnosed in 2006, bringing her frustrating search to an end. “I was so relieved,” she said. “I just smiled at him. It was definitely a feeling of relief and validation that what I was going through wasn’t all in my head.”
Six years later Myers-Khan, along with several other women living with the disease, created The Endometriosis Network Canada. Myers-Khan, the network’s director, says this was out of necessity. “We created a voice for women across Canada who had Endometriosis,” she said. “Canada’s been a black hole in the endometriosis community. There are so many other countries that have been involved already.”
Lena Arabian, the network’s program director, experienced the same lack of awareness in Canada.
“When I started looking for information, all of the information was coming from countries other than my own,” she said. “There was nowhere to go that had specifically Canadian advice and information on how we could navigate our healthcare system with the disease that we have.”
After about two years of gathering petition signatures, Health Canada approved their request and created Canada’s first-ever Endometriosis Awareness Month. There was the Endometriosis Worldwide March (EndoMarch), and Toronto lit up the CN Tower in yellow and had people dressed in yellow as they skated in Nathan Phillips Square skating rink, all in an effort to raise awareness and garner support.
“We didn’t want the next generation of women or the current generation of women with this disease to feel so alone and isolated,” Arabians aid .
“It’s been a long wait,” said Myers-Khan. “But we’re so happy that it’s finally been recognized and the [Endometriosis] community is so happy now that their country is recognizing them.”
GENEVA, Switzerland – Canada’s northern development minister says it was wrong for the World Trade Organization to uphold a European Union ban on seal products based on moral grounds.
Leona Aglukkaq says she made that argument today in a presentation to the WTO in Geneva.
READ MORE: Ottawa plans to appeal ruling from World Trade Organization on EU seal ban
Canada and Norway are in the process of appealing a landmark WTO dispute-settlement ruling, which concluded that while the ban undermines fair trade, the restrictions can be justified on “public moral concerns” for animal welfare.
An adult harp seal keeps an eye on her pup on the ice floes on March 3, 2008, off the coast of the Magdalen Islands, Quebec a few weeks before the annual seal hunt. David Boily, AFP/Getty Images
An adult harp seal keeps an eye on her pup on the ice floes on March 3, 2008, off the coast of the Magdalen Islands, Quebec a few weeks before the annual seal hunt.
David Boily, AFP/Getty Images
Aglukkaq says the ruling sets a dangerous precedent because it offers the EU the opportunity to ban products from any type of business that involves the killing of animals, including the beef and poultry industries.
MORE: WTO panel to report on EU seal products ban
The minister says Canada’s annual seal hunt is humane, sustainable and well-regulated.
Rebecca Aldworth, head of the Canadian wing of Humane Society International, says the WTO based its initial ruling on five decades of veterinary science that suggest seals are often killed inhumanely, which Europeans find morally objectionable.
The three-day WTO appeal hearing wraps up Wednesday and a final ruling is expected next month.
©2014The Canadian Press
EDMONTON – Donna Kennedy-Glans has become the second Calgary MLA, and first cabinet minister, in less than a week to resign membership in the Progressive Conservative Caucus.
Kennedy-Glans – who was elected as the MLA for Calgary-Varsity in 2012 – made the announcement Monday morning.
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UPDATE: Premier Redford attends ‘no holds barred’ PC meeting
Premier Redford reacts to PC party executive’s call for her resignation
MLA Len Webber quits Tory caucus, slams Redford
“In 2012, I was very happy to carry the PC party’s banner to win back Calgary-Varsity. I was excited about the dream of government in Alberta we talked about in that election,” explained Kennedy-Glans.
The Calgary-Varsity MLA says part of her dream included working for a government willing to make difficult decisions for the long term prosperity of Alberta’s youth, a more transparent government, willing to hear all voices, and a government free of entitlement. A dream that has now vanquished.
“I am increasingly convinced that elements of this 43-year old government are simply unable to make the changes needed to achieve that dream of a better Alberta.”
Kennedy-Glans will now sit as an Independent. Read her full statement here.
“I believe, I can better serve my constituents this way,” said Kennedy-Glans.
In December 2013, Kennedy-Glans was sworn-in as Associate Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy.
Last week, MLA Len Webber announced he was leaving caucus because he could no longer work with Premier Alison Redford.
“I cannot work for an individual who treats people poorly, who treats our tax-payer dollars poorly,” said Webber.
READ MORE: Calgary MLA Len Webber quits Tory Caucus, slams Redford
(Watch: Tom Vernon reports on the PC Caucus)
Webber said he had personally endured bullying and was treated with disrespect by the premier, and had witnessed Redford in fits of rage and throwing temper tantrums.
“For me to leave the party right now, I feel sad,” added Webber.
“I feel sad at what our premier has done to this party, to this province basically.”
Redford has been facing public criticism during the past few weeks over extravagant travel expenses, such as a $45,000 trip to Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral.
Last week, the premier announced she had repaid the money.
During Question Period on Monday, NDP leader Brian Mason asked the premier how the recent Caucus departures could affect her ability to lead.
“Do you have enough support to keep governing?”
When Redford stood to reply, the PC MLAs stood and applauded, giving her a standing ovation.
“All I can do is thank the honourable member for his question,” said Redford.
“Nice show of unity there, Tories,” replied Mason, adding, “I didn’t get a count of the ones who stayed in their seats.”
At a media availability Monday morning, Municipal Affairs Minister Ken Hughes made his support for Redford clear.
“We have a lot of very talented people in this Caucus, and I’m very confident that we will find a way to ensure that we provide what Albertans want, which is good focused leadership.”
“I support the leader,” he said, before thanking reporters and ending the question portion of the event.
Opposition parties say they are waiting to see what happens to the PC Caucus.
“It’s very interesting indeed to be standing at the sidelines and watching what’s going on,” said Wildrose MLA Jeff Wilson.
“We’re interested to see what happens and whether or not there’s a bunch of new independents sitting in the house on Question Period starting today.”
“It’s a minimal legislative agenda,” he added. “We are basically done debating all the bills that they’ve put forward with the exception of the budget.”
“It’s pretty clear that this government is spinning its wheels and they really don’t have much of an agenda at all other than to stay in power.”
NDP MLA Rachel Notley is calling it the beginning of the end for Alberta’s PC party.
“We know what’s really going on here is the provincial conservative party is probably finally on its last days, and everyone is reacting in a kind of childish, hysterical sort of way,” said Notley.
“At the end of the day, we have work to do.”
WATCH: Donna Kennedy-Glans joins Global Calgary to discuss her decision her decision to resign membership in the Progressive Conservative Caucus
Delta Police confirm the motorhome fire that sent three people to hospital on Saturday was caused by an attempt to siphon gas from the holding tanks of the gas station nearby.
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“Typically, gasoline stolen in this fashion is subsequently sold on the black market for a substantial discount over pump prices,” said Delta Police spokesperson A/Sgt. Sarah Swallow. “This case is by no means the first of its kind and it illustrates the potentially devastating impact of this type of criminal behaviour. This method of obtaining gasoline poses inherent dangers to innocent bystanders, first responders, property, and the suspects themselves.”
At about 3 a.m. on March 15, police and fire responded to calls to the 10200-block of River Road and found the motorhome fully engulfed in flames.
Delta Police investigators believe that the motorhome was parked over the top of the in-ground fuel tanks. Once parked, the suspects then removed a trap door in the floorboards of the motorhome and accessed the tanks. Police estimate that the suspects siphoned hundreds of litres of gasoline from the in-ground tank into a large plastic storage tank inside the motorhome. During the siphoning process an unknown ignition source ignited the on-board gasoline, resulting in the fire and severe injuries to the victims.
Two men found at the scene remain in critical but stable condition in hospital, and the injured woman who was seen fleeing from the fire was later found at a New Westminster address. She was treated for severe burns.
Police say the investigation is ongoing, and the suspects face several potential charges, including theft over $5,000.
VANCOUVER – The botched investigation into serial killer Robert Pickton has resulted in a settlement of $50,000 for each of the victims’ children who sued three levels of government and the RCMP.
Lawyer Jason Gratl said Monday that the deal involves 13 plaintiffs who filed civil lawsuits against the provincial and federal governments, the City of Vancouver and several Mounties.
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Gratl, who represented the families, said the children of the murdered women took legal action reluctantly, but felt they had no choice when the governments didn’t act on a recommendation from a public inquiry to compensate them.
His clients are generally pleased with the settlement, Gratl said.
“It’s giving the children of missing women a leg up to try, in some small measure, to give them a chance to improve their lives, improve their prospects in the future. It was something worth doing.”
Eleven family members have accepted the proposal, one person is expected to respond shortly and B.C.’s public guardian must approve a settlement accepted by a boy who has not yet turned 18, Gratl said.
The agreement includes paying for children’s legal fees, but doesn’t come with an admission of liability, Gratl said.
A lawyer for the B.C. government told a judge in January that there could be more than 90 children who would qualify for compensation. It’s unclear if other family members will also be compensated.
The B.C. government announced Monday afternoon that it would be holding a joint news conference Tuesday along with federal and City of Vancouver representatives.
The government statement said it would outline a shared, significant response to a key recommendation by missing women’s inquiry commissioner Wally Oppal.
The B.C. Ministry of Justice later issued a brief email statement saying that a settlement with the 13 plaintiffs remained outstanding.
“At this time, we can only say that we are hopeful we will reach a settlement with those litigants and be in a position to compensate them in a way that is consistent with what Mr. Oppal envisioned.”
The DNA or remains of 33 women were found on Pickton’s farm in Port Coquitlam after he was arrested in 2002. He was convicted of second-degree murder for killing six women and sentenced to life in prison without chance of parole for 25 years.
The B.C. Crown prosecutor’s office then announced that 20 other charges of first-degree murder would be stayed because Pickton already faced the stiffest sentence available under Canadian law.
The families claimed in their lawsuits that Vancouver police and the RCMP were negligent when they investigated reports of missing sex workers and the possibility that Pickton might be responsible.
The court action also said the Crown was wrong when it didn’t put Pickton on trial for attempted murder following an attack on a sex worker in 1997.
The public inquiry into the murder investigation and Pickton’s actions found many failures by police. Commissioner Wally Oppal recommended a so-called healing fund to compensate the children of Pickton’s victims.
Oppal concluded systemic bias against poor, drug-addicted sex workers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside prompted public indifference and led to police failures.
The Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP publicly apologized for their lack of action on the killer’s case.
However, in documents filed in response to the civil lawsuits, the departments said their officers acted reasonably when they received information that women were vanishing and that Pickton was a suspect.
Gratl said civil action against Pickton and his brother continues.
“There’s nothing in this settlement that restricts the plaintiffs from carrying on against Robert and David Pickton, and they intend to do so.”
B.C. law limits compensation to financial loss and loss of affection, but there’s no recovery for loss of life or wrongful death, Gratl said.
“Given the parsimonious state of the law, these settlement amounts are strong and solid.”
He said the settlements also allow the children to forgo difficult questions in court about the relationships they had with their murdered mothers.
WATCH ABOVE: Christians, Mulsims unite at Vatican in initiative to end global slavery
VATICAN CITY – Christians and Muslims have joined to try to help free millions of men, women and children held in modern-day slavery, forced to work as maids, prostitutes, child soldiers and manual labourers.
The Global Freedom Network launched Monday at the Vatican aims to eradicate slavery by encouraging governments, businesses, educational and faith institutions to rid their supply chains of slave labour.
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READ MORE: Mauritania, Haiti top new global slavery index
The initiative is the brainchild of billionaire Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest, who founded the Walk Free Foundation in 2012 to mobilize a grass-roots movement to end slavery.
Forrest, ranked 270th on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, used personal contacts to bring the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church, 85-million strong Anglican Communion and al-Azhar university in Cairo, the world’s foremost seat of Sunni learning, on board with the initiative.
Representatives from all three gathered Monday at the Vatican to sign an agreement to launch the project, which will be based at the Vatican and have a chief executive responsible for implementing a five-year business plan. Objectives include getting the G20 to condemn modern-day slavery, persuading 50 major corporations to commit to slavery-proofing their supply chains and convincing 160 governments to endorse a seven-year, $100 million fundraising effort to implement anti-slavery programs globally.
In an interview, Forrest said it makes financial sense for countries to rid themselves of slave labour.
“We have absolute economic proof that once you take slavery out of a community, that community grows and grows and grows,” he said.
The Walk Free Foundation in 2013 published the “Global Slavery Index,” a country-by-country breakdown which found that some 29.8 million people were currently enslaved around the globe: child labourers harvesting cocoa in Ivory Coast, women sold for sex in Moldova, and Haitian children trafficked and forced into begging. Everyday items used in the developed world – soccer balls, bricks, diamonds and flowers – are often produced or extracted using slave labour, the report said.
The presence of al-Azhar at the Vatican for the launch was particularly significant given that relations between the Holy See and al-Azhar collapsed during Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy. Pope Francis has spoken out about human trafficking and was behind a November 2013 Vatican conference on modern-day slavery.
The International Labor Organization has estimated that trafficking in human beings – just one segment of the slavery industry – generates $32 billion in profits every year.
Forrest said representatives of other faiths were welcome to join the project’s governing council.
©2014The Canadian Press
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Hollywood actor Chris Pine, known for playing Captain Kirk in the Star Trek movies, pleaded guilty Monday in a New Zealand court to a charge of drunken driving.
The 33-year-old American was fined $93 New Zealand dollars ($79) and had his New Zealand driver’s license suspended for six months during a hearing at the Ashburton District Court.
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Police pulled over Pine early on March 1 after he’d attended a party to mark the end of filming on the movie Z for Zachariah, which is due for release next year. Fairfax Media reported that Pine told police he’d consumed four vodka drinks.
Police told the court that a blood test found Pine’s blood-alcohol level was 0.11 percent, which is over New Zealand’s legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Pine stood silently during the hearing, allowing his lawyer, Marilyn Gilchrist to enter the plea.
According to Fairfax, Gilchrist told the judge that Pine acknowledged he’d made the wrong decision to drive that night. Gilchrist said her client had suffered emotionally and professionally and that the negative publicity had put his acting contracts in jeopardy.
The judge said she accepted Pine was “entirely remorseful,” Fairfax reported.
Pine appeared relaxed as he left the courtroom, stopping to sign a couple of autographs for fans who had gathered outside before being driven away.
Much of the filming of Z for Zachariah took place on the South Island’s picturesque Banks Peninsula.
Before being pulled over by police, Pine had been at the Blue Pub in Methven with his Icelandic girlfriend, Iris Bjork Johannesdottir.
“The pub was closed to the public later in the evening and approximately 80 actors and crew attended the party, which finished at 3 a.m. on March 1,” the bar said in a statement. “This was a well-controlled party, the cast and crew were friendly and it was a great night, not a wild party.”
The statement said that “Chris Pine did not appear to staff to be intoxicated to a level where intervention might have been warranted.”
In addition to playing Capt. James T. Kirk, Pine also played Jack Ryan in the movie Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
©2014The Associated Press