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Aboriginal police officer recruitment in Saskatoon grows – Saskatoon

Watch the video above: Aboriginal police recruits reach all time high in Saskatoon

SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Police Service, dignitaries and RCMP attended SIAST’s Aboriginal Police Preparation Program graduation on Friday in Saskatoon.

Jazmyne Black was honoured to graduate from the program. Her dad was an RCMP officer and she hopes to follow in his footsteps.

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  • Aboriginal woman becomes top cop in Saskatchewan as head of RCMP division

“Because of him, it inspired me to become somebody like him. He has a good head on his shoulders and he’s very knowledgeable. He just makes me feel determined to be a better person,” she explained.

Officers like Black’s dad helped to pave the way for future generations.

Ernie Louttit is a retired officer from the Saskatoon Police Service, he joined the force in 1987.

“When I first started with Saskatoon police, I was the third native officer, and there was an old boys’ club. And they didn’t want to work with women, they didn’t want to work with natives,” said Louttit.

He also encountered backlash from the aboriginal community.

“It was both ways, so a lot of native people would call me an ‘apple’ – like I was red on the outside and white on the inside, and that I was betraying my people by being a police officer,” Louttit explained.

Several decades later, Saskatoon police not only embraces diversity, but says it’s essential.

“It helps our officers understand the diversity, understand the culture, and hopefully come up with some solutions to some of the issues we’ve had historically,” said police chief Clive Weighill.

Saskatoon police has joined forces with several groups around the province to form the Saskatchewan Police Aboriginal Recruiting Committee.

“We’re up now to about 11 per cent composition of either First Nations or Métis, so that’s come up from about four or five per cent beginning at the year 2000,” said Weighill.

The Saskatoon Police Service says it’s not easy for anyone to become an officer and that its rigorous application process catches many applicants off-guard. But those with the right skills and determination make it through.

The service hopes 16 per cent of its force will be aboriginal by 2020.

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GALLERY: Orcas hunt dolphins in Blind Channel near Squamish, B.C.

Members of the Squamish Yacht Club had an up-close encounter with orcas hunting dolphins in Blind Channel Saturday.

Gord Gunner said he he was walking his dog near Blind Channel at around 11:30 a.m. when he saw a pod of 100 to 200 white-sided dolphins swim into the bay.

Gunner said he then spotted a group of 12 to 15 orcas swimming at the mouth of the channel, seemingly trapping dozens of the dolphins inside.

A few of the orcas then swam into the channel and started “playing” with the dolphins, leaping into the air with the smaller mammals in their mouths before eating them.

The sight garnered hundreds of onlookers Saturday afternoon. By 3 p.m., Gunner said there were hundreds of vehicles parked in the area to see the demonstration of the circle of life.

PHOTOS: Dolphins and orcas in Blind Channel

Hundreds of dolphins surprised boaters in Blind Channel near Squamish Saturday.

Mandy Jensen

Hundreds of dolphins surprised boaters in Blind Channel near Squamish Saturday.

Mandy Jensen

Hundreds of dolphins surprised boaters in Blind Channel near Squamish Saturday.

Mandy Jensen

Hundreds of dolphins surprised boaters in Blind Channel near Squamish Saturday.

Mandy Jensen

Hundreds of dolphins surprised boaters in Blind Channel near Squamish Saturday.

Mandy Jensen

Hundreds of dolphins surprised boaters in Blind Channel near Squamish Saturday.

A pod of orcas swim in Blind Channel near Squamish Saturday.

Mandy Jensen

A pod of orcas swim in Blind Channel near Squamish Saturday.

Mandy Jensen

A pod of orcas swim in Blind Channel near Squamish Saturday.

Mandy Jensen

A pod of orcas swim in Blind Channel near Squamish Saturday.

Mandy Jensen

A pod of orcas swim in Blind Channel near Squamish Saturday.

Mandy Jensen

On Thursday, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue volunteers were out on the water in southern Howe Sound, between Fisherman’s Cove and Bowen Island, when hundreds of dolphins surrounded their boat.

WATCH: Raw video of dolphins in Howe Sound

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UPDATE: Premier Redford attends ‘no holds barred’ PC meeting

EDMONTON – The on-going power struggle in the Alberta Conservative Party continued Saturday in Calgary, and it appears Premier Alison Redford is still firmly in charge.

Premier Redford attended a meeting of Alberta Tory executives at the Clarion Hotel in Calgary.

“The premier did an excellent job. She didn’t back away from any of the rather hard hitting questions that she was asked, and she was very frank with us, as we were very frank with her,” said Jim McCormick, PC Party president.

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McCormick called it a wide-ranging “no holds barred” meeting. The questions ranged from the $45,000 in travel expenses the premier announced this week she would reimburse, to accusations of bullying made by Calgary MLA Len Webber who on Friday announced his departure from caucus.

“This has not been a highlight of a week for behavior or very mature conversation on a lot of levels,” said Redford.

“I think a lot of people were quite emotional, probably said a lot of things that they regret, and I think it’s time for us to move and start talking about what matters to Albertans which is the future of the province.”

But at least one constituency president would like the PC Party to move on without Redford as leader.

On Friday, Steve Robson, the head of a PC riding association in northeast Edmonton, called for Redford’s resignation.

“It appears to me from a number of sources that Alison Redford is not the least bit interested in input from elected MLAs or what the constituents of the MLA’s have to say,” said Robson.

Redford says she is listening to what people are saying.

“I work very hard to work with people, to bring people together and I’ll continue to do that. Whether that means everyone is going to have an opinion of me that is exactly the same, I can’t comment on that. I mean, we don’t agree on absolutely everything, but I do my best every day.”

Saturday’s meeting didn’t produce any requests for the premier’s resignation.

“The premier got a standing ovation. Absolutely everybody was on their feet. This conversation that we had today was incredible,” said McCormick.

With files from Global News Carolyn Kury De Castillo

©2014Shaw Media

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Kevin Spacey fires back at Ford Nation slight with group ‘photo’ – Toronto

TORONTO – Kevin Spacey has fired the latest salvo in the social media spat between Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his city councillor brother Doug Ford.

The two-time Oscar-winning actor tweeted a crudely edited group photo of himself with the Fords Saturday morning.

Spacey’s tweet was in response to the most recent episode of Ford Nation, the YouTube show produced by the brothers.

During the segment, Doug Ford alleged that while the mayor was waiting to appear on late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Fords were told they couldn’t talk to or take a picture with Spacey, who is currently starring in House of Cards.

WATCH: Doug Ford calls actor Kevin Spacey an “arrogant S.O.B.”

Doug Ford said while Spacey is “an incredible actor,” he also thinks the star is “an arrogant S.O.B.”

He says Spacey should get off his “high horse and be real and take pictures with people.”

Rob Ford took a more muted approach, saying he doesn’t watch movies and wouldn’t know Spacey if he ran over him.

Spacey is a two-time Oscar winner (The Usual Suspects, American Beauty) and a frequent guest of the Toronto International Film Festival. He made the 2010 movie Casino Jack in Toronto.

WATCH: Kevin Spacey takes a shot at Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Spacey, who appeared on Kimmel’s show ahead of the mayor’s main appearance, was asked about sharing a dressing room with the controversial politician to which he responded: “Well, he threw up all over it, but those are the chances you take.”

– with files by Global News

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©2014The Canadian Press

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Saskatoon photo exhibition reflects crisis in Ukraine – Saskatoon

Watch the video above: Photo exhibit reflects crisis in Ukraine

SASKATOON – This week a photographic exhibition is being held at the Musee Ukraina Museum in Saskatoon.

It depicts the crisis in Ukraine and the exhibition is also a fundraiser to support the families of those impacted by the violence overseas.

There’s anger and heartache in some of the photos taken in Kyiv, but in others, there’s hope.

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The exhibit’s curator Taras Polataiko is a renowned Ukrainian-Canadian artist. He reached out to six photographers in Kyiv and asked them to send him their photos.

Polataiko says the shots are filled with protesters who never wanted turmoil, only freedom.

“These are not soldiers. They are people like me and you. You have to decide if you’re going to be a slave, or stand up for your dignity,” he explained.

In early March, the Saskatchewan government pledged $60,000 for humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

“We have a very strong Ukrainian community and a very strong organized community, and just within the last couple of weeks we’ve come together with the opportunity to host this event, and the museum definitely wanted to be a participant,” said Martin Hyniuk, Musee Ukraina board member.

Crimea is set to hold a referendum on Sunday on whether to merge with Russia.

Russia vetoed a UN resolution declaring Sunday’s referendum illegal.

READ MORE: Crimea votes on Ukraine split

“What’s happening in Crimea right now, it’s unconstitutional, and I can’t begin to fathom that another government can come in and step in the way that Russia is right now,” said Andrea Kopylech, with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ Saskatoon branch.

She said local Ukrainian-Canadians are left praying that democracy and freedom will eventually prevail.

The exhibition will run every night at 7 p.m. until March 21.

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Nearly 300 detained at annual Montreal anti-police brutality march

MONTREAL – About 288 people were detained at Montreal’s anti-police brutality protest Saturday.

They were given fines of $637 for participating in an illegal demonstration.

Officers on bikes and horseback, dressed up in riot gear, forced many of the protesters onto a side street and surrounded them.

The protest was declared illegal, just minutes after it began because it violated Montreal’s P6 bylaw, requiring organizers to give police a route for their protest at least 24 hours ahead of time.

Five arrests were made on a variety of charges, including armed assault on a police officer and mischief.

Aside from a vandalized RDI news truck, there were few signs of the troubles that have marked previous versions of the protest.

Unlike most years, protesters did not demonstrate downtown but were at the corner of Jean -Talon and Chateaubriand.

The Jean Talon metro station was temporarily closed but normal service resumed after about an hour.

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It was there, at the Jean-Talon metro station where an SPVM police officer was caught on video threatening a homeless man in January.

The Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (C.O.B.P), believes the incident  illustrates how police are trying to eliminate the homeless, marginalized population with mental health or substance abuse issues, from the public sphere.

The Collective also believes that social profiling is influenced by municipal politicians, in response to repeated requests from business-owners and residents.

WATCH: Protester speaks out on why he’s demonstrating against police brutality 

In February, Alain Magloire was killed after wielding a hammer in what police officers said was a threatening fashion.

Magloire was found to be suffering from a mental illness.

In 2011 a homeless man, Mario Hamel, was shot and killed by police after they responded to a call about Hamel wielding a knife in downtown.

The Association for Student Union Solidarity ( ASSE ) will also take part in Saturday’s event and want to demonstrate their opposition to the repressive measures taken by any police force.

Co- spokesman Justin Arcand believes that police brutality was at the heart of the student protests in 2012.

He argues that police tactics directly infringe on the rights to freely express themselves.

Even though the SPVM said that police do not intend to prevent demonstrators from expressing themselves, past events have turned violent, resulting in clashes with police and hundreds of arrests.

PHOTO GALLERY: This year’s anti-police brutality march

Police declared the protest illegal minutes after it began.

Marc Latendtresse / Global News

Unlike most years, protesters did not demonstrate downtown but were at the corner of Jean -Talon and Chateaubriand.

Marc Latendresse / Global News

Unlike most years, protesters did not demonstrate downtown but were at the corner of Jean -Talon and Chateaubriand.

Marc Latendresse / Global News

Unlike most years, protesters did not demonstrate downtown but were at the corner of Jean -Talon and Chateaubriand.

Billy Shields / Global News

Unlike most years, protesters did not demonstrate downtown but were at the corner of Jean -Talon and Chateaubriand.

Billy Shields / Global News

Unlike most years, protesters did not demonstrate downtown but were at the corner of Jean -Talon and Chateaubriand.

Billy Shields / Global News

With files from the Canadian Press

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Greek lawmaker leaves Golden Dawn, cites allegations of violence – National

ATHENS – A Golden Dawn lawmaker has left the party, claiming he was shocked by recent allegations about violent activities by members of the extreme right party, including attacks on immigrants.

Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos will remain in parliament as an independent.

Golden Dawn’s remaining 17 lawmakers have responded by calling Alexopoulos a “liar,” “defamer” and “coward” and calling on him to resign.

VIDEO GALLERY: The rise of Greece’s far-right party

FULL STORY: Right Wing Resurgence

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FULL STORY: Right Wing Resurgence

01:43

Raw video: Clashes between leftists and riot police following Golden Dawn rally in Greece

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Raw video: Golden Dawn supporters rally in Greece

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Greek lawmakers comment on arrest of ‘Golden Dawn’ leaders




According to a resume posted on his personal website, now taken down, Alexopoulos joined Golden Dawn in 1996.

Greece’s financial crisis helped Golden Dawn gain nearly 7 per cent of the vote and 18 seats in Greece’s 300-member Parliament.

A crackdown by authorities on the extreme right-wing party started after last year’s fatal stabbing of an anti-fascist musician by a Golden Dawn supporter in Athens.

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©2014The Associated Press

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Kevin Spacey fires back at Ford Nation slight with group ‘photo’

TORONTO – Kevin Spacey has fired the latest salvo in the social media spat between Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his city councillor brother Doug Ford.

The two-time Oscar-winning actor tweeted a crudely edited group photo of himself with the Fords Saturday morning.

Spacey’s tweet was in response to the most recent episode of Ford Nation, the YouTube show produced by the brothers.

During the segment, Doug Ford alleged that while the mayor was waiting to appear on late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Fords were told they couldn’t talk to or take a picture with Spacey, who is currently starring in House of Cards.

WATCH: Doug Ford calls actor Kevin Spacey an “arrogant S.O.B.”

Doug Ford said while Spacey is “an incredible actor,” he also thinks the star is “an arrogant S.O.B.”

He says Spacey should get off his “high horse and be real and take pictures with people.”

Rob Ford took a more muted approach, saying he doesn’t watch movies and wouldn’t know Spacey if he ran over him.

Spacey is a two-time Oscar winner (The Usual Suspects, American Beauty) and a frequent guest of the Toronto International Film Festival. He made the 2010 movie Casino Jack in Toronto.

WATCH: Kevin Spacey takes a shot at Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Spacey, who appeared on Kimmel’s show ahead of the mayor’s main appearance, was asked about sharing a dressing room with the controversial politician to which he responded: “Well, he threw up all over it, but those are the chances you take.”

– with files by Global News

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©2014The Canadian Press