Former Miss Washington among women who say Trump groped them

The women say they felt compelled to speak after Trump denied ever engaging in such conduct. One says she encountered him on a plane, the other in Trump Tower.

Ecstatic Coquitlam mayor rides SkyTrain to city centre after long wait

BY JENNIFER SALTMAN

On Tuesday, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart had the opportunity to do something he’s been waiting to do for decades — ride the SkyTrain into the centre of his city.

“This is an exhilarating day,” Stewart said. “We’ve been waiting for the opening of SkyTrain to Coquitlam Centre for all of my adult life. It’s been 25, 30 years in the making and we’re just ecstatic.”

Stewart was among a small group of politicians and reporters who rode the new Evergreen Line Tuesday from Burquitlam station through Port Moody to the terminus at Lafarge Lake. Lougheed Town Centre station, the line’s first stop, was not included in the tour. The $1.43-billion, 11-kilometre line is expected to start running sometime before Christmas — a specific start date has not been revealed.

The ride began with a brief run above North Road before the train dipped underground for a two-kilometre trip through a tunnel.

Since construction began in 2013 there has been cause for several delays, including four sinkholes that appeared while the tunnel was being bored between Coquitlam and Port Moody.

Minister responsible for TransLink Peter Fassbender said constructing the tunnel was the project’s biggest challenge.

“Going through that tunnel you can see what a massive project that was,” he said. “At the end of the day, I know people are going to forget that we were delayed in the opening because of the tunnelling, but they’re going to be absolutely thrilled when they get on these cars and are able to travel throughout the entire region.”

Cost overruns for the tunnel problems and others that occurred during construction will be picked up by SNC-Lavalin, which led the consortium that built the line and has a fixed-price contract with the province, Fassbender said.

After exiting the tunnel just east of Barnet Highway, the train travelled at grade through Port Moody toward Coquitlam Centre station. From there, it became elevated for the last two stations: Lincoln and Lafarge Lake-Douglas.

“I thought it was fabulous — amazing actually,” Fassbender said while standing on the platform at the final station, with Douglas College and Town Centre Park in the distance.

“I thought it was fantastic to actually travel along something that we watched come out of the ground, and to see the development.

Politicians said the train will provide opportunities for growth in the region, promote healthier lifestyles by getting people out of their cars and make it easier for residents to get to Vancouver because they no longer have to rely on a bus.

The trip from Lafarge Lake-Douglas to Lougheed Town Centre takes 15 minutes. Going to Commercial-Broadway will take 30 minutes, and the ride to Waterfront will take 40 to 45 minutes. The line is expected to carry 70,000 passengers per day by 2021.

“It’s thrilling to ride this brand-new system,” remarked Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon. “It’s fresh, it’s out of the box, it runs smoothy, it’s fast, it’s efficient. It’s going to make a great change for our community.”

Construction is expected to be completed in the next couple of weeks, at which point TransLink will take control of the system for final operational testing. When that’s done, an opening date will be set.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said Stewart. “It’s going to be a great Christmas present.”

 

Calgary man who played role in $23M Concrete Equities fraud won’t see jail

By KEVIN MARTIN

The Calgary man who played a part in a $23-million investment scheme won’t serve time behind bars for his role in the fraud.

Provincial court Judge Joanne Durant on Wednesday agreed with a joint Crown and defence submission to hand Varun (Vinny) Aurora a conditional sentence for his participation in a fraud run by Concrete Equities Inc. (CEI).

Durant said during the first six months of Aurora’s sentence of two years less a day, he will be under house arrest.

He’ll have to abide by a nightly curfew for the following 14 months and must perform 240 hours of community service, the judge ruled.

Aurora pleaded guilty last week to fraud over $5,000 in a scheme focused on Mexican real estate investments.

One of those scammed was his own father, who lost the largest amount — $901,000 — in the fraud run by CEI that roped in 1,200 investors

Durant said there were several mitigating factors which justified sparing Aurora jail time, primarily the fact he pleaded guilty and his role in the fraud was limited.

But she also noted his part in the scheme left many victims in its wake.

She said statements provided by nearly 100 victims to the court spoke of “betrayal, anger, embarrassment, violation (and) shame.

“And in one case suicidal thoughts,” Durant said.

“Some have lost their homes.”

Durant said that unlike so many other fraud cases, however, Aurora didn’t benefit financially for his part in the scam.

The plot, which began in 2007, sold investor units in a Mexican development known as the El Golfo project, whose purchase price Concrete Equities greatly inflated for investors.

The company, said Crown prosecutor Steven Johnston at last week’s sentencing hearing, “purchased it for less and just pocketed the money.”

“It was an advanced hucksters’ scheme that sold people real estate that absolutely didn’t exist.”

Some of the investors’ cash was also moved into other investments not known to them, while the supposed ringleader, David Nelson Humeniuk, allegedly pocketed $1 million.

While Aurora‘s role was more supportive than leading, he signed off on offering memos and was “willfully blind” to the scam, said an agreed statement of facts.

It also stated “to the extent that money which was raised for the El Golfo project was being transferred or lent to other CEI businesses, Mr. Aurora was an officer and should have known about those transactions.”

Durant noted that since the losses exceeded $1-million, Aurora would be looking at an automatic penitentiary term today because of changes in the legislation made after the crime was committed.

BC NDP Director Raj Sihota becomes first South Asian woman to hold top staff position

News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver’s News.

Vancouver’s Talk

Bailey Nicholson

Raj Sihota is now the first woman of South Asian descent to hold the top staff position at a major political party in BC.

Sihota is Provincial Director of the BC NDP as the party prepares for the upcoming May 2017 election. She was appointed in August.

According to a release by the party, Sihota has played key roles in many elections. Some of which include the recent by-election wins in Coquitlam and Vancouver where MLAs Melanie Mark and Jodie Wickens were elected.

She says it’s important to see South Asian women in powerful positions.

“South Asian women of my generation are making a difference in all parts of our society… We are professionals, leading businesses and now running political party offices as strategists and administrators.”

In the release, NDP Leader John Horgan says he’s proud of the role that South Asians have played in the BC NDP, and that his party has gone above and beyond to send a positive message to visible minorities.

“All political parties understand the need to field candidates that appeal to their voters, but the NDP has gone a major step further by appointing a visible minority woman to the top staff job. This sends a powerful message to other women of visible minorities that the NDP takes them seriously and values their skills and contributions.”

Modi, Obama welcome work on nuclear reactors in India

India and the U.S. Export-Import Bank intend to work together toward a competitive financing package.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday welcomed the start of preparatory work on six nuclear reactors in India, a key step in closing the first deal stemming from a U.S.-India civil nuclear accord struck over a decade ago.
The two leaders said in a joint statement that India and the U.S. Export-Import Bank intend to work together toward a competitive financing package for the project and will work to finalize contractual agreements by June 2017.
“Once completed, the project would be among the largest of its kind, fulfilling the promise of the U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement and demonstrating a shared commitment to meet India’s growing energy needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels,” the joint statement said.
Mr. Obama said he and Mr. Modi discussed how to ensure a worldwide agreement forged in Paris to curb climate change could be enacted swiftly.
“We discussed how we can, as quickly as possible, bring the Paris agreement into force,” Mr. Obama told reporters .

The Hindu.com

Narendra Modi Bolsters India’s Ties With U.S., Thanks (Partly) to Donald Trump

New York Times

WASHINGTON — After decades of mistrust and fitful reconciliation efforts,India and the United States made a turn toward cooperation on Tuesday, and Donald J. Trump can claim at least some of the credit.

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, making his second visit to the White House in two years, announced a crucial step toward ratification of the Paris agreement to limit greenhouse gases, bringing the accord close to full implementation.

The two sides also announced that they intended to complete a deal in which India will buy six nuclear reactors from Westinghouse by June 2017, fulfilling an agreement struck in 2005 by President George W. Bush. The price is still under discussion, but more difficult issues like liability have been resolved.

“We continue to discuss a wide range of areas where we can cooperate more effectively in order to promote jobs, promote investment, promote trade and promote greater opportunities for our people, particularly young people, in both of our countries,” President Obama said in the Oval Office during the meeting.

Mr. Modi responded with his own praise of the burgeoning partnership. When President Obama visited India in January 2015, Mr. Modi referred to him as “Barack” and thanked him for his “deep personal commitment” to their friendship. In the Oval Office on Tuesday, Mr. Modi referred to the president as “my friend Obama.”

“The United States is well aware of the talent that India has,” Mr. Modi said in Hindi. “We and the United States can work together to bring forward this talent, and use it for the benefit of mankind and use it for the benefit of innovations and use it to achieve new progress.”

Mr. Modi has made clear that he intends to set aside decades of standoffishness — rooted in India’s colonial experience — to cement closer ties with Washington, in part because the next American leader may not share President Obama’s enthusiasm for India.

The news media in India has extensively chronicled comments by Mr. Trump that critics have said were racist, his “America First” views and his unorthodox campaign. While Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has said little about India, his vows to tighten immigration policies worry Indian officials.

“Modi wants to get as much as he can out of Obama’s last months in office,” said Ashley J. Tellis, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

For the Americans, the most important part of Mr. Modi’s visit was his announced intention to formally join the Paris climate change agreement by the end of this year. So far, countries representing about 50 percent of global emissions have announced that they will submit legal paperwork to the United Nations documenting their compliance with the deal.

The pact will become binding when at least 55 countries representing 55 percent of global emissions formally join. The inclusion of India, the world’s third-largest emitter after China and the United States, would guarantee that the deal will go into effect before the next American president takes office.

Mr. Trump has vowed to “cancel” the Paris climate agreement if elected, something Mr. Obama is eager to prevent. Once the accord enters into legal force, no nation can legally withdraw for four years.

“If the Paris agreement achieves ratification before Inauguration Day, it would be impossible for the Trump administration to renegotiate or even drop out during the first presidential term,” said Robert N. Stavins, the director of the environmental economics program at Harvard.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Modi also announced a separate agreement to cut the use of hydrofluorocarbons, potent planet-warming chemicals produced by coolants in refrigerators and air-conditioners. India and the United States have been at odds on the details of such a deal, but the agreement announced on Tuesday means both governments now expect in October to sign on to an international accord to phase out the chemicals. Phasing out the chemicals could reduce by 25 percent the expected warming of the planet by the end of the century.

“This is the most significant step the international community could take” to reduce climate warming, Brian Deese, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama, said in a call with reporters.

The two sides also announced joint efforts for the United States to invest in India’s renewable energy development, including the creation of a $20 million finance initiative.

The last time Mr. Modi visited, in September 2014, he was invited to dinner but announced that he was observing a religious fast. So Mr. Obama had the awkward task of eating before a guest who sipped only water. This time, at a working lunch, Mr. Modi ate.

On Wednesday, Mr. Modi will become the fifth Indian prime minister to address both houses of Congress.

The two countries finalized a deal that allows their forces to help each other with crucial supplies, and the United States formally recognized India as a major defense partner, which should allow India to buy some of the most sophisticated equipment in the United States arsenal.

India’s increasing willingness to form military partnerships with the United States is, in part, a result of its deepening worries about China. Recent patrols by Chinese submarines in the Bay of Bengal have unnerved New Delhi, and a 2014 visit to India by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, did nothing to soothe Indian sensibilities, as Chinese troops made an incursion into border territory that India claims as its own.

China’s refusal in the months since to resolve the territorial claims at the heart of the standoff has quietly infuriated Indian officials.

Another reason Washington and New Delhi have grown so close is the increasingly testy relationship between the United States and Pakistan, India’s longtime rival. Although Pakistan is formally an ally of the United States, American officials have made clear that India has displaced Pakistan in American interests and hearts.

“We have much more to do with India today than has to do with Pakistan,” Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said in April. “There is important business with respect to Pakistan, but we have much more, a whole global agenda with India, agenda that covers all kinds of issues.”

Students seeking sugar daddies for tuition, rent

SARAH SKIDMORE SELL, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Candice Kashani graduated from law school debt-free this spring, thanks to a modern twist on an age-old arrangement.

During her first year, she faced tuition and expenses that ran nearly $50,000, even after a scholarship. So she decided to check out a dating website that connected women looking for financial help with men willing to provide it, in exchange for companionship and sex — a “sugar daddy” relationship as they are known.

Now, almost three years and several sugar daddies later, Kashani is set to graduate from Villanova University free and clear, while some of her peers are burdened with six-digit debts.

As the cost of tuition and rent rises, so does the apparent popularity of such sites among students. But are they really providing financial relief, or signing women up for something more exploitative and dangerous than debt?

Kashani believes such sites are a “great resource” for young women, but others say these arrangements smack of prostitution and take advantage of women in a vulnerable situation.

Lynn Comella, an associate professor of gender and sexuality studies at University of Nevada Las Vegas, said that it is not unusual for students to turn to sex work such as stripping, prostitution or webcam work to pay for school. But the sugar daddy sites are relatively new, and she says not entirely upfront about what they are really about.

These arrangements are more vague than prostitution— there is an expectation of material benefit but it is not always specified and sex is not guaranteed.

Ron Weitzer, a professor of sociology at George Washington University and criminologist with an expertise in the sex industry describes it as “prostitution light.”

“Sugar Daddy” arrangements have existed for ages, and it’s unclear if they are becoming more common because the phenomenon is not well studied. But experts say at the very least the internet has made these transactions far easier to arrange and negotiate. “It allows you to hone in on what you want,” said Kevin Lewis, an assistant professor of sociology at University of California San Diego who studies online dating. “You could argue it is just making the market more efficient.”

Kashani says she sifted through many potential suitors before finding one she clicked with. She says she considers her sugar daddy one of her best friends and that they care deeply for each other.

“The people who have a stigma, or associate a negative connotation with it, don’t understand how it works,” she says.

But unlike most relationships, she is paid a sizeable monthly allowance that helps her pay for school.

U.S. undergraduate students last year finished school with an average of $35,000 in student debt — a figure that has risen steadily every year, according to Mark Kantrowitz, a financial aid expert. The average graduate debt load is $75,000, and some longer programs force students into much deeper debt.

Many students say their loans don’t cover the cost of living, and with rent skyrocketing in most major cities, they are left scrambling to make up the difference.

One graduate student at Columbia University in New York had a scholarship that covered almost all of her tuition, but not her living expenses. She spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the potential impact on her job prospects. She tried to make do — sharing a room with a classmate and working a minimum wage job, plus any freelance work she could get. But still she struggled to pay her rent and utilities, and her grades suffered.

“That’s just not why I am here,” she said. “I wanted to find the most amount of money I could make for the least amount of effort.”

So she found herself surfing Craigslist and Backpage.com and later, SeekingArrangement.com, the largest of the sugar daddy websites. Now she has two sugar daddies, one she sees occasionally and another who is more like a conventional boyfriend, except that he pays her a monthly allowance and helps rent her an apartment closer to him.

SeekingArrangement.com said it is most popular in Los Angeles and New York. The average rent in both areas is well over $2,000 a month, according to Zillow research.

The Columbia student says she plans to continue “sugaring” after she graduates to buy herself time to find a more traditional job and remain officially unemployed so she can defer repaying the roughly $70,000 in loans she had already racked up.

“There is a lot of moral panic about it,” she said. “But what are the real estate and academic funding situations that led to this?”

Brandon Wade, creator of the site, touts it as an “alternative to financial aid” but says the company did not set out to target students when it launched in 2006. It stumbled on this niche and began in 2011 offering students a free premium membership, which usually costs $30 a month. It charges sugar daddies $70 to $180 a month, depending on the membership level.

Seekingarrangement.com also offers to connect same-sex couples looking for such arrangements, or “sugar mommies” for men. But the male-female “sugar daddy” dynamic makes up the bulk of its business.

It’s difficult to pin down exactly how many students are involved in such situations, because they are private transactions. And it’s a niche rarely studied by academics.

SeekingArrangement.com says student users on the site jumped from 79,400 worldwide in 2010 to 1.9 million this year and students make up one-third of its users. And while it sees thousands of signups on any given day, the company says enrolment jumps during August and January when tuition is typically due, sometimes to more than double its normal levels.

Women who have used the site report experiences that run the gamut — from respectful chaste dates all the way to aggressive solicitation online, even though it is forbidden on the site. Sex is not guaranteed although most users say it is implied. The company says a few arrangements have even led to marriage, although it is rare.

Some of the women say they feel respected and cared for, but remain aware that it is an arrangement, not traditional romantic love.

“It benefits me in many ways — we have a healthy relationship, we travel together, I’m able to enjoy the city more,” said the New York graduate student.

Still, she said, it is a job.

“It does kind of rub me the wrong way that some people don’t see it as sex work,” she said.

Comella warns that unlike sex workers, many women doing this put their true identities online, and that could put them at risk. While Seeking Arrangement runs background checks, there have been reports of violence against both men and women stemming from sugar daddy websites.

Kristen Houser of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center says that violence is common any time money is exchanged for sex. “You need to pay attention that there is a power imbalance,” she said.

Wade says there are risks inherent in any dating website. He should know; he runs several, including one that allows users to bid on dates and another focused on open relationships. He said he created SeekingArrangement.com out of his own frustration with women. An MIT graduate, he had difficulty meeting women and realized a site such as this would highlight what set him apart — money.

“Money and sex are things that people want,” he said. “I think the controversy comes into play on seeking arrangement because we are so upfront about it.”

Winners Announced- 2016 Surrey International Trade Awards

Surrey, B.C. – The 8th Surrey Board of Trade, Surrey International Trade Awards Reception took place on May 12th drawing over 250 business people from Surrey and the Lower Mainland to celebrate Surrey’s import and export companies.

“This event really speaks to the reality that Surrey businesses are part of the global economic equation. Countries cannot live in isolation. They have to mutually share their prosperity, technical know-how and undertake trade in order to sell their products. The world economy is inter-dependent. Economic progress of a nation depends upon its ties with other countries,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.

“That is why the Surrey Board of Trade is the only Board of Trade/Chamber of Commerce with an International Trade Centre in our office, creating global business connections for local businesses. Last year, we expanded our trade documentation services and business development services.”

This year’s winner under Small Business Category (Revenue under $15 million) was Nana’s Kitchen and under Large Business Category (Revenue over $15 million) was Coast Clear Wood Ltd.

Coast Clear Wood Ltd.

Coast Clear Wood is a specialty wood products manufacturer and marketing company based in Surrey, with sales of approximate $28 million in 2015. They buy logs from the major coastal forest products companies and cut them into custom products for a very specific customer base. Their motto is “We strive for excellence” as they execute against our value proposition of matching a customers’ unique lumber requirements with the available raw material supply. They sell to domestic and international marketplaces with their products being used in the construction industry as well as in the manufacturing process for windows, doors, flooring, cabinetry, furniture and much more.

 Nana’s Kitchen

Nana’s Kitchen is strategically addressing the export market with their brand difference of “convenient comfort foods with a global taste”. With 75% of their market revenues being derived from the export market, Nana’s Kitchen produces global taste profile food products for grocery retail and food service sectors. Unlike many of their competitors that promote just samosas, Nana’s Kitchen proudly supplies handmade savory and sweet entrée items that are inspired by the culture, caring, and kitchen memories of many ‘Nanas’ all over the world.

More recently, Surrey Board of Trade Business and International Trade Coordinator Luke Arathoon completed the International Chamber of Commerce World Chamber Federation Accreditation program. The Surrey Board of Trade is part of a unique and truly global forum uniting the global network of more than 12,000 chambers and Board of Trades’ from every country around the world. Through the accreditation, best practices, the development of new global products and services for chambers, and international partnerships between chambers and other stakeholders, is put in place helping local businesses grow in international markets. The Surrey Board of Trade’s accreditation reinforces the SBOT’s competency and professionalism in issuing international documentation.

“Luke Arathoon is the 2nd person in Canada to receive this Accreditation, and the only one in Western Canada. This accreditation will ensure that trade documents are reviewed in depth to ensure smooth receipt of products around the globe.”

“Luke Arathoon is the 2nd person in Canada to receive this Accreditation, and the only one in Western Canada. This accreditation will ensure that trade documents are reviewed in depth to ensure smooth receipt of products around the globe.”

Gas prices expected to rise

CKNW News Staff

You might want to gas up today.

Gasbuddy.com has issued a warning – get ready for a big jump at the pump.

Senior analyst Dan McTeague notes that wholesale prices have gone up a nickel in the past 2 days.

“That would mean that any gas station is buying gas for about a buck-a-litre today so it’s quite likely that within the next 24 hours, maybe even today, but more than likely by Monday or Tuesday you’ll see prices increase.”

McTeague blames a U.S. report about a decrease in oil supply, prompting speculation.

But he says as quickly as the prices will rise, they’ll go down again next week.

“Once you see the increase, as quickly as it goes up you’ll start to see some retailers shaving those margins back back down, likely by this time next week.”

He says the increase and then decrease is expected from Ontario to Vancouver Island.

Hardy Grewal, Subway franchise kingpin, donates $1M to Concordia

Son of Indian farmers came to Canada with $7, former cabbie now owns 2,100 fast-food franchises

By Roberto Rocha, CBC News

Hardeep Singh Grewal, the son of Punjabi sugar-cane farmers, came to Canada from India in 1972 with $7 in his pocket.

Fast-forward 44 years, and the entrepreneur owns 2,100 Subway restaurant franchises in Ontario and the U.S.

Grewal now lives in California, but he stopped by Montreal to revisit his former home — and to donate $1 million to Concordia University to endow MBA scholarships at the John Molson School of Business.

“I achieved with hard work what I wanted to accomplish: my parents’ dream to get an education,” Grewal said at a ceremony at the university Monday.

In recognition for the gift, Concordia has renamed the atrium in the business school in his and his wife’s honour: It is to be called the Hardeep (Hardy) Singh Grewal and Patwant Kaur Grewal Atrium.

Grewal hopes he will inspire future entrepreneurs to work hard and achieve their goals.

“Just have a great work ethic,” Grewal said, when asked what advice he’d give students.

“Work hard, and you’ll get anywhere.”

Working all the time

To make ends meet while attending classes, Grewal worked several jobs, including driving a taxi at night.

“I was working part-time all the time. Wherever I could find a job, I made it happen,” he said.

Hoping to start a new life in California, Grewal and his brother pooled together all the money they had and bought a Subway franchise in Sylmar, a neighbourhood in Los Angeles.

He left his wife in charge of the restaurant, while he worked a job in finance.

“It was a simple business where you don’t have to cook. Just make money and deposit it in the bank,” he said.

But when he saw that the Subway was making more money than his main job, Grewal knew he was sitting on an opportunity. So he started buying more franchises and didn’t stop.

Today, he’s Subway’s master developer in southern Ontario, operating 260 stores in the region.

Along with hard work, he credits education for his success.

“My family was always talking about education. That was my motivation,” he said. “Nobody can take that away from you.”