Montreal residents Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali charged with participating in activity of a terrorist group, tip from the community helps the RCMP

Two Montréal Residents Charged with Participating in Activity of a Terrorist Group: Tip from the Community Helps the RCMP

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Montréal, April 20, 2015 – The Montréal Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) announces today that charges have been filed against Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali, both aged 18. The two Montréal residents are currently in preventive detention. They face the following charges under the Criminal Code of Canada:

  • 83.181 – Attempting to leave Canada to participate in activity of a terrorist group
  • 83.19 – Facilitating terrorist activity
  • 83.2 – Commission of an offence for a terrorist group
  • 81 (1)(d) – Using explosives

These charges result from a short police investigation launched after information was received from the community. The investigation showed that Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali were planning to leave the country to commit a terrorist act abroad.

Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali appeared in court in Montréal this morning to face the charges filed against him.

The investigation is still ongoing. The INSET is trying to determine if other individuals associated to the accused could have conspired with them. The INSET asks for the cooperation of the public. Information can be reported to the National Security Information Line at 1 800 420-5805, by email at nsci_ecsn@rcmp-grc.gc.ca or your local police.

Ottawa police seeking help to identify man and woman for questioning on stabbing death of Connor Stevenson

Published on: April 19, 2015
Last Updated: April 19, 2015 9:57 PM EDT

The Ottawa police major crime section is seeking help to identify two individuals who may have important information related to a homicide on Jasmine Crescent.Ottawa police

Police hope someone will come forward to identity two people — a man and a woman — whom investigators believe have “important information” in connection with the recent stabbing death of Connor Stevenson.

Early last week, the 18-year-old, a one-time Gloucester High School student, became the city’s second homicide of year after being stabbed at least three times in the chest while in the sixth floor stairwell of Sutton Place, part of a two-tower highrise complex at 2020 Jasmine Cres., in Ottawa’s east side, where he lived with his mother and stepfather. He was pronounced dead after being rushed to hospital.

The Ottawa police major crime section released photos Sunday of a man and woman, both black, they want to identify, saying the two “may have important information related to a homicide on Jasmine Crescent.”

One photo shows a hooded young woman in a bright pinkish coat talking on a cellphone while riding an elevator in the building. Another shows her in the hallway approaching the elevators still on a cellphone.

The man’s pictures show him wearing a black leather coat over a hoodie, with the hood on his head. Despite the hood, man’s face is revealed both as he enters an elevator and when as he looks up at the floor indicator on the elevator.

“The man and woman shown in these images were at the building at the time of the incident, and investigators believe they have important information to contribute to the investigation,” major crimes Staff Sgt. Robert Drummond said Sunday.

Matthew House Refuge Services and Furniture Bank hope to raise thousands for refugee claimants’ sheltter

Shelter for refugee claimants holding first variety show fundraiser

Matthew House and Furniture Bank hope to raise thousands

Matthew House fundraiser

Matthew House fundraiser

File

Matthew House executive director Miriam Rawson, left, and volunteer Claire Haas in front of Matthew House, located along Centrepointe Drive in Nepean.
Kanata Kourier-Standard

An organization that supports newcomers to Ottawa who are seeking refugee status is holding a variety show fundraiser at Kanata Baptist Church on April 24.

The event, which will feature singing, dancing and musical talent from locals and newcomers, is in support of Matthew House Refuge Services and Furniture Bank.

With attendance free to those under 18 and tickets $10 per person, organizers hope to raise $2,000 to help keep Matthew House running.

Matthew House is a Christian organization that draws its inspiration from the Matthew 25:25 Network, referring to Bible scripture about welcoming newcomers. It seeks to do that by providing refugees and refugee claimants a place to live and guidance during the refugee claim process.

With space for up to 10 people at a time, Matthew House, located along Centrepointe Drive in Nepean, has helped more than 100 people from dozens of countries since it started in 2010.

Partnered with Furniture Bank located in Kanata, the organization can also provide their residents with volunteer work, job skills and furniture for their future homes.

The majority of the organization’s funding comes from churches, individuals and grants, but does not receive government funding, said Matthew House’s program manager, Kailee Brennan.

“In an NGO (non-governmental organization) like that, you are always looking for ways to fundraise,” she said.

Much of Matthew House’s operating budget comes from its own Ride for Refuge event held in October, and participation in Ottawa Race Weekend.

Liberal Leader David Swann unveil party’s five-point plan to improve lives of new Canadians

Liberals unveil five-point plan to improve lives of new Canadians

Published on: April 18, 2015
Last Updated: April 18, 2015 8:44 PM MDT

Liberal Leader David Swann unveiled his party’s five-point plan to improve the lives of new Canadians Saturday, April 18, 2015 in CalgaryTrevor Howell / Calgary Herald

The Alberta government is inadequately funding social agencies and programs aimed at helping immigrants successfully transition into Canadian society and the workforce, says Liberal Leader David Swann.

Swann unveiled his party’s five-point plan on Saturday that would bolster local immigration agencies, improve English language and jobs training, streamline the foreign credential review process, and add $25 million for settlement funding.

“We do not believe the PCs have done a good job in preparing and supporting new Canadians and helping them adequately to have their credentials, their training (and) their expertise recognized here,” Swann told roughly 50 supporters at a northeast Liberal campaign office.

Settlement agencies the provide essential services to newcomers lack the resources to adequately meet demand, Swann said.

 Further, he said the Liberals would increase funding to traditional and Internet English language training to unburden social agencies, teachers and help immigrants reach their full potential faster.

“It’s impossible to succeed in this culture without a strong basis in language learning,” Swann said. “We don’t see a strong commitment there by the Alberta government.”

The Tory government was criticized last month for slashing millions of dollars from specialty grants to school boards in the budget, including nearly $3 million from the ESL grant.

“Some people transition easily and in six months … some people are going to take longer,” Swann said. “The provincial government has to help people make whatever the transition timing is right for them and their families.”

thowell@calgaryherald.com

Group wants to save historic structures in Lethbridge’s shrinking Chinatown

 Group wants to save historic structures in Lethbridge’s shrinking Chinatown

Published on: April 14, 2015
Last Updated: April 14, 2015 7:53 AM MDT

Walking through the green doors of the Bow on Tong building in downtown Lethbridge is like stepping back in time nearly a century.

The walls inside the two-storey, brick, commercial building are lined with dozens of drawers, each labelled with Chinese characters. Pull open a drawer and you could find traditional natural medicine, such as dried bugs, from decades ago when a Chinese apothecary began operating in the building.

“(The building) hasn’t been changed since it was built in 1919. Everything is original,” said Melissa Belter, with the Downtown Lethbridge BRZ. “You don’t find that very often.”