CALGARY: Sean Chu apologizes after linking Ireland marriage vote and bike lanes that ‘screw’ downtown

Published on: May 24, 2015
Last Updated: May 24, 2015 1:49 PM MDT

A Calgary city councillor has said he’s sorry he wrote on Twitter that Ireland voters’ endorsement of same-sex marriage was akin to a Calgary “social revolution” of separated bike lanes that would harm downtown businesses.

Sean Chu, a first-term councillor known for his inflammatory language on social media and at council, composed the tweet Saturday, and it was immediately met with surprise and anger.

The message read: “Congrats, Irish’s ‘social revolution’ on same sex marriage. We’ve our own ‘social revolution’its called ‘screw the D/T businesses’Cycletracks.”

Chu has been council’s most outspoken critic of the newly installed safe cycle tracks on several downtown streets. But he’s not spoken out on same-sex marriage, and some people questioned if he was criticizing it with his message.

“We really need to address how offensive Councillor Chu’s tweet is,” said Mike Morrison, a prominent activist in the recent push for gay-straight alliances to be allowed throughout the school system.

“Sean … No … just……..no,” remarked Kevin Olenick, who has hosted Chu on his local podcast.

Chu apologized by Sunday afternoon, and said he looks forward to marching in the Calgary Pride Parade in September.

“I unequivocally apologize for the tweet. Bad comparison. I absolutely support human & equal rights. I have marched before and will again,” he wrote.

(…)

After that tweet, council privately concluded Chu had violated the ethical conduct policy, and he personally apologized to the civil servant.

VANCOUVER: Li Zhao charged in killing and dismembering Gang Yuan

Gang Yuan, dismembered millionaire, allegedly killed for his money

B.C. Supreme Court petition claims victim financially supported accused killer’s family

By Jason Proctor, CBC News Posted: May 20, 2015 5:55 PM PT Last Updated: May 21, 2015 8:44 AM PT

Dismembered millionaire allegedly killed for his money 2:29

A court battle has erupted over the estate of wealthy businessman Gang Yuan, whose dismembered body was found last month at an exclusive West Vancouver address.

Yuan’s brother, Qiang Yuan, has obtained a B.C. Supreme Court order giving him the go-ahead on behalf of Yuan’s estate to sue Li Zhao, the man charged with second-degree murder in Yuan’s death.

In an unusual press conference, the family’s lawyer claimed Yuan was supporting Zhao and his wife, who was allegedly seen driving the victim’s Bentley within days of his death.

“So the question arises, why would someone kill his benefactor?” said Chris Johnson, who represents the victim’s brother and speculated about the motivation for the murder.

“With the known facts, there is really only one conclusion: Mr. Zhao did this for financial reasons. He thought that he could get a free house. Not just any house, but a very valuable house in West Vancouver.”

CLAGARY: Ada Guan and Wes Branch regret seeking $50K in crowdfunding campaign

1st-time parents say they never meant to offend people by asking for donations through crowdfunding

CBC News Posted: May 17, 2015 4:50 PM PT Last Updated: May 18, 2015 8:00 AM PT

New parents Ada Guan and Wes Branch arrived in Vancouver before heading home to Victoria after Guan gave birth to baby Chloe on a flight to Japan on May 10. The couple has faced backlash over their attempt to raise money in a crowdfunding campaign, so reduced the goal to $5,000 from $50,000.New parents Ada Guan and Wes Branch arrived in Vancouver before heading home to Victoria after Guan gave birth to baby Chloe on a flight to Japan on May 10. The couple has faced backlash over their attempt to raise money in a crowdfunding campaign, so reduced the goal to $5,000 from $50,000. (CBC)

The Canadian couple who made international headlines when the woman delivered a surprise baby aboard an Air Canada flight headed to Japan regret seeking $50,000 through crowdfunding donations, and have dramatically lowered the goal.

Wes Branch and girlfriend Ada Guan, who are in their early 20s, were interviewed at Vancouver International Airport on Sunday morning on a stopover before a flight home to Victoria.

Vancouver parents continue lawsuit over trangender student policy

Vancouver parents continue lawsuit over trangender student policy

MARY BEACHAND MIKE HAGER

VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

Three Vancouver parents are pressing ahead with a B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit demanding the Vancouver School Board change a transgender student policy that they say takes away people’s right to know about any change in the gender identity or sexual orientation of their children.

Lawyer Masao Morinaga said on Monday that his clients’ main concern is that the policy passed last year allows students to keep these matters secret from their parents. Under the policy, students can request that their conversations on gender identity or sexual orientation with school counsellors and staff be kept confidential.

The petition was filed last November and Mr. Morinaga said he hopes to schedule a hearing in Vancouver’s B.C. Supreme Court in the next several months. He said he has affidavits from about 175 other parents, mostly from Vancouver’s Chinese community, in support of the petition.

In an affidavit explaining the policy, Maureen Ciarniello, Vancouver’s assistant superintendent, said students can feel unsafe sharing their gender identity or sexual orientation with their parents because they “sometimes fear that they will be kicked out of their families.”

“In general, breaking confidentiality only occurs when a student speaks of harm to self and/or harm to others,” Ms. Ciarniello said in the affidavit.

A year ago, the school board’s approval of a new plan for unisex school bathrooms and more gender sensitivity in its classrooms drew outrage from some parents in the Christian and East Asian communities. The Non-Partisan Association party kicked out school trustees Sophia Woo and Ken Denike after they held a news conference at a Chinese restaurant aimed at stopping the board from implementing the new policy. They suggested that real estate agents had told them people in Asia would stop buying homes in Vancouver and sending their children to school there, and the board would lose money as numbers of paying international students dropped.

Vancouver lawyers see difficulties in China’s efforts to extract Ching for accused corruption

Vancouver lawyers see difficulties in China’s efforts to extract Ching for accused corruption

May 12,2015

VANCOUVER, May 11 (Xinhua) — A flurry of ongoing Canadian court actions and the lack of an extradition treaty between China and Canada may block Michael Mo Yeung Ching from being deported to face corruption allegations in China, a Vancouver lawyer said on Monday.

“We’ve got no extradition treaty with China,” immigration lawyer Rudolf Kischer told Xinhua in an interview. “The rule of law prevails in Canada, and the law says if you’re a permanent resident, you have the right to remain in Canada.”

Ching is a wealthy developer now residing in Vancouver, who is wanted by China on corruption accusations.

Kischer said the elements of the case so far suggest that the Canadian government “has no way of kicking him out,” unless they can prove that he lied or hid information that led to his securing of permanent residency status in Canada in the mid-1990s.

Ching, 45, is accused by China of graft and corruption dating back to the late 1990s. The high profile businessman in Vancouver became a Canadian permanent resident in 1996, according to his lawyer. But Ching has since been denied Canadian citizenship.

Mo Yeung Ching (Muyang Cheng) suing Canadian government for $1.75 million for denying him “statutory, constitutional, as well as international treaty rights”

Interpol issued this picture along with a wanted notice for Muyang Cheng. An Immigration and Refugee Board decision confirms he is also known as developer Mo Yeung (Michael) Ching. (Interpol)

IRB decision confirms Mo Yeung (Michael) Ching wanted by Interpol, Ching’s lawyer says no merit to allegations

By Jason Proctor, CBC News Posted: May 02, 2015 11:44 AM PT Last Updated: May 02, 2015 2:58 PM PT

Prominent Vancouver developer Mo Yeung (Michael) Ching lost his bid for refugee status because he is wanted by Chinese authorities for embezzlement, according to newly obtained Immigration and Refugee Board documents.

IRB panelist Gordon McRae rejected Ching’s claim for refugee status last October after finding he may have “committed a serious, non-political crime outside of Canada.”

Ching and two other men are accused of defrauding China’s Hebei provincial government out of $502,040 as part of a land deal in the late 1990s.

Also known as Muyang Cheng

The IRB decision, obtained by CBC through Winnipeg Federal Court, confirms that the 45-year-old developer is also known as Muyang Cheng, the man identified on an Interpol arrest warrant.

“The elements of the crime lead me to conclude that it is what would be described in Canada as a ‘White Collar Crime,’” McRae wrote.

“It was committed by well-educated, well-connected, well-established persons, one of whom was in a position of trust.”

The IRB decision lends clarity to confusion that arose after the Chinese government released a list of 100 economic fugitives last month.

The list contains the same picture as an Interpol ‘wanted’ notice for a man named Muyang Cheng.

Chinese media reported Cheng was Mo Yeung (Michael) Ching, but his Canadian lawyers wouldn’t confirm the match.

McRae’s decision leaves no doubt: ”In July 2000, he permanently moved to Vancouver and opened his own land development company called Mo Yeung International, a company he runs to this day.”

Denies all allegations

However, in an emailed statement to CBC News on Saturday, Ching’s lawyer, David Lunny, said the allegations against his client are entirely without merit.

“Mr. Ching immigrated to Canada from China openly and without subterfuge. There were no charges against him in China and no grounds for any charges,” Lunny said.

“He did not flee from anything and he has never been in hiding. He was not then and is not now a fugitive. The accusations which are now made against him by the Chinese government and repeated in the media here are without foundation and they emanated only after a change in the leadership of the Chinese political regime.”