Lots of Cheering in Canada this Weekend
Four years after winning gold on home ice in Vancouver, the Canadians will get a chance to make it two in a row Sunday against Sweden after beating the United States 1-0 in the Olympic semifinals Friday at Bolshoy Ice Dome.
This time, though, it was made possible by a few players who weren’t around in 2010, namely Jamie Benn and Carey Price. Benn scored for Canada on a pretty pass from fellow newcomer Jay Bouwmeester, and Price — chosen by coach Mike Babcock to start over Vancouver golden goalie Roberto Luongo — had 31 saves to make it stand up.
Canada’s victory came a day after the women’s team staged an improbable late comeback to beat the United States for its fourth straight gold medal. Babcock and his players said that victory taught them that “you don’t give in.”
Of course the way Team Canada got to the gold-medal game was very different. It hasn’t trailed for even one second at these Olympics. (Source: CTV News)
Meanwhile, Liberals gathered in Montreal for a policy convention this weekend, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s opening speech Thursday evening took shots at the Harper government, saying Canadians are tired of the tactics of fear and division practised by the Conservatives.
Trudeau also aimed broadsides at the Quebec government of Pauline Marois and the NDP.
In a speech that was earlier broadcast by mistake on closed-circuit television to the media room as it was being rehearsed, Trudeau said Canadians should have trust in the diversity of Quebec despite the Quebec charter of values bill proposed by Marois’s government that would ban the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols in provincially funded jobs.
Trudeau praised the diversity he says he knows exists in Quebec, despite “the divisions that are being stoked in this province these days.”
He said he has no wish to join “Mr. Harper and Mr. Mulcair in a contest to see who can make Canadians angrier.” (Source: CBC News)
Événement du siècle : week-end libéral à Montréal. Shared on L’Expérience lol78
Shadow cast over Sochi as Ukraine violence shatters Olympic truce
An outburst of deadly violence in neighbouring Ukraine is casting a pall over the final days of the Winter Olympics.
Host Russia began the Games with a call for a worldwide truce during the Olympic period, but by Wednesday it was trading blame with the United States and European Union over the bloodshed in Ukraine, which killed at least 25 people on Tuesday and Wednesday. Russia has steadfastly backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych throughout the three-month-old crisis, while the U.S. and EU have encouraged the opposition that is now battling police in the streets of Kiev.
“Those are terrible scenes,” Mark Adams, a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee, said, referring to the television images of the fiery streetfights. “The Olympic truce is an important, symbolic thing for us – I’m not sure really that it plays much part in what’s going on there but clearly we hope that the situation will be solved as quickly and with as less bloodshed as possible.”
The Ukrainian Olympic Committee said its athletes had asked for permission to wear black armbands in competition, as a gesture of mourning for those killed in Kiev. However, the Ukrainian team said the IOC rejected the request, citing the Olympic Charter’s ban on any kind of political or religious statements on athletes’ clothing.
The fighting began Tuesday after Ukraine’s parliament refused to table an opposition effort to alter the country’s constitution to curb Mr. Yanukovych’s powers. But the struggle for Ukraine dates back to Nov. 21, when Mr. Yanukovych – under heavy Russian pressure – shocked his country by walking away from an EU trade deal in favour of closer ties with Moscow.
The stakes are high for all sides. Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a belligerent statement Wednesday accusing “radical opposition leaders” of trying to violently seize power in Ukraine. “We do not see a coherent response from European politicians and institutions, which refuse to recognize that the responsibility for the actions of the radical forces in Ukraine lies on the opposition.” (Continue: The Globe & Mail)
Wynne, Horwath downplay election talk following Tory, NDP byelection wins
Premier Kathleen Wynne is in no hurry for a spring election after the Liberals lost big in byelections in Niagara Falls and Thornhill on Thursday.
Wynne says she doesn’t know when there will be a general election, and insists the Liberals will stick with the plan to introduce a budget this spring and keep the minority government alive.
She also says people cannot extrapolate the byelection results to determine what will happen in a general election.
Despite the NDP’s big win in Niagara Falls, leader Andrea Horwath still won’t say if she’ll stop supporting the minority government and trigger a spring election.
Horwath says the byelections results sent a clear message that people are not happy with the Liberals, but adds she is not focused on a possible election.
Meanwhile, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak blames “union elites” for his party’s loss to the New Democrats in Niagara Falls, which had been Liberal for a decade.
Hudak says the Tories were in a “David and Goliath” battle against hundreds of paid union activists who flooded Niagara Falls in support of the NDP.
He says the Conservatives would have taken the riding if it had been a level playing field. (Source: Hamilton Spectator) http://www.thespec.com/news-story/4369020-wynne-horwath-downplay-election-talk-following-tory-ndp-byelection-wins/
Evgeni Plushenko shocks Sochi, retires before short program
Is Evgeni Plushenko done?
If so, the majestic Russian figure skater exited the spotlight with Evgenian stagecraft: Gold and gone.
The veteran show-master had just come out under the klieg lights at the Ice Palace to perform his short program in the men’s singles competition. He looked clearly out of sorts, rolling his shoulders, wincing, kneading the small of his chronically ailing back.
He motioned to the judges for a moment’s indulgence. Most spectators thought perhaps there was something awry with Plushenko’s music. But he stopped again, hands on hips, shaking his signature block tresses.
Couldn’t go through with it, in too much pain, apparently, and waved goodbye instead to the suddenly hushed crowd.
The 31-year-old had fallen on a quad during practice Wednesday, after leading Russia to gold in the inaugural team event on the weekend. He landed awkwardly again — looked more like a strain in the groin muscles — on a triple Axel in the warm-up Thursday night.
Left the ice, spoke to his coach and departed, stomping down the tunnel into the medical room.
“Do not judge him by tonight,” pleaded long-time coach Alexei Mishin, facing down reporters in the mixed zone. “Judge him by his history. Be kind.”
Plushenko, Olympic champion in 2006 and twice silver, including four years ago in Vancouver, has had a dozen surgeries on his problematic back. Injury caused him to miss all of the 2013 Grand Prix season, though he competed at nationals and came second.
The fall in practice, said Mishin, had opened up a three-inch gash, just above one of the operation scars on his back, where he now has plastic rather than bone.
“Yesterday I fell on the quad toe in training and I felt a problem in my back,” Plushenko explained when he reappeared to address journalists. “Today I went into training to see what I could do but I couldn’t jump. I skated maybe seven minutes maximum. I tried and tried and tried today.” (Source: Toronto Star)