Canada briefs – January 31

An elderly Halifax woman says she was confined to a chair by a man who stole some of her belongings and then fled.

Halifax woman confined to a chair after home broken in

HALIFAX — An elderly Halifax woman says she was confined to a chair by a man who stole some of her belongings and then fled.

Police say they arrested a suspect a short time after they were called to a home by the woman at about 6:40 p.m. Saturday.

She says a man she knows forced his way into the house and confined her to a chair. Police say the man went through the house and took several items. The woman freed herself, called for help and was treated at the scene.

Police say the investigation is continuing.


Lotto ticket bought in Toronto wins $50 million

TORONTO — The single winning ticket to last night’s $50 million Lotto Max jackpot was bought in the Toronto area.

It’s the second time in 30 days a single ticket has won the $50 million prize.

The last time was Dec. 31.

Sarah Kiriliuk, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., says it’s been a lucky month for the province.

Also up for grabs in Friday’s draw were 13 MAXMILLIONS prizes of $1-million each.

There were two winning tickets for those prizes — both of them purchased in Ontario.


Layton says he’s ready for an election

MONTREAL — NDP Leader Jack Layton says he is prepared for an election but would rather concentrate on getting things done when Parliament resumes.

Layton says the New Democrats have laid out a list of priorities for the upcoming budget, including help for seniors and more family doctors.

But he says the Harper government has offered little indication they are prepared to work on those issues.

Layton made the comments in Montreal, where actor Tyrone Benskin was introduced as the party candidate for the riding of Jeanne-Le Ber, Que.

Parliament is set to return after a six-week break amid speculation an election could be triggered over the spring budget.


Anti-racism activist to get commemorative stamp

NEW GLASGOW, N.S. — Seventy-years ago, Carrie Best placed stamps on a great many envelopes during a letter-writing campaign to protest human rights abuses.

On Tuesday, Canada Post will launch a commemorative stamp to honour the achievements of the black New Glasgow, N.S., woman who died in 2001 at the age of 97.

“What an amazing tribute,” said Henderson Paris, another New Glasgow human rights activist. “Dr. Best would just be in awe of it.”

It’s not the first time Best has been honoured. She was a member and then an officer of the Order of Canada and the recipient of two honorary doctorates.

Paris said Saturday that Best always worked for the good of the community, not for recognition.

And if she were still alive, she’d likely use the stamp launch in her hometown to promote equality and to speak against racism.

“She’d likely say, ‘It’s great to be acknowledged, but it’s been a struggle,”’ said Paris, who will be master of ceremonies for Tuesday’s event. “She’d ask, ’What about the issues? How are you going to correct them?”’

Paris is the founder of the Run Against Racism and a New Glasgow councillor and a director of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. He described Best as someone who acted when she saw something wrong.

He cherishes a personal memory of Best, then in her 80s, running beside him for a few steps during his annual Run Against Racism.

“She certainly was a pioneer and she paved the way for many of us,” he said. “But it wasn’t easy. She took her share of retaliation and abuse, and it took time away from her family and things she wanted to do.

“I’m sure there were many nights she pondered what she was doing.”

In 1946, Best founded the Clarion, the first newspaper in Nova Scotia to be owned and published by an African-Canadian.

She used the paper to publicize the case of Viola Desmond, who was arrested the same year for sitting in the whites-only section of a New Glasgow theatre.

Without Best’s lifelong campaign against racism, last year’s public apology to Desmond may not have been possible, Paris said.

Best, a 1950s and ’60s radio show host, also used her column in a local weekly to crusade against racist policies like First Nation substandard housing and discriminatory treatment of black homeowners in New Glasgow.

Best’s stamp is coming out at the same time as one featuring former baseball star Ferguson Jenkins, a standout pitcher from Chatham, Ont.