The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on February 21, 2001 · 4
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 4

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Wednesday, February 21, 2001
Page:
4
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:A4 THE OTTAWA CITIZEN CANADA WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2001 Canadian firm TOUGH GUY DAVEY HILTON SHEDS TEARS IN COURT helps military in Colombia Federal government gives OK despite country's rights record 1 By Glen McGregor Y A Canadian aerospace firm is helping maintain helicopters for -the Colombian military with the .federal government's blessing, ; despite the country's atrocious human rights record and massacres of civilians by Colombia's armed forces. Vector Aerospace of St John's, : Nfld., announced last month it - had signed a $6.5-million contract with Colombia to overhaul . engine components and supply parts for military helicopters, the workhorse of the South American country's army. - Canadian export regulations prevent the sale of military goods and technology to governments with persistent human rights violations, unless it - can be demonstrated there is no reasonable risk the goods will be used against the civilian population. ' Colombia's army and affiliated 1 paramilitary organizations have -been cited for numerous violations by the international orga-jiization, Human Rights Watch. -Most appalling was an attack last August in which troops fired - mdiscriminately into a crowd in I the town of Pueblo Rico, killing Isix elementary school children who were on a field trip. " "According to witnesses, sol-'diers'fired for 40 minutes, ignoring the screams of the adult xhaperons," Human Rights Watch wrote in a report Vector Aerospace's CEO, Mark Dobbin, says his company 'does not vet the human rights . records of countries the compa-uiy does business with, preferring to rely on the government 'for direction. "We follow the Canadian gov-i eminent guidelines, and if they deem it a country suitable for .doing business, then we tend to agree with that," he said "I don't believe it is appropriate for me, - as a custodian of our sharehpld-" ers' money, to make those types r of value judgments." Mr. Dobbin described military contracts as "a growth market" for the publicly traded company. A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and In-! ternational Trade said the de- partment's export control divi- sion decided that Vector did not require a special export permit because the helicopter parts are i considered civilian products, not military equipment "They argue that it's civilian J equipment, but the end user is v TTTTirn r 1 n My ! Grace Louie leaves court with her sons Kim, left, and Todd, in Toronto yesterday. 1 They are involved in a lawsuit with Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman. I Lastman left illegitimate sons I to endure poverty, court told Mayor's ex-mistress, two sons, seek$6M By Tom blackwell ,; TORONTO Toronto Mayor Mel ! Lastman owes his political success to J the fact he hid the existence of two ille-gitimate sons, leaving them to a child- hood of grinding poverty, lawyers alleged yesterday. ! Mr. Lastman also gained financially I from failing to support his "secret fami- h," said a lawyer, who gave her name as 1 D. Smith, for one of the men who claims ! he's the flamboyant mayor's son. J But the most significant benefit was J avoiding the kind of social stigma that 1 could have crippled his fledgling political . ! career three decades ago, Ms. Smith said, j "Mr. Lastman knew every day of the tremendous poverty that two of his four jyhildren lived in," she told a court hearing. The two men and their mother launched a lawsuit against Mr. Lastman Hast November, demanding $6 million Ifrom him for failing to support them as JJhey struggled to make ends meet The hearing was to resume today, with Ithe judge likely to reserve a decision. the Colombian military," said NDP MP Svend Robinson, who recently returned from a trip to Colombia. "What guarantee is there that this equipment won't be used in a way that Canada doesn't accept?" Mr. Robinson said doing business with the Colombian army is "totally unacceptable" given its well-documented history of human rights abuse. Richard Sanders, a member of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, says defence contractors often rely on "loose loopholes" in regulations that allow the export of civilian equipment that may ultimately be used for military applications. A common method, he says, is to ship to the U.S., where the equipment is modified before being sent to its destination. Canada has exported helicopters directly to Colombia before. In 1994, a Quebec company won a contract to supply 12 Bell helicopters, the same model used by the U.S. for counter-insurgency operations in Vietnam. Again, the government allowed the export because the company claimed the aircraft would not be used for military purposes, even though some of the choppers had already been earmarked for counter-insurgency operations. The U.S. is also a major supplier of helicopters to the Colombian military for use in drug interdiction. The Colombians have been criticized for blurring the lines between the drug war and its battle with guerrillas, which has resulted in the massacre of thou-s-"ds of unarmed civilians. Colombia's armed forces and affiliated paramilitary groups have killed some 20,000 civilians in the crackdown since 1996, according to an Amnesty International report Human Rights Watch accuses Colombia's military of "direct collaboration" with paramilitaries in attacks on civilians, including a massacre last year in the village of El Salado. While the military blocked the International Red Cross from entering the area, a paramilitary group conducted a two-day orgy of violence that left 36 villagers dead. "They tortured, garroted, stabbed, decapitated, and shot residents," claims a report "Witnesses told investigators that they tied one six-year-old girl to a pole and suffocated her with a plastic bag. One woman was reportedly gang-raped." ! THE Mr. Lastman has neither denied nor confirmed that the men, Todd Louie, 38, and Kim Louie, 42, are his sons. He's admitted that he had a 14-year affair with their mother, Grace Louie, that ended in 1971, when he was already embarked on a high-profile career in municipal politics. The brothers say they didn't discover the identity of their father until their mother revealed the information in 1997. The woman and her sons sat in court for the sometimes dry legal arguments, but Mr. Lastman didn't appear. Ms. Louie was married at the time of her affair with Mr. Lastman and the sons were raised by her and her husband until the couple separated in 1969. She then raised them as a single mother, but a recurring hip ailment forced her repeatedly onto welfare and they often had little to live on, the suits claim. Mr. Lastman, meanwhile, was becoming a wealthy man thanks to the chain of Bad Boy appliance and furniture stores he built from scratch. She agreed to a settlement in 1974 that saw her accept $27,500 from Mr. Last-man. Mr. Lastman's lawyer, Sheila Block, said the mother's suit is groundless because she signed the legal release and accepted the money 26 years ago. V4H W v J ' 4n f ' i 'v.''vv V Ni t j ' i t 1 i r - l-'l .1- W . j I 7 ; ' j : r H , ,;; '.., If f- fh -: : jh :'- ? ".- lr i v v .h 0 ,'. i y , n Mr.'- jhrf.HrrNffl-.r- -J' ' -- -" H. ... . . a KrdfiAr lfriii.(fy ,.n,.. S , .Tf Il.ihlfiltllMil.1fiinf.lf fft - - ' Jd SHAUN The many faces of Davey Hilton, the World Boxing Council champion who admits he's a drunk, were on display yesterday at a Montreal ' courthouse. In the courtroom, Mr. Hilton started crying when his lawyer read from a card the girls he is accused of sexually abusing sent Mr. Hilton on his 34th birthday in 1997. Outside the courtroom, Mr. Hilton, above, looked at times bored, defiant and frustrated. Hilton case now in hands of judge MONTREAL Lawyers in the trialof Davey Hilton took centre stage yesterday, with each side using closing statements to paint a radically different picture of the two girls accusing the boxer of sexual assault Mr. Hilton's lawyer, Paul Skolnik, spent the morning pointing out small discrepancies in the girls' testimony, hoping to discredit them and bolster the defence theory that the girls, now 16 and 17, simply invented the allegations. "These girls are not credible, your Honour. They are able to fabricate and they've fabricated a fantastic frame-up," Mr. Skolnik said. "The story has all kinds of holes in it and should clearly represent a reasonable doubt to you." Sitting in the front row of the public gallery, the 37-year-old Mr. Hilton wiped tears from his eyes as Mr. Skolnik read from a card the girls sent Mr. Hilton on his 34th birthday in 1997. The lawyer presented the card in which one of the girls had written that, despite his advancing years, Mr. Hilton was still "a major babe" to prove the girls still had affection for their accused rapist, even years pgapjr -fw . 4 -w CANADIAN PRESS LASER BEST, REUTERS after the abuse allegedly began. Moments after leaving the courtroom, Mr. Hilton began to cry again. He was comforted by his mother, father and brother, Jimmy Hilton. At one point Mr. Hilton put his head on his father's shoulder as the group led him into a private room. While conceding that sex abuse doesn't often take place in public, Mr. Skolnik said the widespread abuse the girls are accusing Mr. Hilton of couldn't have taken place without someone noticing. "Nobody saw anything, heard anything, heard the bed moving or any moaning and groaning. Both girls mentioned ejaculation in several places but no one ever saw semen on the sheets," he said. Crown prosecutor Helene Di Salvo pointed out that during five days of testimony and lengthy statements to police and legal officials here and in the U.S., where some of the abuse is alleged to have taken place, the girls' stories remained consistent. She said Mr. Hilton's admission that he was constantly drunk during the years the girls allege he abused them is awfully convenient. Citizen news services v-syi What is the missing link in laser vision correction? Xr -- V ... i CUSTOMIZED LASER ABLATION LMC's custDm treatment uses digital imaging to create a blueprint of your eye, v linked to state of the art laser technology for unparalleled correction. Lasilc$599 per eye MEDCARE Bank at Hunt Club 739-3044 SHAUN BEST, REUTERS Woman own baby, Staff ignored her cries for help By Pamela fayerman KAMLOOPS, B.C. A Kam-loops woman delivered her premature baby on her hospital bed alone when her repeated pleas for maternity ward nursing help were ignored. Angie Clausen, 24, who brought her tiny infant home from the hospital on Monday, 10 days after she was born, said nurses on the night shift at Kamloop's Royal Inland Hospital, actually scolded her for complaining about her contractions. "At around 2 a.m. (Feb. 10), a nurse came in and told me to stop making so much noise," recalled Ms. Clausen. "I insisted I was in labour, but she just poked my stomach, told me it wasn't hard enough to be having contractions and left the room. Basically, she told me to shut up and quit with the theatrics because I was disturbing other patients." Shortly after 8 a.m., when day shift nurses were replacing the night shift, a nursing student A v - Vi Limited time offerfinancing available The future of Laser Eye Surgery is now available only at Laser Medcare PAULCHIASSON, THE CANADIAN PRES.S delivers in hospital entered Ms. Clausen's room to find that the babysbead had crowned. ' "She went to get help and while she was gone, I delivered the baby on the bed. She wasn't breathing, so when the nurses came in, they had to give her oxygen, suction off the fluids and rush her down to the intensive care nursery," said Ms. Clausen. . ' Ms. Clausen was admitted tb hospital Feb. 8, after her water broke six weeks early. The experience has traumatized her, she said. "I can't believe a thing like this could happen in a hospital. If they were too busy to monitor me, they sure weren't too busy to tell me to shut up. ' ' "I want an apology and' I think I'm owed an explanation." '' The hospital's Stella Blacksaid an internal review involving interviews with hospital personnel will complete the picture. "Certainly, she raises legitimate issues," she said. "It's not an outcome I want to see for patients and I'm sure there are improvements which can be made." Special to the Citizen p n;" 1"' ,i T

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