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Canada marked its 150th anniversary as a country in cities, towns and at backyard barbecues nationwide.

Revelers, police and some protesters converged on Ottawa on July 2 for a party that has been years in the planning.

However, the biggest bash was at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, where thousands of people joined the celebrations.

Large crowds turned out in their droves – albeit huddled under umbrellas, trying to avoid the rain.

Some partygoers got to the hill before the sun had even risen.

Their early morning netted them a prime spot right next to the main stage.

The celebrations included a concert by Canadian artists, a display from Canada’s aerobatics squadron the Snowbirds, a citizenship ceremony for new Canadians, and a massive fireworks display.

Justin Trudeau Welcomes First Syrian Refugees Arriving in Canada

Canadian theater giants Cirque du Soleil performed, and Bono and The Edge from the rock band U2 serenaded the crowd with an acoustic set.

PM Justin Trudeau, who has made inclusiveness a political calling card, gave a speech celebrating that attribute.

“We don’t care where you’re from or what religion you practise, or whom you love – you are all welcome in Canada,” he said to cheers from the crowd.

Justin Trudeau’s speech was delivered in both English and French, a tradition in Canada, which recognizes both as its official languages.

“This is as good a reason as any to reflect on our past, to cheer on today, and to recommit ourselves to the future,” the prime minister said to the 25,000 partygoers who had waited hours to get past security and on to the parliament’s lawn.

Image source Flickr

However, Justin Trudeau also took a moment to remember Canada’s indigenous people, whom he said had been “the victims of oppression” since the first settlers arrived.

“As a society, we must acknowledge past mistakes,” he said, telling the audience that there was still much work to be done in order to achieve reconciliation.

However, Canada, the prime minister said, was determined to see a reconciliation over the coming years and decades.

“It is a choice we make not because of what we did, or who we were, but because of who we are,” he said.

Indigenous culture was represented in many ways across the festivities, with a number of indigenous performers participating in Canada Day concerts in the capital region.

However, some indigenous peoples refused to recognize Canada 150, saying it represented more than a hundred years of colonization.

Sandwiched between security fences and to the west of the main stage on the parliament’s lawn, a group of indigenous protesters set up a teepee.

They were allowed to stay on Parliament Hill after erecting the structure in the early hours of June 29 in what organizers called a “reoccupation”.

Across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, crowds also lined up to see Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall open a new hall at Canada’s Museum of History.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles’ mother, is Canada’s head of state.

Queen Elizabeth II Jokes with New Canadian PM Justin Trudeau

Canada shelled out an estimated C$500 million ($385 million) on everything from festivities to security and infrastructure projects.

Canada Day, held on July 1 each year, marks the merging of four former British colonies into a single new country. It is a national holiday.

The country grew in size in the years that followed, and finally achieved complete autonomy from the UK in 1931.

It was not until 1982, however, that the British parliament transferred final legal powers to Canada, including the power to amend its constitution.

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French-Canadian student Alexandre Bissonnette has been charged over the fatal shooting of six Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Quebec.

Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, faces six counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted murder.

He briefly appeared in a Quebec City court over January 29 evening’s attack, during evening prayers at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center.

Vigils have been held across Canada to commemorate those killed and injured.

More than 50 people were at the mosque when the shooting erupted just before 8.00 PM on January 29.

Nineteen people were wounded – all men – and of five people still in hospital, two were in a critical condition.

Quebec provincial police have released the names of all six victims who were killed: Azzeddine Soufiane, 57; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41; Aboubaker Thabti, 44; Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, and Ibrahima Barry, 39.

Alexandre Bissonnette did not enter a plea as he appeared in court on January 30, wearing a white prison-issue jump suit, his hands and feet shackled.

Image source Facebook

He was arrested in his car on a bridge leading from Quebec City to Ile d’Orleans, where he called police to say he wanted to co-operate with the authorities.

According to local media, Alexandre Bissonnette studied political science and anthropology at Laval University, whose campus is about 2 miles away from the mosque.

Francois Deschamps, an official with an advocacy group, Welcome to Refugees, said Alexandre Bissonnette was known for his far-right views.

The suspect was “unfortunately known to many activists in Quebec for taking nationalist, pro-Le Pen and anti-feminist positions at Laval University and on social media”, Francois Deschamps posted on the organization’s Facebook page.

A man of Moroccan heritage who was also arrested after the attack, Mohamed Khadir, is now being treated as a witness.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard both described the shooting as a terrorist attack.

Addressing the more than one million Muslims who live in Canada, Justin Trudeau said: “We are with you.

“Thirty-six million hearts are breaking with yours. Know that we value you.”

The shooting came amid heightened global tensions over Donald Trump’s travel ban on immigration from seven Muslim countries.

On January 31, the US administration pointed to the Quebec attack as further justification for the new president’s policies.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said: “We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms.

“It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be pro-active, rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.”

The mosque has been a target of hate crimes in the past, including last summer when a pig’s head was left on its doorstep during Ramadan.

Mohamed Labidi, vice-president of the Islamic center, said the victims had been shot in the back.

The predominantly French-speaking province of Quebec has welcomed thousands of immigrants from Arab countries and other nations.

Six people have been shot dead and another eight wounded in a gun attack at an Islamic center in Quebec City, Canada, police say.

Shots were fired at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center on January 29, where more than 50 people had gathered for evening prayers.

One suspect was arrested at the scene and another was arrested nearby. Police do not believe there are other suspects at large.

The Canadian authorities are treating the shooting as a terror attack.

PM Justin Trudeau said in a statement: “We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge.

“Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country.”

Image source Canadian Press

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard also referred to the shooting as a terrorist attack.

According to police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe, the dead were aged between about 35 and 70 years old. Some of those injured were in a serious condition, she said.

Police said the area was secure and the situation was “under control”. Thirty-nine people had left the mosque safely, they said.

Earlier, a witness had told Reuters that up to three gunmen had been involved. The news agency also reported that a “heavily armed police tactical squad” had been seen entering the mosque.

The second suspect fled the scene in a vehicle but was arrested on a bridge leading to Orleans Island, the Journal de Quebec reported. The suspect had called the police himself, the newspaper said.

Police seized automatic weapons and handguns from the alleged attackers, the Journal de Quebec reported.

The president of the mosque, Mohamed Yangui – who was not inside at the time – said the shooting had happened in the men’s section of the mosque.

On its Facebook page the center thanked the public “for the hundreds of messages of compassion”.

In June 2016, the same mosque was the target of an Islamophobic incident when a pig’s head was left in front of the building, with a card saying “bonne appetit”. Eating pork is forbidden in Islam.

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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has taken a stand on social media against the temporary US ban on refugees and immigration from designated countries.

In a series of tweets, Justin Trudeau underscored his government’s commitment to bringing in “those fleeing persecution, terror & war”.

Within hours, his tweets had been shared more than 150,000 times.

“Welcome to Canada” also became a trending term in the country.

The prime minister, who gained global attention for granting entry of nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees to Canada over the past 13 months, also sent a pointed tweet that showed him greeting a young refugee at a Canadian airport in 2015.

On January 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending entry to the United States from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen for 90 days.

Photo The Canadian Press

The US’s entire refugee admissions program has also been suspended for 120 days.

Those fleeing Syria as refugees are banned until further notice.

The executive orders created confusion in airports around the world as immigration and customs officials struggled to interpret the new rules.

The Canadian government is also in contact with the US administration “to get more clarity” on how the executive orders will affect Canadians citizens travelling to the US, said federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

According to State Department, all travelers – including those with dual nationality – from one of the seven designated countries will be barred from entering the US.

That includes people with valid immigrant or non-immigrant visas.

Justin Trudeau has refrained from criticizing Donald Trump, despite the fact the two leaders have very divergent political views.

In recent media appearances, Justin Trudeau has focused on the long friendship between Canada and the US and the deep economic ties between the two nations. The US is Canada’s primary trading partner.

Canada plans to allow 300,000 immigrants into the country in 2017, mostly through economic immigration, though that figure includes 40,000 refugees.

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The Tragically Hip, whose frontman Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, have performed their last concert at the end of an emotional farewell tour.

The Canadian blues and rock band drew a sell-out crowd to the last show in Kingston, Ontario, on August 20, broadcast live across the country.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was at the live show, said The Tragically Hip had “been writing Canada’s soundtrack for over 30 years”.

Gord Downie, 52, announced his illness in May.

The news of his illness caused shock across Canada.

Photo Facebook

Photo Facebook

The CBC called Gord Downie Canada’s “unofficial poet laureate”.

The 15-stop Man Machine Poem tour “left a trail of heartbreak but also celebration across the nation”, the Globe and Mail reported.

Justin Trudeau tweeted after the concert that The Tragically Hip would be “forever in our hearts and playlists”.

The prime minister also tweeted a picture of himself writing on a wall of messages to what he dubbed “Canada’s band”.

Formed in the 1980s, the band penned lyrics which explicitly referenced Canadian life, with a small-town charm that won the country over.

The Tragically Hip started as a college band working the local circuit and then took off, but their success across 14 albums was mostly confined to within Canada.

Known simply as The Hip to many Canadians, their songs became part of a national identity.

Kingston designated on August 20 as The Tragically Hip Day in honor of its local heroes.

The Kingston concert was broadcast on Canadian TV and was shown at hundreds of public screenings across the country in bars and outdoor venues.

The final concert, at the Rogers K-Rock Center, sold out in minutes.

Topics to do with The Hip concert trended on Canadian social media on August 20.

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Four people are dead and at least critically injured after a school shooting in the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan, police say.

They say a male suspect is now in custody and children have been moved to safety after the shootings at La Loche Community School and another location.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier that five people had been killed, but this was later corrected.

The school shooting was “every parent’s worst nightmare”, Justin Trudeau said.

“The community is reeling.”

Photo CBS

Photo CBS

Justin Trudeau, who was speaking in Davos, Switzerland, also praised “the first responders who acted quickly and bravely”.

Witnesses at the school described screaming and more than half a dozen shots.

Kevin Janvier, acting mayor of La Loche, said that his 23-year-old daughter Marie, a teacher, was one of the victims at the school.

He also said police had told him that the gunman first shot two of his siblings at home and then made his way to the school.

At a news conference, Maureen Levy, a senior officer at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), said: “There’s no risk to public safety at this time. This is truly a tragedy.”

Maureen Levy provided no further details.

The RCMP said officers were called about “an active shooter” at 13:00 local time and detained the suspect 45 minutes later, Canada’s CBC broadcaster reports.

“Words cannot express my shock and sorrow at the horrific events today in La Loche,” Brad Wall, the premier of Saskatchewan, said in a statement.

“My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, their families and friends and all the people of the community.”

About 900 students attend La Loche Community School for kindergarten through to grade 12 (the last year of high school).

La Loche is an aboriginal community of about 3,000 people located nearly 550 miles north of the provincial capital, Regina.

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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has welcomed the first 163 Syrian refugees to his country.

The first military plane carrying Syrian refugees has landed at Pearson on December 10.

Justin Trudeau said Canada was “showing the world how to open our hearts”.

The newly elected Liberal government has pledged to take in 25,000 refugees by the end of February 2016.

Canada’s stance on the issue differs sharply to that of the US, which has been reluctant to take in refugees.

Another military plane is due in Montreal on December 12.

Immigration Minister John McCallum said all 10 provinces in Canada are in favor of accepting the refugees.

“This is a great moment for Canada,” he said.

“This shows the way we really are. It truly is a non-partisan, national project.”

Photo The Canadian Press

Photo The Canadian Press

Since early November, hundreds of Syrians have already arrived in Canada via commercial aircraft.

A total of about 300 Syrians will arrive this week.

The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-circulation daily newspaper, ran a cover story on December 10 welcoming the refugees.

The US administration has said it will take in 10,000 refugees over the next year. Some Republican governors have unsuccessfully tried to keep them from coming to their states after deadly terrorist attacks in France and California.

Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said after the California attacks that all Muslims should be blocked from coming to the US, drawing condemnation across the globe.

About 800 refugees are going through screening tests in Lebanon and Jordan daily, John McCallum said.

Justin Trudeau, who swept the October 19 Canadian elections, has a different stance on refugees from that of his predecessor, the conservative Stephen Harper, who did not wish to resettle more people.

Unaccompanied men will be excluded from the resettlement program, but officials said this had nothing to do with national security concerns.

“We want them to have a roof over their head, and the right support,” said John McCallum.

“It takes a bit of time to put that all in place. We’re happy to take a little more time than originally planned to bring our new friends into the country.”

Those who will be considered refugees include families, women deemed to be at risk, and gay men and women.

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Queen Elizabeth II joked that she is made to feel old by the new Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, aged 43, after he spoke of her historic visits to Canada.

Justin Trudeau had earlier toasted the 89-year-old Queen at a banquet for the leaders of Commonwealth countries, taking place in Malta.

Photo AP

Photo AP

He referred to the Queen’s trips to Canada, including one in 1982 when she was welcomed by his father – the former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

The Queen, flashing a sense of humor, gave a witty and cheeky reply to Justin Trudeau’s toast, saying: “Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister of Canada, for making me feel so old!”

Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to explain his view, saying “on the contrary, you are forever young”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSSaYfTjF7M

Justin Trudeau has been sworn in as Canada’s prime minister, ending 10 years of Conservative rule.

His ascension marks a new era of Liberal politics after an election that saw Stephen Harper’s party ousted.

Justin Trudeau, 43, follows in the footsteps of his father who held the office for nearly two decades.

The move could see an increase in public spending, better relations with the US and an increase in the number of Syrian refugees being taken in.

The new ministers, who are mostly aged between 35 and 50, took their oaths in the bilingual ceremony.

Justin Trudeau whispered “I love you” to his family upon being sworn in.

The former school teacher turned politician was elected to parliament in 2008, and becomes the second youngest prime minister in Canadian history.

Justin Trudeau was elected after running on a plan to reject austerity and spend billions on infrastructure projects that would see Canada run a deficit for three years.

The plan caught the attention of a Canadian electorate hungry for change after a decade under the rule of PM Stephen Harper.

Stephen Harper’s political platform included plans that saw corporate and sales tax rates cut as well as Canada’s removal from a climate change agreement.

The conservative prime minister was also angered by Barack Obama’s reluctance to approve the Keystone XL pipeline that was designed to Justin Trudeau sworn in petroleum from Alberta to Texas.

For his part, Justin Trudeau believes the pipeline should be approved, but does not think that that the disagreement should weigh so heavily on US-Canada relations.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has decisively won Canada’s general election, ending nearly a decade of Conservative rule.

The centrist Liberals started the campaign in third place but in a stunning turnaround now command a majority.

Justin Trudeau, the 43-year-old son of late PM Pierre Trudeau, said Canadians had voted for real change.

Incumbent Conservative PM Stephen Harper accepted defeat and his party said he will step down as leader.

It was the longest campaign in Canada’s history, and had been thought to be much closer.

Speaking after the polls closed, Stephen Harper said he had already congratulated Justin Trudeau, saying the Conservatives would accept the results “without hesitation”.

Addressing his jubilant supporters shortly afterwards, Justin Trudeau said that Canadians “sent a clear message tonight – it’s time for a change”.

“We beat fear with hope, we beat cynicism with hard work. Most of all we defeated the idea that Canadians should be satisfied with less.

“This is what positive politics can do,” he said.

Justin Trudeau also praised Stephen Harper for his service to Canada.Justin Trudeau wins Canada general election 2015

Few had predicted a Liberal victory on this scale. They look set to win 184 seats, a huge increase from only 36 that they held after suffering their worst-ever election result in 2011.

Liberals become the first party ever to move from third place in parliament to a majority in one election.

Meanwhile, the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) is on course to win 44 seats, less than half the number they held in the outgoing parliament.

“I congratulated Mr. Trudeau on his exceptional achievement,” said NDP leader Tom Mulcair.

Early counts in the eastern provinces gave the Liberals their first taste of victory, as they led in all 32 races there.

The Conservatives are now in danger of losing all 13 seats they held in Atlantic Canada in 2011.

Justin Trudeau campaigned on a promise of change, urging voters ahead of the polling day to “come together as a country”.

His charismatic father, Pierre Trudeau, is considered the father of modern Canada.

Stephen Harper, 56, portrayed himself as the steady hand who could steer Canada’s troubled economy back on track.

His campaign ran TV advertisements saying that Justin Trudeau was “just not ready” to take office.

The Canadian federal elections, formally known as the 42nd Canadian general election, will be held on Monday, October 19.

Canadians vote to elect members to the House of Commons of Canada.

Incumbent Conservative PM Stephen Harper is fighting for a rare fourth term but the frontrunner is Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, son of late PM Pierre Trudeau.

The performance of the left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP) could also be decisive, analysts say.

Opinion polls have suggested many people are still undecided.

On October 18, party leaders made their final pitch for votes after one of the longest and possibly closest election campaign in Canada’s history, criss-crossing the country to try to sway undecided voters.

Stephen Harper, 56, is selling himself as the steady hand who can steer Canada’s troubled economy back on track.

His campaign has run TV advertisements saying that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, 43, is “just not ready” to take office.Canada elections 2015

Justin Trudeau started the race in third place but the Liberals took the lead in opinion polls in a late surge.

The Liberal leader is promising change, and investment over austerity.

Although he supports the fight against Islamic State (ISIS), he believes Canada should stop air strikes in Syria and Iraq, and focus on training local forces on the ground.

Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre, is considered the father of modern Canada.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair, 60, is hoping to build on his party’s second-place finish in the 2011 elections.

However, support for the NDP appeared to have fallen in recent weeks.

An opinion poll released on October 18 showed the Liberals on 37.3%, seven points ahead of the Conservatives at 30.5%. The NDP had 22.1% according to the Nanos survey taken on October 15 to 17. The margin of error was 2.2%.