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Dutch PM criticised after calling out ‘white wine sipping elites’ | News





Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte faced criticism on Sunday after making comments about what he called “white wine sipping elites in Amsterdam” who are not giving US President Donald Trump a fair chance.

Rutte made the comments during an appearance on Buitenhof, a weekly TV show focused on Dutch politics that aired on Sunday.

“In this world international structures are absolutely necessary, but sometimes it pi**es me off when I hear white wine sipping elites in Amsterdam saying ‘well, Trump, he is so wrong’,” Rutte said.

“Why don’t we make use of his presence, because he brings to attention the parts that aren’t great about multilateralism, even though I am a supporter of that because the Netherlands are dependant on that same multilateralism,” he added.

Shortly before those comments, Rutte also mentioned the “elites in Amsterdam” in relation to climate goals.

“We are going to achieve the goals we’ve set. Not because we like it so much or because the elites in Amsterdam demand it, but because we do not want to hand over this mess to the next generation,” Rutte said.

The local government in Amsterdam is in the hands of GroenLinks, the Dutch Green Party which has repeatedly criticised Trump’s comments and said the national Dutch government currently is not doing enough to tackle climate change.

Following his comments, Rutte received heavy criticism on Twitter.

Amsterdam council member Zeeger Ernsting tweeted a picture of Rutte with Russian President Vladimir Putting, both of them with a glass of white wine in their hands.

Another user posted a picture of Rutte with Dutch journalist and TV host Jort Kelder while drinking white wine on a boat.

It is the second time this week Rutte has been criticised for comments he has made.

On Friday, when discusing people who attack first responders, Rutte said he would “love to beat them up himself, but that simply was not possible”.

Other party leaders called Rutte out on those comments, with the leader of the Christian democratic party Sybrand Buma saying a “prime minister should not suggest that people should handle things themselves”.

GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver said that “the security of our first responders deserves more than empty words”, and Gert-Jan Segers, leader of the Christian ChristenUnie party, called Rutte’s comments “not exactly prime minister-worthy”.

Police union ACP also criticised Rutte’s words according to local media.

“These types of statements do not help, because the problem doesn’t get any smaller,” ACP head Gerrit van de Kamp said.

Several critics also noticed that Rutte often makes controversial statements shortly before elections, as is the case now, with European elections happening in May.

Rutte has been prime minister of the Netherlands since 2010. In 2017, his VVD party was the biggest party in national elections, leading to him forming a coalition government with the Christian conservative party ChristenUnie, the christian-democratic CDA and liberal-democratic D66.


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25 Best Senators’ Memories From 25 Years at Canadian Tire Centre





There is a special birthday in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata this weekend.

Canadian Tire Centre turns 25. Its doors first opened on Jan. 15, 1996, for a Bryan Adams concert. The Senators played their first game in their new arena on Jan. 17, 1996, when they lost to the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

I’ve spent a great deal of my life has at that arena. I don’t know how many Sens games I have been to there — I would ballpark it somewhere between 600 and 700. But I thought it would be fun to look back and share my 25 most memorable moments at the arena. I am not counting numerous concerts as great moments in the building — I often joke that the four best concerts I have ever seen there are Garth Brooks, Garth Brooks, Garth Brooks and Garth Brooks. I am not counting the 2009 World Juniors either. I am sticking entirely to the Sens.

25. Paul MacClone

Mike Watson was just sitting in his company seats, minding his own business, watching the Ottawa Senators take on the Florida Panthers on a January night during the 2012-13 season. The casual discussion among reporters after the game was how he broke Twitter.

Watson’s friends had told him that he looked like then-Senators’ head coach Paul MacLean. When he got face time on the new high-definition scoreboard, in the front row and directly behind the coach, the crowd buzzed and cheered.

Senators coach Paul MacLean had a doppelganger behind the bench.

The shot of Watson behind the bench spread quickly on social media. Surely, everyone thought, he must have been planted in that seat. He wasn’t. The last time he had sat in those seats, Cory Clouston was the coach, and no one noticed him.

As the season went on, the MacLean doppelganger became a local celebrity and was somewhat of a mascot during Ottawa’s playoff run.

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With spare parts and derring-do, Ottawa’s own Rocketman reinvents skating





An Ottawa man is turning heads on frozen stretches of the Ottawa River with a homemade device he jokingly refers to as his “jetpack.”

In reality, Brydon Gibson’s gas-powered, propeller-driven invention is more Rona than NASA.

“I got my hands on some weed whacker motors and I figured strapping one on my back and making skating a little bit lazier would [be] a good idea,” said Gibson, 24.

He bolted a 38-centimetre propeller to a wooden frame, fashioned a throttle out of a brake handle and cable salvaged from a 10-speed bike, then added padded straps cut from a dollar store backpack. He laced up his skates, and suddenly Gibson was zipping along at speeds reaching 40 km/h. 

“I was actually getting a little scared at one point because I was going a little too fast,” the inventor admitted.

There are no brakes, but there is kill switch to cut the power “when something goes wrong,” said Gibson. “It’s actually a little finicky.”

This is not the first iteration of Gibson’s invention. As a teen, he built an electric propulsion device in his parents’ basement, though it never got to the testing phase.

“Ever since I was a kid … I’ve been taking apart things I found on the side of the road, making a mess of my parents basement, spreading electronics everywhere,” he said.

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‘It is frustrating’: U.S-educated nurse from Ottawa hits barriers to getting licensed in Ontario





Before she accepted a swimming scholarship to attend Boston’s Northeastern University, Ottawa’s Rachael Geiger made sure it had the kind of nursing program she wanted. The school’s baccalaureate nursing program offered a fifth year of co-operative placement after four years of study — something Geiger thought would leave her well prepared for a career as a nurse when she returned home after university.

But it hasn’t worked out that way.

Two and a half years after graduating summa cum laude from Northeastern, the 25-year-old is unable to work as a registered nurse in Ontario.

Geiger said she was initially surprised, especially since she wrote the same licensing exam in Massachusetts as is written in Ontario, the NCLEX-RN exam. She is licensed to practise in Massachusetts and Illinois.

“I never thought it would be such a challenge.”

She and her family are frustrated at how difficult it has been for her to get registered to be able to practise in Ontario. That frustration is heightened by the fact that nurses have seldom been in such high demand in Canada and around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic strains health systems and shortages loom. Local hospitals are among those trying to recruit nurses. The Canadian Nurses Association has been warning that Canada will experience extreme shortages in coming years.

“It is frustrating to sit and see all the news about nursing shortages and not be able to help,” said Geiger.

Doris Grinspun, chief executive officer of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, the professional association that represents registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in the province, said she was “more than surprised” to hear of the difficulty Geiger has had.

But Grinspun, who initially studied nursing in Israel and then the U.S. before becoming one of the country’s nursing leaders, said the system of allowing foreign trained nurses to work in Ontario is unnecessarily slow and complicated and leads many valuable nurses to simply give up or find another career. Grinspun herself challenged the system when she first came to work in Ontario.

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