Bengaluru: Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar on Sunday disqualified 14 more rebel MLAs under the anti-defection law till the end of the assembly term in 2023, a day ahead of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa seeking the trust vote in the assembly to prove his majority.Eleven Congress MLAs and three JD(S) lawmakers faced the axe from the speaker, who pronounced his ruling at a hurriedly called news conference, two days after Yediyurappa took the oath as chief minister after the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsThe Speaker’s action would have no bearing on the fate of the Yediyurappa government, as with disqualification of the rebel MLAs with immediate effect, their absence would reduce the effective strength of the House, making it a walk in the park for the BJP. The absence of 20 MLAs-17 rebels, also one each legislator from Congress, BSP and Independent-during the vote of confidence motion moved by the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by H D Kumaraswamy had led to Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursdayits downfall after weeks of drama marked by murky political intrigues and court battle.With the disqualification of 17 rebel MLAs -14 from the Congress and three from JD(S) – on Sunday, the effective strength of the 224-member assembly excluding the Speaker, who has a casting vote in case of a tie, is 207. The magic figure required will be 104. BJP along with the support of one independent has 106 members, Congress 66 (including nominated), JD(S) 34 and one BSP member, who has been expelled by the party for not voting for the Kumaraswamy government during the trust vote. “I have used my judicial conscience… I am 100 per cent hurt,” said the Speaker, when asked about his controversial decision on disqualification being called into question and allegations about his conduct in the entire issue. The Speaker’s sudden move also comes with indications from the BJP that it was mulling moving a no-confidence against him if he doesn’t voluntarily give up the post when the assembly meets on Monday. Kumar said he was taking the action based on the petitions moved by the Congress and JD(S) to disqualify the rebel MLAs, who had also submitted resignations as assembly members and were absent during the trust vote. The BJP slammed the Speaker’s action, calling it “unfair and violative of the law” which, it said, had been taken “yielding to the pressure from a party”. Congress Legislature Party leader Siddarmaiah, in a tweet, termed the Speaker’s decision as “a victory for democracy”. JD(S) too, in a tweet, welcoming the Speaker’s decision, said, “the Speaker has sent a strong message to those who tried to uproot democracy by disqualifying legislators who fell for allurements of power and money, disregarded public mandate and violated the party whip.” A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in its order on Wednesday last gave the Assembly Speaker the freedom to decide on the resignation of the 15 MLAs within such time-frame as considered appropriate by him. It had also ruled that the rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to attend the assembly proceedings. A day ahead of seeking the trust vote in the Karnataka assembly, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday expressed confidence about proving the majority. “On Monday hundred per cent I will prove the majority,” Yediyurappa told reporters here.
CALGARY – Health Canada has approved a safe injection site for opioid drugs in Calgary.Alberta Health says a temporary site will open soon in the parking area of the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre while a permanent site inside the centre is being constructed.Alberta Health says patients will also be able to get treatment, including suboxone, methadone, and counselling.Evidence shows that supervised consumption services save lives, reduce transmission of infections by providing sterile needles and equipment and build safer communities by reducing public substance use and discarded needles.Last week, Health Canada approved four safe injection sites for Edmonton and one for Lethbridge, and those are expected to open later this year or early next year.Jessica Holtsbaum of the group Changing the Face of Addiction, called it great news.“It will save lives and provide those with substance-use disorders an access point to further treatment. It is a long overdue step in the right direction. However, this is only one small step and momentum can’t end here.”The province is providing $2.2 million for startup costs and for construction of the temporary and permanent locations at the Chumir health centre. The province will also provide operational funding for all six supervised consumption sites approved for Alberta.As of mid-August 2017, 315 people have died of apparent fentanyl-related overdoses in Alberta. There were 586 suspected opioid-related deaths in the province last year.The Canadian Institute for Health Information has said data from Alberta suggests emergency room visits related to heroin and synthetic opioid overdoses spiked almost 10-fold in the last five years.The first safe consumption sites in Canada were set up in Vancouver. Health Canada has approved other sites in Montreal and Toronto.Last month, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said at least 2,816 Canadians died from opioid-related causes in 2016 and that number is expected to grow this year.