Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana K.P. Singh has accepted the resignation of former Aam Aadmi Party leader and MLA from Dakha constituency H.S. Phoolka.An official from the Speaker’s office on Friday confirmed that the resignation of Mr. Phoolka has been accepted.The former AAP leader, who had quit as legislator last year, recently wrote to the Speaker asking him to immediately accept his resignation or else he would be “constrained to approach the Supreme Court”.In his letter, Mr. Phoolka wrote: “In the event you (Speaker) do not take any decision on my resignation, I will be constrained to approach the Supreme Court of India.”Protest against ‘inaction’Mr. Phoolka had resigned from the position of MLA in October last year. He had quit expressing displeasure over the Congress government’s alleged failure to take action against all those named in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report for their alleged role in incidents of police firing that led to deaths in the wake of sacrilege cases. Later, Mr. Phoolka also quit AAP.
TORONTO — The federal government is expanding a program offering support to privately sponsored refugees in the LGBTQ community.Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership will build on a pilot project launched in 2011.The program provides start-up costs and three months of support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and two-spirited refugees who are privately sponsored by Canadians.The initial pilot project offered support to 15 refugees per year, but the government says that number will be raised to 50 starting next year.The initiative is a partnership between the federal government and the Vancouver-based Rainbow Refugee Society, which applauded what it called Ottawa’s “commitment to protecting LGBTQ2 refugees.”A statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says the department is pledging $800,000 over five years to expand the pilot.The Canadian Press
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