Tag Archives: ‘Excessive’

Messi faces lengthy suspension for ‘excessive force’ against Athletic Bilbao opponent

After losing the Spanish Super Cup final, Barcelona is also in danger of losing Lionel Messi for an extended period after he hit an opponent toward the end of the match.

Messi could be suspended for up to 12 games for the red card he received in the final minutes of his team’s 3-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao in Seville on Sunday.

After passing the ball out to the left flank, Messi swung his right arm toward the head of Athletic forward Asier Villalibre as they ran forward toward the box. Villalibre immediately fell to the ground and Messi was given his first red card in 753 appearances for Barcelona.

Referee Gil Manzano said in his match report that Messi hit his opponent with “excessive force” while the ball was not near him.

The Spanish soccer federation’s competitions committee will decide on the charges against Messi, and the player’s eventual suspension could range from one to three matches or from four to 12 matches, depending on how severe the federation considers the incident.

Barcelona was already preparing its defence regardless of the charges that would be presented by the federation against its player.

If found guilty, Messi will be suspended for matches in the Spanish league or the Copa del Rey. Barcelona is in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey and trails Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the league.

Title drought

Messi was visibly frustrated as the match went on and Barcelona struggled to recover from its deficit against Athletic. The Catalan club twice relinquished leads, including conceding a 90th-minute equalizer scored by Villalibre. Antoine Griezmann scored both Barcelona goals, with Messi assisting in the first one.

The defeat cost Barcelona a chance to end a title drought that has lingered from last season, the club’s first without a title since 2007-08.

While it was Messi’s first red card for his club, he has been sent off twice while playing for Argentina’s national team, including a few seconds into his debut in a friendly against Hungary in 2005. The other time was in the 2019 Copa America in a match against Chile. He was also sent off once while playing for Barcelona’s “B” team.

Messi, who asked to leave the club in the off-season but had his request denied, is having an average season compared to previous years, having scored 14 goals in 22 matches with Barcelona. He was far from his best on Sunday despite helping set up the team’s first goal.

Messi had been doubtful to play in the final because of an unspecified fitness issue that had caused coach Ronald Koeman to leave him out of the semifinal against Real Sociedad on Wednesday, when Barcelona prevailed in a penalty shootout.

Barcelona’s next match is on Thursday at Cornella in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey.

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CBC | Soccer News

CRA moves to slash ‘excessive’ fees charged by disability tax credit companies

The Canada Revenue Agency is proposing to dramatically slash what it calls “excessive” fees some companies charge to help Canadians apply for the disability tax credit, nearly five years after it was told to do so.

The move, which according to the CRA could put millions of dollars back in the hands of disabled people, is being applauded by some advocates, but panned by companies that last year collected up to $ 25 million in fees.

“The government of Canada decided that measures were needed to protect Canadians living with disabilities and their supporting family members from being charged more than what is considered adequate compensation for the services rendered,” according to a CRA analysis released earlier this month.

More than a million Canadians receive the disability tax credit, which can be worth thousands of dollars and is designed to provide help for people who have mental or physical impairments that are “severe and prolonged.”

Up to 40% in contingency fees

Over the years, businesses have sprouted up to help people apply for the tax credit. They charge anywhere from 15 to 40 per cent in contingency fees and last year collected between $ 9.5 million and $ 25.4 million, according to the CRA.

The proposed restrictions will significantly reduce that take. Companies will only be permitted to charge $ 100 for an application to determine eligibility, another $ 100 to actually apply, and then $ 100 for each year the credit is retroactive.


One of the biggest disability tax credit companies in Canada is National Benefit Authority. It has advertised in Halifax. (Susan Allen/CBC)

There have long been calls for a crackdown. Legislation introduced by the Harper government in 2014 intended to tighten the rules, but it’s only now that federal officials have released draft regulations.

“I think it’s a great change,” said Eastern Passage, N.S., resident Cathy Publicover.

Publicover has several disabilities and initially sought the help of a Toronto company called National Benefit Authority to apply for the tax credit. But after being told the company would charge her 30 per cent to submit the application, she decided to do it herself. She found it easy and simple to complete.

“At that time it would have taken $ 970 from me,” Publicover said, adding it is money she uses to pay for her medication and other health-related bills.

Those who apply for the disability tax credit are required to fill out a small portion of a form with their personal information, while the remainder is completed by the patient’s doctor or nurse practitioner.


Patrick Curran, national executive director of Independent Living Canada, calls fees in the thousands of dollars “unconscionable.” (Submitted by Patrick Curran)

Companies currently charge as much as $ 4,663 to help an adult, and $ 7,383 for an eligible minor, depending on the amount of the disability tax credit and the number of retroactive years, according to the CRA.

Those kinds of fees are “unconscionable,” said Patrick Curran, the national executive director of Independent Living Canada. The organization advocates for the disabled and has 25 offices across the country that help people fill out the disability tax credit (DTC) forms for free.

“Our position has been that there should not be any charge whatsoever for the filing of an application for a DTC,” Curran said.

He welcomes the proposed changes and said he’s fine with setting the fee at $ 100 an application.


Monique Brooks operates a one-person business helping people apply for the disability tax credit. She said the process can take more than a year and she doesn’t get paid if the tax credit is not approved. (Paul Brooks)

But Monique Brooks, who owns and operates Disability Tax Credit Consultant Services in Harrowsmith, Ont., told CBC she was “horrified” when she learned about the plan to replace contingency fees with a $ 100 flat rate per application.

“Some of these businesses have employees and so therefore it’s going to cause job loss,” she said.

One of the biggest companies is National Benefit Authority. It has not replied to a request to comment on this story.

Brooks, however, is a one-person operation.

She charges 20 per cent for helping people access the disability tax credit, although she said she provides free advice in other areas where people may need help. She said the government makes people in her business sound like “we’re vultures, and it makes it sound like we’re taking advantage of the disabled.”

She said while that may be partly true of some companies, people who are denied the tax credit need help reapplying from those who know “the ins and outs of the system.”

She said 20 per cent is reasonable because “that same Canadian without my support might have a 90 per cent chance of being denied and then they would get zero.”


The Canada Revenue Agency said it is working to simplify the disability tax credit application process. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

She said the application process is not as easy as the government makes it sound, and she’s spent two-and-a-half years helping applicants get approval. She notes she does not get paid until the application is approved and receives nothing if it’s rejected.

The executive director of an organization that represents companies like Brooks’s calls the regulations “an unprecedented move.”

Nicola Moorhouse, with the Association of Canadians Disability Benefit Professionals, said in a news release that taxes are complicated and “dealing with CRA can be a nightmare.”

She said the direct result will be unavailability of services to disabled Canadians, near total job loss within the industry and fewer benefits for those who need them most.

“It should be obvious that the intent and effect of the proposed regulations is to wipe out the service-provider business and reduce the availability of the DTC to disabled Canadians.” Moorhouse said.

CRA ‘balancing act’

A CRA spokesperson calls the regulations “an important balancing act.” On the one hand, it wants to protect persons with disabilities, who can be some of Canada’s most vulnerable people, but it also recognizes that some may need help with their tax credit requests and that companies can play a role.

“While we recognize that reaction from various stakeholders will be varied, the CRA believes it has found the right balance,” Dany Morin said.

He added the CRA is also continuing to work to simplify and clarify the disability tax credit application process and expects to make significant progress on this front in the coming months.

Morin said once the consultation period has ended, the CRA will consider the feedback and may revise the proposal. It will then be up to the minister of national revenue to approve it.

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CBC | Health News

Dozens Hospitalized for Excessive Drinking at Chance the Rapper Concert

More than 90 people were hospitalized Friday during a concert featuring Chance the Rapper in Connecticut, officials said.

A large number of people hospitalized were underage attendees experiencing “severe intoxication,” Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley said Saturday.

WATCH: Chance the Rapper Gets the BET Awards Crowd on Its Feet After Surprise Introduction from Michelle Obama

Foley said officers made 50 underage drinking referrals Friday at Hot 93.7′s Hot Jam concert at Xfinity Theatre. Most of those charged were issued a summons to appear in court. Several other arrests were made throughout the evening.

In a series of three tweets, Foley posted video of attendees tailgating, repeating the message: “Did you drop your teen off at the concert tonight. This is what it looks like. & HPD is enforcing underage drinking in the lots.”

The crowd was apparently made up of people in their late teens and early 20s. Foley said tailgating, partying and excessive alcohol consumption was “extremely prevalent.”

(This article originally appeared on CBS News at 2:35 p.m.)

WATCH: Chance the Rapper Donates $ 1 Million to Chicago Public Schools: ‘This Check Is a Call to Action’

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