Latest shift in US immigration policy prompts renewed Liberal outreach

first_imgOTTAWA – Liberal MPs are headed back to the U.S. to fend off a new surge of asylum seekers at the Canada-U.S. border following the latest move by the U.S. to tighten its immigration policy.The Trump administration has placed around 5,000 Nicaraguans on notice that their temporary status in the U.S. will be revoked in the next year, while nearly 86,000 Hondurans have been given an extension until July, at which point their status could be revoked.Upwards of 200,000 Salvadorans are also awaiting a decision on their status, which is expected in the coming weeks.Pablo Rodriguez, who represents a Montreal-area riding, said Wednesday he’s headed to Texas to reach out to all three communities after myths circulating earlier this year prompted hundreds of people a day to cross illegally into Canada in search of asylum, fearing the end of the temporary status program in the U.S.“We want to make sure that people have all the facts and what we’re telling them is before selling your house, leaving your job, picking up the kids from school, make sure you understand the rules,” Rodriguez said.Temporary protected status spares people from deportation and gives them quasi-legal status in the U.S., so they can work or go to school. It’s extended for things like major natural disasters, such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, that can make deporting people a potential violation of humanitarian law. But critics saw it as an overly permissive policy in need of being reined in, something the U.S. began doing last spring.A decision by U.S. officials in May to only extend protection to Haitian nationals for six more months, rather than the usual 18, was cited as a major factor behind the hundreds of Haitians who daily made the illegal crossing into Canada over the summer to request asylum, rather than face deportation back to Haiti.Some were motivated by fake social media messages about special immigration programs that would smooth their paths here; in fact, Canada still deports Haitian nationals, and their asylum acceptance rate was only about 50 per cent in 2016.The Liberals sent MP Emmanuel Dubourg to Miami earlier this year to combat that misinformation, and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said Wednesday he’s also being sent back the U.S. to continue the work.Briefing notes prepared by officials at Global Affairs earlier this year said Haitian government officials also believe some of those entering Canada were actually just transiting through the U.S. from Brazil.The briefing notes describing the factors driving asylum seekers were obtained by the Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. They also suggest the influx of Haitians wasn’t connected to any current developments in Haiti, where notwithstanding rampant poverty and poor health conditions, the overall security and stability situation remains “calm and steady.”Rodriguez and other government officials have said so far, there’s no sign of a mass migration of Central Americans.But there could be, the briefing notes suggest.A lack of economic opportunities, fear of violence and insecurity and climate change are key drivers for illegal migration from the region, and the notes point out the UN refugee agency has recently said migrants themselves are often victims of violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking.“As a result of an increase in deportation from the United States, the termination of a program that allowed protection to Central American children, and the expected termination of a temporary protected status program in the United States, Canada is likely to become a more popular alternative.”last_img read more

Federal government should manage Albertas threatened caribou letter

first_imgEDMONTON – Several First Nations and Indigenous groups have asked the federal government to step in and protect some endangered caribou herds on provincial land in Alberta.In a letter to federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, the coalition said Alberta hasn’t met Ottawa’s deadline for coming up with a plan to save five threatened herds in the northeastern part of the province heavily impacted by forestry and oilsands development.They said if Alberta won’t make the move, Ottawa should.“Despite the good efforts by some companies, there’s nothing right now that prevents a new oil and gas well or a new oilsands mine or a harvest cutblock from destroying critical habitat,” said Barry Robinson of Ecojustice, one of the groups that signed the letter.Others included the Cold Lake First Nations, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Alberta Wilderness Association.Robinson said McKenna could use the Species At Risk Act which gives Ottawa the power to issue a “safety blanket” order.That order, said Robinson, obliges the federal minister to step in if provincial protections for critical habitat of an endangered species on Crown land are inadequate.The formal petition delivered to McKenna on Monday, along with the letter, goes through 11 Alberta laws and concludes none offers legal protections, although Robinson noted some companies try to minimize damage to caribou herds.Alberta and six other provinces continue to fail to meet a federal deadline to release recovery plans for threatened herds in their jurisdictions. That deadline passed in October.McKenna has said her office will study measures taken by the provinces and decide in April whether those protections are enough.It’s time for action, said Robinson, who added Ottawa has already let its own deadlines slip by. The 2012 federal document that contained the deadline the provinces have now missed was itself five years late.“Given the purpose of the Species At Risk Act, very little has been done, and it’s been 10 years since the species was listed. It’s time for either the province or the federal minister to step up.”The Cold Lake First Nations said no recovery plans have been developed for the herds they depend on despite new industrial disturbances being approved regularly.“They (Alberta) had five years and where are the plans?” asked band Councillor Kelsey Jacko in an email.“I don’t see them. And the situation is getting worse. Something has to be done.”Alberta did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It has previously said it’s trying to find ways to protect habitat with as little economic impact as possible.Caribou are in decline across the country.A 2015 federal assessment found 81 per cent of Canada’s 51 woodland caribou populations are declining. The reasons are thought to stem from habitat loss and damage from forestry, energy development and wildfires.The assessment concluded those populations will decline at least another 30 per cent in the coming years.Federal guidelines say two-thirds of habitat on critical caribou range should be undisturbed. Habitat for most of the five herds mentioned in the letter is more than 70 per cent disturbed.— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960last_img read more

Cops recorded mocking woman with Down syndrome plead guilty to misconduct

first_imgTORONTO – Two Toronto police constables who were recorded mocking a 29-year-old woman with Down syndrome last year have learned a “valuable yet shameful lesson,” a police prosecutor told a disciplinary hearing Tuesday as the officers pleaded guilty to misconduct.Const. Sasa Sljivo and Const. Matthew Saris have taken responsibility for their actions and apologized in writing to Francie Munoz and her relatives, Insp. Domenic Sinopoli told a room packed with the family’s supporters.And while the Munoz family had requested a public, in-person apology, “the act of contrition need not be a public spectacle of shame,” Sinopoli said.“No penalty you administer will be greater than the shame they have suffered,” he told the officer presiding over the hearing. “I see very little need to make an example of these two officers to deter others from doing the same.”The prosecution and defence jointly proposed that Sljivo, who was the senior officer and the one who made the comments, face five days of unpaid work, and Saris two. Both officers would have to volunteer at least 20 hours with the Special Olympics and undergo an extra hour of sensitivity training.The hearing officer reserved his decision and no date has been set for its release.Munoz’s mother Pamela, who filed the complaint against the officers, said the family was disappointed but not surprised by the proposed penalty.“It’s the police policing the police,” she said.What’s more, she said, the officers had another opportunity to apologize face-to-face but chose not to do so.Sljivo pleaded guilty to misconduct related to the use of profane, abusive or insulting language, while Saris pleaded guilty to misconduct related to the failure to report Sljivo’s comments, which contravened the Ontario Human Rights Code.Neither officer spoke after entering their pleas Tuesday, opting instead to have their lawyer Gary Clewley apologize on their behalf.“These gentlemen are genuinely sorry,” Clewley said. “This is a regrettable incident. I can tell you it won’t happen again.”The charges under the Police Services Act stem from an incident that took place in November of last year, and which the officers have called a “lapse in judgment” in a written apology.An agreed statement of facts said the comments were made inside a police cruiser after the officers pulled over Pamela Munoz and her two daughters. The statements were captured by the vehicle’s dashboard camera and the officers’ microphones, which they believed they had turned off, it said.The Munoz family only learned of the comments because they decided to fight the ticket issued at the time and requested the evidence against them.Sljivo can be heard describing Francie Munoz as “disfigured” and a “half-person,” while Saris is heard laughing and agreeing.In their interviews with investigators this summer, both officers expressed remorse and embarrassment at their behaviour, the hearing was told.“There is no doubt this incident has placed our service and our members in a bad light,” and led some to lose their trust in police, Sinopoli said.But he said the officers show potential for rehabilitation, and expressed hope that the Munoz family would recognize that.“We may have to simply accept that there is no ‘why’, that it was a momentary lapse in judgment — and we’ve all had those,” he said. “Quite frankly I don’t know what more these officers could have done to show … that they are sorry for their actions.”Munoz has also filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, arguing the officers’ behaviour amounts to discrimination.The family’s lawyer, Brendon Pooran, said they are focusing their efforts on that process, since the human rights tribunal has the authority to make orders in the public interest.“It’s abundantly clear that the (police) tribunal’s not set up to address systemic issues,” he said outside the hearing. “There appears to be a tolerance for this type of behaviour within the workforce so we’re hoping this can be addressed.”last_img read more

Nova Scotia brain injury victim communicates with mom for first time since

first_imgHALIFAX – In what her mother calls a “Christmas miracle,” a Nova Scotia woman who suffered a catastrophic brain injury in a 1996 car accident communicated one-on-one with her mother for the first time in 21 years.Louise Misner said her 37-year-old daughter Joellen Huntley used eye-motion cameras and software on an iPad to respond to a comment from Misner about her clothes.Huntley has been severely disabled since she was 15, unable to walk or talk and fed through a tube. She has always responded to family members’ presence by making sounds, but was unable to communicate any thoughts.The breakthrough occurred during a Christmas Day visit at the Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Waterville, N.S.“I said ‘Joellen I like your new Christmas outfit you got on,’” Misner said in a telephone interview on Friday.Misner said her daughter then used the technology to find an icon for a short-sleeve shirt.“And then she said no, and went to a long-sleeve shirt because she was trying to tell me what she had on.”Misner said her reaction was immediate to what had been a long hoped for personal communication.“Christmas miracle,” she said. “It was God’s way of telling me that she’s finally achieved what she needed to since the accident.”Huntley was thrown from a car that had swerved to avoid a dog that was running loose along a road in Centreville, N.S., on April 18, 1996. The accident claimed the life of her boyfriend and a young girl who was the sister of the driver.Huntley’s family eventually won a $1 million insurance settlement as a result of the crash, but by 2014 they found themselves embroiled in a court battle with the province’s Community Services Department, which sought to claw back the money for past and future care costs.An undisclosed out-of-court settlement was reached in April 2015, after Joellen’s family argued they needed the money for care that included physiotherapy and special equipment that would add to her quality of life.Misner said the settlement money helped the family purchase the computer equipment she is now using with the help of a speech pathologist.“We had to go through two or three different screens until we found the right one for her and it’s called Eyegaze. Her eyes focus on the icons to answer questions.”Misner said one of Joellen’s nurses told them she is “doing really well with it.”“I knew she just needed time for technology to catch up with her,” Misner said. “When God gives you a child, they are the most precious thing and you never give up on them and you always fight for them.”The family has invited journalists to the rehab centre on Tuesday to “meet Joellen.”last_img read more

Air Canada says services restored after system outage causes flight delays

first_imgSome travellers say they were delayed by a few hours, but @AirCanada just apologized and did a boarding call over the intercom. #yyc— Crystal Laderas (@CrisLaderas) March 12, 2018Elsewhere, airports in Toronto and Vancouver had reported disrupted flight schedules because of the technical issues along with congested terminals.Air Canada customers in Canada and abroad took to Twitter to complain of long lines, flight delays and other travel disruptions because of the computer problems.The company apologized for the inconvenience and thanked customers for their patience.The disruption came two weeks after the airline had a computer issue that disrupted web and mobile check-ins and call centre operations and delayed boarding on some flights. Air Canada says it has restored its computer systems after a morning outage led to delays across the airline’s operations.We can confirm airport systems, check-in & customer call centres are now all back online. We’re expecting some flight delays but we’re getting everyone on their way. Please check your flight status before going to the airport. We thank customers for their patience— Air Canada (@AirCanada) March 12, 2018The company says it expects some continued flight delays as it works to clear the backlog caused by a disruption of its airport systems, check-in and customer service centres.Air Canada checking in bags & passengers @FlyYYC after notifying guests this a.m. of a nation-wide network outage. pic.twitter.com/CrbuOGlKQF— Crystal Laderas (@CrisLaderas) March 12, 2018last_img read more

Postal union issues strike notices could start rotating job action Monday

first_imgOTTAWA — The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says it has given strike notice to Canada Post that workers could walk off the job as early as next week.The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says rotating strikes will begin Monday if agreements aren’t reached with the Urban Postal Operations and Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers bargaining units.It says it’s pushing for improved job security, an end to forced overtime, and better health and safety measures.“Our members gave us a clear mandate to take job action if Canada Post refused to address our major issues – health and safety, gender equality and preserving full-time, middle class jobs,” says Mike Palecek, the union’s national president, in a Tuesday press release. “Our goal is still negotiated settlements with no postal disruption. This week is Canada Post’s chance to make that happen.”The release adds that working conditions for mail carriers “have deteriorated over the last decade in part because Canada Post has failed to properly address the massive increase in parcel volumes and the burden it has placed on members.”The scale of the job action will depend in part on how talks go in the coming days, but Palecek said they would look to avoid inconveniencing the public.“Our aim is not to disrupt the public, it’s not to disrupt the service that we provide, that we’ve been defending for years, so we’re trying to come up with ways to put some pressure on Canada Post without impacting the public.”Decision for the strike comes after talks stalledThe union decided to issue the strike notices after the nearly year-long talks stalled with the two sides fairly far apart, said Palecek.“We’ve said we would remain at the table as long as progress is being made, and we’ve reached a point where we’re not seeing a lot of progress.”He said the union, which provided five days notice rather than the 72 hours required, hopes the threat of job action will help the Crown corporation take the issues seriously.The union has been pushing for 3.5 per cent annual wage increases but has been met with offers of increases below inflation, while health and safety concerns have also yet to be addressed, said Palecek.Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton said in a statement that the service has found common ground with the union on several issues including workload concerns and has made meaningful offers.“Canada Post has made significant offers to CUPW which include increased wages, job security, and improved benefits and has not asked for any concessions in return.”Canada Post hopes to keep services without disruptionThe postal service will still be operational in the event of a strike, said Hamilton.“Canada Post will remain open for business, continuing to operate if the union decides to conduct rotating strikes across the country next week. We will notify customers of any disruptions planned by the union as soon as we are aware, however customers may experience some minor delays.”Locations of the rotating strikes have yet to be determined.The possibility of a work stoppage has hovered over Canada Post since Sept. 26 after postal workers voted overwhelmingly in late summer in support of a potential walkout to back their contract demands.Canada Post is the biggest parcel shipping company in the country, having delivered about one million parcels per day during the holiday season last year, an increase of 20 per cent over the same period in 2016.last_img read more

Bernie Sanders plans trip to Canada with group seeking cheaper insulin

first_imgTORONTO — American presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said on Thursday that he would soon be coming to Canada with a group of diabetics to buy cheaper insulin.The Vermont senator said in a tweet that he planned to make the trip toward the end of this month.Typically, a vial of insulin Type 1 diabetics need to regulate their blood sugar costs about US$340 in the United States, roughly 10 times the price in Canada.“We can’t wait for drug companies to lower prices,” Sanders tweeted on Thursday. “Americans need relief now!”Sanders, who has long targeted pharmaceutical companies for the cost of prescription drugs, made a similar medication trip to Canada in 1999. He has accused the industry of being antithetical to the interests of the American public.“In 1999, I took working-class women, struggling with breast cancer, to Canada to buy the same medication for 1/10th of the price they were paying in the U.S.,” Sanders tweeted.The Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request to discuss the trip.According to CNN, Sanders and the diabetics will make the trip as part of his efforts to highlight the hardships some Americans face when it comes to drug purchases. The plan is to head to Windsor, Ont., from Detroit.Late last month, a group of Type 1 diabetics from Minnesota crossed the border to buy insulin in London, Ont. One of the organizers, Quinn Nystrom, who was making her second such expedition, said insulin prices south of the border have skyrocketed in two decades.“One in four Americans are rationing their insulin because they cannot afford it, so people are dying,” Nystrom, 33, said in a recent interview.Current rules allow Americans to take home a maximum three-month personal supply of medicines bought in Canada, and four states — Florida among them — have passed legislation allowing for wholesale or individual imports of medications. Because insulin is non-prescription in Canada, there is no tracking mechanism of how much might be heading south.Although still relatively small-scale, the drug tourism has sparked concerns in Canada.Barry Power, a senior director with the Canadian Pharmacists Association, has warned of potential disruption if large numbers of Americans flood the Canadian market and called on the Canadian government to look at the issue. A spokeswoman for the federal health minister said the government was monitoring the situation. Canada, in line with other industrialized countries, regulates drug prices through the quasi-judicial patented medicine prices review board whose mandate is to prevent gouging. Market forces operate in the U.S.In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Sanders attributed the rising cost of drugs in the United States and the disparity with prices in Canada to the difference between the health-care systems in the two countries.“Canada has a nationalized, single-payer system that allows them to negotiate much better prices with the drug companies,” Sanders said. “In our country it is a much different story.”Colin Perkel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Man planned to kill ex not her uncle appeal court says in

first_imgTORONTO — Ontario’s top court says a Toronto man who planned to kill his estranged wife but ended up killing her uncle instead should not be convicted of first-degree murder because the uncle was not the plot’s intended target.In a decision released this week, the Court of Appeal for Ontario says that while jurors found Willy Ching intended to kill his ex’s uncle in the moment, there was no planning and deliberation involved in that slaying.As a result, the court says the conviction for first-degree murder should be quashed and replaced with one for second-degree murder, which does not involve advance planning.Court heard Ching bought a hatchet and knife and was trying to get into the home where his estranged wife, Maria Ching, was staying, but her uncle intervened and was fatally wounded in the struggle.The appeal court says the trial judge erred in telling jurors they could find Willy Ching guilty of first-degree murder if they found he planned to kill his former spouse and killed her uncle, Ernesto Agsaulio, in the process of carrying out that plan.It says that was a misapplication of a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada in a case involving a man who accidentally killed his children while trying to kill his spouse.“The jury found that the appellant intended to kill Mr. Agsaulio … The planning and deliberation, however, was in respect of a different intended killing, the killing of Ms. Ching,” the appeal court wrote in its decision, noting jurors were not asked to consider whether the uncle’s murder was planned and deliberate.“There is a sound policy reason for concluding that an accused who intentionally kills person B when in the course of carrying out the planned and deliberate murder of person A will be guilty of second-degree murder, whereas an accused who accidentally or mistakenly kills person B when person A was the target will be convicted of first-degree murder,” it said.“This result reflects the fact that in the first case the actual killing may well have been impulsive while in the second, it was the result of a planned and deliberate act.”However, the court rejected arguments that the trial judge had also erred in his instructions to jurors regarding Ching’s attempt to jump over a staircase railing upon learning Agsaulio had died, and those regarding Ching’s conflicting statements in his testimony and police interviews.Court heard the couple’s marriage fell apart in 2009 and that September, Maria Ching moved out of their shared home to go live with Agsaulio and his family in nearby Mississauga, Ont.Willy Ching did not accept that the marriage was ending and repeatedly tried to speak to his former spouse, the decision said.Ching had been on medication for depression for years but it was changed that October, and he was also prescribed sleeping pills, it said. Days later, he attempted to overdose on sleeping pills and was hospitalized for three days, it said.Later that month, Ching became upset after unsuccessfully trying to access his ex’s email account, and went to a Canadian Tire store to buy a knife and hatchet, the document said.The next day, he rented a car and drove to Agsaulio’s house in an effort to see his ex-wife, the document said. The couple’s daughters realized he was trying to see their mother and called to warn her, it said.Their mother, in turn, called Ching and told him to go home, the ruling said. He asked her to come outside to talk, but she refused and warned her uncle that Ching was on his way to the house, it said.When Ching rang the doorbell, it was Agsaulio who answered and refused to let him in, the document said. They talked for a few minutes, then Ching began “hacking and slashing” at Agsaulio before he could be restrained, it said.Agsaulio was still alive when Ching was arrested and charged with assault, it said. He gave a statement to police, saying he had only wanted to talk to his wife and had not tried to kill anyone, it said.By the end of the interview, however, police informed Ching that Agsaulio had died and the charge would be upgraded to first-degree murder, the decision said. Ching then asked to use the bathroom, ran towards the stairwell and tried to “fling himself headfirst over the railing,” but officers held him back, it said.He gave a second statement to police the next day, repeating that he had gone to the house to speak to his ex and had not intended to hurt anyone, the document said.Ching said he had brought the knife and hatchet because he wanted to threaten to hurt himself if his ex didn’t take him back, it said. He also told officers he had bought the weapons a long time ago.Second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 to 25 years.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Trent Tucker To Host Rescheduled Celebrity Bowling Event

first_imgNBA Champion and former NY Knicks guard, Trent Tucker will host a Celebrity Bowling event during NBA All-Star Weekend on Saturday, February 14, 2015, at Frames located at 550 Ninth Ave in NYC benefiting JDRF.Red Carpet is from 1:00pm – 2:00pm and games will begin at 2:30pm.The event will include a VIP meet & greet lounge, a live auction, great music, cocktails, a delicious array of food, treats provided by Oscar William Gourmet Cotton Candy and a candy buffet by Treat Me Sweet. Top sponsors will enjoy an exclusive celebrity meet & greet prior to the event and have the opportunity to bowl with Trent Tucker and other sports stars in attendance.Invited guests include ESPN TV Analyst Adam Schefter, NBA stars Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, John Starks, Scottie Pippen, NY Giants Super Bowl Champions Michael Strahan, Eli Manning, Steve Weatherford and Howard Cross.“I’m looking forward to coming to NY and hosting my All-Star Celebrity Bowling Event which will benefit JDRF,” said Trent Tucker. “With diabetes on the rise affecting both children and adults, more people inflicted with the disease are facing life threatening challenges. With the help of all the generous celebrities, supporters and participants, we are hoping to Strike Out Type One.”“JDRF is thrilled to be the beneficiary of the Trent Tucker All-Star Celebrity Bowling Event,” said chapter executive director, Kristin DiFoglio. “In the United States more than 3 million children and adults diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) struggle with this life threatening disease, and the numbers are growing. They face a lifetime of potentially fatal complications from this disease, a disease that never sleeps. Thanks to the generosity of people like Tucker and all those expected to participate in this event, JDRF leads the world in funding type 1 diabetes research. We are confident that together, we will reach our goal and ultimately Turn Type One into Type None.”For tickets and more info, click here.last_img read more

Stars Get Dressed By Kids For Oxfam

first_imgAmanda Holden, Sara Cox and Stephen Mangan get dressed by the kids for a fun new fundraising campaign shot by Rankin.Oxfam celebrity supporter, Amanda Holden said, “I like to think I’m pretty stylish when it comes to my dress sense, but that went out the window on this shoot. Today I look like I’ve stepped off the set of some mad 1980’s gameshow thanks to my two girls.“It’s pretty daunting to think that this is how they wanted to me to look for Dressed by the Kids Day, but it was impossible to say no for such a wonderful cause and we’ve had such fun being involved.”They were photographed on location at Rankin’s studio in London accompanied by their children who acted as stylists for the day – transforming their looks in a bid to transform lives in poverty.Taking place on 29 April 2016, Oxfam’s Dressed by the Kids Day dares the nation to put the children in charge of their wardrobe. Mums, dads, aunts, uncles and grandparents are encouraged to get dressed by their kids in exchange for sponsorship.Celebrities that posed for Rankin in support of Oxfam’s Dressed by the Kids Day include:- TV personality Amanda Holden and adorable daughters Holly, 9, and Lexie, 4.
- DJ and presenter Sara Cox and daughter Lola, 10
- Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley posed in an outfit selected by her two youngest children, Cassius, 14, and Coco Lux, 7. 
- Singer and TV personality Jamelia with her daughters Teja, 14 and Tiani, 11 
- BBC Radio 6 Music’s Shaun Keaveny posed with his two sons, Arthur, 7 and Wilfy, 5.
- Actor Stephen Mangan was styled by his two sons, Frank, 6, and Harry, 3.
- Chart topping singer Andreya Triana was styled by her 13 year old cousin, Clara
- Scottish siren Talia Storm posed with her younger brothers Zac, 8, and Johnnie, 11.
- Storm model and presenter Rob Evans was styled by his friends daughter Summer, 11. 
- Eastenders star Nina Wadia and her two children, daughter Tia aged 12, and son Aidan, aged 9.- Actor and singer, Jason Donovan, with his daughter Jemma, 15, and son, Zac, 14.Those embracing the opportunity and taking part in Dressed by the Kids Day will raise vital funds for Oxfam’s fight against poverty. In just 15 years, extreme poverty has been halved and in 15 more years, it can be ended for good.Rankin, who has supported Oxfam for several years, also commented “I’m more than happy to give my time for important causes and Oxfam is one close to my heart. Shooting today’s celebrities in such a fun and natural environment has been great. The real stars from the shoot were the kids. “Those who want to unite the family in something truly fun and unique can sign up via www.oxfam.org.uk/dressedbythekids, where they will be issued a unique text code to allow family and friends to sponsor them in an instant.Dedicated Dressed by the Kids’ Day Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts will build momentum and add to the fun using #DressedByTheKids.Transform your look and transform lives in poverty.last_img read more

David Attenborough Attends The Queens Commonwealth Canopy Conservation Initiative Reception

first_imgThe Queen has hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to showcase forestry projects dedicated to The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) conservation initiative.The Queen and David AttenboroughCredit/Copyright: Royal.UKThe reception was attended by Sir David Attenborough who gave a speech thanking Her Majesty for “showing great leadership” by putting her name to the project.“We are fortunate that you are still thinking about the future and how to make this a better world,” Sir David said.The QCC project was launched in 2015 when an appeal was made to all 52 Commonwealth nations to contribute areas of indigenous forest to be preserved in perpetuity to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.Since then, around 20 Commonwealth countries have dedicated forestry projects or are planting new forests, with another 10 countries in the process of finalising their submissions.The first country to offer a QCC dedication was Singapore, which was officially acknowledged on behalf of Her Majesty by The Princess Royal during a recent visit.Canada’s QCC commitment of the Great Bear Rainforest was recently unveiled by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry will visit a number of QCC dedications during his up-coming visit to The Caribbean.The Queen acknowledged those countries that have already dedicated projects by presenting High Commissioners with a certificate of QCC partnership.Displays also illustrated the variety of projects involved including from the Seychelles which is planting 20,000 new trees, to Australia which has dedicated a programme to plant 20 million trees.The project was conceived by charity Cool Earth, and led by the Royal Commonwealth Society in partnership with Cool Earth and the Commonwealth Forestry Association. It was unveiled at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015 in Malta.The next CHGM will be held in the UK in 2018 and more nations are expected to have signed up to create a global network of indigenous forests to benefit communities and wildlife, now, and into the future.Source:Royal.UKlast_img read more

The Unstoppable Foundation Announces Its 10th Anniversary Gala

first_imgThe Unstoppable Foundation announced today that it will host its annual Unstoppable Gala, March 24, 2018 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.The Gala will be a celebration of the non-profit’s 10th anniversary – highlighting a decade of dreams fulfilled through the Foundation’s humanitarian work in developing countries.“We are thrilled to be hosting what will be our biggest Gala yet,” said Cynthia Kersey, Unstoppable Foundation Founder and CEO. “It is a truly special evening where, along with our generous donors, will celebrate our collective impact of bringing education and access to life-saving services to more than 75,000 men, women and children in the sub-Saharan African region. In addition, we’ll raise funds that are vital to continuing our work to empower lives through education.”The annual Unstoppable Gala brings together more than 700 mega-influencers including global thought-leaders, best-selling authors, renowned speakers, all-star athletes, award-winning celebrities and some of the best minds in business. Previous guests and presenters include Paula Abdul, Maggie Q, Dylan McDermott, Malcolm Jamal-Warner, Brandy, Dyan Cannon, Tony Gonzalez, Ann Archer, Henry Winkler, The Tenors and Holly Robinson-Peete to name just a few.The Gala has previously honored Nelly Furtado, Malala Yousafzai and Bob Proctor for their outstanding humanitarian work. The 2018 Unstoppable award nominees will be announced in the coming months.The Gala will also include a live auction. Previous once-in-a-lifetime auction experiences have included private dinners with Deepak Chopra, X-Prize Founder and CEO, Peter Diamandis and Centerpointe Research Founder and CEO, Bill Harris; an exotic getaway to Paul Mitchell’s luxurious beach estate; and tickets to the award-winning, sold-out Broadway performance of Hamilton.Annual Unstoppable Galas have raised millions in support of the organization’s international education and community development programs, with the 2017 gala raising more than $1.3MM.Since 2008, the Unstoppable Foundation has educated more than 31,500 students, built 119 primary schools and two high schools and has provided life-saving services to more than 75,500 community members through their Sponsor A Village model of sustainability.Tickets to attend the 10th Anniversary Unstoppable Gala are available at www.unstoppablegala.org. All proceeds from ticket sales will go toward the Unstoppable Foundation’s international education programs.The Unstoppable Foundation is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that empowers lives through education and moves communities in developing countries from surviving to thriving so that every person can realize their full potential. The Foundation’s approach to creating sustainable education is a proven, holistic 5-Pillar development model called Sponsor A Village (SAV). SAV incorporates everything crucial to lifting communities out of poverty and removing obstacles to educating children by providing access to primary education, clean water and sanitation, healthcare, food and nutrition, and income training for parents. To ensure students are able to gain employment in their community and increase the standard of living for themselves and their families, the Unstoppable Foundation awards full scholarships to qualifying high school graduates in the Maasai Mara region of Kenya through their Unstoppable Scholars program. Unstoppable Scholars receive a state-of- the-art education that combines theoretical studies with technical training, placements and internships. Students also receive leadership and empowerment training – enabling them to achieve their full potential as leaders in their families, communities and the world at large. One hundred percent of donations to the Unstoppable Foundation fund their international programs. To learn more about the Unstoppable Foundation, visit www.UnstoppableFoundation.org.last_img read more

A LETTERKENNY Easter Egg Hunt

first_img Twitter Advertisement Facebook Two Katy-Kats!? That’s right, in the original Letterkenny Problems YouTube shorts, Wayne had two sisters. It was changed for the series because, let’s face it, there’s only one Michelle Mylett.Egg Two: Comedians in a bar drinking Puppers The folks of LETTERKENNY are outrageously funny, but outside of the small town shenanigans, two of the series stars make live audiences laugh for a living. Both K. Trevor Wilson (Squirrelly Dan) and Mark Forward (The Coach) are stand-up comics who have made multiple appearances at the Montréal’s prestigious Just For Laughs festival. Neither are strangers when it comes to touring either, so they’re right at home on the LETTERKENNY LIVE! Tour, currently on the road in a nearby town. Egg Three: Ostrich lovers, allegedlyGinger and Boots may be two of the most fear-inducing names in LETTERKENNY, but in reality, they’re played by two of Jared Kesso’s buds from his hometown of Listowel, Ontario. Ever hear what those two did to an ostrich? (Allegedly).Egg Four: ShoresyNo one chirps like Shoresy! But who plays the quick–witted, high-pitched, fan-favourite character who has never shown his face in LETTERKENNY? It’s none other than a fast-talkin’ version of creator and star, Jared Keeso!Egg Five: 19-2 goes to LetterkennyBefore LETTERKENNY came to CraveTV, Jared Keeso was wearing a police badge for Bravo’s Canadian Screen Award-winning drama, 19-2. But Jared’s not the only one who’s made the trip from Montréal to LETTERKENNY. Jared’s 19-2 co-stars Adrian Holmes (Bradley), Dan Petronijevic (McMurray), and Kaniehtiio Horn (Tanis) have all crossed paths with Letterkenny’s lead Hick.Egg Six: Just Pour Rires In the episode “Relationship,” Squirrelly Dan points out that while the U.S. may not be fans of malt vinegar or have all-dressed and ketchup chips, they do have six different types of Cap’n Crunch. How does he know that? Squirrelly Dan saw a comedian talking about it on “the Just Pour Rires.” Funny enough, Squirrelly Dan’s very own doppelganger has performed an eerily similar joke on The Comedy Network’s JUST FOR LAUGHS: ALL ACCESS. Coincidence?Egg Seven: Sniper SwapKaty sure knows how to make an entrance but in “St Perfect’s Day,” it’s Katy’s exit from the ladies room that fans should keep an eye on. After a brief tryst in the bathroom, Katy and Bonnie McMurray emerge wearing the other’s top…and lipstick.Egg Eight: Canada rocks LetterkennyLetterkenny is distinctly Canadian so it makes sense that the tunes are too! The series features music performed mostly by Canadian indie bands. In fact, in the first season, 80 per cent of the tracks viewers heard were from un-signed Vancouver-area bands.Egg Nine: Jeff Davie was a great guyIn the Halloween special, “The Haunting of MoDean’s II,” Bonnie McMurray emerges from the kitchen dressed for the annual Jeff Davies Memorial Baseball Tournament. The real Jeff Davie, who sadly passed away in 2008, was from Harriston, ON, 20-minutes down the road from Listowel, and was a big supporter of minor sports, especially baseball. Each year, the JYD Tournament raises money in Jeff’s name for local charities, and has raised close to $175,000 in the nine years since it began. All the Hicks of Letterkenny agree, Jeff Davie was “one of the greatest!”Egg Ten: Super Hard Easter Streaming now on CraveTV! Advertisement Login/Register With: St. Perfects Day has passed and it’s pertnear Easter – the one holiday where pickin’ stones for a living is an advantage. And it wouldn’t be Easter without a festive egg hunt! CraveTV has compiled a list of some of LETTERKENNY’s very own Easter Eggs – the little inside jokes and gags hidden throughout the series.Egg One: From Two Sisters to One Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment CraveTV tends to drop holiday-themed episodes of LETTERKENNY every so often and today is one of those days. Surprise! LETTERKENNY: SUPER HARD EASTER is now streaming on CraveTV. Join the Hicks as they embark on their own liver-busting super hard scavenger hunt and drink-a-thon.last_img read more

Netflix pulls out of Cannes Film Festival in growing dispute

first_img Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement “We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker,” said Sarandos. “There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”Representatives for Cannes didn’t immediately comment Wednesday. In an earlier interview, Cannes director Thierry Fremaux said: “The Netflix people loved the red carpet and would like to be present with other films. But they understand that the intransigence of their own model is now the opposite of ours.” Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Netflix’s role in cinema?Last year, two Netflix films — Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories — premiered in competition at Cannes, prompting outrage from French theatre owners and unions.Last year’s festival became a kind of referendum on Netflix’s role in cinema. Advocates for the streaming service point to the creative freedom Netflix offers to filmmakers and its financial backing of a diverse and ambitious slate of films. Critics say a platform destructive to theatrical moviegoing shouldn’t be celebrated at the world’s foremost celebration of cinema.For Cannes, losing Netflix — and its growing roster of big-name filmmakers and stars — is a blow, depriving the French Rivera festival of some of the high-wattage glamour it seeks for its red carpet. Hollywood studios have largely stopped making the kinds of movies presented in Cannes, though this year’s festival will include the out-of-competition premiere of Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.Among the Netflix films believed to be in consideration for this year’s Cannes, which begins May 8, are: Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, Paul Greengrass’ Norway, Jeremy Saulnier’s Hold the Dark and Orson Welles’ final unfinished film The Other Side of the Wind.Lost promotion, prestigeFor Netflix, skipping Cannes means those or other releases won’t get the worldwide promotion afforded by the festival, nor the much-sought honour of being a Cannes selection. Lacking theatrical distribution or massive marketing expenditures, Netflix has depended heavily on film festivals as launch pads for its films.Sarandos said it’s time for Cannes to “modernize.”“It is not a coincidence that Thierry also banned selfies this year,” Sarandos says, referring to Cannes’ new prohibition of selfie-taking on the red carpet. “I don’t know what other advances in media Thierry would like to address.”A spokeswoman for Netflix said the company had no further comment. Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, on Wednesday said the streaming giant is pulling its films from the Cannes Film Festival, further intensifying an ongoing dispute between Netflix and the world’s most prestigious film festival.Cannes earlier banned any films without theatrical distribution in France from its Palme d’Or competition. That essentially rules out Netflix movies, which are released either day-and-date — on Netflix and in some theatres — or simply go straight to Netflix. In France, it’s a law that films can’t be released on home entertainment platforms until 36 months after their theatrical release.That still left Netflix the option of playing out of competition at Cannes. But in an interview with Variety published Wednesday, Sarandos said he doesn’t want to send Netflix releases if they won’t be treated equally with other movies. Sarandos says he wants Netflix releases to be on fair ground with every other film. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) Twitterlast_img read more

Global Greenlights New Primetime Medical Drama Nurses Working Title

first_img Facebook Advertisement Advertisement TORONTO – Adding to its acclaimed roster of Canadian original series, Global proudly announces new primetime medical drama Nurses (working title), set to premiere on the network in 2019. From independent studio Entertainment One (eOne), the 10×60 series is executive produced by Ilana Frank (Rookie Blue), of ICF Films and Vanessa Piazza (Dark Matter) of Piazza Entertainment, with Adam Pettle named as writer, showrunner, and executive producer, and Tassie Cameron serving as executive producer. The series follows four young nurses working on the frontlines of St. Jude’s hospital dedicating their lives to helping others, while figuring out how to help themselves. Stationed in every tendril of a busy downtown trauma centre and thrust into frontline medical action, Nurses sees four recent graduates beginning their careers in a high-stakes hospital with pressure cooker training. Forming an inextricable bond, the nurses struggle to find a work-life balance that matches and counters the intensity of their new job. Their interaction with patients, relatives, and staff quickly leads them to the discovery that nursing isn’t just about biology, chemistry, and anatomy, it’s also about psychology, compassion, and romantic complications. “Global’s acclaimed original storytelling continues as we bring audiences a new high-stakes medical drama with a character-driven plot that humanizes the lives of the heroes on the frontlines of medicine,” said Lisa Godfrey, Vice President, Original Content, Corus Entertainment. “It’s a pleasure to be working again with the incredibly talented Ilana Frank and our esteemed partners at eOne to bring audiences a daring new drama with emotionally-gripping storylines.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement “It is great to be working on a new series with the partners that helped make Rookie Blue such a success.  Global is the perfect home for the series and I look forward to collaborating with their creative team again,” said Ilana Frank, Executive Producer, Nurses.“The world of nurses is ripe with raw and relatable storylines and we are thrilled to partner with Global who understands how character-driven series reach and resonate with audiences,” said Jocelyn Hamilton, President, Canada, eOne Television.Nurses executive producer, Ilana Frank, appears today on the Corus Entertainment-sponsored panel, The Future of Scripted: Women in Power Tell All. Hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Toronto, the panel takes place during C21 Media’s Content Canada conference, a part of TIFF’s industry offering. With opening remarks from Corus’ Executive Vice President and COO, Barb Williams, and moderated by Divya Shahani, Entertainment Lawyer, Hall Webber LLP, the featured panelists are: Ilana Frank (Rookie Blue, Nurses), Sheila Hockin (Vikings), Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People), Julia Sereny (Ransom), and Alex Zarowny (Private Eyes). For more information visit www.contentcanada.net.This newly greenlit series comes on the heels of Global’s recent renewals for Ransom, Mary Kills People, Private Eyes, and Big Brother Canada.Nurses is produced by ICF Films, in association with eOne and Corus Entertainment, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:Twitter:@GlobalTV @GlobalTV_PR@CorusPRFacebook:https://www.facebook.com/GlobalTVInstagram:https://www.instagram.com/globaltv/Global Television is a Corus Entertainment Network.About Entertainment OneEntertainment One Ltd. (LSE: ETO) is a global independent studio that specialises in the development, acquisition, production, financing, distribution and sales of entertainment content. The Company’s diversified expertise spans across film, television and music production and sales; family programming, merchandising and licensing; digital content; and live entertainment. Through its global reach and expansive scale, powered by deep local market knowledge, the Company delivers the best content to the world.Entertainment One’s robust network includes Makeready with Brad Weston; content creation venture Amblin Partnerswith Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, and Reliance Entertainment; unscripted television production companies Whizz Kid Entertainment and Renegade 83; live entertainment leaders Round Room Entertainment; world-class music labels Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang; and award-winning emerging content and technology studio Secret Location.The Company’s rights library, valued at US$1.7 billion (as at 31 March 2017), is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 80,000 hours of film and television content and approximately 40,000 music tracks.Corus EntertainmentCorus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that creates and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world. The company’s portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses 44 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a global content business, digital assets, live events, children’s book publishing, animation software, technology and media services. Corus’ roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Canada, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY®, Showcase, National Geographic, Q107, CKNW, Fresh Radio, Disney Channel Canada, YTV and Nickelodeon Canada. Visit Corus at www.corusent.com.last_img read more

Lotto millionaire funds major hockey tourney

first_imgAPTN National NewsWith a number of Aboriginal sporting events facing cancellation from lack of funds, one man is putting his own millions behind a hockey tournament.Manitoba lottery winner Kirby Fontaine is helping fund a big tournament in Winnipeg this weekend.APTN National News reporter Priscilla Wolf has more on this story about a man who found fortune and continues to share it.last_img

Kashechewan gets 325 million for houses

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan said Friday that another northern First Nation community along Ontario’s James Bay coast which once made national headlines over its own crisis would be getting money for houses.Duncan said in a statement that Kashechewan First Nation would receive $3.25 million over two years as part of an agreement the community signed with Ottawa in 2007.“This investment will allow Kashechewan First Nation to make strides in addressing their housing shortage,” said Duncan, in the statement.Kashechewan residents were evacuated in 2005 after high levels of E. coli were found in the community’s water system, causing widespread sickness. The Canadian military also sent a water purification unit to the community.Kashechewan Chief Jonathan Solomon said the housing money would also provide training in construction for some in this community.“This investment will allow skilled tradesmen from our community to build quality homes for the people who need them,” said Solomon, in the statement.The Conservative government is now locked in a legal battle with Attawapiskat, a neighbouring James Bay community, over Duncan’s decision to impose a third-party manager to take over the band’s finances.A housing crisis in Attawapiskat, where many families live in tents of shacks with no running water or insulation, set the federal government on its heels for weeks.The Canadian Red Cross was asked to intervene to provide aid to the community as harsh winter temperatures began to grip the region.Ottawa has since said it would be sending 22 modular houses to the community by the end of January.Temporary shelter in the community’s healing lodge is being prepared as a temporary measure until the houses arrive.Liberal interim leader Bob Rae and Liberal Aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett are visiting the community this weekend.last_img read more

Top oil producing First Nation seeks OPEC audience

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe chief of Canada’s highest oil producing First Nation has requested an audience with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries during the oil-cartel’s meeting in Austria next month.Onion Lake Cree Nation Chief Wallace Fox has written the Abdalla Salem El-Badri Badri, the secretary general of the OPEC Secretariat asking First Nations chiefs be allowed to make a presentation before the member countries.Onion Lake, which sits in Saskatchewan, produces 20,000 barrels of oil a day on its territory.“The chiefs will provide information that oil from Canada and sold to the United States is not conflict free. The environmental devastation in the tar sands encompasses an area the size of France. The environmental devastation is a violation of the human rights of Indigenous peoples,” wrote Fox, in the letter dated Nov. 17. “All oil sold by Canada to the United States is without payment to the Indigenous peoples.”Canada sends about 2.5 million barrels of oil a day to the U.S.The next OPEC meeting is scheduled for Dec. 12 in Vienna, Austria. There are currently 12 member nations of OPEC and the cartel exerts considerable influence over the price of oil in its decisions to increase or decrease oil production.OPEC member countries include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Iraq, Venezuela, Qatar, Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Libya, the United Arab Emirates and Ecuador.Fox said other First Nations with oil on their territory have also indicated an interest in attending the Vienna meeting and are waiting to see if Onion Lake gets a positive response before fully committing to attend.Fox said Onion Lake is a “sovereign entity” seeking to attract political support and investment from OPEC-member countries and sever all dependency on Ottawa.“OPEC countries have a lot of wealth,” said Fox. “Onion Lake has always thought outside the box.”Fox said his Onion Lake have already developed ties to Asia and Europe.“We are exploring all avenues for creating additional investment,” he said.The bid by First Nations chiefs to address the OPEC nation already has the backing of Iran, according to former Manitoba chief Terry Nelson who recently travelled to Tehran.The Iranian government also mentioned OPEC in a statement jointly issued with Nelson at the close of his trip.“We call upon the government of Canada to consider the experiences of other countries regarding fair distribution of the natural resources’ income,” said the statement. “The OPEC nations have had a similar history in dealing with colonial powers.”jbarrear@aptn.calast_img read more