Manitoba Tory backbencher forced out after pattern of inappropriate behaviour

first_imgWINNIPEG – A Manitoba government backbencher who made inappropriate comments to female staff has been ousted from the Progressive Conservative caucus.Caucus chair Wayne Ewasko said he and his colleagues made the decision Monday to expel Cliff Graydon after discussing what he called “repeated inappropriate behaviour.”“While we do not take this decision lightly, it has become apparent that previous attempts with Mr. Graydon to address a pattern of inappropriate behaviour have not succeeded,” Ewasko said in a written statement.“We have acted fairly, swiftly and respectfully in dealing with this difficult matter while ensuring all policies and procedures were followed and that the privacy and confidentiality of all parties involved were respected.”Media reports earlier this month quoted unnamed sources as saying Graydon invited two women on separate occasions to sit on his lap, and invited another to lick food off his face.Premier Brian Pallister said Graydon is also being removed from the board of Crown-owned Manitoba Hydro and will not be allowed to seek the party’s nomination in the next election.No one in the government caucus would discuss details of Graydon’s actions. Pallister said he wanted to respect the privacy of anyone who came forward, and hoped the dismissal sends a message.“It sends the right signal, I think, about changing the culture around here.”Graydon was not in the legislature chamber Monday and did not respond to interview requests. He has previously acknowledged making comments to one staff member, although he has not discussed details.He announced last week that he was going on medical leave for an undisclosed issue and that he would not seek re-election in 2020.Graydon, in his early 70s, has represented the Emerson constituency near the United States border since 2007.He faced controversy last winter when he used social media to call asylum-seekers who had been crossing the border “a drain on society.” He also retweeted other people’s posts that called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a traitor, a scumbag and a disgrace.Graydon apologized, deleted the tweets and agreed to step back from social media and undergo sensitivity training, the details of which were never made public.“We took action to move Mr. Graydon into counselling. He was entered into counselling,” Pallister said Monday. “Evidently, that counselling was less than successful.”Graydon is the third legislature member to be kicked out of a caucus since the last election in 2016. The Opposition New Democrats, saying he had sexually harassed a worker, gave the boot to Mohinder Saran nearly two years ago. Saran has denied the accusation.The Tories ousted Steven Fletcher last year after he openly questioned government policies that included the creation of a new Crown corporation to promote energy efficiency.Despite the changes, the Tories continue to have a large majority with 38 of the 57 legislature seats.last_img read more

Electoral referendum results being released in British Columbia today

first_imgVICTORIA — The results of British Columbia’s referendum on whether the province should switch to a system of proportional representation are being released today.In its last update on Dec. 7 as the voting was coming to a close, Elections BC said it had received 41 per cent of eligible ballots, which asked voters whether they would prefer to keep the existing first-past-the-post system or move to a form of proportional representation.This is the third time voters in British Columbia have been asked if they want to make a change to the voting system.In 2005, about 57 per cent of ballots were cast in favour of proportional representation, which did not meet the threshold of 60 per cent to make it binding on the government.Four years later, 61 per cent voted in favour of first past the post.The latest referendum is binding and the winner will be declared by a simple majority of votes cast.In addition to asking voters which system they support, the ballot also included a second question that allowed voters to rank their preference for three types of proportional representation.The three forms of proportional representation were mixed member proportional, rural-urban proportional and dual member proportional.The Elections BC website says mixed member proportional is used in a number of countries, including Germany and New Zealand, and would see the election of two types of representatives, a district member and a regional member to the legislature. District legislative members would be elected using the first-past-the-post system while regional members would be elected from a party list so that each party’s share of seats matches its share of the provincewide popular vote.Dual member proportional would see all but the largest rural districts combined so each has two members. Parties running candidates for both seats would list their candidates as either first or second. The first candidate of the party with the most votes in the district would win the first seat and the second seat would be won by a party based on its share of the popular vote provincewide and in the district.Rural-urban proportional combines two different voting systems, the single transferable vote and mixed member proportional systems with voters in urban and semi-urban districts using the single transferable vote to elect multiple members for their larger electoral district. In rural districts, voters would use the mixed member system to elect district and regional representatives.Elections BC says provincial results in the rural-urban system are likely to be generally proportional, although it is not used by any other jurisdiction.Other provinces, including Prince Edward Island and Ontario, have also held referendums on their electoral systems but neither made any changes.In Prince Edward Island in 2016, the Liberal government decided not to honour a provincial plebiscite on electoral reform, in which only 36 per cent of eligible voters took part. Premier Wade MacLauchlan said it was debatable whether the result reflected the will of Islanders, and announced another vote will be held during the 2019 provincial election.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Toronto Raptors vs LA The Pros and Cons for Kawhi Leonard

first_imgTORONTO (SPORTSNET) – Today, Kawhi Leonard turns 28 years old. Tomorrow, the free-agency negotiating period will open up at 6 p.m. ET, and the two-time NBA Finals MVP will hit the open market when officially opts out of his $21.3 million player option. He has some decisions to make as he weighs his options between now and when he is first able to sign a new contract at noon on July 6.It won’t be surprising if Leonard is the first big domino in free agency to fall as the league waits on him. Unlike the other big names, Leonard has no current injury issues (Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson) or chemistry concerns (Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving). Leonard has the best winning percentage in NBA history (minimum 400 games played) at .754, surpassing Magic Johnson (.740) and Larry Bird (.736). Wherever he goes will immediately become a championship contender.Toronto, you’d assume, would be in the driver’s seat.The only player not to return to his team after winning Finals MVP is Michael Jordan who retired twice, after three-peating with the Chicago Bulls.Normally money is the greatest motivator. However, Leonard already gave up the chance to get a $221 million supermax by leaving San Antonio. So, if he decides not to return to Toronto that’s a total of $80 million he could have walked away from in consecutive off-seasons.The Raptors ostensibly will have first and last word on pitching Leonard to stay. But that alone won’t be enough to seal the deal.With the LeBron James recruitment being the closest comp, the Miami Heat had the last word in 2014 and the Chicago Bulls had the last word in 2010 and it didn’t matter. King James signed elsewhere both times.Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was one of the first to report that Leonard’s focus is on Los Angeles.Stephen A Smith recently reported the Los Angeles Lakers should be considered a credible option along with the long rumoured Los Angeles Clippers. Marc Stein of the New York Times feels the Lakers are the biggest threat and only landing Durant would help the Clippers.But Leonard is the biggest enigma in sports because nobody knows what he wants and what motivates him. It’s refreshing Leonard’s camp doesn’t leak news to the media or make followers decipher the subliminal meaning of emojis. In an era when the tampering process is public and extended to holding franchises hostage, Leonard doesn’t engage in the normal free agency, silly-season trappings. Leonard’s free-agency handling is admirable but also tough to handicap.Whenever I’ve had a tough decision my father implored me to chart out the potential pros and cons. Here’s a list breaking down the negatives and positives of Leonard’s biggest suitors to examine what he might be weighing. But let’s be honest, we all have no idea.Los Angeles Clippers – ConCopy catAnything the Clippers pitch would be in the hope of approximating the feat Leonard just did in Toronto. Everything the Raptors implemented would be the Clippers’ blueprint, down to even style of play and roster construction.Clipper nation It might be an issue that Raptors fans are too involved. On the otherhand, Clippers don’t have fans. Clipper nation is an ironic term as the Clippers are by far second fiddle in the marketplace, meanwhile, the Raptors are the basketball team of a nation. The UCLA Bruins basketball program is more intensely followed and covered when they are good than the Clippers. Hard to settle for that after being adorned by over a million people at a championship parade.Selling as a Clipper The stigma that Leonard can’t sell merchandise in Canada is now gone as his shoes and shoes were sold out in minutes both in store and online every time New Balance released an allotment throughout the playoffs. But can he sell shoes to a fanbase as a Clipper? Especially at the same time as James and the Lakers are good? Chris Paul and Blake Griffin both captivated fans during the Lob City era, but that didn’t translate to the shoe or jersey sales you’d expect from all-star level play in L.A.Steve Ballmer Can you imagine Steve Ballmer and Leonard alone in a room? I’m not sure there are two more opposite people involved in the NBA. Let’s just say Ballmer is very intense but in a loud way not in the understated way Leonard is. When you google Steve Ballmer and type a “c” after his name, the search autocompletes to “crazy,” not championship. Ballmer isn’t in the background barely seen and never heard like Larry Tanenbaum.Los Angeles Clippers – ProStrong core and culture The Clippers just took the Durant-led Golden State Warriors to six games in the first round. If you add Leonard and another max player the Clippers are an immediate championship contender. The Clippers could sell him on the fact he could become the first player to have Finals MVP on three different teams.Money Management The Clippers have schemed and waited patiently for this exact moment. They don’t have any bad contracts on the books, and every move that has been made in the Ballmer era has either added assets, cleared cap space or both. Due to the collective bargaining agreement, Ballmer has a ceiling on players’ salaries, so he’s decided to make his competitive advantage executive pay. The Clippers front office boasts president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, GM Michael Winger and consultant Jerry West. Winger is so determined to stay with the Clippers he turned down a promotion with the Minnesota Timberwolves to be their president of basketball operations. West’s voice, in particular, is important. The Lakers’ and Grizzlies’ front offices struggled after he left. Time will tell how the Warriors fare without him advising Bob Myers. In the Bay area, West was a big part of the Durant recruitment, and one of the reasons the Warriors balked on a trade of Thompson for Kevin Love in 2013.With the Clippers young talent, championship-winning coach in Doc Rivers, incoming draft picks, cap space and beefed up front office, they are in line to compete for a while if they can land a star or two to lead the way.HomeThe Clippers offer Leonard employment close to his home in southern California. In January, Leonard reportedly bought a $13-million mansion in San Diego. As Toronto Maple Leafs fans learned last July with John Tavares, sometimes the draw of going home is enough.Los Angeles Lakers – ProHomeSee above.Media Requests Leonard would literally have no media pressure as a Laker. Leonard has been a reluctant star in terms of his desire for the limelight. He’s always cordial and accommodating, but it’s clear the media side of the business is an obligation not an opportunity in his mind. In Los Angeles, that burden would be lifted as LeBron James will always command the biggest scrum and the most questions. Leonard could fly under the radar in plain sight and concentrate all his energy on the part of being a pro he likes, playing basketball.Usage Rate Reduction The benefit of playing with James and Anthony Davis would be Leonard’s usage would come way down from the 30.3 it was last season. Leonard could preserve his body even more and see less of the loaded defences he experienced in the playoffs with Toronto. Bringing that usage down would be a preventive way to ensure he stays health and enjoys a long career.Los Angeles Lakers – ConOff ball After working his way back to the status where he is considered one of, if not the best player in the world, is Kawhi Leonard really going to be a three and D spacer? Why would Leonard want to watch James and Davis run pick and rolls while he stands in the corner providing offensive gravity. Neither James or Leonard specialize as off the ball players. Leonard got to take all the big shots with Toronto and got the majority of the credit when it won. Irving learned that even when you do get the chance to take and make big shots, all the credit goes to James. Players are often willing to sacrifice when they have yet to win a championship and/or they are ageing, not in their prime coming off a title.Dynasty killer Leonard is building a legacy as the NBA’s Robin Hood. He’s been the super team, dynasty killer on two different occasions. It would be off-brand for him to join a dynasty with the most iconic franchise in the sport.Soap opera The Lakers have been a soap opera this off-season. From Magic Johnson’s impromptu resignation, to the stories about their toxic culture, to Rob Pelinka’s revealed untruths and misremembering’s. Rob Pelinka and Jeannie Buss aren’t exactly who any star would feel confident entrusting their future with. And the drama may not end as the coaching staff is stocked with two assistants with previous head coaching experience as ready-made replacements in the event Frank Vogel fails. That’s not an ideal working an environment for a team where anything but a title will be a letdown. Leonard is the league’s most drama-free superstar so the reality show that is the Lake show isn’t a good fit. On the contrary, in Toronto, anything in addition to the title he delivered last season is extra credit.Toronto Raptors – ConRaptors fans have no chillThere is a downside to being beloved by a country, you have nowhere to hide in that country. Since bringing the Larry O’Brien trophy to Canada, he’s been followed and photographed everywhere from Niagara Falls to on vacation Barbados. The Kawhi stalking got so bad the mayor and the Raptors superfan had to call a press conference about it. For someone as private as Leonard, being adored could get old real fast. On the flip side in LA, there are so many stars everywhere, the sighting of Leonard isn’t going to set off alarms.WeatherThe Clipper billboard to recruit Leonard shouldn’t have said Toronto is in Canada it should have said Toronto is cold. There is nothing Masai Ujiri can do to bring the Pacific Ocean to Toronto and make it sunny every day. Despite what Lou Williams has to say the biggest obstacle for Toronto in it’s pursuit of Leonard is that it resides on the Eastern Seaboard. Leonard is a self-proclaimed “garage-to-garage,” guy so it’s not like he’s shivering and waiting for public transit like I am. But when you’re born in a warm climate and have only ever lived in one your entire life, it’s more than reasonable to want to return to one as soon as possible.Toronto Raptors – ProFiscal Responsibility The Raptors offer the long-term security of a five-year, $190-million deal ($38 million per year), while the Lakers, Clippers, or any another team, can only offer $140 million over four years. Given his previous injury issues, Leonard might be inclined to take the guaranteed money up front.Leonard could sign a two-year or one-year contract with a player option That would allow him to run it back and chase another ring with the Raptors. That way he’d be in line to make even more money if he signs a long-term deal in 2021, when he will have 10 years of service and thus is eligible to receive 35% of his team’s cap.Proven Success Leonard averaged career-highs in scoring and minutes played per game last year with Toronto. He’s in a system catered to his strengths, with players who adequately balance supporting him and giving him space to dominate. Those factors aren’t a given with the Clippers and are doubtful with the Lakers.ContinuityEntering the playoffs, the starting lineup of Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Leonard, Marc Gasol and Danny Green logged just 161 regular-season minutes in 14 games. Part of the reason they got better as the playoffs went on is because they were still learning to play together. The championship level they played at isn’t their ceiling. The continuity that Toronto provides makes a title for Leonard in 2020 the most likely if he stays put.We The East The Eastern Conference provides an easier road to the Finals than the West.The rest of the East is descending. The Boston Celtics look like they are going to lose two stars and both their point guards in free agency. The Philadelphia 76ers have three starters that are free agents. They might lose all three, but they certainly can’t keep all three and stay cap compliant.The Raptors, on the other hand, finished the season as the best team in the East and are getting better.FutureIn addition to Leonard, Green, Patrick McCaw and Jeremy Lin are free agents this summer.Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and Fred VanVleet all have just one year left on their deal and Gasol opted in for his $25.6 million player option and thus is in the last year of his deal.Most of the Raptors will have their contracts expire by next summer, except for Norman Powell (2022) and OG Anunoby (2021).With Lowry, Gasol, Ibaka and VanVleet expiring, that’s over $90 million coming off Toronto’s books in the summer of 2020. Siakam, Powell and Anunoby are all under contract for 2020. Siakam will likely get even better as the vast majority of NBA MIP winners go on to become all-stars. Anunoby was expected to take the leap Siakam took last year, but was dogged by injury and personal issuesIf Leonard wants a team with a bunch of roster spots and cap space to recruit his friends, he doesn’t need to go to the Clippers to get it. He can get that in Toronto, all he has to do is wait a year.Load ManagementThe two things Leonard mentioned he wanted in his career were health and a chance to win a title. In 2019 Toronto delivered on both. Leonard played only 60 of 82 regular-season games this year. It would be prudent to manage his load wherever he goes to make sure to protect the investment. But only one franchise cannot just talk about it hypothetically – they’ve done it. The Raptors and director of sports science, Alex McKechnie, not only handled Leonard’s health beautifully they incorporated his own medical team and his wishes into their plan.Masai Ujiri The fact Ujiri stayed in Toronto is a good starting point. It would naturally be a lot harder to sell Leonard on returning if Ujiri jumped ship to the Washington Wizards or any other franchise. When Ujiri is selling Leonard on the virtues of the situation in Toronto, he can do so with the credibility as he’s rebuffed multiple lucrative opportunities to leave. The other credibility Ujiri brings is his body of work. The Raptors under Ujiri since 2013-14, have the fourth-best wins-loss record in the NBA at 321-171 and the fourth-most playoff wins with 37.King of the North In Toronto, Leonard isn’t just playing for a city or even a state he’s playing for a country. The notion his greatness is hidden in Canada isn’t correct. The 2019 NBA Finals combined audience in the U.S. and Canada is was up 11 per cent compared to 2018. In Canada game six of the Finals was the most-watched NBA game ever as 56 per cent of Canadians tuned in for part of the 2019 Finals. When his New Balance shoes in the Raptors colourway are selling for more than it cost to attend a game or even attend a year of university, it’s clear being in Canada is not bad for his brand but quite the opposite.last_img read more

Prince Charles Visits Flood And Riot Victims

first_imgPrince Charles has been busy lately, visiting flood victims and those affected by the 2011 London riots.The Prince of Wales steps from a boat after travelling to the flood-hit community of MuchelneyCredit/Copyright: Prince offered his support to flood-hit residents on the Somerset Levels by pledging emergency funding through The Prince’s Countryside Fund. The Duke of Westminster will match the funding with an additional £50,000 – taking the total donation to £100,000.Earlier this week, the Prince met local residents, farmers and emergency services personnel who have been affected by the flooding.His Royal Highness, Patron of the Prince’s Countryside Fund, which will provide the donation, attended a reception in Stoke St Gregory. Dozens of schoolchildren, residents and campaigners greeted him as he arrived at the Williams Hall in the small Somerset village, near Taunton.The Prince’s Countryside Fund has allocated £25,000 of the emergency funding to the Farming Help Partnership, made up of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, Farm Community Network and the Addington Fund. A further £25,000 has been given to the Somerset Community Foundation.Communities from local areas including Muchelney, Thorney and other isolated hamlets have been cut off by the waters, with major roads closed. The Somerset Levels suffered “once in 100 years” flooding in 2012, with conditions returning to the area in recent weeks. More than 128,000 acres are flooded, around 40 homes are under water and approximately 200 houses are cut off. In total, around 350 people are affected.The Prince’s Countryside Fund, founded by His Royal Highness, has supported Britain’s hard-pressed rural areas since being set up by Business in the Community in July 2010. Twice a year, the fund allocates grants to rural projects but it also reserves a portion of its income to be used in times of crisis. Somerset Community Foundation will use the funding to provide emergency relief grants to small businesses and those affected by the flooding.It is hoped the money will help pay for emergency repairs, compensation for loss of income, damage to shop stock and increased petrol costs.Also this week, The Prince of Wales visited Tottenham to learn how the area is recovering from the 2011 London riots following a major injection of funds and resources.The Prince of Wales sits down with young people to discuss their views of Tottenham at the 639 CentreCredit/Copyright: Prince of Wales’s visit to Tottenham was his fourth to the area following the riots and a number of his charities and organisations are helping with the borough’s regeneration and providing support to young people.Projects include an enterprise programme, run by the Prince’s Trust, which provides training and mentoring for young people wanting to start their own business. The Prince also initiated an idea to place a ‘Business Connector’ in Tottenham to connect charities and community groups with business and public bodies, which has been implemented by Business in the Community.The Prince also visited the 639 Centre, a Grade II listed former council office, which needed £1.5 million worth of refurbishment after suffering riot damage. It is now an enterprise centre run by a charity providing a range of facilities for young people who want to start their own businesses and during the visit His Royal Highness met some of the young entrepreneurs including one of his Prince’s Trust alumni Gina Moffatt, 36, from Tottenham, a former drug offender who went to prison but is now a successful businesswoman running a cafe based at the centre and a separate florist.Ms Moffatt praised the help she had received from the Trust: “I didn’t have a dream, I thought I would spend the rest of my life on benefits street. But now I have a dream and a legacy.” read more

Edward Norton And Joe Jonas To Speak At We Day Seattle

first_imgToday, international charity and educational partner Free The Children, alongside Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft and The Allstate Foundation, announced the lineup of world-renowned leaders and A-list entertainers, including Edward Norton, Joe Jonas and Cody Simpson.The event is set to captivate 15,000 students and teachers from over 450 schools across Washington state at We Day Seattle on March 21 at KeyArena.Organized by Free The Children, We Day is taking the philanthropic world by storm and going global with events in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Over 180,000 youth this year alone will come together to take part in an unprecedented educational initiative which inspires students to become active local and global citizens.The official lineup of speakers and entertainers was revealed by Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks, 2014 Super Bowl Champions, Pete Carroll at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center along with students from Enumclaw Middle School, Gateway Middle School and Eastside Christian School who are earning their way to We Day Seattle by committing to take action on local and global cause they care about.“We were so fired up to see the impact thousands of young people from across Washington made last year as part of the We Day movement,” said Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. “Like us they were just getting warmed up. This year, we are excited to bring students back to We Day Seattle to celebrate their incredible work and support them as they continue to make their marks on the world.”Leading the day full of educational speeches, inspirational moments and show stopping performances will be Free The Children ambassador, Jesse Giddings as co-host for We Day Seattle, along with international activists and co-founders of Free The Children, Craig and Marc Kielburger. The star-studded list of speakers and performers announced to date includes:· Edward Norton (EdwardNorton) – Actor, Filmmaker, and Co-founder, CrowdRise· Joe Jonas (joejonas) – GRAMMY®-nominated, multi-platinum artist and Free The Children ambassador· Cody Simpson (CodySimpson) – Australian pop singer and award-winning musician · Hannah Alper ( – 11-year-old Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador, blogger and youth activist· Pete Carroll (PeteCarroll) – Head Coach of the Seattle Seahawks, 2014 Super Bowl Champions, and We Day Seattle Co-Chair· Russell Wilson, Derrick Coleman, Bobby Wagner and Jermaine Kearse – 2014 Super Bowl Champions Seattle Seahawks players· Molly Burke (mollymetowe) – Visually impaired Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador and author, who speaks about bullying and the power of hope· Roger Levesque – Seattle Sounders FC alum· Devon Bostick (DevBostick) – Actor, director, writer, producer, best known for the feature film franchise Diary of a Wimpy Kid· Martin Luther King III – Human rights advocate and eldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.· Spencer West (@spencer2thewest) – Me to We inspirational speaker, Free The Children ambassador, author and double amputee who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro· …with more to be announcedWe Day Seattle will also see local youth leaders and performers take the stage including Nandie Oosthuzien, Founder and CEO of Hand and Heart, local youth Adora Syitak and Daniel Franco, The Connection, a local hip hop dance group, and the Seattle Rock Orchestra.“I have been working with Free The Children for several years and the impact that students across the country have on kids just like themselves globally is incredible,” said Joe Jonas, GRAMMY-nominated, multi-platinum artist. “It’s something that I had the chance to experience firsthand this past summer in Kenya. I saw and really understood how the students putting on bake sales and raising money here, fundamentally improves the chance for others to receive an education; something we often take for granted.”Students can’t buy a ticket to We Day; they earn it through service by making a commitment to take action on at least one local and one global initiative of their choice as part of the year-long educational program called We Act. The We Act program supports students and teachers with free educational resources, student-led campaigns and support materials to help turn the inspiration of We Day into sustained activation. The program enhances a school’s existing service learning initiatives or sparks new ones.“The impact that youth can make when they are engaged and passionate about the issues they are addressing is remarkable,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children. “The inaugural We Day Seattle welcomed 15,000 young people from 350 schools in over 100 different school districts. The accompanying We Act program has reached almost 230,000 community members throughout Washington state, supporting over 250 charities and non-profit organizations and creating powerful impacts among participants and in the community. That’s why exposing thousands of students at We Day to a variety of issues is so valuable; it creates a space for them to use their passions and abilities to make real change and we’re excited to see what they will do again this year.”We Day is free of charge to the thousands of students and teachers in attendance, thanks to the extraordinary support of sponsors, led in Washington state by Co-Title Sponsors Microsoft and The Allstate Foundation. Microsoft helped bring We Day to the United States for the first time in 2013 as part of its YouthSpark initiative. The Allstate Foundation is the National Co-Title Sponsor of We Day and We Act across the U.S. with We Day events beginning in Seattle and California.“Last year’s launch of We Day Seattle filled me with great hope for the future as I saw thousands of students celebrating the power of community engagement, fueled by technology innovation,” said Lori Forte Harnick, general manager, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Microsoft. “Youth inspire us, and this is why Microsoft made a commitment to bring We Day back to Seattle for the next three years as part of our YouthSpark initiative.”“We are thrilled to be joining forces with We Day and Free The Children to inspire and engage students all across America to be active citizens. The Allstate Foundation cares about supporting the work of young people who are trying to make the world a better place and we see a strong parallel between the work of The Allstate Foundation and Free The Children,” said Vicky Dinges, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Allstate Insurance Company “We’re just getting started with We Day Seattle and California, and are excited to see our two organizations grow together to empower even more young people all across America to be forces for good in their community and around the world.”The event will be live streamed at on March 21 starting at 9:15 a.m. PDT.Find out more about We Day here.last_img read more

Stars To Help Farm Sanctuary Celebrate 30 Years

first_imgFarm Sanctuary, with co-chairs, Tracey Stewart and Emily Deschanel, will host their annual Gala at the renowned Beverly Wilshire Hotel on November 12th to celebrate 30 years of rescue, education and advocacy for farm animals, the largest population of abused animals on Earth.Farm Sanctuary, with a 26 acre Los Angeles area shelter and sanctuaries in Orland, CA and Watkins Glen, NY, works to educate people nationwide about farm animal abuse and the adverse effects of factory farming on our health and environment. Jon and Tracey Stewart will also be opening a location at their New Jersey farm in Spring 2017.Comedian Kevin Nealon will host the evening, featuring many honorees, including Kat Von D who will receive the “Compassion in Action Award.” Crossroads Restaurant will be presented with the “Inspiration Award,” among other surprises.A favorite charity of celebrities like Martha Stewart, Ryan Gosling, Alec Baldwin, Ellen DeGeneres, and James Franco, as well as Jon Stewart, Farm Sanctuary is expecting a star-studded turnout at their 30th Anniversary Gala. The evening will feature a 100% plant-based dinner with favorites made using Gardein products, live entertainment and a farmer’s market style gift station to encourage guests to cut down on waste and take home the products they will use most.Farm Sanctuary President and Co-Founder Gene Baur, who was recently selected by Oprah Winfrey to be a part of her SuperSoul 100 and who TIME magazine calls “the conscience of the food movement,” is a native Angelino, growing up in the Hollywood Hills. As a nod to his days traveling across the country selling veggie dogs at Grateful Dead concerts, Baur’s original VW Westphalia van will be serving vegan hot dogs at the 30th Gala.“We’re excited to gather fellow advocates and supporters under one roof to celebrate Farm Sanctuary’s accomplishments over the past 30 years. We’re using this special occasion to applaud how far we’ve come, but also to continue our mission of revealing the truth behind factory farming practices, saving animals from abusive conditions, and changing how society views and treats farm animals. With tireless advocates and co-chairs, Tracey Stewart and Emily Deschanel, we are looking forward to raising awareness and further advancing our cause in Los Angeles, country-wide and beyond,” said President and Co-Founder Gene Baur.Tickets go on sale this Thursday, September 29th here.last_img read more

Lewis Pugh Launches The Long Swim To Highlight Plight Of Worlds Oceans

first_imgWhen a man who has swum in the world’s coldest waters, and whose nickname is the Human Polar Bear, says that he’s about to embark on the toughest swim of his career, it’s time to sit up and take notice.Endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh has pushed his body to the limit to raise awareness of threats to our oceans and now he is doing it again — preparing to swim the length of the English Channel in just swimming trunks, goggles and a cap to urge governments to commit to protecting 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030.“The English Channel is the Everest of swimming. It always has been the Everest of swimming and it always will be … because it’s such a tough swim. It’s long and cold and full of jellyfish,” Pugh said in London on Tuesday as he officially launched The Long Swim.Pugh, UN Environment’s Patron of the Oceans, set off from Land’s End in Cornwall last week and will swim 560 km (350 miles) to Dover in Kent over 50 consecutive days.He is aiming to swim five hours each day, averaging around 10-20 km (6-12 miles) each day. He has been training in the cold waters off the Falkland Islands and then South Africa, where he lives, swimming around 7 km each day. But this challenge is as much about the mind as the body.“This is going to be a monumental swim,” he said. “This swim is the longest swim I will ever have attempted and it will require a completely different mindset … You can get your body right but ultimately, it’s going to be the heart that gets me to Dover. It’s going to be an enormous physical journey and an enormous mental journey.”Around 1,800 people have swum across the Channel since Captain Matthew Webb first completed the challenge in 1875. But no one has attempted to swim the length in just swimming trunks, goggles and a cap.The Long Swim marks the start of a global Action for Oceans campaign to urge governments to protect 30 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2030. Pugh, who supports UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign, said he had seen horrific changes in the world’s oceans over the past three decades.“I’ve been swimming for 30 years, which is a long time in a human life but in ecological terms it’s such a short period of time, and I’ve literally seen the ocean change. From the Arctic to the Antarctic and the coral reefs, everywhere, I’ve seen the oceans change,” he said.“Our oceans are neither clean nor are they healthy. Every single year, I’m seeing more and more plastic pollution … I’m seeing it on the surface and at the bottom of the oceans. I’m seeing the fish eating the plastic and the birds eating the plastic and they are dying and if we eat the fish, we are also eating the plastic,” he said.Pugh, who was born in Plymouth, wanted to bring this urgent message home with his latest challenge. His aim is also to put pressure on the British government to establish more secure Marine Protected Areas around the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. He noted that only a tiny fraction of British waters are fully protected.“It is shocking that a country that portrays itself as an ocean leader has only fully protected seven square kilometers out of 750,000 square kilometers,” he said.“The main thing I’m campaigning for now is that the United Kingdom really grabs this opportunity because … these are not problems that you can fix next year or the year after … This is not about protecting future generations. It’s about protecting our generation. That’s the speed at which this is happening now. I’m urging the UK government to become an ocean champion, to really lead the world in protecting these great and important areas,” he said.Professor Callum Roberts, a marine conservation biologist from the University of York who was a scientific adviser to the TV series Blue Planet II and who also attended the Long Swim launch, said Britain needed to do more, noting that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 calls for all nations to conserve at least 10 percent of their seas by 2020.“A tiny fraction of our seas is protected according to the best standards of international practice. A small fraction is protected from the most damaging of fishing activities but most Marine Protected Areas don’t qualify against international criteria for management and protection, which means that instead of having exceeded the UN target of 10 percent protection, we are way behind that curve as yet,” he said.“We need to afford protection to whole ecosystems and sites rather than focusing on bits of them and low levels of protection. We should properly resource that management and ensure that there is sufficient surveillance and enforcement and instead of setting targets for nature to fulfill, let’s give nature the protection it needs and let it dictate what comeback is possible. By doing that we will have an internationally successful network of Marine Protected Areas that will be at the forefront of conservation practice, not just in Europe but in the whole world,” Roberts said.Pugh, who played a key role in negotiations to establish the largest Marine Protected Area in the world in the Ross Sea off Antarctica in 2015, had a direct message for Britain’s new Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was named to replace Boris Johnson after his resignation this week.“It is deeply disturbing that in the single most important part of British soil, which is South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, the single most important from a biodiversity point of view, less than 2 percent is fully protected. We can do better and we must do better,” Pugh said.“The most important thing now for the new foreign secretary is to properly protect the South Sandwich Islands. This has gone on far too long,” he said, describing the British Overseas Territory in the Southern Atlantic as the “Serengeti of the Southern oceans”.Pugh, who was the first person to complete a long-distance swim in every ocean in the world, undertook his first long-distance challenge when he was 17, swimming from Robben Island to Cape Town. In 2007, he did the first swim across the North Pole to highlight the melting of the Arctic sea ice, and in 2010, he swam across a glacial lake on Mount Everest to draw attention to the melting of glaciers and the impact of reduced water supplies on world peace.During the Long Swim, he will sometimes hug the coastline and he hopes that members of the public will join him, saying he wants this to be “A People’s Swim”.Find out more hereMarine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage will organise beach cleans along Pugh’s route, seeking to mobilise support for their efforts to protect beaches and seas. The charity has recently launched a new international campaign called Plastic Free Communities, which aims to encourage individuals, businesses and local governments to reduce their collective plastic footprint.Pugh knows the swim will take a heavy toll on every inch of his body: he will endure chafing under his arms, his tongue might swell and there is the very real risk of contracting hypothermia. If he manages to swim around six hours a day, he will need around 10,000 calories. “I’ll spend a lot of time eating and swimming,” he said.And then there are the headland tides, the whirlpools, the eddies and the jellyfish, which are clustered between Weymouth and Plymouth after recent warm weather.“There is no easy way to deal with jellyfish, especially if you swim at night,” he said.However, the biggest feat may be keeping the faith that he can make it to the end.“I know I will see the white cliffs of Dover but the paradox is I just don’t know how. I’m worried about tomorrow and next week and actually I’m also worried about next month’s swimming … It’s about holding all this stuff together with one common vision and that is: we are going to Dover and we are going to Dover because we have a reason to get to Dover.”last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Advertisement Twitter “By exploring the rich cultural diversity of Canada through an intricate tapestry of storylines, 21 Thunder will export Canadian values of tolerance and opportunity to international audiences worldwide,” said executive producer Michael Levine.In the cutthroat world of pro soccer, a club lives and dies by the stars on its under-21 team. They are the future and lifeblood of any franchise, but most will never make it. 21 THUNDER is the story of the Montreal Thunder U21 team, following the team’s star players on and off the field. A story of love, crime, race, sex and athletic glory, at its core the series is about how a group of players and coaches unite as family in the whirlwind of life, one step away from the pros.Helping to coach the team are Christy Cook (Stephanie Bennett, The Romeo Section, Descendants), an Olympic soccer hero forced on the team for PR reasons; and Davey Gunn (former Scottish footballer Ryan Pierce, who played as Ryan O’Leary), an international soccer superstar who is on the run from both the paparazzi and his past. The team consists of striker and former gang-member Nolan Gallard (RJ Fetherstonhaugh, Wayward Pines); Ivory Coast midfielder Junior Lolo (Emmanuel Kabongo, Hemlock Grove), a brilliant new arrival; and team captain, goalie and academic prodigy Alex el Haddadi (Andres Joseph, The Flash). Together they strive under notorious coach Albert Rocas (Conrad Pla, 19-2) to win games for the club, and a future for themselves.Commissioned by CBC, 21 THUNDER is produced by PMA Productions and Generic Productions, and executive produced by Kenneth Hirsch (Extraordinary Canadians, Outbreak: Anatomy of a Plague), Michael Levine (Republic of Doyle), Adrian Wills (The Surrogacy Trap, All Together Now), Riley Adams (Crossing the Rubicon: The Journey, Flashpoint) and Malcolm MacRury ( Republic of Doyle, Saving Hope), who also serves as showrunner. Riley Adams is co-creator along with Kenneth Hirsch and Adrian Wills.-30- About CBC/Radio-Canada CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. Facebook Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment CBC has commissioned 21 THUNDER, a new original eight episode, one-hour drama series from PMA Productions and Generic Productions. Set in Montreal, the series takes viewers into the fiercely competitive and high-stakes world of an under-21 soccer academy, following the players and coaches who risk it all for a shot at the pros. Production started in late August in Montreal and will continue until November 15, with the series set to premiere in summer 2017 on CBC.“We are excited to be working with the team at PMA and Generic to pull the curtain back on the thrilling and high pressure world of elite sports,” said Sally Catto, general manager, programming, CBC Television. “This riveting drama will offer audiences a fresh and diverse perspective on the world’s most popular sport, and what it takes to play ‘the beautiful game’ at the pro level.”“We share CBC’s commitment to delivering an adrenaline-fuelled series that will appeal to viewers across all platforms, and attract the attention of new audiences eager for gripping, serialized dramas featuring the stories of millennials with big dreams,” said executive producers Malcolm MacRury and Kenneth Hirsch.last_img read more

Cinematic version of Stratfords Macbeth adds exciting perspectives review

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With: By William Shakespeare, directed for the stage by Antoni Cimolino, directed for film by Shelagh O’Brien. Information about encore and upcoming screenings: or 1-800-567-1600Witches, swordplay and popcorn for lunch? The Shakespeare-in-HD phenomenon serves up some unusual menus. Adding to the experience of the premiere screening of Macbeth at Cineplex Yonge and Eglinton was the knowledge that its two lead performers, Ian Lake and Krystin Pellerin, were in the audience too, in advance of a post-show discussion with the CBC’s Paul Kennedy. Stage actors, of course, usually don’t get to see the shows they perform in, and both Lake and Pellerin said afterwards it was challenging to watch themselves, but gratifying to take in the entire spectacle.Reviews of Antoni Cimolino’s production of the Scottish play last summer highlighted its viscerality, from the palpable sexual chemistry between these younger-than-usual stars, to the genuinely scary witchcraft scenes that frame the action, and ferocious battle scenes where the safety of the performers sometimes seemed at risk. Facebook Macbeth Advertisement Advertisement On the last Saturday of March break, amid families heading in to see Beauty and the Beast and Kong: Skull Island, I joined a throng of mostly senior culture buffs to take in the first of two Stratford Festival productions recorded in high-definition video being released this year (the second, Love’s Labour’s Lost, plays April 29).last_img read more

BC gold mine area once nogo zone

first_img(Main page image taken from Tsilhqot’in nation film Blue Gold)By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsCiting concerns over the infringement First Nations traditional rights and the impact on fish habitat, the British Columbia government rejected an expansion plan from a lodge that sits several kilometres from the site of a proposed copper and gold mine now facing intense opposition from area First Nations communities.Siegfried Reuter, owner of Taseko Lake Lodge, which sits about 10 kilometres away from the epicentre of the proposed Prosperity mine, was rejected by the provincial government in 2004 when he tried to expand his operations by 35 hectares.Reuter said he was stunned to learn the massive Prosperity mine project had passed B.C.’s environmental review. In 2004, Reuters said he had a much smaller proposal rejected on environmental and First Nations rights grounds.The 35 square-kilometre Taseko Mines Inc. project will destroy a watershed and drain Fish Lake, which is sacred to area First Nations communities.The Oct. 26, 2004, rejection letter Reuter received from the Land and Water Management division at Williams Lake, B.C., read in part:“I have decided to disallow your application as there are specific First Nations issues within the boundaries of this application concerning traditional and cultural use. In addition, the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection have brought forth information that development within the boundaries of this application would impact fish habitat including salmon and blue-listed bull trout.”The proposed mine would be built in the middle of one of Canada’s most pristine wilderness areas, surrounded by mountains and dotted with lakes.Reuter said the rejection of his plan makes no sense in light of the province’s decision to allow a massive mining project which would destroy an ecosystem with the promise of an artificial version to replace it.“There is a biased play going on within the government. We were pointedly denied in 2004 because of First Nations and fish concerns. Six years later they are approving a project that will not only kill…an entire ecosystem, it is entirely opposed by First Nations,” said Reuter. “It is a rather insane project.”A spokesman for the B.C. Ministry of the Environment said they would look into the issue.A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Forest and Range, which now oversees the former Land and Water Management division at Williams Lake, also said they were looking into the issue.The mining project, which would sit about 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, is facing intense opposition from First Nations communities across the province and environmental groups across the country.Williams Lake is about 495 kilometres north-east of Vancouver.The project, which will turn Little Fish Lake and parts of Fish Creek into a tailings pond, poses a direct threat to the Tsilhqot’in people who have depended on the land and waters since time immemorial.The Tsilhqot’in nation has vowed to stop the project at all cost, even with their lives.The mine will also put the lodge out of business. Reuter said he has invested about $2 million into the lodge over the last 10 years. It sits about 2.5 kilometres from the edge of the proposed tailings pond. The main grazing area for the lodge’s horses is the site of the replacement Prosperity Lake proposed by Taseko Mines.With approval from the B.C. government already in hand, Prosperity mine now needs the blessing of the federal cabinet.Taseko Mines vice-president of corporate affairs Brian Battison said the company expects a decision by late September or early October.Battison said the company was “optimistic” the federal cabinet would approve the project.While cabinet confidentiality prevents disclosure of the type of information federal minister will have when they make their decision, an analysis of information on the project reveals widespread concern from federal departments about the mine’s environmental impact.Cabinet is expected to have at least four main documents on the Prosperity mine project. The documents include: The Canadian Environmental Review panel report, a First Nations consultation report; a memorandum to cabinet outlining the position of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Natural Resources Canada and Transport Canada; and a report from the B.C. environmental assessment which approved the project.The federal environmental review panel report found that the project would have a devastating impact on the environment and on First Nations communities in the area.The First Nations consultation report is also expected to reflect the blanket rejection of the project by area communities.The cabinet memorandum on the position of government departments will likely also echo submissions by the departments to the federal environmental review panel.DFO expressed concerns that Taseko Mine’s plans for a replacement lake would not meet the department’s “no net loss” policy. Under the policy, if fish habit is destroyed it needs to be replaced by another habitat to make up for the loss.The department concluded the Taseko Mine’s “proposed fish and fish habitat compensation measures would not even meet a 1:1 ratio,” according to a DFO submission contained in the environmental review panel report.A former DFO scientist, who has since consulted internationally on fisheries, said Taseko Mine’s habitat compensation plan was “a bad joke” and impossible to accomplish.“They talked about replacing the loss habitat at a ratio of eight to one, they said they were going to create eight new units for the ones they destroyed,” said Gordon Hartman, who submitted a “yard by yard” analysis of Taseko Mine’s plan on behalf of the Tsilhqot’in nation. “It is just nonsense, the whole project.”Hartman said Taseko Mines classified as replacement habitat a dug-out, 11 kilometre ditch to collect water flowing down the sides of hills.“(Prosperity Lake) does not replace the kind of habitat that is lost in (Fish Lake),” said Hartman. “The fake streams they are putting in do not replace quantitatively or qualitatively the streams they are getting rid of.”Transport Canada also “expressed concerns” about the project. The department concluded that “Prosperity Lake would not adequately mitigate the losses of the fishing and recreational experience at Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) or the use by First Nations,” according to an outline of the department’s position contained in the environmental panel’s report.Natural Resources Canada also expressed initial concern that Taseko had underplayed the earthquake threat to the region in its construction plans. The department however said they were satisfied with the company’s updated designs.When contacted by APTN National News Wednesday, Battison asked for and obtained a list of questions he said would receive responses.jbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

Remote First Nations airports lack needed technology to avoid deadly crashes chief

first_imgAPTN National NewsFirst Nations leaders say a deadly plane crash on a First Nation highlights the need for modern aviation tools in remote communities.On Tuesday, four people were killed when a Keystone Air charter flight crashed at North Spirit Lake reserve in northern Ontario.The plane was trying to land in a blizzard and the crash killed four of the five people onboard.Grand Chief Stan Beardy, who represents dozens of First Nations in northern Ontario, says the issue needs to be immediately changed to avoid more deaths.last_img read more

AltaCorp Capital founder oil and gas financier George Gosbee dies suddenly

first_imgCALGARY – Investment firm AltaCorp Capital Inc. says its founder and CEO, Calgary oil and gas financier George Gosbee, died suddenly on Sunday.Gosbee was a former governor of the National Hockey League and, in 2013, led a group to purchase the Arizona Coyotes and restructure the team. Current team owner Andrew Barroway tweeted he was “deeply saddened” by the news.Gosbee, 48, founded AltaCorp Capital in 2010 and struck a deal to partner it with ATB Financial, an Alberta government-owned lender.In 2000, he helped found Tristone Capital Global Inc., an energy investment firm which he and his partners sold in 2009 to Australia’s Macquarie Group for about $130 million.Gosbee served as vice-chairman of Alberta Investment Management Co., which manages $90 billion in provincial government pension funds, for eight years.AltaCorp says president Paul Sarachman will assume the role of CEO.last_img read more

Global markets rise on further signs of US economic growth Italian concessions

first_imgTORONTO – Further signs of U.S. economic growth and budget concessions in Italy drove global markets higher as crude prices returned to a near four-year high.U.S. private payroll data released Wednesday showed potential for a strong upcoming jobs report while the ISM non-manufacturing index for September beat expectations, said Anish Chopra, managing director with Portfolio Management Corp.The index, which measures economic activity, registered 61.6 per cent for the highest level since the index was created in 2008.Market concern was alleviated when Italy gave signs that if would cut its budget deficit and tackle its debt in the coming years.The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 54.82 points to 16,072.05, after hitting a high of 16,082.26 on 223.2 million shares traded.The increase was led by a nearly five per cent gain in the health-care sector, which includes some of the biggest names in the marijuana business, and the important energy sector, which was up 1.9 per cent.“There’s been a strong move in the price of oil over the last number of weeks and months and that continues today,” Chopra said in an interview. “The price of natural gas has been up the last number of days and you can see that in the performance of the energy sector.”The November crude contract was up $1.18 at US$76.41 per barrel, hitting its highest level since November 2014. The November natural gas contract was up 6.4 cents at US$3.23 per mmBTU.Chopra said energy prices rose on the back of stronger demand because of a growing U.S. economy and supply issues related to impending U.S. sanctions on Iran that will constrain oil supplies.Meanwhile, gold and utilities were lower because interest rates are creeping up, uncertainty in Canada is lessening following the announcement of a new NAFTA deal and Canadian government bond yields are climbing.“As yields rise you tend to see utility prices fall in sympathy with government bond yields rising,” he said.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average reached another new high, gaining 54.45 points to close at 26,828.39. The S&P 500 index rose 2.08 points to 2,925.51, while the Nasdaq composite was up 25.54 points at 8,025.08.The Canadian dollar traded at an average of 77.93 cents US compared with an average of 78.02 cents US on Tuesday.The December gold contract was down US$4.10 at US$1,202.90 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 2.75 cents at US$2.83 a pound.last_img read more

Tech execs to gather at White House on Thursday

first_imgWASHINGTON — Top executives from Google, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and Qualcomm are planning to meet at the White House amid strained ties between President Donald Trump’s administration and the tech industry.The White House says the Thursday meeting will address efforts to advance American leadership in innovation and how that will affect jobs and the economy.Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, IBM CEO Gini Rometty, Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz and Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf are among the expected attendees.It’s not clear if Trump is also attending. Some of Trump’s policies on trade and immigration have antagonized the tech industry.The president’s daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, is attending a separate business gathering in Washington on Thursday that includes the CEOs of IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Walmart, Boeing and AT&T.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Feds have options to cut risk for Trans Mountain pipeline investors says

first_img“One of the ways to make sure there is more certainty is to look at possible financial arrangements that would help de-risk the project.”Pipeline builder Kinder Morgan has halted all non-essential spending on the project until it gets assurances from Ottawa that the issues will be resolved. The federal government has until May 31 to respond.Trudeau has put a lot of political eggs in the Trans Mountain basket, risking political capital among climate-change activists in search of middle ground that allows for pipeline construction alongside improved environmental safeguards.Trudeau, who is currently in Peru for the Summit of the Americas, was originally supposed to fly to Paris directly from Lima on Sunday for meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron. Instead, he’ll be back in the national capital in search of a resolution to anintractable and politically perilous dispute.Carr refused to discuss the specific financial options available, other than to say there are many of them on the table and they’re all being considered.One of those options, however, is to buy a stake in the pipeline, something Notley has already said Alberta would be willing to do Canada and Alberta could jointly buy the pipeline outright, or at least a significant stake in the project.Another option is to provide a guaranteed source of revenue for private investors if the pipeline completion date misses the target for when returns on their investments were supposed to start flowing. Carr was only prepared to say Sunday’s meeting between Trudeau and the premiers would be a chance for the various sides to share their positions and try and talk things out _ not necessarily a day when further action would be announced.That, said Sears, would be a bad political move.“If they come out of that meeting on Sunday and (Trudeau) says, ‘We’ve made good progress and I’m off to Paris,’ it will cost them severely,” he said.University of British Columbia politics professor Kathryn Harrison said she doesn’t know that there is a way for everyone to come out of Sunday’s meeting with a win.“They have drawn lines in the sand that are simply incompatible,” said Harrison.Trudeau and Carr have spent more than two years accusing the former Conservative government of themselves failing to build pipelines because they stacked the deck against environmental concerns, failing in the process to get the social license necessary to allow the projects to proceed.The Liberals introduced new review processes that accounted for things like the potential greenhouse gas emissions resulting from increased oil flows. The National Energy Board’s 2016 approval of Trans Mountain required monitoring and upstream emissions offsetsrelated to construction.But environmental concerns remain including the risk of higher emissions from increased oilsands production and the environmental impact of a spill. As a result, environmentalists who helped get Trudeau elected are now doubting his commitment to the cause.Harrison said Trudeau has staked a claim on being able to reconcile both interests, offering up the pipeline and the resulting ability to get resources to market _ as a quid pro quo toget provincial and stakeholder support for a carbon price and environmental investments.“That was the compromise and they got pretty far with it,” Harrison said, noting all provinces but Saskatchewan signed onto the climate change framework.“We’re at that point now where the trains are colliding. This is a moment of truth for Canada and a country that relies heavily on producing fossil fuels.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS) The company had targeted May 31 as the make-or-break deadline to start construction if the pipeline was to hit those investment targets. That date is now the drop-dead date Kinder Morgan has given Canada to prove the company should have the confidence to move forward.Political strategist Robin Sears, a principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group, said another option would be to increase spending on the environmental protection side, including on improved research into preventing and mitigating the impacts of a diluted bitumenspill.“The company has not done what it needs to have done to satisfy the people of B.C. they have taken the steps necessary to protect the environment,” said Sears.Sears said the Trudeau government has an oceans protection plan on paper, but hasn’t done much if anything to put it into action.center_img OTTAWA, O.N. – Canada is considering several ways to reduce the financial risk for Kinder Morgan investors spooked by the uncertainty plaguing the planned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said Friday as a high-level, make-or-break meeting loomed on the horizon.The government is still examining its options, Carr said, but won’t commit to a course of action before Sunday, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jets home from Peru for a hastily organized meeting in Ottawa with British Columbia Premier John Horgan and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.“What we’re now faced with is to find ways to make sure there is more certainty than there is now,” Carr said in an interview with The Canadian Press.last_img read more

Suspected cougar attack leaves multiple goats dead

first_imgThe following story contains photographs with mature subject matter. Reader discretion is advised.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A speculated cougar attack over the weekend left multiple goats dead in Charlie Lake.The attack occurred sometime Sunday night or Monday morning in the Tea Creek area near the intersection of Highway 29 and the 279 Road. Chris Posthuma with the Conservation Officer Service explained that officers will be starting an investigation to determine whether the animal in question was a cougar or another type of animal. Posthuma added that if they are able to verify that it was a cougar, the next step would be to set traps to monitor the animal.“Typically once an animal goes to an easier food source they will be more likely to come back to the area,” said Posthuma.Photos of the attack’s aftermath were posted on a local Facebook group, but Posthuma is urging residents to forgo such posts on social media, as they don’t notify the C.O.S. that an attack occurred.He said that the best way to report such incidents is to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) Line at 1-(877)-952-7277. Photos posted on a local social media group showing the aftermath of a suspected cougar attack in Charlie Lake. Photos posted on a local social media group showing the aftermath of a suspected cougar attack in Charlie Lake. Photos posted on a local social media group showing the aftermath of a suspected cougar attack in Charlie Lake. Photos posted on a local social media group showing the aftermath of a suspected cougar attack in Charlie Lake.last_img read more

Saudi Arabian crude oil imports to Canada easy to replace says energy

first_img“A rise in tensions puts Canadian bids to win major healthcare projects, education projects, transportation projects, on an increasingly shaky footing,” said Allam, a former Canadian diplomat and head of Allam Advisory Group.“What you’re seeing is that Riyadh’s hard line against Ottawa is going to result in substantial harm to the Canadian economy in general.”He said the recall of 12,000 to 15,000 Saudi students from Canada, and accompanying relatives, is going to remove as much as $2 billion in annual investment in the Canadian economy.The cancelling of flights between the two countries means Canada loses an important link not only with Saudi Arabia but with numerous Saudi allies such as the United Arab Emirates, which was quick to declare its support for the measures against Canada, he said. CALGARY, A.B. – Canada can easily replace the oil it imports from Saudi Arabia should relations with the Middle Eastern kingdom deteriorate to the point that trade in crude is halted, says an energy economist.But this week’s trade tension escalation means Canada will be on the sidelines as the Saudis try to diversify their economy away from its dependence on oil and gas, said Omar Allam, a Canadian consultant who specializes in advice on doing business in Saudi Arabia.Eastern Canadian refineries import about 75,000 to 80,000 barrels per day of Saudi Arabian crude, said Judith Dwarkin, chief economist with RS Energy Group in Calgary, on Tuesday. According to the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, Canada exported $1.45 billion worth of products to Saudi Arabia in 2017, with about half in the category of vehicles and equipment at $760 million.The federal office says Canada imported $2.6 billion worth of goods from Saudi Arabia, with $2.5 billion of that in mineral production.A handful of Canadian companies operate in Saudi Arabia and could potentially be affected by the ongoing trade battle.Precision Drilling Corp. of Calgary has about 900 employees working between Kuwait, where it has five active rigs, and Saudi Arabia, where three of its four rigs in the country are currently active, the company confirmed, without offering further comment.SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. says on its website it has had a 24-year relationship with Saudi Aramco, the national Saudi Arabian oil company, providing general engineering services for its oil and gas facilities.Armoured tanks and personnel carriers have been Canada’s biggest recent export to the kingdom. A London, Ont.-based firm called General Dynamics Land Systems signed a $15-billion deal with Saudi Arabia in 2014 to export its light-armoured vehicles to the kingdom.By Dan HealingTHE CANADIAN PRESScenter_img That’s less than 10 per cent of total imports and amounts to a “drop in the bucket” compared with the United States, she said, which accounts for two-thirds of imports and could easily cover Saudi’s share thanks to growing domestic production.It is also dwarfed by the 3.5 million barrels per day of Canadian oil that Canada exports mainly to the U.S.“The Saudis, if they choose to supply less to Canada, will divert those barrels, possibly to China, and U.S. barrels that would have gone to China, but are uncompetitive under Chinese tariffs, come to Canada,” Dwarkin said.“Basically, the cupboard gets rearranged.”Saudi Arabia declared a freeze on new trade with Canada and recalled thousands of students attending Canadian universities following a tweet last week from Global Affairs Canada that expressed concerns about the arrest of activists in the kingdom.The Saudi foreign ministry has also ordered Canada’s ambassador, Dennis Horak, to leave the country.last_img read more

Possible jewelry scammers from Alberta could be in the BC Peace Region

first_imgA caller, who wished to remain anonymous, said that on Wednesday evening, they encountered a family travelling in a dark-coloured SUV or crossover vehicle stopped at a gas station in Dawson Creek trying to sell gold jewelry for gas money.The caller said that after selling their wares to at least one person, they noticed that the family did not end up buying gas, but left the gas station headed towards Fort St. John or Chetwynd.Cpl. Kading stated in the release that while the St. Albert RCMP cannot say for sure that the jackets and gold are worthless, officers are warning the public that it is “Buyer Beware” in these kinds of transactions.“Don’t become the proud owner of ‘Fool’s Gold,’” she added. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A jewelry scam that has been reported in the Edmonton and Grande Prairie areas could also be surfacing in the B.C. Peace Region.In a press release issued Wednesday, Corporal Laurel Kading with the St. Albert RCMP said that the detachment was recently made aware of a possible scam in the Edmonton area in which people offer to sell gold rings and gold chains from their vehicle in order to get money for gas.The scammers tell would-be victims that they are travelling across Canada, and are selling a large number of gold rings or necklaces so they can continue their trip. With files from Cpl. Kading explained that there is no way of verifying the value of these rings or chains, especially when they are being sold from a vehicle in a parking lot or on the side of a highway.She added that a similar scam involving selling “designer” leather jackets from a vehicle in a parking lot seems to return to St. Albert every so often and catches some residents unaware.As reported by, the scammers also appear to have made their way to the Grande Prairie area.In a post on their Facebook page, Janina’s Jewellers in Grande Prairie said that over the past few weeks, it has seen an increasing number of people coming in to have the authenticity of jewellery checked, which after an inspection turns out to be fake.According to a news tips received by on Thursday morning, the scammers may now have been spotted in the B.C. Peace Region.last_img read more

Jail sentence handed down in 2016 Attempt Murder and Kidnapping Investigation

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. – On Thursday, January 10, 2019, Brandon MacDonald, 32-years-old, and Robert Clarke, 34-years-old, pleaded guilty to charges in Supreme Court in Dawson Creek in relation to a 2016 investigation.MacDonald, a resident of Chetwynd entered a guilty plea to the following charges:Attempt Murder with a firearm (Section 239(1) (a.1) CCC)Kidnapping (Section 279(1)(1) CCC)Uttering Threats (Section 264.1(1) CCC)MacDonald was sentenced to just under 8 years with a lifetime firearm prohibition. Clarke, a resident of P.E.I. entered a guilty plea to Aggravated Assault (Sec 268(2) CCC) and was sentenced to 1.5 years in jail with a lifetime firearm prohibition.Clarke was arrested on February 23, 2017, in Nova Scotia.last_img read more

BC Hydro GO Fund supports community organizations in the Peace Region

first_imgThe $800,000 GO Fund was established in 2016 to support non-profit organizations in the Peace Region that provide services to children, families and seniors. According to BC Hydro, $391,091 has been distributed to 44 projects to date.Applications for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis and funds are distributed quarterly over an eight-year period.For more information on the fund and application details; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – The Tansi Friendship Centre Society received a $10,000 donation from BC Hydro through the Site C project’s Generate Opportunities (GO) Fund.The grant was put towards the society’s Chetwynd Student Support Program will receive the funding to help provide school supplies to children in need, and helps local families provide healthy snacks for their school-aged children. This program also teaches family members of the children about healthy food preparation.“Back-to-school was made easier for many families in Chetwynd through the BC Hydro GO Fund,” said Leatha Dowd, executive director of the Tansi Friendship Centre Society. “We are very fortunate to be able to provide low-income families in our community with back-to-school supplies and help with school lunches.”last_img read more