BC to remain wild west of campaign finance without a new government

first_imgVANCOUVER – Without a change in government, British Columbia is likely to remain a “wild west” of campaign finance, where wealthy corporations and unions are free to donate unlimited amounts of money to curry favour with provincial politicians, experts say.Voters head to the polls in less than two weeks and the province’s lax political fundraising laws have become a dominant undercurrent in the election campaign.The province’s two main political parties are swapping accusations that the other is bought and beholden to deep-pocketed donors ahead of the May 9 vote. Corporate and union contributions are banned federally and in some provinces, while many jurisdictions restrict the amount donors can pledge.Max Cameron, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia, said Thursday that the incumbent B.C. Liberals have been in power for 16 years and have shown little interest in reforming political fundraising laws, despite mounting public pressure.“You need alternation in power. You need to have genuinely competitive elections where governments change,” Cameron said.“If the government is secure in office it’s unlikely to introduce changes to policies that it benefits from.”New Democrat Leader John Horgan has said the Liberal party’s funding by corporations is the largest in provincial history, and he accuses it of acting on behalf of its financial backers at the expense of average people.Liberal Leader Christy Clark has denounced the NDP and its support from big labour, noting that the United Steelworkers Union is paying the salaries of the New Democrats’ top campaign officials.The B.C. Greens have rejected all corporate and union donations as it bids to expand its lone seat in the legislature.Hamish Telford, a professor of political science at the University of the Fraser Valley, said B.C. has lagged behind other provinces because there has been no change in government since campaign-finance reform emerged as an issue in 2004. That was the year former prime minister Jean Chretien amended federal legislation.Whether the contributions buy influence is not the issue, Telford said.“The issue is perception.”The Liberals have said if they win the election they will set up a panel to look into campaign financing.The NDP promises to ban union and corporate donations the day after forming a government, but it has come under fire for continuing to accept money in the meantime. Horgan said it is necessary to play by the current rules to level the playing field for donations.But that argument undermines the New Democrats’ alleged commitment to getting big money out of politics, said Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch.“If they win power based on those donations, then they have the conflict of interest already. It doesn’t disappear just because they change the system,” Conacher said.Ontario faced similar criticism around its open campaign-finance laws before the provincial government bowed to public pressure and introduced reforms about a year ago.Ontario’s about-face is one of the reasons B.C. has faced so much pressure, Conacher added.Robert MacDermid, an expert in campaign finance who teaches at York University in Toronto, said voter cynicism is one byproduct of a political system that favours access by the wealthy and well-connected.“I think people understand undue influence. They understand the perception that rich people get specialized access to ministers and premiers,” he said.Updating political fundraising laws is meaningless unless those reforms are accompanied by the resources needed to enforce them, MacDermid added.— Follow @gwomand on Twitterlast_img read more

Two UBC students hitchhike across Canada spending a total of 10

first_imgVANCOUVER – A travel fund of only $150 may not sound like enough to spend much more than a day out of town, but two students from the University of British Columbia managed to cross the country for a total of $9.99 thanks to the generosity of strangers.Philippe Roberge, 22, and Ori Nevares, 23, hitchhiked from Whitehorse to St. John’s over the summer in an effort to see the country and mark Canada’s 150th anniversary.Roberge said they initially wanted to go to every national park in Canada but the gas cost alone would have been about $3,000.Instead, keeping with the theme of the sesquicentennial, Roberge said they set a budget of $150 each for their 42 days on the road this summer. They spent the $9.99 for groceries in Yukon near the start of their trip.The coast-to-coast journey exposed them to grizzlies, moose, bison and the diversity of Canada’s landscape while meeting plenty of Canadians in the 58 rides they were given.“Some of the major things we learned is how nice Canadians were and how generous they were. We never felt unsafe. We were always welcomed into people’s cars and homes and fed, which was really amazing to see,” Nevares said.Roberge, who was born in Montreal, said with the exception of a handful of trips in Canada, he had seen very little of the country while Nevares, who was born in Vancouver, said he had previously only gone as far east as Saskatchewan.“We really didn’t know very much about our country and we haven’t experienced a lot of it so we wanted to actually learn and educate ourselves about Canada,” Nevares said.The trip not only exposed them to the changing landscape through each province but also the diverse cultures and cuisine.They ate fresh sheep meat from a farm in Alberta, ribs in Manitoba, homemade poutine in Montreal, lobster in Maritimes and cod tongue in St. John’s.Although the trip wasn’t without a few bumps.The hitchhikers said they began questioning their decisions after narrowly missing a tornado in Saskatechwan and finding themselves back under the same storm system in Manitoba.“There was crazy lightning, multiple strikes every second. I’d never seen lightning like that before. And then according to the weather (reports), there was ping-pong sized hail supposed to come in and also another tornado warning,” Nevares said.A driver in a passing car took them to a Tim Horton’s where, once the storm had passed in the middle of the night, they pitched their tents in the parking lot. The next day, they made their way to Winnipeg.They said they learned many lessons along the way and asked all their hosts and drivers for parting advice.Roberge said a man from Moncton told them, “You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Often times the thing is waiting right there for you but you’re just too scared to ask so you never get it.”They’ve set up a Facebook page and website photos, video and a blog of their experiences from the road and they said they plan to put together a documentary with their footage as well as a coffee-table book.—With files from Gemma Karstens-Smith.last_img read more

Expert fears limits on NS inquiry into the Lionel Desmond killings

first_imgHALIFAX – A long-awaited public inquiry into the death of an Afghan war veteran who killed his family and himself in rural Nova Scotia last year could be derailed by jurisdictional squabbling, a leading expert on judicial probes says.The problem: the provincial inquiry is looking at issues that may go deep into federal jurisdiction.“There may be limits on what the province can look into,” said Ed Ratushny, a professor emeritus at the University of Ottawa’s law school.“It’s a question of constitutional law, as to what the boundaries are between the province and the federal government … It could be a significant barrier to fully exploring the issue.”Almost a year after Lionel Desmond fatally shot himself and his mother, wife and 10-year-old daughter in Upper Big Tracadie, N.S., the Nova Scotia government bowed to public pressure last month when it confirmed a judicial fatality inquiry would be held under the Fatality Investigations Act.The inquiry’s terms of reference — the legally binding rules that govern what the inquiry can do — are still being drafted by the provincial Justice Department. They were expected to be completed by the end of this month.Ratushny, author of the 2009 book “The Conduct of Public Inquiries,” said even if the inquiry is given a broad mandate, the judge’s work will be complicated by the fact that he or she will be investigating matters of federal jurisdiction.Family members have repeatedly complained that Desmond, who served two tours in Afghanistan in 2007 and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, did not get the help he needed from the federal Defence Department or the federal Veterans Affairs Department.The issues have resonance well beyond the Desmond killings.More than 130 serving military personnel have taken their own lives since 2010, according to National Defence, including eight between January and August 2017. Officials have not been able to determine the number of suicides among veterans, but previous studies have suggested former service members are more at risk than those still in uniform.Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan has pledged full co-operation with the provincial inquiry, but that might not be enough, Ratushny said.“If the province wanted to go into subject areas that are exclusively federal jurisdiction, the federal Justice Department will take issue with that and say, ‘You can’t do that,’” he said. “The (federal) minister can co-operate fully but he can’t change the Constitution of Canada in terms of jurisdiction.”Ratushny said the two levels of government could have avoided this problem by agreeing to conduct a joint inquiry. This kind of approach was used in 1993 when Justice Horace Krever investigated Canada’s worst public health tragedy, in which 1,200 people were infected with HIV and many thousands with hepatitis C through infected blood and blood products.And in 1982, the Newfoundland and Labrador government set up a joint commission with Ottawa to look into one of Canada’s worst marine disasters: the sinking of the Ocean Ranger offshore drilling rig, which claimed 84 lives.Peter Stoffer, a longtime veterans advocate and former Nova Scotia MP, said a joint inquiry should have been called in the Desmond case.“I’m hoping the federal government doesn’t hide behind any kind of jurisdiction to not provide information,” he said. “You have to be suspicious as to why the federal government wouldn’t call this inquiry because, maybe, they don’t want to know the truth.”Stoffer said the terms of reference should require the inquiry to look into what treatment Desmond received before he was medically released from the military in 2015.As well, the investigation should look at Desmond’s transition to civilian life, the assistance he received from Veterans Affairs and what interaction he had with the provincial health-care system, he said.Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey declined a request for an interview.Archie Kaiser, a law professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said the inquiry should also explore issues regarding gender-based family violence and mental-health issues.“Those kind of issues need to be explored thoroughly,” he said.”I hope that the (provincial) minister will try to ensure that we use this opportunity to effectively explore these complex and interrelated issues … That’s the real nexus here.”Kaiser said he wasn’t worried about jurisdictional snafus.“We live in a country that has shared responsibilities for so many different government responsibilities. We shouldn’t assume that kind of complexity is going to intrude on this inquiry doing its work.”He said if the terms of reference are too narrow, that could undermine the inquiry’s credibility.“This inquiry has the capacity to suggest areas of improvement in terms of preventing family violence and … responding to mental-health crises,” he said. “I’m guessing the minister … knows that the government’s reputation and his own reputation are at stake at moments like this.”Follow @NovaMac on Twitterlast_img read more

Former finance minister diplomat university chancellor Michael Wilson dies

first_imgTORONTO — Michael Wilson, a former politician, diplomat and longtime mental health advocate, has died at 81.The University of Toronto, where Wilson served as chancellor from 2012 to 2018, confirmed his death in a post on its website Sunday evening.The school’s president, Meric Gertler, calls Wilson a “great Canadian” who improved many lives through his “comprehensive excellence, his unassuming generosity and his quiet compassion.”Wilson served for over a decade as the MP for the Toronto-area riding of Etobicoke Centre, including time as finance minister and minister of international trade under then prime minister Brian Mulroney.From March 2006 until October 2009, he served as Canada’s ambassador to the United States.After losing his son Cameron to suicide in 1995, Wilson became a passionate advocate for mental health, and often spoke about the need for access to care.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Question of solicitorclient privilege comes to fore in SNCLavalin controversy

first_imgOTTAWA — The time-honoured tenet of solicitor-client privilege — usually discussed in courtrooms and law-school textbooks — has become a central point of debate in a political controversy over whether the prime minister’s aides put undue pressure on a former attorney general.Jody Wilson-Raybould, who resigned from the Liberal cabinet Tuesday, has cited the privilege as the reason she cannot speak publicly about discussions with the prime minister’s inner circle on the fate of criminal charges against construction and engineering firm SNC-Lavalin.The Globe and Mail newspaper reported last week that Justin Trudeau’s staff leaned on Wilson-Raybould in her role as attorney general to help avoid a prosecution of SNC-Lavalin on bribery and fraud charges.The newspaper says Wilson-Raybould was shuffled to the veterans affairs portfolio in January when she refused to direct the public prosecutor to forge a remediation deal with the company that would effectively bypass criminal charges.The Liberal government maintains that while discussions on the matter took place with Wilson-Raybould, she wasn’t pressured or told to issue a directive to the prosecutor.In an open letter Tuesday, Wilson-Raybould said she has retained a lawyer, former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell, to provide advice on the “topics that I am legally permitted to discuss in this matter.”Trudeau also said this week his office is seeking legal advice on the particulars of solicitor-client privilege from David Lametti, who succeeded Wilson-Raybould as attorney general.Generally, solicitor-client privilege requires a lawyer to keep confidential any communications with a client relating to legal services.There are limited and narrow exceptions to the principle. A lawyer could divulge information about dealings with a client in the event of a clear and imminent threat to public safety, or in a case where the innocence of an accused person hangs in the balance.Since solicitor-client privilege is a right that belongs to the lawyer’s client, the client may consent to confidential information being disclosed.In the federal cabinet, the justice minister also serves as attorney general, the chief law officer of the Crown.According to the government, the attorney general provides legal services to the government and its departments and agencies with an eye to protecting the overall interests of the administration. “These services include the provision of legal advice, the conduct of litigation and the drafting of legislation and regulations.”While it is not entirely clear what sort of discussions took place between Wilson-Raybould and prime ministerial officials on the SNC-Lavalin matter, it appears she feels bound by solicitor-client privilege by virtue of the advice she provided as attorney general.A reminder of the sacrosanct nature of solicitor-client privilege to the legal profession came Monday when Ray Adlington, president of the Canadian Bar Association, introduced Lametti as he addressed a gathering of lawyers.“We’ve all read the news reports. But no one here is in a position to know everything that has happened behind closed doors in the last number of months,” Adlington said.“What all CBA members know is the importance of having lawyers in the room to advise when important decisions are being made. Solicitor-client privilege and prosecutorial independence are two of the cornerstones of the Canadian criminal justice system. We must remain vigilant that they remain so.”— Follow @JimBronskill on TwitterJim Bronskill, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Tom Morello Joins Crosby Stills And Nash To Defeat Proposition 32

first_imgOn Wednesday, October 3, legendary supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash (CSN) and activist/musician Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, The Nightwatchman) performed a special concert at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles for thousands of members of organized labor.The show was a benefit to help defeat Proposition 32 on the State of California’s November election ballot. CSN and Morello hoped to increase awareness of the deceptive measure designed to mislead voters and increase corporations’ power by gutting important campaign transparency laws.The event started with a reception from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., and music began at 7 p.m. Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman opened the night and got the crowd revved up with a passionate acoustic set that included a moving cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and a rendition of the uncensored version of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” where Stephen Stills, David Crosby and Graham Nash joined him onstage to sing along. He also pulled his mother on stage to help sing along with them for that final song of his set.Morello’s performance was followed by a brief anti-Prop 32 video, and then inspiring speeches by guest speakers, including acclaimed actor/producer/director Edward James Olmos, that advocated for Proposition 32’s defeat. The evening closed with a set from CSN that included classics such as “Wooden Ships,” “Southern Cross” and “Our House.” David Crosby dedicated their performance of “Guinnevere” to his wife, and Graham Nash spoke about the importance of supporting schools when he introduced the last song of the evening: “Teach Your Children.”Thousands of middle-class workers including nurses, firefighters, teachers, 911 operators and members of the League of Women Voters oppose Proposition 32. It promises to get money out of politics, but it actually floods California with money from out-of-state corporations, CEOs and Wall Street tycoons. The real purpose is to gut campaign finance rules to create an uneven playing field that benefits a few big money interests. It does this by allowing unlimited undisclosed corporate campaign spending while prohibiting labor unions from participating in the political process entirely.For additional information on the No on Proposition 32 campaign, click here.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Holly RobinsonPeete Leads National Women Build Week

first_imgActress and author Holly Robinson-Peete will join more than 10,000 women, including Lowe’s Heroes from across the country, to volunteer at Habitat For Humanity construction sites in recognition of National Women Build Week, May 4-12.Now in its sixth year, National Women Build Week challenges women to devote at least one day to help build affordable housing in their local communities.Peete, a mother of four, is the national spokesperson for National Women Build Week 2013 and a longtime supporter of Habitat for Humanity. She will join volunteers to help rehabilitate a Habitat home in Los Angeles.“I am delighted to support National Women Build Week and want to encourage women to get involved with Habitat this week,” said Peete. “Having a home provides such a strong foundation for families, and this week provides great opportunities for women to come together, learn new skills and help families in need of affordable housing.”National Women Build Week is a nationwide initiative of Habitat’s Women Build program developed in partnership with Lowe’s. Lowe’s donated $1.75 million to support this year’s National Women Build Week and will provide $5,000 gift cards to 300 participating Habitat affiliates.“Lowe’s has underwritten Habitat’s Women Build program since 2004, and we are proud to continue to bring together women from all walks of life to raise walls alongside local families in need,” said Marshall Croom, chairman of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “We thank our Lowe’s Heroes and the thousands of volunteers who will help strengthen communities throughout the country this week.”The U.S. Census Bureau reports more than 16 million children are living in poverty in the United States. Nearly 48 percent of the children reside with women heads-of-household. Since Habitat’s Women Build program was created in 1998, more than 2,100 Habitat for Humanity Women Build houses have been constructed in partnership with low-income families.“National Women Build Week demonstrates some of the greatest strengths of Habitat for Humanity—bringing people together, urging individuals out of their comfort zones and inspiring others,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are so grateful to Lowe’s and to women all across the U.S. who are reaching out a helping hand to help families build the foundation for a better future.”National Women Build Week is one of the major initiatives supported through Lowe’s five-year, $20 million pledge to Habitat. Lowe’s conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach women construction skills and provides the support of Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers to build homes with partner families across the country.Nearly 41,000 women from all 50 states have volunteered at the five previous events. For more information on Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program, and to learn about Women Build projects in communities across the U.S., visit Habitat.org/wb or the National Women Build Week tab on Facebook.Source:Habitat For Humanitylast_img read more

A Magical Evening To Celebrate The Lives Of Christopher Reeve And Robin

first_imgThe Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation announced today that it will host its annual “A Magical Evening” Gala on Thursday, November 20, 2014, at Cipriani Wall Street.The evening will commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Christopher Reeve’s passing.This year’s event will honor Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) with the Dana Reeve HOPE Award and Travis Roy, Founder of the Travis Roy Foundation, with the Christopher Reeve Spirit of Courage Award. The evening will also pay tribute to Reeve Foundation friend and loyal supporter Robin Williams and will feature a very special performance by Alexa Ray Joel.A Magical Evening will also honor a fallen hero, Arnold “Arnie” Snider, who passed away in 2014 and served as Vice Chair of the Reeve Foundation Board of Directors from 2005-2014. Often cited as the organization’s “north star” following the passing of both Christopher and Dana, the Reeve Foundation has renamed its Leadership Award to the Arnold H. Snider Visionary Leadership Award and will be presented to Arnie Snider posthumously as the inaugural recipient.“This has been a landmark year for the Reeve Foundation. We have started to redefine what it means to live with paralysis thanks to groundbreaking research. At A Magical Evening we will have a chance celebrate the progress we have achieved, thank our supporters, and continue our work to deliver on my father’s dream – a world of empty wheelchairs,” said Matthew Reeve who serves as Vice Chair on the Reeve Foundation Board of Directors. “This year’s honorees Senator Harkin and Travis Roy are exemplary individuals who have worked tirelessly to accelerate change for the millions of Americans living with paralysis.”Past recipients of the Christopher Reeve Spirit of Courage Award include Francesco Clark of Clark Botanicals, Paul Davarsa and The Walkabout Foundation. Past recipients of the Dana Reeve HOPE Award include Karen LeGrand (Co-Founder, Team LeGrand), the film The Intouchables and Marsha Garces Williams.The Board of Directors includes John M. Hughes (Chairman), John E. McConnell (Vice Chairman), Henry G. Stifel, III (Vice Chairman), Matthew Reeve (Vice Chairman, International Development), Joel M. Faden (Treasurer), Jeffrey P. Cunard (Secretary), Peter T. Wilderotter (President & Chief Executive Officer), Timothy J. Connors, Stephen Evans-Freke, Simone George, Janet T. Hanson, Kelly Anne Heneghan, Esq., Lisa Henry Holmes, Daniel Heumann, Michael Hoog, Sal Iannuzzi, Anita McGorty, John Osborn, Timothy R. Pernetti, Mark Pollock, Will Reeve, Marci Surfas, Christopher Tagatac, Tania Lynn Taylor, Patricia J. Volland and James O. Welch, Jr.The gala will take place on the heels of the most ambitious campaign launched in Reeve Foundation history. The Big Idea was unveiled in October to honor Christopher Reeve’s legacy by fast-tracking the most promising paralysis therapy to date — epidural stimulation. For more information on The Big Idea, visit: www.ReeveBigIdea.org.Through the Reeve Foundation’s persistence and promise, neuroscientists around the world agree that repairing the damaged spinal cord is not a question of if, but a question of when. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. Proceeds from A Magical Evening enable the Reeve Foundation to continue its pivotal work.last_img read more

Stars Explain The Meaning Of The Word Refugee In New Video

first_imgColin Firth, Cate Blanchett , Patrick Stewart and a host of other stars have something to say about refugees.Video: Refugee or Migrant? #WordsMatter Say Our High Profile SupportersThey have released a short film called #WordsMatter which explains the meaning behind the word “refugee”.Goodwill Ambassadors and high profile supporters have come out to support UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, help define the difference between the terms “refugee” and “migrant” which are being splashed across media headlines because of the ongoing European Refugee Crisis.Craig Ferguson tells us “a refugee is running for their life” and Bollywood star John Abraham goes on to explain that “they often undertake traumatic and treacherous journeys”. Neil Gaiman tell us that “they are entitled to special protection under international law”.UNHCR Ambassador Barbara Hendricks said “At this time of crisis it is important everyone understands that refugees are fleeing war or persecution and can’t return home. They are entitled to special protection under international law, including the right not to be immediately deported and sent back into harm’s way”Stars featured in the video include Barbara Hendricks, Cate Blanchett, Colin Firth, Craig Ferguson, Douglas Booth, Helena Christensen, John Abraham, Kristin Davis, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Stewart, Peter Capaldi and Rokia Traore.last_img read more

Stars Pledge Support For Victims Of Hurricane Harvey

first_imgBeyonce has pledged to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.“My heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help,” she said. “I am working closely with my team at BeyGOOD as well as my pastor (Rudy Rasmus at St. John’s in downtown Houston) to implement a plan to help as many as we can.”Meanwhile, Jack Antonoff – record producer and member of the band fun. – tweeted that he is donating to the LGBTQ Disaster Relief Fund.“I’m going to match donations up to 10k to the Montrose LGBT Center in Houston for Harvey relief. Please donate!” he tweeted. “Send me your receipts! Many people are hit hard by Harvey. I’m choosing to support the LGBTQ community.”And Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation posted on Instagram:We are headed to Houston to give relief to municipal shelters. We will help transport any animals currently in shelters so that there is room for displaced animals from Hurricane Harvey! Plus any other support we can offer!!!”last_img read more

The Beach Boys And Wynonna Added to the 2017 National Christmas Tree

first_imgThe Beach Boys, Wynonna, and three-time Emmy Award winners, The Texas Tenors will perform at the 2017 National Christmas Tree Lighting taking place November 30 on the Ellipse at President’s Park, home to the White House.Whether people attend in person or watch on Hallmark Channel on December 4, they’ll also enjoy performances by Craig Campbell, Us The Duo, Boys II Bow Ties, Mannheim Steamroller, and the U.S. Navy Band led by Emmy nominated music director Steve Gibson. Additional entertainers and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.Co-presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, this beloved American tradition is celebrating its 95th year. Through a partnership with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, Hallmark Channel will exclusively broadcast the National Christmas Tree Lighting on December 4.A lovely melding of music, outdoor performance, and holiday cheer, the National Christmas Tree Lighting is a great example of the unique ways that people can experience national parks and #FindYourPark/ #EncuentraTuParque.No matter if you attend in person or watch on TV, everyone can join the fun by sharing photos and favorites memories using #NCTL2017 and tagging @TheNationalTree on Twitter.Additional information, including more talent announcements and coverage logistics for news media, will be shared at a later date.last_img read more

Holly RobinsonPeete Honored At Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles Builders

first_imgThe Habitat For Humanity of Greater Los Angeles Builders Ball 2018 recently took place at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.Holly Robinson Peete accepts the Dream Builder AwardCredit/Copyright: Joshua Blanchard/ Getty Images for Habitat For HumanityThis annual event celebrates Habitat LA’s counterparts in the building and real estate industry, as well as partners and donors, who are helping transform the landscape of Los Angeles. It is also an evening to raise awareness and funds to help us reach our goal of empowering families and building strength and stability in our communities through homeownership. Honoree gifts were generously donated by Thoughtfully, a company specializing in curated gift sets perfect for any occasion. Through the Thoughtfully Initiative, ten percent of all profits go towards funds to support local, regional and national organization all while supporting the company’s mission of inspiring others to live and give thoughtfully.AWARD RECEPIENTS:· Actress and singer, Holly Robinson-Peete, was honored with the Dream Builder Award for her commitment to helping those in need through the HollyRod Foundation, which provides compassionate care and services to underserved individuals and families that are financially and emotionally affected by autism and Parkinson’s disease. Holly has volunteered with Habitat LA several times and has served as its National Women Build Week spokeswomen.· Los Angeles’ beloved professional soccer team, LA Galaxy, was honored with the Foundation Builder Award in recognition of their commitment to helping those in need through the LA Galaxy Foundation. The LA Galaxy Foundation is dedicated to assisting the community through soccer programming that promotes inclusion for all athletes, education opportunities, and a strong spirit of volunteerism. The LA Galaxy has been an important partner and long-time supporter of Habitat LA for nearly a decade.· Watt Companies, one of the nation’s largest owners, developers, and managers of residential and commercial real estate on the West Coast, will receive the Builder of the Year Award for their commitment to creating holistic communities to work and grow, while incorporating quality and innovation. Since their founding over 70 years ago, Watt Companies has been committed to finding solutions to resolve the homelessness crisis and the Watt family has a strong continued commitment to affordable housing solutions.Celebrity attendees such as Tina Knowles, Kate Linder, Brett Lockett, and many others enjoyed a VIP reception, followed by dinner, and special musical performance by world-famous percussionist and entertainer, Sheila E.last_img read more

Minister Joly Announces Creative Canada A Vision for Canadas Creative Industries in

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Speaking to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa, Minister Joly outlined Canada’s first-ever strategy for the creative economy and a renewed policy approach to strengthen Canada’s diverse and vibrant creative sector. With digital technologies rapidly transforming Canada’s cultural landscape, Creative Canada offers a roadmap for the future of Canada’s creative industries.The arts and culture sector is a $54.6-billion industry and a cornerstone of Canada’s economy. It employs hundreds of thousands of Canadians in various fields across the country, in addition to the countless spin-off jobs in local communities created as a result of production. These high-value jobs are essential to our economy and, with Creative Canada, the Government of Canada will ensure they remain sustainable well into the future. Login/Register With: OTTAWA, Sept. 28, 2017 – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced Creative Canada—the Government of Canada’s vision for Canada’s cultural and creative industries in a digital world. Creative Canada focuses on investing in Canadian creators and cultural entrepreneurs, promoting the discovery and distribution of content at home and globally, and working to strengthen public broadcasting and support local news. Information on the policy measures and initiatives announced during the speech can be found online.Minister Joly also announced a $500 million agreement with Netflix, a first of its kind in the world.For more information, a detailed policy framework for Creative Canada is available online.Quotes“Canadians are fiercely proud of our creators and cultural entrepreneurs. The benefits that Canadian culture brings to the economy and to building identity, pride and a shared sense of values are undeniable. Canada’s creative sector supports countless high-quality jobs that help grow our middle class and support families right across the country. Through Creative Canada, we will enact policies that help our creators and cultural entrepreneurs address the challenges of today’s digital reality, and ensure that Canada’s voice will be heard loud and strong on the world stage.”—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian HeritageQuick FactsCanada’s creative sector grows our country’s economy and provides important jobs that help support the middle class.The arts and culture sector provides direct jobs for more than 630,000 Canadians, as well as countless spin-off jobs created by the business brought in by the production of these cultural products.Creative Canada supports high-quality content in both English and French for Canadians and audiences around the world.The Government of Canada has invested $1.9 billion in arts and culture, currently the largest investment of any G7 nation.Associated LinksCreative Canada WebsiteCreative Canada – A Vision for Canada’s Creative IndustriesCreative Canada – Changes to Policies, Programs and LegislationNew CRTC Chair’s Leadership Will Help Shape the Future of Canada’s Communication SystemOrder In Council – Section 15Related ProductsCreative Canada: Policy Frameworkcenter_img Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

TWO TORONTOMADE VIDEOGAMES ARE REACHING FOR THE SPOTLIGHT AT E3

first_img Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment STARLINK: BATTLE FOR ATLAS BY UBISOFTThe “toys-to-life” genre of videogames is not as high-flying as it was a few years ago, when the space was dominated by Skylanders, followed up by Disney Infinity and Lego Dimensions. Those latter two toy-based games aren’t being made any more, which shows how difficult it is to find success with a product that bridges the physical and the virtual worlds.Starlink: Battle for Atlas is a new game that mixed physical toys with a video game, made by Ubisoft Toronto (UBISOFT HANDOUT)But Ubisoft Toronto bets there’s still some life there. With Starlink: Battle for Atlas, the developer believes it has something different on its hands that sets it apart from past attempts. The space-bound action game includes toy spaceships and weaponry that fit over top of the hand-held controller; how you choose to build and arm your ship affects the gameplay onscreen. LOS ANGELES—This is going to be an important week for two Toronto-made games, but for very different reasons. One is a big gamble for the largest studio in the city, the other a long-awaited title from one of the most highly regarded indie studios in Canada.Here is how they plan to best use their time to catch the attention of gamers during E3, North America’s largest gaming show. Twittercenter_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Below is a long anticipated game from Toronto’s Capybara Games. A dark and moody indie game, it requires players to explore, survive and figure out the strange world. Advertisementlast_img read more

Weve Done It Weve Cracked Ryan Goslings Style Formula

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Michael Loccisano Ryan Gosling – heart smasher supreme and all-round inimitable guy – isn’t so inimitable after all. His latest appearance at the First Man Toronto International Film Festival premiere is further proof of a template, and one we’ve cracked following many a Google search and soul-crushing trawl of the archives. Here’s the theory.Step one: trim those locks. A short, close crop is one of the most classic follicular moves in the book, and what’s more, it’s a firm pivot from the sea of Love Island quiffs that fill every pub/street corner/office/gym/public space in the country. Then, simply ensure your haircuts are semi-regular to stay sharp. Advertisement Step two: invest in a suit. Not the sort you’d wear to the office, but something more fun. Brown, sky blue or burgundy are just three options that’ll clinch smart-casual (and your growing likeness to the Gos amongst men).. Login/Register With: Twitter Facebooklast_img read more

CBC WINS 28 CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS AT NONFICTION GALA

first_imgCBC NEWS: MARKETPLACE (1)CBC, CBC News Barbara Sears Award for Best Visual Research“Murder in the Village”Leslie Morrison Advertisement CBC’s acclaimed documentary series THE NATURE OF THINGS won six awards, with three for EQUUS: STORY OF THE HORSE including the Rob Stewart Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary Program or Series;  two for JUMBO: THE LIFE OF AN ELEPHANT SUPERSTAR including Best Biography or Arts Documentary Program or Series; and Best History Documentary Program or Series for ICE BRIDGE. Larry Weinstein won Best Direction, Documentary Program, for documentary Channel’s DREAMING OF A JEWISH CHRISTMAS.The 2019 Canadian Screen Awards will be broadcast live on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service on Sunday, March 31 at 8 p.m. (9 p.m. AT and 9:30 p.m. NT). Leading up to the broadcast, Canadians can share their thoughts on the nominees with CBC on Twitter @CBC using#CdnScreenAwards.CBC’s 2019 Canadian Screen Award non-fiction award wins include: DREAMING OF A JEWISH CHRISTMAS (1)documentary Channel/CBC, Riddle Films Best News or Information Segment“The Ruins of Raqqa”Brenda Witmer, Adrienne Arsenault, Michelle Gagnon, Lindsay Rempel, Ghalia Bdiwe, John Heron Advertisement CBC NEWS (10) THE JUNO AWARDS (1)CBC, Insight Productions Ltd. TOWER OF SONG: A MEMORIAL TRIBUTE TO LEONARD COHEN (1)CBC, Peacock Alley Entertainment Inc. JUMBO: THE LIFE OF AN ELEPHANT SUPERSTAR (2)CBC, Infield Fly Productions Best Direction, Documentary or Factual SeriesChristine Nielsen CBC NEWS: THE FIFTH ESTATE (4)CBC, CBC News Login/Register With: Best Original Music, Non-Fiction“Origins”Darren Fung EQUUS: STORY OF THE HORSE (3)CBC, Handful of Films Inc. Best Direction, Documentary ProgramLarry Weinstein.About CBC/Radio-CanadaCBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world. STILL STANDING (2)CBC, Frantic Films Best Host or Interviewer in a News or Information Program or Series“CBC News: The Royal Wedding: Harry & Meghan”Adrienne Arsenault LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment THE DETECTIVES (2)CBC, WAM Media GRP Inc. THE FILMMAKERS (1)CBC Best National Reporter“Texas Church Shooting”Paul Hunter Best Variety or Entertainment SpecialMike Downie, Gord Downie, Stuart Coxe, Craig Baines, Patrick Sambrook, Patrick Downie, Rachel Dawson Best Writing, Factual“Carcross”Jonny Harris, Fraser Young, Graham Chittenden, Steve Dylan CBC NEWS: LOCAL (1) Best Production Design or Art Direction, Non-FictionTarik Mikou Best Writing, Documentary“The Truth Smugglers”Gillian Findlay Best Host in a Live Program or SeriesRick Mercer Best Photography, News or Information“The Ruins of Raqqa”Jean-François Bissoncenter_img Best Talk or Entertainment Program or SeriesNicole Brewster-Mercury, Exan Auyoung, Eli Glasner, Mercedes Grundy, Nigel Hunt, Ashley Mak Best News or Information SeriesJim Williamson, Julian Sher Twitter THE NATURE OF THINGS WITH DAVID SUZUKI (6) Best Sound, Non-FictionDoug McClement, Sanjay Mehta THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW (1)CBC, Proper Television Best Picture Editing, Factual“The Wells Gray Gunman”Fannie Daoust, Glenn Berman Advertisement documentary Channel (1) NEW YEAR’S EVE 2017 (1)CBC, Insight Productions March 27, 2019 – CBC and its production partners were recognized with 28 awards – winning more than half of all categories, and the most of any Canadian broadcaster – at the March 26 opening gala for The Academy of Canadian Film & Television’s Canadian Screen Awards, honouring excellence in non-fiction programming including news, documentary, reality, lifestyle, and sports content.CBC News received 10 awards, more than any other news organization, representative of the depth and breadth of its daily and weekly reporting, news specials, investigative journalism and technical merit at both the national and local level. CBC NEWS: THE NATIONAL took home four awards, including Best News or Information Segment, as well as Best National Reporter for Paul Hunter and Best Host or Interviewer in a News or Information Program or Series for Adrienne Arsenault. THE FIFTH ESTATE was also honoured with four awards including Best News or Information Series, while MARKETPLACE received one for Best News or Information Program. CBC Winnipeg’s Katie Nicholson was recognized as Best Local Reporter.The public broadcaster’s unscripted and arts programming swept major categories at the non-fiction gala. GORD DOWNIE’S SECRET PATH IN CONCERT won two awards including Best Variety or Entertainment Special, while THE JUNO AWARDS won Best Live Entertainment Special for its return to CBC in 2018. THE DETECTIVES, recently renewed for its third season, won two awards including Best Factual Series. The second season of THE FILMMAKERS, with its focus on female Canadian filmmakers, won Best Talk or Entertainment Program or Series. Rick Mercer once again won Best Host in a Live Program or Series, this time for his role in the special NEW YEAR’S EVE 2017, and Jonny Harris took home the award for Best Host in a Program or Series for hit comedy STILL STANDING, as well as Best Writing in a Factual Program or Series for the third consecutive year. Best News or Information Program“Fake Degrees”Nelisha Vellani, Eric Szeto, Asha Tomlinson, Simon Parubchak, Bill Arnold, David Macintosh Rob Stewart Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary Program or SeriesNiobe Thompson, Caroline Underwood DOCUMENTARIES (7) Best Photography, Documentary or Factual“Origins”Daron Donahue, Aaron Munson Best Factual SeriesHans Rosenstein, Debbie Travis, Scott Bailey, Jennifer Gatien, Petro Duszara Best Biography or Arts Documentary Program or SeriesDugald Maudsley, Stephen Dunleavy, Sharmila Choudhury GORD DOWNIE’S SECRET PATH IN CONCERT (2)CBC, Antica Productions Ltd. Best History Documentary Program or SeriesElliott Halpern, Elizabeth Trojian CBC NEWS: THE NATIONAL (4)CBC, CBC News Best Local ReporterCBC WINNIPEG NEWS AT SIX  – Minister TicklesCBC, CBC ManitobaKatie Nicholson Barbara Sears Award for Best Editorial Research“Murdoch in Cottage Country”Timothy Sawa, Lisa Mayor, Zander Sherman Best Writing, Lifestyle or Reality Competition“Bread Week”Elvira Kurt UNSCRIPTED AND ARTS (11 AWARDS) Facebook ICE BRIDGE (1)CBC, Yap Films Best Host in a Program or SeriesJonny Harris Best Live Entertainment SpecialJohn Brunton, Allan Reid, Mark Cohon, Michael Buble, Lindsay Cox, Pam de Montmorency, Tracy Galvin, Kristine Pleau, Luciano Casimirilast_img read more

TAKE A BEHINDTHESCENES LOOK INSIDE THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE

first_imgWhat people may not know is that the NAC keeps the majority of its theatre props right on site. The treasure trove contains everything from the famous holed umbrellas featured in “Oliver Twist,” to clocks and radios from every time period. I got the chance to link up with Mike Calouri, the head of props at the NAC, to explore a unique space, with gadgets and gizmos a plenty. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The curtain on Canada’s National Art Centre (NAC) was lifted exactly 50 years ago Sunday. A centre point for theatre, music and dance in the nation’s capital, it has attracted some of the worlds’ top artistic talent.To celebrate its anniversary, the NAC opened its doors to the public with a rare backstage view. CTV News’ Molly Thomas got an all-access pass to this cultural hub of history.We walk down memory lane with one of Canada’s prima ballerinas. Veronica Tennant danced in Southam Hall for a quarter of a century..@MollyThomasTV speaks with one of the prima ballerinas of the National Arts Centre, Veronica Tennant, who reflects on opening night back in 1969. Tune into @CTVNationalNews tonight for the full report. pic.twitter.com/jN28Fl0Hg2— CTV News (@CTVNews) June 2, 2019 Facebook Advertisement Take a look inside Canada’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa.center_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

ROBBIE WILLIAMS HAUNTED BY MAMA CASS AT GHOSTBUSTERS MANSION

first_img Facebook He claims that during his stay he was visited by another of its famous previous owners, The Mamas and the Papas singer Cass Elliot, known as Mama Cass, who died of heart failure aged 32 in 1974.He told Jo Wood on her Alien Nation podcast that he had felt a spectral presence in the house as soon as he moved in and said to the spirit: “I know that you are here and I am going to respect your space. I please ask you to respect mine as I am scared of you.”Explaining how a friend had also been haunted, he added: “My friend who I was living with at the time came down. He’d just had a shower and he was white. I said, ‘What’s up?’ And he said, ‘I’ve just had a conversation with someone that wasn’t there’.”Revealing how he knew the identity of the ghost, he told how the atmosphere changed in one room when The Mamas and the Papas hit California Dreamin’ played on the TV, saying, “there was this silence I’ve never experienced before or since”.He also said he had discussed the hauntings with another previous resident, Zak Starkey, who lived there as a child with his dad Ringo Starr, and added when he left removals workers refused to go back into the house “because of the old lady sitting in the chair”.In a 2013 interview with Esquire magazine Dan, 67, explained his own experiences in the home.“I’m pretty sure there were two spiritual presences in that house,” he said. “Mama Cass herself, and then another guy, who died in the hillside next to the house and was buried there.” Advertisement Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Robbie Williams believes he was haunted by the spirit of Mama Cass in a house he rented from ­Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd.Robbie, 45, rented the Los Angeles home from Dan, who has previously claimed that the house and hauntings inspired him to write the spooky 1984 comedy, when working in America 18 years ago.last_img read more

Residential school lawyers warned over ethics

first_imgBy Kathleen Martens and Paul BarnsleyAPTN National NewsWINNIPEG–Lawyers may see their fees reduced if they break the rules as they guide former students of Indian residential schools through the complex legal process designed to provide compensation for serious physical and sexual abuse suffered at the schools.That’s what the man in charge told the more than 200 lawyers who have clients participating in the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) in a memo he sent out on June 13.Daniel Ish, the IAP chief adjudicator, warned the lawyers that “unethical” practices could cost them all or part of their fees. As part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the government of Canada is committed to paying lawyers 15 per cent of the compensation awards their clients receive if their claims are ruled legitimate by IAP adjudicators.But the chief adjudicator’s memo states that 15 per cent is not guaranteed to lawyers who abuse the system.“Canada’s 15 per cent contribution toward legal fees is not a guaranteed minimum, irrespective of the adequacy and quality of legal services provided to claimants,” Ish wrote.The memo, obtained by APTN Investigates, did not mention how many lawyers are breaking the rules. Sources say it’s likely only a small minority.A close reading of the memo reveals a number of very serious abuses within the system – one designed to compensate former residential school students for the most serious physical and sexual abuse. Ish told the lawyers about a number of unethical- and even unlawful- practices that have come to his attention.The issue has also been discussed by the IAP’s National Oversight Committee (OC), a group made up of representatives of all the parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The OC supervises, manages and has responsibility for the IAP.More details are available in the minutes of the OC meetings, which are posted online.“In some cases claimant counsel are not meeting with their clients prior to the hearing. The certification in the application by some counsel that there has been an in-person meeting with the claimant is questionable,” the minutes of the OC’s March 29 meeting state.The minutes of another OC meeting explained the kind of conduct that Ish said in his memo will lead to reduction of payments to lawyers.“As examples of conduct that might warrant such a reduction, [Ish] cited lawyers who repeatedly attended with the wrong client, claims where the application form bears no resemblance to the case, and application forms where the lawyers’ certification is signed by someone else, photocopied, or falsified. All of these are, regrettably, actual situations that have occurred,” the minutes of the June 21 meeting report.Sources familiar with the IAP process say each of the examples cited by the chief adjudicator is evidence of a serious abuse.Lawyers are expected to be familiar with the files, to take the time to meet and prepare for adjudication hearings with their clients and to sign a certification document verifying that they have done so.If they are not familiar with the files or haven’t met with the client before the hearing, there is a chance that legitimate compensation claims could be dismissed or that compensation awards will be much smaller than they should be. The IAP has a number of different categories. In theory, the more serious the abuse the former student suffered, the higher the compensation will be.If lawyers have not signed the certification that they have met with the client before the hearing, it could be an oversight or it could be an indication that lawyers who have not met with the client do not want to get caught signing a false statement, something that could bring serious legal consequences.In his memo, the chief adjudicator also “reminded counsel that amounts payable under the Settlement Agreement cannot be assigned to other persons or agencies.”In a 2007 decision rendered by the late Donald Brenner, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia until his death in 2011, the matter of having former residential school students “assign” or sign over part of their settlement to a third party in order to get cash advances against the settlement, was expressly forbidden. Brenner ruled that any contract that purported to do that, cannot be enforced and is not binding.But Ish felt the need to remind the lawyers of the court’s ruling.“It has been brought to my attention that at least one firm has delivered cheques for compensation funds, payable to the claimant, to a third party for ‘delivery’ to the claimant. The claimant is then asked to endorse the cheque to the third party for services rendered in processing the IAP claim. This must certainly be an unethical practice,” he wrote in his memo.Legal sources say the reason it would be considered unethical is that the payment to third parties would not show up when the payment received by the lawyer is reviewed for “fairness and reasonableness” because it is included in the payment to the client even though the client ultimately will not receive it.last_img read more