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  • Team honours Colten Boushie Humboldt Broncos at Aboriginal hockey championships

    first_imgSYDNEY, N.S. – A Saskatchewan team playing in the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Nova Scotia this week is holding two special tributes during each game.Players for the team are wearing a “CB” sticker on their helmets in honour of Colten Boushie and his family.Boushie, a member of the Red Pheasant First Nation, was fatally shot in August 2016 when he and four others in an SUV drove onto a farm near Biggar, Sask.In March, a jury acquitted 56-year-old Gerald Stanley in Boushie’s death, a verdict that led to protests across the country.Team Saskatchewan is also honouring the Humboldt Broncos hockey team by wrapping themselves in the team’s flag as they say prayers before each game.Ken Thomas, the sport, culture and recreation director for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations who’s attending the championships, says the bus crash was very hard on the team’s players.“We had a Team Sask. player in 2015 that played … at NAHC [on the bus], so it hit the teams pretty hard here,” he said Wednesday.The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game on April 6 when their bus and a semi collided at an intersection near Tisdale, Sask., killing 16 people and injuring 13 others.The National Aboriginal Hockey Tournament brings together the best 15- and 16-year-old players from across the country.It runs until May 12 at Membertou First Nation near Sydney, Nova Scotia. (CKBI)last_img read more

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  • Fete nationale parade organizers apologize for float pushed by black teenagers

    first_imgMONTREAL – Organizers of the Fete nationale parade are apologizing to people who were upset by the sight of black teenagers pushing a float carrying a white singer.Footage of the float from Saturday’s parade was posted on social media and prompted some people to link the images to slavery and spoke to a lack of diversity in the parade.The organizing committee says it never intended to create racist images.Originally, Maxime Laporte, head of the Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montreal, which organized the event, rejected the charges of racism as “unfair” and “exaggerated.”He said it was pure chance that black teens were pulling the float.The teenagers were recruited from a local high school and the head coach of the school’s football team suggested the students were happy to take part.last_img read more

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  • Probe ordered into Nova Scotia judge who acquitted taxi driver of sexual

    first_imgHALIFAX – In a rare move, Nova Scotia’s chief justice has ordered an investigation into complaints against a judge who acquitted a taxi driver accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated female passenger found partially naked and unconscious in his cab.Justice Michael MacDonald issued a statement Thursday saying a three-member review committee will look into allegations of misconduct against Judge Gregory Lenehan.The provincial court judge faced intense public scrutiny in March when he said the Crown had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman, who had no memory of what happened, did not consent to sexual activity with the driver.Lenehan said a person is incapable of consent if they are unconscious or are so intoxicated that they are unable to understand or perceive their situation.“This does not mean, however, that an intoxicated person cannot give consent to sexual activity,” Lenehan said in his decision. “Clearly, a drunk can consent.”The 40-year-old driver, Bassam Al-Rawi, was found not guilty.Lenehan’s choice of words set off a storm of social media criticism, a letter-writing campaign calling for a judicial council to investigate, and two public protests.One legal scholar suggested the stereotype of the “promiscuous party girl” may have factored into the acquittal. In a draft paper submitted to Canadian Bar Review earlier this year, Dalhousie law professor Elaine Craig said Lenehan deserved much of the scorn he received, though his decision fell short of misconduct.Steven Penney, a law professor at the University of Alberta, said Thursday the chief justice’s call for an investigation doesn’t make sense to him, even though he believes Lenehan’s decision contained legal errors and will likely be overturned on appeal.Penney said the problem is there doesn’t appear to be any evidence to suggest Lenehan’s conduct was unethical or marred by sexist stereotypes.“There’s a very clear difference … between ethical transgressions or misconduct and legal errors,” Penney said in an interview. “Judges make legally incorrect decisions all the time. That’s why we have appeals.”Penney said Lenehan’s case stands in contrast to that of former judge Robin Camp, who asked a sexual assault complainant in 2014 — when he was an Alberta provincial court judge — why the woman couldn’t keep her knees together. Camp resigned from his Federal Court position in March after a removal hearing by the Canadian Judicial Council.In Camp’s case, there was convincing evidence he made disparaging remarks to the complainant, and that he used discredited and sexist myths in coming to his decision, Penney said.“There is no evidence of anything approaching that in the decision of Judge Lenehan,” he said, adding that the decision to appoint a review panel could send a “chilling message” to judges who are faced with making unpopular decisions.Wayne MacKay, professor emeritus of law at Dalhousie University in Halifax, dismissed the idea of a chilling impact on judges, saying they are made of sterner stuff.He said the public controversy sparked by the court case deserves a closer look by a review committee.“By suggesting that I think it’s a good idea to have the inquiry, I don’t necessarily think that there will be any finding of misconduct,” MacKay said. “It’s a process for the benefit of Judge Lenehan to have the whole matter cleared up … I still think it’s a good idea, given all the controversy locally.”The Crown is seeking an appeal of Lenehan’s decision. A hearing is scheduled before the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal for Nov. 22.The grounds for appeal include that the judge erred in law in saying the Crown produced no evidence of the complainant’s lack of consent, and that he erred by engaging in speculation on the issue of consent rather than drawing inferences from the facts proven in the evidence.In the meantime, the review committee — which will include a judge, a lawyer and a member of the public — will investigate each complaint and decide whether to dismiss it, resolve it with Lenehan’s agreement, or refer the complaint to a hearing before an eight-member judicial council.Under the Provincial Court Act, if the council decides further action is warranted, it could impose disciplinary measures, which may include: a leave of absence with pay for the judge to get additional training; a written reprimand; or a recommendation to the attorney general for removal from office.However, such a recommendation would require final approval from the provincial cabinet.During Al-Rawi’s trial, the woman testified that she had consumed three drinks at a downtown bar late on May 22, 2015. She told the court that the next thing she remembered was waking up in either the hospital or an ambulance, where she spoke with a female police officer.Lenehan said the woman couldn’t recall being turned away from the bar after midnight, nor did she recall arguing with a friend, texting others or hailing Al-Rawi’s cab at 1:09 a.m.“She doesn’t recall any of that because she was drunk,” Lenehan said in his oral decision.”What is unknown is the moment (she) lost consciousness. That is important. It would appear that prior to that she had been able to communicate with others. Although she appeared drunk to the staff at (the bar) … she had appeared to make decisions for herself.”Court heard that when a police officer spotted the woman in the back seat of the cab at 1:20 a.m., she was lying unconscious, naked from the waist down with her tank top pushed up and her legs propped up on the two front seats.The constable testified that the driver was seen shoving the woman’s pants and underwear between the front seats, As well, his pants were undone around his waist and his zipper was down.Four days after the judge’s decision, Al-Rawi’s lawyer issued a statement saying his client has been pilloried unfairly and racially stereotyped.Luke Craggs said Al-Rawi was found not guilty for legitimate reasons, including a lack of forensic evidence of sexual activity. He said an alarming amount of the public discussion about the case “perpetrated the grotesque stereotype” that Al-Rawi’s Arab background “means he is the type of person to sexually assault a vulnerable person.”last_img read more

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  • BC Wildfire Service offers preliminary tally of costs from disastrous summer

    first_imgKAMLOOPS, B.C. – British Columbia has spent more than $500 million battling dozens of wildfires during the 2017 forest fire season.Fire information officer Kevin Turcott says total suppression costs to date amount to almost $548 million.He says that’s nearly nine times the original budget of $63 million and far above the $382 million spent in 2009, which officials say was the previous highest cost.Hundreds of wildfires have been recorded in the province since April 1 as B.C. endured its worst-ever fire season.Several fires continue to burn, including six in the southeastern B.C.More than 45,000 people were forced from their homes at the height of the fire season.Turcott says the fires scorched just over 12,000 square kilometres of timber, bush and grassland. (CHNL)last_img read more

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  • Family friends excited as player from Saskatchewan First Nation makes NHL debut

    first_imgEDMONTON – About two dozen proud and excited fans were planning to attend an Oilers game in Edmonton on Thursday night to cheer on an Indigenous player making his NHL debut.Ethan Bear from the Ochapowace First Nation in southeastern Saskatchewan was called up from the team’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, in California on Tuesday.Chief Margaret Bear said she was planning to go to the game at Rogers Place against the Nashville Predators along with the defenceman’s parents and 20 to 25 others from Ochapowace.She said many more supporters from First Nations across the province planned to go to Saturday’s home game.“It’s all about historic events, something that Ethan has truly achieved and we’re so proud of him,” the chief said before Thursday’s game.“Our community, our youth, our elders, our leaders, our families back home are just gleaming with joy right now.”Bear, 20, is one of about half a dozen players on NHL rosters who is of Indigenous descent.The chief, who is not related to Ethan, said he is not only a source of pride for her people, but has become a role model.“It’s all about … our youth (seeing) that no matter what you do in life, if you have your mind set to your goal and with hard work .. you can do what you want,” she said.The Oilers chose Bear in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL entry draft. He was the captain of the Seattle Thunderbirds when they won the Western Hockey League championship last spring and was named the league’s top defenceman.The five-foot-11, 209-pound Bear has six goals and 10 assists in 34 games with Bakersfield in his rookie professional season.(CKRM, The Canadian Press)last_img read more

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  • Its like the gold rush some pot shops to stay open despite

    first_imgTORONTO – Hours after marijuana becomes legal, Toronto enforcement officers will fan out across the city looking for any illegal pot shops still open — the start of a cat-and-mouse game that is expected to play out over the next six months.Ontario will have no brick-and-mortar cannabis stores until April 1, 2019, with the only legal retailer being a provincial government-run online store.The owners of the dozens of illegal pot dispensaries that have popped up in the city over the last few years have been promised an amnesty of sorts: Shut down by Oct. 17 and you can apply for a retail licence.City officials say those who don’t comply will be given a warning to start and escalation will follow.“It’s not carte blanche, it’s not a free-for-all, we will continue sustained enforcement,” said Tracey Cook, the city’s executive director of municipal licensing and standards.Under a new law that goes into effect on Wednesday, the city will have the power to order the interim closure of illegal pot dispensaries through a court order.Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said the dispensaries will eventually be shut down, but not on Wednesday due to resource issues.“There will not be 100,000 police officers landing in the city of Toronto shutting down every element of a dispensary, but we will be shutting them down,” he told reporters Tuesday.There were about 85 illegal pot dispensaries in Toronto three years ago, but that number dropped to about 30 following a police crackdown in May 2016, said Cook.“In the last two months it shot back up to 80 locations again, which I think is absolutely foolish given they’re jeopardizing their lawful opportunities,” she said. “But I can’t speak for the smarts of anyone breaking the law.”At least three Toronto dispensaries have told The Canadian Press they will continue to operate after legalization, arguing the lack of physical stores until April means there will be a “gold rush” for those willing to break the law. More than 20 dispensaries hung up when asked about their plans.“From Oct. 17 to April is where the money’s at,” said the co-owner of a dispensary that will stay open on Wednesday and did not want his name used for fear of criminal prosecution. “After that, they’ll be open on every corner so now’s the time to make money.”The co-owner, whose pot shop is located in the city’s downtown, said he plans to stay one step ahead of the city and police by complying with warnings and moving to a new location with new owners and new landlords.“The real owners aren’t on any paper,” he said. “We are not worried about it. The black market will exist and will be strong.”Both the city and police said they know about such tactics and have various investigative techniques to deal with it.Jamie McConnell also wants in on the illicit “gold rush,” but he’s still facing 15 drug-trafficking-related charges stemming from two police raids of his pot shop, Sea of Green, in August.If he could resolve those charges soon — the provincial government has said previous pot charges wouldn’t preclude someone from receiving a retail license — McConnell said he would reopen his business before April to take advantage of the lack of physical pot shops.“It’s also going to be hella lucrative if everybody else is closing,” he said.Justin Loizos is going the safe route. He said he’ll close his shop, called Just Compassion, and apply for a license. He started using pot several years ago in last-ditch effort to deal with multiple sclerosis.Now he operates his shop for a group of members who have government-issued medicinal marijuana permits. His plan is to use his shop as a vapour lounge for members until April, which he said will put a strain on his finances.“It’s unfortunate, but I might have to seek capital,” Loizos said.But he has dreams of one day running his own “micro-grow” where he grows his own marijuana and sells it on site, like the craft breweries that have become popular around the country.“Running a business is hard, retail is challenging. There are so many unknowns and if you do get in, there are so many big players to compete with,” he said.“It will be hard, but it’s exciting, it really is. It’s like the gold rush.”last_img read more

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  • Canadian crew member killed in ship accident at seaway dock in New

    first_imgMASSENA, N.Y. – Authorities say a Canadian man working on a freighter has died after he fell off a dock on the St. Lawrence Seaway in northern New York.WWNY-TV in Watertown reports 57-year-old Alfred Eshun of Quebec lost his balance and slipped off a dock after being lowered onto it off the side of the bulk carrier Spruceglen around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.Police say the crew was tying off the vessel outside the Eisenhower Lock near Massena when the accident occurred.He was pulled from the water after a few minutes by two seaway employees who had to be treated for possible hypothermia at Massena Memorial Hospital.Eshun was pronounced dead at the same hospital around 2 a.m.State police and the U.S. Coast Guard are investigating.last_img read more

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  • Found dinosaur bones in Alberta Badlands Google doodle honours Joseph Tyrrell

    first_imgThursday’s Google doodle features a man standing among large dinosaur bones in the Alberta Badlands.It’s in honour of Joseph Burr Tyrrell, who was born 160 years ago in Weston, Ont.“It was a wonderful surprise,” said Lisa Making, director of exhibits and communications with the renowned Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alta.The museum is named in his honour.Tyrrell, who died in Toronto in 1957 at the age of 98, had worked for the Geological Survey of Canada.After discovering coal near Fernie, B.C., he was sent to southern Alberta to lead a team of researchers exploring an area north of the Bow River.They found coal deposits in the Red Deer river valley, which became the country’s largest base for domestic coal mining until the discovery of oil and gas in Leduc in 1947.“Drumheller was the area that fuelled Canada for decades,” said Making. “He was instrumental in bringing Drumheller on the map for that.”She said Tyrrell was out exploring the Badlands when he stumbled across his next significant discovery.“He came upon this fearsome-looking skull buried in the hills, which ironically is only about five kilometres from where the museum is situated now,” said Making. “It just shows how rich the area is in paleotological fossils and discoveries.”The skull was named Albertosaurus sarcophagus — flesh-eating lizard from Alberta — in 1905, the same year Alberta became a province.Making hopes the Google doodle will help Canadians better understand their past.“He’s always an icon here at the museum,” she said. “His discovery of the Albertosaurus actually led to what’s considered the first waves of fossil hunting in Canada and a lot of the discoveries that came from that ended up in museums around the world.”On its site, Google said the doodles are changes made to its usual logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists.The company says is has created more than 2,000 doodles for home pages around the world.“A group of Googlers get together regularly to brainstorm and decide which events will be celebrated with a doodle,” said the website. “The ideas for the doodles come from numerous sources including Googlers and Google users.”Making said she wishes she knew who was behind Thursday’s Google doodle.“I would love to take credit for the doodle, but I can’t,” she said.“I’d love to know who suggested it and thank them. It meant a lot, it really did.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version misspelled Lisa Making’s last name near the bottom of the story.last_img read more

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  • Tech CEOs say Liberal innovation agenda does little to help firms scale

    first_imgOTTAWA — The federal government’s big-ticket efforts to support high-growth tech firms are offering little for emerging companies that have already outgrown the fledgling start-up phase, according to a new survey of CEOs in Canada’s sector.The insights are among the early findings of a three-year research project focused on properly defining mid-sized “scale-up” firms, outlining what prevents them from growing into big companies in Canada and ensuring they’re central to policy discussions.“Scale-ups do not see their interests reflected in the federal innovation agenda,” said a document summarizing the opinions of executives at 48 of these firms during interviews last summer. The research is a collaboration between industry and the University of Toronto.The research is partly funded by Toronto-based tech company Delvinia. Adam Froman, the firm’s founder and CEO, said he’s made use of many different federal programs over the last 20 years — and has seen the gaps for scale-ups.The problem, he said, is that without ongoing support, made-in-Canada firms are being purchased by foreign entities, which also gobble up valuable intellectual property Ottawa helped pay for.“We’re exiting too early and the government doesn’t recognize it,” Froman said.Ottawa, he said, remains focused on helping firms with annual revenues under $10 million a year, when it should continue its supports for the “most-at-risk companies” bringing in between $10 million and $100 million per year.“If we can actually help more companies become $50-million companies, $100-million companies and stay in Canada, this will have a material impact on the future of Canada’s economic prosperity,” he said.Froman added that scale-ups are looking for continued support beyond financial help and “handouts.” For instance, he said the government could do a better job promoting “Canada House” as a space where Canadian firms can host events in the United Kingdom and ensuring federal agencies are agile enough to provide advice and services for fast-growing companies like Delvinia.Since taking power in 2015, the federal Liberals have made big bets in hope of lifting Canada’s fast-growing sectors. Ottawa wants Canada to produce global-scale firms that will generate long-term growth and create lots of jobs.Among the measures, Ottawa has dedicated $950 million worth of public funding towards five tech “superclusters,” created a $100-million program to make the federal government a bigger customer of domestic firms’ innovative products and made changes designed to entice foreign, high-level talent to move to Canada.But CEOs interviewed for the survey, taken between June and September, said despite Ottawa’s efforts federal policy has mostly focused on helping smaller, start-up firms.“I think there’s a lot of frustration,” said Steven Denney, the researcher at University of Toronto’s Innovation Policy Lab behind the study. “I think a lot of the frustration stems from what I would say is a perceived lack of recognition.”For example, the summary said CEOs wanted government to give more opportunities to domestic firms when it comes to procurement.Denney said there’s a lack of data about companies in this scale-up category, which the project is also trying to properly define as way to frame policy debate. As he zeros in on a definition, Denney said these firms should have at least $10 million in revenue and between 60 and 65 employees and be considered high-growth according to OECD standards.“If we can’t define it, we can’t talk about it,” he said.The federal department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development could not immediately provide a response to questions about the findings.In a September report, an advisory group assembled by the department that included industry leaders said Canada has a strong entrepreneurial culture and startup capacity — but that it underperforms when it comes to scaling up companies.“The problem is that government programs tend to focus on entrepreneurs and small-and medium-sized enterprises,” said the economic strategy report on digital industries. The report said the government must refocus some of its programs to help high-performing scale-ups grow into global firms.Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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  • Cashhandling machines being upgraded to handle new 10 Viola Desmond bills

    first_imgTORONTO — Hundreds of thousands of cash-handling machines across the country have had to be upgraded to handle Canada’s distinctive new $10 bill, featuring a vertical portrait of Nova Scotia civil rights advocate Viola Desmond, while some others still awaiting changes are rejecting the distinctive banknotes.Ensuring vending and other machines can read the new polymer note requires a software upgrade for each device.Spencer Baxter, owner of Value Vending Services in Nova Scotia, said his 125 devices simply won’t accept the new bills. Upgrading them all, which he has yet to get a chance to do, costs about $10 each excluding driving and labour time to get to the machines at various locations.“It’s time and money,” Baxter said from Halifax. “Each time they change them, we need to upgrade.”Since their introduction in mid-November, the Bank of Canada has made 19.6 million of the new notes available to financial institutions and almost 16.9 million of those are now considered to be in circulation. By contrast, a total of 158 million $10 notes were in circulation at the end of November, the central bank said.“With about half a million cash-handling machines of various types in use across Canada, it stands to reason that they won’t all accept this note from the day it begins to circulate,” said Rebecca Spence, a spokeswoman for the Bank of Canada. “In that case, the bank’s advice is: If a $10 note featuring Viola Desmond is not accepted by a cash-handling machine, try using the previous regular circulating note instead.”Metrolinx, the Toronto area’s regional transit agency, said it knew the new bills would be an issue for its Presto and other machines used for purchasing rides on buses, subways and commuter trains.Most devices have already been reprogrammed, said Anne Marie Aikins, senior media manager with the transit agency. The upgrades, she said, are simply the cost of doing business in an increasingly automated society.“The beautiful $10 bill is vertical in its image, which has thrown off vending machines,” she said. “We have to make sure they’re all updated. It’s not a huge deal. It’s just a matter of getting to them.”The new bill, with its suite of security features, appears to have provoked less of an outcry than the introduction in 2011 of the polymer notes that replaced the old cotton-paper banknotes, or the lighter loonies and toonies produced by the mint in 2012. In those cases, some vending-machine operators complained they were ill prepared for the change and were forced to mollify unhappy customers and spend time and money fixing machines that refused to recognize the new currency.The Bank of Canada said it had been working with financial institutions and equipment manufacturers to minimize the impact of the new $10 bill on the cash-handling industry. The note, the bank said, keeps the machine-readable features of Canada’s other polymer notes and is printed on the same material.The bank also said it provided test notes in advance to equipment manufacturers to help ensure machine readiness.In addition, with the gradual roll-out, relatively few of the bills have so far made their way into public wallets and purses and then into machines. That has helped create breathing room for owners and operators to reprogram their devices.“People, like me, I got my first one and I’m keeping it,” said Aikins. “By the time (the bill) gets broadly into circulation, the fix will be in.”Chris Stegehuis, president of the Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association, said the introduction of the Viola Desmond bill appears to have gone more smoothly.“There was new software required for our bill validators, as is expected with any coinage or bill change,” Stegehuis said. “No problem with it at all.”Colin Perkel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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  • Thalidomide survivor calls on government to boost annual payment

    first_imgOTTAWA — Thalidomide survivor Fiona Sampson says a Health Canada revamp of a compensation program doesn’t boost annual payments to a level that could make the difference between independence and institutionalization.Changes to the federal program announced on Wednesday include an increase to a lump-sum payment for survivors — a boost to $250,000 from $125,000.Sampson says she welcomes that but she and a group of survivors are upset the government didn’t also increase annual payments for victims suffering long-term harms from the now-banned pregnancy drug.Health Canada currently provides annual tax-free payments to survivors ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 based on individual disability level and Sampson’s group wants that range raised to $75,000 to $150,000.Changes to the existing thalidomide support program are to take effect in the spring and will also include a boost to an emergency medical assistance fund from $500,0000 to $1 million.The announcement received praise from a separate group — the Thalidomide Survivors Taskforce — that thanked Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor for working to improve the lives of Canada’s thalidomide survivors.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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  • NewsAlert Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick retires

    first_imgOTTAWA — Michael Wernick, clerk of the Privy Council — the country’s top bureaucrat — is leaving his job, telling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an open letter that recent events show him there is no path for a “relationship of mutual trust” if the Conservatives or NDP form the next government. Former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has accused Wernick of pressuring her to head off criminal charges for SNC-Lavalin.Trudeau says he’ll be replaced at the top of the federal public service by Ian Shugart, currently the deputy minister of foreign affairs.More coming.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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  • Federal government to buy two more Arctic ships from Irving to prevent

    first_imgOTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce Wednesday that the federal government is buying two more Arctic patrol ships on top of the six it has already ordered from Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding.However, unlike the first six, which are being built for the navy at a total cost of $3.5 billion, a government source tells The Canadian Press that the seventh and eighth will be built for the Canadian Coast Guard.According to the source, who was not authorized to comment publicly, the move is intended to address the Canadian Coast Guard’s desperate need for new ships as its current fleet is extremely old, which has affected its ability to do its job.That includes everything from search-and-rescue operations and resupplying Arctic communities, to clearing ice for ferries in the St. Lawrence River and Atlantic region.The source says it’s also to address the threat of layoffs, which Irving has long warned will happen unless the government fills a gap between when the last Arctic patrol ship is finished and construction on the navy’s new $60-billion warship fleet.The government sought to address that gap in November when it ordered the sixth Arctic vessel for the navy and agreed to slow production on the fleet, at a total cost of $800 million.Half of that cost was for the ship and the other half was to stretch out the work at Irving.But federal bureaucrats and Irving both warned at that time more would need to be done as even with those measures, Irving was facing an 18-to-24-month gap — during which time it said it would need to lay off workers. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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  • Infrastructure bank gives Via 71M for work on multibilliondollar project

    first_imgOTTAWA — A federal infrastructure agency is providing $71 million to Via Rail to help it in its plan to build dedicated tracks for faster, more frequent service in Ontario and Quebec.The details unveiled today show that some of the money will fund work to make sure that Via trains can seamlessly move between any new dedicated tracks and local transit systems in Montreal and Toronto.For Montreal, that includes running Via trains along the electric-rail system under construction, known best by its French acronym R.E.M., which the Canada Infrastructure Bank is also financing.The rail company wants to build a multibillion-dollar new network of dedicated passenger-rail lines so its trains will no longer have to yield to freight trains on borrowed tracks.The infrastructure bank money will be largely used for environmental assessment, consultations with Indigenous communities, and a technical and financial review to help the government make a final funding decision.The high-frequency rail project is expected to cost $4 billion and Via Rail is exploring ways to have a private investor pick up some of the costs.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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  • Sandi Patty To Judge Water4 Foundation Photo Contest

    first_imgBeginning this week, Oklahoma based charity Water4 Foundation is inviting Facebook friends, Twitter and Instagram followers and Pinterest pinners to express their gratitude for the free flowing water they are fortunate enough to enjoy by uploading personal photos and videos which express the answer to the question, What Does Water Mean to You?For each photo submitted, a generous donor has pledged to make a contribution of $5 in the submitter’s name to Water4. Further, anyone, including a submitter, who makes a $5 donation to Water4 during the contest, which will run until midnight on December 31st, will have their $5 donation matched by the same donor.Water4 co-founders Richard and Terri Greenly and Grammy Award winning Christian singer and Water4 supporter Sandi Patty will choose the best three photo submissions. The three photo contest winners will each receive the honor of having a well dug and a pump installed and named for their families. Also, each of the winners will receive 4 hand-crafted fair trade bracelets purchased from women in Dehli, India to share with their family members.In 1901, Water4 Co-Founder Terri Greenly’s great grandmother won a dry plot of land in the lottery, instilling in the family the importance of having access to fresh water and leading them to learn how to pump their own. They went on to use their knowledge and experience in the water well industry to help address the world water crisis and in 2008, RIchard and Terri Greenly founded Water4 to endeavor to end the world water crisis. Most Americans are blessed with clean water today, but every 22 seconds around the world a child dies from preventable water-related disease.“Terri and I are thrilled to host this contest to raise awareness and support for Water4 and for the solution to the little known, worst crisis of humanity, the lack of clean drinking water to the bottom billion in the world. For the first time in history, this solution to fixing the world’s water crisis (4000+ child deaths per day) is within our grasp,” says Richard Greenly, Co-Founder of Water4.“It is an honor for me to co-host this contest with Richard and Terri Greenly and Water4 and to help bring attention to this issue which is important to every person on this planet,” adds Sandi Patty. “Water4 offers a simple and sustainable solution to the water crisis by not just getting clean water to people but by teaching them to get clean water to themselves. The holiday season gives us the chance to give back and show how grateful we are for the good fortune with which we have been graced, to do something to help those who haven’t been as lucky as we.”For more information, visit www.water4.org.last_img read more

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  • Meet Juanes And Rock A Patients World

    first_imgHere’s your chance to meet Juanes, see an incredible show and help rock a patient’s world!A global activist and philanthropic pioneer, whose dedication to giving back equals his talent, Juanes is continuing his ongoing support of Musicians on Call during the highly-anticipated US leg of his ‘LOUD & UNPLUGGED TOUR’.Click here to bid on a pair of great seats for LA, San Diego, Pharr, TX or Toronto (courtesy of Juanes), plus the chance to meet and take a photo with him before the show! Additional auctions will be launched on June 5 for Washington DC, Philadelphia, NY, Boston, Atlanta and Hollywood, FL. All proceeds from these auctions will help Musicians on Call continue to deliver live and recorded music directly to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities, in order to complement the recovery process for patients, families and caregivers.More than a decade ago, Juanes burst onto the Latin music scene by leading nominations in 2001 for his landmark debut album, ‘Fijate Bien.’ The two time Grammy and 17-time Latin Grammy winner continues to be respectfully hailed by his music peers as a leading creative talent in the genre. His latest release, ‘Juanes MTV Unplugged’ (produced by Juan Luis Guerra) debuted at #1 on the “Top Latin Albums” chart and in 18 countries and his recent book ‘Chasing The Sun’ became an instant ‘best seller,’ topping the charts throughout Latin America for weeks.Source:Musicians On Calllast_img read more

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  • Photos FHMs Sexiest Woman In The UK Says No To Fur

    first_imgDressed in a short red dress and a Santa hat, former Coronation Street star Helen Flanagan braved the December chill on Wednesday morning, when she joined a group of PETA members next to the Covent Garden Christmas tree with a sign reading, “Keep It Fur-Free Under the Xmas Tree”, to encourage consumers to leave fur off their holiday shopping lists.Helen Flanagan Says No To Fur This ChristmasCredit/Copyright: PETA UK“Fur is cruel and gruesome, and it belongs squarely in Christmas’ past”, says Flanagan, who was named FHM’s “Sexiest Woman in the UK” this year. “With all the wonderful stylish, fur-free designs available today, it’s never been easier to celebrate with Christmas gifts that are as kind as they are chic.”Helen Flanagan Goes Fur-Free This ChristmasCredit/Copyright: PETA UKlast_img read more

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  • 79 New Commitments To Action Made At Clinton Global Initiative America Meeting

    first_imgThroughout the two-day working meeting, attendees collaborated to develop dynamic approaches for solving some of the nation’s most critical challenges by sharing knowledge, building partnerships, and generating Commitments to Action — new, specific, and measurable plans for addressing significant challenges. Among the 79 new commitments announced are programs to provide low-income and subprime consumers with alternatives to predatory loans; a project to train 500 tribal members to install and maintain solar energy systems on the Navajo Nation; and a coordinated effort to improve job quality for domestic care workers by asking employers to commit to a short list of key job quality standards for their employees.

When fully funded and implemented, new 2015 CGI America commitments will ensure that: • Nearly 210,000 jobs will be created or filled. • More than 126,000 girls and women will be positively impacted by programs to improve quality of education, increase access to employment and skills development opportunities, and invest in women as stewards of community health. • More than $11.3 million of new capital will be invested in or loaned to small- and medium-sized enterprises. • More than 111,000 students will gain access to STEM education opportunities. • More than 1.2 million people will receive access to training programs, either formal or informal (includes skills development, financial literacy, capacity building, and leadership development) • More than 160,000 educators will participate in professional development programs, equipping participants with effective educational tools. • More than 120,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents will be avoided.Since its establishment in 2011, CGI America participants have made more than 500 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 2.4 million people. As a result of previously made commitments, more than 920,000 people have benefitted from professional skills training; more than 500,000 children have gained access to improved quality of education; nearly $1.2 billion of new capital has been invested or loaned to small and medium size enterprises; and nearly 4.1 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses have been avoided.

In the Closing Session, President Clinton thanked Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver for hosting CGI America in Denver for the last two years, before welcoming Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta to announce that the Clinton Global Initiative will hold its sixth annual CGI America meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, in June 2016. Commitments to Action already underway in the state tackle critical challenges in infrastructure, education, workforce development, and more. Looking forward, 2016 CGI America attendees coming together in Atlanta will continue to join together to positively impact people’s lives in communities across the nation.To read all 79 commitments, click here. Earlier this week, President Bill Clinton concluded the fifth annual Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting, which convened nearly 1,000 leaders from business, foundation, NGO, and government sectors to advance solutions that encourage economic growth, support long-term competitiveness, and increase social mobility in the United States.Attendees made 79 new Commitments to Action that, when fully funded and implemented, will positively impact the lives of more than 1.6 million people in the United States.

”These past two days have reinforced for me, more than ever, that when you strip away all the little things that divide us, you can see just how tied together we all are,” said President Clinton. “And, most importantly, you have done so with a bias for action and a relentless focus on the future. Because of your efforts, more than 1.6 million people will be better off.”last_img read more

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  • Vincent Piazza To Host NAMI Seeds of Hope Gala

    first_imgThe 2015 NAMI Seeds of Hope Gala Awards Celebration will take place on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at the Metropolitan Building in Chelsea. The event is presented by the National Alliance on Mental Illness NYC-Metro and will be hosted by Vincent Piazza of “Boardwalk Empire.” During this event, hundreds of people come together to support and bring awareness to the everyday struggles that people go through with mental illness.The gala raises funds to support funding for the #IWillListen campaign and NAMI-NYC Metro¹s three psychoeducation courses, more than twenty support groups, and public education events that help thousands of New York City residents each year.The awards celebration will honor first lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray for her outstanding leadership and commitment to ensuring that mental health is treated with the same importance as physical health. Director of Healthy Minds at American Express, Charles Lattarulo is being honored for his leadership in promoting mental health to American Express employees and their families through the #IWillListen global initiative for American Express employees.Also being honored at the gala is David Spanier, Esq., The Adele Anshien Volunteer of the Year and General Counsel at the Dextra Baldwin Mcgonagle Foundation for his years of service as a board member, providing legal guidance to NAMI-NYC Metro and as a Family-to-Family teacher.Lastly, Wide Receiver of the New York Jets, Brandon Marshall is being honored for his work to spread awareness and understanding about mental illness and commitment to reduce stigma and lead others by encouraging them to seek care.Since its inception in 1979, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has established itself as the most formidable grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the country, with NAMI-NYC Metro being the largest affiliate. Their annual fundraising events provide NAMI-NYC Metro with opportunities to increase awareness of mental illness and raise the financial resources necessary to sustain and expand their programs and services. These services are provided free-of-charge and supported by trained family members and staff to educate people about mental illness and provide the advocacy tools they need.For more information on the #IWillListen campaign please visit:http://www.naminycmetro.org/last_img read more

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  • Elton Johns Message On World AIDS Day 2015

    first_imgIn support of Media Planet’s #InfectiousDiseases Campaign 2015, Sir Elton John has written a powerful piece which explains why we need to focus on ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.“This World Aids Day, there’s a target and a prediction we should all focus on: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 or facing a return to the darkest days of the disease,” he wrote on World AIDS Day 2015 in The Independent. “I have been part of the fight to end AIDS for 25 years. In that time there have been so many predictions, deadlines and targets. Some have been wrong: AIDS did not become a universal killer as was once feared but it did tear through the heterosexual community in Africa, which still accounts for the majority of AIDS deaths worldwide. The global response didn’t manage to put three million people on HIV treatment by 2005 as WHO challenged us to, but that target accelerated progress and today ten million people around the world have been saved by antiretroviral medication.“This World Aids Day, there’s a target and a prediction we should all focus on: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 or facing a return to the darkest days of the disease. At the United Nations General Assembly this year, world leaders committed themselves to the 2030 target. Why? The medicines we now have, as multiple clinical trials prove, are cheap and effective enough to return patients to normal life expectancy and reduce their infectiousness to others by up to 96 per cent. Add to this pre-exposure prophylaxis, male circumcision, prevention of mother to child transmission, paediatric care and support, and we have the arsenal to reduce AIDS from the headline of infectious diseases to a footnote.“If we don’t deploy the arsenal now, we risk a mutation of the HIV virus and the long, hugely costly road to new medical formulations. At the same time, a global population bulge amongst youth who, with or without their consent, are becoming sexually active means the next generation is at risk. Indeed AIDS is the second largest killer of adolescents in the world.“And finally, and always, there is stigma.“Compounded more recently by homophobic laws in many countries, the spectre of shame that hangs over HIV and how it’s transmitted is still enough to keep the most vulnerable – LGBT, drug users, sex workers, people in prison – cowering in the shadows.“The Elton John AIDS Foundation will do everything we can to help reach the 2030 target. This year, we launched a new $10m fund in partnership with the US government’s PEPFAR programme which will support thousands in LGBT communities across Africa with HIV testing and treatment. We’ve also established an initiative called Young Survivors to link all adolescents living with HIV to medical care in five major cities.“I am heartened by the amazing work of so many agencies and institutions around the world, some featured in these pages, and the governments, grant makers and individuals that support them to defeat AIDS. I’m truly hopeful that 2030 is a target we can achieve. I’d give anything to be an old man in an AIDS-free world!“Please help us change the course of history by joining the fight.”To donate, click here.last_img read more

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