Kathy Griffin To Host TrevorLIVE

first_imgLong time LGBTQ ally and activist, multi-Grammy Award-nominated, two-time Emmy Award-winning comedian and #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Griffin will host TrevorLIVE in Los Angeles on December 8th at the Hollywood Palladium, presented by Audi of America and Wells Fargo.Additionally, The Trevor Project will honor Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Lynch with the Trevor Hero Award for her support and advocacy for LGBT equality.Multi-hyphenated filmmaker Adam Shankman (Rock of Ages, Hairspray) will produce the show with special guests to be announced.“We are deeply honored to announce Jane Lynch as our Trevor Hero Award honoree. Through her career and personal endeavors, Jane has emerged to be an unabashed proponent of equality for LGBTQ people, using her influence to pave the way for the futures of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth,” said Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project. “Additionally, Kathy has been an ardent ally of The Trevor Project, and we are elated that she is bringing her comedic talents to TrevorLIVE Los Angeles as this year’s host.”The high-profile evening of music, comedy and entertainment celebrates 15 years of The Trevor Project’s life-saving, life-affirming work to prevent suicide among LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) youth. As previously announced the event will include the presentation of the Trevor Youth Innovator Award to Adam White, a senior at Brigham Young University, and the Trevor 20/20 Visionary Award to Toyota. The Chair for the event is Ken Campbell. Tickets to TrevorLIVE LA may be purchased here.“I am so excited to be hosting TrevorLIVE Los Angeles and proud to be a part of this invaluable cause,” said Griffin. “The Trevor Project brings hopefulness to those in need and year after year, there are still more lives that need saving. The work that the Trevor Project does for our youth is powerful!”Said Trevor Hero honoree Jane Lynch, “I’m proud to stand up for a cause I believe in and am deeply honored to receive the Trevor Hero Award. With the major strides, like the impending passage of ENDA, and the outpouring of LGBTQ characters in the media, it can be easy to forget that despite all this progress, challenges remain. The Trevor Project continues to provide essential support to those who need it most.”Lynch can currently be seen in the Ryan Murphy television series Glee on FOX as Sue Sylvester. Some of her other recent television credits include the STARZ series Party Down, Lovespring, a Lifetime original series, Desperate Housewives and Weeds as well as the last season of The L Word opposite Cybill Shepherd. She has recurring roles on Two and a Half Men, Criminal Minds and The New Adventures of Old Christine. She most recently starred in the Broadway production of Annie as Miss Hannigan in a limited run and can also be seen hosting NBC’s recent game show hit, Hollywood Game Night, produced by Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner. Her recent film credits include A.C.O.D, Three Stooges, Wreck-It Ralph, Julie & Julia, Shrek Forever After, The Post Grad Survival Guide, Paul and Brownie Masters. Past film work includes Christopher Guest’s For Your Consideration, A Mighty Wind and Best in Show, as well as Role Models, The Rocker, Spring Breakdown, the animated film Space Chimps, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Walk Hard, Talladega Nights, The 40 Year old Virgin, Margaret Cho’s Celeste and Bam Bam, Alan Cumming’s Suffering Man’s Charity, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sleepover, and Surviving Eden.Griffin most recently set a new Guinness World Records title for the “Most Stand-Up Specials by a Comedian” and received Harvard Undergraduates Honoring Veteran’ Distinguished Service Partner Award for her work with military veterans. Griffin moved from her native Chicago and joined the famed Los Angeles Groundlings Theatre where she was a student and later a teacher. She built up her resume with guest spots on ER, X-files and Seinfeld. Griffin went on to co-star alongside Brooke Shields in Suddenly Susan on NBC. In 2005, she starred in her ground-breaking show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List, for which she won 2 and was nominated for 8 Emmys. Her stand up specials Kathy Griffin: Straight to Hell”; Kathy Griffin: She’ll Cut a Bitch; Kathy Griffin: Tired Hooker; were nominated for an Emmy in the category Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special. Her memoir “Official Book Club Selection” was # 1 on the New York Times best seller list. Griffin’s comedy albums “For Your Consideration”(2008); “Kathy Griffin’s Sucking it for the Holiday’s” (2009); “Kathy Griffin does the Bible Belt” (2010); “Kathy Griffin: 50 and Not Pregnant”(2011); and “Kathy Griffin: Seaman 1st Class” (2012) have all been nominated for Grammy’s. She received rave reviews on Broadway for her show “Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony”. She is the recipient of The Trevor Project’s Trevor Life Award, the GLAAD Vanguard Award, and the Ally for Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign.Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ young people ages 13-24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its accredited, free and confidential phone, instant message and text messaging crisis intervention services. A leader and innovator in suicide prevention, The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ youth, best practice suicide prevention educational trainings, resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives. Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.Source:PRWeb.comlast_img read more

David Furnish Leave No One Behind In The Fight Against AIDS

first_imgDavid Furnish has written an article in the Independent, urging the world to leave no one behind in the fight against AIDS.People who Inject Drugs are one of the key populations that have the highest prevalence of HIV and whose access to HIV services is severely limited. Below is an extract from the article and information about one of our projects funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation.“For the last few decades, those of us in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS have rallied around two powerful words: Ending AIDS.“And while we are closer to that goal than we have ever been, another set of words threaten to undermine so much of our progress: Left Behind.“In most communities, People who Inject Drugs still don’t have access to clean syringes, opioid substitution treatment, or naloxone to prevent overdose and the spread of infections. Moreover, many People who Inject Drugs are still denied access to basic health services, non-judgmental primary care, mental health and drug treatment services, and the support they need to maintain stable and healthy lives.“How can it be that over the past 15 years science has delivered approximately 14m antiretrovirals to people living with HIV, but still managed to exclude 96 percent of People who Inject Drugs?”To read the full article, click here.Source:Elton John AIDS Foundationlast_img read more

The top 10 dance shows that moved Toronto in 2016

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter If I can draw any conclusions from Toronto’s year in dance, I’d say that inventive work on secondary stages delivered more than any large-scale, expensive hedging of bets. But there were heartening surprises. You’ll find the newest and oldest works in the National Ballet’s repertoire among my top 10, both beautiful revelations for me. Then Matthew Jocelyn has remained committed to programming serious and ambitious dance at Canadian Stage. And Mark Hammond keeps giving us first-rate international offerings at the Sony Centre – not least of which has been the hugely successful (and affordable: $15 a seat) Fall for Dance North festival.When anyone tries to tell me there’s no audience for contemporary mixed programs, I relate the time I heard a sold-out Sony Centre (3,000 people) holler and cheer for new choreography like they were swigging beer at the ball game – three nights in a row. The problem with contemporary programming isn’t the lack of an audience; it’s the price of the tickets.It goes without saying that Toronto has a world-class ballet company and an excellent, nearly 50-year-old modern-dance company (Toronto Dance Theatre). But, with the exception of ProArteDanza and Coleman Lemieux & Company, there’s nothing Toronto-made on my list this year that falls on the spectrum in between. I think this is the upshot of a stubbornness from both camps: a ballet company determined to please its audience and a contemporary-dance community determined to please itself – and then zero collaboration between them. Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook The classical/contemporary rift in this city has us looking increasingly parochial, and not just from the distance of dance meccas such as New York, Tel Aviv and Brussels, but from Vancouver and Montreal. So one wish for 2017: more collaboration in Toronto.1. A Picture of You Falling – Crystal Pite, Fall for Dance North, the Sony CentreBritish Columbia-born Pite topped my list last year with her staggering Betroffenheit. This year, Toronto audiences finally got to see her Olivier Award-winning duet about the end of a relationship. Pite’s ability to conjure despair is like sorcery to me, as is the way her movement seems to extend so far beyond the dramatic moment it exists in. When dancer Anne Plamondon spins away from her lover (Peter Chu), it’s as though we can see the effects of that turn rippling through time.2. The Dreamers Ever Leave You – Robert Binet, the National Ballet/Art Gallery of OntarioBinet is innovating from inside a classical lexicon and has an architectural instinct for lines and lifts. I think that’s partially what made his immersive work at the AGO, set to the mellifluous piano of Lubomyr Melnyk, so special. Dreamers had all the pure, mute, spiritual power of high classicism, but then reimagined with a contemporary interest in fluctuation and proximity. I listened to a woman beside me grab her date and exclaim: “This is SO beautiful.” I couldn’t have agreed more. There was a sense of forbidden pleasure in getting that close to such sublimity.last_img read more

Tatiana Maslany Eugene and Dan Levy among presenters at Canadian Screen Awards

first_imgAdvertisement Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, Schitt’s Creek leads Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Daniel Levy, and Sons of Anarchy alumnus Kim Coates will be among the presenters at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards.Staged in Toronto on March 12, the awards honour the best in Canadian TV, film and digital media.This year’s host will be comedian and America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel. Facebook Login/Register With: Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Other presenters are set to include:Oscar-nominated director Atom Egoyan.CBC satirist Rick Mercer.Big Brother Canada host Arisa Cox.Kim’s Convenience co-stars Jean Yoon and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee.Comedian Sean Cullen.Actors Wendy Crewson, Catherine Reitman and Stephan James.Toronto singer Francesco Yates is lined up for a musical performance. The show will air on CBC-TV. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

FEMALE CREATORS THAT MADE GREAT CANADIAN TV IN 2017

first_imgAdvertisement Credits: Cameron is executive producer and showrunner of Mary Kills People. Armstrong is creator and co-executive producer of Mary Kills People.2017 Contributions to Canadian TV: Veteran Cameron joined newcomer Armstrong to deliver Global’s original drama series which also aired on Lifetime in the U.S. While boasting an impressive list of women working behind the scenes, on screen the series followed Dr. Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas), a single mother and ER doc by day, who works as an underground angel of death — helping terminally ill patients end things on their own terms. The drama posed smart questions about end of life choices, while also weaving in a compelling mystery into the story..CATHERINE REITMANCredits: Creator, executive producer, director and star of CBC’s Workin’ Moms.2017 Contributions to Canadian TV: A compelling portrait of the good and bad side to parenthood, and what it’s really like trying to juggle children and a career. The comedy was an emotional reminder how we’re often our own worst critics, and that we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves all the time. Reitman also used her series as a vehicle to explore issues often considered taboo such as postpartum depression and abortion.READ MORE One of the best things to come out of Peak TV is that because more shows are being made, viewers are getting to hear the voices and stories of so many different creators. It can certainly be overwhelming at times, but if you know how to pick and choose you’ll be able to find something that speaks directly to you. More stories from a more diverse pool of voices is certainly something to celebrate, and if you’ve followed us here at The TV Junkies, then you know we especially love celebrating women in the television industry.At the end of last year, we saw an article celebrating the female creators of TV and immediately thought of all the awesome women creating stories for Canadian television. The Canadian TV industry as a whole is not nearly as large as its U.S. counterpart, but nonetheless, there’s an amazing amount of women getting it done and making series we love to watch. Since the end of the year is a time to reflect back, we thought now would be the perfect time to shine a light on these very talented women..TASSIE CAMERON / TARA ARMSTRONGCameron is executive producer and showrunner of Mary Kills People. Armstrong is creator and co-executive producer of Mary Kills People. – Global Twitter Advertisement Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With:last_img read more

ARTIST WANTS ANSWERS AFTER WORK SHIPPED BY CANADA POST DESTROYED

first_imgWood artist Yanick Richard says he has received no answers from Canada Post after his client’s art was destroyed in the box. (CBC/Sam Martin) Yanick Richard ships hundreds of boxes containing his birch art every year, and knows there’s a chance the delicate pieces could be damaged along the way.To minimize that risk, the Edmonton artist painstakingly ships his custom wooden wall art — made of twigs and branches carefully nailed into a pine frame — in bubble wrap, layers of cardboard, tape and dozens of orange “fragile” stickers.Throughout years of shipping through Canada Post, he has had the odd piece that arrived at its destination with scratches or minor damage. Advertisement Facebook Twitter Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: Advertisement But an art piece sent to a client in Kelowna on Oct. 20 arrived three weeks late on Nov. 21, looking like it had been run over and hastily repackaged. The wood frame inside was broken and birch branches were strewn throughout the box. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

KEANU REEVES SHINES AS CANADIAN ACTION FIGURE IN TOY STORY 4 TRAILER

first_img Twitter The Canadian actor is traditionally known for his serious, stoic roles, like Neo in “The Matrix” trilogy and John Wick in the eponymous film series. But in the latest “Toy Story” film, he appears to be taking on a significantly goofier character.The 30-second TV spot features him as a bumbling, fictional action toy version of Duke Caboom the “most spectacular daredevil Canada has ever seen.”In the snippet, the character deals with the trappings of ‘70s and ‘80s action toys by failing to live up to expectations of the toy commercials.There are only a few weeks to go until the fourth installment in Pixar’s “Toy Story” franchise hits theaters on June 21.Jeremiah Rodriguez ~ CTVNews.ca Staff Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Advertisement The newest ‘Toy Story 4’ features a bumbling, fictional Canadian stuntman toy called Duke Caboom voiced by action star Keanu Reeves. (Disney/YouTube) Facebook Canada is getting a shout out in the newest “Toy Story 4” TV trailer.The newest Pixar-Disney film features a fictional Canadian stuntman toy voiced by action star, Keanu Reeves.last_img read more

Conservative MPs back Sisters in Spirit database funding

first_imgBy Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA-Some Conservative MPs on Thursday called for the return of federal dollars to the much-vaunted Sisters in Spirit database of murdered and missing Aboriginal women which remains in limbo after the Conservative government cut its funding.After listening to the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) tell the Commons status of women committee that the database now was dormant, the Conservative MPs said federal funding should be found to keep it going.The database, which has nearly 600 cases of murdered and missing Aboriginal women, was one of the jewels of NWAC’s Sisters in Spirit initiative which thrust the violence experience by Aboriginal women in Canada into the national and international spotlight.“Personally I think it should be kept going,” said Surrey North Conservative MP Dona Cadman, in an interview with APTN National News.“You put that much money and time and effort into something like that it is a crime to just let it fall apart and do nothing with it.”Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley Conservative MP Scott Armstrong said NWAC should find a way to get funding from other departments.“I do believe there is some attributes to that database that should be supported,” said Armstrong, in an interview.“I am certainly in favour of the database, the database should be there,” said Fleetwood-Port Kells Conservative MP Nina Grewal.NWAC president Jeannette Corbiere Lavell told the committee that some women were volunteering to continue to keep Sisters in Spirit alive, but they had been unable to update the database.Corbiere Lavell said her organization was aware of 20 new cases of murders and 10 cases of missing Aboriginal women they had not been able to input. She also said there were a number of historical, unsolved cases from B.C. that the organization wanted to investigate, but couldn’t.Sisters in Spirit, which was created by the pervious Liberal government and given $5 million over five years, raised the profile of the violence faced by Aboriginal women in Canada by documenting and detailing cases of murdered and missing women.The database has also attracted the attention of police forces like the Ontario Provincial Police who sought to use of the information in their investigations. Corbier Lavell said the OPP had document only two Aboriginal murdered and missing women cases when the Sisters in Spirit database had recorded 70.The Conservative cabinet, however, decided not to renew funding and NWAC was forced to apply for money under a Status of Women Canada program that forbade the use of government dollars for research and advocacy work.Status of Women officials also informed NWAC it could not use the name Sisters in Spirit for any projects receiving additional government funding.The Conservatives then announced they would be putting $10 million toward the issue of murdered and missing Aboriginal women, but $4 million of the total would go to the RCMP to set up the national missing person’s branch which has no specific Aboriginal component.The RCMP is currently in discussions with NWAC to use some of the information in the database, according to Corbier Lavell.The rest of the money was set aside for community-based programs and victim’s services.The government, however, is expected to give NWAC about $1.8 million over the next three years for their “Evidence to Action” program to deal with violence against Aboriginal women.last_img read more

MPs to debate Liberal Indian Act motion calling for 2 year engagement

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–Federal MPs are set to debate a Liberal party motion Monday calling on the House of Commons to initiate a two year process to explore replacement of the Indian Act with new, nation-to-nation agreements between Canada and First Nations based on the inherent and treaty rights of First Nations.The debate on the motion, introduced by interim Liberal leader Bob Rae, comes on the heels of Thursday’s debate on a Conservative MP’s private members bill to repeal and replace sections of the Indian Act which has the full backing of the Harper government.Rae’s motion, however, proposes a different process for dealing with the Indian Act. The motion calls on the government to initiate direct engagement with First Nations within three months of the motions passing. The engagement would be “on a nation-to-nation basis,” says the motion.“The Indian Act is the embodiment of failed colonial and paternalistic policies which have denied First Nations their rights, fair share in resources; fostered mistrust and created systemic barriers to the self determination and success of First Nations,” says the motion.The motion calls for a new agreement to replace the Indian Act based on “the constitutional, treaty and inherent rights of all First Nations” and “the historical and fiduciary responsibilities of the Crown to First Nations.” The motion says the new agreement would also follow the standards of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “including the principle of free, prior and informed consent.”The motion sets a two year process that would produce “a series of concrete deliverables for the government to act upon.”The Conservative government, however, unveiled its plan Thursday to unravel and eventually replace the Indian Act beginning with Saskatchewan MP Rob Clarke’s private members bill.The proposed Bill C-428, the Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act, tabled by Clarke, a former RCMP officer and Muskeg Lake First Nation member, would strike down several sections of the Indian Act including those dealing with residential schools, wills and estates and band bylaws.The Conservative’s “path” to eventually replace the Indian Act was revealed in Clarke’s speech delivered during first debate on the bill Thursday evening. The path was dubbed by the acronym “ARRC,” which stands for amend, repeal, replace and consult.last_img read more

Grinding poverty faced by Manitoba First Nations worst in country Aboriginal Affairs

first_imgChinta Puxley The Canadian Press WINNIPEG–Federal government documents show Manitoba is one of the worst places for First Nations people to live in Canada.Internal reports from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development show Manitoba First Nation people are more likely to grow up in poverty, drop out of school, live off social assistance in dilapidated housing and suffer family violence.Their life expectancy is also eight years shorter than that of other Manitobans.The 10 regional updates spanning 2012 to 2014 lay out the poor living conditions on Manitoba reserves, but offer little concrete action on the part of the government.They were obtained by The Canadian Press through access-to-information legislation.“Based on the UN Human Development Index, quality of life on Manitoba First Nations ranks the lowest in Canada,” said an update dated July 2014.Another update dated from September 2013 notes that 25 per cent of First Nation children live in poverty across Canada. In Manitoba, it said, 62 per cent of aboriginal children live below the poverty line.The 2014 report also noted that, at 28 per cent, the province has the lowest high-school graduation rate for First Nations in the country.Manitoba First Nations also have the highest social assistance rates in Canada, the documents show. In some communities, 80 per cent of the population is on welfare. Just under two per cent of the population has come off social assistance and moved on to education or employment.“High levels of poverty, unemployment, domestic violence and family dysfunction are prominent adverse social conditions faced by many members of First Nations, particularly those living in remote or isolated communities,” reads the September 2013 update. “Significant gaps between the on-reserve population and the Canadian population in general continue to exist.”The 2014 report said there is less money for reserve infrastructure, because the federal government has shifted resources to education and social programs. Almost one-third of Manitoba First Nations live in reserve homes “in need of major repair” the second-highest percentage in the country.“The housing backlog, overcrowding issues, mould and inadequate condition of many of the on-reserve housing units remains a significant First Nation concern,” the update said. “Key challenges continue to include affordability, low income and high social assistance rates.”The health of Manitoba First Nations is also suffering, the documents suggest. Residents have a “higher mortality, higher incidence and prevalence of chronic diabetes,” notes the 2013 update. First Nations also experience higher family violence and suicide rates, as well as higher rates of alcohol, drug and solvent abuse, it said.“First Nations in Manitoba live eight years less than other Manitobans (the second-lowest life expectancy amongst provinces),” the update said. “First Nations in the Prairies continue to have the lowest community well-being scores, as well as the largest gaps relative to non-aboriginal communities.”None of this comes as a surprise to Chief David McDougall from the remote St. Theresa Point First Nation in northern Manitoba.McDougall listens in amazement to radio ads appealing for help for African children who are living in dilapidated homes with no running water. He shakes his head reading Canadian studies on the psychological effect of the lack of adequate housing on refugee children in the Middle East.“How come they don’t come and study the situation as is in First Nations? I know the answer to that,” he said. “They’re turning a blind eye.”The government’s regional updates estimate McDougall’s community needed 379 new homes in 2010 and project that will grow to 949 by 2020. It’s not uncommon to have up to 18 people sharing a three-bedroom bungalow on the reserve, McDougall said.The government response, flagged as “behind plan” in several updates, was to direct a steering committee to create a “sub-committee to address housing backlog.” In the meantime, McDougall said, his community and three other area reserves with a combined need for just over 1,000 homes got 12 new houses this year.“I wouldn’t even call it a drop in the bucket.”Despair grows among First Nation youth on the fly-in reserve as they see luxuries on satellite television they can only dream of, McDougall said. No one is expecting a blank cheque, he added, just some sign of interest on the part of Ottawa to work with reserves to improve the situation.“We’re trying to contribute to our own well-being. We’re not just sitting here twiddling our thumbs. They’re not really working with us.”A spokeswoman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said he was unavailable to discuss the updates or what the federal government is doing to improve living conditions for Manitoba’s reserve aboriginals. Emily Hillstrom sent an emailed statement that didn’t address the poor living conditions.“Our government believes that aboriginal peoples should have the same quality of life, the same opportunities and the same choices as all other Canadians,” she wrote before outlining legislation the government has passed such as a law that requires reserves to post their financial statements online.Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, head of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said the Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have set the clock back 30 years on aboriginal relations. The government refuses to work with First Nations to address chronic lack of safe drinking water, proper housing and basic infrastructure, he said.There are solutions out there, but First Nations can’t even get federal authorities to the table, Nepinak said.“We’ve seen indifference. We’ve seen omission. We’ve seen wilful blindness to the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls from our communities,” he said. “We’re really looking for a new government to help address some of these very significant outstanding issues.”Grand Chief David Harper, head of the organization that represents northern Manitoba First Nations, said the internal reports echo what his people have been saying for years. It feels like they are either being punished or wilfully neglected by the Conservative government, he said.“We need drastic measures. We need a plan of action of when and how we’re going to get out of this situation we’re in. We haven’t heard that at all. Period.”last_img read more

Conflictofinterest screens working well Trudeau cabinet ministers say

first_imgOTTAWA – Several members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet are singing the praises of conflict-of-interest screens they have been using to avoid controversy — and that members of the previous Conservative government used as well.The screens, along with the use of numbered holding companies to separate ministers from their assets, have been pulled into an intense public debate in recent weeks amid allegations of conflict of interest that have stalked Finance Minister Bill Morneau.Morneau set up one of the screens after entering office in 2015 on a recommendation from the federal ethics commissioner, who told him a blind trust wouldn’t be necessary since his shares in his family’s firm were indirectly held through private companies, and therefore not subject to the Conflict of Interest Act.And he’s not the only one: Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould had a similar arrangement with assets until they were divested in April 2016.Political opponents have been attacking Morneau for choosing a screen rather than a blind trust. For his part, Morneau has maintained that has not been in a conflict of interest. And Morneau’s parliamentary secretary, Joel Lightbound, went on the offensive on his behalf Monday during question period.“What the finance minister has always done and will continue to do, so that he can deliver for Canadians, is to work with the ethics commissioner to make sure that all rules are followed, to follow recommendations,” Lightbound said in response to a question from Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre.Former Tory finance minister Joe Oliver was the sole owner of a corporation that held publicly traded securities, Lightbound noted. And former Conservative cabinet ministers Lisa Raitt and Denis Lebel both made use of conflict-of-interest screens, he added.“What I see is a bit of hypocrisy and a lot of amnesia,” Lightbound said.“At the same time, I can understand why those members are trying to forget their decade in power. Millions of Canadians are trying to forget.”Ethics commissioner Mary Dawson’s office said Monday that fewer than five cabinet ministers currently hold controlled assets indirectly. But it would not share the names nor provide a more-precise number.A government source said later Monday that only two current ministers had a history of controlled assets in a private corporation without setting up a blind trust: Morneau and Wilson-Raybould.Morneau is in the process of divesting and Wilson-Raybould has already divested.Dawson’s office also said some cabinet ministers in the previous Conservative administration — but fewer than five — held controlled assets indirectly.In a series of tweets Monday, Oliver said after his appointment to cabinet he disclosed all his assets, sold all his publicly traded shares and had all decisions on his fund portfolios made by third-party managers.A few of Morneau’s cabinet colleagues also have screens, but for different reasons.Wilson-Raybould and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi are using conflict-of-interest screens to prevent them from participating in matters or decisions related to company holdings involving their spouses.Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc also has a screen to ensure he abstains from participating in decisions related to J.D. Irving Ltd. because of his close friendship with the Irving family.LeBlanc said Monday that Dawson recommended he set up an ethics screen for any cabinet or privy council documents that have anything to do with J.D. Irving Ltd., or its affiliates and subsidiaries.“Under the rules, you shouldn’t be using … your public office to benefit a friend,” LeBlanc said. “From my perspective it’s working very well.”LeBlanc’s screen, in place since early 2016, means he wouldn’t have been privy to cabinet information about shipbuilding contracts or even the Energy East pipeline, both of which have connections to Irving.Sohi said Monday that he has a screen in place to prevent him from participating in decisions that could benefit his wife’s holdings in a company that’s also a partial owner of farmland in Alberta.He argues the screen, which is overseen by his chief of staff, has already proven to be an effective tool.Sohi said because of the screen he’s been him removed from the approval process for an infrastructure project that was proposed by the province. It would be in close proximity to the farmland.“My chief of staff has made sure that I do not participate in any shape or form in the approval of that particular project,” Sohi said.“It will be done by a different minister and it would have to go the Treasury Board to make sure there’s no conflict whatsoever.”Wilson-Raybould’s profile on the ethics commissioner’s website states that she must abstain from decisions or matters related to self-government talks with First Nations and Indigenous communities with the consulting company, KaLoNa Group, in which she holds a significant interest. Her spouse is also the president and controlling interest holder of the firm.The added public scrutiny on the conflict-of-interest issue has been driven by allegations related to pension legislation Morneau introduced in the House of Commons.Opponents allege the pension reform could benefit Morneau Shepell, a human resources and pension management firm he helped build with his father before entering office. Morneau maintains he was never in a conflict of interest.In response to accusations that he’s personally profited from decisions he’s taken as finance minister, Morneau has promised to sell off $21 million worth of shares in his family’s company and place the rest his substantial assets in a blind trust.Morneau has also promised to donate to charity any gains in the value of his Morneau Shepell shares since he was elected two years ago. The gains are estimated to be worth more than $5 million.Dawson recommended the screen for Morneau to prevent any appearance of a conflict of interest and maintain the public’s confidence.The issue of indirect holdings in a company have been at the centre of the debate around Morneau.Dawson urged the previous Conservative government in 2013 to amend the law to require blind trusts for personal assets owned by ministers, regardless of whether they were directly or indirectly owned — a change that was never made.last_img read more

Canadians swindled out of 17M via cryptocurrency scams this year to date

first_imgTORONTO – Canadians have been swindled out of than $1.7 million via scams involving cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin so far this year — more than double the amount during all of 2016.The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says that’s more than five times the amount people lost to these types of scams in 2015, which was roughly $284,000.As bitcoin becomes more popular with investors, sending the price above US$17,000 mark last week, criminals appear to be increasingly turning to cryptocurrencies to extort payment from their victims as well.These new figures come after police in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario warned in recent months to beware of scams involving demands for a transfer of funds using bitcoin.RCMP in Langley, B.C., last month said a woman received a call from what she believed was her husband’s cellphone and someone posing as a police officer, asking for bail to secure her spouse’s release.Police said the woman followed the caller’s instructions and paid them $5,000 in bitcoin, before receiving a call from her husband who was sitting at home and never arrested in the first place.last_img read more

January home sales in Greater Toronto Area down 22 per cent from

first_imgTORONTO – The number of homes sold in the Toronto region in January was down 22 per cent compared with a year ago, when the area was experiencing a short-term spike in prices that prompted the Ontario government to cool the market last spring.The Toronto Real Estate Board says Greater Toronto Area realtors reported 4,019 home sales for January through the Multiple Listings Service, compared with a record 5,155 sold a year ago.Last month’s average selling price was also down, falling by 4.1 per cent to $736,783 from $768,351 a year ago.“It is not surprising that home prices in some market segments were flat to down in January compared to last year. At this time last year, we were in the midst of a housing price spike driven by exceptionally low inventory in the marketplace,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis.On a month-to-month basis, the number of GTA home sales was down 18 per cent from 4,904 in December but the average price improved somewhat from $735,088 in December — which was the second-lowest month in 2017.The number of new listings last month increased to 8,585, up 17.4 per cent from January 2017 but still the second-lowest in a decade for the month of January.The real estate board said Tuesday that it expects several measures taken at the provincial and federal level will have a smaller impact on the market as the year progresses.The Ontario government introduced a set of measures in April of last year aimed at cooling the market. Separately, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions introduced a new financial stress test for buyers that federally regulated lenders must apply as of Jan. 1.The real estate board’s 2018 outlook, released Jan. 30, anticipates the pace of sales will pick up in coming months — a message that was repeated Tuesday with the January report.“It is likely that market conditions will support a return to positive price growth for many home types in the second half of 2018,” Mercer said.“The condominium apartment segment will be the driver of this price growth.”In January, the number of condos sold in the region were down 21.9 per cent from last year but the average price for this housing category was up 14.6 per cent to $507,492.Meanwhile, sales volume and prices for townhouses, semi-detached and fully detached houses were all down.The biggest decline was in the average price of fully detached houses in the surrounding 905 area code, where the average price dropped by 12.0 per cent to $879,048. In the 416 area code, the average fell 3.9 per cent to $1,283,981.last_img read more

Quebec court OKs lawsuit alleging link between talc powder and cancer

first_imgMONTREAL – A class action lawsuit against two pharmaceutical giants that alleges the regular use of talc powder is linked to a higher risk of ovarian cancer has been authorized to proceed in Quebec.According to court documents released Wednesday, the lawsuit is being filed on behalf of Quebecers who have used Johnson & Johnson baby powder or Valeant’s product entitled Shower to Shower in their genital area and were later diagnosed with ovarian cancer.The lead plaintiff is a Quebec woman who says she developed cancer in 2012 after having used talc-based products from 1962 until 2013.Rosemary Kramar alleges in court documents that use of the powder “probably led to her developing ovarian cancer” and says she would not have used the products had she known a possible risk existed.A lawyer for the firm representing the plaintiffs told The Canadian Press that studies going back decades show the link between the repeated use of talc products and an increased cancer risk.Tony Merchant said the company knew women were using their products for personal hygiene reasons and should have either issued “explicit warnings” or removed them from the market.“The issue becomes whether it should be on the market at all, because when they know of the problems they should be considering removal from the market,” he said in a phone interview.None of the allegations in the lawsuit have been proven in court.A lawyer for Johnson & Johnson did not wish to comment on the Quebec class action, but the company has argued there is no proof its products cause health problems.According to the court documents, the defence has disputed the validity of the studies presented by Kramar and has also claimed she had several health conditions that put her at risk of developing cancer.It is not clear whether the two companies will appeal the decision by Quebec Superior Court Justice Andre Prevost.The lawsuit is the latest in a string of legal action against Johnson & Johnson that alleges it failed to warn women about the dangers of its signature baby powder products.Last year, a California judge overturned a jury’s record-breaking US$417-million verdict against Johnson & Johnson and granted the company’s request for a new trial.Merchant’s firm has also filed a second class action request on behalf of women in other Canadian provinces, which has yet to be authorized.They will be seeking a yet to be determined amount of financial compensation.The lawyer says about 470 Canadian women have signed on so far, including 41 in the Quebec suit.last_img read more

Cost on families from feds carbon tax plan will be known in

first_imgOTTAWA – The Opposition Conservatives are pressuring the Trudeau government to divulge how much the federal carbon tax will cost Canadian households — but Finance Minister Bill Morneau says they’ll have to wait until September to find out.The Liberals’ controversial carbon pricing policy has been under regular attack by the Tories, who are hoping it will become a key campaign issue ahead of next year’s federal election.During a parliamentary committee hearing Thursday, Morneau was repeatedly pressed by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre to disclose how much the carbon tax would cost Canadian families.In response, Morneau said the plan will be revenue neutral overall and that there will be no net increase in taxes.However, he added that details on how much people will pay will only be determined in September after each province reveals their individual approaches to applying the policy.Poilievre then suggested Morneau was asking MPs to pass budget legislation that would allow the government to impose the carbon tax before explaining how much it would cost their constituents.The Tories have attacked the Liberals’ carbon tax policy and have argued it will raise prices on almost everything — from gasoline and groceries — without actually cutting emissions.The carbon price is set to rise from $10 per tonne per year until it reaches $50 per tonne in 2022.The Liberal government has argued that putting a price on carbon has a low cost and a big impact.The government has said carbon pricing encourages the pursuit of innovative ways for reducing emissions and will help Canada meet its international commitment to reduce climate-changing emissions.last_img read more

Better fuel margins acquisitions drive Parkland Fuel profit revenue beats

first_imgCALGARY – Parkland Fuel Corp. shares closed eight per cent higher on Friday after it reported doubling revenue in the second quarter on higher profit margins for fuel and contributions from two major acquisitions completed last year.The gas station owner’s stock leaped to $37.93 after it reported net earnings of $60 million on revenue of $3.8 billion — well ahead of expectations of $49 million profit on $3.2 billion in revenue, as reported by Thomson Reuters Eikon.“Our record results in the second quarter continue to highlight the contribution of the Chevron and Ultramar acquisitions, the significance of the annual synergies we are realizing and the underlying strength of Parkland’s pre-acquisition operations,” said CEO Bob Espey.“Through these acquisitions, we have established a significant Canada-wide scale that enables strong opportunity for continued organic growth.”The Calgary-based company completed its $1.7-billion purchase of Chevron Canada’s Burnaby, B.C., refinery and Vancouver-area retail and aviation fuel businesses last October.Its $978-million deal for Ultramar stations in Quebec closed in June 2017.Parkland said its exceptional performance is expected to continue this year, noting it has adjusted its target for 2018 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization up by $125 million to $775 million.It added annual cost savings from last year’s acquisitions are coming in better than expected and it bumped up its synergies target by $100 million to about $180 million per year by the end of 2020.Parkland is Canada’s largest independent fuel retailer, with 1,850 gas stations under brands including Esso, Chevron, Fas Gas and Pioneer, as well as convenience stores, bulk fuel locations and commercial fuel supply contracts.In a quarter marked by soaring gasoline prices across Canada, Parkland reported that gross profit from retail operations was 8.0 cents per litre, up from 5.78 cents per litre in the year-earlier quarter.Sales of fuel rose to 4.2 billion litres from 2.6 billion litres in the second quarter of 2017.Parkland reported same-store sales growth of 8.1 per cent at its convenience stores as it launched new private label product categories under its 59th Street Food Co. brand and retrofitted 41 On the Run/Marche Express locations.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this article: (TSX:PKI)last_img read more

Greek lawmakers to vote on new budget – with more austerity

first_imgATHENS, Greece — Greek lawmakers are debating the heavily-indebted country’s draft budget for 2019, the first since Greece exited an eight-year bailout program.The budget due to be voted on midnight Tuesday is still heavy on austerity measures to ensure the country registers a hefty budget surplus, in compliance with a debt relief deal with international creditors.The budget submitted by the left-led government foresees Greece’s battered economy will grow by 2.1 per cent in 2018 and 2.5 per cent in 2019. The debt load is set to decline from 180.4 per cent of output this year to 167.8 per cent next year.Greece depended on bailout loans from 2010 until August 2018, and imposed crippling cutbacks to secure the money. Its finances are still subject to creditor scrutiny, albeit less intensely than before.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Aimia shareholders opt to sell Aeroplan to Air Canada consortium in vote

first_imgMONTREAL — Shareholders of Aimia Inc. have voted to sell its Aeroplan loyalty program to an Air Canada-led consortium.The $450-million deal will see Air Canada buy Aeroplan for cash and assume $1.9 billion in liabilities to points holders, partially backed by two banks that offer Aeroplan credit cards.Toronto-Dominion Bank and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce will pay Air Canada about $1.2 billion in total, on top of an undisclosed payment from Visa Canada Corp. The banks and Visa have agreed to stay with the loyalty program until at least 2030.Air Canada has said Aeroplan members will see their points transferred to a new loyalty program with the airline when its partnership with Aimia expires in 2020.Analysts say the deal will give Air Canada better access to customer data and likely boost margins in the near term. Aimia, a loyalty analytics company, will come away with more than $1 billion in cash, according to Mittleman Brothers, the company’s largest stakeholder at 17.6 per cent.Aimia shareholders formalized their approval in a vote in Montreal on Tuesday morning, following regulatory clearances from Ottawa in November. The deal — reached in principle last August — is expected to close this month. Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:AIM, TSX:TD, TSX:CM)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Trudeau met by more anti pipeline protesters on his BC long weekend

first_img“Most importantly I’m standing here by myself saying he’s not welcome here and neither is his pipeline,” George said after Trudeau’s speech concluded.As the prime minister reached the midway point of his address to a crowd of hundreds gathered at the Didar Berry Farm, George began to sing and drum.At one point during George’s demonstration, a woman from the crowd turned around and screamed “shut up” loudly at George.As George’s demonstration intensified the prime minister spoke loudly through the microphone and asked the crowd to applaud the indigenous peoples who had gathered at the farm 25 kilometres south of Vancouver.Earlier in the day, the prime minister marched down Robson Street as a raucous crowd of thousands lined the streets for the annual Pride Parade and spoke at a breakfast in Vancouver’s Davie Village hosted by PFLAG Canada.The prime minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke to reporters briefly before joining the parade and said that though there has been a lot of progress made for the LGBTQ community over the past two years, there was still much more to do. DELTA, B.C. – Drum beats and chanting followed Justin Trudeau to Delta, B.C., on Sunday, as anti-pipeline protesters attempted to disrupt the prime minister’s speech at a Liberal Party of Canada community barbecue.Like several other stops on the prime minister’s long weekend trip to B.C., the protesters appeared at a planned appearance by Trudeau with signs and placards denouncing the Trans Mountain pipeline.Tsleil-Waututh activist William George said he was excited to get access to the event and a chance to voice his opposition to the pipeline directly to the prime minister. Fifteen-year-old Layla Spies, adorned with two rainbow flags tucked into her hair, a rainbow neckband and strings of coloured beads draped around her neck, said she was excited to see Trudeau walk past her and her mother.Great time last night at the Richmond Night Market – it’s opened all weekend long to celebrate BC Day so be sure to stop by if you are in the area! For more information, check out their website: https://t.co/S6fQ8EYm12 pic.twitter.com/jTJTRKVJBS— Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) August 5, 2018Spies said she thought it was a great sign for progress that the highest member of the Canadian government supports pride, noting that many places in the world do not tolerate homosexuality.“It just shows a lot about how far we’ve come, and a bit about how far we still need to go.”Trudeau told the audience gathered at the Junction Pub for breakfast that while many places in the world could do with more tolerance, Canada should move beyond simply tolerating the differences in its communities and choose to love them.“No religion in the world says ‘Tolerate thy neighbour,’ it’s love them, accept them, befriend them,” said Trudeau in front of a rainbow-coloured curtain.Trudeau was flanked onstage by longtime Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry and PFLAG Canada’s Vancouver chapter president Colin McKenna.Trudeau commended McKenna and the work PFLAG Canada does across the nation, saying their message of openness, respect, and compassion can impact society in a way the government cannot.“When you talk about social change, change in families and communities, we need more than just a government saying what you should be doing,” he said.The prime minister is expected to be in Penticton, B.C., for the B.C. Day Picnic at Gyro Park on Monday.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)center_img “ It’s really important to continue to march in pride. We know that far too many homeless youths are from the LGBT community, we know the rates of teenage suicide is four times as much as in other communities, and eight times as much where the kids don’t have supportive parents,” said the prime minister.Danny Romandan was marching with the float ahead of Trudeau, and said he was in awe that the prime minister would walk in the parade at all, let alone with him.He added coming to Canada had allowed him to truly be himself.“Here I find the prime minister of Canada is marching with me and it’s amazing, and beautiful, and means so much,” said a beaming Romandan before returning to his megaphone and rousing the crowd.last_img read more