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David Walliams New Book To Benefit Comic Relief

first_imgDavid Walliams has written an exclusive children’s picture book especially for Comic Relief, giving all of his proceeds from the book to the charity.THE QUEEN’S ORANG-UTAN will be published on 26th February 2015, ahead of Red Nose Day on 13th March. As David’s global publisher, HarperCollins UK are delighted to support David and Comic Relief and will also donate all profits from the publishing of the book.THE QUEEN’S ORANG-UTAN is a right royal mash-up of mischief and mayhem. A wickedly funny line-up of characters are brought energetically to life with illustrations by Tony Ross. Tony has worked with David on five of his bestselling novels and will waive his royalties from this book for the charity. His two previous picture book collaborations with David, The Slightly Annoying Elephant and The First Hippo on the Moon, both rocketed straight to Number One in the picture book chart in their first week of publication.THE QUEEN’S ORANG-UTAN will be published in paperback at £4.99 with at least £3 from each copy sold going to Comic Relief. A brilliant audio version has also been created by David along with Miranda Hart and Rob Brydon – a starry collaboration which combines to create a highly comic rendition of the tale. On the eve of Red Nose Day – 12th March 2015 – the book will also be published as a special limited edition hardback with the CD of the audio included.David Walliams is an honorary trustee of Comic Relief, a charity for which he has personally raised millions – most notably swimming the English Channel in 2006 and the River Thames in 2011. Since his debut children’s book in 2008 David has taken the literary world by storm and is the biggest British children’s author to debut this century. His most recent novel, Awful Auntie, was published in September 2014 and was the overall bestselling book in the UK for a sensational six weeks. UK sales have already surpassed half a million copies, making it the biggest selling book published in 2014. It is also the winner of both The National Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year and Audiobook of the Year. David’s books have now been translated into forty-two languages and have collectively sold over six million copies in the UK alone.HarperCollins Children’s Books Executive Publisher Ann-Janine Murtagh said, “David Walliams is a genius storyteller – adored by millions of children worldwide. He has written this wonderfully irreverent and hilarious tale especially for Comic Relief – and what a wonderful gift it is! His inimitable storytelling is on top form and will delight young and old. We are privileged to publish David Walliams on the HarperCollins Children’s list and delighted to be working with him and Comic Relief on the publishing of this book.”Comic Relief CEO Kevin Cahill, said, “David has been such a brilliant supporter of Comic Relief for such a long time. He’s clearly taken the easy way out this time by writing a book rather than swimming the Channel! We are eternally in his debt for his wonderful ongoing support.”Money raised from the book will be spent by Comic Relief in the UK, and across Africa, helping vulnerable and disadvantaged people to turn their lives around.last_img read more

Lady Gaga Surprises Guests At Geffen Playhouse Fundraiser

first_imgSunday night’s star-studded fundraiser at the Geffen Playhouse and the pre-show host committee dinner grossed over $1.5 million, a record, for the Geffen Playhouse’s education, outreach and artistic initiatives.Elton John And Lady GagaCredit/Copyright: Invision/Jordan StraussMulti-award winning composer and a Geffen Playhouse Board Founding Trustee Quincy Jones presented the Distinction in Service Award to Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson and distinguished filmmaker George Lucas. Tony nominated director Jason Moore presented the Distinction in Theater Award to producer David Furnish and internationally renowned singer/songwriter and performer, Sir Elton John.George Lucas & Mellody Hobson and Sir Elton John & David FurnishCredit/Copyright: Invision/Jordan StraussCastle star Nathan Fillion served as Master of Ceremonies for Backstage at the Geffen, an irreverent evening of laughter, music and stories featuring personal “backstage” memories and musical performances by stars of the stage and screen including: Anjelica Huston, Samuel L. Jackson, Beau Bridges and Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director, Randall Arney. Virtuoso violinist, Lee England, Jr. who, coincidentally, played for Mellody Hobson and George Lucas’s wedding, performed his version of “All of Me” by John Legend. The multi-faceted actress, singer, dancer and choreographer Toni Basil choreographed 12 dancers who performed a hip hop version of “Swan Lake.”David Geffen served as Honorary Chair of the event; Linda Bernstein Rubin and Loretta Everett Kaufman Co-Chaired the Backstage at the Geffen committee. Pamela Robinson Hollander and Martha Henderson Co-Chair the Geffen Playhouse Board of Directors. The evening was beautifully produced by Gil Cates, Jr. and directed by Randall Arney.The curtain rose to wild applause as Lady Gaga, surprising everyone including the honorees, took center stage to perform “You and I” accompanying herself on the piano before joining the audience for the remainder of the show.Monies raised benefit the Geffen Playhouse’s artistic initiatives including new play development, playwright commissions, and second productions, as well as the not-for-profit’s award-winning education and outreach programs which help bring the excitement of live theater to more than 15,000 disadvantaged youth, seniors and veterans annually.Backstage at the Geffen title sponsor City National Bank, returning for the sixth year, was joined by presenting sponsors Audi of America, Clay Lacy Aviation, Louis XIII, and Robert K. Kraft, with special thanks to UCLA.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Paul McCartney Joins StarStudded Love Song To The Earth

first_imgInternationally renowned artists have released a song urging world leaders to reach a global agreement during the United Nations climate conference in December to limit the impacts of climate change.Twelve musical acts, including Sir Paul McCartney, Jon Bon Jovi, Leona Lewis and UN Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo, released the single ‘Love Song to the Earth,’ which is now available to download from iTunes and Apple Music. The artists, producers and directors of the song – as well as Apple – are donating their respective proceeds to Friends of the Earth US and the UN Foundation.Written by Toby Gad, Natasha Bedingfield, John Shanks and Sean Paul the single, Love Song to the Earth highlights the importance of taking care of the things we love.Bedingfield said: “Many people turn a blind eye arguing that everything is ok environmentally. The song reminds us that having ownership of our world means taking care of it. With this song we wanted to talk about the environment in a way that would help people feel empowered to do something rather than be paralyzed by fear.”The song aims to reach new audiences with the message that the time to act on climate change is now is meant to encourage people to “Share the Love Song” and “Take Climate Action Now” by signing a petition.This petition will be delivered to world leaders at the beginning of the the 21st meeting of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), widely referred to as COP-21 in Paris in December. This petition is part of a unified global movement supporting the UN’s call for a meaningful, universal, global climate change agreement.“The support, engagement, and passion of the creative community are key to engaging new audiences in the call for a meaningful and universal climate change agreement. When UN Member States gather in Paris this December, the voices of everyone, especially the entertainment industry, will help ensure the best outcome possible for a better future for all.” said Aaron Sherinian, chief communications and marketing officer of the UN Foundation.Released on the 4th of September, the song will eventually become available on all music platforms and streaming services worldwide as of September 11th.Accompanying the song is a “lyric video” produced by Jerry Cope. This will also be released on the 11th of September and will feature breathtaking views from around the world. As well as this, scientists and celebrities will be shown holding up signs saying urging viewers to “Keep It safe” to encourage their fans to get involved.“The climate crisis is near a global tipping point, we hope everyone who hears this anthem takes action to encourage our political leaders to keep our planet safe, by keeping fossil fuels in the ground and moving toward 100 per cent renewable energy,” said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth US.Other artists featuring on the track include Sheryl Crow, Fergie, Colbie Caillat, Johnny Rzeznik, Krewella, Kelsea Ballerini, Nicole Scherzinger, Christina Grimmie, Victoria Justice and Q’orianka Kilcher.last_img read more


first_imgCASTING HOMEOWNERS 55 – 80 YEARS OLDAre looking for ways to cut down on your electricity bill?Powerhouse Casting is looking to interview couples and individuals 55-80 years old. No acting experience required. Must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident to apply Advertisement Advertisement PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR PARENTS, FRIENDS AND RELATIVES!SHOOT: 1 day between August 6–11, 2016PAY: $300-$500TO APPLY, PLEASE EMAIL CASTINGRESEARCHTO@GMAIL.COM WITH THE FOLLOWING INFO:– Name:– Age:– Phone number:– 1-2 lines about why you want to conserve electricity Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

DGC Ontario Director Mentorship Presented by WIFTT

first_imgAbout the Mentorship:Are you an emerging female Canadian director? Do you have a feature film project in development, but need connections and market-training? Apply for the DGC Ontario Director Mentorship.The DGC Ontario Director Mentorship is a two-phase training opportunity that provides one emerging Canadian female director with market-ready skills and one-on-one mentorship with an experienced DGC Ontario Director member.Phase one: Business training leading up to the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), including one-on-one meetings with an experienced industry advisor. Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: Phase two: A creative mentorship taking place post-TIFF. The mentee will be paired with a DGC Ontario Director member and will receive invaluable advice and guidance on overall skills and/or project specific creative approaches.When does the mentorship take place?The first phase of the mentorship takes place prior to the start of TIFF in August 2017. Phase two runs during the festival from September 7-17, 2017, and continues after the festival within a period of 5 months.What are the benefits?Complimentary 2017 TIFF Industry pass with access to professional seminars and trainingPre-TIFF business mentorship with an experienced industry professionalPost-TIFF mentoring with a DGC Ontario DirectorOne-on-one orientation with the DGC Ontario National Director – Member Services to learn about how to become a DGC Ontario memberOn-stage mentee recognition at the 2017 Crystal Awards Gala LuncheonWho Can Apply?Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Landed ImmigrantWIFT-T member in good standing (may join at time of application)Emerging Canadian female director (recommended 5-10 years of experience)At least one feature film project in developmentAt least one short, feature, or episodic work screened at a film festival within the past 3 years. Candidates with less than 5 years of experience but who meet all requirements may be consideredAble to participate in all mentorship activitiesAble to complete a final report within two weeks of mentorship conclusionNote: this mentorship is most beneficial to directors with a project already in development, and those who can set and meet their own deadlines.What’s the deadline?Deadline to apply: 5 PM, April 28, 2017Recipient will be notified: May 12, 2017 Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

New art show at Galleria Mall captures an anxious moment as development

first_imgREAD MORE Advertisement David Acheson’s sculpture Presence is a pair of towering pale figures. One of them strides purposefully in one direction, hunched in close scrutiny at something in the palm of its hand, while its partner meanders off in another, blindfolded.It was made 17 years ago, but here, in a temporary gallery space tucked into the doomed Galleria Mall at Dupont and Dufferin, it feels almost tailor-made. Galleria, a relic of the city’s urban past — built in 1972, it was one of Canada’s first covered malls — was bought in 2015 by a pair of development companies, and its eventual fate is a thing both of intense concern and a good many mysteries, for the developer and the community both.“They’re not selling anything — yet, at least,” said Dyan Marie on a recent, gloomy morning, with Presence looming close by. “But they’re trying to get community buy-in. Because they want to go high — really high. And the more buy-in they have, the better for them.” Login/Register With: Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Advertisementlast_img read more

New Waves 2018 – Now Accepting Submissions

first_imgEmail your application to Kelsey: kelsey@wift-at.comIf you are interested in New Waves, we would love to hear from you! Advertisement Interested in screenwriting, editing, directing, producing, and documentary filmmaking?This is for you.Application deadline extension: Wed Feb 28th + Now open to women over the age of 30.Good news! Thursday evenings in Halifax Registrants are provided with admission to our annual conference, Women Making Waves, March 2-3, 2018 – visit: for details. Value: $99! Designed to introduce young women to various facets of the screen industry Sessions takes place March 15th, 2018 – April 12th, 2018 Please email us a cover letter and resume/CV detailing your interest in the program, any relevantexperience, and what you hope to gain from New Waves Contact: Kelsey Power, WIFT-AT Education Program / Conference Planning Coordinator Via Phone: 902-275-7691Via Email: Deadline: Wednesday February 28, 2018 Each year we select 8-10 participants with interest in the film & television industry Advertisement Facebook Twitter Series of five workshops in total Login/Register With: Advertisement Fee for the entire series, $100. Includes WIFT-AT membership as well. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment We still have a few spots left in our New Waves Workshop Series, so we have decided to open up the series to women over the age of 30.We’re also extending the application deadline to Wed Feb 28th – still time to apply!​.Attention: Calling all film-inspired women with an interest in:❖ Screenwriting❖ Editing❖ Directing❖ Producing❖ Documentary Filmmaking​.This workshop series is offered by Women in Film and Television Atlantic (WIFT-AT). The goal is to empower young women so that they feel able to pursue their interest, and perhaps a career, in film, television, or digital media.New Waves is a series by women for women!New Waves Details: ​Each session is hosted by one or several industry professionals. The workshops will cover the topics listed above: screenwriting, editing, directing, producing, and documentary filmmaking. Participants will come out of the experience with in-depth knowledge on each of the topics passed along from industry professionals..​Application Process:last_img read more

Very curious slightly confused rapper Classified tests limits of cannabis support

first_imgClassified is shown in an undated, handout photo. (ho/THE CANADIAN PRESS) Nova Scotia rapper Classified has vouched for smoking marijuana for years, but he says Canada’s new legalization laws have left him confused over the ways he’s allowed to promote the cannabis lifestyle.He knows it’s within his rights to express his love for weed. And he’s allowed to talk publicly about buying shares of OrganiGram, an East Coast cannabis company he struck a loose business relationship with earlier this year.After that it gets a bit hazy, since most celebrity endorsements of a brand are prohibited under the Cannabis Act. Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementcenter_img Facebook “I was emailing OrganiGram going, ‘You guys know I’m actually an investor so we can probably get away with advertising more.’ I’m kind of curious to see what they’re going to come back and say,” he says, sporting a baseball cap emblazoned with a logo for the company’s first recreational weed brand.“They’re so careful not to cross that line. Almost to the point where I’m barely doing anything. I’ll bring them ideas and they’re like, ‘No, we can’t do that.”‘“I don’t even know what they’re paying me for. Like I’m wearing a hat, I’m trying,” he adds.Classified, whose real name is Luke Boyd, has been at the forefront of Canadian hip hop for over a decade, making him a valuable asset for young cannabis companies looking for prominent pot smokers. He’s worked with Buck 65, produced singer Ria Mae and swapped rhymes on a track with weed aficionado Snoop Dogg.The rapper also seems eager to test the boundaries of the new federal laws. His latest music video might even do that once Health Canada catches a whiff of it.Legal Marijuana, released Wednesday to coincide with legalization, features Classified standing with dozens of people in a public park as they rap along with his verses and every so often toke up and exhale a puff of smoke.That part of the video should be fine under the law.What might raise legal questions is a line he speaks that could be deemed an endorsement of a cannabis brand. The moment happens late in the video after Boyd adjusts his baseball cap and draws attention to the logo for Edison Cannabis Company, which is part of OrganiGram’s recreational pot portfolio.“Feelin’ just right, rollin’ up some of that Edison Reserve. Oh Canada, things have changed,” he says.The line doesn’t appear in the version of the song featured on his album “Tomorrow Could Be the Day Things Change.”OrganiGram did not immediately return a request for comment.If Health Canada views the rapper saying a specific cannabis brand has him “feelin’ just right,” it’s possible the regulator might see it as crossing the line as an endorsement, suggests Denes Rothschild, a lawyer and purveyor of the cannabis industry.“If he has some sort of business arrangement with them and they’re paying him as an endorser … I think it raises a question,” says Rothschild, a partner at the Borden Ladner Gervais law firm in Toronto.“(The laws) are being interpreted and a lot of it is going to come down to where the government chooses to draw the line.”Representatives for Heath Canada didn’t immediately respond to questions about how music videos will be considered under the new laws.In the meantime, Boyd is willing to open the floodgates to potential business opportunities. After investing roughly $20,000 into shares of cannabis companies, he says he’s pleased with the upward trend in their market value.“I’m not a big stock guy at all, I don’t take chances with my money,” he says.“But I’m making more on stock than I am on touring, probably.”Boyd’s perspective on legalization is tempered by a sense of caution over widespread acceptance. He worries about the “negative” side of weed, especially with parents who smoke inside the house while their children are present.“Hopefully people will be smart and realize it’s not good to just sit here and blow smoke in kids’ lungs and let them grow up with this type of lifestyle every day,” he says.At his family home in Enfield, N.S., just outside Halifax, he says it’s a rule that nobody smokes around his three pre-teen daughters. He typically lights up inside his recording studio.“I put in a different ventilation system so I can smoke, so it’s not going through my house every day,” he says.“But at the same time my oldest knows I use it sometimes and it’s no different to her than like, ‘Oh mommy’s having a glass a wine.’ OK, well daddy’s out there doing his thing.”In many ways, the rapper says legalization doesn’t make hardly any difference for him or his friends.“They smoke it like it’s been legal for years,” he says. “I think most people have.”By David Friend | The Canadian Press Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgRadiohead Stage Collapse Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement TORONTO — A man hired to tune Radiohead’s pianos for a Toronto show nearly seven years ago says he heard the stage creaking in the wind shortly before the structure collapsed and killed another technician.Wayne Ferguson told a coroner’s inquest into the death of Scott Johnson that he noticed the creaking after a light breeze hit the outdoor stage’s back curtain around 3:30 p.m. or 3:45 p.m. on June 16, 2012.As the inquest began Monday, Ferguson testified that he was asked to leave the stage around 3:50 p.m. so that others could perform a soundcheck, but Johnson — who was stationed near him — stayed behind to play the drums.center_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Ferguson and his daughter were sitting at a picnic bench facing the stage shortly afterward when there was a loud noise, he said.“We heard a huge crack and within, like, two seconds the whole roof collapsed,” Ferguson told the inquest.He described seeing beams piercing through the back grid of the stage and immediately calling 911.A paramedic who was one of the first at the scene testified he found Johnson trapped under the stage with no vital signs.“There was nothing we could do for him, especially because we couldn’t extricate him,” Stephan Krasl told the inquest.Johnson, who was Radiohead’s drum technician, died just hours before the band was set to take the stage at Downsview Park.Charges in the case were stayed because the matter took too long to get to trial.The inquest, which is expected to last three weeks and hear from roughly 25 witnesses, will examine the circumstances around Johnson’s death, but will not assign blame.A jury may make recommendations aimed at preventing similar incidents.Johnson’s father and Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke have been highly critical of the judicial process.“I still have a problem with that, that causes me great concern that the case wasn’t completed,” Ken Johnson said Monday outside the coroner’s court. “So yeah it’s painful but I’m quite happy that events here will resolve all that.”When the British band played in Toronto last summer for the first time since the incident, Yorke did not hold back.“The people who should be held accountable are still not being held accountable,” he told the crowd at Scotiabank Arena in July 2018.After an investigation, 13 charges were laid under provincial health and safety laws against the show’s promoter, Live Nation, contractor Optex Staging and engineer Domenic Cugliari.The case went off the rails when the presiding judge at trial declared he had lost jurisdiction after being appointed to a higher court. Another judge declared a mistrial and a new hearing was planned.Defence lawyers argued the charges should be stayed because the delays violated their clients’ rights to a timely trial, which was expected to wrap up in mid-2018, five years after the charges were laid.The new judge agreed, noting the Supreme Court of Canada’s so-called Jordan decision, which set a ceiling of 18 months for proceedings in provincial court.Paola Loriggio ~ The Canadian Press Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement The Art Gallery of Ontario has acquired a French impressionist painting that had been barred from leaving the country because of its “national importance.”Gustave Caillebotte’s 1892 masterpiece Blue Irises, Garden at Petit Gennevilliers, depicts a scene from the French artist’s own garden. It will be on display starting Saturday.It was purchased with the help of a Heritage Department grant of $540,000, which the AGO acknowledges was almost half of the purchase price. The rest came from bequests from the R. Fraser Elliott estate and a bequest from F.W.G. Fitzgerald. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Gustave Caillebotte’s 1892 masterpiece Blue Irises, Garden at Petit Gennevilliers, is handled by art installers in an undated photo. The Art Gallery of Ontario has purchased the painting. (Dean Tomlinson/The Canadian Press/AGO) Login/Register With: Twitter Facebook Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Healing through laughter

first_imgAPTN National NewsHealing through laughter is one way to life the heaviness of the Truth and Reconciliation hearings.Two children of residential school survivors have found a way to bring laughter to others to help lift the spirits of many of the participants.APTN National News reporter Shirley McLean has more.last_img

Ontario foundation helps Yukon battle carbon monoxide poisoning

first_imgAPTN National NewsAn Ontario foundation geared toward educating people on the dangers of carbon monoxide has reached out to help Yukon residents in need.APTN National News reporter Shirley McLean has more.last_img

Mohawk man facing fine and jail time for transporting tobacco

first_imgAPTN National NewsA Mohawk man is facing a hefty fine and jail time….After he was found transporting a truck load of cigarettes through southern Ontario.But as APTN’s Delaney Windigo tells us now – he’s got a plan on how he’ll fight those charges.dwindigo@aptn.calast_img

Bruce Carson former Harper aide fined 50000 for illegal lobbying

first_imgThe Canadian PressAn Ontario Court judge has imposed $50,000 in fines on Bruce Carson, a former Stephen Harper confidant convicted of illegal lobbying.Although Carson‘s lawyer, Patrick McCann, argued that his client was on the verge of bankruptcy and unable to pay, Ontario Court Justice Catherine Kehoe said Carson remains employable, calling the fine a necessary deterrent to others.The Crown had asked for a $50,000 penalty.Carson was found guilty in September on three counts under the Lobbying Act over work he did on a national energy strategy while director of the Canada School of Energy and Environment and later as the vice-chair of the Energy Policy Institute of Canada.The judge determined he had contact with ministers and deputy ministers at Industry Canada and Environment Canada, as well as the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office, while he was employed at the institute even though he was under a five-year prohibition from lobbying public office holders because he had worked in the PMO until February 2009.The court was told that, between 2009 and 2011, Carson was paid about $600,000 for his lobbying work.There have only been two previous convictions under the Lobbying Act, which resulted in fines of $7,500 and $20,000, Crown prosecutor Robert Zsigo told the judge.In her sentencing ruling, Kehoe said the gravity of the offence could not be more serious and that Carson had decided to simply ignore the prohibitions against lobbying.“It is necessary to impose a significant fine to deter Mr. Carson and others who would engage in lobbying and ignore the law, which goes to the heart of the integrity of government and public trust of government,” she wrote.She said a lesser fine would not send the right message.“I reject that a nominal fine would address the principles of sentencing in this case, as it would not address the seriousness of the offences, their ongoing nature, the impact on the integrity of government and the need to denounce such conduct.”Last year, Carson was found not guilty of influence-peddling in connection with attempts to persuade government officials to buy water filtration systems for First Nation communities, which were being sold by a company that employed Carson’s former escort girlfriend.While the judge in that case found Carson had attempted to influence high-ranking government officials, he was acquitted because the officials had no power to decide whether to buy the water read more

Five servicemen involved in incident at Indigenous ceremony on Canada Day

first_imgThe Canadian PressA military spokesperson says five men who appear in a filmed confrontation at an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax are members of the Canadian Armed Forces.The incident took place at a spiritual event honouring the suffering of Indigenous Peoples on Canada Day.The video shows five men clad in black and yellow shirts — one carrying a Red Ensign flag bearing the Union Jack in the corner — interacting with spectators at the ceremony.In the video, one of the spectators appears to be holding an upside-down Canadian flag, leading to an exchange about the country’s history.National Defence spokesman Daniel LeBouthillier has confirmed that five Forces members are involved in the incident, at least two of whom belong to the Navy.Commanders of the Canadian Army and Navy released a joint statement Monday saying that the chain of command “takes action” when it learns that a member’s conduct is not in keeping with military code.Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd and Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk said in a Facebook post that leadership’s actions will not be shared on social media unless it required.last_img read more

Homeless café workers making the most of their time at the Roundhouse

first_imgDanielle RochetteAPTN NewsA café in Montreal is providing work for homeless people in the city.The Roundhouse Café is located in the heart of an area that is frequented by mainly homeless Inuit.The goal of the seasonal restaurant is to bring them into work for a few hours a

Big House victory for GOP tax plan but Senate fate unclear

first_imgWASHINGTON – Republicans rammed a $1.5 trillion overhaul of business and personal income taxes through the House Thursday, edging toward the code’s biggest rewrite in three decades and the first major legislative triumph for President Donald Trump and the GOP after 10 bumpy months of controlling government.The mostly party-line 227-205 vote masked more ominous problems in the Senate. There, a similar package received a politically awkward verdict from nonpartisan congressional analysts showing it would eventually produce higher taxes for low- and middle-income earners but deliver deep reductions for those better off.The Senate bill was approved late Thursday by the Finance Committee and sent to the full Senate on a party-line 14-12 vote. Like the House measure, it would slash the corporate tax rate and reduce personal income tax rates for many.But it adds a key feature not in the House version: repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that everyone in the U.S. have health insurance. Elimination of the so-called individual mandate would add an estimated $338 billion in revenue over 10 years that the Senate tax-writers used for other tax cuts.The Senate panel’s vote came at the end of four days of often fierce partisan debate. It turned angrily personal for Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, as he railed against Democrats’ accusations that the legislation was crafted to favour big corporations and the wealthy.“I come from the poor people. And I’ve been working my whole stinking career for people who don’t have a chance,” Hatch insisted.After the panel’s approval, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared, “For the millions of hard-working Americans who need more money in their pockets and the chance of a better future, help is on the way.”The analysts’ problematic projections for the Senate bill came a day after Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson became the first GOP senator to state opposition to the measure, saying it didn’t cut levies enough for millions of partnerships and corporations. With at least five other Republican senators yet to declare support, the bill’s fate is far from certain in a chamber the GOP controls by just 52-48.Even so, Republicans are hoping to send a compromise bill for Trump to sign by Christmas.“Now the ball is in the Senate’s court,” Vice-President Mike Pence urged after the House vote.Speaking at a conservative Tax Foundation dinner in Washington, Pence said, “The next few weeks are going to be vitally important and they’re going to be a challenge.” But he added, “we’re going to get it done” before the end of the year.An earlier White House statement that “now is the time to deliver” also underscored the Republican Party’s effort to maintain momentum and outrace critics. Those include the AARP lobby for older people, major medical organizations, Realtors — and, in all likelihood, every Senate Democrat.With this summer’s crash of the GOP effort to dismantle President Barack Obama’s health care law, Republicans see a successful tax effort as the best way to avert major losses in next year’s congressional elections. House Republicans conceded they are watching the Senate warily.“Political survival depends on us doing this,” said Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. “One of the things that scares me a little bit is that they’re going to screw up the bill to the point we can’t pass it.”The House plan and the Senate Finance bill would deliver the bulk of their tax reductions to businesses.Each would cut the 35 per cent corporate tax rate to 20 per cent, while reducing personal rates for many taxpayers and erasing or shrinking deductions. Projected federal deficits would grow by $1.5 trillion over 10 years.As decades of Republicans have done before them, GOP lawmakers touted their tax cuts as a boon to families across all income lines and a boost for businesses, jobs and the entire country.“Passing this bill is the single biggest thing we can do to grow the economy, to restore opportunity and help those middle income families who are struggling,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.Democrats said the measure would disproportionately help the wealthy and mean tax increases for millions. Among other things, the House legislation would reduce and ultimately repeal the tax Americans pay on the largest inheritances, while the Senate would limit that levy to fewer estates.The bill is “pillaging the middle class to pad the pockets of the wealthiest and hand tax breaks to corporations shipping jobs out of America,” declared House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.Thirteen House Republicans — all but one from high-tax California, New York and New Jersey — voted “no” because the plan would erase tax deductions for state and local income and sales taxes and limit property tax deductions to $10,000. Defectors included House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., who said the measure would “hurt New Jersey families.”Trump travelled to the Capitol before the vote to give House Republicans a pep talk.Besides Johnson, Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have yet to commit to backing the tax measure.Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the Senate plan would mean higher taxes beginning in 2021 for many families earning under $30,000 annually. By 2027, families making less than $75,000 would face tax boosts while those making more would enjoy cuts.Republicans attributed the new figures to two provisions.One would end the measure’s personal tax cuts starting in 2026. The other would abolish the “Obamacare” requirement that people buy health coverage or pay tax penalties.Eliminating those fines is expected to mean fewer people would obtain federally subsidized policies, and the tax analysts count a reduction in those subsidies as a tax increase. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has projected that would result in 13 million more uninsured people by 2027, making the provision a political risk for some lawmakers.Ending the personal tax cuts for individuals in 2026, derided as a gimmick by Democrats, is designed to pare the bill’s long-term costs to the Treasury. Legislation cannot boost budget deficits after 10 years if it is to qualify for Senate procedures that bar bill-killing filibusters.Both chambers’ bills would nearly double the standard deduction to around $12,000 for individuals and about $24,000 for married couples and dramatically boost the current $1,000 per-child tax credit.But each plan also would erase the current $4,050 personal exemption and annul or reduce other tax breaks. The House would limit interest deductions to future home mortgages of up to $500,000, down from today’s $1 million, while the Senate would end deductions like moving expenses and tax preparation.Ryan said he’d seek to add tax breaks to help Puerto Rico recover from recent hurricanes to a House-Senate compromise.___Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Richard Lardner and Matthew Daly contributed to this report.last_img read more

Canada rejects angry American NAFTA criticism says it has tabled extensive text

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada is shooting back at American criticism that it is being inflexible and unconstructive at the North American Free Trade renegotiation that has resumed this week in Montreal.Canadian officials are taking direct aim at the narrative that its negotiators are being inflexible — or even obstinate — when it comes to discussing the controversial U.S. proposals to raise continental content on automobiles, scrap the dispute resolution mechanism, and institute a five-year sunset clause.They say Canada has tabled complete chapter proposals on more than half of NAFTA’s 30 sections, and has put forward substantive proposals and text on every part of the entire agreement already.Senior officials with direct knowledge of the negotiations discussed the Canadian approach with The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the ongoing negotiations.With written Canadian proposals sitting on all tables, the sixth round in Montreal is about returning in earnest to the bargaining to find a creative space that works for everyone, officials say.Canada put most of its text on the tables by the end of the second round, and all of it by the third, officials said.The so-called American poison pills on autos, dispute resolution and the sunset clause were tabled after that. That makes them counter-proposals as far as Canada is concerned, they added.Because of that, Canadian officials are perplexed by reports the Trump administration is annoyed at Canada’s unwillingness to engage, as well as its insistence on including so-called progressive trade elementsAll four tenets of Canada’s progressive agenda — gender, labour, environment and Indigenous issues — are on the agenda for talks this week, officials said.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland hosted Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo in Toronto on Monday in attempt to compare notes on the upcoming NAFTA round.“The two agreed that all parties must show goodwill and that negotiators must continue to focus on issues that will promote economic prosperity in North America. Both ministers committed to achieving real progress during this round of NAFTA negotiations in Montreal,” Freeland’s office said in a statement that appeared aimed directly at U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.Lighthizer is to be in Montreal next Monday to close the sixth round with Freeland and Guajardo. Freeland and Lighthizer are working on a meeting Thursday or Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.The Montreal talks are unfolding under the ever-present threat that President Donald Trump will trigger NAFTA’s six-month withdrawal clause. Freeland, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other cabinet ministers say they are prepared for anything but are emphasizing their hope for a deal.Mexico has been pushing a vigorous Plan B agenda, to compensate for a possible U.S. withdrawal and is communicating that to the Trump administration, according to sources familiar with that country’s negotiating position, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of sensitivity of the talks.Mexico is finishing up its free trade agreement with the European Union, which is happy to provide dairy products to replace American products. The EU “is keen to get that part of the market,” one source said.Mexico has spent 10 months talking to Argentina and Brazil to find new sources of corn and wheat. “We are already looking for places to buy — in case — and the Americans know that.”International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne rejected the U.S. administration’s grumbling about Canada’s recent sweeping complaint with the World Trade Organization about U.S. trade practices, as well as Canada’s insistence on a progressive trade.Champagne told reporters in Montreal on Monday that from Canada’s perspective, those aren’t the toughest part of the talks.Rather, it’s the same issues that “were difficult at the time of Brian Mulroney, so we’re talking about Chapter 19 (dispute mechanism). There are things about procurement, there are things about the sunset clause (which requires unanimous approval every five years for the agreement to continue).”As for the trade complaint overshadowing discussions, Champagne brushed off its impact and said Canadians expect their government to be firm in its response to U.S. trade complaints.“Canadians want us to be constructive … Canadians expect us to be creative, but at the same time, Canadians expect us to be firm when it is about key sectors like supply management,” he said.“I think it’s quite appropriate to be firm and to stand our position and to say that we can engage constructively. And between friends you can also be clear when things don’t work out.”— with files from Sidhartha Banerjee in Montreallast_img read more

Trudeau considering more action to keep foreign dumped steel out of Canada

first_imgPrime Minister Justin Trudeau admits he still has some questions about what proposed US tariffs on our steel and aluminum exports could have on Canadian companies.Trudeau made the comments in Hamilton, after meeting with local steelworkers.While this tour is mainly aimed at reassuring workers, the prime minister tells CHCH News that he’s also speaking with industry leaders about what the global tariffs could mean for Canada moving forward.“How will that impact the Canadian steel industry? The Canadian aluminum industry? Will that create a privileged access for us in the US market? Are there things that we can be doing?”Trudeau says he has already spoken with President Donald Trump about foreign steel dumping and is willing to take further action, if necessary, to protect our industry.“Whether it’s Chinese or Russian or wherever, we’ve actually strengthened both the controls and the sort of barriers to that easy entry.”The prime minister adds he is still working hard to gain a permanent exemption to these tariffs and has made it clear the US argument of national security makes no sense.Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is in Washington for a series of meetings to push our message on tariffs and NAFTA.last_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (13,347.16 , up 24.30 points).Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX). Gold. Down 62 cents, or 3.36 per cent, to $17.81 on 46.9 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Up 31 cents, or 4.57 per cent, to $7.09 on 9.8 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Up 10 cents, or 4.93 per cent to $2.13 on 8.9 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APHA). Health care. Up 30 cents, or 3.82 per cent, to $8.15 on 8.2 million shares.Prometic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:PLI). Health care. Up 9.5 cents, or 37.25 per cent, to 35 cents on 6.8 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Up four cents, or 1.66 per cent, to $2.45 on 5.6 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Stingray Group Inc. (TSX:RAY.A). Down 21 cents, or 3.11 per cent to $6.54. Stingray Group has dropped its takeover attempt of Music Choice. The Montreal-based company, which provides music and in-store media, had made the unsolicited bid for the U.S. company in August last year. The offer was worth US$120 million. Music Choice produces music programming and music-related content for digital cable television, mobile phone and cable modem users. Stingray announced Monday a distribution agreement with Altice USA, which will bring 50 Stingray music audio channels and hundreds of music videos from its on-demand catalogue to Altice USA’s subscribers.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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