Gary Sinise And Hollywood Friends Salute Heroes

first_imgActor/Humanitarian Gary Sinise and the Gary Sinise Foundation have announced their “Hollywood Salutes Heroes” multi-day celebration, an expression of thanks to those who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.Gary Sinise (center) brought together celebrities (right to left) Tom Arnold, Rob Lowe, Sela Ward, Stacey Dash and more at Paramount Pictures Studio to honor wounded troops and veteransThe Foundation enlisted main sponsors USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore & American Airlines to coordinate participants and travel for over 100 wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their guests across the country to take part, and brought together supporting sponsors Disneyland Resorts, Paramount Pictures, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Sysco Foodservice, Greyhound and Pacific Coachways to present the first time event in Los Angeles on February 3 – 6.Highlights of the event will air on ABC’s “Countdown To The Oscars” primetime television special airing Thursday, February 27, 8pm ET.

“These few days were all about giving these heroes an incredible experience they will never forget. If we can help lift their spirits after they’ve sacrificed so much, we owe them that,” said Sinise.Sinise traveled from Washington DC along with 50 wounded, ill and injured troops, veterans and their guests from Walter Reed Army Medical Center located on the campus of Naval Support Activity Bethesda and from Fort Belvoir Community Hospital to sunny Southern California where they met up with wounded from Naval Medical Center San Diego for a few fun-filled days. Hollywood rolled out the red carpet during the heroes’ whirlwind trip, which included a full day at Disneyland Resort and accommodations at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa; a feast at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.; and culminated in a day-long Forrest Gump inspired celebration at Paramount Pictures Studios, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Academy Award-winning film.On the Paramount lot, the heroes were surprised by Sinise and many fellow celebrity attendees including Ted Danson, Tim Allen, Greg Kinnear, Rob Lowe, Katharine McPhee, Dennis Haysbert, Joe Mantegna, Patricia Heaton, Tom Arnold, James Caan and Mykelti Williamson, plus more than 100 local veterans. They were treated to a private screening of Forrest Gump followed by a special concert performed by Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band on Paramount’s New York Street backlot.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Ariana Grande Visits Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital

first_imgAriana Grande visited children at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on Friday, ahead of her benefit concert in the city.Ariana Grande Visits Royal Manchester Children’s HospitalCredit/Copyright: FacebookMany of the children she visited were victims of the terrorist attack that followed her Manchester concert on May 22, in which 22 people were killed and 59 injured.More than 10,000 tickets for Sunday’s concert were set aside for fans who were at Grande’s concert in Manchester. All proceeds from the event will go to the families of those who died.last_img

Goodbye Ms Fernie

first_imgAdvertisement t’s the closing weekend of Hot Docs and a roomful of documentarians are awaiting the announcement of festival prizes. There’s a buzz about Steve James being in the crowd to receive his lifetime achievement award. But it’s Lynne Fernie who receives the only standing ovation of the night. The much-loved Canadian Spectrum film programmer announced this spring she’s stepping back from Hot Docs after 14 years.“It breaks our hearts that you’re leaving us, Lynne,” said festival executive director Brett Hendrie from the stage of the Isabel Bader theatre. “When I started working at Hot Docs the festival had just graduated from cafes and church basements to a dozen cinemas across Toronto. This festival wouldn’t be what it is now without you here.”During her time at Hot Docs, Fernie watched nearly 6,000 documentaries (programming about 600), introduced and wrote about her film choices and welcomed hundreds of filmmakers to the festival each year. “Her passion is as deep as her knowledge, and her championing of Canadian documentaries and the people who make them has never wavered,” says lead programmer Shane Smith. “She fights for filmmakers, advocates for their films and tirelessly works to ensure they have the best possible experience at Hot Docs. And she can drink me, an Australian, under the table.” Login/Register With: She is also exceptionally humble and graceful.“I wanted to leave the festival but you Canadians kept sending films so I couldn’t bear to leave,” says Fernie holding a bouquet of flowers from the stage. “Whether we were able to choose it, whether we agonized or recommended it to other programmers, it was a pleasure to be in the theatre celebrating with you.”The agonizing was one of the most difficult parts of the gig. “When you phone filmmakers up and invite their films, those 40 or 50 films, you’re really beloved by people. And then when the letters of regret go out you’re hated by 350 people,” says Fernie, who once turned down her best friend’s film.Fernie dreams about the films she watches for months afterwards, creating a sort of “post-traumatic stress by proxy,” she says. “My banker says I’m afraid to invest because I’ve seen too many dystopic economic films where everything comes crashing down.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementcenter_img Facebook Photo courtesy Lynn Fernie Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Quebecor Media Group cutting 220 jobs

first_imgIn a changing industry environment, Quebecor Media Group is announcing changes to its organizational structure designed to balance its cost structure and enhance operational efficiencies. The initiatives will enable Quebecor Media Group to maintain its lead in news and content production and keep focusing on its flagship brands.“In Québec as elsewhere in the world, our industry is facing ongoing disruption,” noted Julie Tremblay, President and CEO of Quebecor Media Group and TVA Group Inc. “We have therefore taken a number of initiatives over the past two years to adapt to the changes, including the creation of Quebecor Media Group, an integrated media company, and the acquisition and sale of various properties. Today it is clear that we must continue our transformation in order to further adjust structural costs and become more agile.”Unfortunately, this transformation will entail the reduction of 220 positions at Quebecor Media Group, or nearly 8% of its workforce, mainly managers, professionals and administrative support staff, in order to bring staffing levels in line with the organizational changes and reduce operating costs. At TVA Group, 125 positions will be abolished. The staff reductions will have no impact on the newsrooms or on news coverage across Québec. Twitter Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Quebecor Media Group also announced that local sales forces, including those for the newspapers, will now be under the responsibility of the existing Advertising Network, which was already responsible for Quebecor Media Group’s national sales, media creativity and research units, and will now operate a fully integrated sales force. The new structure will better meet advertisers’ needs and enhance responsiveness in a changing industry.As well, TVA Publications will carry out an internal restructuring and cease publication of two magazines — CHEZ SOI and Tellement bon — in order to concentrate its efforts on its flagship brands and increase their reach. The Group will maintain a strong presence in the home decorating and cooking categories with brands such as Les idées de ma maison, Style at Home, Coup de pouce, Canadian Living and Recettes du Québec.“I sincerely thank all the employees who will, unfortunately, be affected by these decisions for their contribution,” said Julie Tremblay. “While staff reductions are necessary in view of the transformation, these decisions are always very difficult to make.”About Quebecor Media GroupCanadian leader in news and entertainment media, Quebecor Media Group comprises newspapers, books, music, TVA Group Inc., out-of-home, printing and distribution, while having its own advertising sales and press agency. Throughout its brands, Quebecor Media Group is committed to providing the best possible customer experience and to contributing to the spread of culture.About TVA GroupTVA Group Inc., a subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is a communications company engaged in the broadcasting, film and audiovisual production, and magazine publishing industries. TVA Group Inc. is the largest broadcaster of French-language entertainment, information and public affairs programming in North America, one of the largest private production companies, and the largest publisher of French-language magazines. TVA Group Inc. also publishes some of Canada’s most popular English-language titles. The Corporation’s Class B shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TVA.B. Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Union demands Postmedia executives return 23M in bonuses

first_imgThe bonuses were part of a retention plan to keep key employees with the company during and after its recently completed debt restructuring, which reduced its total debt of $648 million by about $307 million.“It’s not unusual” for a company to implement such a program during these types of transactions, said Postmedia’s vice-president of communications, Phyllise Gelfand. Unions representing Canadian journalists want five Postmedia executives to reject bonuses totalling $2.275 million as the struggling newspaper chain continues staff reductions.The company awarded Postmedia president and CEO Paul Godfrey $900,000, CFO Doug Lamb $450,000, COO Andrew MacLeod $425,000, legal and general counsel Jeffrey Haar $300,000, and National Post president Gordon Fisher $200,000, according to financial documents filed Wednesday.The money will be paid out over three instalments with the first cash payment already distributed on July 15. The next two payments will be made Dec. 2 of this year and July 14, 2017. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: However, one of the five executives, Haar, will leave Postmedia at the end of November, she said. Gelfand could not confirm whether Haar is still entitled to the next two payouts of his retention bonus.The Communications Workers of America Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said in a statement that the executives are acting in an unconscionable manner by accepting the extra money while asking employees to volunteer for buyouts or risk another round of layoffs.“This is an absolute disgrace,” he said, calling on the five men to return the money.Unifor Local 87-M, which represents Ontario’s unionized newspaper workers, called on the executives to give the money to Postmedia’s employees.“That money should be spent to retain workers,” said union president Paul Morse in a statement.Postmedia said last month it was looking to cut salary costs by 20 per cent.The newspaper chain offered its employees voluntary buyouts in late October. The company has not yet announced whether the program reached that target, but has said layoffs may be necessary otherwise.As of the end of August this year, Postmedia had 4,233 full-time equivalent employees, according to its financial documents — down from 4,733 a year prior. In January, the company laid off 90 people and merged newsrooms in four cities where it owns two newspapers in each market.Gelfand said the company had no comment on either the union’s demand for the executives to return their extra pay, or the optics of simultaneously handing out hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses and working towards reducing salary expenses.Despite the bonus, Godfrey’s total compensation fell by nearly $100,000 for 2016, while that of the other four executives rose this year by $29,800 on the low end and $113,456 on the high end. Each of their base salaries remained the same as in 2015.Last year, the five executives and Wayne Parrish, the company’s former COO, received bonuses for their work when Postmedia acquired Sun Media’s English-language newspapers and digital properties.By Aleksandra Sagan – The Canadian Press Advertisementcenter_img Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Facebooklast_img read more

Designer of Gord Downies suits raises money with keychains built from leftovers

first_img Facebook Login/Register With: After the Hip’s final Kingston, Ont., tour stop in August she says there was extra leather from Downie’s seven suit designs, originally meant for minor repairs and alterations.The leather remaining from Downie’s seven suit designs has been repurposed into 1,000 keychains shaped like guitars and embossed with #courageforgord.Each sold for $25 on the website. Proceeds go to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital.Each of the seven outfits was named after someone who Downie considered instrumental in helping him prepare for the tour.The gold suit was coined “Paul” for Hip bandmate Paul Langlois, the silver suit was dubbed “Patrick” after Downie’s brother and the turquoise suit “Edgar” was dedicated to his father, who died last year.Downie’s assistant “Jenn” has her name tied to the acid green suit while two musical icons also have a nod — the purple suit is called “Prince” and the mirror ball suit is “Bowie.”Camilleri’s hot pink suit design was named after herself.Two custom leather jackets will also be up for auction on the website starting Saturday. Both were created “in the spirit of what she designed for Downie.” One is in metallic silver sized in a men’s large while a metallic pink female version is sized medium.Camilleri says she hopes to raise $25,000 from both the keychains and jackets. Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Keychains made from scraps of leather used to tailor Gord Downie’s eye-catching metallic suits were a hot item online Friday.In several hours the limited-edition keychains from fashion designer Izzy Camilleri had sold out on a website raising money for brain cancer research.Camilleri, who created Downie’s look on the Tragically Hip’s “Man Machine Poem” tour, came up with the idea to give fans a souvenir of the singer’s iconic look. Advertisementlast_img read more

Anna Paquin on returning to Canada for Bellevue and Alias Grace

first_img Login/Register With: “I don’t really think about what kind of work I’m doing and where in such a conscious way, as far as, ‘Oh, I want to go do TV in this country’ or ‘I want to do a movie here’ or whatever,” said Paquin. Facebook Shooting on “Bellevue” took place in and around Montreal from September to December. Advertisement “I read material and if I respond to it, that’s great. It just so happened that I ended up doing two shows for Canadian television back-to-back…. I just go where the interesting people and material is and right now, that was here in Canada.” “I moved back here from Los Angeles in 2010 and it just so happened, when I moved back for the first number of years, I did American projects all over the place, not in Toronto,” said Doyle, a Wabush, N.L., native who’s made a splash on series including “Lost” and “Big Love.” Advertisement Advertisement The Canada depicted in “Bellevue” is a bleak mining community that’s fallen on hard times and was also struck by a killer 20 years ago. Annie’s father was a cop on that case but couldn’t solve the crime and ended up committing suicide. The Winnipeg native, who grew up in New Zealand and became a star in Hollywood, says she just goes where the work is good. And right now that’s here, with the upcoming “Alias Grace” miniseries and the new CBC drama “Bellevue,” which premieres Monday. “And then I guess the trend is shifting in this country and I feel like we’re starting to — once again, because it’s happened before — that we’re starting to take pride in our own stories and that we understand that we can compete on the global marketplace in terms of quality and production value and interesting, great writers we have here,” continued Doyle, who’s also in the new series “Frontier,” which was largely shot in Newfoundland.center_img Writer Jane Maggs and veteran producer/director Adrienne Mitchell created the series, which also stars Allen Leech as Annie’s on-again, off-again ex. “I find it very soothing,” said Paquin, who posted photos of herself at the march on her Twitter account. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter “That had a really profound effect on her and she kind of went off the rails, so to speak, for a while, but has channelled all of that level of risk-taking and passion and need for a high-intensity life into a job where that is actually a benefit — even though it means sometimes she breaks the rules a little bit,” said Paquin, who won an Oscar at age 11 for “The Piano.” “We’re starting to understand that if we can be specific to a Canadian story, that that specificity will translate universally. Because it’s just human stories at the end of the day, so it’s really exciting to see that happening, that we’re really owning all the colours that we can be here in Canada.” In her downtime, Paquin was “a prodigious” knitter, said Doyle. Turns out she was knitting pink hats to wear in last month’s Women’s March in Toronto. Oscar-winning actress Anna Paquin of “True Blood” fame says she didn’t deliberately set out to work so much in her birth country — Canada — in the past year. “The symbolism of a peaceful protest that is brought together by a whole bunch of people knitting hats, I think is kind of fantastic as far as taking things that are large and terrifying and scary that are happening politically in the world and turning it into something empowering and positive and beautiful.” “Bellevue” stars Paquin as Annie, a fearless detective with a wild past in a small blue-collar town. When a transgender teen goes missing, Annie goes to great lengths to investigate alongside the police chief, played by Shawn Doyle.last_img read more

Montreal based Unimotion Productions Inc and WatchMojo Studios win a prestigious Telly

first_img Login/Register With: With over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents, the Telly Awards are the premier award honouring outstanding content for TV and Cable and Digital and Streaming. Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Twittercenter_img “The Lineup” a series co-produced by host Adam Reid (Unimotion Productions Inc) and (WatchMojo Studios) has been awarded a #TellyAward in the “Video/Shows/Segments/Web Series” category! “We’re humbled to be alongside incredible companies like and NASCAR on FOX who share the same award!” – Adam ReidDirected by Manny Sienna, hosted by Adam Reid and created by Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, “The Lineup” is a new sports panel game show! Passionate sports and entertainment personalities compete in a gamified take on sports talk that mixes elements of trivia, Top 10 rankings and fantasy drafts!To watch episodes of the show, click here: Reid‘s Official Website: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With: We work with visionary storytellers to produce bold, original films.Our open-door policy means everyone from aspiring writers to WGA members can submit ideas online, no strings attached.If your movie could become somebody’s favorite film, we’re looking for you.Amazon Studios is producing Emmy Award-winning television series. We’re looking for smart, cinematic drama series; bold, original comedy series; and innovative, educational series for kids.Now, anyone (including WGA members) is welcome to submit their work with no strings attached.Learn more about our Submission policy here.Submit a drama scriptSubmit a comedy scriptSubmit a children’s script Twitterlast_img read more

Oscar contender Shape of Water accused of ripping off 1969 play

first_imgThe lawsuit, filed by Zindel’s son David, listed more than 60 resemblances between the play “Let Me Hear You Whisper,” and “The Shape of Water.”They include the play and the movie’s basic story of the lonely janitor who works at a scientific laboratory during the Cold War, forms a loving bond with a captive aquatic creature and hatches a plan to liberate it.In the Zindel play, the creature is a dolphin. In the movie, it is a half-man, half-river creature.The lawsuit said that despite “the glaring similarities between the play and the obviously derivative picture, defendants never bothered to seek or obtain a customary license” for the rights to Zindel’s play, nor credit him.Fox Searchlight denied the claims as “baseless (and) wholly without merit.”The studio said in a statement that the lawsuit seemed timed “to coincide with the Academy Award voting cycle in order to pressure our studio to quickly settle. Instead, we will vigorously defend ourselves and, by extension, this groundbreaking and original film.”The lawsuit cited interviews given by Kraus and del Toro in which they said Kraus, an American novelist, came up with the storyline about a janitor who kidnaps an amphibian.It alleged that Kraus was aware of Zindel and his play, which was produced for television in 1969 and again in 1990.New York-based Zindel, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1964 play “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” died in 2003.“The Shape of Water” has already won a best picture Golden Globe and numerous acting and craft awards from film critics’ groups in the United States and elsewhere. Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by G Crosse LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Shape of Water,” a contender for this year’s best picture Oscar, was hit with a plagiarism lawsuit on Wednesday, alleging that its fantastical plot about a romance between a cleaning woman and a mysterious river creature was lifted directly from an American stage play.The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, alleged that director Guillermo del Toro, producer Daniel Kraus and movie studio Fox Searchlight “brazenly copies the story, elements, characters and themes” from a 1969 play by the late Paul Zindel.“The Shape of Water” has a leading 13 Oscar nominations at the March 4 Academy Awards ceremony, including nods for best picture and best director. The lawsuit was filed the day after ballots went out to some 8,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who vote on the Oscar winners. Facebook Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins attend the premiere of “The Shape of Water” in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 15, 2017. REUTERS/David McNew Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With:last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement GATINEAU, QC, June 26, 2018 /CNW/ – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced the appointment of Christa Dickenson as the new Executive Director of Telefilm Canada for a term of five years, effective July 30, 2018. This appointment is the result of the Government of Canada’s open, transparent and merit-based selection process. Christa Dickenson is the President and CEO of Interactive Ontario. Previously, she served as the organization’s Executive Director from 2014 to 2017. With more than two decades of experience leveraging strategic partnerships and helping generate revenue, sponsorship and fundraising opportunities in her industry, Ms. Dickenson is fully bilingual and has had a successful career spanning cable, telecommunications, broadcast television, and interactive digital media. Prior to joining Interactive Ontario, she worked at Rogers Communications, CPAC and CTV. A highly-effective brand advocate, she possesses an unparalleled talent for innovation and strong business acumen.Ms. Dickenson has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in film and video production and serves on a number of boards and councils, including the Canadian Interactive Alliance, the Institute of Corporate Directors and the Insight Council. She is also a founding member of the Leadership Coaching Council, which provides free executive coaching to charitable organizations across Ontario. Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With:center_img Facebook As the federal cultural agency devoted to the development and promotion of the Canadian audiovisual industry, Telefilm Canada is primarily concerned with the funding of original, diverse, and high-quality productions that reflect Canada’s linguistic duality and cultural diversity. Telefilm Canada is an independent organization within the Canadian Heritage portfolio.Quotes“The Canadian identity spans all forms of art, including the films developed and produced here by our creators. As the new Executive Director of Telefilm Canada, Ms. Dickenson will help Canada’s talent shine at home and around the world. I am confident that her valuable experience will help strengthen our audio-visual industry so more audiences can hear and see our stories.”—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian HeritageQuick FactsThe Board of Directors of Telefilm Canada is comprised of six members appointed by the Governor in Council and the Government Film Commissioner, who is appointed under the National Film Act. On the recommendation of the Corporation, the Governor in Council may appoint an Executive Director.In 2016, the Government of Canada adopted a new approach to Governor in Council appointments. This approach respects gender parity and is supported by an open, transparent and merit-based selection process; one that will result in the recommendation of exceptionally competent candidates who truly reflect Canada’s diversity.This new approach requires a selection process for the majority of full- and part-time positions.All appointment opportunities for the 18 organizations in the Canadian Heritage Portfolio are posted as they become available on the Governor in Council Appointments website. Interested parties can apply online.Telefilm Canada acts as one of the Canadian government’s principal instruments for providing strategic leverage to the private sector, supplying the film, television and new media industries with financial and strategic support. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

Yukon women hope for justice at RCMP hearing

first_imgAPTN National NewsSeveral Yukon women’s groups are in the town of Watson Lake this week to witness the code of conduct hearing of two RCMP officers who were acquitted of sexual assault by territorial court in 2010.As APTN National News reporter Shirley McLean explains, those women want to see officers held accountable.last_img

Convicted chief and council member win reelection

first_imgAPTN National NewsA convicted chief and council member have won their bids to remain in office on a central Saskatchewan First Nation.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnouf has an update on this story.last_img

Indigenous owned cannabis company becomes first onreserve facility licensed for medical marijuana

first_imgAnnette FrancisAPTN NewsThe first Indigenous owned and operated medical cannabis producer gets licensed by Health Canada. Seven Leaf of Akwesasne, Ont. will soon start growing medical marijuana in it’s on-reserve facility.Grown out of a renovated water bottling plant, Seven Leaf is run by former Akwesasne Mohawk Police chief Lewis Mitchell. He says the community is already seeing the benefits of having the facility on-reserve “we’re employing twenty-four people from Akwesasne, that’s phase one, once we’re totally complete, once the complete buildout is finished for maximum capacity, we expect to hire seventy-five people from this community.”Mitchell added that each grow cycle is 120 days from propagation to harvest and the first crop of licensed cannabis will be available in Spring read more

Mohawk coffee roaster says he was forced to ditch insurance over Quebec

first_imgTom FennarioAPTN NewsWalter David stands on his toes before pouring a large bag of green raw coffee beans into the top of his coffee roasting oven.“Don’t film this part,” David says, pointing to a computer screen displaying the oven’s automated time and temperature settings, “they’re trade secrets.”Moccasin Jo brand coffee, a business David owns with his wife Lise, is an award winning coffee roaster.A big reason why it’s so popular is because David is meticulous.(Walter David in his shop in Kanesatake Mohawk Territory)He lords over the freshly roasted coffee as it cools at the bottom, looking for any imperfection in the beans as a metal blade turns them over.“These are off beans,” he says, showing off a small handful he’s removed from the latest batch. “And a lot of times, these are unripe or bug infested sometimes at origin, so they have to be separated otherwise it ends up in a cup (of coffee.)”Coffee isn’t the only thing David is meticulous with.As a Mohawk, he’s adamant about defending his rights.He recently dumped his insurance company of 30 years because they insisted on charging him Quebec taxes, even though his home and business are in Kanesatake Mohawk territory.“They wanted us to pay for it, and then get reimbursed by the government,” says David. “No, the principle here is you insulted us, and that’s it. You insulted us by saying we don’t exist.”David says the insurance company told him that Kanesatake is too much of a patchwork reserve to verify his claims of living there.The insurance company declined a request from APTN News for comment.David says his dispute over taxes with the company is not recorded anywhere.“We asked for proof, we asked for it written, she refused to give anything written to us,” says David.Grand Chief Serge Simon confirms that David lives and works within the 12 square kilometres that the federal government recognizes as reserve land – although Kanesatake’s unceded territory is hundreds of times that.Still, Simon emphasizes that by Quebec and Canada’s own rules, David is within his rights.Quebec’s own tax laws clearly state that provincial sales tax does not apply to services rendered on reserve to a status Indian.“He has certain inalienable rights, and he can’t have that taken away from him,” says Simon. “If I allow this to happen to him, I allow it to happen to the rest of us, so it’s within our collective interests to do something about that.”The Mohawk council says they will intervene on behalf of David and anybody else who has their non-taxable status threatened.And there are potential avenues when it comes to David’s case.Because insurance is regulated, every province and territory in Canada has an ombudsman that will investigate complaints.David said for him it’s not about the money, but standing up for his rights as a Mohawk.“I think everybody here needs to get together on this whole issue,” concluded David.In the meantime David will keep roasting his coffee.He might just need to be more cautious than usual…Moccasin Joe is currently operating without read more

Winnipeg mural festival teams up Indigenous artists with local youth

first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsPublic art has the ability to inspire, educate and bring together communities.One Indigenous artist is hoping a new mural in Winnipeg will do just this.Annie Beach, who is Cree and Saulteaux, is designing a large-scale mural with the help of community members in the city.Over the next week she’s leading workshops where participants are required to do some self-reflection.“I wanted to base this mural and this workshop on this idea of how place can effect those around you and your individual place when you’re thinking about…the grand scheme of things,” said Beach.“This idea of people, land, animals, plants and how all those things are interconnected.”During the workshops participants create collages, which Beach will then use as references to design the final piece.The project is part of this year’s Wall to Wall Mural and Culture Festival taking place in September and is a mentorship between Beach and local youth.The festival is responsible for more than 50 murals located in the city’s core areas.Many of the murals, like the Star Blanket Project, represent Indigenous cultures.“For both Native and non-Native people it’s important to think about the history of this place and what it means to an individual,” said Beach. “Especially if you’re a settler or newcomer thinking about this history that maybe isn’t as apparent to you as an individual.”Synonym Art Consultation puts on the festival in partnership with other local organizations.The group has teamed up with Studio 393, a youth-led arts studio, to facilitate the workshops with the end goal of engaging local youth.Osani Balkaran, an instructor with Studio 393, said the space allows youth to find a passion.Balkaran himself started attending programming at the studio when he was 12 before eventually working there.“You can see that progression over time when people start coming around often enough,” said Balkaran. “They sort of zone in on one thing…and then you get to see them do really well and take that skill and apply it to different things.”This year’s festival will produce another 15 murals including another mentorship project with First Nations artist Peatr Thomas and youth from Studio 393.Beach’s mural will be placed in the city’s North End.The festival runs from Sept. 1-30.bhobson@aptn.calast_img read more

The US has started delivering its bombshell demands at NAFTA talks

first_imgPENTAGON, Va. – The NAFTA talks have now entered their most difficult phase with the United States beginning to drop its bombshell proposals on the negotiating table at a just-begun fourth round outside Washington.U.S. officials had foreshadowed that this week-long round would see the most contentious discussions open and that is coming to fruition, with the American side levelling one demand deemed a non-starter — and preparing to deliver another one.The just-released demand would create a so-called termination clause. It would end NAFTA after five years, unless its member countries explicitly opted to renew it. That proposal was delivered late Wednesday night.That comes after the U.S. proposed far stricter Buy American rules at the last negotiating round, and in the leadup to one of the most important proposals of the entire negotiation: on rules for auto parts, which could come as early as Friday.”More contentious issues will be coming up very shortly,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said during a panel discussion this week at the Dentons law firm.”So far the talks have mainly done basic background things. Kind of what I would call boilerplate things. Relatively easy issues.”The other NAFTA countries say they’re legitimately baffled by where the U.S. is headed.Sources say others are trying to figure out what this hardline approach signals from the U.S. — opening positions that will be flexible with some bargaining; hard demands; or a desire to poison the talks, let them collapse, and simply do away with NAFTA.Some allies of President Donald Trump are more positive.Newt Gingrich said this week he sees little appetite within the U.S. cabinet for the type of turmoil cancelling NAFTA might cause. He said Trump’s team is filled with wealthy pro-traders, who simply believe the U.S. needs tougher deals.Ross himself said he doesn’t anticipate a NAFTA collapse, though he added a caveat: “We don’t hope it will (end), we don’t desire that it will, we don’t believe that it will, but it is at least a conceptual possibility.”Canada and Mexico are vehemently opposed to the five-year termination idea, seeing it as a destabilizing investment-killer and an unacceptable red line.Still, leaders from both countries said late Thursday night they aren’t walking away from the table. At a joint press conference in Mexico City, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would consider the new proposal and continue to negotiate, while Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said any speculation on the implications of any proposal should be taken with a grain of salt.Ross shrugged off the talk of red lines.“Yes, that’s our proposal,” Ross said, adding dismissively: “Red lines, blue lines, green lines, purple lines — those are just colours in a rainbow… It’s a big, complicated negotiation and the key is having an overall package that works (at the end).”The next big scare could come on Friday the 13th.That’s when the group handling rules for auto parts meets for the first time in this round, and it’s expected the U.S. is preparing to level demands viewed as non-starters by Canada, Mexico, and the auto industry.One report said the planned demand would require 85 per cent of a car’s parts to come from North America, and half of them to come from the U.S. The industry says many of these components simply aren’t made on the continent, and warns that if the rules get too onerous it might just stop working within NAFTA and start paying tariffs.The demands being levelled cross several of the six so-called red lines laid out by Mexico’s Senate, which says it would refuse any deal that includes a termination clause, a U.S. auto content requirement, or the end of the Chapter 19 dispute-resolution system.One official says it’s important to keep negotiating calmly.“We’re expecting some contentious proposals this week,” said the official, a non-American who was not authorized to speak publicly. “Having said that, no one should lose sight of the fact you have three teams of negotiators working to make progress on the deal and they are making progress.“If there weren’t contentious proposals, it wouldn’t be a negotiation.”American industry has begun sounding alarm bells about the potential damage if NAFTA dies. The U.S. Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association released a study Thursday saying it could cost 25,000 to 50,000 U.S. jobs, and warned that too-stringent content rules could cost 24,000 jobs.A team of Scotiabank economists agrees the auto sector is faring well under NAFTA. It points to data showing a surge in U.S. auto employment since the 2008-09 recession, with six per cent annual employment increases that are multiple times larger than growth in other manufacturing sectors. They say Ross relies on skewed numbers to paint an overly grim portrait, which underestimates the degree of U.S. content in North American cars.But Ross shrugs off the industry’s complaints: ”I think you’ll find the car companies will adapt themselves to it.”last_img read more

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman talks 2019 housing trends

first_imgLOS ANGELES — The U.S. is on track to finish the year with an annual decline in home sales for the first time since 2014.Home sales have plunged over the past 12 months and many economists forecast sales will weaken further in 2019.The housing market is slowing as would-be buyers struggle with rising borrowing costs and a persistently low number of properties on the market.Glenn Kelman, CEO of Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin, recently spoke to The Associated Press about the state of the housing market and why he expects first-time buyers will continue to struggle next year. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.Q: How do you see the housing market’s trajectory next year?A: The housing market is probably the weakest sector of the U.S. economy and the $64,000 question is just whether housing is going to bring down the U.S. economy or the U.S. economy is going to bring housing back up. People have good jobs and corporations are making money. If the stock market rebounds, you’re going to see a reasonable housing market next year. It will still be soft, but it won’t be catastrophic. If, on the other hand, housing undermines consumer confidence generally; people start feeling poor because their home has declined in value; and a huge sector of the economy for building and selling housing enters a recession, then you can see the start of a much larger cycle.Q: Do you see first-time buyers having an easier time?A: They’re going to have a harder time. There’s so much inventory that’s rate-locked. The spread between 3.5 per cent and the current mortgage rate, as that widens, it will just be a stronger and stronger incentive for people to hold on to their homes forever. When they want to move, they’re going to rent them out, rather than sell them.Q: What’s it going to take to fix this shortage in affordable housing?A: I view much of our economic policy as a way to defend the wealth of baby boomers. People get up in arms about protecting the value of their home and making sure that it increases. When the city wants to increase density, everybody living in a single-family home, who is usually between the ages of 40 and 65, absolutely freaks out and prevents that construction. And in some ways that’s just acting as a cartel where the people who hold the good prevent more supply of that good from reaching the market and maintain artificially high prices. What I’m hopeful about is just this idea that Americans aren’t trapped in a single city. If you go to almost any city hall, the only pocketbook issue that the middle class is up in arms about is the cost of housing. And every mayor is trying to solve that problem. And the cities that are solving it best are in the middle of the country, so that’s why you’re seeing this migration from coastal cities into the centre of the country. I think it’s going to depolarize us politically.Q: Any major trends that you see accelerating next year?A: Tech companies are going to increasingly be called to account for how we deal with the prosperity created by technology. We should want high-paying jobs, but when housing prices blow up in Boise or Salt Lake or Denver, a mob forms and they want answers and the people they ask the answers from are Twitter and Amazon and Redfin. The idea that we can say that’s not our problem isn’t working very well right now. There just has to be a better alliance between tech and government on this. It boils down to higher taxes for tech.Alex Veiga, The Associated Presslast_img read more

TSA absentee rate still high but down from Sundays peak

first_imgTSA officials say the rate of airport screeners missing work during the partial government shutdown has stabilized just days before a three-day holiday weekend.The Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday that 6.1 per cent of its airport screeners missed work Tuesday.That’s nearly double the absentee rate on the same day last year but the second-straight decline after the sick-out rate surged to 7.7 per cent Sunday.A TSA spokesman says screeners this week should have received $500 bonuses and, for some, an extra day’s pay, for working over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.Meanwhile, air traffic controllers who are also working without pay lost an effort to force the government to pay them. A federal judge Tuesday rejected their union’s request for a temporary restraining order.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Creating more childcare spaces in BC through partnerships

first_img“We hear from local leaders about how important it is to have good quality childcare to create a family-friendly community and attract employers to their cities and towns,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “We want to work with municipalities and regional districts to help make affordable quality childcare accessible throughout the province. These grants are a strategic investment to ensure spaces are created where they’re needed most, strengthening communities and our economy.”Planning grants of up to $25,000 are available to help municipalities and regional districts identify needs and create new childcare spaces over the next 10 years.Investing in childcare and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.“We know we can create hundreds of new childcare spaces if we work together,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “I encourage local governments to apply for this funding, so childcare can be in reach for their residents. Next year we hope to have a lot more success stories to share.” VANCOUVER, B.C. – New provincial guidelines are allowing local governments to pair funding programs and purchase land to create new childcare spaces will help families in B.C. have better access to closer-to-home childcare.Up to $4 million to buy land for childcare centres and create new licensed child care spaces is available to municipalities and regional districts for their communities.Previously, the maximum funding available was $1 million and local governments had only one fund to draw from, leaving them to cover the costs of land purchases and additional spaces for new childcare projects.last_img read more