Police drop privacybreach case against Halifax teenNo grounds to lay charges

first_imgHALIFAX – Police have dropped the case against a young Halifax man alleged to have breached a Nova Scotia freedom-of-information website, shifting the issue squarely back to whether the province had basic measures in place to protect its citizens’ private information.In a news release, Halifax police say that after a thorough investigation, “the police have determined there to be no grounds to lay charges in the matter.”The young man’s lawyer, David Fraser, had said repeatedly that the youth — who was arrested after a dramatic raid on his family’s home — had no malicious intent when he downloaded 7,000 documents from the public site.The 19-year-old was collecting information about a teachers’ labour dispute, and hadn’t realized the site didn’t protect other information from a simple download program, Fraser said.“Even though anybody who has looked at it has said these charges would never succeed, there’s always going to be some anxiety associated with it. So, to have this resolution, it’s just a relief,” he said Monday.Personal information ranging from social insurance numbers to documents meant only for the eyes of the applicants were accessed, according to the province.Fraser said the case has “raised awareness about how the government secures information.”NDP house leader Dave Wilson said the onus is now on the government to take responsibility for what happened.Wilson pointed to previous warnings from the province’s auditor general about potential security problems with the website.“Obviously enough wasn’t done to fix those problems and I think the government, the premier, the minister need to take full responsibility for this,” said Wilson.“Definitely I think the government at a minimum should owe this young gentleman an apology,” said Wilson. “They need to take ownership of this.”Police arrested the man on April 11 and said they gave him notice to appear under a rarely used section of the Criminal Code that prohibits unauthorized use of a computer with fraudulent intent.However, in Monday’s news release, Supt. Jim Perrin, said, “as the investigation evolved, we have determined that the 19-year-old who was arrested on April 11 did not have intent to commit a criminal offence by accessing the information.”The family and the youth have said the search with 15 officers left their home in disarray and the 19-year-old deeply distressed over the prospect of potential charges, said Fraser.Police have said any complaints about the search could go through a complaints process, but Fraser said it was too early to comment on whether the family intended to explore that avenue.“Whether the police acted proportionately and appropriately depends on what they were told by the province, and we don’t have insight into that yet,” he said.His client was not immediately available for comment.Perrin said in an interview Monday that when the province first told investigators that a large number of files had been taken, “there was a level of seriousness around the allegation, and our officers did a thorough investigation.”“As you can appreciate it’s more complex when executing a search at a residence than one officer knocking at the door,” he said.“We were looking for computer evidence, possible documentation evidence and there are a lot of places in a residence where these things can be kept.”In a statement, Internal Services Minister Patricia Arab said the government respects the police decision.“We will continue to offer supports for those affected by this breach. Our priority from the outset has been containing the data,” she said in the statement.“As we go forward, we will co-operate fully with the investigation of the Nova Scotia Auditor General and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.”Karla MacFarlane, interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives, reiterated her party’s call for Arab to resign over the lack of oversight for the province’s web services.MacFarlane also called on Premier Stephen McNeil to apologize to the 19-year-old.“Right from the very beginning, they threw this young man under the bus in my opinion, and without knowing the facts,” she said.McNeil initially referred to the young man’s actions as “stealing,” but has since backed away from this strong language.Fraser said, “I disagree with that conclusion vehemently, but I don’t know what he was told. So much of this is unknown.”A number of experts on internet law have raised concerns about the arrest, saying if it had led to charges then groups ranging from journalists to archivists could face similar prosecutions for searching public websites without proper security measures in place.last_img read more

Williams Lake and surrounding area under evacuation order due to wildfires

first_imgWILLIAMS LAKE (NEWS 1130) – Officials are preparing for more evacuation alerts and orders as wildfires in British Columbia risk worsening this weekend.Lightning and strong winds are in the forecast and could fuel the dozens of fires burning across the province, three of which surround Williams Lake.An evacuation order has been issued for Williams Lake and surrounding areas in the Cariboo Regional District.People are being advised to leave their homes immediately due to nearby activity.Highway 97 is being recommended as an evacuation route.The BC Wildfire Service says it’s taken steps to help ground crews fight some of the fires, by burning a safe perimeter around a 2,600-hectare blaze near 150 Mile House.Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek says winds could reach 70 kilometres an hour in parts of the southern Interior.“That level of wind certainly has the prospect to really whip up fire behaviour, so of course that is cause for concern given the amount of fire we have through the southern part of the province right now.”Unfavourable conditions mean extra precautions need to be taken to avoid further fires from being sparked, so he’s also urging people to stay out of the back country where possible.More than 16,000 people have had to evacuate their homes because of fires. It’s still too soon to tell when they might be able to return home, but with fires still threatening entire communities, the number of evacuees is expected to rise.Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb says crews are ensuring routes are clear and buses are ready if the city’s 11,000 residents are suddenly forced to leave.“We’re ready for it, we’re expecting that if the wind comes up like indicated, it’s a possibility that we will have to go to the next step but right now we’re just on alert and we’re hoping for the best,” he says.Major wind event expected to cause substantial increase in #BCwildfire activity throughout the Interior. More info: https://t.co/qcUuyMpZKg— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) July 15, 2017Dave Dixon, who’s managing emergency social services in the Williams Lake region, says more than 200 people have registered in case new evacuation orders force people living there to leave.“We have had some people just checking out things, seeing how things are going. We have some people coming in inquiring, and something sort of unique that we see is when they do come in, they say ‘hey, can we volunteer?’ So that’s really a positive.Officials are also asking the public to stay off four lakes in the Cariboo region, specifically Williams Lake, Watson Lake, Lac La Hache and Horse Lake, so that firefighting aircraft have room to pick up water.On Friday evening, Emergency Info BC issued its first evacuation order since Wednesday.People in the Loon Lake area of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District were ordered to evacuate the area, and an evacuation alert was issued for the Village of Clinton.Village officials warned that residents should prepare for an evacuation order, noting that the fire was headed their way and “poses an imminent threat to people and property.”This morning, an evacuation order was issued for the remote Clisbako area in the Cariboo. Officials have not said how many people are affected.last_img read more

Studio says safety on Riverdale set of paramount importance following crash

first_imgVANCOUVER – Warner Bros. Television says the safety of the cast and crew of its Vancouver-based “Riverdale” set is of “paramount importance.”The studio is speaking out in the wake of a car crash involving star K.J. Apa, who escaped injury in a collision that occurred as he drove home after a 14-hour day.The incident prompted concerns from some industry observers about long hours in the film and TV business.But the studio says its productions adhere to guild-mandated standards. That includes a turnaround time of 12 hours from wrap to next day call time, and the offer of a taxi, driver or hotel room to anyone who feels tired or unsafe after work.The studio says Apa worked 14.2 hours Sept. 14, the day of the accident. And on the previous day he worked 2.5 hours, and the day before that he worked 7.7 hours.They also say the 20-year-old New Zealander was told about his labour rights.“K.J. has repeatedly been informed about making production aware if he is tired or feels unsafe, and if so, either a ride or hotel room will be provided for him,” the studio said in a statement.Apa plays lead character Archie Andrews on the show, a live action take on the Archie Comics.It is the second Vancouver production to have an accident in as many months. Rookie stuntwoman Joi Harris died in August after apparently losing control of a motorcycle in a stunt for “Deadpool 2.”last_img read more

Tories say Harpers letter doesnt change their approach to NAFTA

first_imgOTTAWA – Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole was sitting in the departure lounge at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., last week when his eyes landed on a story he wasn’t expecting.“‘Napping on NAFTA’: Harper blasts Trudeau government handling of negotiations,’” read the headline on a Canadian Press story about a memo written by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.“What?” O’Toole recalled thinking. “Oh, dear.”Harper had shared gloomy thoughts on the deal a few weeks earlier during an event in Washington, but the memo, which castigated the Liberals directly, was a rarity for an ex-political leader who has largely stayed away from any direct remarks on the current government since the 2015 federal election.That the memo suddenly found its way into the public domain — he’d been writing them for months and none have ever surfaced — left political observers scratching their heads. Who would leak it? And why?Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wouldn’t directly address the letter or its potential implications when asked about it on Monday.“I hold the office of prime minister in high regard, and because of that I hold former prime ministers in high regard, and will not make any comments on what he had to say.”O’Toole was sitting at the airport having just wound up a trip to D.C. with the House of Commons foreign affairs committee to advocate for Canada’s interests at the NAFTA talks, part of an ongoing collaborative approach the Conservatives are trying to take to the negotiations.Harper’s letter took a swing at Canada’s negotiating strategy, suggesting the Liberals were letting the Americans run all over them and putting the future of NAFTA in real danger.Some Tories say quietly they suspect an attempt to harm the Conservative Opposition and undermine leader Andrew Scheer’s efforts to make a break from the Harper era.The Liberals say Harper has jeopardized the talks by playing politics with the united front Canada is trying to put forward.“I think he’s got a grudge to hold and he’s more interested in putting stuff out there that is going to do damage to our negotiating positions,” Liberal MP Bob Nault, the chair of the committee, told CBC’s “As It Happens.”Scheer said he didn’t understand why the Liberals were making such a fuss.“For the Liberals to keep drawing attention to something they claim is so damaging is bizarre,” he said Tuesday.The letter was written for clients of Harper’s consulting business. Some Conservatives allowed that he ought to have known there was a risk it would become public, but say Harper’s team never gave Scheer’s office a heads up, suggesting it was never meant for broader dissemination.Not to mention a well-known fact about the former PM: he loathes leaks — so much so, in fact, that he once panicked when a staffer, Geoff Norquay, was forced to leave a meeting to deal with one, former Harper aide Bruce Carson recounted in his own newsletter this week.“It took a while to settle Harper down and get him to understand these were leaks in Norquay’s roof at home caused by ice dams that are symptomatic of the late winter in Ottawa,” Carson wrote.Rachel Curran, Harper’s former policy director, said his consulting firm will take more care with his memos going forward. This one, she said, was a warning to the business community and was never meant to have political implications.“His advice was framed as, ‘Americans are going to insist on a better deal and are prepared to live with the political and economic risk of NAFTA collapse, get yourself ready,’” Curran said.O’Toole said the positions Harper takes aren’t so different from those the Opposition Conservatives have been trying to advance in Parliament, though Harper’s tone may have been different.“Certainly, when a former prime minister weighs in, someone that was well known for trade, it caused a bit more of a splash or ripples than when MP Erin O’Toole or someone like that weighs in,” he said.He said he doesn’t feel the current strategy needs a reboot, adding that the Tories remain committed to working with the Liberal government to advance the talks.“I’ve shared some of the concerns he’s raised, but we’re here — the current group of parliamentarians are here — to work with the government where we can.”International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Team Canada continues to play together on the NAFTA talks.“You have to take it with a grain of salt,” he said of the letter. “This is a comment from someone who is not at the table.”last_img read more

Nebraska approves TransCanadas Keystone XL pipeline in close vote

first_imgCALGARY – Nebraska’s Public Service Commission has approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a 3 to 2 vote, clearing the last major regulatory hurdle for the controversial $10 billion project.The panel’s approval came with a tight margin of victory for the pipeline, which would transport about 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Hardisty, Alta. to Steele City, Neb. The vote comes as TransCanada continues to clean up a 5,000-barrel oil spill from its pipeline in nearby South Dakota that opponents have pointed to as reason not to approve Keystone XL.Among other concerns, opponents of the 1,897-kilometre Keystone XL project say the pipeline would pass through the Sandhills, an ecologically fragile region in Nebraska of grass-covered sand dunes, and would cross the land of farmers and ranchers who don’t want it.The commission, however, was specifically prohibited from evaluating safety considerations, including risk or impact of a spill, and will instead rule on issues including regulatory compliance, economic and social impacts of the project, the potential intrusion on natural resources, and whether better routes exist.Barack Obama rejected Keystone XL in 2015 after years of review, only for President Donald Trump to give the go-ahead to the project in March, saying the pipeline will bring jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.last_img read more

Former Mulroney chief of staff Stanley Hartt dies of cancer at age

first_imgTORONTO – Stanley Hartt, who served as former prime minister Brian Mulroney’s chief of staff from 1989-1990, has died of cancer in Toronto at the age of 80.In a statement, Mulroney says he is deeply saddened by Hartt’s death, calling him one of the “most outstanding public servants of our country.”Mulroney describes Hartt as having an “extremely brilliant mind with a delightful sense of humour” and a remarkable capacity to analyze complex issues and produce policy options.Prior to joining Mulroney’s office, Hartt served as deputy finance minister under former finance minister Michael Wilson and was a key figure in the negotiations that led to the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement.According to his LinkedIn profile, Hartt had spent the last five years as a lawyer with the Toronto-based law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright.He also served as chairman at such companies as Campeau Corp., Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd., and Citigroup Global Markets Canada Inc.“I will always remember Stanley as a warm and highly valued friend of some 50 years,” said Mulroney.“Stanley played an important role in all the major initiatives of our government, from free trade to the GST, from Meech Lake to the movement to free Nelson Mandela.”last_img read more

Women from Lethbridge Pronghorns university hockey team file lawsuit

first_imgLETHBRIDGE, Alta. – Four players from the University of Lethbridge women’s hockey team are suing the school, its sports director and the team’s coach.A statement of claim filed on Tuesday in Court of Queen’s Bench names Olivia Alexander, Alannah Jensen, Chelsea Kasprick and Brittney Sawyer as plaintiffs.The women claim in court documents obtained by Lethbridge News Now that they were harassed and intimidated while playing for the Pronghorns.They allege coach Michelle Janus made abusive remarks to players and allowed bullying on the team.The women also allege the university and sports executive director Ken McInnes did not do enough — namely firing Janus as head coach — when multiple concerns were raised as early as 2015.None of the allegations has been proven in court and the university has said it will not provide any comments specific to the lawsuit.The statement of claim says the players were “subjected to the harassing and demeaning conduct, representations, omission and/or negligence of McInnes and Janus.”“The defendants harassed and bullied the plaintiffs by engaging in threatening and intimidating behaviours, not providing them proper care, calling them names and suggesting they were mentally unstable on a daily basis,” the document says.The players also allege the university breached its contracts with the players by failing to maintain an environment free from discrimination, bullying and harassment.A list of damages alleged by the players include physical, psychological and emotional harm, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, headaches, insomnia and loss of interest in playing sports, specifically hockey.A list of 21 complaints were submitted to the university in May by six players, including the four who have filed the lawsuit. They outlined concerns with Janus under the university’s harassment and discrimination policy and asked for her termination.That resulted in the university launching an investigation. It concluded with a response from acting chief human resources officer Nancy Walker on July 31.“The conclusion relating to the harassment complaint was that the policy on harassment has been violated,” wrote Walker.“The investigation conclusion in regards to discrimination was that based on the balance of probabilities and findings of fact, the policy on discrimination of different treatment on the basis of protected grounds has not been violated.”She went on to outline steps that would be taken to address the situation, including improved communication, counselling and more in-depth training for Janus.In response to the lawsuit, the university said it has already begun implementing many of the suggestions in the investigation’s report.“The women’s hockey coach has committed to the actions recommended in the report to ensure the continued growth and development of the women’s hockey program and to provide a positive experience for student athletes both in and out of the classroom,” the university said. (Lethbridge News Now)last_img read more

Erin Weir to seek NDP nomination despite ousting over harassment complaints

first_imgSURREY, B.C. – Member of Parliament Erin Weir says he’ll seek the NDP nomination in his riding again despite being removed from the party’s caucus after an investigation upheld harassment complaints.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has stood firm in his decision to block Weir from returning to caucus or running in the 2019 election, but the Regina-Lewvan MP says local New Democrats should decide the nominee.Weir said he’s knocked on thousands of doors in the riding and has “overwhelming support.”“The real question is what does Mr. Singh intend to do? Will he simply ignore the more than 2,000 NDP members in Regina-Lewvan and appoint his own candidate?” Weir asked.He added that if he lost the nomination vote, he would respect the outcome, but if Singh simply appoints a candidate without a democratic vote, then he would have to consult local members about the way forward.Further, Weir said a “significant” number of NDP members of Parliament want to see him return to caucus, but they cannot speak out publicly because they are subject to Singh’s discipline.“There are lots of people in the caucus that want me to be part of it. It’s Mr. Singh who’s said he doesn’t want me to be a part of it,” he said.Weir was suspended from the caucus in February after fellow New Democrat Christine Moore sent an email to her caucus colleagues saying she had heard numerous complaints about Weir allegedly harassing staffers.A subsequent independent investigation upheld several complaints of harassment, which Singh described at the time as a failure to read non-verbal cues in social settings.However, it was Weir’s response to the findings — publicly dismissing one complaint as payback for a policy dispute he had with a member of former leader Tom Mulcair’s staff — that got him booted out of caucus permanently in May.Several female NDP activists applauded Singh’s decision in a letter posted online this week, countering a letter criticizing the move from 67 former New Democrat politicians in Saskatchewan.Singh was in Surrey, B.C., this week for a NDP caucus retreat and said Tuesday he wasn’t going to change his mind because people in a “position of privilege” want to intimidate him.Weir said it was disappointing that Singh dismissed dozens of long-serving NDP members of Parliament and the Saskatchewan legislature as privileged rather than addressing their concerns about a lack of due process.At the end of the retreat Thursday, Singh said he would not consider apologizing to the politicians, though he noted they do “important work” for their communities.“Using a position of privilege to do good work for the community is great, but to use that same position to try to have a change in position when it comes to harassment is not going to happen,” he said.He also described the investigation into Weir’s conduct as a “fair process” and denied he had made any mistakes in handling complaints against the MP.The party leader said he’s made it clear he won’t readmit Weir to caucus, though if he tries to seek the NDP nomination a vetting process will take place during which he will have “due process.”“He can run as an Independent. That’s up to him,” Singh added.The caucus retreat came at a difficult time in Singh’s tenure as party loyalists grumble about poor fundraising results and question his effectiveness as leader.During a closing news conference with his caucus gathered behind him, Singh said there had been tough discussions but they emerged united in their determination to “make people’s lives better.”“Sitting down around the table and sharing those stories and talking about the people that are depending on us … really brings us together as New Democrats to say, ‘Listen, we’ve got an important job to do.’ “Weir said he’s completed sensitivity training to better respond to non-verbal cues and has reflected on how to have frank political debates in ways that won’t make people feel intimidated or embarrassed.The investigation report has never been released, but Weir posted a letter from the sensitivity trainer on his website that he says summarizes the findings. The sexual harassment complaints involved Weir’s habit of standing too close and inserting himself into conversations with others, the letter says.Weir said he feels a tremendous obligation to the hundreds of people who worked hard in Saskatchewan to regain some federal NDP seats after the party was shut out of the province for a decade.He added he’s eager to return to Parliament next week and speak up for the people of his riding.“I’ve been active in the NDP since I was 15 and feel a deep affinity to the movement,” he said. “I never thought I’d be in this situation. It’s been a difficult process to navigate, but I try to be focused on the task ahead.”— With files from Janice Dickson in Ottawalast_img read more

The chances of surviving an overdose may depend on where person lives

first_imgVANCOUVER — The day after one of his closest friends died alone in his bedroom from an opioid overdose, Brandon Bailey started sharing his cellphone number across social media.The recovered drug addict from Windsor, Ont., has a message for other users: If you’re going to use, call me.“I will come to you and make sure that you are safe,” Bailey wrote in a Facebook post.Bailey, who is also a member of the Windsor Overdose Prevention Society, said he’s been frustrated by a lack of overdose prevention services like safe consumption sites in the city, and he wants to ensure the overdose-reversing drug naloxone is within arms reach for anyone at risk.Since his November post on Facebook, he has also distributed his cellphone number on flyers.“We need to be doing something,” he said.The overdose crisis has devastated communities across the country and is being credited with slowing the progress of life expectancy, which had risen three years between 2000 and 2016.Opioids killed an estimated 9,000 people between January 2016 and June 2018, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. About 94 per cent of those deaths were deemed accidental and almost three-quarters involved the powerful opioid fentanyl.But access to overdose prevention services vary geographically, prompting some advocates to say that a person’s chances of surviving an overdose depends on where you live.There are eight approved supervised consumption sites in British Columbia, nine in Ontario, six in Alberta, four in Quebec, and none elsewhere, according to Health Canada.Supervised consumption sites allow people to use their drugs under medical supervision, many of which provide testing for fentanyl contamination and access to sterile equipment.Naloxone is now available for purchase at pharmacies in every province and territory except Alberta, Yukon and Nunavut, the Canadian Pharmacists Association said.Access to the free, take-home naloxone kits is more varied, with Quebec offering the nasal spray to anyone over 14 through pharmacies, New Brunswick giving naloxone to other sites like health and social services, and British Columbia offering free access to people at risk of overdosing, those likely to witness an overdose and to First Nations. Jordan Westfall, executive director for the Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs, said rural and remote areas are particularly underserved.“There are large parts of the country that don’t have these services pretty much at all. These are lifelines for people at risk of overdosing that aren’t accessible to people,” Westfall said.A lack of education and political will have been the biggest challenges to preventing overdose deaths, he said. Unlike other health-care decisions that are based on data, the question of allowing services like supervised consumption sites is often put before the public, he said.“In a lot of cases, we’ve put human lives up for public consultation. That’s kind of a metaphor for how we treat the health care of people who use drugs, which is stigmatized in society,” Westfall said.He said harm reduction could go further by providing a safe drug supply to users, given that so many deaths appear related to drugs contaminated with fentanyl.“Everybody else in the country, when they take a sip of beer they don’t have to worry that they’re going to drop dead. We need to see the same safety for everyone in the country using drugs on the streets,” he said.Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside has been at the centre of the overdose crisis in British Columbia and it’s also where some of the most accessible harm-reduction services are located. Last month, Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart announced he would direct staff to look for a site where drug users can get safe opioids to prevent overdoses.Sarah Blyth, co-founder of the Overdose Prevention Society in Vancouver, said supervised consumption sites and naloxone save lives every day. On the day of the interview, she said three people had already overdosed at a nearby safe injection site but they survived because they were surrounded by people who understood drug use and overdose prevention.But Rebecca Jesseman, policy director for the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, said there are some good reasons for variation in available services: dominant drug problems also vary geographically.The opioid crisis is more pronounced in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, she said, while the central provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan are more concerned with fighting a methamphetamine problem.“Part of the reason for different levels of response is the fact that the problem is different across Canada, so we do need to respond in a way that is specific to the local context,” she said.Health Canada said in a statement that the federal government allocates funding based on the severity of the opioid crisis and the population size in each province or territory.Jesseman said mobile units have begun providing support to places without permanent overdose prevention services, she said.But beyond geographic variations, she said services often fail to meet the needs of the individual, especially as they relate to language, gender, age and culture.“The system often looks at people who need help as being treatment resistant, rather than looking at what is wrong with the system and how we can meet their needs,” Jesseman said.“We wouldn’t accept this variation in service quality and availability for health conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, so why is it the norm for substance use?”Amy Smart, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Bankruptcy of energy company may show lenders view industry differently CAPP

first_imgThe bankruptcy of a Calgary energy company that plans to walk away from thousands of gas wells may be a sign lenders are changing how they look at the industry in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling.Brad Herald, vice-president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, says institutions are now taking a harder look at costs of cleaning up old wells after the so-called Redwater decision.That decision says bankrupt companies must pay those costs before they’re allowed to sell off any remaining assets.Trident Exploration announced Wednesday it was ending operations and abandoning 4,700 gas wells.It says the Redwater decision was one of the reasons it decided to wind things up.But University of Calgary resource law professor Nigel Bankes says it’s good that bankers are weighing clean-up costs in their financing decisions.  Herald says many or even most of Trident’s wells could be bought by another operator, who would then take over clean-up responsibility.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

National framework needed for emotionalservice animals Rempel

first_imgThe Canadian Press OTTAWA — A Conservative MP says she would like to see national standards on the use of emotional service animals in public spaces after watching her husband encounter numerous barriers while travelling in Canada with his dog, Midas.Michelle Rempel says her husband, a U.S. military veteran, needs his emotional-service dog for therapeutic reasons and has official documentation from medical specialists.Despite this, he has been barred from taxis and restaurants, faced problems flying on certain airlines and been slapped with fees at hotels and other businesses when his service dog is in tow.Emotional-service animals are not defined by legislation in Canada and are only offered legal protections in some jurisdictions.Rempel, who has been a Calgary MP since 2011, says a national framework is needed to ensure those whose mental health is at risk are able to travel in public spaces with their therapy animals.She hopes to encourage the House of Commons to study the issue and develop a set of national standards — and also hopes this can happen quickly with unanimous support and avoid partisan divisions.last_img read more

Zhu Zhu Cries For Animals To Ban Chinas Cruel Cosmetics Animal Testing

first_imgFilm actress and former MTV China host, Zhu Zhu, (Cloud Atlas; The Man With the Iron Fists) has unveiled a striking new poster in support of Be Cruelty-Free China, the campaign by Humane Society International and Capital Animal Welfare Association to ban cruel animal testing for cosmetics such as lipstick and shampoo.Zhu Zhu Cries for AnimalsThe animal-loving film star, announced this week as a Be Cruelty-Free China Ambassador, joins international celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney and Leona Lewis, in speaking up for cosmetics with compassion on behalf of the global Be Cruelty-Free campaign.Zhu Zhu’s Be Cruelty-Free photo campaign launched in Beijing, features the actress crying whilst cradling a rabbit, one of the most commonly used animals in cosmetics testing. An estimated 300,000 rabbits, mice and other animals are used in cosmetics testing each year in China. They have chemicals dripped in their eyes, spread on their shaved skin or force fed to them in massive, lethal doses. No pain relief is given.Zhu Zhu said: “It breaks my heart to know that here in China, gentle animals such as rabbits are still suffering such pain just to test cosmetics. That’s why I’m proud to become a Be Cruelty-Free China Ambassador, to help spread the message of cosmetics with compassion. The Be Cruelty-Free campaign has already achieved so much around the world, with testing bans in Europe, Israel and India and countries such as the United States, Brazil and New Zealand all considering taking action thanks to Be Cruelty-Free campaigning. I want China to join them. Animals don’t need to die for our cosmetics industry.”The photo, along with a heart-felt personal video message from the star, will appear at selected sites at Beijing metro station in the coming months, as well as be promoted online through China’s burgeoning social media platforms such as Weibo. The campaign was shot on location in Los Angeles by top celebrity photographer Robert Sebree, with make-up artist Paige Padgett using strictly cruelty-free cosmetics on set. Rescued rabbit Blizzard stars alongside Zhu Zhu.Video: Film Star Zhu Zhu joins Be Cruelty-Free as China AmbassadorQin Xiaona, president of Capital Animal Welfare Association, a Be Cruelty-Free China partner, said: “Our powerful Be Cruelty-Free China poster shows Zhu Zhu as the face of cosmetics with compassion and we are honoured that she has agreed to be our campaign Ambassador. Cosmetics animal testing is not only cruel, it is also unreliable. These are old-fashioned tests of questionable relevance to people. Modern state-of-the-art science is far better able to assure consumer safety. So ending cosmetics cruelty is good for people as well as animals and we urge China to do so as soon as possible.”In China testing cosmetics on animals is still required by law. Progress towards the Be Cruelty-Free goal was made last year when the China Food and Drug Administration announced it will phase out some mandatory animal testing for domestically-produced cosmetics from June. Based in Beijing, HSI and CAWA’s team works with Chinese policymakers and regulators to advance the acceptance of non-animal tests and accelerate a move away from animal testing.last_img read more

Americas Next Top Model Alums Unite to Support Great Cause

first_imgNew York Times bestselling author Nigel Barker, two-time finalist and All-Star of America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) Dominique Reighard, and the first ANTM male winner, Keith Carlos, united to support In Christy’s Shoes 7th Annual Sole Celebration on May 14 in Columbus, OH.America’s Next Top Model first male winner, Keith Carlos, America’s Next Top Model two-time finalist and All-Star, Dominique Reighard, and New York Times bestselling author Nigel BarkerCredit/Copyright: Dominique ReighardThe night featured a fashion show with the latest trends in footwear from DSW and apparel styles by Express, as well as a silent auction highlighting autographed celebrity shoes. The added participation from the ANTM celebrities helped make the Sole Celebration a must-attend event. As a committee member, Dominique Reighard contributed on and off stage as well as by inviting her friends Barker and Carlos to attend the event. Dominique developed the fashion show by helping with the selection of the models and styles featured on the runway; Nigel Barker signed copies of his latest book Models of Influence; and all three alumni offered their expert coaching to the participating models in addition to mixing and mingling with guests throughout the night.“The show could not have gone any better and it was great to have ‘three generations’ of Top Models show up to support such a great cause,” Reighard said. “But what is really important is that we got the message out there. In Christy’s Shoes strives to show women that they can face anything with confidence and be strong and powerful. It’s easy to tell someone to ‘stand tall,’ but that confidence has to come from a place of self-love and compassion. We have to inspire them to find that light inside of themselves to face the next challenge.”In Christy’s Shoes celebrates the life of Christy Levy Peters who lost her battle with terminal brain cancer at the age of 34. The organization’s mission is to inspire women in challenging circumstances to walk in their shoes with confidence, strength and stability. In Christy’s Shoes accomplishes this by supporting women on their journey of personal growth through collaborating with non-profit partners that support and lift up women in challenging circumstances including Amethyst, Dress for Success Columbus and Zusman Hospice at Wexner Heritage Village.“We’re beyond grateful that Dominique, Nigel and Keith were willing to lend their support to the cause, help get our message out and make this truly a memorable event for all involved,” said Christy’s twin sister and In Christy’s Shoes Founder, Katrina Levy Zidel.For more information on In Christy’s Shoes, please visit www.InChristysShoes.org.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Veterans 360 Launches National Campaign Carry The Challenge ONE

first_imgOn November 11th, 2016 Veterans Day – Veterans 360 will launch a national campaign to change the narrative that surrounds today’s young veterans from one of negativity and despondency to one that begins with positive community engagement.Ron Perlman Sons of Anarchy Star embraces the Carry the Challenge ONE campaignVeterans 360 and the Carry the Challenge – ONE (CTC-ONE) campaign is designed to bring community back to veterans through a series of singular positive interactions. No stigma, interrogation or judgement, just a simple reminder that community still cares and is here to help.Prior to the launch of CTC-ONE, Veterans 360 has been asking celebrities and athletes if they will accept the challenge to “manage one positive act for a young veteran and to challenge others to do the same.” The response has been very positive with NFL, MMA, musicians, TV and movie celebrities all gladly accepting the challenge. Star of the big screen and TV Ron Perlman (our young vets will know him from Sons of Anarchy) got the challenge very quickly. “Yeah, perfect. Veterans collect two things – pens and challenge coins. This is such a cool way to reconnect community to our young vets and to begin a positive dialogue with them for a change – I’m In.”The CTC-ONE campaign has a goal to distribute 100,000 coins (there are over 2.6M Post 9/11 veterans) to those who accept the challenge and to the veterans they engage. The CTC-ONE coin can also be used to build community within large corporations and associations as we challenge employees, peers, friends and family. Patriots can help this campaign go viral by accepting the challenge and by posting a short video on their social media pages and the Veterans 360 / CTC pages using the hash tag # CTCONE.Veterans 360 Founder & Executive Director Rick Collins notes: “If just ONE veteran takes that coin (a coin they received through a positive interaction) and reaches out before doing something drastic then this campaign will have been worthwhile.”If you want to interview any members of the Vets 360/CTC team, please call 858.256.4006 or email Info@CarrytheChallenge.org. For more information visit www.CarrytheChallenge.org.Veterans 360 Inc. is a San Diego based veteran centric 501C3 # 45-3713823 and a Guidestar Gold Partner. Veterans 360 has been actively supporting young veterans for 6 years.last_img read more

Xavier Dolan says new film Its Only the End of the World

first_imgDolan said this is favourite film. But then again, he says that about all his projects, he added. “The mission of this film is to show human characters who are unable to listen to each other and say ‘I love you.’ So I made a choice, I guess. It’s not cowardice…. I would say it wasn’t a lack of courage, it was a lack of interest.” “I don’t travel that much and I’m rather close with my family and we’re on very good terms,” said Dolan. “Evidently, from reading a couple of reviews, I understand that people think this is a fantasy film, me projecting myself in a world where I would die. The tension builds as Dolan uses tight close-up shots throughout. Dolan has brought some of his own personal experiences to his previous acclaimed films, which have included “I Killed My Mother,” “Heartbeats” and “Mommy.” Some articles have suggested the character’s condition is indeed AIDS, but Dolan insisted that’s not the case: “No, not at all.” Login/Register With: “The play certainly was tending towards, of course, that,” said Dolan, who won the Grand Prix prize — the second-most prestigious award — at last May’s Cannes Film Festival for the French-language drama, about a writer who returns home to tell his estranged family he’s dying. Thus there is no mention of AIDS or exactly what terminal illness plagues the lead character, a gay writer played by Gaspard Ulliel. Marion Cotillard plays his sister-in-law, the only calming presence in the volatile family filled with resentment and grief. Hitting theatres Friday in Toronto after Wednesday’s opening in Quebec, the film also stars Nathalie Baye as the writer’s glamorous mother and Vincent Cassel and Lea Seydoux as his unhinged siblings. Advertisement Facebook Advertisementcenter_img “I’m not dying and that exercise is completely irrelevant. I wouldn’t waste time doing that consciously or unconsciously. There are so many beautiful things for me in that play, there were so many beautiful things to explore other than myself or my own life.” “I just didn’t feel like this was the theme of the film and that I needed something that dramatic, historically, so that the film would be relevant, so that the film would feel like it belongs in a category, like it has a social mandate or mission,” Dolan said in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival. Advertisement “The characters are hateable and despicable, but underneath all those layers of aggression and bitterness, there is pain,” said Dolan, a rising star who is now shooting his first English-language film, “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan,” with an A-list cast. “It’s too demanding and it’s too much for it to be in the end, your least favourite work or not your best. It would be terrible for me to come to that conclusion.” But this is his least personal film, he said. “Making a film is long, it’s a lot of time, it’s a lot of energy, it’s a lot of love, it’s a lot of frustrations, it’s mental health, on-again, off-again gone, it’s missing your loved ones, it’s a lot of sacrifices,” he said. In adapting the play “It’s Only the End of the World,” Montreal filmmaker Xavier Dolan steered clear of the notion the protagonist has AIDS. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment But the 27-year-old writer-director said he saw it more as a story “about our incapacity to love and communicate with each other and listen to each other and was not about an illness.” “Jean-Luc Lagarce, who’s the playwright, died of AIDS (complications). So it was something inherently associated with the play itself.” Twitterlast_img read more

Michael Bublé Makes Triumphant Return as Host of CTVs THE 2017 JUNO

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The multi-platinum singer released his ninth studio album, Nobody But Me, on October 21, his first album in three years. It follows the critically acclaimed To Be Loved album which was his fourth album to reach #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Charts. The exciting new collection of original pop tunes and beautiful standards highlights Bublé’s talent as a profound interpreter of the American songbook, as well as his gifted songwriting and producing style. Nobody But Me was recorded in Los Angeles and Vancouver and includes three new Bublé-penned originals, along with breathtaking reinventions of classics including “My Baby Just Cares For Me”, “The Very Thought of You”, Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows”, and the Johnny Mercer-written classic “I Wanna Be Around”.Tickets for THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS go on sale this Saturday, Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets are available starting at $39 through the Canadian Tire Centre Box Office, by phone at 1-877-788-3267 and online at ticketmaster.ca. The JUNO Awards has partnered with Plus 1 so that $1 from every ticket is donated to MusiCounts, helping to ensure that children and youth across Canada have access to musical instruments. Plus 1 is a non-profit that partners with touring artists to facilitate a $1 add-on from every concert ticket to go to a cause the artist partner believes in.Additional performer and presenter announcements will be released in the coming months.THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS is produced by Insight Productions in association with CTV and The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). Executive Producers are John Brunton and Barbara Bowlby for Insight Productions, Allan Reid and Mark Cohon for CARAS, and Randy Lennox for Bell Media. Lindsay Cox is Executive Producer and Supervising Producer. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. Mike Cosentino is Senior Vice-President, CTV and Specialty, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Broadcasting and Content, Bell Media.Premier Partners of The 2017 JUNO Awards: CARAS acknowledges the financial support of FACTOR, the Government of Canada and of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, Radio Starmaker Fund, Ottawa 2017, the Province of Ontario, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Tourism Ottawa, Google Play Music and TD Bank Group. Nobody But Michael! CTV and The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) confirmed today that multi-Grammy and JUNO Award-winner Michael Bublé is set to take the reins as host of CTV’s broadcast of THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS, returning to the Nation’s Capital during the year-long celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation.Bublé returns to the JUNO stage following his unforgettable performance as host at THE 2013 JUNO AWARDS in Regina, which garnered him the Canadian Screen Award for best Host in the Variety, Lifestyle, Reality/Competition, Performing Arts or Talk Program or Series. THE 2017 JUNO AWARDS airs live on CTV and CTV GO from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on Sunday, April 2.“I’m just a kid from Burnaby, so to get the opportunity to host this incredible night in Canadian music, for the second time, is amazing,” said Michael Bublé. Advertisement Twitter Facebook Login/Register With:last_img read more

Margaret Atwood Elisabeth Moss and the Women Behind the Disquietingly Vital The

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Twitter In February of this year, a novel from 1985, by a Canadian author now 77, shot right to the top of the bestsellers lists. Though popular for decades, The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s chilling vision of a near-future dystopia in what was once New England—where a toxic environment, a cruel theocracy, and a plague of infertility have turned a sector of women into enslaved concubines—suddenly seemed all too timely. It was then that a trailer for the book’s upcoming TV adaptation aired during the Super Bowl, just a couple of weeks after Donald Trump was inaugurated and a nationwide spread of marches for women’s rights turned into the largest protest in American history.Atwood did not seem upset by the sudden renewal of interest in the single most enduring work of her back catalogue, despite the fact that she’s still churning out book after book today. “How could I be?” she said on a recent morning in Washington, D.C., in the historic Hay-Adams hotel not even a block away from the White House. “But on the other hand, the circumstances that have given rise to it having this sudden uptick are quite frightening. If I had a choice of two things—book not popular, circumstances not arise, or book popular, due to certain circumstances—I would of course pick the first one. But those were not my choices.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

French Montana and DVBBS headlining iHeartRadio FanFest in Toronto

first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “We are excited to bring this incredible lineup together for an unforgettable night of music,” said Rob Farina of iHeartRadio Canada, in a statement.“At iHeartRadio we’re committed to connecting fans with the music they love, and we can’t wait to celebrate CMW with them at iHeartRadio FanFest.”Tickets for the May 11 show, priced at just $25, are available online starting March 23 at 10 am.The news of the festival comes days after iHeartMedia announced its bankruptcy.iHeartRadio FanFest 2018 lineupFrench MontanaShawn HookRia MaeMarianas TrenchBellyiHeartRadio FanFest 2018Where: Rebel, 11 Polson StreetWhen: May 11 at 7 pmTickets: Available online at $25 starting March 23 at 10 am. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement There’s nothing like an affordable music festival to ring in the sounds of spring. The 2018 iHeartRadio FanFest has been announced, and it’s hitting Rebel on May 11.This year’s iHeart headliners include French Montana, DVBBS, Shawn Hook, Ria Mae and Marianas Trench.Taking place during Canadian Music Week (CMW), the one-day music event will also include Allie X, Belly, Tyler Shaw, and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine. Twitter Facebooklast_img read more

RYAN REYNOLDS SETH ROGEN DWAYNE JOHNSON AMONG MOST BANKABLE STARS OF 2018

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Canadians Ryan Reynolds and Seth Rogen are among 2018’s most bankable stars.24/7 Wall Street has put together a list of Hollywood’s biggest box-office attractions based on their average box office gross and number of appearances as lead performer.The list, boasting 25 high-profile celebrities, includes only 11 who made films in 2018. Actors and actresses from multiple genres — including drama, action, and comedy — made the list. Ryan Reynolds (Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock) Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Twitter “24/7 Wall St. analyzed the average box office per film of 2,383 actors with data from the Internet Movie Database (IMDB). Only films in which the actor has a lead acting credit were considered, and only films with at least 10,000 user ratings on IMDb were included,” the piece from USA Today explains. “Actors with fewer than five unique lead credits – excluding sequels – were not considered. Actors were also excluded from consideration if 25 per cent or more of their lead acting credits were in sequels to their own movies.”“As a result, actors who star in major franchises but may not claim primary responsibility for each film’s success – such as Daisy Ridley who has starred in the last two Star Wars films – were excluded,” the article added. “If an actor met the qualifications, however, their films that are sequels or included in a franchise were included in the average gross. Finally, actors who had not starred in at least two movies that had grossed at least $100 million since 2010 or one movie grossing at least $100 million since 2013 were excluded.”Will Smith topped the list with an average box office gross of $132.9 million. Oscar winners Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks rounded out the top three with $121.4 million and $113.5 million respectively.See the top 25 below.Will Smith (average box office gross: $132.9 million)Leonardo DiCaprio (average box office gross: $121.4 million)Tom Hanks (average box office gross: $112.5 million)Daniel Craig (average box office gross: $109.5 million)Hugh Jackman (average box office gross: $109.3 million)Bradley Cooper (average box office gross: $108.3 million)Tom Cruise (average box office gross: $108.1 million)Steve Carell (average box office gross: $107.4 million)Adam Sandler (average box office gross: $94.9 million)Sandra Bullock (average box office gross: $94.5 million)Christian Bale (average box office gross: $90.9 million)Ben Stiller (average box office gross: $90.2 million)Owen Wilson (average box office gross: $88.6 million)Melissa McCarthy (average box office gross: $87.9 million)Dwayne Johnson (average box office gross: $87.2 million)Angelina Jolie (average box office gross: $87.0 million)Seth Rogen (average box office gross: $86.7 million)Anna Kendrick (average box office gross: $86.6 million)Shailene Woodley (average box office gross: $83.9 million)Will Ferrell (average box office gross: $82.1 million)Johnny Depp (average box office gross: $81.4 million)Jack Black (average box office gross: $78.4 million)Andrew Garfield (average box office gross: $77.3 million)Ben Affleck (average box office gross: $76.9 million)Ryan Reynolds (average box office gross: $73.4 million).By SHAKIEL MAHJOURI | ET CANADAlast_img read more