Kid Rock And Montgomery Gentry Help Jim Beam Honor Veterans

first_imgBeam Inc., a leading global premium spirits company, teamed up with music superstars Kid Rock and Montgomery Gentry this summer to recognize and support military service members and their families with a $100,000 donation to Operation Homefront.Kid Rock was in Dallas last month to present a $50,000 check on behalf of Beam Inc. to Operation HomefrontWounded warriors were invited to participate in two separate check presentations at concerts in Dallas and Indianapolis, which marked the latest demonstrations of Beam’s long history of support for the military.Beam and its flagship bourbon brand, Jim Beam, have worked closely with Operation Homefront since 2008, donating more than $2.5 million through a variety of charitable programming efforts.“We are extremely proud of our service men and women and the sacrifices they’ve made for our country,” said Frederick “Fred” Booker Noe III, seventh generation Beam master distiller. “Together with Operation Homefront, all of us at Jim Beam are honored to help these heroes and their families once they return home and adjust to life back in the United States.”In Dallas, Army Sgt. Ralph Harroff and his wife, Lorie, joined Kid Rock and Noe to accept a $50,000 check made out to Operation Homefront. Harroff was injured while serving in Afghanistan, and has received housing assistance from Operation Homefront while doctors continue to repair his injuries. Harroff and his family were the second recipients of a new home under the Homes for the Homefront program.Montgomery Gentry teamed up with Beam Inc. at the band’s Indianapolis show August 15 to present a $50,000 check to Operation HomefrontIn Indianapolis, Army Spec. Dustin Foraker, and his wife, Heather, joined Montgomery Gentry and Fred Noe to present an additional $50,000 to Operation Homefront. Foraker also sustained injuries while serving in Afhanistan and upon returning to the United States to recover, received housing and financial assistance from Operation Homefront for his family.“We are incredibly thankful for Beam’s continued support of Operation Homefront,” said Tim Farrell, Operation Homefront’s Chief Operating Officer. “Beam’s generous contributions have helped us support thousands of military families each year. Whether that help comes in the form of emergency financial assistance or finding a military family a new home, it makes a huge impact to the families we serve.”Jim Beam’s long history of support for the military can be traced all the way back to the 1700s. If not for the land grant given to the Beam family for all their service during the revolutionary war, the brand’s Kentucky distillery may not have existed. Today, Beam Inc. is proud to employ numerous veterans and active military personnel, and has promised to hold the jobs of those called to active duty.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Margaret Atwood Defends Small Farm Community

first_imgA project to change Midhurst, a farming village of 3,500 people, into a suburban city of 30,000 is underway in Ontario, Canada due to a loophole in the provincial government’s development legislation – the loophole was created specifically and solely for Midhurst.Outraged citizens have started a petition on change.org, and author Margaret Atwood has joined the cause.At risk, the villagers claim, are 2,000 acres of prime farmland that they do not want to see paved over with cement.“If you’ve got prime farmland, why don’t you use it as prime farmland?” says Atwood. “It took 13,000 years to build that soil. Once that soil is gone, it’s gone.”The petition also claims at risk are the Minesing wetlands through which up to 10.6 million litres of effluent (about the volume of seven Olympic swimming pools) would flow from the developer’s sewage treatment plant every day according to the plan.“That’s going to flow down a small creek into one of the most significant wetlands on the face of the planet,” says Atwood. “The citizens need to know who is making the decisions that are going to wreck their lives or improve their lives. We always hope for improvement but this is a life wrecking event right here going on.”With a new majority government in Ontario, whose premier promised Midhurst during her campaigning that she would look into things, Atwood says, “It’s within [the premier’s] power to review the process, find out what did go on in that back room under the table, and set it right. It’s no longer the era of ‘We can do things under the table in small places and nobody will notice.’”You can read about and join the change.org petition to the Ontario government to stop the development plan here.Copyright ©2014Look to the Starslast_img read more

Idris Elba To Join StarStudded Sport Relief TV Special

first_imgSport Relief can today announce exciting new details about this year’s campaign, including Idris Elba donning his infamous Luther coat to uncover a serious case of hilarity in an unmissable sketch.The super sleuth will be joined by Lenny Henry, Rio Ferdinand, David Haye, Denise Lewis, Cecilia Noble, Louis Smith, Ruth Wilson and Ian Wright.This special one off sketch that will be shown as part of a star studded night of Sport Relief TV on the BBC, hosted by John Bishop, Gary Lineker, David Walliams and Claudia Winkleman amongst others, on Friday 18th March.Idris said: “This year, for Sport Relief, Luther will be appearing in a totally different light. I am so proud to be lending my support to this cause again. Over the past year I have seen how important the work that Comic Relief and Sport Relief do on the ground as they helped in thefight against Ebola in Sierra Leone. I hope that you will enjoy the different side of Luther and support this important cause by signing up for the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games this year.”Idris isn’t the only one getting involved this Sport Relief, as the nation is being encouraged to walk, run, swim or cycle themselves #proud at the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games events from 18th – 20th March. The Games will be taking place at the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as well as Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow, Norwich and Sheffield – and with hundreds of local events across the UK, the nation can limber up and show their support in what is already warming up to be one epic weekend.Faces lining up to take part in the fun include Claudia Winkleman, Greg James, Anita Rani, Jamie Laing, Melanie C and Rachel Riley, who can be seen modelling the official Sport Relief t-shirt, available online at www.sportrelief.com later this month and in Sainsbury’s stores from 15th February.The iconic BT Sport Relief challenge is also back in full force, with another brave celebrity getting ready to be put through their paces in the name of charity. This celebrity (to be announced very soon) will be proving they are a thoroughly good sport by taking on a mammoth challenge to follow in the footsteps of Davina McCall, John Bishop and David Walliams in the hope of inspiring the Great British public to take on their own challenges, sporty or not! There will also be an array of other exciting celebrity challenges over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!On Friday 18th March the BBC will treat the nation to a special night of Sport Relief TV live from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The night is set to be a star-studded show full of celebrity performances and comedy sketches including TV detective Luther, joined by famous faces to help crack the case, along with highlights from this year’s challenges and films about the incredible work Sport Relief supports.Other top telly treats include the return of The Great Sport Relief Bake Off which will see a fresh batch of 16 celebrities compete in the ultimate baking battle, all to raise as much dough as possible. This year’s brave contestants include Samantha Cameron, Ed Balls and Kimberley Walsh, with Jennifer Saunders, Sarah Millican, Ed Byrne and resident Bake Off presenter Mel Giedroyc presenting an episode each.Let’s Play Darts for Sport Relief will also make a return to BBC Two, hosted by Gabby Logan and featuring the biggest names in the world of darts joining forces with some of the nation’s favourite comedians including Greg Davies, Jon Richardson, Katherine Ryan and Tim Vine and sporting stars Mike Tindall and Robbie Savage. Also joining the Sport Relief TV line up is hard-hitting documentary Famous Rich & Homeless which will see Nick Hancock, Julia Bradbury, Kim Woodburn and Willie Thorne experience first-hand what life is really like living on the streets of London.On Sunday 20th March BBC One will host the Sport Relief Games Show, live from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as the Great British public are joined by numerous famous faces to help spur them on throughout the day. Stars from the world of entertainment and sport will take part in the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games events up and down the country – there’s bound to be an event close by so there’s no excuse for the public not to sign up and get involved at www.sportrelief.com: Walk, jog or run the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile, choosing from 1, 3 or 6 mile distances Choose from a range of individual and team distances for the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Swimathon, including 1.5km, 2.5km and 5km or people can choose their own distance with SimplySwim Choose to take on the 25 or 50-mile Cycle at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, enjoy one of the Family Cycles with budding bikers at all six venues, (London, Belfast, Glasgow, Cardiff, Sheffield and Norwich) or choose any distance with SimplyCycle 
Money raised from Sport Relief will be spent helping people living unimaginably tough lives, with half of the money raised used to make a difference right here in the UK. The other half is used to transform lives across the world’s poorest communities.For more information about how to do yourself proud by entering the unmissable Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, go to sportrelief.com.last_img read more

Ian Somerhalder Delisting Yellowstones Grizzlies Is Premature

first_imgFollowing a new national poll showing that the majority of voters oppose the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to remove Yellowstone’s grizzly bears from the list of federally threatened and endangered species, American actor and Vampire Diaries star, Ian Somerhalder, sent the following letter to USFWS Director, Dan Ashe, urging him to keep the Yellowstone grizzly bear listed under the Endangered Species Act.“Yellowstone’s grizzlies, once teetering on the brink of extinction, are only now starting to recover,” wrote Ian. “But your recently announced proposal to remove federal protections under the Endangered Species Act is premature and comes at a time where only 700 of these iconic bears are known to exist in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and shockingly only 1,400 to 1,700 bears in the entire lower 48 states. We stand with The Humane Society of the United States in urging you to keep grizzly bears protected.“If the proposal to delist is successful, the future of Yellowstone’s grizzly bears will be placed in the hands of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho state wildlife managers who have already made clear their intentions to open up the population to trophy hunting. Grizzly bears are an iconic species, representing the natural beauty and magnificence in many of our country’s last remaining wild spaces. This holds true no more than in Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding region, where grizzly bears are cherished by both tourists and locals alike. Killing these animals in order to stuff them for display and bragging rights is shameful and will only set back our efforts to help the population recover.“We cannot let history repeat itself. Grizzlies were once an abundant species in the Yellowstone region but suffered from overwhelming persecution by hunters up until recent decades. This resulted in the need to list Yellowstone grizzlies as threatened under the ESA in the 1970’s when their number dipped to 136 individuals and the population is faced yet again with a threat to its very existence from trophy hunting if this proposal goes forward.“Yellowstone grizzly bears still need our help. They continue to face critical challenges such as habitat loss and climate change. Removing protections for Yellowstone grizzlies now will leave the population with little hope of recovery. You and your predecessors have invested too much into the recovery of this national icon to give up on them. Please keep the Yellowstone grizzly bear listed as a threatened species under the ESA and prevent history from repeating itself.”Please take a moment to send the USFWS a letter, urging them to not remove federal protections from Yellowstone grizzly bears.last_img read more

Former President of Chile Ricardo Lagos to Join The Elders

first_imgThe Elders are delighted to announce that Ricardo Lagos, former President of Chile, has accepted their invitation to join the group.Mr. Lagos, 78, served as President of Chile from 2000-2006. A lawyer and an academic, he served as a delegate to several UN conferences under Salvador Allende and played a key role in securing Chile’s return to democracy in the late 1980s after the dictatorship of General Pinochet. After leaving office, he established a foundation for the promotion of democracy and development in Santiago.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders, said:“I am delighted to welcome Ricardo Lagos to our group. He is internationally respected as a tenacious fighter for democracy and human rights in his own country and the wider world. He brings to The Elders his strong commitment to equality and social progress. We look forward to working with him, to address some of the intractable conflicts plaguing our world and help change people’s lives for the better.”Ricardo Lagos added:“It is a huge honour to join this esteemed group, which plays such an important role in fighting for peace, justice and human rights. Our world faces many grave problems that require us to join hands and share our different experiences. I hope that by adding my voice to those of my fellow Elders we can also ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable in our societies do not go overlooked.”last_img read more

Radioplayer Canada Announces Streaming Skill for Amazon Alexa

first_imgAdvertisement Radioplayer Canada is featured as a streaming service on the Amazon Echo product packaging, website literature, and promotional material. Participating stations are currently cross-promoting the integration with Amazon Alexa in their on-air promotional announcements for Radioplayer Canada.Radioplayer Canada brings CBC/Radio-Canada together with the stations of Bayshore Broadcasting, Blackburn Radio, Blackgold Radio, Byrnes Communications, CAB-K Broadcasting, Central Ontario Broadcasting, Clear Sky Radio, Cogeco Media, Corus Entertainment, Durham Radio, Fabmar Communications, Golden West Broadcasting, Harvard Broadcasting, Larche Communications, Newcap Radio, Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, Rogers Media, Rawlco Radio, RNC Media, Saskatoon Media Group, Vista Radio, and Westman Communications Group, as well as the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA/ANREC).Radioplayer Canada app is available on the App Store and on Google Play. For additional business opportunities, please visit www.radioplayer.ca.About Radioplayer CanadaRadioplayer Canada is a highly collaborative partnership among many of Canada’s finest radio broadcasters to provide listeners with a world-class streaming experience across a variety of platforms and connected devices, on mobile, tablet, desktop and in-car. Radioplayer Canada unites broadcasters, fosters competition on content, and allows radio to compete with other digital forms of audio. For more, see www.radioplayer.ca follow @radioplayercanada on Twitter.About Radioplayer WorldwideRadioplayer Worldwide is a group of collaborating broadcasters across Germany, Austria, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, Canada, and Peru. They are all using the Radioplayer technology platform, and between them they represent thousands of stations. They work alongside UK Radioplayer to ensure radio stays strong in car dashboards, smart speakers, and on mobile and desktop platforms. For more, see www.radioplayerworldwide.com or follow @rpworldwide on Twitter. Advertisement TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2017 – Radioplayer Canada, the radio streaming app that features more than 500 Canadian radio stations, has just announced its streaming service is available with Amazon Echo, powered by Alexa. Amazon Echo users may now simply ask Alexa to play their favourite radio station on Radioplayer Canada, once the skill is enabled by the listener. Facebook Login/Register With:center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement “This integration with Amazon Alexa is great for Canadian radio,” said Julie Adam, Senior Vice President, Rogers Radio, and Board Chair of Radioplayer Canada. “The integration echoes the mission of all participating radio broadcasters to be available however, wherever, and whenever our listeners want. Alexa makes it easier than ever!”This latest consumer product integration follows the recent smart device integrations of the Radioplayer Canada app with Sonos, Google’s Chromecast, and Apple CarPlay. Twitterlast_img read more

Manitoba defence in Sinclair case Dead have no human rights

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe family of a disabled Aboriginal man who died in a Winnipeg hospital waiting room is facing a major test of their lawsuit.The Manitoba government and the Winnipeg regional health authorities want the case thrown out.But the lawyers for the family of Brian Sinclair are fighting back.All sides have appeared in Winnipeg court.APTN National News reporter Meagan Fiddler was there.last_img

Kanesatake grand chief calls for referendum as political division threaten health centre

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe grand chief of Kanesatake, the Mohawk community once at the heart of the Oka Crisis, plans to hold a referendum June 15 to gauge the community’s confidence in the current band council which has been engulfed by internal divisions that now threaten the operations of the health centre.The Kanesatake health centre is on the verge of going into third-party management as a result of a power struggle between a group of four chiefs who are tilting against Grand Chief Serge Simon and the two chiefs who still support him.(In Kanesatake band councillors are known as chiefs)The four chiefs have essentially launched a coup against Simon. Because the group forms a quorum, they’ve been able to pass band council resolutions, accepted by Aboriginal Affairs, which authorize expenditures, including spending band money on lawyers to fight the grand chief.The quorum of chiefs recently stripped Simon of the land claim portfolio after he wrote a letter to the community accusing Ottawa’s chief negotiator of issuing a veiled threat.The quorum has also launched court action against the health centre’s board and the ensuing legal battles led the board’s insurance company to drop its coverage.Kanesatake has been hobbled by intense internal power struggles through a majority of its post-Oka years.The last major band council crisis ended with the torching of former grand chief James Gabriel’s home. Gabriel, with Ottawa’s support, authorized what was interpreted as a federally-funded armed invasion in January 2004 when police officers from outside reserves entered the community under the guise of combating organized crime.Kanesatake still bears the scars from that era and community members have persistently called for a public inquiry into the affair to uncover Ottawa’s true role.The current tensions have not reached that level, but the situation has thrown the community into tumult.Simon said he hoped the referendum vote would give the council a clean slate and a chance to start over.The vote will feature a ballot with the name of each band council member beside alongside a box asking whether the voter has confidence in the individual.“At the end of the night we will see who has more no’s than yeses and they will be basically out,” said Simon, who was elected in August 2011 to a three-year term.Simon said the internal tensions have stalled progress and is pushing the band’s finances to the brink.“If I can’t continue to save these services and work for the band in an ethical fashion, I would rather the community tell me to go home rather than sitting up here, powerless to stop it,” said Simon, who chose not to collect a salary as grand chief. “I don’t know what to say to my community anymore.”His opponents on council, however, say they won’t acknowledge the results of the vote.“It is going to be illegal…it is going to be totally challenged,” said Chief Sheila Bonspiel. “We are under a democratic system and it is not a dictatorship and he does not have exclusive and ultimate power.”Bonspiel said her group of four chiefs has been working to create a governance code for the band council for the first time.Chief Sonya Gagnier said the lack of a code is at the root of the political problems in Kanesatake.“This is where (Simone) needs to go instead of going and splitting the community more,” she said.The internecine political battle has spilled from the council chamber and engulfed the health centre. As a result of the insurance company’s decision to drop its coverage, Health Canada could soon move in to place the centre under third party management so it can continue to operate.A Health Canada official told APTN it was monitoring the situation and evaluating whether intervention is warranted.The move to third-party management would lead to layoffs and program cuts.The health centre crisis was triggered when Simon pulled Bonspiel and Gagnier from their health portfolios, removing them from the health centre’s board. Simon put himself on the board along with Chief Clarence Simon.The aim of the move was to revamp the health centre’s bylaws and depoliticize the health centre so band chiefs would no longer be able to automatically sit on the board, said Simon.The plan was to have the board elected by community members, but candidates would first have to meet laid out criteria to ensure they were qualified to handle the file.“This is the way things should have been set up in the first place so that the community is in charge, not a group of people that are hand-picked,” said Daniel David, who sat on the board temporarily in hopes of putting through the reforms. “We want to have people on the board who are qualified to be a board, not just a bunch of people who may or may not be qualified to sit on the board.”Bonspiel and Gagnier, however, say that the board is illegal and doesn’t have any power to make the changes.“They’ve gone rogue,” said Bonspiel. “If they wanted it to be run independently, then why is the grand chief so involved?”Bonspiel said the current board structure was created when the health centre was incorporated a few years ago.“We were not interfering. We were not involved in any of the operations. Council never interfered over there,” she said.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

We refuse to live in fear Colten Boushie family to keep fighting

first_imgLucy Scholey APTN NewsFamily members of Colten Boushie are ending a whirlwind Ottawa trip on Wednesday with a clear message: they will not stop fighting for changes to the criminal justice system.“We refuse to live in fear. Our children should not live in fear. Our children should be able to walk this earth in freedom and not be worried about being shot or come up missing,” said Debbie Baptiste, the mother of the 22-year-old Red Pheasant First Nation member who was shot and killed in August 2016.Gerald Stanley, the white Saskatchewan farmer who held the gun that killed Boushie, was acquitted by an all-white jury on Friday.The family then travelled from Saskatchewan to Ottawa to meet with several political leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh.Boushie’s relatives did not meet with Andrew Scheer. A spokesperson said the Conservative leader is attending events in Saskatchewan and British Columbia this week. However, the family has met with other Conservative MPs, including Kevin Waugh, Battlefords-Lloydminster representative Rosemarie Falk, and Indigenous affairs critic Cathy McLeod.The family’s issues with Boushie’s case start with the day he died, on Aug. 9, 2016. Relatives have launched a complaint with the independent Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, alleging that RCMP officers mishandled the investigation into Boushie’s death.Chris Murphy, a lawyer representing the Boushie family, also said part of the problem is peremptory challenges, which allow defence and Crown lawyers to strike out potential jurors from the jury pool without stating a reason. He said Stanley’s defence team rejected anyone from the jury who was Indigenous in appearance.He called the peremptory challenge process “government-sanctioned discrimination.”“There are much better ways to do that than look at a colour of a person’s skin when they get called up,” he said. “It’s a process that literally lasts three seconds – the accused look upon the juror, the juror looks upon the accused, defence challenge – that’s it.”The Boushie family said they’re hopeful real change is in the works. Trudeau is expected to make a speech about a new legal framework for Indigenous people in the House of Commons Wednesday afternoon.Jade Tootoosis, Boushie’s cousin, said she feels her family is finally being heard.“We will be back. We will be speaking out,” she said. “This does not end here. We will continue the dialogue and we will press for concrete changes within the system so that no other families, no other Indigenous lives are taken before changes are made.”lscholey@aptn.calast_img read more

We dont like your kind here Police investigating letter left for Leduc

first_imgMelissa RidgenAPTN NewsMishel Assiniboine has owned her home in the Edmonton suburb of Leduc, Alberta for 20 years.“The schools in the area are really awesome,” Assiniboine said. “The daycares or programs we’ve been involved in are really welcoming and amazing.“We have long-term friends here, so do my kids, so we have a lot of support and a really great community.”While they’ve had some vandalism and visits from city bylaw officers based on anonymous complaints about her uncut lawn or un-shovelled walkway, a letter received on New Year’s Day was the first outright taste of racism they’ve experienced in a long time.Assiniboine found the letter stuffed into the railing to her home.“We do not like your kind here,” part of the letter read.It went on to say that too many people lived in the home and that they’re “ruining the neighbourhood.”The five bedroom home houses the family of six.The letter went on to say that they should go back to the reserve.“We gave you land and you need to respect the generosity,” said the letter.Assiniboine was shocked.“There’s some anger, some sadness, some people are scared. A lot of us don’t really know what to think about it. It’s shocking,” she said.Leduc Deputy Mayor Bill Hamilton was quick to condemn the letter.“We do not tolerate any kind of hateful behaviour,” he said in a statement released on Jan. 1.“We are working with the RCMP to ensure the appropriate steps are taken to investigate this letter and ensure the family’s safety.”Police are investigating the case and bylaw services is examining to see if the same person who lodged earlier complaints is responsible.Victim’s services has reached out to the family.This latest letter is eerily similar to one left for an Indigenous family in another Edmonton suburb last fall.mridgen@aptn.ca@aptnnewslast_img read more

Trade deficit grows to 34 billion in August as exports move lower

first_imgOTTAWA – Canadian exports fell for a third month in a row as the country’s trade deficit increased in August, Statistics Canada said Thursday.The trade deficit came in at $3.4 billion for the month compared with a $3.0-billion deficit in July.The increase came as overall exports slipped 1.0 per cent to $43.6 billion in August. Export volumes fell 1.9 per cent for the month.Imports were virtually unchanged in August at $47 billion.“In case there was any doubt that peak Canadian growth is behind us, this report all but cements the case,” Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic wrote in a report.The Canadian economy roared through the first six months of the year. The strength helped prompt the Bank of Canada to raise its key interest rate target twice; however, the pace of growth is expected to slow in the second half of the year.Kavcic said the trade results were “another argument for the Bank of Canada to take a breather.”The larger trade deficit came as exports of consumer goods and basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products, as well as metal ores and non-metallic minerals moved lower. Exports excluding energy products were down 1.4 per cent.Meanwhile, imports of motor vehicles and parts climbed 2.5 per cent to $9.3 billion, while metal ores and non-metallic minerals rose 9.9 per cent to $1.2 billion.Imports of consumer goods fell 1.8 per cent to $10.1 billion.TD Bank economist Dina Ignjatovic said, going forward, a healthy U.S. economy should help to prop up demand for Canadian-made goods, supporting export volumes.“However, the appreciation of the loonie since early-September has somewhat reduced the competitiveness of Canadian exporters and could provide some offset,” Ignjatovic wrote in a note to clients.“The outcome of the NAFTA renegotiations also poses some risk, but with negotiations moving slowly, it is unlikely to impact trade this year.”Canada’s trade surplus with the United States narrowed to $2.3 billion in August compared with $3.2 billion in July as the Canadian dollar strengthened relative to the U.S. currency.The country’s trade deficit with countries other than the United States slipped to $5.7 billion in August compared with $6.2 billion in July.last_img read more

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the

first_imgTORONTO – Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week:Rate hike decisionA cooling economy is dampening expectations that the Bank of Canada will hike the overnight rate on Wednesday. Both September inflation and August retail sales came in below analysts’ expectations on Friday, suggesting the BoC will hold steady after raising rates twice in a row.Weekly statsStatistics Canada releases the wholesale trade figures for August (Monday), data on immigration, ethnocultural diversity, housing and Aboriginal peoples (Wednesday), and data on payroll employment, earnings and hours for August (Thursday).Stranzl to break his silenceBrandon Stranzl, former CEO of Sears Canada, will speak to media on Monday regarding the liquidation of Sears Canada’s remaining stores. Stranzl had led an unsuccessful push to buy the retailer and turn it around, and the company’s leadership faced harsh criticism from laid-off employees over the size of retention bonuses offered to executives to see the liquidation process through.Let’s talk about something other than blind trusts, ok?After a week of bad headlines and intense criticism, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau will deliver the fall economic update in the Commons on Tuesday. Morneau has been under fire since it was revealed that he had not placed his substantial personal holdings into a blind trust, a move he reversed on Friday, despite insisting the rules don’t require him to do so.EarningspaloozaSome of Canada’s most well-known companies will release earnings next week, including West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (Monday); CN Rail (Tuesday); Air Canada, New Gold Inc, Barrick Gold, Suncor Energy Inc., Western Energy Services Corp. and Goldcorp Inc. (Wednesday); Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., Maple Leaf Foods Inc., First Quantum Minerals, Shaw Communications Inc., Husky Energy and Eldorado Gold Corp. (Thursday); and Precision Drilling Corp. (Friday).last_img read more

Quebec smalltown mayors upset over plans by Desjardins to close ATMs

first_imgMONTREAL – Some small-town mayors in Quebec are warning that a decision by the Desjardins credit-union movement to shut down automated teller machines in several communities will have a devastating impact.Denis Legare, the mayor of Notre-Dame-de-la Salette, says there will be no cash available in the western Quebec municipality when the town’s ATM is removed in mid-August.“Cutting the cash flow and asking our merchants to drive 24 kilometres (return) every night to do their nightly deposits (in another town), is going to kill the municipality,” Legare said in an interview Tuesday.He said the local credit union, which is located in the town hall, was opened in 1943 and is the only place where residents can do any banking.“Most of the business out in the small towns in the country is cash business,” he said. “When you go to a farmer to buy vegetables, you have to pay cash.”Legare added the town would like to stay with Desjardins, but that he’s already approached two banks about installing an ATM.‘”Once a small town loses its caisse populaire (credit union) and its church, there’s nothing there,” he said. “You might as well close the door behind you and leave.”Legare said a petition is circulating calling for a meeting to discuss the decision to yank the ATM and added a movement has begun throughout the province to try to get Desjardins to change its mind.At least half a dozen communities in the province are facing the prospect of losing their ATM.Louis-Georges Simard, the mayor of Riviere-Ouelle, a town in the Lower St. Lawrence region, says the banking machine in his town will be pulled out next Monday.He said that will have a big impact on many seniors in the community.“There are older people who are used to functioning with cash, but are not used to making electronic payments and that will take time,” Simard noted.He said while he understands technological change, Desjardins is moving too fast and he’s asking for a three-month moratorium.“I have no problem with the fact that, in five or 10 years, there won’t be any banking machines,” he said. “But I think Desjardins is pushing too hard on the accelerator.”Simard said people in his town are furious.‘I was with a group at a meeting in the municipality earlier today (Tuesday) and they had a lot to say against Desjardins — but I can’t repeat the words I heard,” he added.A Desjardins spokesman points out that any decisions to remove banking machines — or service counters — have been discussed in advance with members of the local credit union.“Directors with the local credit union, where decisions are made, follow a normal process,” Marc Villeneuve, a regional vice-president, said in an interview Tuesday.Villeneuve noted that Desjardins is seeing a reduction in the use of automated teller machines, as people turn to online banking.“Today, it’s less than seven per cent of our transactions that are made at banking machines,” he said.Villeneuve admitted it’s possible people may have to travel 10 to 12 kilometres between ATMs, “but we put machines where our members use them.”“If there are no grocery stores, no service stations, no pharmacy or post office. . .when there’s nothing open in a village, it’s difficult to explain why the ATMs should be kept operating,” he added.The company still has 2,000 ATMs in Quebec and Ontario, but says there are no plans to close those in Ontario.last_img read more

Manitoba Hydros 37M net income almost half what it was year before

first_imgWINNIPEG – Manitoba Hydro made millions less in income last year and the Crown corporation expects its long-term debt to grow by $25 billion in the next five years.The utility’s annual report shows it made $37 million in net income for the fiscal year ended March 31, down from $71 million the year before.It projects the income loss to continue next year.The utility says the drop comes primarily from $50 million in restructuring costs, including a reduction in employees and management.Hydro incurred huge debt to build new generating stations and transmission lines — its total debt is more than $19 billion.In the report, Hydro president and CEO Kelvin Shepherd says reducing costs is only part of a plan to restore financial stability, adding the utility will look at increasing exports.The report says higher domestic electricity revenues because of colder weather and an increase in customers helped the financial results, but improvements were offset by a drop in revenues from export sales due to reduced hydraulic generation.The Crown utility has undergone inner turmoil recently with nine out of 10 board members resigning in March. They cited an inability to work with Premier Brian Pallister and the Progressive Conservative government.Pallister said the resignations were linked to the board’s plan to pay $70 million to the Manitoba Metis Federation so the organization wouldn’t pursue concerns over a new transmission line to Minnesota. The government overturned the decision and Pallister called the deal “persuasion money.”Shepherd announced in July that he will step down in November.Hydro has said it will seek rate increases of nearly eight per cent for the next several years.In May, Manitoba Hydro lost its bid to raise the rate an additional 7.9 per cent in June. A 3.6 per cent increase was approved instead.The Public Utilities Board also directed the utility to create a special rate class for Indigenous customers who live on reserves. Last week, Hydro asked the courts to overturn that directive.Shepherd said Manitoba Hydro is working on a long-term financial plan.“This level of debt increases the potential financial exposure from risks facing the corporation and is a concern for both the corporation and our customers, who may be exposed to higher rate increases in the event of rising interest rates, a prolonged drought or a major system failure,” Shepherd said.last_img read more

Former Tangerine CEO to head medical marijuana company CannTrust

first_imgTORONTO – The former chief executive of Scotiabank’s online bank Tangerine is now CEO of marijuana company CannTrust.The Ontario-based licensed medical cannabis producer says Peter Aceto has been appointed to the top job, effective immediately.CannTrust says co-founder and CEO Eric Paul has stepped down from his role at the helm and has been named chairman of the board and special adviser.Aceto was president and CEO of online bank Tangerine, formerly ING Direct Canada, from 2008 to 2017.Scotiabank acquired ING Direct Canada in 2012, and later changed its name to Tangerine.Aceto’s appointment as CannTrust CEO comes just weeks before Canada legalizes marijuana for recreational use on Oct. 17.Companies in this story: (TSX:BNS, TSX:TRST)last_img read more

Calgary2026 Yes and No sides face off in CityNews debate

first_imgWaite maintains the games are not accessible for all Calgarians and most people would be watching the games on TV anyway and not actually attending them.“My day job is running an agency that serves families with disabilities… and none of them are accessing any those venues because they can’t afford them. It is not true that those venues are accessible to everybody and I would rather choose an investment path that serves more Calgarians like our brand new wonderful library.”READ MORE: #NoCalgary2026 of the Olympic debate braves the cold to get the message outRibeiro countered any lack of accessibility is just another reason we should push forward with an Olympic bid.“Every single one of those venues is going to be made accessible with universal design principles… I think that we are renewing those venues specifically to address that need–to make sure they’re more inclusive not just for people with disabilities but for seniors who we know are experiencing social isolation, that can get them out of the house,” adding he doesn’t agree with the idea that venues and events are not just for “elites.”As for the affordability of actually attending and watching events, Ribeiro said Calgary will be setting ticket prices. “Over 70 per cent of them will be under $142, over 30 per cent of them will be under $42. That’s cheaper than the average Flames game. The fact that this is going to be an inclusive games that appeals to a broad swath of people is something that’s going to be unique to Calgary. It’s set on our terms, from our community to serve as many people as possible.”RELATED ARTICLES:Environmental concerns about Olympic bidA cost breakdown of Calgary hosting 2026 Winter Games should city bid and win‘Eddie the Eagle’ among Olympians cheering for a Calgary 2026 bid at rallyWaite shot back, saying hundreds of thousands of Calgarians will not benefit from hosting the games. “It’s just a fact,” she said. “Accessibility is not [just] a matter of physical accessibility it’s also cost. When you have even $20 entry fees or tickets, the families we support can’t afford that. You have to acknowledge that most Calgarians are not the ones that benefit, it truly is an elite event.”Ribeiro said the economic, emotional, and social benefits still stand and the games would give people who need jobs.WATCH: Calgary 2026 Debate: Economic benefits 4. Your burning question: Why are other communities (Canmore, Whistler) not paying to be included in a Calgary games?“They are doing us a favour,” said Ribeiro, adding there has been a lot of misinformation spread. “We have ski jumps that would need to be torn down completely and rebuilt because they’re not the Olympic regulation height. We don’t use the towers anymore. We don’t need two Olympic regulation ski jumps next door to each other in Western Canada.”Ski jumping and Nordic combined events would be held in Whistler should Calgary win the 2026 Olympics. All the rest, according to Ribeiro, would be held within and benefiting Calgary and the Calgary region.READ MORE: Canmore moves ahead with Olympic process, but with conditions 3. Is there an economic benefit if Calgary and Calgarians were to host the Olympics?“The hard facts say that the economic claims are overstated, that the jobs in a bid book tend to be overstated by ten times. And I get that, it’s a marketing document,” she said.“Tourism in Vancouver in 2012 was less than in 2009 so they got a bump for a very short time. The benefits are overstated.”Ribeiro said even in a modest estimate an Olympics would still be a “net positive” for the city. “I’ll remind everyone again: Chamber of Commerce of Calgary, Calgary Economic Development, Tourism Calgary, Canada West Foundation, Ernst and Young report, all came to the same conclusion… They all say it’s a net positive benefit for the economy. I think this is now the time we need to pursue that.” Jason Ribeiro and Erin Waite faced off in a Yes vs. No debate over a potential 2026 Calgary Olympics. CityNews’ Mike Yawney hosted the Wednesday morning event. (Photo: Nick Blakney, CityNews) Waite said those potential benefits are conditional.“I can look at the hard facts of recent Olympics. We do know that in things like London, of the jobs created, half went to people who are not Londoners. If we look at what Calgary needs and what’s important for Calgary, we do have to look hard at those numbers and make sure that that kind of spend really maximizes the positive impact. I worry that because of all the things that added into the Olympics because it’s the IOC event and because it’s a very large pageant event… distracts from what Calgary needs,” she said.“I think we have better ideas and better options than the Olympics. We’ve done that, we did a great job, good for us. Let’s take value in that and then let’s do what we need now as a city.”Ribeiro said it goes beyond economic benefits. The Olympics can be a way to market Calgary as an amazing city to attract talent.“We don’t need the Olympics to make us a great city–we already are! But frankly, the billion dollars of free advertising that comes with an Olympic campaign will actually give us a platform to tell that story to the world…We need the bullhorn to be able to do that…“We have to look at the credibility behind the organizations that are supporting this that actually make a number of the economic decisions in this city, and the alignment with the 10-year strategy that city council passed unanimously. I think on every metric this dovetails with our goals.”Waite said she’s not afraid of a big project and that’s not why she’s against the bid. She pointed to other cities that bailed on Olympic bids and still managed to grow and attract business without the games.“Any kind of social or economic benefits are tacked on the side that you hope to get while you’re hosting a sporting event. I think Calgary, in this stage of its economic evolution, we need to be focused on the issues, some of our problems and really shape a clear vision going forward of what’s going to continue to strengthen and build our city. I just think tacking that goal on the side of an Olympics hosting is not going to get us there.WATCH: Calgary 2026 Debate: Your Questions Waite said it’s important to note that if you’re giving up two events to a B.C. venue, that region would reap the economic benefits; Ribeiro said what Calgary would lose in money by giving to events in Whistler would be marginal.“I am very confident that these are going to be set on our terms with our facility and frankly our intellectual capital,” he said, suggesting that other cities who have dropped their bids have done so because they aren’t Calgary.“We are probably the best winter-sport city, potentially on the planet.”Waite said all of Ribeiro’s points were perfect–for an IOC pitch, not necessarily for Calgarians. “There is a different path we could be on, it’s based on where we are currently economically, what we need to do economically. There is a lot more we can invest in like the new economy kinds of companies and the IT kind of world that we need to move into and that will help work on the downtown office vacancy and none of that will happen by focusing on the Olympics.”Waite called a potential games an event, to which Ribeiro didn’t disagree, but he said it’s also an injection and a catalyst for further growth.Advance polling stations close Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Calgarians who still need to vote will cast their ballots on Nov. 13.Click here to find out where you can vote. CALGARY (CITYNEWS) – Less than a week to go until Calgarians vote in a non-binding plebiscite and some people are still unsure of which little box to check.Both sides of the debate faced off on a special CityNews Facebook Live Wednesday morning, each trying to share their message and woo voters. During the hour-long debate, #YesCalgary2026‘s Jason Ribeiro and #NoCalgaryOlympics‘ Erin Waite debated a range of topics, including questions CityNews viewers and followers put forward.Here are the main points both sides touched on:1. Should Calgary host another Winter Games?Waite told host Mike Yawney Calgarians she’s heard from are still concerned about costs and potential overruns and who would be footing the bill.“Our position is simply that this is not the right project for Calgary now–we think we can do better than working with the IOC,” she said. “We would rather see our energy and our investment and our initiative go into those other things.”She added it’s imperative to look at the costs critically to make sure it all makes sense, since money coming from the city, province, and the federal government is all tax dollars.“It really adds up to a significant burden…The cost of hosting the Olympics simply isn’t the right project now,” she said, adding she personally doesn’t see the IOC as a good partner and the games always end up being shaped for the IOC and “what they want, not what Calgary needs”.She also said there’s a very high potential for cost overruns. She suggested putting money towards things Calgarians need and continuing to build on the old legacy of the 88 Games.On the other side, Ribeiro said there are three main reasons to host a seconds games, the first being to remember Calgary is an Olympic city.“We have a chance to renew that legacy and we have a chance to add the Paralympics to that equation,” he said. “The second is this will be an economic boom to our city–don’t take my word for it, take the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Calgary, and Calgary Economic Development. And third is I think we have a chance to make this an incredibly inclusive games, one that will not just live in the downtown and the clusters but all the way to the north, south, east, and west.”He said while the ‘no’ side is continually finding problems and “poking holes in every element”, there have been no solutions brought forward.“Let’s be clear: these are dollars that would not be coming to Calgary [otherwise],” he said, adding the current Olympic bid deal struck with the city, province, and feds give Calgarians a good path forward economically and socially.WATCH: 2026 Olympic funding breakdown “These facilities that we’re reusing are incredibly important to the fabric of this city. It’s not just for elite athletes. It’s for families, for children. We have a chance to extend that legacy for 30 to 40 years and I have yet to hear [from the ‘no’ side] either on the economics or the healthy and active living and social welfare and wellbeing or sport and recreation angles a credible path to build a better city.”As far as who will be footing the bill for security goes, Ribeiro said the federal and provincial governments have agreed to cover first-response and emergency management and security costs. Waite suggests there’s still a risk for cost overruns related to security not at Olympic-specific venues.2. Can Calgary update athletic venues within the budget but still put on a world-class Olympic event?“Calgary taxpayers actually don’t pay for a number of these facilities; over 30 years 95 per cent of the costs for Olympic venues are borne by the federal government and the provincial government,” said Ribeiro. Waite circled back and said the venues included in the bid were dictated by the IOC, and are far from the new NHL arena that Calgarians want, or a new LRT line to the airport.“It’s money misspent,” she said.“[The notion that] Canada’s Olympic athletes all train here somehow because the IOC is making them do so I think is a little bit laughable,” Ribeiro said.“We are a winter-sport city and powerhouse building on that legacy of 88.”Ribeiro said since those games, Calgary has hosted over 220 world cups or championships in a variety of winter sports. “The notion that the IOC has directed that for 30 years I think is just not accurate,” he said, adding that the sports and facilities are well-used by Calgarians.“It is something that young people in all corners of the city can aspire to. There are public offerings like public skates, et cetera, subsidized programming through Winsport for 20,000 children a year, these are important. If folks want to tell you that Calgary doesn’t benefit from these and somehow someone in Europe is I think is just not factually accurate. It would cost us far more without a bid to maintain and upgrade these facilities for 30-40 years than without. I think that’s the essential point.”WATCH: Calgary 2026 Debate: Venueslast_img read more

Fort St John Capital Budget

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At the recent Regular Council Meeting on January 28, 2019, Council, provided a first reading of the 5-year Financial Plan Bylaw and approved the Capital Budget only in principle to apply for Peace River Agreement Funding. There are still a few more steps until it is officially approved.In 2019, the capital budget includes four-laning of 100 street up to Northern Lights College for $5.9 million, $5.5 million for renovations at Centennial Park, $2.8 million for the new RCMP building with more money budgeted for that project in 2020 and 2021.  The list of projects in 2019 also includes a fire training centre for $1.5 million and sewage lift station upgrades worth $4 million.The City has budgeted $255.8 million for capital projects over the next five years that are funded by sources such as; Peace River AgreementReservesLong Term BorrowingGrantsCurrent Year SurplusContributions by othersThese monies then become funding for infrastructure under the titles;Transportation, Roads, SidewalksFacilities, Buildings, ParksWater, SewerEquipment, Fleet, Machinery, ITStudies, Plans, ProjectsThe Budget also showed that the City has $70.7 million in reserves for both its capital and operating budgets, and has a current debt capacity available of $76.6 million, with a debt servicing capacity of $14.1 million per year.For more details CLICK HERE or view the below slide showlast_img read more

Grande Prairie RCMP Seek Assistance in Locating Missing Person

first_imgUPDATE – Grande Prairie RCMP would like to advise that Harmony Hoy has been located.  She is safe and unharmed. RCMP would like to thank the public and the media for their assistance.GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Grande Prairie RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating 25-year-old Harmony Hoy.According to RCMP, Hoy was last seen in the Grande Prairie area in late March and was reported missing on April 3, 2019. Hoy is described as:CaucasianMixed coloured hair, possibly green and purpleHazel eyes5’5″/ 126lbsThere is a concern for her well being.The RCMP would like to locate and speak with her as soon as possible.If you have any information on Hoy’s whereabouts, you are asked to contact Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5700 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.last_img read more