Anika Moa Supports Books For Schools Programme

first_imgKiwi singer-songwriter, author and media personality Anika Moa is leading the chorus in a promotion that will see at least 20,000 new books enter New Zealand homes, schools and communities via Kellogg’s Free Books and Books for Schools programmes.In the Free Books promotion, shoppers can purchase specially marked packs of Kellogg’s cereal or snacks which can be redeemed for their choice of free books for the family, while stocks last. There is a choice of 10,000 children’s and adult titles covering a range of ages, interests and reading abilities.In New World supermarkets, shoppers can also drop off receipts showing purchases of two Kellogg’s products for the benefit of local schools through the Kellogg’s Books for Schools initiative. For every two boxes of cereal or snacks purchased, Kellogg’s and New World will donate a book to the school’s library with up to twenty books gifted to any one school. There are 10,000 books available for 500 schools participating across the country.In support of the Free Books and Books for Schools campaigns, Anika held a special book reading and sing-a-long event for new entrants at Rosebank School in Avondale, Auckland on 8 February, highlighting the importance of reading as the new school year gets underway.A popular Kiwi recording artist and mum to five-year-old twin boys and a cheeky two year old son, Moa has released two very successful music albums for children, Songs for Bubbas and Songs for Bubbas 2. Songs for Bubbas won the New Zealand Music Award for Children’s album of the year in 2014 and she also won the Apra Song of the Year for Colours Are Beautiful.Anika’s performance at Rosebank School was a joyful and entertaining session of laughter, books and singing.Commenting on the Free Books initiative, she said: “Reading is a time to bond with your tamaiti and to help their curiosity and imagination run wild. I read so much as a child and it helped me develop my song-writing and my ability to tell such silly stories in my Songs for Bubbas albums. It’s the best thing since sliced bacon!”It’s the second year Kellogg’s has run the Free Books promotion, which in 2016 saw nearly 10,000 books redeemed with the balance donated by the company to Variety – The Children’s Charity.Kellogg’s Customer Activation Manager, Penelope Ryan says, “The start of the new school year is a great time for families to make time to read together and set positive habits for the rest of the year. In 2017 we hope many more New Zealanders will take advantage of the opportunity to bring a new selection of books into their households and school communities, through this quality offer.”Terms and Conditions: Kellogg’s Free Books Promotion starts 1 January 2017 and ends 8 April 2017 or while stocks last. For full terms and conditions and a complete list of book titles visit www.kelloggs.com/freebooks. Kellogg’s New World Free Books for Schools Promotions starts 1 January 2017 and ends 31 March 2017. For full terms and conditions and participating schools and New World stores visit www.kelloggs.com/freebooks.last_img read more

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The Elders Urge US Korean Leaders To Seize Chance For Nuclear Breakthrough

first_imgThe Elders have called on the leaders of the United States of America, North Korea and South Korea to redouble their efforts to resolve the nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula by diplomatic means alone.In letters to President Donald Trump, President Moon Jae-in and Chairman Kim Jong-un, The Elders praised the recent gestures of reconciliation and intra-Korean cooperation around the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.They urged all parties to seize the opportunity afforded by the diplomatic path, including the planned bilateral meeting between the US and North Korean leaders.The Elders also reiterated their concerns about the threat to global peace posed by the North Korean nuclear programme, and stressed the need to respect UN Security Council resolutions as the best way to ease tensions.In commending the decision to embrace the diplomatic path, The Elders encouraged the leaders in Washington, Seoul and Pyongyang to follow the example of Nelson Mandela. After stepping down as South Africa’s first post-apartheid President, Mandela founded The Elders to work for the causes of peace, justice and human rights that were so dear to him. He showed that it is only through sincere dialogue and hard negotiations that parties who may view each other with distrust can reach peaceful solutions.last_img read more

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The Elders Condemn US Withdrawal From UN Human Rights Council

first_imgThe Elders today condemned the decision of the United States to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council as an alarming act of isolationism that will make it harder to defend the rights and dignity of vulnerable people worldwide.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:“The Human Rights Council is an integral part of the international system that helps protect fundamental rights and values. I deplore the US withdrawal, which stands at odds with its historic traditions and sends a signal to others that they too can ignore the Council.”The Elders were particularly concerned that the US decision to leave the Council follows a series of similar isolationist measures by President Donald Trump, including withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change, the UN Global Compact on Migration, and the Iran nuclear deal.They said that the timing of the decision is particularly troubling when human rights are under attack from so many different quarters worldwide. For all its imperfections, the Council offers a platform to challenge impunity and hold countries to account. Withdrawal will act against the US’ own interests by ceding space to other states, they warned.Furthermore, the plight of vulnerable migrants and refugees, from detained children separated from their parents at the US/Mexican border to those seeking safe harbour in the Mediterranean and displaced Rohingya communities in Bangladesh, underscores the need for robust international processes and mechanisms to affirm universal rights.Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former Prime Minister of Norway, said:“Global challenges require multilateral solutions. The United States has historically recognised this, and seen itself as a leading light on human rights since Eleanor Roosevelt helped draft the Universal Declaration 70 years ago. I hope the many committed human rights defenders in the US will now fight hard so this retrograde step proves short-lived.”last_img read more

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TodayTix to Celebrate FiveYear Anniversary With Concert Benefitting Dramatists Guild Foundation

first_imgTodayTix, the international ticketing platform on a mission to redefine the way people see theater, will celebrate its five-year anniversary with a concert to benefit the Dramatists Guild Foundation (DGF) New Voices program, on September 24th at 7:30pm EST at National Sawdust in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.The evening will bring together the elements that have helped bring TodayTix to its five-year anniversary — the artists, the performances and the audiences. Hosted by Darren Criss (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”), the concert will feature stripped down musical sessions, in an intimate setting, by Mark Ballas (currently starring in “Kinky Boots” on Broadway, “Dancing with the Stars”) with his wife and other half of music duo Alexander Jean, BC Jean, Erich Bergen (“Madam Secretary”), Ariana DeBose (Tony Nominee, “The Donna Summer Musical”), Kathryn Gallagher (Lifetime’s “You,” “Spring Awakening”), Lesli Margherita (Olivier Award winner), Matthew Morrison (Tony and Emmy Nominee) and Ethan Slater (Tony Nominee, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical”). Benjamin Rauhala will serve as Music Director.“In celebration of five years of TodayTix making theater more accessible for new audiences, we will bring together a few of our favorite artists to put together an unforgettable night that not only pushes the boundaries of how and why we keep coming back to the theater, but also supports the next generation of creators who build it,” Brian Fenty, TodayTix Co-Founder and CEO, said.“We are so honored that TodayTix has chosen to benefit Dramatists Guild Foundation with this event. We are deeply committed to supporting writers at all stages of their careers and applaud TodayTix for making plays and musicals more accessible to the next generation,” Andrew Lippa, President of Dramatists Guild Foundation, said.The concert will kick off at 7:30pm EST at National Sawdust, a dynamic home for artists and new music in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Tickets are available now exclusively on the TodayTix app and website. General Admission tickets are $55 for standing room or $149 for VIP Lounge tickets, which includes access to the reserved VIP lounge, a pre-concert cocktail reception and commemorative poster from the show’s cast.Profits from ticket sales will directly benefit DGF’s New Voices program. In alignment with TodayTix’s mission to make theater more accessible, the New Voices program brings trained teaching artists into classrooms, where they lead students in the collaborative creation of their own plays. This empowers students to discover the power of their own voices, helping theater to thrive for years to come.To learn more about TodayTix, visit www.todaytix.com or download TodayTix for iOS or Android.last_img read more

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PRODUCTION BEGINS ON NEW CBC DRAMA SERIES BELLEVUE STARRING ANNA PAQUIN

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Muse Distribution International and TMG’s world sales arm TM International are handling the series’ international distribution.About CBC/Radio-CanadaCBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Aboriginal languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective.About Muse Entertainment EnterprisesMuse Entertainment is a leading film and television production company and international distributor known for its well-crafted and high-quality productions. Since its founding in 1998, Muse Entertainment has won over 100 awards and garnered over 300 international award nominations. Currently, Muse is producing The Kennedys: After Camelot, the 4-hour follow up to the award winning miniseries The Kennedys; the 2nd season of The Art of More series for Sony Pictures for whom it also produced two seasons of the sci-fi series Helix; as well as the France/Canada coproduced, animated, children’s series Helen’s Little School. Muse is also producing multiple mystery movies for Hallmark’s Movies and Mysteries Channel as well as the documentary series Collision Course for Reelz Channel. Muse recently produced the 6-hour event television series Tut for Spike Channel, about the life of the famous pharaoh Tutankhamen. The company’s recent productions include four seasons of the supernatural series Being Human, the dramedy series Signed, Sealed, Delivered, the wartime dramatic series Bomb Girls, the dramatic series Pillars of the Earth, Ben Hur, Durham County, and several TV movies for Disney and Hallmark channels. Muse Entertainment maintains production and development operations in Montreal, Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver. For more information, please visit www.muse.caAbout Back Alley Film ProductionsBack Alley Film Productions Ltd has been producing entertaining and provocative film and television in Canada for over 20 years. The company’s most recent project was WWII drama Bomb Girls starring Meg Tilly, which won Outstanding Drama at the 2013 Gracie Awards and 9 Canadian Screen Awards over the series’ run. Back Alley’s other series include Straight Up, Drop the Beat, Bliss, Bomb Girls and the critically acclaimed crime series Durham County, billed by the New York Times as “entirely addictive,” and recently named “Top Canadian Series of All Time,” by TV-Eh. Back Alley has offices in Toronto and Montreal. For more information visit www.backalleyfilms.caAbout TM InternationalTM International is the world sales arm of Tele München Group (TMG). The media group has been successfully operating in the entertainment market for more than 45 years and its activities include among others the production, acquisition and distribution of feature films, TV productions and classical music programmes. TM International distributes all productions in the theatrical and television segment, such as the latest feature film productions EMERALD GREEN and SAPPHIRE BLUE, based on the bestselling novels of the same name, an extensive Rosamunde Pilcher collection of sweeping female dramas such as VALENTINE’S KISS as well as an exciting feature film catalogue ranging from TERMINATOR, BASIC INSTINCT and RAMBO I-III to HARD RAIN, WONDER BOYS and PRIMARY COLORS. Muse Entertainment and Back Alley Film Productions have begun production in Montreal on the TV drama BELLEVUE, starring Academy® and Golden Globe® award-winning actress Anna Paquin (True Blood, Roots, Margaret,Alias Grace), Allen Leech (Downton Abbey, The Imitation Game, Rome) and Shawn Doyle (House of Cards, Big Love, Fargo). The new 8×60 series will premiere in winter 2017 on CBC.Thrilling and eerie, BELLEVUE is a mystery set in a small blue-collar town with a lot of ‘good people’ who ‘live right’ and take it upon themselves to make sure the neighbours do too. Driving the series is Detective Annie Ryder (Paquin), a cop whose intense and brazen personality has always been at odds with her hometown. When a transgender teen goes missing, Annie dives in to unravel the disappearance that suggests foul play, despite finding herself in a difficult position as she must cast suspicion on people she has known all her life. As the case pulls her further away from her family, she is also confronted by a mysterious person from her past with disturbing answers and a terrifying need to get inside her head. Leech stars as Annie’s on again, off again ex, Eddie, while Doyle takes on the role of Annie’s superior, Police Chief Peter Welland.Commissioned by CBC, BELLEVUE is produced by Muse Entertainment Enterprises and Back Alley Film Productions Ltd. The series was created by Jane Maggs and Adrienne Mitchell, with Maggs serving as senior writer, executive producer and co-showrunner with Mitchell, who is pilot director and executive producer. Executive producers are Janis Lundman, Michael Prupas, Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue) and Jesse Prupas. Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisementlast_img read more

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Starstudded rendition of Bryan Adamss Summer of 69 closes Junos which honour

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “Of course me and my band were the first up on our feet going, ‘Absolutely,“’ McLachlan said backstage, walking around bare feet with a glass of white wine.“We all grew up listening to that song. It’s so nostalgic.”In between banter from co-hosts Adams and Russell Peters and a slew of performances, the show occasionally veered into more sombre territory. Tributes to two of the year’s big winners, Gord Downie and the late Leonard Cohen, added a tinge of sadness to the ceremony.Cohen’s “You Want It Darker” beat out international chart-toppers by Celine Dion, Drake, Shawn Mendes and the Weeknd for album of the year. It was the second posthumous Juno honour for Montreal’s poet laureate, who died in November. He also won artist of the year during a Juno gala dinner on Saturday.Trudeau introduced a memorial performance of sorts for Cohen – who he called “one of the greatest artists Canada has ever produced” – by recalling how the poet-songwriter was an honorary pallbearer at his father Pierre Trudeau’s funeral.“I remember a gathering the night before the funeral…. That was the night I learned Leonard – a great man – but not a big hugger,” he joked.Feist, accompanied by two other singers, performed a cover of Cohen’s 1967 song “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye,” backed by a slideshow of black and white photos of the musician.Downie did not attend the show but appeared in a pre-recorded acceptance speech after being named the winner of the songwriter of the year Juno for his “Secret Path” solo project. The album recounts the life of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack, who died in 1966 after running away from a residential school. “Secret Path” also picked up best adult alternative album and recording package of the year awards.“Thank you for stepping into the wind, for following the sound you’ve been sort of hearing your entire life. For looking to see what has been bothering you a little bit,” Downie said in the video.“For recognizing that we’re not completely Canada yet. For seeing we have friends, our fellow countrymen and women, who are in big trouble. For recognizing our friends who were here before us, at least for thousands of years.“First Nations have many, many stories like this one,” he said in reference to Wenjack’s story. “My dream would be that this record with Jeff Lemire’s drawings might help people. Might give teachers something to help teach our young ones.”Among the more surprising moments of the evening came when Tragically Hip member Paul Langois took the stage to accept the band’s win for group of the year. The guitarist launched into a lengthy speech thanking his family and crew before Juno producers started playing him off.“Go to commercial, go ahead. This is my arena, not yours,” he said before turning his back to the cameras.“I want to shout out to Gord Downie and I want –,” he continued before his microphone was cut.Other winners included Cara, who won best pop album for “Know-It-All,” her breakout which includes hits singles like “Here” and “Wild Things.”Clad in a black T-shirt and pants and silver platform shoes, Cara demonstrated a newfound maturity after winning last year’s breakthrough artist Juno. Cara said she’s already hard at work on her next album and will have a stronger hand in the songwriting process.“I can be anywhere,” she said. “On a bus or a plane – or even in my room in the middle of the night. I’ll just wake up, sing something into my phone and get some time to flesh it out on my guitar.”Ruth B took home breakthrough artist of the year after her song “Lost Boy” elevated her from a Vine star to a Billboard chart success.Saskatchewan musician Jess Moskaluke’s “Kiss Me Quiet” won the country album award. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked for it, Bryan Adams delivered.Sunday night’s Juno Awards opened with a skit that had the prime minister phoning in a request for “Summer of ‘69” and the show closed with a celebratory all-star performance that also included Sarah McLachlan, Alessia Cara and members of rock bands Billy Talent and the Arkells.McLachlan, who took to the stage earlier as a new Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee, said she was immediately on board when they pitched her the idea. Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Bell Media Partners with Hot Docs to Present the Festivals 25th Year

first_imgAdvertisement Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment It’s almost time for Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, the largest documentary festival, conference and market in North America beginning Thursday, April 26 through Sunday, May 6. Hot Docs Presenting Partner, Bell Media, returns for the Festival’s 25th annual edition, screening an outstanding selection of more than 200 documentaries from Canada and around the world to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs also mounts a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum (May 1-2), Hot Docs Deal Maker (May 1-3), and the Doc Shop.THE FOURTH ESTATE, a new documentary series from SHOWTIME that examines the inner workings of The New York Times during President Trump’s first year, will have its international premiere at Hot Docs. THE FOURTH ESTATE will also stream on CraveTV on Sunday, May 27 at 8 p.m. ET, day-and-date with SHOWTIME in the US.Festival-goers can purchase tickets from Bell Media’s CraveTV Box Office at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. And with seemingly endless screening choices, a comprehensive Hot Docs film schedule and guide is available here. Facebook Login/Register With: Currently, CraveTV offers a Hot Docs Collection, available year-round to subscribers. CraveTV’s Hot Docs Collection features past festival and Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema selections, films created through production fund recipients and by market program alumni.“Bell Media has been an outstanding partner and tremendous champion in our work to showcase and celebrate independent documentaries to Canadian audiences,” said Brett Hendrie, Executive Director, Hot Docs. “Whether it’s partnering on our mental health film series, streaming films in the Hot Docs Collection on CraveTV, or supporting Hot Docs’ touring programs in Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Edmonton, Bell Media’s leadership has been vital to ensuring documentary film connects with a wider audience. We’re extremely grateful for their partnership and support.”(L-R:) Manic, The S Word, and Darkness and Hope: Depression, Sports and MeBell Media also worked with the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema this January to present the Mental Health Film series, which screened three documentaries; Manic, The S Word, and Darkness and Hope: Depression, Sports and Me,each exploring a topic concerning mental health and the stigma surrounding mental illness. Advertisementlast_img read more

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QA JARED KEESO ON WHY LETTERKENNY IS A PHENOMENON

first_img Login/Register With: He’s an unrepentant hayseed, a Canadian symbol of small-town defiance, who mixes it up with meth-head “skids” and thick-skulled hockey players in a rural community that bears a suspicious similarity to tiny Listowel, Ont.A cross between William Butler Yeats and a scatological Mr. Spock, his eloquently robotic rants — “Here’s a tip: don’t fart in a spacesuit!” — have made filmed-in-Sudbury Letterkenny a cultural phenomenon since its CraveTV debut two years ago following three years of YouTube shorts.Meet Listowel native Jared Keeso, 34. Facebook With a flair for linguistics and an engagingly taciturn manner, his TV alter ego has become as iconically recognizable as Bob and Doug McKenzie and the Trailer Park Boys, a Canadian Seinfeld obsessed with burping etiquette and the correct pronunciation of “L.A.” (”L. Aye? L. Aiii? L. Ayyyy?”)Because he was born in feisty, unfussy Waterloo Region, the winner of multiple Canadian Screen Awards remains as refreshingly down to earth as a mud-encased tractor wheel or mashed yellow corn husk. Beer and hockey. That’s all I hear about Letterkenny. When are you gonna tackle more refined subjects like opera singing and interior design?Tough to beat beer and hockey. What’s this about designing opera interiors? Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

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BRAVOS TV GIFT GUIDE FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

first_img Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisementcenter_img A young woman in charge of building a float for the Rose Parade clashes with the executive whose company is sponsoring it. With a lot at stake for both of them, and only a ragtag team of volunteers, they’ll have to learn to play nice with each other if they have any chance of making the New Year’s deadline. And, along the way, they discover they may be building a romance as well as a float. Photo: Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Ryan Plummer For the one who gets the entire family together: THE WISHING TREE (Friday, December 21 at 8 p.m. ET)For the person who needs a break from cooking: KILLING EVE (Sunday, January 6, beginning at 10 a.m. ET)via GIPHYFor the massive fan of The Who: THE BEST OF C.S.I (Wednesday, December 26, beginning at 10 a.m. ET)via GIPHYFor the hopeless romantic whose nose is buried in a YA novel: CHRISTMAS IN ANGEL FALLS (Saturday, December 22 at 2 p.m. ET)For the people complaining about the snow, who’d rather be at the cottage: CARTER (Tuesday, January 1, beginning at 10 a.m. ET)For those who needs a break from all the Christmas movies: THE BEST OF CRIMINAL MINDS (Thursday, December 27, beginning at 10 a.m. ET)via GIPHYClick here for a full list of Bravo’s holiday programming. Advertisement No need to pout, no need to cry because Bravo’s made a holiday programming list, with everyone in mind. Beginning Friday, Dec. 21 through to Sunday, Dec. 23, Bravo gets into the holiday spirit, featuring non-stop festive flicks leading up to Christmas Day with the CHRISTMAS MOVIE MARATHON.Then, viewers can unwrap crime mysteries with its DETECTIVE MARATHON, from Monday, Dec. 24 to Sunday, Jan. 6.Here are a selection of staff picks of what to enjoy on Bravo this holiday season:last_img read more

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First Nations protestors rally at Ontario premiers home

first_imgAPTN National NewsThey hoped it would be a rude awakening for the premier of Ontario Sunday morning.Protestors came to her front door with a call for action over the poisoning of people and wildlife on the Grassy Narrows First Nation.But the premier wasn’t home.APTN’s Donna Sound has the story.last_img

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PM Harper held discussions with Valcourt Atleo on education bill federal official

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe final push that gave birth to the First Nation education bill currently before Parliament occurred during discussions between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo, according to a senior federal official.Francois Ducros, Aboriginal Affairs assistant deputy minister for education and social development programs, told the Senate Aboriginal Peoples committee Wednesday evening that “discussions” occurred “over the last couple of months” between Harper, Valcourt and Atleo. Ducros didn’t say how many meetings the three actually had on the proposed education bill. When asked about the issue by APTN National News after the Senate committee hearing, Ducros referred questions to Valcourt’s office.The PMO and Valcourt’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent late Wednesday evening. Harper, Valcourt and Atleo jointly announced on Feb. 7 a new education bill would be tabled in Parliament.Ducros volunteered the information after she was asked by Conservative Sen. John Wallace about the department’s discussion with the AFN over the bill. Ducros said there had been discussions with the AFN over two years.The First Nation Control of First Nation Education Act, Bill C-33, was debated for the first time on second reading in the House of Commons Wednesday. The bill is expected to go to before the Commons Aboriginal affairs committee next week.The Conservatives have moved to use time allocation to limit debate on the bill to hasten its passage through the House of Commons. It’s believed the Harper government wants to have the bill passed into law before the House rises for the summer.Valcourt issued a statement Wednesday afternoon condemning the NDP for its initial opposition to the bill.“The First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act is a constructive and necessary step towards a better future for First Nations students across the country and I am both shocked and saddened that the NDP would stand in the way of improving the lives of First Nations students for purely partisan reasons,” said Valcourt. “Thomas Mulcair and the NDP are choosing to stand with those calling to bring Canada’s economy to its knees…I am disturbed that they would play politics on the backs of First Nation children.”NDP Aboriginal affairs critic Jean Crowder has criticized the bill for giving the minister too much power over First Nation education.Mulcair met with chiefs from Quebec and Labrador this week who asked the Opposition Leader to oppose the bill.The Senate is currently conducting a pre-examination on the bill, which has yet to reach the Red Chamber.Ducros, along with Chris Rainer, Aboriginal Affairs’ director of strategic policy and planning directorate in the education branch, and Martin Reiher, acting general council and director of operations and programs in the Justice Canada’s legal services unit, appeared as witnesses before the committee.If passed, the proposed bill would guarantee funding for on-reserve education that would increase at a rate of 4.5 per cent a year. Ottawa would also add $1.2 billion in funding to education in addition to existing funding levels which are around $1.55 billion a year, said Ducros. The money would flow after the next federal election in 2016.If passed, the bill would also require First Nation schools to meet mandated standards, including ensuring all students graduating from reserve schools have recognized certificates or diplomas, receive a minimum number of instructional hours and are taught by certified teachers. The bill would also ensure all children have access to elementary and secondary education on reserves.Schools would also be required to appoint a “school inspector” responsible for ensuring the school is meeting all requirements including the academic performance of students at the institution. If a school fails to meet standards, it could be put under co-management or under third-party management by the minister on advice from a Joint Council of Education Professionals.Ducros faced questions from Sen. Lillian Dyck on the extent of the department’s consultation on the bill. Referring to recent public statements from chiefs across the country decrying the lack of consultation, Dyck pressed Ducros on whether the department had a different understanding of consultation.“We are still hearing many First Nations organizations still saying they haven’t been consulted,” said Dyck.Ducros said the department faced pressures from two fronts: the need to act quickly on improving the dire education situation on reserves and the need for consultation. Ducros said lots of talk preceded the bill, including the work of a blue-ribbon panel on education which held hearings, followed by the department’s own consultations across the country and the release of a blueprint and draft education bill last year.“With something as intimate as education you are never going to finish consultation,” said Ducros. “There is always going to be a lot of angst around something like this.”Ducros said the majority of First Nations want to work with the department on the bill and are preparing for its passing into law.“Some don’t want to work with us, but not a lot,” said Ducros.Ducros, and the two other officials, also faced questions from Sen. Wilfred Moore on the need for the education council, which will be appointed by the federal cabinet and provide advice to the minister. The council will also be the go-between during discussions on developing the regulations and funding formulas associated with the bill.“To me it looks like the white man sitting on top,” said Moore.Ducros said the education council would have no say in how First Nations decided to deliver their education systems. The education council was actually created to restrict the minister’s power, she said. Currently, contribution agreements between First Nations and the department primarily govern education on reserves. Ducros said the minister has unfettered power in these agreements.jbarrear@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

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Health Canada gives short notice for temporary closure of 2 nursing stations

first_imgAPTN National NewsHealth Canada gave two remote First Nations a two-day notice that their nursing stations would close temporarily according to a statement released Thursday by Nishnabe Aski Nation (NAN) Thursday.According to the statement, Health Canada plans to close the stations in Keewaywin First Nation and Summer Beaver (Nibinamik First Nation) until mid-September. It’s not clear why the stations are being temporarily closed but according to NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler it seems that staffing shortages are the reason.“It is unacceptable that two of our remote communities were given as little as two days’ notice that their nursing stations will be temporarily closed and that the few nurses in their communities would be pulled out as soon as today,” said Fiddler in the release. “We recognize the challenges Health Canada is facing with the recruitment and retention of qualified nursing staff, but giving our leaders such short notice that their only health care services are closing, even on a temporary basis, is intolerable.Fiddler said that Canada wanted to put in place an “alternative service delivery plan” until a solution could be found.“It is unacceptable for remote and isolated First Nations to face the possibility of their nursing stations closing, even temporarily, and I strongly disagree with Health Canada’s reliance on alternative sites for health care access and telemedicine as temporary solutions,” said Deputy Grand Chief Jason Smallboy. “Residents of remote fly-in communities cannot simply drive to neighbouring communities.”Health Canada had not responded to requests for comment as of the posting of this story.But NDP Indigenous Affairs critic Charlie Angus said this is not the way to move forward with reconciliation.“NAN declared a health state of emergency and the government ignored them for months,” wrote Charlie Angus in a statement to APTN National News. “People have been dying from a lack of the most basic medical services. And this government’s response to the crisis is to send two days’ notice that they will be shutting down nursing stations in remote fly-in communities?”Angus said the move flies in the face of the Liberal’s promise of a “new relationship” with Indigenous people, adding “it’s simply more of the same old, same old disinterest that we saw with the last government.”last_img read more

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Energy has gone from Albertas economic engine to its backbone ATB

first_imgATB Financial’s chief economist told a Calgary audience the energy industry has gone from Alberta’s economic engine to its backbone.Todd Hirsch told the crowd of 1,500 that the city’s economy is moving forward by evolving rather than recovering from the latest economic recession.He said when a barrel of oil was $100, oil and gas was fueling wage growth and employment, but it’s different five years later.“There has been some hiring, but wages are lower in the energy sector, there is some investment coming back, but not at rates we saw in 2012, 2013,” he said. “A backbone, which is very important to an economy like it is to the human body, but it’s not the growth engine fueling every day ahead and the black hole that pulls everything into its own gravity.“A backbone is actually a healthier role I think for the energy sector to be playing because it does allow for diversity.Hirsch spoke during a presentation with the Conference Board of Canada and Calgary Economic Development regarding the provincial and city outlooks for 2018.According to the board, Calgary’s economy is increasing 4.6 per cent this year and projecting a more modest growth next year at 2.1 per cent, along with a provincial average of 2.0 per cent.“Alberta’s gone from the back of the pack the last two years, a really painful recession, to the leader, you’re now the strongest growing province this year,” senior fellow with the board Glen Hodgson said.Hodgson noted that comes with a muted commodity price recovery, but he hopes for more balance next year.“This year it’s way too much the consumer, not enough private investment,” Hodgson said, adding he agreed with Hirsch’s analogy. “Shifting and thinking about that as a foundation and then diversifying the sources of energy is probably a good metaphor.”Both agreed the biggest risks to the local and provincial economies are the NAFTA negotiations.“That could take a lot of growth, a lot of steam because it’ll rupture confidence, both for consumers and investors,” he said, adding while Calgary has an advantage because the U.S. is still consuming oil and gas products, the city is still exposed.“Alberta and Calgary would be affected by ripple effects if B.C. or Ontario are affected,” he said.Calgary Economic Development CEO Mary Moran said along with uncertainty around NAFTA and regulatory processes, the focus has to stay on technological advancements.“Not happening down the road, they’re happening today,” she said. “The reality is that we have to get comfortable with dealing with uncertainty and I think we’re really good risk managers, but we’re not necessarily good with dealing with uncertainty.“Compared to a year ago, I think we’ve made quantum leaps.”last_img read more

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Stock market volatility may awaken investors to scrutinize account fees

first_imgTORONTO – A return to volatility on global stock markets in early February may be the catalyst needed to warn investors about the impact of fees on returns — a feat that regulators haven’t accomplished so far.“Failing investment values tend to make people scrutinize everything more closely,” Dan Hallett, vice-president of HighView Financial Group in Windsor, Ont., said in an interview.He expects more attention will be paid to how fees affect portfolio returns “especially if they’re negative on the year.”Tough questions about advisory fees had been expected to emerge after the second phase of enhanced disclosure rules, known as CRM2, became mandatory last year.However, investors and their advisers had little cause for concern in 2017 as U.S. stocks continued a bull run that began in 2009 and continued into early 2018.The rough patch that hit markets in February, when global markets fell by 10 per cent at times, may force investors to take more notice.Research suggests CRM2’s heightened disclosure requirements have done little to change investor knowledge about fees — and, in some cases, have created confusion.A 2017 study by the B.C. Securities Commission estimated only nine per cent of investors were familiar with the indirect fees paid by third parties to firms — up from zero per cent before CRM2 was implemented.Another 2017 study by Credo Consulting Inc. found that 62 per cent of investors surveyed thought they didn’t pay for the financial advice they received — down from 67 per cent of investors surveyed in 2016.A Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada report in January 2018 found that fee disclosures used by some firms could lead to client confusion due to different terms used throughout investment statements as well as instances where required definitions weren’t used at all.The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments is expected to offer other details in a new survey to be released in early March.But even CRM2 only tells half the story, since annual report statements still don’t reveal the portion of management fees retained by the fund company.“Disclosing the full management expense ratios or MERs should be the requirements for funds,” said fee-only planner Jason Heath of Objective Financial Partners in Markham, Ont.An investor, for example, with a $100,000 portfolio made up of commission-based mutual funds with a two per cent MER would likely see about $1,000 in fees and charges on an annual CRM2 report statement. But the total amount of fees and charges would be $2,000 after accounting for the a fund company’s portion of the MER.While not all mutual funds include trailer fees, the ones sold through banks and full-service advisers often do and can make up a sizable portion of investment portfolios. According to the Investment Funds Institute of Canada, there was $1.49 trillion in mutual funds as of Jan. 31 — about 31 per cent of Canadians’ financial wealth.For portfolio manager John De Goey of Industrial Alliance Securities in Toronto, the only way for investors to really understand how much financial advice costs is to get rid of embedded commissions in mutual funds altogether.The Canadian Securities Administrators held consultations last September about whether the regulator should ban the use of embedded commissions — a move that Britain and Australia have already taken — following a report it released in early 2017 showing payment of embedded commissions raises investor protection and market efficiency issues.The Ontario Securities Commission is expected to publish an update in late spring about how it will proceed with embedded commissions.Investor advocacy group Fair Canada supports a ban on embedded commissions, calling it “an essential step so that Canadians can receive professional objective advice free from damaging conflicts of interest.”Canadian regulators are also taking steps to implement new disclosure regulations for segregated funds — an investment similar to a mutual fund that produces a return with an insurances policy that covers the risk — which initially did not fall under the same transparency rules affecting mutual funds under CRM2.last_img read more

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Martinrea to shut Ajax automotive plant when GM ends Oshawa production

first_imgTORONTO — Martinrea International Inc. says it will be forced to close an automotive factory when General Motors winds down production at its Oshawa assembly plant next year in one of the clearest indications of the knock-on effects of the closure on suppliers.Rob Wildeboer, executive chairman of manufacturer Martinrea, says the company will have no choice but to end operations at its Ajax, Ont. plant and offer relocation to the 77 people who work there because the site is entirely dependent on GM’s Oshawa assembly line.The closure of the Oshawa plant and the nearly 3,000 jobs that will be lost have raised concerns of ripple effects through the supply chain, with Unifor estimating every job represents seven spin off jobs in the local economy.Parts manufacturers and other suppliers have, however, downplayed the overall impact of the closure thanks to diversification efforts after the global economic downturn that helped lead GM into bankruptcy.Automotive manufacturer Linamar Corp. says it expects to see minimal to no impact from the closure since most of its GM parts are exported to assembly plants in the U.S.Smaller operations have also diversified, including packager Tec Business Solutions, which says it has reduced exposure to the automotive industry while still having faith in its long-term strength.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Contract workers taken to Hospital after H2S leak near Baytree

first_imgBAYTREE, A.B. – Contract workers at a Birchcliff’s Pouce Coupe Gas Plant were taken to hospital after an H2S leak.According to the company, some contract workers were affected by the H2S leak on Friday and taken to the Dawson Creek Hospital.  All of the workers have since been released from the Hospital.The company says the incident happened at their Pouce Coupe Gas Plant that is located east of Dawson Creek near Baytree.  According to company spokesperson Robyn Bourgeois, a full investigation is currently underway. Police and Fire dispatchers fielded a high volume of calls on Friday from concerned citizens in both Alberta and B.C. asking if they need to take precautions or be evacuated.The RCMP say at this time, there is no ongoing release and there is no risk to public safety. If the situation were to change, affected residents would be contacted directly as per industry Emergency Response Plans that are currently in place.The Birchcliff Pouce Coupe Gas Plant has a processing capacity has increased to 260 MMcf per day.  Engineering, procurement and fabrication work is underway for the Phase VI expansion of the PC Gas Plant which will increase processing capacity to 340 MMcf per day with an expected startup date of October 2018. “It is not clear if the release at Pouce Coupe was the cause on the incident that affected the contract workers. Birchcliff promptly initiated its emergency response procedures and notified the appropriate authorities. Birchcliff is currently conducting a full investigation and, if necessary, will comment at the appropriate time.”last_img read more

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Oilsands producer Cenovus shares get a lift from crude rail deals

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Cenovus Energy Inc. shares increased nearly seven percent after the oilsands producer said it signed three-year deals with Canada’s major rail companies to move 100,000 barrels per day of heavy crude oil by rail.The Calgary-based company’s shares gained 81.5 cents or 6.8 percent at $12.825 in late-morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Chief executive Alex Pourbaix said after markets closed on Wednesday that the deals will allow the company to go around clogged pipelines that are linked to multi-year high discounts in prices for Canadian heavy oil versus New York-traded benchmark crude. Cenovus says it has struck a deal with Canadian National Railway to move oil from Cenovus’s terminal northeast of Edmonton and with Canadian Pacific Railway through USD Partners’ terminal in Hardisty, Alta.Transportation from both is to start in the second quarter of next year and ramp up through 2019.Cenovus says it is expecting all-in costs to transport the oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast in the mid- to high-teens in U.S. dollars per barrel rail is generally more expensive than shipping by pipeline.The National Energy Board reported that crude-by-rail exports from Canada rose above 200,000 barrels per day in June for the first time, up from about 110,000 bpd 12 months earlier.“Our rail strategy provides a means of mitigating the price impact of pipeline congestion,” said Pourbaix.“While we remain confident new pipeline capacity will be constructed, these rail agreements will help get our oil to higher-price markets.” (THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

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The city of Fort St John is committed to Energy Literacy

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – As the ‘Energetic City’ the city of Fort St. John staff have made a commitment to sustainable energy efficiency and conservation.The city staff believe our energy is vital to the BC economy and for the energy needs of our citizens and because of that, they want to take a leadership role. By investing in energy efficient buildings, demonstrating green energy sources in their operations, and offering residents and businesses knowledge and resources to understand our energy needs today and for the future.Inclusive to the above Council has made Energy Literacy a priority for a number of years, expresses Ryan Harvey, Communications Coordinator for the city of Fort St. John. The recent editorial distributed to the Toronto Sun was a continuation of that. Harvey said, “We understand Fort St. John has a lot of natural resource experience and we understand the greatest resource is conservation, such as the Passive House and Micro Hydro Project.”Extending Energy Literacy to outside publications is about the city sharing local knowledge to people locally and provincially, shares Harvey as he says, “It is huge to share our knowledge.”With the energy sector providing a large economic benefit to the North Peace region and beyond. The industry brings tax dollars that provide local and provincial funds through taxation according to city staff.The industry provides jobs and brings people to this community, allowing them employment and opportunity. They support our local non-profits and often offer their own community enhancement initiatives, city staff express this is important for the region this industry is sustained and encouraged.For a link to the city’s Energy Literacy, CLICK HERE To read the most recent publication, CLICK HERElast_img read more

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