HALIFAX – Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer reiterated his pledge not to reopen the abortion debate, hours before party members voted to uphold the existing policy at the Tories’ national convention in Halifax on Saturday.One of 74 resolutions debated at the convention on Friday proposed removing any reference to regulating abortion from the party’s official policy, but the resolution was narrowly defeated on Saturday.The party policy currently says a Conservative government would not support any legislation to regulate abortion, and Saturday’s vote of 53 per cent to 47 per cent means that policy will stand.In an interview with The Canadian Press earlier in the day, Scheer said he would not bring in any legislation to reopen divisive issues such as abortion, even if a majority of members had voted in favour of the resolution.“I’ve made it very clear that, as prime minister, I will not reopen that debate. I will not introduce legislation to reopen divisive issues or to reopen issues that have already been settled by previous governments,” he said.During the policy plenary on the closing day of the convention on Saturday, several contentious resolutions were voted on by the general membership, including two other resolutions that deal with abortion — both of which passed.One says abortion should be explicitly excluded from maternal child and health financial aid that Canada provides to developing countries. That resolution passed easily, so an electronic vote count was not needed.Another resolution supporting legislation to ensure any child born alive should be given every opportunity to sustain life also passed with a margin of 63 per cent to 37 per cent. That resolution was supported by the anti-abortion lobby group the Campaign Life Coalition.Before the votes were even held, however, Scheer said that while he welcomes open debates and discussions among the members, he will remain “unequivocal” in his stance that he will not entertain divisive social issues, including abortion.But abortion wasn’t the only controversial social issue raised in the policy resolutions, each of which were put forward by electoral riding associations from across the country.Another resolution, which opposed the extension of “euthanasia and assisted suicide” to minors, people with mental illness or “people who are not competent,” passed by a margin of 62 per cent to 38 per cent.Another, which described pornography as a public health risk in need of government regulation to reduce exposure and addiction, was defeated.The debates elicited many heated arguments about the Conservative party’s ideology and ability to accommodate the views and policy proposals of more socially conservative members within the party.On Friday, some delegates even passed out handouts dictating how “Conservatives for real Conservative values” should vote on the more controversial social issue resolutions.For those who aren’t happy with the outcome of some of Saturday’s votes and feel disenfranchised, Scheer said he would like to try to work on areas where they can find consensus.“A leader’s job is to find common ground,” he said.“I’m not going to bring in legislation, bring in proposals that would divide our own caucus, divide our own party and divide Canadians.”Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.
Stephanie Lacroix:Stephanie Lacroix was passionate about youth education and life skills development in both Canada and southern Africa.Lacroix was working with the United Nations Association in Canada to help engage young Canadians in the UN’s work to grow global citizens as a project officer with the association’s Canada Service Corps, her LinkedIn profile says.She graduated in 2015 with an honours degree in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa.She was a board member of the African Community Fund for Education Canada and previously volunteered with Free the Children.Her mother Sylvie Lamarche Lacroix of Timmins, Ont., confirmed her death in a Facebook message.In an interview, Jasveen Brar said she met Lacroix at COP24 in Poland.“She was a mentor to me and the two other guys that were selected for the conference. Since the COP, we kept in touch over email, where she offered me lots of advice about my career and life, she really was a star,” Brar said.Darcy Belanger:Parvati.org, a not-for-profit conservation group, says the former Edmonton resident was its founding member and director of strategic initiatives.Belanger’s LinkedIn profile says he was working as a United States director of professional development with PCL Construction in Denver.Parvati says Belanger had taken time off from PCL and was travelling to Nairobi for the United Nations Environment Assembly.The organization said he was a champion of the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary or MAPS because he realized the importance of the Arctic Ocean in balancing global weather patterns. MAPS declares the entire Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle a protected area, the group said in a statement. “Admired for his courage, outstanding achievements, and noble qualities, Darcy was a hero in every sense of the word,” Parvati said. “He was passionately devoted to the protection of all life through the realization of MAPS.” Micah Messent:Messent was an environmentalist from British Columbia who expressed his joy on social media at being able to attend the fourth session of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi.In an Instagram post, he said he had been selected by the United Nations Association of Canada to attend the assembly and was travelling to Kenya where he would “have the chance to meet with other passionate youth and leaders from around the world and explore how we can tackle the biggest challenges that are facing our generation.”“I’m so grateful for this opportunity and want to thank all of the people in my life who have helped me get this far.”Prof. Laurie Meijer Drees taught Messent at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo and said he was committed to being a role model for Indigenous youth and was regarded as a trailblazer among his classmates and the faculty.“He was a bright light among all of those bright lights,” she said. “He was very enthusiastic, a bright young scholar, very committed to the environment and the land.”Drees said Messent was part of a group of about a dozen Indigenous Studies students who wanted to make the world a better place.The First Nations Leadership Council said Messent was a member of the Red River Metis Nation in Manitoba and was raised as the youngest of five siblings in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. It said he had plans to return to school in the future to pursue a law degree. Amina Ibrahim Odowaa and her daughter Sofia Faisal Abdulkadir:The 33-year-old Edmonton woman and her five-year-old daughter were travelling to Kenya to visit relatives.Her brother, Mohamed Hassan Ali of Toronto, said he had planned to travel with them but had to cancel last week.“(She was) a very nice person, very outgoing, very friendly — had a lot of friends,” he said.A family friend said Odowaa had lived in Edmonton since 2006. Pius Adesanmi:Adesanmi was a Nigerian-born professor in the Department of English Language and Literature and the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa.He was a “towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship,” said the school’s president, Benoit-Antoine Bacon.Adesanmi was the winner of the inaugural Penguin Prize for African non-fiction writing in 2010.Mitchell Dick, a Carleton student in communications, said Adesanmi was “extremely nice and approachable,” and stood out for his passion for African literature. Jessica HybaHyba’s Facebook page says she was born in Ottawa and pursued a career in international aid work.She worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as an public relations officer, based in Mogadishu, Somalia.Prior to that, the UNHCR said Hyba worked for CARE Canada.That agency issued a statement saying she had worked in Indonesia as part of the emergency response to the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.“We remember her fondly as a dedicated humanitarian and loving mother,” CARE Canada said on their website. Peter deMarshDescribed by a longtime family friend in New Brunswick as a dedicated community activist, deMarsh also travelled the world as chairman of the International Family Forestry Alliance.The international group, based in Luxembourg, represents more than 25 million forest owners worldwide.Genevieve MacRae recalled how deMarsh and his wife Jean Burgess helped establish the Taymouth Community Association in central New Brunswick more than a decade ago.“Peter and his wife Jean made a pretty powerful team,” said MacRae, a friend of deMarsh’s since her childhood. “They were always looking for how to improve the lives of the people around them.”MacRae said deMarsh was a pillar of the Taymouth community.“He was warm, funny, passionate — you always felt listened-to with Peter,” MacRae said. “He was an intense person, except that doesn’t signify the warmth that was behind it all … It’s a monumental loss for our community.” Felix Montecuccoli, a board member with the International Family Forestry Alliance, said in an email that police shared the news of deMarsh’s death with his family late Sunday.DeMarsh was en route to Nairobi, where he and Montecuccoli had planned to attend a workshop on financing for small farms.The CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, Derek Nighbor, issued a statement describing deMarsh as a life-long advocate for the Canadian forest sector.“The forestry community lost an incredible man this weekend,” Nighbor said.“Peter dedicated so much of his life to our sector and was travelling to Africa to do what he loved to do — talking about the environmental benefits of forestry … He was a true champion of forestry on the global stage.” Ashka Dixit, Anushka Dixit, Prerit Dixit, Kosha Vaidya, Pannagesh Vaidya and Hansini Vaidya:The family of six from Brampton, Ont., was planning to visit Kosha’s birthplace in Kenya, said her brother, Manant Vaidya.He said his 37-year-old sister hadn’t visited Kenya for decades. Her daughters, 14-year-old Ashka and 13-year-old Anushka, were looking forward to going on a safari, he said.The other family members on the trip were 45-year-old father Prerit Dixit, 71-year-old grandfather Pannagesh Vaidya and 63-year-old grandmother Hansini Vaidya.Manant said his parents were from Gujarat, India, but they lived in Kenya for three or four years. The family later returned to India. Kosha moved to Ontario in 2004 after marrying her husband, who already lived in Canada.The girls were strong students and enrolled in specialized science and technology courses, Manant said. Ashka was also known for her singing voice, while Anushka was talented in dance and was learning a traditional Indian form called khattak.Prerit worked as a medical lab assistant for LifeLabs and also held a job at Ontario’s Ministry of Health. Kosha used to work for the Canadian Hearing Society, said Manant.It was not immediately clear if Pannagesh Vaidya and Hansini Vaidya were Canadian citizens. The Canadian Press Angela Rehhorn:Angela Rehhorn, 24, was an enthusiastic conservation volunteer from Orillia, Ont., who was developing a citizen science project on bat conservation.The Canadian Wildlife Federation says she had recently participated in its Canadian Conservation Corps, a volunteer program for Canadians ages 18 to 30.She was on her way to participate in the United Nations Environmental Assembly in Nairobi as part of the UN Association of Canada’s Canada Service Corps Program, it said.Rick Bates, CEO of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, said in an interview that Rehhorn was a well-liked “outdoors girl” who was also a great leader.“She was full of excitement and the optimism of youth and wanting to change the world and work on changing the world. And that’s what she was doing,” Bates said.Rehhorn recently completed a bachelor of science at Dalhousie University and was “thrilled” to take part in the conservation corps, the federation said.Her experience took her to Alberta where she went backpacking in Kananaskis this fall, then to Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island for her field training. At the time of her death, Rehhorn had just finished volunteering her time to do species surveys and was especially interested in expanding her experience working in the marine environment, the federation said. Derick Lwugi:An accountant with the City of Calgary, Lwugi was on his way to Kenya to visit both his and his wife’s parents.“His mom was not feeling well,” Lwugi’s wife, Gladys Kivia, said in a brief interview from Calgary.The couple have three children, aged 17, 19 and 20, all of whom live at home.The family has lived in Calgary for 12 years. Details are emerging on the 18 Canadian victims of an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash in Addis Ababa that left 157 people dead. Here is what we know so far: Danielle Moore:A 24-year-old marine biology student from Winnipeg, Moore graduated from Dalhousie University in Halifax in 2017.She posted on Facebook on Saturday morning that she would be travelling to Nairobi for the United Nations Environment Assembly.“Over the next week, I’ll have the opportunity to discuss global environmental issues, share stories, and connect with other youth and leaders from all over the world,” she wrote.“I feel beyond privileged to be receiving this opportunity.”Prof. Kim Davies, her honours thesis adviser at Dalhousie, said Moore was an exceptional student.“She excelled at her studies, she was a kind and friendly person, and she was deeply devoted to environmental and human rights causes,” Davies said in an email.Davies said after graduating from Dalhousie, Moore returned to Manitoba where she worked for several non-governmental organizations, including the Canada Learning Code, a group dedicated to improving the accessibility of educational and technological resources for Canadians.The professor confirmed Moore’s work was recognized by the United Nations, which is why she was invited to be a delegate to the environmental assembly. Rubi Pauls:Nine-month-old Rubi was travelling to Kenya with her family to meet her grandfather for the first time.Her 34-year-old mother, seven year-old brother, four-year-old sister and 60-year-old grandmother were on the flight with her. Rubi was the only Canadian citizen in the family.Her grandfather, Quindos Karanja, said the family was on its way back to Kenya from Ontario to visit him for Easter. He said his daughter, Carolyne Karanja, had been excited to go back home but had said she had a “bad feeling” before the trip. He said he’s finding it hard to accept what has happened.
MONCTON, N.B. — A lawyer retained by women who suspect they were improperly given a labour-inducing drug says the number of alleged victims of a Moncton nurse’s inappropriate treatment is growing.The Horizon Health Network has publicly confirmed there were “at least two” pregnant women who had to receive emergency intervention after receiving the drug inappropriately from the registered nurse.A spokeswoman has also said 40 more women had come forward as of Tuesday seeking information from the Moncton Hospital about their treatment.The health agency declined further comment on Sunday, citing an ongoing criminal investigation by the RCMP.However, John McKiggan, a medical malpractice lawyer based in Halifax, says he and the Moncton firm Fidelis Law are now representing “dozens” of women who suspect they were also treated by the nurse.The lawyer said more than two women have told him the Moncton Hospital has informed them they were also victims of the inappropriate administration of oxytocin by the nurse.“I know for sure there are more than two because the hospital has told women that they were a victim of this nurse,” McKiggan said, though he said he is unclear on the total numbers.Oxytocin is a drug given to women to induce and speed up labour by causing the uterus to contract.Hospitals normally have strict policies in place requiring pregnant woman receiving the drug to be closely monitored for adverse effects from the sudden contractions, as they may lead to a reduction of oxygen flow to the baby.“It’s a terribly dangerous drug and one you have to carefully monitor. And it would be shocking that a nurse could have access to oxytocin without a hospital knowing that, and it being administered without anyone else being aware of it,” said McKiggan.The Halifax-based lawyer says women who were hooked up to an IV and who started suffering strong contractions shortly after receiving the IV have been contacting the hospital and his office.He said the hospital should be providing women with more information, as in some instances the mothers aren’t being told if the registered nurse being investigated was involved in their treatment.The hospital “should be acknowledging their responsibility for what happened and offering whatever information they can to mothers who were concerned about whether or not they were victimized,” he said in an interview.“I spoke to one mom this week who called the hospital to try and find out if the nurse involved was part of her labour and delivery team … but the hospital refused to tell her whether the nurse was on the team.”Horizon Health spokeswoman Emely Poitras referred The Canadian Press to a prior posted comment by the hospital which invites women “who experienced quick onset labour” to contact the health agency and discuss their medical concerns.The Moncton Hospital has confirmed that the unidentified nurse had been fired after at least two pregnant women were allegedly given the drug oxytocin inappropriately.Dr. Ken Gillespie, the hospital’s chief of staff, has said the pregnant women required emergency intervention but added the mothers and their babies were not harmed.RCMP have confirmed they are investigating the case, but were unavailable for further comment on Sunday.Some research has suggested oxytocin can cause the uterus to tear, with potentially catastrophic consequences.Horizon Health operates the Moncton Hospital and 11 others, along with more than 100 medical facilities and clinics in New Brunswick.— by Michael Tutton in HalifaxThe Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — The authors of a report that found $47 billion was laundered across Canada last year debated whether to include a graph that indicated Alberta, Ontario and the Prairies were hotspots for dirty money, says the lead writer.Maureen Maloney said her expert panel used the best mathematical model available to reach the estimates, but it’s more reliable at a national level than a provincial one, so they questioned whether to publish the figures.“But we thought, ‘No, we need to do this, because people need to know it’s not just a B.C. problem,’ ” said Maloney, the province’s former deputy attorney general and a public policy professor at Simon Fraser University.“It’s a big B.C. problem, but it’s everybody’s problem. And to the extent that B.C. starts fixing our problem or at least makes our province less enticing to money launderers, they’re going to go elsewhere. They’re not going to disappear.”The report, one of two recently released by the B.C. government, aimed to sound a nationwide alarm about money laundering. But some provinces have reacted with skepticism, as Alberta questioned the numbers and Ontario said it will monitor the issue.Maloney said there is no reliable data on money laundering in Canada, so the panel used what’s known as the gravity model, which estimates the flow of dirty money between countries based on characteristics including GDP per capita and crime rates. The panel divided Canada into six regions and treated each region as a country.The panel estimated that Alberta led the country for money laundering in 2015 with $10.2 billion, followed by Ontario with $8.2 billion and the Prairies — Saskatchewan and Manitoba combined — with $6.5 billion.To the surprise of many, B.C. came in fourth with $6.2 billion, scuttling its reputation as the money laundering capital of Canada.The authors noted that the relatively high estimates in Alberta and the Prairies might arise from the importance the model places on crime rates and GDP levels, which were high prior to the oil downturn.“If money laundering in Alberta and the Prairies have been overestimated … that implies that money laundering in B.C., Ontario and Quebec have likely been underestimated,” the report said.Still, the panel concluded that money laundering is corroding “the very fabric of society” across Canada, and laid out a vision for it to become a national priority. Multiple recommendations call for the B.C. government to persuade its provincial and federal partners to take action.Other provinces have yet to confront the issue with the zeal of B.C., which announced this week it will hold a public inquiry.Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer said the province takes criminal activity seriously, but the figure presented in the report is the product of modelling that may not be completely reliable.“We use intelligence from front-line law enforcement agencies, not data we can’t verify. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect law-abiding Albertans,” he said in a statement.Money laundering is nearly impossible to quantify because, by nature, it’s hidden, but the report’s estimate for Alberta seems high, said Greg Draper, a national lead of valuations, forensics and litigation support with law firm MNP LLP and a former RCMP investigator based in Calgary.“I would expect that Vancouver has a bigger issue than Alberta, which is not to say that Alberta does not face its own money laundering risks,” he said, adding illicit money is being washed through the province’s casinos, housing and cash businesses.Ontario’s real estate association was so alarmed by Maloney’s report that it contacted its provincial government to call for a beneficial ownership registry. B.C. has already announced plans for such a registry, which collects the names of people buying property using corporations, trusts and numbered companies.“Today, drug lords, gun runners and other criminals can hide behind the veil of Canada’s privacy laws,” said Tim Hudak, chief executive officer of the Ontario Real Estate Association and a former provincial Progressive Conservative leader.Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli wasn’t available for an interview and in a statement his department didn’t indicate it was planning to take any urgent action.“What I can tell you is that we are discussing this issue with our federal and provincial partners — most recently at the last meeting of Canada’s finance ministers. This is something we will continue to monitor,” said spokesman Peter Spadoni.Both Saskatchewan and Manitoba said they are taking measures to combat money laundering and pointed to their civil-forfeiture programs, which enable provinces to seize assets believed to be the proceeds of crime without laying criminal charges.Saskatchewan added that it will pursue legislative amendments to ensure that corporations hold accurate and up to date information on beneficial owners. But it noted it was difficult to draw conclusions about the province from the Maloney report.“The report itself states there are limitations on the methodology, so it isn’t clear what proportion of the Prairie figure in the report applies to Saskatchewan,” it said.Jason Childs, an economics professor at the University of Regina, said he would expect money laundering to be worse in B.C. due to its sky-high real estate market, but Saskatchewan’s gaming industry is extremely vulnerable.“We have a lot of comparatively small casinos that are going to be operating with different levels of oversight,” he said. “And then you’ve got, also, a lot of cash business going on in Saskatchewan still.”As for the federal government, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the reports as “alarming” and said his government has strengthened audits on real-estate transactions and is working with provinces to do more.Maloney said better data is needed, but if anything, the panel’s estimates might actually be lower than the reality.“Our numbers are not definitive. Nobody’s numbers can be definitive. But we think at the moment, given the data that is available to us, this is probably the best guesstimate there is,” she said.“But I would say if we were erring on any side, it would be on a cautious, conservative side.”— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.Laura Kane, The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press ANTIGONISH, N.S. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau received praise and drew protests today for his government’s environmental policies as he met with one of the country’s two remaining Liberal premiers.Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil thanked Trudeau for providing “a good start” to the costs of cleaning up a lagoon near Pictou Landing First Nation where decades of contaminated pulp mill waste has accumulated. The gratitude came as the two prepared to hold talks at an Antigonish community centre and the day after Ottawa pledged to spend $100 million to help clean up one of Nova Scotia’s most polluted sites.The Boat Harbour lagoons near the Pictou Landing First Nation are contaminated with millions of litres of treated waste water from the nearby Northern Pulp kraft pulp mill.The federal money will be used to restore the lagoons to their natural state as a tidal estuary that empties into the Northumberland Strait.However, outside the meeting, a group of about a dozen protesters made clear that they’re dissatisfied with the Trudeau government’s measures to reduce carbon emissions — and its support of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.Two members of the Extinction Rebellion direct action group were arrested for blocking traffic, saying as they were led away that carbon taxes introduced by the Trudeau government aren’t going far enough in efforts to reduce carbon emissions.As he was assisted into a police vehicle, Patrick Yancey said, “I’m being arrested for refusing to move out of the way here, because we’ve tried everything else and we need the politicians to listen and get the climate targets in line with 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.”A report last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, concluded that while it’s technically possible to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, it is highly unlikely.The report says achieving the goal of the Paris Agreement Canada signed onto would require a dramatic overhaul of the global economy, including a shift away from fossil fuels.Yancey’s wife, Moraig MacGillivray, 40, said it was the second time her husband has been arrested and she expected he’d be released before long.
WHISTLER, B.C. — An annual migration involving tens of thousands of creatures is underway in Whistler, B.C., but observers could miss it if they don’t look down.Up to 40,000 tiny western toadlets are climbing out of Whistler’s Lost Lake where they hatched as tadpoles and are moving into the surrounding forest.The dime-sized toads, which are native to British Columbia and listed as a species of special concern, grow to full size in wooded areas before returning to the lake to breed.The Resort Municipality of Whistler says western toads are an important part of the Lost Lake environment because the tadpoles feed on residue in the lake, keeping the water clean.But the little amphibians are particularly vulnerable during the toadlet stage as they cross beaches, trails, lawns and busy roads in their journey.The Whistler website says the road to Lost Lake, as well as the beach and lawn are still open, but closures are possible at the height of the migration when as many as 1,800 tiny toads can hop over roads and paths every hour.A statement on the website says environmental technicians and volunteers monitor the migration, while temporary fences, signs and boardwalks have been installed to protect the toadlets from getting crushed.The migration will continue for the next three or four weeks. People are encouraged to observe but are urged to leave pets at home.“Dogs are not allowed on the beach area, as they may trample tadpoles and can become sick from ingesting or licking amphibians,” the statement says. Whistler’s migration has been monitored since 2005 because western toads are very sensitive to environmental changes and the municipality says the amphibians offer an insight into the health of the area’s entire ecosystem.The Canadian Press
The Humane Society of the United States applauds “Movie 43” star and mom-to-be Kristen Bell for calling on the National Pork Producers Council to end its endorsement of an inhumane pork industry practice that results in millions of pigs being nearly immobilized during their pregnancies.At issue is the pork industry’s use of gestation crates — cages used to tightly confine breeding pigs to the point that the animals can’t even turn around.The actress, whose comedy “Movie 43” opens this week and who plays Jeannie Van Der Hooven in Showtime’s “House of Lies,” is serious when it comes to defending female pigs used for breeding in the pork industry.“I love being pregnant, but I can only imagine how awful and unnatural it would be to be physically restrained for the entire process, and for these pigs, it’s for life,” Bell wrote in a letter to Neil Dierks, CEO of the National Pork Producers Council. “The pork industry’s defense of cramming pregnant pigs into small crates where they can’t even turn around or stretch their limbs is just a house of lies.”Kristen Bell joins a long list of food industry titans, veterinarians and family farmers who have taken a stand against gestation crates. Announcements made recently by McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Oscar Mayer, Safeway and more than 40 other leading food companies signal a reversal in a three-decade-old trend in the pork industry that leaves most breeding pigs confined day and night in gestation crates during their four-month pregnancy. These cages are roughly the same size as the animals’ bodies and designed to prevent them from turning around. The animals are subsequently transferred into another crate to give birth, re-impregnated, and put back into a gestation crate. This happens pregnancy after pregnancy for their entire lives, adding up to years of virtual immobilization. This confinement system has come under fire from veterinarians, farmers, animal welfare advocates, animal scientists, consumers and others.
MTV announced its support for UNICEF’s Refugee Crisis Appeal at the 2015 MTV European Music Awards, held in Milan and broadcast to millions around the world.During the annual event, MTV’s global audience was encouraged to join together and help raise vital funds for UNICEF’s work supporting child refugees and migrants. Currently 644,000 people, a third of whom are children and women, are seeking refuge in Europe.As winter is closing in, refugees traveling through Europe, or displaced by violence in their home countries and neighboring regions, are in desperate need of help.UNICEF is providing essential protection, healthcare, safe water, adequate food and education to refugee children and families who have witnessed unspeakable violence and are living in fear.Pharrell Williams performed “Freedom” at the conclusion of the 2015 MTV EMAs in Milan to raise awareness, trigger activism and donations to support the current refugee crisis.“UNICEF is delighted to partner with MTV to shine the spotlight on the plight of refugees and migrants, especially the youngest and most vulnerable. Winter is here, they our need protection, they our need help, fast. The MTV Freedom initiative can show how the power of the world’s young people, when united for even just a moment, can make a change for children, for all fleeing conflict and misery and seeking hope and a better future,” said Marie Pierre Poirier UNICEF’s Special Coordinator for the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe.All donations made here will go directly to fund UNICEF’s work for refugee and migrant children and families traveling through Europe.
On Saturday, March 19, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, honored critically acclaimed television series “Empire” at the 2016 HRC Los Angeles Gala Dinner.The cast of Empire at HRC GalaProducer Nina Jacobson, whose work includes the blockbuster hit “The Hunger Games” and FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” was honored with the HRC Visibility Award. Jacobson was presented with the award by Ryan Murphy, creator of “Glee” and “American Horror Story”.Among the attendees were Event Co-chairs Gwen Baba, Chris Boone, and Travis Pham, HRC President Chad Griffin, and Honorees Nina Jacobson and “Empire”. Representing “Empire”: Lee Daniels, Ilene Chaiken, Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Yazz Gray, Gabourey Sidibe, Serayah, Kaitlin Doubleday, Estelle, and Ta’Rhonda Jones. Also attending were presenter Ryan Murphy, and additional special guests including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Shoshana Bean, Maria Bello, Cheryl Burke, Jason Collins, Guillermo Diaz, Anthony Hemingway, Kingsley, Justin Mikita, Pauley Perrette, Dana Goldberg, DJ Young 1, Jim Obergefell, Bradley Bredeweg, Betty DeGeneres, Jonathan del Arco, Alec Mapa, Jonathan Slavin, Wrabel, and many more.
Advertisement Facebook Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Celebrating his 100th fashion show, Dries Van Noten sent a slew of 40+ women down the runway, including veteran model Kristina de Coninck, who walked in his very first show in 1992, French It-woman Caroline de Maigret, and Canadian models Yasmin Warsame, Amber Valletta, Kirsten Owen and Liisa Winkler. At Isabel Marant, ‘90s supers Carolyn Murphy and Valletta walked alongside their contemporary counterpart, 21-year-old Gigi Hadid. Older models (over 30, 40, 50 and beyond!) were the shining stars of Fall 2017 fashion month, and we’re here for it.As Paris Fashion Week has come to a close, we’re left to reminisce about Dior’s dreamy sheer dresses, Carven’s rosy pink coats, and Saint Laurent’s slouchy crystal-covered boots. But this fashion month also gave us something new to remember; how those clothes look on women of all ages, as we saw a convergence of older women on the runways (at least, older than the 22-year-old norm), from some of our favorite ’90s supermodels to grown-up ladies who lunch, including Canada’s own Sylvia Mantella.This season we witnessed an epic reunion of models as they walked for Isabel Marant, as well as for Simone Rocha in London, Dolce & Gabbana in Milan and Eckhaus Latta in New York. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With:
Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement BAT OUT OF HELL THE MUSICAL features Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf‘s Greatest Hits: Dead Ringer for Love, Two out of Three Ain’t Bad, Paradise by the Dashboard Light, I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), and Bat Out Of Hell.READ MORE Advertisement Twitter Due to popular demand, BAT OUT OF HELL THE MUSICAL will extend one more time at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. Fresh from its triumphant opening night performance on October 25, the producers announced today that the show will now play until January 7, 2018 at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto.Sixteen more performances will be added, all during the high-demand holiday season, December 27 to January 7, 2018. To accommodate the holidays, a special schedule that includes more matinees has been added.Tickets to the new extension performances will go on public sale on Monday, October 30 through mirvish.com, over the phone at 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333, and in-person at the Ed Mirvish Theatre box office, 244 Victoria St. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
“Slings and Arrows” — Fans of this star-studded comedy series have been calling for a reboot for years, and its creators have done nothing but stoke the flames with assurances that a script is in the works. Given how many of its regulars went on to forge stellar film and television careers, a true reunion would be a remarkable coup. Its regulars included Paul Gross, Sarah Polley, Rachel McAdams, Mark McKinney, Don McKellar and Colm Feore. Advertisement TORONTO — Television’s reboot resurgence continues unabated with an animated take on the Canadian comedy “Corner Gas” about to join the recent return of “Roseanne,” while upcoming reboots of “Murphy Brown,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Cagney & Lacey” and “Charmed” wait in the wings. Canadians can also look forward to a reboot of “ReBoot,” a Canadian computer-animated classic from the ’90s, that will be titled “ReBoot: The Guardian Code” in its new incarnation. Advertisement Twitter But there are many more Canadian classics that command wistful memories, even decades after leaving the dial. Facebook And it’s no wonder there’s a plethora of returning faves — viewer appetite for refreshed hits has proven strong with successful returns including “Will & Grace,” “Fuller House,” “Twin Peaks” and “The X-Files.” Login/Register With: “The Littlest Hobo” — Few Canadian series engender as much drippy fondness and mushy sentiments as this ’80s series about a homeless German shepherd that roams the country, looking for people to save and criminals to catch. Whatever form it takes, any restart would have to include the indelible theme song “Maybe Tomorrow” and its evocative lyrics, “Maybe tomorrow, I’ll want to settle down, Until tomorrow, I’ll just keep moving on.” “Being Erica” — OK, it’s only been seven years since the last episode of this quirky CBC series about a time-travelling woman aired, but this is another somewhat groundbreaking show that could have benefitted from more seasons to push the envelope further. Besides, there isn’t much that’s hit network television since that has delved as deeply into a woman’s interior life, actually putting her struggle to conquer insecurities, grief, and remorse front-and-centre.By: Cassandra Szklarski | The Canadian Press Published Advertisement “King of Kensington” — A life-sized statue of late star Al Waxman stands tall in the downtown Toronto neighbourhood where this ’70s CBC-TV hit was set. He’d be tough to recast, so perhaps a sequel featuring a new generation of Kensington pals is in order? Cameos from past guest stars, however, would be more than welcome — they include a young Mike Myers and Eugene Levy. “Ready or Not” — This Canadian teen series portrayed the coming-of-age angst of two very different girls — one a drummer with three older brothers who often clashed with her family’s traditional Italian Catholic background, the other an imaginative only child raised by hippie parents and eager to grow up fast. The slyly subversive storylines were ahead of their time, but they may be just right for the debates about gender and identity politics of today. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Here’s a look at some other Canadian series that might be ripe for a reset:
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Canadian singer Michael Bublé recalled his emotional struggle after his son, Noah, was diagnosed with liver cancer and said he is retiring from music in an interview with the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine, but his management says reports he is retiring are “completely false.”Bublé told the Daily Mail that the interview was his last, and he will retire from music after the release of his new album, titled Love, to be released November 16.“I’ve made the perfect record and now I can leave at the very top,” Bublé told the Daily Mail. “I don’t have the stomach for it anymore. The celebrity narcissism.“This is my last interview. I’m retiring.” Advertisement Facebook Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Bublé’s management has denied that he is retiring. Michelle R. Larson, a digital media manager at Bruce Allen Talent, the company that manages Bublé, wrote on his Facebook fan page, “The rumours and reports that Michael is quitting is completely false. We ask everyone to not share any of these tabloid stories and delete any posts already shared to the Buble Insider and personal pages. Thank you members!”In the interview, Bublé explained the emotional effect of Noah’s liver cancer diagnosis when he was three years old, in November 2016.
Advertisement Twitter Bestselling author and clinical psychologist Mary Pipher and her daughter, Sara Pipher Gilliam, who is currently editor-in-chief of Exchange magazine. (Submitted by Sara Gilliam) Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Reviving Ophelia touched a nerve when it came out in 1994, spending three years on the New York Times bestseller list. Drawing on her experience as a therapist, Pipher told stories of young American women coming of age in what she called a “girl-poisoning” culture.”But a lot has changed since the 90s — so for the 25th anniversary, Pipher and her daughter decided to take another look at “middle-class, middle-America girls.”Hearing from girls themselves was crucial for Pipher and Gilliam, just as it had been in the original version. They started by sending copies of the original book to teen girls around the U.S., Gilliam said, asking them to make notes and tell them what was missing. Sara Gilliam was 16 years old when her mom published a bestselling book about the lives and struggles of adolescent girls.Twenty-five years later — and now living in Hamilton — Gilliam has worked with her mother, psychologist and author Mary Pipher, to publish an updated version of the iconic Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls.“It ended up being a much bigger project than we anticipated,” said Gilliam, speaking over the phone from her home in Hamilton. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement
APTN National NewsOTTAWA—The Conservative government has cut $127 million from First Nations reserve housing since 2008, the Liberals charged in the House of Commons Tuesday.Toronto Liberal MP and Aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett said the latest government numbers show that money invested for First Nations reserve housing is hundreds of millions of dollars below 2008 levels.“How can the minister defend that yesterday’s budget cuts funding to Aboriginal housing by $127 million below budget 2008, before the(Economic Action Plan),” said Bennett, referring to the government’s stimulus program. “Where is the concerted action?”Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan appeared to have been caught off guard by the question and had no specific response.“Our government is building on its impressive record in major investments and unprecedented collaboration with Aboriginals to increase educational outcomes for First Nations children and to address priority areas such as water and waste water infrastructure,” said Duncan.Former Liberal leader and Quebec Liberal MP Stephane Dion then discarded his planned question and pounced on Duncan, demanding an answer.“Could the minister respond to the question?” said Dion.Duncan simply repeated some of the highlights in the budget, including funding to help First Nations bands manage reserve lands, deal with the division of on-reserve assets following divorces or deaths, and investments to complete the last leg of the Dempster Highway in the Northwest Territories.“It got good reviews from the national Aboriginal leaders and that’s good for Canadians,” said Duncan.Duncan’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comments on the Liberal’s claim.Bennett said in a separate interview that the cut is based on Public Accounts numbers from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for spending on-reserve housing.The numbers showed that CMHC spent $282.325 million in 2008-2009, and $156.340 million in 2011-2012.Bennett said the spending may have gone up during the government’s Economic Action Plan stimulus spending, but the latest numbers show that on-reserve housing has been hit with a cut.She said it was surprising Duncan couldn’t respond to the claim.“He has to defend what he thinks is more important than housing on-reserve and why money got stolen from there and moved somewhere else,” said Bennett. “I hope they understand that we are serious and if he can explain it, great.”
By Jorge Barrera and Kenneth Jackson APTN National News OTTAWA–One of the three illegal lobbying charges levelled by the RCMP against Bruce Carson stems from a meeting he arranged with the country’s energy ministers that also included one of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s current senior advisors, according to court documents.Carson, once a trusted confidant of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was also charged with influence peddling involving Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada, according to the charge sheet filed in an Ottawa courthouse. The charge sheet states the infraction occurred between Aug. 26, 2009, and March 17, 2011, and it involved “a matter of business related to the government of Canada.”The RCMP had been investigating Carson for months but officially charged the former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper Wednesday with lobbying the federal government illegally, as well as influence peddling. He is scheduled to appear in court to face the charges on June. 18.Carson was schedule to go to trial later this month on a separate influence peddling charge related to his efforts on behalf of an Ottawa-based water filtration company seeking to sell its products to First Nation communities suffering from dirty water in March 2011. He has since opted for a preliminary hearing which is scheduled for early June. The water company had a financial arrangement with his then-fiancee.The Prime Minister’s Office called in the RCMP to investigate Carson following a meeting with APTN National News reporters who showed a senior PMO official evidence of Carson’s activities.Carson is expected to publish a book in June about his time working behind the curtain of power. He worked for Harper while the prime minister was opposition leader and later as a senior advisor in the PMO.Carson’s new charge relate to his work on behalf of the Canada School of Energy and Environment (CSEE), which received a $15 million cash injection from Industry Canada, and the energy-industry funded think tank known as the Energy Policy Institute of Canada (EPIC).One of his illegal lobbying charges stems from his successful attempt to land a meeting between the country’s energy ministers and members of EPIC’s board, which included Daniel Gagnier. Gagnier is currently president of the think tank and the Liberal party’s co-chair for the 2015 federal election.According to the charge sheet, Carson allegedly received payment to set up a meeting between “public officer holders” and members of EPIC sometime between Aug. 25, 2010, and Sept. 17, 2010. The dates correspond with emails contained in an Information to Obtain (ITO) filed by the RCMP in court last fall to access Carson’s bank records.The ITO detailed Carson’s efforts in securing the meeting between EPIC’s board, the federal energy minister and his provincial counterparts who were meeting in Montreal on Sept. 17, 2010. According to the ITO, members of EPIC’s board, including Gagnier, sat in on the 15 minute meeting held on Sept. 16 in which Carson did all the talking.In the lead up to the meeting, Carson also asked Gagnier to push EPIC’s policy work with Jean Charest, who was Quebec premier at the time. Gagnier was once a senior advisor to Charest.According to the ITO, Carson emailed Charest’s political advisor Mario Lavoie on Sept. 2, 2010, and wrote “possible EPIC meeting with Energy Ministers” in the subject line. The email was carbon copied to Marc Vallieres, chief of staff to then Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis, and Gagnier.The next day, Gagnier then sent an email to Carson on Sept. 3 saying he had discussed EPIC with Charest.“Good move. I met with the premier yesterday. He told me he was the only one who had read our papers and that apart from transmission issues on which Quebec has a long standing policy, that he supports our initiative,” wrote Gagnier, according to the ITO.Carson replied.“Can you help push this…bc (sic).”Carson’s alleged illegal lobbying on behalf of the CSEE stems from Feb. 19, 2009 to March 3, 2010, to land government cash for the organization. Carson was executive director for CSEE, which is now defunct.“As an employee of the Canada School of Energy and Environment, (Carson did) undertake to communicate with public office holders in respect of the awarding of a grant, contribution or other financial benefit by or on behalf of Her Majesty in right of Canada,” sated the charge sheet.The third count of illegal lobbying spans from Aug. 13, 2009, and March 17, firstname.lastname@example.org@JorgeBarrerakjackson@aptn.ca@afixedaddressCharge SheetDownload (PDF, Unknown)Download (PDF, Unknown)
APTN National NewsCanada’s Justice Minister is coming under criticism after a move that some are calling a conflict of interest.So far, Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould isn’t backing down and she insists she did nothing wrong.APTN’s Annette Francis has this story.
APTN National NewsMoments after a U.S. Federal judge dismissed the Stand Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for an injunction to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, the Obama administration did it instead.The move will temporarily block construction of a controversial four-state pipeline.The statement from Justice, the Army and Department of the Interior, said construction next to and under Lake Oahe would stop until the Army completed a review of its decision on permits issued under the National Environmental Policy Act.That review may not be finished by the time the next president is elected in November.The emotional day capped off a week that saw security forces move in with dogs, and an Idle No More flotilla paddle into the Sacred Stone camp where protestors were gathered.APTN Host Cheryl McKenzie takes us through the past few days.
APTN National NewsThe Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday announced it would hear a case that could decide the fate of Indian residential school documents produced during compensation hearings.At stake are thousands of documents produced during the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), which was created by the Indian residential school settlement agreement, to set compensation amounts for claims filed by survivors.The IAP Secretariat wanted to destroy the documents, but it ran into the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was also created by the settlement agreement, which wanted to preserve them as part of the historical record.The legal battle for the documents is now led by Ottawa and the Centre for Truth and Reconciliation which was created to hold all the archival documentation from the residential school area that was gathered during the TRC’s work.In 2014, Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell ruled the documents should be destroyed after 15 years and that survivors would be given a chance to allow for the files’ preservation within that time frame.The ruling was upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal.Ottawa launched the appeal to the Supreme Court to determine whether the lower courts incorrectly concluded that the IAP records were not government records. Ottawa argues that those records are government files covered by the Privacy Act, the Access to Information Act and the Library and Archives Canada Act.email@example.com@APTNNews
Luwen Soosay died by suicide two days before Christmas. He was 22.Martha Troian APTN Investigates Maskwacis is reeling after several people died by suicide in the weeks leading up to the holiday season.There have been eight deaths since late November, all of them between the ages of 15-32, according to some community members.The epidemic appears to be continuing into the New Year with one suicide attempt taking place as of Jan. 8.“It seems suicide plagues us,” said Samson Cree Nation band councillor Katherine Swampy in a Facebook message to APTN Investigates.Samson Cree Nation is one of four communities that make up Maskwacis, located about 95 kilometres south of Edmonton, Alta.In fact, in the time APTN Investigates communicated with Swampy on Jan. 8, she has since wrote her own sister had attempted suicide and was rushed to hospital.Swampy said she already lost a brother-in-law to suicide four years ago. He was 21-years-old.“Our people have a sense of hopelessness, they struggle to survive far below the poverty line, our housing is in the poorest of conditions, our community lacks available employment,” she said.“Samson has eight thousand people with roughly five hundred jobs available, our people struggle to put food on the table. Life on the reserve is hard, and many of our community members are faced with racism when they try to better their lives and leave the reserve.”Watch APTN’s Chris Stewart’s report from Alberta A state of emergency will not declaredFor years, Maskwacis have been grappling with poverty, gangs and often highly-publicized violence.Several community members are pleading for change on social media, asking for the chief and council to call a state of emergency, given the number of deaths since late November.“We’re not going to declare a state of an emergency yet,” said Chief Vernon Saddleback, Chief of Samson Cree Nation. “It’s tragic. Every one of them are tragic. I’d like to have zero losses.”Chief Vernon Saddleback.Chief and council recently met with the community’s department heads to work together in addressing the community’s needs. Saddleback said he would like to work with the existing resources before reaching out to government.A spokesperson with Health Canada said in a statement the Maskwacis Health Centre receives funding for counselling and for a variety of mental health programs and that “Health Canada’s Mental Wellness team has been in regular contact with Maskwacis Health Services. Maskwacis Health Services is addressing community mental wellness needs and is not currently requesting additional resources.”“The Government of Canada acknowledges that the health issues facing Indigenous communities across the country, including high suicide rates among youth and limited access to mental health supports in rural, remote and isolated communities are serious and unacceptable,” the statement said in part.Walk for life vigil plannedSherry Greene, a concerned Samson Cree Nation community member who now lives in Edmonton, is planning a Walk for Life Candle Vigil as a way to acknowledge and support grieving community members and families. The vigil will take place at the community’s friendship centre on Jan 13.“We’ve been in crisis for decades.” she said. “As far (back) as I can remember.”Greene wants the Samson Cree Nation leadership declare a state of emergency given all the recent deaths which she attributes to hurt and pain from intergenerational residential school trauma.“In my own family, we have intergenerational trauma and it goes down to the very great-grandchildren of my mother,” she said.Emily Soosay, a mother-of- four, will be just one of the many community members expected to attend the vigil.Her son, Luwen Melvin Dayon Soosay, 22, died by suicide just two days before Christmas.He left behind an 18-month old baby daughter.Soosay told APTN Investigates that her family has had their share of trauma. Her grandmother, mother and aunts and uncles all attended residential school and her family has suffered everything from gangs, violence to sexual assault.“He was raped when he was a child,” said Soosay of her son Luwen, who was also in the child welfare system from the ages of six to 13-years-old.“I was in a gang and he was just starting life,” wrote Soosay in a Facebook message about how her son was sexually abused at the age of 13.Soosay would also like to see chief and council declare a state of firstname.lastname@example.org