A bungling Bond TrumpRussian meeting was so botched many smell a setup

first_imgWASHINGTON – Here’s a pop quiz testing your skills at covert political scheming: If you were claiming to set up a super-secret meeting to deliver Russian intelligence to an American presidential campaign, would you:A) Put it in writing, in an email;B) Publish proof on social media of your attendance;C) Keep your Facebook page completely open for another year, for anyone to peruse;D) All of the above.If you answered, “No,” to any of these questions, you’re no Rob Goldstone. He’s the globe-trotting, celebrity-schmoozing music impresario who set up a now-infamous encounter between the Trump campaign and a Russian lawyer, and made little effort to hide it.His modus operandi was so overt, so obvious, that it’s provoked head-scratching and stoked conspiracy theories. Some of the president’s defenders say this had to be a setup, perhaps by Democrats.Alternatively, others simply dismiss the whole thing as a non-story, for different reasons: there’s no evidence the meeting yielded anything, denials of any Kremlin ties, and indications that Democrats have also picked up political tips from foreigners.But some friends of the British-born music agent were left with the impression he’d been helpful to Donald Trump’s election.While Goldstone’s wide-open Facebook page usually shows pictures of celebrity acquaintances like Michael Jackson and Robert De Niro, and shots of his constant travels, it did get political last Nov. 8 — the night Trump was elected.Goldstone posted: ”Pennsylvania about to be called which would give presidency to Trump.” In another, he showed a picture of himself, Trump, and a mutual friend captioned: ”The A-Team — headed to the White House.”Some friends were annoyed.One swore at Goldstone and posted the message: ”You helped this disaster happen when you know what an idiot (Trump) is. Please forget who I am. We should never have become friends.”This was a few months after the now-notorious meeting Goldstone set up at Trump Tower involving Donald Trump Jr., campaign manager Paul Manafort, and presidential staffer-and-son-in-law Jared Kushner.Goldstone marked a geotag for the visit and posted it on his Facebook page.Email records show he presented the meeting as an opportunity to get information collected by the Russian government. He said the information was dirt on Hillary Clinton gathered in a bid to help Donald Trump, and sent his way via Russian prosecutor and it would be shared at Trump Tower by someone he called a Russian government lawyer.The lawyer in question has denied links to the Kremlin; the Trump team says the meeting was a bust; and the president’s fans are dismissing the episode, alternatively, as a non-story, or evidence of a double-standard against Trump, or a Democratic setup.But Donald Trump Jr. was excited because he replied to Goldstone: “I love it.”An emerging theme on the right is that this was a setup. Some are pointing out that the Russian lawyer posted an anti-Trump social-media message last year, and appeared at a congressional hearing to watch Barack Obama’s Russia ambassador testify.A congressional Republican, Chuck Grassley, has sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking why she was allowed in the country when her permission to travel to the U.S. had expired in early 2016.The farther fringes of the alt-right suggested she may have been sent in to wiretap Trump Tower.The more mainstream right appeared to be coalescing around a more mundane line of response: that the whole thing is a yawn-inducing nothingburger — that people close to the Clinton campaign also reached out to Ukraine or Russia for political dirt.But one Obama White House veteran agrees this looks like a conspiracy — just not the kind Trump’s fans have in mind. Brett Bruen studied Russian influence operations for Obama’s National Security Council following the invasion of Ukraine.He said this resembles a move from the Russian playbook. He calls it the “rope-a-dope” strategy. Often, he says, the rope is a friendly, innocuous-seeming middleman, encouraged to pull a target into conversation.“What at first glance may seem like a fairly amateurish operation and a cast of comedic characters actually is rooted in a much more sophisticated strategy by Russian intelligence to probe a campaign, and see where there may be opportunities or weaknesses that can be exploited,” Bruen said in an interview.“You never come out in a (first) meeting with a potential contact, or in the intelligence world a ‘source’, and put your best cards on the table… They wanted to see whether or not there was a willingness on the part of key members of the Trump campaign to take these kinds of meetings, to be baited.”last_img read more

Census data on language show tip of statistical iceberg about Canadas diversity

first_imgOTTAWA – Reis Pagtakhan emphasizes the plural when he talks about the Filipino grocery stores, restaurants, newspapers and radio programs that now populate Winnipeg, decades after his family first came to the city.This week, Pagtakhan’s observations about the rise of Tagalog in Winnipeg are expected to get some statistical backing when the latest tranche of census data details Canada’s linguistic diversity. It is anticipated that the language heard in those Filipino stores and restaurants and on radio shows — Tagalog — will be among the fastest-growing since 2011.For Pagtakhan, the change around Winnipeg is a far cry from when his parents arrived in Canada in the 1960s and there were only a few hundred Filipino families in the region.Now, “you have tens of thousands of people from the Philippines who are here, many of whom speak Tagalog. … It’s just spoken widespread,” said Pagtakhan, an immigration lawyer.Wednesday’s release about the languages that Canadians report as their mother tongue or being spoken at home will provide a peek at Canada’s ethnocultural diversity, which the national statistics office will fully reveal this fall with data from the recently returned long-form census.In February, census data showed that the national population would have been potentially far below 35.15 million if not for an influx of immigrants that Statistics Canada said accounted for about two-thirds of the population increase between 2011 and 2016. Immigration will be the dominant source of growth by 2056, Statistics Canada predicts, as natural, fertility-fuelled growth declines due to an aging population — for the first time, there are more seniors than children 14 and under — and a declining birth rate.The figures coming this week are expected to show some 200 languages are spoken in Canada, with seven million people — or more — saying their mother tongue is neither English nor French.“Once you start to see all the different languages that are spoken, it really speaks to the profound diversity of our Canadian population,” said Michael Haan, an associate professor in the school of sociology at Western University in London, Ont.The figures will add another dimension to the portrait of Canada the five-year census began painting earlier this year. Additional layers will be added later this year, including income data in September, immigration and Indigenous Peoples numbers in October, and figures detailing education, jobs and work patterns in November.The latest release will also include data about families, revealing changes in marriage rates, how much longer Canadians are waiting to start families, and how many families live under different roofs — be it because one parent is working in another part of the country, or because they are older parents choosing to live apart.The statistics will show the varying and ever complex definition of family in Canada, which — like language — seems certain to prompt governments and service providers to rethink their policies and offerings to meet demographic dynamics.The number of people reporting a mother tongue other than English or French has been gradually going up over time, as too have the number of different languages being spoken, says Doug Norris, chief demographer at Environics Analytics. The census data will also show how many of those households speak English, French or both on a regular basis along with their mother tongue.“More and more homes in Canada are speaking more than one language on what they say is a regular basis and that’s simply driven by immigration,” said Norris, who spent three decades at Statistics Canada.Federal data show the Philippines was the top source for immigrants last year, and a major source for immigrants since the last census in 2011. It’s why Roman Catholic churches around Winnipeg are providing masses in Tagalog, and why Canada’s first senator of Filipino decent has found Tagalog speakers as far as Iqaluit.“Filipinos speak English and will do so proudly in their everyday use. However, when a large group of Filipinos are together, or when no other non-Filipino speakers are around, Tagalog is often spoken,” Sen. Tobias Enverga says.“This is an important way for Filipinos to maintain their own heritage and language while also embracing Canadian culture and values.”Statistics Canada estimated earlier this year that the Filipino community could be among the fastest growing group in Canada by 2036, although not as fast as the Arab community, which is projected to see its numbers jump by 200 per cent or more depending on immigration levels over that time.Language ties the Arab community together because all don’t share the same ethnicity, said May Telmissany, an associate professor of Arabic studies at the University of Ottawa.“You will find that most immigrants coming from the Arab world, the only thing that they will hold on to as far as culture is concerned, is the language and this is why they tend to speak it at home, but also encourage their kids to learn it and speak it,” Telmissany said.The seeds of an immigrant language in Canada have been sown by what Haan described as pioneer immigrants, who share their language with their children while also assimilating into the broader culture. Over time with new waves of immigrants reinforcing the language, communities reach a threshold where they develop cultural institutions like grocery stores and restaurants that become mechanisms to reinforce and maintain use of the language.But just as easily as a language can thrive, it can also decline. Norris said there are likely to be drops in the proportion of Canadians listing some European languages like Italian, German and Greek as their mother tongue as these populations age and there is little new intake to reinforce numbers.— Follow @jpress on Twitterlast_img read more

Toronto unveils interim safe injection site 3 permanent sites being built

first_imgTORONTO – An interim safe injection site in Toronto — the first such officially-sanctioned facility in Canada’s most populous city — will save lives as the city grapples with a spike in suspected overdoses, public health officials said Monday as the temporary location opened its doors.The site, which can accommodate three people at a time, is at Toronto Public Health’s downtown harm reduction facility, known as The Works. It launched a day after receiving approval from Health Canada and about a week after harm reduction advocates set up an unsanctioned injection site in a city park.“Today is very good day because we’re able to offer this service to our clients,” said Shaun Hopkins, manager of facility. “They really need it and we think they’re going to use it and hopefully we can save some lives here.”The city is currently constructing three permanent supervised injection sites, but they won’t open until some time this fall.The current interim facility — where people can use illicit drugs under the supervision of a medical professional —will operate between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday. The facility has one table, three chairs, three desk lamps and three containers for sharp objects. Nurses and counsellors are also on site to monitor and answer questions.Toronto received approval for three permanent facilities in June. Recently, however, the city sought approval from Health Canada to open an interim spot due to a worsening overdose crisis, which many officials blame on the deadly opioid fentanyl making its way into the drug supply.Health Canada inspected the small facility late last week, said Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa, with the approval announced on Sunday.“It provides a safe environment for people who are going to use drugs to use their drugs because we know both through research evidence and through lived experience that it’s a very, very high risk — and in fact it’s the highest risk for overdose and for deaths related to overdose — when people use alone,” de Villa said outside the facility.“That’s why we’re creating this safe space — we provide a safe environment for people to use their drugs safely so that they minimize harm to themselves and to others.”Health Canada echoed de Villa’s thoughts in a statement announcing the interim site’s approval.“International and Canadian evidence shows that, when properly established and maintained, supervised consumption sites save lives and improve health without increasing drug use or crime in the surrounding area,” it said.There have been 325 suspected overdoses in the four weeks leading up to Aug. 13, according to the most recent data available from the city’s Toronto Overdose Information System.Police and health officials have warned of a spike of drugs tainted with fentanyl in recent months.For Hopkins, the last year or so has been difficult, she said.“We’re relieved that we’re going to be able to provide this service,” Hopkins said. “We want to be able to offer people a safer, more dignified place to use drugs in an area where can monitor them. We’re tired of hearing about our clients overdosing and dying.”In response to the growing crisis, harm reduction workers set up an unsanctioned safe injection site in Toronto’s Moss Park, citing the city’s growing string of overdoses and suspected overdose deaths as the catalyst.Nick Boyce, a harm reduction advocate who has been volunteering at the so-called “pop-up” safe injection site, said five people have been revived from an overdose at or near the area.“This is an emergency situation … and the pop-up site shows the need for this kind of service,” he said.Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said Monday that the force has no plans to take down the illegal site.There are safe injection sites currently running in Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna, Kamloops, and Montreal with clinics under review in many other Canadian cities, including Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton.last_img read more

Man dies after swallowing liquid in alleged suicide attempt in front of

first_imgQUEBEC – The man who swallowed liquid in front of a judge who had just sentenced him to jail on child porn charges died in hospital, police confirmed Thursday.Former college chemistry teacher Nicolas Boudreau swallowed an unidentified liquid substance Wednesday morning right after Quebec Court judge Christian Boulet sentenced him to six months in jail.Courtroom constables tried to revive the man while they waited for an ambulance.Quebec City police said the 52-year-old died after he was transported to hospital.Laboratory tests will help determine the nature of the substance he swallowed.Boudreau was arrested in March 2013 during a police raid.Thousand of photos and videos of child pornography were allegedly found at his home.He was fired from the college where he taught chemistry after his April 2016 conviction.Boudreau’s arrest came as a result of a 2011 police operation regarding Toronto-based Azov Films where his name was allegedly found on a list of clients.last_img read more

Absolutely terrifying Family faced big medical bill despite travel insurance

first_imgCALGARY – The family of a father who fell ill following a hiking trip to Spain to memorialize his soldier son says they were faced with a massive medical bill — despite having travel insurance.Michael Hornburg made the trip last fall to mark the ninth anniversary of the death of his son, Cpl. Nathan Hornburg, a Calgary reservist who was killed in Afghanistan on Sept. 24, 2007, at the age of 24.“He really felt that Nathan was there with him on the journey,” said Hornburg’s daughter, Rachel Herbert, who operates a ranch with her husband, Tyler, south of Calgary. “Four days before he was supposed to go home, he collapsed with a seizure and was admitted to the hospital.”Hornburg was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and was unable to walk or talk.Herbert flew to Spain to be at her father’s bedside and immediately contacted his insurer, Allianz Global Assistance Canada. She provided all the documentation from the Spanish hospital.The neurosurgeon said her father couldn’t fly without medical accompaniment. The cost of the air ambulance back to Canada was $60,000 to $80,000.“So there we were — stuck,” said Herbert. “After six days in this hospital wondering why we couldn’t get out of there, the insurance company got back to us to say they had denied his claim.”Herbert was told the claim was turned down because her father failed to reveal he’d received a prescription for indigestion 18 months earlier. She was initially on the hook for the air ambulance, the hospital stay in Spain, flights for her and her husband, plus accommodation.“They were holding us there while they scoured his medical records for the most minute thing they could find. That is what is absolutely terrifying.”Herbert hired a lawyer and spent the better part of a year battling the insurance company to try to get the bill covered. Allianz eventually paid $27,000, but the family was left on the hook for at least another $30,000.“I am really just ready to forget about it all. I said I don’t have the energy to deal with this any more. Let’s just take whatever little bit of money they’re going to give us,” said Herbert.“That’s what the insurance companies want — to just burn people out until they don’t deal with it anymore.”Members of the military in Calgary rallied and donated $25,000 to offset the costs. Herbert said the family would prefer to donate that money back to the Military Family Resource Centre.Her father was lucky he had family at home to come to his rescue, she said.“What would the insurance do for somebody who wasn’t as well equipped … and didn’t have the finances?” Herbert asked. “It could put somebody on the street so easily and that’s what’s so shocking for us.”Allianz declined an interview but did issue a statement.“We can confirm that the expenses submitted for this travel emergency, which were eligible under the policy, were both approved and fully reimbursed up to the maximum amount of coverage available for each applicable benefit,” wrote Dan Keon, senior director of market management for Allianz Global Assistance.The president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada said there’s little doubt insurance companies look for excuses not to pay out.“People can be forgiven for assuming that they are looking for any excuse and every excuse if you will,” Bruce Cran said from Vancouver. “That’s a tendency that’s there and … that in itself should be dealt with.”A professor at the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University said Allianz provides one of the least expensive travel insurances. That means plenty of exclusions on coverage.“People purchase the tickets to give themselves peace of mind … but it’s not necessarily the best insurance,” said Frank Cotae.“The cautionary tale for anyone that may be out there is to read the policy.”Herbert has learned a lesson.“I would not take out a travel insurance policy without having my lawyer and my doctor both go over it.”— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more

Federal bill excludes drunk paddling alarming safeboating advocates

first_imgOTTAWA – Legislation to crack down on driving or operating other vehicles while impaired would exclude canoeing or paddle-boarding while under the influence, a move that alarms a group promoting safe boating.Last spring, the federal government introduced a bill to modernize and overhaul laws dealing with operation of all kinds of vehicles, aircraft and vessels after drinking or taking drugs.The bill’s definition of a vessel specifically excludes those propelled solely by muscle power.Police have used the currently understood legal definition of a vessel to lay charges for impaired boating involving non-motorized craft.The Canadian Safe Boating Council says there were at least 375 deaths in suspected or confirmed cases involving alcohol and unpowered vessels such as canoes and rafts in Canada from 1991 to 2010.The council wants the federal bill amended to include all water-going vessels.last_img read more

Universities heard gender balance message loud and clear science minister says

first_imgOTTAWA – Six months after Science Minister Kirsty Duncan threatened universities with cuts to their research funding over a “dismal” gender balance among scientists nominated for lucrative research posts, she says they have heard her message and have started to respond.More than half the scientists submitted by universities for consideration for one of the Canada 150 chair jobs are now women, Duncan said.As well, 41 per cent of the people nominated for the latest round of Canada Research Chair appointments were female, the highest proportion ever in the 17 years the program has existed.“I think the message is getting through,” Duncan said.“Broad perspectives breed great science. If you come with a different perspective you may ask a different question, you may use different methodology and you may get better results. I think this is really good news for Canadian science.”She noted these are preliminary numbers based on nominations and they still are going through the peer review process. However, in the past the success rates of researchers receiving the appointment after being nominated were similar for men and women. The problem lay in that not enough women were being nominated in the first place.In April Duncan was appalled when the spring round of Canada Research Chair nominees included twice as many men as women.Shortly after, she warned schools they had until the end of 2019 to meet decade-old diversity targets. If they didn’t, schools would not get funding for future chairs until they could show the targeted balance not just for women but also researchers with disabilities, visible minorities and those with Indigenous backgrounds.The extended deadline is largely because the chair positions last for up to seven years each and turnover can be slow.To speed that along, Duncan also announced this week she is limiting tier one Canada Research Chair jobs to just one renewal. Tier one jobs are aimed at more experienced researchers, offer up to $200,000 a year for up to seven years, and can currently be renewed for an unlimited number of terms.Tier two jobs, which target emerging scientists with up to $100,000 a year for up to five years, can only be renewed once and there has been quicker improvements in diversity among those positions than among tier one jobs.As of October, women held 21 per cent of tier one positions, and 39 per cent of tier two positions.Pari Johnston, vice president of policy and public affairs at Universities Canada, said she was pleased with the latest statistics as well.“The minister’s goal of advancing equity and diversity in science, and ensuring talented women researchers have greater opportunities to be research leaders in Canada, is shared by Universities Canada’s 96 university members,” Johnston said in a statement.Last month Universities Canada presidents voted to adopt seven principles of diversity, including a pledge to better track data on diversity among both students and employees at their schools, as well as aiming to make their schools more accessible.The Canada 150 Research Chairs program was created this year to appoint between 15 and 35 internationally-based researchers.The Canada Research Chairs program was implemented in 2000 to create up to 2,000 research positions at universities across the country to push for excellence in engineering, natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences.— follow @mrabson on Twitter.last_img read more

The Tuesday news briefing An ataglance survey of some top stories

first_imgHighlights from the news file for Tuesday, Dec. 5———CANADIAN ANTI-DOPING ADVOCATE COMMENDS IOC’S RUSSIAN CRACKDOWN: Beckie Scott says she’s encouraged by the International Olympic Committee’s decision to ban Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics and allow only clean athletes from that country to compete as neutrals. The former Canadian cross-country skier has been an anti-doping campaigner since her bronze medal in 2002 was upgraded from silver and then to gold because athletes who finished ahead of her were disqualified over failed doping tests. The IOC says Russian athletes have to prove they’re clean in order to compete in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February. They can’t wear the Russian flag or hear the Russian anthem played if they win gold. Scott, the chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s athlete committee, says the IOC’s announcement sends a strong message to clean athletes that they’ll be protected.———B.C. SETS MINIMUM AGE OF 19 TO CONSUME MARIJUANA: The British Columbia government has set 19 as the minimum age to legally possess, purchase and consume marijuana in the province. The age for consumption is consistent with alcohol and tobacco regulations, and with the age of majority, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said in a news release Tuesday. Retail sales of recreational marijuana will be permitted through public and private stores with more details to be released next year. The wholesale distribution system will also be similar to alcohol as the government’s liquor distribution branch will act as the supplier. Farnworth said the government wants to protect young people, make health and safety a priority, keep criminals out of the industry and maintain road safety. A report released along with the government announcement says many people expressed concern about the impact of cannabis on brain development for those under 25.———TRUDEAU SAYS TRADE WITH CHINA REBUTS POPULISM: Pursuing free trade with China and preserving the North American Free Trade Agreement are part of Canada’s international mission to combat the rising tide of populism, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday. Trudeau capped the first leg of his China trip in Beijing on Tuesday meeting the country’s powerful president as talks continued to formally kickstart free trade negotiations between the two countries. Xi Jinping welcomed Trudeau with a handshake at a red and gold glittering guesthouse nestled in a manicured compound with ponds and waterfalls. He noted the prime minister had been having busy and productive meetings in Beijing. The prime minister remained hopeful that Canada and China could forge ahead with a full-fledged trade deal that he said would benefit working people in both countries. Trudeau characterized his trade ambitions with China, NAFTA and pursuing other deals in Asia, including a new version of Trans-Pacific Partnership, as part of Canada’s fight against the protectionist tide most closely associated with the Donald Trump administration in Washington.———CHINA NOT JOINING CANADA’S COAL PHASE OUT: Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says getting China into Canada’s international alliance to wean the world off coal power would be a huge win, but says the world’s most populous country cannot make that kind of commitment right now. McKenna is in Beijing this week as part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s China trade mission. She tells The Canadian Press she trusts China is committed to climate change, but its reliance on coal is too heavy for it to join the alliance Canada launched with the United Kingdom last month. Coal is considered to be one of the dirtiest sources of electricity and if it is not mostly eliminated over the next decade or so, the world will struggle to meet its goal of keeping global warming to within two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Eighteen other nations signed onto the coal phase-out alliance, but most barely use coal at all, with the biggest users such as China, India, Germany and the United States not part of it.———BUSINESSMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN IMMIGRATION CASE: A Halifax businessman stood in court Tuesday to admit submitting false records to immigration authorities, a moment of vindication for the Filipino temporary workers whom he had allegedly underpaid. “We’re very happy that after almost five years, he said it,” Jason Sta. Juana, 38, said in an interview outside Nova Scotia Supreme Court. Sta. Juana is among the several dozen temporary workers — many of whom attended court Tuesday — who assisted investigators from the Canada Border Services Agency in probing the employment practices of 55-year-old Hector Mantolino. The businessman offered his guilty plea to misrepresentation under provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for “false information regarding the employment” of Sta. Juana and at least 25 other workers listed on the federal indictment. The operator of Mantolino Property Services Ltd. was originally charged in June 2013 with 56 counts of immigration fraud following a Canada Border Services Agency investigation. Those charges were rolled into a single indictment in Tuesday’s hearing. Mantolino was accused by the federal Crown of advising foreign workers to provide misleading and untruthful statements on their work permit applications between July 2010 and April 2013.———THALIDOMIDE GROUP ALLEGES INSULTS BY MINISTER: Members of a group of thalidomide survivors dropped a bombshell Tuesday as they accused Disabilities Minister Kent Hehr of belittling them with insulting and degrading remarks during a face-to-face meeting earlier this year. The comments from Hehr came during an Oct. 19 meeting, which the group had hoped would encourage the federal government to make good on its commitment to further compensate those impacted by the now-banned pregnancy drug, said Fiona Sampson, herself a survivor who was at the meeting. The minister said, “‘You don’t have it as bad today as adults as you did when you were kids,’” Sampson quoted the minister as saying, along with, “‘everyone in Canada has a sob story. Lots of people have it bad in Canada — disabled people, poor people, not just you.’” And when Hehr was told about the impact their condition was expected to have on their life spans, Sampson alleges he responded: “‘So, you probably have about 10 years left now. That’s good news for the Canadian government.’” In a statement Tuesday, Hehr flatly denied ever making the latter remark, and described the first two comments as having been “misconstrued.” He also apologized to the group last month after a letter of complaint was sent to the Prime Minister’s Office.———LAURA BABCOCK IS NOT DEAD, ACCUSED KILLER TELLS JURY: A man accused of killing a young woman who vanished more than five years ago told court Tuesday that he believes she’s not dead. Dellen Millard, who is representing himself, told the jury in his closing address that several witnesses have seen or heard from Laura Babcock after July 4, 2012. “I don’t think you’ll come to that conclusion that Laura is dead. Then you have to get into how did she die? Where did she die? When did she die,” he said. “These all have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.” The Crown alleges Millard and his co-accused, Mark Smich, killed Babcock on July 3 or 4, 2012, because she was the odd woman out in a love triangle with Millard and his girlfriend. Both Millard, 32, of Toronto, and Smich, 30, of Oakville, Ont., have pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Babcock, whose body has not been found. Prosecutors believe the pair burned the 23-year-old woman’s remains in a large animal incinerator — named The Eliminator — that was later found on Millard’s farm near Waterloo, Ont. Millard said he understands that members of the jury might not approve of the way he’s lived his life, or treated certain people, but he’s asking them to put all that aside.———FEDS REJECT FRENCH-ITALIAN WARSHIP PROPOSAL: The federal government is trying to keep its multibillion-dollar plan to build new warships for the navy from capsizing by rejecting a French and Italian consortium’s controversial proposal. Paris-based Naval Group and Italian firm Fincantieri say they can build 15 new ships to replace the Royal Canadian Navy’s frigates and destroyers for much less than the $60 billion budgeted for those vessels. But the government says it will not consider the offer because the two companies did not follow the established process for submitting such proposals, the deadline for which fell last Thursday. In a strongly worded statement, officials say accepting such a proposal would be unfair, establish a harmful precedent and ultimately threaten the government’s ability to acquire ships for the navy. The statement also attacks the companies’ claims of being able to build ships at a discount, calling it “far from evident.” The Naval Group-Fincantieri proposal is the latest wrinkle in the largest planned military purchase in Canadian history, which is not expected to result in any ships being in the water until the mid-2020s.———WAR MUSEUM GETS HELP IN BUYING VICTORIA CROSS: A rare medal awarded to a Canadian soldier for extreme bravery at the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917 will be staying in Canada thanks to the Canadian War Museum — and the soldier’s great-granddaughter. Cpl. Colin Barron’s Victoria Cross was sold Tuesday by an auction house for $420,000, almost a century after Barron crept behind enemy lines at Passchendaele to take out several machine-gun nests. Some feared the medal — sold by Barron’s grandson in Toronto about 30 years ago to support himself and his only daughter, Lesley Barron Kerr — would be bought by a foreign collector. But the Canadian War Museum has confirmed that it successfully purchased the medal with help from Kerr, who donated an undisclosed amount of money to make sure it stayed in Canada. Barron was one of nine Canadians to receive a Victoria Cross for actions at Passchendaele, which has gone down in history as one of the bloodiest and most controversial battles of the First World War.———ATHLETES STAND TOGETHER WITH SEX ASSAULT SURVIVORS: Some female athletes at St. Francis Xavier University have come up with a remarkable response to sex-assault charges against two members of the varsity football team. Soccer players have launched a solidarity campaign with sexual assault survivors, quelling a potential backlash that experts say can arise in the wake of damning allegations against popular male athletes on university campuses. Sarah Bruce, a second-year student on the X-Women soccer team, launched the campaign called We Stand Together to channel her anger and spark social change on the Antigonish, N.S., campus, she said. Fellow teammate Emma Kuzmyk, a first-year student and goalkeeper on the soccer team, wrote a poem and created a video calling attention to sexual assaults on university campuses. The video has garnered thousands of views, while the campaign logo has been widely shared on social media and is now featured on stickers, pins and T-shirts. As accounts of sexual assaults by powerful men surface around the world, the small-town university in Atlantic Canada is facing its own reckoning with allegations of sexual violence. The solidarity campaign appears to have helped stamp out the once ubiquitous victim-blaming tropes that emerge when accusations are levelled against powerful male students on university campuses.———last_img read more

Dont destroy gaysex records historians urge as bill moves through Commons

first_imgOTTAWA – A federal plan to destroy the criminal records of people convicted of same-sex activity is a “troubling feature” of proposed legislation intended to help make amends to the LGBTQ community, say four researchers who have done extensive work on the subject.The Liberal government recently introduced legislation that would allow people to apply to have their criminal convictions for consensual sexual activity between same-sex partners erased from the public record.The bill was accompanied by a formal apology by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons to the LGBTQ community for historic injustices that ruined careers and lives.While the researchers applaud the idea of ensuring the criminal records can never be used against those convicted, they say preservation is integral to the democratic process and the telling of history.“It could actually involve deleting specific names and references from certain documents,” said Gary Kinsman, professor emeritus in sociology at Laurentian University. “There’s various ways in which it could be done, so that we still have the historical record but there’s no way that this information can be used against people.”Kinsman co-authored a brief outlining concerns about the “flawed bill” with Patrizia Gentile, an associate professor of human rights and sexuality studies at Carleton University, Tom Hooper, a history lecturer at York University and Steven Maynard, an adjunct professor of history at Queen’s University.The academics say the scope of offences covered by the bill is too limited, and the application process too vague and potentially onerous.Despite the concerns, the group was denied a chance to make a presentation on the legislation Monday at the House of Commons public safety committee, Kinsman said.The committee passed the bill without amendment, sending it back to the Commons after hearing witnesses from Public Safety Canada, the Parole Board and the RCMP.The researchers are concerned the customary process of soliciting input and amending a bill to address shortcomings is being overridden in favour of swift action to back up the government’s apology.“They’re really rushing this through,” Kinsman said.Just hours earlier, Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault seemed to suggest that amendments were possible.“We’re listening and that’s why we study this at committee,” said Boissonnault, special adviser to the prime minister on LGBTQ issues.New Democrat MP Randall Garrison indicated during the committee meeting that he was aware of the researchers’ concerns. “I think the things that are perceived to be wrong are fixable,” he said.The Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act would provide for the destruction and removal of records for the offences of gross indecency, buggery and anal intercourse.Once passed, the legislation will allow applications by the convicted individual in question or family members of deceased people with criminal records. A guardian, lawyer or other “appropriate representative” may also apply on behalf of a dead individual.The bill gives the Parole Board of Canada authority to order or refuse expungement of a conviction. For instance, the board may return incomplete applications.Once the board approves an expungement, it must notify the RCMP and the courts. In turn, the Mounties must inform other federal agencies and provincial and municipal police forces.The four researchers say the bill is problematic because it:— could entail costs for applicants who are required to make a reasonable effort to track down documentary evidence;— deals only with convictions, not the trail of arrest records, police statements and court documents;— represents just a fraction of the Criminal Code offences used to prosecute same-sex behaviour, omitting categories such as bawdy house laws aimed at bathhouses and indecent act provisions for arresting people in bars, parks and washrooms.Boissonnault said the government is “mindful of the bawdy house provisions, and it’s something that we’re looking at.”— With a files from Lina Dib— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Change in politics society on sexual misconduct not fast enough says Trudeau

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he believes society is still lagging behind the systemic changes he is trying to make on Parliament Hill when it comes to preventing and responding to sexual harassment and other inappropriate behaviour.“We recognize that this particular workplace that is Parliament Hill is one that is rife with hierarchies and power dynamics wrapped up in and around an institution that for centuries has been the purview of a certain type of person — older, male, successful,” Trudeau said this week in a roundtable interview with The Canadian Press.That, however, has started to change, the prime minister suggested, with the election of a more diverse group of MPs and political staff — although the consequences of that long-standing, male-dominated hierarchy have clearly not disappeared overnight.“We have a system that has changed, but a society that is changing not fast enough, and that is going to lead to difficult situations.”Trudeau, who self-identifies as a feminist and says he has zero tolerance for sexual assault, harassment or other forms of misconduct by his employees or caucus colleagues, was asked to address the fact that allegations surfaced last year involving someone in the Prime Minister’s Office.Claude-Eric Gagne, who is deputy director of operations for Trudeau, has been on a leave of absence Nov. 1 pending an investigation into allegations that came to the attention of the PMO. Gagne says he challenges the veracity of the allegations, but is co-operating fully with the third-party investigator.The PMO hired high-profile employment firm Rubin Thomlinson LLP to examine the case.Without commenting specifically on the case, Trudeau said he hopes to set an example in how he responds to the situations.“I think the measure of it must be how we are changing and how we are responding to allegations, how seriously we take them,” he said.“The fact that we have no tolerance for this — that we will not brush things under the rug, but we will take action on it immediately — is part of the modelling that we hope to see taken on elsewhere across the Hill, but also throughout workforces and workplaces in Canada.”The Canadian Press surveyed current female MPs from all political parties last month to find out the extent to which they had been the targets of sexual harassment, assault or misconduct of all kinds, including during their time in elected office.Some 58 per cent of respondents to the voluntary, anonymous survey reported having personally experienced one or more forms of sexual misconduct during their time in politics.The results also suggested the problem also hits other players in the parliamentary system.Seventy-six per cent of respondents said they had either witnessed, or been told about sexual misconduct targeting another woman, including a staffer, page, intern, House of Commons employee or MP.Thirty-eight of the 89 female MPs participated in the survey.— Follow @smithjoanna and @kristykirkup on Twitterlast_img read more

Excerpts from Trudeaus House of Commons speech on new Indigenous policy

first_imgOTTAWA – Excerpts from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s speech Wednesday on his Liberal government’s plans for a new legislative framework for relations with Indigenous people:___“I just finished up a series of town hall visits in communities all across Canada. And everywhere I went, there was at least one person who wanted to know what our government is doing to combat racism, to help advance reconciliation, and improve the quality of life for Indigenous Peoples.“There were questions about fishing rights, and land claims, and pipeline approvals. Questions about the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, about clean water, and about the alarming number of Indigenous children in foster care.“These were thoughtful questions … and it was immediately clear that every time these kinds of questions were asked, the room shifted. This was, in part, a show of support for the people who stood up and asked some tough questions. But it was also a signal that these are questions that Canadians want answered.”———“One of those questions is how we, as a government, recognize and implement the rights of Indigenous Peoples. We’ve seen those questions grow in number and intensity in just this past week, as more and more Canadians come to grips with the fact that we have so much more work to do.“More work to push back against the systemic racism that is the lived reality for so many Indigenous Peoples. More work to deal with the fact that too many feel and fear that our country and its institutions will never deliver the fairness, justice, and real reconciliation that Indigenous Peoples deserve.”———“Yesterday, I had the honour of spending some time with Colten Boushie’s family. With his mom Debbie, cousin Jade, and uncle Alvin.“And through all their grief and anger and frustration, their focus was not on themselves and the tragedy they have endured, but on how we must work together to make the system and our institutions better. Better for Indigenous youth, for Indigenous families, and for all Canadians.“We have a responsibility to do better. To be better. To do our best to make sure that no family has to endure what they have gone through.“Mr. Speaker, the criminal justice system is just one place in which reforms are urgently needed.“Reforms are needed to ensure that — among other things — Indigenous Peoples might once again have confidence in a system that has failed them all too often in the past.“That is why we will bring forward broad-based, concrete reforms to the criminal justice system, including changes to how juries are selected.”———“Last year marked 35 years since Aboriginal and treaty rights were recognized and affirmed through Section 35 of the Constitution Act.“You might recall, Mr. Speaker, that the government of the day — led by my father — did not intend to include these rights at the outset.“It was the outspoken advocacy of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples, supported by non-Indigenous Canadians, that forced the government to reconsider.”———“You see, Mr. Speaker, the challenge — then and now — is that while Section 35 recognizes and affirms Aboriginal and treaty rights, those rights have not been implemented by our governments.The work to give life to Section 35 was supposed to be done together with First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples. And while there has been some success, progress has not been sustained, or carried out.And so over time, it too often fell to the courts to pick up the pieces, and fill in the gaps.More precisely, instead of outright recognizing and affirming Indigenous rights — as we promised we would — Indigenous Peoples were forced to prove, time and time again, through costly and drawn-out court challenges, that their rights existed, must be recognized and implemented.”———“To truly renew the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples — not just for today, but for the next 150 years — we need a comprehensive and far-reaching approach. We need a government-wide shift in how we do things.“We need to both recognize and implement Indigenous rights because the truth is, Mr. Speaker, until we get this part right, we won’t have lasting success on the concrete outcomes that we know mean so much to people.“Indigenous Peoples in Canada should be able to drink the water that comes out of their taps. They should be able go to sleep in homes that are safe, and not overcrowded. Indigenous children should be able to stay with their families and communities, where they are known and loved.“And Indigenous youth should not grow up surrounded by the things that place them at elevated risk for suicide — things like poverty, abuse and limited access to a good education and good health care.”———“All of these things demand real, positive action — action that must include the full recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights. We need to get to a place where Indigenous Peoples in Canada are in control of their own destiny, making their own decisions about their future.“And so today, I am pleased to announce that the government will develop — in full partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people — a new Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework that will include new ways to recognize and implement Indigenous Rights.This will include new recognition and implementation of rights legislation. Going forward, recognition of rights will guide all government relations with Indigenous Peoples.”———“Mr. Speaker, Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians are ready for change. Ready for a new relationship based on recognition, rights, respect, co-operation and partnership. With a Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework, we can build that new relationship, together.“It won’t be easy, Mr. Speaker. Nothing worth doing ever is. But it will be worth it. It will be worth it because we will have taken more steps toward righting historical wrongs.“It will be worth it because we will have replaced apathy with action, ignorance with understanding, and conflict with respect. We will have laid the foundation for real and lasting change — the kind of change that can only come when we fully recognize and implement Indigenous rights.”———last_img read more

In the news today July 16

first_imgFour stories in the news for Monday, July 16———THE HAZARDS OF DIVERSIFYING AWAY FROM THE U.S.More Canadian companies are looking to diversify as increasingly tense trade relations with the United States have emphasized the need to compete globally. An Export Development Canada survey of 1,000 exporters suggests 64 per cent are planning to export to new countries, up from the below 50 per cent the proportion has generally hovered at for the past five years. But experts warn that the road to diversification can be slow and rocky.———HOW TO BUY CANADIAN AT THE GROCERY STORESome consumers are vowing to take their patriotism to the supermarket and buy only made-in-Canada products now that Ottawa has slapped tariffs on dozens of U.S. goods as part of the escalating trade war with our biggest trading partner. But avoiding American products on the tariff list is easier said than done, as many companies don’t clearly label where their products are made. The Canadian Press has some tips from retail experts about how to ensure products are home grown.———FIREARMS PANEL MEMBER CLEARED BY LOBBY CZARA federal watchdog has dismissed complaints that a mass-shooting survivor broke the rules by working with an advocacy group to lobby for gun policy changes while also serving on the Liberal government’s firearms advisory committee. Federal lobbying commissioner Nancy Belanger ruled that Nathalie Provost’s work on behalf of the group PolySeSouvient, which pushes for stricter gun control, did not breach lobbying laws because Provost is not paid by the group.———BANFF HOLDS BISON CEREMONY WITH INDIGENOUS ELDERSSeveral Indigenous elders are to be flown by helicopter into the backcountry of Banff National Park today for a blessing ceremony as officials prepare to let recently reintroduced bison roam free. The trip, organized by Parks Canada, is part of the overall plan to release the bison into a larger 1,200-square-kilometre reintroduction zone on the eastern slopes of the park later this summer. The animals had disappeared from the region before the park was created back in 1885.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball attends a Pride Week flag-raising ceremony in St. John’s.— Lt.-Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier takes command of the Canadian Army during a ceremony on Parliament Hill.— Canadian Real Estate Association expected to release June home sales results.— CUPE holds Toronto news conference on Premier Doug Ford government’s “back-to-work” legislation.— B.C. Premier John Horgan makes an announcement in Burnaby about workers.— Sentencing hearing in Surrey for former Vancouver detective James Fisher who pleaded guilty to breach of trust and sexual exploitation.———last_img read more

Calgary 2026 bid ball bounces to province feds ahead of plebiscite

first_imgCALGARY – The Canadian government supports a Calgary bid for the 2026 Winter Games should the city go ahead. It has said so via the federal sports minister and social media.The government of Alberta’s tone is a more reserved wait-and-see.But Calgary’s potential bid hinges on how much money those two orders of government would be willing to contribute to hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.Canadian sports minister Kirsty Duncan told The Canadian Press she was pleased Calgary city council voted earlier this week to keep a bid alive.Sport Canada posted several tweets in recent days, and before the vote, reinforcing the federal government’s support for a bid if the city decides to do it.“Our government is pleased by the vote,” Duncan said Wednesday from Saskatoon in a phone interview.“Calgary is a world-class city. It’s got a proven track record of hosting major international games. Many of us, I’m certainly one of them, remember Calgary 1988 when it hosted the Winter Olympics.“It left a lasting legacy that I believe had benefited the city, the province and the country. We have supported the development of Calgary 2026 Winter Games bid from the very beginning.”The draft hosting plan presented to city council by the bid corporation Calgary 2026 asks that the city, province and federal government contribute a combined $3 billion in taxpayer dollars to the cost of running the games, which was estimated at $5.23 billion.How that $3 billion amount would be split has yet to be announced, but Calgarians will demand an answer prior to heading to the polls Nov. 13 for a plebiscite asking them if they want the games or not.It was the Alberta government that insisted on a plebiscite. The province is contributing $2 million to the cost of the vote.“Now that bidco has released those numbers we’re going to go through the due diligence of ensuring that the numbers are what they are,” Alberta tourism minister Ricardo Miranda said Wednesday in Edmonton.The minister said Calgarians will know what the province’s contribution to hosting would be at least 30 days prior to the plebiscite.“I never reveal numbers until I actually have a basic good understanding of what the position of others might be,” Miranda said.“I will say, however, that we are very much engaged and will continue to be (engaged) to ensure that we have the best deal and that it makes sense for Albertans.”In a letter to Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, Duncan said that as per the federal government’s policy for hosting international sporting events “we are committed to considering a contribution of up to 35 per cent of total event costs, and we will not exceed 50 per cent of the total public sector contributions to the event.”Calgary 2026 hopes that means a maximum contribution of $1.5 billion from the feds, but the minister would not commit to that figure Wednesday.“Canadians expect us to do our due diligence,” Duncan said. “There are many departments and agencies that will have to review the numbers and that’s what we’re focused on.“The citizens of Calgary will get to voice their opinions and we want to make sure Calgarians are behind the bid.”The deadline to submit a 2026 bid to the International Olympic Committee is Jan. 11. The successful host city will be announced Sept. 11, 2026.Meanwhile, a pair of economists question the bidco’s estimate of $7.4 billion in various economic benefits to the province should Calgary host the Winter Games.University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe called that figure “dramatically overstated.”“We definitely shouldn’t be under the impression that the Games will generate economic benefits that exceed the costs,” he said.Concordia economics professor Moshe Lander says the projections of how much tourists will spend in the city during the games has to be offset by the number of Calgarians who leave town and take their dollars elsewhere “because the circus is coming.”“Clearly the people presenting the bid are not presenting a balanced picture,” Lander said. “They’re interested in presenting a picture that is supportive of hosting the Olympics.“The benefits are going to be overstated and to me, that is also a concern.”— Lauren Krugel and Dean Bennett contributed to this story.last_img read more

In the news today April 15

first_imgFive stories in the news for Monday, April 15———ONTARIO’S CARBON TAX COURT CHALLENGE GETS UNDERWAYOntario’s battle against Ottawa’s carbon tax gets underway in the province’s top court today. Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has denounced the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act as an illegal tax grab that will drive up the price of gasoline and heating fuel. The federal Liberal government, on the other hand, insists it is responding appropriately to an issue of national concern — climate change. The climate change law applies in provinces that have no carbon-pricing regimes of their own that meet national standards.———ALBERTA’S ELECTION CLASH OF TITANS FIZZLESAlberta’s election campaign promised a titanic clash of ideas and ideologies between two nationally known leaders, but delivered a burlesque of biting attacks and bozo eruptions — and a surprise guest appearance by the RCMP. Rachel Notley will make history Tuesday as either the first Alberta NDP premier to win re-election or the first-ever leader of an Alberta party that failed to win a renewed mandate on its first try. A win for Jason Kenney’s United Conservatives, as predicted by the polls, means a return to the right-centre for Alberta, its traditional home since the middle of the last century. ———1 DEAD, 1 IN HOSPITAL, 1 IN CUSTODY AFTER SHOOTING AT B.C. CHURCHA 25-year-old man is in custody following a shooting at a church in Salmon Arm, B.C., that left one person dead and sent another to hospital  Sunday morning. Local RCMP say the shooting happened during an event at the Church of Christ in the community about 100 kilometres north of Kelowna, and that investigators do not believe it was religiously motivated. Police also say the suspect knew at least one of his alleged victims.———INDIGENOUS WOMEN’S INQUIRY SEEKS RCMP FILESThe national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women is fighting in court for access to two RCMP files the national police force is refusing to hand over. The inquiry is set to issue its long-awaited report in June, but says it wants the contested Mountie files to complete its work on one of the saddest chapters in Canada’s recent history. Little is publicly known about the two disputed files other than their titles: “Missing Person: Missing Indigenous Woman” and “Homicide: Murdered Indigenous Woman.”———FINAL REPORT EXPECTED ON N.S. ELECTORAL BOUNDARIESA commission looking to redraw Nova Scotia’s electoral map is expected to issue its final report today. In an interim report released in November the commission called for the restoration of four electoral districts aimed at improving representation for black and Acadian voters. The districts were eliminated in 2012, but the changes led to a successful court challenge by the province’s Acadian community. Today’s report follows a set of public consultations in January and February that presented four alternatives for consideration.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Bank of Canada to release its spring Business Outlook Survey and Senior Loan officer survey.— Canadian Real Estate Association expected to release March home sales results.— Small Business Minister Mary Ng announces in Toronto an investment in women entrepreneurs.— Annual conference of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health opens in Edmonton.———The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Mark Wahlberg And 3 Doors Down Team Up For Benefit Concert

first_imgGNC Holdings, Inc., the nation’s largest specialty retailer of health, wellness and sports nutrition products, and actor/producer Mark Wahlberg have announced that they are hosting a benefit concert in celebration of MARKED, a new line of performance nutrition products they developed in partnership.Rock band 3 Doors Down will headline the one-time only concert taking place in Pittsburgh, Pa on Thursday, September 20th at Stage AE. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to support the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for inner city youth, and the Pressley Ridge Foundation, which offers programs for troubled and developmentally challenged children.“MARKED is more than just a line of products. It’s a brand that is built on the principle that everyone should enjoy a healthy and supportive lifestyle,” said Mark Wahlberg. “Currently, a portion of all sales of MARKED products are donated to my Foundation, so this concert only emphasizes our dedication to supporting the health and wellness of the next generation.”The MARKED line – consisting of seven sports and active nutrition products – provides the ultimate performance nutrition for anyone who wants to achieve their health and fitness goals. Every MARKED product has been rigorously tested for banned substances by HFLSports Science, a world-class sports anti-doping lab, and based on cutting edge nutritional science using only the highest quality ingredients.“Working with Mark Wahlberg and 3 Doors Down to raise money for two great organizations is a testament to our commitment to help people of all ages ‘live well,’” said Joe Fortunato, GNC President and CEO. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this unique opportunity for our consumers to ‘Get MARKED’ with Mark Wahlberg and 3 Doors Down this September.”In addition, ahead of the concert, on September 20th, Mark Wahlberg will participate in a webcast on MarkedNutrition.com with Men’s Fitness Editor-in-Chief Michael De Medeiros to discuss the MARKED line and answer questions directly from fans. More details about how to join will be available at the website in September. GNC is also deploying street teams around Pittsburgh that same day to present exclusive product offers and help inspire consumers to “Get MARKED.”“Mark has personally motivated me to get back on a healthy workout program and it’s clear he takes ‘living’ well very seriously. Thanks to his inspiration and guidance, I’m exercising regularly and have already lost 50lbs.” said Tom Dowd, EVP, Chief Merchandising Officer and General Manager.Tickets for the MARKED benefit concert can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations. Charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com. For more information visit StageAE.com.last_img read more

Heidi Klum Launches Project Doodle Contest

first_imgIn partnership with Save the Children, Babies”R”Us is introducing specially designed t-shirts as part of the company’s exclusive Truly Scrumptious by Heidi Klum collection to help inspire creativity among kids.Project Doodle ContestIn conjunction with this initiative, Babies”R”Us has donated $50,000 to Save the Children’s programs benefitting young children in impoverished regions around the country. The fun, monster-themed t-shirts for kids, sizes newborn to 5T, were designed by Johan, 6-year-old son of world-renowned fashion icon and mom of four Heidi Klum. The t-shirts are now available online and rolling into Babies”R”Us stores nationwide next week.Save the Children has a long history of showcasing the creativity of children through their artwork and has implemented various art contests over the years to encourage youth to show their support for those in need through design, while raising awareness and funds for the organization’s ongoing mission. Inspired by Save the Children’s licensed art contests and eager to highlight the good work of its long-standing philanthropic partner, Babies”R”Us has launched the Project Doodle Contest to celebrate the introduction of this limited edition t-shirt assortment.“As an organization dedicated to providing support to children in need, while inspiring kids through art, we’re thrilled to partner with Babies”R”Us and Heidi on this initiative,” said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives for Save the Children. “The generous donation provided in conjunction with the launch of these t-shirts and the Project Doodle Contest will help us to further our mission in assisting youth in impoverished regions throughout the United States.”Beginning today, budding artists, ages 8 and younger, can visit Babiesrus.com/HeidiKlum or the company’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/Babiesrus, to create and share their designs using Doodle.ly, a digital sketchpad. Through this contest, two designs will be chosen to be featured on t-shirts, which will be manufactured and sold in Babies”R”Us stores nationwide and online this fall as part of the Truly Scrumptious by Heidi Klum collection.“As a mom of four, I’m constantly drawing design inspiration from my kids — whether it’s their unique fashion sense, their latest art project or simply their zest for life. Johan, my 6-year-old, is super creative, and I knew I wanted to incorporate his whimsical and imaginative designs into my Truly Scrumptious collection in a very special way,” said Heidi Klum. “I’m so proud — as a mom and a designer — to introduce this one-of-a-kind assortment of t-shirts to Babies”R”Us customers in conjunction with my all-new summer apparel collection. These adorable baseball style shirts featuring monsters — a nod to my signature Truly Scrumptious characters — will be used to shine a spotlight on the wonderful work Save the Children does for children throughout the United States. I can’t wait to see all of the fun, unique designs that kids submit through the Project Doodle Contest, and watch them come to life as part of my fall line.”Johan Lends Designs to Limited Edition T-Shirts for Babies”R”UsFinding inspiration in her son’s imaginative sketches, Heidi Klum continually incorporates signature characters and whimsical designs into her Truly Scrumptious collection. Now, Johan himself is playing designer, as Babies”R”Us introduces two baseball-style t-shirts — one with pink sleeves and one with blue sleeves – featuring his hand-drawn, silly monster creations front and center. Sure to be loved by parents and children, the t-shirts are representative of the imagination and creativity of kids. Each shirt will be easily identifiable with a special hangtag to draw attention to Save the Children’s U.S. Programs.The tees can now be purchased online and will be available in Babies”R”Us stores nationwide next week for $4.99. To complement the in-store availability of these unique shirts, customers will find eye-catching signage at the front of the stores’ apparel sections touting the all-new assortment, as well as the Project Doodle Contest.“We’re thrilled to welcome Johan’s designs in our stores nationwide and online as part of our Truly Scrumptious summer collection,” said Neil Mulhall, Vice President, Divisional Merchandising Manager, Babies”R”Us. “We’re equally excited to offer little ones across the country a chance to play designer through the Project Doodle Contest, bringing another fun, unexpected assortment of kid-designed tees to our stores this fall.”Source:Save the Childrenlast_img read more

Usher Hosts 2013 Presidents Circle Awards Luncheon

first_imgUsher Raymond IV and Usher’s New Look Foundation last week recognized and honored four individuals at the 2013 President’s Circle Awards Luncheon.Usher at the 2013 President’s Circle Awards LuncheonHonorees included: Actor and New Look Youth Ambassador Nadji Jeter; Collective Soul’s Ed Roland; Lisa Borders of the Coca-Cola Foundation; and Julie Miller, Accenture Managing Director. Jeff Dauler emceed the event. Additional guests in attendance included: Dean Roland, Will Turpin and Joel Kosche of Collective Soul; Matt Ryan, quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons; First Lady of Georgia Sandra Deal, and Michelle Chamuel, Usher’s runner-up contestant from “The Voice.”The New Look youth choir performed alongside Ed Roland, singing a rendition of his hit “The World I Know;” New Look alum Georganna ‘DJ Ace Star’ DJed the event, New Look youth alum Tommy Springer Jr. photographed the event and New Look alum James Harris, who is now the Atlanta program coordinator, spoke.Usher’s New Look, the non-profit organization founded by Usher Raymond IV committed to building future leaders, hosted the President’s Circle Awards Luncheon. The Luncheon theme, “Honoring Leadership and Service Through Collaboration,” presented an opportunity for influencers, opinion makers and New Look’s supporters to come together and recognize four powerful leaders, all of whom value the importance of empowering youth as leaders and change agentsaround the world.Mary Brock, Owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream and John Brock, President & CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises Chaired the event. Usher Raymond IV, Shawn Wilson, president of Usher’s New Look and New Look’s President’s Circle Members and Advisory Council hosted. The President’s Circle Awards Luncheon was made possible by Ford Motor Company.For more information about Usher’s New Look, please visit www.ushersnewlook.org.last_img read more

Maggie Q Supports Kiehls Earth Day Campaign

first_imgIn honor of Earth Day, Kiehl’s Since 1851, the venerable New York-based purveyor of fine quality skin and hair care is proud to donate $50,000 to Recycle Across America (RAA), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to delivering society-wide solutions that eliminate public confusion, stimulate the environmental economy and expedite progress.These funds will be used to create 65,000 standardized recycling labels to 650 K-12 schools in the United States.The donated funds will be raised from Kiehl’s Limited Edition Label Art series, featuring art by this year’s Friends of Kiehl’s, Elizabeth Olsen and Maggie Q. 100% of net profits, up to $50,000, from this, Kiehl’s seventh Earth Day campaign, will benefit Recycle Across America. To date, Kiehl’s has raised $250,000 for RAA, supplying recycling labels to the following school districts: San Diego, Houston, Scottsdale, Culver City, and an additional 2,500 independent schools throughout the U.S.“We started working with Recycle Across America in 2012 and have continued with them since. Their mission to introduce solutions that make recycling more simple, comprehensive and effective in the United States is perfectly aligned with our Recycle & Be Rewarded program. Since 2009, Kiehl’s has collected 2,500,000 empty Kiehl’s bottles from our shoppers and recycled them on their behalf, while also rewarding them with free products. It’s proven that by simplifying the process, we can truly create change. We hope to reach over 3,000,000 this year!” said Chris Salgardo, President, Kiehl’s USA.The Limited Edition Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado series features Earth-inspired designs by socially conscious influencers Elisabeth Olsen and Maggie Q, depicting their vision of social responsibility.Both designs were created in collaboration with artist/sculptor Fernando Mastrangelo, of AMMA Studio in Brooklyn, who is known for his work with everyday materials (salt, coffee, sand & silica). To support the launch, celebrity photographer Christopher Makos will capture each personality in his unique segmented-portrait style.Kiehl’s retail stores will also be celebrating Earth Day with the following activities:• Recycle & Be Rewarded!: From April 22 through April 26, at all Kiehl’s retail stores, customers can receive 5 stamps for every 1 Kiehl’s empty returned (normally, it’s 1 stamp per empty), AND customers who bring in an empty skincare jar or bottle from ANY brand will receive a deluxe sample of Kiehl’s skincare.• Complimentary Lip Balm!: From April 14 through April 27, while supplies last, customers spending $65 or more will receive a complimentary Lip Balm #1.• 20-Minute Seated Facials & Dehydration Skin Tests: From April 22 through April 26, at all Kiehl’s retail stores, customers can experience a 20-minute pampering facial, and full healthy skin check, including skin analysis with Kiehl’s new Dehydration Analyzer Tool.last_img read more

NFL And American Cancer Society Expand Crucial Catch Campaign To Support Multiple

first_imgThis year, the National Football League and the American Cancer Society (ACS) are expanding their efforts to support the fight against cancer through the “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” campaign.After nearly a decade of supporting breast cancer, the NFL and ACS have broadened the campaign to include early detection and risk reduction efforts for other cancers to increase the impact of the campaign.Since 2009, the NFL has raised more than $18 million for ACS through the partnership. Money raised through Crucial Catch this season will be directed toward efforts to encourage people to get screening tests for three cancers: breast, colorectal and cervical. Funding will continue to support the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program, which provides outreach and cancer screenings to individuals in underserved communities. Since 2012, grant recipients have contributed to nearly 150,000 screenings and 450,000 education and outreach interventions.“As one our most powerful partners in the fight against cancer over the last decade, the NFL is working together with the American Cancer Society to truly attack cancer from all angles. With the league’s expanded focus on multiple cancers, we are poised for even greater relevance, and fans around the country can benefit from our critical work in saving lives from cancer,” said Sharon Byers, chief development and marketing officer for the American Cancer Society.As part of the campaign, the NFL and ACS launched a new, digital tool, The Defender, which provides the public with free personalized tips to reduce their cancer risk. In the spirit of ‘The Best Defense is a Good Offense,’ people can enter information about their height, weight, exercise regimen and more. The tool will analyze and provides personalized recommendations on what they can do to reduce their risk of getting cancer. The Defender was funded by the NFL and developed by ACS and can be found at TheDefender.cancer.org.“Many people want to reduce their risk for cancer, but they don’t know where to start,” said Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer for the American Cancer Society. “That’s where The Defender comes in. Fans can answer a few short questions, and The Defender will create a personalized game plan for improving health and reducing cancer risk.”For most Americans who do not use tobacco, the most important cancer risk factors that can be changed are body weight, diet and physical activity.Although genetics influence cancer risk, there are things you can do to tip the scales in your favor. Avoiding tobacco products, staying at a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet may reduce a person’s lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer.Although these healthy choices can be made by each of us, they may be helped or slowed by the social, physical, economic, and regulatory environment in which we live. Community efforts are needed to create an environment that makes it easier for us to make healthy choices when it comes to diet and physical activity. To find out more, go to cancer.org.last_img read more

ACADEMY AWARD® WINNER ANNA PAQUIN TO STAR IN CBC AND NETFLIX MINISERIES

first_imgAdvertisement Halfire Entertainment, CBC and Netflix today announced that Academy Award-winning Canadian-born actress Anna Paquin ( True Blood, Roots) has signed on to play Nancy Montgomery in the screen adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace. The six-hour miniseries is inspired by the true story of Grace Marks, who was convicted of murdering Nancy Montgomery and Thomas Kinnear. Alias Grace is written and produced by Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz, Away from Her) and directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol). The mini-series began shooting in Ontario on August 15, 2016. Alias Grace will be broadcast in Canada on CBC and globally – everywhere outside of Canada – on Netflix.Alias Grace follows Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon) a poor, young Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who, along with stable hand James McDermott, was convicted of the brutal murders of their employer, Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin) in 1843. Nancy is Kinnear’s housekeeper and lover, and while she initially befriends Grace, she begins to resent Grace and becomes increasingly jealous of Kinnear’s affection for her. Nancy eventually fires Grace in a fit of rage and is later found brutally murdered.“Anna is an incredibly versatile performer who always makes complex, unpredictable and fascinating choices in her work,” said Sarah Polley, Executive Producer. “It’s always a marvel to watch her and we’re thrilled to have her join the cast.” About Halfire EntertainmentHalfire Entertainment was founded in 2013 by seasoned TV executive Noreen Halpern to develop, produce, and finance television series and miniseries for the Canadian, U.S., and international marketplace. The company produces exceptionally creative and commercial programming and employs non-traditional financing resulting in straight-to-series orders. Halfire is currently in production on Aftermath for Space and Syfy and is in pre-production on the Sarah Polley-penned six-part mini-series Alias Grace for CBC and Netflix, with principal photography set to begin on August 15. Halfire has a robust development slate with projects set up at Showtime, ABC, NBC, CBC, Bell Media, and Corus. Halfire produced the half-hour comedy, Working The Engels starring Andrea Martin for NBC and Shaw, marking the first time a prime time comedy had been co-produced by US and Canadian broadcasters.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 NetflixNetflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 83 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments. Alias Grace is co-commissioned by CBC and Netflix, produced by Halfire Entertainment and created by Sarah Polley. The executive producers are Sarah Polley, Mary Harron and Noreen Halpern. Producing alongside Polley is D.J. Carson. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebookcenter_img Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more