Dave Navarro To Join StarStudded Above Ground Concert For Mental Health

first_imgDave Navarro will join Billy Morrison on April 16 to present a MusiCares benefit concert in Los Angeles that aims to erase the stigma that blocks getting help for mental issues.Above Ground ConcertThe Above Ground concert will take place at the Belasco Theater, and will feature the full-length performances of two classic albums – Adam and the Ants’ Kings Of The Wild Frontier and Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico.Video: ABOVE GROUND LOS ANGELES 2018The concert will also feature Chris Chaney of Jane’s Addiction, drummer Erik Eldenius, drummer Josh Freese, and violinist Lili Haydn, as well as special guests Billy Idol and Courtney Love. Eagles Of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes, Franky Perez and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor will also appear.Tickets available here.last_img read more

Warriors And Supporters Honored At Annual Wounded Warrior Project Gala

first_imgOver the weekend, warriors and supporters were honored at the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Courage Awards & Benefit Dinner at Gotham Hall.This annual gala recognizes the service and dedication of those who make WWP’s mission possible and inspire others to do more for our nation’s wounded warriors.Three awards were given out during the evening, each recognizing the efforts of those who have gone above and beyond supporting the needs of warriors. Marine Corps veteran Andrew Coughlan received the Courage Award, which is given to a warrior, family member, or caregiver who embodies the WWP core values of service, integrity, and loyalty. Longtime WWP partner USAA received the Empowerment Award for their commitment to going above and beyond supporting the needs of our returning warriors. And Tom Cocchiarella of St. Paul, Minnesota received the Service Award for his continuous efforts at the local level to rally supporters for WWP.“It’s an honor and a privilege to recognize Andrew Coughlan, Tom Cocchiarella, and USAA for their tireless support and advocacy on behalf of the warriors we serve,” said WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington. “Their efforts this year and throughout the years have empowered warriors and provided us the resources we need to continue providing life-changing programs and services at no cost to the warriors and family members.”Also in attendance to recognize warriors and supporters were country music artist Trace Adkins, who put on a special performance for attendees, and Brian Kilmeade of Fox & Friends, who hosted the gala. Thomas Gibson, Anson Mount, Melissa Joan Hart, Dolph Ziggler, Luke Pell, Pryor Baird, and Justin Melnick also took time to show their support for the warriors, families, and caregivers WWP serves. Though unable to attend, Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh sent a surprise video to Andrew, a lifelong Michigan football fan, expressing his gratitude for his service. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan also sent a video encouraging the public to support the WWP mission.To hear from them personally about their experiences at the Courage Awards & Benefit Dinner, click here.last_img read more

Helping independent theatre help itself in Toronto

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: What needs changing? “Independent theatre is where the new energy comes in and where things are tested out,” says Charlton, “but it’s the most precarious area of the sector. People come in, but they can’t sustain their practice.” RISER and Generator have “looked at what’s needed and have provided it.”READ MORE Clockwise from left, Andrea Scott, Rose Hopkins, Kevin Matthew Wong, Katie Leamen, Sherri Helwig, Sehar Bhojani, Sabrina A. Bandali, Taliesin McEnaney and Troy De Four play “Producer’s Pursuit” in 2016, a Trivial Pursuit-style game, as part of the artist producer training program. (GENERATOR) The other, Generator, is an organization helping indie companies and artists through producer training, shared office space and resources, mentorship and workshops.The goal of the report, says Margo Charlton, research and impact manager of the Toronto Arts Council and Foundation, is to offer positive models for “sectoral change” in the performing arts. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment How about a good news story for a change?That’s the spirit behind a new report commissioned by the Toronto Arts and Metcalf foundations about two successful initiatives in the city’s independent theatre sector that share a spirit of innovation and generosity.One, the RISER Project, supports indie companies and artists by redirecting resources from more established organizations. Its founder, Why Not Theatre’s artistic director Ravi Jain, rather gleefully calls RISER “Robin Hooding.” Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Grammynominated Nova Scotian director on creating music videos with a social impact

first_imgNova Scotian director Andy Hines still gets emotionally overwhelmed remembering the day his Grammy-nominated music video 1-800-273-8255 went online last summer.It was the wee hours of the morning when the reactions began to trickle in from strangers onto his iPhone. Many were young adults shaken by his seven-minute clip, which follows a black teenager struggling with his sexuality and clouded with thoughts of suicide.The heart-wrenching reactions multiplied into the dozens — and then hundreds — in the days and weeks that followed as viewers tearfully spoke about managing their own suicidal feelings. Advertisement Advertisement On Sunday, the Avondale, N.S., director will learn whether 1-800-273-8255 wins best music video at this year’s Grammy Awards. The song, written by rapper Logic and featuring Khalid and pop singer Alessia Cara of Brampton, Ont., has itself been an impetus for conversations about suicide.The video, which stars actor Don Cheadle as the teen’s disapproving father, Luis Guzman as his high school coach and Matthew Modine in a bit role, has amassed nearly 195 million views on YouTube. Nova Scotian-born Andy Hines earned a Grammy nomination for directing Logic’s 1-800-273-8255. (Justin Fleischer) Advertisementcenter_img Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement “For me, there’s no better concept to get behind than helping consumers find the best price while shopping online. This was an easy idea to get behind, and my decision to invest in the company was as simple as the product is to use. Now, I’m grateful for Shopbrain’s returned support as we launch this new contest to engage with my fans on my new tour,” said comedian and actor Gerry Dee.To enter, fans can visit https://www.shopbrain.com/blog/gerry-dee-toronto-2019 to learn more, including all contest details and rules. Open to Canadian residents only.The full list of tour dates includes:March 1: Rama, ON at Casino Rama ResortMarch 28: Regina, SK at Casino ReginaMarch 29: Saskatoon, SK at TCU PlaceMarch 30:  Kelowna, BC at Kelowna Community TheatreApril 4: Victoria, BC at Royal TheatreApril 5:  Surrey, BC at Bell Performing Arts CentreApril 6:  Vancouver, BC at The Centre in VancouverApril 11: Montreal, QC at Corona TheatreApril 12: Moncton, NB at Capitol TheatreApril 13: Saint John, NB at Imperial TheatreApril 23: Halifax, NS at Rebecca Cohn AuditoriumApril 25: St. John’s, NL at Holy Heart TheatreApril 26: Charlottetown, PE at Confederation CentreMay 24: Toronto, ON at Sony Centre for the Performing ArtsShopbrain’s parent company, Yroo, was founded by James Cunningham and Nick Zhu and has raised over $15 million USD since its inception. The Shopbrain AI-powered shopping assistant is the latest product development from the company.For the better way to shop, consumers can visit Shopbrain.com or the Chrome Web Store to add this money-saving feature to their browsers.About ShopbrainShopbrain, from meta-search engine and big data company Yroo, is a virtual shopping assistant powered by artificial intelligence to find online shoppers the best price in real time. Through AI, Shopbrain searches more than 10,000 retailers, merchants, and search engines, including Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Walmart, Target, and Google Shopping and catalogues over 1 billion products. The shopping assistant empowers users to discover and compare prices and customer reviews, aggregating current and historical data from thousands of retailers in seconds and ultimately saving online shoppers time and money. Advertisementcenter_img Shopbrain and Gerry Dee offer fans a VIP experience to see Gerry Dee live in Toronto TORONTO — Shopbrain, the AI-powered shopping assistant that helps online users find the best price in seconds wherever they shop, today launched a nationwide contest with Canadian comedian and TV personality Gerry Dee. Gerry Dee, who is best known for his sitcom “Mr. D” and his participation on “Last Comic Standing,” began his “20 Years of Stand-Up” comedy tour on Friday, March 1.Shopbrain is presenting his tour and launching a nationwide contest offering fans a chance to win a trip to Toronto to see Gerry Dee Live and meet him after the show on May 24. The winner will also receive two roundtrip tickets to Toronto, a two-night hotel stay, and a framed copy of the final Mr. D script signed by Gerry.“We are proud to be partnering with one of the Canada’s most well known and loved comedians and proud that he has invested in our business. At Shopbrain, we believe price transparency is critical for a better shopping experience and Gerry sees much opportunity for growth in this business,” said James Cunningham, CEO and co-founder of Shopbrain. “We are thrilled to be supporting his tour by offering this exciting contest to give Gerry’s fans across the nation an opportunity to a VIP experience.” Facebook Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Typically, when it comes to raising the profile on a major studio horror film, studios will rest on the standard online trailer, or some sort of social media stunt. However, Warner Bros. has amassed around 35 global promotional partners for New Line’s Sept. 6 tentpole It: Chapter Two, which is arguably unprecedented for an R-rated horror pic.Gene Garlock, EVP of Warner Bros. Worldwide Promotional Partnerships and Alliances, stated, “The fact that we were able to attract such an impressive group of partners speaks to the event status of the film franchise, and further highlights how these films have become iconic, must-see experiences on the big screen. Following the huge success of It, the brands joining us were eager to be aligned with such a powerhouse property.” Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more


first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Beginning on September 3 at 3 P.M., The Hazelton will host the renowned Fashion Talks panel discussion podcast series in the exclusive Silver Screening Room. Moderated by CBC’s Donna Bishop, Fashion Talks will feature Trigère’s Creative Director, Canadian designer Franklin Benjamin Elman. September 4 will bring renowned jewellery designer Hania Kuzbari, to showcase her latest collection in partnership with William Ashley at 4 P.M as a private event in the Yorkville Room.Closing out the week of fashion events, The Hazelton’s iconic ONE Restaurant will host the after party for CAFA menswear designer of the year, Christopher Bates, featuring signature drinks and music to top off the week’s events on September 5 at 11 P.M.As part of the STYLE PLATE neighbourhood initiative, The Hazelton’s ONE restaurant will welcome guests and the public alike to experience flavours inspired by Canadian fashion featuring a signature dish, the P.E.I Beef Carpaccio (Grass Fed PEI beef tenderloin, dijonnaise, reggiano, crostini, shallots and arugula) and the Red Carpet Rocket, a specialty handcrafted cocktail (Levenswater Spring 34 Gin, Garden Rocket, Forelle Pear Simple Syrup, Lime Juice).“Our programming is designed to allow our guests and locals alike into The Hazelton’s exquisite space to experience Canadian fashion at its finest. We are thrilled to continue to support and be part of the various community initiatives, and to have guests celebrate TFW through our hotel offerings.” Continues Roustom.Guests can also experience Toronto Fashion Week from the luxury of one of The Hazelton suites with a stay, which includes complimentary breakfast, overnight parking, manicure for two at the hotel’s exclusive Spa by Valmont and two tickets for a fashion show.The Hazelton Hotel’s founding partnership with Toronto Fashion Week is a mainstay in Toronto’s social and cultural calendars, celebrating fashion, food, art and entertainment. The Hazelton Hotel will play a vital role in ensuring the public experiences all fashion week has to offer with its rich programming, luxury and sophisticated space.ABOUT THE HAZELTON HOTELThe Hazelton Hotel, Toronto’s first boutique luxury hotel in fashionable Yorkville, remains the city’s iconic landmark for all that is chic and glamorous. The Hazelton Hotel offers 77 sumptuous hotel rooms and suites designed by internationally renowned design firm Yabu Pushelberg. The Hotel’s ONE Restaurant is celebrity Chef Mark McEwan’ssignature dining experience delivered from a contemporary Yorkville hotspot that boasts one of Toronto’s finest patios. The Hazelton is home to the Valmont Spa, one of the most exclusive and luxurious spa sanctuaries in Toronto.Website: thehazeltonhotel.comInstagram: @hazeltontoTwitter:  @hazeltontoFacebook: @thehazeltonhotelABOUT TORONTO FASHION WEEK®Toronto Fashion Week®, an event showcasing fashion, art, music and culture takes place in Yorkville, Toronto’s revitalized and most prestigious luxury retail neighborhood. The bi-annual event hosts national and international designers, entertainers and the fashion community to create a touchpoint where fashion is embraced and celebrated. As the leading fashion event in Canada, Toronto Fashion Week®  creates a catalyst for media engagement, retail activity and global connectivity.The founding partners are Yorkville Village, The Hazelton Hotel, Freed Developments and Hill & Gertner – an ownership group comprised of several of the country’s top companies in real estate, development and luxury hospitality.Website:   TFW.toInstagram:  @tfwTwitter:  @tofashionwkFacebook:  @tofashionwkHashtag:  #tofw Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter The Hazelton Hotel celebrates fashion, art and community initiatives as the official hotel partner of Toronto Fashion Week® (CNW Group/The Hazelton Hotel) TORONTO – Toronto’s leading and first luxury boutique hotel, The Hazelton, announced today a series of events in partnership with Toronto Fashion Week®, bringing together the community to celebrate fashion, arts and culture. Located in Toronto’s prestigious Yorkville neighbourhood, The Hazelton will open its doors to new and existing guests with exclusive parties, events, and panel discussions in a luxurious setting on September 3 – 5, 2019.The Hazelton Hotel (CNW Group/The Hazelton Hotel)“As a founding partner and the official hotel, we are thrilled to see this fifth consecutive season of Toronto Fashion Week continuing to grow throughout the Yorkville neighbourhood,” states Hani Roustom, General Manager of The Hazelton Hotel. Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Christmas candles lit by memories

first_imgAPTN National NewsAs the Christmas holiday season is upon us, many of us are spending time with loved ones.But for some families, the holidays aren’t what they used to be.That’s because some of their daughters, sisters and mothers make up the 582 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in this country.As APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson reports, a special gathering in the Manitoba legislature building was organized so these women would never be forgotten.last_img

Bail hearing for Gerald Stanley set for Thursday in Battleford

first_imgShaneen RobinsonAPTN National News NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. – Hundreds of people rallied this morning outside a Saskatchewan courthouse where a farmer accused of fatally shooting a First Nations man pleaded not guilty.Gerald Stanley, 54, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.He pleaded not guilty to the charge and a preliminary hearing will take place mid-September.“The family is hurting,” said Sheldon Wuttunee,  a family supporter who was inside the courtroom Thursday morning. “There is a lot of anger and a lot of resentment at this time.”Stanley will appear in Battleford Thursday afternoon for a bail hearing.Supporters of Boushie chanted “Justice for Colten” as lawyers left after Stanley’s appearance in a packed North Battleford provincial courtroom.Boushie was killed on Aug. 9 after the vehicle he was in drove onto a farm in the rural municipality of Glenside, west of Saskatoon.A cousin, who was also in the car along with several others, said they were heading home to the Red Pheasant reserve after an afternoon of swimming when they got a flat tire and were looking for help.A Facebook group behind the rally said it was about showing respect and support for Boushie’s family.Robert Innes, a University of Saskatchewan Indigenous studies professor, said the rally would give people a chance to express their concerns about the racial discourse that is unfolding after the shooting.“It helps to highlight the issue of racism on one hand, but also support for the family on the other,” said Innes.Racial tensions have flared since Boushie was killed.First Nations leaders have said the first RCMP news release about the shooting was biased. It said that people in the car had been taken into custody as part of a theft investigation. They were released without charges.Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said the RCMP statement “provided just enough prejudicial information” for people to draw the conclusion that the shooting was somehow justified.RCMP Supt. Rob Cameron said police handled the investigation fairly and competently. He also said he welcomed the opportunity to discuss the FSIN’s concerns.Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall took to Facebook on the weekend to condemn what he called “racist and hate-filled” comments after the shooting.Some comments on social media sites have been anti-First Nation, while others have supported vigilante justice against the suspect.One widely circulated screen grab from a Saskatchewan farmers group on Facebook said: “His only mistake was leaving three witnesses.” That group has since been closed.The National Farmers Union put out a statement Wednesday expressing sadness over Boushie’s death and about the comments that have followed.“As farmers, we condemn the rampant racist remarks that have circulated since the death of Colten Boushie, including comments made on the ‘Saskatchewan Farmers’ Facebook group,” it said. “We also commit ourselves to building relationships of solidarity, mutual respect, and friendship with our Indigenous neighbours, and to honouring our obligations as treaty people.”Innes said the racial divide isn’t going to be solved any time soon.“When people are celebrating the death of an Indigenous man and calling for the killing of more Indigenous men, we have to acknowledge that there is racism in this province.”— with files from the Canadian Presslast_img read more

Province of Québec wont call independent mmiw inquiry after all

first_imgTom Fennario APTN NationalChiefs in Québec didn’t hide the fact they wanted the province to call an independent inquiry into the relationship between police and First Nations people.This after a number of Sûreté du Québec officers are being investigated for sexually assaulting a number of Indigenous women in Val D’Or northwest of Montréal.Today the province answered.tfennario@aptn.calast_img

UK state contractor collapses in liquidationputting 6000 Canadian jobs at risk

first_imgLONDON – One of the British state’s biggest contractors collapsed Monday, putting thousands of jobs at risk, after creditors and the government refused to bail out a company struggling under the weight of more than 1.5 billion pounds (CAD$2.6 billion) of debt.Carillion said it had no choice but to go into compulsory liquidation after weekend talks with creditors failed to get the short-term financing it needed to continue operating. The construction and services company is working on major public works projects, such as the HS2 rail line in northern England, while also maintaining prisons, cleaning hospitals and providing school lunches.“This is a very sad day for Carillion, for our colleagues, suppliers and customers that we have been proud to serve over many years,” chairman Philip Green said.The company employs 43,000 people worldwide who now face the risk of redundancy. Almost half of them are in the U.K., though Carillion also has a presence in the Middle East, Canada and the Caribbean.Carillion Canada says on its website it employs 6,000 people and generates about $1 billion annually in Canada through energy transmission, construction and services in sectors including oil and gas, health care, and aviation, plus roads maintenance services for approximately 40,000 kilometres of highways across Ontario and Alberta.A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation said Monday it had met with Carillion Canada and was advised that its winter road maintenance services are continuing uninterrupted.However, the ministry says it will continue to meet with the company and will provide updates to the travelling public as they become available.Carillion has been struggling to reorganize for the past six months amid debts of about 900 million pounds (CAD$1.54 billion) and a pension deficit of 590 million pounds. Carillion’s share price has plunged 70 per cent in the last six months.Britain’s government refused to rescue Carillion, saying it could not be expected to bail out a private company. In the meantime, it said it would provide the necessary funding to maintain public services.“It is of course disappointing that Carillion has become insolvent, but our primary responsibility has always been (to) keep our essential public services running safely,” said David Lidington, head of the Cabinet Office.But questions remain about why the government continued to award contracts to the firm — even after it was having troubles. The opposition Labour Party said the government must move quickly to protect public services and ensure employees, supply chain companies, taxpayers and pension fund members are protected.“Given two billion pounds worth of government contracts were awarded in the time three profit warnings were given by Carillion, a serious investigation needs to be launched into the Government’s handling of this matter,” said Labour lawmaker Jon Trickett.As critics debated the wisdom of contracting out civic services to private entities, Lidington rejected the notion that there would be a fire sale of assets. He said government departments had drawn contingency plans to be activated in the event of a collapse.In cases of joint partners on a contract, the other partners will take up the slack.“As we go forward, some services will be taken in house, some services will go out to alternative contractors in a managed, orderly fashion,” he told the BBC.Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman, James Slack, denied that the government had been taken by surprise by the firm’s collapse. He said some of Carillion’s 450 public sector contracts might have to be taken over by the government, but there would not be a huge cost to taxpayers.David Birne, insolvency partner at chartered accountants H W Fisher & Company comments, said in a statement that it is extremely unusual for a company of Carillion’s size to opt for liquidation rather than administration.“It suggests there is little, if anything, of value within the company to be saved. Almost every big insolvency in recent years has been a move towards administration rather than liquidation,” he said “For Carillion’s 43,000 global staff, liquidation means the immediate risk of redundancy.”___Jill Lawless contributed to this report.last_img read more

New Brunswick election will offer preview of 2019 federal battle

first_imgFREDERICTON – A telegenic, social media-savvy Liberal leader known for big deficits is pitted against an austerity-minded rookie Tory leader just beginning to make an impression on voters.In what can be seen as a preview of the next federal contest, a New Brunswick election is now just three months away.Liberal Premier Brian Gallant is a champion of gender equality whose new wife makes frequent appearances on his Twitter feed.Since taking power in 2014, Gallant has also become known as a big spender, vowing to spend record amounts in health care and education, and an extra $150 million per year for six years on infrastructure.Gallant is seeking a second term in a province that has developed a penchant for tossing governments aside after just one mandate.His main opponent in the Sept. 24 vote: Blaine Higgs, who became Progressive Conservative leader in October 2016.Higgs was finance minister under former premier David Alward, and Gallant is trying to tie the new Tory leader to the ousted Tory government.“We had, under the Blaine Higgs Conservatives, four years of freeze and even cuts into health care and education investments, and that retracted and shrunk our economy,” Gallant said.But Higgs, a former Irving Oil Ltd. executive, said a Tory government with him as premier would be different, and based on getting results.“It isn’t about cutting. It’s about spending and getting results. If we’re spending money and not getting results, we’ll stop spending that money. And if we can put that money into some other area and get results, that’s where we’ll place it,” he said.The province’s finances are becoming the dominant issue early in the campaign run-up.Kim MacPherson, the province’s auditor general, warned this month that Liberal spending has come at a cost — with the province running its 11th consecutive deficit and a net debt on track to hit $14.4 billion by the end of March 2019.The government announced in January it would delay a return to balanced budgets until 2021-2022.Gallant said his government needs to continue spending to fuel the economy.“We need to grow the economy in a way that we are helping those that are struggling — families that are going to difficult times, and those that are in vulnerable situations,” he said.“Since we’ve been the government we’ve increased the investments in education and early childhood development by 15.9 per cent. We’ve increased our investments in health care by 9.8 per cent. I think it demonstrates that we have education and health care as two of our priorities as a government, but it also demonstrates that we are taking a completely different approach from Blaine Higgs and the Conservatives,” Gallant said.Higgs is critical of the Liberal record, suggesting deficit spending has made little difference in the province.“We’re tied for last with Newfoundland in economic growth. We’re 7th or 8th in education. Our health wait times are the longest in the country in overall wait times. And we even got voted worst road by CAA. What do we have to show for all this money that we’re spending?” he said.The only other party with a legislature seat are the Greens, and leader David Coon said New Brunswickers don’t feel well served.Despite sitting on the Public Accounts committee, Coon said he doesn’t know where all the money is going.Coon said the use of government money to entice large companies to New Brunswick isn’t working.“We need to be able to build our local economy up with a mind to the kind of transformation we really need in this province,” he said.For her part, NDP Leader Jennifer McKenzie is campaigning on a plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.“You can’t pay your bills and buy food at the end of the day on $11 an hour. So people are holding down two and three jobs sometimes,” she said.McKenzie is running in the same Saint John riding where Elizabeth Weir was the NDP member until 2005 — the last time the party had a seat in the legislature.Language is again the main issue for Kris Austin, leader of the People’s Alliance. New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province in Canada, but Austin has concerns with how it is implemented.Ambulance New Brunswick has kept some ambulances out of service because of a shortage of bilingual paramedics.“If you look at an area like Charlotte County (south of Saint John) where there is less than a four per cent francophone population, why do we have this ridiculous threshold of requiring bilingual paramedics in that area?” Austin said.Austin, who lost a Fredericton-area seat by just 26 votes in the 2014 election, said a translation service can be used when needed.Currently in the legislature, the Liberals have 24 seats, the Progressive Conservatives 22, the Greens one, former Liberal speaker Chris Collins is sitting as an independent, and there is one vacancy.last_img read more

Lutheran Church accused of securities violations in failed housing investment

first_imgCALGARY – The president of the Lutheran Church of Canada said Thursday it will move away from the use of locally administered church funds after Alberta’s securities regulator accused it and its Alberta-B.C. district church of misleading investors.The Alberta Securities Commission issued a notice of hearing Thursday into allegations against the national and district churches, a related company called Alberta-British Columbia District Investments Ltd. and five individuals.They are accused of misleading investors who put more than $130 million into funds that backed a residential development east of Calgary that sought court insolvency protection in 2015.“It’s caused a lot of hurt and bitterness, anger,” Rev. Tim Teuscher, president of the Lutheran Church of Canada, said in an interview from the Winnipeg head office.“This precipitated a decision of restructuring at our synod last year, actually. Instead of having separate corporate groups within the church body that kind of do their own thing corporately, we decided we’re going to get rid of that.”He said the church has never previously had problems with its extension funds, which have been used for decades to provide a return to investors while raising money for capital projects such as churches and schools.The Ontario Lutheran district has such a fund that has operated without problems, but it is in the process of being retired, he said.In its notice, the Alberta Securities Commission alleges that operators of the investment program failed to tell investors — many of whom were church members — what their money was being used for and at what risk.The ASC alleges that more than $95 million had been invested by more than 2,600 investors in the Church Extension Fund (CEF) and over $37 million was invested by over 900 investors in the separate District Investments Ltd. fund as of Nov. 30, 2014.A series of loans resulted in about 75 per cent of the combined funds being placed in a development called Encharis that included a school, church and seniors’ housing complex east of Calgary, the ASC said.ASC staff allege that investors were never told about the high concentration of funding going into one project, nor did they find out about persistent loan defaults or cash flow problems.The commission is set to meet with the parties on Aug. 13 to set a date for a hearing regarding the allegations of securities law violations. The charges have not been proven.The list of respondents include the national and district churches, as well as company officers or directors Donald Robert Schiemann, Kurtis Francis Robinson, James Theodore Kentel, Mark David Ruf and Harold Carl Schmidt.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitterlast_img read more

Facebooks day of reckoning Blip or sign of broader turn

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Facebook faced a day of reckoning Thursday as its shares plunged in the biggest one-day drop in stock-market history.The 19 per cent drop vaporized $119 billion of the company’s stock-market value; CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw his net worth fall by roughly $16 billion as a result. It was Facebook’s worst trading day since going public in 2012; the collapse eclipsed Intel’s decline of $91 billion in September 2000, without adjusting for inflation.The plunge followed Facebook’s warning late Wednesday that its revenue growth will slow down significantly for at least the remainder of the year and that expenses will continue to skyrocket.In a sign of just how bullish investor expectations were, though, the collapse merely returned Facebook shares to a level last seen in early May. At that point, the stock was still recovering from an earlier battering over its big privacy scandal, in which a political consulting firm with ties to President Donald Trump improperly accessed the data of tens millions of Facebook users.Now come the big questions: Is this a temporary setback, or the start of a painful new road for the giant social network? And does a similar comeuppance await other high-flying technology behemoths?Both the slower growth forecast and heavier spending reflect problems largely of Facebook’s own making.New European privacy rules, inspired in part by Facebook’s relentless mining of its own users’ data, are starting to hamper the company’s advertising business. And the increased spending aims, among other things, to prevent a replay of the fake news and propaganda that Russian agents unleashed on an unguarded Facebook in an attempt to sway the 2016 presidential election.Zuckerberg even noted during a call with analysts that “we’re investing so much in security that it will significantly impact our profitability.”Overall, technology giants — Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon and others — have enjoyed almost unprecedented growth in revenue and stock price for years. They have seemed unstoppable, even in the face of regulatory pressure, user dissatisfaction and broader existential questions about their impact on society. Technology companies account for six of the 10 biggest companies in the S&P 500 Index.Some see the Facebook selloff as clear evidence that nothing can grow forever, especially not the world’s biggest companies, especially not at the rate of nimble, promising startups. Facebook revenue is still growing at a rate double that of Twitter. A decade ago, almost no one could have imagined that Facebook would have more than 2 billion users, much less that its family of apps — Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger — would also count members in the billions.“Nobody knows where the top is, where that growth slows down,” said Phil Bak, CEO of Exponential ETFs and a former managing director of the New York Stock Exchange who said he’s been warning investors of a potential sell-off in large tech stocks.Things could get rougher still. Those European privacy regulations, known as the General Data Privacy Regulation, or GDPR, went into effect with just one month left in the second quarter. That means Facebook could feel its effects more strongly later this year.For more than a year — ever since Zuckerberg published a 5,000 word manifesto arguing that Facebook needs to make the world a better place by bolstering civic engagement and addressing social ills — the company has seemed torn between its philosophical mission and its economic one. Wednesday may have been the first time this tension really broke into the open, probably because it threatened the one thing all investors care about: Money.Michael Connor, whose Open Mic group helps investors push tech companies to address privacy, abuse and other issues, said it’s “far too early” to see if Facebook’s efforts to improve itself will prove fruitful. But the real question, he said, is whether the company can “continue to do what they are doing in the face of criticism from Wall Street.”Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media studies professor at the University of Virginia and author of the new book, “Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy,” dismissed the significance of the stock plunge.“Mark Zuckerberg isn’t panicking,” he said. “The Facebook board isn’t panicking. Most of its large institutional investors aren’t panicking. They know they’re in it for the long game.”___AP technology writer Matt O’Brien contributed to this report from Providence, Rhode Island.last_img read more

Whats in the Amazon box Maybe a real 7foot Christmas tree

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Watch out for the 7-foot box on the doorstep. Amazon plans to sell and ship fresh, full-size Christmas trees this year.But a live tree is no paperback book. Amazon says the Christmas trees, including Douglas firs and Norfolk Island pines, will be bound and shipped without water in the usual sort of box. Amazon said they’ll be sent within 10 days of being cut down, possibly even sooner, and should survive the shipping just fine.Amazon.com said the trees, wreaths and garlands will go on sale in November. Some will qualify for Prime free shipping, and Amazon will offer pre-orders so shoppers can choose a delivery date.The company sold trees shorter than 3 feet last year, and some other merchants sold bigger ones using its platform as a marketplace. But this is the first year Amazon is offering the larger trees itself.“Given the popularity among customers, we increased the assortment,” the company said.A 7-foot Fraser fir from a North Carolina farm will cost $115, according to an Amazon holiday preview book. Also listed are a $50 wreath and a $25 red-leafed plant with a decorative candy cane speared into the soil.Will people buy a Christmas tree sight unseen? Tim O’Connor, the executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association, said picking out a tree and hauling it back home is part of the fun for families. The association estimates that only about 1 to 2 per cent of the 27 million real Christmas trees purchased last year were bought online, mostly from grower’s own sites. “It’s so small, it’s almost undetectable,” O’Connor said.But Amazon has a history of shaking up shopping habits. It changed how people buy books, diapers and many other goods. It recently expanded the selection of live plants it sells, including potted succulents and orchids._____Contact Joseph Pisani at http://twitter.com/josephpisanilast_img read more

Vancouver expects to collect 38 million from vacancy tax in first year

first_imgThe Canadian Press VANCOUVER — The City of Vancouver says it has collected $21 million in the first full year of its empty homes tax and another $17 million could still flow into its coffers.The city says in a news release that it expects to generate about $38 million from the first year of the tax which is applied to vacant residential properties in a bid to ease Vancouver’s one per cent vacancy rate.The city says there just over 186,000 residential properties declared and 2,538 of those were vacant.It says the declaration period for the second year of the tax is open with a deadline of Feb. 4.City staff will continue to monitor the impact of the tax on housing supply and affordability, and the release says revenue generated by the tax will be used for affordable housing initiatives in Vancouver.The city says $8 million raised by the tax last year has already been earmarked for specific affordable housing initiatives.last_img read more

The Santa Parade date has changed

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN B.C. – There are new changes to the date and time for the Santa Claus Parade.The Parade will now be held on Saturday, December 1 starting at 5 p.m.  The parade will run south on 100 St from 108 Ave to 96 Ave, and there will be a variety of Christmas themed floats.  After the parade you can join the City of Fort St. John in Centennial Park for hot dogs and hot chocolate, the annual tree light up, and of course a special visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.The change will have this event closer to Christmas by starting at the beginning of December. The Parade will now lead the festive spirit of the holiday season. The change of the date will also provide a safer event as the Parade will not be competing with traffic and allows participants and spectators more time to prepare and get to the parade route.In years previous the parade was scheduled for the third Friday of November.  The City felt moving the date and time of the event would be better due to safety concerns with after work vehicle traffic and the Parades proximity to Remembrance Day.The City intends to keep this new date and time for future Santa parades.last_img read more

Taylor council looking at changes to allow breweries and cannabis retail

first_imgBased on the interest expressed by the proponents, Staff prepared a proposal of zoning by-law amendments. Also while looking at changing the zoning by-laws for breweries, Staff also prepared a proposal for zoning by-laws surrounding the sale of cannabis.Based on these proposals, Council plans to seek feedback from the community in May before proceeding with any final decisions.The Cannabis Retail amendments proposed to the District of Taylor’s Zoning Bylaw are modelled closely after those adopted by the City of Fort St John.Currently, the District by-laws do not support the sale of cannabis.For more information on the proposal of zoning by-law amendments, you can visit the District of Taylor’s website. TAYLOR, B.C. – At a Committee of the Whole meeting, on Monday, District of Taylor Council started to look at making amendments to zoning by-laws to support Micro Breweries, Craft Distilleries, and Cannabis Retail Uses.Recently, the District has been contacted by local business investors that are showing interest in developing a small scale craft brewery within the municipality.According to District Staff, after reviewing the District’s Zoning Bylaw, it was determined that the proposed use is not permitted in any of Taylor’s commercial zones.last_img read more

Trump ex-campaign chief Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison

first_imgAlexandria: US President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison on Thursday for tax crimes and bank fraud in the highest profile case yet stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. It was the stiffest prison sentence given so far to an associate of the president in Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election but was significantly lighter than many expected. Judge TS Ellis said the 69-year-old Manafort had committed “very serious crimes” but he rebuffed arguments by prosecutors from the Special Counsel’s office for a longer sentence. Advisory sentencing guidelines called for a prison term of between 19 and 24 years but Ellis dismissed that as “excessive” and disproportionate to what other defendants have received for similar crimes. “The government cannot sweep away the history of all these previous sentences,” the judge said. Manafort was convicted in August of five counts of filing false income tax returns, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to report a foreign bank account. Prosecutors alleged that Manafort used offshore bank accounts in Cyprus and other countries to hide more than USD 55 million he earned from political consulting services he provided to Ukrainian politicians. The money was used to support a lavish lifestyle which included purchases of luxury homes and cars, antique rugs, and expensive clothes, including an USD 18,500 python jacket. His conviction was the culmination of a stunning downfall for a man who, in addition to Trump’s campaign, worked on the White House bids of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H W Bush and Bob Dole. Speaking from a wheelchair and wearing a green prison jumpsuit with the words “Alexandria Inmate,” Manafort told the court before sentencing that his “life, professionally and personally, is in a shambles.” “I feel the pain and shame,” said Manafort, who the defense says suffers from high blood pressure and gout. “To say that I feel humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement,” he said. Imposing his sentence, Judge Ellis said he did not hear Manafort express regret or remorse but he said the sentencing guidelines were “way out of whack.” “I think what I’ve done is punitive,” Ellis said. He sentenced Manafort to a total of 47 months in prison for the eight counts and credited him with nine months of time served for the period he has already spent in prison. He ordered him to pay millions of dollars in restitution — the exact amount remains to be determined — and a USD 50,000 fine. Manafort still faces sentencing in a second case in Washington next week, where the maximum penalty is 10 years and the judge has appeared more sympathetic to prosecutors.last_img read more