Canadian women speak out in the wake of Weinstein allegations

first_imgThe assault, she said, took place in a Toronto hotel room during the Toronto International Film Festival, years after they first met.“He grabs me by — he holds me by the back of the neck and faces me to the mirror and very quietly tells me that he just wants to look at me and he starts to masturbate standing behind me,” she said in the CBC interview.READ MORE Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisementcenter_img Canadian actor Erika Rosenbaum is joining those accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and sexual assault. (FACEBOOK) Canadian women are joining those who have accused disgraced Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein, of sexual harassment after a New York Times investigation revealed he’d received dozens such accusations — ostensibly avoiding consequences — over the course of decades.A spokesperson for Weinstein has denied that any of the allegations constitute sexual harassment, saying that all of his contact with his named accusers was consensual.Montreal actor Erika Rosenbaum told CBC’s The Current Friday that she experienced both “inappropriate” meetings with Weinstein and a sexual assault since she first met the producer as a young actress in L.A. Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

New National ratings no better than Mansbridges but CBC isnt worried

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor-in-chief of CBC News, says the network is “comfortable with the audience numbers and the anecdotal reaction to the program so far.”“We anticipated that it would take time for the audience to adapt to what is a new format on television,” says McGuire, adding it’s still “early days” for the new show.READ MORE For the debut of the new National — now hosted by Ian Hanomansing, Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton and Andrew Chang — 739,000 viewers were tuned in for the first 30 minutes on CBC, while 601,000 were still watching for the second half.But subsequent nights saw ratings peak between the high 300,000 to low 600,000 range. From left, Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang and Ian Hanomansing are the new hosts of CBC’s The National. (NATHAN DENETTE / THE CANADIAN PRESS) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter The CBC says it’s “comfortable” with the early buzz for its revamped The National, even though the debut newscast’s ratings were only on par with the kind of numbers Peter Mansbridge used to draw.And they’ve slipped since last Monday’s first broadcast.On a randomly chosen Monday night in January, when Mansbridge was still anchor, The National on the main network had an estimated audience of 734,000 viewers during the first half-hour of the show, dropping to 584,000 viewers in the second half. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, today announced the appointment of Opera Atelier founding Co-Artistic Directors Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg to the Order of Canada. This announcement comes on the heels of Opera Atelier’s most extensive international touring in the company’s 33-year history. This honour recognizes Pynkoski and Zingg’s outstanding impact on the performing arts in Canada and their longtime commitment to the mentorship of young artists through The School of Atelier Ballet.Pynkoski and Zingg founded Opera Atelier in 1985. The company – dedicated to historically informed productions of baroque and classical opera and ballet is an acknowledged Canadian jewel with an unrivaled international touring schedule. Most recently, Opera Atelier’s production of Charpentier’s Medée was chosen to a part of the official Canada 150 celebrations in France.“It seems fitting,” says Pynkoski, “that Jeannette and I received a phone call from the Governor General’s office while we were in the Louvre researching for an upcoming Opera Atelier production.” Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With:center_img Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgThe movies need more David Cronenberg. But David Cronenberg isn’t so sure that he needs movies.Two weeks before the start of the Toronto International Film Festival, the Canadian icon is enjoying a light lunch – egg, cheese and turkey bacon croissant – on the sunny patio of a café in the city’s tony Forest Hill neighbourhood. Clad in a black tee and shorts, the 76-year-old is here to talk not about his latest film, but his performance in someone else’s: Albert Shin’s new thriller Clifton Hill, in which the Dead Ringers director has scored a third-billed role as a Niagara Falls conspiracy theorist. It’s a juicy part, and one equipped with especially Cronenbergian touches – his character is introduced emerging out of a cloudy lake, a primordial force of nature, ready to talk about the mysteries of the world.The job proved to be a refreshing change of pace for the director, too, so used is he to worrying about everything else on a set but memorizing lines. But his deadpan and curious performance underlines just how sorely missed Cronenberg’s presence has been in the cinematic landscape. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement David Cronenberg found himself getting bored with filmmaking. (Handout) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Manitoba Tragedy

first_imgBy Tiar Wilson, aptn National NewsThe smoke could be seen from far away.Even as people rushed to help the home was already engulfed in flames.Constable Tim Mason ran to help, “What do you think when you hear somebody say hey there’s babies inside, you know you have to get them out first instinct try get in.”The fire erupted Sunday afternoon as community members, including Joseph Wood, were leaving a nearby church.They scrambled to help.“Here in st. theresa everybody help one another no matter what”Inside the house are 15 month old Qualan Harper and 2 month old Errabella Harper.Just minutes before, their ten year old auntie Martha Harper was in the house when the fire started.“my little brother woke up first then i heard him crying, i went for my little brothers to get out first.”People threw snow inside the house desperately trying to control the flames.Cst. Mason jumped in the bedroom window looking for the children.“when you go like this right *using his hands like he’s bracing something* it was just sitting in front of me. that baby was crying.”Mason handed the baby to someone through the window.“then i thought i heard another baby cry you know, i was on my way back in *hand gesture pulling* when somebody yanked me out of the room out into the snow.”That’s when someone brought out a chainsaw.“it didnt really want to start. it was frozen”While one person tried to get it going, others chopped at the house with axes.When the chainsaw roared to life, rescuers cut a hole in the wall and felt around in the darkness for Errabella Harper.“there were two chairs lined up as a make shift bed, we kept pulling it but we didnt know the baby had already been dragged out it was the snow.”They rushed Errabella to the nursing station with a badly burned face.Joseph Wood says everyone was trying to save her. “we went over there the nursing station the nurses were all trying to bring her back alive”But the child was gone and another child is left fighting for her life.Fire officials say the the fire started in the chimney and likely the wood stove is the blame.The stove was the home’s only heat source and is a reality on many reserves across Canada.To make matters worse, the community’s fire truck was broken down at a nearby garage.The small home housed 8 people.Ashley Harper, the mother of the two infants is crushed by her loss.Report from Tiar Wilson twilson@aptn.calast_img read more

Canadas top judge says country committed cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples

first_img(Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. Photo courtesy of Roy Grogan)APTN National NewsCanada committed “cultural genocide” against Indigenous peoples through policies like Indian residential schools which were created to wipe out the languages and cultures of pre-existing nations, said the country’s top judge in a speech delivered Thursday.Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin delivered her remarks as Ottawa prepares for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final national event which begins Sunday.McLachlin said Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples in the 19th and early 20th Century was aimed at annihilating their culture and language in a bid to solve John A. Macdonald’s ‘Indian problem’ for good.“In the buzz-word of the day, assimilation; in the language of the 21st Century, cultural genocide,” said the Chief Justice, according to notes of McLachlin’s speech provided to APTN National News. “The most glaring blemish on the Canadian historic record relates to our treatment of the First Nations that lived here at the time of colonization.”McLachlin said “an initial period cooperative inter-reliance grounded in norms of equality and mutual dependence” was supplanted by “the ethos of exclusion and cultural annihilation.”She also listed some the tactics Canada used to “solve’ the Indian problem.“Early laws forbade treaty Indians from leaving allocated reservations. Starvation and disease were rampant. Indians were denied the right to vote. Religious and social traditions, like the Potlatch and the Sun Dances, were outlawed. Children were taken from their parents and sent away to residential schools where they were forbidden to speak their native languages, forced to wear white man’s clothing, forced to observe Christian religious practices, and not infrequently subjected to sexual abuse,” said McLachlin.McLachlin said for Macdonald and other Canadian officials at the time, “‘Indianess’ was not to be tolerated; rather it must be eliminated.”The speechDownload (PDF, Unknown)McLachlin said Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s 2008 apology and the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which were both the result of the multi-billion dollar residential school settlement between Ottawa, the churches and survivors, are examples of Canada coming to grips with this dark legacy.“Yet the legacy of intolerance lives on in the lives of First Nation people and their children—a legacy of too much poverty, too little education and over-representation of Aboriginal people in our courts,” she said. “The lessons from the Canadian experience are replicated where intolerance has been systemically imposed—from Nazi attempts to eliminate Jews, gypsies and homosexuals, to Apartheid of South Africa, to the genocide of Rwanda. Intolerance doesn’t work and imposes enormous and unacceptable costs. Ultimately, the only way forward is the way of tolerance.”McLachlin delivered the speech during the fourth annual Pluralism Lecture of the Global Centre for Pluralism. The Globe and Mail was one of the sponsors for the event. The Globe and Mail first reported on the speech.Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Justice Murray Sinclair has called the Indian residential school policy an act of genocide under the UN definition of the term. Article “e” of the UN definition states genocide includes “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”Sinclair told the Assembly of First Nations during a speech in Winnipeg this past December that the TRC’s final report, which will be released on Tuesday, will include a section on genocide.The Harper government has denied Indian residential schools were a form of genocide and has previously ordered spokespeople not to respond to questions on the subject.Former Aboriginal affairs minister John Duncan, who is now his party’s Whip in the House of Commons, said he didn’t see the residential school system was the result of an “education policy gone wrong.” He said it may have been “lethal” to First Nations culture if it continued.“I don’t view it that way (as an act of cultural genocide), but it was certainly very negative to the retention of culture and if had extended for another generation or two it might have been lethal,” said Duncan.The federal Aboriginal Affairs department issued an internal order to stonewall and avoid public questions on the issue after Duncan’s 2011 comment sparked outrage. The senior department official also requested the deletion of emails discussing the plan to avoid dealing with the questions.Recent academic research has argued that the Indian residential school system does fit the UN definition of genocide.“Canadians like to think we are a moral country, that we are good guys. A lot of Canadians recognize that residential schools were painful, that there was abuse…But there isn’t a widespread recognition that they were part of a systemic attempt to eliminate by force Aboriginal culture,” said University of Manitoba professor Christopher Powell in a previous interview with APTN on his book, Barbaric Civilization, in which he makes the read more

Ottawa discriminates against First Nation children says historic ruling from Canadian Human

first_imgMessage Email Share your thoughts here Namecenter_img Jorge Barrera and Mark Blackburn APTN National NewsOTTAWA–Canada discriminates against First Nation children by underfunding the on-reserve agencies charged with ensuring their safety, according to a long-awaited ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.According to the ruling, which will be released Tuesday, the Human Rights Tribunal demands the federal government make sweeping changes to the way it manages and funds on-reserve First Nation child welfare services.The human rights tribunal said current funding formulas create an incentive to remove children from their families.“The Panel finds the complainants have presented sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case of discrimination under section 5 of the CHRA. Specifically … that First Nations children and families living on reserve and in the Yukon are denied equal child and family services, and/or differentiated adversely in the provision of child and family services,” according to the ruling.Tribunal Chair Sophie Marchildon during the discrimination complaint hearings against Canada. Photo: APTNAPTN obtained an advanced copy under an agreement it would not report the contents until Tuesday morning.The tribunal’s ruling said the very foundation of Ottawa’s on-reserve child welfare program needed an overhaul because the whole structure was about to collapse.“(Indigenous Affairs) is ordered to cease its discriminatory practices and reform the (child welfare program)…to reflect the findings of this decision,” said the ruling. “At some point the foundation needs to be fixed or, ultimately, the house will fall down,” said the ruling.The ruling said the federal Indigenous Affairs department causes First Nation children and families to suffer through the way it designs, funds and manages on-reserve child welfare services.Indigenous Affairs’ current funding formula for child welfare “perpetuates the incentives to remove children from their homes,” the ruling said.The tribunal also ordered the department to “immediately implement the full meaning and scope of Jordan’s Principle” which was established to ensure First Nation children get the care they need before Ottawa and the provinces settle jurisdictional battles over who should pay.The tribunal found that Indigenous Affairs officials applied the principle too narrowly at the expense of children in need.The ruling is a resounding victory for the First Nation Child and Family Caring Society and its president Cindy Blackstock who first launched the complaint, with the Assembly of First Nations, back in 2007.Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society making opening remarks at the hearings in 2013. Photo: APTNAfter 72 days of hearings which ran from February 2013 to October 2014, a related tribunal victory on a retaliation complaint against Ottawa, skirmishes before the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal and the delayed disclosure of over 100,000 internal department documents, the tribunal sided with Blackstock’s core complaint.Now the main parties to the case—Ottawa, Blackstock’s organization and the AFN—have three weeks to figure out a process with the tribunal on implementing the ordered changes.The tribunal is also giving the parties three weeks to determine the process for settling the issue of compensation.The Child and Family Caring Society requested compensation of $20,000 for each First Nation child taken into care since February 2006 and the money be put into a trust fund to support healing programs tailored to children.The AFN requested an expert panel be created to determine compensation.The previous federal government of Stephen Harper fought the human rights complaint every step of the way, challenging and losing before the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal.Justice Canada lawyers argued in futility that the tribunal had no jurisdiction to make any determinations on the issue and that Indigenous Affairs only cut cheques which did not qualify as a delivery of a service. The Tribunal dismissed the government’s non-service assertion.“Even as AANDC’s role in the child and family welfare of First Nations is limited to funding, there is nothing in the Canadian Human Rights Act that excludes funding from the purview of section 5. This is, funding can constitute a service if the facts and evidence of the case indicate that the funding is a benefit or assistance offered to the public …” said the ruling.Last June, the tribunal also ruled in favour of Blackstock in a related complaint. The tribunal found that a senior official in then-Aboriginal affairs minister Chuck Strahl’s office “retaliated” against Blackstock over her human rights complaint by blocking her from attending a December 2009 meeting between the department and chiefs.The federal Privacy Commissioner also determined in May 2013 that Justice Canada and Indigenous Affairs officials spied on Blackstock because of her child welfare complaint.See related stories: Aboriginal Affairs “retaliated” against First Nation child advoctate over human rights complaint: TribunalFederal Aboriginal Affairs department spying on advocate for First Nations children According to the human rights tribunal ruling, Indigenous Affairs made little effort to improve its child welfare program despite ample evidence it was not working. The tribunal said internal reports and provided the department with ways to “address the adverse impacts” of its child welfare program, but were mostly ignored.“Despite being aware of the adverse impacts resulting from the (First Nation Child and Family Services) program for many years (Indigenous Affairs) has not significantly modified the program,” said the ruling. “While efforts have been made to improve the (child welfare) program…those improvements fall short of addressing the service gaps, denials and adverse impacts…and, ultimately, fail to meet the goal of providing culturally appropriate child and family services to First Nations children and families living on-reserve.”Department of Justice lawyer Jonathan Tarlton. Canada fought the discrimination case at every turn. Photo: APTNThe ruling does not cover child welfare services in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.Generally speaking, Indigenous Affairs funds and provides on-reserve child welfare services through First Nation child welfare agencies or through provincial agencies.  The department also has a handful of one-off trilateral provincial and territorial child welfare agreements.Indigenous Affairs has a unique 1965 cost-sharing agreement with Ontario that governs on-reserve child welfare services in that province.While Indigenous Affairs claims to provide child welfare services that are “reasonably comparable to those provided off-reserve,” the tribunal found that the department has “difficulty defining what it means” and knows it doesn’t provide enough money to meet provincial-territorial legislation and standards.Yet “(Indigenous Affairs) insists that (First Nation child welfare agencies) somehow abide by those standards and provide reasonably comparable child and family services,” said the ruling. “Instead of assessing the needs of Frist Nations children and families and using provincial legislation and standards as a reference to design an adequate program to address those needs, (Indigenous Affairs) adopts an ad hoc approach to addressing needed changes to its programs.”The tribunal found that Indigenous Affairs has not executed any significant changes to its child welfare programs since 1990 and hasn’t updated its 1965 agreement with Ontario since 1998.“(Indigenous Affairs’) design, management and control of the (on-reserve child welfare) program, along with its corresponding funding formulas and other related provincial-territorial agreements have resulted in denials of services and created various adverse impacts for many First Nations children and families living on reserves,” said the ruling. “The (tribunal) finds (Indigenous Affairs’) position unreasonable, unconvincing and not supported by the preponderance of evidence in this case.” Send a copy of this email to yourselfIf you want to submit this form, do not enter anything in this fieldlast_img read more

Opposition to Jesuit school in Winnipegs north end growing

first_imgAPTN National NewsOpponents of a news religious school in Winnipeg’s largely Indigenous north end have found some new allies.Last night they presented their case opposing the school to Manitoba’s largest school board.And as Dennis Ward reports, they’re also calling on the pope to intervene.dward@aptn.calast_img

Teen charged with seconddegree murder in death of 37yearold Ottawa woman

first_imgThe Canadian PressPolice say a teen has been charged in the death of a 37-year-old Ottawa woman who was initially thought to be a missing person.Ottawa police say 18-year-old Lennese Kuplu is facing charges of second-degree murder and indignity to a dead body in the death of Susan Kuplu.Officers did not say how the two were related.They say the elder Kuplu was last seen alive on Jan. 11.Police did not give a cause of death, nor did they say what led to the indignity to a body charge.They say the accused was arrested on Friday and was to appear in court the following morning.last_img read more

Winnipeg grassroots organization celebrates four years of keeping families together

first_imgCora Morgan speaks to families gathered at the fourth anniversary of the First Nations Family Advocate’s Office. Photo: Brittany Hobson/APTNBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsDozens of families gathered in Winnipeg Friday to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the First Nations Family Advocate’s Office (FNFAO), an organization whose mission is to keep First Nations children and parents together.Roberta Godin is one of them.Just two years ago Godin was a marked woman.Child and Family Services placed a birth alert on the First Nations woman following the apprehension of her three children approximately 20 years prior.When a woman has a birth alert attached to her name, doctors and nurses notify a child welfare agency once she’s given birth.In most cases the newborn is then apprehended.(“If I didn’t contact them… they would have just came and took him away,” says Roberta Godin of the organization. Photo: Brittany Hobson/APTN)Because Godin’s now adult kids were permanent wards of the province, she was at risk of losing her fourth child.But with the help of the FNFAO, Godin was able to maintain custody of her youngest son Robert who is now 18-months-old.Once Godin became pregnant she contacted a local agency.“If I didn’t contact them I would have found out directly at the hospital. They would have just came and took him away,” said Godin during the FNFAO celebrations at Thunderbird House in Winnipeg.Godin is one of the nearly 1,600 families the office has helped since opening in June 2015.The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs created the office following the death of Tina Fontaine in 2014.Fontaine, who’s body was pulled from Winnipeg’s Red River, was in the care of Child and Family Services at the time of her death.The office opened with only two employees and has since expanded to include a team of 35.“We’re fighting against something that’s really huge,” Cora Morgan said referring to the 11,000 children who are in care in Manitoba.Morgan, who is the First Nations Family Advocate for Manitoba, says the office is creating change.This includes reunifying families, helping parents avoid apprehensions and birth alerts and securing visitation rights or kinship placements.The office also provides traditional parenting programs and cultural services to women and men.“I decided to go through programming and get help because I knew that I wouldn’t stand a chance of being able to bring my son home from the hospital,” said Godin.Godin was assigned a prenatal worker and participated in the traditional parenting program where participants learn Western world teachings like formula feedings, bottle sterilization, safe sleep practices along with First Nation traditional teachings.“I struggled with my own parenting skills because of my mother’s parenting skills or lack of them,” said Godin.“Now that I’ve got all these skills I’m applying them.”With a little support families are able to succeed, says Morgan.“We want to be that one positive circle and a constant in their lives…to rely on because a lot of times our moms are all alone and they have very few supports and resources,” said Morgan.In order for change to occur, Morgan says the provincial government must hand over jurisdiction to First Nations.She also calls for the removal of birth alerts. This was a recommendation she put forth during the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ institutional hearings on the child welfare system last fall.The recommendation was included in the inquiry’s final report released earlier this week.“This child and family services system is a huge drain on the quality of life for our people,” said Morgan.“When I think about the inquiry and the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls I’m always reminded of their connections to the child welfare system.”Godin says being marked with a birth alert left her feeling like a lost cause.She calls on the governments to create more supports for mothers in need not just before birth but after as well.“Even though we get our children home we still need that next step,” said read more

Aphria shares fall even as it digs in heels to remain on

first_imgTORONTO – Licensed marijuana producer Aphria Inc. dug in its heels Tuesday, determined to remain on the Toronto Stock Exchange despite a warning from the group that operates the index that pot firms with U.S. exposure could face delisting.Shares of Aphria (TSX:APH), which expanded into Florida in April, closed 13 per cent lower on Tuesday at $6.86, a day after the TMX Group issued a notice that U.S. federal laws which state that marijuana is an illicit Schedule 1 controlled substance take precedence over state laws.Canada’s biggest exchange operator warned companies that operate in states where it is legal that they are not complying with its listing requirements and could face removal from the exchange when it wraps a review at the end of the year.Aphria’s chief executive Vic Neufeld, who has maintained that the TMX was aware of its plans to invest in the U.S., said Tuesday the exchange operator’s notice blindsided his company.“This is very irresponsible of the TSX,” he said in an interview.“How in the world are they going to adjudicate and apply a very broad statement like that?”The news came as the Leamington, Ont.-based company started a previously arranged bought-deal financing agreement to raise $80 million, issuing more than 11 million shares at a price of $7.25 per share with an additional option for 1.6 million shares — about five per cent higher than what it was publicly trading for Tuesday.Yet, Neufeld said he has no intention of moving to the smaller marijuana stock-friendly Canadian Securities Exchange even after the Canadian Securities Administrators on Monday issued guidance essentially gave the green light to allow it to continue to house cross-border marijuana companies as long as the listers disclosure certain risks when investing south of the border due to conflicting state and federal laws.“It’s not our preferred option, obviously not. We want to stay on the big board,” Neufeld said. He added that he aims to start a dialogue with the TMX Group to find a “win-win” solution, and has no plans to walk away from their U.S. ambitions.Neufeld said Tuesday that if it cannot reach a compromise with the TMX, there are some other options at its disposal, including a spin-off of its U.S. activities to be listed on the CSE.However, he viewed the TSX notice yesterday as a “door opener” to a conversation, with the hopes of a solution by the end of the year.The duelling messages from the TMX Group and the CSA late Monday triggered a sector-wide selloff on Tuesday, with shares of Canopy Growth down as much as nine per cent, and Emblem Cannabis Corp. shares down as much as 16 per cent before bouncing back slightly later in the day.However, the grey area creates an opportunity for the alternative CSE to ramp up its status as the main access point to Canadian capital markets for cannabis-based companies with U.S. interests.CSE chief executive Richard Carleton said of the 50 or so cannabis-based businesses listed on their exchange, there are about a dozen with U.S. exposure that account for roughly 10 per cent of the trading activity.“It’s quite likely that we’ll see more companies access Canadian public capital markets through us as a result,” he said in an interview Tuesday.Meanwhile, Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED), Aphria’s main rival that does not have U.S. interests, praised the move, calling it a step in the right direction.“We take our responsibility to our shareholders seriously and as such have chosen to conduct business in jurisdictions where it is federally legal to do so,” Canopy chairman and chief executive Bruce Linton said.Linton added that he believes the CSA’s stance that companies can violate U.S. federal laws regarding marijuana provided that they simply disclose it is “completely ludicrous and no person in Canada would think that’s practical or logical.”– with files from David Hodges in Torontolast_img read more

Indian city rounds up beggars ahead of visit by Ivanka Trump

first_imgHYDERABAD, India – Authorities in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad are rounding up beggars ahead of a visit by Ivanka Trump for an international conference.Over the past week, more than 200 beggars have been transported to separate male and female shelter homes located on the grounds of two city prisons. Authorities have been strictly enforcing a begging ban on the city’s streets and in other public places.The crackdown seems to be having the desired effect, with most of Hyderabad’s thousands of beggars vanishing from sight.Trump is a senior adviser to her father, President Donald Trump. Later this month, she is scheduled to be a featured speaker at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad, which will also be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Officials say the drive against begging was launched because two upcoming international events are taking place in the city — the entrepreneurship summit and the World Telugu Conference in December.Begging is a criminal offence in India and can be punished by as much as 10 years in prison, although the law is rarely enforced.“We will complete the clearing of beggars from the city roads by the end of the month,” said V.K. Singh, a top police officer.The beggars have been rounded up from traffic junctions, bus stations and railway stations and transported by van to the shelters, where they often find themselves separated from their family members.They are being offered clean clothes, a shower and a bed. But they’re also being fingerprinted before they’re allowed to leave and told they could face jail time if they are found begging again.More than 20 per cent of India’s 1.3 billion people live on less than 2 dollars a day. For many, begging is survival.Beggars tend to crowd around cars at traffic signals, knocking on windows and asking for food and money. They include children as young as 5, who weave through dangerous traffic and often perform small acrobatic acts.A rights group that runs the two Hyderabad homeless shelters on the grounds of the Chanchalguda and Charalapally jails where the beggars are being taken estimates the city has 13,000 beggars.About half of them are begging because they are living in poverty while the other half want money for alcohol and drugs, said Gattu Giri, an official with the Amma Nanna Ananda Ashram organization.The entrepreneurship summit is an annual event that this year will focus on supporting female entrepreneurs. Running from Nov. 28-30, the summit is being jointly hosted by the U.S. and India.Singh said that next month, after Ivanka Trump has left, police will start offering cash rewards to people who inform them of a beggar’s location. Police have set up a control room to receive the information.This isn’t the first time the poor and homeless have been pushed out of sight as India hosts international visitors. Ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, slums were demolished and thousands of beggars pushed to the edge of the city.last_img read more

Federal agency dismisses complaint against Seabridge gold project

first_imgTORONTO – Seabridge Gold Inc. (TSX:SEA) says a federal agency has dismissed a complaint by Alaskan conservationists against the company’s massive KSM mining project in northern British Columbia.The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council had appealed to Canada’s National Contact Point within Global Affairs Canada to look into whether the company had violated international guidelines on consultations with stakeholders, due diligence on environmental and human rights impacts, and disclosure of mitigation plans.The group is concerned that the proposed KSM mine, which is one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in the world and sits about 35 kilometres from the Alaskan border, would threaten the wild salmon habitat downstream in Alaska.Canada’s National Contact Point, which promotes the OECD guidelines on multinational companies, decided it wouldn’t benefit from getting involved in the dispute. It says Seabridge had consulted with Alaskans despite not being required to, and notes the project had already been approved after rigorous provincial and federal environmental assessments.The agency did recommend that Seabridge continue consultations with all stakeholders, and that it officially and publicly endorse the OECD guidelines on multinationals as well as ones specifically on the extractive sector.Seabridge released an updated mine plan for KSM in October last year that would see more underground mining and smaller open pits, potentially reducing the waste rock it would generate by about 81 per cent or 2.4 billion tonnes.last_img read more

Are foodsharing apps a blue ribbonworthy idea or halfbaked fad

first_imgTORONTO – Apps that allow home chefs to sell dishes prepared in their personal kitchens have cropped up in Canada, but uncertainties about health regulations and the strength of consumer demand are raising questions about whether the business models are blue ribbon-worthy or half-baked fads.Food-sharing platform LaPiat, which plans to launch in April, provides a platform for entrepreneurial cooks in the Greater Toronto Area to make some extra cash from home. Users can take pictures of their dishes to advertise and sell them at any price they set, leaving pick up and delivery to the cook and diner to work out.Creator Arber Puci said the app spawned from the idea that everyone has friends and family who are amazing cooks and can use that talent to make some extra money, while consumers will find it cheaper than restaurants, take-out joints or other food delivery services such as Uber Eats.The app targets home cooks like parents who are making lunch for their kids and can easily put together a few more portions to “make some cash on the side,” said Puci, who will take a five per cent cut from chefs using the platform.Predecessors Tffyn, Homefed and MealSurfers all launched in Toronto in the last few years, but appear to have since vanished, leaving behind rival app Kouzina, which hit the market in August.Kouzina creator Nick Amaral said when he first researched similar apps he found “one or two” in Canada that ended up folding, but he feels the times have changed since then.“We are getting more used to having services provided from people that we maybe don’t know as first,” he said.Kouzina takes a six per cent cut from every item sold on the app. Kouzina has seen increasing numbers of customers and cooks, selling everything from fresh fettuccine and lasagna for $7 a serving to vanilla and raspberry Bavarian cakes for $25.Both Puci and Amaral said they don’t inspect the kitchens and instead rely on phone interviews, copies of food handlers certifications or customer rating systems to weed out those offering substandard customer service and food.Amaral said he relies on a review and rating system for governance.“Even one bad review I think would be enough to deter people,” he said. “Good reviews will speak for themselves.”The lack of inspection comes as no surprise to Sylvanus Thompson, an associate director at Toronto Public Health, who said TPH has had to intervene a few times. Many of the owners and the home cooks preparing and selling food for such apps are not aware that they are subject to food premise regulations that require their kitchen undergo regular inspections from municipal staff and be zoned for commercial food activities, he said.As a result, “some of them got out of the business,” but Thompson said TPH knows that the “growing” number of homemade food apps is something “we don’t intend to stop.”“We want to be able to work with these people to ensure compliance and safe food,” he added.He chalked up the emergence of the apps to the rise of the gig and sharing economy and hastened by food delivery apps including Uber Eats, Foodora and SkipTheDishes.Gary Grant, who runs a catering business called The Garage Guy BBQ, started using Kouzina when it launched to sell his southern fried chicken, pork ribs, beef brisket, cabbage roll soup and sandwich box platters.“We had one customer the week the app launched and that’s it, ” he said. “We have never had another inquiry or mention. It is there but has not done anything for us.”He still thinks the concept behind Kouzina is great, but is disappointed that it hasn’t caught on as quickly as several similar apps in the U.S.LaPiat creator Puci said he’s not feeling deterred by the apparent lack of demand for other apps because he’s convinced the sharing economy will only increase demand for his offering.“I can’t tell you what is going to happen in a year or two, but (based on) the excitement that I have got so far, I think we are here to stay,” he said. “Even if my app doesn’t make it, there is going to be someone else.”Though apps are not expensive to develop, their viability lies in getting people to use them and finding a way to monetize them, which can be tricky, said Mike von Massow, a University of Guelph associate professor specializing in food and hospitality.“Early apps probably fail more quickly because we haven’t achieved a critical mass. That’s not to say we can’t get to that critical mass,” he said.“I think there is an opportunity to get there. I think it is a model that can work.”last_img read more

Calgary conference looks to diversify energy landscape

first_imgAn event in Calgary aims to break boundaries in the technology entrepreneurship and energy industries.The inaugural Energy Disruptors United 2018 Conference is set for May 15 and 16 in the Big Four Building at Stampede Park.It’s believed through conversations, ways can be found to diversify the energy landscape and ensure the industry is moving forward backed by energy trailblazers, artists, entertainers, and technology.last_img

Starbucks Canada to provide inclusiveness training for corporate stores offices

first_imgTORONTO – Starbucks stores and offices across Canada will close for part of an afternoon next month to provide training about creating a “culture of warmth and belonging.”The announcement Friday comes nearly a month after Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. publicly apologized for the arrest of two black men who had been refused permission to use the washroom of a Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia.A Philadelphia police spokesman said Starbucks employees called 911 after the men refused to leave.The parent company to Starbucks Canada said last month that it had ordered more than 8,000 U.S. Starbucks stores to close on the afternoon of May 29 so that nearly 175,000 employees can receive training on unconscious bias.Starbucks Canada initially didn’t follow suit, but said Friday it will provide training on June 11 for four regional offices in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, as well as 1,095 company-operated stores in Canada.The training session will address implicit bias and promote “conscious inclusion,” said a memo to Starbucks Canada staff.“We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect. …We must never be complacent in our desire to be inclusive,” Michael Conway, president of Starbucks Canada, said in the memo.The founder of Toronto-based Sojourner Mediation & Consulting Services said she welcomed the Starbucks initiative, but added she wonders what the company hopes to accomplish.“Creating a warm and welcoming environment is really about how do you deliver excellent customer service to everybody. But that doesn’t take in mind that not everybody is going to be impacted by racialized discrimination,” said Tomee Sojourner-Campbell.She recommends going beyond customer service and training front-line staff and store managers how to deal with complaints and allegations that may arise.“There’s always a way of ensuring that you treat people with respect, within the boundaries of what you’re allowed to do.”The Philadelphia arrests prompted protests at the Starbucks and a national boycott.A video of the incident shows police talking with two black men seated at a table. After a few minutes, officers handcuff the men and lead them outside as other customers say they weren’t doing anything wrong. Philadelphia-area media said the two were waiting for a friend.Philadelphia police released a recording of the call from the Starbucks employee that led to the arrests. In the recording, a woman is heard saying, “Hi, I have two gentlemen in my cafe that are refusing to make a purchase or leave.” She gives the address of the Starbucks store, and the entire call lasts less than 30 seconds. In the communications between police and dispatch that were also released, someone refers to “a group of males inside causing a disturbance,” and additional officers are sent.In the week since, the men received an apology from Philadelphia’s police commissioner, have met with the CEO of Starbucks and have started pushing for lasting change at the coffee shop chain, including new policies on discrimination and ejecting customers.Starbucks has said the coffee shop where the arrests occurred has a policy that restrooms are for paying customers only, but the company has no overall policy. The men’s lawyer, Stewart Cohen, said they were illegally profiled.last_img read more

Probes of Trump taxes carry potential for millions in fines

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Though President Donald Trump insists he did nothing wrong on his taxes, experts say he could be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in civil fines if state and federal authorities substantiate a New York Times report that found he and his family cheated the IRS for decades.The statute of limitations for bringing criminal charges has long run out, but civil cases have no such limits, and the financial penalties could be staggering. Civil fraud charges for intentionally underpaying taxes, as the Times alleged the Trump family did, could include a penalty of up to 75 per cent of the unpaid federal taxes and double the unpaid state amount, experts said.The penalties “could be substantial, and if the allegations are proven in court, they should be levied,” said Norman Eisen, chairman of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and former chief ethics counsel in the Obama administration.The New York tax department said it is studying the Times’ 15,000-word report and “vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation.” New York City also said it would investigate. A spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service declined to comment.Trump tweeted that the newspaper did “a very old, boring and often told hit piece on me.”The White House dismissed the report as a “misleading attack against the Trump family by the failing New York Times,” but spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the newspaper got one thing right: Trump’s father not only did deals with his son but heaped praise on him by saying “everything he touched turned to gold.”A lawyer for Trump, Charles J. Harder, told the Times that there was no “fraud or tax evasion” and that parts of the report were “extremely inaccurate.”The Times said Trump received at least $413 million from his father over the decades, much of that through dubious tax manoeuvrs, including outright fraud. The report contradicts Trump’s portrayal of himself as a self-made billionaire who started with just a $1 million loan from his father.Taxe law experts expressed skepticism that the IRS would mount any civil investigation. The main reason, they said, is that the Times account says IRS officials have already conducted extensive audits of the estate left by Trump’s parents.“That ship has sailed,” said Mark W. Everson, who was IRS commissioner during President George W. Bush’s second term and is now vice chairman of AlliantGroup, a Houston-based corporate tax advisory firm. He added: “I would be concerned were the service to reach back that far in time, given that it could only be doing so because of the person’s current position.”In addition to manoeuvrs aimed at avoiding estate taxes, the Times reported that the president’s father, Fred Trump, paid no federal gift taxes on seven buildings that were transferred to Donald Trump and his siblings.That opens another possible avenue of investigation, said Beth Shapiro Kaufman, a Caplin & Drysdale tax lawyer and a former Treasury official.There is typically a three-year statute of limitations on federal gift inquiries, but that doesn’t apply when a gift is made without being reported to the government. And if the donor is dead, the IRS would have the ability to go after the beneficiary of the gift for unpaid taxes, Kaufman said.In New York, tax officials had already been looking into whether Trump or his charitable foundation misrepresented their tax liability. State law would allow them to seek civil penalties if they can show someone intentionally sought to evade taxes, even decades ago. Those who lose such cases are often required to pay their back taxes along with penalties.In August, the state subpoenaed former Trump attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen as part of the probe.The state investigation follows Democratic state Attorney General Barbara Underwood’s lawsuit alleging Trump illegally tapped his Trump Foundation to settle legal disputes, help his campaign for president and cover personal and business expenses, including the purchase of a 6-foot portrait of himself for $10,000.Eisen said that if Democrats win the House in November, they will have the investigative muscle and subpoena power to scour Trump’s latter-day tax records and see whether the tax schemes alleged by the Times have continued.Former IRS Deputy Commissioner Mark E. Matthews cautioned that the IRS would not be obligated to conduct an investigation if Congress turned up new evidence of continuing tax manoeuvrs, but added: “The agency knows where its bread is buttered. If it gets to the point of a full committee report with new evidence, somebody at the IRS will take a hard look. But there’s no guarantee they’d go beyond a look.”The federal tax code’s statute of limitations for criminal cases is typically no more than six years, legal experts said. To bring criminal charges, investigators would have to find a continuing tax fraud conspiracy that stretched into recent years, they said.Building such a case — similar to the charges that former Trump presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty to last month — would require overwhelming recent evidence, buttressed by new documents and strong testimony from Trump insiders, the experts said.___AP writers David Klepper in Albany, N.Y., Michael Sisak in New York and Marcy Gordon in Washington contributed to this report.last_img read more

Weekly Summary Corporate dividends name changes new listings

first_imgNEW YORK — Changes announced in corporate dividends Nov. 26-Nov. 30.INCREASED DIVIDENDSCB Financial Services .23 from .22C&F Financial .37 from .36Capital Southwest .36 from .34La-Z-Boy Inc .13 from .12Four Corners Property Tr .2875 from .275OFG Bancorp .07 from .06McCormick & Co .57 from .52Meridian Bancorp .07 from .05Nucor Corp .40 from .38Quest Diagnostics Inc .53 from .50RGC Resources .165 from .155Saratoga Investment .53 from .52Walt Disney Co .88 from .84York Water .1733 from .1666SPECIAL DIVIDENDSAssd Banc Dep pfd DDiamond Hill Investment 8.00First BanCorp Puerto Rico .03First Northwest Bancorp .03Fulton Financial .04GrafTech International .70Haverty Furniture Cl A .95Haverty Furniture 1.00Investors Title 10.60National Beverage 2.90Saga Communications Cl A .25TPG Specialty Lending .05United Bancorp .05STOCK DIVIDENDSCass Info Systems 20pcLandmark Bancorp 5pcg- Canadian fundsOTHER CORPORATE NEWS AND LISTINGS:STOCK SPLITS THIS WEEKItau Unibanco Holdings SA 3 for 2 splitTonix Pharmaceuticals Hldgs 1 for 10 reverse splitACQUISITIONS AND MERGERSMINIMUM VALUE $300 MILLIONAetna Inc – CVS Health Corp (70B)AmTrust Financial Services Inc – Evergreen Parent LP (3B)Rockwell Collins Inc – United Technologies (30B)NEW STOCK LISTINGSNYSEBraemar Hotels & Resorts Inc pfd DNASDAQ GLOBAL AND GLOBAL SELECT MARKETSEnstar Group Ltd ADS 7pc pfd ESTOCKS REMOVED FROM TRADINGNYSEJones Energy IncNASDAQ GLOBAL AND GLOBAL SELECT MARKETSAnchor BancorpCorium International IncTeradyne Inc (from NYSE)CORPORATE NAME CHANGESI-AM Capital Acquisition Co to Smaaash Entertainment (and warrants)The Associated Presslast_img read more

Aphria signs medical marijuana supply deal with company in Paraguay

first_imgLEAMINGTON, Ont. — Marijuana producer Aphria Inc. has signed a letter of intent to supply a company in Paraguay with medical cannabis.Under the agreement, Aphria will supply Insumos Medicos S.A., a pharmaceutical manufacturing, import and distribution company.Aphria says Insumos will undertake the registration of the Canadian company’s products in Paraguay and the appropriate licensing for the import of medical cannabis.Paraguay will become the Ontario company’s third market in Latin America, following Argentina and Colombia.Aphria has been under pressure in recent days after short-sellers alleged the company bought assets in Colombia, Argentina and Jamaica at “vastly inflated prices.”The company has denied the allegations, but it has appointed a special committee to review the acquisitions. The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:APHA)last_img read more