Champagne Taittinger and the Screen Actors Guild Awards Announce New Initiative to

first_imgThe SAG-AFTRA Foundation and the Screen Actors Guild Awards today announced Champagne Taittinger is sponsoring a new initiative that will raise additional funds for the Foundation’s critical Emergency Assistance program, which supports actors and their families in times of urgent need.This initiative is an expansion of the support Champagne Taittinger provides to the Foundation to fund all of its programs, a partnership which celebrates its 17th year in 2017.As part of this commitment, Champagne Taittinger and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation will ask every nominee for the 23rd Annual SAG Awards to autograph a Methuselah bottle of Champagne Taittinger they will pass as they enter the Showroom to attend the ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. For every signature, Champagne Taittinger will make a further donation to the Foundation’s Emergency Assistance program. In addition, the unique celebrity-signed bottle will be made available as an item in the online SAG Awards Ceremony Auction, with those proceeds also benefiting the Foundation’s Emergency Assistance program.In what is now a long-standing tradition, that famous SAG Awards red carpet will officially open with a toast from Vitalie Taittinger, daughter of the current champagne house’s president Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger.“Champagne Taittinger is thrilled to continue to build and strengthen our partnership with the SAG Awards and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation by supporting such an important cause,” says Vitalie Taittinger, who serves as Vice President of marketing and communication for the brand. “We are honored to give back to the talented and growing community of actors that the Foundation advocates for.”During times of crisis, the Foundation’s Emergency Assistance program provides financial assistance to eligible SAG-AFTRA members and their families for basic expenses, including but not limited to rent, utilities and car insurance. This program is 100 percent confidential and made possible through gifts, grants and sponsorships. In 2016, the Foundation granted $400,000 in emergency assistance to SAG-AFTRA members and families in need.“Not only does Champagne Taittinger care about the arts, it also cares about the artists and the families who make up this industry,” says JoBeth Williams, President of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. “It’s extremely difficult to make a steady living as a working actor, and this new initiative and support from Champagne Taittinger exemplifies their deep commitment to actors and performers, not just in the good times, but also during times of real struggle. We could not be more grateful for their support and look forward to continuing our 17-year partnership for many years to come.”Since 1985, the Foundation has granted more than $18 million in financial and medical assistance to SAG-AFTRA members and their families.The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be simulcast live nationwide on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 at 8 p.m. (ET) / 5 p.m. (PT).last_img read more

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Live Nation Canada and Budweiser Canada team up to revitalize the amphitheatre

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Budweiser and Live Nation Canada today announced they will collaborate on music events and projects across the country, with the common goal of enhancing the concert experiences of music fans. The multi-year partnership will include a revitalization of the amphitheatre at Ontario Place, which will be named Budweiser Stage beginning in 2017.“The Budweiser brand has a long association with music in Canada and around the world, and we look forward to continuing to grow and evolve our music presence in collaboration with Live Nation. Our partnership marks the beginning of great things to come for music fans from coast to coast,” said Todd Allen, vice president, marketing, Labatt Breweries of Canada. “We’re also thrilled that the iconic venue for musicians at Ontario Place will carry the name Budweiser Stage, and that music fans will now be able to enjoy Canada’s most popular beer at the country’s premier music venue.”For the 2017 concert season, the new partnership between Live Nation and Budweiser Canada will focus on heightening the fan experience at Budweiser Stage, including:decreasing wait time in queues by adding more concession locations, and expanding the cashless payment options at point-of-sale locations with tap, chip and pin, and mobile payment apps;refurbishing all concession stands to create an upgraded look and feel for concert-goers and upgrading concession offerings; andenhancing the pre-show experience, allowing fans to arrive at the venue earlier and enjoy the space before the show. Advertisement “The amphitheatre at Ontario Place has been a landmark entertainment destination for the Ontario and Toronto communities for years,” said John May, president, media and corporate partnerships, Live Nation Canada. “With the upgrades to Budweiser Stage, we look forward to enhancing the concert experience for the fans as we continue to fulfill our mission of connecting fans with the artists they love.”Budweiser Stage and the new partnership with Live Nation Canada is the latest dimension of Budweiser’s growing commitment to music in Canada, and across the world. Since 2010, Budweiser has positioned itself as the world’s first global beer brand, and investing in music – a global, social experience – has been central in fulfilling this goal. Globally, Budweiser’s well-attended and popular music events include Budweiser Made in America and the world’s largest EDM festival, TomorrowLand.In Canada, Budweiser is involved in largescale music events like North by Northeast (NXNE) and the Calgary Stampede. Over the past five years alone, Budweiser’s presence and investment in music has grown significantly in Canada. In addition to Budweiser Stage, music fans will see the partnership between Live Nation and Budweiser in action across the country, with Budweiser as the new, lead beer sponsor at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, as well as at select Live Nation concerts and festivals, including Trackside in London, Ontario, One Love in Calgary, Alberta and many more. Together, Live Nation and Budweiser will continue to give music fans access to some of the most popular musicians and artists across the country, and concert goers will be offered a larger portfolio of beverages to choose from than ever before.About Budweiser CanadaBudweiser – the King of Beers – has been brewed since 1876 under the highest quality standards. Brewed in Canada for more than 35 years, Budweiser uses only the finest ingredients without any artificial ingredients, additives or preservatives. Budweiser is distinguished by its clean, crisp, distinctive flavour, the result of a unique beechwood aging process.About Live Nation EntertainmentLive Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world’s leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, Live Nation Media & Sponsorship and Artist Nation Management. For additional information, visit www.livenationentertainment.com. Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Toronto graffiti artist Skams work sells for thousands at Waddingtons

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With:center_img Graffiti artist Skam’s murals are all over downtown Toronto – he’s been painting alleys, laneways, commercial walls and rooftops in solo works and collaborations since the early 90s. On Wednesday (April 12), auction house Waddington’s hosted an intimate reception in honour of his work, sold for several hundred to a few thousand dollars each.“Graffiti art is therapy for me. I come from a very rough childhood,” he says. “Graffiti, in all honesty, has saved my life. When I paint, I don’t even know where I am. All my problems go away.”Skam produces street art weekly and estimates to have produced 1500 to 2000 pieces, from Toronto to Paris, and which are often wholly financed by himself and for free public consumption rather than profit. Advertisement Facebooklast_img read more

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AFTERMETOO An InDepth Symposium on Sexual Harassment and Assault in the Entertainment

first_img Login/Register With: On December 6th, The Globe and Mail will host a Town Hall at 10AM and will be open to the public on a first come, first serve basis and livestreamed. Findings from the roundtable discussions will be presented followed by a Q&A with the audience. Organizers chose December 6th as the date for the Town Hall in honour of the 14 women who lost their lives 28 years ago in the Montreal massacre at Polytechnique. The date is a commemorative anniversary and represents the wider societal violence against women.About the #AfterMeToo Symposium committee  #AfterMeToo Symposium is organized by a group of determined volunteers, film/ television industry professionals, trauma and legal experts. The purpose of #AfterMeToo is to ensure that appropriate legislation, culture and policy shift to protect the survivor rather than the predator. The group is committed to being part of the solution to guarantee a safe environment for everyone involved in the creative industries and beyond. For more information on the group and for details about the #AfterMeToo symposium please visit www.aftermetoo.com.#AfterMeToo Symposium is supported by The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and TIFF. Facebook Advertisement Advertisement In the wake of the widespread sexual assault and harassment allegations surfacing against powerful men and following the impactful #MeToo campaign, a group of screen industry leaders from across Canada have come together to organize a landmark event. The #AfterMeToo Symposium, partnered with The Globe and Mail,will take place on December 5th and 6th at The Globe and Mail building in Toronto. A full list of speakers participating in the symposium will be announced next week. The initiative is spearheaded and produced by actor Mia Kirshner, producer/director Aisling Chin-Yee, actor/producer Freya Ravensbergen, Fluent Films and additional industry veterans from a variety of occupations. For more information on the group and for details about the #AfterMeToo Symposium please visit www.aftermetoo.com.“The enormous amount of women and men who have come forward with their experiences of abuse speaks volumes about sexual misconduct that has categorically been ignored in our industry.  Our symposium was born from this response, with the goal to change ineffective policy, mechanisms and legislation,” said Kirshner, Chin-Yee and Ravensbergen in a joint statement.  “When we decided to take action, and create this multifaceted collaboration and discussion, we received an incredible amount of support from industry professionals, many of them volunteering their time and passion to put the #AfterMeToo Symposium together. Though our focus is on the entertainment industry, sexual assault and harassment is an issue that affects us all regardless of industry or occupation. Our goal is to create lasting changes in our industry and beyond.”On December 5th, #AfterMeToo Symposium will explore institutional culture, policy and legislation in a number of roundtable working groups, and will strive to find solutions that speak to current inadequate supports and protections against sexual assault and harassment within the workplace. Participants come from a variety of occupations including actors, directors, producers, casting directors, writers, agents, unions, civil and criminal lawyers, trauma experts, economists and legislators. The Globe and Mail writers, including Denise Balkissoon and Janet McFarland, will moderate roundtables. Produced by Fluent Films and Mia Kirshner, discussions will be filmed and made available to the public through online platforms. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

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DRAKE SUED BY FEMALE FAN FOR SUSTAINING SERIOUS BRAIN INJURY AT HIS

first_imgAmanda Giovacco claims she was “violently struck” by a beer bottle that was thrown during the rapper’s show at Madison Square Garden in New York in August 2016. READ MORE Facebook Drake (Getty Image) Advertisement DRAKE SUED BY FEMALE FAN FOR SUSTAINING SERIOUS BRAIN INJURY AT HIS NEW YORK CONCERTDrake is being dragged into a new lawsuit filed by a female fan injured at one of his shows, and she is blaming the rapper for having a history.According to court documents obtained by The Blast, A woman named Amanda Giovacco filed suit against Drake (real name: Aubrey Graham), The Madison Square Garden, an employee named Joseph Picco and Live Nation Worldwide. READ MOREDRAKE SUED BY FAN WHO CLAIMS RAPPER ‘VIOLENTLY STRUCK’ HER WITH BEER BOTTLEDrake has been sued by a female fan who was injured at one of his shows. Advertisementcenter_img Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

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True warriors dont reveal plans to enemies says Chief Fox

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National News OTTAWA–First Nations chiefs say a major showdown with Canada looms on the horizon.Talk of blockades and protest is once again in the air as the diplomatic efforts by the First Nations leadership through the Assembly of First Nations appear to have failed to make any headway with the Harper government to deal with longstanding grievances around land, natural resources and the fiscal relationship between Ottawa and First Nations communities.Instead, the federal government has introduced deep cuts to First Nations organizations and tribal councils and has pushed legislation First Nations leaders say first needed their consent because of its impact on Aboriginal and treaty rights.The growing frustration flowed to the threshold of the House of Commons chamber Tuesday after a group of First Nations chiefs from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario scuffled with security guards as they tried to enter the domain of MPs.The chiefs involved say that was only the beginning, but what is to come is being held close to the chest.“True warriors don’t go out and tell their enemies, ‘This is what we are going to do in a battle,’” said Onion Lake Cree Nation Chief Wallace Fox, who was among the chiefs involved in the confrontation with Parliament Hill guards.Fox, who leads an oil-rich First Nation in Saskatchewan, has emerged as one of the leading voices in the latest upsurge in First Nations anger over the state of affairs across the country.Samson Cree Elder Cecil Napoose says he’s convinced prophecy foretold the emergence of a leader like Fox who issued the call that led Tuesday to a scuffle between Parliament Hill security guards and chiefs on the threshold of the House of Commons chamber.Napoose was there with Fox and Anishinabek Grand Council Chief Madahbee, Serpent River First Nation Chief Isadore Day and Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak when they tried to enter the chamber to deliver a message Prime Minister Stephen Harper that the time for direct action had arrived.“He is the leader to challenge the government that the time has come,” said Napoose, whose community is in Alberta. “He is also a spiritual leader…his people are his power.”Napoose isn’t the only one who believes prophecy is on the side of Fox. Fox admits that others have approached him this week at the Assembly of First Nations special chiefs assembly in Gatineau, Que., saying they also believe his emergence was foretold.Fox, however, says he is not interested in any political office beyond his role as leader of Onion Lake. He believes Ottawa’s cuts to First Nations political organizations will lead to their demise anyway.Fox says he follows the traditional ideas of leadership.“I have to speak on behalf of the people,” said Fox. “I also have to listen to their direction.”Fox said the decision to take the fight to the heart of Canada’s democracy came in response to the demands from First Nations youth who are frustrated with the state of things in their communities across the country.“The youth are very frustrated across the country,” he said. “We wanted to show that we are listening to them.”Fox said Tuesday’s actions are a foreshadowing of things to come and the House of Commons’ passing of Bil C-45, the Harper majority government’s omnibus bill proves Ottawa still doesn’t take First Nations interests seriously.“We are not going to stop,” he said. “We are going to continue this fight.”Other chiefs have also picked up the same call.“I think you will start to see more direct actions and raising the level of awareness in this manner,” said Day.“We’ll stand strong. We’ll fight where we need to fight. We’ll shove where we need to shove and we’ll get into the rooms that we need to regardless of the impediments put in our way,” said Nepinak.But it’s not just chiefs who are driving the agenda of confrontation. Powered in part by social media, youth and grassroots activists are also planning to launch protest campaigns. There was even chatter around launching a blockade on the Trans-Canada in Saskatchewan, but it has since turned into a planned march along the highway.On Facebook and Twitter, a grassroots movement under the name Idle No More has been picking up steam and there are now planned Dec. 10 day of actions across the country under its banner. Plans for the day include protests at city halls, legislative assemblies and outside corporate offices.The movement, founded by a group of women from Saskatchewan, initially began with a focus on the omnibus bill, but has since included the broader cause of Indigenous rights, said one of the founders Jessica Gordon, 34, from Saskatoon.“It is our time now. We have been restless, we have been waiting for a moment to show that we need to be heard and we have been looking for a way to come together,” said Gordon.Gordon said the movement is committed to peaceful means with the broader aims of sending a message to Ottawa and educating the Canadian public about First Nations issues.“We say keep it peaceful,” she said. “The pipe will be raised. When we do that, we know that no that there is no violence involved at all.”This isn’t the first time that First Nations leader and grassroots activists have prepared for protests against the Harper government. Much of the current rhetoric echoes what chiefs said in late 2006 and in 2007 when former Roseau River chief Terry Nelson authored a resolution calling for a day of action on June 29, 2007.The Conservatives reacted by threatening to cut funding to First Nations organizations and then-Aboriginal affairs minister Jim Prentice struck a deal with Nelson. The Harper government also created the Specific Claims Tribunal which was announced by Harper and former AFN national chief Phil Fontaine on Parliament Hill. Only the Tyendinaga Mohawks launched action that day, shutting down the highway between Ottawa and Toronto and blocking a CN rail-line for 12 hours. The action costs about $100 million in economic damage.This time around, however, the Aboriginal Affairs federal portfolio is held by a minister chiefs believe to be “weak” and the Conservatives can no longer threaten funding cuts, because the cuts have already been announced.Several chiefs told APTN National News that the cuts have been liberating and gives them a flexibility they didn’t have before.jbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

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Controversy continues over Kahnawake eviction notices

first_imgAPTN National NewsEmotions are running high in the Mohawk community of Kahnawake these days.The issue is over eviction notices handed out by the band council.A recent open letter from the council says that any current resident not on the Kahnawake registry is breaking the law by living in the community.A public meeting was held Sunday to oppose the council.APTN’s Danielle Rochette has this story.last_img

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Brothers with FAS who sexually assaulted girl sentenced to 12 years in

first_imgThe Canadian PressCALGARY – Two brothers with fetal alcohol disorder who sexually assaulted a teenage girl they abducted at a bus stop have been sentenced to 12 years each in prison.Corey and Cody Manyshots, both in their 20s, pleaded guilty in October 2015 to sexual assault, kidnapping, uttering threats and robbery.Court heard the Indigenous brothers abducted a 17-year-old girl from a bus stop in Calgary’s northeast in November 2014.They sexually assaulted her in an alley and then took her to their home where they sexually assaulted over eight hours.The Grade 12 student was able to escape a day later when they fell asleep. Police were contacted by her family when she made it home.Judge Terry Semenuk gave the brothers credit for time served, so they face less than eight more years behind bars.They were sent for additional psychiatric testing last June to determine if they were criminally responsible for their actions. Tests revealed that both suffer from severe fetal alcohol syndrome, have poor cognitive function and struggle with mental illness.At a sentencing hearing last fall, lawyers for the brothers argued that their clients should spend years in prison so they could get help for their issues.“These two men fell through the cracks of life,” Cody’s lawyer, Alain Hepner, said at the time. “They didn’t stand a chance from the minute they were born.”Reports presented as evidence said the two should be in a structured, supervised environment where their unique needs could be addressed.Hepner told the hearing that there is no treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome, but he hoped there was a way the brothers could get the support they need to lead a meaningful life once they get out of prison.The Crown argued there was a relatively high risk the two would reoffend and pointed out that they show little empathy for the victim.Having the brothers stay voluntarily at a residential facility following their sentence should not be seen as a solution, prosecutor Jonathan Hak said.Hepner presented a statement on behalf of his client, who he said cannot read, in which he said he was sorry for causing pain to the victim and that he wanted to get counselling.The defendants’ mother, Angelina Manyshots, also addressed court at the hearing.“I really love my sons,” she said. “I’ll do everything I can to help them.”last_img read more

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NDP MP calls for Conservative Senator to resign after residential school comments

first_imgAnnette Francis APTN National NewsNDP MP Romeo Saganash is calling on Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak to resign after comments she made about residential schools.Saganash, the Member of Parliament for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, and a residential school survivor.On Wednesday night, Beyak stood in the Senate chamber and told her colleagues that the media was only reporting on the bad news stories coming from the residential school issue and not the good that some people did.afrancis@aptn.calast_img read more

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Ive always been an activist Cree woman takes over the helm of

first_imgTamara PimentelAPTN NewsCheryle Changnon-Greyeyes says she’s been an activist for a long time.Now the woman from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan who now lives in Calgary, will have every opportunity to put what she knows to work.Changnon-Greyeyes was elected as the leader of the Green Party of Alberta.She is the first female Indigenous political leader of a provincial party.“I’ve been an activist for a long time. Always wanting to save the world since I was a little girl,” she says.“When I did my research, it occurred to me that the six principles of the Green Party, the international green party, the only international political party, align with the seven sacred teachings of the Cree. How come nobody’s ever picked this up before? This is as close as we get to an Indigenous Party. These are values of balance and moderation of putting people over profits.”A factor that encouraged her to run was Premier Rachel Notley’s decision to back the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project.“I felt betrayed, I felt very much stabbed in the back and totally against the NDP platform that I knew and was familiar with. So I was angry and upset and felt hopeless, like, what am I going to do?”So she ran, won and is ready to put her Indigenous teachings to action.“I really want to push the fact that we are caring about people, we care about the environment, we care about out mother earth, we are looking seven generations to the future. What’s out planet going to look like in seven generations with this headlong rush to have oil pipelines across the country?”Chagnon-Greyeyes is an environmental activist who works at the University of Calgary.Her first big test will be the provincial elections in the spring.tpimentel@aptn.ca@aptn_tamaralast_img read more

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First Nation candidates hopeful that they can bring change to Timmins after

first_imgAnnette FrancisAPTN NewsA couple of candidates in Timmins are hoping the bring change in the community after the ballots are counted.Voters across Ontario go to the polls Monday.Cory Robin, originally from Kashechewan First Nation, and Kristin Murray, originally from the Chapleau First Nation say it’s time for change on the Timmins city council.afrancis@aptn.ca@aptnafrancislast_img

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Wetsuweten ask province to issue pipeline company cease and desist order

first_imgHereditary leaders from the Office of the Wet’suwet’en are asking the province to stop CGL from doing further work on unceded Wet’suwet’en territories. APTN/File photo.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsWet’suwet’en hereditary leaders are asking the province of British Columbia to order a pipeline company to stop preliminary work in unceded Wet’suwet’en territories.On Wednesday the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, which represents the nation’s traditional governance system, said in a news release it has asked provincial Environment Minister George Heyman for “an immediate cease-and-desist work order for Coastal GasLink pipeline project on Wet’suwet’en territories.”The request comes amid tensions between the Wet’suwet’en, provincial and federal governments, the company building the LNG pipeline, and the RCMP.The RCMP’s enforcement of a Coastal GasLink (CGL)-initiated court injunction earlier this month garnered national and international media attention and prompted nationwide rallies in support of the Unist’ot’en House and Gidimt’en Clan, who have reoccupied their territories in an effort to stop the pipeline.Late last week members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation alleged CGL bulldozed a Unist’ot’en trapline and tents belonging to the Gidimt’en Clan, and that the company—a subsidiary of Calgary-based TC Energy—has not completed a required archaeological impact assessment.The Wet’suwet’en say the actions violate the company’s permits.Earlier this week the province said its Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) and B.C.’s Oil and Gas Commission are jointly investigating the alleged violations.Wednesday’s letter from the Office of the Wet’suwet’en to Heyman also comes on the heels of news of past violations by the pipeline company.A recently released June 2018 inspection report from the EAO concludes “Coastal GasLink Pipeline is hereby warned that the project was not compliant” with six separate pre-construction requirements stemming from its Environmental Assessment Certificate.B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office told APTN News in an email Wednesday evening that CGL “has since addressed the six conditions and is now in compliance with the conditions and requirements of its EAC.”The office said “if there are any non-compliance issues, the EAO will determine the appropriate enforcement response which could include: warnings, orders to cease work or remedy, or a range of other potential sanctions set out in the [province’s] Environmental Assessment Act.”But Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders say they want work stopped immediately.“This [June 2018] report by the B.C Environmental Assessment Office Compliance and Enforcement Officer affirms our own Wet’suwet’en investigations about Coastal GasLink’s willful and illegal disregard for our territories and cultural practices,” Dini ze (Chief) Na’Moks, said in Wednesday’s news release.“The provincial government is required to uphold its own law and issue an immediate cease-and-desist work order for Coastal GasLink pipeline project on Wet’suwet’en territories. This project already does not have free, prior and informed consent under Wet’suwet’en rule of law, and now is violating B.C laws.”A request to CGL for comment was not returned by the time of publication.All five Wet’suwet’en bands have signed agreements with CGL that will provide money and jobs to their members.But the Office of the Wet’suwet’en, hereditary leaders and others have argued the band councils—which were established by Canada to replace the Wet’suwet’en governance system—the province, and company do not have jurisdiction outside the reserves.The hereditary chiefs have called the incursion on their territories by CGL and the RCMP an invasion.jbrake@aptn.ca@JustinBrakeNewslast_img read more

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Trump tax plan paints pretty picture for art collectors

first_imgWASHINGTON – For art aficionados, President Donald Trump’s tax plan paints a pretty picture.The president’s tax overhaul proposal — which he has pitched as a boost for hardworking farmers and truckers — would repeal the federal estate tax paid by people who inherit multimillion-dollar estates. That break could benefit art collectors gazing upon pricey collections of Rothkos and Basquiats.Under current rules, the first $11 million of an estate is exempt for a married couple. Art lovers with pricier collections may seek to lessen the tax liability for their heirs by selling or donating their art or placing it in a trust. Otherwise, their heirs may end up selling off art to pay the IRS.Without the estate tax, it would be easier for people to keep collections in the family. Such a shift in the tax rules could have a ripple effect on the art market and slow the flow of art from private homes to museum walls.Attorney Malcolm Taub, an expert in art law, said the elimination of the estate tax would end the tax issues when a collector dies, but could also “provide somewhat of a detriment” to museums, universities and other institutions that benefit from donations.For now, Taub said, some clients are putting their financial plans related to art on ice.“Estate planners and people in the industry are waiting to see how this happens,” he said.The president has outlined his tax plan in broad strokes for now, as Congress works out the details. Given lawmakers’ struggles to enact major legislation, it remains unclear if Republicans can get a robust plan over the finish line.Trump insists his plan will be a boon for middle-class families, specifically framing the estate tax repeal as a benefit for family businesses. In Pennsylvania recently, he promised to “protect thousands of family businesses by ending the crushing, horrible, and unfair estate tax, sometimes known as the death tax.”Added Trump: “That’s a tax that has destroyed so many businesses and kept those businesses out of your family, your children, your grandchildren.”The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the implications for art.last_img read more

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US hits Ukraine separatists Russia officials with sanctions

first_imgWASHINGTON – The Trump administration said Friday it will punish 21 people and nine companies with sanctions over Russia’s actions in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.Eleven of the individuals are Ukrainian pro-Russian separatists, the Treasury Department said. They hold titles such as minister of finance, trade, justice and security in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine.The United States is also targeting several Russian officials, including Andrey Cherezov, a deputy energy minister in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government. Cherezov is already under EU sanctions for his role in transferring turbines to Crimea. The turbines were sold to Russia by German electricity giant Siemens for use on Russian territory. Several companies involved in building infrastructure in Crimea are also being targeted by the latest sanctions.Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014 is not recognized by the United States. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has insisted that U.S. sanctions on Russia related to Crimea will remain in place indefinitely as long as Moscow refuses to withdraw from the territory.“The U.S. government is committed to maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and to targeting those who attempt to undermine the Minsk agreements,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, referring to a 2015 peace agreement reached in Minsk, Belarus, that has never been fully implemented.Russia’s government reacted to the sanctions by calling them “senseless” and arguing that previous sanctions have failed to produce results for Washington. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the U.S. actions would lead to financial losses for American businesses and that the United States was demonstrating “to the whole world their own helplessness.”“If U.S. authorities prefer to break economic and other ties with Russia, it is their right — just as we reserve the right to respond,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.The new U.S. sanctions came as Tillerson met Friday with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko in Davos, Switzerland.___Associated Press writer Jim Heintz in Moscow contributed to this report.last_img read more

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Ont bans doortodoor sales for certain products telcos charities exempted

first_imgTORONTO – The days of answering your doorbell to find someone hawking duct-cleaning services or a new furnace will be over for Ontarians when a new law comes into effect on Thursday, but it won’t stop telecommunications companies, home maintenance services or charities from knocking on doors.The province’s ban on unsolicited, door-to-door sales covers most heating, air and water services, but the MPP who pushed for it said it stops short of encompassing companies in other sectors because they don’t all fall under provincial jurisdiction or generate as many complaints with Consumer Protection Ontario.“Telecoms are under the jurisdiction of the federal government…Charities who come to the door presumably aren’t selling anything so the legislation can’t apply to them,” said Etobicoke Centre MPP Yvan Baker. “Home-maintenance services theoretically could be captured under this legislation, but I focused on the products where we by far received the most complaints.”Data provided to the Canadian Press from the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services revealed door-to-door heating, air and water services sales collectively generated 7,058 “complaints, incidents and inquiries” in the last three years. Servicing and sales of water heaters, water treatment devices and purifiers and furnaces had the most complaints.Baker introduced the private members bill that shaped the door-to-door sales legislation in 2016 because of constituent complaints.“I heard from far too many seniors and also concerned constitutions of all ages, who have been taken advantage of by coercive and misleading salespeople on their own doorsteps and in their own homes,” he said. “It was beyond reprehensible that there were individuals that ran a business model based on taking advantage of people, especially vulnerable people.”He said consumers will be protected with the new law because if someone signs a contract after being approached by a company through door-to-door sales, the agreement will be automatically considered void and the buyer can keep the goods or services they were sold without obligation.The legislation specifically targets the door-to-door sales of furnaces, air conditioners, air cleaners, air purifiers, water heaters, water treatment devices, water purifiers, water filters, water softeners, duct cleaning services or any good or service that performs or combines one or more of the above functions.The law offers a 10-day cooling-off period for customers to cancel contracts they signed in their home without penalties and will force businesses to keep records of how contact with each customer was made.It also bans companies who visit homes for repairs from trying to sell new contracts while on maintenance calls, but allows them to hand out promotional materials on such trips. Company staff can only discuss new contracts on a visit if their employer sought prior approval from the customer when arranging the house call.Individuals who violate the law will risk a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for up to two years, less a day, or both. Corporations will face a fine of up to $250,000.Baker said he was confident the fines would be a deterrent and added that he would be willing to push for the legislation to be broadened to more types of businesses that fall under provincial jurisdiction if there is an uptick in concerns around them.He said, “If we have a large number of complaints the federal government should study that and consider taking action.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version stated that violators would face incremental fines.last_img read more

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Canadian backpack makers eye expansion abroad morph into lifestyle brands

first_imgVANCOUVER – Canada’s backpack makers are experiencing a boon beyond the traditionally busy back-to-school season as students and consumers with all types of carryall needs flock to their designs.That demand is pushing homegrown names like Herschel Supply Co. and Matt & Nat to scale up and open flagship stores, expand their bricks-and-mortar footprints and release products beyond just schoolbags.The back-to-school lead-up is “hot, hot, hot, hot,” said Manny Kohil, CEO of Montreal-based vegan bag brand Matt & Nat.“Month of August is always on fire,” he said, adding that flows into the first week of September before slowing down.Parents plan to spend an average of more than $300 on back-to-school shopping this year, according to an online survey conducted by Maru/Blue for Capital One.Parents will spend an average of about $45 on backpacks — though that jumps to about $68 for high-school students. About 40 per cent of respondents admitted they’d likely go over budget on supplies.The survey was conducted between July 27 and 29, and questioned 276 adults with school-age kids. The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.Herschel Supply Co. anticipated a line out the door at its flagship Vancouver store, which opened this summer, in the three weeks leading up to the first day of school.The business certainly benefits from that time of year, said Lyndon Cormack, one of three brothers who co-founded Herschel in 2009.But it’s not dependent on it, he said, noting backpacks have become more “like an every-day purchase” as people increasingly flock to urban centres, live in smaller spaces, rely on public transit and commute using methods other than cars.Both brands saw an upsurge in demand that’s led them to open retail stores and plan domestic and international expansions.“I think that a retail store still hands down does it better than anything in the world in relation to conveying a brand’s purpose and message,” Cormack said.Herschel’sfirst shop is a logical step as the company previously only sold its goods online and through other retailers, like department stores, he said.In the roughly 5,000-square-foot space, the brand can present all its products to consumers rather than a small selection curated by another retailer, like the Hudson’s Bay Co., Cormack explained.Already, more stores are in the works, though Cormack said there’s no specific timeline for future openings.The company is eyeing a few spaces in New York City and London, England, at the moment. Within Canada, it definitely makes sense to eventually look at Toronto, he said.Matt & Nat already operates six locations, including an outlet shop outside of Montreal. It will soon open another discount store near Toronto, said Kohil, and plans to grow its presence to up to 15 stores in Canada and abroad next year. International locations will include the United States, England and the Netherlands, he said.He opened the chain’s first store more than two years ago “to elevate the brand,” he said.But the rucksack companies’ expansions aren’t just into real estate. Both are evolving into so-called lifestyle brands.Matt & Nat branched out beyond handbags and wallets by introducing shoes in the spring of 2016. It now also sells sunglasses and candles.Meanwhile, less than 50 per cent of Herschel’s sales come from backpacks, said Cormack. The company also makes wallets, laptop sleeves and luggage. It expanded into apparel with packable windbreakers and plans to add other diverse categories into its mix in the future.Herschel appears to be following a similar trajectory to another Canadian retailer: Canada Goose. The luxury winter jacket company started as an e-commerce business, then opened its own stores at home and eventually abroad before holding an initial public offering.Cormack doesn’t deny Herschel could eventually go public, but said the company is certainly not looking at an IPO in the near future.Follow @AleksSagan on TwitterCompanies in this story: (TSX: GOOS) (TSX:HBC)last_img read more

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Japans minister of cybersecurity has never used computer

first_imgTOKYO — Japan’s minister in charge of cybersecurity is in the spotlight for acknowledging he has never used a computer and making comments showing he has no idea what a USB port might be.Ruling party lawmaker Yoshitaka Sakurada, also in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, was replying Wednesday to questions from independent and opposition legislators.“I give instructions to my aide and so I don’t punch into a computer myself,” he said. “But I am confident our work is flawless.”When asked about the power grid and malware, Sakurada said USB was “basically never used” in the utility systems, appearing to not know what it might be.Lawmakers laughed incredulously at his replies, which were highlighted in Japanese media. Questioning and answers in Parliament are also carried live on national TV.Ministers in Japan almost always get parliamentary questions in advance. Often their answers are based on briefings from ministry bureaucrats. In Sakurada’s exchange, bureaucrats were seen rushing over to give him sheets of paper with information.Ministers are tapped by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Sakurada was named to his position in the latest Cabinet reshuffle last month.Although the minister is not expected to have much hands-on responsibility in the handling of either cybersecurity or the Olympics, Sakurada’s high-profile bungling is an embarrassment for Abe.Sakurada, 68, a graduate of Meiji University, was first elected to parliament in 1996, representing Chiba prefecture, near Tokyo.His favourite issues are pushing for Japan’s economic prosperity and supporting its culture. “There is no genius that surpasses effort,” is his favourite motto.___Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyamaOn Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=enYuri Kageyama, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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States ask court to stop Trump from reviving US coal sales

first_imgBILLINGS, Mont. — Four states that say burning coal will hurt their residents as it makes climate change worse are trying to stop the Trump administration in federal court from selling vast reserves of the fuel that are beneath public lands.Attorneys for California, New Mexico, New York and Washington argue the coal sales have been shortchanging taxpayers because of low royalty rates and cause pollution that puts the climate and public health at risk.The states were joined by conservation groups and Montana’s Northern Cheyenne tribe in a lawsuit that seeks to revive a coal leasing moratorium imposed under President Barack Obama. The moratorium blocked new lease sales from federal lands that hold billions of tons of the fuel.U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, who was appointed by Obama, is presiding over a Thursday hearing on whether the moratorium should be reinstated.The Trump administration said in court filings that ending the moratorium last year was of critical importance to the economy. That claim comes despite the slow pace of lease sales in recent years and a precipitous drop in demand for the heavily-polluting fuel.U.S. lands in Western states including Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Colorado are a major source of coal for mining companies. There are 7.4 billion tons of the fuel in roughly 300 leases administered by the Bureau of Land Management .Morris recently ruled in a separate case that the administration must consider reduced coal mining in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana to help combat climate change.The judge has played the role of spoiler to Trump on another Obama administration policy reversal — the contentious Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Canada. Trump approved the pipeline last year, but Morris blocked it temporarily in March. The judge said further environmental reviews were needed for the line to comply with federal laws.Some of those same laws are at the centre of the coal moratorium dispute.The states and their allies want push to stop further leasing and resume a sweeping review of the program’s environmental impacts. Government attorneys and the National Mining Association say the review started under Obama was a voluntary step and the Trump administration is within its rights to end it.“We view this as a legal issue and believe this is an open and shut case,” said Conor Bernstein with the mining association, which has intervened in the case.Growing concerns over climate change have put a spotlight on the once-obscure coal leasing program, which has gone largely unchanged and not been through a major environmental review since 1979.Companies have mined about 4 billion tons of coal from federal reserves in the past decade, contributing $10 billion to federal and state coffers through royalties and other payments. Backers of the leasing program say those revenues would be at risk over the long term if it ended.The Obama administration blocked the sale of new leases in 2016 out of concerns over climate-changing greenhouse gases from burning coal and to review royalty rates paid by mining companies for federal coal.Federal officials and members of Congress have said for years the royalty rates were shortchanging taxpayers. Under Obama, the U.S. Interior Department was considering raising those royalty rates to offset the effects of climate change from burning coal.On an order from Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke withdrew the moratorium in March 2017. The former Montana congressman said the Obama administration’s environmental review would cost “many millions of dollars” and that improvements to the program could be made without a full-scale environmental study.California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Zinke’s actions fly in the face of the dire consequences of climate change for the U.S. economy as outlined in a government report released last month.“He ignored the law in opening the door to expanded coal leasing without taking a hard look at the environmental consequences,” Becerra said in a statement. “The rule of law can be a stubborn thing for those who don’t wish to respect it.”After the Trump administration ended the moratorium, Zinke appointed a committee to review the royalty rates. Critics contend he’s stacked the panel with industry-friendly representatives interested in maintaining the status quo.___Follow Matthew Brown at https://twitter.com/matthewbrownapMatthew Brown, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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