Risks to waterways substantial but total picture hard to see World Wildlife

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada can no longer pretend it is a country rich with pristine lakes and rivers, the World Wildlife Fund said Monday in a report into the country’s waterways.After four years of research, the conservation organization concluded that one-third of Canada’s 167 watersheds are experiencing high levels of disturbance due to everything from pollution and overuse to climate change and hydroelectric development.Every watershed in Canada is seeing some impact from climate change, with three-quarters seeing a moderate or high impact, said David Miller, president of the WWF.“Scientists call it stress,” said Miller. “I would call it a threat. That’s a real worry.”The research produced a score for each watershed in four areas — water flow, water quality, the health of fish and the health of invertebrates such as snails, leeches and bugs.The data revealed that more than one-third are so polluted it is of serious concern, while one-quarter have poor or fair water quality and one-fifth have water flow issues due to hydro dams, the WWF said.But decades of government cuts to monitoring programs means there isn’t enough data to give a full picture of watershed health, the report said; in 110 of the 167 watersheds, there wasn’t enough to data to produce a score in at least two of the four areas.Information on fish and invertebrates was particularly lacking, said the report.Invertebrates are extremely sensitive to ecological disturbances and are a good marker of the health of a watershed but 112 of the 167 watersheds have no good data available.“Where the data was available about the health, we do see there are some pretty significant health concerns and that implies when we start to see more data, we’ll see more health concerns,” Miller said.The WWF wants Ottawa to set national standards and a national database for what needs to be reported on watersheds.Much of the data is collected by provincial and municipal governments, but there are no federal requirements to do so, which is why some watersheds have data and others don’t, Miller said.In brief speech late Monday at a reception with WWF members, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed concern about the lack of data but did not go so far as to promise a national database.“Those of you who know me know that I’m a bit of a math and data geek,” he said.“And hearing about what WWF Canada had to go through for the past four years to collect, collate data from so many different sources, to try and get a picture of something that, quite frankly, Canadians take for granted and we should know much more about, is a real challenge.”Trudeau said everyone, including governments, need to “step up” and ensure the data is collected and shared.“There’s so much we need to know and so little time in which to gather it, understand it and act to protect what we have for future generations.”Trudeau said the federal government is on the right track, pointing to its recently introduced “ambitious” oceans protections plan and funding earmarked in the last budget for protecting freshwater resources and managing the threat of invasive species. But he acknowledged there is much more to do.Environment Minister Catherine McKenna was in Europe for a G7 ministerial meeting as well as a meeting at the Vatican.In a statement, her office pointed to $197 million Canada set aside in 2016 to improve ocean and freshwater science and monitoring, but did not address directly the WWF’s call for a national database of information that is publicly available.—follow @mrabson on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had the wrong name for the World Wildlife Fundlast_img read more

Uncertain path ahead as Ontario PCs select new leader an explainer

first_imgTORONTO – Faced with the shocking resignation of Patrick Brown, Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives must chose a new leader with less than five months to go before the spring election.Why do the PCs need a new leader?Patrick Brown resigned as party leader early Thursday morning following a CTV News report in which two women alleged sexual misconduct during his days as a federal MP. The allegations have not been independently verified by The Canadian Press.Without a leader at the helm, what will the PCs do?The party’s caucus, or 27 members (excluding Brown), will meet Friday to appoint an interim leader and then discuss how to proceed as the legislative session resumes in late February. They will also looking at how to reconstitute the election campaign team which surrounded Brown after some resigned in the wake of the allegations against the former leader.Is the sudden resignation of an Ontario party leader so close to an election unusual?University of Windsor political science professor Cheryl Collier called it unprecedented and suggested the swift response was likely fuelled in part by a growing emphasis on addressing sexual misconduct claims voiced by women. Henry Jacek, political science professor at McMaster University, said things normally don’t happen that quickly in politics. He said Brown’s own staff were surprisingly fast to abandon him within moments of a hastily called news conference late Wednesday and four hours later he had stepped down.What is next step for the party?After appointing an interim leader the party will eventually need to select a permanent replacement for Brown. According to the Ontario PC Party constitution, the party’s governing document, the resignation of a leader triggers the selection of an interim leader by the party caucus. If they cannot decide on an interim leader, then the caucus in partnership with the party’s executive chose the interim leader.Normally the party selects their leader at a convention where one delegate has one vote. The party constitution says after the resignation of a leader a leadership election must be held within 18 months. The constitution does not appear to lay out a minimum leadership campaign length but sources tell The Canadian Press the party has not held a leadership campaign shorter than 90 days in recent memory.Who sets the leadership election rules?The party’s executive sets the leadership election rules. The PC constitution gives that committee “exclusive authority” to interpret and apply the rules for the race and vote which means they could adjust the length of a leadership race to fit into a compressed schedule before this year’s election.Can the Tories select a new permanent leader before the June 7 election date?That depends. Sources say the Tories could choose a number of potential different routes to select Brown’s replacement. An interim leader could be selected until a permanent replacement is elected. An interim leader could be selected to fight the election and then step down. The interim leader could be selected, fight the election, and then face a formal leadership review after the race.Who are the potential candidates to replace Brown?The rumour mill at Queen’s Park is in overdrive with the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney and PC candidate, Caroline Mulroney, former Tory leadership candidate Christine Elliott and former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford all being floated as potential successors. Tory finance critic Vic Fedeli is the first declared candidate for the interim leadership and has expressed interest in staying on permanently.last_img read more

What Happens When Pot and Pro Sports Collide

first_imgWeed is still banned in most of the sports world, no matter its legal status in Canada. But for how much longer? In contact sports like football and hockey, what’s the justification for prescribing opioids instead of pot as painkillers? In other sports, is there really a case for calling it a “performance enhancing substance”? And if so, then shouldn’t it only be prohibited during games?There are a million questions facing professional athletes and the teams they play for as pot becomes legal in more and more places, but perhaps the most important one is this: Who will be the first league, or team, to do it right? When that happens, the floodgates could open. Or not, and one Canadian league could be the only one out on the front lines of high athletics. Sportsnet’s Donnovan Bennett sits down with Jordan Heath-Rawlings to explore the controversy. Audio Playerhttp://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/radio.pmd.rogersdigitalmedia.com/podcasts/thebigstory/tbs_1025.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

Flaws found in feds many public consultations small biz tax changes top

first_imgOTTAWA – The Trudeau government’s analysis of its extensive public consultation efforts has uncovered some flaws — and last year’s disastrous roll out of Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s controversial small business tax proposals is Exhibit A, internal documents show.Ottawa has been dissecting its public outreach exercises in order to find challenges and lessons learned following the launch of hundreds of consultations over the Liberals’ first two years in office, according to briefing materials obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.The paperwork offers a look at Ottawa’s self-assessment at a time when, as one of the documents asserts, “public servants and elected officials have been consulting Canadians at an unprecedented scale.” At the half-way mark of the Liberals’ four-year mandate, 381 public consultations had been either completed, launched or planned, the document says.The February 2018 documents list a number of concerns faced by many departments when it comes to public consultations.They include low turnouts created by inadequate planning, a focus on quantity over quality and stakeholder fatigue among Indigenous peoples that “may have caused more harm than good.”The briefing package, created for deputy ministers ahead of a meeting last February on the matter, also presented case studies of four consultations — on planned accessibility legislation, electoral reform, national security and Morneau’s tax proposals for private corporations.A briefing note in the package, prepared for deputy finance minister Paul Rochon, provided a summary of the reaction to Morneau’s tax-proposal consultation.“This consultation received ‘backlash’ from stakeholders and negative media coverage,” said the “secret” memo to Rochon.“This negative media coverage led to Opposition criticisms, parliamentary debates on the merits of the tax changes and criticism of both how the tax changes were communicated during the consultation period, as well as personal criticisms of the minister.”Morneau came under fire in the weeks after he announced tax proposals in July 2017. A vocal group of opponents spent months attacking the plan and insisted it would hurt the very middle class the Trudeau government had long claimed to be trying to help.Morneau argued the proposals were designed to stop wealthy owners of private corporations from unfairly taking advantage of the system.But the uproar eventually forced him to tweak and even back away from some elements of his reforms after the conclusion of the 75-day consultation period. The adjustments to the original plan meant only the top three per cent of the wealthiest owners of private corporations would pay more taxes.The Finance Department examined the shortcomings of the plan’s roll out in the memo to Rochon.It zeroed in on the criticism the consultation quickly attracted over the timing of the launch — in the dead of summer.Things got worse from there, the analysis said.The proposals, the document argued, initially received favourable media coverage, but eventually “became a topic of conversation during the summer recess where misinformation was propagated, causing dissent to grow in a vacuum and balloon by late summer.”The whole experience taught the government lessons, the memo said.“Most notably the need to more rapidly adjust communications strategies and messaging to effectively address misconceptions, especially those that are widely and actively diffused through well-funded public relations campaigns,” it said.The assessment also said intense opposition to the plan was fuelled, in part, by “the purposeful circulation of misinformation about the scope of the impact of the tax changes.”The government, the memo added, had created “contingency scenarios, taking into account various stakeholders” ahead of the launch. But there was a lag in the execution, the memo said, likely caused by the shortage of government officials available in the middle of the summer to reinforce messaging and deal with misconceptions.The government’s ability to “get its message out” was further weakened by the complexity of the proposed tax changes themselves, the document said.Among the memo’s suggestions, it said the summertime release could have been examined more carefully, the roll out should have been done in phases and outreach with key stakeholders should have been done before, during and after the consultation.Additional contingency scenarios could have been created, too, it said.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

Plane crashlands in Newfoundland with 50 people aboard minor injuries reported

first_imgSTEPHENVILLE, N.L. — Officials say a plane has crash-landed at a western Newfoundland airport.Stephenville Mayor Tom Rose says the nose gear collapsed on a PAL Airlines plane as it was landing just after noon local time today.Rose says about 50 people were on board.He says he believes one person was taken to hospital with minor injuries.The Canadian Presslast_img

First Nation sues Alberta says oilsands project threatens sacred site

first_imgThe Canadian Press EDMONTON — An Alberta First Nation is suing the province over development approvals that the band says threaten sacred land the government has promised to protect.The Fort McKay First Nation filed the lawsuit in an Edmonton court late last week.It says Alberta has approved or is about to approve developments that encroach on Moose Lake.The First Nation says that area is one of the last remaining in its traditional territory where it can pursue traditional practices.The government released a draft plan in February that would offer the area some protection.But over the summer, the provincial energy regulator OK’d an oilsands project that would come within two kilometres of the lake.No one from the government was immediately available for comment.last_img read more

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNCLavalin controversy Leger poll for CP

first_imgOTTAWA — A recent survey conducted by polling firm Leger for The Canadian Press shows that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking a personal hit in the SNC-Lavalin controversy.In a question about which party leader would make the best prime minister, Justin Trudeau got the backing of 26 per cent of respondents, down seven points from when Leger conducted a similar poll in November 2018.Leger’s executive vice-president Christian Bourque says the firm’s latest poll is the first since the 2015 election that found the Conservatives ahead of the Liberals in Canadians’ party preferences, though the Tory lead falls within the margin of error.Leger found 36-per-cent support for the Tories in a question about federal voting intentions, against 34-per-cent support for the Liberals and 12 per cent for the NDP.The internet-based poll conducted from Feb. 15 to 19 involved 1,500 Canadian eligible voters who are 18 or older, randomly recruited through the firm’s online panel.The polling firm says no margin of error can be associated with a web panel but for comparative purposes, a probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Strong voter turnout expected in Prince Edward Island provincial election

first_imgCHARLOTTETOWN — It’s election day in Prince Edward Island and voter turnout is expected to be strong.More than 36 per cent of eligible voters have already cast their ballots in the advance polls, in a province that traditionally sees voter turnout at more than 80 per cent.The Greens and leader Peter Bevan-Baker are hoping to turn strong support in opinion polls into victories and build on the two seats they held prior to the campaign.The Liberals have governed the Island since 2007, including the last four years under Premier Wade MacLauchlan who is hoping to continue efforts to bolster the province’s economy.Dennis King has only been leader of the Progressive Conservatives since February, but says he is focused on adding to the eight seats his party held.Joe Byrne, who has led the New Democrats for the past year, is looking for his party’s first win in more than 20 years.The Polls open at 9 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Behavioural analysis can help answer the why in BC murders expert

first_imgVANCOUVER — A certified criminal profiler says investigators should find clues about why two men might have killed three people in northern British Columbia and whether there was a leader and a follower by studying exactly how the victims were killed.Jim Van Allen is the former manager of the Ontario Provincial Police criminal profiling unit and has studied 835 homicide scenes.He says behavioural analysis will never have the certainty of fingerprint or ballistic evidence because it involves some interpretation, but it can help answer the big question of “why?”The RCMP has said its behavioural analysis unit will assist investigators in the case of Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod, who were found dead in Manitoba last week and are suspected of killing three people in northern B.C.Van Allen says analysts in the case will be reviewing crime scene evidence, interviewing friends and family of the suspects and looking over other material available to them, including online posts by the young men before their deaths.The men were charged with second-degree murder in the death of Leonard Dyck, a University of British Columbia botany lecturer, and were suspects in the shooting deaths of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese.Van Allen has no details about the McLeod and Schmegelsky case but says in general police can learn many details about behaviour from a crime scene.He says while all murders are violent, particularly brutal killings can suggest explosive anger and lead investigators in cases where there are no suspects to look for someone who was evicted, fired or recently faced another challenge.Van Allen says he has also looked at crime scenes where there are slight variations in how multiple victims are killed, which alerts investigators to the fact that there were two killers.Amy Smart, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Canada pushes China at WTO on canola as Beijing bristles over Trudeau

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada has requested a formal meeting with China at the World Trade Organization to resolve a Chinese ban on Canadian canola shipments.International Trade Minister Jim Carr announced Friday that Canada is seeking a bilateral consultation at the WTO because the two sides have been unable to resolve the issue.China’s decision to ban canola shipments is part of disintegrating relations with Canada following the RCMP’s December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition request.Nine days later, China imprisoned two Canadian men, ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, on suspicion of spying in what is widely viewed as retaliation for Meng’s arrest.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier this week that China uses arbitrary detentions as a tool to achieve its international and domestic political goals.That comment sparked the ire of a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry on Friday, who reiterated Beijing’s position that Meng’s arrest had no basis in law, and that Canada was acting as an American pawn.Carr said in a statement that Canada’s action at the WTO is part of its commitment to “rules-based international trade” on behalf of Canadian farmers who have been hit by the canola ban.“Canada has continued to engage with China at various levels with a view to resolving the issue. In order to make progress, Canada is seeking bilateral consultations at the WTO, which is the usual next step when direct engagement does not lead to resolution,” Carr said.China blocked imports of Canadian canola seeds, alleging they found pests in some shipments. The federal government says it has tried unsuccessfully to send a delegation of inspectors to China to examine the evidence.The government has supplied an additional $150 million in insurance to canola farmers.“We stand by our robust food inspection system and will continue to keep farmers, producers and other stakeholders informed of our progress,” said Carr.Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Iron Maiden Singer Teaches The Disabled To Fly

first_imgBruce Dickinson, the Iron Maiden frontman who used to be a commercial airline pilot, is teaching UK residents with disabilities to fly.Dickinson is working with The Royal International Air Tattoo Flying Scholarships for Disabled People (FSDP), a charity created in the memory of flying ace Douglas Bader, a pilot who lost his legs in an aeroplane accident yet continued as a fighter pilot in World War II.Each year, FSDP provides scholarships to selected applicants with varying disabilities as a way to challenge and inspire them, to focus attention on their abilities rather than everything that they cannot do. The results show improvement in self confidence, outlook and future aspirations.“You gave my son faith in himself and the future,” says the father of one of the scholars.Another scholar was surprised by the course participants: “A bunch of interesting, gutsy people who had been thrown a stinking hand in life and come through fighting. Every one of them had turned down the offer of a bland future, filled with disappointment and disability aids, and come in search of something more”.Nearly 400 people have been awarded a flying scholarship with FSDP since its beginnings in 1983. Dickinson is one of FSDP’s Vice Patrons.Find out more here.Copyright ©2013Look to the Starslast_img read more

Kate del Castillo Says No To Animal Circuses In Mexico City

first_imgMexico City is poised to ban the use of animals in circuses, with the recently passed bill just awaiting Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera’s signature—and in a letter sent to the mayor last week on PETA Latino’s behalf, La Reina del Sur star Kate del Castillo encourages him to sign the bill into law immediately.“As a performer who will always consider Mexico City home, I was proud to learn that city council members voted unanimously to ban the use of animals in circuses,” she wrote. “I’m writing to urge you to protect animals and the public by signing this bill into law.“Undercover footage of Ringling Bros. circus, which was just in Mexico City, reveals that elephants are beaten in order to force them to perform painful tricks. Circuses based in Mexico are no better to animals, and 96 animals have been confiscated by the Mexican government in the past year. Last year, the government seized a lion who was malnourished and severely underweight from the national Daniel Atayde Circus and found three other instances of abuse of a boa, a tiger, and a spider monkey during the inspection. The government has inspected 68 circuses in Mexico. In 38 of them, it found animals with skin infections or serious injuries, spider monkeys who lacked teeth, and other problems.“Elephants who weigh many tons and other wild animals also pose a serious danger to humans. One person died and 11 others were injured after an elephant escaped in Tulancingo. Recently, three elephants rampaged at another circus and damaged vehicles in a parking lot before they were captured 45 minutes later. Fortunately, no children were injured, but they easily could have been.”For more information, please visit PETALatino.com.Source:PETAlast_img read more

Stars Support British Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Appeal

first_imgCelebrities are rallying around to support the British Red Cross’ Nepal Shop Drop – raising vital money for those affected by the earthquake, just by donating unwanted clothes.Since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal last month, the generous British public have raised £3 million through the British Red Cross’ Nepal Earthquake Appeal.Now people can boost urgent funds by dropping off clothes and goods to one of the Red Cross’ 330 charity shops across the UK – and many famous names are doing just that.Actor James McAvoy said: “Many of us here in the UK, including myself, have been moved by the images of devastation coming from Nepal. The people there have had their lives, homes and livelihoods torn apart.“More money is needed to help families and communities to get through the next few weeks and months, recovering and rebuilding their lives.”Public figures on Twitter have been backing #ShopDrop and asking supporters to get involved – including actor Simon Pegg, singer Conor Maynard and presenter Laura Whitmore.Actor and comedian Victoria Wood has also pledged to clear out her wardrobe. After all, a single carrier bag has an average value of £25: enough for 11 blankets, nine mosquito nets or three tarpaulins.Wood said: “I’ve been a fictional Red Cross shop worker myself in the film Housewife 49. I played Nella Last, a real life Red Cross volunteer who ran a shop in wartime – so I know how valuable these donations have been for more than 70 years.”She added: “This week is Red Cross Week, so let’s make it really count. Please dig out any unwanted stuff and drop it at your local shop. With your help, we can tackle the crisis in Nepal.”last_img read more

Jordin Sparks Helps Reading Is Fundamental Celebrate 50 Years

first_imgReading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, celebrated its 50th anniversary of inspiring children to read, learn and grow by hosting a virtual birthday party at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School in Washington, D.C.Jordin Sparks reads with a student from Amidon-Bowen Elementary School during Reading Is Fundamental’s 50th AnniversaryCredit/Copyright: Kevin Wolf/AP Images for Reading Is FundamentalAward-winning singer and actress, Jordin Sparks; passionate advocate, actor and musician, Tray Chaney; and notable children’s author, Tara Lazar joined D.C. Council Members, parents, and DC Public School officials to commemorate the milestone. The event featured live performances, a Happy Birthday sing along, a children’s story read aloud and birthday cake for fourth grade students. In addition, all of the students at the school received birthday-inspired activities and free books, including Dr. Seuss’ Happy Birthday to You! and Tara Lazar’s Normal Norman. The anniversary celebration was sponsored by State Farm, who made a $10,000 donation for books for the school library.“Since 1966, RIF has been an important and influential voice in support of children’s literacy and, in partnership with a grassroots network of hundreds of thousands of RIF volunteers in schools and communities nationwide, we have impacted the lives of more than 40 million children,” noted Alicia Levi, president and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental. “Communities and government officials across the country took part in today’s celebration by issuing a RIF Day Proclamation to recognize the amazing impact RIF has on the lives of children.”The story of RIF began a half a century ago with a simple yet innovative idea – deliver free books to children who don’t have one to call their own. Since Margaret McNamara first founded RIF in 1966, the organization has become an important and influential voice in support of children’s literacy.“I love to read books and as a child, I would stay up way past my bedtime and read in my bed with a flashlight,” said Jordin Sparks. “Having the opportunity to inspire the students at Amidon-Bowen and others of all ages who tuned in proves to show just how much I believe in Reading Is Fundamental’s mission. I am incredibly honored to support them.”“I am a huge fan of Reading is Fundamental and the work they do to improve reading skills for kids,” noted actor and musician Tray Chaney. “As a father, I know first-hand the importance of reading aloud to children and helping them discover the adventures found in a good book. I truly believe we can all make a difference in the lives of young people simply by reading together.”“As a children’s author, I know not every child has a book at home to read. That’s why it was so much fun to see the kids dive in to the free books they received as part of Reading Is Fundamental’s 50th anniversary celebration,” said Normal Norman author, Tara Lazar. “Ensuring kids have access to books is vitally important to setting them on a path to read and learn and I’m so glad to be part of RIF’s rich legacy.”For schools and community organizations who were not able to join in the live broadcast, a recorded version is available on RIF.org/50. Parents, teachers and program coordinators can continue the emphasis on literacy by downloading free birthday-theme literacy activities to extend learning. In addition, book lovers can promote reading by taking an online pledge to read books to a special child in your life and downloading RIF’s free 50 e-book library provided by ustyme. Normal Norman books were supplied by Sterling Publishing and Happy Birthday to You! books were supplied by Penguin Random House to all the students at Amidon-Bowen to own and take home.last_img read more

More Stars Added To SAGAFTRA Foundation Patron Of The Artists Awards

first_imgThe SAG-AFTRA Foundation announced today several presenters and performers for the 3rd annual Patron of the Artists Awards benefit which takes place Thursday, November 8 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.The evening will include musical performances by Arlissa, Adam Lambert, and Leona Lewis. Presenters to date include Adam Driver, Chrissy Metz, Geoffrey Owens, John David Washington and Henry Winkler.The SAG-AFTRA Foundation previously announced it will honor legendary actor Harrison Ford, superstar performer and actor Lady Gaga, entertainment industry leader, WndrCo Co-founder and Quibi Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, and trailblazing Director/Producer/Writer Spike Lee at the celebration.Previous recipients of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards are Director/Writer/Producer Judd Apatow, Director/Producer Kathryn Bigelow, Director/Writer/Producer Lee Daniels, Producer Megan Ellison, Director/Producer Rob Marshall, and Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. The 3rd Annual Patron of the Artists Awards benefits the Foundation’s vital assistance and performers programs for SAG-AFTRA artists, as well as its Emmy nominated children’s literacy program Storyline Online.For more information about sponsorship and tickets, visit patronawards.com.last_img read more

Canadian screen stars want code of conduct to deal with sexual harassment

first_img Twitter More than a dozen groups that represent actors, talent agencies, directors and other employees of Canada’s film and television industry say a code of conduct will help address sexual harassment. (Shutterstock) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img The groups also agreed to create more effective ways to report such behaviour without fear of retribution.Theresa Tova, president of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists’ Toronto chapter, speaks to CBC News on Nov. 3. (CBC)The recent allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and other prominent celebrities has shone a light on harassment in the industry.Some say sexual misconduct has long been a reality in Canada’s film scene, and they contend it’s a problem that appears to be growing.Mia Kirshner arrives at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on Sunday March 9, 2014. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)Actress Mia Kirshner wrote a blistering opinion piece last month in the Globe and Mail, blasting the “disease in [the] industry… of turning a blind eye to sexual harassment and abuse carried out by those who wield power in the film industry.”Kirshner has been critical of how performers unions like ACTRA and the Screen Actors Guild have handled the issue.“Too little, too late. I don’t believe that ACTRA is actually interested listening to union members,” Kirshner tweeted in the lead up to the meeting, referring to the acronym for Canada’s performers’ union.1. Too little, too late. I don’t believe that ACTRA is actually interested listening to union members.— Mia Kirshner (@msmiakirshner) November 14, 2017“I believe that this committee is being created for the purpose of public relations.”Kirshner also posted that she declined to be a part of a new committee created by ACTRA to deal with the issue and instead has co-created a group called #AfterMeToo to push for change. Her group will hold a two-day symposium in Toronto on Dec. 5 and 6.This is the start of something very powerful. https://t.co/6uE0IODgl2— Mia Kirshner (@msmiakirshner) November 16, 2017Others were more hopeful.“I’ve never seen a coming together like this before, and it’s inspiring to see,” said Kendrie Upton, executive director of the Director’s Guild of Canada, B.C., of the meeting.“The conversation in the room was alive and exciting and, you know, I think there’s a lot of work to be done, we want to do it right the first time.”With files from CBC NewsTHE CANADIAN PRESS Groups representing actors, directors and others in Canada’s film and television industry say a code of conduct will be one of several steps toward tackling sexual harassment in the industry.More than a dozen organizations convened a closed-door meeting on Thursday in Toronto to discuss what can be done to curb the problem.They issued a statement that says a code of conduct would clearly define what is inappropriate behaviour as well as what the consequences would be for those who commit such actions. Login/Register With: Facebooklast_img read more

A Conversation With … Leah Daniels

first_img Twitter We are around my desk monitor, and I’m pulling up a video of an old music friend and compatriot still in her twenties. The two of us are marvelling at the big talent on the screen, and there’s a three-way connection. Stacey Kay and Leah Daniels have been best friends since age eleven when the two competed in talent contests.The look in Daniels’ eyes is that of a young woman that’s inspired and in awe of her good friend. In many ways, their careers mirror one another. Both are fiercely independent, have a clear vision where they want to go with their careers, and are determined to get it right. Both work outside the walls of a major record label and connect directly with their audiences.Kay rocked it on America’s Got Talent and Daniels took home the Canadian Radio Music Award as the FACTOR 2016 Breakthrough Artist of the Year, earned four CCMA nominations, and has a new recording set to arrive in May 2018. There’s also something else that binds the two. I keep in mind what Warner Canada Music Steve Kane CEO said to me a few years back after I posed this question about evaluating talent. BK: Is there a checklist?SK: Yes, there’s a mental checklist.  I’ve got to tell you at the top of this checklist – “Does this artist know who they are?” Do they have a sense of self? Do they have a sense of where they want their career to go?The answer?  A resounding yes! Here’s that conversation.Coming out of Sheridan College’s arts program how focused on country music were you back then?Country was not on my mind at that time.I guess in high school it was more about musicals and pop and rock music and after Sheridan I wanted to create my own music. I wanted to write. After Sheridan I went to Humber College for music because I wanted to do my own thing and they had a new program that was a degree program that focused on songwriting specifically. I was like, that sounds perfect. I completed first year but was anxious. I wanted to create music instead of being in school for another four years. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Jason Priestley stars in new episode of Private Eyes that oddly resembles

first_imgJason Priestley says he’s proud of the way “audiences around the world are responding to a show that is unabashedly Canadian.” (CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO) Advertisement “That was just dumb, blind luck, I guess,” Priestley said with a laugh in a recent interview, when asked if the Private Eyes episode was a wink and a nod to his Weinstein story.The former Beverly Hills, 90210 star first shared his Weinstein experience on Twitter in response to a post about Mira Sorvino allegedly losing a role in The Lord of the Rings film series because of a smear campaign orchestrated by the producer. Jason Priestley says it’s merely a coincidence that the upcoming return of Private Eyes is reminiscent of recent headlines surrounding the Canadian actor.Canadian heavyweight boxing champ George Chuvalo guest stars in Sunday’s episode on Global, as the detective duo played by Priestley and Cindy Sampson investigate whether a match between female fighters was fixed.At one point Priestley’s character sucker-punches his former manager, bringing to mind the actor’s admission last December that he once clocked Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein at a Miramax party after the Golden Globes. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL OPENS APPLICATIONS FOR POWER PITCH COMPETITION

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Twitter The winner will be awarded a $41,000 prize package that includes $1,000 cash and a $40,000 production package with a $10,000 post production credit from Encore Vancouver, a $10,000 studio credit, a $10,000 lighting and grip credit and a $10,000 camera credit from SIM. Additionally, they will receive the opportunity to meet privately with each jury member to receive invaluable feedback and advice.The Power Pitch application deadline is September 20 at 11:59pm PST. The program is open to Canadian producers with scripted feature projects. Eligible projects will include a full script, character outline, synopsis, and project summary, along with casting and budget aspirations submitted with the application.The Whistler Film Festival gratefully acknowledges support for Power Pitch from Creative BC, CMPA, Encore Vancouver and SIM.From December 4 to 8, the Whistler Film Festival will welcome film fans and filmmakers to experience its 19th edition featuring fresh films, special guests, epic events, unique industry and talent programs, and time to play in North America’s premier mountain resort destination. WFF’s online box office is open for early bird passes, and early bird accommodation and travel rates are available. Find out more at whistlerfilmfestival.com. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Whistler, B.C. (August 7, 2019) – The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) is now accepting applications for its 2019 Power Pitch program. The two-step workshop and pitch competition that takes place during WFF’s Content Summit from December 5 to 7 offers Canadian producers the opportunity to bring their feature film project to life with a $41,000 production prize on the line.“With the world of feature filmmaking undergoing unprecedented change, producers are looking for new ways to elevate their creative projects,” says Angela Heck, WFF’s Director of Industry Programming. “WFF’s Power Pitch program is a tremendous opportunity to gain invaluable business skills, captivate an audience of industry decision makers and accelerate the process.”Power Pitch finalists will participate in an intensive workshop and training under the direction of LA-based industry veteran and pitch master, Carole Kirschner. As the Director of the WGA Showrunner Training Program and CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program, Kirschner had previously acted as a development executive at CBS and VP of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment Television. She will advise participants on the ins and outs of how to successfully pitch their project. Following the workshop, one-on-one sessions with Kirschner and a day to prep, finalists will have six minutes to pitch their feature film to three senior executives from recognized international sales companies, who will provide feedback on the quality and marketability of the projects presented, and select the winning project. Login/Register With:last_img read more

SCHITTS CREEK STARCOCREATOR DANIEL LEVY TO GET GLAAD AWARD

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Emmy-nominated “Schitt’s Creek” co-creator Daniel Levy will receive an award from the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD next month.The media watchdog group says it will give the Toronto actor/writer/producer the Davidson/Valentini Award at the GLAAD Gala San Francisco on Sept. 28.The award is named after Craig Davidson, GLAAD’s first executive director, and his partner Michael Valentini. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With:center_img Daniel Levy cast member in the Pop TV series “Schitt’s Creek” poses for a portrait during the 2018 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington hotel on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, in Pasadena, Calif. Emmy-nominated “Schitt’s Creek” co-creator Daniel Levy will receive an award from the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP It honours an LGBTQ media professional who has promoted acceptance for the LGBTQ community.Levy is the showrunner on “Schitt’s Creek” and also stars as a character who identifies as pansexual, which means being open to all sexual orientations or gender identities.The openly gay Levy has also done fundraising for GLAAD and, in honour of his recent birthday, his fans raised over $20,000 for Ontario’s LGBT Youth Line.“Schitt’s Creek” airs on CBC and Pop TV and is also on Netflix.The show about a formerly rich family living in a small-town motel is up for four Emmys next month, including best comedy series.Stars Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy are also up for acting trophies.“Through his work on-screen and behind the scenes of ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ Dan Levy moves LGBTQ visibility on television forward in humorous, compelling, and necessary ways,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement.“By featuring and celebrating a pansexual character, Dan and ‘Schitt’s Creek’ are expanding representation of the spectrum of identities within the LGBTQ community in a way that other content creators should model. Dan has been such a powerful advocate throughout his career, and continues to use his platform to uplift and inspire LGBTQ youth.”The Canadian Press Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more