Snoop Dogg handed out 1,500 turkeys to people in need in Los Angeles last week.The rapper joined with Mayor James Butts at The Forum for the second annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway.“Snoop Dogg took pictures with over 800 people at the event,” Butts said. “We had a tented area for seniors to sit in, and the first thing he did was go over to take pictures with everyone there.”“This is my second home,” said Snoop. “Inglewood has been good to me from day one and that’s why I love Inglewood, and I just want to let y’all know I’m gonna be doing this every year. I’m sorry I’m late but I giving you some big fat turkeys so y’all can get your eat on for Thanksgiving.”
Superstar violinist and Olympic skier, Vanessa-Mae, is hoping she can help orchestrate a wave of public support for ending animal testing in Thailand.A statement from the Thai government, that it has agreed in principle to look at ending animal testing for cosmetics, has struck a chord with the Cruelty Free International Ambassador, who is currently in Thailand visiting family and the Thai Olympic Committee.In April 2015 Cruelty Free International received confirmation from the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand that it is now in the process of reviewing the availability of local laboratories and decision-makers to use non-animal safety testing for cosmetics. Vanessa-Mae, whose father comes from Thailand, is hoping to use her profile in the country to place a spotlight on the issue and encourage the Ministry of Public Health to make good on their intention to phase out cosmetics tests on animals.Vanessa-Mae says: “I am proud of my Thai heritage and the family roots I have in this country, so I am very encouraged to hear from Cruelty Free International that the Thai government has in principle accepted a phase-out of animal testing for cosmetics. I know that many people in Thailand are eager and impatient to hear of progress towards implementing this. It is now time for Thailand to demonstrate to the world that it is a modern, forward-thinking nation and to join the increasing number of compassionate countries around the globe showing their commitment to ending the horrific and unnecessary practice of animal testing for cosmetics.”Michelle Thew, Cruelty Free International CEO, said: “We are delighted with the open-minded response shown so far from the government in Thailand towards adopting humane methods of testing cosmetics. The intention shows that Thailand is very much in tune with the growing anti-animal testing sentiment spreading across the globe. The move away from animal experiments for cosmetics is snowballing and we hope for an opportunity to work with the Thai authorities to make this happen and help progress the issue across ASEAN.”Since the EU ban on animal cosmetics testing in 2013, Cruelty Free International has led the campaign to see similar action implemented globally, including in Thailand and the ASEAN community. In Vietnam a programme to train local scientists in alternatives to animal tests for cosmetics was funded by the organisation. In 2014, Cruelty Free International delivered a ground-breaking scientific report on the alternatives to animal tests to over one hundred governments around the globe, including Thailand. The report, ‘Meeting the Global Challenge: A guide to assessing the safety of cosmetics without using animals’ is a roadmap designed to help governments, politicians, regulators and cosmetics manufacturers worldwide switch to alternative ways of testing products. It describes the alternative approaches that are available to replace animals and shows how they are more reliable, faster and cheaper than the animal tests they replace.
Coming “home” will have a different meaning for the New York Mets as they kick off the baseball season on April 3.Habitat For Humanity will launch its first nationwide cause campaign, Home is the Key during the Mets home opener to raise awareness and support of the critical need for affordable housing in the country and around the world.The campaign will gather sponsors, celebrities and community leaders for a month of activities and build events across the country. Consumers can help Habitat’s efforts by purchasing products from participating partners, sharing #HomeIsTheKey on social media, or donating at habitat.org.“We all need decent shelter to thrive, and yet many in the U.S. live in inadequate housing conditions, creating a significant barrier to opportunity, success and health,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Home is the Key reminds us that home is more than just bricks and mortar. A home unlocks the opportunity for a better life and we hope people see that, by donating to Habitat, they’re opening the door to strength and stability for millions of families who need a hand up.”Country music star Eric Paslay and HGTV personality Chip Wade have signed on to lend their support and raise awareness of the transformational impact a decent, affordable home can have on a family and community.“As a designer, builder and contractor, home is such an important part of every aspect of my life,” said Wade. “My home is the source of my serenity, my security and my confidence to continue pursuing my passions – it’s truly the foundation of all of my success, professionally and personally. Everyone deserves the opportunity to unlock the bright future a decent, affordable place to live can provide, which is why I’m proud to support Habitat for Humanity.”Thanks to partners that have joined the campaign, numerous opportunities are available in April for the public to get involved or to help generate awareness of the need for affordable housing:• Nissan: For every #HomeIsTheKey social post, Nissan will donate $1 to Habitat, up to $250,000. Nissan and Habitat have partnered together for over a decade and have helped families all over the world build and own their home. • At Home Stores: The home décor superstore will sell special edition candles with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Habitat. Opportunities to donate at check-out will also be available. • BLACK+DECKER: Building on a 25-year local partnership with Habitat, BLACK+DECKER will use its social media channels to promote the campaign and drive awareness of the need for decent, affordable housing. • Kum & Go Convenience Stores: Customers will have the opportunity to donate to Habitat at checkout. Continuing its annual in-store fundraising competition for the fourth year, Kum & Go will build a new Habitat home in the community that raises the most donations. • HSN Cares and Ballard Designs: Habitat will be the featured nonprofit partner for HSN and Ballard Designs in April. Shoppers can contribute throughout the month. HSN Cares is sponsoring and volunteering to build two homes in their hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida, alongside two future Habitat homeowners. • Sur La Table Stores: At-register or online donations will be available and a portion of the proceeds from sales of Scanpan cookware will benefit Habitat.Habitat for Humanity will also have a #HomeIsTheKey Twitter party on Wednesday, April 5 from 2-3 pm EDT. Hosted by Amy Lupold Bair, blogger and founder of Resourceful Mommy Media, the chat will be an opportunity to show support for Habitat and enter to win prizes from campaign partners.The campaign will culminate at the end of April in Habitat’s hometown of Atlanta with Nissan and the Heisman Trophy Trust for the 5th annual Heisman House Build.To learn how to get involved with Home is the Key and more about the month-long activations, visit habitat.org/homeisthekey.
On December 31, Under Armour and Stephen Curry, who serves as the Global Ambassador for the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, released a limited-edition Curry 4 Low colorway to support the fight against malaria.For every pair sold, Stephen will donate an insecticide-treated bed net to Nothing But Nets, protecting kids, refugees, and families from malaria.Stephen wore the new colorway, aptly named “Nothing But Nets,” as he worked out before a recent game against the Utah Jazz. The bright red colorway with netting design found on the heel is inspired by his involvement in the campaign’s efforts to send nets and help save lives from malaria.“As a father, I can’t imagine a world where kids are still dying unnecessarily from a preventable disease like malaria,” said Curry. “With my partners at Under Armour, we’re releasing this special colorway of the Curry 4 so that fans can be part of the solution with me.”First learning about malaria while at Davidson College, Stephen has supported the Nothing But Nets campaign for many years and conducted his own Three for Three Challenge for the past five NBA seasons, donating three bed nets for every three-pointer he makes.In 2013, Stephen traveled with Nothing But Nets to Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in Tanzania, operated by Nothing But Nets partner UNHCR. Nyarugusu is one of the largest refugee camps in the world and malaria is the leading cause of illness and death. There, he helped deliver more than 38,000 bed nets to refugees and hung nets in a few homes. Since 2006, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $65 million dollars and delivered more than 12 million bed nets and other life-saving malaria prevention and treatment to families in 31 countries.“We have made tremendous progress in the fight against malaria, but the fact remains that a child dies every two minutes from this disease,” said Margaret Reilly McDonnell, executive director of Nothing But Nets. “Stephen understands how something as simple as a net – or in this case a net per shoe – can help us save lives. We are so proud to have him and Under Armour on our team to defeat malaria.”The Curry 4 Low “Nothing But Nets” colorway was released for $120 USD at Under Armour Brand Houses and UA.com in the United States, Canada, and China on December 31. Each shoe purchased delivers a life-saving anti-malaria bed net and educates the recipient on its proper use.To learn how you can join Stephen Curry and Under Armour to support Nothing But Nets to save lives and help defeat malaria, click here.
Casting has been announced for CONCERT FOR AMERICA starring Jorge Avila, Tina Fey, Mandy Gonzalez, Jeremy Jordan, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Olga Merediz, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Andrew Rannells, Chita Rivera, Keala Settle, Shaina Taub and Patrick Wilson.Additional casting will be announced later this week.This edition of CONCERT FOR AMERICA will take place on Saturday, June 30, at 5pm EDT on the stage of the Great Hall at The Cooper Union at 7 E. 7th Street in New York City. Tickets are available now at Eventbrite.com.A concert of songs, comedy, and commentary, CONCERT FOR AMERICA has been hailed by the New York Times as “striking for its emphasis on the importance of faith in the United States and optimism about its future.” Created and hosted by Sirius Xm’s Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, who also organized the Broadway For Orlando/What the World Needs Now is Love recording, CONCERT FOR AMERICA debuted on January 20th, 2017, and toured the country, benefitting 5 national organizations fighting for civil, human, and environmental rights. Rudetsky says “James and I have been increasingly horrified at what’s going on with these families struggling at the border. Our friend suggested we put up another CONCERT FOR AMERICA to coincide with the upcoming day of national protests and, even though we had ten days to plan it, we said YES!” James added, “These amazing performers agreed to appear as soon as we texted them! And these wonderful organizations are working right at the frontlines, helping both parents and children during this perilous time at our southern border.” Rudetsky adds, “Come to Concert For America to support these wonderful non-profits, stay for the phenominal entertainment!”Proceeds from CONCERT FOR AMERICA will benefit four non-profit organizations working along our southern border to protect the civil and human rights of families: Al Otro Lado, Texas Civil Rights Project, ACLU Foundation of Texas, and Florence Project.General Admission tickets are $25, with a very limited number of VIP reserved seats at $250, are available on Eventbrite.com or through their website, ConcertsforAmerica.com.For those unable to attend CONCERT FOR AMERICA in person, it will be broadcast via Facebook Live and at ConcertsforAmerica.com, beginning at 5pm EDT / 2pm PDT on Saturday, June 30th.CONCERT FOR AMERICA is created and organized by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, in association with Your Kids, Our Kids, as well as the generous support of Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS.
Facebook Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement This first of its kind agreement shows that Canada’s creativity is a competitive advantage in the increasing global demand for high-quality film and television content. Investments like this one ultimately give Canadian producers and creators more access to financing, business partners and ways to connect with global audiences.Quotes“The Government of Canada is committed to growing our creative industries with new investments that create opportunities for creators and producers across the country to make great content that stands out,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “This agreement – the first of its kind in the world – will ensure the investment of more than $500 million in original production in Canada in both official languages. It signals a meaningful partnership in supporting Canadian creators, producers and Canadian creative work, and in bringing that work to millions of viewers around the world.”– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage“Fans around the world are already falling in love with Netflix originals produced in Canada. Today’s announcement affirms there’s more to come as Netflix launches Netflix Canada, our permanent production presence in Canada. We look forward to continuing our work with Canadian talent, producers, broadcasters and other local partners to create Netflix originals in Canada for many years to come.”– Ted Sarandos, Netflix, Chief Content Officer Advertisement Concluded under the Investment Canada Act, the agreement attests to Canada’s creative talent and its strong track record in creating films and television shows that stand out, both here at home and abroad. The agreement also reflects Netflix’s commitment to being a meaningful partner in supporting Canadian creators, producers and the Canadian creative expression.The agreement includes, among others, the following undertakings by Netflix:Establishing a permanent, multi-purpose film and television production presence here in Canada, the first time that the company has done so outside the United States.Investing at least CAD $500 million over the next five years in original productions in Canada that will be distributed across Netflix’s global platform. As part of this investment, Netflix will continue to work with Canadian producers, production houses, broadcasters, creators and other partners to produce original Canadian content in both English and French.Supporting Canadian French-language content on the Netflix platform through a market development strategy for Canada. Centered on a CAD $25 million investment, this strategy will include “pitch days” for producers, recruitment events and other promotional and market development activities.Ensuring that Canadians and Netflix members around the world find Canadian films and television shows on the Netflix Service by highlighting and promoting those productions on its global platform. Advertisement Twitter OTTAWA, Sept. 28, 2017 – Today, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Netflix announced an agreement that will see the company create Netflix Canada – a first of its kind production company for Netflix outside of the United States – and invest a minimum of CAD $500 million in original productions in Canada over the next five years.
Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Toronto-based SpinVFX handles the elaborate effects work on Netflix’s ‘Umbrella Academy.’ (Courtesy of Netflix) Advertisement Advertisement The rise of pricey, VFX-heavy streaming projects in Ontario has presented the province’s post-production industry with seemingly limitless opportunity to stretch creative talent beyond the classic mix of police and medical dramas and soaps.As sound supervisor on Hulu critical darling The Handmaid’s Tale, Jane Tattersall was tasked with creating a bold, dystopian audio environment for the totalitarian Republic of Gilead in the upcoming third season. “The [streamers] raise the bar because they have confidence in you,” says Tattersall of MGM execs. “And, in turn, we’re made to work harder and push the envelope.”John Rakich — whose recent Ontario location manager credits include Netflix’s Mark Millar superhero series Jupiter’s Legacy and monster-hunter thriller October Faction — jokes that he and others have become fixtures in the streaming giant’s family. “It’s very rare to see something being made here that’s not for a streaming service — even the CBC’s Anne With an E. Somehow we’ve all ended up working for Netflix.” Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
Advertisement Facebook Twitter James Corden performs onstage during the 2019 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2019 in New York City. Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement The biggest night in theater was a memorable one. The 73rd Annual Tony Awards were presented on Sunday night to celebrate Broadway’s best performances of the year.Winners in each category are bolded.Best play“Choir Boy” by Tarell Alvin McCraney“The Ferryman” by Jez Butterworth *WINNER“Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus” by Taylor Mac“Ink” by James Graham“What the Constitution Means to Me” by Heidi SchreckBest revival of a musical“Kiss Me, Kate”Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” *WINNERBest musical“Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”“Beetlejuice”“Hadestown” *WINNER“The Prom”“Tootsie”Best revival of a playArthur Miller’s “All My Sons”“The Boys in the Band” by Mart Crowley *WINNER“Burn This” by Lanford Wilson“Torch Song” by Harvey Fierstein“The Waverly Gallery” by Kenneth LonerganBest performance by an actor in a leading role in a musicalBrooks Ashmanskas, “The Prom”Derrick Baskin, “Ain’t Too Proud”Alex Brightman, “Beetlejuice”Damon Daunno, “Oklahoma!”Santino Fontana, “Tootsie” *WINNERBest performance by an actress in a leading role in a musicalStephanie J. Block, “The Cher Show” *WINNERCaitlin Kinnunen, “The Prom”Beth Leavel, “The Prom”Eva Noblezada, “Hadestown”Kelli O’Hara, “Kiss Me, Kate”Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a playPaddy Considine, “The Ferryman”Bryan Cranston, “Network” *WINNERJeff Daniels, “To Kill a Mockingbird”Adam Driver, “Burn This”Jeremy Pope, “Choir Boy”Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a playAnnette Bening, “All My Sons”Laura Donnelly, “The Ferryman”Elaine May, “The Waverly Gallery” *WINNERJanet McTeer, “Bernhardt/Hamlet”Laurie Metcalf, “Hillary and Clinton”Heidi Schreck, “What the Constitution Means to Me”Best book of a musical“Ain’t Too Proud,” Dominique Morisseau“Beetlejuice,” Scott Brown and Anthony King“Hadestown,” Anaïs Mitchell“The Prom,” Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin“Tootsie,” Robert Horn *WINNERBest original score (music and/or lyrics) written for the theater“Be More Chill,” Joe Iconis“Beetlejuice,” Eddie Perfect“Hadestown,” Anaïs Mitchell *WINNER“The Prom,” Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin“To Kill a Mockingbird,” Adam Guettel“Tootsie,” David YazbekBest direction of a musicalRachel Chavkin, “Hadestown” *WINNERScott Ellis, “Tootsie”Daniel Fish, “Oklahoma!”Des McAnuff, “Ain’t Too Proud”Casey Nicholaw, “The Prom”Best direction of a playRupert Goold, “Ink”Sam Mendes, “The Ferryman” *WINNERBartlett Sher, “To Kill a Mockingbird”Ivo van Hove, “Network”George C. Wolfe, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musicalAndré De Shields, “Hadestown” *WINNERAndy Grotelueschen, “Tootsie”Patrick Page, “Hadestown”Jeremy Pope, “Ain’t Too Proud”Ephraim Sykes, “Ain’t Too Proud”Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musicalLilli Cooper, “Tootsie”Amber Gray, “Hadestown”Sarah Stiles, “Tootsie”Ali Stroker, “Oklahoma!” *WINNERMary Testa, “Oklahoma!”Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a playBertie Carvel, “Ink” *WINNERRobin De Jesús, “The Boys in the Band”Gideon Glick, “To Kill a Mockingbird”Brandon Uranowitz, “Burn This”Benjamin Walker, “All My Sons”Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a playFionnula Flanagan, “The Ferryman”Celia Keenan-Bolger, “To Kill a Mockingbird” *WINNERKristine Nielsen, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”Julie White, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”Ruth Wilson, “King Lear”Best choreographyCamille A. Brown, “Choir Boy”Warren Carlyle, “Kiss Me, Kate”Denis Jones, “Tootsie”David Neumann, “Hadestown”Sergio Trujillo, “Ain’t Too Proud” *WINNERBest orchestrationsMichael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, “Hadestown” *WINNERLarry Hochman, “Kiss Me, Kate”Daniel Kluger, “Oklahoma!”Simon Hale, “Tootsie”Harold Wheeler, “Ain’t Too Proud”Best scenic design of a musicalRobert Brill and Peter Nigrini, ‘Ain’t Too Proud”Peter England, “King Kong”Rachel Hauck, “Hadestown” *WINNERLaura Jellinek, “Oklahoma!”David Korins, “Beetlejuice”Best scenic design of a playMiriam Buether, “To Kill a Mockingbird”Bunny Christie, “Ink”Rob Howell, “The Ferryman” *WINNERSanto Loquasto, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”Jan Versweyveld, “Network”Best costume design of a musicalMichael Krass, “Hadestown”William Ivey Long, “Beetlejuice”William Ivey Long, “Tootsie”Bob Mackie, “The Cher Show” *WINNERPaul Tazewell, “Ain’t Too Proud”Best costume design of a playRob Howell, “The Ferryman” *WINNERToni-Leslie James, “Bernhardt/Hamlet”Clint Ramos, “Torch Song”Ann Roth, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”Ann Roth, “To Kill a Mockingbird”Best sound design of a musicalPeter Hylenski, “Beetlejuice”Peter Hylenski, “King Kong”Steve Canyon Kennedy, “Ain’t Too Proud”Drew Levy, “Oklahoma!”Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, “Hadestown” *WINNERBest sound design of a playAdam Cork, “Ink”Scott Lehrer, “To Kill a Mockingbird”Fitz Patton, “Choir Boy” *WINNERNick Powell, “The Ferryman”Eric Sleichim, “Network”Best lighting design of a musicalKevin Adams, “The Cher Show”Howell Binkley, “Ain’t Too Proud”Bradley King, “Hadestown” *WINNERPeter Mumford, “King Kong”Kenneth Posner and Peter Nigrini, “Beetlejuice”Best lighting design of a playNeil Austin, “Ink” *WINNERJules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”Peter Mumford, “The Ferryman”Jennifer Tipton, “To Kill a Mockingbird”Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden, “Network”
By Kenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsOn the surface Ron Plain and Scott Holmes don’t have much in common. In fact they’ve never met.One is an Ojibway man from Sarnia, who blocked a railway, the other a Caucasian who used to build the very same tracks that run through his community.But both are locked in a fight with the same company – Canadian National Railway.Plain, was part of a rail blockade in Aamjiwnaang that halted CN freight cars during the height of the Idle No More movement at the turn of the current calendar year.Holmes, says he’s a whistleblower exposing what he believes to be financial irregularities within CN.And both have felt the full legal might of the largest railway company in North America.Plain was brought before a judge and wound up on the losing end after the court ruled he had to pay CN $16,000 in damages.He didn’t have the money and feared he was going to lose his home.“That was the fear and that’s why we had to borrow the money to pay it,” said Plain who this past summer was found in contempt for disobeying a court injunction to shut down the blockade that lasted 13 days and, according to CN, caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.Holmes was fired from a job he had since 1981 with CN. He told APTN that he lost just about everything he owned except the house he lives in. That includes coffee shops, construction businesses and a home in Florida. He puts the personal loss at approximately $10 million.He was also charged with fraud and CN sued him for millions.But twice, criminal charges against him were stayed by the Crown, once for lack of evidence and other based on the conduct of CN Police who admitted to lying to obtain warrants and being directed by CN corporate during their police investigation.“Scott has a great deal of information about wrongdoing, financial wrongdoing within CN and he started to raise objections to what CN was doing as far as its charges to its customers were concerned. That’s why he was kicked out, that’s why he was fired and sued — to shut him up,” said Holmes’ lawyer Graydon Sheppard in a taped interview with APTN National News.APTN has been investigating the Holmes vs. CN case for several months, interviewing sources and collecting documents.Holmes said CN has fought to keep what he claims to know about CN’s relationship with GO Transit from the public eye.GO is a public transit authority operated by the province of Ontario. It moves millions of commuters every day in the greater Toronto area.Holmes claims to have evidence to suggest CN billed the transit company for work it never did.He’s taken this evidence to the Ontario Provincial Police and he met with two detectives from the corruption section of the OPP’s anti-rackets unit in February.After that meeting one detective kept coming back – Det. Bev Mackey.She was given thousands of financial documents that allegedly back up what Holmes says.APTN has learned Mackey has compiled a report for her superiors who are considering launching a full investigation.The documents Holmes gave the OPP includes invoices and internal CN emails. They were provided by CN in the criminal disclosure package provided to Holmes by the Crown in CN’s failed pursuit of a criminal conviction.APTN wasn’t able to independently verify all of the claims he’s made to the OPP.CN issued a statement to APTN National News flatly denying Holmes’ allegations. CN said it wasn’t aware of any OPP investigation.“CN is not aware of any investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police into such allegations,” said spokesman Mark Hallman in an emailed statement. “CN strongly rejects any suggestion of impropriety in its management of Go rail projects.”The statement also said that CN was continuing to pursue Holmes in court for fraud.Mr. Holmes has made repeated spurious allegations against CN in recent months.“But, as this matter remains before the courts, CN has no further comment,” said Hallman.Holmes said one CN capital project had run over budget by about $93,000 and he was asked to rework an internal billing scheme where that CN work would be charged to GO.Holmes gave the OPP an email that shows his superiors directing him to him to look into the matter.He said after he got the email a supervisor called him.“So they called me and we worked it out so GO couldn’t really figure it out.“I was instructed to do that,” said Holmes in a taped interview with APTN. “[At CN] you do whatever someone asks.”Holmes said this was known at CN as “journaling” which is a way to move money from one account to another.CN countered, stating it has strict accounting procedures and controls.“Mistakes, if any, are identified and corrected. As the work performed by CN on behalf of GO on a fixed-price basis with the work approved in advance and reviewed after completion, there was no risk of GO being overcharged due to any miscoding,” said Hallman.Another allegation is the use of partially worn material (PW) on new GO projects.APTN was given three emails where the person in charge of GO projects instructs staff to find the PW material to save cost for GO projects CN was in charge of.One of the emails obtained by APTN is labeled “confidential” and talks about a three mile track from Hamilton to Burlington East that CN built for $72 million for GO in 2007.The 2004 email was sent by CN’s former divisional engineer for Ontario, Daryl Barnett who left CN in 2008 and got a job with GO as their director of railway corridors where he remains to this day.The email goes on about other ways to save money.“When we estimate the North side bridge we will build into this estimate some buffer to reclaim the Geotech/surveys/flagging/locates. Exposure reduced to $30k,” wrote Barnett while telling staff in writing not to ‘print or circulate’ the email.The email continues: “We will charge another $30k for the additional grading on the North side and absorb the balance into the project. Exposure reduced to $40k,” wrote Barnett.In total, if all was done as directed by Barnett, CN would have recovered more than $300,000 Barnett said in the email.Barnett wouldn’t talk about it when reached by APTN.CN did not address this issue in their emailed statement to APTN and did not respond to follow up questions on the issue.APTN also spoke to a senior official at GO who asked not to be identified so they could talk more freely. The source said it wouldn’t be acceptable to use PWs and GO paid for new material.CN said the use of PW material is common in the rail industry.“The partially worn material is a cost-effective, quality product that is safe to use in the operating conditions for it was used,” said Hallman. “In cases where CN installed PW materials on GO work, this was transparent to GO.”The GO official, however, defended CN’s work and said they’ve done spot audits on CN and compared prices.“We’ve looked at prices we get from CN and compare them to the open marketplace but at the end of the day CN, because they own the corridor, they can potentially charge us whatever they want to charge us and our choice is to say ‘well then we don’t want the work done,’” they said.But that would mean they don’t get the trains through, the source said.“That is the reality of a monopolistic situation,” they said. “They are a private company and trying to make a profit. We’re a public agency trying to provide a service provided they don’t try to gouge us.”The source said it is common business to subsidize CN’s own freight lines in GO projects that CN is in charge of building.“In order for us to run the service CN comes in and they might have to improve their existing freight service as well in order for the GO trains to come through. So it’s not unreasonable to assume improvements to all the tracks in the given corridor are required,” said the source, adding there is no dedicated GO track even after they pay to build it.While Holmes and Plain may be miles apart one man saw the similarities.Private investigator Derrick Snowdy had already been investigating CN when he heard of Plain and the blockade he represented.Snowdy thought Plain could be an asset to his investigation and befriended the man.He told Plain about some of his work and knowledge he had about CN that included Justice David Brown who issued the first court injunction against Plain on Dec. 24, 2012. The injunction ordered Plain and the rest of the people on the Aamjiwnaang off the spur line that serviced mainly propane companies.Brown was unknown to Plain but Snowdy had seen his name before and gave Plain a public court document where Brown presided over a motion hearing involving another man he had never heard of – Scott Holmes.It was a motion hearing regarding Holmes’ counter lawsuit against CN.Brown himself said in the document he had acted as a former lawyer for CN before being called to the bench in 2006 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.Brown also said he was a witness for CN in some regulatory matters for the company in the United States as APTN reported.Brown played a small part in Holmes’ case that is still before courts five years later having never gone to trial.“I want my day in court,” said Holmes.None of these allegations have yet been proven in firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @afixedaddress
Kent Driscoll APTN National NewsIqaluit residents discussed opening a beer and wine store for three and a half hours Tuesday night and could have continued three and a half more.The sentiment expressed at the public meeting overwhelmingly opposed alcohol sales of any kind.Iqaluit city council voted in August to recommend that the territorial government begin a consultation process with city residents about opening a beer and wine store as a pilot project.The proposed outlet would be the first of its kind for Nunavut.Residents now order from southern outlets, through paid permits. An alternative is a complicated process through the government of Nunavut, where residents of Baffin Island must order from Rankin Inlet, and vice versa.The most used alternative is bootlegging.“We know that there is a massive amount of alcohol available in Iqaluit and other towns,” said Chris D’Arcy, deputy minister of finance and the host for the evening.D’Arcy explained how his department hopes availability of beer and wine can help reduce the harm caused by hard liquor and promised that any pilot store would be on a short leash, “if we find out this isn’t working, we’ll just turn it off.”Former premier , current justice minister and Iqaluit-Sinna MLA Paul Okalik doesn’t buy the argument that beer and wine would mitigate harm.“Alcohol is alcohol, people could drink quickly,” said Okalik, Nunavut’s longest serving premier pointing out the lack of a treatment facility in Iqaluit. “‘We need to recognize there’s a lack of resources in Nunavut right now.”The theme of a missing treatment centre was common throughout the meeting. Iqaluit Coun. Joanasie Akumalik was one of many speakers who cited his own struggle with alcohol as an example.“I am living proof that a treatment centre works for some people,” said Akumalik.Akumalik was critical of the territorial government.He started his remarks by promising to speak in English instead of Inuktitut, “so that the government officials can understand.”He said alcohol is the major reason “for a backlog in foster parents” and said the government needs to “put a proper policy and funding on social issues.”At Nunavut public meetings, elders are heard from often and at length. Tuesday night was no exception.Widely respected elder Alicee Joamie received a round of applause for criticizing the lack of consultation with elders, saying, “why didn’t the elders have a meeting prior to this?”Uniformly opposed to a pilot store opening, much of the night was dedicated to elders reminding residents what Iqaluit – then Frobisher Bay – was like when a liquor store was open in the 1970s.Rev. Mike Gartner is not an Inuit elder, but he is considered an Iqaluit elder by many.Fluent in Inuktitut, a resident of the eastern Arctic for more than 50 years, and an Order of Canada recipient, Gardener remembers the 1970’s liquor store.“The old graveyard wouldn’t be a quarter full, if it wasn’t for liquor” said Gardener, in a theme that was echoed throughout the night.The liquor store was closed in 1975, after public outcry over a young boy who was killed by a drunk snowmobiler. Elders described having to poke through snowbanks to find frozen bodies and children being left vulnerable to sexual abuse.One of the children who survived that sexual abuse was one of only three people who spoke in favour of a beer and wine store.Janet Brewster didn’t plan on attending the public meeting, but decided to attend after social media accounts showed the vast majority of people speaking against the meeting.“I survived the 1970’s. Alcohol didn’t abuse me, people did,” said Brewster.Brewster wants a chance to show how responsible drinking can be passed on to children, breaking Nunavut’s generational cycle of abuse.“I teach my kids responsible drinking habits by drinking responsibly. In every community, there should be access. Taking the choice away doesn’t solve the issue, it is just denying people the opportunity to make healthy choices,” she said.The territorial government’s finance department now has to report back to the cabinet on the result of their fact finding.Tuesday’s meeting was a part of a process that included written submissions and a widely circulated survey.The earliest the pilot store could open would be late email@example.com
APTN National NewsManitoba’s advocate for First Nations children has set up a teepee and is on a four day fast to bring attention to the province’s “broken” child welfare system.Cora Morgan started her fast on the front lawn of the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg.APTN’s Dennis Ward firstname.lastname@example.org
John Murray APTN National NewsRoddy Sampare stood before the commissioners at the national inquiry hearings in Smithers, B.C. and told the story of his family’s tragedy like he had told it a thousand times before.“The pain doesn’t go away,” he said. “You know, I was sitting in the other room listening to the people who lost their loved ones through murder. At least some of them had the chance to bury their loved one. “We didn’t get that chance. It really hurts inside.”His sister, Virginia Sampare, from the Gitsegukla First Nation, an hour by car from Smithers, vanished on Oct. 14, 1971.At some point around 1995, the RCMP closed her file and didn’t reopen it until the Pickton investigation.Police believed she was a victim of Robert Picton – a pig farmer in British Columbia who was convicted of second degree murder in the deaths of six women.But Virginia Sampare’s DNA never turned up on Picton’s farm.It left the family in limbo because the police didn’t share any information with the family – until yesterday.Winnie Sampare, Virginia’s sister, stood at the inquiry in disbelief, to talk about the family meeting with the RCMP.“We actually met with them yesterday,” Winnie Sampare said. “The other shocking information for us was that he shared that our chief councillor and others had gone to the RCMP detachment and told them that there was footprints found at the Gitsegukla River and they believe that it was hers.“The reason why I say it was shocking information is that information from the Chief Councillor wasn’t shared with the family. This was new to us yesterday.”The band council, and the RCMP kept the information from the family for more than 45 years.“To me that sounds like maybe that’s why they stopped the search,” she said. “We don’t know.”Even with this new information, Roddy Sampare said he still doesn’t trust the police.“I feel the RCMP isn’t telling us the whole story when they talk to us and tell us the file is closed,” he said. “I asked for a copy of the file and they wouldn’t give it to me.”And this new information has left him, and the rest of the Sampare family, confused.“I can’t see it. The whole area is just rocks. You can’t leave footprints on the rocks, unless you have muddy feet I guess. So I don’t know what’s happening there,” he said.Roddy Sampare said he didn’t feel he was given enough time to review the file, and asked for a copy, but RCMP declined.He told the inquiry the last time they heard from the RCMP before Tuesday was during the Pickton investigation.Today marks day two of testimony at the public hearings for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls at the The Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre.Roddy Sampare told the commissioners that his sister was listed on the band list as deceased.His mother asked him to accompany her to a band council meeting so she could ask a question.“So she asked the band, she said, if my daughter is deceased can you take me to where she is at so I can bring her home and put her to rest,” Sampare said. “That’s what my mom said to the band council at the time.“So today on the band list she is listed as missing.”The last day for testimony at the Smithers hearings at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is Thursday.Contact John here: email@example.com
Kent DriscollAPTN NewsNunavut’s Representative for Children and Youth says mental health services available to the territory’s young people are not meeting their needs.Sherry McNeil-Mulak, who led an exhaustive review of Nunavut’s mental health regime for youth, said the results were similar across the board.“While there are many positive initiatives, and dedicated individuals, working to provide mental health services to young people across the territory, the current system is clearly inadequate, and is failing to meet the needs of Nunavut’s children and youth,” McNeil-Mulak said, having interviewed 475 individuals, including 225 young people.According to the report, those responsible for mental health know more needs to be done.Eighty-two per cent of Government of Nunavut service providers told the McNeil-Mulak’s office that mental health services are not adequate, while 72 per cent said the quality of existing services isn’t enough.Members of the public were even harder on the territorial government, with 91 per cent saying there isn’t enough mental health programming for youth, and 83 per cent saying that what exists is of poor quality.There are 15 recommendations contained within the report, which will be presented to the Nunavut Legislative Assembly later this year.“Each of the recommendations in the report is aimed at improving the unacceptable state of mental health services for children and youth in Nunavut,” McNeil-Mulak explained.Among McNeil-Mulak’s recommendations is that the territory begin to follow a previously accepted 2015 recommendation from the Coroner’s office to provide a formal follow-up protocol after suicide attempts, including contacting family.“We are aware that much of what we heard during our review has been said before, and that some of the recommendations that we have made, have been made before,” she said. “However, until children and youth in Nunavut are able to access the mental health services that they need, that they have a right to, in their own territory, we will continue to urge the Government of Nunavut to implement these recommendations.”Sherry McNeil-Mulak (middle) says more than 200 youth in Nunavut were interviewed for the report. Kent Driscoll/APTN.Recommendations are broken down into five categories: mental health in schools, mental health services, mental health workforce, and awareness and recreational activities.The lack of services plays a huge role in Nunavut’s staggering suicide rate.Between Nunavut’s founding in April 1999 and the end of 2017, 545 Inuit died by suicide, 62 per cent of whom were under the age of 25.The report points out that mental health in Nunavut’s youth is linked to a variety of factors, each one weighing down on the young person. Seventy per cent of Inuit homes are food insecure, eight times the national average.Thirty-nine per cent of Inuit in Nunavut live in overcrowded homes. In 2017 and 2018, 519 people in Nunavut were admitted to family violence shelters; 268 of those were children.Nunavut’s sexual assault rate is nine times the national average.A large part of the review’s efforts were spent talking to actual Nunavut youth.“A key priority for our office when conducting this review was to elevate the voices of young people,” McNeil-Mulaq explained. “Throughout our review, young people from across this territory offered their thoughts and ideas on how to improve mental health services to better meet their needs, and we listened.”The interviews with youth are the most telling part of the report. Currently, there are no clinical mental health services in any of Nunavut’s schools, and the students told the Advocate’s Office that they are desperately needed.When asked what would improve mental health services, one youth responded: “Having a counsellor other than just our guidance counsellor in the school.”The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is used as an example throughout the report. Signed by 150 countries in 1990, it contains 54 articles that outline basic human rights for children.Of those 54, the Child Advocate’s office says Nunavut is failing on 16 of the firstname.lastname@example.org@KentDriscoll
Jessica Patrick. Photo courtesy of the family.Laurie HamelinAPTN NewsThe family of 18-year-old Jessica Patrick, who’s body was found outside Smithers B.C. last September are demanding answers.It has been nine months and the North District Major Crime Unit (MCU) has not yet released a cause of death.“The Major Crime Unit gave us a March date for lab results and then we were told May, but in May we tried calling and texting, and have not got any response,” said Jacquie Bowes, Patrick’s older cousin.“The MCU has done an exceptional job, but at least respond and say you have nothing or that we have to wait a little bit longer.”Now that we aren’t receiving any messages back it feels like the police are stringing us along.”On August 31 Jessica Patrick dropped off her one-year-old daughter with the child’s grandmother.She was expected back that evening, but never returned.Patrick’s family reported her missing three days later.On Sept. 15, Jessica’s body was found.“I helped organize a search with my family and work associates,” said Bowes.“It was my mom and step-dad who discovered Jessica’s body. She was down on the ski hill at Hudson Bay Mountain Lookout.”Read More:Police looking for help in B.C. slayingMissing Smithers, B.C. woman found dead: reportsThe B.C. Coroner’s office has not determined how she died and although the police have shared important details about the investigation with the family, Bowes is worried things have stalled.“This case needs to be solved,” said Bowes.“Jessica’s murder is not going to be another cold case.”But in an email to APTN News, Cpl. Madonna Saunderson said the investigation is ongoing and continues to be a priority.“The investigators have had consistent communication with the family” said Saunderson. “Without compromising the investigation, they have shared pertinent details with the family.“At this time there is no other information available to be released.”In an effort to keep Jessica’s murder in the public eye, family and friends are holding a community event on Saturday at Bovill Square in Smithers, 3 p.m. PST.Patrick lived in Smithers, but is a member of Lake Babine Nation.“We need to spread awareness, our community is worried for everyone’s safety,” said Bowes.“There is a monster walking among us that is accountable for Jessica’s death.”Smithers is located on Hwy 16, also known as the Highway of Tears.(Hwy 16 in British Columbia also known as the Highway of Tears)It’s the route between Prince George and Prince Rupert where a long list of women and girls have gone missing or been murdered.“We were initially only going to hold this event for Jessica, but there are so many other families on the Highway of Tears that have missing and murdered loved ones,” said Bowes.“Many of those families will be there on Saturday to share their stories.”Booths will be set up by the local Bear Clan Patrol and the women representing MMIWG from Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre.“They’ll be there with important tips, information and 1-800 numbers,” said Bowes.“When we were first dealing with Jessica missing we didn’t know where to start and these people do.”Bowes said the support from many surrounding communities since Jessica first went missing has been overwhelming.“Jessica’s homecoming was beautiful,” said Bowes. “People of all races stood on the Highway of Tears wearing red dresses, red clothing, holding red balloons and signs, yelling ‘Justice For Jessica’ as her body passed by on its way from Prince George to Smithers for burial.“We we’re hurting, but seeing all these people made our hearts soft.”Read More:Red to mark highway of tears ride home for slain B.C. womanTaylor Bachrach, the mayor of Smithers, set up a Go Fund Me page for Jessica and was able to create a trust fund for her daughter.“I really need to thank everyone, so many people have been by our side,” said Bowes. “For our event this weekend, my mom and my aunty fundraised and the community of Smithers donated all the food and drinks for the BBQ.”“We’ve been surrounded by community love and it’s helping us get through this.”email@example.com@laurie_Hamelin
TORONTO – Royal Bank of Canada’s chief executive says data is the battleground for banks that will determine the future success of financial institutions.Dave McKay said during a speech in Toronto on Monday that in the past banks needed economies of scale to succeed, but due to technological advances, they will need data scale in the future.He added during the Sibos banking and financial conference that technology platforms have created ecosystems which have a deep understanding of the customer’s life.McKay said over the next few years, banks will have to decide how they’re going to compete — which may require a rethink of their core value strategies.He also pointed to the potential of artificial intelligence and blockchain, and said banks will have to adapt and evolve further and faster than they have in the past.McKay’s comments came as RBC announced a partnership with J.P. Morgan and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. to launch the Interbank Information Network, which uses blockchain to facilitate easier global payments.“For banks, like every other business, the battleground will be data. Whereas in the past banks needed economic scale to succeed, in the future they will also need data scale,” he said.“This can be gained through existing franchises, or increasingly through strategic partnerships, and the use of open APIs, to enable them to create a platform effect.”
WASHINGTON – The rate on 30-year fixed-rate U.S. mortgages slipped to 3.93 per cent this week.Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the benchmark 30-year home loan rate was down from 3.94 per cent last week and 4.16 per cent a year ago.The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, popular with those refinancing their homes, was unchanged this week at 3.36 per cent. It was 3.37 per cent a year ago.The rate on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 3.36 per cent from 3.35 per cent last week and 3.19 per cent a year ago.On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates for the third time in 2017. “The market had already priced in the rate hike, so long-term interest rates, including mortgage rates, hardly moved,” said Len Kiefer, a Freddie Mac economist.To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 per cent of the loan amount.The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year home loans also remained at 0.5 point. The fee on an adjustable five-year mortgage was unchanged at 0.3 point.
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Facebook “likes” can tell a lot about a person. Maybe even enough to fuel a voter-manipulation effort like the one a Trump-affiliated data-mining firm stands accused of — and which Facebook may have enabled.The social network is under fire after The New York Times and The Guardian newspaper reported that former Trump campaign consultant Cambridge Analytica used data, including user likes, inappropriately obtained from roughly 50 million Facebook users to try to influence elections.Monday was a wild roller coaster ride for Facebook, whose shares plunged 7 per cent in its worst one-day decline since 2014. Officials in the EU and the U.S. sought answers, while Britain’s information commissioner said she will seek a warrant to access Cambridge Analytica’s servers because the British firm had been “unco-operative” in her investigation. The first casualty of that investigation was an audit of Cambridge that Facebook had announced earlier in the day; the company said it “stood down” that effort at the request of British officials.Adding to the turmoil, the New York Times reported that Facebook security chief Alex Stamos will step down by August following clashes over how aggressively Facebook should address its role in spreading disinformation. In a tweet , Stamos said he’s still fully engaged at Facebook but that his role has changed.It would have been quieter had Facebook likes not turned out to be so revealing. Researchers in a 2013 study found that likes on hobbies, interests and other attributes can predict personal attributes such as sexual orientation and political affiliation. Computers analyze such data to look for patterns that might not be obvious, such as a link between a preference for curly fries and higher intelligence.Chris Wylie, a Cambridge co-founder who left in 2014, said the firm used such techniques to learn about individuals and create an information cocoon to change their perceptions. In doing so, he said, the firm “took fake news to the next level.”“This is based on an idea called ‘informational dominance,’ which is the idea that if you can capture every channel of information around a person and then inject content around them, you can change their perception of what’s actually happening,” Wylie said Monday on NBC’s “Today.” It’s not yet clear exactly how the firm might have attempted to do that.Late Friday, Facebook said Cambridge improperly obtained information from 270,000 people who downloaded an app described as a personality test. Those people agreed to share data with the app for research — not for political targeting. And the data included who their Facebook friends were and what they liked — even though those friends hadn’t downloaded the app or given explicit consent.Cambridge got limited information on the friends, but machines can use detailed answers from smaller groups to make good inferences on the rest, said Kenneth Sanford of the data science company Dataiku.Cambridge was backed by the conservative billionaire Richard Mercer, and at one point employed Stephen Bannon — later President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman and White House adviser — as a vice-president. The Trump campaign paid Cambridge roughly $6 million according to federal election records, although officials have more recently played down that work.The type of data mining reportedly used by Cambridge Analytica is fairly common, but is typically used to sell diapers and other products. Netflix, for instance, provides individualized recommendations based on how a person’s viewing behaviours fit with what other customers watch.But that common technique can take on an ominous cast if it’s connected to possible elections meddling, said Robert Ricci, a marketing director at Blue Fountain Media.Wylie said Cambridge Analytica aimed to “explore mental vulnerabilities of people.” He said the firm “works on creating a web of disinformation online so people start going down the rabbit hole of clicking on blogs, websites etc. that make them think things are happening that may not be.”Wylie told “Today” that while political ads are also targeted at specific voters, the Cambridge effort aimed to make sure people wouldn’t know they were getting messages aimed at influencing their views.The Trump campaign has denied using Cambridge’s data. The firm itself denies wrongdoing, and says it didn’t retain any of the data pulled from Facebook and didn’t use it in its 2016 campaign work.Yet Cambridge boasted of its work after another client, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, won the Iowa caucus in 2016.Cambridge helped differentiate Cruz from similarly minded Republican rivals by identifying automated red light cameras as an issue of importance to residents upset with government intrusion. Potential voters living near the red light cameras were sent direct messages saying Cruz was against their use.Even on mainstay issues such as gun rights, Cambridge CEO Alexander Nix said at the time, the firm used personality types to tailor its messages. For voters who care about tradition, it could push the importance of making sure grandfathers can offer family shooting lessons. For someone identified as introverted, a pitch might have described keeping guns for protection against crime.It’s possible that Cambridge tapped other data sources, including what Cruz’s campaign app collected. Nix said during the Cruz campaign that it had five or six sources of data on each voter.Facebook declined to provide officials for interview and didn’t immediately respond to requests for information beyond its statements Friday and Monday. Cambridge also didn’t immediately respond to emailed questions.Facebook makes it easy for advertisers to target users based on nuanced information about them. Facebook’s mapping of the “social graph” — essentially the web of people’s real-life connections — is also invaluable for marketers.For example, researchers can look at people’s clusters of friends and get good insight as to who is important and influential, said Jonathan Albright, research director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. People who bridge different friend networks, for example, can have more influence when they post something, making them prime for targeting.Two-thirds of Americans get at least some of their news on social media, according on Pew Research Center. While people don’t exist in a Facebook-only vacuum, it is possible that bogus information users saw on the site could later be reinforced by the “rabbit hole” of clicks and conspiracy sites on the broader internet, as Wylie described.___An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the sum paid by the 2016 Trump campaign to Cambridge Analytica. It was $5.9 million according to federal election records.AP technology reporter Ryan Nakashima contributed to this report from Menlo Park, California.
EDMONTON – The head of Kinder Morgan Canada says work is to resume next month to prepare a route for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.Ian Anderson says the company will secure, survey and prepare the right of way in coming months, and First Nations will monitor the work to look for traditional artifacts and medicines.Anderson says the plan is to start laying pipe early next year in British Columbia and Alberta.A completion date is to be announced in 2019.Anderson made the comments alongside Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at an event on the Enoch Cree Nation, just west of Edmonton.Enoch Cree land will be used as one of the staging grounds for the line and will stockpile at least 40 kilometres of pipe.The project will expand the existing Trans Mountain line from Edmonton to the B.C. coast to allow more oil from Alberta to be shipped to foreign markets.The line has been the focus of fractious debate and confrontation — the B.C. government, environmental activists and some Indigenous groups all oppose it.Earlier this year, the federal government agreed to buy the $4.5-billion pipeline to ensure it gets built, but the Liberals insist they don’t plan to be the long-term owner.
TERREBONE, Que. – The head of steel fabricator ADF Group Inc. says the company swung to a loss in the latest quarter after tariffs imposed by the U.S. on steel weighed on business.“The loss of major contracts earlier this year, following the initial uncertainty resulting from the U.S. import duties announcement, played havoc on our fabrication schedule and manpower utilization,” said company CEO Jean Paschini on an earnings call Thursday.The company reported a loss of $532,000 in its latest quarter ending July 31, compared with a profit of $1.9 million a year ago. Losses for the last two quarters totalled $1.4 million compared with earnings of $2.3 million for the same stretch last year.ADF, which manufactures large complex steel structures, says the loss for the last quarter amounted to two cents per share compared with a profit of six cents per share a year ago.The U.S. imposed a 25 per cent tariff on imports of steel and 10 per cent tariff on aluminum at the end of May after initially giving Canada an exemption.ADF, which drew about 85 per cent of revenues from the U.S. in the last quarter, temporarily laid off 50 employees in March after losing out on major bids for U.S. projects due in part to the uncertainty over tariffs.In June, the company rolled out a work-share program that had employment insurance benefits make up for the reduced work hours for employees.Revenue for the last quarter totalled $32.2 million, down from $45.3 million in the same quarter last year.Paschini said the company expects better results in the second half of the year after securing more work despite the tariff uncertainties.The company’s order backlog stood at $141.1 million at July 31, compared with $85.5 million at Jan. 31.Companies in this story: (TSX:DRX)
VICTORIA, B.C. — Officials on both sides of the political spectrum have reacted to B.C. Premier John Horgan’s announcement for a new provincial framework for natural gas development with both praise and criticism.The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association’s president Chris Gardner said his organization supported today’s announcement, calling it a positive step forward for the province’s Liquefied Natural Gas industry.“We are thrilled with this big leap forward for LNG,” said Gardner. “LNG Canada’s potential investment in the B.C. would be the largest private sector investment in the history of our province. At more than $40 billion in private capital, it would be one of the largest projects every undertaken in Canada, it would create thousands of construction jobs, and it would generate opportunities and positive economic spinoffs for communities across B.C.” Gardner pointed out that with the NDP and BC Liberals both on board, a provincial LNG industry has broad political support. “By unlocking our world class energy asset, B.C.’s LNG industry will play an important role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by helping many Asian countries transition off coal,” he added.Meanwhile, the Wilderness Committee said that the province is giving a massive tax break and otherwise lowering corporate costs in a bid to lure LNG Canada into building a huge liquified natural gas facility in Kitimat.“Greenhouse gas emissions are going to go through the roof with a project of this kind,” said Wilderness Committee National Campaign Director Joe Foy. “From escaped methane at the drill sites to the massive carbon emissions required to cool the gas, to more escaped methane on the long trip across the ocean to Asia and then the emissions from burning the gas. It all adds up to a big bad climate changer. How would B.C. ever meet our climate commitments with this LNG plant chugging along?”The Wilderness Committee is concerned that the proposed LNG plant would be supplied by fracked gas. Over the past decade, the Wilderness Committee has spent time in northeast British Columbia, listening to First Nations and community members’ concerns over both the massive use of and risks to freshwater resources from the fracking industry.“How can B.C. commit to ramping up this dangerous, polluting industry when the province has just announced that they will be looking at the environmental impacts of the fracking process through their scientific review?” said Foy. “Why does the government keep consulting the public and experts if they plan to go ahead as is anyway?