CALGARY – The International Olympic Committee has committed to contributing US$925 million to the host city of the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games.Calgary is among the cities mulling a bid. Stockholm and Sapporo, Japan are seriously interested while Erzurum, Turkey, Graz, Austria and a joint bid from cities in Italy are also in play.The IOC published its host city contract Monday with measures designed to save a Winter Games host city $500 million and a Summer Games host city $1 billion.Among the 118 measures are maximizing use of existing venues and infrastructure, a streamlined games delivery approach, enhanced integration with Paralympic Games and a “clearer allocation of IOC-paid services.”Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics and the legacy venues provide the foundation for another potential bid.A Calgary bid corporation, Calgary 2026, was established last month with former national-team skier and commercial real estate entrepreneur Scott Hutcheson as chair and hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser as vice chair.Hutcheson says the IOC’s host city contract, and the financial commitment, is in line with the reforms the organization committed to back in 2014 under the banner of Agenda 2020.“It’s the IOC committing in advance what they intend to do,” Hutcheson said Monday. “As opposed to creating uncertainty, they create certainty, which is consistent with the credibility and sustainability model.”A Calgary Bid Exploration Committee estimated the cost of Calgary hosting the 2026 Winter Games at $4.6 billion with games revenues covering almost half the cost.That figure is under review, however. The price tag of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., was about $7.7 billion.The deadline to bid for the 2026 Games is January and the host city will be announced in September, 2019.The host city contract released Monday applies to 2026 bidders as well as previously elected hosts for the 2024 Summer Games (Paris) and 2028 Games (Los Angeles), the IOC said in a statement.“We are enabling the organization of games that will be sustainable and create lasting legacies for their citizens, while also reducing complexity and costs,” IOC Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi said in the statement.A lack of candidate cities bidding for the 2022 Winter Games — Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan were the only finalists — prompted the IOC to reform its bidding and hosting processes in an effort to make hosting cheaper and more sustainable.“They want us to use existing structures or temporary structures and don’t spend for the sake of spending, or create beautiful structures that are not meaningful over the long terms for sustainability,” Hutcheson explained.“There’s an effort to have more transparency in governance and accountability and credibility and human rights and athlete experience.“Measures like that are all the sorts of measures you would hope the games are embracing today as opposed to what some say in the past was the tone.”
TORONTO – Doug Ford’s surprise decision to dramatically cut the size of Toronto’s city council just months before the fall municipal election drew immediate backlash Friday from the city’s mayor and other critics, who accused Ontario’s new premier of circumventing the democratic process.Ford said his Progressive Conservative government will introduce legislation to cut the number of council seats from 47 to 25, aligning city wards with federal ridings — a plan that wasn’t outlined during the spring election campaign or mentioned in the province’s throne speech earlier this month.The premier, a failed Toronto mayoral candidate and single-term city councillor, said he has wanted to make the change since his days at city hall.“I promised to reduce the size and cost of government and end their culture of waste and mismanagement in government,” he said. “This is something I fought for at city hall, something I continue to believe in today.”Having fewer city councillors “will dramatically improve the decision-making process,” and save Toronto taxpayers $25 million in councillor and staff salaries over four years, Ford said.Asked why he didn’t campaign on the plan or hold public consultations on it, Ford said he heard from thousands of people while canvassing that they want a smaller government.“People don’t care about politicians, they care about getting things done,” he said.The deadline for candidates to register for Toronto’s election was Friday afternoon but the province said it will extend that to September. The deadline to run for mayor, however, was unchanged.Ford’s move was panned by Toronto Mayor John Tory, who said the process around the plan is “absolutely not right.” The mayor said he’d propose a referendum on the issue.“This is a gigantic decision about the future of Toronto,” Tory said. “What we don’t need and what I just can’t support is change being rammed down our throats without a single second of public consultation.”When asked if he had been given advance notice of Ford’s plan, Tory said the premier made a “passing reference” to the idea in a meeting two weeks ago but the matter was dropped.“I didn’t think it was anything that was going to be taken seriously,” Tory said. “I said, ‘Well I don’t even think that was anything that was even possible.’”The issue came to a head during a testy exchange at city hall Friday night, when the mayor confronted Coun. Mike Layton, accusing him of “implying” that Tory had advanced knowledge of the move.“Get up, if you have the balls to do it, and say it!” Tory said.Several councillors joined Tory in opposing Ford’s plan.Calling the premier’s move “an affront to our democracy,” Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam urged Tory to challenge it in court.Coun. John Campbell said slashing council nearly in half would reduce oversight of municipal boards and commissions.“If you reduce councillors to 25, all of a sudden you lose that connection with the electorate and in the end the public is the loser,” he said.Others, however, expressed support for a smaller municipal government, arguing it would cut costs and help council reach decisions faster.“The only thing we do upstairs in that chamber is everybody gets up and just wants to talk,” said Coun. Jim Karygiannis. “When you have 25 people there’s more cohesion, you’ll move faster on things.”Toronto city staff said the province’s plan would make preparing for the fall election very difficult, and would likely lead to the shortening of some electoral processes.Ford also said he will cancel planned elections for regional chair positions in the York, Peel, Niagara and Muskoka regions.Former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown, whose resignation this winter paved the way for Ford to take over the party, was registered to run for the Peel seat, but made a last-minute switch Friday to join the mayoral race in Brampton, Ont.Former Liberal cabinet minister Steven Del Duca is a candidate for York regional chair.Ontario’s New Democrats accused Ford of ruling by edict “as though he were a dictator” and suggested he was meddling in municipal politics for personal reasons.“He is taking vengeance on his former political opponents, he’s behaving in a very mean-spirited way and his bullying approach to politics is odious,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.She also noted that a proposal similar to Ford’s was recently rejected by Toronto city council, which instead decided to increase the number of seats to 47 from 44.Horwath said her caucus, which holds 40 seats, would use every tool in its arsenal to oppose Ford’s legislation, but acknowledged there was ultimately little it could do.Ontario’s Liberal caucus also slammed the plan.“This is a highly undemocratic proposal,” it said. “The Ford government is unilaterally ramming through a last-minute, massive change to Ontario’s electoral map.”The federal government, meanwhile, said it would do whatever it can to protect the residents of Canada’s most populous city from the actions taken by the Ford government. Adam Vaughan, a Toronto Liberal MP and parliamentary secretary for urban affairs, said Toronto is too important for the federal government to stand idly by.One analyst said Ontario is entitled to implement its plan since Canada’s constitution enshrines the province’s right to make changes to municipal affairs.But lawyer Alexandra Flynn also noted that the City of Toronto Act recognizes the local government as a democratic institution that must be consulted when major decisions are made. The act also enshrines the city’s right to make decisions about ward boundaries. If a court challenge was mounted, however, an injunction would be needed to stop Ford’s plan from applying, she said.Another observer said Ford’s move will create havoc within Toronto’s municipal government.“It throws everything into disarray,” said Mitchell Kosny, associate director of Ryerson University’s school of urban and regional planning. “This will now be the singular focus.”Kosny said the decision has parallels to former premier Mike Harris’ forced amalgamation two decades ago that created the City of Toronto as it’s now constituted.“That didn’t come from any research, any study, it wasn’t on any political platform. I think the only study that was ever done on it was post-decision,” he said.And while Ford believes people support his move, Kosny pointed to opposition to amalgamation as evidence that may not be the case.“I actually think this does resonate with people,” he said. “I’m not sure everyone understands what it will mean. But when you take things away from people it always rises ire.”— with files from Alanna Rizza.
TORONTO – Ontario Premier Doug Ford distanced himself Wednesday from a Toronto woman known for her extreme views following repeated Opposition questions about a photograph he took with her.Ford had been asked for three consecutive days at the legislature to denounce Faith Goldy, a former journalist and now controversial Toronto mayoral candidate, but had only said he was against hate speech.In a brief statement posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, the premier mentioned Goldy by name.“I have been clear,” Ford wrote. “I condemn hate speech, anti-Semitism and racism in all forms — be it from Faith Goldy or anyone else.”Shortly after Ford’s tweet, Goldy issued one of her own.“Proud to stand up for all Canadians alongside ya, Doug!” she wrote.Goldy and her supporters had posed for a photograph with the premier over the weekend at an annual gathering known as Ford Fest.The NDP had pressed Ford repeatedly to condemn Goldy after the event, saying she promotes white nationalist views and supports neo-Nazis.In response, Ford had voiced his opposition to hate speech in general.“I totally denounce — I repeat denounce, denounce, denounce — anyone who wants to talk hate speech,” he had said in the legislature Tuesday.NDP Leader Andrea Horwath had said Ford needed to address the issue directly.“The reality is the premier was taking pictures with someone who is a self-proclaimed white supremacist, someone who is tied to neo-Nazi groups,” she said. “The leader of our province should be very vocal in distancing himself from this woman.”Earlier in the day the NDP legislator Laura Mae Lindo asked the head of the government’s anti-racism directorate, Minister Michael Tibollo, if he believed Ford should denounce Goldy, adding that the woman’s photo with the premier was being used as a “de facto endorsement of her (mayoral) campaign by the premier.”Tibollo said there is no place for racism in the province and the government is actively pursing policies to fight it.“I would encourage you and I encourage anyone else interested in pursuing those issues, really pursuing the issues, not to try to gain political advantage in a situation where it’s not necessary, to work with us and find a solution that is good for the entire province,” Tibollo told the NDP legislator. “That’s what we should be doing.”
TORONTO — Members of Pride Toronto have voted against allowing the city’s uniformed police officers from participating in this year’s parade.The vote comes about three months after the organization lifted a ban on uniformed officers taking part in the annual event, saying the force was welcome to apply to be a part of this summer’s festivities.But the decision to keep them out was made by a margin of 163-161 on Tuesday night.The relationship between Pride Toronto and city police has been tense for the past two years.Uniformed officers were first banned from the parade in 2017 over concerns of racial profiling, and again in 2018 over criticism the force had not taken the disappearances of several men missing from the city’s gay village seriously.In a statement Tuesday, Toronto police say they “remain committed to maintaining a dialogue with Pride Toronto as well as the larger LGBTQS community to deliver policing services that are inclusive and responsive to the needs of the community regardless of the outcome of one particular vote or event.”Black Lives Matter abruptly halted the Pride Parade march in 2016 to present several demands, among them that uniformed police, their floats and cruisers be excluded. The group cited tensions between the force and black citizens arising from racial profiling as among the reasons for their demands.Pride organizers agreed for the next two years to exclude uniformed officers on-duty from marching in the parade.For this summer’s parade, organizers have also cited ongoing anger about perceived police inaction on a slew of disappearances from Toronto’s gay village as a reason police could not participate.Bruce McArthur currently stands charged of eight counts of first-degree murder in those disappearances.The community had long ago sounded the alarm on a suspected serial killer preying on men in the gay village.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The Trudeau Liberals have delayed a law meant to help Indigenous children due to concerns from some Indigenous leaders.The bill on Indigenous child-welfare services was expected to be tabled by the end of January but wasn’t.Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan has given no indication when the legislation will be brought forward, and the clock is ticking because of the federal election due this fall.In a statement, O’Regan says the department is working diligently to introduce the bill on Indigenous child and family services in short order but he stressed the importance of getting the legislation right.O’Regan says the government has heard clearly through its engagement with First Nations, Inuit, and Metis that “essential elements” must be addressed.The chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations published an open letter this week addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging him to uphold the human rights of First Nations children.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Global Affairs Canada says it met Monday with one of two Canadians detained in China since December.An update from the department said consular officials in China had their fourth visit with Michael Kovrig since his arrest, but aren’t saying much else about the visit.Global Affairs Canada said visits generally include assessing the well-being of a Canadian citizen, seeking medical attention where required, and acting as a link between the Canadian and their loved ones.The department’s statement says the government remains concerned by China’s “arbitrary detention” of Kovrig and fellow Canadian Michael Spavor.Canadian officials continue to call for their immediate release.Kovrig and Spavor haven’t been formally charged with anything, have been denied access to lawyers, and are allowed only monthly access by Canadian diplomats.Canadian officials have complained the two are being held in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou under an extradition request from the United States.The Canadian Press
In today’s Big Story podcast, it’s become the brand synonymous with imitation meat. It seems to arrive in a new chain every day. And the process by which it is made offers Canada a huge opportunity.Why has Beyond Meat stomped on the competition? What makes it different from other meat substitutes? How does the substance come together? And why is the key to what could be a multi-billion-dollar industry a simple yellow pea that’s grown on the prairies?GUEST: Jake Edmiston, Financial PostAudio Playerhttps://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/chtbl.com/track/G9G45/rogers-aod.leanstream.co/rogers/thebigstory_dai/tbs_07152019_dai.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and SpotifyYou can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.
Alyssa Milano is continuing with her efforts to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of her son Milo’s first birthday.Recently, Alyssa reached out to St. Jude about Gonzalito, a four-year-old Peruvian boy who suffered from leukemia. Golnzalito’s parents brought him to the United States to find treatment, but unfortunately could not afford the services he needed. Due to St. Jude’s generous supporters, Gonzalito is now receiving full treatment in Baton Rouge for free.Now that Gonzalito is finally getting the help he deserves, Alyssa is asking that people donate money on Indiegogo to St. Jude, for her son’s special day. She hopes to reach her goal of $50,000, so that the treatment and research facility can continue to provide life-saving services to children. The campaign has already raised $17,181 and still 12 days left.To find out more and make a donation, click here.
For over 41 years superstars from TV, Film, Music & Sports have joined together to show support for the men & women who serve their community. On April 27th 2013 Hollywood’s hottest stars will come together again to help raise funds for the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation at the historic Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.This special evening will be hosted by James Gandolfini along with dozens of other celebrities confirmed to attend including Tito Ortiz, Vanessa Marcil, Brian Baumgardner, Michael Cudlitz, C Thomas Howell, AJ Mclean, Kevin Richardson, Eric Christian Olsen, Miguel Ferrer, Rocky Carroll, Hill Harper, Billy Burke, Karina Smirnoff, Neal Mcdonough, Lou Diamond Phillips, Carl Weathers, Joe Manganiello, Shanna Moakler, Golnesa Gharachedaghi, Poker Pros Jennifer Tilly, Maria Ho, Jamie Gold, Jason Sommerville, Tiffany Michelle & more.Proceeds from this event benefit officers & their immediate family members, who have experienced unforeseen catastrophic circumstances, including death, illness & injury. The Memorial Foundation is the cornerstone of the LAPD employee wellness program & has raised over $14.5 million without any direct taxpayer money.The world’s largest online poker company, PokerStars continues to show their care for charitable causes worldwide & has generously donated the Grand Prize for the Poker Tournament – A seat in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. The world-famous PokerStars Caribbean Adventure takes place at the spectacular Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas & is one of the biggest & most prestigious poker events in the world.Additional Sponsors include Cellupedic, Latin Escapes, 3DCheeze, Stella Artois, Hard Rock Café HW, Big Man Bakes, LAPCU, Police Relief Association, Revolver & Athletic Club, Galpin Ford, Milken Family Foundation, Lewis Marenstein Wicke Sherman & Lee,LLP & Aqua Expeditions who have donated a journey by luxury cruise down the Amazon River exploring the many highlights of the Amazon jungle.Celebrity supporters include Elton John, Jack Nicholson, Paula Abdul, Wayne Gretzky, Joe Pesci, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Lopez, Donald Trump, Kelsey Grammer, Jerry West, Eddie Van Halen, Samuel L. Jackson, Craig T. Nelson, James Woods, Richard Dreyfuss, Dennis Franz, Chris O’Donnell, Mark Wahlberg and Luke Wilson.Patrons may purchase tickets to attend the star-studded party or to sit side by side with their favorite celebrities in an exciting poker tournament. Find out more here.Source:PR Newswire
Come see Neil Patrick Harris’ return to Broadway in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH! Heartbreaking and wickedly funny, John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s groundbreaking musical storms the Belasco Theatre this spring.Hedwig and the Angry Inch“Internationally ignored song stylist” Hedwig Robinson (Neil Patrick Harris) brings her fourth-wall-smashing rock and roll saga to New York to set the record straight about her life, her loves, and the botched operation that left her with that “angry inch.”Proceeds from the Theater Night will benefit Live Out Loud’s educational programs that inspire, nurture, and empower LGBTQ youth by connecting them with positive LGBTQ role models.Tickets: $185.00Date: Thursday, April 3, 2014Time: 8:00 PMLocation: Belasco Theatre, 111 West 44th Street, NYCFind out more here.
Lily Tomlin has revived her iconic character “Ernestine” as a feisty phone operator fielding complaint calls at SeaWorld, “where everybody has a whale of a time — except for the whales.”Video: Lily Tomlin’s Ernestine Answers Complaint Calls at ‘SeaWorld’Tomlin filmed the biting spot for PETA to hit the airwaves in May as the tourist season begins. Scripted by Modern Family writer Alex Herschlag, the satire is set to make a splash as the company struggles to lure back visitors who have stayed away in droves after learning of the abusement park’s cruelty through the documentary Blackfish and nonstop PETA protests.“Yes, the orcas lose teeth gnawing on the concrete walls,” says Ernestine in the spot. “But if you were a trainer, wouldn’t you prefer to swim with a toothless killer whale?”Though SeaWorld recently stopped breeding orcas as a result of public pressure, PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” — is pressuring the park to release the animals to seaside sanctuaries.Tomlin, who was a double nominee at this year’s Golden Globes, returns for the second season of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie on May 6. PETA especially thanks James Costa and the Archibald Family Foundation for sponsoring the “Ernestine” commercial.
You only have a few more days to get your hands on a special Love Is Magic shirt benefiting the Elton John AIDS Foundation.Neil Patrick Harris – Love Is Magic“Isn’t love magical?” asks Neil Patrick Harris. “We can do amazing things when we come together in love, so join me in supporting the Elton John AIDS Foundation and get yourself a shirt! You’ll help a great cause and look awesome doing it.”To buy a shirt, click here. But be quick, there are only a few days left.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) held its annual Symposium and Awards Luncheon yesterday, at the New York Hilton Midtown.Hoda Kotb, Leonard Lauder, Joan LundenThe much-anticipated event honored BCRF-funded investigators who are devoted to ending breast cancer through groundbreaking research. The Luncheon also served as the formal announcement of $59.5 million in research grants that was awarded to more than 275 scientists, many of whom were in attendance.Hosted by TODAY Show co-host and breast cancer survivor Hoda Kotb, this year’s luncheon honored Jeanne Sorensen Siegel and Herbert J. Siegel with the Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award, presented by Jessica Bibliowicz. The Jill Rose Award was given to Nancy E. Davidson, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, for her trailblazing research on epigenetics and resistance to hormone therapies in breast cancer, presented by Myra Bibliowit, President & CEO of BCRF, and BCRF Researcher, Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD.The day began with a symposium discussion, “Conquering Cancer: Breast Cancer and Beyond,” moderated by Judy E. Garber, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Chair of the BCRF Scientific Advisory Board, and the panelists included Nancy E. Davidson, MD; Jedd Wolchok, MD, PHD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and, Antonio Wolff, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.Symposium Honorary Co-Chairs include Kinga Lampert, Leonard A. Lauder, William P. Lauder and Rita Wilson. Event Co-Chairs include Roberta M. Amon, Anne H. Bass, Clarissa Alcock Bronfman, Amy Goldman Fowler, Marjorie Reed Gordon, Betsy S. Green, Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger, Gail Hilson, Aerin Lauder, Marigay McKee, Wendi Rose, Arlene Taub and Simone Winston. Notable guests included Rachel Bay Jones, Francesca Curran, Nina Garcia, Bruce and Leslie Gifford,Kimiko Glenn, Sandra Lee, Nastia Liukin, Joan Lunden, Gary Muto, Emma Myles, Orfeh, Lela Rose and Nina Runsdorf.Underwriters of the event include ANN INC., Jody and John Arhnold, Amy P. Goldman Foundation, Roslyn and Leslie Goldstein, Kinga Lampert, Leonard & Judy Lauder Fund, Lifetime, Jeanne Sorensen Siegel and Herbert J. Siegel, Tough Enough to Wear Pink and Winston Flowers.
Facebook Johnny Orlando says that by the time he’s 20, he hopes to be performing in stadiums and meeting fans in countries he’s never been to. (CBC) Advertisement Like many up-and-coming musical artists these days, gradually building a huge online following has been key to breaking into the industry. Advertisement You probably haven’t heard of him, but 15-year-old Johnny Orlando may be Canada’s next big pop-music export.The Toronto singer and songwriter has just inked a record deal with Universal Music Canada, released a new single and performed a free show in Nathan Philips Square for his young fans — some of whom travelled hours to be there.“It’s still pretty unbelievable,” he tells CBC News. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter
Advertisement Facebook Advertisement “Podcasting is such a fun way to engage with fans beyond our TV show,” said Dan O’Toole, Host, THE JAY AND DAN PODCAST. “It’s like we’re gently whispering into listeners’ ears…wherever they may be.”Listeners can now navigate podcasts through newly added podcast charts, subscribe to push notifications to alert them when their favourite podcasts drops, and receive curated recommendations based on the music, stations, and other podcasts they enjoy.The robust collection of podcasts streaming on the iHeartRadio Canada app and at iHeartRadio.ca also contain Bell Media Original podcasts including THE JAY AND DAN PODCAST, THE BUSINESS OF LIFE, VERONIQUE ET LES FANTASTIQUES, OVERDRIVE, and THE HAPPY TIMES, as well as some of the most-talked about podcasts in pop culture including THE RON BURGUNDY PODCAST, CONAN O’BRIEN NEEDS A FRIEND, DISGRACELAND, and ARMCHAIR EXPERT WITH DAX SHEPARD.iHeartRadio is available on a wide variety of connected devices — including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, and televisions.About iHeartRadio CanadaiHeartRadio, a best-in-class customizable digital listening experience and live events brand, is now in Canada through a partnership between Bell Media and iHeartMedia. A leader in innovative radio programming throughout Canada, Bell Media features the country’s most dynamic, popular, and respected radio brands, including Toronto’s CHUM 104.5 and the ÉNERGIE group in Québec, as well as international brands like Virgin Radio. In the U.S., iHeartRadio has surpassed 100 million registered users, reaching milestones at a rate faster than Facebook or any other streaming music service. In addition, iHeartRadio’s registered user milestone does not account for the millions of listeners who tune into iHeartRadio’s live radio streams without registering. iHeartRadio is now the #1 podcaster in the world, with more than 250,000 podcasts. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement TORONTO – iHeartRadio Canada announced today that more than 250,000 podcasts are now available for listeners to stream on the app and at iHeartRadio.ca, officially making the streaming service the leading podcast and audio provider in Canada.The expansion offers a variety of new podcasts on topics including politics, comedy, food, true crime, and the instantly popular new podcast from Chelsea Handler entitled LIFE WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME, which dropped last month. These 250,000 podcasts join the list of more than 1,000 live radio stations also available on the app.“We’re very excited about our podcast, and the only person more excited than we are is Cameraman Glen, who literally does not have to do anything when we record them,” said Jay Onrait, Host, THE JAY AND DAN PODCAST. “Long live podcasting – a guaranteed vacation for camerapersons everywhere.” Login/Register With:
By Tim Fontaine APTN National News HALIFAX–The Assembly of First Nations says it’s changing to become more relevant to the people it represents.The AFN, which represents over 600 First Nation communities in Canada, wrapped up their three-day annual general assembly Thursday in Halifax.AFN officials said 302 First Nation Chiefs and proxies attended the meetings and the passed 33 resolutions on issues ranging from natural resource development to renewed calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The resolutions are used to give direction to the AFN executive.In the weeks leading up to the assembly, many articles appeared in the media that questioned the relevancy and even the future of the AFN. But Saskatchewan Regional Chief Perry Bellegarde said the AFN is listening to calls for change coming from some chiefs and First Nation citizens who feel the organization has drifted from the people.“We’ve established a working committee to look at overhauling the Assembly of First Nations and reviewing the (AFN’s) charter. That’s definitely needed to make it more responsive and reflective of the diversity and relevant,” said Bellegarde. “I think the chiefs-in-assembly really came up and were clear that they still need an Assembly of First Nations and they want a strong voice, but it has to be renewed, revamped and updated.”A task force of chiefs will be taking a long hard look at the AFN and reporting back with recommendations during a special chiefs assembly in December. But one chief, who asked not to be named, said the changes are coming too slow and the delay in reform left people wondering if the AFN was serious about restructuring.The Confederacy of Nations, a body within the AFN that some saw as a way of making the organization more reflective, was almost shelved. A resolution was introduced on the first day of the meetings calling for the Confederacy of Nations to be dissolved. The sections about dissolving the Confederacy were taken out of the resolution before it passed, but there was some confusion over what it meant.Serpent River First Nation Chief Isadore Day, who opposed the resolution, said the issue is complex and the resolution wasn’t clear enough. Day said the Confederacy was simply being added to the review of the AFN as a whole.“There were some that were led to believe that this shelved the Confederacy, but the clarity needs to be established that in order to remove the Confederacy or nullify the Confederacy you have to go through the proper amendment formula in the AFN Charter,” said Day.He said leaders from the Treaty Six area of Alberta offered to host the next Confederacy meetings in the coming months.Sakimay First Nation Chief Lynn Acoose was also opposed to the resolution and called the Confederacy of Nations vital to keeping the AFN open and transparent.Treaty issues were also on the agenda, with delegates telling the AFN it’s time to get tougher with Ottawa. A resolution was passed directing the AFN to begin an aggressive communications and legal campaign to force the federal government to the negotiating table over implementing treaty rights.Chiefs say First Nations need to learn how to leverage the recent Tsilhqot’in court victory, which granted the country’s first declaration of Aboriginal Title to the nation.“That’s a message for First Nations, take action in your territory. Know what the (Tsilhqot’in) decision is. Go through our decision because that’s going to give you clear guidelines of what you need to do,” said one of the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s Chief Roger William.One of the most highly anticipated topics at the assembly was education. The government’s proposed First Nation education bill was rejected by First Nation leaders in May, ultimately leading to the unprecedented resignation of former national chief Shawn Atleo.When Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt announced the bill was on hold, the attached $1.9 billion in funding was also pulled.Kitigan Zibi Chief Gilbert Whiteduck is one of the chiefs on the AFN’s education task force. He’s confident the AFN can still get that money flowing.“The funding has been committed, it’s a matter as to how that funding is going to flow, what are the instruments that need to be put in place. I believe, if we really work hard at it within the next six months, we can have something that is going to be satisfactory for First Nations.”A meeting on the education bill was held at the annual assembly but was closed to the media. Whiteduck says it was an opportunity for chiefs to hash out a strategy.“We believe something can be done, we believe the opportunity is now and collectively we can do something but it needs to be on our terms and clearly we’ll be putting ahead some non-negotiables which we believe should not be an issue with the government of Canada,” he said.Whiteduck wouldn’t say what those ‘non-negotiables’ were, but further steps are going to be discussed at a meeting of the AFN’s education task force in two weeks.Chiefs also used the meetings to choose an interim national chief. Ghislain Picard, a long time regional chief from Quebec, assumes the leadership role until the election is held in Winnipeg on December 10.Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy said the move was important.“I think any time a ship doesn’t have a captain, there’s always the question, ‘Well now who steers?’” said Beardy.Beardy said Atleo’s sudden departure shook the AFN.“I think we were in shock. Which direction are we supposed to go?” he said.Beardy says he’s confident when a new leader is chosen in December 2014 that the AFN is going to be stronger and more email@example.com@anishinaboy
Shirley McLeanAPTN National NewsBuck Smarch is mourning the death of his mother.Tyler Smith struggles with addiction.The two men have never met – until they embarked on a nine-day journey to face their demons.They were brought together by Tahltan Elder William Carlick who leads them 700 kilometres down the Yukon river in the Spirit firstname.lastname@example.org
Larissa BurnoufAPTN National NewsThe family of 22 year old Colten Boushie are in North Battleford, Saskatchewan listening to the evidence against Gerald Stanley.Stanley is the farmer who is accused of killing the young man on his farm last year.APTN cannot report on any of the information being heard at the preliminary hearing.But the family is talking about the emotional toll this is email@example.com
Dennis WardAPTN NewsThere is growing concern for the health and welfare of hundreds of dogs left behind in two northern Manitoba First Nations that were evacuated last month due to wildfires.The Norway House Animal Rescue has written Indigenous Services Canada to ask for assistance for the dog populations who were left behind in Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids First Nations.“It’s a crisis up there right now,” says Debra Vandekerkhove, a director at Norway House Animal Rescue.According to the animal rescue service, there are currently approximately 220 dogs in Pauingassi and 550 in Little Grand Rapids, “many of whom have developed acute health issues requiring veterinary treatment and several have begun to form packs to survive.” Significant amounts of food have been sent to the communities but no dedicated staff to feed the dogs. As a result, “much of the food remains undistributed while dogs continue to starve” says the letter to Indigenous Services Canada.The letter, dated June 7, requests flights for a minimum of four volunteers (two for each community) to assist with food distribution and to conduct a health survey on the dog populations in both communities. “There is also an urgent and life-saving need for puppies to be removed from the communities as they will be unable to survive the current lack of and competition for resources.” The letter also says the pictures of the starving pets are “extremely stressful to the owners who are in Winnipeg watching in photos their pets slowly die.”Vandekerkhove says the RCMP in the communities are “overwhelmed.” She says there are no replacements for the officers in the communities due to the resources being sent to the G7 summit in Quebec.More than 1,300 evacuees from Little Grand Rapids First Nation and Pauingassi First Nation are still out of their homes and staying in Winnipeg hotels. firstname.lastname@example.org
MONTREAL – Bombardier Inc. accused the Trump administration of overreach by siding with Boeing in its bid to shut the CSeries commercial jet from the world’s largest airline market by effectively quadrupling the price of any of the planes sold in the United States.“It represents an egregious overreach and misapplication of the U.S. trade laws in an apparent attempt to block the CSeries aircraft from entering the U.S. market,” the Montreal-based transportation manufacturer (TSX:BBD.B) said in response to an additional 80 per cent anti-dumping duty.Bombardier said the Commerce Department has ignored aerospace industry realities, noting that Boeing’s own practice of selling aircraft below production costs for years after launch would fail the test used against the CSeries“This hypocrisy is appalling, and it should be deeply troubling to any importer of large, complex, and highly engineered products,” it said.The decision intensifies political pressure on NAFTA negotiators ahead of next week’s resumption of talks among Canada, Mexico and the U.S.The U.S. Commerce Department added 79.82 per cent to 219.63 per cent in preliminary countervailing tariffs it announced last week, once deliveries to Delta Air Lines begin next year.“The United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with Canada, but this is not our idea of a properly functioning trading relationship,” stated Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.“We will continue to verify the accuracy of this decision, while (doing) everything in our power to stand up for American companies and their workers.”Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said she was extremely disappointed, but not surprised given the “baseless and absurdly high” duties last week.“Boeing is manipulating the U.S. trade remedy system to prevent Bombardier’s aircraft, the CSeries, from entering the U.S. market despite Boeing’s admission that it does not compete with the C Series,” she said in a statement.“Our government will continue to vigorously defend the interests of the Canadian aerospace industry and our aerospace workers against irresponsible and protectionist trade measures.”Several U.S. senators and House members also expressed their unhappiness, calling the decision “shortsighted” because it threatens thousands of jobs across the country supported by Bombardier and its suppliers.The latest duty matches the amount originally proposed by Boeing, before it revised its request to 143 per cent because of Bombardier’s refusal to provide certain information to the Commerce Department.The Chicago-based aircraft giant said it welcomes the decision affirming its view that Bombardier sold the CSeries to Delta at prices below production cost to illegally grab market share in the single-aisle airplane market.“This determination confirms that, as Boeing alleged in its petition, Bombardier dumped its aircraft into the U.S. market at absurdly low prices,” it said in a news release.Countervailing duties target what the U.S. considers unfair subsidies, while anti-dumping tariffs go after the alleged selling of imported products below market value.U.S. aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia said the high duties will hurt CSeries sales efforts to leasing companies and shut the plane out of the U.S. unless the U.S. International Trade Commission effectively ends the challenge in February.“If the ITC doesn’t find that this damaged Boeing then this whole thing vanishes like a bad dream,” he said in an interview.Aboulafia says the process appears to have been politicized, which requires authorities to detail their reasonings to avoid further damage to the international jetline sector.A Bombardier union said it wasn’t surprised by the new duty given the 48 per cent increase in the number of dumping allegations since the Trump administration took office.“These tribunals are like the right arm of the large corporations of Boeing,” said Dave Chartrand, Quebec co-ordinator of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.He said workers will fight even harder to get the duty reversed.“We will stand up and we will fight.”Boeing petitioned the government in April after its smaller rival secured a deal for up to 125 of its CS100s with Delta in 2016. The firm order for 75 aircraft had a list price of US$5.6 billion, although large orders typically secure steep discounts.Bombardier has repeatedly stressed that Americans will be hurt by the tariffs because more than half the content on the 100- to 150-seat CSeries is sourced by U.S. suppliers, including Pratt & Whitney engines. The program is expected to generate more than US$30 billion in business over its life and support more than 22,700 American jobs in 19 states.Boeing’s complaint has prompted a heavy political reaction from the Canadian government and British Prime Minister Theresa May, who fears job losses at Bombardier’s wing assembly facility in Northern Ireland.Canada has threatened to cancel the planned purchase of 18 Super Hornets to temporarily augment Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s.