The cast of the CBS hit series “Rules of Engagement” has teamed up with the American Heart Association to release a new digital video “Rules of Hands-Only CPR.”Video: AHA’s ‘Rules of Hands-Only CPR’ starring the cast of the CBS hit series “Rules of Engagement”Filmed in the style of the sitcom, the short asks Americans to learn the life-saving skill of Hands-Only CPR and can be viewed at YouTube.com/HandsOnlyCPR. Supported by a $4.5 million grant from the WellPoint Foundation, the campaign will contribute to the American Heart Association’s goal to double survival from cardiac arrest by 2020.The Bee Gees’ classic “Stayin’ Alive” – which is the near-perfect rate for doing chest compressions during CPR – remains the centerpiece of the association’s Hands-Only CPR awareness campaign. “Rules of Hands-Only CPR” imagines a casual dinner conversation between two couples as they discuss the reasons for learning Hands-Only CPR. Newly engaged sweethearts, Adam & Jennifer (Oliver Hudson, Bianca Kajlich) assist their enthusiastic friend Audrey (Megyn Price) in teaching her macho husband, Jeff (Patrick Warburton), the simple steps to save a life. Just as the scene is coming to a close, Timmy (Adhir Kalyan) bursts in in his finest white disco suit.“Hands-Only CPR has just two easy steps. There’s no excuse not to learn this life-saving skill,” said Megyn Price, Rules of Engagement cast member. “If a teen or adult suddenly collapses, call 9-1-1 and then push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” until help arrives.”Nearly 400,000 Americans suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests every year, and almost 90 percent die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. When begun immediately, CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.“People feel more confident performing Hands-Only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct compression rate when trained to the beat of ‘Stayin’ Alive,’” said Alston Inaba, M.D., the American Heart Association CPR instructor credited with first using the song to help students recall the right rate of compressions. “Not only is it a fun, catchy and memorable way to remember what to do, but it works – people’s lives have been saved because of it.”Hands-Only CPR Campaign Elements The campaign uses entertainment and humor to deliver serious lifesaving messages through the launch of TV and radio public service announcements, digital promotions, a one-minute animated Hands-Only CPR “how to” video and a multi-city mobile CPR training tour. CPR mobile tour A first for the organization, the state-of-the-art interactive CPR mobile tour will visit at least 24 cities over the next three years to teach thousands of people the easy steps to save a life. In 2012, trainings are being held in New York City; Albany, N.Y.; Richmond, Va.; Atlanta; Indianapolis; and four cities in California: Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego. Hands-Only CPR “How To” Video This one-minute animated video walks viewers through the easy steps of Hands-Only CPR. PSA In the PSA, Jennifer Coolidge (CBS’ “Two Broke Girls” and numerous films such as “Best in Show”, “American Pie” and “Legally Blonde”) struts to Stayin’ Alive as she recounts the simple steps to help save a life, ignoring interruptions from many – presumably because EVERYONE around her knows Hands-Only CPR. To watch the PSA and a 60-second “how-to” video on using Hands-Only CPR to help save a life, hustle to heart.org/HandsOnlyCPR or facebook.com/AHACPR. Source:PR Newswire
In an effort to raise awareness of earthquake preparedness, the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Ad Council have partnered with Warner Bros. to launch a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) featuring scenes from the action thriller San Andreas, starring Dwayne Johnson.“As a father, safety is always a top of mind issue for me,” said Dwayne Johnson. “That’s why I am proud to be partnering with FEMA and the Ad Council, to make sure as many people as possible know what to do in the event of an earthquake. They can happen anywhere in the U.S. without warning, so if you ever find yourself in the middle of one, remember – drop, cover and hold on.”Created pro bono by Warner Bros. for the Ad Council, the new creative includes English language TV and radio advertising and uses scenes from the feature film San Andreas to amplify earthquake safety awareness and the protective actions that can be taken in the event of an earthquake. Featuring Dwayne Johnson, one of the stars of the film, the PSAs educate audiences on the three steps to take if an earthquake strikes; “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” The PSAs direct audiences to Ready.gov/Earthquake, where visitors can access more information on how to protect themselves, their families, and property before, during, and after an earthquake.It is critically important to highlight the steps people can take to protect themselves from an earthquake. According to joint research by the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) and FEMA, nearly half the U.S. population, 150 million Americans, are exposed to potentially damaging earthquake shaking.“Earthquakes can occur anywhere in the U.S. without warning,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “The PSA provides earthquake safety tips that are vital to preparing yourself and your family to react quickly, which will save lives.”The new PSAs are an extension of FEMA and the Ad Council’s Ready campaign, which has helped to generate more than 87 million unique visitors to the campaign’s website Ready.gov since its launch in 2003. Through the Ad Council, to date, the Ready campaign has received more than $1.1 billion in donated media.“We are glad that Dwayne Johnson and Warner Bros. are helping to support the important earthquake preparedness messaging behind our Ready campaign,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “It is through strategic partnerships such as this that we can reach the largest audience possible, and families can learn how to be prepared in the event of a disaster.”The Ad Council is distributing the new PSAs to media outlets nationwide this week and the PSAs will run and air in advertising time and space donated by the media.
Paul O’Grady, TV presenter & star of the popular TV show ‘For the Love of Dogs’, has condemned a Court of Appeal decision denying Cruelty Free International permission to appeal a High Court ruling which paves the way for the expansion of a beagle breeding facility in East Yorkshire.The appeal was the last opportunity to prevent innumerable dogs from being bred inside the Bantin and Kingman Ltd (B&K) breeding farm in Grimston, East Yorkshire, before being sold to UK and EU laboratories where they will endure crude and cruel experiments.Last June Cruelty Free International applied for permission to appeal against the High Court decision, which disappointingly has now been rejected.Paul O’Grady says: “Cruelty Free International has fought for over six years against the development of the B&K beagle breeding farm. This is an incredibly disappointing outcome and a real tragedy for all those who care about the welfare of dogs. Despite strong opposition from local residents and the animal welfare community, thousands of dogs have effectively now been condemned to a life of misery, destined to suffer and die in experiments.”In 2014 the Home Office decided B&K did not have to provide outdoor space to dogs, despite EU regulations stating that such space should be provided where possible. The government department justified the move on the scientifically unproven basis that the dogs would be at risk of exposure to airborne toxins if they went outside – which they speculated would make them unsuitable for toxicology (poisoning) experiments.Around 90% of the dogs in UK laboratories are used for toxicology tests; the approach therefore means that dogs used in these sorts of tests could virtually never be given outdoor access. The public will be shocked to learn that the Home Office will now be able to grant an exemption in any case it wants, just by citing an alleged risk of infection.Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, says: “We are dismayed by the verdict. Our challenge was all that stood in the way of the expansion going ahead and the suffering of countless dogs. We believe that denying the dogs outside access was simply a convenient get around for the problem of noise to local residents which had been an obstacle to the company getting planning permission. We will now press ahead with our campaign for a full ban on dog experiments.”Cruelty Free International has led the campaign against the development of the B&K beagle breeding farm since 2011 and successfully prevented two previous applications to expand the facility. The nationwide move to save the #YorkshireBeagles has received widespread public support, and is backed by MPs and a host of celebrities including Paul O’Grady, Ricky Gervais and Jilly Cooper.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, will kick off New York Fashion Week tonight with its annual New York Gala at Cipriani Wall Street.The event will pay tribute to actress Scarlett Johansson and Artistic Director Donatella Versace for their longstanding support of amfAR and the fight against AIDS. The black-tie gala will be presented by Harry Winston.Hosted by actor, writer, and director Lena Dunham, amfAR’s New York Gala, now in its 19th year, will feature dinner, a live auction, honoree tributes, and a special musical performance by Grammy-nominated British pop sensation Ellie Goulding.Find out more here.
In honor of October’s National Bullying Prevention Month, STOMP Out Bullying, the leading national nonprofit dedicated to changing the culture for all students, calls on the nation to support their mission by raising awareness around the need to develop a society focused on kindness and inclusivity.Throughout the month the organization will raise much needed awareness for the cultural shift with various activations, partnerships and celebrity support.“We have always been an organization dedicated to spreading kindness and preventing bullying and cyberbullying. However, this year, we were driven more than ever to help communities, youth, students and society to realize that what we really need is to change the culture from one of cruelty to one of civility,” said Ross Ellis, CEO and Founder of STOMP Out Bullying. “This October, we mark 12 years as an organization, 12 years where we’ve spent unmeasurable hours dedicated to empowering today’s youth to stand tall and be respected. We hope that this October, we are able to once again help others around the world to understand the impact of standing shoulder to shoulder in unity.”Blue Shirt Day World Day of Bullying Prevention:The month will kick-off with STOMP Out Bullying’s annual Blue Shirt Day World Day of Bullying Prevention campaign. Held the first Monday of each October, this year October 2nd – the campaign signifies the importance of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. On this day, STOMP Out Bullying encourages everyone to “go blue” by wearing a blue shirt and making that the day that bullying prevention is heard around the world.Turning the Country Blue:This year, the organization has also called on national landmarks to “go blue” on Blue Shirt Day World Day of Bullying Prevention and throughout the month. By turning their lights blue these landmarks are showing their commitment and support for the need to change the culture. Some of the landmarks turning their lights blue on October 2nd and throughout the month include: • New York City’s One World Trade • New York City’s Historic Stonewall Inn • New York’s Empire State Building – October 23rd on STOMP Out Bullying’s 12th Anniversary • Boston’s Prudential Center • Chicago’s Navy Pier • The Wrigley Building in Chicago • One Liberty Place in Philadelphia • Omni Hotel in Dallas • Orlando’s Coca-Cola Eye • Alberta’s Calgary Tower • Vancouver’s Olympic Cauldron • British Columbia’s BC Place Stadium • And many more…Celebrity Support:Celebrities from theater, movies and TV come out every year to make a statement against bullying by wearing a Blue Shirt on, Blue Shirt Day World Day of Bullying Prevention. This year is no different Taye Diggs, Debra Messing, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Joan Hart, Derek Hough, Dustin Lance Black, Kyra Sedgwick, Frank Grillo, Chris Sullivan, Storm Reid, and more have all lent their voice to support the day. You can view all celebrity PSAs here.12th Anniversary BenefitIn celebration of the organization’s 12th anniversary, STOMP Out Bullying will once again bring together celebrities, business leaders, and engaged citizens to recognize and support the organization’s progress towards Changing the Culture and putting an end to bullying and cyberbullying. This year the organization will honor David M. Hashmall Esq., Chairman, Goodwin, the cast of Dear Evan Hansen, and Empire State Realty Trust. The event will be held on October 23rd at 6:30 PM at the PH-D Rooftop Lounge at the Dream Downtown Hotel. You can learn more about supporting or registering for the event here.Sheryl CrowOn October 23rd, Singer-songwriter and Grammy Award winner, Sheryl Crow will perform an intimate show benefitting STOMP Out Bullying at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, CA. You can buy tickets to the concert here.Video: Sheryl Crow BLUE SHIRT DAY® WORLD DAY OF BULLYING PREVENTION™ 2017October’s National Bullying Prevention Month, is a key moment in time to raise awareness around these important issues. During each week in October students can participate in many activities to raise awareness of bullying prevention at school. Students can find more information here. This issue is year-long and 24/7. To help support STOMP Out Bullying in their mission you can donate at WWW.STOMPOutBullying.org/Donate. Your donation will be used to support the organization’s HelpChat Line, in-school education, and other prevention programs; as well as public awareness and education, a dedicated website, brochures, Educator’s Bullying Prevention Toolkits and additional education and bullying prevention resources and materials.
The Black Arts and Innovation Expo takes place on Saturday, February 25, from 2 to 9 p.m. at York Mills Gallery (1885 Leslie St.) in Toronto.BY GILBERT NGABO – METRO Login/Register With: “If we don’t have youth in the driver’s seat, it’s going to be a shaky future,” Higgins said. A Toronto project is flipping the narrative on how we celebrate Black History Month. Twitter The Black Arts and Innovation Expo aims to put more focus on what young people are doing to forge a better future in their communities. Torstar News Service file – Toronto photographer Adeyemi Adegbesan, whose Instagram account @SoTeeOh has more than 60,000 followers, will also be part of the expo. “We’re all versed on Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Miss Lou and Malcolm X, and that’s fantastic,” he said. “But for a lot of millennials it’s starting to sound like cliché, and we have to start looking at contemporary realities of black people.” Dalton Higgins, the creative director for the event, says it’s time to look beyond historic figures. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Somali-born Canadian supermodel Yasmin Warsame is involved in humanitarian work in Toronto and Somalia. She’ll be one of the people making special appearances at the event. Higgins said the goal is to bridge a multigenerational gap by keeping the history of African Canadians alive, while making sure youth are taking charge of their own narrative going forward. The expo wants to reflect those realities by underscoring the work of young innovators who are making positive changes in their communities. Apart from panel discussions on various issues, music performances and art exhibitions, the event will also feature special appearances by former world champion hurdler Perdita Felicien, Somali-born supermodel Yasmin Warsame and poet laureate George Elliott Clarke among many others. Advertisement Created two years ago by Excelovate in conjunction with First Book Canada – two Canadian publishing companies with a focus on diversity – the expo is a platform for young talent in the local black communities to showcase their creative achievements. Advertisement The event will also feature the Lion’s Lair entrepreneurial competition, with the winner receiving $10,000 to help launch or expand a business. It’ll also offer 20 scholarships for African Canadian students to pursue post-secondary education in science, technology, engineering and math. Contributed – Bob Marley’s granddaughter Donisha Prendergast, who is an actress, model, dancer and poet, will make a special appearance at the expo. Advertisement
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Advertisement His hope for a better Canada is one of the reasons editors and broadcasters say they selected him as Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year for the second straight time.Downie collected 47 votes (53 per cent) in the annual Canadian Press survey of newsrooms across the country. The musician remains the only entertainer to receive the title in its 71-year history.He’s also now among a select group of Canadians to be voted top newsmaker more than once. Others include former prime ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau and activist athletes Terry Fox and Rick Hansen.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was second in this year’s poll with 11 votes (13 per cent), while new NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh finished third with 10 votes (11 per cent).“Most Canadians don’t really care about politicians — but Gord Downie seems to have touched so many hearts,” wrote Christina Spencer, editor of the Ottawa Citizen’s editorial pages.“Rarely have we mixed our tears of sadness and gratitude as we did for Gord Downie,” added Danny Kingsbury, national rock format director at Rogers Radio in Ottawa.“His music and legacy and work with Indigenous communities will live on.”Even though Canadians knew it was coming, news that Downie had succumb to an incurable form of brain cancer on Oct. 17 left many stunned.It almost seemed at times like he could do the impossible — somehow defy science to overcome his terminal diagnosis.He surprised doctors and fans alike with his boundless determination during the 2016 Hip tour. At the rousing last concert in Kingston, Ont., Downie offered hints of his next vision. Speaking to the audience, he expressed the urgency of drawing more attention to the inequities faced by Indigenous people. He called on the prime minister to lead by example.Downie’s “Secret Path” multimedia project, which was completed before his cancer diagnosis, became the guidebook in his last year as he delicately recounted the tragic final hours of Chanie Wenjack.For many Canadians, it was the first time hearing the story of the 12-year-old Ojibway boy who died of starvation and exposure after escaping a residential school in 1966.“His spirit touched Chanie Wenjack’s spirit,” said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde.“Even though they never physically met each other, I think in a spiritual way they knew and really bonded together.”Alvin Fiddler, the Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, worked closely with the Downie family over the past year and a half. He said it was impossible to predict how “Secret Path” would affect the wider conversation.“None of us really could envision the impact,” he said. “To see it spread across the country was something … pretty meaningful.”Fiddler credits Downie for shining a spotlight on some Indigenous issues, which he said led to progress in certain areas.“We have more and more communities coming off the boiled water advisory list next month in Slate Falls,” he offered as one example.“I would like to believe that Gord had a hand in those things.”Exploring the injustices inflicted upon Indigenous people in Canadian history led the singer on a personal journey of reflection, said his brother Mike Downie.“Gord said several times that the only thing that mattered to him was getting Canadians to become aware of Indigenous lives, start to right the wrongs and move in the direction of reconciliation,” he said.“It was what he wanted to get done before his time was up.”As the year stretched on, the reality of Downie’s mortality was harder to ignore. His appearances became increasingly rare.He surprised Blue Rodeo concertgoers in February by walking on stage to sing “Lost Together” alongside Jim Cuddy and other close friends. The emotional moment would be Downie’s final public stage performance.In June, he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for his work in raising awareness of Indigenous issues.On Canada Day weekend, Downie stood on a stage at Parliament Hill and encouraged a young crowd of We Day participants to ask questions about the history of residential schools. He emphasized that Indigenous children in some parts of Canada continue to travel great distances each day for school, likening it to “the pain, the torture and the death” in residential schools.His comments stood to elevate concerns Indigenous leaders have expressed over the lack of education and health resources for young people in remote communities.“It is still happening even though the residential school has gone away,” the ailing performer said.“It’s time to listen to the stories of the Indigenous. To hear stories about now.”He left the audience with an optimistic final thought as he looked to the next 150 years for the country.“Yours is the first generation in the new and real Canada. I love you,” he said to applause.“You and yours, the Indigenous, together will make this a true country now, one true to your word. The new 150 years, not the old one. The new one. Exciting and true.”A few months later, he was gone.Rest easy legend. Thank you Gord. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/AF11TkOTnh— Max Domi (@max_domi) October 18, 2017On the streets of Kingston that sombre October day, the hometown boy’s voice was everywhere. Restaurants cranked up playlists of only Hip songs, while some fans blared their car stereos to drown out the pain of the loss.Many talked about how Downie offered solace amid their family’s own cancer fights. Others reflected on how their perspectives of Canadian history were reshaped by his ardent support of Indigenous rights.Those sentiments stretched across the country as local musicians covered Hip favourites and viewers watched a broadcast of “Long Time Running,” a documentary recounting the band’s final tour.More Downie tributes are still in the works. A public memorial is being considered by the Hip’s members and their management, though no official date has been set.And in Ontario, an opposition NDP member recently introduced a bill to create a poet laureate program in the province and name the legislation after Downie.Carrying Downie’s message into the future now lies with his friends and the millions of Canadians he called on to make a difference.The late singer established the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund to serve as a catalyst in the movement towards reconciliation. Next year, the organization plans to escalate its approval of small grants that would unite Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and promote education in schools.It’s a project Downie considered essential for the longer term. He’d witnessed slivers of progress while he was still alive, his brother Mike said, and he considered each of them a reason for hope.“He could see that he had some impact,” Mike Downie said.“I know Gord felt really good that he had maybe managed to move the needle a little bit.”BY DAVID FRIEND / THE CANADIAN PRESS Gord Downie only appeared in public a handful of times in 2017, but his calls for a more inclusive Canada resonated even in his absence.Whether it was the poignant lyrics flowing through his recent albums or the heartfelt words he delivered in public, the Tragically Hip singer used every opportunity in his final months to speak out in support of Indigenous people in Canada.Even after he died of brain cancer in October at age 53, Downie’s push for reconciliation continued to reverberate across the country. Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter
Advertisement BodyguardEarlier this year, Netflix announced that it picked up streaming rights for BBC’s Bodyguard—a six-part thriller that shattered viewing records in the U.K., with 10.4 million people tuning in for the first episode. The show follows Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden, who stars as an Afghanistan war veteran assigned to protect a major political player responsible for the conflict in the Middle East. Praised for its suspense and mind-bending plot twists, the drama is billed to be one of the most addictive Netflix releases to date. October 24. The Kindergarten Teacher Facebook Twitter After its award-winning debut at Sundance, director Sara Colangelo’s English-language remake of this 2014 Israeli drama screened at this year’s TIFF as part of a special bill of Netflix films. In it, Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as a long-time teacher who takes an interest in one of her five-year-old students after she overhears him reciting precocious poetry. What starts as a desire to help cultivate his talent turns into an unhealthy obsession and soon, her actions escalate into complete recklessness. October 12.Operation FinaleBased on a true story, Twilight director Chris Weitz revisits one of the most important chapters in history for Operation Finale. The spy thriller retells the complicated mission to track down Adolf Eichmann, one of the main organizers of the Holocaust. It was reported that he died soon after the collapse of Nazi Germany, but the Israeli intelligence agency quickly discovered that he was living a secret life in a suburb of Buenos Aires and set off to capture him so he could stand trial in Israel. Ben Kingsley (Schindler’s List, Shutter Island) stars as Eichmann, while Star Wars actor Oscar Isaac takes on a role as intelligence team member Peter Malkin. October 3.Also coming to Netflix this monthThe Purge: Election YearAvailable October 1Anger ManagementSee No Evil, Hear No EvilThe Purge: Election YearWarcraftAvailable October 2Joe Rogan: Strange TimesMeatEater: Season 7Available October 3Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet FrankensteinAngela’s ChristmasCasperDawn of the DeadDuneMr. Bean’s HolidaySpy GameAvailable October 4Star: Season 3 Violet Evergarden: Special: Extra EpisodeEliteAvailable October 5Big Mouth: Season 2Dancing QueenÉliteEmpire GamesLittle Things: Season 2MalevolentPrivate LifeSuper Monsters Save HalloweenSuper Monsters: Season 2The Rise of PhoenixesYG Future Strategy OfficeAvailable October 6Little Things: Season 1Available October 8Mo Amer: The VagabondSupergirlSeason 3Available October 9InfernoSupergirl: Season 3Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 4Available October 1022 JulyAvailable October 11Salt Fat Acid HeatApostleAvailable October 12ApostleErrementari: The Blacksmith and the DevilFeminists: What Were They Thinking?FightWorldReMastered: Who Shot the SheriffTarzan and Jane: Season 2The Boss Baby: Back in Business: Season 2The Curious Creations of Christine McConnellThe Haunting of Hill HouseAvailable October 13Dynasty: Season 2A Taiwanese Tale of Two CitiesAvailable October 14A Taiwanese Tale of Two CitiesAvailable October 15Octonauts: Seasons 2-4The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of The CommandmentsAvailable October 16Black Lightning: Season 2Ron White: If You Quit Listening, I’ll Shut UpTravelers: Season 2WanderlustAvailable October 19Accidentally in LoveAsk the DoctorBest.Worst.Weekend.Ever.: Limited SeriesDerren Brown: SacrificeDistrito SalvajeGnome AloneHauntedHip-Hop Evolution: Season 2Illang: The Wolf BrigadeLarva IslandMaking a Murderer: Part 2Marvel’s Daredevil: Season 3The Night Comes For UsWanderlustHalloweenAvailable October 20HalloweenScary MovieScary Movie 2Scary Movie 3Scary Movie 4Scary Movie 5ScreamScream 2Scream 3SinisterThe Cabin in the WoodsAvailable October 21RobozunaThe CuredThe Secret Life of PetsAvailable October 22The Secret Life of PetsAvailable October 23Adam Sandler 100% FreshAvailable October 24Batman NinjaAvailable October 25Great News: Season 2Hell or High WaterBeen So LongAvailable October 26Been So LongCastlevania: Season 2DovlatovJefeShirkersTerrorism Close CallsAvailable October 27Girl from NowherePatriot Act with Hasan MinhajAvailable October 28Bridget Jones’s BabyCertain WomenCollateral BeautyPatriot Act with Hasan MinhajAvailable October 30Fate/Extra Last Encore: Illustrias Geocentric TheoryThe DegeneratesAvailable October 31Gun City LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Chilling Adventures of SabrinaSabrina the Teenage Witch is straying away from its ’90s sitcom roots for this horror revamp, loosely based on the 2014 comic book series. Cast as a “dark coming-of-age story,” the plot centres around the beloved Sabrina Spellman’s 16th birthday—a rite of passage that closely resembles a demonic tea party, where participants must sign Satan’s autograph book with blood before venturing off to the spirit realm. Faced with a choice between magic-filled witch world and human life, Sabrina (played by Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka) tries to sift through her identity as a half-mortal, all while wrestling occult forces that threaten her and her family. This Vancouver-shot series is the latest from the creators of Riverdale. October 26.Riverdale: Season 3Speaking of Riverdale, after a dramatic season two finale, where red-headed hero Archie Andrews was arrested for murder and taken away in handcuffs, the binge-worthy drama returns to Netflix for a new season. While the plot up to this point has been centred around murder, the show’s director said the upcoming episodes are heavily focused on friendships and romances (a mix of True Detective season one and Dungeons & Dragons, apparently). But what would Riverdale be without at least one rogue killer on the loose? Betty and Jughead fans will be happy to hear that a new mysterious murder spree reunites the couple for another season of teen crime fighting. October 11. Advertisement Spooky season is here, y’all! Now that we’re too old to go trick-or-treating (*sobs*), the way that we like to celebrate Halloween is spending all month long watching October flicks. And guess what? Netflix has answered our prayers..
(Photo: Lawyer David Blott taken at the time of his graduation from the University of Alberta Law School in 1998) By Kathleen MartensAPTN National NewsVANCOUVER–A Calgary law firm under fire for the way it handled residential school survivor compensation cases was cleared in two earlier peer reviews, a lawyer representing the firm says.The Alberta Law Society twice looked into complaints against Blott & Company and found nothing wrong, Blott’s lawyer Roy Millen says. The investigations were carried out in 2009 and 2011 after one client complained he was overcharged and another said he received an advance at a high interest rate.Similar complaints are now being investigated by a court monitor following a hearing in B.C. Supreme Court last Thursday.Blott & Company can resume working with its 3,000 residential school clients while the investigation is conducted by Crawford Class Action Services of Ontario, the court monitor for the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.The settlement includes financial compensation for survivors of sexual and the worst physical abuse while students at Indian Residential Schools through what is called the Independent Assessment Process (IAP).Justice Brenda Brown has yet to release a written order following last week’s court hearing approving the investigation.Crawford alleges four clients were advanced loans against their six-figure compensation payouts and charged interest in the 20 per cent range, along with service fees – something Crawford says violates the IAP rule of full compensation paid only to survivors, who can settle with third parties later. Court heard Blott & Company was not the only law firm arranging settlement loans.Crawford lawyer Lou Zivot told the judge one complainant was expecting more than $100,000 but received around $30,000 after being invoiced for two loans valued at $70,000 – more than she says she got.Crawford further alleged some clients weren’t properly represented, which Blott denies. And, that some clients were given big-screen television sets and laptop computers, the costs of which were deducted from the compensation payout.A publication ban remains in effect on any information that would identify the four complainants and the names of 10 associates that work at Blott & Company.At the same court hearing, Brown lifted her 15-day suspension of Blott & Company operations that put 56 compensation hearings on hold. She’d suspended the firm’s activities prior to the Nov. 10 hearing.Those hearings frozen from November 1 to November 18 are now being re-scheduled by the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat. Its adjudicators hear evidence from survivors at confidential hearings and decide how much compensation is due.Compensation payouts range from $105,000 to $455,000. About 200 lawyers work with IAP clients.Roy Millen said IAP cases comprise 90 per cent of Blott & Company business. He also told court the firm was the subject of an investigation started by the adjudication secretariat that didn’t interview founderDavid Blott. He said David Blott is willing to meet with the adjudication secretariat’s representative to address any concerns.Chief Adjudicator Daniel Ish confirmed he ordered an internal investigation last February because of complaints from clients and his adjudicators. Those were that Blott lawyers weren’t properly preparing clients for their hearings, “major discrepancies” between IAP applications and evidence heard by the adjudicator, incomplete documents, and “excessive” cancellation of hearings.Ish noted Blott challenged the authority of his office to conduct an investigation. Blott also denied the allegations.Ish says it was first anticipated 12,500 survivors would seek compensation but he says the caseload is now at 27,000. Already 11,500 cases have been heard across Canada.When the IAP concludes next year, Ish predicts somewhere between $2 billion and $3 billion will have been paid out.As for the loans, Millen said Blott arranged them for 68 clients but hasn’t done so in the past two years. Court heard the loans were obtained through three Alberta-based lending companies: Funds Now Inc., BridgePoint Financial Services and Settlement Lenders of Canada.David Hamm, the president of Funds Now, said in an affidavit Blott didn’t receive any direct or indirect payment for arranging loans, adding Funds Now is no longer operating.The Residential Schools Settlement Agreement states compensation cannot be paid to other parties, including lenders.Millen says the loans occurred during the precursor to the IAP – the earlier compensation process called the Alternative Dispute Resolution.He said Blott & Company has handled 500 IAP cases in the past eight months without complaint.In fact, two Blott associates said they were each attending and billing for 20 compensation hearings per firstname.lastname@example.org
(Photo courtesy Ben Powless)APTN National NewsTORONTO–First Nations should assert control of natural resources on their traditional territories, says George Stanley, one of the candidates for national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.Stanley, Alberta AFN regional chief from the Cree First Nation of Frog Lake, said First Nations should demand the Canadian government respect their jurisdiction over minerals, gas and oil found on their territory while keeping a balance protecting the environment.“Our inherent right to land comes first,” said Stanley. “Treaties are the result of this land to which we still claim ownership because treaties did not displace us. We must also claim jurisdiction over all minerals, the mighty rivers and bodies of water.”Stanley is one of eight candidates vying for the position of national chief of the AFN. He was speaking during the candidate’s forum during the AFN gathering in Toronto where chiefs will vote for national chief on Wednesday.Stanley said as national chief he would challenge the Conservative government over its unilaterally imposed changes to environmental regulations and legislation.“Our traditional land is in jeopardy, our people have already experienced clear-cutting, tar sands destruction of a once pristine environment,” he said.Stanley told chiefs that he understood their day to day struggle, the phone calls and tragedies that fill their days and nights.“I understand the community concerns that you go through, how many calls you receive on a weekly basis concerning housing problems, black mold and health issues,” said Atleo. “How many funerals have you attended in the recent past as a result of suicide, drug and alcohol violence or deal with missing and murdered women from your region?”Stanley also said he would fight for First Nations jurisdiction over gaming.“We have been denied full exercise and control of gaming in Canada. It’s about the exercise of our nationhood and sovereignty,” said Stanley. “Gaming should be a priority. The problem is Canada, the provinces and territories ignore our sovereignty and inherent rights.”
APTN National NewsNunavut Tunngavik Incorporated is holding a presidential election.They’re the group that handles the Nunavut land claim.APTN National News reporter Kent Driscoll takes a further look at NTI and explains how important they are to Nunavut and Nunavut’s Inuit.
APTN National NewsATTAWAPISKAT–Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence has called a band council meeting for Thursday to discuss an unfolding blockade on the main winter road leading to the neighbouring De Beers Victor diamond mine.A group of Attawapiskat residents set up the blockade on Monday, according to a spokesperson for the mining diamond giant.De Beers and Attawapiskat band officials were meeting with the blockaders on Tuesday afternoon. One of the band officials involved in talks is Danny Metatawabin, who was Spence’s spokesman during her fast in Ottawa. Metatawabin is the coordinator for the impact benefit agreement between De Beers and Attawapiskat.De Beers said the blockade had forced it to stop its operations on the road. The company depends on the winter road to ship fuel, machine parts and equipment too heavy to be flown in.The mine sits about 90 kilometres west of Attawapiskat and is Ontario’s first diamond mine.The blockade has as of yet not impacted the mine’s operations, said Tom Ormsby, a De Beers spokesperson. Ormsby said the mine has built in flexibility to its shipping plans that would allow it to continue unimpeded even if the road shut down for a week. He said the mine has about a 45 day window to ship materials up the road, but is prepared for much shorter timelines.“We always build in a flexible timeline,” said Ormsby. “In the past, we lost a week because water came up over the Albany River…we always try to go short, in case, for whatever reason, there is an interruption.”APTN National News has been unable to reach any of the individuals involved in the blockade. Cell phone coverage is limited in the area.Attawapiskat Deputy Chief Gerald Mattanais said he believes the blockade was launched over specific and personal reasons primarily over things like employment.“In the past, some people lost employment at Victor and others were recently fired and others did not respond to their obligations…Issues like that I keep hearing,” said Mattanais. “I would look at it that way at the present time.”Mattanais said the blockade would also have a detrimental impact on Attawapiskat if it continues because some in the community work as sub-contractors for the mine and depend on the road for work.“Sub-contractors we have from our community can’t even go to work on their road. It is affecting everyone, the relationship with one to the other,” he said. “I know people are looking for jobs and if we hold for a week it is going to be big.”Mattanais said Spence was in the office earlier in the day and asked him to coordinate a meeting on the issue for Thursday.“We are concerned, I think the leadership is concerned about it,” he said.De Beers does not transport any of its diamonds over the road and instead flies them south via charter on schedules known only to a few people.The mine employs at least 100 people from Attawapiskat at any one time. It generates about $400 million in annual revenue for the company. The company has transferred about $10.5 million to a trust fund held by Attawapiskat as of January 2011. The mine began operating in 2008.
APTN National NewsMichael Daykin recently went through his first round of chemo therapy.The Toronto man was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia just months ago.Daykin is hoping to find a bone-marrow donor soon, particularly with a child on the way.“It’s difficult. The timing is bad to say the least. It’s very stressful and hard on the people around me who love me, my family, my wife, my friends. For me, I do have an optimistic outlook,” he said.Daykin was adopted so he doesn’t have any blood relatives, aside from his twin brother who is a partial match.He needs a full donor and he’s looking to the Aboriginal community.APTN’s Delaney Windigo has the story.
Kenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsDaniel Frost would flip through family photo albums growing up and see people who didn’t look like him.He knew them as grandpa or grandma, but they weren’t his grandparents.Born Metis, he was adopted as an infant from northern Saskatchewan by British parents who moved him across the Atlantic ocean to the United Kingdom.He’s built a life there.Then last year he decided to make a real effort to find his birth family.Frost figured he’d have a couple siblings.What he found was a family tree that extended far beyond that. Thirteen brothers and sisters (two deceased).He first found his birth sister Edna Smith who sent him photos of his siblings.“Suddenly, I saw people looking back at me that looked like me,” said Frost, 46, from London where he is training to be a nursing assistant. “I’ve even got a brother that looks like me. It’s something that is quite extraordinary.”Daniel FrostFrost was born Darin Maurice to Metis parents from Buffalo Narrows in Saskatchewan in 1968. He was quickly taken by the province’s child welfare system and put in foster care.This was the era of the 60s Scoop. It’s now well-known that thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and adopted into non-Indigenous homes.Edna Smith was also adopted by a British family, but they stayed in Saskatchewan.She said a death in the immediate family ripped the home apart, which led to many of the children being put in foster care and later adopted.Edna Smith/facebook“I have a sister in B.C., I have a sister in Washington (State), I have a sister in Red Deer, one in North Battleford, a brother in Saskatoon, two brothers in Calgary, a brother in Regina, a brother in Dillon and Dan,” said Smith. Frost is raising money for travel costs to visit his family through a crowdfunding site.“I think it’s awesome and we can’t wait for him to get over here,” said Smith. “I look at him and I know he’s my brother.”It’s that connection that Frost has always been looking for.Growing up in the United Kingdom, Frost was confused as Spanish or Italian, even Jewish, because of this skin colour. He was known as the “little brown boy.” His parents never hid where they got him and he knew he was Indigenous. “Most people in Europe kind of think that First Nation or Native people are no longer around. They’re found in history books,” said Frost. Then he came to Toronto in the 1990s to visit friends.“It was the first time I experienced any kind of recognition of who I was. It was both in a good way and a bad way,” he said.Some would come up to him and ask if he was Cree and he felt welcomed.“I also had other people who were like ‘We know about your people. You’re all alcoholics,’” said Frost, adding despite the racism, “In a way, it was quite life-fulfilling, even the bad stuff, because you’re understanding who I am.”Both of his birth parents have passed away, his father in 2013 and his mother in 2010.But in the 90s he made his first attempt to find his birth family and received a package from the province of Saskatchewan.It included a hand written note from his mother scribbled on a scrap piece of paper.She addressed it “my darling son.”“I was quite overwhelmed by it,” said Frost. “Someone else was calling me her son.”He lost that note in a fire and never pursued his search.“I’m not sure I was mature enough to handle it at the time,” he said.But the “little brown boy” from England is now determined to end his email@example.com@afixedaddress
As municipalities across Ontario weigh whether to allow cannabis retail stores in their neighbourhoods, experts and consumer choice advocates warn that having large swaths of the province opt out of brick-and-mortar pot shops could fuel the black market.Recreational cannabis can currently only be bought online in Ontario, and municipalities have until Jan. 22 to decide if they want to host private cannabis stores, which are set to open next spring.Under the rules laid out by the Progressive Conservative government, municipalities that opt out can change their minds down the line, but once they sign on, they can’t back out.In recent weeks, several municipalities — both rural communities and major urban centres such as Mississauga, west of Toronto — have chosen to reject cannabis retail stores, saying they want more control over the number and location of the shops before they consider opting in. Some have also said they want more time for public consultations.This, combined with the government’s recent announcement that it will only issue 25 retail licences by April — after initially saying it would not put a cap on the number — could embolden illegal pot sellers and allow them to thrive, experts and consumer groups said.“Unfortunately, it’s turned out to be just a comedy of errors,” said Anindya Sen, an economics professor at the University of Waterloo who specializes in the cannabis industry. “When you take (those things) together, it’s possible that despite being legalized, Ontario might become one of the biggest black markets in the world.”While the internet remains an option, Sen said delivery hiccups and limited selection at the province’s online cannabis store also undermine efforts to lure consumers away from illegal avenues.That sentiment was echoed by David Clement, manager of North American affairs for the Consumer Choice Center.“Community opt-outs and limited storefronts is a toxic combination which pretty much guarantees that the black market will thrive,” he said. “Capping retail outlets and having entire communities opt out makes the legal market in Ontario far less accessible.”The Ontario government has said it was capping licences in response to a national cannabis supply shortage, which it said can only be tackled by the federal government.“Ontario intends to transition to an open allocation system as soon as supply permits,” Jesse Robichaud, a spokesman for Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, said in an email.Robichaud further said that municipalities that have not opted out will have 15 days to provide written submissions to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the provincial agency overseeing retail cannabis stores, on any proposed storefront location. He would not say whether the province was open to giving municipalities more control over the site selection.The province has pledged $40 million over two years to help local governments with the costs of legalization, with each municipality receiving at least $10,000. A first payment will be issued this year on a per household basis, but a second payment doled out after the January deadline will go only to those that opt in, Robichaud said.As of Wednesday, roughly 30 of Ontario’s 444 municipalities had formally notified the AGCO of their decision, with at least 10 opting out, according to the agency’s website.In the Town of Erin, south of Orangeville, councillors voted on Dec. 5 to keep cannabis stores out of their community, largely over the site selection issue, said Mayor Al Alls.“Basically, we feel there’s just too many unanswered questions at this stage of the game and that we weren’t comfortable with proceeding with allowing it to be retailed in our community,” Alls said.Alls said he would reconsider if the municipality was given more control over the locations, but stressed council has not discussed that possibility and would need to be on board.The mayor also suggested a pot shop might not be successful in a small community anyway, noting people might be reluctant to be seen going in and out of a store. “It’s going to take civilization a while to accept the fact that my Joe Blow minister down the street goes in to get a joint every day,” he said.People are more likely to choose to grow it themselves, “especially in the country,” he said.Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie wrote a letter to Premier Doug Ford outlining the city’s concerns earlier this month, a day after councillors voted to hold off on hosting pot shops for the time being, but hasn’t heard back.She said that while the city isn’t opposed in principle, officials felt they did not have enough time to prepare for the shift to an open market model from the government-run system proposed by the previous Liberals regime. Municipalities should be allowed to increase the setback beyond the 150-metre minimum laid out by the province, and should receive funding even if they opt out because they still bear the costs of public education and enforcement, she said.Asked whether she feared the black market would flourish in the absence of pot shops, Crombie said every municipality has to do what’s right for its residents.“Cannabis is available online…so there is availability to residents,” she said. “And certainly there’s always the option of purchasing cannabis at a retail store outside of your own municipality, taking a trip into the city of Toronto.”At least one other municipality on the outskirts of Toronto has also opted out, prompting Toronto’s mayor to raise concerns about the pressure that will put on the city’s cannabis market.John Tory has also asked the province to give the city more control over where the stores are placed, saying he doesn’t want to see a cluster of them near the highway just to accommodate consumers from neighbouring communities without pot shops.“I think it is reasonable for us, given that there may be more pressure on the Toronto market, for us to say that we should have a hand in determining that there aren’t clusters of pot shops all together in one place or that they aren’t located near schools or community centres,” he said this week. “I’m more concerned with that at the moment than the absolute number but there’s no question that the number of pot shops will affect the continued existence or not of a black market we’re trying to eradicate.”Though she acknowledges there are many outstanding questions on how the retail model will roll out, Pauline Rochefort, the mayor of East Ferris in northeastern Ontario, said councillors wanted to get in on the ground floor.The community near North Bay chose to opt in, in part to ensure its own residents — which have a high rate of entrepreneurship — have the chance to participate in the cannabis market, she said.Rochefort said there has been no public outcry over the prospect of retail cannabis stores, but it’s unclear whether the community of roughly 5,000 can keep an outlet in business.“While we did not have…all the information, we felt comfortable that things were in good hands,” she said.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — President Donald Trump is not giving up on his demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, saying a physical barrier is central to any strategy for addressing the security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border.Democrats argue that funding the construction of a steel barrier along 234 miles (377 kilometres) will not solve the problems. A 2018 government report warns of increased risks that the U.S. wall-building program will cost more than projected, take longer than planned and not perform as expected.Walls and fencing now cover about one-third of the 1,954-mile-long (3,145-kilometre-long) border. Some construction began with former President Bill Clinton in the early 1990s, George W. Bush ramped up the effort in 2006 and Barack Obama built more than 130 miles (209 kilometres), mostly during his first year in office.Between 2007 and 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spent $2.4 billion to add 535 miles (861 kilometres) of pedestrian and vehicle barriers and other infrastructure along the border.Trump wants to extend and fortify what’s already in place. But contracting, designing and building new wall systems complete with updated technology could take years, and past experience has shown such work can be complicated and costly.Here is how much the government has spent on barriers in the states along the Mexican border:CALIFORNIAMuch of California’s 141 miles (227 kilometres) of border with Mexico was fenced during the Bush administration through a security measure that won congressional approval and had support from key Democrats.In 2009, the federal government spent about $16 million a mile on a 3.5-mile (5.5-kilometre) stretch in San Diego, using about 2 million tons of dirt to fill in a canyon known as Smuggler’s Gulch. The earthen dam was then topped with layers of fencing.At the Imperial Sand Dunes, the U.S. built a floating fence of 16-foot-high (5-meter-high) steel tubes that can be raised or lowered as the sands shift. The $6 million-a-mile barrier cuts through a film location for “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” that resembles the Sahara.Both are examples of some of the rugged territory along the border that can result in higher costs.The Government Accountability Office estimated in 2018 that new border wall construction averages $6.5 million a mile but terrain, building materials and other factors influence costs. Elsewhere, the Rio Grande’s winding waters and lush vegetation are more challenging for erecting walls than Arizona’s flat deserts.ARIZONAIn 2006, the federal government completed a 30-mile (48-kilometre) stretch of steel barriers to keep people from illegally crossing into the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The barriers were designed to stop vehicles from driving around a checkpoint in Lukeville or up through the desert wilderness. That three-year project had a price tag of $18 million.More recently, Barnard Construction Co. Inc. of Montana was awarded $172 million for 14 miles (23 kilometres) of new fencing in the Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector. Officials say the total value of that contract could reach $324 million for 32 miles (52 kilometres).NEW MEXICOMore than a dozen miles of fence were built near Columbus in 2000, stretching from the border town to an onion farm and cattle ranch. A survey done several years later determined that a 1.5-mile (2-kilometre) section that was designed to keep cars from illegally crossing into the U.S. was accidentally built on Mexican soil.The project was believed to initially cost about $500,000 a mile, while estimates to uproot and relocate the fencing ranged from $2.5 million to $3.5 million.In 2018, the federal government awarded a $73 million contract to the same Montana-based company to rip out old vehicle barriers and replace them with a new bollard-style wall of tall metal slats and extensive concrete footings along a 20-mile (32-kilometre) stretch near Santa Teresa. That project was finished months ahead of schedule.TEXASCongress last spring approved $641 million for 33 miles (53 kilometres) of construction in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, the busiest corridor for illegal border crossings. Targeted areas include the non-profit National Butterfly Center, a state park and privately owned ranches and farmland.In El Paso, construction started last fall in the Chihuahuita neighbourhood — the border city’s oldest neighbourhood — to replace 4 miles (6 kilometres) of chain-link fencing with a new steel bollard wall. The estimated cost: $22 million.There has been fencing for decades in cities such as El Paso and San Diego. Once built, increased crackdowns in those areas led to a drop in apprehensions. But authorities have complained that as a result of those efforts, illegal crossings and trafficking activity has been pushed to more remote stretches of the border.Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press
“Canada has laid down its weapons. Now it’s time for BC to disarm. Let’s try diplomacy,” said West Moberly First Nations Chief Roland Willson. “If the Premier truly wishes to respect the constitution and the Treaty 8 rights it protects, he shouldn’t be encouraging BC Hydro to destroy those rights before the courts have the chance to weigh in. The Premier can meet with us and our federal counterparts to work out how best to wind down work on Site C until the question of Treaty infringement is finally decided.”This is not the first time the feds have followed a different path than B.C. government over a dispute with First Nations. Last summer, the federal government backed the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s injunction against provincial permits for the New Prosperity mine, and even got federal injunction to stop the permitted work.The decision from the federal government follows a work stoppage on Site C in February that the First Nations are claiming as a victory. Rather than oppose an interim, interim injunction threatened by the First Nations’ lawyers, BC Hydro abruptly sent home contractors that were in the process of logging a 30-kilometre tract of old growth forests for the project’s proposed transmission line. Hydro has said that the work will remain suspended until after the injunction is decided later this summer.The injunction hearing is set to take place in BC Supreme Court from July 23rd to August 4th. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Court documents filed last Thursday show that the Attorney General of Canada has taken “no position” and has not filed evidence to defend against an application by the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations to seek an injunction suspending construction of the Site C dam.In January, the two First Nations announced that they would be suing the provincial government and BC Hydro after Premier John Horgan announced last December that the government was continuing with Site C. As part of their lawsuit, the two First Nations are seeking an injunction to suspend construction of the dam during the trial. If successful, the injunction will halt work on the $10.7 billion-dollar dam for anywhere from 18 months to several years while the trial concludes.In its Response to Civil Claim, which was also filed Thursday, the federal government admits that it did not make a legal determination on whether Site C infringes Treaty 8, and states that the issue must either be “tested” by the Court at trial or resolved “in other contexts beyond litigation.” The Treaty 8 First Nations opposed to the dam are now calling on the B.C. Government to follow suit.
At an open public meeting about the proposed bylaw, a number of District residents came to give their thoughts on the proposed pay raise for councillors, with mayoral candidate Laura Prosko, council candidate Sherry Davies, and Jennifer Simpson speaking out against it.Council candidate Michelle Turnbull and residents Matt Edgar and Rick Banack spoke in favour of councillors accepting meeting fees, saying that many council members have increased the hours they have spent in performing civic duties.Mayor Rob Fraser clarified that he had worked approximately 1,600 hours performing mayoral duties in the past 14 months, which works out to an average of 28.5 hours per week.Councillors voted in favour of passing McPhail’s recommendation, albeit with an amendment removing the proposed increase in the mayor’s base salary by $4,600 to $28,000 per year.Councillors did vote in favour of being able to claim meeting fees for attending pre-approved meetings outside of the District.All members of council will be eligible to claim $100 for a meeting(s) lasting up to four hours, $200 for a meeting(s) between four and seven hours, and $300 for a meeting(s) running longer than 7 hours, in addition to their base salary. TAYLOR, B.C. – Taylor councillors have voted in favour of a recommendation from Financial Services Director Michael McPhail that District councillors receive renumeration for attending meetings outside of the District, but excluded also increasing the mayor’s base salary beyond the rate of inflation.At Monday’s committee of the whole meeting, councillors discussed McPhail’s third report on the subject since the issue of mayor and council getting compensation for attending meetings outside of the District was brought up at the beginning of September.Council had deferred making a decision on the topic on two occasions, saying that more information about which meetings councillors would be able to claim meeting fees, and whether a graduated scale of renumeration should be developed depending on the length of a meeting instead of a flat meeting fee. The meeting fees will be applicable for all meetings councillors attend on or after January 1st, 2019.Council members, including the mayor, will see a Cost of Living Allowance increase in 2019, with future COLA increases to be determined based on inflation during yearly budget discussions.
New Delhi: Power Minister R K Singh Thursday ruled out consolidating all state-owned power sector firms like NTPC, NHPC, SJVNL and PFC into a single entity, saying it would be the biggest company of the world but will not be manageable. However, the minister said discussions are on regarding merger of some companies under the Power Ministry. The issue of consolidation in the power sector gained prominence after the government recently approved REC’s takeover by the Power Finance Corporation (PFC). Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”If it (consolidation of all power sector PSUs) does happen, (then) it will be the biggest company of the world. “But we have to think about whether it will manageable in the sense that you need managerial focus also and if it become too big and too diverse, it is matter of management control,” Singh said at a press conference. He was replying to a question on whether such a consolidation can happen in the power sector to improve efficiency. When asked about mergers of some power sector PSUs, he said, “Discussions are happening of and on.” Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsIn December 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the sale of the government’s 52.63 per cent stake in REC to PFC. The two state-owned firms are non-banking finance companies which fund power sector projects. The government is expected to garner around Rs 15,000 crore from this merger. Another proposal for SJVNL’s takeover by state-run power giant NTPC is also under consideration of the government. Industry experts said consolidation of firms in the same sector brings efficiency but one has to see that whether it leads to monopoly and also whether the mega entities would be manageable. Earlier last year, the government had approved dilution of its 51.11 per cent stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) in favour of ONGC in the oil and gas sector.
New Delhi: Continuing his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Pulwama suicide bombing, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday raked up the issue of release of Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar in 1999.Sounding the bugle for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Modi’s home state, he fired a fresh salvo at the NDA regime on a slew of issues, including the Rafale deal, demonetisation and the implementation of the GST. Addressing a rally at Adalaj village of Gandhinagar district in the presence of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, his sister and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other top party leaders, he reiterated that there was massive corruption in the Rafale deal. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! “He (Modi) talks about patriotism. Masood Azhar conducted bomb attack in Pulwama. I would like to ask Narendra Modiji, who released Masood Azhar and sent him to Pakistan? (It was) the BJP government, the Vajpayee government put Masood Azhar on a special plane, gave him money and sent him to Pakistan,” Rahul Gandhi said. “And Narendra Modiji, your National Security Adviser, (Ajit) Dovalji (who was then with the IB), escorted Masood Azhar to Kandahar (in Afghanistan),” he said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedAzhar and two other terrorists were set free by the Vajpayee government in exchange of hostages of the IC-814 Indian Airlines flight hijacked to Kandahar in December 1999. Azhar later went on to set up the Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based terror outfit that claimed responsibility for the February 14 suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama. “Explain to the country, why did you send the person who killed those 40-45 martyrs, on a special plane? Tell the country why your government sent him to Pakistan. Who had arrested Masood Azhar? Congress party had arrested Masood Azhar, he was kept in jail,” he said. While mocking the industrialist, the Congress chief said, “Anil Ambani has never made a plane in his life. If I give him a piece of paper he would not be able to make a plane out of that also.”