Five stories in the news for today July 10

first_imgFive stories in the news for Monday, July 10———MORE EVACUATIONS AS B.C. WILDFIRES WORSENThe wildfire situation in the B.C interior is still escalating. More than 7,000 people had fled their homes by Sunday evening, and emergency officials expect that number to rise as hot, dry, windy conditions continue to fuel more than 200 fires that have charred at least 230 square kilometres. The Ashcroft Indian Reserve is among the hardest hit communities — most of its homes have been gutted. Many tears were shed as evacuated residents returned last night to see all they’d lost to the flames.———FORT MCMURRAY HELPS B.C. FIRE EVACUEESSeeing reports of the wildfire evacuations in British Columbia has brought back stressful memories for residents of Fort McMurray, Alta., who had to flee a devastating fire just over a year ago. But they’ve sprung into action by collecting donations of supplies for first responders, driving those supplies to B.C., and offering advice and guidance for evacuees through a Facebook page.———B.C. FORESTS MORE FIRE-PRONE THAN IN THE PAST: EXPERTIt’s a sad irony — an expert on the subject says British Columbia has become so successful at dousing wildfires that it’s actually made forests more prone to flames. Lori Daniels is an associate professor of forest ecology at UBC. She says increasingly successful firefighting efforts over recent decades have allowed for denser forests with more dead material on the ground. So now when fires ignite Daniels says they’re much more severe and fast-moving.———DELAY IN URGENT SURGERY UPS DEATH RISK: STUDYA new Canadian study suggests patients whose emergency surgeries are delayed due to a lack of operating room resources have an increased risk of death or need extra recovery time in hospital. Researchers at the Ottawa Hospital found surgical delays for patients with serious or life-threatening conditions had almost a 60 per cent higher risk of dying compared to those who received more timely treatment. The study is published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.———ONTARIO SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON $15 MINIMUM WAGEOntario’s bid to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by Jan. 1, 2019 is being put to the public this week. Proposed legislation, which also includes equal pay for part-time workers, increased vacation entitlements and more personal emergency leave, starts committee hearings today. The move is strongly opposed by business groups, but it has the support of some prominent economists.———last_img read more

NS police chief elects trial by judge alone on sex charges involving

first_imgBRIDGEWATER, N.S. – A Nova Scotia police chief facing sex charges involving a 17-year-old girl has elected to have the case heard in Supreme Court by judge alone.John Collyer of the Bridgewater police force will appear in provincial court next April for a preliminary hearing and — if he’s committed to stand trial — he will enter a plea once the matter lands in Supreme Court.The case was briefly in Bridgewater provincial court Thursday.The town’s police commission suspended Collyer on May 4 for 60 days with pay, the same day it was announced he was facing charges.Pat Cappello, chairman of the commission, said Thursday that Collyer’s suspension with pay has been extended until more information becomes available.“I cannot comment on the amount of pay or any other matter that may be considered a personnel matter,” he said in an email.The 53-year-old had been placed on administrative leave last August after the province’s Serious Incident Response Team confirmed it was investigating the alleged sexual assault.The independent police watchdog laid one charge of sexual assault and two charges of sexual exploitation against Collyer over allegations dating between April 1 and July 31 of last year.The girl was 17 at the time of the alleged offences in the Bridgewater area on Nova Scotia’s south shore.Collyer, a 26-year veteran of the police force, had been chief for five years when the allegations surfaced.last_img read more

Former BC premier Clark says she intends to resign as party leader

first_imgVANCOUVER – Former British Columbia premier Christy Clark will resign as leader of the provincial Liberal party.Clark made her intentions known in a brief statement.She says she informed her caucus colleagues about her decision to leave as leader effective Aug. 4.Clark says she’s proud of everything she has accomplished, including working to make B.C. the leader in Canada’s economy and creating more than 200,000 jobs.She calls the province’s protection of the Great Bear Rainforest “British Columbia’s gift to the world.”Clark led her party to a 43-seat win in the 87-seat legislature in the May election, but the government lost a confidence vote after the New Democrats and Greens formed an agreement to govern.She says she’s certain that B.C.’s best days are ahead and residents can achieve anything they set their minds to through “hard work, determination and perseverance.”More coming…last_img read more

Acquittal upheld for teacher who secretly videoed female students breasts

first_imgTORONTO – A high school teacher who used a camera pen to secretly video female students’ chest areas did so for sexual purposes, but his acquittal on voyeurism charges will nevertheless stand, Ontario’s top court ruled in a split decision on Thursday.In dismissing a prosecution challenge to a lower court verdict, the Court of Appeal found the students had no reasonable expectation of privacy — a key element of the offence of voyeurism.Police in London, Ont., charged the English teacher, Ryan Jarvis, over secret recordings he made in 2010 and 2011 of the students while he was chatting with them. The images, captured in various places in and around the school and lasting from seconds to a few minutes, involved 27 female students aged 14 to 18.Another teacher spotted what was happening and alerted the principal, who observed the same conduct and called in the police.Key to the voyeurism charge was that several of the videos, admitted as evidence at trial, focused on the teens’ chest areas.In November 2015, Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman found Jarvis not guilty, despite deciding his behaviour had been “morally repugnant and professionally objectionable.” While Goodman ruled the students had a reasonable expectation of privacy, he found the videos were not sexually motivated.Among other things, Goodman said, Jarvis had no other pornographic material, sometimes filmed faces, and none of the images showed nudity or sexual activity. The judge also noted that the images showed what could be “readily seen” by anyone.“While a conclusion that the accused was photographing the students’ cleavage for a sexual purpose is most likely,” Goodman found, “there may be other inferences to be drawn.”The Crown appealed, arguing it should have been a no-brainer that Jarvis, who did not testify, had been sexually motivated: The subjects were females, and the camera was deliberately pointed downward at their breasts.In coming to opposite conclusions than Goodman did — but still upholding the acquittal — the majority of the Appeal Court panel that heard the case rejected his analysis of the sexual aspect, which leaned on parallels to child pornography. Goodman was wrong, the higher court ruled, to consider the lack of nudity as negating the sexual purposes Jarvis had.The judge also failed to identify what other purposes the teacher might have had, the higher court said.“This was an overwhelming case of videos focused on young women’s breasts and cleavage,” Justice Kathryn Feldman wrote on behalf of herself and Justice David Watt.However, in looking at the second element of the offence, Feldman and Watt disagreed with Goodman that the teens had a reasonable expectation of privacy at school even though they could be recorded, for example, by security cameras.In coming to that conclusion, the majority noted that we live in an open society “where visual interaction is part of everyday life and is valued” and that while school should be a protected and safe environment, students know they can be observed in places where they gather.“If a person is in a public place, fully clothed and not engaged in toileting or sexual activity, they will normally not be in circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy,” the court ruled.In a dissenting opinion, Justice Grant Huscroft agreed the videos were for a sexual purpose but rejected the privacy conclusion.“Privacy expectations need not be understood in an all-or-nothing fashion,” Huscroft said, drawing on an example of a mother breast-feeding in public. “There is a reasonable expectation that she will not be visually recorded surreptitiously for a sexual purpose.”In saying he would have convicted Jarvis, Huscroft said the students did have a reasonable expectation of privacy despite being easily observed in public.“The students’ interest in privacy is entitled to priority over the interests of anyone who would seek to compromise their personal and sexual integrity while they are at school,” Huscroft said.Jarvis’ licence to teach was suspended in 2013 for failing to pay his dues. There is no record of disciplinary findings against him, according to the Ontario College of Teachers.last_img read more

Only 10 per cent of Haitians crossing illegally getting refugee status so

first_imgOTTAWA – The majority of asylum seekers who have crossed illegally into Canada so far this year were Haitian and so far, only 10 per cent of their claims have been accepted, newly released data showed Wednesday.Since February, the Immigration and Refugee Board has received 14,467 claims in total from what they call irregular border crossers, and the overall acceptance rate sits at 60 per cent.The fact that the number of successful Haitian claims is “very low” should serve as a cautionary tale for those still contemplating crossing into Canada illegally from the U.S. to seek asylum, said Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.“Coming to Canada first of all has to be done through regular channels, and secondly the asylum system is only for people who are in genuine need of protection,” Hussen said.“It’s not for everyone.”People have been crossing into Canada between official checkpoints in increasing numbers since the start of the year, but the summer months saw a major surge after the U.S. government notified those who hold temporary protected status in that country that their status would be under review.Just under 60,000 Haitians are covered by the policy that protects against deportation. In the weeks after the Trump administration’s initial announcement, some began making the trek north to Canada to try and seek asylum here, propelled in part by misinformation online suggesting Canada has special programs for those affected by the policy.At one point in late July and early August, the number surged to upwards of 250 a day. The rate has since fallen dramatically, but fears it could spike again ramped up this week as the U.S. announced it is in fact ending the policy for Haitians, known as TPS, as of July 2019.“We’re continuing to plan ahead,” Hussen said Wednesday.That includes a meeting scheduled Thursday with federal and provincial officials overseeing the asylum issue at the border. Among other things, they’ll review the statistics from the IRB, which break down the claims by country of alleged persecution.Haiti is at the top with 6,304 claims in total. Only 298 have been finalized, 29 accepted. Next is Nigeria, with 1,911 claims overall, and after that is Turkey at 631.Those whose claims are rejected do have avenues of appeal, and if those fail, they face deportation.Hussen said he didn’t know how many border crossers were pursuing appeals, nor how many — if any — had been removed from Canada. He said people often choose to leave voluntarily, but didn’t know whether that was the case for any members of the summer cohort.After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Canada had temporarily paused deportation to the country. But Canada resumed deportations this year.Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel said she’s troubled by the fact that only a fraction of the claims received by the IRB have been heard. Of the over 14,000 they’ve received, they’ve only finalized 1,572.“The IRB is so backlogged, it will get out into the community — you can enter the country illegally, and not have your case heard for a significant period of time while still being able to access social support services,” Rempel said.“To me, the government is going to have to get on top of that quickly.”last_img read more

Thousands of Calgarians join international Womens March

first_imgYoung and old joined the millions attending rallies around the world. “As a young girl of a minority it was so inspiring to me and so I started to write some slam poetry last year and so this is something that I thought would be great,” said Nathoo. “I think over the last couple years we’ve just seen so much hatred in the world and I love that today there’s so many people coming together for one common cause and just coming together for humanity.” Thousands marched through the downtown core Saturday in support of women. Asha Nathoo, 14, performed at Saturday’s event, which made it’s way from Stephen Avenue to City Hall. After attending the event last year, she was inspired. One year later, rallies are marching on, fighting for change and equality. Women’s March Calgary spokesperson Anila Lee Yuen is a feminist, a Muslim and a woman of colour. She says it’s important for everyone to come out, show their support and be a catalyst for change. “We realized that although we may have certain privileges that other countries may not have, there’s still not gender parity,” said Lee Yuen. “I think it’s very important for us to continue to march every year until all the disparity amongst men versus women is gone.” The demonstrations started last year, on the day of United States President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Woman’s March has started in downtown Calgary @660news. pic.twitter.com/ABgllVCYiA— Kass Patterson (@kassonair) January 20, 2018last_img read more

Chair of LCBO to step down at end of August Ontario government

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government says the chair of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario will step down at the end of the month after less than a year in the job.In a news release issued Friday evening, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli says Ed Clark will resign his post at the Crown corporation on Aug. 30.Clark took on the job in January under the previous Liberal government, earning a symbolic salary of $1 per year.The corporation, in charge of the sale of alcoholic beverages across the province, had also been tasked under the previous government with the sale and distribution of recreational marijuana once it becomes legalized in October.But those plans were plunged into uncertainty amid published reports that the province would allow private sector sales of the recreational drug.Premier Doug Ford has not confirmed or denied the reports, saying only that an announcement would come later.Clark, a former TD Bank CEO, had served as former premier Kathleen Wynne’s business adviser starting in 2015 and also worked on the province’s bid to land the new Amazon headquarters.“Mr. Clark has demonstrated true leadership and a dedication to public service. Our government has appreciated the advice and support he has provided over the last few weeks on a number of files,” Fedeli said in the written statement.last_img read more

NEB gives Trans Mountain pipeline expansion its endorsement

first_imgThe National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline following a reconsideration of its impact on marine life off the B.C. coast.The energy regulator says an increase in tanker traffic resulting from the pipeline would hurt southern resident killer whales and increase greenhouse gas emissions.But it says those consequences can be justified in light of what would be the pipeline’s benefits.“While these effects weighed heavily in the NEB’s consideration of project-related marine shipping, the NEB recommends that the government of Canada find that they can be justified in the circumstances, in light of the considerable benefits of the project and measures to minimize the effects.”The energy board says it will impose 156 conditions on the project if it is approved. It has also made 16 new recommendations to the federal government.Alberta has been fighting hard for the Trans Mountain expansion so that the province could move more crude oil to ports and from there to lucrative overseas markets.The energy board’s original approval of the project was set aside last summer by the Federal Court of Appeal, which said the regulator had not properly considered marine life.The NEB’s report starts the clock on a 90-day period for the federal government to decide whether the project should proceed.Officials in Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi’s office have said a final decision won’t be made until consultations with affected Indigenous groups are complete.The consultations were also an issue the federal Appeal Court raised when it put a halt on the project.last_img read more

The Latest Butts Wernick testify at justice committee on SNCLavalin affair

first_imgOTTAWA — The latest developments at the House of Commons justice committee, holding hearings Wednesday on the SNC-Lavalin affair (all times local):10 a.m.Gerald Butts, former principal secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, enters the committee room — one larger than used the week prior for former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould — and takes his seat, alone.A number of additional MPs not on the committee are attending the meeting today. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is also in the room.Butts avoided a phalanx of cameras outside the committee room by arriving through a back entrance.Butts’ testimony will contradict Wilson-Raybould’s version of events, in some detail, casting a different light on conversations Wilson-Raybould described as part a campaign of pressure tactics and veiled threats to help SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.He is backing up his version of events with emails, text messages and other documentation, much as Wilson-Raybould did in her testimony.Before beginning to speak, the Liberal majority on the committee votes down a Conservative motion for Butts to be sworn in to testify under oath.Conservative MP Michael Cooper tries in vain to have Butts sworn in, but he’s told the committee has spoken.“I will tell the truth,” Butts tells the committee as he starts his opening statement. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

first_imgOTTAWA — A new poll conducted by Leger for The Canadian Press suggests the governing federal Liberals have lost ground to the Conservatives over the past month.Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled after the federal budget was released Tuesday said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals if an election were held now, a decline of about three percentage points from February.That compared with 37 per cent who said they would back the Conservatives under leader Andrew Scheer, a one-point increase from February, while 12 per cent said they would vote NDP and eight per cent the Greens.Scheer also jumped ahead of Trudeau on the question of who would make a better prime minister as the Tory leader got the backing of 25 per cent of respondents compared with 24 per cent for Trudeau, who has been struggling to contain damage from the SNC-Lavalin affair.As for the budget, which the Liberals are hoping will help turn the page on SNC-Lavalin, 12 per cent of respondents said it was good and 19 per cent that it was bad, but 39 per cent said they didn’t really know about it.Leger’s internet-based survey, which cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered random samples, was conducted March 19 and 20 using computer-assisted web-interviewing technology and heard from 1,529 Canadians who are eligible to vote and were recruited from the firm’s online panel.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Trial hears Manitoba Mountie made disastrous tactical decision before shooting

first_imgTHOMPSON, Man. — An expert in police use of force testified an RCMP officer in northern Manitoba made a disastrous tactical decision to step in front a vehicle before he shot the driver.Const. Abram Letkeman is on trial for the 2015 death of Steven Campbell, who was behind the wheel of a Jeep that the officer had tried to pull over for erratic driving.At the time of the shooting, police said the Jeep came to a stop after a brief chase and when Letkeman approached the vehicle, it suddenly accelerated and hit the officer, prompting him to fire.Christopher Butler, a retired Calgary police inspector, told court it was a major error for the officer to step in front of the Jeep and Letkeman put himself in jeopardy.But Butler says if the vehicle moved toward the officer and the officer believed he could die, firing his gun would be consistent with RCMP policy.The trial previously heard Campbell was shot at least nine times and his girlfriend was also injured on one side of her head.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Gary Sinise Welcomes Home Veterans With New Suits

first_imgThrough its “Uniform of Success” event, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Inc. has joined with the Gary Sinise Foundation to give suits to thousands of military veterans as they re-enter the civilian workforce.Anyone who purchases a men’s suit from July 1-7 gets an additional two free suits. Jos. A. Bank will then donate a suit to a returning veteran through the Gary Sinise Foundation. The promotion’s tag line will be BUY 1-GET2-GIVE 1.“We are humbled by the sacrifice our veterans make every day for our country,” said R. Neal Black, CEO of Jos. A. Bank. “For over 100 years, our customers have relied on us to dress them for success, and we want to make returning veterans the very best-dressed job candidates.”Many veterans experience a difficult transition from military to civilian life, especially finding a job. The challenge is greatest for young, male troops returning from active duty, which had a 20 percent unemployment rate in 2012.An advocate of meeting that challenge is award-winning actor Gary Sinise. He formed the Gary Sinise Foundation to create programs that serve and honor Americans in the military. Sinise also formed the Lt. Dan Band as a homage to the role he played in “Forrest Gump” as disabled veteran Lt. Dan Taylor. The group tours the world performing concerts for the military and their families on behalf of the Gary Sinise Foundation and the USO. Sinise received the Presidential Citizens Award for his humanitarian efforts on behalf of the USO and the foundation.“Uniform of Success” complements the foundation’s partnership with GE for “Get Skills to Work.” The program accelerates skills training for U.S. military veterans, helps veterans and employers translate military skills to advanced manufacturing jobs, and empowers employers with tools to recruit and mentor veterans.“For the past several years I’ve been on a mission to boost the morale of our troops,” said Sinise. “Being able to look sharp and dress nicely can raise the self-esteem and confidence of these veterans.“Having a great suit to put on for a job interview can be a very special thing for somebody who’s spent a lot of time in a military uniform, and may not have worn one for a long time.”Customers who purchase a regular-priced suit (excluding Traveler and Classic Collection merchandise) at a Jos. A. Bank full-line store or online at www.josbank.com will receive two additional suits of equal or lesser value free. For each suit purchased, the Gary Sinise Foundation will receive a voucher from Jos. A. Bank for distribution to a U.S. military veteran identified by the foundation as returning to the civilian workforce. The veteran may redeem the voucher at any Jos. A. Bank full-line store for a free suit from the Jos. A. Bank “Executive Collection” (retail value of $650).Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Sir Bradley Wiggins Signs Trike For Charity Auction

first_imgHere’s something for the young cyclist in your life.Galt Trike Signed By Bradley WigginsSir Bradley Wiggins has signed a Galt trike for a charity auction raising money for TheTOYProject.Bradley Wiggins – or Wiggo, as he is more affectionately known – sped into the public’s conscience in 2012 following a mesmerising display in both the Tour de France and the London 2012 Olympic Games. Yet to those who had been following his career in the years before, Wiggins had been a huge success in bike racing across the world for a long time.TheTOYProject provides basic support tools for children across the UK who have lost a family member or friend. These could be toys to use in play therapy to help children open up about their feelings or simply a teddy bear to comfort them at night. In addition to their work with bereaved children they provide toys to children in hospices and hospitals.The auction runs until April 6, and can be accessed via Sellebrity.org.uk.last_img read more

Carrie Fisher To Be Honored By The Midnight Mission

first_imgThe Midnight Mission proudly announces its Golden Heart Awards Gala and 2014 award recipients.The celebratory occasion will take place on Tuesday, September 30th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and tickets can be purchased here.The evening commemorates The Midnight’s 100-year anniversary and recognizes famed writer and actress Carrie Fisher, Arlene Van Dyke, renowned make-up artist and wife of entertainer and 2005 Golden Heart honoree Dick Van Dyke and Denise Salazar, Richie Sambora’s longtime executive assistant.A surprise honoree for The Golden Heart of the Century award will also be announced the night of the gala. All will be recognized for their substantial contributions to The Midnight, as well as their personal advocacy on behalf of Los Angeles’ neediest population. American rock icon Richie Sambora and Australian guitar sensation Orianthi will deliver a musical performance. KLOS radio personality Gary Moore will provide the evening’s entertainment.Commemorating a century of service, The Golden Heart Awards Gala jointly honors The Midnight’s longstanding legacy to the City’s neediest, as well as those individuals whose contributions embrace the organization’s transformative spirit of giving. As Southern California’s premier social service provider, The Midnight marks its milestone by never missing a day of service since 1914.The Golden Heart Awards Gala begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction to raise support for The Midnight’s life-saving and life-changing services. The awards dinner following will recognize the exemplary service of individuals with The Midnight’s highest distinction, The Golden Heart Award.Previous awardees include individuals, organizations and businesses such as actor Tim Allen, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Clancy Imislund, LA Councilwoman Jan Perry, musician Tom Petty, The Staples Center Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, and Nestlé USA, Inc., among many others.Celebrities, individuals and organizations are invited to join as sponsors or purchase a seat at $350 or a table for $3000. Contributions will benefit The Midnight’s vital community programs, including job training, tutoring, health and wellness, 12-step recovery program, emergency services and more.last_img read more

Paul OGrady Asks London Mayor To Stop Herding Of Sheep Across London

first_imgFor the Love of Dogs star Paul O’Grady MBE has written to the Lord Mayor of London asking her to put a stop to the archaic and dangerous tradition of herding sheep across London Bridge.In his letter, the comedian, presenter, actor and writer calls on Fiona Woolf to drop the stunt and switch to a more compassionate form of fundraising that would not cause distress to animals.“I am writing to express my deep concern about the sheep who will be herded across London Bridge in a bid to raise money on 5 October, and I wanted to urge you, as the leader of the council, to replace this spectacle with another form of fundraising,” he wrote. “I understand that as Lord Mayor of the City of London, you are historically entitled to the Freedom of the City, a privilege that theoretically affords you the right to carry a naked sword in public, in addition to other equally archaic practices. I am sure that you will agree that these “rights” should not be exercised simply because they can be exercised.“I hope you will agree that sheep are not inanimate props. As someone who has had the pleasure of sharing my home with these wonderful animals, I can tell you that sheep are intelligent and complex individuals. They flock to keep safe from predators. If threatened, they all run together for a short distance and then turn to face the danger as a group. Just like humans, dogs, chickens and most other animals, sheep make different sounds to communicate different emotions, and flock mates recognise each other, even if they’ve been separated for years.“Herding sheep down a very busy London street while cars continue to speed along the road next to them shows a disregard for their welfare and needlessly causes them distress. I have no doubt that you would be able to match, if not exceed, the donations that the previous Lord Mayor received by promoting an event without the use of any animals, and compassionate Londoners would thank you for it.”Sheep are sentient, intelligent and complex animals. A University of Illinois study found that they perform nearly as well as pigs on IQ tests and have demonstrated problem-solving abilities.last_img read more

Pamela Anderson Says No To Using Live Elephants In Parade In India

first_imgIn the wake of the Animal Welfare Board of India’s (AWBI) determination that Kerala officials must leave live elephants out of the much-anticipated Thrissur Pooram parade, PETA India patron and PETA Honorary Director Pamela Anderson has written to the chief minister of Kerala, offering to pay to provide 30 life-sized faux elephants handcrafted from bamboo and papier-mâché instead.The realistic elephants would replace live elephants, whose use is coming under increasing scrutiny. In recent years, hundreds have run amok, killing spectators after being frightened by loud noises and having yellow powder thrown into their eyes.If Anderson’s offer is accepted, this year’s Thrissur Pooram would be the third such progressive parade using faux elephants ever held in the country of India.“My friends at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India know that the well- being of elephants is close to my heart, so they’ve let me know that the Animal Welfare Board of India has advised Kerala officials that real elephants cannot be used for the upcoming Thrissur Pooram on April 29 since they’re not registered with the board,” wrote Anderson. “I support this decision with every fibre of my being, and I’d like to offer my support for what is a wonderful opportunity to make a stunning, humane spectacle that everyone would talk about and that would garner international praise.“To respect both the spirit of the festival and elephants who are held captive for human use — a practice that started long ago, before we knew of their intelligence and complex social nature — I would like to contribute the cost of providing 30 elephants made of bamboo, wood and/or papier- mâché to replace the live elephants who would have been paraded at an estimated cost of 10,000 INR per elephant. As you may know, when the Confederation of Tamilnadu Malayalee Associations wanted to celebrate Thrissur Pooram, it used such delightful faux elephants when it was denied permission to use real ones and aroused everyone’s admiration, joy, amusement, and delight. It would be exciting to celebrate Thrissur Pooram that way again.“Since Kerala is a major tourist destination that I plan to visit one day, I’m sure you know that both Indian and international public opinion is turning solidly against the use of elephants in captivity. Seeing elephants in chains and forced to walk on hot pavement under the threat of an ankush or other weapon makes people sad and can ruin their holiday. I hope you agree that — given that there have been more than 500 human deaths in the last 15 years in Kerala alone from elephants who retaliated against this abuse — it’s time for a change.”Capturing an elephant is prohibited under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, yet many captive elephants are thought to have been captured illegally from the wild, separated from their mothers as babies, and transported to Kerala — something PETA India is working to stop.Source:PETAlast_img read more

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Launches Petition Against Climate Change

first_imgArchbishop Desmond Tutu has launched a petition calling for British prime minister David Cameron and Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon to respond urgently to climate change by setting a renewable energy target of 100% by 2050.“Climate change is one of the greatest moral challenges of our time,” wrote Tutu. “It threatens the health of our planet and people; especially the poorest and most vulnerable. It threatens our children’s future and everything we hold dear. It is time for all of us to wake up and take action together — in our local communities, nationally and globally, as well as in our daily lives.“As citizens motivated by faith and other moral traditions, we recognize that there is a grave obligation to act on climate change.“We call on you as leaders to respond urgently to the threats of climate change and set a renewable energy target of 100% by 2050. We need bold action like this to keep global temperature rise below the unacceptably dangerous tipping point of two degrees, to phase out carbon pollution to zero, and to invest resources in sustainable development pathways to build a more flourishing, inclusive and balanced world.“We pledge to do our own part by embracing the moral responsibility to care for our world and for each other and by seeking to live better and more sustainable lives in greater joy and harmony.“Let us act now, boldly and together, to build a better life for all!”To sign the petition, click here.last_img read more

Steven Tyler To Go Out On A Limb For Charity

first_imgRock and Roll Hall of Fame member Steven Tyler today announced his intimate concert performance “STEVEN TYLER…OUT ON A LIMB” at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall on May 2nd.Steven Tyler… Out On A LimbThe award winning director Brett Ratner and the legendary frontman are collaborating on a unique experience to benefit Janie’s Fund, Tyler’s charitable initiative to help girls overcome the trauma of abuse and neglect.Named after his hit song “Janie’s Got A Gun,” Janie’s Fund is a collaboration between Tyler and leading non-profit organization Youth Villages established to help girls overcome the trauma of abuse and neglect. Launched in November 2015, Janie’s Fund offered a historic 54 days of impact coinciding with the 26th anniversary of the release of the song. For more information, please visit www.JaniesFund.org.“Youth Villages is so grateful to Steven Tyler for starting Janie’s Fund to help our girls who are working to heal from abuse,” said Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler. “Steven’s commitment to helping these girls brings them so much hope, and this will be an incredible evening. He uses his big voice unceasingly to raise awareness and funds for the voiceless.”“I’m digging deep and finding some real buried treasure for this one. I’ve never performed quite like this before,” said Tyler. “I’m telling it like it is and getting to perform with some extremely talented musicians and dear friends from Nashville. For this show, we’re taking it up close and personal and truly going… OUT ON A LIMB.”“STEVEN TYLER… OUT ON A LIMB” will showcase in-depth stories and insights on stage from recounts of his piano upbringing to trials and tribulations of life with his band. Backed by his Nashville-based band, Loving Mary, Tyler will lead the crowd on a time-traveling journey from his musical ancestors in Calabria, Italy all the way to Route 440 and Nashville’s country music.The event will also feature a silent auction with once in a lifetime experiences and memorabilia, from a five-day stay at Tyler’s Hawaiian home to a limited edition, hand-shaped artist series surfboard designed by artist Tim Bessell as part of the Bessell Warhol Project. Additional items include an autographed one-of-a-kind painting of Tyler and Aerosmith bandmate Joe Perry by artist Brian Fox; the Skittles mic stand from the set of Tyler’s Super Bowl commercial; exclusive signed images taken by photographer Sarah Skinner; pieces from Tyler’s personal wardrobe worn on American Idol; and an opportunity to attend the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles along with a complimentary gifting suite prize package.Tickets go on-sale Friday, April 8th at 10 AM and are priced at $53, $153 and $203, not including applicable service charges. Two VIP packages will be offered by Twisted J, one at $550 (includes access to seats in the first five rows and exclusive advance access to silent auction items) and $950 (same offer as $550 with the addition of a Meet and Greet). For additional information with package details, visit www.ticketmaster.com.One of music’s most recognizable and dynamic performers, Tyler has been cited by Rolling Stone as “one of the greatest singers of all time.” Tyler and Aerosmith have sold more than 150 million records worldwide and he has won four GRAMMY Awards, six American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards and an Emmy Award. In addition to having nine number one hits, Aerosmith has received 25 Gold, 18 Platinum and 12 multi-Platinum album certifications. Tyler’s highly-anticipated upcoming solo album is scheduled for release later this summer on Big Machine Label Group’s Dot Records. His current single, “RED, WHITE, & YOU” is available now.In addition to presenting sponsor Twisted J Apparel, award-winning New York based restaurant Catch will sponsor the milestone event.last_img read more

ACTRA says its expediting sexual harassment complaints processes

first_imgActor and filmmaker Nicole Stamp moderated the discussion “Confronting Sexual Harassment in the Industry” at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto on Friday, December 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov At a panel discussion on sexual harassment hosted Friday by the organization behind the Toronto International Film Festival, ACTRA Toronto president Theresa Tova outlined a number of immediate steps the union is taking as it also works with other industry stakeholders on longer-term strategies. TORONTO — The union for Canada’s TV and film performers says it’s expediting its discipline processes for sexual harassment and assault complaints. Advertisement “In film time, if you get assaulted on Monday, you’re back on set on Tuesday and it might be a really intense day where you can’t call in sick,” said Stamp. Stamp said she felt “it was a really productive discussion” in which the panellists were speaking candidly and “were comfortable being a little bit vulnerable in explaining some of the process.” “We will announce it to the world. I’ve said to a few producers, ‘Are you afraid that you will lose business?’ and they go, ‘Absolutely not. We need to do this.’ I think we’ll gain business because people know when they come to Canada, you’re protected.”Victoria Ahearn – The Canadian Press Advertisement Having a hotline that results in immediate action is crucial given that victims of sexual harassment and assault have often had to work with their abusers while a complaint was investigated, noted actor/filmmaker Nicole Stamp, who moderated the panel chat. Many on the panel said the industry is at a “watershed moment” in which organizations are working together to change the entire culture. That includes having zero tolerance, ending complicity, achieving parity, diversifying the power structure, and creating a future in which abuse is less likely to happen. “What I find really heartening about this discussion is the extent to which we’re all on the same page and we’re all adopting the same near-term, tangible tools and practices that can lead to real change on the issue,” said Marguerite Pigott, vice-president of outreach and strategic initiatives at the CMPA. Twitter “It goes directly to a counsellor, a company that does this for us, and/or it goes straight to our executive director or our staff, and people are there with you, immediately,” Tova said in an interview. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Friday’s talk also included representatives from the Directors Guild of Canada and the Canadian Media Producers Association, who met with ACTRA and other industry stakeholders last week about how to work together to end sexual harassment. Audience members included filmmakers Sarah Polley and Jennifer Baichwal. Also on the panel were filmmakers Patricia Rozema and Melanie Chung, Alix Herber of the Labour and Employment Law Group, and producer Martin Katz of Prospero Pictures. Tova said ACTRA has also hired a lawyer — a human rights specialist who has worked in the industry — to be their in-house adviser and guide complainants on what their choices are, how they can proceed and what they can do. “Many, many, many are calling us now about situations they’ve never reported before, ever,” she said, adding they have “some cases that are now going forward.” “Canada will be the leader in anti-harassment,” added Tova. Among the immediate steps is a plan to “investigate and get things happening” on serious allegations of sexual misconduct within 48 hours, she said. “That’s a big part of it — protecting our members going forward,” said Tova. “You just have to call us. We’re committed 100 per cent. We are there for you.” Advertisement “It’s more difficult than in many workplaces where you might be able to get a little bit of time away from the person that abused you. On a film set, you might be right back in with them the next day.” Login/Register With: Facebook ACTRA has also rebranded its after-hours, anonymous emergency reporting system as the Sexual Harassment and Emergency Hotline and is “plastering it everywhere,” encouraging members to call if they have had an experience they’d like to share.last_img read more

Kim Coates makes a remarkable return to the stage as Rooster Byron

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Written by Jez Butterworth. Directed by Mitchell Cushman. Until March 10 at Streetcar Crowsnest, 345 Carlaw Ave. OutsidetheMarch.ca or 647-341-7390In 2009, Jez Butterworth created another icon of English folklore.Johnny “Rooster” Byron is Shakespeare’s lush Falstaff or faerie Puck, J.M. Barrie’s eternal boy Peter Pan, the noble and reclusive Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest, the Pied Piper of Hamelin, any unwitting man who came face to face with a giant, and more. Twittercenter_img Advertisement Advertisement Kim Coates as Rooster Byron, who goes from oddball eccentric with a drug and drinking problem to something more mysterious, magical and frightening in Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem. (DAHLIA KATZ) He is both an amalgamation of the mythical English men who came before him and a man made purely in the present.  READ MOREReview: Play Jerusalem triumphs as pure theatre of the kind we rarely seeJohnny (Rooster) Byron is an ex-daredevil drug dealer who sells cocaine to teenagers and parties with them at his trailer in the woods on the edge of a fictional town in the English county of Wiltshire. A modern-day Falstaff, he’s the unlikely hero of playwright Jez Butterworth’s profane and problematic Jerusalem – an exploration of the place of English identity in an increasingly bureaucratic and homogenous world, now getting a raging Toronto premiere directed by Mitchell Cushman.This sprawling Broadway and West End drama needs a star at its centre to work – and Kim Coates, the Saskatoon-born actor best known for his work on the FX show Sons of Anarchy, is taking on the challenging role here after a 25-year absence from the stage.This type of casting always rolls my eyes, but Coates quickly shows he hasn’t lost his live-performing chops in the decades since he got rave reviews as the psychopathic Roma in Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Stratford Festival back in 1986.  READ MORElast_img read more