first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Screen Nova Scotia hosted its fifth annual awards gala on Friday, May 3rd in front of a sold-out crowd at Casino Nova Scotia.The event celebrates the incredible talent, creativity, and passion that are the trademarks of Nova Scotia’s screen industry. Notable awards include the ACTRA Awards for Outstanding Performances, the Film Crew Excellence Award, the Digital Animators of Nova Scotia Award, the Women in Film & Television Atlantic Award, and the Community Recognition Award, along with Screen Nova Scotia Awards for best television, film, and animation.The gala was kicked off by actor/comedian Bette MacDonald, and presenters included producers, directors, crew members and actors, with musical accompaniment from the Bill Stevenson Trio. Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The night’s finale was the Screen Nova Scotia Award for Best Feature Film, which went to the indie drama Splinters, from acclaimed director Thom Fitzgerald (produced by Emotion Pictures). The film — which explores interconnections of sexual identity and family, as a young woman reassesses her relationship with her mother following the death of her father — also garnered top prizes for its actors. Shelley Thompson was awarded the ACTRA Maritimes Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Female Role, and Bailey Maughan won Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Male Role.The final season of CBC’s Mr. D was crowned the winner of the Best Television Series Award. Produced by Topsail Entertainment, Mr. D filmed for eight seasons in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Production on the series generated $126.5 million in economic activity and created over 1,400 jobs. Read more HEREabout the economic impact of the series.“The Screen Nova Scotia Awards Gala has established itself as the elusive moment that the industry takes a break to celebrate how deeply imaginative and capable our community of film and television makers are,” said Laura Mackenzie, Executive Director, Screen Nova Scotia. “I hope that tonight’s award nominees and winners felt the genuine elation from the room, and I certainly couldn’t be more proud or grateful for the talent that will allow this show to go on for many more years to come.”Kathryn MacLellan took home the award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Female Role for her role in the Nova Scotia/Newfoundland co-production Hopeless Romantic, while Jordan Poole won Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Male Role for his role as Luke, Toni Collette’s son, in the movie Birthmarked.Peep Media’s Bernie Langille Wants to Know Who Killed Bernie Langille won the Best Short Film Award, with the film’s director Jackie Torrens also taking home the Best Director Award from Women in Film & Television – Atlantic. The Best Documentary Film Award went to The Social Shift, from Mirror Image Media and Common Good Solutions.Paul Bronfman, Chairman/CEO, William F. White International Inc. received the inaugural Industry Champion Award in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the production services company setting up shop in Halifax, and their continued and unwavering support of the Nova Scotia screen industry.Digital animation was also spotlighted at the awards, with Teletoon’s Spaceman and Robotron sweeping both categories. The series is produced by Connections Productions and animated by Cartoon Conrad.Greens Master William Gerhardt (IATSE 849) won the 2019 Film Crew Excellence Award. Gerhardt was instrumental in transforming Yarmouth’s Cape Forchu into an island from the 1800s for Robert Eggers’ most recent feature film The Lighthouse — currently screening at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival —  and has worked on multiple productions including The Mist, The Curse of Oak Island, and the Book of Negroes. The Community Recognition Award was presented to long-time industry supporter Bea Renton, Chief Administrative Officer, the Town of Lunenburg, for her tireless efforts to consistently ensure that Lunenburg is a welcoming community for film & TV production.To view all the 2019 award nominees, click HERE.THE FULL LIST OF AWARD WINNERS:Screen Nova Scotia Awards:Best Feature Film: Splinters (Emotion Pictures)Best Television Series: Mr. D (Topsail Entertainment)Best Documentary Film: The Social Shift (Mirror Image Media)Best Short Film: Bernie Langille Wants To Know…Who Killed Bernie Langille (Peep Media)Best Animated Series: Spaceman and Robotron (Connections Productions)ACTRA Maritimes Awards:Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Female Role: Shelley Thompson (Splinters)Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Male Role: Bailey Maughan (Splinters)Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Female Role: Kathryn MacLellan (Hopeless Romantic)Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Male Role: Jordan Poole (Birthmarked)WIFT-AT Award for Best Director: Jackie Torrens (Bernie Langille Wants To Know…Who Killed Bernie Langille)Film Crew Excellence Award: William Gerhardt, Greens MasterCommunity Recognition Award: Bea Renton, Chief Administrative Officer, the Town of Lunenburg, Nova ScotiaDANS Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Animation: Don Pinsent & Team, Spaceman and RobotronIndustry Champion Award: Paul Bronfman, Chairman/CEO, William F. White International Inc.Screen Nova Scotia would like to thank our generous partners and sponsors: their support helps us to produce a world-class event that celebrates Nova Scotia’s media creativity. Special thanks to the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. Facebooklast_img read more

Cree Elder facing tobacco smuggling charge says Canadian border agents took away

first_img(Cree Elder Johnny Grant was charged with tobacco smuggling after he crossed the Canada-U.S. border. APTN/Photo)Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsWearing a ribbon shirt and gripping an eagle feather, an Elder from Waswanipi, a Cree community in northern Quebec, told a courtroom in Cornwall, Ont., Tuesday his rights were violated by Canadian border agents when they charged him with smuggling tobacco across the Canada-U.S. border.Cree Elder Johnny Grant was detained at the Cornwall customs border post after he was found with several pouches of pipe tobacco he says he purchased for $360 on the U.S. side of Akwesasne on Sept. 10, a day before his 72nd birthday.“I feel that my rights have been violated. I use this Indian tobacco in my pipe to pray to God, the Great Spirit,” Grant told the courtroom. “My rights have been violated because they took away my prayer.”Grant, an Indian residential school survivor and veteran of the Canadian Navy, made his first court appearance Tuesday before Justice of the Peace Linda Leblanc on three charges under the Customs Act including smuggling, non-reporting and providing an untrue statement.“I am a Cree hunter and fisherman. I use (the tobacco) to thank the water, wind and oxygen that gives me life,” he said, during the court appearance.Grant’s lawyer, Frank Horn, a Mohawk, said the seizure of Grant’s tobacco and the charges constituted a violation of the Cree Elder’s Charter rights.“He, as an Indian in Canada, has certain rights,” said Horn, during the hearing. “One is to practice religion…. This is a violation of not just his rights, but of all the Indian people in Canada.”Leblanc responded saying she could do little on the case besides set the next hearing date.Federal Crown Natalie Trottier told Leblanc the government wanted the charges against Grant treated as summary offences, meaning they are not serious enough to need a trial with a jury. Generally, the maximum penalty for summary convictions is six months in jail, a $5,000 fine or both.Grant’s next court date is set for Nov. 22. His lawyer Horn is scheduled to hold a case conference with the federal Crown’s office on Nov. 11.Grant, who does not smoke, was in a taxi crossing the border back into Canada after purchasing several pouches of Smoker’s Pride and Captain Black’s pipe tobacco when he was stopped by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and ordered into secondary customs inspection.“They asked me if I had anything to declare, I said no,” said Grant, in a separate interview with APTN National News. “But they told me to pull over anyway.”Grant said he was carrying 20 pouches of pipe tobacco. He said he didn’t feel he needed to declare them because the tobacco he carried were prayers yet to be released.“I had nothing physical to declare for my own personal use. It was for the Creator, for God, that I use to pray in my pipe on the land, in the water, in the wind,” said Grant.  “I was trying to get my winter supply of tobacco which I put on the land….I view it as very sacred ceremonial Indian pipe tobacco and as soon as it’s in my hand it is blessed and I can use it for the Creator.”Once the CBSA agents noticed the tobacco they questioned him and then put him in a cell for about four hours. He was released after paying $500 cash. Grant alleged agents made him sign a document against the wall in haste as he was leaving. Grant said he doesn’t really know what document he signed.Grant said CBSA agents inflated the amount of tobacco he was carrying at the time he was detained. According to a CBSA document attached to Grant’s charge sheet, he was allegedly carrying 26 kilograms of tobacco.“The amount was incorrect,” said Grant.Joe David, a Wolf Clan member with the Mohawk Nation Longhouse in Akwesasne, was one of about a dozen people who showed up to support Grant at the courthouse.“I’ve been Sundancing for four years and the use of tobacco I believe, in our ways, is a sacred offering to the Creator, since time immemorial,” said David. “That tobacco had the intent of prayer and that was not going to be used to sell or for personal use, but for prayer and to bring people together. It already had its intention from the beginning.”Kenneth Deer, the secretary for the Mohawk Nation Longhouse in Kahnawake, attended Grant’s court hearing. Deer said he was at the hearing as an individual because Grant is a friend of his family.“The issue is fundamental, we should be able to use (tobacco) any way we want. In this case it was for ceremonial purposes. There is no reason he has to be stopped and be charged for bringing tobacco across the border,” said Deer.Deer said Grant’s case could be the key to settling the tobacco issue in Canada, which is a persistent irritant in the relationship between the Crown and First Nations, especially with the Iroquois nations.“It’s a Charter case. It may be the opportunity to make permanent laws, with a court decision, to change the current situation with respect to tobacco,” said Deer.Horn said he planned to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court if need be.“Tobacco is a telephone line to the Creator,” said Horn. “It’s a deliberate strategy to attack tobacco.” read more

Trudeau touts controversial pipeline project ahead of town hall meeting in Kamloops

first_imgThe Canadian PressPrime Minister Justin Trudeau touted the benefits of a liquefied natural gas project that’s at the centre of an impasse with some members of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in a speech to supporters in Kamloops, B.C., on Wednesday.RCMP arrested 14 people Monday in northwestern British Columbia over a protest against construction of a natural gas pipeline by Coastal GasLink, a key part of the $40-billion LNG Canada project.In a campaign-style speech at the Liberal fundraiser, Trudeau did not address the arrests but heralded the massive project as one of his government’s key achievements over the past year.“We moved forward on the LNG Canada project, which is the largest private sector investment in Canada’s history, $40 billion, which is going to produce Canadian LNG that will supplant coal in Asia as a power source and do much for the environment,” he said.Earlier Wednesday, he told a CBC Radio program in Kamloops that the arrests were “not an ideal situation.”The federal government has been working on reconciliation but the dispute over the pipeline is “still an ongoing process,” he said.“There are a number of people and communities who are supportive, there are a number of folks who disagree with it,” he told the CBC.The RCMP enforced an injunction Monday from the B.C. Supreme Court that ordered the removal of any obstructions to the pipeline project in and around the Morice River Bridge on a remote forest service road southwest of Houston.The pipeline company says it has signed agreements with all 20 First Nations along the route but the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have not given their consent.Trudeau said he would not visit the blockade site.“One of the things that is really important is to try to reduce the temperature a little bit,” he told the CBC.The prime minister’s town hall in Kamloops is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT and you can watch it live on the APTN News Facebook page.He told supporters at the fundraiser that he expected to hear “strong voices” at the town hall with very clear ideas about what his government should be doing.“The challenge we have to have as Canadians is to be open to listening to people, to understand their concerns and their fears, and to work together to try and allay them,” he said.“We will always have in this country perspectives that vary widely.”Dozens of protesters on both sides of the pipeline debate gathered outside the hotel where Trudeau spoke at the fundraiser.Protesters wearing yellow vests carried signs that read “Carbon Tax Cash Grab” and “Trudeau for Treason” while taking part in a chant opposing a United Nations pact on migration signed by Canada. Conservative critics argue it threatens Canada’s sovereignty.Keith LaRiviere, who is Cree and participated in the yellow-vest protest, said he knows some of the people involved in the pipeline blockade.He said he supports their right to protest but he believes those building the pipeline also have the right to do their work.“I go to sweat lodges with some of those people so I really know them intimately, and I do support their cause. I do support their right to their land. I don’t support the aggressive way they were forced out of their position,” said LaRiviere, who travelled from Prince George.On the other side of the hotel parking lot, a group of Indigenous protesters opposed to the pipeline sang, drummed and held a banner reading “PM Trudeau: Canada needs climate action now.”Janice Billy said she supports the Wet’suwet’en because her First Nation, the Secwepemc, are also losing control of their lands.“The people … had no reason to be arrested. They are peaceful people. They were there protecting the land and water,” she said.The federal riding of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo is held by Conservative MP Cathy McLeod, who is also the Indigenous Affairs Critic in Parliament. The Liberals see B.C. as a key battleground for the election in October.Trudeau’s visit to Kamloops marks the start of an outreach tour that will expand across the read more

Feds seeking TPP changes on intellectual property supply management and culture

first_imgOTTAWA – Canadian negotiators are pushing for three key changes to the original Trans-Pacific Partnership as leaders of the remaining countries interested in reviving the controversial treaty prepare to meet this week.A senior government official says Ottawa’s negotiating team is seeking modifications to the original TPP deal in many areas — but primarily in the intellectual-property provisions, its approach on cultural exemptions and Canada’s supply management system for dairy, poultry and eggs.The 11 remaining TPP economies have moved ahead with talks in recent months in an effort to resurrect the Pacific Rim deal after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew earlier this year.The pact is expected to be a central topic this week in Da Nang, Vietnam, at a meeting of leaders from the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation bloc, which will include Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the other 10 TPP leaders.During his week-long visit to Asia, Trudeau will also hold an official visit with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and travel to the Philippines to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Manila.On TPP, International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told The Canadian Press he wants a better deal before he signs a revamped version of the deal.Negotiators, he said, will be seeking the suspension of some provisions that were part of the original agreement.Champagne also said Canada has been pursuing improvements to the TPP, which was negotiated by the previous Conservative government, through side letters and possible work programs with Japan.He did not get into specifics on which parts of the deal he would like to see changed.Champagne, who will also participate in APEC meetings this week in Vietnam, did say Canada is pushing for the revised pact to contain “progressive” chapters on the environment, labour and gender equality. He added that New Zealand’s new government is also looking at a similar approach.“We’ve been trying to stay at the table making sure that we push the progressive elements, try to get a better deal for Canadians and then bring it back home,” he said.“It’s really about making sure we understand the non-tariff trade barriers and that we address them.”The original TPP included contentious provisions that angered some sectors in Canada, including the dairy and high-tech industries.For example, Ottawa was forced to table a multibillion-dollar compensation package for farmers because the deal would have raised the amount of foreign dairy entering Canada by 3.25 per cent.Canada’s tech sector has also warned TPP’s original intellectual property rules would have favoured the more dominant U.S. and its firms, which have already amassed a far bigger portfolio of patents, copyrights and trademarks.Intellectual property is viewed by many as a crucial component of the expanding — and increasingly important — knowledge-based economy.On cultural exemptions, the government official, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the meetings, said Ottawa is seeking stronger commitments.For example, the official said the original TPP’s cultural exemptions are chapter by chapter as opposed to the more-global approach in the current North American Free Trade Agreement, which is preferred by the sector.Overall, the official said Ottawa’s priority is preserving market access, but that it’s working to find ways to make it a better deal.Negotiators from the 11 TPP economies, which are all members of APEC, have already begun talks in Vietnam.There are expectations the leaders could have something to announce related to the deal later in the week.Follow @AndyBlatchfordlast_img read more

RBC added to Financial Stability Board list of 30 systemically important banks

first_imgTORONTO – The Royal Bank of Canada is the first Canadian lender to be added to the Financial Stability Board’s list of global systemically important banks, which are deemed too big to fail.The FSB, which co-ordinates the work of national financial authorities and international standard-setting bodies, added RBC (TSX:RY) as it removed French bank Groupe BPCE, keeping the total number of institutions on the list at 30.“This designation reflects the size and scale of RBC’s global operations,” RBC said in a statement Tuesday.Banks that receive this global systematically important (G-SIBs) designation face increased regulatory expectations designed to reduce the likelihood of a failure — and the ripple effects on the global economy. That includes a higher capital buffer and higher supervisory expectations.RBC is Canada’s largest bank based on its stock market value. However, because it is one of the smallest banks on the global list, RBC was placed into the lowest of five categories or “buckets” with the least onerous requirements to set aside additional capital to protect against unexpected losses.RBC and 16 other banks in this G-SIB category are required to hold an additional one per cent of common equity as a percentage of its risk-weighted assets, on top of the minimum capital levels outlined by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.RBC says that it already meets the requirement of a one per cent capital buffer and “does not expect any impact to its capital position with this designation.”Eight banks, including Goldman Sachs, are subject to a 1.5 per cent buffer, and four banks including HSBC must hold two per cent. Only JP Morgan Chase must hold a 2.5 per cent buffer, and no bank is in the highest bucket with a 3.5 per cent requirement.The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions said in a statement Tuesday that RBC is already subject to its framework for domestic systematically important banks (D-SIBs), and “therefore is well positioned to meet the G-SIB requirements starting in January 2019.”Canada’s banking regulator in 2013 named the country’s six largest banks, including RBC, as D-SIBs. In turn, the banks were subject to additional requirements such as a capital surcharge, enhanced supervision, and increased disclosure, which OSFI says is generally consistent with the G-SIB requirements.Over the years, there has been “rampant speculation” that RBC would be included in this list and this “should not come as a big surprise to markets,” Cormark Securities analyst Meny Grauman said in a note to clients.“The question is what does that mean for investors, and in our view the likely answer is not much…. the G-SIB buffer will not be additive to its D-SIB buffer, but rather is already included.”CIBC World Markets analyst Robert Sedran said RBC’s possible inclusion had often been discussed at the time of FSB’s annual update “as the combination of currency translation and business growth made it a close call each time the list was released.”“It is not a stretch to suggest this bank has always been systemically important to the global financial system (at least a little),” Sedran said in a note to clients.“More important to us is the fact that management (in its language), the Board (as evidenced by the buyback activity) and the regulator (with its formal pronouncements) are comfortable that the domestic buffer can absorb the first level of the required global buffer and that the capital position is strong.”Sedran added that the lasting impact of the announcement on shares should be limited.Shares of RBC were flat, closing at $100.92 in Toronto.last_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,955.51, down 139.21 points)Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down $1.34, or 10.34 per cent, to $11.62 on 19.4 million shares.NGEx Resources Inc. (TSX:NGQ). Miner. Up five cents, or 4.55 per cent, to $1.15 on 16.5 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Down 16 cents, or 4.44 per cent, to $3.44 on 9.7 million shares.Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Health care. Down $2.62, or 7.92 per cent, to $30.48 on 7.04 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH). Health care. Down $1.28, or 6.74 per cent, to $17.71 on 5.6 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Oil and gas. Down 20 cents, or 5.04 per cent, to $3.77 on 5.2 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L). Grocer. Down $2.19, or 3.16 per cent, to $67.03 on 1.2 million shares. The grocery-and-pharmacy retailer’s stock was downgraded once details emerged on a long-awaited deal to reduce generic drug costs, which will see the prices of nearly 70 commonly prescribed generic drugs discounted by up to 90 per cent of their brand name equivalents.Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU). Grocer. Down 13 cents, or 0.32 per cent, to $40.75 on 1.3 million shares. The Montreal-based company said it will soon test scan-and-go technology and increase the number of self-checkout machines in its grocery stores as it looks to offset higher minimum wages in Ontario and Quebec. Metro also reported first-quarter earnings of $1.3 billion ($5.67 per share) compared with a profit $138.1 million (58 cents per share) in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue was $3.11 billion, up from $2.97 billion. It also increased its dividend to 18 cents, from 16.5 cents.Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B). Telecommunications and media. Up 25 cents, or 0.94 per cent, to $26.98 on 1.14 million shares. The Calgary-based company has offered a voluntary buyout program to its 6,500 employees, including those at Freedom Mobile, and expects about 10 per cent to take the offer.last_img read more

Canadas bank CEOs get 7 pay raise to earn 536 million in

first_imgTORONTO – The chief executives of Canada’s five biggest banks collectively earned roughly $53.6 million in the latest fiscal year, up more than seven per cent from a year earlier.But it was a particularly good year for Toronto-Dominion Bank’s chief executive Bharat Masrani, who got a more than 20 per cent increase in total direct compensation to pull in $10.85 million in the twelve months ended Oct. 31, 2017.Still, Royal Bank of Canada’s chief executive Dave McKay was paid the most among his peers with $12.43 million in total direct compensation, up 7.9 per cent from a year earlier, according to the banks’ latest proxy circulars.The rise in total direct compensation — which includes base salary and performance-based incentives — in part reflects the increasing demands for chief executives in the banking industry, said Bill Vlaad, president of financial services recruitment firm Vlaad and Co., which also monitors compensation trends.Financial institutions are now in the midst of a rapid technological shift, he said, as consumers increasingly do transactions online and via mobile phone.“The speed and velocity of change at these firms has been increasing, and to stay on the leading edge has required a lot more stealth by these CEOs,” said Vlaad. “I think it’s been a good time to be a CEO, but it is not for a lack of effort.”The Bank of Nova Scotia’s Brian Porter was second-highest paid at $10.86 million in total direct compensation, marking a 7.4 per cent increase from fiscal 2016.Bank of Montreal’s Bill Downe, who retired from the top role on Oct. 31, was paid $10.5 million in total direct compensation, down roughly one per cent from a year earlier.Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s chief executive Victor Dodig received $8.94 million in total direct compensation in 2017, up 1.71 per cent.These pay increases came during a fiscal year where each of the five biggest Canadian lenders reported record annual profits. During that time, these banks collectively earned $40.3 billion in net income for fiscal 2017, up nearly 13 per cent from a year earlier.The banks had benefited from the surprising strength of the Canadian economy, even amid worries about overheated housing markets and the fallout from government steps to cool them down.While these chief executives received a 7.17 increase in collective direct compensation for the fiscal year, they received even more when taking into account other elements such as pension value.Collectively, these five executives earned total compensation for fiscal 2017 of $58.6 million, marking an 8.2 per cent bump from fiscal 2016.McKay received the highest total pay at $13.36 million, followed by Porter at $12.84 million. Masrani’s compensation package was third-highest at $12.44 million, while Downe and Dodig received total pay of $10.53 million and $9.44 million, respectively.last_img read more

Kate Spade Foundation to donate 1M for suicide prevention

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Kate Spade New York has announced plans to donate $1 million to support suicide prevention and mental health awareness causes in tribute to the company’s late founder.To start, the company said Wednesday the Kate Spade New York Foundation is giving $250,000 to the Crisis Text Line , a free, 24-hour confidential text message service for people in crisis.The company also said it will match public donations made to the service from June 20 through June 29, up to an amount of $100,000.Kate Spade New York also says it will host a Global Mental Health Awareness Day for employees as part of its Wellness Program.The 55-year-old fashion designer was found dead by suicide June 5. Her husband says she had depression and anxiety for many years.___This story has been corrected to show that Spade was found dead June 5, not last month.last_img read more

Feds remove regulatory barriers to trade hope provinces will follow suit

first_imgOTTAWA — The federal government is taking immediate steps to remove some regulatory barriers to trade across the country, hoping to persuade provinces to follow its example.For starters, it is making the national building code free, making it easier for the construction industry to access a single set of rules and hoping the provinces pick them up. Even downloading the code has cost $350.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing to hold a first ministers’ meeting next week, at which eliminating interprovincial trade barriers is high on the agenda.Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the federal government is focusing on areas where it can act quickly to remove regulatory hurdles that impede trade between provinces and territories and add unnecessary costs to businesses.Besides making the building code free, the government is amending federal energy-efficiency regulations for household appliances, clarifying food labelling rules and modernizing meat inspection regulations.And it is expanding the federal definition of what constitutes vodka to include vodka made from something other than potatoes or grain. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

CHP may have used Tesla Autopilot to stop speeding car

first_imgREDWOOD CITY, Calif. — The California Highway Patrol says it may have used the Autopilot system of a Tesla to stop the car after its driver fell asleep.The CHP says officers attempted to stop the Tesla Model S, which was doing about 70 mph (113 kph) on a highway early Friday in the San Francisco suburb of Redwood City. After the driver didn’t respond to lights or sirens, the officers say they pulled alongside and realized he was asleep.They pulled in front and began slowing to a stop, hoping the Tesla’s driver-assist program was on and would do the same. Authorities say the tactic worked.Alexander Samek of Los Altos was awakened and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.Tesla hasn’t confirmed whether the car was using Autopilot.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Activist seeks dismissal from pipeline racketeering lawsuit

first_imgBISMARCK, N.D. — An American Indian activist named in a federal racketeering lawsuit filed by the Dakota Access oil pipeline developer denies wrongdoing.Krystal Two Bulls of Montana also denies evading service of the lawsuit. Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners says the tactic is preventing it from serving three other people it added as defendants five months ago to its $1 billion lawsuit against environmental groups including Greenpeace.Two Bulls wants a federal judge to dismiss her from the lawsuit she was served with at the Phoenix airport last month.ETP alleges the defendants worked to undermine the $3.8 billion pipeline. And company attorneys say some individual defendants are evading service by moving frequently and using fake names at hotels.Company lawyers want more time to track them down. The judge hasn’t ruled.Blake Nicholson, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Crews increase containment on Tommy Lakes Fire

first_imgThe Wildfire Service said that the fire did not experience any growth on Thursday, and crews are continuing to build fire guards around the fire to protect the small farming community southeast of the fire, along with other oil and gas infrastructure nearby. The fire did not receive any rain on Thursday, but the cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity are continuing to aid fire suppression efforts.“Crews continue to build fireline and mop-up east of Tommy Lakes Road from 75km mark and east along North Nig road from 46km mark,” reads an update on “They are also working to contain the small excursion in a cutblock on the northwest corner. Heavy equipment is also working east, in the vicinity of Bubbles Road, towards the west flank to provide crews access to this area. On the southeast flank, crews continue to build fireline east of the Beatton Road along the fire perimeter and are working with the rail line company to protect the rail line in this area. On the southwest flank, crews have completed guard to the Beatton River and will continue along the western flank.”An evacuation order near the fire was rescinded by the PRRD just before 9:30 a.m. Thursday, though that same area is still under an evacuation alert. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The BC Wildfire Service says that firefighters continue to make headway against the Tommy Lakes Fire north of Fort St. John, doubling the amount of containment on the fire compared to Thursday.The BC Wildfire Service said on its website that the 22,583-hectare wildfire is now 20 percent contained. There are 232 firefighters, eight helicopters, and 20 pieces of heavy equipment employed in the battle against the fire, which is the largest currently burning in the province.A map of the Tommy Lakes Fire burning north of Fort St. John. Photo by BC Wildfire Servicelast_img read more

City seeking resident feedback on facility fees and charges

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John is asking for feedback from residents on updating the bylaw that designates the price of fees and charges collected for the use of City facilities, including the Pomeroy Sport Centre, North Peace Leisure Pool, and Surerus and Kin Park sports fields.Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey explained that the City typically updates the Community Services Fees and Charges bylaw every five years, with the current bylaw having been adopted on March 10, 2014.He said that the current schedule of fees and charges for activities such as ice and meeting room rentals will expire at the end of next August, and the City wants to get residents’ thoughts on the current fee schedule, and any ideas from residents on what to include in the next bylaw update. Harvey explained that the City uses a benefit-based approach to its fee schedule, with programs that have a larger benefit to the community as a whole getting a larger subsidy.“Potentially, a private birthday party or a private company function would pay more for that service because it doesn’t benefit a wide population.”The City has included a survey on its Let’s Talk public engagement website, along with the fee schedules from Dawson Creek and Grande Prairie so that residents can compare charges with neighbouring municipalities.Harvey said that the public engagement on the fees and charges will be wrapping up this fall, with staff taking that feedback into account when presenting the bylaw update to Council next spring.The public engagement campaign can be found here: read more

Chetwynd Fire Department respond to collision and trailer fire

first_imgLater that evening at about 7:30 pm, a fifth wheel parked near the former China Wok restaurant was destroyed by fire as the tenant of the trailer was changing propane bottles.Firefighters quickly extinguished the fully engulfed trailer fire. There were no injuries, and the fire was contained to its site. CHETWYND, B.C. – The Chetwynd Volunteer Fire Department had a busy Saturday responding to a fire and collision.The Chetwynd Volunteer Fire Department responded to a semi-truck striking a B.C. Hydro pole on the South Access Road near Tim Horton’s at 2:30 pm on Saturday, September 22.The power line was snagged on the truck and was dragged for about 30 meters alongside the road. The fire department kept the scene safe from motorists and pedestrians. BC Hydro attended promptly to repair the downed wires. RCMP are investigating and interviewing the driver.last_img read more

BSNL to approach NCLT this week against RCom to recover Rs 700

first_imgNew Delhi: State-owned telecom firm BSNL will approach National Company Law Tribunal this week to recover dues of about Rs 700 crore from Reliance Communications, according to official sources. Earlier, debt-ridden RCom in its plea before the NCLAT said that it wants to voluntarily go back into the insolvency process, as it will help selling its assets in a time bound manner. It had moved the appellate tribunal, seeking directions to the 37 lenders led by SBI to release Rs 260 crore directly to Ericsson. However, lenders of RCom have opposed the plea, saying that it will lead to outgo of public money for settling payment of a private party. “BSNL has aready invoked bank guarantee of around Rs 100 crore submitted by RCom for default on payments. Decision was taken on January 4 by BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava to start legal proceedings against RCom for recovery of dues of around Rs 700 crore,” the sources said. BSNL has roped Singh and Kohli law firm for the suit. The case filing got delayed due to collection of invoices from all circle offices. RCom has been struggling to pay Rs 453 crore out of Rs 550 crore to Ericsson under a settlement reached between the two firms before NCLAT. The Supreme Court has given time till March 19 to RCom Group to make payment to Ericsson, failing which its chairman Anil Ambani will have to serve three month jail term. RCom has already paid Rs 118 crore to Ericsson. It approached the NCLAT to direct SBI to release Rs 260 crore which the company has received as income tax refund in trust and retentionship account held at the public sector bank as it will help company in making payment to Ericsson and purge contempt of court. The NCLAT on Friday declined to issue any direction to SBI and has asked for update on development with regard to payment of Ericsson due on March 19. The tribunal will hear the case of April 8.last_img read more

Over 1000 Jet pilots to give no flying call

first_imgMumbai: Over 1,000 pilots of the struggling private carrier Jet Airways have decided to go ahead with their “no flying” call from April 1 following the airline failing to receive funds from the banks Friday, its pilots guild has said. The airline said in a statement that every effort was being made to restore normalcy of operations. The National Aviators Guild (NAG), the body claiming representation of some 1,100 pilots at Jet Airways, had last week announced its decision not to fly from April 1 if their pending salaries were not cleared and clarity on the revival plan not provided by March 31. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsDays after that, the airline’s ownership went into the hands of SBI-led consortium of banks under a debt-recast plan. “A part of the expected interim funding from SBI was supposed to be actioned on March 29. Unfortunately, the fund transfer has not taken place, and there is also no update on salary payment from the management.” “The collective decision of pilots taken at Mumbai and Delhi open house effective 1 April prevails,” NAG president Karan Chopra said in a late evening communication to his members.last_img read more

Mahagathbandhan will blow away NDA in Bihar Shatrughan Sinha

first_imgPatna: The Modi lahar (wave) of 2014 has degenerated into kahar (disaster) in the last five years and the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar is all set to blow away the BJP- led NDA, actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha claimed here Friday.He said in the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh too, where his wife has been fielded by the SP-BSP combine, though the Congress is contesting separately, the BJP will be similarly swept away. Mahagathbandhan un logon ke parkhachche udaa dega (grand alliance will blow them away), Sinha, who seeks to retain his Patna Sahib seat on a Congress ticket, said at a press conference here on the final day of campaign. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghHe is pitted against Union minister Ravishankar Prasad in Patna Sahib seat that will see voting on May 19. Lambasting the BJP, which he quit last month ending nearly three decades of association, for claiming that Sinha had been unhappy over not getting a ministerial berth in the Narendra Modi government, the actor, who is fondly called Bihari Babu, quipped this is tantamount to chori oopar se seenazori (commit a wrongdoing and then brazen it out). Let us, for a moment, assume that I had issues over not getting a ministerial berth. Now could the one man show and two man army (a term Sinha has been using to describe the BJP under Modi and Amit Shah) explain why it treated badly stalwarts like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, he asked.last_img read more

After Bursting Their Soccer Ball Tom Hanks Teaches Moroccan Boys Baseball

Tinejdad, Morocco- Hollywood Star Apologizes for Film Crew Accidentally Bursting Boys’Soccer Ball by Teaching All-American BaseballAmerican film star Thomas Jeffrey Hanks, known popularly as Tom Hanks, taught a handful of Moroccan boys how to play the national American game of baseball after “a production truck accidentally ran over their soccer ball and exploded it.”Half of dozen Moroccan boys were playing football (soccer) in the street in which the American actor was filming his upcoming film, A Hologram for the King, when one of the crew’s production trucks accidentally ran over the soccer ball. Touched by the sad look on the faces of the boys, Hanks, who happened to be nearby and heard the explosion of the ball, sent his assistant to buy six new soccer balls and gave them to the boys as an apology for the loss of their ball.According to Showbizspy, the American actor “handed each boy a new ball,” and then asked them, “Hey, do you guys ever play baseball?”When the boys answered that they did not know how, Hanks is reported to have said, “You show up here tomorrow.  I’m gonna teach you how to play a real sport!”The six Moroccan boys showed up the next morning on time to find that Hanks had bought bats, balls, and gloves for every one of them, and then he spent an hour teaching them to play the great American sport. Edited by Elisabeth Myers read more

Morocco signs a 38 Million Military Agreement with American Company

Rabat – Morocco has signed an agreement with an American military company called Raytheon Co., McKinney for $ 38 million. The agreement provides that Morocco will receive 200 thermal receiver units.The agreement has been authorized by the Cooperation Agency, Security and Defense in the United States, the only authorized agency to agree to such deals, according to U.S Department of Defense.“Raytheon Co., McKinney, located in Texas, was awarded a $38,157,300 firm-fixed-price foreign military sales contract (to Morocco) for 200 thermal receiver units” underlined the same source. Work will be performed in McKinney, Texas, and Morocco should receive the units at an estimated completion date of August 27, 2017.Raytheon Company, with sales of $23 billion in 2014 and 61,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cyber security markets throughout the world.With a history of innovation spanning 93 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support servicesRaytheon has already produced AIM-9X Block II Missiles for Morocco and other Arab countries for a total of $227 Million. read more

Google and Facebook Celebrate Moroccos 61st Independence Day

Rabat – American Search engine Google and social network Facebook are sharing with Moroccans the celebration the 61st Independence Day from French and Spanish colonialism, celebrated each year on November 18.As in recent years, Google has placed a photo framed with the two major colors of the Moroccan flag, red and green, on their Moroccan homepage. The giant search engine also replaced its third letter “O” with Marrakech’s renowned Mosque, Koutoubia.This year Facebook also decided to join in the fun on their Moroccan homepage, happily displaying Morocco’s flag, accompanied by this congratulatory message: “Happy Independence Day! Best wishes for happiness and prosperity.” Independence Day in Morocco is often celebrated among older generations of Moroccans with the telling and retelling of heroic tales of courage from Morocco’s fight for freedom from what they remember as the tight fist of colonialism. read more