Studies suggest new Canadians dont know how to swim compared to those

first_imgMONTREAL – The recent drowning of an eight-year-old Syrian refugee in Quebec is highlighting the findings of two studies which indicate new arrivals in the country are more at risk of drowning than people born in Canada.The girl died Sunday after falling into the Magog River in Sherbrooke, east of Montreal.Local Muslim officials say her family had only moved to the town about two years ago.A 2010 study done for the Lifesaving Society concluded that new Canadians — particularly those who have lived in the country for less than five years — are at a higher risk of drowning than people born here.A 2016 study focused on children between the ages 11 and 14 who are new to Canada. It concluded they are five times more unlikely to be able to swim than their Canadian-born classmates.Research shows new Canadians face a number of challenges when it comes to learning how to swim. They include cultural and religious challenges as well as time constraints and day-to-day life struggles.last_img read more

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Indigenous legal fund pitch a divideandconquer tactic Senator

first_imgCALGARY – A Manitoba senator says a proposal by Alberta’s United Conservatives to pick up the legal tabs of pro-pipeline First Nations is an example of age-old “divide-and-conquer” tactics.Leader Jason Kenney touted the proposed legal fund in a Calgary speech this month as part of his party’s multi-pronged “fight-back strategy” against anyone wishing to shut down Alberta’s energy sector.“His approach is nothing new,” Sen. Murray Sinclair, Manitoba’s first Indigenous judge and chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation on residential schools, told The Canadian Press.“It’s very typical of the way governments have approached the issue of Indigenous people in the past, and that is to foment division and to ensure that those who are on the side of whatever government policy is at issue or whatever corporate interest is at play are the ones that get the corporate money or get the government money.”In his speech, Kenney said Indigenous people in favour of natural resource development are often at a disadvantage compared with those working with well-funded environmental groups.“If I’m premier, we’ll be writing cheques to allow them to go to court,” he said. “We’ll be supporting pro-development litigation.”Indigenous entrepreneur Calvin Helin — who has proposed a $16-billion oil pipeline between the oilsands and the northern British Columbia coast — thinks the litigation fund is an “excellent idea.”“You have First Nations people who often are natural resource rich but cash poor. They don’t have money for stuff like this. How do we compete against American foundations?”Helin, president of Eagle Spirit Energy Holding Ltd., said a council of 35 chiefs and mayors along the proposed pipeline’s route are fed up with environmental groups coming into their communities and dictating how they should look after their people.He said First Nations have been stewards of the land for thousands of years, but must also find ways to fund social programs and ease economic hardship.“They really resent … these fly-in celebrities interfering in their traditional territories and interfering in their communities by basically hiring local people to be props and puppets for their opposition to most development,” Helin said.Eagle Spirit’s chief council has set up a GoFundMe campaign for a legal fight against federal legislation banning tankers from B.C.’s north coast. It’s raised less than half of its $100,000 goal.“In a lawsuit against the cashed-up federal government, that’s not going to take you very far,” Helin said.An expansion to the Trans Mountain pipeline between Edmonton and the Vancouver area remains in limbo following a Federal Appeal Court ruling in August that quashed its approval. The ruling requires Ottawa to consult more with affected First Nations and to do further study on the impact of increased tanker traffic.Sinclair wonders whether the government will “still run roughshod” if no amount of consultation can sway some First Nations.“The indications I’m getting is that they might be willing to try to do that, but whether they’ll be able to do that is another question.”Sinclair said compromise is possible, including moving the project’s end point away from Vancouver.“Everything needs to be on the table and those that are advocating for the pipeline need to look at all options,” he said.“The communities that are supportive of the pipeline need to be respected in their decision, but the ones who are not supportive of the pipeline also need to be respected.“The question becomes, then, what’s the alternative? And if the alternative is finding a way that doesn’t harm their interests, then let’s find it.”last_img read more

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Canada hoping to solve US tariff dispute by G20 meetings at months

first_imgWASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is setting his sights on the end of the month as the next target date for reaching a trade-and-tariff detente with the United States.All three countries are expected to take part in a signing ceremony for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement during the two-day G20 summit, which gets underway Nov. 30 in Buenos Aires — although Canada has warned it will be a low-key, low-level affair if steel and aluminum tariffs are still in place.There’s still time to change that, Trudeau suggested Monday during a news conference in Paris.“I absolutely brought it up,” Trudeau said of his discussions with U.S. President Donald Trump during a dinner Friday organized by French President Emmanuel Macron.One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss details of a private meeting, said the two leaders had a good exchange on tariffs that included Trudeau making clear to the president the tariffs are hurting consumers and producers on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.“The issue of steel and aluminum tariffs continues to be a concern to Canadians, like it is of concern to many American citizens and companies,” Trudeau said.  “This is something that, as I’ve said before and as I related to President Trump, I hope we’re able to solve by the time we meet each other in the G20 in Argentina.”David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., said in an interview last week that some high-level talks on the tariff issue have taken place, and that he has extended an invitation to U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer to get formal negotiations back underway.Insiders say the U.S. has been demanding quotas be imposed on Canadian exports, something Ottawa has made clear is a non-starter.MacNaughton and Trudeau have both indicated that if a signing ceremony does take place soon, it won’t include high-level dignitaries like the prime minister or Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland if the tariffs — 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum — remain in place.On the Mexican side, however, there’s an expectation negotiators there are poised to agree to quotas in order to get the deal signed before Dec. 1, which is when incoming president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s new administration could inject an unwelcome element of uncertainty.Resolving the tariff issue with Mexico is the more pressing priority for the U.S., said Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer and partner with Ohio-based Dickinson Wright.“The actual issue is to ensure that there’s nothing that’s going to stop Mexico from signing this deal before Dec. 1, and giving relief to farm country in the U.S. to Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs,” Ujczo said.“I think Canada’s an afterthought for the U.S. right now in this process.” James McCarten, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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7000 people still without power nearly a week after BC windstorms

first_imgVANCOUVER — Power has been restored to “99 per cent” of people affected by massive windstorms in British Columbia last Thursday, leaving about 7,000 customers in the dark.BC Hydro says more than 900 crewmembers are working to repair the system.It says customers on Vancouver Island can expect to have their power back on by Dec. 27.The utility says the southern Gulf Islands sustained more extensive damage, so it will take longer to restore power in that area.It says all customers on the Gulf Islands should have power back between Dec. 27 and 31.The utility says Thursday’s windstorm was the worst that BC Hydro has seen in 20 years, and workers have already restored power to 700,000 customers.The Canadian Presslast_img

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Hundreds of exslaves in Libya coming to Canada immigration minister says

first_imgOTTAWA — Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says Canada has begun resettling hundreds of people rescued from slavery in Libya.Hussen says Canada was among a few countries that responded to a request from the United Nations refugee agency in 2017.He says so far, 150 people have been resettled in Canada.Another 600 are expected to come over the next two years, through the regular refugee program.Another 100 Nigerois refugees from Libyan migrant detention centres are also expected to be resettled.The program follows previous refugee resettlements of Yazidis and Syrians.The Canadian Presslast_img

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Timeline SNCLavalin and Jody WilsonRaybould

first_imgOTTAWA — A chronology of events in the SNC-Lavalin controversy:Feb. 19, 2015 – The RCMP lays corruption and fraud charges against Montreal-based engineering and construction firm SNC-Lavalin, over allegations it used bribery to get government business in Libya. SNC-Lavalin says the charges are without merit and stem from “alleged reprehensible deeds by former employees who left the company long ago.” A conviction could bar the company from bidding on Canadian government business, potentially devastating it.Oct. 19 – The Liberals win a federal election, taking power from the Conservatives. Two weeks later, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau names Jody Wilson-Raybould minister of justice and attorney general of Canada. She is the first Indigenous person to hold the post, which combines duties as a politician (heading the Department of Justice) and a legal official (overseeing prosecutions).March 27, 2018 – The Liberals table a budget bill that includes a change to the Criminal Code allowing “remediation agreements,” plea-bargain-like deals between prosecutors and accused corporations in which they can avoid criminal proceedings by making reparations for previous bad behaviour. SNC-Lavalin had lobbied for such a provision in Canadian law.Spring – Although the bill has yet to pass, SNC-Lavalin contacts Public Prosecution Service lawyers to ensure they have all relevant information for a possible invitation to negotiate a remediation agreement. During the next three months, in response to requests from prosecutors, SNC-Lavalin provides detailed information it sees as making a strong case for an agreement.Sept. 4 – The prosecution service tells SNC-Lavalin it will not invite the firm to negotiate a remediation agreement.Sept. 17 – Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould discuss the SNC-Lavalin file. As attorney general, Wilson-Raybould could overrule the prosecution service, directing it to negotiate an agreement with the company. (Trudeau later says Wilson-Raybould asked him if he planned to tell her what to do concerning the prosecution — a conversation that he says ended with him telling her any decision was hers alone.)Sept. 18 – SNC-Lavalin representatives meet with Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick, Canada’s most senior public servant, and Finance Minister Bill Morneau to discuss issues including “justice and law enforcement.”Sept. 21 – The remediation-agreement provisions come into legal force.Oct. 9 – The prosecution service confirms in writing it will not invite SNC-Lavalin to negotiate a remediation agreement, a decision the company challenges in Federal Court. That challenge is ongoing.Oct. 10 – SNC-Lavalin issues a news release saying it strongly disagrees with the director of prosecutions’ position and remains open and committed to negotiating a remediation agreement. SNC-Lavalin shares fall nearly 14 per cent, closing at $44.86 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. That’s the lowest close since March 2, 2016.Oct. 11 – SNC-Lavalin meets with Elder Marques, a senior adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office, to discuss “justice and law enforcement.”Nov. 5 and 19 – SNC-Lavalin meets with Mathieu Bouchard, another senior adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office, to discuss “justice and law enforcement.”December – According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Wilson-Raybould raises the remediation case with Gerald Butts, the prime minister’s principal secretary, and he tells her to talk to Wernick, the Privy Council clerk.Jan. 14, 2019 – Trudeau shuffles his cabinet after the resignation of Treasury Board president Scott Brison. Wilson-Raybould is moved from Justice to Veterans Affairs, widely seen as a demotion. David Lametti, a Montreal MP and former law professor, becomes justice minister. Wilson-Raybould posts a long letter outlining her record as justice minister and noting a great deal of work remains to be done toward reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.Feb. 7 – Citing unnamed sources, the Globe and Mail newspaper reports that Trudeau’s aides attempted to press Wilson-Raybould, while attorney general, to intervene in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, and that exasperation with her lack of co-operation was one reason for shuffling her out of the justice portfolio. Trudeau denies any impropriety. Wilson-Raybould says solicitor-client privilege prevents her from speaking about dealings she had on the case while attorney general.Feb. 11 – Ethics commissioner Mario Dion says he’s beginning an investigation. Trudeau says he’s spoken to Wilson-Raybould and confirmed with her that he said any decision on the SNC-Lavalin prosecution was entirely hers. Her continued presence in his cabinet speaks for itself, he says.Feb. 12 – Wilson-Raybould resigns as veterans-affairs minister and says she’s hired former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell to advise her on the limits of solicitor-client privilege. Trudeau says he’s surprised and disappointed that Wilson-Raybould has quit, and that if she felt undue pressure in her role as attorney general, she had a duty to report it to him.Feb. 13 – The House of Commons justice committee debates its own probe of the issue. Liberals use their majority on the committee to call one closed-door meeting and hear from senior officials (Lametti as justice minister, the top bureaucrat in his department, and the Privy Council clerk) who can talk about the tension between the minister of justice’s duties as a politician and his or her responsibilities as attorney general of Canada. The Liberals say this is a first step in a cautious investigation, but the opposition calls it a coverup.Feb. 15 – Trudeau says Wilson-Raybould asked him in September whether he would direct her one way or another on the SNC-Lavalin question. He says he told her he would not.Feb. 18 – Butts resigns as Trudeau’s principal secretary. He denies any impropriety but says his presence in the Prime Minister’s Office has become a distraction.Feb. 19 – Wilson-Raybould stuns observers by attending a meeting of the very cabinet from which she had resigned a week earlier. Trudeau says she had asked to speak there and was invited to do so but cabinet confidentiality means nothing can be revealed about why or what was said. After the meeting, Wilson-Raybould says she is still talking to her lawyer about what she can and can’t say publicly.Feb. 20 – Trudeau says that while an airing of the facts is needed, he is confident the examinations underway by the ethics commissioner and the justice committee will provide it. The Liberals use their House of Commons majority to defeat an opposition motion calling for a public inquiry into allegations the Prime Minister’s Office pressured Wilson-Raybould.Feb. 21 – Wernick launches a vigorous defence of the government’s handling of the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, bluntly declaring allegations of political interference to be false and even defamatory. The Privy Council clerk also challenges Wilson-Raybould’s assertion that solicitor-client privilege prevents her from responding to allegations.Feb. 25 – Trudeau partly waives both solicitor-client privilege and cabinet confidentiality for his former attorney general, paving the way for Wilson-Raybould to tell her side of the SNC-Lavalin saga to the justice committee and ethics commissioner. The order specifically notes, however, that she cannot speak publicly about communication she had with Kathleen Roussel, the director of public prosecutions.Feb. 27 – Wilson-Raybould is slated to testify at the justice committee.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Bibeau presses Chinese counterpart on canola ban at G20 ministers meeting

first_imgOTTAWA — Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says she used a G20 ministers’ meeting in Japan to press her Chinese counterpart for the evidence behind Beijing’s bans on Canadian canola.Last week, Canada used a major World Trade Organization gathering to demand China deliver evidence that Canadian canola is contaminated.China has stonewalled requests for Canadian experts to travel to the People’s Republic to examine Chinese evidence that two canola shipments had pests. China’s rejection of Canadian food products is part of the escalating tension following the RCMP’s December arrest in Vancouver of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou. Nine days later, China imprisoned two Canadians — ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor — and accused them of violating China’s national security.Bibeau says the broader meeting in Japan was all about upholding the “rules-based” international trading order and she’s confident her message will be taken back to Beijing.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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McKenna considering Senate changes to environmentalassessment bill

first_imgOTTAWA — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says she is carefully considering the amendments the Senate has made to the Liberal government’s environmental-assessment bill.McKenna says she is pleased Bill C-69 made it through the Senate Thursday night despite attempts by the Conservatives to delay or weaken the bill.Senators made more than 180 changes to the government bill, which creates a new agency and process for assessing the environmental, health, social and economic impacts of major resource and transportation projects, including mines and interprovincial pipelines and highways.The changes take away some of the powers McKenna would have, as the environment minister, to intervene in the process and they shorten the timeline for getting a project from proposal to approval.The House of Commons passed the legislation a year ago and will now have to consider whether it will approve the changes proposed by the Senate.Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he would support the bill if the government agrees to all the proposed changes but has previously said the version of the bill the government put forth was a dagger to the energy industry and an affront to national unity.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Sharks with very sharp tweets

first_imgIn today’s Big Story podcast, they crack jokes, they check one another out, they challenge stereotypes and they offer their followers a glimpse inside their everyday lives. At least as far inside as the data gleaned from their tags and published on social media can take us. The heart of Ocearch’s approach to conservation and research is to raise awareness and make people feel a connection to the creatures they’re studying and protecting—hence, sharks with Twitter accounts.But the strategy goes much deeper than that and has sparked controversy both inside the scientific community and in some of the places, including Nova Scotia, where it conducts its research. How did the company morph from an entertainment house making a reality TV show to a data-centric science organization? And can other organizations looking to inspire passion in their supporters learn anything from its approach?GUEST: Chelsea Murray, The Walrus, co-founder of The DeepAudio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google and SpotifyYou can also find it at read more

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Fans in Canada and abroad mourn and reflect as Kawhi Leonard leaves

first_imgTORONTO — Though his jersey may have said Toronto, Raptors fans across the country — and beyond — are in mourning after star player Kawhi Leonard opted to leave Canada’s only NBA team.The two-time NBA Finals MVP, who joined Toronto’s team just a year ago when he was traded by the San Antonio Spurs, has reportedly signed with the LA Clippers after carrying the Raptors to the NBA Championship for the first time in franchise history last month.William Om, a 27-year-old Raptors fan from Montreal, said it’s painful to see an elite player come to Canada only to leave after such a brief period.“It hurts everybody, because of course we want to keep the best players,” he said in a phone interview.But he said Leonard has won over his allegiance, regardless of where he takes his talents. In fact, Om said he’s already ordered a Clippers jersey with Leonard’s name on the back.“What happened in Toronto, the way he played and everything, made me admire him a little more,” he said. “No matter where he goes I’ll support him as a Clipper.”But while some fans such as Om are grateful for Leonard’s efforts — #ThankYouKawhi was trending on Twitter Saturday after news of his departure broke — others are not so generous.Andrew Ostasz, 33, of Hamilton said he was “disgusted” with the way Leonard left the team.“The Raptors brought him here to give him every chance to succeed … basically turned him into the top three player in the league,” Ostasz said.That sentiment was echoed by Manuel Lutz, who would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to watch the Raptors play from his home in southern Germany.“As I heard it, I was furious. How could he do that?” the 40-year-old fan said.But Lutz said his heart has softened in the time since the news came out. He now sees that it’s best to let Leonard go.“There is a saying in Germany, ‘do not keep travellers from travelling’, and that’s the way I see the position right now,” he said.As the acceptance begins to settle in, fans are turning their attention to all that Leonard brought to the Raptors in his short time in Toronto.“I never thought this would happen in my lifetime. I never thought I’d see Toronto win a championship,” said Corey West, 38, of Halifax.“You can’t really be mad because he gave you the one thing that we wanted,” West said. “It shouldn’t tarnish his legacy because he did the one thing no one else really could and that was to lead us to a championship — So I think he should be remembered fondly.”—With files from Olivia Blackmore in Halifax, Morgan Lowrie in Montreal and Brenna Owen in Vancouver.Lidia Abraha, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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In the news today Sept 11

first_imgSix stories in the news for Wednesday, Sept. 11———FEDERAL ELECTION TO BEGIN TODAYPrime Minister Justin Trudeau kicks off his bid for re-election today, heading to Rideau Hall this morning to ask the Governor General to dissolve Parliament. With that will begin a 40-day campaign that will see Trudeau make the pitch to Canadians that he should be given a second term, while his opponents focus not just on why he shouldn’t but why they should govern instead. Polls suggest the Liberals and Conservatives are running neck-and-neck, while the NDP and Greens are fighting for third. Rounding out the slate are the nascent People’s Party of Canada and the Bloc Quebecois, which is hoping to recapture its primacy in Quebec.———FEDERAL LIBERALS, TORIES IN DEAD HEAT: POLLA new poll suggests the Liberals and Conservatives were running neck-and-neck during warm-up laps for the 40-day federal election campaign. The Leger poll, released today just hours before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to ask the Governor General to fire the starting gun, suggests the NDP and Greens were also in a dead heat — competing for a distant third place. The online poll of 1,546 eligible voters, conducted Sept. 6 to 9, put Conservative support at 35 per cent to the Liberals’ 34 per cent. The NDP and Greens were tied at 11 per cent, with the fledgling People’s Party bringing up the rear with just three per cent.———STUDY SHOWS RISE IN VIOLENCE IN ONTARIO SCHOOLSA study from the University of Ottawa suggests there has been a sharp increase in the level of violence teachers face while working in Ontario’s elementary schools. A team of researchers surveyed more than 1,600 educators last year to gauge the number of times they encountered violence from students, parents or administrators during the 2017-18 school year. They then compared those results to a survey by three major unions in 2005, which found seven per cent of teachers at the time reported experiencing bullying. The researchers found that number had surged nearly seven-fold in the intervening years, with 54 per cent of respondents saying they had experienced physical violence. The survey found 72 per cent of participants reported explicit verbal insults or obscene gestures from a student, with 41 per cent saying they’d had similar encounters with a parent.———FEDERAL LIBERALS APPOINT PAY EQUITY COMMISSIONERThe Liberal government has announced Canada’s first federal pay equity commissioner on the eve of the expected election call. Employment Minister Patty Hajdu says Karen Jensen will provide direction for the administration and enforcement of the new Pay Equity Act. A government release Tuesday says Jensen is an experienced litigator who has represented clients in human rights, constitutional, administrative and labour law cases for more than 25 years. Hajdu says because the act is not expected to come into force until 2020, Jensen will be appointed to the Canadian Human Rights Commission effective Oct. 16 to deal with the work required to establish the new pay equity division.———TORIES WIN MAJORITY IN MANITOBA ELECTIONBrian Pallister and his Progressive Conservatives have won a renewed majority from Manitoba voters to continue a program of cost-cutting and tax reductions. The Tories lost a few seats Tuesday to the New Democrats, including one held by cabinet minister Colleen Mayer. Pallister, who called the election more than a year ahead of schedule, said the result is still a very strong mandate, but added that his party could communicate better on issues such as health reform. Pallister’s fiscal restraint has included the downgrading of three hospital emergency rooms into urgent care centres, which do not handle life-threatening issues such as heart attacks. Pallister has promised to balance the budget in his second term, after a string of deficits started under the former NDP government a decade ago.———INDIGENOUS, TWO-SPIRIT COUPLE WINS AMAZING RACE CANADAAnthony Johnson and James Mokakis hope being the first Indigenous, two-spirit couple to compete on “The Amazing Race Canada” would give them a national platform to highlight issues close to their hearts. Over weeks of intense challenges that saw them criss-cross the country, the pair from Edmonton donned outfits meant to call attention to specific topics. Handmade red skirts and a bandana was for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and blue shirts emblazoned with “Water Is Life” was to show the cultural and ceremonial importance of water. Now that they’ve been crowned the winners, the married couple — who identify as two-spirit, a term used by some Indigenous peoples to describe their gender, sexual and spiritual identity — said they want to use their fame to continue fundraising for a cultural healing centre in Alberta’s Kehewin Cree Nation.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— releases the report “Trans Mountain Pipeline: The truth about construction,” which argues the Canadian federal government faces major construction challenges and questions the project’s three-year construction timeline.— Alberta Premier Jason Kenney will speak at a addictions conference today in Calgary.— Mason Thomas, an eight-year-old Alberta boy who underwent a heart transplant at the age of six, gets a 3D model of his heart today built in the form of a Tie Fighter from Star Wars.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection Helps Charity

first_imgGuitar Center, the world’s largest musical instrument retailer, in partnership with Eric Clapton, proudly announces the launch of the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection.Guitar Center Presents The Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection Featuring Five Limited Edition Signature and Replica Guitars.The limited-edition collection will feature five Eric Clapton tribute, replica and signature guitars to be sold in North America exclusively at Guitar Center locations and online at beginning March 21, 2013.Eric Clapton playing Lucy at home in London, during an exclusive interview with Guitar Center.All guitars in the one-of-a-kind collection were developed in partnership with Eric Clapton, Guitar Center, Fender, Gibson and Martin Guitar , drawing inspiration from the guitars used by Clapton at pivotal points throughout his iconic career. The collection includes a replica Fender Custom Shop Eric Clapton “Brownie” Tribute Stratocaster guitar, Gibson Harrison-Clapton “Lucy” Les Paul , and Eric Clapton Signature Martin 000-28 and 000-45 models, as well as Eric Clapton “Crossroads” guitar straps from Ernie Ball.Giving Back Through the Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection 
Not only is the construction of and history behind the Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection of guitars notable, but a significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of each of the guitars in the collection will be donated to benefit Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Centre.The Crossroads Centre, Antigua was created to provide treatment and education to chemically dependent persons. Treatment is provided through residential care, family and aftercare programs. The pathway to recovery is founded on the movement toward a change in lifestyle.“It’s been my experience that the proper guitars, like those in this Collection, are just made for playing – the motive behind the making of the guitar is 100% right,” said Eric Clapton. “They are beautiful guitars; from the inlays to the rosewood they are unique from one another. One would be inclined to take care of and be in awe of them.”Creating the Eric Clapton Crossroads CollectionThe Eric Clapton Crossroads Collection is the result of a unique and significant history between the music retailer and famed guitarist. Guitar Center has co-sponsored each of Eric Clapton’s four Crossroads Guitar Festivals and been a strong supporter of the Crossroads Centre charity, having purchased several of Eric’s most famous guitars including his “BLACKIE” Stratocaster and the CREAM Gibson 335 at the Crossroads Guitar Auction in 2004. Clapton has also graced the cover of the Guitar Center Buyers Guide. Coming together to develop this special collection was a natural continuation of the music retailer and music icon’s longstanding relationship. Well known amongst his peers for being a great musical collaborator, Clapton invited Guitar Center to create a collection of guitars from the most prestigious manufacturers. The result of this incredible collaboration is two tribute replica guitars with rich ties to Clapton’s career as well as three new Eric Clapton signature guitars that will launch in conjunction with Clapton’s upcoming U.S. tour and Crossroads Guitar Festival.“We have always admired Eric Clapton as one of the all-time great guitarists, singers and songwriters and for his extraordinary influence on musicians around the world for over 50 years,” said Michael Doyle , Senior Vice President of Guitar Merchandising. “We were honored to be invited by Eric to collaborate with him on this unique collection of guitars which have been the inspirational tools of his trade throughout his career.”For more information on the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Collection please visit Newswirelast_img read more

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Kofi Annan Looks Forward To 2014 With The Elders

first_imgKofi Annan has wished supporters of The Elders all the best for the new year in an email newsletter.“I hope that you and your loved ones have enjoyed the holiday season,” he wrote. “We ended 2013 with the celebration of the life of an extraordinary person. Joining millions of people across the world, The Elders marked the passing of our dear friend and founder, Nelson Mandela.“Reflecting on his life and legacy at his memorial service in South Africa, my fellow Elders and I were reminded of his wisdom and uncommon humanity. Through his words and actions, he showed the world that even the most entrenched of injustices can be overcome; that bitterness can be replaced with compassion; and that jailers and their prisoners can one day be friends.“It was with this spirit of hopefulness and determination that Madiba brought The Elders together in 2007 and charged us to ‘support courage where there is fear, foster agreement where there is conflict and inspire hope where there is despair.’“Six years on, his words remain the guiding principle of our group. We remain steadfast in our commitment to fulfilling his vision for our world – one where people live in peace and equality, free from poverty and fear.“Our work in 2013 has taken us around the world, speaking out on a range of issues and listening to those – especially women and young people – who are too-often ignored by those in power. We emphasised the importance of building strong, inclusive societies during visits to Myanmar and Côte d’Ivoire and discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts with decision makers in Washington and London.“Internally, this past year was one of considerable change for The Elders. As you will know, Archbishop Tutu stepped down after more than five years as our Chair – I was honoured to be chosen to succeed him. We also welcomed two new Elders, Hina Jilani and Ernesto Zedillo.“As Elders, we have always drawn attention to the human costs of war. As I write, the conflict in Syria continues unabated. The harsh winter is bringing even greater suffering to the people of Syria, many of whom lack the basic necessities of shelter, food and medical care. So far, the international community has failed in its duty towards them.“Our fellow Elder Lakhdar Brahimi has been working quietly but persistently to bring the parties together and end the conflict. We hope that the impasse can be overcome and that all those involved will commit themselves to a peaceful transition for Syria.“Until then I will recall one of Madiba’s greatest lessons: his deep belief in our shared humanity. He embodied, more than anyone in our time, the idea that the greatest enemies could liberate themselves from hatred to build a better future.“As millions of Syrians can tell you, we have never needed this more.”last_img read more

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Stars Join TreatmentForAll Social Media Campaign For World AIDS Day

first_imgOn November 30, 2015, the eve of World AIDS Day, Influential, the only Mobile-First social media influencer platform, will team up with United Nations Assistant Secretary General, Ray Chambers, Emmy Award-winning television host Ricki Lake and digital influencers Wesley Stromberg, Sammy Wilkinson, Megan Nicole and Melvin Gregg to launch #TreatmentForAll, a new social media campaign aimed to diagnose and treat anyone diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, worldwide.The campaign will begin with the launch of the first documentary film officially launched on Facebook, during a screening at the Facebook offices in New York City. The film will honor the 23 million people around the world who need treatment for HIV. The documentary will be available to the public, beginning at 10:30am ET on Monday, November 30, 2015 on the UN Assistant Secretary-General Ray Chambers’ Facebook page. Influential’s President of Marketing, Chris Detert, joined the #TreatmentForAll team as they traveled to Malawi to talk to patients affected by HIV/AIDS, in an effort to show the “faces” of those fighting this disease. The interviews are honest and raw, capturing first-hand, the realities of people suffering from AIDS worldwide. The documentary also features interviews with U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, and President Bill Clinton.After the screening, Influential will be implementing its industry-leading, demographically-targeted social media technology and activating some of its top influencers to spread the #TreatmentForAll message, through a full-scale social media campaign. Influential will also be creating an interactive microsite,, where influencers and their fans can participate in the campaign by creating their own customized #TreatmentForAll photos that they can share through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.“We are honored to have the opportunity to work with UN Assistant Secretary General, Ray Chambers and our influencers on this amazing campaign,” said Ryan Detert, CEO of Influential. “Following up the Facebook documentary with a massive social push from our influencers, we will make our voices heard and truly make #TreatmentForAll a reality.”“Social media is the way that our youth communicates and its ability to spread a message worldwide, in a matter of seconds, makes it the most powerful way that we communicate today,” said Ray Chambers, UN Assistant Secretary-General. “Influential’s ability to hone this power and use it for global good is exemplary and I am so pleased to have them join us for the #TreatmentForAll campaign.”This campaign marks the second time that Influential has teamed up with UN Assistant Secretary-General Ray Chambers. On September 21, 2015, the International Day of Peace, they first teamed up and launched the #ForgiveForPeace campaign, which garnered more than 1.5 billion social media impressions and received celebrity support from Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Bieber, LL Cool J, and Garth Brooks.last_img read more

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Kristen Bell Reads Her Favorite Childrens Book for Storyline Online

first_imgKristen Bell took a break from her busy schedule to read her favorite children’s book Quackenstein Hatches a Family for Storyline Online.Kristen Bell Reads QuackensteinWritten by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallan, illustrated by Brian T. Jones and published by ABRAMS Books, Quackenstein Hatches a Family is a cute and creepy tale told in rhyme about a bitter old duck who adopts an egg and is surprised by what hatches from inside.Video: Quackenstein Hatches a Family read by Kristen Bell

Bell’s flawless storytelling delivers both cadence and character voices that offer a compelling and animated five-minute read aloud alongside original illustrations brought to life. Bell concludes by sharing why she chose the book, “I really like the rhyming. I really like the language – the big words – but more importantly, I love that Quack felt lonely and he decided to solve his problem by adopting one of these eggs that didn’t have a family.” Bell continues to share that she likes how Quackenstein creates an unconventional, yet loving family for himself and what turns out to be a platypus.

Kristen Bell is the latest actor to join an expanding cast of Storyline Online readers that includes Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Lily Tomlin, Christian Slater, Betty White, Wanda Sykes, Justin Theroux, Rose Byrne, James Earl Jones and more. Storyline Online features actors reading cherished children’s books aloud alongside creatively produced, original illustrations.

“Kristen Bell chose to read a book that is near and dear to her heart. You can tell she has read Quackenstein countless times at bedtime to her kids because she has the voices down pat,” said Cyd Wilson, Executive Director of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. “We cannot thank Kristen enough for volunteering to read for our program. Quackenstein Hatches a Family is an exceptional addition to our digital library and it will be viewed by millions of children in classrooms and homes all over the world.”

The award-winning children’s literacy program of the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Storyline Online streams 45 videos at no cost to children, parents, and educators worldwide, and receives over 6 million views every month.

As with all Storyline Online videos, Quackenstein Hatches a Family comes with a supplemental activity guide aligned with Common Core Standards that strengthens verbal, written and comprehension skills. Aimed at students in 1st and 2nd grades, these activities encourage students to engage in critical thinking and ponder the themes from the book including family, adoption and responsibility.

In addition, Storyline Online has an app for iPhone and Android. The app features the full digital library of Storyline Online videos, complimentary educational activity guides and more.

To watch Quackenstein Hatches a Family and all of Storyline Online videos, visit, and subscribe to read more

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Canadian Fashion Reaches for Its Spot in the Sun

first_img Facebook Login/Register With: On Friday evening, a fashion summit meeting of sorts is taking place in Toronto, and big names will be in attendance: Coco Rocha, the supermodel-turned-personality, is flying in, as are the London-based designer Erdem Moralioglu and the New York-based designer Jason Wu, and the nonagenarian style icon Iris Apfel.They will be gathering for the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards, an annual event akin to those regularly hosted in New York by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and in London by the British Fashion Council. Though this will be only the fourth incarnation of the CAFA, it is also the biggest. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitterlast_img

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While Promoting Broadway Show Meat Loaf Proves that Rock and Roll Dreams

first_imgMeat Loaf stepped onto the stage, still looking like the kind of guy you’d hang out with over a good conversation. The show, taking place just outside Mirvish Theatre in Downtown Toronto, opened with a gang of bikers rolling up. It’s like all the best parts of your childhood standing in front of you, within reach.I’m a nineties kid, but I was lucky enough to grow up listening to Meat Loaf thanks to a family that loves music, and a collection of cassette tapes that sat in the storage below the living room stereo. I can still remember the smell of the tapes, and how frustrating it was to have to rewind each one before listening to them. If you weren’t careful, sometimes the film inside would pull out and you’d have to spin one of the circles backwards till the cassette tape would go back into place.Do I exaggerate when I say I know all the lyrics on both Part One AND Two? Far from it. Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Twitter What soon followed were the cast members performing in costume several of the songs, enough to give a taste of what’s expected from the  Broadway show. Catch a glimpse here to see the hype.“I remember everything as if it happened only yesterday,” utters Andrew Polec in the role of Strat, in the Wasted Youth monologue. Forceful enough to make Papa Shakespeare proud.And it does feel like yesterday, regardless of generation.At the point when I started listening to this album I was barely just starting to write my first scripts, and yet I could already imagine the characters and costumes for Paradise by the Dashboard Lights; lip-syncing to I’d Do Anything For Love and Good Girls Go to Heaven; Fist-pumping to the rebellion-themed Life is a Lemon…Damn, what a gal would do to get a chance at adapting that into a film.And that’s not something I’d “want my money back” from either.Fast forward a decade since and now comes the Broadway production of ‘Bat Out Of Hell’. It might not be how I’ve imagined it, or how other fans imagined it, but it’s worth it. As someone still fresh in my own youth, it’s impossible for anyone to have waited for this as long as Jim Steinman has. Jim Steinman, the mastermind and songwriter behind it, first wrote the soundtrack when he was just in college.By 1972 Jim met singer Meat Loaf (Michael Lee Aday), who at the time was a cast member on a musical he helped collaborate. As they say, the rest is history.By the time ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ was officially released onto the music scene in October 1977, it received mixed reviews that eventually grew into a cult following. Since then, it’s sold 43 million albums worldwide. Considering that many of the songs reach an average eight to ten minutes, filled with operatic vocals and loud instruments, it was hard to classify which genre it belonged to. In an interview with CTV, Meat Loaf stated that “out of hundreds of reviews, we got one good review from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.”For years there was speculation as to when it would finally be adapted on screen, or least of all, on stage.Then we always hear about that one work that makes an artist’s career. Often it’s the one you’d least expect. The one where you’re sitting and you find yourself innocently strumming the guitar, or jotting ideas pen to paper, then suddenly… You’ve done this so many times before, till you realize, this one- this one is gonna be different.Like any great art, Jim likely didn’t know the impact his work would have, but we’re thankful he brought it this far. ‘Bat Out Of Hell The Musical’ is the culmination of everything a writer works for. It’s enough to prove that in the end, “rock and roll dreams” really do come true.‘Bat Out Of Hell’ is expected to make its North American debut in Toronto at the Mirvish Theatre on October 14th 2017, running till December 3. Tickets go on sale May 24th on the venue’s website.last_img read more

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Congrats to Eliza Martin on her Toronto Monologue Slam win

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: WHAT IS A MONOLOGUE SLAM?A Monologue Slam is an acting competition where actors perform on stage in front of a panel of experts, who provide feedback and select a winner. Exact rules and format vary from region to region, but the essence of the event is to give actors a space to play, create a community of artists and build a stronger industry.THIS MONTH’S JUDGES WEREWendy Olunike Adeliyi – Actor and Co-Founder (Nominated for Best Supporting Actress for the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards)Jesse Griffiths – Casting Associate at Stephanie Gorin CastingMarissa Richmond – Casting Director and Owner of Marissa Richmond CastingLewis Baumander – Acting Teacher and Owner of LB Acting Studio & Casting CentralABOUT ELIZA MARTINEliza graduated from Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts with a Drama Specialist. She then attended the Theatre and Drama Studies program at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College. She graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts (Theatre Specialist, English Major) from the University of Toronto and an Acting Diploma from Sheridan College. Eliza is now an actor, writer and artist educator living in Toronto. Eliza’s recent credits include Isabella in The Changeling -​a staged reading with Shakespeare BASH’d, Molly in the Lower Ossington Theatre’s Peter and The Starcatcher, Petandra in Paul and Petandra in the 2016 InspiraTO Festival (Peoples’ Choice Award), Gloria in Hart House Theatre’s Boeing Boeing, Hedvig in Re:Current Theatre’s the Wild Duck Project, Cecily in Hart House Theatre’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Messala in Spur-Of-The-Moment Shakespeare Collective’s Julius Caesar Project (2014 Toronto Fringe Festival), Hellena in The Rover, Mary Warren in The Crucible (Theatre Erindale) as well as u/s Louise in Gypsy (Hangar Theatre), Emily in Bodies and Patricia in Hiding Like Elephants (Hangar Wedge Series). Eliza starred in Seven to Forty Cinema’s short film No Connection, which was an Official Selection of 2016 GCN Film Festival, 2016 Future of Film Showcase and 2016 Korean International Expat Film Festival.ELIZA MARTIN LINKSSITE: BY: CARRIER TALENT MGMT. – TORONTOABOUT THE TORONTO MONOLOGUE SLAMEach and every month, the cities hottest up and coming actors deliver intimate and electrifying performances as they battle for the title of Monologue Slam Champion! Judged by an expert panel of the industry’s top agents, teachers, directors, casting directors, producers and actors. The winner receives $100 cash, prizes and the honor of defending their title at the next slam.TORONTO MONOLOGUE SLAM LINKSSITE: read more

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first_imgAdvertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Talking to local hip-hop artist Dub J — a.k.a. Jonathon Pitman — you get a sense of the strange duality behind Waterloo Region’s most successful hip-hop producer.On one hand, he’s Bruce Wayne, Batman’s soft-spoken alter ego: an innocuous software designer toiling in the recesses of the Region’s tech sector, developing apps for toy companies and one that teaches kids how to save their allowance.On the other hand — and he doesn’t like this comparison — he’s Donald Trump, a self-styled entrepreneur who has worked with the biggest names in Canadian hip hop, including Maestro Fresh-Wes and Choclair, and isn’t shy about touting his own virtues. On the phone he’s, for lack of a better word, normal — a nice guy who works hard in two industries that have little in common and is smart enough to recognize the need for different personas. Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Local hip hip artist Dub J – aka Jonathon Pitman Advertisement Twitter “I’M THE PERSON WHO EXCEEDS EVERY GOAL I SET!” he posted on Facebook in 2012, long before the current U.S. president began uttering similar mythmaking declarations.“NO ONE IS AS DEDICATED AS ME!”last_img read more

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Halifax man charged in sex trade worker murder

first_imgAPTN National NewsA man with a history of violence against sex trade workers in the Halifax area has now been charged with murder.Steven Elliot Laffin, 36, has been charged with second degree murder in the death of Nadine Taylor, who had been working as a prostitute before she disappeared this summer.News of the charges came amid a report that another prostitute had been murdered in the city.APTN National News reporter James Hopkin has this story.last_img

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