Ontario plans stiff new laws beefed up penalties for drugimpaired drivers

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario plans to introduce tough new penalties for drug-impaired drivers ahead of the legalization of recreational marijuana next July.Premier Kathleen Wynne said Monday there will be zero tolerance for youths aged 21 and under, novice drivers and all commercial drivers in Ontario who have a detectable presence of drugs or alcohol in their system. The province will also increase all monetary penalties and suspensions for impaired driving offences.The announcement comes a little over a week after Ontario’s Liberal government announced its plan to distribute and sell recreational cannabis in as many as 150 dedicated stores run by the province’s liquor control board and set the legal age to buy the drug at 19.“We had a goal to balance the new freedom that people in Ontario will have to use cannabis recreationally with everyone’s expectation that it will be managed responsibly,” Wynne said.Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said the proposed changes would align both drug and alcohol impaired driving offences under the law in Ontario. The new legislation would also increase penalties for drivers who fail or refuse to provide a sample for a roadside test, he added.“Let me be clear,” Del Duca said. “Driving while impaired is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. We believe that these measures are an important step towards ensuring that Ontario’s roads remain safe after July 1st, 2018.”Under the proposed rules, young or novice drivers (with a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence) would face licence suspensions from three to 30 days and fines from $250 to $450 if they have drugs or alcohol in their system. Currently, young and novice drivers face a 24-hour licence suspension and no monetary penalty.Commercial drivers would face a three-day licence suspension and fines from $250 to $450 if they have drugs or alcohol in their system. Currently, there are no targeted suspension or monetary fines for commercial drivers under the province’s impaired driving laws.Overall, under the proposed changes any driver who registers a warn or fail on a roadside screening device would be fined anywhere from $250 to $450. The current fine is $198. Drivers who refuse to provide a sample for a roadside test face a $550 fine under the proposed law, up from the current $198 fine.The tougher Ontario penalties would be in addition to current federal criminal charges, suspensions and possible jail time for impaired driving. The federal government is expected to approve an oral fluid screening device for police to use to detect drug-impaired drivers in the coming months.Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada CEO Andrew Murie praised the province for its proposed laws and said he hopes other provinces follow Ontario’s example. The group has been calling for a zero tolerance approach to drivers who get behind the wheel with any drugs or alcohol in their system.“We know that model of good legislation, education and enforcement works,” he said. “This is a big first step. It’s not going to be the last step.”Progressive Conservative transportation critic Michael Harris said the new penalties don’t address the increased resources police will need to deal with drug-impaired driving.“The Wynne Liberals have either underestimated, or are wilfully blind to how significant the needs of our police forces will be,” Harris said in a statement.Last week, Officials from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Ontario Provincial Police and the Saskatoon Police Service told a federal committee they need more time to properly train officers about the new cannabis laws and more than double the number of police officers who are certified to conduct roadside drug-impaired driving testing.If the government doesn’t postpone the start date there will be a window of six months to a year when police aren’t fully ready, which will allow organized crime to flourish, said OPP deputy commissioner for investigations and organized crime Rick Barnum.Wynne said the province will host a fall summit with policing agencies, public health groups and other stakeholders to discuss Ontario’s marijuana legalization framework.Wynne also appeared to leave the door open to expanding the sale of recreational marijuana if efforts to eliminate the black market are unsuccessful.“If that means that ultimately we need more ways of making cannabis available in a safe and responsible way in order to tackle that illegal market then that’s something that we will look at,” she said.last_img read more

RCMP officer says he was skeptical about shotsfired call in Lisa Dudley

first_imgBURNABY, B.C. – An RCMP officer laughed with a police dispatcher about a call reporting six gunshot sounds in a quiet neighbourhood in rural British Columbia in 2008, not realizing that a woman lay dying inside her home, a coroner’s inquest has heard.Cpl. Michael White, then a constable with seven years of experience, and another officer responded to the call and drove around the neighbourhood in Mission. But the inquest heard they did not get out of their vehicles to investigate or contact the neighbour who made the call.Lisa Dudley, 37, and her boyfriend Guthrie McKay had been shot in an attack over a marijuana grow-op in their home. McKay died immediately but Dudley was paralyzed and lay in the home for four days until a neighbour checked in and called for help.She died in the ambulance on the way to hospital.A coroner’s inquest heard a recording Monday of the conversation White had with the police dispatcher.“Six gunshots in a row and a crash,” he said before laughing.“Yeah, exactly. Don’t you love this?” the dispatcher replied.Monique Pongracic-Speier, a lawyer for Dudley’s family, asked White whether he thought a shots-fired call was funny.“No, it’s not funny,” he told the inquest. “I was skeptical.”White told the five-member jury he had reservations about the call because it was an unusually high number of gunshots and it had only been reported by one neighbour. It could have been firecrackers or another unknown noise, he said.Because the dispatcher told him the caller had heard a “crash,” White assumed there had been a car accident, which could have been caused by shots being fired at a vehicle, he testified.When he couldn’t see any evidence of a car crash or shell casings on the road, he parked his car, filed his report and closed the case, less than half an hour after receiving the initial call.The RCMP later gave the officer a written reprimand and docked him a day’s pay as punishment.About a year after Dudley’s death, the RCMP in B.C. updated its policies to require officers to always contact complainants in shots-fired calls, White testified.If the officer had contacted the neighbour who called police, he would have learned that the man was not the only person who heard gunshots, Pongracic-Speier said.Erwin Adam told the inquest that he was standing outside with another neighbour and his son when they all heard what they believed were gunshots.Adam choked back tears as he recalled how upset he felt when Dudley was found dying in her home.The inquest heard a recording of Adam’s conversation with a police dispatcher in which he said he’d heard six gunshots and “someone yelling out.” He also told the dispatcher about a “crashing sound” his neighbour had heard.He initially called a non-emergency number because he wasn’t sure if an animal or a human had been hurt, but he was transferred to a different police dispatcher. He believed someone was in pain and Mounties should investigate, he testified.Neither call-taker seemed “terribly interested” in his report, Adam said.He gave the dispatcher his phone number and address, as well as his neighbour’s address, where he made the call to police. Both he and his neighbour assumed that an officer had contacted the other, so neither followed up with RCMP, he said.“I feel badly about that,” he said, breaking down in tears.The neighbour who found Dudley four days later, Stuart Young, testified that he knocked on her front door and didn’t get a response. He went to the back of the house, where he saw through a shattered glass door that Dudley was in a chair in the corner of the room, he said.Mark Surakka, Dudley’s stepfather, said outside the inquest that he found White’s attitude during his testimony to be “indifferent,” and not rooted in reality.“It bordered on cavalier. The seriousness of what happened and transpired … it didn’t sound real,” he said.Surakka has heard the call between the officer and the dispatcher before. Every time he listens to it, it makes him cringe, he said.“It’s just uncomfortable to listen to. It’s part of the evidence now and hopefully the jury recognizes the value of that tape.”Surakka said he doesn’t expect to get justice from the inquest, but he is hoping to find answers.The goal of an inquest is not to lay blame, but to determine the events that led to a person’s death and potentially make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.last_img read more

In the news today July 9

first_imgFive stories in the news for Monday, July 9———TRUDEAU HEADED TO LATVIAJustin Trudeau is headed to Latvia today to highlight Canada’s military commitments to NATO ahead of the treaty organization’s summit this week in Brussels. It’s the first ever bilateral visit by a Canadian prime minister to the Baltic nation, and it comes as the country celebrates its centenary. Trudeau will visit the 450 Canadian military personnel that are part of a NATO battle group in Latvia that was established in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its invasion of eastern Ukraine.———NOT ENOUGH COPS TO DETECT HIGH DRIVERS: CHIEFSThe Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police says it’s unlikely to reach its goal of having 2,000 officers trained to spot drug-impaired drivers when marijuana becomes legal later this year. Natalie Wright, a spokeswoman for the chiefs, tells The Canadian Press that only 733 officers had completed the specialized training as of May — up from 665 in February — and at current rates of training, it will take more than five years to get to 2,000.———TORONTO POLICE INVESTIGATING ALLEGED RACISMA comedian and actor says a racist incident he witnessed in Toronto is not representative of the Canada he wants to live in. Andrew Phung stars in the CBC sitcom “Kim’s Convenience.” He says he was waiting to cross a busy intersection on Saturday when a driver, whom he described as a person of colour, hesitated at a green traffic light. Phung says a police officer shouted at the driver to proceed, and then said “If you can’t drive, go back to your country.” Toronto police say they’re investigating.———B.C. MAN SURVIVES GRIZZLY ATTACKA park ranger is grateful to be alive after a terrifying grizzly bear attack outside his home in Bella Coola, B.C. Jordan Carbery, a lifelong bear lover, says he saw something moving outside his home early Tuesday morning and went out to investigate. Turned out bear cubs were in his cherry tree. Suddenly a branch broke and one of the cubs tumbled to the ground. Seconds later its mother surprised Carbery, attacking and mauling him before he could run back inside his house.———ONDAATJE WINS GOLDEN BOOKER PRIZEMichael Ondaatje’s “The English Patient” was named the greatest-ever winner of the Man Booker Prize at an event celebrating five decades of the prestigious literary award. The Canadian writer’s tale of love and conflict during the Second World War was awarded the Golden Man Booker Prize for fiction after winning a public vote. “The English Patient” was awarded the Booker in 1992 and was made into a 1996 movie that won nine Academy Awards. It beat four other novels for the title. But the Toronto-based Ondaatje said he didn’t believe “for a second” that his book was the best of the bunch.———last_img read more

Data suggests violence rising in Winnipeg remand jail union says meth a

first_imgWINNIPEG — Newly obtained statistics point to increasing violence at the Winnipeg Remand Centre and the union that represents correctional workers says methamphetamine use is a major factor. “Our members actually believe that some of the incidents are definitely fuelled by drugs such as meth,” said Michelle Gawronsky, president of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union.“They know that meth is an issue, that it lingers in the inmate.”Records obtained by The Canadian Press under the province’s freedom-of-information law show remand centre guards called for backup 47 times between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 this year. That’s already higher than any full-year numbers reported in the previous five years for which statistics were provided and more than double the number in 2014.There were another 20 cases in the first nine months of this year in which a corrections officer issued a more serious call of being in immediate danger. That figure is on track, by the end of 2018, to be the highest in recent years.One worker at the remand centre, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to publicly discuss matters inside the jail, said inmates on meth are unpredictable and can become violent suddenly.“You’re dealing with zombies, for lack of a better word,” the worker told The Canadian Press.“An alcoholic is usually slow. They’re sluggish. But an inmate who’s on meth … in my opinion they have increased strength.”The 300-bed remand centre is normally the first stop for people after they are arrested until they are granted bail or transferred to another jail. Because the effects of meth can last much longer than those of other drugs, inmates can be under its influence long after they enter the facility, the worker said.The worker said one inmate at the remand centre was on meth and appeared to settle down, but then erupted in violence when cell doors were opened.“He came out of his cell and proceeded directly into another cell … and with a (homemade) weapon, started attacking both of the guys who were sleeping.”Gawronsky said the union has raised the issue with Justice Minister Cliff Cullen and is hoping to have jail staff receive more training.The Justice Department would not comment on security issues inside the remand centre. Cullen, who was out of the province much of last week meeting with other provincial justice ministers, issued a brief written statement.“Correctional centres can be volatile environments and Manitoba Justice is committed to working with staff and the (union) to manage offenders with a variety of needs, including addictions to methamphetamine and other substances,” he said in the statement.The John Howard Society of Canada, a prisoners rights group, said rising meth problems in jails should come as no surprise, given that police forces in Winnipeg and other cities have noticed an increase in the drug’s use.John Hutton, the group’s executive director in Manitoba, said the problem needs to be addressed before people end up behind bars.“The facilities weren’t built with detoxification units and it’s a challenge,” Hutton said.“I don’t think anyone would disagree we need more resources in the community for people to get treatment for meth addiction before they end up in custody.”Steve Lambert, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Private medical clinics win injunction against BC law that banned them

first_imgVANCOUVER — Private clinics embroiled in a legal battle against the British Columbia government have scored a victory after a judge ordered an injunction against provisions in the law banning private-pay medically necessary health services.B.C. Supreme Court Justice Janet Winteringham says in a written ruling released Friday that the government cannot enforce the provisions until their constitutionality is determined at trial.She says the plaintiffs have established that there are serious questions to be tried, including that some patients will suffer serious physical or psychological harm while waiting for public health services.Health Minister Adrian Dix announced this spring that starting in October, doctors who charge patients for medically necessary procedures would face initial fines of $10,000 as the province enforces the law that hadn’t been fully enacted in 15 years.Winteringham’s ruling means the provisions cannot be enforced until June or pending a further order of the court.Dr. Brian Day of the Cambie Surgery Centre and other plaintiffs launched the legal challenge arguing the province doesn’t provide timely medical services, yet residents are prohibited from accessing private health care. , another clinic and several patients launched the constitutional challenge to the provisions of the law nearly a decade ago and the trial continues.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Deputy US trade czar conscripts American mayors to lobby for USMCA

first_imgWASHINGTON — One of the hard-bargain drivers from the American side of the NAFTA negotiating table is bringing his powers of persuasion to bear on the next challenge facing the new North American trade pact: the U.S. Congress.Deputy U.S. Trade Representative C. J. Mahoney, a fixture of the 14-month negotiation process that culminated last October in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, urged a gathering of American mayors Wednesday to lobby Capitol Hill lawmakers to ratify the deal.“All Congress has to do is pass it, and that is where I hope you all can help us,” Mahoney told a panel discussion Wednesday during the winter meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors in Washington.“You all have influence on your members of Congress. They listen to you, they understand your problems, they know that you’re looking out for what’s good for your communities and are concerned first and foremost with jobs and economic development.“We need your help.”Ratification in both Mexico and Canada has largely been seen as inevitable; Martha Barcena Coqui, Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S., told the panel she expects the agreement to come to a vote in the next session of her country’s Congress, which gets underway next month and which doesn’t require a separate implementation bill. In Canada, the majority Liberal government makes a Yes vote all but a foregone conclusion.But amid political turmoil in Washington — where the White House is at war with Democrats over President Donald Trump’s border wall plans and a partial government shutdown has entered its second month — nothing these days is a given.A number of prominent Democrats — notably House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, currently the most painful congressional thorn in Trump’s side — have complained that the deal lacks meaningful mechanisms to enforce new labour and environmental standards. And relations between Capitol Hill and the White House are at such a low ebb that some fear the president’s enemies are determined to deny him any political wins.Enter Mahoney, who is hard-selling the USMCA as a win for all three countries.“If members of Congress can put politics aside and focus on the substance, I have no doubt that this will pass overwhelmingly in both houses,” he said, describing the deal as the most bipartisan U.S. trade deal ever negotiated, thanks to the political foresight of his boss, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.“Throughout the negotiations — well before the results of the midterm elections were known — we worked very closely with Democrats to ensure that the final agreement reflected their priorities,” he said, citing the labour and environmental clauses in particular.To qualify for duty-free benefits, USMCA requires autos to contain 75 per cent North American content — up from 62.5 per cent under NAFTA. By 2023, between 40 and 45 per cent of auto parts will also have to come from workers earning at least $16 an hour; in Mexico, auto assembly workers earn an average of just $7.34 an hour and parts workers $3.41 an hour.On the environmental side, the agreement includes a number of protections for marine species and habitats, new air-quality standards, environmental assessment rules and forest management practices. “I’m optimistic about our chances of success in this endeavour, but success is certainly not assured,” Mahoney said. “Given the importance of the agreement to our workers, farmers and ranchers, the stakes could not be higher.”Paul Dyster, the mayor of Niagara Falls, N.Y., told Mahoney the often-acrimonious negotiating process has had a negative impact on his community’s economic prospects, given how closely integrated it is with Canadian interests.“The rhetoric that was used in this negotiation was shocking, when you hear it used in reference to the leaders of countries that have been your strongest allies and trade partners for a long time,” Dyster said.“For those of us on the border, whose economies are very fully integrated with the Canadian economy, that use of old-fashioned protectionism to try to advance the interests of the United States to take a shot at Canada — it kind of hit us in the foot.”Mahoney, however, dismissed any suggestion of lingering bad blood.“What really matters is not the given press headline at any point during the negotiations, but where we ended up — and where we ended up was with a great agreement that I think will be the foundation for an even stronger relationship with Mexico and Canada going forward.”Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton, who joined the panel after Mahoney had left, raised one particular sticking point: the fact that the Trump administration has not yet made good on its commitment to lift its punishing national-security tariffs on steel and aluminum exports.“This is causing distortions in the marketplace, it is causing all three countries to lose opportunities, it is increasing costs for consumers,” said MacNaughton, who closed by quoting the president’s own tweet from March 2018 committing to lifting the tariffs once a new trade agreement was in place.“He has now said this is a fair deal, a good deal, the best deal that’s ever been done, so I would simply say please, let us get on with building our three countries together. Let us get on with our defence and security agreements and the relationship that we have had for more than 150 years.”James McCarten, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Blocked merger between Siemens and Alstom a win for Bombardier say analysts

first_imgMONTREAL — Analysts say Bombardier Inc. can rest a little easier after European antitrust authorities blocked a plan by manufacturing giants Siemens and Alstom to merge their rail operations.The European Commission announced its decision Wednesday to bar Siemens of Germany from acquiring the French Alstom’s train-making business, arguing it could reduce competition in the signaling and high-speed train markets.The deal would have created a $22.5-billion company with more than 60,000 employees, versus Bombardier’s US$8.5 billion in train unit revenues in 2017.Analyst Cameron Doerksen of National Bank Financial says that while the scuppered merger would have given the combined company a “dominant position” in Europe, Bombardier would have remained a “top-two player” in the key markets of Germany, France and the U.K.Still, he and other analysts say the deal may have reduced opportunities for the Berlin-based division of Bombardier Inc. to team up on contract bids with Siemens and Alstom and hurt its prospects in the market for rail signalling systems. Bombardier stocks were up five per cent to $2.03 in midday trading.Bombardier says it is “pleased” with the European Commission ruling and states that such a big merger would have damaged competitiveness and left European consumers and taxpayers paying the price. Companies in this story: (TSX:BBD.B)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Sen Beyak broke Senates code of conduct by posting racist letters

first_imgOTTAWA — The Senate’s ethics officer says Sen. Lynn Beyak violated the upper chamber’s conflict-of-interest code by posting racist letters about Indigenous people on her website.Pierre Legault says Beyak’s conduct did not uphold the highest standards of dignity required of a senator.Nor did she perform her duties with dignity, honour and integrity or refrain from acting in a way that could reflect negatively on the Senate, as stipulated in the code.Legault says he proposed that Beyak delete the racist letters from her website, post a formal apology and complete a cultural-sensitivity course with an emphasis on Indigenous issues, but she hasn’t done any of those things.Beyak posted the letters to show that she had support for a speech she gave in the Senate in January 2018, in which she argued that Indian residential schools did a lot of good for Indigenous children, although many suffered physical and sexual abuse and thousands died from disease and malnutrition.In a report released Tuesday, Legault concludes that five of the letters contained racist content, suggesting that Indigenous people are lazy, chronic whiners who are milking the residential-school issue to get government handouts.Beyak was appointed to the Senate in 2013 by former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper. She was kicked out of the Conservative caucus last year after refusing to remove the letters from her website.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister favours results over popularity

first_imgWINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister genuinely appears to have little interest in being well-liked on a personal level.The Progressive Conservative Leader, who won a second majority government Tuesday, has repeatedly said politics is not a popularity contest and admits that people may not want to sit down with him and have a beer.He promotes himself as someone who may not be likable but, more importantly, can work hard and get things done.“I lack personality, I’m not inspirational, I’ve been told. But I’m a problem-solver,” Pallister said shortly after he was first elected premier in 2016.“I think Manitobans are the stars in this thing, not me.”Pallister, 65, grew up on a small farm — the homestead of his great-grandparents — near Portage la Prairie. Money was tight. He recalls having one ball that he and his younger brother Jim used for a variety of sports.Pallister grew tall at a young age and eventually reached six-foot eight. He recalls being bullied as a kid because of his lanky stature.He developed a passion for sports and hitchhiked to Brandon University to try out for the basketball team. His coach, Jerry Hemmings, recalls making Pallister run until he vomited in a garbage can. He’d then continue running.Pallister took the same grit to other sports, enjoying success in curling and softball. What he lacked in natural ability, he made up for with hard work. He went on to win a provincial curling title and was enshrined in the Manitoba softball hall of fame.That determination stayed with him. Pallister started an insurance and investment firm along with his wife, Esther, and grew the company over three decades. They sold it and used the proceeds to help pay for a $2-million, 9,000-square-foot mansion in Winnipeg — a far cry from Pallister’s humble roots.The couple later bought a second home in Costa Rica, for which Pallister has been criticized. After becoming premier, he said he planned to spend up to two months a year there. He later reduced that to five weeks — a rare change of course for a politician who seems to have never backed down from a fight.After serving briefly in the Manitoba legislature in the 1990s, Pallister became a member of Parliament from 1997 to 2008. He ran unopposed for the leadership of the Manitoba Tories in 2012 and was elected premier in 2016 with the biggest majority government in the province in a century.His hard-driving, ready-for-battle personality quickly showed.He demanded politicians and staff sell memberships and fundraise, or make way for those who would. At one meeting in 2012, he had people’s names drawn from a hat. They were assigned a constituency held by the NDP or Liberals and told to sell as many memberships as possible in that area.The party entered the 2016 election flush with cash and support.Since first becoming premier, Pallister has engaged in fights with Crown-owned Manitoba Hydro’s board members, who resigned en masse; the Manitoba Metis Federation, which is suing over a cancelled hydro benefits package; and public-sector unions suing over a wage freeze.“I’m not trying to make enemies with this job,” Pallister said in an interview. “I’m trying to stand up for the quiet people out there who are asked to pay for all this stuff.”Pallister’s personality stands in contrast to the gregarious, hand-shaking image that other politicians have, says one political analyst.“I think he’s more comfortable by himself, almost, and that comes out of a whole lifetime of being a kind of solitary person,” says Paul Thomas, professor emeritus of political studies at the University of Manitoba.Strong opposition has not stopped Pallister from pressing ahead to cut management jobs in the public sector, close some hospital emergency rooms, raise tuition fees and reduce subsidies for items ranging from sleep-apnea machines to public housing.Doing so helped him fulfil his two biggest campaign promises — reining in a string of annual deficits that had grown under the previous NDP government and cutting the provincial sales tax to seven per cent from eight.But, his critics say, those actions have broken Pallister’s promise to protect front-line services that people depend on.“We got into a situation where our provincial debt doubled in six years, partly because people couldn’t say no to special interest groups and wanted to be popular,” Pallister said.“Politicians who want to be popular today often create problems for people later.”Steve Lambert, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Get The Celebrity Look And Help Charity

first_imgEuropean fashion sensation Olcay Gulsen is raising money for Doctors Without Borders by teaming with Closets For Causes to auction off some of her signature looks.Now, fans have the opportunity to bid on amazing red carpet pieces like the ones worn by their favorite celebrities. Items for sale include: stunning six-inch gold-glitter pumps worn by Nicki Minaj at the Elton John Oscar Party, an open-back, leather dress like the one Beyoncé wore for the 2013 Super Bowl Press Conference, and red carpet pieces seen on Carmen Electra, Sophia Bush, and Erin Heatherton.“When you need a doctor you should be able to go to one anywhere in the world.The beautiful organization Doctors Without Borders inspires me deeply. I am happy to participate in this Closets For Causes sale” says Olcay.Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) delivers emergency medical assistance to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, natural disasters, or exclusion from health care the world over. In 1999, the organization was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.“Doctors Without Borders is very grateful for Olcay Gulsen and Closets For Causes’ efforts to raise funds for our medical humanitarian work” says Charlie Kunzer, Marketing Associate at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. “This type of independent funding is essential to Doctors Without Borders’ ability to continue to respond to unanticipated and neglected emergencies through life-saving medical humanitarian aid programs in more than 70 countries around the world.”These pieces will be available on eBay Monday, July 22nd at 10am PST. Find out more here.last_img read more

David Beckham Applauds Publics Response To Typhoon Haiyan

first_imgUNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham made an emotional journey to the Philippines last week to meet children saved from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan almost 100 days after the super storm landed.Beckham, 38, helped launch UNICEF’s emergency appeal when the typhoon hit in November, 2013 and today visited some of the worst affected areas of Tacloban, on Leyte Island.Thousands died in the disaster, and more than 1.7 million children were left homeless. Children affected by Typhoon Haiyan were at risk of getting sick, missing out on schooling and being exploited.During his two days in the Philippines, Beckham saw UNICEF’s vital emergency work for children, including visiting a child friendly space at one of Tacloban’s major evacuation points and a health centre to understand the importance of vaccinations and medical care for children when disaster strikes. The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador also met children and families whose homes were completely wiped out by the typhoon.“As a father, it was deeply moving to meet children as young as two who were left with nothing but the clothes they were wearing when sea and storm water swept through their villages during the typhoon,” explained the former footballer, who has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2005. “Some children I spoke to had lost parents or brothers and sisters in incredibly frightening circumstances. It was devastating to hear about.”Beckham visited Santo Nino School in Tanauan, where he took part in classes helping to distribute exercise books to children and played a game of football amongst the ruins of the original school. Thanks to UNICEF and its partners, some 420,000 children from the worst hit areas are now back in school, in makeshift and tent schools and using learning materials from school-in-a-box, early childhood and recreational kits.UNICEF is working with the Philippines government, local partners and communities to help them be even better prepared for future crises.“Children who were caught up in Haiyan are still traumatised by their experience and need ongoing assistance,” said Beckham. “UNICEF delivered life-saving supplies when the typhoon hit and they will now stay as long as they are needed and won’t let children down.”Across the globe, UNICEF is working round the clock to get aid to children in other emergencies – from Syria to the Central African Republic to South Sudan.“Here in the Philippines I have seen how public donations can have an incredible effect on children’s lives in an emergency,” explained Beckham. “Right now, millions of children in other parts of the world are in urgent need – whether it’s as a result of the Syria crisis or the conflict in South Sudan.“Even though some of these crises don’t make the headlines, we should not forget these children in desperate circumstances and I urge the public to do all they can, as they have done incredibly in the past, to help organizations like UNICEF go the extra mile for these kids every day.”Source:UNICEFlast_img read more

Stars Take Their Hats Off To Alzheimers Research

first_imgSome of the world’s biggest stars have donated their favourite headwear for an auction to boost funds for the UK’s leading dementia research charity, Alzheimer’s Research UK.Sharon Osbourne – Hats Off To Alzheimer’s ResearchHelena Bonham Carter, Simon Pegg, Seth Rogen, Boy George and Sharon Osbourne are just some of the big-name celebrities backing the charity’s first ever Hats Off To Research fundraising campaign.Helena Bonham Carter – Hats Off To Alzheimer’s ResearchFrom today until 8pm on Saturday 23 May, the celebrity’s hats – many of them signed and pictured with their famous donor – will be auctioned off at www.hatsofftoresearch.org. All proceeds from the online auction will go towards funding pioneering dementia research, giving hope to the 850,000 people across the UK living with dementia today.Seth Rogen – Hats Off To Alzheimer’s ResearchStand-out lots include a signed helmet from skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, a Philip Treacy-designed hat donated by pop icon Boy George and a signed cocktail hat from singing sensation Paloma Faith.Simon Pegg – Hats Off To Alzheimer’s ResearchOther celebrities who have donated hats to the auction include comedian John Bishop, dance troupe Diversity, racing driver Mark Webber, boyband Union J, singer Jahmene Douglas, Olympian Goldie Sayers, celeb blogger Perez Hilton, actor John Challis and milliner-to-the-stars Philip Treacy.Hilary Evans, Director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:“The response from celebrities to our first ever Hats Off To Research auction has been fantastic; we can’t thank them enough for donating their hats to support vital dementia research. From wizard hats and Panamas to helmets and beanies, there’s a great mix of headwear going under the digital hammer.“There are around 850,000 people across the UK living with dementia – one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future. Funding for research still lags far behind other serious diseases, but Alzheimer’s Research UK is taking the fight to dementia. Our work just wouldn’t be possible without our supporters, including those backing Hats Off To Research – each one of them is helping to power world-class studies that give us the best chance of beating dementia sooner.”To bid, visit www.hatsofftoresearch.org or email hatsoff@alzheimersresearchuk.org for more information. To find out more about Alzheimer’s Research UK call 0300 111 5555 or go to www.alzheimersresearchuk.org.last_img read more

Duchess Of Cambridge Visits Womens Prison

first_imgThe Duchess of Cambridge has heard the uplifting stories of offenders battling their addictions in a unique unit within a women’s prison.The Duchess of Cambridge meets prisoners being treated for addiction at Send Womens’ PrisonCredit/Copyright: DukeAndDuchessOfCambridge.orgHer Royal Highness sat down and chatted with the female prisoners and ex-offenders during her first trip to a jail – HMP Send near Guildford, Surrey.During the visit, The Duchess met women prisoners to hear their personal stories of how they became addicts, and what role addiction played in their offending. A significant focus of the visit was understanding the impact of addiction on the prisoners’ families and the mental illness and other challenges that are often a feature of their pasts. She also heard from ex-prisoners and graduates of the RAPt programme who benefited from the treatment during their time at HMP Send. They spoke about their journey to recovery and how the programme has subsequently helped them live a drug and crime-free life.The visit reflects the Duchess’s interest in learning how organisations support people living with substance misuse issues, and the impact of addiction within the wider family network.Following the visit, The Duchess of Cambridge said: “I was reminded today how addictions lie at the heart of so many social issues and how substance misuse can play such destructive role in vulnerable people’s lives. I saw again today that a failure to intervene early in life to tackle mental health problems and other challenges can have profound consequences for people throughout their lives.“I am grateful to the women I met for sharing their difficult personal stories with me. It is encouraging to learn how organisations like RAPt are offering specialist support to help people break the cycle of addiction and look forward to a positive and crime free life.”The RAPt addiction treatment programme at HMP Send is the only 12-step prison-based drug and alcohol programme for women in the country. It is tailored to support the needs of women with addiction who have often experienced deep trauma and need specialist support to build a positive and crime free life. The programme focusses on building healthy relationships with partners, children and other family members after the often traumatic and damaging impact of addiction and crime. 
RAPt helps people from the moment they begin a rehabilitation programme in prison, through to leaving prison and building a productive life in the community. That can include meeting someone at the gate on the day of release, helping them to find housing, or supporting them to access training and a job.Half of all prisoners in the UK are estimated to have committed crime associated with drugs (Ministry of Justice, 2013), and alcohol is a factor in nearly half of all violent crime (Office for National Statistics, 2014). According to RAPt, over two thirds of those who have completed the programme are still drug and alcohol free three months after release from prison.RAPt has worked closely with children’s mental health chairty Place2Be, of which The Duchess is Patron.The Duchess is Patron of the charity Action On Addiction and through her involvement with the organisation is aware that substance dependency lies at the heart of many social issues.Source:DukeAndDuchessOfCambridge.orglast_img read more

Plans Revealed For Human Rights Memorial Honoring Nelson Mandela

first_imgThe Nelson Mandela Foundation, in partnership with NorthStar Memorial Group and the California chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), have announced the launch of a multifaceted effort to support the late-2016 unveiling of a human rights memorial honoring the life and legacy of civil rights icon, Nelson Mandela.Rendering of the winning human rights memorial honoring the late Nelson MandelaThe 15-foot-tall monument is under construction at Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo. People can support the construction efforts by either 1) purchasing one of 1,000 personalized granite bricks which forms the walkway leading up to the memorial or 2) donating to a crowdfunding campaign. NorthStar will match all funds raised before May 31, up to $100,000.Click here to watch a video about the campaign to help raise funds for the monument.“Everyone has heard of Mandela, but many younger people don’t know why he’s such an iconic figure – or even that he has strong ties to the Bay Area,” said Alice A. Huffman, president of the California NAACP. “We hope this campaign, as well as the memorial itself, will further human rights conversations.”Granite Pavers Benefit Mandela Memorial Plus Charity
NorthStar is forming the monument’s walkway with granite pavers that can be purchased and personalized with anything from inspirational messages to memorial tributes. Each paver costs $500; $200 of that goes directly to a charity such as the Nelson Mandela Foundation or the California NAACP, while $300 directly benefits the memorial’s construction efforts. To reserve a granite paver, visit www.nelsonmandelamemorial.com.Mandela Memorial Crowdfunding Campaign
Those who wish to further support the memorial may also contribute to a crowdfunding campaign. The goal is to raise $100,000; NorthStar is matching all funds raised through the campaign by May 31. To participate, please visit www.nelsonmandelamemorial.causevox.com.last_img read more

British Columbia music community celebrates new music fund AMPLIFY BC

first_img“This is a great day for the province’s music scene allowing us to build on the momentum of the last two years,” says Alex Grigg, Executive Director of Music BC. “In this time, our industry has focused on helping BC artists develop their careers and showcase their talent around the world, boost business in BC studios, create greater opportunities for live music performances that bolster activity in our communities, and facilitate professional development so that we can build a stronger, more sustainable industry. On behalf of the staff, board of directors and the BC music industry we extend our gratitude to the Government of BC and Minister Beare for their continued support and investment into the BC Music sector.”Music BC and Music Canada would also like to thank all members of the BC music community who participated in the effort to secure provincial funding and shared their insights, experiences and success stories. The one-year investment of $7.5 million will contribute to BC’s strong and vibrant communities and also benefit BC tourism, arts and creative industries, and small business development.About Music CanadaMusic Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada: Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster. For more on Music Canada, please visit www.musiccanada.com.About Music BCMusic BC Industry Association is a not for profit association serving the for profit and non-profit music industry, including artists from all genres, industry professionals, service providers, studios, promoters, venues, festivals, producers, agents, managers and educational institutions. For more on Music BC, please visit www.musicbc.org. VANCOUVER – Music BC and Music Canada applaud the Government of British Columbia’sannouncement of a new music fund for the province called AMPLIFY BC. Administered through Creative BC, the new Fund will provide much-needed support for the development of BC artists and musicians, music companies, skills development and live music production, stimulating economic growth and activity in the sector. “Music Canada would like to applaud the Government of BC and Minister Beare for this important investment which demonstrates their confidence in the music sector,” says Amy Terrill, Executive Vice President of Music Canada. “The intense interest in the former BC Music Fund’s suite of programs underscores that BC is home to a vibrant, diverse and engaged music community ready to take their songs and businesses to the next level. With this new investment BC will continue to benefit from leveraged private and other government dollars, and ensure the BC music sector remains competitive with other jurisdictions.”The announcement was made during JUNOs Week, as the Canadian music industry has congregated in Vancouver for the 47th annual JUNO Awards, celebrating excellence in Canadian music while also showcasing Vancouver, and the province’s music sector to the rest of the country. Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

CÉLINE DION IS THE NEW FACE OF LORÉAL AT 51 – AND

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Céline Dion is celebrating her 51st birthday with a title she never expected.“I’m in shock, actually. I never, never expected something like this,” she says of being tapped by L’Oréal Paris as the brand’s new global ambassador. Growing up, she says, “I never really felt confident beauty-wise.” The honor couldn’t have come at a better time in her life. These days, “I’ve never felt as beautiful, as strong, and I really think that the best is yet to come.”Opening up to PEOPLE in this week’s issue, Dion shares what all it has taken to make her feel this way, following the devastating loss of her husband of 21 years René Angélil in January 2016. The hardest part was comforting her sons René-Charles, 18, and 8-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy. “All the little things in life, and the big things, they have to make you stronger,” she says, “Otherwise, you don’t understand the meaning of life itself.” Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Denise Truscello for L’Oréal Pariscenter_img Celine Dion ~ Sofia Sanchez & Mauro Mongiello for L’Oréal Paris Besides, Dion says feeling good is where beauty really comes from. “This is about confidence,” she says of what teaming up with the brand means to her. Gearing up to help promote L’Oréal’s Hair Excellence color line as well as various cosmetic products, Dion says “beauty is within, but when you can reflect it in the mirror, you’re ready to hit the world.” Philippe Blet/REX/Shutterstock As the star prepares to close out her long-running hit Las Vegas residency at Caesar’s Palace, she says it’s this newfound strength that has inspired her to follow new passions including totally revamping her style.“I love fashion,” says Dion who credits her stylists, including dancer and very close pal Pepe Munoz, with helping her choose bold looks that are “reflecting how I feel inside.” Twitter On the outside, she admits she may look a little slimmer, but that is part of another positive change she’s made. “Dancing has been in my DNA all of my life,” says Dion who once dreamed of becoming a ballerina and has recently taken up ballet dance with the help of Muñoz. “It’s a dream. And so hard!”Though online critics have tried to call attention to her appearance, she’s not paying them any attention: “I do this four times a week,” Dion says of ballet practice. “People say, ‘She’s a lot thinner’ but I’m working hard. I like to move and [weight loss] comes with it.”last_img read more

THE COMEDY NETWORKS 1 ORIGINAL SERIES CORNER GAS ANIMATED RETURNS CANADA DAY

first_imgCorner Gas LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Social Media links The Comedy Network on Twitter @CornerGas @BrentButt – Brent Butt @MillerGabrielle – Gabrielle Miller @FredEwanuick – Fred Ewanuick @LorneCardinal – Lorne Cardinal @TSpencerNairn – Tara Spencer Nairn @NancyRtweets – Nancy Robertson @cocokoslo – Corrine Koslo @VirginiaTV – Virginia Thompson @VeriteCanada The Comedy Network on Facebook Facebook.com/CornerGasOfficial Facebook.com/Verite.Films.Canada @ComedyNetworkCa @CornerGasOfficial Advertisementcenter_img About Bell Media Original ProgrammingBell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include the hit drama CARDINAL; the record-breaking Canadian formats THE AMAZING RACE CANADA and MASTERCHEF CANADA; the original international TV format THE LAUNCH; satirical news series THE BEAVERTON; new comedy series JANN; new lifestyle series MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH; new drama TRANSPLANT; and CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS. Among the original series on Bell Media specialty and streaming platforms are Space’s KILLJOYS and WYNONNA EARP; Bravo’s mystery dramedy CARTER; Comedy’s CORNER GAS ANIMATED; Crave’s hit comedy LETTERKENNY and recently announced mockumentary NEW EDEN; and SnackableTV’s interactive stand-up series JOKEOFF and upcoming animated series LITTLEKENNY. Discovery is also home to Bell Media’s hit factual franchises HIGHWAY THRU HELL, and HEAVY RESCUE: 401, in addition to new original series DISASTERS AT SEA, among others. Bell Media is one of the first media companies in North America to commit to producing all new original scripted series in 4K..About The Comedy NetworkCanada’s first specialty comedy service, The Comedy Network airs comedy of all kinds, 24-hours-a-day, across multiple platforms, including a revolutionary broadband service at thecomedynetwork.ca. Launched in October 1997, Comedy broadcasts, uncut and uncensored, an eclectic mix of scripted, stand-up, sketch, improv, and animated comedy – as well as topical comedy talk shows, game shows and classic situation comedies. Offering an unrivalled slate of original Canadian programming, Comedy reinvests nearly 50 per cent of its revenues into home-grown productions. Comedy is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company, and is available in nearly six million households across the country. Advertisement TORONTO – As Brent Leroy announced today on CTV’s YOUR MORNING, Season 2 of CORNER GAS ANIMATED arrives on The Comedy Network this Canada Day, with a special guest star appearance from Michael J. Fox. The most-watched original series of all time on Comedy, CORNER GAS ANIMATED returns for Season 2 on Monday, July 1 with two back-to-back episodes beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT.Wanda (Nancy Robertson) and Michael J. FoxThe new 11-episode, half-hour season sees Brent (Brent Butt), Hank (Fred Ewanuick), and Emma (Corrine Koslo) compete to make viral videos; Karen (Tara Spencer-Nairn) and Davis (Lorne Cardinal) trying to scam the town at the annual Turkey Shoot; Wanda (Nancy Robertson) going power mad during Darts Night; Oscar (Eric Peterson) launching an eyebrow-raising website for the local paper; and Lacey (Gabrielle Miller) organizing a Bachelor auction and attracting high bids for Brent.In the season premiere, “Dream Waiver,” (Monday, July 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT) Brent recruits Wanda to help him figure out recurring nightmares about being attacked by Michael J. Fox. Then, in an all-new episode at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT entitled “Drone and Dumber,” Brent gets a new drone that he uses to terrorize Oscar. Meanwhile, Wanda and Emma set out to test a turkey’s intelligence. As previously announced, Season 2 of CORNER GAS ANIMATED features an all-star lineup of cameos from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chris Hadfield, Russell Peters, Jann Arden, and EPIC MEALTIME’s Harley Morenstein.Leading up to the two-episode premiere, viewers can spend their Canada Day in Dog River as Comedy delivers a catch-up marathon featuring every episode of Season 1, beginning at 8 a.m. ET and repeating at 1:30 p.m. ET on Monday, July 1.The first season of CORNER GAS ANIMATED became a ratings hit after debuting in Spring 2018 with the most-watched series premiere in Comedy’s history and concluding the season as the most-watched series of the broadcast year on Comedy among total viewers and all key demos (A18-34, A18-49, and A25-54).CORNER GAS ANIMATED won the 2019 Canadian Screen Award for Best Writing, Animation for the episode “Squatch Your Language,” written by series creator and star Brent Butt.For updates on all things CORNER GAS, including CORNER GAS ANIMATED merchandise as well as Limited Collectors’ Editions, events, and news, visit cornergas.com.CORNER GAS ANIMATED is an inter-provincial co-production produced by Prairie Pantoons (BC), comprised of Brent Butt and David Storey from 335 Productions; and Moving Mountoons (ON), comprised of Virginia Thompson and Robert de Lint from Vérité Films, in association with Bell Media, Canada Media Fund, Bell Fund, Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit, Film Incentive BC Tax Credit, Digital Animation, Visual Effects and Post Production Tax Credit, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. Animation is produced by Prairie Pantoons, Moving Mountoons, and Smiley Guy Studios. Sarah Fowlie is Director, Original Programming, Comedy, Bell Media. Production Executive for Bell Media is Chris Kelley. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media. Twitterlast_img read more

Prison psychological tests must be fair to Indigenous inmates high court

first_imgThe Canadian PressOTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada says the federal prison service has failed to ensure its psychological assessment tools are fair to Indigenous inmates.In a decision today, the high court accepts Jeffrey Ewert’s challenge of assessment techniques to gauge the risk of reoffending and potential for violence.Ewert, who identifies as Metis, alleged the Correctional Service of Canada’s assessment tools were unreliable when administered to Indigenous inmates.A Federal Court judge agreed with some of Ewert’s arguments but the decision was later overturned, prompting Ewert’s appeal to the Supreme Court.Born to a Metis mother and a British father, Ewert was adopted as a baby by a Caucasian family in Surrey, B.C.He has been locked up for more than 30 years in maximum- and medium-security institutions, serving two concurrent life sentences for second-degree murder, attempted murder and escape from custody.news@aptn.ca@aptnnewslast_img read more