LETHBRIDGE, – A southern Alberta city in the throes of an opioid crisis is the latest community planning to seek approval for a safe consumption site for drug users.A coalition of community groups plans to submit a request at the end of July for one of the federally regulated sites in Lethbridge.The facility would cost $1.5 million a year and would provide a legal consumption site where health professionals could oversee the use of drugs and ensure safety for users.“It will reduce the number of overdose deaths and fatalities we are experiencing in our province, which is really at crisis levels. We are losing more people currently to overdose fatalities than we ever did at the height of the HIV epidemic,” said Jill Manning, managing director of the AIDS Outreach Community Harm Reduction Education Support Society (ARCHES).Manning said it’s estimated that there are about 3,000 individuals who do drugs in Lethbridge, which has a population of almost 93,000, and double that number in southwestern Alberta.“Our overdose rates are higher in the south zone, so per capita the rates of overdose that we’re experiencing within our emergency medical systems are higher than anywhere else.”Manning said the overdose rate is 24 per cent higher than anywhere else in Alberta. The most popular drugs are methamphetamine and opioids, most notably fentanyl.The region borders the Blood reserve where a state of emergency was implemented because of fentanyl deaths.Overdose deaths in southern Alberta stood at about one a day last year, and the number is higher so far this year, Manning said.“If that continues — as we expect that it will — we’ll be at rates of losing two or more people per day.”Dr. Karin Goodison, the area’s medical health officer, said Alberta has lagged behind other provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec when it comes to harm reduction.She said there is data to indicate that safe injection sites can improve health care for those in need.“People that use drugs may not access mainstream health services, so what’s really important is that they trust harm reduction agencies,” Goodison said.Lethbridge police hope a site would help reduce the amount of public drug use and the number of discarded needles. Police would not be able to prosecute users inside the facility.“The federal government gives an exemption. That’s how these sites are able to operate,” said Insp. Tom Ascroft.“The provincial government funds them, but you need a federal exemption because otherwise it’s against the law.”Calgary and Edmonton have also applied for safe consumption sites.— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter
TORONTO – CBC’s “The National” plans to reveal its new anchors on Tuesday, giving viewers more insight into the direction it hopes to take with its flagship news program.The announcement comes after the public broadcaster said that it is revamping the format of the hour-long nightly news package.Among the changes, CBC News has already confirmed it will put more than one host in the anchor seat as it looks to appeal to a younger and more diverse audience.Veteran broadcaster Peter Mansbridge stepped down from “The National” earlier this month after nearly 30 years as an anchor and chief correspondent.CBC has been scouting candidates from within and outside the organization in recent months, leading to speculation over who could take one of the broadcaster’s most coveted jobs.On the list of expected favourites are CBC veterans like Ian Hanomansing and Rosemary Barton, while other viewers have suggested foreign correspondent Adrienne Arsenault as a potential contender.Others who are considered possibilities include CBC Vancouver host Andrew Chang, CBC Radio host David Common, and award-winning investigative reporter Connie Walker who has extensively covered Indigenous issues for national broadcaster.“We want it to be a show around active journalists,” Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor-in-chief of CBC News, said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.“We want the hosts of the show to be able to do field-based work too, and that will be more manageable with more than one (person) in terms of how the show works.”With its new anchors in place, the CBC will likely try a few other experiments with the show as well.Producers have already been toying with how certain segments of “The National” are delivered, and the structure of long-form features and the regular panel conversations could also change.The revamped edition of “The National” is slated to debut in mid-October.Viewers can watch the CBC unveil its host plans on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET through a Facebook live stream at http://www.facebook.com/thenational.—Follow @dfriend on Twitter.
NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – The British Columbia government has taken on the $1.37 billion cost of replacing a major commuter crossing in Metro Vancouver, relieving some financial pressure on the transit authority.The provincial government will fund a new Pattullo Bridge spanning the Fraser River between Surrey and New Westminster. The four-lane bridge was the top priority for a council of mayors that deals with transit and transportation issues on the Lower Mainland.The original bridge opened in 1937 and was expected to have a lifespan of 50 years. Premier John Horgan said it is “well past its best-before date.”The announcement also has deeper political implications and signals a better working relationship between the provincial government and the council.“This is not just a bridge across the river, it’s a bridge between governments,” Horgan told a news conference at the aging bridge on Friday. “For too long the provincial government pointed at municipalities and blamed them for a lack of progress.”Translink, Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority, shares responsibility for the major roads network and bridges with local municipalities, in addition to operating buses and trains.The mayors council launched a campaign before last May’s provincial election aimed at getting more provincial government spending on transportation.At the time, Ottawa and the former B.C. Liberal government pledged $4.4 billion for transit improvements, but Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said that wasn’t enough to fund a 10-year plan supported by the mayors.A 2016 report on the condition of the Pattullo Bridge said it must be replaced or closed by 2023. The report said the bridge might not be able to withstand an earthquake or even a powerful wind storm.Construction on the new bridge is expected to start by 2019, with traffic flowing by 2023.Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the new bridge will ensure public safety and make it easier to connect between Surrey and New Westminster.Andy Yan, director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, called the bridge a strategic investment on the part of the NDP government.“Understand that with Surrey growing by 800 people per month in the last five years, it’s knowing that a pool of voters that are particularly engaged in this piece of infrastructure. It helped shape this funding,” he said.The New Democrats won six of the nine ridings in Surrey in last spring’s election, and the party has held the riding on the other side of the bridge in New Westminster for most of the last 50 years.Yan said the decision also makes good sense for Metro Vancouver’s regionally integrated economy.“We’re not talking about these isolated suburbs anymore,” he said. “It’s not only just a connection between New Westminster and Surrey.”Mayor Richard Walton of the District of North Vancouver said the council was pleased with the bridge announcement.“Any time we manage to find a way of upgrading or replacing one of our existing core assets, it’s a good day for all of us and in many ways a symbol for all of the bridges we need to build in order to keep moving forward.”Walton said he hopes the provincial government and Translink can apply co-ordinated approaches to other infrastructure needs.Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson said the announcement of the new bridge is good news for commuters, but the lack of federal government support for the project is a telling sign about the state of affairs between the provincial government and Ottawa.“There is no regional or federal buy-in for this bridge and it sets a very expensive precedent for large-scale projects,” Wilkinson said in a statement.
OTTAWA – Yazidi refugees brought to Canada after surviving rape and torture in Iraq are facing barriers accessing mental health and other settlement services in their own language, a House of Commons committee has found.The immigration committee delivered its report last week after studying resettlement issues faced by Yazidi women and children.Those who have come through the government-assisted refugee program are running into roadblocks trying to access affordable housing, mental health and other services in their mother tongue after arriving in Canada, the committee found.In some cases, only Arabic-speaking interpreters are available, which one witness said was upsetting for a young Yazidi girl in Calgary because her captors in Iraq spoke Arabic.The committee says government should offer better, more integrated settlement services for vulnerable refugee groups and better anticipate their linguistic needs.But Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, whose lobbying efforts helped push the government to commit to resettling 1,200 Yazidi women and children last year, called the committee’s final recommendations “broad and milquetoast.” After dealing directly with many of these survivors of genocide, rape and torture, Rempel said she wanted to see a stronger call for services for these refugees.“We don’t have an integrated response,” she told The Canadian Press.“It’s one thing to say, ‘Hashtag welcome to Canada’ and it’s another to do the heavy lifting and hard work and hard discussion to ‘Hashtag integrate into Canada.’”Another recommendation from the committee report is also drawing some criticism.It calls on Canada to increase its refugee resettlement targets in the wake of the global refugee crisis, but stopped short of specifying any groups.A number of witnesses called for more Yazidi refugees to be brought to Canada. But others, including the United Nations refugee agency, raised concerns about the politicization of Canadian resettlement programs that target specific groups.Michel Aziza works with Operation Ezra, a coalition of faith groups that has privately sponsored 10 Yazidi refugee families over the last year. Each of these families have other family members they would like to bring to Canada, he said.“I agree that you can’t prioritize (refugees) but the fact of the matter is the Yazidis are the victim of a genocide,” Aziza said.“I know it’s a difficult decision to make, but I feel there is an opportunity bring in more Yazidis, help the ones that are here by reuniting families. And when you reunite families you make the resettlement of the families that you bring in even easier because they have a support infrastructure already in place here in Canada.”Rob Oliphant, Liberal MP and chair of the immigration committee, said his goal in preparing the report was to ensure there were no dissenting reports from Opposition members. The recommendation on increasing refugee targets without specifying Yazidis was a compromise.The committee recognizes a crisis still exists in Iraq for the Yazidi people, but targeting the government-assisted refugee program toward Yazidis does not need to continue at the same level “because we don’t know what the other crises will be,” Oliphant said.“We’re not prepared to tie the government down on that. We think Canada should continue the process of the most vulnerable, the most at risk and that almost changes on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.”The committee instead recommended quotas on private sponsorships of refugees be lifted until 2020 to allow groups like Operation Ezra to bring more Yadizi refugees to Canada.Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen’s office would not say whether the committee’s recommendations would be adopted in part or in whole, but did point to a commitment in the recent federal budget of $20 million to expand refugee programs to target women and girls.“Our special program to resettle women and their families who have endured the brutality of Daesh is truly unique, with very few similar initiatives around the world,” Hussen spokesman Hursh Jaswal said in a written statement.“We will continue to expedite privately-sponsored applications as well as ensure that family members who escape Daesh captivity are able to join their relatives in Canada.”
Police are investigating two separate head-on collisions in Alberta over the long weekend that left six people dead and two others in hospital.“This has been a dangerous weekend for motorists on Alberta highways,” RCMP spokesman Fraser Logan said in a statement.RCMP were called to the first crash — a two-vehicle collision in central Alberta — about 9 p.m. Sunday.Police said their initial investigation shows a truck and an SUV collided head on near Sylvan Lake.A 39-year old man who was driving the SUV and his five-year old passenger were killed, as well as a 30-year-old man who was driving the truck. A seven-year old in the SUV was taken by air ambulance to an Edmonton hospital, where he is stable.Police said no charges will be laid in the collision.In the second crash, which happened about 3 a.m. Tuesday, three people were killed southwest of Calgary.RCMP said a car and an SUV collided near the small community of Priddis.A 26-year old man who was driving a car, along with a female passenger, were both declared dead at the scene.A 34-year old man who was driving the SUV was also killed, while his female passenger was taken to hospital by air ambulance with serious injuries.Police said they are still investigating that collision, but the highway has reopened to traffic.In yet another crash, RCMP said a tractor pulling a flatbed trailer that was carrying seven youth rolled as it was going down a steep hill on a rural road near Taber on Sunday night. Two boys, aged 11 and nine, were killed.“We’ve multiple families that have been forever changed due to the loss of their loved ones,” said Logan. “Alberta RCMP’s thoughts do go out to those who have been affected.”
VANCOUVER — The University of British Columbia is creating a new professorship to study the potential role of marijuana to treat opioid addiction, funded by the provincial government and one of the cannabis industry’s biggest players. Epidemiologist and research scientist M-J Milloy will be the first Canopy Growth professor of cannabis science at the university.The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions says in a statement the professorship will lead clinical trials to explore how cannabis can help people with opioid use disorders stay on their treatment plan.The ministry says Milloy’s research has shown that daily cannabis use has been linked to an increased likelihood that people will maintain treatment and to a lower risk of street-involved youth starting to inject drugs.Minister Judy Darcy says Milloy will be the first professor in Canada focused on closing a knowledge gap between cannabis and opioid treatment.Marijuana company Canopy Growth is contributing $2.5 million, while the province is paying $500,000 to UBC and the BC Centre on Substance Use for the position. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed four new senators, filling every seat in the upper chamber.The Senate has a full complement of 105 senators, the first time there hasn’t been a vacancy in about eight years.Trudeau has appointed 49 senators since becoming prime minister and he will have the chance to appoint more in 2019.Five Conservative appointees are schedule to hit the mandatory retirement age of 75 by this time next year, according to the Senate’s website, including three before next October’s federal election.Trudeau said in a statement that the latest round of appointees will ensure a “high standard of integrity, collaboration and non-partisanship” in the revamped Senate.Margaret Dawn Anderson will fill the Northwest Territories seat in the Senate. An Inuvialuk, she has been a public servant with the territory for more than 20 years, playing a role in Inuvialuit self-government negotiations.Former Yukon premier Pat Duncan helped sign land-claims agreements with First Nations during her time in office and the transfer of power from the federal government to the territory. She’ll take Yukon’s single Senate seat.Trudeau is appointing Stanley Kutcher to an open seat in Nova Scotia. A professor at Dalhousie University, Kutcher is an expert on adolescent mental health and has been involved in mental-health work in more than 20 countries.Rosemary Moodie will fill a vacancy in Ontario. She has been a pediatric physician and teacher at SickKids hospital in Toronto, receiving awards nationally and internationally for her work.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling for an ethics investigation into allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal prosecution.If, as Justin Trudeau insists, the allegations are not true, Singh said the prime minister should have nothing to fear from an independent investigation by the federal ethics commissioner.“All this cries out for some serious investigation,” the NDP leader said in a telephone interview from Burnaby, B.C., where he’s campaigning for a seat in the House of Commons in a Feb. 25 byelection.“And given the prime minister’s response, if he truly wants to clear this up and believes there’s been no wrongdoing, he should welcome an investigation from the ethics commissioner. … Tell us what happened, be transparent, invite the ethics commissioner to investigate and tell us that this is not the case or, if it is the case, then there’s a serious reckoning that needs to happen.”Singh’s call comes in the wake of an explosive report Thursday in The Globe and Mail alleging that Wilson-Raybould was demoted in a cabinet shuffle early last month because she refused to succumb to pressure from prime ministerial aides to intervene in the case of SNC-Lavalin, a Quebec engineering and construction giant that has been charged with bribery and corruption in a bid to secure government business in Libya.The newspaper alleged that PMO aides leaned heavily on Wilson-Raybould to persuade the federal director of public prosecutions to negotiate a “remediation agreement” with SNC-Lavalin as a way of holding it to account for wrongdoing by some of its executives, rather than pursuing a criminal prosecution that could financially hobble the company.Singh said the timeline of events is suspicious.SNC-Lavalin was charged in 2015 by the RCMP and openly called for a remediation agreement to avoid damaging the company, a major employer in Quebec. After lobbying by the company of government officials, including those in the PMO, the government included in its 2018 budget a Criminal Code amendment to allow such agreements to be negotiated in cases of corporate crime, as is done in the United States and the United Kingdom.Last October, Kathleen Roussel, the director of public prosecutions informed SNC-Lavalin that negotiating a remediation agreement would be inappropriate in this particular case. Three months later, Wilson-Raybould was moved to the veterans affairs post, a move widely seen as a demotion.“It cuts to the heart of our democracy,” Singh said, adding that it appears a corporation that has in the past made illegal donations to the Liberal party, among others, was able to influence the government to the point of changing the law and pressuring the attorney general to interfere with a decision of the public prosecutor.“At the end of the day, Canadians deserve to have a government on their side, on the side of justice, not on the side of a multinational corporation.”Singh said the allegations suggest there may have been possible violations of three sections of the federal Conflict of Interest Act: the prohibitions against public office holders giving preferential treatment to any individual or organization, using insider information to improperly further a person’s private interests or seeking to influence a decision to further another person’s private interests.On the day Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of her twin role as justice minister and attorney general, she penned an unprecedented, lengthy missive defending her performance in the job. Among other things, she wrote that “it is a pillar of our democracy that our system of justice be free from even the perception of political interference” and that, as attorney general, she believed she must be “always willing to speak truth to power.”She has refused to comment on the alleged pressure from PMO to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial, telling the Globe and Mail that the matter is “between me and the government as the government’s previous lawyer.”That left her successor at Justice, David Lametti, to fend off opposition charges Thursday of political interference in the justice system. Lametti said neither he nor Wilson-Raybould were ever directed or pressured to intervene with the director of public prosecutions to drop the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.Wilson-Raybould’s father, Bill Wilson, said in a Facebook post Thursday that his daughter’s cabinet demotion “makes sense now — ugly political sense.” He predicted “history will prove that she did the right thing.”The attorney general is legally allowed to give directives to the public prosecutor on general issues and on individual cases, provided the directives are in writing and published in the Canada Gazette, the federal register.The fact that such directives must be done publicly is intended to constrain a justice minister from doing anything overtly political.Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — A clearly unhappy Ontario Court of Appeal has granted the federal government another reprieve from an earlier ruling that found parts of its solitary-confinement regime to be unconstitutional.In its judgment on Friday, the province’s top court rejected Ottawa’s request to give it until Nov. 30 to implement a proper review after an inmate has been in segregation for five days.“This is unacceptable,” Chief Justice George Strathy wrote for the Appeal Court. “A remedy to the lack of an independent fifth day review of segregation placement decisions does not require the lengthy extension the (government) is seeking.”Instead, the court “again with great reluctance” gave the government one final extension until June 17 — on condition the fifth-day review was implemented before then.Separately, the federal government is fighting in the Supreme Court of Canada for a stay of an Appeal Court ruling that imposed a hard cap of 15 straight days for inmates in solitary.Michael Rosenberg, a lawyer for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, applauded the latest decision.“This is a strong signal from the highest court in the province that Canada cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the serious harm caused by its continued practice of solitary confinement,” Rosenberg said. “There could not be a clearer message: Canada must implement appropriate safeguards to prevent further abuses.”The case began in 2015 when the civil liberties association challenged parts of the law that allows isolation to protect inmates or others in a penitentiary. The association argued such confinement could cause severe psychological harm and amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.In December 2017, Superior Court Justice Frank Marrocco struck down some provisions. In particular, he took issue with the fact there was no meaningful, independent review within five working days of an inmate landing in solitary.However, Marrocco said banning the practice immediately could have been disruptive and dangerous, so he suspended his ruling for one year to give Parliament a chance to fix the problem.Ten months later, in October last year, the government said it needed more time to allow passage of Bill C-83 to address the issues Marrocco had found.At the time, the Court of Appeal expressed its unhappiness that Ottawa had done nothing to fix the issue.“The submissions by the (attorney general) did not address our concerns,” the court wrote. “The delay was not explained, interim measures to remedy the constitutional breach identified were not proposed, and it was not clear how Bill C-83 would address the problem.”Nevertheless, the Appeal Court gave the government until April 30. This week, the government asked for yet another stay — until Nov. 30 — arguing the legislation was complex.In rejecting the request, the Appeal Court said Ottawa had still done nothing to address Marrocco’s concerns. The government, the court noted, did not even start talking about how to remedy the constitutional defect until more than one year after Marrocco’s decision.“This court remains where we were when the first extension was argued,” the Appeal Court said. “We have virtually nothing to indicate that the constitutional breach identified by the application judge is being or will be addressed in the future.”The court did note the government’s newfound willingness to accept an order to conduct an internally independent fifth-working day review of segregation in the interim.“Clearly, Canada now accepts that an independent fifth day review can be implemented pending passage of Bill C- 83,” the justices said. “Regrettably this was not the case on its first request for an extension in November 2018, and so the breach has been unnecessarily prolonged.”Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Former All Black Jonah Lomu is teaming up with UNICEF as part of the Live Below The Line campaign.The rugby giant and UNICEF ambassador is planning to raise awareness of poverty by living on only NZ$2.25 a day on food and drink for five days.“Five days of living on $2.25 a day is going to be tough, but that’s what life is like every day for 1.4 billion people around the world,” Lomu said. “Even in our Pacific backyard, up to 40 per cent of children haven’t grown at the right rate because of malnutrition. I want to help lower these numbers.”The Global Poverty Project’s Live Below The Line challenge takes place from September 24 to 28, and aims to help people understand the experience of the 1.4 billion people who live in extreme poverty around the world.1 in 4 households in the Pacific Islands live below the poverty line. And children are especially vulnerable. Every year, around 18,000 children die before they can celebrate their 5th birthday in the Pacific. If their families could afford good food and health care, many of these children would be alive today.To find out how you can join Jonah in the campaign, click here.
Matthew McConaughey has put his name to an email sent to supporters of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, calling his friend and fellow Texan “one tough hombre.”“I’m proud to stand with him in his commitment to support people fighting cancer,” he says in the email. “This LIVESTRONG Day will be the 16th anniversary of his cancer diagnosis. And man, what a journey it’s been—he’s one tough hombre.“Let’s help Lance make this LIVESTRONG Day the biggest outpouring of support for cancer survivors the world’s ever seen. You in?“Join me and Lance and add your message today. It’ll be automatically shared on LIVESTRONG Day as part of this historic global outpouring of support.“I just finished sharing my own message for all the courageous people fighting cancer around the world. All my fans and followers are going to see it on LIVESTRONG Day—October 2—alongside who knows how many thousands of other messages from folks like you.“If you haven’t already, add yours today. Write one for someone in your life. Or write one for the 28 million people battling cancer right this minute.“Whoever you write it for, you’ll help send a powerful message all around the world come October 2. Here’s the link: LIVESTRONGDay.org“Thanks for stepping up and doing your part to make this thing happen right.“In the meantime and all times, just keep livin’ strong.”
The 12th Annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI), hosted by ARIA Resort & Casino at Shadow Creek, returns to Las Vegas for the third consecutive year, April 4 –7, 2013.Tickets are now on sale for one of celebrity golf’s most popular events, giving spectators access to the acclaimed Shadow Creek Golf Course as the biggest names in sports and entertainment gather for four days of competitive golf and special events, while raising money for several worthy charitable organizations.Since its inception in 2001, MJCI has raised more than $6 million for charity. This year, the event beneficiaries include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, James R. Jordan Foundation, Opportunity Village and Cats Care, the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats’ charity arm, as well as the participating celebrities’ charities of choice.“ARIA and Shadow Creek are proud to host the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational for the tournament’s third year in Las Vegas,” said Bobby Baldwin , President and CEO of CityCenter. “Opening Shadow Creek to the public for such a great cause is something we look forward to every year, and we’re excited to see Michael, his celebrity invitees and fans once again as they gather to raise funds and awareness for these important charities.”The four-day tournament and celebration boasts incredible parties, A-list entertainment and competitive golf. MJCI has attracted celebrity and sports-star appearances by Michael Jordan, Aaron Rodgers, Wayne Gretzky, Ken Griffey, Jr., Brandi Chastain, Stuart Scott, Roger Clemens, Brian Baumgartner, Drew Brees, Cedric the Entertainer, among dozens of other notable figures in previous years.Michael Jordan said, “2012’s event was an amazing weekend for the tournament’s guests, partners and fans. As always, the hospitality at ARIA exceeded all expectations, and Shadow Creek proved as beautiful and challenging as ever. I’m excited for yet another successful tournament and look forward to spending time with friends while raising funds for some great causes.”The first of two rounds of the Celebrity-Amateur Competition, which pair one celebrity golfer with four amateur participants, will take place Thursday, April 4 and Friday, April 5 at Shadow Creek. The MJCI two-person, 36-hole scramble format tournament begins Saturday, April 6 and includes only the competing celebrities. The second and final round of the MJCI will be played Sunday, April 7. Additional festivities and events surrounding the Saturday and Sunday competition, as well as celebrity participants and guests, will be announced in the near future.Tickets are on sale and available at all 10 MGM Resorts’ box offices and concierge desks in Las Vegas, and online at arialasvegas.com, mjcigolf.com and shadowcreek.com.Fans who wish to experience this exclusive event can purchase daily or weekly general admission and VIP ticket packages. VIP guests will enjoy added perks including free general admission parking at Shadow Creek (a $10 daily value), unparalleled views from multiple open-air VIP hospitality decks, complimentary food and full-service bars.
Bill and Chelsea Clinton have thanked Hillary Clinton for her work as Secretary Of State in a special message from the Clinton Foundation.“As we welcome Hillary home, we couldn’t be more proud of what she’s accomplished or more humbled by her commitment to making our country and our world stronger, safer, and better.“Over the past four years, she’s traveled to 112 countries, more than any other Secretary of State in our nation’s history – and while this sometimes meant we saw her less often than we’d like, we’re so grateful for the millions of lives she’s touched and the change she’s inspired across the globe.“So as she steps down as Secretary of State, we hope you’ll join us in thanking Hillary for all she’s done.“Through her tireless service, she has strengthened America’s relationships with the world – from our closest allies to emerging powers to developing nations.“She’s transformed the way we practice diplomacy and taken advantage of global trends – engaging directly with people, embracing technology, and championing economics, education, and energy to improve lives and strengthen communities around the world.“As First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State, she has dedicated herself to service, and to giving more people in more places, particularly women and girls, the opportunities to live their dreams.“She inspires us every day – and we hope she inspires you, too.”
Richard Curtis has spoken about the creation of the United Nations’ Global Goals campaign.Video: Making the SDGs famousCurtis is known around the world as the film-maker behind international hits such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Mr. Bean, Love Actually, and Bridget Jones’s Diary, as well as for his involvement with the charity Comic Relief.However, over the past year, the British filmmaker and founder of Project Everyone has been working closely with the United Nations to help give prominence to something completely different – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 targets aimed at achieving three main objectives in the next 15 years: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change.In three weeks, 193 world leaders will come to UN Headquarters in New York to formally commit to the SDGs. In the lead-up to their adoption, Mr. Curtis has been collaborating with international artists and celebrities to do everything he can for the SDGs to become as well-known as possible.This led to the creation of the Global Goals campaign, launched at the UN this week, in which he calls on everyone to spread the word on the SDGS, with the hope of reaching seven billion people in seven days.“I’ve been worrying about poverty issues and trying to do something about it since the day I watched Band Aid and Live Aid, and then I’ve been doing fundraising and the more that you think about these things, the more you realize that your personal involvement, doing fundraising, trying to see if you can help one person, is hugely important,” said Curtis. “But also, trying to affect the politics is also terribly important ‘cause that’s where the biggest money, and the biggest power, is and the biggest change will happen. I remember Bob Geldof saying to me that he thinks he made more money in 20 minutes having a cup of tea with [former French] President Mitterrand than he did in the whole of Band Aid and Live Aid put together, ‘cause Mitterrand said we’ll up the aid budget by 0.01 and that was suddenly 100 times more than they’d raised.“So over the years I’ve become very interested in campaigning on these issues… the Jubilee Debt Campaign… and I did something called the Make Poverty History campaign in the UK about the G7 in Gleneagles honouring the MDGs, and I became very interested in the idea that when the MDGs ran out and the new things replaced them that we should try and make the new things as famous as possible. Because I hadn’t really known about the MDGs until about 2005, and as it were my kids still don’t. And I suddenly realized or found out that I was not the only person thinking these thoughts. Actually everyone you spoke to, who’s passionate about these issues, all the NGOs that I know, and all the politicians said this is a real opportunity in 2015 to announce the new agenda, and make that agenda as effective as we possibly can, and create an extraordinary document and try and get an extraordinary result 15 years later. The action/2015 group came together, and of course because the SDGs are complex and have to do with justice and development and climate, it’s the biggest group ever.“And myself and some friends and some colleagues thought what we’ll do is just try and give a year to working out ways to communicate these SDGs, to try and make people excited about them, interested in them, realize that they’re to do with all the things that they feel passionate about. We said to ourselves ’let’s try and get 7 billion people in 7 days’ and so it’s been a question of more is more, working with all different parts of the UN, with UN DPI, with UNDP, with UNICEF, with Amina [Mohammed] and the people who are negotiating the goals for a year, and then with a huge range of people in every area – online, digital, schools, faith, TV, radio – to work out many ways to talk about the SDGs in a way that normal folk would understand and be excited by.”To read the full interview, click here.
Fabletics, the innovative activewear brand co-founded by Kate Hudson in 2013, is excited to announce its first-ever collaboration. With the Fabletics mission to empower women by making a healthy, active lifestyle accessible to everyone – regardless of size, shape, age or ability – the new Demi Lovato for Fabletics limited-edition capsule collection reinforces their shared commitment to inclusion, female empowerment and body positivity.Featuring standout pieces inspired by her mission and her music, the first Demi Lovato for Fabletics collection reflects Demi’s authentic voice of female empowerment and unique style. The collection will support the brand’s ongoing partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign – a “by girls, for girls” movement that empowers girls to become a force for change for girls everywhere.“When we first met, I remember being so impressed by how intelligent, accomplished and confident Demi was, even at such a young age. I loved her spirit, her honesty and how she was open to showing vulnerability, because that shows so much strength. She naturally came to mind as I was thinking about creating our first collaboration for Fabletics. Demi embodies so many elements of the Fabletics brand in such a unique way; she’s a definitive voice for female empowerment and body positivity – especially for the younger generation – which is something we believe in very strongly at Fabletics,” said Kate Hudson.The Demi Lovato for Fabletics collection will launch with an initial limited edition capsule collection in mid May 2017, which will include an assortment of tops and leggings, followed by a full performance collection in August 2017 ranging from bras and leggings to layering pieces including tops, jackets and much more. The collection reflects the fashion meets performance DNA of Fabletics, blended with styles inspired by Demi’s mission, music, and voice of female empowerment.Of the collaboration, Demi Lovato said: “When I was approached by Kate to do a collaboration for Fabletics, I couldn’t have been more excited. I am thrilled to lend my voice to such a powerful brand and organization, both of which represent many of the values I stand for – particularly the importance of empowering girls. Being involved in the creative design process while being able to have a daily impact on young girls’ lives around the world is so rewarding to me, making this initiative very dear to my heart.”As part of the Fabletics partnership with Girl Up, the brand is dedicated to creating a community that nurtures inspiring, confident, and spirited girls who are able to realize their best selves. By integrating Demi’s authentic voice and passionate influence, Fabletics will further strengthen its efforts to raise funds and awareness for some of the world’s most marginalized adolescent girls, ensuring that they are educated, happy, healthy, safe, and positioned to be leaders in their communities, specifically, with the aim to support one of Girl Up’s priority initiatives, SchoolCycle. With approximately 130 million girls out of school globally, getting girls to school and keeping them there is of utmost importance. Girl Up’s SchoolCycle initiative works with UNFPA to give girls bikes – along with spare parts and maintenance training – so they can continue their education and travel quickly and safely to and from school. The bikes also give girls independence and mobility to create a better future for themselves, their families, and communities.The Demi Lovato for Fabletics capsule collection will be sold across 8 countries and will be available on the official website as well as in the 21 Fabletics stores nationwide.
Here is your chance to drink tea with Benedict Cumberbatch – and attend the Avengers: Infinity War premiere in Los Angeles.Drink Tea With Benedict CumberbatchA new opportunity from omaze.com is raising money for GEANCO. What pairs better than Brits and their tea? You and Benedict Cumberbatch. Also with tea. That’s right, you and your luckiest friend will fly out to Los Angeles to join everyone’s favorite detective/genius/hero for some quality tea time — complete with everything from delightful conversation to silly selfies. Think this sounds like the best day ever? Take a deep breath, because there’s more. Before you part ways, you’ll also get tickets for the Avengers: Infinity War premiere, where you’ll be one of the first to see the most anticipated movie of the year… all alongside the coolest and funniest batch of heroes.All you have to do is make a donation – the more you donate, the more chances you have to win. Plus, donate over $2,500 and you can get your hands on some signed goodies.GEANCO’s mission is to save and transform lives in Africa by focusing on the health and education of those in Nigeria. Your donations will help provide life-changing scholarships to young female victims of terrorism and gender inequality, orthopedic surgeries to those in desperate need, and maternal and infant health programs.To make a donation and get in the draw, visit omaze.com.
Advertisement Advertisement Toronto’s music scene has held onto the global spotlight for over a year now. The city boasts a trio of superstars in Drake, The Weeknd, and Justin Bieber, all of whom are responsible for sustaining Toronto’s new image. These three artists are coexisting at the height of their careers, and their dominance of the charts has pushed the six to brave new heights. Naturally, the main artists benefiting from this stimulus package, exist and operate within the downtown core.Brampton is a thirty minute drive outside of Toronto. The sprawling suburb is culturally diverse and home to over 500,000 residents. Some of these Bramptonians have recently risen to success and are now contributing to the Toronto sound. Historically an afterthought, the town is now getting its long overdue recognition, thanks to natives like Roy Woods, Tory Lanez, Alessia Cara, as well as super producers WondaGurl and Eestbound.Finally, Brampton can now be proud of something more than having the best pizza in the GTA (shouts out Mackay Pizza though). Here are the five most exciting artists, coming out of Brampton, Ontario. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
Advertisement Feb-13-17 at 7:55 pm Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment It was the first time Gigi saw This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, which chronicles her transition from closeted Canadian teenage diving sensation to openly gay online sensation Gregory Gorgeous to the transgender activist, actress, model and all-around sensation she’s known as today. It’s a raw and unflinching exploration of the road to self-acceptance — one that brought a much-needed jolt of empowerment to a film festival set under the dark cloud of a certain presidential inauguration. Advertisement Login/Register With: In December 2013, Gigi Gorgeous sat in her Toronto bedroom and came out as transgender in a YouTube video that would turn her into a millennial icon. The video — motivated by the tragic death of her ultra-supportive mother — has since received over 3.6 million views and was the public genesis of a woman who, three years later, just witnessed her story be told on the big screen at the Sundance Film Festival in a biopic directed by two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple and executive produced by Adam Wescott and Scott Fisher of SelectNext.“It truly is everything and does live up to the name, I think,” Gigi said as she took the stage to intense applause for a post-screening Q&A earlier this week, before turning to its director. “Barbara, I loved it. Love, love, love.” […] Gigi Gorgeous: The Canadian Transgender Star Who Took Over Sundance… EBoss Canada […] Log in to leave a comment Twitter “This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous” Available Everywhere – Select Management Group & SelectNext Advertisement 1 COMMENT
The record will mark 54-40’s first studio album since 2011’s Lost In The City, released on their own label Smiling Buddha Enjoyment. Prior to that, the band was signed to True North.“Wek is a passionate supporter of Canadian music, and we are thrilled to be part of this new venture,” singer Neil Osborne said in a statement.Long-time A&R and management exec Andy Curran will head up El Mocambo Records as general manager/head of A&R.Wekerle bought the troubled El Mocambo in 2014 and is in the process of renovating the venue and installing a state-of-the-art recording and production facility.Though the club was originally targeting a summer relaunch, it is now expected to reopen in the fall.by KEVIN RITCHIE The El Mocambo has a new spinoff: a record label.The iconic Spadina rock club’s owner, Bay Street financier Michael Wekerle, has launched an artist and label services arm called El Mocambo Records with Vancouver alt-rock band 54-40 as the first signing.The group, which was recently inducted into the Halls of Fame of both the Independent Music Awards and the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards, will release their 14th album Keep On Walking via the imprint this summer. (Listen to the lead single of the same name below.) Advertisement Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter
WFF’s Summit will address the business and future of film, locally and internationally, as well as the ever-changing landscape of filmmaking in the digital age. Over the course of the four-day event, industry insiders will have the opportunity to hear from and connect with over 100 cinematic masters, creative innovators, business visionaries, and industry leaders. Highlights include:On November 30, WFF’s Summit launches with a day dedicated to Crossing Borders and the producers point of view, which will focus on new ways to foster relationships and discover audiences beyond our borders, with intel from creative minds whose expertise range from best marketing practises to Do It Yourself filmmaking.On December 1, WFF’s Summit continues with International Sessions, which will provide an industry point of view that addresses the evolving business models for independent feature films, from packaging and financing to great debates over distribution and releasing, featuring some of the most influential players in the industry today.On December 2, WFF’s Summit Content Connections programming turns to the creative point of view featuring innovative content creators across all platforms and includes the 11th annual MPPIA Short Film Pitch. A new addition to the program this year is Shorts Stop, a collection of sessions focused on festival, digital and impact strategies for creators of short content.December 3 – WFF’s Content Connections Day 2 themed day focuses on the digital and short content point of view in the outdoor media space. These sessions highlight the storytellers of adventure content who are utilizing cutting edge technologies to enhance audiences experience and engagement.Each day culminates with Master Classes featuring a prolific actor, director, writer or producer who will share insights into their craft and their most recent project premiering at this year’s fest, and or Signature Series events that will honour distinguished artists of our time in hosted conversations, including the Variety Contender Conversation featuring an industry luminary who is garnering award season buzz and the Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch Conversation, which WFF has hosted for six consecutive years. New for 2017, WFF’s Tech Den will feature an interactive hub of hands-on VR experiences and new technologies for screen based media and cinema, complimented by afternoon express sessions that will address the use of VR in documentary and action sport filmmaking.WFF’s Summit directly connects to its’ slate of 11 talent programs designed to provide creative and business immersion experiences for up to 70 Canadian artists including the Feature Project Lab, Praxis Screenwriters Lab, Aboriginal Filmmaker Fellowship, Power Pitch, Doc Lab, Digital-First Lab, Stars to Watch and Music Showcase. WFF also collaborates with several industry organizations by hosting specific third party initiatives at the Whistler Summit including the Women in the Director’s Chair Industry Immersion, Women in Film & Television Film Market Preparation Mentorship, and the MPPIA Short Film Award Pitch with the Motion Picture Production Industry Association and Creative BC.All Whistler Summit events take place at Maury Young Arts Centre (4335 Blackcomb Way) and the Whistler Conference Centre (4010 Whistler Way) unless specified otherwise. WFF’s Industry Summit schedule and guest lineup are now available at whistlerfilmfestival.com/industry-summit/schedule/, with additional guests to be added in the coming weeks. WFF’s full film lineup schedule will be available online on November 1, in addition to the 16 films already announced, with special guest and event announcements to follow.The Festival’s online box office at whistlerfilmfestival.com/attend/ is now open for VIP Patron Passes, Industry Passes and Ticket Packages.Air travel and ground transportation deals as well as best accommodation rates are now available at whistlerfilmfestival.com/attend/. WFF has 20 accommodation partners to choose from including host hotel, the Westin Whistler Resort and Spa and VIP hotel, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort.The Whistler Film Festival + Summit are funded by the Government of Canada through Telefilm Canada and Western Economic Diversification, and by the Province of British Columbia and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, is supported by the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and the American Friends of Whistler, and is sponsored by Variety, Creative BC, The Harold Greenberg Fund, the Canadian Media Producers Association, Cineplex, Whistler Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler.ABOUT THE WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL: The Whistler Film Festival Society is a charitable cultural organization dedicated to furthering the art of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of new talent culminating with a must attend festival for artists, industry and audiences in Whistler. Find out more at whistlerfilmfestival.com. Advertisement Whistler, B.C. – With seven weeks to go until ‘Canada’s coolest film fest’ kicks off at the Whistler Film Festival (November 29 – December 3), industry can start planning their festival experience as WFF unveils its Summit lineup and first wave of guests. Featuring 25 interactive sessions designed to foster business collaborations, WFF’s Summit aims to provide practical intel for filmmakers and dealmakers, as well as spark debate through a variety of high-level keynotes and panel discussions on topics that include finance, marketing, distribution, technology and export. With up to 1,000 expected delegates including industry executives, filmmakers and digital trailblazers from across North America and beyond, Whistler is the place to be, connect and deal this December.Structured around bringing films to market and designed to provide filmmakers with tools to succeed both within and beyond our borders, delegates can expect to gain insights from key power brokers and some of the great creative minds of our time including:Bill Bromiley – President, Saban FilmsBruce Cowley – Senior Director, CBC Documentary ChannelChristina Davila – Creative Executive, Stage 13/Warner Bros Digital NetworkHoward Barish – Founder and President / Executive Producer, Kandoo FilmsJeff Sackman – Executive Producer, Someone Else’s WeddingKim Fox – Partner, MadRiverKirk D’Amico – President and CEO, Myriad PicturesKristen Konvitz – Agent, International and Independent Film, ICMNate Bolotin – Co-Founder, XYZ filmsOlivia Thomas Steier – Original Programming Executive, Fullscreen“The Whistler Film Festival’s Summit has become a must-attend event for Canadian talent looking to expand their intel and network within the industry,” said Angie Nolan, WFF’s Director of Industry Programming. “This is in direct correlation to the high-level executives and creatives who now make Whistler a chosen stop in their fall festival circuit.” Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With: Twitter