Ontario Tories quietly release list of campaign promises call it final planOntario Tories quietly release list of campaign promises call it final plan

first_imgAfter vowing for weeks to deliver a fully costed platform, Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives on Wednesday quietly released a compilation of their campaign promises without saying how they would pay for them.The updated “Plan for the People,” posted on the party’s website, lays out how much each initiative is expected to cost but not where the money will come from, nor does it explain the billions in so-called “efficiencies” Tory Leader Doug Ford has promised to find.Ford did not speak about the online document, but his spokeswoman said it was the party’s final plan.“We do not know the state of Ontario’s finances and anyone who tells you they do is lying to you,” Melissa Lantsman said, alluding to the provincial auditor general’s finding that the governing Liberals’ deficit projections are understated by billions.Lantsman said the Tories would not balance the budget in the first or second year of their term but were committed to getting the books back in the black as quickly as possible.Ford faced increasing criticism for not releasing a full platform earlier in the campaign, with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne deeming it disrespectful to voters.Both Horwath and Wynne heaped scorn on the notion that Ford had released a full plan Wednesday.“Look: This is not a fully costed plan, it’s not coherent,” Wynne said at a stop in Markham, Ont., where she pushed her government’s transit record. “All of the things that Doug Ford has said would add up to a $40-billion hole and they have no idea how they would find that.”Horwath was equally jaundiced, saying it wasn’t good enough for Ford to write a “list of things he might do and put it on the internet.”People should know what Ford’s plans are, what he’s going to cut and what services might be at risk, the NDP leader said.“His list of things-to-do that he put on his website is not going to help people to decide which way to vote and what’s their best interest in this campaign,” Horwath said. “What’s worrisome is we have a leader who’s trying to take the chair of the premier in this province and he’s not being honest with people.”The Tories began the campaign with a significant lead only to find themselves now battling the NDP for first place in the polls, which also show the Liberals falling further behind both.With the election roughly a week away, Wynne travelled to the heart of her NDP rival’s riding on Wednesday to portray herself as the only seasoned stateswoman in the campaign capable of rising above the ideological fray.At a stop in Hamilton outside a Stelco steel plant, she attacked both Horwath and Ford as unyielding ideologues without the experience to fend off the threat of American steel tariffs.“On the one end of the spectrum, you have Doug Ford — he’s expressed his admiration for (U.S. President) Donald Trump, despite the chaos, the uncertainty that the Trump administration has caused Ontario,” Wynne said. “On the other extreme, you have the NDP, who have historically campaigned against free-trade agreements — I would suggest a rigid and impractical position.”The United States has exempted Canadian steel and aluminum from new tariffs on an interim basis. The exemption is due to expire Friday.While the federal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has done much of the heavy lifting to protect the industry in Canada, Wynne played up her own efforts.“Over the past year, I have met with 37 governors, I have met with senators, I’ve met with congresspeople, I’ve met with senior members of the U.S. administration, all in an attempt to make it clear what our integrated relationship means to workers on both sides of the border,” said Wynne, who has been trailing behind her rivals in recent polls.“We were assertive, we were steadfast in our effort to make Ontario’s case to those decision makers. That threat of U.S. protectionism is not going to scare us off.”Wynne said Ontario has developed one of the strongest economies in North America under a Liberal government that worked with employees, business leaders, and political leaders on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.Voters have a choice between her and her two inexperienced rivals, she said.“They’re going to be choosing a person to lead them who will be in some very tricky, very delicate negotiations with U.S. officials,” Wynne said. “That’s the reality of the role premier (and) we cannot let ideology get in our way.”Horwath, who portrayed herself as a champion of steel and steelworkers, rejected Wynne’s comments as “trying to stir up some trouble.” She said she had been vocal in her support of the industry.“Should I be given the opportunity to serve as premier I will be one of the biggest champions the steel industry has ever seen,” Horwath said. “It has literally, not only built our country and fuelled the economy of a nation, but it has absolutely and completely … built my city.”last_img read more

Lucky loon sought out Alberta campers to save it from fishing gearLucky loon sought out Alberta campers to save it from fishing gear

first_imgNORDEGG, Alta. – This is a story about one lucky loon.Don Gibson was standing with his family on a dock in Fish Lake Provincial Park west-central Alberta last weekend when he noticed a normally standoffish loon — one of a group of five that call the lake home — swimming toward them.“I said, ‘There’s no way that’s a real loon because they don’t come that close,’” Gibson recalled Friday from his home in Sundre, northwest of Calgary.“I said, ‘Somebody’s out in the woods playing a trick on us. They’ve got a remote-control bird or something.’”But as the loon got closer, Gibson could tell it needed help.A piece of fishing gear with wire leaders and multiple hooks, often referred to as a pickerel rig, had become tangled around the bird’s bill, neck and leg.Loons are sleek and rely on their diving ability to catch fish, frogs and other water creatures. Seeing the way this one was tangled, it was clear to Gibson that it couldn’t hunt.The bird kept looking up at the campers on the dock and moved to a shallow area along the shore.“This one just knew he only had another day and he was going to die. He was just right pooped I think.”Gibson turned to his 12-year-old son.“I said, ‘We’ve got to go over there. This thing just sent us a sign that he’s in distress and he wants us to help him.’”Gibson was leery about the loon’s sharp beak, but the bird lowered its head and allowed him to give it a stroke.“When he allowed me to pat his head, I said, ‘That’s it. I am taking my shoes off and I’m going in and I am going to help this guy, because he was obviously not afraid of me.’”Gibson’s wife enlisted the help of a park attendant who had some scissors and they started cutting away the tackle. A hook caught in the back of the bird’s neck came out easily. Gibson then picked up the bird and unwound the line that was wrapped three or four times around its leg.By then, a fairly large crowd had gathered to watch the rescue.Gibson put the freed bird back in the water.As it swam out from shore to rejoin its buddies, it turned back, lifted itself up in the water and gave a flap of its wings as if to say thank you, he said.Everyone cheered.“You couldn’t write a fiction novel so perfect.”Gibson said he saw the five loons feeding on minnows in the lake the next day, so he figures everything worked out fine.“I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t see it myself. He knew exactly what he was doing. It was incredible.”last_img read more

Montreal soaring to new economic heights but headwinds still buffet the summitMontreal soaring to new economic heights but headwinds still buffet the summit

first_imgMONTREAL – In a sun-lit lecture space at Ecole Polytechnique, Joelle Pineau explained how a machine can create a recipe from a photo of a tourtiere.It’s not easy as pie, but rather the fruit of 12 months of experimentation at Facebook’s new artificial intelligence lab, which she heads up in Montreal.“I would like the robot that goes with it and then makes the recipe,” joked Pineau, an associate professor at McGill University.Facebook’s lab has already expanded to 20 specialists from four since its launch in September 2017, with plans to move to a bigger facility come January. Microsoft Corp. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. have both launched Montreal-based AI labs in the past two years, and aim to hire scores more researchers in the next year or so.It’s not just Montreal’s AI sector that’s booming. A mix of cutting-edge tech clusters, real estate growth and old mainstays like tourism and shipping are transforming the city into an economic hot spot after decades of battling a frosty business image.Regional gross domestic product grew 3.5 per cent in 2017, according to Statistics Canada, outpacing Toronto and Vancouver as Montreal enjoyed its biggest growth spurt in more than 10 years. Unemployment has hovered at around six per cent for the past 12 months, remaining near all-time lows.Meanwhile, foreign direct investment surpassed $2 billion in 2017, a new record that marks a 50 per cent increase over 2016 and a 100 per cent jump from 2015.“There’s definitely a buzz around Montreal, especially the high-tech sectors,” said Christian Bernard, chief economist with Montreal International, an economic development agency.Up to 75 per cent of foreign direct investment last year went toward high-tech sectors such as gaming, visual effects and aerospace as well as life sciences and health technology, he said.“The technology is very broad, and the talent can move around from one area to another, one niche application to another,” said Universite de Montreal computer scientist and deep-learning pioneer Yoshua Bengio, who serves as scientific director of the new Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms.Bengio cited as a key catalyst French gaming company Ubisoft Entertainment SA, which opened a small office in Montreal in 1997 that now employs 3,500 workers.Cash has been pouring into Montreal from public and private institutions, including more than $300 million over the next five years from the federal and provincial governments to bankroll big data research at Montreal universities and foster a regional AI “super-cluster”.Brad Henderson, chief executive of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, said mortgage stress tests and higher interest rates haven’t dampened Montreal’s real estate market, which he called the healthiest in Canada.The city’s $1 million-plus real estate sales increased 19 per cent year over year in July and August, and they’re poised “to set new records to the end of 2018,” according to a Sotheby’s report in September.Quebec’ political situation has calmed investor fears, he added.“Montreal’s always kind of had a bit of a political overhang,” Henderson said, “but the concerns about separatism have largely dissipated, and that in our opinion has contributed to the steady growth that we’ve seen in Montreal.”Montreal’s port continues to underpin the regional economy, as the year-old free-trade deal between Canada and the European Union boosts container shipping and prompts a hiring spree at the docks, according to port officials.Container imports increased 7.8 per cent to nearly 4.33 million tonnes in the first seven months of this year compared with the same period in 2017, with the bulk of that traffic coming from Europe.Tourism is also on the rise, with Trudeau International Airport welcoming more than 11 million foreign passengers in the first eight months of 2018 for a 6.9 per cent year-over-year gain, according to Tourisme Montreal.However, the same features Montrealers cite as strengths can detract from the city’s sheen as well.In 2016, median household incomes in Montreal climbed more quickly than in many metropolitan areas, but they remained among the lowest of any major city in Canada at $61,790, according to StatCan figures.High employment points to a severe thirst for a bigger talent pool, said Montreal Board of Trade president Michel Leblanc.Many parts of the province are now “beyond full employment,” with a demand for more qualified workers in sectors ranging from hospitality to transportation to the tech scene, Leblanc said.“We need to have more immigrants,” he said, one day before Quebeckers voted the Coalition Avenir Quebec to power on Oct. 1, whose leader Francois Legault has pledged to reduce immigration by 20 per cent.One-third of Quebec’s workforce will have to be replaced in the next 10 years as the population ages, said Mia Homsy, director of the Institut du Quebec, a public policy think tank.“It’s already starting to affect investments and production, with a direct impact on GDP,” she said.Population growth in the Montreal census metropolitan area has been relatively slow, rising 11 per cent to 4.1 million residents between 2007 and 2017, according to StatCan. The rate lags well behind Canada’s five other biggest urban areas.Despite its rapid growth, Montreal’s affordability is better than many of the other 10 biggest cities on the continent, said Loic Jegousse, head of cyber and IT risk with a BNP Paribas team that launched in Montreal last May.“I myself have two teenage daughters. I used to live in Toronto, and I thought it would be wise to come to Montreal so they can actually afford a home when they grow up,” he said.“Montreal was very sleepy for a long, long time, but now it is going through a renaissance.”last_img read more

Ottawa professor who died in Ethiopia plane crash remembered for public outreachOttawa professor who died in Ethiopia plane crash remembered for public outreach

first_imgOttawa professor Pius Adesanmi, one of the 18 Canadians killed in Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash, is being remembered as a public intellectual whose outreach to Africans across the globe shaped the way Canada is seen abroad.A colleague says Adesanmi, as director of Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies, deepened the academic discipline within Canada and elevated the school’s program to international renown.Nduka Otiono, a fellow Carleton professor and Adesanmi’s friend of 25 years, says the Nigerian-born professor amplified his activism to his “cult following” on social media and by building relationships on the ground in Africa.Otiono says it’s difficult to imagine the depth of the devastation being felt across the globe in the wake of his colleague’s tragic death. A Nigerian representative to African Union’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council told The Associated Press that Adesanmi was on his way to a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, when the jet went down Sunday shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa airport, killing all 157 aboard.Adesanmi, who was also a professor in Carleton’s Department of English Language and Literature, won the inaugural Penguin Prize for African non-fiction writing in 2010.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Catalan leader goes to court after Canada refuses him entry for speakingCatalan leader goes to court after Canada refuses him entry for speaking

first_imgMONTREAL — A Quebec nationalist group is claiming the Canadian government revoked a travel permit for the exiled former president of Spain’s Catalonia region.The Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste says the Canadian government did not provide a reason for cancelling Catalan separatist Carles Puigdemont’s travel permit on March 31, two days before he was to arrive in Quebec.Puigdemont has hired a Montreal-based immigration lawyer and today filed a motion contesting the decision in Federal Court.Puigdemont was scheduled to take part in an event organized by the nationalist group, which advocates for Quebec independence as well as for stronger laws to promote French in the province.The former Catalan president fled Spain in 2017 to avoid prosecution after his regional government held an unauthorized referendum on independence. Puigdemont is currently in exile in Brussels and is considered a fugitive by the Spanish government.He faces up to 25 years behind bars if found guilty of rebellion and misuse of public funds.— With files from The Associated PressThe Canadian Presslast_img read more

Hamlet rock opera returns to PEI theatre stage 45 years laterHamlet rock opera returns to PEI theatre stage 45 years later

first_imgCHARLOTTETOWN — A classic Shakespearean tragedy put to rock ‘n’ roll has given rise to moments of restorative joy to the Canadian composer witnessing its rebirth after 45 years.First launched in 1974, “Kronborg: the Hamlet Rock Musical,” has been remounted at the Confederation Centre of the Arts for a three-week run this summer.The Charlottetown Festival show remains a tale of a prince’s descent into despair and a family torn apart by vengeance and violence.Yet, for its creator, Cliff Jones – now in his 70s – the musical re-orchestration by the festival’s music director Craig Fair has been a physical and emotional tonic he never expected.Emerging from hospital after a life-threatening bout of Legionnaire’s disease “as low and depressed as a person could be,” Jones recalled in an interview how he retreated to his cottage on the Island over three years ago.Weeks later, the Charlottetown Festival’s artistic director told him he wanted to attempt a single showing of the play at a summer festival, and the tides of Jones’ life turned.“That woke me up, raised me up and I felt like life was worth living again. It took me out of the depression after the Legionnaire’s disease and I marched forward,” Jones said.His original production – originally written in just two weeks on a pink piano during a break between CBC contracts – had “reared its head again” after prior revivals under different names, first as a reworked version on Broadway, and then for an award-winning run of over 18 months in Santa Monica, Calif.The festival associate director, Mary Francis Moore, also sees fortuities in the musical’s Canadian rebirth.She was handed the original, mouldy script so congealed she had to steam its pages apart. Shortly afterwards, she happened upon one of the few recordings of the New York City version in a St. John’s, N.L., second-hand record shop.“I just thought it was amazing how he (Jones) could take something with as intense and intricate a plot as Hamlet and put it to music and make it understandable and accessible,” she recalled during an interview.Then came the well-received revival in the warm acoustics of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church at the Island’s Indian River Festival, and more signs the play was destined for fresh life.As Aaron Hastelow, who plays Hamlet, sang the signature tune, light burst through the east-facing stained glass windows, bathing the Island-raised actor in a warm glow.“If we were looking for a moment we should be bringing this play back to life, that was the sign,” said Moore.Moore, Fair and Jones workshopped the show over the next year to become this summer’s remounting.The end product has retained Hamlet’s timeless struggle over how to react in the wake of the “murder most foul” of his father.As in the original play, Hamlet’s friends Horatio and Marcellus lead him to the ghost demanding revenge in a misty forest nearby – and the young prince goes on to question at times whether life is even worth living as he struggles over how to react.But in this version, the story shifts into kaleidoscopic motion through choreography by Robin Calvert of Toronto and amidst the scenic design from Brian Smith of Ottawa and the costumes of Jeff Chief, a Plains Cree designer from Saskatchewan.The result is a mix of sombre moments alongside swirls of brilliant colours as the ensemble dances across a stage of shifting hues. All of this is cast against a castle backdrop that transforms into interior scenes.Rather than putting the players in a series of Elizabethan robes, Moore asked designers for a “contemporary but timeless feel,” sending them to peruse websites depicting Copenhagen’s “Nordic fashion week” to create tailored wool coats and fitted waistlines.In rock opera fashion, the opening is an overture that revolves around the silver goblet that contains the poison that ends it all.Some of the most famous phrases of Hamlet’s soliloquies recur in the musical, including Hamlet’s sense of disgust in Act 1 over his mother’s marriage to his uncle Claudius, in a tune titled “That it should come to this.”Jones’ colloquial lyrics continue to capture the underlying theme of the young prince’s frustration, as Hastelow sings, “Couldn’t you leave the world the way it was?”Similarly, Gertrude, played by Alana Hibbert, sings of the despair of a queen’s unravelling fate, using Jones’ phrase: “Somebody wrote the wrong words to my song.”As for the phrase, “To be or not to be,” expect an entirely different version that captures Shakespeare’s essential thoughts.The festival draws from a Canada-wide selection of musical theatre regulars, with Michael Torontow of Ottawa playing Hamlet’s uncle Polonius; Cameron MacDuffee of Palgrave, Ont., playing Claudius, and Kimberly-Ann Truong, from Prince Rupert, B.C., playing Ophelia.As it entered its second week, Jones and Moore said audience members who recalled seeing the musical in younger years have returned to Charlottetown for a second look.However, the production – including the costly orchestration, design and choreography – is only set to last until July 20, and some tickets remain unsold.Will this be the final rebirth of Jones’ creation?Jones admits to not quite knowing what will occur, recalling that what began as an impromptu commission has unexpectedly “come to be a significant part of my life.”Moore says times and idioms change, but key themes of life remain for theatre to interpret in ways never imagined.“It’s why I love it, because you just never know from one day to the next, what could happen,” she says.– Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.Michael Tutton, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Living laboratory Ecological surprises in Waterton two years after wildfireLiving laboratory Ecological surprises in Waterton two years after wildfire

first_imgWATERTON, Alta. — Trees are charcoal black on one side and bone white on the other, evidence of the path a wildfire took as it tore into Waterton Lakes National Park in southwestern Alberta nearly two years ago.Clusters of showy purple asters line a hiking trail amidst a flush of vibrant green new growth on the forest floor. Crowds of fat black gallium sphinx caterpillars, drawn to burned forests and tasty bright pink fireweed, lounge on leaves. “I think it’s spectacular and beautiful,” park superintendent Sal Rasheed says of the transformed landscape. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the consequences of a natural disturbance event that you would otherwise never see again.”The wildfire, sparked by a lightning strike in British Columbia, forced everyone out of Waterton on Sept. 8, 2017. Flames breached the park’s boundaries three days later.Firefighters managed to save the townsite and the historic Prince of Wales hotel, but Parks Canada lost several buildings and the scars of the fire are evident on the blackened mountain slopes.Parks Canada scientist Kim Pearson says wildlife populations are generally healthy and there’s renewed growth in the forest.She says the park has become a “living laboratory” for researchers studying how a powerful wildfire transforms an ecosystem as climate change makes such events more frequent and severe.“The Kenow wildfire was of exceptional intensity,” she says. “Understanding what’s happening here might be key to understanding what happens in the other post-fire landscapes in the future.”  Already, researchers have encountered some surprises.Wood-boring beetles which have shown up after past wildfires in the area haven’t in Waterton. Neither have woodpeckers that feed on those bugs.Researchers are keeping an eye out for any unusual algae blooms caused by higher-than-expected nutrient levels in water.Pearson says scientists will also be watching to see whether the forest regenerates into its earlier state, or into grassland or another type of ecosystem, since the climate is warmer and drier now than it was when the trees first took root.Parks Canada is wary of invasive species taking advantage of bare ground exposed by the fire, so hiking trails are equipped with boot-brushing stations to prevent visitors from spreading seeds.Locals have had mixed feelings about the changed landscape.Deb Watson, whose family-run trail riding outfit Alpine Stables burned to the ground, says she cries every time she looks at the scorched forest on Crandell Mountain because she knows she’ll never see it green again.“I don’t like to ride into the back country,” she says. “I don’t want to see it. It just breaks my heart.”Hotel and restaurant owner Lockey Craig, who lives just outside the park, says it won’t be the same in his lifetime either.But he’s noticed the views from some of the hiking trails are better now that trees aren’t in the way.“Just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s worse.”Jordan Wammes — whose family has a bike rental, gas station and treat shop in town — said things were stark during the summer of 2018, but this year was better.“It was our best wildflower season that I’ve ever seen down here.”Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Gary Sinese To Host Got Heart Give Hope GalaGary Sinese To Host Got Heart Give Hope Gala

first_imgActor Gary Sinise will return as the host of this year’s Got Heart, Give Hope Gala.On Wednesday, April 17, 2013, Hope For The Warriors will honor combat wounded service members, their families, and families of the fallen at the Got Heart, Give Hope Gala at The Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, Washington, D.C.The black-tie event will feature television and movie actor Gary Sinise as the awards ceremony host. Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit organization that assists combat wounded service members, their families, and families of the fallen.On February 14, Valentine’s Day, Hope For The Warriors will reveal this year’s honorees for Hope & Courage Awards. The awards will be presented to each honoree by Sinise at the Got Heart, Give Hope Gala. The Hope & Courage Awards will be presented to representatives from each branch of the military, in addition to family members of wounded and fallen service members. Hope For The Warriors will honor the courage of each award recipient, focusing on the hope they inspire through their remarkable stories of recovery and achievement.“Service members and military families demonstrate overwhelming courage and resiliency in the face of adversity,” Robin Kelleher, Hope For The Warriors President said. “The Gala celebrates and honors their courage as they deal with extraordinary challenges.”Sinise is a member of the nonprofit’s advisory council and the founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation. Hope For The Warriors is one of the foundation’s charity partners.Country singer James Wesley will be the musical guest for the evening. Wesley is a GAC Top 20 Country Singer and singer of the hit singles, Didn’t I and Real. He has performed for Hope For The Warriors in the past and is devoted to supporting service members and military families.For more information about the 2013 Got Heart, Give Hope Gala, click here.The mission of Hope For The Warriors is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Hope For The Warriors is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families.Source:PRWeb.comlast_img read more

Helen Mirren Attends Chelsea Flower Show For Princes TrustHelen Mirren Attends Chelsea Flower Show For Princes Trust

first_imgDame Helen Mirren attended this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show in her role as a Prince’s Trust Ambassador.She visited the Burncoose Garden, as well as meeting a Trust-supported gardening business.Since 2003, Prince’s Trust Patron Terra Firma Capital, has sponsored the Burncoose Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show where they promote the support they give to The Trust.Terra Firma Capital have been proud Patrons of The Prince’s Trust for ten years and their support has helped disadvantaged young people through The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme and xl clubs.Dame Helen Mirren reflected on why she supports the work of The Prince’sTrust, after meeting Trust-supported gardener Dan Hallett: “I have been fortunate in life. I always knew that I wanted to work in the entertainment industry and was lucky enough to carve a successful career as well as have the support of my family.“Sadly, others are not so lucky. Many young people don’t have the support and guidance they need to create a future for themselves, or they’ve fallen victim to the ever-present youth unemployment crisis.“For the hundreds of thousands of young people out there who are struggling to get a foothold in life, the future can seem bleak. Youth unemployment can breed low self-esteem and sometimes even depression.“I’m a Prince’s Trust Ambassador and a huge supporter of the youth charity’s work because they believe every young person deserves a chance in life.“Not only do they help young people move into work, training or education, but they invest heavily in their Enterprise programme, which helps the hardest-to-reach young people set up in business.“This is why I was thrilled to attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show yesterday as an Ambassador for The Trust. Not only did I visit a garden which is donating valuable funds to the charity – I met with a Trust-supported young person who has successfully created his own business in the gardening world despite the tough economic climate.”A professional soldier, Dan Hallett returned from Iraq after the birth of his daughter, physically and mentally exhausted. Suffering from flashbacks, he concluded the army was no longer for him.Once discharged, he went through a series of low-paid jobs to support his family. Around this time, his relationship ended leaving Dan with two young children to support.He struggled to get by, experiencing periods of depression and loneliness. Doubting his abilities, Dan had lost confidence and belief in himself.Things began to look up when he approached The Prince’s Trust for supporting in starting a gardening business.He went through The Trust’s Enterprise programme, which has helped 80,000 young entrepreneurs since 1983 with support from funders like RBS. This made him realise that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. With this support and funding, he managed to start his own business ‘Gardeners R Us’.Today, Dan is a different person to the world-weary ex-soldier he once was. His business is going from strength to strength and he has taken on 30 new clients in the past two months alone. Dan is also creating jobs for others in his local community, having already recruited three members of staff to help him grow his business.It is also incredibly inspiring that Dan’s main goal is to provide for his family and be a positive role model to his children.Dame Helen Mirren said, “It is stories like Dan’s which remind me why I’m so proud to be an Ambassador for The Trust. The economic climate has hit young people the hardest, leaving them exposed to low self-esteem and unemployment. With our help, The Prince’s Trust can help turn around tens of thousands of lives every year.”Source:Prince’s Trustlast_img read more

The Elders Hail Progress In Iran Nuclear TalksThe Elders Hail Progress In Iran Nuclear Talks

first_imgMeeting in Cape Town, The Elders today hailed the positive steps taken in recent weeks on the Iranian nuclear crisis.The new-found flexibility and seriousness being shown by all sides in tackling the dispute was a source of particular satisfaction.Looking ahead to the next round of talks in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in November, as well as a planned visit to Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), The Elders called on all parties to maintain the same constructive and determined spirit – with a view to an early resolution of all issues.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General said: “A comprehensive approach is essential, to get to the core of the legitimate concerns that, for many years now, have made this issue one of the most worrisome on the global agenda. All nations have rights and responsibilities in equal measure. You cannot have one without the other.“This is an historic opportunity that should not be dropped. If the international community can get this right, the possibility of transforming the negative dynamics plaguing the Middle East for the better is the great prize to be won.”Recognising the potential opposition to a deal that leaders in both the United States and Iran face, The Elders praised the courage being shown by both the Obama Administration and the new Iranian Government headed by President Hassan Rouhani.last_img read more

Dr Oz To Host SAMHSAs 2016 Voice Awards In Los AngelesDr Oz To Host SAMHSAs 2016 Voice Awards In Los Angeles

first_imgDr. Mehmet Oz of “The Dr. Oz Show” will host the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2016 Voice Awards — a program that recognizes those in the television and film industry and community leaders who work to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders.This year’s event, to be held on August 10 at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles, will highlight the theme “Strengthening Families through Hope and Help,” and spotlight the positive impact family members have on their loved one’s path to recovery.The 2016 Voice Awards will recognize actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard with a SAMHSA Special Recognition Award. The couple are known for their considerable efforts to raise awareness about mental health and addiction, support of each other on their respective journeys of recovery, and commitment to helping behavioral health community organizations. Filmmakers Rob Reiner and his son Nick Reiner will also receive a SAMHSA Special Recognition Award for sharing their personal and difficult family story about supporting Nick on his path to recovery from addiction. Their real-life inspired film, “Being Charlie,” is a Voice Award finalist this year as well. In addition, Yashi Brown, Rebbie Jackson, and Stacy Brown will receive a SAMHSA Special Recognition Award for sharing their personal stories of recovery and speaking out about the importance of family support for those living with mental illness and addiction.Consumer/peer/family leaders who have embraced and promoted the role of meaningful family support in all aspects of prevention, treatment, and recovery also will be honored. The Staglin family in Rutherford, CA, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for their extraordinary contributions to mental health research, and for raising awareness about mental health in their community and nationally. Consumer/Peer/Family Leadership Awards will be presented to Sheldon Hill (Detroit, MI), Tiffany Hunsley (Rochester, MN), Julie Magers (Tigard, OR), Ted Streuli (Edmond, OK), and Sally Zinman (Berkeley, CA). The Young Adult Leadership Award will be presented to Joshua Calarino (Miami, FL).The Voice Awards also will recognize writers and producers who feature responsible and respectful portrayals of people with behavioral health conditions in their films and television shows, and highlight the powerful role family support can play for recovery. This year’s finalists include Being Charlie; The Dark Horse; Love & Mercy; Touched with Fire; “Blue Bloods” (CBS); “The Carmichael Show” (NBC); “Empire” (FOX); “Madam Secretary” (CBS); “Mom” (CBS); and “Nashville” (ABC/CMT).Find out more about the event here.last_img read more

Yankees Baseball Legend Bernie Williams Raises Awareness Of Devastating Lung DiseaseYankees Baseball Legend Bernie Williams Raises Awareness Of Devastating Lung Disease

first_imgNew York Yankees all-time great Bernie Williams is teaming up with Boehringer Ingelheim to raise awareness of a lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) that his father suffered from for years before he passed away in 2001.Back in Puerto Rico, Williams’ father Bernabé inspired him to play baseball and make it to the Major Leagues. He also taught him to play guitar, which has become Williams’ second career since retiring from baseball.In honor of his father’s battle with IPF, Williams has joined the Sin Aliento campaign to turn his family’s devastating experience with this rare lung disease into a chance to help other families. Williams hopes to educate and empower others who think they may have IPF to seek early diagnosis and treatment and is encouraging people to visit the campaign website www.SinAliento.com – and share the videos and educational Spanish content through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter using #SinAliento. In addition, they can sign up to the Sin Aliento™ program and receive monthly information in Spanish via e-mail or text messages.“Whether I was in centerfield or at bat, my dad was always my biggest fan. He seemed invincible. So when he was finally diagnosed with IPF after battling symptoms like breathlessness and a debilitating cough that persisted for many months, it was devastating to me and my family,” said Williams. “Sharing my dad’s story is so important because it will help others get the answers they need sooner and easier.”IPF is a rare and serious lung disease that causes permanent scarring of the lungs, and makes it difficult to breathe. Symptoms of IPF include breathlessness during activity, a dry and persistent cough, chest discomfort, fatigue and weakness. Although considered “rare,” IPF affects up to 132,000 Americans, and according to the The Lancet, Hispanics are more likely to suffer from the disease with a 15% higher incidence than the general population. Also, about 50,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed every year with IPF – enough to fill a baseball stadium.“Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to partner with baseball legend Bernie Williams who can speak personally about how IPF affected his dad and his family,” said Al Masucci, vice president, IPF Business Unit, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “Through the Sin Aliento campaign, we hope to educate people to recognize the signs of the disease and take action to see a doctor as early as possible. It is important that a correct medical diagnosis is determined as IPF is often misdiagnosed.”The symptoms of IPF are similar to, and often confused with, other more recognizable diseases such chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, or congestive heart failure. There are IPF treatments available, including supplemental oxygen, cough management and pulmonary rehabilitation, which can include special exercises or breathing strategies. In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first drugs specifically indicated for the treatment of IPF.last_img read more

AARP The Magazine Announces Presenters For 17th Annual Movies For Grownups AwardsAARP The Magazine Announces Presenters For 17th Annual Movies For Grownups Awards

first_imgAARP announced today the official presenters for the 17th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards.Alfre Woodard, Jason Clarke, Mark Hamill, Saoirse Ronan, Ben Mendelsohn, Shari Belafonte, Willem Dafoe, Kelly Marie Tran, Doug Jones, Michael Gracey, Molly Bloom and others will join host Alan Cumming at the star-studded event that will be celebrated on Monday, February 5th at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills. The awards celebrate 2017’s standout films with unique appeal to movie lovers with a grownup state of mind and recognize the inspiring artists who make them.“When the editors of AARP The Magazine decided 16 years ago that is was time to challenge Hollywood’s perspective on aging, we hoped that the Movies for Grownups Awards would ignite a cultural change,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “This year, it is clear that change has arrived. There’s been an explosion of movies that disrupt conventional thoughts on aging, and 17 of the top 20 box office stars are over 50. We are proud to celebrate these extraordinary movies and filmmakers.”The Movies for Grownups® Awards will also be broadcast for the first time. Co-produced by the Great Performances series, the awards premiere Friday, February 23 at 9 p.m. on PBS, (check local listings), pbs.org/gperf and PBS apps.Event proceeds raise funds for AARP Foundation, AARP’s charitable affiliate, which works to end senior poverty by building economic opportunity and social connections for vulnerable older adults in L.A. and across the country. Chase Card Services, through its AARP Credit Card from Chase, is the presenting sponsor of the 17th annual AARP’s Movies for Grownups Awards.“We want to empower struggling seniors to transform their story, to make it one in which they have every opportunity to thrive,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president, AARP Foundation. “Across the country, we are sparking bold, innovative solutions that foster resilience, strengthen communities and restore hope to people in need.”With weekly news and reviews, nationwide screenings, and an annual awards event, AARP’s Movies for Grownups multimedia franchise continues to champion movies for grownups, by grownups. For more information about AARP’s Movies for Grownups Awards, go online to www.aarp.org/moviesforgrownups.The complete list of the 17th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards Nominees:• Best Picture/Best Movie for Grownups: Get Out, Lady Bird, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri • Best Actress: Annette Bening (Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool), Judi Dench (Victoria & Abdul), Salma Hayek (Beatriz at Dinner), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Meryl Streep (The Post) • Best Actor: Steve Carell (Battle of the Sexes), Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread), Tom Hanks (The Post), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.) • Best Supporting Actress: Holly Hunter (The Big Sick), Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Melissa Leo (Novitiate), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) • Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project), Laurence Fishburne (Last Flag Flying), Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), and Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World) • Best Director: Kenneth Branagh (Murder on the Orient Express), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Reginald Hudlin (Marshall), Ridley Scott (All the Money in the World) and Steven Spielberg (The Post) • Best Screenwriter: Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor (The Shape of Water), James Ivory (Call Me by Your Name), Anthony McCarten (Darkest Hour), Steven Rogers (I, Tonya), Aaron Sorkin (Molly’s Game) • Best Ensemble: Get Out, Girls Trip, Last Flag Flying, Mudbound, Murder on the Orient Express • Best Grownup Love Story: Breathe, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, The Leisure Seeker, Our Souls at Night, The Greatest Showman • Best Intergenerational Film: The Big Sick, The Florida Project, Lady Bird, Marjorie Prime, Wonder • Best Time Capsule: Battle of the Sexes, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, I, Tonya, The Post • Readers’ Choice Poll: Beauty and the Beast, Dunkirk, Get Out, Girls Trip, Last Flag Flying, Murder on the Orient Express, The Post, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Wonder, Wonder Woman • Best Documentary: Dolores, Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story, I Am Not Your Negro, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo • Best Foreign Film: Chavela (Mexico), The Insult (Lebanon), Like Crazy (Italy), A Taxi Driver (South Korea), The Women’s Balcony (Israel)last_img read more

Toronto faces studio pressures as filming boomsToronto faces studio pressures as filming booms

first_img Facebook “2016 is the third consecutive record-breaking year in Ontario for film and TV production,” commented Eleanor McMahon, Ontario’s tourism, culture and sport minister.“Our government has worked hard to create the right conditions to help our film and TV industry succeed.”Paul Bronfman is chairman and CEO of film equipment supplier William F White International, and is also chairman of Pinewood Toronto Studios. He praised the Ontario government for its support of the production industry, but also called for authorities to provide financial backing for more studios, according to The Hollywood Reporter.In January the mayor of Toronto led a delegation to Los Angeles partly to address Hollywood concerns about available studio space in the Canadian city.The issue is not unique to Toronto. Many of the world’s top production hubs – including Vancouver, New York, London and Cape Town – are under pressure to expand their studio facilities.In many cases development is already underway but takes time. Vacant industrial buildings are frequently used as adapted filming spaces when studios are unavailable and they can often be cheaper, especially for lengthier TV shoots.Source: KFTV Advertisement Advertisement Toronto faces pressure to expand its studio facilities after another successful year of location filming in 2016.Production spending in Ontario as a whole surpassed a billion dollars for the sixth year in a row and contributed CA$1.7bn to the provincial economy overall, according to government figures.This month there are 26 projects either filming now in Ontario or in pre-production, including Kiefer Sutherland’s drama Designated Survivor, true-life hostage crisis feature film Stockholm and the new Star Trek series Discovery. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

AwardWinning WriterProducer Dennis Heaton to Lead Story Room for the 2017 BellAwardWinning WriterProducer Dennis Heaton to Lead Story Room for the 2017 Bell

first_imgDennis Heaton at the 18th annual Leo Awards in downtown Vancouver on June 5, 2016. The Leos celebrate excellence in British Columbia film and television. MARK VAN MANEN/PNG Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Dennis Heaton is an award-winning writer and producer whose work spans multiple genres and formats, from animation to live-action, web series to feature film, half hour comedy to hour-long drama. Heaton is currently executive producing and writing for Ghost Wars, a new horror series for SyFy and Netflix. Heaton recently completed showrunning the internationally renowned police procedural Motive. His additional live-action credits include Call Me Fitz, The Listener, JPod, Blood Ties and the feature film Fido. When not working on live-action projects, Heaton sneaks off to write episodes of animated shows, create web series and write and direct short film projects. Motive and Call Me Fitz have both received multiple Canadian Screen Awards nominations, including Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series, respectively, which Call Me Fitz won in 2014. Heaton has also been nominated for four Gemini Awards, four WGC Screenwriting Awards (winning for his Yvon of the Yukon animation script, “The Trouble With Mammoths”) and nine Leo Awards (of which he won five). His 2009 web series, My Pal, Satan, won Best Web Series and Best Theme Song at the New York Television Festival. His 2006 short film, Head Shot, premiered in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, won Best Canadian Short Film at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, and went on to play in film festivals around the world. Heaton has multiple projects in development, including Damage Control, a new police procedural with Lark, NBCU and Corus Entertainment, and the feature comedy Larry’s Awesome Kegger, which he hopes will be his directorial debut.The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, presented in association with ABC Signature Studios, delivers a real-world story room experience and an intense professional and project development process for six TV writers a year. The program has attracted some of Canada’s most prolific and successful showrunners to lead the story room as Executive Producer in Residence, including Michael MacLennan, Graeme Manson, Avrum Jacobson, Peter Mohan, Shelley Eriksen, Karen Walton and Brad Wright. Alumni of the program have gone on to create their own series and write for hit TV series, including Tara Armstrong, whose is currently in production on Season 2 of her series Mary Kills People (Global TV); Andrew De Angelis, whose first comedy series, What Would Sal Do?, aired on CraveTV in March 2017; Blain Watters, who wrote for Season 1 of Between (Netflix); and Karen Nielsen, who is set to write an episode of the next X-Files revival season. The program also helped develop smash-hit Emmy Award-winning series Orphan Black, which recently saw its series finale, in the 2008 story room, and Travelers, whose second season is set to premiere this Fall on Netflix, began its development during the 2014 Prime Time TV Program.The 2017 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program participants will be announced in the coming weeks, with the program getting officially underway on September 18, 2017. To learn more about the program, please visit: http://cfccreates.com/programs/15-bell-media-prime-time-tv-programSocial Media links Twitter Toronto  – The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are pleased to welcome renowned writer/producer Dennis Heaton as the Executive Producer in Residence of the 2017 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, presented in association with ABC Signature Studios. From September to December 2017, Heaton will lead the story room as well as the soon-to-be-announced television writers selected to participate in this year’s program as they work together to develop Heaton’s original series.“We are thrilled to welcome such a pedigreed writer and producer to the helm of the 2017 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program,” said Corrie Coe, Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. “This program has proven to be an invaluable asset to developing our country’s screenwriting talent. There is no doubt that Dennis’ leadership, talent, and wealth of experience will provide vital tools to this year’s participants.”“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the CFC as the Executive Producer in Residence for the Bell Media Prime Time TV Program,” added Heaton. “The CFC has long been an integral component in my development as a writer. Almost 20 years ago, the Prime Time’s predecessor, the Writer’s Bootcamp, first exposed me to the myriad of opportunities a working screenwriter has at their disposal. Then the Pilot Program gave me hands-on experience writing and executive producing a multi-episode series (My Pal, Satan). And the CFC’s Bell Media Showrunner Bootcamp was an Oz-like peek behind the curtain into the secret machinations of the television industry. Simply put, my career would not be what it is without the assistance and support of the CFC, and I’m proud to be able to pay it forward with the next generation of Canadian storytellers.”center_img About CFCThe Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is a charitable organization whose mission is to invest in and inspire the next generation of world-class Canadian content creators and entrepreneurs in the screen-based entertainment industry. A significant economic and cultural driver in Canada and beyond, CFC delivers a range of multi-disciplinary programs and initiatives in film, television, music, screen acting, and digital media, which provides industry collaborations, strategic partnerships, and business and marketplace opportunities for talent and participants. For more information, visit cfccreates.com.About Bell MediaBell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.About ABC Signature StudiosABC Signature Studios is ABC Studios’ boutique division spearheading development and production in premium and basic cable as well as digital platforms. Signature is currently in production on two half-hour comedy series: “SMILF” for Showtime from Frankie Shaw who wrote, directed and will star, and the “black-ish” spin-off, “grown-ish” from creator/EP Kenya Barris for Freeform starring Yara Shahidi. Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios are in production on three new series including “Marvel’s Runaways” for Hulu, “Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger,” and “Marvel’s New Warriors” for Freeform. Signature’s previous series include “Guerrilla,” “Dead of Summer,” “Blood & Oil,” “Benched,” and the Emmy-nominated HBO film “Confirmation,” starring Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce. Facebook Advertisement  @cfccreates facebook.com/cfccreates cfccreates @ABCStudios facebook.com/ABCStudios @abcnetwork Login/Register With:last_img read more

Canadianshot The Shape of Water leads race for British Academy AwardsCanadianshot The Shape of Water leads race for British Academy Awards

first_imgCanadian-shot Cold War monster movie The Shape of Water led nominations Tuesday for the British Academy Film Awards, as organizers announced a new female host and promised to fight sexism and sexual misconduct in showbiz.Guillermo del Toro’s fantastical thriller scored nominations in 12 categories, including best picture and best director, for the U.K. equivalent of the Oscars.The film was also up for several Golden Globe nominations this year, including for best drama, but only took home awards for best director and best original score. It was shot in Toronto and Hamilton. Facebook Login/Register With: Canadian Christopher Plummer is also up for a supporting actor award for All the Money in the World. Plummer was a last-minute replacement for Kevin Spacey, who was cut from the already-completed film following allegations of sexual misconduct.Christopher Plummer has earned a supporting actor nomination for his performance in All the Money in the World, after being parachuted in to replace Kevin Spacey at the last minute. (Sony Pictures)Two Canadian nominees are up for this year’s production design award: Dennis Gassner for Blade Runner 2049 and Paul Austerberry for The Shape of Water. Sally Hawkins, left, and Octavia Spencer star in The Shape of Water. The film has scored nominations in 12 British Academy Film Award categories. (Fox Searchlight Pictures/Associated Press) Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

WANTED ADORABLE DOG TO STAR IN ANNIE THIS FEBRUARYWANTED ADORABLE DOG TO STAR IN ANNIE THIS FEBRUARY

first_img Facebook Do you have a dog who’s destined to be a star?Align Entertainment is searching for adorable dogs who’d like to play a starring role in their upcoming production of Annie: The Musical. The production will be onstage at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby from Feb. 1 through 16.Dogs must be available for all performances, as well as rehearsals starting Jan. 13. (Likely dates for rehearsals include Jan. 18 evening, Jan. 20 daytime, Jan. 25 evening, and Jan. 30 and 31 evenings.) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement The dog should be gentle, well-behaved, comfortable around children and adults, and leash-trained. Dogs should be able to follow simple commands such as “come” and “sit.”If you think your pooch has what it takes, open auditions are being held on Sunday, Jan. 6 at the Lindbjerg Academy of The Performing Arts, 7-75 Blue Mountain St. in Coquitlam. Registration is from 3 to 4 p.m., and auditions run from 4 to 6 p.m. Bring along a photo of your dog.CLICK HERE FOR AUDITION DETAILSlast_img read more