Login/Register With: Advertisement Chris, 30Calgary, Alta.InventorQuirky, clever and funny, Chris is definitely one-of-a-kind. The 30-year-old inventor is a walking encyclopedia of information and cites his intelligence and creativity as his best attributes. Intense and always thinking, Chris describes his ideal mate as someone who is emotionally intelligent, humble, smart and charismatic. While none of his past relationships have lasted, Chris has remained friends with all of his former girlfriends. Now he’s ready to leave the “friend zone” behind to find true love with the Bachelorette.David, 26Windsor, Ont.MusicianDavid is a born entertainer and he lives his dream every day working as a musician, performing magic tricks for the children at the YMCA and even hosting his own online cooking show. To help him stand out among the 19 other Bachelors, 26-year-old David plans to use a combination of his unique sense of humour and easy-going nature to get the Bachelorette’s attention. He wants the Bachelorette to know he’s a pretty simple guy at heart who is looking to experience life to the fullest with the woman of his dreams.Eddie, 32St. John’s, N.L.Canada’s CrushEddie is a 32-year-old proud east-coaster who won over the nation, receiving the most online votes to earn the title of Canada’s Crush and a coveted spot amongst the 20 Bachelors vying for Jasmine’s heart. All of his life, Eddie has worked hard and played harder. Today, he almost has it all: a great job as an oilfield logistics coordinator, lots of friends and a close and loving family. The only thing missing is someone to share it with. Today, he’s ready to put his career – and party lifestyle – on hold to find the love of his life.Taylor, 31Collingwood, Ont.Oilfield Equipment OperatorThe guys on 31-year-old Taylor’s oilfield frac crew might be right when they say he’s “too pretty for the patch.” At the very least, he has no problem turning heads with his booming voice and confident air. A family man at heart, Taylor lists his mom as his greatest hero for her resiliency and for always putting the needs of her family first. He is ready to build a family of his own and hopes the Bachelorette will prove to be the girl he can’t live without.With the premiere quickly approaching, fans can still enter the SuperFan contest at wnetwork.com/superfan for a chance to appear on the live Bachelorette Canada Aftershow hosted by Jennifer Valentyne that will follow each episode of The Bachelorette Canada. SuperFans must submit a short, online questionnaire and upload a photo of their best ‘Rose Ceremony Reaction.’ Nine lucky SuperFans will receive round-trip airfare and accommodation in Vancouver and will appear in an episode of the Aftershow.The Bachelorette Canada is produced by Good Human Productions Inc. The series is based on the U.S. format created by Mike Fleiss and produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Sales of the format are handled by Warner Bros. International Television Production.W Network is a Corus Entertainment NetworkAbout Corus Entertainment Inc.Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that creates and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world. The company’s portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses 45 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a global content business, digital assets, live events, children’s book publishing, animation software, technology and media services. Corus’ roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Canada, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY®, Showcase, National Geographic Channel, Q107, CKNW, Fresh Radio, Disney Channel Canada, YTV and Nickelodeon Canada. Visit Corus at www.corusent.com.About Good Human Productions Inc.Good Human is a Vancouver-based production company that delivers hit content for their broadcast and production partners. The company is built on strong relationships with talented artists, thinkers and top production personnel. Good Humans have developed and supervised the production of 1000+ hours of quality prime-time original programming including The Bachelor Canada, The Bachelorette Canada and Cheer Squad for ABC Spark & Freeform. For more information, please visit www.goodhumanproductions.com and @Goodhumanprods and facebook.com/goodhumanproductions.SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:Follow Corus PR on Twitter @CorusPRSubscribe to the W Network YouTube channel: YouTube.com/user/OfficialWNetworkFollow W Network on Twitter @W_Network, Facebook facebook.com/wnetwork and Instagram @w_networkFollow W Dish Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement The wait is over. W Network revealed today the last five Bachelors hoping to win Jasmine’s heart in the first season of The Bachelorette Canada. The final group of men includes an international model from Regina, an inventor from Calgary, a musician from Windsor, the Canada’s Crush contest winner from St. John’s and an oilfield equipment operator from Collingwood. Fans can get to know all 20 Bachelors at Wnetwork.com. Jasmine’s journey for love begins with the series premiere of The Bachelorette Canada on September 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on W Network.Today’s Bachelor announcement includes:Thomas, 30Regina, Sask.International ModelAfter a serious injury put Thomas in a wheelchair and sidelined his construction career, he was forced to take a hard look at his life and his future. He decided it was time to take a leap of faith and entered a local model search in Regina, Sask. Today the 30-year-old travels the world as a successful international model. The extreme highs and lows of his personal journey have shaped Thomas’ Zen approach to life, and now he’s ready to take another leap of faith in order to find the perfect girl to share it with. Twitter
The hit television show had a profound impact on Vancouver’s production scene, making the city a go-to location for television and film productions.Carter is being recognized for The X-Files’ contribution to that growth with an Industry Builder Award from the Vancouver International Film Festival.He said since filming the pilot in 1993, the city has blossomed into the “production capital of North America.” Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment It was Vancouver’s deep, dark forests that brought the television series The X-Files to the city for five seasons.“There were forest scenes in the pilot of The X-Files, and we came up simply for the forests,” said creator Chris Carter, laughing.“[Lead actor] David Duchovny says it was two weeks that turned into five years.” Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement read more
Advertisement Login/Register With: From: The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Soulpepper Theatre CompanyShawn Cooper, ChairDavid Fleck, Vice ChairVanessa Morgan, DirectorRob Brouwer, DirectorEric Wetlaufer, DirectorJanuary 6, 2018“On behalf of Soulpepper Theatre Company’s Board of Directors, we want to speak to our community of artists, staff, patrons and supporters. We are all deeply distressed by the alleged conduct of former artistic director Albert Schultz. The conduct as described is completely antithetical to the values of Soulpepper. Consequently, we requested and accepted Albert’s immediate resignation. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook All of us on the Board take our oversight responsibility very seriously. Unfortunately, we did not know that Albert Schultz was alleged to have engaged in any harassment. No such complaints ever made their way to the Board. After the Laszlo Marton issue came to light, the Board made extensive enquiries about any other potential issues of harassment, or whether any other harassment concerns had been expressed. We were assured that there had been no other harassment of any kind by anyone at the company. After an independent review by a workplace policy expert in the fall of 2017, we were further assured that we had the right policies and procedures in place to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.That said, this situation has brought home to us that policies alone do not create such a culture. We understand why many artists in the Soulpepper community felt that raising concerns about the safety of the Soulpepper workplace was very difficult.We are committed to a process of reflection, renewal and change. We have today severed our relationship with Executive Director Leslie Lester. We have also, by request of our artists, cancelled the production Amadeus. In the coming days and weeks, we will be taking additional steps to ensure not only that our policies are as strong as possible but that the culture is one that encourages the respect and dignity of all our members. We will also be examining our management structure to ensure the strongest workplace culture possible.It is very important to recognize that Soulpepper is a leading theatre company in Canada because it has been built not by one person, but by a broad community. It has a huge breadth and depth of talent, which each and every one of us on the Board is fully committed to supporting. The Board would like to thank the community for their support during these challenging times.We are confident that, together, we can steer Soulpepper through this period and remain a place where enormously talented individuals can share their art.” Advertisement Twitter read more
Advertisement Facebook LAINEY’S PICK:Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino“Jia Tolentino has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 2016. She is one of the youngest writers, started around the time she was 27 and I’m obsessed with her. Jia is seen as a wunderkid in writing circles and there is already a mythology in place.”MARCI’S PICK:Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes“I’m all about transitions. I think it’s the most important thing in people’s lives when they are faced with or forced into something new — and that is what this book is about. This book is about new beginnings, meeting new people and getting a fresh start.”CYNTHIA’S PICK:The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters“I love anything written by Sarah Waters but this is one of my absolute favs. Part ghost story part romantic novel – the reader is left by the end with more questions than answers. A deliciously chilling summer read.”MELISSA’S PICK:The Drama of Celebrity by Sharon Marcus“So many of us are obsessed with celebrities, but this book goes behind the curtain about the mechanics. It takes a look at us, as fans, and our obsession by analyzing the mechanics of Hollywood. The book is written by Sharon Marcus, a English and Contemporary Literature professor at Columbia University. It’s a quick read and I can’t wait to finish it on vacation next week.”JESS’ PICK:Calypso by David Sedaris“I’ve read it but I want to re-read it this summer. Whether he’s having dinner with his family or shopping in Japan, he observes the most beautiful, funny, sad, profound and ordinary moments and puts them into words that make me swoon.”Join THE SOCIAL’s book club on Instagram every Friday from now until Labour Day, and watch THE SOCIAL weekdays at 1 p.m. (2 p.m. AT) on CTV. Advertisement Advertisement With only a few weeks left of summer, now is the perfect time to relax and crack open a new book. All summer long, CTV’s THE SOCIAL has shared a curated list of summer reads based on a theme, ranging from Canadian reads, travel reads, or old favourites. The lists are comprised of books featured on the show – whether it’s an author interview or book club segment.And this week, the hosts of CTV’s THE SOCIAL have shared their own personal summer reading list, as they hand-pick their favourite books of the season.Take a look at the ladies’ picks below, and hear their thoughts on THE SOCIAL’s Instagram page (@TheSocialCTV). Login/Register With: Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment read more
Brandi Morin APTN National NewsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a speech in Paris that Indigenous people can teach the world how to care for the planet.Trudeau was speaking Monday at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also known as COP21, in Paris.While outlining the principles on which Canada will base its climate action plan, Trudeau included a reference to the importance of working with Indigenous people.He said Indigenous people are taking a leadership role on climate change and that Indigenous knowledge could be helpful in dealing with the issue.“Indigenous peoples have known for thousands of years how to care for our planet,” said Trudeau. “The rest of us have a lot to learn and no time to waste.”He also said the government will work with provincial and municipal leaders to create clean growth.Trudeau invited premiers and environmental leaders to attend the event a few weeks ago.Last Thursday, just four days before the start of the UN gathering, AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said he accepted an invitation from environment minister Catherine McKenna to join Canada’s official delegation to COP21.Bellegarde had already been scheduled to attend with the International Indian Treaty Council’s North American Indigenous delegation which is funded by the United Nations Development Programme.Outlining principles to take on climate change, Trudeau said Canada will act on advice based on scientific evidence and committed to providing funding to developing nations most affected by climate change.He also expressed support for implementing policies that will contribute to the development of a low carbon economy, which will include carbon pricing.“It’s the right thing to do, for our environment, economy and as part of the global community.”He said climate change is more than a challenge, but an historic opportunity.“An opportunity to build a sustainable economy based on clean technology, on green infrastructure and on green jobs. We will not sacrifice growth, we will create growth,” he said.Over 40,000 people from around the globe, including 150 world leaders, are gathered in Paris this week. COP21 is the largest environmental gathering in history where an international treaty is projected to be created to take steps to globally combat the threat of global warming.Canada is warming at twice the global rate and the Arctic region is being hit the hardest, according to Environment Canada firstname.lastname@example.org@songstress28 read more
Matt Thordarson APTN National NewsMusicians from across the country are getting together to raise money for Fort McMurray evacuees.88,000 people were forced to flee their homes after a wildfire burned into the city.While many homes were lost, officials say 85 percent of the city was saved.
Annette Francis APTN National NewsIt’s been over a week since the body of a celebrated Inuk artist was found in Ottawa’s Rideau River.Annie Pootoogook’s suspicious death has stirred up a mix of emotions and complaints of how police have handled the case.
The Canadian PressEDMONTON – An Edmonton man with a history of making violent attacks is appealing his latest convictions and his designation as a dangerous offender.The dangerous offender designation handed to Lance Blanchard last month means he could be held in prison indefinitely.Blanchard was convicted in 2016 of kidnapping and sexually assaulting an Indigenous woman who was jailed to ensure her testimony.He was also convicted of aggravated assault, unlawful confinement, possession of a weapon and other charges.Tom Engel, Blanchard’s lawyer, filed the notice of appeal Tuesday.The appeal document says the convictions and sentence were unreasonable and included errors in law.In his ruling last month, Justice Eric Macklin of Court of Queen’s Bench said Blanchard, 60, posed a high risk for both violent and sexual recidivism.“’I am satisfied that Mr. Blanchard constitutes a threat to the life, safety and physical well-being of other persons in the community,” Macklin said in court.“He has shown a pattern of repetitive behaviour.”The designation means Blanchard won’t be eligible for parole unless he gets treatment that shows he can safely be managed in the community.His convictions include 10 violent offences, including at least two sexual assaults, that date back to the 1970s.The Indigenous woman wasn’t able to testify in the dangerous offender hearing for Blanchard because she had died in an unrelated accidental shooting. read more
Angel MooreAPTN NewsThere was no shortage of drama at the Assembly of First Nations election in Vancouver.Along with the campaigning from the five candidates, young people and grassroots also chimed in and demanded change.But in the end, chiefs voted to keep Perry Bellegarde as national chief.Morley Googoo, the AFN’s regional chief for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland says he supports Bellegarde and the direction the organization is heading in.
Tom FennarioAPTN NewsIt’s an argument that is almost as old as the sex trade itself – will legalizing it make women safer.Today at the hearings for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in St. John’s, NL both arguments were presented to commissioners.On one side, proponents of legalizing say it will bring women out of the shadows.But others say no one was put on this earth to sell their email@example.com@tfennario
Bruce Pitt-Payne is a former Mountie who teaches interviewing techniques. (Submitted photo)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsA former RCMP trainer and interviewing expert says the 2012 interrogation of an Indigenous teenager broadcast by APTN News this week is “archaic, counter-productive and embarrassing.”Bruce Pitt-Payne, who retired from the force in B.C. after 21 years, said the accusatory approach used by the Kelowna Mountie “should never have happened.”“I trained B.C. RCMP officers from 2010-2015,” he said in a telephone interview from Maple Ridge, B.C., where he runs PlayFair Investigative Consulting & Training Services.“I don’t know if I trained this fella.”The video clip has outraged viewers across the country – especially women – who expressed anger on social media at the treatment of an under-age minor disclosing an alleged sexual assault.The damning video was obtained by APTN as part of a court case the now-adult woman’s lawyer has filed against the B.C. child welfare system.APTN asked Pitt-Payne to analyse the nearly minute-long excerpt of a longer interview.“From the scarce material I saw on the internet that appears to be the same type of interview that you would do on a suspect and we don’t even do that anymore,” he said.“We changed in 2015.”Pitt-Payne said the teen was a vulnerable witness who deserved empathy, understanding and compassion.“It’s bias. It’s absolute bias,” he said, asking to see more of the video.“He’d already made up his mind and just wanted her to say what he wanted to hear to conclude that file.”APTN is preparing to release additional segments in the coming days.B.C.’s Minister of Children and Family Development was equally offended by what she saw.“The video is sickening and horrible,” Katrine Conroy (NDP-Kootenay West) said in a statement emailed to APTN.“Women, especially Indigenous women and girls, face many barriers in reporting sexual violence. We must do everything possible to reduce those barriers and protect survivors of sexual violence.”(B.C.’s Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy. Submitted photo).Conroy, who was not made available for an interview, said her government was discussing how best to support survivors of sexual violence.But didn’t promise any action.“Our government firmly believes when people come forward to report sexual violence, especially young people and Indigenous peoples, they must feel safe and be supported,” she said.“That’s our expectation.”Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who is the minister responsible for the RCMP, said “the apparent attitudes and techniques that were on display in 2012 are profoundly outdated, offensive and wrong.”His office noted major improvements have been made since then.But the RCMP declined to make Commissioner Brenda Lucki available to elaborate in an interview Thursday, citing the video’s role in a court case.During a two-and-a-half hour interrogation, the officer asks the youth if she was “at all turned on” during the alleged assault. “Even a little bit?“You understand that when a guy tries to have sex with a female and the female is completely unwilling it is very difficult,” he added.Pitt-Payne said that was the wrong approach.“It’s systemic in that people do not understand what real memory and real witnesses look like,” he said.“We work to get the best information – meaning complete and reliable – while also considering the well-being of the person being interviewed.”Pitt-Payne expressed concern the video would deter witnesses and victims from coming forward in the future.He said, at the very least, the display should trigger a code of conduct investigation.“They went in with tunnel vision and they achieved a self-fulfilling prophecy.”He said a mentor or supervisor should be watching to correct members and reinforce appropriate skills.“Someone to say, ‘Woah, you don’t do that. Let’s plan it out. Go in and ask her what happened. See what you’re going to get from her first.’ Don’t ever go for your agenda first.”No criminal charges were laid as a result of the woman’s complaint. firstname.lastname@example.org@katmarte read more
MONTREAL – Canadian travellers hoping to vacation in St. Maarten this winter may have to make alternative plans after hurricane damage forced several airlines to suspend service for the season.Air Canada (TSX:AC) issued an advisory on its website saying that damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria has resulted in its suspension of all flights to the Caribbean island. Affected customers can obtain a refund.Transat AT (TSX:TRZ) also says it has suspended service for the season.Flights to St. Maarten were unavailable for booking on WestJet’s (TSX:WJA) website, while Sunwing couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.Other islands that were battered by hurricanes are preparing to welcome Canadian travellers.Montreal-based Transat says it will begin flights from Toronto and Montreal to Puerto Rico in February, while its normal service has resumed to most of Cuba.Transat also says its cruise line partners are reviewing winter itineraries in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean. Revisions are expected to be announced within weeks, but dates of voyage won’t change. read more
REGINA – Saskatchewan’s budget deficit is down slightly halfway through the fiscal year, tax revenue has taken a dip despite a higher provincial sales tax and a $300-million contingency fund has been drained.Finance Minister Donna Harpauer says the 2017-18 deficit projection sits at $679 million — $6 million less than the budget estimate last spring.The province is also expecting to bring in $53 million less than it had anticipated in March from taxes and non-renewable resources.Harpauer says the budget is still on track because there have been increases in other revenue sources, such as a fuel tax, and a strong economic outlook is making for positive growth in the GDP for the first time in two years.The contingency fund, however, is pretty much gone.The province had already used about half of it in the first quarter to cover public-sector salaries when workers failed to agree to a 3.5 per cent pay cut.“Compensation savings projected at budget are not likely to be achieved in 2017-18,” Harpauer said in a release Wednesday. “This, combined with the lower revenue projection, fully uses the $300-million planned contingency.”Harpauer said the government is still trying to push through wage reductions.“While it is taking longer than we would have liked, our government has asked employers to continue to pursue compensation savings, as part of continuing to manage our expenses very carefully as we pursue our plan to balance the budget by 2019-20.”The austerity budget delivered last spring was, by Premier Brad Wall’s own admission, unpopular with voters because of cuts that were made to help tackle a $1.3-billion deficit from last year.The deficit was due in large part to low resource prices, although Harpauer said Wednesday rising oil prices and strong oilfield investment are expected to support stronger growth in 2018.Another factor helping the bottom line is that expenses are now projected at $9 million less due in part to fewer than expected crop insurance claims.The Saskatchewan Party government took a number of measures in the budget to fight the deficit. They included increasing and expanding the provincial sales tax to six per cent from five and shutting down the Crown-owned Saskatchewan Transportation Co.The government also slashed funding to libraries, community-based organizations and to funeral services for people on social assistance, although it eventually backtracked on those plans.The provincial branch of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said balancing the budget should be the top priority for all candidates vying for the leadership of the Saskatchewan Party.A replacement for Wall, who is retiring from politics, is to be elected Jan. 27. read more
CALGARY – The B.C. government has launched its latest effort to hinder development of Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Trans Mountain expansion project with a proposal to at least temporarily restrict increases in diluted bitumen shipments.Environment Minister George Heyman said Tuesday that the province plans to ban the increase of oil exports until it can determine through an advisory panel that shippers are prepared and able to properly clean up a spill.“Our proposal is to restrict the increase of (diluted bitumen) through regulation until we can be certain there are appropriate measures to prevent a spill, and to adequately clean it up to prevent catastrophic damage if it happens on any number of fronts,” he said.“If we can’t be satisfied that that can happen once we receive the scientific advisory panel, there would be no reason to lift the restriction.”The government will establish an independent scientific advisory panel to study the issue, and will also seek input from First Nations, industry, local governments, environmental groups and the general public over the coming months, said Heyman.The proposal creates more uncertainty for Kinder Morgan’s already-delayed Trans Mountain expansion project that would nearly triple the capacity of its pipeline system to 890,000 barrels a day.The company said it would actively participate in the engagement and feedback process that the province has announced, while pointing out that the Trans Mountain expansion project was already thoroughly studied before it secured approval.“The expansion project’s approval by the Government of Canada followed a rigorous and lengthy regulatory process that included a thorough examination of the pipeline and products being shipped.”B.C.’s move was met with condemnation by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who has long championed the pipeline to get Alberta crude to new markets.“Having run out of tools in the toolbox, the government of B.C. is now grasping at straws,” said Notley, calling the proposal rash, illegal and unconstitutional.“It is so far beyond the scope of what they have the legal ability to do, they are creating a mockery of our federal system, and it truly does jeopardize investor confidence,” said Notley.Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said in a statement that his government stands by the decision to approve the expansion project, just as it stands by its commitment to Canadians to implement world-leading measures to protect the environment.“The decision we took on the Trans Mountain expansion remains in the national interest. And it was a decision based on facts and evidence — this has not changed,” Carr said.Opponents of the project in B.C. — including numerous environmental groups — welcomed the move.West Coast Environmental Law executive director Jessica Clogg said it was a clear threat to the project.“What this really is, is an enormous sword hanging over Kinder Morgan,” said Clogg.“It’s a wake up call of what’s coming, and really I think has to be taken very seriously, because it’s a signal that if the science is not there to show that a spill can be cleaned up safely and effectively, Kinder Morgan may not be in a position to turn on the tap, even if they can get their project built.”Environmentalists have been waiting for an announcement like this for a while, said Clogg, after the B.C. NDP committed along with the B.C. Green Party to oppose the pipeline with all available tools.B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said in a release that he was pleased to see the minister is putting evidence and science front and centre in government decision-making.“I look forward to the new panel providing complete, robust and accurate information on this matter to the Minister that reinforces what which we already know – that there is no way currently to adequately respond to a spill of diluted bitumen.”—With a file from Colette Derworiz in Edmonton read more
WASHINGTON – Payday lenders got regulators to rethink rules on how closely to vet borrowers. E-cigarette makers got a delay in federal oversight of many vaping products. Candy makers praised a decision to hold off on more stringent labeling standards. And title insurers declared “victory” for getting changes that benefited them in the tax overhaul.What do all these American special-interest groups have in common? They were among those that booked meetings, retreats and conferences at hotels and golf resorts owned by President Donald Trump.While it’s impossible to draw a direct link between where groups seeking to influence the Trump administration hold their events and what they received, one thing is certain: Never before in American history have such groups had the opportunity to hold an event at a property owned by the president, paying for event space, rooms and food with money that ultimately heads into the president’s pockets.An Associated Press analysis of the special interests that visited Trump properties in the first year of his presidency found several instances that at least created the appearance of “pay for play.” And lobbying experts say as long as the president fails to divest from his businesses and can still profit from such bookings, special interests will take full advantage.“The name of the game is to have your message heard, and frankly, if you’re helping put money in the family pocket, that’s a good way of getting heard. And it’s legal,” said Bob Schneider, a former lobbyist who worked in Washington for 25 years.“If I were still doing that business, I would run to the Trump Hotel and have every event I could there,” Schneider said, “because I can’t imagine anyone believing that Donald Trump Jr. doesn’t tell his dad what’s going on with the business.”Before taking office, Trump made a series of promises to draw a “red line” between his businesses and his administration. They included setting up a trust to hold his assets (which he can still access at any time), handing day-to-day management responsibilities to his two oldest sons and hiring an ethics lawyer to vet business deals. He also pledged to always act “beyond reproach” and never give “even the appearance of a conflict.”In the first year of the Trump presidency, the watchdog group Public Citizen counted at least 19 interest groups that held events at Trump properties, including those representing miners, oil drillers, hedge fund operators, insurers, funeral home directors and commercial real estate investors.But it’s difficult to know exactly how many such meetings were held and how much money those groups spent because, unlike political organizations or campaigns, interest groups are not required to reveal their expenditures at private facilities.And the Trump Organization declined to even discuss such meetings.Several special-interest groups contacted by the AP repeatedly said price, location and availability — not trying to influence public policy — were their primary reasons for booking with Trump.Government ethics watchdogs say that while these actions may be legal, they can cause the public to question some of the Trump administration’s decisions.“There’s a pretty big difference from lobbying and giving business to the president, which essentially means actually enriching the president,” said Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.“When you have these kinds of business relationships, it creates the risk that the president is instead going to be motivated by what’s in his financial interest instead of what’s in the best interest of the American people.”A look at several special interests that met at Trump properties, their lobbying priorities, and the real-world results:___BANKERSHedge fund managers, bankers and payday lenders have been opening their wallets at Trump properties.In March, the Palm Beach Hedge Fund Association, members of an industry that Trump once said were “getting away with murder” with tax breaks, held a meet-and-greet gathering at his Mar-a-Lago club in town.A few days later, executives from dozens of banks converged for a three-day conference at the Trump National Doral Miami that was sponsored by a trade magazine. Its panel discussions included one titled “The Trump presidency and what it means for banking.”Next up, a payday lending group will be heading to the Doral in April for its annual conference.Trump administration goals often align with business groups, but those groups have nevertheless notched significant concessions from lawmakers and regulators in recent months.Federal regulators recently announced they would reconsider rules requiring payday lenders to make sure potential borrowers can pay back loans. And a law passed late last year will make it harder for consumers to join together to sue their banks.Also, the tax overhaul left open a loophole for hedge fund operators to claim much of their income as “carried interest” taxed at lower rates than ordinary income. But after Senate questioning, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week that he plans to close the loophole.Money manager Tom Brown, who spoke at the Doral event for bankers, said he didn’t believe attendees saw it as an opportunity to curry favour with the Trump administration.For its part, the Community Financial Services Association, a payday lending group, said it first held an annual meeting at the Doral 16 years ago and added, “We look forward to returning.” A board member of the Palm Beach hedge fund group, Jonathan Beaton, said it was a just a social club, not a lobbying organization.“No one is trying to get to Trump or change policy,” he said.___VAPING VICTORYIn July, a Washington-based trade association for the vaping and e-cigarette industry held its annual two-day conference at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. The keynote speaker was Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican who had just written the Food and Drug Administration asking that it rein in a 2016 rule requiring e-cigarette makers get federal approval to sell the products, something the association says stunts innovation and places heavy costs on small businesses.Ten days later, the FDA announced that, as part of its efforts to strike the “appropriate balance” between regulation and innovation, manufacturers of e-cigarettes and cigars already on the market would have another four years before they would be required to get agency approval. The delay also applies to regulations on flavoured vaping products, which studies show to be especially appealing to young people.Tony Abboud, executive director of the Vapor Technology Association, said in a statement that it was “overly simplistic” to suggest the July event at Trump’s hotel had anything to do with the FDA delay. He said the venue was selected based on budget and proximity to Capitol Hill.___SWEET SUCCESSThe lobbying group that represents “Big Candy” interests such as Mars and Hershey’s held two events at Trump properties in the past two years — at the Doral in Miami in March 2017 and in 2016 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.The group appears to have found receptive ears in the administration.In September, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb proposed delaying Obama-era rules that would have imposed new labeling standards on candy. An official at the lobbying group, the National Confectioners Association, wrote Gottlieb a congratulatory letter, saying that the delay to January 2020 would “significantly reduce the burden” on the industry.Christopher Gindlesperger, a spokesman for the group, said the Miami event was booked in 2014, a year before Trump entered the presidential race, and the Washington event in 2015 before Trump became president. He added the group’s use of Trump properties was based on its event needs only, adding that its choice of venues is “completely unrelated to our advocacy efforts.”___TITLE INSURERSA trade association for the title insurance industry has spent more than half a million dollars each year over a decade lobbying Congress and the White House. But never before has it had the opportunity to host an event at a property owned by a U.S. president.In October, the American Land Title Association held a three-day annual conference at Trump National Doral Miami, with rooms advertised to members at the rate of $279 a night.Two months later, ALTA wrote about a “significant victory” on its blog. The insurers sell more policies when people buy and sell more homes, but the initial versions of both the Senate and House versions of the tax overhaul would have hurt business by forcing home sellers to hold on to properties longer to claim tax-free capital gains on sales.The final law cut out those restrictions. Meanwhile, Trump said last month that he would look into another priority for the group, loosening rules on consumer lending.Representatives for ALTA did not respond to multiple requests for comment.___TRAIN TRAININGWhat do rules about training programs for railroad workers have to do with a dinner of sweet corn bisque, saffron paella and roasted rockfish accompanied by Trump wine from his Virginia vineyard and Trump Signature coffee?Well, maybe nothing, but it’s worth watching.The backstory is that the National Railroad Construction and Management Association doesn’t like a 2008 Transportation Department rule requiring what it considers excessive training for railroad workers. It has spent years trying to repeal it, spending $120,000 last year alone on lobbying on this issue and others.The Federal Railroad Administration had been authorized by Congress in 2008 to enact training rules, but a final rule had been repeatedly delayed.In March 2017, the association held a lavish dinner at the Trump International Hotel Washington down the street from the White House. “I am drinking Trump coffee,” enthused one guest, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who posted a photo of the menu on his Instagram account.The next day U.S. railroad executives and lobbyists fanned out to Capitol offices for their annual “Railroad Day” lobbying rounds.In December, the Federal Railroad Administration announced a proposal to delay implementation of its training rules for another year.The association did not respond to repeated requests for comment.___THE POP-INIn at least once instance, Trump himself stopped by during a corporation’s event at the president’s exclusive Mar-a-Lago club.It came in December during the Christmas party for Oxbow Carbon LLC, a Florida-based energy company owned by William Koch, a longtime dues-paying member of Mar-a-Lago and brother of billionaires and conservative activists Charles and David Koch.Oxbow’s main product, petroleum coke, a fuel used in oil refining and often stored in bulk, could be affected by the Trump administration’s push to ease air and water pollution regulations.Oxbow spokesman Brad Goldstein said no business was discussed during Trump’s visit to the party and stressed that Koch has long held events at Trump’s club.“This was an event to reward Oxbow employees and the president was just visiting as he has in the past,” Goldstein said. “It had nothing to do with public policy.”___This story has been corrected to reflect that the National Confectioners Association has met twice at Trump properties in the past two years, not in the past year. The most recent was March 2017 at the Trump National Doral Miami. The group also did not schedule another event at the Trump Washington hotel in September.___Associated Press writer Bernard Condon in New York contributed to this report. read more
CALGARY — Ensign Energy Services Inc. says it will take control of Trinidad Drilling Ltd. after acquiring a majority of the company’s shares by its Tuesday deadline.The Calgary-based drilling company says 56.38 per cent of Trinidad shares have been tendered. The 154.1 million shares are in addition to the 26.9 million it also owns, raising its stake in Trinidad to 66.18 per cent.Each Trinidad shareholder will receive by Thursday $1.68 per share for a total of about $470 million, with the offer price representing a 17.2 per cent premium over the all-share proposal by Precision Drilling Corp., the largest driller in Canada.With all conditions of its offer satisfied or waived, Ensign has extended the deadline until Dec. 10 for Trinidad shareholders who have not done so to tender their shares.Ensign had given Trinidad shareholders less time to consider its hostile takeover bid by pushing its offer deadline ahead of a planned Dec. 11 meeting where Trinidad shareholders will vote on the merger with Precision.If that meeting isn’t cancelled, Ensign says it will use its majority to vote down that offer from Precision. Companies mentioned in this article: (TSX:ESI, TSX:TDG, TSX:PD)The Canadian Press read more
WASHINGTON — U.S. lawmakers’ grilling of Google CEO Sundar Pichai may have sounded like a broken record, but it amplified the prickly issues facing tech companies as Democrats prepare to take control of the House next month.The 3 1/2-hour hearing Tuesday hit upon familiar themes — online privacy, data protection and the danger of digital monopolies — that are poised to come into even sharper focus next year.Here are some of the hurdles that Google parent Alphabet Inc., Facebook, Amazon and other tech companies are likely to face when the 116th Congress convenes.___USER PRIVACYLooming over the tech industry is the possibility of government regulation intended to protect people’s data. One model for lawmakers may be Europe, where new rules governing data and privacy went into effect this year.Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, tried to pin down Pichai on privacy during Tuesday’s hearing. “I’ve got an iPhone,” Poe said, waving his device. “Can Google track me when I move?” If he moved to the left toward his Democratic colleagues on the panel, would Google know?“Not by default,” Pichai answered. Poe demanded a yes or no answer, but Pichai indicated it was complicated.Other lawmakers questioned whether regular people know how much data Google can collect about them and how to stop being tracked. Privacy, of course, is also a huge issue for Facebook, which has spent nearly a year trying to recover from the Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal.___SEARCHING FOR BIASLawmakers from both parties seem determined to re-examine whether Google rigs its search results to promote its own services and its own political agenda, too. President Donald Trump also has complained about the issue (without evidence ).European regulators already have concluded Google manipulated its search engine to gain an unfair advantage over other online shopping sites in the lucrative e-commerce market, and fined the company $2.8 billion. Google disputes those findings and is still appealing the decision reached in 2017.The U.S. Federal Trade Commission opened a similar investigation into Google’s business practices in 2011. That probe concluded 19 months later without finding any serious misconduct and didn’t require any meaningful changes to how the company operates. But internal documents later surfaced that indicated the FTC’s board had brushed off some recommendations of staff lawyers who believed Google was tinkering with its search results in way that stifled competition.U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, told Pichai he intended to work with the FTC to draw up a regulatory framework to prevent Google from throttling its rivals through its search engine, which handles two out of every three queries in the U.S.Numerous lawmakers also asserted that Google uses its search engine as a propaganda machine that highlights news and opinions supporting its own view of how the world should be. The prevailing consensus so far is that the alleged bias most frequently falls on the left-leaning side of most debates, although that pendulum could swing now that Democrats will be the majority party in the House.But drawing up regulations governing that area of search results would be more likely to raise First Amendment issues, making them even more difficult to impose.___CHINALawmakers on both sides peppered Pichai with questions about the possibility that Google is considering offering a censored search engine in China after pulling out of that country in 2010 in a high-profile dispute with its communist government’s policies.It’s not clear what Congress might be able to do to prevent Google from returning to China, but it would certainly trigger more political fireworks.Pichai acknowledged Google has been exploring a possible search engine in China with a team of engineers that at times has exceeded 100 people, but repeatedly emphasized the company has no plans to release it “right now.” If that changes, Pichai promised let lawmakers know about it.___ELECTION INTERFERENCEWhile Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee grilled Pichai on what they perceive as bias against conservatives, top committee Democrat Jerrold Nadler said lawmakers should instead examine issues such as the spread of misinformation online and Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections online.Given Democrats are poised to take over the House, the use of fake news and misinformation by foreign actors — especially Russia — will likely to continue to be front and centre in the coming months, if not years.___BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DOGovernments around the world are becoming increasingly unnerved by the power being amassed by major technology companies — with the dominance of Facebook in social networking, Google in search and Amazon in e-commerce raising the most concerns.That has raised the spectre that Trump and Congress might turn up the heat on antitrust regulators to get them to investigate whether consumers and the economy as a whole need to be protected from those companies.In the most dramatic scenario, a case might be made for breaking the companies into smaller pieces. The premise would be that they have become modern-day trusts similar to what John Rockefeller built through Standard Oil, before the U.S. Supreme Court required it to be dismantled in a 1911 decision that reshaped the business landscape.___Ortutay reported from New York and Liedtke reported from San Francisco.Barbara Ortutay, Michael Liedtke And Marcy Gordon, The Associated Press read more
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John announced that a number of vacancies in senior management positions have been filled over the past few days.Moira Green, who has served as Director of Strategic Services for the past 4 years, was appointed the City’s new General Manager of Community Services. Green will be filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Wally Ferris.After almost 29 years, the City’s Director of Protective Services Jim Rogers has announced his retirement, which will take effect September 1st. Deputy Fire Chief Darrell Blades has been named the City’s new Director of Public Safety, which is a new position similar to the one being vacated by Rogers. The City explained that Blades will also continue to serve in his current role of Deputy Fire Chief. Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey said that in order to facilitate the change, Fire Chief Fred Burrows will no longer report to the Director of Public Safety, and instead will report directly to Corporate Services G.M. David Joy.“I am excited for the fresh ideas and unique insight these individuals bring to the table. Additionally, I would like to thank Jim for everything that he has done for the City of Fort St. John and wish him the best in whatever the future brings,” said Dianne Hunter, City Manager. “Congratulations on a great career Jim.”With 23 years of service for the City of Fort St. John in the role of Planner and Project Coordinator, Jennifer Decker will be moving into the new role of Manager of Economic Development. Lastly, Director of Public Works and Utilities Ramesh Ummat will be moving into the Director of Planning and Engineering position.“The ability to fill the various vacancies internally is a testament to the talented individuals we employ, strong internal training and development program, and excellent succession planning,” said Mayor Lori Ackerman. read more
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. -With warmer weather temperatures many people are out enjoying lakes in northern B.C. it is important to stay healthy around algae blooms while enjoying the water.Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms may appear in lakes across northern B.C. Blue-green algae are naturally occurring and can look like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of the water. Blue-green algae can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, or pinkish-red, and often smells musty or grassy, shares Northern Health.People who come in contact with visible blue-green algae, or who ingest water containing toxins from blue-green algae, may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting or diarrhea. According to Northern Health symptoms usually, appear within one to three hours and resolve in one to two days. Symptoms in children are often more pronounced. Those making day-use of lakes are advised to take the following precautions:Avoid all contact with blue-green algae blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae are visible.As a reminder, Northern Health recommends that visitors and residents do not drink or cook with untreated water directly from any lake at any time. Boiling lake water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae.An alternate source of drinking water should also be provided for pets and livestock. Pet owners should be wary of allowing pets to walk off-leash where they may be able to drink lake water – illnesses are a common outcome.Northern Health is reminding people that weather and wind conditions can cause algae blooms to move from one location in the lake to another. Given the shifting nature of algae blooms it is safest to apply the most rigorous precautions around blooms, or areas of the waterbody historically affected by blooms.If you suspect a problem related to blue-green algae you are welcome to connect with the Ministry of Environment at EnvironmentalComplaints@gov.bc.ca.If you require further information on health concerns, call Environmental Health at 250-565-2150.For more information; CLICK HERE read more
The Canadian Press The strategy includes a public inquiry into foreign funding of environmental groups and a $30-million war room to take on critics through ads and social media.Neve writes that Amnesty is worried those initiatives undermine and violate a range of Alberta’s human rights obligations under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international law.He says those include freedom of expression, freedom of association as well as the rights of Indigenous peoples and gender equality.“Amnesty International is also gravely concerned that these initiatives, and the rhetoric surrounding them, feeds into a worsening climate of hostility towards human rights defenders — particularly Indigenous, women and environmental human rights defenders — exposing them to intimidation and threats, including threats of violence,” the letter to Kenney states. CALGARY — Amnesty International says it’s “deeply concerned” about the Alberta government’s plans to fight back against oil and gas industry critics.Alex Neve, secretary general of the human rights group’s Canadian branch, has written a letter to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.In it, Neve urges Kenney to abandon his “fight back strategy” as currently envisioned. read more