MONTREAL – More than 200 firefighters from across Canada and the northeastern United States have been sent to Quebec this month to help fight forest fires.Quebec’s forest fire protection service says the reinforcements hail from Saskatchewan, Alberta, Massachusetts and from Parks Canada.They will join the service’s 400 firefighters as well as their colleagues already lending a hand from New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Hampshire and Maine.About 60 fires are active at the moment.A spokeswoman for the fire protection service says there have been 357 fires in the province so far this year, up from an average of 276.
FREDERICTON – A Fredericton police officer killed in Friday’s shootings was a compassionate woman keen on helping her community, a longtime friend said Sunday.Fiona Williams said she had known Const. Sara Burns for most of her life, but the two only reconnected about six months ago when the officer helped raise funds for Liberty Lane, a local housing centre for women in crisis.“(She was) one of these people you always feel comfortable around, she was always down to earth,” said Williams, Liberty Lane’s executive director. “Lovely, she was just lovely.”Williams described Burns as a warm person who talked constantly about her three sons and her love for her job.“Our parents were friends when I was a child, so we had a lot of family-friend parties when we were kids,” she said.Williams said Burns and her husband Steven helped raise money for Liberty Lane: Steven and his best friend, Brian Jones, walked from Edmundston, N.B., to Fredericton in June to raise awareness and funds for the organization.While Burns was too busy with her police work to go on the walk itself, Williams said she worked hard from the sidelines to promote the fundraiser through local events.“That’s not something they could have done without their family’s involvement and support,” said Williams.Liberty Lane provides second-stage housing and outreach for women and children fleeing abusive situations.Burns and Jones raised over $130,000 for the cause, and the Burns family accepted an award through TD Bank’s Customer Appreciation Day for their fundraising efforts, just two weeks before the officer was killed at the age of 43 Friday. The shooting also claimed the lives of fellow officer Const. Robb Costello and civilians Bobbie Lee Wright and Donnie Robichaud.Burns decided to follow her dream of being a police officer when she was 40.She attended the Atlantic Police Academy at Holland College and was hired in Fredericton in 2016. She had been an auxiliary officer with the force for a time as well.One local politician told the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal when Burns was hired that the city was “very excited” to have her on board.In 2015, Burns told a Summerside, P.E.I., newspaper that she saw policing as a demanding career.“(Policing) is something that I think challenges you physically, mentally and socially; you need to be aware of those components,” she told the Journal Pioneer. “It’s a really challenging field and to survive you need to keep all of those in check.”Burns also held a degree in criminology from St. Thomas University.In recent months, Williams said Burns expressed a keen interest in mental health and working with youth, which she said is an important quality for police to have.“As a police officer, you’re not counselling people, but you really have to approach every situation differently,” Williams said.“It was really important that she understood mental health, and what some youth finding themselves at risk might be going through.”Burns was proud of her line of work, frequently sharing links to articles about police work and issues on her Facebook page. She linked to a story about Const. Frank Deschenes, who was killed in a roadside crash last year, and shared an article about the high rate of suicide among first responders.In May, Burns shared an image of a police hat and said: “Share if you’re proud of a police officer.”Burns’ family has asked for privacy as they grieve, but said in a statement that Burns loved her job and “went to work each shift committed to serving this great community.”They also expressed condolences to Costello.Costello, 45, was a 20-year police veteran and the father of four children.His partner, Jackie McLean, said in a statement of behalf of the family that she sought privacy but wanted to say a few things about him.“Robb was the single most positive person I have ever met; and that was obvious to everyone who met him. He had a special way of dealing with people — fair, but strong and tough when needed. He was the only officer I’ve ever known to write a ticket and have the recipient thank him for it,” she said.Wright, 32, and Robichaud, 42, the civilian victims of Friday’s attack, just started dating in August. Robichaud, a local musician, had two teenage sons and a daughter.Matthew Vincent Raymond, 48, will appear in court on Aug. 27 to face four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths. Police did not say if the suspect and victims were known to each other and a motive is not yet known.— By Alex Cooke in Halifax
VANCOUVER – British Columbia Premier John Horgan says successive governments have budgeted “laughable” amounts of money to fight wildfires that are becoming all too common.Horgan was flanked by the federal defence minister, the mayor of Prince George and a First Nations chief in Prince George as he said the sky in the northern city had turned jet black earlier in the day from fires burning in nearby communities.The premier says wildfires have prompted an unprecedented second state of emergency in the province in the last 12 months, after floods this spring, but he’s confident there’s enough contingency in the budget to provide the needed support.Horgan travelled to the central Interior to meet with first responders who are fighting some of the more than 500 wildfires burning across the province.More than 2,000 evacuees are in Prince George after being ordered out because of an 850-square-kilometre blaze threatening an area from Fraser Lake to Fort St. James.Horgan is also expected to travel to Burns Lake, where three out-of-control fires have prompted evacuation orders and alerts to the east, south and southwest of that village.
REGINA – A judge has reserved her decision on the request by the Saskatchewan government for an order to evict Indigenous protesters who have been camping in teepees on the legislature grounds.Justice Ysanne Wilkinson of Court of Queen’s Bench heard arguments Thursday from both sides on what should happen to the Justice For Our Stolen Children camp.The government contends the protesters are breaking bylaws and making it hard for the province to maintain the land across from the legislature building.“This case is not about whether the protesters are advocating for an honourable cause,” government lawyer Michael Morris told a packed courtroom.“It is not about whether there are too many Indigenous children in foster care. It is not about whether the criminal justice system is fair for Indigenous people.“This case is about the government’s ability to regulate, maintain land in Wascana Centre.”The first teepee went up six months ago and more have been set up as campers protest what they say is racial injustice and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children apprehended by child-welfare workers.Morris said the government has received several complaints about the camp and that public safety needs to be considered.The protesters were immediately told they had to leave.Morris said they were given numerous trespassing notices and police moved in June 18 to dismantle the camp. Six people were arrested but never charged.The camp was set up again two days later and police have held off ever since.Nine events have had to be relocated because of the camp, including part of the province’s Canada Day celebration.Protesters have filed a court application of their own seeking to have the six arrests made during the June eviction declared illegal.Meara Conway, a lawyer representing the protesters, said the arrests were a “dismal day for democracy in Saskatchewan.”Wilkinson is giving lawyer Dan LeBlanc, another lawyer representing the protesters, one week to submit further documents pertaining to his case against the arrests.LeBlanc told court Regina police Chief Evan Bray has already concluded the camp does not pose a safety risk. He added that the case is about freedom of speech.“The government bears the burden of convincing you that its infringement is justified,” LeBlanc said.Katrina Swan, a lawyer for the Regina Police Service, acknowledged that there was pressure on the police from the government to dismantle the camp in June.One of the arguments that government lawyers raised and was echoed by the judge is why the protesters never applied for a permit to stay on the legislative grounds.Outside court, LeBlanc said the judge will have to weigh that as she ponders her decision.“It’s true there’s no record of the people applying for permits before,” he said. “There’s certainly appeal level decisions from across Canada which say that’s not conclusive on the answer.”Also outside court, protester Richelle Dubois said that it’s important to have the camp on the legislature grounds.Her 14-year-old son, Haven, died in 2015 from what was ruled an accidental drowning. Dubois has never accepted that conclusion.“It’s a healing place for families like myself for the stories of situations like my son’s,” she said.— Follow @RyanBMcKenna on Twitter
MONTREAL – A controversial red badge worn by provincial police officers expressing solidarity with colleagues alleged to have abused Indigenous women drew a cautious response this week from Quebec politicians.Police officers began wearing the badges with the station number 144 nearly two years ago as a show of support for the Val d’Or detachment in northwestern Quebec after eight officers were suspended following allegations they had mistreated Indigenous women.The badge is described as a type of intimidation by Indigenous leaders, who expressed disappointment that politicians were not more forceful in calling for an end to the practice.“I think that the officers involved should take them off, it’s that simple,” said Ghislain Picard, chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador. “It’s totally inappropriate, it’s unacceptable and it’s disrespectful. That’s how I see it.”The strongest political response came from Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee, who said those in a position of authority should not have their beliefs on display.“I ask police officers here and elsewhere: Do not display your beliefs,” Lisee said. “You are paid to enforce the law and represent the state.”Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard was measured in his comments, telling reporters on Thursday that he opposes the red bands but would leave it to police brass to deal with the matter.The Liberal leader told reporters Thursday his first allegiance is to the woman who came forward courageously on a “delicate and painful matter.”“I don’t believe the police uniform is the right way to express that soldarity,” Couillard said.Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault declined to pass judgment on the badges but called for closer ties with Indigenous communities.Picard called it unacceptable that politicians would leave it up to the police to deal with the long-running protest. He called the badges provocative, especially considering the distrust created by the allegations against the officers.“If people are going to put their energy and effort into finding ways to create that sense of trust and security, to us that element (the badge) is not helping,” Picard said.Both the police force and the union representing its officers declined comment Friday. Following an outside investigation, Quebec’s public prosecution service said there would be no charges against the officers alleged to have mistreated the women.In June, Paul Charbonneau of the Quebec provincial police testified at the National Inquiry into Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls that the force would rather persuade than order officers to stop wearing the protest badges. Charbonneau acknowledged the badge can “traumatize” Indigenous women who see an officer wearing it, according to a CBC report.Police brass from the Val d’Or detachment are scheduled to testify Tuesday before a provincial inquiry that has also heard complaints about the badge.The Viens commission was created in December 2016, mandated to look into the treatment of Indigenous people by police, youth protection officials, the public health department and the justice and correctional systems.It’s not the first time police in Quebec have modified their uniforms as a form of protest. Montreal police officers wore colourful camouflage pants from 2014 to 2017 to oppose pension reforms.
TORONTO – Two cities in Western Canada have been named the next commercial real estate “hot spots” for the cannabis market, according to a report.Real estate firm RE/Max Commercial says that Kelowna, B.C., and Edmonton are both expected to see positive commercial growth in the coming months as a result of cannabis legalization.Prices for commercial real estate in the southern B.C. city are anticipated to see an uptick, as approval for cannabis retail licences will be “extremely competitive” amid high demand once the substance becomes available.Kelowna, which is located in the Okanagan Valley, has already identified more than 900 potential zoned sites for dispensaries.Lease rates for industrial spaces in the area are also expected to rise as marijuana companies vie for more space to house their operations, says the annual Commercial Investor report.This increase comes after Kelowna’s real estate market saw an eight per cent decrease in total sales value for its commercial property year over year.Meanwhile, it is anticipated that vacancy rates will continue to drop and lease rates will rise moderately for the remainder of the year in Edmonton thanks to the arrival of Aurora Cannabis.New construction, particularly in the Leduc and Nisku areas of the city, has been burgeoning amid the addition of a 74,322 square metre (800,000 square foot) medical marijuana production facility and a 37,161 square metre (400,000 square foot) auto parts and distribution warehouse from Ford Canada.“Cannabis is adding an additional demand segment to the overall market, for industrial or retail,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president at RE/MAX of Western Canada on Wednesday.“It’s good news from a landlord perspective.”
SARNIA, Ont. – A woman who accused her former gymnastics coach of sexual assault told his trial on Tuesday that the man controlled every aspect of her life when she was training with him as a teenager.The complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, testified that Dave Brubaker would routinely kiss her on the lips to say hello and goodbye, starting when she was 12 years old.“I would say that at the time, Dave had full control over everything — what time I went to bed, what I ate, how I did my hair,” she said at the judge-alone trial taking place in Sarnia, Ont. “Whatever he said, went. I had full trust in him.”The woman, who is now in her 30s, said Brubaker would pick her up from school, and take her to his house where he occasionally would spoon her in bed and tickle her belly, before driving her to practice. She also alleged there were times when he touched her inappropriately during sports massages.She said she feared the coach would punish her in the gym if she denied his advances.Brubaker, 55, has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching related to the alleged incidents involving the teenaged gymnast between 2000 and 2007.He was initially charged with 10 sexual offences last December and was placed on administrative leave by Gymnastics Canada, where he had served as director of the women’s national team, but the number of charges were reduced Tuesday at the beginning of his trial.Court heard a few minutes of an interview Brubaker gave to police, which the trial judge will determine whether to include as evidence in the case. In it, Brubaker maintained that his relationship with the girls he coached was innocent.“It wasn’t a power trip,” he said in the clip. “I do admit that I liked the girls at that moment. It wasn’t in a sexual way.”Brubaker also told police he knew “something was coming” after another gymnastics coach was suspended weeks earlier over allegations of sexual misconduct. He said he understood that he’d never coach again.“I know that because it’s happening on Facebook with everybody saying ‘me too,” he said.The complainant in the case, who was the first witness to testify, alleged the spooning incidents involving Brubaker started when she was in high school and continued until she quit gymnastics at 19.“I remember feeling like bugs were crawling under my skin,” she said. “I was very uncomfortable. And sick to my stomach.”She said Brubaker would regularly massage her body to relieve her of soreness. Sometimes, she told the court, those massages made her uncomfortable, like when Brubaker would massage her upper thigh, under her underwear.Several times, he massaged around her pubic area, she said. On other instances, he would touch her buttocks while hugging her goodbye.When questioned by the defence, the woman acknowledged telling investigators that she didn’t think Brubaker’s hands went under her underwear on purpose. She also said it was not uncommon for gymnasts to receive massages.Brubaker’s defence lawyer, Patrick Ducharme, noted that the woman could not remember which hand his client used to touch her buttocks. He also noted that the officer who investigated Brubaker was related to the woman, and was the best man in her wedding.The woman told the court that she intentionally hurt herself and quit gymnastics when she was 19 because she could no longer handle the pressures of her relationship with Brubaker. She coached for a year after that, she said, but avoided contact with Brubaker when possible.Ducharme suggested that the woman hurt herself and quit gymnastics around the same time that she realized she wouldn’t make it to the Olympics.“That must have put a tremendous strain on you,” he said.Another former competitive gymnast who trained under Brubaker testified later Tuesday that her former coach suggested his trainees kiss him and his wife — also a gymnastics coach — on the cheek as a sign of respect.She noted, however, that for several years, the only gymnast she saw kissing Brubaker on the lips was the complainant.The second woman also said she saw Brubaker massaging the complainant in her underwear, before turning to her and saying “you’re next.”“I remember thinking, ‘I’m not comfortable being massaged in my underwear,’ so I went into my room and put on tights,” she said.The charges against Brubaker, who was Canada’s head gymnastics coach at the 2016 Rio Olympics, came at a watershed moment for gymnastics in Canada.Earlier that month, Gymnastics Canada suspended Edmonton-based coach Michel Arsenault over allegations he sexually abused at least three gymnasts in Quebec when they were minors in the 1980s and early ’90s. In January, a Mississauga, Ont.-based gymnastics coach was charged over allegations he sexually abused a 15-year-old girl over a four-year period.
OTTAWA — New figures show many veterans have had a hard time getting anyone to pick up when they call Veterans Affairs Canada’s toll-free line for information or assistance — with nearly one in five hanging up before their call is answered.The figures uncovered by The Canadian Press through the access-to-information law show a continued trend of current and former service members being put on hold longer than promised when calling the department’s toll-free number.While Veterans Affairs aims to answer 80 per cent of calls within two minutes, only 40 per cent of the more than 440,000 calls received last year were answered within that target.A further 84,000 calls were designated as abandoned, meaning the caller hung up.Veterans usually call the number to apply for or get information about benefits and services, or to get updates on their applications.The department says it recently hired more employees to ensure call centres are fully staffed and now routinely meets the two-minute target, though it could not provide up-to-date figures because of a technical issue.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Canadian inspectors intercepted nearly 900 food products from China over concerns about faulty labels, unmentioned allergens and harmful contaminants that included glass and metal between 2017 and early 2019, according to internal federal records.The document provides an inside look at imports from China that caught the attention of officials for appearing to fall short of Canadian standards — from gum balls with “extraneous” metal, to three-minute chow mein that contained an insect, to spicy octopus feet flagged for a “non-specific hazard.”The list, compiled by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, was obtained through access-to-information law.Its release comes at a time of significant public interest in Canada about cross-border food inspections, especially those involving China.The scrutiny of agricultural goods has been central to a diplomatic dispute between Canada and its second-biggest trading partner. Bilateral frictions have intensified since the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver and China’s subsequent detention of two Canadians on espionage allegations.The governing Liberals have come under pressure from rival Conservatives to respond by taking a harder line when it comes to Chinese imports.In recent weeks, China asked Canada to suspend all its meat-export certificates to the Asian country after Chinese customs inspectors detected residue from a restricted feed additive, called ractopamine, in a batch of Canadian pork products. A statement by China’s embassy in Ottawa said the investigation uncovered at least 188 forged veterinary health certificates and argued the Canadian system had “obvious safety loopholes.”Chinese authorities have also blocked imports of Canadian canola seeds, alleging they found pests in some shipments. The federal government says it has tried unsuccessfully to send a delegation of inspectors to China to examine the evidence.The economic consequences of China’s trade actions on Canadian food shipments, as well as the detentions of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, are widely seen as attempts by Beijing to pressure the Liberal government into releasing Meng.The list from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency shows it’s not uncommon for inspectors to raise concerns about imports from China.Between Jan. 1, 2017 and Feb. 29, 2019, agency officials “detected problems” with 889 food or food ingredient imports into Canada from China, according to the document.Only four food shipments, however, from China were refused entry into Canada over that period, CFIA’s quarterly reports show.An agency spokeswoman said CFIA investigates concerns to determine if it’s a hazard or fails to comply with Canadian standards. When necessary, she said officials take action — including minor label corrections, recalls, product seizure, entry refusals and the cancellation of licences.Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in an emailed statement that the issues in the CFIA list do not necessarily correlate to a particular problem with imported food products from foreign countries.“This is a list of cases reported to the CFIA that informs operational and follow-up activities to verify compliance and take any appropriate actions, in accordance with laws and regulations,” Bibeau said.“The Canadian food safety system is strong and recognized as one of the best in the world and the government is confident in all products approved by the CFIA as safe for local consumption as well as for export.”The list only provides numbers for China and does not include comparable numbers for Canada’s other trading partners.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer recently called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step up inspections on all products from China and to consider slapping tariffs on imports.Bibeau’s office has said Canada has no intention of increasing inspections on Chinese imports.Sylvanus Kwaku Afesorgbor, an expert in agri-food trade and policy, wrote in an email that Canada would likely take a long time before implementing actions against Chinese imports.“Canada will always play to the rules and exhaust all democratic channels available through international trade agreements such as (the World Trade Organization),” wrote Afesorgbor, an assistant professor at the University of Guelph.“Any retaliatory action may result in trade war and that may negatively affect the two countries.”Glenford Jameson, a Toronto-based lawyer with expertise in the food sector, said the CFIA list provides an extra level of detail that’s usually omitted from public documents. He added that none of the concerns flagged in the document are highly unusual.“This list is a list that wouldn’t be surprising from any country, including the United States, and is really just a byproduct of having a stringent food-inspection and food-regulatory system,” Jameson said.“No food commodity is traded at 100 per cent perfect compliance all the time.”Follow @AndyBlatchford on TwitterAndy Blatchford, The Canadian Press
WildAid is calling on the public to do its part to end the ivory poaching crisis by taking the Ivory Free pledge at ivoryfree.org.The new campaign asks consumers to pledge to never buy, own or accept ivory as gifts, and to support stronger government bans and actions to tackle the illegal ivory trade.Ivory Free is a partnership between WildAid, Animal Planet, African Wildlife Foundation and Save The Elephants, and has been launched in conjunction with the premiere of Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming – a new program that follows WildAid ambassador and former NBA star Yao Ming on a journey to Africa to see its natural beauty and witness the devastating elephant and rhino poaching crises.“We all share this planet with each other and with these majestic animals. We all have a responsibility to do something to save Africa’s elephants. We all have to do our part. I’m doing mine, and you can do yours by going to ivoryfree.org and taking the pledge,” says WildAid Ambassador Yao Ming.“This is a global problem that requires global solutions, from both individuals and governments. That’s why we’re asking people to take the pledge at ivoryfree.org to never buy or accept ivory, and to encourage their governments to enact stronger domestic bans on the ivory trade,” says WildAid Executive Director Peter Knights.“Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming” premiered on Animal Planet in the U.S. on November 18 at 10 PM/9 Central and premieres in the U.K. on November 21 at 9PM. Throughout the broadcasts, viewers will be prompted to take action by visiting ivoryfree.org.The program was co-produced by WildAid, Natural History New Zealand, and Animal Planet. The film features the work of WildAid, Save the Elephants, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Daphne Sheldrick and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Dr. Will Fowlds, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, African Wildlife Foundation, Tusk Trust, Kenya Wildlife Service, and South African National Parks.
Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis presented a cheque for EUR 1.3 million to Save the Children, the club’s global charity partner, and UNICEF ahead of the Gunners’ 3-0 victory in Greece last week.The money , which will be used to support Save the Children’s work with vulnerable refugee children in Europe, was raised as part of the European Club Association’s “90 MINUTES FOR HOPE” initiative. The campaign saw the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League Group Stage participants donate EUR 1 for every ticket sold from the first round of fixtures this season.Overall the initiative has raised EUR 1.3 million and the money will benefit Save the Children’s and UNICEF’s responses to the European refugee crisis. Both charities will allocate the funds to programmes across Europe, both in countries where children are on the move and in countries of final destination.Arsenal were one of the first football clubs to respond to the refugee crisis this year, raising £60,000 for Save the Children’s Child Refugee Crisis appeal in September by donating £1 from every match ticket sold for the home match against Stoke City.Justin Forsyth, Save the Children’s CEO, said: “These are tragic and desperate times for child refugees and their families. Thousands of children have been forced to flee their homes and make perilous and distressing journeys to reach European shores. Arsenal and The Arsenal Foundation have been fundamental in supporting our work with vulnerable and unaccompanied refugee children. Thanks to the Club’s generous support we’ve been able to provide essential supplies, protection and psychological support to give these children the critical help they need as soon as they arrive, as well as providing on-going care, shelter and education to help these children regain a degree of normality after everything they’ve been through.”The Arsenal Foundation has been supporting Save the Children as their global partner since 2011 and has raised more than £1million to support the charity’s life-saving work. Arsenal has been a committed supporter of Save the Children’s emergency response work as well as their crucial work with child refugees, donating to the charity’s Syria Crisis appeal and funding a new football programme for children who have been forced to flee their homes due to the conflict in Iraq.
Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert scheduled for North Carolina over the weekend in protest over an extreme Anti-LGBT law.“As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday,” said the singer in a statement. “As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”H.B. 2 has eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents such protections from being passed by cities in the future. The legislation also forces transgender students in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity, putting 4.5 billion dollars in federal funding under Title IX at risk. It also compels the same type of discrimination against transgender people to take place in state buildings, including in public universities. Lawmakers passed the legislation in a hurried, single-day session, and Governor McCrory quickly signed it into law in the dead of night.“Bruce Springsteen is a hero and an icon because he gives voice, both through his music and his advocacy, to those who struggle against injustice and equality,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “It means so much that he has spoken out against this hateful bill on behalf of thousands of citizens whose rights and fundamental dignity are being trampled by the leadership of North Carolina.”
Tickets are now on sale for the 2nd-annual Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids concert on Monday, September 12th at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.This special event, presented by Beachbody.com, Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, brings together the brightest stars of stage and screen to raise awareness about the plight of kids in foster care, particularly those aged 13 to 21 whom many consider “unadoptable” because of their age.Proceeds from the evening directly benefit You Gotta Believe, New York’s only nonprofit specifically focused on finding permanent families for youth in foster care aged 13 years and older. Rosie Perez, Gloria Gaynor, Megan Hilty, Chita Rivera, Sherri Saum, Rachel Crow, Marc Shaiman, Janice Huff, Caroline Rhea, Alec Mapa, Alice Ripley, BD Wong, Charles Busch, Liz Callaway, Ann Hampton Callaway, Orfeh, Adrienne Warren, Anika Larsen, Keala Settle, Richard Kind, Tony Yazbeck, Roz Ryan, Michelle Collins, Lisa Mordente, Liz Larsen, Josh Colley, Lilla Crawford, Christine Pedi, Janet Metz, Olga Merediz and Carole Demas will join Rudetsky and Wesley for this year’s event, with more performers to be announced in the coming weeks. Ticket prices range from $47 to $199 and are available at Ticketmaster.com.“Our inaugural event last year was welcomed with such excitement and support that we couldn’t wait to partner with You Gotta Believe again this year. All of these amazing stars are completely donating their time and talents to support these kids. It’s going to be an inspiring night full of love and hope!” Wesley said.“This is my favorite combination: Broadway, amazing stars and helping the world! You will experience once-in-a-lifetime performances and help these kids get the family they deserve!” Rudetsky added.Rudetsky and Wesley conceptualized the event in 2015 after they were working with the Council on Adoptable Children and You Gotta Believe to adopt a child out of foster care, and the organizations abruptly suffered major cuts from governmental funding. In a matter of weeks, the first Voices for the Voiceless concert was born, featuring memorable performances and moments from Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess, Antwone Fisher, Rachel Crow, Darren Criss, Marc Shaiman, Megan Hilty, Alec Mapa, Lilla Crawford, Janice Huff, Eden Espinosa, Kate Shindle, Caroline Rhea, Charlene Tilton and many more.“We are absolutely thrilled that Seth and James are creating another magical evening for youth in foster care who need families for life.” said Gretchen Beidl, Board President of You Gotta Believe. “We envision a day when no child or young adult is left to face life alone. There is much work to be done and the support that comes from this benefit will help us do it!” added You Gotta Believe’s Executive Director and CEO, Susan Grundberg.“We are now creating a path for youth coming up behind us in the foster care system. It’s one thing for people to say that our voice matters, and another for people to show that our voice matters. We see that our work is beginning to make a change but there is more work to be done because thousands of youth will still be aging out to homelessness when we should be connecting them to families. Nobody should age out!” Brieanna Hayes, former child in foster care who now serves as an Advocate for Youth through You Gotta Believe’s Nobody Ages Out Youth Movement.Every year, nearly 25,000 kids age out of foster care in the U.S., left on their own to make it into adulthood without the safety net of a forever family to provide the security and comfort most of us take for granted. As many as 50 percent of youth who age out of foster care will experience homelessness. In New York City, there are about 1,300 kids awaiting adoption right now. There are an additional 700+ kids on the verge of aging out alone—many of whom were deemed ‘unadoptable’ by the system long ago. As each day goes by, they are one day closer to being pushed out onto their own without a family safety net unless an adoption takes place.Generous support for this year’s event is provided by Beachbody.com, Jujamcyn Theaters, Charter Communications, Gretchen Beidl & Michael Willner, The Barbara Bradley Baekgaard Family Foundation, Discovery Communications, Digicel, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, AMC Networks, JetBlue, Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch, Playbill, Inc., Blue Fin, LionTree LLC, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Burba Hayes, Edward McBride, Citibank, Middletown Honda, Arlene Gail, Pat O’Brien, and James & Mary Kay Clark. WNYC serves as the official media partner.For more information about tickets to and sponsorship opportunities for Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids, visit YouGottaBelieve.org/voices.
The National Limousine Association’s Ride Responsibly initiative (www.rideresponsibly.org) and Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE) have joined forces to produce a public service campaign, starring actress, activist and sexual violence survivor Pamela Anderson.Video: The Signs – A New PSA from PAVE and Ride Responsibly Starring Pamela Anderson (2018)The PSA draws attention to the vast number of sexual assaults that have occurred in ride-hailing vehicles and questions if these were caused by insufficient background check procedures. This PSA serves as a call-to-action following alarming revelations of sexual harassment and assault that reach far beyond Hollywood and Washington, D.C.The video, titled “The Signs”, is Pamela’s second PSA for the Ride Responsibly initiative, and comes on the heels of the #MeToo movement. The PSA is a stark reminder that even getting from point A to B carries risk, particularly if you are not conscientious of the service that you choose.“The astounding number of tweets that referenced #MeToo and #uber was absolutely frightening, and disheartening to say the least,” said Gary Buffo, President of the National Limousine Association (NLA). Continued Buffo, “It is time to recognize that these services are simply unsafe, and pose an inherent threat to anyone using them, due to the blatantly insufficient background checks that Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) use. Our partner, PAVE, has been instrumental in our campaign to inform the public about the dangers these services pose. Together, we are actively working to compel safety measures that will prevent these crimes.”For more than 20 years, Angela Rose and PAVE have been the only national charitable organization committed to both sexual harassment and assault prevention and recovery. Through its support, social advocacy, training and education programs, PAVE is leading the way and tackling these issues head on in the hopes of minimizing their occurrences and impact.Angela Rose, Founder and Director of PAVE, noted, “through our work with survivors, we have always been aware that cases of sexual assault and harassment can occur just about anywhere. Unfortunately, this now includes ride-hail apps such as Uber and Lyft, which is why we have partnered with the National Limousine Association and Pamela Anderson. It is critical that everyone be made aware of the risks associated with ride-hailing apps and PAVE is excited to support this campaign with best practices and tangible safety tips. It’s important to note that no matter how many safety tips you practice, it is never your fault if someone harms you.” Rose continued to say, “While we are so proud of the #MeToo movement and all of the brave men and women that have come forward, we are constantly working to bring an end to these crimes.”“When I first embarked on my quest to raise awareness about the safety risks associated with ride-hailing apps, I had no idea of the frequency or disturbing nature of the incidents,” said Pamela Anderson. “The reaction to our first campaign was inspiring, and also disheartening, as many voices came to the surface echoing the sentiment, #MeToo. Action, however, is more effective than a hashtag, and it is critical that we take the next step, demand justice for victims and force ride-hail apps to ensure our safety in their vehicles. Fingerprint-based background checks are a simple step that these transportation providers can take, and it is beyond me why this practice isn’t commonplace in 2018. These apps are optimized for predators and will remain so until common sense safety measures are put in place.”
On Saturday, June 9, 2018 The John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary will hold the 33rd annual Odyssey Ball honoring the organization’s past presidents, a group of 14 philanthropic women who have led the charge in raising more than $20 million dollars to date for critical cancer research and education programs, with “The Trailblazer” Award.This year, the event takes place at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, a rustic outdoor venue that sets the perfect tone for the The Angels and Cowboys themed gala. Comedian and actress, Kate Flannery, known for her role on the hit show The Office, will serve as the emcee for the evening. The fundraiser benefits the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and is organized by John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary co-chairs Martha Harper and Shirley Lipstone.The Trailblazers Award recognizes those who, through their service and leadership, have paved the way for innovation and impact in the cancer community. The Past Presidents of the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary date back to the founding members of the Auxiliary board of directors over 35 years ago. In addition to serving as an Auxiliary President, many are members of various organizations including but not limited to: Cancer Support Community, California Oncology Research Institute, Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, LACMA Art Museum Council, MOCA and many more. The honorees include: Hollace Brown, Diane Feldman, Ilene Eisenberg, Andrea Kopald, Ila Krane, Ina Lewis, Shirley Lipstone, Sue Newman Hochberg, Roberta Novick, Donna Rosen, Lois Rosen, Anita Swift and Ruth Weil along with Jackie Banchik and Sandy Cohen who will be honored in memoriam.“Never seeking attention for their efforts, this powerful group of women has selflessly volunteered their time and talents to see the mission of the Institute move forward,” said (Patrick Wayne, chairman of the board at the Institute and son of the legendary actor John Wayne). “It is time we turn the spotlight on this deserving group to celebrate their unique contributions and dedication to the advancement of cancer research and treatment.”The 33rd Annual Odyssey Ball is produced by Scott Mauro Entertainment, Inc., for the fifth consecutive year.The event begins at 4:30 PM with cocktails and saloon games for guest to enjoy upon arrival. At 6:00 PM guests will be seated for the awards presentation which will be followed by dinner, dancing, and an auction beginning at 7:00 PM. For more information, to purchase tickets, or donate please click here.
Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment In a segment for CBC News, a pre-teen Gosling gushes about the talent of the other child performers on the show and attributes his inclusion to “luck” — the beginnings of a modest public persona he would exhibit for years to come.1999: Young HerculesA tall and skinny 17-year-old Gosling might not have the brawn of the son of Zeus, but in this teen series, he gets to flex his leading-man muscles. Award-winning material it is not, but the series is highly publicized due to the 1990s craze for low-budget superhero fare (Xena: The Warrior Princess, Hercules). The series’ remarkably ambitious filming schedule is now studied in film production courses: four episodes were filmed at a time instead of one — a lesson in discipline and endurance for young Gosling. Facebook Advertisement 2004: The Notebook“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” Gosling flaps his arms like a bird for co-star Rachel McAdams in The Notebook and begets a flock of devoted female fans along the way. The box office success of the film based on the Nicholas Sparks novel is also helped by the explosive chemistry of Gosling and fellow Canadian McAdams. Login/Register With: Advertisement Canadian actor Ryan Gosling seems poised to join the ranks of Hollywood’s superstars with his Oscar-nominated role in La La Land and some highly anticipated, big budget films on the way.But the publicity-leery Gosling has forged a careful career path, built on unusual role choices and avoidance of overexposure. Here are eight seminal moments that made Gosling the (reluctant) movie star he is today:1993: The All New Mickey-Mouse ClubA 12-year-old, London, Ont.-born, Cornwall, Ont.-raised Ryan Gosling is cast in The All New Disney Mickey Mouse Club. The series, filmed in Florida, is short-lived but becomes famous in hindsight for churning out some of the biggest entertainers of a generation: Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Keri Russell. Advertisement
Becca Kufrin, third from left, seen with some of her Bachelor friends when she was announced as the new Bachelorette in March, begins her so-called journey to find love on May 28 and Canadian fans can toast her with two new Bachelor-branded wines. (PAUL HEBERT / ABC) Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Bachelor Wines has launched in Ontario. The Canadian-based brand includes a Cabernet Sauvignon dubbed The Final Rose and a Pinot Grigio called One on One, available for $14.95 a bottle at the LCBO. Advertisement Think of the ways that wine is connected to The Bachelor and Bachelorette franchise: the stars nearly always have a glass of the stuff on hand during dates on the ABC reality shows and fans have been known to imbibe as they watch.Consider the drinking games last season alone: “Quick, take a swig every time Arie Luyendyk, Jr. kisses someone!”Now, for those who like homogeneity in their lives, you can drink a Bachelor-branded wine while watching The Bachelorette when it debuts May 28. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter
Twitter Advertisement Advertisement TORONTO – With three hot new series, combined with surging veteran programs, growth on key nights, and ratings wins across the schedule, the fall season is off to another impressive start on CTV, Numeris data confirms.CTV’s THE CONNERS, THE ROOKIE, and MAGNUM P.I. are three of the Top 5 new series in all key advertiser demos and total audience, with THE CONNERS landing last week as the biggest debut of any new fall series among A25-54.In addition, CTV’s Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night lineups have all shown exceptional growth in all key demos over last fall. And the story gets even better on Thursdays, with the network winning every hour of core-primetime (8 to 11 p.m.), more than doubling its closest competition among total viewers and all key demos. About CTVCTV is Canada’s #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 17 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment As a result, CTV is home to eight of the Top 10 programs in the key demos with a lock on the Top 4 overall, including perennial favourite THE BIG BANG THEORY, sophomore hit YOUNG SHELDON, new series THE CONNERS, and THE GOOD DOCTOR, which returns for its second season as Canada’s most-watched drama.“Fresh hits, sophomore break-outs, and growing fan-favourite series have delivered on our promise to clients to provide a safe, advertiser-friendly schedule featuring character-driven aspirational dramas and family-friendly comedy,” said Mike Cosentino, President, Content and Programming, Bell Media.“With a solid debut out of the gate, advertising demand for premium programing on CTV is very strong this fall,” said Perry MacDonald, Senior Vice-President Sales, English Video and Radio, Bell Media.With four week’s worth of data available from Numeris, highlights of CTV’s 2018/19 season to date include:CTV has the most Top 10 and Top 20 programs amongst all competitors this fall.THE CONNERS debuted with nearly 1 million A25-54 viewers, leading all other new program premieres by 30% in the demo.Canada’s most-watched television series THE BIG BANG THEORY is seeing growth among total viewers and A25-54 in its12th season.Canada’s love affair with THIS IS US continues to grow with audiences up 26% for A25-54 in its third season.STATION 19 has seen impressive growth in its sophomore season with 29% growth with A25-54.New to CTV this fall, THE RESIDENT has doubled its average audience in its second season, and has seen growth week-to-week since its debut four weeks ago.Long-time favourites GREY’S ANATOMY, LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, and BLUE BLOODS have all seen growth since last fall.NFL ON CTV has seen double-digit growth versus last season.CTV NATIONAL NEWS is up double digits with all key demos.Source : Source: Numeris, Sep 24, 2018 – Oct 21, 2018 vs. same weeks last year (Sep 25, 2017 – Oct 22, 2017). Primetime Mon-Sun 7p-11p. Station 19 & The Resident vs. Spring 2018 season. Key Demos A18-34, A18-49, A25-54. Preliminary data subject to change, with playback up to October 22, 2018.Social Media links @CTV – Twitter @CTV – Instagram CTV – Facebook Facebook Advertisement
Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Seth Rogen (Todd Williamson/JanuaryImages/Shutterstock) BILLY EICHNER, SETH ROGEN RECALL MEETING BEYONCÉ FOR THE FIRST TIME AT ‘THE LION KING’ PREMIEREBilly Eichner and Seth Rogen may co-star in the new “The Lion King” with Beyoncé, but they didn’t meet Queen Bey until the world premiere of the movie earlier this month in Hollywood.“She was really lovely,” Eichner told me when he and Rogen sat down for this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast. “We happened to be backstage together. Seth and I were the first ones backstage waiting to go and then Beyoncé was the next person. Seth and I were just in the corner not knowing what to do or say. She came right up to us, introduced herself and gave us all hugs.” READ MORE SETH ROGEN & BILLY EICHNER ON ‘THE LION KING’ AND FAVORITE DISNEYLAND RIDESWith director Jon Favreau’s The Lion King now playing in theaters, I recently sat down with Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) and Billy Eichner (Timon) for an exclusive interview. During the brief but fun interview, they talked about why being able to record together helped their performances, if Disney gave them free annual passports as a thank you for being in the film, what’s their favorite rides at Disneyland, and more. READ MORE SETH ROGEN TAKES A JAB AT ‘GAME OF THRONES” EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: ‘I’M WILLING TO SHOW MY FACE’The stars of “Game Of Thrones” tried to put the series finale controversy behind them during a panel on Friday at Comic-Con, but Seth Rogen just brought it up again.Seth Rogen, producer of “Preacher”, and the show’s stars Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Julie Ann Emery and Mark Harelik took the stage at Hall H to talk about the final season of their comic book adaptation, the moderator asked Rogen if “Preacher” or “Game Of Thrones” would have a better ending. READ MORE Twitter Facebook SETH ROGEN & BILLY EICHNER INTERVIEW: THE LION KINGThe Lion King’s dynamic duo of Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) stole the show for many captivated viewers this week. With updated jokes and improvised riffs that will soon become brand-new classics, they took Hakuna Matata to the next level. The established comedians shared a little about their recording experience with Screen Rant, as well as divulging which scene had them the most worried. READ MORE Advertisement
APTN National NewsAssembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo has been talking about holding a meeting with the Crown for quite some time.And he got his wish Tuesday.But, was the outcome everything Atleo hoped for?APTN National News anchor Michael Hutchinson sat down with the national chief for an interview in Ottawa.