first_imgInvestigators should be able to provide some answers about three homicides in northern British Columbia even though two suspects in the case are believed to be dead, says a former RCMP assistant commissioner.The manhunt for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, from Port Alberni, B.C., ended Wednesday when two bodies were found in dense brush in northern Manitoba.Mounties have said it could be difficult to determine a motive if the suspects can’t be interviewed.Peter German, who retired from the RCMP in 2012, said it will be hard, but there is already some key evidence available that speaks to motive.“At least one of the individuals seemed to be highly influenced by violent video games,” he said. “His father has spoken publicly about what he believed would happen — death, suicide, going out in a blaze of glory.“That all goes to motive.”McLeod and Schmegelsky were facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of Leonard Dyck, a university lecturer from Vancouver who was found dead along a highway pullout south of Dease Lake, B.C., on July 19.They were also named as suspects in the shooting deaths of American tourist Chynna Deese and her Australian boyfriend, Lucas Fowler. Their bodies were found four days earlier along a highway near Liard Hot Springs, B.C.Police initially treated McLeod and Schmegelsky as missing persons when their charred vehicle was found not far from Dyck’s body. The pair had told family and friends they were leaving home to find work.But investigators later deemed them to be suspects and details surfaced about their use of video games. One account showed Schmegelsky was a frequent player of a shooting game called “Russia Battlegrounds,” and both young men’s Facebook pages were connected to an account with a modified Soviet flag as its icon.RCMP also said they were investigating a photograph of Nazi paraphernalia sent to another user by Schmegelsky, who was also pictured in military fatigues brandishing an airsoft rifle and wearing a gas mask.During the manhunt, Alan Schmegelsky told The Canadian Press his son had a troubled upbringing and the father said he expected the young men wanted “to go out in a blaze of glory.”German said investigators will look at the suspects’ social media accounts, any written documents and communication with family and friends.“It’s surprising in this day and age with social media what you can find.”The tougher problem, he said, will be determining why the suspects did what they did in the sequence they did.It may also be difficult to determine why they ended up in Gillam, he said.“Did they have some sort of a plan that flowed from a video game that they end up in northern Manitoba? What was the next step for them?”The autopsies, which are being done in Winnipeg, could provide some answers about when and how they died.German said the manhunt in Manitoba will be complete once those results are available.“They will be providing support to the communities … and collecting whatever evidence may remain and forwarding that back to British Columbia,” he explained. “Then it goes back to the original investigators in British Columbia to conclude their files. They’ll have a lot of work ahead of them.“At the end of the day, they will I’m sure provide some sort of a briefing to the public and certainly to the families to inform them of what has taken place.”Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada enlisted citizens who travelled to Communist countries during the Cold War to gather needed intelligence — a shadowy element of a little-known government program detailed in a newly declassified history.Officials became sufficiently nervous about the tasking of Canadians — and the prospect of being caught snooping overseas — that they had John Diefenbaker, prime minister at the time, give his blessing, reveals a study by intelligence expert Wesley Wark.Wark began work in the late 1990s on the government-commissioned study of how Canada’s intelligence community evolved in the years following the Second World War. Much of the book-length manuscript, based on classified files, was released under the Access to Information Act in 2005, but considerable portions were considered too sensitive to disclose.Additional details of the intelligence effort to conscript travellers were released to The Canadian Press following a complaint to the information commissioner.Canada decided against creating a secret intelligence service to spy abroad in the early phase of the Cold War. But officials were conscious of the value of trying to provide some Canadian intelligence from human sources, especially to ensure favour with Canada’s more powerful partners, such as the U.S. and Britain, notes Wark, who teaches at the University of Ottawa.An interview program was established in 1953 within Canada’s Joint Intelligence Bureau, which handled a steady flow of secret information on economic and military matters.In the beginning, officials collected intelligence largely from defectors and recent immigrants from the Soviet Union and East Bloc countries. The program got a boost in 1956 with the influx to Canada of refugees fleeing the aftermath of the failed Hungarian uprising, Wark notes.In mid-1958 the program turned to the potential value of intelligence gleaned from travellers, mostly business people and scientists, who ventured to Communist countries, he writes.Initially, the Joint Intelligence Bureau limited the collection effort to debriefing people upon their return to Canada. But soon it realized there might be greater value in advising travellers, in advance of their visits, of the sort of information desired, the study says.“This was tricky ground, for it raised the spectre of Canadian citizens abroad being caught and accused of espionage without the protection of any diplomatic status and with attendant political risks and embarrassment.”In February 1961, Robert Bryce, then secretary to the cabinet, informed Diefenbaker about the practice of gathering interview intelligence — including advance requests for information in “a very few cases” following specific approval of the federal government.Safeguards in place were “designed to ensure that the more gung-ho travellers did not engage in anything approaching espionage — no field notes, no photographs, no specialized intelligence equipment were to be allowed,” Wark writes.Selected travellers who received briefings were told not to discuss their activities with anyone, including Canadian diplomatic representatives in the country being visited, Bryce’s memo said. Only “thoroughly reliable and trustworthy” Canadians would be approached to undertake such missions.“What John Diefenbaker made of such shenanigans is hard to say, but Bryce’s memo records a simple ‘approved by the Prime Minister’ dated 1 March, 1961,” Wark writes.It was one of the few instances during the period when prime ministerial approval of an intelligence-collection program was sought, the study adds.“There was always a distinction in the program between tasking travellers prior to their visits abroad, where the dangers of being accused of spying lurked, and more passively receiving information from returned travellers,” Wark told The Canadian Press.Kurt Jensen, a former employee of Canada’s foreign ministry, noted in a 2004 journal article that Canadians who went to the Soviet Bloc, China and Cuba were of particular interest to the program in its early days. However, Jensen found the government files silent on the number of individuals who might have received pre-visit briefings and the extent to which “tasked” intelligence-gathering operations actually occurred.“The danger of sending untrained observers into hostile areas with specific intelligence collection requirements is self-evident. Such a program could not have survived long before disclosure,” Jensen writes.“All indications suggest that this facet of the program was short-lived and, at best, involved a handful of individuals before ceasing altogether.”— Follow @JimBronskill on TwitterJim Bronskill , The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgamfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, Jennifer Lopez, Alan Cumming, Liza Minnelli, Uma Thurman, Iman, and Carly Rae Jepsen were among those who gathered at the Plaza last week to support amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, at the fourth annual Inspiration Gala New York.Ms. Lopez and Mr. Cumming were honored at the black tie gala, along with Valentino Garavani, all for their exceptional humanitarian work and commitment to the fight against AIDS.Ms. Lopez, the actress, singer, designer and philanthropist, was presented with amfAR’s Humanitarian Award by André Leon Talley, in recognition of her contributions to multiple humanitarian causes including Amnesty International, Children’s Health Fund, City of Hope, March of Dimes, the GRAMMY Foundation and her work with her own Lopez Family Foundation. Ms. Lopez’s longtime friend Ricky Martin also sent a congratulatory video message. Upon receiving her award, Lopez said, “I was so inspired by the news that the first child had been cured of AIDS. That’s an amazing step, and I know that with amfAR’s help, researchers can soon find a way to deliver a cure to the 300,000 children who so desperately need it.”amfAR Ambassador Liza Minnelli, a longtime dedicated supporter of the Foundation, presented her friend Alan Cumming with amfAR’s Award of Courage. Mr. Cumming has actively supported amfAR’s lifesaving AIDS research programs for more than a decade, hosting and performing at countless fundraising events for amfAR, and he has been one of the leading voices tirelessly speaking out on behalf of people living with AIDS.Iman accepted the amfAR Award of Inspiration on behalf of Valentino, praising his impeccable sense of style, as well as his commitment to raising funds to combat AIDS throughout his career. She said, “Valentino is kind, passionate, and generous, qualities that have laid the groundwork for his lifetime commitment to fashion, the arts, and the reason we are here tonight, the fight against AIDS.”A highlight of the Inspiration Gala was an energetic performance by multi-platinum, Grammy nominated pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen. The entire crowd danced under a shower of confetti to the Canadian singer/songwriter’s hits “Tonight I’m Getting Over You” and “Call Me Maybe.” 
Uma Thurman opened the event’s program and introduced amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, who spoke about the great strides that have been made towards curing AIDS just within the past year, through amfAR’s work.The men’s style event, produced by Josh Wood Productions, featured a runway show, thematically styled with camouflage and military tailoring, featuring looks donated by the world’s leading menswear designers, including Carolina Amato, Ted Baker, Band of Outsiders, John Bartlett, Michael Bastian, The Blonds, Hugo Boss, Thom Browne, Richard Chai, Kenneth Cole, The Elder Statesman, Patrick Ervell, Asaf Ganot, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Michael Hockey, Iceberg, Isaia, Marc Jacobs, Robert James, Kenzo, Calvin Klein Collection, Michael Kors, Lanvin, Ralph Lauren, Asher Levine, Moo Shoes, Noir, Rodrigo Otazu, Rick Owens, Alexandre Plokhov, Billy Reid, Sand, Shipley & Halmos, Skingraft, Social Primer, John Varvatos, Ian Velardi, Bottega Veneta, and Y-3.The event also featured live and silent auctions. In a highlight of the live auction, Jennifer Lopez created an impromptu lot by offering a chance to accompany her when she receives her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as a red carpet date with her any time in the next year. Delta Air Lines generously offered to fly the winning bidder first class to wherever the date takes place. A bidding war broke out among the crowd, and once two bidders got to $90,000, Ms. Lopez offered to double the package, raising a total of $180,000.Inspiration events have raised more than $10 million to date for amfAR, and have also been held in Los Angeles, São Paulo, and Miami. The series has seen performances by such legendary artists as Katy Perry, Grace Jones, Debbie Harry, Jennifer Hudson, Scissor Sisters, Cyndi Lauper, Courtney Love, and Sinéad O’Connor. Past recipients of the Award of Inspiration have included James Franco, Kevin Huvane, Francisco Costa, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Fergie, Michael Kors, Ricky Martin, and Robert Duffy/Marc Jacobs International.last_img read more

first_imgOn Saturday, May 9th Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation Angel Ambassador Selenis Leyva helped chronically ill teens at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, New York get ready for Prom.Selenis Leyva At The Children’s Hospital at MontefioreCredit/Copyright: Gavin ThomasThis year’s event was the sixth annual prom at the children’s hospital where over fifty teens enjoyed food, dancing and a hip hop cello performance featuring high school students from the Kaufman Music Center.Selenis Leyva Visits The Children’s Hospital at MontefioreCredit/Copyright: Amy DruckerSelenis is an Angel Ambassador with Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research where she helps spread the word about the importance of funding cancer research and provides support through social media and events throughout the year. Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation funds junior scientific investigators conducting research in the fields of leukemia, lymphoma, and related cancers.last_img read more

first_imgAuthor Jackie Collins, who died last month of breast cancer, has left a lasting legacy to fellow breast cancer sufferers.Before she died, Collins penned a message to her fans urging them not to give up if they are diagnosed, and to help those suffering from cancer.“As you may have recently heard, I revealed that I have been LIVING life to the fullest with Stage 4 Breast Cancer for the past six and a half years,” she wrote. “With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, my message is this: Early detection can save lives! Get regular mammograms, and/or tell your loved ones too. Low cost or free mammograms are offered through many national programs and community organizations, so do your research. Even if you’ve been screened, and you have a gut feeling that something in your body is off, get a second opinion!“Cancer does not have to be a death sentence! You, or someone you love, can live an extraordinary life regardless. Be kind and be grateful. Never underestimate the power of your mind. Embrace what you love, and LIVE life to the fullest, as tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Whatever your pain or struggle in life, don’t allow it to turn you into a victim… let your battle turn you into someone else’s hero!“For the month of October I will donate 20% of my self-published book sales, with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.”To read the full message, click here.last_img read more

first_imgGabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research has partnered with award-winning fashion and celebrity photographer and director Markus Klinko for the grand reveal and auction of never-before-seen photos of the beloved, international pop culture legend and fashion icon, David Bowie.Rare Photo of David BowieCredit/Copyright: Markus KlinkoA selection of prints from the collection will be auctioned exclusively to benefit Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research.Klinko’s high quality, fine art photographic prints of the late David Bowie will be revealed at a private Media & VIP Reveal Party on Thursday, February 25th, at the Markowicz Fine Art Gallery in Miami, FL, (110 NE 40th St.) from 7pm to 9 p.m. The photographs are limited editions, autographed by the contemporary photographer and are available in a variety of sizes. This exclusive reveal is made possible in partnership with Markowicz Fine Art from the Miami Design District.Thirty-five of Klinko’s prints, including 2 prints of David Bowie, will be donated to Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research and sold in an online auction starting on March 31, 2016. One hundred percent of the net proceeds will support the cancer research initiatives of the Foundation.“Markus is as much of a visionary in the art world as Bowie was in the music world. We are extremely honored to be a part of this celebration of two incredible artists,” Denise Rich, Co-Founder of Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, said.Made possible by Fujifilm, the collection of exclusive photos that will be revealed includes a set of 14 FUJIFILM instant film prints of the late Bowie taken in 2001, unseen intimate images, and daring shots with the artist. Many of the images were shot using the beloved FUJICHROME PROVIA film and printed on the radiant Fujiflex Crystal Archive Printing Material.World-renowned photographer Klinko collaborated with Bowie’s wife Iman for the cover of her book, “I am Iman,” and met Bowie thereafter. For almost 15 years, he photographed the late singer on multiple occasions, including the shoot for the cover of his CD “Heathen,” – one of the most recognizable images of his career – and photo spreads for glossy magazines such as GQ and Interview.Klinko created the iconic album cover for Beyoncé’s “Dangerously in Love,” and Mariah Carey’s “The Emancipation of Mimi.” Klinko has also worked with celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Kanye West and Naomi Campbell to name a few. His portfolio of editorial clients include Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New York Times and Harper’s Bazaar.Markowicz Fine Art will be the first exhibition to showcase the unreleased photos of David Bowie by Markus Klinko. The photos will be on display for the public at the gallery from February 26th through mid-March 2016.Find out more here.last_img read more

first_imgAt Look To The Stars, we strive to honor all of the great things people are doing, focusing on the positive contributions people are making in the world today, and understanding that no one is perfect.As part of that, over the 9 years that we have been running this site, we have resisted sharing our own thoughts as to which politicians we support. It was more important for us to reach out and show the great things that everyone was doing, shining the spotlight on the causes we care about.However, this year there is a candidate who resonates so deeply with what we at Look To The Stars care about that we feel compelled to speak out and publicly support him. That candidate is Bernie Sanders.We like what Bernie stands for, and we admire the strong stance he has held throughout his life in his fight for equality. Whether it be racial equality, economic equality, or gay rights, women’s rights, or voting rights, he has been staunchly putting himself out there, fighting for the underdog throughout his long career in politics, and we love that.On top of this, his desire to deal with climate change and avoid unnecessary wars energizes us to work harder to do our part on a local and global scale. We find Bernie inspiring, and we aren’t the only ones.For the first time in 25 years, the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, Peace Action, has endorsed a candidate: Bernie Sanders. The political advocacy non-profit MoveOn, Friends of the Earth, Americans for Democratic Action, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club and Democracy for America are among the many other organizations supporting him.As for individuals, Rosario Dawson, Danny Glover, Matthew Cooke, Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Kiedis and Flea, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Spike Lee, Margaret Cho, Residente, Seth MacFarlane, Tulsi Gabbard, Ben Cohen, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Danny DeVito, Juliette Lewis, Justin Long, Jeremy Piven, Bonnie Raitt, Mark Foster of Foster the People, Janeane Garofalo, Nikki Reed, John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Michael Moore, Dave Matthews, Sam Seder, Jeffrey Sachs, Clay Aiken, Bill Maher, Alan Cumming, Zoë Kravitz, Michael Stipe and Neil Young are just some of the people who are excited at the thought of a Bernie Sanders presidency, not to mention the tens of thousands of people who attend Bernie’s rallies.Having attended one of Bernie’s rallies, we were overwhelmed by the energy and willingness of the people in attendance to try harder and to do more to make a difference. Thousands of us were out there, willing and excited to work to make things better; we had just been missing a cohesiveness that comes from having a focus and being organized. Bernie is giving Americans the focus that is needed to make life better for everyone.We encourage you to go out and vote this year – in the primaries if you have that opportunity coming up, and in the elections coming up in November. We don’t insist that you vote for Bernie – we want you to vote according to your own hopes and desires, but please do get out there and show that you are concerned about your country and where it is going. The United States’ actions and policies affect the entire planet; the world is watching, and it needs you to care.A final note: Please check your voter registration information. Check it early and often, as there have been reports of people’s registration being switched, leading them to have trouble when they arrive to cast their votes.Copyright ©2016Look to the Starslast_img read more

first_imgBarrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions, will help raise funds for charities supporting U.S. veterans, children and medical research during the 46th Annual Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, to be held Jan. 14-22, 2017, at WestWorld of Scottsdale in Arizona.Steven Tyler is auctioning his 2012 Hennessey Venom GT SpyderAmong the most anticipated vehicles crossing the block for charity is Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steven Tyler’s 2012 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder (Lot #3003), with 100 percent of the hammer price benefiting Janie’s Fund.“To date, Barrett-Jackson has helped raise in excess of $91 million for charity,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “But almost as important as the funds we help raise is the awareness we bring to the organizations that are bringing so much good to our communities. Giving these amazing charities a chance to tell their story on live, international TV inspires all of us. We’re grateful to be a part of such a powerful movement for good, and look forward to the goodwill that will come from the sale of our charity vehicles in Scottsdale.”Celebrity personalities including Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith and former judge on American Idol, will be onstage Friday, Jan. 20, to help sell his 2012 Hennessey Venom GT Spyder (Lot #3003). Offered from his personal collection, this Venom GT is five of 12 created and the first of the Spyder convertibles. This 7.0-liter V8 mid-engine, rear-wheel drive supercar produces 1,244 horsepower that sprints from 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds and 0-200 mph in 14.5 seconds. One hundred percent of the hammer price will benefit Janie’s Fund, which is dedicated to providing resources to help abused girls.Dale Earnhardt, Jr., world-champion pro stock car driver and team owner, is coming to the Barrett-Jackson stage on Saturday, Jan. 21, to help sell two vehicles that will each benefit Nationwide Children’s Hospital, a leading pediatric care facility and research institute. Donated by Chevrolet, a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle (Lot #3006) that Earnhardt helped design is a contemporary Resto-Mod muscle car that uses a new GM Restoration Parts-licensed Dynacorn reproduction body and modern coilover suspension system. Lot #3006.1 is Earnhardt’s Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS that he raced in six NASCAR Cup Series races between 2014 and 2015.“What an amazing opportunity we have to come together as a car community to help out these great charities,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “Each one has a unique mission to help people who are struggling and in need of our combined efforts.”Other vehicles that are crossing the block in Scottsdale in support of charity include: • 2016 GMC Sierra Custom Pickup (Lot #3000) – GMC commissioned this one-of-a-kind Sierra All Terrain from renowned artist Mickey Harris. All proceeds will benefit Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Building for America’s Bravest. • 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 (Lot #3001) – This very original and fully documented Camaro retains its original interior, door, panels, dash and headliner. All proceeds will benefit Childhelp. • 2017 Chevrolet Camaro COPO #001 (Lot #3002) – This SEMA show car represents Serial #001 of 69 COPO Camaros that will be produced for the 2017 model year. All proceeds from its sale will benefit United Way. • 2017 Ford Raptor Pickup (Lot #3004) – This 2017 Raptor takes years of Ford performance and engineering to the next level. It is the last VIN produced for 2017 and finished in a unique one-of-one color. All proceeds from its sale will benefit Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. • 1930 Cord L29 4-Door Brougham (Lot #3005) – One of only 5,010 produced, this L29 Cord was a very high-tech vehicle for its day and was the first American front-wheel drive production car. All proceeds from its sale will benefit Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. • 2015 Ford Mustang GT Fastback (Lot #3007) – This “Jack Roush Tribute” Mustang brings together classic nostalgia of the past with all the styling and performance of the present. All proceeds from its sale will benefit Military Assistance Mission, Inc.For more information on becoming a bidder, follow the link to www.barrett-jackson.com/bid. Experience the 46th Annual Scottsdale Auction in style with a Barrett-Jackson VIP Experience Package. Information on available packages and how to be a part of this world-class lifestyle event is available here.last_img read more

first_img“This was shocking and disappointing,” Reeder said. “The company is very happy he’s being brought to justice and held accountable for his actions.” Login/Register With: Advertisement Schwartz admitted stealing nearly $5 million from Morissette between May 2010 and January 2014. He used the money personally and falsely listed the cash withdrawals as “sundry/personal expenses” to cover up the crime. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment His plea deal calls for a sentence between four and six years in federal prison, though a judge could sentence him up to 23 years on the charges. Facebook Advertisement GSO reviewed Schwartz’s other work and found the other thefts, said GSO attorney Chris Reeder, who sued Schwartz after he was removed from the firm. Schwartz is scheduled to appear Feb. 1 in U.S. District Court on the criminal charges. Schwartz, who no longer works there, was said to represent Beyonce and Mariah Carey, who both appeared at a fundraiser last year in support of a heart disease charity he founded. The embezzlement was discovered after Morissette took her business elsewhere and her new money manager discovered millions of dollars missing and contacted GSO, according to lawsuits filed against Schwartz.center_img When confronted about the theft, Schwartz lied and said he invested the money in an illegal marijuana growing business, prosecutors said. Jonathan Todd Schwartz, 48, of Los Angeles, was charged with wire fraud and filing a false tax return for failing to report the embezzled funds, prosecutors said. Defence lawyer Nathan Hochman said Schwartz had fully co-operated with investigators and accepted responsibility. Morissette settled her suit against Schwartz and the firm, according to a joint statement issued last year. Her publicist had no comment Wednesday. Reeder said GSO has since repaid all the money he stole from clients. The firm’s pending lawsuit against Schwartz said he used the money to fuel a lavish lifestyle that included a $50,000 trip to Bora Bora and a $75,000 debt at a Bahamas casino. Advertisement Schwartz also admitted to stealing $2.3 million from five other clients who were not named in court documents or disclosed by attorneys in the case. Schwartz had offered financial guidance to some of the biggest stars while working at GSO Business Management, a firm that touts its relationship on its website with entertainers such as Katy Perry, 50 Cent and Tom Petty. The former business manager for Alanis Morissette admitted embezzling more than $7 million from the singer and other celebrities and agreed to plead guilty to federal charges, prosecutors said Wednesday. Twitterlast_img read more

first_img Twitter Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement Advertisement Did you catch Randy Thomas on the Marilyn Denis show?  if you missed it … check it out here.  Looking Good Mr. Thomas!  🙂Click the Facebook link below to watch the video (or CLICK HERE)last_img

first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement An independent movie theatre in northeast B.C. says Disney’s strict rules around Star Wars: The Last Jedi are unfair to small-town cinemas and could become even more harmful as the company expands its dominance of the entertainment industry.John Roper is general manager of the Phoenix Theatre in Fort Nelson, which is home to about 4,000 people. Despite excitement in the community to see the latest instalment in the Star Wars series, Roper said the conditions imposed by Disney are simply “impossible” for the Phoenix to meet.“Not only do we have to play it for four weeks straight, we have to play it four times a day,” said Roper, adding that with only one screen available, it would be “very difficult” to play a single movie for a month without losing money due to lack of audience. Twitter Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement READ MORElast_img read more

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Dolores O’Riordan, the defiant voice of Irish rock band the Cranberries who died Monday at 46, found a certain solace in her second home — a remote town in Ontario. When she wasn’t performing rock anthems like “Zombie,” “Linger” and “Dreams” before audiences of thousands, O’Riordan was often at her cottage north of Peterborough, Ont., about 90 minutes northeast of Toronto.It was there she escaped from her sometimes relentless global fame and lived for years with her family. The region was also fruitful grounds for her two solo albums.bye bye Gio. We’re off to Ireland ? pic.twitter.com/d6HKOFJqGB— Dolores O’Riordan (@DolORiordan) January 4, 2018“I’m half a Canuck,” she said in a 2009 interview with The Canadian Press. “I’ve spent half my life here now.”O’Riordan was found dead Monday at a hotel in London, where she was recording new music. Her publicist said the singer’s family is “devastated.” The cause of her death wasn’t immediately available.With her former husband Don Burton, their two kids and a child from Burton’s previous relationship, they spent years dividing time between Ireland and their Ontario cottage.When they met, the Toronto-born Burton was the tour manager for Duran Duran but he wound up taking on O’Riordan’s career.Though they eventually separated, O’Riordan kept her connections to Canada. On Boxing Day, she posted on social media that she was headed to Ontario to spend time with her family.She frequently talked about how she enjoyed the province. Whether it was riding a Sea-Doo or a snowmobile she was known for exploring the great outdoors.“You can really get lost here, and I like that,” she said.“The seasons are so dramatic here — from the snow in the winter to the beauty of the autumn, the colours of the leaves falling — so I have a piano outside my window and sometimes I start off there with ideas, just using nature as a backdrop.”O’Riordan released two solo albums that were recorded in Canada. “Are You Listening,” in 2007, was produced at Metalworks Studios in Mississauga, Ont., and EMAC Recording Studios in London, Ont.Her 2009 followup, “No Baggage,” was recorded solely at EMAC. The album cover features O’Riordan sitting on a bench atop the frozen Big Bald Lake in the backyard of her home.Robert Nation, owner of the EMAC studio, remembers O’Riordan’s unabating sense of self whenever she was working.“She had to be totally inspired and in the moment. If she wasn’t she’d say, ‘I’m going to go out for a while, get outside and let you know what I’m doing later,”‘ Nation said.“She knew when she was feeling right and when she was comfortable. It was the first time I came across (someone) like that.”Dolores O’Riordan, the defiant voice of Irish rock band the Cranberries who died Monday at 46, found a certain solace in her second home — a remote town in Ontario.By David Friend, The Canadian Press Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

first_imgMelanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, says internet companies have immense power in deciding what content Canadians consume. (JUSTIN TANG / THE CANADIAN PRESS) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “I think more and more voices around the world are being raised regarding the fact that platforms need to recognize their responsibility, and that while they’re getting a huge piece of the pie of digital advertising revenues, there needs to be an approach to support more trusted local journalism,” Joly said in an exclusive interview.“The benefits of the digital economy have not been shared equally. Too many creators, journalists, artists have been left behind, and there needs to be a better balance.” OTTAWA–Internet giants like Facebook and Google should play a direct role in investing in “trusted local journalism” and Canadian culture, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly said Tuesday.Joly told the Star international tech companies have “not basically accepted they have a clear responsibility” to the countries they operate in, including promoting and funding cultural content, but also shaping public debate and discussion.Far from being “neutral pipelines” for information, Joly said the digital platforms have immense power in deciding what content Canadians consume, from Netflix recommending your next TV binge to Facebook and Google promoting some news stories over others. Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

first_img Twitter Rounding out Pride Month, and just in time for Toronto’s Pride Parade this weekend, Much Studios’ original online mini-series MUCH PRIDE is now live on the Much YouTube channel.Each digital short breaks down key tipping point conversations from the LGBTQ+ community through one-on-one conversations between LGBTQ+ Canadians and Much Creators.Covering important topics, the honest and eye-opening conversations help demonstrate how dialogue can make a difference towards understanding and inclusivity. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Much Creators featured throughout the five-episode series include Bianca Harris, Jaclyn Forbes, Michael Rizzi, and Kaitlyn Alexander.Topics covered in the mini-series include talking about what it means to be trans or non-binary, the history and lingo of the Drag Queen community, the different acronyms and their meanings, and LGBTQ+ sex 101. Advertisement Login/Register With:last_img read more

first_imgBy Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA-U.S. officials were keeping an eye on Kanesatake, the Mohawk community at the centre of the Oka crisis, during the winter of 2004 following a failed, federal government-sponsored raid using dozens of First Nations police officers from other parts of Quebec, a U.S. State Department cable released by WikiLeaks shows.On Jan. 12, 2004, the 67 police officers descended on the community armed with submachine guns, automatic rifles, shotguns, a sniper rifle and thousands of rounds of ammunition bought with about $62,000 of federal taxpayer money.The raid ended in disaster after the police officers found themselves inside the local police headquarters trapped and surrounded by local community members.A January 14, 2004, cable sent from the U.S. consulate in Montreal, notes that the raid had the potential of major violence.Quoting from a conversation between Georges Beauchemin, the secretary-general of Quebec’s Public Security Ministry and U.S. Quebec City consul General Keogh-Fisher, it notes events were a trigger-pull away from turning bloody.“The situation in Kanesatake had been very dangerous, ‘with both sides armed and ready to shoot,’” the cable said. “However (Beauchemin) said that outside intervention by Quebec provincial police would have been seen as an invasion and ‘pushed good guys on the side of bad guys.’”The raid was planned by former Kanesatake Chief James Gabriel who had received $900,000 two months earlier from the federal Liberal government to fight “organized crime” in the community.Gabriel’s house was burned the ground that January day and he was forced to flee along with his family.Gabriel “was lucky to have escaped with his life,” the cable said, Beauchemin said the situation was a trigger-pull away from turning bloody, the cable said.Beauchemin then told Keogh-Fisher that the answer the situation in the community was a “more structured, efficient police organization which could produce evidence that will stand up in court in order that criminals in Kanesatake could be prosecuted,” according to the cable.Quebec’s public security minister at the time, Jacques Chagnon, managed to broker a deal allowing the trapped police officers to leave the community with an escort of Kahnawake Peacekeepers from the sister Mohawk community, which also sits near Montreal.The cable also wondered whether Quebec Premier Jean Charest was motivated to broker a quick end to the conflict because he was about to depart for Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum.“Cynics have suggested that Premier Charest was anxious to avert a major crisis before his trip to Davos…next week. He may have been reminded that the 1990 Oka stand-off received considerable negative publicity in Europe, where there is strong public sympathy and fascination for the culture and plight of North American native populations,” stated the cable.The cable, however, warned that a quick peace only pushed back the date of an inevitable show-down in Kanesatake.“While the Charest government’s intervention may have precluded a violent clash this week, the possibility remains that confrontations have only been deferred,” the cable stated.The botched raid caused considerable controversy as both the RCMP and the Quebec government distanced themselves from incident. The Quebec government said there was no need for it and the RCMP said the level of organized crime in Kanesatake was no different than anywhere else in the province.After it took power in Ottawa, the Conservative government launched an audit into the former Liberal government’s spending around the Kanesatake police force and the raid.The report, done by auditing firm Navigant Consulting, concluded that the federal Liberal government did not consult with the RCMP before the raid and were also told Quebec’s provincial police would not participate. The report found that the federal Public Safety department was warned the planned raid would trigger a violent reaction.The report also found that Indian Affairs channeled money to Gabriel for policing, even when there was no funding agreement, without consulting Treasury Board.The 2004 botched raid was a culmination of events that began after the tanks and soldiers left Kanesatake in 1990.Years after the Oka crisis, the federal government continued to explore ways to ensure a similar event never happened again.In 1994, it drew up then cancelled military plans to invade Kanesatake and its sister communities of Kahnawake and Akwesasne.In May 1999, Kingston OPP detained a man named Richard Walsh who had sensitive intelligence files in his possessions. Walsh had a rap sheet and had just finished a secret contract with the Kanesatake band as an undercover agent to dig up information on community members.He even posed as a Kanesatake police officer and obtained the military file of former Kanesatake police chief Tracy Cross from CFB Petawawa.Indian Affairs approved at least $25,000 in spending toward Walsh’s activities, according to a 2002 band council resolution calling for an inquiry into the Walsh affair.jbarrera@aptn.caThe cableDownload (PDF, Unknown)last_img read more

first_imgBy Kimlee WongAPTN National NewsCardston, ABThree Kainai women from the Blood reserve in southern Alberta appeared in Cardston provincial court on Dec. 21 after being arrested by Blood Tribe police and charged with “intimidation” for blocking the highway.Lois Frank, Elle-Maija Apiniskim Tailfeathers and Jill Crop Eared Wolf are members of a group called the Kainai Earth Watch.The charges came as a result of a Sept. 9 non-violent protest against hydraulic fracking on their lands. The women stood in front of Murphy Oil company trucks, refusing to let the trucks leave an oil well site on the reserve.Hydraulic fracking is a process used to remove natural gas from the earth. First an oil well is dug, then millions of litres of water, sand and chemicals are injected deep into the earth at high pressure. The injection creates cracks in the earth from which the natural gas can be more easily collected.Critics of fracking say it wastes millions of litres of fresh water, has contaminated entire aquifers, uses chemicals linked to severe adverse health effects such as cancer, and creates large amounts of toxic wastewater that is released back into fresh water sources or stored in sewage ponds.There are also concerns that there is increased earthquake activity in areas where fracking is happening.Canada has no national water strategy. Fracking is currently not regulated in Canada.Environmental regulations on reserve are less comprehensive than Canadian standards. Former Auditor General Sheila Fraser in her 2011 update, warned that it will take a lot of time for First Nation standards to be improved to meet the standards other Canadians take for granted.“First Nation reserves may still be years away from having drinking water protection comparable to what exists off-reserve in Canada,” Fraser wrote.In 2010, the Blood Tribe chief and council signed a five-year lease agreement with two oil and gas companies, Murphy Oil and Bowood Energy, giving them drilling rights to roughly half of the community’s land base.The women who were arrested say the community never had a say in the agreement.Jim Gladstone is one of two Blood Tribe councillors who do not support the five-year lease agreement. He didn’t sign it. He says while he is not against oil exploration, he wants it regulated.Gladstone also said that the agreement fails to put in place any monitoring or studies into what effects fracking will have on his community.Lois Frank, one of the Blood women charged, told APTN National News she remains confident in the legal position she has taken. She believes the government of Canada has a legal obligation to protect “Indians and Indian lands” and would like to see a government representative in court doing that.Ingrid Hess is a lawyer for two of the women charged. Elle-Maija Apiniskim Tailfeathers and Jill Crop Eared Wolf are students and don’t believe the oil companies’ licences are valid under Aboriginal law. They say lack of community consultation and disclosure of the details of the contracts means their right to consultation wasn’t fulfilled.“In order to enforce their rights to have their lands protected and have their concerns heard, my clients feel they not only have a right but a duty to do what they are doing,” Hess said.Hess has requested copies of the contracts which the oil companies say gives them a right to operate on Blood territory but so far she has not seen those documents.Frank is upset that NDP Aboriginal Affairs Critic Linda Duncan’s questions in the House of Commons about fracking on reserves on Dec. 11 were answered by the Environment minister who referred it to the province of Alberta. She wants the federal minister of Aboriginal Affairs to weigh in on the issue.A grandmother of seven and a former University of Lethbridge lecturer, Frank said she believes fracking is already damaging the land and she is worried about her community’s well-being. She said the two earthquakes listed by Natural Resources Canada on Dec. 5 were in the area of the oil and gas well where she and the other women were arrested. She also believes that the Dec. 8 closing of the community school due to strong gas smells and sickness in the children are also related to the fracking.“I’m not the one who should be in court, it should be the oil companies,” said Frank.As evidence that her concerns are justified, she points to the growing list of communities who are declaring moratoriums on fracking until more studies have been done and an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study that found water contamination from fracking to be a cause of serious concern.First Nations leaders have long complained that when accidents do happen on or near their lands, it’s their communities, not the companies, that are stuck with the tab and the adverse health effects.Frank said she understands the difficult position chiefs are in as they try to provide for their communities in a system of chronic under-funding, but feels that the strength of their people and community can only come by protecting the integrity of the lands and waters.The three women have some high profile supporters. Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians has visited the community and given the women her organization’s full support, including a contribution to their legal defense. Climate change advocate Bill McKibben and film director Josh Fox have also made statements in support of the women.Calls to Chief Charles Weasel Head of the Blood Tribe and Murphy Oil seeking comment were not returned.last_img read more

first_imgAPTN National NewsFor nearly 40 years the Friendship Centre of Montreal has provided services to the urban Aboriginal population in the city.Two months ago, however, the provincial organization suspended its membership.That means the centre now doesn’t have access to thousands of dollars in funding.The centre says the decision was political.APTN National News reporter Danielle Rochette has this story.last_img

first_imgAPTN National NewsOver the years APTN National News has spoken with many residential school survivors from across Canada.Many have complained about being victimized again during the claims process and being short-changed when it came to their settlement.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnouf recently sat down with one man who has been fighting for years for his claim.last_img

first_img(Clayton Tootoosis. Facebook photo)By Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsA 22-year-old Cree man says he is planning to burn the Canadian flag on Canada Day to symbolize a “cleansing” of Indigenous lands.Clayton Tootoosis, from the Onion Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, said he plans to torch the Maple Leaf on the community’s sports grounds which is the site of the planned July 1 celebrations.“The burning of the flag symbolizes the cleansing of our land, the removal of the Canadian image to stop the confusion that the Canadian government has imposed on us,” he said.Tootoosis, who has contemplated running for chief of his community, said the protest is not aimed at individuals Canadians.“It’s not the people of Canada, it is just what Canada is trying to do,” said Tootoosis. “They are trying to make us forget our culture and our heritage.”Tootoosis said the government’s recent decision to rename the Indian Affairs department as Aboriginal Affairs shows Ottawa hasn’t stopped trying to erase the identities of First Nations people.“The word Aboriginal they are trying to impose on us is meant to put us all together in one box,” said Tootoosis. “We are all different; we have our own distinct culture.”He believes assimilation is even being pushed at the school-level on reserves.“Today’s First Nations schools are modern day Indian residential schools. They use the same assimilation, colonization policies as in the beginning of the Indian residential schools,” he said. “The policy is to kill the Indian in the child. We don’t decide what’s taught in our schools. That is why our children grow up confused, believing they are Canadian when in fact we are a nation within a nation, sovereign and self-governing.”Tootoosis said there is little open support in the community for his plans to set fire to the flag, but he believes fear keeps people from backing his act.“I asked some people and they said they wouldn’t, that they would be afraid of what the consequences would be,” he said.Tootoosis, however, is part of a small, but growing movement among some Indigenous youth in the province who have begun to challenge the established political leadership in their communities.Tootoosis said First Nations communities are in a “state of crisis” and the existing political leadership is failing the people.Tootoosis is connected to a group youth in the Poundmaker Cree Nation who recently challenged their band leadership and posted the results on YouTube. Tootoosis’ cousin Colby Tootoosis filmed the event that saw band leaders walk out on weeping youth.“In other communities, the youth are starting to be more vocal for change,” he said. “Here, people are afraid of it. I encounter a lot of resistance because of what I talk about and the ideas I have that scares them and they are not really willing to look at it.”jbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more