Brian May Wants Cosmetic Testing On Animals Banned In New Zealand

first_imgRock guitar legend and founder of the Save Me Trust, Brian May, took time out from his Queen tour in Auckland, to urge New Zealand to help end the suffering of animals used to test cosmetics such as shampoo and mascara.As he prepared to rock out the Vector Arena, Brian met backstage with #BeCrueltyFree New Zealand campaigners who are leading efforts to achieve a national ban on cosmetics animal testing and the sale of cosmetics animal tested abroad.The star, who tweeted a photo of himself wearing a #BeCrueltyFree tshirt, said: “I am really shocked that in the twenty first century we are still subjecting animals to pain and suffering just to test vanity products like cosmetics. Not only does it sadden me as a compassionate human being, but it also stuns me as a scientist that companies, regulators and governments around the world are still relying on these woefully inadequate, out-dated animal tests when we know very well how unreliable they are. New Zealand has a great opportunity to say enough is enough, just like the European Union and India have already done. So I’m urging policy makers in this great country to join me in backing the #BeCrueltyFree campaign, please let’s end cosmetics cruelty in New Zealand and the world once and for all.”#BeCrueltyFree New Zealand is headed by Humane Society International, the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society and Helping You Help Animals (HUHA), part of the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics cruelty. So far, more than 60,000 people have sent #BeCrueltyFree e-cards to New Zealand’s party leaders.Political support for a New Zealand ban has been growing. In March Green MP Mojo Mathers proposed introduction of a cosmetics animal testing ban as part of amendments to the Animal Welfare Act, and the Labour Party has also pledged a ban should it succeed at the upcoming national election. #BeCrueltyFree campaigners are determined to see the issue debated when Parliament reconvenes in November.Stephen Manson, spokesperson for NZAVS, said: “Our #BeCrueltyFree campaign is thrilled to have the support of someone like Brian May. Not only is he respected globally for his music, but he is also an immensely important voice within animal protection campaigning and brings real gravitas to our call for New Zealand to end the cruel and unnecessary practice of cosmetics animal testing. We know that New Zealand’s politicians are listening, now we need them to act.”Be Cruelty-Free campaigns are leading policy change across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and the United States.Brian May’s Save Me Trust is a non-profit organisation speaking out against the persecution and torture of wildlife for sport. But it’s not just foxes and badgers and other wild animals who are at risk. The Trust also periodically expresses support for other initiatives dedicated to ending animal cruelty. Today, Save Me Trust wishes to add its voice to Humane Society International and their campaign to end cosmetics tests on animals in New Zealand.last_img read more

Big Brothers Big Sisters Joins Forces With The Hobbit The Battle of

first_imgTo celebrate the highly anticipated release of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the final film in Peter Jackson’s epic “The Hobbit” Trilogy, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer-supported mentoring organization, has teamed up with Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) and New Line Cinema to inspire audiences to “Start Something Epic.”The partnership was developed by LINK Entertainment Marketing, the leader in connecting brands with the emotional engagement delivered through the power and storytelling of entertainment.The campaign launches on November 15th with television ads featuring scenes from the movie, as well as print media, encouraging audiences to “Start Something Epic” by either donating or volunteering.In theaters December 17, 2014, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) and the Company of Dwarves. Messages of growth, leadership and perseverance resonate throughout the film. With encouragement and support from Gandalf, Bilbo discovers his own depths courage and ingenuity — he just needed someone to help show him the way, and, when necessary, give him a push in the right direction. Their iconic friendship is emblematic of the relationship between an adult volunteer (“Big”) and a child (“Little”) enrolled in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. The similarities helped to inspire the tagline, “Whether you are Big or Little, Start Something Epic,” inviting audiences to become a Big Brother or Big Sister to a child in need.“Big Brothers Big Sisters is thankful for the opportunity to work with Warner Bros., MGM and New Line, and with a film of this magnitude,” stated Pam Iorio, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. “We hope the film’s message of leadership will inspire others to lead in their local communities by becoming mentors to children in need.”For 110 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has impacted the lives of children by carefully pairing screened adult volunteers (“Bigs”) with children (“Littles”) in safe, one-to-one long-term mentoring matches. The organization provides mentors, mentees and parents ongoing professional support and guidance. Studies have shown that children enrolled in the program are more engaged in school, less likely to use drugs or alcohol, and have greater confidence and improved relationships with their peers, parents, and teachers.last_img read more

Stars Come Out For O2 Silver Clef Awards 2017

first_imgThe recent O2 Silver Clef Awards 2017 saw over 1000 guests attend the beautiful Grosvenor House Hotel, on Friday 30 June – raising an incredible £660,000 for Nordoff Robbins music therapy.Video: Highlights from the O2 Silver Clefs 2017The famous faces were out in force to support music therapy, and celebrate some of the biggest names in music, including Dame Shirley Bassey, Nile Rodgers and Phil Collins.Pop stars Little Mix were the winners of this year’s Ticketmaster Best Live Act Award, becoming the first female artist or group to receive the honour from the voting public.There was also the hotly-anticipated AEG Presents Auction with some incredible music memorabilia and packages on offer, including hand-written song lyrics from Ed Sheeran, and a VIP experience in L.A.This year Peter Andre was on the Blue Carpet to chat with the guests as they arrived, before handing over to presenter Edith Bowman for the award ceremony.The stars were joined by Evie who shared her incredibly powerful story of the life-changing benefits of music therapy. Evie used to be a singer. Then one day she was diagnosed with cancer. After the treatment affected the way her voice sounded, Evie lost confidence in her singing and stopped altogether. Music therapy helped Evie to find her voice again. You can watch Evie’s story online here.This led to a wonderful moment as musician Naughty Boy came back onstage to offer Evie his thanks, and a special gift. He invited her to come along as a VIP to the British Summer Time gig he was performing at on the Sunday with her beloved Justin Bieber!All told it was a wonderful day full of joy, as Nordoff Robbins celebrated some of the finest musicians in the world, and raised vital funds to help other people get access to the incredible power that music can have.Of her award, Dame Shirley Bassey said:“I’m honoured to be the recipient of this year’s Silver Clef Award. Music is my career. Music is my life. Music is my friend. Music has been there to celebrate the highs and soothe through the lows. I believe everybody has a song inside of them; some people can lose their way in life, some struggle to express themselves – but Nordoff Robbins works with these people to find their inner songbird and true happiness.”The full list of winners and presenters for this year were: • Dame Shirley Bassey – O2 Silver Clef Award, presented by Alfie Boe & Michael Ball • Phil Collins – American Express Icon Award, presented by Eric Clapton • Blondie – Amazon Outstanding Achievement Award, presented by fellow award-winner Nile Rodgers • Nile Rodgers – Raymond Weil International Award, presented by Alice Cooper • Mumford & Sons – Royal Albert Hall Best Group Award, presented by Robert Plant • Emeli Sande – Best Female Award, accepted by Naughty Boy on behalf of Emeli • Pete Tong – Bose Innovation Award, presented by Pete’s daughter, Becky Tong • Anne-Marie – Jack Daniels Best Newcomer Award, presented by Melanie C • Alexander Armstrong – PPL Classical Award, presented by Jamie Theakston • Little Mix – Ticketmaster Best Live Act Award, presented by Peter Andrelast_img read more

Star Athletes Trade Their Jerseys For High Fashion

first_imgFor the first time during New York Fashion Week, Laureus Foundation USA, a nonprofit that uses the power of sport to better children’s lives, is bringing together fashion and sport to shine a light on Sport for Good.On Wednesday, September 12th some of the nation’s top athletes will walk the runway to raise awareness and crucial funds for disadvantaged youth across the US during a fundraising event held at Mercedes-Benz Manhattan in New York City. Super Bowl Champion, Pro Football Hall of Famer, co-host of GMA/GMA DAY, NFL on Fox analyst, and fashion designer, Michael Strahan and supermodel, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Karolina Kurkova will kick off the fashion show festivities.Participating athletes include: Houston Rockets point guard, Chris Paul, Super Bowl MVP, Marcus Allen, skateboarding legend, Tony Hawk, New York Knicks forward, Lance Thomas, one of the most decorated beach volleyball players ever, Kerri Walsh Jennings, five-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, Missy Franklin, ten-time NFL All-Pro, Ray Lewis, most decorated track and field athlete in history, Allyson Felix, nine-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field, Carl Lewis, two-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field, Edwin Moses, five-time Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics, Nadia Comaneci, Olympic Medalist and Activist, Ibtihaj Muhammad, two-time NBA Champion David Robinson, Olympic foil fencer, Miles Chamley-Watson, two-time Olympic Medalists and National Champions in Figure Skating, Maia and Alex Shibutani, and yogis, The Chin Twins, Cristen and Kimberly Chin.Event sponsors include Mercedes-Benz USA, IWC Schaffhausen, UBS, Cartier, Montblanc, and Collection by Michael Strahan. The fashion show will be styled by Courtney Mays, Khalilah Beavers, and Calyann Barnett from WWB Lifestyle Agency. Additionally, an exclusive photo collection of participating athletes will be curated by world-renowned photographer, Nigel Barker, and auctioned off at the event to raise additional funds in support of Sport for Good. Proceeds from the Sport for Good Fashion Show will support Laureus’ mission to improve the lives of youth and unite communities through the power of sport. The day before the Fashion Show, participating athletes will have the opportunity to join Laureus’ Day of Action, and experience this impactful work firsthand. Athletes will visit Laureus-supported programs who use sport to empower underserved youth across New York City.For ticket or sponsorship information, please contact Rachelle Boyer at Tickets are also available online herelast_img read more

Michelle Obama Announces Global Girls Alliance

first_imgMichelle Obama has announced the launch of the Global Girls Alliance, a new Obama Foundation program that seeks to empower adolescent girls around the world through education.Right now, more than 98 million adolescent girls are not in school, and yet an educated girl can lift up her family, her community, and her country. The Global Girls Alliance aims to advance the efforts of organizations and individuals doing this work by driving public awareness and action. As part of this effort, the Alliance will help support grassroots leaders around the world who best understand the unique challenges girls face in their local communities and the strategies needed to overcome these barriers.“I’m thrilled to announce the Obama Foundation’s launch of the Global Girls Alliance,” said Mrs. Obama. “We want to lift up the grassroots leaders in communities all over the world who are clearing away the hurdles that too many girls face. Because the evidence is clear: educating girls isn’t just good for the girls, it’s good for all of us.”The Global Girls Alliance will amplify this work being done around the world to empower adolescent girls through education by: Inspiring, empowering, and connecting grassroots leaders. The Foundation wants to ensure that those on the front lines are supported with effective strategies to enhance and scale their work. We created an online network to connect leaders to one another so they can share best practices, resources, encouragement, and ideas. Driving specific commitments through GoFundMe. These grassroots leaders need more than visibility and connections to one another—they need financial support. To close this gap, the Foundation worked with GoFundMe to launch the Global Girls Alliance Fund, a fund that will directly support grassroots leaders working on girls education. Donations to the fund may be general or designated by donors for specific projects listed on the Global Girls Alliance GoFundMe page. Inspiring and challenging young people in the developed world to join this Global Girls Alliance. We want young people in the United States and around the world to learn about this issue and get involved. From encouraging young people to share a presentation on this issue at school to collaborating with girl group organizations who have expanded their programming to include work on adolescent girls education, the Foundation is offering resources to help young people turn their passion about this issue into action.Mrs. Obama announced the initiative on a special 8 am hour of the Today Show devoted to the International Day of the Girl.“Through Mrs. Obama’s passion for this issue, our aim is to drive global attention, awareness, and action—and generate commitments to help empower adolescent girls around the world, so that they can, in turn, support their families, communities, and countries,” said Obama Foundation CEO David Simas.Learn more at read more

Taking their shot

first_img Login/Register With: Twitter The other day in the atrium of the CBC Broadcasting Centre, Samantha Montpetit-Huynh stepped toward a trio of TV producers and stripped off her top.Just below her shiny black bra, her abdomen was wrapped in what seemed to be a matrix of tensor bandages. It was, she said with an assertive smile, part of the Ab System by Bellies Inc., a $137 program for pregnant and postpartum women to help combat what she called “the dreaded mummy tummy.”She had an engaged listener in Michelle MacMillan, a producer with CBC-TV’s Dragons’ Den who was on her very first day back from maternity leave. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement It was Day 1 of auditions for the next season of the popular reality show, in which small-business owners pitch themselves to a panel of five Canadian venture capitalists. Now in its 11th season, Dragons’ Den still pulls in about 600,000 viewers an episode. If that’s a fraction of its historic best ratings, it’s back in the news now that Kevin O’Leary, who made for an especially sharp-tongued Dragon during his eight seasons on the show, is in the race for leader of the federal Conservative Party of Canada.And after all these years, they’re still trooping up to Studio 40 on the tenth floor of the CBC Broadcasting Centre: The hopeful and the hard-nosed, the crafty and the oblivious, their dreams and sometimes their nest eggs banking on four minutes of national airtime. Many walk away forlorn, roadkill among the bickering Dragons. “You come in, you have a lot of great things to say, but the Dragons are ultimately, like, five egomaniacs with all the money,” one producer cautioned a pitcher. “So you also have to then appeal to them. You need them. So you need to go both ways.” Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

The Biggest Golden Globes Snubs and Surprises

first_imgAfter making waves with its controversial placement of Jordan Peele’s horror satire “Get Out” in the comedy/musical category (not to mention passing over Peele in the screenplay category entirely), and despite the film unequivocally leading the way with critical kudos so far this season, the HFPA sent the film home empty-handed. Advertisement Facebook SNUB: Female StorytellersIt was already an unfortunate note that none of this year’s female directors were nominated in the best director category (as Natalie Portman made clear with her barb in helping to present the award), but in awarding “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” its screenplay prize, the HFPA froze out three female screenwriters in Liz Hannah (co-screenwriter of “The Post”), Vanessa Taylor (co-screenwriter of “The Shape of Water” and Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”). Of course, Globes voters are not beholden to check off a box in lieu of going with what they like (and by many accounts, “Three Billboards” was one of the group’s favorite films on the whole). Of course, “Lady Bird” did win best picture, comedy/musical, but the win was tempered by lack of recognition for Gerwig’s achievements. Login/Register With: SURPRISE: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”In truth, maybe it’s a surprise from the outside, but Martin McDonagh’s film was said to be the group’s overall favorite film this year and that held true to the end. Still, “The Shape of Water” (Variety‘s pick to win) and “The Post” were formidable competition, the former picking up the director prize. Ultimately, though, the HFPA showered “Three Billboards” with love: four awards in total, knocking out some of the season’s strongest players along the way. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Going into the 2018 Golden Globes, there appeared to be some clear-cut winners, despite the award show’s penchant for doing things differently or unexpectedly.On the television side, the results mostly matched those of the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards before them, with “Big Little Lies” sweeping the limited series or TV movie categories, despite having been recently renewed and therefore no longer technically being a limited series. The film side offered a few more big snubs, with critical favorites like “Get Out” and “Call Me By Your Name” being shut out.FILM:SNUB: “Get Out”last_img read more

Professional dancers are taking over the Vancouver Public Library today

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Kim Sato, the founder and director of Project Soul, a Vancouver-based street dance crew with professionally experienced dancers, said the dance group is excited to showcase New Works as one of the performers at the event, collaborating with poet, Rupert Common.“We’ve been working with New Works for the past I would say nine years, eight years,” said Sato. “So we’ve had a very good working relationship with New Works in many different aspects.”Sato also noted she found the event listing on New Works’ website a little bit humorous, as their poet is also a dance member of Project Soul.“It’s just kind of funny that they labelled him that way,” said Sato. “He’s one of my main artists, actually.”Pop Up Dances: World Poetry Day at the VPLWhen: Sunday, March 18, 2018Time: Event starts at 1 pmWhere: Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch – 350 W Georgia Street, Vancouver Advertisement See dance as poetry in motion when performers pop up in unusual spaces at the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) central branch downtown this Sunday, March 18.New Works, a non-profit organization that promotes accessible dance performances all around Vancouver, will be hosting one of their five-part dance series called Pop Up Dances and everyone is free to come check it out.This year’s event will showcase dance performances and interpret works of local poets in honour of World Poetry Day. Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgTORONTO – Corus Entertainment and TPX (The Podcast Exchange) today announced an exciting new sales partnership that will see TPX sell Corus podcasts in Canada and the US.Corus’ new, growing podcast network features podcast programming from across its 39 radio stations, and a host of original podcasts like The Ongoing History of New Music with Alan Cross. Corus plans to roll out an exciting new slate of original podcasts over the next 12 months.“Our partnership with TPX is another positive step in our commitment to build Corus into Canada’s source for high-quality, on-demand audio,” said Troy Reeb, SVP News, Radio and Stations Operations for Corus Entertainment. “Podcasting is an area of rapid growth for both audience and advertisers; this collaboration will allow us to further capitalize on this significant growth.” Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook TPX will be working directly with Corus’ recently appointed Director of Podcasting and Streaming Chris “Dunner” Duncombe and his team for all North American sales.“Corus Entertainment has taken a leadership position in the Canadian podcast market, and we are delighted to be working with them,” said Jean Marie Heimrath, President and CEO, The Podcast Exchange. “This strategic partnership will help Corus continue to offer vibrant and growing shows for the Canadian podcast listener.”Corus EntertainmentCorus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that creates and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world. The company’s portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses 44 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a global content business, digital assets, live events, children’s book publishing, animation software, technology and media services. Corus’ roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Canada, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY®, Showcase, National Geographic Channel, Q107, CKNW, Fresh Radio, Disney Channel Canada, YTV and Nickelodeon Canada. Visit Corus at is a pure play podcasting network working with leading publishers and producers globally to monetise the Canadian segment of the global audience. The Podcast Exchange offers Canada’s most extensive selection of podcasts, so advertising agencies and their clients can reach Canada’s burgeoning podcast audience with demographic precision. Advertisementlast_img read more

BC RCMP investigating explosion aimed at First Nation antipipeline blockade

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National News HOUSTON,BC–Officers from the Houston, B.C., RCMP detachment are investigating an explosion set off at the gates of an anti-pipeline blockade in the province’s interior.A crude explosive device was detonated next to a sign leading to the blockade Monday evening by unknown individuals who fled the scene up a logging road in a vehicle.“We have received a report this morning and have initiated an investigation,” said Sgt. Steven Rose, who is based in Houston.Rose said investigators were treating it as an “isolated” incident. He said the local detachment would lead the investigation, but may request additional assistance from the district level.“(The explosion) certainly changes the public perception of what the blockade represents,” said Rose. “From our police perspective, our role is to investigate any reports of damage, mischief or criminal offenses.”The blockade is led by the Unist’ot’en clan who are part of the Wet’suwet’en people. The blockade was erected about 16 months ago on a forest service road to stop surveyors from entering the territory. The blockade is associated with a camp built several years ago near the path of three planned pipelines. The blockade sits about 66 kilometres south of Houston and about 1,000 km north of Vancouver.Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Toghestiy said he and some others were watching the movie Oblivion in a cabin near the blockade when they heard an explosion at about 10:20 p.m. local time.“We thought it was in the movie at first,” said Toghestiy. “It sounded like a gunshot behind me.”They immediately shut off all the lights and the generator. Toghestiy said he then fired a warning shot in the air with his rifle and the group crept toward the bridge through the darkness. They saw taillights from a vehicle fleeing the scene.“We spent probably two hours walking up alongside the road in the bush until we knew the place was secure,” he said.Photos and video from the scene show a long burn trail leading to the site of the explosion at the wooden, hand-painted sign declaring, “stop, no access without consent.” The video, which was posted on YouTube, showed remains of what appear to be plastic bottles that were tied together with surveyor tape. Toghestiy said it appears gas was used to set off the explosion.Toghestiy met with three RCMP officers Tuesday afternoon from the Houston RCMP detachment who took photographs of the burned-out area caused by the explosion and gathered pieces of the device for analysis in a lab.“I had a good chance to sit down with them, the three of them to educate them on decolonizing their minds,” he said.The blockade and camp were built to block the proposed Pacific Trails and Coastal Gas Links natural gas pipelines along with Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline which aims to pump Alberta tar sands bitumen to the Pacific Coast.All three pipelines are mapped to run through an area about a kilometre from the camp. Toghestiy said a traditional pit house is being constructed on the pipelines’ route.Monday night’s incident followed reports that locals in the area were planning to commit sabotage against the blockade.Freda Hudson, who is of the Unist’ot’en clan, said a local hunter was recently stopped by police on his way back from the blockade sight. The hunter told people at the blockade that he was questioned by police about the blockade. The same hunter also said he had overheard other hunters who had been drinking that they were upset over the blockade and planned to deal with it themselves. There was also an incident with some locals who revved their engine and honked their horn at the blockade before spinning their tires and pulling away.“Before we even got to the road we could hear them spinning out and they went to the police complaining we wouldn’t let them in,” said Hudson.Rose said the incidents are not related.“There is certainly information that has been given to us regarding historical conflicts or potential conflicts that have happened in the past couple of months, but it doesn’t really relate to the incident (Monday) night,” he said. “To draw a nexus between the two is far-fetched.”Toghestiy said the camp is already on watch for surveyors attempting to slip past the blockade. He said a helicopter carrying sub-contractors landed behind the blockade about two months ago, but were quickly intercepted and turned away.“It got quite heated,” he said. “I got really, really angry at them…I told them if they did it again things would accelerate really, really fast. They said they wouldn’t come back.”Toghestiy also said an RCMP special investigative unit from Prince George, B.C., tried to enter the camp over the summer.“We wouldn’t let them cross the bridge,” he said. “They just wanted to come in and poke their nose around.”Toghestiy said the camp is seeking to raise funds to purchase sensor cameras they hope to set up along the read more

Norway House youth raised funds to attend FIFA Womens World Cup game

first_imgAPTN National NewsSome of the FIFA Women’s World Cup games were held in Winnipeg this week.A group of youth from Norway House Cree Nation in northern Manitoba were eager to take in a game.They took it upon themselves to find a way to pay their costs for their trip.APTN’s Matt Thordarson has this story.last_img

Music duo raise cash to shoot crossCanada video for murdered and missing

first_img(JB the First Lady and Chief Rock collaborated on the song Sisterz)Brandi Morin APTN National NewsJerilynn Webster had been waiting for a song about missing and murdered Indigenous women to come to her.One solemn morning in February, while attending a protest about the acquittal of Bradley Barton, the man accused of murdering Cindy Gladue, Webster caught a moment of inspiration.“There was a speaker there whose sister was missing,” said Webster. “He said, ‘I’m looking for my sister and I don’t know why I have to look for my sister. I want to walk the alleys and the streets, I wanna walk all the highways, I wanna walk this whole damn world!’ I was like, ‘wow’ I said, ‘that’s the song.’”Webster, also known as her stage name, JB the First Lady, has been a Vancouver based hip-hop artist for the past eight years.She said everyone is affected by the issue of MMIW and that she wants to use her voice to advocate on behalf of those who cannot.“We need to stand up for that,” she said.She collaborated on the song titled Sisterz with fellow artist and friend Sino General, also known as Chief Rock.A preview of the song can be heard here: Sisterz“We’re using hip hop as a contemporary form of oral tradition and it’s our way of communicating our oral history to our people and cataloguing it for future generations,” said Webster.The two wrote and recorded the song in just one hour and what unfolded was a telling emotional and spiritual experience.“I put the beat on, started free styling the song,” said General. “All these lyrics kept pouring out of me, they wouldn’t stop. I got my pen and started writing everything down. Songs happen like this once and a while, but never quite like this.”Webster said there was a tangible presence in the studio that everyone could feel, it was a moment that caused her to burst into tears while recording the track.“It was just so powerful,” said Webster.Their vision for the song has grown into one that they hope will reach far and beyond political and cultural barriers. That through the universal language of music the message of MMIW will get across the world.“That people will say “wow, Canada really needs to step up and bring justice to these women and justice to our community,” said Webster.They’ve partnered with Butterflies in Spirit, a Vancouver based dance group to perform in the upcoming music video to be shot the first week of July. Butterflies in Spirit is comprised of a group of women who are family members of MMIW. The group’s choreographer was also inspired by the song when after she heard it she had a dream that she then created the dance from.The duo has started a GofundMe campaign to raise money to shoot the music video at various urban centres across Canada where Indigenous women have been murdered or gone missing.Details of the campaign here: GofundMe.The song will be released via the Enter Tribal label the first week of July on the album titled Hitting the Trail and will be available to purchase online through iTunes and CD Baby.bmorin@aptn.calast_img read more

Supporters of disgraced Winnipeg radio DJ take to social media in his

first_imgMatt Thordarson APTN National NewsDave Wheeler, a Winnipeg radio host was suspended this week over videos he shared online.People reacted online calling them sexist and racist.Others were quick to come to his defense with some angry responses on social media.last_img

Pope says he cant personally apologize for church role in residential schools

first_imgThe Canadian PressPope Francis will not apologize to residential school survivors and their families for the role the Roman Catholic Church played in operating the schools or the abuses suffered by their students.A papal apology was one of the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and during a visit to the Vatican last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau personally asked the Pope to consider such a gesture.The commission recommended an apology similar to that offered by the Pope to Irish victims of sexual abuse in 2010. In 2015, Pope Frances issued an apology in Bolivia to Indigenous peoples in the Americas for the “grave sins” of colonialism.Bishop Lionel Gendron, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, today released a letter to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada saying Pope Francis has not shied away from acknowledging injustices faced by Indigenous peoples around the world, but that he can’t personally issue an apology for residential schools.“The Catholic Bishops of Canada have been in dialogue with the Pope and the Holy See concerning the legacy of suffering you have experienced,” Gendron wrote. “The Holy Father is aware of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he takes seriously. As far as call to action #58 is concerned, after carefully considering the request and extensive dialogue with the bishops of Canada, he felt that he could not personally respond.”Gendron says the Pope has not ruled out a visit to Canada and a meeting with Indigenous Peoples, but in the meantime is encouraging Canadian bishops to continue working with Indigenous Peoples on reconciliation issues and projects that help with healing.Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde said in a statement he has written to Pope Frances urging him to come to Canada and meet Indigenous peoples. He is also seeking a direct meeting with the Pope to discuss the issue further.“Hearing an apology directly from Pope Francis would be an important act of healing and reconciliation, much like his apology delivered to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas in 2015,” Bellegarde said.Trudeau’s office redirected questions about this latest development to Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, who said Canada won’t give up on the idea yet.“The commissioners recommended this as an important part of healing reconciliation for the survivors,” Bennett said in an emailed statement. “We will continue to advocate for this call to action.”For more than a century, the federal government’s church-run residential schools operated in an effort to assimilate Indigenous children by forcing them into schools where they were not allowed to speak their languages or engage in Indigenous cultural practices. Almost two-thirds of the 130 schools were run by the Catholic Church.Between the 1880s and the time the last school closed in 1996, more than 150,000 Indigenous children attended, many of whom reported being physically, sexually and psychologically abused at the hands of priests, nuns or other teachers.Canada apologized for the schools in 2008, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was born out of a negotiated settlement agreement that included compensation for survivors.last_img read more

Tensions tighten with each arrest at the gates of Kinder Morgan

first_imgNation to NationArrests keep happening at Kinder Morgan’s tank farm in Burnaby, B.C. but one prominent activist says not everyone is getting the same treatment.And she’s referring to the arrests of people like Elizabeth May, the federal Green party leader, a couple weeks ago compared to the recent detention of land defender Suntree Larue.“Like Elizabeth May’s arrest you could see her hooking her arms into both sides of the police officer and walking out,” said Kanahus Manuel. “She wasn’t held in a Canadian prison cell for doing what she believes is right. But Indigenous people are.“Suntree spent six days in a Canadian prison cell for fighting for our Indigenous rights. That’s our collective rights as Indigenous people across this country. And he’s standing up for all of us.”Green party leader Elizabeth May being arrested at the Kinder Morgan tank farm last month.More arrests are expected this weekend at the gates with Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, saying he intends to be arrested.It’s supposed to be an act of solidary by breaking a court injunction.But another protest has been unfolding for several months. It’s known as Camp Cloud and sits across the road from the gates of Kinder Morgan.And just outside of the area covered by the court injunction.APTN’s Laurie Hamelin sat down with two land defenders this week. They explained why they are camped out.“We gotta defend (water) by all means necessary. For me personally it would have to cost me more than just my life,” said Joshua Williams.And up the highway from Burnaby along the pipeline route is a different battle.One where status Indians have been denied band membership at Peters First Nation where the Kinder Morgan pipeline runs directly through. It’s a story APTN first reported just over a year ago.The three people have asked the Federal Court to make them members.Guy Peters is one of the three and has been waiting over 30 years to be a member just like his father and brother.“He states that it is very unsettling for him,” said Karey Brooks of JFK Law that represents the trio. “He doesn’t feel part of a community that he identifies with.”It’s now in a the hands of a judge to decide after arguments were made last month in Vancouver.N2N@aptn.calast_img read more

Big Grassy River man charged in death of 15 year old girl

first_imgAPTN NewsThe Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have charged Darrell  Tuesday from Mishkosiminiziibiing (Big Grassy River First Nation) with first-degree murder in the death of Autumn Andy.Andy, 15, disappeared from the community last Wednesday.She was discovered behind an outdoor skating rink in the community.The OPP say they were alerted to her disappearance by Three Treaty Police last Wednesday and sent a K-9 unit and search team in response.Her body was discovered at 7:45 p.m.An autopsy was performed in Toronto but police say they are not releasing the results.Police say they are continuing to investigate Andy’s death.Tuesday has been remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear in Fort Frances at the Ontario Court of Justice on June 25.last_img

Fishermen Pictou Landing FN oppose Nova Scotia mills pipeline

first_imgFishermen, Indigenous groups and concerned citizens oppose Nova Scotia pipeline.THE CANADIAN PRESSDozens of fishing boats steamed towards a hulking pulp mill in northern Nova Scotia on Friday, marking the climax of a boisterous demonstration that saw more than 1,000 protesters call on the mill’s owners to scuttle a plan to dump millions of litres of effluent a day into the Northumberland Strait.Chanting “No pipe, no way!” a long line of marchers streamed onto the pier of a sun-drenched marina in Pictou, which is directly across the town’s harbour from the massive Northern Pulp mill.A fishermen’s group estimated that about 200 boats were part of the flotilla that sailed into the breezy, choppy harbour around 1 p.m., then circled back to the marina as a protest rally got underway.Lynn Plexman, a retired local resident who moved from Ontario eight years ago, said the mill’s pipeline plan could hurt tourism and the fishing industry all along the strait between Nova Scotia and P.E.I.“I was shocked when I first found out about Northern Pulp’s plan,” she said, a placard reading, “No Pulp Waste in Our Water” leaning against her knees.“We are tired of the pollution. We’ve had tourists leave because of the air quality. Most people around here want it closed.”Though the kraft pulp mill provides much-needed jobs for the town of about 3,000 residents, its pipeline plan has also raised concerns about the impact on the lucrative lobster fishery.After years of pumping 70 million litres of treated wastewater daily into lagoons on the edge of the nearby Pictou Landing First Nation, Northern Pulp wants to dump it directly into the strait.Kathy Cloutier, a spokeswoman for Paper Excellence, said in a statement that of the 131 kraft mills operating in North America, about 20 per cent use a system like the one proposed for the mill at Abercrombie Point. The remaining 80 per cent use a system similar to the lagoon system now in use.Cloutier said options are limited, as no other effluent systems are used in either the U.S. or Canada.“Northern Pulp has thoroughly investigated treatment options available,” Cloutier said. “This $70-million project will considerably reduce the need for bleaching chemicals by 30 to 40 per cent to whiten the pulp as it progresses through the system.”Nonetheless, Pictou Landing First Nation Chief Andrea Paul said her people’s fight against the mill isn’t over.“There have been many people working tirelessly for years to bring this to the forefront,” she said after stepping from one of the fishing boats in the harbour.“This is not going to end today. We will continue to be on this water because we have a duty to protect all that lives in the water.”Pictou Mayor Jim Ryan told the crowd that the province’s decision to conduct a Class 1 environmental assessment wasn’t good enough. He wants a federal environmental assessment.“The town of Pictou will continue to take the firm position that protection of the fishing industry is paramount,” he said, sunshine glinting off the large chain of office around his neck.Earlier in the day, P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan issued a statement saying he had written to federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil to express his concerns about the potential impact on the ecosystem of the Northumberland Strait.“Given the amount of time that has passed and fresh uncertainty about the Northern Pulp proposal, I believe there is now an opportunity to take a more fully collaborative approach,” the letter says.The mill’s parent company, Paper Excellence based in Richmond, B.C., has said the mill and its 300 employees will be out of work unless it can build a pipeline that would meet all federal environmental standards:“The bottom line is no pipe equals no mill.”Under provincial legislation passed in 2015, the mill has until 2020 to replace its current treatment plant in nearby Boat Harbour, and McNeil confirmed Thursday he is sticking with that deadline.He said he didn’t know much about the protest, adding that he wasn’t surprised by the reaction to the pipeline proposal.“Any time there’s a development, there will be those who have opposing views, and they are polarizing at times,” McNeil said after he shuffled his cabinet Thursday, appointing a new environment minister in the process.Before the protest got underway in Pictou, Nova Scotia NDP Leader Gary Burrill said the province should abandon its plans to conduct a Class 1 assessment and instead order a more stringent Class 2 assessment.If that doesn’t happen, then the federal government should be approached to conduct a comprehensive review, he said.“Either of these would accomplish the goal of having entirely trustworthy information in front of everybody,” Burrill said.He also called attention to the mill’s spotty environmental record as its ownership has changed hands several times since it opened in 1967.The lagoons contain nearly 50 years worth of toxic waste, which former Nova Scotia environment minister Iain Rankin has called one of the worst cases of environmental racism in Canada.In February, groups representing fishermen in Nova Scotia, P.E.I., and New Brunswick suspended further meetings with the mill after voicing frustration over its insistence on a pipe.Earlier this month, the company said the proposed route of a pipeline would be changed to avoid potential ice damage. That means the company has delayed filing its environmental assessment with the province.The mill generates over $200 million annually for the provincial economy by making 280,000 tonnes of kraft pulp annually, primarily for tissue, towel, toilet and photo copy paper.last_img read more

Canada kicked tires on used Kuwaiti jets now looking down under Sajjan

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada kicked the tires on the idea of buying used fighter jets from Kuwait to address a shortage of CF-18s, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan revealed Thursday, but found they wouldn’t be ready in time.The revelation comes amid a bitter and escalating dogfight between U.S. aerospace giant Boeing and Montreal-based Bombardier, which has the backing of Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal government.The Liberals had planned to buy 18 Super Hornets from Boeing to fill what they claim is a critical shortage of fighter jets, but have since threatened to go elsewhere over the Bombardier dispute.Boeing has accused Bombardier of selling its controversial CSeries commercial liners to U.S.-based Delta Air Lines at a significant discount, thanks to assistance from what it considers improper government subsidies.The dispute took a turn this week when the Department of Commerce ruled Bombardier did indeed receive improper subsidies and proposed a whopping 219 per cent duty on any CSeries planes entering the U.S.The penalties won’t be official until the U.S. International Trade Commission rules next spring on whether the Bombardier-Delta deal actually hurt Boeing’s business.The ruling has nonetheless divided the country — advocates in Quebec and Ottawa have been calling on the Liberals to fight fire with fire, while officials in Manitoba, where Boeing has a large facility, are urging calm.Speaking from Riga, Latvia, where Canada has about 450 soldiers helping guard against Russian aggression in the region, Sajjan said he was disappointed with the Commerce Department’s ruling.The minister wouldn’t say explicitly that the plan to buy Super Hornets is officially off the table, but he suggested as much.“We are going to be moving ahead with filling that capability gap,” Sajjan said. “We are pursuing other options.”There are growing signs that the top option could be to buy used F/A-18s from Australia, which is getting rid of the fighter jets as it upgrades to the controversial F-35 stealth aircraft.Kuwait, too, plans to sell its own used F/A-18s after securing its own deal to buy Super Hornets. There had been speculation the aircraft, which are similar to Canada’s CF-18s, would be in good shape.But Kuwait won’t be ready to sell fast enough for Canada, Sajjan said, and the government is instead working closely with the Australians about possibly buying their jets.“We have looked at the capability of the Kuwaiti fighters,” Sajjan said.“The biggest thing is right now they are not currently available. But we still want to pursue every single option. As you know, we are pursuing this option with the Australians at this time.”The key question appears to be whether any of Australia’s F/A-18s have enough life left in them to serve alongside Canada’s CF-18s until replacements for both begin to arrive in the mid-2020s.The government has repeatedly emphasized the need for speed when it comes to addressing the current fighter-jet shortage, and hoped to buy interim Super Hornets by the end of the year.That sense of urgency remains, Sajjan said, though he would not provide a timeline for when the government would pull the trigger on whatever option it decides to pursue.“That capability we needed a long time ago,” he said. “We had a plan in place, a very good plan that was going to fill the capability gap, invest in our current fleet and start the fighter replacement competition.”The government announced last November plans to purchase the planes to temporarily fill a critical shortage of fighter jets until the entire CF-18 fleet is replaced in the mid-2020s.Many defence experts, including 13 former air force commanders, have questioned Liberal claims the air force doesn’t have enough CF-18s, and said replacement jets could be purchased much faster.The Boeing-Bombardier dispute has become a major international battle, with the Trump administration backing the former and the Canadian and British governments siding with the latter.Bombardier has a large aerospace manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland.Yet it has also pitted different parts of Canada against each other.Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, whose government invested $1 billion into the CSeries line, angrily called for a ban on all Boeing imports into Canada after the Commerce Department ruling.But Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman called for cooler heads on Thursday, and said such rhetoric is not helpful.Winnipeg is home to a Boeing manufacturing facility that employs 1,400 people and is the third biggest aerospace centre in the country.— with reporting by Chinta Puxley in Edmonton and files from Steve Lambert in Winnipeg— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitterlast_img read more

BC Green Party says member data safe after contract with AggregateIQ

first_imgVANCOUVER – The B.C. Green Party says it does not believe its members’ personal information was stolen, after the party worked with a Victoria-based tech company that’s mired in an international privacy scandal.Executive director Laura Lavin says the Greens contracted AggregateIQ between January and August 2016 to create a new website and voter database.The party has received written confirmation from the company that it destroyed any data in its possession when the contract ended, Lavin said.“Like anybody, we are paying attention to what’s going on in the media. So it was pretty much over the last week or 10 days, when more and more stories started coming out, that we started doing a review of our relationship with AIQ,” Lavin said in an interview.AggregateIQ created a website for the B.C. Greens, but the party ended the contract because the company could not complete the database within the party’s timeframe, said Lavin.The party has reviewed all of its correspondences, as well as the non-disclosure agreement it required the company to sign at the time, she said.It obtained written confirmation that the data was destroyed, after consulting the Office of the B.C. Privacy Commissioner.Lavin said the nature of information the company would have access to varied by member, but may have included names, addresses, email addresses, level of support for the party and particular issues of interest.The Green Party posted a statement on its website explaining the process, emailed each member and will send hard-copies to those who are inaccessible by email, she said.So far, three members have asked that the party delete their profiles from the system.AggregateIQ faces accusations that it played a role in influencing Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.Canadian whistleblower Christopher Wylie has also alleged that the firm used algorithms developed by Cambridge Analytica, a company he says improperly harvested personal data from more than 50-million Facebook users to help Donald Trump win the U.S. presidency.In a statement posted on its website this week, AggregateIQ denies any connection to Cambridge Analytica and says it works in full compliance with the jurisdictions where it operates.last_img read more

CRA lawyers say Loblaw misused Barbadian subsidiary for tax avoidance

first_imgTORONTO – Loblaw Companies Ltd.’s Barbadian banking subsidiary was “playing with its own money” rather than acting as an active business with outside customers and is obligated to pay tax back home, government lawyers told a Toronto court on Wednesday.Barbados-based Glenhuron Bank Ltd. did not meet the requirements to be considered a foreign bank under Canadian law and be exempt from paying tax to the Canada Revenue Agency, Justice Department lawyer Elizabeth Chasson said in her closing arguments at the Tax Court of Canada.There is “absolutely nothing” connecting Glenhuron to Barbados, she told Justice Campbell Miller, and the subsidiary was established to avoid paying tax.“It has no customers in Barbados. It’s not trying to break into the financial services business in Barbados, because it’s only earning profit for itself in a very sophisticated, very complicated system.”The trial centred on the federal government’s reassessments of Loblaw’s subsidiary for several tax years dating as far back as 2001, and began after the company filed an appeal in 2015. The Minister of Finance concluded the income earned by Glenhuron was from an “investment business” and therefore subject to income tax, according to court documents.The reassessments, which were received between 2015 and 2018, are for the 2000 to 2013 taxation years and total $437 million of taxes, interest and penalties owed, according to Loblaw’s latest quarterly financial report.Loblaws Inc. was incorporated as an international business corporation in Barbados in September 1992 and its activities included investing in short-term securities and holding cross-currency swaps, according to court documents.Loblaws Inc. changed its name to Glenhuron Bank Ltd. in November 1993 and in December 1993 it became a licensee under the Offshore Banking Act of Barbados.Glenhuron was liquidated in 2013, when Loblaw decided to use that capital domestically to buy Shoppers Drug Mart.Department of Justice lawyers had argued during the trial, which began in April, that Loblaw Financial took steps to make Glenhuron Bank appear to be a foreign bank in order to avoid paying tax.Loblaw has argued that Glenhuron qualified for the “regulated foreign bank” exception.The majority of Glenhuron’s activities involved arms-length entities, such as swap contracts with large banks, and its banking licence from Barbadian authorities is further evidence that it fits the profile of a bank, Loblaw lawyer Al Meghji has told the court.Although Glenhuron had a banking license from the Barbados authorities, it did not take deposits or provide financial services to outside customers, Chasson argued on Wednesday, but rather largely used its own funds in transactions such as buying short-term securities.Banks typically take customers’ deposits and use it for lending and investments, she noted.“The key difference is it comes from the customers, from the public,” Chasson said. “But here, it’s all within the Loblaw/Weston family.”By entering into swap contracts and purchasing short-term securities Glenhuron is acting as a customer, rather than conducting business with arms-length parties and generating profits, Chasson argued.“Glenhuron could have been operated anywhere,” she told the court. “It has nothing to do with Barbados in particular. The only thing about Barbados is it’s a low tax jurisdiction. That’s it.”Companies in this story: (TSX:L)last_img read more