Go Paddleboarding With Stefan Lessard Of The Dave Matthews Band

first_imgA new online auction is giving you the chance to grab a friend and join Stefan Lessard and the Dave Matthews Band as their special guest on Friday and Saturday, July 11 & 12, 2014 for two nights of live music at the Xfinity Center in Hartford, CT.But wait – there’s more! The auction also gives you the chance to join Stefan and Adam Gardner of Guster on Saturday July 12th for a Stand-Up Paddleboard experience hosted by L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School.As DMB’s special guests you will enjoy: • 2 Tickets in the Orchestra Pit directly in front of the stage for 2 nights! • Access to a backstage VIP Lounge both nights. • Special parking for both nights. • Exclusive Backstage Tour highlighting the tour’s greening efforts with Reverb. • A guided shopping trip to choose items from the DMB summer tour merchandise line to take home.You will also take home: • 2 Stand-up paddle boards from L.L.Bean. • 2 Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones • Ben & Jerry’s – 1 year supply of ice creamProceeds from the auction will benefit REVERB as part of DMB’s BamaGreen Project environmental efforts. Co-founded by Adam Gardner of Guster, Reverb provides comprehensive, custom greening programs for music tours while conducting grassroots outreach and education with fans around the globe.The auction closes on July 8, and can be accessed here.last_img read more

Downton Abbey Star Visits Syrian Refugees In Lebanon

first_imgDownton Abbey star Laura Carmichael has joined the campaign calling on world leaders to back a fund to ensure children trapped in emergencies do not miss out on education.Laura visits children in informal learning spaces at Houch El-Oumara tented settlement in Bekaa VallyLaura, who plays Lady Edith in the hit British TV drama series, was deeply moved by a trip with A World at School to Lebanon, where thousands of Syrian children are out of school.The 28-year old actress said: “I met children who have had everything taken from them because of the conflict raging in their country.“They have left their homes and schools and are separated from friends and families. I spoke to mothers who were scared for their children’s future, desperate for them to have an education to give them freedom to rebuild their lives.”Laura cradles two-month-old baby born in Houch El-OumaraThe four-year conflict in Syria has resulted in the worst refugee crisis in 20 years. There are 1.2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a third of them children.Video: Laura Carmichael visits Syrian refugees in Lebanon (small)A World at School Ambassador Laura travelled to the Bekaa Valley, which is hosting thousands of Syrian refugees in tented settlements.Almost all of the children there are out of school, many for up to four years, and the consequences are dire. Out-of-school children are becoming trapped in child labour, early marriage and radicalisation.Laura said: “It was clear from everyone I spoke to that going to school would provide some hope and a chance to rebuild their lives.“Two women, Kawsar and Ghazia, welcomed me into their home and introduced me to their beautiful children, all of them out of school.“Kawsar told me her two sons who had once dreamed of being teachers and doctors were now labouring every day in order to support their family.“You could hear the sadness in her voice that her children were bearing the brunt of the war.“Ghazia, a mother of five, told me both of the eldest boys had to go out to work and provide for their family as their father was no longer alive.“This is not uncommon in these areas, as many children out of school are becoming trapped in child labour, early marriage and extremism.”There is support for children affected by the Syrian crisis. But this is not recognised as a formal education and provides no qualifications for future work.Read more hereSource:A World At Schoollast_img read more

Fall Out Boy Supports Bring Music to Schools Bring Music to Life

first_imgHot Topic, the loudest store in the mall, is tapping into its music roots with the launch of the Bring Music to Schools, Bring Music to Life campaign featuring the band Fall Out Boy for Back-To-School.Fall Out Boy for Hot Topic FoundationThe campaign highlights Hot Topic’s round-up initiative, in which customers are invited to “round-up” their in-store or online purchases to the nearest dollar. The difference is donated to the Hot Topic Foundation to support non-profit organizations – including Little Kids Rock, Notes for Notes and the Grammy Foundation – which inspire young people through music and the arts. The Hot Topic Foundation has raised approximately $1 million since the launch of the round-up program last August.“At Hot Topic, music is part of our DNA,” said Lisa Harper, Chief Executive Officer of Hot Topic, Inc. “So it’s exciting to be able to give back and support that same passion in young musicians. It’s really amazing to see what a little ‘change’ can do.”Hot Topic’s Bring Music to Schools, Bring Music to Life campaign features students from Little Kids Rock, a non-profit organization that provides free music instruction and instruments to under-served public schools across the U.S., alongside one of their favorite bands, Fall Out Boy, in an effort to inspire and foster the next generation of musicians. The campaign, which includes print, digital and social media, launches in all Hot Topic stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico at the end of this month, and in Alternative Press magazine in August. Check out behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot with Fall Out Boy here.Hot Topic will also offer various promotions during back-to-school including: • Pack It Up Backpack Offer: Purchase a backpack and get 30% off all the apparel you can stuff in it, plus 30% off the backpack, too. • $25 Jeans When You Buy 2 or More: Select denim styles are $25 each when you purchase 2 or more. • Hot Cash: Receive a coupon for $15 off a future purchase of $30 or more with each qualifying purchase.Since its founding in 2004, the Hot Topic Foundation has gifted approximately $12 million to arts and music organizations for youth. Most recently, the Hot Topic Foundation made its largest grant to date – a $500,000 contribution to Notes for Notes, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving youth a profoundly positive experience via completely free access to music instruments, instruction and recording studio environments. The funds will assist the charity with national expansion. The newest Notes for Notes studio is scheduled to open in Detroit in August 2015 and was fully funded by the Hot Topic Foundation.last_img read more

Lucy Watson Choose Comfort Without Cruelty

first_imgIn a steamy new PETA campaign, the glamorous Lucy Watson appears wrapped in nothing but a fluffy feather-free duvet next to the words “Choose Comfort Without Cruelty”.Lucy Watson: Choose Comfort Without CrueltyCredit/Copyright: Ruth RoseIn a cheekier version of the ad, the Made in Chelsea actor wears lavender lingerie and sits confidently in bed next to the words “Feather Bedding? Go Pluck Yourself”.In an exclusive video interview with PETA, Watson explains why her bed and wardrobe are now down-free: “[The feathers] are plucked continuously and forcefully from the birds, and sometimes, they die just from the shock”. The socialite says feather-free bedding is just as sumptuous. “It’s cruelty free, allergy-free and most of the time, it’s less expensive”, she says. “Next time you’re out buying duvets or pillows, if it says ‘down’ on the label, leave it on the shelf.”As seen in PETA US’ video exposé of the down industry, birds used for down are tightly restrained as feathers are violently torn from their bodies, often resulting in gaping wounds. The down industry also helps support producers of foie gras – which is made by forcing tubes down the throats of geese and ducks and pumping grain into their stomachs until their livers become enlarged and diseased – as the feathers of many of the birds on foie gras farms are sold for down.This is Watson’s third time teaming up with PETA. She has previously posed for the group’s iconic “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign and posed for an ad encouraging her fans to “have a heart – try vegetarian”.last_img read more

Kinepolis Group NV reaches agreement to purchase Landmark Cinemas Canada LP

first_img Twitter Advertisement CALGARY, Sept.18, 2017 /CNW/ – Landmark Cinemas Canada LP & TriWest Capital Partners are pleased to announce Landmark Cinemas LP has reached an agreement to be acquired by Kinepolis Group NV.  The conclusion of the transaction is subject to customary government approvals. Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Kinepolis auditorium (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Login/Register With: Interior at Kinepolis Breda (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Kinepolis Group NV located in Ghent, Belgium, was formed in 1997 through the merger of two family cinema groups and was listed on the stock exchange in 1998. Kinepolis offers an innovative cinema concept which serves as a pioneering model within the industry. Kinepolis Group NV has 48 cinemas, and a total of 500 screens spread across Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Poland. In addition to its cinema business, the Group is also active in film distribution, event organization, on-screen advertising and property management.“Landmark’s significant investment in recliner seating to create an industry-leading movie-going experience aligns directly with similar initiatives by Kinepolis across Europe,” said Neil Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Landmark Cinemas Canada. “Combining with Kinepolis will also provide Canadian movie lovers with greater access to world class cinema experiences.”Eddy Duquenne, CEO of Kinepolis Group, says: “Both Kinepolis and Landmark Cinemas are passionate about offering the ultimate customer experience. The combination of the Kinepolis three-pillar strategy of being the best cinema operator, the best marketer and best real estate manager, its focus on providing an excellent customer experience, also through the use of enhanced customer feedback tools, together with its financial strength provides a unique opportunity to accelerate the growth of the Landmark Cinema network in Canada. Working together, the two groups will be able to create long-term value, resulting in an unparalleled customer experience for the Canadian moviegoers.”“The innovative and entrepreneurial culture that we have been fortunate to build over the past 52 years at Landmark matches perfectly with Kinepolis,” said Brian F. McIntosh, Executive Chairman, Landmark Cinemas Canada.  “Joining the Kinepolis family is a terrific opportunity for Landmark’s people, who will continue to lead the Canadian business and build their careers as part of a global leader in the cinema industry. Our guests and business partners will also benefit from the expertise that Landmark will be able to leverage from Kinepolis.”About Landmark Cinemas Canada LP, Canada’s second largest motion picture, theatre exhibition company.From a single screen in 1965, today Landmark Cinemas continues to provide the perfect setting for Movie Lovers to connect and share the perfect movie-going experience. We are connected to the communities we serve and our Cast and Crew are proud to support Kids Help Phone programs and initiatives. The corporate headquarters for Landmark Cinemas is in Calgary, Alberta. For additional information: landmarkcinemas.comAbout Kinepolis Group NVFor additional information: https://corporate.kinepolis.com/en Interior at Landmark Cinemas 16 IMAX® Country Hills Calgary, AB (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Kinepolis Rocurt (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Kinepolis Rocurt (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Advertisement Coca-Cola Freestyle experience at Landmark Cinemas (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Landmark Cinemas Canada LP, located in Calgary, Alberta, is Canada’s second largest theatre exhibition company. Founded in 1965, Landmark operates 44 cinemas and a total of 303 screens throughout Western Canada, Ontario and the Yukon Territory including five IMAX®, four ‘Extra’ and one ‘Xtreme’ screen. Landmark Cinemas recliner experience (CNW Group/Landmark Cinemas) Advertisementlast_img read more

FN leaders call on Ottawa to sign declaration

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA –Six months after a promise in the Speech from the Throne and three years after it was adopted, First Nations leaders in Canada continue to call on the Stephen Harper government to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.First Nations leaders chose Monday to again issue their pleas on the third anniversary of the international document which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on Sept. 13, 2007.Canada, along with New Zealand, Australia and the U.S., initially refused to sign the declaration on the types of rights countries should afford their indigenous populations. Australia and New Zealand have both signed the document, while the US has said it would review the position.Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised in the Speech from the Throne on March 3 that Canada would give a qualified endorsement of the declaration.The Conservatives are facing pressure from the Assembly of First Nations to endorse the declaration unconditionally.“Canada’s full endorsement of the UN Declaration will be important not as the culmination of our efforts, but as the beginning of a new era where we work together as true partners to chart a new approach, new laws, policies and practices and a new path,” said Atleo, in a statement. “This is the relationship affirmed in our original treaties, in our inherent rights and Aboriginal title and it is the relationship that will guide us to a better future.”At least one First Nations leader expressed frustration with the Harper government.“We have been repeating the same message for three years. It is a shame that Canada has lost its international reputation as a major defender of human rights by its failure to respect the rights of the First Peoples within its own territories,” said Ghislain Picard, who heads the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. “We are still waiting to see this commitment become reality.”The government is concerned with Section 26 of the declaration. It states that indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan’s office issued a statement saying the government would sign onto the declaration.“Canada supports the overall aspirations of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and believes endorsement will build on our commitment towards a stronger and more respectful relationship with Aboriginal peoples,” said the statement.Last April, during question period in the House of Commons,Duncan, then-parliamentary secretary for Indian Affairs, said that the declaration went against the country’s laws.“We are not prepared to sign on to this non-binding document because it is inconsistent with our Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the National Defence Act, Supreme Court rulings, policies under which we negotiate treaties, and does not account for third party interests,” said Duncan, at the time. “This declaration does not balance the rights of all Canadians. Canada is a world leader on this issue and one of the few nations which provides for constitutionally entrenched aboriginal rights.last_img read more

Hundreds hit Montreal streets backing Innu Nation in battle with Quebec

first_imgAPTN National NewsMore than 200 Montreal residents took to the streets of the city in solidarity with the Innu Nation.They denounced the attitude of the Quebec government, Hydro-Quebec and the Surete du Quebec concerning the Innu’s territorial claims and the protection of the environment.APTN Natioal News reporter Danielle Rochette has this story.last_img

Painful memories kept many residential school survivors from filing claim until deadline

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt was a significant date.For the thousands who survived the worst abuses at residential schools, midnight Wednesday was the deadline to apply for the independent assessment process.Many survivors struggling with the idea of bringing up a painful past left the decision to file their claim to the last minute.APTN National News reporter Meagan Fiddler has more on this story.last_img

Couple questions alternative healing groups activities on Haida Gwaii

first_imgBy Rob SmithAPTN InvestigatesSome people on Haida Gwaii think Earth People’s United (EPU) is a cult.Others disagree.Laura Duthiel said peer pressure and shaming, combined with hallucinogenic drug use, were key components of how leader Erik Gonzales controlled her when she was a member. She ingested drugs that paralyzed her for what she estimates to be eight hours. It was for her a “coma-like state.”For her it had nothing to do with healing.Tom Greene’s concern began at a public meeting in the town of Skidegate when he asked about a youth exchange to Guatemala. He had just recently heard of violence in that country on the news. When he raised the issue he was assured by employees of the Nygstle Society, a cultural healing organization, that the youth were safe.Green claims he was shocked afterward when a man warned him he was taking on the cult.Haida youth have travelled to EPU’s Deer Mountain Center located on 1,700 acres of land northeast of Yreka in Northern California. Youth have also been to EPU’s compound on the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. You can see them on EPU’s self-produced videos on YouTube.Seven years ago Raven Ann Potschka was one of those youth. She confirmed to APTN Investigates the types of drugs used in Gonzales’ ceremonies. These include peyote, ayahuasca, amanita, and psilocybin. Potschka calls them medicine.“We are doing things as a family, a spiritual family we are doing these ceremonies together for support and we are also all learning together for me I benefited greatly,” she added.However Tom Greene told us about a story a young woman told him. She told him that when she was in Guatemala she lost her memory for two or three days. She told Greene she suspects it’s because of the drugs she ingested.When APTN Investigates contacted the woman and repeated the story Greene told us and asked for an interview.“I didn’t want anyone to know about that,” she said and hung up.Potschka says a scenario like that makes her uncomfortable, but she says she has never seen anyone have a negative reaction during the ceremonies.“Whenever we go out of country we have Elders with us. I feel it’s a super safe environment,” said Potschka.Haida leader Guujaaw wouldn’t comment on the youth’s memory loss. The former president of the Haida Nation believes that the drugs are valuable medicine. He admits he does ceremonies but not with Gonzalez. He says that compared to alcohol and cocaine these drugs are relatively “benign.”Dutheil disagrees.She says amanita is poisonous and it took her months to recover after suffering what she terms an overdose.The local RCMP are also concerned. Last fall they took the unusual step of placing a warning in the local newspaper.It read in part: “The Masset RCMP is urging the public to think critically about the use of these so-called ‘healing’ or ‘spiritual’ drugs. Not only are some of these substances illegal in Canada but it has been reported that they can produce negative long-term side effects.”Local doctors were also alarmed by the rise in “spiritual” drug use. Quoted in a CBC report, Dr. Harvey Thommasen said, “people aren’t being told what they are taking.”The doctor was particularly concerned by the use of amanita in ceremonies. It’s a local mushroom he called a deadly poison.Haida Elder Fred Russ says amanita was used by medicine men in the old days, but those healers worked with the substance all their life. They knew how to mix it and only used it one-on-one for specific reasons. Never in large groups.The other group being discussed in Haida Gwaii is Psychology of Vision. Despite its name, the two founders Lency and Chuck Spezzano are not psychologists.In fact, Charles Spezzano was fined in 2004 for acting like a psychologist while not being licensed by the state of Hawaii.Chuck Spezzano told APTN Investigates that because he works internationally he doesn’t need to be licensed. He said he is not a psychologist and calls himself “a coach.”But he says the work he does is indeed psychology.Dutheil says the POV sessions were a horrible experience for her.Potschka agrees. She said what POV offers is “deep group therapy sessions.” And when she attended, the community members were not told what they were getting into.Duthiel says she witnessed people crying and throwing up in the sessions she attended.“Your personal boundaries, they are breaking that down and they are exposing you are pretty much giving yourself over,” she said.But, despite that, she kept on going to the sessions.“Like an addiction, you gotta go. And just never ending you almost got dependent on it. You begin to realize you don’t have any other friends, just the friends that were in that group,” she added. “You leave your family behind to go be with this other family.”But Dutheil says it was never made clear what exactly was done. Explanations were vague.“It never was explained to us what that really means. They want to call it whatever they want to call and make us believe we are advancing is some way. But you’re in a controlled environment and you are being controlled,” she said.APTN Investigates asked Charles Spezzano to explain one of the many type of healing methods POV uses. It’s called an “original mind download.”“It’s a blessing. And if you’ve ever received a blessing where you can feel it, that’s what a download is meant to be,” he replied.How does that help a person looking for healing, we asked.“Basically it provides some wholeness. Where there was a split mind or conflict or something like that, it brings peace,” he said.We asked him how one becomes qualified to do a download.“Well, first of all, you experience it and then you learn how to pass it on,” Spezzano replied.The Spezzano’s are shocked that they are being accused of being a cult and that the work they are doing is dangerous. Chuck Spezzano claims more than 40 years’ experience. Lency Spezzano claims they are a great help to First Nations. She says that wherever POV goes, there is a cultural renaissance in the community.They help people, insists Charles.What they do not do is disempower people in order to take their money, he added.rsmith@aptn.calast_img read more

As Kanesatake cleans up after the flood help is slow to arrive

first_imgTom Fennario APTN National NewsNow that floodwaters have receded, Mohawks in Kanesatake are facing a daunting clean up.Help has been slow to arrive for those most affected and the band council says they lack services to better prepare for future disasters.last_img

Metis taking Manitoba government to court in hydro spat after talks break

first_imgThe Canadian PressThe Manitoba Metis Federation says it is taking the province to court in a dispute over planned hydro projects.Metis federation president David Chartrand  Tuesday with Crown Services Minister Cliff Cullen and Manitoba Hydro to discuss a deal between the federation and the Crown utility.In March, Premier Brian Pallister quashed a $67-million deal that had been negotiated between the federation and Manitoba Hydro to help support a transmission line to Minnesota. The premier called it “persuasion money.”The federation said at the time it would file for a judicial review to overturn the decision because, it argued, the agreement was legally binding.“We were hoping that the province would have come forward with a position of an olive branch, given that we believe strongly that the agreement was negotiated between ourselves and Hydro,” said Chartrand.“They are not willing to sit down and they are going to overrule Hydro, which we believe they don’t have the legal right to do.”He said the federation has given its lawyers the green light to go ahead with court action, probably within the next week.Cullen said the two sides have agreed to disagree on the matter.“They feel it was an agreement,” he said. “Our understanding is that it’s really a proposal.”Cullen said the ball is in the Metis federation’s court.“It’s really up to them on how they want to proceed,” he said. “We’ll wait and see what their undertaking is.”Despite the disagreement on the transmission line, Cullen said the government is committed to consulting with the Metis federation.Nine of 10 Hydro board members resigned in March over what they said was Pallister’s refusal to meet with them to discuss important issues, including Indigenous rights.last_img read more

Federal candidates take on housing concerns in forum

first_imgNDP candidate Leah Gazan is taking on Liberal incumbent Robert-Falcon Ouellette.She rebutted Carr’s statement saying big dollar amounts don’t always address the issues.“On the ground, in fact, that only amounts to a house and a half or less than a house depending on how remote the community is,” she said.Things took a turn when Gazan called out the Liberals for, “bailing out a pipeline by $4.5 billion,” she said referring to the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project last year.“If people were serious about homelessness and ending homelessness…they could have taken that money and invested in people,” said Gazan.Gazan brought up the purchase of the pipeline several times throughout the night before Carr reminded the panel they were there to talk about housing.“If you want to expand this debate to talk about climate and energy policy…I’m glad to do it but it would be a distraction from the major issue that we’re here to discuss,” said Carr.Part of the night included a question and answer portion with audience members.Katherine Thomas, who introduced herself using her spirit name Earth Old Woman, reiterated the need for more housing on traditional lands.“We’re not thriving here,” she said referring to Indigenous people who live in the city. “The system set up here is brutal to our people…and when we go back to our lands we heal and we thrive.”The CHRA estimates one in 15 Indigenous peoples living in urban and rural settings are homeless, compared to one in 128 for the non-Indigenous population.Gazan was the only one to respond to the suggestion, “if the community decides that we want to have houses built on land, we want to have houses built on our traditional trap lines then we have an obligation to work with communities.”Gazan is running in the Winnipeg Centre riding. She is also the partner of former NDP MP Romeo Saganash, who was in the audience. Brittany HobsonAPTN NewsHousing for Indigenous people living on and off reserve took centre stage during a forum in Winnipeg Wednesday night.Several local community-based organizations hosted the event to highlight the need for more social housing not just in the province but across the country as well.According to the national non-profit organization Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA), more than a million people live in approximately 600,000 subsidized homes in Canada, Three of the four major parties shared their platforms.Green candidate Andrea Shalay said if elected her party would implement a minister of housing.“We know that this is a national problem,” said Shalay, who is one of the candidates in Winnipeg Centre.“Creating a minister position is a great way of making sure that something is getting government focus.”(Green candidate Andrea Shalay, left, Leah Gazan who is running for the NDP and Liberal MP Jim Carr. Photo: Brittany Hobson/APTN)Both the NDP and Liberal candidates also committed to creating a minister of housing position during a lightning round of yes or no questions.Winnipeg South Centre incumbent Jim Carr was there for the Liberals.Carr, who was also the Minister of International Trade Diversification, promised those advocating for affordable housing would have easier access to government, “so that we have a better understanding on the ground of the kind of hardships that people are suffering when they don’t have affordable housing.”Carr also highlighted previous investments the Liberals made toward housing on First Nations, including $1 billion set aside in 2017 for on-reserve infrastructure including housing, water treatment systems, health facilities and other similar projects. Maïtée Saganash, daughter of Saganash, was also in the audience and took some time to exchange words with Carr regarding Bill C-262 and child welfare issues.“At this point drop the reconciliation lines. The Canadian Tribunal of Human Rights proved that you’re actually discriminating [against] First Nation children, so drop the reconciliation lines. What is your plan? What are you doing?” she probed.Carr said he would not stop working toward reconciliation.“Your government may not be able to move down that road at a pace that is comfortable or is satisfying to some, but no I won’t stop. Are you blaming the Federal Liberal government for the votes of five Conservative senators? You and I can have a longer conversation down the road about that.”No candidate from the Conservative party attended despite an invitation from organizers.bhobson@aptn.ca@bhobs22last_img read more

Oil and gas spending drop linked to competitiveness gap with the United

first_imgCALGARY – Canada’s competitive disadvantage with the United States is being reflected in lower spending plans by oil and gas producers, and Tuesday’s budget does nothing to change that trend, oilpatch observers say.In a report released Wednesday, Statistics Canada said capital spending to extract oil and gas will fall for a fourth straight year in Canada in 2018.Spending is expected to be about $33.2 billion, down 12 per cent from 2017, with the biggest declines in the oilsands sector where spending will fall by a fifth to $10.2 billion, the federal agency said, citing a survey of investment intentions.It said the largest spending decline is anticipated in Alberta, down 12 per cent to $22.5 billion, but spending will also fall off in Newfoundland and Labrador, by 31 per cent to $1.7 billion; in British Columbia, by 8.7 per cent to $4.6 billion; and in Saskatchewan, by just under one per cent to $3.9 billion.The numbers are falling because big projects are wrapping up and not being replaced, a trend that also points to Canada’s failing competitiveness with the United States, said CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld in an interview.“The bigger picture is some Canadian companies are looking south of the border,” he said. “They’re seeing the bottlenecks in the ability to get product to the market, the lighter regulatory environment in the U.S. and the disadvantage in spreads between U.S. and Canadian oil benchmarks — all are reasons to devote capital elsewhere.”In Tuesday’s federal budget, the government said more analysis was necessary before considering tax cuts to match the U.S., which announced in December it would drop its federal corporate tax rate to 21 per cent from 35 per cent.“The finance minister says he wants to see evidence that Canada is losing its share of the corporate investment dollar to the U.S. and, if these numbers pan out, that could be part of the evidence that Ottawa needs to think about a response,” said Shenfeld.Canada had a tax advantage over the U.S. until recently but that has evaporated, said University of Calgary tax expert Jack Mintz, adding there was “absolutely nothing” in the budget to address the issue.The decline in spending is also being seen by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which estimates the industry will spend $45 billion this year, down about one per cent from 2017, and representing the fourth year of decline after $81 billion was spent in 2014. (CAPP’s numbers include spending on exploration lands and other costs that Statistics Canada doesn’t measure.)The four-year decline in oilsands spending in particular is the worst since the early 2000s and can be linked to uncertainty related to market access, the regulatory burden and competitiveness with the rest of the world, said CAPP vice-president Ben Brunnen.“There are jurisdictions around the world that are actively trying to attract capital. Canada is not one of those,” he said.Brunnen said U.S. tax reform includes allowing immediate 100 per cent deductibility for certain capital expenditures, a move expected to spur investment in oil and gas, liquefied natural gas facilities and refineries — high-cost projects that compete directly with the oilsands for funding. Canada allows 30 per cent deductions for similar investments, he said.Depressed Alberta natural gas prices and Canadian oil prices that haven’t kept up with increases in the U.S. are forcing Canadian producers to cut spending plans this year, said Jackie Forrest, senior director of research at ARC Financial Corp. in Calgary.She said adjustments made over the past several weeks mean that she is changing her spending forecast for 2018 from a decline of two per cent to a drop of five per cent compared with 2017.Patrick O’Rourke, managing director of institutional research at AltaCorp Capital in Calgary, said executives at the energy companies he covers are more frustrated with increased regulation, carbon taxes and delays in building pipelines than income taxes.He said Tuesday’s “do-nothing” budget failed to address any of those concerns.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more

RBC fires head of US capital markets over workplace relationship

first_imgTORONTO ONTARIO, – The Royal Bank of Canada has fired the head of its U.S. capital markets division for violating its policies about relationships with fellow employees.“Blair Fleming did not comply with our disclosure and conflict of interest policies relating to workplace relationships,” spokeswoman Gillian McArdle wrote in an email.“When the matter was brought forward, we investigated and acted promptly.”Fleming was the American CEO of RBC Capital Markets and US head of investment banking and oversaw all the division’s businesses in the U.S., says his LinkedIn page.Fleming, 56, began his career with Royal Bank in 1986 in London, Ont., and moved to New York City in 2009, where he and his wife live with their four daughters.The announcement of Fleming’s departure earlier in the week generated employee questions, Douglas McGregor, the bank’s group head of capital markets, said in an employee memo.“We want to be clear that inappropriate behaviour at RBC is unacceptable and in breach of our Code of Conduct and Respectful Workplace Policies,” he wrote.“RBC is committed to maintaining a professional workplace. It is only by acting with integrity that we can continue to build the trust of our people, clients, and the community.”In its 20-page code of conduct, the bank says working relationships could cause conflicts of interest if they can “favourably impact compensation, work conditions or promotion prospects of a close friend or family member.”It says there is no substitute for good judgment and common sense and says employees should speak to a manager if they have doubts about a relationship.The policy also says employees have a responsibility to speak up if they witness or experience inappropriate behaviour. They can raise it with their manager or through the bank’s confidential human resources resolution hotline.Global responsibility for investment banking is being assumed by Derek Neldner, head of Canadian and Asia Pacific investment banking.Jim Wolfe, head of leveraged finance, and Matthew Stopnik, co-head of financial sponsors, have been appointed co-heads of U.S. Investment Banking.Companies in this story: (TSX:RY)last_img read more

Pence says US committed to IndoPacific not seeking control

first_imgSINGAPORE — U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence says America has a steadfast and enduring commitment to the Indo-Pacific region but wants co-operation, not control.Pence, who is standing in for President Donald Trump, told a summit of Southeast Asian leaders Thursday in Singapore that “empire and aggression have no place” in the region. The comment appeared to allude to growing Chinese sway in the region and its vast claims in the South China Sea.Pence said, “Like you, we seek an Indo-Pacific in which all nations, large and small, can prosper and thrive – secure in our sovereignty, confident in our values, and growing stronger together.”The meetings of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Nations focus on enhanced trade and security in a region of more than 630 million people.The Associated Presslast_img read more

The Latest Japan denies prosecution challenge to bail Kelly

first_imgTOKYO — The Latest on the Japanese finance allegations against Nissan executive Greg Kelly (all times local):___10 p.m.A Japanese court has rejected prosecutors’ challenge to a court’s approval of bail for Nissan Motor Co.’s American executive Greg Kelly.The rejection Tuesday clears the last hurdle for Kelly’s release from detention over the alleged underreporting of the income of his boss, former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn.Earlier in the day, the court approved Kelly’s release on 70 million yen ($635,600) bail. His release from detention is expected later Tuesday.Kelly and Ghosn have been detained at the Tokyo Detention House since their Nov. 19 arrest.They are charged with underreporting Ghosn’s pay by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) in 2011-2015.___3 p.m.A Japanese court has approved a bail request for Nissan Motor Co. executive Greg Kelly, who was detained and charged with underreporting the income of his boss, former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn.Tokyo District Court said Tuesday that the American Kelly will be released on 70 million yen ($635,600) bail. His release could come before the end of the day.Kelly and Ghosn have been detained in Tokyo since their Nov. 19 arrest. They are charged with underreporting Ghosn’s pay by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) in 2011-2015.Kelly’s Japanese lawyer sought bail after the court dismissed prosecutors’ request for more detention.Charges for their underreporting allegation in more recent years are pending.Ghosn, also facing breach of trust allegations, would be detained at least until Jan. 1.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Dawson Creek to get curbside recycling

first_imgDAWSON CREEK, B.C. — Dawson Creek city council voted in favour of awarding the contract for the City’s new curbside recycling program, which will be rolled out this fall.Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn said that the possibility of Dawson Creek getting curbside recycling collection has been brought up several times in the past several years. During planning for this year’s budget, he said the City was able to include curbside recycling collection. The program will be single-stream – similar to Fort St. John’s – meaning residents can dispose of all acceptable items into the 360-litre wheelie bins without the need to sort.Redfearn explained that the cost of the program will see residents’ utility bills – which already include water, sewer, and waste collection – rise by $6.86 for the next five years. The cost of the wheelie bins is included in that amount. The recycling bins will be collected every two weeks, while unlike in Fort St. John, household waste will continue to be collected weekly. Dawson Creek received two bids for the contract to do the new curbside collection. On Monday, Council awarded the contract to its current household waste collection contractor, Waste Management, since its bid was 43 cents/month cheaper than the only other bid from DC Recycling.The contract is set to begin on September 1st for a period of five years. Redfearn said that the program will be rolled out in stages for residents in each part of Dawson Creek after it comes into effect.last_img read more

Tommy Lakes Road and Beatton River fires merge grow to over 11000

first_imgUPDATE – This fire has now caused an area north of Prespatou to be evacuated. Click here for more details.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Two fires burning north of Fort St. John have merged into one large wildfire, which has grown from a combined 4,000 hectares to over 11,000 hectares.According to Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds the Tommy Lakes fire, which is the new name of the former Tommy Lakes Road and Beatton River fire, now covers an estimated 11,405 hectares. The fire is located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Wonowon, and is said to be burning in a northeasterly direction. A map of the Tommy Lakes Fire perimeter. Photo by BC Wildfire ServiceReynolds said that the high winds on Friday caused an increase in fire activity, with the two fires merging in the afternoon. She said that a total of 58 firefighters, 5 helicopters, and 4 pieces of heavy equipment are focused on building a fire guard along the fire’s southern perimeter in order to protect oil and gas industry sites, two of which are said to be located a short distance from the fire.Two unit crews are working on the east side of the South Nig Road connector and north of the North Nig Road to contain growth in these areas. A third unit crew is working along with heavy equipment to build guard to establish access to Beatton River off the Tommy Lakes Road. Bucketing helicopters are said to be working with crews to aid in the fire suppression efforts.Reynolds said that in order to allow fire crews to do their jobs properly, the BC Wildfire Service will be adding an Area Restriction around the fire in order to keep members of the public out. She added however that oil and gas industry workers will still be permitted access to worksites, and that the Area Restriction is being implemented to keep out “looky-loos.”last_img read more

Enbridge sells natural gas assets in Northeast BC

first_img“When combined with asset monetizations announced in May, the sale of our Canadian G&P Business significantly advances our strategic priority of moving to a pure play regulated pipeline and utility business model.” said Al Monaco, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enbridge. “It also demonstrates our focus on prudent capital allocation and ensuring the continued strength of our balance sheet and funding flexibility. With a total of roughly $7.5 billion in asset monetizations announced in 2018, we have more than doubled our initial target of $3 billion.”Separate sale agreements have been entered into for those facilities currently governed by provincial regulations (Alberta and B.C.), and those governed by federal National Energy Board regulations. The transaction involving the sale of the provincially regulated facilities is expected to close in 2018, while the transaction involving the sale of the federally regulated facilities is anticipated to close in mid-2019.Proceeds from these transactions provide significant additional financing flexibility going forward as the Company continues to execute on its current portfolio of secured growth projects.  The Company’s outlook for DCF/share through 2020 and its target credit metrics remain unchanged as a result of these asset sales.Enbridge will continue to hold its long-haul regulated natural gas transmission assets which include the Westcoast transmission system in British Columbia and the Alliance pipeline that carries natural gas from western Canada to the Chicago market.Brookfield intends to maintain the Canadian G&P workforce and anticipates that they will remain with the G&P business upon transaction close.“I’d like to thank our colleagues at the G&P Business, who have done an exceptional job building and expanding a substantial gathering and processing franchise while operating the business safely and reliably day-in and day-out,” added Monaco. Enbridge said it will work with Brookfield to ensure a safe and orderly transition of the G&P business’ operations. RBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisor and Torys LLP acted as legal advisors to Enbridge on the transaction. CALGARY, A.B. – Enbridge has announced the sale of its Canadian natural gas assets including those in Northeast B.C.The company said that its natural gas gathering and processing business in the Montney, Peace River Arch, Horn River and Liard basins in B.C. and Alberta are being sold to Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners for a cash purchase price of CAN $4.31 billion, subject to customary closing adjustments and receipt of regulatory approvals.The business includes 19 natural gas processing plants and liquids handling facilities, with a total operating capacity of 3.3 Bcf/d and 3,550 km of natural gas gathering pipelines.last_img read more

Alberta still out of climate change accord until pipeline approved Notley

first_imgShe says the province won’t rejoin the plan until the pipeline is approved.Notley says the fight to build the pipeline has just begun and failure is not an option.She says Alberta will hold the federal government’s feet to the fire, but wouldn’t say how the province will do that.“We’ve come too far to turn back now,” Notley said Friday. “Tens of thousands of jobs are on the line. Billions of dollars in revenue for Canadian priorities is on the line. Our international reputation is on the line. Canada’s economic future is on the line. Those are the stakes.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS) EDMONTON, A.B. – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says the province is still out of the federal government’s climate change accord despite Ottawa’s plans to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approved.The federal government has given the National Energy Board less than six months to redo its environmental review of the pipeline and examine the impact of additional oil tanker traffic off the coast of British Columbia.Notley pulled out of the federal climate change plan, which mandates putting a price on carbon emissions after the Federal Court of Appeal overturned approval of the expansion project.last_img read more