We are the pioneers NS prof striving to create perfect Christmas tree

first_imgHALIFAX — A Nova Scotia professor is striving to create the ideal Christmas tree, inside the only research lab of its kind in the world.Dalhousie University’s Raj Lada is the director of the Christmas Tree Research Centre in Truro, N.S., a unique lab dedicated to improving balsam fir Christmas trees.“We are the pioneers in terms of what we have been doing,” said Lada, a plant, tree and ecophysiology professor in the school’s Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences Department.The centre’s flagship product is the SMART Balsam, which epitomizes the quintessential Christmas tree: architecturally sound, fragrant and an able to retain its blue-green needles for up to three months.Lada said solving industry-wide challenges, such as needle retention, is critical to the survival of the multimillion-dollar Christmas tree industry in Atlantic Canada, as it competes with other markets and artificial trees.His interest in Christmas trees was sparked more than a decade ago, when a producer approached him after he was not paid for a shipment to British Columbia because of needle loss.“I could see it in his eyes,” he said. “The trees had lost needles, but it looked like he had lost his life, like he had lost his business, his credibility.”He began looking into the plight of the producer, researching shipping processes and other factors that affecting the trees during transport.Lada then went to the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia.“It seemed this had been a common problem all these years,” he said.At the time, there had been no research on the physiology of post-harvest needle loss in balsam fir trees. And so, Lada took it on as his personal mission.He brought together producers from across eastern Canada to form the Atlantic Christmas Tree Research and Development Consortium, and they devised research priorities.The producers’ No. 1 concern: needle retention.Eventually, Lada received a grant from Ottawa’s Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency.Among his latest research projects is the SMART tree, which Lada believes will revolutionize the Christmas tree industry.Lada and his team started by screening balsam firs for ideal traits, including fullness and the ability to retain needles. Genetic markers for those traits were identified. SMART trees are now being mass produced for market.Lada expects planting to start next year.“They’ll look great, smell great, and they’ll also have a higher needle retention capacity,” said Lada. “Nothing will beat the SMART trees.”The centre has also developed and licensed needle-loss prevention agents, which are applied with water.As well, Lada’s team has created technologies for shipping and storage that can help Christmas trees remain fresh for at least two months.Lada’s partners include provincial government departments in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.“This has not being done in such a co-ordinated, consorted way in the past,” he said. “The industry has been managing the situation, but now we have solutions for it.”Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.Aly Thomson, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Study moves Oak Bay BC closer to contraceptive control for problem deer

first_imgOAK BAY, B.C. — A contraception program to reduce the population of habituated, urban deer is one step closer in the Victoria-area District of Oak Bay.Councillors have reviewed a report compiled with research using GPS-collars, a network of 34 cameras and statistical methods to establish total numbers and where and when deer like to roam.The report says between 78 and 128 black tail deer live in the affluent beach-side community, known for its expensive homes and cultivated gardens.The deer count will be sent to provincial officials, clearing the way for the start of the contraception program. Mayor Kevin Murdoch says the province wanted proof of the number of deer because the use of birth control on wild animals is still considered experimental and requires supporting data in order to receive funding.Oak Bay already has a permit to inoculate 80 deer with contraceptives this year and expects to begin the work this summer.The district has previously tried culling the animals but the report, presented Tuesday, says there is a lack of evidence to support that idea as a long-term management strategy.“Immunocontraceptive vaccination may offer a feasible alternative to culls by reducing fawning rates and hence overall deer population over time,” the report says.A contraceptive for nuisance bird populations such as pigeons has been available in Canada since 2017.Earlier this month, Metro Vancouver’s transit authority installed automated bird feeders at several Vancouver SkyTrain stations distributing corn laced with a contraceptive that temporarily renders pigeons infertile, if they eat it every day.Pigeon excrement is a problem at some SkyTrain stations and the birds can also interfere with sensors that ensure people or objects are not blocking SkyTrain tracks. (CFAX)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

CBSA looks for actors to play smugglers be struck for recruit training

first_imgOTTAWA — The Canada Border Services Agency is looking for a handful of stunt actors to be thrown down, handcuffed, searched and beaten to help train new recruits.The agency has posted bid documents online looking for a company to supply actors for the training centre in Rigaud, Que., between Ottawa and Montreal.The documents outline how the stunt actors will act out up to 15 situations a day, such as trying to smuggle drugs across the border in a car, to help the agency assess the skills of new border guards.The people hired can expect to be handcuffed, thrown, held down using “pain compliance techniques,” and hit by trainees’ fists, feet or batons.They also must avoid any personal relationships with the recruits or CBSA staff.Bidding for the one-year contract closes in early September, but the documents don’t list an expected price.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

A Little Bit Country A Little Bit Rock And Roll Auction Benefits

first_imgFollowing the 8th Annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert, GRAMMY Charity Online Auctions has launched the A Little Bit Country … A Little Bit Rock And Roll Auction.Presented in partnership with Kompolt, the auction is open through June 10 and features rock memorabilia signed by Coldplay, Foo Fighters and Sting; country memorabilia signed by The Band Perry, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood; and a private lunch and mini-golf experience with comedian Steve-O. Additional auction items include two tickets to the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 10, 2013, and items signed backstage at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert by Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell, Heart, Billy Idol, and Moby.To place your bid on items featured in the auction, visit www.ebay.com/grammy. All proceeds will benefit the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares.Source:MusiCareslast_img read more

Celebrities Donate Woolly Hats To Charity Auction

first_imgA Skyfall cast and crew cap, signed by Daniel Craig, is among the celebrity lots up for auction in aid of St Mungo’s Woolly Hat Day on Friday 26 October.Homelessness charity St Mungo’s is offering people the chance to own the hats of some of the world’s most famous faces in film, music and sport via an online auction from Friday 19 to Sunday 28 October.The star lot is a cast and crew baseball cap donated and signed by Daniel Craig from the new Bond film Skyfall, which is released on the same day as St Mungo’s Woolly Hat Day, Friday 26 October.Thirty other celebrities have generously offered their hats for sale including Ed Sheeran and Devlin, Hugh Jackman, Kevin Spacey, Renee Zellweger, Sienna Miller, Chris Moyles and Eric Clapton. This year, the auction also includes hats from some of sport’s most successful personalities including Wimbledon Champion Roger Federer, Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists Ellie Simonds, Nick Skelton and Alistair Brownlee, and Formula One superstar Jenson Button.The online auction marks one part of St Mungo’s Woolly Hat Day when the charity asks the public to put their hats on for homeless people.Now in its third year, Woolly Hat Day sees hundreds of people donning beanies, baseball caps and berets to help St Mungo’s raise money for its work providing housing, health and work opportunities to homeless men and women.St Mungo’s runs over 100 projects across London and the South, supporting thousands of people to make positive life changes every year. Last year the number of homeless people in the UK increased by 14% and latest figures show an increase of 43% people sleeping rough on the streets of London.Other stars who have donated their woolly hats include Alexei Sayle, Annie Lennox, Bill Nighy, Michael Buble, Corinne Bailey Rae, Billy Bragg, Mick Hucknall, Ricky Gervais, Ben Kingsley, Michael Parkinson, Susan Boyle and The Saturdays.To bid for a hat visit www.woollyhatday.org.last_img read more

Ben Affleck Shares His Vision For The Eastern Congo Initiative

first_imgA new short film takes a look at the vision, passion and purpose of the Eastern Congo Initiative in the words of its founder, Ben Affleck.Video: An Animated History of Eastern Congo InitiativeCongo is a region where generations have struggled under a cycle of violence and poverty, but also where people hold an unrelenting desire to realize the extraordinary potential of their country.Three years ago, Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) was founded to work with and for the people of eastern Congo. ECI supports heroic local organizations who are creating lasting change in the lives of vulnerable children and survivors of sexual violence, unlocking economic opportunity and working with communities seeking peace and reconciliation.The stories he shares offer just a glimpse at the incredible possibilities for the Congolese people who are shaping their own future – but just need the opportunity and tools to do so. ECI will continue to help uncover those opportunities, to offer those tools and support those efforts wherever we can. But we can’t do it on our own.Find out more here.last_img read more

NBC News Willie Geist To Be Honored As Father Of The Year

first_imgThe National Father’s Day Council has announced that Willie Geist, host of NBC’s Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist and co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, has been named a 2018 “Father of the Year” Honoree.Willie Geist To Be Honored As Father Of The YearGeist will receive the award alongside Emanuel Chirico, PVH Corp. Chairman and CEO, and award-winning actor and Extra TV host Mario Lopez. The 77th Annual Father of the Year Awards will be presented at the Sheraton New York Times Square on Monday, June 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm. As part of its commitment to support meaningful philanthropies dealing with issues affecting mothers, fathers and children, proceeds from the event will benefit Save the Children’s U.S. Programs. For tickets and sponsorship, please contact the Council office at 212-594-5977 or www.fathersdaycouncil.org.In 2007, Geist was named co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski and in 2016 was named the host of NBC News’ Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist. Geist is also a regular contributor to TODAY and to the NBC Sports Group, where he has hosted coverage of several Olympic games.A noted family man, Geist not only encourages his children, Lucie and George, in the arts and sports, but is also close with his own father, journalist Bill Geist, with whom he wrote The New York Times bestseller Good Talk, Dad, in 2014.“An accomplished and trusted newsman, Willie Geist reaches living rooms across the country and is a prime image of an inspiring and caring father,” said Dan Orwig, President & CEO of The Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council. “Tirelessly devoted to both his family and philanthropic efforts, Willie embodies the values of a true Father of the Year.”The National Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, Inc. has donated more than $30 million to date to meaningful charities nationwide.last_img read more

LIAM MURPHY BOOKS THE GOOD WITCH – CONGRATULATIONS

first_img Twitter FROM IBIS TALENT MANAGEMENT:  Congrats to the hardest working actor, LIAM MURPHY on booking a role on Hallmark Channel’s GOOD WITCH starring Catherine Bell, James Denton and Bailee Madison. Way to go Liam!!LIAM MURPHY LINKSFACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/liam.murphy.7547IMDB:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5618149/AGENT:  IBIS TALENT MANAGEMENT Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Soldout CJF Awards celebrates journalistic excellence Peter Mansbridge among presenters

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: TORONTO, June 7, 2017 /CNW/ – In a year highlighting the news media’s critical role, The Canadian Journalism Foundation Awards (CJF) is proud to honour journalistic excellence across the country and abroad.The sold-out CJF Awards will be hosted by Canadian globetrotter Lyse Doucet, BBC’s chief international correspondent and senior presenter for BBC World TV and BBC World Service Radio. The annual event attracts more than 600 journalists, media executives, academics and business leaders. This year, it takes place this Thursday, June 8, in Toronto at the Fairmont Royal York.“It’s wonderful to have the support of media and business communities at a time when quality journalism is more critical than ever,” says CJF executive director Natalie Turvey. “We are thrilled to recognize the work, talent and enterprise of journalists—both recipients and nominees.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Peter Mansbridge, host of The National and chief correspondent of CBC News, will be among the presenters at the CJF Awards in Toronto on June 8. (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation) Advertisementcenter_img Facebook Advertisement Peter Mansbridge, host of The National and chief correspondent for CBC News, will present this year’s CJF Tribute to Jake Tapper, CNN’s chief Washington correspondent and daily anchor of The Lead with Jake Tapper, for upholding the highest standards of excellence and inspiring working journalists around the world. Tapper, known for his work on the 2016 U.S. election and his relentless questioning to combat spin and fake news, also hosts CNN’s Sunday morning show, State of the Union, where he interviews newsmakers on politics and policy.Another highlight of the evening will be the Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Jean Pelletier, currently senior director of television current affairs and documentaries for Radio-Canada, in recognition of an extraordinary career as a reporter, editor, producer and journalism trailblazer—in both print and broadcast. As La Presse‘s first permanent correspondent in Washington, D.C., Pelletier uncovered the story of the 1980 dramatic escape from Iran of six U.S. diplomats who were hidden by Canadian embassy staff during the Tehran hostage crisis.Winners will also be announced from shortlists for the CJF Innovation Award and the CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in Journalism in two categories: large and small media. (The shortlists are available at http://cjf-fjc.ca/awards/cjf-jackman-award-excellence-journalism.)Other awards to be presented include the CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowships, The Landsberg Award, the Greg Clark Award, the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award, the Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, the William Southam Journalism Fellowships and the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy.This year’s media guests include: Gurdeep Ahluwalia, Doug Alexander, Peter Armstrong, Robert Benzie, Ian Brown, Piya Chattopadhyay, Christine Dobby, Dwight Drummond, Matt Galloway, Chantal Hébert, Carolyn Jarvis, Amber Kanwar, Tim Kiladze, Jacquie McNish, Anne-Marie Mediwake, Shree Paradkar, Grant Robertson, Craig Silverman, Anna Maria Tremontiand Paul Wells, among others.The CJF thanks presenting sponsor CN, along with the following organizations for their support of this event: BMO Financial Group, Labatt Breweries of Canada, Accenture, Medtronic, Scotiabank, Shaw Communications, Barrick Gold Corporation, Manulife, Rogers, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, CTV News, Facebook Journalism Project, The Jackman Foundation, Thomson Reuters, Canadian Bankers Association, CIBC as well as Tom Kierans and Mary Janigan.Thank you also to The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Metro, National Post, Toronto Star, CNW, CPAC, The Canadian Press and Porter Airlines for their in-kind support.Executives and leaders from the following major media outlets, businesses and organizations will also be among those attending the event: Aimia, Blakes, Cassels and Graydon, Bloomberg News, Canadian Women’s Foundation, CBC, Radio-Canada, CNW, Fasken Martineau, Global Public Affairs, General Motors Canada, Google, H+K Strategies, Morneau Shepell, RBC, Shaw Communications, Sussex Strategy Group, TD Bank Group, Torys LLP, Twitter Canada and Weber Shandwick Canada.#CJFawardsAbout The Canadian Journalism FoundationEstablished in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement. Our signature events include an annual awards program featuring a must-attend industry gala where Canada’s top newsmakers meet Canada’s top news people. Through J-Talks, our popular speakers’ series, we facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also supports journalism fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research. Twitterlast_img read more

Packed with Exclusive New and Returning Dramas Bravos Nationwide Freeview Begins April

first_imgBravo Freeview Programming Includes:THE HANDMAID’S TALE (Sunday, April 29 at 9 p.m. ET – Two-Episode Season 2 Premiere Event)The Emmy® and Golden Globe® award-winning drama series returns with a second season shaped by Offred’s pregnancy and her ongoing fight to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. “Gilead is within you” is a favorite saying of Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd). In Season Two, Offred and all the characters will fight against – or succumb to – this dark truth.COLONY (Wednesday, May 2 at 10 p.m. ET – Season 2 Premiere)A thrilling sci-fi series set in Los Angeles in the very near future. After an alien invasion conquers earth, the remaining human inhabitants must decide whether to bow down to the demands of the invaders or risk their lives through rebellion.HARD SUN (Sunday, May 6 at 10:05 p.m. ET – Series Premiere)While investigating what appears to be the routine death of a computer hacker in London, partners and enemies, Charlie Hicks and Elaine Renko, inadvertently stumble upon proof that the world is facing certain destruction – in only five years. This is a terrifying reality that the secret state is urgently attempting to suppress. As Hicks and Renko find themselves pursued by ruthless and deadly Security Service operatives, they must use all their ingenuity to protect themselves and those that they love.CARTER (Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET– Series Premiere)In the premiere episode, “Koji the Killer” (Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET), Carter returns to his hometown of Bishop, Ontario after a public scandal in Los Angeles. His housekeeper-turned guardian of 30 years has been accused of murder, and Harley demands to be included in the investigation. Along the way, he discovers that he has a knack for real detective work and may not return to L.A. so quickly after all. Bravo continues to fuel its Top 10 status with the return of the critically acclaimed series THE HANDMAID’S TALE, with a two-episode premiere event Sunday, April 29 at 9 p.m. ET. Season 2 finds Offred (Elisabeth Moss) pregnant as she fights to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. Catch up on Season 1 of THE HANDMAID’S TALE with two back-to-back episodes airing at 1 a.m. ET every day starting Monday, April 23 – Friday, April 27.As previously announced, all-new original series CARTER, starring Jerry O’Connell, lands on Bravo May 15 at 8 p.m. ET. Harley Carter (O’Connell) was living the dream. After moving to Hollywood from small-town Canada, he became a huge star as a detective on America’s #1 TV show. But years in the limelight and an endless blur of parties, premieres, and 16-hour workdays were starting to take a toll. It all bubbles over with a public showdown on a red carpet, prompting Harley to return to his hometown to reconnect with his roots. But as he tries to settle back into his old life, he finds himself in an odd new reality of playing a real-life detective with his childhood friends, no-nonsense police veteran Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier Heartsong) and street-wise, coffee truck owner Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun). Together, they’re solving crimes, with mixed results.Detective crime drama HARD SUN makes its exclusive Canadian series premiere Sunday, May 6 immediately following THE HANDMAID’S TALE. From creator of acclaimed British crime drama, LUTHER, the six-episode, pre-apocalyptic series follows partners and enemies, Charlie Hicks (Jim Sturgess, Across the Universe) and Elaine Renko (Agyness Deyn, Hail, Caesar!), who inadvertently stumble upon proof that the world is facing certain destruction – in only five years.Sci-fi thriller COLONY makes its Season 3 premiere on Wednesday, May 2 at 9 p.m. ET.  This season finds Will (Josh Holloway, LOST) and Katie Bowman (Sarah Wayne Callies, PRISON BREAK) continuing their fight to stay together as a family in the midst of a new world order and alien invasion.As well, Bravo continues to deliver new episodes of SUITS Season 7B on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET, culminating in the two-hour season finale (Wednesday April 25, at 9p.m. ET) that bids farewell to main characters Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle).Subscribers and non-subscribers can also sample Bravo programming online at Bravo.ca and via the BravoGO app during the freeview period with participating TV providers.See below for premiere dates and descriptions for new and returning series. All dates are subject to change. Visit https://www.bravo.ca/ to confirm local broadcast times. About BravoBravo delivers compelling stories through clever and immersive programming to viewers across Canada. From high-profile dramas to blockbuster feature films, Bravo is home to award-winning entertainment. Bravo is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about Bravo is available at www.bravo.ca. Social Media links Advertisement Facebook  Bravo on Facebook Bravo on Twitter Advertisementcenter_img TORONTO – Beginning April 24, Bravo is unlocking a nation-wide freeview showcasing its exclusive lineup of engaging, must-see dramas. High profile premieres rolling out during the freeview include Season 2 of the award-winning drama series, THE HANDMAID’S TALE, as well as crime drama HARD SUN, and Bravo’s newest original series, CARTER.The Bravo freeview is available on service providers across Canada including Bell, Bell Aliant, BellMTS, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Shaw Direct, SaskTel, Cogeco, Videotron, and Eastlink. In addition, subscribers and non-subscribers alike can sample Bravo programming via the on demand menus on their set-top box with participating TV providers for the duration of the freeview.With a diverse lineup stacked with big-buzz series, including THE HANDMAID’S TALE which was the #1 series on Canadian Entertainment Specialty with overall viewers during the 2016/2017 broadcast year, Bravo continues to rank in the Top 10 Canadian Entertainment Specialty networks with overall viewers.  Bravo’s overall average audience this current broadcast year-to-date has increased by 4% with total viewers, and 14% with A18-34 viewers. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Source : Numeris, M-Su 2a-2a, Current Broadcast Year-to-date = BY17/18-to-date (8/28/2017 to 4/1/2018) vs. same weeks last year. Login/Register With:last_img read more

MAESTRO FRESH WES DETAILS NEW ALBUM CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF LET YOUR

first_img Twitter Advertisement He landed a big break on MuchMusic when he was invited to perform on Electric Circus — which at that point in time seemed to be the only way forward for a number of ambitious up-and-comers.Through hard work, dedication, determination, and pure originality, Williams didn’t slip through the cracks. With Symphony in Effect he changed the course of not only hip-hop music but the Canadian music industry altogether.WATCH: Maestro Fresh Wes’ seminal 1989 hip-hop smash-hit, ‘Let Your Backbone Slide’Aside from music, Williams is known for his acting career. In 2018, he wrapped up eight seasons on the critically acclaimed Canadian sitcom, Mr. D, where he played the competitive but beloved school teacher, Paul Dwyer, for almost a decade.After a four-year stint on Canada’s Instant Star, Williams was nominated for a Gemini Award thanks for his performance on HBO’s The Line. Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With:center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment After 30 years of success, the godfather of Canadian hip hop, Maestro Fresh Wes (or Wesley Williams) is celebrating his career in style. Not by looking back to the past, but with a brand new album.On March 8, 2019, the Let Your Backbone Slide rapper released his ninth studio album, Champagne Campaign. According to Maestro Fresh Wes, the album is a toast to his career and a celebration of hip hop, the evolution of music and what it really is to stay “fresh” and revered.The Toronto-born rapper kicked off his career in the early 1980s working hard at his craft and, without knowing it, shaping what hip hop music would eventually be. Advertisement Maestro Fresh Weslast_img read more

Brazeau experiment gone wrong comment likely revealed true intentions behind appointment Senator

first_img(Conservative Senator Marjory LeBreton said embattled Algonquin Senator Patrick Brazeau was “an experiment gone wrong.”)By Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsConservative Senator Marjory LeBreton needs to clarify what she meant when she said embattled Algonquin Senator Patrick Brazeau was “an experiment gone wrong” given recent revelations the Canadian government experimented on First Nation people during the Indian residential school era, according to a Liberal First Nation Senator.In an interview with Global News last week, LeBreton said Brazeau was “just a human tragedy,” that he “could have done great work for his people,” and that he was “an experiment gone wrong.”Senator Lillian Dyck said LeBreton’s choice of words was troubling.“Given the recent media attention about unethical experiments done on First Nation children and adults in residential schools and TB sanatoriums, it was a poor choice of words,” said Dyck. “Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue revealing what she was really thinking, that the Harper government’s experiment in using Brazeau to divide and conquer Aboriginals went wrong.”The Canadian government conducted nutritional experiments on First Nations adults and children and experimented with a controversial tuberculosis vaccine on First Nations infants in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, historical documents show.Brazeau, who was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was banished from the Conservative caucus after he was charged with assault and sexual assault against a woman who shared his residence. His next court date is scheduled for October.Brazeau was also been caught in the housing allowance and expense scandal that has engulfed Senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, who were both also appointed by Harper. Mac Harb, who was appointed by former prime minister Jean Chretien, recently resigned his Senate seat after paying back about $231,000 in living and traveling expenses.The RCMP is currently investigating Duffy, Brazeau, Harb over their expense claims and is reviewing Wallin’s file.Brazeau’s office said he would not be responding to LeBreton’s statements.LeBreton’s office said she was in the midst of moving locations and would not be available speak to APTN National News about the issue. Instead, a staffer in LeBreton’s office said the Senator already admitted she used the wrong words in an interview last week with CTV. Her office staffer, however, refused to issue a similar statement to APTN National News.LeBreton told CTV that her referral to Brazeau as “an experiment” was an “unfortunate choice of words” and that his appointment by Harper was the result of “good intentions gone awry.”LeBreton is moving offices because she stepped down as Senate majority leader this past summer. She also gave up her seat at the federal cabinet table. She played a key role as government defender when the Senate scandal exploded with the revelation Harper’s former chief of staff Nigel Wright cut a $90,000 cheque to cover Duffy’s expenses.The RCMP is also probing that matter.Dyck said Harper chose Brazeau to push through his government’s agenda on First Nation people and attack the existing First Nation leadership.“Harper’s experiment of appointing Brazeau to attack leaders of Aboriginal organizations…went wrong, because Brazeau did not have a strong base of supporters and little or no credibility on the Aboriginal file,” she said.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

First Nations across Manitoba gather to talk about tobacco

first_imgAPTN National NewsFirst Nations across Manitoba came together to talk about tobacco.They discussed life-threatening effects caused by smoking and the positive ways tobacco can be used instead.APTN’s Jaydon Flett has the story.last_img

Face to Face with Clint Davis

first_imgAPTN National NewsClint Davis is well known in the business community and he recently won an Indspire award for those accomplishments.An Inuk originally from Happy Valley Goose Bay in Labrador, Davis went on to study business at Acadia, Dalhousie and Harvard universities.Davis is now the Vice President of Aboriginal Affairs for TD Bank, and prior was the President and CEO for the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.Face to Face sat down with him to find out how Indigenous communities can take what few resources they have and potentially become a hub for economic development.He also has some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.last_img read more

Did Canada fail in its fiduciary duty to protect the people of

first_imgAnnette Francis APTN National NewsFor decades, the community of Grassy Narrows in northwestern Ontario has been battling mercury contamination on their land, in their water and food sources.According to band members and politicians, its time the federal government step up their game.last_img

Canadas new Trans Mountain consultation plan met with skepticism

first_imgThe Tiny House Warriors are asserting their Indigenous rights and title on the land in Blue River, B.C. and say they have no plans on moving until the Trans Mountain pipeline is dead. File photo.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsCanada will not appeal a federal court’s recent ruling on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and says it will re-engage with First Nations and Métis communities impacted by the project.The announcement by Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi Wednesday morning comes amid ongoing debate around Canada’s duty to consult Indigenous peoples on the pipeline, and on resource projects developed on Indigenous lands more broadly.On Aug. 30 the Federal Court of Appeal ruled on a case brought forth by a number of First Nations, the Cities of Vancouver and Burnaby and the Government of British Columbia that the National Energy Board’s (NEB) “process and findings were so flawed that the Governor in Council could not reasonably rely on the Board’s report,” and that Canada “failed to fulfil the duty to consult owed to Indigenous peoples.”Responding to that decision on Wednesday Sohi announced the federal government is appointing former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci to oversee a new consultation process in which Canada will “work to address concerns of First Nations and Métis communities to move forward in the right way on this project in accordance with the Court’s direction.”Canada intent on getting pipeline builtWhile Canada won’t appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, Indigenous leaders and grassroots people are skeptical of the Trudeau government’s intentions, and whether it will respect Indigenous rights.Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) told APTN Wednesday that UBCIC is “firmly convinced that the Trudeau government is making its best efforts to circumvent the Federal Court of Appeal decision and to reactivate the project as quickly as possible.”On Wednesday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters the feds are “intending to follow the blueprint laid out by the courts,” and that “if we were to appeal [the decision] it would take another few years before we could begin construction.”“We feel that the blueprint that the court laid out for [Trans Mountain pipeline] will allow us to get things done quicker and get our resources to new markets other than the United States in a more rapid fashion.”Watch Annette Francis’ story on the announcement here Eugene Kung, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law who has written about Trans Mountain and Aboriginal rights, says Trudeau and Sohi’s comments Wednesday indicate Canada “seems to be focused not on what the Supreme Court of Canada has said” on Aboriginal rights, but rather “on what the federal court said in this one decision.”In a recent article for Policy Options Kung wrote, “It is important to recognize that the Federal Court of Appeal did not create any new law in this decision,” and that judges “simply applied the law as set out by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal in cases such as Haida, Gitxaala, Chippewas of the Thames and Clyde River, among others.”Kung said the Supreme Court of Canada “has said very clearly how to ensure adequate consultation, which is to obtain consent, and it’s very clear that this is not what the intention of this process is.”He echoed Grand Chief Phillip’s concerns that “it looks as though their mind is already made up, which kind of suggests it’s very possible that whatever comes out of the end of this process will end up back in the court again, which is in nobody’s interest.”Stewart said while the UBCIC consults with their legal team on the announcement, they “don’t want to be somewhere off in left field undertaking a grandiose consultation process while construction crews are out laying pipe.”Khelsilem, a councillor and spokesperson for Squamish Nation, a litigant in the case, said in a statement released Wednesday that the Nation “continues to have serious concerns” about Trans Mountain, and that they “expect an honourable consultation process that upholds our nation’s Indigenous rights.“The Trudeau government tried to ram this project through our territory with a predetermined outcome and this was not acceptable to Squamish Nation or the courts,” Khelsilem added.“We would have concerns about any process which had artificial timelines or restrictions on our rights. We have a sacred duty to protect our traditional territory for future generations.”“Accommodation where accommodation is possible”: Sohi In May, Canada announced it was buying the embattled pipeline—which has faced fierce opposition from Indigenous groups for years while garnering the support from some First Nations and Metis communities—from Texas oil giant Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion.At that time Indigenous leaders from a host of Nations and communities—and with grassroots people asserting their rights and jurisdiction on the ground in unceded Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Musqueam, Sto:lo and Secwepemc territories—vehemently and publicly opposed the Trudeau government’s assertion that it would see the pipeline through to completion.Critics of the project maintain that in building a pipeline through their lands without Indigenous peoples’ free, prior and informed consent violates Aboriginal rights and contradicts Canada’s commitment to upholding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, including the imperative to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Following the federal court of appeal’s announcement in August Indigenous representatives gathered in Vancouver for a joint news conference.“It was a hard fight, but I’m glad today the courts heard the teachings of our culture, and our spirit, and how we carry ourselves,” Tsleil-Waututh Chief Reuben George announced. “The people up here that represent the nations could have negotiated for millions, but we can’t put a price on the things that we love.”Asked by reporters how Canada will carry out its consultations with Indigenous groups, Sohi said Wednesday the feds “are going to engage in good faith and in a meaningful way,” adding Canada will “offer accommodation where accommodation is possible.”Sohi said the NEB is conducting its own review of marine shipping and the impacts on species at risk.Meanwhile, Canada will begin its consultation process, he added.“We will follow the direction that has been given to us by the federal court, [which] has said that meaningful consultation can take place in a focused and efficient manner. “So with that we’ll be going into the communities with an open mind, and engaging and listening and learning from them, and accepting their help in designing and the input into how we need to move on this important project.”Grassroots resistance remains until Indigenous rights respectedMeanwhile, the Tiny House Warriors continue to assert Secwepemc title and jurisdiction on the land in Blue River, B.C. at the site of a proposed worker’s camp.Kanahus Manuel of the Secwepemc Women’s Warriors Society—and granddaughter of George Manuel, the former UBCIC Chief who led the “Constitutional Express” grassroots movement in 1980 and 1981 that ultimately pressured the Pierre Trudeau government to include Indigenous rights in the repatriated constitution in 1982—said Canada still isn’t respecting Indigenous rights by consulting with bands created under Canada’s Indian Act.“The Secwepemc Nation is one nation; it takes up more than 500 kilometres of this pipeline route,” she told APTN by phone Wednesday.Manuel said Canada is “talking to the chief and council system…and those chiefs and councils are violating our Indigenous rights in thinking that they are the proper decision-makers.”Manuel pointed out that Indian Act bands are only able to make decisions on the reserve lands determined by Canada.“When they’re talking about going back and re-establishing consultation with First Nations, they’re talking to the wrong people,” she said.“We have governance laws based on consensus that were given to us from—in our case in Secwepemcul’ecw, from Chief Coyote, and the old ones, those teachings of consensus.“The proper decision-makers are the people who hold that title collectively amongst our Nation. So in Secwepemcul’ecw, that’s 10,000 people who are the rightful title holders.”Critics have long maintained that Canada’s Indian Act divides and conquers Indigenous Nations by creating First Nations bands within broader societies, and then uses negotiating tactics to pressure those bands to consent to resource development on their lands.“Every time our Nations are compromising because they’re holding a gun to those chiefs’ heads and they’re playing Russian Roulette with that trigger. ‘You say yes, we won’t shoot. You say no, we pull funding, you people die,’” Manuel added.Manuel said the Tiny House Warriors are still established in Blue River and have watched pipeline infrastructure being moved north through the community.“We will continue to blockade. And with these continued threats by the federal government, we’re not going to take them lightly. “If they’re going to amp up pushing this pipeline through, then we’re going to amp up the conflict and the confrontation and the blockades that are going to happen to stop this pipeline.”She said her grandfather, and her father Arthur Manuel, helped mobilize thousands to get Indigenous rights into Canada’s constitution, and that it’s up to grassroots people to ensure those rights are respected by Canada.“We need to remember that people fought for that in the constitution,” she said. “Aboriginal title exists.”last_img read more

Rankin Inlet is one of the most haunted places in Canada Maybe

first_imgCharlotte Morritt-JacobsAPTN NewsIf you google Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, you might be surprised by the findings.The hamlet is listed as one of Canada’s most haunted places.In particular, it’s the Rankin Fire Hall that gives some people the chills.cmorrittjacobs@aptn.ca@aptncharlottelast_img