October 20, 2019
  • 11:04 am Veteran director J Om Prakash dies
  • 11:02 am Jaitley responding to treatment VPs office after Naidu visits AIIMS
  • 10:57 am Govt seeks report from schools about initiative for cleaning Yamuna
  • 10:16 am Hong Kong leader insists she will stay on
  • 10:15 am Japan briefs diplomats to wipe Fukushima nuke water concern

first_img Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Twitter Advertisement It’s a good thing Jamie Northan is used to flying by the seat of his pants because that’s what he’s been doing this past week.Last July, Northan and Andrew Phung created Kill Hard, an improv show that paid loving homage to the world of cheesy action flicks.It was an instant hit at both the Calgary and Edmonton fringe festivals so the duo revived it this past March and, once again, it played to sold out houses at the Loose Moose Theatre. Login/Register With: Northan and Phung decided to bring Kill Hard back to the Edmonton fringe this summer with a short preview run in Calgary July 29 and 30.This is where Northan’s run of good news versus bad news began. Jamie Northan and Andrew Phung in Kill Hard. BREANNA KENNEDY / Calgary Herald“During our run of Kill Hard at the Edmonton fringe, one of the producers of CBC’s planned television version of the hit Canadian play Kim’s Convenience caught Kill Hard.“He stayed after the show and told Andrew to get hold of him for an audition for the show.“The good news is that Andrew got cast in the series.“The bad news was that Andrew would not be available for the summer revival of Kill Hard,” says Northan.The good news is that Phung agreed with Northan that the only person who could possibly step into Phung’s shoes is Quinn Contini a young Calgary actor studying theatre in Edmonton who is a former improv student of Northan and Phung.“Quinn is younger, more fit and better looking so Andrew and I were excited that he’d be upping my game this time around and that’s what every improviser wants.”Northan always knew Phung’s heart was still with Kill Hard but CBC had a bit of a strangle hold on his time. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

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first_img Facebook Those associated with the local craft brew industry should celebrate that promotional effort and Lund’s role in it, said Andrew Oosterhuis, marketing director for Budweiser Canada.“I’m surprised those brewers would take offence — they should step in and celebrate being part of the community,” said Oosterhuis.READ MORE Advertisement Anger among the province’s craft beer devotees over country music singer Corb Lund’s participation in toasting Budweiser’s Alberta pedigree has surprised a spokesman for the brewing titan.And a country music colleague of Lund’s said while he may not be a Budweiser fan, he defended his friend’s partnership with the famous beer brand.Lund’s participation in Budweiser’s Alberta Made campaign has drawn the ire of some smaller brewers and their customers, who argue the musician is selling out and undermining the provincially based outfits. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

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first_img Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Also in development are the boat-inspired Ark Car, the all-female led Tarna the Jackalope and another, which the team hopes to keep under wraps and make a splash when it is completed. Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Twitter There is a workshop in this city where a ragtag collective of creative Toronto folks are working in the belly of giant metal beasts. Near Dupont and Ossington, it is known as The 4tress, and this is the hub of Toronto’s mutant vehicle movement.Also known as art cars, there are currently four of them in various states of construction, with metal frames and innards being worked on by a volunteer army of artists, designers and other handy people who spend their days in the advertising industry or working on sets for the TV and film production and other trades.Heavy Meta is a fire-breathing dragon that is fully functioning and has already made over a dozen trips to Burning Man and other regional events. It will be on display during Pride at the stage at 526 Church St. this weekend from 5 p.m. onward.last_img read more

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first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Star Trek legend William Shatner has boldly stepped into the #MeToo minefield.The iconic star described the movement as “hysterical” to the point where he no longer gives Trekkies hugs at Star Trek conventions.Shatner, 87, added he fully supports the movement but worried it has gone too far “like the French Revolution” and now hesitates to compliment women on “looking good” or “great legs.” Advertisement Facebook Triggering the Montreal-born star’s ire was CBC temporarily pulling the Christmas classic, Baby It’s Cold Outside.“In 2018 we have the MeToo movement, which I think is great, that these hidden forces are exposed and not to be allowed and women have equal rights,” he told the Daily Mail. Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

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first_img Twitter A year ago this week, news broke that shook Canadian theatre to its core. Four actors — Diana Bentley, Kristin Booth, Patricia Fagan and Hannah Miller — filed civil lawsuits alleging that Soulpepper Theatre’s founding artistic director, Albert Schultz, had sexually harassed and assaulted them, some claims going back decades. Soulpepper Theatre itself was named in the statements of claim, which referred to Schultz as a “serial sexual predator.”Schultz resigned on Jan. 4, the day after the suits were filed, and Soulpepper severed its relationship with Leslie Lester, the theatre’s executive director and Schultz’s wife, two days after that. The suits were quietly settled out of court in June.Soulpepper continued to operate through and beyond the crisis, with associate artistic director Alan Dilworth stepping in as acting artistic director and the theatre committing to a “process of renewal.” The Soulpepper Academy, the theatre’s training arm, was put on yearlong hiatus. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Patricia Fagan speaks at a news conference last January about the claims that she and actresses Kristin Booth, Diana Bentley and Hannah Miller made against former Soulpepper artistic director Albert Schultz. (CARLOS OSORIO / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO)last_img read more

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first_imgWFF Adventure Film Series Whistler, B.C. (April 30, 2019) – Get ready for adventure and more! The Whistler Film Festival’s 6th annual Adventure Film Series returns May 17 to 19 as part of Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival (GO Fest), featuring a solid lineup of great outdoor stories. The action packed program features seven screenings comprised of nine films that range from extreme sports to activism through adventure, complemented by a photography competition and a new adventure filmmaking workshop. Rock climbing, bikepacking, cycling, travelling and exploring the mountains are highlighted in this year’s adrenaline fueled lineup.“Whistler is a renowned outdoor adventure destination that attracts thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies,” says WFF’s Executive Director Shauna Hardy Mishaw. “WFF’s Adventure Film Series offers an exciting lineup for outdoor enthusiasts to experience outdoor adventure through films, personal stories, photography and education.”WFF’s Adventure Film Series is dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences about environments, cultures, issues and adventures through the power of story. Above all else, it is a gathering for like-minded people who join together to celebrate the wonder of wild places and outdoor adventure. Advertisement Twitter The WFF Adventure Series kicks off on Friday, May 17 at 7:00pm with the announcement of the winners of WFF’s Adventure Photo Competition presented by Mountain Life. The announcement will be followed by the Whistler edition of REEL ROCK TOUR 13, which delivers jaw-dropping action, soulful journeys and rollicking humor in a brand new collection of the year’s best climbing films. From Olympic training centers to the frozen landscape of Antarctica, explore the cutting edge of climbing with four new films. The first feature, AGE OF ONDRA, gives viewers an inside look at Adam Ondra, the 25-year-old Czech crusher, who is exploring a new realm of human potential in climbing. Late last year, he established a benchmark for the sport; a 5.15d in Norway he dubbed “Silence” (as in, drop the mic). AGE OF ONDRA is a rare, intimate journey with one of the greatest athletes at the peak of his powers. The second half of the evening features three short films. The first short, VALLEY OF THE MOON, explores the importance of climbing as a way to cross cultural barriers, build friendship and chase adventure in one of the most breathtaking regions on earth. The second film, UP TO SPEED, looks into the little-known and seldom practiced subsport of speed climbing, which will be part of the 2020 Olympics. Wrapping up the evening is QUEEN MAUD LAND which follows a dream team of six elite climbers who mount an expedition to one of the world’s last great climbing frontiers: the remote frozen towers of Antarctica. Jimmy Chin and Conrad Anker tackle a new route on the 3,600-foot Ulvetanna; Savannah Cummins and Anna Pfaff summit the towering Holtanna; and Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright make a harrowing and hilarious blitz of 13 different spires spread across the ice field.On Saturday May 18 at 4:30pm, WFF brings back the award-winning documentary THIS MOUNTAIN LIFE, a look into what drives these adventurous people to sacrifice everything – comfort, family, and even their personal safety – for a life in the mountains. Director Grant Baldwin will be in attendance to speak about his filmmaking journey. At 6:30pm, the Whistler Premiere of SAFETY TO NOME, directed by Vancouver team Jonathan Hunwick and Kenton Gilchrist, chronicles twenty-six ultra endurance athletes who embarked on a 1,000-mile human powered race across Alaska on the Iditarod Trail, where being prepared – for anything – is the only way to guarantee your survival. At 8:30pm, the series transitions to THE BIKES OF WRATH in which five friends from Australia set out to bike from Oklahoma to California the same route the families traveled in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.On Sunday, May 19, the WFF Adventure Film Series concludes at 6:30pm with THE MEANING OF VANLIFE, a feature documentary that takes a look into the the vanlife community through the eyes of the nomads who have chosen to live a life of freedom on the road. The screening will be followed by an 8:30pm screening of THE DAWN WALL, an unbelievable story of perseverance with free climber Tommy Caldwell and climbing partner Kevin Jorgeson attempting to scale the impossible 3000ft Dawn Wall in Yosemite.Returning this year, WFF in collaboration with Mountain Life Magazine presents the Adventure Photography Competition as part of the series. Open to all ages, the top ten photos and the People’s Choice Photo will be determined by an online, social voting system channel through WFF’s Facebook page. The winning photo will be selected by a Mountain Life jury to be featured in the summer issue of Mountain Life Coast Magazine which hits the stands June 1, and receive $200 cash and prize package. The top three photos will also be featured online on mountainlifemedia.ca. The deadline to submit is May 14 at 5pm PST. The winner will be announced on the opening night of the series on May 17, and the top shots will be presented before every screening during the series. Competition details are available at whistlerfilmfestival.com/events/adventure-film-series/.A new edition to WFF’s Adventure Film Series is the Adventure Filmmaking Workshop on Saturday May 18 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, which will offer participants key intel and insights from two of BC’s leading adventure filmmakers, Grant Baldwin and Brian Hockenstein, on what it takes to create a great mountain film from conception to execution. Vancouver based Grant Baldwin is a Leo award-winning director, cinematographer, editor and music composer and the director of the award winning documentary THIS MOUNTAIN LIFE, a riveting portrait of human passion set high in the snowy peaks of Canada. Baldwin has a varied background working with documentaries, sports films and narratives. His work can be seen and heard on Knowledge Network, F/X, TNT, CBC, National Film Board and ESPN. His first documentary THE CLEAN BIN PROJECT won 10 festival awards and has screened around the world, and his film JUST EAT IT: A FOOD WASTE STORY premiered at Hot Docs, garnered him the award for emerging Canadian filmmaker of the year, and went on to hit #2 on the US iTunes documentary charts. Most recently, he has been filming with BBC’s Planet Earth team. Brian Hockenstein is a Whistler-based cinematographer who specializes in natural history, photography and action sports filmmaking. Hockenstein is the Producer and the Director along with Tamo Campos of THE RADICALS, which follows a group of snowboarders and surfers who drift from their respective sports to the work of activism and premiered at WFF18. Adventure filmmakers can register for the workshop at www.greatoutdoorsfest.com and www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.All events will take place at the Maury Young Arts Centre. WFF Adventure Film Series info and tickets are available online at: www.greatoutdoorsfest.com and www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.WFF’s Adventure Film Series is supported by GO Fest, an initiative of the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) funded through the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative. GO Fest is part of the RMOW’s Festivals, Events and Animation program, and is one component of the larger May long weekend strategy. WFF’s Adventure Photography Competition is sponsored by Mountain Life.About Whistler Film Festival Society: The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS) is a cultural charitable organization dedicated to advancing the art of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of talent culminating with a must attend festival for artists, the industry and audiences in Whistler. WFFS produces one of Canada’s leading film festivals and industry Summits, and plays a leadership role in offering project development programs for Canadian artists. The 19th Whistler Film Festival returns December 4 to 8. whistlerfilmfestival.com.About GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival – May 17-20, 2019: GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival, will take place May 17 to 20, 2019 in Whistler, located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometers (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. GO Fest celebrates the convergence of winter and summer in North America’s premier four-season mountain resort. GO Fest, Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival is part of the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) Festivals, Events & Animation (FE&A) program and is funded through the Resort Municipality Initiative. greatoutdoorsfest.com/About Mountain Life — Coast Mountains: Founded in 2006 and published three times a year, Mountain Life Coast Mountains is dedicated to showcasing the natural beauty of British Columbia’s Coast Mountain range, with a focus on the Sea to Sky region between Vancouver and Pemberton. Through world-class photography and thought-provoking yet humorous editorial, our goal is to shed some light on the rich and varied history, culture, people and environmental issues of the Sea to Sky corridor. Die-hard locals, wide-eyed tourists and mountain-culture enthusiasts from all walks of life turn the pages of Mountain Life to stay informed, get inspired and keep their passion for the mountains stoked. mountainlifemedia.ca Login/Register With:center_img Advertisement Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

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first_imgBy Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsA former Manitoba chief’s attempt to land a meeting with the Iranian government won’t help the cause of First Nations people and will simply give the regime in Tehran another chance to deflect attention from its own human rights abuses, says the chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Group for Human Rights in Iran.Liberal MP Irwin Cotler said former Roseau River chief Terry Nelson’s campaign to seek an audience with the Iranian regime will do little to help First Nations people in Canada. The inter-parliamentary group includes political representatives from the U.S., Australia and the UK.“I don’t believe that there will be any effective or even moral assistance that can be forthcoming from an Iranian government that assaults its citizens,” said Cotler. “I share Mr. Nelson’s concerns with the plight of Aboriginal people, but that plight will not be solved by those who assault and violate the rights of their own people.”Nelson is leading a caravan from Winnipeg to Ottawa in March to visit the Iranian embassy and over 100 other diplomatic outposts. Nelson said he plans to deliver a package to the Iranian embassy that will include a letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad requesting an audience with the Iranian parliament to highlight Canada’s wrongs against First Nations people.The caravan will include representatives from the Ojibway, Dakota and Mohawk people, Nelson said. The Iranian government has publicly criticized Canada in the past over First Nations issues. In January, the Iranian foreign ministry said it had summoned the Canadian charge d’affaires in Tehran over Canada’s treatment of Aboriginal people.“The unfavorable condition of the Indigenous Canadians is a cause of sorrow and grief for the international community and the Islamic Republic of Iran strongly protests against the blatant violation of these people’s rights by the Canadian government,” said the ministry in a statement at the time.Cotler said Iran uses the issue as cover for its own abuses.“Iran will use and abuse the plight of Aboriginal people in Canada as they have in the past to deflect away from their own state’s actions and assault against their own people,” said Cotler, who held a press conference in Ottawa Wednesday to highlight the regime’s human rights abuses against dissidents, journalists and women.Iran faces parliamentary elections on Friday.Nelson said he’s not surprised by Cotler’s comments. He said they mirror what he heard during and after his 1998 trip to Iraq while it was under the rule of Saddam Hussein. Nelson said he is under no “illusions” about the Iranian regime, but First Nations people are being forced to seek help from all corners of the globe.“The Americans remain silent on human rights in Canada and the UN blue berets aren’t coming to North America any time soon to rescue Indigenous people,” said Nelson. “There are human rights abuses all over the place…There are 600 murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada. Indigenous women are forced into prostitution and they find their skulls…on (serial killer Robert Pickton’s)farm.”Nelson said First Nations people have to find foreign sources of revenue to break away from their dependency on the Indian Act and Ottawa’s money.“We are going to deal with the issue of accessing foreign investment and development to break the Indian Act system,” said Nelson. “The Liberals didn’t do anything when they were in power, they had a chance to amend the Indian Act or get it out of the way, and now they are champions of the Indians when they have no power.”jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

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first_imgAPTN National NewsTwo young girls are missing in Manitoba and authorities are asking for public assistance in locating them.Tanisha Shaylene Laporte, 14, was last seen on Wednesday, Oct. 10, in Winnipeg’s North-End.Laporte has a pierced nose, is 5’4, weighs 120 lbs and has long brown hair.Annabella Mousseau, 11, was last seen riding her bike on the Dakota Tipi First Nation on Saturday, Oct. 13. Mousseau has brown hair with blonde highlights, is 5’3, and weights 130 lbs.The public is asked to phone Winnipeg police at 204 986 625- or the RCMP Portage La Prairie detachment with any information that could lead to the girls’ location.last_img

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first_imgAPTN National NewsIt appears an exploration project will move ahead in the Northwest Territories.ConocoPhillips is looking to drill two horizontal wells in the Sahtu region.They plan to use fracking to extract the resource.APTN’s Cullen Crozier has the story.ccrozier@aptn.calast_img

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first_imgAPTN National NewsWhen Iqaluit raised the gay pride flag during the winter Olympics, some local politicians spoke against the move.Now, the leader of Nunavut Inuit also jumped into the debate.APTN’s Kent Driscoll with this from Iqaluit.last_img

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first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA—Betty Ann Lavallee, the national chief of the Congress of Aboriginals Peoples (CAP), is leaving her post, according to a statement.Lavallee will officially leave the position of national chief in September, according to the statement from the Aboriginal Affairs Coalition of Saskatchewan.Lavallee said the health of her parents and husband convinced her it was time to step aside, said the statement.Lavallee had previously refused to resign from the position after several members of the CAP board expressed non-confidence in her leadership during a conference call on March 31.The statement said Lavallee’s leadership has been opposed by Kim Beaudin, president of the Aboriginal Affairs Coalition of Saskatchewan, Brendan Sheppard, from the Qalipu first Nation, Robert Bertrand, from the Native Alliance of Quebec, Wendy Wetteland, from the New Brunswick Aboriginal Peoples Council, Brad Maggrah, from the Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal Peoples, Ron Swain, a national CAP vice-chief, and Jessica Bolduc, the national youth representative.news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more

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first_imgTamara Pimentel APTN National NewsAn entrepreneur from Sweetgrass First Nation in Saskatchewan is having a heck of a week.The designer of men and women’s clothing just got a big shout out on social media from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.last_img

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first_imgBeatrice Hunter (centre) and her son Scott Dicker (right) are among 14 Labrador land protectors who had criminal charges against them dropped this week. APTN file photo.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsThe Crown has dropped criminal charges against more than a dozen land protectors in Labrador who were involved with the occupation of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project site in 2016.The decision came on Wednesday, more than two and a half years after the event, when Innu, Inuit and settler Labradorians occupied the project site for four days in a last ditch effort to protect their traditional foods and way of life.Scientists and Indigenous leaders had warned that reservoir flooding at Muskrat Falls would lead to spikes in methylmercury in the aquatic food chain, including fish, seals and waterfowl.But the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and project proponent Nalcor Energy did not adequately respond to the warnings with mitigation efforts.Beatrice Hunter, an Inuk woman living in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, was one of several dozen land protectors who occupied the site.In the summer of 2017 she was jailed for 10 days in a maximum security men’s prison in St. John’s after she refused to promise Supreme Court Justice George Murphy that she would stay away from the project site.The experience has left her with PTSD and other health problems, she says.But Hunter doesn’t regret the occupation.“It was the first time in my 48 years I saw my fellow Labradorians fighting oppression [together], so I don’t regret it one bit,” she told APTN News Thursday.“I was a great moment. I was proud to be a part of it. I’m glad my son also witnessed it; I’m glad he was a part of it too,” she said.Hunter’s 25-year-old son, Scott Dicker, also had his criminal charges dropped.“For the last two and a half years, it wasn’t easy,” said Hunter. “But I guess doing the right thing, what you feel is right, isn’t easy anyway.”At least six other land protectors, including Inuk Tony Wolfrey of Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, still face criminal charges.The father and grandfather was one of eight individuals arrested on Oct. 17, 2016, several days before the occupation, for participating in a blockade of the project site’s main entrance.Wolfrey’s daughter, Emily, who is now 27, was violently arrested by RCMP officers moments after her father.She had been standing in what police called a “safe zone” during the blockade in the pre-dawn hours of Oct. 17.Despite obeying the police orders to stay away from the project site entrance, after yelling in distress over her father’s arrest Emily was handcuffed, arrested and charged.She filed a complaint with the RCMP over the arresting officer’s conduct, but that investigation found no wrongdoing on the federal police force’s part.“If I knew that she would be getting arrested, I wouldn’t have bothered,” Tony said of his role in the blockade.“You should have seen the bruises on her,” he added, referring to Emily’s arrest.Dozens of land protectors, including Innu, Inuit and settler Labradorians, occupied the Muskrat Falls site in 2016. Some still face criminal and civil charges. Photo courtesy TheIndependent.ca.Tony says he and Emily should not be facing criminal charges and have pleaded not-guilty.He says they will appear in provincial court again next month.“We had to bring attention to what happened, and is still happening, because they still never clearcut [the reservoir],” Tony added. “The only way to get attention was to get arrested, I think, and for people to see what was going on.”During the occupation provincial and Indigenous leaders agreed to create an Independent Expert Advisory Committee to study the methylmercury issue and make recommendations for mitigation.The committee filed its report to the government in April 2018 and recommended that more vegetation be cleared from the dam’s reservoir prior to the final stages of flooding.More than a year later, and despite pleas from Indigenous leaders and grassroots people in Labrador, the government still has not ordered Nalcor Energy, its own Crown energy corporation, to clear the reservoir.Nalcor has said the final stages of reservoir flooding will take place this summer.jbrake@aptn.ca@justinbrakenewslast_img read more

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first_imgCALGARY – A private Calgary oilsands producer is selling a portion of future production to raise money to expand its northern Alberta project, a funding method gaining traction in a sector having difficulty attracting investors.Osum Oil Sands Corp. said Monday it has approved a 3,000-barrel-per-day expansion of its Orion project to take output to over 12,000 barrels per day by mid-2019.The company said it will pay for the expansion with part of about $92.5 million in cash it has raised by selling to an unnamed buyer a four per cent share or royalty in all future production from Orion.Similar royalty sales have been used recently by publicly traded Calgary-based oilsands producers BlackPearl Resources Inc. (TSX:PXX), Pengrowth Energy Corp. (TSX:PGF) and Athabasca Oil Corp. (TSX: ATH) to raise growth capital.“It’s a substitute for issuing equity which, at these (share) prices for many issuers, would be highly dilutive for their shareholder base, even when considering the recent bounce off of the bottom,” said AltaCorp Capital oilsands analyst Nick Lupick.“It is definitely being pitched to companies as an alternative source of financing other than debt and equity.”Osum CEO Steve Spence says the royalty sale will allow the company to accelerate its staged expansion. Eventually, it aims to reach its regulator-approved capacity of 20,000 barrels per day despite current low oil prices, hovering around $50 a barrel.“We looked at all the options and, in the current business environment, this was the best one available to us,” he said.“It’s a way of getting some funds to enable us to accelerate our growth strategy … in a relatively low oil price environment.”The company has been financed so far through private equity, sovereign wealth and pension funds, as well as private individuals, Spence said.It used term debt to buy Orion, which uses steam to produce bitumen from wells, in 2014 from Royal Dutch Shell for $325 million, he added.Earlier this year, as part of an exodus of foreign companies seeking better returns elsewhere, Shell sold most of its oilsands mining assets to Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ).Other foreign companies that have reduced or divested oilsands assets include Norway’s Statoil and Houston-based ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more

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first_imgOTTAWA – The firm that audited the accounts of Garth Drabinsky’s Livent should be held financially responsible for some — but not all — of the failed theatre company’s losses two decades ago, the Supreme Court of Canada says.In a 4-3 ruling Wednesday, the high court found Deloitte was liable for negligently auditing Livent’s 1997 financial statements, though not for other conduct.The court concluded that an audit firm can only be held responsible where a company’s financial losses relate to the actual purpose of the auditors’ work.Lower court decisions left Deloitte on the hook for almost $85 million, but the Supreme Court ruling reduces the damages award to $40 million.In the 1990s, Livent brought live theatrical productions such as “Phantom of the Opera” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” to audiences across North America.Drabinsky, a colourful impresario and public face of the company, was suspended as Livent’s vice-chairman and chief creative director in 1998 amid allegations of accounting irregularities. Myron Gottlieb, who served as president, was also suspended. Livent subsequently filed for bankruptcy and went into receivership.Drabinsky and Gottlieb were later found guilty of fraud and forgery. Both were handed prison sentences.Livent, through its receiver, sued Deloitte in 2001, alleging that audits between 1992 and 1998 were done negligently.The trial judge found Deloitte liable for damages, a decision upheld last year by the Ontario Court of Appeal. The appeal court said the auditors should have been able to detect serious fraud in the company’s financial statements.Deloitte argued in the Supreme Court that it was effectively being penalized for failing to resign as Livent’s auditor.Livent’s bankruptcy receiver countered that a robust audit has an important place in the statutory corporate and securities framework for public companies. It argued that accepting Deloitte’s position would make audit firms immune from civil responsibility to their clients for incompetent audits.Writing for a majority of the Supreme Court, justices Clement Gascon and Russell Brown confirmed that Deloitte negligently audited Livent’s financial statements, resulting in the company losing millions more than it would have if the auditors had uncovered the fraud earlier.“As a consequence, Livent’s corporate life was artificially prolonged, resulting in the interim deterioration of its finances,” the judges wrote.They reasoned that Livent would not have taken on greater debt through financing, instead limiting the damage by declaring bankruptcy sooner.Specifically, the court found Deloitte liable for its April 1998 audit of Livent’s 1997 financial statements, which prevented shareholders from properly scrutinizing the company. It said Deloitte was responsible for 75 per cent of the difference in the company’s financial position between the time of the audit opinion and Livent’s bankruptcy in November 1998.However, the high court disagreed with the lower courts that Deloitte should be held responsible for losses allegedly related to Deloitte’s approval of an August 1997 press release and comfort letter to investors. The Supreme Court said that work was intended to help the company attract investment, and its financial losses did not relate to this purpose.— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

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first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Facebook is giving its privacy tools a makeover as it reels from criticisms over its data practices and faces tighter European regulations in the coming months.The changes won’t affect Facebook’s privacy policies or the types of data it gathers on users. But the company hopes its 2.2 billion users will have an easier time navigating its complex and often confusing privacy and security settings. Facebook says it also wants to give users a simpler way to access and download the data it collects on them.Wednesday’s announcement follows revelations that a Trump-affiliated consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, got data on millions of Facebook users. That included information on friends of people who had downloaded a psychological quiz app, even though those friends hadn’t given explicit consent to sharing. In addition, Facebook is also facing widespread criticism for collecting years of contact names, telephone numbers and call and text histories from Android users. The company has not said exactly what it used such data for or why it needed it. On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission said it is investigating Facebook over its privacy practices.Facebook’s chief privacy officer, Erin Egan, said in a blog post that most of the privacy updates have been in the works for “some time, but the events of the past several days underscore their importance.”Facebook also said it plans to update its privacy policy and terms of service in the coming weeks, but gave no further details.The company has tried over the years to simplify its privacy settings, yet the controls remain hard to find and use for many people. For example, Facebook announced in 2009 that it was consolidating six privacy pages and more than 30 settings on to a single privacy page.Yet mobile users still had to go to nearly 20 different places to access all of their privacy controls. Now, Facebook says they will be accessible from a single place. Facebook says it is also adding “clearer explanations” about how its privacy controls work.Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, called the new settings “the first of many steps” the company is taking to address privacy concerns.Facebook has been working on the changes in preparation for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which were approved two years ago and take effect May 25. The rules are designed to make it easier for consumers to give and withdraw consent for the use of their data. They apply to any company that collects data on EU residents, no matter where it is based.To comply with this, Facebook is adding a section called “access your information,” a secure way for users to manage data they’ve shared with the company, including status updates, comments and things they have searched for. That’s where people can go to delete information or download a copy. While this download was already possible, it took some time to figure out how to do it. Cox said the changes let people browse through their information in detail, without having to download it. For example, users will now be able to look up a post from a specific date in the past.Cox said that while the changes are “in line with the principle of GDPR,” there’s also a “bunch of stuff that goes above and beyond that.”Facebook also said it will propose updates to its terms of service in the coming weeks and update its privacy policy, but gave no further details.last_img read more

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first_imgLA POCATIERE, – Bombardier Transportation’s plant northeast of Quebec City has obtained a $54-million contract from Via Rail to upgrade 17 train cars that date back to the 1950s.Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau and Via CEO Yves Desjardins-Siciliano made the announcement Tuesday in La Pocatiere, about 150 kilometres from Quebec City.Via says the contract will allow for the stainless steel cars to become fully accessible.Each reconfigured car will be equipped with two wheelchair lifts; two accessible spaces with anchoring devices; announcement display screens; and an accessible washroom.The program is scheduled to be completed in 2020 and the renovated cars will be deployed over Via’s long-haul routes.The La Pocatiere plant has about 600 workers.Companies in this story: (TSX:BBD.B)last_img read more

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first_imgEDMONTON – Aurora Cannabis Inc. has signed an agreement to buy Anandia Laboratories Inc. in an all-stock deal valued at $115 million.Anandia provides research and development services as well as analytical testing for clients licensed under Canada’s medical cannabis rules.Aurora CEO Terry Booth says the deal expands his company’s capabilities and will help accelerate product development.The companies say that Anandia’s cannabis testing services will remain operationally independent of Aurora.Aurora has been gearing up in anticipation of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada expected later this year.Last month, the company announced a $3.2-billion all-stock offer for rival licensed marijuana producer MedReleaf,the largest-ever deal in Canada’s cannabis industry.Companies in this story: (TSX:ACB)last_img read more

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first_imgCALGARY – One of the most destructive ecological impacts of oil and gas exploration happens long before a litre of oil flows into a pipeline or a single atom of carbon enters the atmosphere.Seismic surveying — the exploration activity that helps identify where to drill — can result in as much as 15 per cent of the forest being chopped down and mulched.But a new kind of seismic survey promises to leave only boot prints in the forest. And that’s good news for species such as the threatened woodland caribou that live alongside the oilsands industry in northern Alberta.“We can do it, it works. We don’t have to cut the forest down anymore,” said Allan Chatenay, co-owner of Explor Geophysical Ltd. and inventor of its PinPoint technology.The Calgary-based company worked with oilsands giant Suncor Energy Inc. over the past winter to see how the technology stacks up in comparison with traditional seismic techniques on one of its unexplored oilsands leases.The next step will be a commercial-scale trial aimed at proving it can compete on cost as well as effectiveness.Put simply, seismic surveying involves creating sound waves in the earth that bounce off rocky formations hundreds of metres underground and then are recorded by sensors on the surface for analysis.Traditionally, surveys were conducted using truck-mounted drilling gear, heavy sensors and explosive devices weighing several kilograms each. Straight, six- to eight-metre-wide seismic lines were chopped through the forest on rectangular grids to permit access and ensure the equipment was positioned to achieve the best results.The current standard, called low-impact seismic, cuts lines that are about three metres wide, often in a zig-zag pattern on the assumption that it prevents predators from being able to see their prey from a distance.PinPoint takes the technology one step further by scaling down the size of the sensors and charges so they can be carried into the forest by people on foot. By greatly increasing the number of lower powered seismic events and their recordings, and processing them using detailed GPS readings and exact timing, Chatenay says the survey results are just as detailed as traditional seismic.Finding new ways to acquire seismic data fits in with goals by the industry, regulators and the Indigenous community to support caribou conservation, said Christine Daly, a senior technology adviser for land reclamation at Suncor.“Any fragmentation of the boreal forest has an impact on the animals in that ecosystem, including boreal woodland caribou, which are a threatened species,” she said.“We realized one of the root causes of the impact from our industry are these seismic lines, so completely removing them is a huge step in opening more responsible development and caribou conservation.”Only about 25 per cent of caribou ranges in the oilsands area are considered undisturbed, said Simon Dyer, deputy executive director of the Pembina Institute environmental think-tank.That’s well below the 65 per cent undisturbed ratio required to allow threatened caribou populations be self-sustaining, according to a 2012 federal government Species at Risk Act recovery strategy report.“A big contributor to that fragmentation and loss of habitat is the seismic footprint so any technologies that can prevent additional losses of habitat are obviously welcome,” he said.“Slowing the rate of loss of habitat is not good enough …. Any responsible company should be proposing a plan that has a net improvement in caribou habitat, not just a reduced impact.”The PinPoint technology requires more labour than other form of seismic so it costs more, Chatenay said, without being specific.On the other hand, he said, it saves users the cost of having to later replant and remediate seismic lines and may help companies fall in line with future environmental regulation.Suncor is looking at several technologies to reduce the impact of its seismic surveys and it will likely be years before any can be implemented on a commercial scale, said Gary Bunio, general manager of oilsands strategy technology development.He said the cost is important to consider but it’s not the only issue — Suncor could decide on a more expensive option if it provides a solution that is effective and is endorsed by community stakeholders and regulators.Follow @HealingSlowly on TwitterCompanies mentioned in this article: (TSX:SU)last_img read more

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first_imgOTTAWA – The country showed signs of growing price pressures last month with inflation staying strong and its underlying pace grinding higher — both of which propped up expectations that higher interest rates are on the way.The annual inflation rate for August receded somewhat to 2.8 per cent, easing from July’s three per cent pace that marked Canada’s highest reading in seven years. Last month’s step back was largely due to more-moderate expansion in gasoline prices, Statistics Canada said Friday as it released its latest consumer price index.The resilience of the August headline number kept it above the mid-point — and close to the top end — of the Bank of Canada’s target range of one- to three-per cent. The inflation-targeting central bank uses interest-rate hikes as a tool to help prevent price growth from rising too high.Ahead of its rate decisions, the Bank of Canada also keeps close watch on the three measures of underlying inflation, which strip out more-volatile items like gas prices.Statistics Canada’s figures show that each measure crept upwards once again in August, with the average of the three moving up to 2.1 per cent, compared with two per cent in July and 1.96 in June.BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said that, combined, the core measures are matching some of the highest underlying inflation readings Canada has seen since 2009. Porter believes the inflation figures are “a touch uncomfortably high for the Bank of Canada.”With a tightened labour market and robust growth, bank governor Stephen Poloz is widely expected to raise the benchmark interest rate at the Oct. 24 rate announcement.“I think that this just really is another feather in the cap and turns up the odds by a notch or two,” Porter said of Friday’s inflation report.“Nothing to get overly concerned about, but I think the big story is inflation has moved away from years of relatively low readings to a little bit above what the Bank of Canada targets.”However, clouding the interest-rate picture is a significant wild card: the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement.Without more clarity on the deal’s renegotiation, Porter said it’s tough to know precisely what Poloz will do.The Bank of Canada, which has stressed it will stick to a gradual rate-hiking approach, has made a point of saying it’s closely watching the NAFTA talks and other trade policy developments, which could have negative impacts on the economy.After the release of Friday’s inflation report, other analysts said Poloz is in line to raise the rate next month.“While the headline inflation has eased off somewhat, the Bank of Canada core measures continued to move forward,” TD economist Ksenia Bushmeneva wrote in a research note.“Continued progress on the inflation front alongside a well-performing economy and a range of indicators pointing to limited excess capacity suggest that maintaining stable inflation will require further rate hikes by the central bank, with another one likely coming next month.”Following last month’s policy meeting, the Bank of Canada described the recent rise in headline inflation as temporary. It predicted inflation to fall back towards two per cent in early 2019 once the effects of past increases in gas prices fade away.The Statistics Canada report Friday showed year-over-year pump prices rose 19.9 per cent in August, compared with a 25.4 per cent increase in July. Excluding gas prices, the inflation rate was 2.2 per cent last month.A closer look at August’s inflation numbers shows prices of passenger vehicles rose 2.3 per cent, up from two per cent in July. Statistics Canada said this was mostly due to increased availability of following-year models compared with a year ago.The prices of booze and tobacco were up 4.6 per cent last month, while food costs increased 1.6 per cent.In a separate report Friday, Statistics Canada said retail trade expanded 0.3 per cent in July in large part because of sales boosts at food and beverage stores and gas stations.The July increase, which brought sales to $50.9 billion, followed a June contraction of 0.1 per cent and a May expansion of 2.2 per cent.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

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