Trudeau Singh offer condolences in wake of New York City terror attack

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s “deeply grieved” by Tuesday’s terrorist attack in New York City.A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, killing at least eight and seriously injuring 11.The driver barrelled along the bike path for the equivalent of about 14 blocks before slamming into a small yellow school bus.In a release, Trudeau offered sincere condolences on behalf of all Canadians to those mourning the loss of family members and friends.He also offered wishes for a full recovery to those who were injured.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh took to Twitter, tweeting “Sending my love, thoughts and prayers to all those impacted by the tragic violence in Manhattan today, along with all first responders.”Trudeau noted that New Yorkers are known for their resilience and strength, and will “stand together as they always have in the face of difficult situations.”“Tonight, we offer our prayers and thoughts to our neighbours in the United States. We are with you, as always, as friends and allies,” he said.– With files from The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Abortion rights advocate calls for more clarity on summer jobs program

first_imgOTTAWA – A reproductive rights advocate who urged the Liberals to deny summer job grants to groups pushing for restricted access to abortion said the government may have gone a step too far in rolling out the changes.Joyce Arthur, executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, said she supports what she believes was the government’s primary goal: targeting organizations that would hire students to undermine reproductive rights, or discriminate against the LGBTQ community.“They are not interested in stopping churches or whatever,” Arthur said. “It’s really all about anti-choice groups or anti-LGBT groups.”Faith-based organizations are welcome to seek federal funding to create summer jobs for youth, the government says, but they are being asked to attest to their respect for sexual and reproductive rights — including “the right to access safe and legal abortions” — as well as other human rights.That stipulation applies not only to the job activity, but the core mandate of the organization.The change to the Canada Summer Jobs program, which created nearly 69,000 jobs in 2017, stems from a controversy last year when officials approved tens of thousands of dollars for groups opposing abortion — a fact Arthur and her national political advocacy organization helped bring to light.But Arthur said she thinks the message is getting lost, thanks to vague language that has faith-based groups fearful that the government is treading on fundamental freedoms of conscience, religion and thought guaranteed by the charter.Many churches and other religious groups say that forces them to choose between their spiritual values and funding that helps run soup kitchens, shelters and other activities that have nothing to do with abortion.“If there is a confusion in the wording, then that is a problem I think that they should look at and hopefully fix,” Arthur said. “There should be some way of doing it without raising the ire of all these other religious groups.”Arthur wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Employment Minister Patty Hajdu last week, recommending the government clarify the wording on its website, both to “correct the confusions” and “mitigate the effects of any lawsuits.”Some groups have discussed adding a letter to the application form explaining that while they do support all charter and human rights law, they do not want to be compelled to express broad support for reproductive rights. Employment and Social Development Canada suggests such applications would be rejected outright.Still, Arthur is not alone in her support of the government’s original goal.Helen Kennedy, executive director of Egale Canada, an organization that advocates for the rights of sexual minorities, said she hopes the Liberals will expand the policy change to other areas and that provincial governments will follow their example.“I don’t understand why someone would not welcome that type of inclusion with respect to the mandate of their organization,” Kennedy said.“I think it’s really important to set a standard of what Canada is about in terms of human rights.”Diane Bergeron, vice-president of the CNIB — formerly known as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind — suggested those opposed to the new requirements are reading too much into them.“They’re not actually checking a box saying they believe in abortion,” Bergeron said. “They’re saying that they understand that it is a right that women have to choose.”Bonnie Brayton, the national executive director of DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN) Canada, said she is proud of the government and its stance.“Too often, people don’t want to offend anyone with the way they unpack a program like that, because they want it seen as it’s for everyone,” she said, “and it is for everyone, provided the people who receive these things respect Canadian laws and Canadian human rights.”Karen Segal, the staff lawyer for the Women’s Legal and Action Fund (LEAF), said freedom of belief does not mean the right to money.“It’s reasonable to establish a set of criteria, a set of goals that the program is intended to advance.”— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitterlast_img read more

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Toddler breaks leg after boot sucked into escalator at Vancouver airport

first_imgVANCOUVER – A Calgary woman is reminding parents about the dangers of escalators after her toddler’s foot became stuck in one and he broke his leg.Andrea Diaczek was holding hands with her two-year-old son, Julian, as they rode down an escalator at the Vancouver International Airport on Friday.“I heard a little squeak and I just saw the toe of his boot had become entrapped inside of the stair,” she said. “And before I could even really do anything, I tried to yank him out and it just sort of sucked in his boot.”She screamed and someone stopped the escalator. Several people, including her husband, ran to help.“His leg got twisted around backwards,” Diaczek said.“I’d already seen the toe of his boot go through the side and I didn’t even know what was left of his foot. And he was still very much stuck. I wasn’t sure if he was getting any circulation in the bottom part of his leg.”Someone handed her some scissors, she said, and she was able to cut Julian free from his mangled boot.The boy also suffered some cuts and swelling but is otherwise OK, she added.Diaczek said it was a scary situation, especially because she thought she had done everything right as a parent.“You’re holding onto your child and you’re holding onto the railing. And you’re not fooling around, you know. You’re not leaning over and he’s not crawling on it.”A statement from the airport says an ambulance was called to provide medical care for the child. A maintenance crew also inspected the escalator before it was started again.“Our investigation into this incident is ongoing and we are reviewing maintenance and inspection records for the escalator,” the airport said.“Safety and security is our top priority and it’s at the core of everything we do, and we will certainly implement any enhancements necessary pending the outcome of our investigation.”(News 1130, The Canadian Press)last_img read more

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Judge named to lead review of Toronto police handling of missing person

first_imgTORONTO – The Toronto Police Services Board says it has retained an Ontario Appeal Court judge to lead an external review into how the police force handles cases of missing persons.The board says in a statement that Justice Gloria Epstein will be retiring Sept. 1 and will then “be devoting herself thereafter to the review.”The announcement comes about three months after Mayor John Tory moved a motion to go ahead with the review, saying there were “troubling questions” in light of the killings for which landscaper Bruce McArthur has been charged.While the review won’t look at the investigation into McArthur, who has been charged with eight counts of first-degree murder, it will examine how missing persons cases connected to the investigation were handled.The review also follows the death in November 2017 of 22-year-old Tess Richey, whose body was found by her mother in an outdoor stairwell.Police were sent to her last-known location the day after she was reported missing, but it wasn’t until her mother came to the city to search for her that her body was found.“It is vitally important that we learn from the past to ensure every Toronto resident is kept safe in the future,” Tory, who sits on the police board, said in the statement.Police have also come under fire from the LGBTQ community for failing to take the disappearances some of the men missing from Toronto’s gay village seriously for years — until January, when they arrested and charged the 66-year-old McArthur.Tensions were further inflamed when police Chief Mark Saunders suggested no one in the LGBTQ community had come forward with information that might have led to an earlier arrest, but he later said it was not his intent to blame the community.In April, the organizers behind the Toronto Pride Parade asked police to withdraw their application to take part in the annual event. For the second year in a row Sunday, uniformed Toronto police officers did not take part in the march.In Monday’s statement, police board chair Andy Pringle said the review “is a necessary and vital step” to identify systemic issues and improve trust between the police and “Toronto’s vulnerable communities.”Epstein was appointed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 1993 and to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2007. Her rulings include a landmark 1996 decision that found the definition of a spouse under Ontario law was unconstitutional because it discriminated against same-sex couples.Epstein’s appointment comes after the police board approved the terms of reference and a $3-million budget request suggested by a working group last week.The review is expected to start later this year and last through 2019.last_img read more

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Ontario should offer incentives to reverse psychiatrist shortage report

first_imgTORONTO – A new report urges the Ontario government to offer incentives to psychiatrists in order to make up for a shortage it says is contributing to a growing mental health crisis across the province and the country.The report, released Wednesday by the Coalition of Ontario Psychiatrists, says the province should also increase the number of psychiatry residency spots available to medical students and increase exposure to the field in medical school to six weeks.The organization, which represents 1,900 Ontario psychiatrists, says boosting the ranks in psychiatry would help improve access to mental health at a time when demand continues to outpace supply, particularly in rural areas.It says that while Canada as a whole is experiencing a shortage of psychiatrists, the situation in Ontario is “uniquely difficult to manage and continues to persist and deepen” despite a rise in psychiatrists’ workload.The report says the average number of patients each Ontario psychiatrist sees per year outside of a hospital setting has gone up to 249 in 2013 from 208 a decade earlier, and psychiatrists are working, on average, an additional eight hours a week compared with 2007.The shortage is linked in the report to the large number of psychiatrists nearing retirement age, combined with a lack of a younger cohort to succeed them.“Virtually all psychiatric care will be impacted by this demographic shift as over half of practising psychiatrists approach retirement,” the report says.“These statistics are particularly concerning for rural communities, which are notoriously difficult to recruit new doctors to. A disproportionate number of near-retirement psychiatrists currently serve these areas, and often see high volumes of patients to compensate for the access issues.”And though enrolment in medical school is growing, the percentage of applicants choosing psychiatry is declining, the report says.“Governments are investing a significant amount of money into improving mental health services, which is great … (but) there’s some issues with access to treatment at this point, and if we don’t have enough psychiatrists to see those patients, then we may have issues with access to treatment still,” said Dr. Mathieu Dufour, the coalition’s co-chair.If the shortage is allowed to worsen, wait times for treatment will increase, he said. The gap is particularly high when it comes to child psychiatry, which has seen a “sharp increase” in demand, he said.“More work needs to be done to promote psychiatry as a profession for medical students,” Dufour said.Increasing pay for psychiatrists would also make the profession more appealing, he said, noting that some medical specialties earn up to four times more.“The fact that psychiatry has been at the bottom of the list for medical specialties, I do think that it plays a role in terms of the fact that we have difficulties recruiting candidates,” he said.The report says psychiatrists receive lower base pay than other medical specialties and are more likely to lose billable hours to patients who don’t show up.“It is particularly important for incentives to be considered for improving recruitment to underserved areas, including rural and remote communities, and for subspecialties,” the document says.“Creating incentives for psychiatrists to specialize, in order to serve the growing demand for child psychiatric services and the growing aging population, will help address the ongoing shortage of subspecialists.”Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has earmarked $1.9 billion over 10 years for mental health, while the previous Liberal government had promised $2.1 billion over four years.A spokeswoman said Health Minister Christine Elliott is aware of challenges regarding access to mental health services and the current supply of psychiatrists in the province.The government is committed to enhancing mental health and addictions supports in Ontario, including psychiatrists, Heather Watt said Wednesday night in an email.The Opposition, however, said Wednesday that the province needs to have a plan to address the shortage and its repercussions.“Not only do we not see a plan, or even an acknowledgment, that we have a challenge around having enough psychiatrists in our province,” NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said.“I think there needs to be a hard look at what’s failing our system. When you have a government that’s cutting back on mental health services and mental health funding it doesn’t send a signal to people are physicians in school now that psychiatry is a good path to take.”last_img read more

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No cookiecutter solution to Canadian rental affordability economist

first_imgVANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There’s no nation-wide rental housing affordability crisis, according to economists at the University of Calgary, who say Ottawa should drop the one-size-fits-all approach to the issue and opt for tailored solutions.Looking at rental housing data from the Canadian Mortage and Housing Corporation, Professor Ron Kneebone says Canada’s housing market varies per region and affordability issues are hitting western Canada and Ontario much harder than Quebec and the Maritimes.“If it’s east of Toronto, there really is no affordable housing crisis and the government shouldn’t be wasting money on providing income or housing supports in province’s like Quebec of the Atlantic provinces. They should dedicate all that money in Ontario and out west,” economics professor Ron Kneebone said.In Vancouver, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in October 2017 was $1,223, the highest in Canada, compared to the lowest of $623 in Saint John, NFL. The report, with the exception of Halifax, shows a large difference between eastern and western Canada.Failed to fetchThe data, according to the report, shows people typically pay higher rents in more densely populated cities, with the exception of Montreal.“There’s a cultural norm in Quebec that renting is not viewed as something usual, whereas in other parts of the country, a lot of families aspire to having a house in the suburbs. Quebec also has a pretty stringent rent control system in place that keeps housing costs down,” he said adding Quebec also increases its social support payments to keep up with rental costs.Quebec also received $11.732 billion in equalization payments in 2017.“The government will have a certain limited amount of money to invest in this problem and if they are using it to deal with housing affordability in Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces, then they are just wasting money,” he said.Although the report does not make specific policy suggestions or say whether the federal government should act at all, Kneebone says if Ottawa wants to put tax money towards housing, it should focus on rental prices and availability in affected areas.Federal government won’t play favourites with affordable housingOttawa won’t be leaving any provinces out of its housing strategy. That’s coming from the federal social services minister, in response to the report.Jean-Yves Duclos said Ottawa’s policies and funding won’t ignore parts of the country. “It’s true that the context is different, but the needs are found everywhere.”“We need to partner with local organizations, municipalities and provinces to make those investments as effective as they can be. If we look at the national housing strategy, how it works — that’s exactly what it does. It aligns the investments with the specific conditions and needs of communities.He said policies will still have some flexibility depending on where they are applied.last_img read more

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Quebec woman who carried on relationship with young child avoids jail time

first_imgMONTREAL — A Montreal-area woman who carried on an intense, inappropriate relationship with a young girl despite numerous efforts to get her to stop will avoid further jail time.Virginia Genevrier, 40, was sentenced Thursday after previously pleading guilty to one count of transmitting sexually explicit material to a minor and two counts of breaching a peace bond.“How could a woman of this age, married and a mother, develop over time a special relationship to that point with an adolescent who was 12 years old at the time?” Quebec court Judge Helene Morin asked as she handed down a sentence in a case she described as “unique.”The judge noted that efforts by the girl’s school, her family, the police and the judiciary all failed to stop Genevrier’s behaviour. “The accused interfered in a totally inappropriate way in the life of this girl, and this is what must be denounced,” she said.Genevrier was found to have had a relationship with a girl, now 16, whom she met while working as a lunch monitor at her daughter’s Montreal-area elementary school. Over time, the relationship intensified to the point where the girl had developed romantic feelings for Genevrier, whose daughter was a classmate.Genevrier started exchanging Facebook messages with the girl, who confided in her about troubles at home.The girl’s mother asked Genevrier to stop contacting her daughter after stumbling on love messages between the two. When that failed, Genevrier was arrested in 2015 and made to sign a peace bond with a list of strict conditions.She lost her school job that year, but the interaction continued. The girl would write to Genevrier telling her, “You are the woman of my life,” “I love you” and “Do you want to marry me?” The victim even gave a ring to Genevrier, who had the September 2017 expiration date of the second peace bond tattooed on her upper body.The judge described the written exchanges between the two as expressions of mutual love without any sexual connotation, comparing it to discussions between lovestruck adults. “On reading some of the messages, you wonder sometimes who was adolescent and who was the adult,” Morin said.The only sexual exchange uncovered between the two led to the criminal charge: Video of Genevrier in the shower in erotic poses dated December 2017 were discovered on the girl’s tablet. Genevrier claimed she was unaware the girl had recorded her during a video phone call.Genevrier told the court she’s no longer the same person and recognizes the impact of her actions on her husband and daughter.The court heard Genevrier, a native of France who moved to Quebec with her husband in 2003, had a difficult childhood marked by violence and an alcoholic mother and saw some of herself in the victim. She was determined to make sure the young girl’s adolescence didn’t turn out like her own.“There was a part of me that was rational — I was married, a mother  — and another part who was the rebel adolescent who wanted to help her,” Genevrier told a sexologist in a report quoted by the judge. Despite her actions, Genevrier professed to love only her husband.Morin sentenced her to six months on the charge of transmitting explicit material, the minimum sentence under the law. Because she has already spent 4 1/2 months in custody, that sentence is considered served.She was also given a 20-month sentence to be served in the community on two counts of breaching conditions of a peace bond, along with two years probation and 240 hours of community service. Genevrier must register as a sex offender and can’t contact the victim for five years. She cannot work in a setting where children under age 16 are present.“Understand if you miss a condition, you are incarcerated, and that is for the entire 20-month sentence,” Morin warned Genevrier, who declined to comment outside the court.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Deadline for Sens arena deal approaches with no extension to be granted

first_imgThe Canadian Press OTTAWA — Canada’s Heritage Minister says there will be no extension of a Thursday deadline to resolve a dispute over a plan to build a community featuring a new downtown arena for the Ottawa Senators.Pablo Rodriguez told reporters on Tuesday that the National Capital Commission’s deadline for the LeBreton Flats file is firm.“The NCC was very clear,” Rodriguez said. “There’s a deadline for February 28th and there will be no extension.”Judge Warren Winkler has been presiding over mediation between partners in the RendezVous LeBreton Group: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, Trinity Development Group founder John Ruddy and GBA Development and Project Management president Graham Bird.On Jan. 14, an original deadline of Jan. 19 was extended until Thursday by the NCC — a crown corporation which controls the LeBreton Flats land.“It’s between them. Now they have to come to an agreement,” Rodriguez said. “There’s a few days left. It ends February 28th, no extension.”When asked what happens if no agreement is reached, Rodriguez said, “I invite you to speak directly to the NCC but this is an absolute priority for them (and) for us also as a government because it’s a priority for the region.”Melnyk’s Capital Sports Management Inc., filed a $700-million lawsuit against Ruddy and Bird in November. Ruddy — also a member of the ownership group of the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks, the United Soccer League’s Ottawa Fury and the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s — responded with a $1-billion counterclaim.While filing a statement of defence against Melnyk’s lawsuit, Bird got the three parties to agree to mediation in early January.The Senators currently play at the Canadian Tire Centre in suburban Kanata.The NHL team has dealt with a long list of negative headlines for on- and off-ice developments since falling one goal short of reaching the Stanley Cup final in 2017.The Senators sit last in the NHL standings and traded away top forwards Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel for younger players and draft picks before this week’s trade deadline.Ottawa also dealt its first pick in this year’s draft — expected to be very high because of the team’s poor record — in the original deal to get Duchene last season.last_img read more

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Calgary woman convicted in sons strep death seeking full parole

first_imgCALGARY — A woman convicted in her son’s death after she failed to take him to the doctor for a strep infection is to appear before a hearing in Calgary today to seek full parole.Tamara Lovett, who is 50, was found guilty in 2017 of criminal negligence causing death and was sentenced to three years in prison.She was granted day parole last June after serving eight months.The Parole Board of Canada noted at that time that Lovett acknowledged she was to blame for her son’s death and had held “extreme and unsupportable” views about conventional medicine.Lovett told the board she was working with a psychologist and re-establishing bonds with her surviving son and other close relatives.At her trial, court heard that Lovett gave seven-year-old Ryan dandelion tea and oil of oregano when he developed the infection that kept him bedridden in their Calgary home for 10 days in 2013.The trial heard that Ryan was dead well before his mother called 911 to say he had stopped breathing. An autopsy found he died from a strep infection.Lovett has been living in a community residential facility with the condition that she not care for any children under 18. She has also been required to attend psychological counselling to address her grief as well as her mental health.During an address to the court during her sentencing, Lovett said she continued to punish herself for her son’s death.“I thought I was doing the best for my child. And although I have lost faith in myself, and can’t begin to forgive myself, I hope others learn from my ignorance.”— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Board extends parole grants overnight leaves for convicted killer Kelly Ellard

first_imgVANCOUVER — The Parole Board of Canada has granted overnight leaves and extended day parole for a British Columbia woman convicted in the 1997 swarming and murder of Victoria teenager Reena Virk.The board says Kelly Ellard, who now goes by Kerry Marie Sim, has show “sustained positive change” since her conviction and life sentence in 2005 for the second-degree murder of the 14-year-old.Ellard, who is now in her late 30s, received day parole in November 2017, shortly after the birth of a child she conceived during a conjugal visit with her boyfriend.The board has extended parole in six-month increments since then, and its latest decision authorizes overnight leaves, although it notes her continuing relationship with the child’s father, also a convicted criminal, still requires monitoring.The board ruling, issued late last month but just released to the media, says Ellard is coping well with several sources of stress, and any risk to the public continues to be manageable. Ellard must still abide by several conditions, including abstaining from alcohol and drugs, and she is not permitted any contact with Virk’s family.“The deceased victim’s family has suffered the violent loss of their child, and they have the right to live their lives without any concern of unwanted contact from you,” the two-member parole board panel writes.Ellard was 15 at the time of Virk’s murder, but was sentenced as an adult. She was convicted at her third trial in 2005 after a B.C. Court of Appeal decision set aside the guilty verdict in her first trial and her second trial ended with a deadlocked jury.Court was told Ellard and several other teens swarmed and beat Virk before Ellard and a teenage boy held her head underwater until she drowned.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Madonna Asks Ukraine Fans About Jailed Politician

first_imgMadonna rallied support for the jailed former prime minister of the Ukraine last week after quizzing the crowd at her concert soundcheck about the circumstances surrounding her incarceration.The Material Girl was running through songs ahead of her gig in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev last Saturday, 4th August 2012, when she stopped the rehearsals and asked locals about troubled politician Yulia Tymoshenko, who was sentenced to serve seven years behind bars in 2011 for her alleged abuse of office while in power from December, 2007, to March, 2010.In video footage posted on YouTube.com, Madonna told the small audience, “I don’t even know the actual truth, I’ve just heard some stories from emails… Is it true that the woman who was the former president (sic) is in jail here?”After hearing supporters for Tymoshenko protest her conviction, Madonna replied, “If you feel so strongly, how come no one’s fighting for her? You might get killed? So, this is what we call freedom? Just curious, thank you for telling me.”The singer then urged fans to stand up for Tymoshenko and called on the crowd to fight on the embattled politician’s behalf, telling them: “Are you brave? Do you have courage? Are you willing to fight for what is right?”Madonna did not repeat her comments during her Kiev show that night, but she did make headlines in Russia this week when she performed in Moscow, Russia on Tuesday (07Aug12) and voiced her support for the imprisoned members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot, who are facing prison time for performing a protest song against President Vladimir Putin in a church in February (12).She also upset officials in St. Petersburg on Thursday night (09Aug12) as she challenged the city’s gay rights legislation during a concert, handing out pink bracelets to 25,000 fans.last_img read more

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Kasabian To Play Benefit Gig For War Child

first_imgBritish band Kasabian have announced a gig to benefit War Child.The rockers will hit the stage at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire on June 18 to raise money for the charity, which works across the world to help children in war zones.“That children suffer in war is unacceptable, and it’s important that War Child are there to do something about it,” said Kasabian singer Tom Meighan. “We couldn’t be happier to again help them in their vital work with a concert we’re really looking forward to. We hope Kasabian fans will support War Child at this event, or by donating to War Child.”Kasabian’s new album 48:13 is released on 9 June. This intimate concert is their only London show and comes three days before their huge homecoming show in Leicester and ten days before their headline slot at Glastonbury.Ben Knowles, Director of Music at War Child UK said: “Getting to see Kasabian’s Glastonbury-scale set in the intimate confines of O2 Shepherds Bush Empire will be very exciting.”The band are no strangers to supporting War Child – they brought the house down at War Child’s 2010 BRITS gig, taking to the stage just hours after walking away with the award for Best British Group.The generosity of the band, their team and the fans who buy tickets or donate will directly help to change and save the lives of the most vulnerable children suffering the brutal effects of war.Tickets to this special event are £50 and go on sale on Friday 30 May at 9am from TicketWeb.co.uk.last_img read more

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Saving Hope showrunner Adam Pettle discusses the decision to end the series

first_imgIt will be the end of an era for another Canadian television show on Tuesday as Saving Hope wraps production on its final season. After 85 episodes the doctors at Hope Zion will say goodbye with Season 5, slated to premiere on CTV in Winter 2017. The medical drama, which stars Erica Durance and Michael Shanks, averaged 1.3 million viewers in Season 4.If you’ve followed us here at The TV Junkies then you know we’re pretty big fans of Saving Hope so just like many viewers, we were curious about why the show was ending. Thankfully showrunner Adam Pettle was nice enough to take time out from wrapping up production and saying goodbye to answer a few questions about why now was the right time to end the series. If you’ll recall, Season 4 ended with a vengeful Tom Crenshaw (Rookie Blue‘s Travis Milne) pointing a gun and firing a shot at Alex (Durance) and Charlie (Michael Shanks). Pettle won’t give away the answer to that cliffhanger, but he did also give us a glimpse at what we can expect during the show’s final season.The TV Junkies: Ratings weren’t really a problem for Saving Hope so despite that, why is now a good time to end things? Facebook Twitter Adam Pettle: We wanted to end the series on a creative high note, and we felt that the story had run its course. We had a definite endgame in mind, and we felt the fans deserved to see the story close with a period, rather than an ellipsis. The ratings remained high throughout our entire run on CTV thanks to the incredible work and hustle of executive producer Ilana Frank and Co. And the support of our incredible audience. We believe that Season 5 and the series finale will not disappoint our loyal ‘Hopefuls.’ If we’re wrong, well at least we won’t be around to field the letters…!TTVJ: Do you think in five seasons that you’ve been able to fully explore the stories you wanted to tell or the stories [co-creator] Morwyn Brebner and Co. wanted to tell from the onset?AP: I think that our 85 episode run has given us enough track to tell the story we set out to tell. Morwyn Brebner always said that Saving Hope couldn’t be too romantic. The Alex and Charlie love story has definitely formed the spine of all five seasons of the show. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisementlast_img read more

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How director Stephen Gaghan and star Matthew McConaughey turned Calgarys BreX scandal

first_img Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The director, who won an Oscar in 2001 for his screenplay for Traffic, came to the meeting with his own ideas about the character, a amicable hustler who is ostensibly based on former Calgarian and Bre-X CEO David Walsh.They had the football game on and the conversation was casual. But then McConaughey suddenly turned away for a second. When he turned back around he had transformed “100 per cent,” Gaghan says.“At that point he didn’t have any extra weight, he had his normal hair, his teeth were good, but he was Kenny Wells,” says the filmmaker, in a phone interview with the Calgary Herald. “He started talking as Kenny Wells, the same voice he uses in the movie. He was just improvising, he was riffing and saying stuff about his past, his high school, how he got hurt playing football, why his knee hurts, what he feels like when he wakes up in the morning, how he couldn’t afford good dentistry and how things had gone bad and how he had fallen on hard times. I was writing down every word that was coming out of his mouth because it was like a possession. My wrist was cramping. I thought ‘This is a miracle.’ It was a really amazing confluence of instinct and gift and craft; a guy who has been acting for 25 years, has an Oscar, knows what he’s doing and really knows this man.”McConaughey’s physical transformation — the 40 extra pounds, the receding hairline and crooked teeth — has received plenty of attention in early reviews of the film. But it’s not just the look. The actor gives the role his all, playing every scene and soul-baring speech with Oscar-clip intensity. Which is probably why Gaghan didn’t think much at all about David Walsh as the character was being developed.Screenwriters Patrick Massett and John Zinmann told Postmedia that they stumbled across the story of the $6-billion Bre-X swindle while watching a true-crime series called Mastermind. Originally, the main character’s name was Kenny Walsh, further evidence that it was based on the real man, who died in 1998 of a brain aneurysm in the Bahamas. Filmmaker Stephen Gaghan was in Austin, Texas a few years back, sitting across from Matthew McConaughey in the actor’s home office discussing a character named Kenny Wells.By that point, the epic adventure-drama Gold has gone through a number of directors and potential stars. Michael Mann and Spike Lee were reportedly both set to direct at various times. Christian Bale was rumoured to be attached at one point.But it didn’t take long into that Texas meeting for Gaghan to confirm he had the right man to play Wells, a balding, pot-bellied prospector who pursues, achieves and then seems to spectacularly lose American-dream levels of success. Twitterlast_img read more

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CLASS OF 2017 TORONTOS EXCITING UPANDCOMING FEMALE ARTISTS WITH BEA SANTOS

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Twitter Facebook Toronto is a magnet for aspiring young artists hoping to make it in the big smoke. Most days it feels like the 6ix is positively bursting at the seams with young artists, designers, filmmakers, actors and comedians busting their humps to make their dreams come true. She Does The City chatted with some of the most exciting and talented up-and-coming artists living and working in Toronto to find out what inspires them, how they deal with setbacks and what stops them from jacking it all in and getting a normal job.For this installment, we caught up with, Bea Santos.SDTC: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you do? BS: I’m Bea and I’m an actress living and working in Toronto.It can be tough to forge a career as an actor. What has stopped you from quitting and doing something more stable?Firstly, I’ve always gone back to the fact that if I quit, I know I’d just spend my life dreaming about acting and I’d be more miserable than if I was trying without success. So that’s helped. Secondly, I’ve just felt it hasn’t been time to quit yet! I’ve seen people quit their creative pursuit after just a few years of trying, and that’s such a tragedy; it feels like they haven’t even given it a proper go. Thirdly, I would be terrible at an office job. I’d be trying to put on plays all the time and they’d fire me for not getting all those spread sheets in. That’s what happens in an office, right?Did you always know you wanted to be an actor? What did you want to be when you were a teenager? Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementlast_img read more

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Faiza is one of the first emerging artists announced for The Launch

first_imgAdvertisement CTV has announced their first group of emerging artists that will appear on The Launch, a brand new original music series premiering next year. These artists are the first 10 of 30 who will appear on the show and learn from music industry heavyweights like Fergie, Ryan Tedder, Shania Twain and superstar record executive Scott Borchetta. (Yeah, he’s the guy who discovered Taylor Swift.)Faiza is one of those emerging artists. She’s a Toronto-based R&B singer who has aspired to be a musician from a very young age.READ MORE Facebook Twitter Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementlast_img read more

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Documentary filmmakers apply for Inspirits 25K Doc Impact Fund

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Inspirit’s Doc Impact Fund supports social issue documentary film outreach and engagement campaigns that aim to build inclusion and pluralism in Canada and address issues of racial, ethnic or religious discrimination.This year Inspirit is supporting four Canadian documentary film campaigns that aim to raise awareness about pressing issues related to ethnic, racial or religious discrimination in Canada, build understanding of underrepresented perspectives and catalyze action to build inclusion.This program is open to independent Canadian filmmakers and producers who have a recently completed film (short, feature or virtual reality/interactive) and aim to leverage their film to achieve a social change goal related to reconciliation, Islamophobia or other forms of discrimination based on race, religion or ethnicity. Special consideration will be given to Indigenous or Muslim-led projects that seek to advance reconciliation or address Islamophobia in Canada. Selected projects will be awarded $25K.Deadline for applications is June 25, 2018. Find out more about the program and apply.last_img read more

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WHY WYNONNA EARPS JOLENE ALLOWED ZOIE PALMER TO REALLY CHALLENGE HERSELF

first_imgThe TV Junkies: From what we’ve seen so far, Jolene looks like a pretty crazy character to play. Is that a safe assumption?Zoie Palmer: She was a blast to play! It was a very cool role for me and I really appreciate Emily reaching out and offering that to me. It was a big stretch and I wasn’t sure because I read the part and thought ‘oh my goodness! What do I do with this?’ Emily had complete faith though and she knows what she’s doing. I questioned it when I read it thinking ‘really? Me? Are you sure?’ She was confident though and knew I could bring something to it. That’s a testament to her all-knowingness and whatever she attaches herself to seems to work somehow.TTVJ: She told us that she’s been wanting you on Wynonna for awhile but needed a character that would really show off “The Full Palmer.” So did she warn you at all just how crazy this character would be?ZP: I think her exact message to me, if I remember correctly, was ‘are you ready to come and play the baddest bitch in town?’ [laughs] I thought ‘Hmmm…what’s that? Sorry!’ So I had a bit of a heads up but didn’t know the extent until I read the script. I think most actors know it’s so important to keep pushing yourself in places you’re not sure about. It’s so easy to play in your wheelhouse, so like anyone in any job, you want to be challenged. This character definitely did that. I’ve been doing this a long time now and usually feel relaxed on set, but I was nervous to show up for this and figure out how on Earth to play this person. That’s the time when it’s the most exhilarating as an actor, when you think ‘do I have anything to bring to this? Can I do this?’ It’s very cool. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Purgatory has never met anyone quite like Jolene, the woman who suddenly appeared at the Earp Homestead with many baked goods, you can be sure of that. It was a very surprising sight when Dark Matter alumnae Zoie Palmer turned up at the end of last week’s Wynonna Earp episode with brownies and warning Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) that a demon was coming after Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley). Now in this week’s episode, airing Friday at 9 p.m. ET on SYFY and Space, Palmer gets to stick around town as a demon causes havoc and everyone must decide who they can trust.Having worked in the past with Wynonna Earp showrunner Emily Andras on Lost Girl, some would say it was just a matter of time before Palmer would be out in Calgary and shooting a guest spot, but for Andras it was all about finding the perfect character. Palmer recently spoke with The TV Junkiesabout why Jolene was the perfect one to really stretch her range as an actress and why she had so much fun joining the Wynonna Earp gang for this spot. Also, as a heads up, we’ll have more with Palmer after the episode airs so stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview. Twitterlast_img read more

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WATCH KEANU REEVES GET SOME TACTICAL TRAINING FOR JOHN WICK 3 VIDEO

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement “My character’s always in shit sandwiches,” jokes Reeves.Reeves maintains a professional, respectful demeanor throughout the process, which is exactly the kind of attitude that bridges the divide between military and civilian audiences. Reeves is believable as an assassin because he puts in the work to understand weapons and tactics; military audiences can spot a phony a mile away and it ruins the cinematic experience.It’s clear he’s got a good student-teacher relationship with Ryan, considering the banter on social media — and the fact that Reeves is a repeat customer.How low can you go, Keanu?From the shots we get in the trailer, it looks like that training has paid off (my question is whether Ryan offers swordsmanship training as well?). Facebook Keanu Reeves Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement Twitter Keanu Reeves is back at it.Vigilance Elite just released footage from a training session with Reeves for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and as you can see, he’s training like an operator, not just an actor. In the video below, trainer and former Navy SEAL Shawn Ryan walks Reeves through room clearing with a rifle — in particular, negotiating the “fatal funnel.”This kind of dedicated training is just one reason why Reeves is highly respected and his films are so fun. Check out the video for a bit of Reeves-worship…but stay for the refresher in case you ever get into a sh*t sandwich.Check out the video: Login/Register With:last_img read more

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First Nations water bill set to become law

first_imgAPTN National NewsLegislation aimed at improving the quality of water on First Nations is one step way from becoming law.Bill S-8 will now go to the Governor General to get royal assent.MPs voted 165 to 115 in favour of the bill Monday afternoon.Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said recently the bill is necessary to improve the water situation for First Nations across the country by creating water-related regulations on-reserve.“Until regulations are in place, we know that achieving long-term sustainable progress will be challenging,” said Valcourt last month at the Aboriginal affairs committee. “Modern equipment and good intentions are great, but they need regulations to support them. That is why all municipalities and communities off reserve across Canada have regulations in place.”But at that same meeting the Tsuu T’ina Nation in Alberta said the bill would leave its people parched in the midst of a major water shortage crunch.The Tsuu T’ina Nation reserve finds itself battling industrial, agricultural sectors along with neighbouring municipalities over an increasingly dwindling resource in an area of Alberta known as a “bellweather” region near the city limits of Calgary.A Tsuu T’ina Nation band councilor also said it would erode treaty obligations by forcing the reserve to fend for itself against a province that doesn’t recognize its over water.last_img read more

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