OTTAWA – Canada’s top court says police officers accused of crimes have no special right to mount a defence using information gleaned from informers in the course of their work.In a unanimous ruling Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada says confidential information from informers cannot be disclosed simply because an accused speculates it might be helpful to his or her defence.Rather, the accused person must meet the high standard of showing his or her innocence is at stake.The high court judgment means four former RCMP officers in British Columbia who have been charged with breach of trust, fraud and obstruction of justice are not entitled to reveal informer-privileged information to their lawyers.The case arose from the so-called “Surrey Six” investigation, a complex probe into gang-related homicide involving several dozen confidential informers.The four accused officers were involved in the investigation, but now face charges related to their conduct with a witness who was under their protection.The allegations against the officers are slated to be tested at a trial in January.In its decision Friday, the Supreme Court said police officers are, when accused of crimes, entitled to expect they will be treated no less fairly than others who are accused and given the full protection of the law.“What they are not entitled to expect is that they be treated better,” Justice Rosalie Abella wrote on behalf of the court.Information confided to them for safekeeping is to be used strictly for law enforcement purposes, not for personal gain in their own proceedings, she added.
OTTAWA — Canada’s auditor general has found the three federal agencies that own most of Canada’s heritage buildings are not doing enough to preserve them, which means future generations of Canadians could lose mportant parts of the country’s history.Parks Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and National Defence collectively own 70 per cent of all federal buildings designated as heritage sites. They include lighthouses, armouries and buildings kept because important history happened in them.Auditor Michael Ferguson and his predecessor have filed numerous audits since 2013 highlighting concerns over conservation efforts for these properties, but this latest audit has found efforts to address these concerns have not kept up with needs.Some buildings have crumbling bricks, no roofs and graffiti, and some are in real danger of collapsing, the latest report says.This year’s audit found the three departments don’t even have full lists of the buildings they own, let alone ways of keeping track of the condition of heritage buildings.Meanwhile, new buildings are acquired every year and resources are not always added for conservation.The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister appeared to marvel on social media in recent days at Winnipeg’s wintry weather, but in reality he was at his vacation home in tropical Costa Rica, his office has confirmed.Pallister’s Twitter and Instagram accounts put up a few pictures last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, as daytime temperatures hovered around -20 C.One featured a photo of snow falling outside the Manitoba legislature with a comment “Snow Day!” A similar picture posed the question “Do you like the snow?” It was accompanied by an emoji — a cartoon smiling face with large red hearts for eyes.A third picture showed workers clearing snow from a side entrance of the legislature and warned: “Expect blowing snow and gusting wind this afternoon! #staywarm my fellow Manitobans!”The messages, it turns out, were posted by one or more of Pallister’s staff. Pallister’s office offered a brief explanation as to why, but would not confirm details as to how long Pallister had been out of the country.The premier was expected to return this weekend from his property in the Tamarindo area of Costa Rica, where recent temperatures surpassed 30 C.“As a rule, we do not comment on the premier’s schedule due to security considerations,” read a written statement from the premier’s office.“The premier’s Twitter account is used as a communications tool to maintain a continuous digital conversation with his audience. It can include comments on news events, anniversaries, disasters and emergencies, and significant weather events.”The statement also said the premier’s Twitter profile notes that the account is run by the premier and staff. His Instagram profile does not.Andrew Swan, a legislature member for the Opposition New Democrats, accused the premier and his staff of being misleading.“The man’s entitled to take holidays but he’s not entitled to pretend he’s back here in Winnipeg … when in fact he’s down in Costa Rica doing whatever it is he does down there.”Pallister has faced repeated criticism over his Costa Rican villa purchased in 2008.In 2016, he said he planned to spend six to eight weeks a year in Costa Rica during his time as premier. He later revised the number to five weeks.In 2017 — a little more than a year after his Progressive Conservatives swept to power — government documents revealed Pallister was communicating with staff through his wife’s cellphone and personal email account while down south. New protocols were brought in requiring the premier and all staff to use government devices and email accounts when conducting government business.Last year, Pallister admitted to not having paid a Costa Rican national tax on luxury homes because he had failed to update his property assessment. He said he owed roughly $8,000 in penalties and back taxes on the property, which includes a 3,400-square foot bungalow, a pool, a groundskeeper’s quarters and a small gym.Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
SURREY, B.C. — Sgt. Mike Sanchez didn’t expect to find himself working in elementary schools as a senior officer with the RCMP’s gang enforcement unit in Surrey, B.C.But when he looks around some classrooms, he said there are already signs of kids glorifying what he describes as a “gang lifestyle.” They wear clothes mimicking older kids who sell drugs and show no surprise when his team gives its presentation.“When you see a young individual in Grade 7 already looking like that, that’s alarming. I never thought we’d be delivering this content to Grade 6s and Grade 7s and that is actually our target now,” Sanchez said.British Columbia is facing what some law enforcement officials have called a unique and unprecedented gang problem. Unlike Los Angeles and Chicago where gang members are born into poor neighbourhoods with no other options, police say a large portion of B.C.’s gang violence is between young men who grew up in middle-class and affluent families.It means the province is carving its own path as it tries to stop the trend without other models to follow.“Assessment tools and other gang policies that exist out there, they’re just not relevant to our experience,” said Keiron McConnell, a criminologist and Vancouver police officer.The result has been a patchwork of programs operated by non-profits, school districts, law enforcement agencies and others.A task force on gang violence in Surrey found that while many promising programs exist across the province, they often operate in silos and with budgets that limit their effectiveness.Targeting at-risk children under 12, as well as providing more culturally and gender appropriate programming, were among several recommendations it made last year.The average age of a gangster on the Lower Mainland remains in the late-20s, according to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, the province’s anti-gang agency.But teens and young adults can be attractive partners for older, more entrenched gang members who may direct them to kill, in order to reduce the risk of retaliation and criminal charges, the task force found.“Sixteen-year-old youth are particularly valuable since they have driver’s licences,” the task force report said.That’s why the Mounties are trying to get ahead by speaking with kids as young as 10 years old.“Our hope is reaching out and understanding where the young people are at before they’re introduced to those images or even the proposal that that lifestyle is good for them. We want to get the messaging to them early enough, so they have that education, they have the tools to make that decision right then and there,” Sanchez said.The social media challengeThe Mounties started noticing a trend around the time that Sanchez joined the anti-gang unit a few years ago: The age of gang-related casualties on B.C.’s Lower Mainland was dipping into the teens.RCMP data shows the average age of gang members in Surrey involved in the 2014 to 2016 gang conflict was 23, while the average age of their first criminal offence was 16 and their first school suspension was 13.Sanchez pins part of the downward shift on technology. The force monitors youth expressing themselves through open accounts online in ways that reflect the affluent gang lifestyles glorified in media and entertainment, he said.“The gangs, they know this too. That’s why I honestly believe we’re starting to see that trend of getting much younger,” he said.Sanchez spoke outside a school in Surrey where the parents advisory council had organized an information night on the gang conflict. During his presentation, he showed social media images that had been shared with police, including photos of guns, drugs and money shared by high school students and a video of a group of teens beating up someone from a rival school. A gang member soon offered the lone teen “protection” as a gateway into the lifestyle, he said.There’s a reason emulation of the gang lifestyle seems to escalate around the beginning of high school, Sanchez said.“If you think about it, the younger generation of parents want to be in contact with their kids,” he said. “What do they give them? A phone.”Parents unfamiliar with the power of a phone, including all its apps, chat options, encryption and secret mode searches, can’t keep up with what their kids are doing, he said.Technology also poses one of the biggest challenges for law enforcement, as gangs are communicating more efficiently than ever before. Sanchez believes gang members instantaneously share information like which officers are on patrol and where.“They monitor us. I really believe they study our patterns and the way we work just the way we study them, which we’ve never seen before. It’s different, so we have to be a little wiser, a little more efficient to keep up.”Searching for directionJordan Buna said he was firmly middle class or even upper class when he joined a gang in his late teens for what he saw as a career opportunity.He played competitive hockey growing up in Surrey and had two parents who wanted to help him succeed in life.But Buna, 35, said although he enrolled in college right after high school, he always struggled academically. He didn’t believe he was capable of completing a degree and, feeling like there was no space for him on a traditional path to success, his sense of being directionless grew heavy and he became depressed.When he was offered a chance to deal drugs, then run a dial-a-dope operation, it seemed like a rational move.“That’s the craziest part, you see it as a viable career option,” Buna said.Buna met the group of men who recruited him while working at a restaurant. They acted as though they were very interested in becoming his friend and projected a flashy lifestyle that he wanted to have too.He believes his age made him attractive to the older gangsters who recruited him.“They were cognizant of the fact that I was younger, they were showing me certain aspects of their lifestyle. In the gang world, there’s nothing more that older, established people want than young members,” said Buna.A 2017 study by Public Safety Canada found there are no risk factors that uniquely predict a high probability of gang membership and no single variable account for such a complex phenomenon.But while it could be easy to assume the middle-class young men joining gangs are making stupid or selfish choices, many seem to share Buna’s sense of isolation and hopelessness. The province’s anti-gang agency reports that many struggle with addictions and mental health, were exposed to domestic violence at home, or were bullied in school.Getting out of a gang isn’t easy. Once you’re entrenched, a gang may not let you out, depending on the offences you’ve committed or know about.Buna said he was lucky he was convicted of a firearms offence at 23. None of the “friends” he’d made checked in on him.“It was there I started to realize I didn’t have anything,” Buna said. “Prison is if you’re lucky. Dead is usually the worse option and that’s where a lot of young people find themselves today.”Some programs exist for gangsters ready to leave the lifestyle, including the anti-gang agency’s Gang Exiting and Outreach Program. It provides counselling to target underyling issues like substance use and violence, supports for family and friends of gang members and practical support relating to housing, banking and skills training.But the significant challenges to leaving is part of the reason programming is shifting toward elementary school kids, so they understand some of the risks before it’s too late. Buna now works in anti-gang prevention and intervention programming for youth.Ultimately, the strongest prevention and intervention seems to happen on an individual, case-by-case basis.Sarah McKay, a former outreach worker who now helps run the Surrey school district’s Safe Schools program, said she still remains in touch with the first high school student she worked with, who now has a burgeoning career in the trades.“I was surprised by the amount of anger this young person had inside of them, the lack of trust,” she said.“But also, once we proved ourselves to be consistent caring individuals, how quickly they connected. These kids just need to feel cared for and supported and part of something. When they know we’re proud of them, it goes a really long way.”Amy Smart and Laura Kane, The Canadian Press
The lives of close to 400 pets from Los Angeles shelters and rescues were saved during the NKLA Adoption Weekend held at La Brea Tar Pits this past Saturday and Sunday.Charlotte Ross At NKLA Adoption EventCredit/Copyright: BestFriends.orgCherry, a one year old terrier Mix from Baldwin Park Shelter, was one of the first pets adopted over the weekend. “I wanted a small dog this age and literally 20 feet into the event, there she was,” said John Sherburn of Carson. “With hundreds of dogs at shelters, there’s no reason to buy a dog. It just doesn’t make sense. These are all good dogs.”NKLA Adoption – Fall 2013 – Miguel Ferrer poses with a fanCredit/Copyright: BestFriends.orgThe popular event was hosted by Best Friends Animal Society and featured more than 40 rescue groups and shelters supporting NKLA (No-Kill Los Angeles), an initiative led by Best Friends Animal Society with a mission of turning L.A. into a No-Kill City by 2017. The NKLA Adoption Weekend is one of several Best Friends “Super Adoption” events held nationally throughout the year, with dozens of animal welfare organizations and thousands of adoptable dogs and cats participating in a festival-type atmosphere.NKLA Adoption – Fall 2013 – MobyCredit/Copyright: BestFriends.org“Watching shelter pets find a fantastic home is the best part of doing this work. It happens by the hundreds during the NKLA adoption weekend, so we all leave here exhausted but ecstatic,” said Marc Peralta, executive director of Best Friends Animal Society – Los Angeles and NKLA. “Adoption is a key component to ending the killing of shelter pets and it’s inspiring to see so many groups working together to turn LA into NKLA.”NKLA Fall Adoption 2013 – author Mieshelle NagelschneiderCredit/Copyright: BestFriends.orgPets at the NKLA Adoption Weekend came from a variety of local shelters and rescues, including LA Animal Services, Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Mission Hills, LA County Animal Care & Control, Angel City Pit Bulls, Border Collies in Need, Caring Friends Cat Rescue, Hanging with Friends Animal Rescue, K9 Connection, Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats, Labs and Friends.org, Tails of the City Cats, Wags and Walks Rescue, and many more. Pets from both city and county shelters were available with adoption fees starting at $25 and all were spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and micro-chipped.A cheer went up in the crowd at the end of NKLA Adoption Weekend when it was announced that all Los Angeles City and County shelter trucks were returning empty, as every available shelter pet had either been adopted or rescued.“Los Angeles Animal Services staff and volunteers are thrilled that we placed so many dogs and cats in homes of their own,” said Brenda Barnette, general manager of LAAS. “A big thank you goes to Best Friends for all they do to help make a life-saving difference for Los Angeles animals and the people who love them.”Several animal-loving celebrity supporters of Best Friends Animal Society’s lifesaving work including Miguel Ferrer, Moby, Charlotte Ross, Maria Conchita Alonso, Maggie Q and author Mieshelle Nagelschneider entertained and volunteered at the free, family-friendly event, which also featured L.A.’s hottest food trucks and the latest pet-related products and services from sponsors PetSmart Charities, Natural Balance Pet Foods, Banfield Pet Hospital, Mammoth Pet, and Dog for Dog.“When I first heard about the NKLA mission, I thought it was a beautiful, but impossible dream. Right now more than 70 different NKLA coalition partners are working together to put a stop to the killing of dogs and cats in L.A. shelters, so that dream is becoming a reality,” said actor Miguel Ferrer (NCIS: Los Angeles and Robocop). “The NKLA Adoption event is a great way to be a part of things and hopefully meet a new family member.”Mieshelle Nagelschneider, pet behaviorist and author of The Cat Whisperer, was on hand for the entire weekend and thrilled to see so many felines find their forever families.“Many people don’t realize that shelter cats have a more difficult time of finding homes than dogs. The more cats and kittens get adopted at events like this or rescued through shelters, the closer we are to turning L.A. into NKLA,” Nagelschneider said.
Today, February 14th, men, women and children around the world are coming together to demand and end to violence against women and girls.Internationally acclaimed and award winning singer, songwriter and actor P!nk, along with her dancers and crew, are among the one billion rising for justice.Video: Pink and crew dance for 1 Billion Rising for JusticeONE BILLION RISING FOR JUSTICE is a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice – courthouses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not. It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously – through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right.“I have never liked bullies of any kind,” said Pink. “Whether it’s someone picking on the “fat” kid, the “retarded” kid, the “short” kid, the “black” kid, the “Asian” kid, the “gay” kid, the “girl”, cause she “hits like a girl” or is the “weaker sex”…You name it. Different “reasons”, same “bully”. The bully is the problem. The bully needs a hug, a lesson, enlightenment. The bully is the one that really feels inferior, so he/she picks on someone else to make that person feel inferior too.“When I read about this organization, how people get together of their own free will and dance, use their bodies, to express their rage- outrage- around the injustice that women feel all over the world, every day- I was inspired. I am a woman. I know women. I have sisters, strong and less strong, small and less small, Asian and black, gay and straight, Indian and Native American… We are all equally deserving of respect and personal space. I will fight for that right for all of us. And we come together to do so on our stage, with our brothers and menfolk- where we express our freedom every night. And that freedom inspires others to be free. We hope this video helps. And we hope for that one day when all women and girls are able to have respect, and personal space, and to be able to express themselves in whatever way THEY feel is right for them.”Join the movement, and watch it live here.
DoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change, and Disney | ABC Television Group have teamed up for National Foster Care Awareness Month through a campaign called “School Insider.”Young people in foster care often have to switch schools — in one study, young adults reported switching an average of eight times. Switching schools can be stressful for students and may lead to feelings of low self-esteem.Through the campaign School Insider, young people across the country will make new students feel welcome and accepted to help make the transition a bit easier. Participants will create school welcome sheets and volunteer to be a resource for students joining their school midway through the year.The campaign kicks off today and runs through May 31. Young people who sign up at dosomething.org/beinspired and upload a photo of their welcome packet will be eligible to win a $1,000 scholarship. Participants are also encouraged to wear blue to show support for kids in foster care in honor of Foster Care Awareness Month.“We’re thrilled to work with Disney | ABC Television Group on a campaign that will make a positive impact for youth in the foster care system,” said Naomi Hirabayashi, chief marketing officer at DoSomething.org. “With their reach and support, we’ll be able to activate even more young people around this important issue.”For more information, visit dosomething.org/beinspired.
Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne announces a benefit concert on Thursday, August 10th at the Redford Theatre in the Old Redford neighborhood of Detroit to support the historic venue.Showtime is 7:30 PM. Reserved seats, priced $25, $45, $75, and a limited number of gold circle go on sale this Friday, June 23 at 10am at Ticketmaster.com or at the Redford Theatre during box office hours.Access Ticketmaster.com link here.Accompanying Jackson Browne at the benefit concert is long-time bandmate and multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz. All net proceeds raised from the concert will support the Redford Theatre, the Old Redford Re-Development Group and Echopark Guitars in their redevelopment efforts in forming the Old Redford Community Arts Foundation.“We are forming the Old Redford Community Arts Foundation together to help create arts education programs for the community by utilizing the Redford Theatre and eventually, the old Masonic Temple across the street from the theatre with the Old Redford Re-Development Group,” states Gabriel Currie, owner of Echopark Guitars. Tom O’Brien of the Old Redford Re-Development Group explains, “The Redford Theatre is the cornerstone of this neighborhood, so the idea is to build on that and really create a thriving arts & entertainment district.”“For a while now, I’ve been hearing that Detroit is ‘coming back,’ ” says Jackson Browne. “I like the idea of it – Detroit has given us so much – some of my favorite cars, and a lot of my favorite music – Motown, Glenn Frey….When my friend Gabriel Currie told me he was moving his guitar factory to Detroit, I was intrigued – here’s a guy from the same neighborhood in LA that I’m from, and he’s moving to Detroit! Now Detroit will be home to Echopark Guitars, another artistic and technical innovator. Gabriel also told me about the renovation of the Redford Theatre. At the heart of this project is a strong belief in community, and the power of art to motivate and inspire. Let us have live music, and theater, and dance! And let us engage youth on the highest possible level.”The Redford Theatre is located at 17360 Lahser Road, Detroit, MI 48219.For more information, please visit www.jacksonbrowne.com.
Adding to a long list of charity work, Jackie Chan recently launched an operation in conjunction with the Beijing Tongren Ophthalmology Department to help Tibetan people have life-changing procedures to bring back their vision.A 2003 study found that ‘around 75% of blindness in Tibet can be either prevented of treated’, something that Chan is helping change, with a generous donation of RMB$2 million (just under $300,000 USD) to the Beijing Tongren Ophthalmology Charitable Foundation, where 55 operations were successfully carried out recently. At the event, Jackie also helped first-hand by removing gauze dressings from some patients’ eyes.This is not the first time Chan has helped the visually impaired – in 2007 he opened a children’s eye centre in China.Copyright ©2017Look to the Stars
With 16 years of personal training experience and eight years of holistic lifestyle living, Josette is here to inspire you! Josette lives and breathes the ‘Six Steps’ and prescribes them to anyone looking to achieve whole health and wellness. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With: Twitter
Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Dozens of prominent members of the Canadian literary community have signed an open letter calling for due process for former University of British Columbia creative writing program chair Steven Galloway.Galloway was fired in June after an investigation into what the university called “serious allegations.”Signatories to the letter include Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje and Madeleine Thien, as well as publishers and other literary figures. Facebook “The university’s conduct in this matter is of great concern,” the letter reads. “Justice … requires due process and fair treatment for all, which the university appears to have denied professor Galloway.”The letter asks UBC to conduct an independent investigation into its handling of the case, saying it needs to make a clear public statement about what happened and why.‘Cloud of suspicion’Galloway — a bestselling author and Giller Prize nominee — was initially suspended with pay in November 2015 while the university investigated the allegations against him. At the time, the university gave no public details about the allegations, other than that they were “serious.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
“I hesitate to use the word ‘reboot.’ We’re more thinking about it as a hybrid of a lot of things,” Horowitz told THR in May after the season-six finale. “We’re paying homage to the original premise, but there are certain characters who are returning and some who are not. It’s a combination of a lot of things, but what we’re trying to do is go in a new direction but stay true to the spirit of what the show has always been.”READ MORE Login/Register With: The seventh season of ABC’s Once Upon a Time is coming into focus.Following the exits of stars Ginny Goodwin (Snow White), Jennifer Morrison (Emma) and more, the Disney-inspired fairy-tale drama is rebooting itself for what producers Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis called the “next chapter.”To help keep track of all the comings and goings, The Hollywood Reporter breaks down who’s out and who’s staying, as well as all the new faces coming aboard for season seven. Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
TORONTO, March 29, 2018 – Bell Media announced today it has entered into an agreement for its Bell Media Studios division to acquire a majority stake in Pinewood Toronto Studios, in partnership with Comweb Studio Holdings, Castlepoint, and the City of Toronto. Pinewood Toronto Studios is one of the largest purpose-built production studios in Canada and the preferred choice for domestic and international producers of film and TV content in Toronto.As a part of the transaction, Bell Media Studios Inc. will acquire a majority stake in the 33.5 acre (13.5 hectares) facility in Toronto’s Port Lands. The complex includes 11 purpose-built stages, including one of the largest sound stages in North America at 46,000 square foot (4,274 square metres), offices that can house multiple productions at a time, teaching facilities, and a variety of support services for a growing roster of domestic and international film and television clients.Recent productions filming at Pinewood Toronto Studios include STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, Molly’s Game, Room, Suicide Squad, Spotlight, IT, Downsizing, Crimson Peak, and THE EXPANSE. It has previously been home to Bell Media original productions including ORPHAN BLACK, THE LISTENER, and KILLJOYS, LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Nanci MacLean, Vice-President and Head of Bell Media Studios, will oversee operations at Pinewood Toronto Studios.Pinewood Toronto Studios was represented by Deloitte Corporate Finance Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.Quotes:“The investment that Bell Media is making in Pinewood Toronto Studios and its expansion is significant and is proof of Bell Media’s commitment to our city and of its role as a world-class content creator,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “Toronto is home to industry-leading talent in the television and film production industry and as a city we are committed to supporting the growth of that industry at all levels and aspects of that production.”“Our partnership to purchase Pinewood Toronto Studios reinforces Bell Media’s role as Canada’s leading content creation company,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “We’re excited about the synergies that Pinewood Toronto can offer and the role it will play in generating new revenue streams in an open-shop basis.”“One of the most important things that creative communities need is space where they can take risks, pursue their creative visions, and create outstanding work,” said Alfredo Romano, President, Castlepoint Numa, and Director Pinewood Studios. “We see the enormous positive impact of television and film productions on our city every day and we look forward to continuing our city-building initiatives with Bell Media.”“The addition of Pinewood Toronto Studios to our portfolio offers us an exciting new advantage in meeting the rising demand for original content across all media platforms,” said Bell Media Studio’s Nanci MacLean. “One of our first actions will be to add a further 170,000 square feet (51,793 square metres) of sound stages and support space, maintaining Pinewood Toronto Studios as a best-in-class film and TV studio.““Our Toronto studios are a film and television success story,” said Paul Bronfman, Chairman of Pinewood Toronto Studios. “We look forward to working with Randy and the Bell Media team to produce more high-calibre and innovative programming right here in Toronto and I’m sure that the ongoing sales and marketing support from Pinewood UK will continue to be a significant advantage for our business.”“We welcome Bell Media to the Port Lands,” said Bill Bryck, a Director of Pinewood Toronto. “We’re looking forward to working with this collaborative partner – a proven international content creator – as they continue supporting our industry here in Toronto.”About Pinewood Toronto StudiosPinewood Toronto Studios is the destination facility for domestic and international film and TV producers shooting in Toronto. The contemporary 330,000 square foot (29,600 square metres) purpose-built production lot is located on a 33.5-acre (13.5 hectares) site, minutes from downtown Toronto. Its eleven stages, including one of North America’s largest purpose-built sound stages – the 46,000 sq. ft. (4,274 square metres) Mega Stage – are soundproofed, clear-span and equipped with power and supporting infrastructure to accommodate productions of all sizes and budgets.About Bell MediaBell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada’s most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’slargest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca. Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Twitter
By Jorge Barrera and Kenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsThe Nigerian network allegedly involved in the recent smuggling of a family of five through Akwesasne has also been linked by authorities to major drug trafficking and an international car theft ring, APTN National News has learned.The RCMP charged four people earlier this month after the Nigerian family was taken on June 18 by boat across the St. Lawrence River from New York State, through Akwesasne Mohawk territory, to Cornwall, Ont.Two Akwesasne men, Seth Lazore, 28, and Oren Lazore, 21, along with Brampton, Ont., residents Emmanuel Omoghan, 46, and his father, Felix Omoghan, 66, where charged with human smuggling in connection to the case.The Conservative government trumpeted arrests with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney praising police for their work.APTN National News has learned that Emmanuel Omoghan is the brother of Solomon Omoghan, 32, who allegedly ran the main drug trafficking network in Kingston, Ont., until he was busted by police this past summer.Solomon Omoghan was arrested on June 21 in a Toronto hotel room as part of a wider operation that also saw police execute arrests in Odessa, Ont., and Kingston at the same time. Kingston police said Omoghan allegedly ran the city’s main drug network peddling cocaine, crack, marijuana and crystal meth.Omoghan was in regular contact with Emmanuel Omoghan and police believe both of the men’s activities were intertwined, according to a Kingston police source.The Kingston police investigation revealed the Omoghans were connected to a wider network also involved in human smuggling and a car theft ring that moved vehicles stolen in Toronto to Nigeria.Kingston police passed on the information to Toronto police and the RCMP.Based on Solomon Omoghan’s previous criminal history, it appears the network doesn’t shy away from using violence execute business. Omoghan went to jail for four years in 2000 after a violent home invasion where he burst into a drug dealer’s home and pointed a loaded gun at a woman and put a knife to her throat before binding her hands and ankles with duct tape and covering her eyes and mouth.Spending time in the Kingston penitentiary didn’t stem his criminal activity. While inside he managed to get his hands on marijuana and attempted to smuggle cash into the prison.The parole documents show Omoghan went straight back into the drug trade once he was released from prison and was suspected of involvement in a large trafficking operation as early as 2006.His brother, Emmanuel Omoghan, was out on bail when he was arrested earlier this month in connection with smuggling the Nigerian family into Canada. In February, Omoghan was charged, along with another man, with “aiding and abetting the illegal movement of people into Canada” after he was seen helping four foreign nationals disembark from a boat at the Cornwall Harbour Warf.Omoghan was also charged with possession and use of a fraudulent passport.The Mohawk territory of Akwesasne sits about 120 kilometres west of Montreal and straddles the Ontario, Quebec and Canada-U.S. borders, with Cornwall on the north shore and Massena, N.Y. on the south shore.Given its geography and the fierce nationalism of the Mohawks, the region has developed into a main corridor for smuggling for tobacco and guns going north and marijuana heading south.Canadian authorities have long contended that criminal networks have attempted to exploit the unique location of Akwesasne for illicit ends and it appears this particular network was using the area to smuggle people into Canada.Earlier this week, Seth Lazore told APTN National News that he believed the network had put a hit out on his life. While he was in custody at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, Lazore said he was told inmates in the jail were looking to kill him at the request of the network.Lazore said all he did was try to help a family seeking a better life travel through Mohawk territory.“I didn’t do nothing wrong in my eyes and I’m sure in a lot of other’s eyes, just helping a family out get into Canada,” said Lazore, in the backyard of the Akwesasne home where he’s been ordered to live. “I don’t even think there is a border there…This is our land, this is the Mohawks’ land…The way I look at it, there ain’t no boundaries and borders around here.”He said the family was trying to escape a miserable situation in Chicago and get into Canada where they hoped to reunite with extended family and start a new life.“They were living a horrible life in Chicago,” he said. “They were saying they were getting their paycheques taking from them and everything out there, they were working basically for free. They were living on…maybe $100 a week…they were talking about coming to Canada, starting a new life, they would get loans or whatever.”email@example.com@gmail.com
APTN National NewsWinnpeg’s north end is known for attracting for sex trade workers and their customers, so-called johns who cruise the streets.Now residents in the area are fighting back.One resident is threatening to post license plate numbers of johns on Facebook and YouTube.APTN’s Matt Thordarson has the story.
VANCOUVER – The British Columbia Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Nevsun Resources (TSX:NSU) to have a human rights case against the miner moved to the Eritrea.The case, brought forward by three Eritrean refugees, alleges that international law norms against forced labour, slavery and torture were violated during the construction of Nevsun’s Bisha mine in the East African country.Nevsun has argued that the case should be heard in Eritrea, but the B.C. Court of Appeal has upheld last year’s ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court that since Nevsun was a B.C. company, the province’s court had territorial jurisdiction.The appeal court said that while the practical and logistical difficulties of trying these claims in B.C. would be considerable, last year’s ruling was not wrong in finding that there was a real risk of corruption and unfairness in hearing the case in Eritrea.The company declined to comment on the lawsuit because it’s still before the court, but said in an email that the Bisha Mine, which is 40 per cent owned by the Eritrean government, is committed to safe and responsible operations.The allegations against the company, which have not been proven in court, include that the company must have been aware of credible reports of abuses by the government, and that it allegedly facilitated forced labour by entering into a commercial relationship with the Eritrean regime.
BOSTON – That ordinary bottle of juice delivered to your doorstep will set you back at least $55. But the bag of marijuana that comes with it? On the house.Retail marijuana stores are months away from opening in Massachusetts, but some companies have been quietly operating for more than a year, selling and delivering marijuana via a legal loophole that exists in nearly every state that has legalized recreational marijuana use.Companies like HighSpeed, which describes itself as a juice delivery service, are exploiting so-called “gifting” provisions that allow for the exchange of small amounts of the drug, so long as it’s given away — “gifted” — from one adult to another.The legal language makes it permissible to pass a joint at a party or drop a bud in your brother’s Christmas stocking, but some entrepreneurs see it as an opportunity to get ahead of the regulated market, planting an early stake in what could become a crowded and lucrative industry.In places where legal pot shops exist, gifting operations undercut the licensed retailers, because they don’t face the same oversight or pay marijuana sales taxes. And they complicate things in places like Vermont, Maine and Washington, D.C., which have legalized pot but have no firm plans to open regulated storefronts.“Under any fair reading of the law, these businesses are illegal,” said Roger Katz, a Republican state senator in Maine who is studying the issue. “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck.”At least four enterprises have done gifting business in Massachusetts since marijuana was legalized in December 2016, two of them in the Boston area, The Associated Press found in an investigation that included records gathered from law enforcement agencies around the state.In addition to HighSpeed, a Boston-area company cleverly called Duuber has drivers delivering marijuana-themed T-shirts that come with gifts of pot.Officials in western Massachusetts also looked into a Craigslist ad offering plastic sandwich bags costing up to $325 apiece (the marijuana in them was free) but dropped the case after they couldn’t identify the seller.In Springfield, officials ordered a smoke shop called Mary Jane Makes Your Heart Sing to shut down last March after it gave marijuana to customers who paid a $25 to $50 admission fee.That hasn’t scared HighSpeed, which also operates in D.C.“We’ve had no issues with law enforcement, and we’re going to do our best to keep it that way,” said founder David Umeh. “We’re not doing anything wrong. We’re abiding by the current legislation until it changes.”Gifting provisions are on the books in Massachusetts and all but one of the other states that have legalized marijuana: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state, plus D.C. Most instituted the measure specifically as part of new marijuana laws.Vermont does not have a provision, but local experts and activists argue the exchanges will be permitted there, too, since they’re not expressly banned.Some states have tried to stem abuse of the laws by prohibiting businesses from advertising marijuana giveaways or specifically banning “delayed or disguised” payments for marijuana gifts, said Leo Beletsky, a law professor at Northeastern University in Boston.But businesses simply find ways to obscure what they’re doing, he said, and then rely largely on word of mouth to make sales. Clued-in customers can infer how much pot they’re ordering judging by the price and size of the items accompanying it, but for the most part, they’re at the mercy of the seller.In the case of HighSpeed, there is no mention of marijuana on its website. The company sells drinks priced from $55 to $150, depending on whether the beverage comes with “Love” or “Lots of Love.”The AP recently put in a $60 order for “Raspberry Roxbury” with “Love” and received a bottle of Tazo juice along with about an eighth of an ounce of marijuana.Duuber also doesn’t explicitly spell out its marijuana “gift” on its website. But when the AP ordered a $100 product listed as “Luxury Tshirt – Citrus – small,” the brown paper bag delivered by a driver contained a white T-shirt with the company’s name in black over an image of a marijuana leaf — and a clear plastic bag of marijuana labeled “1/4 Ruthless OG.”The opening of retail shops in states with marijuana laws should eventually make most gifting operations obsolete, said Morgan Fox, spokesman for the D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project.“People want quality control-tested products,” he said. “The sooner that happens, the sooner this sort of thing disappears.”But in Colorado, where pot shops opened in 2014, gifting businesses are still hatching creative ways to skirt the law, said Detective Kerry Linfoot of the Colorado Springs Police Department. The department shut down 14 gifting businesses last year.U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind an Obama-era policy that called for non-interference with legal state marijuana operations could also help bolster gifting and other underground operations, Beletsky said.“If the feds somehow came down on state regulators or licensed retail operations,” he said, “that could provide a convenient opening for these grey-market operators to scale up what they’re already doing.”___Follow Philip Marcelo at twitter.com/philmarcelo. His work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/philip_marcelo.
WASHINGTON – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is setting his sights on the end of the month as the next target date for reaching a trade-and-tariff detente with the United States.All three countries are expected to take part in a signing ceremony for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement during the two-day G20 summit, which gets underway Nov. 30 in Buenos Aires — although Canada has warned it will be a low-key, low-level affair if steel and aluminum tariffs are still in place.There’s still time to change that, Trudeau suggested Monday during a news conference in Paris.“I absolutely brought it up,” Trudeau said of his discussions with U.S. President Donald Trump during a dinner Friday organized by French President Emmanuel Macron.One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss details of a private meeting, said the two leaders had a good exchange on tariffs that included Trudeau making clear to the president the tariffs are hurting consumers and producers on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.“The issue of steel and aluminum tariffs continues to be a concern to Canadians, like it is of concern to many American citizens and companies,” Trudeau said.“This is something that, as I’ve said before and as I related to President Trump, I hope we’re able to solve by the time we meet each other in the G20 in Argentina.”David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., said in an interview last week that some high-level talks on the tariff issue have taken place, and that he has extended an invitation to U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer to get formal negotiations back underway.Insiders say the U.S. has been demanding quotas be imposed on Canadian exports, something Ottawa has made clear is a non-starter.MacNaughton and Trudeau have both indicated that if a signing ceremony does take place soon, it won’t include high-level dignitaries like the prime minister or Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland if the tariffs — 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum — remain in place.On the Mexican side, however, there’s an expectation negotiators there are poised to agree to quotas in order to get the deal signed before Dec. 1, which is when incoming president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s new administration could inject an unwelcome element of uncertainty.Resolving the tariff issue with Mexico is the more pressing priority for the U.S., said Dan Ujczo, a trade lawyer and partner with Ohio-based Dickinson Wright.“The actual issue is to ensure that there’s nothing that’s going to stop Mexico from signing this deal before Dec. 1, and giving relief to farm country in the U.S. to Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs,” Ujczo said.“I think Canada’s an afterthought for the U.S. right now in this process.”
SOFIA, Bulgaria — Bulgaria is gearing up for the revival of a gas pipeline project that would pump Russian gas through its territory to Central Europe.Parliament on Friday approved a new national energy strategy that includes plans for the construction of a new gas pipeline that could be linked to Gazprom’s TurkStream project. Its two pipelines are designed to carry 15.7 billion cubic meters of Russian gas across the Black Sea.Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said Bulgaria’s state-owned Bulgartransgaz is ready to build a new 484-kilometre (302-mile) gas link that would carry Russian gas to Europe at a total cost of 2.8 billion leva ($1.6 billion).In 2014, Moscow was forced by EU competition rules to scrap its South Stream project, and Bulgaria halted construction work on its territory.The Associated Press