Xavier Dolan brings Cannes prize winner Its Only the End of the

first_imgXavier Dolan is just settling in for a Riviera beachfront interview with several Toronto movie critics at the Cannes Film Festival when he’s suddenly interrupted by noisy laughter from another group.“They’re having a lot of fun,” the Montreal filmmaker says without skipping a beat. “Should we laugh?”That’s a good question, not only regarding the nearby chortlers but also for the oft-combative director/actor/screenwriter himself, who at this very moment is unsure about whether he should even smile. This group interview in Cannes last May is happening the day after the world premiere of It’s Only the End of the World, a dysfunctional family drama Dolan calls “my best film” — his others include Mommy and I Killed My Mother — but which many critics called the worst among the 21 competing for the Palme d’Or. Advertisement Facebook Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With:last_img read more

I must say I was disappointed Denis Villeneuve expected 1 more Oscar

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Director Denis Villeneuve poses for photographers at the British Academy Film Awards Nominees Party at Kensington Palace in London, Britain February 11, 2017. (Neil Hall/REUTERS) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment After his film Blade Runner 2049 was nominated for five Oscars, Montreal-based film director Denis Villeneuve said he felt honoured, but disappointed that the Academy failed to recognize the soundtrack of his film.“I think what [composers Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch] did for the movie, the score of the movie, was by far one of the best this year,” Villeneuve said.Still, he said he’s proud of his crew. Advertisementcenter_img “As a film director I work very closely with those people to bring my vision to the screen, and I work with great artists and I owe them a lot,” Villeneuve said.The Oscar nominations for Blade Runner 2049 include:Cinematography.Sound editing.Sound mixing.Visual effects.Production design.Film recognized for its artistry, Villeneuve saysActors Ryan Gosling (left) and Harrison Ford star in Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049. (Warner Brothers)These are all in ‘craft’ categories, not bigger ones like directing or best picture. Villeneuve said the fact that the movie is “a hybrid” was perhaps part of the reason for this. Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

At Home With Avril Lavigne Whos Finally Back And Totally Ready to

first_imgIt’s all just so… grown-up, a categorization Lavigne had given a hard pass to as recently as her last album, 2013’s Avril Lavigne, where she insisted, in Peter Pan bangers like “Seventeen” and “Rock N Roll,” that we “still love it.” (“It” presumably referring to Lavigne’s penchant for lyrics about spontaneous day drinking.) Between then and the September drop of “Head Above Water,” we heard from Lavigne only a handful of times: when she popped up on Good Morning America in summer 2015 to say that she had been diagnosed with Lyme disease, when she got divorced from Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger later that year and when, in between those dual bummers, Taylor Swift brought her out in San Diego as part of the 1989 World Tour’s parade of admirable women, to perform her then-13-year-old debut single, “Complicated.” Lavigne says that at one point, she thought, Oh, I guess I’m done with making music. Avril Lavigne photographed on Aug. 13, 2018 in Los Angeles. Lavigne wears a Paul Smith sweater and What Katie Did tights. (David Needleman) Twitter The motherfucking princess is in her motherfucking castle.The princess is Avril Lavigne, who anointed herself on her 2007 No. 1 single “Girlfriend.” The castle — a Tudor home in an illustriously ZIP-coded L.A. neighborhood — is the only thing Lavigne has presided over since a tour that ended in 2014.A few weeks before the release of “Head Above Water,” her first single in four-and-a-half years, Lavigne sits under the cathedral-high ceiling of her home studio. It is the room where, over the course of her public absence, she recorded much of the album she plans to release in early 2019. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Lavigne’s many songs about partying — and the Jack Daniel’s lawn jockey who greeted me at the door — suggested that we’d wind up drinking whiskey, or at least the rosé her publicist suggested I bring. (Avril Lavigne drinks rosé?) But Lavigne is sipping Emergen-C-spiked electrolyte water, combating seasonal allergies. From her seat on a massive gray sectional (Avril Lavigne owns a sectional?), she reveals that she painted much of the art displayed in the expansive foyer and shows me the pink devotional journal gifted to her by her mother. Under the daily prayers topping each page are guitar tabs and ambitious to-do lists written in Lavigne’s bubbly handwriting: Complete album. Choose single. Shoot video. Dentist. Login/Register With:last_img read more

HOW TO GET CHEAP TICKETS TO THE OPERA AND BALLET IN TORONTO

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Cheap tickets to Toronto shows are not as hard to get as you might think if you’re under-30 or aren’t afraid to wait until a last minute deal.Here’s how to get cheap tickets to the opera, ballet, symphony and shows at some of the poshest performance venues in Toronto.NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADAAh, the ballet. So glamorous and expensive. Except, then it isn’t, especially if you’re under 30. This is because of the NBoC’s Dance Break program. If you’re between the ages of 16 and 29, you can sign up for a membership (it’s free) and get access to tickets starting as low as $35.Dance Break performances can be purchased online starting at 12 a.m. the night before the performance, which means no lining up or moving from the couch required.NBoC also offers rush tickets 50 per cent off the original price—$40 and up—starting at 11 a.m. on performance day.If it’s something like a mixed programme of contemporary works that isn’t as popular, there can be tons of these available. Get them online using the promo code RUSH.Also available the day of the performance are a limited number of standing room tickets. It sounds hilarious (standing at the ballet?) but at the same time, you do it at concerts. And here’s the best part: the tickets are only $12. Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

FINDINGRYAN VANCOUVER AIRPORT WANTS RYAN REYNOLDS TO BE ITS AMBASSADOR

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Facebook Advertisement Advertisement WHY YVR AIRPORT DESPERATELY WANTS TO FIND RYAN REYNOLDSVancouver Airport president and CEO Craig Richmond is obsessed with finding Ryan Reynolds – and he needs some help.Richmond took some time away from running Canada’s second busiest airport to show off his sketch comedy chops in the airport’s latest social media campaign, #FindingRyan, posted on YVR’s Twitter page. READ MOREYVR WANTS RYAN REYNOLDS TO BE ITS NEW CELEBRITY AMBASSADOR (VIDEO)“We need some help.”It’s a phrase you might not expect from the CEO of an airport that was voted #1 in North America, recently, but it’s exactly what comes out of YVR CEO Craig Richmond’s mouth in the opening sequence of a new video, released by the organization this week. READ MOREVANCOUVER AIRPORT IS TRYING TO MAKE RYAN REYNOLDS THEIR CELEBRITY AMBASSADOR IN HILARIOUS NEW CAMPAIGN (VIDEO)Their video is hilarious!Ryan Reynolds has done some pretty random things over the years and the Vancouver International Airport is now trying to use that to their advantage. One of Canada’s largest airports has been trying to gain the attention of Reynolds in order to offer him a position with their company. Specifically, the Vancouver International Airport wants Ryan Reynolds to be their celebrity ambassador. READ MORE Advertisement It’s been 24 hours and still no sign of Ryan Reynolds… Quote tweet this and tag @VancityReynolds and be entered to win a $2500 travel voucher. Help us spread the word – YVR is a community-based, not-for-profit organization! #FindingRyan pic.twitter.com/JuiM1WD0sk— Vancouver Airport (@yvrairport) July 16, 2019 Login/Register With: Ryan Reynolds (Photo by MATTHEW BROOKES) #FINDINGRYAN: VANCOUVER AIRPORT WANTS RYAN REYNOLDS TO BE ITS AMBASSADORThe Vancouver airport’s CEO says YVR’s brand needs some star power and insists there’s only one person who’s right for the job.A nearly three-minute clip posted to Twitter shows https://twitter.com/yvrairport/status/1151212973043544064 airport CEO Craig Richmond in a meeting with staff called “YVR Celebrity Ambassador.”“We need star power. We need a celebrity ambassador, somebody who can get our message out,” Richmond says in the video. READ MORElast_img read more

Diamond dreams in Drybones Bay create worries for Yellowknives Dene

first_imgAPTN National NewsA well know northern reality star could be trading in his 18-wheeler for a pickaxe and shovel.Ice road trucker Alex Debogorski recently got permission to explore for diamonds at Drybones Bay, which sits 50 kilometres southeast of Yellowknife.The review board said that the project “will have no significant adverse impacts on the environment or be a cause for public concern.”But First Nations in the area are still opposed to the idea.Drybones Bay holds great spiritual significance to the Yellowknives Dene and is home to traditional hunting and burial grounds.last_img

AFN Aboriginal Affairs shoulder responsibility for elders suicide family

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe suicide of an elder the day he was scheduled to begin the independent assessment process (IAP) for his residential school settlement has people wondering how he fell through the cracks.Many people are asking where the safety net was and who is responsible to prove help and support for residential school survivors about to relive the horrors of their physical and sexual abuse.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith spoke with a cousin of the elder who recounts his own experience with the IAP.last_img

Young First Nations woman found dead on trail in Whitehorse

first_imgAPTN National NewsA First Nation suburb in Whitehorse is in shock after a young woman was found dead on a local trail.Brandy Vittrekwa was found Monday night and police are calling her death a homicide.APTN’s Shirley McLean reports her death comes just days after a vigil was held in Whitehorse in the memory of murdered and missing Indigenous women.last_img

Former PM Chretien on Attawapiskat People have to move sometimes

first_img(Former prime minister Jean Chretien. File/Photo)Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsFormer Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien said “sometimes” First Nation communities need to be moved because “isolation” makes it difficult “to have economic activities in some of these areas.”Chretien was in Ottawa Tuesday as a guest of Peter Harder—the point-man on the Trudeau Liberal government’s transition into power—who was officially sworn into the Senate, along with six other appointees, including Murray Sinclair, the former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.Chretien was the Indian Affairs minister under former prime minister Pierre Trudeau who introduced the 1969 White Paper which sought to wipe out the distinct legal status of “Indian” and absorb First Nation people into the rest of Canadian society.The former prime minister was asked by reporters about what he would do with the Attawapiskat crisis.The Cree community in Ontario’s James Bay region declared a state of emergency Saturday after recording 11 suicide attempts in a 24-hour time span. Attawapiskat sits about 90 kilometres from a De Beers diamond mine.Chretien said sometimes communities aren’t viable.“The problem is sometimes you cannot. You know, it’s—you know, people have to move sometimes,” Chretien told reporters on Parliament Hill. “It’s desirable to stay if they want to stay, but it’s not always possible. So you cannot have a statement that is generic. You know it’s extremely difficult. It’s one case at a time. Some, and you know, and it’s difficult culturally for them all the time.”Chretien said he was the longest serving Indian Affairs minister in Canadian history, serving six years, two months, three days and “a few hours.”He said the biggest problem facing communities like Attawapiskat was “isolation,” but First Nation people were “nostalgic” about the past.“It’s difficult to have economic activities in some of these areas,” said Chretien. “When I quit politics in ’84, for a few years, I kept working with the Natives. I went to northern Manitoba, and you know, it’s extremely difficult to have a life there. But they traditional. They want to be close to the land. They are nostalgic about the past when they were going hunting and fishing and it takes time.”Chretien said “time” is needed to let First Nation people catch up with modernity.“You know, when I was minister, I think the first year there was about a dozen Indians who graduated from university. Now, it’s thousands and thousands,” said Chretien. “It takes time. I was in Old Crow one day. The first machine they ever seen was a helicopter; the same when they saw the man landing on the moon, about the same time.”The Indian Affairs department is now called Indigenous Affairs. The name was changed by the Trudeau government from Aboriginal Affairs.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Chief Dan Georges powerful Indigenous rights speech 50 years later

first_img(Chief Dan George. Photo: North Vancouver Museum and Archives.)The Canadian Press VANCOUVER – Leonard George remembers the first time he heard his father, Chief Dan George, deliver his moving and prophetic speech on Indigenous rights, “A Lament for Confederation.”It was 1967 and the acclaimed actor and former Tsleil-Waututh chief was set to speak at Canada’s centennial celebration in Vancouver. His wife had urged him to write something about what the day means to First Nations, says Leonard.When his soliloquy was ready, he stood in the family’s living room and read it aloud.“We all applauded because it was so beautiful and so powerful,” says Leonard, 70.They weren’t sure, however, that the crowd of 32,000 at Empire Stadium would do the same. The speech forcefully critiques colonization and calls on Indigenous people to “grab the white man’s instruments of success” to rise again.“Dad and the whole family were very nervous,” says Leonard. “To stand up and tell the truth in such a profound way, he had no idea how the public would take that.”George rehearsed every night for two weeks, along with his adult children, who were set to join him on stage. When the day finally came, Leonard could not have predicted how the audience would react.After his father finished speaking, there were a few seconds of stunned silence. Then the audience rose to their feet and filled the stadium with about 10 minutes of deafening applause.“He began to cry because he was so touched,” Leonard recalls. “We were crying as well, and we held on to each other.”The speech came at a time when George was a powerful figure in an emerging Aboriginal rights movement. He helped bring shameful parts of Canada’s history out of the shadows and inspired young Indigenous leaders, says one researcher.“I think he spoke both to their oppression and their rights and to their resiliency and their future,” said Hugh Shewell, a professor with expertise in Indigenous-state relations at Carleton University in Ottawa.As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, George’s family and friends are urging Canadians to reflect on his words. They say while the government’s treatment of Aboriginal Peoples has not changed much, First Nations themselves have risen up in many of the ways he predicted.The speech begins on a mournful note: “Today, when you celebrate your hundred years, oh Canada, I am sad for all the Indian people throughout the land.”Dan George recalls Canada “when your forests were mine,” when they gave him meat and clothing and when fish flashed in abundant rivers and streams. But in the long hundred years since the white man came, he says he has seen his freedom disappear.“When I fought to protect my land and my home, I was called a savage. When I neither understood nor welcomed this way of life, I was called lazy. When I tried to rule my people, I was stripped of my authority,” he says.The speech ends with a call to rise again, like “the thunderbird of old” and to seize the white man’s education and skills. It predicts young braves and chiefs will sit in the houses of government and law.“So shall the next hundred years be the greatest in the proud history of our tribes and nations,” it concludes.George’s address was so revolutionary, his daughter Amy George recalls, she feared he would be killed for delivering it. She was in her 20s and the assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy was fresh in her mind.“Some people did get very angry, too. When we were walking off the field at the stadium, some people were saying ‘You’re nuts!’ and they were throwing bottles and empty cups at us,” she says.There hasn’t been much improvement in how Canada treats First Nations since George’s speech, says his grandson Rueben George. He points to disproportionately high numbers of Indigenous kids in government care and inadequate funding for housing, education and clean water on reserves.But just as his grandfather envisioned, Indigenous people are sitting in the House of Commons and the courts, and have a say in resource projects on their lands, says Rueben.“We took back what is ours. That’s our identity, our culture, our spirituality … our law,” he says.Later in 1967, singer-songwriter Ann Mortifee performed with George in a groundbreaking play, “The Ecstasy of Rita Joe,” about a young Aboriginal woman. Mortifee, who was 20, says George opened her eyes to the brutality of colonialism.“I feel profoundly privileged to have lived through that moment in history,” she says. “He was like a portal into a richer world for me and he changed my life.”The text of Chief Dan George’s speech “A Lament for Confederation:”How long have I known you, Oh Canada? A hundred years? Yes, a hundred years. And many, many seelanum more. And today, when you celebrate your hundred years, Oh Canada, I am sad for all the Indian people throughout the land.For I have known you when your forests were mine; when they gave me my meat and my clothing. I have known you in your streams and rivers where your fish flashed and danced in the sun, where the waters said ‘come, come and eat of my abundance.’ I have known you in the freedom of the winds. And my spirit, like the winds, once roamed your good lands.But in the long hundred years since the white man came, I have seen my freedom disappear like the salmon going mysteriously out to sea. The white man’s strange customs, which I could not understand, pressed down upon me until I could no longer breathe.When I fought to protect my land and my home, I was called a savage. When I neither understood nor welcomed his way of life, I was called lazy. When I tried to rule my people, I was stripped of my authority.My nation was ignored in your history textbooks – they were little more important in the history of Canada than the buffalo that ranged the plains. I was ridiculed in your plays and motion pictures, and when I drank your fire-water, I got drunk – very, very drunk. And I forgot.Oh Canada, how can I celebrate with you this centenary, this hundred years? Shall I thank you for the reserves that are left to me of my beautiful forests? For the canned fish of my rivers? For the loss of my pride and authority, even among my own people? For the lack of my will to fight back? No! I must forget what’s past and gone.Oh God in heaven! Give me back the courage of the olden chiefs. Let me wrestle with my surroundings. Let me again, as in the days of old, dominate my environment. Let me humbly accept this new culture and through it rise up and go on.Oh God! Like the thunderbird of old I shall rise again out of the sea; I shall grab the instruments of the white man’s success – his education, his skills, and with these new tools I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society. Before I follow the great chiefs who have gone before us, Oh Canada, I shall see these things come to pass.I shall see our young braves and our chiefs sitting in the houses of law and government, ruling and being ruled by the knowledge and freedoms of our great land. So shall we shatter the barriers of our isolation. So shall the next hundred years be the greatest in the proud history of our tribes and nations.last_img read more

Police officers who saw Tina Fontaine before she was killed testify at

first_imgThe Canadian PressWINNIPEG – Shortly before she disappeared and nine days before her body was found in Winnipeg’s Red River wrapped in a duvet cover, Tina Fontaine was captured by a security camera walking into a parkade.Time-lapse images of the 15-year-old girl, whose death renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, were shown Tuesday at the second-degree murder trial of the man accused of killing her, 55-year-old Raymond Cormier.Tina sat down and fell asleep between two cars behind a University of Winnipeg building named after Helen Betty Osborne – a Cree woman kidnapped and killed in The Pas, Man., in 1971 whose murder was unsolved for 16 years.“She said that she was lost. She wasn’t sure where she was,” Audrey Kohinski, a security worker who attended to Tina, testified Tuesday.Tina had “mosquito bites or cigarette burns on her legs” which looked “awful,” Kohinski added.An ambulance was called and Tina was taken to hospital. The security footage shows the petite girl walking ahead of first responders toward the ambulance.It was shortly after 10 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2014, and Tina – a girl widely described as happy who became sexually exploited after leaving her home northeast of Winnipeg to visit her mother in the city – had already been through much that day.The trial heard from two police officers who stopped a truck in an area known for prostitution five hours earlier. The driver, Richard Mohammed, was arrested for driving with a suspended licence.Tina was in his passenger seat, the officers testified. They ran her name through the police database and appear to have missed a flag that she had been reported missing from Manitoba Child and Family Services.She told them she was staying at a nearby hotel, used by Child and Family Services to house kids in care, and they let her walk away.Constables Brock Jansen and Craig Houle were later suspended for their actions and eventually left the city police force.Mohammed told court he had gotten in a fight with his girlfriend, and picked up Tina and asked her if she wanted to party.“I wasn’t sure how old she was,” he testified.The trial, which is now in its second week, also heard for the first time Tuesday from people who saw Tina and Cormier together.Tina’s boyfriend, Cody Mason who was 18 at the time, testified that the pair first met Cormier earlier that summer and told him they didn’t have a place to stay.“He took (us) to a house with a basement and in the morning he came back and opened the door,” Mason said.Cormier went by the name Sebastian, Mason said, and on later encounters, would supply Tina with the prescription drug Gabapentin. Mason said he and Tina would also take marijuana, cocaine and alcohol _ obtained from other people _ in the weeks they spent together that summer.Under cross-examination, Mason was asked whether Cormier was ever mean to Tina.“Was he nice to Tina?” defence lawyer Andrew Synyshyn asked.“Yeah,” Mason replied.“Did he ever say or do anything bad to Tina?” Synyshyn asked.“No,” Mason answered.last_img read more

Action needed following Tina Fontaine report FN advocate

first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsAn Indigenous organization says more investments need to be made at the grassroots level.This comes after Manitoba’s children’s advocate says there are hundreds of at-risk youth with stories similar to Tina Fontaine.In her report on the death of Fontaine released this week, Daphne Penrose wrote that her office is working with 17 youth needing treatment.But Cora Morgan, who is the First Nations Family Advocate, says work is already being done to support at-risk youth, the government just needs to recognize it.bhobson@aptn.ca@bhobbs22last_img

Alternative Keystone XL route gets approved in Nebraska

first_imgLINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska regulators approved an alternative route Monday for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. It was the last major regulatory hurdle facing project operator TransCanada Corp., though opponents say another round of federal approval may now be needed.The Nebraska Public Service Commission’s ruling was on the Nebraska route TransCanada has proposed to complete the $8 billion, 1,179-mile (1,897-kilometre) pipeline to deliver oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. The proposed Keystone XL route would cross parts of Montana, South Dakota and most of Nebraska to Steele City, Nebraska.The long-delayed project was rejected by President Barack Obama in 2015, citing concerns about carbon pollution. President Donald Trump revived it in March, approving a permit.The project has faced a barrage of criticism from environmental activists and some landowners for nearly a decade.Here are some things to know about the fight:___WHAT OPTIONS DID THE COMMISSION HAVE?The five-member Nebraska Public Service Commission was forbidden by law from factoring pipeline safety or the risk of spills into its decision because pipeline safety is a federal responsibility. So, it couldn’t take into account a spill of 210,000 gallons (790,000 litres) of oil on the existing Keystone pipeline in South Dakota announced on Thursday.The simplest choice was a yes-or-no vote on TransCanada’s “preferred route” through a dozen Nebraska counties. The commission had the option of including major caveats that would add years to the project’s timetable.Commissioners decided to approve an alternative route that would run farther north than TransCanada’s preferred route. Company officials have said their preferred route causes the least amount of disruption.No matter what the commission decided, any group that presented arguments at an August hearing could appeal the decision to a state district court. The case would likely end up before the Nebraska Supreme Court.The proposed Keystone XL would expand the existing Keystone pipeline, which went into service in July 2010. The current pipeline network runs south through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas and extends east into Missouri and Illinois.___WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE DECISION?The commission’s vote could play a pivotal role in whether TransCanada moves ahead with the pipeline. After years of lobbying for the project, TransCanada acknowledged in a July conference call that executives won’t decide until late November or early December whether to begin construction.TransCanada spokesman Matthew John reiterated that timeline last week, ahead of the Monday vote.“We’re going through the process with every intention to get this project built,” John said on Wednesday. “But there are factors that we need to work out prior to making that decision,” including regulatory approval in Nebraska.John said the company also needs to finalize its contracts with shippers that want to use the pipeline.TransCanada has been working to line up long-term contracts for the pipeline, which can carry an estimated 830,000 barrels a day. The company has not announced the results of its open season bidding process, which ended Oct. 26.___WILL THERE BE PROTESTS IF THE COMMISSION APPROVES THE PIPELINE?Opponents in August vowed to stage mass protests against the pipeline if Nebraska regulators approve it, but say they will exhaust legal options first.Pipeline opponents have lined parts of the proposed route with obstacles, including trees, solar panels, sacred corn from the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and a barn powered by renewable energy. Some opponents may try to physically block construction and have likened their resistance to the activists who protested the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota.___IS KEYSTONE XL STILL FEASIBLE?Despite low oil prices and repeated delays, TransCanada has a strong financial incentive to keep pursuing the pipeline, said Zachary Rogers, a Houston-based analyst for Wood Mackenzie, an energy research and consulting firm.Rogers said Western Canadian producers have been forced to ship their product by train, which is more expensive than a pipeline, and Keystone XL would reduce costs and improve their bottom line.At the same time, Texas refineries face uncertainty because of political instability in Venezuela, one of their top oil sources, and a slowdown in Mexican production.“Western Canada has been held captive by geography and hasn’t been able to cheaply access the markets,” Rogers said last week. “Any opportunity for them to get better access will buoy their margins.”___Follow Grant Schulte on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GrantSchulte___Sign up for the AP’s weekly newsletter showcasing our best reporting from the Midwest and Texas: http://apne.ws/2u1RMfvlast_img read more

Canadian employers content to avoid costs and headaches of providing childcare

first_imgCALGARY – One of the keys to Jenna Pickering’s return to work at the Suncor Energy Inc. head office in downtown Calgary was making sure her son Luke had a place at the affiliated daycare in the same office tower — even before he was born.“I think I was about six months along and I put ‘Baby Pickering’ on the wait list,” the 33-year-old recalled with a laugh.When her husband Shea, 34, got a job at the Suncor building two years ago and their 18-month-old daughter, Hannah, started going to daycare last year, the daily grind truly became a family affair.Each day, they drop Luke, now 4, and Hannah off at the daycare on the third floor before mom and dad head up to their respective floors.The Pickerings know they are among the lucky few in Canada to have childcare at the office.Despite the rising number of women in the workforce and a federal government push to help even more join — an effort it says will add billions of dollars to the country’s economy — few Canadian employers offer childcare in the workplace.In 2000, a federal government study found 338 work-related childcare centres operating in the country. The survey counted on- and off-site daycares supported by an employer, a group of employers, a union or an employee group, that sought to meet the needs of employees.Employment and Social Development Canada said it could not find more recent figures, while the Childcare Resource and Research Unit, whose 1992 study identified fewer than 200 employer-related daycares, stopped collecting data on employer centres years ago because of their rarity.Even when offered financial incentives by government, employer apathy persisted.In last year’s otherwise childcare-friendly budget, the Liberals quietly axed a Harper government initiative that provided employers a 25 per cent tax credit to a maximum of $10,000 per space on costs incurred to build or expand licensed childcare facilities.The goal of the program implemented in 2006 was to create 5,000 new workplace daycare spaces annually, but fewer than 100 individuals and 20 corporations were claiming the credit each year, according to Finance Canada.Employers’ lack of interest in childcare in Canada is disappointing, said Tanya van Biesen, executive director for Catalyst Canada, whose mission is advancing women’s progress in the workplace.Many parents have no choice but stay home to watch their children because they would be “breaking even or falling behind” financially if they had to pay full fare for daycare, she said.“For many years, people didn’t really think about or care about the fact that women were exiting stage right because they didn’t have any other options,” she said.Employers recognize childcare is a major factor in attracting and retaining female employees, but balancing the costs and matching needs with resources is difficult, said Peter Dugandzic, CEO of Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of Alberta.“I think that’s the issue for most companies. One, there’s the cost, and secondly, the physical layout,” he said.While some employers advertise daycare access to attract staff, most — if not all — refer to third-party services. Some subsidize certain costs or provide the space to daycare operators for free in return for preferred access.For example, when Mediacorp named BASF Canada as one of its Top Family-Friendly Employers for 2018, it cited the chemical company’s programs including salary top-ups and extended leave for new mothers and fathers — and mentioned the private onsite daycare at its Mississauga, Ont., head office.But the company has no formal relationship and doesn’t financially support the daycare on the ground floor, said Terri Howard, director of human resources.Among the few employers that do provide childcare services, many of them are public institutions, such as universities and even Parliament Hill.At Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby, B.C., campus, a daycare centre that has operated for at least 50 years is run by a non-profit operator with preference for its 315 spaces given to employees and students.The university provides space on its grounds rent-free and subsidizes the salaries of two employees, at an annual cost of about $500,000, said Sandi de Domenico, associate vice-president of human resources.The benefits in recruiting and retention of staff justifies the cost, she said. However, the university’s two other campuses in the area don’t offer childcare and de Domenico couldn’t say why.Canada could add $150 billion to its economy by 2026 by employing more women in technology and taking steps like providing better access to childcare to boost women’s participation in the workforce, McKinsey Global Institute estimated last year.In the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields — areas that Canada is focused on strengthening due their potential contributions to economic growth — women represent just 20 per cent of jobs in the field.“Tech doesn’t traditionally support parents,” said Amanda Munday, an advocate for women-identified rights who works at technology startup HiMama in Toronto.“When you think about evening workshops, beer and ping-pong night-time activities, long hours, those things are not conducive to the parent lifestyle.”Munday estimates it costs $3,400 per month for good-quality daycare for her two kids, a bill she recognizes is unaffordable for her startup employer.Her return to work after having her daughter four years ago, therefore, involved compromises. She negotiated a flexible schedule, including sometimes working from home, and unlimited sick days for her and her children. Her daughter attends preschool three days a week and Munday’s mother watches her son to save on daycare costs.Daycare at work is a major perk of working at Suncor for the Pickerings. The company doesn’t subsidize their daycare costs, but the fees are competitive.Jenna Pickering said the children thrive there, excited by fire drills and enjoying regular walks through downtown.“I went into having children knowing I wanted to go back to work,” she said.“It’s still a hard choice, but I like having them close by and this is the best of both worlds.”Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version did not include the full name of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit.last_img read more

Grocery store chain CEOs warn higher food prices coming amid cost pressures

first_imgThe CEOs of three of Canada’s major grocery chains doubled down on their expectation that food prices will soon rise at their stores.Recent cost pressures on the industry, including rising minimum wages in some provinces, increased fuel and transportation costs and an ongoing trade war with the U.S., will soon result in some price inflation, said the chief executives of Metro Inc., Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Empire Co. Tuesday at Scotiabank’s back-to-school conference in Toronto.Metro CEO Eric La Fleche said consumers should eventually see a return to more normal inflation levels.“Exactly when and how — it’s all about competitive dynamics. Everybody is competitive. Nobody wants to lose any share. So, let’s see how things play out,” he said.Metro is starting to see some price inflation already, La Fleche said.He explained that the cost pressures have been building over the past year, beginning with Ontario’s minimum wage hike from $11.60 to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, followed by rising fuel and transportation costs.Then came the Canadian government’s retaliatory tariffs on July 1 on a wide range of American products, including coffee, maple syrup, salad dressing and other foods.“Now, we’re having a — what I would describe it as — a tsunami of tariff-related request for cost increases from our supplier partners,” said Michael Medline, Empire’s CEO.The company, which is the parent to grocery chain Sobeys Inc., held off on raising prices for some time, he said, but is now reviewing these tariff-related costs.Empire will pass the extra costs on to consumers where it makes sense in the market, he said, adding it will be careful not to give away any market share.“We don’t like to pass on cost, but there’s no way you can avoid it with the inflationary pressures that we are now seeing.”Price increases are likely to be moderate in a historical sense, said Loblaw CEO Galen Weston.He predicted food inflation of one- to 1.5-per cent, which he said is in the normal range as opposed to higher range in the five to six per cent level.“We don’t yet see it moving into the mid-single digit levels… We don’t think it is likely to do that.”The chief executives also outlined their respective plans to grow their e-commerce business, specifically home delivery. Canada’s grocers have been slow to offer delivery, but ramped up their efforts after Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market last year.Metro already offers home delivery from seven stores in Quebec, which serves about 60 per cent of the province’s population, said La Fleche.It will start offering the service in Ontario in 2019, he said, but did not provide details on specific locations.The company relies on its existing assets to fulfil orders rather than partnering with a third-party like its competitors have chosen to do.“We’re going to e-commerce with a prudent approach,” said La Fleche, adding the company is scaling up and the company may consider using a dedicated facility if it reaches a certain level — but it’s not there yet.Empire, on the other hand, decided to partner with British firm Ocado to build a fulfillment centre in the Greater Toronto Area that will be fully operational by the spring of 2020. The centre will house Ocado’s signature robotics that can fulfil customer orders within minutes.Empire offers home delivery in Quebec and learned that their solution there is not scalable, Medline said, adding the company is excited that Ocado’s solution eliminates some logistical issues and is profitable.Loblaw also partnered with another company to offer home delivery, opting for California-based Instacart, but chose to do so in a quicker fashion. Customers in 17 cities can now use the Instacart app to order groceries for delivery from Loblaw.“Our view today is that rapid expansion and customer acquisition is the second most important thing to do in the first innings of the e-commerce online grocery world,” Weston said.Companies in this story: (TSX:MRU) (TSX:EMP) (TSX:L)Note to readers: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Empire Co. is not reviewing the tariff-related costs.last_img read more

Swallowing 16B purchase of Flipkart Walmart cuts outlook

first_imgBENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart trimmed its profit outlook citing this year’s $16 billion acquisition of the Indian online retailer Flipkart, its biggest deal ever.The company also said on Tuesday that U.S. online sales growth would slow to 35 per cent, from last quarter’s 40 per cent growth.Since buying Jet.com for more than $3 billion two years ago, Walmart has been bulking up online, buying companies such as Bonobos and ModCloth. It’s also tried to speed up deliveries while expanding same-day grocery delivery.The company says its online grocery pickup service is attracting new customers and shoppers are adding more items to their cart because of it.Walmart also announced a partnership with Advance Auto Parts, which will create an automotive specialty store on Walmart.com. The online store is expected to be rolled out in the first half of next year. In a joint release, the companies said they plan to work together to explore such services as home delivery and same-day pickup in a Walmart or Advance store. The Roanoke, Virginia-based Advance Auto Parts operates nearly 6,400 stores.Walmart Inc. now expects 2019 adjusted earnings of between $4.65 and $4.80 per share, down from $4.90 to $5.05.Shares rose more than 2 per cent, or $1.93, to $95.75 in afternoon trading.last_img read more

Samples show dust from BC pipeline blast not a health threat Enbridge

first_imgPRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The company that owns the natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned one week ago in central British Columbia, says the dust that settled on homes near the blast site does not pose a health threat.The latest post on the Enbridge website says earth sampling near Prince George shows mineral and metal composition is well below provincial and federal standards for urban and residential areas.Enbridge also says construction of an access road to the damaged line continues and repair crews may be able to reach the scene later this week, although the company has already said there is no timeline to return the 91-centimetre pipeline to service. FortisBC, the company that distributes natural gas to about one million homes and businesses in B.C., is urging customers to limit non-essential use of the fuel while the line is shut off and a second, smaller pipeline is running at reduced capacity.The Vancouver Park Board says it is doing its part to reduce consumption by turning down thermostats in the parts of city-run buildings where there will be a minimal impact to the public, such as staffing areas and common areas.Park board spokeswoman Margo Harper says heat in childcare centres, swimming pools and the on-demand heaters at ice rinks will not be affected.last_img read more

Water main break Thursday morning near Montanas

first_imgParts of the Montana’s parking lot was flooded due to the water main break.Some area businesses are temporarily closed due to the break.No further details are available at this time. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Crews were on scene this morning, Thursday, as they attended to a water main break near Montana’s next to the Totem Mall.The water main break was contained as the City shut down water in the area.Crews are currently in the process of repairing the broken water main.last_img

Fill a Mountie Boot to support Cops for Cancer

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Constable (Cst) Christiaan Dreyer rider for the Fort St John Cops for Cancer Tour de North is hosting a ‘Fill a Boot’ fundraiser.Saturday, July 27, 2019, from 12 pm – 3 pm at Save on Foods, at 10345 100th St. Cst Dreyer and his sidekick, Cst Jodi Lewis invite everyone to join them to fill a traditional ‘High Brown’ Mountie riding boot with donations for pediatric cancer research and Camp Goodtimes.The financial goal for Cst Dreyer’s is to raise $3000 before he sets off on the Tour de North in September. Donations can also be made online for Cst Dreyer on the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer page; CLICK HERElast_img

Didnt join Bollywood to make films with stars

first_imgMumbai: Filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia has a solid clarity of what he wants to do: make films which have his trademark style and never chase stars to get his dream on celluloid. The director, who has helmed mid-budget but critically acclaimed films like Paan Singh Tomar and Saheb Biwi aur Gangster series, has learnt over the years on how to avoid the pressure of having a star to headline his film. “I don’t want to sound pompous but I want my films to be a ‘Tigmanshu Dhulia Film.’ Whether it’s a hit or a flop, doesn’t matter. I came to this industry to make films, not to make films with stars. Also Read – Hilarie Burton, Jeffery Dean Morgan tie the knot”Now I’ve learnt to not approach those producers with those kind of scripts where they will ask me to get a star. I don’t fall into that trap anymore,” said Tigmanshu. The pressure on a director to get a star on board can be quite daunting. Tigmanshu first hand experienced this while making his upcoming directorial, Milan Talkies, which earlier had several names attached to it, from Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra to Imran Khan. Though conceptualised around 2011, Tigmanshu had to cross several roadblocks to finally make the film. Also Read – ‘Vaastav’ gave me the real sense of being an actor: Sanjay Dutt on film’s 20-year anniversary”Earlier UTV was supposed to do it but I had a fallout with them because they weren’t releasing Paan Singh Tomar. There was a gap then and Ekta pushed really hard. I’ll give it up to her.” “Despite actors saying yes and no, dillydallying about it, she held on to it. But they needed a star. I requested her let me make it with whoever because otherwise this will never get made and she did.” The filmmaker is now ready to release Milan Talkies on March 15, featuring Ali Fazal.last_img read more