Six stories in the news for today June 27

first_imgSix stories in the news for Tuesday, June 27———U.S. SLAPS ADDITIONAL DUTIES ON CANADIAN SOFTWOODCanadian softwood now faces average duties of about 27 per cent after the U.S. Department of Commerce added another 6.87 per cent in preliminary anti-dumping tariffs. The new duty will overlap for about two months with preliminary duties of 19.88 per cent announced in April that are set to expire Aug. 27. Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador are not included in the latest tariff.———CANADA AWAITING MORE DETAILS ON U.S. TRAVEL BANThe Trudeau government is waiting for more details now that the U.S. Supreme Court has partially reinstated President Donald Trump’s ban on travellers from six mainly Muslim countries. But a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says dual nationals from the affected countries travelling on Canadian passports won’t fall under the restrictions. This also applies to Canadian permanent residents from the six countries who carry valid resident cards and valid U.S. visas, and are deemed eligible to enter the U.S.———INQUIRY TO BE HELD INTO ONTARIO NURSING HOME MURDERSThe case of a nurse who murdered eight seniors in long-term care homes in Ontario will be the subject of a public inquiry. Elizabeth Wettlaufer pleaded guilty last month to eight counts of first-degree murder and other charges and was sentenced Monday to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 25 years. The province is finalizing the details of the inquiry and will make them public once approved by cabinet.———JURY SET TO DELIBERATE IN B.C. HARASSMENT CASEA B.C. jury is expected to hear the judge’s instructions today before starting deliberations in the case of a man accused of harassing his ex-wife. Patrick Fox is charged with criminal harassment over alleged online communications and publications regarding his ex-wife Desiree Capuano. Jurors have heard Fox maligned Capuano as a stripper, a white supremacist and a drug user.———FOOD SUBSIDY APPROVED FOR CUT-OFF TOWNChurchill will be covered by the federal government’s Nutrition North food subsidy program until the Manitoba town’s only land link to the outside world is restored. The community of 900 on the western shore of Hudson Bay has been cut off since the rail line into town was badly damaged by spring flooding. Without the rail line, goods and people have to be flown in to Churchill at a much higher cost. Nutrition North is normally used to offset a portion of the extra costs of shipping food by air.———‘COME FROM AWAY’ A FOUR-PRIZE WINNER AT DORASCanadian smash “Come From Away” won four prizes at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards on Monday, including best production in the musical theatre category. The homegrown musical about Newfoundland hospitality after the 9/11 attacks is currently on an award-winning run on Broadway. The Mirvish production also took home the best new musical/opera award, and an outstanding female performance prize for Jenn Colella for her portrayal of real-life retired airline Capt. Beverley Bass.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Italian President Sergio Mattarella is in Ottawa for a state visit.— Catherine Tully, the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia, will release her 2016-2017 annual report.— Ontario Ombudsman Paul Dube will release his annual report for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.— Environment Minister Catherine McKenna will meet with her U.S. and Mexican counterparts in Charlottetown.last_img read more

A terrifying sight ancient spiky headed worm discovered in fossils

first_imgResearchers at the Royal Ontario Museum and Yale University have discovered the fossil of a spiky-headed worm that they believe would have struck fear in the hearts of other creatures swimming in ancient seas.“This new species would have been an efficient predator and a terrifying sight to many of the smallest marine creatures that lived during that time,” said Jean-Bernard Caron, senior curator of invertebrate paleontology at the ROM.The 500-million-year-old critter has been dubbed Capinatator praetermissus, which incorporates Latin words for to grasp, swimmer and overlooked.Capinatator was about 10 centimetres long with 25 spines on each side of its head.“If you imagine putting your two hands together at the wrist and opening your fingers in a sort of curved manner and bringing them together, you get the idea of what these grasping spines might look like,” said Derek Briggs, with the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.“This is quite a good apparatus for grasping prey and bringing it towards the mouth.”Briggs was the lead author of a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, which was co-authored by Caron.Some 50 specimens of the creature were found in the Burgess Shale fossil beds, a UNESCO World Heritage site in British Columbia’s Yoho and Kootenay national parks.The Burgess Shale, discovered more than a century ago, is a rich repository of fossils of some of the Earth’s oldest creatures dating back to the Cambrian age.Sites that are today high up in the Rocky Mountains were under water hundreds of millions of years ago.The squishy bug-like creatures were encased in sediment, preserving their bodies in striking detail.Capinatator is believed to be an ancestor of smaller worms that are today abundant in plankton throughout the world’s oceans. The current iterations are smaller and have fewer spines around their heads than the fossil specimens.The discovery offers clues about how the ancient ecosystem evolved, Briggs said.“Predators tend to be key to developing the structure of marine communities, in that the predators evolved to capture prey and the prey in turn evolves to avoid being predated on,” he said.“So in that sense they indicate that those kinds of predator-prey interactions were important right back in the Cambrian.”last_img read more

Canadian government delegation marking 75th anniversary of Dieppe raid

first_imgDIEPPE, France – Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr is leading a Canadian government delegation to France to mark the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe raid during the Second World War.At the unveiling of the monument in honour of the @KingsOwnYYC in Dieppe, France. They put together a magnificent ceremony #Dieppe75 pic.twitter.com/C4dEvQghwi— Kent Hehr (@kenthehr) August 19, 2017The raid, launched on Aug. 19, 1942, would prove to be the bloodiest single day for Canada’s military in the entire war.The Prime Minister released a statement Saturday to honour the hundreds of Canadians who lost their lives in the battle.Justin Trudeau said the loss at Dieppe taught Allied forces valuable lessons, which he said helped “to turn the tide of the war on D-Day” less than two years later.“As we commemorate the Dieppe Raid at events in Canada and France, I ask all Canadians to honour the people who gave so much at Dieppe, as well as their families at home who suffered the loss of their loved ones,” Trudeau says.Of the nearly 5,000 Canadian soldiers who took part in the ill-fated mission, more than half became casualties, and 916 would die on the rocky shore of Puys Beach on the northern coast of occupied France.The beach landing was supposed to happen under the cover of darkness, but the Canadians, along with 1,000 British and 50 American soldiers, were late arriving on shore, and as the sun rose they were left exposed to withering fire from German troops on the cliffs above.The raid was especially important to the King’s Own Calgary Regiment, which deployed Canada’s first tanks into battle. Tank Commander Cpt. Brent Peters spoke about the crews that came before him. “They spent the day on the beach there believing that they were going to crack the German stronghold,” Peters said. Sandee Baker says her dad Tommy, who is a veteran of the Dieppe raid, wouldn’t open up about his experiences until he was much older.They’ve been on 10 Second World War tours together, and he’s shared stories about his service from Italy, to Holland and France. “He’s not a prideful man he just as he said, he signed up he knew he had to do something in his family there was nine of them and five of them all signed up.” Baker said. Governor General David Johnston noted that this year marks the centennial anniversary of two great victories for Canada — the battles at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele in the First World War — but it’s equally important to remember the losses, like the one at Dieppe.“We must never forget the terrible cost of armed conflict and ensure that future generations remember, lest we repeat the mistakes of the past,” Johnston said in a statement.A memorial to the King’s own Calgary regiment was unveiled in Dieppe to honour the regiment’s contributions to the mission.last_img read more

Union vows to have employees trained and ready for Ontario pot store

first_imgThe head of the union tapped to represent workers in Ontario cannabis stores says his members will be well-trained and ready to go by next July, the target date for federal legalization of recreational pot.“Oh, we’ll be ready for it, don’t worry about that,” said Warren “Smokey” Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents staff of the provincially owned Liquor Control Board of Ontario.On Friday, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Ontario will allow the sale of recreational marijuana only from government-run stand-alone outlets — starting next summer with 40 shops and growing to about 150 by 2020 — as well as a government website.The LCBO will operate the stores and website using OPSEU members.While conceding the timeline is “ambitious,” Thomas said there are many experts available from the medical marijuana industry to train his members in distribution, sales and product quality control.He said he expects experienced workers from soon-to-be-outlawed private cannabis operations in Ontario will likely apply for those jobs so they can receive higher union wages.But the president of the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries said he’s not so sure the government staff can be trained in time, adding he’s disappointed the government is “missing an opportunity” by cutting out existing operations and their experienced staff.Jeremy Jacob said dispensaries require front-line workers to have a much more nuanced knowledge of their products than a typical LCBO outlet.“What dispensary technicians do is determine the experience level, the tolerance someone has, and recommend appropriate products to ensure they have a good experience,” he said.“That level of care and attention isn’t present in liquor stores and it’s not something where you can flip a switch and suddenly ensure people are getting the advice they need.”Meanwhile, Greg Engel, CEO of Organigram, a licensed producer of medicinal cannabis, said the government’s target of training front-line staff by next July is “achievable and reasonable” and also vitally important.“Having a knowledgeable staff that is able to convey what the expected effect is for individuals who are purchasing product and the duration of the effect and what they should experience and what’s right for them based on what they’re looking for, that’s critical,” he said.Thomas said the 40 stores will likely require about 200 new union members and that could eventually grow to 1,000 or more.He said there’s no downside to the Ontario decision and encouraged other provinces to follow along.— With files from Armina Ligaya.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more

Ontario colleges faculty clash ahead of contract vote strike enters week 5

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s colleges and the union representing striking faculty members are accusing each other of spreading misinformation ahead of a contract vote in the labour dispute that has left half a million students out of class for a month.Some 12,000 Ontario college professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians haven’t been at work since Oct. 15.The Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents the striking faculty, said the dispute was the longest strike in the colleges’ history.“It’s the only time in the history of the colleges the semester has been under threat,” Kevin MacKay, a member of the OPSEU faculty bargaining team said Monday. “And I’m telling you, if the strike doesn’t end this week, the semester is under threat — serious threat.”The council representing the province’s 24 colleges said acceptance of the latest contract offer would mean students could be back in the classroom as early as next Tuesday.Talks between the College Employer Council and the union broke down last week, with the council asking the Ontario Labour Relations Board to schedule a vote on its offer.With the vote set to begin Tuesday and end Thursday, the council was reaching out directly to faculty to address what is called the union’s “continued misrepresentation” of the contract offer. The council launched a new website — www.collegevote.ca — and posted an audio webcast on Monday in which it discussed the contents of the offer.The colleges said the offer includes a 7.75 per cent salary increase over four years, improved benefits — including extended pregnancy and parental leave, and a $500 increase in coverage for paramedical services — and measures to address concerns regarding part-time faculty.Sonia Del Missier, the chair of the colleges’ bargaining team, said all major issues in the offer have been agreed on by both sides except for language surrounding academic freedom.But the union said the offer contains “serious concessions” that were not agreed to, and which would erode faculty rights and contribute to an unsustainable staffing model.Among them are concessions around the process for hiring full-time faculty, provisions that would allow faculty to exceed overtime limits and make it harder to take professional development days, MacKay said.“There’s no way we agreed to those things,” he said.The union has said its main point of contention has been the level of input college instructors have into the way courses are taught and evaluated, and MacKay said the colleges’ attempt to address the issue is worse than if they had done nothing.“It’s not about academic freedom at all, it’s actually about all the ways in which you can get in trouble if you say the wrong thing,” he said.Del Messier, meanwhile, said the offer “enshrines academic freedom,” which she called the only key issue still outstanding.“From the union’s perspective, they talk about academic control and they’ve really determined that it’s got to be either (faculty) or (management). And from our perspective, it’s not an either/or,” she said.“When we look at how the colleges set up programs and how they continue to ensure programs are relevant, you need the input of your key stakeholders,” including employers, industry representatives and graduates, she said.The Ontario government has ordered the colleges to create a fund to help students who may be experiencing financial hardship because of the strike.Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews has said the government wants to see students return to the classroom as quickly as possible.last_img read more

Man who left Quebec hospital with fathers body was determined to bury

first_imgMONTREAL – A spat over a death certificate prompted a man to abruptly leave a Montreal-area hospital with the body of his deceased father earlier this week.A spokeswoman for the Anna-Laberge Hospital in Chateauguay said Thursday the deceased arrived by ambulance from the nearby Kahnawake Mohawk territory on Tuesday.The family were hoping to get a certificate before repatriating the body for a quick burial by the end of the day, as per the son’s beliefs.But the hospital explained the deceased would have to be admitted and that the body could not be released to anyone but an accredited funeral facility.“For us, how it works is from the moment a body is admitted at the hospital, we have the responsibility, legally, to release it to an accredited funeral home,” spokeswoman Jade St-Jean said.“There are rules for conserving the body — for public health reasons as well as preserving the dignity of the person.”The family refused to have the father admitted and St-Jean said administrators were sensitive to the situation, with a team trying to find a solution that would respect the family’s beliefs and the hospital’s legal obligations.“While we were doing that, someone left with the body so we called the authorities at that point,” St-Jean said, adding no certificate was issued.The incident came to light after the deceased man’s son chronicled the incident and its aftermath in a series of videos on his Facebook page and on YouTube.In a first video, the man confirmed he was determined to bury his father before sundown Tuesday and didn’t allow hospital officials to admit the body or touch it.“The bureaucracy of Anna-Laberge is saying they are not going to release him if we send him in to get declared dead,” the son said, adding a local funeral home declined to pick up the body if it was only to transport it.In two subsequent videos, he confirmed leaving with the body in the back seat of a car and burying him as intended because he was adamant he did want his father’s body preserved in any way.“This is the way that our people are supposed to go,” he said. “They are not supposed to be planted in the ground with embalming fluid to poison the ground, the earth.“A body can only be for one day. So when your loved one dies in the morning, they are to be buried by the end of the day.”He did not return a call seeking further comment.Police in Chateauguay, south of Montreal, confirmed they are investigating.Spokeswoman Nathalie Langevin said they were called on Tuesday and have since been gathering information about what happened.Langevin said police also spoke with the coroner’s office and the Crown as part of the probe.“We’re trying to establish the facts and we have a lot of things to verify,” she said.St-Jean said the incident was a first for the hospital.She said they would like to meet with Kahnawake community members to better understand practices and avoid similar incidents.last_img read more

Visits to Montreals four supervised drug injection sites double since last summer

first_imgMONTREAL – Monthly visits to Montreal’s four, supervised drug-injection facilities have more than doubled since they opened last summer and crime rates have not increased in the neighbourhoods that host the sites, according to a new report by city health authorities.There were about 1,200 visits to the four sites during their first full month of operation last July, while visits jumped to more than 2,500 in April and May of this year.Sandhia Vadlamudy, director of CACTUS Montreal, which operates one of the injection sites, said in an interview Tuesday the program has been a “very great success.”“We’re very satisfied because we have been able to save lives which is our main goal,” she said. “We’ve also been there at the most crucial moments when a person does their injection so we’ve been able to accompany and support people when they need it the most.”Supervised injection sites offer people a place to consume hard drugs under medical supervision.The report by Montreal’s public health department says a total of 876 people made use of the four sites between June 19, 2017 and May 31, 2018, for a total of 21,265 visits.But Vadlamudy admitted the past 12 months weren’t problem-free for CACTUS, a community group that’s been working with drug users for almost 30 years.“We’ve had moments when we had to call emergency services,” she said. “There were important episodes of overdoses or cases of psychological distress.”Three of Montreal’s supervised drug-injection sites, including CACTUS, are located at fixed locations around the downtown area while the fourth is inside a vehicle that drives around the city in order to reach drug users where they are located.City police have noted that contrary to the fears of critics of the sites, crimes rates have not increased in the neighbourhoods that host the three fixed facilities.“The Montreal police service noticed that events linked to crime are comparable to previous years in the sectors where supervised injection services are offered,” Police Cmdr. Simon Durocher said in a statement that accompanied the health report.Vadlamudy said CACTUS will be implementing a new program within the next few weeks, which allows users’ friends to accompany them into the drug-injecting room.“(It) means that a peer, not somebody from the CACTUS team, not a nurse, not a community worker, but a peer will be allowed to assist another person during their injection which is an obstacle for many users — especially women,” she added.The report notes 83 per cent of those who use the facilities are men and 70 per cent of total users of the four sites have been injecting for five years or longer.Most visitors to the supervised injection facilities are between the ages of 20 and 49.Montreal became the second Canadian city after Vancouver to offer locations for people to inject hard drugs under medical supervision.Carole Morissette, a public health official, points out in the report there are about 30 similar sites across Canada.last_img read more

Private investigators to offer update on Sherman homicides this week

first_imgTORONTO – A lawyer hired by the family of billionaire couple Barry and Honey Sherman says he’ll be offering an update this week on a private investigation into the pair’s murders.Brian Greenspan says he will provide details at a news conference on Friday afternoon.The update will be held at the headquarters of Apotex, the generic pharmaceutical giant founded by Barry Sherman.The Shermans were found dead in their Toronto mansion last December.Police, who have classified their deaths as a targeted double homicide, say the pair were found in a semi-seated position with belts around their necks by the house pool.The Shermans’ family members, upset by initial erroneous media reports on the police investigation, hired Greenspan to conduct a private probe. Police have not offered any updates on the case since confirming the double homicide in January.last_img read more

Graham US should be stronger on Canadians detained in China

first_imgMUNICH — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday the response by the United States to China detaining two Canadians in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a Chinese Huawei executive has not been strong enough.Graham also told Munich Security Conference delegates the international reaction to China’s arrest of ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor hasn’t been enough to persuade China that its apparent use of hostage diplomacy won’t be tolerated.“The president has been tough on China but this is one area where I think we need to make a more definitive statement, because the two people arrested in China had nothing to do with the rule of law. It was just grabbing two Canadians,” Graham said.Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who appeared on the panel with Graham, mouthed the words “thank you” to Graham after he said it. Roland Paris, one of the delegates and a former foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asked Graham about it.U.S. ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft said last Saturday her country is “deeply concerned” about China’s “unlawful” detention of the two Canadians in what was her first public comments on the cases since China detained them on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Chinese executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested Dec. 1 at the request of U.S. authorities.Meng is the chief financial officer of the Chinese tech giant Huawei and the daughter of its founder. The U.S. wants her extradited to face charges that she committed fraud by misleading banks about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran.China also re-sentenced a convicted Canadian drug smuggler, Robert Schellenberg, to death after the Meng arrest as part of an apparent campaign of intimidation and retribution against Canada.Some analysts have said the U.S. response to China’s arrests of the two Canadians has been muted. President Donald Trump himself has not commented on the Canadians. But U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has, saying China ought to release them. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders and the State Department have issued brief statements of support.Beijing threatened grave consequences for America’s neighbour and longtime ally after Meng was arrested at Vancouver’s airport.Canada has embarked on a campaign with allies to win the release of Kovrig and Spavor, and many countries have issued statements in support.“These are human beings and they only thing they did was be Canadian in China,” Freeland said. Freeland said she would be grateful if more countries spoke out.“We will all be stronger and safer if we all can do that for each other,” she said. “We can’t descend to a might-makes-right world and that’s especially essentially for middle powers.”The two Canadians were detained on vague allegations of “engaging in activities that endanger the national security” of China. They remain locked up without access to lawyers.Meng is out on bail in Canada and awaiting extradition proceedings.___Associated Press writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Smoke from Alberta wildfire drifts northwest covering much of Yukon

first_imgWHITEHORSE — Residents in many parts of Yukon are feeling the effects of smoke from a wildfire burning about 1,000 kilometres away in Alberta.Yukon Wildland Fire Management says smoke arrived in the Whitehorse area early Wednesday and a map tracking the plume shows coverage extending more than 500 kilometres north.The thickest concentration is in east-central Yukon over the Mackenzie Mountains, south of the Arctic Circle.Fire officials say the smoke is not from any of three active wildfires in Yukon, but from the roughly 920-square kilometre blaze threatening the northern Alberta community of High Level.The elderly or anyone in Yukon with heart, lung or chronic breathing problems is urged to stay indoors..Smoke from the High Level wildfire has prompted Environment Canada to issue air quality advisories for the entire northwestern corner of Alberta, the Fort Nelson region of northeastern British Columbia and the Watson Lake area of southeastern Yukon. (CKRW)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Two men go missing in northern BC near where body is found

first_imgThe Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly located the incident in northeastern B.C. It has been changed to northern B.C. DEASE LAKE, B.C. — RCMP in northern British Columbia are searching for two young Vancouver Island men whose vehicle was discovered on fire Friday in the same area where police say a body was found.Police said in a release Sunday night that officers investigating a vehicle fire on Highway 37 about 50 kilometres south of Dease Lake, B.C., received information that led them to discover a body at a highway pullout about two kilometres from the scene of the fire.They said the burned vehicle belonged to 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky, both of Port Alberni, B.C.According to police, the two were travelling through B.C. to Whitehorse in the Yukon to look for work and haven’t been in contact with their families for the past few days.They were last seen in Dease Lake on Thursday travelling in a red and grey Dodge pickup truck with a sleeping camper.Police said they were still working to identify the male body that was found, determine the cause of death, and whether there was any connection with the two missing men.Dease Lake is about 470 kilometres away from where 23-year-old Australian Lucas Fowler and his 24-year-old American girlfriend Chynna Deese were found murdered earlier in the week along the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs.Police acknowledge in their Sunday release that “there are growing community concerns about the ongoing homicide investigations in northern B.C.”They add that investigators “are sharing information” about the cases, but don’t say whether any connection between the two has yet been made.last_img read more

Elections Canada to assess partisan climate change rhetoric case by case

first_imgOTTAWA — Elections Canada says it will decide on a case-by-case basis whether discussing the legitimacy of climate change becomes a partisan issue for third parties during the federal campaign, and only if it receives complaints.Environment groups say they feel muzzled from speaking out about the urgency of climate change after the federal elections agency warned earlier this summer that doing so could be considered partisan.The Canada Elections Act could consider advertising partisan if it opposes or supports a policy positions of any party or candidate, even without naming them.If the advertising exceeds $500, third parties would have to register with Elections Canada, raising fears among some environmental charities that the Canada Revenue Agency could also decide they are partisan and put their tax status in jeopardy.In the case of climate change, People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has taken a position that climate change is not an emergency nor caused by humans, which could potentially makes any argument saying differently a partisan statement under the law. Clean Energy Canada has already restricted some of its responses to party positions to avoid running afoul of the law, while Greenpeace Canada is planning to cease all advertising on climate change during the writ period.An Elections Canada spokeswoman says the rules around advertising for third parties are not new, but concedes the concerns about climate change may be coming up only now because the environment is poised to play a bigger role in the campaign, which is expected to get underway early next month.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Union federal government under pressure to reach a deal before election

first_imgOTTAWA — The country’s biggest public-sector union says it’s prepared to stay at the bargaining table with the federal government to reach a new contract for more than 70,000 of its members as the clock ticks toward a general election campaign.The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents about 140,000 federal employees, returned to negotiations Sept. 1 after it said the Trudeau government gave indications that it was prepared to do better than the terms already agreed to with other civil service unions.PSAC was the lone holdout earlier this year when it rejected Ottawa’s offer of wage increases and compensation for the stress caused to public servants by the Phoenix pay-system debacle.Several other unions reached tentative agreements that included a cumulative, one-time extra week off over four years for federal employees who were left struggling with the pay system, which has overpaid, underpaid, and in some cases not paid employees at all since its launch in 2016.Signatories included the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the Association of Canadian Financial Officers and the Canadian Association of Professional Employees.Wage provisions added up to minimum increases of two per cent each year in 2018 and 2019, and 1.5 per cent in 2020 and 2021, plus adjustments to wage grids that could increase wages by another one per cent.PSAC spokesman Riccardo Filippone would not say Friday exactly what convinced his union to return to the bargaining table.But it had earlier placed two conditions on resuming bargaining. First, it wanted an indication that the government was prepared to talk about a better wage deal than the other unions had accepted. The other was that the government would have to be prepared to talk about Phoenix compensation that involved more than just time off.“(Treasury Board) very recently communicated that those two contextual demands would be something they could head back to the table to consider,” Filippone said.The current talks affect about 71,000 program and administrative employees, but it is widely expected that similar contract conditions would apply to other categories of government workers should a deal be struck.It was not clear Friday whether bargaining would continue through the weekend, although Filippone acknowledged the expectation of an election call coming any day added an element of pressure to the talks.In May, the government said it had reached tentative agreements with unions representing more than 146,000 of its employees to compensate workers affected by the problems with Phoenix. Those agreements included clauses that would provide workers with compensation in line with whatever improvements PSAC could wrestle from the government.Under the terms of the deal struck in the spring, the Phoenix compensation included a one-time provision of additional annual leave for employees and a cash pay-out equivalent to the five days of leave for former employees or the estates of deceased employees.PSAC president Chris Aylward called the deal “meagre” and argued the arrangement treated lower-paid employees unfairly because they would receive less money than higher-paid workers if they decided to cash out their vacation time.A spokesman for the Treasury Board Secretariat, which is responsible for contract negotiations, declined to comment on the current round of bargaining.The government’s pay centre continues to grapple with a backlog of roughly 230,000 unresolved pay complaints, a number which has slowly declined since peaking near 300,000 at the beginning of the year.Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Power outage in North Bay Ont caused by fish dropped on powerline

first_imgNORTH BAY, Ont. — A northern Ontario utility says it didn’t have to fish long for answers when fixing a power outage Thursday morning.North Bay Hydro says the electricity cut was caused by a walleye that landed on a pole-mounted transformer.Hydro officials say the fish was likely dropped by a bird.They also joked that a strong-armed resident at loose ends might be throwing fish around.Crews restored power to the affected area within about an hour.The Canadian Presslast_img

Bryan Brothers Support Charity Campaign For Esurance

first_imgEsurance, the official car insurance sponsor of the US Open, is teaming up with the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal-winning Bryan Brothers – Bob and Mike Bryan – and USTA Serves to support two tennis programs benefiting at-risk youth.Facebook users can go to Esurance’s Facebook page at www.esurance.com/facebook to vote for one of the two “game-changing” programs. Esurance will donate $50,000 to USTA Serves and request that it be distributed to each of the programs based on the percentage of votes received. Voters can also enter a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to the men’s singles final of the 2013 US Open.Additionally, visitors to the Facebook page will have access to an exclusive video of the Bryans, as well as more information about USTA Serves and the two participating tennis programs— East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring and the Kids and Police Tennis Association.“USTA Serves is excited to partner with Esurance to support East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring and Kids and Police Tennis Association. Both programs are game changers for the hundreds of kids benefitting from the powerful combination of tennis and education. Now they’ll get the extra attention, tutoring, and computer support they need to succeed in school and throughout their lives,” said Deborah Larkin, Executive Director USTA Serves.USTA Serves is a not-for-profit entity dedicated to enhancing the lives of at-risk children and individuals with disabilities through the integration of tennis and education. People from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds are beneficiaries of USTA Serves, which supports organizations that use tennis as a vehicle to help at-risk children finish high school and qualify for college scholarships.last_img read more

Piper Perabo Joins Forces With International Rescue Committee

first_imgThe International Rescue Committee has announced that it is joining forces with Golden Globe nominated actress Piper Perabo to raise awareness of the needs of refugees and people who have been displaced by conflict, religious persecution or political oppression around the world.Perabo joins an impressive team of IRC Voices: young, prominent artists including Rashida Jones, John Legend, Morena Baccarin, and Joshua Redman, who have all committed to doing their part to speak up on behalf of some of the world’s most vulnerable.“I have tremendous admiration for the work the IRC does both in the United States, and around the world,” Perabo said. “Whether it’s assisting refugees who have been forced to flee the Syrian conflict or guiding refugee youth through the New York public school system, their work is important, impactful and transforms lives. I am excited and honored to join the IRC’s team.”Perabo first learned about the IRC from a relative who works as a caseworker for the IRC’s refugee resettlement program in Boise. She was inspired by the work the IRC does to assist refugees who have been given sanctuary in the U.S. as they start to rebuild their lives. Over the coming year Perabo will have the opportunity to visit select IRC programs around the world.“At a time when it is easy to dismiss humanitarian crises as insoluble or incomprehensible, the IRC is delighted that Piper Perabo should add her voice to those ready to stand up for human dignity,” said the IRC’s president, David Miliband. “I hope that Piper Perabo’s example inspires others to believe that man-made problems require ingenuity and commitment, not a shrug of the shoulder. These values have defined America’s story for many years, and they have rarely been more needed than today.”Perabo was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Annie Walker in USA Network’s “Covert Affairs,” now in its fifth season. She has also appeared in several Hollywood films including “Imagine Me & You,” “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Cheaper by the Dozen 2,” “The Lazarus Project” and “Coyote Ugly.” In 2009, Perabo made her Broadway debut in Neil Labute’s “Reasons to be Pretty.”The IRC was founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein. Since then, the organization has enjoyed the support of many high profile artists, including Marc Chagall, Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Paul McCartney, Paul Newman and Liv Ullmann.last_img read more

Carrie Underwood Highlights Military Families With Honor Family Fun Initiative

first_imgCarnival Cruise Line today released the first in a new video series featuring heartwarming meet-and-greet opportunities between seven-time GRAMMY-award winning country superstar Carrie Underwood and U.S. military families recognized through the Honor. Family. Fun. program benefiting Operation Homefront.Video: Carnival’s Honor Family Fun Surprise with Carrie Underwood – The Vaughn FamilyIn the first video, Underwood surprises the Vaughn family, whose patriarch Phillip served in the U.S. Army, at a pre-concert event in Washington, D.C., during her Storyteller Tour. Underwood thanked Vaughn for his service to our country and invited his family, which includes his wife Jung Sun and kids Tara and Jeremy, to her special private concert for military families pierside aboard Carnival Vista in New York on Nov. 4, 2016. Carnival Cruise Director Butch Begovich then awarded the Vaughn family a free Carnival cruise.“This initiative with Carrie and Operation Homefront has been extremely rewarding and this first video in the series featuring the Vaughn family shows how Honor. Family. Fun. is positively affecting so many people,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “The men and women of our military deserve our respect and admiration and we hope that Carnival’s small role in their lives will show them how much we value what they do for our country,” she added.Carnival and Underwood have partnered on the year-long Honor. Family. Fun. initiative which is designed to support U.S. military families through Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit that builds strong, stable and secure military families.The Vaughns are among dozens of military families recognized during 10 stops on Underwood’s Storyteller Tour. During the pre-concert events, military families, chosen in partnership with Operation Homefront, were treated to a personal meet-and-greet with Underwood who then invited them to her exclusive concert aboard Carnival Vista.“Meeting the Vaughn family was touching for me and I hope they are as excited to come to my concert in New York as I was to surprise them with the invitation,” said Underwood. “This program has afforded me the opportunity to personally thank these soldiers for all that they do, and I am grateful to be a part of something so positive and rewarding.”Driving the effort to raise funds for Operation Homefront, supporters will have the opportunity to donate by clicking on the “Donate Now” button on carnival.com/HonorFamilyFun. Commemorative dog tags also are also available for purchase at merchandise stands at all The Storyteller Tour stops as well as throughout Carnival’s fleet with all proceeds going to Operation Homefront.Carnival has also launched a new shipboard military appreciation program. Each ship is hosting a special event onboard to recognize active and retired military personnel and their families and kicks off with a welcome video featuring Underwood. The country music superstar also will join the Carnival LIVE! roster of artists in early 2017, with further details to be announced at a later date.Carnival’s most family-friendly ship, Carnival Vista, will set sail in Europe in May 2016 and make her stateside debut in New York in November before repositioning to Miami for year-round service later that month.last_img read more

NBA Star Luol Deng Raises Funds To Support South Sudan

first_imgOn Saturday, NBA All-Star and Miami Heat Forward, Luol Deng, announced his efforts to address the humanitarian crisis currently facing millions of people in his native country of South Sudan.Deng and the Luol Deng Foundation aim to raise funds in honor of his 31st birthday on April 16. Deng has set a goal of $100,000 to be contributed to UNICEF’s humanitarian programs supporting the most vulnerable children and families in South Sudan.The crowdfunding campaign on Crowdrise.com will run through the end of April. Funds will be donated to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in support of UNICEF’s emergency response with a focus on alleviating food insecurity and malnutrition in South Sudan. UNICEF is training health providers and partners on how to treat children with severe acute malnutrition through the Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food which is a protein and vitamin-rich peanut paste. Together with the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF has set-up a joint Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM), designed to dispatch teams to provide nutrition services directly to children in hard-to-reach conflict-affected areas. The RRM package saves lives through combining food assistance with preventive and curative nutrition, health interventions and access to safe drinking water and hygiene, targeting the underlying causes of malnutrition.Deng is calling on others to join him in supporting UNICEF’s emergency efforts to reach displaced children and families with lifesaving treatment and other essential services as part of UNICEF’s broader humanitarian response. UNICEF is working closely with partners to provide safe drinking water, immunizations, maternal and newborn health care, child protection and education – including in hard-to-reach areas affected by heavy fighting. Deng will match the first $50,000 in funds raised by the community.Deng said, “South Sudan is my home and I am humbled to be in a position to help those suffering from lack of access to basic needs, especially the children facing severe acute malnutrition. I hope to raise awareness of their plight and inspire others to support the millions of South Sudanese people who are in urgent need of lifesaving assistance.”The world’s newest country became an independent state in 2011 following decades of civil war. Approximately 9.6 million South Sudanese people – more than half of whom are children – have been affected by conflict. Many displaced families remain without shelter, access to food and water and are at risk of disease due to the lack of sanitation facilities. The rainy season and related flash flooding exacerbate the humanitarian crisis by flooding camps for displaced people, destroying shelters and flooding facilities with contaminated water.In 2016 it is expected that 7.5 million people will suffer from food insecurity, while more than 235,000 children will suffer from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition. In remote areas and those difficult to access, these numbers are expected to increase significantly. The time to act is now.Donors are invited to contribute to the campaign here. No amount is too small to help the residents of South Sudan. For example, a $10 gift can provide 21 packets of Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Food which can bring a child back to a healthy weight within six to eight weeks, $25 will provide 743 packets of micro-nutrient powder and $50 can provide 58 packets of therapeutic milk.last_img read more

Bob Evans Farms Goes Purple For Gary Sinise Foundation

first_imgBob Evans Farms, Inc., is proud to announce its commitment to support America’s active duty, veterans, and their families with the launch of its “Our Farm Salutes” campaign.Bob Evans Farms Goes PurpleAs part of the program, Bob Evans Farms has painted its iconic barn purple, a color that represents every branch of service, and is donating $200,000 as well as thousands of meals to support the Gary Sinise Foundation’s (GSF) Serving Heroes program, an initiative that provides meals to active duty, veterans, and their families as a way of showing gratitude for their service and sacrifice.“Supporting the men and women that serve our country has always been a part of the culture at Bob Evans Farms, and we could not be more excited to further our commitment of showing gratitude by encouraging others to join us as we salute all of those that unselfishly serve us,” said Bob Evans Farms, Inc. President and CEO Saed Mohseni. “In painting the Bob Evans barn purple and partnering with the Gary Sinise Foundation in support of their Serving Heroes program, we are making it known that ‘Our Farm Salutes’ all of America’s active duty, veterans, and their families.”As part of the “Our Farms Salutes” campaign, Bob Evans Farms is urging all Americans to join them in going purple this summer to show gratitude to those that serve. By visiting OurFarmSalutes.com, the public can share a message of support or make a donation to help support the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Serving Heroes program.Throughout 2016, in partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation and its Serving Heroes program, Bob Evans Farms, Inc. will serve over 6,000 meals to military heroes and their families at military bases, USO centers and VAs across the country at Serving Heroes events.In addition, Bob Evans will share a series of broadcast television and radio public service announcements featuring Gary Sinise in support of the Foundation’s Serving Heroes program.Designed by ‘The Barn Artist,’ Scott Hagan and Columbus artist David Browning, the newly painted Bob Evans barn features a mural honoring current and past members of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines. The painting took a total of 11 days, 176 man-hours and 30 gallons of paint to complete and will remain on the building through Veteran’s Day.“A hearty meal and time spent with family around a dinner table is often the thing service members miss most during tours of duty,” said Gary Sinise, founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation. “The generous contribution made by Bob Evans Farms to our Serving Heroes program will help us to feed our nation’s service men and women and their families, in mind, body and soul; and the painted purple barn stands as a beacon of honor to those who protect our freedoms.”For more information on the “Our Farm Salutes” campaign, look for the purple packaging on Bob Evans packaged foods products in your local grocery store, or please visit www.OurFarmSalutes.com.last_img read more

Joe Biden Joins Line Up For Social Good Summit

first_imgThe annual Social Good Summit, a unique convening of world leaders, new media and technology experts, grassroots activists and voices from around the world, today announced a slate of new speakers headlined by a talk from Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden.Vice President Biden will deliver remarks on the importance of global collaboration in the fight against cancer, in conjunction with his efforts leading the White House Cancer Moonshot, which was established earlier this year at the President’s State of the Union address.The Vice President joins the Social Good Summit this year alongside a unique mix of speakers who will share their visions for the future including Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives and Ambassador Samantha Power.The Summit is an annual event that takes place as world leaders come together at the United Nations General Assembly to discuss global issues and ways in which to tackle them. Recognizing that the voices and ideas of concerned global citizens connected by social media and technology can be powerful forces for change, Mashable, 92nd Street Y, the United Nations Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme partner to host the Social Good Summit to expand the UN conversations to include innovators, activists and entrepreneurs around the world.This year’s theme – #2030NOW: Connecting Today, Creating Tomorrow – challenges speakers, participants and a growing worldwide community to explore how technology, digital media and collaboration across borders can be leveraged to address the world’s most important and longstanding issues, benefiting people everywhere and helping to build a better future for all.Last year, the Social Good Summit in New York connected people throughout the world with live streams in seven different languages, and in-person or online meetings organized by people in their own communities in over 100 countries. Connected through video and social media, Summit events used the common hashtag #2030Now to share innovative ideas for the future of our world, generating 1.6 billion impressions.The goal of the Social Good Summit is to empower people everywhere to have their voices heard, both during and after UN Week.For more information on the Social Good Summit go to SocialGoodSummit.com.last_img read more