Daily Planet takes holidays to a new level with HighTech Toys Week

first_img Twitter It’s beginning to look a lot like…“High-Tech Toys Week”! Santa’s helpers, better known as the team behind Discovery’s daily sci-tech series DAILY PLANET, are hard at work preparing for every tech toy-lover’s favourite week of the year, “High-Tech Toys Week”. Airing exclusively on Discovery beginning Monday, Dec. 5 through Friday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, DAILY PLANET explores a week full of boundless innovation and imagination.From a life-size Transformer car to vertical air hockey, viewers are invited to join co-hosts Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin as they fill Santa’s sleigh with the season’s most exciting, outlandish, and coveted high-tech toys from around the world.“High-Tech Toys Week” was the second most-watched theme week on DAILY PLANET during the 2015/16 broadcast year, trailing only “Future-Tech Week”. DAILY PLANET, the world’s only nightly science broadcast reaches more than 1.3 million viewers each week and continues to win the 7 p.m. ET timeslot among Canadian entertainment specialty channels during the 2016/17 broadcast year among all key adult demographics. “Teal Highspeed Drone”George Matus was 11 years old when he flew his first drone and was immediately blown away. By 16, Matus was competing as a professional drone racer and acting as a test pilot for new aircraft. Today, Matus is the CEO of his own drone and software company, Teal. After years of flying, crashing, rebuilding, and modifying dozens of versions of drones, Matus has completed his dream drone, the Teal. The highly impressive unmanned aircraft flies at more than 120 kilometres per hour, can operate in wind speeds of 64 kilometres per hour, and has a built-in camera, GPS, and autonomous capabilities. From gaming and augmented reality to security applications and agriculture, Matus wants to make this drone do anything the imagination can conjure. Testing diffferent flight propellers and evaluating for speed, noise, and handling, Matus and the Teal team join DAILY PLANET as they race to get to market “the world’s fastest production drone in its class.”“Climball”What is the result when pinball, air hockey, wall climbing, and a splash of augmented reality mix together? Climball – a high-tech, fast-paced game combining  augmented reality technology with rock climbing. The physically engaging game tracks the players’ movements while they compete to volley a virtual ball. DAILY PLANET climbs on board to get a closer look at the tech behind the newest way to get into shape.“The PancakeBot” Marking the very first food printer of its kind, the $300 PancakeBot  is the brainchild of Miguel Valenzuela, a civil engineer, inventor, and father living in Norway. A container of batter is attached to PancakeBot’s mechanical printing arm where underneath sits a flat, heated griddle that acts as its canvas. Users can turn almost anything into a yummy breakfast treat – a child’s drawing, a product image, a team’s logo, or even a favorite piece of artwork. DAILY PLANET meets with Valenzuela, who spills the batter on PancakeBot’s food printing technology.“Amphibious Helicopter”Novelty car builder Jeff Bloch, also known as SpeedyCop, is the master of developing crazy, homemade cars. He’s built a fighter jet car, an upside down Camaro, and even a car that stretches out like an accordion – all capable of racing at 24 Hours of LeMons, a series of endurance races held on paved courses across the U.S. This year, Bloch recycled a damaged helicopter from the Vietnam War and transformed it into a mighty machine that can race on land and in water, making the gadget an entirely amphibious helicopter. Although it can’t take flight just yet, it has some truly astounding capabilities! DAILY PLANET meets Bloch to discuss how he intends to take these off-the-wall vehicles from the junkyard to the racetrack.“Carr-E”Many city drivers have experienced the congestion of downtown roadways during rush hour – the impatience, the frustration, and the worry. Well, Ford Motor Company is hoping to prevent commuter frustration with the “Last Mile Mobility Challenge”. One of this year’s finalists is Kilian Vas, a Ford engineer who has designed and built the Carr-E. An easily transported, segway-like vehicle, the Carr-E can propel motorist through all types of traffic. Carr-E’s ultrasonic sensors and built-in GPS allow it to navigate through busy streets, avoiding any obstacle thrown in its path. DAILY PLANET meets with Vas to test out the four-wheel, electric pedestrian assistant that could potentially be the next big breakthrough in urban commuting.Subscribers can catch up on past episodes on demand on the Discovery GO app and at Discovery.ca. Live streaming of DAILY PLANET is also available on Discovery GO. Login/Register With: Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Highlights from DAILY PLANET’s “High-Tech Toys Week” include:“Transformer Car” The BMW can now shapeshift from a car into huge robot, thanks to a prototype designed by Turkish company, Letrons. The Antiomon is a real-life, nearly five-metre tall Transformer with driving capabilities. A total of five working models were developed by a team of 12 engineers, with each featuring a 35,000 hydraulic cylinder system that allows for quick and effective transformations. DAILY PLANET meets with the development team to discuss the Antiomon’s price tag in advance of its consumer debut.last_img read more

The truth is still out there The XFiles is coming back again

first_img Facebook Login/Register With: The truth is out there: “The X-Files” is coming back.Fox said Thursday it has ordered a second chapter of what it’s calling an “X-Files” “event series.” The 10-episode series will air during the upcoming 2017-18 TV season.The 1993-2002 drama about paranormal events and UFOs returned in 2016 for a six-episode run with stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Fox said Duchovny and Anderson will be back as Mulder and Scully for the new season from creator and executive producer Chris Carter.Production on “The X-Files” is set to begin this summer. An air date was not announced by Fox. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

CANADIAN ACTOR SIMU LIU IS IN DEMAND AFTER YEARS STRUGGLING TO MAKE

first_imgBecoming an actor on a popular new Canadian TV show or a stunt double on a Fall Out Boy music video was not at all on Simu Liu’s radar when he was working as an accountant in Toronto. Until he was laid off – and his world opened up.“I remember feeling oddly free in that moment. I was without a job, but I thought I can do whatever I want. This is my one chance to really just try something. I owe it to myself to really give it a shot,” said Liu, HBA’11.This past year, Liu’s acting career has gained momentum, with the success of his roles on CBC’s Kim’s Convenience and NBC’s Taken. Despite his respect for Toronto’s strong film industry, his ultimate goal is to move to Hollywood. On a recent trip there, he met with agents and casting directors in L.A., including doctor-turned actor Ken Jeong (best known for his role in The Hangover) about a possible buddy cop movie that Liu hopes to write. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Twitter “I started talking to him (Jeong) on Twitter. When I got to L.A., he said come by the set and we can hang out more. So I ended up spending a lot of time with him. His advice was that you can’t wait. I joked that we should do a buddy cop movie for both of us and he said, ‘If you write it, I’ll be in it,” Liu said.While there is no formal training to show actors how to network, Liu credits his networking and soft skills courses at Ivey Business School with giving him the tools he needed to push forward in his career and not be afraid to reach out.“The hard part is to think of it (your career) as a start-up and think of yourself as an entrepreneur rather than an artist that waits for the phone to ring for opportunities,” he said.“I spent so many years struggling as an actor. Then suddenly, I’m in demand. The only thing actors want to do is work. It was amazing – tiring, brutal and amazing,” he said of his recent schedule shooting two television shows at once.In a long list of acting credentials Liu also includes stunt man, writer, director and producer – all skills that round out his already full resume.Following his layoff from his accounting firm, Liu started out by looking at TV and film opportunities on Craigslist. In amongst some of the more unsavory ads was a posting for the movie Pacific Rim by director Guillermo del Toro. The movie was being shot in Toronto and they were looking for extras. The role paid just $10 dollars an hour, but it was the stepping stone Liu needed to start his acting career. As soon as he arrived on set he knew he was home.“I ended up falling in love with everything I saw. People have careers devoted to the movies. It wasn’t just the actors – the assistant director, the gaffers working the lights – it was everything. It was such a big production.”While Ivey attracted him to Western, Liu credits one of his first experiences as a frosh with giving him his first taste of fame and one he would reflect on often as he launched his acting career. Facebook Login/Register With:last_img read more

GIVE THE GIFT OF DOCUMENTARY FILM THIS HOLIDAY SEASON WITH EXCITING TICKET

first_imgAdvertisement Toronto, November 21, 2017 – Share the magic of documentary film this holiday season with a special gift for your loved ones from Hot Docs! Offering the best in documentary cinema, Hot Docs has something for everyone on your list this year including ticket packages and all-access passes to this year’s 25th anniversary Festival, Hot Docs memberships, merchandise and more – perfect for anyone who is as passionate about doc film as we are!For the doc-lover on your list, stuff their stocking with an all-access pass to this year’s 25th anniversary Festival (April 26-May 6)! These passes allow entry to all screenings during Hot Docs’ 11-day Festival in the spring. Don’t worry about ordering tickets in advance, seats are reserved for pass-holders; patrons just need to show their pass at the box office to be granted admission.Enjoy the brilliance of documentary film with friends and family with shareable ticket packages. Available in quantities of six, 10 or 20, these packages can be used towards, and divided amongst, any film during the Festival. Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Hot Docs memberships make great gifts too! Whether your loved ones see a few, or a few dozen films each year, memberships at the Bronze, Silver, Gold or the Membership Plus level all include savings, exclusive invitations, free popcorn and a subscription to our special member newsletter.Let your friends know you care with a holiday gift certificate from Hot Docs, so they can choose which film they’d like to see from our extensive list of screenings. Include some one-of-a-kind Hot Docs merchandise, too, and browse the online cinema store for goodies like DVDs, limited edition t-shirts and more!Spread the love this holiday season by supporting documentary film through a donation to Hot Docs. A non-profit organization, Hot Docs relies on donations to help bring documentary film to wide audiences and assist filmmakers with production and distribution..Hot Docs (www.hotdocs.ca), North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, will present its 25th annual edition from April 26-May 6, 2018. An outstanding selection of approximately 200 documentaries from Canada and around the world will be presented to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs will also mount a full roster of conference sessions and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum, Hot Docs Deal Maker and the Doc Shop. Hot Docs owns the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. Facebook Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL BUYS PAW PATROL LIVE SHOW OWNER VSTAR FOR UNDISCLOSED

first_img Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has announced the acquisition of a Minnesota-based company that produces theatrical shows, exhibits, cruise ship activities and outdoor events.The deal announced Thursday is for VStar Entertainment Group and its Florida-based subsidiary, Cirque Dreams.While terms were not disclosed, Cirque du Soleil president Daniel Lamarre told The Canadian Press the transaction is worth “several million dollars.” Advertisement Advertisement The PAW Patrol Live ‘Race to the Rescue’ tour visited 250 cities in 18 countries on four continents last year. (Associated Press)center_img Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: VStar, which has about 120 employees, is best known for its children and family shows, including “PAW Patrol.”The PAW Patrol Live ‘Race to the Rescue’ tour visited 250 cities in 18 countries on four continents in 2017.last_img read more

THE BEST AND WORST TORONTO STAGE STORIES OF 2018

first_imgAdvertisement Tarragon’s Girl’s Like That was one of the many female-led shows in 2018. (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann) THE NEW ARTISTIC LEADERSHIPNever in recent memory has there been such a turnover of talent at the top creative jobs at the city’s theatres and festivals in such a short space of time. The lauded appointment of Weyni Mengesha as Soulpepper’s artistic director was only one of many such changes. The proudly queer Brendan Healy, formerly of Buddies, took over at Canadian Stage, and Josephine Ridge, after abruptly resigning at Luminato two years into her tenure, was replaced by her deputy artistic director, Naomi Campbell, a producer with the festival since 2013. Things look good for 2019.ROBERT LEPAGE’S BIG YEARThe first half of Quebec genius Lepage’s year was filled with major accomplishments at some of the country’s biggest institutions.First came the remount of his sumptuous The Nightingale And Other Short Fables for the Canadian Opera Company, which had to add an extra performance to fulfill audience demand; then came his movie-inspired production of Coriolanus at the Stratford Festival, which earned near universal raves; and then the National Ballet of Canada premiered Frame By Frame, in which Lepage and Ex Machina’s work tended to overshadow that of choreographer Guillaume Côté.But then, in late summer, came the cancellations of two new Lepage works: Kanata, a show that was to explore the relationship between Indigenous people and white settlers in Canada, and SLAV, a show that featured African-American slave songs performed by a white singer. Login/Register With: While there was plenty of drama on Toronto stages this year, there was lots off it as well, beginning with a #MeToo story that made international headlines. If there’s a common denominator to these items, it’s the addressing of the historic imbalance of power and allowing hitherto marginalized voices to finally be heard. Amen.No doubt some savvy playwrights will use these very stories in their future work.THE SOULPEPPER STEAMROLLERNot a week into the new year, four actors once associated with Soulpepper – Kristin Booth, Patricia Fagan, Diana Bentley and Hannah Miller – accused the company’s founding artistic director, Albert Schultz, of sexual assault and harassment. The company acted quickly, Schultz and Leslie Lester, Soulpepper’s executive director, resigned, and Alan Dilworth stepped in as acting artistic director. While it would take months for the women’s civil suits against Schultz and the company to be settled, the incident encouraged other people in vulnerable positions to step forward about their experiences at the George Brown Theatre School and the Randolph College for the Performing Arts. The situation at Soulpepper also led to them hiring a new executive director and artistic director, which leads to…. Advertisement Weyni Mengesha’s appointment as Soulpepper’s new artistic director provided good news after the company’s difficult year. Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

14 MILLION VIEWERS IN FIRST WEEK MAKE CTVS CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED JANN THE

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement TORONTO (March 27, 2019) – Following its premiere last Wednesday (March 20), CTV confirmed today its new original comedy series JANN is the most-watched Canadian comedy this broadcast year. Following five days of PVR playback, the premiere episode of JANN currently has a cumulative average audience of 1.4 million viewers so far for its premiere and weekend encore broadcast (March 23). Building on its Wednesday night success on CTV, the episode has reached 2.8 million Canadians across all airings. It’s the biggest Canadian comedy debut since CTV’s THE INDIAN DETECTIVE starring Russell Peters.Becoming Bell Media’s most successful digital premiere to date, the debut episode of JANN was available during an extensive 16-day preview on multiple platforms including CTV.ca, CTV On Demand, Crave, CTV’s YouTube page, and more.“We’re delighted Canadians are responding to the comedic brilliance of Jann Arden with such enthusiasm,” said Executive Producer and Bell Media President Randy Lennox. “We’re thrilled that JANN gets funnier with each and every episode!” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook The series continues tonight (March 27) with the new episode “Go with the Flowga” at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca, the CTV App, and Crave. At the same time, series star Jann Arden takes to the Canadian Screen Award stage tonight to host the CTV Gala Honouring Creative Fiction Storytelling, streaming live for free on CTV.ca and the CTV app beginning at 7 p.m. ET.JANN premiered to critical acclaim and social media buzz, including 25 million total potential impressions during the March 20 premiere, with #JANNonCTV trending on Twitter in Canada during the premiere episode.*What fans are saying on Twitter:@TorrensJonathan – Great debut @jannarden! Solid jokes + physical comedy + self-deprecation = All the makings of a hit! Congrats to you and your crew. #jannonctv #cdntv@marthaelmusic – #JANNonCTV So funny. Thank you @jannarden and congratulations on a great series!@davidLearoyd – #JannOnCTV @jannarden OMG I can’t stop laughing!@aintlifeswells – We are laughing so hard! Loooooving it!!!! #JANNonCTVIn tonight’s new episode, Jann (Jann Arden) is recording a “We Are the World”- style charity song about empowering young women. But when she learns she has merely a small part in the chorus of the single, with her voice drowned out by other singers, Jann demands a full solo part in the song. And she doesn’t care which of her managers, new or old, helps her get it! This episode guest stars Canadian singer and multi-instrumentalist Kiesza.Encore presentations of JANN air Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.About JANNSet and filmed in Calgary, JANN was co-developed by Bell Media and Project 10 Productions and is produced in association with Project 10 Productions and Seven24 Films.JANN is executive produced by Andrew Barnsley and Ben Murray for Project 10 Productions, and Tom Cox and Jordy Randall for Seven24 Films. Jann Arden, Leah Gauthier, and Jennica Harper created the series and will also serve as Executive Producers with Jennica Harper Showrunning. For Bell Media, Chris Kelley is Production Executive; Sarah Fowlie is Director, Comedy Original Programming; Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Original Programming. Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming. Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.center_img Login/Register With: Jann Arden Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Memories of a fire

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt was a day that two police officers with the Nishnawbe Aski police force will never forget.David Nakogee and Claudius Kooses were on duty when a fire tore through their broken down detachment in Kashechewan.The blaze took the lives of two prisoners and forever changed the lives of the officers involved.They’ve never spoken to the media about what happened.Now Nakogee and Kooses sit down with APTN National News reporter Wayne Roberts to walk back to that dark day.last_img

Girls aged 2 7 among four dead discovered by Iqaluit RCMP

first_img(Photo: Sylvain Degrasse, 44, with his daughter Alexandra Degrasse, in 2005)By Kent DriscollAPTN National NewsIQALUIT– A two-year-old girl and her seven-year-old sister were among the four bodies discovered by the RCMP in Iqaluit Tuesday.RCMP confirmed the girls’ parents were also found dead.RCMP said they found the father, Sylvain Degrasse, 44, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot blast to the face in a cemetery.They later found his common-law partner Vivian Sula Enuaraq, 29, and their two children Alexandra Degrasse, 7, and Aliyah Degrasse, 2, in the family’s home.RCMP said they are treating the deaths as a homicide investigation, but are not searching for suspects.“The circumstances surrounding the discovery of four bodies…remains under investigation,” said RMCP in a statement.Iqaluit residents are reeling after RCMP discovered four bodies Tuesday, triggering the cancellation of classes at the local elementary school, according to the city’s mayor.Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern said residents were “shaken” by the discovery of the bodies.“This has really shaken our community,” said Redfern, in a statement. “We need to come together and help each other pull through this.People living near the cemetery reported an unoccupied truck at in the early afternoon which was eventually shut off by a local resident at about 3 p.m.Redfern said the news of the deaths left residents in “shock” and disbelief.Redfern said she would be seeking to get crisis intervention to deal with the trauma that has impacted many people.“Many people, including family and friends of the victims, emergency responders and community members need immediate counselling,” said Redfern. “At the same time this territory must work together to end the root causes of our problems.”kdriscoll@aptn.calast_img read more

There are no words to explain it

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe stats are stunning.The UN says one million people will die from suicide this year.In Canada, a 2007 study showed First Nation people kill themselves at twice the rate of the rest of Canada.APTN National News reporter Rob Smith has a story about a family and how suicide changed their life.last_img

Missing women inquiry hears of Pickton records destroyed

first_imgAPTN National NewsA woman identified only as “Ms. Anderson” survived an attack from Robert Pickton in 1997, but the Crown Prosecutor’s records of the incident were destroyed in 2000 after the charges were stayed, the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry has heard.Anderson was expected to testify at the inquiry this week, but still suffers from social and psychological issues surrounding the attack.The inquiry heard from Randi Connor, the Crown Prosecutor who stayed the charges against Pickton. She said that records of a previous sexual assault by Pickton were not in a report delivered to Crown Counsel at the time.APTN National News reporter Tina House has the details.last_img read more

Opposition hammers Harper government on First Nation issues

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt was “opposition day” in the House of Commons Thursday.And that means the opposition parties stepped up efforts to force the Stephen Harper government to act on solutions echoed by the grassroots of Idle No More and Aboriginal leaders.APTN National News reporter Nancy Pine has the story.last_img

Death threats brandished weapons forcible confinement triggered raid RCMP

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe RCMP moved in on the anti-shale gas protest near Elsipogtog First Nation after some individuals at the site issued death threats, brandished weapons and forcibly confined security guards in a compound holding vehicles belonging to a Houston-based energy company, according to the force’s superintendent of national Aboriginal policing.The RCMP has faced criticism from First Nations leaders across the country over last Thursday’s raid last which led to 40 arrests, the seizure of three rifles and improvised explosive devices and intense clashes between Elsipogtog residents and RCMP officers.Supt. Tyler Bates said he didn’t agree with the criticism his force used heavy handed tactics to try and break the protest encampment which was blocking the entrance to a compound holding vehicles belonging to SWN Resources Canada. The company had been conducting shale gas exploration work in the region.“If my life was in jeopardy and I had been threatened with harm I would expect the police to take some action to protect me,” said Bates. “There was a criminal element there that escalated matters.”Bates did not provide details on how long the guards were trapped in the compound, what types of death threats were issued or what types of weapons were brandished. He said it was up to the RCMP’s J-Division in New Brunswick to release those details.“We were left with no option but to intervene to protect those under threat,” said Bates.The security guards at the compound were employed by Industrial Securities Ltd. The security company is owned by the Irving family. The Irvings, through Irving Oil, have an interest in seeing shale gas deposits developed in the province. The New Brunswick-based company sees shale gas as a cheap energy source to expand its refining capacity. Irving Oil is eyeing Alberta bitumen which could soon flow to the province if TransCanada gets approval for its proposed Energy East pipeline.Two members of the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society, who were arrested during the raid, were released on bail Friday. The two men, Jason Augustine and David Mazerolle, face several charges including unlawful confinement, obstructing a peace officer and assaulting a peace officer.Another member of the Warrior Society was denied bail Thursday and two others remain behind bars awaiting bail hearings including James Pictou, one of the lead spokesmen for the Warrior Society, who is also facing a charge of unlawful confinement.The Mi’kmaq Warrior Society was in charge of security at the encampment, which still sits on Route 134, at the time of the raid. Video taken from the morning of the raid depicted RCMP officers walking into the site unencumbered. The encampment, which is in Rexton, NB, is about 15 kilometres northeast of Elsipogtog First Nation and 80 km north of Moncton.The RCMP raid freed SWN’s vehicles.The encampment was the latest incarnation of long-running protests, lead by Elsipogtog residents, against shale gas exploration in the region. This past summer saw nearly 30 arrests related to protests, including on June 21, Aboriginal Day.Grassroots activists in the Mi’kmaq community fear the discovery of shale gas would lead to fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, which they believe threatens the environment.SWN, however, has been courting First Nations leaders in the province for over a year. Last October, members of the Assembly of First Nations of New Brunswick Chiefs’ consultation committee visited the company’s operations in Arkansas. It remains unclear who paid for the trip.Bates said the raid had reverberations across the country and impacted the RCMP’s ongoing relationship with First Nation communities. The RCMP is the main police force in many First Nation communities.“Sometimes, depending on the perspective of what people choose to believe as the reality of the situation is concerned, it takes a long protracted effort to rebuild trust,” he said. “There is a level of trust that exists that we can build upon. It is unfortunate when these types of outcomes occur and there is a residual impact. The rebuilding of trust has to occur.”Bates said the RCMP has no intention of preventing protests, but, in this circumstance, he said it was forced to act.“There has been misinformation to suggest we would react differently to Aboriginal protests,” he said. “The response to demonstrations will continue to be a measured response. We would just encourage that things remain peaceful and that there be no unlawful activity that transpires.”Bates said the injunction obtained by SWN against the protest played a minimal role in the RCMP’s decision to move.“When there are injunctions by the court that prohibit protest activities, the RCMP is in a position where we apply police discretion in terms of a resolution,” he said. “We don’t unilaterally move in and executive an injunction because an injunction is issued. Our interest was not to enforce an injunction but to get parties at the table.”Bates said the RCMP was trying to negotiate a resolution before the raid.“There was an injunction in place for quite an extended period of time. There were negotiations and mediation and an effort to get people to the table that needed to get to the table,” he said.First Nations protests, which have overtly historical and political elements to them, always put the RCMP in an awkward spot.“It is not my place to point fingers at any particular party. There are differences of opinion in terms of a variety of issues, whether environmental or resource extraction. We are sometimes caught in the middle of opposing interests,” said Bates. “Unfortunately, in this instance, clearly there is progress yet to be made.”Bates said the RCMP’s national Aboriginal policing branch was no involved in the operational details of Thursday’s raid which were handled by the commander of the RCMP’s J-Division in New Brunswick.He stressed there was “no military involvement” during the raid.Bates said he couldn’t comment on whether Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams (INSET) were used in Thursday’s raid, describing the issue as an “operational” detail.INSET teams include RCMP officers along with agents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada Border Services Agency and other federal departments.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Aboriginal Affairs paternalistic selfserving in its use of takeitorleaveit offers

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Specific Claims Tribunal blasted a branch of Aboriginal Affairs for being “paternalistic, self-serving, arbitrary and disrespectful” in a recent ruling impacting the department’s “take-it-or-leave-it” gambit to settle historical claims with First Nations.The Jan. 17 ruling by Judge Patrick Smith eviscerated Aboriginal Affairs’ specific claims branch for its handling of a claim filed by the Aundeck Omni Kaning (AOK) First Nation, which is on Manitoulin Island, and its attempt to block it from accessing the tribunal.Smith said the ruling could have “significant relevance to many other claims” where Canada has put deadlines on settlements for “small value claims.”Under the tribunal’s rules, a band can submit a claim if the department hasn’t made a decision on whether to negotiate a claim three years from the day it was originally filed with Ottawa.A band can also submit a claim before the three years pass if the department indicates it won’t negotiate a settlement.The department has issued numerous take-it-or-leave it settlements to bands across the country seeking compensation for historical grievances around the mismanagement of trust funds and the loss of lands.AOK was seeking access to the tribunal arguing the department was not willing to negotiate a settlement claim which centered on the 1914 payment of $559.63 from the band’s trust fund. The money went to the children of a former band member named George Abotossaway, also known as George Thompson, who gave up his status under a process called enfranchisement in 1909.The band, which was known as the Ojibways of Sucker Cree at the time, obtained confirmation from Aboriginal Affairs deputy minister Patrick Borbey on Nov. 12, 2011, that the payment of the money “was not authorized by law, and thus Canada breached its fiduciary duty.” The money was paid to Abotossaway’s children after he gave up his status.A few months later, Brendan Blom, the assistant negotiator in the specific claims branch, sent a letter dated March 28, 2012, to Chief Patsy Corbier informing the band that the department was offering a take-it-or-leave it offer that was based on a predetermined formula.The formula calculated the owed amount by applying the Consumer Price Index to 80 per cent of the total and adding compound interest at Aboriginal Affairs trust fund rates to 20 per cent of the amount. The actual dollar figure is redacted from the documents filed with the tribunal.Blom’s letter also gave the band 90 days to accept or the department would close the file.The department argued that its take-it-or-leave-it settlement letter to AOK constituted a form of open negotiations putting the claim outside the tribunal’s jurisdiction.  The department argued that the Aboriginal Affairs Minister had “considerable discretion in deciding when to accept, negotiate or not negotiate a claim.”Smith ruled that the department’s position outlined in the settlement letter effectively gave notice to the First Nation that the claim wouldn’t be negotiated.“In deciding to employ a small value claim process in making an offer to settle without discussion, in refusing to discuss or explain the offer, and in imposing a 90 day deadline and then closing the file, Canada, and specifically the minister, effectively decided and notified the claimant that it would not negotiate the claim,” said Smith in his ruling.Smith said the department’s actions fell short of upholding the “honour” of the Crown.“This position, along with the process employed by the specific claims branch for small value claims in relation to this claim, and perhaps many others, is, frankly, paternalistic, self-serving, arbitrary and disrespectful of First Nations,” said Smith. “Such position affords no room for the principles of reconciliation, accommodation and consultation that the Supreme Court, in many decisions, has described as being the foundation of Canada’s relationship with First Nations.”Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt’s office said that the department is reviewing the tribunal’s decision before deciding what to do next. The tribunal’s decision could be put to the Federal Court for a judicial review.Magnetawan First Nation Chief William Diabo said his community, which sits along Ontario’s Hwy 69 near Georgian Bay, received a take-it-or-leave it offer from the department within the past month. Diabo said his claim centres on loss of reserve land through the construction of highways and a redrawing of the reserve’s boundaries.“That may give us another chance to take a kick at the can,” said Diabo.news@aptn.calast_img read more

Lost Franklin Expedition ship discovered in Nunavut

first_img(Image of Franklin Expedition ship discovered by Parks Canada. Photo/Handout)APTN National News OTTAWA–Researchers have found one of two ships lost in the 19th Century during the doomed Franklin Expedition, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday.Harper said the ship’s existence was confirmed Sunday by a Parks Canada using a remote underwater vehicle in the Victoria Strait near King William Island, Nunavut.“For more than a century this has been a great Canadian story, a mystery,” said Harper. “It has been the subject of scientists and historians, writers and singers.”It’s unclear whether the discovered ship is the HMS Erebus or the HMS Terror which became trapped in ice in 1846 searching for the Northwest Passage through the Arctic.The ships were last spotted by Inuit hunters before eventually vanishing.Harper has made the search for the Franklin Expedition ship a personal quest.Parks Canada has lead six searches for the ships since 2008.Most of what is currently known about the ill-fated expedition comes from a note left in a cairn on King William Island. The message stated that the ships became trapped in ice for over a year. Sir John Franklin, who led the expedition, died on June 11, 1847. About 23 crew members also died in a similar way. The remaining crew tried to find a way to safety on foot, but eventually succumbed and were consumed by the elements.news@aptn.calast_img read more

Broken Legal Aid Alberta refused to pay for intellectually challenged womans appeal

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsCALGARY — The Alberta Court of Appeal in Calgary on Thursday ordered the province’s Attorney General to pay for an intellectually challenged woman’s successful appeal of a murder conviction because the legal aid agency refused to foot the bill on grounds the case had no merits.It took the Court of Appeal’s three Justices, Peter Martin, Patricia Rowbotham and Brian O’Ferrall, mere minutes to arrive at the ruling in favour of Deborah Hatch, the Edmonton lawyer who took on the case of Wendy Scott, a 31 year-old Medicine Hat, Alta., resident who pleaded guilty to the 2011 murder of Casey Armstrong, 48. Scott was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.“For (Legal Aid Alberta) to say there is no merit to the appeal in the face of all they know is completely outrageous,” said Hatch, in an interview following the hearing. “It shows you we have a Legal Aid system that is very broken right now.”The same court last week ordered a new trial for Scott after the Crown conceded the facts presented to the original trial judge did not support her guilty plea for second degree murder. Scott is now scheduled to appear before the Court of Queen’s Bench for arraignment on Nov. 19 in Medicine Hat, Alta.Crown orders new trial for Wendy ScottScott was one of two women convicted of Armstrong’s murder. Both cases were handled by Medicine Hat Crown Andrea Dolan. Dolan relied exclusively on Scott’s testimony to build a case against co-accused Connie Oakes, a Cree woman from Nekaneet First Nation who is also appealing her murder conviction.Click here to follow Connie Oakes storyScott testified that she travelled with Oakes to Armstrong’s trailer in a red car and watched her kill the man with a knife. Scott has since stated in an affidavit filed as part of Oakes’ appeal that she doesn’t believe Oakes was at the scene of the murder.Scott also named three other people as being responsible for the murder during interrogations with Medicine Hat police.Wendy Scott in an undated photoScott has an intellectual disability and has been assessed by a psychiatrist of having an IQ of 50.Hatch said Scott is aware that she will get a new trial.“You can imagine that the entire scenario is a pretty crushing situation,” said Hatch. “(Scott) understands that that is happening. I think she is relieved at this point. It is obviously very stressful to go through this.”Hatch worked Scott’s case pro bono after Legal Aid Alberta refused to cover the appeal on grounds the case had no merit. Hatch took the issue to the appeals court after the Crown agreed to only pay Legal Aid’s rate.Hatch said it’s baffling Legal Aid continued to stick to its position even after the conviction was quashed and a new trial ordered.“I think the court is recognizing here that the appeal has merit, the conviction has been overturned. You couldn’t have an appeal that has more merit than that. As I said in court, I have never seen the Crown concede an appeal, agree a conviction should be quashed when there is no merit to it,” said Hatch.Wendy Scott’s lawyer, Deborah Hatch in Calgary. Photo: Jorge Barrera/APTNHatch said Legal Aid has insisted that it is abiding by its own legal opinions on the case.“All I can tell you is that they said, ‘The opinions we have on file with the exception of your own have clearly indicated that they felt the appeal was without merit,” said Hatch, reading from a letter sent to her by Legal Aid.One of the legal opinions relied on by Legal Aid came from Scott’s trial lawyer Maggie O’Shaughnessy, according to an affidavit filed by Scott with the court.O’Shaughnessy did not respond to a request for comment.Legal Aid Alberta sent a statement to APTN saying privacy laws prevented the agency from commenting on the case.Legal Aid, however, is paying for a lawyer to represent Scott to oppose APTN National News’ application to obtain videos of Scott’s police interrogations which were filed in during trial as exhibits for information. Scott’s Legal Aid-appointed counsel Maureen McConaghy is also fighting the release of video portions that were played in open court during Oakes’ trial.Hatch said she doesn’t understand why Legal Aid, at Scott’s request, agreed to pay for the intervention in APTN’s case while refusing to pay for her appeal.“Nobody has given me any explanation about why you would grant coverage to deal with an application for access to exhibits and not cover somebody to appeal a conviction that could keep them incarcerated for life,” said Hatch. “Don’t get me wrong that the media component is not important, but I think you know a conviction for murder is as significant as it gets.”Scott, who pleaded guilty to second degree murder on Nov. 8, 2012, began her struggle with Legal Aid in 2013. After calling around in British Columbia, where she was initially held after sentencing, and Alberta Legal Aid’s regional offices in Lethbridge, Alta., and Medicine Hat, Alta., she finally formally applied for coverage on Sept. 12, 2013, according to one of her affidavits filed in court as part of her appeal.“It is hard to make applications to Legal Aid when you are in jail and cannot meet with someone in person. It is also hard when it is confusion to know who to speak to,” said Scott, in the affidavit.Scott stated in the affidavit that “corrections personnel” told her she may have been wrongfully convicted for murder. Scott said she was told to contact Kim Pate, the executive Director of Elizabeth Fry Societies, who referred her to Montreal lawyer Lucie Joncas, an expert in the field of criminal law and mental health. Joncas met with Scott and put her in touch with Hatch.Scott stated in one of her affidavits that Legal Aid received an opinion from her trial lawyer on June 23, 2014. The next month Legal Aid told her she would not get coverage for her appeal.Without the twist of fate that led Scott to Pate, she would still be sitting at the Philippe-Pinel psychiatric institution in Montreal staring down the barrel of a life sentence.“There was a team of people that worked for Ms. Scott here, but it shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of people to do this routinely without any pay,” said Hatch. “I think we all recognize that if we have a system with one side getting paid, the prosecution side, and the defence working for free, that is really not sustainable and you are going to have a lot of miscarriages of justice if you allow it to continue, most especially when you have vulnerable accused persons.”Hatch said Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s government needs to urgently fix the province’s Legal Aid system.“I think that probably it is fair to say that all defence counsel and all prosecutors too are hopeful that changes are made to the legal aid system and hopefully that happens quickly,” said Hatch.Under the previous Progressive Conservative provincial government there was ample evidence of the Justice Minister actively directing decisions to the Legal Aid board on things like what programs to keep and discard. The previous provincial government also cut Legal Aid funding for trial experts.“I don’t think anyone who is having counsel appointed through Legal Aid would want to understand that the system is not independent and that the same party that instructs the Crown is providing instruction to legal aid,” said Hatch.Alberta Justice and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kathleen Ganley. Photo: Brandi Morin/APTNJustice Minister and Attorney General Kathleen Ganley said in a statement sent to APTN she could not comment on the specifics of the Scott case because it is still before the courts. Ganley stated the government is working to fix the system in the short and long term.“Our government is committed to ensuring Legal Aid is available to low-income and vulnerable Albertans. We know it is essential to promoting access to justice,” said Ganley in the statement. “In the short-term, we’re working on solutions to help stabilize it. In the long-term we’re working with Legal Aid to determine what the best process is to move forward and ensure the services are there for those who need them most.”jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

A Roof Overhead Long waiting list and many needs for housing in

first_imgCharlotte Morrit-JacobsAPTN National NewsIn communities across the Northwest Territories, the lack of affordable and accessible housing has left many residents looking for help.The problem is there are a lot of families in need of support, but not many homes available.On top of that, people in the Territory face some of the highest costs of living in the country.cmorrittjacobs@aptn.calast_img

Five things to know about the merger of PC Points and Shoppers

first_imgTwo of Canada’s better-known rewards programs merge today as Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus become PC Optimum.Loblaw says they’ve had some “bumps” during the merger, with some members complaining online about troubles with the new app and points conversions. However, the company says it’s seeing massive interest in the program and will continue to focus on making the conversion process as smooth as possible.Here are five things to know:1. PC Optimum means a single card for both stores, with the dollar value of existing points from both programs converted to the new card. Current PC Plus cardholders will have points converted on a one-to-one basis, while the company is converting Shoppers Optimum points at varying rates to maintain the same dollar value of the points.2. To convert current points to the new system, customers can go to one of the almost 2,500 stores the system covers to swap existing PC Plus or Shoppers Optimum cards for a PC Optimum card. Customers can also download the PC Optimum mobile app, or create an account online at www.pcoptimum.ca.3. Under PC Optimum, each 1,000 points is worth a dollar, with 10,000 points the minimum redemption value. At Shoppers almost every dollar spent will earn you 15 points, while at Loblaw-owned grocery stores rewards vary based on promotions on specific products.4. For PC Financial Mastercard holders, the card automatically switches to PC Optimum and is the only card necessary with points earned varying depending on the type of card.5. In Quebec, where Shoppers Drug Mart operates under the Pharmaprix name, the Pharmaprix Optimum program ended Jan. 31, 2018 and members will have until May 2 that year to redeem their points or convert them at equal value to the new program.last_img read more

Barrick Gold takes writedown on Peruvian mine beats expected adjusted earnings

first_imgTORONTO – Barrick Gold Corp. has reported a net loss of US$412 million for the third quarter, well below the US$99 million in net income expected by analysts, after taking a US$405 million impairment charge at a Peruvian mine.The Toronto-based company took the writedown at Lagunas Norte after results from a study on a type of ore treatment led it to shelving the treatment option.Adjusted net earnings for the quarter ending Sept. 30, however, amounted to US$89 million or eight cents per share, above the US$62.7 million or five cents per share expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.The company reported a net loss of US$11 million for the third quarter last year, and an adjusted net income of US$200 million.Third quarter revenue totalled US$1.84 billion, in line with analyst expectations, but down from the US$2 billion it pulled in for the same quarter last year.In September, the company announced a proposed C$7.9-billion takeover of Randgold Resources that would firmly return its status as the world’s largest gold mining company.Companies in this story: (TSX:ABX)last_img read more

Colorado jurys pot verdict may discourage similar cases

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – A Colorado jury likely threw cold water on future legal challenges against cannabis companies by homeowners who consider filing racketeering lawsuits alleging proximity to pot operations hurts their property values, analysts and industry lawyers said Thursday.A federal jury in Denver on Wednesday rejected claims involving the odour from a pot farm made in a case that was closely watched by the marijuana industry.It was the first such lawsuit to reach a jury. Three others are pending in California, Massachusetts and Oregon.“The big takeaway is that the verdict is likely to curb the enthusiasm for bringing these lawsuits in the future,” Vanderbilt University law professor Rob Mikos said.He said it’s easy to show marijuana companies are violating federal laws against pot, but the Colorado verdict shows the difficulty In proving actual harm.“There was a thought that this would be easy money,” Mikos said about such claims.Congress created the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act — better known as RICO — to target the Mafia in the 1970s. It allowed prosecutors to argue that leaders of a criminal enterprise should pay a price along with lower-level defendants.The law also allows private parties to file lawsuits claiming their business or property has been damaged by a criminal enterprise. Those who can prove it can be financially compensated for damages plus attorneys’ expenses.Scott Schlager, a lawyer who filed a similar lawsuit against a Cambridge, Massachusetts, dispensary agreed with Mikos, saying racketeering lawsuits are expensive to litigate.“They shouldn’t be the next cottage industry,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty.”Schlager said the Denver verdict will have no effect on his case because the two legal actions have important differences.The Colorado plaintiffs complained that a farm’s odour lowered their property value by about $30,000.Schlager’s clients in Harvard Square argue that the stigma of a marijuana dispensary in the upscale business district lowered property values by $29 million.California attorney Ken Stratton, who represents a pot farmer being sued by eight homeowners near Petaluma, California, in the heart of wine country, said he was surprised the Denver case reached a jury.“I think we’ll see more and more of these knocked out before they go to trial,” Stratton said. “The racketeering law wasn’t meant to litigate land disputes.”He also predicted the Denver verdict will make other lawyers and disgruntled neighbours look elsewhere to settle their disputes with marijuana operations.He said showing that cannabis operations impact land prices is difficult, especially if the homeowners are speculating rather than arguing they lost money in actual sales.Emma Quinn-Judge, a Boston lawyer defending the Cambridge dispensary, agreed that showing harm is the biggest hurdle.“If you know anything about Cambridge home prices then you know that arguing their value has dropped $29 million is laughable,” she said.last_img read more