Lobbying commissioner rejects complaints against firearms panel member

first_imgOTTAWA – A federal watchdog has dismissed complaints that a mass-shooting survivor broke the rules by working with an advocacy group to lobby for gun policy changes while also serving as a member of the Liberal government’s firearms advisory committee.In a recent decision, federal lobbying commissioner Nancy Belanger said Nathalie Provost’s work on behalf of the group PolySeSouvient, which pushes for stricter gun control, did not breach lobbying laws because Provost is not paid by the group and therefore does not need to register as a lobbyist.Provost said in an interview that she was relieved to be cleared by the commissioner, and considers the efforts against her an attempt to discredit PolySeSouvient.“I knew that I was not a lobbyist,” she said. “I feel it’s like a strategy to shut us down.”Belanger’s office received numerous complaints about Provost’s alleged conflict of interest after firearms advocates launched an online campaign encouraging people to write letters.Provost, who was shot four times during the 1989 assault by a gunman at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique, has been involved for eight years with PolySeSouvient, which includes students and graduates of the engineering school.In late 2016 the Liberals appointed her to be a vice-chair of the 10-member federal firearms advisory committee, which advises the public safety minister on Canada’s gun policies, laws and regulations. The committee is chaired by a former Supreme Court justice and counts a police chief, a competitive sport shooter, an emergency physician and a farmer among its members.Under the committee’s terms of reference, members are barred from engaging in lobbying activities or working as a registered lobbyist on behalf of any organization making submissions or representations to the federal government on issues relating to the mandate of the committee.A federal bill introduced in March would expand the scope of background checks on those who want to acquire a gun and force gun retailers to keep records of firearms inventory and sales, The legislation would also require purchasers to present a firearms licence, while the seller would have to ensure its validity.The bill quickly prompted polarized reactions, criticized by some as too weak and by others as a misguided effort that does nothing to tackle actual gun crime.A representative of the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights, a voice for gun owners, filed a complaint with the lobbying commissioner against Provost, alleging she was in conflict while influencing the shape of the Liberal legislation.“We have to wonder how far the government will go to appease Nathalie and at what cost to the millions of Canadians this legislation affects, none of them criminals by the way,” the organization wrote on its website.OneClearVoice.ca, a website that bills itself as a letter-writing tool to fight the Liberal bill, includes a template for creating a complaint to the lobbying commissioner about Provost’s activities.Provost said that before joining the federal committee she was given clearance from the public safety minister’s office to continue acting as a spokeswoman for PolySeSouvient.In a June 26 letter to Provost, Belanger said she was ending a preliminary evaluation of the allegations against her.Belanger said she had looked at various correspondence, conducted interviews and examined publicly available records before making her determination.The Lobbying Act applies only to people who are paid for their communications activities with federal officials, while Provost is a volunteer, the letter said.The allegations “are therefore unfounded” because the act does not apply to Provost’s activities, Belanger added. “Accordingly, I consider this file closed.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Rural Quebec towns join movement against Quebecs struggling gun registry

first_imgMONTREAL — A revolt is brewing in small towns across Quebec against the provincial law forcing long-gun owners to register their firearms with the government.As the deadline to register shotguns and rifles passed this week, 75 per cent of the long guns believed to be in the province had not been registered. And a growing number of rural town councils are adopting resolutions denouncing the registry or calling for it to be scrapped entirely.The Canadian Press confirmed Wednesday that at least 15 towns recently passed such resolutions. Philip Tetrault, mayor of Warden, a town of 400 residents about 100 kilometres east of Montreal, said the registry is useless and will end up like the federal version, which was dissolved by the Conservatives in 2012 following major cost overruns.“In a few years, it’ll be abolished,” Tetrault predicted in an interview. “The registry might be popular in Montreal and Quebec City, but the majority of people (in Warden) are against it.” He said the government should take the tens of millions of dollars it expects to spend on the registry over the next few years and use it for mental health care.Louise Quintin, spokeswoman for Quebec’s Public Security Department, said Wednesday close to 15,500 guns were registered on the deadline date Jan. 29. But so far, only 386,253 guns have been registered out of an estimated 1.6 million in the province. The registry is budgeted to cost $20 million to set up and then $5 million a year to maintain.Canadian law classifies guns in three categories. Prohibited guns such as automatics and restricted guns such as handguns must be registered with the RCMP. Long guns — rifles and shotguns that are mainly used for hunting and sport shooting — no longer need to be registered in Canada, except in Quebec.Gun owners were given a year to register, either online or by mail, and there is no charge. But those who fail to comply could face penalties up to $5,000. Quintin said applications received after the deadline will be processed without penalty.She said it is up to the police to enforce the law.“If a peace officer comes into contact with a person in possession of a firearm, he or she has the power to examine the firearm and check whether it is registered,” Quintin said by email. Gun ranges or hunting clubs don’t have to check if firearms are registered, nor are they required to hand over information on members to the government, she added.A recent Leger poll conducted Dec. 21-26 for a gun control lobby group, indicated 78 per cent of respondents were in favour of the registry. Remi Montminy, town manager of St-Francois-de-la-Riviere-du-Sud, said his 1,600-person town northeast of Quebec City conducted its own survey and found that 82 per cent of respondents rejected the registry. The poll was unscientific, and about 100 residents took part, he said.St-Francois-de-la-Riviere-du-Sud is among the towns calling for an end to the registry. Montminy said the gun law, adopted by the previous Liberal government, is being maintained by the new Coalition Avenir Quebec government because politicians cater to urban voters.Nicolas Malette, mayor of Cayamant, a town of about 900 residents north of Ottawa, said his council adopted a resolution against the registry at a special meeting last week.“Will it make a difference? Maybe, maybe not,” he said. “But we adopted the resolution to support our citizens, who are mostly hunters. We’re trying to pressure the government.”Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Trump delivers State of the Union address

first_imgLIVELast Update: 02/06/2019 11:28 PMFeb 611:28 PMCalgary 7-Day Forecast. A bit of a break from the brutal cold – at least in the short-term. Cooler temperatures and a chance of snow by Friday. -Meteorologist Andrew Schultz #YYC #YYCWeather pic.twitter.com/iu1TC7MKFZ— Breakfast Television & CityNews Calgary (@BTCityNewsCGY) February 6, 20190Feb 610:40 PMWorld cyclists are excited to be in Calgary for the cycling congresshttps://t.co/hWadWMlw8x#yyc #WCC2019 pic.twitter.com/muiXa3tI82— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 610:36 PMToday’s #GuaranteedHigh -15 CPartly cloudyJackpot increases to $910#yyc #yycweather #yycforecastVisit https://t.co/esBwG3izuf to sign up for your chance to win. pic.twitter.com/o92bxBuRq7— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 610:18 PMField emotional after fatal train derailment https://t.co/0GhDegXFsn pic.twitter.com/Kc7Eovm1Wz— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 610:00 PMThe Calgary police will help the Law Enforcement Torch run in its final leg to the Special Olympics Winter Gameshttps://t.co/1fRl5F3M4K#yyc #cps #SpecialOlympics pic.twitter.com/Ro0frpvDYH— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 69:42 PMThe Seton YMCA was evacuated Wednesday morning following calls of an ammonia leakhttps://t.co/ractD86xmm#yyc #YMCA #CFD pic.twitter.com/VWHifnaFDM— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 68:56 PMFamily and friends of men murdered by Bruce McArthur will find out in two days what the future holds for the Toronto serial killerhttps://t.co/IJazbh1rlh#Toronto #McArthurTrial pic.twitter.com/zIuspKBV2U— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 68:40 PMSurrey RCMP are looking for witnesses of the SkyTrain shooting on Jan. 30https://t.co/VRBWhgojFZ#Surrey #RCMP #SkyTrain pic.twitter.com/Xt3Bt8rHOR— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 68:28 PMCalgary Current Conditions #YYC #YYCWeather pic.twitter.com/YKqZ7PWnEF— Breakfast Television & CityNews Calgary (@BTCityNewsCGY) February 6, 20190Feb 68:20 PMForest Lawn says ‘no thanks’ to safe consumption vehiclehttps://t.co/ltQaj59kr5#yyc pic.twitter.com/kPhcnFPFax— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 61:46 PMVIDEO: Roadside Assistance says it received more than 31,000 calls since Sunday and in some cases, those in rural Alberta are waiting nearly nine times the average.https://t.co/n86dQQDSHh— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 61:28 PMUnited to pursue high-fare travellers with more premium seats https://t.co/E4VUzZv5IK pic.twitter.com/ZPg7oJQIEY— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 61:20 PMVIDEO: “From Jan. to Dec. 2018, we’ve seen 480 fewer homes broken into, almost 3,500 fewer thefts, over 1,200 fewer vehicles stolen and a 10 per cent decrease in property crime in rural #Alberta #RCMP jurisdictions.”https://t.co/a9G8UNyJK9— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 61:10 PM”It’s very personal; it’s either happened to us, or our friends and neighbours, and this is what has brought it to be a number one priority for all us to focus on,” MD Foothills Coun. Suzanne Oelhttps://t.co/mglVQYskZu— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 612:32 PMBorder Security Minister Bill Blair says federal officials dealing with backlog of refugee security screens #cdnpoli https://t.co/SqMnvVgJmi pic.twitter.com/PcHSMflMfS— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 612:28 PM#ICYMI : read our live-tweets of @realDonaldTrump Trump’s #SOTU2019 speech and see what policy initiatives he’s proposing including ending late-term abortion and an upcoming meeting with the North Korean leader. https://t.co/ZfNbthpPFw— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 611:32 AM.@realDonaldTrump wraps up his #SOTU2019 address.— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 611:30 AM.@realDonaldTrump “One nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise, and the light, and the glory among all the nations of the world.” #SOTU19— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 611:30 AM.@realDonaldTrump time to “reignite the American imagination, search for the tallest summit and set our sights on the brightest star.”— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Feb 611:30 AM.@realDonaldTrump talks about “needing to defeat fascism, secure civil rights, face down evil empires.”— 660 NEWS Calgary (@660NEWS) February 6, 20190Show More PostsAdd Arena.im to your sitelast_img read more

British Columbia bearing brunt of impact from Huawei arrest Horgan

first_imgVANCOUVER — Premier John Horgan says British Columbia, as the country’s gateway to Asia, is bearing the brunt of the impact of Canada’s tense relationship with China over the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.Speaking at the Council of Forest Industries convention in Vancouver Friday, Horgan described Meng’s arrest as “profoundly regrettable,” but adds “extradition treaties are extradition treaties” and he doesn’t think the federal government had any other option.Meng was arrested in Vancouver in December on a request from the United States, which wants her extradiated to face charges including conspiracy, fraud and obstruction.Horgan says the province does have an option, and that’s to continue to be aggressive and forward-looking when it comes to trade with Asia.He says it’s a critically important market and boosting innovation in export products will be a ticket to success, adding that the province has an opportunity to grow the market for engineered wood products. B.C. does billions in trade with China and Horgan says he’s confident that relationship remains in good shape.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Questions and answers for royal watchers on the birth of Harry and

first_imgTORONTO — The much-anticipated child of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has arrived, igniting a flurry of baby fever and speculation on all manner of royal gossip.Questions abound for crown watchers and celebrity fiends: When will we see pictures of the baby? Who will his godparents be? What country will the new family visit first? Will Meghan ever get to enjoy Mother’s Day with her son’s birthday so close to her special day? Does England even celebrate Mother’s Day?For some of these and other pressing matters, The Canadian Press turned to monarchy experts to weigh in. Here’s what they said: ONE OF MEGHAN’S BESTIES IS CANADIAN STYLIST JESSICA MULRONEY, CAN SHE BE THE BABY’S GODMOTHER?It’s pretty much a certainty this child will be baptized in the Church of England, although plans have yet to be announced. Royal watcher and author Katie Nicholl suspects that will occur this summer at the historic St. George’s chapel at Windsor Castle, where Harry and Meghan wed in May 2018.She also believes Mulroney has a good shot at participating, after playing a key behind-the-scenes role at the wedding, which featured the Mulroney children as a bridesmaid and groomsmen.“I think it’ll be a mixture of some family and friends and Jessica is clearly at the top of the list,” Nicholl, author of “Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss, and Love,” said from Windsor, England. “I think there’s every chance that we could see Jessica as godmother.”Whether she meets the church’s requirements is another matter, since godparents are required to be baptized and ideally, confirmed Christians. Mulroney is a member of one of Montreal’s most established Jewish families, the Brownsteins, and wed TV personality Ben Mulroney in a Montreal ceremony that blended both Catholic and Jewish elements. Nevertheless, Nicholl suggests this rule may not be uniformly enforced across all parishes, if the godparent is willing to swear to certain Church of England vows.“Even if she’s not a godmother, she’s going to be a part of this child’s upbringing. You know the children will be close and Jessica has been a great friend to Meghan and also to Harry.” DO THE ROYALS CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY?Mother’s Day is this Sunday in Canada and the United States, but not so in England. Over there, mothers are feted on Mothering Sunday, which takes place on the fourth Sunday of Lent and three weeks before Easter Sunday, typically in late March. The next Mothering Sunday is set for March 22, 2020.But that’s not to say that Meghan can’t also mark Mother’s Day this weekend, says MacKenzie, noting that Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, reportedly arrived to stay with the royal couple in the days leading up to the birth.“Her mother, of course, is with her at Frogmore House so I suspect that they’ll be marking that in their own way,” says MacKenzie. “It’s a very special time of year, of course, for a baby to come along and for that child to be with his mother and grandmother. So I suspect there’ll be some American traditions sprinkled in this weekend.” ARE THE ROYALS ALSO CANADIAN CITIZENS? WILL THIS BABY BE PART CANADIAN?Prince Harry, of course, is a senior member of Canada’s royal family but does not actually hold Canadian citizenship. Nor does he hold citizenship for any other Commonwealth nation, says Barry MacKenzie of the Monarchist League of Canada. He says all members of the royal family are British, save for the Queen, who technically does not have any citizenship and does not travel with a passport — because passports are issued in her name.“And of course Prince Charles will eventually, when he becomes king, also not really have a citizenship,” he notes. “It’s sort of a strange sort of phenomenon.”However, the baby’s California-born mother may apply for U.S. citizenship on the child’s behalf, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration website. Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Podcast What does an election look like when local news is dying

first_imgThis will likely be Canada’s least-covered federal election in history, at least on a local level. The race to be Prime Minister will receive no shortage of analysis, but in the midst of vanishing local news outlets, what happens to the other 338 other races? What kind of coverage can local news outlets afford to take on this fall? And when they run out of reporters, or money, what stories are the first to go? What replaces them? What options do voters have for in-depth local analysis? And, of course, how will savvy political campaigns take advantage of the situation?GUEST: April Lindgren, head of the Local News Research Project, professor of journalism at Ryerson UniversityAudio Playerhttp://radio.pmd.rogersdigitalmedia.com/podcasts/thebigstory/tbs_05132019.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.last_img read more

Styrofoam takeout boxes and straws among expected targets of plastics ban

first_imgOTTAWA — A national ban on the most harmful single-use plastics will very likely force restaurants and fast-food outlets to find non-plastic materials for takeout and delivery containers but plastic bottles for water and soda are more likely to be improved rather than phased out.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday his government is starting the regulatory work to ban toxic single-use plastics because the garbage infiltrating the world’s waterways is out of hand.“As parents, we’re at a point where we take our kids to the beach and we have to search out a patch of sand that isn’t littered with straws, Styrofoam or bottles,” he said. “That’s a problem, one that we have to do something about.”Nothing is going to be banned overnight, with the process to implement a federal ban or limitations on a product under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act usually taking two to four years. The goal is to make decisions on everything on the list by 2021.“It’s going to take a little bit of time to make sure we get it absolutely right because this is a big step but we know that we can do this by 2021,” Trudeau said.The process includes an assessment of each product, a proposed regulation, a public comment period, and then the final decision by cabinet.Trudeau said Canada’s plan will “closely mirror” that of Europe. Last month the European Parliament agreed that by 2021 the European Union will ban almost a dozen single-use products including plastic plates, cutlery, cups, straws, plastic sticks in cotton swabs, balloon sticks and stir sticks, and Styrofoam cups and take-out food containers. Oxo-degradeable plastics including plastic grocery bags, which break down into tiny pieces with exposure to air but never fully disappear, are also to be banned.Plastic beverage bottles won’t be banned in Europe but the EU will require them to contain a minimum of 30 per cent recycled material by 2030, and a collection rate for recycling or reuse of 90 per cent by 2029. Europe is putting new onus on producers of plastics to ensure they are recycled or reused, including the makers of fishing nets, which are among the most prevalent plastics trapping fish and polluting water bodies.An official at Environment Canada, speaking anonymously because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, said Canada’s focus will be on banning things that are the most harmful, or the hardest to recycle. Everything will be run through a full scientific assessment as well as a socio-economic-impact review before any proposals for bans or regulations of materials are made, he said. There may be some exceptions to bans if certain uses of products are critical or irreplaceable, he said.Styrofoam take-out containers are among the products most likely to be banned in Canada. While restaurants favour them because they’re cheap, lightweight and good for hot or cold food, there are already a number of alternatives. Styrofoam containers are also among the worst for the environment; they break down into tiny little pieces that are easily ingested by fish, animals and ultimately humans.Plastic straws are already on their way out by restaurants’ choice, but will almost certainly be covered by the Canadian ban nonetheless. A high-profile campaign against plastic straws last year drove numerous multi-national food and beverage companies — including A&W and Starbucks — to replace plastic straws with paper versions, and many restaurants just stopped automatically putting straws in drinks as a first step.Plastic bottles, however, are unlikely to make the list of banned products. The official said bottles are an area where Canada could require a greater amount of recycled material, and set national targets so 90 to 100 per cent of them are collected for recycling. All of that would trigger provincial and municipal governments to up their recycling games.Canada currently throws out 12 times the plastic it recycles, and there are only about a dozen domestic recycling plants. Requiring more recycled content in bottles or other plastic products would create a larger market for recycled plastic material that would in turn, spur economic activity in the sector and an explosion in the number of sorting and recycling plants.A recent report done by Deloitte and ChemInfo Services for Environment and Climate Change Canada found a 90-per-cent plastics recycling rate in Canada could create 42,000 jobs.Environment groups were cautiously optimistic about the announcement Monday, saying they want to see the follow-through but noting the best way to reduce plastic garbage is to reduce the plastic we produce and use to begin with.“I think we are generally satisfied,” said Vito Buonsante, plastics program manager for Environmental Defence.Sarah King, head of the oceans and plastics campaign at Greenpeace Canada, called it a good first step.NDP MP Gord Johns, whose motion calling for a national strategy to combat plastic pollution passed with unanimous support in December, said the Liberals’ move is a good beginning but it is not a full strategy to get to zero plastic waste.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer shrugged it off as another empty announcement devoid of specifics and without any information on the implications for prices for consumers or for jobs in the plastics industry.The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is also leery of the proposals, with president Dan Kelly asking for a “thorough economic impact assessment” before anything is banned.“It would be irresponsible to put such a sweeping measure into place without fully studying the possible impacts on Canada’s small businesses first,” said Kelly. “There is no reason why sound environmental policy and economic development can’t go hand in hand.”Mia Rabson, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Panellists quit corporate responsibility panel citing erosion of trust

first_imgOTTAWA — Citing an erosion of trust, civil society and labour representatives have resigned from a panel set up to advise the federal government on ensuring Canadian firms operating abroad are accountable for how they conduct themselves.The 14 members withdrew from the “multi-stakeholder advisory body on responsible business conduct” Thursday, complaining that a newly created adviser on corporate accountability lacks the teeth to ensure companies conducting business outside Canada do so in a responsible manner.The government announced in January 2018 the creation of a Canadian ombudsperson for responsible enterprise (CORE), saying the office would be given the tools to conduct credible, independent investigations.The ombudsperson’s powers were to include the ability to summon witnesses and compel documents.But civil-society leaders say the appointment in April of this year of a special adviser to the international trade minister instead, without giving that adviser proper investigative powers, backtracked on the pledge.And because of that, organizations operating under the umbrella Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability said they lost faith in the ability of the advisory body to function as originally envisioned.Amnesty International Canada secretary general Alex Neve said he was pleased to be vice-chair of the advisory body when it was established.“It was because of assurances that the CORE would have independence and real investigatory powers that we stood alongside the government in January 2018 and we promoted the announcement both nationally and internationally,” Neve said.“The government of Canada’s decision to backtrack on those promises … has led me to lose confidence. I will no longer be able to continue in this role.”Emily Dwyer with the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability also questioned how civil-society groups can be assured that actions will be taken in changing laws and policies when the government appears to have bowed to industry pressure.“Without independence and investigatory powers, the CORE amounts to nothing more than a broken promise,” she said.A spokesman for International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr expressed regret over the departures from the panel but said the government is making progress in promoting responsible business conduct and is looking forward to the ombudsperson’s office being up and running by fall.“We’re grateful for the time and service of these members in advising the minister and in helping to lay the groundwork for the Canadian Ombudsperson on Responsible Enterprise,” said an email from Michael Jones, Carr’s director of communications.“We’re disappointed in their decision to leave the advisory body,” said the statement.“While consensus on these issues remains elusive, dialogue between civil society and industry is critical to progress and walking away from that dialogue is a step backwards and regrettable.”The mining sector has been a particular target of groups demanding greater oversight of activities of Canadian companies operating abroad.Indigenous groups in South America and Africa have complained in recent years of violence and human-rights abuses connected to resource projects carried out by Canadian-controlled companies, which sparked calls for greater accountability.Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Shooting survivor quits panel over timid Liberal record on assaultstyle guns

first_imgOTTAWA — Mass-shooting survivor Nathalie Provost has quit the federal firearms advisory committee in frustration, saying she is extremely disappointed with the Liberal government’s failure to crack down on assault-style rifles.Provost, who was shot four times during the 1989 attack by a gunman at Montreal’s Ecole Polytechnique, says she feels used by a government unwilling to take the steps needed to make Canadians safer.The Canadian Press obtained a copy of Provost’s resignation letter sent today to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and ministers Ralph Goodale and Bill Blair, the cabinet members responsible for firearms issues.Provost, who served for more than two years on the committee, says the government systematically ignored her calls for an overhaul of the firearms classification system — a move that could tighten restrictions on some semi-automatic rifles.She claims the committee contributed nothing to the Liberal firearms bill recently passed by Parliament — legislation she considers very timid.Provost says the government could immediately ban a range of assault-style rifles by regulation, but there is no indication it will act before the fall election.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Harlem Globetrotters To Tour Global US Military Bases

first_imgThe world famous Harlem Globetrotters announced this week that the team will once again embark on an extended holiday tour of global U.S. military bases – the eleventh time in nine years that the “Ambassadors of Goodwill” have entertained U.S. troops overseas.During the 10-game tour – which commences after Thanksgiving – the Globetrotters will play for the first time ever in Afghanistan, marking 121 countries and territories in which the Globetrotters have performed in their illustrious history.Made possible by Navy Entertainment and Armed Forces Entertainment, the tour will also feature shows on U.S. military bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, Djibouti, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as a performance on an active-duty U.S. aircraft carrier.“While there is no way to fully express our admiration of the U.S. Armed Forces, it’s an incredible honor for our players to bring the troops a little piece of home, especially at this time of the year,” said Harlem Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider. “Without the sacrifices made daily by these brave men and women, the Harlem Globetrotters would not have the opportunity to bring joy to families all over the world.”For the first time ever, the Globetrotters will pay tribute to U.S. troops by wearing specially-designed camouflage uniforms from Russell Athletic in games on the holiday military tour. Also, for the fourth straight year, the tour will feature a specially-created camouflage Spalding basketball, in addition to the Globetrotters’ iconic red, white and blue basketball.Past Globetrotter military tours have visited nearly 30 U.S. military bases in Bahrain, Belgium, Cuba, Djibouti, Germany, Greece, Guam, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom – as well as tours of Iraq in 2006 and 2009.Highlights have included a visit to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2005 and games on three active-duty U.S. aircraft carriers, including a performance on the U.S.S. Eisenhower in the Persian Gulf in 2006.The Globetrotters’ 2013 “You Write the Rules” North American Tour tips off Dec. 26.Sponsored by Howard Johnson Hotels, Greyhound Lines, Spalding and Russell Athletic, the Original Harlem Globetrotters will celebrate their 87th consecutive year in 2013, continuing a world famous tradition of ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry, and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that continues to thrill fans of all ages. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans—among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents—over more than eight thrilling decades. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, and to purchase tickets and team merchandise, visit the Globetrotters’ official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com.last_img read more

Hedwig And The Angry Inch Partners With HetrickMartin Institute

first_imgProducers of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway have announced a charitable partnership with Hetrick-Martin Institute, “the nation’s oldest and largest organization helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth to reach their full potential.”Hedwig and the Angry Inch begins preview performances Saturday and opens April 22 at the Belasco Theatre with How I Met Your Mother’s Neil Patrick Harris starring as Hedwig, a fictional East German rock singer living as a female after a botched gender-reassignment operation.The musical will donate a portion from each ticket sale to Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk High School, a New York City public transfer school where at-risk youth can learn without fear of physical or emotional attacks. According to a press release, the partnership “will also utilize the resources of the production, including representatives from the show meeting with young people in an educational and mentoring capacity, and additional fundraising support.”“Hetrick-Martin Institute has always been a part of Hedwig’s DNA and I’m thrilled HMI is able to join Hedwig on her journey to Broadway,” writes producer David Binder in a statement. “Our cast, creative team, and my fellow producers have been overwhelming in their support of this initiative benefiting this inspiring and incredibly important organization.”Hetrick-Martin Institute CEO Thomas Krever adds, “HMI is deeply grateful to Neil Patrick Harris and the entire Hedwig and the Angry Inch production team for partnering with HMI to help us provide life-changing programs to LGBTQ youth. Hedwig’s message of being proud of who you are resonates deeply with the thousands of youth we serve each year.”Hedwig’s relationship with Hetrick-Martin Institute began with the 2003 tribute album Wig in a Box: Songs From and Inspired by Hedwig and The Angry Inch, which benefited HMI, and the 2006 film Follow My Voice, a documentary about the Harvey Milk High School and the making of Wig in a Box.For more information on the charitable partnership, visit HedwigBroadway.com/HMI.last_img read more

Stars Donate Chatters Following Orlando Mass Shooting

first_imgChatter, a new platform that is charity focused, will dedicate its significant resources and network to the victims in the horrific Orlando massacre.Chatter is a 5-minute video chat that allows fans to bid for the chance to talk to a celebrity. The proceeds go to their charity or cause of choice.“Tell me who you need. I’m in,” exclaims Hall of Fame NFL linebacker Ray Lewis.“We’re used to hearing Ray roar, but now he’s roaring for Orlando victims,” said Chatter co-founder Pasha King. “This crisis is something we have to rally around as a community and as a country. Chatter provides that platform to help.”Co-founder Teague Egan goes on to mention “We quickly discussed who would be the perfect icon for Chatter right now. Someone who people look to up for help, that is naturally philanthropic and that the community respects. At the top of the list was Ray Lewis, who happens to be a close friend.”Ray immediately agreed to not only donate his Chatters, but also to bring his friends in to help victims of Orlando. DJ Skee, a highly respected music host and owner of SkeeTV and Dash Radio has jumped in to help bring A-list artists to the Chatter platform.To contribute to the 50 dead and 53 injured, Ray and Skee, who are big supporters of the LGBTQ community, joined to aim at raising $500,000 over the next two weeks through Chatter.Co-founder Adam Geiger says, “It’s amazing how fast the community can rally around to help. Last year some individuals flew to Flint, but it wasn’t fast enough and it wasn’t enough, period. Now, they’re jumping on Chatter from anywhere in the world – and making a difference. For all the influencers posting about Orlando that don’t know about Chatter yet, you soon will.”For more on Chatter, download “Chatter – Video Chat with Stars” in the App Store / Google Play or visit www.chatterforcharity.com.This is an official Pulse Victims Fund supporting Equality Florida, the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization. Chatter for Charity is collecting contributions via the Chatter app and website to support the victims of the horrific shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub.Regarding distribution of funds, Chatter working with a team of attorneys and experts, including the National Center for Victims of Crime, which deployed funds in both Chattanooga and Aurora, to ensure funds are distributed correctly.last_img read more

Jennifer Hudson Honored At March Of Dimes Celebration Of Babies A Hollywood

first_imgLast week, March Of Dimes, the leading non-profit organization for pregnancy and baby health, raised $1.4 million at the sixth annual March of Dimes Celebration of Babies: A Hollywood Luncheon, which took at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.Nick Cannon, Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Rowland attend the 2016 March of Dimes Celebration of Babies: A Hollywood Luncheon in LAThe 2016 honorees included Grammy Award-winning singer and Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group Jody Gerson and Mary Kerr, M.D. for their various contributions to the cause. Celebration of Babies is co-chaired by Jimmy Horowitz, President of Universal Pictures, and his wife Joi, along with producer Wyck Godfrey.March of Dimes Celebration of Babies brought together celebrities and prominent individuals in the entertainment community who care about the health of moms and babies. For the first time in eight years, the rate of premature birth in the U.S. has increased, driven by worsening rates among specific racial and ethnic groups as well as geographic areas, across the country. The preterm birth rate among Black women is 48% higher than all other women. In addition to the unfair toll on mothers and babies, preterm birth accounts for more than $26 billion annually in avoidable medical and societal costs in the United States. Prematurity affects 15,000,000 babies each year globally and nearly one million of them die before their first birthday. March of Dimes strives for a world where every baby has a fair chance, with a mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.Grammy and Academy-Award winner Jennifer Hudson received the 2016 March of Dimes Grace Kelly Award, which recognized her commitment to help families and give all babies the healthiest start in life. From humble beginnings, Hudson rocketed to worldwide acclaim with her acting and music recording career. Her memorable roles have garnered her numerous honors and awards over the years, including Academy, Grammy, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG Awards. Hudson has also made a global impact through her extensive philanthropic work, championing children, women’s issues and poverty around the world.“I’m so grateful for this opportunity because it has taught me about premature birth,” said Hudson. “It’s so easy to overlook what others are going through…what better way to invest in the future than in babies.”Jody Gerson, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group, was honored by March of Dimes as the 2016 Inspiring Woman of the Year for her accomplishments as a leader in the entertainment industry and as a dedicated mother.Dr. Mary Kerr, board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, was honored with the 2016 March of Dimes Prematurity Champion Award, for her dedication and special interest in caring for patients with high-risk pregnancies. She has been honored as one of the top Obstetrician and Gynecologists in America and is a faculty member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Los Angeles Obstetrics and Gynecology Society, the American Women’s Medical Society and the American Medical Association. Dr. Kerr is also a national honoree for United Cerebral Palsy for her work with embryonic stem cell collection and Special Needs Network LA, which provides needs for low-income families of children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.President of Universal Pictures Jimmy Horowitz and producer Wyck Godfrey served as Celebration of Babies event chairs, alongside their wives.Nick Cannon returned as master of ceremonies for the exclusive luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.Event co-chairs included: Shelli and Irving Azoff, Catherine and Marty Bowen, Kate and Paul Brooks, Sir Lucian Grainge and Lady Caroline Grainge, Paula Kaplan and Billy Goldberg, Lisa Kasteler, Chris Meledandri, Graehme Morphy, Ronald O. Perelman and Dr. Anna Chapman, Daniel Seah, Damien Smith, and Molly Sims and Scott Stuber.Host committee members included: Michele Anthony, Steve Barnett, Steve Berman, Lauren and Jason Blum, Liza Chasin and Matthew Velkes, Marc Cimino, Jeff Frasco, Alex and Brad Fuller, Risa Gertner, Jeff Harleston, LaTanya and Samuel L. Jackson, John Janick, John Josephson, Michelle Jubelirer, Alicia Keys, Ashley and David Kramer, David Lande, Avery Lipman, Monte Lipman, Richard Lovett, Elizabeth Matthews, Boyd Muir, Deborah Newmyer, Mike O’Neill, Gavin Polone, Terry Press, Anna Rawson and Ted Chervin, Kelly Rowland and Tim Witherspoon, Jackie and Adam Sandler, Erika Rose Santoro, Will Tanous, Talin and Scott Tenley, and Carrie and Bill Zotti.Past honorees include 2015 Grace Kelly Award recipient Jessica Alba; and 2015 Inspiring Woman of the Year Bela Bajaria, President of Universal Television. New in 2015 March of Dimes Prematurity Champion Award Michele Hakakha, M.D.; 2014 Grace Kelly Award recipient Elizabeth Banks; 2014 Inspiring Woman of the Year Elizabeth Gabler, President FOX 2000; 2013 Grace Kelly Award recipient Jennifer Lopez; 2013 Inspiring Woman of the Year, Nancy Dubuc, President and CEO, A+E Networks; 2012 Grace Kelly Award recipient Reese Witherspoon; 2012 Inspiring Woman of the Year Cyma Zarghami, President of Nickelodeon Group; 2011 Grace Kelly Award recipient Donna Langley, Chairman of Universal Pictures; and Stork Club Ambassador Molly Sims.Since the inaugural event in 2011, Celebration of Babies has helped raise awareness of March of Dimes and the preterm birth health crisis while raising over $7,000,000 to help give every baby a fighting chance.last_img read more

Torontos Iconic Music Gallery Forced To Relocate

first_imgToronto’s Music Gallery has announced that they are being forced to temporarily vacate from 197 John St, a home they have leased from the Church of St. George the Martyr for over 17 years.The interdisciplinary arts venue was given notice on April 20 that construction on an adjacent condo development had raised safety concerns over the structural integrity of the dual purpose performance space and church sanctuary. They have been asked to vacate the premises effective this past Monday, May 1, 2017. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Twitterlast_img

CALIFORNIA BILL WOULD GIVE TAX BREAKS TO STUDIOS THAT LEAVE STATES WITH

first_img Twitter Login/Register With: Hollywood Sign Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment A California lawmaker reportedly introduced a bill Monday that would give tax breaks to production studios that leave states with restrictive abortion bans.Assembly Bill 1442 would allow an additional tax credit starting in January 2020 for qualified productions that decide not to film in states that have “pending legislation or existing law that prohibits access to, criminalizes the provision of, or otherwise restricts a woman’s access to abortion services after 6 weeks from the beginning of the pregnancy or earlier.”The proposal comes a week after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed legislation criminalizing nearly all abortions, with no exceptions for rape and incest. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

RAPTORS STAR KAWHI LEONARD SUING NIKE

first_img Twitter Toronto Raptors star basketball player Kawhi Leonard has filed a federal lawsuit against Nike. Kawhi claims he designed the logo that appeared on his Nike apparel and the sportswear company, unbeknownst to him, “falsely” claimed it created the logo in a copyright registration.A Nike spokesman did not immediately return a message.The lawsuit was filed Monday in United States District Court in Southern California. Leonard is from San Diego. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Last week, the New York Times reported that the Los Angeles Clippers “have quietly looked into the feasibility of purchasing the portion of the rights to Leonard’s ‘Klaw’ logo that is still owned by Nike.” Advertisement Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more