From Jimmy Dale Gilmore at Threadgills’ in Austin, TX to Kate Pierson of The B-52s at the BSP in Kingston, NY, more than 1,000 artists will participate in the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence on Sunday, Sept. 25.Artists and activists are banding together to call attention to gun violence on the Congressionally-designated day to remember victims of murder.“There are more than 30,000 gun deaths every year including, 12,000 murders with firearms,” said John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence in Boston. “It’s time to take a stand and make gun violence a voting issue in the November elections.”Participating artists directly impacted by gun violence include: The Alternate Route’s Eric Donnelly, the Bush Pilot’s Mathew Gross, blues singer Courtney Weaver, fiddle player Sydney Montstream-Quas, rapper Big Rich from the Bay Area, and Grammy-winners Rosanne Cash and Marc Cohn – both of whom will be performing at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan with Jackson Browne and Vy Higgensen’s Gospel Choir of Harlem. For more information, click here.Ryan Cabrera, Don Felder (formerly of the Eagles), Sam Harris of X Ambassadors, Sebastian Kole, and Carnie Wilson will join the Gay Men’s Chorus and others to be announced at The Standard Hotel rooftop in Los Angeles. (www.Sept25LA.org)Christopher Cross, Zach Gill (of ALO), Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Ozomatli, and Venice will perform at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA. (www.sbcoalition.org)Big Rich, Lady Ray, Rick Stevens, and Motown Moves Soulful Grooves are among the San Francisco Bay area artists performing. (More here)Nationwide, the diversity of artists involved range from Hope Thru Harmony Women’s Choir at the Dayton Correctional Institution and the Cleveland Orchestra in Ohio, to the Gay Men’s Choir of South Carolina performing at a coffee shop concert organized by music students from the University of South Carolina in Columbia and the “Mother Pluckers,” a self-described group of “not-so-spring chickens dedicated to ukulele music” at a Seattle Unitarian church.Many concerts are free to the public, such as events at four Falls Church, VA venues that include Clare & Don’s Beach Shack featuring Hawaiian music, and Argia’s Italian Restaurant featuring the George Mason High School jazz band.All socially conscious artists can participate with a social media shout-out using the hashtags #ConcertAcrossAmerica to #EndGunViolence.Spearheaded by the Boston-based Stop Handgun Violence, the Concert is partnered with more than 100 organizations including Faiths United to End Gun Violence, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Rabbis Against Gun Violence, the American Conference of Cantors and Texas Musicians Against Gun Violence.
In a moving article written on behalf of PETA, Sir Roger Moore – the beloved actor, humanitarian, and animal advocate – urges Prime Minister Theresa May to introduce legislation banning wild-animal circuses.In the piece, published in Sunday People, he writes that other countries around the world have put an end to wild-animal circuses, while “ever-so-civilised, animal-loving Britain still allows these archaic exhibitions simply because of a lack of action on the part of Downing Street. … [P]opular legislation to prohibit circuses from keeping tigers in see-through boxes called cages and carting them about the land has been dragging on for aeons, because the Prime Minister holds the key and won’t give it up”. He adds, “Wilfully allowing such cruelty is unforgivable”.Referring to former Prime Minister David Cameron’s broken promise to prohibit the practice by January 2015, Moore continues, “No matter what else one may think of him, [he] proved himself no gentleman when he failed to act on his word to get wild animals out of circuses … despite overwhelming public approval of a ban, including support from the British Veterinary Association”.The famed 007 actor goes on to make May an offer: “Madam Prime Minister, it’s time – past time – to do the right thing by animals and the public and finally bring in a ban on this outdated form of so-called ‘entertainment’. I will put a bottle of Dom Pérignon ’52 or Bollinger ’69 on ice for the occasion and gladly pop the cork with you”.PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment” – notes that wild animals in circuses spend their lives confined to cages or trailers when they’re not being bullied into performing tricks. They commonly endure abuse and are denied the opportunity to engage in natural behaviour.Moore joins Michael Sheen, Martin Freeman, and Ann Widdecombe in teaming up with PETA to raise awareness of the plight of animals in circuses.
The GEANCO Foundation, which saves and transforms lives in Africa, will hold its annual star-studded Hollywood fundraiser on Tuesday, October 3, at Spectra in the Pacific Design Center.Each year, GEANCO hosts this benefit to rally support for vulnerable women and children in Nigeria. Golden Globe nominee and GEANCO’s 2015 Global Promise Award recipient David Oyelowo (Selma, Interstellar, Queen of Katwe) will host the event alongside NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon. Three-time Grammy winner Kevin K.O. Olusola of the multi-platinum musical group Pentatonix will open the program with a special musical performance.“David and Warren are cherished, dedicated leaders of our GEANCO Foundation family of supporters,” said Afam Onyema, GEANCO’s Co-Founder and COO. “I am honored to have them as our event co-Chairs, and we are especially delighted that Kevin will inspire us all with his brilliant musical talent.”Oscar-nominated actors and previous Global Promise honorees Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange, Sherlock, The Imitation Game) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Doctor Strange) will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs. The Host Committee includes Marcellus Wiley (host of ESPN television show SportsNation and the radio show Marcellus & Kelvin), Mark Johnson (Oscar- and Emmy-winning producer of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and Rain Man), Yvonne Orji (HBO’s Insecure) and Billy Ray (Oscar-nominated writer of Captain Phillips and The Hunger Games). Sponsors include Walt Disney Studios, Participant Media, Creative Artists Agency, Latham & Watkins LLP, Pender Capital and Neuro Drink.Event proceeds will underwrite GEANCO’s November 2017 medical mission, which will provide free hip and knee replacement surgeries to Nigerians in dire need. Donations will also support the David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls, which provides comprehensive academic, medical and psychological support to young female victims of terrorism in Nigeria.VIP and General Admission tickets are available for purchase on the event website. VIP ticket holders receive exclusive access to a special reception from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., where they will enjoy a premium open bar and delicious Africa-influenced appetizers while mingling with celebrities and other notable guests. General admission entry begins at 6:45 p.m. The program kicks off at 8 p.m. with Kevin K.O. Olusola’s performance, celebrity remarks and a special video presentation of GEANCO’s work in Nigeria.\]
Chegg, the Smarter Way to Student, in partnership with truth, one of the largest and most successful national youth tobacco prevention campaigns, today announced that one U.S. college or high school campus can win a once-in-a-lifetime visit from Steve Aoki, the international producer, DJ and entrepreneur.Beginning today, high school and college students can vote for their school to win this on-campus experience through an online contest. Steve Aoki will take over the classroom to host an exclusive Q&A with students, giving them a look at all that went into his rise to fame and experience as one of America’s most successful DJs and trendsetting entrepreneurs. The student body will also be treated to a set specially crafted for the day by Steve Aoki.To celebrate the importance of arts in education, Chegg will also award the winning school the $10,000 David B. Goldberg Music Grant for the music department at their school.“I am excited to be participating in the Chegg Music 101 classroom series as it allows me to connect with my fans, share experiences of my career,” said Steve Aoki. “I discovered my passion for creating music when I was in school and would have loved to have had the opportunity to hear from industry leaders.”Students attending high school or college in the contiguous 48 states can begin nominating their campus today for a chance to win the experience. To do so, students simply visit www.chegg.com/music101, log in to Chegg, and vote for their school. The school with the most student votes will win the visit from Steve Aoki. For the first time, students can earn additional votes by coming back to the website weekly and interacting with content from Chegg, truth and Steve Aoki.“While many people may think the smoking issue in this country is solved, tobacco is still the number one cause of preventable death with 99 percent of adult smokers starting by the age of 26,” said Eric Asche, Chief Marketing Officer, Truth Initiative, the organization that funds and directs truth. “Partnering with a company like Chegg, allows us to share the facts about tobacco directly with students nationwide. We believe that ending smoking is a realistic goal, and this generation is using their collective power and creativity to make it happen.”This #CheggMusic101 is presented by truth. It is the latest in Chegg’s ongoing series of music classes brought to students across college and high school campuses nationwide. This season’s contest follows successful programs that Chegg has conducted with top-artists including Kaskade, Shawn Mendes, Rachel Platten, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Taylor Swift, and Ed Sheeran.“This is our second Chegg Music 101 with an incredible EDM artist. We had a great success in our Brooklyn Technical High School Music 101 with Kaskade where students were able to learn about producing and remixing music. We’re thrilled to be able to bring Steve Aoki to another campus,” said Mitch Spolan, EVP of Brand Partnerships at Chegg. “By broadening the range of artists we work with for our Chegg Music 101s, the more students we can reach, educate, and surprise and delight as they interact with the artists and brands they love.”To learn more about the contest and nominate a school, visit: www.chegg.com/music101.To learn more about how to join truth and become part of the generation to end tobacco for good, visit: thetruth.com.
The Elders announced today that their new Chair will be Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.Mary Robinson becomes The Elders’ third Chair since the group was founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, following Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2007-13) and Kofi Annan (2013-2018).Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General, and Graça Machel, former Education Minister of Mozambique and co-founder of The Elders, will serve as joint Deputy Chairs, succeeding Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway, who has held the role since 2013.Mary Robinson said:“It is a huge honour to take up the role as Chair of The Elders at such a critical moment for peace, justice and human rights worldwide. Building on the powerful legacies of Archbishop Tutu and Kofi Annan, I am confident that our group’s voice can both be heard by leaders and amplify grassroots activists fighting for their rights.”Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Emeritus Elder and former Chair, said:“I am delighted that Mary Robinson is the new Chair of The Elders. I have witnessed her commitment to rights and justice in Palestine, Côte d’Ivoire, India and so many other parts of the world. Mary always puts ordinary people at the heart of The Elders’ mission, and I know she will fight for their rights with the same vigour as our dearly missed brother Kofi.”Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General and new Deputy Chair of The Elders, said:“It is a pleasure and a privilege to become Deputy Chair of The Elders alongside Graça Machel. I look forward to working with my fellow Elders under Mary Robinson’s leadership to defend human rights, address the challenge of climate change and promote equality.”Graça Machel, co-founder of The Elders with Nelson Mandela, said:“When Madiba launched The Elders over a decade ago, I knew this would play a critically important part in my life. We have accomplished so much together, especially giving a voice to the voiceless, but there is so much more still to be done to achieve the peaceful, just world that Nelson Mandela believed we all can share.”
Advertisement The Star caught up with him as he launches the estimated $500-million Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney World in Orlando this May and preps for his highly anticipated four-sequel shoot for Avatar.Condolences, first of all on your friend Bill Paxton. I was thinking of Paxton while looking at your relationship with Simcha Jacobovici in the documentary. You’re sending Simcha to the ends of the Earth to find Atlantis. However, Bill was your first roving reporter. In Ghosts of the Abyss, your documentary on the Titanic, you sent him deep underneath the sea.That was fun. That was on our second Titanic expedition. We had done Titanic the movie together and for that film I had dived the wreck 12 times. I was always telling him what an amazing experience it was. And we had been on dive trips in the past, but just to scuba depths. I said, ‘Come on Bill, you love adventure.’ He jumped on and became the everyman voice of that show. He loved history and the arts in general and storytelling. He had such a respect for the history of Titanic he brought a real gravitas to that film. He was such a great human being. You felt the tragedy through his eyes.Your relationship with Simcha reminded me of the dynamic between J. Jonah Jameson and Peter Parker in Spider-Man (a movie that Cameron was once slated to direct). The whole idea of the crusty editor and the overly enthusiastic reporter. You keep reining him in and telling him to “go west.”(Laughs) That’s a pretty good analogy. Simcha and I always joke I’m the skeptic and he’s the starry-eyed theoretician that comes up with all these connections. It’s a good throttle-and-brakes relationship. The search takes off in a sailboat that goes across the Mediterranean including the islands of Santorini, Malta and Sardinia.Since the success of Avatar in 2009, Cameron, 62, has been strangely invisible. He has worked consistently as a writer and producer on passion projects such as his documentaries but hasn’t directed a major motion picture since. (He certainly doesn’t need the work: Forbes has estimated his wealth to be in the $700-million range.) But it turns out he’s not been exactly inactive. This year Cameron may well be the busiest man in Hollywood. Login/Register With: Canadian James Cameron is the undisputed king of the box office, having directed and written the two highest grossing films of all time: Avatar and Titanic.What is not as well known is that the Oscar-winning director also has a deep love of science and history, which has led him to produce lavish, technologically advanced documentaries that run from deep sea exploration of the German battleship Bismarck to the mystery of undersea volcanoes.This time around the Kapuskasing, Ont.-born Cameron is teaming with Israeli-Canadian journalist Simcha Jacobovici (recipient of the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism at the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards) to try and figure out if the lost city of Atlantis actually existed in Atlantis Rising. The documentary premieres Sunday on Discovery. Advertisement Facebook Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment MONTREAL — In an octagonal chamber at the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, a spectator in a trance-like state hums Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” as numbers on a digital display leap up to 631. That’s how many people on Earth are streaming Cohen’s version of the secular anthem right now, each represented by a recorded voice humming the song.In a nearby neighborhood is Bar Suzanne, a new speakeasy named after one of Cohen’s most celebrated muses and songs. The lyrics “takes you down”are written in bold black letters on the stairs — a playful allusion to the song. Olivier Farley, the owner, said he chose the name because “Everyone in Montreal is proud of Leonard Cohen — the French, the English; he is sacred here.”Then there is the imposing, luridly colorful mural that stretches nine full stories down the side of a building in the Plateau-Mont-Royal neighborhood. Pilgrims come daily to pay homage to the painted portrait of Cohen, staring plaintively from under his signature fedora. A second, even more towering Cohen-inspired mural, can be found in the heart of downtown. Login/Register With: Advertisement Photo: CTV New Facebook Twitter
Monique Marcotte, Vice-President of People and Culture, added: “This plan is rooted in the notion that our workplace culture must be truly inclusive in order to attract and retain top talent. Our strength lies in the unique perspectives that our employees bring to work each day. We want everyone to feel that their views and contributions are valued because they help us broaden our understanding of one another and better relate to the changing demographic makeup of our country.”This plan also complements the Diversity and Inclusion section of the career page of our corporate website. Both convey the importance of diversity and inclusion and share the many things we’re doing to make our programming content even more relevant, foster greater inclusiveness in our workplace culture and ensure our workforce fully reflects Canada’s demographics.About CBC/Radio-CanadaCBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world.Diversity and inclusion fact sheet: Our progress so farBelow are highlights of some of the initiatives that have resulted from our ongoing efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in our content, workplace culture and workforce:ContentCBC North has been serving Canadians across the territories and in Northern Quebec since 1958. It provides radio, television and online services to seven communities (Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River, Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Kuujjuaq) in eight Indigenous languages. In addition to offering services on CBC North, our main networks and regional stations also showcase Indigenous news, issues, and culture.Our award-winning Indigenous Unit is both a resource and a catalyst for more coverage across CBC/Radio-Canada. Recently expanded to more communities, it is helping us identify, recruit and develop Indigenous talent. It’s creating programs like Unreserved on CBC Radio, a powerful one-hour platform on our national radio network for Indigenous voices. The Legends Project digitizes traditional oral stories, legends and histories of Canada’s Inuit and First Nations Peoples from communities across the country. Our CBC Indigenous and Radio-Canada’s Espaces autochtoneswebsites are ensuring more Canadians learn more about this country’s legacy and its future.Since December 2017, Radio-Canada makes it compulsory for independent producers who submit a project to present a “diversity inclusion plan” with the objective of improving diversity in all its content.CBC Films (CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund) is a narrative feature film fund that supports the production of English-language films from filmmakers and creators who bring diverse voices and stories that engage and reflect Canadians on the big and small screens. We look for projects that are written and directed by Canadian women, Indigenous persons, visible minorities, LGBTQ persons and persons with a disability.For the past four years, Radio-Canada has been leading a TV industry working group aimed at increasing cultural diversity in French-language fiction. The group has implemented a series of actions such as the Auditions de la diversité, which provide performance training for actors from visible minority communities. The working group also supports coaching for young scriptwriters and tours high schools, in order to encourage diversity students to pursue careers in TV production.Workplace cultureA number of internal initiatives foster greater inclusiveness in our workplace culture, including:The Developing Emerging Leaders Program equips an annual cohort of 15 diverse employees with insights, tools and strategies to skillfully take their careers to the next level.Employee Resource Groups (bring together employees who share common backgrounds and experiences, and provide mutual support and a greater sense of belonging, ex. women in technology and employees with physical or mental disabilities and their allies.)Both CBC and Radio-Canada offer paid journalism internships to Indigenous recruits with partners such as the First Nations University of Canada, Nunavut Sivuniksavut/Algonquin College and the First Nations Education Council (FNEC). Radio-Canada also collaborates with the Kiuna Institution (the Quebec post-secondary Indigenous college) to offer an initiation to journalism for Indigenous students.Our senior leaders learn about inclusive leadership and unconscious bias. That awareness fosters a culture of inclusiveness—one of our core values. Similar training is provided to other employees across the organization. “We want to make sure all Canadians are heard on our airwaves; that they—and their children—see themselves reflected on their public broadcaster,” said Catherine Tait, CBC/Radio-Canada’s President and CEO. “This plan sets clear objectives and a roadmap to get there. It builds on the work we’ve been doing to make our content, our workforce and our services better reflect all Canadians.”Building on past efforts and accomplishments, including those resulting from our previous 2015-2018 strategy, the new plan lays out the objectives for the coming years, provides workforce results for all our main business units, and details action plans by major services. WorkforceWhile our focus is not on targets, we do still monitor to measure our performance and the impact of our initiatives.The new diversity hires (Indigenous Peoples, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities) result for Q1 2018-2019 of 27.2% exceeded our target of 25.4%. This is our best first quarter result since we started measuring this index in 2015-2016.We are the gender parity leader in the Canadian media industry with 48.9% women employed across CBC/Radio-Canada (+6.1% above the external labour force).We reached our Strategy 2020 goal of 2.1% for Indigenous representation, meeting the external labour force availability and the hiring rate of 3.1% surpassed this goal between April 2017 and March 2018.Between April 2015 and 2018, we saw over 40% increases for both the number of members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities. Login/Register With: Advertisement OTTAWA – CBC/Radio-Canada has unveiled its 2018-21 Diversity and Inclusion Plan. The new three-year plan sets out our strategy to better serve all Canadians by reflecting the full range of Canadian perspectives through our content, workplace culture and workforce. The Plan was launched at CBC/Radio-Canada’s Annual Public Meeting in Edmonton, where diversity and inclusion inspired this year’s conversation with Canadians on the importance of public broadcasting in today’s environment. With a view to increasing the diversity of its News staff, Radio-Canada revamped its hiring process for journalists at the network and regional levels over the last year, and we have removed potential obstacles for diverse candidates in our general knowledge and language proficiency exams.The candidates for the first-ever paid CBC Placements for Persons With Disabilities started in mid-September 2018and a national launch is being considered if deemed successful.We are the first Canadian media company to add gender and sexual diversity (i.e., LGBTQ+) to its voluntary workforce tracking metrics. Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter
APTN National NewsIt’ week two of the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax.After a brilliant performance at the North American Indigenous Games two years ago, one archer from the Yukon is drawing back her bow with some of the country’s best.Here is APTN National News reporter James Hopkin with the story.
The Canadian PressPORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – A family desperately seeking answers to a loved one’s disappearance is being allowed to continue searching for clues on a Manitoba First Nation.Bernice Catcheway – whose daughter Jennifer disappeared seven years ago – says the family was barred from searching the Dakota Tipi reserve after searchers brought in a backhoe last week.Chief David Pashe said searchers were digging holes and knocking down trees with their equipment.He said he would need to see an RCMP search warrant before searchers would be allowed back in.Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson, who represents northern First Nations, says all parties talked today and the search will be allowed to continue.She says the chief just wanted to protect the community from damage from the heavy equipment.
Danielle RochetteAPTN National NewsThe public inquiry on relations between Indigenous peoples and six public services in Quebec got underway Monday in Val d’Or.It began with a traditional ceremony with two Anishinabe elders and two grandmothers.Their message to the inquiry and participants was about understanding each other and that many need to be heard.Anishinabe Elder Roy Paul also gave an eagle feather to Chief Commissioner Jacques Viens.Elder Phillip Gliddy gives said it’s important the commissioner understands its meaning.“It is a great significance to pass an eagle feather,” said Gliddy. “It will give him strength and it will give him guidance when he does these hearings.”Then Viens opened the inquiry.He said that he and his team will do all that is possible to shed light on discrimination and racism on Indigenous people and that it is very important to establish a climate of trust in order to get themost participation as possible.The two next weeks will be for Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations to testify. Testimony for individuals will start in the fall.Viviane Michel, president of Quebec Native Women’s Association was the first to present her organization and her concerns.She highly recommended that the commission give its support to the victims before during and after the testimony.On Tuesday, the commission will hear from AFN Regional Chief Ghislain Picard and Grand Chief Verna Polson from the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation Tribal Council.
There was a major fire at the Northmart store in Iqaluit.Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsThe mayor of Iqaluit is telling residents not “to panic” after a fire ripped through its biggest grocery store.“Majority of our daily food is brought in by plane and will continue to do so,” Redfern said on Twitter Thursday morning.“The situation is being monitored and assessed. At this point in time, there is no need for our residents to panic.”The fire was spotted early this morning at the rear of the building that houses the Northmart grocery store and warehouse.Thick, black smoke could be seen billowing across the snow-covered community.An elementary school across the street was closed and nearby seniors’ residence evacuated.Residents were asked to cut down on personal water use while firefighters doused the blaze.The store is owned by The North West Company of Winnipeg.Messages left at the office seeking comment were not returned Thursday morning.Northmart is one of two major stores in the Nunavut capital. It sells food, clothing and household supplies.It is a main meeting spot in the community of more than 7,000 people.Redfern said city and territorial officials had met with retailers about the food supply.“All our other retailers are confident that they have sufficient food on hand to supply our community needs,” she tweeted.“If the shelves become empty, they will be replenished in due course.”There were reports on Twitter of other smaller, fires overnight, including a few vehicle fires.
As Sobeys Inc.’s competitors ramp up their e-commerce efforts amid a growing grocery delivery war, the grocer’s parent company said Wednesday it’s resisting pressure to rush into the market, instead preferring to focus on the long game.“I see this as a marathon, and we’re in the first 100 meters,” Empire Co. Ltd. CEO Michael Medline told analysts on a conference call to discuss its better-than-expected third-quarter results.“I’d rather be up and running with our system today, but I don’t want to put mediocre systems across the country when there’s much more modern ways to win over the customer.”Empire is waiting for the spring of 2020 to roll out its online grocery business that will be run in partnership with British firm Ocado, even as its Canadian peers and multinational giants that are snapping up Canadian market share, such as Walmart and Costco, race to launch convenient click-and-deliver grocery options in order to fight off online behemoth Amazon.com.Walmart announced Wednesday it is expanding its same-day online grocery delivery service to more than 40 per cent of U.S. households, or 100 metro areas, by year-end. In Canada, Walmart Canada currently offers grocery pick-up services in five major markets and plans to double the number of locations this year. It is also experimenting with online grocery delivery in some Greater Toronto Area locations with plans to launch a delivery service in Vancouver this summer.And Costco is exploring ways to deliver groceries to Canadian consumers after introducing a similar service to U.S. customers last October, according to a report in the Financial Post.Rival Loblaw Companies Ltd. has launched home delivery in Toronto and Vancouver, and Metro Inc., which offers delivery in the big Quebec markets, said it is looking to expand its online grocery offerings to Ontario this year.But Empire’s chief financial officer Michael Vels kept expectations tempered by saying “the e-commerce online offering will not be immediately profitable,” adding the company anticipates it will become a “growing and vibrant channel.”Medline indicated the company’s e-commerce efforts will initially be concentrated on the Greater Toronto Area because “that’s a market we need to and will win,” but he acknowledged “there are three or four other markets in the country that we need to look at.”He wouldn’t say how fast Empire will launch in other markets, but revealed that the company has secured its first customer fulfillment centre in Vaughan, Ont., a few hundred meters from its existing automated distribution centre.The fulfillment centre will be kitted out with Ocado’s signature robotics, which U.K. reports say can put together an order of more than 50 items within five minutes.“The issue for e-commerce in this country, in Canada, is that no one has given the customers a fantastic option,” said Medline.“It makes sense for us by offering customers something that they just never have seen before. We will have the highest market share of any grocer.”Medline’s more immediate concern was the increased pressure on sales from competitor Loblaw’s “curious” $25 gift cards offered to consumers after revealing its participation in an alleged bread price-fixing scandal, in which it implicated Sobey’s.The company had better-than-expected results for its third quarter as its revenue and profits improved compared with a year ago.It earned $58.1 million, up from $30.5 million or 11 cents per diluted share in the same period a year ago.Sales totalled $6.03 billion, up from $5.89 billion, while same-store sales excluding fuel increased 1.1 per cent.On an adjusted basis, Empire says it earned 33 cents per diluted share. Analysts on average had expected Empire to report an adjusted profit of 25 cents per diluted share, according to Thomson Reuters.Companies in this story: (TSX:EMP.A)
MONTREAL – Via Rail says passengers travelling through Montreal could be delayed for up to 45 minutes starting Friday because of infrastructure work in the city.The passenger rail company says reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange requires that a portion of the track and signals be relocated.Disruptions will affect travellers on trips between Montreal and Toronto, Quebec City, Ottawa and Senneterre/Jonquiere through Wednesday.Previously booked customers will be notified of the delays and can obtain a refund or change their dates of travel if desired.
MONTREAL – Jumio has opened an artificial intelligence lab in Montreal, adding to the city’s ranks of machine-learning firms.The Silicon Valley company says it plans to work on fraud detection and data extraction as part of a push toward refined identity verification.Jumio says the satellite lab, which numbers seven employees after quietly opening last month, will have 30 engineers and specialists by the end of next year. The lab expands on work underway at the company’s Vienna-based AI hub.Over the past year, Ottawa and Quebec have pledged more than $300 million toward AI development in Montreal, while tech giants Google and Microsoft Corp. have invested in machine learning research.Startups in the city are exploiting AI to build technology applicable to everything from tumour detection to navigating the immigration process.In 2016, Jumio filed for bankruptcy protection for its U.S. business following government investigations into financial irregularities, but raised US$15 million in funding a few months later.
TORONTO – Canada’s main stock index started November by notching a third straight day of positive growth led by higher metals and materials.Despite the bounce back from a very weak October, it may be premature to celebrate just yet, says Kash Pashootan, CEO and chief investment officer at First Avenue Investment Counsel Inc.“We’re not getting overly enthused or turning positive just yet because we feel that it’s still too early to say we have turned the corner,” Pashootan said in an interview.Being late in the bull run, he said it’s difficult to see how equities will generate even high single-digit increases amid volatility.Some of the tech and industrials names that led the correction have regained some footing over the past three days amid strong third-quarter corporate results that helped to inject positive sentiment.But Pashootan said some big companies that have yet to report could be a determining factor if the bounce back will stick — chief among them is Apple Inc.“We’re going to need the world’s largest company to have solid numbers reported, or otherwise you could see a quick reversal of this three-day optimism that’s come back,” he said.The company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of US$14.13 billion after markets closed. The net income of $2.91 per share surpassed Wall Street expectations of $2.79 per share. But its holiday outlook suggested weaker demand for expensive new iPhones.The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 122.87 points to 15,150.15. Metals, materials and gold rose by at least 3.7 per cent, while utilities, financials, utilities and consumer staples led on the downside.It’s been a good week for the Toronto Exchange.“You’re seeing this tug of war continue between the market trying to decide if overall it’s feeling optimistic because of Q3 earnings or it’s still trying to finish the cleansing process of the correction that started a couple of weeks back,” Pashootan said.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 264.98 points to 25,380.74. The S&P 500 index was up 28.63 points to 2,740.37, while the Nasdaq composite was up 128.16 points at 7,434.02.The Canadian dollar traded at an average of 76.41 cents US compared with an average of 76.09 cents US on Wednesday.The December crude contract was down $1.62 to US$63.69 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was down 2.4 cents at US$3.24 per mmBTU.Crude is down about five per cent for the week but more decreases are likely, noted Pashootan.“Investors should be watching in the coming months because the real reasons why the commodity price rose in the first place not being supply and demand, but more so supply disruptions.”The December gold contract was up US$23.60 at US$1,238.60 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 6.25 cents at US$2.72 a pound.
TORONTO ONTARIO, – Hydro One Ltd. is reporting that its net profit decreased by 11.4 per cent in the third quarter to $194 million.The parent company of Ontario’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility says it earned 32 cents per diluted share for the period ended Sept. 30, compared with $219 million or 37 cents per share a year earlier.The prior year’s profits were boosted by regulatory catch-up revenues and a lower effective tax rate.Excluding one-time items, adjusted profits slipped 4.2 per cent to $227 million or 38 cents per share, from $237 million or 40 cents per share in the prior year.Revenues were $1.61 billion, up 3.1 per cent from $1.52 billion, reflecting higher consumption from favourable weather.Hydro One was expected to earn 35 cents per share in adjusted profits on $1.61 billion in revenues, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters Eikon.Companies in this story: (TSX:H)
TORONTO — The Ontario government will accept entries next week from those looking to enter a lottery to apply for the first 25 retail cannabis licences in the province.The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario says expressions of interest can be submitted online Monday through noon Wednesday, with the draw to take place on Friday and results to be posted within 24 hours.There is a $75 fee to submit an expression of interest and those selected through the lottery will have five business days to turn in their application along with a $6,000 non-refundable fee and a $50,000 letter of credit.The commission says the rules have been established to encourage the opening of retail cannabis stores by April 1 — the first day they will be allowed in Ontario — and those who are not committed to meeting that deadline should not sign up for the lottery.Recreational cannabis can currently only be purchased legally through a government-run website.The province had initially said it would not put a cap on retail stores but later announced it would only hand out 25 retail licences this winter, with no date set for additional licences to be granted. The Progressive Conservative government said the move was in response to a national cannabis supply shortage, which it said can only be tackled by the federal government.Though the retail licence lottery is set for next week, Ontario municipalities have until Jan. 22 to opt out of hosting cannabis shops.The commission says the retail licences will be divided regionally, with five going to the east of the province, seven in the west, two in the north, six in the Greater Toronto Area and five in Toronto itself.The Canadian Press
The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton A fourth police vehicle arrived a short time later, and an officer was seen exiting the vehicle wearing forensic coveralls.Officers at the scene declined to comment about the nature of their investigation, but when asked, the on-duty watch commander with the Fort St. John RCMP this afternoon said that police were working on issuing a release.The watch commander was also not able to speak to the incident, saying that the investigation is ongoing.Comments on a post in a local Facebook group allege that three men entered the home brandishing a firearm, shooting and injuring a woman and fatally wounding a dog. Those allegations have not been confirmed.This is a developing story, and we’ll have an update once we receive more information. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Mounties are investigating an incident that took place at a home on the city’s east side earlier today.At around 1:30 on Saturday afternoon, three RCMP vehicles were seen parked outside of a mobile home in the 8600-block of 76th Street, while the home itself was behind police tape.The home appeared to be quite dilapidated, with two windows in the home’s front room seen to be wide open with the windows’ blinds knocked askew, while the front porch and entrance stairs appeared to have collapsed. It is not known if the damaged occurred during the incident.
“You can think of it as a bathtub that’s full. And as long as the bathtub is full, the pressure on the (price) differentials is going to be bad,” said Birn, the vice-president of North American crude oil markets for IHS Markit.“So you’ve got to drain it. And building rail, it will help. You’re seeing announcements around production curtailments and that’s an attempt to accelerate the meeting between supply and demand to drain the basin.”Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced this week the province would buy as many as 80 locomotives and 7,000 rail tankers to move the province’s excess oil to markets, with the first shipments expected in late 2019.But Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta’s opposition United Conservative Party, says it would provide faster relief if all companies in Alberta were forced to temporarily halt 10 per cent of their production.Canada had total production of about 4.6 million barrels per day of oil in September, with 4.3 million bpd produced in the West, according to the National Energy Board.That month, the country exported 3.47 million bpd of oil, with almost all of it going to the United States. Crude-by-rail exports rose to a record of almost 270,000 bpd. CALGARY, A.B. – Oil market analyst Kevin Birn likens Western Canada’s crude supply to a bathtub with a drain that’s too small to keep up with the increasing volume pouring out of the tap.As barrels of surplus oil lap the edge of the tub, desperate producers are forced to sell at rock-bottom prices to avoid a big mess.Meanwhile, no one seems to agree on how to either turn down the tap or install a bigger drain. After hitting highs of more than US$52 per barrel in October, the discount on Western Canadian Select bitumen-blend crude versus New York-traded West Texas Intermediate settled at about US$29 per barrel on Friday, according to Net Energy, about double the discount it typically fetches due to lower quality and transportation costs.Upgraded synthetic crude from oilsands mines was selling at an US$18.50 discount to WTI (it typically trades near par) and Edmonton light oil was receiving about a US$23 discount, although it is of similar quality to WTI.In an update report on Nov. 21, Scotiabank analysts said the wider-than-usual discounts will cost the Western Canadian oil industry $15 billion to $39 billion of earnings in 2019 compared with a scenario where pipeline capacity is adequate to take away export production.It added the Alberta government could miss out on $1.5 billion to $4.1 billion (roughly $350 to $950 per Albertan) in royalty revenue in 2019. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers officially estimates the cumulative economic impact of discounts nationally was at least $13 billion from the start of 2016 to the end of October this year.The oil industry’s problems are mainly due to the failure to build export pipelines to match increases in oil production, said Birn.The 525,000-bpd Northern Gateway pipeline was approved in 2014 by the federal Conservative government and then rejected by the Liberal government in 2016. The 1.1-million bpd Energy East pipeline was cancelled by TransCanada Corp. due to “changed circumstances” in 2017.That leaves the Line 3 replacement pipeline as the most likely to come into service next, adding more than 370,000 bpd of export capacity when it starts up in late 2019, after both the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline project and the Keystone XL pipeline were recently ordered halted by courts in Canada and the U.S.A hint of the trouble ahead came late last year when the Keystone pipeline was shut down for 10 days due to a leak in South Dakota and the heavy oil discount doubled to as much as US$29 per barrel, Birn said.The discount fell during the summer when oilsands production declined due to planned and unplanned project shutdowns in northern Alberta but rose again in the fall as refineries in the United States that use western Canadian heavy oil had their own maintenance shutdowns.Meanwhile, production continued to increase, driven by projects like Suncor Energy Inc.’s 194,000-bpd Fort Hills oilsands mine which began ramping up in late 2017.Birn said it’s tough to say where prices will go from here. Winter is the most active season for drilling in Canada and production normally rises but early indications are that the industry won’t spend as much as usual this year.Voluntarily production cuts, increases in crude-by-rail exports and a plan by the 80,000-bpd Sturgeon Refinery to begin processing bitumen will likely help moderate discounts in the months ahead, he said.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)