Russell Simmons Hosts 15th Annual Art For Life Benefit

first_imgNaughty by Nature helped celebrate the 15th-Annual Art for Life benefit with a crowd of 750 supporters last night at Fairview Farms in Watermill, NY.Russell Simmons And FamilyCredit/Copyright: Getty ImagesRussell Simmons and Danny Simmons hosted the event in support of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, an organization they co-founded with their brother Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons.Soledad O’Brien emceed the event that honored Michael R. Bloomberg, Kimora Lee Simmons, Valentino D. Carlotti, Jason Flom and Rush Featured Artist Carrie Mae Weems.During the program, Russell Simmons announced that Kimora Lee Simmons has started a generous scholarship of $1 million dollars for Rush teens. Her children – Ming Lee Simmons, Aoki Lee Simmons and Kenzo Lee Hounsou – accepted the honor on their mother’s behalf and welcomed the inaugural class of scholarship recipients.Doug E. Fresh and Kurtis Blow also performed. Additional guests included Gayle King, Rick Ross, Nicky Hilton, Angela Simmons, JoJo Simmons, Kim Porter, Jonathan Cheban, Bevy Smith, Star Jones, Miss Universe Gabriela Isler, Miss USA Nia Sanchez and model Vita Sidorkina.Art for Life is the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s primary fundraising event each year. The organization was founded by the Simmons brothers in 1995 and is dedicated to providing inner-city youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as providing exhibition opportunities to under-represented and emerging artists.last_img read more

Gildas Club NYC To Honor Actress Krysta Rodriguez

first_imgThe Associate Board (AB) of Gilda’s Club NYC is hosting its 7th annual benefit event, The Gildie Awards – A Celebration of Life, Laughter and Courage, at City Winery on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.The emerging philanthropists expect more than 250 guests to enjoy an evening of music by Alex Simon and DJ Vida, passed hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and a silent auction. Broadway actress, Ellyn Marsh, will be the host for the evening.Broadway and television star, Krysta Rodriguez will be receiving The Red Door Award for Advocacy. Ms. Rodriguez was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, and has been vocal about her illness and raising awareness through her blog, ChemoCouture. Ms. Rodriguez recently starred opposite John Lithgow in the NBC comedy TRIAL AND ERROR and is also well known for playing the role of Ana Vargas in the NBC musical drama SMASH. TV guest credit include Inside Amy Schumer, Quantico, Younger, Chasing Life, and The Mysteries of Laura.The AB was formed nine years ago as a junior board for young professionals and emerging philanthropists who are committed to making a positive impact on the lives of people touched by cancer. The mission of the AB is to promote awareness of Gilda’s Club NYC in the community it serves through philanthropic initiatives and volunteer service.Find out more about the event here.last_img read more

Drake leads iHeartRadio Music Awards nominations with 12

first_imgTickets go on sale Friday. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Drake leads the nominations for the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards with 12, including male artist of the year, while electronic duo The Chainsmokers has 11 nominations, including song of the year for “Closer” with Halsey. This year’s show has been expanded to more than 30 categories. Other multiple nominees include twenty one pilots, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Daya, Halsey, Nicky Jam and Sia. Advertisement iHeartMedia and Turner announced the nominees Wednesday. It was also announced that Bruno Mars will perform at the fourth annual awards show, to be held March 5 in Los Angeles and televised on TBS, TNT and truTV, as well as simulcast on iHeartMedia stations. Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Glimpsing Cinemas Northern Lights at Canadas Top Ten Film Festival

first_imgAdvertisement TORONTO — Critics’ best-of lists for 2016 are everywhere you turn, but Canada has one all its own. Every December, the Toronto International Film Festival announces Canada’s Top Ten, a list of the country’s best films of the year as voted by a panel of experts that includes critics, filmmakers and programmers. For a movie to qualify, it needs to have either had its premiere at a major Canadian film festival or opened theatrically. It’s a tradition that began 16 years ago and has expanded from features to include lists of short films and student shorts that make up a touring festival. (This year, the Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival runs through Jan. 26 in Toronto.)It may seem odd for a country to declare its own best films in this institutionalized fashion, but Canadian cinema is largely drowned out by the dominant influx of American culture. It’s pretty rare for even one Canadian film to play the local multiplex at any given time, even in metropolitan hubs.That’s why extra efforts have to be made to showcase films that would otherwise mostly go unnoticed and unseen. Canadian cinema is institutionalized to begin with, as filmmakers depend on governmental financing bodies like Telefilm Canada. And yet the hottest Canadian filmmakers right now are making American movies, including Jean-Marc Vallée, who adapted “Wild,” and Denis Villeneuve, who just directed the sci-fi hit “Arrival” and is behind the forthcoming “Blade Runner” sequel. Twitter The names of filmmakers that would be familiar to Canadians are the same that would be known to American viewers: David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan and perhaps Guy Maddin. And yes, they are often the usual suspects on this annual list. However, none of them released a film in 2016, and so this year the Top Ten is refreshingly original and diverse, hinting at a shift toward a rejuvenated independent culture. Some entries may appear in step with preconceptions of Canadian film identity, but a majority are notably fresh. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebooklast_img read more


first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Among the duds, Tom Cruise’s The Mummy and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword both disappointed on opening weekend, while huge franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean and Planet of the Apes showed signs of running out of steam.Without the hits, Cineplex feels the sting on its box-office revenue and at concession stand where hungry moviegoers shell out for marked-up popcorn and drinks.Any shimmer of hope that August would save the season was quickly dashed when The Dark Tower stumbled out of the gate with $19.2 million its first weekend. It’s a mere fraction of the $132 million opening of Suicide Squad at the same time last summer.“We haven’t really had anything of any consequence,” said Raymond James analyst Kenric Tyghe. “There’s literally been nothing to see.”Summer box office downThe North American summer box-office was off about 13 per cent to $3.63 billion as of Aug. 23, helping to drag down the year’s box-office tally by 5.4 per cent, according to comScore senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian.While some observers have pegged the decline to a growing popularity of low-cost streaming services like Netflix and CraveTV, not everyone is convinced that the notoriously volatile box-office won’t pick up again in a few weeks.“In September the tables turn,” Tyghe suggested, pointing to Stephen King’s It remake, which is currently projected to break box-office records for the month.Cineplex is discounting its tickets ahead of another weekend with very little in terms of new offerings.The Hitman’s Bodyguard, last week’s No. 1 film, is expected to hold the top spot while an expansion of indie thriller Wind River and a re-release of 1991 Arnold Schwarzenegger flick Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 3D round out the highlights.Saturday night’s hyped pay-per-view fight between UFC fighter Conor McGregor and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is also expected to take a bite out of box-office receipts. Advertisement Facebookcenter_img Advertisement Hollywood’s cruel summer of box-office flops has Cineplex hoping to reel in elusive audiences with a cheap movie ticket offers.Canada’s largest movie theatre company has put into effect Tuesday discount pricing for all screenings running from Friday to Aug. 31.Cineplex said patrons can expect a 30 per cent discount on tickets during those days, with SCENE members receiving an additional 10 per cent discount. It’s an unusual move during a period that’s often considered the victory lap after months of huge blockbusters — except this summer hit movies were almost non-existent.Earlier this month, Cineplex joined other chains in announcing weaker profits as fewer people filled theatres.Even though Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 delivered strong results, the number of box-office failures easily outshines the successes.This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Gal Gadot in a scene from Wonder Woman, which has been one of this summer’s box office winners. (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Entertainment/Associated Press) Twitterlast_img read more

Aboriginal domain needs seismic shift

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–Conservative Senator Patrick has turned to YouTube as a megaphone for his call to freeze any additional funding to Indian Affairs and Aboriginal organizations until there is a full accounting of how their current spending impacts ordinary Aboriginal people.Wearing a turquoise tie and a black suit jacket with red, yellow, white, red and turquoise embroidery of diamonds and bear paws, Brazeau delivered his video message from the floor of the Red Chamber, where the Senate gathers.In the video, Brazeau calls for a review of the “entire domain of Aboriginal affairs” to determine whether the money they already get is actually benefiting Aboriginal people across the country. He said no additional funding should flow until those questions get answers.He said it was time to move “beyond the hopelessly broken status quo that favours elites and promotes a sense of entitlement” at the expense of oridnary Aboriginal people.“The federal government spends over $10 billion on federal program and services for Aboriginal people, yet despite this progress…improving quality of life for First Nations, Inuit and Metis people seems to elude us. This reality begs answers to numerous questions,” said Brazeau, in the video titled, Senator Patrick Brazeau on enhanced accountability in Canada’s Aboriginal affairs.It was one of three videos posted.The former head of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, takes special aim at federally funded Aboriginal organizations like the Assembly of First Nations.“Is the AFN, which is the national voice of 600 plus chiefs, as well as other aboriginal organizations, the great majority of which are 100 per cent funded by tax payer dollars, acting responsibly?” said Brazeau. “We need to look at the machinery of government to re-examine the entire notion of funding representative groups that run parallel bureaucracies and yet provide no programs and services to those in real need.”Brazeau’s video went live Tuesday afternoon, hours after AFN national Chief Shawn Atleo held a press conference in Ottawa calling for about $2 billion in new funding for education.In an interview with APTN National News, Brazeau said the timing was pure coincidence. He said he has been planning production of the videos for several months and they were finally ready for posting Tuesday.“You can speculate on the timing issue. That is not an issue whatsoever. The messaging in the accountability video is nothing new and it reflects what I have said,” he said.Brazeau raised the issue in the Senate last spring when he called for a Senate inquiry into the accountability of Aboriginal affairsSenators debate issues that have been put under inquiry.Brazeau said the inquiry is ongoing and more Senators have asked to speak to the matter. Once that ends, he hopes the Conservative government will take the issue on.“Either the government will be interested in pursuing any of the items debated or discussed. If not, I will have to roll up my sleeves and see what type of strategy I can (develop) to move forward,” he said.Brazeau said Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan”s office was aware of the videos, but he said they were not part of a strategy that would lead to the unveiling of a government initiative. The videos are simply meant to increase debate on the issue, he said.“These are my personal views on the Aboriginal accountability video,” he said. “I have not been designated by anyone to do this.”Brazeau also posted YouTube videos about how the Senate works and the importance of participating in democracy.last_img read more

Uncontacted Indigenous tribe under threat

first_imgAPTN National NewsAn international organization is sounding the alarm about a remote tribe in the jungles of Brazil.The tribe is considered “uncontacted,” meaning they have no contact with anyone in mainstream society.Less than 100 such tribes remain and they are all under threat.Now one of the tribes on the Brazil and Peru border is facing a serious clash from the encroachment of Peruvian industry.Their way of life could soon be wiped out.last_img

Nunavut reaches settlement with Ottawa on 1 billion lawsuit

first_imgKent Driscoll APTN National News IQALUIT–A $1 billion lawsuit between the Inuit of Nunavut and the federal government has been settled out of court.The lawsuit has been in court for 10 years.Nunavut Tunngavik (NTI) is the land claims organization that protects the Nunavut Land Claim which is the document that gave birth to Nunavut and settled Aboriginal title for the Inuit of Nunavut.NTI launched the lawsuit arguing Ottawa never lived up to the promises in the agreement and they needed $1 billion to provide the services promised.Much of their argument relies on the 2006 Berger Report, where retired justice Thomas Berger focused on education, and the lack of support for Inuktitut instruction in Nunavut.The tentative detail was announced from the bench at the Nunavut Court of Justice.Throughout the 10 year process the court had grown frustrated and accused Ottawa of dragging its heels when they were supposed to provide NTI’s lawyers with documents they requested.“Canada has only produced 613 documents because (Justice Canada) did not consider other potential privileges when vetting the documents,” said Justice Earl Johnson. “The rational for the claim of privilege has not been provided…to this date.”The Government of Nunavut is also a part of the lawsuit due to the role they play in putting the land claim agreement into action.They’ve argued that they shouldn’t be held to account, because the agreement was negotiated before the Nunavut government began to exist on April 1, 1999.Both Ottawa and NTI have declined comment until the tentative deal is reviewed and approved by both sides.The judge set April 22 as a reserve date if both sides haven’t approved the deal by read more

From Nunavut to Guinea and a Circus Without Borders

first_imgAPTN National NewsAPTN helped open the 25th edition of the annual First Peoples Festival in Montreal.The network presented the documentary Circus Without Borders.The film chronicles two acrobats from opposite sides of the world and how they’re using their unique skills to change their communities.APTN’s Tamara Ainscow has the story.last_img

Federal government announces new funding for onreserve child healthcare

first_imgAPTN National NewsFirst Nations children requiring medical treatment on-reserve may get the support they need after the federal government announced late Tuesday it had earmarked nearly $400 million to support what’s known as Jordan’s Principle.Health Minister Jane Philpott said the federal government will spend $382 million on a new way to implement Jordan’s Principle that she says will enhance service co-ordination and ensure service access resolution so that children’s needs are assessed and responded to quickly.Jordan’s Principle holds that no First Nations child should suffer denials, delays or disruptions of health services available to other children due to jurisdictional disputes.In the past, provinces and the federal government couldn’t agree who should pay.Jordan Anderson was a Cree boy from Norway House, Man., who died in hospital in 2005 after such disagreements kept him from spending his last years in home care.“This approach will put the needs of children first and ensure that First Nations children living on-reserve receive the health and social services they need in a timely manner,” Philpott said.The money will allow First Nations organizations to hire a regional service co-ordinator to assess needs, facilitate early intervention, develop integrated care plans and connect the child and family to needed services, she said.The announcement came a day before the federal government was required to update the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on how it was going to fund on-reserve child welfare, including Jordan’s Principle.The tribunal previously ruled Canada discriminates against First Nations children.With files from The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Labrador artist says hell go to the end with hunger strike over

first_img(Billy Gauthier is on a hunger strike over the Muskrat Falls hyrdro-electric project. Photo courtesy Billy Gauthier)Trina Roache APTN National NewsAn Inuk artist is taking action against a major hydroelectric project along the Lower Churchill River in Labrador that could impact traditional food sources for the Inuit.Billy Gauthier has started a hunger strike. He ate salmon caught in Rigolet for his last meal Thursday evening.“I’m willing to go to the end,” said Gauthier. “If they don’t do what I’ve demanded, which is remove the organic materials from the proposed flooded area, I will not eat anymore.”Gauthier lives in North West River, about a half hour drive from Happy-Valley GooseBay. Both his art and life are shaped by the land.“Anybody that knows me that my favorite time of the year is the spring seal hunt,” said Gauthier. “Without that animal, I wouldn’t be here. My ancestors, none of them, could have survived without it.”Billy Gauthier’s last meal. Photo courtesy: Billy GauthierGauthier, like many Labrador Inuit, fear the Muskrat falls project will poison traditional foods.“There’s been so many things already taken away from the people of Labrador, northern peoples, Aboriginal people in general, over and over and over,” said Gauthier. “I guarantee if this thing goes ahead, it will completely change the area. The most wholesome thing you can do with your family is hunt and fish and feel proud, feel connected to your culture, understand your ancestors. You take that away and why you wonder is there so much suicide in aboriginal culture. That’s f—ing why.”See related stores here: Muskrat Falls Research by a team from Harvard University predicts that when the reservoir at Muskrat Falls is flooded, the trees, vegetation, and topsoil will create methylmercury. The toxin will flow downstream from the dam and work its way up the food chain.“What I believe will happen if this here goes ahead is we will not be able to eat the fish from the area which is my favorite thing to do. An amazing wholesome thing to do,” said Gauthier. “The best way a person can get food is through the land, naturally. I know it.”Gauthier said time is of the essence.Energy company Nalcor, owned by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, is set to begin flooding the reservoir any time after Saturday, October 15. It’s a long process and one that will happen in stages. But the timeline has left grassroots people and Inuit leaders scrambling.Labrador Inuit have held rallies and marches in recent weeks, with loud chants of “Make Muskrat Right.”The Nunatsiavut Government has called on the province and Nalcor to fully clear the reservoir and is looking at legal options to force the province to act.“We once again implore the Premier to not play Russian roulette with the lives of our people, and to direct Nalcor Energy to delay flooding of the Muskrat Falls reservoir until it is fully cleared of all trees, vegetation and topsoil,” said Nunatsiavut president Johannes Lampe in a statement released Friday.“The concerns over methylmercury contamination are real, and to proceed with flooding without fully clearing will clearly violate our human and Indigenous rights,” said Lampe. “This project has to be stopped now before it’s too late.”While there’s no commitment to do that, Newfoundland and Labrador Environment and Climate Change Minister Perry Trimper has said he is willing to explore the option.Gauthier said his hunger strike is a drastic action. “But nothing else will work. Everything is happening too fast. I wasn’t willing to do a violent act.”Many have criticized the province and Nalcor for being behind schedule and over budget at $11.4 billion dollars.The town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, just 30 kilometres from the Muskrat Falls project has a large Indigenous population. The town council has also expressed concerns over the impact of the dam.In a message released on Friday, the council stated, “Our community has been directly impacted by this development and yet, to date, we have been left out of any negotiations or workshops regarding the clearing of the reservoir and the water-monitoring program.”Cartwright, on the coast of Southern Labrador, residents have promised action on the ground if Nalcor tries to use the town’s port without consent.In a Facebook post after a community meeting last week, the council wrote, “…the residents of Cartwright feel that there is no price tag on the safety and security of our wild food chain or positive mental health that comes along with carrying on our traditions and culture.”By unanimous vote, we are to deliver the message to Nalcor and the Province that this project is not welcome to come through the port of Cartwright until all vegetation and soil is removed from the reservoir area.”NunatuKavut leader Todd Russell, speaking for the Southern Inuit in Labrador, is expected to make an announcement on Monday on the Muskrat Falls project. Russell has voiced his opposition in the past.Gauthier has kept an eye on the politics and protests. But said for him, and for many Labrador Inuit, this is about the survival of a way of life.“This is my land,” said Gauthier, his voice breaking as he explains the deep connection. “This land has built me, the way it built my ancestors. This is where I get all my inspiration for my artwork. This is my life.”His 15-year-old daughter doesn’t live with him, but Gauthier said when she visits, her favorite thing to do is go ice fishing. He added that making the call to her he was going on a hunger strike was one of the hardest things he’s had to do.“I love life,” he said. “I’m crying right now because I am scared. And I keep thinking about my daughter.”But he’s firm that if the flooding happens, he won’t eat. He’ll only eat, when the project is halted so clearing can begin. Promises aren’t enough. He wants action.“I realize it’s a multi-billion dollar project,” he said. “To be honest, I’m scared. But not scared enough to not do it.”There’s been talk of compensation if methylmercury taints food sources. Inuit leaders have criticized that offer saying it’s not good enough.Gauthier said the province should just pay the $200-million dollar bill to clear the reservoir. And that not doing so sends a clear message.“That says to me the government doesn’t give a shit about us,” he said. “It also says the government is being incredibly foolish. Do they honestly believe that spending 200-million right now is going to be a deal? Because in the future, with the several generations it takes before methylmercury is gone…these people are going to have all kinds of problems. It will harm people.”As for Billy Gauthier, he plans to continue his hunger strike, posting updates on social media daily.“I want to spread the word like wildfire as much as possible,” said Gauthier. “I don’t want to die. But I’m telling you it in Nalcor’s hands. They can choose to cut the trees and remove all the organic material.”Gauthier said he has support from friends and family. But hasn’t yet heard from either Nalcor or the province.troache@aptn.calast_img read more

Macys Parade balloon inflation hours changing this year

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – New York police say the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon inflation viewing will end two hours earlier this year and anyone attending must be screened.Tens of thousands of people are expected to head to Central Park on Wednesday to watch the giant balloons take shape. This year, the public must leave by 8 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. The event also will begin two hours earlier, at 1 p.m. No backpacks will be allowed. Central Park West will be shut down starting at noon.On Thursday, intersections along the parade route will be blocked off to avoid unauthorized vehicles.But eager viewers can still line up early to get good spots.Police say there will be an officer on every street corner. Security is extra tight following a terrorist truck attack that killed eight people on Oct. 31.last_img read more

Moore loss fuels faint hope that reluctant Republicans might support NAFTA

first_imgOTTAWA – The scandal-tinged defeat of Roy Moore in Alabama’s special Senate election is raising faint hopes that it might embolden some decidedly reluctant Republicans to speak out in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement.Notwithstanding a series of explosive sexual misconduct allegations, Moore had the strong backing of Donald Trump, but still lost to Democrat Doug Jones — the first time that party won a seat in Alabama in a quarter century.Despite Moore’s obvious flaws, his defeat has also been widely seen as a repudiation of Trump’s agenda, which includes tearing up NAFTA if he can’t wring concessions out of Canada and Mexico.The Trudeau Liberals have been mounting a full-court press to win support for NAFTA in the U.S., not just in Congress but among businesses as well as state and local governments.U.S. business groups, including its Chamber of Commerce, have loudly defended NAFTA and urged Trump not to announce a U.S. withdrawal next year.But the response from American lawmakers has been tepid at best. Capitol Hill is seized with tax reform, and some Republicans don’t want to ignite a war with their hair-trigger, Twitter-friendly president or risk offending Trump supporters in their core base.Perrin Beatty, the president of Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday the defeat of Moore resonated in meetings he had Tuesday in New York City with his American business counterparts.“I’m hopeful that it will mean moderates will be emboldened and will be saying, ‘Look … we have to do what’s good for jobs and focus on these bread and butter issues,’” Beatty said in a telephone interview from New York, where he was trying to raise NAFTA’s profile as part of a tour that also included a stop in Philadelphia.“I’m not under any illusions that the Republicans lost because of NAFTA, but this certainly does demonstrate it’s important for the party to represent much more than a fringe.”Sarah Goldfeder, a former U.S. diplomat in Mexico and Canada who is following the trade negotiations at Earnscliffe Strategy Group in Ottawa, said Moore’s defeat is “going to fuel the traditional Republican core” and has the potential to moderate the right-wing influence that has taken hold.“Those people are going to push for a back-to-basics Republican party,” she said. “That trade is good, business in good, jobs are good, unions bad — it’s that party.”Trade lawyers in Canada and the U.S. were less optimistic that the Alabama result would make it easier to talk about NAFTA.Dan Ujczo, an Ohio-based international trade lawyer with Dickinson Wright, said when he initially heard the news about Moore’s defeat the first question he asked was: what does this mean for NAFTA?After thinking about it, he concluded: not much.“Roy Moore was a fundamentally flawed candidate,” he said. “I don’t know how much we can extrapolate out from Alabama to a repudiation of the Trump agenda.”He said a few more Republican senators might be inclined to go public with their support of NAFTA, but most of its champions have already stepped forward.The trade deal remains unpopular in the northern rust belt states of Ohio and Michigan, where Trump won support in the election, he said.“There’s no political upside for them to come out in favour of NAFTA right now.”Lawrence Herman, a Toronto-based international trade lawyer with Herman and Associates, said it difficult link Moore’s defeat with Trump’s agenda.“Given the dispersal of influence and pressure points in the bizarre U.S. system of governance, whether the Moore loss has an impact on NAFTA negotiations is hard to say,” he said.“(It) probably doesn’t help the White House in its full-steam ahead approach, however, and that could well be of benefit to those in Congress that want to maintain the treaty intact.”last_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,300.38, up 26.41 points)Pure Industrial Real Estate Trust (TSX:AAR.UN). Real Estate. Down one cent, or 0.12 per cent, to $8.07 on 11.7 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Up 20 cents, or 2.29 per cent, to $8.93 on 11.6 million shares.Neovasc Inc. (TSX:NVC). Medical devices. Down half-a-cent, or 7.69 per cent, to six cents on 10.6 million shares.Spartan Energy Corp. (TSX:SPE). Oil and gas. Down two cents, or 0.32 per cent, to $6.17 on 9.8 million shares. The company will be acquired by fellow Calgary-based Vermilion Energy Inc. (TSX:VET) (down $1.29, or 2.93 per cent, to $42.75 on 2.2 million shares) in a $1.23-billion stock deal and assume about $175 million in debt. The transaction is expected to close in June.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH). Healthcare. Up 84 cents, or 7.37 per cent, to $12.24 on 7.7 million shares. The Leamington, Ont.-based medical marijuana producer reported a $12.9-million profit in its latest quarter, boosted by the sale of some of its shares in U.S. company Liberty Health Sciences.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Down one cent, or 0.07 per cent, to $15.24 on 5.4 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Hudson’s Bay Company (TSX:HBC). Retailer. Down three cents, or 0.33 per cent, to $8.98 on 111,124 shares. The Toronto-based retailer named Bari Harlam as its new chief marketing officer. Harlam has held senior marketing roles at American companies BJ’s Wholesale Club, Swipely and CVS Health, where she built and launched the pharmacy’s loyalty program.Resolute Forest Products Inc. (TSX:RFP). Forest products. Up 22 cents, or 1.74 per cent, to $12.89 on 4,670 shares. Unifor says it has reached a tentative deal with Resolute, that, once approved, will serve as a pattern agreement for workers at pulp and paper mills across the Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic regions. Details of the four-year agreement were not disclosed.Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B). Telecommunications. Up 47 cents, or 0.83 per cent, to $57.23 on 554,294 shares. Rogers expects to begin testing core applications for fifth-generation wireless networks later this year in Ottawa, after more precise 5G industry standards come out. The tests will be conducted with long-time network supplier Ericsson, but it probably won’t to be ready for “prime time” until about 2020 because of the hardware and software that’s still to be developed.last_img read more

Toronto US stock markets up in broadbased advance on easing trade fears

first_imgCanada’s main stock market index closed up Monday along with U.S. markets amid elevated crude prices and lowering trade dispute fears.The further easing of trade fears came in part from U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweets indicating a willingness to negotiate with China, while oil prices have remained over US$70 a barrel as speculations about disruptions remain high, said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist with Edward Jones in St. Louis.“It’s two things today. It’s easing of concerns of a global trade war, and higher oil prices. I think the two are combining to lift equity markets, not only in Canada but on a global scale.”The potential easing of trade fears with China is a positive sign for better outcomes on other trade negotiations as well, said Fehr.“If we look back over the last several months, certainly the fears of a global trade war have soured investor sentiment periodically, so any evidence or signals that perhaps there’s going to be a softer approach or a more negotiated approach to trade relations and to things like tariffs, I think that’s showing up as a positive for investors.”The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index closed up 102.29 points at 16,085.61, led by the S&P/TSX capped energy index that rose just over two per cent.The rise in energy stocks came after another day of climbing oil prices as the June crude contract closed up 26 cents at US$70.96 per barrel. The June natural gas contract was also up three cents at US$2.84 per mmBTU.The Toronto market has seen steady gains since early April, coming close to erasing a sharp drop in late January and early February. The index’s rise comes as Canadian equities play catch-up to a global rally, said Fehr.“We’ve seen the Canadian market lag for some time now, so I read this rally that we’ve seen as partly a bit of catch-up as we see investor sentiment broadly become a bit more positive.”He said a pullback in oil prices wouldn’t necessarily mean a big hit to energy stocks.“We did see crude prices rally quite sharply over the last several months, and the energy stocks didn’t keep pace. So I think to an extent, a bit of a pullback in oil prices doesn’t have to fully show up in the performance of energy stocks, just given there has been a gap that had developed there.”In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 68.24 points at 24,889.41. The S&P 500 index ended up 2.41 points at 2,730.13 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 8.43 points at 7,411.32.The Canadian dollar averaged 78.28 cents US, up 0.03 of a US cent.The June gold contract closed down $2.50 at US$1,318.20 an ounce and the July copper contract ended down two cents at US$3.09 a pound.Aurora Cannabis Inc. saw its share price drop 17 cents or 2.11 per cent to $7.90 after it announced a $3.2-billion all-stock offer for rival licensed marijuana producer MedReleaf to create what the company says will be the “undisputed world leader in cannabis.”last_img read more

Experts concerned about global rise of facial recognition technology

first_imgTORONTO – Based on recent announcements by the likes of Facebook, Live Nation and a U.K. police force, Canadians may need to get used to the idea of facial recognition technology permeating their everyday lives.Many smartphone users are already used to having their devices unlocked with facial recognition and no longer think twice about it.Then Facebook announced in April that it would be enabling a facial recognition feature in Canada and Europe that was already active elsewhere in the world. The feature automatically tags Facebook users in uploaded photos and is being framed as a tool against false impersonation on the social network.And concertgoers did a double take earlier this month when Live Nation hinted that facial recognition technology might allow attendees to pre-register a photo and then waltz into a venue without presenting a ticket.It sounded like a sci-fi future to many — and more than a little creepy to some — but a Canadian company already pulled off a similar feat at a recent high-profile event.Winnipeg-based Mexia One partnered with the Mobile World Congress trade show in Spain in February to allow the 107,000 attendees to opt-into an entry line powered by facial recognition technology. Some 4,225 attendees agreed to getting their faces scanned by the company in exchange for easy access.Beyond the technological challenges to contend with, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done in convincing users that their biometric data will not be misused, said Mexia One founder and CEO Glenn Tinley.“But we firmly believe facial recognition to be the state of where things move going forward,” Tinley said, adding that some airports are beginning to test similar concepts.Recent news involving the South Wales Police offered a cautionary tale about the current state of the technology and how it could be used to fight crime.The police force said it began using facial recognition technology with public security cameras last year in connection with the UEFA Champions League finals and called the subsequent months of testing “a resounding success.”But police statistics revealed that during the soccer event the facial recognition technology accurately identified only 173 people of the 2,470 that were flagged, a 93 per cent false positive rate.“You’re talking about over 2,000 people falsely accused of something, who would be inconvenienced, and it’s unclear if those false accusations disappear,” said David Murakami Wood, a Canada Research Chair in surveillance studies and associate professor at Queen’s University.“What it shows is that side of the technology in those types of contexts is still not a mature technology you can actually rely on. And you can’t just dismiss that as the police have.”The facial recognition software has since been used by South Wales Police at other sporting events and concerts and “with each deployment of the technology we have gained confidence,” the police force said in a statement posted on its website.“Since we introduced the facial recognition technology no individual has been arrested where a false positive alert has led to an intervention and no members of the public have complained.”While Wood said the situation in South Wales still pales in comparison to the kind of public surveillance that takes place in China, cautiousness about that kind of technology making its way to Canada is warranted.“China is a warning, it’s not something we should be complacent about to say, ‘Well, they’re so different from us.’ No. Thank God we’re not an authoritarian (state) like China … and Canada is very much behind the times in these areas, that’s a good thing too. We don’t have comprehensive video surveillance in most cities in Canada — long may it continue.”Some privacy experts have expressed concerns about the undisclosed plans for a proposed high-tech community in Toronto being prepared by Sidewalk Labs, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet.Sidewalk Labs has revealed very little of its vision for Toronto but has publicly mused about tying video cameras to traffic lights, which could extend green lights as needed to allow elderly citizens to safely cross the street.Andrew Clement, a professor emeritus with the University of Toronto and member of an arms-length panel of advisers on the project, said the state of public surveillance in China should inform discussions about the Sidewalk Labs plan.“We should be thinking about what China is showing it’s technically capable of. I don’t want to exaggerate and conflate the Chinese government with these corporations but I think we do need to be very mindful of them and we need now, at this stage, to be building robust protections that will prevent slippages in the future,” Clement said.“We can see how quickly, surprisingly, disturbingly political winds can shift in the West.”last_img read more

As job openings reach unprecedented levels so does quitting

first_imgWASHINGTON – U.S. employers advertised the most jobs on record in July, and the number of workers quitting their jobs also hit a new all-time high.Americans are increasingly taking advantage of a tight labour market to find new, often higher-paying jobs. That could help push up wages broadly across the economy.The Labor Department said Tuesday that the number of job openings rose 1.7 per cent to 6.9 million, the most on record dating back to late 2000. The number of people quitting jumped 3 per cent to 3.58 million, also a record. Quits are typically a good sign that jobs are plentiful, because people usually quit when they have another job or are confident they can find one.With the unemployment rate at 3.9 per cent, near an 18-year low, businesses are increasingly desperate to find workers. Even as the number of available jobs rose, overall hiring in July was essentially flat, with about 5.7 million people finding jobs, the report showed.The data are from the government’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS, which tracks total job openings, quits and hiring.The JOLTS report comes after the government said on Friday that employers added a healthy 201,000 jobs in August. That figure represents the net total of jobs added, while the JOLTS data reports overall hires without subtracting quits, layoffs and resignations.The jump in job openings in July suggests solid hiring will continue in the coming months.Private sector surveys also point to solid gains. ManpowerGroup’s employment outlook survey, released Tuesday, found that employers in all 13 large industries that it tracks plan to add workers in the final three months of the year. The staffing company’s survey also found that hiring should pick up in all four regions.The company’s hiring index in the South reached a 10-year high, ManpowerGroup said.With the economy growing at a healthy clip and consumers spending freely, employers are optimistic about future demand and want to hire more. That appears to be finally pushing some employers to pay more, pushing up wages.According to Friday’s jobs report, average hourly pay rose 2.9 per cent in August compared with a year earlier. That was the best annual gain since June 2009, when the Great Recession ended.A more dynamic job market, with more people quitting and finding new work, can help fuel better wage gains. Workers who switch jobs are getting raises roughly one-third larger than those who remain at their jobs, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.“Mobility of workers between jobs boosts competition for talent and puts pressure on employers to offer better pay and benefits,” said Cathy Barrera, chief economist for online job site ZipRecruiter.Openings rose in manufacturing, finance and insurance, and hotels and restaurants. They fell in retail and in education and health.___This story has been corrected to show that the number of workers quitting their jobs has hit a record, not the proportion of workers.last_img read more

US industrial production rose a solid 04 per cent in August

first_imgWASHINGTON – U.S. industrial production rose by a healthy 0.4 per cent in August, boosted by gains in the production of autos, oil and natural gas.The Federal Reserve said Friday that industrial production, which includes output at factories, mines and utilities, has climbed 4.9 per cent over the past 12 months. Industrial production appears on track for its strongest annual growth since 2010, when it jumped 5.5 per cent as the economy began to recover from the Great Recession.Factory production increased 0.2 per cent last month, lifted by a 4 per cent rise in the making of vehicles and parts. Automakers assembled vehicles at their strongest pace since April.Still, factory production has slowed over the past two months as trade conflicts have created uncertainty for the sector. The Trump administration is seeking to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, has imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and has slapped tariffs on goods from China and threatened to impose more.The recent slowdown in factory output might stem from an 8 per cent increase since April in the value of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies, said Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, an economic research firm. A higher-valued dollar makes U.S. exports less affordable overseas.“The more modest 0.2 per cent gain in manufacturing output provides further evidence that the appreciation of the dollar over the past six months is now beginning to weigh more heavily on output in the factory sector,” Pearce said.Mining output posted a 0.7 per cent monthly gain in August. A sharp increase in the production of oil and natural gas has caused mining output to soar 14.1 per cent over the past 12 months. Increased oil and natural gas production can support factories that make pipelines, machinery and other equipment.Production at utilizes advanced 1.2 per cent in August, powered by a surge in electricity usage during the hot month.Other reports suggest that manufacturing is healthy, despite signs that its job growth is slowing. U.S. factories grew at a faster pace in August as American industry continues to show robust health.The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index jumped rose to 61.3 in August from 58.1 in July. Anything over 50 points toward expansion and economic growth. The manufacturing index has pointed toward growth for the past two years.Still, job growth at U.S. factories has decelerated in recent months. Manufacturers added just 36,000 factory workers for the three months that ended in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s down from three-month gains of as many as 90,000 earlier this year.last_img read more