NON UNION FEMALES WANTED PLEASE DON’T SEND ME A FACEBOOK MESSAGE- PLEASE SEND YOUR PICTURE AND CONTACT # TO firstname.lastname@example.orgWEDNESDAY AUGUST 10TH 2016PRODUCT: PROJECT PAIN RELIEFCASTING: FRIDAY AUGUST 12TH 2016SHOOT DATE: AGUST 22ND 2016FITTING: AUGUST 19TH 2016AIRING: CDN NATIONAL AND WEB (I YEAR)RATE: 1400.00 ALL IN PLUS 50.00 FOR FITTINGCONFLICTS: OTHER PHARMA Advertisement Advertisement SEEKING…PHARMACIST: FEMALE, MID- TO LATE-THIRTIES, SLIGHTLY MOM-ISH, FRIENDLY, KNOWLEDGEABLE, AUTHORITATIVE. ALL ETHNICITIESSCRIPTS WILL BE POSTED ON SIDES EXPRESS,PLEASE SUBMIT ASAP PLEASETHANKS SO MUCHSTEVEN MANNMANN CASTING Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Twitter
Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Early career photojournalists looking to gain national exposure are encouraged to apply for the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award, a unique opportunity to cover breaking news, major sports and key cultural events with The Canadian Press for six weeks in Toronto. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 13, 2017.This award is open to Canadian photojournalists who have been in the business fewer than five years, including students and freelancers. Award criteria and application instructions, along with the online application form, are available on the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award page.Last year’s winner was Eduardo Lima, who joined Metro Toronto as a staff photographer shortly after his internship ended. Advertisement Facebook “The six-week internship at The Canadian Press was a great opportunity to work inside a wire and learn from experienced photographers,” says Lima. “I finished the award experience knowing that I still have a lot to learn, but I also have a clearer idea of the kind of photojournalist I would like to be.”A report of Lima’s experience, a sampling of photos taken while at The Canadian Press and his original portfolio submission can be found online.Joining the jury this year is Michelle Siu, the 2012 award winner and now a documentary photographer and freelance photojournalist. “Michelle’s greatest strengths are finding the story and human emotion in an image, so we look forward to her joining the jury and bringing a fresh perspective,” says Graeme Roy, director of news photography for The Canadian Press. A full list of the jury—which includes members of Hanson’s family and former photographer colleagues—can be found on the award criteria page.The winner of the 2017 Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award will be announced in February. The award will be formally presented at the annual Canadian Journalism Foundation Awards on June 8, 2017 at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.This award is generously supported by Nikon.ABOUT THE TOM HANSON PHOTOJOURNALISM AWARD#tomhansonawardThe Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and The Canadian Press launched the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award in 2009 in memory of award-winning photojournalist Tom Hanson. The award offers a six-week paid internship at The Canadian Press head office in Toronto for a photojournalist in the early stages of his or her career. The selection committee is made up of CJF board members, photographers and photo editors from The Canadian Press and daily newspapers, past winners and members of Mr. Hanson’s family. The winning applicant will complete the internship between April and September 2017, and be paid at the start rate for photographers at The Canadian Press.ABOUT TOM HANSONTom Hanson was a photojournalist whose images from the Oka conflict to the cut and thrust of Parliament told vivid stories. He was an award-winning photographer for The Canadian Press who travelled around the world and across the country, shooting some of the most iconic news and sports images over a 15-year period. When Hanson died suddenly at age 41 in 2009, his family, friends, colleagues at The Canadian Press and the country’s photojournalism community wanted to find an appropriate way to honour his memory, talent and spirit. The result was the creation of the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award.
Starring Amy Keating, Cole J. Alvis, David Patrick Flemming and Justin GoodhandOpening March 16, 2017 at Artscape Sandbox (Adelaide and John)A City will be on stage in Toronto from March 14 to April 2, 2017.(Opening night: March 16).Tickets are available from $20 to $40 by phone at 416-703-0406 xt2001, or online at:www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2858434 Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter A City by Greg MacArthur is an intimate, personal study of four artists/friends, who tell the story of a famous friend who died under mysterious circumstances, and how he transformed them. The story is revealed through direct address in a disarmingly casual atmosphere, as if the audience were eavesdropping on a personal conversation.Based on the members of a real indie theatre company in Montreal (Sidemart Theatrical Grocery), A City is inspired by documentedstories, recorded text, confessional monologues and fictional writing. An intimate, painfully funny testament to a time and place, it is about the end of a friendship and a shifting world.A world premiere by GREG MACARTHURDirected by JENNIFER TARVER Login/Register With:
About InfluicityFounded in 2012, Influicity is the leading platform for businesses to manage and scale their influencer operations. The suite of products includes influencer search, insights & analytics, campaign management, reporting, social listening, and more. Because Influicity does not operate a limited network of influencers, it can provide global brands with access to any and all social talent, along with the most advanced data analysis on the audiences they reach. The company has offices in Toronto and LA. Influicity indexes over a billion influencers from across the social media spectrum, regardless of their network or affiliation. Through the platform, Bell Media can cultivate and curate the ideal talent rosters based on advertisers’ needs. In addition to offering global scale, Influicity provides access, simple searchability, project management¸ communications services, and analytics tools that show reach and value.“The full suite of features on Influicity ensures that Bell Media can serve its clients with unparalleled levels of service,” says Jonathan Davids, Founder & CEO of Influicity. “We’re excited to partner with Bell Media as they continue to break new ground with the next generation of talent.” Login/Register With: Twitter TORONTO (March 13, 2017) – Bell Media announced today a new partnership with Influicity, the world’s leading influencer marketplace and campaign management platform. As the exclusive Canadian broadcaster with access to the platform, Bell Media can now provide its clients with unparalleled access to the universe of social influencers. Bell Media also delivers discoverability of the perfect influencer from a centralized marketplace to develop impactful marketing campaigns.Bell Media is already an expert in the field of cultivating and reaching the top influencers through its discovery and development of in-house talent and via its stable of influencers at Much Digital Studios.“Given our success with Much Digital Studios, we were looking to expand our footprint in the social influencer world to include our other brands,” said Alyson Walker, Vice-President, Brand Partnerships. “The Influicity platform offers the most benefits for our advertisers by giving them the ability to connect, measure, and collaborate with 100% of social influencers globally.” About Bell MediaBell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada’s most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.. Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement
“What with all that’s going on in the world today, why wouldn’t Canadians want to join me and escape all of that and watch THE INDIAN DETECTIVE?”, said Russell Peters. “It’s an easy, fun show to watch, and I think they’re going to love it, or at least like it. If they don’t, they’re dead inside.”THE INDIAN DETECTIVE also stars Canadian icon William Shatner as a billionaire property developer from Toronto who may have ties to the criminal underworld; Bollywood Movie Award-winning veteran actor Anupam Kher (The Big Sick, Silver Linings Playbook, Bend It Like Beckham) as Stanley D’Mello, Doug’s father and a retired airline pilot who moved back to India after the death of his wife; Christina Cole, (Casino Royale, SUITS) as Constable Robyn Gerner, Doug’s tough, beautiful, all-Canadian partner; Mishqah Parthiephal (SNAKE PARK) as Priya Sehgal, an earnest and dedicated lawyer, born into an upper-middle class family in Mumbai; and Hamza Haq (mother!, QUANTICO, Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2), as Mumbai drug lord Gopal Chandekar, and who recently appeared on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Canada’s Rising Stars: 15 Breakouts Making an Impact in Hollywood“ list.In the premiere episode of THE INDIAN DETECTIVE (Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO), when a suspected heroin shipment Doug (Russell Peters) and Robyn (Christina Cole) were secretly investigating turns out to be children’s bikes, Doug’s dream of becoming a detective fades into oblivion. Coerced into going to Mumbai to visit his father Stanley (Anupam Kher), Doug meets Priya Sehgal (Mishqah Parthiephal), a beautiful, passionate legal-aid lawyer. Together, they fight to uncover the truth behind a false murder confession, and while finding his stride in Mumbai, Doug realizes his failed case back home might have roots in his homeland.THE INDIAN DETECTIVE is executive produced by Golden Globe®-winning and Emmy®-nominated Frank Spotnitz (THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, THE X-FILES) of Big Light Productions and Lance Samuels and Daniel Iron (MADIBA, THE BOOK OF NEGROES) of Blue Ice Pictures.THE INDIAN DETECTIVE is a co-production between Big Light Productions, Blue Ice Pictures, the IDC, Wonder Films, and Bell Media. The series was created, executive produced, and written for Russell Peters by Spotnitz and Smita Bhide (HUNTED,TRANSPORTER: THE SERIES). The series is directed by BAFTA award-winner Sandy Johnson (BENIDORM, JONATHAN CREEK) and produced by Trevor Hopkins (FORTITUDE, CUFFS). It is executive produced by Blue Ice Pictures’ Daniel Iron and Lance Samuels (MADIBA, THE BOOK OF NEGROES), Wonder Films’ Mark Burton (Water, Tallulah), Russell Peters (HIP-HOP EVOLUTION), CPI Pictures’ Clayton Peters (Breakaway, RUSSELL PETERS VERSUS THE WORLD), and Paul Canterna. Co-executive producer is Sharon Remmer (THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, MEDICI: MASTERS OF FLORENCE).THE INDIAN DETECTIVE is an official co-production among Detective Doug Productions Inc., Instinctive Film GmbH, and Brightway Investment (Pty) Ltd.Production Executives for Bell Media are: Sarah Fowlie, who is Director, Original Programming, Comedy; Chris Kelley, Production Executive, Original Programming; and Corrie Coe, who is Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming. Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media. The project is financed by Blue Ice Pictures and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC).SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:Twitter: @TheIndianDet@CTV_Television@TheRealRusellP@WilliamShatner@AnupamPkher@GoHaqYourself@MishqahFacebook:facebook.com/theindiandetectivefacebook.com/ctvfacebook.com/RussellPetersfacebook.com/williamshatnerfacebook.com/anupamkherofficialfacebook.com/mishqahparthiephalInstagram:theindiandetectiveCTV_TelevisionrussellpeterswilliamshatneranupampkhergohaqyourselfmishqahparthiephalAbout Bell Media Original ProgrammingBell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include the hit drama CARDINAL, the record-breaking THE AMAZING RACE CANADA and MASTERCHEF CANADA, new original series THE DISAPPEARANCE, THE INDIAN DETECTIVE, and THE DETAIL, and the upcoming international TV format THE LAUNCH. Among the original series on Bell Media specialty and streaming platforms are Space’s KILLJOYS and WYNONNA EARP; CraveTV hit comedy LETTERKENNY; Discovery’s first-ever drama FRONTIER; Comedy’s satirical news series THE BEAVERTON as well as the upcoming CORNER GAS ANIMATED; and multiple series and specials for food and lifestyle channel Gusto, including ONE WORLD KITCHEN. Discovery is also home to Bell Media’s hit factual franchise HIGHWAY THRU HELL, HEAVY RESCUE: 401, and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others. Bell Media is one of the first media companies in North America to commit to producing all new original scripted series in 4K.About CTVCTV is Canada’s #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 16 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca. TORONTO – Following on the heels of the recent success of CTV’s THE DISAPPEARANCE, CTV’s latest original event series, THE INDIAN DETECTIVE, debuts Thursday, Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO, as announced by Russell Peters today. Securing a coveted Thursday night timeslot immediately following the two biggest shows on television, THE BIG BANG THEORY (8 p.m.) and YOUNG SHELDON (8:30 p.m.), the four-part, one-hour, comedy-drama stars the global comedy sensation in his first starring scripted role for television, and was filmed on location in Cape Town, Toronto and Mumbai last spring. Click here for a sneak peek.THE INDIAN DETECTIVE, a classic fish out-of-water story with equal doses of comedy and high-stakes drama, follows Toronto cop Doug D’Mello (Peters) as he becomes embroiled in a murder case while visiting his father in Mumbai. The investigation leads Doug to uncover a dangerous conspiracy while dealing with his own ambivalence towards a country where, despite his heritage, he is an outsider.“Russell Peters is a must-see Canadian icon, whose talent has been recognized and celebrated all over the world by millions of fans,” said Mike Cosentino, President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. “We’ve given THE INDIAN DETECTIVE a much-deserved prime spot, during television’s biggest night, and are excited to share Russell’s first series with viewers across the country.” Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
The largest fiesta north of the border, TD Salsa In Toronto’s sizzling event lineup features an acclaimed art exhibit by Colombian artist Mao Correa, a series of salsa parties and more free dance classes than ever before across the GTA, all in preparation for the FREE TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival Weekend.Canada’s favourite Latin street party is back for a 14th straight year to heat up the summer, transforming mid-town Toronto into a nonstop dancing frenzy during the annual TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival. From the beginners and non-dancers who come for lessons on the street, to semi-pro Salsa dancers who amaze the crowds, the family fiesta attracts Salsa enthusiasts from near and far. It is one of Toronto’s only events where attendees not only take in the entertainment, but are also part of the entertainment! Enjoy all the tastes, sights and sounds that the festival has to offer with free on-site dance lessons, live music, colourful folklore presentations, authentic Latin American cuisine, and kid’s entertainment. Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “Through The Ready Commitment, TD is proud to sponsor Salsa in Toronto to celebrate Canada’s largest Latin festival. Having supported this event since 2014, we recognize that cultural festivals have the power to unite us and teach us about one another. Salsa in Toronto offers shared experiences of music and dance that open doors to a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow by connecting diverse communities and ensuring that everyone feels like they belong.” Andrea Barrack, Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group.“As Canada’s renowned ambassador of Latino lifestyle, music, dance, arts, and cuisine, the mission of the Canadian Salsa Festivals Project (CSFP), a not-for-profit organization, is to showcase Canada’s rich diversity and the contributions of various multicultural groups and communities to Canadian society,” said CSFP Executive Director, Marana Bayon-on. “Our focus is on celebrating the best of the Latino culture in Canada enjoyed by the country’s 1.8 million Spanish speakers and all Canadians with an appetite and passion for the Latino lifestyle.”“As Canada’s most influential multicultural media company, TLN Media Group is proud to have been the official festival media sponsor every year since the festival’s inception in 2005,” said TLN Media Group President, Aldo Di Felice. “TD Salsa in Toronto and TD Salsa on St. Clair are excellent examples of how the TLN Media Group has been connecting cultures on television and in communities through storytelling and shared experiences for 35 years. What started as a local two-day event initiated by TLN in collaboration with the Hillcrest Village BIA, is now a nationally recognized celebration. Each year, the events attract hundreds of thousands of lovers of salsa and Latino culture from across the region and beyond and we couldn’t be happier to be part of its growing success.”Mark your calendar and get your dancing shoes out…It’s going to be ¡Caliente!Go to SalsaInToronto.com for the complete festival lineup.About TD Salsa In Toronto Festival www.SalsaInToronto.comCanada’s #1 Latino-themed celebration features the TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival in addition to a series of city wide events that celebrate the Latino culture through music, dance, art and cuisine. The annual FREE TD Salsa on St. Clair Festival transforms midtown Toronto into Canada’s biggest salsa party featuring international performers, non-stop dancing, Latin foods and family fun. TD Salsa in Toronto and TD Salsa on St. Clair are produced by the Canadian Salsa Festivals Project, a federally incorporated Not-for-Profit organization. TORONTO, June 11, 2018 — The Canadian Salsa Festivals Project announces the ¡Caliente! 2018 lineup for Canada’slargest celebration of Latin culture, the award-winning TD Salsa in Toronto Festival. The main event during the month-long calendar of city-wide festivities throughout July is the 14th annual TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival on Sat. July 7th & Sun. July 8th. Advertisement Advertisement Twitter
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement TORONTO, June 25, 2018 /CNW/ – Family Channel is planning the perfect summer for kids across Canada with a jam-packed programming event and epic vacation contest that will brighten summer spirits faster than Canada Day fireworks. Beginning July 1, two new series make their debut on the network – Polly Pocket and Trollhunters: Tales ofArcadia – setting up a tidal wave of marathons and movies guaranteed to help viewers beat the heat. Family is also turning one lucky viewer’s vacation dream into a reality with the Dream Day Vacay Contest.After submissions poured in from viewers across Canada describing their ultimate 24-hour family adventure, Family has revealed the five finalists in its Dream Day Vacay contest. From trips throughout the country, to lively events, families proposed excursions that would allow them to enjoy the summers together. Viewers can now vote at Family.ca to decide which once-in-a-lifetime experience Family should fulfill. Voting closes on Friday, July 9.Family Channel dives into its summer programming event with two new series joining the lineup on Canada Day:Polly Pocket – Sunday, July 1 at 8:30 a.m. ET/PT – One-hour SpecialWhen Polly inherits a magic locket from her Grandma that allows her to shrink to four inches tall, she embraces her “pocket-sized” powers and finds the upside of shrinking is big fun for her and her friends! The 60-minute animated special debuts ahead of the series, which joins Family’s schedule permanently on August 4.Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia – Sunday, July 1 at 10 a.m. ET/PT – 90-minute SpecialFrom the limitless imagination of acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth) comes a tale of two worlds set to collide. Jim Lake, an average high school student, yearns for adventure and gets more than he bargained for when he becomes entrenched in an epic battle of good and evil with a secret civilization of mighty trolls. Following its premiere, new episodes of the animated series will air Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m. ET/PT throughout the summer. Viewers can get into the swing of things with Family’s summer schedule shift (July 3) featuring: fan-favourite series marathons daily at 6 a.m. ET/PT and 1 p.m. ET/PT; a back-to-back summer flick frenzy beginning at 9 a.m.; and the continuation of the Super Awesome Fun Time lineup at 3 p.m. ET/PT. Popular shows include: Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, Dawn of the Croods, Johnny Test, Zak Storm, LEGO Friends, The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show, The Adventures of Puss in Boots and Grizzy and The Lemmings.The Family Channel App will also be a prime destination for viewers throughout July and August, hosting super summer episodes and mega movie titles in the Summer Feels playlist. As a special presentation on the Family Channel App, the first nine episodes of Polly Pocket will be released throughout July, ahead of the series premiere in August.Family Channel offers the best in family television entertainment in a premium, high-definition, multiplatform environment. Dedicated to celebrating family life and providing a daily vacation for Canadian families, Family airs a unique mix of top-rated Canadian and acquired series, movies and specials. Family Channel subscribers have access to the Family Channel App, Family OnDemand and Family Online at no additional cost, to see hit movies and series when they want them, where they want them. Visit us at Family.ca.About DHX Television DHX Television is composed of Family Channel, Family CHRGD, Family Jr. and Télémagino, and is part of DHX Media Ltd., a leading creator, producer, marketer and broadcaster of family entertainment. Dedicated to celebrating family fun, DHX Television delivers best-in-class programming through premium subscriptions and its original production mandate, and creates and produces captivating in-market events that appeal to Canadian families. DHX Television is home to world-renowned series including The Next Step, Degrassi: Next Class and Teletubbies. DHX Media Ltd. has offices globally, and is traded on the NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange. Polly Pocket premieres July 1 on Family Channel (CNW Group/Family Channel) Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter
[polldaddy poll=6386631]Debate Part IIDebate Part IIIDebate Part IVAPTN National NewsWINNIPEG–Six of the eight candidates vying for the role of national chief of the country’s most influential First Nations organization squared-off in a debate which aired Thursday.The hour-long debate featured incumbent AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo, Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus, Ryerson University professor Pam Palmater, Manitoba lawyer Joan Jack, former Roseau River First Nation chief Terry Nelson and former Treaty 3 grand chief Diane Kelly.Technical difficulties kept Mohawk activist Ellen Gabriel from participating in the debate via Skype from Geneva. George Stanley, regional AFN chief for Alberta, was unavailable to participate.Only chiefs can vote in the AFN election for national chief and the vote will be held in Toronto next Wednesday.Atleo, who participated in the debate from Ottawa, stuck to his message of being the unity candidate and ignored the pointed criticism from some of his challenges.“I think, as national chief over the last three years, of all the moments spent with families and with the kids especially. I think about Jaden, a 10 year-old boy in a northern remote community that I had a conversation with in his, really, one-room shack with no running water and no electricity and a slop pail out on the front porch,” said Atleo. “We have to achieve change for the Jadens across our respective territories that must compel our work going forward.”Palmater, however, directly attacked Atleo and the AFN under his leadership.“The status-quo is killing our people…various communities across the country are in crisis mode and we are not calling it a crisis at the AFN,” said Palmater. “The policy of appeasement at the AFN has not gained the AFN, or anyone else, any favours.”Nelson took a different tact, while avoiding direct criticism of Atleo, he said the chiefs needed to send a message that they are not afraid of Ottawa.“The AFN really messed up at the so-called Crown-First Nation gathering (in January)…They treated Harper as God, the chiefs were muzzled and what happened is you have massive cuts,” said Nelson. “People have to quit being afraid….the Americans are on our side, if you don’t get the Americans on your side, you are not going to get anything from Canada.”Jack presented a starkly different vision for the AFN, saying the organization had to again reconnect with people in First Nation communities, prioritizing Indigenous languages, and let the regions drive the national organization’s agenda.“Most of the people in our communities don’t understand they just get continually left behind by all of these discussions somewhere else,” said Jack. “The regions of the AFN must be empowered so they implement solutions that meet their own needs in their own territories.”Kelly highlighted her experience as Treaty 3 grand chief saying she was both connected to the traditional teachings and the demands of dealing with the governments of the day.“I have a long history of being educated by our elders about the spirit and intent of our treaties,” said Kelly. “It’s not about just going to government with our hand out, we can’t do that anymore…we have to just take action, we have to assert our inherent jurisdiction our inherent rights.”Erasmus portrayed himself as the candidate who could bring a smooth shift in the current direction of the AFN to take a stronger stand on rights.“Canada really has no jurisdiction over us whatsoever…the Canadian government is a lesser authority, the legislation they are trying to apply to us is illegal,” said Erasmus. “People know who I am. I think they are comfortable with me in this position and they know I am capable of doing the job.”
Gary Dimmock is a senior reporter with the Ottawa Citizen. While at Rideau High School the twins said they were kept apart. Carlos excelled in sports, including boasting he ran a 12.6 second 100-metre dash at 17. He also says he was naturally gifted at hockey, football and volleyball, but lacked the guidance to take it further.He also describes himself as the kid “hiding in the corner” at school. When he graduated high school he didn’t know what to do.He got a job laying tile for a construction company. He didn’t like making $11-an-hour and quit, but says he was good at it.Then he started selling cocaine at about 19.“I just looked at my family and I’m like ‘I’m supposed to be a drug dealer.’ I started being a hustler,” Carlos says.That escalated to pimping women in the sex trade, even himself to “cougars”. “I started at a half-ball (couple grams) and worked my way up to a half-bird (half kilogram),” he says, proudly.He lived in the “spotlight.” Had girls, and felt like he was big deal with money.He claims to have owned multiple vehicles and woke up counting stacks of cash. But at around 23 he felt something was missing and he had been snorting his own stash for a while. He was becoming his father.“I realized I’m a piece of shit. I’m a piece of shit. I hate myself … and I was on a path of destruction,” he says.Meanwhile, his brother had found Islam after years of abusing drugs since the age of 12. “In my 20s, my life started changing around and I discovered Islam and started changing my life for the better,” Ashton says. When they were both about 12 they said their mom wanted nothing to do with them. They went to live with their grandmother Linda Brennan, their father’s mother, in Ottawa’s rough Overbrook neighbourhood.There they got food and clothes – but both said that is about it. They also learned “the Game” as their grandmother was a drug dealer.Around this time Ashton and Carlos, who had been “twin tight” as kids, became polar opposites. Ashton fell into drugs, selling and using. He was angry at the world.“I used (drugs) as an outlet to vent my frustrations and my depression and my stress,” he says. “It was easier to go pick up a crack scale, go grab crack and chip it down.”Carlos would stay in his room and play video games.“This is when life gets better, but kind of shittier at the same time. Moved in with my grandma, had all the junk food, anything we wanted, we got … but we lived in a smoke chimney and a drug house. People think it’s cool, but it’s not cool. I would never want any child to have to experience what I did,” he says.He recalls one day police kicked his grandmother’s door in yelling “the pharmacy is closed” in a drug raid.He also can’t forget the day his grandmother’s dog was knifed to death. (Ashton Larmond, left, and his twin brother Carlos.)Kenneth Jackson and Gary Dimmock APTN National News Ashton Larmond was a little boy when he walked in the bathroom of his home and saw a man trying to drown his mom in the tub.He had her by the hair plunging her head in the water.Then she saw Ashton – standing at the door.“She looked at me,” he said. “I remember the look on her face.“She said, ‘It’s okay, sweetheart.’”He ran away and police came.He fought tears recalling the memory of his childhood.It’s just one of many he and his twin brother Carlos Larmond recall growing up in – as they call it – the gutter of Ottawa.That’s before the entire country knew their names after they were nabbed by RCMP on terrorism charges in January 2015 for wanting to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).Both pleaded guilty in August – Ashton was sentenced to 17 years and Carlos, seven. The judge likened their extremist Islamic belief to worshiping the devil. But the judge heard little of the life the brothers came from.That’s because there was no pre-sentence report or, in the twins case, a report that highlights Gladue principles – something the Supreme Court of Canada said all lower courts must take into account when the liberty of an Indigenous person is at stake.The brothers claim to be Algonquin and were interviewed by a Gladue report writer shortly after they were arrested.Recordings of those interviews have never been heard – not by the RCMP or the twins’ lawyers – until now.The exclusive recordings make up this story, along with confidential RCMP documents, obtained by APTN National News and the Ottawa Citizen that show how two Ottawa kids got swept up in the madness of ISIL.Ashton and Carlos Larmond were born about 18 minutes apart on Nov. 21, 1990 in Ottawa.Their mother Michelle Ruthven lives in Ottawa but hails from Texas and, as the brothers put it, is “all-American.”Their father Anthony Larmond is from Pembroke, Ont., but grew up in Ottawa. His family line can be traced to the Algonquin in the Ottawa Valley, and the boys, despite now being Muslim, identify as Algonquin and obtained membership cards with the non-status Algonquins of Ontario – a group fighting the federal government for land in the valley. Almost from the beginning the boys arrived into a world “set up for failure.”Dad was a drug dealer who became a drug addict. He robbed banks to pay for his habit. He just wasn’t any good at it.He has spent most of his life behind bars. In fact, when his sons were arrested he was in a halfway house in Toronto on his latest bank robbery conviction. He broke his parole shortly after and blamed his kids for it. Carlos reached out to his brother who had been trying to get him to join his faith.But by then the RCMP were already on to Ashton.In the summer of 2013, the RCMP intercepted conversations between Ashton and John Maguire, a fellow Ottawa young man who flew overseas and joined ISIL in December 2012. In those discussions, Ashton told Maguire he wanted to join him.According to RCMP documents, Ashton’s mother called the Ottawa police in September 2013 saying her son wanted to go kill for terrorists. Days later Ashton’s passport was revoked as he had bought a ticket overseas.It’s not clear how the RCMP was keeping an eye on Ashton as the months passed.It wasn’t until February 2014 that the RCMP finally approached Ashton who was living at the Salvation Army shelter in downtown. He denied wanting anything to do with terrorism. Ashton was convinced the RCMP was watching him after, but documents don’t suggest it. The RCMP doesn’t appear to take Ashton serious until after a lone shooter gunned down a reservist guarding the National War Memorial in October 2014, then stormed Parliament Hill with ease before being gunned down inside Centre Block by security and the RCMP.It was then that the RCMP launched Project Slipstream focusing on Ashton and several other local men. Around that time Carlos accepted his brother’s extremist views – just a few months before their eventual arrests.“I got off drugs like two months before and then I got arrested and boom,” Carlos says. Despite the charges he was facing, he adds, “My mental state today is way different than it was … when I was all strung out. What really helped was my spiritual healing.”The RCMP used an informant to get inside Ashton’s circle who recorded the brothers talking about joining ISIL. To date, that informant has been paid nearly $800,000 for his work against the brothers.Carlos, who describes himself as “the smart one” of the brothers, was secretly recorded by the informant that he thought it was best they stayed in Canada and laid low. But on Jan. 10, 2015, Carlos was arrested trying to board a plane in Montreal to overseas and join ISIL – something he now can’t believe he was going to do, according to comments made by his lawyer after sentencing.Ashton was also arrested despite not having a passport, as he had planned an elaborate trip through the Arctic to join his brother. A few days after their arrest Maguire was reported to have been killed fighting for ISIL.Gladue report writer Mark Marsolais met with the Larmond brothers in April 2015.The twins met with Mark Marsolais about a month following their arrest. It was a quick meeting, basically Marsolais introduced himself and said he wrote Gladue reports for Indigenous people facing incarceration in Ottawa.The brothers said they were Algonquin and agreed to be interviewed thinking it would help them get bail, which they did not get.In April 2015, Ashton was interviewed once and Carlos, twice. In total, they spoke for over three hours describing their chaotic lives and stressing if they had any sort of guidance growing up they wouldn’t be where they were – something the Supreme Court calls Gladue principles.“Terrible,” is how Marsolais described their lives. “Product of their own environment. They had a terrible life. They were brought up in a dysfunctional family. They were basically set up for failure right from the get-go.”Marsolais said he lost contact with the brothers shortly after interviewing them. Both were moved out of Ottawa for safety reasons. He said no one followed up with him to complete the reports, which he agreed to do for free, and believes the judge could have benefited from reading a report on the brothers.The day they were sentenced the court did hear a bit about their lives according to Ashton’s lawyer Joe Addelman.Addelman said he reminded the judge the brothers are Indigenous and Gladue principles needed to be applied, but that is as far as it went.The judge came back within an hour and gave his indictment, and found Ashton was clearly the leader.During the jailhouse interviews, the brothers admit they have limited knowledge of their Indigenous history and Carlos says he always asked his grandmother about his Algonquin family, but it was never part of their life.Ashton blames residential schools and other issues with colonization as to why his family was disconnected from its past. Both say when they get out they want to go live “on the reserve.”“If I do get a Native piece of land on the reserve I’d like to build my own little log cabin and live peacefully,” says Carlos.But he wants his story told.“This is an original story … I’m going to let the world know what my story is,” he says. email@example.comKenneth Jackson is a senior reporter with APTN National News. (Carlos speaks about his father in prison to Gladue report writer Mark Marsolais. Caution: strong language.)Their mother struggled raising two “hyper boys” and moved them around a lot. From Ottawa to Texas, then to Oshawa and back to the Ottawa area.Both of them recall not having much, and when in Oshawa they would eat old potato chips from dumpsters. Early school life saw them in special needs classes from Grade 4 to 8. “Food was never around. That was a luxury for us,” Carlos says on audio-tape. “A family is like a luxury for me and people take it for granted. These people in this prison (Ottawa’s local jail where they were held at the time) have a family, a father, grandparents are all connected. These criminals – and these losers – and I’m like what is wrong with you? You have something I never had that I would trade everything in the planet for.” Carlos is haunted by memories of when he was with his mom – where he and his brother suffered unspeakable abuse by men they looked to for guidance.
Larissa Burnouf APTN National NewsThe inquest into the death of Kinew James, 35, reconvened Monday in Saskatoon after being postponed last month when new documents surfaced.James died in her cell at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon of an apparent heart attack.Several distress calls went firstname.lastname@example.org
Todd LamirandeAPTN NewsDemonstrators gathered in downtown Ottawa Wednesday morning in protest of a planned nuclear waste disposal facility.As APTN‘s Todd Lamirande reports, the Chalk River facility would bury “low-level” nuclear waste near the Ottawa River.But protesters are treating the proposed facility like a horror email@example.com
Kent DriscollAPTN NewsAn award winning Nunavut program that teaches northern kids computer programming now has a full time address.Kent dropped by the opening of Iqaluit’s new Makerspace and has this firstname.lastname@example.org@kentdriscoll
Brittany HobsonAPTN NewsEvery night Niki Dumas feeds herself through a tube.The 30-year-old can no longer stomach solid food.For the past four months Dumas has been relying on a daily tube feed to receive the nutrients she needs to live.Dumas lives with a rare abnormality called intestinal malrotation, which is a condition where the intestines are not in the correct anatomical position.“My organs are in the wrong place. My large and small bowels are completely twisted,” Dumas told APTN News from her home in Carberry, Man.People living with intestinal malrotation have a hard time digesting things.Because of this people can experience intense bouts of vomiting, nausea and overall discomfort.(“I run out of energy. I get really tired fast,” says Niki Dumas seen here in the hospital. Submitted photo)Dumas, who is originally from Mathias Colomb First Nation in northern Manitoba, has been sick since she was an infant but was only diagnosed with the condition in 2017.She was four months pregnant with her youngest at the time when she started experiencing violent spells of vomiting.She was hospitalized numerous times before doctors were finally able to determine what was wrong.Since then Dumas has been in and out hospitals every month.She has to travel from her home in Carberry to either Brandon or Winnipeg to receive treatment to help alleviate the pain.“I run out of energy. I get really tired fast,” said Dumas. “Half of the time I’m sleeping because I’m so uncomfortable.”“I just can’t be a mother to my children because I don’t have the energy.”Dumas has three children aged six, four and her youngest is now 15 months.She has undergone numerous surgeries to correct the issue including laparoscopic and open bowel surgery; she’s had her gall bladder and appendix removed; and the Ladd procedure, which is the most commonly used procedure to treat intestinal malrotation.Dumas had all but given up hope of a solution when through a Facebook support group, she learned about a specialized surgery option based at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States – the only problem is Manitoba Health won’t pay for it, she said.This appears to be an issue across the country.Last year Andrea Taylor, 32, traveled from her home in Prince Edward County, Ont., to the Cleveland Clinic on her own dime after the Ontario government refused to pay for the surgery.“The procedure has given me my life back,” Taylor said over the phone from her home. “It has given me more than what I had before.”Taylor was the first to tell Dumas about the surgery.She was diagnosed as a newborn and received the Ladd procedure at 12-weeks-old.“The Ladd procedure is a bit of a band-aide on a bullet hole. It’s really good in emergency situations but for overall gut function it kind of just sets things up for problems down the road,” said Taylor.(“The procedure has given me my life back,” says Andrea Taylor. Submitted photo)Those problems came throughout the years ultimately leading to complete gut failure in 2017.Taylor was placed on IV nutrition support for nine months. She had to quit her job as a teacher and move back home with her parents.Both Taylor and Dumas were essentially told the surgery is considered experimental and therefore would not be covered.Taylor’s family and friends spent months fundraising to cover costs.The nearby Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory also helped fundraise for the family. Taylor, who is non-Indigenous, worked at the school as well as her mother for most of her life.Taylor says governments need to be held accountable because lives are at risk if the surgery isn’t covered.Dumas has also started her own fundraising efforts through GoFundMe.LINK: https://www.gofundme.com/malrotation-of-the-bowelShe says doctors in Cleveland have estimated it could cost up to half a million dollars for travel and surgery.Last month, Dumas completed a five-day awareness walk from Carberry to Winnipeg where she ended at the Legislative Building.She called on the government to intervene.“I’m hoping…they help me get on my way to receive this life saving surgery that I need,” Dumas told reporters at the time.Since then, Dumas says she has received numerous messages of support but little has changed.Manitoba Health did send a Winnipeg man to Cleveland for the surgery last year.According to a government spokesperson, out of province procedures can be covered if a physician deems it necessary.Dumas says she hasn’t had much luck with her previous doctors. She has since been assigned a new one and is working to meet with a email@example.com@bhobs22
WASHINGTON – U.S. homebuilders are feeling more optimistic than they have in nearly two decades.The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday rose five points to 74 this month. That’s the highest reading since July of 1999, more than 18 years ago.Readings above 50 indicate more builders see sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has remained above 60 since September of 2016.The index exceeded the expectations of analysts surveyed by FactSet, who expected a reading of 70.All three components of the index rose in December. The reading gauging builders’ view of single-family home sales rose four points to 81, while the outlook for sales over the next six months ticked up three points to 79. The measure of traffic by prospective buyers jumped eight points to 58.The Commerce Department reported late last month that Americans bought new homes in October at the fastest pace in a decade — a 6.2 per cent monthly increase — reflecting a strong economy but also a worsening shortage of existing homes for sale.New home sales last month rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000, the third straight monthly gain and the best sales clip since October 2007.Many buyers are turning to new construction due to an ongoing dearth of existing homes for sale. However, new construction has been unable to keep up with demand.Potential buyers are searching for homes amid a healthy job market with a 4.1 per cent unemployment rate and attractive 30-year mortgage rates that are averaging less than 4 per cent.
OTTAWA – The overall annual pace of inflation slowed to 1.9 per cent in December as gains in the price of gasoline eased up, Statistics Canada said Friday.But economists said the economic strength last year is pushing underlying prices higher.TD Bank senior economist Brian DePratto noted that two of the Bank of Canada’s three preferred measures of core inflation, designed to look through the noise of more-volatile items like gasoline, ticked higher last month.“Looking past the energy-led deceleration in inflation, hot growth of the Canadian economy in 2017 now appears [to be] turning into somewhat hotter price growth,” DePratto wrote in brief note to clients.CPI-trim — which helps filter out extreme price changes — rose to 1.9 per cent from 1.8 per cent in November, while CPI-common — which filters out prices that changed due to extraordinary circumstances — climbed to 1.6 per cent from 1.5 per cent. CPI-median was unchanged compared with November at 1.9 per cent.“It provides a little more confirmation that the interest rate hike earlier this month was justified from an economic fundamentals point of view,” DePratto said of the move higher in core inflation.“That core mandate of the bank is to control inflation and this speaks to the need for further hikes.”The Bank of Canada aims to keep inflation at two per cent, the midpoint of a target range of one- to three-per cent over the medium term.In raising its trendsetting rate to 1.25 per cent last week, the Bank of Canada pointed to unexpectedly solid economic data as key drivers behind the decision.CIBC economist Nick Exarhos also noted that underlying inflation trends appear to be firming.“Core inflation metrics are trending in the right direction, something that supports the Bank of Canada’s decision to hike rates at the start of 2018,” he said.“We could see some deflationary pressure from the stronger Canadian dollar, but given minimum wage hikes, a closed output gap, and what is likely to be stronger average pricing for energy over the balance of this year compared to 2017, inflation is likely to accelerate.”Overall, Statistics Canada said Friday that the consumer price index for the final month of 2017 was up 1.9 per cent compared with the same month a year earlier. That compared with a reading of 2.1 per cent in November.Excluding gasoline, prices were up 1.5 per cent year on an annual basis in December, matching the increase in November.Prices were up in seven of the eight major categories as the transportation index, which includes gasoline, and the shelter group led the way.Transportation prices were up 4.9 per cent from a year ago compared with a 5.9 per cent increase in November. Gasoline, a key component of the group, climbed 12.2 per cent compared with a year earlier following a 19.6 per cent increase in November.The shelter index climbed 1.4 per cent compared with a year ago as natural gas prices rose 6.2 per cent following a 3.1 per cent increase in November.Meanwhile, the household operations, furnishings and equipment index fell 0.3 per cent compared with a year ago as the cost of telephone services slipped five per cent as the country’s big wireless companies battled for market share in December with deeply discounted offers.
TORONTO – Analysts said Thursday that Shaw Communications Inc. was the big winner from Ottawa’s decision to set aside 43 per cent of the next spectrum auction for regional wireless carriers and potential new rivals, but stock markets didn’t react.“Given well-established network partnerships . . . and consolidation over the years, we believe none of the key wireless players in Canada are really starved for spectrum,” telecom analyst Phillip Huang wrote for Barclays Capital.“Having said that, Shaw still has the smallest spectrum portfolio compared to its peers, and we believe the 600MHz auction is most important to Shaw.”However, Huang and other analysts said the government’s position had been well-telegraphed and they didn’t expect much impact on share prices.At the end of trading Thursday, none of the five publicly traded companies with wireless operations was up or down even a full percentage point and the only decline was Shaw, down five cents to $24.82 — about 0.2 per cent.The Calgary-based cable, internet and satellite company is relatively new to the wireless industry which it hadn’t pursued aggressively until it bought Wind Mobile two years ago and rebranded it as Freedom Mobile in late 2016.Canaccord Genuity analyst Aravinda Galappatthige agreed that Shaw, as well as Quebecor’s Videotron cable division, would be able to enhance their spectrum position at a relatively low cost.“Recall the incumbents had argued against set-asides for Shaw and Quebecor, highlighting that these are well-established cable companies and that their wireless operations can no longer be deemed ‘new entrants’, ” he wrote.Nevertheless, he added, it’s apparent the government “is keen to move ahead with its initiatives to improve wireless affordability in Canada and believes that this framework would further encourage greater competition.”Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said as much in an interview Thursday.“Canadians pay some of the highest cell phone prices in the G7 (industrialized countries) and we, as a government, want to see the prices to go down for Canadian consumers,” said Bains, who is the minister responsible for telecom.“By putting aside 43 per cent of the spectrum, for regional competitors and potential new market entrants, we believe this will increase competition, this will promote better quality services and — more importantly — this will provide affordable prices for Canadians.”However, Bell Canada — which has the country’s largest telecommunications and media business — issued a statement Thursday re-iterating its opposition to giving Shaw and Quebecor such a financial advantage.“Even prior to this decision, the federal government had handed out $4 billion in wireless spectrum subsidies to cable companies over the last 10 years,” Bell said.“In terms of new entrants, we expected some level of spectrum set asides but 43 per cent is far too generous considering the level of subsidies they’ve already received over the years and their slow pace of service rollouts.”Rogers Communications Inc. was also critical of the government’s spectrum decision that was largely in line with its position going into a consultation process that began last year.“The wireless market is fiercely competitive with four facilities-based service providers with multiple brands in virtually every market competing to win the hearts and minds of Canadians, and the startups of a decade ago are now well-capitalized regional players who do not require government assistance,” said David Watt, Rogers senior vice-president for regulatory affairs.“Going forward, we hope the government recognizes this and adopts more balanced auction rules as the country gets ready for 5G.”Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI-B)(TSX:BCE)(TSX:SJR.B)
Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,162.31, up 18.76 points)Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Up 72 cents, or 10.00 per cent, to $7.92 on 11.9 million shares.Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Health care. Up $2.90, or 8.75 per cent, to $36.04 on 6.4 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH). Health care. Up 37 cents, or 3.11 per cent, to $12.26 on 5.4 million shares.OceanaGold Corp. (TSX:OGC). Miner. Down one cent, or 0.31 per cent, to $3.26 on 5.1 million shares.Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE). Oil and gas. Down 11 cents, or 0.77 per cent, to $14.21 on 4.7 million shares.Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD). Bank. Up one cent, or 0.01 per cent, to $75.60 on 4.5 million shares.
The parent company of grocery chain Sobeys Inc. was “a little slow on the trigger” to pass on the higher cost of food to consumers due to tariff costs, but it will inevitably happen in the future, Empire Company Ltd. CEO Michael Medline said Thursday.“It’s clear with what’s going on in terms of transportation cost and tariff-related cost that our expectation — although we’re not economists — is that there will be some inflation,” he said during a conference call with analysts after the company released its first-quarter earnings results.Multiple suppliers send the company letters each week wanting to pass on price hikes due to recently implemented tariffs, said Medline.The Canadian government announced it would impose retaliatory tariffs on July 1 on a wide range of American products in response to U.S. tariffs on some Canadian steel and aluminum products. The Canadian government targeted yogurt, coffee, maple syrup, cucumbers, salad dressing and other food items.Rising freight charges and increases in minimum wage in certain provinces are creating additional pressure, Medline said.Empire will do everything it can to stave off price hikes, he said, but admitted the company will need to pass some through in order to remain competitive.Sobeys’ biggest competitors have made similar predictions. Loblaw Companies Ltd. CEO Galen Weston Jr. and Metro Inc. CEO Eric La Fleche predicted higher prices in the near future due to the tariffs during their most recent quarterly earnings calls with analysts.Medline’s comments came as the company reported a first-quarter profit of $95.6 million, up from $54 million a year ago, when it was hit by $28.7 million in costs related to its Project Sunrise cost-savings plan.The program is aimed at finding $500 million in cost savings, of which $100 million was realized in the quarter, said analyst Irene Nattel of RBC Capital Markets.“Realization of savings [is] a key driver of margin growth, but first-quarter results demonstrate that Empire is stepping up focus on regaining lost ground on market share,” she wrote in a report.The profit amounted to 35 cents per share for the quarter ended Aug. 4, compared with a profit of 30 cents per share in the same quarter last year.Sales totalled $6.46 billion, up from $6.27 billion.Same-store sales excluding fuel sales were up 1.3 per cent, compared with a 0.5 per cent increase in the same quarter last year amid its best tonnage or unit sales growth in six years.The improvement was partially offset by the deflationary impact of drug reforms and the wind-down and closure of 10 stores in Western Canada during the quarter.On an adjusted basis, Empire said it earned $100.2 million or 37 cents per share for the quarter, up from $87.5 million or 32 cents per share a year ago.Analysts had expected an adjusted profit of 42 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.Empire’s shares lost 77 cents or 3.1 per cent at $24.29 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Companies in this story: (TSX:EMP.A, TSX:L, TSX:MRU)
VICTORIA – British Columbia’s minority government moved to change its key housing policy legislation on Thursday in an effort to win the support of the three members of the Green party.The amendments came just 48 hours after the speculation and vacancy tax was introduced in the legislature.Finance Minister Carole James and Green Leader Andrew Weaver said during a joint news conference that the three amendments to the proposed speculation tax will soon be tabled to ensure the law passes this fall.James introduced the tax bill Tuesday saying the government wanted to cool the real estate market and convince owners of vacant B.C. homes to either sell or rent their properties.“Because housing affordability is at a crisis and people are calling for a solution, I think you can see that as a government, and with our partners in the Green caucus, we’re committed to acting and addressing the housing affordability piece,” said James, referring to the NDP government’s 30-point housing plan.James said the Green amendments would cut the tax rate for all Canadians who own vacant properties in certain urban areas in B.C. to 0.5 per cent on assessed value from a proposed one per cent, while revenues from the tax would be directed to housing initiatives in the communities where they are collected.Foreign owners of vacant properties in B.C. will still face a two per cent tax on the home’s assessed value under the amended legislation.The changes would also establish an annual meeting between the mayors of the affected communities and the finance minister to review the tax.“Through hard work and many, many, many hours of negotiations, we’ve been able to come up with a compromise that we can both support and I will be bringing forward the amendments to this bill that addresses my key concerns,” Weaver said.The three members of the Green party reached an agreement with the NDP after the May 2017 election to support a minority government. There are 41 New Democrats, 42 Liberals, one Independent and three Greens in B.C.’s 87-seat legislature.Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson said the proposed speculation tax is fading away by the day and losing revenue.He said the cut to the tax rate will cost the government millions.“Originally, they had a two per cent tax for everybody involved,” said Wilkinson. “They dropped it for British Columbians to 0.5 per cent, which meant 75 per cent of that revenue disappeared from British Columbians. Now another 50 per cent is disappearing for all Canadians. So this is tax policy that’s just melting away like a snowman in July.”James said the government estimates a $30-million revenue reduction once the rate is cut to 0.5 per cent for all Canadians.The government originally forecast $200 million in annual revenue when the speculation tax was introduced in February’s budget as part of the NDP’s plan to create 114,000 affordable housing units over the next decade.James said Tuesday when she introduced the legislation, the goal of the tax was to improve housing affordability for thousands of people in B.C., including seniors forced to live in their vehicles and young professionals who leave the province because they can’t find a place to live.She said she rejected efforts by many municipalities to opt-out of the speculation tax. On Thursday, James said she’s now prepared to listen to their concerns and drop the tax if it’s no longer needed.“Certainly, if we start seeing more affordable housing in communities and we need to make some adjustments, then that will occur,” said James.Langford Mayor Stew Young said in a letter to James and Premier John Horgan earlier this month that he feared the tax could spark an economic downturn.Young, whose community is in Horgan’s Victoria-area riding, said the tax “will dry up investment in British Columbia and is a recipe for financial disaster.”