Christian Bale Honors Chen Guangcheng For Human Rights First

first_imgHuman Rights First honored Chinese “barefoot” lawyer and activist Chen Guangcheng and the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning SHOWTIME series Homeland during its annual Human Rights First Awards Dinner in New York City on Wednesday.Among the evening’s presenters were Academy Award-winning actor Christian Bale and screenwriter Jenny Lumet. NBC News Special Correspondent Meredith Vieira hosted the event.Chen received the group’s annual Human Rights Award, an honor presented by Bale, who attempted to visit Chen during his house arrest last December and was rebuffed by Chinese authorities. Human Rights First selected Chen for his lifetime of work on behalf of the thousands of Chinese citizens who had been subjected to forced late-term abortions, mandatory sterilizations, and unprovoked late night beatings. His activism reignited an international conversation about the need to protect human rights lawyers around the world who face great danger for their courageous work. Chen’s daring escape from his illegal house arrest in April 2012 demonstrated that the United States serves as a beacon to those who are toiling for basic freedoms and human rights.“Human Rights First is proud to honor Chen, whose bravery for risking a dangerous escape from abusive local Chinese authorities is inspiring. His daring defiance of a brutal regime gives courage to those in China and beyond who struggle for human rights,” said Human Rights First’s President and CEO Elisa Massimino.The organization also recognized Professor Jerome Cohen, a leading American expert on East Asian law at the New York University School of Law and one of Chen’s closest advisors. He is a pre-eminent voice on the plight of Chinese rights lawyers, and has advocated on their behalf and pressed American lawyers to take up their cause. Cohen was instrumental in security Chen’s visa to the United States to study at NYU.The Sidney Lumet Award for Integrity in Entertainment was given to the series Homeland for its depiction of the complex intersection of national security and human rights. Homeland executive producer Howard Gordon and others from the program were in attendance to accept the honor. In the show’s first season, American officials violate rights and are forced to deal with the consequences of these actions. “The drama Homeland centers on the catastrophic domino effect that could occur when the United States abandons its principles,” said Massimino. She added, “Popular culture has incredible power, not just to entertain, but to inform, advocate, and inspire.”For more than 20 years, Human Rights First has presented its annual human rights awards to courageous activists on the frontlines of the struggle for freedom. Former recipients include Shehrbano Taseer from Pakistan; Basem Fathy from Egypt; Julius Kaggwa from Uganda; Viktória Mohácsi from Hungary; Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam from Darfur; Ludmilla Alexeeva from Russia; Helen Mack from Guatemala; Archbishop Pius Ncube from Zimbabwe; Saad Eddin Ibrahim from Egypt; Albie Sachs from South Africa; Hina Jalani from Pakistan; and Mary Robinson from Ireland.last_img read more


Dennis Quaid And Michael Chiklis To Host SAG Foundation Golf

first_imgThe Screen Actors Guild Foundation has announced it will host its 4th Annual Los Angeles Golf Classic, a charity tournament and gala benefiting the Foundation’s Catastrophic Health Fund and Emergency Assistance programs, on Monday, June 10th at the Lakeside Golf Club in Burbank.The event, which will bring together celebrities and executives from the entertainment industry to raise vital funds for the Foundation’s charitable initiatives, will be hosted by Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, stars of the CBS hit show Vegas. Presenting sponsor Integrated Wealth Management will return for its third consecutive year.“I am thrilled to be able to host this year’s Golf Classic alongside my co-star Michael Chiklis,” said Dennis Quaid. “This is a great way to support the SAG Foundation’s critical initiatives, and have a little fun doing it.”“Dennis Quaid and I couldn’t be more pleased to have been asked to host the tournament and shine a light on the SAG Foundation’s mission to assist performers in need,” said Michael Chiklis.The 2013 host committee includes Matt Adler, Gabriel Aubry, Scott Bakula, Tom Bower, Jim Casey, Randy Crook, Greg Ellis, Patrick Fabian, Devon Gummersal, Robert Hays, Ken Howard, Dave Hutton, Greg Itzin, Richard Karn, Brandt Kuhn, Dan Lauria, Joe Mantegna, Danny Masterson, Christopher McDonald, Joel McHale, Jeff Nordling, Paul Pape, Ron Perlman, Pamela Reed, Tony Renaud, Erin Scott, Steve O. Sparks and JoBeth Williams.“Integrated Wealth Management is proud to continue our commitment as the presenting sponsor of the Golf Classic,” said Jim Casey, President & CEO of Integrated Wealth Management. “We think it is important to support the SAG Foundation’s Catastrophic Health Fund and Emergency Assistance programs which provide a vital safety net for performers in critical need.”
With the support of the entertainment community and generous sponsors during the past three Golf Classics, the SAG Foundation has been able to raise nearly $800,000 towards its goal of providing emergency assistance and catastrophic health care to performers and their families. Please visit for registration information and sponsorship packages (limited while availability remains).last_img read more


Harlem Globetrotters To Participate In American Red Cross Giving Day

first_imgThe Harlem Globetrotters, the most storied sports and entertainment franchise in the world, will bring their talents to a different stage on April 26.The Globetrotters will sport custom-designed, one-time-only red jerseys in the motif of the American Red CrossAs part of the American Red Cross’ annual Giving Day, the team will participate in a charity game to benefit and bring awareness to fundraising efforts for disaster relief.“If there’s anyone who doubts the impact that the American Red Cross can have, I am proof of how much they do to help,” current Globetrotters star Big Easy Lofton said. “When my family was displaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it was the Red Cross who was there to help us out – and the rest of our community. Even a simple donation of $10 can go a long, long way. Believe me. Taking part in this game to raise awareness is something that is very special to me and the rest of the Globetrotter organization.”The charity game – to be played at Kailey Gymnasium at Miles Community College in Miles City, Mont., tipping-off at 6 p.m. – will have all proceeds going directly to the American Red Cross. All tickets are $20, and can be purchased online at, or at the Miles Community College Business Office.The game will also feature a unique twist, specifically-tailored for the American Red Cross.Globetrotter players will sport custom-designed, one-time-only red jerseys in the motif of the American Red Cross. From the jerseys – only the third time in history that the Globetrotters will don a uniform other than the traditional red, white, and blue – to the red-and-white ball, the charity game will draw awareness to Giving Day activities. The Globetrotters will also be encouraging fans to donate to the American Red Cross, by texting “90999” at any point during April 26.The American Red Cross joined forces with the Harlem Globetrotters in December 2016, becoming the team’s official charity partner through its Great Assist initiative – helping communities across the country prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters of all kinds.“Having the Globetrotters involved in Giving Day is wonderful,” said Gail McGovern, American Red Cross President and CEO. “For over 90 years, the team has been putting smiles on the faces of adults and children all over the world. To have their energy behind Giving Day, and helping us raise money for disaster relief victims across the United States, is truly invaluable. We are also extremely thankful to Miles Community College for donating the use of their facility to host this wonderful event.”Additionally, the Globetrotters will also be making the push to raise awareness for Giving Day across its social media platforms, replacing its Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram avatars with the Giving Day logo. On those three platforms alone, the Globetrotters have more than 1.5 million followers, providing a major platform to bring Giving Day efforts to a greater audience. The Globetrotters will also be encouraging fans to use the official Giving Day hashtag, #Help1Family throughout its social channels.“This is part of the fabric of the Globetrotter identity – giving back,” Howard Smith, Harlem Globetrotters president said. “Giving Day is one of the staples of the American Red Cross’ fundraising campaign, so to be involved fits in with who we are. The Red Cross is our official charity partner, and does so much for millions of families across the country, so to lend a hand was a no-brainer for us.”The Harlem Globetrotters are legendary worldwide, synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills for the past 90 years. Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 122 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans – among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents – over nine thrilling decades. The American Red Cross is the official charity of the Harlem Globetrotters. Sponsored by Entenmann’s Donuts , Ticket Galaxy and Baden Sports, Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S.last_img read more


Justin Biebers Somebody to Love lawsuit dismissed

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Justin Bieber and Usher’s Somebody To Love copyright infringement lawsuit has been voluntarily dismissed.The pop collaborators were hit with the $10 million plagiarism lawsuit in 2013 after songwriters Devin ‘De Rico’ Copeland and Mareio Overton alleged the original song and its remix, which featured Usher, bore striking similarities to their tune, also titled Somebody to Love, which they had written and recorded for Copeland’s 2008 album, My Story II. Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Twitterlast_img



first_img“The perspective came on the first day,” the 42-year-old singer shared of his new outlook on life, adding, “the perspective came on Halloween, which was the day we got the diagnosis and it all came in one snap.”Bublé continued, “My whole life changed and my perspective on life, my philosophical idea of what it’s all about and what matters, in one snap. And that’s a good thing, because I’m thankful for the grace, I’m thankful for the faith and I feel deeply connected to people.” Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Two years after Canadian crooner Michael Bublé announced that he would be stepping away from the spotlight to focus on his son Noah’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, he’s back.Bublé’s 4-year-old son has successfully undergone successful treatment, which officially ended in March 2017 and the singer was ready to hit the stage in Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey caught up with the dad-of-two just hours before he welcomed a crowd of 70,000 fans at his first concert in over three years. Advertisementlast_img read more


Whistler Film Festival To Close with MOMENTUM GENERATION

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Advertisement In addition to the previously announced World Premiere of FUCK YOU ALL, THE UWE BOLL STORY, WFF is proud to announce the following nine titles premiering at Whistler this year. Seven of the films are eligible for the five awards in WFF’s coveted Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature *, which includes the second largest festival prize in the country featuring a $15,000 cash prize presented by the Directors Guild of Canada, British Columbia and $15,000 post production prize presented by Encore Vancouver.BELLA CIAO! * (2018, Canada (BC), World Premiere)Carmen Aguirre and Tony Nardi star in a remarkable story directed by Carolyn Combs of friends, lovers, seekers and thieves. Set at the intersection of the Latin American, First Nations and Italian communities in Vancouver, Bella Ciao! captures the struggle towards solidarity within Canada’s immigrant urban mix. A tribute to the mosaic of diversity and the different generations of distinct cultures that help define Vancouver and by extension, all of Canada today.IN GOD I TRUST * (2018, Canada (BC), World Premiere)John Cassini, Marc Senior and Melissa Roxburgh star in this multi-character drama from Vancouver based filmmaker Maja Zdanowski. A distressed young black man, a reckless white nationalist, and a pair of traveling vacationers intertwine in three tales of redemption, violence and faith during a random encounter in Northern Idaho.INTO INVISIBLE LIGHT * (2018, Canada (MB), World Premiere)Director Shalegh Carter delivers a powerful story of grief, longing, and one woman’s path to healing through the realisation of her long-buried desire to write. A widow rekindles a past relationship with a writer/professor. Conceived under the sway of both love and art INTO INVISIBLE LIGHT is a story of forgiveness, second chances and the revitalizing power of self-expression.HONEY BEE * (2018, Canada (ON), World Premiere)2017 WFF Star to Watch Julia Sarah Stone astounds as an underage truck stop hooker under the sway of a manipulative pimp, sent by authorities to a tough love placement location, a working farm run by a no-nonsense character played by Martha Plimpton. Director Rama Rau continues to explore female sexuality, as she did with her previous documentary look at burlesque queens, THE LEAGUE OF EXOTIQUE DANCERS.NEVER BE DONE: THE RICHARD GLEN LETT STORY (2018, Canada (BC), World Premiere)This raw and immersive documentary tells the story of how controversial Vancouver stand-up comedian Richard Lett sabotaged his own promising career, lost everything and lived to tell the tale. Director Roy Tighe’s commitment to presenting Lett’s highest and lowest moments over the past nine years ultimately presents a message of personal redemption, and shines a poignant light on the intensely private struggle of addiction.NOSE TO TAIL * (2018, Canada (ON), World Premiere)Aaron Abrams plays a talented but abrasive chef who is struggling to keep his high end restaurant afloat. Over the course of one event-filled day, he must deal with an angry lover, a would-be investor (Ennis Esmer) and unhappy staff, not to mention the realization that his establishment is no longer as trendy as when it first opened. Directed by Jesse Zigelstein, this a character study that will have foodies salivating.NORTH PRESTON’S FINEST (2018, Canada (ON), World Premiere)Director Jaren Hayman provides us with an intimate glimpse into the country’s largest black community, painted in recent years as one of Canada’s most established human trafficking hubs. With poignant interviews and stories from residents of all kinds, from pimps and their victims to politicians and the citizens they serve, NORTH PRESTON’S FINEST explores one community’s struggle against crime, economic adversity and systemic racism, and their ardent desire to change the narrative.RED ROVER * (2018, Canada (ON), World Premiere)Métis director Shane Belcourt directs a wistful story about a socially awkward geologist who is encouraged to apply for a one-way manned mission to Mars by an extroverted musician he meets in the park. Rising star Cara Gee shines as a muse with her own issues who inspires our unhappy would-be space traveler, who longs for a new beginning.WOODLAND * (2018, Canada (BC), World Premiere)Directed by Vancouver based Jon Silverberg, this is about a man’s personal journey that touches on the land, the mythical and the spiritual. Set in 1989, out-of-work photojournalist Jake (Richard Harmon) who struggles with addiction and a troubled past, takes a job as watchman of a wilderness lodge on the remote Haida Gwaii island in the Pacific Northwest. Under the watchful eye of veteran handyman Sparky, Jake sets up a darkroom to develop the photos he shoots, which reveal strange apparitions that he soon discovers are prophecies of his and Sparky’s disturbing future.Canada’s ‘coolest film fest’ is not just about screening films. From tributes to filmmaking luminaries to live music, parties and industry initiatives, WFF delivers an action packed lineup for film fans and filmmakers alike.Special events confirmed to date include:Opening and Closing Night Screenings (November 28 and December 2 – Opening Night title TBA)WFF’s popular Signature Series including the Tribute, Spotlight, Contender Conversation and Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch (November 29 – December 1)ShortWork Showcase features an eclectic collection of short films in a relaxed bar setting (December 2)WFF peaks with its annual festival party, this year titled Cabin Fever (December 1)Awards Celebration to honour the talent behind WFF18’s finest films (December 2)WFF’s Music Showcase – film meets music at this unique showcase, with up to 10 export-ready British Columbian artists and songwriters from across the musical spectrum each performing a live 30-minute set for film fans and key international executives. (November 29 and December 1)Structured around bringing films to market and designed to provide filmmakers with tools to succeed both within and beyond our borders, WFF’s curated industry Summit (November 29 to December 2) will feature over 20 interactive business sessions and networking events that address filmmaking and storytelling in the digital age.WFF will also present a slate of 11 talent programs designed to provide creative and business immersion experiences for over 70 Canadian artists. Programs include:Praxis Screenwriters LabProducers LabPower PitchDoc LabIndigenous Filmmaker FellowshipWomen on Top MentorshipStars to WatchMusic ShowcaseWomen in the Director’s Chair Industry ImmersionWomen in Film & Television Film Market Preparation MentorshipMPPIA Short Film Award Pitch (presented by Motion Picture Production Industry Association in partnership with Creative BC and WFF)The Festival’s online box office at is now open for Film, Industry and Patron Passes as well as Ticket Packages. Exclusive rates on air travel, ground transportation and accommodation are available at Individual film tickets go on sale on November 14.The Whistler Film Festival is funded by the Government of Canada through Telefilm Canada, and by the Province of British Columbia and the Resort Municipality of Whistler through the Resort Municipality Initiative, is supported by the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and the American Friends of Whistler, and is sponsored by Variety, Creative BC, Cineplex, Whistler Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler, RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate, Encore and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler.FESTIVAL DATESNOV. 28TH TO DEC. 2NDTO PURCHASE TICKETS VISIT THE WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL WEBSITE Whistler, B.C. (September 20, 2018) – In conjunction with its annual fundraiser Almost WFF, the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has announced their Closing Night film, MOMENTUM GENERATION which will have its Canadian premiere at the fest, along with nine more World Premiere Canadian films. These titles join the five films previously announced that attendees can expect to see at this year’s festival. Ticket packages and passes are on sale now.MOMENTUM GENERATION is the latest documentary from Academy Award-shortlisted and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmakers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist. The documentary follows the biggest names in surfing, including Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian, Kalani Robb and the late Todd Chesser. Executive produced by Sundance founder Robert Redford with stunning archival footage from the godfather of surf films Taylor Steele, MOMENTUM GENERATION gives audiences an inside look at the lives of these teenagers as they rose to super stardom as the first competitive surfers.WFF’s Director of Programming Paul Gratton had this to say about the current 2018 lineup: “The increasing importance of the Whistler Film Festival as a launchpad for world-calibre Canadian features is evidenced by the significant number of World Premieres that have already been secured for this year’s festival.” Advertisementlast_img read more



first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement “I am Canadian and I am a big fan of football,” said Bublé. “I had a blast doing my first Super Bowl commercial with bublé – I mean bubly.  Because of our similar names, the brand and I share a special bond. I love how the cans are bold, bright, and full of personality. They’re perfect for any Super Bowl viewing partés you might be having.”Less than a year after the brand’s successful 2018 launch, the bubly Super Bowl ad showcases its upbeat and playful persona. With a growing flavour line up and the coveted Super Bowl spot, PepsiCo continues to demonstrate its commitment to its water portfolio.“Sparkling water fans across the country have fallen in love with bubly and now we’re thrilled to show-off its fun personality on the world’s biggest stage with the help of a Canadian superstar,” says Lourdes Seminario, Director of Marketing Hydration Portfolio for PepsiCo Canada. “We knew that Bublé was the perfect person to help people crack a smile. With his help, not only do we get to set the record straight that it’s bubly, not bublé, we also get to showcase bubly’s four flavours – all featuring their own colourful smiles and witty greetings on the cans’ tabs, which bubly fans have come to know and love.”The full spot will be on bubly’s social channels in the coming weeks. Follow the conversation online @bublysparkingca to #crackasmile.About PepsiCo CanadaPepsiCo’s businesses in Canada are organized into two business units. PepsiCo Beverages Canada includes the Pepsi, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses. PepsiCo Foods Canada includes the Frito Lay Canada and the Quaker Foods and Snacks business.At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our vision to deliver financial performance over the long term by integrating sustainability into its business strategy, leaving a positive imprint on society and the environment. We do this in part by offering a wide range of products; increasing the number of our nutritious foods and beverages; reducing our environmental impacts; and supporting our employees and the communities where we do business; all of which will help position the company for long-term sustainable growth. For more information, visit If you’re wondering why the talented Canadian born singer is starring in his first-ever Super Bowl ad, it’s because of his absolute conviction that bubly is in fact, bublé – specifically named after him. In the spot, Bublé thinks it’s a bublé world and we’re all just living in it. MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 17, 2019 – bubly, PepsiCo Canada’s sparkling water beverage that is full of flavour and personalité, will debut its first-ever Super Bowl advertisement with a :30-second in-game spot titled “Can I have a bublé?”, featuring four-time Grammy award-winning Canadian singer Michael Bublé.  Four flavours in the brand’s current portfolio, strawberrybubly, limebubly, grapefruitbubly and orangebubly, are featured in the ad and boast no calories, no sweeteners and no artificial flavours. Facebook Michael Bublé LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more



first_imgFrom left to right: Corinna Den Dekker, Dawn Jani Birley, Yan Liu and Daniel Durant in The Black Drum, which combines dance, movement, signed music and a rich visual design. (Dahlia Katz/Soulpepper) Advertisement A “deaf musical” may sound like a contradiction in terms, but that’s exactly how the creators of a new play called The Black Drum are describing it.“A lot of people think deaf people cannot appreciate music, but that’s not true,” said lead actor Dawn Jani Birley. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “The world of a deaf person is very different when it comes to music. Because you depend on your ears to receive information and music. We depend on our eyes.”Produced by the Deaf Culture Centre in collaboration with Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company, The Black Drum aims to show both deaf and hearing audiences how music can be not only appreciated but also expressed by deaf actors using movement and sign language.Written by deaf playwright Adam Pottle and performed by seven deaf actors along with three child ballet dancers from the E.C. Drury School for the Deaf, it combines movement, signed music, motion capture projections and dance into a rich visual experience for both deaf and hearing audiences. The only musical instrument played live onstage is a large drum that is amplified and augmented by a prerecorded deep rumbling bass sound track. The strong vibrations can be felt by deaf audience members.center_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Twitterlast_img read more


Quebec First Nations seeking more documents from Ottawa on education bill

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL) is demanding additional internal documents from Ottawa linked to the controversial First Nation education bill as part of its ongoing Federal Court case against the Harper government.The AFNQL made the request via letter on Sept. 30. The federal government has until the end of the month to respond.The latest request follows Ottawa’s surprise filing on Sept. 10 of a previously undisclosed document which outlined the framework for Bill C-33, the First Nation Control of First Nation Education Act. The document was signed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt and former Assembly of First nations national chief Shawn Atleo.The emergence of the document forced the AFNQL to reassess its legal strategy which led to the postponement of a planned hearing last month.The Quebec-based First Nation organization launched its Federal Court action last February seeking a judicial review of Ottawa’s consultation process leading to the tabling of Bill C-33.Zachary Davis, the lawyer for the AFNQL, sent the letter to Justice Canada lawyer Eric Gingras requesting four categories of documents from Ottawa. The documents requested include “discussions papers,” background explanations, analyses and policy options related to Bill C-33 and its tabling.According to Davis’ letter, the First Nation organization is seeking documents on Valcourt’s recommendations to cabinet around the decision to table Bill C-33, the consultation process for the proposed bill and the policy behind it.The AFNQL is also seeking documents sent to individuals outside the federal cabinet that discussed the bill, its tabling and the consultation process. In addition, the AFNQL wants all documents, including correspondence, meeting minutes and any drafts related to an agreement on Bill C-33.Currently, the bill remains in limbo after the Assembly of First Nations chiefs voted to reject the proposed Act. The Harper government had tied $1.9 billion in funding to Bill C-33.Chiefs rejected the bill because they felt it gave too much power to the minister over First Nation read more


Aboriginal woman desperate to turn things around after life of crime

first_imgPelletier said she is hoping to get into a live-in treatment center where she can address her inner demons and past trauma.“Trying to change my life is really hard. But for the first time in the past month I’ve been dressing like a lady, wearing dresses and wearing makeup. Before it was straight track suits and hats, tattoos and putting on a disguise,” said Pelletier. “Now when I look in the mirror it doesn’t even look like me anymore because I’ve changed and I’ve grown. When I look in the mirror I see a beautiful person, a survivor.”But she said as each day passes, it’s getting harder and harder to cope. She sleeps on the floor of her room because the beds are too soft compared to the cold, hard slabs of concrete she’s used to sleeping on in jail.“I need help. How to learn how to unlock my mind from being an angry person. From being locked up all the time and fighting. I want to be in control of my mind, feelings, my heart and my body,” she said. “I want to be a mom, I want to give my son something to look at and be proud of.”Marion Lerat is an elder who works with Pelletier. She said she believes a lot of Aboriginal women in the prison system aren’t receiving enough supports and are often misunderstood in the mainstream justice system.Pelletier (left) and Elder Marion Lerat. Photo: Brandi Morin/APTN“They put them in there, lock the door and throw the key away,” said Lerat. “They don’t work with them.”She said the answers to the problem are complex but it comes down to finding out who they are.“They need to believe in the Creator and He’ll move obstacles out of the way. Josie feels trapped and I don’t blame her. There’s no respect in jail, you just have to survive,” said Lerat.However, Pelletier said she is determined to keep holding on to the hope that she can make it and one day lead a near normal life.“I honestly believe that Creator is working in my life in every way. I’m feeling all my emotions that I’ve never, ever felt and I’m getting through it and surviving through it,” she Brandi MorinAPTN National NewsCALGARY — Josie Pelletier sits crossed legged on the front lawn of the Calgary half-way house where she is staying, nervously lights a cigarette, and begins to tell her story.“I did what I had to do to survive,” Pelletier said drawing on her cigarette. “I didn’t have the family support or have anybody who believed in me. I didn’t even believe in myself. So, I gave up on life.”Pelletier, 30, has been in and out of jail or prison since she was 13. In total she has had just over two years, on and off, on the “outside.”Her background includes time in a residential school, poverty, family violence, family and personal drug abuse (she became an intravenous drug user at 13), experience in the foster care system, involvement in gangs and an extensive criminal record.Pelletier was released from prison just a few weeks ago after serving time for armed robbery.Pelletier has been labelled a long-term offender meaning for the next seven years, she must check in with authorities on a regular basis.Even on the inside, Pelletier took the hard road.She spent more than a year in solitary confinement or what she called “the red card” where she was “locked down” 23-hours a day.Pelletier said she was so violent, she would spend her one-hour outside of her cell shackled and chained from top to bottom with a spit mask placed over her head.Pelletier said it was during this time she drew inward and reached out to her higher power.“To not go crazy I turned to the Creator,” Pelletier said. “And that’s when I started praying and asking for forgiveness. I was desperate to see my son again.”One day on the “inside” Pelletier said her 15-year-old son paid her a visit.She said she made him a promise to change and do whatever it took to come home and be a mother to him.It hasn’t happened fast enough. Pelletier said her son is following in her footsteps. He’s been in and out of foster care, is involved with gangs and is currently in jail.“I’m so desperate for help right now. I want to change my life, I don’t want my son to grow up to be like me,” she said.Living in the half-way house provides minimal support.Although Pelletier has an elder she can access, she said she needs more support to make it on the outside world.She said she is “institutionalized” and doesn’t know any other way of living, except running to the streets or surviving behind bars.“I can’t even go out alone without getting lost or getting anxiety. I told a psychiatrist I needed help,” she said. “Sometimes I contemplated suicide because I don’t know if I can make it out here,”last_img read more


Dry communities in NWT not ready for legalized pot says Elder

first_imgCharlotte Morritt-Jacobs APTN NewsAn Elder who has been researching the health implications of marijuana says dry communities in the Northwest Territories (NWT) are not ready for it to be legalized.Norman Yakeleya is from the dry community of Tulita, NWT, a fly-in community 2 hours northwest of Yellowknife.The territorial government has said that communities will have the power to decide for themselves whether to allow members to have pot.Yakeleya is also a former member of the legislative assembly.He said the research he has done shows the NWT isn’t ready for the legalization of cannabis that is expected next year.Contact Charlotte here: cmorrittjacobs@aptn.calast_img


Time did not heal Slain Saskatchewan Cree mans mother still looks for relief

first_imgDebbie Baptiste (centre) is the mother of Colten Boushie (APTN file).The Canadian PressDebbie Baptiste says she was hopeful when she went into the trial of the man accused of killing her son.Hopeful that she would find justice for Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man who was shot and killed on a farm near Biggar, Sask., in August 2016.But after two weeks in court and 13 hours of jury deliberation, she left angry.Farmer Gerald Stanley, who admitted he fired the gun on the day her son died, was found not guilty of second-degree murder. He walked away a free man.“I just have to keep living a nightmare over and over again,” Baptiste said in an interview this week.“It doesn’t get better. Time did not heal.”Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the controversial, high-profile verdict in the Stanley trial. A pipe ceremony and candlelight vigil are planned in North Battleford, Sask., and Boushie’s family members are expected to share their thoughts about the last year.Stanley took the stand at his trial and testified that his gun had gone off accidentally. He said he was firing to scare off some young people he thought were stealing from him after they drove onto his property.Boushie was sitting in the driver’s seat of a Ford Escape when he was shot in the back of the head.Public reaction to the acquittal was immediate and intense.While some rural property owners, fed up with high crime rates, saw justice in the verdict, social media also lit up with rage and grief.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that he empathized with the pain felt by Boushie’s family. Jody Wilson-Raybould, federal justice minister at the time, pledged that Canada “can and must do better.”The next day, rallies were held from coast to coast. A protest camp quietly set up on the lawn of the Saskatchewan legislature and stayed there for more than six months.Within two months of the verdict, the federal government brought forward legislation that proposes to abolish peremptory challenges, which allow lawyers to reject potential jurors without having to provide a reason.Such challenges were criticized during the Stanley trial for allowing the defence to exclude visibly Indigenous people during jury selection.“If they go through, these are probably the most fundamental changes to the jury system that I’ve seen in 30 years of teaching criminal justice,” said Kent Roach, a law professor at the University of Toronto.“Just like the case was extremely polarizing for the public, it’s also been very polarizing for the legal community.”Roach, who recently published a book about the Stanley case and its racial and historical context, said the trial received worldwide media attention because of the push by Boushie’s family for change.“They’ve had to grieve in public,” said family lawyer Eleanore Sunchild.Roach believes there ought to have been a coroner’s inquest into Boushie’s death. It could have examined what happened against the backdrop of racism, rural crime, policing and treaties, he said.February 9, 2019 is the one-year annivesary of the controversial verdict in the death of Colten Boushie (APTN file).“What I fear is that we will continue to have polarized opinions about this case and that, with the exception of these controversial Criminal Code amendments, it may actually fade into history as just … another example of where Canadian justice has failed Indigenous people.”One year after the acquittal, Baptiste has lost hope she will ever have justice for her son, but is still looking for “change in the justice system – that we have equal rights in that courtroom.”She wants a public inquiry.The provincial government, saying the trial laid bare the facts of the case, has rejected that.Saskatchewan Justice Minister Don Morgan who, along with Premier Scott Moe, met with Boushie’s family after the verdict, said the province wants to expand restorative justice and culturally sensitive programs.“We should never forget the tragic death of Colten Boushie and how it changed the lives of two Saskatchewan families forever,” Morgan said in a statement.Alvin Baptiste, Colten’s uncle, wants a law firm established that would be devoted to helping Indigenous people through the justice system. He also wants a museum in North Battleford to teach people about First Nations history in the region.Beside seeing more Indigenous peoples on juries, Debbie Baptiste wants more Aboriginal judges and Crown prosecutors. Of the 88 judges currently serving in Saskatchewan, four have self-declared as Indigenous.But no matter what changes may come, Baptiste knows she faces one unending reality.“I still miss my son,” she said.“That will never change.”last_img read more


Canadas best credit cards of 2017

first_imgCredit card companies are competitive and will go to great lengths to distract you with sign-up bonuses or teaser cash-back rates that vanish after just a few months. How do you find the right card for the long term? We know it’s hard work to find the perfect match, so MoneySense has done it for you. The top overall card for rewards was the Scotiabank Gold American Express. The task of comparing different rewards systems from dozens of issuers and hundreds of cards would make anyone wish they had a Masters in Data Analytics. Because of that, many of us stick with the same credit cards year after year, missing out on better deals on points and rewards.To capture Canada’s Best Credit Cards 2017, we tapped our credit card tool, which is powered by our partners at RateHub. The methodology takes into account a multitude of factors, including welcome bonuses, flexible travel with no restrictions, the ability to transfer rewards between cards, great cash-back value, amazing insurance packages, and more.Full list of winners by category. Plus more credit card features and tipsFor this package we ran the numbers for six card categories (travel vs cash-back etc.) based on $2,000 in monthly spend (or $1,000 for the student category). Everyone’s card needs and usage are different and change over time, so we encourage you to use the tool as well.Our assumptions on the monthly spend are as follows—groceries at $500, gas ($200), restaurants ($200) and bill payments ($125), travel ($125), entertainment ($225), pharmacy ($75) and other purchases of $500. (For student cards we assumed a lower $1,000 total monthly spend.)That allowed us to tally up the magic number—that is, the annual net reward in dollar terms (we excluded sign-up bonuses) to identify the top three cards in each of the six categories.We also threw in an honorary mention in each category because some cards should also be considered based on specific individual preferences.Remember, credit cards are just a tool. If you use them wisely and never carry a balance, you can get valuable rewards to help stretch your family’s budget. If you pick the right card for you—and pay it off each month—you’ll ultimately come out a winner.last_img read more


Sherlock star Cumberbatch praised for tackling muggers

first_imgLONDON – The food-delivery firm Deliveroo thanked Benedict Cumberbatch on Saturday after a newspaper reported that the “Sherlock” star had fought off muggers who were attacking one of its cyclists.Uber driver Manuel Dias told the Sun newspaper that he was driving Cumberbatch and his wife Sophie Hunter along London’s Marylebone High Street when they saw a cyclist being hit with a bottle.He said Cumberbatch jumped out of the car and grabbed one of the attackers.“I had hold of one lad and Benedict another,” Dias was quoted as saying. “He seemed to know exactly what he was doing. He was very brave.”“Here was ‘Sherlock Holmes’ fighting off four attackers just round the corner from Baker Street,” he added.The fictional detective’s home address in London is around the corner from the scene of the attack.Cumberbatch’s spokeswoman declined to comment.The newspaper didn’t say when the incident occurred. Police said a delivery cyclist was assaulted in the street in November.On Saturday, Deliveroo praised Cumberbatch “for his heroic actions.”“On behalf of everyone at Deliveroo: Thank you so much,” it said.last_img read more


Greenpeace Canada taking Ont govt to court over repeal of cap and

first_imgTORONTO – An environmental advocacy group is turning to the courts in an effort to halt the Ontario government’s plan to scrap the province’s cap-and-trade system, alleging the lack of consultation on the issue violated rights entrenched in law.A legal challenge filed on behalf of Greenpeace Canada on Tuesday alleges Premier Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservative government failed to consult the public on a regulation ending Ontario’s cap-and-trade program and a proposed bill that would alter the province’s legislative regime for tackling climate change.The group said the Environmental Bill of Rights, legislation unique to Ontario, states that the province’s residents have the right to a 30-day consultation process on environmentally significant regulations and legislation.In its application for judicial review, the group alleged the province’s decision to bypass mandatory notice and consultation was “unreasonable and incorrect, procedurally unfair, and therefore unlawful.”“Basically, any policy, regulation or legislation that affects the environment has to be go through the EBR consultation process, and they’ve tried to skip that saying the election campaign constituted equivalent consultation,” Keith Stewart, a senior energy strategist with Greenpeace Canada, said in an email.Greenpeace said it has obtained an expedited hearing, tentatively scheduled for Sept. 21, so that the case can be heard before the government’s legislation on tackling climate change passes. The group said it is also seeking to have the regulation that scrapped cap and trade revoked.A spokesman for Ontario Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Rod Phillips said the ministry would not comment on the specifics of the legal action, which contains unproven allegations.“We consulted extensively with the people of Ontario during the (election) campaign, and they spoke clearly,” Andrew Brander said in an email Tuesday evening.“The legislation has been posted to the registry and we are confident that it will meet all necessary requirements as we continue to undertake a full range of consultative steps,” Brander said.The Ford government is facing other legal challenges on controversial moves such as the scrapping of a modernized sex-ed curriculum. It has also been engaged in a legal battle over the size of Toronto’s city council.Legislation to slash Toronto’s council nearly in half in the middle of the municipal election campaign was struck down by the courts this week after a judge found it violated the right to freedom of expression for both candidates and voters.But the premier has said he will invoke a rarely used charter provision known as the notwithstanding clause to push ahead with his plan, and is expected to recall the legislature Wednesday to do so.Stewart said the notwithstanding clause could not be used in Greenpeace’s legal challenge because the case relies on procedural rights under the Environmental Bill of Rights, not charter rights.Ontario’s cap-and-trade system aimed to lower greenhouse gas emissions by putting caps on the amount of pollution companies in certain industries could emit. If companies exceeded those limits they had to buy allowances at quarterly auctions or from other companies that came in under their limits.The province made close to $3 billion in a series of cap-and-trade auctions since the system was introduced by the Liberals last year.Ford vowed to eliminate the system and fight Ottawa’s carbon pricing plan during the spring election campaign.His government has since introduced legislation to scrap cap and trade and cancel programs financed through its revenues, which include rebates for energy-efficient renovations, transit projects and a fund for school repairs.Ontario also announced this summer it was launching a legal battle against Ottawa over its carbon tax plan, saying the provincial government received a clear mandate during the spring election to fight the federal tax for provinces that don’t have their own carbon pricing system.The federal carbon tax is scheduled to kick in on Jan. 1.last_img read more


Consumer groups allege Google misleads kids in FTC complaint

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Nearly two dozen consumer, privacy and public health groups are urging U.S. regulators to investigate whether children are being endangered by deceptive apps in Google’s app store for smartphones running on its Android software.The 102-page complaint filed Wednesday with the Federal Trade Commission alleges Google’s Play store is harming kids by allowing apps that break privacy laws, contain adult content or include manipulative advertising in a section of its Play store designed for children.The call for FTC action is being led by two groups, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy, that have previously attacked Google’s approach to kids. In April, they asked the FTC to crack down on Google’s YouTube video site for alleged violations of children’s online privacy.Twenty other groups, including Consumer Action, Public Citizen and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, joined in the latest complaint.Google issued a statement emphasizing its commitment to protecting children while they are online — one of the reasons the company says it prohibits targeted advertising at children under 13.“We take these issues very seriously and continue to work hard to remove any content that is inappropriately aimed at children from our platform,” Google said.More than 2 billion devices worldwide are powered by Google software, with a significant number of those being used by minors. The complaint focuses on alleged misconduct under U.S. laws and regulations.The attempt to pressure the FTC to open an investigation comes amid an intensifying backlash against Google, Facebook and other companies that make most of their money by using their free services to track people’s interests and whereabouts and then mining that information to sell ads targeted at them.The angst has raised the spectre of Congress drawing up tougher regulations to curb the tech industry’s power and restrict its ability to compile digital dossiers about the people who have become increasingly dependent on its services.Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island who has been critical of Google, issued a statement supporting the groups seeking an FTC investigation as did Sen. Tom Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico.“It is past time for the Federal Trade Commission to crack down to protect children’s privacy,” Udall said in a statement.Although the FTC doesn’t typically comment on whether it will investigate issues raised in complaints, it has punished both Google and Apple for what it deemed to be child exploitation in the past.In 2014, it reached a settlement requiring Google to refund $19 million for allowing apps distributed through its store to charge children for purchases made without parents’ consent. That came after a similar agreement required Apple to refund $32.5 million for in-app purchases made on iPhones, iPads and other devices without parents’ permission.Michael Liedtke, The Associated Presslast_img read more


Afghanistan Conflict veteran with Bold Eagle program gives presentation to NPSS students

first_imgSupplied photo“It’s a youth development program, and that’s it,” said Sgt. Perry. “Do they have to stay in the military? There’s a recommendation, but no requirement. It’s not summer camp, you join the military and you get paid, you don’t have to pay.”Sgt. Perry said that the six-week program helps bring participants out of their comfort zones to help them achieve a sense of accomplishment. He said that the program has a drop-out rate of only roughly three to five percent. Of the 114 participants that started last year, 104 graduated. Sgt. Perry explained that only three of those failed the program, with the rest having to drop out because of personal issues at home or due to injury.Sgt. Perry credited the low drop-out rate to the presence of FSIN elders James Whitehawk and Shirley Constance in the program, who provide mentorship and guidance to the participants.“They do a lot of work to keep kids that are scared about that comfort zone and want to go home, they keep them there.”NPSS Careers Coordinator Jodi Hickey said that despite the difference in outward career path compared to last year’s trades training day, she doesn’t see much of a difference in this year’s program. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was at North Peace Secondary on Thursday giving area First Nations students a presentation on the Canadian Forces’ Bold Eagle program.The program, which runs for 6 weeks during the summer, is open to First Nations youth living in western Canada and combines Aboriginal culture and teachings with military training. CDN Controls’ Community Relations Coordinator Alex Fanni said that last year, his company hosted a group of First Nations students from the North Peace at the Fort St. John office to learn about what it takes to embark on a career in the electrical and instrumentation trades. This year, Fanni got his company together with other industry partners including the Halfway First Nations leadership, NPSS, Canbriam Energy, Painted Pony, Progress Energy, ConocoPhillips, and Enbridge to help bring the program’s presenters to the school.Bold Eagle recruiter and instructor Sgt. Cathan Perry spoke in front of 30 First Nation students from around the North Peace for close to an hour and a half inside the NPSS library last Thursday about the program itself. Sgt. Perry explained to students about the program’s focus on building teamwork, self-discipline, physical fitness, and teamwork for participants. “I see it as providing the kids with opportunities and choices, and that’s what I want to bring to the kids. To show them what’s out there and what’s available. There’s so many options for kids nowadays.”Hickey said that the school has been greatly increasing its outreach that career organizations have been performing in the School District in recent years, adding that she feels that the District has even surpassed that of districts in major population centres in the province. That centimeent was backed up during the Community Development Institute’s presentation to the Fort St. John Committee of the Whole on Monday, which shows that Fort St. John’s rate of high school dropouts has fallen to nearly the provincial average after being much higher just 10 years prior.Sgt. Perry said its highly likely that the Bold Eagle program will be back to make another presentation next year. The program runs from July 9th to August 16th.last_img read more


Morneau hopes new NAFTA deal signed next week stresses tariff issue is

first_imgOTTAWA, O.N. Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he’s hopeful the newly struck North American free-trade deal will be signed next week and suggests Canada could sign even with stinging U.S. tariffs in place.Morneau was asked by reporters after a speech today if the government should still consider signing the new continental trade deal even if the United States keeps its heavy import taxes on Canadian aluminum and steel.He says Canada is working with the U.S. to solve the tit-for-tat tariff dispute and he stresses Ottawa won’t make one set of negotiations contingent on another. Morneau says there’s work going on behind the scenes to make sure the legal document defining the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (or USMCA) is exactly as agreed and adds that he has every reason to believe the work is moving along at a good pace.He was speaking to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa this morning, one day after he released a fall economic statement packed with billions of dollars worth of tax incentives for corporate Canada.Ottawa’s long-awaited plan to help the country compete with the United States for investment dollars comes in response to major American tax and regulatory reforms that many in the business community warn has eliminated Canada’s edge as an investment destination.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more


Principals present Framework Overviews at School District 60 Committee of the Whole

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Principals from three local schools were at a recent School District 60 Committee of the Whole Meeting presenting their Framework Overviews.A Framework Overview is a report that shows the progress of the school as to how well they are doing and future steps as to what they need to work on.The Principals from the three local schools included Wade Hart, Bert Bowes Middle School; Melody Braun, UpperPine Elementary Junior Secondary School; and Nancy Maxfield; Charlie Lake Elementary School. Each Principal presented to the Board of Trustees the current status of their school.They talked about topics such as student involvement, school spirit, and grades.All three Principals said they are always looking for ways to make their school a better place for both students, staff, and the community in which they are located in.All three Principals noted that social media seems to be a positive way of keeping connected with the community.The next School District 60 Public Board Meeting is on January 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Office’s Boardroom.last_img read more


Nigam slammed over cancellation of gig

first_imgMumbai: Singer Sona Mohapatra recently slammed the ‘Abhi mujh mein kahin’ hitmaker Sonu Nigam after one of her International Women’s Day special performances got cancelled and replaced by singer-composer Kailash Kher who was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by her. “You will be happy and relieved to know dear men’s rights activists, including Sonu Nigamji, for the third time in the last few months, a show date for me has gotten cancelled and my act has been replaced by Kailash Kher. That yesterday’s gig on Women’s Day was the cherry,” she tweeted. Last year, Sona accused Kailash and singer-composer Anu Malik of sexual misconduct and harrasment. After the allegations against Anu, Sonu came out in support of him. Sonu’s support for Anu did not go well with Sona.last_img read more