Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Toronto Mayor John Tory proclaimed today The Tragically Hip Day.Mayor John Tory declares a day in honour of the legendary Canadian band as their farewell tour hits the city. Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement
Paul Mason Oneonone with the original Fashion SantaPaul Mason Oneonone with the original Fashion Santa
The Toronto-born model has spent 33 years in the fashion world, but many of us first heard of him when hundreds of shoppers scrambled to snap selfies with him during last year’s holiday season.These days, you may have also read headlines about Yorkdale’s new Fashion Santa: Adam Martin. Yes, Mason has been replaced for the 2016 campaign, and now he’s battling with the mall for legal rights to the character.There’s been an outcry on social media about Mason’s situation, with supporters using the hashtag #RealFashionSanta.Unfortunately, Martin wasn’t available for an interview – we asked for the new Fashion Santa a number of times – and Yorkdale wasn’t able to get a statement to 24 Hours before deadline, although a spokesperson said that there wasn’t much new to say. In past weeks, Yorkdale reps have mentioned that the mall is open to working with Mason again in the future, and that they weren’t able to reach him to organize the 2016 campaign – something that he disputes.Thankfully, Mason has a number of other things coming up, including a big international trip, a possible book deal and a promo for a well-known U.S. TV show. Here’s the rest of what he had to say during our recent chat.Where did the Fashion Santa idea come from?It came from a sad place. I had a 30-year career as a model without the beard, and did quite well over in Europe, and spent 14 of those years in New York City. And then my mom passed away (in 2013). And when you’re grieving, you’re kind of depressed, and you don’t feel like cleaning up. By the time the beard started growing, I was like, ‘You know what, I’ve been doing this 30 years, and I kind of like this look.’ And that’s when I was thinking along the lines of Fashion Santa, because I’ve been in the business that long, and I did look somewhat like Santa Claus For Santas everywhere, it’s a pretty intense time.Paul Mason, the 52-year-old bearded model who rose to viral fame as Yorkdale Shopping Centre’s Fashion Santa last Christmas, is currently running around to various modelling and charity-related events, capitalizing on his resemblance to a chic St. Nick.“It’s pretty intense at the moment,” he admits during a recent phone interview with 24 Hours. Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
Blood Ties starring Tatiana Maslany moves from small screen to bigger stageBlood Ties starring Tatiana Maslany moves from small screen to bigger stage
Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement From there it received another workshop in the 2012 SummerWorks Performance Festival and travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the following year. The darkly comedic story about a group of friends cleaning up the scene of a suicide the night before one of them gets married built up a cult following in the Toronto indie theatre scene.But in 2014, Blood Ties got a major boost in exposure when it was picked up as part of a subplot in Season 2 of Orphan Black, the Tatiana Maslany-led sci-fi clone drama co-produced by BBC America and Bell Media. Maslany’s suburban mom clone, Alison Hendrix, plays the lead role in her community theatre musical (you can see Johnston as one of the chorus members). Facebook Login/Register With: It’s rare for a theatrical show to have a television debut before its finalized stage premiere, but in Canadian musical theatre the path to production is its own kind of beast.When Barbara Johnston and Anika Johnson graduated from Ryerson Theatre School in 2009, their final performance was a workshop of a new musical they were writing together: Blood Ties was based on a true story about Johnston’s parents, who had to clean up the aftermath of a family member’s suicide. The collaborators turned it into a musical tragicomedy.“As we were writing the show we talked to them a lot. . . . All these horrible details,” Johnston said. “I just thought it was this insane story that combined the kind of drama and bizarre comedy with sorrow underneath the surface that we thought would make something very exciting.” Twitter
The JUNO Awards rename award category to Indigenous Music Album of theThe JUNO Awards rename award category to Indigenous Music Album of the
Advertisement The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) today announced its JUNO Award category Aboriginal Album of the Year will be proudly renamed Indigenous Music Album of the Year, in support of acknowledging all First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities in Canada.Presented annually at the JUNO Awards, the Indigenous Music Album of the Year recognizes the music that echoes the Indigenous experience in Canada through words and/or music. The category accepts all traditional Indigenous music including: traditional Aboriginal music: Iroquois, Social Pow Wow Drum (i.e: Sioux, Assiniboine, Cree, Ojibway & Blackfoot, etc.); all Hand Drums (e.g. Inuit, Dene, Cree, Micmac, West Coast, etc.), Inuit Throat Singing; Traditional Flutes; Métis, Cree & Micmac Fiddling. In addition, fusions of all genres of contemporary music that incorporate the above and/or reflect the unique Indigenous experience in Canada, by virtue of words or music.The Indigenous Music Album of the Year award will be presented at the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards presented by SOCAN on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. Premier Partners of The 2017 JUNO Awards: CARAS acknowledges the financial support of FACTOR, the Government of Canada and of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, Radio Starmaker Fund, Ottawa 2017, the Province of Ontario, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Tourism Ottawa, Google Play Music and TD Bank Group.About CARASThe Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences/L’académie canadienne des arts et des sciences de l’enregistrement (CARAS) is a not-for-profit organization created to preserve and enhance the Canadian music and industry and to contribute toward higher artistic and industry standards. The main focus of CARAS is the exploration and development of ongoing opportunities to showcase and promote Canadian artists and music through vehicles such as The JUNO Awards, MusiCounts, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and other year-round initiatives. For more information on the 46th Annual JUNO Awards or The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) please visit www.junoawards.ca Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: JUNO Week 2017 will be hosted in Ottawa from March 27 through April 2, 2017. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter
Public memorial for zombie master George Romero set for Monday in TorontoPublic memorial for zombie master George Romero set for Monday in Toronto
Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement TORONTO – Fans of influential horror director George Romero are being invited to gather at a public memorial on Monday.A celebration of the “Night of the Living Dead” director’s life will take place in Toronto, according to details provided by his manager.Romero died Sunday following a battle with lung cancer, according to a statement from his family. The director is credited with reshaping the zombie film genre with his classic “Night of the Living Dead” and its various sequels. He also directed a number of other horror films including “Monkey Shines” and “The Dark Half.”Romero moved to Toronto in 2004 where he shot many of his later films.Monday’s public memorial will be held at the Mount Pleasant Funeral Centre from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.Guests unable to attend the memorial can sign an online guest book: https://mountpleasantgroup.permavita.com/site/RomeroGeorgeA.html Twitter Login/Register With: Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment
APTN National NewsThe federal budget comes down Thursday.It’s the day when organizations across the country find out whether they’ll be getting cash from the feds.Just about everyone has their wish list ready.APTN National News reporter Annette Francis has the story.
Elsipogtog antifracking protests triggering angry online backlashElsipogtog antifracking protests triggering angry online backlash
By Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe ongoing, Mi’kmaq-led opposition to shale gas exploration in New Brunswick is creating an on-line backlash, with some calling for a counter-protest in support of SWN Resources Canada which was forced to call off its planned work Thursday after facing dozens of demonstrators.The calls for a counter-protest were posted Thursday evening on the Facebook group, Say Yes to Natural Gas and Oil in New Brunswick.“I think the people that move this country are fed up… Time for action (sic),” posted Tim Bamford, whose publicly available Facebook profile indicates he lives in Chipman, NB. “The intent would to be to go there in support only. If it escalated…Then that would force the govt hand to act…Trudeau would have shut this down before it started (sic).”The comment was part of a 125-comment thread in response to a posted Twitter photo about Thursday’s protest on Hwy 11 depicting Elsipogtog residents and supporters stopping SWN’s trucks.SWN turned back its thumper trucks after dozens of Elsipogtog residents and supporters confronted the machinery. The RCMP intervened, briefly shutting down Hwy 11 in an area about 46 km north of Elsipogtog First Nation.One woman was arrested in relation to the protest and the RCMP is investigating several acts of vandalism against one of SWN’s trucks and some of its equipment.The day’s events triggered a flurry of angry online reaction.While Bramford’s call received some support, some posters worried whether they’d be able to muster enough people to make an impact.“Your right tim show of real support is needed and we shall do it (sic),” posted Dan Richard, whose publicly available Facebook profile indicates he lives in Miramichi, NB.“Good luck Tim Tim Bamford, we could hardly get 20 to show up at the leg building last year… But hey if there’s at least 50 going, IM IN! (sic)” posted Jason Chase, whose publicly available Facebook profile shows photos of a license plate from Nova Scotia.It appears the pro-SWN protest never materialized and instead the discussion turned to taking out a newspaper advertisement.“What if we all pitched in enough to take a full page ad out in the papers?” posted Peter Melanson, whose publicly available Facebook profile included a photo calling to “Frack Baby, Frack.”The thread also revealed a high level of anger from local residents over the ongoing protest.“Push clutch in, put transmission in gear, gently ease off the clutch, hammer down !!! (sic)” posted Kevin Cai, whose publicly available Facebook profile indicates he went to high school in Rogersville, NB.“Good thing i don’t drive truck because i likely would have run over top of them (sic),” posted Stephanie Dawn MacLeod, whose publicly available profile indicates she lives in Saint John, NB.“Run the maggots over.. take them out of there misery. Enough is enough!! (sic)” posted Adam Merrill, whose publicly available Facebook profile indicates he lives in Nova Scotia.“Arrest everyone of them or bring in our army and deal with the warriors with real warriors…one law for all in this country (sic),” posted David Donahue, whose publicly available Facebook profile indicates he lives in Blackville, NB.email@example.com
Shoal Lake pushing to be part of human rights museumShoal Lake pushing to be part of human rights museum
APTN National NewsJust before the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights recently members of Shoal Lake rallied to be heard.They want to be seen too – as a regular exhibit at the museum.For over 100 years residents of the Manitoba First Nation, about 200 km east of Winnipeg, have been living in forced isolation.There’s no running water or sewage.According to APTN’s Dennis Ward meetings between the chief and museum officials are underway.
Thousands of steps for missing murdered Indigenous women to achieve just oneThousands of steps for missing murdered Indigenous women to achieve just one
APTN National NewsA group of activists have made their way to Ottawa one step at a time.It’s the final trek of a 2,300 km journey.Their aim is to draw attention to the need for an inquiry into the 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women.APTN’s Annette Francis has the story.
Kashechewan residents to return home after evacuation order liftedKashechewan residents to return home after evacuation order lifted
Annette Francis APTN National NewsThe evacuation order for the Kashechewan First Nation has been lifted.Over the next few days about 1,200 people will begin returning home.It’s become nearly an annual event for the people over flooding.APTN looks at what’s next for them.
Peters band sought legal advice to hide bonuses after Kinder Morgan dealPeters band sought legal advice to hide bonuses after Kinder Morgan deal
Kenneth JacksonAPTN NewsThe Peters band council in British Columbia sought legal advice on what to call bonuses and “reasonable” amounts without getting into trouble with the federal government months after receiving over $2.5 million from Kinder Morgan.“I’m just wondering if you’ve come up with any wording for us RE: ‘bonus’ and amounts etc,” wrote former Peters First Nation councillor Leanne Peters in an email to the band’s lawyer May 5, 2016.Leanne Peters, who is now a staff member for the band, was following up on what appears to have been a phone call with their former lawyer Maya Stano of Gowling WLG in Vancouver based on another email.The emails were obtained by APTN News in an ongoing investigation into Peters, which is under an RCMP investigation and KPMG is also conducting a financial review based on allegations of misappropriation of funds. The KPMG review recently received an extension as a draft report was due July 31. In depth: APTN opens the books on Peters reserve, finds questionable payments, INAC’s role in questionSee also: INAC launches financial review of B.C. First Nation, while RCMP continues investigationBoth the RCMP and KPMG have copies of the emails.APTN is quoting the emails as they were written.“Hi I spoke to Maya she said she is glad I asked her there was a band in the lower mainland who got into trouble with giving themselves so much money and them calling it a bonus etc.,” wrote Leanne Peters May 3, 2016 to Chief Norma Webb, Coun. Victoria Peters and staff members.“She asked if she could get back to us on Thursday, I said that was fine as as is very busy the next two days. She will let us know what we should call it and give us amounts that are reasonable …”Stano wrote Peters council May 6, 2016 saying “it’s a bit of a tricky area with conflict of interest concerns arising, as well as how the fiduciary duties that council owes to the band come into play” and said she would need to get to back to council to give her “best advice.”“Recent case law makes this something we need to make sure we get absolutely right,” wrote Stano from her iPhone according to the email.APTN was not able to obtain any further emails on the matter and wrote Stano asking if she counselled Peters on how to give themselves money without getting into trouble.Stano did not respond, but the CEO of the Gowling WLG did a couple days later.“Gowling WLG has not advised the Chief and Council to authorize bonus payments to themselves, nor to disguise any such payments, whether in the form of meeting per diem/Honoria or otherwise,” wrote Peter Lukasiewicz.Lukasiewicz said Gowling also did not provide any advice to administration or staff.Stano was one of the lawyers Peters had during its negotiation with Kinder Morgan over the expansion of Trans Mountain pipeline.Peters signed what’s known as a Mutual Benefits Agreement with Kinder Morgan in January 2016 to allow the company to put a second pipeline through its territory.The deal is worth millions of dollars over the next 20 years.Related: Promise to dying mother sees daughter take on ‘rigged’ band council to bring her family homeAs of April 2016, Peters had $985,000 in a separate bank account, known as its Kinder Morgan account, according to bank statements obtained by APTN.Records show $200,000 was transferred from the Kinder Morgan account to its main bank account June 28, 2016.Peters council has refused to answer questions from APTN.Peters First Nation is a reserve of 12 homes about two hours east of Vancouver along the TransCanada Highway.firstname.lastname@example.org
Heres a look at the best and the worst Super Bowl adsHeres a look at the best and the worst Super Bowl ads
NEW YORK, N.Y. – During advertising’s biggest showcase, tame humour and messages about social causes ruled the day. Slapstick humour, sexual innuendo and chest thumping patriotic messages were, for the most part, nowhere in sight. After a divisive year, advertisers during the Big Game worked overtime to win over audiences with messages that entertained and strove not to offend.Here’s a look at the winners and losers during the biggest advertising showcase of the year.WINNERSAmazonAn Amazon ad showcased different celebrities including actress Rebel Wilson, actor Anthony Hopkins, singer Cardi B and chef Gordon Ramsay subbing in as the voice of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.BudweiserBudweiser , as always the largest advertiser during the game, eschewed the usual puppies and Clydesdales to showcase employees that send water to places in need.NFLThe NFL scored with a charmer that showed New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. performing the choreography from the movie “Dirty Dancing” — complete with their version of Patrick Swayze’s iconic lift of Jennifer Grey.PepsiCoPepsico’s brands Mountain Dew Ice and Doritos Blaze staged an epic rap lip sync battle between actors Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage, who respectively synced to Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes.Rocket Mortgage by Quicken LoansComedian Keegan Michael-Key cut through complex jargon to put things plainly in a humorous ad for Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. When a restaurant patron is confused by a “beef-protein gluten-free pate,” Michael-Key explains: “It’s a burrito, filled with plants pretending to be meat.”TideTide took a novel approach with “Stranger Things” actor David Harbor in ads that poked fun at typical Super Bowl commercials. Harbour popped up in familiar-looking ads that appeared to be about different products: a car, an insurance company, jewelry and Old Spice (another P&G product). The twist? They’re really all Tide ads, because there are no stains on anyone’s clothing.LOSERSCoca-ColaDiet Coke attempted to be quirky by showcasing a woman awkwardly dancing to a rap song, but it garnered a lot of negative comments on social media when the approach came off more weird than quirky.“It has no clear message and it’s not really interesting,” said Kimberly Whitler, a marketing professor at the University of Virginia.Fiat Chrysler’s Ram TrucksRam trucks used a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., to illustrate its motto, “Built to Serve.” The ad, timed to the 50th anniversary of the speech, showed people doing good deeds. But some thought the connection to the civil rights hero was too tenuous.“Ram is being heavily criticized for its spot,” said Tim Calkins, marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. “The use of MLK to promote Ram trucks strikes many people are crass and inappropriate.”TurboTaxThe tax preparer used a monster under the bed to allude to people’s fears about doing their taxes. But some thought that the ad was too scary during a game that a lot of children were watching.“The goal may be to introduce a new trade character that can build awareness, as in the Mucinex Man. However, this ad was a complete disaster,” Villanova University marketing professor Charles Taylor said.___Eds: An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to the brand Ram trucks, which is no longer affiliated with the Dodge brand.
Mixed messages on BCs efforts to cool the hot housing marketMixed messages on BCs efforts to cool the hot housing market
VICTORIA – Real estate experts say the British Columbia government started to build a strong foundation for more affordable housing in Tuesday’s budget, but opinion varies on the expected outcomes.Finance Minister Carole James is trying to ease the province’s housing crisis by introducing a new tax on property speculators, expanding and increasing a tax on foreign homebuyers and spending $6 billion to build affordable housing over the next decade.James said she expects to see property values start to drop as her budget measures kick in.“We’re an amazing province,” she said Wednesday after speaking to the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “There’s no question people are going to want to live in B.C. But we need to see a moderation and my hope is, by addressing both supply and demand, you’ll see more supply in the market that will ease some of the cost pressures and you’ll see a moderation.”Tom Davidoff of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder school of business said he hopes the speculation tax will help make the lower end of the market more affordable, particularly for condos.The levy will be introduced this fall, targeting foreign and domestic homeowners who do not pay income tax in B.C., including those who leave homes vacant.In the 2018 tax year, the rate will be $5 per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. Next year, the rate will rise to $20 per $1,000 of assessed value. It will initially apply to Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the Victoria area, the Nanaimo Regional District, Kelowna and West Kelowna.A non-refundable income tax credit will also be introduced to offset the new levy, providing relief for people who do not qualify for an exemption but who pay income taxes in B.C.James said B.C. residents with multiple properties, such as a summer cottage, will get the levy back as a credit on their income tax refund. But property owners from out of province will be dinged if they leave their B.C. home vacant, she said.The tax makes a lot of economic sense, Davidoff said, because B.C. has high income and sales taxes but low property taxes, which encourages vacationers to buy property and makes life more expensive for workers.“That is the worst possible idea in a market like Vancouver where you have a tremendous amenity level and it’s so hard to build,” he said. “We’re such a draw for people who don’t want to work here, but do want a lovely vacation home.”People who are affected by the new levy might sell their properties, freeing up housing for locals, he said.One issue the budget didn’t directly address is zoning, Davidoff said, adding that the taxes on speculation and foreign buyers might provide some indirect help because they will “bash” the high end of the real estate market. That encourages people to push for changes in zoning density to keep their property values up, he explained.“The property they own is going to be worth a lot less than it was before this tax. When you have new zoning, there’s a trade off — your property becomes more valuable because you can put greater density on it, but you don’t like what’s happening to your neighbourhood,” Davidoff said.He said the changes make it more attractive for people to subdivide a single luxury property into five or six moderately priced properties.Cameron Muir, chief economist at the Real Estate Board of B.C., said plans to help build 114,000 affordable housing units will offer much needed supply for rental and low-income properties.But he said a tremendous undersupply of available homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna, coupled with B.C.’s strong economy, will keep home prices from dropping.“In terms of market impacts, it may be great to raise tax revenue, but this is not going to have a demonstrable impact on housing markets,” said Muir. “The chief culprit of rising home prices is the inability to supply the housing market in a timely fashion.”The head of an association of real estate developers across B.C. said measures in the budget won’t bring down prices for non-subsidized housing.An additional property transfer tax on homes worth more than $3 million will make it more expensive for developers to acquire land and that cost will be passed on to buyers, said Anne McMullin, president and CEO of the Urban Development Institute.There also isn’t enough labour to build thousands of new affordable housing units while keeping pace with the demand for housing built at market prices, and unless the province works with municipalities to speed up approval times, home prices will remain high due to a lack of supply, she added.“You can’t say ‘I’m going to add all these below market and social housing (units) to the market place, to the labour pool, to the industry,’ without dealing with the supply side, without dealing with the long processing times, without dealing with the lack of competition in the marketplace,” McMullin said.— With files from Gemma Karstens-Smith in Vancouver.
In Peru Pence defends Syrian strike to Latin America alliesIn Peru Pence defends Syrian strike to Latin America allies
LIMA, Peru – Thousands of miles from home, Vice-President Mike Pence was thrust into a new, more immediate, role on the world stage Saturday: explaining President Donald Trump’s military strike in Syria to a summit of Latin America leaders.Hours after Trump hailed the missile strike targeting the Syria’s suspected chemical weapons — tweeting, “Mission Accomplished!” — Pence defended the president while building support among U.S. allies for the joint strikes with Britain and France.“The objective of the mission the commander in chief gave our military forces and our allies was completely accomplished — with swift professionalism,” Pence told reporters, noting there were “no reported civilian casualties.”Later, speaking in a cavernous hall of world leaders at the Summit of the Americas, Pence expressed gratitude to Canada, Colombia and other nations that had voiced support for the strike and urged “every nation in this hemisphere of freedom” to support the military action.Pence’s to-do list included smoothing over differences with Mexico, America’s southern neighbour, amid unease over Trump’s decision to send troops to the border and harsh rhetoric on immigration. And with tensions simmering over trade, Pence expressed hope alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the three nations could soon agree to a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement.And while Trump grapples with the ongoing Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, Pence sought to draw a bright line against Vladimir Putin’s alliance with Syria following the suspected chemical attack. “Our message to Russia is that you’re on the wrong side of history,” Pence said.Trump often improvises his remarks and is known for bold declarations in person and on his Twitter account. Pence, meanwhile, tends to be more scripted in his exchanges and frequently glanced down at highlighted index cards as he spoke to Latin American leaders here.Shortly before Trump’s address to the nation Friday night, Pence was whisked away from the summit in his motorcade so he could return to his hotel to inform congressional leaders of the pending missile strikes. Pence watched Trump’s speech from his hotel suite, joined by aides.Unlike past appearances at international summits, the vice-president had to dive into the packed agenda on short notice. He learned only Tuesday that he would be attending in Trump’s place so the president could manage the U.S. response to Syria.In meeting after meeting, Pence offered a low-key, extended hand.Seeking rapprochement with Mexico, which has been at odds with Trump over the border wall and immigration, Pence said the topic of funding for Trump’s long-promised border wall did not come up in his meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.Pence said they simply had a difference of opinion and some issues were “set aside, for a later date.” Left unsaid was whether Pence’s overtures might eventually lead to a joint Trump-Pena Nieto meeting, their first.Seated alongside Trudeau, Pence said there was a “real possibility” the U.S. could reach a deal with Canada and Mexico on NAFTA “within the next several weeks.” Trump has long assailed the trade deal’s impact on U.S. workers and threatened to pull the U.S. out if he’s unhappy with the terms.The summit also gave Pence an opportunity to press the case for tougher sanctions and more isolation of Venezuela across the region.Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was barred from attending the summit over his plans to hold a presidential election that the opposition is boycotting and that many foreign governments consider a sham.Pence urged Maduro to accept humanitarian aid as the once-prosperous nation deals with humanitarian and economic crises. But he called on the region to take a harder line on Maduro’s government, a message he intends to deliver in Brazil next month.“The United States believes now is the time to do more, much more,” he said.___On Twitter follow Ken Thomas at https://twitter.com/KThomasDC
Another group of residents seeks to sue CP Rail over LacMegantic railAnother group of residents seeks to sue CP Rail over LacMegantic rail
MONTREAL – A new group of mostly Lac-Megantic residents is seeking authorization from Quebec Superior Court to sue for economic and moral damages worth upwards of $5 million relating to the Lac-Megantic rail tragedy in 2013.Train engineer Tom Harding, Canadian Pacific Railway and Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, the defunct railway company at the heart of the disaster, are named in the court document filed in mid-May.The motion to institute proceedings was filed in Lac-Megantic and involves 49 plaintiffs who opted to not join another, massive class-action with 5,000 people and businesses that was authorized in 2015 against the same defendants.Earlier this year, the judge hearing that case joined it with a $409-million Quebec government lawsuit and another lawsuit brought by insurance companies. That one trial is to be heard in September 2019.On July 6, 2013, a runaway train hauling tanker cars loaded with volatile crude oil broke loose and barrelled into the town of 6,000 in the wee hours before derailing and exploding.It set off several massive blasts that wiped out a large swath of the downtown core and killed 47 people.Three former MMA employees charged criminally in connection with disaster were found not guilty by a jury last January: Harding, rail traffic controller Richard Labrie and manager of train operations Jean Demaitre.One month later, the Crown announced it would not appeal the verdicts.The new filing, like the other legal challenges against the railway, alleges that Canadian Pacific was negligent in the leadup to the accident and should have known the product being shipped was volatile. It also states the company had responsibility for the cargo being shipped.A Canadian Pacific spokesman said there would be no comment as the matter is under litigation, but the railway giant has previously denied any responsibility in the disaster because it handed off the trains to MMA for the final leg of the journey.The new motion describes the plaintiffs as people who resided in the Lac-Megantic area, owned or leased property there or were physically in the area at the time of the disaster and suffered losses.A total of $5.1 million is being claimed, with amounts varying from $15,000 to $1 million.The motion says the amounts are being sought for various reasons, including stress, being forced from home and the loss of income, personal property or enjoyment of life.A Quebec City law firm representing the 49 plaintiffs declined to comment further Thursday.Charles Shearson, Harding’s lawyer, said his client’s name remains on the list of defendants despite his limited means.“It’s another legal problem,” Shearson said. “I think his ultimate goal is to get all the legal processes out of the way so he can embark in some kind of healing, some kind of semblance of regaining a normal life for himself, given the circumstances.”Companies in this story: (TSX:CP)
Ontario judge rules in favour of Teslas push for equal treatment inOntario judge rules in favour of Teslas push for equal treatment in
TORONTO – Tesla Inc. has secured a minor legal victory in Ontario in its push for equal treatment as the company looks to defend its direct-to-consumer business model in numerous markets.The Ontario case comes as Tesla struggles to move ahead with its retail model in the United States, where it has not used franchised dealerships.Multiple U.S. states including Michigan, New Jersey and Missouri have passed laws in recent years to prevent Tesla from selling vehicles directly to consumers following pressure from automobile dealership associations.Ontario Superior Court judge Frederick Myers ruled Monday that the provincial government’s decision to exclude Tesla from a grace period for an electric vehicle rebate program was arbitrary and had singled out Tesla for harm. The ruling requires the government to review the program so that it includes Tesla or provides adequate justification for the company’s exclusion.Tesla launched the case after the government ended the rebate program worth up to $14,000 per vehicle on July 11, but said it would extend the rebates to vehicles already sold through dealerships if they were delivered and registered within 60 days.Myers found the government had originally tried to exclude Tesla from the extension by specifying only vehicles ordered through a dealership would be eligible for the extension. When it learned Tesla did indeed sell through its own dealership network, the government further specified to the company that only franchised dealerships would be eligible.Tesla CEO Elon Musk has staunchly defended the company’s direct retail model.Musk said in a blog post that franchised dealerships don’t have enough incentives to sell electric cars and that the company needs to place its sales venues in areas where it can attract foot traffic and educate potential customers.The Ontario Progressive Conservatives said they had specified only franchised dealerships were eligible for the rebate extension to help protect small- and medium-sized businesses that may have been hit by the program.Tesla responded that many franchised car dealerships in Ontario are owned by large businesses that own numerous franchises.The electric carmaker said it was pleased with the court’s decision to strike down the “unfair and unlawful” transition plan.“Tesla only sought fair treatment for our customers and we hope the Ministry now does the right thing by delivering on its promise to ensure all EV-owners receive their incentives during the wind-down period.”A spokeswoman for Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said the government is “reviewing the ruling and will make a decision on how to proceed in the coming days.”Sara Singh, the Ontario NDP critic for the ministry of the Attorney General, said in a statement that the decision means Premier Doug Ford is sticking people with the bill for his torn up contracts and cancelled programs.“This is likely only the first of many decisions against the Ford government’s decision to rip up hundreds of cap-and-trade and green energy contracts,” she said.It’s not yet clear, however, what the government will have to do in response to the decision.Myers stopped short of setting aside the limitation of the transition program to franchised dealers, noting that doing so would require the government to fund subsidies to Tesla’s customers.He instead sent the policy back to the government for review, saying that if the government wants to transition out of the electric car subsidy program it must do so in a lawful manner.The problem was the government hadn’t provided a legal justification for its policy, said Bruce Ryder, an associate professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School.He said the legal loss on policy isn’t unusual, but that he was surprised how quickly the new government ran into legal issues.“It’s maybe a little unusual how quickly this government has got off the mark, and has been a little bit like a bull in a china shop from a legal point of view.”The legal dispute with Tesla is just one of several the Progressive Conservatives face, including a Superior Court challenge Friday on Ford’s cuts to Toronto city council numbers.Ryder said the government could face more problems if it rushes ahead without properly considering policy.“There could be some other legal setbacks coming very soon, precisely because from a legal point of view, this government seems to be so anxious to move speedily on a number of files…that they didn’t pay enough attention to the legal limits on their powers.”The ruling has left potential Tesla customers in limbo, unsure of whether or not they’ll see the $14,000 in subsidies they had counted on when ordering vehicles.Kurtis Evans, a teacher in Toronto who had ordered a Tesla 3, said he was pleased by the decision and grateful that Tesla decided to fight for customers, but wasn’t sure what will happen.“At this point I don’t know what will happen next…Hopefully, the province makes the right choice. I’m not counting on it.”Tesla said it had 600 active customer orders when the government ended the program in July. At the time, the company had 34 unallocated vehicles on its lots plus 319 in transit on trains and trucks. The company said 175 customers had cancelled their orders since the program ended.
CWB Financial Group reports thirdquarter profit up raises dividendCWB Financial Group reports thirdquarter profit up raises dividend
EDMONTON – CWB Financial Group raised its dividend as it reported its third-quarter profit grew 10 per cent compared with a year ago.The company behind Canadian Western Bank increased its quarterly payment to shareholders by a penny to 26 cents per share.The higher dividend came as CWB reported a profit of $66.2 million or 70 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended July 31.That compared with a profit of $60.2 million or 64 cents per diluted share in the same quarter last year.CWB says its adjusted cash earnings per share amounted to 75 cents per share, up from 69 cents per share a year ago.Analysts on average had expected a profit of 77 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.CWB chief executive Chris Fowler said the bank is well-positioned for a strong finish this year.“Strong performance is apparent across our geographic footprint, with significant contributions from our growing presence in the Ontario market and expanded capabilities within targeted industries,” Fowler said in a statement.Companies in this story: (TSX:CWB)
Toyota executive Tariffs will raise costs drive up pricesToyota executive Tariffs will raise costs drive up prices
DETROIT — Chris Reynolds was promoted by Toyota late last year to one of the toughest jobs in the U.S. auto industry. He’s in charge of North American manufacturing, as well as human resources, legal, finance and communications.It’s manufacturing that will present the biggest challenge for Reynolds, who must navigate uncertain U.S. trade policies including tariff threats and possible replacement of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. Toyota produces vehicles in both countries for sale in the U.S.Also, U.S. auto sales are expected to decline slightly in 2019, and sales of traditional sedans, once staples in Toyota’s U.S. model lineup, are falling.Reynolds, the son of a Ford factory worker who grew up in Detroit, spoke with The Associated Press after his duties were expanded by the company. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.Q: The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement, is still up in the air. Twenty-five per cent tariffs on imported vehicles and parts also are on the table. How does the new agreement affect Toyota, and would you be able to bring production from Japan to Alabama or some other U.S. plant if tariffs go into effect?A: We think that the recently negotiated USMCA, if it’s approved, and we’re optimistic that it will be, will actually allow us to flex our production in order to build as much as we can here. We’re looking to do that regardless of the tariff situation. We can’t make moves simply because of the tariff situation. So while tariffs are problematic, they’re essentially a tax on the consumer. Obviously we are not in favour of them. The real litmus test for us in terms of local investment is can we be competitive in building what we sell here? That’s the lens through which we would view whether we would open up a new plant or not, or what kinds of additional investments we might make in our existing plant infrastructure.Q: President Trump has threatened to pull out of NAFTA if Congress doesn’t approve its replacement. What would that do to Toyota?A: When you assemble a vehicle in one state, but the parts can literally crisscross the border five or six times before it actually gets assembled to the vehicle, it’s very challenging to think of an outcome where the border actually becomes a barrier to our whole assembly process, our whole supply chain. That’s not just true of Toyota, it’s true of every automaker. So there’s common industry interest in making sure that there are as few barriers as possible. That’s why I’m optimistic that the Trump administration’s moves on USMCA will bear some fruit. We’re OK with where the USMCA landed.Q: What percentage of vehicles that Toyota sells in the U.S. are built in North America and in the U.S.?A: Roughly 74 per cent. Fifty per cent is U.S. only, and that’s growing. We were on that track before this sort of spasm on trade and tariffs.Q: If the U.S. imposes 25 per cent tariffs on imported vehicles and parts, Toyota has said there would be significant price increases for vehicles built in the U.S. The price of the Camry midsize car, which has among the highest U.S. parts content, would rise by $1,800. Why would the Camry price go up?A: There’s no 100 per cent U.S.-made product. Every vehicle from every manufacturer has some amount of componentry that comes from somewhere else. We’ve got to be able to absorb those costs. And where we can’t absorb them, what tariffs do to you is they compel us and every other manufacturer to pass those costs on. Let’s not forget the steel and aluminum tariffs. They also have an impact, and not a positive one. So that’s why you’re seeing the risk on price even for a vehicle like a Camry.Q: Auto sales in the U.S. are expected to slow, especially of cars. Yet Toyota and Mazda are jointly building a new factory in Alabama that would build cars. Why do you need more factory capacity in a declining market?A: Our view of the market goes beyond the normal cycle. We’ve got to be able to plan beyond that and anticipate where the market will be not just next year but over the next decade or so. We think there’s a future in passenger cars. We think there will always be a need for that. We’re actually excited about the fact that some of our competitors might be exiting that segment. We view it as an opportunity in the medium term to long term.Tom Krisher, The Associated Press
Win or lose Sears chairman may still come out on topWin or lose Sears chairman may still come out on top
NEW YORK — As Sears teeters on the brink of collapse, one man stands at the centre of the fight for the future of the iconic retailer.Eddie Lampert plays several often-conflicting roles in what could be the final chapter for the company that began as a mail order watch business 132 years ago. He’s been chairman, CEO, landlord, lender, and largest shareholder — all at the same time. If the company survives, he wins. If it ends up liquidating, he also wins.The fate of Sears — and its Kmart brand — is likely to be decided Monday at a bankruptcy auction in New York. There, those who are owed money by Sears will consider Lampert’s last-ditch plan to preserve 425 stores and 50,000 jobs.Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press