As European heads of state meet in Brussels, The Elders urge them to quickly deploy a stabilization force to the Central African Republic (CAR) to complement the African and French troops already on the ground.Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders, said: “Events in Ukraine have taken over the news cycle, but the EU must not lose sight of the terrible tragedy unfolding in the Central African Republic.”On 10 February, Europe’s leaders pledged to set up a force of 800-1000 troops to help stabilize the CAR, which has been racked by violent clashes that have left countless dead and injured and is triggering massive sectarian displacement. The force was supposed to deploy this week, but has not been able to do so because troop-contributing states have not yet met their commitments.“The protection of civilians is paramount. The rapid deployment of the promised European force, as well as a robust UN peacekeeping operation, will help to halt the violence against defenceless people,” Kofi Annan added.Last month, the Elders called on the international community, notably the UN Security Council, to take swift and decisive action to restore peace and security to the CAR.
Last week marked the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall reflected on the event that effectively ended World War II, and the lasting effects it has had on society today.“It is desperately important that we remember our human crimes during this, the 70th anniversary of these bombings,” she wrote. “That we reflect with sadness, and feel shame for the suffering that was inflicted on hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. That we make a vow to do anything we can to prevent such a horror from ever happening again, and that we educate the young so that they understand why this is so important.“We should think also of those who were injured, exposed to radiation, affected by cancers as a result of all the tests that were carried out to develop these weapons, especially those tests that took place on the Marshall Islands.Let us be joined, in our prayers and thoughts, as we urge the leaders of all nations to pledge that they will never, in any circumstance, authorise the deployment of nuclear bombs.”To read Jane Goodall’s full post, visit JaneGoodall.org.
WWE today unveiled the 12 charitable organizations paired up with WWE Superstars competing in Mixed Match Challenge, a single-elimination mixed tag-team tournament, where the winning team will receive $100,000 to support their charity of choice.WWE Mixed Match ChallengeMixed Match Challenge is a 12-week tournament that will stream live in the U.S. exclusively on Facebook Watch beginning this Tuesday, January 16 at 10 p.m. ET.“Giving back is in WWE’s DNA and part of our long history, so we are thrilled that each Mixed Match Challenge team will compete to win the grand prize of $100,000 to support organizations that are truly important to them,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “This unique and exciting content partnership with Facebook allows us to raise awareness and funds for important initiatives and supports our mission of putting smiles on people’s faces around the world.”Mixed Match Challenge Charities/TeamsIn addition to the $100,000 grand prize, each team’s charitable organization will automatically receive $10,000.The charities and teams include:• AmeriCares helps save lives and improve health for people affected by poverty or disaster. Represented by: Bayley and Elias. • Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides the resources needed to enable all young people, especially those who need them most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Represented by: Jimmy Uso & Naomi. • Connor’s Cure raises awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research, in partnership with The V Foundation and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Represented by: Alexa Bliss and Braun Strowman. • Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation initiative, inspires and connects girls globally through its leadership program that positions girls to be changemakers in their communities. Represented by: Bobby Roode and Charlotte Flair. • Global Citizen encourages the collective actions of people around the world with the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. Represented by: Lana and Rusev. • Hire Heroes USA empowers U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. Represented by: Alicia Fox and Goldust. • KaBOOM! is dedicated to making sure all kids get the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. Represented by: Big E and Carmella. • Make-A-Wish Foundation creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Represented by: Natalya and Shinsuke Nakamura. • Rescue Dogs Rock is an animal rescue organization whose goal is to provide homeless, neglected or abused dogs the medical care they need and the loving home they deserve. Represented by: Asuka and The Miz. • UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first and works towards the day when no children suffer from preventable causes. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Represented by: Becky Lynch and Sami Zayn. • Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to empower people with intellectual disabilities. Represented by: Finn Bálor and Sasha Banks. • Susan G. Komen for the Cure mission is to save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer. Represented by: Apollo Crews and Nia Jax.Facebook Watch is a new platform for shows on Facebook where brands can build and engage with a community of fans. Facebook Watch is available on desktop, mobile and connected TV apps. Fans can follow Mixed Match Challenge to add episodes to their personal Watchlists.
“I liked his face,” said Ware, pointing in the programme at a young blond actor named Elliot Baxter. “I thought he could be a good Chernobylly-type soldier.”“Yes!” said Gold. “I thought he could be a Chernobylly type too.”Gold was midway through working on an epic Sky-HBO five-parter called Chernobyl, about the 1986 nuclear disaster, which had more than 100 speaking parts. (“Whoops,” the screenwriter Craig Mazin told me, “these things pile up.”) Gold had been casting it since last September and it was due to start filming in April. Although she had already confirmed the actors Jared Harris, Emily Watson and Stellan Skarsgård for the three lead roles, there were still plenty of unfilled parts. The exact number kept changing – 102 one week, 109 the next – as the script was still being revised. Gold and Robert Sterne, with whom she was casting the show, were hunting for mostly British actors who could convincingly play 1980s Soviet soldiers and firemen facing near-certain death by exposure to radiation. So far, most had been too chatty, too gestural, too cheerful.Chernobyl was one of many tasks that required attention. Gold was also firming up who would play Prince Philip in the third series of The Crown, calling in actors to audition for a movie about Nell Gwynn, casting a remake of Shogun, and starting work on the next Star Wars instalment, for which she kept being summoned to secretive meetings at Pinewood Studios. Sitting by her desk, which has two drawers, one labelled “home/family/personal” and the other “CASTING”, Gold tried to count how many projects she was working on. “It would be the end of my career if I admit I’m doing eight at once,” she said, serious and entirely unserious at the same time, a typical mode. “Let’s say six … Maybe we should just say four. One at a time!” She paused. “Things stagger around in an annoying manner.” Advertisement Earlier this year, the casting director Nina Gold sat at the back of the stalls of the Criterion theatre in the West End and watched a group of students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland perform their showcase. After three years at drama school, each actor had a couple of three-minute scenes to impress a silent audience of agents and casting directors on their lunch hour. Gold slid down in her seat, as if wanting to remain unseen. Every now and then, she scribbled something next to a name in her programme, drew a circle around a face.At the end, Gold bolted through the foyer, past piles of photographs of the students laid out like market wares, and drove vigorously across London in her tiny electric car. “How the fuck do they do it?” she said. “You look at those kids, even the ones who weren’t that brilliant, and they were really giving it their all, weren’t they? They had to get up there. I mean, can you imagine?” Over 30-odd years, Gold has become the most powerful casting director in the UK, her taste shaping everything from Game of Thrones to Bridget Jones’s Baby, yet she can still be mystified by what actors do and why they do it.Back in her office, which occupies the front room of her large Edwardian house in north-west London, Gold and her assistant Martin Ware discussed the showcase. Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement
Bell says the free preview is available from “participating television providers across Canada including Bell, Bell Aliant, BellMTS, Cogeco, Eastlink, Rogers, Shaw, Shaw Direct, Telus, and others.”The free preview coincides with the season 3 premiere of HBO drama series, True Detective, set to kick off on Sunday, January 13, with back-to-back episodes.Formerly known as CraveTV, the service was rebranded Crave in November, offering HBO Canada and The Movie Network content in one package, available for cable TV subscribers or standalone online streaming, with iOS and Apple TV apps available (sadly, the iOS app maxes out at 720p; 4K streaming is being planned, however). Login/Register With: Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Bell Media says its streaming service Crave will offer a free TV preview weekend, starting Friday, January 11, to Monday, January 14.The free preview will be through cable TV channels, with Crave 1, HBO 1 and HBO 2 being unlocked:From Friday, Jan. 11 (11 a.m. ET/MT) to Monday, Jan. 14 (11 a.m. ET/MT), three of Crave’s linear channels – Crave 1, HBO 1, HBO 2 – are being unlocked so audiences can enjoy uncut and commercial-free hit movies, award-winning HBO content, and a sampling of SHOWTIME hits. Advertisement
APTN National NewsQuestions continue to swirl around Ottawa about Labrador MP Peter Penashue’s spending habits during the last federal election.Opposition parties are accusing Penashue of over spending by $20,000. The Liberals have called for an investigation.NDP MP Charlie Angus joined APTN National News.
APTN National NewsLast Friday, Shawn Atleo called it quits becoming the first national chief of the Assembly of First Nations to resign.Reaction, since the announcement, has been pouring in from across the country.Tuesday, the province, where the former national chief began his political career weighed in.APTN’s Tina House has that story.
APTN National NewsJust as students prepare for the summer so do members of Parliament in Ottawa.It’s been a session filled with acrimonious debates and controversy.APTN’s Annette Francis has a look back at what made headlines.
Brittany Hobson APTN NewsIndigenous leaders, provincial and territorial leaders and advocates are heading to Ottawa next week for an emergency meeting on child welfare where the overrepresentation of Indigenous children in care will be at the forefront of the conversations.Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott called for the meeting last November. In a letter sent to her provincial and territorial counterparts she said the rate of Indigenous kids apprehended in Canada was the highest in the world. We have opportunities and resources to be able to do prevention at the community level Manitoba has the highest rate of newborn apprehensions in all of Canada Minister of Families Scott Fielding said the province recognizes changes must be made to the system.“We’ve got a big problem. That’s why we’re taking it head on as a government,” said Fielding.The new reform will see incentives and subsidies for foster parents who wish to become permanent guardians.The province also formed a seven-person committee in December to review the current legislature and suggest changes that could be made to address the staggering number of kids in care.But the mother giving birth in secret says more needs to be done.“I think these changes are going to impact how the system operates and how foster families operate,” she said. “And that’s not enough.” In Manitoba apprehension rates are the highest in the country. It is estimated a newborn child is apprehended every day.The situation has become so dire one expectant mother has decided to give birth in secret.“I’m feeling that I have to protect this birth from people who have the potential to sever my bond with my child,” said the woman.Sitting in her home in Winnipeg she showed APTN News her home birthing kit. She cannot be identified because her teenage daughter is currently a ward of the province.Two years ago she gave birth to another child in hospital. She said at the time she was forced to fill out paperwork detailing her prior involvement with Child and Family Services along with her income status.She now worries her involvement will serve as a red flag.“Now I’m sitting here two years later and I’m going to have another baby and I don’t want to be in that building when it happens because I’m afraid they’re not going to let me leave,” she said.Cora Morgan is the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs’ Child and Family Advocate for First Nations. PHOTO: APTNFirst Nations Family Advocate Cora Morgan isn’t surprised to hear of this woman’s plan.“We hear it every day because you know Manitoba has the highest rate of newborn apprehensions in all of Canada,” said Morgan.Manitoba also has the highest number of Indigenous kids in care. According to the province there are approximately 11,000 kids in care with 90 per cent of those being Indigenous.These numbers will be the focus of the emergency two-day meeting next week. The meeting is set to take place on Jan. 25 and 26.In a release Minister Philpott’s office said the goal of the meeting is to identify shared priorities and a path forward in reforming Indigenous child and family services with distinctions based approaches to put the needs of children and families first.Morgan said she hopes to see some significant changes to the child welfare system after next week’s meeting.“After 150 years of the theft of our children that there is a meaningful commitment to First Nations asserting jurisdiction over children and families,” she said.“And that we have opportunities and resources to be able to do prevention at the community level outside of our current system.”The Manitoba government has recently implemented a reform on the child welfare system.
Ashley BrandsonAPTN NewsA provincial judge has recommended that the Manitoba Government complete an independent review of the medical unit at the Winnipeg Remand Centre in an inquest report after the death of Errol Greene.The 26 year old was brought to Winnipeg’s remand centre on April 29, 2016 for breach of probation on a mischief charge.He died May 1, 2018 after suffering two seizures.Shortly after Greene’s death, his widow Rochelle Pranteau called for better medical care for inmates.“It’s a life and death situation and you shouldn’t neglect anybody, we are human, doesn’t matter if you’re in jail or not, you should be treated better.”In 2018 a mandatory inquest into Greene’s death was held by provincial Judge Heather Pullan.She’s now calling for a full review of health care services at the remand centre in Winnipeg.Pullan strongly criticized Manitoba Corrections.“The medical unit at the Remand Centre is not accredited. It’s not clear why this is the case,” the report states.“If the focus on healthcare delivery in an institution is on quality and excellence, surely being held to an objective standard, assessed externally, is the best means by which excellence can be achieved and maintained.”Pullan made 11 recommendations. One of the recommendations calls for the recognition of the specific role correctional officers play in the Winnipeg Remand Centre, that seizure specific training, including recognition of behaviour that could be seizure related and respond appropriately while awaiting the arrival of medical staff.APTN News spoke with Pranteau’s lawyer Corey Shefman about the release of the report.“We were happy to see the recommendations, but at the end of the day they’re not binding,” said Shefman.“But we are hopeful the government will implement them.”Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen didn’t make a firm commitment to any of recommendations.However, Cullen says some of his senior officials will review the inquest report.“I’m confident this report will help us strengthen protocols and procedures so we can prevent future in custody deaths,” he said.He said the government has made some changes since Greene’s death three years ago.“We’re ensuring that a physician is schedule to attend the Remand Centre everyday to review medications, including weekends,” he said.“We also improved record keeping and file storage at the facility to ensure health information is meticulously recorded.”Ultimately, the Minister says there’s room for more improvement.“We’ll continue to make improvements in terms of training of our corrections staff and medical staff and correctional officers and invest in new technology to better monitor inmates.”email@example.com@ashleybrandson
Annette FrancisAPTN NewsThe National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) is preparing election kits that will be sent out to partner organizations across the country.The NAFC represents 113 friendship centres across the country.They offer culturally appropriate programming and services to First Nation, Metis and Inuit peoples living in cities.NAFC Executive Director Jocelyn Formsma said it’s important the centres prepare their clients for the election.“We’re encouraging friendship centres to invite candidates to the centre, so that they’re aware of the programing,” she said.“And that people at the centres are also aware of who the candidates are.”Read More: #Vote2019: Climate change and drinking water top Indigenous issues in federal election#Vote2019: Truth and Reconciliation still important to Indigenous voters according to pollAccording to a poll commissioned by APTN and conducted by Environics, the environment is one of the most pressing issues on the ballot this year with housing it on the lower end at 6 per cent.But according to Formsa, the urban population’s needs are different.“Making sure people have a safe place to live, shelter, making sure that families have support, that children have support especially those who are leaving the child welfare system or currently involved with the child welfare system,” she said.72 per cent of those surveyed said they’ll definitely vote on election night, but that number is often higher than the actual turnout.Gabrielle Fayant, the founding member of a non-profit youth group Assembly of Seven Generations, said the number of youth at the polls could be lower than in 2015 due to the fact the politicians have failed to reach out to them.“It seems like a mixed response, like some youth are really outspoken and they’re saying like we need to go out and vote and other youth are just like, why, why should we even vote”, said Fayant.The poll also found that 73 per cent of respondents said child welfare is a very important issue, something that Fayant firstname.lastname@example.org@aptnafrancis
TORONTO – CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. is urging its shareholders to reject a hostile takeover bid by competitor Aurora Cannabis Inc., criticizing the value of the proposed deal and its effect on its share price.In a letter to shareholders released Wednesday, the Saskatoon-based medical marijuana producer said its shares are trading above Aurora’s offer of $24 and would likely be higher if it were not for the all-stock hostile bid.CanniMed said Aurora is offering shares that were worth only half as much just two weeks before its hostile bid was announced last fall and that it is inferior to its own proposed acquisition of Tragically Hip-backed Newstrike Resources Ltd. (TSXV:HIP).“The combination of CanniMed and Newstrike creates a major player across the Canadian recreational and global medical markets and will be valued as such,” CanniMed said in the letter to shareholders.“We see a clear path to $37 per CanniMed share — or more.”Aurora formally launched its hostile takeover bid for CanniMed in late November on the condition that CanniMed cancel its own planned acquisition and said its offer will remain on the table until March 9.Cam Battley, executive vice-president of Aurora, said in an emailed statement that he took issue with what he called “misleading” information attributed to him in the shareholder letter that he said was taken out of context.He later said in a telephone interview that CanniMed’s letter “just reeks of desperation.”Stock commentary website Citron Research said Wednesday that Aurora is “the weakest player in the space,” arguing that the company’s hostile bid for CanniMed shows that the company irresponsibly allocates capital. Citron said Aurora “is spending $600 million on the deal when the barriers to entry are deteriorating.”Citron also said Aurora’s stock should retrace 50 per cent, setting its short-term share target at $6.50.Battley said Aurora’s acquisitions have “benefited both our shareholders and their companies,” pointing to its investments in Radient Technologies Inc. (TSXV:RTI), Hempco Food and Fiber (TSXV:HEMP) and Cann Group in Australia.“Our strategic investments with our partners have increased in value from $40 million to $180 million, or about a 350% growth since we made those investments,” he said.The acrimonious takeover battle between the two marijuana companies was in the regulatory spotlight last month at a joint hearing involving the Saskatchewan and Ontario securities commissions.The Ontario Securities Commission ruled on Dec. 22 that any securities issued by CanniMed as a defence against a hostile takeover by Aurora will be cease-traded. Aurora, for its part, will be required to amend its takeover bid circular and related press releases to include certain information that could affect CanniMed’s shareholders when they decide to accept or reject an offer.Shares of CanniMed (TSX:CMED) closed 7.25 per cent higher, at $26.13, while Aurora (TSX:ACB) closed up 20.3 per cent, at $14.18 at the end of trading Wednesday.
The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):4 p.m.Stocks are capping a solid opening week of the year with big gains for technology, materials and energy companies.Tech stocks, which were the biggest stars of the market last year, continued in that role in the opening week of 2018. Cisco Systems rose 1.4 per cent Friday and Apple gained 1.1 per cent.For the week, tech stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index are up 4.2 per cent.The four-day winning streak for the S&P 500 index this week marked the longest string of consecutives gains to start a year since 2010.On Friday the S&P 500 index rose 19 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 2,743.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 220 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 25,295. The Nasdaq composite climbed 58 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 7,136.___11:45 a.m.Technology companies are climbing as U.S. stocks rise for the fourth day in a row to start 2018.Cisco Systems rose 1.1 per cent in midday trading Friday, and Google’s parent company Alphabet rose 1.4 per cent.Stocks are continuing to push through record highs.The Dow Jones industrials closed above 25,000 points for the first time Thursday and the Nasdaq breached 7,000 points earlier in the week.The Dow increased 83 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 25,158.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 9 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 2,733.The Nasdaq composite climbed 49 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 7,122.Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.47 per cent.___9:35 a.m.Stocks are opening slightly higher on Wall Street, carrying on momentum a day after the Dow Jones industrial average broke through 25,000 points.Technology and industrial companies were leading the way higher early Friday. Railroad operator Union Pacific gained 2.1 per cent and Cisco Systems rose 1.4 per cent.The Dow increased 49 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 25,122.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,728.The Nasdaq composite climbed 22 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 7,100.
CALGARY – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is shrugging off a tweet by former U.S. vice-president Al Gore that slams Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and calls the province’s oilsands dirty.Remarks like that are having an ever-shrinking impact, Notley said.“When those kinds of comments are made and they clearly demonstrate a lack of understanding about the overall issue and all the facts, I just think it’s starting to fall on a larger and larger number of deaf ears,” Notley said Friday at the grand opening of a new maternity unit at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary.Gore tweeted Thursday that he stands with B.C. Premier John Horgan, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and all Canadians — including First Nations — opposed to the project.“The Kinder Morgan pipeline carrying dirty tarsands oil would be a step backward in our efforts to solve the climate crisis,” he wrote, along with the #stopKM hashtag.Tarsands is a term favoured by industry opponents.Notley said public opinion polls are showing growing support for the $7.4-billion project, which would triple the amount of crude shipped from the Edmonton area to B.C.’s lower mainland along an existing pipeline route.“We’re also seeing… previously less vocal people come forward now, saying ‘No no, this is good. We do need to stand up for this. We do need to make our voices heard.’”Opposition United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney called Gore’s remark “an inconvenient lie from a jet-setting millionaire.”“While the USA & OPEC countries ship more oil, this hypocrite who owns multiple mansions & flies private jets wants to landlock Canadian oil,” Kenney tweeted Thursday. “Canadians have had enough of your campaign of double standards & defamation.”Notley reiterated Friday that she’s confident talks aimed at getting construction of the pipeline expansion back on track will be successful before a May 31 deadline.Alberta and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government are in discussions with the company to strike a joint financial arrangement to ensure the project gets built. Trudeau’s government approved expansion of the Trans Mountain line in 2016, but the B.C. government has been fighting it.Last month, Kinder Morgan stopped all non-essential spending on the project and said it wants assurances by the end of this month that the expansion can proceed.(Companies in this story: TSX:KML)
SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Many Canadian workplaces aren’t nearly ready for the fast-approaching legalization of marijuana, the World Cannabis Congress has been told.Jason Fleming, vice-president of human resources for Ontario marijuana producer MedReleaf, said there’s still a lack of definitive testing, and many employers have not educated staff on new policies.“Employers are having to write policies and have to prepare, but in many cases they are still using really outdated, anecdotal information,” he said Monday in Saint John, N.B.“Step one is to definitely get prepared, get educated and understand the differences between these products, and recreational versus medical products, and I think that absence of information can be difficult for a lot of employers,” he said.Urine and saliva tests can detect THC — the active ingredient in marijuana — but that doesn’t indicate active impairment, and it can take between 24 and 48 hours for THC to clear the system.A worker can test positive if they’ve been exposed to second-hand smoke in a poorly ventilated room, according to a recent study at the University of Calgary.There are currently no federal labour rules about drug and alcohol testing outside the military, and successive governments from the late 1980s have stayed away from the issue.The Canadian Union of Public Employees cautions employers from using legalization as an excuse to pursue a more aggressive policy around random drug testing, which is rarely permitted and requires a high legal bar to protect workers’ human rights.Fleming said companies that routinely throw liquor-fuelled holiday parties now have to grapple with recreational cannabis use.“The question is, will an employer allow for that? That is where we will definitely be dealing with holiday season 2018. Employers are going to have to make a call one way or another. That is going to be pretty polarizing,” he said.Patrick Oland, CFO of Moosehead Breweries, said at the congress that the key issue is safety. He said his company has a number of positions that require staff to sample beer on the job — but zero tolerance for anyone operating vehicles.“Cannabis is a whole new area and ultimately comes down to policy that can evaluate for impairment and discipline for it,” said Oland — adding the simpler that testing can be, the better.Fleming said writing a policy is half the battle. The other half is making sure it is properly administered.“So just having something written the week before there’s recreational cannabis for sale in Canada, to me is not sufficient,” he said.“I think you’re going to want to have had at least a month or more of time to properly communicate, to train, to sign off, and I think we’re underestimating that right now.”The World Cannabis Congress wraps up Tuesday.
The majority of Canadian companies are not closely watching differences in pay or advancement between men and women and other key measures of progress, according to a report on gender equality in corporate Canada and the U.S.The Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders’ commissioned a survey of human resources professionals in Canada and the U.S. and found that just 39 per cent of Canadian companies had accurate data on gender pay differences.The survey of 150 human resources executives in Canada and 250 in the U.S. also found that 48 per cent of Canadian companies said they do not have accurate data on the percentage of women at the management level.While corporate commitment to gender diversity is at an all-time high, these survey results point to a “critical gap” between intention and action, the cross-border council said.“Many companies want to see women advance, but do not approach the goal with rigour and discipline as they would any other business priority,” it wrote in its report released last week.Pressure to improve gender equality in Canadian workplaces has long been mounting but women continue to be paid less than their male counterparts and are vastly underrepresented in companies top ranks.Canadian women make on average 74 cents for every dollar of annual salary made by men among the entire working population, according to the most recent Statistics Canada data. Among the companies on the TSX 60 index, none listed a woman as its chief executive officer in their compensation disclosures for the most recent financial year, according to a Canadian Press analysis of management information circulars. There were only 25 women out of the more than 300 named executive officers — defined by regulators as a company’s most highly compensated roles, which companies must disclose — of TSX 60 companies, and they were paid on average 64 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.It is against this backdrop that the cross-border council was created by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump last year. The council has 10 female executives — half from Canadian companies and the other half from American companies — and its aim is to help women-owned businesses contribute to economic growth, competitiveness, and the integration of the two economies.The council’s fifth and final report released on Oct. 31 outlined survey findings that showed that many Canadian and American companies have “a lack of essential data that could measure progress and identify potential obstacles to the advancement of women.”The survey found that just 36 per cent of Canadian companies have a plan to advance women to senior leadership roles, compared to 40 per cent south of the border.“Equal pay for all is within reach, as it does not require an overhaul of the organization’s goals or a cultural change,” the council said in its report. “The solution is to put in place a thoughtful process that reviews pay and fixes any inequalities identified.”Meanwhile, it has been just over one year since the emergence of the Me Too movement, which began as a reaction to allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, that has also put additional pressure on companies to ensure fair treatment of women in the workplace.The Me Too movement has led to a surge of harassment and discrimination complaints to the Law Society of Ontario, according to a recent report.Between January 1 and June 30 of this year, the law society’s Discrimination and Harassment Counsel — a service which confidentially assists anyone who may have experienced this from a lawyer or paralegal — saw 125 complaints, up 58 per cent increase from 79 during the same six-month period in 2017.“The number of contacts to the DHC office increased noticeably beginning in the fall of 2017 as the #MeToo movement emerged,” the counsel wrote in its latest report. “That higher level of contact has been sustained, with a number of callers citing the #MeToo movement as giving them confidence to come forward to report.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version stated that less than half of Canadian companies had data on women in management.
NEW YORK — Much of the New York City neighbourhood selected by Amazon for one of its new headquarters is in a federal “opportunity zone,” a designation created by President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul. The designation offers developers potentially millions of dollars in capital gains tax breaks to invest in high-poverty, low-income areas.Critics question whether Long Island City in Queens needs such breaks. Median income around Amazon’s planned campus is $130,000, poverty is half the city average and new buildings were going up long before the tax overhaul.Under the new tax law, officials in each state designated 8,700 such zones across the country that have high poverty and unemployment, and are in need of development.The site of Amazon’s other new headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia, was not in an opportunity zone.Bernard Condon And Stephen Braun, The Associated Press
FRANKFURT — German automaker Volkswagen has posted another annual sales record by selling 10.83 million cars in 2018 as new SUV models boosted deliveries.The Wolfsburg-based maker of Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda and other brand name cars beat its 2017 record of 10.74 million cars. Sales rose in the U.S., China, Europe and South America.In 2017, Volkswagen contested the title of world’s biggest carmaker with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which claimed the title with 10.6 million and said Volkswagen should not have counted trucks. The alliance announces 2018 figures later this monthMarketing head Christian Dahlheim said the company overcame troubles getting cars certified under new emission rules in Europe.He called it “a great result” even though the company no longer sets unit sales records as a primary business goal.The Associated Press
FRANKFURT — Germany’s economic growth eased to 1.5 per cent last year amid signs of a slowdown in Europe and the wider global economy.The growth figure announced Thursday by the government statistics agency was down from 2.2 per cent in 2017.German output fell in the third quarter by 0.2 per cent, but the dip was attributed to temporary factors such as bottlenecks registering cars under new emissions testing rules.Worsening economic data had raised fears that Germany may have turned in a subpar performance in the fourth quarter, for which figures will be reported Feb. 14. The statistics agency said there were “signs of a slight recovery” in the fourth quarter compared with the third.It was still the ninth straight year of annual economic growth in Germany.The Associated Press
K-9 residents joining the celebration at Centennial Park. Photo by John Luke Kieper.North Peace Pride Society Treasurer Don McMillan explained that he expected lots of residents to come to the event, but he never thought there would be that many.“I think we’ve done really well, were quite excited about it, and we hope to build from here.” McMillan said. “As for the City itself, I thinks its just an important component in the community we live in. It shows support for inclusion and diversity in Fort St. John.”A crowded Centennial Park after the Pride March. Photo by John Luke Kieper.Councillor Trevor Bolin was on hand representing the City of Fort St. John. Bolin spoke to the crowd about how important the march was to the city.Councillor Trevor Bolin motivating the audience. Photo by John Luke Kieper.“Its a very, very strong message from the city of Fort St. John that we are accepting, we are open to all different ideas of life, cultures, religions and beliefs.” said Bolin. “It doesn’t matter what you believe in, or where your from. Fort St. John is open, Fort St. John is welcome, and it’s a great place to have a family.”“This screams the fact that Fort St. John is not what it was 40 years ago, this is the new Fort St. John. Its the new way of the community celebrating people.”McMillan said the North Peace Pride Society doesn’t have any scheduled events coming up in Fort St. John, but that members may head to Dawson Creek in October to help the Mile ‘0’ City’s Pride Society with their Halloween Dance. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Pride Society held its third annual Pride Walk on Saturday afternoon.Residents marching the streets. Photo by John Luke Kieper.Urban Systems in Fort St. John said it counted 300 residents taking part in the event near their office on 100th St., while many more joined the celebration at Centennial Park afterwards. Saturday’s walk was the largest the Pride Society has hosted thus far, with residents from all walks of life joining the cause.