Stars Sign Guitar For Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy CharityStars Sign Guitar For Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity

first_imgTo raise vital funds for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins’ work transforming lives through music, live music promoters Music Plus Sport – who organise The Jockey Club Live concerts – will be supporting the charity by auctioning a celebrity signed guitar.The Yamaha acoustic guitar has already been signed by Kaiser Chiefs, Status Quo, Boyzone and Madness. The initiatives will also see other artists including Tom Jones, Spandau Ballet and McBusted, who are set to perform at various racecourses across the country as part of The Jockey Club Live, sign the guitar as well.The Jockey Club Live promotes outdoor music events at 15 leading racecourses nationwide including Newmarket, Haydock Park and Sandown Park“The Jockey Club Live is proud to be supporting music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins through our live music events this year, helping to raise vital funds and spreading the word about the incredible impact music can have on vulnerable people up and down the country,” said Andrew Wilkinson, Director of Music Plus Sport.The guitar will be auctioned later on in the year, with all proceeds going directly to Nordoff Robbins’ work transforming lives through music.last_img read more

Prince Harry Joins Coldplay On Stage At StarStudded Charity ConcertPrince Harry Joins Coldplay On Stage At StarStudded Charity Concert

first_imgPrince Harry joined Coldplay on stage earlier this week at Kensington Palace to close the Sentebale charity concert and called for more to be done to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.The first ever pop concert on the East Lawn was organised to help raise funds and awareness of the challenges faced by young people affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. The fitting finale saw Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso, who founded Sentebale together in 2006, and a 12-strong choir from Lesotho, accompany Coldplay for their uplifting hit ‘Up&Up’.Prince Harry introduced the British band for their 10-song set after a heartfelt speech to the crowd of 3,000 people. The Prince founded Sentebale – meaning ‘forget me not’ – in 2006 with Prince Seeiso after his 2004 gap year visit to Lesotho, where one in three children have lost a parent to AIDS related illness.Earlier in the day Kensington Palace announced that Prince Harry will begin a new series of engagements and meetings designed to shine a spotlight on the ongoing need for action in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Building on his decade of experience in supporting young people with HIV in Lesotho through his charity Sentebale, The Prince is now determined to help his generation understand that the battle against the disease has not yet been won and still needs fighting. In July, Prince Harry will travel as Sentebale Patron to Durban, South Africa for the 2016 International AIDS Conference to meet leaders in the field and to speak to the assembled delegates.Progress has been made in the last 20 years to reduce the number of new HIV infections globally and ensure people living with HIV access the treatment they deserve. But stigma, discrimination and a lack of education means HIV is still the number one cause of death in 10-19 year olds in Africa. Prince Seeiso had earlier explained how important the work of Sentebale is in his own country.Prince Seeiso said: “Lesotho’s rolling mountains and plains foster within them the rich culture of the Basotho people – and an unbreakable spirit that inspires all those who encounter it. But Lesotho also faces profound challenges – and its children, one in three of whom are orphaned, suffer deeply as a result. Since my own childhood, our small nation has been ravaged by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Now 21,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 19 are living with HIV. Only 30 per cent of those have access to any treatment.”British journalist and novelist Tom Bradby, as MC, welcomed the crowd to the Sentebale concert which started at 8pm tonight. African-Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz, who have worked with UNAIDS on the ProTESTHIV initiative encouraging people in southern Africa to know their HIV status, then performed a trio of up-tempo tracks: ‘Our Love’, ‘I Wanna Know’ and 2014 chart-topper ‘Am I Wrong’.Next on stage was Grammy and BRIT Award singer Joss Stone. The Sentebale ambassador was accompanied by the Basotho Youth Choir, supported by Avios travel rewards. Prince Harry had invited the six boys and six girls aged 7-19 to London to be a part of the event and yesterday surprised them during their rehearsals at The BRIT School in Croydon. Among them was 16-year-old Relebohile ‘Mutsu’ Potsane who was four when he first met Prince Harry. Footage of Stone’s own visit to Lesotho played on the screen during two Lesotho songs ‘Basotho ba batle’ and ‘Sentebale ke palesa entle’ and Stone’s ‘The Answer’.British soul singer songwriter Laura Mvula, who is an ambassador for MTV’s The Staying Alive Foundation and works with young girls to raise awareness as part of the HIV prevention initiative, then wowed the audience with ‘Let Me Fall’, ‘Bread’, ‘Kiss My Feet’ and ‘Phenomenal Woman’. BRIT Award-nominated spoken word artist and Sentebale ambassador George Mpanga – aka George the Poet – later told Tom Bradby why he backed the charity before performing ‘Search Party’ and ‘We Can Fight’, written for the November 2015 opening of the ‘Mamohato Children’s Centre where some of the money raised will fund Sentebale’s monthly Saturday Clubs and residential weeklong camps.Sentebale delivers psychosocial support to adolescents living with HIV in Lesotho as well as providing care and education to orphans, children living with disabilities and young shepherds known as ‘herd boys’ whose cultural obligation of tending livestock prevents them accessing education. Just £5 could send a child living with HIV to a local club to learn how to live positively. Argentine high-goal polo player Nacho Figueras, Sentebale’s first ever ambassador, appeared on the balcony overlooking the crowd to encourage everyone to text 70800 to donate.Cathy Ferrier, CEO of Sentebale, thanked the audience for showing their support, saying: “The world has committed to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 but ignorance and misunderstanding continues to undermine those efforts. Together we have an opportunity to end an epidemic that has defined public health for a generation but it won’t go away unless we act now.”The Sentebale concert was sponsored and supported by The Handa Foundation, Quintessentially Foundation, Huntswood, Avios, Getty Images, The&Partnership and The BRIT School. For more information visit read more

OneRepublics Ryan Tedder To Be Honored At Save The Children Illumination GalaOneRepublics Ryan Tedder To Be Honored At Save The Children Illumination Gala

first_imgSave the Children, the leading organization investing in childhood, has announced that the 5th Annual Save the Children Illumination Gala will honor Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic; Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya; and the organization’s philanthropic corporate partner BVLGARI North America.The event, presented by Johnson & Johnson, will be hosted by NBC’s Craig Melvin and will take place on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at The American Museum of Natural History in New York City.British singer-songwriter Leona Lewis will perform.Now in its fifth year, the Illumination Gala will benefit Save the Children’s efforts to give more children a stronger start in life by helping end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths and by supporting early childhood education. In recognition of the occasion, Save the Children will celebrate each of the honorees for their achievements in giving children a brighter future: • The Voice Award for Ryan Tedder, Grammy-winning songwriter, producer, and front man of the multi-platinum selling band OneRepublic who is being recognized for his extraordinary dedication to speaking up on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable children. In addition to supporting Save the Children’s humanitarian relief efforts on the conflict in Syria and in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, Tedder used the power of his voice on the OneRepublic song “Feel Again.” The song served as the backdrop in 2013 for an Ad Council PSA for Save the Children’s Every Beat Matters campaign, which helped millions of children in poor countries survive their first five years of life. Tedder said the song was inspired by actual heartbeats of children in Guatemala and Malawi, where front-line health workers work every day to keep kids healthy. As part of the campaign, Tedder visited Save the Children’s newborn and child survival programs in Guatemala, and donated proceeds from sales of the song to Save the Children. His foundation, The Ryan & Genevieve Tedder Foundation, also supports children through education and youth development. • The Humanitarian Award for Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of the #1 U.S.-based Greek Yogurt brand Chobani, who is being recognized for his courageous leadership on behalf of refugees. Ulukaya has demonstrated an inspiring commitment to provide resettled refugees with a path to a brighter future by embracing them as valued employees at Chobani. In 2015, he signed the Giving Pledge, committing the majority of his personal wealth to helping displaced people and founded the Tent Foundation, which forges innovative partnerships with NGOs, business and governments to improve the lives of refugees all over the world. As an entrepreneur and devoted philanthropist, Ulukaya is changing the conversation around the global refugee crisis – calling on the global community to recognize the human rights of refugees and put an end to displacement once and for all. • The Visionary Award for BVLGARI North America, is in recognition for its enduring commitment to supporting children in need in the United States and around the world. Since beginning its unique partnership in 2009 with Save the Children, Bulgari has raised over $50 million globally through sales of an iconic Save the Children jewelry collection.More than half a million people have purchased the signature pieces, including a ring, a bracelet and a pendant. Funds raised through the partnership have been invested in 100 projects in 33 countries, reaching more than one million at-risk children and youth through education, emergency response, poverty reduction and youth empowerment programs.In the United States, Bulgari is a generous supporter of Save the Children’s early childhood education programs.“The individuals we are honoring at our fifth annual Gala have gone above and beyond on behalf of children around the world – from supporting newborns’ health to early childhood education to refugees,” said Carolyn Miles, Save the Children president & CEO. “This year’s honorees’ compassion and dedication toward ensuring every last child, whether here in the US or around the world, can reach their full potential is inspiring. We are delighted to recognize this remarkable group for their contributions and to celebrate their accomplishments.”Other notable guests expected to attend include Save the Children Artist Ambassador, Trustee and Gala Honorary Chair Jennifer Garner, Second Lady of the United States (2009-2017) and Save the Children Board Chair Dr. Jill Biden, Save the Children President & CEO Carolyn Miles, Save the Children Action Network President Mark Shriver, award-winning journalist Tamron Hall, and fashion designer, philanthropist and Gala Co-Chair Gabriela Hearst, Corbin Capital Partners CEO and Gala Co-Chair Tracy Stuart, among others.The gala will be presented by Johnson & Johnson. For more information, please visit read more

Andrea Bocelli Katharine McPhee Reba McEntire And More to Perform During CelebrityAndrea Bocelli Katharine McPhee Reba McEntire And More to Perform During Celebrity

first_imgWorld-renowned tenor, Andrea Bocelli, will take the stage at the Arena di Verona, the world’s biggest open-air theatre, on Saturday, September 8th for a special musical event as part of this year’s “Celebrity Fight Night in Italy.”Bocelli will be joined on stage by international artists Carla Fracci, Grammy Award winner Isabel Leonard, Grammy-Nominated Aida Garifullina, Sergei Polunin, Leo Nucci, and the Italian Operatic Baritone for an unparalleled operatic spectacle. Together they will perform live for a star-studded audience including Award-winning Record Producer David Foster, Award-winning and Multi-Platinum Artist Josh Groban, Broadway Legend Kristin Chenoweth, Reba McEntire, Katharine McPhee, John Corbett, Bo Derek, Chris Tucker, and many more.The 5th Annual “Celebrity Fight Night in Italy” is a 7-day extraordinary philanthropic adventure, where donors and special guests come together to enjoy magical experiences in Italy’s most beautiful regions. Funds raised will benefit both the Andrea Bocelli Foundation as well as the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center. Over its 24-year history, Celebrity Fight Night has earned the title as one of the largest grossing charity events in the country, sending more than $86 million to charities, most significantly to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ.“Celebrity Fight Night in Italy” kicks off on Wednesday, September 5th where upon arrival in Florence, guests will enjoy a memorable dinner under the stars in the Gherardesca Garden, one of the largest private gardens in Florence.The following day will take guests on a journey to the sea where they will cruise along the Tyrrhenian Coast up to the stunning town of Porto Venere for a dinner at the foot of the Church of St. Peter. Guests will be enchanted with entertainment from Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Katharine McPhee, and Colin Schachat, directed by 16-time Grammy Award Winner, David Foster. Guests will be welcomed by Catrinel Marlon, the model, actress, and recently named ABF Worldwide Ambassadress.The next evening, they will be invited as guests of Leonardo Ferragamo at his family house, Villa le Rose, a beautiful Renaissance villa commissioned in the 15th century. Ferragamo will treat guests to a dinner accompanied with outstanding entertainment from Award-winning Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth, alongside Andrea Bocelli’s son, Matteo Bocelli and Michael W. Smith.On Saturday night, guests will travel to medieval Verona for a dinner at the Gran Guardia Palace, followed by the mesmerizing opera show, ‘La Notte di Andrea Bocelli’, in the 2000-year-old Arena di Verona. Hosted by Italian TV Presenter, Milly Carlucci, the show will be dedicated to the highest expression of art involving over 400 performers from the world of classical music and dance. During the “La Notte di Andrea Bocelli” concert, ABF will promote the SMS Campaign dedicated to the reconstruction of the pre-school and the primary school in the Municipality of Muccia, the Central Italy Earthquake Intervention.The culmination of the 7-day event will feature a fun-filled musical night led by David Foster and Andrea Bocelli, as well as various world-renowned artists including Reba McEntire, Kristin Chenoweth, Katharine McPhee, Caroline Campbell, Brian McKnight, and Michael W. Smith. The entertainment will be preceded by a gourmet dinner and live auction at the Palazzo Pitti, which was built in 1457 and eventually became the primary residence of the royal Medici family.This experience is sponsored by Stefano Ricci, Antico Setificio Fiorentino, GVM, TaTaTu, Fregoli, Vhernier, Emilio Pucci, Il Palato Italiano, Falconeri, Sanlorenzo, Ca ’del Bosco, and Fratelli Piccini.last_img read more

CBCTV commissions comedy about raccoon whispererCBCTV commissions comedy about raccoon whisperer

first_imgAdvertisement The man behind Trailer Park Boys is bringing a new comedy to CBC-TV and Comedy Central in the U.S.TPP creator Mike Clattenburg and Mike O’Neill, a singer-songwriter, actor and screenwriter, have co-created Crawford, about a young man who moves back in with his polyamorous parents after his record label drops his metal band. He makes a business out of his “natural ability to relate to raccoons” — a “raccoon whisperer” in the words of CBC-TV general manager of programming Sally Catto.Yes, you read that right. Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img

Corner Gas star Brent Butt to perform in SudburyCorner Gas star Brent Butt to perform in Sudbury

first_img Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment In months he was headlining top clubs in the city, and within a couple years he was touring internationally and appearing at major festivals. His television specials quickly secured his reputation as one of the funniest people in the country, but he was also busy creating Corner Gas.It became an instant hit with unprecedented ratings and numerous accolades including an International Emmy Award nomination, and was named “Funniest Show on TV” by TV Guide readers.In 2013, Butt was honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to community and country. That same year Butt’s first feature film entitled No Clue and directed by Carl Bessai was released. Butt wrote, starred in and produced the film under his Sparrow Media banner.Recently the highly anticipated feature film return to Dog River with Corner Gas: The Movie saw the entire beloved cast reunited to the delight of rabid fans and new fans alike.The movie received a special Golden Screen Award at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards recognizing the projects stellar ratings and “most watched” status.With Butt performing, writing, executive producing, and even directing, there is little doubt the future holds many untold achievements for one of Canada’s brightest stars.The Sudbury show takes place at The Grand Theatre at 8 p.m. Dec. 10. Tickets cost either $35 or $40, depending on seating. Visit LOL Sudbury’s website for tickets and more information. Butt Live! LOL Comedy Festival is running its first ever Northern Ontario Tour with CTV’s Corner Gas star, Brent Butt.Brent Butt will be performing his successful stand-up comedy show in Timmins Dec. 8 and Parry Sound Dec. 9, ending his three-show tour in Sudbury Dec. 10.Born in Tisdale, Sask., Butt discovered early that being funny was a good way to get attention. Butt honed his comedy in school and at the age of 20 moved to Toronto to pursue a career in standup. Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

This Toronto taxi driver is a Juno Award nomineeThis Toronto taxi driver is a Juno Award nominee

first_imgAdvertisement The taxi driver who picked up a Toronto Star reporter after the 2017 Juno Award nominees were announced Tuesday was in a particularly good mood, and for good reason: He had just walked out of Toronto’s Rebel nightclub after learning his musical group was among the Juno contenders, and had been interviewed by that same reporter on the red carpet minutes earlier. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter About an hour later, still clad in his usual driver getup — a black cap, and a zip-up hoodie on top of a grey T-shirt — Nebiat was walking the red carpet at Rebel with fellow orchestra mate Tichaona Maredza, newly minted Juno nominees posing for flashing cameras and giving interviews to media. “I woke up at 3 o’clock in the morning, I started driving at 4 o’clock,” Nebiat said. But then “they told me to come (to the nominations ceremony) . . . so I came there, parked my car and went in.”center_img For him, Tuesday started like any other shift. Daniel Nebiat, a 44-year-old musician originally from Eritrea, is one of nine members who make up the Okavango African Orchestra, which was nominated for the World Music Album of the Year. He plays the krar, a six-stringed instrument from Eritrea and Ethiopia, sings in his native Tigrigna and, for the past three years, has been a driver for Toronto’s Co-op cabs. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

Inside Quebec for Spring 2017 Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 Xavier DolanInside Quebec for Spring 2017 Bon Cop Bad Cop 2 Xavier Dolan

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment (June 1, 2017 – Montréal, Québec) Back in 2006, the action comedy Bon Cop Bad Cop was one of the biggest success stories in the history of Canadian moviemaking. The Quebec-made picture, co-written by actor Patrick Huard and producer Kevin Tierney, grossed $12.7 million, most of it in Quebec with pretty strong box-office elsewhere.Directed by genre film loving Érik Canuel, the project transposed a 48 Hrs-ish premise from L.A. to Montreal. David Bouchard (Huard) is a rule-busting wildman of a cop on a case with buttoned-up, prissy detective Martin Ward (Colm Feore). Apart from their personality differences, Bouchard is a Quebecois who machine guns Tabarnaks in practically every sentence, and Ward is an Ontarian. Nuff said.Much of the comedy derived from language short circuits in perhaps the first totally bilingual movie ever made in a bilingual country. Bon Cop Bad Cop had novelty and speed as Bouchard and Ward solved an ultimately absurd mystery while getting to know and love each other. The team of Huard and Tierney came up with an amiable fantasy of reconciliation between Canada and Quebec. A fantasy rooted in a Montreal reality where there have always been plenty of good vibes between the “two solitudes,” and people code-shift from one language to another in mid-sentence. Audiences loved it.READ MORE Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Facebooklast_img read more


first_imgSpanish maestro Gustavo Gimeno, centre, seen conducting the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in February, will take over as TSO music director for the 2020-21 season. (PHOTO COURTESY OF TSO) Advertisement Twitter Facebook Gimeno has been working professionally as a conductor for only six years, but his trajectory upward has been swift.In a way, he began at the top after being called in at the last minute to conduct the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam in 2014. Just a few years earlier, he had been a member of the prestigious orchestra’s percussion section. It has taken the Toronto Symphony Orchestra less than three months after Peter Oundjian stepped down as music director to announce a replacement.Starting with the 2020-21 season — the orchestra’s 99th — the new music director will be Gustavo Gimeno, a 42-year-old native of Valencia, Spain, who has been serving as music director of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra since 2015.His TSO contract will be for five years. Sir Andrew Davis, who was music director from 1975 to 1988, is acting as interim artistic director.center_img Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

Some chiefs want ban on oil tankers in northern BCSome chiefs want ban on oil tankers in northern BC

first_imgAPTN NewsTodd LamirandeSenators on Parliament Hill were asked Tuesday to support legislation that would ban large oil tanker traffic off British Columbia’s north coast.“We are a salmon people; we are an ocean people,” said Marilyn Slett, chief councillor of the Heiltsuk Nation.“Our way of life depends on a healthy ecosystem.”Slett was part of a delegation of 25 First Nation hereditary chiefs to address senators about Bill C-48.Her community was affected by a diesel spill two years ago.“We’ve had some, certainly some support,” she told reporters.But, she said, some Senators believe a ban would hurt economic development.So does Chief Dan George of Burns Lake First Nation.He told a news conference a ban would kill a proposed Indigenous-owned pipeline called Eagle Spirit.“There’s quite a bit of economic opportunities for all First Nations along the corridor,” he said.“But in northern B.C., First Nations communities have a few and far between opportunities to get revenue. Because we don’t have prime real estate land, very few opportunities in the North.”The chiefs were in Ottawa to attend a special meeting of the Assembly of First Nations.Peter Lantin, president of the council of the Haida Nation, doesn’t want more tankers added to the traffic already travelling down the coast from Alaska.“That’s what we’re up against,” he said.“So there’s already risks today…We’re just trying to put a cap on opening it up to more.”Garry Reece, hereditary chief of Lax Kw’alaams, said his community won’t support oil tankers or Eagle Spirit.“They don’t have the support of my tribe or some of the other tribes in my community,” he read more

Gerald Butts full testimony on SNCLavalin caseGerald Butts full testimony on SNCLavalin case

first_imgGerald Butts, the friend and close advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is testifying before the parliamentary Justice committee in Ottawa.Butts resigned from his position after the SNC-Lavalin affair broke.He is accused by former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould of putting pressure on her to intervene in Quebec company’s criminal trial.last_img

YouTube suspends star over suicide video doesnt shut doorYouTube suspends star over suicide video doesnt shut door

first_imgPASADENA, Calif. – YouTube has suspended a star who posted video images of what appeared to be a suicide victim but said Saturday that doesn’t mean it won’t work with him in the future.The video service announced this week that it had pulled Logan Paul’s channel from its ad-supported Google Preferred platform and put two other projects on hold.YouTube chief business officer Robert Kyncl said Saturday there’s no timetable for when Paul’s future will be addressed again. Kyncl didn’t shut YouTube’s door on Paul.“Everything is evolving so fast,” Kyncl said. “The best thing we can do is put all projects on hold indefinitely, and there’s no date or plan for him in the future.”Paul apologized for posting video of him in a forest near Mount Fuji in Japan near what seemed to be a body hanging from a tree. The location is known in Japan as a frequent site for suicides.YouTube said the images violated its policies. Paul pulled the images from his channel on his own.YouTube was criticized for moving slowly in response, taking nearly two weeks to take action. YouTube said on Twitter this week that critics were right to be frustrated by its initial lack of response.Kyncl said Paul recognizes that he has made serious missteps and has expressed remorse for them.“The most important thing to focus on is that actions speak louder than words and Logan has the opportunity to prove that,” he said.Removing Paul’s work from the Google Preferred platform cuts off a significant route to advertising revenue through YouTube. YouTube also said it would not feature Paul in the fourth season of its series “Foursome” and would put other work on hold. Paul is one of the platform’s biggest stars, with Forbes magazine estimating he earned $12.5 million last year.YouTube said it would soon announce steps to protect advertisers from having their products connected to controversial material.last_img read more

Chinas premier urges US to act rationally over tradeChinas premier urges US to act rationally over trade

first_imgBEIJING, China – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang appealed to Washington on Tuesday to “act rationally” and avoid disrupting trade over steel, technology and other disputes, promising that Beijing will “open even wider” to imports and investment.“No one will emerge a winner from a trade war,” said Li, the No. 2 Chinese leader, at a news conference held during the meeting of China’s ceremonial legislature.Li made no mention of a possible Chinese response in the event U.S. President Donald Trump raises import barriers over trade complaints against Beijing, but other officials say President Xi Jinping’s government is ready to act.Trump’s government has raised import duties on Chinese-made washing machines and other goods and is investigating whether Beijing pressures foreign companies to hand over technology, which might lead to trade penalties. That could invite Chinese retaliation.“What we hope is for us to act rationally rather than being led by emotions,” the premier said. “We don’t want to see a trade war.”Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said March 11 that China will “resolutely defend” its interests but gave no details. Business groups have suggested Beijing might target U.S. exports of jetliners, soybeans and other goods for which China is a major market.Asked whether Beijing might use its large holdings of U.S. government debt as leverage, the premier said its investments are based on market principles and “China will remain a responsible long-term investor.”Li promised more market-opening and other reforms as Xi’s government tries to make its cooling, state-dominated economy more productive. He said Beijing will make it easier to start a business and will open more industries to foreign and private competition.The ruling Communist Party promised in 2013 to give a bigger role to market forces and entrepreneurs who generate most of China’s new jobs and wealth. Reform advocates complain they are moving too slowly.Private sector analysts say Xi, who took power in 2012, might accelerate reform after focusing for his first five-year term as party leader on cementing his status as China’s most dominant figure since at least the 1980s.“If there is one thing that will be different from the past, that will be that China will open even wider,” said Li.Beijing plans to “further bring down overall tariffs,” with “zero tariffs for drugs, especially much-needed anti-cancer drugs,” the premier said.Li repeated a promise he made at the March 5 opening of the legislature to “fully open the manufacturing sector” to foreign competitors.“There will be no mandatory requirement for technology transfers and intellectual property rights will be better protected,” he said.The government has yet to say how that might change conditions for automakers and other manufacturers that are required to work through Chinese partners, which requires them to share technology with potential competitors.In a sign of Li’s reduced status as President Xi Jinping amasses power, the premier was flanked by eight newly promoted economic officials, in contrast to previous years when he appeared alone at the annual news conference.They included Liu He, a Harvard-trained Xi adviser who was named a vice-premier Monday and has told foreign businesspeople he will oversee economic reform. Neither Liu nor any of the other officials spoke at the event.The premier traditionally is China’s top economic official but Xi has stripped Li of his most prominent duties by appointing himself to lead ruling party bodies that oversee economic reform and finance policy.last_img read more

Ford takes step to dismantle cap and trade officially winds down greenFord takes step to dismantle cap and trade officially winds down green

first_imgTORONTO – Ontario’s new premier has taken a step in his plan to dismantle the province’s cap-and-trade system, a move some observers say leaves businesses involved in the program grappling with uncertainty.In a statement released Tuesday, Doug Ford said he has revoked the regulation that outlines the carbon pricing system and his government will officially begin winding down all green programs funded through it this week.Ford said the province will nonetheless honour contracts and orders that have already been signed for projects funded by cap and trade, such as energy efficient insulation and window retrofits.Some rebates for energy-efficient renovations that were financed through cap-and-trade revenues — such as the GreenON rebate program — were already being phased out before Ford officially took office last week.The premier said the government will decide on a case-by-case basis whether some initiatives previously funded by the program will be paid for using tax base revenue. Those decisions will take into account his overall plan for the province and the results of an upcoming value-for-money audit of government spending, he said.The Progressive Conservative leader, who was officially sworn in as premier Friday, had promised that cancelling cap and trade would be his first order of business.In order to scrap the program, the premier must first amend or rescind the legislation that governs it, said Keith Brooks, program director for the advocacy group Environmental Defence. That law sets climate change targets and earmarks cap-and-trade revenues for green initiatives, among other things, he said.The government also has to formally notify its partners in the Western Climate Initiative that it is withdrawing from the cap-and-trade system, Brooks said. The agreement signed by the province said the government would endeavour to give a year’s notice before pulling out but it’s unclear whether Ford plans to do so, he said.“We know that the premier… promised to get rid of cap and trade and we understand he’s moving quickly to fulfil that promise but I think that there’s some problems here because there’s some questions that haven’t been answered,” he said.Ontario companies have bought close to $3 billion in permits under the cap-and-trade system and need to know whether they will be compensated for those permits, Brooks said, noting some have suggested the province should offer a full refund.More details are also needed on how the green initiatives funded by cap and trade will be closed so that both consumers and businesses involved in delivering those services can make decisions and plans, he said.“I think that there’s a lot of businesses, quite frankly, that still have a lot of questions, I’m sure, about how this is all going to proceed,” he said.“People need the details on exactly when this is going to be wound down and if there are any programs that are going to persist, we also need to know what those are, because otherwise the manufacturers are going maybe on a rollercoaster ride,” he said.The NDP and the Greens have said Ford’s rush to pull out of the cap-and-trade system could stick taxpayers with the tab for billions in legal fees, penalties and other costs.Ford’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday but the premier said in the statement that he believes scrapping cap and trade will put money back in Ontarians’ pockets.“I promised that the party with taxpayers’ dollars was over and that this would include scrapping the cap-and-trade carbon tax slush fund. Today we are keeping that promise,” he said.The government’s website does not list contact information for the newly appointed minister of the environment or any other cabinet members. A spokesman for Ford said the ministers’ offices are not currently staffed and requests for comment should go to the premier’s office.last_img read more

Frontier oilsands mine inks participation agreement with Mikisew CreeFrontier oilsands mine inks participation agreement with Mikisew Cree

first_imgFORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – The company proposing the $20.6-billion Frontier Oil Sands Mine says it has achieved its target of signing deals with all of the Indigenous groups who live near the northern Alberta megaproject.Doug Brown, director of public affairs for Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd., says it has successfully concluded negotiations with the Mikisew Cree First Nation of Fort Chipewyan, a small community near the project site north of Fort McMurray.The news of a 14th deal being signed emerged as joint federal-provincial review hearings for the project began Tuesday in Fort McMurray.It was confirmed by Melody Lepine, director of government and industry relations for the Mikisew Cree, who added her community will continue to take part in the five-week hearing to ensure its voice is heard by government and regulators on environmental and other matters.Brown says the “participation agreement” will support engagement between the company and the First Nation and sets out a framework for co-operation in environmental stewardship, community-based monitoring and economic opportunities.If it’s approved and sanctioned, Frontier would be built in two phases and would have a mine life of 41 years, delivering over $70 billion in taxes and royalties to all levels of government over that period, the company says.“The company is actually being very supportive on a number of our recommendations to the provincial and federal governments in terms of should the project be approved, conditions on the approval, recommendations of what Alberta and Canada should be doing to address concerns,” said Lepine.“An example is the development of the biodiversity stewardship area, which would be a buffer just north of the Frontier project and a protected area just south of Wood Buffalo National Park.”The hearings are being held before a joint review panel of the Alberta Energy Regulator and Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.last_img read more

Marlboro maker leaps into the cannabis trade with 24BMarlboro maker leaps into the cannabis trade with 24B

first_imgNEW YORK — One of the world’s biggest tobacco companies is diving into the cannabis market with a $2.4 billion investment in Cronos Group, a Canadian medical and recreational marijuana company.Altria, which makes Marlboro cigarettes, is taking a 45 per cent stake in the Toronto company.Cronos said Friday that the Richmond, Virginia, tobacco company will pay another $1.4 billion for warrants that if exercised, would give the Altria a 55 per cent majority ownership stake.Cronos first announced that it was in talks with Altria this week.The Associated Presslast_img

PRRD moves closer to passing bylaw prohibiting sales of cannabis pipes bongsPRRD moves closer to passing bylaw prohibiting sales of cannabis pipes bongs

first_imgAfter getting back the recommendations from that review, PRRD staff made several amendments to the bylaw, including adding definitions for ‘cannabis,’ ‘cannabis accessory,’ and ‘cannabis-related business,’ while also amending a reference to the since-repealed Municipal Act.In a report presented to the Board back in February, staff wrote that the intention of the ban on cannabis sales is pre-emptive to prevent cannabis retail stores setting up shop and becoming grandfathered in.“Through the zoning amendment process, the Regional Board would have an opportunity to look at the specific context of the location and consider public input,” said the report.So far, a number of municipalities in Northeast B.C. have passed bylaws or are in the process of passing bylaws allowing recreational cannabis sales, including Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, and Tumbler Ridge.Earlier this year, the District of Taylor passed a bylaw pre-emptively banning the sale of cannabis in order for District Council to learn more about the provincial government’s regulations and to gather feedback from residents.With the Regional District Board voting in favour of the bylaw passing second reading, the PRRD will hold a public hearing on the proposed bylaw, which will take place at the Regional Board meeting on August 23rd. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District has moved one step closer to pre-emptively prohibiting the sale of cannabis ahead of the legalization of recreational cannabis this fall.At last week’s meeting, the PRRD Board voted in favour passing second reading on the proposed bylaw, which would disallow not only the sale of recreational cannabis, but also would prohibit the sale of any items that could be used to consume cannabis such as pipes, bongs, vaporizers, or similar accessories.The proposed bylaw passed first reading back on February 22nd, after which it was sent off for a legal review. The full bylaw and discussion at last week’s meeting can be found here (item B-2 under the Bylaws section): read more