Gordon Lightfoot to close out Massey Hall before twoyear revitalization

first_imgAdvertisement Legendary Canadian troubadour Gordon Lightfoot will give Toronto’s storied concert venue Massey Hall one last hurrah before it undergoes a two-year renovation.Organizers say Lightfoot will be the final artist to perform in the building before it closes its doors next year for a revitalization project that’s scheduled to take until fall 2020.The singer-songwriter, who was born in Orillia, Ont., will perform back-to-back performances on June 29 and June 30. In a statement, Lightfoot called Massey Hall “hallowed grounds” that feel like “home.”The 123-year-old Massey Hall is set to undergo a seven-year, multi-phase project that will fully restore both its exterior and interior and add a new addition.THE CANADIAN PRESS Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebookcenter_img Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday.The 79-year-old Juno winner and Grammy nominee has performed over 166 times at Massey Hall — more than any other individual artist.last_img read more

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Call for entries Canadian Journalism Foundations 2018 awards program

first_imgAdvertisement TORONTO, Jan. 16, 2018 – To recognize the outstanding work of journalists and news organizations across the country and provide opportunities for emerging talent, The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) is now accepting entries for its 2018 awards program. The deadline for all award submissions is Feb. 16, 2018. Advertisement “The past year has shone a spotlight on the importance of quality journalism to a vital, energetic society and to the democratic institutions that serve us,” says Wayne Parrish, chair of the CJF awards committee. “As traditional media face financial pressures and emerging digital players struggle to carve out a sustainable niche, celebrating Canada’sjournalists and journalism across all media becomes a vital rallying cry not only for the entire industry, but arguably for the country itself.”The awards now open for submissions are: Facebook Advertisementcenter_img CJF-Facebook Journalism Project News Literacy Award (new)This new award celebrates efforts to encourage Canadians to understand and critically assess the quality of news in their community as well as the practices that underpin factual reporting as key contributions to Canadian democracy. The winning organization will receive a $10,000 prize. Read the award details.CJF Jackman Award for Excellence in JournalismThis award honours a Canadian organization that embodies exemplary journalism with a resulting impact on the community it serves. There are two winners, one for large media and one for small. Read the award details.Lifetime Achievement AwardThe award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding lifetime contribution to journalism in Canada. The recipient will have demonstrated, throughout his/her career, a commitment to the highest journalistic standards and ideals. His/her work and contribution to the field and society should serve as a model that inspires excellence in others. We encourage nominations from all categories of journalism. Read the award details.The Landsberg AwardIn partnership with the Canadian Women’s Foundation, this award recognizes a working journalist doing exceptional research, analysis and writing through a gender lens about women’s equality issues. Journalists working in print, broadcast and online news reporting are eligible to apply. The award is named after Michele Landsberg—award-winning Canadian journalist, author, social activist and feminist. The award recipient will receive a $5,000 prize from the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Read the award details.CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism FellowshipsThese fellowships allow two Indigenous journalists early in their careers (one to 10 years of experience) to explore issues of interest while being hosted by CBC News for one month at its Indigenous Centre in Winnipeg. A stipend of $3,000, all associated travel and accommodation costs, and a per diem for meals and other reasonable expenses will be covered by the CJF. Thank you to CN and individual donors Rosemary Speirs, CJF honorary governor, and Isabel Bassett, former chair and CEO of TVO, for their generous support of these fellowships. Read the award details.All recipients will be recognized at the annual CJF Awards (#CJFawards) at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto on June 14. Early-bird rates for tickets and tables are available until January 31.About The Canadian Journalism FoundationEstablished in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes excellence in journalism by celebrating outstanding journalistic achievement. Our signature events include an annual awards program featuring a must-attend industry gala where Canada’s top newsmakers meet Canada’s top news people. Through J-Talks, our popular speakers’ series, we facilitate dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also supports and fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

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The pleasures and pains of being a Canadian movie producer

first_imgProducer J. Miles Dale (left) listens to director Guillermo del Toro on the Toronto set of their Oscar-nominated film The Shape Of Water. (Kerry Hayes) Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Canadians love it when other nations pay attention to us, so of course every news outlet was touting the 13 Academy Award nominations showered on The Shape Of Water, which Guillermo del Toro made right here in Toronto.The film is an American production financed by Fox Searchlight Pictures, and its Oscar-nominated stars are British (Sally Hawkins) and American (Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer). But the bulk of the cast and crew is Canadian, so: good job, us.Back-patting aside, there’s a more interesting story. Advertisementcenter_img Over the last decade or so, Toronto has become a proper centre for American productions. In addition to del Toro projects like Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak, the city has hosted such massive studio undertakings as David Ayer’s Suicide Squad and Alexander Payne’s Downsizing. The massive requirements of Star Trek: Discovery have led Pinewood Toronto Studios to announce plans to double its operating space.“I really see it as the maturation process of an industry,” says J. Miles Dale, a veteran Toronto producer who shares The Shape Of Water’s best picture nomination with del Toro.“It started in the early to mid-80s, when TV movies and series started to come here to shoot Toronto as New York City. We started having to build infrastructure for that, and our crews were getting exposed to those kinds of productions, which got bigger and bigger. All those big DPs, production designers and costume designers came through town, showed our people how to do it, and now here we are.” Twitter Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

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Allarco emerges from creditor protection

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “I wish to thank our creditors sincerely for their patience and support as we worked through the CCAA process to achieve this goal,” said Don McDonald President & CEO of Super Channel. “We had to make some very difficult decisions to ensure survival of the business and for the company to remain an active participant in the Canadian broadcast industry.”A copy of the Monitor’s Certificate and related Court documents can be found on the Monitor’s website at www.pwc.com/ca/allarco.About Super ChannelSuper Channel is a national premium pay television network, consisting of four HD channels, four SD channels, and Super Channel On Demand.Super Channel’s mission is to entertain and engage Canadian audiences by providing a unique and exclusive entertainment experience.  With a core foundation of integrity and accountability, we dedicate ourselves to implementing innovative programming strategies and unparalleled team work that provides viewers with exceptional value and variety.Super Channel is owned by Allarco Entertainment 2008 Inc., an Edmonton-based media company.Super Channel is currently available on Bell TV, Shaw Direct, Rogers Anyplace TV, Shaw Cable, Cogeco Cable,  Access Communications, Bell Aliant TV, Source Cable, SaskTel, MTS, Novus, EastLink, TELUS, Videotron, Westman Communications and other regional providers.Connect with Super Channel:www.superchannel.caSuper Channel on FacebookSuper Channel on TwitterSuper Channel on Instagram In May 2016, the company sought creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in an effort to facilitate a restructuring and refinancing of its business operations.  Since that time, Allarco has continued to operate under CCAA protection, supervised by the Court appointed monitor PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. (the Monitor). On December 13, 2017 a formal plan of arrangement or compromise (the Plan) was filed with the assistance of the Monitor. Advertisement A meeting of the affected creditors was held on January 24, 2018 where 78 creditors voted in favour for the Plan by a margin of 77-1. The Court approved and issued the sanction order to proceed with the Plan on February 16, 2018.With the issuance of the Monitor’s Certificate of Plan Completion effective April 5, 2018, the CCAA proceedings have been completed in accordance with the Orders of the Court and under the supervision of the Monitor. Twitter EDMONTON, April 16, 2018 – Allarco Entertainment 2008 and Allarco Entertainment Limited Partnership(Allarco) announced today that it has successfully emerged from creditor protection, having been issued its Certificate of Plan Completion from the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (the Court) on April 5, 2018.last_img read more

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ALL THE WINNERS OF THE 2018 EMMY AWARDS

first_imgAdvertisement Amazon’s Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won big at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, earning recognition in five categories, including best Comedy Series. Show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino took home awards for writing and directing the comedy series, while star Rachel Brosnahan won for Lead Actress in a Comedy and Alex Borstein won Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.Across other categories, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Game of Thrones and Godless scooped a couple awards each. Game of Thrones, which in 2015 set a record for most Emmy wins in a year, was voted Best Drama Series, and Peter Dinklage won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Ryan Murphy won Best Directing for a Limited Series or Movie for The Assassination of Gianni Versace, for which star Darren Criss earned an Emmy for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. The series also won an Emmy for Best Limited Series or Movie.Godless, which was up for six Emmys, earned two: one for Merritt Wever as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie and one for Jeff Daniels as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. See all the winners at the 2018 Emmys below.SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIESBrian Tyree Henry, AtlantaLouie Anderson, BasketsKenan Thompson, Saturday Night LiveTituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtAlec Baldwin Saturday Night Live (NBC)Tony Shalhoub The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)Henry Winkler Barry (HBO).SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIESZazie Beetz, AtlantaLaurie Metcalf, RoseanneLeslie Jones, Saturday Night LiveAlex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselAidy Bryant Saturday Night Live (NBC)Betty Gilpin GLOW (Netflix)Kate McKinnon Saturday Night Live (NBC)Megan Mullally Will & Grace (NBC).WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIESDonald Glover, “Alligator Man,” AtlantaStefani Robinson, “Barbershop,” AtlantaAlec Berg and Bill Hader, “Chapter One: Make Your Mark,” BarryLiz Sarnoff, “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast and Keep Going,” BarryAlec Berg, “Fifty-One Percent,” Silicon ValleyAmy Sherman-Palladino, “Pilot,” The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIESPamela Adlon, Better ThingsLily Tomlin, Grace and FrankieAllison Janney, MomTracee Ellis Ross, Black-ishIssa Rae, InsecureRachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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FAMILY CHANNEL DELIVERS FAMILY MIRACLES WITH NEW FALL LINEUP

first_img Facebook Advertisement Advertisement All Times ET/PT. High-resolution images are available at DHX Television’s Media Centre.FOR THE WHOLE FAMILYSupergirl – New to Family – Monday – Wednesday at 9 p.m. beginning September 2Comic book fans won’t want to miss this super series which follows Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El, who’s kept her superpowers a secret for years. Parents will love it because: It explores important issues like climate change, acceptance and female empowerment. Kids will love it because: It’s a new twist on some of their favourite classic superheroes!Just Like Mom & Dad – New to Family – Weekdays at 6:30 p.m. beginning September 23Shot before a live studio audience, this hilarious and fun-filled game show celebrates and rewards families for how well they know each other. Parents will love it because: It’s a modern re-imagination of the 1980’s pop culture phenomena. Kids will love it because: The hilarious Q&As and famous bake-offs.American Ninja Warrior Junior – Mondays at 8 p.m.Kids aged 9-14 go head-to-head on the ultimate obstacle course to win the coveted title of American Ninja Warrior Junior! Parents will love it because: It inspires healthy active living. Kids will love it because: Obstacles, like the warped wall, are awesome!Top Chef Jr. – Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m.Vanessa Lachey and celebrity chef, Curtis Stone, host this pint-sized cooking competition where kids aged 9-14 face off in a variety of culinary challenges. Parents will love it because: Vanessa Lachey and Curtis Stone are the perfect hosting duo. Kids will love it because: It inspires fun recipes for them to make at home.Family Movie Night – Thursday – Sunday at 7 p.m. Family’s dedicated movie nights will keep kids and parents entertained well into the weekend. From action and adventure to comedy and fun, there’s a fantastic flick for everyone. Families can curl up on the couch and watch popular films like Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Ramona and Beezus, and The Pursuit of Happiness.FOR KIDSRainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty – New Series – Weekdays at 4:30 p.m. beginning September 2This purr-fect animated comedy follows a spirited kitty named Felicity, who acquires magical powers. Part rainbow, part butterfly, part unicorn, Felicity goes on amazing adventures with her best friends.Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir – New Episodes – Weekdays at 5:30 p.m. beginning Sept 2Crime-fighting superhero teenagers Ladybug & Cat Noir are back and ready to save Paris from the evil villain Hawk Moth, who continues to have his sights set on stealing their powers.Just Add Magic – New Episodes Return – Weekdays at 6 p.m. beginning September 2When Kelly and her two best friends stumble upon a mysterious cookbook, they discover the book’s recipes are far from ordinary – they’re magical.Bajillionaires – New Episodes Return – Weekends at 11:30 a.m. beginning September 7Max and his team at Smashable Inc. are back with crazier ideas and wackier inventions than ever before.LEGO Jurassic World: The Legend of Isla Nublar – Weekdays at 4 p.m. beginning September 2 Newly hired animal behaviourist, Owen Grady, and Assistant Manager of Park Operations, Claire Dearing, team up on Isla Nublar to deal with everything the Jurassic World park throws their way.FOR PARENTSThe Good Place – New to Family – Mondays at 10 and 10:30 p.m. beginning September 2Due to an error, self-absorbed Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) arrives at the Good Place after her death. Determined to stay, she tries to become a better person.For those on the go, the Family Channel App makes it easier than ever for viewers to watch their favorite shows, wherever and whenever they want. Now, finding those shows is even simpler with the Fall on Family Playlist, a specially curated selection of Family’s fall programming. Plus, if they’ve missed an episode or simply want to watch something again, Family OnDemand makes catching up a whole lot easier. For more information, please visit Family.ca.Family Channel offers the best in family television entertainment in a premium, high-definition, multiplatform environment. Dedicated to celebrating family life and providing opportunities for the whole family to gather and watch together, Family airs a unique mix of top-rated Canadian and acquired series, movies and specials. Family Channel subscribers have access to the Family Channel App, Family OnDemand and Family Online at no additional cost, to see hit movies and series when they want them, where they want them. Visit us at Family.ca.About DHX Television  DHX Television is composed of Family Channel, Family CHRGD, Family Jr. and Télémagino, and is part of DHX Media Ltd., a leading creator, producer, marketer and broadcaster of family entertainment. Dedicated to celebrating family fun, DHX Television delivers best-in-class programming and hosts captivating live events that appeal to Canadian families. DHX Television is home to world-renowned series including The Next Step, America Ninja Warrior Jr. and Chip and Potato. TORONTO, Aug. 28, 2019 – This fall, Family Channel is turning screen time into family time offering a compelling mix of series and movies that the entire family will enjoy. Throughout the week, the daytime schedule is filled with kids’ favorites like Just Add Magic and Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, while the nightly lineup features programming that parents and kids can sit down and watch together. The excitement begins on Monday, September 2, as comic book series Supergirl swoops down onto the network, joining top-rated shows American Ninja Warrior Junior, Top Chef Jr. and Wipeout. Plus, with Family Movie Nights, now playing Thursday – Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT, Family Channel is the one-stop destination for family entertainment.“Parents, especially moms, are really craving quality time spent with their children. Our new fall schedule is filled with shows and movies that provide the opportunity for families to enjoy watching television together,” said Katie Gillespie, Marketing Director, DHX Television. “We’re excited to have shows like Supergirl added to our lineup, that complement popular series like X Factor, American Ninja Warrior Junior and Wipeout. These types of programs, combined with dedicated movie nights, give families something to look forward to watching together, offering age appropriate themes that may spark conversation – exactly what we’re hoping to achieve with our nightly lineup.”Below is a detailed listing of series featured in Family’s fall schedule. All programming is subject to change. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisementlast_img read more

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Oppal presses pause on Missing Women Inquiry

first_imgAPTN National NewsIn Vancouver, Missing Women Inquiry Commissioner Wally Oppal is struggling to replace at least one of the people who withdrew last week.APTN National News reporter Tina House finds out that Oppal is trying to restore some credibility to the embattled inquiry.last_img

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Skeleton unearthed by Yukon couple may be 10000 years old

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe remains – of what may be a prehistoric bison skeleton – has been unearthed in a Whitehorse subdivision .It’s an usual find – but for Yukon paleontologists it’s exciting.They say it will help explain what happened to this particular species of bison – after the Ice Age – and before they disappeared about 400 years ago.APTN’s Shirley Mclean has more.last_img

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Don Amero goes intimate and online to launch new album

first_imgAPTN National newsDon Amero is releasing a new album and on Wednesday night he’ll be performing at an intimate house concert in Winnipeg.The concert will be streamed online through APTN.APTN National News host Michael Hutchinson caught up with Amero to discuss his newest musical vision.last_img

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Girl speaks out about leukemia in Tyendinaga

first_imgYouTube videoAPTN National NewsNine-year-old Jada Hill has a message for the people of her community on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.How many more children have to get sick?In a video uploaded on YouTube on Nov. 10 the little girl reads from a letter about the growing concerns of children being diagnosed with leukemia.There have been three cases on the reserve and two more just north in the Tyendinaga township. One child has died, as previously reported by APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo Nov. 6.“Hello my name is Jada Hill and this is a message that I have to say,” Jada says addressing her letter to the people of the Tyendinaga community. “We should think very careful about all the sickness happening in our community. … How many people have gotten sick? How many people that we know have gotten sick? How many more people do you think is going to get sick if we don’t do anything about it?”Dawn Sero’s daughter died several weeks ago. She had been diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year.The family first got the devastating news two days after taking Paula to the hospital with a nose bleed.Sero soon found out her daughter wasn’t the only child with leukemia on Tyendinaga about 2 hours east of Toronto.“We met another family. Their daughter was three and we just come to find out they didn’t live too far from us. She was diagnosed in December, the month before. We met another little boy, just by fluke, who happened to be my nephew’s neighbor and he was also diagnosed a month before Paula, same area,” Sero said in a previous interview with APTN National News. “Paula, she was very quiet, reserved. She was a homebody. She was a good student.”Jada said she is worried she or someone in her family will get sick too.“I try every day to keep myself healthy and stay away from all the germs because I don’t want to get sick,” she says. “I’m kind of scared I’m going to get sick.”The community has raised concerns about water quality as a potential cause for the cancers.But Chief Don Maracle said in conversations with APTN National News tests have been done and have come back negative. He said a committee is being organized made-up of doctors, Health Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and the band council to try and determine why children on the reserve are getting leukemia.last_img read more

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Project in memory of missing murdered Indigenous women comes to life

first_imgAPTN National NewsLast year a Metis woman put out a call for families of missing and murdered aboriginal women to make a collection of moccasin vamps.Now she’s seeing that project come to life.The walking with our sisters exhibit has set up shop in Edmonton and has exceeded expectations.APTN’s Keith Laboucan reports.last_img

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RCMP arrest third suspect in Bloodvein First Nation homicide

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe RCMP have arrested a third suspect in the homicide of a 52-year-old Bloodvein First Nation man last February in northern Manitoba.Police said they arrested a boy, 17, in Selkirk Oct. 9.He’s been charged with second-degree murder.The arrest quickly followed a second arrest on Oct. 7 when a boy, 16, from Winnipeg was apprehended and also charged with second-degree murder.That brings the total number of suspects to three after the initial arrest of a boy, 17, Feb. 11 from Bloodvein First Nation.That youth was also charged in a separate homicide of a 31-year-old man also from Bloodvein.Police initially responded to a house fire in Bloodvein Feb. 8 and when the fire was put out the remains of an adult man were found.No further arrests are expected.last_img

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Chiefs at AFN assembly support call for sentencing crackdown on men who

first_imgDelaney Windigo APTN National NewsSafety and security for Indigenous women and girls was the topic at the AFN’s general assembly on Thursday.Chiefs there passed a resolution supporting Senator Lillian Dyck’s call to amend the Criminal Code, giving strict sentences to men who assault Indigenous women.last_img

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European Space Agency ignores Inuit concerns launches hydrazine loaded rocket

first_img-with files from the Canadian Press APTN NewsThe European Space Agency ignored concerns from Inuit leaders around the world and launched a rocket loaded with a toxic fuel that could end up in waters between Nunavut and Greenland.The Sentinel 5P was launched at 5:27 a.m ET from a site in northern Russia.“We condemn Russia’s actions and demand that this launch be halted,” Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna told the Canadian Press. “Our people rely on the marine ecosystem to support our families, communities, and livelihoods.”The Inuit Circumpolar Conference, an organization that represents Inuit around the world, also protested the satellite launch.Watch the launch here: Sentinel 5POttawa had told the European Space Agency it was unhappy about plans to launch a satellite that would drop a rocket stage likely to contain highly toxic fuel in some of the most ecologically productive waters of the Canadian Arctic.“Canada is in the process of engaging the European Space Agency to express concerns regarding potential environmental effects of launches on the sensitive Arctic ecosystem,” Brianne Maxwell, a spokeswoman for Global Affairs Canada, said Thursday.The comment came after the government of Nunavut added its voice to protests over the launch.“The prime minister has been in contact with the premier’s office on this issue,” Maxwell said.Territorial officials raised concerns with the Prime Minister’s Office this week after Premier Peter Taptuna complained about the launch.“We are calling on Canada and Denmark to take swift action at the international level to dissuade these activities and move forward with protecting this area locally and internationally,” Taptuna said Oct. 6, the day after Russia notified Canada of its intentions.The European Space Agency, of which Canada is an affiliate member, launched the Sentinel 5P satellite to monitor trace gases in the atmosphere.A second launch of a similar satellite is planned for 2018.The Sentinel 5P, along with the planned launch in 2018, use Soviet-era rockets fuelled by hydrazine.Hydrazine is so toxic that almost every space program in the world, including Russia’s, has moved away from it.The second stage of the rocket, containing up to a tonne of unburned hydrazine, is expected to splash down in water between Greenland and Baffin Island.That area falls within Canada’s exclusive economic zone and is within the jurisdiction of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act.The North Water Polynya is an 85,000-square-kilometre ocean that is free of ice year-round. It shelters most of the world’s narwhal, as well as about 14,000 beluga whales and 1,500 walruses.Bowhead whales, polar bears, and four types of seals swim in its waters. Tens of millions of seabirds teem in its skies.Inuit communities in Canada and Greenland routinely hunt animals that depend on the North Water Polynya.Global Affairs Canada has previously said that Canada “continues to express concerns to Russia” over potential environmental impacts.The Europeans maintain all the toxic fuel burns up on re-entry.Academic research points out there has been no study of what happens to fuel released over marine ecosystems. As well, previous studies in Russian launch zones suggest some fuel does reach the water’s surface.Nunavut acknowledges the risk is low but argues it shouldn’t be there at all.Contact APTN National News here: news@aptn.calast_img read more

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Opposition to federal bill C58 ramping up ahead of AFN meeting

first_imgTodd Lamirande APTN News As chiefs from across the country get set to meet in Gatineau, Que. for the annual special chiefs assembly, opposition to changes to C-58, the federal access to information act is gaining momentum.“In my view, Bill C-58 is certainly a gift from the ghost of Christmas past,” said Bob Chamberlin, Vice-president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.The main concern about amendments to the access to information laws is that requestors will need an exact date – rather than a time period to get information from the government.“So this government’s pursuit now of having very specific asks be in the requirement leaves it for a greater opportunity for the rejection of the access to information,” Chamberlain. “And by rejecting that access rejects the opportunity for reconciliation and justice to be realized for First Nations people in Canada.”Several leaders joined NDP MP Murray Rankin at the news conference and condemned the proposed legislation.“Despite the profound effect that this bill will have on First Nations ability to get information about claims, disputes and grievances, they were not consulted,” said Rankin.Neskonlith First Nation Chief Judy Wilson said no changes at all would be better.“So if I’m trying to settle a claim they’re going to put up more barriers, bureaucratic barriers that my claim will not be settled,” she said. “I will not get access to that information.“They have put more of a tiered process into limiting that access to information. So that’s why it’s actually worse than the status quo.”Chamberlain said the bill must not go ahead.“Bill C-58 is a regressive piece of legislation that needs to be abandoned,” he said.The bill is going into third reading in the House of Commons before going to the Senate.“We’re going to be putting all our efforts into the Senate level to actually call for withdrawing or killing this bill,” said Wilson.Wilson said she’d introduce a resolution opposing C-58 at the special chiefs assembly.tlamirande@aptn.calast_img read more

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Read the opening statement of Jody WilsonRaybould at the justice committee

first_imgThe Honourable Jody Wilson-RaybouldThe Standing Committee on Justice and Human RightsFebruary 27, 2019Gilakas’la. Thank you Mr. Chair and members of the Justice committee for providing me the opportunity to give extended testimony to you today. I would like to acknowledge that we are on the ancestral lands of the Algonquin people.For a period of approximately four months between September and December 2018, I experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people within the government to seek to politically interfere in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in my role as the Attorney General of Canada in an inappropriate effort to secure a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with SNC-Lavalin. These events involved 11 people (excluding myself and my political staff) – from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council Office, and the Office of the Minister of Finance. This included in-person conversations, telephone calls, emails, and text messages. There were approximately 10 phone calls and 10 meetings specifically about SNC-Lavalin that I and/or my staff was a part of.Within these conversations, there were express statements regarding the necessity for interference in the SNC-Lavalin matter, the potential for consequences, and veiled threats if a DPA was not made available to SNC. These conversations culminated on December 19, 2018, with a phone conversation I had with the Clerk of the Privy Council – a conversation for which I will provide some significant detail.A few weeks later, on January 7, 2019, I was informed by the Prime Minister that I was being shuffled out of the role of Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada.For most of these conversations, I made contemporaneous and detailed notes – notes, in addition to my clear memory, which I am relying on today among other documentation.My goal in my testimony is to outline the details of these communications for the Committee, and indeed for all Canadians. However, before doing that, let me make a couple comments.First, I want to thank Canadians for their patience since this February 7th story broke in the Globe and Mail… Thank you as well specifically to those who reached out to me from across the country. I appreciate the messages – I have read them all.Secondly, on the role of the Attorney General – the AG exercises prosecutorial discretion as provided for under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act. Generally, this authority is exercised by the DPP, but the AG has the authority to issue directives to the DPP on specific prosecutions or to take over prosecutions.It is well-established that when the AG exercises prosecutorial discretion, she or he does so individually and independently. These are not cabinet decisions.I will say that it is appropriate for Cabinet colleagues to draw to the AG’s attention what they see as important public policy considerations that are relevant to decisions about how a prosecution will proceed. What is not appropriate is pressing on the AG matters that she or he cannot take into account, such as partisan political considerations; continuing to urge the AG to change her or his mind for months after the decision has been made; or suggesting that a collision with the Prime Minister on these matters should be avoided.With that said, the remainder of my testimony will be a detailed and factual delineation of the approximately 10 phone calls, 10 in-person meetings, and emails and text messages that were part of an effort to politically interfere regarding the SNC matter for the purposes of securing a deferred prosecution.The story begins on September 4, 2018. My COS and I were overseas when I was sent a ‘Memorandum for the Attorney General (pursuant to section 13 of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act) which was entitled ‘Whether to issue an invitation to negotiate a remediation agreement to SNC Lavalin’ which was prepared by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel. The only parts of this note that I will disclose are as follows: “the DPP is of the view that an invitation to negotiate will not be made in this case and that no announcement will be made by the PPSC.” As with all section 13 notices – the Director provides the information so that the Attorney General may take such course of action as they deem appropriate.In other words, the Director had made her decision to not negotiate a remediation agreement with SNC Lavalin.I subsequently spoke to my Minister’s office staff about this decision and I did the standard practice of undertaking further internal work and due diligence in relation to this note – a practice that I had for many of the section 13 notices that I received as the Attorney General. In other words, I immediately put in motion, within my Department and Minister’s office, a careful consideration and study of the matter.Two days later, on September 6, one of the first communications about a DPA was received from outside our department. Ben Chin, Minister Morneau’s Chief of Staff, emailed my Chief of Staff and they arranged to talk. He wanted to talk about SNC and what we could do, if anything, to address this. He said to her that if they don’t get a DPA, they will leave Montreal, and it’s the Quebec election right now, so we can’t have that happen. He said that they have a big meeting coming up on Tuesday and that this bad news may go public.This same day my Chief of Staff exchanged some emails with my MO Staff [Francois Giroux and Emma Carver] about this, who advised her that the Deputy Attorney General – Nathalie Drouin – was working on something (they had spoken to her about the issue), and that my staff [Emma Carver and Gregoire Webber] were drafting a memo as well on the role of the AG vis à vis the PPSC.It was on or about this day that I requested a one-on-one meeting with the Prime Minister on another matter of urgency – and as soon as possible after I got back into the Country. This request would ultimately become the meeting on September 17 between myself and the Prime Minister that has been widely reported in the media.On September 7, my Chief of Staff spoke by phone with my then Deputy Minister about the call she had received from Ben Chin and the Deputy stated that the Department was working on this. The Deputy gave my Chief a quick rundown of what she thought some options might be (e.g., informally call Kathleen Roussel, set up an external review of their decision, etc.). On the same day I received a note from my staff – on the role of the AG – a note that was also shared with Elder Marques and Amy Archer at the PMO.Same day, Francois G. and Emma met with my Deputy Minister. Some excerpts of the s. 13 note were read to the DM, but the DM did not want to be provided with a copy of the s. 13 note.September 8 – my Deputy shared a draft note on the role of the AG with my Chief of Staff who shared it with me, and over the next day clarity was sought by my staff with the Deputy on aspects of an option that was in her note.A follow-up conversation between Ben Chin and a member of my staff (FG) occurred on September 11, Mr. Chin said that SNC has been informed by the PPSC that it cannot enter into a DPA – and Ben again detailed the reasons why they were told they were not getting a DPA. Mr. Chin also noted that SNC’s legal counsel was Frank Iacobucci, and further detailed what the terms were that SNC was prepared to agree to – stating that they viewed this as a negotiation.To be clear, up to this point I had not been directly contacted by the Prime Minister, officials in the PMO, or the PCO about this matter. With the exception of Mr. Chin’s discussions, the focus of communications had been internal to the DOJ.This changes on September 16. My Chief of Staff had a phone call with Mathieu Bouchard and Elder Marques from the PMO. They wanted to discuss SNC. They told her that SNC have made further submissions to the Crown, and ‘there is some softening, but not much’. They said that they understand that the individual Crown prosecutor wants to negotiate an agreement, but the Director does not. They said that they understand that there are limits on what can be done, and that they can’t direct, but that they hear that our Deputy Minister (of Justice) thinks we can get the PPSC to say “we think we should get some outside advice on this.” They said that they think we should be able to find a more reasonable resolution here. They told her that SNC’s next board meeting is on Thursday (Sept 20). They also mention the Quebec election context. They asked my Chief if someone has suggested the outside advice idea to the PPSC, and asked whether we are open to this suggestion. They wanted to know if the DM can do it.In response, my COS stressed to them prosecutorial independence and potential concerns about interference in the independence of the prosecutorial functions. Mr. Bouchard and Mr. Marques kept telling her that they didn’t want to cross any lines – but they asked my Chief of Staff to follow up with me directly on this matter.To be clear, I was fully aware of the conversations between September 4 and 16 that I have outlined. I had been regularly briefed by my staff from the moment this matter first arose, and I had also reviewed all materials that had been produced.Further, my view had also formed at this point, through the work of my Department, my Minister’s office and I had conducted, that it was inappropriate for me to intervene in the decision of the DPP in this case and pursue a DPA.In the course of reaching this view, I discussed the matter on a number of occasions with my Deputy so that she was aware of my view, raised concerns on a number of occasions with my Deputy Minister about the appropriateness of communications we were receiving from outside the Department, and also raised concerns about some of the options she had been suggesting.On September 17: The DM said that Finance had told her that they want to make sure that Kathleen understands the impact if we do nothing in this case. Given the many potential concerns raised by this conversation, I discussed it with her later that day.This same day (Sept. 17th) I have my one-on-one with the PM that I requested a couple weeks ago. When I walked in the Clerk of the Privy Council was in attendance as well.While the meeting was not about the issue of SNC and DPA’s the PM raised the issue immediately.The Prime Minister asks me to help out – to find a solution here for SNC – citing that if there was no DPA there would be many jobs lost and that SNC will move from Montreal.In response, I explained to him the law and what I have the ability to do and not do under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act around issuing Directives or Assuming Conduct of Prosecutions. I told him that I had done my due diligence and made up my mind on SNC and that I was not going to interfere with the decision of the DPP.In response the PM further reiterated his concerns. I then explained how this came about and that I had received the section 13 note from the DPP earlier in September and that I had considered the matter very closely. I further stated that I was very clear on my role as the AG – and I am not prepared to issue a directive in this case – that it was not appropriate.The PM again cited potential loss of jobs and SNC moving. Then to my surprise – the Clerk started to make the case for the need to have a DPA – he said “there is a board meeting on Thursday (Sept 20) with stock holders” … “they will likely be moving to London if this happens”… “and there is an election in Quebec soon”…At that point the PM jumped in stressing that there is an election in Quebec and that “and I am an MP in Quebec – the member for Papineau”.I was quite taken aback. My response – and I remember this vividly – was to ask the PM a direct question while looking him in the eye – I asked: “Are you politically interfering with my role / my decision as the Attorney General? I would strongly advise against it.”The Prime Minister said “No, No, No – we just need to find a solution.” The Clerk then said that he spoke to my Deputy and she said that I could speak to the Director.I responded by saying no I would not – that would be inappropriate. I further explained to the Clerk and the PM that I had a conversation with my DM about options and what my position was on the matter.As a result of this discussion, I agreed to and undertook to the PM that I would have a further conversation with my Deputy and the Clerk – but that these conversations would not change my mind. I also said that my staff and my officials are not authorized to speak to the PPSC.We finally discussed the other issue that I wanted to discuss.I left meeting and immediately debriefed my staff as to what was said re: SNC/DPAsOn September 19, I met with the Clerk as I had undertaken to the PM. The meeting was one-on-one, in my office.The clerk brought up job losses and that this is not about the Quebec election or the PM being a Montreal MP. He said that he has not seen the s.13 note. He said that he understands that SNC is going back and forth with the DPP, and that they want more information. He said that “Iacobucci is not a shrinking violet”. He referenced the September 20 date (presumably a reference to the shareholder meeting), and that they don’t have anything from the DPP. He said that the PM is very concerned about the confines of my role as AG and the DPP. He reported that the PM is very aware of my role as the AGC.I told the Clerk again that I had instructed the DM is not to get in touch with the Director and that given my review of the matter I would not speak to her directly regarding a DPA. I offered that if SNC were to send a letter to me expressing their concerns – their public interest argument – it would be permissible and I would appropriately forward it directly to the DPP.Later that day my COS had a phone call with Elder Marques and Mathieu Bouchard from the PMO. They wanted an update on what was going on regarding DPAs since “we don’t have a ton of time”. She relayed my summary of meeting with PM/Clerk.They raised the idea of an “informal reach out ” to the DPP. My COS said that she knew I was not comfortable with it, as it looked like and probably did constitute political interference. They asked whether that was true if it wasn’t the AG herself, but if it was her staff or the DM. My COS said “yes” it would and offered a call directly with me. They said that “we will regroup and get back to you on that.”Still on September 19, I spoke to Minister Morneau on this matter when we were in the House. He again stressed the need to save jobs, and I told him that engagements from his office to mine on SNC had to stop – that they were inappropriate.They did not stop. On September 20 my COS had a phone calls with Mr. Chin and Justin To – both from the Minister of Finance’s office about SNC and DPAs.At this point there was an apparent pause in communicating with myself or my Chief of Staff about the SNC matter. We did not hear from anyone again until October 18 when Mathieu Bouchard called my COS and asked that we – I – look at the option of my seeking an external legal opinion on the DPP’s decision not extend an invitation to negotiate a DPA.This would become a recurring theme for sometime in messages from the PMO – that an external review should be done of the DPP’s decision.The next day as well, SNC filed a Federal Court application seeking to quash the DPP’s decision to not enter into a remediation agreement with them.In my view, this necessarily put to rest any notion that I might speak to or intervene with the DPP, or that an external review could take place. The matter was now before the courts, and a judge was being asked to look at the DPP’s discretion.However, on October 26 / 2018 – when my Chief of Staff spoke to Mathieu Bouchard and communicated to him now that, given that SNC had now filed in Federal Court seeking to review the DPP’s decision, surely we had moved past this idea of the AG intervening or getting an opinion on that same question – he replied that he was still interested in the external legal opinion idea. Could she not get an external legal opinion on whether the DPP had exercised their discretion properly, and then on the application itself, the AG could intervene and seek a stay of proceedings, given that she was awaiting a legal opinion.My COS said that this would obviously be perceived as interference and her boss questioning the DPP’s decision. Mathieu said that if – 6 months from the election – SNC announces they are moving their headquarters out of Canada, that is bad. He said “we can have the best policy in the world, but we need to be re-elected.”He said that everyone knows that this is AG’s decision, but that he wants to make sure that all options are being canvassed. Mathieu said that if, at the end of the day, AG is not comfortable, that is fine. He just “doesn’t want any doors to be closed.” Jessica said that I was always happy to speak to him directly should he wish.In mid-November, PMO requested that I meet with Mathieu Bouchard and Elder Marques to discuss the matter – which I did on November 22. This meeting was quite long – I would say about an hour and a half. I was irritated by having to have this meeting as I had already told PM etc. that a DPA on SNC was not going to happen, that I was not going to issue a directive.Mathieu did most of the speaking – he was trying to tell me that there were options and that we needed to find a solution.I took them through the DPP Act – section 15/10 – and that prosecutorial independence was a constitutional principle. And that they are interfering. I talked about the Section 13 note – which they said they had never received – but I reminded them they received it in September.M and E – continued to plead their case – talking about … if I am not sure in my decision… that we could hire an eminent person to advise me. They were ‘kicking the tires’. I said NO. My mind had been made up and they needed to stop – enough.I will briefly pause at this moment to comment on my own state of mind at this point. In my role as AG, I had received the decision of the DPP in September, had reviewed the matter, made a decision on what was appropriate given a DPA, and communicated that to the Prime Minister. I had also taken additional steps that the Prime Minister asked me to – such as meeting with Clerk.In my view, the communications and efforts to change my mind on this matter should have stopped. Various officials also urged me to take partisan political considerations into account – which it was clearly improper for me to do. … We either have a system that is based on the rule of law, the independence of the prosecutorial functions, and respect for those charged to use their discretion and powers in particular ways – or we do not. While in our system of government policy oriented discussion amongst people at earlier points in this conversation may be appropriate, the consistent and enduring efforts, even in the face of judicial proceedings on the same matter – and in the face of a clear decision of the DPP and the AG – to continue and even intensify such efforts raises serious red flags in my view.Yet, this is what continued to happen.On December 5/2018, I met with Gerry Butts. We had both sought out the meeting.I wanted to speak about a number of things – including bringing up SNC and the barrage of people hounding me and my staff.Towards the end of the meeting I raised how I needed everyone to stop talking to me about SNC as I had made up my mind and the engagements were inappropriate. Gerry then took over the conversation and said how we need a solution on the SNC stuff – he said I needed to find a solution. I said no and referenced the PI and JR. I said further that I gave the Clerk the only appropriate solution that could have happened and that was the letter idea but that was not taken up…Gerry talked to me about how the statute was set up by Harper that that he does not like the law…(Director of Public Prosecutions Act) – I said something like that is the law we have…On December 7 – I received a letter from the PM, dated December 6, attaching a letter from the CEO of SNC-Lavalin dated October 15. I responded to the PM’s letter of December 6, noting that the matter is before the courts, so I cannot comment on it, and that the decision re: a DPA was one for the DPP, which is independent of my office.This brings us to the final events in the chronology, and ones which signal, in my experience, the final escalation in efforts by the PMO to interfere in this matter. On December 18, 2018, my COS was urgently summoned to meet with Gerry Butts and Katie Telford to discuss SNC. They wanted to know where I am in terms of finding a solution. They told her that they felt like the issue was getting worse and that I was not doing anything. They referenced a possible call with the PM and the Clerk the next day.I will now read to you a transcription of the most relevant sections of the text conversation between my COS and I almost immediately after the meeting:Jessica: Basically, they want a solution. Nothing new. They want external counsel retained to give you an opinion on whether you can review the DPP’s decision here and whether you should in this case. … I told them that would be interference. Gerry said “Jess, there is no solution here that doesn’t involve some interference.” At least they are finally being honest about what they are asking you to do! Don’t care about the PPSC’s independence. Katie was like “we don’t want to debate legalities anymore.” … They kept being like “we aren’t lawyers, but there has to be some solution here”.’MOJAG: So where were things left? …JP: So unclear. I said I would of course let you know about the convo (check) and they said they were going to the “kick the tires” with a few more people on this tonight. The Clerk was waiting outside when I left. But they said they want to set up a call between you and the PM and the Clerk tomorrow. I said that of course you would be happy to speak to your boss! They seem quite keen on the idea of you retaining an ex SCC judge to get advice on this. Katie T thinks it gives us cover in the business community and the legal community, and that it would allow the PM to say we are doing something. She was like “if Jody is nervous, we would of course line up all kinds of people to write OpEds saying that what she is doing is proper.”On December 19, 2018, I was asked to have a call with the Clerk – it was a fairly lengthy call and I took the call at home and I was alone. Given what had occurred the previous day with my Chief of Staff I was determined to end all interference and conversations about this matter once and for all. Here is part of what the Clerk and I discussed…The Clerk said he was calling about Deferred Prosecution Agreement / SNC – he said he wanted to pass on where the Prime Minister is at… he spoke about the company’s board and the possibility of them selling out to somebody else, moving their headquarters, and job losses.He said that the PM wants to be able to say that he has tried everything he can within the legitimate toolbox. The Clerk said that the PM is quite determined, quite firm but he wants to know why the DPA route which Parliament provided for isn’t being used. He said “I think he is gonna find a way to get it done one way or another. So, he is in that kinda mood and I wanted you to be aware of that”.The Clerk said he didn’t know if PM was planning on calling me directly and he is thinking about getting somebody else to give him some advice…you know he does not want to do anything outside the box of what is legal or proper. He said that the PM wants to understand more…to give him advice on this or to give you advice on this if you want to feel more comfortable you are not doing anything inappropriate or outside the frame of…I told the Clerk that I was 100 percent confident that I was doing nothing inappropriate. I, again, reiterated I am confident in where I am at on my views on SNC and the DPA have not changed – this is a constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence.I warned the Clerk that we were treading on dangerous ground here – and I issued a stern warning because as the AG, I cannot act in a manner and the prosecution cannot act in a manner that is not objective, that isn’t independent, I cannot act in a partisan way and I cannot be politically motivated. And all of this screams of that.The Clerk wondered whether anyone could speak to the Director about the context around this or get her to explain her reasoning.The Clerk told me that he was going to have to report back to the PM before he leaves…he said again that the PM was in a pretty firm frame of mind about this and that he was a bit worried…I asked what he was worried about.The Clerk then made a comment about how it is not good for the Prime Minister and his Attorney General to be a ‘loggerheads’.I told the Clerk that I was giving him my best advice and if he does not accept that advice then it is the PM’s prerogative to do what he wants… But I am trying to protect the Prime Minister from political interference or perceived political interference or otherwise.The Clerk acknowledged that, but said that the PM does not have the power to do what he wants… all the tools are in my hands, he said.I said that I was having thoughts of the Saturday Night Massacre – but that I was confident that I had given the Prime Minister my best advice to protect him and to protect the constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence.The Clerk said that he was worried about a collision because the PM is pretty firm about this…He told me that he had seen the PM a few hours ago and that this is really important to him.That is where the conversation ended. I did not hear from the PM the next day.On January 7, I received a call from the PM and was informed I was being shuffled out of my role as MOJAG. I will not go into details of this call, or subsequent communications about the shuffle, but I will say that I stated I believed the reason was because of the SNC matter. They denied this to be the case.On January 11, 2019 – the Friday before the shuffle. My former Deputy Minister is called by the Clerk and told that the shuffle is happening, and that she will be getting a new Minister. As part of this conversation, the Clerk tells the Deputy that one of the first conversations that the new Minister will be expected to have with the PM will be on SNC Lavalin. In other words, that the new Minister will need to be prepared to speak to the PM on this file. The Deputy recounts this to my Chief of Staff who tells me about the comment.Conclusion:My narrative stops here. I must reiterate to the Committee my concern outlined in my letter to the Chair yesterday. That is, Order in Council #2019-0105 addresses only my time as Attorney General of Canada and therefore does nothing to release me from any restrictions that apply to communications while I proudly served as Minister of Veterans Affairs and in relation to my resignation from that post, or my presentation to Cabinet after I resigned. This time period includes communications on topics that some members of the Committee have explored with other witnesses and about which there have been public statements by others. The Order in Council leaves in place the various constraints, in particular, Cabinet confidence, that there are on my ability to speak freely about matters that occurred after I left the post of Attorney General.Even with those constraints, I hope that through my narrative today, the Committee, and everyone across the country, has a clear idea of what I experienced, and what I know of who did what, and what was communicated.I hope, and expect, the facts speak for themselves.I imagine Canadians now fully understand that in my view these events constituted pressure to intervene in a matter, and that this pressure – or political interference – to intervene was not appropriate. However, Canadians can judge this for themselves as we all now have the same information.Lastly, as I have said previously, “it has always been my view that the Attorney General of Canada must be non-partisan, more transparent in the principles that are the basis of decisions, and, in this respect, always willing to speak truth to power.” In saying this I was reflecting what I understand to be the vital importance of the rule of law and prosecutorial independence in our democracy. My understanding of this has been shaped by some lived experience. I am, of course, a lawyer. I was a prosecutor on the downtown eastside of Vancouver. So I come to this view as a professional trained and committed to certain values as key to our system of order.But my understanding of the rule of law has also been shaped by my experience as an Indigenous person and leader. The history of Crown-Indigenous relations in this country, includes a history of the rule of law not being respected. Indeed, one of the main reasons for the urgent need for justice and reconciliation today is that in the history of our country we have not always upheld foundational values such as the rule of law in our relations with Indigenous peoples. And I have seen the negative impacts for freedom, equality, and a just society this can have firsthand.So when I pledged to serve Canadians as your Minister of Justice and Attorney General I came to it with a deeply ingrained commitment to the rule of law and the importance of acting independently of partisan, political, and narrow interests in all matters. When we do not do that, I firmly believe, and know, we do worse as a society.I will conclude by saying this – I was taught to always be careful of what you say – because you cannot take it back – and I was taught to always hold true to your core values and principles and to act with integrity – these are the teachings of my parents, grandparents and community. I come from a long line of matriarchs and I am a truth teller in accordance with the laws and traditions of our Big House – this is who I am and who I will always be.Gilakas’la / Thank you.last_img read more

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Air Canada seeking bank credit card partner for new loyalty program

first_imgMONTREAL – Air Canada is seeking a credit card partner for its new loyalty program which it says will help improve the bond with passengers and drive increased profits.The Montreal-based airline says it is inviting key financial institutions to participate in a request for proposals to join the launch of the program on July 1, 2020.Air Canada (TSX:AC) served notice in May that it does not plan to renew its 30-plus year partnership with Aeroplan parent Aimia (TSX:AIM) when the current contract ends. However, it will continue to make Air Canada flights available for Aeroplan redemptions, as it does for other rewards programs.Operating its own loyalty program is expected to deliver a pre-tax net present value of $2 billion to $2.5 billion over 15 years.Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu told analysts at an investor day that the move is in line with other airlines that operate their own loyalty program.Aeroplan used to be a division of Air Canada before it was spun off during an IPO about a decade ago.With international travel the most popular reward, Air Canada said it can deliver what loyalty card members want through its extensive global network.“This makes us a highly desirable partner,” Rovinescu said.David Tyerman of Cormark Securities suspects that most banks will bid since Air Canada loyalty is a desirable opportunity.TD took over from CIBC as the primary card for Aeroplan, while RBC is a WestJet credit card partner.Ben Smith, president of passenger airlines at Air Canada, said the loyalty program will allow customers — especially its most frequent flyers — to earn and redeem miles with greater flexibility.“We’re committed to focusing on Air Canada’s customers every step of the way, leading to a loyalty program designed around them,” he said.Air Canada also introduced new, financial targets between 2018 and 2020, including $2 billion to $3 billion in cumulative free cash flow.“With several years of record results and profitability…we’re confident in saying that we are on the right trajectory towards a sustainably profitable and investable company with an improved cost structure, improved debt rating, strong free cash flow and great prospects for the future,” Rovinescu said.He also pointed to the 3,000 per cent increase in Air Canada’s share price since early 2009.Air Canada’s largest shareholder, Peter Letko, applauded the airline’s new financial targets but asked about implementation of a dividend. Rovinescu said it prefers to initially focus on reducing debt and buying back shares.The airline said a revised long-term deal with its pilots will allow it to expand the fleet of its low-cost Rouge leisure airline for use on regional routes, if required, to compete against ultra low-cost competitors. Canada Jetlines and WestJet (TSX:WJA) are planning to enter this market using secondary airports.“We can now fully optimize Rouge as our strategic tool we need to competitively address any new low cost threats we see in the industry or market,” Smith added.Air Canada also plans to introduce new fare brands to cater to the differing range of passengers from corporate customers to budget travellers.Meanwhile, in a veiled signal of support for Bombardier in its trade dispute with Boeing, Air Canada said it welcomes the delivery of new Boeing 747 Max later this year and C Series aircraft starting in 2019.“In our view, two great aircraft that will complement each other and that can and should co-exist within their respective competitive spaces,” said Rovinescu.Air Canada is also facing the prospect of a class action lawsuit over rules for its consumer flight passes.The suit filed last month argues that Air Canada ran afoul of Quebec consumer protection law by having expiry dates or fees associated with the program for buyers from around the world. The airline declined to comment about the effort to seek authorization to proceed as a class action.Air Canada also provided travel updates Tuesday for customers who may be impacted by hurricane Maria, which is on track to hit many of the same areas of the Caribbean that were devastated by hurricane Irma. Updates can be found on AirCanada.com.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the relationship between Air Canada and Aimia is ending. In fact, the airline is not renewing its partnership but will continue to offer Aeroplan flight redemptions.last_img read more

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Bank of Canada minimum wage job loss projection follows Conference Board prediction

first_imgThe Bank of Canada’s latest projection of how minimum wage increases in Alberta and Ontario will affect job losses comes as no surprise to the Conference Board of Canada’s director of provincial and territorial forecast service.“It’s in the same kind of range as what we expect,” Marie-Christine Bernard said after the bank’s latest report.The BOC’s “The Impacts of Minimum Wage Increases on the Canadian Economy” study stated while the net impact on labour income would be positive, there would be job losses.“The planned minimum wage increases would reduce national employment by about 60,000 jobs relative to otherwise by 2019,” the report said, while also looking at the effect on GDP.“Minimum wage increases would reduce the level of gross domestic product by roughly 0.1 per cent by early 2019 and boost CPI inflation by about 0.1 pp,” the report said.Bernard pointed out the board’s prediction was actually lower than the bank’s predicting a loss of around 50,000 jobs, with a vast majority coming in Ontario rather than Alberta.“We also have to consider where the minimum wage is compared to the median wage in the province,” she said. “In Ontario, it’s going to be substantially higher.“In Alberta not as much, because there’s less people earning minimum wage in Alberta.”Ontario raised its minimum wage to $14 per hour on Jan. 1 from $11.60 and plans to increase it to $15 in 2019, while Alberta is expected to raise its minimum wage to $15 later this year.Bernard said the losses would include both Canadians losing their current jobs, as well as planned positions that won’t go forward.“Maybe a business would’ve hired a worker and now they’re not,” she said.Both the bank and the board said the number of losses could be less than their projections, depending on how businesses react to the increases, for example by reducing the number of hours employees work.660 NEWS Business Editor Richard Southern said, however, he’s not convinced.“It’s not what we’ve seen in the past,” he said on Twitter. “Goldman Sachs analysis recently found that U.S states where the minimum wage went up had faster employment growth.”To read the full report, click here.last_img read more

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EU trade preferable poll suggests as Trudeau pushes US ties in February

first_imgOTTAWA – With the North American Free Trade Agreement hanging in the balance, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit three major American cities next month to stress deeper economic collaboration between the two countries.Trudeau announced the February visit to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago as a new poll emerged suggesting Canadians are increasingly seeing the European Union, not the United States, as the country’s preferred trading partner.The Ekos poll comes as the sixth round of NAFTA talks begins Sunday in Montreal, and with Trudeau poised to travel to the Swiss Alps to sell Canada as an investment destination to the World Economic Forum, a swish annual gathering of the world’s business elite.It found 42 per cent of respondents view the European Union as the partner with which Canada should be aligning itself. China ranked a distant second at 18 per cent, ahead of the U.S. at 16 per cent. India ranked fourth at 11 per cent.The survey of 7,319 Canadians, conducted Dec. 15 to Jan. 14, carries a margin of error of 1.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.Canada and the EU completed their Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement in September, allowing more than 98 per cent of Canadian goods to enter the EU without tariffs — a deal with so-called progressive labour and environmental elements that the government touts as a gold standard in trade deals.The NAFTA talks have been much tougher, with major differences with the U.S. on automobile rules of origin, the dispute resolution mechanism and a proposed sunset clause leaving a wide chasm between American negotiators and their Canadian and Mexican counterparts.Canada’s free trade aspirations with China also hit a bump in the road last month when Trudeau ended his second trip to that country without kicking off formal talks, leaving that process in its exploratory phase.Canada is pushing what it says is a progressive trade agenda with China that would formally place the environment, labour, gender and governance issues on the bargaining table. China says it is looking for a purely economic agreement.Canada is pursuing a similar agenda at the NAFTA talks, a move that has sparked debate among many analysts as to whether that’s the right way to engage the hard-nosed administration of President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly threatened to withdraw the U.S. from NAFTA.The poll reflects anti-Trump sentiment in Canada, said pollster Frank Graves.With the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the uncertainty around NAFTA, the success of CETA “reflected something that was more of a sounder deal, more resembling the trading relationships Canada is currently espousing without much success to our American partners,” Graves said.Trudeau’s upcoming American visit runs Feb. 7-10.In the Los Angeles area, Trudeau is to give a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley to reinforce how connected the two economies are.He’ll meet with business leaders and entrepreneurs in San Francisco and will deliver a speech at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.Trudeau has made multiple visits to the U.S. and has dispatched cabinet ministers throughout the country to press the merits of preserving free trade in the face of periodic threats by Trump to withdraw from NAFTA.last_img read more

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Tariff announcement a political tactic trade expert

first_imgA surprise tariff announcement from Donald Trump may have steel and aluminum manufacturers in Canada on edge.Trump said Thursday, he planned to sign an executive order putting a 10 per cent tariff on aluminum exports, and a 25 per cent tariff on steel.If it applies to our country it could hit us hard as Canada is America’s number one supplier in that industry.Carlo Dade, Director of the Centre for Trade Investment Policy at the Canada West Foundation, told CityNews while Alberta doesn’t produce the metals, some of the things manufactured with them could be impacted.“The oil industry: pipe fittings, valves — depending on how wide they expand this,” he said.Dade believes this is just a political tactic.“Back in 2002, when President (George W.) Bush did this, it was clearly designed at certain swing states in the U.S.: Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia,” he said. “It’s the same thing here. We have mid-term elections coming up in the U.S. in the fall.”He said it’s still early and nothing has been signed.“This was decided at the last minute, everyone thought that there would be no announcement and then suddenly, we find out that there was an announcement, so let’s wait and see,” Dade said.last_img read more

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