During the weekend, Shay Mitchell, Serinda Swan, Cassie Scerbo, AnnaLynne McCord, Renee Olstead, Chloe Flower, Hill Harper and more jumped 18,000 ft. from a plane to raise money for the Somaly Mam Foundation through an annual campaign called #18for18.Leyla Mcauley, Shay Mitchell, Serinda Swan, Chloe Flower, Hill HarperCredit/Copyright: Nicole Miller AgencyThese stars faced their fear and together have been able to raise over $70,000 for the cause in less than 10 days. That’s $20,000 over the original goal. 18,000 ft. is the highest skydive in North America, in fact when you are in the plane you have to wear oxygen masks.Shay Mitchell, Renee Olstead, Claudia Lee, Serinda Swan, Chloe FlowerCredit/Copyright: Nicole Miller AgencyImmediately following, everyone headed over to the All Saints/Not For Sale event at a private ranch in Santa Barbara to watch Chloe Flower and Renee Olstead perform.To understand what this campaign has accomplished so far, just take a look at the stats – Over 150,000 tweets generated in less than 10 days. Over $70,000 raised for the cause, our original goal was $50,000. Over 10,000 RT’s within 10 days. Over 300,000 online impressions so far.
On Saturday, September 29th, Black Eyed Peas’ Taboo will bring his high energy performance to Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, CA to support music education at the inaugural Rock Their World Celebration, a fundraiser and celebration of national nonprofit Little Kids Rock’s decade of service, restoring and revitalizing music education for disadvantaged public schools nationwide.He’ll join “Red Rocker” Sammy Hagar, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician and Adopt the Arts founder Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), as well as local Little Kids Rock students at this musical fundraiser.More information on this event and Taboo’s participation is available here.Taboo has been a vocal supporter of Little Kids Rock, a leading nonprofit provider of free musical instruments and music classes to underprivileged children. Started by a single Bay Area teacher in California in 2002, it has since grown to attract the support of over 1,200 public school teachers who have proactively banded together to provide free, Little Kids Rock music classes to children in their schools. Over 200,000 public school children in 24 cities in 12 states have since benefited from the program.Taboo first got involved with Little Kids Rock more than a year ago when he surprised students at their end-of-year concert by hopping onstage with them to perform the Black Eyed Peas hit, I Gotta Feelin’. “I am all about the youth,” Taboo said. “I am all about the next big thing. Our kids are the next big thing and I will do anything I can do to support them. That’s why I support Little Kids Rock.” The kids inspired him so much that he brought them to a recording studio to record an original song with him.“Our students are so fortunate to have the support of Taboo, who is an inspiring performer, but also an engaged and committed philanthropist,” says Little Kids Rock Founder and Executive Director, David Wish.
WWE will join forces with celebrities and professional athletes to launch Superstars for Kids, a global online auction benefiting New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees’ non-profit organization, The Brees Dream Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Clubs.Superstars for Kids is a part of WWE’s pro-social initiatives celebrating WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans.Beginning today, through a partnership with Charitybuzz.com, the online auction will feature unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences with WWE Superstars, top athletes and Hollywood celebrities. Fans can visit www.Charitybuzz.com/WWE now through Tuesday, April 8 at 12:00 noon ET to bid on items. Current auction items include experiences with WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels, WWE Superstars Triple H and Daniel Bryan, Drew Brees, Michael Strahan, Anger Management’s Charlie Sheen, Jimmy Kimmel, Tyler Perry, Maria Menounos and many more.In addition to the auction, producer and star of the upcoming comedy A Haunted Mansion 2, Marlon Wayans, will join Drew Brees as one of the special guests at the Superstars for Kids red carpet party to help kick-off WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. Wayans will lead a live auction at the party where additional once-in-a-lifetime experiences will be made available for bidding.“I can’t thank WWE enough for their support of The Brees Dream Foundation,” said Drew Brees, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints. “The funds raised will be used to support our ongoing global efforts to help improve the quality of life for Cancer patients and provide care, education and opportunities for children and families in need.”“Boys & Girls Clubs is honored that WWE recognizes the value of our work, not only in New Orleans but on the Westbank and Northshore, and the deep need of our club kids and the tremendous impact membership has on their lives,” said Frank Sanchez, National Vice President, Sports, Entertainment & Alumni Development. “We are thrilled that Boys & Girls Clubs has been chosen as one of the beneficiaries for this year’s WrestleMania philanthropic activities and look forward to a long lasting relationship between WWE and our organization.”“WWE is committed to using the power of our brand to help improve the lives of children around the world,” said Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer, WWE. “We are proud to support two very worthy organizations that make such a significant impact on so many people.”Online auction highlights include: • Lunch with Charlie Sheen on the set of Anger Management • A chance to be in a Tyler Perry Studios Movie or TV Show • A Bullet Stratosphere Guitar Signed by Maroon 5 • Meet Jimmy Kimmel with 2 tickets and green room access to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live! in LA • Meet & Greet with Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart at Hogan’s Beach in Tampa, FL • Lunch with Shawn Michaels and a backstage tour of Monday Night Raw • Meet WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin and be a part of his podcast • NXT Full Sail Experience with Triple H that includes lunch, behind the scenes tour and all access to NXT • Be a part of the “Yes Movement” and join Daniel Bryan during his entrance to the ring at a WWE Live Event • The Ultimate Drew Brees Experience including a meet & greet with the New Orleans Saints quarterback • Take over the court at The World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden!Source:BusinessWire.com
Think It Up, the new initiative from the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), joined Brooklyn Decker, Andy Roddick, Austin officials including Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz, and hundreds of local students and teachers on March 10th during SXSWedu for the second in a national series of Think It Up Live pitch competitions.Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker at EIF’s Think It Up Live EventCredit/Copyright: Rick Kern, 2016 Getty ImagesAlongside a panel and booth activation on-site at SXSWedu, the live pitch event was designed to empower students, celebrate teachers and build optimism about what’s possible in America’s classrooms. The event drew students and teachers from 24 traditional district and public charter schools in Austin.Think It Up Live Brings Spirit of SXSW to Local Austin Students and Teachers At Think It Up Live, student-teacher teams across Austin came together to pitch VIP judges and Austin-based husband/wife couple Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker on their innovative learning ideas. Roddick, the founder of the Andy Roddick Foundation and retired tennis star, and well-known “Grace and Frankie” actress Decker, listened as students put their best ideas forward at this science fair-meets “shark tank”-type event designed to promote empowered, engaged learning.The winning team was selected from a group of 50 teams and came from Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, and received $1,000 to fund their project, which created a produce spoilage tracker to reduce food waste. All participating teams received $100 in funding credits to kick-start their projects.All funding credits are applied once teachers will post projects at ThinkItUp.org – a first-of-its-kind platform available to all public school students and educators (grades 7-12) in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, the popular teacher crowd-funding charity. To help bring to life more student-powered, teacher-led projects, Think It Up covers half each of each proposals total cost by EIF’s supporters, including Ashoka’s Start Empathy initiative, ExxonMobil and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the rest raised through crowd-funding.The event follows the success of EIF’s inaugural Think It Up telecast that aired in September, and first Think It Up Live event in Denver held in December.Think it Up Debuts at SXSWedu To spread awareness among education innovators, Think It Up participated in its first panel and expo at Austin’s SXSWedu conference. The “Think Rethink: Crowdsourcing Innovation Panel” on March 8th featured Creative Artists Agency Chief Innovation Officer Michelle Kydd Lee as moderator of a discussion featuring Jennifer Golub from MAL/FOR GOOD and Hillary Moglen from XQ: The Super School and Mike Marriner for Road Trip Nation. The panel discussed the power of crowdsourcing to generate ideas, including how each organization defines the crowd and why is it important to bring broader, mainstream cultural attention to education in the United States.At the SXSWedu convention center, the Think It Up booth brought the pitch competition to the expo, bringing to life the initiative’s excitement for learning by inviting visitors to submit an idea to bring their learning in the classroom to life.
Music legend Prince has passed away, leaving a massive hole in music and the lives of people around the world.As well as being a legend in the pop world, Prince was known as a generous and kind man. In 2007 he launched his 3121 fragrance with a concert and 24 hours of charity fundraising, splitting a portion of the proceeds between City of Hope, Jazz Foundation of America, H.A.L.O., Elevate Hope Foundation, Urban Farming, The Bridge and Edith Couey Memorial Scholarship Trust Fund.He supported the Elton John AIDS Foundation by attending the singer’s annual Academy Awards Viewing Party, and was once voted PETA’s sexiest vegetarian.In 2011, Prince donated $250,000 to Eau Claire Promise Zone in Columbia, South Carolina, a citywide grassroots coalition of community partners committed to doing “whatever it takes” to ensure all of the city’s children are prepared to graduate from college and be successful in their career and in life. And in 2012 he partnered with Rebuild the Dream for a concert in Chicago to support the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of everyday people—from seniors to students, moms, dads, brothers and sisters—who come together to build strong vibrant communities and to fix our economy from the ground up.He performed at many charity events, including Tiger Woods’ annual Tiger Jam, raising money for the Tiger Woods Foundation.“As the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) to which the musical genius of Prince contributed so much, I am deeply saddened by his untimely death,” said Robert L. Johnson, Founder & Chairman of The RLJ Companies, RLJ Entertainment, and the Founder of Black Entertainment Television. “The music world and a world of fans will miss this musical genius. Prince was one of the most brilliant and creative artists and performers, and he was also one of the smartest business music guys I met.“I will miss his idiosyncratic and quirky ways which fascinated me during the times we met when I was running BET, and of course his indelible imprint on the world of music.“Purple Rain is falling all over the world today!”Copyright ©2016Look to the Stars
CMA Award Winners Little Big Town will kick off the 2017 Music In Our Schools Tour following a spectacular performance of the National Anthem at Clemson vs. Alabama College Football Championship.Join them on Friday, January 13, 11:00 a.m. for the kickoff of the fourth annual Music in Our Schools – Music Inspires Tour (#MusicInspires, #MIOStour) with the Give a Note Foundation (GNF), Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation, Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country.The 2017 Music In Our Schools – Music Inspires Tour will visit six schools chosen to be part of the Tour. These schools will receive a $2,500 grant from Give A Note Foundation, which will be matched by the CMA Foundation. Additionally, Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country will join in celebrating the talented students with select hosted performances.• Ramona High School, Riverside, CA• Joliet Central High School, Joliet, IL • Salina South Middle School, Salina, KS • James Otis Elementary School, Boston, MA • Tar River Elementary School, Franklinton, NC • Wenatchee High School, Wenatchee, WAFive-time Country Music Association (CMA) Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town will kick off the 2017 Tour at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort Performance Hall at Walt Disney World Resort. The group of country singers will make a surprise appearance during one of the Disney Performing Arts Workshops, Disney Sings — where students are immersed in a “real world” performance experience and record a portion of a Disney film soundtrack. Little Big Town (Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Philip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook) will share their own experiences with music education and the importance of music in the lives of all students. Radio Disney Country Correspondent Savannah Keyes will moderate the session.Event Date and Time: Friday, January 13, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
The Mountain Between Us (Feature)The Mountain Between Us is based on a novel of the same name written by Charles Martin. The story follows 2 strangers, a man and woman, who decide to take a charter plane after their original flight is delayed due to bad weather. Things go from bad to worse after their charter plane crashes and leaves them stranded on a mountain. Although they survived the crash, the two are forced to work together in order to survive the wildness and temperatures well below freezing.Production kicked off at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on December 5th where, ironically, several flights were delayed due to winter weather conditions.The following day filming took place on a plane and in a hangar at Abbotsford International Airport. Unlike their first day, the weather was clear and beautiful with Mount Baker very prominent in the background. Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Advertisement
Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Fifty years after they flew in coconut trees from the islands and replanted them on Olympic Island, it’s easy to forget the influence of Toronto’s first Caribana festival in 1967: its “mile-long carnival procession of a thousand people in gaily-coloured costumes gyrating to the music of five calypso bands” and its politics of Black liberation, social focus, independent financing and deep community connection and participation.Before Caribana, the premiere event in Black Toronto was the annual Emancipation Day Parade, held every November in the west end. The parade was a military-style event started by the descendants of fugitive American slaves who escaped to Canada and settled in the rural communities of southern Ontario. In the 1950s, its main organizer was the Canadian Negro Women’s Association, the group credited with starting the first Black History celebrations, and who, from 1952 until 1964, also produced yearly “Caribbean carnivals,” primarily as fundraisers for the scholarships they provided to Caribbean students and programs they ran for immigrants. One of the group’s leaders, Verda Cook, was also a founding director of Caribana.When the federal government encouraged the country’s multicultural communities to mount events in tribute to Canada’s centennial celebrations, a Caribbean Centennial Committee was created that included “Pan-Caribbean academics, students and professionals.” On July 2, 1967, the group outlined the festival that would “represent the cultures of the 10 main Caribbean islands, in addition to Bermuda and Guyana.” They planned a “parade of bands,” (from Varsity Stadium along Bloor, down Yonge and west on Queen to City Hall), calypso and steel bands, films, ferry cruises, fashion shows, kids’ and adult carnivals, drama and musical performances, fruit and vegetable markets showcasing Caribbean produce and a water-skiing festival. Advertisement Twitter
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The show will take place on October 3 at 5 p.m. at 1 Yonge Street, where a lineup of young designers will deliver a wide range of couture and ready-to-wear styles.Organized by Seneca professor and renowned designer Zoran Dobric, the emerging designers will have an opportunity to feature their original pieces in a runway show to an industry audience, launching their careers in the world of fashion. Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement TORONTO, Sept. 28, 2017 /CNW/ – Seneca’s School of Fashion will take over the runway as ten recent graduates showcase their collections at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week (TW). “Some of our designers are inspired by their cultural backgrounds, some by art, architecture and other unique personal interests. The influences are as diverse as the designers themselves,” says Dobric, who is also showing during TW. “This opportunity is so important to the talented young designers because it showcases their work to the national and international media and industry, as well as potential buyers. TW gives them a prestigious platform to promote their brands.”Seneca alumni participated in Toronto Fashion week in 2015 and the show was regarded as one of the highlights of the week according to The Globe and Mail. This year’s RED: Emerging Designers Showcase will present Seneca’s Canadian and internationally born alumni, helping to foster a global perspective at TW.Under the mentorship of Dobric, as well as other Canadian fashion veterans including Jennifer Dares, David Dixon and Philip Sparks, Seneca’s students benefit from learning from industry leaders.“Maintaining a strong relationship with our students beyond the classroom experience has always been important to Seneca’s School of Fashion,” says Gitte Hansen, Chair, Seneca’s School of Fashion. “Our design faculty, who are fashion professionals themselves, are able to impart to students the importance of presenting and promoting their work to industry while finding the best avenue to join the creative economy.”Students and alumni from Seneca’s School of Fashion have also showcased in other runway shows including the Télio National Design Competition in Montreal, Fashion Art Toronto, Vancouver Fashion Week and the Hempel competition for young designers in Beijing.Seneca alumni participating in this year’s showcase are: Kinoo Arcentales, Rhonique Ballantyne, Sepideh Ghahremani, Ivan Liang, Lulu Lin, Ruiyan Luo, So Young Park, Caron Rondilla, Siyu Xia and Alice Zhu.ABOUT SENECAWith campuses in Toronto, York Region and Peterborough, Seneca offers degrees, diplomas, certificates and graduate programs renowned for their quality and respected by employers. It is one of the largest comprehensive colleges in Canada, offering nearly 300 full-time, part-time and online programs. Combining the highest academic standards with work-integrated and applied learning, expert teaching faculty and the latest technology ensure Seneca graduates are career-ready.Find out more at senecacollege.caFollow us on TwitterAbout TW:Toronto Women’s Fashion Week (TW) is a modern, relevant high tech fashion week devoted solely to women’s wear. TW is home to Canada’s most iconic designers and the next generation of emerging talent. Toronto Women’s Fashion Week creates a national and international platform for Canadian designers including impactful runway presentations, showrooms, pop-up shops, emerging designer programs and industry panel discussions. TW is proudly made by and for Canadians to support Canadian talent and the Canadian fashion industry.Website: www.tw-fw.comInstagram: @tw_fwFacebook: /torontowomensfashionweekTwitter: @TW_FW#iloveTW #iamTW #torontowomensfashionweek #TWSS18#canadafashiongroup #LoveCanadianFashionAbout CFG:Canada Fashion Group (CFG) is committed to nurturing and promoting the Canadian fashion industry by providing a national and international platform for Canada fashion designers and brands to showcase their talent and innovation through impactful fashion initiatives such as TOM* Toronto Men’s Fashion Week and TW Toronto Women’s Fashion Week. Login/Register With: Twitter Facebook
Advertisement Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment A scene from Wintersleep’s video for the song Amerika, one of about 9,000 projects to get MuchFact funding since 1984. Bell Media has confirmed it has ended the program. (Peter Hadfield/Scott Cudmore) Login/Register With: Bell Media has officially killed MuchFact, a small but influential program that was crucial to funding music videos in Canada.The program had been on life-support since May — when the CRTC dropped the requirement for Bell Media to fund it — but the company confirmed it was ended it for good last month. Both MuchFact’s website and Facebook page have disappeared since.MuchFact handed out more than $100 million for around 9,000 projects since it was founded in 1984. In recent years, the program shelled out about $2 million a year, funding videos by Arcade Fire, Carly Rae Jepsen and emerging acts like Halifax psych rock band Walrus and Mississauga, Ont., rapper John River. Advertisement Facebook “The traditional viewing of a music video is … certainly not what it was,” said Randy Lennox, president of Bell Media and former head of Universal Music Canada. He said the funding model was started when music videos were being played on TV stations like Much, something that happens far less now.BravoFact, a similar Bell Media program that funded short-form scripted projects has also been stopped.“We don’t owe anyone an explanation for this after giving $131 million,” he said, the combined total of the contributions to MuchFact and BravoFact. “I think after making hundreds, thousands of music videos and paying for them … I think we’re pretty good guys.”‘There isn’t another option’But that leaves a gap in how Canadian music videos are funded. There are other places to get money, like record labels and the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (Factor). But MuchFact was king.Lennox suggested online video streaming services should be the ones to pay, given that’s where most videos are now watched.READ MORE
FULL SPECIAL REPORTBy Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsHer father was a preacher and she says she believes in God.And she swears she’s telling the truth about the guns.Juanita Cree, 48, says she smuggled two Arizona-bought guns into Canada and planted them in the house of her former boss, a Lebanese-born Canadian citizen named Michael Chamas, 47, who is now a fugitive.“I brought the guns…into Canada,” said Cree, whose Mohawk father was a Pentecostal preacher in Akwesasne. “I put them there.”A Quebec judge issued a warrant for Chamas’ arrest after he skipped a court date on Oct. 19. Chamas is facing trial on nine weapons charges stemming from the two Arizona-bought guns police found in his Lorraine, Que., home on March 26, 2008.Police raided his home as part of Operation Cancun, which targeted a drug smuggling network operating out of Kahnawake and Akwesanse that brought Quebec-grown marijuana into the U.S.Chamas claimed he couldn’t show up for court because he was sick, but the RCMP discovered he had been traveling the globe, including a stop in Mexico where he is involved in a bid to revive Mexicana Air, Mexico’s oldest airline that went bankrupt in 2010.Police suspected Chamas was the “banker” for the cross-border marijuana smuggling organization.Chamas denies this, saying he didn’t know police believed some of the individuals he was linked to were allegedly involved in laundering money from marijuana smuggling.Cree says she planted the guns in Chamas’ house at the suggestion of a Surete du Quebec sergeant, who was with the Aboriginal policing unit.The officer could not be reached for comment. When APTN National News phoned his last known office, one officer said he was on leave, while another said he had been transferred from the unit.The guns, however are only part of Cree’s story.She says she also worked as an informant in Kanesetake, the Mohawk community at the centre of the 1990 Oka crisis, for the Surete du Quebec (SQ) and the RCMP.She claims these things in a sworn affidavit, now sealed but available for download on Michael Chamas’ website, that was filed this past May into Chamas’ court case.None of the claims in the affidavit have been proven in court.With Chamas on the run, it may take some time before Cree is ever challenged about her assertions on the witness stand.To this point, Cree has not been subpoenaed to testify.The RCMP said they could not comment on Cree’s claims.“There is a sealing order in place on this matter, so the RCMP cannot confirm or deny the allegations made by Ms. Cree,” said RCMP Cpl. Carine Cordey. “We don’t want to jeopardize anything that is going on right now that could be before the courts.”The Surete du Quebec also said they could not comment on the matter.The Crown prosecutor, Danny Lemieux, who works for a special unit created to deal with cases involving the proceeds of organized crime, refused to comment on an ongoing case.APTN National News has learned that the prosecution was prepared to challenge the credibility of her statements in the affidavit and was prepared to call SQ officers as witnesses against her if the defence attempted to use Cree’s explosive claims.It’s also believed that the prosecution was prepared to argue that Cree was never technically an informant, but did supply information to the police.The prosecution was prepared to say that the SQ officer Cree says recruited her to become an informant may have been “playing his own game,” according to a source with knowledge of the file.The former officer, Daniel Beaudry, was the police force’s liaison officer in Kanesetake. He could not be reached for comment.Beaudry was disciplined over ties to Chamas while the businessman was under criminal investigation, according to a letter of reprimand from Feb. 8, 2006.The letter of reprimand.Download (PDF, Unknown)Cree maintains she was recruited by Beaudry to become an informant for the SQ between 1994 and 2000. She said she signed a contract with Beaudry and was given a “Confidential Informant” number along with a pager.Cree said relationship with the SQ lasted between 1994 and 2000.“I was trying to help them to gain information that was relevant to some of the operations they were trying to undertake,” said Cree.No money was paid directly for the information she provided, she said.The money moved through separate contracts with Quebec’s justice department for setting up meetings with prominent community members and police training programs, said Cree.“They were cautious and careful about how they gave me money,” said Cree.In one instance, Cree said she worked with the SQ in preparation for a drug operation in August 1995.“They were gathering information via surveillance and most of it was aerial surveillance and we had these large (air surveillance) pictures of the reserve,” said Cree. “And they were asking me to identify who lived where and what was around, pockets of families and people who were in certain locations.”The relationship with the RCMP, which started in 1995, was different.Cree said she acted more as a consultant to the RCMP on policing in First Nations communities across Quebec.“It was how to approach communities, how to make a difference in community policing aspects…They were very interested in (Quebec’s) far north,” said Cree. “I actually flew on the RCMP commissioner’s plane…I spent time with their liaison officer going to different communities, looking at different training things, making connections…making sure they got in to speak to the right people.”The RCMP also gave Cree grants to run sensitivity and cultural training programs for police officers and justice officials.Cree said she eventually drifted away from the police and Kanesatake and by 2000 had reinvented herself in the business world.She became heavily involved in a project to create a free-trade zone at Montreal’s Mirabel airport. Free-trade zones allow goods to be imported, manufactured, reconfigured and then exported tax-free.The free trade zone project ended in the fall of 2001 after Bombardier was allowed to build a hanger that encroached on one of the runways. The airport suddenly didn’t meet the regulations to handle the volume needed for a free-trade zone.Cree said she met Chamas during a gala at the Sheraton related to the proposed free-trade zone.“He was standing in the lobby of the Sheraton and he was very striking, very tall,” said Cree.Chamas wanted in on the free-trade zone and Cree said he had lined up about $50 million worth of investments from China before the project fell through.A self-styled high-flying, international financier, it appears Chamas has business links all over the world; from China, to Switzerland, to Dubai to Venezuela.Chamas has also been the subject of police investigation in two other countries: Switzerland and France.Before becoming a fugitive in Canada, Chamas was gaining altitude. He was attending political fundraisers promising jobs, planning to buy a Quebec bank and promising to set up international construction deals in Dubai.He projected the image of an international financier with limitless access to overseas capital and high-level international connections.Yet, through most of it, he battled the tax man and eventually lost. Chamas had been fighting Revenue Canada in the courts before he fled the country.Tax authorities put a $1.8 million lien on his luxury home in Lorrain which has since been seized and put on the market. He also owed $1.5 million to Quebec in taxes, according to court records.Tax authorities also seized his $200,000 Rolls Royce and over $700,000 from two CIBC bank accounts, according to court records.Chamas, who obtained his Canadian citizenship in 1995, said he didn’t owe tax authorities any money because he maintained his residency overseas where he conducted the majority of his business.Tax authorities and the courts disagreed.But it was his relationship with Cree, who was his personal assistant on his North American dealings, which offered him the biggest prize: access to the Conservative government.Cree was a close associate of David Bernstein, a Montreal bankruptcy lawyer and former Tory candidate who ran unsuccessfully against former Independent Senator and Liberal MP Marcel Prud’Homme in 1976, 1979 and 1980.Bernstein was friends with John Crosbie, a former Tory cabinet minister in the Brian Mulroney government and current lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland and Labrador.Bernstein was also close to John Reynolds, a former Tory and Reform MP who chaired Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party leadership bid in 2004 and he chaired the Conservative’s federal campaign in 2006.Both men are mentioned in Bernstein’s obituary, along with Jerome Choquette, who was the minister of justice for the Quebec Liberal government of Robert Bourassa during the October crisis in the 1970s.Chamas, through Cree, began forming a business relationship with Bernstein who believed the self-styled international financier could raise $1.5 billion in capital for the purchase of the Laurentian Bank in Quebec.Everything, however, came crashing down on Chamas on March 26, 2008, when RCMP and SQ police officers with the Aboriginal Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant at his home in Lorraine, just north of Montreal.The RCMP had traced a $1 million transfer into one of Chamas’ account from individuals investigators believed were laundering money for a cross-border smuggling network operating out of the Mohawk communities of Kahnawake and Akwesasne.Chamas said the transfer was for money he was owed.Revenue Canada and immigration officials were also present during the raid, which was part of Operation Cancun, an investigation aimed at dismantling the drug network which moved Quebec-produced marijuana to New York City.The RCMP’s Integrated Proceeds of Crime Unit was also involved in the Cancun investigation and targeted the suspected money players, including Chamas and one of his associates named Nicolas Anthis.Investigators found two Arizona-bought guns when they searched Chamas’ house in Lorraine, just north of Montreal.One was a Taurus .38 calibre hand-gun bought at the Cash Box Jewellery & Pawn Co. in Tucson, Az., on Feb. 13, 2008, according to a gun trace supplied to the RCMP by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.The other gun was a Glock .40 calibre bought at Sportsman’s Warehouse in the same city on the same day, according to the gun trace.The gun trace.Download (PDF, Unknown)Chamas was charged with nine weapons offences in connection with the guns. None of the offences included gun smuggling.“Those guns, that wasn’t him. That was me,” said Cree, who also had her phone tapped and was under surveillance during the Cancun investigation.Cree says she used Chamas’ birthday as cover to plant the guns.Cree said she phoned Chamas, who was born on Feb. 9, to tell him she had a belated birthday present for him. She carried the guns inside a bag with the present, a magnetized globe.She said she planted the .38 in a basement closet while Chamas showed her some renovations she had done to his home theatre section.Under the pretext of wanting to see newly bought baby furniture in the adjacent room, Cree said she slipped the Glock into the inside pocket of one of this suit jackets hanging in the master bedroom closet.Police found the guns in those locations.Cree said she planted the guns on either March 12 or 13, two weeks before the raid.The proximity between the dates she says she planted the guns and the raids was pure coincidence, said Cree. She said she was not told about the looming raid or tip police about the guns.Cree, however, stayed in contact with Chamas after she says she planted the guns.“I wasn’t working directly with him,” said Cree. “After Cancun hit, he distanced himself from me…some of the associates around him kept telling him I was working for the police.”Cree, however, admits that as time passed, she again entered into Chamas’ sphere and finally told him in April over a lunch of steak and grilled chicken Cesar salad that she planted the guns. She said a glass of wine spilled.The continued relationship, however, raises the possibility that Chamas made a deal with Cree to file the affidavit and claim the guns were planted.They had worked together for several years and she had intimate knowledge of many of his business dealings.If Chamas went down, he could also take Cree with him.Cree’s affidavit gave Chamas a golden ticket to beat the weapons charges.Cree denies there was any deal.“He never paid me to do a deal for him or to take this or do anything. None of that,” said Cree.Chamas, in a separate interview, also denied there was a deal and used a vulgar term to describe Cree.“Are you out of your mind…that bitch, she ruined my life, why would I pay her?” he said.Cree said she arranged for the guns to be bought legally by a nephew. She then smuggled them into Canada.APTN National News traced the name of the individual whose driver’s license was used to buy the guns, but could not reach him for comment.APTN National News did reach the individual’s former partner, who is Cree’s niece, and she said he did buy guns for a family member, but she wasn’t sure about the date.“If the ATF comes to me and charges me, okay, I have to take responsibility for that. It was me. I don’t want them to go and find another scapegoat and say it was somebody else or whatever,” said Cree. “It was me. Am I running away from it? No.”Police seized hundreds of documents from Chamas when they raided his house, including an application for an Arizona driver’s licence.Cree says the application had nothing to do with the purchase of the guns.Chamas said he lived in Arizona in the 1980s after he came to North America from Lebanon for the first time.Cree said the decision to plant the guns began during a meeting in November 2007 with the SQ officer who spoke about Beaudry and Chamas.“He talked to me about who he was, that he was working in Aboriginal policing, (and) he said I know you, you have a reputation here,” said Cree.“(The officer) then stated that it would be better to take them all down,” her affidavit states. “He suggested this using the example of illegal weapons being discovered at the residences of individuals.”Cree said she had other conversations with her acquaintances that also pushed her toward the decision to plant the weapons.“I remember having a conversation with (one lawyer) in his office and he said ‘are you sure you know who you are dealing with?’” said Cree. “He was really pressing in terms of ‘are you sure of these things? Are you sure of these facts? Are you sure you know who this person is?’”But it was a conversation Cree had with Bernstein in January 2008 that finally convinced her to plant the guns.“It was almost like Chamas’ money smelled,” said Cree. “(Bernstein) was told something…and started referring to (Chamas) in a very negative way.”Cree said there were dark hints about financing terrorism.Cree said she decided to come clean about the guns this past spring after talking with Bernstein who was dying in hospital from cancer.Bernstein died in April.“When he was lying in bed and talking about doing things that we were having a lot of regret for,” said Cree. “I knew he was dying and he was talking directly about Chamas. I could do nothing else but come forward with the truth.”She says she just wants to clear her conscience.“My responsibility is to take responsibility, to take accountability for what I had done,” said Cree. “Yes it is a matter of conscience.”Cree says she is ready to face the consequences for committing the crimes of smuggling guns across an international border and using them to frame her former boss.Now she waits.“They are either going to say I am charged with something and get it over with or they are going to come out and call me a complete psycho,” said Cree.email@example.com
APTN National News OTTAWA—Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde wrote an email to MP’s urging them to support Cree NDP MP Romeo Saganash’s private members bill to have UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People apply to new federal laws.Bellegarde sent the email to MPs across party lines Tuesday urging them to support Bill C-641 during Wednesday’s House of Commons second reading vote.If the bill fails to get enough votes it won’t go to committee for hearings and study.“Statements that the declaration is incompatible with Canada’s constitution are untrue and undermine Canada’s standing and reputation in the international community,” wrote Bellegarde, in the email, which was obtained by APTN National News. “The declaration offers a road map to correct the entrenched patters of system discrimination and the many barriers to First Nations enjoying all fundamental human rights and freedoms.”The Harper government is opposing Saganash’s bill arguing it is not compatible with the constitution and that it would give First Nations a veto over federal legislation.“Adoption of Bill C-641 provides a crucial opportunity for the federal government to engage in genuine partnership with Indigenous peoples,” wrote Bellegarde. “I urge you to vote for Bill C-641 at (second) reading…and to provide your unequivocal support to its passage and fulfillment.”firstname.lastname@example.org@APTNNews
APTN National NewsThe annual Yukon River Quest Race is underway in Whitehorse.Fifty-eight teams from around the world are racing through one of the world’s longest rivers to reach the Klondike gold fields in two days.APTN’s Shirley McLean has more on rookie team looking for an experience of a lifetime.
Some of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,800.40, up 30.04 points):Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Healthcare. Up 76 cents, 5.92 per cent, to $13.59 on 8.3 million shares. Canopy says it will develop up to three million square feet of greenhouse growing capacity in British Columbia, more than doubling Canada’s biggest licensed marijuana producer’s production footprint. The company said in a statement that it has entered into a definitive joint venture agreement with a large-scale greenhouse operator where it will be a majority shareholder of BC Tweed Joint Venture Inc., a new company.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Up 10 cents, 4.44 per cent, to $2.35 on 7.04 million shares. Delta Air Lines says its deliveries of Bombardier CSeries aircraft may be delayed next year but that ultimately it won’t be forced to pay the 300 per cent preliminary duties recently announced by the U.S. Commerce Department. “We’re not going to be forced to pay tariffs or anything of the ilk,” CEO Ed Bastian said Wednesday during a conference call about its third-quarter results.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Up five cents, 1.69 per cent, to $3.00 on 5.9 million shares.Birchcliff Energy Ltd. (TSX:BIR). Oil and gas. Up six cents, 1.16 per cent, to $5.24 on 4.3 million shares.Pretium Resources Inc. (TSX:PVG). Miner. Up $2.92, 24.07 per cent, to $15.05 on 3.6 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Up 12 cents, or 0.84 per cent, to $14.35 on 3.6 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU). Grocer. Up 26 cents, 0.62 per cent, to $41.99 on 692,466 shares. The grocery store chain says it will eliminate about 280 jobs starting in 2021 as part of a $400-million overhaul of its Ontario distribution network. Metro says the move to modernize and automate its network will mean the loss of about 180 full-time and 100 part-time positions.Shopify Inc. (TSX:SHOP). E-Commerce. Down $2.64, or 2.28 per cent, to $118.40 on 1.4 million shares. Shopify’s chief executive says he’ll push back against a short-seller’s report questioning the company’s business model during the release of their next financial results. Company CEO Tobias Lutke tweeted that he looks forward to the next earnings call, expected in early November, where he’ll address the “short-selling troll” targeting Shopify.Thomson Reuters Corp. (TSX:TRI). Media. Up four cents, or 0.07 per cent, to $57.71 on 494,816 shares. The multinational information services company will spend about US$100 million to house its new technology hub at a Toronto complex that’s being built for occupation in 2021.
TORONTO – Canada’s main stock index fell sharply in a broad-based decline Monday, led by a slide in oil and gold prices, as U.S. stocks backed away from recent record highs.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index fell 144.50 points to 16,094.72, with the energy, gold and materials sectors among major decliners.“We’re clearly seeming some selling today on the TSX,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist with Edward Jones in St. Louis. “The downside pressure in Canada, as compared to that of United States and, really, other global markets, is from the drop in oil and gold prices.”The March crude contract gave back 58 cents to US$65.56 per barrel and the February gold contract fell US$11.80 to US$1,340.30 an ounce.Meanwhile, south of the border, technology companies led Wall Street broadly lower, as shares of Apple slid two per cent amid concerns its new iPhone hasn’t been that big of a hit with customers.The Dow Jones industrial average lost 177.23 points to 26,439.48. The S&P 500 index declined 19.34 points to 2,853.53 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 39.26 points to 7,466.51.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 81.07 cents US, down 0.09 of a U.S. cent.“Probably the biggest headline today is what’s to come the rest of the week,” said Fehr, pointing to a busy week of potential market-moving corporate news and economic data coming out of the U.S..Several big-name companies are due to report quarterly results, including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google’s parent company Alphabet. About a quarter of the companies in the S&P 500 — the American equivalent to the TSX — have reported results so far this earnings season, with some 65 per cent of those exceeding financial analysts’ expectations, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.The market will also be sizing up new data on U.S. jobs, manufacturing and consumer sentiment. They’ll also be watching Tuesday night’s State of the Union address and listening for any developments out of a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve’s policymaking committee that ends Wednesday.Elsewhere in commodities, the March natural gas contract was down a cent to US$3.17 per mmBTU and the March copper contract was down a cent at US$3.19 a pound.– With files from The Associated Press.
OTTAWA – The federal government’s financial adviser has raised the possibility of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board becoming involved in the Trans Mountain pipeline project but there’s been no political pressure applied, CPPIB chief executive Mark Machin told a parliamentary committee Monday.The Toronto-based fund manager and its peers will likely take a look at the stalled Trans Mountain project because there are a limited number of investment opportunities of its magnitude, but CPPIB has yet to begin a formal analysis or receive any confidential information, Machin told Commons finance committee.His testimony came less than two weeks after the government announced it would buy the project for $4.5 billion from Kinder Morgan, to ensure the pipeline will be completed, with the intent of selling it at a profit in time.Machin insisted, in answer to a question by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, that there had been no contact between CPPIB and Finance Minister Bill Morneau or any other member of the Liberal government.But Machin said that CPPIB has been approached by Greenhill & Co., a small investment bank that has been hired to advise the government on selling the Trans Mountain project.“I believe they’ve approached every — a lot of — funds domestically and internationally,” Machin said.“At this stage, we haven’t done any analysis. We’re still evaluating the situation. Obviously, we have an obligation to investigate and to assess any major investment opportunity that comes along. And to fully understand all of the risks, all of the potential returns and understand the fit for our portfolio as well.”The issue of political pressure is relevant because the CPPIB was set up in the late 1990s to be an independent manager of funds on behalf of the Canada Pension Plan, an employer and employee-funded retirement system.As of March 31, when CPPIB’s financial year ended, it managed a fund with $356.1 billion in net assets, up from $316.7 billion at the end of fiscal 2017 and $278.9 billion at the end of fiscal 2016.Morneau has predicted the Trudeau government will have no difficulty selling the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project after uncertainty about its future is resolved.The federal government’s hand was forced by B.C. Premier John Horgan, who is waging a court battle over the federally regulated pipeline, which would carry diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to a sea port near Vancouver.Machin told the finance committee that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has a mixed track record with pipelines and will use its usual approach when deciding whether to put money into Trans Mountain.In general, he said, a major factor to consider is regulatory risks — pointing out that CPPIB and its co-investors in a European pipeline were caught by surprise when the Norwegian government made a significant change in the tariff regime — or pricing structure — shortly after the deal closed.“We’ve been in legal proceedings for a number of years now,” Machin said.“That is part of the regulatory risk. It’s a really critical part of due diligence to understand regulatory risk for any infrastructure investment.”The federal government decided to buy Trans Mountain after Houston-based Kinder Morgan threatened to walk away from the pipeline expansion due to political uncertainty, particularly because Horgan’s New Democrat government said it will do everything in its legal power to stop the pipeline because of unresolved environmental concerns.Machin told the committee that the CPPIB hasn’t made a formal evaluation of Trans Mountain “purely because it’s at an early stage and we haven’t got any confidential information, or any information, to assess the situation yet.”The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan — another of Canada’s independent retirement fund managers — indicated last week that it had a financial obligation to take a look at the potential of Trans Mountain.— by David Paddon in Toronto
BERLIN — Thousands are marching in Berlin to demand that Germany make a quick exit from using coal-fired energy, a day before a U.N. climate summit opens in neighbouring Poland.Saturday’s march through Berlin’s government district and a simultaneous event in the western city of Cologne were organized by environmental groups. Many demonstrators carried flags with slogans like “Stop Coal!” and “The future is coal-free.”The summit opening Sunday in the Polish city of Katowice seeks to build on the landmark 2015 Paris accord, when countries agreed to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the century’s end.German officials had hoped to present a blueprint for phasing out Germany’s use of coal over the coming decades. But an expert committee postponed its report on that until after the U.N. conference.The Associated Press
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A Canadian company says it will enter New Jersey’s sports betting market as an affiliate of Monmouth Park Racetrack.Toronto-based theScore says it will begin offering an online and mobile sports book in mid-2019, pending approval by state regulators.The company offers digital sports experiences through its web, social and esports platforms.The announcement came the same day that the National Basketball Association announced a deal making daily fantasy sports provider and recently minted bookmaker FanDuel a gambling partner of the league.FanDuel will gain access to official NBA betting data, along with league marks and logos across FanDuel’s sports betting offerings.New Jersey’s sports betting market is growing rapidly, with $928 million worth of bets having been taken by the state’s casinos and racetracks since mid-June.Wayne Parry, The Associated Press
CALGARY — Residential customers of Shaw Communications Inc. will likely see a price increase for their internet and television services, chief executive Brad Shaw said Thursday after the company’s annual meeting in Calgary.Shaw’s chief competitor in Western Canada, Telus Corp., has already announced price increases that will take effect Feb. 25.Shaw told reporters that the details of the cable, internet and wireless company’s price increases haven’t been decided but they will most likely take effect in April.He said the cost of getting rights to sports programing is getting higher for Shaw and other Canadian television service providers, even though audiences are falling.“It’s a real concern,” Shaw said. “How are Canadian companies even going to be able to compete?”He said that Shaw doesn’t get special treatment from Toronto-based Corus Entertainment — a publicly traded company that’s partly owned by the Shaw family and Shaw Communications.Corus owns more than 40 specialty television channels, some acquired along with the Global television network that it acquired from Shaw in April 2016.“Even though they’re both family controlled, the family really says (they’ve) got to stand on (their) own,” Shaw said.He said Corus has had a “fight on its hands” because of competition with other forms of entertainment, such as Netflix, but added that its most recent quarter was promising.Corus reported last week that its overall revenue for the quarter ended Nov. 30 totalled $467.5 million, up from $457.4 million and above the estimate of $451.2 million. Its television division had the biggest revenue increase, rising to $426.2 million from $415.5 million a year earlier.Despite the higher first-quarter revenue, Corus profit attributable to shareholders fell to $60.4 million, from $77.7 million a year earlier, partly because of its accounting for a revaluing of a TV brand that will be retired and replaced this year.Shaw Communications, on the other hand, beat analyst estimates for both profit and revenue over the same period — mainly because of its Freedom Mobile wireless division. Its main cable and internet business, however, saw virtually no revenue growth as it lost video subscribers and home phone customers.However, the profit margin at Shaw’s wireline residential services was up significantly from last year’s first quarter as management focused on optimizing its consumer business’ by removing costs where possible.A year ago, Shaw Communications announced a major employee buyout program aimed primarily at its residential consumer business, as part of adopting to a new generation of network technology using the Comcast X1 platform.Brad Shaw told reporters Thursday that it was “absolutely the right move” given the company’s need to be agile and more automated but added that the loss of 3,000 people “it’s a little bit emotional.”— by David Paddon in Toronto Companies in this story: (TSX:SJR.B, TSX:CJR.B)The Canadian Press