Quebecers still have vivid memories of 1998 ice storm

first_imgMONTREAL – The freezing drizzle had already been falling for four days when Normand Chaput left his home in St-Hyacinthe, Que., on Jan. 9, 1998.Throughout the inclement weather, the Hydro-Quebec line worker had begun each day counting how many utility poles had fallen the previous night.That morning, not a single one was still standing.“There was nothing left,” Chaput said in a phone interview. “All the poles were down, everything was down.”Even the metal towers that held up the grid had collapsed under the weight of 100 millimetres or so of freezing rain that left everything coated in ice.“That was something unimaginable for linemen, to think that towers could just collapse like they were made of cards,” said Chaput.Twenty years ago, nearly five million Canadians in southeastern Quebec, eastern Ontario and parts of the Maritimes were battered by three successive waves of freezing rain between Jan. 5 and 10.The precipitation, which some dubbed “The Storm of The Century,” covered everything in a thick layer of ice and left some people without electricity for more than 30 days.For weeks, Chaput and his work colleagues worked 16-hour days, first concentrating on clearing roads and removing downed conductors, and then on rebuilding the collapsed grid from scratch.After more than a week of working in darkness, he recalls driving to Montreal to visit his family and being shocked by the brightness of city lights.“All your refences are gone, your habits aren’t there and there’s nothing left that’s normal,” he said.Tim Petch, an apple farmer from Hemmingford, Que., remembers waking up to the cannon-like boom of tree branches crashing onto frozen snow.“It was a smash and shattering, just like glass going across a marble floor,” recalls Petch, now 54.He said many of his trees lost up to 40 per cent of their branches, leaving a cleanup job that would last months.Petch, who had no power in his home for 29 days, remembers huddling around a wood stove with his family and going out to check on the tractor-powered generator that was sent by the farmers’ union to keep his fruit stores from spoiling.What he remembers most, however, is the way the tight-knit community near the U.S.-Canada border pulled together by amassing communal stores of firewood and supplies, bringing in generators and checking on neighbours.“We all just pulled together,” he said.Another person with vivid memories of the events of 20 years ago is Steve Flanagan, who made more than 300 media appearances as a spokesman for Hydro-Quebec at the time.He said the utility’s approach was to speak as frankly as possible to a population increasingly worried about their homes, their families and their safety.“The best we could do, in our view, was to say exactly what was happening on the ground, what we were capable of doing, and especially what we were not able to do that day,” he said in a phone interview.Despite some difficult moments — including a nerve-racking time when there was only one power line feeding all of downtown Montreal — Flanagan credits the “exceptional leadership” of then-premier Lucien Bouchard and former Hydro-Quebec president Andre Caille for averting a much larger catastrophe.Nevertheless, the storm was a disaster, causing about $3 billion in damage.At least 30 deaths were attributed to the onslaught, and the Canadian military was called in to assist in the days that followed.Many authorities say the response would be better if the storm were to happen today.Hydro-Quebec says it took steps to reinforce the grid in the aftermath of the storm by strengthening facilities, improving its tree-trimming techniques control and adding new lines and paths to ensure multiple sources of power.The Canadian Red Cross, which ran about 300 shelters and provided emergency aid during the storm, has also learned from the crisis, according to the organization’s director for governance.Josee Payant, who was Quebec program director in 1998, said the organization has since signed specific agreements with various levels of government to manage emergency services and make sure responsibilities are defined.Technology has also improved co-ordination efforts, she said, as has a national program to standardize training for volunteers.“We are more prepared, but every disaster is different and has its own challenges,” she said.Despite the improvements, she says not enough cities, companies and individuals are as ready as they should be.Many municipalities, Payant notes, still don’t have detailed emergency plans, and most families don’t keep enough food, water and supplies on hand to get through 72 hours of crisis.“We have to work with other partners to build a culture of civil safety,” she said. “I don’t think we’re there yet.”last_img read more

CRTC asked to investigate dispute involving excessive and dropped calls

first_imgOTTAWA – Canada’s telecom regulator has been asked to intervene in a battle between rival wireless carriers that is causing failed connections for hundreds of cellphone users, particularly in the North.Telus Communications filed an application last week with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, calling for a public review of what it considers excessive cellphone traffic directed toward Iristel Inc.Telus accused Iristel of gaming the country’s telecom rules — at the expense of Telus — by redirecting calls to the North where it can charge much higher call interconnection rates than in the rest of the country.The practice, known as “traffic stimulation,” involves services such as call centre lines or call-to-listen services using a particular area code where long distance interconnection rates are higher.In its briefing to the CRTC, Telus argues that the practice hurts carriers that offer unlimited long distance calling in Canada, because since they have to pay the higher connection rates to the 867 area code, which covers the North.“Unless relief is granted, service providers facing costs for stimulated traffic will eventually have to reduce the value of their retail offerings as a way of containing costs,” said the briefing.It gave examples of businesses that connect to numbers in the North but that don’t actually offer services there, such as ride-hailing firm Lyft and Punjabi Radio USA. However, phone numbers associated with those firms were redacted from the publicly available briefing. Telus said some of the evidence it collected was provided to the CRTC in confidence.It’s not the first time that such accusations have been levelled against Iristel.The CRTC last year ordered the company to end specific third party, revenue sharing contracts after Rogers Communications complained that traffic to Iristel wireless numbers grew exponentially in 2016.Phone interconnection rates, or tariff rates, are higher in the North because the infrastructure needed to make calls to isolated communities — such as the use of satellites — has been deemed more expensive than in more southern climes.Rates across the territories were set years ago at 3.8 cents per minute, compared with a benchmark rate of less than half a cent per minute in most of southern Canada.Iristel, which serves large portions of the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut through its affiliate Ice Wireless, denied the Telus claim, and countered by accusing Telus of placing an “illegal” stranglehold on wireless circuits that carry Telus phone traffic to Iristel numbers.The result is that hundreds of wireless customers using Telus-activated or affiliated devices have complained of being unable to connect to Ice Wireless users, said Samer Bishay, president and CEO of Iristel.“Canadians are kind of caught in the crossfire here because people on the Telus network, whether they’re up north or down south or anywhere, calling an Iristel number or an Ice Wireless number in Northern Canada are affected by this,” Bishay said in an interview.“They’re only allowing so many channels to pass through, which is completely illegal based on the Telecommunications Act.”Iristel has also sent evidence of its claim confidentially to the CRTC, including communications among technicians at Telus and Iristel, Bishay said, adding that he believes Telus is simply trying to reduce its exposure to costs associated with connecting to wireless devices in the north.But the costs to Telus for their customers making such calls are minimal while there is no economic benefit for Iristel, Bishay said.“We’re talking pennies, literally pennies, in the grand scheme of things,” he said. “What (Telus is) doing is completely illegal and they’re holding Canadians hostage for … a corporate dispute.”Telus denied any wrongdoing.A company official said Telus was not squeezing its communications pipeline to prevent calls from reaching Iristel customers, but that it wasn’t expanding it to account for excessive use, either.“We’ve provisioned our network to meet normal traffic flows,” said the official, who would only speak on condition of anonymity.“It’s not illegal to get a busy signal. If our trunks are busy, our trunks are busy.”A CRTC official said the regulator won’t comment as it reviews applications from both carriers.— Follow @tpedwell on Twitterlast_img read more

Dairy farmers say denting supply management in NAFTA deal would be devastating

first_imgMONTREAL – Nearly 1,000 kilometres from Washington, where a team of top Canadian negotiators sit in 11th-hour NAFTA discussions, Peter Strebel works under a cloud of concern at the rural Quebec dairy farm his father founded in 1976.The Quebec milk producer is worried that rumblings that Canada may sacrifice part of the sacred cow of supply management as a concession in trade negotiations with the United States would “punish” the dairy industry, open the floodgates to American milk products and prompt thousands of farm closures north of the border.“There would be lots of bankruptcies … It would be devastating,” he said from his farm south of Montreal.“We’ll probably have to cut back on investment, maybe lay off a couple workers. I don’t know how it would be done.”Canadian dairy operates under a supply management system, in which farmers are protected from competition because the government blocks out foreign production with high tariffs and sets quotas to limit production and prevent market saturation. With traditional market forces removed, the government decides how much farmers are paid for their production, helping to keep farmers’ incomes stable.The protectionist policy, a staple of Canadian agriculture for more than 40 years, has come under periodic attack from U.S. President Donald Trump.And as trade talks hit a fever pitch ahead of a pending Friday deadline, Strebel and others fear that the Canadian government is ready to make concessions on dairy.More than 15 per cent of the Canadian dairy market is already opening up to imports under terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership signed in March. Any further dents to supply-side protection would imperil the business, said Strebel, who represents his region on the board of the Milk Producers of Quebec.Strebel’s 150 cows churn out 5,000 litres of milk per day, which is trucked off to 115 processing facilities — waypoints on the path to products ranging from Yoplait yogurt to local cheese.Several potential concessions are of particular concern to him and Canada’s 11,000 dairy producers, the vast majority of whom are located in Quebec and Ontario.One is Canada’s domestic milk ingredient pricing system. The Class 7 pricing agreement struck in 2016 has effectively restricted U.S. exports of ultra-filtered milk used to make dairy products, industry experts say.The policy allows Canadian dairy processors to buy domestic milk at world market prices instead of higher prices controlled by the national supply management system. U.S. dairy groups argue the policy provides processors with an incentive to cut milk imports and intentionally blocks American products.But the head of the Dairy Farmers of Ontario believes scrapping Class 7 would be detrimental to the Canadian industry.“Either we’d try to get less capital cost per unit of milk shipped and try and live that way, or go broke — or just try to ride it out for a few more years and then quit,” said Ralph Dietrich, who chairs the advocacy group and co-owns a dairy farm in southwestern Ontario.Should supply management suffer a blow at the trade table, Strebel wondered if Canada would compensate with hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies, or rethink its ban on bovine growth hormone for dairy cows, which the U.S. allows as a means to boost milk production.Robert Wolfe, a professor emeritus at Queen’s University who specializes in agriculture trade policy, pointed to the possibility of devalued quotas. Much like the medallion system that regulates the number of taxi drivers, quotas mean a farmer has the right to produce a certain amount of the product.Any new farmer has to buy in, and the rights don’t come cheap — anywhere from $20,000 to $43,000.“That quota is the right to sell a certain amount of milk. But if anybody can sell milk, then that quota that you’ve spent a lot of money on is worthless,” he said. “For the typical dairy farmer, we’re talking millions.”Slashing supply management or lowering tariff rates would have a ripple effect, particularly for farmers with recent capital investments and bigger debt loads, said Al Mussell, research lead for Agri-Food Economic Systems in Guelph, Ont.“There are some farmers that have reinvested in facilities and expanded in more efficient facilities, but are relatively new and financially leveraged who could have a great deal of difficulty in that environment because they’ve lost some of their ability to generate revenue,” Mussell said.However, supply management is also one of the few cards the Trudeau government has left to play at the bargaining table after the U.S. and Mexico reached their own side deal on Monday.Defending dairy farmers, who enjoy artificially high prices and exorbitant incomes, threatens to hurt the steel, aluminum and automotive industries during trade negotiations unless concessions are made, said Martha Hall Findlay, president and chief executive of the Canada West Foundation.“Why are we sacrificing those sectors, those jobs, those Canadians, for a small number of now wealthy producers?” she wrote in a paper released Wednesday.Findlay called on Ottawa to dismantle supply management, “not because Trump says so, but because it’s in Canada’s best interests.”Companies in this story: (TSX:SAP)last_img read more

Conservatives names former mayor to face Maxime Bernier in Beauce in 2019

first_imgMONTREAL – Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer announced Saturday that he’s chosen a former local mayor and agricultural entrepreneur to face Quebec MP Maxime Bernier in the 2019 election.Speaking in Saint-Elzear, Que., Scheer named Richard Lehoux, the former president of an association of Quebec municipalities and the town’s longtime mayor, as the candidate in the Beauce riding.Lehoux will take on the task of challenging Bernier, the outspoken former Conservative leadership candidate who quit the party over the summer and has since become one of its loudest critics.Scheer did not mention Bernier by name on Saturday, choosing instead to aim his criticism at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.But he claimed the Conservative party was the only one capable of defeating Trudeau’s Liberals in next year’s federal election.“If you want to change governments in 2019, you have to vote Conservative, by marking an ‘X’ next to Richard Lehoux,” he said to cheers.Bernier announced in September that he’s starting his own party, the People’s Party of Canada, to represent those who reject political interference by special interest groups, cartels and lobbyists.Lehoux served as Saint-Elzear’s mayor for 19 years before leaving the post to return to agriculture in 2017. He describes himself as a former dairy producer and said on Saturday that he obtained his first Conservative Party membership card in the 1980s.In a speech, Lehoux said the Conservative party was the best one to lead the Beauce region’s farmers and entrepreneurs, who he described as fiercely independent and “strangled” by state bureaucracy.“We (Conservative party members) count on the personal responsibility of individuals and don’t throw obstacles in their path, so they can develop,” he said to the partisan crowd, which included several mayors from the region who had come to support him.Bernier was quick to react to the candidature, taking to Twitter to criticize Lehoux’s connection to what he called the “dairy cartel.”In an interview with The Canadian Press, he said he wasn’t surprised Scheer had chosen a dairy producer to face him, given the leader’s support of supply management.He said Lehoux’s priority would be “defending the privilege of the cartel,” and said he looked forward to debating him on the issue.“I’m looking forward to have a debate in Beauce about his privilege, and why he wants people to pay twice the price for milk, poultry and eggs,” he said in a phone interview.The Beauce MP quit the Conservative party in August amid disagreements with Scheer on a number of issues, including Canada’s supply management system.He has said his new political formation will be ready to compete in the 2019 election.last_img read more

Everybodys going to feel it Broncos families prepare for sentencing hearing

first_imgChris Purdy, The Canadian Press ST. ALBERT – The hardest thing Chris Joseph ever had to do was get through the first 48 hours after his son died in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.The second hardest, he says, happens this week when he and his wife attend a sentencing hearing for the truck driver who caused the Saskatchewan crash last year that killed 16 people and injured 13 others on the junior hockey team’s bus.“I think this will be harder than the funeral,” said Joseph, a former NHL player who lives in St. Albert, Alta.“I think everybody’s going to feel it.”Joseph plans to stand in court and read his victim impact statement, full of stories about his 20-year-old son Jaxon. He wants the truck driver, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu of Calgary, to hear what he took away from the world.“(Jaxon) was more than just a hockey player on a bus. He was a person that had a lot of love for his family and had a lot of goals and dreams.”His family is submitting about a dozen statements at the hearing which, with 29 victims, could see a few hundred statements entered as exhibits. A makeshift courtroom has been set up in a community event centre in Melfort, Sask., to accommodate all the families, the survivors and the media.Some of the Humboldt players had been changing into suits and others were texting girlfriends as the team’s bus headed to Nipawin, Sask., for a playoff game on April 6. The bus and truck, which was carrying a load of peat moss, collided at a rural intersection.Motorists who stopped to help, as well as some parents who were on their way to the game, came across the carnage.News of the crash made headlines around the world and hockey-loving Canadians responded with an outpouring of support. They pulled on sports jerseys, left hockey sticks on porches and donated millions of dollars.Sidhu pleaded guilty earlier this month to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years each, as well as 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm, which carries a maximum 10 years.Lawyer Mark Brayford said after the guilty plea that Sidhu, 30, wanted to take responsibility to avoid a trial and more hurt for the families.Joseph said he wants the Crown to ask for the highest sentence possible, although he also believes the trucker isn’t totally at fault. “He might be a bit of a victim in this whole thing too, because he never should have been behind the wheel.”The facts have yet to be submitted in court, but a lawsuit filed by the family of another player killed in the crash alleges any training Sidhu had was inadequate.The owner of the Calgary trucking company that hired Sidhu also faces eight charges that relate to non-compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations in the months before the crash. He has yet to go to trial.Toby Boulet of Lethbridge, Alta., will set eyes on Sidhu for the first time since he saw him at the crash that killed Boulet’s 21-year-old son Logan. Boulet remembers Sidhu was agitated and talking to someone in uniform.Boulet is also delivering a victim impact statement, but he said the most important thing for him will be to learn what happened. All that’s now known is that the semi was on a secondary road with a stop sign. The bus had the right of way. RCMP have only said publicly that the truck was in the intersection when the collision occurred.“I want to know what he did or didn’t do,” said Boulet, who added that it doesn’t matter to him what sentence Sidhu gets.“I’d like to see him serve more than a day in jail, but ultimately he did not get up that morning … and say, ‘I’m going to run into a bus and have a crash and kill 16 people and injure 13 for life.’”Ryan Straschnitzki, 19, of Airdrie, Alta., is one of two players paralyzed in the crash. He has been busy with rehabilitation, didn’t want to write a victim impact statement and says he and his parents aren’t going to the hearing.“That’s none of our business anymore. It’s the judge, it’s the police, and I don’t really see any point in going,” he said.“It’s in the past and I’m here now and I’m lucky.”His mother, Michelle Straschnitzki, said it’s been devastating watching her son have to lift his own legs. And she can’t forgive the truck driver, even though she’s sure his own family is also suffering.“You destroyed 30 families that day. We’re all going to be living with this for the rest of our lives.”— With files from Bill Graveland in Airdrie, Alta.last_img read more

Feds launch review of officiallanguages law 50 years after its introduction

first_imgOTTAWA — The federal government is launching a review of the Official Languages Act, saying it is time to modernize the decades-old law.The 1969 law enshrined Canadians’ right to receive federal services in English or French.The last major reform of the law was in 1988 and there have been recent calls to update it again, including from a Senate committee that late last month said the act needs to be applied more effectively and consistently.Oversight mechanisms need to be beefed up to ensure rights aren’t trampled on, the report said, adding a veiled reference to a furor in Ontario that forced the government to backtrack on plans to abolish the independent office of its French-language services commissioner and shrink a francophone-affairs cabinet post.The Liberals plan a series of meetings, the first taking place Tuesday in Moncton, N.B., and an online consultation that’s to result in a final report in June.Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement that the government wants a modernized act to help minority-language communities “meet the new challenges they face” and ensure the law “can continue to meet the needs of Canadians.”The latest census figures from Statistics Canada show that in 2016, the country’s bilingualism rate stood 17.9 per cent — an all-time high — mainly due to an increase in the number of people who can speak French.Statistics Canada had to revise the bilingualism rate down by one-10th of a percentage point after it found a computer error in about 61,000 online census responses: French-speakers were recorded as having English as their mother tongue, leading the agency to report an increase in anglophones in Quebec.The erroneously reported jump in English-language speakers caused emotional ripples in Quebec, with provincial politicians talking about legislative means to ensure the survival of the French language in the province.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

US college bribery scandal unlikely in Canada but inequality persists

first_imgThe college bribery scandal is spurring discussion about the ways in which money greases the wheels of the U.S. admissions process — and while most acknowledge there are fewer shortcuts to securing a spot in Canadian schools, advocates say the system is slanted to give well-off students a leg up.American authorities have accused dozens of people of taking part in a $25-million bribery scheme in which parents allegedly paid to ensure their children’s enrolment in elite schools. Among the parents charged are Vancouver businessman David Sidoo, who has pleaded not guilty, and TV actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.The selection process at Canadian schools is heavily weighted towards high school report cards, leaving less wiggle room for the sort of chicanery being alleged in the U.S., an admissions consultant says.“The competitive landscape is very different in the United States,” said Robert Astroff, president of Astroff Consultants, which helps students prepare for their post-secondary studies. “There’s much less opportunity to game the system in Canada.”Canada doesn’t have standardized admissions tests like the SAT or ACT, which some of those charged in the U.S. are accused of falsifying, said Astroff.Prosecutors also allege that parents bribed college coaches to recruit their children. In the U.S., varsity sports are highly monetized, Astroff said, so more emphasis is placed on athletics than in Canada.There are several other factors that can contribute to a student’s chances of getting into a U.S. school, he said: personal essays, letters of reference, class rankings and relationships with alumni.In Canada, the admissions criteria are less subjective, he said, and an applicant’s acceptance often comes down to whether their high school grades meet the minimum requirements.U.S. schools are sorted into a “tiered” system in which there’s a vast gulf between going to an Ivy League university and a community college, Astroff noted. There’s far less differentiation among Canadian universities, so the selection process is not nearly as cutthroat, he said.Admissions officials at Canadian universities also stressed these cross-border distinctions.Curtis Michaelis, admissions and recruitment co-ordinator at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., said the U.S. students he works with are often shocked at how “transparent” the Canadian system is.Richard Levin, executive director of enrolment services and registrar at the University of Toronto, said most programs accept 50 to 60 per cent of applicants, while acceptance rates at prestigious U.S. schools can be as low as five or six per cent.“It reflects the fact that we have larger public universities with a big breadth of programs that are generally pretty accessible,” he said.According to a 2017 report by Statistics Canada, the post-secondary enrolment rate of 19-year-old Canadians increased from 52.6 per cent in 2001 to 63.8 per cent in 2014 — with the largest gains being made among youth from lower-income families.But Eloise Tan, research program director of Ontario-based advocacy group People for Education, said schools and policy-makers shouldn’t be so quick to pat themselves on the back.“It’s not just about explicit paying or bribery to get your kid into school,” said Tan. “There’s other benefits to having a higher income, that the data shows those students are just more likely to go to school.”Tan pointed to a report released earlier this month by the provincially funded Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario suggesting that high school students who come from families where neither parent has a post-secondary degree are 33 per cent less likely to earn one themselves compared to peers whose parents completed a university or college program.Students from lower-income families were also less likely to pursue higher education than peers from more privileged backgrounds, the report found.Tan said parents are increasingly spending money on tutors to boost their children’s marks, but many students can’t afford those supports. And as Ontario educators struggle for resources, she said youth from higher-income families are more likely to attend schools that have the fundraising to offer extracurricular activities.Students from lower-income families are also less likely to have access to guidance counsellors, she said, and if their parents don’t have post-secondary degrees, the application process can seem overwhelming.“(The disadvantages) are almost invisible, but we need to make sure they don’t remain invisible,” said Tan.Even when universities try to level the playing field, they don’t always get it right, said one researcher with the University of British Columbia.Emily Truong-Cheung, a PhD student in sociology, said UBC changed its admission process in 2012 in an effort to diversify its student population. Instead of just looking at grades, it asks applicants about extracurricular activities and volunteer work.She interviewed 25 applicants and found that while upper-class youth have the time and resources for volunteering, travel and extracurriculars, working-class students often spend their extra time studying and working to support their families.“They were very embarrassed — ‘I don’t want to write about working at McDonald’s. That’s not impressive.’ “Working-class students also felt conflicted about answering a question on overcoming adversity, she said. They wanted to show they had triumphed against the odds, but they also questioned what it had to do with their potential success at UBC.The University of British Columbia said in a statement the school scores every aspect of an application, so administrators can “empirically” measure where every candidate falls relative to the pool of potential students.Truong-Cheung said she didn’t think the university should abandon the new process, but it should address the concerns of working-class students. She appreciates that the U.S. scandal has opened a conversation about class inequality in Canadian universities, she added.“I think what admission processes are trying to say is: We want the best. But what this news has shown is that the best looks a lot like someone who has a lot of resources.”Adina Bresge and Laura Kane, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

DARPAs Justin Sanchez works to stay a step ahead of technological surprises

first_imgMONTREAL — Justin Sanchez, a neuroscientist with the United States’ Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency won’t confirm or deny if he’s working on classified projects.As director of the agency’s biotech office, his research focuses on healing American soldiers who have suffered traumatic brain injuries in battle.“I cannot confirm one way or another, because in doing so it would kind of reveal, but we are part of the Department of Defence,” Sanchez said, following his presentation at the C2 Montreal conference this week.  “And the Department of Defence does a whole number of (jobs) in a number of areas.”His answer is as mysterious as the research he conducts for the American military within the agency, known as DARPA. But he admits the scientific breakthroughs he has played a part in have applications far beyond medicine.For instance, his research has recently shown humans can operate multiple unmanned aerial vehicles using only their minds. Research subjects — already suffering from illnesses such as epilepsy or Parkinson’s — were implanted with brain sensors connected to a series of their neurons.One of his subjects was able to fly a virtual aircraft using a flight simulator — all with their thoughts. That scientific finding is “absolutely” applicable to soldiers in combat, Sanchez said, “but the technology is not ready for prime time.”In one month, Sanchez will complete a six-year term at the research agency, whose origins stretch back to 1958. The United States was humiliated when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 into space in 1957. American leaders vowed from that point on, they would be at the forefront of technological advances.DARPA’s roughly 200 employees manage research projects around the United States with the goal of ensuring Americans are never again surprised by technology. It is credited with inventing the internet, touch screen technology and GPS.“We want to be ahead — always ahead,” Sanchez said. “And part of being ahead is thinking in ways that other people don’t.”In another project, Sanchez was able to “boost” a research subject’s memory by sending electrical impulses to a specific part of their brain.“We can do this today,” he said. “We have shown proof of concept. We can stimulate the brain to improve memory performance.”Scientists also have data suggesting it’s possible to transfer concepts into the brains of rats. Sanchez said scientists have created a mental map about how to solve a maze — and implanted that “memory” into the brains of rodents. “There are early results that show there is a possibility of helping the neurons in the brain (of rats) receive that concept and facilitate their performance in one of those kinds of tasks.”Transferring memories into humans is still a long way off, he said.But theoretically, it’s not impossible, said Carolina Bessega, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Stradigi AI, a Montreal-based artificial intelligence company.“I don’t think it’s completely unfeasible,” she said in an interview at C2. “Theoretically yes, but it’s still early research.”Stradigi AI conducts experimental research in machine learning, but it also works directly with companies by offering tailored services in artificial intelligence.DARPA’s secrecy has sparked countless conspiracy theories and tales of super-soldiers created in basement research labs across the United States, but both Bessega and Sanchez say that is pure fantasy.“The scientific community,” she said, “in general is pretty ethical.” But Bessega admits it’s impossible to know the kinds of research being done in less transparent countries, such as China.China, too, had its “Sputnik moment,” according to author Kai-Fu Lee, in his book, “AI Superpowers.”In the book, Lee recounts how the Chinese became transfixed when the country’s star Go player was beaten handily by an artificial intelligence backed by Google in 2017. That moment helped spur an intense and ongoing push by the Chinese to become world leaders in artificial intelligence.Sanchez said the United States still leads the world in technological advances, and he wouldn’t say if the possibility of Chinese dominance concerns him. “If your mission is to create and prevent strategic surprise, you can’t just focus on one person or one place,” he said.Biotech, for instance, is democratizing, meaning anyone can order a gene-editing kit online and use it at home. Governments no longer have a monopoly on technological advances, he said.“We are living in a world where lots of people can use (technology) in a number of ways, and staying ahead of surprises that can come from that — that’s what keeps me up at night.”Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Communities in Manitoba on high alert as Vancouver Island teens wanted for

first_img-With files from Dean Recksiedler and The Canadian Press GILLAM, Manitoba (NEWS 1130) – Normally quiet communities in northern Manitoba are being flooded with police officers as the manhunt for two Vancouver Island teens, wanted in connection with the deaths of three people in northeastern B.C., continues.Canada-wide arrest warrants have been issued for 19-year-old Kam McLeod and 18-year-old Bryer Schmegelsky.On Tuesday, the RCMP said they had “reason to believe” the pair had been spotted in the rural town. Mounties confirmed a day later that a burned out vehicle, found near the small, rural community town on the territory of the Fox Lake Cree Nation on Monday, belonged to the two suspects.The two Port Alberni men were first reported missing after the bodies of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese were found on July 15 along the Alaska Highway, just south of Liard Hot Springs. Days later, the body of an unidentified man was found near Dease Lake, about 470 kilometres from the first scene, along with a burned out truck and trailer — which were later confirmed to be linked to McLeod and Schmegelsky.RCMP say Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, still consider armed and dangerous. Say they may being using a different vehicle, on foot or even travelling separately. Anyone with information asked to call 9-1-1, 1-877-543-4822 or 778-290-5291.— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) July 25, 2019The man has since been identified as Leonard Dyck, a sessional lecturer in UBC’s Department of Botany.In a statement, Dyck’s family said they are heartbroken by the loss, and describe him as having been a loving husband and father.Meantime, his employer said “The UBC community is shocked and saddened by this news and we offer our deepest condolences to Mr. Dyck’s family, friends and his colleagues at the university.”McLeod and Schmegelsky have officially been charged with second-degree murder in Dyck’s death. No charges have been laid in connection with the two tourists’ deaths.#BREAKING Charges have been formally laid against McLeod, Schmegelsky the suspects at the centre of a Canada-wide manhunt. They are each charged with one count of second degree murder for the death of Leonard Dyck; the previously unidentified man killed on hwy 37— Ash Kelly (@AshDKelly) July 25, 2019As the pair remains on the run, a number of extra police resources have been sent to the northern part of Manitoba, including extra officers from other parts of the province and country, police dogs, and even RCMP tactical armoured vehicles.A police checkstop has been set up on the only highway in and out of Gillam — which is about 1,000 kilometres north of Winnipeg.Many people in small, remote northern communities in Manitoba have been sharing information and pictures of the teens on social media, with rumours swirling about potential sightings, and many expressing hope that the pair are found soon.Teens face rugged, ‘harsh’ terrain in northern ManitobaThe conditions in northern Mantioba are no joke. With hundreds of kilometres of forest, McLeod and Schmegelsky are sure to be faced with swamps, bugs, and wildlife — like black bears and wolves — if they’re wandering the wilderness.“By all means, it’s very harsh,” said Clint Sawchuck, who lives in Gillam and owns Nelson River Adventures. “When I moved up here 12 years ago, I do a lot of hunting and I thought I could walk like I do everywhere else, but you can’t. You’d be up to your knees in water.”Temperatures are known to swing, he added.“It’s thousands of miles of bush and swamp and water — that’s about it,” he explained. “There’s one road in and one road out. The rail travels through here, heads up to Churchill, so that’s a dead end as well. Not favourable to keep travelling through, it’s a dead end.”It’s unclear what the pair’s outdoor experience is, but without proper equipment, Sawchuck believes the men would have an extremely hard time trying to make it away on foot.“If you don’t have bug spray or a bug jacket and try to head out there, if you’re not used to these little insects up here, they’re more dangerous than anything else. They’ll drive you insane.”Sawchuck added with the swampy conditions, it would also be difficult to start a fire. He even noted it’s snowed in August there before.On how the community is feeling, Sawchuck did not hesitate to say people are scared.“They don’t know. They’re killers — they’re just kids, but obviously, a messed up situation they’re in. I think everyone’s just hoping they’re caught or they surrender,” he said.Suspect’s father says son ‘wants his pain to end’Schmegelsky’s father has said his son is in “very serious pain,” and that he expects the manhunt for the 18-year-old to end in the young man’s death.Alan Schmegelsky has described Bryer’s upbringing as troubled, and said earlier this week that the teen had struggled through his parents’ acrimonious split in 2005.“A normal child doesn’t travel across the country killing people. A child in some very serious pain does,” the father said in an emotional interview near his home in Victoria on Wednesday.“He’s on a suicide mission. He wants his pain to end,” Alan said.Related video: Father of B.C. murder suspect says son is on ‘suicide mission’last_img read more

Rock Legends Attend Right To Rock Benefit

first_imgLast week, non-profit organization, Little Kids Rock, hosted its fifth annual Right to Rock benefit to ensure the gift of musical education remains in America’s most economically challenged public schools.For her continued dedication to music education in the classroom Darlene Love was presented with the Big Man of the Year Award during the Right to Rock BenefiThe event generated over $850,000 in donations, which will help fund music lessons and instruments for 15,000 additional children in disadvantaged public schools across the United States. Darlene Love, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and star of “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” was honored for her tireless effort to help keep music in the classroom with the organization’s “Big Man of the Year” award.In addition to the funds raised, Little Kids Rock founder, Dave Wish, announced a $4.5 million initiative to bring music education to 60,000 kids in 600 schools in New York City. Details of this program to be announced.“At the end of the day, when the musical performances are over and the crowd has left, the children are what remain,” said Wish. “We are dedicated to providing a creative outlet for students, one that allows them to become self-confident, to transform their lives. Music is that outlet.”The night began with opening remarks from Jake Clemons, whose late uncle, Clarence Clemons, was the inspiration behind the “Big Man of the Year Award.” Love was joined onstage by student musicians from Franklin L. Williams Middle School in Jersey City, N.J as well as friends and fellow musicians Elvis Costello, Bill Medley, Brian Wilson, Paul Shaffer and Steven Van Zandt.Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International, was also honored for his continued support of the organization. Hard Rock International sponsored the 2012 Right to Rock Benefit, which honored Steve Van Zandt as the “Big Man of the Year.” Van Zandt, an honorary board member of Little Kids Rock and avid supporter of music education through his Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, was the musical director of this year’s production.And since it’s all about the kids, Little Kids Rock student Ashley Nunez, a fourth-grader at P.S. 98 in Manhattan, took the stage with fellow classmates to perform an original song they wrote about Hurricane Sandy, “She’s Got a Lot Going On.”“Since joining the program three years ago, Little Kids Rock has been a haven for me,” said Nunez. “Writing and playing music has allowed me to express how I feel, take more risks, and know that it is ok to make mistakes.”Fellow student musicians from Jersey City performed a mash-up of some of today’s most popular songs by chart toppers like Bruno Mars and Alicia Keys.With Steven Van Zandt on lead guitar, Brian Wilson kicked off the star-studded musical lineup with “California Girls,” and was joined by the night’s “Big Man” for “God Only Knows” and “Don’t Worry Baby.” Elvis Costello brought the house down with “Not too Young to Get Married.”Love was in the air when the night’s honoree teamed up with Bill Medley on a rousing duet performance of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” which brought the crowd to its feet to dance and sing along.The night concluded with an epic performance by Love, who was joined onstage by many of the evening’s performers, including special guest Paul Shaffer, to sing her classic, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”The evening’s success was due in large part to the dedication and support of advisory board members Maureen Van Zandt and Steven Van Zandt, Little Kids Rock’s dinner committee (the “Right to Rock Roadies”), and the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the event such a success. Presenting sponsor, Beats by Dre, as well as lead sponsor, Hard Rock International, also helped to make the benefit possible.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Jack Black To Attend 15th Annual Renal Teen Prom

first_imgProm season comes early for hundreds of teens and young adults (14 to 24 years old) who have kidney disease, who are on dialysis or who have had a transplant.Renal Support Network (RSN) steps out onto the dance floor Sunday, January 19, 2014, to host the 15th Annual Renal Teen Prom for these teens and their guests.Last week attendees and guests took their pick of evening gowns that were donated especially for the event. This year’s theme is “Dancing Among the Stars.” It will feature a magical night of dinner and dancing, entertainment, glamorous photos and appearances by Hollywood celebrities.Inspired by Lori Hartwell, RSN’s Founder and President, who missed her own prom because of kidney disease, the Renal Teen Prom brings together teens from all over Southern California with some traveling from other states.Special guests include Jack Black (“Bernie,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “The School of Rock”) Kyle Gass (Tenacious D) and many other celebrity appearances.WHEN: SUNDAY, JANUARY 19, 2014 
6:00pm – 11:00pmWHERE: Hilton Hotel, Glendale 
100 W Glenoaks Blvd, Glendale 
Glendale, CA 91202Click here for more information.last_img read more

Bill Clinton Honors Leonardo DiCaprio

first_imgPresident Bill Clinton, Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton kicked off the 10th Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting with the Clinton Global Citizen Awards, hosted by Seth Meyers, of NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”The awards, which honor outstanding individuals who exemplify global citizenship through their vision and leadership, recognized Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez for their work on behalf of farm workers throughout the United States, Leonardo DiCaprio for his dedication to environmental causes and preservation efforts of the world’s oceans, Hayat Sindi for her work to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among young people in the Middle East, Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs for bringing the transformative power of wireless technology to underserved communities globally including developing women’s access to wireless technology and their economic empowerment, and President of the Republic of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga for promoting reconciliation in the region and building Kosovo’s political and economic institutions to gain EU membership.“These honorees represent some of the most visionary leaders in the world and embody what it means to be a true global citizen,” said President Bill Clinton. “Having brought together and lifted a nation, given a voice to marginalized populations, worked to protect our fragile environment, and equipped our next generation with the skills they need to succeed, I’m encouraged by their efforts and optimistic about our collective future.”Leonardo DiCaprio, an award-winning actor and a four-time Academy Award nominee, has been an outspoken advocate for environmental issues throughout much of his career. In 1998, at the age of 24, DiCaprio established his foundation with the mission of protecting the Earth’s last wild places and implementing solutions to build a more harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world. Through grantmaking, public campaigns, and media projects, DiCaprio has worked to bring much-needed attention and funding to three focus areas — protecting biodiversity, ocean and forest conservation, and climate change. Over the last several years, his foundation has rapidly scaled up its grantmaking operation, allocating over $10 million to projects that protect fragile ecosystems and key species around the globe, while also improving the lives of local communities. Recently, he led several innovative fundraising events, raising over $60 million for projects the foundation is developing and supporting. Additionally, in an effort to empower his fans to make a difference, DiCaprio uses digital media to inform and inspire the public, offering them ways to take action on an array of issues – from protecting sharks in California and Elephants in Africa to supporting the transition of our society to clean, renewable energy.The event featured musical performances by Aloe Blacc, Natalie Merchant, Jason Mraz with special guests Raining Jane, Harlem Samba, Jeremy Ellis, and The Roots, with appearances by Madeleine Albright, Eva Longoria, Former All-Pro NFL Player and Chairman & Co-Founder of The Asomugha Foundation Nnamdi Asomugha, President and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund Carter Roberts and Randy Jackson, who served as music director for the event.The Clinton Global Citizen Awards have honored outstanding individuals in civil society, philanthropy, public service, and the private sector who exemplify global citizenship through their vision, leadership, and impact in addressing global challenges since the first Clinton Global Citizen Awards in 2007.last_img read more

Jack Nicklaus To Be Honored With Muhammad Ali Legacy Award

first_imgTime Inc.’s Sports Illustrated announced that Jack Nicklaus has been chosen to receive the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award.The award was created in 2008 to honor athletes and sports figures that have embodied the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy as vehicles for changing the world over their lifetime. Earlier this year the award was renamed the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award in tribute to the iconic boxer and humanitarian.“It gives me great pleasure to know the first Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award will be given to one of sports’ biggest living legends, Jack Nicklaus,” said Muhammad Ali. “Jack’s passion for excellence on the golf course is only surpassed by his love and passion for children and their well being. For decades, he has used his celebrity to bring awareness and support for children’s health. I can not think of a more deserving person for this special inaugural award than the Golden Bear, himself.”Nicklaus, who this year became just the seventh athlete in history to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, is being honored for a lifetime of success and influence as one of the greatest golfers of all time. He is a record-setting champion of the sport who has also made philanthropy a central part of his legacy. He joins Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder and driving force behind the Special Olympics, and Earvin Magic Johnson, renowned entrepreneur, philanthropist and social and political activist, as Legacy Award honorees.“There are very few in the sporting world who are more synonymous with the word ‘legacy’ than Muhammad Ali, so to have his name attached to the prestigious Legacy Award is so fitting,” said Jack Nicklaus. “He is not only known universally as the ‘Champ,’ but he has been a wonderful global ambassador for sports and our country. This is a marvelous way to honor his contributions past and present, and to ensure that generations going forward will have the opportunity to learn, respect and admire all Muhammad Ali has done for the sporting world. That is why to be the first recipient of the Ali Legacy Award is both humbling and an honor.”The award presentation will take place during SI’s annual Sportsman of the Year celebration on Tuesday, December 15, in New York City. During this evening SI will also recognize the 2015 Sportsman of the Year and SI Kids’ SportsKid of the Year along with other transcendent individuals from the 2015 year in sports.Jack Nicklaus is a true champion in the world of golf and is one of the most iconic sports figures of our time. He has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated 22 times – more than any golfer – and was named SI’s Sportsman of the Year in 1978. In 1999 he was selected as SI’s Individual Male Athlete of the 20th Century.“Jack is the ultimate ambassador for golf and the sporting world,” said Sports Illustrated Group Editor Paul Fichtenbaum. “From his play, which set the standard in golf for decades and is still held up as the benchmark today, to his successful business pursuits and tireless efforts to support a range of charitable causes, Jack is one of a kind. Having spent a lifetime using his celebrity and influence for philanthropic endeavors and goodwill missions while serving as an inspiration for so many people around the world, Jack represents the ideals of the Legacy Award and stands up perfectly next to the award’s namesake, Muhammad Ali.”Nicklaus’s competitive golf career spanned five decades and includes 120 professional tournament victories worldwide and a record 18 professional major-championship titles (six Masters, five PGA Championships, four U.S. Opens, three British Opens), as well as being a five-time winner of the PGA Player of the Year Award. He has won recognition and praise for his dedication to excellence and his stewardship of the game, from personally designing close to 300 courses worldwide to his leadership in restoring golf to the 2016 Olympic Games.Nicklaus, known as the “Golden Bear,” has used his platform over the decades to support myriad charities, most of which have focused on pediatric health care. He and his wife, Barbara, created the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, which provides pediatric services in various communities nationwide. It has raised tens of millions of dollars over the last decade, and reached a significant milestone this year when Miami Children’s Health System renamed its flagship hospital, as well as eight outpatient centers, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. He also supports a number of other pediatric care organizations, including Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As co-chairman of the Nicklaus Companies, he has integrated give-back components benefitting these and other children’s charities in a number of products — from golf balls to wine to ice cream.In addition to being recognized by almost every major publication in the world as the greatest golfer of the last century, other accolades and awards for Nicklaus over his lifetime include being only the 17th person in history to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal (the highest honors given to any U.S. civilian); the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award; the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship; and being inducted, along with his wife, into the Ambassador David M. Walter International Pediatric Hall of Fame.Nicklaus, Shriver and Johnson are the only people to be selected by SI to receive the Legacy Award. Shriver was the inaugural honoree in 2008, with her son Bobby accepting the award in her honor. In 2014, Johnson accepted the honor and was praised by President Bill Clinton and NBA commissioner Adam Silver. On October 1 the award was dedicated to Muhammad Ali during a ceremony that took place at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Ky., which was attended by Ali, his wife, Lonnie, and other notable figures in the community and sports world including George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Shaquille O’Neal and Louisville mayor Greg Fischer.last_img read more

Game Of Thrones Star Attends MilkBookies Story Time Celebration

first_imgMilk+Bookies, a non-profit organization that brings local families and celebrities together to promote literacy in underserved communities, held its popular annual “book-raiser” at California Market Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 17th.Lena Headey Attends Story Time CelebrationThe Story Time Celebration included a day of family fun featuring celebrity readers, arts & crafts, costumed characters… and, of course, milk & cookies!Julie Bowen Attends Story Time CelebrationThe event featured appearances by Milk + Bookies founder Meredith Alexander, Julie Bowen, David Koechner, BJ Novak, Lena Headey, Tamera Mowry, Jay Mohr, Molly Sims, Selma Blair and Miranda Cosgrove, among others. Books collected and inscribed with special messages at Story Time Celebration will be donated to local students and organizations that do not have access to books of their own. Since its launch in 2004, Milk + Bookies has reached over 76,000 children and raised over 285,000 books in more than 520 cities nationwide.last_img read more

18 July Marks Nelson Mandela Day

first_imgEvery year on 18 July — the day Nelson Mandela was born — the UN asks individuals around the world to mark Nelson Mandela International Day (18 July) by making a difference in their communities.Everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better, and Mandela Day is an occasion for everyone to take action and inspire change.For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year’s Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Nelson Mandela’s leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all.In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/13 recognizes Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and other vulnerable groups, as well as the fight against poverty and the promotion of social justice. It acknowledges his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.In December 2015, the General Assembly decided to extend the scope of Nelson Mandela International Day to also be utilized in order to promote humane conditions of imprisonment, to raise awareness about prisoners being a continuous part of society and to value the work of prison staff as a social service of particular importance.General Assembly resolution A/RES/70/175 not only adopted the revised United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, but also approved that they should be known as the “Nelson Mandela Rules” in order to honour the legacy of the late President of South Africa, who spent 27 years in prison in the course of his struggle referred to above.last_img read more

Malala Yousafzai Speaks About Facing Adversity

first_imgIn an interview for Intelligence Squared, education activist Malala Yousafzai took the stage with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to talk about Sandberg’s book Plan B, and to discuss facing adversity, building resilience and finding joy.Malala is a living example of how this can be achieved. One moment a 15-year-old Malala was riding in her school bus in Pakistan, and the next she was waking up alone in a hospital in England. She had been shot by a Taliban gunman in an attempt to silence her encouragement of education for girls.Malala says that to get through the ordeal, she started by accepting herself for who she was and being thankful for the things she still had – her family and friends. “None of us can escape sadness, loss or life’s disappointments,” she wrote, ” so our best option is to find our option B.”According to Sandberg, gratitude seems to be key in the process of getting from adversity to joy. “Counter intuitively, whenever we face something that’s really hard,” says Sandberg, “and it can be hard and it can be overwhelming, thinking of what could be worse helps us find gratitude for that which we took really for granted before.”Malala found gratitude mostly in her family, which she says has kept her feeling normal. She also has taken to heart the support she received from her friends and from the letters, cards and gifts that she received from strangers around the world.“In return,” she says, “you should show the same love and the same care for others. I think that’s the best way to thank back.”Most of us have heard of post traumatic stress (PTSD), but few recognize the term post traumatic growth even though far more people will experience post traumatic growth than PTSD. Pain is an agent of change. Put simply, says Sandberg, “from the hardest things in our lives, we learn, we grow. Our lives become deeper, more meaningful, we find more purpose, we form deeper relationships, we are more grateful.“We all live some form of option B,” says Sandberg. “Sometimes it’s true trauma, where you lose your country and your life as you know it, like Malala has been through. Sometimes it’s the kind of trauma of losing someone suddenly, or not suddenly, in your life. Sometimes it can be something small. But no one’s life is exactly as they planned it. At some level we all live option B.”You can see the whole talk here.Copyright ©2017Look to the Starslast_img read more

Some candid pics and the Winners of the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards

first_img Facebook Advertisement Twitter 1 of 46 Best Movie: It’s Only the End of the WorldBest Director: Xavier Dolan, It’s Only the End of the World 2017 Canadian Screen Awards LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Advertisement Some candid pics and the winners of the 2017 Canadian Screen Awards winners: Login/Register With: Advertisement Best Actress: Tatiana Maslany, The Other HalfBest Actor: Stephan James, RaceBest Original Screenplay: Daniel MacIvor, WeirdosBest Drama Series: Orphan BlackBest Comedy Series: LetterkennyBest Actress in a Comedy Series: Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s CreekBest Actor in a Comedy Series: Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s ConvenienceBest Actress in a Drama Series: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan BlackBest Actor in a Drama Series: Adrian Holmes, 19-2Fan Choice: Natasha Negovanlis, CarmillaBest Performance in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program: The Tragically Hip, The Tragically Hip — A National CelebrationDonald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary:Guantanamo’s Child: Omar KhadrLifetime Achievement Award: Christopher PlummerEarle Grey Award: Tantoo CardinalIcon Award: Just for Laughslast_img read more

Hot Docs features closer look into lives of women

first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Twitter Some of the subjects, including Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (Winnie) and multi-Grammy winner Houston, qualify as misunderstood women. Or, in the case of activist Dolores Huerta (Dolores), often overshadowed by United Farm Workers co-founder Cesar Chavez, they are misrepresented.“Documentaries carve out the space and the resources to investigate entrenched narratives and the ‘fallen woman’ trope is ripe for examination,” said Winnie director, French filmmaker Pascale Lamche, via email. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement You think you know a woman. And then someone makes a documentary about her.From late pop superstar Whitney Houston (Whitney “Can I Be Me”), to anonymous servers slinging plates around the world (Maya Gallus’s Dish: Women, Waitressing & the Art of Service), Hot Docs 17 unspools dozens of documentaries April 27 to May 7 that tell women’s stories.Plus, about half of the 230 films on this year’s slate have female directors. Facebooklast_img read more

TIFFs Canadian film lineup

first_imgAdvertisement Simon Lavoie’s THE LITTLE GIRL WHO WAS TOO FOND OF MATCHES (LA PETITE FILLE QUI AIMAIT TROP LES ALLUMETTES). #TIFF17 ??— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) August 9, 2017 LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley’s Cardinals, a look at the impact of a convicted murderer’s return to her community;Wayne Wapeemukwa’s Luk’Luk’I, a look at the denizens of an impoverished Vancouver neighbourhood;Molly McGlynn’s Mary Goes Round, about an addiction counsellor struggling with her own issues. There will also be 29 Canadian short films on the schedule.The Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 7-17. .@corybowles’ searing political satire BLACK COP, starring @ronnierowejr. #TIFF17 ??— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) August 9, 2017 Advertisement “Not only are different regions of the country represented, but so are multiple age groups, backgrounds, languages and filmmaking styles. This lineup showcases the incredible wealth of talent currently at work in Canada.”Making their world premieres at the Festival are Mary Harron’s Alias Grace, based on the award-winning novel by Margaret Atwood, with a screenplay written by Sarah Polley and starring Sarah Gadon, Anna Paquin and Paul Gross; and Sean Menard’s documentary The Carter Effect, on how NBA all-star and former Raptor Vince Carter made an impact on Toronto.Alias Grace is also set to premiere Sept. 25 on CBC Television as a six-hour miniseries.Prolific Indigenous filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, whom the the Toronto Film Critics Association called “a significant architect of Canadian cinema and culture,” brings her 50th National Film Board documentary, Our People Will Be Healed.The film takes audiences inside the Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre, a school in the remote Cree community of Norway House, 800 kilometres north of Winnipeg, where the programs are aimed at helping First Nations children learn and thrive.Alan Zweig, director of Vinyl, When Jews Were Funny and the Steve Fonyo story Hurt, debuts his latest documentary, There is a House Here.After his Platform Prize–winning HURT, Alan Zweig (@a_zweig) returns with new doc THERE IS A HOUSE HERE. #TIFF17 ??— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) August 9, 2017Academy Award-nominated Kim Nguyen (Rebelle) returns to TIFF with Eye on Juliet, and so does the winner of last year’s Best Canadian Film award Simon Lavoie, with The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches (La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes).Actor-director Kyle Rideout, who was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award as director and co-writer of Eadweard, screens his comedy about eccentricity and high school, called Public Schooled.And Tarique Qayumi brings the Afghanistan-set drama Black Kite, which mixes animation, documentary and live action.There are also a number of first-timers at this year’s festival, including:Sadaf Foroughi’s AVA, a drama about an Iranian teenager at a pivotal crossroad;Carlos and Jason Sanchez’s A Worthy Companion, a psychological thriller about obsession and trauma;Trailer Park Boys star Cory Bowles’ Black Cop, a satirical exploration of police-community relations; “It is exciting to see a new wave of Canadian first-time feature directors play with genres and take risks,” said Steve Gravestock, TIFF senior programmer.“The depth and detail in which Canadian filmmakers have gone into controversial issues this year is unusual,” Gravestock said.The latest Canadian entries join the previously announced gala Long Time Running, a documentary that tracks the Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem tour after frontman Gord Downie’s brain cancer diagnosis. NBA all-star Vince Carter and the ‘Vinsanity’ he inspired when he played for the Toronto Raptors is the subject of Sean Menard’s documentary The Carter Effect, one of 26 homegrown films screening at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. (Toronto International Film Festival) Advertisement Just like Canada itself, this year’s slate of Canadian works at the TIFF is a multicultural mix reflecting this country’s diversity.Organizers of the September event announced details of the homegrown program Wednesday, unveiling the 26 Canadian-made films screening at the festival this year.“We are thrilled to have a lineup with such a rich diversity of voices and perspectives,” Magali Simard, programmer and theatrical senior manager, said in a news release. Twitter Facebook Login/Register With:last_img read more