Advertisement Login/Register With: About MuchFACTMuchFACT supports the Canadian music community through funding and promotion of music videos and related music content for all media platforms. MuchFact is exclusively funded by Much & M3, divisions of Bell Media Inc. MuchFACT has helped to launch the careers of many of Canada’s most prominent musicians including Carly Rae Jepsen, Celine Dion, Dragonette, Matt Mays, Serena Ryder, The Tragically Hip, Arcade Fire, K-OS, Feist, Shad, Nelly Furtado, Sam Roberts, Metric, k.d. lang, and the Barenaked Ladies. MuchFACT has also had a great impact on developing Canadian directors, many of whom have gone on to direct award-winning music videos, as well as feature films and documentaries. Since 1984, MuchFACT has awarded more than 75 million dollars, and funded more than 7,700 projects. Twitter Advertisement Bell Media’s MuchFACT (A Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent) announced today the 22 fund recipients from the October 12, 2016 music committee meeting. With 157 applications considered, a total of $484,799 was awarded to Canadian musicians in the following categories: Content Package, Music Video, Online Music Video Project, and Digital Tools.MuchFACT funded videos continue to be recognized internationally, with the video for “Amerika” by Wintersleep being nominated for Best Rock/Indie Video – International at the UK Video Music Awards. MuchFACT also continues to support Canadian artists by sponsoring the annual Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class, run by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), whose 2017 winners were announced in September. In addition to prizing from CARAS, the three winning acts, Neon Dreams, The Lytics, and Youngblood, receive a $10,000 MuchFACT Online Music Video grant.MuchFACT fund recipients from the October 12, 2016 music committee meeting are as follows: About Bell MediaBell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada’s most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, operating 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, as well as managing the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service in Canada. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Content PackagePUP – “Sleep In the Heat”Online Music Video ProjectDUTCH – “No Measure”Amaal Nuux – “Last Ones”The Velveteins – “Midnight Surf”Billy Moon – “I Wanna Know”Once A Tree – “Breakdown”CRi – “Rush”The Kents – “Something About Her”Music VideoDARCYS – “Arizona Hwy”Belle Game – “Spirit”K.I.D. – “Errors”Harrison – “Right Hook”Hollerado – “I Got You”Narcy – “Ball (Chobi Bryant)”a l l i e – “Bad Habits”Felix Cartal – “Drifting Away”Wintersleep – “Spirit”Charlotte Day Wilson – “Work”Ria Mae feat. Classified – “Thoughts on Fire”Jessie Reyez – “Great Ones”Keys N Krates – “Love Again”Digital ToolsSaya – “Chills + Thrills” EPBell Media’s MuchFACT has helped to launch the careers of some of Canada’s best and brightest artists, including A Tribe Called Red, Arcade Fire, Arkells, Barenaked Ladies, Carly Rae Jepsen, Celine Dion, Down With Webster, Dragonette, Feist, Grimes, k.d. lang, Keys N Krates, k-os, Majiid Jordan, Matt Mays, Metric, Mother Mother, Nelly Furtado, Sam Roberts, Serena Ryder, The Tragically Hip, and many more. MuchFACT has also had a great impact on developing Canadian directors, many of whom have gone on to direct award-winning music videos, as well as feature films and documentaries.The next deadline for submitting MuchFACT applications is Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Applications can be submitted at www.muchfact.ca.
LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Residents on Coulter Court in Langley saw their neighbourhood transformed into a winter wonderland for five days. Not everyone got into the spirit. (Katya Stano) The Township of Langley touts itself as “one of the most film friendly municipalities in B.C.’s Lower Mainland,” but becoming a hit with the film industry has also produced a new drama: conflict between those who want film shoots and those who don’t.“One house makes all the money and the rest of us just have to put up with the noise and the set-up and no parking,” said Katya Stano who lives on Coulter Court.A five-day film shoot wrapped up Wednesday on Stano’s cul-de-sac. A location scout had gone door-to-door before production began and offered residents $250 if they agreed to have their properties covered in snow and Christmas decorations for the duration of the shoot. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Some neighbours felt the disruption was worth more and asked for $600. Stano says the owners of the house where the main filming occurred were rumoured to have received $1,000 a day.“It pits neighbours against each other,” she said, adding that the friction isn’t worth it. She declined the film company’s offer to put snow and decorations on her property for payment.As the number of film productions in B.C. rises, opposition has also grown. Proponents say these productions bring cash to municipalities. The film industry invested $35 million in the Township of Langley’s local economy last year. Facebook
The Soulpepper Theatre Company’s first production of 2018 is set to hit the stage next Wednesday, but the spotlight will be on the company’s board of directors as they respond to “a wake-up call” following sexual abuse allegations against former artistic director and co-founder Albert Schultz.The Soulpepper box office is still open for prospective buyers and subscribers, and so far, current ticket holders can expect future performances to run according to schedule.Albert Schultz was the director on Amadeus, a play about musical prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart slated to begin its 2018 run on Jan. 10. Schultz’s name and biography have been scrubbed from Soulpepper’s website, with an assistant director listed on the production. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Leslie Lester, wife of Albert Schultz, voluntarily stepped down from her position as executive director during the investigation of her husband, Soulpeper’s board said in a statement. (TOM SANDLER FILE PHOTO) Advertisement “They have a situation where their chief artistic director is married to their executive director, which is a highly unusual situation. So they have to figure out how to disentangle the mess that creates,” she said of Schultz’s wife, Leslie Lester.Lester has voluntarily stepped down from her position during the investigation of her husband, the board said in a statement. Alan Dilworth has assumed the role as artistic director after Schultz’s resignation Thursday, one day after the company’s board of directors announced an investigation into sexual abuse and harassment allegations by four artists, Diana Bentley, Kristin Booth, Patricia Fagan and Hannah Miller.Though there is turbulence behind the curtain, there is also pressure on what happens in the company’s boardroom as it navigates Soulpepper’s uncertain future, said Alison Kemper, an assistant professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management. Facebook Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement
Advertisement TORONTO, June 14, 2018 – A series of quirky videos and social media savvy helped Josée Caron and Lucy Nilesclinch the top spot in the 13th annual English SOCAN Songwriting Prize presented by YouTube Music. “Play The Field” was written by the Atlantic Canada natives and is performed by the band they co-front, Partner. The SOCAN Songwriting Prize is one of few competitions in Canada that award excellence in songwriting. Ten outstanding songs created by emerging songwriters over the past year are nominated by a panel of 15 esteemed music industry experts. The general public is then invited to vote daily for their favourite to determine the winner. SOCAN plays no role in determining the nominees or winners outside of ensuring they are members of SOCAN. A mirroring competition for songs in French, the Prix de la chanson SOCAN, is conducted separately.“Congratulations to Josée Caron and Lucy Niles on winning the 2018 SOCAN Songwriting Prize. In a competition that celebrates songwriting there was no shortage of great songs this year and winning was no easy feat,” said Michael McCarty, Chief Membership & Business Development Officer at SOCAN. “The diversity in genres, gender, and cultural influences truly showcased the breadth of not only our talent but the unique stories that Canadian songwriters have to tell. “Play The Field” is a force and we wish Josée and Lucy continued success in the early days of what is sure to be a long and successful music career.”Caron and Niles added, “‘Play the Field’ is one of our most personal songs, about an innocent time in a young person’s life. Writing it was an exciting experience. Josée made a funny demo and Lucy wrote her verse while working at Tim’s. We would like to thank all the music lovers and supporters for the huge opportunity and compliment. It is an honour to be nominated alongside so many talented songwriters.”The winner of the Prix de la chanson SOCAN is “56k” written by Simon Trudeau Cliche, Jeff Martinez, Marc Vincent; performed by LOUD and published by Productions Silence D’Or.The other nine songs nominated in the English category were:“Dreams Tonite” – written by Alec O’Hanley, Molly Rankin; performed by Alvvays; published by Rough Trade Publishing Canada.“Money” – written by Leandra Earl, Eliza Enman-McDaniel, Jordan Miller, Kylie Miller, Garrett Lee; performed by The Beaches; published by Done with Dolls Inc., Besme, administered by Kobalt Music Group Ltd.“Main Girl” – written by Charlotte Cardin; performed by Charlotte Cardin; published by Red Brick c/o Corico Arts.“Cotton Candy” – written by Jessie Reyez; performed by Jessie Reyez; published by BMG Rights Management Canada.“Chills” – written by James Barker, Gavin Slate, Travis Wood, Donovan Woods; performed by James Barker Band; published by Warner Chappell Music Canada, Ole Media Management LP II.“Walkaway” – written by Jasmyn Burke, Morgan Waters; performed by Weaves.“Magic”– written by Eoin Killeen, Timothy Law, Patrisha Sanna Campbell; performed by Birthday Boy and Trish.“Healers” – written by Benjamin McCarthy, Iskwé, Ryan Somerville; performed by Iskwé.“Lingua Franca” – written by Neil Bednis, Christopher Laurignano, Fraser McClean, Melanie St. Pierre; performed by Casper Skulls.The 2017 winner of the SOCAN Songwriting Prize was PUP for “DVP” written by band members Stefan Babcock, Nestor Chumak, Zachary Mykula, and Steven Sladkowski. Additional winners are available to view on the SOCAN Songwriting Prize website.About SOCANSOCAN connects more than four-million music creators worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals in Canada. More than 150,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers are its direct members, and more than 100,000 organizations are Licensed To Play music across Canada. With a concerted use of progressive technology and unique data as well as a commitment to lead the global transformation of music rights, with wholly-owned companies Audiam and MediaNet, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music has value and music creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work. For more information: www.socan.com Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Variety and balance were evident in the 2018 competition in which women dominated, several genres were represented and, for the first time, a country song landed in the top 10. Music fans made their voices heard as they voted for their favourite songs among the finalists, and in the end, Partner would prevail receiving the $10,000 cash prize, a Yamaha PSR-S970 Keyboard, and a $500 gift card from Long & McQuade.“We are so thrilled and honoured to be the recipients of the SOCAN Songwriting Prize,” said Caron and Niles. “Songwriting is one of our all-time greatest joys, and to be recognized by fellow music lovers in this capacity is a dream come true.”
Twitter Emily Gao considers herself an engineer as much as a jewellery designer.The 25-year-old Torontonian behind the accessories line JY Gao harnesses everyday kinetic energy to create jewellery with independent moving parts that swing, dangle, and oscillates when activated by the movement of the wearer. “It’s partly engineering because you envision something to look great, but when you actually test it out on the human body, it might not have the same effect,” Gao says of the trial-and-error process. She often prototypes her designs using inexpensive materials such as hinges from hardwares stores before rendering the finished product using sterling silver. (If the term ‘kinetic jewellery’ sounds unfamiliar that’s because “its something I sort of invented,” she says.)Currently, JY Gao is an under-the-radar accessories label founded in 2016 (a pair of the label’s earrings appeared in a shoot in the October 2018 issue of FASHION), but it may not stay that way for long, since Gao received a massive cash infusion after winning second place in China’s largest design competition, which awards cash prizes in excess of $1 million. (In comparison, the prestigious LVMH Prize gives out one 300,000-euro and one 150,000-euro prize each year.) Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement
APTN National NewsA First Nation on Prince Edward Island hopes to restore depleted salmon stocks.Farming on the island has polluted rivers over the years.Resulting declining salmon and trout stocks.
For years, stories of infamous northern courtroom conditions have made the rounds in legal circles. It prompted the Quebec bar association to undertake a two-year study. It recently issued a report to the Quebec government decrying the state of the justice system in Nunavik. They found that more than just infrastructure was lacking.“People do not understand how the court works, who are the representatives of justice and the role of each,” wrote Nicolas Plourde, the former Chair of the Quebec bar association, said in the bar’s June 2013 newsletter.Plamondon’s experience backs up Plourde’s observations.“For a newcomer (Inuk defendant), something as simple as “do you plead guilty, do you plead not guilty” you have to explain what it means,” she says, adding she chalks part of it up to cultural differences.“Some of my colleagues do not agree with me, but I still believe that Inuit, if something happened, they will say it happened. That’s it. They will not contest just to contest,” says Plamondon, who then pauses to shake her head, a smile at the corner of her mouth. “I even learned the word in Inuktitut to say ‘don’t talk’!”The Quebec bar report emphasizes that more measures needs to be taken to better explain the criminal justice system to the Inuit, and that justice in Nunavik as a whole needs to be rendered faster.“We must find a way to overcome the slowness of justice which undermines the confidence of Inuit in the system we have imposed. And because we have imposed it on them, we have an obligation to ensure that it adequately addresses their needs,” said Plourde.Plourde says the most upsetting thing he saw in Puvirnituq were the four holding cells at the police station. Designed to detain no more than 12 people, they were overflowing with 22 detainees. Some had been there for four days, when the maximum is supposed to be two. Plourde has described the unsanitary conditions in the cells as “disgusting and third world” because the 22 men were sharing two toilets with little to no access to showers.Wanting to see if there were still overcrowding issues, I asked for a tour of the Puvirnituq police station and was refused because it was “court week”.“The way that detainees are kept when they are here (Puvirnituq), this has to be changed.” Angèle Tommasel, defence lawyer“The way that detainees are kept when they are here (Puvirnituq), this has to be changed, that’s for sure,” says defence attorney Angèle Tommasel, a 22-year veteran of the circuit court who corroborates Plourde’s description of the conditions. Back at the courthouse, I strike up a conversation with an amiable Inuk man at the coffee machine during a recess. We made small talk about local soap stone deposits and the tribulations of being a black Arctic fox in the Arctic during winter hunting season.“There’s not much to eat, but they’re easy to spot in the snow,” he says with a wicked smile. He has a good job in the community which helps him support his large family. Assuming he was at court to see a family member, I asked him why he was here.“Well,” he says, his eyes dropping to the floor “I assaulted a police officer.”A lot of the defendants come across as sheepish. Many say they don’t remember what happened because they drank to the point of blacking out. One corrections officer told me in confidence “So many of them (detained Inuit) are nice, polite people when they’re sober. But when they drink…”While Puvirnituq has more than its fair share of impaired driving and assault charges, a lot of cases clogging up the court can be seen as self-inflicted. These cases are called “breaches”, court shorthand for “failure to comply with conditions” and “probation violations.” The week that I’m there in February they make up about 31 per cent of the charges on the docket.“The number of files have greatly increased, dramatically increased,” says Plamondon when asked what’s changed since she started in the early 2000s. “For sure, there’s a lot of breaches.”One condition that is often on the list is not to drink says St-Louis.“We know that a lot of people have drinking issues, so to me, it’s almost setting them up for failure,” said says St-Louis.Instead, St-Louis would rather have what she sees as more attainable conditions.“We know that a lot of people have drinking issues, so to me, it’s almost setting them up for failure. ” Lyne St-Louis, Makivik CorporationThe Inuit name for the justice committee is Sungirtuijuit, and Anna Alasuak is its coordinator in Puvirnituq. Puvirnituq’s justice committee is a loose group of up to eight Inuit who are tasked with serving as a liaison between the community and the imported Quebec legal system. The justice committee’s undertakings are varied and many, but their goals are straightforward: improve the efficacy of how justice is dispensed in Puvirnituq and prevent community members from reoffending.“Sungirtuijuit means you still have hope, you still can do it, you still can stand up,” says Alasuak.When the court is in town, Alasuak is lucky to have five minutes to herself. Defendants, witnesses, lawyers, victims or just about anyone in the courthouse is pulling her aside to talk. Her seemingly endless supply of patience for everyone and everything, makes it easy to see why she was chosen for the job.The justice committee will recommend sentences to the court, write Gladue reports and even go pick up a community member running late for a court date. For them, no job is too small if it means making the system work better, even if just for a little while. For their part, the court workers are grateful to have them there. “I could’ve met someone last month as a victim, and this week he can be an accused.” Jonathan Carignan, Crown prosecutor“Many people are coming back all the time. There’s very few who don’t come back, most people who we see in court are people who tend to get in trouble often”, says Qumaaleuk.Crown prosecutor Jonathan Carignan adds, “I could’ve met someone last month as a victim, and this week he can be an accused.”Some of the highest rates of sexual and domestic assault in Quebec are in this region. The courthouse in Puvirnituq serves four Inuit communities on the Hudson Bay coast in northern Quebec. Together, the population totals only about 4,000.The 181 charges on the docket are described as a quiet week. This isn’t just a problem endemic to the northern Hudson Bay coast, but in all of Quebec’s “Grand Nord”, or as the 12,000 Inuit call their California sized Arctic homeland, Nunavik. Like their cousins in Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Labrador, the Inuit in Quebec are best known for soapstone carving and throat singing. Many of them still hunt and Inuktitut is the mother tongue for most. Their culture is strong, but so is the spectre of post-colonial trauma. Forced displacement, residential schools and devastating imported illnesses are just some of the all too familiar legacies which have led many Inuit to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Couple the high crime rate in Nunavik with the crawling pace of justice here and cracks in the legal system begin to show.“Here we’re just extinguishing fires, that’s what we do,” says Sarah Plamondon, who’s been a circuit court defence lawyer for 12 years.In order to service the 14 fly-in Nunavik communities, an entire functioning court from the south criss-crosses the region by plane dispensing justice, or at least, it tries to.“We must find a way to overcome the slowness of justice which undermines the confidence of Inuit in the system we have imposed.” Nicolas Plourde, former president Quebec Bar AssociationAfter landing in a community, the Crown prosecutors, defence lawyers and court workers, including the judge, help unload the plane before heading to the courthouse in the afternoon. The cases range from routine, probation violations, threats, simple assault, to serious, sexual assault, assault with a weapon and one murder. A typical trip goes like this; on a Monday morning, the travelling court pile onto a charter plane with up to 12 handcuffed and shackled Inuit prisoners accompanied by guards at the Val d’Or airport. Because there’s no detention centre in Nunavik, people accused of serious crimes who are awaiting trial must be held in the south. Men have to be bussed one hour away from jail in Amos to Val D’or then take the 1,300 km flight to a community such as Puvirnituq. If a case goes all the way to trial, some of them will make this trip five, six – even seven times.Many cases will be postponed. In order to get through the entire docket, the circuit court will spend 10-hours a day from Tuesday to Thursday, leaving Friday as an emergency “clean up” day for left over cases. This doesn’t include the one to two hours a day they spend negotiating plea bargains, something they’ll do at night back at the hotel if they have to. Lyne St-Louis is the Nunavik justice officer for Makivik Corporation, the governing body for Quebec’s Inuit. Without blaming the court, she says the amount of cases they pack into five days affects the quality of their work.“Lawyers, Crown prosecutors and judges are human beings, they have also that need to concentrate on what they’re doing,” she says. “How it’s run at this time can increase the possibility of making a mistake, or not paying attention or not seeing a little detail that they would’ve seen maybe if they had the time.” Puvirnituq is an Inuit community that sits on the shores of Hudson’s Bay, just north of the 60th parallel.A year ago, Leah Unaluk was one of those faces in the prisoner’s box. Today, she’s free.“Being in jail was so hard. I had to leave my community and go to a very different place,” says Unaluk.“I couldn’t see my kids and they couldn’t visit me there.” Leah UnalukShe has a strong gaze, the sort one would attribute to an analytical mind. It’s hard to picture the soft spoken 31-year-old mother of four in jail. But that’s where she spent 70 days last year after severely injuring a person while driving her snowmobile drunk. Like all Inuit offenders, she was sent to jail more than a 1,000 km to the south.“I couldn’t see my kids, and they couldn’t just visit me there, it was hard for me to just talk to them through the phone,” she says.When pressed about the circumstances of her case, her stoic front is momentarily compromised by a flash of guilt. “I had a drinking problem in the past,” she admits. “With the justice committee, they are so implicated, they are at the court, they’re here and I‘m using them as much as I can, every time it’s possible, I do it. And I ask even their advice,” says Plamondon.For the justice committee, the biggest challenge is keeping newly released prisoners from ending up back in jail. According to St-Louis, who oversees the committees all over Nunavik, one major hurdle is that Inuit are not getting the help they need when they are in prison.“There’s not many services, especially when you’re at that level of preventive custody. To me, (it’s) a waste of time sometimes. Okay, we’re safer, because what the person has done is dangerous, but the person is not getting any help,” says St-Louis.What services that are available in detention are in French, which most Inuit don’t speak.“They have a need to see their family, they have a need to continue in their tradition, they have a need to speak their language and that to me is really, really missing,” says St-Louis.Anna Alasuak thinks that a jail should be built up north to help with rehabilitation and cut down on travel for inmates and relatives who want to visit. “Here we’re just extinguishing fires, that’s what we do.” Sarah Plamondon, defence lawyerAlcoholism is a plague in this community of about 1,400. When asked to give a rough percentage of criminal cases that involve alcohol or drugs, defence lawyer Michel Solomon says without hesitation “about 99 per cent”.After watching four days of cases, Solomon’s estimate seems about right. Listening to the prosecution recite the facts behind a case, “the defendant was intoxicated” is among the first sentences spoken in nearly every instance.And the cases just keep coming.One accused stands for his sentence. The judge gives him 11-months, minus time served, for heating a butter knife on the stove and burning his partner with it multiple times. A repeat offender, he shouts something in Inuktitut to family and friends in the precious few moments before guards haul him back to detention. Another case is cut short when a woman declines to testify against her partner for assaulting her, stating simply “I don’t want to talk about it.” Another man on trial for assault is described by a witness as looking at his blood covered hands and asking himself “what have I done?” after beating another man senseless.Criminal court is dramatic by its very nature. Spend enough time in one and you’ll likely hear similar tales of violence and despair. But what’s shocking here is the frequency with which Quebec’s circuit court hears these cases in Nunavik. As an Inuktitut translator who has worked for the court for the last 14 years, Aipili Qumaaleuk has a unique perspective as both an Inuk man and a court worker. By Tom Fennario APTN National NewsPUVIRNITUQ, QC – Flanked by a guard on each side, a man in his mid-20s fidgets in the prisoner’s box when a witness begins to testify against him. This is not his first time in court. Judging from the cringe on his face, it’s not getting any easier for him. Despite the fact he’s just been sentenced to 11-months for assault with a weapon, he seems relieved when it’s over and the bailiffs take him away.Over the course of the day, a parade of defendants cycle through. Their faces an assortment of thousand yard stares, clenched jaws and nervous expressions. Some narrow their eyes and stare straight at the judge for sentencing while others look defeated, hiding their faces in their handcuffed hands. This is the courthouse in Puvirnituq, Que. “There’s quite a bit of postponement, we just don’t have the time to deal with everybody who has to appear in court.” Aipili Qumaaleuk, translatorThe hours might be long in Puvirnituq for the circuit court, but at least the conditions are decent. Most in Quebec’s northern communities don’t have a courthouse. Many make do with makeshift locations such as hockey arenas, high school gyms or church basements. Some of the scenes described to me are hard to imagine. Judges and lawyers decked out in black robes with toques and mittens because the heating is on the fritz or lawyers meeting with clients in the only place where they have privacy, the stall of a bathroom.“Sometimes I was meeting the clients in the hockey player’s (locker) room,” says Sarah Plamondon. “I put my parka under my robe because it was so cold.”Speaking in her office during a short lunch break, Plamondon punctuates her comments with dynamic hand movements and often uses papers on her desk as props.“Some people would say ‘you should not accept those conditions,’ and some people even criticized me that I have accepted that, but I say to myself, when someone is waiting so long to have their case done, at one point, they need to have closure,” she says.The sheer quantity of the charges, translation needs, travel and even weather conditions all conspire to make the court fall behind. Sometimes cases take years to resolve.“There’s quite a bit of postponement, we just don’t have the time to deal with everybody who has to appear in court,” says court translator Aipili Qumaaleuk. “Sungirtuijuit means you still have hope, you still can do it, you still can stand up.” Anna AlasuakAsk anyone on the justice committee for one of its success stories, and they’ll point to Leah Unaluk. Despite the serious nature of her crime, she was granted parole early under the conditions that she receive treatment for alcoholism and that she participate in the justice committee’s restorative justice program. Restorative justice can involve apologizing to the victim of the crime via a healing circle, volunteering to help out elders in the community, as well as day trips that focus around traditional Inuit activities such as sewing, hunting and soapstone carving.“The organizations (social services) would be more available for the prisoners if there was a prison here up north. It’s difficult for them being in the south, it would be a lot easier for them, they would have a lot more help,” says Alasuak.”When I went to see the justice committee I felt comfortable to talk to them about my problems and my short comings and they help me and they listen to me,” says Unaluk.Unaluk speaks purposefully, weighing her words. English is her second language and she’s adamant about expressing exactly how she feels.“I enjoyed being out to the land, it helped me a lot to soothe my feelings,” she explains. “We can have a better life – go hunting, fishing sewing, do the activities and be a good role model to the children, because it’s our future.”Unaluk was identified by both the Quebec court and the justice committee almost immediately as someone who would benefit from the limited programs being offered. Not only is she doing well, she’s working to make amends in Puvirnituq by speaking with high school students about impaired driving as well as counselling for an Inuit version of an alcohol addiction program.But so far her story is the exception to the rule. During my week in the community, Puvirnituq’s young demographics were brought up ominously by both court workers and members of the justice committee. According to the 2011 Canadian census, 79 per cent of Puvirnituq is under the age of 30 and 60 per cent are 28 or younger. This makes for a sense of urgency, because if social services and the justice system continue to tread water battling crime and social issues, an ever increasing rate of incarceration looms large.Court and social workers are already alarmed by the rate of released Inuit who end up reoffending, and for those who do want help, there’s only one addiction treatment centre for all of Nunavik. It can only accommodate nine clients every six-week cycle.“There’s more people, there’s more crime,” says court translator Aipili Qumaaleuk. “There’s a lot of young people who are in court more than older people are.”St-Louis says cases like Unaluk’s proves that they can reach some people, but there’s plenty that fall through the cracks. She’s haunted by one case in particular, where a woman’s defence attorney forgot to refer her for treatment that could have led to an early parole.“It breaks my heart when we could’ve done something to help this woman when she was ready and because of this lack of services, lack of continuity, lack of funding she is now in the penitentiary,” says St-Louis.Plamondon feels strongly that the court can’t do much more to help and that money conceivably spent on a prison would be better put towards more social services.“Imagine if we don’t do something right now. We cannot wait, it cannot wait, we need to help them, we don’t need to judge them,” she says.I put the question to Unaluk: Are things getting better or worse? The inhale she takes before answering is sharp, the hesitation that follows reveals more than her answer.“It’s hard to tell,” she says finally. “It’s hard to tell.”The sun begins to sink below the horizon, washing the white Arctic outside the window into a blazing orange. My week at court is nearing its end. Before I leave I speak with an older Inuk man, the father of the young man who had been sentenced to 11-months of jail time down south. I ask him an obvious question, is it hard knowing he won’t see his son for months?“Even one day is hard,” he email@example.com@tfennario
Larissa BurnoufAPTN NewsIn the spirit of Christmas, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is giving back to people living in urban centres in Saskatchewan.More than 900 kilograms of traditional meat harvested in the province is being donated to several organizations and firstname.lastname@example.org
OTTAWA – Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau suggests he has no plans to provide a timetable for returning Ottawa’s books to balance — even with a scorching economy.Morneau credited the strong economic performance to the Trudeau government’s strategy to run deficits, which helped it finance measures such as lower income-tax rates for middle earners and enhanced child benefits.Moving forward, he said Tuesday that Ottawa intended to pursue its plan to invest more than $180 billion into infrastructure over the next 11 years. That spending is projected to contribute to annual, multibillion-dollar shortfalls across Ottawa’s five-year budgetary outlook — and perhaps beyond.Morneau’s remarks outside a cabinet retreat in St. John’s came after months of impressive economic data, including a recent report showing growth expanded at an annualized rate of 4.5 per cent in the second quarter.“We find ourselves in this positive position because of the economic approach we’ve taken,” he told reporters after being asked if the improved fiscal outlook meant he’d produce a timeline to eliminate the deficit in his fall economic update.“We’re going to continue down that path and we’re going to do it in a fiscally responsible way.”The Liberals’ deficit track has faced criticism.Conservative opponents have long been critical about the government’s plan to add to the federal debt to fund new measures, while some economists have urged Ottawa to limit fiscal uncertainty by mapping out a plan to return to balance.More recently, experts have also warned that Ottawa should consider delaying its nearer-term infrastructure investments to avoid the risk of overheating the already-sizzling economy.The economy’s surprisingly powerful start to the year is expected to improve the federal bottom line outlined in the government’s March budget.At the time, Morneau forecasted a $28.5-billion deficit for 2017-18, including a $3-billion accounting adjustment for risk.A new analysis released this week by a University of Ottawa think tank predicts the deficit is on track to be about $6.5 billion smaller this year. The shortfall is set to shrink thanks to an economic expansion that easily topped federal projections, said the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy.The think tank, led by former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, also said there’s “little doubt” the federal measures, such as increased child benefits and early infrastructure spending, have contributed to Canada’s improved economic performance.Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said the Liberals were fortunate to have inherited a solid financial situation from the Harper government and to enjoy the benefits of a strengthening U.S. economy.Poilievre said the government should balance the books now while the “going’s good.”If not, he warned that rising interest rates will leave households and the government increasingly indebted. Over time, the higher rates will also gradually boost Ottawa’s debt-servicing costs, he added.“Now is the time to balance the budget and strengthen our finances, rather than continuing to pile on new debt,” Poilievre said Tuesday in an interview.Morneau insisted Tuesday that, since taking office, the government’s approach has put more disposable income in consumers’ pockets, which they’ve put back into the economy.On infrastructure, Morneau said Ottawa would stick with the spending strategy because it’s designed to lift the economy over the long term.To guide the government’s deficit decisions, he added it would keep its focus on the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio — a measure of the public debt burden.The government has promised to lower the ratio over the Liberal mandate and views it as a so-called fiscal anchor, rather than eliminating the deficit.“We expect that we’ll be able to do even better than we might have thought in the past, in terms of our ability to manage that,” Morneau said of the ratio.“That will be our continuing measurement tool.”The Liberals won the 2015 election on a platform that pledged to invest billions in infrastructure and child benefits as a way to re-energize the economy. They had promised annual shortfalls would not surpass $10 billion during the first couple years of their mandate and to return to balance by 2019-20.However, a few months after taking office the government abandoned those vows, citing a weaker-than-expected economy.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter
TORONTO – Canada’s residential real estate market saw strong but slowing year-over-year price growth in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to a report by Royal LePage.The real estate company said that based on data in 53 markets, the price of a home in Canada increased 10.8 per cent year-over-year to $626,042 in the quarter.Broken down by housing type, Royal LePage said the median price of a two-storey home rose 11.1 per cent year-over-year to $741,924, and the median price of a bungalow climbed 7.1 per cent to $522,963.But the company said in its report released Wednesday that the median price of a condo grew faster than any other housing type studied, rising 14.3 per cent to $420,823 on a year-over-year basis due to gains in many of the largest markets.In the Greater Toronto Area, the median price of a condo grew 19.5 per cent year-over-year to $476,421, while in the City of Toronto, the cost of a condo rose 19.6 per cent to $515,578.In Greater Vancouver, condominiums followed a similar pattern during the quarter, rising 20.2 per cent to $651,885, while the median price of a condo unit in the City of Vancouver rose 18.7 per cent to $775,806.In a separate report that examined luxury home sales, Sotheby’s International Realty said sales in the Greater Toronto Area of homes over $1 million in 2017 slowed in the second half of the year following a move by the Ontario government to cool the market.Sales of homes over $1 million in the GTA in the second half of the year were down 56 per cent compared with the first six months of 2017 and down 33 per cent compared with the second half of 2016.However, sales of homes over $1 million in the region for all of 2017 were up five per cent compared with 2016 due to the hot start to the year and strong condo sales. Sales of condos over $1 million in Canada’s largest city climbed 59 per cent compared with 2016, while sales of those over $4 million rose 82 per cent.Sotheby’s CEO Brad Henderson said the condo market’s strength is persisting because there’s a “scarce” number of affordable, family homes in the city and surrounding regions, and increasing numbers of empty-nesters looking to move closer to their kids downtown.“The condo market will continue to be a strong and resilient class of real estate,” Henderson said.“It is a much more affordable opportunity, even in the luxury level, and there is considerable demand.”Calgary saw overall home sales over $1 million increase 11 per cent year-over-year, while sales in the $1 million-plus real estate market increased 20 per cent in Montreal.Meanwhile, Sotheby’s said sales of homes over $1 million in Vancouver fell five per cent compared with 2016, while those over $4 million fell by 33 per cent.Royal LePage said the GTA showed signs of slowing as 2017 drew to a close, notably in the single-family detached segment.In the fourth quarter, the median price of a two-storey home and bungalow in Toronto and surrounding area fell by 2.0 and 2.4 per cent respectively on a quarter-over-quarter basis.The company says condos were the only segment to appreciate on a quarter-over-quarter basis among all housing types, rising 1.1 per cent in the final three months of the year.At the same time, the price of two-storey homes and bungalows fell 0.3 and 0.2 per cent quarter-over-quarter, respectively.“To prospective homeowners in our largest cities, condominiums represent the last bastion of affordability,” said Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper.“This is especially true for first-time buyers whose purchasing power has been reduced by tightening mortgage regulations.”
CALGARY – Enbridge Inc. announced $3.2 billion in asset sales Wednesday in a pair of deals including renewable power facilities in North America and Europe and natural gas gathering and processing assets in the United States.The sales announced hours before its annual meeting allow Enbridge to declare mission accomplished on its goal of raising $3 billion from non-core asset sales in 2018 to reduce its debt and help fund its $22-billion growth program.Enbridge shares rose as high as $41.48 in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, up about 2.6 per cent from the close Tuesday.Under the first agreement, the company said it has inked a $1.75-billion agreement with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to sell a 49 per cent stake in most of its wind and solar power assets.“The monetization of $1.75 billion of renewable assets through our newly formed joint venture with CPPIB is an important step in achieving the objective we set when we rolled out our three-year plan and strategic priorities in December,” Enbridge CEO Al Monaco said in a news release.“This deal makes a significant contribution to our $3-billion asset sales target for the year and will also eliminate $500 million of equity capital requirement that we had previously included in our funding plan.”Separately, the Calgary-based firm said it will sell Midcoast Operating LP to an affiliate of private equity firm ArcLight Capital Partners LLC for about $1.44 billion.Midcoast operates facilities in Texas and Oklahoma to process and treat natural gas and natural gas liquids.The sale is an important step in the company’s shift to a pure regulated pipeline and utility model, Monaco said.Enbridge and CPPIB have agreed to create a joint venture that includes all of its Canadian renewable power assets, as well as the Cedar Point Wind Farm in Colorado and the Silver State North Solar Project in Nevada.The deal also includes Enbridge’s interests in two German offshore wind projects that are under construction. CPPIB has agreed to fund its share of the remaining costs to complete the projects, estimated at about $500 million.“Since December 2017, CPPIB has committed to wind and solar investments in Brazil, India, Canada, and now the U.S. and Germany,” said Bruce Hogg, managing director and head of power and renewables for CPPIB.“Through the joint venture, we will have the opportunity to grow our renewables portfolio across the European offshore wind market. As power demand grows worldwide, we will continue to seek opportunities to expand our power and renewables portfolio globally.”Enbridge and CPPIB have also signed a deal to form a 50-50 joint venture to pursue future European offshore wind projects.Enbridge said it will retain its interests in certain other U.S. renewable power assets.Both the Midcoast and CPPIB transactions are expected to close in the third quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:ENB)
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – President Donald Trump said Friday that he was inclined to support a bipartisan effort in Congress to ease the U.S. ban on marijuana, a proposal that would dramatically reshape the nation’s legal landscape for pot users and businesses.The federal ban that puts marijuana on the same level as LSD and heroin has created a conflict with about 30 states that have legalized pot in some form, creating a two-tiered enforcement system at the state and federal levels.The legislation would ensure states have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders, but some U.S. restrictions would remain, including sales of non-medical pot to people under 21.The proposal introduced Thursday has support from members of Congress from both parties, including Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado.“I support Senator Gardner. I know exactly what he’s doing,” Trump told reporters in Washington, when asked about the legislation. “We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”The president’s remarks place him in conflict with his own Justice Department and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who staunchly opposes marijuana. He lifted an Obama administration policy and freed federal prosecutors to more aggressively pursue cases in states that have legalized marijuana.Asked about the measure in an interview with Colorado Public Radio, Sessions said, “We’ll see how far it goes and how much support there is. … My view is clear: The federal law remains in effect nationwide, just as it does for heroin and cocaine.”The proposal’s prospects in Congress were unclear.Gardner, who heads the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, is close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican has consistently opposed legalizing marijuana but has called hemp and marijuana “two entirely separate plants.”The bill would amend the definition of marijuana in federal drug law to exclude industrial hemp, which like marijuana is part of the cannabis plant family but doesn’t contain the THC that gives pot users the high. Hemp produces the non-intoxicating cannabinoids, or CBDs, that have become a health rage and a lucrative crop in Kentucky and other states.Despite his comments, Trump has sent mixed signals on the drug: While campaigning for president, he pledged to respect states that legalized marijuana, but he also has criticized legalization and implied it should be stopped.“I don’t think anyone would make a bet on the long-term validity of an offhand remark by the president that he ‘probably’ would support something,” said Kevin A. Sabet, head of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a nonpartisan group opposed to marijuana legalization. “I think he’ll find out soon from … victims of marijuana addiction and impaired driving that this is not as popular as Cory Gardner is leading him to believe.”Trump’s remarks Friday echo a promise that Gardner said he received privately from the president in April to support legislation protecting the marijuana industry in states that have legalized the drug.“My legislation is in line with what President Trump said on the campaign and what he and I have discussed several times since he was elected,” Gardner said in a statement Friday. He welcomed the president’s “continued interest in an approach that respects the will of the voters in each state.”Another co-sponsor of the measure, Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, said in a statement that Washington “needs to get out of the business of outlawing marijuana.”California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the nation’s largest legal marijuana marketplace on Jan. 1 but thousands of businesses that have been licensed are still facing the threat of federal prosecution.A major problem stemming from the federal ban: Major banks have been reluctant to do business with marijuana companies, fearing it could lead to prosecution. In California, for example, paying taxes and other transactions are often carried out in cash, sometimes in vast amounts. The bill includes language intended to address financial issues caused by the federal ban.___Associated Press writers Nicholas Riccardi in Denver and Kevin Freking in Washington contributed.___Blood is a member of AP’s marijuana beat team. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MichaelRBloodAP. Follow AP’s complete marijuana coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LegalMarijuana
OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland ventured Wednesday onto Donald Trump’s home turf, denouncing his “absurd” tariffs and forcefully arguing for preservation of the world’s rules-based order — with or without the United States.Freeland reiterated Canada’s strong opposition to the American president’s steel and aluminum tariffs after meeting with the influential U.S. Senate foreign relations committee in Washington on Capitol Hill.She was the first Canadian politician to set foot in the American capital after Trump and two of his top economic advisers launched unprecedented personal attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for criticizing the tariffs at the weekend G7 summit in Quebec.The minister stayed above the fray on those attacks, but she did not hesitate to repeat Canada’s opposition to the tariffs in the bluntest of terms — in particular the use of Section 232 of U.S. trade law to justify the action on national security grounds.Later Wednesday evening during a major foreign policy speech, Canada’s top diplomat broadened her focus with a sweeping defence of something Trump has little time for — the international rules-based system that the U.S. led in creating after the Second World War.She told a crowd of diplomats, academics and politicians blocks from the White House that she realizes that some Americans no longer think that world order is of any benefit to them, even though they helped create it and wrote “the biggest cheques” to support it.“We see this most plainly in the U.S. administration’s tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum,” Freeland said in her acceptance speech for winning the Foreign Policy journal’s diplomat of the year award.“They are a naked example of the United States putting its thumb on the scale, in violation of the very rules it helped to write.”Freeland argued that the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and other global institutions created in 1945 were never perfect. But she said those institutions remain the guardians of liberal democratic values at a time when populism and authoritarianism “is on the march” in Russia, China, Venezuela and elsewhere.”“We all know we will be strongest with America in our ranks — and indeed in the lead,” she said. “But whatever this great country’s choice will turn out to be — let me be clear that Canada knows where it stands.”Freeland gave a thinly veiled thumping to Trump’s America First foreign policy.“You may feel today that your size allows you to go mano-a-mano with your traditional adversaries and be guaranteed to win. But if history tells us one thing, it is that no one nation’s pre-eminence is eternal.”Freeland never mentioned Trump by name.But she evoked the great Republicans who came before him — from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg’s Address to Ronald Reagan’s 1989 “City on the Hill” farewell speech where he envisioned a country “built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace.”She won applause when she said, “preserving Lincoln’s vision” means fighting back against those who try to hijack democracy.“Facts matter. Truth matters. Competence and honesty, among elected leaders and in our public service, matter.”The speech followed the closed-door Senate foreign relations meeting, where the same authoritarian threats were discussed. So too, were the current U.S. metals tariffs on Canada, Mexico, Europe and Japan.“The Section 232 action — which is, let me remind people, a national security consideration — is frankly absurd,” Freeland said on Capitol Hill after the meeting.“That action is also illegal under the WTO and NAFTA rules.”The majority of U.S. senators agree with that view, said the committee’s Republican chair, Sen. Bob Corker.“I do think it’s an abuse of presidential authority to use the 232 waiver, and I’ve tried to pass a piece of legislation on the floor to counter that,” Corker said after the meeting with Freeland.He said he is trying to gather support for legislation that would give U.S. Congress, not the president, the authority to impose tariffs under the national security clause of U.S. trade law.Corker isn’t seeking re-election in this fall’s U.S. midterm elections and has railed against his fellow senators who are headed to the polls and worried about their electoral success for not standing up to Trump publicly.Corker said there’s no question Trump has damaged relations with Canada, but he hoped cooler heads would prevail.“Canada is not a country that we have trade issues with,” he said.Canada and its allies plan to impose retaliatory duties by the end of the month on a broad range of consumer goods. The Trudeau government has proposed a $16.6-billion tariff package, in retaliation for the Trump administration’s decision to impose 25 per cent import duties on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.Freeland said Canada was responding in sorrow rather than anger but that the government would respond dollar-for-dollar to the U.S. tariffs.Finance Minister Bill Morneau was in Washington to join Freeland for her award ceremony.Earlier, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told the Fox News business show “Varney @ Co.” that despite the dispute over the tariffs Canada still wants to make a deal to resolve the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.On Thursday, Freeland is expected to meet U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer in an effort to keep the NAFTA renegotiation on the rails.
The Canadian Press OTTAWA — Canadians hoping to receive packages from international shippers while rotating strikes impact Canada Post operations may be waiting a long time.Britain’s Royal Mail says it is suspending shipments to Canada as a result of the Crown corporation’s labour dispute.Online marketing giant eBay says it has also received a similar notification from China Post.In a bulletin to its corporate customers, the Royal Mail says items shipped in the last couple of days bound for Canada are being held in its distribution centre until the dispute has been resolved.The U.K. mail service says it made the move at the request of Canada Post, which it says has told them it is now facing delays of at least 30 days in delivering packages.Earlier this week, eBay called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to legislate an end to the rotating walkouts, which began Oct. 22.
NEW YORK — The holiday shopping season has gotten off to a “very strong” start, according to the largest U.S. retail trade group.The National Retail Federation said Tuesday that consumer spending has been strong, fueled by a better economy and stores’ investments in online services including features that allow shoppers to buy online and pick up the items at the store.The trade group’s assessment comes even after a survey of more than 3,000 shoppers Thanksgiving and Friday forecast that fewer people would turn out for the five-day weekend that ended Monday, compared to a year ago.This year, there were more than 165 million people who shopped online or in stores from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, based on survey results. Last year, that figure was 174 million. The retail group attributed the drop to stores spreading out their deals beyond the Black Friday weekend.“This was a very strong holiday weekend,” said Bill Thorne, a spokesman at the trade group.The group now says it expects sales for November and December will be at the high end of its earlier forecast of a 4.3 to 4.8 per cent rise. That would be below last year’s 5.3 per cent increase but well above the average annual increase of 3.9 per cent of the past five years.Meanwhile, Adobe Analytics, which tracks online spending, said that Cyber Monday was expected to have hit $7.9 billion, up 19.7 per cent from last year.Thanksgiving Day generated $3.7 billion in online spending, up 28 per cent, while Black Friday brought in $6.2 billion, a 23.6 per cent increase from a year ago, according to Adobe.Mobile devices accounted for 51.4 per cent of site visits and 34 per cent of revenue on Cyber Monday. So far, the period from Nov. 1 through Monday has generated online sales of $58.5 billion, up 19.9 per cent, Adobe said.Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press
To view the FB Event page; CLICK HERE With many things to see and do there is something for everyone.Street Performers brought to you by United RentalsTianna the TravellerNikola SmithThe Snow CircusLocal Entertainment; CLICK HERE to view the list.Adam WinnMystik BorealisFort St. John Highland DanceBhangra DancersThe Stages The City of Fort St. Stage The Burger King StageThere will also be the Central Mountain Air Kidzone, the Doig River First Nation Arts Market, Art Market and Food Vendors.To view the website; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The 2019 DGS Astro Paving Block Party is Saturday, September 7th, 2019 from 11 am to 5 pm on 100th Street.This free family-friendly block party takes place along three city blocks downtown Fort St. John.
Gurugram: Ninety-two schools have been sent notices for being unregistered. The action comes after the High Court took stern notice of over 1000 schools with no licences.According to official data, there are over 200 unlicensed schools that are functional in the city. As most of these private schools are not registered they too get away in charging exorbitant sums from the parents. For long it has been alleged by educations activists and aggrieved parents that the district administration has not penalised these unlicensed schools some of it are operational since 2007. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderIn March this year Parents of over 300 students at Global High School in Sector -57 faced a harrowing time as they have been provided with a notice by the school management of its abrupt closure. Not only does a lack of licence give a leeway of these schools to increase the fees but also it puts the safety of children in jeopardy. In an alarming figure that puts a serious question mark over the safety of school children over 20 private schools in Gurugram are functioning without the NOC from the fire department. The information has been revealed from the survey conducted by the fire department Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchingsThe information cites that most of these Private schools are prominent schools in the schools in the city. The fire officials have cited that while most of the schools have not applied for the renewal of the license, there are also certain schools whose license were rejected due to inadequate fire safety systems. Sources in the fire department have cited that lack of action by the authorities is resulting in most of the establishments including schools in the city getting away and not renewing their fire safety licenses. Besides the private schools, there are certain government establishments including the city’s civil hospital that does not have a fire safety clearance certificate.
Hyderabad: Development work and a strong connect with people will help him retain the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat for the fourth time, believes AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, even as the BJP and the Congress claim he will lose for his divisive politics and “goondaism”. The constituency, which is traditionally an All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) stronghold and won by Owaisi since 2004, has six assembly segments, and five of these were won by the party in the 2018 Telangana polls. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The BJP has again fielded J Bhagwant Rao, who had lost to Owaisi by over two lakh votes in the 2014 polls, from the seat, while Congress’s Feroz Khan, who unsuccessfully contested the 2018 assembly elections, is trying his luck from the constituency. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has fielded Puste Srikanth.But, Chief Minister and TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao has kept it no secret that the party is backing Owaisi, whose support it is counting on in the remaining 16 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K In total, there are 15 candidates in the fray from the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat. Meeting people at their homes, padyatras and organising interactions and meetings, especially with young voters and students, are the backbone of Owaisi’s campaign in the parliamentary constituency. The party is seeking votes on ‘hamare kaam ki buniyaad par’ (on the basis of their work) and is confident of a win from the seat, said Asaduddin, who is being accompanied by his brother and AIMIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi on his campaign trail. “Paidal dauras (campaigning on foot) has been the AIMIM’s way through which we communicate our performance as representatives, and learn from our constituents on what more can be done,” he said With my MPLAD expenditure, my focus has always been on investing in our children’s future, their health, education and well-being, Asaduddin said, adding, “I am contesting this election on my record, and a lot more needs to be done and Inshallah I’ll work towards it”. Both the Owaisi brothers are targeting the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a number of issues, including the February 14 Pulwama terror attack and the ‘Main bhi Chowkidar’ (I, too, am watchman) campaign. The AIMIM, whose election symbol is ‘kite’, has maintained a firm grip on the minority voters-dominated constituency by winning the seat since 1984.The party’s former chief and Asaduddin’s father Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi got elected six times consecutively from Hyderabad. BJP candidate Bhagwant Rao, who secured over three lakh votes in 2014 general elections, alleged that the AIMIM is not a secular party and accused it of being a “destructive” force. People will support the BJP as they want to see Modi as prime minister again, he asserted. Last time there was booth capturing in minority-dominated areas, Bhagwant Rao said, adding that poll and police officials should be alert, and take necessary measures to ensure free and fair elections. “The Majlis (AIMIM) does not even have a manifesto. Their manifesto is only instigating people in the name of religion. The BJP will carry out comprehensive development of the Old City, if it wins. The Hyderabadi voters are keen to support the strong leadership of PM Modi”, he said. The Hyderbad Lok Sabha constituency lacks civic amenities and dispensaries, and hospitals in the parliamentary seat do not have proper facilities, Bhagwant Rao said. “AIMIM leaders divide people and instigate minorities and take their votes. They have acquired huge wealth,” he alleged. But, Asaduddin, who is supporting Chandrasekhar Rao’s idea of promoting a non-BJP and non-Congress front, said the public wants the TRS to win in the 16 Lok Sabha seats in the state and the AIMIM to be victorious on the Hyderabad seat. Congress’s Feroz Khan said the competition for the seat is between his party and the AIMIM as the BJP has fielded a “dummy” candidate. He claimed that the people want to bring about change and said the Congress is the alternative. “For 40 years the AIMIM spread only darkness and god willing’, the Congress will bring the sun to drive away this darkness,” he said, alleging that the AIMIM wins elections by indulging in “goondaism, rowdyism and through bogus votes”. “Our effort is to stop it and to take up an agenda of development among the people,” said Khan, who is hopeful that people will bless him with a win on the Hyderabad seat. Only the Congress can ensure BJP’s and Modi defeat, he said. However, a section of voters said Asaduddin’s victory is certain and it will be an one-sided election again in Hyderabad.
Kolkata: Concerned over the drop in the ranking of National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), which was recently released, the faculty council for engineering and technology of Jadavpur University has decided to conduct a thorough review and identify the areas for improvement. The general meeting of the faculty council that is scheduled on Tuesday is likely to set up a committee in this regard.The Jadavpur University has been ranked 14th in NIRF ranking by the Ministry of Human Resource Development among the engineering institutions in the country slipping from the 9th position, which the varsity attained in 2017 and 12th in 2018. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”The primary reason behind the decline in ranking can be attributed to less number of research outputs. This is applicable not only to the engineering departments but to all the departments in the varsity. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) across the country are posing a stiff competition to us. We will examine the different parameters in the score-sheet and will accordingly prepare a road map for the journey forward,” a member of the faculty council for engineering said. In the NIRF ranking, the first eight spots have gone to the Indian Institutes of Technology. The Anna University in Chennai ranked 9th and the 13th spot has gone to IIT Indore, which is a new institution. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”We aim to improve our ranking in 2020 with around 150 research projects by individual teachers under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA). These teachers are already getting their projects sanctioned. All these projects will be completed in one year and the output will reflect by the beginning of next year. So we will be able to showcase our research output in a better way,” said the dean of engineering department of the varsity, Chiranjib Bhattacharjee. Members of the faculty council also pointed out that research funding for IITs is much higher than JU. “If there was a parameter in NIRF on output based on input then we would have surely ranked among the very best,” a senior member of the faculty council said. The Jadavpur University will be getting a fund of Rs 100 crore from the Centre under RUSA. A major chunk of the funds have already reached the varsity. The university is the first institute of higher education in the state to have received the grant, based on its NAAC accreditation for five years, beginning September 2014. RUSA is a scheme that provides financial aid to selected state universities to upgrade research facilities. More than 4,000 students are presently pursuing engineering at JU at the undergraduate level while in the post-graduate level it is more than 1,200. The total number of engineering students in the varsity is around 5,500.