Miss America Joins Big Brothers Big Sisters

first_imgBig Brothers Big Sisters and the Ad Council are joining the Miss America Organization to announce a national collaboration to promote one-to-one long-term staff supported mentoring to help kids achieve in school and succeed in life.Miss America Laura Kaeppeler made the announcement during a special tour and luncheon with Big Brothers Big Sisters “Littles” at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center in New York. Kaeppeler, whose national platform is “Circles of Support – Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents,” shared with the mentees her personal story of experiencing her father’s incarceration when she was a child. Nearly a quarter of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentees have a parent who is or has been incarcerated.Kaeppeler is starring in a series of videos, and using social media, to increase awareness for her platform and introduce Big Brothers Big Sisters as a solution. One video featuring Kaeppeler is featured on AOL.com today as part of AOL’s “You’ve Got” series, and a second video is featured on Big Brothers Big Sisters Facebook page. The collaboration is an extension of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Start Something campaign.This platform breaks new ground for the 91-year-old Miss America Organization. Previous Miss Americas have championed many important social issues and causes but Kaeppeler is the first to embrace a social platform related to incarceration.Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler stated, “I’ve experienced the impact of mentoring firsthand and I know it can make a real difference. I try to provide the children that I meet who have come from families of incarcerated parents with a positive light and message to let them know that the past doesn’t have to define them or limit their possibilities for the future. I’m excited to collaborate with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Ad Council to help give more children the support they need through mentorship.”Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest mentoring network, carefully partners with families, volunteers and communities to help children and teens overcome adversity through one-to-one relationships that help drive achievement in school and success in life.“We are delighted to have Miss America serve as a role model, supporting our mentees and our mission. As a donor-supported one-to-one staff supported mentoring organization, we need real reminders that mentoring can and does help children overcome adversity,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and CEO Charles Pierson. “Independent studies find that when enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters, children who face adversity are more likely to improve in school, avoid risky/delinquent behaviors and have higher self-esteem and aspirations.”The nationwide mentoring network’s Start Something campaign, developed in partnership with the Ad Council, was introduced in January 2011 through a website redesign and national TV, radio and online public service ads. Start Something is a call to action for donations; story sharing; volunteers; celebrity ambassador engagement and advocacy to strengthen Big Brothers Big Sisters’ capacity to help children overcome adversity and achieve lifelong success. The Start Something campaign also includes a web series on the organization’s website, which follows mentors, mentees, families and professional staffers – the people who make the program work.“The Ad Council has been working with Big Brothers Big Sisters for over a decade and with the Miss America Organization for over five years on various collaborations,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “Laura is a powerful and impactful advocate for children, particularly given her personal story, and this collaboration is a wonderful extension of our Start Something campaign with Big Brothers Big Sisters.”The Ad Council has previously partnered with the Miss America Organization to address issues including childhood obesity prevention, high school dropout prevention and communicating the importance of children spending time outdoors and connecting with nature.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

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Jamie Foxx Recounts The Role Of His Mentors During Big Brothers Big

first_imgOn June 17th at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, Illinois, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America recognized the generosity of its corporate and individual partners at its annual awards gala with special guest, Academy and Grammy Award winner, Jamie Foxx.Foxx shared a moving personal story about being encouraged by his grandmother to learn to play the piano as a means of seeing the world outside of his hometown of Terrell, Texas. Foxx also reaffirmed his commitment to Big Brothers Big Sisters and to the cause of mentoring children who face adversity. He thrilled the audience with an impromptu singing performance with event emcee, NBC journalist and correspondent, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Board Member Kate Snow.Big Brothers Big Sisters of America presented Foxx with its Common Good Award, which is given to a partner who provides an investment of services to benefit the common good of the organization and brand as a whole. Since 2012, Foxx has been Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s national spokesperson. In addition, Foxx regularly hosts “Littles” at his home and, earlier this year, helped to launch the BE AMAZING! campaign.The gala culminated with the presentation of the Big Brother of the Year and Big Sister of the Year awards, which were given to Tom Fascia of Randolph, New Jersey, and Dakotah Taylor of Bennington, Nebraska, respectively.Big Brothers Big Sisters, the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, holds itself accountable for children in its program to achieve measurable outcomes such as educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence and better relationships. Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Brothers Big Sisters carefully pairs children (“Littles”) with screened volunteer mentors (“Bigs”) and monitors and supports these one-to-one mentoring matches throughout their course. The Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Survey substantiates that its mentoring programs have proven, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military, with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. This mission has been the cornerstone of the organization’s 110 year history. With nearly 340 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves approximately 200,000 children, their families and 200,000 volunteer mentors. Learn more at www.BigBrothersBigSisters.org.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

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Richard Branson Makes Wish Come True

first_imgRichard Branson recently made a wish come true for a young boy in San Diego.“Thomas Edward has already gone through an awful lot in his 12 years, having survived leukaemia,” blogged Sir Richard. “The Make-A-Wish Foundation – who grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions – asked him what he wanted to do, he said he wanted to become a CEO.“When I was in San Diego recently, we managed to catch up, and Thomas told me how he is looking forward to becoming a successful businessman in the future – I have no doubt he will achieve his goals. He was inquisitive, attentive and asked smart questions – three skills every good CEO needs.“Young Thomas even asked me a question in front of more than 2,000 people. He said: ‘What do you value most in life – and why?’“My reply? Good health for my family and loved ones – in the end, health is everything.”Source:virgin.comlast_img read more

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Rashida Jones Cobie Smulders and Angela Kinsey Dive In To Help Protect

first_imgA trio of Hollywood celebrities recently took their star power to Belize to help Oceana protect the largest reef in the Western hemisphere.Rashida Jones & Angela KinseyCredit/Copyright: Tony Rath Photography for OceanaCobie Smulders, Rashida Jones and Angela Kinsey traveled to coastal Belize, where they raised awareness for this delicate ocean ecosystem and promoted Oceana’s ongoing work in the country.Angela Kinsey & Rashida JonesCredit/Copyright: Tony Rath Photography for OceanaCobie Smulders of “How I Met Your Mother” fame filmed a new Oceana PSA in the stunning South Water Caye Marine Reserve where she visited a unique island made of mangrove trees. She swam through this critical habitat that is home to juvenile reef fish and provides shelter for them to grow before they settle on the nearby barrier reef. Once back on dry land at the Pelican Bay Resort, Smulders remarked on how amazing it was to see such a diverse and important habitat just beyond the surface of the water.Video: Cobie Smulders Hidden Treasures PSA“Maybe because it’s underwater people don’t really think about it as much, but this reef is Belize and you just want it to always be there,” said Smulders. “It was really interesting to see how necessary these habitats are for the good of the reef. Oceana works really well with local governments and communities to empower them and educate them in how to preserve their local marine habitats” she added.Angela Kinsey, Green Sea Turtle Credit/Copyright: Tony Rath Photography for OceanaA short ride away to the north, friends and “The Office” co-stars Rashida Jones and Angela Kinsey traveled together to the island of Ambergris Caye, where they stayed at The Phoenix Resort, right next to the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Oceana took Angela and Rashida snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, where they learned about the various pressures facing this reef ecosystem and marveled at the sharks, turtles, fish, and rays that flooded this protected area.“You can tell this area is totally protected because every fish is like ’I’m hanging out here!’” commented Kinsey after her first snorkel. “I felt like I was in a giant encyclopedia of fish. You really see how important protecting their habitat is.”“Hol Chan [marine reserve] is like the 405!” added Jones. “There’s every type of creature imaginable. It’s amazing to see that type of diversity in one snorkel.”Since opening its Belize office in 2009, Oceana has tallied a number of impressive victories that include securing a national ban on destructive bottom trawling in all Belizean waters, and advocating against offshore oil drilling in Belize’s incredible marine environment.Join Cobie, Rashida and Angela in protecting the ocean’s hidden treasures by visiting www.oceana.org/hiddentreasures.last_img read more

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Elton John And Michael Stipe Write About Plight Of Transgender Inmates In

first_imgLast month, Elton John and musician, activist, and Elton John AIDS Foundation ally Michael Stipe, published an op-ed in the The Guardian about the horrific conditions faced by transgender people both inside and outside of prison, connecting their struggles with the larger effort to achieve equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.“There is a troubling lack of awareness in correctional facilities about the nuances of gender identity and the well-being of trans women inmates in male prisons,” they wrote. “All too often, transgender people are stripped of their dignity before they even step foot in prison. They are subject to discrimination, harassment and violence – leaving many in poverty, homelessness and without access to adequate healthcare. If we are going to raise awareness about issues facing transgender women inside prison, we must work in parallel by addressing these issues in our communities. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.“The cruelty and violence facing transgender people in our prisons is directly connected to the larger fight for equality for the LGBT community everywhere in America. To be sure, the despicably violent and discriminatory treatment of transgender prisoners must end. But so too must the broader violations of human dignity – behind bars and beyond them.”To read the full op-ed, click here.last_img read more

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NAIAS Charity Preview Raises Nearly 52M For Kids In The Motor City

first_imgDetroit’s celebration as the epicenter of all things automotive, including the heart of the automotive industry, was again demonstrated last week as nearly $5.2 million was raised for children’s charities at the 2017 North American International Auto Show’s (NAIAS) Charity Preview at Cobo Center.Charity Preview has raised more than $111 million, including tonight’s $5.2 million, for southeastern Michigan children’s charitiesAs the largest annual single-night fundraiser in the world, Charity Preview has raised more than $111 million for southeastern Michigan children’s charities since the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) established the gala 41 years ago.In all, 12,881 people attended the black-tie Charity Preview, presented for the second consecutive year by Axalta Coating Systems.Charity Preview follows on the heels of five days of total mobility immersion at NAIAS, including the inaugural AutoMobili-D that continues to generate social media buzz and discussion among automotive, business and tech industry executives worldwide. Vice President Joe Biden joined in that conversation with a visit to NAIAS on Tuesday – his second to NAIAS as Vice President of the United States.“The past five days at NAIAS have exemplified the transformation that is reshaping the auto industry as we know it,” said 2017 NAIAS Chairman Sam Slaughter. “Tonight’s Charity Preview continues with the theme of transformation in that the monies raised in this one single night will help in some way to transform the lives of children and families in our local community.”Proceeds from Charity Preview directly benefit a wide range of children’s charities. Funds raised will support services for children of all ages from birth to 18.Beneficiaries of NAIAS Charity Preview include: • Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan • Boys Hope Girls Hope Detroit • Children’s Center • Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation • Judson Center • March Of Dimes Metro Detroit • Detroit PAL • DADA Charitable Foundation Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast MichiganPublic Show at NAIAS opens, Jan. 14 at 9 a.m. and continues through Sunday, Jan. 22. Ticket prices and general show information, including transportation and parking can be found at naias.com.last_img read more

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EIF Presents XQ Super School Live

first_imgXQ Institute and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) invite the public to help rethink the future of American high schools with a special one-hour event, “EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live.”The telecast will air live from Los Angeles on all four major U.S. networks – ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC – on Friday, Sept. 8 at 8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed.“EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live” will combine live musical, comedy and documentary segments to bring to life the past, present and future of the American high school system. Audiences can expect to see the biggest stars from film, television, sports, music and digital media in the televised event.Over the past 100 years, the United States has gone from the typewriter to the touchscreen and the switchboard to the smartphone, yet its high schools have remained virtually unchanged. To prepare America’s youth for the 21st century, high schools must be rethought and reshaped so every student can succeed in college, career and life. XQ seeks to bring Americans together to create new school models reflecting the needs and experiences of the students they serve.The broadcast will challenge viewers to understand that transforming high school education is crucial for the future of our country. And, it will show how educators, parents, school administrators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and students can serve as key influencers of change. This challenge of reshaping the education system starts at the local level, requiring each and every person to come to the table with a shared commitment to ignite change. This telecast will give viewers insight into how to spark this transformation and tools to initiate the process within their communities.The telecast will be produced by Done + Dusted and directed by Hamish Hamilton. Additional partners of the telecast include Anonymous Content, MACRO and Wise Entertainment.A tune-in campaign will launch in early July. The show will also include multi-platform digital components to encourage viewers to engage and participate online, on mobile and in their communities. To join the movement and learn more, click here.last_img read more

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Adrian Grenier To Speak At Oceanic X Ibiza Event

first_imgAdrian Grenier will speak at Oceanic X Ibiza: A Festival For Our Ocean next week.Video: Oceanic x Ibiza : July 20thOn the 20th of July 2017, Oceanic will present its inaugural event as part of its city-by-city immersive experience series, set to take place in the heart of Ibiza, Spain.A conscious festival for our ocean, Oceanic x Ibiza will be a thoroughly cultural, artistic and inspirational experience. It will unite top musicians, celebrities, conservationists, institutions, NGOs and brands, transcending the barriers of language and human diversity to create a universal voice for our ocean.Oceanic x Ibiza is designed to transport participants through the depths of our ocean. Immersive content on-site will juxtapose the natural beauty of our ocean with the destructive impact of plastic and seafood consumption, as well as provide the Oceanic community with engaging solution for restoring ocean health.For more information, click here.last_img read more

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Dan Reynolds Of Imagine Dragons Joins AntiSmoking Campaign

first_imgImagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds is fronting a new anti-smoking PSA.Video: Worth More | Dan Reynolds | :30 Report l truthThe singer has joined with youth smoking prevention organization truth for the Worth More campaign.“They’re taking someone who is already set up to have a difficult life ahead of them, and putting them back even 10 steps further. It’s just heartless,” Reynolds told Billboard, referring to tobacco companies. “I grew up worshiping Bob Marley and Kurt Cobain and the posters were all over my walls, and I feel like a lot of these musicians who’ve passed on, I can’t speak on their behalf, but I think a lot of them if they could…would do all that they could to change the face of this industry as one of substance abuse. I’m down for everything else with rock and roll — the spirit of it, the sex of it, I love everything about [it], except the drug use. And cigarettes seem to go hand in hand with rock and roll aesthetically, and this needs to change. This needs to stop.”To find out more about the campaign, click here.last_img read more

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Rosie Perez joins CBCTVs Pure

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement CBC-TV says it’s shooting in Nova Scotia until mid-November and will air the show next year.By The Canadian Press He’s forced to get involved in the illegal operation when Outerbridge’s mob boss threatens his family.Pure also features CSI: New York’s AJ Buckley as a local cop. CBC has added actress Rosie Perez to the cast of its upcoming Mennonite mob drama Pure.The public broadcaster says the U.S. star will play a DEA agent bent on taking down a gang leader, played by Orphan Black actor Peter Outerbridge.The six-part drama stars Arrow actor Ryan Robbins as a Mennonite pastor battling drug trafficking within his community.center_img Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

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Canadian TV talents to watch in 2017

first_img Demore Barnes LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Toronto-raised, Los Angeles-based Demore Barnes is a regular face on U.S. television thanks to roles in NBC’s Hannibal, Syfy’s 12 Monkeys and CBS’s The Unit. This year he’s appearing in one of the most-buzzed-about TV projects (especially with the ComiCon set): Starz’s live-action adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel, American Gods, starring Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane and Gillian Anderson (as a god that takes the form of pop culture icons). Barnes plays Mr. Ibis, an Egyptian underworld god who runs a funeral home in Cairo. The series gets its world premiere at SXSW in March and is broadcast in April.. Andrea BangBritish Columbia native Andrea Bang is up for a Canadian Screen Award for her role as the daughter on CBC sitcom Kim’s Convenience. The series, based on Ins Choi’s play of the same name, is about a Korean-Canadian family who run a convenience store. Advertisementcenter_img Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

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Four First Nations to create Wanska Energy Alliance

first_imgAPTN National NewsFour First Nations in Alberta and Saskatchewan are taking steps towards creating a new First Nation energy alliance.The Onion Lake Cree Nation, near the Alberta border in Saskatchewan, is banding together with the Driftpile, Sucker Creek, and Ermineskin First Nations in Alberta to form the Wanska Energy Alliance.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnouf traveled to the Onion Lake Cree Nation, and has the story.last_img

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Stained glass residential school tribute unveiled

first_img(Image of a portion of stained glass window depicting residential school students and “awakening.”)APTN National NewsOTTAWA–Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan unveiled a stained glass window in honour of residential school survivors Monday, marking the June 11, 2008, anniversary of the prime minister’s apology for one of the darkest periods in Canadian history.The unveiling of the stained glass window, which was designed by Metis artist Christi Belcourt, comes as crisis swirls around the multibillion dollar residential school settlement that led to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology.The stained glass artwork, titled Giniigaaniimenaaning, which translated from Ojibway to English means Looking Ahead, was unveiled at the Chateau Laurier, a luxury hotel next to Parliament Hill. The artwork aims to tell the story of Aboriginal people journeying through the “darkness” of residential schools, through “awakening” and eventually reconciliation.“There will be people who will say, ‘Well what will a glass do when there are so many unresolved issues to deal with?’ Issues about land, about the environment, treaties, Metis rights,” said Belcourt, during the unveiling. “There will be 60,000 people walking through Parliament ever year…they will always be reminded.”Belcourt asked non-Aboriginal Canadians to remember that reconciliation takes two sides and urged them to stop writing “filled-with-hate comments” on news website in response to stories about Aboriginal issues.“Aboriginal people have contributed great things to this country and we have always done it in peaceful ways,” she said. “We have always given and given and given…We are going to be stronger if we come together, two sides.”Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan called Belcourt’s stained glass window a “magnificent work” and said it was a symbol of reconciliation.“The stained glass window will be a visible reminder of the residential school’s legacy,” said Duncan.   “It will be a beautiful l and powerful reminder of the lessons learned through the residential school experience. It will also be an enduring symbol of Canadian’s efforts to make amends and achieve reconciliation with Aboriginal people.”Architect Douglas Cardinal, who designed the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., and the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que., along the Ottawa River, said Belcourt’s artwork was chosen unanimously by the selection committee.“The selection committee sought artwork that among other things honoured the First Nations, Inuit and Metis children that attended Indian Residential Schools and that depicted the concept of reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians,” said Cardinal, who was on the committee.The unveiling of the artwork, which will be installed on Parliament Hill’s Centre Block, above the entrance reserved for MPs, comes a week after a British Columbia judge barred a Calgary lawyer and his firm from handling any more residential school files, leaving thousands of claims in limbo.The BC judge found that David Blott and his firm Blott & Company were using residential school settlements to enrich themselves by offering high interest loans to former students and doing little to help their clients through the process.Evidence has since surfaced that suggests other lawyers handling residential school claims across the country may be engaging in similar tactics.Duncan, however, dismissed concerns the Blott fiasco had tarnished the residential school settlement process.“Yes, the people who are victims of malfeasance on the part of the legal community certainly did not deserve that, but the process will address all of those people and so they will not be penalized in any form,” said Duncan. “It wasn’t the process that led to this circumstance. The process was designed to deal with people with fairness and respect.”Canada, the churches and Aboriginal organizations agreed to a $5 billion residential school settlement agreement on behalf of former residential school students. The apology followed the settlement agreement which was the largest of its kind in Canadian history.About 150,000 children were cycled through residential schools which lasted over 100 years. Hundreds, maybe thousands of children died at the schools and, in the majority of cases, parents were never informed. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was also created by the settlement, is currently involved in a project to find out who these children were and where they are buried.last_img read more

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The story of OujeBougoumou Promo

first_imgAPTN National NewsNext week APTN National News will tell the story of the people of Ouje-Bougoumou.From living on the margins of society to becoming an award-winning community.APTN’s Annette Francis will bring you a three-part series beginning Jan. 15 and also show the influence of Christianity and the struggle to bring back old traditional spiritual practices.last_img

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Lengthy process to name new Manitoba treaty commissioner draws to close

first_imgThe Canadian PressWINNIPEG _ A lawyer with extensive experience in Indigenous self-government negotiations has been named by the federal government as the new treaty commissioner for Manitoba.Loretta Ross, who comes from Manitoba’s Hollow Water First Nation, was chosen after a lengthy, non-partisan vetting process that began last May.She will be responsible for helping improve treaty relationships during her one-year term.The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs recommended the Queen’s University law school graduate to the federal government last fall, at which point the job had been vacant for six months.Ottawa and the AMC created the role in 2005 _ a joint attempt to set up a neutral office that would better relationships governed by treaties that date back centuries.Ross will take office next Monday.“It’s a pretty big discussion,” Ross said Wednesday. “It’s taking a look at the treaties and saying between governments, between nations, what does that relationship look like now, and how do we go forward?”Ross spent a year working in Toronto before coming home to Manitoba, where she did a nine-month stint doing research work for the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission.From there, her legal practice focused primarily on child and family service law. In 1995, she joined AMC, where she spent a decade mired in Indigenous self-government negotiations which invariably entwined with treaties.After leaving AMC, she served for a while as lawyer for Fox Cree Nation and later served as legal counsel for Hollow Water.The Liberal government let former treaty commissioner James Wilson’s appointment _ made by the former Conservative government and reappointed in 2014 without AMC’s approval _ lapse in 2016.Ross’s appointment was one of many slowed by new federal processes to make sure such moves were non-partisan.AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak said the organization is “happy” with Ross’s selection.“We think she’ll be able to handle the difficult questions,” he said, particularly legal ones. Nepinak’s hope is that Ross will be able to make the treaty commissioner’s role a little more substantial.The office of the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada said in a statement that the government is looking forward to working with Ross “as we rebuild Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples based on respect, recognition of right and co-operation.”Ross said discussions between all levels of governments and between nations are going to be key to her appointment.“Each of the parties needs to have a look at the politics, have a look at the legal aspects of treaties and what they mean,” she said. “Maybe we could arrive at a point where we can advance the treaty relationship itself.”news@aptn.calast_img read more

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Philpott commits to spending more on child welfare calling it a humanitarian

first_img(Jane Philpott addressing the AFN SCA Wednesday in Ottawa. Photo: Mark Blackburn/APTN)Paul BarnsleyAPTN NewsThe Minister of Indigenous Services has pledged to spend millions more on the First Nations child welfare issue in the coming budget to address what she called a “humanitarian crisis.”Jane Philpott was the third federal cabinet minister to address the chiefs when she spoke to the Assembly of First Nations Wednesday.Philpott, now three months into the job of heading a newly-created federal department, touched on a number of topics but she led off with the story she’d heard of a First Nation woman she called Laura.Laura was in care her entire life. She became pregnant at age 16. Merely because she had been in contact with the system, her first child was apprehended at birth by child and family services workers, the minister said. Her second and third children were likewise seized at birth.When Laura became pregnant for the fourth time, she went to the First Nation family advocate in her region.“She asked if she could just spend one whole day with her baby before it was taken,” Philpott said. “But when the child was born, it was seized. Laura did not get her wish.”The minister said she’s heard many such stories. She called the child and family services (CFS) situation for First Nations people a “humanitarian crisis.”The minister has called for an emergency meeting on CFS issues for next year. She said First Nation children make up 7.7 per cent of all Canadian children in the zero to 14-year-old age group, but make up 52 per cent of children in care.“And in some regions, it’s as high as 90 per cent,” she said. “That is absolutely unacceptable.”Noting that $635 million had been targeted for First Nation child welfare initiatives in the 2016 federal budget, Philpott acknowledged that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has said that “much more must be done” by the federal government.The minister committed that there would be additional funding coming in Budget 2018 but would not say how much. She also committed to listen to and work closely with First Nation leaders in her search for a solution.“This must be fixed,” she said. “We have the opportunity to have a nation-to-nation direct conversation on this. We all know it’s going to take more than just money. It’s going to require systemic reform.”Later, during a media scrum after her address, Philpott made one additional point. She said social workers should not remove children from their families simply because they were low income.“I want to be on the record saying poverty should never be a reason to remove children,” she said.Memo to cabinet on education in the worksThe minister said she “was pleased to hear” that the chiefs had approved a resolution that would see First Nation control of First Nation education the day before. The resolution sought to open up access to large pool of money targeted at improving on-reserve education. The First Nation initiative sought to remove government controls and allow local governments to use the cash to tailor their education system to their own local needs.Philpott told the chiefs there was a memo to cabinet being prepared by her officials that would propose legislation that would enable just that.“This is the first memo to cabinet entirely co-developed by First Nations,” she said. “And yes, I will confirm, education is a treaty right.”S-3 poised to become law (A number of chiefs and delegates stood to challenge Philpott on how the government is dealing with First Nation communities. Photo: Mark Blackburn/APTN)Philpott told the chiefs that getting more First Nations people job skills and employment would bring $27.7 billion a year into the economy.She said that could be accomplished if the government and First Nations can repair their fiscal relationship.“There have been nine attempts since 1983 to do that so I can understand your skepticism,” she said. “To prove we’re serious a working group report recommendation to establish a permanent advisory committee has been accepted,” she said.The committee will be in operation by March of 2019, she added.The minister is looking to eliminate barriers to economic activity on reserve.“The excessive reporting burden needs to be addressed,” she said.She said government approaches with First Nations up to now have been “patronizing, punitive and regressive.”Rather than have hundreds of reports required for First Nations to account for federal program dollars, she proposed a United Nations model which looked at key economic indicators to assess the how effectively the money was being used.She also said the government was planning “10-year grants” to replace the current short-term funding agreements and added First Nations “would report to their own community members” rather than the federal bureaucracy.pbarnsley@aptn.ca (AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde at the AFN SCA in Ottawa. Photo: Mark Blackburn/APTN)“There are going to be more status Indians,” National Chief Perry Bellegarde told the chiefs Wednesday morning as they awaited the arrival of Philpott.Bellegarde was talking about the results of a vote in favour of an amendment to a bill that originated in the Senate. It moved through the legislative process but was stalled when Senator Lillian Dyck insisted on the amendment that would extend the reach of the bill – designed to eliminate discrimination against women in Section 6 of the Indian Act – all the way back to Confederation. The government was proposing to limit the reach of the new legislation at 1951, a year when extensive changes were made to the Indian Act.Section 6 of the Indian Act was thrown out by a BC judge in the 2009 McIvor decision and the court gave the federal government a deadline to replace Section 6. Eventually, the government passed legislation addressing the court ruling.But three Abénakis people from the Odanak First Nation in Quebec, Stéphane Descheneaux, Susan Yantha and Tammy Yantha, believed the government’s response did not go far enough. They went back to court and won in a case that has become known as the Descheneaux case.S-3 will restore status to women who were treated differently than men in certain situations.As with Bill C-31, the government’s first attempt to eliminate gender discrimination in the Indian Act which was passed in 1985, chiefs are worried that more status Indians will not necessarily mean more funding, which would result in a net loss for most on reserve residents.“It’s a good thing you’re ending discrimination,” the national chief said. “But will there be sufficient resources?”And Bellegarde pointed out that money is not the only consideration.“The crown, they’re making half a treaty Indian,” he said. “Where’s the land?”He said the treaties all called for so many acres per person or family and adding more people should mean adding more land.“First Nations currently have 0.2 per cent of the land,” he added.Permanent advisory committee to be createdlast_img read more

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Eldorado shares fall as it cuts production guidance at Kisladag mine in

first_imgTORONTO – Shares in Eldorado Gold Corp. fell more than 10 per cent in late-morning trading after the gold miner cut its guidance for gold production from its Kisladag mine in Turkey.The stock was down 49 cents or about 18 per cent at $2.24 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.The company says gold recovery from the leach pad at the operation has lagged internal expectations.Eldorado says it now expects production from Kisladag this year to be 170,000 to 180,000 ounces at cash costs of $500 to $550 per ounce. It also placed its guidance for 2018 and beyond under review.The revised guidance was down from an estimate of 180,000 to 210,000 ounces in June and the company’s original 2017 guidance for 230,000 to 245,000 ounces.Eldorado, which has operations in Turkey, Greece, Canada, Romania, Serbia and Brazil, calls Kisladag its flagship gold mine.last_img read more

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States lose push to force Trump to restart health subsidies

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – A U.S. judge on Wednesday rejected a request from 18 states and the District of Columbia to force the Trump administration to resume paying “Obamacare” subsidies right away and scolded the coalition for claiming health care costs would rise without federal help.State attorneys general, all Democrats and led by Xavier Becerra of California, argued that the monthly payments are required under former President Barack Obama’s health care law and cutting them off will harm consumers. The payments reimburse insurers for providing lower-income people with discounts on out-of-pocket costs.U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, an Obama appointee, said the states had devised workarounds to the lost subsidies that would give millions of lower-income people even better health care options.That means the emergency order the states sought would be “counterproductive,” the judge said.The states should stop “yelling about higher premiums” and “focus instead on communicating the message that they have devised a response … that will prevent harm to the large majority of people while in fact allowing millions of lower-income people to get a better deal on health insurance in 2018,” Chhabria said.The states had asked Chhabria to order the government to keep making the payments while their lawsuit works its way through the courts, which will take months. Becerra said he will continue to press the case.“The fight for affordable health care moves forward,” he said in a statement after the ruling. “The actions by the Trump Administration undermine critical payments that keep costs of health care affordable for working families.”President Donald Trump announced earlier this month that he will cut off the payments, saying Obama’s law is imploding and criticizing the subsidies as insurance company bailouts. The White House says the government cannot legally continue paying them because there is no formal authorization from Congress.The judge said in his ruling that the Trump administration had the stronger legal argument, though he cautioned that the question of whether Congress had permanently set aside money for the subsidies was “close and complicated.”Chhabria hammered an attorney for the state of California at a hearing this week over how the change would affect consumers.Gregory Brown, who represented California, said the decision was creating “uncertainty and chaos” that could lead insurance companies to opt out of the health law. Brown also said it would “spook consumers.”Chhabria wasn’t buying the argument. He said California and other states had anticipated the subsidies would end and found a way to ensure consumers would not pay more for insurance.The states limited the plans for which insurers could hike premiums and ensured that many people will get more tax credits for their health insurance purchases, the judge said.In his ruling, Chhabria cited an October press release by California’s health care marketplace, which said the premiums of nearly four of five consumers will stay the same or decrease after surcharges tied to the lost subsidies are factored in. The judge said dozens of other states also have accounted for the end of the subsidies.The payments reimburse insurers for the costs of lowering copays and deductibles, which they are required to do for low-income customers who buy coverage through the health care marketplaces created by Obama’s law.The states joining California in the lawsuit are: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington, along with the District of Columbia.last_img read more

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NTSB El Faro probe highlights maritime safety issues

first_imgWhile fateful decisions made by the captain of the doomed freighter El Faro were instrumental in the ship’s sinking, federal investigators spread plenty of blame around and highlighted multiple safety issues in the maritime industry that contributed to its demise.It was a confluence of factors that contributed to the sinking of the El Faro in the fury of Hurricane Joaquin on Oct. 1, 2015, which killed all 33 people on board, the National Transportation Safety Board announced. The report concluded a 2-year investigation into the worst U.S. maritime disaster in modern history.Among its findings the NTSB cited Tuesday the El Faro captain’s unwillingness to listen to his crew’s suggestions to change course from the path of a raging hurricane; a weak corporate safety culture that left crewmembers ill-prepared to deal with heavy weather. It also blamed an old ship with outdated lifeboats, open to the elements and a vessel inspection system that allowed older ships in poor condition to continue operating.The board issued 53 safety recommendations, which investigators hope will be adopted by the industry, maritime safety inspectors and weather forecasters to make the seas safer for future generations.The El Faro, which means “lighthouse” in Spanish, sank between Jacksonville, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, after losing engine power in the Category 3 storm. The NTSB retrieved the ship’s voyage data recorder, or “black box,” from the sea floor near the Bahamas, 15,000-feet (4,570 metres) under the surface. The device held 26 hours of data, including audio of conversations on the ship’s bridge as the frantic crew struggled to save the ship and themselves.Larry Brennan, a maritime law professor at Fordham Law School and retired U.S. Navy captain, said the NTSB’s meeting highlighted major safety problems in the entire shipping industry, including the Coast Guard and so-called “classification societies” like the American Bureau of Shipping, or ABS, that are in charge of inspecting vessels for safety.“El Faro was a worn, aged ship which succumbed to heavy weather in large part because of multiple unseaworthy conditions, poor leadership and bad decisions by the captain, ABS, the owners as well as inadequate surveys and inspections by the U.S. Coast Guard,” Brennan said.While the board found no fault with El Faro Capt. Michael Davidson’s decision to leave port in Jacksonville, they did blame his reliance on an emailed weather forecasting system that contained hours-old data, rather than online updates from the National Hurricane Center. Investigators believe, based on his decisions and recorded comments, that he wasn’t aware of the delay in the data and that instead of skirting the storm, he sent the El Faro on a collision course with the hurricane.“Although up-to-date weather information was available on the ship, the El Faro captain did not use the most current weather information for decision-making,” NTSB investigator Mike Kucharski said at the meeting, held in Washington, D.C.The board also criticized the “weak safety culture” of ship owner TOTE Maritime, Inc., including the lack of employee training for dealing with heavy weather situations and flooding. A hatch had been left open, allowing water from the roiling sea to flood an interior hold; this led to the ship tilting, disrupting the flow of oil to the engines. Once the freighter lost engine power, it was at the mercy of battering swells.In a statement, TOTE said it will study the NTSB and Coast Guard investigative reports thoroughly. “We as a company intend to learn everything possible from this accident and the resulting investigations to prevent anything similar from occurring in the future,” Darrell Wilson, a company spokesman, said.El Faro’s wind gauge, called an anemometer, was broken and the 40-year-old freighter’s open-top lifeboats would not have protected the crew, even if they had been able to launch them. The El Faro was legally allowed to carry lifeboats that expose people to the elements — just like the lifeboats on the Titanic and the Lusitania — due to safety-rule exemptions for older ships.Whether the crew could have survived Joaquin’s punishing winds and high seas had the El Faro been equipped with the closed-top lifeboats used by newer ships is unknown, but NTSB safety investigator Jon Furukawa said it could have helped crewmembers fighting for their lives.“We believe that would’ve been the best method of departing the vessel under these conditions. It is still challenging, and we don’t know if they would’ve survived,” Furukawa said.The board is not only recommending closed-top boats for all merchant ships, but also that the entire industry require crewmembers to carry personal locator beacons to better locate them during marine emergencies.The El Faro had an older emergency position-indicating radio beacon, or EPIRB, which did not transmit global position system co-ordinates, and that made locating the ship more difficult for search-and-rescue crews. Given the heavy weather, rescuers probably couldn’t have reached the ship any sooner, but the board believes the new requirement would help in future sea accidents.“I hope that this tragedy at sea can serve as a lighthouse to guide the safety of marine transportation,” said Robert Sumwalt, the board’s chairman.___Follow Jason Dearen on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JHDearenlast_img read more

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Hydro One reports fourthquarter profit up from year ago tops expectations

first_imgTORONTO – Hydro One Ltd. topped expectations as it reported its fourth-quarter profit was up more than 20 per cent compared with a year ago.The parent company of Ontario’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility says it earned a profit attributable to common shareholders of $155 million or 26 cents per diluted share in the quarter ended Dec. 31.That compared with a profit of $128 million or 21 cents per diluted share in the last three months of 2016.On an adjusted basis, Hydro One says it earned $170 million or 28 cents per diluted share, up from $128 million or 21 cents per diluted share a year earlier.Analysts on average had expected a profit of 25 cents per share for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.Revenue totalled $1.44 billion, down from $1.61 billion, while revenue net of purchased power amounted to $777 million, up from $756 million in the same quarter in 2016.Companies in this story: (TSX:H)last_img read more

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