TORONTO – After four days of painstaking “scientific” efforts to identify the victims of a horrific attack in Toronto, authorities released on Friday the names of eight women and two men who died when a van mounted a sidewalk, mowing down pedestrians in its path.The dead ranged in age from 22 to 94 and included a student from South Korea and a man from Jordan, authorities said, as they noted additional charges would be laid against the man arrested in Monday’s incident.Police have alleged 25-year-old Alek Minassian rented a van and drove to Toronto’s Yonge and Finch area, where he began cutting a swath of destruction along one of the city’s busiest roads as well as nearby sidestreets.Ontario’s chief coroner said his team members took time confirming the identities of the deceased because they wanted to ensure there was no confusion that would add to the pain being experienced by victims’ loved ones.“Everybody has suffered a terrible tragedy, a totally unexpected, unspeakable tragedy that is unimaginable to everybody,” Dr. Dirk Huyer said at a news conference.“We undertook scientific efforts to confirm and ensure all the proper identifications … We needed to do the additional work to ensure there was no confusion or any potential additional grief.”Police officially listed the victims as: 33-year-old Andrea Bradden of Woodbridge, Ont., and Toronto residents Beutis Renuka Amarasingha, 45, Geraldine Brady, 83, So He Chung, 22, Anne Marie D’Amico, 30, Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Forsyth, 94, Dorothy Sewell, 80, and Chul Min Kang, 45. Ji Hun Kim, 22, from South Korea, and Munir Abdo Habib Najjar, 85, who was from Jordan, were also among the dead.Insp. Bryan Bott said the number of people injured in the attack has also grown to 16 after police identified two people who came forward since the beginning of the investigation.Minassian, from Richmond Hill, Ont., is already charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder, and will face three additional attempted murder charges in the coming days, Bott said.At least 12 injured people remain in hospital, he added, but did not provide updates on their condition.Bott declined to say whether any specific population was targeted in the attack despite the fact that the majority of the people killed were women.A Facebook post from Minassian’s account references an American mass killer who cited his hatred of women as his motive. Bott did not confirm whether Minassian was the author of the post and said his online activities will form a part of the ongoing investigation.Bott said the RCMP is involved in the probe, which requires police to interview close to 300 total witnesses and sort through dozens of photos submitted by the public.“Certainly the evidence we have in this investigation does not meet the threshold for … terrorism, but we are sharing our information back and forth,” he said.The victims’ names and backstories had begun to trickle out via family members, friends and employers before coroners completed the official identifications.The details that emerged painted portraits of people from all walks of life, with victims celebrated for everything from their cooking skills to their love of animals and devotion to their young children.Kang, a chef at a downtown steakhouse, was praised by coworkers for his warmth and energy.A monk at the Buddhist temple where Amarasingha regularly took her seven-year-old son recalled how she baked cookies every week to bring to Sunday school students.Tennis Canada hailed D’Amico’s hours of volunteer service with the organization, saying her friendly nature eventually saw her working directly with the elite athletes who participate in its marquis Rogers Cup.Sewell’s grandson said the passionate local sports buff was the best grandmother anyone could have, while Forsyth’s neighbour lamented the now-lost tradition of walks in the park on which her friend would feed the nearby birds and squirrels.Seneca College and the University of Toronto both issued statements saying one of their students had died in the attack, but did not provide their names.Bradden, whose name was first released on Friday, worked as an account executive at the Toronto offices of Gartner, an international research and advisory company with offices near the crime scene. A spokesman for Gartner said the company would not issue a statement at the family’s request.According to local newspaper the Caledon Enterprise, however, a condolence blog post briefly shared to the company’s website prompted glowing tributes from her colleagues.“Andrea’s joyful energy brought smiles, happiness and laughter to everyone who was privileged to work with her and call her a friend,” area vice-president Alex Falkingham reportedly wrote in the post. “She had an uncanny ability to make any room she walked into a more positive place, with laughter filling the room.”Brady — a grandmother who was known as Gerry to her family and friends — sold Avon products for more than 45 years and was still going out to visit customers up until her death, her friend and fellow Avon salesperson Feanny Xu said.They met about 14 years ago at a conference and later started working as a team, Xu said, adding she believed Brady was visiting customers in the area when she was killed.“She was very honest and caring for others,” Xu said. “She is wonderful. It’s so sad.”Xu heard from Brady’s son-in-law on Tuesday that the family believed she had died in the van attack. But Xu said she was still devastated when it was confirmed on Friday.In the days since Monday’s violence, members of the public have flocked to the scene of the attack to leave flowers, candles and multilingual messages of support. A vigil for the victims was scheduled to take place on Sunday night.The city of Toronto has also established a fund-raising effort, dubbed Toronto Strong, that had raised more than $1.5 million by Friday afternoon.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version carried an incorrect spelling for Munir Abdo Habib Najjar’s last name.
OTTAWA – The Conservatives and NDP are coming out against the Trudeau government’s new access to information bill, saying it falls short of Liberal promises to increase transparency.Opposition MPs are assailing the Liberals for backpedalling on a campaign promise to fully apply the Access to Information Act to ministerial offices.They also say the bill — introduced in June and debated Friday in the House of Commons — fails to narrow the many exemptions in the law that allow federal agencies to keep files under wraps.The access act, which took effect in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for everything from internal federal audits and meeting minutes to correspondence and studies.The law has never been substantially revised, and is often criticized as slow, ineffective and out of date.Government departments can black out requested records on grounds related to national security, legal privilege, policy advice, commercial secrets, federal-provincial relations and other areas. Records deemed to be federal cabinet secrets are completely off-limits for 20 years.“The exemptions still exist,” said Conservative MP Tom Kmiec. “They could have amended them, they could have diluted them, they could have removed some of them.”Information should be withheld under the law only when its release would truly hurt the government, said New Democrat MP Murray Rankin.“The exemptions have to be narrow, and they have to be about injury,” Rankin said. “You have to show that that would harm some government interest. They didn’t do that.”The legislation proposes extending the law — though only in a limited way — to the offices of the prime minister, cabinet members, senators, MPs and administrative institutions that support Parliament and the courts.These offices and institutions would not be required to answer access requests filed by individuals, which most agencies and departments must do. Rather, they would be legally bound to regularly release certain types of records, such as hospitality and travel expenses and contract information.The bill doesn’t measure up to promises the Liberals made during the election campaign, disappointing openness advocates, Kmiec said.Treasury Board President Scott Brison has touted the government bill as the first substantial revision of the 34-year-old act.He pointed out Friday the Harper government broke its 2006 election promises to overhaul the access law.Brison stressed the Liberal bill would give the federal information watchdog the power to order release of government records when a department improperly resists disclosure.Rankin said the order-making provisions are too weak and complex, adding he hopes the government is sincere about being open to amendments to the bill in committee.“We have to do it better; we can do it better.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter
TORONTO – To an international diplomat, the irony is painful — the country that promised action on climate change is falling behind while the country that has spurned a major treaty on the issue is making progress.That’s Canada and the United States, Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, said Wednesday.“It’s a bit of a paradox, here,” Gurria told The Canadian Press. “In Canada, you have a situation where you have a very strong political will to reduce, but effectively it has not gone on the planned road.“In the United States, you have a government that has pulled out of the (Paris) agreement, but in the United States you are having a reduction in emissions.”Mark Johnson, a spokesman for Environment and Climate Change Canada, said Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to the Paris Agreement.“Whether it’s forest fires in Canada, drought around the world or some of the most powerful hurricanes in history, the evidence of climate change is all around us,” he said in an emailed statement. “This reminds us all of the need to act now.”Gurria has high praise for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government’s strong vocal support for climate change. Gurria said Trudeau made a real contribution to reaching the Paris deal in 2015 in which 169 countries promised to reduce their emissions enough to keep global warming under two degrees Celsius.But when the signatories get together next year to take a look at each other’s progress, Canada may not be so much in evidence.“You have here a very proactive and decisive leadership moving in the direction of reduction of emissions, and a very active participant in the Paris agreement and a very active participant in the whole of the world’s move,” said Gurria, who was in Toronto to speak at the Munk School at the University of Toronto.“While at the same time, the local situation is showing that speed of reduction is not as fast as one would have wanted.”Gurria said Canada’s international promises suggest that by this time, emissions should have fallen by 17 per cent from 2005 levels. Instead, the drop has been more like two per cent.“You basically are on a path where, by 2030, you may not be able to get to the target.”Meanwhile, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s intention to walk away from the Paris accord, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions continue to fall, albeit slightly.In his speech, Gurria lamented short-term and short-sighted thinking that doesn’t get beyond the next quarterly report, election cycle or political border.“We’re doing everything in the opposite way. This is a problem worldwide.”However, Johnson insisted Canada is well-positioned to act quickly and take a leadership role through the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which identifies actions that will help exceed the greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 30 per cent below 2005.Gurria said the OECD — comprised of 35 member countries and intended to stimulate progress and world trade — is aware of political developments in Alberta where the United Conservative Party’s new leader Jason Kenney is promising to eliminate the province’s carbon tax.“We’re talking here about an intergenerational responsibility,” said Gurria. “The fact is that you’re putting aside the long term and you’re putting aside the responsibility you have to the rest of the world.”— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow him on Twitter at @row1960
HALIFAX – A new report is calling on Nova Scotia’s 10 universities to set up additional programs to prevent sexual violence on campus, just weeks after high-profile sexual assault charges were laid at one school.“Nova Scotia universities, like universities in other jurisdictions, have had incidents of sexual assaults,” said Dianne Taylor-Gearing, president of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.“Sexual assault in any form, in any number, is simply unacceptable.”The 72-page report released Friday explores the root causes of sexual violence, saying it is linked to issues such as gender inequality, confusion about consent, and a prevailing “rape culture” that still exists on campus.The document defines rape culture as an environment where “male violence is legitimized and normalized in society through victim blaming, denial of sexual violence, stigmatization and the sexual objectification of women.”Its findings focus on “shifting the culture in which sexual violence exists” and calls on universities to develop sexual violence prevention plans, consent education, training to respond to disclosures of sexual assault and bystander programs.“The report is an up front and frank acknowledgment of sexual violence and the societal influences of power and privilege,” said committee co-chairwoman Ava Czapalay, who co-authored the study for the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents.“We appreciate that this is being released during a time when sexual harassment and sexual violence is being extensively reported in the media.”Last month, two varsity football players at St. Francis Xavier University were charged with sexual assault with allegations against a third student surfacing earlier this month._The report notes that university frosh weeks, which often include excessive alcohol consumption, misogynist attitudes and hyper-sexuality, send a message to students that sexual violence is accepted.Peter Ricketts, president and vice chancellor of Acadia University, said the school included sexual violence education and awareness about responsible alcohol use in its orientation week this fall.But he acknowledged that “it’s not enough” and that more needs to be done to prevent sexual violence.The Wolfville, N.S., university is working on developing a stand-alone sexual violence policy, Ricketts said.Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis said half the province’s universities have already developed stand-alone sexual violence policies, while the other half are expected to comply by 2018.He said the report, entitled Changing the Culture of Acceptance, should be required reading across the province.“What really struck home to me is it spoke about an attitude change,” he said. “I felt it went beyond universities and that every Nova Scotian should read the report.”The Nova Scotia chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students said that although the report calls for changes students have long advocated for, there is no accountability to ensure the recommendations are implemented.“Students are concerned there is no accountability if institutions fail to implement these recommendations,” said chairperson Aidan McNally. “This report does not include timelines, it does not include any recourse for institutions that fail to prioritize this work.”She said the province should have mandated sexual violence policies with legislation, as in other provinces.However, Students Nova Scotia called the report a “step in the right direction.”“The survivor centered, intersectional approach of this report challenges institutions to ensure policies and procedures and to provide necessary supports for students,” said Annie Sirois, chairperson of StudentsNS, in an emailed statement.“We believe that these recommendations form a strong first step to changing campus culture and preventing sexual violence.”Johannah May Black with the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association said bystander training is key to preventing sexual violence.Instead of putting the responsibility on young women to “watch out for each other,” she said bystander education training creates a culture where people will step in and help prevent sexual violence.“It’s about stepping in when we see something, checking in with our friends, shutting down sexist or misogynist comments,” Black said. “It teaches people to stand up when they see something wrong and to intervene.”The sexual violence prevention committee is made up of representatives from the provincial government, universities, student groups and community agencies.Its recommendations follow up on the province’s first report on addressing sexual violence, called Breaking the Silence, released in 2015.
Local news fans dismayed by the closing of the daily newspaper in Orillia, Ont., are pledging by the dozens to donate $5 a month to a just-launched news website called OrilliaMatters.com, part of a grassroots movement in Canada to replace silenced community news voices.“Help support local news! Having a news source to call your own is part of your local identity,” entreats the website, which goes on to list the names of businesses and individuals who have answered the call.The site is the seventh started by fast-growing online news company Village Media Inc. of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., but the first to directly seek donations.Pledges have climbed to about $1,600 a month since the site was launched on Jan. 8 — six weeks to the day after the 147-year-old daily Orillia Packet and Times become one of 36 newspapers shut down in the wake of a deal that saw Postmedia Network Inc. and Torstar Corp. swap dozens of papers in November.The newspaper owners said at the time that producing community newspapers in the face of significantly declining advertising revenues meant that many of the operations no longer had viable business models.Charity is not the only solution for Canada’s shrinking news industry but it’s a growing part of it, say some observers.“Frankly, I think that’s kind of where journalism has to go now,” said Mitch Diamantopoulos, an associate journalism professor at the University of Regina.“If the traditional patron, the advertiser, is bowing out of the scene and the public authorities won’t step in with grant support or public funds, it’s hard to imagine how else anything can get funded.”CWA Canada president Martin O’Hanlon said his national media union is pushing the federal government to loosen charitable status rules to allow non-profit news agencies to be created and sustained using donations that earn tax credits.The change is one of 12 key recommendations in a study released a year ago by think-tank, the Public Policy Forum. So far, the federal government has resisted endorsing the suggestions.According to the crowdsourced Local News Research Project, 238 local news sources in 173 communities were closed in Canada between 2008 and Dec. 20 of last year. That includes 212 newspapers, most of which were weeklies. Only 69 new local news outlets had sprung up to replace them, including 28 new digital-only sites.News of the Postmedia-Torstar closings convinced veteran community newspaper owner Mike Wollock to come out of retirement. The 63-year-old had owned eight of the doomed publications in the Ottawa region before selling them about 13 years ago.Wollock said he’s already hired seven staff and will open an office for his new company, Ottawa Community Voice Publishing Inc., at the beginning of February. By the end of next month, he plans to re-launch four new tabloid-sized newspapers to be published every second week.“I’m putting my own money up front to start them,” Wollock said angrily. “Why? These communities really got shafted by Postmedia.”He doesn’t want charity but said he’s counting on local advertising support to counter steep economic hurdles his venture must surmount.For example, distribution of the free publications is being handled by Canada Post, which means Wollock likely won’t be able to insert flyers, traditionally a key source of revenue for weeklies, because he’s paying by weight.The cheaper alternative would be to contract distribution to the local daily newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen, but Wollock makes it clear dealing with a Postmedia-owned property is not an option he will consider.Village Media CEO Jeff Elgie is focused on growth these days and says his “marginally profitable” company will start four more online newspapers in communities with existing daily newspapers in the next three months.He said the newspaper closings of recent years have given his business a boost — he opened a local news site just eight days after the daily Guelph Mercury was closed by Torstar in January 2016. He said the recent closing of the daily Barrie Examiner has revitalized Village’s underperforming BarrieToday.com website.John Hammill, a former publisher of the Packet and Times, was one of about 300 staff who lost their jobs following the TorStar-Postmedia swap.He says he invited Village Media to fill a “big black hole” in local news in Orillia and subsequently created a new job for himself as publisher of both OrilliaMatters.com and BarrieToday.com.He said he now supervises five full-time staff and a number of freelance contributors at both websites, compared with 12 full-time staff at the Packet and Times alone.Hammill is sold on the new format — “We don’t have to wait for presses any more, quality journalism doesn’t have to wait for our operations to catch up” — be he concedes it isn’t replacing newspapers in terms of the number of jobs.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.
OTTAWA – Federal prisoners have lost a court bid to overturn pay cuts ushered in by the former Conservative government.Several inmates complained that their wages — a maximum of $6.90 a day — were slashed by 30 per cent in 2013 to help offset costs of room and board and telephone use.The prisoners say their income is unfair and insufficient to cover the cost of essential health and personal care items.In the Federal Court of Canada, the inmates argued the 2013 cuts were unconstitutional, violated international conventions on prisoner treatment and breached the Canada Labour Code.They pointed to a 2005-06 report by Canada’s correctional ombudsman that noted daily payments for work and participation in programs had not risen in close to two decades. A basket of canteen items that cost $8.49 in 1981 cost $61.59 in 2006.Federal lawyers defended the pay practices, saying they were supported by legislation. The government also denied the wage scheme violated constitutional guarantees of fundamental justice and the right to be free from cruel and unusual treatment.Moreover, it said the labour code does not apply since there is no employer-employee relationship in this case. Rather, the pay simply encourages participation in correctional programs.In 2013-14, it cost $115,000 to house an inmate for a year, the government noted.In a ruling made public Monday, the Federal Court said the detailed affidavits of five senior officials, four of whom work in federal prisons, showed that “although not luxurious, the offenders’ needs are met adequately” when it comes to food, clothing and hygiene items.“If there are gaps, they were not demonstrated in any way in the case presented to this court,” Justice Yvan Roy wrote.The court also rejected all of the prisoners’ legal arguments.In the ruling, Roy said the court did not weigh the wisdom of the Conservative government’s decision to make pay deductions, merely the legal basis for doing so.Even so, the argument of cruel and unusual treatment fails because wages that are less generous than expected cannot be equated with practices that would “outrage standards of decency,” such as lashing, castration or lobotomy, Roy said.“Deprivation of liberty or security of the person is doubtful but, more importantly the applicants did not identify, much less demonstrate, how the principles of fundamental justice had been violated,” he added. “The burden was on them, and they did not discharge it.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter
The family of an Indigenous man shot to death on a Saskatchewan farm has filed lawsuits against the RCMP and the farmer who was acquitted in the killing.Colten Boushie was killed after being shot in the head on a farm near the community of Biggar in August 2016.Gerald Stanley, the landowner, was found not guilty of second-degree murder after testifying that his gun went off accidentally.The claim against Stanley argues that he caused the death of Boushie through negligence, recklessness, or by an intentional act.Boushie’s family is also suing the Attorney General of Canada and individual RCMP officers over the way they were treated on the night Boushie died.None of the allegations has been proven in court.
QUEEN CHARLOTTE, B.C. – The Canadian Coast Guard says crews are working carefully to release gas that accumulated inside a barge carrying a fishing lodge that beached after it broke away from its anchorage at Haida Gwaii.Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa barge came loose from its mooring Saturday night and drifted for several hours toward Skidegate Inlet near the village of Queen Charlotte.Canadian Coast Guard Incident Commander Tim McCann says crews inspected the barge hull Tuesday and used air quality monitors to ensure their safety because some potentially explosive gas is trapped in the body of the vessel from a possible ruptured fuel line.John Kervel, incident commander with the B.C. Environment Ministry, says crews are also planning to open up hatches on the barge to create natural vents and will use forced air to ventilate the vessel.Time and air quality permitting, McCann says they planned to secure the barge to the beach on Tuesday.While no pollution was initially detected, a “small” amount of fuel sheen has appeared on the water, however Kervel says they do not believe there will be significant environmental impacts.The ministry is working with Transport Canada on a salvage plan.Kervel couldn’t speculate on the likelihood of an explosion, but says trained personnel with appropriate equipment to deal with such a case are on scene.A unified command is overseeing the incident with representatives of the Haida Nation, Village of Queen Charlotte, B.C. Environment Ministry, the Canadian Coast Guard and HaiCo, which owns the lodge.HaiCo will be responsible for paying the cost of the response and cleanup.
MONTREAL – Quebecers charted a new course for their province Monday by giving the seven-year-old Coalition Avenir Quebec a majority mandate in an election result that could create waves beyond its borders.Quebec, Canada’s second most-populous province, has joined the even bigger province of Ontario in voting for change following about 15 years of Liberal governments. There’s also more potential for conflict between Quebec and the federal Liberals.On its path to victory Monday, the right-leaning Coalition shattered nearly a half-century of two-party political rule in Quebec with a majority government that will redraw the province’s electoral map.The party was elected in 74 of the province’s 125 ridings, compared with 32 for the incumbent Liberals.One of the major surprises of the night was the near-disintegration of the Parti Quebecois, which earned just 17 per cent of the popular vote — its worst ever electoral performance — and won just nine seats.Coalition Leader Francois Legault guided his troops to victory after pitching himself as the candidate for change.“Today, Quebecers chose hope, hope for a government that will bring positive change,” he told supporters in his victory speech.“Tonight, we will celebrate the victory, then we will rest a few hours. But starting tomorrow (Tuesday) we will roll up our sleeves and we will work to do more, to do better for all Quebecers.”Many predicted the tightly fought campaign would shake up the political landscape.It was more like an earthquake.The win delivered something Quebec hadn’t seen in 48 years — a provincial government headed by a party other than the Liberals or the PQ.In terms of popular support, the Coalition had more than 37 per cent, compared with about 25 per cent for the Liberals.Legault’s party left the Liberals in second place, Quebec solidaire in a distant third and the stunned PQ reeling in fourth.With support for independence sliding, the PQ is now facing an existential crisis. The party has steadily watched its backing slip after spending about 20 of the last 48 years in office.To be considered an official party, the PQ needed either 20 per cent of the popular vote on Monday or 12 seats. It got neither.PQ Leader Jean-Francois Lisee suffered a double blow by also losing his Montreal riding. It prompted him to announce his resignation in his post-election speech.Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard salvaged some pride by being elected in his own riding. In his concession speech, he said he would take a few days to ponder his political future.“I wish his government all the success that Quebec deserves — despite our significant differences of opinion, we are all Quebecers,” he said after congratulating Legault on his victory.“We must stay united — we are stronger united.”Couillard had touted his government’s balanced budgets as well as the province’s falling unemployment rate and strong economic performance. But early in his mandate he faced criticism for cutting health and education budgets.The departure of Couillard, a staunch federalist, could have implications for Canada. He had smooth relations with Ottawa during his four years in power.It’s unclear what Legault’s win will mean for Quebec’s relationship with the Trudeau government.But there have already been signs of potential friction between Legault, a former sovereigntist and PQ cabinet minister, and the federal government.Last week, a recording of Legault’s wife, Isabelle Brais, captured her telling a party meeting last month that while Trudeau’s father, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, was “brilliant,” his son is not.She described the younger Trudeau as incompetent and suggested a Coalition government could have strained ties with his federal government. Brais later apologized.Legault declined to say whether he endorsed his wife’s comments about the prime minister, saying she’s “an independent woman who has her opinions, who is spontaneous, who apologized.”Trudeau issued a statement Monday to offer his “sincere congratulations” to Legault on the win.“I look forward to working with Premier Legault to make Quebec, a province we are all proud of, an even better place to live,” said Trudeau, who represents a Montreal riding.Looking ahead, the Coalition and Trudeau’s Liberals could also find themselves at odds over Legault’s pledges on immigration.He grabbed national headlines during the campaign when he proposed lowering Quebec’s annual immigration levels by 20 per cent. Legault also said he wanted to force newcomers to pass French and values tests within three years of their arrival — or face removal from the province.Responsibility, however, for such expulsions would fall to the federal government.In his victory speech, Legault, 61, appeared to address the issue of immigration:“I intend to govern for all Quebecers — all Quebecers,” he said.Legault’s win follows Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s majority victory in June. Ford’s Progressive Conservatives defeated the Ontario Liberals to end their run of 15 years in power.In Quebec, the Coalition win put an end to nearly 15 years of continuous Liberal rule, expect for a 19-month break when the PQ had a minority mandate between 2012 and 2014.The emergence of Legault’s party, which won just 22 seats in 2014 to finish third, came in large part at the expense of the PQ. Legault created the Coalition party in 2011 after quitting the PQ two years earlier.The PQ’s raison d’etre — Quebec sovereignty — has lost its lustre with voters and, for the first time in decades, talk of a referendum on independence was not a ballot-box issue.Faced with the shift in public sentiment, Lisee entered the race vowing not to hold a referendum on sovereignty in his first mandate as premier.“We absorbed a shock tonight, but we stand up straight and strong because Quebec still needs the Parti Quebecois,” Lisee said after the vote.“For as long as there are battles to fight for justice, equality, environment, secularism, French — Quebec will need the Parti Quebecois. For as long as Quebec isn’t a country, Quebec will need the Parti Quebecois.”The PQ finished one seat behind Quebec solidaire, which expanded its reach beyond its urban roots of central Montreal.“Today, our movement is bigger, stronger, more resolute than ever,” said Masse.“Quebec solidaire is not the party of Le Plateau-Mont-Royal (a hipster Montreal neighbourhood). Quebec solidaire is the party of the people who want things to change for real.”The Liberals had 68 seats at the legislature’s dissolution, while the PQ had 28, the Coalition 21 and Quebec solidaire three. There were five Independents.
There are three more confirmed cases of E. coli illness linked to romaine lettuce in Ontario and Quebec, Canadian health officials said Friday.The total number of Canadian cases is 22 in three provinces including New Brunswick, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) reported.The three most recent illnesses happened between late October and Nov. 1, the same time frame as the previous cases.Eight people in Canada have been hospitalized, one with severe symptoms. The health officials on Friday did not disclose if those people are still in hospital.The patients are between the ages of five and 93, and there are more females than males.The CFIA said it hasn’t found any contaminated products in Canada at this point.The agency is investigating whether the Canadian illnesses are connected to lettuce imported from California. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that’s likely where the lettuce that infected those in the States came from.Public health officials are advising people to throw out any romaine lettuce they may have.Related stories:Romaine lettuce ‘particularly susceptible’ to E. coli outbreaksCanadians, Americans are warned: Don’t eat romaine lettuceAvoid eating romaine lettuce because of new E. coli outbreak: Health officials
THIRTEEN’s American Masters series presents the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement in A Fierce Green Fire, premiering nationally Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 9-10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) in honor of Earth Day.The one-hour documentary chronicles one of the largest movements of the 20th century, and one of the keys to the 21st.Written, directed and produced by Academy Award-nominee Mark Kitchell (Berkeley in the Sixties), American Masters: A Fierce Green Fire spans 50 years of grassroots and global activism from the 1960s-2009 and connects the major causes of environmentalism, from conservation to climate change. Narrated by Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Van Jones and Isabel Allende, the film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and has won acclaim worldwide.Inspired by the book of the same name by environmental journalist and film interviewee Philip Shabecoff, and informed by advisors like conservation biologist E.O. Wilson, A Fierce Green Fire unfolds in five acts, each with a central story and character, featuring vivid archival footage and new interviews that shed light on the battle for a living planet. The first four acts include success stories of people fighting for causes against enormous odds, and the fifth concludes with climate change.Act 1, narrated by Redford, focuses on the conservation movement of the 1960s, the Sierra Club and its Executive Director David Brower’s battle to halt dams in the Grand Canyon. Act 2, narrated by Judd, looks at pollution in the 1970s, spotlighting the fight led by film interviewee Lois Gibbs and other Love Canal (Niagara, N.Y.) residents to save their children from toxic waste. Act 3, narrated by Jones, features alternative ecology strands like Greenpeace and its famous campaigns to save whales and baby harp seals, including interviews with co-founders Paul Watson and Rex Weyler. Act 4, narrated by Allende, charts the rise of global resource crises in the 1980s with the struggle to save the Amazon rainforest, led by Chico Mendes and his fellow Brazilian rubber tappers, as its centerpiece. Act 5, narrated by Streep, tackles climate change and the 25-year effort to address this ongoing, global problem, featuring author/activist Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, a movement dedicated to solving the climate crisis.The film’s title is derived from pioneering ecologist Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac (1949), which describes his awakening after shooting a wolf while working as a U.S. Forest Service ranger: “We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes.”“The environmental movement is the biggest movement the world has ever seen, yet so broad and diffuse that we lack a larger sense of what it was about,” explains Kitchell. “A Fierce Green Fire is meant to take stock, explore the historical meaning, where we’ve come from and where we’re heading. A hugely ambitious undertaking, it has proved to be the greatest challenge of my career.”“A Fierce Green Fire furthers the story of the environmental movement that American Masters began exploring in 2011 with John Muir in the New World, which won an Emmy,” said Stephen Segaller, executive-in-charge of American Masters and vice president of programming for WNET. “The film is a series first because there is no ‘American Master,’ per se. Instead, we are featuring a movement made up of individuals and organizations worldwide that have left an indelible impression on America’s cultural landscape, and beyond.”Launched in 1986 by series creator Susan Lacy, American Masters has earned 26 Emmy Awards – including nine for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards, and many other honors.Now in its 28th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEEN. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations, and operator of NJTV. For more than 50 years, THIRTEEN has been a partner with the tri-state community, using its rich resources to inform and inspire the passionate people of New York and the world to better understand and address the issues that challenge our diverse communities.To take American Masters beyond the television broadcast and further explore the themes, stories and personalities of masters past and present, the companion website offers streaming video of select films, interviews, photos, outtakes, essays, and other resources. American Masters is also seen on the WORLD channel, a 24/7, full-service multicast channel featuring public television’s signature nonfiction documentary, science and news programming, broadcast in nearly two-thirds of the United States.A Fierce Green Fire is a production of Mark Kitchell. Mark Kitchell is director, producer and writer. Marc N. Weiss is executive producer. Ken Schneider, Veronica Selver, Gary Weimberg, Jonathan Beckhardt and Robert Dalva are editors. Vicente Franco is cinematographer. Original music is by George Michalski, David Denny, Garth Stevenson, Randall Wallace and Todd Boekelheide. For American Masters: Susan Lacy is executive producer. Stephen Segaller is executive-in-charge.American Masters is made possible by the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding for American Masters is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, Vital Projects Fund, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, and public television viewers. Funding for A Fierce Green Fire is provided in part by Gould Family Foundation; Farvue and Wallace Genetic Foundations; Sundance Institute Documentary Program and Fund with the Wallace Global Fund; California Council for the Humanities; Rick Rosenthal & Nancy Stephens; Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation; LEF Foundation; Nu Lambda Trust; Patagonia; Josephine Merck; Joshua Mailman; David Greenberg; Fred Gellert Family Foundation; Marion Hunt; Charlie Pendergast; James Kimo Campbell; Dan Gabel; Susan Schindler; Gary Ferdman; Steven Cohen; Sam & Betty Kitchell; and Tides Foundation.
Opening Act, an innovative nonprofit that provides free after-school theater programming to New York City’s most under-served public high schools, today announced the launch of its Artistic Advisory Board (AAB), whose members will serve as ambassadors of the organization.The launch of the AAB coincides with Opening Act’s 8th Annual Benefit Play Reading at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway on May 12, 2014. Tickets are available to the public via www.telecharge.com – 1 800-447-7400.“We are thrilled to be welcoming great talent from across the theater, television, and film industries to bring attention to the need for impactful theater programming for New York City high school youth,” said Suzy Myers Jackson, Executive Director of Opening Act. “The AAB’s support makes it possible for us to fill the void in areas around New York City where there exists a tremendous arts shortage in public schools, giving students – often for the first time – an opportunity to have their voices heard and applauded. That transformative experience goes well beyond an artistic accomplishment; students tell us over and over again they wouldn’t have graduated high school if it weren’t for Opening Act.”Opening Act’s star-studded AAB is comprised of 14 members committed to supporting the group’s work in high-need New York City public high schools that have little to no arts education programming. Board members include: Actors Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), Kristen Bell (Frozen), Andrew McCarthy (Pretty in Pink), and Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live), as well as Opening Act advocates and supporters Marcus Gardley (playwright, dance of the holy ghosts: a play on memory), Jared Gertner (actor, Book of Mormon), Richard Hester (production, Jersey Boys), Matt Hoverman (playwright, The Glint), Kobi Libii (actor, Amazon’s Alpha House), Donald Margulies (playwright, Collected Stories), Michael Mastro (actor/director, West Side Story), Susan Mufson (Opening Act supporter), Lizabeth Newman (Opening Act supporter), and Jean Smart (actor, Designing Women).“After participating in a Masterclass with Opening Act last fall, I found myself so impressed by the level of excitement from the students towards the organization and the level of passion coming from the educators,” said AAB member Uzo Aduba. “Opening Act’s determination to make a difference in these young lives through artistic expression is what has committed me to this organization. I believe in their mission and want nothing more than to be an aid on the beautiful road Opening Act has already paved.”Recent reports have shown that instruction in the arts is positively correlated with higher student grades and rates of college enrollment. However, in low-income areas like the South Bronx and central Brooklyn there exists a severe arts shortage. In fact, more than 42 percent of schools without a full-time, state-certified arts teacher are located in those areas. Opening Act strives to fill this void by providing their programming free of charge to these schools. Over ninety percent of Opening Act’s programs are located in the South Bronx and Brooklyn.The launch of Opening Act’s AAB coincides with the 8th Annual Benefit Play Reading, starring Tony Award winners Courtney B. Vance (Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy, Law & Order: Criminal Intent), and Lillias White (Fela!, The Life), as well as Uzo Aduba, in a one-night only reading of dance of the holy ghosts: a play on memory, by Marcus Gardley, to benefit Opening Act’s after-school theater programs.Opening Act is a unique nonprofit that brings 12 free, long-term theater programs to 35 of New York City’s most under-served public high schools. Through theater, Opening Act students gain confidence, pride, and the knowledge that they can succeed at anything in life. Opening Act’s vision is to see that every New York City public school student has access to an artistic space where they can develop commitment, community, and leadership through their artistic achievement. Please visit www.openingactnewyork.org to learn more about Opening Act’s programs.8th Annual Play Reading of dance of the holy ghosts: a play on memory to benefit Opening Act will take place on Monday, May 12, 2014, performance beginning at 7:00 P.M. The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre is located at 261 W. 47th Street in Manhattan.Tickets are $550 Premium Ticket (best seating – includes a Rising Star Sponsorship in Opening Act’s Adopt a School Program, which supports one student for an entire year of programming, program recognition, plus all benefits of a VIP ticket), $225 VIP Ticket (priority seating – includes admission to an exclusive Post-Show Discussion and champagne toast with the play’s creative team and members of the cast, plus all benefits of an Event ticket), $150 Event Ticket (includes performance, open wine bar, and hors d’oeuvres).For tickets – www.telecharge.com or 1 800-447-7400 . For more information on the event and exclusive group ticket packages – www.openingactnewyork.org.Source:PR Newswire
The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), part of the Clinton Foundation, has announced an expansion of its climate change mitigation efforts with a new program mapping priority areas for reforestation in Kenya and Ethiopia.This program builds on existing data collection efforts in Kenya that provide communities with advanced information on rainfall, drought, and monitoring of natural resources; these efforts will help communities better manage their forest, farms, woodlots, and water resources. This new program will be carried out together with the World Resources Institute and the Green Belt Movement. It will be CCI’s first work in Ethiopia, although the Foundation has been working in the health sector in Ethiopia since 2005. These efforts are designed to mitigate the negative effects of climate change in Africa. Forests are being degraded and lost at an alarming rate in Africa, and the negative effects include reductions and changes in soils and watersheds, impacts on food security, and damages to biodiversity. The new program – known as Restoring Ecosystems in African Landscapes (REAL)– is designed to help communities identify areas where land can be reclaimed and reforested and demonstrate restoration efforts with select communities. “The expansion of our work in Kenya and Ethiopia will help individuals, employers, and governments in the region to make smarter decisions and mitigate the negative environmental effects of climate change that are happening today,” said President Clinton. “As the effects of climate change are increasingly being felt globally, our efforts to prevent the degradation of the forests that are critical to the region’s ecosystem are more important than ever.” Kenya and Ethiopia have significant potential for forest ecosystem rehabilitation, as well as a strong commitment to forest restoration. Early forest restoration mapping found that that there are more than 100 million hectares of land that could be restored in East Africa. The REAL program in Ethiopia and Kenya has several goals: • Map priority areas for restoration at national and local scales; • Initiate demonstration projects for land reclamation, that can provide critical benefits like biodiversity conservation, fuel wood, fodder, shade, water regulation; • Investigate innovative investment models of long-term financing to ensure sustainability and enable replication.This project will link with ongoing work that CCI is currently carrying out with the Government of Kenya to quantify and report its greenhouse gas emissions. This work will allow the government to promote sustainable development and inform policy decisions on planning for forest restoration, protection of forest resources, improved soils and agricultural productivity, and enhanced water availability. Building on President Clinton’s longstanding commitment to the environment, CCI implements programs that create and advance solutions to the root causes of climate change – while also helping to reduce our reliance on oil, saving money for individuals and governments, creating jobs, and growing economies. CCI has worked with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) to help large cities reduce their carbon emissions, and currently works to increase energy efficiency through building retrofits; increase access to clean energy technology and deploy it at the government, corporate, and homeowner levels; and reverse deforestation and restore landscapes with data-driven natural resource management.
Publicist Nanci Ryder’s “Team Nanci” once again participated in the annual LA County Walk to Defeat ALS, on Sunday, October 18, 2015 at Exposition Park in Los Angeles.After being diagnosed with ALS last year, Nanci bravely decided to share her battle with the public to raise awareness and support for the ALS community. She and her many friends participated in the 13th Annual LA County Walk to Defeat ALS, hosted by the ALS Association Golden West Chapter, as “Team Nanci” in custom Vera Wang Collection T-Shirts designed and donated by Vera Wang.The 1.6 mile walk was open to the public, and all funds raised support the mission-critical priorities of The ALS Association Golden West Chapter in care services, public policy, and research.Among those who took part in support of Team Nanci were Justine Bateman, Courteney Cox, Angie Harmon, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Bryan Lourd, Reese Witherspoon, Lawrence Zarian, Renee Zellweger, Daphne Zuniga and more. Additional “Walk to Defeat ALS” attendees included Miley Cyrus, Amy Paffrath, Mari Winsor and more.
It’s not every day you see the words “music” and “Deafness” paired together in such harmony. Actually, it may sound downright out of place for those who aren’t familiar with Deaf, hard of hearing or special needs populations.Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf has witnessed the astounding effects of music therapy and improved literacy first-hand – and they’re personally inviting you into their world.On Wednesday, June 22, from 6 – 8PM, the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, along with actress and director Trudie Styler and Sting, is hosting an exclusive evening called “Rhythm and Reds,” a wine tasting featuring vintages from their Tuscan estate, Il Palagio, and food pairing event to benefit the Mill Neck Manor Music Endowment Fund for children and adults who are Deaf and have other special needs.Guests will have opportunities to bid on silent auction items, including a Fender Precision Bass Guitar autographed by Sting; dinner for 10; the evening’s featured wines; an autographed selection of Sting’s albums and much more. While the event is sold out, online auction bidding begins on May 16 at 10 a.m. at millneck.org.The upcoming event will be held at the historic Mill Neck Manor House, a circa 1923, Tudor Revival mansion at 40 Frost Mill Road in Mill Neck. Attendees will partake in a special wine tasting of four vintage red wines: “When We Dance,” “Message in a Bottle,” “Casino delle Vie” and “Sister Moon,” all produced at Il Palagio – Trudie and Sting’s sprawling 865-acre Tuscan estate. The April 2016 issue of Wine Spectator features Trudie and Sting on its cover and a 9-page story on their award-winning wines and beautiful Italian home. Guests will also enjoy a variety of delectable hors d’oeuvres created by celebrated Long Island chef/restaurateur Tom Schaudel.When it comes to literacy, Deaf children have the odds stacked against them from the time they are born. Deaf infants begin life in a soundless world with the unimaginable task of trying to make sense of what is happening around them. By school age, most Deaf children’s language skills are significantly behind their hearing peers and the gap tends to widen as time goes by. Mill Neck was pleased to find studies that show music can act as a powerful tool to positively affect oral language development and increase other literacy skills.“Rhythm and Reds” was launched to foster awareness of the significant connection between music and literacy skills and create continued support of this important educational endeavour. And this remarkable connection extends beyond just the Deaf population. Mill Neck’s Early Childhood Center, which consists of 3- and 4-year-old children who have intense communication issues, such as speech/language delays and disorders, cognitive and motor deficits and autism-related disorders, are also profoundly affected by the influence of music and literacy.
Today, Marriott Rewards’ announces that Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox and host of Hollywood Today Live Ross Mathews are joining this year’s #LoveTravels pride celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as official ambassadors.On Friday, June 10, Laverne Cox will unveil the #LoveTravels collaborative art installation, a collection of original art work submitted from people around the world, and dedicated to transgender lives and leaders everywhere. Ross Mathews, who is returning as a #LoveTravels ambassador for the second year, will join Laverne Cox to unveil the crowd-sourced installation, as well as join the Marriott Rewards #LoveTravels float during the Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11.Following a global call for travelers to submit their own artistic expressions of love to the award-winning #LoveTravels campaign, Marriott Rewards received over 3,500 submissions from nearly 100 countries over just two weeks, that will be blended in a powerful large-scale art installation.For each individual art expression, Marriott Rewards and #LoveTravels will make a donation to support Casa Ruby’s lifesaving mission. Casa Ruby is the only bilingual, multicultural LGBT organization providing critical services to many of the most vulnerable transgender residents of Washington, D.C. The funds will help support Casa Ruby’s Drop-In and Crisis Intervention Center, as well as their Limited Financial Assistance program for those enrolled in career and employment services and to those facing extreme financial hardship.“For me personally, Marriott Rewards’ #LoveTravels creates powerful feelings because of who I am and what it stands for, sharing my vision of a world transformed by acceptance,” said Laverne Cox. “Partnering with a global company that is applying its integrity, its reach and its voice to help break down barriers for all LGBT individuals – it’s truly inspiring for me to join them.”Stacey Milne, Vice President of Portfolio Marketing Strategy & Planning, Marriott International said, “It’s our honor to stand with the LGBT community, not just during the month of June, but year round. With the third iteration of our #LoveTravels campaign, we are reaffirming our commitment to equality and using our voice to shine a light on the struggle the transgender community and their allies are currently enduring. This time last year, we were on the brink of one of history’s most significant Supreme Court decisions and this year, we’re excited to be back to celebrate an expression of love through art, for transgender lives with our two very special guests, Laverne Cox and Ross Mathews.”Said Ross Mathews, “It means a lot to me that Marriott has asked me to join the #LoveTravels campaign again this year for Capital Pride, especially given the focus and celebration of transgender lives. On one hand, it’s encouraging to see how far the nation has come in the past year, but on the other hand, I recognize how much more work must be done. #LoveTravels really resonates with me, and I can’t wait to celebrate with everyone as we march in this year’s parade.”Marriott Rewards also enlisted popular social media ambassadors and LGBT supporters from around the world to spread the #LoveTravels message including Jazz Jennings (TLC’s “I am Jazz”), Miles Jai (@MilesJaiProductions on YouTube), Pepe y Teo (one of Mexico’s most popular LGBT YouTubers), Shannon Beveridge and Cammie Scott (YouTube’s “Now This is Living”), and Trent and Luke (married YouTube couple from the UK).#LoveTravels kicked off in 2014 with Jason Collins, Geena Rocero, Tim Howard and Angela Simmons celebrating travelers exploring their personal passions and acclaiming their unique perspectives and experiences. It continued into 2015 with Hollywood star Diane Guerrero (OITNB, Jane the Virgin). During Capital Pride 2015, Marriott Rewards celebrated marriage equality by marrying George Carrancho and Sean Franklin in the Capital Pride Parade with TV personality Ross Mathews as officiant.To join the conversation or learn more, travelers can visit www.lovetravelswithme.com, follow #LoveTravels and @MarriottRewards on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) announced that Hunger Is, their joint charitable program designed to raise awareness and funds to end childhood hunger in America, awarded over $4.6 million to fund hunger relief charities that aim to feed hungry children throughout the country.“I am overjoyed to witness Hunger Is making a difference on a local level by awarding over $4.6 million in grants to provide more breakfasts to children in need. I’m so happy to help raise attention and start conversations about the critical issue of childhood hunger in America,” stated award-winning actress and Hunger Is Ambassador Viola Davis. “I was one of the millions of children who went to school hungry every day. I am proud to support an organization that is giving children the fuel that they need to succeed.”Hunger Is once again invited qualified organizations to respond with approaches to increase access to free and reduced-cost school breakfast, to improve the nutritional quality of breakfast programs, and to expand weekend, summer and vacation feeding programs.These grants are supported by the September 2016 Hunger Is fundraising campaign that included both customer donations at the check stand and donations generated by the purchase of participating products in more than 2,300 Albertsons Companies stores in 33 states throughout the U.S. Stores include Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, ACME Markets, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Carrs and others. To date, Hunger Is has raised more than $18 million and funded 273 programs. A list of grant recipients can be found at hungeris.org/grantawards.Currently only half of the 22 million children in the U.S. who are eligible for free or reduced-cost breakfast receive this most important meal of the day. The following are examples of programs that will help increase access to healthy food for thousands of children:• The Los Angeles Regional Foodbank was awarded a grant to support the creation of a new Children’s Breakfast Program, which will provide breakfast items for the weekend and summer months, ensuring they have access to breakfasts when school is out of session. • • Food Bank of the Rockies, in Denver, Colorado, was awarded a grant to support their Totes of Hope® program, which provides children with totes filled with child friendly food each Friday to eat over the weekend when not at school. • • Minnie’s Food Pantry, in Plano, Texas, was awarded a grant to support their Breakfast Club program, which provides healthy breakfast items to children and their families, as well as nutrition education classes. • • The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank was awarded a grant to support their School Backpack Program, which provides child-friendly, nutritious food items every week to be taken home in the child’s backpack on the weekends. • • Hunger Is also continued its support for The Idaho Foodbank, which was awarded a new grant for their backpack program. The program fills children’s backpacks with nutritious food each Friday so that the children have nourishment, not just during the week, but also over the weekend.“The funds raised in our stores are continuing to make a positive impact for children and schools throughout the country,” said Christy Duncan Anderson, Executive Director of the Albertsons Companies Foundation. “Thanks to the generosity of our customers and the dedication of our store teams, more children will start their school day with the fuel they need to succeed.”Albertsons Companies’ store divisions help select grant recipients in their region, in concert with the Hunger Is Advisory Committee (HIAC). The HIAC is comprised of leaders from renowned hunger advocacy organizations in the U.S., including the Center for Hunger Free Communities (Drexel University), a community-engaged research, service, advocacy and policy center; Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity; Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, an internationally renowned biomedical research institute focused on pediatric health; the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in the U.S.; Hunger Free America, which operates the national hunger hotline and sponsors the nationwide Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps AmeriCorps VISTA program in 32 states; Share Our Strength, whose No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals; and WhyHunger, which supports grassroots solutions to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious and affordable food. The committee provides guidance in defining priorities and addressing needs, and makes funding recommendations for approval by the Albertsons Companies Foundation and the EIF Board of Directors.“We are so proud of the serious impact the Hunger Is initiative has been able to make on the critical issue of childhood hunger in America,” stated EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen. “We are grateful to Viola Davis for sharing her personal story and for dedicating her time and energy to advance Hunger Is in its mission. Working with our valued partner, the Albertsons Companies Foundation and the members of the Hunger Is Advisory Committee, we will continue to dedicate our work to provide more breakfasts to children in need and to help America’s children be ready for more learning, more of life.”More information about the issue is available at HungerIs.org, along with simple ways for individuals to donate.
Bright lights and cameras will be out in force at the 13th Annual Denim, Diamonds & Stars, a red-carpet evening to raise funds for ACT Today!, the nation’s leading autism nonprofit organization providing help and support to children with autism and their families.3th Annual Denim, Diamonds and StarsPresenters include actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Cole.The event is Sunday, October 7 at the Four Seasons Westlake Village (2 Dole Dr.). Festivities include red-carpet arrivals, cocktail reception, silent and live auctions, live entertainment, gourmet dinner catered by Four Seasons award-winning chefs, celebrity presenters and special tributes to 2018 honorees. Honorees are Richard Schiff, Emmy-winning actor/producer/director and currently in “The Good Doctor,” Joanne Lara, executive director of Autism Works Now! and Rose van Wier Hein, founder/CEO of Golden Heart Ranch. Emceeing the event is Nick Belardo.Since it began in 2005, ACT Today! Has helped more than 1,400 families and distributed more than $1.65 million in grants. Presenting sponsor is Center for Autism & Related Disorders (CARD). For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.denimanddiamondsforautism.net.
Advertisement Advertisement European Union Film Festival: What with the abundance of free screenings at the European Union Film Festival at the Royal in the next two weeks, moviegoers are bound to find something that suits their tastes. Nevertheless, it can be a challenge to determine where to start amid the many sensitively wrought dramas from the Balkans, intergenerational family stories from Scandinavia and crowd-pleasers that hit big with local audiences but remain woefully obscure in other lands. Here are three Canadian premieres in this week’s slate worth taking a chance on.Irreplaceable (France): This rural-set drama pairs the promising young director Thomas Lilti with one of France’s biggest stars, Francois Cluzet — the Intouchables actor plays a country doctor coping with his own ailing health. It plays Nov. 12.The First, The Last (Belgium): Belgian actor and director Bouli Lanners stars opposite Albert Dupontel in an offbeat crime story as shaggy, sad sack bounty hunters who get in a heap of trouble while searching for a rich guy’s stolen cellphone — the winner of two big prizes at the Berlin festival last year, it plays Nov. 13. Twitter Remainder (UK): This year’s most intriguing offering at the EUFF — at least for viewers who’ve read the film’s brilliant source novel by Tom McCarthy — is this enigmatic British effort about a strange young man with memory problems who obsessively recreates a fragment of his past. Video artist Omer Fast’s debut feature plays Nov. 17.The EUFF continues to Nov. 24. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Pomegranate and Hungarian film fests: The roster of international film events continues with two more this week. Established in 2006 as a showcase of Armenian film and culture, the Pomegranate Film Festival opens Nov. 16 at the SilverCity Fairview Mall with Earthquake, a drama about the country’s devastating quake in 1988, and Remember, followed by a Q&A with director Atom Egoyan. Facebook Login/Register With: