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Oliver Stone to interview Edward Snowden in live Cineplex preview

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment TORONTO – Oliver Stone is offering up a sneak peak at his biographical political thriller “Snowden.”Canadians in select cities will get a chance to preview the film two days before its release Sept. 16. Facebook The screening will be followed by a live interview between Stone and whistleblower Edward Snowden, with the Oscar-winning filmmaker speaking from New York and Snowden appearing via satellite from Moscow. Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

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The Weeknd to headline Jingle Ball concert in Toronto

first_imgHighlights of last month’s iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas air Thursday and Friday on CTV Two. The show features performances by U2, Sia, Sting, Britney Spears, Ariana Grande and OneRepublic.Bell Media also announced Thursday that the streaming service iHeartRadio is now available in Canada, although its official launch is on Monday.By The Canadian Press LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, hits the stage hot off his recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, where he teased new music and revealed a new, more subdued, hairdo.Virgin Mobile says presale tickets for members are available Oct. 8 while general-public ticket sales start Oct. 11. Advertisement Login/Register With:center_img Facebook Homegrown stars The Weeknd and Alessia Cara are among the headliners bound for the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball on Nov. 25 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.The big-ticket lineup also includes the Chainsmokers, Hedley, Serena Ryder, Belly, Kardinal Offishall and Kent Jones.But the buzziest name is sure to be The Weeknd, whose performance will coincide with the worldwide release of his new album, Starboy. Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

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The Grammys have finally embraced Justin Bieber

first_img Facebook Yet this time all of Bieber’s competitors are under the age of 40. Also nominated for album of the year are Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Adele’s 25, Drake’s Views and A Sailor’s Guide to Earth by the roots-music maverick Sturgill Simpson.Youngsters dominate other major categories too, such as Record of the Year (with nominees including Rihanna’s “Work” and Twenty One Pilots’ “Stressed Out”) and Song of the Year (in which Bieber’s “Love Yourself” will battle Mike Posner’s “I Took a Pill in Ibiza,” among others).But if the famously fusty Grammys appear to be aging down, perhaps as a way to attract new viewers to a telecast whose ratings keep sliding, it’s not quite the case that the academy has shaken its old loyalties.Think of Bieber: While the sound of Purpose very much reflects the state of dance pop in 2016 — gleaming synthesizers and throbbing, sometimes harsh beats — the album uses those edgy textures to sell a classic confessional narrative. In songs like “Sorry” and “Mark My Words” he’s apologizing for his public misbehaviour over the last few years; several tracks even invoke God as a sure sign of his penitence.Which means the grown-ups at the Grammys have finally embraced Bieber not because of who he is but because he’s promising to change. That seems only clearer with the nod for “Love Yourself,” an outlier of a folk-pop ballad that Bieber co-wrote with Ed Sheeran, an established Grammy favourite.And the same goes for Posner, recognized for his clever top 5 hit about a drug-fueled meditation on the disappointments of fame. Look closely, though, and you see his nomination isn’t for the popular club remix that makes “Ibiza” so funny; it’s for Posner’s lower-impact acoustic recording.So welcome at last, young pop stars, to the prestigious Grammy club!Now please hurry up and turn into James Taylor.By Mikael WoodLos – Angeles Times Advertisement And at 22 he made it happen while still a baby, at least by Grammy standards.Indeed, Bieber may be the most surprising nominee in a category crowded with young artists. The Recording Academy is notorious for giving its flagship prize to past-their-prime veterans like Steely Dan and Herbie Hancock. In December 2012, Ellen DeGeneres had Justin Bieber on her talk show to discuss the pop star’s latest tattoo (a wise owl), what he likes to do on his days off (sneak into movies) and whether he was bummed not to have been nominated for a Grammy Award.“It’s definitely something that I was looking forward to,” he said of being recognized for his blockbuster album Believe, which failed to pick up a nod that year for music’s highest honour. “But I know that it’ll happen one day. I’m so young.”Four not-so-long years later, Bieber is tasting sweet vindication with Tuesday’s announcement of nominations for the 59th annual Grammys. The polarizing singer whose manufactured sound and tabloid shenanigans once put him beyond consideration is up for four awards, including the coveted Album of the Year with Purpose. Twittercenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With:last_img read more

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WEEKEND ROUNDUP – APRIL 21 22 AND 23 2017

first_imgFAT 2017 LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook It was a busy weekend in Toronto.  In addition to cinema and theatrical shows, the weekend events consisted of the FAT Show (Fashion Art Toronto), The Toronto Screenwriting Conference, The Harry Jerome Awards, TIFF Kids Festival, The Toronto Monologue Slam and the 1-year anniversary of the Women In The Film Industry Network Meetup.Here are some pics from the weekend. TIFF KIDS 2017 TIFF KIDS 2017 TIFF KIDS 2017 TIFF KIDS 2017 TIFF KIDS 2017 TIFF KIDS 2017 TIFF KIDS 2017 TIFF KIDS 2017 TSC 2017 TSC 2017 (Photo by Carolyn Kennedy) TSC 2017 – Paul Haggis TSC 2017 TSC 2017 (Photo by Carolyn Kennedy) TSC 2017 – Paul Haggis FAT 2017 FAT 2017 FAT 2017 FAT 2017 FAT 2017 FAT 2017 HARRY JEROME AWARDS HARRY JEROME AWARDS Prime Minister Trudeau and wife Sophie arrive at the HARRY JEROME AWARDS Fabi Toronto Mayor John Tory at the HARRY JEROME AWARDS Toronto Monologue Slam Women in the Film Industry Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

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HOW CANADIAN ACTORS ERASE ACCENTS FOR US WORK

first_imgWhen Howie Mandel played a Boston doctor on the 1980s medical drama St. Elsewhere it wasn’t the medical jargon he struggled with — it was his Canadian accent.“I can’t tell you how many times they stopped filming on St. Elsewhere because I said ‘intes-tyne’ instead of ‘intest-tin,’ or I said ‘dra-ma’ instead of ‘draw-ma,”‘ says the Toronto-born America’s Got Talentjudge.“They just kicked the Canada out of me.” Advertisement Twitter Over Canada’s 150-year history, the Canuck English accent has varied in sound and strength, depending on the region. And it comes through more in certain words — like about, mouth, pasta, lava and avocado.Howie Mandel remembers saying ‘intes-tyne’ instead of ‘intest-tin,’ as preferred when he played a doctor on the 1980s medical drama St. Elsewhere. (Peter Power/Canadian Press)Though the accent can be subtle at times, it can be a hard one for some homegrown actors to shake when they’re playing non-Canadian characters.“You can’t say ‘drama’ or ‘pasta’ or ‘story,”‘ says Vancouver-born comedy star Seth Rogen, whose AMC series Preacher is into its second season.Only a few words ‘an issue’“I consciously have to not talk like a Canadian, if I’m playing an American character. There are only four or five words for me that really have become an issue.”Big Little Lies star James Tupper of Dartmouth, N.S., says he “went home in tears” while trying to shake his spirited accent in drama school. ‘I just didn’t hear it and it took me forever, but I finally did learn the variations in my tongue and how to make an American sound, and I feel confident with it now.’– Actor James Tupper“I just couldn’t hear it,” he says. “I would say, ‘It’s not very fa-her to the ca-her.’ They would say, ‘It’s not very far to the car.’ I just didn’t hear it and it took me forever, but I finally did learn the variations in my tongue and how to make an American sound, and I feel confident with it now.“But I’ll tell you what — when I go home, the wild Nova Scotian that lives in me comes out. I have the thickest accent of any Nova Scotian you’ve ever imagined.”Big Little Lies star James Tupper says he’s confident he can pass for an American, despite having ‘the thickest accent of any Nova Scotian you’ve ever imagined.’ (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)Property Brothers star Drew Scott says he also worked hard to get rid of his accent while acting in his native Vancouver.“One of the issues I had is a lot of U.S. shows coming to shoot there and they said, ‘You’re a great actor but I can still hear the Canadian-isms,’ and I needed to not have that,” says Scott.Bee-n versus bin“The funny words that you watch out for are ‘tomorrow’ which sounds like ‘tah-more-oh,’ or ‘about,”‘ adds twin brother/co-star Jonathan. “The word ‘been,’ Americans say ‘bin’ but Canadians say ‘bee-n.”‘Still, some actors don’t bother going through such great pains.Toronto-raised Mike Myers, for instance, proudly injected his Canuck accent in his American Wayne’s World character.“Wayne has a Scarborough accent with a Canadian rise. I made no attempt to sound like he was from Chicago,” says Myers, who has a section on the Canadian English accent in his book “Canada.”“(While acting) in England it was, ‘Should I be American, should I be a limey?’ And I was just like, ‘Ah, just be Canadian.”‘According to Charles Boberg, an associate professor of linguistics at McGill University, there are two main differences in Canadian English pronunciation of vowels.‘Canadian rising’ with vowels“One of them is called ‘Canadian rising,’ and this is the stereotype that most Americans have of Canadian English and it involves the ‘OU’ vowel sound and the ‘I’ vowel. It’s referring to raising the pronunciation of the vowel in the mouth,” says Boberg, author of The English Language in Canada.“When we say ‘raising’ we mean that the tongue isn’t as low for pronunciation of words like ‘mouth’ and ‘price’ for Canadians as it is for Americans.”Canadian raising, which Boberg says may have its origins in Scottish English, has stuck with Mandel: “I still don’t hear the Canadian ‘about’ … but I’m told that sometimes I say it — ‘about,’ or ‘house,”‘ he says.Then there’s the “Canadian shift,” which involves vowels moving around in the mouth, leading to subtle pronunciations like “drass” instead of “dress.”Shift on the letter ‘a’The Canadian English accent also comes through in words that hail from other languages and the main vowel sound is spelled with the letter “A.”“An example would be … ‘paw-sta’ is the American pronunciation but ‘pa-sta’ is the Canadian pronunciation and really sounds weird to Americans,” says Boberg.Those on Canada’s West and East Coasts pronounce words differently than those in the central provinces. On the West Coast, for instance, words like “out and about” are pronounced more like “oat and aboat,” says Boberg.Blending in easier for actors from B.C., PrairiesThe western Canadian dialect is similar to that of California, making it easier for homegrown actors from British Columbia or the Prairies to blend in linguistically in Hollywood, he adds.“What’s funny is the hardest time I probably ever had doing (an accent) was when I was in Sarah Polley’s (Canadian) movie (Take This Waltz),” says Rogen.“In the West Coast, we don’t say ‘about’ like how they do in the East Coast of Canada and I was supposed to be a guy from Toronto and I couldn’t for the life of me say ‘about’ like a guy from Toronto does.” Facebook Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Mike Myers, seen here with Dana Carvey in a recreated scene from Wayne’s World, says he proudly kept his Canadian accent while playing a character who was supposed to be from a Chicago suburb. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press) Login/Register With: Advertisementlast_img read more

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BC film production to top 26B in 2017 setting new record

first_imgIf you’ve spotted one of the many crews set up around Metro Vancouver recently, it’s likely no surprise to you that B.C.’s film industry is booming.According to Creative BC, the independent agency charged with promoting creative industries in the province, that’s not just movie magic: the latest numbers show motion picture productions are set to spend a record amount in the province this year.Boosted by a low Canadian dollar, motion picture expenditures in B.C. are estimated to top $2.6 billion this fiscal year – the highest ever – up 35 per cent from 2015-2016. Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement The agency says 338 productions qualified for tax credits this year, up from 297 last year.According to B.C.’s 2017 budget, those credits will cost taxpayers $391 million.READ MORE Twitterlast_img read more

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The 10 Best Cinematographers of 2017 Ranked

first_img Facebook Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The cinematography choices in “The Shape of Water” are interesting and unexpected. For a fairy tale that is so sincere and hopeful, cinematographer Dan Laustsen and Guillermo del Toro’s decision to keep the monochromatic, “Twilight Zone”-approach to lighting — the film was originally slated to be black-and-white — gives the film a mysterious feel and highlights the darkness that lay in the American ideal of 1962. The frames Palermo and Lowery find with their wide-lensed 4×3 frame are never confined by the limited space, but anchored in a position in which the act of eating pie or playing a song is utterly captivating. As the film moves through time, the cinematography shifts and helps tell the story that moves from elliptical, to “Blade Runner” dystopia, to a window to the past. It’s a remarkable accomplishment and 2017’s best example of what can accomplished when talented filmmakers embrace their limitations and fearlessly try something that scares them a little.9. “The Shape of Water”“The Shape of Water” – Fox Searchlight Login/Register With: Advertisement There were so many incredibly shot films this year that narrowing it down to 10 wasn’t easy. What follows is not an attempt the highlight the best-looking movies of the year, but the ones that used cinematography most effectively in building expressive, cinematic worlds. This list embraces exploration of form, creative use of limitations, and overcoming challenges with craft and innovation. Often, the awards-season narrative for below-the-line talent is scale and the most obvious use of craft; here, the focus is how form can be used to elicit emotion and tell a story. These are 10 films that do that exceeding well.10. “A Ghost Story”“A Ghost Story” – Andrew Droz Palermo A movie made with a small group of friends, shot in small house over a small number of days, is not supposed to be this visually big. But just like David Lowery’s film itself, cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo finds incredible depth and beauty in the simplicity of “A Ghost Story.” The film is a meditation on time, which Palermo matches with atmosphere-filled images that evoke mystery, loneliness, and classical elegance that can feel like a memory. Twitterlast_img read more

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CANADIAN ICON DONALD SUTHERLAND JOINS NICOLE KIDMAN AND HUGH GRANT FOR HBOS

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Sutherland stars as Franklin Renner, Grace’s father, a retired financier and loving grandfather, who is tasked with protecting his family when turbulent revelations come to light.THE UNDOING is directed by Susanne Bier and written for television by David E. Kelley (BIG LITTLE LIES). Executive produced by David E. Kelley, Nicole Kidman, Per Saari, Bruna Papandrea, and Susanne Bier.  Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment HBO revealed this afternoon that legendary Canadian actor and Order of Canada recipient Donald Sutherland will star alongside Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant in THE UNDOING, a limited series based on the book You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz. The series is written for television by David E. Kelley, who reunites with HBO and Kidman following 2017’s award-winning BIG LITTLE LIES (available now on the all-new Crave).THE UNDOING will debut on Crave, the home of HBO in Canada.About THE UNDOING:Grace Sachs (Nicole Kidman) is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. She’s a successful therapist, has a devoted husband (Hugh Grant) and young son who attends an elite private school in New York City. Overnight a chasm opens in her life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself. Twitter Advertisementlast_img read more

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CORONER PREVIEW BLACK DOG

first_imgAdvertisement If y’all have read me at all here at The Televixen (Hi!), you know my full stop love affair with Canadian TV began in earnest with the coroner-based procedural (On paper, but It’s. So. Much. More.) Da Vinci’s Inquest. I’m also very fond of 2017’s moody procedural and character study, Bellevue. When its co-showrunner, Adrienne Mitchell, was attached to produce and direct CBC’s new drama series, Coroner, which arrives Monday, it was a double win for me.[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]Inspired by M.R. Hall‘s novels, Coroner was created by Morwyn Brebner, whose last series, Saving Hope, ran for five seasons on CTV. Brebner has also executive produced and written for Mary Kills People and Bellevue and created Rookie Blue, so she’s astute at giving voice to complex, complicated, and complete women. Advertisement Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment In Coroner, Brebner’s lead character is Dr. Jenny Cooper (Serinda Swan doing a whiplash 180 from 2017’s Inhumans). Cooper is a former ER doctor and the new Toronto coroner. She’s also the recently widowed single Mom of a teenage son. The show begins with her arrival into the police department, the first step in trying to move her life forward while still haunted by the sudden death of her husband, David (Emmanuel Shirrinian). Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

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WOMAN STABS BOYFRIEND IN THE FACE AFTER PAIR BOOTED FROM BRYAN ADAMS

first_imgBryan Adams performs on day 8 of the ‘Invictus Games’ on Sept. 30, 2017 in Toronto. — Samir Hussein/WireImage Advertisement The man started taking pictures of her with his phone, so her boyfriend grabbed the phone and threw it, prompting security to remove them while Adams was still performing, she said.Her mother, who had been with them at the concert, later told her they missed a good part of the show, she said.The woman said she was angry and upset with her boyfriend and confronted him when they got home, asking why he ruined the expensive concert.“I kept saying, like, he ruined it, it’s all his fault and he should’ve just kept his hands to himself, none of it would have happened,” she testified in provincial court. “I was cursing a little bit. I was pretty angry about the situation.”She said she asked him to leave and when he refused, the argument became physical. She testified she pushed him and he threw her to the floor.As the fight escalated, she said she tried to throw a pot of macaroni salad at him and he threw her to the floor again. She said she then grabbed a knife and pointed it at him.“It was one of those knives I use to peel potatoes. I decided to pick it up, I guess, to put a bit of fear because at this point I really wanted him out of my house and nothing seemed to be working. So when I picked it up my thought was basically maybe he’ll get scared and leave,” she said.She said he grabbed the knife from her and threw it. She said she was cut in the struggle and she wasn’t sure where exactly his injuries came from.The woman was convicted last week of common assault, assault with a weapon, assaulting a peace officer and possessing a weapon for dangerous purposes. She will return to court June 3 for a sentencing hearing.The boyfriend also testified, saying the stab wound to his face could have come from either of them during the altercation.Her story conflicted with police officers, who told the court she was aggressive, intoxicated and belligerent. Two officers had testified she tried to spit at one of them.But she said she had asked to be allowed to spit after being put in a police cruiser, because she was dehydrated and the officer refused, so tried to spit out the door when he opened it.Judge James Walsh said the woman and her boyfriend were trying to minimize the events to aid ongoing efforts to regain custody of their children.“There seems to be ample reason for them to minimize what had transpired that night as it relates to the outcome of intervention by (provincial child welfare officials),” he said.Walsh said the woman was too intoxicated on the night of the incident to have an accurate memory of events, based on the testimony of responding police officers.Walsh said one snippet recalled by police amounted to an admission of guilt by the woman: that she had told the officers “I was stabbed, too” while being taken into custody.“‘I was stabbed, too,’ is indicative of an acknowledgment that (he) had been stabbed and he did not stab himself,” said Walsh.© The Canadian Press ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A Newfoundland woman angry at her boyfriend because they were ejected from a Bryan Adams concert threw a pot of macaroni salad at him and then stabbed his face, a St. John’s court has heard.The 34-year-old woman was convicted of multiple charges after testifying last week that they were thrown out of Adams’ July concert at Mile One Centre after getting into conflict with another fan.She said the fan become angry when she moved near his seat to be closer to the stage. Facebook Login/Register With:center_img Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisementlast_img read more

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JOHN WICK 4 CONFIRMED WITH A 2021 RELEASE DATE

first_imgLionsgate released no other details on the heels of an opening weekend that saw “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” handily win the North American box office with a $56.8 million opening. That was nearly double the fourth weekend of “Avengers: Endgame” at $30 million.Lionsgate’s third installment of the Keanu Reeves action franchise over-performed forecasts, which had been in the $30 million to $35 million range. It took in more than the combined opening weekends of its predecessors; the first “John Wick” debuted with $14.4 million in 2014 and 2017’s “John Wick: Chapter Two” launched with $30.4 million. Critics gave high marks to “John Wick 3” with an 88% “fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes. Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: John Wick will be back in exactly two years and a day.Lionsgate announced Monday that it has scheduled “John Wick 4” for May 21, 2021. The studio made the announcement via a text message to fans: “You have served. You will be of service. John Wick: Chapter 4 is coming – May 21, 2021.” Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

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The part about copper and the bank V

first_imgFULL SPECIAL REPORTBy Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsJohn Reynolds’ name was on two folders among the hundreds of documents seized by police when they raided Michael Chamas’ house, Federal Court records show.One folder, item 076-031, was titled “Hon John Reynolds Laurentian Bank project Letr (sic).” The other folder, item 095a-027, was titled “Reynolds John Laurentian Bank of Canada Ltr(sic).”Court documentsDownload (PDF, Unknown)No description accompanied the two items on the list filed by the RMCP in Federal Court as part of the Revenue Canada case against Chamas.Reynolds is a former Reform Party and Conservative MP who co-chaired Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s leadership campaign in 2004. He was also the federal Conservative campaign chair during the 2006 election.APTN National News obtained one letter Reynolds wrote one letter to Chamas.It was dated Nov. 23, 2006, and titled “Project to Purchase Laurentian Bank of Canada.”“I was very happy to hear about your interest and inquiry into the acquisition of the Laurentian Bank of Canada,” the letter said. “As part of the advisory team on this project…I am pleased to provide my expertise and assistance to you…I will be pleased and privileged working with you and trusting that your group of investors shall be successful in this acquisition. I look forward to meeting with you in Montreal.”The letterDownload (PDF, Unknown)Reynolds never met Chamas, and in an email said he was “never formally involved in any bank purchase. My role in life is an advisor.”Reynolds referred questions on the issue to John Crosbie, currently the lieutenant-governor of Newfoundland and Labrador.There was a rumour that the Laurentian Bank was available for sale.On paper, the team assembled to purchase the bank seemed formidable.It not only included Crosbie and Reynolds, but also former Quebec justice minister Jerome Choquette and former senior CIBC official Jacques L’Abbe, according to spreadsheet attached to a “letter of agreement” signed Montreal bankruptcy lawyer and Conservative fundraiser David Bernstein, Michael Chamas, and Robert Foster, president of Capital Canada, a Toronto-based investment banking firm.Choquette and l’Abbe did not respond to requests for comment.The Nov. 17, 2006, agreement outlined the basics of how the project would unfold and how the fees would be divided.Chamas also agreed to deposit $500,000 “in trust” to Crosbie for reimbursing any expenses incurred by the “advisors” involved in the project, according to the letter of agreement.The letter of agreementDownload (PDF, Unknown)Crosbie said the matter about the $500,000 was “purely a product” of a reporter’s “imagination.”Crosbie said, “There is no such understanding that I ever understood or agreed to.”According to Foster, the Laurentian Bank project was “stillborn” and amounted to nothing more than “paper shuffling” and talk.“I doubt that the senior officers at the bank ever even knew that these people were sort of scurrying around,” said Foster. “There was a little bit of a dance and there was nothing.”Gladys Caron, Laurentian Bank’s vice-president of communications and investor relations, said the bank received no contact from Bernstein’s group.“We really don’t know them, we never heard of them,” said Caron.The plan never got off the ground because Chamas never forwarded the $1.5 billion.Four months after Capital Canada’s letter of agreement was sent around and signed, Bernstein wrote a letter to Chamas expressing frustration with the businessman.Bernstein wrote saying he had done everything Chamas asked, including getting his common-law wife a reprieve from being kicked out of the country and laying the groundwork for a reception with the “VIPS in the financial milieu of Canada (sic).”Bernstein wrote he had contacted former Senator Michael Fortier, who was public works minister at the time, and then-foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier.“I received an affirmative reply,” wrote Bernstein, in the Feb. 19, 2007 letter. “As of this date, no reception has taken place due in part to your continuing difficulties with Revenue Canada and the inability to finalize the project going forward.”Chamas said in an interview he was holding back on the money until Bernstein managed to get his tax problems fixed.Bernstein, apparently, got the message, and again enlisted his friend Crosbie to deal with Revenue Canada, according to a July 11, 2007 email sent to Juanita Cree, Chamas’ former assistance who now claims to have framed her former boss by planting the two guns in his house found by police during a raid on March 26, 2008.“Mr. Crosbie requires an advance of $5,000 to cover expenses…to be produced plus a $10,000 retainer plus applicable taxes,” wrote Bernstein. “Upon receipt of the retainer, he will travel to Montreal within the next 10 days to meet and discuss all matters with MC, prior to contacting the powers that be in Ottawa.”Crosbie said he did meet Chamas once in Montreal and held one meeting with Revenue Canada about the businessman’s tax issues.“Mr. Chamas was only a client of mine indirectly because the late David Bernstein,” said Crosbie in an email. “If my memory is right, I can only remember meeting Chamas once in Montreal at a meeting arranged in Montreal… I remember a meeting involving Revenue Canada in Montreal but do not remember the date.”Crosbie said the only money he remembers coming from Chamas was a $5,000 retainer provided to Crosbie’s former law firm Cox & Palmer.Crosbie said his law firm closed Chamas’ file on May 5, 2009, and the final bill did not include any time spent by Crosbie on the case.“They advised I had not included any time spent by myself on the file,” said Crosbie.Crosbie, however, initially said in an interview that he never met Chamas.“I never met this person,” said Crosbie. “So I don’t know who you are referring to, Chamus, or something like that. I never met him.”Crosbie described his dealings with Chamas as “peripheral.”Police, however, also found three different documents with Crosbie’s name among the hundreds of files they seized from Chamas’ house.One of the documents was a 29-page mandate letter from Chamas to Crosbie; the other was a five page letter from Cox & Palmer written to Chamas concerning Crosbie.The third document was a letter written by Crosbie to a Scottish businessman named Lawrence Gillick concerning Chamas.Court recordsDownload (PDF, Unknown)Download (PDF, Unknown)Crosbie says he doesn’t remember writing the letter.“I do not remember any letter that I sent to a person named Lawrence Gillick on behalf of Chamas,” said Crosbie, in an email.It seems Gillick was pursuing Chamas over a load of 700 kilograms of copper.For more on Lawrence Gillick click here.The copper, according to Chamas and a source with knowledge of the police file on the issue, had supposedly been broken down into the two isotopes that make up the metal, Cu63 and Cu65.Copper isotopes, which usually take the form of oxide powder, can range in price from $3 to $10 a milligram, according to Mitch Ferren, of the Isotope business office with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The laboratory is linked to the U.S. Department of Energy.The separated isotopes can be used in research for things like measuring the level of copper in the human body. Cu63 can also be turned into radioactive isotope Cu64 by hitting it with a neutron, said Ferren. Cu64 can be used in cancer treatment and other medical applications, he said.Ferren said the price is not based on a market value, but on how much it costs to make it which usually requires electromagnetic separation. He said researchers would never purchase more than a few milligrams at a time.Chamas, and the separate source, believed the total copper isotope haul was worth over $2 billion.Chamas gained ownership of the load which belonged to a Russian company called Rostok Invest International which was registered in the British Virgin Islands.The copper ended up in Dubai, according to customs documents.Dubai customsDownload (PDF, Unknown)Gillick wanted to get the copper back.“The recovery of the copper that has been shipped to Dubai is getting more difficult with every passing day,” wrote Gillick’s lawyer Simon Kunz, in an April 2, 2008 letter to a Swiss prosecutor. “We believe it would be expedient if you could contact the Canadian police since they have coincidentally secured documents that prove that the copper was transported…to Dubai.”Kunz could not be reached for comment.Chamas said the transaction was legit and he became the rightful owner of the copper, but he no longer knows where it is.The RCMP was also interested in the copper file and it came up during the interrogation of Daniele Guarino, who was arrested during the Operation Cancun sweep.Cpl. John Athanasiades told Guarino that the RCMP received “source information” about copper and Chamas.Guarino said Chamas told him he had the copper and was going to use it to get “millions of dollars” from the bank to fund a business venture they were planning to ship supplies like concrete and reinforced iron from Montreal to Dubai’s booming construction industry.“Mr. Chamas told me he had some copper and he told me he could sell it,” said Guarino, according to a video of the March 26, 2008, interrogation.It seems investigators believed it was a valuable haul.“So how much copper are we talking about here?” said Athanasiades.“I have no idea…I don’t know why copper not gold… Isn’t gold more valuable than copper?” said Guarino.“Is it?” said Athanasiades.“Well gold’s a $1,000 a frigging ounce,” said Guarino.“Man…I know nothing about copper,” said Athanasiades. “It’s not like gold or anything, is it?”Based on the details of the load contained in a document from the Berlin security company that held it, there was nothing special about this type of copper, said Ferren.The document from RI-ST Security notes it was holding 692 kilograms of the “high-purity” copper in 47 sealed wooden boxes. It describes the isotopic fraction of the copper as being 69.09 per cent Cu63 and 30.91 per cent Cu65, which is the description of natural copper, said Ferren .Security firm documentDownload (PDF, Unknown)“It is regular copper with a high level of chemical purity, probably dollars a pound,” said Ferren.The price of copper spiked to $8,000 per 1,000 kilograms on Oct. 27 on news of the European Union debt deal.Ferren said it’s not uncommon for his laboratory to get calls from financial institutions asking for information about the value of so-called high purity copper and most of the time it’s just the regular type passed off as something more.He’s also heard of insurance companies getting hit with claims that this so-called high value copper has been stolen.“You will have some folks that will try to use it for collateral to get loans. You might have somebody that loses the material or gets it stolen trying to make an interest claim,” he said. “You have to be careful when people say they have something valuable…they’ll try to portray it as being a very high purity copper that has some high value and really it is just copper, there really is no high value application.”For his part, Crosbie says he knew nothing about anything having to do with copper.“I do not remember any letter that I sent to a person named Lawrence Gillick on behalf of Chamas and certainly know nothing about any copper deal between Chamas and a Russian company or any company,” said Crosbie in an emailDays before Crosbie officially took up his post as Newfoundland and Labrador’s next lieutenant-governor, he dictated a letter that was sent Chamas severing their ties.“I have now left the practice of law with Cox& Palmer and am not now practicing as a lawyer, but have adopted non-practicing status in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said a heavily redacted copy of the Feb. 1, 2008-dated letter obtained by APTN National News.“In this letter, I will bring you up-to-date on what my conclusions were with respect to the various problems you were having that required legal advice when you retained me in early December by way of David Bernstein to act for you on these matters.”The letterDownload (PDF, Unknown)jbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

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Duncan Aglukkaq rejected invitation to visit Oxygripped Cat Lake

first_imgAPTN National NewsIt was taken off the shelves in Ontario at the end of February.But there’s still enough OxyContin to make it easy to get for a price.On Cat Lake First Nation in northern Ontario, they’re trying to stop the flow and help people get off the drug.APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson has this story.last_img

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The life and legacy of Charlie Hill

first_imgAPTN National NewsHe was the First Native American comedian to break through the bucksin curtain.Charlie Hill was well known in Indian Country and made a name for himself along side other big names like George Carlin and Richard Pryor.After a long battle with lymphoma, Hill passed away at the age of 63.APTN’s Shaneen Robinson takes a look at the life and legacy of Charlie Hill.last_img

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Prime Minister Trudeau says hell visit Fort McMurray Friday

first_imgShaneen Robinson APTN National NewsA week has passed since a wildfire ripped through parts of Fort McMurray forcing nearly 90,000 people to evacuate.The fire has moved on and the smoke has cleared.Alberta says they should know soon when people can return. It’s not safe yet, because large parts of the town still don’t have water, gas or power.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he’ll visit the city Friday.last_img

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Investment community still skeptical over prospects for Keystone

first_imgThe Canadian PressCALGARY _ The presidential permit for Keystone XL did little to assuage concerns Friday from the investment community that the project, which has stoked controversy since its inception nearly a decade ago, still faces a litany of challenges.Beyond the political and corporate bravado that greeted the White House’s blessing, analysts took a more cautious view over whether TransCanada’s pipeline would ever get built.“There’s still a number of hurdles,” said Justin Bouchard of Desjardins Capital Markets.“I’m sure we’re going to see blockades like we saw with the Dakota Access Pipeline. … It’s certainly not a foregone conclusion that this thing will be built.”Environmentalists, First Nation and others opposed to the potential climate impacts fromt he 1,900-kilometre pipeline say they’ll keep trying to derail it through grassroots movements _ and they are warning the financial community directly.“Investors should be very worried about the risky financials and lack of social licence attached to pipeline projects across both countries,” said Greenpeace campaigner Mike Hudema in a statement.“The fight is far from over.”Skirmishes could play out at the national, state and local levels as TransCanada works to put in place the final permits needed to start construction, with Nebraska the focal point of opposition.A state commission is considering whether Keystone XL is in Nebraska’s interest, though its review is not taking into account safety risks.TransCanada expects that process will conclude by the end of the year and construction to begin next year, with 2020 being the earliest that crude from Alberta’s oilsands could begin flowing in the pipeline.Robert Kwan at RBC Capital Markets said the presidential permit was widely anticipated and he isn’t including Keystone XL in his valuation of TransCanada.There’s also the question of economics. When Keystone XL was proposed, oil prices were far above US$100 a barrel, making the case for such a pipeline more attractive.As the pace of oilsands growth slows, Keystone XL also faces increased competition from other proposed pipelines, including Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion, the Enbridge Line 3 replacement and TransCanada’s own Energy East Pipeline, said Bouchard.“Four or five years ago we needed all of those projects,” he said. “Today, it doesn’t seem like we do, just given there’s been massive curtailment in spending.”Talk of challenges facing Keystone XL _ legal or political _ are not surprising, said Dirk Lever at AltaCorp Capital.“They’ll do anything to stop it,” said Lever. “They just see a pipeline like an artery coming out of the oilsands, and they want the heart to stop.”TransCanada’s stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange barely changed Friday, closing at $61.82, up six cents or 0.1 per cent.news@aptn.calast_img read more

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Alberta carbon tax jumps but NDP says its connected to improving economy

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta’s carbon tax jumped on New Year’s Day, but the province’s NDP government maintains the tax played a vital role in Alberta’s improving economic outlook.Deputy premier Sarah Hoffman told reporters there was a clear link between the approval of several pipelines last year and the tax that Alberta first introduced on carbon on January 1, 2017.Hoffman noted the federal government was clear that its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta to the B.C. coast was due to Alberta putting a price on carbon, as well as other pieces of its climate change policy.Alberta’s carbon levy jumped from $20 per tonne to $30 per tonne on Monday, which Hoffman says will mean an extra two-and-a-half cents per litre at the gas pumps.Opposition Leader Jason Kenney of the United Conservative Party posted a video to social media on New Year’s Eve where he gassed up his truck before the hike, similar to a video he posted last year where he did the same thing.Kenney says the tax has already killed thousands of good paying jobs, put entrepreneurs out of business and made life more expensive for families.“The carbon tax is all economic pain with no environmental gain,” Kenney said Monday in a statement.The province says revenue from the levy, which also includes a tax on heating bills, will continue to be invested in green infrastructure, encouraging Albertans to be energy efficient and renewable energy.It says low- and middle-income Albertans will also see an increase in rebates the province provides to offset the carbon tax.Hoffman noted that 2017 continued to be “tough,” but said Alberta has “definitely rounded the corner” and that there were “tens of thousands of new jobs.”The government said a couple with two children earning up to $95,000 per year will receive a rebate of $540.“I don’t think it has been as shocking to Albertans on the cost side as many would want you to believe it would be. It hasn’t necessarily been easy. Any time you’re paying a bit more, it’s a challenge,” Hoffman said.“But we’ve done it in a way that protects ordinary Albertans and gets us that very important environmental leadership profile that we need to ensure we have a strong economy for future generations.”Kenney, however, noted that since the NDP announced its climate change plan, the prime minister vetoed the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, former U.S. president Barack Obama vetoed Keystone XL and the National Energy Board effectively killed Energy East.He added the NDP government in B.C. was also trying to stop Trans Mountain from proceeding.“Not one single government, party or special interest group has gone from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ on pipelines as a result of the NDP’s failed tax on everything,” Kenney said in the statement.Kenney also repeated a point that the Opposition has made since the tax was first announced — that the NDP never mentioned a carbon tax during the 2015 election campaign. But in his video, Kenney’s message was that the NDP told Albertans they wouldn’t introduce a tax.“This is the carbon tax they claimed they had no intention of imposing in the last provincial election,” Kenney said in the video.UCP spokeswoman Annie Dormuth said Monday that both messages are the same.“There is no discrepancy. The NDP implementing a carbon tax they never mentioned during the campaign is a lie by omission,” Dormuth said in an email.Hoffman responded the NDP was clear during the 2015 campaign that it was going to take leadership on the environment and that it was working on details of a plan.“Jason Kenney says a lot of things I find unusual or are contrary to the reality that we’re all living in,” she said. “He’s been cheering for Alberta to fail and he wants to pretend that only he can put the economy on the right track.”last_img read more

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OREA seeking input on improving transparency of real estate industry

first_imgTORONTO – The Ontario Real Estate Association is seeking feedback on whether it should push the provincial government into modernizing the real estate industry to make it more transparent.In a white paper released Thursday, OREA said the current sales system creates “suspicion and mistrust” by forcing prospective buyers to “blind bid” because realtors cannot disclose the contents of an offer to anyone other than the seller.“The unsuccessful buyers often feel they didn’t have a fair chance and could have bid higher if they had known what they were up against,” said OREA, in its white paper. “The winning buyer may feel they ‘overpaid’ because they were the successful offer.”OREA’s president Ettore Cardarelli said whatever feedback OREA collects will inform the final policy proposals its board sends to the provincial government, which agreed to a review of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act in April 2017.While Cardarelli stressed OREA is not taking an official position on the issue, he said many buyers in favour of bringing more transparency to the bid system lost out on a home purchase and want access to what others offered, so it can inform their future bids or reveal how much they lost out by.He said more transparency on the issue “won’t necessarily guarantee you the sale,” but makes people “feel better that they lost out in a more open process.”Christopher Alexander, the EVP and regional director at RE/MAX, applauded OREA for debating changes to bidding, but said “it will be hard for there to be a win-win situation for buyers and sellers.”“Someone is going to lose out,” he said. “If everyone knows what each other is bidding then sellers might feel like they lost out on some money. However, if (the system) continues the way it is, buyers often feel like they overpaid, or had they known, they would have paid more.”Aside from ways to create more transparency in the bid system, OREA is asking members to weigh in on a broad set of issues, including whether agents should be fined for not showing up to viewings and not offering timely or reasonable explanations for the cancellations, whether term limits for buyer and seller contracts or early termination provisions for clients should be instituted, and whether OREA members should be issued photo identification cards to offer more security to viewings.It is also looking into ways the province can boost trust in realtors, by seeking advice on whether they should automatically deny registration to realtor applicants with violent or fraudulent criminal convictions within the last 10 years, force applicants with a previously revoked registration to wait two years before reapplying and expand its definition of the trade to account for the “growing” number of people calling themselves “housing consultants,” while completing transactions and often targeting new Canadians.OREA has been advocating for a review of the act since last fall because it says the act was introduced 15 years ago and since then “times have changed.”A final report on the act from a provincial task force is expected to be released in September.last_img read more

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Amazon HQ favourites Similar basics different vibes

first_imgNEW YORK — The communities said to be favoured to become homes to a pair of big, new East Coast bases for Amazon are both riverfront stretches of major metropolitan areas with ample transportation and space for workers.But there are plenty of differences between New York’s Long Island City and Crystal City in northern Virginia.Set within eyeshot of the nation’s capital, Crystal City is a thicket of 1980s-era office towers trying to plug into new economic energy after thousands of federal jobs moved elsewhere.Rapidly growing Long Island City is an old manufacturing area already being reinvented as a hub for 21st-century industry, creativity and urbane living.Seattle-based Amazon, which set out last year to situate one additional headquarters but now may reportedly open two, has declined to comment on its plans. But people familiar with the talks said this week that Long Island City and Crystal City have emerged as front runners for the “HQ2” project and its total of 50,000 jobs.A look at two communities said to be at the top of Amazon’s list.LONG ISLAND CITYIt’s already the fastest-developing neighbourhood in the nation’s most populous city, and Amazon could pump up the volume in this buzzy part of Queens.If chosen, the neighbourhood stands to burnish New York City’s reputation as a tech capital. Landing Amazon would also cement Long Island City’s transformation from a faded manufacturing zone to a vibrant, of-the-moment enclave of waterfront skyscrapers, modernized warehouses and artsy-tech ambience across the East River from midtown Manhattan.“I joke that we’re experiencing explosive growth 30 years in the making,” says Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the Long Island City Partnership, a neighbourhood development group.But Long Island City also has been straining to handle its growth.Days before the potential Amazon news emerged, the city announced a $180 million plan to address Long Island City’s packed schools, street design and a sewage system that groans in heavy rain. But those projects will just catch up with current needs, says area City Councilman Jimmy van Bramer.“I know that there are a lot of people cheerleading for this, but HQ2 has to work for Queens and the people of Queens. It can’t just be good for Amazon,” says van Bramer, a Democrat.Once a bustling factory and freight-moving area, Long Island City saw many of its plants and warehouses closed as manufacturing shriveled in New York City.The neighbourhood’s rebirth began in the 1980s, when officials broached redeveloping a swath of the waterfront, while artists were drawn by warehouse spaces, affordable rents and a building that is now the MoMA PS1 museum. Silvercup Studios — where such TV shows as “Sex and the City,” ”30 Rock” and “The Sopranos” have been filmed — opened in 1983.Long Island City gained a new commercial stature, and the start of a high-rise skyline, when the banking giant now called Citi opened an office tower there in 1989. But the area’s growth lately has been driven by residential building.Some 9,150 new apartments and homes have been built since 2010, more than in any other New York City neighbourhood, according to the city Planning Department . Thousands more units are in the works.New York has striven for nearly a decade to position itself as a tech hotspot.Venture capitalists poured $5.8 billion into New York-area startups last quarter, more than any other region except the San Francisco area, according to the consulting and accounting firm PwC . Established tech giants, including Google and Facebook, have been expanding their New York footprints.Still, landing HQ2 would represent “incredible validation of just how far New York has come,” says Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the Center for an Urban Future think-tank .Waiting for a subway, Long Island City community board chairwoman Denise Keehan-Smith could envision Amazon benefiting the neighbourhood.“But I think we have to be careful about it,” she said.CRYSTAL CITYIf any place in America can absorb 25,000 Amazon jobs without disruption, it may well be Crystal City, Virginia, where nearly that many jobs have vanished over the last 15 years.The neighbourhood in Arlington County is bounded by the Potomac River and the nation’s capital on one side, by the Pentagon on another and Reagan National Airport on a third.Despite its prime location and abundant transportation options, the neighbourhood has been hit by a massive outflow of jobs. The Patent and Trademark Office began moving more than 7,000 jobs out of Crystal City in 2003. In 2005, the Defence Department announced plans to move roughly 17,000 jobs elsewhere as part of a base realignment.Arlington County has worked hard to bring in new employers, and had some success. The Public Broadcasting Service moved its headquarters to Crystal City in 2006.Still, large swaths of the neighbourhood remain vacant. Among other challenges, the area has fought to overcome a reputation for outdated architecture.Crystal City is populated by ’70s and ’80s-era office buildings. The buildings are connected by a network of tunnels populated with food-court style dining options, hair salons and newsstands. The tunnels leave the ground-level outdoor streetscape sometimes looking empty.Brookings Institution urban planner Jenny Schuetz suggested the buildings may require an upgrade, or even replacement. But she noted that while people often associate tech companies with converted lofts or state-of-the art workspaces, many big Silicon Valley tech companies actually work out of ’80s-era office buildings.For all the talk about antiquated architecture, people who’ve actually worked in Crystal City appreciate its convenience and its worker-friendly features, including the tunnels.“I loved it here,” said Christine Gentry of Greenbelt, Maryland, as she ate breakfast in a largely empty food court. She works for the Patent and Trademark Office and preferred the days when her office was in Crystal City.“Everything is accessible here,” she said. “When it was raining or snowing or sleeting, I never had to go out.”Perhaps no place better illustrates the vibe of Crystal City than the region’s only revolving restaurant, the Skydome atop the Doubletree Crystal City. Diners enjoy a panoramic view of the D.C. skyline, completing a full rotation every 47 minutes.Sam Getachew, the hotel’s food and beverage manager, said the restaurant fits the neighbourhood’s retro atmosphere.“It’s huge draw,” Getchew said. “People come for the curiosity of it.”The only downside, he said, is that “when customers get up to go to the restroom, they don’t know where they are when they come back.”___Barakat reported from Crystal City, Virginia.Jennifer Peltz And Matthew Barakat, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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