first_imgOTTAWA — Two leading Canadian activists say voters need to think about climate change as if we are country at war against greenhouse-gas emissions.David Suzuki and Stephen Lewis plan a series of climate-change election rallies aimed at encouraging young people to stand up and speak out.Suzuki is a longtime environmentalist and Lewis is a former Ontario NDP leader and Canadian ambassador to the United Nations.The pair jokingly say they are “silverbacks,” likening themselves to aged gorillas hoping to convince young voters that their future is on the line if they don’t insist that any party hoping to form the next government make cutting emissions its top priority.Some environment leaders say they don’t know where to plant their support in an election where neither of the two leading parties have plans that would even hit Canada’s inadequate emissions-reductions targets.Suzuki and Lewis say that with time running out to avert the worst effects of climate change, they aren’t doing this to back any particular party or platform but rather to make the election itself about the issue.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgPaying tribute to two decades of success in helping to curb the nation’s dropout crisis, the National Guard Youth Foundation’s ChalleNGe Champions Gala will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program by bringing together alumni from 20 years ago, this year’s upcoming graduates and many in between, along with noted celebrities.The event, presented by BAE Systems, will be held on Tuesday, February 26th at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. from 5:30 – 10:00 p.m., ET.Since the first program started in 1993, ChalleNGe – which gives young people who have dropped out of school a second chance to earn a high school diploma, GED or return to high school – has helped more than 115,000 teens turn their lives around.“Over the past 20 years, the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program has proven itself as a leader in combating the dropout crisis,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., co-chair of the National Guard Youth Foundation Honorary Board of Directors. “As one of the most effective tools for at-risk youth looking to turn their lives around, this is a program worth celebrating and strengthening, especially as it reaches this tremendous milestone. I am deeply proud of the National Guard’s continued leadership and commitment to solving this national epidemic.”“Witnessing the impact the Youth ChalleNGe Program has made over the past 20 years has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life,” said Lt. Gen. John Conaway, Chairman, National Guard Youth Foundation Board of Directors and former Chief, National Guard Bureau. “This event will highlight the many individuals who support the Foundation’s efforts to help former dropouts find a way back to graduation and continue their success beyond the ChalleNGe Program.”Notables attending include NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr., singer/songwriter Kaley Caperton, country music star LeAnn Rimes, WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston and Gospel legend Kenny Bishop. FOX News’ Jon Scott will serve as emcee for the event.This year, singer/songwriter and NGYF Spokesperson Kaley Caperton, will debut “Red, White and Beautiful,” a song she co-wrote with country music legends Dave Robbins and Billy Austin to honor members of the National Guard who work to improve outcomes for troubled teenagers and those teenagers who have the courage to turn their lives around.“I am so proud to be involved with the National Guard Youth Foundation, they do incredible work giving teenagers a second chance. I want for these cadets the courage to DREAM, the faith to BELIEVE and the drive to ACHIEVE. It will be my honor to perform ’ Red White and Beautiful’ for them,” says Platinum Pen songwriter/artist, Kaley Caperton .The event also underscores the importance of strengthening public-private partnerships to bolster the effort to re-engage out-of-school youth. The following individuals will receive ChalleNGe Champions awards for their commitment to combating the dropout crisis:U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V.
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.
Maj. Gen. Edward Tonini, Adjutant General of Kentucky
Mr. Rick Hendrick, Hendrick Motorsports 
Gen. Craig McKinley (Ret.), Former Chief, National Guard Bureau
Mr. Greg Sharp, The SPECTRUM GroupThe Eighth Annual ChalleNGe Champions Gala has limited availability. For more information, click here.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

first_imgIt has only been recently that most Westerners have even heard of Rohingya Muslims, and it’s only because all eyes were on the sinking ships of refugees in the Mediterranean fleeing from the African continent to Europe that we noticed ships of Rohingyas floundering in the Bay of Bengal, a world away, fleeing from violence in Myanmar.Even more surprising than to learn that this group has lived under state-sponsored discrimination for decades in Myanmar is that the newest form of violence and repression is coming from the country’s Buddhists.Actor Matt Dillon visited a camp earlier this month to bring attention to the squalid conditions that thousands of displaced Rohingyas are living in, without medical care, many suffering from malnutrition, and with no escape in sight.In a video clip from Associated Press, Dillon said people sat out on ships in the bay for weeks in deplorable conditions waiting for the ships to become packed filled with refugees, and then they were held for ransom.“Many of these people suffered,” said Dillon, “and were lucky to make it back to these camps, if you can call that being lucky. I’ve been to some [refugee camps in Sudan, the Congo] where the threats of violence seemed more imminent. Here it’s something else. It feels more like people are going to be left to wither away and die.”Copyright ©2015Look to the Starslast_img read more

first_imgWearing a pair of angel wings made entirely of fresh summer fruit, Shades of Blue and Descendants star Sarah Jeffery appears in a new ad campaign for peta2, PETA’s youth division, that proclaims, “Be an Angel for Animals — Don’t Eat Them!”Sarah Jeffery For PETAIn an exclusive peta2 video interview, Jeffery calls going vegan “the best choice I could have made.” She goes on to explain, “I’ve learned so much about what you can do to help animals, the environmental issues around meat production. And it just makes me feel better. It gives me so much more energy. My skin has cleared up.”Jeffery also reveals that the documentary Earthlings didn’t just inspire her to cut meat, eggs, and dairy “products” out of her diet.“I’m not supporting any companies that cause harm to animals. So that includes beauty, hair, and clothes,” she says. “I only support cruelty-free brands, and I hope that more brands stop testing on animals because it’s just completely unnecessary and barbaric.”peta2 — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” — notes that each person who goes vegan saves more than 100 animals every year from daily abuse and a terrifying death in today’s industrialized meat, egg, and dairy industries. And going vegan can give your health a boost, too: Vegans are less prone to heart disease, obesity, cancer, and strokes than meat-eaters are.last_img read more

first_img Twitter What do a ’90s Toronto pop-rock band have in common with a ’60s a capella group from Brooklyn?Turns out a lot as Barenaked Ladies and The Persuasions found out when they got into a Toronto studio for two days last October to record the just-released (as of April 14) Ladies and Gentlemen: Barenaked Ladies and The Persuasions. “What it took to get us in the studio was us singing together once,” said BNL’s singer/guitarist Ed Robertson, whose group has a new studio album, Fake Nudes, coming later this summer.The disc of 14 reworked BNL classics like Old Apartment and One Week – and one Persuasions song, Good Times – came about after a fated meeting at the Apollo Theater in New York City between BNL keyboardist Kevin Hearn and The Persuasions during a memorial to Lou Reed they were both performing at. Login/Register With: Do you feel this will be a major boost to The Persuasions profile in Canada?Revels: Very much so. I feel they’ve given us the gift of their music and they’ve trusted us with their gift. Because it could have [gone] horribly wrong (laughs). Robertson: (Laughs) Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment ‘Fan reactions thus far from both sides?Revels: First, [it’s] surprise. Like, ‘Huh?’But then, when they heard snippets of it, they’re all going, ‘This is – wow!’And a lot of Persuasion fans know Barenaked Ladies. They know the music. Even more than we know the music. So far, what we’ve seen from the fans, they’ve embraced us.center_img “It starts with great music, great lyrics, great melody, and an inspirational feel to the music,” says The Persuasions lead singer Dave Revels.“Barenaked Ladies music is very inspirational, uplifting,” Revels continues. “Even a sad song makes you want to move and sway which is kind of weird. It’s almost like Motown, which could write the most heartbreaking message in a song and you still want to move to it and feel good. Barenaked Ladies to me is like that.”24 Hours sat down with Robertson and Revels in Toronto, where their fivedate mini-tour, begins Friday (April 21).What would Lou Reed think about all this?Revels: He’d be smiling. He’d want to be here to see it. [To see] he was still inspiring and putting pieces together. He was still having an effect. When did both bands fully meet?Robertson: We met backstage in Central Park at the New York City Summer Stage concert that BNL did this summer. And Kev [BNL’s keyboardist Kevin Hearn] invited these guys out to sing a couple of songs [Four Seconds and Sound of Your Voice] with us and as soon as we tried it in sound check, we really hit it off. We spent the day singing together and we said, ‘We got to do this.’Revels: It was just cool. At the end of the song, we looked at each other and smiled. Did you know who each other was before making this album together?Robertson: I was certainly aware of the Persuasions.Revels: Nope. [We knew their songs] from The Big Bang Theory. (Starts singing) ‘The whole human race …’We fell in love with that. And, of course, everyone knows If I Had A Million Dollars. How did you choose the BNL songs to ‘reimagine?’Robertson: [It was like] ‘What would be fun to do in a completely different way?’And that’s how we approached the record. It wasn’t like, ‘What makes sense for an a capella group sing with you.’It was more like, ‘Let’s be adventurous. Make bold choices. And do interesting arrangements. Advertisement Let’s talk about your joint tour. (BNL has its own Canadian tour in the Sept-Oct-Nov.)Revels: We are so excited about bringing what we recorded to the people live. I’ve got a saying, ‘Until you play it live, it doesn’t live.’We are so eager, charged. I think that’s what’s going to make it a real dynamic concert.Robertson: It’s some of the most fun I’ve had ever in making a record in almost 30 years of recording. It was so effortless and challenging in the most fun way. Like, ‘Everybody around here is like really good. So I gotta be good.’It was really fun. I immediately started sharing this and sending links to friends and family: ‘You gotta check this out.’I haven’t done that in a few records. Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment VANCOUVER – Backstageplay Inc. (NEX‐TSXV Exchange: BP.H) (the “Company“) is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a private launch party in Toronto on June 26th, at Pravda Vodka Bar where multi-platinum recording artist DAUGHTRY will perform a very special acoustic set and host a meet-and-greet in a personal setting for Company invitees.DAUGHTRY is an American rock band formed and fronted by namesake Chris DAUGHTRY, who was a finalist on the fifth season of American Idol. Since forming, DAUGHTRY has released four studio albums (Daughtry, Leave This Town, Break The Spell and Baptized), scored four No. 1 hits, garnered four GRAMMY nominations, won four American Music Awards, won six Billboard Music Awards, sold over 8.2 million albums and 16 million singles worldwide and sold out concerts around the globe. Daughtry’s self-titled debut was the fastest-selling rock debut in Soundscan history and its follow up, Leave This Town, marked the quintet’s second consecutive No. 1 album. Daughtry’s third album, Break The Spell was certified gold within four weeks of its release while their last studio effort, Baptized, produced the certified gold single, “Waiting For Superman.”  Currently, DAUGHTRY is a special guest on the NICKELBACK tour with 44 dates across North America, as well as Toronto and Montreal.“We are delighted to have DAUGHTRY perform at our launch party where we will be showcasing our unique gamification platform which marries the vastly popular and lucrative world of online social games with Artists, their music, virtual rewards and their fans.  We are honored to be able to host Chris and the band in Toronto while they are in town with this private, intimate performance,” said Scott White Backstageplay’s CEO. Twitter Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Please visit our website at, where you can find a short video and a corporate presentation.Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical facts, that address events or developments that the Company expects to occur, including statements regarding the closing of the non-brokered financing, the proposed use of funds, expectation of multiple closings of the private placement, are “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based on estimates and assumptions that are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results and future events could materially differ from those anticipated in such statements. Factors that may cause actual results to vary from those made in the forward looking statements described in this document include: timing of completion of financing; changes in general economic conditions and conditions in the financial markets; changes in demand and prices for minerals; delays in obtaining approvals, litigation, legislative, environmental and other judicial, regulatory, political and competitive developments;. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect the forward looking statements. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on the companies’ forward-looking information. The Company expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, events or otherwise, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to sell any of the securities in the United States. The securities have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”) or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold within the United States or to U.S. Persons unless registered under the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or an exemption from such registration is available.last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement MoviesBest Motion Picture – Drama“Call Me by Your Name”“Dunkirk”“The Post”“The Shape of Water”“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER.Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy“The Disaster Artist”“Get Out”“The Greatest Showman”“I, Tonya”“Lady Bird” *WINNER.Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – DramaJessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game”Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNERMeryl Streep, “The Post”Michelle Williams, “All the Money in the World”.Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – DramaTimothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”Tom Hanks, “The Post”Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” *WINNERDenzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”.Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or ComedyJudi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird” *WINNEREmma Stone, “Battle of the Sexes”Helen Mirren, “The Leisure Seeker”.Best DirectorGuillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water” *WINNERMartin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”Ridley Scott, “All The Money in the World”Steven Spielberg, “The Post”.Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or ComedySteve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”Ansel Elgort, “Baby Driver”James Franco, “The Disaster Artist” *WINNERHugh Jackman, “The Greatest Showman”Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”.Best Supporting Actress in a Motion PictureMary J. Blige, “Mudbound”Hong Chau, “Downsizing”Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” *WINNERLaurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”.Best Supporting Actor in a Motion PictureWillem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER.Best Original Score in a Motion Picture“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”“The Shape of Water” *WINNER“Phantom Thread”“The Post”“Dunkirk”.Best Original Song in a Motion Picture“Home,” “Ferdinand”“Mighty River,” “Mudbound”“Remember Me,” “Coco”“The Star,” “The Star”“This Is Me,” “The Greatest Showman” *WINNER.Best Screenplay in a Motion Picture“The Shape of Water”“Lady Bird”“The Post”“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *WINNER“Molly’s Game”.Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language“A Fantastic Woman”“First They Killed My Father”“In the Fade” *WINNER“Loveless”“The Square”.Best Animated Film“The Boss Baby”“The Breadwinner”“Ferdinand”“Coco” *WINNER“Loving Vincent”. Oprah Winfrey summed up the mood, saying “a new day is on the horizon” as she collected an honorary award.The big film winner of the night was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which took home four awards.Here is a list of the nominees and winners. The 75th Golden Globe Awards was held on Sunday.Powerful speeches about Hollywood’s sexual abuse scandal dominated the 75th Golden Globe Awards.It was the first major Hollywood awards ceremony since the film industry was hit by sexual harassment scandals, with stars wearing black to honour victims. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter TVBest TV series – Drama“The Crown”“Game of Thrones”“The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER“Stranger Things”“This Is Us”.Best performance by Actress in a TV series – DramaCaitriona Balfe, “Outlander”Claire Foy, “The Crown”Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Deuce”Katherine Langford, “13 Reasons Why”Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale” *WINNER.Best performance by an Actor in a TV Series – DramaSterling K. Brown, “This is Us” *WINNERFreddie Highmore, “The Good Doctor”Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”Jason Bateman, “Ozark”.Best TV series – Musical or Comedy“Black-ish”“Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” *WINNER“Master of None”“SMILF”“Will & Grace”.Best performance by an Actor in a TV series – Musical or ComedyAnthony Anderson, “Black-ish”Aziz Ansari “Master of None” *WINNERKevin Bacon, “I Love Dick”William H. Macy, “Shameless”Eric McCormack, “Will and Grace”.Best performance by an Actress in a TV series – Musical or ComedyPamela Adlon, “Better Things”Alison Brie, “Glow”Issa Rae, “Insecure”Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” *WINNERFrankie Shaw, “SMILF”.Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television“Big Little Lies” *WINNER“Fargo”“Feud: Bette and Joan”“The Sinner”“Top of the Lake: China Girl”.Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionRobert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”Jude Law, “The Young Pope”Kyle MacLachlan, “Twin Peaks”Ewan McGregor, “Fargo” *WINNERGeoffrey Rush, “Genius”.Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionJessica Biel, “The Sinner”Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies” *WINNERJessica Lange, “Feud: Bette and Joan”Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette and Joan”Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”.Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionAlfred Molina, “Feud”Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies” *WINNERDavid Thewlis, “Fargo”David Harbour, “Stranger Things”Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot”.Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionLaura Dern, “Big Little Lies” *WINNERAnn Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”Chrissy Metz, “This is Us”Michelle Pfeiffer, “The Wizard of Lies”Shailene Woodley, “Big Little Lies” Facebook Login/Register With:last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Advertisement OTTAWA – The National Gallery of Canada’s presentation of paintings from the world-renowned Ordrupgaard collection has attracted more than 114,000 visitors to date, making it the most attended summer exhibition since Van Gogh: Up Close, the Gallery’s 2012 summer show. Impressionist Treasures:The Ordrupgaard Collection opened May 18, 2018 in Ottawa, the only North American stop on its international tour. The exhibition travels to Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic after completing its run at the Gallery on September 9, 2018. Impressionist Treasures: The Ordrupgaard Collection features 76 paintings by the masters of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and the Danish Golden Age, such as Pissarro, Gauguin, Monet, Matisse, Delacroix, Renoir and Cézanne, to name but a few. Assembled by Wilhelm and Henny Hansen in the early 20th century, the collection is regarded today as one of Europe’s most comprehensive and exquisite; and while on view in Ottawa, has captivated crowds with its masterpieces that are traditionally only displayed at the Ordrupgaard museum near Copenhagen.The collection was originally assembled between 1852 and 1931 by the Danish businessman and his wife, who aspired to own up to 12 works by each of the leading artists of the period. Out of a desire to promote French modern art, the influential couple welcomed the public to their stately home, called Ordrupgaard, one day a week in 1918. Following Henny Hansen’s death, the couple’s home was transformed into a museum by the Danish state, which continues to operate as such today. While the museum undergoes renovation, the collection has embarked on an international tour – with the National Gallery of Canada marking the only stop in North America. The Ottawa presentation features 60 French and 16 Danish paintings, including the Gallery’s very own Sunshine in the Drawing Room by Vilhelm Hammershøi. The exhibition also presents educational spaces and programs designed to enrich the visitor experience – such as an interactive scrim designed to place visitors inside an Impressionist painting, as well as an online Art Match quiz that prompts users to answer multiple choice questions in search of paintings that match their individual personalities.Visitors have ten more days to visit the exhibition, which is organized by Associate Curator Erika Dolphin and presented with the generous support of Dr. Paul Mandl and Mrs. Elsje Mandl. To learn more, please click here.Visitors’ comments:“It is one of the best exhibitions of Impressionist paintings I have ever seen. If you have not seen it, you should definitely visit it.” –Kersten, Ottawa, ON“I finally was able to look at paintings in person that I only saw in books or on TV. It was amazing.” – Kevin, Ottawa, ON“I saw the exhibit earlier this summer and was stopped in my tracks by Hammershøi’s works. His work reminded me of the more austere of the Canadian east coast magic realists: Christopher Pratt, Colville, and Forrestall.” – J. Calder, Ottawa, ON.“Exquisite exhibition of the remaining impressionists in Ordrupgaard as well as intriguing Danish artists of 19th century. Worth becoming a yearly member of the NGC.” – Jane“Yesterday morning, I had never heard of Vilhelm Hammershøi. By last night, I was smitten. Tonight, colour me obsessed. Thank you National Gallery of Canada.” –Sarine, Montreal, QC“We had our picture taken in [the] garden. A clever idea where technology allows a ‘selfie’ in impressionistic imagery!” – Eliza, Queensland, Australia“I saw this exhibit two weeks ago and loved it. Thank you to the National Gallery of Canada for bringing these works to Canada for us to appreciate.” – Jo“What a wonderful time we had yesterday walking through and enjoying all these wonderful treasures.” – Sheryl-Elaine, Ottawa, ON“Saw that exhibition twice. Mesmerised by it.” – ToniePublicationThe exhibition is accompanied by a 120-page hardcover bilingual catalogue written by National Gallery of Canadaformer Chief Curator Paul Lang. Complete with in-depth descriptions and full page illustrations, Impressionist Treasures surveys the great masters of Impressionism and Post-impressionism and the major trends of French painting that preceded them, such as the Barbizon School and Realism, through a collection regarded as one of the most beautiful in Europe. On sale for the price of $25 at the Boutique and online, at ShopNGC.NGC is a beautifully illustrated online source of information about the Canadian and international art world, and the National Gallery of Canada’s activities and programming. This online magazine includes articles about upcoming and travelling exhibitions, behind the scenes features, artists’ profiles, book reviews and interviews.  NGC Magazine is free and published here. Subscribe to the NGC Magazine newsletter here. Read the article “Painting in Light: a Journey through Impressionism and the Danish Golden Age“ and watch Associate Curator Erika Dolphin give a tour of the French works on view in the exhibition online now.Hours of operationUntil September 30, 2018, the Gallery is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, and on Thursdays from 10 am to 8 pm. Holiday exceptions apply, and hours are subject to change without notice. For more information, visit $20 (adults); $18 (seniors); $12 (age 24 and under and full-time students); $40 (families: two adults and three youth, 17 and under). Admission is free for children under the age of 11 and for Members. Includes admission to the national collection, and all exhibitions. Free admission on Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm. To find out more.BoutiqueExhibitions catalogues are on sale at the Boutique, allowing visitors to revisit their favorite works of art for years to come. Also available online at Opens at 10 am daily. 15% off for Members.Connect with the GalleryFollow the Gallery’s latest news on its social media networks: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.About the National Gallery of CanadaThe National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @NatGalleryCancenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 EXCLUSIVE 4K BLU-RAY WITH ADJUDICATOR COIN IS LIVEWhen it comes to owning John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum on Blu-ray, you have several options. However, the coolest one is undoubtedly this exclusive 4K Ultra HD set that comes packaged with a replica Adjudicator coin / medallion. If you think you’re High Table material, here’s what you need to know… READ MOREWHY KEANU REEVES’ ‘JOHN WICK 3’ CONTINUES TO CONNECT WITH AUDIENCESThe year is 2019—well over 100 years into the movie business—and it still doesn’t feel like studios have figured out their audience. They churn out tired reboots of forgotten franchises; they push sequel after sequel until they’re not making money anymore; they disrupt filmmakers’ artistic visions and recut movies to disastrous results. Seemingly, the only movies that exist are the Disney ones that make over $1 billion…and everything else.Oh, and there’s John Wick.  Among the top-grossing movies of the year, there are three Marvel fares, five Disney films (which includes two of those Marvel ones), Jordan Peele’s sleeper hit Us—and, believe it or not, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. READ MORE John Wick / Keanu Reeves ~ Courtesy Of Lionsgate Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

first_imgAPTN National NewsThere’s good news tonight for the residents of Wollaston Lake and the Hatchet Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan.Last week forest fires forced 12 hundred of them to flee their homes.Most of the evacuees were airlifted to Saskatoon to flee their homes.The government now says those folks can return home.It will take about two days to get everyone back to the fly-in communities.Investigators have determined the fire was caused by human activity.Although there are still hot spots near the community, the fire is now under control.last_img

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Winnipeg Muslim Foundation will be sending food to the Shamattawa and Garden Hill First Nations.It’s part of their “Feast of Sacrifice” or Eid Al-Adha, which gives thanks to God and provides for those in need.APTN National News reporter Matt Thordarson has more on the story.last_img

first_imgTORONTO – Canada’s main stock index climbed closer to an all-time high Tuesday, boosted by a broad-based advance across most sectors.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 49.38 points to 15,905.14, about 17.00 points shy of a new record finish.“I think you’re seeing a broad participation in global equity markets. We’re seeing fund outflows from bond markets and fixed income and related asset classes,” said Sid Mokhtari, executive director at CIBC Capital Markets.“I think that’s been the driver of equities, particularly in the U.S. and global equities in general. Money continues to roll out of bonds and move into stocks.”In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average soared 167.80 points to 23,441.76, a new record high, with rallying shares of construction equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. and Post-it note maker 3M Co. responsible for almost all of the movement due to raised profit forecasts.Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index inched up 4.15 points to 2,569.13 and the Nasdaq composite index added 11.60 points to 6,598.43.In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 78.95 cents US, down 0.14 of a cent.On the corporate front, shares of Hudson’s Bay Co. (TSX:HBC) climbed 23 cents, or 1.96 per cent, to $11.98 following news that the Toronto-based retailer is selling its Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building in New York to a joint venture between WeWork Property Advisors and Rhone Capital in a deal valued at $1.075 billion.Rhone Capital will also make a $632 million investment in HBC, with WeWork expected to assume part of the investment.In commodities news, the December crude contract was up 57 cents to US$52.47 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was down two cents at US$2.97 per mmBTU.The December gold contract gave back $2.60 to US$1,278.30 an ounce and the December copper contract was up a penny to US$3.20 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON – The House’s top Democrat swung out against a bipartisan budget deal taking shape in the Senate on Wednesday, splashing cold water on a two-year plan packed with almost $400 billion worth of additional funding for the Pentagon, domestic programs and disaster aid. That raises anew the possibility of a government shutdown at midnight Thursday.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California announced she would oppose the budget measure unless the chamber’s GOP leaders promised a vote on legislation to protect “Dreamer” immigrants who face deportation after being brought to the U.S. illegally as children.Pelosi took to the House floor, promising to speak for hours, and said she would oppose that almost-completed budget pact even though it would boost funding for many domestic priorities favoured by Democrats. She declared the agreement “does not have my support, nor does it have the support of a large number of members of our caucus.”She spoke as liberal activists protested that many Democrats were moving to leave Dreamer immigrants behind in grabbing the budget deal, a longstanding goal for the party.Pelosi said the House should debate immigration legislation and noted that Senate Republicans have slated a debate on the politically freighted subject starting next week,“Let Congress work its will,” Pelosi said. “What are you afraid of?”A possible government shutdown is now in the picture again. The House on Tuesday passed legislation to keep the government running through March 23, marrying a stopgap spending measure with a $659 billion Pentagon spending plan, but that measure is likely to be rewritten in the Senate.Chances of a repeat of last month’s shutdown had appeared to be fading as prospects of a budget pact grew, but Pelosi’s opposition could throw a monkey wrench into the plan. And the problem wasn’t just with Democrats.On the right, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., leader of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus, also said he opposes the emerging bipartisan deal, which could be unveiled Wednesday.“I’m afraid the numbers will get so high and the debt ceiling will be added and it will be a Christmas tree of spending — that a lot of votes will be bought,” he said on MSNBC. Meadows’ group backs big defence increases but opposes boosting domestic spending.The deal had been picking up steam even as the president appeared to be readying for a standoff.“I’d love to see a shutdown if we can’t get this stuff taken care of,” Trump declared Tuesday.Trump’s comments were strikingly disconnected from the apparent progress on Capitol Hill, where the House passed a short-term spending measure Tuesday night and Senate leaders were closing in on the larger, long-term pact. The broader agreement would award whopping spending increases to both the Pentagon and domestic federal programs, as well as approve overdue disaster relief money and, perhaps, crucial legislation to increase the government’s borrowing limit and avoid possible default.Senate Democratic leaders have dropped their strategy of using the funding fight to extract concessions on immigration, specifically on seeking extended protections for the “Dreamer” immigrants. Instead, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., prepared to cut a deal that would reap tens of billions of dollars for other priorities — including combatting opioids — while taking their chances on solving the immigration impasse later.Tuesday night’s 245-182 House vote, mostly along party lines, set the machinery in motion.Prospects for dealing with immigration, however, were fuzzy as ever. The Senate is slated next week to begin a debate to address the dilemma of immigrants left vulnerable after Trump cut off former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.Weeks of bargaining have left the two parties divided over how to extend protections for such immigrants. Trump has given lawmakers until March 5 to extend DACA, though a court ruling is temporarily keeping the program running.On the budget, GOP defence hawks were prevailing over the party’s depleted ranks of deficit hawks, championing major new spending on military programs. Democrats, meanwhile, leveraged their influence to increase spending for domestic priorities.The result could be the return of trillion-dollar deficits for the first time since Obama’s first term.The prospective longer-term budget agreement would give both the Pentagon and domestic agencies relief from a budget freeze that lawmakers say threatens military readiness and training as well as domestic priorities such as combating opioid abuse and repairing the troubled health care system for veterans.The temporary funding measure would also reauthorize funding for community health centres, which enjoy widespread bipartisan support.Aides in both parties said the budget measure may also contain a provision to raise the government’s $20.5 trillion borrowing limit. Legislation to increase the debt ceiling is always a headache, especially for House GOP leaders whose rank and file have used past votes to register objections to deficit spending.Another likely addition is more than $80 billion in long-overdue hurricane relief for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, a top priority of both parties.It’s clear that Senate Democrats have no appetite for another government shutdown. Their unity splintered during last month’s three-day closure.___Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Ken Thomas and Darlene Superville contributed to this report.___This story has been corrected in the 3rd paragraph to show that Meadows spoke on MSNBC.last_img read more

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – One customer was a debt collector that threatened to jail people if they didn’t pay back loans that they never took out. Another was an offshore gambling operation that hid bets behind innocuous-sounding websites, including one dedicated to orange cats. A third was a phone-sex business catering to men with diaper fetishes or fantasies of raping women.Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja made his fortune in online payment processing for a host of companies, providing a key conduit in e-commerce for “high risk” merchants by helping route customers’ credit card purchases to banks. And recently Khawaja has shared that wealth in the form of multimillion-dollar political donations, first to Hillary Clinton and then to Donald Trump.But thousands of internal company documents obtained by The Associated Press reveal that Khawaja’s company, Allied Wallet Inc., has profited from guiding dubious businesses past the gates of the banking system. The records, which include email conversations as well as business and financial documents, show Allied Wallet executives helped deploy sham websites and dummy companies to hide these businesses’ tracks, even in cases where Allied Wallet’s own staff deemed the underlying business activities to be “very, very illegal.”The company’s actions in these cases flout bank policies, credit card network rules and potentially U.S. laws designed to prevent money laundering. In one instance, a company official complained to Khawaja that a colleague had provided “specific instructions on how to set up and operate an illegal gaming operation online.”Khawaja and a company lawyer didn’t address a detailed list of questions from the AP about Allied Wallet’s business, as well as Khawaja’s political giving, for over a month.This week the Los Angeles-based company’s marketing director, A.J. Almeda, said in a statement that “any accusations of illicit or prohibited activities are misleading and categorically false.” Almeda called the AP’s line of inquiry “a political hit job due to the Allied Wallet’s contribution to President Donald Trump’s inauguration and support of his tax cut agenda.”The Lebanese-born Khawaja gave more than $4 million to Clinton’s failed presidential campaign and other Democrats, then began extending his largesse to Republicans after a lunch with Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy two weeks after Trump clinched the presidency.Within days of that lunch, Khawaja met Trump at a $5,000-per-person transition fundraiser in Manhattan. Soon after he contributed $1 million to his inaugural committee, eventually earning himself a photo with the president inside the Oval Office.The documents reviewed by the AP provide an unprecedented look behind the scenes of Khawaja’s company, which claims to process billions of dollars a year in online transactions.They also come against the backdrop of a previous run-in with federal authorities over processing illegal online gambling proceeds: In 2010, Khawaja and his company were forced to give up $13 million in a civil forfeiture stemming from a sprawling FBI probe into the online poker industry.“The reason they had to forfeit the money was they were acting on behalf of an illegal gambling outfit,” said Roy Pollitt, a former FBI special agent who worked the case. “Based upon the agreement that was made years ago, it’s troubling to hear there might be similar behaviour still occurring.”Allied Wallet’s past hasn’t stopped Washington from accepting Khawaja’s political generosity.In all, Khawaja, his company and its executives have contributed at least $6 million to politicians and political organizations since late 2015, according to an AP review of disclosure reports.Since Trump’s inauguration, the company and its executives have given nearly $1 million more to Republican candidates and committees, including $200,000 from Khawaja to Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Trump-backed candidate running for governor in Florida.Donations to Democrats include nearly $2 million to the Democratic National Committee, along with a who’s who of top candidates, including Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.In June, the Senate minority leader, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer, appointed Khawaja as one of nine members on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. In April, Charlie Kirk, the outspoken head of the pro-Trump super PAC Turning Point USA, touted Khawaja on Twitter as a beneficiary of Trump’s tax plan.Nobody in Washington, Democrat or Republican, appears to have questioned how Khawaja earned his money, and what exactly Khawaja might hope to gain from his political giving is not entirely clear. The records reviewed by the AP show that Khawaja has pursued foreign business deals, including an investment by a United Arab Emirates-controlled wealth fund, a prospective deal with an Iranian bank and a potential business arrangement with Lebanon. Some U.S. senators he has supported are on the banking committee, which writes laws governing his industry.___‘IT JUST SCARED ME SO I PAID IT’Last August, the Trump administration ended a Justice Department effort called Operation Choke Point that investigated banks and other financial institutions working in industries such as payday lending that carry high risks of fraud.That kind of policy change could be helpful for Allied Wallet customers like Stark Law LLC of Chicago, an aggressive debt collector that posed as a law firm and threatened tens of thousands of Americans into giving them money — often for payday loans they never even signed up for.That’s what happened to Mary Liz Nogueras when a Stark debt collector called her at work in late 2015 and threatened to take her to court if she didn’t immediately pay $890 to cover an outstanding payday loan. Nogueras didn’t recall owing any money but was frightened by the collector’s abrasiveness, so she offered up her credit card number over the phone.“It just scared me so I paid it,” said Nogueras, who lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her husband and their two children, one of whom has special needs.A few months later, in March 2016, Federal Trade Commission regulators and Illinois prosecutors charged Stark’s owners with running a massive fraud operation, eventually forcing them out of the debt collection business entirely, issuing a $47 million judgment against them and making them personally forfeit $9 million — along with a 1-kilogram gold bar — to settle the claims.Eight months before Stark was busted, Allied Wallet set up credit card processing for a web of online merchants that supposedly sold home goods but actually were owned by payday loan-related companies with names like Clearwater Lending, the records reviewed by the AP show. The arrangement included some indications of suspicious activity: The websites lacked inventory, were unable to collect payments and failed to correctly spell words like “towels.”Whenever a bank caught the obvious misconduct, Allied Wallet would shut down the site and notify the bank of its actions — but then route the same payments through a new fake company, the records show. In just one month in late 2015, consumers filed hundreds of fraud complaints with their credit card companies about bills from Stark and a web of other front companies, the documents show.In October 2015, just three months after Allied Wallet began processing for Stark Associates Ltd., a UK shell company that handled the Stark debt collections, a risk analyst warned Allied Wallet about questionable transactions on the account, examining in detail the sale of a yellow curtain valance supposedly shipped to a nonexistent address: 123 Main Street in Townsville, New York.Not only had one of the banks processing Stark’s payments — OCBC Wing Hang Bank in Macau — noticed multiple fraud complaints on the account, the analyst wrote, but also the websites on the account itself were fishy, designed exactly like another site that Allied had recently shut down for engaging in “transaction laundering,” according to the email.A month later, the risk analyst followed up with top Allied employees, this time certain Stark was not legitimate: “In case it is of interest to you, we have now received a chargeback case that confirms that the merchant STARK, which you already closed, was indeed misrepresenting its business and offering loan services instead of home decor,” the analyst wrote.But the risk analyst was mistaken.Allied Wallet hadn’t stopped processing for Stark and continued to do so until February 2016, one month before regulators busted the company, the emails show.The account itself was moved to a related company called Rolling Plains Ltd., according to a November 2015 email to Allied Wallet’s chief operating officer, Moe Diab, from Tom Wells, an intermediary who brought Allied the Stark accounts in exchange for a percentage of the business.“They never stopped processing,” Wells wrote. “In fact you made payment to new acct this week.”Regulators named Gaurav Mohindra as a key player in the Stark debt-collection scheme. He told the AP he had never heard of Allied Wallet. Incorporation records show he was the director of Stark Associates Ltd., the UK corporation Allied Wallet created for the supposed home decor website that was used to disguise Nogueras’ $890 fake debt payment when it was passed along to Visa.Wells did not return phone and email messages seeking comment.___‘I NEED YOU TO HELP ME HELP YOU’With most of the questionable customers Allied Wallet took on, the documents show, the company appeared to seek plausible deniability.First, Allied Wallet helped businesses create dormant shell corporations in the United Kingdom to access its network of friendly banks from Malta to Macau, the records show. Then it coached clients on how to curate their websites to fool investigators performing compliance checks for banks and credit card companies, the documents reveal.“Remove the video of the woman being tortured in the top left corner of the home page,” Amy Ringler, the company’s vice-president of operations, wrote to one pornography client in October 2012, noting the video would violate Mastercard’s standards.Once websites passed muster, company officials would then route those businesses’ incoming payments to banks willing to accept them. If a merchant racked up too many fraud complaints — or a bank caught on to suspicious behaviour — Allied Wallet would sometimes simply shift the account to a new institution to start fresh. In exchange, Allied Wallet charged hefty rates and fees as a processor of last resort for especially risky clientele, the records show.These merchants were then mixed in with others that Allied Wallet sent to banks which, though considered in the industry to be “high-risk,” weren’t necessarily legally problematic. Among them: clients peddling multilevel marketing deals, IT help desk services and natural supplements, the records show.Not all customers were happy with Allied Wallet’s insistence on holding funds for long stretches to cover expected chargeback and fraud fees, but the nature of legally dubious businesses prevented many from finding an alternative processor.“Why would anyone use a high priced processor unless they have a questionable product?” the frustrated CEO of an unusual Irish company that specializes in selling phoney ATM receipts, forged hotel bills and other fabricated documents wrote in a March 2016 email to company officials. “If I’m going to go to the bother of pretending I am a clean green business, then I’ll use a payment system that gets me more of the money in a quicker manner.”To help the now-defunct website get its payments processed by American Express — which the credit card company wouldn’t otherwise accept — Allied Wallet worked with the company to disguise its true business, the records showed.The website charged callers in the U.S. $2 a minute to talk about various fetishes or engage in elaborate rape fantasies with female accomplices, according to an archived webpage.To co-ordinate their arrangement, an Allied Wallet salesman used a private email address to communicate with Donna Jones, one of the sex line’s owners: “I’ll help you out but I need you to help me help you, notice the email I’m sending this from.”To avoid raising the suspicions of American Express, Jones and Allied Wallet funneled the payments through another business Jones owned that had nothing to do with sex: a home-cleaning company called WKPS Group, according to the records.“We will do whatever is asked, and keep our mouths shut,” Jones wrote. “You can make a lot of money with us, I will do as you say.”Just 45 minutes after the arrangement started, Allied Wallet’s chief compliance officer issued an urgent internal warning based on a tip: The cleaning company had already been identified by a rival processor as a front for phone-sex transactions.The November 2016 warning went unanswered. Some company officials knew the cleaning business was a front because they already were using it that way.American Express declined to address Allied Wallet or the records detailing how it processed funds for the defunct sex site. In a statement, a spokesman, Andrew Johnson, said the company could require a processor to cancel processing for merchants that break the law, violate its rules or damage its brand.Jones could not be reached for comment. She did not return a message sent to the email addresses she used to correspond with Allied Wallet.___‘VERY, VERY ILLEGAL’The records show that Allied Wallet also took extraordinary steps to disguise how it processed payments for online gamblers — a bold foray back into an industry that just years earlier had involved Khawaja in an FBI investigation.To settle claims from a 2010 federal probe involving the website PokerStars, Khawaja enlisted former FBI Director Louis Freeh to negotiate with federal prosecutors in New York and write anti-money laundering policies for Allied Wallet, according to court records.Since then, Khawaja appears to have avoided processing payments for U.S. bettors, the records show. But the documents show that his company has accepted and obscured international business from GVC Holdings PLC, one of the most prominent gambling outfits in the online industry, often in places where online gambling is prohibited or highly regulated.For example, Allied Wallet handled processing for a company behind the now-defunct, bare-bones website, which claimed to sell e-books and told credit card companies that it was selling miscellaneous general merchandise.It wasn’t.The website was a front, listed in 2012 business paperwork for LLJH Ltd., a company owned by Elizabeth Cullen, then a top corporate officer at GVC Holdings PLC, according to the records.The records obtained by the AP show that top GVC executives collaborated with Allied Wallet and a trusted middleman to hide gambling operations involving currencies from countries where online betting is illegal or highly regulated, including Turkey, Brazil and Mexico.Just before Christmas 2012, Jim Humberstone, GVC’s head of operations, worked with Wells, the intermediary who would later bring the fraudulent Stark debt collectors to Allied Wallet, the emails show.The records show that Wells passed GVC’s information along to Khawaja and other top Allied Wallet company officials, who placed the business in an Allied Wallet account called Bluestar 7. That account handled payments for totembazzar, along with the site, which GVC claimed was owned by a company called JHLL Ltd.“I’m concerned about the descriptor containing ‘GVC’ could we remove this and have ‘Radial’ and ‘Totem’ alone?” Lisa Lupi, then the head of GVC’s risk department, wrote in an email to Wells.Allied Wallet made the changes and processed payments for the gambling sites, switching the Bluestar 7 account every week between two banks, Borgun in Iceland and Postbank in Germany.In February 2016, Wells wrote to top Allied Wallet officials to inquire about leftover reserves in the Bluestar gambling accounts on behalf of GVC, noting they were handling Brazilian, Mexican or Turkish currencies, according to the email.Online betting is highly regulated in Mexico and Brazil. In Turkey, it is prohibited altogether; an internal Allied Wallet guide to global casino regulations described it as “very, very illegal” there.Humberstone and GVC’s head of corporate communications did not respond to emails and phone calls over several weeks seeking comment. Lupi and Cullen didn’t return emailed messages.Allied Wallet’s chief operating officer, Diab, said in a brief phone interview that he didn’t know what GVC was and denied the company transacted for it.“We don’t do gambling at all,” he told the AP, directing further questions to Khawaja and a company lawyer.Khawaja and the lawyer did not respond to specific questions from the AP about the company’s business practices.As recently as February 2017, Allied Wallet operated as many as two dozen Bluestar accounts, recycling old companies to host websites that served as fronts for gambling operations, the records show. The sites could be created as fast as they shut down.“This is the URL that was closed the other day because the bank said the transactions were coming from a gaming website,” Ringler, the Allied Wallet vice-president of operations, wrote to Wells in May 2014 regarding a site called was being processed via an Allied Wallet account called Bluestar 18, another account dedicated to gambling. But to keep the business flowing, Allied Wallet needed new fronts to disguise the transactions.“I need a different website, descriptor and company from you,” Ringler wrote Wells in an email reviewed by The AP.The risks from the gambling business weren’t lost on company officials, the documents show.In May 2015, the company’s chief compliance officer emailed the top Allied Wallet executives that he had personally verified a company salesman giving “specific instructions on how to set up and operate an illegal gaming operation online.”That prompted Khawaja to interject: “Guys, stop this… Come on.”Nine months later, Wells, the trusted Allied Wallet intermediary, notified top company officials that he would be meeting with GVC in London and wanted to know what procedure to follow to open a new set of disguised gambling accounts, according to a February 2016 email.“Can we create website and eu Corp as before or has anything changed?” Wells asked.The response from Diab, Allied Wallet’s chief operating officer: “Set up will be the same.”___Horwitz reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Chad Day and editor Ted Bridis in Washington contributed to this report.last_img read more

first_imgCALGARY – An energy analyst warns the Canadian oil and gas sector is in a holding pattern in which spending and production growth can’t occur until new ways to get products to export markets are found.CIBC analyst Jon Morrison says in a report that steep discounts being paid for Canadian heavy and light oil production compared with U.S. benchmarks won’t end soon and that means there’s no money for producers to increase their drilling budgets.The report bodes poorly for Canada’s energy services sector as the industry enters the winter drilling season, its traditionally busiest time of the year as frozen ground allows more access to backcountry sites.Morrison says unusually wet weather in Alberta in September will contribute to soft third-quarter earnings reports from oilfield services companies.The analyst says Western Canada will remain short of pipeline capacity even if Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement pipeline is completed by 2020, thus adding 370,000 barrels per day of capacity.He says the short-term situation will improve but not enough to allow growth in activity if crude-by-rail exports double, as he expects, to a record 450,000 barrels per day by the end of this year.“We believe this reality will start to percolate into 2019 capex budgets, with a number of producers likely to delay the issuance of formal guidance until January and then we believe many are likely to announce development programs that show little to no incremental production growth,” Morrison’s report says.last_img read more

first_imgCompanies mentioned in this article: (TSX:TCW, TSX:SU, TSX:CNQ)Dan Healing, The Canadian Press CALGARY — Canadian oil and gas companies finding little love in the stock market are repurchasing their neglected shares, driving a rise in share buybacks that’s already reached a record high this year.Using scarce dollars to buy your own stock instead of investing to grow the business may seem wasteful to some, but observers say it makes sense if you have money in your wallet and find your shares in the bargain bin.“As a CEO, the way I look at it is, it’s a cyclical business. Buying back your shares when you have good cash flow and a good balance sheet, when your shares are down to really low levels, is actually good business,” said Dale Dusterhoft, CEO of Calgary-based well completion company Trican Well Service Ltd.“But then when your multiples are up and you’re in an up cycle, using your capital to buy other things is good business as well.”Trican bought back 9.8 million shares in October after renewing its annual buyback program. It bought the maximum allowed 10 per cent of its stock for $119 million under its 2017-18 program.Some 627 million shares had been repurchased in 2018 for cancellation by 209 issuer companies as of mid-October, according to data provided by TMX Group, the operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, at the request of The Canadian Press.That’s about 135 million more shares than in all of 2017 and well ahead of the previous record high of 557 million shares in 2007, according to statistics going back to 1989.Twenty-three Calgary-based companies involved in the upstream oil and gas sector accounted for about 184 million share buybacks this year, more than double the 76 million in 2017.The boom in energy company share buybacks is linked to conditions in Western Canada, where a lack of pipeline capacity to carry away growing production has resulted in unprecedented discounts in oil prices versus U.S. benchmarks, said Eric Nuttall, senior portfolio manager at Toronto-based Ninepoint Partners.“We’ve had the greatest dislocation in history between the commodity and the stocks,” he said. “Energy stocks are trading at half of their historical multiples.”The recent decline in New York-traded West Texas Intermediate to the mid-US$50 per barrel level from peaks above US$75 in early October increases the risk of lower returns going forward and makes buybacks less appealing than simply going into “bunker mode” and preserving capital, Nuttall said.“But in a higher price commodity environment, meaning like US$60 WTI, and a more normalized differential, if the share price isn’t reflecting value, then it’s better to buy back your own shares than take the risk of drilling your own wells,” he said.The appeal of buybacks isn’t lost on oilsands major Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. which on Nov. 1 unveiled a new capital allocation strategy that requires half of all future cash after capital spending and dividends be spent on buybacks, with the rest to pay down debt.It repurchased 20 million of its shares as of Sept. 30 at a cost of $874 million under a plan approved last spring to buy back up to 61 million shares over the next year.Executive vice-chairman Steve Laut said on a conference call the “significant ramp-up” in buybacks creates “value for shareholders in current market conditions” — on Nov. 1, the company’s shares closed at $37.84, down 16 per cent from 12 months earlier.Earlier this month, Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest oil and gas company by market capitalization, said it had approval to increase its current buyback program to five per cent of its shares from three per cent.It spent $1.98 billion to buy back 39 million shares under the program between last May and November — the increased program would cost another $1 billion if fully implemented.In theory, reducing the number of outstanding shares in a company increases the value of the remaining shares — it should boost investor measures such as net earnings per share and production per share and therefore lead to higher market prices for each share.That’s not how it has worked out for Trican, however.Despite buying and cancelling 34 million shares in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, its share price lost half of its value, falling from $4.56 to $2.31.Dusterhoft confesses to “mixed feelings” about the result but said he still believes buybacks are a strategy that will deliver good returns for shareholders in the long run.He blamed Trican’s stock price woes on a general selloff in energy services companies’ shares related to poor drilling prospects in Canada as producers limit spending on exploration.“If the share price had stayed the same, they’d get a 10 per cent yield over that time frame. I think the only negative we saw was the market decline through the past year.” Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.last_img read more

first_imgBRUSSELS — Croatia’s prime minister says European Union leaders could meet in January for a new Brexit summit once Britain clarifies exactly what help it needs to pass the deal in the U.K. Parliament.Andrej Plenkovic said Friday that “if there is a need we can always convene, but nothing in that respect was concluded yesterday” during Brexit talks in Brussels.British Prime Minister Theresa May cancelled a vote in Parliament this week after it became clear the assembly would reject the Brexit deal she concluded with the EU.EU leaders refuse outright to re-open the deal, but in a statement they did offer assurances about how it would work.Plenkovic says that “text is a solid signal, first of all to the prime minister, but also to the U.K. Parliament.”The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgLONDON — The Church of England’s bishops are appealing for national unity following a week of divisive discussions around Britain’s efforts to leave the European Union, urging politicians and the public to adopt a more civilized tone in the debate.The leaders said in a statement Saturday that it is time to bring generosity back to national life and to respect those with a differing point of view. The appeal comes amid heated discussions over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal.Parliament was supposed to vote on the deal this week, but May removed it from consideration in hopes of persuading EU officials to make changes.But EU leaders meeting in Brussels showed little appetite to resolve May’s Brexit impasse for her, saying the U.K. Parliament must make up its mind.The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgUPDATE: FSJ for LNG founder Alan Yu says that the organization has gotten a new transmission for its bus, and that the group is now fundraising to cover the cost of fuel for the trip.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The founder of local organization FSJ for LNG is looking do a repeat of the group’s ‘LNG or Bust’ bus tour to Ottawa in 2016 with a trip to Vancouver next weekend, though the group’s bus is in need of some repairs.In May of 2016, FSJ for LNG undertook a trip to Ottawa in order to make their voices heard by the federal government of the local support for the development of a liquified natural gas export industry in Canada. Founder Alan Yu says however that the bus’ transmission didn’t fare well on the cross-country trip, and the bus has been waylaid for the past year and a half. Yu explained that FSJ for LNG has grouped up with other grassroots organizations who support Canada’s petroleum industry to organize a rally at Canada Place in Vancouver to show support for Kinder Morgan’s Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion that is scheduled for March 10th. That rally is being hosted by Canada Action, which bills itself as a “volunteer-led grassroots movement encouraging Canadians to take action and work together in support of our vital natural resources sector.” The rally is scheduled to take place in Vancouver on the same day as another rally against the pipeline expansion on Burnaby Mountain.Ahead of the planned rally, Yu said he wants to do a similar bus trip to the one two years ago, with planned stops in Edmonton, Red Deer, and Calgary on the way to Vancouver, but the bus’ transmission problems mean it needs to be repaired in the span of a week. He explained that cost to repair the transmission in Fort St. John is roughly $7,500, while a new transmission shipped from Edmonton is estimated to cost $3,500.Yu said that anyone that wants to donate towards getting the bus repaired can contact him via cell phone at: (867) 688-8888, or can make a donation to Fort St. John for LNG’s account at the North Peace Savings and Credit Union. He added that in-person donations can also be made to FSJ for LNG treasurer Lani Belcher at Petron Communications in Fort St. John, who he said can issue tax receipts.last_img read more