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Teen Actress Jordan Van Vranken To Host Annual Charity BowlAThon

first_imgTeen actress Jordan Van Vranken is hosting her fourth Annual Bowl-A-Thon Saturday, January 25, 2014 to raise money to support kids with cancer, specifically the children housed at Memphis’ Ronald McDonald House who are being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.Jordan’s Charity Bowl-A-Thon.A Memphis native who now resides in Los Angeles, Jordan created the Bowl-A-Thon event as a way to raise awareness and allow her Los Angeles-based friends and fellow actors and entertainers to participate in this worthwhile cause.Jordan Van Vranken’s Charity Bowl-a-ThonJordan is passionate about the mission at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Memphis Ronald McDonald House. She has been a volunteer for years and has been involved in the annual Radiothon in Memphis since she was a young girl, an event that has raised nearly $10 million dollars.“I love the Memphis Ronald McDonald House and the St. Jude kids. I know I’ve said it before…most people don’t realize that the young patients being treated at St. Jude and their families stay at the Ronald McDonald House for free…so any fundraising event is critical toward contributing to the operating costs of the House.”Soup’s Sports Grill in Woodland Hills, CA continues to sponsor Jordan’s Bowl-A-Thon. New sponsors this year include McDonald’s, the NBA Los Angeles Clippers and NHL Los Angeles Kings, the indie film After the Wizard, and Scentsy.Van Vranken also continues to honor her long-time mentor and Ronald McDonald House supporter, legendary Memphis disc jockey John “Bad Dog” McCormack, who lost his own battle with cancer in 2011. “Bad Dog asked me to carry his torch….he was passionate about the St. Jude kids. I was always inspired and motivated by his example.”Jordan’s fourth Annual Bowl-A-Thon will be held at Corbin Bowl in Tarzana, CA, January 25th. The event includes bowling, pizza, and raffles from various sponsors. Check out the Bowl-A-Thon and this year’s event on Facebook.Additional sponsors are still needed for signage and raffle prizes. Interested sponsors may contact Jordan at can be seen in the Breaking Glass Pictures film After the Wizard, released last year in the U.S., recently in Germany and the U.K. next month. Jordan can also be seen on television in Criminal Minds, Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush, and in the Cameron Diaz film Bad Teacher. She has completed over 30 independent films and won the Young Artist Award for her performance as the voice and motion of Ripley in the Warner Brothers/HD Films’ animated series CHADAM, and for her performance as Elizabeth/ Dorothy in After the Wizard.For more information visit and read more

Alice Walker Beauty In Truth

first_imgWriter/activist Alice Walker (b. Feb. 9, 1944) made history as the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her seminal novel The Color Purple (1982), for which she won the National Book Award. THIRTEEN’s American Masters presents Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, premiering nationally Friday, February 7 at 9 p.m. on PBS in honor of Walker’s 70th birthday and Black History Month.Alice Walker and Yoko OnoCredit/Copyright: Praitbha ParmarFilmmaker Pratibha Parmar’s new documentary tells Walker’s dramatic life story with poetry and lyricism, and features new interviews with Walker, Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, Quincy Jones, Gloria Steinem, Sapphire and the late Howard Zinn in one of his final interviews.American Masters — Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth charts Walker’s inspiring journey from her birth into a family of sharecroppers in Eatonton, Ga. to the present. The film explores Walker’s relationship with her mother, poverty, and participation in the Civil Rights Movement, which were the formative influences on her consciousness and became the inherent themes in her writing. Living through the violent racism and seismic social changes of mid-20th century America, Walker overcame adversity to achieve international recognition as one of the most influential — and controversial — writers of the 20th century. Delving into her personal life, Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth reveals the inspiration for many of her works, including Once (1968), The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970), Meridian (1976), The Color Purple (1982), In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens (1983), Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992) and Overcoming Speechlessness (2010).Praised and pilloried, Walker has driven people to express joy as well as anger and ruthless vilification over her art, personal views and global human rights advocacy. As seen in the film, Yoko Ono awarded her the 2010 LennonOno Peace Award for her ongoing humanitarian work. American Masters analyzes these aspects of the self-confessed renegade’s life and career.“As a filmmaker, one of the deepest desires is to engage the audience in the conversation unfolding on screen. I am thrilled to offer this in Beauty In Truth, where Alice’s openness, warmth and on-screen intimacy reflects our long history of kinship,” said Parmar. “Making Beauty In Truth has been an adventure of discovery and sheer inspiration. I’m so pleased it will have a national audience on American Masters.”Parmar’s past works include feature film Nina’s Heavenly Delights (2006) and the documentary Warrior Marks (1993), based on the book of the same name that she and Walker co-authored.“Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth is a complex exploration of a pioneering artist and human rights activist that gives audiences a penetrating look at a life lived with passionate commitment,” said Stephen Segaller, vice president of programming for WNET. “Having the American Masters premiere coincide with her 70th birthday is a nice bonus.”Launched in 1986 by series creator Susan Lacy, American Masters has earned 26 Emmy Awards — including nine for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards, and many other honors.Now in its 28th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEEN. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations, and operator of NJTV. For more than 50 years, THIRTEEN has been a partner with the tri-state community, using its rich resources to inform and inspire the passionate people of New York and the world to better understand and address the issues that challenge our diverse communities.To take American Masters beyond the television broadcast and further explore the themes, stories and personalities of masters past and present, the companion website offers streaming video of select films, interviews, photos, outtakes, essays, and other resources. American Masters is also seen on the WORLD channel, a 24/7, full-service multicast channel featuring public television’s signature nonfiction documentary, science and news programming, broadcast in nearly two-thirds of the United States.American Masters — Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth is one of 50 films that form part of Women and Girls Lead, a public media campaign spearheaded by the Independent Television Service, that harnesses the power of documentary film to showcase extraordinary women and girls who are changing the world. The initiative features groundbreaking women like Alice Walker, who refuse to submit to gender stereotypes or compromise her form of artistic expression.last_img read more

Game Of Thrones Star To Run London Marathon For Charity

first_imgGame of Thrones star Natalie Dormer will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13 to raise money for Barnardo’s.“I am proud to be running the Virgin Money London Marathon this April to raise money and awareness for Barnardo’s,” she says. “Barnado’s transforms the lives of the most vulnerable children through its services, campaigning and research. Issues such as child poverty, sexual abuse and exploitation, disability, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse and domestic violence.“I’m training whilst shooting ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ in Atlanta. So rest assured there will be plenty of ridiculous alarm times and running the streets after long days on set. My goal is to finish the 26.3 miles in under 4 hours!“Huge thanks in advance. I am grateful for any donation no matter how big or small. Every penny makes a difference and it’s going to a cause I believe has a massive impact on many children’s lives.”To donate to Natalie’s run, click here.last_img read more

Moby Teams Up With ADI To Back The Macaque

first_imgAhead of International Primate Day on September 1st 2016, Moby has teamed up with Animal Defenders International (ADI) to help the Barbary macaque, Europe’s only native primate species.Greater protection is being sought for the endangered primate to save the species from illegal traders who tout individuals as pets and photo props.Moby said: “I refuse to stand by and do nothing as these endangered monkeys are snatched from the wild and their families for photo props and the pet trade. Barbary macaques need our urgent help and I hope governments will join ADI and ‘back the macaque’ and grant them the greater protection they need”.ADI President Jan Creamer said: “The illegal trade is pushing Barbary macaques to the brink and action must be taken before it is too late. Like so many wild animals, these little monkeys are paying the price for unscrupulous traders bartering with their lives.”Once widespread throughout Northern Africa, Barbary macaques now have only isolated populations in the mountains of Algeria and Morocco, as well as Gibraltar where the monkeys were introduced. The only primates native to Europe, the Barbary macaque’s overall population has plummeted 50% over three generations (24 years), with numbers crashing to as low as 6,500 individuals. In the central Middle Atlas region of Morocco, the global stronghold of the species, average population density has declined by a shocking 50-80% over the last 30 years.Highly intelligent, emotional and sensitive, Barbary macaques live up to 22 years of age, in social groups comprising as many as 80 individuals, with males playing a primary role in caring for their young. They prefer high altitude cedar forests, but can also be found in oak forests, coastal scrub, and rocky slopes, feeding on fruits, tree leaves, and plants.Despite their endangered status under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Barbary macaques are often taken illegally from the wild for the pet trade or to be used as photo props for tourists. Barbary macaques are in fact the most seized CITES mammal in the EU, accounting for 25% of official seizures of live mammals.ADI is supporting a proposal to grant Barbary macaques CITES Appendix I status, the highest level of protection, at next month’s Johannesburg meeting of the 182 CITES member countries. Members of the public are urged to support the campaign for the monkeys by sharing the news on social media, go to the ADI website to take action and they can ask their MP to call on the government to back the proposal to give our only European monkey the most protected status.Having campaigned for over 20 years to educate the public about the use of primates for entertainment, research, and as pets, exposing the huge numbers of animals taken from the wild each year and the suffering of the animals during captivity and transport, the plight of the Barbary macaque is a cause close to ADI’s heart.Last year, ADI rescued more than 30 illegally traded monkeys in Peru during an 18-month mission against wildlife trafficking and to enforce a ban on wild animals in circuses. Over 100 animals were saved during the operation. Having nursed the monkeys back to health, ADI relocated new family groups from six different primate species to sanctuaries in their native Amazon habitats where ADI continues to fund their care for life.ADI previously rescued two Hamadryas baboons – one from a Bolivian circus and the other from the pet trade in Cyprus. They now live happily together at the Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary in the UK, where ADI funds their care for life, along with three macaques born at the notorious and now closed Israeli monkey breeder Mazor Farm. Born to wild-caught parents, Baloo, Betty and Boo were sold to a European research laboratory and used in neurology experiments. When the monkeys were no longer required, ADI stepped in to save them from being killed.last_img read more

Nick Cave And Iggy Pop Join Forces For Animals In New Video

first_imgWhile delighting audiences with their North American tour, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have found a new and unexpected way to inspire — a new PETA video spot starring Iggy Pop live and in animation, showing his muscles as he cavorts to one of Cave’s most adored love songs, “Breathless.”Video: Rock Legends Leave Us ‘Breathless’ in Heartfelt PETA VideoIn the video, the “godfather of punk” appears in his dog’s daydream as a superhero, helping a turtle safely cross the road and coming to the defense of a rabbit in a hare-raising attack, as Cave sings, “The rabbit hides beneath the ground/For he is defenseless without you/The sky of daytime dies away/And all the earthly things they stop to play/For we are all breathless without you.”The uplifting new video spot carries an important message. “Nick Cave and Iggy Pop have left PETA breathless with this sweet video,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “If everyone acted like the people our dogs think we are and depend on us to be, the world would be a far kinder place.”Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds are part of a long list of musicians — including Paul McCartney, The Black Keys, Sia, Morrissey, and Chrissie Hynde — who have donated their songs to PETA, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.”last_img read more

Montréal Will be Lit up in Colour This Winter

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook Twittercenter_img Quotes“During MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, our city will celebrate our northern climate and showcase our strengths in unique ways, notably through the use of interactive media arts. Through its dynamism and creativity, this event delivers a uniquely Montréal experience in an unusual setting.”– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage“By shining a light on the heart of winter, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE makes the entire city shine. Each year, the variety of activities and the brilliant, breathtaking program dazzle festival-goers from near and far. The Government of Canada is pleased to support events that have a positive impact on tourism and the local economy and that resonate far beyond the city and the country.”– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec RegionsQuick FactsFounded in 2000, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is a winter festival that attracts nearly one million visitors to the Quartier des spectacles each year.The 19th annual MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival will run from February 22 to March 4, 2018, and the theme will be knowledge transfer. The event will feature discussions between top culinary schools and a partnership with the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ).The fine dining component will offer dozens of activities and showcase the North Shore as this year’s featured region.The artistic component will include about 120 shows, including music, dance, circus and theatre, while the outdoor site, iLLUMiNART, will return for a second edition with its luminous, interactive installations.Associated LinksMONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRECanada Arts Presentation FundQuebec Economic Development ProgramCanada’s New Tourism Vision Canadian Heritage is investing $110,000 in the 2018 edition of the festival, through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund. This support will help deliver a multidisciplinary program featuring new media and will help showcase the talent and creativity of Canadian and international artists. Canadian Heritage also provided an additional $22,500 to accommodate an international delegation of broadcasters at the festival.The funding allocated by CED totals $751,000 over two years (2017 and 2018) and comes in the form of a non-refundable contribution under the Quebec Economic Development Program. This funding will be used to market and promote the festival in international markets to attract tourists to Montréal and thereby generate significant spinoffs that will benefit all residents of Montréal. It also made possible the design and implementation of an exclusive activity for the 2017 edition: curling en lumière. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment MONTRÉAL – Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), announced that the Government of Canada will be providing funding to the 19th annual MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE festival, which will run from February 22 to March 4, 2018.last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Drake seems to have come out on top in a settled lawsuit with Layla LaceLace accused Drake of impregnating her in a now-deleted Instagram post published April 17, 2017. “So I guess still in this era this is the new thing that after you tell a dude you pregnant they stop answering their phone!” she wrote at the time.She expanded on her accusations in an interview SiriusXM station Shade 45 that same month. “I know who I sleep with unprotected, period,” Lace insisted. “It’s one hundred per cent [for] sure [Drake’s child], he knows it.” Advertisement Drizzy sued Lace over the baby scam and for reportedly threatening to come forward with rape allegations should Drake not cave to Lace’s demands.TMZ reported on Friday that Drake and Lace settled the case. She can not make any  “statements alleging or insinuating that [Drake] assaulted her,” got her pregnant or abandoned her. She is no longer permitted to disparage Drake in any way.“The filing made by Drake against Layla Lace has been resolved, with Layla avoiding going to trial by agreeing to a stipulated judgment which prohibits her from repeating past statements she made against Drake,” the Canadian rapper’s attorney Larry Stein reportedly said.“Drake and his team are satisfied with this outcome and while Drake appreciates the support he has received, he asks that his fans and the media allow both parties to move on with their lives,” he continued.The presiding judge has reportedly yet to close the case. Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgFifty years ago, Myles Goodwyn was a broke musician with big dreams when he saw a Gibson Melody Maker gleaming in Inverness, N.S.He went inside and traded his old guitar for this new one. He modified it, added his name to the head, and promptly recorded monster hits for April Wine.He used the Gibson on 1971’s April Wine and 1972’s On Record. Songs like You Could Have Been a Lady and Bad Side of the Moon made the Nova Scotia band one of the biggest in the world. Advertisement Login/Register With: “I only had one guitar — this was my main guitar,” he says.But a truck carrying the band’s gear crashed in Montreal. Goodwyn was told his Gibson suffered a broken neck. They wouldn’t let him see the remains. Myles Goodwyn has had a hard time taking his hands off the guitar since being reunited. (Robert Short/CBC) Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more


first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement TORONTO, ON (April 8, 2019) — Seasoned labour lawyer Marie Kelly has been tapped to helm ACTRA, the national union of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media sector in Canada, as National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator.“On behalf of ACTRA performers we are thrilled to announce Marie Kelly as our new National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator,” said David Sparrow, ACTRA National President. “Recognizing Marie’s long-standing career and vast leadership expertise in the labour movement, our union will continue to set the standards for collective bargaining in the arts, to be a leading voice for Canadian culture and to fight for the rights of professional performers.”Marie Kelly is a veteran lawyer with a long history of representing workers’ rights within Canada’s labour movement. Ms. Kelly comes to ACTRA after six years at the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) where she most recently held the role of CEO/CAO. Prior to ONA, she worked for the United Steelworkers where, over the course of 22 years, she served in various capacities including as executive director, legal counsel and became the first woman in North America to be appointed to the position of Assistant Director. Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement Ms. Kelly officially assumes her role at ACTRA today upon Stephen Waddell’s retirement with Waddell staying on with the union in an advisory role until fall 2020.“For almost 40 years, Stephen Waddell has been a champion for Canadian performers and has led us in the creation of some of the most ground-breaking collective agreements not just in our industry but in the world,” added Sparrow. “For always demanding fair compensation and credit for the work of our members and for always encouraging us to stand our ground and stick together, we thank Stephen for his devotion to our union.”Stephen Waddell began his career in 1970 as a Toronto-based staff representative for the International Woodworkers of America. In 1972, Stephen left the IWA to work as Assistant General Secretary of ACTRA where he remained until 1984 when he was recruited by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and moved to Los Angeles where he became SAG’s Assistant Hollywood Executive Director. Leaving SAG in 1988 to return to Canada, Stephen became a talent agent at a national talent agency based in Toronto where he successfully represented leading performers, writers and directors. In 1992, Stephen was enticed back to work for ACTRA as National Executive Director where he remained until now as chief negotiator and chief of staff of the national performers’ union.In 2007, Stephen led ACTRA members through their first strike in the union’s history which ultimately led to the first collective bargaining agreement in the world to contain provisions for Digital Media production and Use. In 2015, Stephen headed negotiations that resulted in another ground-breaking achievement – the establishment of a Prepayment for Use of all Digital Media productions, which allows Canadian performers to enjoy the best contractual minimum fees and Use rights for Digital Media production in the world.About ACTRAACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of over 25,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community. Marie Kelly Twitterlast_img read more


first_imgSUNNY LEONE’S ‘PHONE NUMBER’ LEAVES MAN SWAMPED WITH CALLS“Is Sunny there?”“Hi, I’m calling for Sunny Leone.”“Can you put me on the phone with Sunny? I love her films.” Advertisement Bollywood actress Sunny Leone is shown in this image posted to her Twitter account on July 29, 2019. (Sunny Leone/Twitter) Facebook Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment An Indian man says his phone has been ringing off the hook for the last week with calls for Canadian-born actress Sunny Leone after she gave out his number as her character’s in a recent Bollywood film. READ MOREBOLLYWOOD STAR SUNNY LEONE APOLOGISES AFTER MAN SWAMPED WITH PHONE CALLSBollywood actor Sunny Leone has apologised after a man was inundated with calls when his phone number was used in her recent release, Arjun Patiala.Puneet Agarwal has received hundreds of calls since the film’s release on 26 July. Leone’s character gives the phone number to another character in the film.Agarwal is quoted as saying: “I started receiving calls from unknown people asking me to let them talk to Sunny Leone. Initially, I thought somebody is playing a prank on me, but after a while, I got to know that the makers of the movie have actually used my number.” READ MORE Sunny Leone. (Photograph: NurPhoto/Getty Images)last_img read more

RCMP needs to probe Carson affair for possible shadowy influences ExCSIS agents

first_imgBy Kenneth Jackson and Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsThe RCMP should investigate the activities and relationships around Bruce Carson, a former confidante of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and his escort turned fiancee to ensure no sensitive information flowed from pillow talk to criminal or foreign elements, according to two former agents with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.While the Carson controversy may be about nothing more than a man with a “late blooming mid-life crisis” getting entangled with a 22-year-old former escort, there are enough elements already in the public domain to give police investigators reason to pry a deeper into both Carson and Michele McPherson’s background activities and associations, they said.“For the moment, we don’t know, and in the law enforcement and intelligence world, not knowing is not good,” said Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a security analyst and former CSIS agentWhat is known is that Carson moved in elite political and industry circles that put him in proximity to potentially sensitive files involving the energy sector, Ottawa and the Alberta government. Carson also claimed to have direct, informal contact with cabinet ministers and the prime minister himself, whom he called a “friend.”Carson, 65, became involved with Michele McPherson, 22, a former Ottawa escort who went by the name of Leanna VIP. Carson told APTN he was engaged to McPherson and took her along for meals with senior politicians and political players.Emails obtained by APTN show Carson lobbied Indian Affairs to land contracts with First Nations communities afflicted by dirty water for an Ottawa-based company that had a contractual arrangement with McPherson guaranteeing her profits on each deal.The Prime Minister’s Office asked the RCMP to investigate Carson’s activities after APTN reporters showed a PMO official the documentation related to this story and asked for comment.The PMO also asked the Commissioner of Lobbying and the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner to probe Carson’s activities.While much of the political attention has focused on Carson’s attempts to promote H2O Global Group, which was created by the president of H20 Pros to deal with potential Indian Affairs contracts, the security experts said police investigators need to pry deeper in to the background activities of both Carson and McPherson.“If there is somebody behind (her), is he sort of a lover that happens to benefit from the kind of work his girlfriend is doing? Or is he a pimp that has a business relationship and she is a girl working for him? If that is the case…is there someone who ultimately says, ‘you know what I have here access to something else,’ and ultimately…would attempt to use that something else,” said Juneau-Katsuya, who published a book in 2009 about foreign espionage in Canada called, Nest of Spies.David Harris, a former chief of strategic planning for CSIS, says the RCMP needed to look into Carson’s activities and explore his contacts and connections.“It would seem only prudent on the part of the RCMP and any other investigative agencies to examine the full extent or any of the involvement that Mr. Carson may have had with his more intimate associates and friends,” said Harris, who now works for private counter-terrorism and research and strategy company Insignis Strategic Research.“If we are looking at a situation that by its very nature raises questions about illicit influence, then it could be very useful, could be very important to determine what the scope of the possible influence might have been. Did it extend to some of his close associates and affiliates…could one or more connections lead to other places, persons, organizations, countries of interest or concern in relation to Canadian security?”Canada has arguably the largest oil reserves outside of Saudi Arabia and, given the current upheaval in the Middle East and northern Africa, is becoming an increasingly key supplier of energy to the U.S.Before the controversy broke, Carson was heavily involved in task forces and committees on oil sands development, energy and climate change. He also sat at the table with the biggest government energy players on the continent. The Liberals on Wednesday highlighted Carson’s presence at an April 2009 meeting between former environment minister Jim Prentice, former Canadian ambassador to the U.S. Michael Wilson and U.S. Energy Secretary Steve Chu.Carson was named chair of the Federal-Provincial Oil and Gas Industry Working Group on Climate change and appointed member of the Thermal Electricity Task Force on Climate Change. Carson was also on the Alberta government’s 12-person advisory panel tasked with creating an environmental monitoring system for the oil sands. He recently took a temporary leave of absence.He also took a temporary leave of absence from his job as head of the Canada School of Energy and Environment, a joint project between University of Calgary, University of Alberta and University of Lethbridge, which received $15 million from Ottawa and brought him into contact with the latest academic thinking and research.Carson was also heavily involved with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers in their attempts to polish the image of the oil sands.Carson also told APTN in a taped interview, that he was in regular contact with the prime minister and all his cabinet ministers. Carson described himself as a friend of Harper during the interview where he also revealed his plans to involve at least two cabinet ministers in his push to land First Nations water contracts for H20 Global Group.Carson was nicknamed “the mechanic” and was known as Harper’s fixer. He followed Harper from the opposition office into the centre of power that is the PMO, leaving there in 2008, before returning temporarily in 2009.Then in March 2010 he met a girl named Michele McPherson through an internet posting. In December of the same year, he bought her a nearly $400,000 house and put it under both their names.By July, Carson was working emails and the telephone to get the Ottawa water company onto the radar screen of First Nations chiefs. He then set to work on pushing the project through Indian Affairs officials in the department and in Indian Affairs Minister John Duncan’s office. Carson’s next step was to involve Environment Minister Peter Kent.Carson said in one email, obtained by APTN, that he was doing it for “Michele.” He told APTN she was his fiancée, and when asked if he got down on one knee, Carson said, “something like that.”Juneau-Katsuya said the Carson affair carries echoes of the scandal that embroiled former foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier after he left documents at the home of former lover Julie Couillard. Bernier was eventually removed from his cabinet post by Harper.Carson’s relationship with McPherson and the apparent ease with which he revealed his connections to power showed poor judgment and potentially placed sensitive information about the government and the country’s most important economic driver, the oil sands, in a vulnerable and exploitable situation, the former CSIS agents said.Though the current Carson scandal may simply be nothing more than it appears on the surface, the situation has again revealed just how vulnerable the inner sanctum of the state could be to criminal or foreign entities.“This is extremely poor judgment of someone in high power,” said Juneau-Katsuya. “How come the government didn’t know better? Here I will bring back the exact same criticism that I had when the Bernier affair happened. There was the lack of background checks, a lack of security.”Several sources with knowledge of McPherson and her relationship with Carson, pointed to another individual in the background also actively involved in her life.The individual’s identity is known to APTN and in one conversation with a reporter revealed a piece of information known only to McPherson and those close to her, including Carson, that confirmed the intimate nature of the individual’s connection to the 22-year-old.Carson was also confronted with the individual’s identity.Adding to this winding tale is McPherson’s mother, Christine McPherson, who said she worked for a high ranking government official in Qatar for four years. In an interview with APTN, McPherson said she ran companies for a high-ranking government official and cousin of Qatar’s prime minister.“I worked with him and some of his companies,” said McPherson. “The companies we ran together were really focused on trying to make Qatar a better place from a development point of view.”When asked how she ended up going from with a senior government official in Qatar to working for an Ottawa-based company, McPherson said friends brought them together.“We kind of all have mutual contacts,” she said.According to McPherson’s Linkedin account, one of the companies she worked for was Maximus HRM.According to its Web site, Maximus HRM provides workers to Canada from Qatar and the Philippines, facilitates joint ventures with companies in Qatar and helps Canadian companies set up “operations in Qatar.”The company’s address is shared with that of H2O Pros, according to its Web site.“No one I have worked with in Qatar or know there even knows of Bruce Carson and he has never been discussed with anyone. My work there was completely different and there is no relevance to Bruce Carson or H2O,” Christine McPherson said when asked about her work in Qatar.Christine McPherson has emerged as the main spokesperson for H2O Global Group, which shares the same president with H2O Pros, Patrick Hill.McPherson said in a press release Wednesday that H2O Global Group had cancelled a contract signed in August between Michele McPherson and H2O Pros giving Michele 20 per cent of gross revenues from sales.On Tuesday evening, Hill told APTN the August contract was a “sample contract,” and that a second version had since been signed giving McPherson a cut on every water filtration system sold to each home on a reserve.Hill said McPherson would get 15 per cent on the sale of each system if it was below $6,500 and 20 per cent if above.According to Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada records,Carson went bankrupt in 2002 and 1993. In 2002, he had total liabilities of $369,000 and zero assets. In 1993, Carson had liabilities of $103,359, and $250 in assets, records show.During background checks before hiring for sensitive positions such as in the PMO, candidates are asked if they’ve ever declared bankruptcy or carrying extreme debt. The information is used to asses where the candidate could be susceptible to financial-related influence.Carson was disbarred in 1981 and served time in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of defrauding clients.kennethbrianjackson@gmail.comjbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

Face of antiviolence movement attacked in Winnipeg

first_imgAPTN National NewsThere have been a number of high profile acts of violence in Winnipeg in recent months.Now, the face of an anti-violence movement in the city has himself been attacked.The attack comes just days before the anniversary of an anti-violence movement he started to make the community a safer place.APTN’s Dennis Ward has more.last_img

Kashechewan parents avoid the water despite getting clearance to use it

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe pictures are undeniably painful to look at.Young children in Kashechewan First Nation on the shores of Hudson Bay covered in rashes and blisters.Parents say the skin problems come from the water.But medical experts say it’s more about over-crowded housing.APTN’s Annette Francis is in Kashechewan and files this story.last_img

Nipissing First Nation mulls banning cannabis sales ahead of legalization

first_imgAnnette FrancisAPTN NewsRecreational cannabis will soon be legal in Canada.Although the legislation is still being sorted out across the provinces, some First Nations in Ontario are trying to get ahead of the game, while others are holding off.APTN’s Annette Francis visited Nipissing First Nation to hear how that community is planning to deal with legalization.afrancis@aptn.calast_img

Plant walk a peek inside traditional medicine chest

first_imgChief Jerry Daniels (left) and his uncle David Daniels lead a medicine walk through a Prairie meadow. (Beverly Andrews/APTN)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsA First Nation Elder says you can make a salad with wild plants growing in your backyard if you know what to look for.“Pigweed is more nutritious than kale,” said David Daniels, who hosted a medicine-picking tour on Manitoba’s Long Plain First Nation last month.“But some plants will kill you.”David is an uncle of Jerry Daniels, grand chief of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization.SCO has more tours scheduled in Manitoba this summer to share the medicinal and nutritional value of native plants.Medicines picked during the tours will be gifted to visitors at the upcoming Anishinaabe Nation Gathering – a huge celebration SCO is holding in August.Jerry Daniels accompanied the group – many of whom wore traditional ribbon skirts and shirts — donned in elaborately beaded medicine-picking regalia.“My grandfather was a medicine man and he wore an outfit like this many years ago,” he said.“We’re hoping to pass that on so that more of us are collectively aware of the land and its impact on our life.”There are two types of sage – female (pictured) and male – used in sacred medicine. (Kathleen Martens/APTN)Over the course of two hours, David talked about the traditional value of the trees, bushes and plants that grow all around us.Some of which are used in traditional Indigenous ceremonies.He also pointed out what can help and what can hurt, emphasizing the difference between what is original and what isn’t.“Plantain is an import,” he said of what many consider a common weed.“It makes a nice tea for healing and helps with bug bites.”He said lamb’s quarters hails from the goosefoot family, which includes quinoa, spinach, beets and Swiss chard.“Have a taste,” he said, handing out pieces of greenery under the hot sun. “It tastes like spinach.”Berry bushes and ground-covering plants can heal, nourish and cleanse us, added David, who grew up and still lives on Long Plain First Nation.“Rose hips you can eat right from the bush and it actually tastes good,” he said, noting rhubarb shampoo is great for hair.“And rhubarb pie,” he added.Daniels wears beaded medicine-picking regalia first modelled by his grandfather. (Beverly Andrews/APTN)The nature walk, which weaved along gravel roads and through thick bush towards the Assiniboine River, saw the elder pointing out poison ivy along the way.David said he brews a special tea to combat its itchy effects. And, he showed us how to spread the creamy centre of the milkweed plant on unsightly moles.“Take the yarrow plant,” he said, stopping to point out the tall bush common along roadways.In the Trojan War, hero “Achilles advised soldiers to apply this plant to stop the bleeding” of their wounds, he said.“Pass that along and have a sniff.”Rheane Brandon loved the knowledge David shared on the tour.“I came out here to learn our traditional medicine,” she said later.“It is important for our kids to learn because many of our remedies have been lost.”The elder says creamy centre of the milkweed plant can fade skin moles. (Kathleen Martens/APTN)But some plants were still kept a secret.More than once we watched as the elder and junior Daniels disappeared into the bush and reappeared with a root or a bloom – and an interesting anecdote.“This heals sores that don’t heal,” was the only hint we got.That’s why they call elders the ‘knowledge-keepers’, noted Jerry.“People need to understand that that relationship is a very significant and deep relationship that’s developed over time…“And you can actually hear the land speak to you.”last_img read more