Netflix to Bow Amanda Knox Doc Films From Leonardo DiCaprio Werner Herzog

first_imgNetflix is launching four documentary films at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, including one about Amanda Knox, the American woman who spent nearly four years in an Italian prison for the murder of a roommate before she was acquitted. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebooklast_img

Samsung Canada Announces Update on Return and Exchange of Note7 Devices

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Advertisement As part of our commitment to ongoing safety, Samsung Canada would like to make our customers aware of our plans to deactivate service for remaining Note7 devices in the Canadian market. We are pleased with the return and exchange rate of Note7 devices from Canadian consumers, securing close to 90% of the Note7 devices that were brought into the Canadian market.Functional limitations, including a limitation on the battery charge, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth disablement will be implemented as early as December 12th, 2016.  Effective December 15th, 2016, customers still using the Note7 will no longer be able to connect to any Canadian mobile network services to make calls, use data or send text messages.We strongly urge any customers still using their Note7 to return their device to the place of purchase for a refund or exchange between December 7th and December 15th.  We have been in continuous communication with Note7 customers to remind them about the need to return their recalled device and will continue to communicate daily with a push notification about this network deactivation event to ensure they continue to receive adequate notice. Twitter Login/Register With: As a recalled product, Note7 device owners are legally prohibited from selling or even giving away the recalled device.  We would like to remind customers that they need to return their Note7 device.In the event of an emergency, Note7 devices will be able to dial 9-1-1.About Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc.Samsung Electronics Canada inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances and printers. In 2015, Samsung was ranked one of the top 10 most influential brands in Canada, based on a study by Ipsos Reid. Committed to helping Canadians live connected and make a difference, its Samsung Hope for Children corporate giving program supports children’s education, sustainability and health-related issues in communities across the country. To discover more, please visit http://www.samsung.com/ca. Advertisementlast_img read more

Vancouver Web Fest and Conference 2018

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement For more information on scheduled speakers, workshops, VR experience & screenings and to purchase tickets please visit www.vancouverwebfest.comSOCIAL MEDIA LINKSWEBSITE: www.vancouverwebfest.comTWITTER: @VanWebFestFACEBOOK: Facebook.com/VancouverWebFestINSTAGRAM: Instagram.com/vanwebfest#VWF18 About Vancouver Web Fest: Founded in 2013 by Executive Director, Suzette Laqua, Vancouver Web Fest (VWF) is a Not-for-Profit Society and Canada’s Premier International Online Content Festival. The Vancouver Web Fest brings digital content creators from around the world to celebrate the progressive evolution of entertainment and programming created exclusively for the Internet. The three-day festival hosts workshops, screenings, pitch sessions, panels featuring industry experts, creator’s day, networking parties, and concludes with an awards ceremony gala. The festival is an annual event and has been ranked as one of the top web festivals around the world. Discover, Experience, Participate | Vancouver Web Festival & Conference Login/Register With: Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Vancouver, CANADA – DISCOVER, EXPERIENCE, PARTICIPATE VWF is focusing on storytelling advancements in web content. This includes awards and recognition for new digital series, pilots and VR categories to complement the existing digital series categories. Virtual Reality thought leaders, Hammer & Tong, will be participating as VWF continues to explore the major role technology plays in the sharing of stories. The VR element to VWF18 will include panels, workshops and VR display participation. During the three-day festival, VWF will also include a fan-facing  Influencer Day, set for Saturday April 21st, with special guest panels, influencer-fan meet-ups and interactive performances with YouTubers and other online talent. This will help VWF bring web content fans closer to their idols. Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

CANADAS MARGARET ATWOODS THE HANDMAIDS TALE WINS TOPS EMMY AWARD PRIZES

first_imgLOS ANGELES — The dystopian series “The Handmaid’s Tale” was crowned best TV drama on Sunday at the Emmy Awards, also winning best drama writing and directing and earning Elizabeth Moss a best actress statuette and Ann Dowd a best drama supporting actress award. “Veep” and “Saturday Night Live” were also big winners.Sterling K. Brown won his second back-to-back Emmy for his role in the series “This Is Us” and in his speech honored Andre Braugher, who was the last black man to claim top drama performance honors, for “Homicide: Life on the Street” in 1998.“It does feel different but for different reasons. I’m the first African-American in 16 years nominated. That kind of blows my mind,” he said. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Moss won her first Emmy and thanked her mother in a speech that was peppered with expletives.Donald Glover won the best comedy actor for “Atlanta,” which he created and which carries his distinctive voice, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus was honored for a sixth time for her role as a self-absorbed politician in the comedy “Veep,” named best comedy for the third time.“I want to thank Trump for making black people No. 1 on the most oppressed list. He’s the reason I’m probably up here,” Glover said, acknowledging the entertainment industry’s and the Emmys’ tilt toward the nonstop political under President Donald Trump.Combined with Emmys that Louis-Dreyfus has won for “Seinfeld” and “New Adventures of Old Christine,” her latest trophy tied her with Cloris Leachman as the most-winning Emmy performer ever.“Saturday Night Live” triumphed early for a season of skewering President Donald Trump, while the ceremony and host Stephen Colbert did likewise.“I remember the first time we won this award,” creator Lorne Michaels said in accepting the show’s trophy for best variety sketch series. “It was after the first season in 1976. I remember thinking … this was the high point,” and there would never be “another season as crazy, as unpredictable, as frightening, as exhausting or as exhilarating. Turns out I was wrong.”The trophies for best supporting comedy acting went to Kate McKinnon, who played Hillary Clinton on “SNL,” and Alec Baldwin for his Trump portrayal on the NBC show.McKinnon thanked Clinton for her “grace and grit.” Baldwin spoke directly to Trump, who has complained in the past that he was cheated out of a trophy for hosting “Celebrity Apprentice”: “I suppose I should say, ‘At long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy.’”Melissa McCarthy was honored at last weekend’s creative arts Emmys as best guest actress for her “SNL” work, including portraying Sean Spicer. The former White House press secretary made a surprise Emmys appearance, wheeling in his own podium.“This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the world,” Spicer shouted with authority, echoing his claim that Trump’s inauguration crowd was the biggest ever and evoking McCarthy’s manic portrayal of him.Colbert’s song-and-dance opening — with help from Chance the Rapper — included the song “Everything Is Better on TV,” which repeatedly slammed Trump, mentioning his ties to Russia and including the lyric “even treason is better on TV.”John Lithgow, who received the best supporting drama actor for his role as British leader Winston Churchill in “The Crown,” took a more diplomatic approach to political commentary.“Most of all I have to thank Winston Churchill. In these crazy times, his life, even as an old man, reminds us what courage and leadership in government really looks like,” Lithgow said.Many celebrities wore blue ribbons support the American Civil Liberties Union, which sought to shed light on the plight of young immigrants facing the potential of being deported.“Big Little Lies” won the limited series award, with Nicole Kidman taking the lead actress award and supporting honors going to her castmates Alexander Skarsgard and Laura Dern.“More great roles for women, please,” said Kidman as she and her fellow executive producer and co-star Reese Witherspoon accepted the miniseries’ award.Riz Ahmed was honored as best limited series actor for “The Night Of.” “Black Mirror: San Junipero” was named best TV movie.Lena Waithe became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for comedy series writing, for “Master of None,” sharing the award with series co-creator Aziz Ansari, who is of Indian heritage.“The things that make us different, those are superpowers,” Waithe said. “Thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the south side of Chicago,” she said, basking in a standing ovation from the theater audience.TV academy President and CEO Hayma Washington paid tribute to TV’s increasing diversity. That was reflected in the record number of African-American continuing series acting nominees, but Latinos were overlooked and Ansari was the only Asian-American contender.“The Voice” won the reality competition category. “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” won the award for variety talk series, prompting also-rans Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel to jokingly raise a glass to each other and speculate maybe the wrong name was announced.The “In Memorian” segment had several notable exclusions, including Dick Gregory and Harry Dean Stanton. Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

Lights Camera Classroom The Tween Drama Backstage Returns March 12 On Family

first_imgDevyn Nekoda and Colin Petierre star in Backstage (CNW Group/Family Channel) Family Channel’s multi-platform offerings will also be joining the March Break celebrations with new episodes of Backstage available on the The Family Channel App beginning March 9. Immediately following each episode’s broadcast premiere, fans can head to the App to watch the next episode of Backstage, one day early! Those looking to catch up on past episodes can take advantage of the App’s Free Preview, which currently offers the entire first season of Backstage and the first part of Massive Monster Mayhem to users without a subscription throughout February and March. New episodes will also be available on Family OnDemand, with a sampling on Family.ca.Backstage stars Josh Bogert as Miles; Aviva Mongillo as Alya; Mckenzie Small as Scarlett; Devyn Nekoda as Vanessa; Alyssa Trask as Carly; Colin Petierre as Sasha; Matthew Isen as Jax; Julia Tomasone as Bianca; Romy Weltman as Kit, Kyal Legend as Julie, Adrianna Di Liello as Jenna and Madison MacGregor as Cassandra. Joining the cast for season two are: Thomas L. Colford (Center Stage: On Pointe) as Beckett; Joshua Kilimnik (Odd Squad, Bruno & Boots movies) as George; Stephanie La Rochelle (Heartland) as Frances; Sydney Kuhne (Dino Dan) as Azadehl; Robert Bazzocchi as Aidan; Corteon Moore as Matteo; and Hailey Fauchere as Mindy.Commissioned by DHX Television, Backstage was created and developed by Fresh TV. The series’ executive producers are Brian Irving, who also serves as producer; Lara Azzopardi, the series’ co-creator, show runner, writer and director; Jennifer Pertsch, also co-creator; Tom McGillis and George Elliott. Mario Azzopardi (Stargate SG-1, The Outer Limits, Degrassi) also directs. Backstage is internationally distributed by DHX Media.Season two of Backstage premieres March 12. View the trailer here:Family Channel offers the best in family television entertainment in a premium, high-definition, multiplatform environment. Dedicated to celebrating family life and providing a daily vacation for Canadian families, Family airs a unique mix of top-rated Canadian and acquired series, movies and specials. Family Channel subscribers have access to the Family Channel App, Family OnDemand and Family Online at no additional cost, to see hit movies and series when they want them, where they want them. Visit us at Family.ca.About DHX Television DHX Television is composed of Family Channel, Family CHRGD, Family Jr. and Télémagino, and is part of DHX Media Ltd., a leading creator, producer, marketer and broadcaster of family entertainment. Dedicated to celebrating family fun, DHX Television delivers best-in-class programming through premium subscriptions and its original production mandate, and creates and produces captivating in-market events that appeal to Canadian families. DHX Television is home to world-renowned series including The Next Step, Degrassi: Next Class and Teletubbies. DHX Media Ltd. has offices globally, and is traded on the NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With:center_img TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2018 – It may be March Break for most fans, but class is back in session at Keaton School of the Arts as Family Channel’s popular tween drama Backstage returns for its second season. Premiering Monday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT, the highly anticipated second season debuts as a full week event, with new episodes airing daily at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT until Friday, March 16, and an advance preview on The Family Channel App. The all-new season headlines Family’s March Break programming lineup, which includes the return of the out-of-this-world competition series Massive Monster Mayhem and new movies every day!Backstage follows a group of exceptionally talented teenagers as they face the challenges that come with attending the prestigious Keaton School of the Arts. Season two welcomes a brand new school year for the students with the emergence of new rivalries, friendships and a multi-school arts competition. The series, which is filmed in Toronto, features an all-Canadian cast and all-original musical score, with episodes directed by some of today’s most notable music video directors including RT! (Snoop Dogg, Sean Paul), Director X (Drake, Rihanna, Zayn), Wendy Morgan(Dragonette, Janelle Monáe) and Warren Sonoda (Johnny Reid, George Canyon). Following premiere week, Backstagemoves to its regular timeslot, Fridays at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT.Season two of Backstage premieres as part of Family Channel’s March Break lineup, a can’t-miss programming event for the entire family. The fun officially begins on Friday, March 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT with the network premiere of Daddy’s Home (starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell) and features must-see movies daily at 7 p.m. ET/PT, from March 10 – 18. Movie titles include: The Smurfs, Astro Boy, Hotel Transylvania, Monster House, Zathura: A Space Adventure, Away & Back, Open Season 3, Surf’s Up and The Peanuts Movie. The festivities also include the return of Massive Monster Mayhem, a laugh-out-loud comedy that pits real-life kids against all-star monsters in the most grueling and toughest challenges known to mankind. New episodes will debut on Monday, March 12, Wednesday, March 14, and Friday, March 16 at 9:30 a.m. ET/PT, before the series moves to its regular timeslot on March 24, Saturdays at 9 a.m. ET/PT. Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

CANADIAN MEMBERS OF OSCARS ACADEMY WEIGH IN ON CHANGES

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Guillermo del Toro, left, winner of the awards for best director for The Shape of Water and best picture for The Shape of Water, and J. Miles Dale, winner of the award for best picture for The Shape of Water, pose in the press room at the 2018 Oscars March 4 in Los Angeles. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/Associated Press)center_img “I think the academy has to decide what it is and what purpose it serves,” Dale says. “These are people working at the top of their craft who are deciding what they think about these movies…(but) for Disney and ABC, it’s about TV ratings. So what is it about? That’s a conflict.“This isn’t the People’s Choice Awards, and if it was, that would be a different story.” Canadian members of the Oscars academy weigh in on new changes to the show. (Matt Sayles/Associated Press) If there’s one Canadian who understands the consequences of an Oscars show that runs too long, it’s J. Miles Dale.The Toronto producer’s best-picture acceptance speech for The Shape of Water at this year’s Academy Awards was unceremoniously cut off by music because the show was running too long and needed to squeeze in a comedy bit involving a Jet Ski at the very end.As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences attempts to shorten the show to three hours and add a “popular film” category as part of changes announced earlier this week, Dale and some other Canadian academy members question the direction the Oscars are headed in. Dale says while he understands the academy is trying to include more mainstream fare with the new category and reach more Oscars viewers after years of slumping ratings, it’s also possibly compromising what it stands for. Twitterlast_img read more

ENGINEER SAYS PLANS FOR RADIOHEAD STAGE THAT COLLAPSED HAD SLOPPY MISTAKES

first_img Facebook Radiohead Stage Collapse Twitter Advertisement Advertisement Cugliari, contractor Optex Staging and the show’s promoter, Live Nation, were charged under provincial health and safety laws in connection with the incident but the case was halted because it took too long to get to trial. The case was thrown off course when the presiding judge was appointed to a higher court, prompting another judge to declare a mistrial.The court eventually agreed with the defence that the delays had violated the accused’s rights to a timely trial.By Paola Loriggio ~ The Canadian Presscenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement An engineer who approved the plans for a stage that collapsed before a Radiohead concert in Toronto says the drawings contained “very sloppy” mistakes.Domenic Cugliari is testifying at a coroner’s inquest into the death of Scott Johnson, a drum technician who was killed when the structure came crashing down just hours before the show was set to start on June 16, 2012.Cugliari says the stage plans didn’t spell out how to attach beams to the trusses in the roof grid and included “conceptual drawings” that should not have been submitted to the contractor. He says there were also inconsistencies that would likely have been caught if another engineer had reviewed the documents. Login/Register With:last_img read more

Harper government now has legal obligation to make Shannens Dream reality Mulcair

first_imgAPTN National NewsThomas Mulcair, one of the reported frontrunners in the NDP leadership race, was in Winnipeg Tuesday.Mulcair announced his vision for renewing the relationship between Canada and its Indigenous people.Mulcair was in-studio to talk about what this would mean.last_img

Enbridges pipeline dreams may never become reality

first_imgAPTN National NewsThere are many who believe that Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline is a pipe dream.The opposition to it is large and the political will to push it through appears to be diminishing.It is a shocking turn of events for a project considered key for the Harper government’s economic plan for the country.In the first of a two-part series, APTN’s Rob Smith takes a look back at what still threatens to be the most explosive issue in B.C.’s history.last_img

Mother of alleged Pickton victim may have gotten wrong remains

first_imgAPTN National NewsAlthough serial killer Robert Pickton was convicted in 2007 for killing six women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside one mother faces an on-going traumatizing experience.The remains of her daughter authorities gave her may not be her daughter.APTN’s Tina House has the story that some may find disturbing.last_img

Fate of the renowned Manitou Stone still undecided

first_imgChris StewartAPTN National News The Manitou Stone is an ancient meteorite, weighing in at 150 kilograms. For many people, the 4-billion year old Manitou Stone is considered to be a sacred object. Some people say you can see the face of creator in it.The stone was revered by First Nations, but in the 1800’s, it was taken by missionaries and shown across Canada. Until 1972, when it was put on display at the Royal Alberta Museum.Now that the museum is closed as construction of the new museum continues, some are wondering where the stone will go next.As Chris Stewart explains, some people don’t think the stone belongs in a museum.cstewart@aptn.calast_img

Yukons largest nation signs inaugural deal to retain rights to leased land

first_imgShirley McLean APTN National NewsYukon’s largest First Nation is also the first to sign a unique deal with the territorial government.It allows the Kwanlin Dün First Nation to register settlement land under Yukon’s Land Titles Act, paving the way for new opportunities, and mortgages, for members.last_img

She wanted a ride back Tina Fontaine sought ride out of Winnipeg

first_imgThe Canadian Press WINNIPEG – About two weeks before her death, 15-year-old Tina Fontaine asked for a ride from Winnipeg to the home where she had grown up, court was told Monday.Family friend Steven Whitehurst told court he didn’t receive Tina’s social media message immediately and it was the last time he heard from her.“She wanted a ride back,” Whitehurst told the second-degree murder trial of Raymond Cormier. “She was asking if we’d left yet.”Whitehurst said he knew Tina all her life and had been in a long-term relationship with one of her aunts. He testified that he saw Tina a few times the summer of 2014 and, on July 28, was heading to Fort Alexander, a community near the home where Tina had been raised by a great-aunt.He told court he didn’t get Tina’s message on his cellphone for some time because he was already driving through an area with spotty cell coverage. By then, it was too late.Fontaine’s body was pulled from the Red River in August. She had been wrapped in a duvet cover that also contained rocks to weigh her down.Her death led to renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.Crown attorney James Ross told court in his opening statement that Tina grew up in a safe and happy environment near the Sagkeeng First Nation, a 90-minute drive northeast of Winnipeg, but was sexually exploited after going to the city to visit her mother.Other friends and relatives testified Monday they saw Tina in the summer of 2014.One of her aunts, Angie Duck, said Tina appeared well and had nice clothes on when she snapped a photo of family members July 22. Another aunt, Lana Fontaine, recalled Tina sleeping over at her place for two nights on the August long weekend. Tina stopped by another time and was cold so she was given a sweater, Lana Fontaine said.The trial, now into its second week, has to date largely dealt with forensic evidence and experts.The jury has heard from a pathologist who said he could find no definitive cause of death. Tina’s body showed no obvious signs of injuries or blunt-force trauma. There was also no DNA evidence from Cormier on the duvet cover in which she was wrapped.The Crown has produced three witnesses who say Cormier owned the same style of duvet cover. The cover had a distinctive pattern that of scattered leaves and was only available in Winnipeg at three Costco stores.Last week, a woman who lived at a house where Cormier slept in a backyard tent said she saw two hole from cigarette burns in the duvet cover he had.On Monday, the jury got to see the duvet that was wrapped around Tina. Winnipeg police Const. Garrett Carrette showed the jury two holes.Under cross-examination, Carrette agreed with Cormier’s lawyer that the holes looked like rips or tears in the fabric.last_img read more

Lawyer representing Metis man in Alberta who accepted fish says this could

first_imgTamara PimentelAPTN NewsA Metis man in Alberta is facing charges for accepting fish from a First Nations fisher breaking the fish and wildlife laws.Dwayne Roth is representing Kenton Klein who accepted 22 whitefish and 20 bags of walleye.“Kenton has been going up to Fort Chip for many, many years,” said Roth. “He knows a lot of people in the community. Sharing of food between Aboriginal peoples is not that uncommon up here.”In March 2018, Lee Ladouceur, a Dene man from Fort Chipewyan said he gave Klein the fish as a gift for helping him out.Klein was then caught with the fish and charged with eight counts under both federal and provincial laws for accepting fish.According to a statement provided by Alberta Fish and Wildlife, “Fish caught under the authority of a Treaty Right are only able to be shared with family members of the individual who caught the fish, and may not be gifted to any other persons who are not also an Indian.”Fort Chipewyan is one of Alberta’s oldest settlements and is home to the Dene, Mikisew Cree and Metis.The northern remote hamlet sits on the shores of Lake Athabasca, one of the largest sources of food for the people who live there.Sharing harvested food between First Nations and Metis has always taken place.We help one another,” said Elder Raymond Ladouceur. “Since I can remember since I was a child my grandfather did that, my parents did the same and I did that since I was young.”The community of Fort Chipewyan is on edge.Lee Ladouceur is also facing charges for fishing without an Indian Domestice Fishing License.Raymond Ladouceur says society has to change.“I think white man’s got to start realizing, let us have our ways the way we were,” he said. “Help one another, feed one another. It’s shameful to try to charge us, charge the people. I disagree with that. Let us live the way we lived, we never bothered anybody, we help one another.“What if I went south, somewhere south in the city and there’s a white man that’s hungry there and has nothing for his family, I can’t give him some fish to feed his family? That’s totally wrong.”Robert Grandjambe is Cree and owns a dog team that he takes tourists out on.He regularly has a net out on Lake Athabasca which he pulls to feed his family and his dog team.“They put in so many laws now that effect the traditional way of life. And one of them is an example of not being able to share. It’s actually illegal to share anything or give anything away anymore. That’s not our law,” said Grandjambe.“Why is it that another group of people has infringed on somebody’s way of life it’s really not fair.”Grandjambe also said there needs to be some boundaries when it comes to harvesting.“We should not be able to kill 15 moose a year it’s our right to do so but we should not be allowed to because we’ve evolved as a human species to take and take and take we don’t know when to stop,” he said.“We’ve become a very greedy nation.”Another issue, is the Crown doesn’t feel Klein is a historic Metis in northern Alberta. Klein has lived in Athabasca most of his life and can trace his roots to the Red River, but he was born in Saskatchewan.“So we have to look at ‘what is a historic Metis?’” Roth said, “We’re trying to say that it’s the Metis Nation from the Red River to the Rockies. That is our historic Metis community and we’re putting that to the test as well.’Roth said there has not been a case that has been successful in establishing Metis hunting and fishing rights – but this one could do just that.“To have that precedent out there that there is Metis rights in the heart of the billion dollar oil sands industry will change the dynamic,” said Roth. “It will provide the Metis communities with a bit more leverage when it comes to dealing with oil sands industry because they will be able to say ‘here’s a case that establishes that we have Aboriginal rights in this area.’”Neither Lee Ladouceur or Klein can speak with the media while their case is before the court.The judge in the case has set aside 23 days for the hearings that are expected to take place in early 2020.tpimentel@aptn.ca@Tamara_APTNlast_img read more

Claims for US jobless aid rise by 12000 to 272000

first_imgWASHINGTON – The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose by 12,000 last week to 272,000 as Florida continued to absorb the economic impact of Hurricane Irma.NUMBERS: The Labor Department said Thursday that the less-volatile four-week average rose by 9,000 to 277,750, highest since February 2016. Overall, the number of Americans collecting unemployment checks has fallen nearly 7 per cent over the past year to 1.93 million.KEY DRIVERS: In the aftermath of Irma, claims rose 81 per cent in Florida and 66 per cent in Georgia from a week earlier. But claims fell 29 per cent in Texas as the economic impact of Hurricane Harvey continued to fade. Labor Department figures show claims fell last week in Puerto Rico, reeling from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. But the picture is unclear because Maria disrupted the collection of data.THE TAKEAWAY: Unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. Despite the impact of the storms, the overall level of claims remains low, suggesting that most American workers enjoy job security. The unemployment rate is at 4.4 per cent, near a 16-year low.Employers are adding an average 176,000 jobs a month so far in 2017, solid but down from 187,000 a month last year and 226,000 a month in 2015. Many businesses complain that they can’t find enough workers.last_img read more

Morneau tries to reassure farmers over Liberals controversial tax proposals

first_imgOTTAWA – Finance Minister Bill Morneau tried to reassure farmers Thursday that the federal government’s controversial tax proposals won’t impair their ability to bequeath the family farm to the next generation.Morneau said Thursday that “technical fixes” for the proposals may be on the way when it comes to the issue of keeping the family farm in the family.The minister was among more than a dozen witnesses testifying before a parliamentary committee that’s examining proposed tax changes for private corporations — measures that have subjected the Trudeau government to an onslaught of public and political outrage.Opponents of the reforms insist the changes would hurt Canadians at different income levels and from many different sectors, including doctors, farmers and small business owners.Farmers have raised particular concerns about elements of the proposed changes that could add new costs to inter-generational transfers of their family operations.“Our goal is not, and will not be, to change the ability to move a family business, a family farm, a fishing business from one generation to the next,” Morneau said after his appearance.“There may be technical fixes to make sure that we get that right.”Morneau also warned that critics are spreading misinformation about the proposed tax changes, particularly when it comes to how they might affect farmers.The Liberal government has been engaged in a communications war over its plan, which it insists would end tax advantages unfairly exploited by some wealthy business owners.Inside the committee room Thursday, Morneau faced sharp criticism from political opponents over his three-part plan to change the tax system.One rival noted after the hearing that Morneau appears to bending to pressure amid a backlash from angry business owners, several provincial leaders and even public concerns voiced by backbench Liberal MPs.“The result is, I think that he’s looking for an off-ramp for some of these proposals,” Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said after the meeting.“He does look like a minister who’s on the run.”On the farmer-succession issue, New Democrat MP Alexandre Boulerice said: “I hope he will do the right thing because there’s a lot of fear right now.”Morneau argues the proposals are designed to create a fairer tax system, especially for those in the so-called middle class, but he says he’s open to adjusting it after a consultation period ends next week.Critics of the plan say it would hurt entrepreneurs who take personal financial risks when they decide to open a business and hire staff.The federal tax-reform package includes restrictions on the ability of business owners to reduce their tax rate by sprinkling their income to family members in lower tax brackets, even if those family members do not contribute to the company.Morneau has also proposed limits on the use of private corporations to make passive investments that are unrelated to the company. Another change would limit business owners’ ability to convert regular income of a corporation into capital gains, which are typically taxed at a lower rate.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

TD Bank discounts 5year variable mortgage rate as competition heats up

first_imgTORONTO – TD Bank is joining a rival bank in offering a highly discounted variable mortgage rate as competition among Canada’s biggest lenders heats up.The Toronto-based bank said Tuesday it’s lowering its five-year variable closed rate to 2.45 per cent, or 1.15 per cent lower than its TD Mortgage Prime rate, until May 31.TD’s special rate follows last week’s move by the Bank of Montreal, which discounted its variable mortgage rate to 2.45 per cent until the end of May.Canada’s lenders often offer special spring mortgage rates as homebuying activity picks up, but Robert McLister — founder of rate comparison website RateSpy.com — said last week that BMO’s special discounted variable rate was the biggest widely advertised discount ever by a Big Six Canadian bank.TD’s discounted rate on Tuesday brings its variable mortgage rate offer in line with BMO’s.“TD is not lying down,” McLister said Tuesday. “Mortgage growth is the lowest since 2001, you’ve got interest rates going up, and less people getting mortgages because of that… They have the ability to match this rate and still make money.”TD spokeswoman Julie Bellissimo says its special five-year variable rate applies to new and renewed mortgages, as well as the variable rate term portion of certain TD home equity lines of credit.“We are confident this is a strong offer for new and renewing customers, while ensuring we remain competitive in a changing environment,” Bellissimo said in an emailed statement.The moves come amid slowing mortgage growth. The Canadian Real Estate Association said Tuesday that national home sales volume sank to the lowest level in more than five years in April, falling by 13.9 per cent from the same month last year. The national average sale price decreased by 11.3 per cent year-over-year.Home sales have slowed due to various factors, including measures introduced by the Ontario and B.C. governments to cool the housing market, such as taxes on non-resident buyers.Other headwinds for mortgage growth include higher interest rates and a new financial stress test that makes it more difficult for would-be homebuyers to qualify with federally regulated lenders, such as the banks.As of Jan. 1, buyers who don’t need mortgage insurance must prove they can make payments at a qualifying rate of the greater of two percentage points higher than the contractual mortgage rate or the central bank’s five-year benchmark rate. An existing stress test also stipulates that homebuyers with less than a 20 per cent down payment seeking an insured mortgage must qualify at the central bank’s benchmark five-year mortgage rate.The tighter lending rules are making it harder for homebuyers to qualify for uninsured mortgages, and shrinking the pool of qualified buyers for higher-priced homes, CREA’s chief economist Gregory Klump said in April.Meanwhile, Canada’s largest lenders all raised their benchmark posted five-year fixed mortgage rates in recent weeks as government bond yields increased, signalling a rise in borrowing costs.In turn, the central bank’s five year benchmark qualifying rate — which is calculated using the posted rates at the Big Six banks — increased last week to 5.34 per cent. This qualifying rate is used in stress tests for both insured and uninsured mortgages, and an increase means that the bar is now even higher for borrowers to qualify.As well, since July, the Bank of Canada has raised interest rates three times to 1.25 per cent, putting added pressure on consumers. But a rising interest rate environment also means that the margins — or profit made on loans — on mortgages for banks will improve if interest rates rise. Rising interest rates also drive up demand for fixed-rate mortgages, and banks may discount variable mortgage rates in an effort to balance the books, according to McLister.Companies in this story: (TSX:TD, TSX:BMO)last_img read more

Global markets sink again as tech and retail stocks drop

first_imgNEW YORK — Stocks are skidding Tuesday morning, putting the market back into the red for the year, as weak results from retailers and mounting losses for big technology companies compound the market’s losses from the day before. Energy and industrial companies are also dropping.Target plunged after reporting earnings that missed Wall Street’s estimates, while Ross Stores, TJX and Kohl’s all gave disappointing forecasts. High-profile tech and consumer companies including Apple, Amazon and Microsoft continued to sink.Boeing fell following reports it cancelled a conference call where the company planned to discuss systems on its 737 jet. A Boeing 737 crashed shortly after takeoff in Indonesia last month, killing 189 people.The S&P 500 index lost 45 points, or 1.7 per cent, to 2,645 as of 10:15 a.m. Eastern time. The benchmark index is now about 10 per cent below the peak it reached in late September.The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 568 points, or 2.3 per cent, to 24,442. The Nasdaq composite lost 184 points, or 2.7 per cent, to 6,842. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed 29 points, or 2 per cent, to 1,466.Investors continued to flee the technology giants that have led the stock market higher in years past. Apple fell 3.4 per cent to $179.62 and Amazon gave up 3.8 per cent to $1,455. Microsoft lost 3 per cent to $101.50. All three stocks have outperformed the market this year, but they’ve suffered steep losses more recently.Tech stocks were among the biggest losers in Europe, too. Nokia, a big supplier of telecom networks, saw its shares drop 4 per cent, while its Swedish rival Ericsson was down 3.5 per cent. SAP, which provides business software and cloud computing services, was down over 2 per cent. Chip maker Infineon Technologies fell about 3 per cent.Target skidded 9 per cent to $70.22 after it said its growing investments in its online business and in stores are bringing in shoppers, but are affecting its profits. Department store Kohl’s gave up 9.8 per cent to $64.01 and TJX, the parent of TJ Maxx, fell 2.1 per cent to $47.88. Discount chain Ross Stores slid 4.4 per cent to $87.18.Boeing fell 3.3 per cent to $310.43.Investors looked for safer options. Utility companies managed small gains and bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.04 per cent from 3.06 per cent.In Europe, Germany’s DAX index lost 1.4 per cent and France’s CAC 40 shed 1.1 per cent. London’s FTSE 100 retreated 0.7 per cent.Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 1.1 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 2 per cent while Seoul’s Kospi retreated 0.9 per cent.Nissan fell over 5 per cent in Asia as traders there got their first chance to react to the news that its chairman, Carlos Ghosn, who engineered a turnaround at the automaker, was arrested on charges he underreported his income and misused company funds and will be fired.Nissan said Ghosn and another senior executive, Greg Kelly, were accused of offences discovered during an investigation set off by a whistleblower. Kelly also was arrested. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance sold 10.6 million cars last year, more than any other manufacturer. Renault shares dropped 8.4 per cent on Monday and another 2.5 per cent Tuesday.Stocks sank Monday as investors focused on simmering trade tension between Washington and Beijing after the two governments clashed at a weekend conference. The two countries have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a fight over China’s technology policy.Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are due to meet this month at a gathering of the Group of 20 major economies. Investors didn’t react much as the trade dispute ramped up, but more recently they’ve gotten concerned it will drag on and hinder global economic growth.Benchmark U.S. crude lost 5.8 per cent to $53.84 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 3.8 per cent to $64.28 per barrel in London. Oil prices were little changed Monday, but they’ve plunged since early October.The dollar fell to 112.40 yen from 112.54 yen. The euro fell to $1.14 from $1.1453.____AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAPMarley Jay, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Postal negotiators still talking as Senate vote on backtowork bill approaches

first_imgOTTAWA — Both sides say their negotiators remain at the table as a Senate vote on legislation that would force an end to rotating walkouts at Canada Post inches closer.Canada Post says it’s delivering packages this weekend, but at much lower volumes than normal at this time of year.A spokesman for the Crown corporation says work restrictions imposed by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, including a ban on overtime, mean about 30,000 parcels will be delivered to Canadians over the weekend.Jon Hamilton says that number is normally in the range of 500,000 packages in late November.The Senate is set to resume debate tomorrow afternoon (2 p.m. ET) on back-to-work legislation that was introduced by the Trudeau Liberals last week and passed in the House of Commons.A Senate official says a final vote on the bill is expected tomorrow, possibly by early evening with royal assent soon afterwards, barring any proposed amendments that, if passed, could see the legislation returned to the Commons.Postal workers have been holding rotating strikes across the country since Oct. 22, creating substantial backlogs at Canada Post’s main sorting plants in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.Picket lines were up on Sunday in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., as well as in a few areas of British Columbia.CUPW national president Mike Palecek says “all options are on the table” as the union decides how to fight the back-to-work legislation, which the union says violates the rights of postal employees to free and collective bargaining. The Canadian Presslast_img read more