first_imgA few days after the posters were found The Brunswickan reported that a group called The National Socialist Canadian Labour Revival Party (NSCLRP) had claimed responsibility for them. MacDonald described content found on the group’s blog and Facebook page “racist, discriminatory and anti-Semitic.”Days later again, The Brunswickan reported that the self-proclaimed founder of the NSCLRP was Michael Thurlow, who claimed responsibility for two new posters that were found on the university campus, and who found a supporter in Mehta.UNB campus security has been investigating the circumstances around the posters, including whether the person who physically put them up is associated with the university, but has not made any announcements to date, a UNB spokesperson told APTN Wednesday.McPhee said the apparent rise in public displays of racism and the way media report on them are intimately connected, and that journalists have a duty to be more diligent than ever in considering the evolution of conceptions of journalistic objectivity and other fundamental principles that guide journalistic integrity.“I think…the public is becoming a little bit more aware that things aren’t always equal, views aren’t always held equally and we shouldn’t treat them as if they should be held equally,” she said. “When you’re talking about white supremacist, racist views, it’s a lot easier to see that neutrality and free speech and objectivity might not be the best way to go about them — and how as a society are we going to deal with this? Because there is danger in shutting out some views.“Especially with Trump in America and how the press is covering him, the public is becoming more aware that some of these traditional views of what truth is aren’t exactly what we thought they were. Truth might not be something equally as balanced as we thought. It might be a bit trickier to go about than just trying to get two sides going against each other and trying to find a truth from that. You might have to actually hold up one over the other and be able to prove with thorough and rigorous investigation why you’re right.”The 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples reported that “mainstream media do not reflect Aboriginal realities very well,” and that “because Canadians do not hear Aboriginal points of view, they are often left with mistaken impressions about Aboriginal people’s lives and aspirations and the reasons for their actions.”Though Canadian media’s failure to adequately and accurately report Indigenous peoples, nations, cultures and perspectives has been identified time after time, Indigenous people themselves remain acutely aware of the racism and denialism inherent in settler colonial society.“The continued abrogation of Indigenous rights, and the continued denialism that we are experiencing as a country is very serious, and it is completely reflective of the longer-standing efforts in this society to control and dominate Indigenous life as a whole,” says Moran, responding to the recent incidents of residential school denialism.“For those that are seeking to find the silver lining in the cloud, or to deny that the residential schools were bad, we really gotta be honest: why are we trying to do this? Why are you looking for the good in this? Just sit with the bad for a minute and actually put yourself in the shoes of that child.”jbrake@aptn.ca “Rather than attack with a protest against the racism, we bring our circle back together, because somewhere these young people that are doing it have stepped out of the circle of unity within diversity, not realizing we have to live together. They’re trying to impose their actions that hurt, and what we want to do is resist addressing those actions through the same way.“So what we do is bring our circle together, bring our ceremonial gifts that Mother Earth provides for us. So we organized a circle, and we wanted to do it right away so that students didn’t have to carry the burden of being attacked culturally.”Reporting racism and denialismUNB’s student newspaper in Fredericton broke the story of the posters, but not after intense editorial deliberations.Emma McPhee, editor-in-chief of The Brunswickan, and reporter Emma MacDonald decided to only report some of the poster’s text, not all of it, and to “provide context along with what was being said, as well as some of the ironies in what [the poster] were saying and how it didn’t quite make sense.”McPhee told APTN she didn’t want The Brunswickan “to be the platform that these white supremacist views could be spread more broadly,” or to give “more attention to views that are untrue and unfounded.”But after the poster went public on social media, and after mainstream media reported their entire contents, McPhee and MacDonald chose to show the posters in full.The posters claimed “it was slander on whites to say that what they had done to Indigenous people in Canada was bad…and that’s why we took that as being a form of white supremacy,” McPhee explained. “If you’re saying something that is actually true, which was that the European people who colonized what is now Canada took the original inhabitants and tried to ‘civilize’ them—by saying that that isn’t bad, and that calling that bad is slander—that’s a form of white supremacy. It’s taking history and calling it slander.”The Brunswickan issued an editorial statement alongside their coverage of the story, saying “that we condemned any form of hate speech, that we didn’t feel there was any way to cover it objectively or neutrally, just because it was hate speech.“If we were trying to cover it neutrally, we’d be suggesting that hate speech is just as valid as non-hate speech. And we didn’t want to do it that way; we didn’t want there to be any question of where we stood as a publication when it came to hate speech.” Justin Brake APTN NewsIn the wake of the Senator Lynn Beyak controversy, the Gerald Stanley verdict and new reports of racism in the RCMP, critics are speaking out about racism and settler denialism in Canada.As the nation grapples with the aftermath of high profile events that many say reveal the racism inherent in settler colonialism, some observers hope Canadians are coming away with a clearer understanding of their country’s history.“We have to be very honest with ourselves, and we have to as a country drop the natural defense mechanisms that we have, which is denialism, head-in-the-sand-ism, rejectionism, and disbelief that we are in fact telling the truth, and that this truth has been unequivocally proven,” says Ry Moran, Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.Moran is referring to comments by Beyak and others, which he says undermine the credibility of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report and downplay Canada’s Indian residential school system as a tool of cultural genocide.Last year Beyak said residential schools weren’t all bad, and that while “the negative issues” around the schools “must be addressed, it is unfortunate that they are sometimes magnified and considered more newsworthy than the abundance of good” that came from them.The comments were met with widespread backlash, prompting the Harper-appointed Ontario senator to publish more than 100 letters of support on her website, some of them featuring overtly racist comments.Conservative leader Andrew Scheer kicked Beyak out of the party caucus after the senator refused to remove some of the letters on the grounds of free speech. She now sits as an independent.Beyak was not available for an interview but her Parliamentary Affairs Advisor Gerald Myall told APTN News in an emailed statement that the senator “understands the issues that affect the local Indigenous people and has been involved with self help groups for decades,” and that she “realizes that there is still hurt and anger but we need to move forward in compassion and forgiveness, not guilt and blame.”The impact of Beyak’s comments in the Senate and to media, some say, may be reverberating throughout Canada.Racist posters found on university campusLast month posters containing what some have called white supremacist and racist comments were found on the University of New Brunswick campus in Fredericton.They depict a Canadian red ensign flag and urge people to “reject the anti-white narrative being pushed in media and academia,” and to “stop the slander of the founding Europeans of Canada.”They also argue that, “overwhelmingly, Native Americans are beneficiaries, and not victims, of the society built by Europeans.”Dr. Matthew Sears, an Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient History at UNB, found one of the posters on a bulletin board outside his office.He Tweeted it out, with a message that “the consequences of marginalizing indigenous peoples…in the name of ‘free speech,’ are real and hurt real people. Let’s all stand against this cowardice and bigotry, and call out, publicly, everyone enabling it.”Sears says instances of racism, bigotry and settler denialism need to be identified and publicly refuted with facts as a means of educating the public about colonialism, especially those who may be inclined to believe the hateful stereotypes and misinformation that typically accompany anti-Indigenous racist sentiment.He says that, like the so-called ‘Trump Effect’ in the United States, the “Beyak Effect” could be at play in Canada following the senator and her comments’ extensive coverage in Canadian media. “When leading public figures are making these kinds of statements, then people who already hold these views feel empowered to make these statements,” he said.Sears points to Acadia psychology professor Rick Mehta as an example of denialism run amok.Last month Mehta came to Beyak’s defense on the grounds of free speech.“You claim to support free speech, yet you remove Senator Beyak from your caucus,” Mehta Tweeted at Scheer. “Where is the evidence of racism?”But in the days and weeks that followed, Mehta’s Twitter feed filled up with messages that revealed the professor himself questions the legitimacy of the TRC.In one tweet he said the TRC’s report “was based on a biased process that didn’t take all views into account,” and that it was “designed to create a victim narrative that could then be used as a basis for endless apologies and compensation.”In another, he said he fears “the TRC and the decolonization movement [are] going to worsen race relations between the indigenous and non-indigenous people.”Questioning the TRC: informed concerns or denialism?In an interview with APTN last month Mehta reiterated his doubt of the TRC’s findings.“The key issue is, was the output that came from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission truly representative of what actually happened in that chapter of our history?” he said.The TRC documented the deaths of more than 6,000 Indigenous children while they attended the schools, from malnutrition, disease and physical and sexual abuse.But Mehta questions whether the roughly 150,000 children who attended the schools were treated any differently than non-Indigenous students in Canada.“In terms of the abuse, the norms at that time were very different, so I’d want to see what the comparisons were in terms of the non-First Nations students. How were they treated?” he said.Mehta doesn’t deny that the schools’ architects and staff were deliberately working to assimilate Indigenous children and youth, but he also believes what many were “trying to do in practice was have a good experience for the children, so that that way [the children] could adjust and become productive members of the new society that was being formed at the time.”Sears has criticized Mehta on social media. He says that in light of all the evidence presented in the TRC report — based on an “amount of testimony and evidence [that] would make any scholar jealous” — “to simply go out and dismiss [the report] is both academically unserious and, I think, fraudulent.”But he thinks there’s more at play behind Mehta’s and others’ questioning of the TRC’s work and of the residential schools’ impacts.“Having privilege and having systemic and institutional disparities pointed out — people don’t like that. It’s an uncomfortable feeling,” he says.“I think it’s a reaction to this idea that maybe people are in the place they’re in in society, in the culture, in the economy, not entirely because of their own work or lack of work but because of what structures exist, what they’ve had to deal with, what privilege they already have — and there’s a reaction against that.”During his interview with APTN Mehta said he and other settlers living today “had nothing to do with those atrocities that were done in the past,” and that he doesn’t want to “take blame or feel guilty” for those atrocities.“When you have that kind of premise all it’s going to do is worsen race relations. It’s completely counterproductive to reconciliation.”But Sears says settlers have to navigate their discomfort with the history of their ancestors and country in order to grasp the truth he and others say is a prerequisite for reconciliation.“It’s not that I personally, for example, am responsible for residential schools, but I’ve benefitted simply as being an Anglo-white Canadian, from the system that put residential schools in place, and the continuing prejudices and stigmas that exist in our society because of it,” he says, explaining his own family’s history in what is now New Brunswick.“This is unceded Wolastoqiyik territory that my family, generations ago, was given by government, which wasn’t really the government’s to give. And I’m in the position I’m in — my family’s in the position they’re in now in this province, in this city — because of land we were given that shouldn’t have been ours in the first place. So that’s a direct material benefit I’ve received.”Like Beyak and the UNB posters, Mehta cited comments made by Cree playwright and residential school survivor Tomson Highway in a December 2015 interview with the Huffington Post. Tomson said that while “you may have heard from 7,000 witnesses in the process that were negative…what you haven’t heard are the 7,000 reports that were positive stories.”APTN reached out to Highway for this story but did not receive a response by the time of publication.Positioning himself as an academic and advocate, and not a survivor, Moran says that while some survivors reported positive experiences at the schools — some of them highlighted in the TRC report’s “warm memories” section — those accounts shouldn’t be used to downplay Canada’s efforts to eradicate Indigenous peoples and cultures.“Yes, it is nuanced,” he said, “but again the big story is of a system that was forcibly trying to convert people, and children, into something that they were not.“I think one of the most significant uncomfortable truths that this country has got to come to terms with is the fact that we are a proven, at least culturally genocidal state, and perhaps even a genocidal state.”In his June 2008 Indian residential schools apology, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper acknowledged the school system’s intent and consequences, and the disparity in the number of negative and positive accounts from survivors.“While some former students have spoken positively about their experiences at residential schools these stories are far overshadowed by tragic accounts of the emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect of helpless children and their separation from powerless families and communities,” he said.The beliefs behind denialismMehta made a number of claims during his interview with APTN that may reveal more about the fundamental beliefs underpinning his position on residential schools, Indigenous peoples, rights and sovereignty.He called those behind Idle No More, the Indigenous-led grassroots movement initiated in 2012, “echo activists,” adding that alongside corrupt chiefs those activists are actively working to draw money from Canada’s coffers.“Because of course when you have a victimhood narrative, that does give a basis now for apologies and compensation and whatnot,” he said.Mehta also argued that Indigenous people in Alberta who oppose the tar sands and the associated environmental and health consequences “could have moved somewhere else in the country.”He also questioned the legitimacy of oral history, the method of knowledge-sharing that has enabled Indigenous societies to pass traditional knowledge and wisdom from generation to generation, saying “there’s no way to verify the [truth of a] statement one way or another.” Mehta has also vocalized his opposition to Acadia University’s decision to do land acknowledgements on campus. He has criticized the decision-making process that led university administration, faculty and students to acknowledge before classes that they are on the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq.Asked if he acknowledges that he lives and works on land the Mi’kmaq have always maintained is unceded, Mehta said the Mi’kmaq “can take that up with the courts.”Presented with the facts that a disproportionate number of Indigenous men and women are represented in Canadian prisons, of the poverty and lack of clean drinking water on reserves, of the intergenerational trauma from residential schools, the Sixties Scoop and the ongoing crisis of Indigenous children in state custody, and the mental health, addiction and suicide epidemics — and asked whether these could be described as consequences of Canada’s efforts to assimilate or eradicate Indigenous people, Mehta didn’t say yes or no, only that “everyone does have personal agency as well,” and that “at some point we do need to start balancing rights with responsibilities, because those do go hand in hand.”Sears says Mehta has “abdicated his responsibility as an educator because he can’t possibly provide a meaningful and educational environment for his students with these public [statements],” and that Acadia has an obligation to publicly denounce Mehta’s comments.“At the bare minimum the university could say something like, he has the freedom to say these things but they do not reflect the views of Acadia University and…we will work as hard as we can to ensure Indigenous students are made to feel that they’re welcome on this campus.”Scott Roberts, a spokesperson for the university, says Acadia will not be issuing a public statement regarding Mehta’s comments or behaviour but is “currently providing solutions for students who have raised concerns so they are not forced to take a course from Dr. Mehta.”He says the onus is on individual students to share their concerns with the university before alternate arrangements for study can be made.Indigenous students and faculty respondHarrison Paul, a member of the Indigenous Students Society of Acadia, says when Mehta’s comments made national headlines some students “reacted in a state of shock because they couldn’t believe that at the institution we are [at] now something like that could have been said.”He says Mehta’s comments don’t “make a lot of us feel safe as Indigenous students,” but that the Indigenous community at Acadia have “started to come together” on campus to talk about the residential schools and their impacts on Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous peoples in Canada.He also says Mehta’s comments don’t reflect the broader Acadia community’s views on residential schools and the decolonization movement.“Who we are is this larger group who actually believes that residential schools were a bad thing, that we are on Mi’kma’ki, and the Indigenous people should not…feel threatened or feel like they are being removed from the university community itself.”At UNB, Elder-in-Residence Opolahsomuwehs told APTN that days after the posters were found on the Fredericton campus more than 100 students, faculty and other members of the university community came together in ceremony to heal.“When posters are put up making it seem like [residential schools] were resorts for our Indigenous people, that’s an insult, and obviously misinformation,” she said.last_img read more

first_imgTodd LamirandeAPTN NewsCree NDP MP Romeo Saganash was ordered to apologize in the House of Commons over un-parliamentary language after he confronted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about his plan to consult with First Nations in B.C. over the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project.The Trudeau Liberals have promised to push through the $4.5 billion project despite the opposition from First Nation communities along the route.Trudeau has said he will follow a federal court ruling and consult with the communities prior to building the pipeline.tlamirande@aptn.ca@ToddLamirandelast_img read more

first_imgKent Driscoll APTN NewsAn arts group in Nunavut is supporting a push to change Canada’s copyright act and have royalties paid to sculptors, painters and other artists whose work is owned by other people and are selling it on the open market.The move by the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association (NACA) comes after a piece called The Enchanted Owl by Inuk artist Kenojuaq Ashevak was sold for $216,000 at an auction Nov. 20 – a record for a Canadian print.Ashevak, 85, was from Cape Dorset and died in 2013.Her family did not receive any money from the resale of her print.Ashevak sold The Enchanted Owl for $24 in 1960.In 2001, the painting sold at auction for $58,650. Again, Ashevak received no royalties from the auction sale.Read more about Kenojuaq Ashevak and see her workIn 2015, an organization called Canadian Artists’ Representation – Le Front des Artistes Canadiens (CARFAC) proposed an amendment to Canada’s Copyright Act called the Artists Resale Right (ARR) that would ensure that an artist’s family receives a five per cent royalty on any sale in the secondary market.At five per cent, Ashevak’s heirs would have received roughly $10,800.CARFAC is now preparing to go before the federal Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology that is undertaking a mandatory review of the act.In its proposal, CARFAC said the money will ensure artists get fully compensated for their work.“The full value of an artwork often isn’t realized on the initial sale,” CARFAC said in the 2015 proposal. “It is common for visual art to appreciate in value over time.“An implication of the ARR is that it offers significant income potential for Canadian visual artists, who often rely on many sources of income to make a living, including sales, exhibition fees, and other projects or forms of employment.”CARFAC has also put its message out on the international stage.At a meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organizations standing committee on copyright and related rights in 2016, CARFAC said it comes down to artists being exploited.“In Canada middle men prey off of relative remoteness and poverty when they immediately resell Indigenous work for triple or quadruple the cost paid to artists,” CARFAC said.“Once implemented, the Resale Right will immediately protect against this kind of exploitation.”Currently 93 countries have ARR laws.But not everyone in Canada is in favour of the law.“The average income of Canadian artists is well below the average for Canada’s working population, and there are a growing number of artists trying to practice their profession and make a living out of their art in a small market,” the Art Dealers Association of Canada (ADAC) wrote in a submission to the standing committee on Oct. 15.“ADAC refutes the argument that the resale right is the best way to support artists in need. The secondary market typically favours established artists with successful careers.”Nunavut has the highest number of artists per capita in Canada.Many of them make about $20,000 annually according to CARFAC.“We support the CARFAC bid to have the resale rights given back to the artist,” said Janet Brewster with NACA.“Unfortunately Inuit died at a younger age than non-Inuit do,” said Brewster. “The estates might be able to benefit from these sales and I think that’s really important.”The Enchanted Owl was the beginning of a movement in Inuit art.The piece was painted in 1960 and appeared on a postage stamp in 1970 and is considered one of the most famous examples of Inuit art.“That we know we have prolific artists that are very impactful and that are very important to providing for their families and if they pass away at a young age, then there’s nobody to provide for the children,” said Brewster.Ashevak made many more prints and the resale values will likely continue to rise.The question is, will her family, along with other Inuit artists see the kind of return on the art that investors, speculators and collectors are seeing.The federal committee resumes hearings on the Copyright Act on Dec. 10.kdriscoll@aptn.ca@kentdriscolllast_img read more

first_imgTina HouseAPTN NewsThe RCMP has issued an alert for two missing sisters from Surrey B.C.The two girls, Shauntae Joseph, 10, and her sister Nikita Joseph, 13, were last seen Oct. 3 in the morning at a bus stop.The road they went missing on is a busy one, jammed with commuters throughout the day.Surrey is about a 45 minute drive from downtown Vancouver.Both girls are approximately 5 foot 2 with a slim build and long dark hair.Shauntae was last seen waring a black sweater, black track pants and black and white sneakers.Nikita was wearing a grey hoodie and blue jeans.If anyone has any information about the sisters they are asked to call police.thouse@aptn.ca@inthehouse7last_img read more

first_imgMINNEAPOLIS – Enbridge Energy disputed a state agency’s recommendation against the company’s proposal for replacing its aging Line 3 oil pipeline across northern Minnesota, insisting in filings Wednesday that the project is needed to ensure adequate crude supplies for Minnesota and other Midwestern refineries for decades to come.The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is considering whether to grant a certificate of need for the project, which has aroused opposition from environmental and tribal groups because of the potential impacts on climate change and pristine waters where Native Americans harvest wild rice. The state Commerce Department surprised both sides last month when it concluded that the project isn’t needed and that it won’t benefit Minnesota enough to justify the risks.Enbridge officials asserted in rebuttal filings with the PUC that the $7.5 billion project is necessary and that Minnesota will benefit because it will make its pipeline network safer across the state and more reliable, and because the state is part of a broader regional market in which products from refineries in nearby states flow back to Minnesota.“This is an essential project for Minnesotans that will ensure environmental protection of our important natural resources, as well as ensure the safe transportation of crude oil to refineries in Minnesota and neighbouring states,” Guy Jarvis, an Enbridge executive vice-president in charge of liquid pipelines, told reporters on a conference call.Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge wants to replace Line 3, which was built in the 1960s, because it now runs at just over half its original capacity of 760,000 barrels per day and the costs of maintaining it are growing. The pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta, through the northeast corner of North Dakota, and crosses Minnesota on its way to Enbridge’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Construction is already underway in Canada and Wisconsin.But the Minnesota portion still requires approval from the PUC, which is scheduled to decide in April whether it’s needed and whether it should follow Enbridge’s referred route or some alternative. The Commerce Department said it would be better if Enbridge simply shuts down the old line.“In light of the serious risks of the existing Line 3 and the limited benefit that the existing Line 3 provides to Minnesota refineries, Minnesota would be better off if Enbridge proposed to cease operations of the existing Line 3, without any new pipeline being built,” Kate O’Connell, manager of the department’s Energy Regulation and Planning Unit, said in a Sept. 11 filing.To back up its claim that the project isn’t needed, the Commerce filings included a consultant’s comments asserting that refineries in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest are already operating close to capacity, indicating that they aren’t short on supplies of crude oil and have little room for refining more of it. And they said Minnesota’s demand for transportation and heating fuels is unlikely to increase in the long term. They suggested that Gulf Coast refineries would see the most benefit.Enbridge called that analysis flawed. Jarvis said its pipeline network already can’t move all the oil that shippers would like.“This system is essentially full today, and demand for pipeline capacity is expected to grow, even under the most conservative crude production forecast,” Jarvis said.Enbridge isn’t out to change the minds of Line 3’s tribal opponents, said John Swanson, an Enbridge vice-president for U.S. major projects. But he said the company is ready to consult with tribes along the route about their needs and explain the steps that Enbridge has taken to minimize the impact on them.last_img read more

first_imgTORONTO – While stabilizing oil prices helped Canadian equities break out of their doldrums in the second half of 2017, investors expecting the Toronto Stock Exchange to catch up with its outperforming global peers in the new year should instead anticipate more modest returns with the add-on of greater market volatility.“Despite being flat in the early part of the year and then posting some gains here in the back half of the year, the swings in equity prices on the S&P/TSX composite index have been incredibly small by historical standards,” said Craig Fehr, a Canadian markets strategist with Edward Jones. “And so I think the first thing we can expect from the TSX is much bigger swings in prices, much more volatility on a daily and weekly basis.”“All that said, I think there’s still more gas left in the tank for this bull market,” he added, referencing the eight-plus years of global gains since the dark days of 2009 in the wake of the last recession. “I think we can see positive returns again in 2018. I would expect them to be relatively muted so … Canadian equities, domestic equities, still underperform international markets.”After hitting a record high of 15,922.67 on Feb. 21, the TSX steadily declined to a low of 14,951.88 by Aug. 21, down 2.2 per cent on the year at the time. A resurgence in oil — which saw crude prices rally from a 2017 low of US$42.53 per barrel on June 21 to a barrier-breaking high of US$60.42 on the final trading day of the year — sparked a surge in energy shares that saw the TSX complete its first of many record closes in the latter half of 2017. By Dec. 27 and Dec. 28, the TSX closed at consecutive record highs of 16,203.13 and 16,221.95, respectively. It finished 2017 at 16,209.13, ahead 921.54 points or about six per cent on the year.By comparison, Wall Street’s S&P 500 index — the American equivalent to the TSX — gained 434.78 points or about 19 per cent in 2017. The Dow Jones industrial average added 4,956.62 points or about 25 per cent, and the Nasdaq composite index gained 1,520.27 points or about 28 per cent.One the most dominant themes in equity markets in 2017 was the trend toward stability from cyclicality in an otherwise uncertain political and geopolitical backdrop, said Candice Bangsund, vice president and portfolio manager at Fiera Capital. This saw the more defensive U.S. equity markets, which are heavily weighted towards technological growth, thrive last year. Meanwhile, the cyclically-based Canadian equity markets made up primarily of financial, energy and materials sectors were largely underappreciated.While oil is a key influence on the commodity-heavy TSX, economist Todd Mattina of Mackenzie Investments said he expects it to remain range-bound around its current level of US$50 to US$60 a barrel going into the new year — a level that will not really help the index in a meaningful way.“The TSX has benefited in recent months because of the strong rally in oil prices. But there’s a number of uncertainties going into 2018 that also cloud the outlook,” he said. “One of them is how much further can oil prices rally? … To the extent that higher oil prices since September have supported gains in the TSX, a risk factor in 2018 is that oil prices could run into resistance if U.S. shale producers increase production at today’s higher price levels.”Still, oil only touches upon one of several possible risks for the TSX in 2018, Mattina added. “The oil price outlook is not the driver of our bearish view of Canadian stocks. We are underweight the Canadian stock market because valuations are not highly attractive relative to other major stock markets and our indicators of investor sentiment look bearish.”He said that in addition to the policy uncertainty around ongoing NAFTA renegotiations, another factor weighing on the TSX is the perennial concern about very high levels of Canadian household debt and how that will affect consumer spending in the forthcoming years. Statistics Canada reported in December that household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income increased to 171.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, up from 170.1 per cent in the second quarter. That means there was $1.71 in credit market debt, which includes consumer credit and mortgage and non-mortgage loans, for every dollar of household disposable income.While consumers were the dominant engine behind growth last year amid solid employment gains, Bangsund said she expects trade and business development to take the baton in 2018 as earlier fears of a U.S. and global economic slowdown have proven unfounded in 2017. That could see the cyclical segments of the market that favour Canadian equities regain leadership performance.“The TSX will be the main beneficiary if that scenario of stronger growth and rising commodity prices does continue into 2018 due to that cyclicality of the Canadian stock market,” she said.A 2018 global market outlook report by Russell Investments Canada Ltd. also supports higher Canadian equity prices due to late-cycle tailwinds while still cautioning that it also expects volatility to be higher over 2018 versus 2017 as markets start to consider the timing of the next recession. Given this uncertainty around the domestic equities, the Russell report concluded it’s “modestly positive on Canadian equities with a price target of 16,900 for year-end 2018 for the S&P/TSX composite index.”Should Canadian equity returns in 2018 mirror those of the prior 12 months, Fehr said investors should keep in mind that while that doesn’t stack up well against the juggernaut momentum seen in other global markets, they are still relatively healthy gains.“For the Canadian market by historical standards it’s certainly solid,” he said. “It’s underperformance but it’s positive performance, so it’s not terrible.”Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img read more

first_imgPARIS — Cities in Russia, Japan and Azerbaijan are vying to host the 2025 World Expo, an event expected to draw millions of visitors and showcase their local culture.The Paris-based Bureau International des Expositions votes Friday on whether to award the Expo to Yekaterinburg, Osaka or Baku.Past world’s fairs introduced wonders including the Eiffel Tower, the Ferris Wheel and Seattle’s Space Needle. They’re now held every five years, and Dubai is set to host the next one in 2020.Osaka is proposing an event on a man-made island on the theme of “Society 5.0.”Baku’s Expo would highlight ways to redefine human roles in an automating world.Yekaterinburg, on the Europe-Asia border in Russia’s Ural Mountains, is promising an Expo showing how to balance technological innovation with quality of life.The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgMONTREAL — Air Canada is cancelling its Hamilton-Montreal route amid sluggish sales from business travellers, announcing the move in a newspaper ad just one month after ramping up flights between the two cities.Direct flights will scale down to once daily from three as of Jan. 9, and stop completely after March 30.The Montreal-based company says it regrets having to nix a route that did not “foster enough demand to be sustainable.”Air Canada Jazz, which provides regional service for the carrier, returned to Hamilton after an eight-year absence in May 2016, targeting business travellers looking for same-day return trips and recreational passengers hoping to use Montreal as a hub to other destinations.Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport says it is “disappointed” with the news, but will continue to try to build up a niche with low-cost and leisure carriers.The airport suffered another loss when Flair Airlines took off for Toronto’s Pearson International Airport at the end of October, just months after landing at the smaller airport, 64 kilometres southwest of Toronto. However, it added WestJet’s low-cost Swoop airline and will welcome Norwegian Airlines next spring for flights to Dublin.Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:WJA)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgPARIS — Late Friday night, the air on the Champs-Elysees was thick with perfume: heady blends of lavender, rose and other enticing scents wafting out of chic boutiques and perfumeries aglitter with Christmas tinsel.A day later, on what turned out to be yet another angry Saturday, Paris’ most famous boulevard simply reeked of tear gas. Clouds of the stuff hung in the air, burning throats but not silencing the sullen, rebellious crowds.Noses dripping snot, eyes red and watering, demonstrators in their “look at me!” high-visibility fluorescent jackets spontaneously burst into song as they fled the choking gas, running past luxury boutiques boarded up with plywood boards hastily screwed or nailed into place overnight.“To arms, citizens!” the yellow vests sang. “Form your battalions, let’s march!”It was “The Marseillaise” — France’s national anthem.Sang in joy in July, when France won soccer’s World Cup, the anthem was now an expression of defiance, spat out by protesters at phalanxes of heavy-geared riot police. Regularly, the officers broke ranks to toss tear gas grenades, fire rubber pellets and make arrests — nearly 1,000 of them, according to the country’s interior minister.Those brief outbreaks of song from the protesters were among the few fleeting moments Saturday when the demonstrations resembled something coherent.From all corners of the country, French protesters — the vast majority of them men — came by the thousands in trains, buses and cars. But once together in the capital, the most concrete thing they shared was simply fury.Fury at President Emmanuel Macron. At taxes. At jobs that don’t pay the bills. At politicians they accuse of stuffing their own pockets. At the elite. At banks. At ‘the system.’ At life in general.“Ras-le-bol” — which translates as “fed up” — was their common complaint.But without leaders or clearly expressed goals, lacking shared slogans or even an agreed-upon route through Paris, the protesters mostly milled around, roaming the streets like a giant florescent caterpillar.And that, for many, was just fine.Simply by being in Paris, by being so visible in their vests, by bringing their grievances from France’s many pockets of neglect, they felt they were making their point: We’re here. We exist. We cannot, will not, be ignored any longer.“They said that no one would come, so with my kids we said, ‘Right, we’ll go,’” said protester Romian Pascal.The construction materials salesman, made redundant last year at 59, said he had never demonstrated in his life before this. He drove five hours from the west coast of France with his adult sons, Brice and Anthony.“What we want is that the government be shaken up and not be governed by banks and fat cats,” he said. “The people must be heard.”Initially, Saturday’s demonstrations in the French capital were peaceful. Police sealed off the presidential Elysee Palace, blocking surrounding streets with flat-bed trucks that unfurled giant metal barricades, forming a ring of steel around France’s seat of power.Police opened gaps in the barriers when residents needed to pass. A surreal scene: Two men in full Scottish Highland dress, with kilts and sporrans, were allowed through to go to a wedding, they said.The police layout had the effect of funneling demonstrators down usually busy but now eerily quiet streets toward the Champs-Elysees. To get to one of the most beautiful boulevards in the world, protesters passed through repeated police checks. Lines of officers searched bags and patted people down looking for weapons and gas masks. They let protesters keep their yellow vests.Many had written slogans on the back, with demands as diverse as the protesters themselves: “Pacifist resistance,” ”Death to taxes,” ”Macron resign.”As the crowd grew to thousands strong, the mood soured. Soon, the air was thick with gas. Eyes streaming, people ran. The better equipped pulled out eye drops to flush the chemicals out. They sputtered curses. And then they gathered again.Over and over, the infernal cycle was repeated — gas, flee, gas, flee — that spoke of a France deeply divided.In the mayhem, small groups of vandals in Paris smashed store fronts, set fire to cars, built and torched barricades, hurled whatever they could find at police and sprayed graffiti on store fronts. In a vandalized Starbucks store, a telephone rang, unanswered.On the window of a shop selling expensive beds, a slogan sprayed in thick blue captured the mood of revolt:“The plebs are going to sleep at the princes’ places,” it said. “Macron, we’re coming!”John Leicester, The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgBEIJING — China’s foreign minister vowed Tuesday to protect its citizens abroad as a technology executive waited to see whether a Canadian court will release her on bail in a case that has riled U.S.-Chinese relations.Beijing will “spare no effort” to protect against “any bullying that infringes the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a conference in Shanghai.Wang didn’t mention the arrested Huawei Technologies Ltd. executive, Meng Wanzhou. But a ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said Wang was referring to cases of all Chinese abroad, including Meng.Meng was arrested Dec. 1 in Vancouver on U.S. charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran. The same day, Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day cease-fire in an escalating tariff war that threatens to hamper global economic growth.The arrest prompted concern trade talks might be derailed, but Beijing indicated Tuesday they were going ahead. The Ministry of Commerce said China’s economy czar, Vice Premier Liu He, talked by phone with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about the next round of negotiations but gave no details of preparations.Washington accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It says Meng and Huawei misled banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran.After a second daylong session, a judge in Vancouver, Justice William Ehrcke, said a bail hearing would continue Tuesday.The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgNEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s estranged former lawyer is acknowledging that he paid a technology company to rig Trump’s standing in two online polls.Michael Cohen tweeted Thursday that “what I did was at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” Trump.Technology company owner John Gauger told The Wall Street Journal that Cohen promised him $50,000 for work including using computers to enter fake votes for Trump in a 2014 CNBC poll asking people to identify top business leaders and a 2015 poll of potential presidential candidates. Gauger says Cohen paid him about a quarter of the money in cash, then stiffed him on the rest.The Trump Organization later paid a $50,000 reimbursement to Cohen. It didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The Associated Presslast_img read more

first_imgUPDATE – The highway has since been reopened as of 1:00 p.m.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – One person is deceased at the scene of a motor vehicle collision that took place on Highway 97 at 7:51 am, this morning, Wednesday, June 5th, 2019The crash occurred on Highway 97 near the Hydro Plant, 11 km south of Dawson Creek between Chetwynd.According to Corporal Madonna Saunderson, there were two passenger vehicles involved and there is no further information available at this time.Drivebc.ca shows the incident on Highway 97, between 235 Rd and 231 Rd (11 km south of Dawson Creek) and the Road is closed.A small traffic detour is listed via the 237 Rd to 208 rd to 227rd.Large traffic detour is listed via 237 Rd and Alaska Highway.Estimated time of re-opening Wed Jun 5 at 4:00 PM MSTlast_img read more

first_imgTehran: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday condemned the silence of US President Donald Trump’s administration on Saudi Arabia’s mass execution of 37 people convicted of terrorism. “After a wink at the dismembering of a journalist, not a whisper from the Trump administration when Saudi Arabia beheads 37 men in one day — even crucifying one two days after Easter,” Zarif said on Twitter. He was referring to the murder of prominent Saudi journalist and regime critic Jamal Khashoggi last year in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe 37 Saudi nationals were executed on Tuesday “for adopting terrorist and extremist thinking and for forming terrorist cells to corrupt and destabilise security”, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA). It said one person was crucified after his execution, a punishment reserved for particularly serious crimes. Executions in the ultra-conservative oil-rich kingdom are usually carried out by beheading. Rights group Amnesty International, in a statement, said most of those executed were Shiite men “convicted after sham trials that violated international fair trial standards (and) which relied on confessions extracted through torture”. The rights watchdog said 11 of those executed were convicted of spying for Shiite majority Iran, while at least 14 others were sentenced in connection with anti-government protests between 2011 and 2012 in the Eastern Province where most of Saudi Arabia’s Shiite minority live. At least 100 people have been executed in Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia since the start of the year, according to data released by SPA.last_img read more

first_imgMumbai: Actor Mithun Chakraborty has signed a horror-comedy, which is scheduled to begin production by July-August. The actor, who was seen on the screen in “Tashkent Files”, has been away from the spotlight for a while reportedly due to his ongoing treatment for back pain. He will next be seen in”Bhootiyapa”, which features him along side comedians Krushna Abhishek, Sugandha Mishra and Rajiv Thakur. The film is directed by Manoj Sharma. “When I narrated the film to Mithun da, he was very excited! He is absolutely fit and fine and told me he loved the script. I am thrilled to direct him and I think it will be a fun ride for all of us,” Manoj told PTI. The director said Mithun will be in the role of a man who invites three stand-up comedians for a private performance in his mansion. “We are trying something new with the film, the genre of horror-comedy is new and we have a fantastic story and the cast to make it entertaining.” Manoj is hoping for a April 2020 release for the film.last_img read more

first_imgMumbai: The Maharashtra Cabinet Friday gave its approval to promulgate an ordinance to amend the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Reservation Act, 2018 to provide reservation to Maratha students in post- graduate medical courses.The cabinet also gave its approval to reimburse the fees to the candidates from the general category, who will be affected following the promulgation of the ordinance. A minister said the general category students can seek admission under management quota in private colleges. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThe Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had disallowed to grant 16 per cent reservation to Maratha community for admissions to post-graduate medical courses on the grounds that the admission process had begun much earlier. The Supreme Court had upheld the high court’s decision. Talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said the draft of the ordinance is being sent to the Governor for promulgation. “The ordinance will provide relief to those students who had already got admission under Maratha quota, but were affected after the process was stayed by the court. Now, the third round of the admission would start,” he said. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadThose students from the general category, who will be affected, should try for admissions in private colleges and the government will reimburse their fees, he said. The students from open/general category should seek management quota and the government will assist them, Patil added. According to him, the state government will approach the Supreme Court to extend the admission time frame from May 25 to 31. “We will also seek additional 213 seats in the medical courses,” he said. A meeting has been scheduled on May 21 on this issue, the minister said, adding that demand from other states is also being addressed to. “We will move the court to seek reservation be appliedfor the additional seats,” he said. The minister also said the state government will file caveats in the Bombay High Court and its Aurangabad and Nagpur benches and the apex court to ensure the ordinance is not challenged. Meanwhile, a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said the cabinet also reviewed the drought situation, El-Nino effect, weather-related predictions, water storage in various dams, fodder availability and seeds stock. Currently, 5,493 tankers are in operation in 4,331 villages. Rs 162 crore have been given for fodder camps. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis directed to speed up issuance of ration cards in rural areas, especially in drought-prone areas. He also directed the local administration to ensure more works under the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS). Maratha students on Friday welcomed the Devendra Fadnavis government’s decision to amend the SEBC Reservation Act, 2018 to provide reservation to them in post-graduate medical courses. The students, however, said their protest would continue till they get joining orders from the Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (CET) Cell. The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court had earlier this month said 16 per cent reservation given to the Maratha community by the state under the SEBC category will not be applicable to admissions to the post-graduate (PG) medical and dental courses this year. The Supreme Court had upheld the verdict of the High Court. Following the apex court’s decision, the CET Cell had issued a notice of cancellation of admissions under the SEBC quota, which affected around 290 students from the state. “Until we get the order from Maharashtra CET cell to join colleges. we will continue with the protest,” Dr Sharad More, a protesting student, said.last_img read more

Rabat – The persistence of convict Mustapha Meziani to continue his hunger strike of over two months and the complications it entailed left no chance to save his life, said the health ministry on Friday.Mustapha Meziani died on Wednesday at the Fez Hassan II University Hospital following complications due to the failure of all his internal organs, said the ministry in a statement, adding that the inmate had all necessary health care and medical check-ups.Medical teams made huge efforts to save the patient’s life but the persistence of Mustapha Meziani to continue his hunger strike worsened his health condition causing a severe failure of all his internal organs, said the ministry. Meziani, aged 30, was put behind bars on July 11 upon the order of the examining magistrate at the Fez appeal court for taking part in premeditated murder. read more

Rabat – President of Côte d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara will pay, next Tuesday and Wednesday, an official visit to Morocco at the invitation of King Mohammed VI, said on Saturday the royal household, protocol and chancellery ministry in a statement. President Alassane Ouattara will be accompanied during this visit (Jan. 20-21) by his spouse Mrs. Dominique Ouattara, the same source said, adding that the King will hold official talks with Ouattara and will chair with Côte d’Ivoire’s head of state the signing ceremony of several bilateral agreements.The sovereign will offer in the Marrakech royal palace an official dinner in honor of the President of Côte d’Ivoire and his spouse as well as the accompanying delegation. read more

Rabat – The largest Moroccan cultural event opened Tuesday in Norway and is running through June 21 at the Beljit Center.This event, organized by the Moroccan Embassy in Norway in collaboration with “Dar Sanee” and “the Norwegian Beljit Center,” highlights the bond of friendship between Morocco and Norway.A number of Norwegian officials took part in this event, most notably Fabian Stang, the governor of Oslo, and Austin Orleen, director-general of the Norwegian Baljit Center. The event aims at exchanging expertise between Morocco and Norway, seeks the means to promote traditional products in the Scandinavian country, and contributes to the revitalization of Moroccan handcrafts. This event sheds light on original Moroccan handcrafts, as well as the skills and creativity that they embody and unveils the talent of the Moroccan craftsmen and women, especially those who work in the medium of ceramic and copper antiques and jewelry.During this event that will last until the end of June, traditional products and Moroccan handcrafts will be exposed; Moroccan music concerts will be held, as well as fashion and Moroccan traditional cooking shows.Moreover, this manifestation is a fantastic opportunity for craftsmen and women from all parts of Morocco to expose the best of their creations in the field of leather goods, earthenware, silver, copper, wood, and carpets.Souad El-Aloui, the Moroccan Ambassador in Norway, expressed her appreciation for organizing such a great cultural event in one of the biggest trade centers in the heart of Oslo city, highlighting that the aim of the showcase to deepen the understanding of Moroccan culture in the Scandinavian area.She considered this event an opportunity to highlight the richness of the Moroccan culture and expose the great experiences of Moroccan handcrafters, as well as the cultural wealth of Morocco in the fields of fashion, music, and haute cuisine.Further, El-Aloui stressed that this event is an opportunity to burgeon Moroccan culture in Oslo by introducing the Moroccan identity and the Moroccan heritage from the north of the kingdom to the south, as well as Moroccan lifestyle.She also added that the event is about “celebrating creativity and cultural diversity that characterize Morocco and its long history with its different civilization and human dimension,” mentioning that artisanal craftsmanship in Morocco accumulated a “long history” of productivity and creativity.She emphasized that the Moroccan artisans will display their masterpieces and their abilities to mix Moroccan authenticity with modern elements, and that the story ofMoroccan handcrafts is the story of hard work, diverse heritage, coexistence, and openness that have been preserved by successive generations.In this context, El-Aloui mentioned the interest of the “Dar Sanee” institution in male and female handcrafters who took part in this event to expose the different aspects of handmade masterpieces and handcraft products.Fabian Stang, the Governor of Oslo, welcomed the organization of such event in the Norwegian capital, referring to the cultural integration of Moroccans living in Norway. He also expressed his personal appreciation of Moroccan handcrafts, pointing at the necessity to valorize this product in the Scandinavian region.The Moroccan caftan gained a great deal of interest in this cultural event. A show for this authentic dressing was organized by the Moroccan designer Samira El-Hadouchi, who exposed fashionable and modern samples.Further, a concert was held by a variety of Moroccan bands that have performed samples from Moroccan folklore.The opening of this event saw the presence of various cultural festivities, diplomats in Norway, dignitaries from political, economic, and cultural domains, as well as Moroccan resident in Norway.This is the first time an event such as this has been held in the Scandinavian region, having previously been held in London, Paris, and Berlin. read more