1 in 66 Canadian children and youth have autism spectrum disorder report

first_imgTORONTO – An estimated one in every 66 Canadian children and youth aged five to 17 has autism spectrum disorder, says the inaugural report on the prevalence of the neurodevelopmental condition in this country.Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is typically detected in early childhood and causes impairments in communication skills and social interactions, often combined with repetitive behaviours and narrowly focused interests or activities.Thursday’s report by the Public Health Agency of Canada includes 2015 data from six provinces and one territory. It found that prevalence — the number of affected people within a specific population — ranged from a high of one in 57 children and youth in Newfoundland and Labrador to one in 126 in Yukon.The overall one in 66 prevalence rate “was not unexpected,” said Judy Snider, PHAC’s acting chief of maternal, child and youth health and a co-author of the report. “We had been tracking the rates in the U.S. and it’s a very similar rate … So we’re not surprised at all.”Esther Rhee, national program director for Autism Speaks Canada, welcomed the report, saying that having up-to-date numbers empowers advocacy organizations like hers to help drive progress for the autism community.“We know that Canada is doing a lot, but there is still so much more to do in terms of effectively serving all individuals with autism and their families across the country,” she said.“So we can use a report like this to highlight the need here, and not be using data that we’ve been pulling and borrowing from other countries, to speak to what is really happening in our own community and then utilize that to make positive change.”In the U.S., which has been collecting ASD prevalence information for decades, one in 68 children was estimated to have the disorder in 2016, when the latest data was released.However, there is a difference between the two countries’ data collection: the U.S. gathers prevalence statistics only on eight-year-olds in 11 states, representing less than 10 per cent of that age group.PHAC compiled numbers that represent about 40 per cent of the population, but which captured 88 per cent of all five- to 17-year-olds in the seven participating jurisdictions, which also included B.C., Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I.This means they used information collected from “a much richer source,” Snider said.“We count all children in that age group, in the jurisdictions that are currently participating, and we have great confidence in the numbers that we have.”PHAC hopes to have the remaining territories and provinces join the National Autism Spectrum Disorder Surveillance System — including Ontario, the country’s most populous province.“We actually don’t know the impact of not having Ontario involved or the other provinces,” Snider said, but added that the agency is confident the data it has collected is “representative of Canada.”As expected, based on the experience of other countries, the report found that boys in Canada are four to five times more likely than girls to develop ASD.“When we look at the prevalence of autism by sex, we found that one in 42 males were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, whereas we see it in one in 165 females,” said Snider.Why the disorder affects so many more boys than girls remains a mystery. While research is looking at all different aspects of autism, “we don’t have a good understanding of that.”She said the national surveillance report provides a benchmark that will allow researchers and policy makers to track whether the proportion of Canadians affected by autism continues to escalate in the future.P.E.I., Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador have seen increases in prevalence since 2003. And in the last two decades of collecting data, the U.S. has also seen rates steadily rise.“We’ve seen a 100 per cent increase,” said Rhee, pointing to U.S. report for 2000, when the prevalence rate for ASD among eight-year-olds was one in 166; by 2014, it had soared to one in 68, remaining at that level in 2016. The 2018 report is yet to be released.So why are cases of autism going up?That’s the “magic question,” said Rhee. “We know that genetics play a role, we know that environmental factors play a role, we know that we’ve gotten significantly better at awareness and screening and diagnosing and that those components play roles in there being a higher prevalence.“But it doesn’t explain the whole picture … there’s still so much we have to understand.”Canada does not have a national autism strategy, though this year’s federal budget earmarked $20 million over five years towards ASD. The money would include funding for a network to connect people with ASD and their families to information, resources and employment opportunities, and community-based projects to strengthen health, social and educational programs.Snider said the report will help inform planning for ASD programs, services and research “that will impact Canadians living with autism spectrum disorder and their families and caregivers.”—Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version wrongly reported that Canada has a national autism strategy.last_img read more

Lawyer for Tony Accurso appealing his clients guilty verdict as well as

first_imgMONTREAL – A lawyer for former Quebec construction mogul Tony Accurso is appealing his client’s conviction on fraud and corruption charges as well as his four-year prison sentence.Marc Labelle is also asking for Accurso to be released from custody pending the appeals.The Crown countered in court Tuesday that allowing Accurso out of prison would undermine the public’s confidence in the judicial system.A decision on the release request is expected this week.Accurso, 66, was sentenced last week after a jury had previously found him guilty on all five charges he was facing stemming from a municipal corruption scheme in Laval, north of Montreal.The corruption scheme lasted between 1996 and 2010 and was run by former Laval mayor Gilles Vaillancourt, who pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges and was sentenced to six years in prison.Quebec Superior Court Justice James Brunton, who sentenced Accurso, did not agree to a Crown request that Accurso pay $1.6 million in restitution to the City of Laval.The $1.6 million represented two per cent of the value of the contracts awarded to Accurso’s firms that authorities believe was paid in kickbacks to city officials.At his trial, Accurso denied any involvement in the scheme and testified he was not aware of any such system in place.Labelle said the system of collusion and corruption was put in place by Vaillancourt and that Accurso “did not create this system, it was imposed,” adding his client had no choice but to comply.Labelle noted that because of the size of Accurso’s construction firms, no others could have legitimately competed with him.Accurso was found guilty of conspiracy to commit corruption in municipal affairs; conspiracy to commit fraud; fraud of more than $5,000; corruption of municipal officials; and breach of trust.His first trial ended last November when one juror said she had received information from a person linked to a key witness and that she had shared the details with two other jurors.Accurso was the last of 37 people arrested in 2013 to be tried. Besides Vaillancourt, 26 others pleaded guilty, six had their cases dismissed because of judicial delays and three other people died before the end of their legal proceedings.last_img read more

Family says thanks to people who helped victims of Alberta fatal crash

first_imgEDMONTON – The brother of one of the six people who died in a fiery crash in Jasper National Park is expressing gratitude to everyone who helped the victims of the tragedy.Tim Dye of Louisiana says the citizens, police and others who responded to Tuesday’s collision of a van and an SUV were brave and compassionate.Dye also thanked the nurses and medical staff who are treating the survivors.His sister, Angela Elkins and her son-in-law Nick Copeland died in the crash.Elkins’ husband, Curtis, and daughter, Sarah, are being treated in hospital for serious injuries.A toddler, Sarah and Nick Copeland’s son William, wasn’t seriously hurt.“To the citizens and the first people present at the scene, your bravery has left us in awe of how willing people are to help,” Dye said in a statement Friday.“To the RCMP and other first responders, thank you for serving us in this sensitive time with compassionate care while still doing your jobs and seeking information. Your level of excellence in working with us has been exceptional.”Dye said baby William has been reunited with the family.“It’s truly a miracle that he came through the wreck with nothing more than a few bruises,” he said.RCMP have said the van carrying five people was heading north when it collided with a southbound SUV with four inside, causing both to catch fire.Cpl. Laurel Scott said investigators are still trying to determine precisely what happened.She said the other vehicle in the crash was a Hyundai Kona SUV.Scott said the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is still working to identify the four occupants, but two of the four were Indian Nationals working in Banff.Friends have identified them as Anand Panwar and Pawan Kathait.The other two people who died in the SUV have been identified on a GoFundMe page as Gelek Wangmo and Ganesh Anala.Elkins was from Louisiana and Copeland was from Texas.The crash happened on the Icefields Parkway.last_img read more

Cuts to Ontario francophones touch all linguistic minorities Quebec group

first_imgMONTREAL — An organization representing Quebec anglophones says linguistic minorities across the country stand to lose from Ontario’s recent moves to cut funding to institutions serving francophones.The head of the Quebec Community Groups Network, which represents more than 50 anglophone groups across the province, said the Ontario moves are “a step backwards” after years of gains.Geoffrey Chambers, the network president, said the trend for linguistic minorities in Canada “had been to establish new and better services — just last year a francophone advisory council was put in place in Alberta, and we got our secretariat (in Quebec). The trend line had been good for quite a long time.”Ontario was held up as a model for other minority linguistic groups in Canada with its French Language Services Act, an office of francophone affairs and a French language services commissioner to ensure rights are respected — a position Chambers would like to see in Quebec.But last week Ontario announced it was scrapping the office of the French language services commissioner and cancelling a French-language university planned to open in Toronto in 2020. Meanwhile in New Brunswick, Canada’s only officially bilingual province, language tensions have been fuelled by election results that left the balance of power with a party that questions bilingualism.“Now (the trend) seems to have reversed a bit, and that’s worrying,” Chambers said.In Quebec, lawmakers like to describe the province’s anglophones as among the best-treated minorities on the continent, but Chambers said the notion his community receives special treatment misinterprets the history of its hospitals and universities.“Two hundred years of community building and contributing to the infrastructure of the province is now treated as if they’re doing us a favour,” he said.The shift across the border comes as Quebec’s English community digs in for a fight with Premier Francois Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec government over plans to abolish school boards, including English ones that are among the few remaining institutions the community controls.Quebec English School Boards Association’s executive director Russell Copeman said the challenge will be to change Legault’s mind ahead of his 2020 deadline to eliminate the boards. Copeman said Legault’s recent support for Ontario’s francophone community could be a good sign.“I think we’ve seen from Premier Legault some indication that he’s concerned with the decisions of the government of Ontario,” said Copeman. “If Mr. Legault is interested in defending the rights of Franco-Ontarians, a certain logic and coherence would indicate he’s also concerned with maintaining the linguistic rights of the English-speaking community in Quebec.”Copeman said his organization believes English school boards are protected under Sect. 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which deals with minority language educational rights.Copeman added that P.E.I., Nova Scotia and the Yukon all eliminated school boards, but maintained their minority French language ones to comply with the Charter.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Newborn baby dies in hospital after being found in dumpster in Mission

first_imgThe Canadian Press MISSION, B.C. — Police say a newborn baby girl has died in hospital after being found in a dumpster last month in Mission, B.C.The RCMP say the infant was found in a dumpster in the Fraser Valley community on Nov. 23.Police say the baby was rushed to hospital and remained in critical condition until she died last Thursday.Police say the cause of death was still being investigated.The Mounties say a 21-year-old woman was arrested in relation to the incident and released.No charges have been laid.last_img

Analysis China pulling out all stops in Canada tensions

first_imgBEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government is sparing no expense to its international reputation in its determination to force Canada to back down over the case of a Chinese telecommunications executive it detained last month.While Beijing formally denies any connection, the arrest of two Canadians on vague national security charges and the re-sentencing of a convicted Canadian drug smuggler to death on Monday point to a determined campaign of intimidation and retribution.And while global perceptions of China’s adherence to free trade and rule of law may take a beating, for Xi and other highly nationalistic Communist leaders, the stakes are simply too high.“The Chinese will stop at nothing because it’s a huge loss of face, for both the Chinese government and Xi Jinping in particular,” said Willy Lam, an expert on Chinese politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.Canada detained Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States. The U.S. wants Meng, who is also the daughter of Huawei’s founder, extradited to face charges that she committed fraud by misleading banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran.China responded nine days later by arresting former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor. On Monday, a Chinese court sentenced Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death, overturning a 15-year prison term handed down earlier.The actions fit a pattern of retaliation against nations that offend China, which sometimes extends to their citizens inside the country. Past instances have shown China willing to endure long freezes in relations and subsequent damage to its national image.China suspended its bilateral trade deal with Norway and restricted imports of Norwegian salmon when the Nobel peace prize was awarded to political prisoner Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Britain and other countries were retaliated against over meetings with the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, considered a dangerous separatist by Beijing, and in 2014, a Canadian couple was detained in northeastern China and charged with espionage following Canada’s arrest of a man accused of stealing U.S. aviation secrets for China.Analysts say they have little doubt Kovrig and Spavor’s cases are related to Meng’s, and the handing down of tougher sentences on appeal is rare enough to arouse suspicion.“This really hurts China” and its efforts to promote its influence around the world, said David Zweig, a Canadian who directs the Center on China’s Transnational Relations at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.“Xi Jinping has been talking so much about promoting soft power … I certainly think that it hurts China’s soft power and its argument that it supports the rule of law,” Zweig said.Retaliating against Canada, widely seen as a benign influence on the global order, also offers fewer dividends for China than confronting the U.S., which is regarded by many in the international community as at least as much of a bully as China, Zweig said.“China doesn’t win any points by pushing around Canada,” he said.However, Beijing’s dismissive attitude toward Canada seems very much in line with its binary view of the world as divided into “big” or powerful nations that need to be deferred to, and “small” ones which China can afford to push around, said Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.China is picking on Canada “because they can,” said Tsang. “It will have lots of negative effects on China’s standing in the world and international perceptions of China.”He said Beijing’s handling of the case shows its refusal to recognize the concept of an independent judiciary, something unknown in China, where the ruling Communist Party controls the courts. As the daughter of the founder of Huawei — closely connected to China’s powerful military and considered something of a national treasure — Meng is afforded special status, Tsang said.While he predicts further steps by Beijing to pressure Canada, Tsang said he doubts they will have any bearing on the result.“It will have no impact in terms of how the Canadian government deals with the Meng case,” he said.International observers also point to the strikingly different ways in which the cases are being handled by the two countries. While Meng has been afforded a lawyer and released on bail to her Vancouver mansion, Kovrig and Spavor are being held in cells with only minimal consular access. Canada has also complained that as a former diplomat, Kovrig should be accorded a degree of immunity.The timing and circumstances of Schellenberg’s resentencing are also being called into question. While his case was on appeal, the speed with which the new hearing was held, with only four days’ notice, drew criticism from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — and a subsequent sharp rebuke of him by Beijing.Underlying China’s behaviour is the apparent conviction that Meng’s detention was a political act that must be responded to in kind. Given the limited information about the cases allowed by government censors, Chinese have “no sense that Ms. Meng was grabbed for anything other than political reasons,” Zweig said.“And if it’s completely political, then I guess in their viewpoint, kidnapping people is just tit-for-tat,” he said.On Beijing’s frigid streets Tuesday, public opinion seemed to be running strongly in the government’s favour.“It shows China is standing up” to Canada, said teacher Liang Reufen, adding that she hopes the matter will not be “elevated to a political level.”Finance worker Huo Yong said politics were already inextricably tied up in the case.“We should pressure them since they use politics to contain our economic growth,” said Huo. “My attitude is, ‘whoever bullies us, we should bully them back.’”___Christopher Bodeen has covered politics in China and Taiwan for The Associated Press for more than two decades.Christopher Bodeen, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Duck Dynasty Stars Offer Up A Serving Of Turkey Fryer Safety

first_imgWhen it comes to frying up a feathered feast, there may be no better experts than bearded duckmen Si and Jase Robertson.Most cooking fires are preventable. Recognizing common mistakes is a critical step in reducing your risk of a fire.As members of the Duck Commander family, they know how to be safe when frying a bird. That is why they have teamed up with insurer State Farm to reinforce the importance of turkey fryer and cooking safety this holiday season with a brand-new video titled Hang on a Minute with Jase and Si Robertson.Video: State Farm Turkey Fryer Safety: Hang On A Minute with Si & Jase RobertsonThe video captures the importance of turkey frying safety in a humorous yet educational way by cautioning viewers to “hang on a minute and think before you fry”. Regardless if the person frying the bird is experienced or a novice, everyone should take appropriate safety precautions prior to frying. Jase and his uncle Si have been frying turkey for years without incident because they recognize the dangers and take the proper safety measures to reduce their risk of a fire.Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. Based on data from State Farm, more cooking fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. The good news is that State Farm cooking fire claims on Thanksgiving Day have been reduced from 66 claims in 2010 to 29 claims in 2012, the lowest number of claims in a decade.While the reduction is significant, the fact remains there are still injuries and damage to property as a result of turkey frying or cooking fires each year. November is the number one month for grease and cooking related fire and December is the second highest month.According to State Farm Insurance claims data, the top states for grease and cooking-related claims on Thanksgiving Day (2005-2012) are:Texas 38Illinois 27Pennsylvania 23Ohio 23New York 22South Carolina 16Georgia 16*Largest increase in State Farm cooking fire claims on Thanksgiving Day from 2011 to 2012 was in Georgia, which jumped from 1 claim to 4 claimsMinnesota 15Michigan 15California 14**Largest decrease in State Farm cooking fire claims on Thanksgiving Day from 2011 to 2012 was in California, which fell from 6 claims to 0 claimsIndiana 14Louisiana 14Florida 14Most turkey fryer and cooking fires are preventable. Recognizing common mistakes is a critical step in reducing your risk of a fire or potentially fatal burns. Before you break out your bird this holiday season, remember to hang on a minute and do it right.Cooking Safety Tips • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires. • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried. • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — away from your stovetop. • Keep an extinguisher approved for cooking or grease fire nearby.Turkey Fryer Safety Tips • More than one-third of fires involving a fryer start in a garage or patio. Cook outdoors at a safe distance from any buildings or trees and keep the fryer off any wooden structures, such as a deck or patio. • Avoid a hot oil spill over by first filling the pot with cold oil and then lower the thawed turkey into the pot to determine how much oil should be either added or removed. • Shut off the fuel source or flame when adding the turkey to the hot oil to prevent a dangerous flare-up if oil does spill over the rim. • Make sure your turkey is properly thawed before lowering it slowly into the pot. • Never leave a hot turkey fryer unattended. • Do not use ice or water to cool down oil or extinguish an oil fire. • Keep an extinguisher approved for cooking or grease fire nearby.Source:Multivu.comlast_img read more

Hunger Is Campaign To End Childhood Hunger Finalist In 2017 Halo Awards

first_imgThe Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) announced that Hunger Is, their joint charitable program designed to raise awareness and funds to end childhood hunger in America, has been nominated for two prestigious 2017 Halo Awards, North America’s highest honor for corporate social initiatives and cause marketing.The Halo Award, now in its 15th year, is presented by Engage for Good, (formerly Cause Marketing Forum). The award honors businesses and nonprofits with Halos for “doing well by doing good.” Hunger Is received nominations for Best Point of Sale Campaign and Best Social Service Campaign.“Each year, as corporate social initiatives get more sophisticated, we receive an increasing number of strong submissions into the Halo Awards. Being named a finalist is an industry honor and demonstrates a level of accomplishment in campaigns that combine purpose and profit,” said Engage for Good President David Hessekiel.A total of 20 category awards will be given out to programs judged the best cause marketing campaigns of 2016 at the 15th Annual Engage for Good conference in Chicago on June 1, 2017.Golden-Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated actress and humanitarian Viola Davis is the Hunger Is program’s ambassador. To date, Hunger Is has raised more than $18 million and funded 273 programs to provide healthy food to children across the country. Funds are generated through in-store fundraising campaigns that include both customer donations at the check stand and donations generated by the purchase of participating products in more than 2,300 Albertsons Companies stores in 33 states throughout the U.S. Stores include Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, ACME Markets, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Carrs and others.“It’s a tremendous honor to be nominated for the Halo Award and to be recognized for our commitment to ending childhood hunger,” said Christy Duncan Anderson, Executive Director of the Albertsons Companies Foundation. “Along with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and our tireless ambassador, Viola Davis, we’ve been able to increase access to healthy food, improve the nutritional quality of breakfast programs and expand weekend, summer and vacation meal programs. We’re grateful to Engage for Good for recognizing these efforts and raising awareness about the problem of childhood hunger in America.”“We are so humbled and honored to be nominated for the 2017 Halo Award for Hunger Is,” said Lisa Paulsen, President & CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. “We are so proud of what Hunger Is has been able to accomplish, in collaboration with the Albertsons Companies Foundation and our incredible ambassador Viola Davis. We are so appreciative that Engage for Good has recognized Hunger Is’ impact and for helping us raise awareness about this critical issue so we can put an end to childhood hunger in America.”More information about the issue is available at HungerIs.org, along with simple ways for individuals to donate.last_img read more

Sir Ivan And Debbie Gibson Team Up For New AntiGun Violence Anthem

first_imgRecording artist Sir Ivan has released his new single “I Am Peaceman” this week. The new song features iconic singer Debbie Gibson, and hopes to help those suffering from trauma caused by gun violence.Gun violence is the leading cause of death among young, African-American men in the nation. It is more than the next nine causes together. In 2016 in Chicago, homicides reached the highest number in more than sixteen years. Those exposed to murder can suffer from severe psychological problems known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).To help relieve the suffering, SIR IVAN and The Peaceman Foundation have donated $10,000 to the Psychiatry Department of Mercy Hospital in Chicago, to help heal PTSD victims in the hardest hit African-American community in America. In addition, SIR IVAN is donating net proceeds from video views, song streams and downloads of “I Am Peaceman” to The Peaceman Foundation, which donates significant amounts to PTSD and LGBT causes and to support those affected by violence.In memory of his father, Siggi Wilzig, SIR IVAN established The Peaceman Foundation in 2005 specifically to battle hatred, violence. His father suffered from classic symptoms of PTSD, stemming from two years of beatings and torture in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.“I Am Peaceman” was produced by AMA winner Ali Dee. There are five remixes available, made by Riddler, JayMac, 7th Heaven, Disco Killerz & Liquid Todd, and Dor Dekel.The music video was directed by BET and MTV Best Video of the Year awards winner Erik White, who worked with Ryan Murphy on the Glee Project, and produced SIR IVAN’s anti-bullying music video for his song “Kiss All the Bullies Goodbye.”“I Am Peaceman” is available on iTunes.For more information on SIR IVAN, go to www.SIRIVAN.com.last_img read more

WOW Unlimited Medias Mainframe Studios debuts new productions

first_imgThe Anybodies, Howard – Courtesy of Mainframe Studios (CNW Group/WOW! Unlimited Media Inc.) Facebook Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Mainframe Studios will also continue its longstanding relationship with Mattel and Barbie. It is in production on a 26-episode TV series entitled Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures. The studio has produced 30+ animated Barbie movies with Mattel over the past 17 years.About WOW Unlimited Media Inc.WOW Unlimited Media Inc., formerly Rainmaker Entertainment Inc., is creating a leading next-generation kids and youth animation business by focusing on digital platforms and content. The company’s key assets include: the world’s #1 digital animation network, Frederator Networks, which consists of an animation production company Frederator Studios as well as VOD channels on digital platforms; the world’s first Hispanic animation network, Átomo Network, a joint venture with Ánima Estudios; and one of Canada’s largest, multi-faceted animation production studios, Rainmaker Entertainment, which consists of Mainframe Studios that produces CGI animated television series and Rainmaker Studios that produces long-form animated features. The company operates out of offices in Toronto, New York, Vancouver and Los Angeles, and is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V: WOW.A).About Mainframe StudiosMainframe Studios produced the first ever CG animated series ReBoot in 1994. The studio, along with the company’s feature division, Rainmaker Studios, has produced over 700 half hours of television and 60 + movies, working with global partners in helping to realize some of the biggest branded entertainment. Working with top global talent, the studio utilizes the latest technology in driving innovation to the creative content it produces for key broadcasters, home entertainment and interactive companies from around the world. Based in Vancouver, Mainframe Studios is a division of WOW! Unlimited Media, a publicly traded entertainment company with office in Toronto, Vancouver, New York and Los Angeles. Visit Mainframe at www.mainframe.cacenter_img Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: TORONTO and VANCOUVER, March 28, 2018 – WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. continues to make inroads in the competitive marketplace of kids and youth entertainment. Mainframe Studios, WOW’s Vancouver based animated and live-action television production studio, is about to debut projects that reach a broad demographic. While it continues to offer traditionally accessible fare, the company is embracing the new digital options that showcase its innovation and production expertise.Mainframe Studios’ highly anticipated hybrid live-action /CG animated series ReBoot: The Guardian Code, will premiere as a Netflix original series worldwide on March 30th, followed by Canadian distribution on YTV in June. Created by Studio Head Michael Hefferon, the action comedy follows the adventures of four teenagers who discover on the first day of high school that they have been selected to become the next generation Guardians of Cyberspace with the help of Vera, an artificially intelligent bio-constructed teenage girl. ReBoot: The Guardian Code is the first television series to create visually stunning animation using the Unreal Game Engine with 4K resolution and features a mix of character driven stories, humor, and adrenaline pumping action to captivate and engage a wide audience of viewers.ReBoot: The Guardian Code is distributed by Nelvana and produced by Mainframe Studios.Mainframe is currently developing The Anybodies, a 6-11 animated comedy/adventure series about a 12-year-old girl who discovers her powers as a shapeshifter when reunited with her real family after being switched at birth. The series is based on the successful book trilogy by author Julianna Baggott (aka N.E. Bode), as adapted by writers David H. Steinberg & Keetgi Kogan Steinberg (Yo Kai Watch), who will be executive producers. Emmy award-winning director Mark Risley is on board to direct the series.last_img read more

Bnai Brith says Aboriginal organizations should take stronger antiracism stand

first_imgAPTN National NewsA racist joke published in British Columbia drew the ire of many people across the country.It featured the murder of two “Indians.”But if you hoped to find a statement condemning the joke from any of Canada’s national Aboriginal organizations, you can stop looking, there are none.One organization that does not sit back when faced with racism is B’nai Brith.APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo sat down with the director to learn how their organization has successfully battled racial prejudice.last_img

Forest fires continue to blaze across much of Northwest Territories

first_imgAPTN National NewsForest fires aided by hot conditions and high winds continue to blaze across much of the Northwest Territories.With little rain on the horizon it’s being called the worst fire season in recent memory.APTN’s Wayne Rivers reports all residents can do is wait and hope.last_img

Tribunal into Ottawas handling of First Nations kids nearing its end after

first_imgAPTN National NewsA child welfare case that has taken a long road through the Canadian Human Rights Commission will soon come to an end.The complaint was filed seven years ago by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations.It alleges the federal government short-changes First Nations children in the child welfare system.The final arguments begin next week in Ottawa.APTN’s Annette Francis has a re-cap of what’s gone on at the tribunal and what to expect from the closing arguments.last_img

Wahoo protesters want to be in on Cleveland teams talks with MLB

first_imgThe Canadian PressCLEVELAND — Organizers protesting the Cleveland baseball team’s use of the Chief Wahoo logo have asked to be involved in talks with Major League Baseball about changes to the contentious symbol.A group asking the Cleveland team to abolish the red-faced logo and their nickname gathered outside Progressive Field on Tuesday before the club’s home opener against the Chicago White Sox.They were carrying signs that read “Racism Honors No One” and “Real People Not Mascots.” The advocates peacefully voiced their opinions as police looked on.The movement to replace the Wahoo logo has gained momentum in recent years. The Cleveland team has reduced its usage, but the logo, which the team has used for more than 60 years, still appears on some game caps and jerseys.The team has had talks with MLB about further changes.Commissioner Rob Manfred said during the World Series that he knows “that that particular logo is offensive to some people, and all of us at Major League Baseball understand why.”news@aptn.calast_img read more

AFN chiefs reject call for MMIW inquiry commissioner resignations

first_imgAPTN National NewsAssembly of First Nations chiefs on Thursday defeated a motion tabled by Manitoba leaders calling for the removal of the remaining commissioners heading the inquiry into the national tragedy of the disproportionate number of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.The AFN did adopt a resolution calling for an expansion of the inquiry’s mandate and for it to disclose its financial reports.More to comelast_img

Witness maintains they were at Saskatchewan farm for help when Colten Boushie

first_imgThe Canadian PressBATTLEFORD, Sask. – A Crown witness in the trial of a Saskatchewan farmer charged with shooting an Indigenous man on his property said he lied to police and the Crown about carrying a gun and breaking into a truck on the day his friend was killed.But when they pulled up to the farm of Gerald Stanley it wasn’t to steal but get help for a damaged tire.Under cross-examination, 18-year-old Cassidy Cross admitted he changed his story the day before he took the witness stand Thursday in the second-degree murder trial of Stanley.“After the trial started you thought it good to take the Crown and the police officer aside and say actually we did have a gun, it was my gun, we were stealing, we used the gun to try and break into a vehicle?” Defence lawyer Scott Spencer asked. “So that’s all stuff you told the police last night after court?”“I told the Crown,” Cross responded. “Because honestly I was scared for myself and I was scared for the people there that they might get into trouble. I know that was wrong but that’s just how I was feeling over there.”Cross added that he was willing to face the consequence for the sudden departure from his testimony at an earlier preliminary hearing.“I was young. I was stupid and I’ve changed a lot since that happened,” Cross replied.Cross was driving an SUV carrying four friends that entered Stanley’s farm on Aug. 9, 2016.Stanley, 56, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder after another man in that vehicle, 22-year-old Colten Boushie, was shot in the back of the head.Cross testified he had about 30 shots of alcohol and was drunk on the day of the shooting.Court has already heard that at around the same time of the shooting, RCMP received a report about a suspected theft from a truck at a farm about 15 to 20 kilometres from the Stanley property. A grey SUV with a flat tire, matching the one Cross was driving, was spotted at that scene and police found the broken stock of a gun.Cross initially told investigators that he and his four friends in the SUV where just checking out the truck, but on the stand, he admitted they were trying to steal and that they had used the gun to break in.“I lied about me going into that truck,” he testified. “My intentions were to go steal. ”The SUV then rolled up to the Stanley farm, but Cross said the group was simply looking for help with the tire.“I wasn’t there to steal,” he told court.Stanley’s son, Sheldon, has testified he and his dad heard an all-terrain vehicle start and thought it was being stolen. The pair ran toward the SUV and threw a hammer at the windshield as the driver tried to leave the farm.Cross said he was blinded by glass when the SUV’s windshield was smashed. He said he jumped out and ran after the SUV hit another vehicle on the Stanley farm.“We didn’t think about it. We just ran. I was scared out of my mind,” he said. “As I was running and got to the approach I heard a ricochet. I heard a bullet right by my right ear.”Sheldon Stanley testified he went in the house to get his truck keys and heard two gunshots. He said he heard a third when he came back out. He testified he saw his father standing beside the SUV looking sick with a gun in his hand saying, “It just went off.”Another passenger in the SUV, Belinda Jackson, testified the group had been drinking the entire day before arriving at the Stanley property. She said her memory of the day was fuzzy but she remembers seeing an older man coming out of a garage while they were still in the vehicle.“He came out with his own handgun. He came around the car to the passenger side and he shot Colten in the head. I’m not comfortable describing how he shot him,” she said.Jackson said she heard four shots fired and two were at Boushie. Court has already heard that Boushie was shot behind the wheel of the SUV. But Jackson said Boushie was in the passenger seat.Crown prosecutor Bill Burge warned the jury in his opening statement “there may well be some serious contradictions to what people saw.”last_img read more

UNDRIP bill caught up in Senate dispute amid Conservative protest

first_imgPeople outside the Senate in Ottawa encouraging the upper chamber to pass the UNDRIP law Bill C-262. Photo: Justin Brake/APTNJustin BrakeTodd LamirandeAPTN NewsThe Senate must pass Bill C-262.That was the message delivered outside the Senate of Canada Wednesday morning in Ottawa, where NDP political staffers, Assembly of First Nations staff, NDP MP Nikki Ashton and grassroots people gathered to advocate for the swift passage of Cree MP Romeo Saganash’s private member’s bill on Indigenous rights.“We are not just asking. We are not just urging. We are demanding that they stand up for Indigenous rights, for human rights, for Indigenous peoples, and for all Canadians who believe that we must go forward, we must support Bill 262,” Ashton said, calling for people to hold Senators, MPs and the prime minister to account.(“As you know it’s been a real struggle to get this bill through,” Independent Senator Lillian Dyck told the crowd gathered outside the Senate. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)The proposed United Nations Declaration on the Rights Of Indigenous Peoples Act is caught in the middle of a heated dispute in Canada’s upper chamber, where Independent and Conservative Senators have squared off over the legislation many believe would significantly improve the quality of life for Indigenous people in Canada.If passed in its present form, C-262 would require Canada “to take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” according to the bill’s current text.But Conservative senators are demanding a length of debate that would effectively kill the bill on the order paper when Parliament rises for summer break later this month.They maintain the legislation could have unintended legal and economic consequences.On Tuesday the Senate’s Aboriginal Peoples standing committee voted to move C-262 without amendment to the third and final reading, giving the private member’s bill an against-the-odds chance of becoming law.But in the heated rush to beat the clock, Conservative senators are accusing Indigenous and Independent senators of impeding free speech and breaking Senate rules, while some are accusing the Conservatives of running out the clock.“I’m disappointed that we are rushing ahead with consideration of this bill without many important questions having been clearly answered,” Northwest Territories Senator Dennis Patterson said Tuesday morning as exchanges among senators in committee heated up.Watch Todd Lamirande’s story on the debate in the Senate over Bill C-262 Last year the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs heard from 71 experts and witnesses during 11 meetings over almost four months.The bill, first introduced by Saganash in 2016, was passed without amendment and referred to the Senate, where C-262 proponents say Conservative senators have employed delay tactics to stall the bill’s progress.On Tuesday the Conservatives proposed amendments to each of the short bill’s six clauses, plus the addition of a seventh clause.Clause 2 of the bill affirms that C-262 cannot “diminish or extinguish existing Aboriginal or treaty rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada that are recognized and affirmed” in the Canadian constitution.Patterson said Tuesday, “there should be a provision that passage of this bill will also not have the effect of increasing or expanding such rights.”Each of the Conservatives’ proposed amendments was voted down by the majority Independent senate committee, and committee members voted on a five-minute time limit for each senator to speak to the proposals.Saskatchewan Conservative Senator David Tkachuk accused Senator Lillian Dyck, the committee chair, of impeding the Conservatives’ freedom of speech.As Dyck attempted to hold a vote on one of the Conservatives’ proposed amendments, Tkachuk spoke over her and read aloud a letter from Alberta United Conservative Party Premier Jason Kenney to Justin Trudeau warning against the passage of C-262 and its perceived threat to economic interests.Senator Murray Sinclair, the bill’s Senate sponsor, told APTN News he and his colleagues were ensuring the committee’s plan to deal with C-262 in a timely manner was fulfilled.“There had been agreement at the outset by the committee that we would deal with this bill in four meetings, and this was our fourth meeting,” he said.Patterson, the bill’s Senate critic, told APTN Tuesday that he planned to raise a question of privilege in the Senate chamber Tuesday evening, and to ask for the bill to be returned to committee.“It’s not at all appropriate to limit debate on amendments, especially for the critic of the bill.”“I’m very concerned about the time allocation and the fact that my ability to speak was denied.”Patterson’s question of privilege Tuesday afternoon prompted a debate that carried into the evening.NDP MP Nikki Ashton speaks at a rally outside the Senate Wednesday morning, urging all Senators and MPs, incl Justin Trudeau, to advocate for the passage of #UNDRIP bill C-262, which has met resistance from Conservative Senators. @APTNNews #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/O39n1uzJjf— Justin Brake (@JustinBrakeNews) June 12, 2019After hearing arguments from those who believed Dyck and the Aboriginal Peoples committee broke procedural rules, and arguments from those who believe the accusations are part of the Conservatives’ effort to orchestrate the end of Bill C-262, Senate Speaker George Furey reserved his decision.The declaration represents the global minimum human rights standards for Indigenous peoples and has been ratified by the UN General Assembly, and by Canada.On Tuesday a coalition of First Nations and human rights groups issued a joint statement refuting the claim that the bill has been rushed, and that its passage into law could have negative impacts on the economy.“Bill C-262 calls for a process by which federal laws can be reviewed in a systematic and collaborative way to ensure that Canada’s commitment to uphold the UN Declaration is being met. It would be up to Parliament to enact any required legislative changes identified in this process,” says the statement, signed by Amnesty International, the First Nations Summit, the Assembly of First Nations, the Metis Nation, and others.“Because there is no basis for claims that C-262 has been rushed, our Nations and organizations call on all Senators to ensure the Bill is brought to a vote in a timely fashion and passed into law during this session of Parliament.“If, instead, some Senators continue to employ procedural tactics to essentially kill the Bill, and oppose the human rights of Indigenous peoples, this will be a very regressive and shameful landmark in the history of the Parliament of Canada.Dyck stopped at Wednesday’s rally on her way into the Senate.“As you know it’s been a real struggle to get this bill through the Aboriginal Peoples committee,” she said, citing Conservative resistance.“Keep up the talking, keep up the protest, because this bill is so important,” she added. “We cannot let it die.”jbrake@aptn.ca@justinbrakenewslast_img read more

US auto sales fall even with strong sales of SUVs and trucks

first_imgDETROIT – Increased demand from rental car companies, strong truck and SUV sales, and recovery from hurricanes in Florida and Texas weren’t enough to push U.S. auto sales into positive territory for October.Sales for the month fell 1.3 per cent compared with a year ago as slowing demand made it almost certain that 2017 will be the first year with declining sales in seven years. Full-year sales almost certainly will fall below last year’s record of more than 17.5 million, although most analysts say demand is still healthy. Automakers reported selling 1.35 million vehicles for the month, according to Autodata Corp.Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen all reported gains for October on Wednesday, but Fiat Chrysler, General Motors, Hyundai and others posted declines.At Ford, sales rose 6 per cent due to a big gain in F-Series pickup demand and an increase in sales to fleet buyers such as governments and rental car companies. Nissan sales were up 8 per cent on record sales of the Rogue small SUV, which rose 43 per cent. Analysts said Nissan also had a big increase in fleet sales, although the company said sales to individual buyers increased as well. Toyota and Honda each reported gains of about 1 per cent, while VW brand sales were up nearly 12 per cent.But Fiat Chrysler sales dropped 13 per cent as a 43 per cent cut in fleet sales offset an October record for Ram pickup sales. GM sales fell 2 per cent as all four of its brands posted declines. At Hyundai, sales fell more than 15 per cent with car sales suffering as buyers continued the shift toward trucks and SUVs.September is the only month this year with positive sales numbers. And if history is any indication, November and December will be good months to buy vehicles because companies are likely to raise already high discounts, said Akshay Anand, executive analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “I do think that consumer interest is still strong regardless,” he said.The October drop came despite big numbers for pickup trucks and SUVs, higher incentives such as cash rebates, and higher sales to fleet buyers. Trucks and SUVs accounted for about 65 per cent of new vehicle sales in October, with cars in the 35 per cent range, which has been typical for much of the year, said Jeff Schuster, senior vice-president of forecasting for the LMC Automotive consulting firm.With millions of late-model cars coming off leases into the used-car market and automakers still trying to clear dealer lots of slow-selling cars, it’s a great time to get a deal on a less-popular sedan, Anand said.New vehicle sales also got a bump from replacement of hurricane-damaged vehicles, although Schuster said it wasn’t as large as expected because many people bought used vehicles. Based on data for the first three weeks of October, sales in Florida rose 5 per cent as shoppers finished purchases delayed by Hurricane Irma. In Houston, they rose only 3 per cent as the recovery from Hurricane Harvey wound down.Automakers raised discounts on vehicles to an average of $3,901, beating the previous record for October of $3,835 set last year, according to J.D. Power. But the average sale price, including incentives, rose to an October record of $32,185, as consumers bought more expensive trucks and SUVs and loaded them with options.Analysts say incentives could go higher toward the end of the year with big marketing pushes to meet year-end sales numbers.last_img read more

Japan EU sign trade deal to eliminate nearly all tariffs

first_imgTOKYO – The European Union and Japan signed a landmark deal on Tuesday that will eliminate nearly all tariffs on products they trade.The ambitious pact signed in Tokyo runs counter to President Donald Trump’s moves to hike tariffs on imports from many U.S. trading partners. It covers a third of the global economy and markets of more than 600 million people.“The EU and Japan showed an undeterred determination to lead the world as flag-bearers for free trade,” Abe said at a joint news conference with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.Tusk praised the deal as “the largest bilateral trade deal ever.” He said the partnership is being strengthened in various other areas, including defence, climate change and human exchange, and is “sending a clear message” against protectionism.The leaders did not mention Trump by name, but they did little to mask what was on their minds — highlighting how Europe and Japan have been pushed closer by Trump’s actions.The agreement was largely reached late last year. The ceremonial signing was delayed from earlier this month because Abe cancelled going to Brussels over a disaster in southwestern Japan, caused by extremely heavy rainfall. More than 200 people died from flooding and landslides.The measures won’t kick in right away and still require legislative approval. But they will bring Japanese consumers lower prices for European wines, pork, handbags and pharmaceuticals. Japanese machinery parts, tea and fish will become cheaper in Europe.The deal eliminates about 99 per cent of the tariffs on Japanese goods sold to the EU. About 94 per cent of the tariffs on European exports to Japan will be lifted, rising to 99 per cent in the future. The difference reflects exceptions on such products as rice, which enjoys strong political protection from imports in Japan.Overall, European farmers will benefit, Juncker said, though European consumers will be able to more easily buy luscious Kobe beef and famous Yubari melons.The EU said the trade liberalization will help raise European exports of chemicals, clothing, cosmetics and beer to Japan. Japanese will get cheaper cheeses, such as Parmesan, gouda and cheddar, as well as chocolate and biscuits.The imported wine and cheese could hurt sales by Japanese wineries and dairies, but Japanese consumers have historically coveted such European products.The major step toward liberalizing trade has been discussed since 2013.Apart from its deal with the EU, Japan is working on other trade agreements, including a far-reaching trans-Pacific deal. The partnership includes Australia, Mexico, Vietnam and other nations, although the U.S. has withdrawn.Abe praised the deal with the EU for helping his “Abenomics” policies, designed to wrest the economy out of stagnation despite a shrinking population and cautious spending. Japan’s growth remains heavily dependent on exports.___Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyamaHer work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyamalast_img read more

Rapper sues makers of video game Fortnite over dance moves

first_imgLOS ANGELES — Rapper 2 Milly filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the makers of “Fortnite,” saying they are illegally using a dance he created in their wildly popular video game.The Brooklyn-based rapper, whose real name is Terrence Ferguson, alleges that North Carolina-based “Fortnite”-maker Epic Games misappropriated his moves without compensation or credit in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles.The lawsuit states that the dance known on “Fortnite” as “Swipe It,” one of many that players can buy for their characters, is taken from the “Milly Rock,” a dance he came up with in 2011 that caught on as a craze in the summer of 2015 after the release of a song and video of the same name.Ferguson says that the game both steals his creation and as a result appropriates his likeness. He’s asking for a judge’s order that the game stop using the dance, and for damages to be determined later.“They never even asked my permission,” 2 Milly said in a statement.Epic Games spokesman Nick Chester declined comment.The fight-to-the-finish game “Fortnite” quickly became one of the most popular in history after its 2017 release.Players can use real-world money to buy in-game currency that gets their characters outfits, gear or “emotes,” brief dances that have become a cultural phenomenon performed on playgrounds, in social media posts and in the scoring celebrations of professional athletes.2 Milly is not the first prominent person to complain about Fortnight’s use of the moves.Chance the Rapper criticized the game for not including the songs behind some of its dances, giving artists a chance to share in its wealth.Actor Donald Faison, whose dance from the TV show “Scrubs” appear in an “emote,” tweeted in March, “Dear Fortnite … I’m flattered? Though part of me thinks I should talk to a lawyer.”Other than specific choreography within a specific copyrighted work, dance moves can be difficult to sue over.Jennifer Rothman, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, said in an email that 2 Milly may have a potential copyright claim or a right-of-publicity claim if the dance is a signature move that identifies him and would lead players to think he endorsed the game. But Epic Games’ free-speech rights may trump them.“There are likely to be First Amendment and fair use defences … in the context of a video game,” Rothman said, “which is understood as fully protected speech, on par with motion pictures and books.”Andrew Dalton, The Associated Presslast_img read more