Carleton University offers indigenous languages

first_imgAPTN National NewsThis year Carleton University is offering something new.Old indigenous languages, in danger of being lost.This is part of the Department of Linguistics program ‘Languages less commonly taught’.Officials say that these languages hold a great deal of traditional knowledge and cannot be allowed to disappear.APTN National News reporter Candace Maracle has more.last_img

The awards you didnt see

first_imgAPTN National NewsPrior to the live broadcast of the Aboriginal Peoples Music Choice Awards several were handed out in a special ceremony.Awards were given for everything from fiddle music, to producing and best album cover design.Best music video was earned by Shy-Anne for her video Too Young, Too Late.She dedicated the award to her deceased friend Claudette Main.“She’d bring hundreds of dollars of food to the food banks every day and spend hours and hours in the cancer clinics. Just do anything and everything that would make a difference in someone’s life,” said Shy-Anne.last_img read more

The fight against colonialism A look back at Taiwan

first_imgAPTN News In November APTN’s Tom Fennario travelled to Taiwan for a series of stories about the country of 23 million that is smaller than Nova Scotia.Starting with the Dutch in the 17th century, the 16 recognized Indigenous groups of Taiwan have long faced an unceasing wave of colonialism. Ethnic Chinese, known as “Han”, flooded the island after the Dutch, but were forced to relinquish Taiwan to Japan in the late 19th century.After World War II, the Chinese once again took control of the island that sits just 180 km west off China’s mainland.Following a civil war in 1949, the Chinese communist party led by Mao Zedong exiled the ruling nationalist party from mainland China to Taiwan.In just one year over two million Chinese inundated Taiwan, which to this day officially calls itself the Republic of China, although they are not recognized by the United Nations (UN).Instead, the UN views Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C or mainland China).Still, Taiwan is in many ways independent from the PRC, they have their own defacto government, currency, and laws.last_img read more

Fisheries and Oceans meet with Mikmaq community in a show of reconciliation

first_imgAngel MooreAPTN NewsIn a first of its kind in the Maritime region of eastern Canada, employees with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) met with members of the Mi’kmaq community to build a better relationship.Elder Noel Milliea says the ultimate goal is to change perceptions.Milliea is from Elsipogtog. He was asked by the DFO to speak at this meeting. The Elder teaches health and healing in his community.“So when we try to look at the parallels that both of us have, we come to understand a little bit about why we are the way we are on both sides,” said Millieau.“Why is there so much racism and why is there so much systemic trauma.”The DFO and the Mi’kmaq dispute over fisheries has a long history.The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 1999, that the Mi’kmaq had a right to commercially fish and support a moderate livelihood.The decision, known as the Marshall decision, is based on treaty rights signed in 1760 and 1761.It was a win for the Mi’kmaq, economically and culturally.But the decision did not solve the disagreements of how much fish the Mi’kmaq had a right to catch because the two sides haven’t been able to agree upon the definition of moderate livelihood.This has led to disputes and anger on both sides.At the three days of meetings, history was discussed – as a shared history between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.Trevor Sanipass says it’s the responsibility of everyone to educate themselves and others.“You know treaties were signed by two parties, so the treaties are not just the Aboriginal treaty it’s by all its their ancestors and our ancestors signed these agreements,” said Sanipass.The DFO said it wants its staff to become aware, and have a better understanding of Indigenous history.Debbie Boutt-Matheson said this will help with everyday interactions and perceptions.”You don’t always necessarily always think about it that way so that for me was a really great sort of dawning moment of I haven’t thought about it like that before and I have to think about it like that,” said Matheson.According to Millieau, relationships are already improving with the DFO reaching out to the community.”Hopefully it will make a difference in building relationships meaningful relationships with them in how they engage in our first nations communities,” Milliea said.Sanipass gives the government credit for taking the step to learn from community members.”What better way of doing it is really having first nations people, elders, educators, leaders and share this information, not just from our own people but to others as well,” said Sanipass.The DFO said it plans to offer more staff learning opportunities to develop positive relationships with Indigenous communities.amoore@aptn.ca@angelharksenlast_img read more

Amnesty uses World Water Day to highlight environmental racism in Canada

first_imgThe United Nations’ ____ has called for Canada to halt construction of the Site C dam pending a First Nations legal challenge to the project. File photo.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsSeamus O’Regan is marking World Water Day with a tip of the hat to the Liberals’ work on eliminating long-term boil water advisories in First Nations communities.“Everyone should have access to safe, clean, and reliable drinking water,” the Indigenous Services minister said in a statement released Friday. “Today, on World Water Day, we reflect on the progress that has been made toward that goal, both in Canada and around the world, and acknowledge the important work still ahead.”The Trudeau government has pledged more than $2 billion to lift all long-term drinking water advisories on reserves. To date, 81 of those advisories have been lifted, while 59 remain.But while the government is noting its achievements this March 22, a leading human rights organization is using the occasion to highlight federal government policies and resource development projects that harm Indigenous communities’ water and contribute to environmental racism in Canada.“Far too often, governments in Canada have demonstrated that they place little value on the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples and the revitalization of their cultures and traditions,” Tara Scurr, business and human rights campaigner with Amnesty International Canada, said in a statement Thursday.“That’s why we are marking World Water Day by renewing our commitment to support the Indigenous water defenders leading these crucial and inspiring human rights struggles.”Amnesty says the 2014 Mount Polley mine disaster in British Columbia, the ongoing harmful impacts of industrial pollution at Grassy Narrows, and the construction of the Site C dam in B.C.’s Peace Valley all represent instances of environmental racism and threats to fresh water.In August 2014 the collapse of a tailings pond at Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley copper and gold mine sent roughly 25 million cubic metres of water and toxic mining waste into Quesnel Lake and other nearby waterways, where Amnesty says up to 25 percent of salmon in B.C. return to spawn each year.The long-term and full impacts of the 2014 Mount Polley mining disaster in Secwepemc territory is not yet known. File photo.On unneeded Secwepemc territory, the event represented the worst mining disaster in Canada’s history.“The loss of the salmon, for us as Secwepemc, is a matter of life or death for our culture,” Secwepemc Elder Jean Williams has said.Almost five years later, charges have yet to be laid and locals are still fighting a discharge permit that allows Imperial Metals to dump 10 million cubic metres of treated mining effluent into Quesnel Lake, even though the impacts of the 2014 disaster are not yet fully known.“We have already lost access to our land, traditional foods and medicines,” says former Xat’sull First Nation Chief Bev Sellars, who fight and lost a case against Imperial Metals subsidiary Mount Polley Mining Corporation, which operates the mine.“We can’t afford to sit back and watch more toxic waste being dumped into our sacred waterways.”Meanwhile, several hundred kilometres north, First Nations say the Site C hydroelectric dam threatens fresh water, fish and their communities’ livelihoods in the Peace Valley.In December the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) wrote a letter to Canada’s ambassador to the U.N., Rosemary McCarney, calling on the federal government to halt work on the controversial dam pending the outcome of a First Nations-led legal challenge to the project.“The Committee is concerned about the alleged lack of measures taken to ensure the right to consultation and free, prior and informed consent with regard to the Site C dam, considering its impact on indigenous peoples control and use of their lands and natural resources,” CERD Chair Noureddine Amir wrote in the Dec. 14, 2018 letter.The Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations launched a treaty rights challenge against the project in January 2018.The two Treaty 8 Dane-zaa Nations also applied for an injunction to stop work on the project in order to protect 13 site of cultural importance, but were rejected by a B.C. Supreme Court judge last October.Justice Warren Milman said in his ruling, however, that the treaty challenge trial be concluded by 2023, prior to the earliest possible date for reservoir flooding on the Peace River.West Moberly Chief Roland Willson has called Site C’s impacts cultural genocide.In Thursday’s Amnesty release he says his people are already “living with the harm caused by previous dams on the Peace River and now the B.C. government wants to take away some of the most critical cultural and ecological areas that are left for us.“There’s a good reason that this project has been condemned by the UN’s top anti-racism body. The only question now is whether the federal and provincial governments will listen and act.”CERD has given the provincial and federal governments until April 9 to show what it’s doing to halt construction of the $10.7 billion project.“It is the responsibility of resource development companies to respect human rights – and for our governments to swiftly act when they do not,” Amnesty said in its statement Thursday.Amnesty calls Site C a “planned disaster,” the Mount Polley mine disaster a “preventable disaster,” and the mercury poisoning in Grassy Narrows “a disaster ignored.”A health study released last year links the effluent dumped by the operators of a mill in Dryden, Ont. into the English and Wabigoon river systems in the 1960s and ‘70s to a multitude of physical and mental health illnesses and conditions.“Despite the impacts on our community of decades of mercury poisoning, our incredible children and youth have demonstrated their resilience by drawing so much public attention to our struggle,” Grassy Narrows First Nation Chief Rudy Turtle says in Thursday’s release.“We need Prime Minister Trudeau to do everything in his power to join us in preventing more generations from bearing the brunt of this environmental crisis.”“It’s no coincidence that three of our highest priority human rights cases in Canada all revolve around contamination and threats to the rivers and lakes on which Indigenous peoples depend for their livelihoods and ways of life,” Scurr says.Amnesty says “it is the responsibility of resource development companies to respect human rights – and for our governments to swiftly act when they do not.”jbrake@aptn.ca@JustinBrakeNewslast_img read more

White House welcomes Senate vote killing consumer rule

first_imgWASHINGTON – The White House is welcoming a congressional measure killing the ability of millions of Americans to band together to sue bank or credit card companies to resolve financial disputes in a major win for Wall Street.The Senate narrowly voted late Tuesday night to nullify the rule, with Vice-President Mike Pence casting the final vote to break a 50-50 tie. The measure now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.“President Donald J. Trump applauds the Congress for passing,” the resolution, the White House said in a statement shortly after the vote that highlighted its own Treasury Department report criticizing the rule. “The rule would harm our community banks and credit unions by opening the door to frivolous lawsuits by special interest trial lawyers.”The banking industry had been lobbying hard to roll back the regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau had moved to ban most types of mandatory arbitration clauses found in the fine print of agreements consumers often enter into when opening a checking account or getting a credit card.The vote reflects the effort of the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to undo regulations that the GOP argues harm the free market.Democratic lawmakers said the CFPB’s rule would have given consumers more leverage to stop companies from financial wrongdoing. They cited the sales practices at Wells Fargo and the security breach at credit company Equifax as examples of misdeeds protected through forced arbitration.“So who does forced arbitration help? Wall Street banks and other huge corporations that never pay the price for cheating working people,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.Richard Cordray, director of the consumer bureau, said: “Tonight’s vote is a giant setback for every consumer in this country. Wall Street won and ordinary people lost. This vote means the courtroom doors will remain closed for groups of people seeking justice and relief when they are wronged by a company.”Republicans said the arbitration system has worked wonderfully for consumers. They said the payouts for the average consumer in arbitration cases are generally much larger and come more quickly than when compared to the relief gained through class-action lawsuits.“The effort to try to characterize this as some devious system that has been created to try to stop consumers from having access to fairness is simply false,” said Sen. Mike Crapo, the Republican chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. “We have a very fair system that has been working for over 100 years in this country.”Crapo said the average pay-out for consumers in class-action lawsuits against financial companies was just $32, but lawyers stood to make millions.Democrats argued that consumers generally don’t have the time and means to pursue claims in arbitration, and since most disputes revolve around small amounts, they typically just give up. They said banks and other financial firms know that in the end they won’t have pay a real price for taking advantage of a consumer.But class-actions would serve as a powerful tool for consumers, they said.“Once again, we’re helping the powerful against the powerless,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as the Senate neared the vote, sensing the Democrats would lose.Two Republicans sided with Democratic lawmakers to keep the rule — Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Kennedy of Louisiana.The advocacy group Consumers Union and several veterans groups, including the American Legion, lobbied to keep the rule. They said consumers would still have the option to use arbitration to resolve a dispute, if both parties want to go that route.“Without the CFPB rule, consumers can be forced into a rigged system where they have no recourse. It’s a disgrace,” said Linda Lipsen, CEO of the American Association for Justice, an advocacy group that works to improve the legal system.The American Bankers Association cheered the Senate vote. “Today’s vote puts consumers first rather than class-action lawyers,” said Rob Nichols, the group’s president and chief executive officer.last_img read more

UK agency investigates midair collision with casualties

first_imgLONDON – An aircraft and helicopter collided in mid-air Friday northwest of London and a “number of casualties” were reported, authorities said.Fire and ambulance services rushed to the scene at 12:06 p.m. GMT (7:06 a.m. EST) near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. Two ambulance crews, two ambulance officers and a rapid response vehicle were deployed, the South Central Ambulance Service said.“We’re aware of a number of casualties following an incident this afternoon,” Thames Valley Police said in a tweet. “There were a number of road closures following the incident, which have now been lifted.”The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it was sending a team to the site of the accident, which is in dense woodland.The crash took place near Waddesdon Manor, which is managed by the Rothschild Foundation, a family charitable trust, on behalf of the National Trust. The manor said the crash did not happen at the site and there were no casualties at the manor.A nearby military base, RAF Halton, also said no military aircraft were involved.last_img read more

Retailer MEC to stop ordering from Vista Outdoor in response to Florida

first_imgVANCOUVER – Mountain Equipment Co-op has decided to stop selling several outdoor equipment brands owned by Vista Outdoor Inc., which is also a gun manufacturer.MEC doesn’t sell guns, but had faced a petition calling on it to stop selling brands owned by Vista Outdoor because the U.S. company also develops and manufactures firearms similar to the type of rifle used in a recent Florida mass shooting.The retailer said Thursday its existing inventory of Bushnell, CamelBak, Camp Chef, Jimmy Styks and Bolle gear will remain on its shelves until it is sold, but it has suspended further orders of the brands owned by Visa Outdoor.MEC chief executive David Labistour issued a statement saying he has heard the calls to boycott the brands, but also from members who believe that decision should be left to individual consumers.“I hope that you will see that the decision we made today is balanced and considered and positions us to inspire a wider discussion throughout our industry and North America,” Labistour said.He added he believes a member-owned organization like MEC needs to engage in the “complex and highly charged debate” surrounding the Feb. 14 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that resulted in 17 deaths.The retailer will also “continue to engage with these brands as well our peers in the outdoor industry in North America in ways that are consistent with our mission and values,” he said.On Wednesday, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods took steps to restrict gun sales.Dick’s said it will stop selling assault-style rifles and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21.Walmart said it will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21.A 19-year-old former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has been accused of using an AR-15 rifle, that he purchased legally, for the attack.last_img read more

Campbell Soup Company names Mississauga as site for new headquarters

first_imgMISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Campbell Soup Company says its new Canadian headquarters will open in Mississauga, Ont.It will be located in the Airport Corporate Centre region, which is a 15-minute minute drive from its soon-to-be-closed Etobicoke manufacturing plant.The company decided to shutter the 87-year-old plant in January and cut 380 jobs, citing complications with retrofitting such an old building as the reason for the closure.Campbell says it chose Mississauga for its new headquarters because of its proximity to its Etobicoke facility and because of the area’s demographics.The headquarters will house 160 employees, all from its current team.The move from Etobicoke will happen in stages, but the company hopes the headquarters will be operational by the first quarter of 2019.last_img read more

WestJet pilots vow not to disrupt long weekend as a goodwill gesture

first_imgWestJet pilots have committed to not disrupting passenger travel plans over the Victoria Day long weekend despite voting overwhelmingly to give its union a strike mandate.The Air Line Pilots Association said its WestJet members voted 91 per cent in favour of strike action.About 95 per cent of WestJet’s 1,500 pilots voted.“I’m hoping with the gesture of goodwill we made today that we’ll see some significant progress at the table and we can hopefully come to a successful negotiation relatively quickly,” Capt. Rob McFadyen, chairman of the WestJet association’s master executive council, said in an interview.He said the union decided to delay a potential strike date past the long weekend so as not to disrupt the travel plans of WestJet passengers.McFadyen, who met Thursday with WestJet CEO Ed Sims, said the vote was a show of unity that the company should take seriously.“Today the pilots made it very clear with a very unified voice that these issues are very important to us, and they are unified in making sure that we do achieve that contract that the pilots expect.”The result was announced with eight days remaining in the 21-day cooling-off period, after which the union can launch a strike or the airline can lock out employees.Pilots will be in a legal position to commence job action on May 19, but now say they won’t strike before May 22.He added that it’s time for the efforts of pilots to be properly recognized in terms of industry-standard compensation and working conditions, and job security that prevents management from outsourcing jobs.“We’re making progress on some of the smaller issues that we hoped to clear up quite some time ago but I believe we’ll be addressing a lot of the major issues in the coming week.”The union said negotiations will continue starting next week in Halifax and it is committed to staying there for as long as it takes to get a first collective agreement done.Sims said the Calgary-based airline respects the outcome and recognized the mandate pilots have given the association.He also said the airline appreciates that passenger travel plans won’t be disrupted over the long weekend.“We remain at the negotiation table to drive a sustainable agreement, in the best interest of our pilots, 13,000 WestJetters and the 70,000 guests who fly with us daily,” he said in a news release.WestJet warned on Tuesday that its bookings have slowed as passengers respond to the threat of a potential labour disruption from pilots who are trying to negotiate their first collective agreement.Air Canada has capitalized on its rival’s situation by formally announcing Thursday that it is expanding capacity on key transcontinental routes in response to the strike mandate at its large domestic rival.The Montreal-based airline said it will use larger planes on some flights from its main hub in Toronto to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Halifax, from Vancouver to Calgary, Edmonton, and from Calgary to Montreal.“Travellers who may be concerned about the uncertainty resulting from WestJet’s strike vote mandate can book Air Canada with confidence,” it said in a release.“With our flexible and diverse fleet, we will continue adjusting capacity where possible to limit disruptions for people travelling.Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.Companies in this story: (TSX:WJA, TSX:AC)Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said WestJet Encore pilots also voted to strike.last_img read more

Bad drivers to pay more in BC under new Crown auto insurance

first_imgVANCOUVER – Drivers who cause crashes or have fewer than 15 years of experience will pay more for vehicle insurance in British Columbia as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul how premiums are calculated.The provincial government introduced the proposed changes on Thursday to modernize the system used by the Crown auto insurance corporation, which hasn’t been updated in decades.If the changes are approved by the B.C. Utilities Commission, two-thirds of drivers will pay less than they otherwise would while one-third will pay more, said Attorney General David Eby.The current model to calculate rates used by the Insurance Corporation of B.C. is “broken,” he said.“From now on, British Columbians can have more confidence that if they drive safely and don’t cause crashes, the rates they have to pay will much more closely represent the risk they actually represent on the road,” he said.Nearly 40 per cent of drivers would see up to a $50 reduction in their annual premiums, while 15 per cent would see more than a $100 reduction, the province said, adding that just over 10 per cent would see an up to $50 increase and 17 per cent would see their rates hiked more than $100.The adjustments would take effect in September 2019, although some elements will not be fully implemented until 2027.The changes are revenue-neutral and not intended to put a dent in ICBC’s forecasted $1.3 billion deficit — a situation Eby has called a “financial dumpster fire.”However, Eby said he hopes the measures will reduce costs to ICBC with a financial incentive to drive safely and prevent crashes, which are at a record high.One key change is that B.C. would move to a driver-based model from a vehicle-based insurance, so at-fault crashes are tied to the driver and not the car owner.Premiums would be calculated based on years of experience, number of at-fault crashes, place of residence and how the vehicle is used, with additional discounts or add-ons on top.Customers would have to list all the drivers who may operate the vehicle, and the experience and crash history of each driver would be taken into account in the premium.Those with a vehicle being used by a driver with a learner’s permit would have to pay as much as $200 more annually. But crashes caused by the learner before they get their licence won’t be counted in their driving history.ICBC would still offer discounts to inexperienced drivers, but those discounts would be reduced to better reflect the “risk” that those drivers represent, the province said.Under the plan, a driver would be considered inexperienced if they have fewer than 15 years of experience on the road.The corporation would consider at-fault crashes that happened over the past 10 years — up from three — to help determine a driver’s premium.But when the changes come into effect in September 2019, ICBC will only look back at two and a half years of at-fault crashes to determine premiums. Each year after that, it will extend the period by one year until 2027, when the full 10-year period will be in place.The corporation would forgive one at-fault crash for customers with 20 years of driving experience.The proposed model means drivers with more years of experience and no at-fault crashes would see greater discounts.Drivers are already paying more if they live in dense, urban areas, which are more risky for crashes. But the province is updating the map to better reflect what B.C. looks like in 2018, the province said.The utilities commission is set to hold a hearing in December to determine whether auto insurance rates will go up overall in the province.Andrew Wilkinson, leader of the Opposition Liberals, accused the NDP government of doing little to fix the problems at ICBC.“All the Attorney General has done today is lay blame at the foot of B.C. drivers, instead of overhauling the broken system that is ICBC,” said Wilkinson in a news release.The NDP countered with a news release saying the Liberals raided $1.2 billion from ICBC while they were in power in order to pad their own annual budgets.— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.last_img read more

Canada Goose reports secondquarter profit up raises outlook for full year

first_imgCompanies in this story: (TSX:GOOS) TORONTO — Canada Goose Holdings Inc. beat expectations as it reported a second-quarter profit of $49.9 million and raised its outlook for growth for the year.The luxury parka maker says the profit amounted to 45 cents per diluted share for quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with a profit of $37.1 million or 33 cents per diluted share a year ago.Revenue in what was the company’s second quarter totalled $230.3 million, up from $172.3 million in the same quarter last year.On an adjusted basis, Canada Goose says it earned 46 cents per diluted share in the quarter, up from an adjusted profit of 29 cents per diluted share a year ago. Analysts had expected a profit of 26 cents per share for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.In its outlook, Canada Goose says it now expects annual revenue growth of at least 30 per cent compared with its earlier forecast for at least 20 per cent.The company also expects annual growth in its adjusted net income per diluted share to be at least 40 per cent compared with its earlier guidance of at least 25 per cent. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Smith Broman lead Winthrop past Campbell 9086 in Big South

first_imgBUIES CREEK, N.C. — Nych Smith and Bjorn Broman, who sat out the previous game with injuries, combined for a clutch five points in the last 19 seconds and Winthrop fended off Campbell 90-86 on Thursday.Smith, Winthrop’s top scorer at 16.0 ppg., scored a career-high 27 in his return, hitting a dagger of a 3 with 19 seconds left that pushed the Eagles (10-5, 2-0 Big South Conference) ahead by five, 88-83. Campbell (8-8, 1-1) answered with a 3 of its own but Broman sealed the win with a pair of free throws a five seconds left.Chris Clemons, who leads the nation in scoring with 29.3 ppg., scored 34 against the Eagles. He threw down a dunk with 44 seconds left that cut the gap to 85-83, fed Jordan Whitfield for a 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining that made it 88-86. His attempt at a game-winning 3-pointer was blocked by Adam Pickett as time ran out.Clemons was 10-for-28 shooting and 4-for-14 from deep. His six assists were a season high.The Associated Presslast_img read more

China 2018 exports up 71 per cent imports up 129 per cent

first_imgBEIJING — China’s government reports 2018 exports rose 7.1 per cent as a trade battle with Washington intensified, while imports were up 12.9 per cent.Monday’s announcement comes as Beijing tries to reverse a decline in economic growth while facing a potential fall-off in American orders for Chinese goods following President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes in the fight over China’s technology ambitions.Chinese exporters also face pressure from cooling consumer demand in other global markets.The Associated Presslast_img read more

PGE bankruptcy could mean price hikes unpaid fire lawsuits

first_imgSACRAMENTO, Calif. — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said this week it will file for bankruptcy, raising concern that rates for electricity and gas will rise and victims of California wildfires who are suing the nation’s largest utility won’t get all the money they may be owed.Here are some key things to know about the impact of the company’s financial situation:WHAT DOES BANKRUPTCY MEAN?PG&E says it can’t afford at least $30 billion in expected costs related to California’s deadly 2017 and 2018 wildfires. Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy will allow the company to hold off creditors and keep providing electricity and natural gas service while it gets its finances in order.Richard Kelly, chairman of PG&E’s board of directors, said the reorganization allowed under Chapter 11 is “the only viable option to address the company’s responsibilities to its stakeholders.”While the filing wouldn’t make the lawsuits against PG&E disappear, it would consolidate them into a single proceeding before a bankruptcy judge, not a jury. That could buy the company time and prevent excessive jury verdicts.Bankruptcy also makes it easier for a company to take out new loans and sell off assets. PG&E, which also went through bankruptcy early 20 years ago, has been considering splitting off its gas division.WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?The utility’s Monday announcement kicks off a 15-day period before the official filing, which is expected on or before Jan. 29.California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he wants to keep the bankruptcy from going through, but that it might not be possible. He’s put his chief of staff in charge of looking for solutions, with help from financial and bankruptcy experts.Lawmakers may not be so eager to prevent the bankruptcy, but they have other questions to answer, such as how to keep electricity rates from rising or ensure wildfire victims who win lawsuits against PG&E get paid.WHO ARE PG&E’S CUSTOMERS?San Francisco-based PG&E is the nation’s largest utility based on customers and revenue. It serves more than 16 million people with electric or gas service.It also serves an area with roughly three-quarters of the California land most vulnerable to wildfire, Newsom said, putting the utility in a unique position compared with Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric, two of California’s other largest utilities.PG&E customers could bear some of the cost from the bankruptcy as a charge on their power bills. PG&E customers still have a charge on their monthly bills from the utility’s 2001 bankruptcy.The bankruptcy judge will determine what happens to parties owed money by PG&E, but state regulators will still decide what rates customers are charged.WILL THE POWER GO OUT?Newsom stressed Monday that the situation is not the same as PG&E’s bankruptcy in 2001, when the state faced an energy crisis that led to rolling blackouts.“We are not in a position where we’re worried about the lights turning out,” he said.The earlier bankruptcy stemmed from rising electricity costs during a shortage caused by the state’s attempts at deregulating the power industry.Now, the company is filing for bankruptcy because of crushing wildfire liability costs. California officials have determined PG&E’s equipment caused multiple 2017 fires.State investigators have not yet determined what caused a blaze that swept through Santa Rosa in 2017 or the fire that destroyed the town of Paradise and killed more than 40 people last November. But PG&E already faces lawsuits because it reported equipment issues around the time and place where last year’s fire sparked.PG&E is on the hook for major wildfire costs because California law makes utilities entirely liable for fires sparked by their equipment, even if the company didn’t act negligently.WHAT CAN LAWMAKERS DO?They tried to prevent a PG&E bankruptcy last year by approving a law allowing the utility to pass on some costs of the 2017 wildfires to ratepayers. It didn’t include a similar provision for 2018, which was a deadlier and more destructive wildfire season.State Sen. Bill Dodd, a Napa Democrat who wrote the law, said lawmakers didn’t want to give PG&E incentives to stop focusing on safety.But now lawmakers are forced to confront a bankruptcy. State Sen. Jerry Hill, a PG&E critic, said it might be a good thing because PG&E as it exists does not have a record of safety.Kathleen Ronayne, The Associated Presslast_img read more

1000 children to receive access to inclusive child care

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. – The B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development has announced that 1,000 children with extra support needs will have access to inclusive child care with the help of SCD and ASCD programming.The funding is part of a three-year, $30-million investment through the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada.The ministry says this funding, announced in February 2018, will reduce waitlists for inclusive child care and improves access to programs across the province for children with extra support needs. “Every parent wants the best for their child, yet many families with children who have extra support needs have been struggling for years to find quality care,” said Katrine Conroy, B.C. Minister of Children and Family Development.“This investment is a key part of our vision of affordable, quality child care for every B.C. family who wants it.”Supported Child Development (SCD) can include:One-On-One help for children who may need assistance during meals or to take part in activities with peers.Information and training for child care staff to help them make their programming more inclusive, such as creating a visual schedule to help children better understand their daily routine, or allowing children to begin their day earlier to be better oriented before the day begins.Working with families to link them to other local resources and support groups in the community, or to help them access medical and other needed services.The Province is investing more than $1 billion in child care over the next three years through Childcare BC, moving towards its long-term vision of a universal childcare system in B.C.last_img read more

Grande Prairie RCMP issue warning after a series of overdoses

first_imgGRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Grande Prairie RCMP are issuing a warning following a series of recent overdoses.According to RCMP, the Alberta Health Services EMS responded to approximately 14 overdose calls within the last four days.Police say investigations revealed a common trend of purple and pink coloured pills suspected to be heroin. Grande Prairie RCMP along with AHS, are cautioning individuals who engage in illegal drug use to exercise extreme caution when purchasing, and using illicit drugs.Individuals experiencing an overdose can show the following symptoms;breathing slowly or not breathing at allnails and/or lips are bluechoking or throwing upmaking gurgling soundsskin is cold and clammyNaloxone kits are available at pharmacies, community clinics and emergency departments.If you suspect an individual is experiencing an overdose, call 911 immediately.For more information on drug overdoses, you can visit drugsafe.ca.last_img read more