Was Kingsway Theatre saga an act of racism or jerkism TORONTO STAR

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementcenter_img In his defence, Pereira said Adeliyi was “rude and belligerent to the staff,” which is why he called the police. He says he mentioned race in response to questions by the police.Did the police ask, “Is she black?” or “What is her race?” or “Describe this woman, including her skin colour?” The police won’t say.If Adeliyi was white, would Pereira have said, “She is a white woman with black clothes?” Twitter Readers, not just of colour, described similar bad experiences with the theatre in emails to the Star and on social media. On Yelp, the theatre owner Rui Pereira appeared to respond to negative reviewers with f-bombs.So how did racism become an element here? For Adeliyi, it happened when Pereira called the police on her and described her as black and threatening. Racism is not quite the same as jerk-ism, although a Venn diagram of the two sets would result in a huge overlap.An incident at Kingsway Theatre last weekend left Torontonians squabbling when the black actress, Wendy Olunike Adeliyi, posted on Facebook her experience of being denied entry to watch a film (ironically about race) because she was carrying a backpack.Was it racism or was it not?last_img read more

PlayME Announces Network With Leading Theatre Companies

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Twitter Expect Theatre’s PlayME – the podcast that transforms Canadian plays into audio dramas – announces the launch of the PlayME Network, a new broadcast arm that will partner with some of Canada’s leading theatre companies from across the country. PlayME Network will feature shows from PlayME partners’ regular seasons, transformed into audio dramas.Founding PlayME Co-Artistic Directors Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley are pleased to announce that the inaugural PlayME Network partners are Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, Factory Theatre and The Musical Stage Co.; Ottawa’s Great Canadian Theatre Company; Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre and Newfoundland’s Artistic Fraud.Since its inception in 2016, PlayME has transformed 10 independent Canadian theatre productions into audio podcasts. With close to 500,000 downloads in over 80 countries to date, PlayME is in the vanguard of facilitating international access to Canadian theatre and building an audience and appetite for it from all over the world (nine out of ten listeners is from outside Canada). Past podcasts include Nicolas Billon’s Iceland, Anna Chatterton’s Quiver and Rose Napoli’s Lo (or Dear Mr. Wells). The PlayME Network expands beyond indie theatre work to include work from theatre companies with full seasons.READ MORElast_img read more

QUEBEC GETS ITS FIRST NETFLIX ORIGINAL FILM AMID TAX CULTURAL CONTENT CONCERNS

first_img Facebook Login/Register With: Advertisement Guillaume Laurin, Patrice Laliberté and Julie Groleau pose for a photo in Montreal on Monday, November 19, 2018. The three comprise the upstart filmmaking team selected to make the first Netflix original feature film out of Quebec. It’s the latest product of a pledge by the streaming service giant to spend $500 million over five years on Canadian productions. (Christopher Reynolds/Canadian Press) “It was a very desperate time. If this project didn’t work, I would have quit for good,” he said.Ten months later he found himself meeting with a Netflix representative in a downtown Toronto hotel lobby.Netflix is a particularly puzzling and difficult company in terms of adapting Canadian policy to actually capturing this new business model.– Rosalie Wyonch, C.D. Howe Institute“At some point we asked, ‘So, do we know when we might have a green light or not?’ And she just extended her hand,” Laliberté recalled, smiling.“She said, ‘If it wasn’t 11 a.m. we’d be popping champagne.”’Laliberté, an upstart director with no full-length credits to his name, is part of the small film-making team selected to make the first Netflix original feature film out of Quebec. It’s the latest development of a pledge by the global television powerhouse to spend $500 million over five years on Canadian productions, a number Netflix recently said it will exceed.Boon, or bust?Welcomed by some as a boon to a subsidy-dependent film industry, the announcement in September 2017 was not without controversy, particularly in Quebec.Then-federal heritage minister Melanie Joly drew criticism for opting not to require the California-based company to charge sales tax on its subscriptions, as its domestic competitors are required to do.Netflix also sidestepped the rules that apply to the country’s broadcasting companies, landing outside regulations to funnel a portion of their revenues to the creation of Canadian programming.It did agree to shell out $25 million on a strategy to develop the francophone and cultural minority market, but avoided any contractual obligations to do so.“Netflix is a particularly puzzling and difficult company in terms of adapting Canadian policy to actually capturing this new business mode,” said Rosalie Wyonch, a policy analyst at the C.D. Howe Institute.Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission regulations require broadcasters to air a certain percentage of Canadian content. Netflix, however, doesn’t control the amount of content that gets streamed — its subscribers determine that daily.Whether Netflix should pay into the Canadian Media Fund, as the country’s cable and satellite distributors are required to do, is similarly fuzzy, Wyonch said, since the company has claimed it would not have access to the fruits of that fund.Ottawa launched an expert panel last June to review broadcasting and telecommunications laws, with an eye to including Netflix in cultural funding requirements. An interim report is due in June 2019.Current rules also allow streaming services that do not maintain a physical presence in Canada to avoid collecting or remitting federal or provincial sales taxes.The European Union, Australia and Japan have all levelled the playing field among foreign and domestic digital service providers, taxing them similarly. Quebec is on track to do likewise in January, slapping a provincial sales tax on any purchases from Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and other online services based abroad.“The key question is, would this movie have been made anyway, without the no-tax deal with Ottawa?” Wyonch said. “Netflix is a global company. French is not exactly a small language.”Netflix produces films and television shows in more than 20 countries, dubbing and subtitling them as part of a content budget of between $12 billion and $13 billion, Wyonch said. That beats HBO’s expenditures several times over.‘Refreshing’ alternativeHelene Messier, head of an association that represents 150 independent Quebec production companies in film, television and online, called the Quebec announcement “excellent news,” with a qualifier.“I hope it’s an indication of many more contributions. I think that we won’t know until a few years from now,” she said. “But I think that they understand our market and what our creative people have to offer.”For Laliberté and the six-year-old Couronne Nord — a Montreal production house whose name refers to the off-island suburbs where he and his two-colleagues grew up — the arrival of Netflix offers a “really refreshing” alternative to the go-to sources of funding in Quebec, primarily the SODEC funding agency and Telefilm Canada.“It’s a game-changer in Montreal,” said Guillaume Laurin, the film’s 28-year-old content producer.“Private funding doesn’t exist; it’s not in the cultural mindset. And the market is so small. It’s not like in the United States, where everything is privately funded.”The filmmakers aim to evoke the province’s “nordicite,” roughly translated as “northernness.”“We’re living six months a year in this, and it’s rarely appearing on screen,” Laliberté said. “For me, since college it was a dream to make films in a winter landscape.”Laliberté, creatively inspired by the nationalist rhetoric and “end-of-the-world” conspiracy theories mushrooming on social media, said he hopes to draw on work by directors from Terrence Malick to Stanley Kubrick to evoke the paranoid mindset and militaristic lifestyle of a survivalist camp.“With climate change or with economic situations, people start to have fear…fear of the other,” said Laliberté, who won the Toronto International Film Festival award for best Canadian short film with “Overpass” in 2015.“It’s not a chill, Netflix film,” he said, joking that the working title is just that: “Netflix film.”By Christopher Reynolds | The Canadian Press A year ago, Patrice Laliberté was on the verge of abandoning his film career and starting down a more stable path.“I was going to work in video games or something else, I didn’t know. I was thinking, ‘How am I going to even pay for Christmas presents?’”With a fistful of dollars from a commercial, the 32-year-old Montrealer decided to give film directing a final go, hunkering down to tweak a script about a group of survivalists in the frigid Quebec outback.center_img Advertisement Advertisement Twitter LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

New Premier tells Albertas Indigenous peoples I am looking forward to consulting

first_imgNicole Robertson, of Calgary said she voted NDP after once having a one-on-one conversation with Prentice about murdered and missing Indigenous women.She said he didn’t give her any straight answers.However, it was the promise from the NDP on the matter that swayed her support in their direction.“To me that’s really important. We are at an all-time breaking point, a national crisis in this country,” said Robertson. “In Alberta there’s a high number (of missing and murdered Indigenous women). I’m hoping this new government will assist in the prevention of missing and murdered Indigenous women and our men.”“To Alberta’s Indigenous Peoples, the trust that we have been given tonight is a call to be better neighbours and better partners.” Rachel Notley Brandi MorinAPTN National NewsHopes are high among many of Alberta’s Indigenous communities after Tuesdays historic election that saw a 44-year run of Conservative rule come to an end.The NDP, led by Rachel Notley, committed to a renewed partnership with Alberta’s Aboriginal peoples that included a promise to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and making it law in the province.Notley also outlined commitments to tackle issues like supporting a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women; working to solve land claims and addressing consultation issues.A high number of First Nations, Metis and Inuit Albertans turned out to vote and according to a sample from Elections Alberta, they voted NDP.Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam attended the packed NDP celebration in Edmonton Tuesday night and congratulated Notley in person on her win.His band, north of Fort McMurray and the tar sands, has long-standing environmental concerns over oil exploration and development.He said he’s looking forward to working with Notley to revisit tar sands regulation.“We have to build that new bridge with the new premier of Alberta,” said Adam. “Ms. Rachel Notley is more than willing to sit down with Aboriginal people and leaders across this province of Alberta, so be it, I’m game to do it.”He said some Alberta chiefs were unsure of the prospect of a new government and were still hanging onto the promises made by the former government led by Jim Prentice who resigned as leader of the Conservatives and gave up his seat in the legislature.“Some of the older chiefs wanted to support Prentice because of the commitments he made prior to the election, but those commitments aren’t there anymore,” said Adams. “They had 44 years to live by it. Why so long?”Assembly of First Nations regional chief Cameron Alexis told APTN National News that the NDP were the only party to reach out to First Nations in the province.“I sincerely thank premier-elect Notley for recognizing the Indigenous peoples of Alberta and the will to work with us,” Alexis said in a statement to APTN. “She further reached out to ask for the Aboriginal votes! This was not evidenced by the other parties! We look forward to a positive relationship with the NDP and begin the path to move forward on all issues relative to First Nations and all Albertans.”Social media is believed to have played a strong role on influencing Indigenous voters.Calgary based social media blogger and activist Lowa Beebe said she saw lots of election information distributed and shared via social media.“This is now a tool in our history. Our communities always worked together and were stronger together, well on social media we are now together,” said Beebe. “It’s us talking and having discussions on this new medium that’s here to stay.”Promises from NDP Platform[wooslider slideshow_speed=”4.5″ slider_type=”attachments”] Katherine Swampy, one of five Aboriginal candidates in the campaign, ran in the riding of Drayton Valley-Devon which includes her home community of Maskwacis.She spent long days door-knocking and said it was the first time her community members had anyone from a provincial election include them in their outreach.Swampy came in third.“My achievements in this election were not just my own, it lifted my entire community,” said Swampy who added that many people were inspired by her. “I was told that my efforts as an Aboriginal woman had an effect throughout the province as this election had more Aboriginal voters than ever before.”As for the success of her peers and the promises that they made, Swampy is confident they will follow through.“It was the only party that had any type of platform that included Indigenous people. I am super proud. I’m unbelievably proud that we are the new government.”During her victory speech Notley acknowledged Alberta’s Indigenous people.“To Alberta’s Indigenous peoples, the trust that we have been given tonight is a call to be better neighbours and better partners. And I am looking forward to consulting with you and learning from you,” said Notley in her victory speech.It was a line that took Chief Allan Adam by surprise.He said he’s never heard an Alberta leader mention Alberta’s Aboriginal peoples in a victory speech.“Finally, we are going to go somewhere if she means what she says,” said Adam.bmorin@aptn.calast_img read more

Minister of Indigenous Affairs discusses MMIW national inquiry

first_imgAPTN National NewsCalling a national inquiry was a promise the Liberals made during the 2015 federal election.Wednesday that promise turned into a reality.Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett announced the commissioners Wednesday morning at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que.Minister Bennett joined APTN National News host Michael Hutchinson to talk about the announcement.last_img

Family told no Montreal MMIWG hearings without extension – but is it

first_img(Laurie Odjick, centre, at the Maliotenam hearings. To her left is commissioner Michele Audette. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTN)Tom Fennario APTN National NewsThe mother of a missing Quebec teenager says she was told by the executive director of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) that there will be no Montreal hearings unless the federal government grants an extension.Laurie Odjick said she was told this by the inquiry’s director Debbie Reid.“Hearing that was very heartbreaking,” said Odjick, an Algonquin from Kitigan Zibi First Nation in western Quebec.Odjick is the mother of the Maisey Odjick, a teenager who, along with her friend Shannon Alexander, vanished from Maniwaki, Que in 2008.Odjick has been an advocate for families ever since and was flown to the latest MMIWG inquiry hearings in Maliotenam to provide support to the inquiry and commissioners.Instead, she told APTN News, she received this news.“My heart is hurt because I want answers,” said Odjick.But according to the commissioners, the Montreal hearings are not off the table.“We recognize the importance of Montreal for both the Montreal and Quebec Indigenous community,” said commissioner Qajaq Robinson. “It’ll be difficult for us to get to all the places that we need to go without an extension, this is an undeniable reality, but at this point, there’s no reason to think that Montreal is dependent on an extension.”Inquiry commissioner Michele Audette was more direct.“We’ll make sure, I will, that we go there in the Winter,” said Audette.For her part, Odjick said there seemed to be a breakdown in communication between the commissioners and their executive director.She said for peace of mind, would like to see a winter and spring schedule released as soon as possible.“I think the families have a right to know which communities that they won’t be going to because so many families want this,” she said. “And for me to be told yesterday that there might not be one without an extension, I can’t even explain my heartbreak and disappointment for that.”When asked when dates for winter and spring will be released, Robinson said it was too soon to give an answer.Hearings in Maliotenam First Nation continue until Friday before heading to Thunder Bay, Ont. For hearings from December 4-6.Follow Tom at the hearings here: Follow @tfennariolast_img read more

Helena Woods story How domestic abuse can lead to child apprehension

first_imgEditor’s note: APTN News is taking a detailed look into child welfare between Feb. 20-23. This is Part 2 of a three-part series on the story of a woman in Manitoba who blames abuse suffered at home for her daughter’s death and eventual contact with child and family services. Read Part 1 here.Brittany Hobson Karyn Pugliese APTN NewsSprawling more than 7,000 acres and home to 4,500 people the community of St. Theresa Point is an isolated wilderness. The remote community is surrounded by the several tiny islands that make up Manitoba’s Island Lake region.Homes in the community are sometimes spread a part by 20 feet of trees, bush and wildlife.It seems peaceful, but some homes here know violence. And this community is not alone.According to a 2014 Statistics Canada report Aboriginal women are three times more likely to be victimized by current or former partners than non-Aboriginal women.In St. Theresa Point some women are beginning to talk about it.On Feb. 26, 2010 Helena Wood’s 15-year-old daughter Cassandra Wood died by suicide. Her body was found a day later in a garage near the high school in the community.Helena believes witnessing 15 years of family violence overwhelmed Cassandra.“I’m not losing another daughter because of domestic violence. Never again,” Helena told APTN News from her home in Steinbach, Man.“There were lots of signs. Lots of sayings but nobody heard her. Nobody heard her. Not even her friends.”Helena is the first to admit she also failed to see the signs. It’s something that she has to live with to this day. Looking back on the events leading up to Cassandra’s death she says she was in survival mode. The well-being of her children fell by the way side.“I went straight down emotionally and physically,” she said. “Physically my beat ups caught up to me, so mentally I went straight down.”“What did I do? I drank for many years. Then I became addicted.”It’s hard for Helena to talk about the abuse, addictions and the death of Cassandra. It’s taken her eight years.Helena was born and raised in St. Theresa Point. The 39-year-old met Cassandra’s father while the two were in high school. APTN has decided not to publish his name. She became pregnant with Cassandra at the age of 16. The two married once she turned 18.Helena says the beatings started early on. She says she tried to leave multiple times often seeking solace at her parent’s house in the community, but friends and family would convince her to go back.From left to right: Cassandra Wood, Helena Wood, Rose Wood (Cassandra’s grandmother), Delia Harper (Cassandra’s great-grandmother) Photo supplied by Helena Wood.Today, the community practices both traditional spirituality and Christianity, but this wasn’t always the case. In August 1909 elders living in the area now known as St. Theresa Point signed on to the Treaty 5 adhesion. In the late 1920s and early 1930s people began to move away from the area when settlers began to occupy the land, and with them they brought different religions. In 1969 the area was separated into four communities with St. Theresa Point being the largest. Much of that area practiced Roman Catholic ideology. It remains heavily engrained in daily life today. Many believe divorce is not an option.“Everybody telling me [it’s] the Native way,” said Helena. “You have to go back to your husband. You have to.”Island Lake First Nations Family Services (ILFNFS) first intervened in December 2008 according to a special investigative report commissioned by Manitoba’s Children’s Advocate Office. Cassandra told local health workers she didn’t want to go home because of the violence.Helena and Cassandra’s father met with ILFNFS and representatives from health services and justice. Helena says the agency would never meet with her alone. She says before meetings Cassandra’s father would threaten her if she spoke out about the violence.Scared for her life, Helena remained quiet.After Cassandra’s death Helena’s husband promised to change his ways. This lasted for a month. Then the beatings started again. Shortly after her second daughter Jewel began to cut herself. She was sent to Winnipeg with Helena to see a counselor. Through the counselor Helena learned about domestic violence and the resources available for women and families.In August 2010, six months after Cassandra’s death, Helena made the decision to leave the community for Winnipeg.Waiting at the other end was her cousin Judy Klassen.Klassen says victims get to a point where violence seems normal.“You don’t feel like your life is in danger. Oh, this wasn’t so bad,” she told APTN. “It’s a weird mental start that you’re in where self-preservation just doesn’t exist.”Klassen knows this first hand. She is also a victim of domestic violence. She recalled one night she was hurt so bad she feared her partner would kill her.“I had to leave my kids and that was the hardest thing. I couldn’t run with them. I couldn’t carry myself,” she said.“It felt like my arms were broken. It felt like my legs were broken. But, it really felt like I was going to be killed if I stayed there.”She was eventually able to reach help. Child and family services safely removed the kids from the home and returned them to her.Klassen is now a Liberal MLA for the Keewatinook riding, which includes her home community of St. Theresa Point.Last November she shared her experience with the Manitoba legislature using the moment to also call for more resources for women experiencing family violence.“I was six-months pregnant when my partner hit me so hard to the ground only to be found by a patrolling RCMP a little while later,” she said. “I managed to survive that episode in my life and I proudly stand here today and speak out and speak up for women [who] still can’t speak for themselves.”Klassen isn’t the only one in her family who has experienced spousal violence. Her older sister Stephanie Wood was in a long-term relationship with a partner she says abused her physically and emotionally.She says the moment to leave her abuser came when she realized she had nothing left to give.“I’d like to say that I stood up and I said no more of this and I walked out all powerful,” Wood said. “It wasn’t like that at all. It was more I was completely broken. Everything that I had it was like I had already spent it all.”Violence in the community has been a hidden issue for many years. Some call it a ‘dirty little secret.’ Women can be seen walking with black eyes or bandaged arms and there is little nurses or mental health workers can do when people won’t talk about the problem.Illa Harper is a nurse in St. Theresa Point. She often treats victims, but says there isn’t much else she can do. For example, there are no shelters in the community.“There’s no resources like [other] homes here,” she told APTN from St. Theresa Point. “I feel scared when I send them home.”Leaving the violence often means leaving the community. This is easier talked about than done. In the summer St. Theresa Point is only accessible by plane. In the winter people can drive in and out via a winter ice road.“I can’t medivac them out because they’re [at] risk for violence,” said Harper. “So what do they do if they [want to] escape out of the community and they can’t even afford plane fare? If they have five kids and themselves that’s about $2,000.”But, Helena and her kids got out. She called a Winnipeg shelter telling them her situation. The shelter paid for transportation out of the community.“I left under the rug. I just decided like that,” Helena recalls. “I called Osborne House and just told them what my situation was. I said I need to get out.”Once Helena arrived in Winnipeg she stayed at the shelter for a couple weeks before moving to Steinbach to stay with Klassen.Klassen remembers picking up the phone one day only to hear Helena on the other line with news she had left the community with the kids and needed a place to stay. Klassen drove into the city and picked them up.“It was so heart wrenching to see my nieces and nephews bewildered faces,” she said. “Trying to offer reassurance that auntie’s going to help as much as possible. It was hard for them to trust coming from a home like that where they saw violence every day.”Helena Wood.Helena learned problems don’t just go away when women leave the community. After settling in Steinbach she continued to use booze to help cope with the death of Cassandra. She needed programs but they seemed impossible to access.Helena’s drinking strained her relationship with her two children, Jewel and Austin. The kids were still reeling from the death of their sister and Helena was struggling to adapt to life as a single mother. Child and Family Services eventually apprehended the children because of the drinking.It’s been eight years since Helena left. She is on a healing journey, but some wounds remain. She was once choked so hard that to this day she can barely swallow.In her home in Steinbach Helena fries some eggs and boils some potatoes. Once the food is cooked she throws it into a blender.“I blend my food. I puree my food like baby food,” she said.“I can’t swallow solids. I can’t push it down. It feels like it’s stuck there but I can’t push it down. I don’t have the ability to push it down.”Helena says specialists have told her there is no physical damage to her throat and equate the trouble of swallowing with a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder.Part of Helena’s healing journey includes sharing her story. She hopes shining a light on domestic violence will bring some change to her community.“Still today there is no help out there. I haven’t see any changes,” said Helena.“[The community] only acts in a crisis. If one is already too late or [there’s] a really wounded person.”Helena hopes to one day see a shelter in the St. Theresa Point, but most of all she wants women to know there are resources outside the community. And, there are people, including her, who will do their best to help women get out.“You’re not alone. There is hope. You have to get out for yourself and children. Break the silence.”bhobson@aptn.calast_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,728.51, up 23.51 points):Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financial Services. Down seven cents, or 0.28 per cent, to $25.26 on 8.39 million shares.Hydro One Ltd. Instalment Receipts (TSX:H.IR). Utilities. Down 89 cents, or 2.39 per cent, to $36.41 on 8.37 million shares.Trevali Mining Corp. (TSX:TV). Miner. Up seven cents, 4.70 per cent, to $1.56 on 6.5 million shares.Pembina Pipeline Corp. (TSX:PPL). Oil and gas. Up 49 cents, or 1.12 per cent, to $44.17 on 5.5 million shares.Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSX:TD). Bank. Up 43 cents, or 0.60 per cent, to $71.67 on 4.3 million shares.Titan Medical Inc. (TSX:TMD). Healthcare. Down four cents, 11.76 per cent, to 30 cents on 4.2 million shares.Companies reporting major news:BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB). Wireless communications. Down 31 cents, or 2.18 per cent, to $13.90 on 3.5 million shares. The Ontario-based security software company says it expects to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 16 under the ticker symbol “BB.” CEO John Chen says the partnership with the NYSE will further raise BlackBerry’s profile and strengthen its BlackBerry Secure brand.Home Capital Group Inc. (TSX:HCG). Financial Services. Up 15 cents, or 1.07 per cent, to $14.12 on 528,426 shares. Two more executives have left the Toronto-based alternative lender, with one being replaced and another’s position eliminated. The company says Pino Decina, executive vice-president of residential lending, and Chris Whyte, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, have departed from their roles at the organization. Edward Karthaus, whose was previously with D+H and Filogix LP, will replace Decina on Oct. 10.last_img read more

Inflation angst Businesses face higher labour vendor costs

first_imgNEW YORK — Diners are willing to pay more at Manhattan’s upscale Gotham Bar and Grill, but price increases these days aren’t about snob appeal — the restaurant is contending with higher costs, particularly from rising wages.“We have been forced to raise our prices to offset this expense and our pricing still doesn’t compensate fully for the increase,” says Bret Csencsitz, managing partner in the restaurant located in the Greenwich Village section.Gotham’s hourly wages have gone up along with the city’s minimum wage, which rose $2 an hour to $13 last December and will reach $15 this Dec. 31. The restaurant is also paying more for ingredients, especially eggs and other dairy items that are key dessert components.Higher labour costs due to a tight employment market and rising minimum wages in states like New York are a key factor as some small businesses struggle with inflation and consider whether to pass higher expenses along to customers. Wholesale prices, which reflect what businesses pay for goods and services, rose 0.6 per cent in October, the largest increase in six years. Consumer prices, which the Federal Reserve considers as it determines whether to raise interest rates, were up 2.5 per cent from October 2017. Economists consider U.S. inflation to currently be mostly in check, but individual businesses can feel the impact of higher prices in differing ways, depending on where they’re located, whether they have employees, are in tight real estate markets and face the Trump administration’s tariffs on imports.Owners have varying strategies for coping with inflation. Where possible, they try to negotiate lower prices with suppliers or search for new vendors. They may change products or services to avoid raising prices or keep the increases to a minimum. Others understand when they’re forced to charge more that they may lose some business.Gotham won’t downscale its menu, and while it has raised prices, it’s also absorbing costs rather than lose customers, Csencsitz says.“There is a limit to what the consumer is willing to accept to dine out. We’d rather take a hit on the bottom line,” he says.Just a few years ago, Tom Malesic was able to pay a website developer at his Lancaster, Pennsylvania, internet marketing company $35,000. Now, he says, “we’re lucky to get one at $60,000.”“Our biggest business expense is labour. Our salaries have had to go up substantially to stay competitive and attract the people that we need to be successful,” says Malesic, owner of EZSolution. He also has other rising expenses, including software that’s upgraded yearly and costs more with each enhancement.Malesic has had to raise prices, but rather than implementing an across-the-board increase, he’s created a tiered system, packaging services and pricing them according to what each package offers. Customer response has been positive, he says.“In the last year, we’ve done a better job at repositioning and being transparent about what they get,” Malesic says. “That’s definitely been helpful.”Raising prices is difficult in the printing industry, where many companies have shut down in the past decade, not only because of the recession, but because their business customers no longer send printed documents through the mail.“I had to keep my prices decently low just not to go out of business,” says Joy Gendusa, owner of Postcardmania in Clearwater, Florida. She absorbed the increases by resigning herself to lower profit margins. Now, however, with labour costs up $22,000 a week this year including what she pays for staffers’ health insurance, she’s passing some increases to customers.“We’ve had to raise our prices to afford the creme de la creme of personnel,” says Gendusa, who has 235 employees. She’s also finding ways to diversify; she’s added electronic mailing services that bring in more revenue and are more profitable than printing.When inflation manifests itself in the form of soaring rents, some companies shut down, forcing their small business customers to find new suppliers. When some of Haldora Bjornsson’s fabric vendors in New York’s Garment District closed, she had fewer resources for the silk she uses in custom-made women’s clothes.“Now, there aren’t so many choices, and we are paying a higher cost,” says Bjornsson, owner of Haldora, a store in Rhinebeck, New York.Bjornsson also pays more for thread and buttons and is concerned that Trump administration tariffs could exacerbate the increases. While customers expect to pay more for her clothes — her signature shirt ranges from $258 to $649 — Bjornsson is hesitant to raise her own prices because she doesn’t want to lose sales. The solution, she says, is to scale back the types of fabric she uses.“I make less silk (shirts) than I used to. I’m still using linen and cotton,” Bjornsson says.Owners whose companies require frequent travel are getting hit hard, especially if they’re not flying in and out of major hubs.“I’m finding that coming out of Santa Fe and Albuquerque (New Mexico), the inexpensive flights I used to take are sold out,” says Sarah Boisvert, who takes about five trips a month for her technology training company, Fab Lab Hub. She estimates her travel expenses are up by a third this year. Boisvert flies to cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and fares are higher than on more heavily travelled routes like New York-Los Angeles. Some tickets she used to pay $400 for now cost $900.But Boisvert, whose company helps train people in skills like 3D printing, gets funding from grants and can’t pass along cost increases. She has to take steps that are hard for a company focused on new technology.“We have to cut elsewhere — delay new equipment purchases, for example,” she says._____For more small business news, insights and inspiration, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here: http://discover.ap.org/ssb_____Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenbergJoyce M. Rosenberg, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Statistics Canada says pace of Canadian economic growth slowed in third quarter

first_imgOTTAWA — The pace of economic growth in Canada slowed in the third quarter as business investment spending moved lower and the growth in household spending slowed.Statistics Canada says the Canadian economy grew at an annualized pace of 2.0 per cent in the quarter.That compared with an annualized pace of 2.9 per cent in the second quarter.The result matched the expectations of economists, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.The move came as non-residential investment in buildings and engineering structures fell 1.3 per cent as spending in the oil and gas sector slowed. Investment in machinery and equipment by businesses fell 2.5 per cent.Meanwhile, the growth in household spending slowed to 0.3 per cent in the quarter compared with 0.6 per cent in the second quarter.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Moms start companies to fill demand for Spanish books

first_imgNEW YORK — You might have heard of the three blind mice or the itsy-bitsy spider who went up the water spout. But have you ever heard of the little cold and hungry chicks?If you grew up speaking Spanish, the answer is probably yes. But Susie Jaramillo wants everyone to know “Los Pollitos,” a bedtime song about a hen taking care of her hatchlings that’s as familiar in the Spanish-speaking world as “Twinke, Twinkle, Little Star” is to English speakers.The song is the heart of Canticos, a series of bilingual books, companion apps and singalong videos that the Venezuelan-American mother of two dreamed up after she couldn’t find enough Spanish-language books to read to her children. The brand, which debuted in 2016, had its biggest breakthrough this year when Nickelodeon adapted it to develop a series for toddlers on its digital platforms.Canticos capitalized on a growing market for Spanish books in the United States, which the traditional publishing industry has addressed in fits and starts. Small companies are stepping in to fill the void, leveraging social media and strategic retail partnerships to target key customer bases, often ones they themselves belong to.“When I had my first child, I went online and thought: Where are all the board books of these songs that I grew up with?” said Jaramillo, a former co-founder of a Latino-focused New York advertising agency. “We’re always singing the American songs in Spanish, and our songs are great. Why aren’t people singing them in English?”Jaramillo teamed up with fellow mother Nuria Santamaria Wolfe, a former head of multicultural strategy at Twitter, to launch Encantos Media Studios, an entertainment company that released Canticos as the first of its planned bilingual brands.Two other mothers, Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein, founded their own publishing company in 2014 when Rodriguez couldn’t sell mainstream publishers on her concept of a bilingual board book series featuring Latino icons and traditions. The company, Lil’ Libros, landed a partnership with Target just five months after publishing its first book, “Counting with Frida,” now the bestseller on Amazon among children’s counting books. The books are now sold at 1,300 stores nationwide.“We didn’t expect this reaction. We were doing it for love. If 100 kids picked up our books, we would have been happy,” said Rodriguez, a senior producer for the radio show “On Air With Ryan Seacrest.”Friends Chiara Arroyo and Celene Navarette were on the book fair committee of their children’s bilingual school in Los Angeles when they noticed the spotty Spanish-language selection. They persuaded Mexican publishers to send some titles, set up two tables and quickly sold out. They founded their business five years ago, selling books at other school fairs and then online.By 2015, they had opened La Libreria, a store in central Los Angeles and nationwide distributor of books from Latin America and Spain.U.S. sales of children’s Spanish-language books rose 6 per cent over the past year to 1.5 million units, according to NDP BookScan. Overall Spanish-language books jumped 15 per cent. But that still represents less than 1 per cent of the overall book market in a country with more than 41 million Spanish speakers.Major publishers and distributors have pursued the Spanish-language market for years with mixed results. Some closed or downsized Spanish-language imprints after sales fell short of expectations during the Great Recession, and as the industry struggled to adjust to the Amazon era that squeezed traditional booksellers.In an internet-driven age of fractured consumer markets, Jaramillo and Santamaria Wolf said strategic partnerships have been key, particularly with brands and retailers like Target, which considers Hispanic mothers a key customer base.Pam Kaufman, president of global consumer products at Viacom/Nickelodeon, said the company had been looking for a baby brand when she was introduced to Canticos at an industry conference. When she showed the videos to her Hispanic colleagues, some teared up.“I thought, OK, we have something here,” Kaufman said. “We are excited about it because it is authentic.”Nickelodeon, which also added a Spanish-language hub to its video subscription service NOGGIN in the spring, is planning a line of Canticos toys, clothing and decor for next year.With sales picking up, major players in the traditional book industry are expanding their Spanish-language business. HarperCollins launched a new Spanish-language division in 2015. Chicago-based distributor IPG, already a key distributor of Spanish-language books, added two publishers from Spain and one from Mexico to its list in November.Arroyo and Navarette, owners of La Libreria, said the rise of dual-language programs in schools is driving interest in children’s books originally written in Spanish.The trouble is keeping up with demand. Latin American and Spanish publishers tend to have printing cycles that are too slow and small for the U.S. consumer market. Often, by the time a school orders a title, the books will have sold out in the original country, Arroyo said.In the United States, a growing number of Hispanic authors are pushing for Spanish translations of their books or weaving the language into stories with bilingual themes.Juana Martinez-Leal wrote both the Spanish and English versions of her award-winning “Alma and How She Got Her Name” and insisted on a publisher that would release them simultaneously, said her agent, Stefanie Sanchez Von Borstel.Of the seven publishers who bid on the book, only two agreed. Candlewick Press released the two editions in April, and the English version is in its second printing. Von Borstel said sales of the Spanish edition have been a little slower, partly because bilingual and Spanish-language books face a tough battle for shelf space.Rodriguez and Stein understand that problem well. Once, they were once stunned to find Lil’ Libros — an American series — upstairs in the “foreign section” of an Oregon bookstore.Stein scooped them all up and marched them downstairs to the children’s section herself.Alexandra Olson, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Odisha has become centre of unemployment: Rahul

first_imgBhubaneswar: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that Odisha has become the centre of unemployment while attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for failing to provide jobs to youth in the state. “Odisha has become the centre of unemployment as most of its youths are migrating to other states in search of jobs,” Gandhi said while addressing party workers in Bargarh district. He said that there were 1.5 lakh government posts, 30,000 school teacher posts and 5,000 medical staff posts vacant in the state. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! Gandhi assured that the Congress will fill up the vacancies once the party comes to power in the state. The Congress President also raised the chit fund and mining scam issues to target the state’s Biju Janata Dal government. “Rs 5,000 crore was looted from the people by the chit fund companies and Naveen Patnaik handed over Rs 50,000 crore to his friends through the mining scam. I want to assure you that whoever looted public money, we will take action and provide justice.” Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed Citing examples of loan waiver and raising minimum support prices (MSP) on paddy in Chhattisgarh, Gandhi said his party not only made promises but also kept them. “The Chief Minister had promised to set up cold storages and provide irrigation facilities but farmers here continue to commit suicide. Similarly, the Prime Minister also raised farmers’ issues in all his speeches but unconcerned about waiving off farm loans,” he said. Terming the Goods and Service Tax (GST) as “Gabbar Singh Tax”, Gnadhi said it will be a simple tax after Congress forms the government at the Centre.last_img read more

Pak to release 360 Indian prisoners this month as ‘goodwill gesture’

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan on Friday announced that it will release 360 Indian prisoners, mostly fishermen, this month in four phases, as a “goodwill gesture” amidst tensions between the two countries after the Pulwama terror attack.Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said the process of releasing the Indian fishermen will start on April 8 when 100 prisoners will be released. In the second phase on April 5, another 100 will be released. In the third phase on April 22, another 100 will be released and in the fourth and last phase on April 29, the remaining 60 prisoners will be released. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’We are doing it as goodwill gesture and hope that India will reciprocate it, Faisal said while addressing his weekly briefing to the media in Islamabad. The spokesperson said currently there are 347 Pakistani prisoners in India and 537 Indian prisoners in Pakistan. “Pakistan will release 360 Indian prisoners, of which 355 are fishermen and 5 are civilians,” he said. The fishermen will be taken from Karachi to Lahore and handed over to Indian officials at the Wagah border. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KAnwar Kazmi, a spokesman of Edhi welfare organisation, which helps the released fishermen with clothes and food, told PTI from Karachi that the process of releasing the fishermen will start from Sunday. First a group of 100 fishermen will be taken from Karachi to Lahore on Allama Iqbal Express on Sunday,” he said. They are likely to be handed over to India on Monday at Wagah. They spent months and sometimes years before repatriated. Pakistan and India frequently arrest fishermen as there is no clear demarcation of the maritime border in the Arabian Sea and these fishermen do not have boats equipped with the technology to know their precise location. Owing to lengthy and slow bureaucratic and legal procedures, the fishermen usually remain in jail for several months and sometimes years. PTIlast_img read more

Iran president says US ”leader of world terrorism”

first_imgTehran: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that the United States was the real “leader of world terrorism” after Washington blacklisted Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a “foreign terrorist organisation”. “Who are you to label revolutionary institutions as terrorists?” Rouhani asked in a speech broadcast live by state television. Speaking at a ceremony to mark Iran’s national nuclear technology day in Tehran, Rouhani defended the Revolutionary Guards as a force that has fought terrorism ever since its creation in 1979. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US In contrast, the Islamic republic’s president accused US forces of having always been directly or indirectly involved with terrorist groups or acts of terrorism. “You want to use terrorist groups as tools against the nations of the region… you are the leader of world terrorism. “Who is propagating and encouraging terrorism in today’s world? Who wanted to use ISIS (the Islamic State group) as a tool?” Rouhani asked, saying that the US is harbouring the leaders of the jihadist organisation. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls “Even now America is hiding the heads of ISIS, even now they are not prepared to tell the regional governments where the heads of ISIS are hiding.” Iran swiftly retaliated against the US move on Monday by calling US troops “terrorists”. It is the first time that Washington has branded part of a foreign government a terrorist group, meaning that anyone who deals with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps could face prison in the United States. To support his accusations, Rouhani cited the downing of Iran Air Flight 655 in July 1988 by missiles fired from the US naval ship the USS Vincennes. “You have done everything imaginable. Which force was it that shot down our civil airliner in the waters of the Persian Gulf?” he said, adding that it was aimed at intimidating Iran. “You wanted to tell the Iranian nation that we do not have any red lines, you wanted to say that we also kill children, you wanted to say that we also kill women,” Rouhani said, concluding that the US was transmitting “a message of terrorism in the whole world.”last_img read more

Saudi Scholar Claims that ISIS is Backed by Western Intelligence

Rabat – Saudi Shura council member Dr. Aissa Al-Ghaith has said that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), recently named Islamic State (IS) is backed by international intelligence agencies, likening the terror organization to a sacrifice sheep which is being fattened in preparation for slaughter.In an interview with Television channel Rotana Khalijia, Al-Ghaith who is a member of the consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, an advisory body whose 150 members are appointed by the Saudi Monarch, accused the intelligence agencies of key regional players, including Iran and Iraq in addition to the American intelligence of funding and arming ISIS.Al-Ghaith said that the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Mosul and other areas leaving their arms and military equipment in the process was a tactical maneuver by the Iraqi Army to allow ISIS extremists to seize the weapons. He further claimed that the Islamic State haven’t targeted neither Iran nor Israel, which, according to him, indicates the terrorist group’s allegiance to them. The Shura council member pointed out that the so-called Jihad ISIS are talking about is nothing but a fake Jihad which is being employed by a group of extremists and outsiders who did not support Islam for the last thirty years.He added that these practices are only giving colonial powers argument to go back to the region. read more

Moroccan Women Residing Abroad: Prospects of Legal Protection under the Moudawana

Rabat – On the occasion of the 10 years of the reformed Moroccan family code,  KVINFO, the Danish Centre for Research and Information on Gender, Equality and Diversity, in cooperation with ARPA International and the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at Copenhagen University organized an international conference, under the theme: Caught between Family Laws: Gender, Law and Religion – Experiences from Denmark and Morocco, on December 4-5th, 2014.The two day Conference, the first of its kind in Denmark, provided an unprecedented opportunity to take stock of the impact of the implementation of the Family Code reforms outside Morocco; and provide an assessment of the barriers restricting women of the Diaspora’s ability to exercise their rights under the family law, 10 years after its passage. The program was met with strong interest, hosting over 100 participants representing civil society organizations, women’s rights advocates, lawyers and judges, academics, and Moroccan and Danish policy makers.The 2004 updating of the Moudawana is a positive step but hurdles still face Moroccan women who reside in Morocco and also abroad, in seeking justice remedies with respect to family matters. That is why a central focus of the Conference, especially Day I [Balancing between family laws across borders] was to advance the discourse on whether women experience access to justice differently than other women because of how the family law is written and/or executed in practice, with a main objective focusing on discrepancies of women’s access to justice between Moroccan women in Morocco and those residing abroad. Other panels focused on the experience of Morocco with mediation and reconciliation in the area of family disputes. A large delegation of Moroccan judges participated in this interactive program with Moroccan civil society organizations of the Diaspora. For this occasion, a Stocktaking Note Access to Justice for Moroccan Women Residing Abroad through the Lens of Family Law was published following the program by Leila Hanafi, President and Chief Counsel of ARPA International, the co-sponsor of the program and the keynote speaker for the Opening Day. It can be accessed here.Finally, it is important to note that as the world celebrates International Migrants Day on December 18th, we reflect on the position of our Moroccan Diaspora- in relation to their family lives and use of the Moroccan family law- which remains vulnerable in legal terms.Photo Credit:  Jens Juul© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

260,000 Moroccan Students to Benefit from Health Insurance: Minister

Rabat – Jamila Moussalli, Delegate to the Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Executive Training, announced on Sunday in Rabat that 260,000 students will benefit -starting from the next school year- from the Compulsory Health Insurance (AMO).Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 8th session of the Academy of Future Leaders, organized by the Executive Committee of the Organization of Renewal Students (OREMA), Moussalli said that this number is expected to exceed 460,000 beneficiaries over the next five years.The Minister added that this project, which costs nearly 110 million dirhams, is part of the initiatives taken by the Ministry in order to ensure social protection, improve university education and widen its scope to include students, as well as university staff. Meanwhile, Rachid El Addouni, President of OREMA, noted that the organization has launched several initiatives and projects to improve performance and develop students’ skills, taking into account the specificities of students of the various institutes and centers of higher education.Last March, Hossine El Ouardi, Minister of Health, announced that more than 60 percent of Moroccans have access to health coverage, including those under the Compulsory Health Insurance System which has been available since 2005.Despite several problems reducing its effectiveness, the Medical Assistance Plan known as RAMED, that initiated three years ago, has covered about 28 percent of the Moroccan population so far.On the other hand, unemployed, self-employed professionals working in the private sector and students comprise the 40 percent Moroccan population without medical insurance.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission read more

Morocco, Key Partner for EU: Mogherini

Brussels  – Morocco is a strategic partner of the European Union (EU) on various issues, including counter-terrorism, migration and renewable energy, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said.”Morocco is a key partner in the southern neighborhood,” Mogherini added in response to the letter sent to her by a group of MEPs on the need for the EU to strengthen its relations with the Kingdom.”There are many challenges that we must face together. This is why it is important that we strengthen our efforts not only to continue our cooperation, but to strengthen it in all areas that we have successfully addressed in recent years,” the EU foreign policy head stressed. On March 17, Morocco’s government decided to resume contacts with the European Union.Following the decision of the kingdom to suspend contacts with European institutions, MEPs and high officials of the European Commission and the European Council underlined the need for both sides to resume relations, which are based on a long-standing partnership.With MAP read more

Morocco’s BCIJ Dismantles a New Terrorist Cell in Nador

Rabat – A Nador-based terrorist cell affiliated with ISIS was dismantled on Friday by the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ), the Ministry of the Interior announced.The cell, composed of four active members, three of which were arrested this morning, was operating in the north of Morocco, in the towns of Bni Bouifrour, Bni Nsar, Driouech and Martil.According to the ministry’s statement, the dismantled cell was planning attacks on strategic buildings, tourist sites and specific individuals. The suspects had engaged in propaganda activities for the benefit of ISIS and were trained by the terrorist group in the hand manufacture of explosives.The BCIJ’s raid resulted in the seizure of electronic equipment, documents inciting violence, and sketches reproducing the ISIS logo.The communique also explained the investigations of the BCIJ revealed that the members of this cell planned terrorist operations in Morocco, through the use of explosives, targeting sensitive and tourist destination in hopes of inflicting maximum damage and casualties. The cell also planned to conduct many assassinations. read more

AutoCanada sues former CEO Patrick Priestner over dealerships acquisitions

EDMONTON — AutoCanada Inc. says it has launched a legal suit against company founder and former CEO and chairman Patrick Priestner over his private acquisition of some auto dealerships.The Edmonton-based dealership group has alleged that during Priestner’s tenure at AutoCanada he breached his fiduciary and other duties by “appropriating” corporate opportunities for his own holding companies including Canada One Auto Group Ltd.Priestner, who served as CEO from 2006 to 2014 and then executive chairman for two years, says in a statement that the claims are completely without merit.He says that during his time at AutoCanada he repeatedly and thoroughly disclosed dealership acquisitions that the company could not buy because of restrictions by certain manufacturers on public companies owning dealerships. He says the acquisitions were specifically authorized by AutoCanada’s board of directors as in the best interest of the company.The company says it has filed the yet-to-be challenged claims in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and is seeking an accounting of profits, damages and establishment of a trust on the disputed dealerships.AutoCanada operates 68 franchised dealerships in eight provinces in Canada as well as a group in Illinois in the U.S. and has over 4,200 employees. Companies in this story: (TSX:ACQ)The Canadian Press read more