MEADOW LAKE, Sask. – A young man who killed four people and injured seven others in shootings at a school and a home in northern Saskatchewan has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance at parole for 10 years.The shooter, who was weeks away from his 18th birthday when he killed two teenage brothers, a teacher and a teacher’s aide in La Loche, Sask., was sentenced as an adult.Judge Janet McIvor called the shootings “senseless” and “coldly horrific.”McIvor said the events of January 2016 have had a great impact in the northern community with fewer teachers willing to work there and an increase in substance abuse and suicides.The shooter pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attemptedmurder.The young man, who is now 20, apologized to his family before he was sentenced in Meadow Lake, Sask., today.
OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada is going to play referee to help resolve the question of whether Canadians should be able to watch big-budget American commercials during the Super Bowl.The court said Thursday it will hear appeals from Bell Canada and the National Football League over a CRTC ruling that exempted the football championship from normal practice in which Canadian ads are substituted for U.S. ones on Canadian TV.To many Canadian fans, the highly anticipated Super Bowl commercials are considered part of the entertainment of the championship broadcast and for years there were complaints about missing them. Many turned to watching them online.In 2016, the broadcast regulator decided that in the case of the Super Bowl, substitution was not in the public interest and excluded the game from the normal TV practice.Bell has an exclusive licence from the NFL to broadcast the Super Bowl in Canada. It recovers the costs of that licence by selling ad time to Canadian businesses to be inserted into the Super Bowl broadcast on both Canadian and American stations.The company said the CRTC decision cost it viewers, not to mention millions in revenue.It argued — along with the league — that the CRTC order conflicted with Canadian broadcasting policy and regulations, targeted a specific program and violated the Copyright Act.In a December judgment against Bell and the NFL, Justice David Near of the Federal Court of Appeal found there was “a certain irony” that legislation aimed at protecting Canada’s broadcasting industry was used to allow for American ads, to the apparent detriment of the industry.“But there are numerous disparate objectives set out in the Broadcasting Act and Parliament intended that the CRTC decide how best to balance competing policy objectives related to broadcasting in Canada,” Near wrote.“It is not for the court to engage in weighing these competing policy objectives and substituting its own view in deciding which policy objectives should be pursued.”Bell said in a statement it is pleased that the Supreme Court will hear the appeal: “We look forward to advancing our argument that a broad range of Canadian creators, producers, advertisers and businesses have been negatively impacted by the original decision.”In deciding to hear the case, the Supreme Court said the issue goes beyond Super Bowl TV ads and provides an opportunity to consider how the courts may review actions by administrative bodies like the CRTC.It invited Bell and the NFL to devote “a substantial part” of their arguments to the question of what standard applies to judicial review of rulings by these agencies.The court will hear the case along with a government appeal on whether the Toronto-born sons of Russian spies are actually Canadian citizens. The issues are linked by the judicial review question. read more
HALIFAX – The federal government has declared a large area off Nova Scotia as a Marine Protected Area to conserve species such as the endangered leatherback turtle.Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced the establishment of the St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Area as part of World Oceans Day.The new protected area — east of Cape Breton Island — covers an area of the ocean roughly three-quarters the size of Prince Edward Island.Most human activities, such as commercial fishing, will be prohibited in much of the area.LeBlanc says St. Anns Bank is the third Marine Protected Area to be designated in Canadian waters in the last eight months.He says Canada will continue to take a leadership role on marine conservation.
CHARLOTTETOWN – A dead fin whale has been spotted floating in waters off P.E.I.Federal Fisheries officials say the carcass was seen during a recent aerial survey east of the Island.They say the cause of death is not yet known and the department is determining next steps.Marine mammal experts have recently confirmed the deaths of six North Atlantic right whales found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.They have determined that two suffered blunt trauma, but it’s too early to rule out other underlying problems.The group says a third whale had a chronic entanglement, and all of the carcasses were in an advanced state of decomposition.
An Ontario man who sexually abused his young daughters and nieces over close to a decade will spend an indeterminate amount of time behind bars after a judge found he was in denial about his pedophilia and likely to reoffend.The man, who can only be identified as K.C., was deemed a dangerous offender, a lifetime designation that allows the court to impose a prison sentence with no end date.In handing down the designation, Ontario Superior Court Justice Kevin B. Phillips said K.C.’s unwillingness to accept and address his pedophilia would put the public at risk if he was released.“I find that the overall evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that it is likely that K.C. will reoffend by indulging his pedophilia as he is done in the past,” Phillips wrote in a decision released last week.“He has offended while on probation. He offended while under the care of a specialized psychiatrist specifically treating him for his pedophilia. He offended while the (Children’s Aid Society) was involved in his family, exercising control over his direct access to children which he circumvented,” he wrote.“And, as mentioned, he does not presently have enough insight into his problem to fully accept that he needs significant help. He is in denial about what is plain to see.”WARNING: Graphic details follow.K.C. was convicted by a jury in 2015 of several counts each of sexual assault and sexual interference for offences committed between 2004 and 2012, the decision says.The jury found that while his two young nieces were sleeping on a couch at his house, K.C. pulled down their pyjama pants and took pictures of the youngest one’s genitals and of the oldest’s underwear. The oldest niece, who was between five and eight years old at the time, was awake but pretending to sleep and saw him, the document says.During another sleepover when the older niece was in Grade 4, K.C. came into her bedroom at night, pulled down her pants and touched her genitals, it says.The jury also accepted the testimony of one of K.C.’s daughters, who said he once touched her genitals and covered her mouth when she threatened to scream “so that Mommy wouldn’t hear,” the decision said. Court also heard of other sexual abuse involving his daughters, the decision said.K.C. had also previously been convicted of sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl at a friend’s home and of sexual interference and breach of probation involving a 12-year-old girl, the decision says.He was undergoing psychiatric treatment and dealing with the Children’s Aid Society as a result of the latter conviction when many of the offences involving his daughters and nieces took place, the document says. Despite being ordered not to be alone with children, K.C. and his wife “jointly endeavoured to deceive the CAS with respect to K.C.’s compliance.”Phillips raised concerns that K.C.’s family would not help keep him from reoffending if he was released, since most believe him to be wrongfully convicted.“The woman with whom K.C. proposes to live with post-release testified that, while she will follow any court order, if she had children she would allow K.C. access to them as she believes in his innocence and does not see that he has any problems in that regard,” he said.“It is a real concern that those around K.C. simply do not accept the extent of his issues. That lack of insight does not bode well for quality of supervision.”In the end, the judge wrote, the only way to sufficiently protect the public is to ensure that K.C. is either behind bars or under close supervision for the rest of his life. read more
MONCTON, N.B. – Ottawa will order boats to give right whales a 100-metre buffer zone as it looks at a variety of options to protect the endangered mammals in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, says Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc.LeBlanc met Thursday in Moncton, N.B., with scientists, aboriginal groups and representatives from the fishing and marine transport industries to discuss possible solutions after a deadly summer.LeBlanc emerged from the meeting, saying there were many good suggestions.“From fishing gear changes to sharing data and real time information, to looking at ways to have more reliable surveillance that will allow, for example, certain shipping corridors or certain speed limits in different areas to reflect better data. I was quite inspired and encouraged by the suggestions.”Twelve right whales have turned up dead in Canadian waters this year, and another four died in American waters.“Scientific research can and must necessarily take some time, and in the case of protecting the North Atlantic right whales, time is not necessarily on our side,” LeBlanc told the conference during his opening remarks.LeBlanc said he will soon be releasing new marine mammal regulations that will include a buffer zone.“I intend to include in the updated regulations a requirement for a 100-metre buffer between vessels and most marine mammals, including obviously the North Atlantic right whale,” he said.Many of the whales died as a result of blunt force trauma after being struck by boats, while other deaths have been attributed to fishing gear entanglements.LeBlanc said future solutions could include new fishing gear that uses less rope, or rope that could be easily broken by whales.“I want to understand how ready is this technology to be used,” he said. “We’re open very much to technology and innovation as part of the solution.”Ottawa has taken steps to reduce the risk by reducing the speed limit in the Gulf — which has led some cruise ships to cancel visits, and prompted at least one shipping line to hike rates — and shutting down a snow crab fishery.LeBlanc has said the government will look at every option possible to protect whales, including making the speed limit permanent, enacting new regulations on fishing gear, and changing crab fishing season dates to ensure equipment is removed before the whales migrate into the Gulf.He said everyone understands that changes must come quickly.“The fishing industry said for example some of the gear we may ask them to change will be under the snow in the next few weeks. The cruise ship industry and the tourism industry said some of the programs that cruise companies are setting must be done in the next few months,” the minister said.Rene Trepanier, executive director of Cruise the Saint Lawrence, said the cruise industry suffered as a result of speed limits imposed mid season.He said the port of Gaspe had 16 cancellations — representing 60 per cent of their cruise season — and he expects the same impact next year.However Trepanier said while the industry will hurt in the short term, they want to help reduce the number of whale deaths, and may be able to find a positive for the long term.“Whales are a great tourism product. We want to turn it into an advantage,” he said.The biggest impact of new regulations will likely be on fishermen. Martin Noel, who represents crab fishermen in northern New Brunswick, said they’ll probably have to reduce the number of crab pots and the amount of rope used.He said pots are lost every year and the Fisheries Department could help to retrieve them — removing a hazard for whales.Noel also said the federal government could assist them by allowing the crab fishery to start earlier.“If we could get ice breakers in to open the ports and allow the crabbers to start their season earlier next year. That would help,” he said.LeBlanc wouldn’t say exactly how much money his department was ready to spend to protect the whales, but did say they have hundreds of millions of dollars they didn’t have just a few years ago.There are roughly 450 right whales left in the world, and Tonya Wimmer of the Marine Animal Response Society said that number is declining.“Probably the more alarming component of that is very few of those are females that are breeding and we are losing them faster than we lose anyone else in the population. If they keep going with the number of deaths of these adult females, we’re going to lose them within 20 to 25 years. If you lose all your breeding females, your population is done,” she said.Hundreds gathered in Halifax last month for the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium’s annual meeting, where the deaths were described as a dire blow to the endangered species’ survival. read more
An Ontario man known for decking his house in brilliant Christmas lights for more than three decades died this week after falling from his roof while tending to the annual display, his family said as members of the community mourned his death.The family of Douglas Musson of Burlington, Ont., said the 82-year-old had been trying to fix a leak on Monday when the ladder he was on fell.“He was up on a ladder trying to find out why water was dripping on the pathway which might drip on visitors to the display, when the ladder fell,” the family said in a statement on its website. “He died in hospital.”Musson began decorating his home with lights in Calgary before moving to Burlington in 1976, the family said. He had been adding more lights and figures to his display each year, and eventually the home on Spruce Avenue became known as Burlington’s “Griswold house,” after the brightly lit home in the film “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”“Our family is devastated. I debated even turning on the lights but decided he would want them on and he worked hard on making all of the displays,” Musson’s son Scott wrote in the online postScott Musson, 56, said in an interview Wednesday evening that his family thought they would have to cancel the Christmas display next year because his father was the sole provider.“Because of the support we are getting, both financially and mentally, we need to continue (the display),” he said. “Right now my plan is, whatever it takes, I want to do them next year. … We don’t want to disappoint so many people who have been so helpful.”Scott Musson, who has been unable to work since suffering a heart attack two years ago, said his family is touched by all the people who have visited the house, dropping off envelopes, candles and flowers.“It’s been unbelievable, we’re been almost overwhelmed with it,” Scott said. “It’s almost been a full day today just trying to handle that aspect, which in a way is a good thing because it keeps our minds off of things.“We knew lots of people came to see the lights, but he had no idea what it meant to a lot of people.”He described his father as a family man who would lend a hand to anyone in need. He and his father also created an elaborate display that included a motorcycle to honour his other son Cam, who died in a motorcycle accident.Scott said his dad was “helpful, concerning and caring” person. He says he thinks that is one of the reasons so many people have reached out to his family.Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring was one of several community members expressing their condolences to Musson’s family.“This is very sad news for Burlington and our residents because the Mussons have been lighting up their house for decades in the city for decades,” Goldring said in an interview Wednesday. “It has been a tradition for so many families to visit the Musson family’s home every year — they were called the Griswolds of Burlington.”Since Monday, GoFundMe pages have been set up to raise money for the family, with one raising more than $9,000 by Wednesday afternoon.The page description for one of the fundraisers asks people to donate to help the family and also for “the hope to keep the lights aglow in memory of the man who made everyone’s Christmas around him merry and bright.”“Visiting this home has been a tradition since I was a little girl and it breaks my heart to hear of this tragedy in the community, and especially so close to Christmas,” one donor wrote online.An obituary posted online said a visitation service for Musson is scheduled for Dec. 27 and a funeral will be held the next day.Musson is survived by his wife, Joanne, and children Scott, Gary and Debra. read more
A raging wildfire known as “The Beast” forced all of Fort McMurray’s 80,000 residents to flee in 2016 and now comic-book fans are lobbying for a statue of another beast to be built as a tribute to the Alberta city’s resiliency.Wolverine is a fictional character who according to Marvel Comics lore hails from northern Alberta. He’s a mutant with super-human senses and the power to heal from almost any wound.“I actually think it’s a really cool idea,” said Ashley Laurenson, manager of Nerdvana Collectible, Comics and Hobby in Fort McMurray.“He’s as tough as nails, from northern Alberta, and can regenerate after taking massive amounts of damage. He seems like a fitting tribute for sure.”Laurenson, her boyfriend and their very “distraught cat” were forced to leave when the fire ravaged parts of the city.She said the comic-book store can’t keep Wolverine comics and graphic novels on the shelf for long.“Fort McMurray has a lot more of a nerdy base of people than a lot of people realize. We’ve got a lot of closet nerds up here,” Laurenson said.“Some people might think it’s a silly idea, but I know hundreds of people that I’ve talked to in the town who are super-keen to have a Wolverine statue.”The idea began as a joke when the city of Edmonton was debating whether to help fund a new arena for the National Hockey League Oilers. Resident Brian LaBelle started a petition calling for a Wolverine statue to be built as a way to revitalize the downtown.His friend Sameer Singh picked up the torch and has set up an Indiegogo page to raise the $85,000 required to build a bronze statue of Wolverine in Fort McMurray.“When the wildfires … happened last year it had seemed like putting a statue of Wolverine up there seemed like a good way to give back to the community in a way that was beyond just donating to the Red Cross,” said Singh.“Fort McMurray is definitely northern Alberta. Wolverines — the actual animals — live in northern Alberta and there’s even a Wolverine Drive in Fort McMurray.“It just sort of all came together in a vision of let’s do something really cool and unique and give back to a community that could use a helping hand.”LaBelle said it’s not as if famous mascots are anything new and Wolverine could help draw visitors to the northern city.“There’s the statue of Captain America in the Brooklyn Zoo, a Hulk statue at the Chicago library and a Robocop statue being built in Detroit,” he said.“I’m sure if there were people in town coming for the Edmonton comic expo or even the Calgary expo, it might be a fun little side trip and see part of Alberta.”Alberta’s tourism minister likes the idea.“It’s not surprising that Wolverine’s hometown is Fort McMurray — they are both tough as nails. The people of the Wood Buffalo region have inspired us with the same indomitable spirit and almost superhuman ability to recover from adversity, that they share with their alter ego,” said Ricardo Miranda.“I look forward to the community’s decision on the project.”The campaign came as a surprise to Fort McMurray’s mayor.“Nobody has told me about a Wolverine statue until now. I thought I’d heard about everything,” said Mayor Don Scott.“My council colleagues, would be pretty keen on seeing exactly what the plan is. There’s a lot of rules … about what’s on roadways and where things are placed, so I’d have to see the overall plan before I could really comment on it.”Singh acknowledges getting the statue completed could take a while and he would still need permission from Marvel to display Wolverine.Neither actor Hugh Jackman, who plays the Wolverine character in the X-Men movies, nor representatives from Marvel responded to a request for comment.An attempt to have a statue of the comic character Deadpool in Regina last year failed. The character, played by Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds, claimed to be from the Saskatchewan capital during the movie.— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter read more
TORONTO – Here is a glance at the alleged victims of Bruce McArthur, a 66-year-old Toronto landscaper charged with eight counts of first-degree murder:MAJEED KAYHANThe 58-year-old Toronto man was reported missing in October 2012. Police investigated his death as part of Project Houston, which ran from November 2012 to April 2014 and probed the disappearances of three men who went missing from Toronto’s gay village. The probe was closed after yielding neither suspects nor leads on what happened to the men.SOROUSH MAHMUDIThe 50-year-old was reported missing in 2015 by his family in east Toronto. Police have not said whether Mahmudi had any sort of relationship with McArthur.DEAN LISOWICKPolice believe Lisowick, of no fixed address, was killed in April 2016. They say he was 43 or 44 years old and was never reported missing. Detectives have said Lisowick didn’t fit the profile of the earlier victims, who were gay and of Middle Eastern descent.SELIM ESENEsen, 44, of Toronto, vanished from the city’s gay village on April 14, 2017. The disappearance became part of a police investigation called Project Prism launched in August. Five months later, police charged McArthur with Esen’s presumed death.ANDREW KINSMANThe 49-year-old from Toronto was reported missing from the gay village in late June 2017. Kinsman was a subject of Project Prism, and police have said he had a sexual relationship with McArthur. Kinsman’s sisters said they searched for their brother for six months before police eventually charged McArthur in his death. Karen Coles said he was “well-known in his community” and “loved by all.”SKANDARAJ NAVARATNAMThe 40-year-old went missing in September 2010 and his disappearance was investigated as part of Project Houston.ABDULBASIR FAIZIFaizi’s family reported him missing to Peel Regional Police on Dec. 29, 2010. Investigators say the 42-year-old was last seen in Toronto’s gay village. His vehicle was found near the home of one of McArthur’s landscaping clients, where police allege McArthur left the dismembered remains of several victims in planters. Faizi’s disappearance was also investigated as part of Project Houston.KIRUSHNA KANAGARATNAMKanagaratnam arrived in Toronto from Sri Lanka in 2010 and police believe he died some time between September and December 2015, at age 37. Police have said he was never reported missing and unlike McArthur’s other alleged victims, Kanagaratnam had no clear ties to the LGBTQ community. Police said an unnamed international agency helped identify Kanagaratnam after investigators released a heavily edited photo of a dead man in a plea for public help. read more
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it was important to waive solicitor-client privilege and cabinet onfidentiality to allow for former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to tell her side of the SNC-Lavalin story before a parliamentary committee.Trudeau also says he is looking forward to hearing her testimony.Late Monday, an order-in-council was published lifting confidentiality restrictions on Wilson-Raybould and anyone she talked to about negotiating a remediation agreement with the Quebec engineering giant rather than pursuing a criminal prosecution for bribery and fraud.Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould had both been awaiting legal advice on the extent of solicitor-client privilege protecting their conversations.Justice Minister David Lametti, who was advising Trudeau on the matter of privilege, says today his office had contact with Wilson-Raybould’s legal team on the matter.Trudeau has insisted he was always clear that the decision whether to prosecute was hers and hers alone. The Canadian Press read more
MONTREAL — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he and Quebec Premier Francois Legault are natural allies in the fight to defend provincial autonomy in the face of federal interventions.He made the comments today at the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal, hours before a scheduled meeting with Legault in Quebec City.Kenney says he wants to revive what he called the historic alliance between the two provinces that existed at the time of the patriation of the Constitution. He said he plans to return to the theme during future visits to Quebec.But a clear hurdle in the way of the proposed alliance is Quebec’s opposition to any new pipelines carrying western Canadian crude oil through the province.Kenney is calling on Quebec to continue increasing its consumption of Canadian oil rather than buying it from foreign sources. He said the province benefits from oil revenues generated in western provinces through transfer payments.Legault told reporters earlier today he and Kenney agree on many issues, including increasing trade between the provinces and ensuring that provincial jurisdiction is respected. But Legault added that Quebecers don’t want any new oil pipelines.The Canadian Press read more
Charity auction site CharityBuzz.com has launched “Support After Sandy: A Charitybuzz Auction to Rebuild the East Coast”.The site has partnered with nonprofits, celebrities, brands and donors to help fund organizations on the ground and directly impact the many families affected.Among the items and experiences going under the hammer are meet-and-greets with Adam Levine, Maroon 5 and Robin Quivers, guitars and concert tickets from Maroon 5, tickets to tapings of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, The Wrap Up Show of the Howard Stern Show, The Voice, Chelsea Lately and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and much more.To place bids and find out more, click here.
Thad Beaty of Sugarland entertained runners during the St. Jude Country Music Marathon by emceeing the pre-race Pasta Party this week.Thad Beaty of SugarlandCredit/Copyright: Jordan Crump, St. JudeThis special event was held for St. Jude Heroes who signed up to raise money for the lifesaving hospital by running the marathon. This year’s 2,500 St. Jude Heroes raised more than $950,000 to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude.
Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Linesman Todd Herremans is inviting fans and supporters to come out and watch Monday Night Football, while raising funds for the Todd Herremans Foundation, on Monday, October 14, 2013.With a $40 donation, attendees will get the ultimate Monday Night Football viewing experience with Todd complete with a selection of unlimited world famous Crabfries, Chickie’s Buffalo Wings, pizza, Bud or Budlight drafts, soft drinks and unlimited gaming, including the new Madden 25.The party will take place from 8pm to 11pm at Play2 Interactive located at 1528 Packer Ave, Philadelphia, PA.The Herremans Foundation has identified key causes and charities that it will fund through events like this, which includes Habitat For Humanity, autism research, American Cancer Society, No Place For Hate, Cooper Hospital and Magee Rehab.For more information on tickets, call 231-740-5809, or click here. read more
Pamela Anderson will officially launch the Pamela Anderson Foundation at an event in Cannes on May 16.Co-hosted by Anderson and Dame Vivienne Westwood, the event will support Cool Earth. Featuring cocktails and a Backgammon tournament, the evening will take place on a luxury yacht during the Cannes Film Festival.The Pamela Anderson Foundation aims to support organizations and individuals on the front lines protecting the environment, animal rights, and human rights.Find out more here.
The Duchess of Cambridge visited the Blessed Sacrament School in Islington, North London, today to see the work of a project she launched to help families affected by addiction – a cause very important to her.The Duchess of Cambridge speaks with children as she arrives at Blessed Sacrament SchoolCredit/Copyright: DukeAndDuchessOfCambridge.orgHer Royal Highness was joined by comedian John Bishop, with whom she launched the charity effort last year, and she spoke with people involved in a pilot programme for the school-based project M-PACT (Moving Parents and Children Together) Plus.The initiative, funded by The Royal Foundation and Comic Relief, and delivered by charities Place2Be and Action on Addiction, of which The Duchess is a Patron, aims to provide early support for schoolchildren affected by a parent’s drug or alcohol misuse.Bishop said The Duchess is “genuinely committed” to the issue, and hailed the involvement of The Royal Foundation.“What’s good about it is that it will hopefully de-stigmatise the whole area,” he said. “Addiction doesn’t care what social class you’re from. It’s across the board. The levels of addiction in Knightsbridge will be as high, if not higher, than some of the most deprived areas in the country.“I think, from the brief conversations I’ve had with her, she’s committed to it as a person and probably even more so now as a mother, because you realise children are such fragile things and you’ve got to try and support them when they’re at their weakest.”The Duchess attended an M-PACT Plus steering group meeting to discuss progress made so far across the programme and specifically in the initial pilot sites: Manchester and Salford, the North East, London and Essex.She then had a meeting with headteachers and a private meeting with children to hear more about the mental health support services offered at the school.It is estimated that three million children in the UK are living with parental drug and alcohol misuse, according to Comic Relief.This new partnership has seen Place2Be school staff trained by Action on Addiction to identify and support families affected by these issues.A two-year programme is being piloted in four areas of England, with the aim of larger-scale delivery of the programme in schools in the future.Nick Booth, chief executive of The Royal Foundation, said: “By equipping teachers and school staff with the skills and confidence to address these issues with children and families, we aim to demonstrate the value and importance of intervening early, reducing the long term impact on children, and enabling them to fulfil their potential in life.”Catherine Roche, chief executive of Place Be, said: “When we, together with the school are able to intervene early we can support children and enable more parents to tackle these issues, the whole family benefits from improved health and wellbeing and an improved ability to cope and succeed in their lives.”Source:DukeAndDuchessOfCambridge.org read more
To kick-off National Bullying Prevention Month this October, Shriners Hospitals for Children and award-winning actor, former patient and bullying survivor, RJ Mitte, are once again teaming up to stop bullying.RJ Mitte and Shriners Hospitals for Children Partner to Prevent BullyingNew this year is an expanded resource center at cutthebull.org featuring public service announcements and other resources including an ambassador tool kit to help kids and parents #SeeTheAbility in all people.One-in-four students in the United States reports being bullied and those numbers can be two to three times higher for kids with disabilities, according to the National Center for Education. Studies also show that most bullying is never reported and can cause depression, anxiety and poor academic performance.“Growing up, my disability made me a target for bullies,” said Mitte, who has cerebral palsy. “I was harassed, knocked down and even had my hand broken. Now I have an opportunity to give a voice to people with disabilities and promote acceptance.”Like Mitte, many Shriners Hospitals patients have scars or physical differences that put them at risk for being bullied. As part of their ongoing care plans, Shriners Hospitals for Children offers various empowerment programs to help patients succeed socially and emotionally.Shriners Hospitals for Children provides specialty pediatric care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of the families’ ability to pay. Shriners Hospitals also offers psychological support, rehabilitation, life skills training and even community outreach programs that help children with physical differences feel confident.“Our goal is to help our patients succeed and reach beyond the traditional limits of their conditions,” stated Chris Smith, chairman of the Board of Directors at Shriners Hospitals for Children. “We do this in Shriners Hospitals every day, but this campaign gives us a chance to reach outside our hospitals to help all people see beyond physical appearances to the ability that lies underneath.”A public service announcement featuring Mitte and other Shriners Hospitals for Children patients speaking about the #CutTheBull campaign is available at vimeo.com/139286381. For more information about how you can support the campaign, please visit cutthebull.org. read more
WE Day, an international series of inspiring stadium-sized events, announces the initial list of speakers, performers and presenters attending WE Day Illinois on March 1, 2017 at the Allstate Arena.Alongside Title Sponsor The Allstate Foundation and other partners, WE Day Illinois brings together 15,000 local change-makers, inspirational speakers and world-renowned performers to celebrate their commitment to taking action on social issues.• Apply for media accreditation to attend WE Day at we.org/press/we-day-press • Bios, photos and information for WE Day Illinois available on the WE Day Illinois Electronic Press Kit • WE Day will stream live at 9:00 a.m. CT on March 1, 2017 at we.org/watchweday • WE Day Illinois is free to thousands of students thanks to partners led by Title Sponsor The Allstate FoundationHosted by Shay Mitchell, a cast of new faces and returning WE Day favorites will take the stage this year, including Buzz Aldrin, Xzibit, Jordan Smith, LaRoyce Hawkins, Monique Coleman, Dante Brown, Arne Duncan, Stedman Graham, Frank Waln, Grace VanderWaal, Silentó, Celebrity Marauders, Spencer West and more. This star-studded lineup will join international activists and WE co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, to share their passion for change and energize the crowd with unforgettable performances and motivational speeches to inspire another year of change.“I truly believe that youth can do anything they put their minds to. The thousands of passionate young people at WE Day are proof that no one is too young or too small to make a difference,” said actress and global youth advocate, Monique Coleman. “We can all create real change by simply standing up for our beliefs — I’m honored to be a part of this day that invites youth to stand up, inspire change and celebrate their amazing accomplishments.”WE Day is part of WE — an organization that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world locally and globally, achieving transformative outcomes for themselves and others. Through the yearlong educational program WE Schools, WE provides schools and community groups with educational resources and student-led campaigns designed to enhance a school’s existing social initiatives or spark new ones. Students involved with WE Schools are challenged to make an impact on at least one local and one global issue, and are supported with curricular resources, service campaigns and mentorship programs to help them become change-makers. To celebrate their efforts, students are invited to WE Day, earning their tickets through action.WE Day Illinois will bring together students and educators from more than 525 schools across the state. More than half of attendees come from Chicago Public Schools and nearly 70 per cent are low-income youth, all making remarkable social change in their communities. The student council members at Chicago’s Ebinger Elementary, for example, collected food, personal hygiene items, baby supplies, winter clothing and more than 400 toys during their month-long series of service activities called “Four Weeks of Hope,” which supported a neighborhood food pantry.“The most important message we can tell our youth is to believe in themselves — that they can make a difference,” said Tom Wilson, national WE Day Co-Chair and Allstate’s Chairman and CEO. “Throughout history — from fighting apartheid in South Africa to the civil rights movement in America — young people have helped transform our world. WE Day is about inspiring our next generation of future leaders to step up, get involved in societal issues and make their voices heard.”In the 2015/2016 school year, schools and groups across the state improved their communities through WE Schools, volunteering more than 385,000 hours and raising over $500,000 in support of 300 local and global causes such as hunger, homelessness, bullying, youth advocacy, education and literacy. Making WE Day a true community celebration of youth taking action, some of these young people will join the celebrity lineup onstage to tell their own inspiring personal stories. One such youth is 9-year-old Jahkil Jackson, founder of Project I Am, an organization that donates “Blessing Bags”, filled with everyday essentials, to a homeless center for those in need. To date, Jahkil has handed out more than 1,600 bags to support his community.“WE Day celebrates the amazing young people who have taken action at home and around the world, to create sustainable change for a better tomorrow,” said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “Standing in a stadium full of passionate youth will affirm your belief that real change can happen — and is happening every single day right here in Illinois. This past school year more than 650 Illinois schools in the WE Schools program made an incredible impact in their own backyards and in communities around the world through their commitment and passion for change.”In a 2015 study, current and former WE Schools participants were 2.5 times more likely to have a long term commitment to a social cause, 2.3 times more likely to use their professional skills to solve social problems and 1.2 times more likely to report they had voted in the prior election than their non-participant peers.A global movement of 2.4 million young people strong, youth involved with WE have raised $79 million for more than 6,500 local and global organizations, volunteered 27.6 million hours for local and global causes and collected over 9.8 million pounds of food through service learning programs and campaigns.You can’t buy a ticket to WE Day — students from across the country earn their way by the actions they take on one local and one global cause of their choice. WE Day is free of charge to students and teachers, thanks to the generous support of The Allstate Foundation. The Foundation believes good starts young, and is committed to empowering America’s youth with the strength, confidence and leadership skills to step us as leaders and achieve success in their lives.WE Day is supported in Illinois by Co-Chairs Tom Wilson, Allstate’s chairman and CEO; Alex Gourlay, president, Walgreens; and Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education and former CPS CEO.Anyone can find their place with WE and commit to making a change in the world. The first step is to take the WE Pledge at WE.org. By taking the pledge, participants are joining the WE Community and making a commitment to live WE every day. For every pledge taken on WE.org, $10 will be donated to local and global programs. read more
ICAP, part of TP ICAP group, the world’s largest interdealer broker, celebrated its 25th annual Global Charity Day on Tuesday, December 5, 2017.Drew Barrymore raising funds for Baby2BabyOn this day, 100% of company revenues and commissions generated globally will be donated to more than 100 charities worldwide.Sophia Bush raising money for The American Civil Liberties UnionSince the inception of Charity Day in 1993, ICAP has raised over $210 million for more than 2,200 charities worldwide. In 2016, the company raised $10.8 million globally on Charity Day by ICAP’s 60 plus global offices for over 200 charitable projects.As part of the day’s activities, ICAP invited several of the charities’ celebrity spokespeople at its offices around the world to, ‘Be a Part of Our Story’ by rallying employee enthusiasm and interacting with clients to boost trading. At ICAP’s North American headquarters in Jersey City, NJ, over a dozen celebrities were on hand, including:• Sophia Bush (Affiliated Charity: The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU) • Sugar Ray Leonard (Affiliated Charity: Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation) • JR Martinez (Affiliated Charity: Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America, IAVA) • Wendy Williams (Affiliated Charity: The Hunter Foundation) • David Cone (Affiliated Charity: David Cone Foundation) • Drew Barrymore (Affiliated Charity: Baby2Baby) read more
The Allstate Foundation, today debuted a public service announcement featuring tennis champion, philanthropist and Allstate Foundation Purple Purse program ambassador Serena Williams.Video: Invisible Weapon | The Allstate Foundation: Purple PurseTitled “Invisible Weapon,” the new video aims to bring awareness to financial abuse, a controlling tactic frequently used by domestic violence abusers and one of the primary reasons victims stay in or return to abusive relationships. The urgent call for support for domestic violence survivors coincides with the start of the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse® Challenge, which takes place Oct. 2 – 31.Propelled by a powerful narrative from Williams, “Invisible Weapon” dramatizes the differences between the clear visual signs of physical abuse and the invisible signs of financial abuse, exposing the hidden challenges victims face. The video closes with a call-to-action for people to help empower survivors in their communities.“For more than a decade, The Allstate Foundation has put a spotlight on this devastating issue, stood up for the victims who have been silenced, and given hope to the survivors trying to break free,” said Vicky Dinges, Allstate’s senior vice president of corporate relations. “Everyone needs to care about this pervasive issue. With Serena joining us to deliver this important message in ‘Invisible Weapon,’ we hope more men and women will speak up about domestic violence and financial abuse and be compelled to end it – once and for all.”From restrictions on spending to ruined credit, the signs of financial abuse are often invisible, and many people don’t even know it exists. According to a 2018 national public opinion survey conducted by The Allstate Foundation, nearly 50 percent of respondents are unaware that financial abuse is a form of domestic violence.“I’m proud to speak up for women who can’t use their voices, and let them know we’re working to end the cycle of abuse,” said Williams. “I hope that after viewing the video, people will be more aware of the hidden signs of financial abuse and they’ll understand the need to help those who’ve been burdened by it.”One way the public can take action is by donating to domestic violence nonprofits through the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge on PurplePurse.com. Many of these organizations are faced with immense funding challenges. On a single day in 2017, more than 11,000 calls for help from domestic violence victims went unanswered due to the lack of nonprofit resources and staff to address the victims’ needs.Championed by The Allstate Foundation, nearly 300 domestic violence nonprofits from across the U.S. are participating in the 2018 Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge. Now in its fifth year, the annual fundraiser coincides with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Funds raised by participating nonprofits will go toward providing life-changing services for survivors and their families, such as financial aid and financial empowerment, emergency shelter and child care, and food and transportation.To support the nonprofits’ fundraising efforts, Williams designed a limited-edition purse. This year’s unique design is a suede and leather purple backpack, which is a first of its kind for Allstate Foundation Purple Purse.“A purse is symbolic of a woman’s financial domain. We’re thrilled Serena Williams took that to heart when designing the purse for the 2018 Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge, and we’re confident it will encourage an even greater number of people to get involved and support the participating nonprofits,” said Dinges.A select number of donors will win a Williams-designed purple purse during weekly sweepstakes. Every $10 donation made through the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge website will represent one entry into the weekly sweepstakes.In addition to the money that domestic violence nonprofits raise on their own, The Allstate Foundation has dedicated nearly $800,000 in incentive grants. There will be daily and weekly fundraising challenges, and at the end of the Challenge, the nonprofits that raised the most in their division can receive grand prizes up to $100,000.Since the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge began in 2014, it has raised nearly $10 million for state and local domestic violence nonprofit organizations. Since 2005, The Foundation has invested more than $60 million to help empower more than 1.3 million survivors.If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224. read more