Montreal cyclists upset after being banned from cemetery atop Mount Royal

first_imgMONTREAL – The historic cemetery atop Montreal’s Mount Royal offers a tranquil space for the dead to rest — but management says the living aren’t being granted the same courtesy thanks to speeding cyclists who are soon to lose their privileges.The 166-year-old non-profit that manages the cemetery recently announced it would ban bicycles from the picturesque spot as of Aug. 1., citing “flagrant disregard of the safety of pedestrians and of the character of the cemetery” by certain cyclists who use the sacred ground for “high speed training and other aggressive sports.”In a statement on its website, cemetery management said it had sought to avoid a ban by repeatedly bringing up its concerns with cycling groups.“We regret that these efforts have been unsuccessful and that we now must in the interest of safety proceed to a prohibition on cyclists, as we have previously indicated would be the consequence of failure to respect the rules,” the statement read.But the news isn’t sitting well with some of the city’s cyclists, who said they’re being punished for the bad actions of a small group.As the cemetery buzzed with cars, electric scooters, dog walkers and picnickers enjoying the perfect Saturday weather, some cyclists who paused from their training wondered why they were being singled out.“I find the cars much more dangerous than the cyclists,” said Therese Ryan, a local cyclist who has been coming to the cemetery for 25 years.She pinned the problem on a small number of elite cycling clubs, who train in large groups and at high speeds.But she said it’s unfair to ban regular riders from a “famous and lovely spot” that is beloved by all Montrealers, especially since the cemetery’s winding hills and leafy pathways are one of the few spaces where average riders can train without many cars whizzing by.Patrick Prevost, a nearby resident who rides over the mountain on a near-daily basis, agreed.“It’s pretty much the only green spot we have (to cycle) within the city limits,” he said as he paused on his ride. “It’s quiet, it’s peaceful, it’s fun to be here and there’s not many cars.”Prevost said he would be in favour of adding speed bumps and signs to slow down the truly fast riders, but argued the vast majority of cyclists are respectful.“The cemetery should be available to everybody: runners, bikers, walkers whatever, as long as everybody respects everybody, and I think everybody does respect the grounds.”But two other cyclists who rode through the cemetery on Saturday said they believed the ban was the right call, even though they were sad to lose one of their favourite spots.Lyne Raymond and Chantal Bergeron, who rode up the mountain together, said even they sometimes feel intimidated by the groups of competitive cyclists who blow by them at high speed.“They don’t stop, they’re cycling very fast, they’re not respectful of those (who are) in the cemetery to be there to take time with their family,” Bergeron said.Raymond agreed, noting that a high-speed cyclist had almost forced her off the path that very morning.“It’s very sad, but I understand the decision,” she said.last_img read more

High romance Cannabis compatibility looks to reshape dating scene experts say

first_imgFor Steven Bisson, an ideal date night consists of a quiet night at home, a bag of Doritos and some cannabis to set the mood.Bisson, a 50-year-old medical marijuana user in Toronto, said his partner had little exposure to cannabis when they first met two years ago. His romantic interest seemed keen to experiment, but initially harboured hesitations about dabbling in drugs.It was an issue that had doomed several of Bisson’s past relationships. He said he had broken up with partners, and been dumped himself, over what he perceived to be a lack of tolerance regarding his cannabis use — a quality he deems essential in a potential mate.“I’m going to smoke regardless,” he said. “If my partner has a problem with it, then that won’t be my partner.”In his current relationship, however, Bisson said sparking up with his significant other on weekends brought them closer together — in more ways than one.“You can be a little bit more open, and that could lead to a better relationship,” said Bisson. “The sex, he loves. Without going into any detail, he says sex is so much better on marijuana than without it.”As legalization looms on Oct. 17, experts say cannabis compatibility may take on a larger role in the world of romance, as singles navigate the hazy rules of a marijuana-infused courtship and couples consider shaking up their routine with a new substance.Florida-based cannabis-friendly social networking app High There!, which has been touted as the “Tinder for tokers,” is looking to expand its digital footprint in Canada to cater to what founder and CEO Darren Roberts sees as an underserved cohort of eligible 4-20 enthusiasts.On traditional dating sites, said Roberts, cannabis use is often considered a romantic non-starter — much like how some singles swear off dating cigarette smokers, but compounded by the stigma of decades of prohibition.High There! offers cannabis users a judgment-free platform where they can make all kinds of connections, be it finding a smoke buddy, that special someone or even a spouse, said Roberts. (Illegal transactions between dealers and buyers, however, are strictly prohibited, he said.)The app also ensures a “comfort level” among cannabis users by immediately establishing a common interest, he said, as bud buffs trade notes on their consumption habits.Charlottetown-based couple Vanessa-Lyn Mercier, 28, and Sean Berrigan, 29, credit their shared passion for cannabis with allowing their partnership to flourish in both love and business.In addition to working together as wedding photographers, Mercier and Berrigan also co-curate the @Highloveclub Instagram account, which largely features gauzy glamour shots of the pair smoking up on the rust-stained beaches of P.E.I.Their relationship wasn’t always so picturesque, the couple admits. When they first met four years ago, Mercier said she frowned on Berrigan’s use of medicinal cannabis. But about a year into dating, she began facing her own health issues, which were taking a toll on their relationship, so she took her first puff.Mercier said she went from being couch-ridden with pain to dancing around her living room, and soon got her own medical marijuana prescription. The plant also stoked her creative passions, she said, and she decided to abandon her career in the pharmaceutical industry to follow Berrigan in pursuing photography.“We both kind of bonded over our love of photography and cannabis. It kind of helped pave the way to where we are now,” said Berrigan. “If cannabis wasn’t there … I don’t know if we’d even be together.”There can also be benefits of bringing bud into the bedroom, said Antuanette Gomez, the Toronto-based founder and CEO of Pleasure Peaks, which offers cannabis products aimed at improving women’s sexual health. The potency of cannabis as an aphrodisiac traces back to the millenia-old practice of tantric sex, said Gomez, and she hopes that more Canadian couples discover its pleasures on both a physical and emotional level.“We all react to cannabis very differently, but when we’re sharing that together, it really does heighten your sense of arousal … and also compassion and closeness, so you can really feel that with your partner,” she said. “I think that mind and body connection is the beautiful part that cannabis really touches.”But bringing any substance into a relationship comes with romantic risks and benefits, said University of Alberta sociology professor Geraint Osborne, and the potential impacts of cannabis largely overlap with those posed by alcohol.In a 2005-2006 survey of 41 Canadian cannabis users, Osborne found that bud can lead to mixed success in the bedroom, particularly when appetites turn towards the fridge, sending stoners to sleep with a full stomach. In some cases, said Osborne, it has even been known to cause “performance anxiety,” and studies have linked excessive cannabis use to lower levels of testosterone.If used responsibly, cannabis can lead to better understanding among couples by helping each partner put themselves in the other’s shoes, said Osborne. But when it comes to cannabis abuse, he said the consequences for a relationship can be severe.“If they are spending all of their time just getting high, and thinking about how to get cannabis to get high, then they’re just not focusing on the important parts of their life, including relationships.”Even without abuse issues, a difference in attitudes towards cannabis can put immense strain on a relationship, said Osborne, and not all couples make it.Like most aspects of a relationship, said Gomez, a couple’s chances of success will come down to their ability to “compromise.”“When it comes to cannabis, and since we’re legalizing it so quickly, there will be a definite shift,” she said. “I believe that relationships, true relationships, will have the communication to figure that out.”last_img read more

Police investigate alleged sex assault at Toronto private school

first_imgTORONTO — An investigation is underway into an alleged sexual assault at a prestigious private school in Toronto, police said Wednesday as the institution announced it had expelled students over two serious incidents.Police released few details but said the investigation involved St. Michael’s College School, an all-boys Catholic institution that teaches grades 7 through 12.Spokeswoman Katrina Arrogante said she couldn’t release any more information about the police probe because of the age of those involved and noted that the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre was participating in the investigation.The school did not immediately respond to a request for comment but said in a letter to parents that administrators became aware of “two very serious incidents” that recently occurred on campus and were in violation of the student code of conduct.“The nature of student conduct in each case is injurious to the moral tone of the school and the well-being of our students,” the school wrote. “The school has zero tolerance for such behaviour.”The school said it learned about the incidents on Monday and began an investigation that included informing police and meeting individually with the students involved and their parents.“Swift and decisive disciplinary action has taken place, including expulsions,” the school said in a separate statement posted to its website.The school told parents it addressed the student body in a “formal assembly” on Wednesday afternoon, and would talk to Grade 9 students who were participating in Take Our Kids to Work Day on Thursday.“Given police involvement, and respecting the privacy and confidentiality of all parties, the school will not be making any further comments at this time,” it said.A follow-up email to parents said additional support would be available for students who need it. The email from the director of student affairs said boys who need someone to talk to can approach any guidance counsellor.The school is known for its athletic program. Alumni include hockey greats Frank Mahovlich, Dave Keon and Tim Horton. Track star and Olympic hopeful Justyn Knight also attended the school.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

first_imgOTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says his government hopes to make legal changes that will cement his transformation of the Senate into a more independent, non-partisan chamber, making it harder for a future prime minister to turn back the clock.The prime minister says his government will amend the Parliament of Canada Act  — the law that spells out the powers and privileges of MPs and senators — to better reflect the new reality in the upper house, where most senators now sit as independents unaffiliated with any political party.“We’re going to try to make it fair,” Trudeau said in a year-end roundtable interview with the Ottawa bureau of The Canadian Press. “We’re going to try to do it before the election.”Doing it before next fall’s election is critically important for independent senators, who fear Trudeau’s reforms could be easily reversed should the Liberals fail to win re-election.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has said that if becomes prime minister, he would revert to the previous practice of making overtly partisan appointments, naming only Conservatives to the upper house.Trudeau kicked senators out of the Liberal caucus in 2014. Since taking office in 2015, he’s named only senators recommended by an arm’s-length advisory body in a bid to return the Senate to its intended role as an independent chamber of sober second thought.Of the 105 senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together for greater clout in the Independent Senators’ Group. Another 31 are Conservatives, 10 are Liberal-independents and 10 are unaffiliated. The Conservatives are the only remaining overtly partisan group in the chamber.Yet the Parliament of Canada Act recognizes only two partisan caucuses in the Senate: the governing party caucus and the Opposition caucus, both of which are entitled to research funds, dedicated time to debate bills, memberships on committees and a role in the day-to-day decisions about Senate business, such as when to adjourn debate.Senators have agreed on the fly to some accommodation of the growing ranks of independents, giving them some research funds and committee roles. But the leadership of the ISG has argued that their role must be explicitly spelled out and guaranteed in the Parliament of Canada Act. And, since the change would involve allocating financial resources, they say it can’t be initiated by the Senate, only by the government in the House of Commons.Sen. Raymonde St. Germain, deputy leader of the ISG, said amending the act is the only way to give independent senators a “permanent voice” and to “secure this essential reform for an independent and non-partisan Senate.”“The reform that Prime Minister Trudeau very courageously announced and implemented … has to be completed,” she said in an interview. “It won’t come from within the Senate. The only way to complete it, to have it finished, is to amend the Parliament of Canada Act.”Trudeau said he’s pleased with the way the reformed Senate has operated, even though independent-minded senators are now more prone to amending government bills, which has slowed down the legislative process somewhat and occasionally sparked fears — unrealized thus far — that the Senate could defeat legislation outright.“Canadians have been able to see the benefits and the thoughtful amendments and engagement they’ve had with bills in a way that I think has been very positive. I think removing partisanship in a significant way from the Senate has been good for our democracy, good for institutions,” he said.As for Scheer, Trudeau said: “If he really wants to go back to the kind of partisanship and patronage that we were able to do away with, well, that’s something that he’s going to have to explain.”Just this week, however, Trudeau appointed two new senators with strong Liberal connections: a former Liberal premier of Yukon, Pat Duncan, and Nova Scotia mental-health expert Stanley Kutcher, who ran for the Liberals in the 2011 election and lost.“I don’t think that membership in any given political party should ban them from being able to be thoughtful, independent senators who are not answerable to me but answerable to the values they have,” Trudeau said, adding, “I’m sure we have also appointed people who’ve donated to the NDP or donated to the Conservative party.”Conservatives have repeatedly questioned just how non-partisan the independent senators really are, noting that most seem to share Trudeau’s values — a charge Trudeau did not deny.“I’m not going to pick people who are completely offline with where I think my values or many Canadians’ values are,” he said. “A future prime minister of a different political stripe will certainly be able to appoint people … who might have a slightly different ideological bent. I think that’s going to naturally happen in our system.”Nevertheless, he said the institution is better for the fact that most senators are not answerable to the prime minister and don’t sit in partisan caucuses “to plot political strategy.”Joan Bryden, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash put over until

first_imgMELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash has been adjourned until the new year.Jaskirat Singh Sidhu is charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.Singh’s lawyer spoke to a Melfort, Sask., courtroom by phone and said the defence needs more time to go through disclosure received from the Crown in the last few days.The delay was granted and the case was adjourned until Jan. 8.Sidhu was not in court and has not yet entered a plea.The Broncos junior hockey team bus and a semi-truck driven by Sidhu collided at a rural intersection in Saskatchewan in April.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Cannabiscarrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

first_imgOTTAWA — Travellers caught sneaking small amounts of marijuana into Canada could soon be required to pay fines.Although stiff criminal penalties will remain on the books, the federal border agency is developing administrative sanctions to give it more flexibility to deal with people who arrive at the border with cannabis in the era of legal recreational use.Since Oct. 17, adults in Canada have been allowed to possess and share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, but bringing the drug into the country remains illegal.The border agency says the planned new penalties will provide an additional tool for officers when they encounter travellers carrying cannabis.Details of the new fines are still being worked out but internal border-agency briefing notes say the penalties are slated to be in place some time next year.The border agency has posted signs at many border crossings to remind people of the prohibition against bringing even small amounts of pot into Canada.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Gruelling 1600 km Yukon Quest dog sled race starts in Whitehorse Saturday

first_imgWHITEHORSE — An event considered to be the toughest dog sled race on the planet begins Saturday in Whitehorse.Thirty teams from Canada, the United States and as far away as the Czech Republic and New Zealand will vie to win the 1,600-kilometre Yukon Quest, which begins this year in Whitehorse and ends in Fairbanks, Alaska.For the first time since 2003, mushers must truck their teams between Braeburn, the first checkpoint north of Whitehorse, and Carmacks, about 75 kilometres further along the route.Race Marshall Doug Harris says a lack of snow made the Braeburn to Carmacks stretch of the route too rough for the teams.In all, mushers must pass through nine checkpoints, four dog checks, and four mountain peaks, including the 1,200-metre King Solomon’s Dome.The gruelling race was won last year by Two Rivers, Alaska musher Allen Moore in nine days, 18 hours and 53 minutes.The route follows the Yukon River and the historic winter “highway” travelled by prospectors, mail and supply carriers between the gold fields of the Klondike and the Alaska interior.Mushers and race organizers are concerned about the lack of snow and warmer weather along the trail, but Sgt. John Mitchell with the Canadian Rangers says a 32-member squad has been working on the Yukon side of the trail and conditions have improved in the last week.“The low snow conditions allowed us to brush it out a lot better than has been done in the previous years,” Mitchell says.“When you get down to the low stuff on it, and then we got the snow dump … so it actually set up (well) and we’ve got a pretty darn good base.”This year’s prize purse is $115,000, down slightly from the $125,000 awarded last year, and the first 15 finishers will share a percentage of the pot.The first musher to reach the Dawson City checkpoint also receives two ounces of gold nuggets, worth about $3,400.Moore took home just over $23,000 as the 2018 winner and also kept the gold nuggets as he led almost from start to finish.Four past champions, including multiple winners Moore and Whitehorse resident Hans Gatt, as well as 12 rookies are among the 2019 field.Quebec’s Denis Tremblay, who finished 14th in the 2013 Yukon Quest, drew bib number one at the start banquet held in Whitehorse, Thursday night. (CKRW)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Former chief Charles Weaselhead elected University of Lethbridge chancellor

first_imgLETHBRIDGE, Alta. — An Indigenous man has been elected as chancellor of the University of Lethbridge for the first time in the school’s 52-year history.Charles Weaselhead is the former chief of the Blood Tribe and one-time Treaty 7 grand chief.“I am truly, deeply honoured to represent the University of Lethbridge and to represent Aboriginal people throughout communities in Alberta and beyond,” he said Friday.A residential school survivor, Weaselhead has devoted his life to promoting health, education and economic development for Indigenous people.Recently retired, his new role with the university is a little out of his comfort zone, he said, but he welcomes the chance to learn and serve. Weaselhead said the population of Indigenous young people is growing fast.He said it is part of the university’s responsibility to provide opportunities for those youth to learn and have a career.“Right now, we’re in a period where our young people, especially in my home communities, are battling opioid addictions and we have an emergency crisis,” he said. “With myself as the chancellor of the University of Lethbridge, I think it gets our young people putting on their thinking caps that they can get to this position too.”The university is in the heart of traditional Blackfoot territory in southern Alberta.University president Mike Mahon said he is honoured that Weaselhead accepted the role of chancellor.He said it is long overdue.“I’m so proud of our university that we made the decision to recognize the importance of our Indigenous community here in Lethbridge and around southern Alberta,” Mahon said.“To recognize the importance of truth and reconciliation, but also recognizing Charlie for who he is — an amazing leader, a great businessman, a fantastic communicator and somebody that’s really made a difference.”Weaselhead is to be officially installed at the university’s spring convocation. He succeeds Janice Varzari, who has served as chancellor since 2015. (Lethbridge News Now)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Bissonnette judges unusual sentencing decision likely to be appealed experts

first_imgMONTREAL — A Quebec judge’s “unusual” decision to modify the Criminal Code as he sentenced six-time murderer Alexandre Bissonnette to a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 40 years highlights the ongoing legal debate over consecutive life sentences in Canada, according to legal experts.On Friday, Quebec Superior Court Justice Francois Huot rejected the Crown’s call to sentence Bissonnette to 150 years with no chance of parole, arguing a sentence of 50 years or more would constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Sentences that exceed an offender’s life expectancy and offer no reasonable hope of release are “grossly disproportionate and totally incompatible with human dignity,” he wrote in his 246-page decision.But instead of sentencing Bissonnette to serve his six sentences concurrently, Huot rewrote the 2011 consecutive sentencing law, section 745.51 of the Criminal Code, to give himself the discretion to deliver consecutive life sentences that are not in blocks of 25 years, as had been the case. (First-degree murder carries an automatic sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole before 25 years.)In the end, Huot decided Bissonnette will serve at least 40 years in prison.Bissonnette, 29, pleaded guilty last March to six counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder after he walked into the mosque at the Islamic Cultural Centre during evening prayers on Jan. 29, 2017 and opened fire.Kent Roach, a law professor at the University of Toronto, described Huot’s decision as “innovative.”“Charter challenges to the 2011 provisions had previously been denied on the basis that the judge was not forced to increase parole ineligibility for multiple murders,” he wrote in an email.“It may very well be appealed by both the Crown (who wanted far more than 40 years) and the defence, which may argue that if the judge thought the provision violated the Charter he should have imposed only 25 years of parole ineligibility.”But Renald Beaudry, a criminal lawyer who was at Bissonnette’s sentencing, doesn’t think the sentence would be easy to overturn.He noted that Huot’s lengthy decision included a comprehensive overview of worldwide jurisprudence on the issue of consecutive sentences, the philosophy behind the fundamental principles of Canadian law, and a summary of House of Commons debate on the issue.“He really backed himself up, to use the expression,” he said.On Friday, lawyers for both the Crown and defence said they would study the decision before deciding whether to appeal the sentence. A spokesman for the Quebec Justice department also indicated its lawyers were studying the possibility of appeal.Lisa Silver, a law professor at the University of Calgary, said the decision reflects the ongoing conversation in Canada surrounding the law that allows judges to “stack” life sentences for multiple murders instead of serving them concurrently.“(The decision) does seem unusual, but it’s also very consistent with what some judges are saying, not just about this section, but about sentencing and the larger discussion about these sections in the Criminal Code,” she said.Recent high-profile sentencing decisions across Canada have reflected different judicial approaches to the idea of multiple life sentences.The longest prison sentence in Canada to date is 75 years without parole, which has been given to at least five triple killers including Justin Bourque, who murdered three RCMP officers in a shooting spree in New Brunswick in 2014.But other judges have rejected calls for consecutive sentences, including the Toronto judge who on Friday sentenced Bruce McArthur to life in prison with no parole for 25 years for murdering eight men with ties to Toronto’s gay village.Silver said the difference in sentences can be problematic because it leads to comparisons, such as the perception that a gay or Muslim person’s murder isn’t “worth” as much as that of an RCMP officer.But she said people should understand that a sentence isn’t about putting a numerical value on a person’s life.“We need to remember that sentencing is individual, it takes in a number of factors, and those include the circumstances of the crime, the severity, the impact on the community, but it also has to reference the circumstances and background of the offender,” she said.Silver agreed  that the Bissonnette sentencing is also likely to be appealed, and she believes that’s a good thing.She said she believes the consecutive sentencing law needs to be reviewed in order to provide more guidance for judges and avoid the harm caused by the perception of inconsistent sentencing.“The difficulty in the street level is, these are communities that need to have some closure,” she said. “And when you have appeals and decisions that, in a public view don’t seem consistent, it’s difficult for people to move on with their lives.”Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Otters long departure means koi can return to Vancouver Chinese garden

first_imgVANCOUVER — Koi are safe to swim again in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver that was once a hunting ground for an elusive otter.Three adults and 344 juvenile ornamental koi were removed from the pond and kept at the Vancouver Aquarium last November after the otter began feasting on the expensive koi.It even killed a 50-year-old fish named Madonna, before it disappeared again, despite numerous attempts by staff to trap the animal.The koi that were removed were returned to the pond on Thursday, along with two other adults that had been donated.Vancouver Park Board chairman Stuart Mackinnon says the fate of the koi generated concern locally and internationally and he’s pleased to see the fish back in their home.Mackinnon says the garden staff have added steel plates to the park gates, deterring any other otters from getting inside.The garden closed for a week during the height of the otter’s destruction and the saga set off a storm on social media among those rooting for and against the otter.Koi embody positive connotations for many Asian cultures, from good luck to abundance and perseverance, and a statement from the garden says the fish are often an important and symbolic part of classical Chinese gardens.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Where the party leaders are Tuesday

first_imgOTTAWA — The party leaders’ scheduled public appearances on Tuesday, Oct. 1. All times are local. Will be updated as details are released. Liberal Leader Justin TrudeauTBA—Conservative Leader Andrew ScheerTBA—NDP Leader Jagmeet SinghVANCOUVER, B.C.8 a.m. — Breakfast with young families, Roots Café, 6502 Main Street—Green Leader Elizabeth MayToronto, Ont.Noon — Ryerson Centre for Urban Innovation, 44 Gerrard St. E. (announcement on post-secondary education)—People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime BernierChatham, Ont8 a.m. — Chatham Wish Centre, 177 King St. E. (breakfast)Wallaceburg, Ont.10 a.m. — Royal Canadian Legion, 52 Margaret Ave. (meet and greet)Sarnia, Ont.12:30 p.m. — Sarnia Library Theatre, 124 Christina St. S. (meet and greet)Strathroy, Ont.4 p.m. — Strathroy Lions Club, 432 Albert St. (meet and greet)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Roger Waters To Perform With Military Veterans

first_imgThe Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) and the New York Comedy Festival are proud to announce that John Mayer and Roger Waters will perform at the 6th annual Stand Up for Heroes event on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Beacon Theatre, in addition to previously announced performers Mike Birbiglia, Ricky Gervais, Patton Oswalt, Jon Stewart, Bruce Springsteen and Robin Williams.Roger Waters will be performing with a band comprised of military veterans.Musical performances will be streamed live on YouTube and available worldwide on, the website of the Bob Woodruff Foundation as the 6th annual Stand Up for Heroes gala kicks off at the same time as the event, 8 p.m. EST. Viewers of the live stream will be able to make donations to the BWF to help support injured service men and women.“We look forward to this event all year, because we are always honored when we get to meet the inspirational men and women who have served our country so heroically,” said Bob Woodruff, co-founder, the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “In addition, we are amazed at the caliber of talent we are able to pull in for the benefit. These performers simply want to help give back to the men and women who have sacrificed so much. We hope that the social media component, new this year, will enable more people to enjoy the show—and will raise even more awareness for the cause that lies behind it.”“We’re always profoundly appreciative of these incredible artists who donate their time and considerable talents to this cause every year,” says Caroline Hirsch, founder and owner of Carolines on Broadway and the New York Comedy Festival. “To add John Mayer and Roger Waters to a line-up already bursting with star power and talent is a testament to the amazing work that the Bob Woodruff Foundation is doing on behalf of those injured soldiers who have so bravely served our country.”This is the sixth year of the nationally recognized Stand Up for Heroes benefit; the five previous events have raised more than $10 million in all to support wounded warriors and their families.The Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested more than $12 million to help wounded service members, veterans and family members.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Jackson Browne Supports Safety Harbor Kids

first_imgMalibu nonprofit, Safety Harbor Kids, is preparing for another big year of events to benefit orphans, foster and homeless children.Supported by corporations including Duke’s Restaurant, Houlihan Lokey and Pepperdine University Guardian Scholarship program among others, the charity has a unique approach to helping children, providing direct education on a one on one basis at special events.Upcoming events include an Etiquette and Manners Brunch at Duke’s in Malibu, a Polo Fundraiser, a concert, and their 7th annual holiday party. With their direct approach and broad scope, the Malibu charity has attracted music and celebrity supporters locally and nationally.“I’ve supported SHK for several years… I really value the work they do,” says singer/songwriter/activist Jackson Browne presenting the Volunteer of the Year award to community leader, Patricia Tackett at the last event. Other attendees included actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and Miss California.To join visit Newswirelast_img read more

Julianne Moore Named As Ambassador For Key To The Cure Campaign

first_imgSaks Fifth Avenue and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) announced today that Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore has been named ambassador for Saks Fifth Avenue’s 2015 Key To The Cure campaign.Julianne Moore wears Jason Wu designed tee for 2015 Key To The Cure CampaignFor the first time, Saks Fifth Avenue will be teaming up with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, created to accelerate innovative cancer research through collaboration among leading scientists from different institutions and disciplines who work together to deliver new therapies to patients quickly. By galvanizing the support of the entertainment indus­try, SU2C creates awareness and builds broad public sup­port for this effort to combat all types of cancers.“Everyone has been affected by cancer in some way, whether you’ve known or cared for a loved one facing a cancer diagnosis, or contended with cancer yourself. So I’m honored to work with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and Saks Fifth Avenue to highlight Stand Up To Cancer’s mission to make everyone diagnosed with cancer a survivor,” said Julianne Moore. “I hope everyone will join me in supporting this important cause by purchasing a Key To The Cure T-Shirt.”Now in its 17th year, Saks Fifth Avenue’s Key To The Cure campaign has enlisted Jason Wu to design this year’s limited edition T-Shirt, benefiting Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). Available for purchase beginning on October 1 in Saks Fifth Avenue stores and online at and, the tee will retail for $35, with 100% of sales benefiting Stand Up To Cancer.“It is an honor to partner with Saks Fifth Avenue on their signature charitable initiative Key To The Cure this year. My hope is that people purchase the limited edition tee, which benefits Stand Up To Cancer, an initiative that has made great strides in cancer research,” said Jason Wu.Marc Metrick, President of Saks Fifth Avenue, stated, “We look forward to Key To The Cure every October. It’s really great to see our stores, customers and vendors rally together to support such a great cause in raising awareness and funds. We are excited to evolve our Key To The Cure campaign with Stand Up To Cancer this year.”Julianne Moore will appear in a national public service announcement (PSA) wearing the Jason Wu-designed limited-edition tee. The Key To The Cure PSA will appear in major fashion and lifestyle magazines in September and October. Saks Fifth Avenue’s charity shopping weekend will take place Thursday through Sunday, October 15 to 18, at all Saks Fifth Avenue stores and online at and“The Entertainment Industry Foundation is proud to continue to join forces, with Saks Fifth Avenue in our shared mission to fund innovative cancer research that is getting new treatments to the patients who need them quickly,” said Lisa Paulsen, EIF President and CEO and co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer. “We’re so grateful to Saks for this longstanding collaboration, and to every individual who contributes to helping those affected by cancer by purchasing a Key To The Cure T-shirt or shopping at Saks during its charity shopping weekend.”Saks Fifth Avenue initiated its charity shopping weekend in 1999. To date, the company has donated more than $36 million to women’s cancer research and treatment organizations throughout the United States. Organizations benefiting from these funds include: The Breast Cancer Research Foundation; EIF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund; Cleveland Clinic; Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Nevada Cancer Institute and many others.last_img read more

Susan Lucci And Liza Huber To Host Women Who Care Awards Luncheon

first_imgEdward R. Matthews, CEO of United Cerebral Palsy of New York City (UCP of NYC), and Loreen Arbus, Founder & Chair of Women Who Care, announced today that Susan Lucci, now in her fourth season as star of the hit series “Devious Maids,” Emmy award-winning actress from “All My Children,” and New York Times best-selling author, will return for the fourth consecutive year as host of The 15th Annual Women Who Care Awards Luncheon.Susan Lucci and Liza HuberFor the first time, Liza Huber, Founder & CEO of Sage Spoonfuls and past star of the hit TV series “Passions,” will co-host the awards luncheon with her mother Ms. Lucci, for the event taking place May 9th, the day after Mother’s Day. This will mark the first time a mother and daughter team have co-hosted Women Who Care. Ms. Huber has a son, Brendan, with Cerebral Palsy, and was recently featured in People Magazine and on TV shows including “The Dr. Oz Show,” “The Meredith Vieira Show,” and “Entertainment Tonight” to help raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy and the work of UCP of NYC.The luncheon, to be held Monday, May 9th, at Cipriani 42nd Street, benefits United Cerebral Palsy of New York City and celebrates the accomplishments of extraordinary women as professionals, philanthropists, and caregivers, who have broken glass ceilings and inspired others through their professional and charitable endeavors. The event has raised nearly $8 million during its fourteen years.Ms. Lucci is a former Women Who Care award honoree and a longtime celebrity supporter of UCP of NYC.“I am very touched by United Cerebral Palsy of New York City’s impact as a lifeline for thousands of children, families, and adults with disabilities,” says Susan Lucci. “I am particularly impressed by the comprehensive nature of their ongoing programs and services which encompass so many different aspects of health, education, assistive technology, and the arts.”In addition to narrating a video for UCP of NYC and Susan G. Komen to help raise breast health awareness for women with disabilities, Ms. Lucci’s charitable work is wide-ranging. Her commitment to helping children has taken her to Africa in support of Feed the Children. She has served as the March Of Dimes National Ambassador in 2000, and as a celebrity spokesperson for AMDeC (Academic Medicine Development Company) and The New York Cancer Project. She has also been involved with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the prestigious New York City Gracie Award, and the Muse Award for Women in Film & Television. She was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame and in 2005 she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was inducted into the American Academy of Achievement Awards and presented with the Italian Board of Guardians Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2015, Ms Lucci was honored with the Disney Legends Award and the Arthur Ashe Leadership Award. In addition, she currently can be seen in Joy, the Academy Award nominated film for Best Motion Picture.“From the point-of-view of a mother of a child with Cerebral Palsy, I am so honored to help bring awareness to the crucial work being done by UCP of NYC in providing resources for children and adults with disabilities to move forward and live active and independent lives, not just with hope, but with true confidence in themselves,” says Liza Huber, Founder and CEO of Sage Spoonfuls.Ms. Huber is an award-winning author, television personality, public speaker, wife, mother of four and the CEO & Founder of the homemade baby-food company Sage Spoonfuls. She was recently profiled by Forbes as a “Woman Entrepreneur Rocking The World” and has been featured on Good Morning America, Good Day New York, PIX 11 News, People Now and Martha Stewart Radio, among others. She is a featured contributor for The Huffington Post, Green Child Magazine and Big City Moms.Liza also speaks at national events designed to inspire and empower female entrepreneurs, such as the National Association for Professional Women, Atlanta’s Dare 2 Aspire Conference and as the keynote speaker for the Town of Hempstead’s 2015 Pathfinder Awards. Liza has been the recipient of the Mom’s Best Literary Gold Award, an Independent Publisher’s Award, a Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal and a Cribsie Award, and has been honored with the John J Byrne Community Center’s Hero of the Community Award, and the Little Flower Children and Family Service’s 2015 Humanitarian Award. In addition to the charitable organizations UCP of NYC and UCP of Nassau County, she is a Parent Ambassador for Healthy Child, Healthy World, and has worked extensively with Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York’s Parent Youth Program.Writer, producer, author and activist Loreen Arbus, the first woman to head programming for a US television network, is Founder and Chair of Women Who Care. Among her many awards, Ms. Arbus was presented The Heart of Giving Award by President Bill Clinton in 2001 and the Ms. Foundation for Women Woman of Vision and Action Award by Gloria Steinem in 2011. She is the daughter of Leonard and Isabelle Goldenson, Co-Founders of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). Mr. Goldenson was Founder and Chairman of ABC. This will mark Ms. Arbus’ final year as Chair of Women Who Care.Tamsen Fadal, Emmy award-winning Anchor of PIX 11 News; Robin Givens, actress/director/author; Donna Hanover, journalist/radio personality and former First Lady of New York City; Ali Stroker of “Glee Project” and “Glee” fame; and Emmy award winner Paula Zahn, host of “On the Case with Paula Zahn,” will serve as Co-Chairs of the event.In addition to Ms. Lucci, previous Women Who Care honorees include Robin Roberts, Judith Light, Cyndi Lauper, Diane Sawyer, Gayle King, Lynda Carter, Lauren Bush Lauren, Judy Woodruff, Amy Lee, Ann Curry, Marlo Thomas, China Machado, Roxanne Mankin Cason, Francine LeFrak, Anne Sweeney, Patricia Duff, Terrie Williams, Dr. Pamela Gallin, Maysoon Zayid, Linda Kaplan Thaler, and many other extraordinarily accomplished women.Past celebrity presenters for Women Who Care include: Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer, Diane von Furstenberg, Jimmy Smits, America Ferrara, Cynthia Nixon, Ivanka Trump, David Muir, Danny Glover, Meredith Vieira, Alan Rickman, Nicole Miller, Deborah Norville, Charlie Rose, Alex Witt, Cynthia McFadden, Deborah Roberts, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Maurice DuBois, Mike Woods, Regis Philbin, Alan Alda, Michelle Bachelet, the former President of Chile, and many other VIPs.For more info about the event, click here.last_img read more

George W Bush Welcomes Invictus Flag

first_imgThe Invictus Games Orlando 2016, presented by Jaguar Land Rover and taking place from May 8-12 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, this week was honored to deliver the Invictus Games Flag that will fly over the Games in Orlando to President George W. Bush, the Honorary Chairman of the 2016 Invictus Games, at an event at the Bush Institute in Dallas.The Invictus Games Flag will be on display at the Bush Presidential Library & Museum until May 3, 2016.“I am honored to serve as the Honorary Chairman of the 2016 Invictus Games,” said President Bush, who then outlined the goals of the Invictus Games Policy Symposium on Invisible Wounds Presented by the Bush Institute, which is being held at Invictus Games Orlando 2016. “Using our platform at the Invictus Games, we are going to discuss how best to help our service men and women recover from the invisible wounds of war. We intend to call attention to the stigmas associated with these wounds so that they can overcome them and continue to contribute mightily to our country.”“We are truly honored to have President George W. Bush serving as the Honorary Chairman of the Invictus Games Orlando 2016,” said David Coker, president of the Invictus Games 2016 Organizing Committee. “President Bush has dedicated himself to honoring and serving our wounded, ill and injured military personnel and his support of the Games and our competitors is immeasurable.”This is the second U.S. stop the Invictus Games Flag will make on its way to Orlando. Previously, it was at the Intrepid Museum in New York City. Captain Reynolds recently received the Invictus Games Flag from Invictus Games Foundation Patron Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace in London.“It was a privilege and honor to present the Invictus Games Flag to President Bush,” said Captain Reynolds. “Our team is training hard to represent the United States of America and we are very appreciative of all the support President Bush has given us on our journeys to recovery and to the Invictus Games.”“I’m looking forward to see you all again next month in Orlando. It’s going to be awesome,” President Bush told the competitors.Captain Reynolds ultimately lost his left leg above the knee after an IED in Iraq and endured 26 surgeries. Since his injury, Captain Reynolds has become a husband, a father to four, earned a Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Public Health, embarked on a career with Deloitte and become a world class adaptive sports athlete.The Invictus Games Flag tour is symbolic of the journey the men and women competing in the games followed in their recoveries, and will travel all the way to Orlando for the Games. The goal of the tour is to encourage support and participation in the Invictus Games 2016 but also educate audiences about the power of sports in recovery and to honor the brave sacrifices of all our service members and their families. The Games are a phenomenal chance to support men and women in uniform who will showcase true spirit and determination while being part of a unique, action-packed sporting event.On May 8th, the Bush Institute will present the Invictus Games Policy Symposium on Invisible Wounds, an international conversation to address the invisible wounds of war, specifically traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress, and other psychological health issues. In preparation for next month’s event, today the Bush Institute released several interactive communications pieces here.Building on its sponsorship of the inaugural games in London in 2014, Jaguar Land Rover continues its partnership with Invictus Games as Presenting Partner for Orlando 2016. The official flag vehicle, the specially commissioned Jaguar F-PACE, delivered the Invictus Games Flag and US Team Captain Will Reynolds and Ken Fisher to the Bush Institute. In addition, Jaguar Land Rover will sponsor the U.S. and UK Teams competing in Orlando.Fans can go here to purchase tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime event.The Invictus Games Flag is emblazoned with “I AM.”I AM is the symbolic representation of the Invictus Games. It is inspired by the final two lines of a poem – ‘Invictus’ – by William Ernest Henley:I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.The speaker in the poem proclaims his strength in the face of adversity. In the same way, I AM reflects and defines the core purpose of the Invictus Games: to provide a platform for personal achievement and not be defined by wounds or injury, and to prove that I AM.Thousands of friends, family and fans will come together for an unforgettable four days of competition and celebrate the accomplishments, victories and unbreakable spirits of more than 500 competitors representing 14 nations.last_img read more

Crystal Bowersox Named As Newest Spokesperson For Lilly Diabetes

first_imgCrystal Bowersox understands how crucial it is to properly manage diabetes and find a healthy balance on and off the stage.Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 6, Crystal – now 30 – rose from humble beginnings in northwestern Ohio to reach the heights of American Idol in 2010 and an ongoing musical career that has followed. Having nearly lost her spot on the show due to a short hospitalization brought on by the rigorous taping and rehearsal schedule, she vowed to make it her mission to touch others impacted by diabetes with her music and her message.Crystal’s grit and determination recently caught the eye of Lilly Diabetes, which today introduced her as its newest type 1 diabetes ambassador. In this role, Crystal will speak to children with diabetes at summer camps and other events, sharing her story and inspiring them to reach for their dreams. Her ambassadorship is one more way Lilly Diabetes, who has donated $31 million in medication, scholarships and educational materials since 2001, supports diabetes camps.“Growing up with diabetes, I felt isolated from other kids because they didn’t understand the challenges I faced, and today I know there are many who experience the same things,” said Crystal. “However, despite the obstacles, I learned how to manage the disease, and I try to live my life to the fullest. That’s why I’m excited to partner with Lilly Diabetes to tell my story and encourage kids.”As part of her ambassador role, Crystal will speak about her experiences with diabetes in a national satellite television and radio media tour today and be a featured speaker at the Friends for Life conference in Orlando, Florida, on July 7. Friends for Life is an annual international conference that gathers diabetes experts, health care providers, researchers and families who have children with diabetes to learn and share the most current information on diabetes care.“We love having Crystal attend our Friends for Life conference because she’s so down to earth with kids and their families,” said Jeff Hitchcock, president, Children with Diabetes. “It’s important for children with diabetes to hear real success stories, and Crystal shares her experiences in such a warm and inclusive way. It’s inspiring to see how she connects, and how important her story is to kids and their parents, who are understandably worried about what their child’s future may hold.”Later this month, Crystal will make stops at diabetes camps and events to meet with children who have diabetes as part of the Lilly Camp Care Package (LCCP) program, one of the largest diabetes camp support programs in the United States. While on the road, she’ll join two LCCP program veterans: Olympic cross-country skier Kris Freeman and NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ryan Reed, who began their camp tours in June.Camps Make a Difference
Throughout its 16 years of support, Lilly Diabetes has found attending a diabetes summer camp can be a valuable experience for children learning to live with the disease, particularly those transitioning from parental care to self-care. A three-year survey by the American Diabetes Association showed camp experience increases some children’s diabetes knowledge, self-confidence, diabetes management and emotional well-being. It also showed the number of campers with a clear understanding of diabetes management increased 11 percent, and those with the ability to manage diabetes-related problems increased 10 percent. Newly diagnosed campers (less than one year since initial diagnosis) changed the most, with 19 percent showing improvement in their ability to manage diabetes-related issues.“As someone who was diagnosed with diabetes as a child, Crystal Bowersox understands what newly diagnosed children can go through. She is a terrific example of someone who has managed the ups and downs of the disease,” said Mike Mason, vice president, U.S., Lilly Diabetes. “We are excited to include her perspective as we continue to meet the needs of children with diabetes. We look forward to seeing her connect with children in those important ways.”Crystal’s 2016 summer diabetes camp tour begins July 18. To hear or read her story, or for more information on other Lilly Diabetes support programs, please visit To find a camp in your area, visit read more

Statement From UN Foundation On New Restrictions Of US Foreign Assistance To

first_imgUnited Nations Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin has issued the following statement on the imposition of the Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, last enacted in 2001.The policy, enacted again this week through Executive action, prohibits foreign non-governmental organizations from receiving any U.S. foreign assistance for family planning if they provide information, referrals, or services for legal abortion or lobby for abortion. U.S. law already prohibits the use of U.S. foreign assistance to pay for abortion information and services as a method of family planning. Therefore, organizations that provide abortion information or services do so with non-U.S. government funding. The enactment of the Global Gag Rule means organizations that provide abortion information or services or lobby for abortion cannot receive any U.S. foreign assistance, even for their non-abortion work, including providing voluntary family planning services and reproductive health care. Calvin said:“The United Nations Foundation does not support the Global Gag Rule, which jeopardizes the health and well-being of the world’s most vulnerable girls and women.“This action will do more than change policy; it will make it more difficult for millions of girls and women to access the contraception and health care they need to determine their futures. When the policy was last enacted, health care clinics in many countries were forced to close and outreach services for the hardest to reach populations were eliminated, leaving many of the world’s poorest people without access to critical services, such as maternal and child health care, HIV testing and counseling, and contraceptives, including condoms. Without these life-saving services, more women and infants died due to pregnancy-related complications. In some countries, the Global Gag Rule led to increases in abortions as women had more unintended pregnancies.“The Global Gag Rule also runs counter to long-standing bipartisan support in Congress and in the American public for U.S. leadership in providing voluntary family planning services to women and couples around the world who want it.“U.S. funding for voluntary family planning programs globally has allowed girls to stay in school, pursue jobs, and have children if and when they are ready. It has helped to improve maternal and child health, decrease unintended pregnancies, lower HIV infection rates, and reduce poverty. Still, more than 225 million women worldwide who want to delay or avoid pregnancy are not using modern contraception and need our support.“Now is the time to build on progress, not reverse it. The United Nations Foundation stands ready to work with the new U.S. Administration to continue America’s leadership in improving health around the world. Access to reproductive health care, including contraception, is a human right and enables girls and women to plan their lives, climb out of poverty, and achieve a more sustainable future.”The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors. Learn more here.last_img read more

The Elders Statement On US Reintroduction Of Global Gag Rule

first_imgThe Elders have expressed concern at the decision by the new US Administration to reintroduce the so-called “Global Gag Rule” that cuts US funding to organisations that help provide abortion services.
When the rule has been enacted by previous US Presidents over the past three decades, it has jeopardised the health and wellbeing of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Gro Harlem Brundtland, Deputy Chair of The Elders, said:“This decision puts the health of women and children at risk. We know from past experience that when the Global Gag Rule is enacted, health care clinics are forced to close and services for hard-to-reach populations eliminated. If this happens again, vulnerable people will die unnecessarily.”Mary Robinson, Elder and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, added:“The decision to re-impose the Global Gag Rule risks reversing progress on maternal, child and reproductive health in the poorest countries and poorest communities. In September 2015 the United States committed to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. I hope the new Administration will continue to support aid that helps cut poverty, promote gender equality and build a more prosperous future for our shared planet.”last_img read more

Canadas Fashion Community Celebrates Homegrown Talent

first_img Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The CAFAs, as the awards are called here, were launched four years ago by Vicky Milner and Brittney Kuczynski to recognise Canadian designers and fashion visionaries both at home and working abroad. While the feeling of camaraderie has stayed the same, the crowd has grown: over 700 people were in attendance on Friday, including nominees, press, stylists, photographers and ticket holders from Toronto’s social scene. Notable names in attendance also included model Coco Rocha, Tanya Taylor (nominated for International Canadian Designer of the Year) and J.Crew’s Somsack Sikhounmuong, a CAFA jury member. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of the Prime Minister, sent in a video message toasting the crowd. Her attendance at the CAFAs in 2016 was a coup for the awards. TORONTO, Canada — “I’m used to going to [events] where everyone is so used to everything,” said designer Jason Wu during the fourth annual Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards, remarking on the energy and excitement in the room. “It seems like something that’s really developing and something new.”Indeed, the awards gala on Friday night in Toronto — that honoured Iris Apfel(International Style Icon Award), Erdem Moralioglu (International Canadian Designer of the Year Award), Beaufille (Womenswear Designer of the Year Award) and BoF’s own Imran Amed (Vanguard Award), among others — was brimming with genuine excitement and patriotic pride for Canadian talent and its potential for growth on an international stage.“I feel like [Canada is] unique and interesting to the rest of the world, we’re almost an untapped market,” said Chloé Gordon of Beaufille while accepting her award alongside sister and co-founder Parris. “We are so proud to be Canadian.” The label won the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent in 2015, which included $10,000 and a mentorship program. Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more