How industry outsider Carolle Brabant changed Telefilm from the inside out

first_imgCarolle Brabant, executive director of Telefilm Canada since 2010, poses for a photograph at the Telefilm offices in Montreal on Feb. 23, 2018. Brabant will be leaving the position in March. “Carolle’s one of the best executive directors Telefilm has ever had,” veteran producer Robert Lantos (The Sweet Hereafter, Eastern Promises) said. Twitter Advertisement If you find yourself with an afternoon to kill at the tail end of this year’s Canadian Screen Week – and possess a high tolerance for exposure to regional box-office statistics – take some time to read Telefilm Canada’s annual reports from the past two decades. Along with all the facts and figures expected in the filings of a federal agency, there’s a curious repetition in the statements from its board chairs and executive directors: “It was an ambitious yet challenging year.” “We continued to struggle.” “Clearly we have many challenges to face.” “This was a year of many accomplishments …” – great! – “but we still face substantial challenges.”Running the 51-year-old institution charged with supporting Canada’s feature-film industry has never been an easy job – and it’s only gotten harder since Carolle Brabant took over as executive director in 2010. Traditional business models have gone sideways. Theatrical exposure for Canadian films has imploded, thanks to threats both foreign (Hollywood’s big-footing blockbusters) and domestic (disruptive digital technology). Ottawa seems to be more interested in playing with Netflix than investing in its own Crown corporation, with its funding of Telefilm largely static.Yet, as Brabant prepares to step down this month at the conclusion of her eight-year tenure, she seems to have met the challenges her predecessors warned of with something resembling success – if such a thing can be had in the easily disagreeable world of Canadian film. Advertisementcenter_img Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

CFC TALENT ONSCREEN AND BEHIND THE SCENES AT TIFF 2018

first_img Facebook Toronto – The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) proudly announces an array of CFC alumni and residents who will be participating in the 43rd edition of the Toronto International Film Festival(TIFF), which runs from September 6 to 16 in downtown Toronto. As actors, composers, directors, editors, producers, speakers and writers, their involvement ranges from presenting their films to pitching new projects. These alumni (shown below in bold) represent the breadth and dynamism of contemporary Canadian talent involved in many of the festival’s buzziest projects – a hallmark of the CFC’s role in contributing to the festival over the past 30 years.TIFF’s star-studded Special Presentations programme spotlights CFC alumni in these hotly anticipated features, all world premieres:Anthropence, the latest project by award-winning Canadian filmmaking team Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky and and CFC alumnus Nicholas de Pencier, follows up their earlier Manufactured Landscapes with a new, sobering look at our destructive reengineering of the planet.The coming-of-age drama of a teenage boy, Giant Little Ones, is directed by Keith Behrman, also has Daniel Bekerman as executive producer, Lauren Grant as co-producer and Brendan Brady as line producer.Paula Devonshire is line producer on Neil Jordan’s anticipated psychological thriller, Greta, about a lonely, mysterious widow whose friendship with a naïve young woman takes on an increasingly sinister tones.Tickets will be hard to come by for The Grizzlies, directed by CFC alumna Miranda de Pencier, produced by alumnus/mentor, Damon D’Oliveira, and made in creative collaboration between de Pencier and Inuit producers Alethea Arnaquq-Baril and Stacey Aglok MacDonald – the inspiring, true story shot on location in MacDonald’s community in Nunavut.Strike-it-rich drama The Hummingbird Project stars Anna Maguire in a tale of two scheming cousins who try to build a thousand-mile-long, four-inch-wide tunnel from Kansas to New Jersey that will give them a one-millisecond edge on transactions at the New York Stock Exchange.Patricia Rozema’s Mouthpiece features the talents of CFC producer alumni Brendan Brady and Jennifer Shin, as well as CFC mentor Christina Piovesan. The film adapts an award-winning two-hander about an aspiring writer attempting to reconcile her feminism with the conformist choices of her mother after her mother’s sudden death.Director Stella Meghie returns to the festival after her 2016 hit Jean of the Joneses with her follow-up feature, The Weekend, in which an acerbic comedian becomes romantically entangled with her ex, his new girlfriend and another guest on a weekend getaway.Through Black Spruce, directed by writer-director alumnus Don McKellar (who also was the recipient of our 2016 CFC Award for Creative Excellence) explores how a young Cree woman’s disappearance traumatizes her family and triggers events in both Toronto and the remote Northern Ontario community she fled years ago. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisement Nicholas de Pencier will also be speaking at the TIFF Industry Conference, a six-day event taking place from September 7 to 12, on the Foundations panel on post-production. The Foundations stream is designed for up-and-comers and explores all aspects of the business, from craft to distribution, with tangible tools for creative practitioners.TIFF Docs features Tiffany Beaudin’s editing on Prosecuting Evil: The Extraordinary World of Ben Ferencz, the fascinating portrait of Ben Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg Trial prosecutor, who continues to wage his lifelong crusade for law and peace.In the exclusive Short Cuts programme, look for the highly anticipated directorial debut from editor Matthew Hannam, Paseo, a richly textured and eerie short film that traces the journey of an alienated woman visiting Barcelona. And kudos to 2018 Cineplex Entertainment Film Program producer Evren Boisjoli for his work on Fauve; set in a surface mine, two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer.The Discovery series spotlights the future of world cinema and shines with CFC talent in two films. Clara, which Matt Lyon edited and for which Jonathan Kawchuk composed the music, chronicles an obsessive astronomer and his unconventional research partner searching for the existence of life on distant planets. Jasmin Mozaffari’s Firecrackers, which Simone Smith edited, Matt Code and Paul Barkin executive produced and for which Casey MQ composed music, tells the tale of two young women desperate to escape their repressive small town.CFC’s Andria Spring was a producer of the Midnight Madness’ Assassination Nation, a Salem-set thriller in which four young women are accused of hacking and publishing their community’s private information, launching a proverbial witch hunt with very real consequences.Photo credit: Mark Banks.From the 2017 CBC Actors Conservatory, Devery Jacobs is one the four Canadian TIFF Rising Stars, which features the talents and careers of Canada’s most gifted up-and-coming actors. Born in Kahnawà:ke Mohawk territory, Jacobs is an actor and filmmaker who gave an award-winning performance in CFC Features’ RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS. Look for her in upcoming credits on the TV shows Cardinal, American Gods and alumni Dennis Heaton and Shelley Eriksen’s The Order.The 20th edition of Telefilm Canada’s PITCH THIS is a hot-ticket industry event showcasing new voices in Canadian filmmaking. So it’s no surprise to see it well represented by CFC alumni on four of the six selected teams:Born out of their time working together in the 2017 Cineplex Entertainment Film Program, producer Alona Metzer, director Thyrone Tommy and writer Marni van Dyk are dream-teaming up for Learn to Swim. Here, a jazz musician tries to escape after a tragic and mysterious loss, only to find himself haunted by the painful truths of his past.Josh Epstein wrote and produced last year’s CFC Features film, TIFF hit and TIFF Top 10 selection ADVENTURES IN PUBLIC SCHOOL. He joins the team pitching Saint Joan’s Seven, in which a washed-up wrestler meets his toughest match when he’s forced to mentor the Saint Joan’s Seven — a class of misfit, juvenile delinquent girls with a knack for violence.The Incident Report features director Naomi Jaye. Mid-level librarian Miriam Gordon begins receiving a series of odd, increasingly hostile letters from a mysterious author who casts himself as Verdi’s tragic hunchback, Rigoletto, and Miriam as Gilda, his murdered daughter.Gharrett Paon and Bretten Hannam team up for Wildwood. This inspiring two-spirit coming-of-age drama focuses on a rebellious Mi’kmaw teenager who runs away from home to find his birth mother and reclaim his heritage.Earlier in July, TIFF announced new participants in their Share Her Journey Campaign, which includes several CFC alumnae: two of the campaign’s ambassadors are actor-producer Jennifer Podemski of Moccasin Flats and writer-director Molly McGlynn of Mary Goes Round (a film first developed in our Cineplex Entertainment Film Program’s Writers’ Lab); and writer Nikki Saltz has been named the inaugural Micki Moore Resident for her feature screenplay, Work It.CFC warmly congratulates all of our alumni participating in this year’s prestigious festival. We will celebrate their achievements in person at the CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser on September 9, 2018, on the CFC grounds from 12:30 to 3 p.m. CFC Founder and Chair Emeritus Norman Jewison and CFC CEO Slawko Klymkiw will host select Canadian and international onscreen talent as well as film, TV and digital media industry professionals at this popular annual fundraiser, which supports the development of Canada’s content creators and entrepreneurial talent in the screen-based entertainment industries.SEE FURTHER INFORMATION ON ALL OF THESE ALUMNI FILMS AND EVENTS AT TIFF.NET.Join the ConversationTwitter: @cfccreatesFacebook: Canadian Film Centre (CFC)Instagram: cfccreatesAbout the CFCThe Canadian Film Centre (CFC), celebrating 30 years, is a charitable cultural organization that supports, develops and accelerates the content, careers and companies of Canadian creative and entrepreneurial talent in the screen-based and digital industries. Its uniquely designed programs and initiatives span film, television, screen acting, screen composing and songwriting, and innovative work in the digital media and entertainment technology industries, all of which continue to push boundaries and generate world-class content, products and companies for the global marketplace. cfccreates.com Advertisementlast_img read more

ACTRA AND DGC JOINTLY LAUNCH HAVEN HELPLINE

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement TORONTO – On June 1, ACTRA and the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) are jointly launching HAVEN (Harassment and Violence Emergency Network) Helpline, a bilingual critical incident reporting line available to ACTRA and DGC members across Canada.The HAVEN Helpline will offer 24/7 support from Morneau Shepell, the leading provider of assistance programs in Canada. The Helpline will be available for ACTRA and DGC members to report any harassment incident related to the workplace and set, and will provide additional resources, such as confidential counselling services, and total well-being support. DGC and ACTRA members can access these services by phone, web chat and online through Morneau Shepell’sLifeWorks app. For calls regarding harassment or violence, the caller will always have the option to speak with a counsellor. The HAVEN Helpline and associated counselling services are part of the commitment by ACTRA and the DGC to a trauma-informed approach to responding to harassment in the workplace.“Over the past 18 months, it has become clear a cultural shift within our industry is needed to prevent and reduce harassment. ACTRA has remained dedicated in our commitment to address this issue,” said ACTRA National President David Sparrow. “We hope the launch of the HAVEN Helpline will ensure our members have access to available support resources 24/7 if they experience or witness an incident of harassment in the workplace.” Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With: “We owe it to the courageous individuals who’ve exposed the truth about harassment and misconduct in our industry to have their backs. These resources are a major step forward helping us do just that,” said Tim Southam, President, Directors Guild of Canada.Launching the HAVEN Helpline is the latest step after the DGC and ACTRA became signatory to the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct in March 2018. The creation of reporting mechanisms and support services are two of the steps outlined in the Code to which both organizations committed to address harassment within the film and television industry.The new helpline will be jointly funded by ACTRA and the DGC with additional financial support from AFBS and Telefilm Canada.About ACTRAACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of over 25,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.About THE DGCThe Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) is a national labour organization that represents over 4,800 key creative and logistical personnel in the screen-based industry covering all areas of direction, design, production and editing. The DGC negotiates and administers collective agreements and lobbies extensively on issues of concern for members including Canadian content conditions, CRTC regulations and ensuring that funding is maintained for Canadian screen-based programming. Facebooklast_img read more

SAEED JONES EMILY NUSSBAUM TO SPEAK AT TORONTO PUBLIC LIBRARY

first_imgThe Toronto Reference Library’s venue for author talks and more will kick off the upcoming season with a new look at Susan Sontag. On September 23, Benjamin Moser will discuss his new book, Sontag: Her Life And Work, a look at the iconic critic and activist’s personal struggles, drawn from interviews and her restricted archives. Facebook The Toronto Public Library is hosting an in-depth examination of Beyoncé.In Respect To Beyoncé is a deep dive with culture critics and academics on Queen B’s influence and iconography on groundbreaking works like Lemonade and Netflix’s Homecoming, The panel discussion with authors Kevin Allred, Michael Arceneaux and Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley (they’ve all written books deconstructing Bey) was announced as part of the Bram & Bruma Appel Salon’s Fall line-up. Twitter Advertisement The panel In Respect to Beyoncé will deconstruct the Homecoming pop star’s personal and professional personas. (Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment)center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

BC court suspends residential school cases handled by Calgary firm

first_imgBy Kathleen MartensAPTN National NewsWINNIPEG– A British Columbia court has suspended dozens of residential school survivor compensation cases handled by a Calgary law firm, APTN National News has learned.A B.C. Supreme Court judge suspended the cases of 50 residential school survivors that are being handled by Calgary law firm Blott and Company.The cases deal with compensation for serious sexual and physical abuses suffered by survivors at Indian Residential Schools under the Independent Assessment Process (IAP).The details of why the judge issued the ruling are currently under a publication ban.The ruling however, could impact as many as 3,000 IAP cases that were all being handled by the law firm.It’s the second time in as many months that lawyers and the IAP have come under the microscope.In October, APTN reported on a memo issued to lawyers by chief IAP adjudicator Daniel Ish. He warned lawyers in June to clean up their acts when it came to dealing with IAP clients or they might not get paid,More than 200 lawyers have clients participating in IAP.Ish cited suspected “unethical” practices such as not meeting with clients prior to the hearing.As part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the government of Canada is committed to paying lawyers 15 per cent of the compensation awards their clients receive if their claims are ruled legitimate by IAP adjudicators.last_img read more

Indigenous business leaders around the world share similar struggles

first_imgTamara Pimentel APTN National NewsLook around Saskatoon this week and you’ll find hundreds of Indigenous people from the around the globe, as part of the World Indigenous Business Forum.They’ve discovered that despite where they may live they face some the same challenges.Nanette Tutua is with the Indigenous Business Council on the Solomon Islands.“We are outnumbered by the few foreigners that come in to do business. They want to take control of the economy of our country,” said Tutua. “And they try to suppress us. They don’t want us to be in control. They come in and buy out our main land and they own all the buildings.”last_img read more

Commissioners say families still have faith in inquiry

first_imgAudette and Buller made the comments Wednesday at the start of the second day of community hearings in Saskatoon.They said turnout has been strong for the sixth stop of the inquiry looking into hundreds of cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across Canada.“There are some common themes of poverty, of racism,” said Buller, “but there are also local issues as well that we’re hearing. For example, in Edmonton there were issues regarding local policing. Here, we’re not hearing that same level so far.”The often teary testimony of grief and loss has been playing out while inquiry staff tender resignations or are fired.So far about 22 people have left, including three lawyers – one of whom quit on opening day here.Buller wouldn’t comment on “personnel matters” but said the inquiry remained on track.“I can tell you with great confidence that the work that we’re doing will continue in a good way across Canada, that the real news here this week is what the families and survivors are telling us.“And we intend to move forward.”Audette acknowledged family members had voiced concerns about the staff turnover.“I made sure that I called them, all of them who called me or got in touch with me, and same with my colleagues to explain the situation, to reassure them and making sure that we will and continue to honour the work that we’re doing with them.”Liberals blocking a motion to call commissioners to the committee?The termination of one employee left people in northern Saskatchewan in a lurch said Cree NDP-MP Georgina Jolibois who is from northern Saskatchewan.Jolibois said her office is working with a group trying to bring a hearing to Prince Albert similar to the statement gathering in the northern Manitoba community of Norway House earlier this month.“One of the concerns that I have is that this will delay the inquiry coming north,” the Indigenous Affairs critic said in a telephone interview. “We’re hoping to get that back on track.”Commissioners were questioned by the Commons Indigenous Affairs Committee in September before so many employees departed.Jolibois said she’d like to speak to them some more about the impact the job losses were having on their mandate and hear what kind of support or therapy witnesses were getting after their traumatic testimonies, after fired health managers said after-care was lacking.“I would like to call them back at some point but I’m not going to interrupt their hearings,” she said.However, she said the Liberal majority on the committee was blocking any attempts to discuss the inquiry she said.Jolibois said that same Liberal block was preventing the committee from calling officials with the Privy Council Office, which funds the inquiry. And, has been blamed by commissioners for delays in approving funding and hiring. Kathleen Martens Shirley McLean APTN NewsThe public may be losing confidence in the national inquiry but commissioners say the families aren’t.“Absolutely not. It’s anything but,” said chief commissioner Marion Buller. “They want us to go ahead and continue with our good work, and they’re very supportive.”Commissioner Michele Audette said families are encouraging them to keep going.“I hope that you stick there, I hope that you stay there because my statement (being) worth something is very important.”Watch Shirley McLean’s report from the Saskatoon hearings here.last_img read more

BlackBerry reports Q2 profit higher sales from software and services

first_imgBlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB) chief executive John Chen touted the company’s progress in its strategic shift away from its legacy handset business after it reported record software and services revenue on Thursday, sending its shares up as much as 17 per cent.The Waterloo, Ont.-based company reported US$19 million in net income for its fiscal second quarter, a big swing from the loss reported during the comparable period last year.Its software and services revenue for the quarter ended Aug. 31 hit a high of $185 million, comprising roughly three-quarters of the total for the period.BlackBerry CEO John Chen said Thursday this metric, as well as the company’s improved margins, is a reflection of “our compete transformation to a software company.”“We made great progress in all our key growth initiatives… all of these accomplishments position us well for future growth,” he told analysts on a conference call this morning.Shares of BlackBerry in New York were up as much as 17.3 per cent to US$10.83 in intraday trading. The Waterloo, Ont.-based company’s shares in Toronto were up as much as 16.8 per cent to $13.47.BlackBerry has made a strategic pivot in recent years away from manufacturing its namesake smartphones to producing mainly software and services as its devices lost market share to Apple Inc.’s and Samsung Electronics Co.BlackBerry’s revenue for the three months ended Aug. 31 was US$238 million, down from $334 million in last year’s second quarter but up $3 million from the previous quarter ended May 31.The company’s profit in the latest quarter amounted to four cents per basic share, reported in U.S. currency. That compared with a year-earlier loss of 71 cents per basic share, or US$372 million in total.Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity based in Minneapolis, said the upside this quarter was “more one-time in nature,” helped by some non-recurring licensing items. Still, BlackBerry’s latest results show it is making headway on its long-term goals, he added.“The company’s definitely making progress on longer-term objectives, and putting up another strong quarter relative to consensus easily explains why the stock’s up,” Walkley said Thursday.Chen also upgraded BlackBerry’s outlook for the fiscal year, which ends on February 28, 2018. The company expects revenue in the range of US$920-million to US$950-million for the full year, Chen said, above analyst consensus of US$919-million. Chen also reiterated the company’s expectation that software and services revenue will grow in the range of 10- to 15-per cent for the fiscal year. The company also expects to be profitable for the full fiscal year, he added.BlackBerry also announced Thursday that it signed a new licensing deal, the first for BlackBerry Secure, its mobile-security platform designed to help companies manage and secure a variety of connected devices.The company said it signed a licensing deal with Yangzhou New Telecom Science and Technology Company Ltd. (NTD), an electronics design firm based in Yangzhou and Beijing which develops and manufactures smartphones and connected devices. Under the agreement, NTD will develop devices that will be branded by manufacturers, carriers and local smartphone brands and marketed under BlackBerry Secure.This deal comes days after BlackBerry QNX, its automotive division, announced a partnership agreement with U.K.-based Delphi Automotive PLC to provide the operating system for its autonomous driving system. Also on Sept. 20, BlackBerry said it entered a reselling partnership with Fleet Complete, a U.S. fleet-tracking solution company. Fleet Complete will integrate BlackBerry’s Radar, its trailer and other container tracking solution, into its tracking product.Growth in the latest quarter was helped by the higher software and services revenue, said BlackBerry’s chief financial officer Steve Capelli, on a call with analysts. Much of that growth was driven by licensing, which has the highest margins, he added.Chen said that expects licensing will continue to be a strong driver of growth in the second half of the fiscal year, but over time it will be an equal contributor alongside its enterprise software business.“I don’t see a limit to my ability to license both our software technology, our know-how, as well as our IP (intellectual property),” Chen said during a call with reporters on Thursday.last_img read more

Toronto stock index plunges on tumbling energy prices loonie loses ground

first_imgTORONTO – Canada’s largest stock index nose-dived Tuesday while U.S. stocks slumped as the price of oil saw its biggest single-day drop since October.The S&P/TSX composite index retreated 113.13 points to 15,913.13, with the energy sector leading the broad-based decline as the December crude contract fell US$1.06 to US$55.70 per barrel.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 30.23 points to 23,409.47. The S&P 500 index edged back 5.97 points to 2,578.87 and the Nasdaq composite index lost 19.73 points to 6,737.87.“We’re seeing continuing weakness in global markets. We’ve seen that all the major markets have kind of retreated from the highs that were set earlier in the month,” said Todd Mattina, chief economist and strategist at Mackenzie Investments.“The decline in oil prices is really weighing on energy sectors in global markets, which of course is very important for the Canadian market.”Mattina said a dovish report on Tuesday from the International Energy Agency has played a role in softening energy prices. The report said that growth in U.S. oil outputs is supposed to be very strong, with very rapid growth expected between now and 2025.“We’ve seen a very impressive rally in oil prices recently which has been driven by hopes of continued OPEC production cuts as well as the uncertainty around the political drama in Saudi Arabia,” Mattina said.“But today we’re seeing a step back from that as there’s been a forecast of warmer than normal weather as well as very robust production in the U.S. over the coming years.”In currency markets, the Canadian dollar was trading at 78.54 cents US, down 0.31 of a U.S. cent from last Friday.Elsewhere in commodities, the December gold contract was up US$4.00 to US$1,282.90 an ounce. The December natural gas contract gave back seven cents to US$3.10 per mmBTU and the December copper contract declined five cents to US$3.07 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter.last_img read more

Bell launching a new discount prepaid wireless brand called Lucky Mobile

first_imgMONTREAL – Bell is launching a new discount pre-paid wireless brand, Lucky Mobile.The service will initially be available in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia starting Dec. 4.Lucky Mobile will offer service in 17 zones covering most major cities including Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and surrounding areas as well as province-wide and Canada-wide options.Plans will include voice calling and texting as well as other services, while mobile data options will also be available at 3G-equivalent access speeds.The company says Lucky Mobile will also introduce an app that enables talk and text over Wi-Fi next year.Bell is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE).last_img read more

Morneau still committed to deficit reduction despite slower economy

first_imgLONDON, Ont. – Canada’s red-hot economy is indeed likely to slow down this year, making federal investments in boosting economic growth and job creation all the more important, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Friday.As the federal Liberal cabinet prepared for a second day of meetings at its retreat in London, Ont., Morneau stopped to sing the praises of his government’s economic agenda, which he credits for the economy’s super-charged performance over the last year.“The economy has performed exceptionally well in 2017,” he said. “The kinds of things we’ve done to help Canadian families has a had a real difference on our economy.”Among other things, unemployment fell to 5.7 per cent in December, the lowest figure since comparable data became available in January 1976.In his fall fiscal update in October, the minister predicted the economy would grow 3.1 per cent for 2017 as a whole.That strong growth rate won’t be matched this year, however, Morneau conceded.In its own latest forecast, Scotiabank is predicting growth of just 2.3 per cent this year, while TD Bank’s most recent prediction says Canada’s on pace for 2018 growth of around 2.4 per cent. Both also agree the rate will slow down even further in 2019.Morneau said the government recognizes the importance of being fiscally responsible and remains committed to reducing annual deficits over the long term.In his fall update, Morneau projected a deficit of $19.9 billion in the 2017-18 fiscal year — almost $9 billion less than predicted in his budget last spring.He also projected that the deficit would drop over the next five years, to $12.5 billion in 2022-23.This year’s deficit projection includes $1.5 billion for “risk adjustment” — a figure that might be increased going forward to account for additional risks to the economy, such as the potential demise of the North American Free Trade Agreement.“We’re continuing to work on our budget 2018 and one of the things we will consider is the appropriate consideration of risk, as we’ve done in previous times,” Morneau said Friday.However, he acknowledged economic growth will be “more modest” this year.“We’re always facing challenges. We face long-term demographic challenges, we face global risks that might impact global growth. So we need to be focused on how we can continue to encourage growth in our economy.”last_img read more

TFC president Manning adds Argos president to job title Copeland reassigned

first_imgBill Manning now has two championship teams to oversee.The Toronto FC president is adding Argonauts president to his title in the wake of the Canadian Football League board of governors approving the Argo purchase by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE).Manning is now in charge of the MLS Cup and Grey Cup winners.“Toronto football. I can’t go wrong either way,” Manning joked.MLSE, which also owns the NHL’s Maple Leafs, NBA’s Raptors, AHL’s Marlies and Toronto FC, announced last month that it had an agreement in place to buy the Argonauts.There had already been some cross-ownership. The Argos were currently owned by two-thirds of the MLSE triumvirate — chairman Larry Tanenbaum’s holding company, the Kilmer Group, and Bell Canada.In bringing the Argos fully into the MLSE fold, Rogers Communications officially join its two MLSE partners as part of the CFL team’s ownership.“Clearly on the football side I think they’re in good shape,” Manning said of the CFL team.“This was just about how can we synergize the Argos into the MLSE portfolio,” he added. “Over the last few years, I’m really grateful that our board of directors and Larry thought that I’d done a good job with TFC and they wanted to see a similar model on how we can integrate the team side, the business side, the stadium side all into one.“And then obviously sharing a stadium (BMO Field), I think we can find some synergies there. And scheduling we can make sure that both teams really get to maximize their schedule. So it was just, I think, a lot of areas that I can oversee and just make sure that we kind of have this be a rising tide that raises both boats.”Manning, who took over TFC in October 2015, has football experience on his resume.A former United Soccer League executive of the year with the Minnesota Thunder, he was 34 when he took over as president and GM of the Mutiny in 2000. After the MLS folded the franchise after the 2001 season, he worked for the NBA Houston Rockets (director of corporate partnerships) and then the NFL Philadelphia Eagles (vice-president sales and services) before Real Salt Lake brought him back to MLS in 2008.He spent four years with the Eagles in all. There he was close to Tom Heckert, now senior personnel adviser for the Denver Broncos but formerly director of pro personnel for the Eagles.“We used to share notes on how to be a GM,” Manning said.Michael Copeland, who spent two years as Argonauts president and CEO, has been tabbed to join the MLSE leadership team along with Sara Moore, the Argonauts’ senior vice-president of business operations.Manning said their immediate roles will be to help the Argos’ transition into the MLSE family.“The Toronto Argonauts are an important and historic part of the sporting landscape in Toronto and across the country, and we appreciate the support of the CFL board of governors as the team officially becomes part of the MLSE family,” MLSE president and CEO Michael Friisdahl said in a release.“As we begin the process of incorporating the Argos into the organization, we are very pleased to name Bill Manning as president of the club in addition to his current responsibilities as president of Toronto FC.“Bill’s vast experience and championship vision as a sports executive will continue to be a great asset for Toronto FC, and now, the Argos. We look forward to Michael Copeland and Sara Moore joining the MLSE leadership team, and as a first order of business, playing an important role in the transition of the Argos to MLSE.”In the release, MLSE said the process of incorporating the team into the company’s business operations would continue over the coming months.“We are proud to officially welcome MLSE to the CFL and look forward to working with Bill Manning and the entire organization to enhance the experience for fans in Toronto, but also CFL fans right across the country,” said CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie.Founded in 1873, the Argonauts are North America’s oldest continuously operated professional football club.———Follow @NeilMDavidson and @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.last_img read more

ConocoPhillips fined 180000 for 2016 leak of condensate in northwest Alberta

first_imgCALGARY – Oil and gas producer ConocoPhillips Canada is being fined $180,000 for a 2016 pipeline leak that spilled a light petroleum liquid into a remote area of northwestern Alberta.The leak of 380,000 litres of condensate resulted in 38 observed fatalities to unspecified species of wildlife and hundreds of potential wildlife deaths as it affected nearly three square kilometres of land as well as nearby waterways, the Alberta Energy Regulator said on its website.The AER assessed a $165,000 fine against the Canadian arm of Houston-based ConocoPhillips Co. to account for the 33 days in May and June 2016 that the company failed to report the release to the regulator as it should have.It also fined the company $5,000 each for three counts related to failing to develop and maintain a leak-detection manual for the pipeline, failing to take reasonable measures to remedy and confine the leak and for allowing the release to damage public land.Not noticing the leak when it began and then not reporting it immediately made worse environmental damage that included the loss of all fish spawning output in Webb Creek for the year, said AER director Mark Miller in his decision posted on the website.“The failure to report and take remedial actions as soon as ConocoPhillips ought to have known very likely resulted in a greater degree of adverse effects to the environment that could have been mitigated if dealt with sooner,” said Miller.The company has received the AER’s notice and is reviewing it, said spokeswoman Katherine Springall.She said clean-up activities at the spill site began when it was discovered in 2016 and the company has since worked closely with the AER to mitigate environmental impacts.The asset was included as part of a package sale to Cenovus Energy Inc. in 2017, she added, with responsibility for any remaining remediation transferred along with ownership.The leak took place near ConocoPhillips’ Resthaven gas plant about 65 kilometres northeast of Grande Cache, Alta.Staff noticed lower pressure in the pipeline but couldn’t see a leak right of way because the condensate had travelled underground to a less visible area, Miller said in his decision.They concluded wrongly that the lower pressure resulted from overnight ambient temperature changes and minor leaks from inlet and outlet valves on the pipeline, he noted.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter.Companies in this article: (TSX:CVE)last_img read more

Tim Hortons sees Canadian growth as it works to fix franchisee relationship

first_imgThe parent company of Tim Hortons saw sales growth at Canadian locations of the coffee-and-doughnut chain as executives say their work to mend fraught franchisee relations is paying off, though more work remains.Restaurant Brands International Inc. is pleased with the Canadian results, said CEO Daniel Schwartz in an interview with The Canadian Press.Sales at Tim Hortons restaurants in Canada open for 13 months or more, a key retail metric, increased 0.9 per cent in the quarter ending September 30, according to the company’s third-quarter earnings report. That’s up from 0.6 per cent in the same quarter the previous year and outpaces the system-wide growth of 0.6 per cent, which includes restaurants outside of Canada, for the current quarter.Executive changes, including hiring Duncan Fulton as chief corporate officer in July, and initiatives from the company’s “Winning Together” brand plan helped, said Schwartz.He highlighted the launch of all-day breakfast nationwide in late July as adding incremental sales and profitability.The plan also includes renovating restaurants — a $700-million investment that adds open-concept seating. The company has completed about 100 renovations to date, and plans to do hundreds more in the fourth quarter.“These improved results don’t even reflect several of the initiatives that we have not yet launched,” he said.Tim Hortons will add a kids’ menu this quarter, he said.The company also plans to launch a loyalty program nationwide sometime in the first half of 2019, said Tim Hortons president Alex Macedo. The program, dubbed coffee pass, is already being tested in two cities and the trial will expand to several others.Self-service kiosks, which are already present at some locations in and around the Greater Toronto Area, will start to roll out more broadly early next year, he said.The U.S. market was a little softer, said Schwartz, adding the brand’s team is disproportionately focused on getting Canada in the right place due to the size of the Canadian business, as well as “everything that was going on in Canada.”The chain has grappled with an unsanctioned group of franchisees who formed the Great White North Franchisee Association in an effort to remedy alleged mismanagement of the brand. The group has claimed to represent more than half of Canadian Tim Hortons franchisees and launched multiple lawsuits against RBI, its subsidiaries and several executives. RBI also launched its own lawsuits against the group and some of its members.In recent months, two prominent GWNFA members, its former president David Hughes and Mark Kuziora, left the company. The group has been fairly silent since late August when it alleged the coffee pots franchisees are required to purchase and use have been shattering and injuring employees. RBI and the manufacturer denied allegations they had changed how they make or source the pots.The GWNFA’s membership is “still well above” half, said spokeswoman Patti Jameson in an email, adding the group has a new president.In the past, RBI executives refused to speak with the group, but later admitted they could have better handled franchisee relations and made more of an effort to engage franchisees, including in building the “Winning Together” plan.“We still have some room to go to work even better with the restaurant owners but I think the confidence is starting to be built,” said Macedo, adding the company’s decision to listen more, as well as give and receive feedback faster has helped it execute the plan.Sales at the company’s other two chains, Burger King and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, also grew, lifting RBI’s third-quarter profit.The company’s profit attributable to shareholders totalled US$133.6 million or 53 cents per diluted share, up from $91.4 million or 37 cents per diluted share a year ago. The Oakville, Ont.,-based company keeps its books in U.S. dollars.Revenue totalled $1.38 billion, up from $1.21 billion in the same quarter last year.Burger King’s comparable-store sales increased 1.0 per cent, while Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen saw comparable-store sales improve 0.5 per cent.On an adjusted basis, RBI earned 63 cents per diluted share for the quarter, compared to 58 cents per diluted share a year ago. Analysts expected a profit of 65 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.Companies in this story: (TSX:QSR)last_img read more

Backcountry owner estimates his store might not open until next week

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. —  The owner of Backcountry in Fort St. John says that the extent of the damage sustained during a break and enter that saw a man drive a pickup truck through the store’s exterior wall means he might not be reopening until next week.At around 4:30 Tuesday morning, a man at the wheel of a stolen pickup truck smashed through Backcountry’s exterior cinderblock wall before driving right into the store. Backcountry co-owner Steve Hewitt said that while nothing was stolen from the business, the suspect caused a “massive” amount of damage to the store and its contents.Hewitt said that the suspect struck one of the building’s main support columns, and the store’s owners are waiting for an engineer to assess whether the building is still structurally sound. He estimated repairs to the exterior wall could be anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000, while at least $75,000 worth of the store’s merchandise, displays, and equipment was also wrecked. Despite the unfortunate incident, Hewitt added that the feedback from the community has been incredibly positive as the store cleans up from the B&E and prepares to reopen.“We’ve just been inundated with calls from friends, customers, fellow business owners, everyone just offering help in one form or another,” said Hewitt. It’s kind-of reestablished our faith in humanity after having that stripped from us.”Hewitt said the store’s owners should have an update on when they’ll reopen after the engineer’s assessment is complete.last_img read more

RInfra to sell DelhiAgra Toll Road to Singapore firm for Rs 3600

first_imgNew Delhi: Reliance Infrastructure Ltd Thursday said it will sell its entire stake in Delhi-Agra Toll Roadway to Singapore-based Cube Highways for Rs 3,600 crore, following which the Anil Ambani led company’s debt will be reduced by 25 per cent to less than Rs 5,000 crore. Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) has entered into a pact with Cube Highways in this regard. Cube Highways and Infrastructure III Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based company formed by global infrastructure fund – I Squared Capital and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe transaction is in line with Reliance Infrastructure’s strategic plan of monetising non-core business and focus on major growth areas like engineering & construction (E&C) business. RInfra on Thursday announced the signing of Definitive Binding Agreement with Cube Highways and Infrastructure III Pte Ltd for the sale of its 100 per cent stake in Delhi-Agra (DA) Toll Road Private Limited, the company said in a statement. “The total deal enterprise value is over Rs 3,600 crore. In addition, NHAI claims of Rs 1,200 crore to be filed by DA Toll Road Pvt Ltd will flow directly to Reliance Infrastructure,” the company added. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsRInfra said, it will utilise the proceeds of this transaction entirely to reduce its debt. “After the completion of the transaction for Delhi-Agra Toll Road, the debt of Reliance Infrastructure will reduce by 25 per cent to only less than Rs 5,000 crore,” the company said. The transaction is subject to all requisite permissions and approvals, it added. Reliance Infrastructure’s special purpose vehicle (SPV) DA Toll Road Private Limited operates the 180-km long six-lane road that connects the national capital Delhi with Agra on National Highway (NH) 2. “The profitable project has witnessed impressive revenue growth of 25 per cent in FY18,” the company said. The tolling operation for the heavily-trafficked project started in October 2012 and has a concession period till 2038. RInfra is one of the largest infrastructure companies, developing projects through various Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) in several high growth sectors such as power, roads and metro rail in the infrastructure space and the defence sector. Also, it is a major player in providing Engineering and Construction (E&C) services for developing power, infrastructure, metro and road projects. The company through its SPVs has executed a portfolio of infrastructure projects such as a metro rail project in Mumbai on build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis; and eleven road projects with total length of about 1,000 kms on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.last_img read more

BoB merges Dena Vijaya into self… now Indias 2nd largest PSB

first_imgNew Delhi/ Mumbai/ Bengaluru: Bank of Baroda (BoB) on Monday became the second largest state-owned lender after merging Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank into itself as part of the first three-way amalgamation. The consolidated entity has started its operations with a business mix of over Rs 15 lakh crore of balance sheet, with deposits and advances of Rs 8.75 lakh crore and Rs 6.25 lakh crore respectively.Bank of Baroda now has over 9,500 branches, 13,400 ATMs and 85,000 employees to serve 12 crore customers. Meanwhile, Bank of Baroda completed share allotment to shareholders of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank as per the scheme of amalgamation. Shareholders of Vijaya Bank got 402 equity shares of BoB for every 1,000 shares held. In the case of Dena Bank, its shareholders received 110 shares of BoB for every 1,000 shares. The bank on Monday issued and allotted equity shares at approved share exchange ratio pursuant to ‘Amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda Scheme, 2019’, BoB said in a regulatory filing. Post-amalgamation, the bank will have a 22 per cent market share in Gujarat and 8-10 per cent market share in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, the bank has said. All customers of Dena Bank, which is under prompt corrective action (PCA) framework of the RBI, will have renewed access to credit facilities immediately. The government in September last year announced the first-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India, with a combined business of Rs 14.82 lakh crore, making it the third-largest bank after State Bank of India (SBI) and HDFC Bank. The announcement of the three-way merger was among several reforms initiatives undertaken by Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar to make public sector banks (PSBs) healthy, robust and globally competitive. As part of the reform process, the government had also announced transfer of majority 51 per cent stake to Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) in IDBI Bank in August last year to transform the Mumbai-based lender. Besides, the Department of Financial Services made a record capital infusion of Rs 1.06 lakh crore in the PSBs in the fiscal 2018-19. As a result five public sector banks including Bank of India, Corporation Bank and Allahabad Bank were out of the prompt corrective action framework of the RBI earlier this year. Non-performing assets (NPAs) showed a negative trend in 2018-19 and reduced by Rs 23,860 crore between April-September 2018. Following the merger, the number of PSBs has come down to 18. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has reshuffled lead bank responsibilities in some districts of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Union Territory Dadra & Nagar Haveli following the merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda. Amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda has been notified on January 2, 2019. The notification has come into force on April 1, 2019, the RBI said in a notification. Following the merger, the RBI has decided to assign the lead bank responsibility of districts hitherto held by Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, the central bank said. The lead bank responsibility in seven districts in Chhattisgarh has been assigned to Bank of Baroda from Dena Bank. In Gujarat, Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar will get SBI as the lead banker from Dena Bank earlier. While eight other districts in the state will be deputed to Bank of Baroda from Dena Bank. Three districts in Karnataka goes to Bank of Baroda from Vijaya Bank. “There is no change in the lead bank responsibilities of the other districts across the country,” the RBI said. As Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank merged to form the second largest public sector bank in the country, the unified management Monday said it would benefit customers, as well as employees in a big way. Vijaya Bank was founded in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district in 1931 by A B Shetty. Dena Bank, named after its founder Devkaran Nanjee, came into being in 1938 in Mumbai. The consolidated bank would have more than 13,400 Automated Teller Machines and above 85,000 employees to serve over 120 million customers, said the officials at a press conference here to share details about the merger. “The 120+ million customers will experience superior banking services and benefit from wider product range including cash management solution, supply chain financing, financial planning, wealth management,” said Birendra Kumar, general manager of Bank of Baroda zonal office here. Kumar added that the employees will benefit from the diverse opportunities.last_img read more