New opioid prescribing guidelines aim to cut use of potent narcotics

first_imgTORONTO – Updated opioid-prescribing guidelines released Monday encourage doctors to avoid giving the powerful narcotics as a first-line treatment to patients with chronic, non-cancer pain and instead try other medications or non-pharmaceutical therapies to prevent a host of potential harms associated with the widely used drugs.Those harms include physical dependence or addiction, as well as the increasingly common risk of fatal overdoses. An estimated 2,000 Canadians died of opioid overdoses in 2015 alone, and initial 2016 data still being tallied suggest the number of fatalities linked to the drugs — both prescription and illicit — could far exceed that figure.“It really comes down to the paradox of trying to provide important relief for patients dealing with unrelenting chronic pain while at the same time balancing the risks associated with the medications,” said Dr. Jason Busse, a researcher at the National Pain Centre at McMaster University and lead author of the 10-recommendation document.For patients whose chronic pain is not controlled with non-opioid therapy, the panel of experts that developed the guidelines says dosages of opioids like oxycodone, hydromorphone and the fentanyl patch should be restricted to less than the equivalent of 90 milligrams of morphine per day, and ideally to less than 50 mg.Physicians treating patients already taking the equivalent of 90 mg of morphine or more should consider incrementally tapering their daily intake to the lowest effective dose, and possibly even discontinuing the potent medications, the panel recommends.“Estimates are somewhere between half a million and a million Canadian adults are currently on long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain, often at very high doses,” Busse said from Hamilton.“And when you go on long-term opioid therapy, you will inevitably develop physical dependence. And opioids also become less effective the longer that you take them,” leading many patients to seek higher and higher doses to achieve relief so they can function in their daily lives, he said.The new guideline document, published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, provides much stronger and more detailed advice than a previous version released in 2010, which suggested doctors could use a “watchful dose” of the equivalent of 200 mg of morphine daily.“After 2010, there was not the kind of impact on opioid prescribing that I think people were hoping for,” Busse said.“There was a little bit of a downtick, but maximum doses of opioid prescribing went up, admissions for hospital-related opioid toxicity went up, and death rates have continued to climb as well.”Moreover, 40 per cent of recipients of long-acting opioids were receiving the equivalent of more than 200 mg of morphine daily, while 20 per cent were getting more than 400 mg.Dr. Irfan Dhalla, a practising Toronto physician and vice-president of evidence development and standards for Health Quality Ontario, called the new guidelines a “huge improvement.”Doctors must consider the possibility that patients have become addicted to their medication, or are continuing use of the drugs to avoid the often-debilitating symptoms of withdrawal.“Many patients being prescribed high-dose opioids in fact have an opioid-use disorder, or an addiction to opioids, and physicians need to be aware of that and work with colleagues to diagnose and treat opioid-use disorder in an evidence-based way,” said Dhalla, who was not involved in developing the guidelines.But he also said that when it comes to the recommendation to taper the amount of opioids for patients already taking them — especially long-time users — it’s vital that doctors don’t suddenly discontinue the painkillers or rapidly drop the daily dosage for those who truly need the drugs.Busse agreed there is a danger of an “overcorrection” in prescribing practices, because doctors recognize there’s been a massive increase in cases of opioid toxicity and fatal overdoses over the last 20 years.He acknowledged there is a subpopulation of Canadians with chronic pain that derive an important benefit from the medications — relief they have been unable to achieve with non-opioid therapies.“If we attempt to take them off their opioids right away or aggressively taper, many of those patients are going to go into opioid withdrawal and some of those patients if they are denied opioids, if they’re struggling with symptoms of withdrawal, they may feel compelled to seek out opioids from other sources.“In other words, they go to the street, and in particular on the West Coast, we just have a proliferation of illicit fentanyl and even more dangerous agents such as carfentanil.“So in an effort to try to reduce harms in patients that are using high-dose opioids, we may end up putting them in a situation of greater harm — and that’s something we have to be very careful about.”In a related CMAJ commentary, Dr. Andrea Furlan of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and Dr. Owen Williamson of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, say the updated guidelines must be supported by a national pain strategy and “evidence-based alternative treatments for the one in five Canadians currently living with chronic pain” from such conditions as back problems, fibromyalgia and arthritis.“Until we have a national pain strategy, physicians will continue using the only tool they have: their prescription pad,” they wrote.– Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.last_img read more

Exotic corpse flower begins to emit is putrid scent at Vancouver conservatory

first_imgVANCOUVER – A unique and exotic tropical plant, acclaimed for its size and abhorred for its smell, is blooming at a Vancouver conservatory.A news release from the Vancouver Park Board says the titan arum, the largest flower on earth, began to bloom Sunday evening.Over the next 24 to 28 hours the plant, better known as the corpse flower because of its powerful stench, will release an aroma that has been described as similar to rotting flesh, discarded diapers or hot garbage.The park board says the now nearly two-metre tall flower produces the smell and a deep-red flesh colour inside the open petal in order to attract pollinator insects like carrion beetles and flesh flies that feed on dead animals.It takes the titan arum as long as 10 years to produce its single spike-like bloom wrapped by the funnel-like petal, and the spike of the rare flower even self-heats to approximately human body temperature while the petal unfurls, to better spread the putrid scent.It’s the first time the plant, native to Sumatra, has bloomed in B.C. and “Uncle Fester,” as it has been dubbed, is on display at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park, with extended viewing hours starting at 7 a.m., so the curious, and the brave, can get a whiff.last_img read more

QuickSketch of Parti Quebecois Leader JeanFrancois Lisee

first_imgMONTREAL – A quicksketch of Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee, who is aiming to become premier on Oct. 1:Age: 60.Born: Feb. 13, 1958, in Thetford Mines, Que.Education: Law degree, Universite du Quebec a Montreal (1979); master’s in communications, Universite du Quebec a Montreal (1991).Professional career: Washington correspondent for La Presse, L’actualite and L’Evenement du jeudi (1985-1989); associate editor-in-chief, L’actualite (1990-1992); adviser to premiers Jacques Parizeau and Lucien Bouchard (1994-1999); visiting scholar, department of political science of the Universite de Montreal and Sciences Po (Institut d’etudes politiques) in Paris (2001-2003); executive director and co-founder of the Centre d’etudes et de recherches internationales de l’Universite de Montreal (CERIUM) (2004-2012).Political career: Elected to legislature as Parti Quebecois member for Rosemont (2012); minister of international relations, La Francophonie and external trade (2012-14); minister responsible for the Montreal region (2012-14); re-elected to national assembly (2014); becomes PQ leader (2016).Current riding: Rosemont, in Montreal.Personal: Married and the father of five children.Quote: “The Liberals act as though there have been no cuts. Nobody believes them. The Caquistes (the Coalition Avenir Quebec) act as though they can cut taxes without cutting services. Nobody should believe them. If you hated Liberal austerity, you are going to hate Caquiste austerity.”— Lisee as he launched his election campaign this week.last_img read more

Timeline of the fall and rise of Patrick Brown

first_imgTORONTO – A timeline of events related to the Patrick Brown scandal and his political comeback:Jan. 24, 2018: Brown denies a pending news report about sexual misconduct when he was a federal MP.Jan. 25: Brown says he will step down as Progressive Conservative party leader to focus on clearing his name.Jan. 29: Former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford, brother of the notorious late Toronto mayor Rob Ford, declares his candidacy for the party leadership.Feb. 6: Brown breaks silence in a tweet reaffirming his denial of sexual misconduct and says the “truth will come out.”Feb. 9: Brown says in a PostMedia interview that he’s contemplating legal action for the ”absolute lies” said about him.Feb. 11: Brown publishes the first of several Facebook posts in which he vows to clear his name and questions the credibility of his women accusers.Feb. 16: Interim Progressive Conservative leader Vic Fedeli says Brown has been kicked out of the caucus. Brown joins leadership race at last minute.Feb. 21: The party gives Brown green light to contest leadership.Feb. 24: Brown files a notice of libel against CTV News.Feb. 26: Brown withdraws from the leadership race.July 3: Brown announces his candidacy for regional chair of Peel Region.July 27: Premier Doug Ford announces cancellation of elections for regional chair in Peel. Brown announces mayoralty bid for Brampton.Oct. 22. Brown is elected mayor of Brampton.last_img read more

NDP candidate in Calgary says he wont run citing struggles with depression

first_imgCALGARY — An NDP candidate in Calgary says he won’t be running in this spring’s provincial election due to struggles with depression.Brian Pincott, a former city councillor, won the NDP nomination for Calgary-Acadia in October.But Pincott says in a Facebook post he no longer has the confidence to be the candidate or MLA that people deserve, and says “the last several months have already been a very hard struggle with encroaching depression.”The NDP currently holds Calgary-Acadia, but Brandy Payne, a former associate health minister, announced last year that she wouldn’t run again because she wants to spend more time with her husband and two young daughters.Pincott served on Calgary’s city council from 2007 to 2017.He went public with his depression in September 2017.“As I look ahead to the coming election campaign of 2019, I no longer have the confidence that I can give the 100 per cent of me that will be needed,” Pincott wrote in the post. “Many think that this will be the nastiest, most bitter campaign in Alberta history, and I don’t disagree.”Pincott wrote that after the four-year-long bout with depression that led to him going public in 2017, he became intent on developing strategies for figuring out when he was sliding into depression, so he could take steps to avoid hitting “rock bottom.”He said that last summer, he saw the signs, and that he and his doctor worked together and adjusted his medication. It gave him the confidence, he said, to put his name forward as a candidate for Calgary-Acadia.But he wrote that things have worsened since then.Pincott ended the post with a political message that called for unity, while also criticizing what he called “populist rhetoric not only from south of the border, but also from other regions in Canada.”“I wish everyone all the best for 2019. As for me, I will continue to try to do my best,” Pincott wrote.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Plan to buy more fighter jets puts Canada on hook for bigger

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada is being forced to shoulder a bigger share of the costs of developing F-35 fighter jets even though it has not decided whether it will actually buy any.Canada is one of nine partner countries in the F-35 project, all of which are required to cover a portion of the stealth fighter’s development costs to stay at the table.Each country pays based on the number of F-35s it’s expecting to buy, and Canada’s pitched in more than half-a-billion dollars over the last 20 years, including $54 million last year.But that amount was based on the Stephen Harper government’s plan to buy 65 new fighter jets to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s, which the Trudeau government has since officially increased to 88.Even though Canada has not committed that those 88 jets will be F-35s, Defence Department officials say that change means it will have to pay more to remain a partner — including about $72 million this year.The government has said it plans to keep Canada in the F-35 development effort until a replacement for the CF-18s is selected, which won’t happen for two or three more years.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Liberal budget to applaud Canadas economy but who deserves credit

first_imgOTTAWA — When the Liberals release the last budget of their mandate Tuesday, Canadians can expect to hear arguments that years of deficit spending have put the economy on stronger footing.Finance Minister Bill Morneau has promised the budget will contain help for workers in need of skills training, young people looking to buy their first homes, seniors worried about their own finances, and patients with high drug costs.“It’s an election budget … There’s been a tendency to use these as important communications vehicles — almost platform-launching vehicles,” Kevin Page, Canada’s former parliamentary budget officer, said in reference to recent budgets from federal and multiple provincial governments.The likelihood that the Liberals will use the budget to sell their own record raises a question: who deserves credit for Canada’s strong economic run?Job-creation numbers have been solid and the unemployment rate has fallen close to a 40-year low. A recent Statistics Canada report said in 2017 fewer Canadians were living under the official poverty line than at any time in the last decade. The agency credited the drop to a mix of a stronger economy and the Liberals’ enhancement of child benefits.Canada rode a long stretch of impressive economic growth until the final three months of 2018 before it abruptly decelerated — and nearly stalled — along with a drop in oil prices. Experts predict the economy will regain its momentum over the coming months.But even with a surprisingly weak end to 2018, Ottawa’s financial situation is better than last November’s fall fiscal update projected.Experts say the federal treasury pulled in more tax revenues than anticipated. Many fully expect the Liberals to dedicate the bulk of the extra money to new promises, as they’ve done with windfalls in past budgets and economic statements.Over the last few years, the Liberals have spent billions more than they promised in their 2015 election platform.They vowed to post annual deficits of no more than $10 billion and to return to balance by 2019. Instead, they’ve posted shortfalls of more than $18 billion in each of the last two years and have offered no timeline to balance the budget. In their November update, the Liberals projected annual deficits of between $18.1 billion and $19 billion over the next three years.Morneau has regularly argued that the Liberal plan is working.“Our government has made smart and responsible investments in the middle class, and Canadians are seeing concrete results,” Morneau told the House of Commons last month as he announced the budget date.Morneau has argued the bigger-ticket commitments, in areas such as child benefits and infrastructure, have been necessary to juice the economy for years to come. He’s also insisted the deficits remain small enough that they’re fiscally prudent.Page expects the Liberals to take credit for the economic improvements and he thinks they deserve some recognition — particularly for enhancing child benefits and an ambitious, expensive infrastructure plan, despite its slow start.But he added Canada’s prospects have also been lifted by strong economic performances in the United States and the world as a whole.Page said it’s difficult to know whether the Liberal deficits will actually raise Canada’s long-term growth or if they’ve mostly created a big, temporary bump in consumer spending, as the government has borrowed money and put it into Canadians pockets.“You don’t have to be at balance. There’s nothing perfect about a zero (deficit) number in this environment,” said Page, who now heads the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy think-tank at the University of Ottawa. “Having said that, we are adding to the stock of debt and that creates potential instability down the road and we’ll have less room to manoeuvre — and future generations, definitely, are going to pay higher interest costs on the public debt.”The Opposition Conservatives, some economists and leaders in corporate Canada have criticized the Liberal deficits, especially because they’ve come during good economic times that are traditionally thought to be when governments should pay debt off.“My concern is, and I’ve said this to him … privately and publicly, it’s not that you’re spending, it’s where you’re spending,” Goldy Hyder, CEO of the Business Council of Canada, said of his exchanges with Morneau. “You’re spending a lot on things that no one can really point to and can say (there’s a) direct line back to helping the economy.”Hyder said he supported Morneau’s move last fall to use some fiscal space for new accelerated investment write-offs for businesses. He also applauds the Liberals’ commitment to invest in worker training in Tuesday’s budget and their earlier efforts on trade, immigration and child benefits.But he insists there’s an urgent need for Canada to be more competitive on regulations and taxes if it hopes to avoid falling behind the rest of the world.Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

New poll suggests onethird dont want politicians to wear religious symbols

first_imgOTTAWA — While most Canadians firmly back the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and strongly support the idea of diversity, a new poll suggests a third of Canadians would ban their elected officials from wearing religious symbols.A majority of Quebecers canvassed in the survey agreed that federal, provincial and local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job.Nationally, 49 per cent of respondents said they would not favour such a ban, but 37 per cent said they would support it.The Leger Marketing poll was done to gauge public sentiment in light of a proposed secularism law in Quebec that would ban public servants in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols.The proposed law would not extend to elected officials, but a question about whether it should was included among questions about how Canadians in different provinces feel about religions and religious signs.Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, which commissioned the survey, says a deeper dive into the numbers shows the strongest supporters of such a ban for politicians are those more likely to feel threatened by religious minorities. They also expressed negative feelings toward Islam, Muslims and react negatively to hijabs.Respondents who said they interact more with and are comfortable around religious minorities are less likely to support banning religious symbols for elected officials, the data suggests.Meanwhile, more than 80 per cent of all of those surveyed said they have positive views of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and also said they favour multiculturalism.The results indicate what Jedwab calls a “striking paradox” among Canadians.“(People) express broad appreciation of diversity and say that our society is tolerant and accepting of religious-minority customs and traditions, yet at the same time … we, to a significant degree, don’t like the idea of politicians wearing religious symbols or signs.”The results of this survey suggest federal leaders will have to approach issues of religious symbolism carefully in seat-rich Quebec as the province moves to enact its secularism law while federal parties gear up for a fall federal election.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, a practising Sikh who sports a brightly coloured turban, will have an especially challenging time in Quebec, Jedwab says.“He’s going to probably encounter some challenges that people probably will not express publicly, but that they feel privately,” he said.“Those feelings are out there … Is it going to affect his chances of getting elected? It’s difficult to say. It creates a new layer that is out there.”During the last federal election campaign, religious symbolism became a flashpoint after the Federal Court of Canada upheld a lower court’s decision to strike down the former Conservative government’s ban on wearing niqabs at citizenship ceremonies.Former NDP leader Tom Mulcair took a firm stance against the ban — a move he later said he believes cost him the election, as support for the ban was strong in Quebec, where his party base was strongest.Jedwab says he believes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau successfully skirted backlash on the niqab issue in 2015 because Mulcair took the brunt of Quebecers’ concerns.This time, Trudeau — who has spoken against the secularism bill and who has taken a strong stance in favour of welcoming immigrants and minorities — could have a more turbulent ride.“It’s going to be challenging for him because he needs to build and/or strengthen his base in Quebec. The challenge will be that there is a lot of support for these types of restrictions,” Jedwab said.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will also have to walk a fine line on issues of religious symbolism and immigration, Jedwab added.“The polling numbers in this poll nationally suggest (Scheer) may be able to find a line through this thing where he says, ‘We understand people’s fears and insecurities, but we need to respect the Charter of Rights.’ I don’t think Mr. Trudeau will be saying he understands people’s fears and insecurities, because that will validate them,” Jedwab said.This survey of respondents drawn from an online panel canvassed the opinions of 2,215 adults between May 3 and 7.—Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.Teresa Wright, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Sunny future Alberta town becomes solarpowered net zero community

first_imgRAYMOND, Alta. — What began as a friendly rivalry between two southern Alberta towns has ended with what may be one of the most extensive programs of solar power anywhere in the country.Raymond, an agricultural community of about 4,000, has operated nine municipal buildings and all of its street lights by the sun since last fall. It sells excess solar power to the electrical grid when it can and buys it back when it needs to.It all started in 2017 when town council heard the nearby community of Cardston was planning a solar project. That rankled a bit, said Greg Robinson, Raymond’s economic development co-ordinator.“We have a bit of a competitive rivalry,” he laughs. “We just wanted to do better than them.”And so they have.Raymond has become what is believed to be Alberta’s first “net zero” community. The money spent on power from the grid in January is expected to be recouped in the sunny days of July.“It’s ebb and flow,” Robinson says. “At the end of the day, we’re hoping it’s sized properly to be a wash.”The greenhouse gas savings are the annual equivalent of taking 169 cars off the road.Solar panels are leased from Calgary power utility Enmax at a total installed cost of $2.8 million. About $630,000 of that came from a provincial grant under a program, which, said Robinson, “made it very easy to say yes.”The grant brought the installed cost of the solar panels to less than $2 per watt, well under the average cost for installation.The program’s future, however, is uncertain.The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, created in 2009, has spent about $1.5 million out of a five-year $6.9 million allocation for solar projects that mostly came from the province’s carbon tax. New Premier Jason Kenney turfed the tax as one of his first acts in government.“We have no concerns about our ability to fund existing programs,” said centre director Trina Innes. “The government’s still exploring ideas for the future right now.”Kenney’s United Conservative government also has promised to end subsidies for wind and solar projects. The province was unable to provide information on the future of the action centre’s funding.Meanwhile, solar is growing across Alberta.Leduc, just south of Edmonton, is finishing a 1.14-megawatt installation that will power the town’s recreation centre. Brazeau County in central Alberta is running its fire hall, water treatment plant and administration with solar. Cardston, the town that sparked Raymond’s project, has plugged its arena and civic centre into the sun.The action centre is involved in 74 solar and other projects in 31 municipalities. Robinson recently made a presentation to 22 other Alberta communities.Installation projects have become routine, said Jason Atkinson of Enmax, the Calgary power utility that has worked with communities on their solar installations.Software uses 100 years worth of sun and snow data to predict a solar “harvest.”“We have over 1,000 sites out there,” Atkinson said. “We have been very accurate. We provide a production guarantee to our customers.”It’s the business of the future, he added.“It’s just where society’s going. We want to be out in front of it.”Robinson acknowledges initial skepticism in Raymond.“There was ‘This seems too good to be true,’” he said. “But the math makes total sense.”Aside from environmental benefits, the town will avoid any future federal or provincial carbon taxes. And at the end of 15 years, when the Enmax lease expires, Raymond will own its own power utility.Robinson knows it’s early days. The project’s first annual report won’t be ready until the end of the year.But the future looks, well, sunny.“Do we intend to stop here? Not really. We’ve got hospitals and schools and our business core. How can we as a municipality partner with our businesses and our residents? Maybe there is a Phase 3.”— By Bob Weber in Edmonton. Follow @row1960 on TwitterThe Canadian Presslast_img read more

Ronaldo And Zidane To Be Joined By Football Stars For Charity Match

first_imgLegendary six-time World Referee winner, Pierluigi Collina along with international football players Deco, Pavel Nedvěd, Roberto Carlos, Fernando Hierro, are among the personalities that have confirmed they will join Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane at the 11th Annual Match Against Poverty taking place on March 4 at the STADE DE SUISSE National Stadium in Bern, Switzerland.Proceeds from the Match will support recovery efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, that struck the Philippines last November 8.Presiding over the match for nine editions out of 10 will be Italian legendary referee Pierluigi Collina: ” It always inspires me when a game is more than a game,” he said – “The 11th Match Against Poverty will not only score goals for the players but also for the people of the Philippines – It is an honor for me to referee again this Match.”UNDP will receive two thirds of the match proceeds which will be used to bolster recovery efforts in the Philippines, where more than 5,000 people lost their lives to Typhoon Haiyan, and an estimated 11.8 million people are affected and 995,000 people remain displaced. BSC Young Boys will donate the remaining third of the profits to the club’s partner charity, the Laureus Foundation Switzerland to support sports-related projects.The first list of players confirmed in the Ronaldo, Zidane & Friends team is: Ronald de Boer (Netherlands), Steve McManaman (England), Robert Pires, Makélélé and Youri Djorkaeff (France), Jens Lehmann (Germany), Gaizka Mendieta, Fernando Hierro and Michel Salgado (Spain), Paulo Sousa and Deco (Portugal), Roberto Carlos (Brasil) and Pavel Nedvěd (Czech Republic). Former and actual BSC Young Boys players will comprise the Young Boys & Friends team. Stéphane Chapuisat, Swiss player and former Champions-League-Winner already confirmed his participation as a friend. More top international names are expected to confirm in the coming days.Football legends Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane have been the driving force behind the match since its inception in 2003. The match, which will be televised globally, is supported by both football’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).The 11th Annual Match Against Poverty in Bern will start at 20:00 local time on 4 March 2014. Ticket prices range from CHF 20.00 up to CHF 60.00 and are available at or read more

Carol Burnett To Be Honored With SAG Life Achievement Award

first_imgCarol Burnett – comedic trailblazer, actor, singer, dancer, producer and author – has been named the 52nd recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.Burnett will be presented the performers union’s top accolade at the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 at 8 p.m. (ET), 7 p.m. (CT), 6 p.m. (MT) and 5 p.m. (PT). Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the SAG Life Achievement Award will join Burnett’s exceptional catalog of preeminent industry and public honors, which includes multiple Emmys, a special Tony, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and both a Kennedy Center Honor and its Mark Twain Prize for Humor.An inductee into the Television Hall of Fame and the California Museum’s Hall of Fame, Burnett’s many accolades also include a Peabody Award, the Television Critics Association’s Career Achievement Award, five Golden Globe Awards, five American Comedy Awards, 12 People’s Choice Awards, an Ace Award, an Horatio Alger Award, both Crystal and Lucy Awards from Women in Film, the TV Land Legend Award, the Jimmy Stewart Museum’s Harvey Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2013, the City of Los Angeles named the intersection of Highland Ave. and Selma directly adjacent to Hollywood High School, Burnett’s alma mater, Carol Burnett Square.When not performing or occasionally presenting her Q & A format “Laughter & Reflection,” she enjoys spending time with her husband Brian, her two daughters Erin and Jody, her grandsons, and her cat, Nikki. As a passionate supporter of the arts and education, she established several scholarships around the country, including the Carol Burnett Musical Theatre Competition at her alma mater, UCLA, and the Carrie Hamilton Foundation, to honor her daughter’s memory. She is a Lifetime Director of the Hereditary Disease Foundation. Among the other arts, health and youth charities to which she lends her support are the Sundance Institute, Young Playwrights Inc., the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara and the Hereditary Disease Foundation for which she has been named a Lifetime Director.last_img read more

Stars Support The Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundations Fight Against Batten Disease

first_imgIfOnly, a platform that delivers extraordinary experiences for good, has partnered with The Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation to help with their goal of raising 10 million dollars.The money will be used to fund urgent medical research needed to save the lives of film producer Gordon Gray’s two young daughters, and others who are battling Batten disease. To support the cause, IfOnly and the Gray Foundation have tapped their talented rosters of luminaries across multiple disciplines to create a curated shop of unique experiences with proceeds going to find a treatment and cure for this rare disease.Batten disease is a fatal, genetically inherited disorder of the nervous system that typically begins in childhood. The average lifespan for a child suffering from the disease is 6 to 12 years old. Due to its rarity, solutions for this presently incurable and fatal disease have received minimal research, focus and funding.Through the Cure Batten shop, the Grays have the opportunity to educate millions about the fatal disease and reach a wide audience to join in helping to save their two daughters and other innocent children suffering from this disease. The Cure Batten shop features incredible experiences including set visits, behind-the-scenes access, and private screenings, with new experiences launching weekly.Experiences range from set visits with stars like Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg on their latest blockbuster films to a private screening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” complete with a private tour of Lucasfilm. Featured film experiences include a first glance of Finding Dory with director Andrew Stanton and a tour of the Pixar Animation studio; tickets to attend the premiere of the final Hunger Games film including a photo with Liam Hemsworth; or a once-in-a-lifetime dream experience for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean film.IfOnly has established itself as a destination for members to purchase coveted experiences that amaze and inspire while being equally dedicated to helping others in need. By melding these unique experiences with worthy causes, IfOnly has the ability to turn consumers into benefactors. In partnering with IfOnly, The Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation will acquire additional funds desperately needed to accelerate life-saving research.Members can access the Cure Batten shop here.last_img read more

Lorde To Perform At 2018 MusiCares Person Of The Year Concert Honoring

first_imgFleetwood Mac will be awarded the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year on January 26 in New York, and the first performers at the tribute concert have been announced.Lorde will head a list of artists that also includes John Legend, Keith Urban, Harry Styles, Haim, and OneRepublic.Fleetwood Mac – Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks – will also perform.This will be the first time an entire band has been honored with the award. The event will also include an auntion, and after party, and more.Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.last_img read more

Erin Davis announces retirement after nearly 30 years as CHFI host

first_imgAfter working morning show hours since she was 19, Davis, an Edmonton-native who joined CHFI in 1988 where she worked alongside then-co-host Don Daynard, said she was “excited too about sleeping in a little.”Davis and her husband plan to move west to British Columbia where they have family, she wrote in a blog post on her website. In May 2015, Davis’ daughter Lauren died in her sleep at age 24, leaving behind a son, Colin, who had not yet turned one. Facebook Longtime CHFI morning host Erin Davis announced Wednesday she was signing off the air after a nearly 28-year radio career.Davis was joined in-studio by her husband Rob as she delivered a tearful on-air message to thank listeners and her “Rogers family.”“Our hearts are full of sadness and gratitude, of hope and even of some excitement,” said Davis. “There are a lot of reasons to go and to stay and I want you to know the hardest part of leaving is not sharing every morning with you, the friends that I’ve never met and the many that I have, the people that have been so good, so very good to our little family over the years.” Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img Davis’ final show will take place Dec. 15, broadcast live from Casa Loma.She announced she would continue to be part of CHFI in some capacity, although she wasn’t yet sure how. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

Hard Rock Medical returns with North Bayshot season on TVO

first_imgThese nine new episodes set to air in the new year with a special sneak peak in North Bay beforehand, will feature the return of their Canadian ensemble cast, but most notably, local talent Jamie Spilchuk who plays medical student Cameron Cahill, who helped his series colleges warm up to his hometown in the middle of winter.“Being from North Bay was a really cool homecoming for me,” he said. “Not only did I get to see and film in the place I grew up, but got to work with people I went to high school with so it was such a cool experience to come full circle.” Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement “Being from North Bay was a really cool homecoming for me,” he said. “Not only did I get to see and film in the place I grew up, but got to work with people I went to high school with so it was such a cool experience to come full circle.”Last winter there was quite the local buzz when TVO’s Hard Rock Medical rolled into town to shoot its third season entirely in North Bay.February and March saw Canadore College bristling with activity as cast and crew worked on the show, loosely inspired by the world-renowned Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM). Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Oscars 2017 Celebrities react to Moonlight actually winning best picture after mixup

first_imgI’m blaming Russia and going to sleep. #Oscars— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) February 27, 2017 Have your people call our people – we know what to do. #Oscars #MissUniverse— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) February 27, 2017 Can’t believe the Russians almost got away with hacking the #Oscars— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) February 27, 2017 Advertisement I need a drink… no… a drank… make it a double. My emotions are all over the place #Moonlight #Oscars2017— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 27, 2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers issues statement apologizing for #Oscars best picture mix-up— CNN (@CNN) February 27, 2017 Facebook Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img It was the biggest moment of the night.When Oscar presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty mistakenly announced “La La Land” as the best picture winner instead of “Moonlight” after an apparent envelope mix-up, the shockwaves were felt through the room and beyond.Gee, I’m glad I stayed up! That was a first!!!!— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) February 27, 2017 Login/Register With: Steve Harvey right now— #Oscars— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) February 27, 2017 LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Amazing ending. Wish that had happened on Election Day.— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) February 27, 2017 I figured out what happened, #Oscars – it was @RyanGosling— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) February 27, 2017 Twitterlast_img read more


first_img Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Take a look at how the actors compare to the real-life royals below. Fitz-Henley is an uncanny Markle but we’re not as sold on Laura Mitchell’s Kate Middleton.Left: Laura Mitchell as Kate Middleton. Right: Kate Middleton during the Diamond Jubilee Tour in 2012. A week before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to wed on May 19, 2018, Lifetime will release Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance. The film, airing on May 13, kicks off with the fated meeting between Harry and Markle after they were set up by a friend, and follows the courtship from a hidden secret in Toronto to a public spectacle in London.The film, which was shot in British Columbia, wrapped earlier this week. “I got to take a look inside the life of a woman and a relationship I quickly came to admire and claim as inspirations,” Parisa Fitz-Henley, who plays Markle, wrote on Instagram on Sunday. The cast is rounded out with Steve Coulter playing Prince Charles and Bonnie Soper as Princess Diana. Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Luck Mervil sobs at sentencing hearing for sexually exploiting a minor

first_imgAdvertisement Login/Register With: He said some news reports referred to allegations made during his preliminary inquiry that turned out to be unfounded and based on comments made “out of context.”On Monday, Mervil pleaded guilty to having sexually exploited a minor in 1996. An accusation that he sexually assaulted the same victim was dropped.The victim was 17 at the time. Mervil was 28 and the leader of RudeLuck, a band that was gaining popularity. A publication ban prohibits revealing details on how Mervil and the victim knew each other.However, by pleading guilty to sexual exploitation, Mervil admitted he had authority over her. She had known Mervil and his family for years. According to a statement of facts entered into the court record, she was proud to know Mervil while his star was rising but she did not find him attractive.The two had sex on several occasions. She decided to report what happened years later, and Mervil was charged in 2014.His first lawyer, Loris Cavaliere, was arrested a year later in a crackdown on organized crime. On Friday, Mervil said that development dragged his case out for much longer than he had expected.“Above all I want to say I am sorry” to the victim, Mervil said Friday, seconds after the victim exited the courtroom, apparently unable to withstand hearing what he had to say.The victim also made a statement, breaking down and crying while trying to get through it.‎She said her experience with Mervil turned her into a bitter and angry person. She became aggressive with her loved ones, in particular with her sister. She estimated she has spent $15,000 on therapy.“I burned bridges with my friends,” she said, and lost contact with family members for years. “I lost my sense of myself.”She said she fears Mervil will seek revenge for ‎having filed a complaint against him.“I think he will manipulate people he knows into hating me,” said the woman, who now lives in Europe.“When I come back to Montreal those fears grow,” she said. “That is why I don’t come back to Montreal.”Mervil said he could not comprehend why the woman would feel that he would seek revenge.“I don’t see how she could think I would seek reprisals,” he said. “You won’t find one person who can say that I had a violent thought toward her.”His lawyer, Philippe Larochelle, deposited media articles into evidence that reported Mervil had sexually assaulted the victim when that is not the crime he admitted to.Prosecutor Anne Gauvin presented the joint recommendation that Mervil receive a six-month term that can be served in the community. The first three months would involve house arrest and the following three months would involve a curfew.“We left nothing aside,” Gauvin said of the negotiations that produced the recommendation.Hébert said she will make a decision on the sentence next Paul Cherry | Montreal Gazette Twitter “Above all I want to say I am sorry,” the Quebec singer says after the victim exits the courtroom.Luck Mervil, the popular singer who pleaded guilty this week to having sexually exploited a minor many years ago, broke down and cried while making a statement during his sentence hearing on Friday.A sobbing Mervil told Quebec Court Judge Mélanie Hébert about a phone call he received after he pleaded guilty on Monday. He said the principal of the school his young son attends suggested he might have to “put up a security perimeter” around the boy.Mervil said he has considered hiring bodyguards as a result of what’s been said in the news media as well as on social media. Facebookcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Quebec singer Luck Mervil, who has pleaded guilty to sex-related charges involving a minor, arrives at the courthouse for the sentencing arguments Friday, May 18, 2018 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson ORG XMIT: pch102 Advertisementlast_img read more


first_img“FORTUNATE SON is about espionage, political activism and love, loyalty and healing. The world seemed on the brink of cataclysm in 1968. Divisions between races, generations and sexes seemed irreparable,” says showrunner Andrew Wreggitt. “But there was also a sense of optimism, a belief that change was possible and everyone had a role to play. The world is still plagued by many of the same issues of 1968, but we see that same growing activism and drive for change today.”FORTUNATE SON is filming in Calgary and the surrounding areas including Drumheller, Tsuu T’ina First Nation Reserve, and High River in Alberta, Canada.Executive Producers are Andrew Wreggitt, Tom Cox, Jordy Randall and Erin Haskett. The series is produced by Brian Dennis. Stefan Schwartz is Co-Executive Producer, while Jessalyn Dennis is a Consulting Producer. Stefan Schwartz (The Americans, Dexter) and Ken Girotti (Vikings, Orphan Black) are the show’s directors.A CBC original series, FORTUNATE SON is produced by SEVEN24 Films and Lark Productions in association with CBC and NBCUniversal International Studios with the financial participation of the Canada Media Fund, Government of Alberta – Alberta Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the British Columbia Production Services Credit. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Programming; Trish Williams is Executive Director, Scripted Content; Helen Asimakis is Senior Director, Scripted Content; and Deborah Nathan is Executive in Charge of Production.ABOUT CBC/RADIO-CANADA:CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also deliver content in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, as well as both official languages, through Radio Canada International (RCI). We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world..ABOUT NBCUNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL STUDIOS:NBCUniversal International Studios delivers award-winning international content to millions across the globe. Based in London, the business’ in-house production labels include: Carnival Films, creator of worldwide phenomenon Downton Abbey and Sky 1’s most-watched drama, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man; Monkey, producer of BAFTA-winning Made in Chelsea and reality ITVBe hit, The Real Housewives of Cheshire; and Australian-based Matchbox Pictures, SPA’s Media Super Production Business of the Year and maker of critically-acclaimed drama series The Nowhere Boys, Glitch, The Slapand Seven Types of Ambiguity. International Studios has also produced a television remake of Hanna for Amazon Prime Video, which was recently recommissioned for season two.Additionally, NBCUniversal International Studios operates a joint production venture with Working Title Television (London Spy and Birdsong) and Heyday Television (The InBetween, The Capture and The Long Song), owns an equity stake in LARK Productions Canada (First Responders and Motive), and has a first-look deal with Hardy Son & Baker. It also operates a prolific International Formats business, which licenses and produces content in over 70 territories worldwide, with key brands including World of Dance, Top Chef, Suits and House.Complementing its content, in 2017, International Studios extended the legacy of award-winning title, Downton Abbey, by launching Downton Abbey: The Exhibition in New York. It recently completed a run in West Palm Beach, Florida and is currently in Boston. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment CALGARY, AB / TORONTO, ON – With production now underway in Calgary, SEVEN24 Films and Lark Productions today revealed casting for new CBC original drama FORTUNATE SON, set to premiere in winter 2020 on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service. NBCUniversal has international distribution rights. Inspired by a true story and created by showrunner Andrew Wreggitt (Pure, Borealis), FORTUNATE SON is a spy drama set in the social and political chaos of the late 1960s.Kari Matchett (Covert Affairs, 2 Hearts) plays Ruby Howard, an American who fled to Canada as a fugitive from the law. Set in the chaos of the late 1960s, the Vietnam War and the anti-war protest movement, Ruby helps smuggle Vietnam War deserters and draft dodgers across the Canadian border. What she doesn’t know is how these actions will unfold and who is watching her. Rising star Darren Mann plays Travis Hunter, a Vietnam war deserter whose troubled past follows him into Canada and the lives of the Howard family. Mann is known for the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series and the critically acclaimed film Giant Little Ones. Stephen Moyer stars as Vern Lang, a CIA agent. Moyer is well-known for his roles in True Blood and most recently, The Gifted. Additional lead cast includes Kacey Rohl (Arrow, Hannibal), Rick Roberts (This Life, Designated Survivor), Patrick Gallagher (Night at the Museum, Glee), Ty Olsson (War for the Planet of the Apes, Supernatural), Alex Nachi (1991, Clash) and Zoé de Grand’Maison (Riverdale, Orphan Black).“FORTUNATE SON takes us back to a period in Canadian history that we haven’t yet seen reflected dramatically on CBC, and given today’s sense of political and social unrest, now is the time to tell this story,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Programming, CBC. “The series feels relevant and relatable to Canadians, and we look forward to watching the cast bring this gripping drama to life.” ABOUT SEVEN24 FILMS:SEVEN24 Films is an independent film and television production company whose work has spanned over two decades. Executive Producers Tom Cox and Jordy Randall have produced dramatic series, mini-series, television movies and feature films garnering over one hundred industry awards and nominations. In addition to the People’s Choice Award winning series, Wynonna Earp, current projects include Fortunate Son, a political thriller for CBC and NBCU International, Dark Cargo, a noir thriller for YouTube Premium, JANN, the #1 new Comedy on CTV, and the hit family series Heartland, the longest running one-hour series in Canadian history, now in production on its thirteenth season for CBC and UPtv. Previous projects include Young Drunk Punk for Rogers and CBC, the Canadian Screen Award winner Borealis, the Gemini Award winning movie Mayerthorpe and Gemini Award winning Mini-Series Burn Up.Tom Cox and Jordy Randall were also co-producers on numerous high-profile feature films including the Academy Award nominated Brokeback Mountain, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Resurrecting the Champ. ABOUT LARK PRODUCTIONS:Lark Productions is an award-winning television production company that creates exceptional programming that partners and travels internationally. Lark develops and produces both scripted & unscripted content and enjoys a distribution and development deal with NBCUniversal International.Established in Vancouver in 2010, Lark’s productions include Canadian Screen Award nominated Motive (CTV, USA Network), the hit formats The Real Housewives of Toronto (Slice) and The Real Housewives of Vancouver (Slice), Crash Gallery (CBC), Paramedics: Life on the Line (Knowledge Network), Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH (Knowledge Network, Discovery Fit), and High Moon (SYFY). Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more