Corus Radio suspends airplay of Hedley in wake of sexual misconduct allegations

first_imgAdvertisement Corus Radio has suspended all airplay of Hedley songs across its 39 music stations as the Canadian rockers face allegations of sexual misconduct.A spokeswoman said the move is temporary and the company will “continue to closely monitor the situation.”Several other organizations are also distancing themselves from Hedley in the wake of a flurry of claims from anonymous Twitter users who alleged inappropriate encounters with the band. Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The pop-rockers — fronted by Jacob Hoggard and including Dave Rosin, Tommy Mac and Jay Benison — issued a statement calling the allegations “unsubstantiated.”The Junos dropped the Vancouver group from the upcoming televised awards bash in what was called a joint decision with the band.Edmonton-based radio station Hot 107 tweeted that it won’t play any Hedley music until further notice.B.C.-based Kiss Radio also tweeted that it has dropped Hedley songs from its playlist.The philanthropic organization WE, which has had a long relationship with the band, says it has “no plans to work with Hedley in the future.”And Air Miles says it has cancelled a contest in which its collectors could have won a VIP experience at a Hedley concert. Air Miles says “winners will be offered a substitute prize.”THE CANADIAN PRESS Advertisement Facebooklast_img read more

PENNYWISE IT CHAPTER TWO RETURNS TO TORONTO FOR ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Updated with teaser-trailer.You know what they say about Derry? No one who dies here ever really dies.Pennywise returns. Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Horror sequel It: Chapter Two will be back in Toronto for additional photography in a few weeks.Additional photography: May 25 – 27th, 2019.Twenty-seven years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back to Derry.Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Jay Ryan, Isaiah Mustafa, Xavier Dolan, Will Beinbrink, Teach Grant, Jess Weixler.Looking forward to IT CHAPTER 2? You should be. I’ve seen it, and it’s terrific. The trailer is coming Thursday, at noon. You’ll float.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 7, 2019It: Chapter Two filmed principal photography in Toronto from the beginning of July to late October last year.By Susan Gittins ~ Hollywood North Buzz Twitterlast_img read more

CANADAS KIM CATTRALL TO STAR IN BRITISH COMEDY SERIES THE COCKFIELDS ALONGSIDE

first_imgKim Cattrall Kim Cattrall is to star in a British comedy series alongside two of the stars of Ricky Gervais’ After Life. The Sex and the City star, who is also fronting Fox’s soapy drama Filthy Rich, is starring in three-part series The Cockfields for UKTV’s Gold channel.The series stars Joe Wilkinson and Diane Morgan, who both featured in Gervais’ Netflix comedy, and it is written by Wilkinson and David Ear. The Royale Family’s Sue Johnston, Chariots of Fire’s Nigel Havers and Not Going Out’s Bobby Ball.The Cockfields is produced by Yellow Door Productions, the production company set up by former Sky comedy chief Lucy Lumsden. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Poundmaker FN fraud trial gets rolling

first_imgAPTN National NewsTuesday was the initial court appearance for nine members of the Poundmaker First Nation in Saskatchewan.They’re facing fraud charges related to treaty money that vanished from the band’s account.Among the accused are the current and former leaders of the community.APTN National News reporter Delaney Windigo was in Cut Knife, Sask., where some of the accused appeared.last_img

CFS had too much going on when Phoenix Sinclair murdered

first_imgAPTN National NewsWhen five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair was murdered child and family services in Manitoba were over-worked and under-staffed an inquiry into the little girl’s death heard Thursday.The number of teen pregnacies were on the rise and the former CEO says they were grappling with how best distribue services.APTN National News reporter Ntawnis Piapot explains what this meant for Sinclair.last_img

London RCMP officer charged with tipping off drug dealers for cocaine sources

first_imgBy Kenneth JacksonAPTN National NewsA London RCMP sergeant resigned on the spot after being confronted early last month by his superiors for allegedly tipping off drug dealers of police investigations in exchange for cocaine, APTN National News has learned.John Kowalczyk, 59, head of the RCMP’s proceeds of crime unit based in London, was charged April 4 with one count each of breach of trust and obstruction of justice after a 10-month investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police.The investigation began when one of Kowalczyk’s informants allegedly flipped and agreed to wear a wire for the OPP to capture the officer allegedly incriminating himself.Kowalczyk is scheduled to appear in court May 9. None of the allegations have been proven in court.Police allege Kowalczyk, who was a Mountie for nearly 40 years, was tipping off targets of police investigations, as well as warning drug dealers of upcoming raids. In return police allege Kowalczyk would receive quantities of cocaine.One of the outfits he’s alleged to have warned was members of the Hells Angels biker gang according to a source.Kowalczyk is said to have spent more than 20 years in the drug unit for the RCMP before moving to proceeds of crime.On the day he was charged Kowalczyk appeared in a Sun Media news story about seizing proceeds of crime from criminals.“We’ll seize anything that we don’t have to feed. You don’t want to feed it, you don’t want to water it,” Kowalczyk said. “The best way to destroy a criminal organization is to successfully seize a lot of their assets.”It was a coincidence he was charged that day.Only five people knew of the investigation into Kowalczyk, including Supt. Jamie Jagoe, the RCMP’s south west district commander.Jagoe offered Kowalczyk to sign his resignation. He did.Three members of the OPP were in on the investigation, as well as another member of the RCMP.kjackson@aptn.caTwitter: @afixedaddresslast_img read more

RCMP keeping an eye on Burnaby Mountain protest

first_imgAPTN National NewsA British Columbia judge granted an injunction to Kinder Morgan last week to remove activists from Burnaby Mountain.The protesters are trying to stop Kinder Morgan from starting survey work needed to twin an existing pipeline.The deadline for protesters to leave passed with no arrests, but as APTN’s Tina House reports this can happen at any moment.last_img

Harper cabinet stalling 3 modern treaties for over 2 years federal report

first_imgJorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe Harper cabinet has been holding up agreements on three modern treaties for over two years, according to a report released Thursday by the federal government.The report was commissioned by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt who appointed former federal negotiator Doug Eyford to review Ottawa’s comprehensive claims policy, also known as its modern treaty process.The report, which was submitted to Valcourt on Feb. 20, essentially calls for a massive overhaul of Ottawa’s approach to dealing with comprehensive claims, arguing that many of its failings have been pointed out in various reports and studies over the past 30 years.Eyford’s report, A New Direction: Advancing Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, lays much of the blame at the feet of Ottawa which has essentially set the rules of the comprehensive claim game.“Many noted that Canada’s negotiators have limited authority to agree to anything unless previously approved within the federal system,” said the report. “Canada’s negotiators do not have the authority to make commitments on behalf of all federal departments.The issue, however, is not simply one of bureaucratic intransigence, but one the reaches to the cabinet table, the report said. Under the current structure, the negotiations need cabinet approval at several phases of talks. The report found that six treaty tables are stuck waiting for the federal cabinet to either initial or sign-off on agreements-in-principles and three have been in the queue for more than two years.“Canada is considered an uncreative negotiating partner,” said the report. “Productive negotiations are effectively suspended when cabinet approvals are required.”Eyford recommends the Aboriginal Affairs Minister get the authority to approve framework and agreements-in-principle, instead of leaving it up to cabinet to give the sign-off.Agreements are also held up by the need to check-in with about 40 federal departments and agencies throughout negotiations, the report said.Eyford recommends Ottawa create internal standards and timelines for departments and agencies to respond to the needs of the negotiations.The report found that many First Nation groups involved in talks complained about Ottawa’s “cookie cutter, take it or leave it approach instead of interest-based, good faith negotiations.” The report said that even provincial and territorial government officials said that Ottawa lacked “sensitivity” to regional issues in the North and Atlantic Canada.“There were also complaints that dialogue at tables is constrained because federal mandates are narrowly construed,” said the report. “For example, I was told that Canada’s negotiations with the Mi’kmaq and the Nova Scotia government have not been productive because those groups want to discuss the modernization of historic peace and friendship treaties while Canada is proposing to negotiate a modern treaty.”The report, however, also puts some of the responsibility on First Nation groups. Some First Nations don’t want to end negotiations because they are concerned about locking-in treaty rights “when there is a prospect that other rights not contemplated during negotiations may subsequently be defined by the courts.”Also, the cash, mostly in loans from Ottawa, is hard to give up.“The fact the treaty process provides a constant source of funding and employment in Aboriginal communities can also serve as a disincentive to conclude negotiations,” said Eyford’s report.The report said some First Nations may also not be ready for the process.Download (PDF, Unknown)Eyford makes a total of 43 recommendations to Valcourt on changing Ottawa’s approach to an issue that has tied up large-swaths of the country, prevented development and created an environment of potential conflict.Among the recommendations, Eyford calls for “a new reconciliation framework” with “a renewed and reformed comprehensive land claims policy along with a wider spectrum of policies and initiatives to reconcile constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights.”He said this new framework “should reflect the historic, cultural and regional diversity among Aboriginal communities to effectively address Aboriginal and treaty rights.”Eyford also recommends that Ottawa create “a central agency responsible for the coordination and oversight of treaty implementation” which would also have to file “an annual report in Parliament about treaty implementation activities.”Valcourt released a statement saying Ottawa would be working on creating a “new reconciliation framework” and begin talks with First Nation groups and “other stakeholders” on the report’s recommendations.“Our goal is to work in partnership so we can seize opportunities to promote prosperous communities and economic development for the benefit of all Canadians,” said Valcourt, in the statement.Comprehensive claims are negotiated with First Nations which do not fall under the numbered or so-called “surrender” treaties. A final agreement essentially sets out and defines self-government, land and Aboriginal rights for a particular First Nation.Most of these comprehensive claims are negotiated with First Nations and Aboriginal groups in British Columbia, the northern territories, parts of Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.Since 1973, Ottawa has only settled 26 comprehensive claims, while 75 are currently in various stages of negotiation, the report said. British Columbia faces the bulk of negotiations with 53 claims in the works. There are 14 comprehensive claims being negotiated outside of that province along with eight trans-boundary claims.Eyford spoke with over 100 First Nation communities before publishing the report. He was tasked with the report by Valcourt on July 28, 2014.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Manitoba hockey team comes under fire over derogatory name

first_imgAPTN National NewsA city councillor in Morden, Man. is pushing a local junior hockey team to change its name.She said it’s offensive to Indigenous people.APTN’s Matt Thordarson has the story.last_img

All talk and no money Mikmaq out east say bureaucracy hasnt caught

first_imgTrina RoacheAPTN National NewsThe Liberals are nearly a year into their mandate and some Indigenous people are growing restless.The Liberal budget promised billions in spending on housing, education and water.But according to some Mi’kmaq communities, that money is slow in coming.And some blame the bureaucracy.troache@aptn.calast_img

New federal bill to shorten court delays wont work in the north

first_imgCharlotte Morritt-JacobsAPTN NewsIn northern communities that don’t have the RCMP, witness statements, community testimony can be an important part of a case.But what happens if there is no preliminary hearing?That’s what one Yellowknife defence lawyer is speaking out against in the face of a new federal crime bill.cmorrittjacobs@aptn.ca@aptncharlottelast_img

Homeless family pitches tent at Nunavut Legislature

first_imgThis tent is home to a family of four this week as they wait for social housing. (Photo Tatanniq Idlout)Kathleen MartensAPTN NewsBrian Tagalik and his family have pitched a tent outside the Nunavut legislative building in Iqaluit because they are homeless.Tagalik said his wife and two children, aged 7 and 18 months, slept in the nylon tent Monday night and plan to do so again Tuesday and Wednesday night.All to bring attention to what they say is a homelessness crisis in the capital and embarrass politicians into acting.“We have a foamy, sleeping bags and a Coleman stove,” Tagalik said in a Facebook conversation with APTN News Tuesday.“We’ve been homeless four years; couch surfing from friends and family.”The tent he borrowed from his brother is not much protection against the Arctic winds and temperature, which dipped to -4 C overnight.But Tagalik feels he has no choice but to put his homelessness situation on public display.“I want this to not happen again, to any family,” he said. “That walk I took with family in tow, will stick with me forever.“Tears streaming, scared, hurt, lost, but somehow I knew the toughest part has passed.”Both he and his wife are working and his daughters go to school.But he says they cannot afford to rent an apartment for more than $2,000 a month and have been on the waiting list for five years for more affordable public housing.Iqaluit MLA Adam Arreak-Lightstone says more than 400 people are on that list.“This demonstration is putting a face to the situation,” he said in a telephone interview.“This will put more pressure on the Iqaluit Housing Authority to do what they can.”Arreak-Lightstone suggested housing officials “get creative” and build or retro-fit new structures instead of the usual five- or 10-plex.Everything from “tiny homes” to shipping containers should be looked at as alternatives, he said, to help ease the crisis families like Tagalik find themselves in.He says housing stock also has to be replaced quicker after fires and maintenance problems.“This peaceful demonstration has to be done to open up the eyes of housing and create some compassion towards those people that are actually in need,” Arreak-Lightstone said in a telephone interview.Tagalik would like to see more homeless people join him in establishing a Tent City like those being formed in southern Canada.Tatanniq Idlout is also homeless in Iqaluit and has been couch surfing.She says she’s proud of Tagalik for going public.“They say it’s hard to provide statistics on homelessness in Nunavut because it’s ‘hidden homelessness’,” she said.“You can’t hide this if it’s on the steps of our government.”kmartens@aptn.ca@katmartelast_img read more

BC residential school survivors gather with Tseshaht First Nation to free lost

first_imgWarning: This story has very emotional content and may trigger some viewers.Laurie HamelinAPTN NewsA spiritual fire roars at the centre of the former Alberni Indian Residential School in Tseshaht First Nation (TFN) on Vancouver Island.Former students, survivors stand around it and pray into the flames.“I remember going into church our Minister would slap our heads, ‘You savages, you heathens, you are nothing,’ and we felt that we were nothing,” says survivor Melvin Good from Snuneymuxw  First Nation.“We were dirty savages, we felt sad, it felt sad to be a savage.”(Survivors of the Alberni Indian Residential School share stories, memories and singing on the grounds of the former school. Photo: Laurie Hamelin/APTN)From 1891 – 1973 Indigenous children from all across British Columbia came to the school to be educated and assimilated, but instead they were abused, molested, and some even killed.That nightmare still haunts generations of survivors and also the lost souls that never returned home.Read More: Reclaiming the Lost Souls of Alberni Indian Residential School A two day healing event, ‘Reclaiming Lost Souls of the Alberni Indian Residential School’ was hosted by TFN on September 27 and 28.It is the first event of its kind at the site.“You don’t have to spend too much time in any of the surrounding buildings to know that there is a presence here,” says Les Sam, the former elected Chief of TFN.(Children play on the grounds of the Alberni Indian Residential School. Photo courtesy: Tseshaht First Nation)There are two original buildings that are still standing, they’re being used by the community.  The rest have been torn down.“We all came to the conclusion that the lost souls didn’t speak our language and they didn’t speak English,” says Sam.“We needed to invite all tribes in B.C. to bring their traditional language speakers to come down here on site and invite their lost souls back home where they belong.”Sam says his people have been forced to live with a nasty mark on their traditional territory.“Our nation didn’t have any say in having a residential school in our backyard and what they left us with is a large gaping wound in our territory,” says Sam.Many survivors will never return to the area because the memories are too painful, but some did make it back as part of their healing journey.Lorna Bob from Snaw-Naws-As First Nation spent two years at the school and says she came to connect with other survivors and to celebrate her indigenous culture – something historically forbidden to do.“I felt overwhelmed with the healing,” says Bob.“It was really strange to go through a spiritual healing, one of our cultural healings right outside where the building was.”(Survivor Lorna Bob spent two years living in Peake Hall, the girls dorm. Photo: Laurie Hamelin/APTN)Greg Wright drove two days from Gitxsan Territory to attend the event.  He travelled with a group of survivors.“It was really heavy listening to other stories, but we made connections because we had similar stories,” says Wright. “I was up talking today with our group. People are calling it reclaiming the soul, but to us this is reclaiming our spirit and who we are.“I also want to bring back my brother’s spirit because he passed away and I want to free his spirit from the burdens that we all still carry.”Wright was part of a legal challenge that took his former teacher to court for sexual abuse.“The judge went easy on the teacher because he gave them a sob story about having to care for his elderly dad,” says Bruce Lucas.“These guys lived a life of hell from what he had done to them.  He only got two to four years concurrent.”William Matthews was also part of the legal challenge and in 2005 participated in the Gitxsan Spirit Residential School Walk.“We walked for days, from Prince Rupert and hit all the communities until we walked into Port Alberni,” says Matthews.“It was to bring awareness of what happened at this school.”(William Matthews, Archie Little,  Richard Lucas, Greg Wright, Bruce Lucas. Photo: Laurie Hamelin/APTN)Although life at residential school was hell, some students were able to find solace.Lorna Bob even went so far as to say it felt like home.“I felt that I was here at home within arms reach of family, my auntie was married into the Tseshaht tribe so I felt like I was at home,” says Bob.Melvin Good took comfort in the love and support of his new family.“We really grew up together,” says Good. “We all became family and we embraced each other.“I love you brothers and they return that love.”Jacqueline Watts attended the event with her granddaughters on behalf of her late mother, Linda Mae Watts (nee Williams).Linda didn’t speak much of her five years at the school.“I knew I had to talk on her behalf,” says Watts. “That was the biggest strongest message was, what you say matters.  It’s a very strong statement because in residential school I believe she was sexually abused because she had to go give a statement and that was during the sexual abuse part.“She never shared the story with us but we knew what the statements were about.”(Jacqueline Watts with her granddaughters attended the event to speak on behalf of her mother. Photo: Laurie Hamelin/APTN)Watts told the crowd of survivors that she was angry.  That the government’s residential school independent assessment process opened old wounds too heartbreaking for her mother to handle.“She never got to talk, she got sick right after that,” says Watts.“I felt that it took her life and she was unable to share her story.”Watts says the trauma from residential school goes far beyond the survivors.“I never understood why things were so hard,” says Watts.“Why I was a mother when she wasn’t.  Why everybody was so angry, why sexual abuse was a norm.  And we’re the next layer that needs to be looked at. The offspring of the survivors, we have a lot to say, we were hurt also.”Survivors, family and friends of all ages opened up and shared their stories over the two days.  Many people were in tears, but not just tears of sadness, there were tears of love and laughter, gratitude and inspiration.The powerful event ended with everyone dancing and drumming into the night – proving that the resilience of Indigenous peoples can never be taken away.lhamelin@aptn.ca@laurie_hamelinlast_img read more

Retail workers feel disruption from shifting shopper habits

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – With new options and conveniences, there’s never been a better time for shoppers. As for workers … well, not always.The retail industry is being radically reshaped by technology, and nobody feels that disruption more starkly than 16 million American shelf stockers, salespeople, cashiers and others. The shifts are driven, like much in retail, by the Amazon effect — the explosion of online shopping and the related changes in consumer behaviour and preferences.As mundane tasks like checkout and inventory are automated, employees are trying to deliver the kind of customer service the internet can’t match.So a Best Buy employee who used to sell electronics in the store is dispatched to customers’ homes to help them choose just the right products. A Walmart worker dashes in and out of the grocery aisles, hand-picks products for online shoppers and brings them to people’s cars.___Editor’s note: This story is part of Future of Work, an Associated Press series that explores how workplaces across the U.S. and the world are being transformed by technology and global pressures. As more employers move, shrink or revamp their work sites, many employees are struggling to adapt. At the same time, workers with in-demand skills or knowledge are benefiting. Advanced training, education or know-how is becoming a required ticket to the 21st-century workplace.___Yet even as responsibilities change — and in many cases, expand — the average growth in pay for retail workers isn’t keeping pace with the rest of the economy. Some companies say that in the long run the transformation could mean fewer retail workers, though they may be better paid. But while some workers feel more satisfied, others find their jobs are just a lot less fun.Bloomingdale’s saleswoman Brenda Moses remembers the pre-internet era, when the upscale store was regularly filled with customers ready to buy. These days, department stores are less crowded and the customers who do come in can make price comparisons on their phones at the same time as they pepper staff with questions.“You tell them everything, and then they look at you and say, ‘You know what? I think I will get it online,’” she said.Moses has seen her commission rate rise to 6 per cent from a half a per cent, but her hourly wage dropped from $19 as low as $10 before it came back up to $14. Depending more on commissions means her income fluctuates, and she’s competing with her colleagues for each sale.“Now,” Moses said, “you have to fight to make your money.”The same could be said for the retailing industry, overall. In 2017, 66,500 U.S. retail jobs disappeared (not taking into account jobs added in areas like distribution and call centres). In the past decade, about one out of every seven jobs have vanished in the hardest-hit sectors like clothing and consumer electronics, says Frank Badillo, director of research at MacroSavvy LLC. Though department stores have suffered the most, smaller businesses also have struggled to compete with online sellers.Many of the survivors are rushing to adapt. Of the retail jobs that remain, over the next decade as many as 60 per cent will either be new kinds of roles or will involve revised duties, says Craig Rowley, senior client partner at Korn Ferry Hay Group, a human resources advisory firm. He estimates the number is about 10 per cent now.How fast retail jobs will change and what they’ll look like depends on three factors, Rowley said: the pace at which online shopping advances; the speed at which robotics and other technology progress; and shifts in the minimum hourly pay.“Jobs for workers will get more interesting and be more impactful on the company’s business,” Rowley said. “But the negative side is that there will be fewer entry-level jobs and there will be more pressure to perform.”Some retail workers at the vanguard of the changes — like Laila Ummelaila, a personal grocery shopper at a Walmart in Old Bridge, New Jersey — speak glowingly of their new responsibilities.Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, has scrutinized every job in its stores as it looks to leverage its more than 4,000 U.S. locations against Amazon’s internet dominance.The company now has 18,000 personal shoppers who fill online orders from store shelves, and 17,000 check-out hosts whose responsibilities are more extensive than the greeters of old, including keeping the area clean and making sure registers move efficiently. The company has also shifted workers from back-room clerical jobs and eliminated some overnight stocker positions in favour of more daytime sales help. The customers like the changes, company officials say, pointing to more than three years of sales growth at its established U.S. stores — a contrast with other, suffering retailers.Ummelaila became a personal shopper after joining the company three years ago. To meet her store’s goals, she must pick one item per 30 seconds. If she can’t find something, she has to quickly get a substitute that’s as good or better.“You start to get to know the customers, you know what they like,” she said, “how they like their meat … and how long they keep milk in the fridge.”Best Buy, meanwhile, has begun a free service in key markets where salespeople will sit with customers in their own homes and make recommendations on setting up a home office to designing a home theatre system. Best Buy said shoppers spend more with a home visit than they do at the stores. The project follows Amazon, which reportedly has been testing a program that sends employees to shoppers’ houses for free “smart home” recommendations.At Steve Frederick’s townhouse in Chicago, Billy Schuler offered advice about speakers that can be adjusted from a smartphone. Schuler, who had previously worked at Best Buy for 14 years, returned to the company to take on the new role.“Customers are more relaxed when they are in their home,” he said. “We can do a walkthrough of the house and see their needs.” He likes to “break the ice” by calling the person and chatting a day or two before the visit.Frederick, who’s spending close to $20,000 on the equipment, describes himself as “old-school” and says he needed a lot of help. He thinks it was worthwhile.“When you are spending that kind of money, you want to have someone come in and explain it,” he said.Schuler declined to give specifics but says he is well compensated. Ummelaila says her pay went up to nearly $12 per hour from $10 when she became a personal shopper.Target credits its strategy of assigning dedicated sales staff in areas such as clothing, consumer electronics, and beauty for helping increase sales, and says having visual merchandisers create vignettes like shoppers would see in specialty stores inspires people to buy. “You are making an outfit and telling a story on each rack,” says Crystal Lawrence, who works at a Target store in Brooklyn, New York. She likes the variety in her new job, and Target says it plans to keep paying higher wages for those specialized roles.But a survey of nearly 300 retail workers — conducted by the Center for Frontline Retail and Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center — found that of those workers whose job responsibilities have changed, more than 40 per cent said they hadn’t received pay increases to reflect that.Wages for hourly retail workers have risen less than 9 per cent since 1990, compared with 18 per cent for overall workers in the private sector. There has been some progress recently; some of the biggest retailers, like Walmart and Target, have made moves to increase pay in the face of low unemployment and competition for workers.“For a long period, these retail jobs were just terrible on average,” said Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute. “Retail stores have been following one strategy: high turnover, low wages. That strategy is no longer viable.”Mandel sees hope in technology, which he says has historically created more and better-paying jobs than it has eliminated.The National Retail Federation trade group points to government data showing that even in large supermarket chains where self-checkout has become standard, the number of employees per store has held steady over the 15 years through 2014. And the demand for grocery cashiers increased in the past few years, says Burning Glass Technologies, a company that analyzes labour market data.McDonald’s says the self-serve kiosks it has been rolling out won’t result in mass layoffs, but will mean that some cashiers shift roles to accommodate changes like offering table service.But a report prepared by Cornerstone Capital Group for the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute predicts that more than 7.5 million retail jobs are at risk of being eliminated by automation over the next several years.Amazon is testing a grocery store in Seattle without cashiers, using cameras and shelf sensors to keep track of the items that shoppers grab and charge them. Eatsa, an automat-style restaurant in San Francisco, lacks cashiers as well — diners order at kiosks and workers prepare the food behind an opaque wall, with virtually no interaction between them.Labour groups are trying to address some of the new issues. Under a contract reached last May between Bloomingdale’s and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Moses and other members who work at the flagship store in Manhattan can also get commissions from some online sales.And a labour group representing 1.3 million grocery and food workers is trying to combat automation by highlighting that workers’ specialized skills — like the care they take in icing a rose on a wedding cake, or arranging flowers, or the ability of human workers to recognize spoiled food — provide a benefit to shoppers.“Separating progress for the consumer, for the worker, for the economy versus the stockholders … those are completely different things,” says Erikka Knuti, a spokeswoman for the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.Others say automation and happy workers are not necessarily incompatible.Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon foresees fewer sales associates at his stores, but they’ll be better paid and better trained. Walmart has trained 225,000 supervisors and managers on topics like new apps and better customer service. It says managers who go through the academies have better retention rates than those who do not. Workers who report to those managers stay longer. And entry-level workers who complete a new training program are more likely to remain.It’s a shift retailers may have to speed up. Government figures show the rate of retail workers quitting their jobs in 2016 was at its highest since 2007.Alfredo Duran, who started as a sales associate at Gap and worked at six retailers over 15 years, left the industry two years ago. As a manager at clothing chain Mango, he was making $75,000 a year. But once the store closed, he had trouble finding another job in retail because no one wanted to pay him for his experience.“It’s gone down. One person is doing three jobs. And you can’t move up,” said Duran, 38, of Queens, New York.He’s now a concierge at a Manhattan hotel, making half of what he used to earn — but happy he left retail.___AP Video journalists Terry Chea in San Francisco and Teresa Crawford in Chicago contributed to this report.___Follow Anne D’Innocenzio: http://twitter.com/ADInnocenzioThis story is part of Future of Work, an Associated Press series that explores how workplaces across the U.S. and the world are being transformed by technology and global pressures. As more employers move, shrink or revamp their work sites, many employees are struggling to adapt. At the same time, workers with in-demand skills or knowledge are benefiting. Advanced training, education or know-how is becoming a required ticket to the 21st-century workplace.last_img read more

Statistics Canada says the pace of economic growth slowed in first quarter

first_imgThe pace of economic growth in Canada slowed in the first quarter of this year as housing investment pulled back amid new mortgage stress test rules.Statistics Canada says the economy grew at an annualized pace of 1.3 per cent for the first three months of the year. That compared with an annual pace of 1.7 per cent in the final three months of 2017.Economists had expected growth to come in at an annualized rate of 1.8 per cent for the first quarter of 2018, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.The weaker-than-expected result came as investment in housing fell 1.9 per cent in the quarter, the largest decline since the first quarter of 2009, due to a drop in ownership transfer costs as the pace of home sales slowed at the start of the year.Growth in the first quarter was also the slowest pace since the economy contracted in the second quarter of 2016 due to forest fires that destroyed parts of Fort McMurray, Alta., and forced the shutdown of several oilsands operations in the region.The latest reading on the economy follows the Bank of Canada’s decision to keep its key interest rate on hold.last_img read more

Bank of Canada business outlook survey suggests businesses optimistic

first_imgOTTAWA – Expectations the Bank of Canada will raise its key interest rate target next month were bolstered Friday after stronger-than-expected economic growth in April and a report suggesting widespread business optimism.The Bank of Canada’s outlook survey indicator climbed to its highest level since the second quarter of 2011 as responses to most survey questions were above their historical averages.However, the central bank noted almost all of the interviews with firms for the business survey were done before the U.S. announcement on tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada.Escalating trade tensions between Canada and the U.S., including the threats of additional tariffs on the auto sector, have raised concerns for the economy.Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets, said the solid increase in the outlook survey indicator shows the economy was in good shape heading into the tariff strife.“With governor Poloz saying that the bank will not be shaping policy based on headlines, and the economic backdrop in generally good shape, there’s a solid case for a July rate hike,” Reitzes wrote in a report.“Even so, we’ll be waiting to see if Trump reacts to Canada’s retaliatory tariffs, as a further escalation could drastically change policy dynamics.”The Bank of Canada survey came as Statistics Canada reported Friday real gross domestic product edged up 0.1 per cent in April over the previous month, topping the expectations of economists for no change for the month.Gains in the manufacturing and utilities sectors more than offset declines in construction and in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction to help the output of goods-producing industries rise 0.2 per cent.Activity in the manufacturing sector rose 0.8 per cent in April as the output of both durable and non-durable manufacturing grew.Services-producing industries were essentially unchanged overall for the month.“With cold weather in much of the country, one-off factors hitting the mining and oil and gas industries, and some soft advance indicators, it was a welcome surprise to see a modest expansion of the Canadian economy in April,” TD Bank senior economist Brian DePratto wrote.Both the business outlook survey and the reading on GDP will be scrutinized by the central bank ahead of its interest rate decision next month.The Bank of Canada kept its key interest rate target on hold at its last rate announcement, but the central bank’s accompanying statement was interpreted by many economists as suggesting that rates could head higher later this year.However, the Trump administration announced tariffs on steel and aluminium imports a day after the last rate announcement and has since threatened additional tariffs on other goods including automobiles. Canada has responded with its own plans for tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum imports as well as duties on a wide range of other goods.Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said earlier this week the escalating cross-border trade fight and new mortgage rules will “figure prominently” in the central bank’s upcoming interest-rate decision.The governor added the central bank will continue to focus on economic data it can model rather than trying to follow political rhetoric.The Bank of Canada business outlook survey of about 100 firms found the balance of opinion on future sales growth was marginally positive as domestically-oriented firms, including those tied to housing in some regions, expected a moderation in growth.It noted that firms that were optimistic about their sales prospects often expected to benefit from sustained foreign or domestic demand, improving commodity prices or new products or initiatives to increase market share.“In particular, firms serving foreign customers reported that orders have improved compared with 12 months ago, and they expect export sales to increase at a greater rate over the next year,” the report said.However, the survey also said the number of firms that would have significant difficulty meeting an unanticipated increase in demand has increased to levels not seen since before the 2008-09 recession.“Reports of labour shortages are most prevalent in British Columbia but are also common in Central Canada,” the report said.The Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate target three times since last summer, moves that have prompted Canada’s big banks to raise their prime lending rates. The central bank’s target for the overnight rate sits at 1.25 per cent.The business outlook survey was conducted from May 3 to June 5.last_img read more

Toronto stocks edge lower as financials and health care fall US stocks

first_imgThe Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) TORONTO — Canada’s main stock index fell in late-morning trading amid losses in the health-care sector, which includes the big marijuana companies, and the financial sector.The S&P/TSX composite index was down 19.13 points at 14,122.64.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 62.46 points at 22,922.06. The S&P 500 index was up 1.36 points at 2,468.78, while the Nasdaq composite was down 41.05 points at 6,487.36.The Canadian dollar traded for 73.78 cents US compared with an average of 74.10 cents on Thursday.The February crude contract was up 34 cents at US$46.22 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was up 12.9 cents at US$3.712 per mmBTU.The February gold contract was down US$5.60 at US$1,262.30 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 1.60 cents at US$2.6805 a pound.last_img read more

US service firms grew at slower pace in December

first_imgWASHINGTON — U.S. service firms grew at a slower pace in December, a possible indication that various headwinds from turbulent markets to trade tensions could be having an impact on economic activity.The Institute for Supply Management, which is composed of purchasing managers, says that its service index fell to 57.6 per cent last month, down from a November reading of 60.7 per cent.Any reading above 50 signals growth. So even with the December decline, the index shows that service industries, where most Americans work, has been expanding for 107 consecutive months.The weaker reading on the service economy followed a report last week that the ISM index for manufacturing slowed to the slowest pace in more than two years, with some manufacturers complaining about the impact of President Donald Trump’s trade policies.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Nissans exchair Ghosn runs fever while in detention

first_imgTOKYO — The lawyer for Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn, who is being held on charges of falsifying financial reports, says the 64-year-old businessman is suffering from a fever.Ghosn’s lawyer Motonari Ohtsuru said Thursday that doctors at the Tokyo Detention Center said he should rest after running a fever of 38.8 C (101.8 F) late Wednesday.Visits to Ghosn by consular officials and lawyers were postponed.On Tuesday, Ghosn told a Tokyo court he was innocent, in his first public appearance since his Nov. 19 arrest. The court rejected an appeal by Ghosn’s lawyers for his release from detention.During the hearing Tuesday, Ghosn appeared much thinner than before he was arrested. Earlier, he had asked for more comfortable conditions than are usually provided at the detention centre.The Associated Presslast_img read more