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July, 2019

PHOTOS: Stars come out for Teen Choice Awards

TORONTO — The 16th annual Teen Choice Awards on Sunday brought out dozens of stars of music, movies and television.

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The high-energy show, co-hosted by Tyler Posey of Teen Wolf and Sarah Hyland of Modern Family, used the results of online voting — 165 million votes were reportedly cast — to determine the winners of surfboards in offbeat categories like Choice Male Hottie, Movie Liplock and Movie Hissy Fit.

Canada was represented by performers Magic! as well as actors Nina Dobrev of The Vampire Diaries and Donald Sutherland of The Hunger Games.

Many of the winners — from One Direction and Austin Mahone to Katy Perry and Jennifer Lawrence — were not at the show but here’s a look at some of the stars who were.

Shailene Woodley

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Ansel Elgort

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Selena Gomez

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Josh Hutcherson

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Ariana Grande

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Cody Simpson with pop duo MKTO.

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Jason DeRulo

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Hilary Duff with Jake T. Austin.

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Taylor Swift

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Kevin Hart

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Sarah Hyland with Tyler Posey.

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Kellan Lutz

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Jennifer Lopez with Tyler Posey

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Demi Lovato

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Lea Michele with Paul Wesley.

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Chloe Grace Moretz

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Tyler Posey

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Ian Somerhalder

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Tyler Blackburn

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Donald Sutherland

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Cameron Dallas

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Harper government dismisses study on climate effects of Keystone pipeline

The Harper government is dismissing an economic analysis on how the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project could effect climate change.

The government says the study done by researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute is based on false assumptions.

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  • U.S. Ambassador Bruce Heyman: No news on Keystone, but he does have cheesecake

  • Hillary Clinton: Keystone XL not a symbol of Canada-US relationship

  • U.S. workers blast Obama administration for delaying Keystone XL

The study released yesterday says U.S. government findings that Keystone wouldn’t make a significant climate difference missed a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

READ MORE: Keystone climate impacts could be higher than U.S. estimate: study

Co-author Peter Erickson says it doesn’t appear American officials looked at the implications of an increased supply of fuel.

He says greater supply could force prices down and prompt more consumption that could cause four times the emissions the U-S is predicting.

The authors acknowledge their study doesn’t answer whether Keystone XL would encourage oilsands expansion or simply provide an outlet for growth that would have happened anyway.

The federal government says that’s a key point that undermines the study’s findings.

Ottawa also says the study doesn’t factor in that Keystone crude would replace Middle East sour crude that causes more pollution.

©2014The Canadian Press

Is Vancouver becoming Silicon Valley North? – National

READ MORE: One of the largest conventions ever staged in Vancouver has attracted thousands of digital wizards to the city. Brian Coxford looks at why many hope this is a sign of better things to come for our economy.

VANCOUVER – Software engineer Pablo Guana nearly refused a job with Facebook when the company redirected him to Vancouver from Silicon Valley because his United States visa application was rejected.

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“I will not go to Canada,” said the 25-year-old from Argentina of his initial reaction. “Twenty degrees below zero, are you crazy?”

Also stymied by the American immigration system – which meets only a fraction of the demand for economic green cards each year – was South African Jonathan Hitchcock, 34, who was at first disheartened that his “dream job” would be shunted to Canada.

Their struggle to obtain entry for employment epitomizes how stalled immigration reforms in the United States, along with several other factors, may be galvanizing Vancouver’s tech sector into becoming Silicon Valley North.

Ultimately, the two Facebook hires were separately convinced to give Vancouver a chance.

READ MORE: Silicon Valley-based entrepreneurs return to Toronto to invest in rich talent pool

“One of the reasons (Facebook) does well in Silicon Valley is because all the other companies are in Silicon Valley. Apart from that, Silicon Valley is awful. It’s a terrible, terrible place,” said Hitchcock, eight months after relocating transformed his perspective. “Vancouver is a wonderful, beautiful place, and all the companies are here. There’s a thriving tech community here.”

Facebook installed its downtown base for new engineering hires in May 2013. It joined a cluster of legacy and startup digital and tech companies like Electronic Arts, Hootsuite, Bench and Mobify, and preceded global heavyweights Microsoft, Sony Pictures Imageworks and incoming Amazon.

Facebook said the employment of up to 150 staff in Vancouver from around the world is only short-term, and points to the obstructive U.S. immigration system that “makes it difficult, and sometimes impossible,” to bring talented engineers to its Menlo Park headquarters, south of San Francisco.

A protracted political battle around overhauling U.S. immigration laws has included Silicon Valley firms’ warnings that meagre quotas will siphon coveted brain power.

“This same immigration issue plays an important role in many other companies’ decisions to open international offices,” said a Facebook spokeswoman, who declined to be named. “Canada’s approach to immigration enables companies like Facebook to set up small operations such as this, and we plan to do so in a way that has a positive impact in our temporary home.”

The federal government is aware of the issue and will “make no bones” about exploiting it to boost the domestic economy, said the federal employment minister.

READ MORE: Google Fiber expands to Austin, but jobs lead to Canada

“We’re seeking very deliberately to benefit from the dysfunctional American immigration system,” Jason Kenney said recently, when asked about a year-old campaign that erected giant “Pivot to Canada” billboards in the San Francisco Bay-area advertising directly to foreign nationals blocked from obtaining H-1B visas.

Offering permanent residency, the Canadian government launched a special “start-up visa” last year to facilitate the arrival of young entrepreneurs, and will open another stream this January.

The American obstacle is just one among a suite of competitive advantages helping transform Vancouver into a world-renowned tech hub, said Ian McKay, CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission.

The province boasts lower corporate tax rates than the U.S., as well as enticing personal income tax rates. A wealth of skilled workers already funnel into the city via top-rated post-secondary institutions, feeding already flourishing companies. And the glistening city of glass towers, green spaces and waterfront has been cited amongst the world’s most livable.

“One of those arrows on its own probably doesn’t do a lot for us, but when you pile them on top of each other, it’s a pretty compelling story,” McKay said.

B.C. boasts more than 600 digital media companies, employing about 16,000 people and generating $2.3 billion in annual sales, according to the commission.

The developing critical mass is also evidenced by business incubators, such as GrowLab, a range of tech-wizard social gatherings and massive job fairs. Starting Sunday, SIGGRAPH, a prestigious computer graphics research forum with exhibitors from 60 countries will be held for five days at Vancouver’s Convention Centre.

READ MORE: Toronto startup secures $8.8 million in funding; plans Silicon Valley expansion

Motivated in large part by tax rebates, Sony Pictures Imageworks, the visual effects and animation unit of its parent company, is relocating its Los Angeles headquarters north, said its Vancouver-based vice-president of production operations.

Jason Dowdeswell said the move, slated for April 2015, comes with 500 job openings. Fewer than 20 per cent of the company’s current staff, several hundred already in Vancouver, are Canadian, he said, largely because talent is scarce.

“When we talk about the potential for Silicon Valley North, a lot of the pieces to that story are already here,” he said, though noting players are still getting acquainted.

“We’re messaging out around the world … that if you want some stability in your passionate work environment, Vancouver is a destination.”

But the road to Silicon Valley North is not all paved in gold.

Last year, hundreds of jobs evaporated when Disney shuttered Pixar Canada’s Vancouver studio in favour of California, and video game maker Electronic Arts transferred some offices to Ontario.

A panel discussion that took a hard look at the challenges was hosted by social media platform Hootsuite in late July.

Canada is suffering “a desperate and growing shortage” of computer developers and software engineers, said CEO Ryan Holmes. He lamented a “lost generation,” whereby Silicon Valley has claimed an estimated 350,000 Canadians over recent decades, adding that if Facebook closes its Vancouver office, that “doesn’t help our cause.”

Holmes remains optimistic about the local industry’s future.

“While Silicon Valley may enjoy a formidable concentration of capital and talent, it hardly has a monopoly on ambitious ideas and capable entrepreneurs,” he said in an email, adding investors can get in on the ground floor.

“In a few years’ time, Vancouver will be flush with tech capital and brilliant people will be gunning to build the next Facebook, 桑拿会所 and Hootsuite.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Canadians’ net worth up 8%, rebounding from downturn – National

TORONTO – Canadians’ fortunes appear to be in good shape, with their net worth up nearly eight per cent on higher real estate and investment values.

That’s according to data from Environics Analytics, which found that the average net worth per household last year grew by 7.7 per cent to $442,130.

Consumer debt was flat and real estate performed more predictably compared with recent years – increasing six per cent over 2012.

READ MORE: How Canadians are avoiding paying taxes on tax free savings accounts

That suggests that although many Canadians still face higher-than-normal unemployment, they are bouncing back strongly from the 2008 economic downturn, Environics said.

Nationwide, the new data indicate that stock portfolios are growing, savings are on the rise and mortgage debt has ticked up only modestly.

The report includes 121 financial and investment statistics from a variety of sources, including the Bank of Canada and Statistics Canada.

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    RRSP or TFSA? Put money into both if you have the means, experts say

  • Canada sees drop in full-time jobs in July, only 200 created

    Canadian’s managing personal debt

©2014The Canadian Press

5 things I learned from Gord Steeves’ wife – Winnipeg

1) The Bannock Lady (Althea Guiboche) has good timing.  Capitalizing on the heat surrounding mayoral candidate Gord Steeves and his wife drew valuable attention to her good work and good cause was well played.  When we look back at this event at election time, I hope what we remember is that there are people like Guiboche making Winnipeg a nicer city.

2) As best I know, Gord and Lorrie Steeves were not at the Goldeyes game, the Assiniboine Park Zoo or eating at Santa Lucia.  None of those “no-shows” made headlines.

3) Tweets like this are true, but I think they miss an important point:

I learned long ago that my perceptions of the world and its safety are very different from my wife’s.  And both our points of view are equally valid.  People don’t treat a 6-foot-1 man the same way they do a woman.  Different experiences lead to different attitudes.  So to imply “I feel safe, so it’s safe,” doesn’t hold up.  If Lorrie Steeves didn’t feel safe downtown in 2010, no amount of arguing the point will make her feel safe.

4) If this is an issue now, we (as the media) should feel embarrassed for not knowing about it four years ago.  Gord Steeves was a city councillor when his wife wrote the comment.  This would have been as big a story back then.

5) I am never running for office. I don’t want to be reminded of the stupid things I’ve said/done/written in the past.  Like the brief moments where I believed that spaghetti grew on trees:

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  • Mayoral candidate reacts to Lorrie Steeves Facebook post

    Mayoral candidate’s campaign may be derailed by wife’s facebook post

  • Political expert says it’s too soon to know impact of “drunken natives” comments