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Canada hasn't decided if it would cover security costs for Harry and Meghan: Morneau – CBC.ca

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Finance Minister Bill Morneau said today the federal government hasn’t decided if Ottawa would help to cover the security costs associated with a move by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan to Canada.

A report in the London-based Evening Standard Monday said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told the Queen already that Canada would assume some of the costs associated with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex taking up residence here part-time.

Morneau said the government has not yet held any formal talks on the matter.

“No, we haven’t spent any time thinking about this issue,” Morneau told reporters in Toronto.

“We obviously are always looking to make sure, as a member of the Commonwealth, we play a role. We have not had any discussions on that subject at this time.”

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says that, despite reports to the contrary, the government of Canada has not committed to paying for the security for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 0:21

The Evening Standard said Trudeau has “agreed taxpayers in his country should pick up the huge bill for the couple’s round-the-clock protection while they are in the country … Trudeau has privately assured the Queen that Harry, Meghan and Archie’s safety will not be jeopardised while they reside there.”

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the prospect of Canada paying for the family’s protection.

The royal couple would not automatically be granted Canadian citizenship, said Mathieu Genest, a spokesperson for Immigration Minster Marco Mendicino, in an emailed statement.

“In order to become legal permanent residents of Canada, they would need to apply through our normal immigration processes. However, members of the Royal Family are not required to seek authorization to come to and stay in Canada as visitors,” the spokesperson said.

“There are no provisions in the Citizenship Act that confer Canadian citizenship status to members of the Royal Family by virtue of their status as a member of the monarchy.”

Under Canadian immigration law, most British visitors to the country can stay visa-free for up to six months.

Security costs estimated at $1.7M

In announcing their decision to step back from their role as senior members of the Royal Family and divide their time between the U.K. and North America, the couple said they wanted to be financially independent and less reliant on funds from the Sovereign Grant, the pool of public money available to the royals to help them carry out their duties.

The cost associated with protecting the Sussexes has been pegged at more than a $1.7 million a year.

Security costs incurred by the royals have been covered by the British taxpayer — but the status of that funding for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is in doubt in light of their stated intention to withdraw from public life.

Canada has paid the costs associated with past royal tours. In 2010, for example, Canadian taxpayers spent $2.8 million to protect the Queen during her nine-day tour of Canada. Protecting Prince William and his wife Kate during a 2011 visit cost Canada about $1.2 million.

Period of transition will be spent in Canada, U.S.

The Queen, Prince Charles, William and Harry met Monday at the Queen’s winter residence, Sandringham House, to discuss Harry’s future in the House of Windsor.

In a statement issued after the talks, the Queen said all parties agreed that “there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the U.K.”

The Queen said that while she would prefer Harry and Megan “remain full-time working members of the Royal Family,” she respects and “understands their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”

As for the costs associated with a move, the Queen said these are “complex matters” and “there is some more work to be done.”

Prince Harry, left, speaks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a reception after a receiving line for the Queen’s Dinner for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Buckingham Palace in London. (Matt Dunham/AP Photo)

When asked about funding, British Home Secretary Priti Patel, the minister responsible for policing and national security matters, said it would be “thoroughly inappropriate” to comment.

“Talking about it compromises much of the security arrangements and that is not something I will be discussing here today,” Patel said in an interview with the BBC.

“If I may, I think it’s right that the Royal Family now have the time and space to discuss the issues that they need to discuss. Therefore, I am not going to, and neither will the government, give a public commentary in terms of the security arrangements with anybody with protective security.”

The couple spent more than six weeks at a rented mansion on Vancouver Island during the Christmas holiday season. Meghan, an American-born former actress, spent years living in Toronto while filming the legal drama Suits.

Harry also has shown a fondness for Canada. While in the military, he did two stints at the Suffield military base in southeastern Alberta. He also picked Toronto to host the third iteration of the Invictus Games for wounded veterans.

After announcing their dramatic departure from regular royal life, Meghan immediately flew to Canada to be with her son, Archie, who had stayed behind in Canada after the Christmas break.

For more coverage of Harry and Megan, subscribe to the Royal Fascinator, our biweekly newsletter dedicated to news and analysis of the goings-on at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and beyond — in your inbox every other Friday.

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Inuit designers launch new line of parkas for Canada Goose – CBC.ca

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Canada Goose has launched a new collection of Inuit-made parkas. 

The collection called Atigi 2.0 has 90 parkas made by 18 seamstresses who all live in Inuit Nunangat — Inuit regions of N.W.T., Nunavut, Quebec to Newfoundland and Labrador. Last year, Canada Goose launched project Atigi with 14 original parkas.

Stephanie Pitseolak’s parka for Canada Goose. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

The parkas from Atigi 2.0 were shown publicly for the first time at a media launch in New York Thursday. 

“It’s unbelievable,” said Stephanie Pitseolak, one of the designers who lives in Iqaluit. “I can’t believe my parka is there right now.” 

New York isn’t the only international city her parka will be on display; next week it will be making its way to France where the collection will be on display at the Canada Goose store in Paris.

Pitseolak, who lives in Iqaluit, is one of 18 seamstresses who made parkas for Canada Goose’s Atigi 2.0 collection. (Travis Burke/CBC )

Pitseolak said the experience was exhausting. Canada Goose sends the seamstresses a box of materials to use for their designs. Things like fur, hollow fill insulation, zippers and Canada Goose commanders and patches with the logo. They had a month to make five identical parkas each in a different size. 

Even Pitseolak was struggling. She said she couldn’t give up and felt like her late grandmother was guiding her while she sewed. 

Lisa-Louie Ittukallak parka from Puvirnituq, Que. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

“I wanted people to know it’s possible, even if you’re very busy, even if you have kids, even if you’re working,” said Pitseolak. 

“I’m glad I did it and I’m happy for myself.” 

Emily Joanasie’s parka from Iqaluit. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

The parkas will be one sale at the Canada Goose website for $2,500 each. The proceeds will go to Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), a national organization that advocates for the rights and interests of Inuit in Canada.  

Canada Goose donated nearly $80,000 to ITK from the sales of last year’s Atigi parkas, according to ITK. Inuit land claims organizations for the four Inuit regions — Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Makivik Corporation, and Nunatsiavut Government each received $20,000.  

Chelsey St. John’s parka from Arviat, Nunavut. (Submitted by Canada Goose )

“We have big plans and a big vision from project Atigi,” said Gavin Thompson, vice-president of corporate citizenship for Canada Goose. “We are literally just getting started.” 

Thompson said they want to grow the project but wouldn’t reveal details of what that looks like. 

“We are just so proud of this collection,” said Thompson. “We are excited to put it on our platforms so we can really showcase these designers and their parkas to the world.”

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Winter weather escalates across Canada as army sent to help Newfoundland – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Winter weather has escalated across Canada as the federal government agreed to send help to Newfoundland following record-breaking snowfall.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball requested government help Saturday, including mobilizing the Canadian Armed Forces, to provide relief to areas of the province hit by the severe winter weather.

St. John’s experienced a record-breaking one-day snowfall of 76.2 centimetres, snapping a previous record of 68.4 centimetres from 1999.

Strong winds combined with the huge dumping of snow created drifts high enough to bury cars, while white-out conditions meant roads were congested and treacherous.

Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan confirmed the government was already working to deploy resources. 

Here’s a look at how the rest of the country handled a weekend of dramatic winter weather.

ATLANTIC CANADA

Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada, snowfall warnings were in place for large parts of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia before easing to flurries Sunday night.

QUEBEC

Environment Canada has snowfall warnings in place for Montreal and surrounding areas, with 15 to 20 centimetres expected between Saturday afternoon and Sunday. 

Skies are expected to clear in the morning with snow starting to fall as the clouds roll in. In addition, winds may reach between 20 km/h and 40 km/h putting the temperature near -25 C with the wind chill.

The snow should clear Sunday night with a cold and sunny Monday to start the week.

SOUTHERN ONTARIO

In Canada’s most populous region, the first major snowfall in southern Ontario has brought traffic to a crawl in Toronto and elsewhere with up to 20 centimetres of snow and howling winds causing white-out conditions.

Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, City of Toronto spokesperson Eric Holmes said that there are 1,500 workers prepared to respond to the city’s first snowstorm of the year.

A snowfall warning is in effect for the city and most of southern Ontario.

NORTHERN ONTARIO

Large parts of Northeastern Ontario are also under snowfall warnings, with winter storm warnings in place for Sault Ste. Marie and Killarney. 

MANITOBA

A number of communities across southern Manitoba are under a winter storm warning from Environment Canada, including Steinbach, Emerson and Pilot Mount, while Winnipeg is under a snowfall warning.

A storm system is expected to bring 10 centimetres to 20 centimetres of snow to the city and other parts of southern Manitoba. 

SASKATCHEWAN

In Saskatchewan, extreme cold warnings are in place for most of the south of the province, Fond-du-Lac, Stony Rapids and Black Lake. 

ALBERTA

The Alberta Motor Association said it has received more than 55,000 calls for roadside assistance since January 12, more than six times the usual call volume.

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old in Edmonton is recovering from frostbite after walking around outside without gloves for 45 minutes in -25 C weather.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

A winter storm warning is in effect for Fraser Valley in B.C. after it received another dumping of snow overnight. Skiers on the slopes in Whistler could see as much as 40 centimetres of snow.

Vancouver Island has heavy rain warnings in place with the possibility of localized flooding.Wind warnings are in effect for all of B.C.’s coast.

YUKON

A bitterly cold arctic ridge of high pressure remains entrenched over the Yukon, according to Environment Canada.

Extreme cold warnings are in place for much of the territory. 

NUNAVUT

Blizzard warnings are also in place for parts of Nunavut.

Winds gusting into the 60 to 80 km/h range have developed over central Kivalliq and will spread south eastwards into the Arviat region Saturday evening, Environment Canada said.

These conditions will likely persist into Sunday with improvement occurring Sunday night.

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LILLEY: Canadians are ditching CBC, so why do we keep funding it? – Toronto Sun

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Every single time I critique CBC, I’m told that we need to have the state broadcaster, that Canadians rely upon it.

But the numbers would beg to differ.

Whether we are talking audience share or advertising revenue, CBC is a broadcaster in decline.

Did you know that across Canada, over a total of 27 stations coast to coast, the average audience for CBC’s supper hour newscast was 329,000 people? That’s not 329,000 people per market, that is across the country.

Compare that to just one of CTV’s local supper hour newscasts, CFTO in Toronto, which averaged 1.4 million viewers per night in the first week of 2020. That doesn’t include other major markets like Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary or Ottawa where CTV outstrips CBC. It doesn’t include Global News, which is dominant in Western Canada and like CTV doesn’t take a $1.5 billion per year subsidy from the taxpayers.

These CBC ratings aren’t numbers that I’ve made up, they were contained in CBC’s most recent annual report and highlighted by Ottawa-based media outlet Blacklock’s Reporter.

Other nuggets in that annual report include that CBC’s prime-time audience share in television was 5%, down from 7.6% in 2017-18. We also learned that CBC News Network’s total audience share is 1.4% of all TV viewers.

These slumping ratings mean slumping ad sales, the report says advertising revenue is down 21% overall — the decline in English Canada was actually much bigger, a 37% drop. If it were not for CBC’s French language division having a pretty good year, things would have been much worse.

Ad revenues dropped from $318.2 million in 2018 to $248.7 million in 2019 and things are not likely to get better. Well, except for the increase in government revenue.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were elected on a promise to increase CBC’s base funding by $150 million a year. That promise has been met and I’m sure Trudeau will soon be considering more money for his favourite news and media outlet.

Meanwhile, as I reported about two weeks ago now, CBC is asking the CRTC for permission to broadcast less Canadian content on TV even as they take more of our money. As part of their broadcast licence renewal application, the state broadcaster is asking the broadcast regulator for permission to show less “mandated content,” meaning less Canadian content.

Would we even notice?

CBC’s latest attempt to get ratings heading in the right direction has seen them bring in Family Feud Canadian Edition. Nothing says telling Canada’s stories to Canadians quite like importing a dated American game show and selling it like it is something new.

What’s next? Showing Home Alone 2 and editing out Donald Trump?

CBC does well in radio — as someone who worked for years in private radio and competed against CBC Radio, I can say they have an audience and do a good job.

Yet on TV, Canadians are voting with their clickers.

Long before cutting the cord became a concern for TV executives, CBC was the third horse in a three-horse race. They were the least preferred option for comedies or dramas and the least preferred for news.

This may come as a shock to some media folks, especially on Parliament Hill, but CBC’s The National has been the third most watched national newscast for decades. Their recent reboot has only made things worse, pushing ratings below 400,000 viewers a night and at times I am told below 300,000 viewers.

CBC is out of touch with Canadians and what they want to see.

Their supporters may say ratings shouldn’t matter for a state broadcaster like CBC but if they aren’t producing shows we want to watch with their massive subsidy then what is the point of continuing to fund them?

blilley@postmedia.com

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