Why a 'curious interest' and questions of money loom over Harry and Meghan coming to Canada - CBC.ca - Canada News Media
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Why a 'curious interest' and questions of money loom over Harry and Meghan coming to Canada – CBC.ca

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Prince Harry and Meghan clearly want to come to Canada — and senior members of the Royal Family gave their wish their blessing at their Sandringham summit on Monday.

But how Canadians feel about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spending part of their time here as they step back from their senior roles in the Royal Family is more nuanced.

“I’d say there’s a curious interest to some degree as to how this will unfold, that certainly Harry and Meghan’s enthusiasm about Canada is well-received,” said Carolyn Harris, a longtime royal observer and Toronto-based author and historian.

“There are many who have commented that Harry and Meghan — as Harry is unlikely to succeed to the throne — should be able to live life on their own terms, provided they will be indeed be financially independent.”

While some Canadians may welcome Harry and Meghan, others may feel great indifference.

“People who support the Crown, most of them will think this is nice,” said John Fraser, author of The Secret of the Crown: Canada’s Affair with Royalty, and founding president of the Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada.

Prince Harry and Meghan visited Canada House in London earlier this month, in thanks for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada over the holidays. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“The idea of members of the Royal Family actually having some domicile in a Commonwealth country, to me, is wonderful. It suggests the possibility — especially if the Queen goes along with the idea — that Harry and Meghan can be special Commonwealth ambassadors or supporters.”

Others who are often less interested in the Crown, he suggests, will “think they are leeches on the body politic.”

But whatever interest there is among Canadians could be tempered by one very tricky topic: money.

“I think any support for Harry and Meghan would be negatively affected if the couple were seen as making use of public funds in Canada for their security while they live a private life,” Harris said.

Chenoa Paccagnan, of Invermere, B.C., echoed a similar sentiment.

“I love my royals, but I am not interested in paying for long-term security or maintenance if they choose to spend increased time in Canada,” Paccagnan wrote in an email to CBC’s Royal Fascinator newsletter over the weekend.

‘Honour and a privilege’

Others looked at the financial aspects differently.

Bill Kostiuk, of Alliston, Ont., said it would be “an honour and a privilege” to have Harry and Meghan living in Canada.

“They do so much for charitable organizations and they seem to inspire the younger generation in a very positive way,” he said in an email to the Fascinator.

“Thousands of immigrants come into Canada and no one questions who’s going to pay for what and what they will do for income. I wish people could get off the gossip train and let this couple and their young child try to have a life together without all the finger-pointing.”

WATCH | Expert Robert Lacey says Harry and Meghan might follow the Obamas’ example when it comes to managing their finances independent of the royal household:

Robert Lacey says royal couple’s independence may lie in huge charitable foundation 0:57

Harry and Meghan’s seismic announcement last week that they wanted to step back included mention that they want to become financially independent. And in a statement Monday, Queen Elizabeth said Harry and Meghan “have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.”

But what exactly that means remains unclear.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Monday the federal government hasn’t decided if Ottawa would help cover security costs associated with a move to Canada by the sixth in line to the throne and his wife.

‘Serious issue’

There’s little doubt security for such a high-profile couple will carry a hefty price tag.

“The question of security is a serious issue,” said Fraser.

“Whether they are here or anywhere, they are major public figures who need protection,” he said.

“At the moment, unless something is being worked out with the Canadian government, they don’t have any official status here other than the respect there is — and also the lack of respect — for members of the Royal Family.”

Fraser said the cost for security would probably have to be covered privately. “I don’t think it should be a Canadian government cost,” he said.

Christine Richardson, of Uxbridge, Ont., said in an email to The Royal Fascinator that she can understand why Harry and Meghan may want to step back, but feels “very strongly they can’t have their cake and eat it, too.”

“Independence means what it says, and from a financial perspective, it should not cost Canadians anything (i.e. for security) if they live here part-time. Also, they should have to pay income tax relating to money made in Canada, just like the rest of us.”

What about the taxes?

Taxation poses significant unknowns around Harry and Meghan’s plans, and would depend on numerous issues.

“If Harry spends enough time in Canada to become classed a Canadian resident, then he would start to become liable to Canadian taxes,” Craig Prescott, director of the Centre for Parliament and Public Law at the University of Winchester in southern England, said via email.

“With Meghan, she is still a U.S. citizen and so is liable to U.S. taxation on her worldwide income (as U.S. taxation operates on citizenship rather than residency — only Eritrea and Myanmar do the same). There are reliefs and exemptions to this, but they appear to be relatively limited.”

Under U.K. tax rules, Prescott said, if overseas tax is paid on overseas income, then you can claim relief to avoid being taxed twice.

Harry and Meghan, shown holding their son Archie, visited Cape Town on Sept. 25, 2019, during a trip to southern Africa. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

“How this operates will depend on any double tax treaty between the U.K. and that country. The U.K. has a double tax treaty with the U.S. and Canada,” he said.

While much remains unknown about how Harry and Meghan’s part-time residency will unfold, Fraser said a lot of that will be answered “just by them taking up residence here of some sort, whatever it is.”

The only people he can see being really upset by the move are the British tabloids that “love either praising them or damning them.”

WATCH: Canada undecided on covering Harry and Meghan’s security costs

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the government hasn’t decided if it will cover any of the security costs for Prince Harry and Meghan during their time in Canada, which are estimated at more than $1.7 million per year. 1:59

Fraser expects there will be some “fervent following” of Harry and Meghan for a little while.

“But I think they have a fair chance of having a more normal life over here, whatever a normal life is, a private life, than they do in the U.K.”

  • For more coverage of Harry and Meghan, subscribe to the Royal Fascinator, our biweekly newsletter dedicated to news and analysis of the goings-on at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and beyond.

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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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