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Women of the week: Heather Kleb

What do you think of when you think of nuclear energy?

Interim president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA), Heather is striving to create a more positive environment for nuclear energy, educating the masses on the many positives of the power source while helping to advance the industry.

“I’m a big believer in nuclear energy, because it’s good for the environment and it’s good for the economy. We supply much needed power while minimizing the release of greenhouse gases. And our industry provides thousands of highly skilled, well paying and rewarding jobs while doing it.  Basically, it’s good for Canadians,” Heather says.

With a background in environmental science, Heather has a great deal of experience working in what she calls “responsible resource development.” After several years of working in the mining and logging industries, Heather was offered the role of environmental scientist with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and found her niche. Ten years later, she is serving as the interim president and CEO.

A female CEO in a scientific association might seem like an oddity to an outside spectator, but Heather sees it as an example of the way things are moving in this field.

“I think that the fact that our Board of Directors asked me to assume the interim president and CEO role speaks volumes about our industry.  There is definitely a growing number of women in senior roles throughout our industry,” she says.

A firm believer in the nuclear industry, Heather would like to see the number grow and encourages other women to consider the field.

“It currently provides over 30,000 interesting, challenging and rewarding jobs for Canadians.”

As part of her job, Heather works to combat the negative images of nuclear energy and has participated in a number of regulatory hearings.  When asked, however, about what stands out as memorable about these hearings, she chooses not to dwell on “the antics of the very passionate non-governmental organizations,” who tend to have a very vocal presence. Instead, she highlights the actions of Port Hope Mayor Linda Thompson.

“Mayor Thompson spoke thoughtfully to the benefits the nuclear industry would bring to her community and the families that live there,” Heather says.

This resolve, to highlight the positive elements of her field while refusing to get bogged down by the negative characters who seek to destroy nuclear power, stands out in Heather’s character. She believes in her industry and wants to raise awareness about the many ways nuclear energy can improve people’s lives.

“The nuclear industry generates more than just power,” she says. “We produce isotopes that aid in the diagnosis and treatment of many forms of Cancer. In fact, Canada provides between 20-30% of the world’s supply of isotopes.”

This alternate purpose of nuclear technology is important to note, given the rising rates of cancer. As a testament to this link, the CNA is partnering with the Canadian Cancer Society and raising funds for research. Watch for the Relay for Life in Ottawa on June 7, hosted by the CNA.

Internet raises over $50,000 to put towards alleged Ford crack video

UPDATE 3: Gawker’s campaign has now passed the $50,000 mark, sitting at $51,810, over one quarter of the $200,000 mark they have set. (1:00 p.m. May 18)

UPDATE 2: Gawker’s “Crackstarter” has raised $24,724 and is rapidly increasing. (4:27 p.m. May 17)

UPDATE: With the addition of Gawker’s own “Crackstarter” the running tally sits around $6,000. (1:55 p.m. May 17)

When last night’s news of Rob Ford’s alleged crack smoking video hit the airwaves there was much buzz on Twitter and Facebook about crowdfunding the money required to purchase the video and as of 1 p.m. it has resulted in $3,278 dollars being raised.

The unnamed Somali-Canadian sources that have been in contact with Gawker and the Toronto Star attempting to sell the video, a group which includes the Etobicoke drug dealers who supposedly sold Ford the crack, are asking for “six figures” for the video.

In the morning of Friday, May 17, several projects cropped up on international crowdfunding website Indiegogo.com, three of which have secured funding of hundreds of dollars each.

One of the projects is run by Canadian news source The Province.

UPDATE: One of the projects run by Canadian news outlet The Province, which had reached $915, was removed from Indiegogo at 1:20 p.m.

In the Gawker article that broke the story the author was quite clear that he was looking to purchase the tape, having contacted CNN attempting to set up a partnership. According to the author there was a Canadian news source that had previously offered the men $40,000 for the tape. The Star’s reporters viewed the tape on May 3, 2013 and stated that they did not purchase the video, however, it is unclear as to whether or not they were the unsuccessful bid.

There are a myriad of journalistic ethical questions around the idea of paying for information from sources, especially when the sources are asking for such a high price.

  • Can we trust our news correspondents enough that their testimony in regards to the video is enough? If there is no other way to attain the video without paying upwards of $100,000 is it the responsibility of news sources to shell out the money so that the people of Toronto and Canada may see it?
  • Could paying this source set a precedent for future sources to begin charging for important information on stories, big and small?
  • Could paying for the tape contribute to illegal activity? The men, self professed drug dealers who told the Star they are seeking the money to set up new lives for themselves out west, could easily be offering the same price to Rob Ford’s camp in an attempt to blackmail the embattled mayor.

It remains to be seen whether or not the crowdfunded money can reach the goal and then at that point partner with one of the media outlets currently in contact with the video’s owners along with whatever lasting impact on the Canadian media landscape will come from this incident.

Follow Travis Myers on Twitter: @travmyers

 

Video surfaces of Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine

Rob Ford has had his low moments, like when it was uncovered that he is an alcoholic, or when he groped WP publisher Sarah Thomson’s behind at a party.

Now it has come to light that there is a video of Rob Ford smoking crack (yes, crack cocaine, that stuff) that was filmed in the last six months.

Gawker reported that they have viewed the video and he is “fucking hiiiiigh” on the tape. It is currently for sale for six figures by a group of Somali-Canadian drug dealers and Gawker is looking for a partner to purchase it with.

This comes with the revelation that his dealers service “Ford’s longtime friend, people on his staff, his brother, a prominent hockey analyst, and more.”

The video in question shows Rob Ford smoking a glass pipe:

The man in the video is Rob Ford. It is well-lit, clear. Ford is seated, in a room in a house. In one hand is a a clear, glass pipe. The kind with a big globe and two glass cylinders sticking out of it.

After the Gawker story was posted they were contacted by an attorney about the tape saying he represents Ford and that the mayor does not smoke crack.

The tipster who informed Gawker of the video sent a photo that shows Rob Ford apparently partying and drinking with a young man who was murdered in a gang-style  shooting on King Street in Toronto’s Entertainment District, Anthony Smith.

Apparently a Canadian news organisation has already offered the owner of the video $40,000 for the video.

Thomson famously suggested that the Mayor might have been under the influence of a drug like cocaine when he groped her.

UPDATE: The Toronto Star viewed the video in question on May 3 and did not release this information to the public until early Friday.

Follow Travis on Twitter: @travmyers

Women of the Week: Alison Dalglish-Pottow

For Alison Dalglish-Pottow, FPI Gallery is a labour of love.

“Art has always been a passion of mine, fostered at a very young age by my parents who took me to important art galleries and museums around the world as part of our summer family vacations.”

The greatest sign that she was meant to enter the art field was when she was admitted into Sotheby’s  prestigious Works of Art course. Attending the course meant leaving Canada for England, but this would prove to be a wise decision.

“Studying in the historically, architecturally and culturally rich city of London gave me a heightened appreciation for pursuing art as a possible career,” she says. “The art scene was vibrant and thriving, far eclipsing what was happening in Canada.”

Although the next several years would see her pursuing other career opportunities, working for companies such as IMG and CANFAR, she would eventually find her way back to the art world.

“Sometimes we sideline what we enjoy in favor of more practical, and oftentimes more prudent choices in life. It’s nice to discover that it’s never too late to revisit what we enjoy if a better time to do so comes along. That time came for me and when it did, I didn’t hesitate to run with it.”

Her baby, FPI Gallery, is a gallery for the new digital world. The idea for the gallery was born from Alison’s interactions with an emerging artist, Dean West.

“Dean West’s images were so captivating and compelling that I immediately knew he was a rising star in his field. All he needed was a little help in getting in front of the right collectors.”

Thus, Alison decided to create a completely online gallery. Why online? “A bricks and mortar gallery can be territorially restrictive,” Alison says. By focusing on a digital gallery, her clients’ works can be seen by collectors worldwide and news of the emerging talents can spread much more easily.

The gallery focuses solely on contemporary fine-art photography “where collectors can find the world’s best emerging fine art contemporary photographers in one place, without getting lost in the volume of art available on other websites worldwide.” This makes her site easier to navigate and much less time-consuming than galleries with wider ranges.

One of Alison’s major goals at FPI Gallery is to ensure the gallery is about the artists, not her. Unlike other online art websites, she keeps no standardized menu of dimension sizes and allows each artist to set his or her own price and edition size.

Knowing that many artists are uncomfortable with the typical gallery agreements, she designed a business model that would better suit their needs.  And by choosing to represent no more than 10 artists at a time, Alison ensures each will get the attention and promotion they deserve.

“At the end of the day, it’s about preserving value. I’m not going to permit profit to lead over sustainability of the artists and future appreciation of their work.”

This devotion to artists and their craft is clearly Alison’s greatest purpose. She stresses the need for people “to support the arts and the artists who dedicate themselves to pushing the frontiers of thought and influence.”

“Art is a living legacy of our history, politics and culture,” she says.

_____________________________________________________

Alison Dalglish-Pottow

President, Flash Photography Inc.

E: alison@fpigallery.com

www.fpigallery.com

NEW SUMMER TUNE: We love the new Jennifer Lopez/Pitbull summer song

We’re ready for summer, and what better way to say “hello sunshine” than to crank a new beach tune from Ms. Lopez and Pitbull. Throw in producer RedOne (you know, the guy who is responsible for every great Gaga hook) and you’ve got #LIVEITUP, an easily-to-hashtag summer dance party anthem we can certainly get into.

Be warned, there are a couple swears in the song.

If you need me I’ll be at the beach with my good friend JLo.

Hot New Things: Red

As the mercury rises, so does the vibrancy of the season’s clothing. Get ready to wear clothing red-hot enough to match the temperature outside.

 

Open-collar blazer

The perfect dash of colour to your late spring work wardrobe, this jacket will look great over a dress.

Available at Jacob.

Bold stripe scarf

It almost looks like a candy cane. So if (for some reason) you miss winter, you can wear this and think of Christmas.

Available at the Gap.

We Do I Do clutch

The name seems to suggest you are supposed to use this as a wedding clutch. And it is the season of weddings.

Available at Nine West.

Sleeveless maxi dress

You’ll be comfortable, classy and girly in this sweet number. And it goes anywhere, from work to dinner with your parents to a night on the town.

Available at H&M.

 

WATCH: 8 more reasons why we love Ohio hero Charles Ramsey

By now you’ve heard the news of real American hero Charles Ramsey rescuing Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michele Knight from the home in which they had imprisoned for a decade.

What you may not know is that Charles Ramsey is the chillest, coolest, most down to earth hero you’re ever going to meet. Here are eight reasons why.

1. He eats McDonalds for breakfast.
The breakfast of champions.

2. Even when he’s being interviewed he’s cautions not to step on the toes of the news crews there to interview him.
He keeps looking back after accidentally bumping into someone to make sure he’s out of their way.

3. He gives credit to the detective he spoke to.
He takes the time to get the card out for Detective Gregory Cook so he can read it to the newscaster.

4. He picks up something that someone drops.
In the middle of his hero interview (once in a lifetime kinda deal) he picks up something for someone beside him, they say thank you. A hero twice in one day!

5. “You got some big testicles to pull this off bro.”
He’s the creator of a phrase that needs to be said on the news way more often.

6. He barbecues, eats ribs, and listens to salsa music with his neighbours.
Unfortunately the neighbour in question turned out to be a maniac, but we will gladly take his place for backyard parties.

7. “Ain’t nothing exciting about him. Until today.”
Someone get this man a TV show, he is hilarious.

8. “Bro, I knew there was something wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here.”
Get this man a TV show right now.

A hero and our absolute new favourite person in the world.

‘Toronto Stronger’ sign rightfully upsets Bostonians — and everyone else

Last night’s game between Boston and Toronto was a tragedy of its own kind for fans of the Leafs, but for one fan the line between the world of hockey-mania and real world tragedy went out the window in favour of bad taste.

The fan in question was spotted outside the Air Canada Centre holding a sign reading ‘Toronto Stronger’ — a tacky playoff slogan if there ever was one, considering that ‘Boston Strong’ is the phrase Bostonians used to express their community, grief, and fear last month when a terrorist bombing tore through the Boston Marathon killing three and wounding hundreds.

The Toronto fan’s sign is even complete with a ribbon, a symbol generally reserved for tragedies or diseases.

Toronto fans, has it really been that long since the Leafs made the playoffs that you have forgotten decency? Of course, it was only one man in a crowd, but one would expect, in a world of common decency and reverence, that this photo would show this man getting a tongue-lashing from a fen beside him.

The Toronto fan did later get his due for brainlessness from Boston fans when his photo hit Twitter:

And Toronto fans alike:

Hopefully the young man in the photo has learned a lesson that, apparently, no one else needed to learn: Making fun of national tragedies, especially one month after the fact, won’t go over too well with pretty much anyone.

Reasonable political discussion in Ontario, RIP

Today I had the good fortune of coming across an old friend’s post on Facebook as it floated through my news feed. It wasn’t much more than what he usually posted: extreme support for the Ontario NDP, for whom he does work, and a stream of trash talk about the other political parties in the province.

Today’s posting happened to be a screen grab of the Toronto Star’s Facebook page where someone had forgotten to put quotation marks around an excerpt from an editorial, leaving it looking as if the Star had suddenly taken a caustic and personal stance against the ONDP leader Andrea Horwath.

His sentiments were along the same lines as everything else he’s ever posted. The Toronto Star has long been accused of being a mouthpiece for the provincial Liberal party, he explained, and this just goes to show that they harbour a resentment for Horwath that would go so far as to find fault if she saved a baby from a burning building.

Commentary on commentary.

I’ve never had one true political allegiance, having voted both Liberal and NDP in the past and even supporting some Conservative policy. More than anything I find the discussion and conversation around politics to be the most interesting part of the political cycle.

I found it particularly interesting that he himself would take issue with what he thought the Star was doing since his comments and postings might as well be dyed orange.

“As opposed to you,” I commented, “who would simply neglect to post on Facebook if Horwath went on a killing spree, eh?”

I even threw in a tongue-out smiley emoticon for good measure.

Commentary on commentary on commentary.

“His Facebook isn’t mass media,” came the quick response from someone else.

“No, the last major newspaper to share his views thankfully closed down shortly after the dissolution of the USSR.”

A cheerful jab. Maybe a bit sharp, but that is how old friends get on. A few milliseconds later I see a private message from my old friend pop up. “I don’t allow personal attacks on my wall. Would you prefer to take a minute to correct it or should I just remove your ability to post on my wall?” Uh oh.

I think about what to say here. Is he so closed minded that he actually can’t stand anyone disagreeing with him or even, as I did, lightly ribbing him? Is he so high on his sense of self righteousness that he actually, truly believes that everyone who works hard in the Liberal government and who works hard in the PC opposition are actively seeking to destroy our province? Is he so incredibly fragile that the slightest whiff of a differing opinion will destroy his whole world?

I figure he’s probably had a rough morning and give him the benefit of the doubt. I tell him my love for discussion and tell him one of my favourite quotes: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

A tirade of disagreements. “Just because there is an open forum for discussion doesn’t mean that you should take it to the limits,” he says shortly before deleting me.

While I was still reeling — not over the loss of a friend mind you, we were friendly acquaintances at school who hadn’t interacted in person for several years and he hadn’t crossed my mind since I had an awkward conversation with his boyfriend on Grindr last year — it dawned on me that this is the current state of political conversation.

This is the type of conversation I might expect from an American redneck perhaps, chewing on a strand of tall grass while lamenting that the president is a socialist Muslim out to destroy the country. This stark us versus them mentality isn’t just the property of the lowly masses of the right, either. I remember a time when George W. Bush was the president of the United States and people really truly thought that he was going to singlehandedly dismantle the country and that his policies were crafted with the specific aim of hurting people.

Here it has been adopted by on the far left like my old friend. The rhetoric is downright exhausting.

WE MUST STOP STEPHEN HARPER BEFORE HE DESTROYS CANADA! WE NEED TO END THE EVIL CORRUPT LIBERAL DYNASTY! WE NEED TO GET THE NDP INTO OPPOSITION SO THEY CAN CHANGE

So they can change…

So they can change their own constitution to remove any references to socialism to become more palatable to centrist voters. At least, federally. Here in Ontario where the NDP hold the crutches under the Liberals the chant goes something like:

WE NEED TO STOP WYNNE! WE NEED TO STOP HUDAK! …Eventually.

Behind the scenes at Queen’s Park and Parliament Hill the situation isn’t quite as nasty as people on the street (or Facebook) might assume. Friendships exist across the aisles, parliamentarians and senators working together in committee with those you’d think would be enemies sworn by blood.

What is so surprising about the serious tone my old pal took is that, as someone who works greasing the gears, you’d think he might have some more insight into the true workings of the political world. The attack-ad attitude is designed to appeal to the lowest common voter, someone who isn’t likely to do their own research and just follow the other lemmings off the proverbial cliff and into the voting booth.

The kind of blind, stupid passion he exerts as a tireless support for anything and everything NDP is more in place with a hockey fan than a politico. His total dismissal of discussion and conversation as important to the political process is frightening. Apparently the commentary from the Star was wrong and shouldn’t be allowed. However his commentary on this matter was correct and should be accepted as fact. And my commentary on his commentary got me silenced through deletion, the online equivalent of being removed from the room. What a great friend. Keep your fingers crossed he never winds up being your MPP.

It seems that the ONDP can be added the list of people so “enlightened” that they never want to hear another word contrary to their beliefs, joining such rub-it-in-your-face-smug company as Green Party supporters, militant atheists, and Habs fans.

In the end the irony of silencing someone for a comparison to Soviet newspaper Pravda appears to have been lost on him.

This is the current landscape for political discussion in our fair province. I’m right and you are wrong and la-la-la-la-I’m-not-listening.

Reasonable political discussion in Ontario, may it rest in peace.

Women of the week: Kathy Cheng

Do you “buy local”? With the ever-increasing globalization of the market and the growing awareness of the unstable working conditions of overseas factories, the buy local movement is gaining a strong presence in the marketplace.

Kathy Cheng, president of WS & Co., strongly believes in supporting this movement.

“Each time a Canadian buys something that is Made in Canada, they are supporting not only their local economy, but also contributing to the continuation of a skilled workforce – that’s located on our very own soil rather than across the Atlantic.”

One of Canada’s leading apparel manufacturers, WS & Co. maintain a factory here in the Toronto area. As “crusaders for Canadian garment manufacturing,” the company has rejected the potential of increased profit through outsourcing, choosing instead to ensure that their employees are working in an environment protected by the rules and regulations of the Canadian government.

Started by Kathy’s father, Chak Wai Cheng, in 1988, WS & Co was originally a much smaller operation, employing only five seamstresses. Business improved and the company expanded; at its peak, it employed 500 people.

Growing up, Kathy spent a great deal of time in the factory, learning about the various steps of the production process. Then, in 2000, Kathy officially joined the team. It was a change from her previous role in financial consulting, but she feels it was the right thing to do.

“The factory and those who make it successful have allowed me to experience many privileges over the course of my life. So when my dad asked me to join in the family business, I believed this was my opportunity to give back,” she says.

In 2009, after surviving two recessions, the company went through a re-structuring process. Debra Tse and Gary Cheng, Kathy’s aunt and uncle and co-founders of the company, retired and Kathy became her father’s new business partner.

Her role was “to put a North American spin on a traditionally Chinese company and explore a new revenue stream for the factory.” It was at this point that Redwood Classics Apparel, WS & Co.’s in-stock apparel line, was created. The website for this division has proven to be very successful, increasing its search engine presence by 650% since its launch in 2009.

But Kathy’s pride and joy is a new division of Redwoods Classics, the Heritage Collection.

“Featuring a limited-edition lineup of classic fits, vintage colours and retro styles for men and women, the collection is proudly designed and manufactured in Canada with principles rooted in quality and integrity. The line is really a tribute to the preservation of our country’ craftsmen.”

The collection is being launched at an apt time. Given recent world events in the manufacturing industry and the increasing awareness of consumers as to where their products come from, WS & Co. is in the position to “expand and thrive” with their socially-conscious collection.

But expansion is about more than just the product, and Kathy is quick to point this out.  Redwood Classics chose to partner with the Pay It Forward movement, giving a white bracelet to those who purchase a PIF x RW Kangaroo Hoody.

“[It] is a physical reminder to do good. It’s that simple: give someone the bracelet and ask them to pay it forward,” she explains.

As the market changes in the coming years, Kathy and WS & Co. will adapt and thrive, thanks to her clear understanding of the new world order.

“Business is no longer just about the bottom line. It’s about people first, the planet second and profit third. For a positive and fruitful business environment, all three of these components must be present.”