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Rogers Media Expands CityNews Across Canada

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Debuting in Toronto in 1975, the multi-award winning CityNews has been globally recognized as a trailblazer for news innovation, earning accolades for its local coverage including the esteemed RTDNA National Bert Cannings Award for Best TV Newscast in a Large Market in 2016. Late last month, CityNews reporter Cynthia Mulligan won the national RTDNA Adrienne Clarkson Award for Diversity in Reporting for her in-depth series on Danica Rain – a transgender Ontario woman who underwent gender reassignment surgery at a clinic in Bangkok.“Staying true to the hard-hitting journalism that CityNews is known for, the content will focus on viewer-driven, original stories introduced by local reporters,” added Budge.Adding regional and national perspectives, complementary stories from Rogers Media’s sister brands such as Maclean’s, Breakfast Television, and Sportsnet will also be featured in the broadcasts. Viewers will also see news content delivered across all platforms, with each CityNews team engaging with audiences through their respective local websites and social media channels.Additional programming details and on-air news talent will be announced in the coming months.Social Media LinksLike CityNews Facebook.com/CityNewsFollow CityNews on Twitter @CityNewsLike City Facebook.com/CitytvFollow City on Twitter @City_tvFollow City on Instagram @city_tv Facebook Advertisement TORONTO ( June 5, 2017) – Building on its commitment to deliver more local news to even more Canadians, Rogers Media will expand its award-winning news program, CityNews ™, across Canada, beginning September 4. Currently seen in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, the expansion ofCityNews will now include local versions of CityNews produced locally and airing daily on City, in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Montreal.The one-hour newscasts will broadcast seven days a week with CityNews at Six at 6 p.m., and CityNews Tonight at 11 p.m. local time. Newscasts in Edmonton and Winnipeg will debut Monday, Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. local time. CityNews will expand into the Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary markets in Winter 2018.“CityNews’s fresh and innovative approach to news reporting resonates strongly with younger viewers, with CityNews at Six – which we revitalized over the last 18 months – now ranking number one in Toronto among the coveted 18 to 34 adult demo*,” said Dave Budge, Vice President, News and Information, Television, Rogers Media. “It’s a winning format that connects with today’s viewer, and we’re excited to bring the same authentic local approach to new audiences. Twitterlast_img read more

Will and Kate sample Yellowknife

first_imgAPTN National NewsPrince William and his new bride Kate Middleton arrived in Yellowknife for the second last leg of their Canadian tour.While there, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were treated to a number of events.Each event meant to showcase Northern culture and tradition.APTN National News reporter Cullen Crozier was there.last_img

Bruce Carson charged with influence peddling says RCMP

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–Bruce Carson, a former aide to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has been charged with influence peddling by the RCMP.The RCMP said in a statement, that Carson, 66, allegedly “accepted a commission from a third-party in connection with a business matter relating to the government.” The RCMP said Carson had been charged with one count of “fraud on the government, also known as influence peddling.”The RCMP said in the statement that the investigation begin on March 2011 after the RCMP received a referral from the Prime Minister’s Office.An APTN National News report into Carson’s activities triggered the PMO’s request the RCMP look into the issue.Carson is scheduled to appear in Ottawa court on Sept. 10, 2012.last_img

More Canadians using food banks report says

first_imgAPTN National NewsA new report shows more Canadians are relying on food banks now more than ever before.The report was released Tuesday by Food Banks Canada.APTN National News reporter Nigel Newlove has this story.last_img

7th TRC National Event

first_imgInFocus on APTN National News:A symposium was held on the lasting effects of residential schools at the University of Winnipeg.There the Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada shared their personal reflections of their journey with residential school survivors.They spoke about the stories they’ve heard and what it has meant to them.Justice Murray Sinclair explains why they as a Commission are not allowed to state legal conclusions about whether Canada is guilty of genocide.On the eve of opening day of the TRC’s 7th and final national event, our guests in Edmonton help put this all InFocus.last_img

Valcourt ducks question on whether PM will ask Pope for residential school

first_img(Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a previous visit to the Vatican. PMO/Handout)APTN National News OTTAWA—The Harper government again ducked questions from the NDP on whether the prime minister will ask the Pope to apologize for the Church’s involvement in Indian residential schools during a planned meeting Thursday.Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled to meet with the Pope in Vatican City during a two day stop in Italy. Harper is scheduled to meet with the Pope on the seventh anniversary of the prime minister’s residential school apology.The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) called for Pope Francis to apologize within a year for the treatment of Indigenous children at Catholic-run Indian residential schools.NDP leader Thomas Mulcair pressed the federal government on the issue during question period Wednesday.“The prime minister is scheduled to meet…the Pope at the Vatican tomorrow. Will the prime minister ask Pope Francis to apologize on behalf of the Church for its involvement in the horrors of residential schools?” said Mulcair.Aboriginal Affairs Minister Barnard Valcourt ducked the question and again repeated talking points stating that he has written to the provinces, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Vatican on the TRC’s recommendations.Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde is also calling on Harper to ask the Pope for an apology.“June 11 is the seventh anniversary of the prime minister’s own apology for residential schools and it is an appropriate time for the prime minister to make this request,” said AFN spokesperson Don Kelly.At least, 3,500 children died at residential schools, mostly from tuberculosis. Many are buried in unmarked graves scattered across the country.APTN has obtained historical documents showing the upper echelons of the Church in Canada were directly involved in the operations of Indian residential schools. The Church used TB-infected children as pawns in a battle to have Ottawa send sick children from Catholic schools to Catholic sanatoriums.Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast has told APTN requesting an apology from the Pope is “asking for too much.”The Pope could visit Canada as early as 2017, said Prendergast.The Vatican embassy in Ottawa has said it sent the TRC’s report to Rome.Letter from Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt to VaticanDownload (PDF, Unknown)news@aptn.ca@APTNNewslast_img read more

Founding member of Black Eyed Peas a big hit at ADL show

first_imgTina HouseAPTN National NewsAPTN’s successful and historic eight city broadcast of Aboriginal Day Live Wednesday featured many of the country’s top performers.In Vancouver, one performer, in particular, has reached the highest levels of success in the music business.Now Taboo is also giving back to the community with a message.“Dream big … I went after one after one of the biggest dreams and that was to be in the music industry luckily I met Will I Am and Apple when we were teenagers we created the Black Eyed Peas when we were very young we had the same passion and wants and it was pretty crazy because we all come from different backgrounds ,” said Taboo.thouse@aptn.calast_img

Trudeau to meet with Indigenous leaders in October

first_imgAPTN National NewsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau will sit down with Indigenous leaders and premiers on Oct. 3 in Ottawa.According to a release sent by the Prime Minister’s Office, the meeting will concentrate on economic development in Indigenous communities.During the same time period, Trudeau will meet with premiers to also discuss sustainable economic growth.At some point, Trudeau, premiers and Indigenous leaders will be around the same table – but it’s not clear if the entire meeting is scheduled that way.In July, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed and Metis National Council President Clement Chartier boycotted a meeting in Edmonton because they were not invited to the main meeting with premiers.Only the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and the Native Women’s Association of Canada attended.Contact APTN National News here: news@aptn.calast_img read more

BC government is failing vulnerable kids and families according to its own

first_img“I look at the data and it’s crystal clear. People are routinely out of compliance with really important policy directives and standards,” says University of Victoria social work professor Susan Strega.Brielle Morgan, Francesca Fionda, Samantha Garvey, Brittany Hobson, Jon von OfenheimThe Discourse, APTN NewsThe ministry responsible for some of B.C.’s most vulnerable kids is failing to meet basic requirements for their care — according to government records.The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is the de facto parent for about 6,500 kids in foster care in B.C., but if ministry audits are any indication, the safety and well-being of these kids is in jeopardy.From 2014 to 2018, the ministry gave itself a failing grade on more than 40 per cent of its critical performance measures, our investigation reveals.The Discourse pulled data from 37 audits which measured the performance of social worker teams across B.C. for a five-year period.The data shows that social workers aren’t assessing potentially urgent calls for protection quickly enough, completing safety assessments on time, or monitoring the well-being of kids placed in foster homes and adoptive homes.“It’s shocking,” says University of Victoria social work professor Susan Strega. “I look at the data and it’s crystal clear. People are routinely out of compliance with really important policy directives and standards.”This “should be a four-alarm fire,” she says.A close look at some ‘critical measures’When a call comes in about a potential case of abuse or neglect, child-protection workers need to act fast to assess any potential danger. It’s their job to determine whether they need to visit the family within 24 hours or five days.For Strega, this is one of the most important responsibilities a social worker holds.“Absolutely the most critical thing about all these, I think, is assessing whether or not children or youth need protection,” she says.“That is the most important because that’s the core business of child welfare.”The Discourse asked Strega and other experienced social workers, instructors and people who held senior leadership positions at MCFD to look at the ministry data we compiled by region, year, practice and compliance level, and point out some of the most important tasks measured.Explore the data The Discourse made the data that was compiled from the audits available online. You can explore the data here and let us know what you think.According to the ministry’s data, none of the social worker teams audited between 2014 and 2018 in B.C. were 100 per cent compliant on promptly assessing initial reports of potential danger.Though most of the teams achieved 50 per cent or higher — and the North Fraser district scored 98 per cent in 2016 — Strega says anything short of full compliance on this measure isn’t good enough.“Ninety-eight per cent is really, really good — [but] we want to see 100 per cent compliance,” she says.Strega would also like to see 100 per cent compliance on safety assessments.Social workers are supposed to complete these assessments during their first “significant” visit with a family, according to MCFD’s child-protection policies. The purpose of these assessments is to figure out if the child is in immediate danger and what kind of help the family needs, if any.These assessments are a “really big deal because those go directly to the safety of the child,” says Margo Nelson, a social work instructor at Langara College. “If that’s done badly that’s the kind of thing where crisis happens.”In B.C., no regions achieved 100 per cent compliance for this measure. The highest was East Fraser at 95 per cent in 2016.“That should be 100 per cent,” says Strega. “I’m mystified as to why it would be lower than that.”It’s not simply at the early stages of a family’s involvement with the child-welfare system that the ministry’s failing to meet its own standards.Non-compliance runs deep — following children as they’re moved through the system into foster homes or placed with prospective adoptive parents.When a child is in care, social workers are supposed to check in with them regularly to make sure they’re safe and well. According to MCFD’s policies, social workers are to make “in-person, private contact with the child or youth at least once every 90 days.”In nearly half of the regions audited, there was zero documentation showing ongoing monitoring of children in care.“Sometimes, when things sort of seem settled, it becomes very easy for that child’s visits and things to drop — and that speaks to social workers’ capacities and caseloads,” Nelson says. “If that slips, that’s when things happen.”“Caseloads are absurd,” she adds. “There’s too much to do to actually get it done.”(“Assessments are a really big deal because those go directly to the safety of the child,” says Margo Nelson, a social work instructor at Langara College.)Chronic understaffing, resulting in stress and burnout of social workers, has been well documented in B.C. In October 2015, then-Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond released Thin Front Line, an in-depth look into staffing issues in B.C.’s child-welfare system.She found that even fully-staffed MCFD offices found it impossible to keep up with workloads.Not only are social workers failing to visit youth in care on a regular basis, the audit data also shows they’re not completing annual reviews of foster homes. These reviews are supposed to be completed within 30 days of the anniversary date of a child’s placement, but in many cases no reviews were done in the 36-month period leading up to the audit.“If you’re not having annual reviews of what’s going on, that means you’re not talking to the kids alone, you’re not seeing what the home environment is like,” Nelson says.Social workers are likewise supposed to check in regularly with kids who’ve been placed in prospective adoptive families.The period after a child is placed in an adoptive home is the most “tension-filled time in their life,” says Anne Clayton, who was the ministry’s director of adoption when she retired in 2016.It’s the social worker’s job to help the family understand the child’s needs and the community services available to them.“If we put a special needs child in your home and then walk away and leave you to figure it out by yourself, the odds are that placement’s going to break down,” Clayton says.According to the audit data, the compliance rate for “post-placement responsibilities” never reached 100 per cent in any regions. The highest was North Vancouver Island in 2017 with 48 per cent.What’s the ministry doing about these low scores? Anne Clayton, the former MCFD director who retired in 2016, says she isn’t clear on how the ministry holds itself accountable for poor audit results.“From my own experience, I don’t think much happens with the audit data,” she says.While the ministry only started auditing compliance in adoption cases shortly before she left, Clayton spent 22 years working for MCFD in positions that ranged from frontline to head office, and the ministry’s been using audits for decades, despite variations in form and frequency.“The auditors go out and do their thing, they meet with the team leader and the leadership of the [Service Delivery Area], and they come up with some recommendations. It’s more like it’s a perfunctory ‘you have to’ — and they move on.”Audits “could be a wealth of information that should be telling leadership a whole lot of things,” she says, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.For over two decades, inquiries, reviews and reports have recommended that the ministry improve its auditing practices by making audits more comprehensive, looking at the data as a whole and finding ways to ensure audits resonate with social workers in the field.But according to a 2013 report from the Representative for Children and Youth, the team in charge of improving audits has “suffered periods of inattention and inactivity resulting in a rupture in accountability.”Is there a better way to measure performance? The thing about audits is they capture “only what’s documented,” says one social worker in the Lower Mainland.KB, who asked that her identity be protected for fear of losing her job, says social workers are managing one crisis after another and often don’t have time to complete their paperwork within the legally mandated timelines.Social workers are “running around like chickens with our heads cut off,” says KB. “It’s not that people are lazy, generally, or just don’t feel like doing it, or think they can cut corners. It’s not definitely that. They just don’t have time to do it… You’re trying to document everything but you can’t.”KB says she’s currently juggling 30 cases, and she’ll always prioritize a child’s immediate safety over filling out forms — even if that means low compliance scores on the audits.“At the end of the day, when there’s a child-protection concern that comes in, would the public rather that we’re going out to investigate it, or sitting and filling out a form?”This question gets at the heart of the problem with the ministry’s audits, according to Doug Magnuson. He’s an assistant professor at the University of Victoria’s School of Child and Youth Care, and he specializes in qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluating and interpreting practice.“One of the things we don’t know about is the connection between the amount of paperwork completed and quality of the work,” he says. Without knowing this it’s hard to say how accurate and valuable the audits are.Chuck Eamer cautions against taking the audits at face value. During his 28 years with the ministry, he worked on the frontlines as a social worker, managed regional teams, and served as an assistant deputy minister where he sharedResponsibility for quality assurance. Since retiring from government in 2012, he’s worked as a consultant.While it’s important that standards are externally monitored because “the powers of the child protection system are some of the most onerous in government,” he says, there’s only so much we can learn from these audits.“These measures are an attempt to sort of do a biopsy and take a slice and do an analysis,” Eamer says. “In some ways, they’re a better window than none, but they’re just a window into the world of child welfare.”Magnuson thinks MCFD could develop better ways to measure performance. For example, he says, the ministry could ask children in care to evaluate the care they are receiving.“Data could be collected directly from clients — from youth in care, from youth in temporary care — about how well they’re doing,” he says. “They aren’t doing that.”He points to Wisconsin as a model for both evaluating child-welfare systems and data transparency. The state regularly publishes a wealth of comprehensive data on its website.“Their measures are very simple, but also quite powerful,” he says. “B.C. could be doing the same thing.”The bottom line is B.C. needs to do something about social workers’ inability to meet standards, says Anne Clayton.The audit data has her brimming with questions: “Are there enough social workers? Are there enough resources? … What is the leadership of the director of child welfare? Where is society in all of this?”When children are removed from their parents’ care and placed in publicly-funded government care, we’re all accountable, Clayton insists.“There’s no way the ministry can do this all by themselves as social workers. It’s a societal responsibility,” she says, “and much as we want to ignore all of our problems, we’re all at some level of responsibility for these kids.”This story was produced as part of Spotlight: Child Welfare — a collaborative journalism project that aims to deepen reporting on B.C.’s child-welfare system. It story was originally published by The Discourse. Tell us what you think about the story.last_img read more

Canaccord Genuitys Q3 earnings get huge lift from cannabis blockchain

first_imgTORONTO – Canaccord Genuity’s third-quarter earnings got a major lift from a flurry of deals in the Canadian cannabis sector, which helped the investment bank see its net income rise more than 500 per cent year-over-year.The Toronto-based financial services and advisory firm reported adjusted net income before taxes of $50.3 million for the three-months ended December 31, compared to $7.8 million during the same period in 2016.That works out to earnings per share for the fiscal third quarter of $0.31, well above the $0.17 expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.It also earned revenue of $309.4 million, marking a record for the organization.“Canaccord Genuity was the leading independent investment bank in Canada for calendar 2017 by a wide margin for both number of transactions and total amount raised, and this business continues to be active with numerous transactions in the blockchain and cannabis sectors,” said its chief executive officer Dan Daviau in a letter to shareholders.Daviau said the primary driver was its capital markets division, which participated in 141 transactions globally including several large transactions in the marijuana sector for companies such as Aurora Cannabis Inc.The investment bank was also kept busy by growing interest in blockchain, participating in transactions for firms such as Global Blockchain Technologies.But financing activity was particularly brisk in the cannabis sector as firms raised cash to gear up for the legalization of the drug for recreational use in Canada later this year.Smaller investment banks such as Canaccord have been the beneficiaries of Canada’s burgeoning cannabis industry, while the country’s biggest banks — many of which have ties to the U.S. where medical pot remains illegal under federal law — have been reluctant to serve them.And in January, U.S. Attorney-General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo that suggested that federal lawmakers would not intervene in states where the drug is legal, which allowed legalization of the drug to flourish in several states. Sessions said he would leave it to federal prosecutors in those states, such as California, to decide how aggressively to enforce federal law.That same month, the Bank of Montreal participated in a $175-million bought deal for licensed marijuana producer Canopy Growth — which does not have any U.S. exposure — marking a big shift in policy for the country’s biggest financial institutions.Daviau said Wednesday that Canaccord is “happy” the big banks want to enter the sector.“(It) just adds further credibility to the sector, improves valuation, broadens distribution,” he told analysts on a conference call.He also noted that most of the money Canaccord makes in the cannabis sector comes from “helping little companies grow to be very big companies.”“We don’t pursue bank competition in that area,” he said. “Quite frankly, we’d welcome it. But they wouldn’t stand a chance.”Companies in this story: (TSX:CF, TSX:ACB, TSX:BMO, CSE:BLOC)last_img read more

Air Canada union files human rights complaint over flight attendant treatment

first_imgTORONTO – The union representing Air Canada flight attendants says it has filed a human rights complaint alleging “systemic discrimination and harassment” of its members.The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the airline’s policies on uniforms and makeup are discriminatory towards female flight attendants on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and race.It adds the company’s new onboard service managers, who perform in-flight assessments of flight attendants, have made sexist, racist and homophobic remarks and have engaged in “inappropriate behaviour” towards flight attendants of both sexes.The union that represents 8,500 flight attendants at Air Canada and Rouge is turning to the Canadian Human Rights Commission because the employer has failed to deal with members’ complaints, says CUPE section vice-president Beth Mahan.It is asking the commission to order a review of Air Canada policies and eliminate the onboard service managers program.A spokeswoman for Air Canada says that it has policies related to grooming and presentation, which she says is the standard for major international carriers.But she says that because the matter is before the human rights tribunal, the company won’t comment further.Last month, WestJet Airlines Ltd. filed an appeal after the Supreme Court of British Columbia refused to throw out a proposed class-action lawsuit that accuses the company of fostering a corporate culture that tolerates harassment against female employees.Former flight attendant Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination, accusing her former employer of breaking its promise to provide a harassment-free workplace for women.Companies in this story include: (TSX:AC, TSX:WJA)last_img read more

Fed Chair Powell highlights importance of independent Fed

first_imgWASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the Fed’s independence from political pressure plays a key role in enabling the central bank to fight inflation, stabilize the economy, and regulate the financial system.His remarks Friday come after Kevin Warsh, a former Fed official who President Donald Trump interviewed for the chairman post, said in an interview with Politico that Trump did not appear to view the Fed as an independent body. He said Trump was direct about how he thought interest rates should be managed.Powell warned against taking that independence for granted given its recent success in keeping inflation low.Powell warned, “We must not forget the lessons of the past, when a lack of central bank independence led to episodes of runaway inflation and subsequent economic contractions.”last_img read more

Fraser Institute report argues most minimum wage earners arent low income

first_imgCALGARY (660 NEWS) – As Alberta prepares to boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour on Monday, October 1, a Fraser Institute study is criticizing the move. The report argues 92 per cent of minimum wage earners in the province do not live in low income households. Senior Policy Analyst Steve Lafleur said the province needs to target more specific anti-poverty measures, instead of putting these blanket policies in place.“You’ll create winners and losers by doing this, so, there will be some people who instead of making $13.60 an hour will make $15 and that’s great for them. The challenge is there are some people who might not get hired at all, because an employer might not be able to pay the extra little bit,” he said. Lafleur said there are likely some people not getting enough help, and others who are that don’t need it as much. The Fraser Institute based its 92 per cent figure off Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-offs: anyone making below these amounts of money is considered to dedicate larger shares of income to food, clothing and housing than the average family. In 2016, in a place with the population of Calgary, a family of four would have to live off less than $39,092 a year to fall under the cut-off. The Alberta government based the hike on the idea of a living wage: an estimate of what workers need to earn to cover the actual costs of living in a specific community.Some organizations say it still falls short and should actually be $18 an hour, or more. In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford has pressed pause on a planned minimum wage hike to $15 an hour and plans to hold more consultations.last_img read more

German factory orders down 1 per cent in November

first_imgBERLIN — German factory orders dropped in November, dragged down by a fall in demand from other eurozone countries.The Economy Ministry said Monday that overall orders were 1 per cent lower than in the previous month following a slight 0.2 per cent gain in October.The figure includes an 11.6-per cent drop in orders from elsewhere in the 19-nation eurozone, which more than cancelled out a 7.4 per cent gain a month earlier. Orders from inside Germany were up 2.4 per cent, and those from outside the eurozone rose 2.3 per cent.Factory orders are an important indicator for the German economy, Europe’s biggest, which shrank in the third quarter — though that drop was blamed to a large extent on one-time factors stemming from new car emissions standards.The Associated Presslast_img

What the government shutdown means for your mortgage

first_imgThe partial federal government shutdown is complicating the already complicated process of getting and managing a mortgage. For one thing, the political storm is like severe weather at a major airport: You can expect minor delays or worse. Also, it could mean financial hardship for some federal government employees facing mortgage payments without their regular paychecks.Here’s how the shutdown is affecting homebuyers and homeowners — and what you can do about it.IF YOU’RE GETTING AN FHA, VA OR USDA LOANIf you’re getting a Federal Housing Administration or Department of Veterans Affairs loan, it’s likely you can expect delays in the underwriting process, and it’s possible your closing date will be pushed back as well.There’s good news for most FHA-qualified homebuyers: Single-family FHA loans are being funded, even during the shutdown. FHA home equity conversion mortgages (known as reverse mortgages) and FHA Title I loans (financing for permanent property improvements and renovations) are the exception — and won’t be processed during the shutdown. The processing of VA loans will continue, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, but you may have to wait.Support staff at the VA and at the Department of Housing and Urban Development who handle underwriting or entitlement questions “are unavailable, so FHA/VA borrowers may experience delays,” says Ted Rood, a senior loan officer in St. Louis.Because of the shutdown, VA and FHA spokespeople weren’t available to provide an estimate of how many borrowers could have their loans delayed. But the most-recent data suggest delays could potentially affect thousands of borrowers.In January 2018, the FHA insured mortgages for 64,401 single-family homebuyers — of those, 82 per cent were first-time buyers. The VA doesn’t report loan guarantees by month, but it guaranteed 148,379 loans in the first three months of 2018, or nearly 50,000 a month.The U.S. Department of Agriculture isn’t approving new USDA loans during the shutdown. According to USDA data, the department guaranteed or made about 10,000 single-family loans each month in the most recent fiscal year that ended in September.IF YOU’RE SEEKING A CONVENTIONAL LOANMost mortgages are considered conventional loans, meaning they aren’t backed by the federal government. However, they are facilitated by government-sponsored enterprises, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.As private companies, Fannie and Freddie aren’t directly affected by the shutdown. Mortgage processing is continuing as usual, except in cases where the federal government provides information required for underwriting.“The IRS has not been processing 4506-T tax transcripts — tax return verifications — which are required on most files, although that service is restarting,” Rood says. “There will still be a backlog due to requests that have been piling up since Dec. 22.”Self-employed borrowers are particularly affected by the lack of access to federal income tax transcripts. Some lenders may accept signed tax returns in lieu of transcripts.And the shutdown could also stall verification of employment for government employees.IF YOU NEED FLOOD INSURANCEGetting flood insurance if you’re buying in a flood-prone area shouldn’t be a problem despite some earlier troubled waters.The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Dec. 28 that it would resume selling and renewing flood insurance policies. That reversed a Dec. 26 decision to suspend policy sales and renewals during the partial shutdown.“This new decision means thousands of home sale transactions in communities across the country can go forward without interruption,” National Association of Realtors President John Smaby said in a press release.IF YOU OWN A HOME BUT AREN’T GETTING PAIDIf the lack of a paycheque has you worried about paying an existing mortgage on time, contact your loan servicer immediately. Explain your situation and ask about alternatives.One common option is forbearance, an arrangement designed to help homeowners during periods of financial hardship. Forbearance temporarily reduces or suspends your mortgage payments while money is short. For example, Wells Fargo and LoanDepot list forbearance on their websites, though cases are approved on an individual basis.A short-term loan that makes up for missed pay is another possible option. Navy Federal Credit Union, for example, is offering one-time zero per cent APR loans of up to $6,000 for federal employees and active-duty members of the Coast Guard who typically use direct deposit for their paychecks.Talking with your lender before you miss a payment could keep your credit score from suffering a hit.“We will work with each customer individually and can help with things such as late fees and not reporting to the credit bureau,” Tom Kelly, a JPMorgan Chase spokesman, said in an email.IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING A MORTGAGE RATE LOCKMortgage rates already had been falling when the shutdown began Dec. 22, and they fell more than an eighth of a percentage point in the two weeks that followed. That’s why the shutdown could give you a chance to grab a good mortgage rate.“Our expectation is that this will be a short-term blip and you’ll be glad if you were able to take advantage of the drop in mortgage rates,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. Her forecast assumes that the shutdown won’t last for months and that mortgage rates will rise this year.‘LENDERS ARE CLOSING THOUSANDS OF LOANS A DAY’Shutdown-related issues are causing delays of up to two weeks on typical loans, according to Alan Rosenbaum, CEO and founder of Guardhill Financial in New York City. Still, one industry leader thinks it’s mostly business as usual.“The government shutdown is having a minimal impact on the mortgage industry,” Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, says. “Lenders are closing thousands of loans a day. Everything is moving forward.”As well, a Jan. 7 survey of 2,211 members by the National Association of Realtors found that 75 per cent of respondents said the shutdown hasn’t had an impact on contract signings or closings.Of those Realtors who said the shutdown had affected transactions, a quarter said a buyer decided not to buy because of general economic uncertainty; 17 per cent had clients whose closings were delayed because they were getting USDA loans; 13 per cent said a client’s closing was delayed because of IRS income verification issues; 9 per cent reported delays with FHA loans; and 6 per cent with VA loans.And 9 per cent said they had a client who was a federal employee who decided not to buy because of lost income or furlough.NerdWallet writers Beth Buczynski, Hal M. Bundrick and Barbara Marquand contributed to this article.This article originally appeared on the personal finance website NerdWallet. Holden Lewis is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: hlewis@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @HoldenL.RELATED LINKS:NerdWallet: What to know about FHA loanshttps://nerd.me/fha-loanNerdWallet: All about VA loanshttps://nerd.me/va-home-loanNerdWallet: What is a USDA loan?https://nerd.me/usda-loanNerdWallet: Compare mortgage rateshttps://nerd.me/compare-mortgage-ratesHolden Lewis, The Associated Presslast_img read more

CN Rail ousts CEO Luc Jobin says it needs energetic leader to

first_imgAt the time, CN chief operating officer Mike Cory told analysts that the company was “catching up” in some areas where it was surprised after reducing its workforce in early 2016.CN said Monday that it has appointed CN chief marketing officer Jean-Jacques Ruest as the interim replacement for Jobin while it conducts a search for a new permanent CEO. Ruest has been with CN Rail for 22 years and has been its chief marketing officer for the last eight years.“Mr. Ruest is well known to customers and investors, and is well positioned to focus the company and its very experienced and proven team of railroaders to rapidly address operational challenges during the transition,” chairman Robert Pace said in the statement. “CN must accelerate execution of the innovation strategy articulated at our investor day last June. The board is confident this remains the right course to restore and retain industry-leading metrics and best in class customer service.” MONTREAL, Q.C. — Canadian National Railway Co. has replaced president and chief executive Luc Jobin, saying its board of directors believes the company needs a more energetic leader who will speed up execution of its strategic vision.The Montreal-based company also said it recognizes the railway has had operational and customer service challenges since last fall when it experienced what the statement called “insufficient network resiliency.”In October, the company said it was on a hiring spree because it didn’t have enough crews to handle increased demand prompted by a stronger North American economy.last_img read more

Large fire near Fort Nelson not currently a risk to public safety

first_imgThe fire is one of a cluster that were sparked by lightning over the weekend. Reynolds explained that crews are currently working on containing two small fires north of the largest fire, both of which are smaller than 10 hectares in size. The rest of the fires are burning inside the boundaries of Northern Rocky Mountains Provincial Park, meaning the Wildfire Service is currently letting nature takes its course with those fires, since they are not threatening property.Reynolds said that once additional crews arrive in Northeast B.C., the Wildfire Service will be looking at whether the 4,000 hectare fire will require a full firefighting attack, a modified attack, or if crews will just monitor the fire. Those crews are expert to arrive in Northeast B.C. later this week. FORT NELSON, B.C. — The BC Wildfire Service says that though a wildfire burning in the Fort Nelson area has ballooned in size in the past two days, the fire does not pose a risk to public safety.Amanda Reynolds with the Prince George Fire Centre says that the fire, which is burning east of the Muskwa River roughly 75 kilometres southwest of Fort Nelson, grew from a small fire to over 4,000 hectares overnight, making it the largest fire currently burning in B.C. However, Reynolds says that the fire is far from any property, and is not currently posing a risk to public safety. A map of the wildfires burning southwest of Fort Nelson. Photo by BC Wildfire Service.last_img read more

Geoscience BC releases report on the effects of melting permafrost

first_img“Permafrost thaw ultimately results in drying of wetlands in this region. Understanding the water balance in this region of B.C. is critical to making decisions about water management by communities and industry. This research provides unbiased earth science information to inform responsible natural resource management in this fragile, changing landscape.”Geoscience B.C. funded the Cold Regions Research Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, as part of the Consortium for Permafrost Ecosystems in Transition.For more information, you can visit Geoscience B.C.’s website. This is when once frozen or trapped water in isolated wetlands begins to drain away.William L. Quinton, Director of Wilfred Laurier University’s Cold Regions Research Centre, says this thawing of permafrost will change the ecosystem.“Northeastern BC is the front lines of permafrost thaw. It is a place where permafrost thaw means permafrost disappears, and the ecosystems that were supported by permafrost change.”Quinton also says these changes to the ecosystem also brings changes to the way water moves and is stored in the landscape.“Permafrost-induced changes to ecosystems and land-covers bring about changes in the way that water moves and is stored on the landscape. We have found that permafrost can impound water like a dam, so when permafrost thaws, the landscape upslope can start to drain and generate runoff which can raise the flow in streams and rivers.”Carlos Salas, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for GeoScience B.C., says permafrost thawing will lead to the drying of wetlands and says this research provides information to better manage the fragile landscape in a responsible way. VANCOUVER, B.C. – Geoscience B.C. has released a new report that shows the effects melting permafrost has on the landscape and hydrology.The research within this report examined how thawing permafrost affects the hydrology and land cover of sensitive environments.In the report, the findings show that Northeastern B.C. is to experience what is called ‘Thaw-induced land-cover change’.last_img read more

Mayawati attacks Centre over demonetisation seeks apology from BJP for its economic

first_imgLucknow: BSP president Mayawati Tuesday attacked the Union government for resorting to “half-baked” demonetisation in 2016 and asked if the BJP would apologise for its “economic emergency” which compelled “rural masses to work as labourers”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016, had banned the old Rs 1000 and Rs 500 denomination notes with immediate effect. In a tweet, Mayawati said “Capitalists & super-rich may not have (been) affected much from the economic emergency of half-baked ‘notebandi’ but rural masses which is real India had (been) affected by it worst. People were forced to return to their villages and work as daily wagers for survival. Will the BJP apologise?” Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details In an earlier tweet, she blamed both the Congress and BJP governments for the poverty and unemployment in the country. “The curse of poverty and unemployment prevalent all around in the country is the result of wrong policies of the Congress and BJP governments. This problem can be resolved only by giving work to each hand as per the BSP policy and firm resolve which was given shape by extending employment to lakhs among the sarv samaj by my governments in UP,” she said.last_img read more

Microsoft donates 500 patents to startups

first_imgSan Francisco: Expanding its “Azure IP Advantage” programme, Microsoft is donating 500 patents to start-ups that are part of a non-profit organisation called License On Transfer (LOT) Network. Launched in 2018, the “Azure IP Advantage” programme protects users of Microsoft’s cloud computing service — Azure — against patent trolls. Keeping in line with the intention of the programme, LOT Network protects companies against patent trolls by giving them access to a wide library of patents from its nearly 400 member companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and Uber among others. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal “We want to help the LOT Network grow its network of start-ups and to provide an incentive we are going to provide these patents to them,” TechCrunch quoted Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President (CVP) and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft, as saying on Thursday. However, for any start-up to qualify for getting a patent granted to LOT Network, the company is required to meet a $1,000 per month Azure spend and Microsoft would check the start-up’s last three monthly Azure bills. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost “Qualified start-ups who join the LOT Network can acquire Microsoft patents as part of their free membership and as Andersen stressed, the start-ups will own them outright,” the report said. The LOT network will be able to provide its start-up members with up to three patents from this collection. “The idea is that these start-ups come from a diverse set of industry sectors. The hope we have is that when they approach LOT, they’ll find patents among those 500 that are going to be interesting to basically almost any company that might want a foundational set of patents for their business,” Andersen added.last_img read more