Federal Competition Bureau calls for rethink of BC taxi regulations

first_imgThe Canadian Press VICTORIA — The federal Competition Bureau wants British Columbia to re-examine its taxi regulations to permit more competition in the industry and improve services for riders and businesses.The bureau’s report says it will urge a B.C. government committee reviewing transportation network services to level the playing field for taxis and ride-hailing providers.An all-party legislative committee on Crown corporations was asked last year to provide recommendations on regulations on transportation network services for the legislature by March 31.The Competition Bureau says it will submit recommendations to the committee to ensure fair regulations that do not favour taxi providers or ride-hailing platforms.The bureau says it will urge the committee to allow drivers to have flexibility to choose their own service areas and allow market forces to determine how many drivers are available to serve passengers.Transportation Minister Claire Trevena introduced legislation last year that she said could see ride-hailing services introduced in B.C. sometime this year.last_img read more

AN OPEN LETTER TO ACTORS OF COLOR FROM AN ACTOR OF COLOR

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement But being an actor of color has by no way hindered my success in the commercial, theatre, film and television industries. Quite the opposite – it has propelled it.Though my acting career has been brief in comparison to some of my peers, I have been able to monetize my creativity and make acting a sustainable way of living. In the past year alone I have booked 4 Feature Films, 3 TV Pilots, 3 Web Series, 2 Professional Theatre contracts, and so many commercials I’ve lost count.This is not to “toot my own horn” by any means – but I am a busy working actor. My agent…she’s happy. It’s something every actress & actor strives for, and I don’t fully agree with the sentiments of some of my peers that the industry consistently conspires against us.Numerous times I’ve seen in social media groups, some of which are geared towards providing casting notices specifically to actresses & actors of color, people complaining about the lack of breakdowns for performers of color or specificity therein. I’ve seen the latest statistics on representation on screen and I understand that certain things do still have to catch up in terms of on screen representation in relation to proportion of the population (which I think is the fairest measure). But in fact when you read the reports, the trends are looking favorable for this, and in some cases representation meets or exceeds that of the proportion of population (more so when the total cast is taken as a whole and in television – leads still seem to be disproportionately white by the reports I’ve read that take the US population in account).Now I’m not here to argue the intricate details of that at the moment, though I understand that’s often that’s were the devil resides. It’s definitely a conversation we must have. What I’m suggesting is that we are moving past the tipping point of change in the industry in terms of opportunity, and that this is a great time for us actors & actresses of color. So let’s move forward with a more nuanced narrative that acknowledges this.I have never seen so many stars of varying ethnic backgrounds. From Dwayne Johnson to Danai Gurira, you only need to turn on your television and open your eyes to see the plethora of different people. Audiences want to see diverse casts and change has happened and continues to do so. This is the entertainment business after all – emphasis on business – and you don’t think that great financial successes like Black Panther have had an impact on casting considerations? Or that even older successes like Rush Hour didn’t catch attention? You really don’t think that those executives haven’t taken a long, hard look at demographic proportions and projections domestically and worldwide, and factored in the marketing benefits of having a diverse cast? Who their audience is and will be? Audiences are diverse and ultimately pay the bills of those who produce content. It only makes sense from a business standpoint.It doesn’t seem to me that there exists a “racist conspiracy” that intends to keep us down. If the system was so inherently oppressive, how else would a person such as myself be able to be thriving in what is arguably the most competitive market in the world? In addition, I’ve performed in (paid) productions that have covered stories based internationally from Afghanistan to St Lucia. Sure, call me an Uncle Tom if you like – but in my experience thus far, I have overwhelmingly received support in my career.CD’s from Mann, to Jules, Powerhouse, Jigsaw, Larissa Mair Casting, The Casting Group, Brunch Store and numerous independent and major production companies (just to name a few) – have all brought me in. And multiple times at that. I’ve competed for roles against white counterparts and I’ve gotten them. These decision makers are behind us, they pitch us to their clients and they fight for us.To them I have nothing to give but thanks – and I don’t think that we do that enough.The fact is is that success is now based more on personal merit and strategy then I think some would like to admit, and for performers of color it’s been bolstered by the increased marketability of diversity. The industry at large is not void of its fair share of superficiality and “looks” matter too of course, but our “look” is in demand and growing.Every single up and coming performer of color I’ve been following or worked with – works hard. Myself included. And every up and coming white performer I’ve seen that continues to remain viable – works hard. So what’s the common denominator? Work Hard. Be persistent. Embody change through your own excellency. It really does pay off with the application of gumption and strategic decision making.For us performers of color, the odds are becoming increasingly stacked in our favor. In my opinion, it’s easy to play the blame game rather than strap on your boots and hit the pavement. We didn’t choose an easy industry, it’s a difficult one all things considered. And when you insightfully take into account the totality of your experiences in this acting game and the opportunities that present themselves – the work is there for the taking.Besides, isn’t that what we want to be known for?by TARICK GLANCYCLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT OUR INTERVIEW WITH TARICK GLANCYFOLLOW TARICK ON SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITE:Facebook: https://facebook.com/tarick.glancyTwitter: https://www.twitter.com/thisbepuddyInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/thisbepuddyWebsite: : https://www.tarickglancy.com/IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm8401430/ I am an actor of color.Well, partially if you want to get technical. My father is Canadian (pretty much as white as they can get) and my mom was born in Guyana. According to industry terms that all actors, directors and producers will be familiar with, the best way to describe my look is “ethnically ambiguous”. In daily life I am seen as “ethnic” of various sorts, or mixed – which I am.In fact what “seems to be” versus “what is” can be applied to my chosen career field to greater and greater degrees. Twitterlast_img read more

Indigenous rights taking back seat to trade investment at COP21

first_imgBrandi Morin APTN National NewsIndigenous delegates at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) conference are left waiting outside negotiating rooms in Paris to learn the fate of their rights currently on the cutting board.Those rights related to climate change are in the hands of delegates and trade experts whose main interests lie in economic initiatives expected to be birthed following the signing of an international treaty to prevent dangerous levels of global warming.Negotiations are heading into the final stages at COP21 with the aim of creating a Paris Agreement to replace the failed Kyoto Accord.The agreement, expected to be completed by Friday, will come into force in 2020. World leaders continue to work out details of the deal that focuses on curbing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while keeping global warming below an increase of 2 degrees Celsius.On Monday, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples warned that the outcome of the debates at the COP21 and including reference to Indigenous rights will determine whether the world succeeds in slowing the earths heating.“Should human rights for Indigenous Peoples be struck from the final agreement, negotiators will have destroyed any pretense of their intention to mitigate climate change,” said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz in a statement.“Failure to protect Indigenous Peoples rights in a final agreement will fuel destruction of the forests and other ecosystems managed since time immemorial by Indigenous Peoples.”The dispute arose last Friday following the first week of negotiations when the text at issue was removed from the draft document of the proposed worldwide legally binding treaty on climate change.Although there is mention of adapting Indigenous knowledge in the preamble of the text, concerns are centered on references in Article 2.2 of the main document that included the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The section, which is the legally binding aspect, was bracketed and placed on the chopping block.Jurisdictions opposing the inclusion of the text are the European Union, Denmark, Norway and the United States, said Alberto Saldamando, legal counsel for the Indigenous Environmental Network who is in Paris lobbying states to reinsert the mention of Indigenous rights in the agreement.He said he’s puzzled as to the exact reasoning behind the resistance because countries like Denmark and Norway have historically given support to Indigenous causes.“Even Denmark, Norway and all these countries that used to be our friends- they’re stone cold against the mention of Indigenous rights and language. I can’t figure out why…it doesn’t make sense,” said Saldamando.He believes it might be connected to the fact that many countries sent delegates who are experts in trade negotiations and not well informed on matters related to human rights.Human rights and gender equality listed in the same section of the agreement have also been removed.“They (delegates) don’t understand (human rights) because they understand trade language. I do believe that a lot of these guys do not know what they’re doing- it’s shocking really,” he said.With big money to be made in investments to green energy initiatives, COP21 has been steered by the influence of wealthy nations, the corporate sector and other interest groups.According to Saldamando, they lack an understanding of the correlation between Indigenous rights and the commodification of the earth. “It’s colonization all over again, it’s a taking. That’s what we’re afraid of,” said Saldamando.Mitigation methods agreed upon at COP21 have the potential to violate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP.)Initiatives such as carbon trading involving Indigenous lands pose threats by leaving vulnerable Indigenous groups to corporate interests and development without free, prior and informed consent.“Those countries are over there talking about reducing green house gases, but we’ve already been violated by activities that cause climate change,” said International Indian Treaty Council Executive Director, Andrea Carmen.“Now as the states plan to put programs in for litigation, for adaptation solutions- we have some of the last pristine forest, water and biodiversity in the world and we see our resources as kind of being on the table again and up for grabs in the solution stage,” said Carmen.“It’s kind of ironic for Indigenous Peoples whose treaties are being violated, along with land rights, health and subsistence by these energy developments and projects- then they’re (states) over there talking about reducing, mitigating and adapting without our rights secured- we’ll be on the menu again.”Saldamando referenced Indigenous Peoples living in countries such as Brazil who don’t technically own title to lands who are losing control over their forest homelands. Industries investing in carbon credits in efforts to reduce emissions via way of buying carbon stored in trees places Indigenous livelihoods at stake, he said.It leaves open opportunities for corporate interest in and access to traditional territory, loss of food security and ceremonial and spiritual practices.“Essentially the investor has an ownership interest in those trees. That means the community can’t log or cut down trees for housing, can’t clear a field to grow crops. And it really doesn’t protect the forest from development- as long as there’s a net increase in carbon sequestration they can mine and do whatever they want. Those are violations of UNDRIP done without free, prior and informed consent,” said Saldamando.Having returned from Paris as part of the Global Indigenous Caucus, Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit in British Columbia said the Paris agreement needs to go beyond talks of trade, and alleviating climate change.“They also need to include how to deal with the impacts on vulnerable people,” said John.“Such as the Inuit in the far north or First Nations who are impacted by the mountain pine beetle in British Columbia; or First Nations in BC who are impacted by warming waters in the Fraser river where 19 degrees becomes lethal to salmon in the summer time. These are the issues that we are dealing with – the first and the lasting impacts are on Indigenous Peoples,” he said.However, John remains optimistic because of the help of countries like Canada advocating on the behalf of Indigenous Peoples rights in Paris. A stark shift in the political landscape in comparison to past adversarial relationships between First Nations and the Canadian government.Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna is part of a 14 member facilitating panel from around the world directing negotiations.“Canada’s position remains that we strongly advocate for the inclusion in the Paris Agreement of language that reflects the importance of respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples,” according to a statement from McKenna’s office.Other countries going to bat for the inclusion of human and Indigenous rights language include the Philippines, Mexico, the Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean.With final negotiations underway and the world readying to sign the Paris Agreement Friday, Tauli-Corpuz appealed for opposing countries to follow suit in supporting Indigenous and human rights.“We call on the US, the UK and Norway, all of which have extended their hand to indigenous peoples in the past, to stand up for human rights and principles of democracy and inclusion,” she said.“The social conflict that will erupt in the forests, should our peoples have no rights to defend themselves, will exact tremendous economic harm, as our forests are our homes, our lives, our culture, and the heart of our spirituality. We will not go quietly, and neither should you.”[email protected]last_img read more