Holt Renfrew to open new store in Mississauga in 2016

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Luxury retailer Holt Renfrew announced plans Friday to open a new, 120,000 square-foot store at the Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ont., in the spring of 2016.The new store comes as the high-end retailer renovates and expands a number of its stores across Canada ahead of the arrival of U.S. department store chain Nordstrom, which is expected to target similar customers.Holt Renfrew expects to complete a renovation and expansion of its location at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto later this year that will double the footprint of the store.“West Toronto and Mississauga are growing, vibrant areas and this is a strong move forward in our plan for an exciting fleet of luxury stores across Canada,” Holt Renfrew president Mark Derbyshire said.Holt Renfrew has nine stores across the country in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Toronto and employs 2,300 workers.The Canadian Press

Workplace benefits the latest frontier for companies looking to attract millennials

TORONTO — During his three-year tenure as a financial analyst at one of Canada’s biggest banks, Devon Wright never once used his company health plan.[np_storybar title=”The key to getting more money when your boss won’t give you a raise” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/retirement/the-key-to-getting-more-money-when-your-boss-wont-give-you-a-raise”%5DThe bump in compensation is easily obtainable by claiming all of your benefits — especially a company pension plan — something millions of Canadians won’t do this year, leaving billions of dollars on the table.Continue reading. [/np_storybar]“There was just nothing there that was of any interest to me,” says Wright, 28.So, when Wright quit his job in 2012 to launch technology company Turnstyle Solutions, he decided to create a benefits package tailored to his needs.Turnstyle is one example of how Canadian companies are tweaking their health plans in order to appeal to a new generation of employees in the coming years. PwC predicts that millennials — who it defined as people born between 1980 and 2000 — will comprise 50 per cent of the global workforce by 2020.In addition to the standard drug and dental benefits, Turnstyle covers naturopathic medicine, mental health counselling and provides employees with a fitness subsidy that they can spend on anything from a gym membership to yoga classes to participation in an Ultimate Frisbee league.The Toronto-based startup also offers free, healthy meals several times a week — a major perk for 23-year-old Sam Hillman.“Some mornings we have soup, or avocados and eggs,” says Hillman, an account director with the company’s sales team.“This emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle really shows the company’s commitment to me as a holistic individual, and not just a Turnstyle employee.”Life insurance companies such as Sun Life Financial and Manulife Financial say a growing number of employers have been looking to implement corporate wellness programs in recent years, partly in response to the desires of millennial workers.Wellness programs include services such as smoking cessation, on-site flu shots and biometric screening, which measures characteristics including blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol to track employee health.Fulfillment equals productivity for millennials at workWhat millennials really want from employersPreventative health care has become increasingly popular as employers have come to realize how it can benefit not only the individual but the company. Healthy workers are more productive, miss fewer days of work due to illness and are less likely to request costly drugs later down the road.“We’re trying to respond to what millennials are looking for, but there are also benefits to the organization for doing these things,” says Joy Sloane, a partner in the Toronto health and benefits consulting practice at human resources firm Morneau Shepell.Insurers have also started using wearable fitness trackers and incentive programs that reward customers for practising healthy behaviours, such as undergoing annual checkups or regularly hitting the gym.Manulife, which launched an incentive program south of the border last year, announced on Tuesday it will bring it to Canada this year.Flexible plans, such as health spending accounts, are also on the rise as employers look to recruit and retain young workers.“The millennial generation is looking for different things than their parents had in terms of benefits plans,” says Lori Casselman, assistant vice-president of integrated health solutions at Sun Life Financial.Millennials place a much greater priority on mental health services, such as counselling and support groups, than their predecessors did, according to insurers.“Mental health is now recognized as being one of the key factors in absenteeism and lost productivity, as well as drug claims and long-term disability,” says Lisa Callaghan, assistant vice-president of products for Manulife’s group benefits division.“Mental health not only impacts the individuals, but also impacts the team, the environment and the culture, and for those reasons it is becoming more culturally accepted to have those conversations.”While much of the change to corporate health plans is being fuelled by millennials entering the workforce, Sloane says it isn’t just young workers who reap the rewards of such changes.“Although it’s being targeted at the millennials, I think it’s really beneficial for the whole working population,” she says. read more

Vasu calls Ranil a pakaya in Parliament

Parliamentarian and former Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara called Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe a “pakaya” in Parliament today.This was after the Prime Minister attempted to prevent Nanayakkara from raising a point of order during Parliament proceedings today. A heated exchange of words then took place between Nanayakkara and the Prime Minister even as the Speaker kept insisting that Nanayakkara should be allowed to speak.Nanayakkara told the Prime Minister to respect Parliament and he also questioned the Speaker if the Prime Minister can be allowed to behave in such manner. Nanayakkara accused the Prime Minister of not knowing what a point of order is or what standing orders in Parliament are. The Speaker then warned the members of parliament saying students who were watching the proceedings in Parliament will take the behavior of the MPs as an example. (Colombo Gazette)Audio Playerhttp://colombogazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ranil-new-name1.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. “Do you think you can make me sit down? Pakaya,”  Nanayakkara said. read more

Court removes warrant and Red Notice on Emil Kanthan

The Colombo Special High Court today removed the warrant and Red Notice on former top LTTE member Emil Kanthan.The warrant and Red Notice was removed after a lawyer appearing for Emil Kanthan assured that his client will produce himself before the police soon. Emil Kanthan was accused by the current Government of having links with the former Government led by Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Government had accused former President Mahinda Rajapaksa of brokering a deal with the LTTE through Emil Kanthan to win the support of the LTTE in 2005 at the Presidential election. The LTTE had at the time prevented the Tamils in the North from using their votes at the election resulting in Rajapaksa defeating Ranil Wickremesinghe at that election. (Colombo Gazette)

Greece deports four Lankans under controversial deal

Greek authorities said a total of 191 men and 11 women were sent back. Those included 130 people from Pakistan, 42 from Afghanistan, 10 from Iran, five from Congo, four from Sri Lanka, three from Bangladesh, three from India, one each from Iraq, Somalia and Ivory Coast, and two Syrians who had asked to be sent back. Greece has deported four Sri Lankans under a controversial deal which saw 202 migrants from two Greek islands being shipped back to Turkey.A controversial European Union plan to curb migration and smash smuggling rings in Turkey began today as 202 migrants from the two Greek islands were piled onto boats and shipped back to Turkey, the Associated Press reported. A second vessel motored in from Lesbos and a third from the nearby island of Chios later today.Those who arrived from Lesbos were sent to “reception and removal center” in the northwestern Kirklareli province on the Black Sea, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency. It said the Syrians would be placed in refugee camps and other migrants would be deported.In an address to police officers in Ankara, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged them to show “compassion’” to the returning migrants and said Syrian refugees from camps in Turkey would be sent to Europe. (Colombo Gazette) The first vessel from Lesbos was escorted into the Turkish port of Dikili by the Turkish coast guard as a helicopter hovered overhead. The migrants were taken to red-and-white tents for registration and health checks.About a dozen people stood at the port holding a banner that read “Welcome refugees. Turkey is your home.” That sentiment came in sharp contrast to protests over the weekend by locals who feared that Dikili would turn into a warehouse for refugees. Under heavy security, authorities on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios deported people from 11 nations — the first in a plan that has drawn strong criticism from human rights advocates but is seen by some European nations as the only way to resolve the continent’s migration crisis. read more

Treasure deposited into dam of the Moragahakanda reservoir project

President Maithripala Sirisena today deposited treasure into the main dam of the Moragahakanda reservoir project.The foundation stone for the Moragahakanda project, the biggest multi-functional irrigation project, was laid by President Sirisena in 2007 when he was the Minister of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Development. When completed the project will provide irrigation facilities to 81,422 hectares in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, provide potable and industrial water supply to Anuradhapura and Trincomalee towns and generate electricity by hydropower while opening up 5000 hectares of new land for agriculture development in Northern, North Central, Eastern and North Western provinces. The Project will generate 25MW hydro-power to the national grid. Increasing inland fish production, provision of potable and industrial water requirements, Eco tourism and effective flood control are the other targets of the project. A considerable portion of work of these projects has been finalized. About 60 percent of headworks of the Moragahakanda project has been finished and it is due to be completed in 2018.The total development cost for both sites totals to approximately Rs. 48.145 billion (approximately US$370 million) and is being carried out by Australian SMEC Holdings and Sinohydro of China. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Mano insists no room to divide the country again

“The discussions (on the new Constitution) are taking place in a democratic manner,” he said. However he says it is clear the country cannot be divided again and this will not happen even through the new Constitution which is currently being discussed. Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan says there is no room for anyone to divide the country once again.Ganesan told reporters today that some members of the joint opposition are claiming there is an attempt to divide the country. The Minister also said that some members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party who are in the Government are giving fuel to the comments being made by the opposition.Ganesan says Sri Lanka Freedom Party members must tell the public they are working closely with the United National Party to address National issues, instead of making comments detrimental to that process. (Colombo Gazette)

Police Commission lacks controlling power says exchief

Although personality was a factor, the fault basically lay in structural deficiencies of the commission itself, the professor explained. Sri Lanka’s Independent Police Commission lacks powers to control the police force, and the Commission has had to seek appropriate powers, says Prof. Siri T. Hettige, who resigned from the chairmanship of the commission recently to take up a teaching assignment at Heidelberg University in Germany for a semester, The New Indian Express reported.Hettige, a Professor of Sociology at Colombo University, told Express on Friday, that for the first year of the commission’s work, there were no problems with the police establishment and the commission was able to formulate and launch several schemes to tone up the quality of policing in Sri Lanka. But in the second year, cooperation from the police establishment was not forthcoming, he said. “The commission had written to the Constitutional Council (which appoints the Independent Commissions) to make structural changes to give us the independence and control which we presently lack,” Hettige said. “I resigned the chairmanship as I should not be away for so long.” (Colombo Gazette) The Constitutional Council and the various Independent Commissions were set up under the 19th constitutional Amendment in 2015. One of the Amendment’s aims was to free various wings of the government from political meddling in recruitment, disciplinary and other matters and ensure that established norms are followed.Prof. Hettige made it clear that he has not resigned from the commission as such, and would return as a member after his teaching assignment abroad gets over in four months. read more

Fuel tanker expected to arrive on Wednesday

Long queues were seen at most fuel stations in Colombo and the suburbs today as a fuel crisis continued.The crisis arose after the authorities had to reject a shipment of poor quality fuel last week. (Colombo Gazette) A fuel tanker is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on Wednesday while the existing fuel stocks is enough only till Thursday, Petroleum Resources Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said today.The oil tanker expected to arrive on Wednesday will have 40,000 metric tonnes of petrol.

Heated exchange in Parliament on opposition leader post

However Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said that he will seek legal advice and speak to the party leaders before taking a final stand this week. It was reported that the UPFA had said it accepts Sampanthan as the opposition leader. (Colombo Gazette) A heated exchange took place in Parliament today on the post of opposition leader.The joint opposition demanded that it be recognised as the main opposition in Parliament and that the post of opposition leader be given to it. Earlier, the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) communicated its stand on the leader of the opposition to Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.Jayasuriya had sought the opinion of the General Secretary of the UPFA Mahinda Amaraweera on appointing Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena the leader of the opposition.The Speaker had requested Amaraweera to state the position of the party since a request had been put forward by several MPs including some from the UPFA. Joint opposition Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardena said that the joint opposition has no personal issue with current opposition leader R. Sampanthan. Amaraweera later communicated the position of the UPFA to the Speaker. Gunawardena however said that the post of opposition leader must be given to the joint opposition as it has more members in Parliament.However the United National Party (UNP) said that the joint opposition is not recognised as a political party in Parliament and so it cannot be given the post. read more

Sri Lanka Vietnam discuss further relaxing visa regulations

The discussion took place in Hanoi today during Wickremesinghe’s visit to Vietnam.At the discussion the Prime Minister of Vietnam had noted the need to expand the realtions between both countries.  It was also agreed to appoint a committee to study the historic relations between both countries. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka and Vietnam discussed the need to further relax visa regulations between both countries.Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc discussed expanding ties between both countries.

Jaffna bound bus crashes into truck one killed eight injured

One person was killed and eight others were admitted to hospital.The victim was said to be the assistant driver of the bus. (Colombo Gazette) A Jaffna bound bus crashed into a truck killing one person and injuring eight others.The luxury bus was travelling from Colombo to Jaffna when it crashed into the truck at Panikankulam.

Opening day at Fort Erie race track

It’s opening day at the Fort Erie race track, and just a few months ago no one thought this day would arrive. But at the last minute the province came up with money for the track. Hours before post time, the horses and everyone else in the backstretch, were getting ready for day one at the track.“It’s been threatened the last couple of years, but you know, we’re back. We’re here,” says horse owner Julie Ayres. Ayres and Shawn Ridout kept seven race horses over the winter, costing about $20,000.It was just a few days ago, on Friday, that the Ontario Racing Commission approved the 37 race dates and signed the government contract for $7.9 million.It may not seem like a lot when you consider last year there were 43 race dates, but it could have been worse. Over the winter everyone thought the Fort Erierace track was going to shut down.Peter Martin delivers feed to the horses and he’s seen the number decline from 800 a few years ago to less than 300 today.“Our volume in feed has gone from close to nine tons three times a week to close to two tons twice a week.”To keep up the number of horses, you need more people betting on live racing.On opening day they had a pretty good crowd, and track officials are hoping it stays this way until the end of September. read more

The top 10 movies on the iTunes Store

iTunes Movies U.S. charts for week ending July 21, 2019:iTunes Movies US Charts:1. Shazam!2. Long Shot3. Apollo 11 (2019)4. A Vigilante5. UglyDolls6. Alita: Battle Angel7. After8. Breakthrough9. Little (2019)10. Aquaman (2018)iTunes Movies US Charts – Independent:1. After2. Plus One3. Hotel Mumbai4. Rust Creek5. I Got the Hook-Up 26. Sword of Trust7. The Quake8. Lady Bird9. Iron Sky: The Coming Race10. Bottom of the 9th__(copyright) 2019 Apple Inc.By The Associated Press, The Associated Press

Honolulu authorities investigate arson at 3 Waikiki hotels

HONOLULU — Hawaii authorities are investigating three fires that were intentionally set in three different high-rise resort hotels near Waikiki Beach over the past few days.Honolulu Fire Department Captain Scot Seguirant said Wednesday each fire was set at night in a hallway on a floor with guest rooms. Firefighters have referred the case to police for further investigation.Tuesday night’s fire broke out on the 28th floor of the 38-story Hilton Hawaiian Grand Waikikian shortly before 9 p.m. Hotel security put out the flames with a fire extinguisher.The night before, a blaze caused $1.8 million in damage at the 25-story Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger. The fire was near a storage room on the 14th floor.The first fire caused $4,000 in damage at the Alohilani Resort on Sunday.Audrey McAvoy, The Associated Press

UNbacked meeting to focus on ways of creating peoplecentred cities

Known as “CITYNET,” the Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlements is co-organizing the meeting from 29 October to 2 November under the theme of “People-Centred Cities in a Globalizing World.” To be held at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok, the Congress is also backed by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.Both ESCAP and CITYNET view people-centred cities as “economically productive, socially just, ecologically sustainable, globally connected, politically participatory and culturally vibrant.” Over 200 mayors, deputy mayors, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations are expected to participate in the event, which will be inaugurated by Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand.The meeting will tackle issues through an innovative “Bazaar of Ideas” involving symposia by such organizations as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), ESCAP and the European Union. Participants will also decide on future CITYNET programmes at its Fifth General Council Meeting, which will be held as part of the Congress. CITYNET was established and run as an ESCAP project from 1989 to 1994. Now fully independent with its own secretariat based in Yokohama, Japan, CITYNET maintains close links with ESCAP and other UN organizations. read more

Annan introduces new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Mr. Vieira de Mello, who was introduced at a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, told reporters that he would try to build upon the legacy of his two predecessors, Mary Robinson and José Ayala-Lasso, and to foster an integrated approach to human rights. “I’ll do my best…to transform [the issue] into what governments and non-state actors should see as bonus and not just as an onus on them, and something that is truly consubstantial with our lives and individuals and societies and not something extraneous to our lives, which it is not,” he stressed. For his part, the Secretary-General paid tribute to Mrs. Robinson, who will complete her tenure in September, and said that she had done much for the UN and the cause of human rights. “Hers is going to be a tough act to follow, but I’m sure Sergio will not let us down,” Mr. Annan said. As for his recent turn as the head of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor, Mr. Vieira de Mello said many lessons could be extracted from an experience in which the UN was asked to build a nation out of the ashes of what was there before. All of the new democratic institutions had to be built on the basis of a very fundamental principle of “rigorous respect” for human rights, Mr. Vieira de Mello stressed. “It’s not that the UN deals with human rights in an abstract fashion, we also have a very concrete experience in building institutions that are respectful of human rights,” he said. “I believe in East Timor, we have left behind a new Government and institutions that will be paying a great deal of respect for those universal principles.” read more

UN development agency starts new push to counter HIVAIDS in Arab region

The gathering of experts is being organized to pave the way for an expanded response to the epidemic in Arab countries, which have collectively reported increases in HIV/AIDS prevalence rates over the past two years.The UN estimates that 80,000 people in the region became newly infected last year, bringing the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS there to 440,000. “While the Arab States is generally regarded as a low-prevalence region, this is no reason for complacency,” said UNDP’s Zahir Jamal. “The region must ensure that an appropriate level of response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic is in place.” Although most countries in the region have national HIV/AIDS programmes, breaking the silence, mobilizing leadership and overcoming stigma and denial remain key issues, according to UNDP. The agency’s new push in the Arab States seeks to create heightened awareness and build commitment and leadership in the fight against the epidemic.

Annan lauds reform efforts in Yugoslavia

Noting the UN’s long and constructive – but sometimes painful and difficult – ties with Yugoslavia, the Secretary-General said both sides are ready to put the past behind them as the country begins to rebuild and create a nation based on the rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights.”I think you are making progress, progress that I think if pursued and sustained will strengthen your country and the region,” he told reporters following his meeting with President Vojislav Kostunica. “And I am also particularly pleased that you are taking measures to improve relations with your immediate neighbours.”The Secretary-General said that he and the President had discussed the country’s relationship with the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and ongoing work to reconcile national law and relations with the UN court.Turning to Kosovo, which he just visited, the Secretary-General said he could attest to good progress there. “But we have difficult problems that we need to tackle and my team on the ground is working very hard to do just that,” he said. “We are working hard to create a multi-ethnic Kosovo where rights of minorities are respected, where their human rights are respected and they feel secure.”Mr. Annan said that he also discussed with President Kostunica refugees, noting that the situation in the region naturally brings up the question of their return home, as well as the plight of internally displaced persons, and what individual countries or the international community is doing to help.As for the painful issue of missing persons, the Secretary-General stressed that the relatives all want answers. “We will work with all concerned in these countries through programmes that have existed and we are trying to strengthen to get to the truth,” he said. “That is essential.” read more