Chris Curtis not worried about last year’s champ, playoff seeding heading into second PFL appearance

first_imgJoin DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearBefore there was Brendan Loughnane, there was Chris Curtis.Much like the 29-year-old featherweight from Manchester, England, Curtis appeared on the first episode of a new season, carrying an impressive record and a wealth of regional experience into a tough matchup to kick off Season 2 of the UFC’s latest talent search series. He dominated the action and finished the fight in the third round, landing a beautiful hook kick 90 seconds into the final stanza that ultimately led to the bout being halted.But when White convened with Laura Sanko to announce which fighters had earned contracts, Curtis’ name wasn’t mentioned. Alonzo Menifield and Greg Hardy, both of whom scored hellacious first-round knockout wins, were tabbed to join the UFC ranks.Three days after his appearance in Las Vegas, “The Action Man” announced his retirement from the sport.“At that point, it’s a 12-year journey,” said Curtis, reflecting on the events of last summer. “I get there, I’m like, ‘Here’s my contract, finally.’ I do everything and get passed up, it sucked, and on top of that, I go home with a broken hand.“It was just interesting after the Contender Series because you put all that time and effort in. I was training across the country, away from my kids — it sucks for my family because of all the time and money that you spend. It just sucked.”And so he hung up his four-ounce gloves.After the hurt dissipated and his injuries healed, a conversation with one of his long-time training partners set Curtis on the path back to competing inside the cage.“Sam Alvey was one of the guys that made me realize that I don’t really have many options,” said Curtis, who ultimately sided with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) to compete in the company’s welterweight division. “What else am I going to do with my time? I’ve spent 12 years working on being the best fighter I could be, so I kind of have one path to follow.“I fought earlier this year to get back into it, test the waters and I felt good, and then this came up and I jumped at it,” he added. “I wanted to be in the UFC, I wanted my fight kit, but a million bucks buys a lot of personalized fight kits, so I’ll just do that instead.”Fighting on the first event of the 2019 season, Curtis scored a third-round stoppage win over Andre Fialho, pushing his winning streak to eight and earning him four points — good for fifth place in the division heading into his second and final regular season matchup later this week in Atlantic City, New Jersey.“More than the points, it was good to get out there,” he explained. “Everybody was telling me I had the best fight that night. I’m in a new gym — I moved to Vegas, so that’s different — and I have a new coach in John Wood. It’s just nice to go out there and perform, show that I made a good decision, the right changes.“To have the fans really love me and say I’m one of the best fights they’ve seen so far means a lot to me. It’s just validation that I’m at that level,” he added. “I’ve heard a lot of people say the UFC really screwed up not signing me and that means the world to me honestly.”Having already made an impact with the fans, Curtis has the opportunity to make an impact on the standings as he gears up for the playoffs and takes on 2018 welterweight champion Magomed Magomedkerimov on Thurday evening in the main event of PFL 4 of the 2019 season at the Ocean Casino Resort.The 29-year-old Magomedkerimov was an unknown to most North American fight fans prior to last year’s PFL season, when he scored wins over Herman Terrado and Bojan Velickovic to advance to the playoffs and then beat Pavel Kusch and Velickovic again to advance to the finals, where he submitted heavy favorite Ray Cooper III to claim the welterweight title and $1 million.In his first appearance of this year, the returning champion was one of three fighters to collect six points, submitting UFC veteran John Howard in the opening round.“The only thing more dangerous than one Magomed is two Magomeds,” joked Curtis. “At the same time, he’s the champion from last year and I respect that — it’s cool, congrats to him — but I didn’t fight in this tournament last year, so him being the champion doesn’t mean a thing to me. It just doesn’t.“You beat people that weren’t me,” he continued. “You beat Ray Cooper III. I’m not really impressed by that.”In addition to not particularly caring about Magomedkerimov’s success last season, the soon-to-be 32-year-old isn’t overly worried about playoff seeding as he heads into his second regular season appearance of the year.His win over Fialho earned him four points, good for fifth place in the standings, one point ahead of Handersson Ferreira, one point behind Cooper III and two points back of Magomedkerimov, Glaico Franca and Sadibou Sy, all of whom scored first-round finishes and garnered six points.Because of how the welterweights have been paired off for their second event of the regular season, Curtis isn’t guaranteed a place in the playoffs just yet, but he’s confident that he’ll earn a victory on Thursday night and doesn’t care whether he heads into the playoffs as the first or eighth seed. “Before PFL, had you heard of Magomedkerimov?” asked Curtis. “You hadn’t and no one else had either. That was his coming out party and he’s not a guy that anyone really cares about. I’m going to beat him up and after this tournament, you’re never going to hear about Magomed Magomedkerimov ever again.“As far as seeding, I’m not concerned,” he added. “In my head, I’m going into this tournament thinking I’m the very best in the tournament, bar none, so at this point, I don’t care who I have to fight — I’m going to win. I can beat everyone in this tournament, so I don’t really care. I just want to move it along.“I can beat everyone here — I know that I can — so I don’t worry about the seeding too much.” A couple weeks back, MMA fans rallied to Brendan Loughnane’s side after the British standout didn’t receive a contract following his victory over Bill Algeo on the Contender Series.Loughnane, who won the fight handily and has built an excellent record fighting on the smaller stages, seemed like an obvious choice to get a contract, but instead, the UFC President went in a different direction, passing on Loughnane and criticizing his decision to shoot for a takedown in the final 10 seconds rather than “going for the finish,” as if he had Algeo teetering on the brink of collapse and gave him a reprieve.last_img read more

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Famous Hollywood Actor impressed by Ismail who wins Medals in Swimming

first_imgFamous Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher has released a video on his official Facebook profile about six-year-old Bosnian Ismail Zulfic.The video tells a story about a Bosnian boy from Zenica, a city some 70 kilometers northwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) capital Sarajevo, who has no arms but wins medals in swimming.“Ismail is a proof that nothing is impossible,” Kutcher wrote, and showed how impressed he is with a boy called a “butterfly without wings”.Sarajevo Timeslast_img

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Devon’s Anna Tyson is South West Steward of the Year

first_img6 Nov 2012 Devon’s Anna Tyson is South West Steward of the Year Anna Tyson of Dainton Park Golf Club, near Newton Abbot in Devon, has been named the Fuller’s London Pride Steward of the Year for England Golf’s South West region. The competition, now in its sixth year, is run jointly by Fuller’s and England Golf and aims to identify the golf club steward who provides the most welcoming and enjoyable experience at the 19th hole. Anna joined Dainton Park when it started 20 years ago and her welcome has helped it grow to a club with more than 600 members. She knows all the members by name – and drink – and the job is clearly a way of life to her. She even met her husband when he worked in the pro shop! Anna’s family background is in the restaurant business and she been involved in the catering and bar industry from an early age. She’s built up a fantastic reputation for service at Dainton Park and has opened the clubhouse and restaurant area to visitors as well as members, managing a host of private functions such as weddings, birthdays and christenings. One of this year’s highlights was the captain’s charity day, when the club owner who took on Anna 20 years ago, took his turn to captain the club. The event was themed on the Olympics and Anna organised a Bucks fizz breakfast reception for a family-style sports day, with both her children joining in the fun. Anna, and the other three regional winners, were presented with their awards by England Golf chairman Nigel Evans and Mark Roberts, Fuller’s trade marketing manager. This was the first time that all four regional winners had been women. The other three were: Midlands region and overall winner Yvonne James of Rugby Golf Club, Warwickshire; North region winner Dawn Stacey of Wath Golf Club, Rotherham, Yorkshire; South East region winner Samantha Hudson of Swaffham Golf Club, Norfolk. The 2012 Fuller’s London Pride Steward of the Year competition attracted hundreds of nominations from club members, visitors and golf club managers.  These were read and reviewed by representatives of  England Golf and Fuller’s, with the help of 2011 Steward of the Year, Scott Parker from Buckingham Golf Club, and were whittled down to a shortlist of 12 stewards: three from each region. The shortlisted stewards were all visited personally by England Golf and Fuller’s representatives who experienced firsthand the exceptional service they provide. The regional winners were selected after the candidates were judged on their level of commitment, innovation and standard of service and presentation, together with that extra special something which sets them apart. Caption: Fuller’s London Pride South West Steward of the Year, Anna Tyson of Dainton Park Golf Club, Devon, receives her award from (left) Mark Roberts, Fuller’s trade marketing manager and Nigel Evans, chairman of England Golf. Credit: © Professional Imageslast_img read more

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England lead Spain in mixed international

first_img9 May 2015 England lead Spain in mixed international England made a strong start to this weekend’s mixed international at Burnham & Berrow in Somerset and take a four point lead into tomorrow’s matches.It’s the first time in the 30-year-history of the match that the teams have been mixed – and the women quickly made an impression.In the morning foursomes Bethan Popel had a hole-in-one on the 14th. Then, in the singles, Gemma Clews sealed a successful day for the team when, playing in the last match on the course, she fought back from three down to win on the 18th.She contributed to a 9½-5½ scoreline which included a host of other highlights on a testing day, when a stiff breeze blew relentlessly across the superbly prepared course.England had got off to a flying start in the match, winning four of the five morning foursomes. There were some big wins as the England players proved themselves better at coping with the tough conditions, notably from English amateur champion Nick Marsh and Michael Saunders who closed out their game on the 12th.In the afternoon the Spanish came out in determined mood and had the upper hand over the opening holes. But, as Graham Walker, the England men’s coach commented: “We managed to stem the tide and the first few matches were ours.”Ashley Chesters, the double European champion led the way in the singles with a 5/4 win which was especially notable for a run of three consecutive threes. He birdied the 12th, eagled the 13th and parred the 14th after his tee shot hit the pin and ricocheted off the green into a deep hollow, from which he played a magical pitch.Ashton Turner and Jimmy Mullen followed Chesters to get those important early points on the board. Turner had to wait until the 13th before he finally got ahead in his match, eventually winning 2/1. Mullen, by contrast, was never behind and dismissed his opponent on the 14th. Meanwhile, Nick Marsh battled away and secured a half point, despite having been two down after 10.Alice Hewson was a couple under par on the outward half and was another very comfortable winner, finishing 4/3. Then, attention focussed on Clews (image © Leaderboard Photography) who was clawing her way back, having been three down after 11.She won the 12th with a birdie, fired a super-accurate shot into the 13th to win that hole, and got back to all square with a solid par on 15. By now, a sizeable gallery which included fellow team players and officials, had gathered to watch her win 16 with another immaculate par.Both players missed makeable birdie chances on the short 17th and on the 18th they both ran through the green with their approaches. But, Clews chipped dead to secure the point for England.Women’s team captain Steve Robinson commented: “We set ourselves the target of not losing a session against Spain, who are a very strong team, and we’ve seen some great quality golf and some really good, battling performances from all the players in tough conditions.”Men’s team captain Graham Walker echoed him: “The standard of golf from the England players matched the warm welcome from Burnham & Berrow members and staff.“We got off to a great start this morning with all the players keeping the ball in play in blustery conditions and with some trick pin placings.“Overall it’s been a pretty good day for the England team.”last_img read more

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Did a Global Flood Move Rocks Across Continents?  No, uh…

first_imgPaper View Sept 14, 2010 — Geologists were baffled.  Something moved rocks up to 3,000 miles across whole continents.  They found evidence in Asia and also in America.  How on earth could that happen?  Their list of explanations omitted one possibility: the transporting power of water.  Maybe it’s because it would have implied a global flood like the world had never seen.    An international team publishing in the GSA Bulletin wrote about “Extraordinary transport and mixing of sediment across Himalayan central Gondwana during the Cambrian�Ordovician.”1  They found similar detrital zircon samples across a wide swath of the Himalayan foothills, covering “great distances” of at least 3000 km and perhaps as much as 5000 km.  They used assumptions to rule out time as a factor, suggesting that this “extraordinary” transport of material occurred at one time.  What does it imply?  “In any case, by examining samples within a small window of well-constrained depositional ages from across the length of the Himalayan range, our data not only indicate extraordinary transport distances, but a high degree of sediment mixing and homogenization.”  They emphasized it again: “In this regard, both transport distances and sediment mixing within early Gondwana are extraordinary for the geologic record.”  It likely applies to “much, if not the whole of Gondwana” (the hypothetical supercontinent that broke up into today’s continents).    The Himalayas are not the only location.  They referred to evidence published earlier that assigns the origin of many of the Grand Canyon sediments to the Appalachian mountains thousands of kilometers to the east (09/15/2003).  Again, extraordinary long-distance transport mechanisms must have been in operation.  What could possibly do it?  Their short list of possible mechanisms omits one that creation geologists would probably be saying is intuitively obvious: a global flood.The causes of such a pattern might be unique to time and place, and may include a combination of (1) lack of continental vegetation, (2) clustering of continents near the equator, (3) increased continental weathering rates, (4) widespread uplift and erosion associated with regionally extensive and relatively synchronous orogenesis [mountain-building] recording supercontinental amalgamation, and (5) production of significant relief, providing stream power for large-scale river systems.A closer look reveals that none of those mechanisms contradicts a global flood; in fact, they would each appear to be consequences of one.  What else would produce any one or a combination of those causes?1.  Myrow, Hughes et al, “Extraordinary transport and mixing of sediment across Himalayan central Gondwana during the Cambrian�Ordovician,” Geological Society of America Bulletin Sept. 2010, v. 122 no. 9-10 p. 1660-1670, doi: 10.1130/B30123.1.Composite explanations are generally avoided in science because of Ockham’s Razor: “plurality should not be posited without necessity.”  If a scientist explains the yard being wet by saying, “It might have rained, or the sprinklers might have come on, or a water-spraying truck drove by,” the power of the explanation is decreased.  Here, the scientists admitted that something extraordinary – something possibly unique in the geologic record – occurred to move sediments so far at one time.  (Notice, incidentally, this amounts to a rejection of uniformitarianism.)  Nothing like that is seen happening today.  Special pleading is also to be avoided when explaining things scientifically, but isn’t that what they just did?  They did not explain with reference to natural law and observable, repeatable processes.  They said, essentially, that an extraordinary one-time effect might have been caused by five things or any combination of them.  On the surface of it, the explanation sounds weak.    A scientific explanation is strengthened when a single cause explains multiple effects.  Suppose your yard is wet, some objects are knocked over and a swath of wetness covers several homes in a line.  Which explanation is better?  (A) House #1 turned the sprinklers on, house #2 had a watering truck drive by, house #3 got rained on and house #4 had an above-ground pool that leaked, and the houses just happened to be in a line.  (B) There was a brush fire nearby and a water-dropping plane doused the area.    A global flood would produce all 5 effects that the geologists listed as causes: (1) a lack of continental vegetation, because it had been stripped away at the onset of the flood; (2) clustering of continents near the equator, because creationists generally agree the continents split apart as the fountains of the great deep opened; (3) weathering rates increased dramatically (well, duh); (4) widespread uplift and erosion associated with regionally extensive and synchronous mountain building occurred (because the mountain ranges formed as a consequence of the dividing continents, and erosion was intense); and (5) production of significant relief, providing stream power for large-scale river systems, because the new mountains caused dramatic runoff as the waters receded, transporting soft sediments over vast distances.  One more for good measure: a global flood would explain the “high degree of sediment mixing and homogenization” of sediments they observed.    Notice that the secular geology explanation cannot account for increased weathering rates, widespread erosion, homogenization, synchronous mountain building and large-scale river systems (cf. 04/30/2009, “Are Secular Geologists Ready to Consider a Global Flood?”).  In the current example, the composite, special-pleading scenario in the paper leaves much to be desired as a scientific explanation.  Biblical creationists can point to a single cause that explains all the effects.  They have eyewitness testimony, too: Yes, uh… Noah.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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R44m facelift for Mpumalanga reserves

first_img19 December 2012 Plans are under way to give the nature reserves in the South African Lowveld’s Panorama a R44-million facelift from next year, says Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza. “The emergency fund will be used to upgrade the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, Manyeleti Reserve, Loskop Dam Nature Reserve and Songimvelo Reserve,” Mabuza said. However, the Blyde River Canyon will enjoy preference and renovations will start as soon as possible.” He said the renovations in the Blyde River Canyon will be done on Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window, “Drie Rondawels” and Lowveld Views and River Falls. Bourke’s Luck Potholes will get a new entrance gate which will accommodate buses without obstructing the road. A restaurant will be opened with a capacity of 50 seats, and reconstruction of an eco-centre with new animal trophies, lighting and geological features will begin. Ablution facilities, offices and guest houses will also be upgraded and new boreholes will be drilled for water supply. God’s Window, just outside Graskop, will also have a new entrance gate, parking areas, walkways and view site railings. Potholes around “Drie Rondawels” and Lowveld Views will be patched and the road repaired. Walkways and railings to view sites will be installed and ablution facilities will be built, and River Falls will have new curio stalls and ablution facilities as well. Mabuza said the upgrading will also help the historic town, Pilgrim’s Rest, get back on its feet. He said the Economic Development, Environment and Tourism Department had been tasked with ensuring Pilgrim’s Rest is restored. “This campaign is targeting the festive season travellers from Gauteng and appealing to their travel needs of a tranquil and relaxed holiday,” said Mabuza. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

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The artist at work: Mbongeni Buthelezi makes beauty out of waste

first_imgSouth African artist Mbongeni Buthelezi recycles plastic litter, adds some heat and melts it all on to his canvas to create some of the most audacious pieces of art. A regular exhibitor on the local and international art scenes for almost 20 years, he has been hailed as one of the country’s most innovative artists.‘Self Portrait’ by South African artist Mbongeni Buthelezi, who creates Pollockesque canvases using recycled plastic. (Image: Mbongeni Buthelezi)• South African art: a history • African art scene blooms in South Africa• Artists give their impression of Madiba• Using the arts to build an inclusive South Africa• South African artists draw international interest “I use rubbish to create something beautiful from it. I collect something that has no value and give it new life. That’s what we can do with ourselves and our lives,” is how artist Mbongeni Buthelezi introduces himself on his website portfolio, and for 16 years he’s made a name for himself as one of South Africa’s boldest and most original artists.He chose to work with plastic during his art school days as a way to draw attention to the medium and as a way to stand out in the often crowded local art scene. The combination of the tangible method of sculpting plastic on to canvas was also a way for him to work through his creative process. He told Euronews recently: “With watercolour and other mediums… that I have experimented with in the past, there was a time where I felt that I’m hitting the ceiling, I’m not growing anymore. I wanted to be noticed and I wanted to catch attention, because I knew also that I’m moving into a career where you have to be really special to be able to even make a living out of it.”‘Winter in Kliptown’ by Mbongeni Buthelezi, exhibited at the Seippel Gallery in Koln, Germany. (Image: Mbongeni Buthelezi)Buthelezi has been a regular and popular exhibitor on the South African art circuit for years, and has garnered positive attention from international galleries and art schools. Art lovers are intrigued by his use of discarded consumer plastic in crafting vibrant and engrossing African story-portraits. In these works, he makes bold statements about the world as he sees it, addressing social and environmental issues.In 2010, the Live Out Loud website said Buthelezi’s work “reflects humanity’s often detrimental impact on the environment, but his original use of discarded objects to depict an often forgotten group of people truly sets him apart”.His artistic process involves melting down strips of coloured plastic on to the canvas surface, itself often also made from plastic. He understates the creation process as simple and haphazard, but the final Pollockesque pieces speak for themselves, enjoyable and provocative on all levels, from all distances. “I’m interested in finding the details in the painting, but also, as you step away from the piece it really comes together,” Buthelezi told BBC News at his latest exhibition in Johannesburg this week.‘Hula Hoop III’ by Mbongeni Buthelezi is an example of the artist’s attention to detail. He uses melted recycled plastic to tell engrossing African story-portraits. (Image: Mbongeni Buthelezi)Buthelezi may be the only artist – that he knows of – who works in this medium, but he appreciates this singularity as it doesn’t give him an outside point of reference that may hinder his originality. Yet he still believes the melted plastic method is a way to make art creation easily available to anyone who wants to experiment, but who may not be able to access or afford traditional art materials. “(Anyone) can gather waste plastic and start painting,” he says, “and construct something out of nothing.”When it comes to appreciating the role art has played in his life, Buthelezi is philosophical, telling the BBC he sees himself as “a mirror for the society I live in, and I want to make a meaningful impact on that society”.‘Church’ by Mbongeni Buthelezi. Of his art he says he is interested in “(finding) the details close up, but also see the whole story as you view it from afar”. (Image: Mbongeni Buthelezi)In addition to being recognised with a number of local art awards during his career, including semi-finalist in the 2007 Sasol Wax Art Awards, Buthelezi has also won a Visi Design award and a Mail & Guardian Green Trust award for “commitment and contributions to the environment (with) social conscience and creativity”.He is artist-in-residence at the Omni International Arts Centre in New York City and for the South African National Arts Festival. He has exhibited in Germany, the US and Holland, and has been commissioned to make exclusive works by companies such as Mercedes Benz South Africa and the Daimler art collection in Stuttgart, Germany.last_img read more

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Rewriting Canadas memory banks Archivists decolonize collections

first_imgReconciliation is rewriting Canada’s memory banks as archivists across the country work to make their collections more open to and sensitive towards Indigenous people.Library and Archives Canada is leading the way with a $12-million project to hire Aboriginal archivists to work in First Nations communities and to give more control over materials gathered there to the people who created them.“Decolonization” is a hot topic among those charged with storing, organizing and making accessible the country’s historical record.“It’s huge,” said Camille Callison, Indigenous service librarian at the University of Manitoba.“It’s like the biggest thing happening right now. A lot of people are making changes.”Several recommendations in the report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission urged libraries and archives to rethink their work in light of Indigenous people.“Archives are instruments of bureaucracy, instruments of power,” said Greg Bak, a historian and archivist at the University of Manitoba.“The archives become one way in which colonial views of relationships tend to be fixed and preserved.”The national archives, for example, hold reams of residential school records. Few, said Bak, speak of the children who died there.That institution is hiring seven Indigenous archivists to fan out across the country. They are to find out what materials are held locally and to record fresh oral history, said Johanna Smith, director of public services.“That is brand-new for (Library and Archives Canada) to do,” she said.“There’s definitely interest out there. When we talk about this, every time there’s a community that says, ‘Hey, we’ve got a freezer full of tapes that really need help.’”Instead of being centralized in Ottawa, materials could remain in their community. So would the copyright — a big shift and a step toward recognizing the concept of “cultural copyright.”Currently, a recording belongs to the person who made it.“The rights of that individual who was recorded are not as clear,” Smith said.“It’s about saying how can we connect those dots a little bit differently to put some agency back in the hands of the individual whose voice was recorded. It’s a community sense of belonging to that object. A community sense of privacy, also.”Staff are also poring over old records to find those of interest to First Nations.“Our holdings are vast,” said Smith. “We’re going to do some targeted research and … we’re going to Indigenous archivists to do that research, to identify collections that could be digitized.”Other projects are also underway.The Association of Canadian Archivists with 125 institutional members offers a scholarship for Indigenous archivists and has set up a working group to share best practices and to figure out how to best address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.“There’s no manual to follow,” said director Jo-Anne McCutcheon.“Every community is different. Settler-Indigenous contact happened differently, so it’s complicated.”Archivists in Manitoba are reworking the old U.S. Library of Congress subject headings, the access points to any collection.“They call Indigenous spirituality things like shamanism — the really antiquated terms we don’t use any longer,” said Callison.Edmonton’s city archivists are rewriting catalogue descriptions so they don’t repeat offensive language contained in the documents they refer to.“It’s growing on an annual basis,” said Raymond Frogner, archivist for the National Truth and Reconciliation Centre in Winnipeg. “It’s definitely gaining a lot of momentum.”Archives aren’t necessarily neutral, Frogner said. Archivists and those who use them have to work to ensure everyone’s experience is reflected in the stories told“We are what we choose to remember, but we also are what we choose to forget.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960last_img read more

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Home prices continue to climb in BC despite dramatic sales decline BCREA

first_imgVANCOUVER – Home sales in British Columbia plummeted last month compared with March of last year, but the B.C. Real Estate Association says the decline was not reflected in prices.Sales figures released by the association for March show 7,409 homes changed hands last month, a decline of 24.6 per cent over March 2017, while average property prices climbed 5.3 per cent over the same period.A news release from the association says the average home sold for $726,930 last month and it blames persistently high prices on the lack of properties available for sale.It says total active listings have changed very little since March of 2017, nudging a 12-year low across B.C.Association chief economist Cameron Muir forecasts prices will continue to climb as long as the trend continues.He is also critical of what he calls the “burdensome” mortgage qualification rules that took effect in January, saying they have had the “predictable effect of swiftly curbing housing demand.”“You simply cannot pull as much as 20 per cent of the purchasing power away from conventional mortgage borrowers and not create a downturn in consumer demand,” Muir says in the release.B.C. home sales in March tallied $5.39 billion, a 20.6 per cent tumble compared with March 2017, while the association says sales dollar volumes since January slipped 1.7 per cent to $13.9 billion, compared with the first quarter of last year.Residential sales also fell 9.4 per cent during the first three months of this year, while the association reports the average price of a home increased 8.5 per cent to just over $732,000 during the same period.last_img read more

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Trudeau ends threecountry tour with his global reputation alliances intact

first_imgLONDON – Justin Trudeau is heading home from a lengthy, three-country foreign tour in which the prime minister appeared to recapture his international mojo and reassert several key alliances, but didn’t sign off on any big deals or declarations.When the 10-day trip to Peru, France and the U.K., with a quick stop in Ottawa, started last week, one of the top questions was whether Trudeau could rediscover his footing on the world stage after recent controversies in China and India.This time, there were no eye-catching outfits as Trudeau stuck to tried-and-true business suits and, on occasion, his patented button-up shirt and rolled-up sleeves as he met with world leaders, industry representatives and students.There were no noticeable gaffes or tensions as the prime minister pushed his progressive trade agenda, women’s rights and ocean protection while issuing warnings against rising authoritarianism and inequality around the world.Mixed with those higher ideals were closed-door discussions — first in Peru with Mexico and the United States about the North American Free Trade Agreement; and then in the U.K. about Russia, Syria and cybersecurity.The prime minister didn’t make it easy on himself, either, as he flew briefly back to Ottawa from Peru to meet with the premiers of Alberta and B.C. on the Trans Mountain pipeline, and then onto France, rather than directly to Paris as originally planned.Yet that stop back home may have represented the most concrete outcome as Trudeau announced plans to draft legislation affirming federal jurisdiction over the pipeline and negotiations with Kinder Morgan for financial support for the project.In Peru, just hours after meeting Trudeau, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence did predict a new NAFTA within several weeks. In Paris, Canada and France agreed to co-operate and push other countries to honour their commitments under the Paris climate agreement.In London, the prime minister also joined his counterparts from Britain, Australia and New Zealand to reaffirm their tight-knit global security alliance.And Trudeau reportedly used every opportunity to promote Canada’s G7 priorities and bid for a UN Security Council seat. That included in meetings on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas in Peru and a Commonwealth leaders’ summit in London with leaders from Chile, Peru, Argentina, New Zealand, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa and the Caribbean.However, there were no significant business deals, despite a high-profile address to industry leaders in Peru and several meetings in Paris and London. There were minor foreign-aid announcements.Trudeau did have some bold moments, such as when he used his speech to the French National Assembly to make the case for the Canada-EU free trade deal — to the anger of some French MPs and approval of others.He was also unapologetically tough on the Venezuelan government, which he described as a murderous, authoritarian regime. And he was critical of the Commonwealth — or at least some of its members — for not championing LGBTQ rights.But the prime minister was ambiguous in a variety of other areas, including his plans to fight plastic waste in oceans and whether Russian hackers were a threat to average Canadians.And despite touting democratic ideals, there was no mention of human rights as he met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who has been accused of growing authoritarianism. He also veered away from any significant criticism of Cuba.Trudeau did, however, demonstrate that he still has drawing power, such as when foreign journalists packed his final news conference at the Summit of the Americas in Peru. He even made the front page of the prestigious Financial Times in London with a picture of himself taking a selfie with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and a roomful of students.But he also played it relatively low key in some respects: missing, for instance, were his favoured fancy socks, replaced by fashionable but inconspicuous alternatives.Supporters would likely cheer the trip’s successes in terms of meeting key allies and advancing Canada’s interests on a number of fronts, including trade, security, gender rights and the environment.Trudeau’s Conservative critics, however, were unimpressed.“It is interesting how an average trip by the prime minister looks so good after the terrible embarrassment caused by the India trip,” said foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole.He called out Trudeau for using the trip “to discount the importance of the resource industry in Canada at a time of national crisis over the Trans Mountain pipeline.”During his final news conference in London on Thursday, Trudeau was asked for his own assessment.“Here in London and in France and in Lima, we were very much engaged in promoting Canada’s interests and creating opportunities for greater trade, greater relationships that are going to benefit Canadians and benefit the world,” he said.“We know that government and governance and serving Canadians is a process that stretches out over time and we focus every day on defending and advancing the interests of Canadians — whether there’s a headline in it for you guys or not.”– Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

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