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sarcozona
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2 key names in B.C. money-laundering probe shot in Richmond restaurant, 1 fatally

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Richmond shooting

A man alleged to be at the centre of an international money-laundering scheme in B.C. was killed in a shooting at restaurant in Richmond, B.C., on Friday, police have confirmed.

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sarcozona
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dreadhead
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Vancouver Island, Canada
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So Successful

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sarcozona
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mkalus
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iPhone: 49.287476,-123.142136
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jhamill
5 days ago
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What's step two?
California
fxer
4 days ago
Lobbied for regulatory capture

Teacher makes complaint to WorkSafeBC after testing positive for COVID-19

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Sentinel Secondary School Trip with One Ocean Expeditions in Lim

The Sentinel Secondary teacher reached out to West Vancouver Teachers' Association for help after she realized that a student in her Grade 12 class had tested positive for the disease, the association president says.

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sarcozona
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Dammit BC why are you fucking up like this
dreadhead
4 days ago
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Vancouver Island, Canada
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“That’s Their Problem”: How Jared Kushner Let the Markets Decide America’s COVID-19 Fate

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On the evening of Saturday, March 21, a small group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, business executives, and venture capitalists gathered in the White House Situation Room to offer their help to the Trump administration as it confronted a harrowing shortage of lifesaving supplies to battle COVID-19.

More than seven weeks after the federal government first learned that a new and lethal coronavirus was barreling toward U.S. shores, hospitals were pleading for masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment to safeguard their medical staff. Intensive care nurses had been photographed wearing garbage bags instead of gowns. More than 19,600 Americans had been diagnosed with the disease, and at least 260 had died.

The meeting’s attendees—some present, some dialing in—were a bipartisan collection of heavy hitters. The ad hoc group had spent weeks canvassing America’s private sector to map the shortages and draft a plan to solve them. Briefly using a hotel ballroom in Washington, D.C., as a makeshift headquarters, they sought answers to some urgent questions: What capacity did America’s companies have to manufacture protective equipment and medical supplies? What supplies could be ordered now? Were there hidden reserves?

They had secured commitments from dozens of major corporations, including General Motors, to manufacture ventilators, map supply needs, create a system for contact tracing, and much more.

On Friday, March 20, they met with a large group of officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency—people one attendee described as “the doers”—to strategize how best to replenish the nation’s depleted reserves of PPE. The attendees had gotten a significant pledge from, among many others, Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors. Her company could reconfigure a production line to make ventilators, so long as the federal government would commit to purchasing them. To accomplish that, the private sector attendees and the FEMA officials discussed the need for President Donald Trump to invoke a federal law called the Defense Production Act, which would unleash the government’s procurement powers.

As one attendee recounted, certain government officials there had “implored” the group to return the next day to the White House for a follow-up with President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, to make the case for the Defense Production Act. Earlier in the month Kushner had formed a coronavirus “shadow task force” running parallel to the official one helmed by Vice President Mike Pence.

The meeting on Saturday began at 6:30 p.m. Kushner is an observant Jew and normally wouldn’t work during Shabbat, which ended at 8:00 that evening, but a “rabbinic dispensation” allows him to make exceptions for matters of public importance, according to a senior administration official.

Those representing the private sector expected to learn about a sweeping government plan to procure supplies and direct them to the places they were needed most. New York, home to more than a third of the nation’s coronavirus cases, seemed like an obvious candidate. In turn they came armed with specific commitments of support, a memo on the merits of the Defense Production Act, a document outlining impediments to the private-sector response, and two key questions: How could they best help? And how could they best support the government’s strategy?

What actually transpired in the room stunned a number of those in attendance. Vanity Fair has reconstructed the details of the meeting for the first time, based on recollections, notes, and calendar entries from three people who attended the meeting. All quotations are based on the recollections of one or more individual attendees.

Kushner, seated at the head of the conference table, in a chair taller than all the others, was quick to strike a confrontational tone. “The federal government is not going to lead this response,” he announced. “It’s up to the states to figure out what they want to do.”

One attendee explained to Kushner that due to the finite supply of PPE, Americans were bidding against each other and driving prices up. To solve that, businesses eager to help were looking to the federal government for leadership and direction.

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sarcozona
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iridesce
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DC
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Members of Canada’s largest retail co-op seek to block sale to US private equity fund | Canada

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Members of Canada’s largest retail cooperative have mounted a long-shot bid to block the sale of the popular outdoors supply company to an American private equity group.

Last week, Mountain Equipment Co-op announced it would be acquired by the Los Angeles-based private investment firm Kingswood Capital Management – a move that blindsided many of the co-op’s five million members.

As of Tuesday, the group Save MEC had amassed more than 100,000 signatures on a change.org petition and raised nearly C$75,000 to cover legal costs.

“This is a business that’s owned by members. And members weren’t even asked or given a chance to come up with alternative ideas,” Save MEC organizer Kevin Harding told the Guardian. “It’s just an affront to cooperative principles and values.”

The surprise sale follows years of increasingly poor performance for the chain of stores – last year, the retailer lost C$11.487m on sales of C$462m. The effects of the pandemic only magnified the crisis within the company.

In public statements, the co-op’s board has framed its decision as making the best of a bad situation, saying executives “had a stark choice: preserve the MEC brand and business under new ownership or enter liquidation ending the MEC legacy.”

The company has said that by entering creditor protection, it does not require approval from its members, since companies can sell assets with court approval.

“In my opinion, this backroom deal by MEC Directors will rob 5.7 million MEC Members out of their beloved co-op and hundreds of millions in assets,” said Niv Froehlich, MEC Member and former MEC adviser.

“Worse, MEC as a co-operative is proudly Canadian and part of the fabric of Canada’s outdoor heritage… If an obscure US company believes they can solve MEC’s liquidity challenges and return MEC to profitability and financial stability fairly quickly, surely the MEC Member-Owners should at least be provided with an opportunity to do the same.”

Save MEC hopes to intervene at the next court appearance on 28 September Harding says the group is “cautiously optimistic” they will be able to present alternative proposals to a judge, including ways in which the company could raise funds from members. The group also wants to hold an emergency members’ meeting to replace MEC’s board of directors.

For Harding, the fight to save the outdoor retailer is tied to the need to preserve its founding cooperative business model.

“A co-op is a living alternative to the way things are: it’s a hint at the way things could and should be,” he said. “It’s a store, but it’s also an element of democracy. It proves that business can be done differently.”

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sarcozona
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mkalus
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