Former Nova Scotia teacher issues apology for abusing young male students

23/11/2018 Posted by admin

A former Nova Scotia teacher who sexually abused two teenage male students issued a public apology Thursday, saying her deceitful actions betrayed their trust and caused pain and trauma for their families.

Carolyn Amy Hood of Stellarton, N.S., read from a statement during her sentencing hearing in Pictou provincial court, saying her “horrible decisions” were motivated by mental illness.

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“I truly believe in my heart that without the onset of bipolar disorder, none of these events would have ever occurred,” she told the judge.

“I want to reiterate my deep and immeasurable remorse for my actions that led to these charges and the lasting effects they have had on (the victims’) lives as well as their families. It is something I will feel regret for every day for the rest of my life.”

Hood, 40, was found guilty in April of sexual interference, sexual exploitation and two counts of luring minors over the Internet for a sexual purpose.

The charges stem from offences in 2013 involving two of her former students at Thorburn Consolidated School, who were 15 and 17 at the time.

The former Grade 6 teacher had previously taught both boys when they were in that grade.

She was charged with six offences in January 2014, but one count each of sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching were later dismissed.

“I am sickened that I have hurt so many people through this experience,” Hood told the judge.

“There is not an hour that goes by when I am not thinking about the impact this has had on both the victims and their families’ lives. It consumes me … As a parent of three young children myself, I can only begin to imagine the hatred and resentment their families feel.”

Earlier in the trial, defence lawyer Joel Pink argued that his client – diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2013 – should be declared not criminally responsible for her actions due to mental illness, but Judge Del Atwood rejected that argument.

In her statement, Hood said she is taking medication and attending psychiatric sessions to deal with her mental illness.

During Thursday’s hearing, Pink argued that the mandatory minimum sentence for each charge – one year in jail – represented a violation of the Constitution because such a long sentence for a mentally ill person would amount to cruel and unusual punishment. He suggested the proper range of sentencing should be between three and nine months.

However, Crown prosecutor Bill Gorman said the judge should impose a four-year prison term, given the fact that the victims were under 18 and Hood had abused her position of trust.

“You had a teacher entrusted with looking after and providing for the care and education of students, and she chose to exploit that position,” Gorman said outside court.

“She cultivated a relationship with a couple of her students, and she acted on her impulses. And in acting on her impulses, she furthered her own sexual gratification.”

Hood is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 14.

NDP MLA denies telling cabinet minister to ‘Take your pants off’ in Manitoba legislature

23/11/2018 Posted by admin

WINNIPEG —; A Manitoba cabinet minister says she was told to take her pants off in the middle of question period by a male NDP opponent, but the NDP are firmly denying the accusation.

Rochelle Squires, the minister for sport, culture and heritage, filed a complaint Thursday with the legislature Speaker over opposition heckling in the chamber a week earlier.

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RELATED: MP Pat Martin blames tight underwear for almost missing vote in House

She said that at one point, New Democrat member Rob Altemeyer told her “take your pants off,” as she fielded a question from another NDP member.

Squires called the remarks outrageous and insulting, and demanded an apology from Altemeyer.

But Altemeyer denied the allegation and produced an audio recording of the debate.

RELATED: Manitoba’s new government aiming for ‘most improved province’

“My words were ‘take a pass on it,” Altemeyer said. “My words were referring to this premier and his inability to answer important questions.”

The comments were not captured by the official transcript of legislature proceedings and are hard to make out on the audio recording. Altemeyer’s voice is faint, in the background and away from live microphones.

The remark came as New Democrat Nahanni Fontaine tried to ask Conservative Premier Brian Pallister a question about appointments to government boards and agencies. Pallister did not field the question — Squires stood up instead.

NDP house leader Jim Maloway said the recording backs up Altemeyer’s version of events. He called on Squires to apologize and hinted that the Tories could face legal action.

“Within the house itself, we are privileged in there, and so we cannot be sued. But anything repeated outside is actionable and we will have to take a look … see what members have said what outside the house.”

Speaker Myrna Driedger said she will consider the complaint from Squires and rule at a later date as to whether Altemeyer crossed a line. She also ordered the politicians not to discuss the matter until it is resolved.

Squires said she would obey that order, and refused to answer reporters’ questions on the issue.

“I will await (the Speaker’s) ruling and then I will happily answer all your questions,” she said.

RELATED: Labour protesters jeer Manitoba premier

The controversy follows another gender-centered standoff in the legislature last week.

A small number of New Democrats said “shame” as female members of the Tory caucus voted against a bill on sexual harassment at universities and colleges. The NDP members did not direct the remarks at male Tories — only female ones.

Two New Democrats — Andrew Swan and James Allum — later apologized.

Multiple warnings issued over powerful trio of storms expected over B.C. South Coast

23/11/2018 Posted by admin

Three Pacific storms are expected to roll over the B.C. South Coast beginning Wednesday night, bringing with them strong winds and heavy rain.

The first storm passed through the region on Wednesday night bring about 35 mm of rain to Metro Vancouver by Thursday morning. The second storm is expected to hit Thursday night with gusting winds and more rain. The third and possibly most severe storm could make landfall by late Saturday afternoon.

Update  – Thursday, Oct. 13, 11:35 p.m.:

Winds are rain are beginning to pick up across much of the B.C. South Coast.

Live #BCStorm Updates – October 13, 2016

Wind warning issued

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for the Lower Mainland, Howe Sound, Sunshine Coast, Southern Gulf Islands, and Vancouver Island. The west coast of Vancouver Island will see winds of up to 100 km/h overnight and the rest of the South Coast will see southeast winds of up to 80 km/h by Friday morning.

The winds continue throughout Friday coming from the southwest at 70 to 90 km/h.

Wind this strong could knock down trees and power lines, causing power outages. Loose objects may be tossed by the wind to cause injury or damage.

Rivers and creeks could flood

Rainfall accumulation over the next several days is causing concern that some rivers and creeks could flood.

The River Forecast Centre is advising rivers on south, central, and north Vancouver Island could produce minor flooding as the B.C. South Coast is expected to receive up to 200 mm of rain between Wednesday night and Saturday.

The second storm will hit by Thursday night and will include strong winds. The third and most powerful storm is expected to make landfall on Saturday.

Where the storm hits landfall will determine the severity of the weather, according to Environment Canada.

“Rivers across the region are expected to rise rapidly on Thursday in response to rainfall, and remain elevated into the weekend, with increased flows likely as each of the remaining two systems move through,” said the River Forecast Centre in its High Streamflow Advisory.

“Hydrologic modelling based on current weather forecasts indicates the possibility of flood conditions over the Saturday to Sunday period, particularly over the Central Vancouver Island region during these storms.”

Crews are cleaning up the mess caused by the storm in North Vancouver, BC on October 12, 2016.

Jamie Forsythe | Global News

Crews are cleaning up the mess caused by the storm in North Vancouver, BC on October 12, 2016.

Jamie Forsythe | Global News

People are warned to stay away from rivers and culverts due to fast-flowing water and potentially unstable riverbanks.

The rivers noted for possible flooding or rising levels include:

South Vancouver Island: Englishman River, Chemainus River, Cowichan RiverCentral Vancouver Island: Tsolum River, Browns River, Sproat River, Somass RiverNorth Vancouver Island: Salmon River, Gold River

Metro Vancouver

Metro Vancouver was issued a rainfall warning for Wednesday night and Thursday with up to 60 mm of rain forecast. Actual accumulation totaled about 35 mm in some areas.

The forecast caused the popular Grouse Grind hiking trail to close for the season as of Oct. 13.

The combination of wet leaves, rain, and high winds in the coming days could mean possible power outages across the South Coast. BC Hydro suggests people be prepared for the storms by putting together an emergency kit that will last them up to 72 hours without power.

A few important items to have on hand ahead of losing power include:

Plenty of water;Non-perishable food or food that does not need to be refrigerated;Flashlights, matches, and candles;Hand-crank or battery-operated radioBatteries

Also make sure your devices are fully charged leading into the stormy weather and use a surge protector on any electronics plugged in at home or work.

The Pacific Rim

The Pacific Rim region is also urging for caution near the ocean as the storms are expected to create strong breaking waves.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada has issued a ‘High’ warning for Wednesday and Thursday and an ‘Extreme’ warning for Friday.

During a ‘High’ warning, people are cautioned to avoid water activities within 400 metres of rocky headlands and small islands. Storm surges of up to three metres will be expected and surges and waves may be unpredictable.

Under an ‘Extreme’ warning, breaking waves continuously exceed three metres combined with very strong rip currents.

People are urged not to travel along the shoreline of rocky beaches or headlands as “violent and unpredictable” surges over three metres are expected. The advisory added that the large swells combined with high tides could cause beaches to flood.

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New York Times responds to Trump libel threat, would welcome court to ‘set him straight’

24/12/2018 Posted by admin

WASHINGTON — The New York Times on Thursday rejected Donald Trump‘s claim the newspaper had libeled the Republican presidential nominee, saying its story about two women who said he sexually assaulted them was “newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern.”

READ MORE: What does a libel suit mean for NYT and Donald Trump?

In a letter, Times attorney David McCraw said Trump “has bragged about his non-consensual sexual touching of women” and that multiple women had already come forward. “Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself,” he wrote.

WATCH: Donald Trump says New York Times grasping for relevance with stories about sexual assault 

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The Times reported Wednesday that two women told the paper of his unwanted sexual advances. One, Jessica Leeds, said Trump groped her on an airplane more than three decades ago. The other, Rachel Crooks, said Trump kissed her without invitation in 2006 when she was a 22-year-old receptionist for a real estate firm located at Trump Tower.

Trump vehemently denied the allegations, and demanded through his attorney that the story be retracted. At a rally in Ohio, Trump said the media had “slandered and lied about me with false accusations.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump threatens to sue New York Times over sexual assault allegation article

 The Times refused to retract the story, saying its reporters worked diligently to confirm the women’s accounts. “It would have been a disservice not just to our readers but to democracy itself to silence their voices,” McCraw’s letter said.

McCraw said that if Trump decides to go ahead with a lawsuit, then “we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight.”

Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, is threatening to sue a separate publication over another woman’s allegation of assault by her husband.

WATCH: Donald Trump took a jab at the media and said the sexual misconduct accusations against him are a way to distract the public from WikiLeaks.

Lawyers for Melania Trump demanded Thursday that People magazine retract and apologize for a story in which one of its writers, Natasha Stoynoff, describes being assaulted by Trump at their Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, in 2005. Stoynoff wrote that she had arrived to interview the couple for a story, and that when Melania Trump left the room, her husband pushed Stoynoff against a wall and assaulted her.

The story also says the writer and Melania Trump later ran into each other in New York and had a conversation. Lawyers for the Republican nominee’s wife say no such encounter occurred.

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‘I’ve loved every minute’: Dartmouth’s ‘queen’ bids farewell to politics

24/12/2018 Posted by admin

It’s a farewell party for the ages and it’s all in the name of a woman affectionately known as “Lady of the Lakes.”

“Nobody’s going to fill Gloria’s shoes, she’s done so much for the city of Dartmouth and she’s done it with devotion and passion,” Ed Fern, a Dartmouth resident, said.

Gloria McCluskey is wrapping up over two decades serving in municipal politics, a career she’s emotional about leaving.

“I’m sad it’s ending. I don’t want to go but I’ve had a great run, 23 years,” McCluskey said at a farewell celebration hosted for her at Alderney Landing.

McCluskey first got involved in politics when Dartmouth was its own municipality.

READ MORE: Halifax Election 2016: What you need to know before heading to the polls

She served as Dartmouth’s last mayor before it was amalgamated into Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996.

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“I wasn’t happy with amalgamation so I left for eight and a half years. Then in 2004, I thought I should go back and represent Dartmouth again.”

She’s served as the Councillor of District 5, Dartmouth Centre, ever since, leaving lasting impressions on residents of all backgrounds.

“She’s been one of the kindest people that I’ve met since I’ve been in Dartmouth and she’s genuinely concerned about the people that live here in her community,” Deborah Snow, a Dartmouth resident, said.

McCluskey’s also known as the “Queen of Dartmouth” and once had the chance to meet Queen Elizabeth, but she says it’s the people in her community who have given her a career full of joy.

“I love helping people and I’ve loved every minute of every day,” McCluskey said.

Garbage cans placed on Janvier mosaic at Rogers Place cause social media outcry

24/12/2018 Posted by admin

Rogers Place said it vows it will never again place garbage cans on the Iron Foot Place tile mosaic in Ford Hall after pictures of the arena doing just that caused public outcry on social media Wednesday night.

Following the Edmonton Oilers season opener at the downtown arena Wednesday, garbage bins and a couple of “no re-entry” signs were placed on the piece of public artwork. The 3,500-pound mosaic, designed by Alberta artist Alex Janvier, is made up of nearly one million byzantine glass smalti tiles.

Watch below: Tile mosaic Iron Foot Place unveiled at Rogers Place

Pictures of the waste bins placed on the artwork popped up on 桑拿会所 to the dismay of many social media users who said it was disrespectful to the artist and indigenous culture.

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    “That’s not the way we want the artwork to be treated,” Katherine Kerr, public art director with the Edmonton Arts Council, said Thursday.

    “We absolutely want people to walk on it and immerse themselves in it and enjoy it in its entirety, but it’s not for objects.”

    Kerr said it was likely an oversight on behalf of a Rogers Place employee. She said the arts council spoke with staff at Rogers Place and the City of Edmonton, who assured her it wouldn’t happen again.

    “It was probably somebody doing their job and thinking they were being very efficient. And we hope that it’s looked at that way and we can just let it rest.”

    READ MORE: Alberta artist Alex Janvier to create public art for Edmonton’s downtown arena

    In response to complaints, Rogers Place confirmed it won’t place garbage cans or other crowd-control paraphernalia on the Janvier Mosaic in Ford Hall again.

Vernon senior recovering after dog attack

24/12/2018 Posted by admin

A north Okanagan senior is still recovering after a sudden dog attack in early September. He wants to see restrictions placed on the breed of dog that attacked him, but that may be easier said than done.

Doug McNeil, 84, was out for a morning walk in the Mission Hill area of Vernon on Sept. 4 when a dog jumped up on his chest and knocked him backwards.

“When he knocked me down I remember hitting the ground and him biting on me. I tried to keep him off my face so I had bite marks on me,” said McNeil.

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“I thought this is a hell of a way to go.”

The incident left the senior in rough shape with bruises on his arms. He needed an operation to fix his injured hip.

“They had to rebuild the hip bone. It was shattered,” said McNeil.

More than a month later he is still recovering. The senior doesn’t want to see the same thing happen to anyone else and is calling for restrictions on the breed of dog that attacked him, which he believes was a bullmastiff.

“Get that breed of dog off the street. It’s almost [as] big as a man. Knocked me flat,” said McNeil.

However, restricting a particular breed would have its challenges including identifying which animals fell into that category. Dog control said that the dog that attacked McNeil wasn’t a bullmastiff but a mixture of different mastiff breeds.

“People want to restrict pit bulls and Rottweilers. Any breed can be dangerous, it depends on the dog, it depends on the owner,” said Pat Ellis with K9 Control.

In the McNeil case, dog control said the animal was declared dangerous and must now be muzzled when out in public.

“We did issue tickets to the dog owner. He was quite upset about the whole thing himself. It is my understanding that they have surrendered the dog to a dog training facility at the moment to have it assessed and [the facility] will decide if the dog will be put down or not,” said Ellis.

Meanwhile, McNeil estimates he still has weeks of recovery left before he can get around with just a cane.

Airlines in US adding ‘fire containment bags’ for overheating phones

24/12/2018 Posted by admin

NEW YORK – Some airlines are taking extra steps to prevent a disaster in case a passenger’s device powered by a lithium ion battery catches fire during flight.

At least three U.S. airlines are adding new fire-suppression equipment to fleets in case a cellphone or laptop battery overheats, catches on fire and can’t be extinguished.

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The issue has taken on new urgency following incidents of overheating Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones, including one on a Southwest Airlines flight earlier this month.

READ MORE: Samsung sending Galaxy Note 7 users fireproof boxes, gloves

The Federal Aviation Administration has taken the unusual step of warning passengers not to use or charge the devices while on board and not to stow them in checked luggage.

The first airline to deploy fire-containment bags on its entire fleet was Alaska Airlines. The Seattle-based airline finished adding them to its 219 planes in May, a process that took two months from concept to deployment.

The bright red bags are made of a fire-resistant material and are designed to hold electronic devices such as mobile phones and laptops that can sometimes overheat and catch fire. The bags can be shut with Velcro and heavy-duty zippers and can withstand temperatures up to 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit. They sell for $1,800 each but airlines are likely to have negotiated a bulk discount.

WATCH: Coverage of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones catching fire

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Samsung Note7: Use gloves or return to store?


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Passenger’s Samsung Galaxy Note 7 forces plane evacuation after replacement phone begins smoking

Virgin America has installed fire-containment bags on all its planes, said spokeswoman Jennifer Thomas. The airline, which is based in Burlingame, California, has about 60 jets.

Delta Air Lines noted Thursday on a call with investors that it too would be adding such bags. The Atlanta-based airline has more than 900 planes, all of which will eventually get the bags, depending on production speeds and the ability to train flight attendants and pilots.

The first priority will be the 166 aircraft that cross oceans, as well as some Boeing 757s used for domestic flights, according to spokesman Morgan Durrant. Those jets will have two bags each by the end of the year. In 2017, Delta plans to start adding the bags to its domestic fleet, including planes flown by its regional airline partners.

READ MORE: Airplane passenger’s replacement Galaxy Note 7 begins smoking, forces evacuation

“This has been on the to-do list but has been accelerated by recent events,” Durrant said.

American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines don’t have any immediate plans for fire containment bags but all said their crews are trained on how to fight such high-energy fires. Additionally, aircraft have been fitted with fire extinguishers in the cabin as well as other fire detection and suppression systems in cargo holds for decades.

Tim Matheson on embodying Ronald Reagan in ‘Killing Reagan’

25/11/2018 Posted by admin

Taking on a real-life role for a TV movie can be tricky, but Tim Matheson owns the responsibility with aplomb.

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Mastering the voice, swagger and down-home affability of former U.S. president Ronald Reagan in Killing Reagan, Matheson fits the role seamlessly. At no point is his performance distracting, which is sometimes too much to ask for in TV biopics. At his side is Nancy Reagan, played by Sex and the City alum Cynthia Nixon.

Killing Reagan takes a closer look at the days surrounding the attempted assassination of then-President Reagan in 1981. We get up-close with Reagan and Nancy as well as would-be assassin John Hinckley Jr. There’s also analysis of the political vacuum left after the attempt, while Reagan recuperated in the hospital. It’s fascinating to see how his White House team struggled for power and dominance while their leader was out.

READ MORE: John Hinckley Jr., would-be Ronald Reagan assassin, to be released

Global News spoke to Matheson about taking on this major role, how much pressure he felt, and why this particular story has resonance in today’s volatile political climate.

Global News: Ronald Reagan is a pretty iconic figure in history. Did you feel any pressure taking on this role?
Tim Matheson: Absolutely. It was a little daunting at first. Here’s a beloved American president, and not somebody who I was politically aligned with … but I’ve always been intrigued by him. The tendency you have when you act somebody, good guy, bad guy, whatever, you fall in love with them. The more I read about Reagan, I was very conscious of not doing a bad impression of him. I wanted to go to the heart of the character and find that. Yes, I wanted to sound like him and have his mannerisms as much as I could, but I don’t think those things are as important as getting the emotional beats right.

What sorts of things did you do to really get Reagan down?
I read every book and saw every piece of footage. Constantly listened to tapes and did vocal classes, coaching and all that. I came away with a tremendous respect and admiration for him as a human being. He was a superman, relentlessly optimistic, survived the Depression and did well for himself and helped his family. He got to a point in his life when most people retire from the entertainment industry when he felt he had something to offer to this country that he loved so much.

How much do you think Reagan’s acting past helped his success in the political arena?
I think it was vital. He said when he retired, “People always asked how an actor could be president. I don’t know how anyone could be president without being an actor.” You’re playing a part. You’re at a state dinner, a joint session of Congress, you have your role to play, and other people have their roles. He was constantly aware of his place.

READ MORE: Ronald Reagan shooter John Hinckley Jr. leaves DC mental hospital for Virginia

Cynthia Nixon plays Nancy, so at least you have someone by your side taking on the same challenges.
I looked at her one day early on and I said, “Listen. If you ever think “Oh god, that voice isn’t right,” just look me in the eye and tell me, “Don’t do that, Tim.” She said, “You got it. You too.” It’s one of those things, I put it on the table. We wanted to get this right, there’s no false pride here.

Did you discover anything about Nancy and Reagan’s relationship while shooting this?
Yeah, I think it was them against the world. They completed each other. Not to get gooey about it, but we all wish we had something as profound as this partnership. They were partners who could spend hours together, we all want a partner who gets you, fulfills you, helps you, supports you. They sustained it for decades through thick and thin, through turmoil … they both acknowledged that they wished they had been better parents. That bond somehow almost didn’t include enough room for their two kids, Ronnie and Patty. Ronnie and Nancy were all they needed.

He was 70 when he took office, so he’d try to get out of there by 6 p.m., and if he didn’t have to go to a function at night, he’d come home to the residence, they’d take a shower, get in their jammies and sit around in their bathrobes watching an old movie. That’s all they needed.

There are a lot of TV biopics right now. Do you have any idea why that is?
It’s our Downton Abbey. They’re our Shakespearean histories and tragedies. It’s our royal family, except we change ours every four or eight years. [Laughs] It’s the closest thing we get to the classics, and I think that’s why we’re drawn to it. You pull back the curtain and see the wheels of power, the conniving, the treachery … one vote can swing the whole thing. There’s an intrigue.

READ MORE: Former first lady Nancy Reagan dies at 94

Do you think this particular biopic has resonance in today’s political climate?
I think so. What resonated for me was that, so often, the pattern of thinking is “I don’t like your politics, so I don’t like you.” It took me a while to open up to Ronald Reagan and respect him as a human being, but as I said I really did by the end. I realized the politics were the politics, but it’s all about people as people. I came away with a reverence, a regard and a personal understanding that I respect this man, even though I completely disagree with him on a lot of things. It made me realize I can be more open, I don’t have to be so partisan.

Maybe one of the messages of this could be that we should work together to solve the people’s problems rather than be so divisive.

‘Killing Reagan’ premieres Sunday, October 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic Channel.

Follow @CJancelewicz
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Saskatoon’s mayoral race heats up over candidate tax plans

25/11/2018 Posted by admin

Saskatoon mayoral candidate Don Atchison wants to keep the residential property tax increase in the 2017 budget below 3.89 per cent.

“My personal goal is to make sure that we stay under the number that the administration has given us already,” Atchison said, in reference to a budget update provided by city administration last month.

The update revealed an estimated $7.9 million gap between revenue and expenses, which would result in a tax increase of 3.89 per cent.

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  • Saskatoon civic election: Deadline looms to register for homebound voting

  • Poll places Kelley Moore in the lead for Saskatoon mayor

  • Lighthouse cut draws criticism from Saskatoon mayoral candidates, homeless

    READ MORE: Mayoral candidates call for release of Saskatoon’s 2017 preliminary budget

    “What I’m hearing at the door is people want it to be lower and I want to get there too, but I’m certainly not prepared to go higher,” Atchison said.

    Administration noted the figure could change once the remaining sections of the budget are factored in.

    Candidate Kelley Moore stated that according to her analysis, the increase may need to be “at least six per cent.”

    Moore criticized Atchison and fellow candidate Charlie Clark for “uncontrolled spending” and growing debt. She expressed plans to look at the city’s staffing levels and didn’t rule out job cuts to address spending.

    READ MORE: Mayoral candidates spar over making Saskatoon a ‘liveable’ city

    A gradual reduction in the amount of property taxes paid by businesses compared to homeowners would help both groups, Moore said.

    “It’s about tax fairness. Businesses do pay more than their share and they don’t get the same level of services as residents,” she said.

    Atchison has expressed support for a lower business tax ratio, but only when the economy improves.

    Clark maintained his position that a reduced business tax ratio would shift the tax burden to residents. He didn’t offer a target for the next tax increase.

    “The most responsible and appropriate way is to deal with the budget when it comes, and to work hard on telling the citizens ‘this is the decisions we’re making and this is how we’re trying to keep your taxes down,’” Clark said.

    READ MORE: Saskatoon mayoral candidates go head-to-head in Broadway Theatre debate

    Devon Hein said a zero percent tax increase is possible by focusing on core services.

    “There’s nothing magic about it. You just have to set that target and the other candidates aren’t setting that target,” Hein said.

    The preliminary 2017 budget will be brought to a city committee Nov. 7, which is 12 days after the Saskatoon civic election.

Edmonton road crews scramble to finish work before the snow flies

25/11/2018 Posted by admin

There are still quite a few road barricades out on Edmonton’s streets and the scramble is on to get the work done before one of Edmonton’s two seasons is over – construction season.

The man who’s watching all of the projects for the city is confident they’ll be able to get done what they need to, even if the snowflakes fly.

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  • IN PHOTOS: Final leg of Anthony Henday Drive opens to motorists

  • 102 Avenue bridge re-opening celebration sees champagne and cheers

    READ MORE: Snow, freezing rain forecast prompts special weather statement for much of Alberta

    It’s not the snow crews are worried about, said Nathan Stelmach, the general supervisor for arterial road construction.

    “What it is, is what appears to be persistent low temperatures, for the next couple of weeks.”

    “Usually the first bit of snow falls in mid or early October and everyone starts to panic,” he said in an interview. “Then it turns around and we get normal weather, and keep working until the last week of October. But here it doesn’t appear to be looking like it’s going to be very nice.”

    “Let me put it to you this way, it’s fortunate that we didn’t have as big of a year in terms of locations as we did in 2015.”

    READ MORE: City of Edmonton’s 2016 online construction map

    What is still out there is a loss of a lane on the Yellowhead in east Edmonton between 66 Street and 82 Street.

    “At some point we have to make a decision. We’re going to have to try to get all of the paving done and I expect we will but it’ll be touch and go. (There’s) four solid days of paving left to do there.”

    “On some other locations, for example, that aren’t yet ground, we just won’t grind them. For example, 178 Street, we have all of the concrete work done north of Whitemud, but we won’t proceed with a full out reclamation because we know we won’t be able to complete it, and pave it, so we’ll just do it in the spring.”

    READ MORE: Walterdale Bridge opening delayed again, to mid-2017

    The call city staff will have to make is, will the paving hold up, or is it better to wait? Stelmach said they don’t want to do anything half way.

    “If for some reason it doesn’t appear to perform, then we might have to redo it. We don’t want to intentionally put any kind of sacrificial asphalt in or anything like that because you know you’re wasting your money.”

    Other locations that have them watching the forecasts are 82 Avenue between 75  Street and 71 Street, 106 Avenue – where there is some streetscape enhancement going on in the McCauley neighborhood – and unrelated to the weather but being held up by some Atco gas work, Rowland Road, which Stelmach said will have to wait until the spring.

Missing former deputy minister suspended by law society

25/11/2018 Posted by admin

A New Brunswick lawyer- who once served as the deputy minister of justice – has been suspended by the  Law Society of New Brunswick  and now the society is looking into what happened to thousands of dollars in trust fund accounts for his clients.

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In court documents filed by the law society to the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench, Yassin Choukri’s associate William Stephenson said he was alerted to the situation by Choukri’s wife, who said she was concerned about her husband’s health and safety.

That lead to the discovery of  cheques in client trust fund accounts for more than $50,000 that were deemed “item dishonoured”, meaning they were refused by the bank.

The law society acted quickly to appoint his associate William Stephenson as custodian.

Law Society of New Brunswick Deputy Executive Director and Registrar Shirley Maclean says Stephenson contacted the organization last week, and indicated that Choukri could not be found.

“Under our legislation, if a lawyer abandons their practice, or becomes incapacitated or is suspended or something of that nature, then we have to appoint a custodian under our legislation so our client files and our clients are protected,” Maclean said.

Maclean says Stephenson alerted the law society  to concerns that money was missing from a client’s trust account. The society then moved on Oct. 11 to suspend Choukri until the matter could be heard by the disciplinary committee.

While Choukri and Stephenson shared an office, Maclean says they were associates, not partners.

“The law society also has a compensation fund that will compensate clients if there’s been fraud or dishonesty on the part of the member, but again, we’re not at that point yet,” Maclean said.

An affidavit filed with the court states Choukri’s wife transferred large sums of money to him from her line of credit.  Court  documents also show a number of credit card payments made to a casino.

In an email to Global News, Stephenson says he will be taking instructions from the Law Society and says he won’t speak publicly about this “unfortunate turn of events.”

Fredericton Police Force spokesperson Alycia Bartlett says there was initially a missing persons report filed about a month ago, but she says that’s no longer the case. Bartlett says there’s currently no criminal investigation underway.

Choukri was first admitted to the Law Society in 1992.

Edmonton-area mayors approve growth plan

25/11/2018 Posted by admin

The mayors and reeves of the Capital Regional Board have voted, 22-2 to adopt a growth plan for the entire greater metro Edmonton region that calls for higher housing density targets.

The plan sees higher density as helping with improved transportation and as byproduct of that, greater economic development opportunities.

The plan was always controversial, and there was talk prior to the vote that some of the smaller communities would vote as a block to scuttle it.

ChangSha Night Net

“I believed it always had the potential of going off the rails,” St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse, and board chair, said.

“There were things that, it didn’t matter whether it was density, or ag (agriculture) preservation, whether it was the importance of the small community, 5,000 population. Any one of those had the potential of having it go sideways. But at the end of the day, it’s a 22-2 vote which you need 17, you need 75 per cent, so it’s passed.”

Parkland County voted no, because its council didn’t agree with the 24-member board overseeing a new economic development agency for the region.

“We have an ability to certainly capitalize on that market here. But is the right body to move that forward?” Mayor Rod Shaigec said.

The mayors of the region are looking at agriculture, and the value added food industry as key points to economic development.

Leduc County also voted against the plan. Mayor John Whaley wanted a delay because of the ongoing annexation talks. He doesn’t think enough has been done to protect high value agricultural land.

“This is a time where we’re really serious about supporting the primary agricultural land for the future generations,” he said. “Now is the time to stand up and do it. We missed a chance 20 years ago, now is the time to do it now. And we’re trying to get that conversation and it’s not about stopping growth, that is not what this is about. It’s about a smarter job of doing it.”

“There’s a lot of poorer land around this region and that’s where densification should happen and industry should move to. Taking three feet of black soil away and burying it, which has taken thousands of years to have happen, that could be classed as criminal in some parts of this world.”

“I’m very upset about that, and I’ve pitched that to the board before and to the government,” Whaley complained to reporters.

“They just walk away and say, ‘not our problem.’ It is everybody’s problem. That’s what I’m trying to say. This province has to get involved in some regional planning of the agricultural lands for the future.”

The higher density targets are for new area structure plans only. Ones already on the books are grandfathered. It’s expected any new developments that will be faced with the stricter rules of 40 residents per hectare are in the City of Edmonton, and likely the Bremner development in Strathcona County.

“In that 10-year time frame, we’re going to see Bremner start,” Mayor Roxanne Carr said. “We don’t know when. It depends on the economy. But that would be about 55,000 people so we’re going to be looking to the growth plan.”

“The main average is 40 and that allows us to create that diversity in housing that we’ve talked about all along.”

The plan, under its new guidelines, is expected to prevent development of at least 250 quarter sections over the coming decades.

Now that the growth plan has been passed, it’ll move on to the province for ministerial approval.