Erin O’Toole launches leadership bid, Lisa Raitt steps down as finance critic to mull ‘future leadership’

24/03/2019 Posted by admin

OTTAWA – Conservative MP Erin O’Toole is joining the burgeoning list of candidates to replace former prime minister Stephen Harper as party leader.

“As we look to the future, our priorities are clear: we need to reconnect with Canadians,” O’Toole said in a statement issued Friday as he launched his leadership campaign from his home town of Bowmanville, Ont.

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“We need to show Canadians that government can – and must – be so much more than sunny ways, slogans and photo ops,” he said.

“We need to build on the strengths and successes of our past while actively seeking opportunities to win back the trust of Canadians.”

READ MORE: Tony Clement steps away from Tory leadership race

The Ontario MP, who served as veterans affairs minister in the previous Conservative government, was joined by his family – his wife, Rebecca, their children, Jack and Mollie, and his father, John O’Toole, who was a Progressive Conservative MPP for the riding of Durham, Ont., from 1995 to 2014.

Erin O’Toole, a lawyer and former officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, was elected to represent the federal riding of Durham in a 2012 by-election.

“From an early age my siblings and I were taught the importance and value of public service. We learned those lessons from our dad, who spent close to three decades serving the people of this community in government. And from our mom who was a school board trustee,” O’Toole said in his statement.

The O’Toole campaign also announced endorsements from 10 Conservative MPs: Cathy McLeod, Todd Doherty, Blake Richards, Michael Cooper, Kevin Waugh, Robert Sopuck, Jamie Schmale, John Brassard and Colin Carrie.

O’Toole, who last year had put his name forward to become interim party leader, had originally said he had no immediate plans to join the contest.

He changed his mind after being encouraged by caucus colleagues to enter this summer.

The leadership race is a crowded one.

Earlier today, Conservative MP Lisa Raitt announced on 桑拿会所 she is stepping down from her role as finance critic to “continue discussions on the future leadership” of her party.

That development suggests the former cabinet minister is getting closer to declaring her intention to run, because interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose has asked all leadership candidates to abandon such roles.

The current candidates in the Conservative leadership race are MPs Maxime Bernier, Andrew Scheer, Kellie Leitch, Michael Chong, Deepak Obhrai and Brad Trost.

WATCH: Tom’s Take: First Conservative leadership drop-out

Others, including MPs Erin O’Toole and former MP Chris Alexander are also expected to join the race.

The first leadership debate is to take place Nov. 10 in Saskatoon. Conservatives will elect their new leader next May 27.

How did 21 Chibok schoolgirls get released?

24/03/2019 Posted by admin

JOHANNESBURG – Conflicting reports emerged Friday about whether the first negotiated release of some Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria in 2014 involved a ransom payment, a prisoner swap for Islamic extremist commanders, or both.

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A Nigerian hostage negotiator who was not involved in Thursday’s release told The Associated Press a “handsome ransom” in the millions of dollars was paid by Switzerland’s government on behalf of Nigerian authorities. He said the Swiss would recoup the money from some $321 million it had said it would repatriate to Nigeria this year from frozen funds looted under former military dictator Sani Abacha.

READ MORE: 21 abducted Chibok girls freed after negotiations with Boko Haram

Swiss officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment after confirming Thursday that they had played a neutral, humanitarian role in the operation. The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed that it had received 21 Chibok girls from Boko Haram and handed them over to Nigerian authorities.

Nigerian authorities have said negotiations continue for the release of the remaining 197 missing girls, though at least half a dozen are reported to have died of illnesses.

Two military officers told the AP the 21 girls were swapped for four detained Boko Haram leaders. The hostage negotiator and officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Nigerian officials deny any swap. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said “there was no exchange of any kind … No such thing took place.” He did not mention a ransom.

READ MORE: 75,000 children could starve to death in Nigeria after Boko Haram: UN

Some parents of the freed girls on Friday were making their way to Abuja, the capital, where the girls were flown Thursday, to be reunited with their daughters. At least 23 parents of the kidnapped girls have died since their abduction, some from stress-related illnesses and others in Boko Haram attacks.

More than 20,000 people have died and 2.6 million have been driven from their homes in Boko Haram’s seven-year insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic state across the West African oil producer, whose 170 million people are divided almost equally between Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.

The first negotiated release of Chibok schoolgirls comes after three failed attempts over several months broke down as extremist leader Abubakar Shekau kept changing his demands, according to Information Minister Lai Mohammed. Negotiations last year failed when Boko Haram demanded a ransom of $5.2 billion, according to a recently published authorized biography of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari by American historian John Paden.

Daily Trust, the most widely read newspaper in northern Nigeria, has reported a ransom was paid for the 21 Chibok girls because none of the detained Boko Haram commanders wanted to be released, fearing for their lives amid a leadership struggle in the extremist group.

The girls are from a Christian enclave in the predominantly Muslim northeast. Many of their parents are involved in translating the Bible into local languages and belong to the Nigerian branch of the Elgin, Illinois-based Church of the Brethren.

Samsung Note 7 recall to cost at least $5.3 billion

24/03/2019 Posted by admin

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of – Samsung Electronics said Friday that the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7 would cost the company about $3 billion during the current and next quarters, bringing the total cost of the recall to at least $5.3 billion.

The Note 7 discontinuation will cost in the mid-2 trillion won range during the October-December period and another 1 trillion won ($884 million) during the January-March quarter, the company said in a statement.

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

Samsung already slashed its third-quarter profit forecast by $2.6 billion earlier this week, an amount that could wipe out its entire mobile business profit. That did not include the cost of Samsung’s first recall, which analysts estimated at 1 trillion won to 2 trillion won.

Samsung has enough cash and other businesses to absorb the shock from the phone recall. It said it expected to generate 5.2 trillion won ($4.6 billion) in operating income during the third quarter after the recall cost. Analysts said most of the income will be generated by sales of advanced displays and semiconductors.

Samsung added that it will make significant changes in its quality assurance processes to enhance product safety for consumers. It did not elaborate.

WATCH: Home security camera footage captures Samsung Galaxy Note 7 catching fire in woman’s hand 

The company said it will expand sales of two other smartphones released in spring, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, quashing rumours that it may try to release updated versions of those devices. Samsung usually releases a new iteration of the Galaxy S series in spring, so the company may have to provide a strong incentive to sell the 6-month-old phones, such as lowering their prices.

Due to unexplained fires and overheating problems, more than 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 smartphones were recalled before the product was discontinued earlier this week just two months after its launch in August.

In the United States, 1.9 million Note 7 phones are subject to the two recalls. Samsung also recalled about 200,000 phones in China and about half a million phones in South Korea.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said there were 96 reports of batteries in Note 7 phones overheating in the country, including 23 new reports since the first recall announcement last month. The company received 13 reports of burns and 47 reports of property damages associated with the phones.

“Consumers should immediately stop using and power down all Galaxy Note 7 devices, including Note 7 devices received as replacements in the previous recall,” the agency said.

WATCH: Tech giant Samsung to stop production of Galaxy Note 7

The botched recall raised questions about Samsung’s initial analysis of the Note 7 phone’s problems. At first, Samsung said a minor manufacturing error in the batteries for the Note 7 was causing the phones to overheat.

The problem with the replacements is still unclear. Experts say Samsung may have rushed to conclude the Note 7’s problem was a battery issue and it may take a long time to find the real cause.

Seeking to retain customers, Samsung is giving an incentive of a $100 credit to Note 7 owners who switch to another Samsung phone.

The Note 7 device was one of the most expensive smartphones in the market with all the latest technologies from Samsung, including the ability to unlock the phone by scanning a user’s iris. It was sold for between $850 and $890.

5 things to watch during American League Championship Series

24/03/2019 Posted by admin

CLEVELAND – The Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians will play in the American League Championship Series for the right to play the National League champion in the World Series.

Here’s a look at five things to watch in the best-of-seven showdown:

ROTATION SITUATION

Toronto’s Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ, Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez are as strong a foursome as you’ll find in the American League.

The Indians are anchored by ace Corey Kluber, who went 18-9 in the regular season and had a 3.14 earned-run average. There is a dropoff after that due to injuries to starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, but Kluber could pitch on short rest in the series if needed.

“I think we’re at the point in the year where anybody is going to do anything they can to help the team win,” Kluber said Thursday.

“If that means starting on short rest, pitching out of the bullpen on short rest, if it comes down to it and that’s what the team needs to get a win, then I’m all for it.”

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SAVING SANCHEZ

Toronto starter Aaron Sanchez will likely make just one appearance per series through the post-season.

The Blue Jays are trying not to overwork the 24-year-old right-hander, who was a sparkling 15-2 in his first full season as a starter.

Sanchez, who led the American League with a 3.00 ERA, worked 5 2/3 innings and did not get a decision in his lone start in the ALDS. He’s scheduled to start Game 4 on Tuesday in Toronto.

Sanchez enters with 197 2/3 innings pitched on the year.

“I’m the type of player that’s going to listen to my body and there’s nothing that’s given me any red flags to be concerned,” Sanchez said. “I’ve bounced back good and having these days off has given me some extra time to get my body underneath me so to speak. I’m looking forward to this opportunity.”

WATCH: ‘We feel good about them all’: Gibbons on his pitching staff for ALCS (Oct. 13)

HOW SWEEP IT IS

The Blue Jays and Indians enter the American League Championship Series brimming with confidence after impressive sweeps in the divisional series.

Toronto extended its winning streak to six games by dumping the Texas Rangers in three straight games. Cleveland also needed just three games to dispatch the Boston Red Sox.

The Indians had a 4-3 edge in the season series against the Blue Jays.

The best-of-seven ALCS will begin with two games in Cleveland before shifting to Toronto for two games.

A fifth game, if necessary, would also be played at Rogers Centre. The series would move back to Progressive Field for Games 6 and 7 if required.

WATCH: Devon Travis should be ready to go for Game 1 of ALCS: Gibbons (Oct. 13)

OSUNA MATATA

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna said he’s feeling strong heading into this showdown with the Indians.

He has seen a lot of work in recent weeks and has already worked five innings over three post-season appearances.

“Like they say, you don’t feel tired in these games,” Osuna said. “You just want to go out there and do your job and try to give the edge to your team.

Osuna had to leave the wild-card game victory over Baltimore last week when he felt a ‘stretch’ in his throwing shoulder.

He rested for a few days and came back with an impressive five-out save in Game 2 of the ALDS.

WATCH: With Francisco Liriano still out, Jays may be a player short for Friday’s ALCS opener (Oct. 13)

CLEVELAND CHILL

Many Blue Jays were sporting toques for the late afternoon batting practice Thursday at Progressive Field.

It was a chilly 13 C in Cleveland and a similar temperature is expected for Game 1 on Friday.

The forecast calls for sunny skies and a comfortable 23 C for Saturday’s Game 2.

Donald Trump says women who accused him of sexual misconduct are ‘horrible, horrible liars’

24/02/2019 Posted by admin

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.— Lashing back, Donald Trump heatedly rejected the growing list of sexual assault allegations against him as “pure fiction” on Thursday, hammering his female accusers as “horrible, horrible liars” as the already-nasty presidential campaign sank further into charges of attacks on women.

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Campaign foe Hillary Clinton said “the disturbing stories just keep on coming” about her Republican opponent, but she let first lady Michelle Obama’s passionate response carry the day. Obama, in battleground New Hampshire, warned that the New York billionaire’s behavior “is not something we can ignore.”

READ MORE: Here are the sexual assault allegations facing the Republican candidate

After years of working to end “this kind of violence and abuse and disrespect … we’re hearing these exact same things on the campaign trail. We are drowning in it,” Obama declared, her voice cracking with emotion. “We can’t expose our children to this any longer, not for another minute, let alone for four years.”

WATCH: Donald Trump lashed out at the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, as more alleged victims come forward. Jackson Proskow reports on Trump’s response and the fallout.

With Election Day less than four weeks away, Republican Trump was again forced to defend himself against allegations of sexual misconduct, five days after a video surfaced in which he bragged about kissing and groping women without their permission.

Similar behaviour was detailed by women who accused Trump in articles published late Wednesday by The New York Times and the Palm Beach Post. Separately, a People Magazine reporter offered a first-person account accusing Trump of attacking her while she was in Florida to interview him and his pregnant wife.

Attorney Gloria Allred to Donald Trump: You should be ashamed of yourself

01:42

Attorney Gloria Allred to Donald Trump: You should be ashamed of yourself

05:11

Another ‘Apprentice’ contestant comes forward to say Donald Trump made inappropriate sexual advances

01:45

Donald Trump continues his attacks on sexual assault accusers, the media

01:14

Obama says Trump calling campaign ‘rigged’ is damaging to democratic process

02:18

Is Trump bluffing about taking legal action?

00:35

Australian MP calls Trump a ‘revolting slug unfit for public office’

00:44

Donald Trump says sexual misconduct accusations are way to distract public from Wikileaks

00:37

‘If she goes down in Tiananmen Square they’ll just leave her there’: Trump on Hillary visit to China

02:41

Is Trump guilty of a double standard?

02:00

Why is Vancouver’s Trump Tower delayed?

00:45

Mike Pence dismisses allegations against Donald Trump

05:39

BCLC accepting bets on U.S. election Trump vs. Clinton

04:01

Trump denies sexual assault allegations, labels accusers as liars

02:16

Clinton says Trump makes people want to ‘look at cat gifs’



Ever defiant, the New York billionaire denied the allegations and blamed them on Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the complicit news media as he campaigned in Florida. He promised to sue his media critics and said he was preparing evidence that would discredit his female accusers, whom he called “horrible people. They’re horrible, horrible liars.”

He went further during an evening appearance in Columbus, Ohio, saying he “never met” some of the women.

“I don’t know who they are,” he insisted and said they “made up stories.”

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

“These vicious claims about me, of inappropriate conduct with women, are totally and absolutely false. And the Clintons know it,” he said earlier. He offered no evidence discrediting the new reports except to ask why his accusers had waited years and then made their allegations less than a month before the election.

His comments came soon after he called a reporter “a sleazebag” for asking whether Trump had ever touched or groped a woman without her consent.

Trump’s attacks on his accusers’ credibility marked an awkward break from campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, who earlier in the week highlighted a Clinton tweet that said “every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump says sexual misconduct accusations are way to distract public from Wikileaks

Conway hoped to encourage more women to come forward with allegations against Bill Clinton, building on the campaign’s Sunday decision to bring three of the former president’s accusers to the second presidential debate.

“His campaign is promising more scorched-earth attacks. Now that’s up to him,” Clinton said during a San Francisco fundraiser. “He can run his campaign however he chooses. And frankly, I don’t care if he goes after me.”

Trump running mate Mike Pence ditched the national reporters who pay to travel with his campaign in Pennsylvania. The Indiana governor’s 桑拿会所 account showed him meeting with faith leaders and stopping at a restaurant — after a Pence spokesman said the vice presidential nominee was attending closed-door fundraisers.

Republican leaders across the country said they were deeply troubled by the allegations against Trump, but there was no evidence of new defections. Over the weekend, dozens of Republican senators and congressmen vowed they would not vote for him, with many calling on him to step aside.

WATCH: Michelle Obama ‘shaken to the core’ by Donald Trump ‘locker room talk’

Some recanted after an aggressive weekend debate performance. And in what he called an increasingly “muddy” election, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson raised complaints about Hillary Clinton Thursday but wondered aloud what could change voters’ minds at this point.

“Is there a deal-breaker out there? How many emails have to be destroyed? How many investigations have to be concluded with question marks? How many comments have to come out from one campaign in reference to religious institutions that raises concerns?”

More Trump accusers may be coming forward, according to attorney Gloria Allred, who said women have contacted her office in recent days.

“The dam has broken, and more women will be coming forward,” she said.

The stories about Trump and his countercharges against Clinton’s husband have plunged an already rancorous campaign to new lows. They also have distracted attention from the release of thousands of hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta that included some potentially damaging information.

A new batch indicated on Thursday that her 2008 presidential campaign had tried to move the Illinois Democratic primary to a later date, believing it might help her. The emails are being parceled out by WikiLeaks.

WATCH: Obama says Trump will not make an ‘honourable’ president

For Trump, the cumulative effect of recent revelations and allegations about his personal life appears to be a tumble in the battleground states he needs to win in November. What was already a narrow path to the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory has virtually disappeared unless there’s a significant shake-up before Nov. 8

He promised Thursday to focus on issues in the final weeks, even as his campaign crafted plans to highlight decades-old accusations against Bill Clinton.

Trump confidant and informal adviser Roger Stone has long encouraged him to make Bill Clinton’s alleged assaults a centerpiece of the campaign. Steve Bannon, the campaign’s chief executive, until recently ran a conservative website that eagerly promotes conspiracy theories about the Clintons.

Back in New Hampshire, Michelle Obama said, “Enough is enough.”

If Americans let Trump win the election “we are telling our sons it’s OK to humiliate women. We are telling our daughters this is the way they deserve to be treated. We are telling all of our kids that bigotry and bullying is perfectly acceptable.”

s report.

Saint-Lambert approves controversial project to restore former masonic temple

24/02/2019 Posted by admin

Saint-Lambert city council approved a controversial project to renovate a historic former masonic temple Thursday night by a vote of six to one.

The city bought the temple in 1999 and has been looking for an investor ever since, pushed by citizens to turn it into a cultural space.

The investor has finally come but so has a slew of questions around the project.

For four hours, Saint-Lambert residents lined up expressing concerns over the towering size of the $8-million dollar project at a council meeting.

The proposal features a market, a bistro and an attached three-storey building to serve as an “all the rage” co-working space.

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Related

    Historic building in Montreal in trouble

    The effort will restore the rickety leftovers of what was the masonic temple, at the corner of Lorne and Elm streets which has had no maintenance in decades.

    And although most in attendance praised the initiative, its looks were an issue.

    “What we’ll have there is a factory,” Edgar Hay-Ellis, who lives near the project, said.

    The developer, Max Dubois, is a well-known local cheese shop owner supported by business mogul Alexandre Taillefer.

    READ MORE: #GreatMTLer: Meet Alexandre Taillefer, the visionary with a strong social conscience

    At times Dubois became impatient and seemed frustrated with the slew of questions coming his way.

    “It just feels like too much,” Gwenda Wells, the head priest of the Anglican Church next door to the temple, said.

    St. Barnabas church is a 100-year-old Neo-Tudor-style building.

    Wells would like to see a more modest design that fits in more with the area’s Victorian architecture.

    “Build something onto it, but nowhere near the same scale [of the proposed building],” Wells said.

    The city says the proposal is the breath of fresh air the downtown area needs.

    “It will revitalize the city centre, it will help a lot of people including those elders that live around the street, that want to shop at that future store,” Boris Chassagne, the head of Saint-Lambert’s urban planning committee said.

    The developer says he will take all of the concerns into consideration before construction starts in March 2017.

N.Y. man grabs attention for hugging 1,500-pound bear

24/02/2019 Posted by admin

OTISVILLE, N.Y. — Bear hugs are nothing. Jim Kowalczik hugs bears.

Kowalczik lies on the ground as his 1,500-pound bear buddy, Jimbo, rests a heavy paw on his waist. He feeds Jimbo a marshmallow from his mouth and laughs as a big bear tongue slobbers on his ear.

If that sounds suicidal, consider that Kowalczik and his wife, Susan, have cared for Jimbo for almost 23 years, since the Kodiak bear first came to the couple’s upstate New York haven for injured or unwanted animals as a bottle-feeding cub.

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“He’ll play with you all day if you have the time,” Kowalczik says after a recent horseplay session, adding that it’s fortunate the bear doesn’t throw his weight around casually. “If he lays on you, you’ve got a problem.”

READ MORE: N.B. ‘bear whisperer’ feeds, interacts with wild black bears

Jimbo is among the 11 bears living at the couple’s nonprofit Orphaned Wildlife Center 60 miles northwest of New York City. One of them, a black bear named Frankie, was born in the wild and found his way here in 2012 after being hit by a car. The rest of the bears here were born in captivity, eight of them Syrian brown bears or mixes that came from a breeding program. Jimbo came from a West Coast game farm with an injured leg.

In this Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 photo, Jim Kowalczik plays with Jimbo, a 1500-pound Kodiak bear, at the Orphaned Wildlife Center in Otisville, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

There are plenty of wildlife rehabilitators and other centers that care for bears. But Kowalczik has grabbed attention for his hands-on approach. One Facebook video of him playing with Jimbo has received more than 16 million views. Kowalczik describes it as if it was something as natural as petting your dog. The bears are like his children, he says, and they have never injured him.

“There’s no false pretenses like there are with people and stuff,” Kowalczik says. “What you see is what you get.”

The couple has been rehabilitating squirrels, ducks, deer, mink and other animals together since the early 1990s. The main goal is to release animals, but the bears here cannot be released because of injuries or because they are too accustomed to captivity.

WATCH: Grizzly bear dives for salmon in viral video

Bears are in 57-year-old Susan Kowalczik’s bloodline. Her father, Albert Rix, was a well-known circus veteran from Germany who raised Syrian brown bears. Jim, 60, is a retired corrections officer.

The Kowalcziks funded the venture out of their own pockets until creating the nonprofit last year, which allows them to take donations. It’s still just them, plus director Kerry Clair, who handles administrative duties.

READ MOR: Man shares dramatic video after surviving 2 attacks by grizzly bear

The videos help with exposure. But experts are pretty clear: Do not get up close with bears, like Kowalczik does.

Even with captive bears, there’s a chance their instincts will take over, says Matt Merchant, senior wildlife biologist with New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation. Plus, there are inherent dangers of rolling around with an animal that’s three-quarters of a ton.

“I don’t think people get a lot of good information or education from that kind of behavior,” Merchant says. “They’d be better off watching a naturalist show off bears in the wild, or just going out and hiking around and seeing them on their own.”

Sitting on the ground next to Jimbo, Kowalczik shrugs at the thought of personal danger from his bear buddies.

“They’re content, they’re happy. If they weren’t,” Kowalczik pauses as Jimbo licks him, “you would know it.”

Penticton townhouse fire is an arson

24/02/2019 Posted by admin

UPDATE: RCMP have confirmed they have an 18 year old woman in custody that they believe to have started the fire.

They say they were responding to a domestic dispute between the woman and her mother just prior to the blaze.

They were called to unit 122 of the Cascade Gardens Townhouse Complex at 8:00pm, six minutes before the Penticton Fire Department got reports of fire coming from the same unit.

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“The fire went into the walls, into the floors, into the attic space,” says Penticton Fire Department Chief Larry Watkinson. “We were basically chasing four different house fires in one complex… with the four-plex, we had fires in each unit and we were tactically aggressively fighting the fire with four different strategies.”

Watkinson says the entire PFD responded to the fire.

RCMP say the woman is facing potential charges of arson and arson to endanger life.

PENTICTON – A fire at a townhouse complex in Penticton was deliberately set.

The fire chief confirms they’re conducting an arson investigation.

The blaze broke out Thursday just after 8 p.m. at the Cascade Gardens townhouses on Penticton Avenue.

The flames spread from one unit to three others.

At least a dozen people safely evacuated their homes but a cat and three birds perished in the fire.

Neetu Garcha/ Global Okanagan

Neetu Garcha/ Global Okanagan

Contributed by Chelsea Piper/ Global Okanagan

Contributed by Chelsea Piper/ Global Okanagan

Neetu Garcha/ Global Okanagan

PFD chief, Larry Watkinson, says police were dealing with a domestic dispute at the unit not long before the fire started there.

A resident of the complex told Global News a woman was taken away in a police car.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stumps for Liberal byelection candidate in Medicine Hat

24/02/2019 Posted by admin

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was greeted by a couple of thousand enthusiastic supporters at a byelection campaign event in Medicine Hat, Alta, a city known for its staunch of support of the Conservative party.

“I am so excited to be back,” Trudeau shouted to the 800 people packed inside the venue, noting that he accompanied his father on a visit when he was just seven months old.

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    “The last time a Liberal prime minister came to Medicine Hat, it was 1972. I was there but what’s important from that visit of my father in 1972, from a historical perspective, that was the moment that we started the decades-long dominance of the Liberal Party of Canada in southern Alberta.”

    Trudeau quickly made it clear to the cheering crowd he was joking, since the Liberals have never registered in southern Alberta.

    “No, that didn’t happen, but you can hear it – the times are a changin’,” he told the rally for Stan Sakamoto, the Liberal candidate in the Oct. 24 byelection for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner.

    READ MORE: Federal byelection set for Alberta seat

    Indeed, it was pandemonium outside the venue where an additional 1,600 people lined up around the block.

    Trudeau waded through that crowd, giving those who couldn’t get inside a chance to see him.

    “I think it was just an excellent opportunity to see the community become engaged in this election,” said Jan Dynes.

    “The lineups extended about four blocks around the corner. It was just pretty exciting for downtown. I saw him arrive and then saw him as he was going through the crowd,” said Dynes, who intends to vote Liberal.

    Trudeau waded through that crowd, giving those who couldn’t get inside a chance to see him.

    Across the street, about 100 protesters angry at Trudeau for his plans for a carbon tax held their own gathering.

    Signs included “Trudeau Not Welcome,” “Not all Canadians like what you are doing” and “You have nice hair but nothing you say is Tru Deau.”

    “We just wanted to show that he’s quite arrogant coming into Medicine Hat,” said local farmer/rancher Clark Walker. “This is PC country and that we don’t like what he’s doing running the country.

    READ MORE: Alberta government will not support federal climate change plan without pipeline approval

    The byelection was called following the death of popular Conservative MP Jim Hillyer, who succumbed to a heart attack in his Parliament Hill office earlier this year.

    Trudeau made no mention of Hillyer but did take a shot at the federal Conservative Party for voting against the Liberal-sponsored tax cut for the middle class and against higher taxes for the rich.

    “They’re just as out of touch today as they were at the end of their last mandate,” said Trudeau.

    He encouraged voters in the riding to make a change.

    “You can be part of sending a very clear message that Canada deserves better, Alberta deserves better, Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner deserves better,” he said.

    “I’m here tonight to tell you we can make it happen. You can make it happen. So my friends, let’s get it done.”

University of Saskatchewan launches final funding drive for new hockey facility

24/01/2019 Posted by admin

At 87 years young, Rutherford Rink is the second-oldest hockey arena in the CIS. Several plans to replace the home of the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Huskies have come and gone over the years only to die on the vine.

But on Thursday, the latest plan became much more than a pipe dream as the university launched the last phase of a fundraising drive for a new facility, meaning Rutherford’s days are officially numbered.

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    READ MORE: Saskatoon city council backs new arena, increases taxi fees

    With $34 million in funds already secured, the Home Ice campaign is targeting public and community donors for the remaining $7 million needed to build a new arena complex on campus.

    “For a long time now we’ve been quietly raising money, hoping we would get to exactly this point but needing to know that we could, and we did,” university president Peter Stoicheff said.

    While a new rink on campus is long overdue, it wasn’t until U of S alumnus Merlis Belsher donated $12.25 million to the cause that the latest project really came to life.

    “I follow hockey, follow sports, and I was well aware over the years of the state of Rutherford. So when I was contacted I listened very carefully,” said Belsher, the former owner of Weldon’s Concrete Products and who was raised on a farm near McCord, Sask. Belsher’s donation is the largest gift from an alumnus and individual in the university’s history.

    READ MORE: University of Saskatchewan looking to private sector for new ice rink

    The proposed $41-million facility, which will be known as Merlis Belsher Place, will be built on university land south of the Field House and adjacent to PotashCorp Park, where the Huskies football and soccer teams play. It will feature two ice sheets and all the modern amenities that are missing at Rutherford.

    “The biggest thing I think is warming up before a game. You can’t really warm up in a place like this. There’s no room. So having like a gym there and all that, that’s huge for us,” said Kaitlin Willoughby, a forward on the women’s hockey squad.

    “The dressing room’s pretty tight, so to have those luxuries makes it easier on us and makes our jobs as student-athletes even easier,” added men’s team captain, Kendall McFaull.

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    The Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) will also benefit, with the new rink providing much-needed relief in a city running short on available ice.

    “The last sheet of ice that was added to our inventory in the city was the second rink at Rod Hamm-Harold Latrace (arena) in 1998,” SMHA executive director Kelly Boes told the crowd at Thursday’s launch.

    The university hopes to raise the final $7 million needed for the project in the coming months. Once the funds are secured, construction will begin. From start to finish it’s estimated the arena will take approximately one year to complete.