15. 01. 2019
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Vancouver man finds out another passenger flew under his name on WestJet flight

Vancouver man finds out another passenger flew under his name on WestJet flight

A Vancouver man was shocked to find out that another passenger was able to fly under his name on a WestJet flight from Calgary to Vancouver on Sunday.

Jonathan Sutherland says when he was unable to check in to his scheduled flight at the self-serve kiosk, he talked to an agent, which is when he was informed that his plane has already left with another passenger in his place.

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“[The agent] advised me that I have already travelled from Calgary to Vancouver on an earlier flight. I advised her that was incorrect. I was standing right there,” he said.

Initially, Sutherland thought it was an administrative error, but after getting in touch with WestJet’s head office, it turned out a gate agent checked in another passenger with a similar last name to an earlier 2 p.m. flight as opposed to the 6:45 p.m. flight, which Sutherland was supposed to be on.

As a frequent flier, Sutherland says he is surprised the glitch happened because of the number of checks in place.

He says his ID always gets checked at the counter before obtaining a boarding pass.

The next check comes when he goes through security and provides his boarding pass.

Finally, both ID and boarding pass have to be checked at the gate in order to be able to board the plane.

“At that point, the gate agent is looking at your picture, they are looking at your first name, last name, making sure all of it is the same,” Sutherland said. “WestJet does an announcement to advise before boarding that if there is a problem with identification and your name does not match perfectly to your boarding pass, that it is to be addressed at that time.”

Sutherland was rebooked on another flight and said WestJet acknowledged there were gaps that allowed the other passenger to be put on the plane.

WestJet released the following statement to Global News:

WestJet sincerely apologizes to the guest for his experience this past Sunday. All guests are screened through airport security so there was no safety risk to the public. We are reviewing the incident with the agents involved.

Sutherland says WestJet told him the incident would be addressed within the company’s internal policies.

He says he hopes it’s an isolated incident.

“It’s concerning because I feel like the passenger may not have been properly vetted,” he said. “My concern is that if the individual that was sitting on the plane as me did anything or caused any concerns, it would be me who would be held accountable for it, as my name was on that reservation.”

Sutherland says he filed a report with the Calgary police about what happened.

He also wants Transport Canada to review this situation and work with the airline to fix the gaps.

15. 01. 2019
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Calgary bartering exchange ‘eXmerce’ gaining popularity with businesses

Calgary bartering exchange ‘eXmerce’ gaining popularity with businesses

CALGARY – Companies trying to survive the slow economic times are discovering how bartering can help bring in new business, using a website that allows promotion and trade between members without cash.

Kellie Mallette runs a successful bookkeeping business and owes part of her success to bartering. She belongs to the eXmerce barter network, and regularly trades accounting and tax services for things she needs in her business, or her personal life.

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“It really does work like a bank account,” Mallette said. “We do taxes for somebody else in the club, and then out of 350 members, we can go and choose what services we want to use.”

eXmerce helps promote and trade products and services between its members without using cash. Businesses or individuals pay a fee to join and then “earn” or bank trade credits for work they exchange.

“What this means to a business, is whatever you (as a business) would normally charge out there in the cash world, that’s what you would charge in trade dollars throughout network,” eXmerce’s Nelson Liem said.  “What happens is when you bank the trade dollars in your account, it enables you to start purchasing other products and services with any one of the members that’s part of the network.”

Mallette says she barters for marketing and technology services, and even bartered to have her office painted.

Bartering is recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency as legal payment, and all transactions through eXmerce are claimed as revenue like cash.

One trade dollar is equal to one cash dollar, and anything you barter for your business can be written off as a business expense.

Allan Wirzba owns AW Painting in Calgary, and says bartering helps him network with potential clients and leads to new referrals.

He said it’s also valuable when things are slow, replacing cash customers with barter business.

“In the last three months, I have been able to request services from members here in this barter exchange,” Wirzba said. “Each one of those times no money was exchanged, and that preserves and saves my operating capital as a business–and saves money.”

While eXmerce caters to business exchanges, both Wirzba and Mallette have used their barter credits for personal or family use around the house.

15. 01. 2019
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Trial underway for Regina couple accused of killing four-year-old, abusing toddler

Trial underway for Regina couple accused of killing four-year-old, abusing toddler

REGINA – The trial for a Regina couple charged in the death of a young child in their care four years ago officially began Monday.

Kevin and Tammy Goforth are facing second degree murder charges and are also accused of abusing and neglecting the victim’s younger sister.

The children were in the Goforths’ care from January to August 2012.
The trial is expected to take three weeks and will hear testimony from 16 different witnesses including investigators, child protection workers and the accused themselves.

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It was an emotional day in court, as the victim’s mother sobbed when the Crown delivered opening statements, recapping the condition of the four-year-old when she was brought to Regina General Hospital in 2012.

Prosecutor Dana Brule said evidence will show the child was only “skin and bones.”

The young girl died in hospital on August 2 and investigation led to the discovery of her two-year-old sister, who was also taken to hospital for nine days and suspected to be abused.

The Crown alleges the pair were malnourished and they intend to prove there’s evidence suggesting both children were physically restrained while in the care of the Goforths.

Defence lawyers Jeff Deagle and Noah Evanchuk told jurors that they’re likely to hear evidence that will shock them but asked the jury to not pass judgment until all evidence has been delivered.

A total of 14 people, seven women and seven men, were selected to serve on the jury. Two will be dismissed at the end of the trial to ensure there are 12 people for deliberations.

The first witness is scheduled when court resumes Tuesday morning.

The girls can’t be identified because of a court order.

Due to a publication ban Global News is no longer able to name the victims in this case.

15. 01. 2019
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Saskatoon police want citizens to vote on traffic enforcement targets

Saskatoon police want citizens to vote on traffic enforcement targets

SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) is unveiling a new social media initiative Tuesday that will impact where they conduct speed enforcement by allowing residents to vote on potential locations.

“It’s a traffic initiative that will use 桑拿会所’s new polling feature to give the community a chance to voice their input into where we conduct some of our traffic enforcement,” said Kelsie Fraser, a spokesperson for the SPS.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve our service to the community,” she added.

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    The SPS plans to highlight three locations on 桑拿会所 and allow users a 24-hour window to vote on where the enforcement should occur. The next day, officers will set up in the area and report the results. The initiative can be found using #SlowDownYXE.

    “We need safe streets and to have safe streets you have to have people paying attention, you have to slow down the speeds,” said Staff Sgt. Judy McHarg of the SPS traffic unit.

    READ MORE: Sask. police unit hands out over 12,400 traffic tickets in 2015

    In 2014, Saskatoon police issued 11,330 municipal speeding by-law tickets, according to a year-end report. Officials say the number hasn’t changed much over the years.

    “We’re seeing the same, we hold our own all things traffic tickets,” said McHarg.

    Even with the new effort, McHarg said she didn’t expect the number of speed violations to go down. Instead, the move will help the SPS better engage with the public on the issue of dangerous driving.

    “Truly with this new initiative that we’re planning with the twitter account, I still think that we’re still going to get our same number of tickets that we do on a daily basis,” said McHarg.

    However, enforcement penalty may be the most effective way to curb speeding, according to Carl Kuhnke a transportation infrastructure expert who applauded the SPS move.

    “There’s only so much that design can do to fix that and after that it’s enforcement,” said Kuhnke.

    “They are now going to the citizens and saying, you people are out there driving every day, you know the intersections where everyone’s going 100 instead of 60.”

15. 01. 2019
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Cathy Overton-Clapham returns to provincial Scotties after almost quitting curling

Cathy Overton-Clapham returns to provincial Scotties after almost quitting curling

WINNIPEG —; Cathy Overton-Clapham is back and ready to rock.

“For the first time in a long time I’m really excited to play in the provincials,” said the 2008 world champion.

Overton-Clapham is returning to the Manitoba Scotties following a two-year hiatus. A curling comeback for the 46-year-old Winnipegger after almost calling it quits last season.

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“I’ve been doing it for so long, practicing every day,” said Overton-Clapham. “My kids are busy in their sports. My son is a competitive curler too and I was missing out on his wins so I wanted to be more a part of that.”

But a phone call from Briane Meilleur in the summer peeled that plan. The third and her teammates, Katherine Doerksen and Krysten Karwacki, were stuck after their skip split. So Overton-Clapham decided to slide in and help.

“I knew there was a lot of potential with the girls,” said Overton-Clapham. “I know they’re very tough competitors as well. The fire wasn’t there anymore. I still love to play the game. Playing with the girls has brought that back.”

The Fort Rouge rink competed in four events this year, qualifying for the quarterfinals in the DEKALB Superspiel in Morris back in November. Last month, the team captured a provincials berth in the Winnipeg playdown.

“(The girls) are really excited to play,” said Overton-Clapham. “It’s Katherine’s first time in a Scotties. Her energy and excitement is rubbing off on me.”

In exchange, Overton-Clapham is providing experience to girls nearly half her age.

“I do feel like a mom a lot of the time,” said Overton-Clapham. “There’s been a couple of moments where they’ve mentioned some things and I’ve gone ‘Really? I guess I am that old.’,”

Overton-Clapham plays her first match at the 2016 Manitoba Scotties at 12:15pm Wednesday against the Burntwood Curling Club’s Jennifer Rolles.

16. 12. 2018
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B.C. wrestles with ways to cool housing market

B.C. wrestles with ways to cool housing market

VICTORIA – Real estate economists want British Columbia’s government to tax foreign property owners and speculators despite Finance Ministry forecasts that the province could lose $1 billion in sales and up to 4,000 construction jobs.

Premier Christy Clark has said housing relief for first-time home buyers is a concern as the government prepares to deliver its budget next month, but she has shot down previous requests for speculation and luxury taxes on foreign investors to cool rising prices.

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Thomas Davidoff, a housing economist at the Sauder School of Business, said Monday real estate experts from B.C. universities and business schools have proposed a 1.5-per-cent tax on vacant residential properties to create more rental properties and increase affordability.

The Housing Affordability Fund plan comes as rental-vacancy rates in Vancouver slipped below one per cent last year and the average selling price for a single-family home on the city’s west side is above $2.5 million.

READ MORE: B.C. real estate developer proposes ‘no down payment’ on Port Moody condos

“Housing affordability is unquestionably an issue,” said Davidoff. “The premier has said it’s front and centre and she’s asked for a policy that doesn’t whack housing demand.”

He said the affordability fund could generate up to $90 million in surcharges from vacant homeowners in Vancouver. Homeowners who rent or live in their homes and pay income tax will be able to write off the surcharge, Davidoff said.

“If you are an investor you don’t have to pay the tax. All you have to do is turn your vacant unit into a rental unit, and voila, you get to claim the rental income as a credit against this surcharge. That’s a pretty strong incentive for people who want to invest here to turn vacant units into rental units.”

WATCH: UBC professor Tom Davidoff explains how the surcharge could benefit local residents.

Last June, the government rejected calls from Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson to levy speculation and luxury taxes on foreign owners and speculators as a way to keep prices from rising. But Clark turned down the plan, saying using taxes to drive down prices could hurt current homeowners by reducing their equity.

READ MORE: Mayor asks for bold action to make Vancouver housing more affordable

A six-page Finance Ministry analysis concluded moves to cut foreign investment in B.C.’s housing market would have little impact on house prices because foreign home buyers comprise less than five per cent of the sales market in the Vancouver area.

The analysis also concluded if home prices fell by 10 per cent due to policy measures, Greater Vancouver homeowners would lose about $60 billion in home equity, about $85,000 each.

Last fall, Finance Minister Mike de Jong said the government was reviewing current thresholds for property-purchase tax levels and adjusting the $475,000 property-purchase tax exemption for first-time home buyers as potential housing-relief measures.

B.C.’s current property-purchase tax is charged at a rate of one per cent for the first $200,000 of the sale price and two per cent for the remainder of the market value. The property-purchase tax on a property valued at $250,000 is $3,000.

READ MORE: B.C. couple says home warranty insurance offers little protection

First-time B.C. home buyers are currently exempt from the property-purchase tax on homes valued up to $475,000.

Davidoff said the transfer-tax plans do little to help people who can’t afford to buy and will likely push prices upwards.

“What they are proposing is adding fuel to the fire,” he said. “They are adding demand for a fixed stock of housing. That raises the cost of housing.”

Urban Development Institute president Anne McMullin said Vancouver needs to look at zoning and development-approval changes to ensure more duplexes and condominiums are built in urban areas.

Davidoff called on Clark to convene a summit that brings together developers, politicians, academics and real estate officials to address housing affordability problems in B.C.

Opposition New Democrat Leader John Horgan said Davidoff’s plan is fresh thinking the Clark government must consider.

16. 12. 2018
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Glenn Frey Twitter tributes come from wide spectrum of entertainers

Glenn Frey Twitter tributes come from wide spectrum of entertainers

From comedians to singers, and even from pro wrestlers, celebrities from across the entertainment spectrum tweeted tributes to deceased Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey moments after his passing was announced Monday.

The man who co-wrote Hotel California had several stars thanking him for helping to create the soundtracks of their lives.

Other celebrities remembered spending time with the talented singer:

Some celebs sent out messages quoting Frey’s lyrics:

From country stars to pop icons, the tributes came from far and wide: (mentioned comics in lede)

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16. 12. 2018
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‘I went head first into a lightpost’: Calgary teen paralyzed after tobogganing

‘I went head first into a lightpost’: Calgary teen paralyzed after tobogganing

A Calgary teenager is facing life in a wheelchair after a night of tobogganing with friends went tragically wrong.

Alex was celebrating his fifteenth birthday at around 8 p.m. Dec. 21, sledding down a snowy hill hill just off Silver Springs Road N.W.

“We knew the light posts were there. We just lined up in between them and hoped that we wouldn’t hit anything,” Alex said.

“I went down the hill, my toboggan turned on me, and I went head first into a light post–breaking my spine.”


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It was Alex’s friend who called Stella, Alex’s mom.

“His friend had called to say, ‘hey, Alex had fallen tobogganing…and he can’t feel his legs,'” Stella, who declined to provide the family’s last name, said.

She said her son will probably never walk again.

Calgary’s children’s hospital sees as many as two dozen serious injuries on toboggan hills every winter–head and spinal cord injuries, femur fractures, abdominal and lung injuries. Health officials say these injuries are very preventable and can be avoided in many cases by choosing the right place to sled.

“Things like helmets always will prevent those major mishaps that we see,” Alberta Children’s Hospital trauma coordinator Sherry MacGillivray said.

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In addition to wearing helmets, health officials recommend children and their parents check hills very carefully for hazards before they start sledding: look for things like power poles and fences; make sure you’re not sliding out into roadways or over frozen ponds.

And they say children under five years old should always slide with an adult.

The City of Calgary has a list of 22 hills for safe sledding (scroll down to read the full list). Parks department manager Todd Reichardt said they’re evaluated based on slope and grade, to determine how fast a sled will travel, and to make sure there are no obstacles or jumps created.

“We really try to promote being safe, being aware, and going to those locations where we can achieve that,” Reichardt said. “As far as I’m aware, since the inception of the bylaw, there has been nary a single bylaw ticket issued for somebody tobogganing outside one of these 22 locations.”

Alex wasn’t sledding in a city-sanctioned area. His mom hopes her story will make others think twice before sliding down snowy hills.

“Maybe not an appropriate decision – he’s 15. When do 15-year-olds make appropriate decisions?” Stella said. “But how does this – equal that?

“I know that if my son would hear a story like this a week or two before he went [sledding] that his decision would have been different and that’s our hope.”

HillLocationBig Marlborough Park  – dry pond755 Madeira Dr. N.E.​Bridlewood​20 Bridleglen Park S.W.Confederation Park2807 10 St. N.W.Deerfoot Athletic Park1503 16 Ave. N.E.Glendale Park2225 45 St. S.W.​Hidden Valley​10504 Hidden Valley Dr. N.W.Kingsland – dry pond505 78 Ave. S.W. – behind the Rose Kohn/Jimmie Condon ArenasMaple Ridge – dry pond1127 Mapleglade Dr. S.E.Marlborough Community Association636 Marlborough Way N.E.McKenzie Towne​​160 McKenzie Towne Dr. S.E.Monterey Park2707 Catalina Blvd. N.E.​New Brighton​1750 New Brighton Dr. S.E.Prairie Winds Park223 Castleridge Blvd. N.E.Richmond Green2539 33 Ave. S.W.Royal Oak9100 Royal Birch Blvd. N.W.Rundle – dry pond4120 Rundlethorn Dr. N.E.Sacramento – dry pond10404 Sacramento Dr. S.W.Scarboro1737 14 Ave. S.W.Signal Hill2063 Sirocco Dr. S.W.St. Andrew’s Heights2504 13 Ave. N.W.Stanley Park330 42 Ave. S.W.​Thorncliffe/Greenview​5600 Centre St. N.E.
16. 12. 2018
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Coalition calls for more diverse Montreal City Hall

Coalition calls for more diverse Montreal City Hall

MONTREAL – A group of city councillors, community organizations and former candidates said its time to have a council that represents the population.

As it stands, only six out of 208 councillors on the island of Montreal are visible minorities.

“We are in a society that’s evolving, but there’s still obstacles,” Valerie Gafoor from the West Island Black Community Association told Global News at a press conference Monday.

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    Longtime city councillor Marvin Rotrand said the issue is two fold: the first is getting minorities to feel they’re welcome to run for office and the second is getting political parties in Montreal to make a commitment to recruit and support minority candidates ahead of the 2017 elections.

    “We know that many visible minorities are named at the last minute in districts where the parties are weak and don’t have a chance to win, just so they can say they ran a minority candidate,” Rotrand explained.

    “This time we’re asking all the party leaders to reflect on what they can do.”

    The group said this isn’t about being politically correct.

    Those already in the halls of power are convinced that it will actually make council more efficient.

    “The diversity that we’re missing at city council is a huge opportunity lost because we have a homogeneous background, we’ll have homogeneous answers,” said councillor Steve Shanahan.

    One of the only minorities on council, Frantz Benjamin, said his new role as chairman of city council means he has to stay neutral.

    Nevertheless, he told Global News in an email: “I strongly believe that the issue of diversity at the city council is an important matter for all Montreal city councillors, and therefore, for all Montrealers.”

    A motion supporting a diverse council will be presented at the next Montreal city council meeting Jan. 25.

16. 12. 2018
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Kathleen Wynne says pledge to cut auto insurance 15 per cent was a ‘stretch goal’

Kathleen Wynne says pledge to cut auto insurance 15 per cent was a ‘stretch goal’

TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne says her government’s target to cut auto insurance rates by 15 per cent by last year was a “stretch goal.”

The Liberals promised to reduce car insurance premiums an average of 15 per cent by August 2015 as part of a deal to get NDP support for the 2013 budget when they were still a minority government.

But August came and went with the government’s target not even halfway met.

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READ MORE: Sousa predicts car insurance rates will drop after mandating winter tire discount

The latest numbers from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, for the fourth quarter of 2015, show that approved rates decreased on average by 0.15 per cent, putting the decrease at an average of roughly seven per cent from 2013.

“We always knew it was a stretch goal,” Wynne said Monday.

“We always knew it was going to be a challenge and the good news is that insurance rates continue to come down.”

READ MORE: Ontario won’t meet goal of 15% cut in auto insurance premiums by August

NDP critic Jagmeet Singh said the target has never before been held out as anything other than achievable.

“This is the first time in over 2 1/2 years we’ve ever heard the term stretch goal,” he said.

“It’s something that the government clearly stated was possible and made the promise knowingly when we asked for the commitment in 2013.”

Progressive Conservative critic Tim Hudak said the “stretch goal” is a brand new category of politician promises.

“It was to buy the NDP support to extend the government for another year,” he said. “At least there would be some honesty in that answer.”

The government has since introduced legislation that it says will lower costs for insurance companies and will lead to reduced rates for drivers.

Wynne said there are “many” companies whose rates have come down by 15 per cent since 2013, but quarterly figures appear to show it is no more than a handful, at most.

The government will keep 15 per cent as a target, Wynne said, though she would not put a new date on that pledge.

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