15. 02. 2019
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Ready or not: multi-family recycling soon mandatory in Calgary

Ready or not: multi-family recycling soon mandatory in Calgary

CALGARY – There’s something new rolling out at apartments, townhouses and condos around Calgary.

Recycling for multi-family units must be in place by Feb. 1 according to a new city bylaw.

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    “We allowed 16 months between when the bylaw was approved from when we’re going to enforce to allow that uptake of service to multi-family complexes,” said Parnell Legg, a waste diversion specialist with the City of Calgary.

    The city suggests about 40 per cent of condo boards are already on board and more are likely waiting for the February deadline.

    BluPlanet is among dozens of private companies specializing in multi-family recycling removal. It picked up contacts for over 10,000 new homes in 2015.

    “It’s been astronomical,” said Stuart Van Berkle, operations manager for BluPlanet Recycling.  “The growth has been almost too much to handle at some points.”

    He worries many condo units are late setting up recycling contracts – and may have a difficult time finding a company able to take them on by the end of the month.

    “I think there are some buildings that are a little more behind but… we’re doing about 50 new buildings a month so that’s pretty much all we handle for now. I think some other companies are getting pretty busy as well,” said Van Berkle.

    It’s a challenge for condo boards – fitting the new cost into the budget as well as fitting the bins into their complexes.

    “I think, in most condominiums, the space is very limited. I mean, most were built to only accommodate the garbage bins,” said Marian Rodriguez, a property manager with Diversified Management Southern. The company oversees over 50 properties and she said most are prepared for the new bylaw.

    The city said there will be an education period, but $250 fines could be considered by animal and bylaw services if condo boards are not in compliance.

    It could be a big adjustment.

    “Most of our condominiums have started this recycling business around the end of December through January,” said Rodriguez. “We’re finding a lot of people are using the recycling bin as their garbage disposal.”

    Rodriguez suggested condo boards in compliance haven’t seen any big reduction in waste so far, but stresses education will be important going forward.

    If the bylaw works, the city suggests about 25 per cent of waste from multi-family homes can be diverted from landfills.

15. 02. 2019
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Commute with a smile: Driver Jon offers more than your typical LRT ride

Commute with a smile: Driver Jon offers more than your typical LRT ride

EDMONTON – Jon Morgan has been an LRT operator for five years, but he doesn’t just offer passengers a ride from point A to point B; he entertains them as well.

“I point out interesting things about each station, some of the artwork they can find at the station,” Morgan said.

Morgan is being praised by riders for his positive attitude and wealth of knowledge. As his train moves along, he tells passengers about nearby landmarks, parks, local history and even some lesser known fun facts about the area.

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    Edmonton Transit Peace Officer raps

    “That’d be the original garage Edmonton Transit opened up back in the late 1970s, when Edmonton first opened its LRT system,” he said as the LRT approached Colliseum Station.

    When the train got to Commonwealth, he pointed out nearby amenities, restaurants, and, of course: “the home of your 2015 Grey Cup Champions!”

    “I love our city and I like to learn as much as I can about our city, relay it across to the people,” he said.

    Plus, his goal is to make his riders just a bit happier.

    “I just like to brighten people’s days as much as possible,” Morgan said.

    “It’s really rewarding, really rewarding. To see them have a smile on their face at the start of the day, or the end of the day. I just want to make sure they’re having a good day.”

    His approach seems to be working. Edmonton Transit has received phone calls and social media comments celebrating Morgan’s style.

    “Jon’s great,” Edmonton Transit spokesperson, Jennifer Laraway, said. “When we hear feedback that one of our operators has made their day, that’s what we like to hear.”

    WATCH: Edmonton Transit Peace Officer raps 

    Morgan is in good company. Laraway said other LRT operators try to put a personal touch on their routes as well.

    “We’ve heard of stories where they’re singing their announcements as they arrive into an LRT station, or, if it’s the holidays, wearing a Santa Claus hat, even singing jazz,” she said.

    “If you’re a transit user, you know what that means in that kind of community. It puts a smile on your face and it makes your commute that much better.”

    Kevin Hearn rides Morgan’s train everyday.

    “It’s nice,” he said. “It gives it a little bit of life when we’re riding the train, especially when he’s telling you information about places where you can shop, that sort of thing.”

    Passenger Carolynn LaJeunesse agrees Morgan’s routes brighten people’s days.

    “It kind of puts a smile on your face for the day.”

15. 02. 2019
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Canadian travellers report illnesses at Cuban resorts promoted and operated by Sunwing

Canadian travellers report illnesses at Cuban resorts promoted and operated by Sunwing

TORONTO – Unsanitary washrooms, unsafe food handling practices, unrelenting stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhea: these are some of the complaints being reported about popular Canadian vacations destinations in Cuba promoted and operated by Sunwing Vacations of Toronto.

“It’s very severe, and I am struggling a week later,” said Amanda Klein of Medicine Hat, Alta., who recently returned from Cuba and says she is still experiencing stomach problems.

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UPDATE: More Canadian vacationers come forward with reports of illness on Sunwing trips

Klein, 26, spent a week with her boyfriend and two other Canadian couples at the Memories Paraiso Azul Beach Hotel in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba between Jan. 5 and 12.

But within days of the Canadians’ arrival, Klein says five of the six guests were violently ill with vomiting and diarrhea.

Klein says the group stopped eating at the all-inclusive resort–which they booked through Sunwing Vacations–after witnessing troubling food-handling practices.

READ MORE: Sunwing under fire after Cuban resort outbreak

“Numerous staff put their hands in food, licked their hands and put their hands in the food we were supposed to eat,” she said.

She said her group became alarmed when they watched staff members clearing tables in the buffet restaurant.

“They would collect the dirty dishes from the tables, and if it looked like they weren’t used, then left them on the table,” Klein told Global News, adding many of the dishes were dirty.

In 2015, Global News reported extensively on illnesses at the resort that affected Canadian vacationers. Last week, visitors to the Memories resort and certain other Cuba resorts began reporting sickness similar to those that were documented last year.

READ MORE: Sunwing offers compensation to Canadian travellers after outbreak at Cuban resort

When Marcy Mullings of Hamilton began reading new Facebook complaints about the resort, she got worried and called Sunwing in search of answers.

But she says the tour operator denied there were any problems.

“They said you can’t believe everything you read; they said it’s a hoax, that someone is trying to tarnish Sunwing’s name,” Mullings said.

Unconvinced by the response, Mullings says she asked to speak to a supervisor and requested that she could change the vacation she booked with her family to the resort later this month. She said Sunwing refused.

Klein is among a growing number of Sunwing customers who contacted Global News to complain about becoming ill at the Memories Paraiso Azul resort. Many have posted their accounts of poor conditions and illnesses on Facebook and on GlobalNews长沙夜网.

But, Sunwing says it’s is not aware of a significant problem at the resort in Cuba.

“To date the hotel management team at Memories Paraiso Azul has advised us that they have not been made aware of any such cases,” said Jacqueline Grossman, senior director of marketing for Sunwing Vacations.

Grossman says the health and wellbeing of its customers is the company’s “primary concern.”

She acknowledged, however, that travelers have reported illnesses to Sunwing.

“In the past week our customer service department has received information from 10 clients complaining of gastro-illness during their stay at this resort over the last month,” Grossman said.

Sunwing travellers say they got sick at other resorts in Cuba in the last month, too.

Anne Cameron of Mississauga, Ont., just returned with family members from the Memories resort in Varadero, Cuba. In addition to becoming ill along with other Canadian travellers, Cameron said she was “disgusted” with conditions at the four-star resort, especially the public washrooms.

“They were clogged with feces and toilet paper to the brim. In some cases there were urine and feces on the floor,” Cameron said.

Some Sunwing customers who got ill or frustrated with conditions at the Memories Paraiso Azul resort, which Sunwing ranks 4.5 stars, complained to the company and demanded compensation.

Lorna Hoffman and her husband stayed at the resort last April.

“It was a horrible time as we were there without running water for three days, piles of dirty dishes at poolside all week and hamburgers served on toilet paper,” Hoffman said.

After paying $2,400 for the trip, Hoffman says she reluctantly agreed to $108 compensation. But nine months later, Hoffman hasn’t even received the token amount.

“We still have not received the $108 even after submitting another form a second time as asked. Still haven’t received the cheque,” she said. “Sunwing does not care about their customers at all!”

Klein says complaints about the resort can’t be ignored.

“People need to know this is a bad place,” she said. “They need to change something or close their doors.”

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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