15. 11. 2018
‘Run to Quit’ program helps smokers trade nicotine for runner’s high – Halifax

‘Run to Quit’ program helps smokers trade nicotine for runner’s high – Halifax

Smoking is a daily, and often deadly, habit for thousands of Nova Scotians, but a new program wants to help people replace their nicotine addiction with a healthier alternative.

The Canadian Cancer Society is partnering with The Running Room to launch a nationwide program called Run to Quit in April.

READ MORE: Why smoking is especially bad for men, their health and genetics

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Barbara Stead-Coyle, the Nova Scotia CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, said the program is a great approach to the quitting smoking.

“What we do is we start to replace the unhealthy habit of smoking with the healthy habit of running,” she said.

“The physical activity actually curbs the need for nicotine. It stops weight gain, which is also another barrier as to why sometimes people don’t want to quit smoking, and you’re becoming healthy.”

About 37,000 Canadians die every year from smoking, a number Run to Quit is aiming to reduce.

The program is debuting in six provinces following a successful pilot study in Ottawa.

RELATED: How smoking in movies drives kids to become smokers

“The research is clear. Smoking kills Canadians and we know that about 30 percent of all cancer deaths attributable to smoking,” Stead-Coyle said.

Bruce Bowen, manager of The Running Room in Halifax, said running is a well-known stress reliever. He said that’s important because stress can be a barrier to quitting smoking, or cause a relapse for people who are trying to quit.

He said the company’s president, John Stanton, used to smoke two packs a day, but traded the habit for running.

For people who are considering joining but are unsure about running, Bowen said there’s no reason to fear it.

“People are here to encourage you because you’re trying to make a commitment to change your lifestyle,” he said.

Getting support from a group can greatly increase the odds of overcoming the addiction to nicotine, Stead-Coyle said.

“It’s a very, very, powerful drug and we know that the withdrawal symptoms are significant, so having that support is really important for success.”

There are three ways to join the program: by signing up online for a virtual course, committing to run a 5- or 10-kilometre event, or showing up in person under the guidance of a coach.

15. 11. 2018
Wildlife Festival takes over Lethbridge at Exhibition Park

Wildlife Festival takes over Lethbridge at Exhibition Park

LETHBRIDGE – Animals from owls to spiders, and even a kangaroo took over Exhibition Park on the weekend for the annual Wildlife Festival tour.

Canadian Raptor Conservancy bird handler and educator Matthew Morgan said the festival aims to bring wildlife educational demonstration right to people’s home towns.

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    “They don’t have to go far away to find it, they can have it in a nice, safe, controlled environment for both people and the animals,” Morgan said. “They can both get entertained and educated about a lot of the animals that are often right in your own backyard.”

    Some of those animals included snakes and bird species from Canada, as well as other exotic animals. Little Rays Repitle Zoo educator Kyle Laurie said he was hoping to teach responsible pet ownership. Laurie said most of the animals at the show are often purchased as family or exotic pets, and later given up.

    “Basically 80 to 90 per cent of our animals are unwanted pets,” Laurie said. “We don’t take any of our animals from the wild.”

    While most of the excitement and educational information was about the animals you don’t see everyday, organizers were hoping to teach children and families little things they can do to save wildlife at home.

    One of the biggest predators in Canada may be living closer than you think, Laurie said.

    “A lot of people have house cats at home, and they don’t realize that their house cats are basically little ninjas. They go outside and they hunt birds, and there’s nothing wrong with the cat; it’s just their instinct.”

    “When your cat goes outside, in Canada they’re killing about 300 million songbirds a year. By simply putting a bell on your cat, it will actually save the birds in the wild.”

    There are other small things you can do at home to help animals in the wild, like saving up to 22 litres of fresh water per person, per day, by shutting off the taps when brushing your teeth. But, these tasks are often easy to forget. That’s where the up-close-and-personal interaction with the animals at the show proves beneficial.

    “Suddenly they get like, ‘oh wow that was so close, that was so cool!’ and then they start listening, and start paying attention, and they start to take away a few things,” Morgan said. “I’ve had quite a few kids that come up and say, ‘oh, I remember you from last year, I remember some of the things you said.’ So, obviously they are taking away something, and that’s really fantastic. That means we’re doing a good job.”

15. 11. 2018
Experienced officers wanted on terror case: court

Experienced officers wanted on terror case: court

VANCOUVER – The head of an RCMP team tasked with investigating a possible terror suspect has told a B.C. Supreme Court trial that he had concerns about entrapment and abuse of process near the start of a police sting.

Emails read in court show Sgt. Bill Kalkat asked undercover officers how they planned to avoid potential legal issues months before John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested for plotting to blow up the B.C. legislature in 2013.

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Nuttall and Korody were found guilty of terrorism charges last June, but the convictions have not been entered while defence lawyers argue that police entrapped their clients in a sting.

Crown lawyer Peter Eccles asked Kalkat when he began thinking about entrapment and abuse of process as possible issues.

“Late February, early March (of 2013),” Kalkat replied, adding that such issues are always a concern for investigators when a crime has not yet been committed.

The senior officer also told court that he faced some challenges with the undercover team investigating Nuttall and trying to determine whether he posed a threat to public safety.

An experienced officer was important for the case, Kalkat testified, adding he asked that someone who’d worked on similar national security investigations be assigned.

“There’s a whole bunch of little fine details that come along in the national security world that just are not pressing in your typical homicide technique undercover operation.”

The undercover officer also needed to be familiar with the Muslim faith, which Nuttall had converted to, and have some knowledge of Islamic extremism.

“If you can’t talk the talk and walk the walk, it’s going to be very difficult to ingratiate yourself with that target and move forward,” Kalkat said.

But one of the officers on the case had less experience than what Kalkat had requested, creating challenges for the senior cop.

Investigators on national security cases don’t have a lot of examples to follow, unlike homicide or drug investigations that undercover officers usually work on, Kalkat said.

“That’s one of the difficulties you experienced with the undercover shop, that they were bringing pages out of the wrong playbook?” Eccles asked.

“That was one of the challenges I faced,” Kalkat replied.

Emails read in court suggested he asked for more details about the undercover team’s long-term plans.

“You can’t just go scenario to scenario. There has to be some sort of game plan. And I wasn’t seeing that with the undercover unit,” Kalkat said.

Court heard that at one point, a difference in opinion over how the case should proceed put the investigation on hold.

15. 11. 2018
How to save yourself some money as food prices rise

How to save yourself some money as food prices rise

SASKATOON – As the dollar continues to slip, Canadians can expect to be shelling out more at the grocery store. According to experts, there are things you can do to save yourself some big bucks in the long run and it starts with a little something called “the best before” date.

In many cases, perfectly good food ends up in the garbage after consumers prematurely toss it and confusing labels are often to blame for wasted food and money.

READ MORE: Sobey’s says low loonie, El-Nino will keep grocery prices high

“I think that the way some products are labelled it is unclear to the consumer what best before dates mean, when they should use the product, how they need to store it, etc.,” said Phyllis Shand, professor of food science at the University of Saskatchewan.

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    So what is a best before date?

    “In Canada, the majority of our food products if they have a shelf life of less than 90 days are mandated to have a best before date,” added Shand.

    In other words, how long a product will retain its freshness. Which means you aren’t going to fall ill if you eat something on the best before date or even the day after.

    “Best before dates are also an indicator of quality and not safety. Our concern about safety is more related to how we handle the food, whether it’s stored at the proper temperatures at that time,” said Shand.

    You can both buy and eat foods after the “best before” has passed but it might not taste as good. Its likely either lost some freshness, flavour or the texture has changed. In some cases the nutritional value of the food such as its vitamin C content may be lost.

    According to Shand, this means milk stored in a cold fridge will likely last you several more days even a week beyond its best before date. Eggs can last up to a month; however, you’d likely want to use them in baking at that point as opposed to using them for breakfast.

    “For a product like ground beef, you have one day for the store to sell it and then one to two days at home before you either should cook it or freeze it for later use.”

    Expiration dates are different and are typically only seen on specialty products. Meal replacements, nutritional supplements and infant formula will have an expiration date and foods should not be eaten after the date passes.

    In 2014, it’s estimated the cost of Canada’s food waste reached $31 billion. The majority of that waste was driven by consumers at 47 per cent or close to $14.6 billion worth of food.

    “In Saskatoon, the biggest contribution to our landfill is organics so a lot of that is food that ends up in the landfill and creates methane which is a large contributor to our environmental problem,” said Gord Enns, executive director of the Saskatoon Food Council.

     “Not only do we have to handle it and haul it, we actually are contributing to environmental problems because we’re wasting food.”

    Starting this spring, food waste will be accepted as part of the city’s Green Cart program. Items like fruits, vegetables, bread, eggshells and coffee grounds will now be accepted along with any grass clippings and leaves.

    Enns says it’s a good start to a big problem but there are other jurisdictions that have done a lot more to encourage recycling and composting. He’d also like to see more people growing their own food and more food education provided to the public starting at grade-school level.

    For now though, if consumers want to start getting serious about reducing their own food waste there’s a helpful tool you can download on your phone called The FoodKeeper.

    It’s as easy as typing in a food and the app will tell you how long it should last refrigerated and/or frozen.

15. 11. 2018
GTA Goodwill stores to stay closed as company seeks solution to cash-flow problems

GTA Goodwill stores to stay closed as company seeks solution to cash-flow problems

TORONTO – The CEO of Goodwill Industries of Toronto, Eastern, Central and Northern Ontario says the operation will remain closed until further notice.

Goodwill has closed 16 stores, 10 donation centres and two offices – affecting more than 430 workers – due to cash flow problems. It does not affect Goodwills in London, Sarnia, St. Catharines and Hamilton.

CEO Keiko Nakamura told a news conference on Monday that Goodwill is exploring options to deal with a “cash flow crisis.”

READ MORE: Goodwill closes Ontario stores citing ‘cash flow crisis’

Nakamura says Goodwill had moved to cut costs by reducing overhead and also cut staff hours, describing it as a “very low margin operation” that was facing increasing competition.

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A lawyer with the Canadian Airport Workers Union, which represents the workers, has said the workers were greeted with locked doors when they showed up for their shifts Sunday morning.

Nakamura says she has met with union leaders and has assured them that Goodwill is working with stakeholders and various levels of government to find a solution.

“In order to ensure that we were not asking staff to work at a time when we didn’t feel that we would be able to cover their costs, we had to close down the stores,” she said.

Nakamura said many people do not realize the amount of work required to process the donations that Goodwill receives.

It requires “mass amounts of staff labour” to produce and recycle and separate before donated items are recycled or go into the Goodwill stores, she said.

The non-profit group has operated for more than 80 years in Ontario providing affordable goods and helping people gain access to training and work.

15. 11. 2018
More English voices need to be heard at Bill 86 hearings, says QCGN

More English voices need to be heard at Bill 86 hearings, says QCGN

MONTREAL – Committee hearings examining Bill 86, the proposed law designed to do away with school board elections, get underway at the National Assembly in Quebec City on Jan. 28.

READ MORE: PQ leader vows to fight for Anglos to be heard on Bill 86

While the committee has agreed to hear from two school boards it initially excluded, the English-speaking community said it’s still not enough.

WATCH: EMSB to attend Bill 86 hearings

The Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN) said it is surprised that a commission on the future of school boards is not being heard – and neither is the government’s own advisory committee on English education.

The QCGN said the government may be stacking the cards to garner support for its project to change the way school boards are managed.

“The government wants control of who it listens to and therefore who will give support to them in their view,” said Sylvia Martin-Laforge with the QCGN.

“So, it’s a way of deciding what the outcome of the bill will be.”

WATCH: PKP on Bill 86

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    EMSB to attend Bill 86 parliamentary hearings

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    On Thursday, the Anglophone community found an unlikely ally in the National Assembly, when Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau accused the Liberal government of not respecting their rights when it comes to Bill 86.

    READ MORE: EMSB applauds decision to be included in Bill 86 hearings

    As it stands, the bill is expected to become law on July 1 of this year.

15. 11. 2018
Sneak peek at Stanley A. Milner Revitalization project

Sneak peek at Stanley A. Milner Revitalization project

EDMONTON — It’s being called a futuristic design for a cutting edge library. Edmonton Public Library released pictures of what the Stanley A. Milner Library may look like after its $62.5 million revitalization.

EPL CEO Pilar Martinez believes a combination of metals, concrete and glass will create a sense of curiosity and peak the imagination of Edmontonians.

“An iconic, sort of, really beautiful architecturally appealing building that will attract people throughout the space.”

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    The design will incorporate a lot of natural light and provide easier access for those with mobility issues or concerns. Inside, the design will triple the size of the children’s library, add more quiet study and community meeting spaces and an expansion of makerspace.

    READ MORE: Edmonton Public Library launches makerspace

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    Martinez is also excited about a simulation wall modelled after “The Cube” – a digital interactive learning display at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. It will allow people to touch the screen and learn about initiatives from our city’s recycling program and the river valley.

    It’s hoped construction will begin next year with the grand opening in 2019 – 2020. To get there, however, the Edmonton Public Library will have to raise $10 million from the community. While a campaign hasn’t been launched, Martinez called it an achievable goal with some significant donations already in place.

    More details are expected to be released in a report to the City’s Community Services branch by the end of February.

    Proposed drawing of Stanley A. Milner Library revitalization

    Edmonton Public Library

    Proposed drawing of Stanley A. Milner Library revitalization

    Edmonton Public Library

    Proposed drawing of Stanley A. Milner Library revitalization

    Edmonton Public Library

15. 11. 2018
5-day moratorium on arrival of government-sponsored Syrian refugees in B.C. set to begin Tuesday: ISS

5-day moratorium on arrival of government-sponsored Syrian refugees in B.C. set to begin Tuesday: ISS

A five-day moratorium on the arrival of government-sponsored Syrian refugees in British Columbia is set to begin Tuesday, as the province struggles to accommodate refugee families that have been steadily arriving since late last year.

Chris Friesen, the director of settlement services for Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISS), says the moratorium will allow settlement workers time to catch up on housing needs.

The federal government has committed to resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees, 15,000 of them government-sponsored, before the end of February.

In an important milestone, the 10,000th Syrian refugee arrived in Canada last week.

READ MORE: Syrian refugees find their new home in B.C. as crisis worsens

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So far, 700 government-sponsored refugees have arrived in B.C., but only seven families have found permanent housing. Last weekend, the Vancouver Park Board hoped to soon learn whether some caretaker cottages in the city could be used to house Syrian refugees. There are 71 such buildings in parks across Vancouver, and it’s believed three may have the basic requirements for migrants.

Friesen says they have a list of 1,100 “housing leads” to access for suitability.

But the lack of affordable housing in the Metro Vancouver area along with the challenge of finding suitable housing for families with kids are contributing to the backlog.

Vancouver is not alone as the City of Ottawa has also asked the federal government to slow down the arrival of Syrian refugees.

“We are working with (these communities) to try to ease the strain they are currently experiencing, which includes pausing arrivals for a few days as we continue toward the goal of resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees across Canada by the end of February,” read a statement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

The department stated that it is “redirecting refugees to other centres during this time.”

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada says it is also working with settlement providers to monitor the movement of refugees into and out of temporary accommodation to determine when capacity opens to welcome additional refugees and to re-destine some refugees to other locations when necessary.

15. 11. 2018
NewLeaf airline postpones service, refunds credit cards pending review

NewLeaf airline postpones service, refunds credit cards pending review

WINNIPEG — Canada’s new low-cost airline is hitting a snag right out of the gate.

Winnipeg-based NewLeaf Travel Company announced Monday afternoon it has postponed sales of airline tickets pending a Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) review of licensing regulations for indirect air service providers.

READ MORE: New discount airline NewLeaf responds to licence concerns

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The company also said it will refund all credit card transactions for reservations that were scheduled to begin on Feb. 12, 2016.

“During this uncertain time, we didn’t want to put anyone with existing bookings at risk, and we wanted to give customers time to make other travel arrangements,” said NewLeaf chief executive officer Jim Young.

Young said the company is postponing service mainly because of ambiguity surrounding licensing.

“The CTA says we do not need a license and is giving us an exemption while there is a conduct review,” Young said. “But we don’t know what that review is going to look like when it comes out, and whether we need a licence or can continue as we are.”

NewLeaf announced Jan. 6 it would start flying from Halifax, Hamilton, Saskatoon, Kelowna, Regina, Winnipeg and Abbotsford with prices ranging from $89 to $149.

NewLeaf Travel has partnered with Flair airlines, which will provide the aircraft and the licence.

But shortly after the announcement, there were immediate concerns brought forward regarding its licencing.

Young said the thousands of customers who booked flights with the airline will be given a refund within 72 hours. He did not give the total amount of the refund.

READ MORE: Avoid new ‘ultra low-cost’ airline, passenger advocate warns

Gabor Lukacs, a former assistant professor at the University of Manitoba and an airline passenger rights advocate, said without its own licence, NewLeaf doesn’t have a clear policy on how passengers are protected or compensated if their flight is delayed or cancelled or baggage is lost or damaged.

“This fully vindicates what my consistent position has been for the past two weeks, and it is a victory for consumer rights,” said Lukacs via email to Global News Monday.

RELATED: WestJet won’t be beat on airfares by new discount carrier: exec

“The reason why we launched on Jan. 6 is because it was confirmed that we were in full compliance of CTA licensing regulations,” Young said. “The CTA gave us an exemption from holding a licence directly while it reviews its legislation.”

RELATED: Discount airline NewLeaf Travel announces ‘ultra low’ prices

Under a charter arrangement with Kelowna-based Flair Airlines Ltd., Flair held the CTA operating licence, while NewLeaf offered seat sales.

The CTA is reviewing whether persons who do not operate any aircraft, but market and sell air services to the public, should be required to hold agency licences. The consultations are expected to end on Jan. 22.

The company said it is aiming to resume taking reservations in the spring.

15. 11. 2018
Sobey’s says low loonie, El-Nino will keep grocery prices high

Sobey’s says low loonie, El-Nino will keep grocery prices high

MONTREAL – Canadians can expect high prices for produce to last at least several more weeks as a result of the weak loonie and weather issues in crop-growing areas, one of the country’s largest grocery chains said Monday.

In addition to the adverse impact of the lower Canadian dollar, flooding caused by El-Nino have contributed to supply shortages and price increases on produce from California and Mexico, said Claude Tessier, president of Sobeys Quebec.

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“From what we hear the situation is going to be for the next three weeks and then we’ll see how things evolve (along) the west coast,” Tessier told reporters after Sobey’s CEO Marc Poulin spoke to the Canadian Club.

The company, which also operates banners such as IGA, Safeway and FreshCo, is struggling to deal with the worst situation in 30 years by trying to import fresh food from other growing areas such as Florida, Morocco and Spain, Tessier said.

Cauliflower and grapes have been harder to access, with just 20 per cent of the normal delivery of some goods being shipped to stores, he said.

READ MORE: Restaurants grapple with cauliflower crisis as price soars

Restaurants that feature cauliflower have had to adjust by raising prices or using alternatives like squash since the cost for a case of the cruciferous vegetable has more than doubled to as much as $60.

Sobey’s is also turning more to local suppliers for items like potatoes, carrots and onions.

Since the challenges only accelerated after the holiday season, it’s not yet clear if consumers are substituting by buying cheaper alternatives.

WATCH: Shrinking loonie causes high-flying food prices

“We’re not seeing a blowback in terms of purchasing,” Tessier said.

“For sure the consumer in general is more cautious about the prices and it’s been like that for a couple of years.”

Meanwhile, the price of other food is also rising, according to the University of Guelph’s Food Institute.

It has said meat rose five per cent last year and is expected to increase up to 4.5 per cent in 2016; fish and seafood could rise by up to three per cent, and dairy, eggs and grains could see a two per cent increase.

READ MORE: Canadians face jacked up food, gas prices as Americans rake in savings

Fruit and vegetable prices could increase up to 4.5 per cent for some items this year, after having risen between 9.1 and 10.1 per cent last year.

The institute estimates the average Canadian household spent an additional $325 on food in 2015 and is expected see an additional increase of about $345 this year because of the low dollar.

However, prices are even higher in northern and remote communities, making it even harder for poorer Canadians to healthy diets.