Monthly Archives: November 2018

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WATCH: Jimmy Rankin talks country music, fake nails – Halifax

TORONTO — Singer Jimmy Rankin might know where all the best nail salons are in Canada.

“I’m dependent on these things,” Rankin said, referring to his artificial finger nails.

“So every town I go to I have a list of nail places in case.”

Rankin’s long nails allow him to do a lot of finger-picking on his guitar.

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The 50-year-old Nova Scotia native appeared Monday on Global’s The Morning Show to talk about his latest album, Back Road Paradise.

His sixth solo release includes guest vocalists like country star Alison Krauss and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy.

“I like to collaborate with people,” said Rankin. “I’ve known Jim for many years and I sent him a song I thought he’d be perfect for. Luckily for me he agreed, and took time out of his busy schedule and laid down his beautiful vocal.”

Rankin said the album is “totally country” because it was recorded using traditional country instruments.

“Going back to the early days of making recordings with my siblings, we always included a country song and we always played some country music growing up,” he recalled.

He and his siblings, known as The Rankin Family, collected six Juno Awards, 15 East Coast Music Awards and three Canadian Country Music Awards between 1989 and 1999.

The family music act was rocked by the death of John Rankin in a car accident in 2000, the sudden death of Geraldine Rankin in 2007 and the loss of Raylene Rankin to breast cancer in 2012.

Still, Rankin said the remaining siblings try to reunite every summer in Cape Breton.

Do they sing together?

“It’s funny, sometimes,” he admitted. “But it’s not like we break out in song at the table when we’re having a barbecue.”

Sick Kids doctors treat baby with rare skull condition

Watch above: How a doctors at Sick Kids hospital treated a baby with a rare skull conditions. Crystal Goomansingh reports. 

She’s dressed in pink, with a mop of blonde hair and big blue eyes. Despite being born with a rare skull condition, baby Bella is a happy little girl.

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Bella was born was frontonasal dysplasia – a skull condition so rare, doctors say it occurs in one of every 100,000 births. Some babies born with the condition have a flat, wide skull, their eyes wide-set. In Bella’s case, a part of her skull had fused in place, leaving little room for her brain to develop.

Her mom, Lisa Stone, remembers when she first gave birth to Bella: “They had all kinds of people around her and they weren’t saying anything and then they took her out of the room,” Stone told Global News.

What concerned the new mother more was that Bella had no brain activity. But Lisa and her husband Gerry – both hopeful parents – hung on.

“I asked for a chance of recovery and [the doctor] said highly unlikely,” she said. The couple kept looking after their baby – they combed her hair, they sang to her.

About three days later, Bella showed improvement.

“Somehow we got lucky,” Stone said. Now, baby Bella is slowly progressing, both neurologically and physically.

She’s also in the hands of Sick Kids Hospital doctors who are looking after her development.

“The structure of the skull which allows the growth of the skull has fused prematurely and if we allow this to continue to grow on its own, she would run into some serious issues in terms of skull shape,” Dr. Christopher Forrest, chief of the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery, explained.

READ MORE: ‘What’s wrong with Wyatt?’ Canadian docs treat baby with rare disease

He made an incision in Bella’s skull and attached “destractors” on both sides of her head. They’re akin to little antennas – kind of like braces – that apply gentle pressure to create more space to reshape the baby’s head. Twice a day, her parents turned the antennas to help with the reshaping.

Sick Kids is considered a world leader for its cranio-facial program. Forrest says the hospital will do about three of these intricate procedures each year.

Forrest receives emails from families around the world asking for his opinion on their unique circumstances.

READ MORE: Siblings with rare disease could hold key to stopping deadly viruses

The experience has been taxing on the young family – but Bella’s family has support. Her website has garnered more than $30,000 to help cover off medical expenses and travel costs to take Bella from Newfoundland to Sick Kids.

Bella’s parents are also cognizant of how their baby will be treated by the world. When Stone takes her out on everyday errands, such as buying groceries, she already gets “looks” from others. But the family is staying positive, Stone said.

Bella recently had the destractors and bolts removed from her head. Her skull used to be flat, but Forrest had successfully rounded the frame and made room for her brain to grow.

This summer, the doctors will work on creating eyebrow bones and rebuild her nasal bridge so she has a more natural face.

“I want to show her off to the world because she’s come to far. She’s an angel,” Stone told Global News.

Her full story is shared on her website here.

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Albertans asked to become organ donors when they renew driver’s licence

ABOVE: Kendra Slugoski explains the new way to become and organ and tissue donor.

EDMONTON – Alberta has taken another step to make it easier for people to become organ and tissue donors.

People will now be asked if they wish to become a potentially life-saving donor whenever they renew their driver’s licence.

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The government says about half the province’s registry offices will be part of the driver’s licence program by the end of the month, with the other half to follow before April.

Alberta has one of the lowest organ donation rates in Canada, and about 75 people die each year waiting for a transplant.

To improve on those numbers the government rolled out an online organ and tissue donation registry in April.

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne says the government continues to work to establish a provincial agency to co-ordinate organ and tissue donations.

“Becoming an organ and tissue donor is one of the greatest gifts you can give,” Horne said Monday in a release.

“Every individual who consents to donate may save up to eight lives and improve the quality of life for up to 75 more.”

The government says since the online registry was launched in the spring, more than 4,100 Albertans have registered their consent to become donors.

Their information is saved in a computer database that can be quickly consulted by health professionals.

Federal Finance Minister worried provinces will reverse gains since recession

Watch: Finance Minister Joe Oliver on Quebec

MONTREAL – Finance Minister Joe Oliver says he’s concerned that provincial governments and Canada’s global allies will reverse five years of gains since the 2008-09 recession by taking the pedal off efforts to cut budgetary deficits and debt.

“Canada cannot arrive at its potential if the biggest province remains in difficulty.”

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The minister reminded an international economic conference that Canada will post a $6-billion surplus in 2015-2016, but said the average budgetary deficit among G7 countries is 5.9 per cent of gross domestic product.

Oliver applauded Quebec’s recent restraint budget and, on the eve of an Ontario election, called on that province to make a similar move.

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives are promising deep cuts in public sector jobs if elected, but Oliver says he’s not trying to intervene in Thursday’s vote.

“No matter which party wins the election, I will encourage the new government to make a serious commitment to growth and a balanced budget,” he said Monday.

Oliver later told reporters that facts need to be recognized: “Canada cannot arrive at its potential if the biggest province remains in difficulty.”

He said the eventual rise in interest rates and potential downgrades by credit rating agencies will cause debt payment costs to balloon.

“These are inescapable mathematical calculations. It’s about arithmetic.”

However, the minister said he is not concerned that fiscal restraint by the two largest provinces will provoke a national economic slowdown, saying “acting responsibly” won’t be a drag.

Oliver also said he’s optimistic that weak Canadian exports and stagnant capital investments will recover.

He said the world is at a “pivotal moment” for the global economy where recovery remains weak and the outlook is uncertain.

Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver was at the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal on June 9, 2014.

Karol Dahl/Global News

Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver was at the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal on June 9, 2014.

Karol Dahl/Global News

Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver was at the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal on June 9, 2014.

Karol Dahl/Global News

But in uncertain times, Oliver said it is essential that governments achieve a solid fiscal grounding by focusing on “strong, sustainable and balanced growth.”

The G20 will discuss this fall, Canada’s proposal to increase the GDP of the member countries by two per cent above current trends, a “game-changer” that would add $2 trillion to the global economy.

The former natural resources minister used the meeting to pitch to more than 3,000 delegates the large oil and natural gas reserves in Western Canada – 168 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and 37 trillion cubic metres of natural gas – that can be exported to Europe and Asia, if Canadian pipelines are built.

He said the resource sector accounts for 18 per cent of the Canadian economy, contributing two million jobs and $30 billion in government revenues. But the oil is landlocked, causing Canadian oil to sell at a discount to the world price, costing the economy $30 billion.

“Canadians need to understand the consequences of not moving our resources to tidewater. “

He accused opponents, including opposition political parties, of making up their minds before regulators provide “objective recommendations.”

“So the choice is stark. Head down the path of economic decline, higher unemployment, limited funds for social programs like health care, continuing deficits and growing debt or achieve prosperity and security now and for future generations through the responsible development of our resources.”

However, Oliver declined to say if the cabinet will soon approve the Northern Gateway project that would allow oil to be exported from British Columbia to Asian markets.

©2014The Canadian Press

Accused in deadly stabbing spree appears in Calgary court – Calgary

CALGARY – A man charged in a violent double homicide in Penbrooke Meadows last month made his first court appearance on Monday.

Hari Pal is accused in the stabbing deaths of his 36-year-old ex-wife Sanjula Devi and her 29-year-old friend Fahmida Velji-Visram, at a home along Penbrooke Drive on May 4th.

It’s alleged Devi and Velji-Visram were attacked by Pal while collecting some of Devi’s belongs.

A third woman was wounded.

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READ MORE: Sole survivor of deadly southeast stabbing spree speaks out

Pal appeared in court in person. He hadn’t been able to appear in court previously because he had been in hospital recovering from self-inflicted injuries.

The court appearance was an emotional one for Velji-Visram’s husband, who came to watch the proceedings; Monday would have marked the couple’s second wedding anniversary.

“Today is our second year anniversary,” said Rahim Visram outside the courthouse. “Instead of seeing my wife, I have to see the person [accused of murdering her] … how do you put that into words?”

“I didn’t even get two years with my wife and she’s taken away from me. All I hope is justice is served and I hope Calgary is a better place for knowing how wonderful she was.”

GALLERY: Memorial created at site of southeast stabbing spree

Through a Hindi interpreter, Pal said he has no lawyer or money to hire one, so the judge told him to get legal aid.

Pal is scheduled to appear in court again on June 16th.