Author Archives: Admin

Dangerous ‘Cardiff Corner’ getting traffic safety upgrades – Edmonton

EDMONTON – A dangerous intersection north of Edmonton will see some major upgrades completed by September.

The intersection of Cardiff Road and Highway 2 near Morinville is getting traffic lights, guard rails, and street lights to improve safety.

The speed limit is also being lowered from 100 km/h to 80 km/h.

The project will cost the province about $1 million.

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  • Highway 2’s Cardiff Road intersection to get new signals

    Residents want to see progress on Highway 2 interchange

  • One person killed, two injured in crash near Morinville

In November 2013, after a meeting between then-Transportation Minister Ric McIver, MLA Maureen Kubinec, and representatives from Sturgeon County and the Town of Morinville, the government announced it would be making improvements to the intersection.

READ MORE: Highway 2’s Cardiff Road intersection to get new signals 

Construction will begin this spring and is expected to be done by September.

In the summer of 2011, the province announced a $38 million interchange to improve the intersection, but following March’s provincial budget, the Highway 2 overpass project was put on hold.

Donating money? How to choose the right charity – Toronto

TORONTO – Canadians are generous: People around the country donate approximately $15 billion to charity each year.

However many people don’t know how much of the donation is going to the intended cause, according to an organization that tracks the finances of registered charities.

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“The most important thing is what is the change the charity is able to bring about,”  said Greg Thomson, research director at Charity Intelligence Canada. “If, however, it is costing them 40 cents on a dollar to raise the funds then they don’t have their donors best interests in mind.”

Charity Intelligence Canada is a private watchdog group that tries to help Canadians make decisions about which charities to choose. It analyzed the financial records of more than 450 Canadian registered charities and found many spend quite a bit of money on fundraising and administration.

For example, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada spent 35 per cent of their donations on fundraising in 2013, a drop from 37.7 per cent in 2012. However, the charity’s administration costs last year saw an increase of 0.2 per cent to 7.7 per cent as compared to the year before. In comparison, the Terry Fox Foundation allocated more than 82 per cent of all donations to cancer research.

But Toronto lawyer Mark Blumberg, who specializes in charity law, says you can’t judge a charity’s value entirely based on the bottom line.

“In some cases, some groups are being a bit deceptive,” said Blumberg, who says some charities don’t declare the full value of administrative costs when filling out required forms with the Canada Revenue Agency.

“I wouldn’t rely on the information charities file with the Canada Revenue Agency as being the Gospel truth.  In some cases it may be accurate in other cases it may be less so.”

He says donors ought to do their research and confine their donations to fewer, rather than more charities.

Greg Thomson of Charity Intelligence agrees that Canadians shouldn’t feel pressured to make donations on the spot without doing some checking first.

“The key is to find a charity you are passionate about and is able to demonstrate to you they are making a difference.”

Nearly half of B.C. parents with children in school support teachers: poll – BC

A poll commissioned by Global News reveals nearly half of B.C. adults who have children in school support teachers in the ongoing labour dispute between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and B.C. government.

Twenty-five per cent support the B.C. government and 24 per cent support neither side.

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Overall, slightly more British Columbians support teachers (44 per cent) than government (31 per cent) with 22 per cent supporting neither side.

These numbers are nearly on par with the poll conducted in May that showed 41 per cent of people supported the teachers in this dispute, with 30 per cent backing the B.C. government.

When it comes to wage demands, most respondents (43 per cent) want both sides to compromise on wage negotiations, while one third (36 per cent) say teachers are asking for too much money. Twenty-one per cent say the government offer is too low.

Respondents were also polled on the class size and composition issue.

They were asked how they feel about the province challenging the court’s decision ordering it to restore past class size and composition standards and funding.

In January, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled that legislation introduced in 2012 that removed class size and composition from contract negotiations was unconstitutional and awarded the teachers’ union $2 million.

The ruling ordered that class size limits, maximums on the number of special needs students and specialist teacher staffing levels be restored to what they were in 2002, when the teachers’ union first launched a court challenge.

The B.C. government went on to appeal the ruling, saying it could cost one billion dollars to implement the terms of the ruling.

Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of all respondents say the B.C. government should “fund the education system in the way the court has ruled”.

This opinion increases to 66 per cent among parents of children in public school.

But, 38 per cent of respondents say the “B.C. government is right to appeal the court decision and there is no way taxpayers should pay so much to meet these former standards.”

Among parents, this opinion declines to 34 per cent.

The Angus Reid poll conducted in May asked B.C. parents about the potential impact of the labour dispute on them.

Sixty-two per cent of parents said they thought the job action had an impact, but that they managed around it and 17 per cent  said the dispute had a major impact on them.

Two weeks later, fewer parents (53 per cent) say they’ve actually experienced an impact, while 19 per cent report a major impact.

Nearly one-third (28 per cent) say they haven’t experienced much of an impact at all. That is up seven per cent from May.

The online survey was conducted among 804 randomly selected B.C. adults on June 6 and 7.

A probability sample of this size carries a margin of error of +/- 3.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Rare mushrooms turning a big profit for Burlington farm – Toronto

When you walk inside the Enviro Mushroom Farm in Burlington, it looks like a massive science experiment.

In one room, a staff member is dressed in a white lab coat with his hair and face covered. He is working inside an enclosure transferring liquid from a petri dish to a flask.

He is growing mushrooms but not the average white button mushroom. Instead he is growing King Oyster, Enoki and Cinnamon Caps among others.

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“King Oysters are very tasty,” Anna Sung, an employee at Enviro Mushroom Farm said. “Even kids like these mushrooms. They think it is not mushroom.”

It’s fungus. But it’s been a gold mine for producers.

“When we started in 2001, the revenue was about $500-thousand. But it has grown to almost $8-million now,” Sung said.

But the rare mushrooms are expensive: they can cost up to 30 times more than a basic mushroom.

But foodies and new Canadians are buying them.

“The specialty mushroom have become sort of a gourmet thing right now,” Maureen Atkinson, a global retail advisor with JC Williams Group, said.

“All of the retailers are looking for those kinds of products because the margins in food is very low, and so it’s those unique products that are not as competitive,” says Atkinson

So why do the mushrooms cost more? Producers say a lot of it has to do with production. Global News got to tour the Burlington farm. The entire farm, from the incubating room to the germination room, the growing room and the packing room is controlled and clean. The air, water and temperatures are all controlled so the mushrooms can grow in ideal conditions and stay fresh.

“It’s an environment, that we have to grow this King Oyster, which is very special and therefore requires a lot of cost,” Sung said.

I am not a mushroom fan. I don’t like the texture and I’m not really fond of the taste. But Sung tells me the taste will help explain the cost too.

The last stop in our tour is a kitchen. A staff member is frying up the different varieties of mushrooms. I try all of them – After all I have to see what all the fuss is about. I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of all the varieties. But I did go back for seconds.

Employees fired after video surfaces of alleged animal abuse on Chilliwack dairy farm

WATCH: The B.C. SPCA is pushing for animal cruelty charges after a hidden camera investigation revealed cows being kicked and beaten by staff. Francis Silvaggio reports. GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised.

VANCOUVER – The BC SPCA is recommending charges of animal cruelty against eight former employees from Chilliwack’s Cattle Sales family farm, the largest dairy farm in Canada.

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“On June 2, the BC SPCA received an undercover video from the non-profit group Mercy for Animals Canada that showed the employees using chains, canes, rakes, their booted feet and their fists to viciously whip, punch, kick and beat the dairy cows, including downed and trapped cows who could not escape the abuse,” said Marcie Moriarty, the BC SPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer. “We immediately launched an investigation into the case and have recommended Criminal Code charges against the eight employees identified in the video for willfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering and injury to animals.”

The eight employees were originally suspended, pending the results of an investigation, but on Monday night they were fired.

BC SPCA constables visited the farm last week along with one of North America’s most respected dairy cattle experts, veterinarian Dr. James Reynolds, as part of an on-going investigation into the animal management practices of the Chilliwack company. The company, which supplies milk to brands such as Saputo and Dairyland, is currently cooperating with the investigation.

“The images in the undercover video are extremely disturbing and highlight an urgent need for better standards to protect farm animals in B.C. from abuse and neglect,” said Moriarty.

She added that while a Canadian Code of Practice for the care and handling of dairy cattle was published in 2009, she said its requirements have yet to be verified on farms through third-party inspections or adopted into B.C. law.

WATCH: Anna Pippus, director of Mercy for Animals, talks to BC1 anchor Leigh Kjekstad about the video (warning, some of the images may be disturbing for some viewers):

The Chilliwack Cattle Sales family farm is owned by the Kooyman family. They released a statement on Monday about the video and the allegations of animal cruelty. They said they were made aware of the allegations on Friday, June 6.

These allegations are extremely serious and we are devastated by the thought that animals in our care have been harmed.

Animal care is of primary importance on our farm. We have been working with the BC SPCA and regulatory authorities and will continue to do so throughout the investigation. In addition, we will be taking any and all steps necessary to assure that no such incident takes place on our family farm in the future.

These alleged actions in no way reflect the farming and animal care standards practiced by our family or by the dairy industry. As a farming family we are committed to providing the best care for our animals and have zero tolerance for animal abuse.

Dr. David Dykshorn and Dr. Rich Vanderwal of Abbotsford Veterinary Clinic regularly visit the farm and monitor animal health.

“We have had a working relationship with the Kooyman’s for over 20 years and can speak to their integrity and care for their animals,” said Vanderwal and Dykshorn. “Animal abuse is unacceptable on any stage and we actively work with the Kooyman family to ensure the highest level of animal welfare on their farm.”

The BC SPCA would like to see the Canadian Codes of Practice, which set out minimum standards of care for various farm animal species, be incorporated into the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act so that the standards can be enforced. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have already taken the step of enshrining farm animal care standards into their provincial legislation.

“It is important that producers have clear expectations around standards of care for farm animals and that there is a system in place to monitor and enforce these standards,” said Moriarty.

“The images in the video we received were distressing and clearly unacceptable. British Columbians, including the society’s 80,000 supporters, are increasingly concerned about the treatment of farm animals. We look forward to working with government and industry on solutions to prevent further neglect and abuse among the 100 million farm animals raised in B.C. each year.”

WATCH: Marcie Moriarty speaks to Leigh Kjekstad about the video:

The Vancouver Humane Society said they would like to see random inspections and mandatory video surveillance of livestock operations following this investigation.

VHS spokesperson Leanne McConnachie, who examined the footage, said “individual acts of animal cruelty should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law but the industry must also be held to account for ensuring the humane treatment of animals.”

She also urged consumers to cut their consumption of animal products to reduce the demand for intensive livestock farming.

25 years of pride in Regina – Regina

REGINA –Twenty-five years ago, the City of Regina was a much different place for people part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“We have certainly come a long way,” said Evanna Simpson, who was involved with planning Regina’s first pride festival in 1989. “People wouldn’t come because they said, ‘no we can’t be seen in public’.”

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In June of 1989, City Council voted 6-4 in favour of recognizing pride weekend but some councillors tried to rescind that proclamation after they reported receiving death threats. In 1990, Regina’s police chief refused to issue a parade permit but the march went forward on the sidewalk.

“It’s just how much things have changed and the wonderful thing about that is that’s exactly what we were working for and in those days we thought it would never happen,” said Simpson.

However, pride parades in Regina were still accompanied by protests only 14 years ago, which is a struggle Jett Brewer said he understands.

“Myself, I was kicked out of my church and things like that for being a lesbian at the time and trying to find those supports was very difficult,” said Brewer with TransSask Support Services. “Now we’ve got all kinds of grassroots organizations and individuals trying to provide the supports that are needed.”

In one of the most symbolic gestures at this year’s festival, Michael Fougere became the first Regina mayor to raise the pride flag.

“It’s about time,” said Mayor Fougere. “I speak on behalf of City Council and we’re all very proud by the presence of other members of council here as well to say that we support the community.”

The pride flag will fly in front of City Hall for the reminder of the week and the parade will travel through downtown on Saturday.

Queen City Pride events are being held all the week.

Suspect in Los Angeles high-speed pursuit in custody after chase, armed standoff with police – National

LOS ANGELES – Police have captured a wanted man who climbed onto rooftops in a Los Angeles neighbourhood while armed with a rifle after a freeway chase Monday, and then barricaded himself in a home for several hours. The incident prompted authorities to shut down nearby freeway on-ramps, lock down schools and evacuate at least one as police waited him out, authorities said.

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Five hours after the chase began, Special Weapons and Tactics officers fired a gas into the home, and television reports showed the suspect walking out with his hands up and lying face-down on the grass in the backyard of a home with his hands behind his head and two dogs nearby. Seven SWAT officers converged to take him into custody.

Prosecutors identified the suspect as 41-year-old Nolan Perez. A felony complaint for an arrest warrant says Perez was charged with seven felony counts including stalking and criminal threats against his ex-girlfriend between May 19 and June 6.

Perez has multiple prior convictions including for domestic violence, negligent discharge of a firearm and firearm possession as a felon, prosecutors said.

The chase began about 10:15 a.m. when police tried to arrest Perez on that warrant. But he drove off in his red Nissan Altima, leading to a 45-minute high-speed chase along several freeways that ended in North Hollywood, police said.

The suspect was dressed in white and carrying what appeared to be an assault-style rifle. He pointed the rifle at his pursuers several times during the chase, but police were investigating whether he fired it, Cmdr. Andy Smith said.

The man walked through several backyards and at one point climbed onto a roof, jumping from one to another, pacing along the spine and stopping to lean on the rifle multiple times, before climbing down and entering a home, police said. He was believed to be alone inside, Smith said.

Several blocks of the area were sealed off, nearby homes evacuated and a SWAT team called in.

About a half-dozen schools were locked down. Most schools are out of session for summer, but two campuses had a total of about 135 students who would be picked up by their parents, authorities said.

Shortly before 2 p.m., dozens of students from a nearby private school were evacuated to a park to meet their parents, holding hands, lugging backpacks and walking under a freeway overpass. Police guarded them. All lockdowns were lifted about four hours into the standoff, Smith said.

©2014The Canadian Press

Why you can’t see OPP’s gas plant scandal documents before the election – Toronto

Ontario Provincial Police made headlines last week when they sought documents from Queen’s Park staff as part of their investigation into gas plant emails.

Global News and several other media organizations have been trying to get the informations police filed to obtain those production orders and get the documents.

But no luck so far, and not because of a secretive sealing order.

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  • Hudak says Wynne abandoned principles with gas plants cancellations

    Wynne says she’s not surprised by OPP request for documents in gas plant scandal

  • OPP seek documents from Queen’s Park in gas plant investigation

The court documents are unsealed, which is unusual: Often, it can take weeks or months of negotiation between Crown, defence and media lawyers before these documents see the light of day  – even though they should be public by default.

This time, the holdup’s administrative: The documents will be available once police file paperwork cataloguing the information they got  – and that likely won’t happen until June 19, a week after Thursday’s election. (Queen’s Park staff were given 10 days to produce the required documentation)

“This is the way it should be: It should be inaccessible for a short time, for practical reasons, and then it should be unsealed,” said lawyer Iain MacKinnon, who is acting on the news organizations’ behalf.

“It was actually kind of a pleasant surprise. … It is unusual, yes, but unusual in a good way.”

IN DEPTH: Ontario election 2014

The gas plant scandal has been a recurring theme of this election, as Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and NDP leader Andrea Horwath have slammed Premier Kathleen Wynne over the way the plants’ costly last-minute cancellation in 2011 was handled and disclosed. Wynne, for her part, has emphasized that this was her predecessor Dalton McGuinty”s decision and that she’s really sorry – but she’s had trouble changing the channel to focus on her solutions to present challenges facing the province.

Last week’s OPP document search at Queen’s Park put the issue into the public mind all over again and prompted the Liberals to emphasize that no one in Wynne’s office or her cabinet is under investigation.

Whatever police were looking for, voters will have to make up their minds not knowing precisely what it was.

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Consumers about to get protection from spam email

CALGARY – Consumers should start seeing fewer spam emails popping up in their inbox when a new anti-spam law takes effect on July 1.

That’s when any business that sends emails, texts or electronic voice messages that include offers to purchase, sell or lease a product, must have your permission ahead of time.

The new law also includes offers of a business, investment or gaming opportunity.

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  • Disturbing online spam showing up in Southern Alberta

Thousands of Calgary businesses are scrambling to beat the deadline for the anti-spam law and are busy sending out consent forms to everyone on their contact lists to secure their permission.

“Everything we do today links back to this new legislation,” says Amish Morjaria of Forward Level Marketing. “So we have to become compliant in order to communicate with our prospects with our clients on a daily basis.”

Sending an email, text or voice message to someone who didn’t request it, can lead to fines in the millions of dollars.

READ MORE: CRTC says anti-spam law will be hard to police

“It affects an awful lot of businesses”, says Sandra McKee-Crozier of the Better Business Bureau. “It affects non- profits. It affects businesses and the fines are extremely heavy. So it’s a bill that has a lot of teeth.”

While the new law should help curb spam originating in Canada, it’s a different story if the spam comes from outside the country.

“Unfortunately there’s very little that can be done about those spammers that are outside of our national borders,” says lawyer Samantha Kernahan.

Click here for more details of the anti-spam legislation. 

75-year-old Rossland man murdered and items stolen from his home

WATCH: A 75 year old Rossland man in dead, his family pleading for any information. Aaron McArthur reports.

VANCOUVER – The community of Rossland is in mourning after a long-time resident was found dead in his home.

Seventy-five-year-old Thomas Feeney was found dead on Thursday, June 5, at about 11 a.m. at his home on Feeney Road near Rossland.

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On Monday, Supt. Tim Head, acting district officer – Southeast District, made an appeal to the public for information related to Feeney’s death and to find the items stolen from his home.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my condolences to Tom’s family, in particular his son – Tom Feeney and son-in-law – Colin Lohrer– who are here today. On behalf of the RCMP, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you deal with this tragic loss,” says Head in a statement.

He says this appears to be a “break-and-enter type incident that ended in a violent and disturbing homicide.”

This does appear to be a random incident. “We know that crimes of this nature, especially one involving a great man, like Tom Feeney, is disturbing,” says Head. “I would like to assure the public that this is a priority investigation and any and all resources needed to identify the individual or individuals responsible are in place.”

A number of items are missing from Feeney’s home and police are releasing photos in the hopes someone may have information that leads to their recovery.

An Emerson 40 1080p LCD Television

5 Firearms including a unique one described as a Pedersoli/Cimarron Arms 1874 Sharps 45-70. This is an extremely unique (rifle) – with an octagon shaped barrel and a distinctive firing mechanism and sight

5 Firearms including a unique one described as a Pedersoli/Cimarron Arms 1874 Sharps 45-70. This is an extremely unique (rifle) – with an octagon shaped barrel and a distinctive firing mechanism and sight

5 Firearms including a unique one described as a Pedersoli/Cimarron Arms 1874 Sharps 45-70. This is an extremely unique (rifle) – with an octagon shaped barrel and a distinctive firing mechanism and sight

Ammunition reloading equipment – including a very distinctive 45 calibre projectile.

Police also want any other residents who have been the victims of a break-in or an attempted break-in to contact them as they have not been able to eliminate the possibility that there is a connection with the homicide investigation.

The RCMP have also set up a dedicated tip line for the public to call with any information about these items or this homicide. Anyone can call 1-877-987-8477.

Feeney’s family has also released a statement about Tom:

My name is Colin Lohrer (Son-in-law)

I am here today – on behalf of my family – to support the RCMP’s efforts in determining who is responsible for this unthinkable crime.

Dad was born and raised in Rossland. He was a father, grandfather and great grandfather who loved to hunt and fish and enjoy the outdoors. In his younger years he loved to curl and had the opportunity to curl at the Brier. More than anything he loved to sit and tell a good story.

We are all in shock to know he has been taken away from us in such a tragic way. It has been a devastating blow to our family.

We need to know why this happened and we need the individual or individuals responsible to be identified and charged.

On behalf of the Feeney family – I would like to express that we need your help. Please have a look at the photos of the items missing from Dad’s place. If you have any information about the items or about this murder investigation – please, please, please call the Tipline and police.

We would like to thank the public and friends for their thoughts and support. While we continue to work through our unimaginable grief, we do ask for the media to respect our privacy.