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May 14th, 2019 by admin

UPDATE: Confusion swirls around Andrew Younger’s dismissal from Liberal cabinet, caucus

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s environment minister was shown the door on Thursday amid revelations that he didn’t show up to testify at a trial for a woman who was accused of assaulting him.

Premier Stephen McNeil announced in a late night news conference that Andrew Younger was relieved of his cabinet duties and was also kicked out of the governing Liberal caucus.

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McNeil says Younger did not provide accurate information surrounding his decision to not testify at the trial because of a law that states sitting members of the legislature cannot be called to testify in civil and criminal matters without being asked to waive the exemption.

“There’s a level of trust, if your employer was asking questions, they would expect you to give forthright (answers),” McNeil told the hastily called Thursday evening news conference.

“Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.”

McNeil said he didn’t personally speak to Younger about his dismissal, saying the news came from staff.

“It was staff who spoke to him, it was a short conversation,” McNeil said.

READ MORE: Opposition parties call for Younger to step down after the minister failed to appear in court

Younger spent almost 50 minutes earlier in the day answering reporters’ questions about his failure to appear in provincial court Wednesday for the matter involving Tara Gault, who is a former Liberal staff member.

He insisted he was not trying to avoid testifying in the case, which the judge dismissed after denying the prosecution’s request for an adjournment to address the issue of the exemption.

“It’s just not factual to suggest that I was using some provision as a way to get out of this,” he said.

Younger said he was notified of the privilege by his lawyer on Monday. The following day, he said the prosecution indicated they would seek an adjournment and that his wife and lawyer should be in court.

Gault pleaded not guilty to the charge stemming from an alleged assault on or about Oct. 22, 2013, the day the Liberal government assumed power after the last provincial election.

Younger refused to discuss the nature of his relationship with Gault, saying only that he had a personal relationship with her that has ended and that he and his wife have moved on.

He would also not reveal anything about the alleged event that resulted in the assault charge.

Earlier in the day McNeil expressed disappointment that Younger didn’t show up this week for the trial and intended to ask the justice minister to review the law.

“I’m disappointed, I believe there should not be two sets of rules for Nova Scotians,” he said.

Younger sent a statement to media following news of his firing. He said the reason for his dismissal was “a result of what [the premier’s office] felt were inconsistencies in my statements to the press.”

During his press conference, Younger repeatedly said he learned of his parliamentary privilege on Monday.

“In fact, I learned about this subject on Friday, October 30th, and I was able to confirm this for the premier’s office,” he said. “That error was mine and unintentional. During the press briefing I answered questions to the best of my recollection. This misstatement of the date was unintentional and had no impact on court proceedings. I was fully prepared to correct this with media.”

Younger said his prepared statement to media was “written by and on the instruction of the premier’s office.”

“Given that I have followed the direction of the premier’s office throughout on this matter, I am disappointed and surprised by the Premier’s decision,” he said.

On Friday morning, McNeil responded to Younger’s statement and disputed his assertion the premier’s office wrote his speech to the media.

“He asked for help – it was all under Mr. Younger’s direction and the information that Mr. Younger gave us,” McNeil said. “It was very clearly those were his words, those were his actions.”

McNeil adds he considers the matter closed and wished Younger well.

“Each of us have a responsibility at the end of the day to be responsible for what we say and what we do. Mr Younger needs to take responsibility for what he said and what he’s done.”

Younger has said that he and his wife will have more comment on the matter at a later date.

with files from Julia Wong and Rebecca Lau

May 14th, 2019 by admin

Chemical weapons watchdog believes Syrian insurgents used mustard gas

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – A source at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Thursday that inspectors from the international watchdog have found evidence that mustard gas was used during fighting between insurgent groups in the Syrian town of Marea in August.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a report on the findings had not yet been published, said OPCW inspectors discovered “evidence that mustard (gas) was indeed used there.”

The OPCW team was investigating allegations that the Islamic State used chemical weapons in Marea, but has not attributed blame for the use of mustard gas. The findings will now be sent to the United Nations.

WATCH: Canada poised to withdraw from mission in Syria

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A U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be quoted, confirmed that there is evidence a blistering agent was used at Marea on Aug. 21.

Sulfur mustard, also known as mustard gas, is an outlawed chemical weapon that attacks the skin, eyes, lungs and other internal organs of victims.

READ MORE: Kapyong the perfect temporary home for refugees: Military expert

Syria’s declared 1,300-ton chemical weapons stockpile, which was destroyed after President Bashar Assad’s government joined the OPCW in 2013, included sulfur mustard. It is not clear how insurgents came to possess the chemical weapon.

Doctors Without Borders said in late August that four patients exhibiting symptoms of exposure to chemical agents were treated at a hospital run by the international medical organization in northern Syria on Aug. 21. It said the parents and their two daughters arrived at a hospital run by the group one hour after the attack, suffering from respiratory difficulties, inflamed skin, red eyes, and conjunctivitis and their conditions worsened later.

©2015

May 14th, 2019 by admin

Social worker and officer team up to help those with mental illness

REGINA – Local police now have a new resource to help them appropriately handle mental health calls.

In the past, even Police Chief Troy Hagen admits the response was lacking.

“We do the best we can to secure their safety and their well-being, by typically that’s where it would have ended,” said Hagen. “I don’t think it yielded very good results for those in need.”

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The health ministry has contributed $235,000 to the new initiative, something Health Minister Dustin Duncan has already seen success with in Saskatoon.

“The only option when the police service does show up to provide some assistance, up until now, is the emergency room,” he said. “It’s been the only option available, or police custody.”

The new crisis team combines a senior officer with a mental health expert and aims to provide vulnerable people with the resources to address the urgent crisis, as well as lay groundwork for the future.

They go directly to the person in need and try and intervene on scene, wherever that may be.

“We determine what’s going on, spend as much time as we need with that person and we evaluate from both sides what happens next,” explained Sgt. Colleen Hall.

It’s something Kyle Moffat thinks could have helped his father, Wade. He took his own life in August.

“Any change is good change. It’s a victory. It’s great. One less person dealing with this situation,” Moffat said.

The Moffats called the police multiple times for their father and would have appreciated the expertise the crisis team provides.

“It means so much just to have somebody that’s professional there, able to say, I understand what’s going on here, this is how we’re going to handle this. Here’s who we’re going to call and also be able to judge how severe the incident is,” Kyle said.

Since starting in September, the duo has assisted 41 people in need. They have another 99 on their radar that they’re hoping to pro-actively check in on.

But with limited resources, their hands are tied.

“We can only be here for a nine hour workday. We know that’s not enough and we know that there’s not enough hours in a day. There’s people we’d like to get to and we can’t,” said social worker Jess Barre.

The police force is already looking into the feasibility of adding another team.

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May 14th, 2019 by admin

Calgary holiday Christmas parties scaled down; group menu prices reduced

CALGARY- Many local companies are either cancelling holiday events or downsizing drastically, as businesses from restaurants to event planning companies feel the pinch.

Staff at Distinctive Catering have seen a drop in regular customers, and according to manager Connie Quinton, the size of the events they will still cater has changed.

“The companies still want to appreciate their people, but they’re doing it on a smaller scale, and so we’re accommodating them, and also doing a lot of customizing.”

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At the Telus Convention Centre, holiday party bookings are down about 15 per cent.

Marketing director Heather Lundy says of those still coming, the budgets have been scaled back.

“For us it started in the second quarter of 2015,” said Lundy. “We started to see the decrease or the decline in business. We’re lucky we do have a lot of repeat business.”

One of the bigger cancellations was the Enmax holiday party.

Departments are now holding smaller, lower cost options, said Enmax spokesperson Doris Kaufmann Woodcock.

“We provide an essential service, and being mindful and respectful of the fact that this could be a tough time for people, was basically the decision why this wasn’t the right time to proceed,” said Kaufmann Woodcock.

Across the city, big banquet meals are being moved to restaurants and dinner parties are being replaced by cocktail receptions or office parties.

At the Jamesons Pub chain, they’ve adapted their group menu prices to fit the times.

“We actually have recession-friendly packages,” said chain spokesperson Cathy McDonald. “So a cheaper price point. For example, people can have a $16 meal versus a $48 prime rib buffet meal.”

At Distinctive Catering, they been through this kind of economic slump before, and adapting and adjusting are things they said they’ve learned from experience.

©2015

April 15th, 2019 by admin

‘You feel very hopeless’: Lethbridge woman gets 2nd chance after years of abuse

Maritza Stinson was trapped in a toxic relationship for nine years.

Originally from Guatemala, she moved to Lethbridge in 1992. It was not until she arrived in Canada that she even recognized the emotional and psychological abuse she was living with everyday.

“You feel very hopeless,” said Stinson. “He did not want me to be in contact with my family, he was watching me all the time and I could not go to bed before 10 p.m., because I would have to wait for him.”

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After only a couple of months in the country, she decided to leave her spouse. With the help of family, she took her two daughters and escaped to the YWCA women’s shelter, Harbour House.

However, she returned to her partner shortly after, on the promise that he would change. Instead, the abuse got worse, as he began to physically assault Stinson and her children.

“I said, ‘no, this is going to end badly and it is not going to be with me’,” she said.

With the help of the YWCA, she was able to leave her partner for good.

“I felt freedom and it was beautiful. I felt so happy that I could make decisions on my own.”

Stinson decided to go back to school, completing her diploma in Lethbridge College’s child and youth care program. She eventually got a job at the place which helped her at her darkest time, the YWCA.

Working as an outreach counsellor, she helps women leave relationships affected by domestic violence.

“When things are down, she is going to hold your hand and help you pick yourself up again,” added co-worker Sandra Vonk. “She is a fighter and she is a role model to all women.”

Stinson and her two daughters have moved on; she has remarried and has two grandchildren. After all the chaos she has lived through, she has finally reached true happiness.

“It’s been 23 years and it’s been a long journey, but I had a lot of rewards for me at the end,” she said.

©2015

April 15th, 2019 by admin

Saskatoon environmental advocate is hopeful with early Liberal action

SASKATOON – A recent move by Canada’s new prime minister to rename a rename a federal ministry is hopeful news according to a Saskatoon-based environmental advocate. On Wednesday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau created the newly titled Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

Peter Prebble, policy director for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, said he applauds the new move.

“I think clearly the Trudeau government intends to make climate change a higher priority than the previous federal government,” said Prebble.

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READ MORE: New minister, new title: Catherine McKenna takes on environment and climate change portfolio

Trudeau made a number of promises on the campaign trail that many expect he will now act to keep. Prebble pointed to a number of pledges on the climate that make him hopeful for the future.

“The commitment for instance to phase out fossil fuel subsidies,” said Prebble.

“The commitment to work constructively at the upcoming Paris negotiations on climate change.”

While Wednesday’s news may make advocates like Prebble optimistic, it could strike anxiety in others. University of Saskatchewan economics professor Joel Bruneau said some oil and gas companies may feel weary about the new government’s potential approach.

“Oil companies and gas companies are feeling [financially] stressed so they will be legitimately concerned that new policies will place more stress on them,” said Bruneau, who specializes in resource economics.

READ MORE: Only 1 in 2 Canadians believe climate change is a serious issue: survey

Bruneau pointed to a lack of uncertainty over what measures will actually be implemented as a potential stressor.

“Getting them written down so that they understand exactly what they’re dealing with can resolve a lot of uncertainty for them,” he said of Trudeau’s potential policies.

The provincial government will have to work with the federal Liberals to come up with appropriate climate measures, according to both Bruneau and Prebble.

“One has to wait to see what the actual actions of the new federal government will be, but certainly the initial signals are very positive,” said Prebble.

©2015

April 15th, 2019 by admin

Common wisdom about the common cold – what should you believe?

More On Call with Dr. Samir Gupta stories on Globalnews长沙夜网

TORONTO —; The flu season is upon us, and more and more people are catching not only the flu, but also the common cold.

What I have found to be really interesting over the last few years is the number of so called “old wives’ tales” about colds that have actually been explored in scientific studies.

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My mother always told me to dress warmly to avoid catching a cold. But when I learned that colds are caused by viruses, and not by cold air exposure, I figured that was just a myth —; we don’t catch cold, we get infected with a virus.

But the twist is that a study published this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that cold weather actually reduces nasal lining cells’ immune response to the rhinovirus, allowing the virus to replicate more quickly.

To be fair, this was a mouse study, but if we take a leap of faith, we might extend this to a theory that low outdoor temperatures turn down the immune system and truly make us more susceptible to colds.

What about that age-old warning that if you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system will get weak and you’ll get sick?

A fascinating study published this year carefully monitored people’s sleep patterns, and then gave them nasal drops containing the cold virus to see who was most likely to get infected.

Amazingly, those who slept less than 5 hours had a 45 per cent chance of getting a cold, whereas those who slept more than 7 hours had only a 17 per cent chance.

Again, this very likely has to do with the functioning of our immune system.

What about natural products for prevention and treatment of colds? Vitamin C is the big one.

A 2013 review of 29 trials with over 11,000 patients showed that vitamin C doesn’t prevent the common cold, but it does reduce the duration of cold symptoms by 8 per cent in adults and 14 per cent in kids.

Similarly, a review of 24 studies with over 4,600 patients found very marginal, if any, benefits from Echinacea for cold prevention or treatment.

People have been talking about of zinc since the 1970s, and the most recent reviews do show that zinc can reduce the duration of cold symptoms by about a day.

The caveat is that nasal zinc sprays have caused people to lose their sense of smell, and there are other side effects.

Finally, people ask about those over-the-counter products they find in the pharmacy, such as Cold-FX, which is American Ginseng.

There have been five different studies of Cold-FX, and what we know is that when it is taken regularly as a prophylactic medication, it can reduce the duration of cold symptoms and might even prevent some colds.

But it has never been studied as a treatment for once you get a cold, which is how most people actually use it.

We are learning more and more about the truth behind some of these age old beliefs around the common cold.

But at the end of the day, the best advice is still to get your flu shot, wash your hands often, and if you do get sick, nothing works as well as a little time and a lot of rest.

©2015

April 15th, 2019 by admin

Exclusive: Mom of 5-yr-old killed said she sent son to Canada for better life

The mother of a five-year-old boy killed last summer in Calgary says she sent her son to Canada for a better life.

“She is devastated by his death. What makes it worse for her is the fact she wasn’t here to protect him,” Staff Sgt. Doug Andrus of the Calgary Police Homicide Unit told Global News.

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“We sent investigators down to Mexico City to speak with his mother; she provided us with the date he arrived in Canada and his state of health. She also indicated why she sent him here: she wanted to provide him with a better life, so he could learn and grow in Canada.”

Emilio Perdomo came to Canada from Mexico in February 2014.

He was sent to live with his grandparents, Allan and Carolina Perdomo, in southeast Calgary.

Emilio was seen by a doctor about two months after he arrived in Canada, and was found to be in good health.

Then in July, he was taken to a clinic, and later rushed to the children’s hospital. The child died in hospital July 17.

READ MORE: Police investigate death of 5-year-old Calgary boy after injuries family attributed to ‘accidents’

Police said he had swelling and bruising all over his body, as well as other serious injuries. Investigators have not yet released further details–including the cause of his death.

“His injuries weren’t consistent with the normal play of a child,” said Andrus.

“Emilio didn’t leave the house, he didn’t go to school, he didn’t go to daycare. We’re looking for people who had exclusive opportunity and that is the family of five that he was staying with.”

That includes Emilio’s grandparents, as well as three of their children: two teenagers and one adult, who also live in the Perdomo home.

Global News has tried to speak to Allan and Carolina Perdomo about the case, but they declined to comment.

None of the five residents are cooperating with police.

Despite the lack of cooperation so far, Andrus feels confident charges will be laid.

“We’ve made good progress in the investigation and we’re very optimistic that we will resolve this investigation.”

©2015

April 15th, 2019 by admin

Hookah lounge owner worried Toronto ban will result in business closure

TORONTO – A Toronto Hookah lounge owner expects a ban passed by Toronto City Council Wednesday will lead to the closure of his Scarborough business.

Rizig Sayes, owner of 3 Kings hookah lounge said he was very disappointed with council decision.

“What that means is a lot of businesses will have to shut down, including this one,” Sayes said. “Our staff will be let go because we don’t really have an option at this point.”

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3 Kings has been open for four years, employing five staff and usually sees a minimum of 30 to 40 guests a night.

“It was almost like an attack on a culture,” Sayes said. “You have other places that are running – like [vapour] lounges – in Toronto and smoking is allowed and alcohol is allowed. If we are going to ban smoking, lets ban all smoking.”

City council voted on Wednesday to ban the social practice in a landslide vote, 34-3, after a report recommended the banning of hookah use in licensed establishments, citing health concerns.

READ MORE: Toronto city council votes to ban the use of hookahs in licensed establishments

Mayor John Tory said Wednesday hookah lounges will have to readjust their business and have until April 2016 to do so. Noel Gerry, a lawyer representing 14 hookah lounges said these establishments exist because of the water pipe.

“The vast majority of my clients derive the majority of their income and revenue from hookah smoking,” Gerry said.

“They are not geared up to be cafes or coffee shops or restaurants or bars. They are shisha lounges.”

For Rizig Sayes, he said the decision seems to be a double standard.

“Why should be keep letting the government sell cigarettes or letting vapour lounges operate or sell alcohol? It’s the same exact argument,” he said.

“I have to go get another job or start another business … at the end of the day this industry was killed and it angers everyone.”

©2015

March 15th, 2019 by admin

Sask. First Nations say indigenous cabinet representation ‘historic’

SASKATOON  – Meet Justin Trudeau’s new cabinet: many of its members are young and others are seasoned. Half of them are women and two ministers are indigenous.

In Trudeau’s own words, a cabinet that “looks like Canada.”

When asked about his new half-female cabinet, Trudeau responded with, “Because it’s 2015.”

Hunter Tootoo is the new minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. An Inuit leader who’s no rookie, he’s been in the legislative assembly for 14 years.

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Another key aboriginal player is Jody Wilson-Raybould. She’s the new minister of justice and attorney general of Canada. Formerly a regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, Wilson-Raybould  is no stranger to aboriginal issues.

“This is precedent setting. We have a woman, First Nation and a very able politician in her own right coming to the table,” said political analyst Greg Poelzer.

READ MORE: New justice minister brings unique perspective to First Nations issues

Carolyn Bennett is the new minister of indigenous and northern affairs, and the FSIN says it’s welcoming her with open arms.

“It’s a historic event and it’s going to set precedents. It’s going to set the foundation for that inherent and treaty relationship with the crown,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron.

But does this new representation mean a new era of politics?

Both the FSIN and Saskatoon Tribal Council say it’s time to wait and watch, adding they’re thrilled to see more opportunity for aboriginal voices, but still holding expectations high.

“As First Nations, we want to see some of the basic things that all Canadians take for granted. Safe water, safe homes and quality education,” said STC Chief Felix Thomas.

Cameron added that housing is a priority that’s been long outstanding, urging that the housing wait lists in each First Nations community needs to be addressed.

“Prime Minister Trudeau, we have our work cut out and now it’s just time to get those commitments in writing,” said Thomas.

©2015