Northern Saskatchewan program raises awareness of alcohol-related harms

New funding has allowed the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute to expand, allowing the Youth Action for Prevention (YAP) program to better engage people in northern areas of the province about the harms of alcohol.

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YAP is a prevention initiative that encourages people to create resources and projects to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and other alcohol-related harms among their peers.

“The additional funding allows the prevention institute to better work directly with youth and communities across the north,” the institute’s executive director, Joelle Schaefer, said in a press release.

“We’re pleased to be partnering with the provincial government to expand a program that works to build capacity among youth, adult allies and communities in order to support positive change and reduce harms experienced through alcohol use.”

YAP will be expanded to include a program co-ordinator in La Ronge.

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) is providing $100,000 to help the program.

“As a government we are continuing to work with northern communities to address alcohol-related harms through local solutions,” Minister responsible for SLGA Gene Makowsky said in a statement.

“This program will help young people in the north make informed decisions about the responsible use of alcohol while also encouraging them to raise awareness among their peers and community members.”

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LPAT decision clears the way for 26-storey tower in Burlington’s downtown

It looks like the battle over a developer’s proposal for a 26-storey high rise in Burlington’s downtown core is over.

ADI Development Group will be permitted to start construction on Martha Street and Lakeshore Road despite objections by the city.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has turned down its request to review a previous decision by the then Ontario Municipal board (OMB) that would allow the tower to be built, stating the city failed to present a “convincing and compelling case.”

In its request, the city argued that the OMB improperly applied the growth plan with respect to height and density limits. It also claimed there was improper regard for council’s decision to refuse the initial and revised proposal from ADI.

Mayor-elect Marianne Meed Ward, who recently campaigned against intensification in the downtown core, says the building will be precedent setting.

“What we’ve seen is that every tower breeds more towers, like dandelions. Every new application will reference every other application that has already been built or approved,” she said.

The 26-storey tower will be framed by buildings less than half its size, according to Meed Ward.

“This will fundamentally change the character of downtown,” she said, acknowledging that the city has run out of options to prevent this specific project.

Her next course of action, she says, is to work with city council and the province to push for changes to the urban growth and mobility hub designations as well as height and density limits under the official plan.

The hope is that it will push investment and growth closer to areas like the Burlington GO station on Brant Street.

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Bernard Landry dead at 81

Former Quebec premier Bernard Landry has died at the age of 81.

The former leader and longtime stalwart of the Parti Québécois governed from 2001 to 2003 until he was defeated by the Quebec Liberals under the leadership of Jean Charest. He was also leader of the left-leaning separatist party from 2001 to 2005 after Lucien Bouchard resigned.

Landry’s death was confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

“My heart is broken by the news of the death of Premier Landry,” said PQ interim leader Pascal Bérubé on Twitter. “On behalf of the Parti Québécois, I offer my sincerest condolences to his family, his friends and to to all Quebec sovereigntists.”

PQ MNA Catherine Fournier said Landry’s legacy “will continue to inspire the next generation.”

“A country, we will do it thanks to your contribution,” she said on social media. “Rest assured that we will carry the torch high up.”

Régis Labeaume, the mayor of Quebec City, described the former premier’s death as a “huge loss for Quebec.”

“Mr. Landry made a mark on the Quebec nation, his contribution has been outstanding and he has always promoted our language, our culture and our identity,” he said in a statement.

An ardent sovereigntist from the beginning

An ardent sovereigntist, Landry was a student activist in the 1960s. He obtained a law degree from the Université de Montréal before he went on to study economics and finance at the l’Institut d’études politiques de Paris.

The Saint-Jacques native was only 27 when PQ founder René Lévesque drew him into the sphere of Quebec politics. He ran unsuccessfully in 1970 and 1973 under the party banner, but he finally secured a seat in the Fabre riding in 1976.

During his time with the party, Landry held several prominent positions. He served as deputy premier of Quebec from 1994 to 2001 before he took over from Bouchard.

Former Quebec premier Bernard Landry died at 81.

After the PQ was defeated in the 2003 provincial election, Landry stayed on as leader of the party until he left politics in 2005.

The last time Landry was seen in public was last May 21, when he was participated in National Patriots’ Day activities.

He leaves behind his wife Chantal Renaud and his three children, Julie, Philippe and Pascale.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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CFL commissioner, group behind franchise bid set to make ‘special announcement’ in Halifax

The commissioner of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and the organization hoping to bring a franchise to Canada’s East Coast are set to make “a special announcement” in Halifax on Wednesday.

There are no details on what Randy Ambrosie and the Maritime Football Limited Partnership are planning to announce. However, staff members with the Halifax Regional Municipality revealed last week that they expect CFL to award a conditional franchise to Maritime Football within the next month.

The announcement comes on the heels of a unanimous vote by Halifax Regional Council to direct staff to conduct a “thorough” business case analysis on a 24,000-seat proposed stadium by Maritime Football.

A deal on a stadium, which Ambrosie has called a critical part of any expansion bid, is far from complete but the timing of the announcement would seem to indicate that Maritime Football and the CFL have some faith that a stadium is moving along as planned.

The report voted on by council last week indicated that Maritime Football — an organization composed of business executives and former owners of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes — has proposed Shannon Park, a 38-hectare swath of land on the east side of Halifax harbour formerly used by the Department of Defence for housing, as the preferred location for the multi-purpose stadium.

The group is in talks with Canada Lands Company to buy up to eight hectares of land for the stadium, a parking structure and “associated uses,” the staff report says.

A new CFL team would be the anchor tenant of the stadium, which comes with an estimated price tag of up to $190 million.

The meeting of regional council also revealed that Maritime Football has been talking to Saint Mary’s University and Dalhousie University about making the stadium a full-time ice surface in the winter as well as other partnership possibilities.

The announcement, set for Nov. 7 at Saint Mary’s University is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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Bridge Barge: Prep work underway to construct Kingston’s third bridge crossing

The first visible sign that Kingston’s much-touted $180 million third bridge crossing is nearing construction is currently floating in the middle of the Cataraqui River.

Crews from ODS Marine and Marathon Drilling have been on a barge since late October to conduct geo-technical testing of the riverbed and sediment to get a more accurate reading of how deep the bridge support piers will be.

“They’re doing some more drilling in the river to get a better understanding of some of the bedrock conditions and sediment conditions overlaying the rock,” explains Mark Van Buren, the City of Kingston’s director of the project.

Geo-technical work underway on this barge and drill in Cataraqui River to test for future footings of Kingston’s $180M third bridge crossing.

He expects crews on the barge will be scanning various points of the 1.2-kilometre-long crossing route daily until the end of November.

“It’s extremely important work. It’s early work. It’s to help amass all the important information that’s going to be fed to the design team.”

Even though sections of the river are shallow, Van Buren says the bridge foundation could go as deep as 40 metres to reach solid bedrock. At least 10 piers will be positioned on the bedrock to support the bridge, which will feature two traffic lanes and a multi-use pathway for pedestrians and cyclists.

In addition, residents will notice ongoing preparation work on the bridge landing points on both the eastern and western shores of the river.

“We’re currently doing some tree survey and assessment work, some archaeological investigations and utility investigations,” Van Buren explains.

Actual construction of the bridge linking John Counter Boulevard and Gore Road is expected to start next summer, though an exact start date has yet to be determined. It will take about three years to complete the fixed link.

Funding for the bridge was secured in the past year when all three levels of government each committed $60 million, a one-third funding share.

The city has hired a private international team led by Peter Kiewit Sons ULC, Hatch Ltd. and SYSTRA International Bridge Technologies to design and build the fixed link that will be located midway between the LaSalle Causeway and Highway 401 on the Cataraqui River. The contract was awarded through a so-called integrated project delivery (IPD) model, believed to be a first-of-its-kind model in North America, according to Van Buren, who is the city’s deputy commissioner of infrastructure and transport.

“It’s unique in this situation where the owner, the city of Kingston, is actively involved in both the design and construction phase working arm-in-arm with both the design team and the main contractor.”

Preliminary design for Kingston’s third bridge includes two traffic lanes and a multi-use pathway.

Here’s a look at where the bridge will be situated over the Cataraqui River.

The initial construction plan was to build a temporary bridge at a cost of millions of dollars across the waterway to delivery crews, equipment and materials to support each phase of the in-water work. However, Van Buren says the city may be able to use barges as a cheaper alternative for some of the work.

“A temporary work bridge is the leading option but we haven’t closed the door to other options that could be used,” he says, adding: “We’re also looking at other options like a marine-based approach we could utilize marine barges that would support construction equipment.”

He says more on-site prep work is needed in order to secure final approvals from Parks Canada, the federal department that manages the waterway at the start of the Rideau Canal system, a UNESCO world heritage site.

“Some of the final design work is important to have in hand before we’re able to conclude the work with Parks Canada.”

The new bridge is expected to ease traffic congestion on the nearby Highway 401 and LaSalle Causeway, both of which also cross the waterway, while providing improved access for public transit and emergency vehicles between the central and eastern areas of the city.

Van Buren adds: “We remain very confident that we’ll be able to deliver this project on time and on budget.”

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Ontario man faces charges after allegedly fleeing from N.S. RCMP checkpoint, swimming across river

An Ontario man is facing charges after he allegedly fled from an RCMP checkpoint in Bible Hill, N.S., at 3 a.m. on Saturday.

Police say that while conducting a checkpoint on Main Street, RCMP members directed a man driving a truck without a licence to pull into an adjacent parking lot.

Instead, the driver, a 31-year-old man, fled from the checkpoint.

A short time later, officers located the truck abandoned in a nearby parking lot.

A K9 unit from Truro police was called to assist and the driver was eventually located hiding on the bank of Salmon River.

As police approached their suspect, he jumped into the river and began swimming to the other side.

Officers say that local fire departments, Colchester, East Hants and Pictou Ground Search and Rescue and Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry were contacted to assist.

The Mounties say that the man turned himself in on Monday and has been charged with obstruction and driving while his licence was revoked.

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Should Trudeau keep arms deal with Saudis? More than half of Canadians say yes: poll

Ottawa’s controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia has been under scrutiny over the past few months, especially after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A survey released by Angus Reid on Tuesday found that while most Canadians don’t want any future weapons sales with Saudi Arabia, more than half said the current $15-billion agreement to sell light armoured vehicles (LAVs) to the regime should stay in place.

The controversial agreement with Saudi Arabia was negotiated under the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, but sign-off and decisions about its future now fall on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government.

Nine out of 10 of the respondents in the survey said “no” to a future arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

But when it comes to the current deal, 44 per cent said the Liberals should leave it in place and ban future arms exports. Ten per cent said to maintain the current deal and continue to sell weapons to the Saudis. And 46 per cent said they would prefer to cancel it now.

For the Canadians who want Trudeau to end the current arms deal with the Saudis, Khashoggi’s murder didn’t seem to impact the decision.

“Those most supportive of cancelling the deal are the group who had not even heard of the incident in Istanbul [in October],” the survey found.

Who else should Canada not sell military weapons to?

The Angus Reid poll asked Canadians to choose from a list of countries that they would allow trade with and those they would ban.

Three-quarters of those asked said that Ottawa should not sell military defence and technology to Iran or Saudi Arabia. Fifty-four per cent of the respondents said Canada should not sell to China and 20 per cent said we shouldn’t sell to the United States.

The poll also found that compared to last year, the number of Canadians who don’t want an arms deal with the Saudis has risen substantially.

In September 2017, Angus Reid asked respondents about the same countries (with the exception of Iran and China). Sixty-two per cent of Canadians asked said the federal government should not sell military weapons to the Saudis. In October 2018 the number spiked to 76 per cent.

One-quarter of those who originally said it’s OK to sell arms to Saudi Arabia later said they would prohibit future deals.

“While Saudi Arabia makes up nearly half of all non-U.S. arms exports from Canada, it would be fair to say that many do not feel comfortable with commerce when it comes to this industry and that country,” the poll stated.

“Canada’s own assessment of Saudi Arabia found a ‘high number of executions, repression of political opposition, arbitrary arrest, suppression of freedom of expression and discrimination against women.’”

What’s changed in a year?

In September 2017 Ottawa was facing criticism over allegations that the Saudi military had used Canadian light armoured vehicles to stifle opposition among their own citizens.

In August 2018 the rift between Canada and Saudi Arabia was ignited when Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted to call for the release of two Saudi human rights activists.

The reaction from Saudi Arabia was swift. Hours after the tweet, the Saudi government recalled its ambassador, barred Canada’s envoy from returning and placed a ban on new trade. The Saudis also demanded an apology from Canada.

But Trudeau refused and said Canada would not apologize and would “speak out wherever we see the need.”

When Angus Reid asked Canadians about Ottawa’s fight with the Saudis, 32 per cent of the respondents said the feds should be “even more vocal” in criticizing the regime. Another 32 per cent said Trudeau should “maintain the current approach” and level of criticism. And 19 per cent said Canada should “be more guarded” in its criticism of the Saudis.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Oct. 24 – Oct. 29 among a representative randomized sample of 1,500 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI. 

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Ivanka Trump granted trademark for 'voting machines' in China

Donald Trump’s daughter filed the trademark applications while her firm, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, still existed – but they were only granted in the last two months.

The new approvals include Ivanka-branded fashion accessories including sunglasses, handbags, shoes and jewellery, as well as offbeat items such as voting machines, nursing homes and sausage casings.

US government watchdog, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), said the revelation raises “ethics questions”.

The approvals, which bring her total number of Chinese trademarks to 34, come three months after she dissolved the brand to focus on her government activities.

She currently serves as an adviser in her father’s government, though the US president has made comments about her becoming the next UN ambassador.

Two of the new trademark approvals were given to a firm called DTTM Operations LLC, which has its headquarters in the Trump Tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue. They include a Trump-branded restaurant, hotel and bar.

The trademarks will be finalised if there are no objections within a 90 day period.

Mr Trump and his daughter both have substantial intellectual property holdings in China and some have voiced concerns that it paves the way for them to profit when they leave the White House.

In a statement CREW said: “Ivanka receives preliminary approval for these new Chinese trademarks while her father continues to wage a trade war with China.

“Since she has retained her foreign trademarks, the public will continue to have to ask whether President Trump has made foreign policy decisions in the interest of his and his family’s businesses.”

Mr and Ms Trump’s lawyers in Beijing have not yet commented.

According to Associated Press, many companies file patent request defensively, particularly in China, where “trademark squatting” is common.

Some lawyers advise clients to register trademarks for merchandise made in China even if it is not sold there.

:: Live coverage of the US midterm elections on Sky News from 11pm on Tuesday with Adam Boulton live in Washington and our breaking results service on skynews.com and app, plus expert analysis from breakfast on Wednesday

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41-0? Minor hockey groups say kids’ games should be about fun, not scores

Hockey groups across the country are looking for ways to manage runaway scores in a bid to keep the sport fun for kids.

The issue swelled for the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario after a team of eight-year-olds from Kitchener crushed a squad from Cambridge 41-0 last month.

The lopsided score was very unusual, but the group still is considering a variety of measures to prevent a similar situation, said executive director Tony Martindale.

Those measures could include new rules or guidelines, and revisiting how the teams are split up based on skill, he said.

“Our biggest thing here is that we don’t want to turn kids off of hockey,” Martindale said.

“We want hockey to be a life-long adventure for the kids.”

The Kitchener-Cambridge game didn’t result in a barrage of complaints, he added, likely because the coaches found a way to keep it fun for the young athletes.

The winning team also implemented some rules to try and slow the pace when the score began to balloon, including requiring players to pass at least five times before shooting the puck.

Hockey Canada recommends that players under the age of nine play half-ice games and that no score is kept.

No one from Hockey Canada was made available to discuss the guidelines.

Groups across the country use various rules for young players, with the Ontario Hockey Federation saying keeping score is optional for eight-year-old (novice) hockey. Hockey Alberta and BC Hockey do not keep score for teams made up of kids eight and under.

Young players should be learning skills like passing and how to be part of a team, not focusing on the score or who has how many goals, said Brad Lyon, spokesman for Hockey Alberta.

“We want to make sure that when those players are coming into their first or second year of hockey, that they’ve had fun, that they’re coming off the ice smiling, that they’ve had the opportunity to learn and most of all, that they want to come back next week and next year and hopefully decades into the future,” he said.

Hockey Alberta is also working on creating a standardized tiering system to better manage discrepancies in skill level and help teams determine what they’ll be up against in any given tournament.

“Mis-matches do happen. We know there can be those big scores. So we’re trying to reduce it,” Lyon said.

Standardized tiering is also used in B.C., where most member associations don’t post more than a five-goal deficit on any scoreboard, BC Hockey CEO Barry Petrachenko said in a statement.

The group is also encouraging associations to redistribute players or teams if play is lopsided.

Watch: Sports broadcaster Lisa Bowes on encouraging kids to try sport in her new book, Lucy Tries Hockey

Martindale said his group is reviewing how and when teams are split into skill-based tiers.

Currently, the teams play a few games before the process starts. They will look at whether there is a way to do the tiering before the season begins, Martindale said.

The Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario does not currently have rules or guidelines around blowout scores, he said, and may consider putting some in place for the future.

But it’s unlikely any regulations would include a “mercy rule,” where the game would end if one team were winning by a set margin. That could lead to valuable ice time going unused, Martindale said.

“I’d rather see us throw the sticks in the middle and have the kids play,” he said, referring to how teams are often picked in street hockey.

“At the end of the day, it’s about development and it should be about making friends and it should be about player experience.”

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Fox News ‘doesn’t condone’ Sean Hannity’s appearance at Trump rally on eve of midterms

Fox News Channel officials have said they “do not condone” the actions of its host Sean Hannity when he spoke from the stage of U.S. President Donald Trump’s final midterm election rally on Monday night.

But officials stopped short of condemning the act.

“Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events. We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work,” the statement read.

Officials also called the issue a distraction and said it “has been addressed.” There was no information on whether or not actions had been taken against Hannity.

Hannity, the channel’s most popular personality, had insisted all day that he wouldn’t campaign, before appearing on the podium in a Missouri arena after being called to the stage by Trump. Another Fox News host, Jeanine Pirro, also appeared onstage with the president.

“By the way, all those people in the back are fake news,” Hannity told the audience.

It was an extraordinary scene after the news network had worked Monday to establish distance between Hannity and the campaign. Trump’s campaign had billed Hannity as a “special guest” at the rally, but Fox had said that wasn’t so. Hannity himself had tweeted: “To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the president. I am covering final rally for the show.”

But Trump called him to the stage after saying, “they’re very special, they’ve done an incredible job for us. They’ve been with us from the beginning.”

Hannity hugged the president when he came onstage and, after echoing Trump’s traditional epithets about the media, recited some economic statistics.

A Fox News spokeswoman did not immediate return a message seeking comment.

“Either Fox News lied all day about their direct collaboration with the Trump campaign, or the network simply doesn’t have any control over Sean Hannity,” said Angelo Carusone, president of the liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America, which has urged an advertiser boycott of Hannity in the past. “This is a problem. It’s dangerous for democracy and a threat to a free press.”

Hannity has been rebuked by Fox in the past. In 2016, he was part of a Trump political video, which Fox said it had not known about in advance and told Hannity not to do so again. When Fox found out in 2010 that the Tea Party had advertised that Hannity would be appearing at one of his fundraising rallies, Fox said it had not approved the arrangement and ordered him back to New York.

Monday’s rally appearance was not shown on Fox News Channel, but was aired on C-SPAN.

It came after Hannity’s prime-time show aired from the rally site. He played the role of cheerleader from the side as the crowd waited for Trump’s appearance. He pleaded with viewers to vote Republican on Tuesday to support Trump, and his opening monologue echoed a campaign slogan seen on signs at the arena: “Promises made, promises kept.”

He moved backstage, and with six minutes before the end of his show, Trump appeared for a billed interview that was largely bereft of questions. Trump told Hannity he had seen the beginning of his show.

“I never miss your opening monologue,” he said.

Hannity’s role at the rally had been put in question by Trump campaign itself. It announced on Sunday that Hannity was to be a guest, along with radio commentator Rush Limbaugh and singer Lee Greenwood. Fox said it did not know how that impression had been created and Michael Glassner, chief operating officer for the campaign, did not respond to a request for comment.

Despite Fox’s disavowal, the Trump campaign continued to list Hannity as a guest throughout Monday at the link where people could seek tickets to the event.

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