24 Nov -

Eglinton Avenue worst street for pedestrian deaths in Toronto: police

Eglinton Avenue is the deadliest street in Toronto when it comes to pedestrian deaths, police say.

Since the start of 2016, seven pedestrians have been struck and killed by vehicles on Eglinton Avenue between Dufferin Street in the west and Midland Avenue in the east.

“Four collisions were pedestrians who stepped out mid-block and three were a turning movement that caused the collision,” said Toronto police traffic services Const. Clint Stibbe.

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READ MORE: Female pedestrian struck and killed in Leaside

Area residents who spoke with Global News said Eglinton Avenue can be a tricky road to cross because it expands to six lanes and it often leaves pedestrians racing against the clock to get to the other side.

“One time I was crossing and it was my right of way and a car almost hit me,” said one woman crossing at Midland Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East.

Another man crossing at the same intersection said near-misses between cars and pedestrians are a common sight.

READ MORE: Scarborough construction worker killed by car fleeing police: Police watchdog

“I’ve seen people get hit by cars, people get run over by cars,” said the man.

At Midland Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East alone, there have been two pedestrian fatalities including a construction worker who was killed on Oct. 12. A makeshift memorial remains at the TTC bus stop where the incident took place.

Residents along Eglinton Avenue said the problem is that there aren’t enough crosswalks between intersections, prompting some people to try their luck and jaywalk.

READ MORE: Elderly man in wheelchair in life-threatening condition after collision in Scarborough

Toronto police said the onus is not only on drivers, but on pedestrians too.

“Pedestrians have to make sure they’re crossing at proper crosswalks where it’s lighted and controlled,” said Stibbe.

The City of Toronto said it conducts a road safety audit every year on stretches of roads where there are a high number of fatalities and officials then come up with strategies to make the area safer.

24 Nov -

Creative Edmonton Tourism campaign threatens to ‘capture’ Calgarians

In a video making the rounds on social media, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson warns Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: “Eight of your precious citizens may be taking a trip to Edmonton sooner than you think.”

He then laughs maniacally.

The dramatic clip is actually a campaign by Edmonton Tourism. There’s a link to the website at the bottom of the video, where eight Calgarians could win a fun-filled weekend trip to Edmonton.

It’s a play on Calgary Tourism’s tagline and hashtag: “Capture Calgary.”

“We thought, ‘let’s play on that and create a campaign that would be targeted to Calgarians, to entice them to enter our contest’ and get eight Calgarians ‘captured’ as it were to come check out Edmonton and see what YEG has to offer,” Renee Williams with Edmonton Tourism said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 14,000 times and over 500 people had entered the contest.

Williams credits a lot of that interest to the mysterious quality of the campaign and – of course – the mayor’s participation.

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    “Mayor Iveson came on board rather quickly and did a great job,” she said. “A little bit of the dramatic flair.”

    The video is also airing in Cineplex theatres in Calgary.

    “We’ve actually had some interesting comments from Calgarians,” Williams said. “A lot of folks entering the contest are coming on social [media] going: ‘I don’t know if you’ll convert me but I’m willing to give it a try.’”

    The prizes will be a weekend getaway to Edmonton and could include hotel stays, restaurants, events at Rogers Place, shopping and winter festivals.

    “The Rogers Place piece is really the key and kind of the hook,” she said. “A lot of people are excited to either come to go to a hockey game or see a concert.”

    Williams said this is the first time Edmonton Tourism has specifically targeted Calgary.

    “We thought, ‘why not?’ We’ve seen Calgary campaigns come to the Edmonton market. With the economy the way that it is, a lot of staycations are happening, people in the province are kind of staying put, staying closer to home and we thought, ‘why not strike while the iron is hot and get into Calgary?’ … and see if we can entice visitation.”

    To learn more about the Capture Calgary contest and to enter, click here.

24 Nov -

Fire destroys New Brunswick home days before Christmas

A major fire has destroyed the home of a York County couple, burning everything inside, including many of their Christmas gifts.

Nackawic Fire Chief William Hopkins said crews were called to the Temperance Vale, N.B. home at around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Hopkins said it took more than a dozen firefighters eight hours to put out the blaze.  He said firefighters from other communities also came to help.

Homeowners Phyllis and Roy Coffin have lived in the house for 37 years.  The Coffins were on scene surveying the damage Wednesday morning.

Phyllis told Global News she was out when the fire happened, but her husband was home at the time.

She said they’re grateful no one was injured.

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“I’m devastated by the loss of our home of so many years, but so relieved that Roy got out,” Phyllis said.

She explained they lost everything other than a laptop and the clothes on their backs, but said most things are replaceable.

“It’s a bad situation but we’re alive. We’ll carry-on,” she said.

The couple said they’re staying with family and have made “alternate arrangements” for the holidays.  They plan on rebuilding on the property.

“The community is so kind and supportive.”

Former house resident Wes Corey now lives in Woodstock, N.B. but showed up at his old home to survey the damage after he found out about the fire on social media.

Corey says the Coffins’ house was his family’s homestead and was built in the 1800s.

“I was born in the living room here in 1960,” Corey said.

The youngest of seven, he said his mother decided to deliver him at home with the help of neighbours.

He and his family lived in the house until 1978 when they sold it to the Coffins.

“I think for everybody that’s experienced fire, it’s one of the worst things to witness,” Corey said.

He said he feels for the Coffins and is glad they’re safe.  Corey says he left the Coffins a message through their friends asking if there was anything he could do, including offering them a place to stay.

Corey came to town just a few weeks ago with some of his family to gather footage of the community and house.  He said growing up in the home had a profound impact on his life.

“We were preparing a little video that was going to be a Christmas gift to the rest of our family of growing up in this area,” Corey said.

He’s glad he got back to see the house a few weeks ago before “this unfortunate event happened.”

Corey said his sister is a novelist and has written several books about the community.  Her latest book is just going to publication, he said, and contains information and stories about the house.

Fire Chief issues warning to New Brunswickers regarding home heating

The fire was one of several across the province in the past few weeks.

READ MORE: House fire in Wirral, N.B. claims two lives

Hopkins said the cause is still under investigation, but it’s a good time to remind people about the dangers of electrical fires.

“Now we’ve got the real cold weather and people are using heaters like electric heaters and different things like that [they] could possibly be overloading their electric circuits in their house,” Hopkins said.

He said homeowners people should take extra precautions during the winter months by ensuring cords are safe and said heaters shouldn’t be plugged into extension cords.

Hopkins said it’s also important for people who are burning wood to make sure they have their flues checked and cleaned.  He said people can do their due diligence by making sure “everything is in good, working order.”

24 Dec -

WATCH: Betting on White Christmas in Vancouver could earn you some cash

You are not the only one betting on Vancouver getting snow on Christmas Day. There are plenty of people out there hoping to cash out on a White Christmas in the city.

Doug Cheng with the British Columbia Lottery Corporation says ‘White Christmas’ is defined as a recorded snowfall at YVR on Dec. 25.

Cheng says with three major snowfalls in Metro Vancouver since the beginning of this month, the topic of snow has been on everybody’s minds.

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“We have dealt with the snow quite a bit this year,” Cheng said. “People have shuffled it, driven in it, maybe even complained about it. So we are giving people a quirky and different way to experience the snow by placing a bet.”

READ MORE: Vancouver drivers complain about lack of plowing as snow hits; city defends response

Cheng says the odds of a White Christmas in Vancouver keep fluctuating, but as of Wednesday afternoon, they are 29 to 50.

That means a $10 bet will return $15.80 if there is a snowfall on Christmas Day in Vancouver. The same bet in Winnipeg will only return $10.05.

Cheng says for the last three years, novelty bets have been offered to British Columbians by BCLC to give them an opportunity to bet on the so-called ‘water cooler’ topics.

BCLC has also previously offered bets on the outcome of the U.S. election.

READ MORE: Gambling on U.S. election is most popular novelty betting in B.C.

“It is a fun way to experience different events that people may be talking about already,” said Cheng.

As to Vancouver weather, Cheng says they expect the interest in betting to peak closer to Christmas Day.

“I think people are waiting closer to Christmas Day and monitoring the weather before getting into the action,” he said.

24 Dec -

Sam Watts is Welcome Hall Mission’s new CEO

Saint Henry’s Welcome Hall Mission, in Montreal Sud-Ouest borough, will soon mark its 125th anniversary and with it comes a new face.

As of last week, Sam Watts was officially the new CEO and executive director and he already knows what he wants to see during his tenure.

“I have a vision that there would be no hungry Montrealers. Imagine that,” Watts said.

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    However, Watts, who has been transitioning into his new role for three months, is fully aware that it will be a tough goal to meet.

    “We have yet to see a decline in new clients. Every week, for example, there’s 50 new clients in our food bank.”

    Now more than a food bank and shelter, Welcome Hall Mission offers many services like dentistry and a thrift shop.

    But during his short time at Welcome Hall Mission, Watts noticed a worrying trend.

    “We’re also seeing people who are working hard but just not getting ahead,” Watts said. “We have an opportunity as an organization to address that.”

    Watts is talking about the working poor and to help, he wants to build bridges with business leaders and politicians.

    “I think sometimes we can get confrontational and I think that’s a bad thing. We prefer at Welcome Hall Mission that we collaborate, that we partner with people,” Watts said.

    Watts is a businessman by trade, having spent 30 years in the private sector in various positions, most recently, as a consultant to corporations, government and non-profit organizations on performance efficiency.

    He said that will help him in his new job.

    “An organization like Welcome Hall Mission is a large enough corporation – it takes about $18 million a year to run this place,” Watts said. “And there are various parts and pieces to it, so it’s a lot like managing a business.”

    As the mission moves forward in the hopes of better serving the community, Watts is certain the South West borough will make it through this economic downturn just fine.

    “This community [has] some of the most courageous people that you’re ever going to meet,” Watts said. “These are people, who are, in many cases, struggling but they’re full of courage and full of hope.”

24 Dec -

10 ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2016 in Edmonton

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. Do you have plans yet? If not, here are 10 ways you can ring in 2017 with a bang in the Edmonton area.

New Year’s Eve downtown Edmonton

When: 6 p.m. – 12:15 a.m.
Where: Churchill Square
Cost: Free

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    Family-friendly events kick off in Churchill Square at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31, with magicians, balloon artists and live music inside city hall. Outdoor events include games, free skate rentals and bannock making.

    There will be two fireworks shows, one at 8:30 p.m. for families with young children and another show at midnight. Road closures and sidewalk closures will be in place, details of which can be found on the city’s website.

    Festivities wrap up after the fireworks display.

    Watch the Edmonton fireworks from the comfort of your own home

    When: Midnight
    Where: Your home
    Cost: Free

    Global Edmonton weather specialist Margeaux Morin will be live in Churchill Square during Global News at 11 on Dec. 31. The newscast will be extended past midnight so viewers can watch the fireworks display live from the comfort of their own homes.

    You can also watch the fireworks display live online at Globalnews长沙夜网/edmonton as soon as it starts.

    New Year’s festival in Sherwood Park

    When: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Where: Broadmoor Lake Park, Community Centre and Festival Place
    Cost: Free

    The fun begins in Sherwood Park at 4 p.m. with sleigh rides, fire dancing and figure skating performances. A fireworks display starts at 8 p.m.

    Family Fest in Stony Plain

    When: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    Where: Heritage Park
    Cost: Free

    Live entertainment, skating and horse-drawn wagon rides are on the entertainment bill in Stony Plain on New Year’s Eve. The fun starts at 6 p.m. and wraps up at 8:45 p.m. with a fireworks show.

    New Year’s Eve fireworks St. Albert

    When: 8:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    Where: Mission Hill
    Cost: Free

    Hot chocolate will be served for families in St. Albert on New Year’s Eve. Ring in 2017 with a fireworks display at 8:30 p.m.

    Watch below: Laurel Gregory checks out some family friendly New Year’s Eve events in and around Edmonton

    World Waterpark’s New Year’s Eve Beach Ball

    When: 6 p.m. to midnight
    Where: West Edmonton Mall World Waterpark
    Cost: Presale tickets start at $30 per person.

    The waterpark in West Edmonton Mall will hold a family-friendly beach ball event, starting at 6 p.m. The night will end with a bang with an indoor fireworks show.

    Countdown at the Muttart Conservatory

    When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Where: Muttart Conservatory
    Cost: Regular admission

    Ring in the new year every hour, on the hour at the Muttart Conservatory on Dec. 31. Live music and arts and crafts will be available for everyone to enjoy.

    Catch the Oilers game

    When: 8 p.m.
    Where: Rogers Place
    Cost: Regular ticket prices apply

    Go skating or hit the IceWay

    When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    Where: Victoria Park
    Cost: Free

    The IceWay skating trail in Victoria Park opened on Friday, Dec. 23. Why not spend New Year’s Eve skating with the family at the IceWay or at any one of Edmonton’s public staking rinks?

    Ice Castle

    When: Noon to 10 p.m.
    Where: Hawrelak Park
    Cost: Tickets range in price from $11.95 to $20.

    Back by popular demand, the Ice Castle in Hawrelak Park opened on Dec. 30. Organizers recommend buying tickets online in advance because they sell out quickly.

    Do you have a suggestion for a great New Year’s Eve in the Edmonton area? Leave your ideas in the comments section below.

24 Dec -

Outdoor space opens in Taber for people with dementia: ‘It’s bittersweet’

An outdoor yard is now accessible for residents living with dementia and Alzheimer’s at the Linden View Good Samaritan Designated Supportive Living Facility in Taber, Alta.

Bernice Giroux spent the last year of her life at the supportive living facility, and was confined to her home. Her husband Paul’s mission was to make sure Bernice and others who lived there were able to spend time outdoors.

Paul and Bernice have since passed away, but their daughter Steph carried on her father’s goal until its completion on Tuesday night.

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“It’s bittersweet,” Steph Giroux-Feininger said. “It’s one of those moments you’d wish – I wish he was here and I wish she was here to see it.”

Before the project’s completion, residents living at the home with dementia and Alzheimer’s were not allowed outside due to safety concerns.

“When she was here, it wasn’t safe for her to walk outside. It just wasn’t going to happen,” Giroux-Feininger said. “To take that away from her was not good and we knew that we didn’t want for that to happen to anyone else.”

With the enormous support from the community of Taber, funds were raised and a safe outdoor space was created.

The yard is a secure space to sit, reflect and in the warmer months, a place to garden as well.

Staff at Linden View said residents were pressed up at the windows watching every step of the process.

“Seeing their faces and hearing their comments – they’re extremely excited about it,” Laurel Syryda, site manager of Linden View, said. “I think their families are extremely excited as well to be able to have a place to come and enjoy the outdoors with them, without taking them outside their own home.”

Steph said it was a mission of hers to finish the project her father started and hopes he would be proud.

“He was a heck of a guy, and she was a fun, wonderful person and they would both do the same thing if they were here.”

24 Dec -

Don’t cut the umbilical cord too fast to give babies oxygen-rich blood: report

WASHINGTON – Don’t cut that umbilical cord too soon: A brief pause after birth could benefit most newborns by delivering them a surge of oxygen-rich blood.

New recommendations for U.S. obstetricians, the latest in a debate over how quick to snip, suggest waiting “at least 30 seconds to 60 seconds after birth,” for all healthy newborns.

That’s double what often happens now. It’s common in the U.S. for doctors to cut the cord almost immediately, within 15 to 20 seconds of birth, unless the baby is premature.

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READ MORE: How these 6 major breakthroughs, advances overcame barriers to fertility

Cutting the cord is a memorable moment in the delivery room, and Wednesday’s advice from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists won’t interfere if dads want to help.

An extra half minute may not seem like much, but a lot of oxygen-rich blood reaches the baby through the umbilical cord shortly after birth, said Dr. Maria Mascola of ACOG’s Committee on Obstetric Practice.

It may flow for up to five minutes, she said, but much of the placental blood transfers in that first minute — and there’s increasing evidence that it has some health benefits.

Here are some things to know:

DOES THE CORD REALLY MATTER ONCE THE BABY BREATHES?

It can give a boost to what Dr. Tonse Raju of the National Institutes of Health calls the amazing transition that happens as the baby takes his or her first breath.

In the womb, the placenta acts as the fetus’ lungs. But within seconds of birth, the circulation changes and lungs once filled with fluid inflate as the baby inhales air. Cut access to lingering placental blood in the cord too soon, and the baby misses extra oxygen to supplement those early breaths.

READ MORE: ‘Educational’ products don’t make babies smarter, Canadian study suggests

Before the 1960s, it wasn’t uncommon to wait five minutes or more to cut the cord. Then, for unclear reasons, doctors began clamping and cutting almost immediately.

“Unfortunately, the value of immediate clamping has never been shown,” said Raju, a perinatology specialist at NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. He wasn’t involved with the new recommendation.

THE LATEST EVIDENCE

Studies began showing that babies born prematurely benefit from longer access to cord blood, with a lower risk of transfusions, anemia and bleeding in the brain. In response, ACOG recommended a pause for them.

READ MORE: Sleep machines may be harmful to babies’ hearing, speech: study

Now ACOG cites research showing full-term babies benefit, too, with a lower risk of even mild iron deficiency that can delay cognitive development. One study showed waiting 3 minutes to cut the cord led to slightly better early brain development.

TODAY’S ADVICE

The World Health Organization says to wait one minute; some other groups say it’s OK to wait two minutes, or even five. ACOG settled on “at least” 30 seconds to one minute.

READ MORE: Newborn baby’s smell is as addictive as drugs or food

However long the pause, it shouldn’t interfere with mom holding her baby. NIH’s Raju recommends telling parents, “While the baby’s nice and warm on your skin, we’ll take our time and then clamp.”

ARE THERE RISKS?

Doctors won’t delay cutting if the baby has problems breathing and needs emergency care.

An initial fear that delayed clamping spurs maternal bleeding has proved unfounded. But babies do need to be monitored for signs of jaundice, a risk for any newborn but one that may be slightly increased with delayed clamping.

WHAT ABOUT CORD BLOOD BANKING?

Some parents bank their child’s umbilical cord blood for possible future medical use. Delayed cord cutting means there’s less left to store, and ACOG said families should be counselled accordingly.

24 Nov -

Teen violence is ‘contagious’ spreading like a disease, study warns

Forget about the fighting and shootouts kids are exposed to on TV and in the movies – new research suggests that violence is “contagious” among teens. The study warns that if your child has peers who get involved in physical altercations, they’re much more likely to follow suit.

American scientists out of Ohio State University say that the kids they studied were up to 183 per cent more likely to carry out violent acts if one of their friends did the same.

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“Violence is like a contagious disease that spreads through the social network,” Dr. Brad Bushman, a psychology professor specializing in aggression and violence, told Global News.

“People learn how to behave the same way they learn other behaviours – by watching other people and imitating or modelling their behaviour,” he explained.

READ MORE: What happens when mental health education isn’t taught to kids

Bushman collaborated with colleague Dr. Robert Bond, who focuses on studying social networks, for their research.  The pair had interesting data – 6,000 interviews with high school students from 142 schools about their history with violence, along with other factors ranging from happiness to lifestyle and even smoking.

The study participants ranged from Grades 7 to 12, and they were interviewed twice over the course of a year.

They were also tasked with naming five male friends and five female friends within their social circles so the researchers could identify social networks within the schools.

READ MORE: Ontario schools are missing ‘perfect opportunity’ to address mental health amid rash of youth suicides

They all answered three distinct questions: had they been in a serious fight, how often they hurt someone badly enough that they needed medical attention, and how often had they pulled a knife or gun on someone?

Here’s what they found:

Kids were 48 per cent more likely to have been in a serious fight if a friend engaged in the same behaviour.They were 183 per cent more likely to have hurt someone badly enough to see a doctor or nurse if someone in their friend circle did, too.They were 140 per cent more likely to have pulled a weapon on someone if their friend had done the same.

“This analogy that violence is like a contagious disease that spreads from person to person is a powerful one,” Bushman told Global News.

The effects even rippled into extended social networks. Kids were more likely to get into a fight or pull a weapon if friends of friends admitted to the same behaviours.

There were two degrees of separation between kids who hurt someone badly enough to get medical attention, for example.

“The effects weaken the further away. We knew youth are obviously influenced by friends, but we didn’t know they’re influenced by friends’ friends, so it surprised us,” Bushman said.

READ MORE: How mental health should be taught in Canadian schools

The findings were most prominent among boys, too. Girls were most likely to use “indirect forms” of aggression, such as spreading rumours or gossiping.

Bushman said the findings are the first to come from looking at violent behaviour and how it spreads among youth. Typically, research zeroes in on how mass media influences kids.

Bushman’s hope is that ways to cut violence will spread, too. Kids should be taught non-aggressive ways of working out problems, such as negotiation or compromising, he said.

The team’s full findings were published Tuesday in the American Journal of Public Health.

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24 Nov -

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil ‘not embarrassed’ by 2016 reversals

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says he is “not embarrassed” by his government’s policy reversals in 2016.

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The Liberal government sparked controversy when it tried to overhaul the seniors’ pharmacare program. Within one month, it halted its plan to triple premiums for some seniors. It also pressed pause on its marquis accessibility legislation after a blistering critique from the people it was supposed to help.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia’s top 5 political influences of 2016

“I’m not embarrassed by the fact that I am one of the few governments in the history of this province that actually has listened to public — that’s what happened,” McNeil told Global News in a year-end interview.

“It’s only those that get caught up in the process of the legislature that see that as a failure… when in actual fact it’s the process working.”

The government still went ahead with lowering pharmacare premiums for low- income seniors and McNeil says that despite the speed bumps, “there will be some news” on plans to make further changes to the seniors’ pharmacare program “early in the new year.”

WATCH: 2016 year-end interview with Premier Stephen McNeil

The government also withdrew offensive legal arguments made during the Alton Natural Gas Storage project court challenge, and McNeil apologized to Mi’kmaq chiefs for the briefing.

“Part of the brief did not reflect who I am as human being, did not reflect the values of our government,” he said.

His government also shelved a plan to legislate a contract on teachers.

The government hasn’t removed the possibility of legislating a teachers’ contract in the future but McNeil says the December announcement to introduce legislation “was never about legislating a teachers contract.” Instead he says it was the only way to ensure a proposed work-to-rule campaign wouldn’t jeopardize students safety.

McNeil noncommittal on next election

More than three years into his mandate, McNeil wouldn’t give any hints on when he plans to go to the polls or what he wants to accomplish before he drops the writ.

Nova Scotia is the only Canadian province without a fixed election date. It’s also the only province that allows a government’s mandate to go as long as five years, meaning an election could be held as late as 2018. But he also won’t say whether a five year term is what he’s looking at.

“At some point Nova Scotians will get an opportunity to pass judgement on our government,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that campaign when it comes.”

The Liberals have nominated more than two thirds of their candidates in preparation for the next election.

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