Month: December 2018

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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  • Welcome Hall Mission hosts annual gift giving event

  • Welcome Hall Mission’s Thanksgiving dinner served up to hundreds

    Alouettes serve up Thanksgiving dinner at Welcome Hall Mission

    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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  • WATCH: New Year’s Eve fireworks from Edmonton’s Churchill Square

  • Bissell Centre’s annual New Year’s Day dinner saved by generous Edmontonians

  • Penny, Crosby, Rio Olympics: 10 big Canadian sport stories from 2016

  • Year in Review 2016: Top 5 ‘instant karma’ moments caught on camera

    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:


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.

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