Month: July 2019

24 Jul -

Dead orca with signs of blunt-force trauma found near Sechelt

Marine researchers are trying determine what caused the death of a male killer whale found near Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday.

Paul Cottrell, the Marine Mammals Coordinator for Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), says they received a report of a dead whale on Dec. 20 when local residents called their 24-hour hotline.

The next morning, a team of researchers from DFO and the Vancouver Aquarium was dispatched to look for the whale.

After an extensive search in choppy waters, the team finally tracked the carcass down.

The dead whale has been identified as 18-year-old southern resident J34, who was well-known to researchers.

PHOTO GALLERY: Courtesy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 

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Cottrell says they managed to get the necessary experts together to do a necropsy the same day.

It appears J34 sustained blunt-force trauma to his head and neck. Cottrell says the injuries are recent and could have been a contributing factor in the whale’s death.

The preliminary examination also showed the animal’s general body condition prior to death was good, but the full pathology report will take months to complete.

The southern resident killer whales are a clan of about 80 orcas that live in the waters off southern British Columbia and Washington State.

It’s an endangered population that’s now down to 79 species.

“It is very significant when we get a death in an endangered population,” said Cottrell. “So this necropsy will hopefully provide more information on the cause of death.”

The 22-foot carcass will be re-purposed by the Sechelt First Nation for social and ceremonial purposes.

24 Jul -

New SFU study highlights how transportation costs associated with living in suburbs can add up

Much has been made of housing costs in Metro Vancouver.

But a new study from Andy Yan, the director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, said the price of the mortgage isn’t the whole story. Transportation costs need to be included in the overall affordability equation.

In that case, living in Langley isn’t quite the bargain many people thought it was.

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“Transportation is like an iceberg. We only see the top 10 per cent, but the bulk of the cost is hidden,” he said.

The data come from Statistics Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey. On average, a city dweller spends $298,459 on transportation over the 25-year life time of a mortgage. Included in that is everything from public transit to gas to bike maintenance. In Langley, that number jumps to $566,755. It is like a second mortgage and Yan says the theory of driving until you can afford a home is flawed. Studies have shown in the 2008 housing crisis in the U.S., the people with the highest transportation costs had the highest default rates.

“The only way to reduce the costs is to improve transit access to the suburbs,” Yan said.

The number everyone talks about is $1 million. Homes that have surpassed that psychological barrier have become the benchmark for what people can afford.

MORE: Here’s what $1-million homes look like in 16 Canadian cities

In Vancouver, 89 per cent of all single-family homes are worth more than $1 million. With transportation costs included the number jumps to 99 per cent.

In Langley, the numbers aren’t all that much different. Fewer than 1 per cent of homes are assessed at more than $1 million, but with transportation costs added the number jumps to more than 70 per cent. It’s an indication of just how much transportation adds to the total cost.

“It shows how much work we have to do on regional planning.”

Yan believes Metro Vancouver can make transportation more accessible.

“The more we design our region to be livable, the more we can reduce this transportation cost,” he said.

Data from the 2016 survey are starting to trickle in. By the New Year Yan hopes to have an update to his numbers.

“It could show an increase in costs, or it might show a decline, but it will still be a large amount of money people will have to pay somehow.”

24 Jul -

Edmonton Oilers end the Coyote curse with win over Arizona

Edmonton’s fourth line combined for seven points, Cam Talbot stopped 28 shots and the Oilers beat the Arizona Coyotes in regulation for the first time in 26 games with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night.

Arizona had gone 21-0-4 its previous 25 games against the Oilers, including a pair of wins this season. Edmonton jumped on the Coyotes with two goals in the first period and pushed the lead to 3-0 in the second to beat Arizona for the first time since Jan. 25, 2011.

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  • Nugent-Hopkins scores OT winner as Edmonton Oilers win 3-2 over St. Louis Blues

  • Connor McDavid shootout hero as Edmonton Oilers top Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2

  • Former Oiler Gagner gets 2 points as Columbus Blue Jackets beat Edmonton 3-1

    READ MORE: Coyotes continue dominance over the Edmonton Oilers

    Arizona’s points streak had been tied for sixth-most against one opponent in NHL history.

    Mark Letestu had a goal and two assists, and linemate Matt Hendricks had a goal and an assist. Fellow fourth-liner Zack Kassian had two assists for the Oilers, who have won four of five.

    Martin Hanzal had a goal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored with 6.1 seconds left for the Coyotes, who have lost three straight.

    The Oilers got off to a good start in their quest to end the streak against Arizona, scoring midway through the first period.

    Letestu had it, one-timing a feed from Kassian to beat Mike Smith to the stick side for his seventh of the season. The Coyotes challenged that Smith was interfered with, but the goal stood after a review.

    Edmonton went up 2-0 late in the period on a power play when a shot by Letestu hit Coyotes defenceman Alex Goligoski’s skate, then Milan Lucic’s, and slipped inside the right post.

    The Oilers had the Coyotes on their heels to start the second, sending a flurry of shots at Smith. Hendricks scored at the end of it, beating Smith after the puck bounced off the boards out front.

    The Coyotes finally showed a glimpse of life on a power play midway through the second, with Hanzal redirecting a shot by Radim Vrbata past Talbot.

    Ekman-Larsson scored on a power play in the closing seconds, but the Coyotes didn’t have enough time to score again.

    NOTES: Arizona captain Shane Doan played in his 1,499th career game, matching Mike Modano for 17th on the NHL’s career list. … Kassian appeared to have a goal on a wraparound seconds after Hendricks scored, but it was ruled no goal on the ice and upon review. … Edmonton D Eric Gryba was issued a game misconduct for a hit to the head for a check on Jakob Chychrun, who was falling to the ice after being hit by Kassian.

    UP NEXT:

    Oilers: Close out their three-game trip at San Jose on Friday night before getting six days off.

    Coyotes: Host Toronto on Friday night and Dallas three days later.

24 Jul -

Alberta man pulls up to Tim Hortons drive-thru in his Zamboni: ‘It was the most Canadian thing’

It’s just the first day of winter and so for the next few months, many people across the country will be taking part in quintessentially Canadian winter pastimes like tending to the backyard rink or grabbing a coffee from Tim Hortons. While doing those things won’t get you all that much attention, combining the two certainly will.

That’s exactly what a 34-year-old manager of a crane business did on Tuesday when he wheeled his Zamboni through the Tim Hortons drive-thru in Stony Plain, Alta.

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“I ordered a large hot chocolate and came through the drive-thru – there was about three people sticking their heads out the window, all smiling and telling me this is the best thing they’ve ever seen and no worries about the order (because) the lady in front of me actually picked up my order,” Jesse Myshak said.

“She told the guys that it was the most Canadian thing she’s ever seen so she figured she’d better buy my order for me,” he laughed.

Myshak said he recently bought the Zamboni to use on the backyard rink he built for his kids: an eight-year-old girl and a seven- and four-year-old son. He had been working on the Zamboni at his garage at work and had to get it to his rural home about four kilometres outside of Stony Plain.

WATCH: Could there be anything more Canadian than a lineup at Tim Horton’s drive-thru? A man from Stony Plain, AB took it to the next level when he drove his Zamboni up to the window. Reid Fiest Reports.

READ MORE: Alberta engineers design homemade Zamboni for outdoor rink

“I figured it would be cost-effective and easier to drive it home so I told the boys at the shop I was taking off and going to run the Zamboni to the house and they all kind of made jokes that I should stop by Tim Hortons and grab a coffee… and take it through the drive-thru,” he said. I figured, ‘Might as well grab something warm on the way’ and so I pulled through the drive-thru.”

It was lunchtime and so the coffee and donut chain was busy and Myshak said his drive-thru stunt got alot of people smiling.

“As soon as I pulled up, people came out and were taking pictures… a lot of honks.. it was pretty funny.”

Myshak said a man who had just been at his shop saw him pull up on the ice-resurfacing machine and took some video which Myshak ended up posting on 桑拿会所.

Watch: Surveillance footage provided by Tim Hortons captures a man taking his Zamboni through the drive-thru in Stony Plain.

When asked if he was concerned about how safe driving the machine through town was or if he feared any legal repercussions, Myshak didn’t seem too worried about it.

“I mean a few people kind of said, ‘Hopefully you don’t get a ticket,’” he said. “Just to be safe, I had one of our guys follow me there in his pickup with the four-ways on when I came onto the highway.

“We had a county cop pass us and no lights were thrown on so it worked out OK.”

Watch below: It doesn’t get much more Canadian than this. An Alberta man became an Internet sensation when he drove his Zamboni through a Tim Hortons drive-thru. Kent Morrison has the story. 

When asked why he needed such a professional-looking Zamboni for his backyard rink, Myshak described its size: 100 feet by 40 feet, or about half the size of an NHL rink.

READ MORE: Canadians prove backyard rinks won’t become history

Myshak said the rink is highly appreciated by his children and their many friends who come to play the most Canadian of sport on it: ice hockey.

Jesse Myshak stands in front of his Zamboni at his backyard rink just outside of Stony Plain, Alta.

COURTESY: Jesse Myshak

Jesse Myshak takes his Zamboni for a spin on his backyard rink just outside of Stony Plain, Alta.

COURTESY: Jesse Myshak

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