24 Nov -

2017 Jaguar F-Pace review: Entry level luxury that doesn’t skimp

Despite the ever rising cost and continually dwindling reserve of gasoline, Canadians like big cars.

Of the top 10 best selling vehicles in Canada in 2015, just three were compact and economically minded. The rest were pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers.

For automakers, this has meant an increase in sales in one particular segment – the luxury SUV.

Early pioneers like the Cadillac Escalade of the late ’90s served as a status symbol for the wealthy and were often out of reach for the average customer.

But in modern times, practically every manufacturer has a well-equipped and luxurious SUV available for purchase.

The latest addition to the brigade is the Jaguar F-Pace.

As part of a new series reviewing autos, Global News put the century old automaker’s SUV to the test

Give me the overview!

The F-Pace is Jaguar’s first foray into the SUV market.

It was styled by award-winning British designer Ian Callum, whose previous work includes the Aston Martin DB7 and Vanquish supercars. The F-Pace certainly has a sporty and sleek look compared to other SUV’s on the market. Its low-slung stance, dual exhaust and large wheels add to that performance-oriented appearance.

On the inside, the focus on performance continues. The interior is decidedly modern and almost minimalist, a stark contrast to the old word opulence of burled wood and sheep-hide carpeting Jaguar was once known for.

The F-Pace, like many of the vehicles in Jaguar’s lineup, is comprised largely of aluminum – one third of which is recycled. For Jaguar, that translates to a more environmentally friendly vehicle with a much smaller carbon footprint. For drivers, that provides a more sports-car like feel on the road, as well as an overall lighter vehicle, which helps with fuel economy.

Jaguar’s SUV comes in three flavours ranging from a frugal sensibility to all out performance. The cheapest, a 2.0 litre turbocharged diesel, offers relatively affordable entry level luxury. While the flagship F-Pace, a 380 horsepower 3.0 litre supercharged V6, offers sports car performance in a comfortable, luxurious package.

Our test car fell right in the middle of the range, sporting the same supercharged V6, but only producing 340 horsepower.

READ MORE: 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 review: Old school charm in a modern package

What’s it like to live with?

The F-Pace can be as tame or as exciting as you need it to be.

While it can feel big, driving the F-Pace through a narrow city street, a suburban side road or a wide highway is surprisingly easy. The tight sports-car-like handling helps the big Jaguar feel firm and planted, even while going around a tight corner.

Unlike some other larger SUV’s and trucks, there is very little body roll. The steering is responsive, but not heavy. With the exception of some engine noise during acceleration, the cabin is remarkably quiet and comfortable.

Its 8-speed automatic transmission is responsive, smoothly cycling through the gears during normal operation, and allowing quick acceleration when overtaking.

In lieu of a traditional gear selector, Jaguar uses a round dial, almost like an old rotary phone, to shift between park, reverse, neutral and drive. The dial will raise while the car is in use, and recess into the centre console when the car is off. While it is stylish, it will take some getting used to – especially during maneuvers like a three-point turn where this setup can make it easy to put the car into the wrong gear.

READ MORE: 2017 Tesla Model S P90D Review: Deceptively normal, insanely expensive

Like the trick gear selector, the rest of Jaguar’s interior is stylish and modern. Rich wood veneers and supple leather give way to sleek aluminum accents and bucket seats. But despite the contemporary styling, the luxury is still there. Self-parking, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a massive panoramic glass roof and adjustable mood lighting are just a few of the optional extras in the F-Pace that make living with it a breeze. Neither front nor rear passengers will feel cramped in the roomy interior.

As well, a large 650-litre trunk space offers more storage than similar SUV’s from BMW and Porsche.

Jaguar’s centre console in the F-Pace is dominated by a large touchscreen interface that oversees media controls, navigation, climate control, and phone pairing. It is in this interface that the F-Pace’s biggest faults lie.

In our test car, this screen was unresponsive, slow and, at times, redundant. For instance, the slow loading navigation software will struggle to keep up with the destination you’re trying to punch in. Or, when trying to activate your heated seat, you must first push a button on the console, then configure the heat level through the touchscreen.

Typically, this is all done with the touch of one button in practically every car with heated seats. But in the F-Pace, it’s a two-step process. A minor gripe, admittedly, but in a time when distracted driving is at an all-time high, the less drivers need to take their eyes off the road, the better.

What’s the bottom line?

Although it’s a newcomer in a market that’s already quite crowded, Jaguar’s F-Pace stands to be a strong competitor in the Canadian market. Starting at $50,900 in Canada, the F-Pace is priced competitively compared to similar offerings from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Cadillac.

Despite its shortcomings, the F-Pace’s stand out styling, practicality and relative affordability make it a worthy choice in a market that’s currently dominated by the same established manufacturers year after year.

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24 Nov -

Report offers options for revamping, reducing Saskatchewan school boards

A new report outlines ways to overhaul the school board system in Saskatchewan, including an option to consolidate all 18 existing public boards of education into one provincial board.

Report author Dan Perrins said that single board would be responsible for all 606 public schools in the province and would report to the minister of education.

“The key benefits of this model are strategic direction, effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and transparency,” Perrins wrote in the report prepared for the Saskatchewan government.

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    “The key challenge is that this model has not been implemented in an education system of this size (geography and number of schools); as such, there is no precedent.”

    READ MORE: ‘Do we really need 28 school divisions?’ Sask. education minister on possible restructuring

    Perrins wrote that while Prince Edward Island has gone in that direction, it is smaller in geography, enrolment and number of schools than most public school divisions in Saskatchewan.

    There would be other concerns too.

    Demonstrating equity between urban and rural schools would be difficult, the board would be significantly removed from the community and it would take significant time and energy to make it work, he said.

    “During the transition phase, the anxiety created by this level of change will impede functioning at all levels,” Perrins wrote.

    READ MORE: Dan Perrins to head review into Saskatchewan’s education system

    However, he said the “one board” model would cost less and be less complex than the system now.

    Perrins was asked by the government to look at school governance options with a focus on saving money, improving student success and accountability.

    Other options would be to establish four regional public boards of education accountable to the minister, create new boundaries for between eight and 14 public school divisions or realign boundaries of the existing divisions.

    Saskatchewan currently has 28 school divisions including 18 public, eight separate Roman Catholic, one separate Protestant and one francophone. There are 252 school board members province-wide serving about 176,000 students.

    The current school division boundaries were set more than ten years ago. Between 1995 and 2006 the number of boards went from 119 to 28.

    The report says following the 2006 amalgamation, administrative changes took from two to three years. The process of creating the culture in the new divisions took four to five years.

    It appears educators don’t want to see a further reduction in school boards.

    Perrins noted in his report that he didn’t have formal consultations, but nearly three dozen groups approached him for a conversations, including 19 school boards, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association.

    There was unanimous support for no more amalgamation, he said.

    The groups said the 2006 amalgamation created school divisions large enough to achieve all significant economies of scale. They said additional outcomes would not improve student outcomes or result in other savings.

    Education Minister Don Morgan has appointed a six-person panel to consult with educators on the options and present their findings in February.

24 Nov -

6 common shopping mistakes to avoid on Boxing Day

Nothing beats scoring a great deal. And with Boxing Day sales just a few days away, the desire to hit the road (or the internet) as soon as possible can be hard to resist.

Last year, Ebates长沙夜网 predicted that 53 per cent of Canadians would shop on Boxing Day, which general manager Adrienne Down Coulson called “one of the biggest shopping days if not the biggest shopping day in Canada,” compared to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

While shopping on Boxing Day means that you’ll inevitably get a good deal on purchases, this doesn’t prevent shoppers from making poor decisions. We turned to the experts for some tips on avoiding shopping mistakes when it can be hard to resist the deal.

#1 Don’t lose sight of your priorities

One thing personal shoppers stress is to “shop with intention.” That means have a plan in place before heading out on a shopping expedition: what do you need and how much are you willing to spend?

“Make a list of trends you want to incorporate into your wardrobe, and key pieces you need,” Natalie Tincher of Buttoned Up said to Refinery29. “That way, if you see something online or in-person and you’re tempted, you can pass it more easily and think, Let me hold on and wait for that perfect piece that’s number 3 on my list.

READ MORE: New poll says Canadians tightening their belts on gifts this holiday season

#2 Don’t shop exclusively online

It may be convenient, but it’s also a little harder to keep track of your spending when all you have to do is type a credit card number into an online form. Plus, Tincher points out, returning things that were purchased online can be a complicated process, which means you might be tempted to hang on to something that you don’t need or want just to avoid the hassle.

#3 Don’t get caught up in the deal

It’s easy to be swayed by an attractive deal, but Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist, author and Time长沙桑拿 contributor, says staying focused is the key to preventing over spending.

“When we’re emotionally charged while shopping, we’re also more prone to impulse purchases,” she says. “Whether online or in store, tempting add-on items will be especially prevalent. The solution is to breathe deeply and take an extra moment to consider what you’re really buying.”

#4 Don’t spend to save

Never calculate the savings you’ll make when buying an item that’s on sale. Unless it’s something you really need or want, buying something just because it’s discounted doesn’t save you any money because you’re still spending to buy it.

“In no universe is spending money actually saving money,” Yarrow says. “But it can feel like that. Beyond that, remember that in our discount-crazed world, original prices are usually wildly inflated, so sales ‘save’ far less money than you think.”

#5 Don’t shop in a group

By shopping alone, you won’t have to stick to someone else’s time constraints or preferences, and you can focus on the stores that relate specifically to you and your needs.

And don’t forget, “you know yourself better than anyone else,” Tincher says. Friends may say things to make you feel better or to avoid an awkward situation, or they could pressure you into buying something you’re really not that into. Trust your gut and follow your own instincts.

The one caveat: trust the unsolicited advice of a stranger.

“If a nice friendly lady who doesn’t know you tells you how great something looks, well, this person really doesn’t need to say anything at all,” Valerie Halfon of Shop with Val also told Refinery29. “That person truly means it.”

READ MORE: The best last-minute holiday gifts for her

#6 Don’t succumb to “sale brain”

If you’re shopping for designer fashion, consider what’s dominating the sales racks. Because those pieces are rarely the ones that miraculously weren’t snatched up at regular price.

“What are the odds that a classic piece from a coveted fashion brand would drop to over 50 per cent off? Zero,” writes Meenal Mistry, fashion director of the Off Duty section of The Wall Street Journal. “Well-made wardrobe builders rarely languish on racks. What lingers there are irksome skirts and troubled tops that 20 people tried on and rejected.”

Scrutinize these pieces just as closely as you would if they were regular price. And don’t assume a tailor can fix anything. A little nip of a waistline or a cuff is easy enough, but even the most gifted professional can’t shrink or expand an item by two or more sizes.

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24 Nov -

‘A very bold move’: Halifax store’s decision to sell marijuana receives support from advocates

The decision by one Halifax business to open up the sale of cannabis is being met with open arms by marijuana advocates.

Since Friday, Auntie’s Health and Wellness Centre on Barrington Street has been allowing anyone over the age of 19 to purchase marijuana products without a prescription. Something that’s currently illegal.

“This is something that has to happen,” said Chris Backer, vice chair of Maritimers Unite for Medical Marijuana.

“How many times can you have somebody come to you for help, when you’ve got it in your hand and you have to say, ‘sorry, I can’t help you.’”

WATCH: Halifax store opens doors, selling marijuana to anyone over 19

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Advocates agree with open sale of marijuana

Backer said the group stands firmly behind the decision made by Shirley Martineau, owner of Auntie’s. He is hoping that other marijuana dispensaries in the region will follow in their footsteps.

“In the spring, anybody’s supposed to be able to have it anyways so what difference does it make,” he said.

“They’ve got no proven harms from it. There’s no actual dangers from using it. Of all the drugs anybody can use, prescribed by a doctor or not, it’s the most innocuous.”

READ MORE: CAA says Canadians ‘very concerned’ about road safety and marijuana legalization

Farm Assists still requiring prescription for cannabis

Chris Enns, owner of Farm Assists Cannabis Resource Centre on Gottingen Street, also agrees with the decision made by Martineau.

“I think it’s a very bold move. It certainly pushes forward in terms of ending prohibition,” Enns said. “It certainly increases access to those in the community. So I think it’s a good thing. Though, it certainly is a risky move.”

READ MORE: 53% of Atlantic Canadians support marijuana legalization: poll

At Farm Assists, Enns said a prescription is still required to use medical cannabis, something that won’t be changing anytime soon because Enns’ shop has been raided by police in the past.

He is still working to fight drug charges.

“Right now, I’m still facing three indictments before the court so I’m not going to push the bubble that far,” he said.

“There’s too many sick people that rely on us, for our services, so I want to make sure that they continue to have access today.”

Enns said there is an increasing number of dispensaries in Toronto and Vancouver that have also started to allow storefront access to cannabis.

Follow @NatashaPace

24 Nov -

This actor played God, and now he’s voicing Mark Zuckerberg’s AI system

First there was Siri, then Alexa and Cortana, home artificial intelligence (AI) devices who subserved to human’s every demand.

But for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a generic computerized voice just wasn’t going to cut it for his personal AI assistant. He needed to the voice of God himself –Morgan Freeman.

That’s right – Zuckerberg got Freeman to be the voice of his homemade AI assistant Jarvis, a name that may also sound familiar to Iron Man fans as Jarvis is the name of Tony Stark’s AI.

“My personal challenge for 2016 was to build a simple AI to run my home – like Jarvis in Iron Man,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook. “My goal was to learn about the state of artificial intelligence – where we’re further along than people realize and where we’re still a long ways off. These challenges always lead me to learn more than I expected, and this one also gave me a better sense of all the internal technology Facebook engineers get to use, as well as a thorough overview of home automation.”

READ MORE: Apple’s ‘next big thing’ could focus on a smarter Siri

According to Zuckerberg, the system can control his Palo Alto, CA home (including lights, temperature, appliances and security), learn his tastes and patterns and new words and concepts. The system can be controlled by verbal commands, through a smartphone and computer.

Zuckerberg asked Facebook users for suggestions of who they thought should be the voice of his new system back in October.

The billionaire received over 50,000 comments to his thread and among the suggested names were Benedict Cumberbatch, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Samuel L. Jackson.

READ MORE: How Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to combat fake news

Even Robert Downey Jr. , who many users offered up as a suggestion, heard about Zuckerberg’s plan and wrote on the Facebook thread that he would “do it in a heartbeat.”

To which Zuckerberg replied, “This just got real.”

Zuckerberg has since released two videos that demonstrated Jarvis’s abilities. Combined, both videos garnered over six million views between Monday and Wednesday afternoon.

As for what’s next, Zuckerberg says he will be building an Android app, setting up Jarvis voice terminals in more rooms around his home and connecting more appliances.

Thinking longer term, Zuckerberg wants to teach Jarvis how it can learn new skills itself rather than have a human teach it specific tasks.

“Building Jarvis was an interesting intellectual challenge, and it gave me direct experience building AI tools in areas that are important for our future,” he writes. “Finally, over time it would be interesting to find ways to make this available to the world.”

A full explanation of how Zuckerberg constructed Jarvis can be found by clicking here.

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24 Nov -

Halifax’s top 10 stories of 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the stories you found most interesting throughout the year.

From a hoax airplane crash to a major teachers’ dispute to shocking crime, here’s a list of our most-read stories of 2016.

10. Premier Stephen McNeil snaps at Global News reporter when asked about carbon pricing

Before the Nova Scotia government announced a cap and trade program to deal with the federal government’s plan to phase out coal by 2030, Nova Scotians were in the dark about the province’s plan.

During a media scrum in October, Global News reporter Marieke Walsh questioned Premier Stephen McNeil on what he’d pitched to the federal government. The premier went on the attack.

“You’re acting like an opposition leader, which is quite odd to me,” McNeil said as part of his heated response. “We’ve said, we’ve provided some options to the people of Nova Scotia, when we get to what is a solution we’ll bring that to Nova Scotians.”

9. Halifax pediatrician facing child pornography charges

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Halifax pediatrician Dr. William Richard Vitale was charged with a slew of child pornography offenses after police searched the doctor’s St. Margaret’s Bay home in February.

Police said at the time that while Vitale, 72, was a pediatrician working in the city, they didn’t believe any local children were involved.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia suspended Vitale’s license and immediately started an investigation.

8. Suspicious alarm salesman attempts to pull teenage girl from home in Dartmouth

A young woman got a scare on a February night, after a man posing as an alarm system salesman attempted to pull her from her home in Dartmouth.

Police were called to a home on Topsail Boulevard, after a 17-year-old girl said the suspect asked her to go for a drive, then when she said no he tried to pull her out the doorway by her arm.

7. Halifax Fire warning homeowners to check for recalled thermostats

After responding to a fire started by a recalled thermostat, Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency issued a warning to homeowners to check if they had the recalled devices on their walls.

In addition to the warning, officials were also reminding people to register their home electronics so they get notices of recalls if they apply to devices in their homes.

“These devices are in your home. It can burn your house down,” Fire Prevention Chief Matt Covey said at the time.

6. RCMP release video pleading for help locating murder suspect Marissa Shephard

Twenty-year-old Marissa Shephard, wanted for murder in the death of Baylee Wylie, evaded police for months before finally being arrested in Moncton and charged.

In a desperate attempt to find her, or information about her whereabouts, New Brunswick RCMP released a video pleading for information about the woman, who was known to change her looks.

Shephard was eventually arrested and charged with first-degree murder and arson.

5. N.S. man loses half his body weight, now hoping to inspire others

A Cape Breton man who lost nearly half his body weight in less than a year inspired readers with his weight-loss success story.

Weighing in at nearly 400 pounds, 24-year-old Ryan Clarke was told he’d likely be dead by his 30th birthday if he didn’t make a major lifestyle change.

In just 10 months, Clarke lost 183 pounds. The change was not only good for his physical health, but his mental health too.

4. Search crews stand down after finding no evidence of plane crash near Terence Bay

Search and rescue crews, police and emergency crews from several towns between Halifax and Peggy’s Cove rushed to Terence Bay, Nova Scotia on March 1 after receiving reports of a plane going down.

The report was eventually deemed a hoax when no evidence was found, but that’s not before an extensive search of the land and waters along the coast.

The search involved a cormorant helicopter, navy ship HMCS Halifax, coastguard ship CCGS Sambro and a coast guard auxiliary boat.

3. Police say body discovered in Dartmouth has been there “for quite some time”

Halifax Regional Police made a grim discovery on Jan.9, when they found a body in a wooded area they say had been there for a long time.

The body was discovered on Pleasant Street by a man walking in the area at about 3:30 in the afternoon.

It was later determined the body found was 59-year-old Gerald Gallant, who had been reported missing Oct. 28, 2015.

2. Nova Scotia teachers’ 16 contract demands and what the province says they cost

The provincial government and Nova Scotia’s public school teachers have been locked in a contract dispute for months.

That dispute reached high points near the end of 2016 when the teachers voted in favour of a strike mandate, taking work-to-rule job action a day after the government closed schools for a day.

The teachers have 16 contract demands, including to have working conditions included in their contract and to keep the long-service award. The province is refusing to have working conditions included in a contract, and wants to freeze the long-service award retroactive to 2015.

1. Halifax yoga community mourns murder victim Kristin Johnston

The city of Halifax, particularly the yoga community, was in shock to learn popular yoga instructor and studio owner Kristin Johnston was the victim of homicide in her Purcell’s Cove home in March.

Johnston’s body was found in her Oceanview Drive home after police responded to a 911 call from inside the home. She was the owner of former fitness studio 42 Degrees Fitness & Wellness, formerly called Bikram Yoga.

Johnston’s live-in boyfriend, Nicholas Butcher has been charged with second-degree murder in her death and is due to stand trial in April 2017.

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24 Nov -

2 Calgary men win $500K each in Daily Grand 3 days apart

They may not be jumping for joy in the photos above, but two Calgary residents are starting 2017 with an extra $500,000 in their pockets.

Emmanuel Awuni and James Jewell each won the Daily Grand’s second top prize, the Western Canada Lottery Corporation said in a statement on Wednesday.

READ MORE: 1st-time Alberta ticket buyer wins $7M lottery from Daily Grand

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    They each won $25,000 a year for life and chose to get it in a lump sum payment of $500,000.

    Awuni bought his ticket at the 7-Eleven convenience store at 2923 26 Ave. S.W. and won Nov. 21.

    Jewell got his at the  7-Eleven located at 40 Midlake Blvd. S.E. and won on Nov. 24.

    “I just started shaking after I scanned my ticket,” Awuni said in a statement. “I was shaking so much, I could hardly even fill out the back of my ticket.”

    Awuni said he’s putting it in the bank for now as he decides how to spend it.

    Jewell said he didn’t think he was reading the ticket properly.

    “I drove to a different store and scanned my ticket again; then I gave it to the store clerk to check again,” he said.

    “Being able to help my family and put some money in the bank is such a great feeling. I’m able to do that and make my retirement fund a little bigger – it’s just wonderful!”

    Lottery tickets can be checked using the WCLC’s lottery manager app, at a local lottery retailer or by phoning the WCLC at 1-800-665-3313.

24 Nov -

Kahnawake officials to address complaints of discrimination against biracial couples on reserve

In August and September of 2015, five complaints were filed by Mohawk residents of Kahnawake claiming they had been the target of discrimination because of the reserve’s membership law.

READ MORE: Georges St-Pierre delivers message of hope to Mohawk teens

The complainants alleged they were singled out for having biracial backgrounds or having a partner who is considered “white.”

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    Reserve rules state that if a Kahnawake resident marries someone who isn’t a member of the First Nations community, they will be denied benefits and services.

    “What more have I got to lose? I already lost everything,” Brenda Dearhouse-Fragnito, community elder, said. “I don’t have my land, my kids are not allowed to live there. That’s what I always thought, we’d all live on the reserve together.”

    READ MORE: Land dispute brewing between Oka and Quebec Mohawk community

    These rights will also be denied to the couple’s children if they have any.

    The Canadian Human Rights Commission reviewed the complaints and has decided to uphold them.

    Kahnawake officials said they’ll deal with the issue after the holidays, but most residents on the reserve agree with the membership law.

    “It’s the community that has created laws that it feels it needs to do to protect what little we have left in terms of identity, culture, language,” Joe Delaronde, Mohawk Council of Kahnawake spokesperson, said. “All those things are so easy to lose when you have all of the outside influences everywhere around you.”

    READ MORE: Kahnawake commemorates residential schools on Orange Shirt Day

    All parties involved have until Jan. 3 to decide if they will opt for mediation to resolve the dispute.

24 Nov -

South African couple shocked by being labelled ‘2 blacks’ on restaurant bill

Two people who were dining in a restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa, claim they received a bill that identified them as “2 blacks” on Sunday evening.

“My initial reaction was shock. I didn’t understand why I had to be racially profiled as one of “2 blacks” in order to be identified,” Masibulele Maqetuka told Global News.

“A table number should’ve been put in place or a clothing description used.”

READ MORE: Black doctor says she was told ‘we are looking for actual physicians’ after offering to help during in-flight medical emergency

Maqetuka was eating with his partner when he reportedly received the bill from a restaurant called The Bungalow.

He tweeted the bill, which ignited outrage over claims of racism on the platform.

The Bungalow’s marketing manager, Micheline Leo, told Eyewitness News that the waiter serving the couple wrote down identification notes in their system to help identify tables.

Management later released a public apology stating they have a clear policy when it comes to non-discrimination.

But Maqetuka wasn’t pleased.

Maqetuka told Global News, he finally received a personal apology from both management and the waiter.

“Regardless of race, racial profiling is unacceptable and that is what my tweet served to highlight,” Maquetuka said.

Global News has reached out to The Bungalow but has not received a response.

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24 Nov -

MPs keep ripping their pants in the House of Commons — and aren’t happy about it

All David Graham wants for Christmas is pants without holes in them.

The seats in the House of Commons have the unfortunate tendency to rip MPs’ pants pockets, according to the Liberal MP, who said he’s had it happen at least six times so far.

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    The problem, he said, is that when an MP stands up to speak, then sits back down, the pocket sometimes catches on the narrow armrest of the seat, splitting the fabric down the leg along the seam. “Each armrest has three ridges. It’s very decorative, it’s very pretty. But the inner ridge is pointed, so if your pocket catches on it, it’s going to tear. There’s no question about it.”

    It’s an issue that crosses party lines, he said.

    “One day I had somebody on the Conservative side call me over and say, ‘Come look at this!’ And he showed me he had just freshly torn his pants down to the knee.”

    Although he’s managed to avoid tearing his pockets since October, it’s happened a lot. “The number of times I’ve sat down and said, ‘uh-oh’ and stood back up,” he said. “One time I brought my pants in, there’s a drycleaner on the Hill and they do repairs, and I had them fix it, and I got my pants back and went back to the House and that day, I tore the same pocket again. Like, that’s great. Well done.”

    A drycleaner near Parliament Hill confirmed that the shop often has to repair MPs’ torn pockets. “If we fix this problem, we’re going to put somebody out of work,” joked Graham.

    “I think everyone has had this issue for years and nobody wanted to be the one to talk about it because it looks so ridiculous to talk about it,” he said, laughing.

    So Graham took on the issue, championing it at the Procedure and House Affairs Committee on Dec. 8. That day, the committee considered a number of proposals, deciding whether or not they merited further study.

    Committee chair Larry Bagnell mentioned the item, listed as “change the design of the seats in the chamber, e.g. the seats in the chamber have the tendency of ripping suit pockets.”

    Graham told the committee that he had ripped six pockets since the last election.

    “Are you talking about your suit pockets or your pants pocket?” asked Conservative Tom Lukiwski.

    “The pants,” Graham clarified.

    “It may be a causation correlation,” interjected the NDP’s Don Davies, who also supported the item.

    “Everybody except Scott Reid has had it happen once,” said Graham.

    Graham told Global News that he has become more conscious of how he sits back down now, taking care to sit square rather than at an angle. After all, he notes that MPs have to foot the bill for repairs themselves.

    “It’s an out-of-pocket expense.”

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