24 Nov -

Calgary break and enters: victims say impact is life-changing

Police say with 23 break and enters in the city every day, it’s the number one crime on the minds of Calgarians.

It’s also a top priority for the Calgary Police Service.

“I’ve had my house broken into,” Chief Roger Chaffin told Global News. “Anybody who has had their house broken into or car stolen knows how deeply invasive it is, how personal it is.”

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    New Calgary police break-and-enter teams recover $850K in stolen property

    READ MORE: New police strategy for break and enters targets prolific offenders in Calgary

    Viktoriya Samarina and Michael Lindenbach had their southwest home broken into in early December.

    Any feeling of comfort they had was stolen from them, along with many of their belongings.

    “It was just terrifying—that feeling knowing that someone had been in your house or could be in your house,” Samarina said. “It was just absolutely paralyzing.”

    There was no sign of forced entry into their home.

    Instead, thieves got in with a key from a realtor lock box.

    “Our house is listed for sale and there’s a real estate lockbox out front that we have been told is unbreakable. They took it, smashed it,” Lindenbach explained.

    He said thieves also took the time to lock up after they left.

    READ MORE: Calgary family awakes at 2 a.m. to man standing in hallway

    It’s a new trend police are investigating in Calgary.

    It shocked the Calgary couple, who had done everything they thought they should to protect their home.

    “It’s almost like they could go online and look at our listing and see what we have because it almost seemed like they knew what they were doing,” Lindenbach said.

    The new Calgary Police Break and Enter Team has worked closely with the couple. It took just two days for investigators to solve the crime and the couple has been able to get much of their stolen property back.

    READ MORE: Police probe more than 40 northeast Calgary break-and-enters

    The one thing that can’t be replaced is the one thing the pair values the most: peace of mind. They’re worried the impact of the break and enter will never truly go away.

    “Just feeling uncomfortable in your own home. It used to be my sanctuary where I escape from the world and now every little noise makes me jump,” Samarina said.

    “It’s terrifying, it’s scary. You hear noises, and you check your locks five times before you go to bed,” Lindenbach added. “You are uneasy.”

    Part II of our special series: New unit seizes over $1M in stolen property, lays hundreds of charges

24 Nov -

Retired Quebec judge Jacques Delisle convicted of murder to remain in prison pending case review

A retired Quebec judge serving a life sentence after being convicted of murdering his wife will not be released from prison pending a federal review of his case, the Superior Court has ruled.

Jacques Delisle claims he was wrongly convicted due to a judicial error and wanted to be freed on bail during the review by the Justice Department.

READ MORE: Quebec judge Jacques Delisle found guilty of murdering wife

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    Quebec judge Jacques Delisle found guilty of murdering wife

    Delisle was found guilty in 2012 of first-degree murder in the 2009 slaying of his wife, Nicole Rainville.

    In his ruling Wednesday, Justice Benoit Moulin wrote that releasing the 81-year-old Delisle risked undermining the public’s confidence in the justice system.

    “The public’s confidence in the administration of justice demands that Mr. Delisle continue to serve his sentence,” the ruling read.

    “A public, composed of reasonable people, well-informed about the law and of the circumstances of the case and who appreciate the foundations of our criminal justice system…wouldn’t accept his release at this stage of the procedures.”

    READ MORE: Jacques Delisle: Canada’s Justice Minister to review murder conviction of Quebec judge

    Delisle’s conviction was upheld on appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear his case.

    The Justice Department, however, decided in September to review his case due to new evidence.

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Delisle’s lawyers argue new ballistics tests reveal the jury convicted their client on faulty evidence and they are requesting a second trial.

READ MORE: Former Quebec judge convicted of killing his wife says he helped her commit suicide

Moulin said the evidence he’s seen isn’t sufficient to authorize Delisle’s release.

“The analysis of expert opinions leads to the conclusion that at the very least, the pathological and ballistic evidence remains litigious,” he wrote.

“Moreover, no expert excludes homicide.”

Delisle denied in a 2015 televised jailhouse interview that he killed Rainville and said he helped her take her own life by leaving a loaded gun for her to use.

READ MORE: Investigation launched into former judge Jacques Delisle’s first-degree murder conviction

He is the only Canadian judge ever convicted of first-degree murder.

24 Nov -

The best last-minute holiday gifts for him

There’s only a few days left until Christmas, and if you haven’t had a chance to find a present for the man in your life (in between all the holiday parties and shopping for other family members and friends), don’t stress.

Even though you may not have time to go all-out and organize something super-fancy, there are still plenty of things you can pull together.

READ MORE: Geek gift guide: The ultimate holiday list for the nerd in your life

You can gift him a cooking class or a subscription to his favourite magazine; there are also activity-based presents, which only require the purchase of a gift card (research has shown often experiences are way better than things, anyway).

What’s more, as Quartz notes, several retailers are still able to offer rush delivery on some fabulous finds, from Gap to Best Buy and Amazon.

Need a few suggestions? Here are some of the best.

Forty Creek Barrel Select Whisky, $27. Available at liquor stores across Canada.

Jack Black Beard Grooming Kit, $43. Available at sephora长沙桑拿.

Light-Up EQ Bluetooth Speaker, $50. Available at thinkgeek长沙桑拿.

Braun °CoolTec CT5cc Wet&Dry Shaver, $200. Available at eBay长沙夜网.

J.Crew Round Flask, $24.50. Available at jcrew长沙桑拿/ca.

Beretta’s Gift Basket at The Frozen Butcher, $50. Available at frozenbutcher长沙夜网.

Forever 21 Faux Suede Trapper Hat, $20. Available at forever21长沙桑拿/ca.

RW&Co. Down Parka Jacket, $125. Available at rw-co长沙桑拿.

Nike Therma-Sphere Max, $230. Available at nike长沙桑拿/ca.

Purdy’s Chocolatier Snowflake Tin, $22. Available at purdys长沙桑拿.

Simons Folk Pattern Striped Sweater, $69. Available at simons长沙夜网.

Starbucks Copper Coffee Press (8 Cup), $40. Available at starbucks长沙夜网.

Victorinox Swiss Army Evolution Wood 81 Knife, $61. Available at swissarmy长沙桑拿/ca.

Build Your Own Burber by Vicki Smallwood, $23. Available at amazon长沙夜网.

Roots Original Sweatpant, $74. Available at roots长沙桑拿/ca.

SAXX Ultra Tri-Blend Boxer Fly (in Red Hot Heater), $30. Available at saxxunderwear长沙桑拿.

Under Armour Charged Bandit 2 Shoe, $120. Availeble at underarmour长沙桑拿.

Vintage Champion Raptors Jersey, $50. Available at ca.letgo长沙桑拿.

Fogo Island Stripes and Dots Pyjamas, $498. Available at fogoislandshop长沙夜网.

Ted Baker Striped Socks, $39. Available at tedbaker长沙桑拿.

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24 Nov -

In memoriam: Celebrities we lost in 2016

We lost dozens of celebrities in 2016, from legendary musicians to long-time TV stars to pop-culture staples, and it was jarring to wake up to news of another passing almost every week.

As stars age along with us, no doubt we’ll be saying goodbye to more and more of our favourite stars as the years go on, but unquestionably, this year certainly packed a wallop.

RELATED: visit us on Instagram for more tributes

Here are some of the big-name celebrities we lost in 2016, in no particular order.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Gabor, who lived to the amazing age of 99, was considered one of the last true Hollywood divas.

Muhammad Ali

A true legend beyond description, Ali broke barriers in a hostile time and will live on in infamy for all of his accomplishments.

Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Carrie Fisher

Most widely known as Princess Leia of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, Carrie Fisher passed away just before Christmas after suffering cardiac arrest on a trans-Atlantic flight. Reports claim the 60-year-old never regained consciousness.

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds, the beloved ’50s and ’60s star, died one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, after suffering a stroke. Her alleged last words were “I want to be with Carrie.”

David Bowie

The year started off on a very sad note when iconic musician Bowie passed away at 69 after a clandestine battle with cancer.

Prince

Definitely one of the most shocking passings of 2016, legendary musician Prince was found dead in an elevator after reportedly suffering a drug overdose.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Leonard Cohen

Canada mourned one of their greatest musicians and poets when Cohen passed away in late 2016.

Florence Henderson

Many people considered Henderson as their TV mom, since she played the mom on ‘The Brady Bunch’ for its entire run.

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Alan Thicke

Thicke died unexpectedly in December from a ruptured aorta while he was playing hockey with one of his sons.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Alan Rickman

Rickman, a tremendous actor who won people’s hearts with roles in various movies including ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ and the ‘Harry Potter’ series, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

George Michael, ’80s pop star and gay-rights icon, died on Christmas Day after his heart failed. He was 53 and had been reclusive for the past several years.

Gene Wilder

The beloved actor, best-known for playing Willy Wonka in ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,’ passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 83.

Garry Shandling

Actor and comedian Shandling pioneered a pretend brand of self-focused docudrama with ‘The Larry Sanders Show.’

Eric Isaacs/FilmMagic

Patty Duke

Duke, who won her Oscar at age 16 for her performance as Helen Keller in ‘The Miracle Worker,’ passed away at 69.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

René Angélil

Angélil was singer Celine Dion’s manager, mentor and singing coach since she was a teenager. The couple has three children together —René-Charles, 14, and five-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy.

George Gaynes

Gaynes played the lovable doofus Commandant Eric Lassard in the ‘Police Academy’ movies and Punky Brewster’s father in ’80s TV series ‘Punky Brewster.’ He lived a lengthy life, dying at age 98.

ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

Lemmy Kilmister

The Motorhead frontman, whose outsized persona made him a hero for generations of hard-rockers and metal-heads, died after a brief battle with cancer.

Mick Hutson/Redferns

Glenn Frey

Another death that happened early in the year, Frey was one of the founding members of The Eagles, and he passed away after succumbing to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia.

Mike Pont/FilmMagic

Harper Lee

The author of the best-selling novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ died at the age of 89.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Gordie Howe

Known as Mr. Hockey, Howe died in June at his daughter’s home at the age of 88.

George Kennedy

The actor, who starred in ‘Cool Hand Luke’ and ‘The Naked Gun’ movies, died at the age of 91.

Bobby Bank/WireImage

Merle Haggard

The country-music legend, who wrote songs like ‘Okie From Muskogee’ and ‘Sing Me Back Home,’ died at 79.

Joey Feek

Country musician Joey Feek passed away after a much-publicized battle with cancer, with millions of fans hanging on her every word as she bravely approached her own death.

Frazer Harrison/ACMA2013/Getty Images for ACM

Pat Conroy

Beloved author Conroy died at 70 at his home in Beaufort, South Carolina, surrounded by family and friends.

Boris Spremo/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Anton Yelchin

One of the most shocking deaths of 2016 was the passing of 27-year-old Yelchin, who was killed by his own car at his residence.

Francois Durand/Getty Images

Doris Roberts

The actress spent nine years portraying Marie Barone on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and was a staple on prime-time TV.

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Arnold Palmer

Known widely as ‘The King of Golf,’ Palmer died at 87 after being admitted to the hospital Thursday for some cardiovascular work.

Morley Safer

One week after retiring from ’60 Minutes,’ Safer died at 84 with 46 years of broadcasting experience under his belt.

CBS via Getty Images

Tony Burton

Burton, who appeared in six ‘Rocky’ films with Sylvester Stallone, died in California at the age of 78.

Joanie ‘Chyna’ Laurer

The former WWE wrestler died at 46 from an apparent overdose of alcohol and drugs.

Christina Grimmie

At the very young age of 22, Grimmie was shot while onstage performing at a concert in Orlando, Florida.

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Abe Vigoda

This star of ‘Barney Miller’ and ‘The Godfather,’ relatively unknown until the mafia movie franchise, died in January at age 94.

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

David Gest

Gest, who was married to entertainer Liza Minnelli for five years from 2002 to 2007, was a houseguest on the U.K.’s ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ earlier this year.

Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Charmain Carr

Best-known for sweetly portraying the eldest von Trapp daughter Liesl in ‘The Sound of Music,’ Carr died at 73.

Michu Meszaros

Known for playing alien ALF in ’80s sitcom ‘ALF,’ Meszaros died at 76 after a week in a coma.

Frank Sinatra, Jr.

The son of Rat Pack singer Frank Sinatra, Sinatra, Jr. died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Bryan Linden/WireImage

Malik ‘Phife Dawg’ Taylor

The A Tribe Called Quest rapper suffered from many health issues at the time of his death at 45.

Ronnie Corbett

Corbett, half of much-loved duo ‘The Two Ronnies,’ died at the age of 85.

Youree ‘Miss Cleo’ Harris

The 53-year-old TV psychic appeared frequently in catchy ’90s commercials, selling her ‘readings’ in her Jamaican accent. She died from cancer.

Craig Strickland

Country singer Strickland’s body was found in a lake after he’d gone duck-hunting with a friend; he was only 29.

Afeni Shakur Davis

Davis, the mother of late rapper Tupac Shakur, died in California after reportedly suffering a heart attack.

Alexis Arquette

Transgender activist and sister to Patricia and David Arquette, Alexis passed away from complications from AIDS at the age of 47.

Lou Pearlman

While Pearlman wasn’t necessarily beloved in the music industry, he’s credited with forming boy bands Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync; he died in prison at 62.

Sharon Jones

Jones, the powerhouse who shepherded a soul revival despite not finding stardom until middle age, died at 60 after a pancreatic cancer battle.

Peter Vaughan

The British actor, who died at 93, found an entire legion of new fans as Maester Aemon on ‘Game of Thrones.’

Angela ‘Big Ang’ Raiola

The ‘Mob Wives’ star battled throat cancer for a year before dying with her family and friends by her bedside.

Steve Mack/Getty Images

Denise Katrina ‘Vanity’ Matthews

A one-time Prince protégée, Vanity died after years of battling kidney failure at the age of 57.

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24 Nov -

Saskatoon Blades hope to return from holidays with playoff push

The Saskatoon Blades hit a few snags over the first half of the season but hope to return well-rested and ready to compete for a playoff spot.

Back in mid-October, the team seemed poised to maintain their plus-.500 record, but injuries and a grueling travel schedule saw the team slip out of a playoff spot.

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    “It’s been such an up and down … I think it got off to a down when Cameron Hebig was down and out indefinitely and for a long period of time. That just set the tone for a ton of injuries and a lot of adversity,” Blades head coach Dean Brockman said.

    READ MORE: Saskatoon Blades adopt winning mentality under new head coach

    On top of Hebig, countless players have struggled with injuries including leading scorer Mason McCarty who is expected to be out eight weeks due to a lower-body injury.

    As the midway point comes and goes, the Blades find themselves four points out of a wildcard playoff spot.

    “We know the task at hand is huge for us and enormous to climb, there’s a lot of character in that room and hopefully they’ll bounce back and be ready to go right after Christmas to go and get a bunch of wins,” Brockman said.

    Last week, Saskatoon traded away its captain, Wyatt Sloboshan, defenseman Nolan Reid and a 2017 third-round pick in the latest of many moves the club has made in attempts to build towards the future.

    READ MORE: Saskatoon Blades make ‘major trade’ with Spokane Chiefs

    The newly acquired players will look to insert fresh determination into the second half of the 2016-17 Western Hockey League (WHL) season.

    “Anywhere you go you want to win, regardless of the trade. I’m in Saskatoon and I’m a Blade now, I want to win here. It’s my last year, so I definitely want to make a push here for the playoffs,” newly acquired Blades center Markson Bechtold said.

    “Obviously this is a rest right now, but you got to be thinking about it, ready to go when you come back. It’s not done yet, we have a lot to do to and to come back and get a playoff spot,” newly acquired Blades defenseman Evan Fiala said.

    The Blades resume play on Dec. 27 in Prince Albert then are back at SaskTel Centre the following night for another bout with the Raiders.

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.

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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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