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.

Follow @heide_pearson

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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  • Lottery ticket worth $1K a day for life sold in Edmonton

    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.”

ChangSha Night Net


  • Georges St-Pierre delivers message of hope to Mohawk teens

  • Land dispute brewing between Oka and Quebec Mohawk community

  • 25 years on Mohawks remember Oka Crisis

    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.

ChangSha Night Net

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.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Year in Review 2016: The 5 funniest (and strangest) moments from the House of Commons

    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.”

24 Nov -

2 men found dead in Mississauga home after neighbour noticed garage door left open

Police are working to identify two men found dead inside a Mississauga home after a concerned neighbour reported a garage door had been left open for several days.

Peel Regional Police responded to a call in the Folkway Drive and Dancer Court area, near Winston Churchill Boulevard and Burnhamthorpe Road West, around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

A member of the public who was concerned for their neighbours’ well-being called police. Officers arrived on scene and found the bodies of two unidentified men inside.

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READ MORE: Vehicles, two bodies recovered from pond in Mississauga

“The house appeared to be open, the garage door had been left open for a couple of days,” Const. Mark Fischer told Global News Wednesday.

“So they called us to attend and check on the well-being … and sadly when police were able to gain entry into the house they found two deceased bodies. I can confirm that they’re two adult males.”

No information on the circumstances of the deaths has been released but police said a coroner has requested an autopsy be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Fischer said police have not been able to officially confirm the identities of the deceased and are waiting on autopsy, DNA and dental results.

“When we receive that information that of course will help because at this point we have no witnesses that saw anything happen between the two,” Fischer said.

“We don’t anticipate any violence that happened before, but at this point we can’t say the cause of death either.”

There was no concerns for public safety in connection with the deaths and police said the homicide bureau is not investigating.

Fischer said investigators do not suspect foul play and the criminal investigations bureau is handling the case pending the results of the autopsy.

Anyone with information on this investigation is asked to call the 11 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau at (905) 453–2121, ext. 1133 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

24 Nov -

The 5 best things to do while stuck at Edmonton airport this holiday season

Friday, Dec. 23 is forecast to be the busiest day of the year at the Edmonton International Airport.

The EIA estimates it will see 20 per cent more traffic than usual, with more than 24,000 people flying and more than 50,000 dropping them off or greeting them.

So, in case you wind up stranded at the airport (or have been very good, arrived early and find yourself with extra time), here are the top five things to do there to pass the time:

5. De-stress with a therapy dog

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The EIA teamed up with the Pet Therapy Society of Northern Alberta, which has over 60 trained therapy animals, for a trial project at the airport. Nearly every day over the holidays, for at least two hours, there is a volunteer pet and handler wandering the airport making new friends and calming nerves.

READ MORE: Edmonton airport welcomes therapy dogs to calm travellers 

Lori Gertz and her pup Cherry volunteer at EIA every Tuesday.

“People are anxious maybe, stressed from flying or travel in general. We just come out and visit people and get a little pet therapy in… She brings a lot of stress relief.”

Gertz admitted that passengers aren’t the only ones benefiting from Cherry’s cheer.

“She loves it. She gets a little excited in the car as soon as we get to the parkade. And when I put the scarf on, she knows she’s going to work.”

4. Play Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is also alive and well at EIA. However, none of the Pokestops and Gyms are located in secure locations.

READ MORE: EPS urges Edmontonians to look up, be respectful if playing Pokemon Go 

“With the latest update to the game, there are now a bunch of wild Pokemon at EIA,” reads a description on the airport website. “Catch ’em all while you’re here, but be mindful you’re still in an airport.”

3. Keep the kids entertained

The airport has two children’s play areas to help your kiddos burn off steam. They’re located by Gate 66 (after security in domestic-international departures) and by Gate 80 (after security in US departures).

There’s free WiFi at the EIA, so you could take your kids through the online EIA from A to Z Storybook – “a whimsical tale of the places you can fly non-stop from EIA.” And, just in time for the holiday season, EIA has produced a digital storybook called My Friend Eddy. It was written in-house, designed and printed locally.

2. Eat, drink and be merry

The EIA has 60 shops and restaurants, so you certainly won’t lack for snacks and beverages. The latest editions? The Great One’s own Gretzky’s Wine and Whisky and a new watering hole for football fans. 

“There’s Gretzky’s Wine and Whisky which is a wonderful spot,” EIA spokeswoman Heather Hamilton said. “You’ll want to take a look and sit down, have a drink there. We have the new Edmonton Eskimos restaurant – it just opened a couple of days ago. A great chance to take a look at that new service as well.”

You could also snap up some last-minute Christmas gifts while waiting for your flight or grab a quick massage as a gift to yourself.

“Santa’s in the airport,” Hamilton said. “So you can walk around, you may find Santa in the airport, handing out colouring books and gifts for children.”

Gretzky’s Wine and Whisky at Edmonton International Airport, Dec. 20, 2016.

Cam Cook, Global News

The new Edmonton Eskimos Sports Bar at the EIA, Dec. 20, 2016.

Cam Cook, Global News

The new Edmonton Eskimos Sports Bar at the EIA, Dec. 20, 2016.

Cam Cook, Global News

There are more than 60 shops and restaurants at the EIA.

Cam Cook, Global News

1. Soak up some arts and culture

There is no shortage of entertainment at the EIA. You could listen to one of the featured local artists performing in various locations around the airport or take in a choral delight.

READ MORE: Local musician’s career takes flight at EIA 

“We also have choirs performing in the airport,” Hamilton said. “You get that extra music as well and we have our professional musicians that play in the airport.”

Is visual art more your thing? The airport has a number of art displays and exhibits. The signature collection includes works like Everything Flows, Nothing Stands Still (a colourful piece that was inspired by the landscape of the North Saskatchewan River), Skywall (a 360-degree photographic panorama of the Alberta landscape) and Bush Pilot in the Northern Sky (an abstract, modern mural by Shadbolt). The partnership collection showcases featured costumes, art and props from shows by Alberta Ballet, Citadel Theatre, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the Reynolds-Alberta Museum – Home of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

You could also stop and admire the Living Wall, a vertical, interior garden that grows various greenery. It’s meant to symbolize EIA’s commitment to sustainable design. The airport is one of the first terminals in the world to target LEED certification.

READ MORE: Edmonton International Airport awarded for being green 

The wall was designed by artist Mike Weinmaster, who was inspired by Alberta’s high altitude cloud formations (Cirrus) and air currents.

The Living Wall is of the art displays at EIA.

Cam Cook, Global News

The Living Wall at the Edmonton International Airport, Dec. 20, 2016.

Cam Cook, Global News

Local musicians play at the Edmonton International Airport. Dec. 20, 2016.

Cam Cook, Global News

Follow @Emily_Mertz

24 Nov -

Saskatoon weather outlook: Christmas cool down ahead

Above freezing for the first full day of winter Thursday before a Christmas cool down.

Saskatoon Forecast


Winter officially kicked off at 4:44 a.m. CT this morning under clear skies with temperatures back to -14 and wind chill values around -22.

By sunrise, which was around 9:14 a.m. on this shortest day of the year with only seven hours and 43 minutes of daylight, the sunshine had moved in.

Wednesday, Dec. 21 is the first day of winter in Saskatoon.

Clouds rolled in by noon as the mercury rose up to -4 before it shoots up toward the freezing mark later today.


We’ll sit under partly to mostly cloudy skies tonight as temperatures dip back to around -8.


The first full day of winter will be a warm one as we slide into the warm sector of a system moving into the north.

Saskatoon sits in the warm sector of a low pressure system swinging into the north on Thursday.

SkyTracker Weather

-14 is around what it’ll feel like tomorrow morning with wind chill under mostly sunny skies to start before a few clouds move in later in the day.

Temperatures will shoot up above freezing by a degree or 2 for an afternoon high with a moderate southwesterly wind gusting upwards of 35 km/h.


The cold front associated with that system will start to slide through on Friday, bringing in the clouds and a chance of flurries.

Cold front sliding through brings a chance of flurries on Friday.

SkyTracker Weather

The mercury will start off in mid-minus single digits before dropping back into minus double digits by evening.

Christmas Outlook

The effects of the cold front and an arctic high dropping into northeastern Saskatchewan will begin to be felt on Christmas Eve.

Temperatures will fall through the day from the mid-minus teens down toward -20 under mostly cloudy skies.

A cool down is on the way for Christmas across Saskatchewan.

SkyTracker Weather

Then for Christmas Day we should see the clouds clear out and a return of the sunshine as even colder arctic air settles in, further dropping temperatures back into the -20s with an afternoon high around -17.

Southern Saskatchewan could see some snow on Christmas Day with a system sliding by south of the province.

A system sliding by south of Saskatchewan brings a good chance of snow to the south on Christmas Day.

SkyTracker Weather

Boxing Day Monday looks to be mostly sunny as well with a morning low in the mid-minus 20s, feeling like the -30s with wind chill and an afternoon high in the minus teens.

Krista Sharpe took this Your Saskatchewan photo of Mission Ridge Winter Park at Fort Qu’Appelle:

Dec. 21: Krista Sharpe took this Your Saskatchewan photo of Mission Ridge Winter Park at Fort Qu’Appelle.

Krista Sharpe / Viewer Submitted

READ MORE: Get a 2017 Your Saskatchewan calendar today

Saskatoon weather outlook is your one stop shop for all things weather for Saskatoon, central and northern Saskatchewan with a comprehensive look at your local forecast that you can only find here.

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24 Nov -

CRTC declares broadband Internet a basic service

Broadband Internet is a basic service that Canadians should have access to regardless of where they live, according to a landmark CRTC ruling that could change the face of Internet access in the country.

ChangSha Night Net

The regulator announced that telecom providers will be made to contribute to a $750 million fund devoted to improving access to broadband Internet services in remote regions of the country. Additionally, local telephone subsidies will be re-routed to broadband Internet.

“Access to broadband Internet service is vital and a basic telecommunication service all Canadians are entitled to receive,” CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais said in a statement. “We are doing our part to bring broadband services to rural and remote communities.”

READ MORE: One in three Canadians ‘satisfied’ with Internet prices

The CRTC also directed ISPs to provide consumers with tools to help them manage data use and avoid overage charges, and recommended that mobile Internet access be available in homes and businesses as well as along major roads.

The ruling also upped the CRTC’s targets for what constitutes basic Internet services “that Canadians need to participate in the digital economy” to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads, a ten-fold increase over target speeds established in 2011.

However, 82 per cent of Canadian households already enjoy that level of access, according to Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa.

“The CRTC is hoping in five years to hit 90 per cent, in effect an 8 per cent increase over 5 years and well over a billion dollars to get there,” Geist told Global News.

Average speeds in Canada are 18.64 Mbps for downloads and 7.26 Mbps for uploads, according to a survey by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.

READ MORE: CRTC hearings on net neutrality: What you need to know about differential pricing

Geist says that among the most encouraging features of the CRTC ruling is the decision to shift subsidies from local telephone to Internet.

“One of the real highlights of the decision is the recognition that we live in a world where broadband really is the vital form of connectivity and communications, not local voice,” Geist said.

“Shifting those dollars toward broadband access is overdue, but give the CRTC full credit because not everybody was calling for that and they’ve taken an important step by doing it.”

The CRTC’s decision followed its Review of Basic Telecommunications Services consultation, which previously noted Canadians are utilizing the Internet “for an increasing number of uses (including banking, education, health, government services, shopping, entertainment, and social networking), resulting in greater demand for faster speeds.”

READ MORE: Ottawa spending $500M to bring high-speed Internet to rural areas 

But Geist cautions that government and industry cooperation will be vital if the CRTC’s decision is to result in tangible benefits for end consumers.

“The CRTC makes it very clear that this is not for the CRTC alone and, I think they’re right in that regard, the government plays a role here too,” he said.

“We’ve seen funding announcements but I think the government is going to have to continue to make this a focus if we are to achieve the target of universal affordable access,” he added.

Federal Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains announced last week that the government would be investing up to $500 million to bring high-speed Internet access to 300 rural and remote communities by 2021, as part of its “Connect to Innovate” program.

“By increasing access to high-speed Internet, the ‘Connect to Innovate’ program enhances our rural and remote communities’ ability to innovate, participate in the digital economy and create jobs for middle-class families,” Bains said.

READ MORE: CRTC denies appeal to force big telcos to give access to their wireless networks

Geist says the most underwhelming aspect of the ruling was an insufficient focus on the issue of affordability.

“It’s somewhat unsatisfying to talk about access for all but then not talk about affordable access,” Geist said.

“Just because people have access to the service doesn’t mean that everyone can afford that service. I think there will be continuing pressure on the major Internet service providers to address some of the affordability concerns.”

According to the CRTC’s release, ISPs argued during consultations that “prices for broadband Internet access services are competitive and affordable, and that they compare favourably internationally,” and that pricing is not the sole issue affecting access to broadband services for some Canadians.

READ MORE: Wireless service in Canada remains expensive, but should Ottawa intervene?

Representatives of the digital rights advocacy group OpenMedia lauded the CRTC’s ruling.

“Canadians asked for universal Internet access, support for rural communities, world-class speeds, unlimited data options, and minimum guarantees for the quality of their Internet. And today, we won it all!” Josh Tabish, campaigns director for OpenMedia, said in an emailed statement. “With this ruling, the CRTC has finally listened to Canadians and agreed that residential and mobile Internet is a basic service required for modern life, as important as the telephone.”

“For too long, rural and underserved communities all across Canada have faced an uphill battle to participate meaningfully in our digital economy. Today’s decision will go a long way toward closing this digital divide. Now that the CRTC has spoken, we need to hold the Trudeau government accountable for ensuring this exciting vision becomes a reality,” Tabish added.

Twenty per cent of Canadian households did not subscribe to broadband Internet access at the end of 2013, according to a report by the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project.

—; With a file from the Canadian Press

24 Nov -

Donald Trump’s policies could hurt some Canadian provinces more than others

Whether it’s “Buy American” or his anti-NAFTA stance, Donald Trump’s protectionist views have been a source of apprehension for Canada, and a new TD report warns the incoming administration could hurt some provinces more than others.

ChangSha Night Net

Since Trump’s Nov. 8 election there have been concerns about what his presidency could mean for the Canadian economy, especially in light of his repeated threats to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau promises to protect Canadian values, interests if Donald Trump goes too far

“A great deal of protectionist rhetoric was a part of the presidential campaign, which could be harmful to Canada’s manufacturing and exporting regions should such policies be enacted,” said a report from TD economics released Monday.

“While the anti-trade remarks were not necessarily directed at Canada, any renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would impact trade with the largest foreign market for each province’s exports.”

WATCH: Donald Trump on NAFTA

Presidential debate: Trump calls NAFTA ‘the worst trade deal maybe ever signed, anywhere’


Presidential debate: Trump calls NAFTA ‘the worst trade deal maybe ever signed, anywhere’


Trudeau, Trump have had talks about renegotiating NAFTA


Trump attacks NAFTA, TPP over ‘rape’ of American economy


Donald Trump wants U.S. out of TPP deal and threatens to take country out of NAFTA as well


Opposition leader questions PM’s rush to open up NAFTA negotiations with the U.S.


NDP leader wants answers from PM on possibility of NAFTA renegotiation


Ambrose attacks Trudeau for openness to renegotiate NAFTA


Republican congress will protect NAFTA: former White House aide extended


What does a Trump Presidency mean for Saskatchewan?


What does President-Elect Donald Trump mean for Canada?


Trump’s promises to ditch trade deals could hit Nova Scotia


Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton: what the US election means to Alberta


Donald Trump outlines 5 goals that have to be worked towards with Mexico


Does Trump mean trouble for Alberta’s economy?

The report found that provinces with economies based on non-energy exports – like Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and PEI – have the most to lose under a Trump administration.

Whether Trump will make good on his anti-trade threats remains to be seen. Following the U.S. election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government announced it was willing to open negotiations on NAFTA.

However, Trudeau said earlier this week he would not hesitate to protect Canadian interests if they clash with Trump’s agenda.

The provinces that have the most to gain are Alberta and Saskatchewan, according to TD, as Trump and his administration are vocal supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline, which was blocked by the outgoing Obama administration.

READ MORE: Here’s a look at Donald Trump’s (mostly white, male) cabinet choices

Earlier this month, Trump suggested he’ll move quickly on the Alberta-to-Texas oil pipeline. He’s also named the CEO of Exxon Mobil as his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who has long supported the project.

The Trudeau government – which recently approved two major pipeline projects – has also been in favour of Keystone.

“This would naturally benefit the western region of Canada over the longer haul by increasing export capacity for Alberta oil,” the report said. “It would support both the Alberta and Saskatchewan energy industries by reducing the backlog, boosting related manufacturing, and lowering the discount on Canadian oil prices.”

WATCH: 5 things to know about Canada’s softwood lumber trade war with US

An early test of Trump’s administration will focus on the softwood lumber dispute between Canada and U.S. after a previous agreement lapsed this summer, according to TD, which would greatly impact B.C. and Quebec.

The long-standing complaint from U.S. producers states that Canadian lumber is subsidized and exporters are selling lumber at a price that undercuts American producers. Canadian officials have rejected the claim of unfair subsidies.

It is still unclear how Trump’s administration will deal with the dispute. However, a transition team memo obtained by CNN in November suggests Washington is about to embark on an “aggressive, protectionist approach to trade both with Mexico and with Canada” that would include softwood lumber.

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