PARIS/KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian and Russian leaders will try to seal a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and agree prisoner swaps when they meet next week but with Kiev politically constrained and Moscow unlikely to bend, prospects for peace remain bleak, diplomats said. Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Vladimir Putin hold their first face-to-face talks on Dec. 9 in Paris overseen by the French and German leaders, more than three years since the countries' heads of state last met. Over 13,000 people have been killed in the more than five-year-old conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces.
Nova Scotia's Department of Labour is investigating a complaint involving an elevator at one of Halifax's tallest buildings, the Maritime Centre on Barrington Street.The investigation follows an incident on Nov. 28, when one of the elevator cars serving the 21-storey building came to an abrupt halt. In an email distributed to tenants in the building, property manager Christine DeLong said the car performed an emergency stop due to a safety circuit engaging.Elevators in the 42-year-old building are currently undergoing modernization, which includes the replacement of all travelling cables.In her email, DeLong sought to reassure the hundreds of people who work in the building."The elevator did not drop multiple floors as suggested," she wrote. "The rate of deceleration at the 11th floor was higher than normal which would be of a concern to any passengers in the elevator, but at no time was anyone's physical safety in danger."Unconnected to another incidentDeLong also said there's no connection between the November incident and a separate problem that occurred in September with a different elevator. She said that elevator was undergoing maintenance and testing in September and no passengers were on board.Because of the building's height, it is served by two banks of elevators: some go between the first and 11th floors while others service floors 11 and above.DeLong said tenants will be able to air their concerns and get more information at a town hall meeting being planned for the building's lobby."The incident that occurred on car 3, albeit unsettling, is not an uncommon service issue relating to this component with aged elevator systems across the country being equally susceptible."A statement from the Labour Department, which is housed in the Maritime Centre, said the elevator in the November incident has been taken out of service.MORE TOP STORIES
MONTREAL — Quebec's chief justice, who is hearing a case seeking a suspension of the province's secularism law, will no longer be speaking to an association of Jewish lawyers in Montreal following allegations of bias.The Lord Reading Law Society announced late Tuesday it and Chief Justice Nicole Duval Hesler mutually decided to postpone her speech scheduled for Dec. 10 because the society is involved in a separate court challenge to the secularism law, known as Bill 21.Duval Hesler's scheduled talk on how to avoid conflicts of interest at the Quebec Court of Appeal was one element of a complaint filed against her at the Canadian Judicial Council by a Montreal junior college history teacher.Frederic Bastien also complained to the council that while presiding over a Bill 21 case last week the chief justice declared herself a feminist and suggested opposition to the province's secularism law results from "visual allergies'' to seeing women in a hijab.Bastien asked the council to investigate Duval Hesler for her comments and for her planned speech to the law society, which he said left the impression she was a partisan judge with a bias against Bill 21.The law prohibits some public sector workers, including teachers and police officers, from wearing religious symbols at work, and Duval Hesler is one of three judges hearing an appeal from groups seeking to have the central components of the law suspended while their full legal challenge is heard.The Lord Reading Law Society had filed an intervention in another court challenge to the law, brought by three women teachers.The society also submitted a brief to a legislature committee last April, which stated Bill 21 "has no reason to exist and, in fact, will create and worsen divisions in Quebec ...."The chief justice's actions have drawn divided reactions from academics, with some defending her and others saying she went too far. A judicial council spokeswoman said Monday 30 people had contacted the office with concerns about Duval Hesler following news of Bastien's complaint.Premier Francois Legault declined on Wednesday to weigh in on the debate but promised to do what he can to defend the law."I told you I have to be prudent, to protect the separation of powers," he told reporters when asked the postponement of Duval Hesler's speech. "I can't tell you more. What I can say is that the government will do all that is possible to protect Bill 21."This reporter was first published by The Canadian Press on Dec. 4, 2019. Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — The computer models used to simulate what heat-trapping gases will do to global temperatures have been pretty spot-on in their predictions, a new study found.After years of hearing critics blast the models' accuracy, climate scientist Zeke Hausfather decided to see just how good they have been. He tracked down 17 models used between 1970 and 2007 and found that the majority of them predicted results that were “indistinguishable from what actually occurred.”“By and large our models have gotten it right, plus or minus a little bit,” said Hausfather, a University of California, Berkeley scientist who is climate and energy director at the Breakthrough Institute. “If they get it wrong, it's slightly on the warm side, but I wouldn't read too much into that.”Ten of the 17 were close to the temperatures that actually happened, said Hausfather, lead author of a study in Wednesday's journal Geophysical Research Letters.But scientists actually got the physics right even more than that, Hausfather said. That's because they make two main assumptions when they model what will happen in the future. One is the physics of the atmosphere and how it reacts to heat-trapping gases. The other is the amount of greenhouse gases put into the air.A few times, scientists were wrong in their predictions about the growth of carbon pollution, saying there would be more of the gases than there actually were, Hausfather said. If they got the amount of heat-trapping gases wrong, they then got the temperatures wrong.So Hausfather and colleagues, including NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, looked at how well the models did on just the pure science, taking out the emissions factor. On that count, 14 of the 17 computer models accurately predicted the future.The scientists also gave each computer simulation a “skill score” that essentially gave a percentage grade to each one. The average grade was a 69%.One of the earliest computer models, made in 1970, got a 91%. What's so impressive about that is that at the time, climate change wasn't noticeable in the yearly temperature records like it is now, Hausfather said.Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, who wasn't part of the study, called the work creative and the results striking.“Even without knowing what the current level of greenhouse gas concentrations would be, the climate models predicted the evolution of global temperature quite well,” Diffenbaugh said in an email.It's crucial that these models are accurate because “we have one planet Earth, so we can't conduct controlled experiments on the actual climate system,” Diffenbaugh said.The study was released as officials from almost 200 countries meet in Madrid for climate talks.University of Illinois climate scientist Donald Wuebbles, who also wasn't part of the study, said climate change “deniers do a lot of weird things to misrepresent models. None of those analyses have been valid and they should be ignored. We should no longer be debating the basic science of climate change.”___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press
Metro Vancouverites want transit expanded to the Fraser Valley and are intrigued by the idea of a gondola up Burnaby Mountain.Those are two findings in phase one of TransLink's just-released Transport 2050 public engagement survey to identify transportation priorities for the next 30 years.The survey compiled responses from 31,700 people. The most frequently submitted idea was around increasing transit service in the Fraser Valley.The most "liked" idea was a gondola up Burnaby Mountain, while mobility pricing was the idea that received the most comments.People were also asked to rank their top priorities, values and concerns from a list of possibilities.Top three priorities for Metro Vancouver's future: * Expanding and improving the transit system. * Increasing housing choice and affordability. * Creating jobs, homes and services closer together. Top three positive points about living in Metro Vancouver: * Natural areas like parks and forests. * The mild weather. * Being close to family and friends.Top three concerns about living in Metro Vancouver: * Growing cost of renting or buying a home. * Road congestion. * Loss of green space.A new round of public engagement will begin in spring 2020 when the public will be asked to weigh different packages of projects, services and policies.
In its first month of operation, the Regina Bypass is averaging 5,630 vehicles, including 1,230 trucks, daily.That's far lower than the 21,000 vehicles per day the Sask Builds website said were expected.The Saskatchewan government said Wednesday afternoon that the 21,000 figure refers to the year 2040.Traffic volumes on existing roads near the Bypass range from about 11,500 to 25,000 vehicles per day, the website said.The bypass was officially opened on Oct. 29 after four years of construction.Opposition Leader Ryan Meili said the low number of vehicles shows just how overbuilt the bypass project was in terms of the need for infrastructure to get around Regina. "This has been predictable from day one," he said. "There just wasn't the demand [before it was built] and the fact that the GTH has been such an abysmal failure has only made that absolutely certain, that that demand wouldn't be there."Meili noted the project costs ballooned from a "reasonable" $400 million project that would address safety issues that existed, to an over $2 billion project. Moe says the bypass makes the roads saferPremier Scott Moe took questions about the numbers after Wednesday's question period. He cited the Saskatoon south commuter bypass as an example of a project taking a bit of time to hit its projected usage numbers. "It took over a year before [that project] even got close to some of the targets that they had on that particular road," Moe said. "By no means is this any time to say that the bypass isn't achieving what it set out to do." Moe said in terms of safety, the bypass is diverting traffic from Regina and therefore achieving what it was supposed to do: make the roads safer for drivers in the city.The government news release indicated that every truck that uses the bypass is a truck that used to have to go through the City of Regina, therefore roads in the city's east end are safer and less congested.Highways and Infrastructure Minister Greg Ottenbreit said the government is encouraged by the bypass use. "The improved safety and efficiency of the project for people travelling in the Regina area is great and we are excited to see even more traffic use the route as people familiarize themselves with the new infrastructure," he said in a prepared statement.
MADRID — Plácido Domingo has sought to blame the allegations of sexual harassment against him on cultural differences between countries, adding that there are places nowadays where “one can’t say anything to a woman.”In an interview published Wednesday in Spanish leading daily El País, the Madrid-born tenor said “here (in Spain) it’s not like that but in other places, and specifically in those groups from where the accusations come, it is.”The Associated Press reported earlier this year allegations in the United States by more than 20 women of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour. Some claimed that rejecting his advances hurt their musical careers.Domingo, 78, denies the allegations.While most of his U.S. dates were cancelled in the wake of the reports and an investigation is under way at the Los Angeles Opera, European venues have supported Domingo and he has been greeted with ovations.Some opera managers, notably at the Salzburg Festival and the Vienna State Opera, countered the reports by saying that the opera star had always behaved well in their venues.Domingo told El País he believed harassment “should be punished in every moment and in all periods” but felt rules and standards had changed.“What I meant, as a Spaniard, is that the use of the compliment, for example ‘what a nice suit you have, how well you look,’ that was something you could say 30 years ago, even two years ago.”Domingo initially responded to the allegations, saying they were "in many ways, simply incorrect" and that at the time he believed his “interactions and relationships were always welcomed and consensual.”Domingo told El País that he wanted to continue singing and did not rule out performing again in the U.S.‘‘If the opportunity arises, of course,’’ he said. “There are some offers. Not everywhere is (like) the Los Angeles or the Metropolitan (in New York).”He ruled out taking legal action in the matter.“You know it’s useless. Against a media outlet you have everything to lose, and as regards the accusers, I don’t intend taking reprisals against anybody.“As I have said, I have not been accused of any crime and I don’t intend taking a case against anybody,” said Domingo.Domingo has given several interviews recently in Europe.“The accusations they make against me make no sense,” he said. “What I want is to stop talking about all of this.”___This story corrects position of accent in El País.CiaráN Giles, The Associated Press
The stepmother of a man who died after falling from the roof of a Dartmouth, N.S., construction site in 2018 says after waiting 20 months for answers, she's now torn to learn his supervisor at the worksite is facing charges.Jeff Scott Gooch, 37, was arrested last Saturday and is charged with criminal negligence causing death, Halifax police said Wednesday.Brandon Alcorn died on March 13, 2018, after falling from the roof of the Kent Building Supplies that was under construction on Cutler Drive. The 22-year-old's stepmother said she's relieved she might finally learn the circumstances of his fall that windy winter morning and that someone could be held accountable."I hope he doesn't die in vain. I hope something comes of all of this ... Now that there's charges and jail time possible, maybe now people [on worksites] will actually take notice," Janice Way said.But her heart also goes out to the family of Gooch, who could be facing jail time if convicted. Gooch used to pick Alcorn up and drive him to work."It's not a win for anybody, I don't think," said Way. "Jeff's own words at the hospital [were] he considered Brandon like a little brother."No fall protection gearAlcorn, who grew up in Porters Lake, N.S., was working as a labourer at the Dartmouth site for Insulated Panel Structures, Inc., a Waterdown, Ont., company. President Cameron Smith said the company "remains sympathetic" to Alcorn's family and friends, but he declined to comment as the case is now before the courts. Way said Alcorn had recently moved back from Newfoundland and had only worked for the company for a couple of months.Records obtained by CBC News from the Nova Scotia Department of Labour through a freedom-of-information request show inspectors found that fall protection equipment was not being used at the time of Alcorn's death.Const. John MacLeod said police took the time they needed to conduct a thorough investigation and bring a strong case to court.MacLeod said Gooch was not charged under the so-called Westray Law, a Criminal Code amendment aimed at making it easier to hold employers accountable for deaths or injuries in the workplace. The bill was introduced after the 1992 Westray mine disaster in Plymouth, N.S., that killed 26 miners."We look at all factors in relation to the investigation. We also do consult with the Crown to make sure that we're laying the most appropriate charges in this case," said MacLeod.Over the past 20 months, Way kept in frequent contact with officials from the Labour Department and then a detective who took over the case."Maybe I was a hassle to them, but I kept at it. I wanted to know there were charges in the case," she said Wednesday evening.However, Way still doesn't know exactly what happened to Alcorn, beyond that he suffered three traumatic brain injuries from a four-metre fall.The day Alcorn died, Way said he slept in and Gooch made his way to work on his own. Alcorn's girlfriend dropped him off at the worksite and it's his stepmother's understanding that he was only at work 20 minutes when he fell from the building's roof. She said she's been tormented by thoughts about what may have happened during those final minutes."I have so many things running through my head of the circumstances and what it could have been," she said. "It was the windiest day of the year. Other places shut down. Was it that? Did he slip? Did he get in a fight?"'That smile would light up a room'Way's voices breaks and she recalls getting surprise calls in the middle of the night from her stepson. He was a jokester who loved to FaceTime people when he was up late, even if they weren't."I miss that so much," she said. "He was so fun and loveable. That smile — every picture that you see, that smile would light up a room."Two weeks prior to Alcorn's fall, he'd moved into a new apartment with his girlfriend. He hoped to join the military."Everything was going great," Way said. "Everybody loved Brandon. He was the type of person who made sure nobody was left out of a crowd, everybody was involved."Following Alcorn's death, a Labour Department inspector found there was no evidence the company had a written fall-protection safe-work procedure.On March 14, 2018, the department ordered Insulated Panel Structures ensure at least one of the following was used: a guardrail, temporary flooring, a personnel safety net, a travel restraint system or a fall-arrest system.The Labour Department issued a stop-work order on a section of the construction site until that happened. An inspector also ordered the company to "establish a written fall-protection safe-work procedure" for anytime fall protection gear is required.MacLeod said he does not anticipate that any more charges will be laid in connection with Alcorn's death.Gooch is scheduled to appear in Halifax provincial court on Feb. 25, 2020.MORE TOP STORIES
A company that ran data processing centres in Labrador has gone bankrupt.Great North Data hosted bitcoin mining operations and processed artificial intelligence algorithms at facilities in Labrador City and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.According to bankruptcy documents filed late last month, the company listed $13.2 million in liabilities against just $4.6 million in assets.The federal and provincial governments are owed some of that cash.The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is an unsecured creditor for $281,675.The Newfoundland and Labrador government's Business Investment Corporation is owed $313,718. That amount is secured by Great North Data's building and land in Labrador City, and machinery and equipment.Federal, provincial contributions in 2015 and 2016The company received an infusion of $500,000 from ACOA in late 2015, in the form of an unconditionally repayable contribution.ACOA officials declined to provide more details, saying specific information related to the terms and conditions of a contribution agreement — including the status of repayments — is subject to client confidentiality. In an emailed statement, the federal agency said officials "are in contact with the client and are closely following all developments" involving the company.Great North Data received another $420,000 from the province between January and August 2016.Officials in Newfoundland and Labrador's innovation department haven't yet provided additional information in response to requests from CBC News.Website now offlineIn 2017, a Hong Kong-based bitcoin mining firm sued Great North Data in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court. That legal dispute remains unresolved.Great North Data's website is now offline.But an archived version notes that the company was founded in 2013, and grew "from a basement startup to a major provider of processing capacity in Atlantic Canada."In addition to the federal and provincial funding agencies that are owed money, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is listed as an unsecured creditor for another $316,477.And the Business Development Bank of Canada, a federal Crown corporation, is on the unsecured creditors' list for $225,000.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Toronto property tax bills will be going up in 2020 and beyond as part of Mayor John Tory's plan to extend the city building fund to help pay for public transit repairs and more affordable housing.Tory is backing a plan, revealed Wednesday, that would continue the property tax levy for six more years starting in 2020. The fund, which currently sits at 0.5 per cent, will also go up to 1.5 per cent in 2020 and 2021.In a news release, Tory's office said this will cost the average Toronto household some $43 a year.City council still has to approve the increase, but it's likely safe to start budgeting for the hike now as Tory usually controls the balance of power on council.Enhancing the city building fund — first brought in to pay for mega-projects like the Scarborough subway extension — is expected to bring in some $6.6 billion.Tory said that money will go toward maintaining the TTC, which struggled again during this week's blast of winter weather, and building more affordable housing. Yesterday, the city announced an ambitious 10-year housing strategy to create tens of thousands of affordable housing units, raising questions about how the city would afford its share of the costs.
The global oil services giant Halliburton is going to suspend its well cementing operations in Alberta, where it has operated since 1926, by year-end.The Houston-based company confirmed in an email to CBC News that its cementing product service line in Western Canada will stop operating at the end of this year."We made this difficult decision because we do not foresee the ability for the product line to provide a sufficient rate of return," said company spokesperson Emily Mir. "We will continue to provide specialty cementing solutions, blends and chemical additives to our customers that require our proprietary products and processes."The company did not say how many jobs will be affected.It said other product lines in Canada will continue to operate.Halliburton has had operations in Canada since 1926, when the New Method Oil Well Cementing Company set up shop in Alberta.The company has about 75,000 employees in roughly 80 countries.
NEW YORK — Lady Gaga is returning to the Super Bowl stage — sort of.The pop star will perform at AT&T TV Super Saturday Night in Miami on Feb. 1, held a day before Super Bowl 54. The concert will take place at Meridian at Island Gardens and will be livestreamed at twitter.com/ItsOnATT.Gaga headlined the Super Bowl halftime show in 2017 and she performed the national anthem at Super Bowl 50 in 2016. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will headline this year’s halftime show, which will take place on Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.AT&T TV Super Saturday Night was previously called DIRECTV Super Saturday Night, which launched in 2011 and has featured high-profile performers like Jay-Z, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Katy Perry and Lopez.The Associated Press
The provincial RCMP have requested an independent observer to examine the circumstances of an arrest that happened on Cote First Nation after the suspect sustained a head injury during the arrest.Kamsack RCMP received a call on Nov. 28 at about 4 p.m. about a woman being held against her will in her home on Cote First Nation. Officers spoke to the woman through an open window but said they could not ensure her safety without entering and searching the home.The woman let them in through the front door but officers then saw a man leaving the home through an open window.Officers told the man he was under arrest but he started running and did not stop despite warnings from police.When an officer caught up to them, they both fell to the ground. The suspect was taken to hospital for treatment of a head injury. RCMP said the man is in stable condition and remains in custody. The ground was icy and very slippery at the time of the arrest, RCMP said. The 34-year-old man was charged with resisting arrest.The Saskatchewan RCMP have requested the Estevan Police Service conduct an external investigation.
A second Star Wars-themed attraction, Rise of the Resistance, is opening at Disney World this week and it’s already bringing people to tears.
There's a severe lack of Indigenous representation in most stock imagery available online, one woman from Six Nations of the Grand River says, and she's excited to now work for a company that's building its own library for community use — saying "it gives people a chance to see who we really are."Nicole Hill is with the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation, and she thinks "a lot of people don't know who we are," referring to her Indigenous community of over 12,000 people, the largest First Nations reserve in Canada.Communications staff at the development corporation recently searched for stock images online of construction workers to promote their latest project — a collection of 19th century-style log cabins in Chiefswood Park — but couldn't find one photo of an Indigenous labourer.A reflection of the communityTabitha Curley and Jessica Hunt scoured online databases for photos, but the people in the stock images looked nothing like the people who live and work in their surrounding community — and those are the people they want to reflect in the corporation's promotional imagery.Luckily, the two had a solution on hand. They put out a call for models to the local community and also contacted a professional photographer, Mark Burnham.Since 2015, Curley and Hunt have partnered with photographer Burnham to build their own library of stock images, which is primarily made up of people who live on the reserve, including children and grandchildren of the development corporation's staff. Hill grew up in Six Nations and her grandchildren have been involved in numerous shoots. She hopes that the circulation of these stock images will "encourage more people to visit" the reserve and learn about the people who live and work there."We're all about animals and the outdoors," Hill said, "and it's great that people are coming out and are part of our cultural setting in nature ... it brings that majestic wonder back to their lives and their children's lives." Chiefswood Park, where the cabins are being built, regularly teaches visitors about authentic Haudenosaunee culture against the backdrop of the Carolinian forest on the banks of the Grand River — Burnham's images help to put local faces at the forefront. During the most recent shoot, Burnham first snapped pictures at the local bingo hall and then met up with the newest models at the corporation's log cabin construction site, where labourers were administering final touches. Sisters Destiny Curley and Faith Curley — Tabitha's neices — were also at the construction site, but they didn't have a hand in the work. They were there to meet Burnham and pose. Burnham, lying on the ground, camera in hand, snapped a series of images of the seven- and eight-year-olds, as they posed, threw handfuls of leaves at each other and giggled in the golden afternoon sunlight.After having spent about half an hour outside, Curley's two nieces took a break from the cold and headed inside to warm up. Burnham took that time to describe his involvement with the development corporation's photoshoots."I'm always on board with whatever they do," he said, and even though he's mainly a nature photographer, he always ends up having "so much fun" on each shoot with local models. Burnham says those models — regular people who volunteer — are extremely friendly, full of life and unique in their culture. He loves learning about and being a part of it.And the kids certainly don't shy away from their new celebrity status. "The kids love to be involved and see themselves in print," said Jennifer Montour, an administrative project assistant for the corporation. "It gave them a boost in self-esteem." Both of Montour's grandchildren have participated in photoshoots, including one for a camping trip. Those images can be used by the development corporation and are also made available to other organizations in the community who require stock photography, and have run into the same lack of availability Curley and Hunt once encountered.'Few and far between'Curley and Hunt initially had the idea for the photoshoots as a way to do their part in increasing overall Indigenous representation in stock photography. On a more micro-level, they wanted to better reflect the faces of the local community in everyday images circulated around town.And the community has noticed. The photoshoots have landed Montour's grandchildren spots in the community newspaper a few times, which had her then-four-year-old grandson "grinning from ear to ear.""A boost of self-esteem helps because they get their recognition, and at that age they like to see themselves in pictures," Montour says as she smiles and chuckles.It means a lot to her grandchildren for them to see someone that "looks like them" in those images. It also encourages people in the community of all ages to try their hand at modelling, Montour said, since you "don't have to be a model from Toronto to do that." Montour is also well-aware of how few Indigenous people there are in stock images, both in her community and on a national level. She has a friend who's involved in modelling at the professional level, who also has their children involved, and "you could count on one hand how many others looked like them, Indigenous." Montour says those people are "few and far between."
Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk says the province will not meet emission-reduction targets with current climate change plan. Travis Dhanraj has the details.
Years after Ace Powell retired from coaching university football, he's now tackling plans for a warehouse the size of eight football fields on the land behind his country dream home outside the village of North Gower.Powell will appear before the City of Ottawa's agriculture and rural affairs committee Thursday to try to prevent a rezoning that would allow Broccolini to build an e-commerce distribution centre for an unnamed tenant on Roger Stevens Drive at Highway 416. The same company was behind the Amazon warehouse on Highway 417.In the weeks since a community meeting that drew 350 people, Powell has been busy canvassing neighbours to sign a petition. On Monday, Powell and his group delivered it to Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari, signed by 3,745 people asking her to urge the Ministry of Transportation to stall the project."I'm just an old retired guy, and just trying to drive my lawn tractor and enjoy my life, and all of sudden now my world has been turned upside down," Powell said. "I just don't want to be bitter."'The death of the village'When Powell built his home, he was comfortable with the idea that a business park serving the local farming community would soon go up between his property and Highway 416, but he thinks a 700,000-square-foot warehouse will "be the death of the village."His group worries about transport trucks sharing the road with school buses and tractors, not to mention the added traffic created by as many as 1,700 employees getting to and from work. There are also concerns about well water contamination, and constant light pollution.Another resident, James Graham, says this isn't what North Gower had planned for the property."This is really against the vision that we had for a community. This is the only commercial area we have," he said. Councillor calling for changesWarehouses like the one being proposed are supposed to be on 400-series highways, so city staff are recommending council approve the zoning.Coun. Scott Moffatt, who lives in North Gower, doesn't think the village will be ruined. There are many commercial vacancies in the village core, he said. His own children ride school buses that travel Roger Stevens Drive.Moffatt said it could have been worse: the current zoning allows not just farming businesses, but also industrial uses including waste disposal.Moffatt thinks the best strategy is for residents to work with him to convince Broccolini to reduce the height of the building and widen its buffers with neighbours."The second I set aside all collaboration and say, 'No. I'm opposed to this. I stand against it,' then what goes forward is the exact thing [residents] don't want," Moffatt said.If the warehouse zoning is approved by committee Thursday, the project will head to council six days later, on Dec. 11.Meanwhile, Ghamari said she plans to present the petition at Queen's Park next week.Ghamari said she's met with both residents and Broccolini, and hopes to take part in the next planning approval stage. She said she's also looking into whether the Ministry of Transportation, which she says controls a portion of the site, might play a role in the discussions.
It appears a grinch has visited a New Brunswick village — and stolen a $60,000 generator.A new commercial generator providing backup power for the Village of Port Elgin's water system was stolen late Friday night or early Saturday.Port Elgin Mayor Judy Scott said the generator was in place when maintenance personnel tested the water Friday morning. The robbery occurred between 11 p.m. and about midnight, Scott said in a news release from the village. "This is a huge loss for a small village of only 425 people," she said.Jan Legere, a village councillor, said the generator is normally located down a road leading to a well and past a chained gate.The town installed the backup generator in June so that if the power went out, the generator would continue to pump water into the water tower. Without the generator, Legere said, the water in the tower would likely only last two days if the power went out."It's just not right that someone would take something like this from a small place that needs it," Legere said in an interview with Maritime Noon."Like most rural communities … you don't really have very much money to work with."The generator weighs between 5,000 and 6,000 pounds and would have taken a great deal of effort to move, Legere said.She can't recall a time when anything so large and significant was stolen from the village."It seems like something that would happen in New York City, not in the village of Port Elgin."RCMP in Sackville are investigating. Anyone with information can call the RCMP at 506-533-5151 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-4877.
The Town of Banff is asking residents what they think about the possible introduction of paid parking to reduce congestion in the mountain community. Visitors and residents could be asked to pay $3 per hour for certain spaces during peak times. Also on the table is a residential parking pass, proposed at $50 per year.Mayor Karen Sorensen says she wouldn't consider it double-dipping if visitors pay to enter the national park and then potentially have to pay for parking."I think a lot of people presume because we're a municipality in a national park, as is Jasper, that somehow we get special or more federal funding than another municipality might — absolutely not true," she said."And all of the money collected at Banff National Park gate goes to the federal government to reinvest into Banff National Park."Alanna Pettigrew with Banff Residents Against Paid Parking thinks a bolder approach is needed."It's time to say Banff is full. And that would probably alleviate a lot of the congestion," she said.The town will continue to collect feedback over the coming months.
The Province of Nova Scotia has awarded medals of bravery to two young people who last year "risked their life protecting the life or property of others."Sophia LeBlanc of Amherst and Elijah Watts of Port Hood were honoured Wednesday during a ceremony in Halifax. At eight years old, Sophia LeBlanc is the youngest person to be recognized in the 12-year history of the Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery.In November 2018, her mother, Candice Hicks, lost control of the family van, which then plunged into a river near the community of Oxford and landed upside down. Sophia, who was then six, was able to free herself from her seatbelt, but her younger brother and sister were not.Hicks, who was seriously injured, pleaded with her daughter to climb a steep embankment to get help. She did and a passerby managed to free everyone and notify authorities.In May 2018, Watts was on his dad's fishing boat when it capsized. He tried but was unable to save his father, Hugh Watts, and crew member Glen MacDonald.Watts, 19, sat silently through much of Wednesday's ceremony while members of his family frequently wiped tears from their eyes.Sophia, who was recognized earlier this year by the RCMP, plans to keep her provincial award close by."I'm going to put it in my room where I can always see it," she told reporters after the ceremony.Her mother said the attention has helped her family recover from the shock of the accident."It was so shocking to us and just to turn a negative into a positive for her, it's really helped a lot," Hicks said.The chair of the Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery advisory committee, Richard Petley-Jones, praised the award winners in a short speech."You are true heroes," he said. "Your friends and family are proud of you."Your communities are proud of you. And today all Nova Scotians are proud of you."MORE TOP STORIES
JOHANNESBURG — Former South African archbishop Desmond Tutu has been admitted to a hospital for treatment of what his wife calls a “stubborn infection.”A statement by their joint foundation Wednesday says the 88-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner has been hospitalized several times for a similar condition over the past few years.Tutu has been treated for prostate cancer for years. He rarely makes public appearances. He was seen in September during a visit by Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, with their baby Archie.Tutu was awarded the Nobel in 1984 for his efforts to end the system of white minority rule, or apartheid, and promote racial reconciliation in South Africa. He has lent his moral stature to causes and campaigns around the world over the years.The Associated Press
The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) says it's sorry for the disruption it caused when it called every parent in its system at 12:30 a.m. to let them know its schools were closing Wednesday for a one-day high school teacher strike.Ottawa's English public board, which looks after about 72,000 students, had said in the days before a major education worker strike it would notify parents by email, phone, social media and online as soon as it knew what was happening.That news came through around midnight.At about 12:30 a.m., the OCDSB's automated call went out."All OCDSB elementary and secondary schools will be closed to students and all school bus transportation will be cancelled Wed., Dec. 4, 2019," the message begins, going on to give information about specific programs and extracurriculars.Many who got the message said they didn't appreciate the timing.Others said they appreciated the update.Later this morning, the OCDSB apologized for the disruption, saying it got some backlash."We were aware how important this message was for many families, and wanted to maintain our commitment to notify the community as quickly as possible after OSSTF made its decision known," a spokesperson said in an email."This was an unusual circumstance and we will take the feedback into consideration for future planning."All public schools in Ottawa and all French schools in eastern Ontario are closed because of the one-day strike by Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) members.
A member of Cassidy Bernard's family is feeling hopeful after the father of her young twin daughters was charged with second-degree murder more than a year after her death.The 22-year old mother was found dead in her home in We'koqma'q First Nation in Cape Breton on Oct. 24, 2018. Dwight Austin Isadore, 20, was arrested Monday in the nearby community of Baddeck."A lot of hope, it's filling my soul, because this year has been so difficult. Not only for me, but the rest of my family," said Annie Bernard-Daisley, a We'koqma'q band councillor and Bernard's cousin."The anger, the resentment, the bitterness, the grief, the trauma. I had to put all that aside and refocus and try and put those negative emotions into positive reaction, just so it wouldn't consume me."One year after Bernard's death, Bernard-Daisley organized a rally along the highway outside We'koqma'q First Nation. She was also instrumental in bringing the discussion of missing and murdered Indigenous women to the First Nations Self Government Summit in Halifax in November 2018."It's bittersweet because we know Cassidy won't come back," she said. "But we also know that justice is going to happen, and it's on its way."Bernard was actively involved in her tight-knit community of We'koqma'q First Nation, Bernard-Daisley said, and never missed a community event even after giving birth to twins."She was a speaker of our language. She was proud to be Mi'kmaq. She was proud to be pregnant, and proud to deliver twins, and be the best mommy that she was," she said.Isadore is also facing two counts of abandoning a child.The infant girls were found inside the home at the same time Bernard's body was discovered. They were not directly harmed when their mother was killed, but Bernard-Daisley said the abandonment was harmful in itself."If you were there and you held a five-month old baby, to your chest, inside your shirt, with anything you can find to warm her up," she said. "You saw the look in her eyes, you saw the dent on top of her head, a clear sign and indication of dehydration. Their lips were cracked and dry almost to the point of bleeding ... They were lifeless."I'm not a doctor, I'm not an expert. But when I saw those babies that day, I knew they were probably hours away from dying."The girls are now in the care of Bernard's mother, Bernard-Daisley said, and are "well-loved and well-nurtured."While some expressed their frustrations at the lack of information given to the community during the RCMP's news conference on Tuesday, Bernard-Daisley said she's thankful for the care and time the investigators put in to the case."They worked overtime, they worked with their heart, and that was the most important thing," she said.Even though they're a small community, Bernard-Daisley said the arrest in Bernard's death will carry "tremendous" weight in the discussions around missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across the country."This case has gone nationwide, and it's impact will be felt throughout the nation. There's a lot of joy in that."MORE TOP STORIES
If you don't carry cash, you still have a chance to donate to a Salvation Army Christmas kettle this year.That's because some kettle locations, including one in the Avalon Mall in St. John's, now accept debit as a form of payment."It will be evaluated. We will look at it, and next year, depending on how well this machine does this year, you could see this up at multiple locations in the St. John's area," said Maj. Rene Loveless of the Salvation Army in Newfoundland and Labrador."This may be the way of the future. We're not sure."The Christian charity organization is testing the new feature out at some spots in N.L. as its annual Christmas Kettle campaign — which sees volunteers accept donations for the Salvation Army in public spaces across the province — begins again.The money is dropped into a transparent pot or "kettle" though this year, electronic donations are also an option thanks to debit machines.Although it's a first for St. John's, accepting debit donations has proven to be a success in Happy Valley-Goose Bay."They raised between three and four thousand dollars through using the debit machine last year," said Loveless. There are three donation kettles in the area, with volunteers now welcoming digital payment for a second year.Marystown and Bay Roberts are testing out the machines for their first time. Many people are coming up to the kettle and they're saying, 'I got no cash in my pocket, I wish you people had tap.' \- Gerald FifieldLoveless says that every location is welcome to use a machine, but that many are passing on the idea. In the 15 kettles across St. John's, the Avalon Mall is so far the only one to accept anything other than cash."It's a time when many people don't carry cash anymore. But having said that, the kettle campaign has been very successful over the years just depending on cash donations. But having this option, we believe, might make the campaign even more successful," he said.They'll need that success if they're to meet this year's donation target."Our target this year, for the province, is to raise $720,000. We do believe it's possible, but only with the generosity of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."A cashless societyIn Corner Brook, the target is $75,000. So far, they've only raised a little over $24,000 — and Maj. Frank Pittman says having a debit machine could improve the state of things."I think it's certainly dropped a little bit over the years, and that's something that we're looking at... trying to figure out how we can add the debit machine to the Christmas kettles," he said."Our aim is for next year to have at least one trial and see how that works."Gerald Fifield, the kettle co-ordinator in the area, said he understands the dilemma."Many people are coming up to the kettle and they're saying, 'I got no cash in my pocket, I wish you people had tap,'" he said."I'm guilty too. I don't carry very much cash in my pockets."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador