Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.Police ID suspects in CRA phone scamYou've probably had the call: An automated message threatens you with arrest over unpaid taxes owed to Canada Revenue Agency. Now the RCMP says it is tracking suspects in Canada and India as part of a "national priority investigation" into the scam. In 2018, CBC's Marketplace identified the location of one major criminal enterprise behind the harassing calls.Airbnb shuts down top host amid scathing reviewsEver come across a fishy listing on Airbnb? After a CBC News investigation found a top host listing the same properties under different names, boosting ratings and misleading guests, the company shut down the account and others linked to it. Watch this if you need to fight back against bad hosts and other Airbnb complaints.How risky are microplastics in drinking water?There's more research needed, but the World Health Organization says the risk of microplastics found in water to human health is low. The biggest overall health threat in water is from microbial pathogens — including those from human and livestock waste. Our investigation from last year asked a lab to test five of the top-selling brands of bottled water in Canada, and microplastics were found in all of them.WestJet faces inquiry after couple gets bumpedChelsea Williamson and Sean Fitzpatrick were bumped off a WestJet flight last month, and now the airline is at the centre of a federal inquiry. The Canadian Transportation Agency is looking at whether WestJet policies align with new air passenger protection regulations. Ontario cottagers brace for jump in electricity costsOntario cottage owners are in for a shock this fall as electricity rates for seasonal customers are set to rise by as much as 129 per cent. The Ontario Energy Board tasked Hydro One with developing a billing model that would eliminate the class under which most seasonal customers have their hydro fees assessed.Bell scales back rural internet plansBell Canada says roughly 200,000 households will be cut from a rural internet expansion program after a federal regulator lowered wholesale broadband prices that major telecom companies can charge smaller internet providers. Rogers said it was reviewing all future investment in rural and remote communities.What else is going on?The latest in recallsCanada's noisiest restaurants: Take our surveyWe want to hear about Canada's noisiest restaurants, and we need your help. Take our brief survey here.Are you the ultimate bargain hunter? Marketplace is looking for families or friends who are about to plan a vacation together. Do you know how to spot extra charges or hidden fees? Do you think you are a good negotiator? Perhaps you have what it takes to compete against other Canadians on Marketplace's vacation challenge. If you want to show our producers how you can beat the fees and get the best vacation deal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you shop online?Ever buy a brand-name product online and believe you may have ended up with a fake? If so, we want to hear from you. Reach out to email@example.com. What should we investigate next?Our television season has wrapped, but you can catch up on previous Marketplace investigations on CBC Gem. From scams and misleading marketing claims to products and services that could put your health at risk, we are working on bringing you brand-new investigations this fall. If you have a story you think we should be covering, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday warned the Israeli army stationed along the border with Lebanon that his movement was preparing an imminent response to two Israeli drones which crashed overnight in a suburb of Beirut. Nasrallah, whose Iran-backed movement fought a one-month war with Israel in 2006, issued the toughest warnings to his enemy in years. "We are in a new stage," Nasrallah said in a televised speech, referring to the group's long enmity with Israel.
OTTAWA — A new book arriving on the eve of the federal election campaign is offering policy geeks a comprehensive take on whether Justin Trudeau lived up to his 2015 vows.At the heart of the 237-page publication — the product of work from two dozen Canadian academics — is an analysis of 353 Liberal pre-election promises and an evaluation of how many have actually been fulfilled since Trudeau's team took office.In short, the experts found that by March of this year Trudeau's government had entirely followed through on about 50 per cent of its pledges, partially delivered on about 40 per cent and had broken roughly 10 per cent.The authors say the book — which also features a deep plunge into the weeds of about a dozen key policy areas — will not only interest wonks, like scholars and journalists, but can serve as a primer for all voters ahead of October's election."In an era of 'fake news,' negative advertising campaigns and conventional and social media overload, voters face a daunting challenge in providing a neutral and objective assessment of the past four years under the Liberal government," they write in the book, published by les Presses de l'Universite Laval."This book provides them with tools based on real facts to enlighten their evaluation of Justin Trudeau's government's record."The English edition, titled "Assessing Justin Trudeau's Liberal Government," is scheduled for release Monday. The authors say their mission was to create a non-partisan, transparent source of information about pledge fulfilment.For those looking to keep score, the book also provides a historical dimension. Researchers have retroactively examined pledge fulfilment by federal governments dating back to Brian Mulroney's first majority mandate in 1984.The Trudeau government's result is based on a platform-monitoring tool called the "Polimetre," which is managed by Universite Laval's Centre for Public Policy Analysis. The gauge's latest reading — updated since March — shows the Liberals have entirely fulfilled 53.5 per cent of their 2015 vows, partially lived up to 38.5 per cent and broken eight per cent.The researchers also created a Polimetre for Stephen Harper's last majority government that stretched from 2011 to 2015. The Harper government, they found, completely met 77 per cent of its election pledges, delivered in part on seven per cent and broke 16 per cent of their promises.The Harper Polimetre was the group's first at the federal level — and the Trudeau version was the first to be made into a book.There are two ways to draw a conclusion on Trudeau and Harper's promise-keeping records, said book co-editor Francois Petry, a political science professor from Universite Laval.One is to combine pledges fully met with those partially kept — which gives Trudeau a score of 92 per cent and 85 per cent for the final four years of Harper's run. Or, Petry said, one can simply compare vows fully realized — Trudeau gets 53.5 per cent and Harper 77 per cent.However, not all pledges are created equally, he noted.Trudeau entered the 2015 campaign having made a lot of "transformative" promises, he said, in part because the Liberals wrote their more ambitious pledges while they were a third-place party.In contrast, Harper made a lot of "transactional" promises, which Petry described as those targeted at sub-populations like parents, for instance.The writers also stress that efforts by all governments to deliver on promises often converge with conditions outside their control. Circumstances could include the fulfilment-hampering effects of an economic downturn or a boost from strong growth, which the Liberals have seen in recent years.In the end, however, the researchers found the Trudeau and the last Harper government had the highest rates of follow-through on their campaign promises of any Canadian government over the last 35 years.Overall, governments in Canada have good records when it comes to keeping promises, Petry said. Polls, on the other hand, have long shown that most Canadians think politicians are liars, even though voters have generally done a poor job keeping tabs on party pledges."There is a sort of negative bias in the Canadian population," said Petry, who co-edited the book with Centre for Public Policy Analysis executive director Lisa Birch."We are trying, therefore, to sort of change the view of the public on this particular topic."The book also explores the effectiveness of Liberal policies and decisions over the last four years in a range of areas — from the party's vows to support the middle class, address climate change and deliver on electoral reform.For example, the research notes how the Trudeau government abandoned its 2015 campaign vow to run annual deficits of no more than $10 billion and to balance the books by 2019.It also noted how the Liberals broke their promises to introduce legislation on electoral reform within 18 months of forming government and to end the first-past-the-post voting system.Asked about potential criticism of the research, Petry said the authors make no claims their method is foolproof, nor do they argue the results are as airtight as a controlled lab experiment.He said the Polimetre has been applied to recent provincial governments in Quebec. The group, Petry added, is considering a project that will scrutinize the pledges of Ontario's Doug Ford government.Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press
Montreal's Lysanne Richard overcame limited training to reach the podium in the latest stop of the cliff diving World Series, winning a bronze medal in women's 21-metre on Sunday in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovinia.The mother of three, who missed the FINA world championships earlier this month, scored 284.70 points."I tried to prepare myself as best as I could with a lot of visualization and simulation," said Richard, who was held to two dives per day in training leading up to Sunday's event in order to fully recover from injury. "It's a big mental challenge."The 37-year-old Richard, who sat out the entire 2017 season with a similar neck injury, was satisfied with her first and fourth dives but described the middle two as "below par."Despite the circumstances, she added, "the event went very well for me."Rhiannan Ifflan of Australia remained undefeated this season, capturing her sixth gold medal with 358.05 points. The reigning three-time cliff diving World Series champion has also clinched the season title ahead of the final event Sept. 14 in Bilbao, Spain.Eleanor Townsend of the United States was second with 288.90 points.
Going to the airport, getting picked up from work or trying to get home after a long night on George Street, you've heard this phrase — "Jiffy Caaabs..."However, the famous, twangy greeting will no longer be coming through the phone from taxi dispatcher Rodney "Cocker" Dunn, who started using the salutation 25 years ago. Dunn, also known as the "Jiffy Cabs guy," retired Sunday."The job's been good to me over the years," said Dunn at the start of his final shift Saturday afternoon. "I love talking to people ... I likes a bit of fun."Although you've likely heard his voice, you might not know what he looks like. But that's something Dunn is eager to change. "I am just going out to drive the cab two nights a week and meet the people I spoke to on the phone so many times and meet face-to-face. They tell me their story, and I'll them my story."Staff at Jiffy Cabs believe Dunn has answered about 11.7 million calls over his 39 years in the industry. But they believe it's his attitude that has resonated so well with Newfoundlanders. "He meant so much to people's lives, he was a part of their day," said George Murphy, Jiffy Cabs's business manager."I don't know how he did it, I really don't know. I think it's time for him to take a break."Murphy said Dunn has truly shaped the Jiffy Cabs brand."I think it is engrained here in the province now. It's just part of Newfoundland and Labrador folklore. There is only one "Cocker" Dunn and there is only one way of doing it, and he is it."Family business Dunn was 14 years old when he got his first job dispatching for Radio Cabs. He has since worked at the former Gullivers and Co-Op Taxi before parking it at Jiffy Cabs.His dad drove a taxi for 52 years, like his grandfather before him.Dunn said there really was no conscious decision to become a dispatcher."You had to do something to make money and the opportunity was there. I grew up with eight kids in the family … if you wanted money you had to go out and get it. Work for it."Dunn's younger brother, Jay, has also been working for the company for more than a decade.Outpouring of support Since the company announced Dunn's retirement hundreds of people have sent warm wishes. Murphy said more than 4,000 people called Saturday evening and into Sunday morning as Dunn was wrapping up his last shift."It was astounding," he said. "It was like New Year's all over again."Murphy said Dunn even took a call from as far as Australia, and although he didn't recognize the voice, he recognized the person's address."A floodgate of people calling … wanting to hear him say that one more time," he said. And some even showed up in person, to meet Dunn formally and present gifts. Murphy said Dunn's celebrity status might cause a bit of chaos when he gets back on the road. He's letting clients know now there will be no special requests. "You just got to play the Jiffy Cabs lottery," Murphy said with a chuckle.Good days and bad days Dunn said he laughed a lot during his career, but it wasn't always easy.He recalled a time when a female driver was robbed after a man struck her in the head with a rock. Dunn thought that someone was messing around with her radio but later realized she was looking for help."That wasn't a nice day," he said. Dunn said the job was different every day. He has taken calls from police officers looking for suspects, and frantic passengers looking for their lost belongings. But there was one thing that has always remained the same."As long as the customers get looked after all the time, that is the main thing," he said, with tears in his eyes."The customers are number one."Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Peter Sloly, a former deputy police chief in Toronto, will be Ottawa's new chief of police — and the first black person to lead the Ottawa Police Service.Born in Jamaica, Sloly served with Toronto police for 27 years before resigning in 2016. After his resignation he was hired as a national security consultant for Deloitte.Sloly gained a reputation in Toronto for his commitment to the black community and black issues, according Alok Mukherjee, the former head of that city's police services board.Mukherjee has known Sloly for nearly 15 years, and told CBC News Sunday that Toronto's loss is Ottawa's gain."For me, it is a lifelong regret he didn't get chosen as [Toronto's] chief of police," Mukherjee said.Will be 'innovative'Sloly arrives at a tumultuous time for the Ottawa Police Service, which is struggling with low morale, budget constraints and a strained relationship with both the police union and the city's racialized communities.Mukherjee said Sloly has valuable experience that will help the force deal with its challenges — for instance, fighting internally while with Toronto police to end the practice of random stops, or carding, which disproportionately affects people of colour.He also credited Sloly with bringing in experts to train officers to recognize unconscious bias, and said the former deputy chief believes in bringing officers from different units together in special teams to solve problems.Mukherjee said he believed Sloly, who has a masters degree in business administration, will also be budget conscious in his new role as Ottawa's police chief."He was not an officer who just asked for more resources," Mukherjee said. "He was more interested in finding alternative innovative ways of doing business."More than just 'window dressing'?Ewart Walters, a member of local advocacy group Black Agenda Noir, says the hiring of a black police chief is significant because of the major controversies affecting the force in recent years that have involved race.Walters cited the strip search of a black woman in the cell block in 2008 and the 2016 arrest that led to the death of Abdirahman Abdi as examples.Walters said Sloly may have a good reputation, but he has to prove to citizens and other officers that he's more than "window dressing.""He's a person of colour, but is he also a person of the right mind with the right approach for the community and for police work?" Walters asked."We get the impression that he is that kind of person ... from what we know of him, we expect good things."Union relationshipSloly also inherits a rocky relationship with the local police union, but the president of the Ottawa Police Association, Matt Skof, said he's keeping an open mind.Skof was charged with obstruction of justice by the Ontario Provincial Police after Sloly's predecessor, Charles Bordeleau, asked for an investigation into recordings of Skof making allegations against former police board chairperson Coun. Eli El-Chantiry. Bordeleau retired as chief in May.Skof said it's not uncommon to have new blood brought in to lead a police force, but he finds it unusual that he still hasn't had a conversation with the new chief."There were several individuals who reached out to myself as the head of the association and representing the membership," he said. "I've had several conversations. One was not with Mr. Sloly though."Resigned after controversial speechSloly resigned suddenly from the Toronto Police Service in November 2016, weeks after making a speech that sparked formal complaints from that city's police union.In it, Sloly described a lack of public trust in the police, and criticized the force's ballooning billion-dollar budget. The comments came one year after he was passed over for the Toronto force's top job.In an interview with CBC's Metro Morning at the time, Sloly said he left to take up other opportunities."I'm still in love with policing," he said at the time. "Mostly, I'm really in love — passionately in love — with public service."Before becoming a police officer, Sloly played soccer for Canada's U-20 team.
WINNIPEG — With one party leader getting into trouble over his tropical vacation home and another with past criminal convictions and misogynistic writings, there's a lot of material for a negative Manitoba election campaign.But halfway through the four-week campaign, party advertising has not been overly negative."They might be saving it," says Royce Koop, head of political studies at the University of Manitoba.Long before Progressive Conservative Leader Brian Pallister called the election for Sept. 10, the Opposition New Democrats consistently attacked Pallister over his vacation villa in Costa Rica, where he at one point planned to spend up to two months a year. Pallister also failed to pay a Costa Rica tax on luxury properties until recently because he had not kept his property assessment up to date.Following regular attacks in the legislature, the New Democrats held a fundraising raffle. The winner got a Costa Rica vacation.On the campaign trail, however, the New Democrats have been tightly focused on public services, especially Pallister's ongoing reforms to health care that have seen some hospital emergency departments downgraded.Their one, very marked exception is two recent ads in which actors appear to call Pallister an "ass," although the last two letters are drowned out by traffic noise."We don't want to make it personal about Brian Pallister. We want to make it about what he's done," says Bob Dewar, the NDP's campaign director who also ran the party's efforts in 1999 and 2003 under Gary Doer. Most recently, he directed John Horgan's win in British Columbia.People on doorsteps already know about Pallister's Costa Rica issues, Dewar said. The messaging now is about front-line programs."When (people) sit around their kitchen tables and their living rooms and talk to each other, they're talking about things that matter in their lives. And health care is one of them and we want to make sure we're talking about that."Pallister's Tories have been running some negative ads on Kinew, mainly about a domestic assault charge against him that was stayed by the Crown and an assault conviction for which he has received a record suspension.But the advertising has been small-scale for a party with over $1 million in the bank — five times what the New Democrats have, according to the latest financial filings with Elections Manitoba.The Tories have run professionally produced, positive ads focusing on Pallister's personal history — his rise from poverty and entry into politics. Most of the attacks on Kinew have been low-budget web videos or graphics on a website.The Tories' campaign director, David McLaughlin, hinted that advertising efforts from all parties may be on simmer until later in the campaign, especially with people on summer holidays."In terms of advertising resources and campaign marketing resources, there's clearly, in election campaigns, more propensity to decide in the latter half of the campaign," McLaughlin said."In the context of Mr. Kinew, we haven't been silent on it. It's been out there, but we'll see what's required, as people pay attention and start to ask some questions."Kinew has a lot of potential target material, some of which he was up front about in his 2015 memoir. He was convicted of impaired driving and assaulting a taxi driver — matters for which he has since received record suspensions.But Kinew's book did not include some disturbing facts contained in the court record about the latter conviction — the incident started with Kinew uttering racial epithets at the driver. The book also did not reveal an accusation from a former girlfriend of domestic assault, which was stayed by the Crown several months after she went to police and the charge was laid.There were also misogynistic and homophobic rap lyrics and social media posts Kinew made, including a lyric in which he bragged about slapping women's genitalia and a Twitter post in which he asked if he could catch avian flu from "kissing fat chicks."There can be a risk for the Tories in going too negative and facing a potential backlash from voters, Koop said.But the party may be also be feeling comfortable with their current public support. Polls this year have consistently suggested the Progressive Conservatives have a substantial lead on the NDP, although the race is tight in vote-rich Winnipeg."It might be that the Tories feel from their polling that they don't really need to use (negative advertising) as intensely as they thought they did," Koop said."And the NDP might be finding that it doesn't really help them that much to go after Pallister."Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
MADRID — A mid-air collision between a sightseeing helicopter and a small plane on the Spanish island of Mallorca killed seven people Sunday, authorities said.The victims included three adults and two children on the helicopter and two local men on the light plane, the regional government of Spain's Balearic islands, which include Mallorca, said in a tweet.Local media reported the helicopter was on a sightseeing tour. One of the helicopter victims was Italian, private Spanish news agency Europa Press said.Part of the wreckage from the aircraft landed near houses in a rural area.Authorities have opened an investigation into what happened.Spain's caretaker prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, sent his condolences on Twitter to the victims' families and expressed sadness at the "tragic accident."No further details were immediately available.The Associated Press
A team of cave explorers who discovered Canada's deepest cave in January of 2018, are preparing to return this fall and dive even deeper.The Bisaro Anima cave, located in a remote mountain plateau north of Fernie, in southeastern B.C. has been measured to be 673 metres deep and 5.3 kilometres long, but expedition lead Katherine Graham, from Calgary, says there is farther to go."There's over 830 metres of vertical potential which would be huge," said Graham."Right now it's at 673 metres, and so we could make this significantly deeper, but we don't get to call it deeper until we physically go there and measure it."Watch some of their 2018 exploration here:The entrance to the cave was first found in 2012, by Bisaro Plateau Caves Project leader Jeremy Bruns. However, it wasn't until Graham, Bruns and seven other volunteer team members went on an expedition in January of 2018, that a new record depth was set.The first 650 metres of the cave is within dry passage, said Graham, but then there is a sump, or underground water channel, where she dived last time but had to stop, because some of her gear was damaged."So, I couldn't do that aggressive of a dive," she told Daybreak South's David French. "So this expedition to go back is to just try to get farther in that water."She hopes that the water isn't too deep and they will be able to quickly resurface into another air passage."I mean hopefully [we'll be] walking down a canyon passage down to the resurgence, but I'm sure the cave has other things in store."Inside the caveTo get to the cave's entrance near the tope of Mount. Bisaro, the team will take a helicopter with gear, including camping gear, hundreds of metres of rope, bolts, hammer drills and scuba equipment."We started camping in the cave so that we could keep pushing farther," said Graham. However, there's no toasty campfires keeping them warm."It's like you're living in a refrigerator. It's 100 per cent humidity and it's about 3 degrees Celsius," she said. "It's a very physical activity. So as long as I'm moving I'm warm. But I mean, I can never stop because then you get cold really fast."Last time the team was in the cave in 2018, they left sleeping bags, food and equipment behind. Graham will be returning with an exploration team in October to make sure everything is still in good condition, the two scuba tanks still have air in them and to finish exploring one of the areas they were in before. The team will then return in late November to take on the big expedition deeper into the cave. They chose November because it's less wet and the spring runoff is gone, Graham explained."It's really beautiful in the summer so there's no sense in being underground in the summer," she said."Inside the cave it's going to be three degrees Celsius whether it's 30 degrees outside or whether it's minus 30 degrees outside."
A pop-up shop in west London is helping people fill their social media pages with colourful selfies. The Selfie Factory charges would-be influencers £10 an hour to take photos against a variety of backgrounds. The BBC's Chris Fox visited the store and asked founder Will Bower whether Instagram was about to be flooded with thousands of similar selfies.
The province's law enforcement watchdog is investigating a Sunday morning police-involved shooting in southeast Calgary.Police responded to calls about a man holding a bat and making threats in a mall parking lot around 4:05 a.m., according to a Calgary Police Service statement.Officers went to the mall, which is in the 200 block of Shawville Boulevard S.E., and found a man in his 30s who they believed was armed. The "situation escalated" and an officer shot the man, the force says.The man was not killed."After the shooting, the man failed to comply with demands and additional force was necessary to take him into custody and provide required medical attention," the statement reads.Once in custody, the man was transported to hospital to be treated for his injuries. Police found "a large machete-type knife" at the scene, according to the release.Officer placed on leaveAlberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) announced on Twitter at 10:42 a.m. that it has opened an investigation in connection to the shooting. ASIRT investigates serious incidents involving Alberta police.Police issued a public warning early Sunday, asking people to avoid the area. Officials closed off Shawville Boulevard to southbound traffic between 162 Avenue to Shawville Link until 7:30 a.m.The officer who fired the shot is an 11-year member and is now on 30-day administrative leave.ASIRT has not returned a request for comment.Police were still on scene at the mall mid Sunday afternoon.
Two years after over half a million Rohingya refuges fled their homes to escape violence in Myanmar, an Ottawa Red Cross worker says the situation in the refugee camps in Bangladesh remains dire.This weekend marks two years since hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar in what the the UN called a military-led campaign of violence and genocidal intent. The Rohingya Human Rights Network is planning a rally against the violence for "Rohingya Genocide Remembrance Day" on Parliament Hill at 2 p.m. Sunday.Ottawa aid worker Norine Naguib said some of the more than 700,000 people who fled are still in the city of Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. Without a promise of citizenship and safety in their home country, most of the refugees are too afraid to return. "They are coping but still dependent on humanitarian aid," Naguib told CBC Ottawa's In Town and Out. "What concerns them most, when the more urgent issues are addressed, is their future. What does the future hold?"Speaking from Bangladesh, Naguib said the camps have come a long way. Roads and stairways have been built, she said, but it remains "sad" and "jarring" because of the sense of permanence that exists.Her team with Red Cross provides primary health services and coordinates community centre activities and community outreach programs, Naguib said."The ideal situation is that they are able to return home safely," she said. "We have to keep these people in our minds and our hearts, and it's a sad normalcy for them now [but] the services we provide are really truly critical."Canada's House of Commons unanimously condemned the acts of the Myanmar military against Rohingya Muslims as an act of genocide last September.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Rock is honeymooning at a Disney convention.Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson got married last weekend in Hawaii to longtime partner Lauren Hashian — and then spent Saturday promoting "Jungle Cruise" at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California.He says his new wife didn't mind."She loved it because she knows D23— as she knows — is named after me. Dwayne. That's where the D comes from," Johnson joked on a red carpet at the convention. "We had a great wedding. Yes. It was really beautiful."Johnson partnered with Emily Blunt to make the movie based on the Disneyland ride, set to be released next year.Blunt said her favourite moment making the film came during a comedic bit with Johnson while escaping an "Amazonian tribe.""The dialogue that happens and the comedy that happened in that — we could not make it through a take without laughing. So I have such a fond memory of it. It was like agony to try and get through the scene," Blunt said.Johnson added: "It gave me so much joy to make her laugh so hard that the takes were ruined.""Jungle Cruise," directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and also starring Paul Giamatti and Jack Whitehall is to be released next summer.Ryan Pearson, The Associated Press
Rainbow flags, colourful outfits and messages of love were on vivid display Sunday afternoon in downtown Ottawa for the annual Capital Pride parade.Mayor Jim Watson took part in the celebrations this year for the first time as an openly gay man, after revealing his sexual orientation last week in an op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen."This has a little more meaning for me personally. I'm really excited about it," Watson said Sunday."I'm very, very proud to be here today as an openly gay mayor and person." This Pride festival began on Aug. 18 and ended with Sunday's parade. Representatives from 190 groups — including community associations, businesses and political parties — took part in the parade this year.Organizers said it was largest Pride parade in Ottawa to date, with more than 100,000 people expected to be part of the final weekend's festivities.Feds announce funding for Capital Pride Before the parade got underway, the federal government made a funding announcement at a news conference attended by Watson and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, the MP for Ottawa Centre.They pledged up to $200,000 to Capital Pride, which will be used toward new events and programs to encourage LGBTQ tourism in Ottawa.Davy Sabourin, the chair of Capital Pride, said the money will be a big help."It's really going to allow us to grow as a festival, tap into new tourism markets, reach people, you know, outside of Ottawa as well," he said.Sabourin said some of the money will be used for Ottawa's new Winter Pride festival, which made its debut earlier this year, and to expand the footprint of next year's Pride week.
Drums and singing rang out in Lennox Island, P.E.I., keeping the rhythm for dancers in their traditional regalia. Hundreds of people from Atlantic Canada and beyond visited the community this weekend for its 19th annual powwow — a gathering to share traditions, food and song. Amid the traditional Mi'kmaw performances, a non-Indigenous singer took the mic to share her own song. P.E.I. singer/songwriter Tara MacLean sang about reconciliation from a settler's perspective."The first line of the song is, 'I was born on stolen land.' And I feel like that's a really important wake-up call for us," said MacLean, who wrote the song, in collaboration with Mi'kmaw writers, after attending the powwow in 2018.'A lot of healing to be done'MacLean has been involved with Indigenous issues for many years. She says her passion started when she joined activists fighting to protect Indigenous land in British Columbia in the early 1990s. "I realized then that there were unjust laws that needed to be changed," she said. "And here on Prince Edward Island, there's still a lot of division, and there's a lot of healing to be done here."She decided she wanted to use her public profile to bring attention to Indigenous issues, and she wrote her song, called Beneath the Path of Crows, at the request of Sen. Brian Francis, former chief of Abegweit First Nation. "The overall message of this song is that there is healing that can be done here. And because so much wrong has been done, it's up to us now to do this work," MacLean said. Sharing heritage with broader communityLennox Island Chief Darlene Bernard said a performance like MacLean's at the powwow was a first for the community, but she is honoured that MacLean wrote the song. "If we can all share those same goals, then I open my arms to anybody that wants to come and talk to us and share their songs." Bernard said the powwows attract many different people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and she hopes more people will visit the community to learn about Mi'kmaw heritage. More P.E.I. news
Two years ago, Jenni Lee, the founder of Community Thrift and Vintage in downtown Vancouver, made a resolution to attempt to only buy second-hand clothing."Working in this second-hand clothing industry has really shown me that there is no need for anyone to buy new clothing," Lee told Stephen Quinn, host of The Early Edition."There's so much extra clothing that is just basically going into landfills. So if we all stopped buying new clothing I think that the world would be a better place for about five years."Clothing waste affects the environment, she said. Most textile waste that is not donated to second-hand stores ends up in landfills where it releases greenhouse gases and leak toxins and dyes into soil and water in that area.Lee says clothing has become increasingly disposable. People buy too much new clothing or throw out too much because fashion trends are cycling through at a faster rate than before."It seems like the life cycle of a trend now is four weeks. So somebody will buy an item, wear it for four weeks, then they're sick of it."Have fun with itKids can burn through clothes fast, says Lee. In addition to thrift and vintage stores, she recommends parents try online marketplaces and resale groups. Before heading out for those back-to-school outfit necessities, set a budget and a time cap for how long your family can spend on shopping. If back-to-school thrift shopping is not something you've ever done with your family, have some fun with it."You can make a fun game of it ... like, let's see what we can all find in in half an hour. Who can find the cutest T-shirt in half an hour?" Lee said.But how best to sift though the mountain of clothing at thrift shops?"You can really get value from second-hand clothing by finding things in silk, wool or linen," Lee said. Some consignment and vintage stores can be too expensive for the average family."I really think that there is a second-hand store for everybody, from just straight up thrift like Value Village and Salvation Army ... up to the super fashionable vintage shops in Vancouver."Listen to the full story here:
For Haida artist Robert Davidson, the idea of carving a totem pole was his grand, loving gesture to his grandparents' generation to allow them to celebrate in the old ways they knew one more time. Except, he says, the then-22-year-old artist didn't know exactly what he was doing. It was 1969 and no one had raised a pole for almost a century. Many of the giant cedar poles that were common across Haida Gwaii had been purposely felled after Christian missionaries deemed them sinful pagan idols, or by assimilationist government policies which allowed collectors, ethnologists and other officials to remove poles under the guise of preservation and study.Davidson, who went on to become an internationally renowned visual artist, carver and jeweller, had little idea his project would spark a community revival. Since that original totem raising, there have been many other totem poles carved and raised by the Haida, and other Indigenous communities across the northwest coast. A family affair"I wasn't really exposed to cultural events, cultural singing, dancing, because we were muted," said Davidson, 72, recalling the events of 50 years ago. "The inspiration came from my relationship with my elders."Once Davidson made the commitment to carve and raise the pole, it became a family affair.His father walked in the forest on Haida Gwaii for two weeks looking for a suitable log. His grandparents hosted elders at their house in the village of Masset to talk about all the right protocols around carving the pole."They had several meetings, and it was all in Haida. I don't speak Haida so I [would] have to sit with my uncle who translated for me," he said. And it was alongside his brother Reg, who was 14 at the time, that Davidson spent three-and-half months, six days a week, carving the pole."[Reg had] never carved before, but he was there with me throughout the whole project," Davidson said.The two brothers carved the pole near their parents' house in Masset. When it came to deciding where the pole would sit, the community settled on a space in front of a church."There was no real neutral ground we could think of, so that became the place for the pole to be raised right," he said. Davidson said more than 1,000 people came from from out of town, from Masset, Skidegate and even Hydaberg to see the pole raising ceremony on Aug. 22, 1969.A construction crew working nearby offered their crane to hoist the pole, but Davidson said the elders refused. The pole would be raised the traditional Haida way. There were some challenges — for example, there were very few ceremonial pieces left in the community. "We were absolutely void of any ceremonial masks ... [so] a lot of the elders had paper headpieces," he said, recalling his grandmother fashioned one for his cousin using a brown paper bag. But once the pole was raised, he said, there was spontaneous singing and dancing, reviving dormant songs and dances long-buried. "It was really a reawakening for me," Davidson said. "It was there — but the totem pole gave reason for it to come back out."We were back."Davidson and his totem pole project was the subject of a short National Film Board documentary in 1970. In honour of the 50th anniversary, Haida filmmaker Christopher Auchter has released a new documentary about Davidson's project, called Now is the Time. The film is set to premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.Listen to the segment on CBC's Radio West:
An Alberta associate minister is facing criticism for tweeting, then deleting, a quote attributed to a prominent figure from Nazi Germany.MLA Grant Hunter, the province's associate minister of red tape reduction, sent out the tweet on Saturday.It read: "Wernher von Braun said, 'To conquer the universe you'd have to solve two problems: gravity and red tape.' We've made it clear that we are committed to reducing red tape in Alberta. Lots more to come..."The quote came from an opinion piece linked by Hunter in his tweet.That op-ed, written by news manager of the Corus Edmonton group of radio stations Bob Layton, was still live on the Global News website as of Saturday evening — the article had been edited to remove the quote around 7 p.m.An editor's note at the top of the article read: "This editorial has been updated to remove a quotation which lacked context and clarity. Its inclusion may have unintentionally offended some readers."An embedded video of Layton reading the quote aloud had also been removed.Hunter's tweet was posted at 1 p.m. Saturday, and deleted approximately an hour later. He then reposted a link to the article, minus the quote from von Braun.Hunter's press secretary said Saturday the minister would be unavailable for an interview, and declined to send a comment, instead suggesting CBC News contact Global/CHED/Corus. A Corus spokesperson said the quote has been removed from the article as it lacked context and clarity, and that the company does "understand that its inclusion may have unintentionally offended some readers.""It was an unnecessary quote," said Bernie Farber, chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and former CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress."He's at best a controversial figure. He is for sure a Nazi and … it was silly to quote a man like him. Politicians have to know better," Farber said. "I just think it shows his [Hunter's] thoughtlessness."Von Braun was an aerospace engineer and SS officer who developed the V-2 ballistic missile for the Nazis during the Second World War. The missiles were used in the London Blitz and were built at a concentration camp by prisoners — thousands of whom died at the camp. He's got to be very careful about using language associated with Nazis. \- Lori Williams, political scientistThe former Nazi SS officer later came to the United States, where he used his expertise to become a central player in the development of the U.S. space program.Von Braun is seen by some as "not a 'real' Nazi … many critics and many survivors of the Mittelbau-Dora Concentration Camp, on the other hand, see him as an unprincipled opportunist or even a convinced Nazi who was directly responsible for the deaths of 20,000 prisoners," according to an article published in the academic journal German Studies Review.Farber, whose organization monitors hate groups, said he doesn't think people's concerns about the quote's use are being overblown. It would have been easy to quote a Canadian economist or another figure on the topic of red tape, he said. "I just think [Hunter] should acknowledge he should have made a better choice in terms of who to quote and apologize," Farber said. "That's always the way forward out of things like this to acknowledge your mistake and move forward."Lori Williams, a political scientist with Mount Royal University, said in the age of social media, it's important to be careful about sharing a quote unless you know the source."To simply repeat a quotation without naming the source might look a little bit less problematic. But to actually say the name of a Nazi officer and then quote it, highly problematic."Williams said the tweeted quote may be viewed against the backdrop of other comments Hunter has made."And it would be a little bit different had it not been that he … made comments about the superior stock about the people in his constituency, and actually used the word Aryan, misspelled it," Williams said, referring to a 2010 letter to the editor Hunter submitted to the Cardston Temple City Star."He's got to be very careful about using language associated with Nazis."Controversial commentsThe Taber-Warner MLA is no stranger to controversy.In 2016 Hunter was one of eight then-Wildrose MLAs who signed a column comparing the carbon tax to the genocide of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s. The party later apologized.In 2018, he apologized after comparing the NDP's 2015 election victory to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed more than 200,000 people, the Taber Times reported.Williams said his accumulated comments could pose a political problem."If you put together an accumulation of these kind of remarks, failed policies, broken promises, some of the scandals that have been associated with the leadership campaign, all that stuff put together could accumulate into something that could be much more problematic in the next election," Williams said."If it happens again, I think the party is going to have to look carefully at whether they want to continue to have him represent them because it could start to blow back on the party."The United Conservative Party has not responded to a request for comment.
Lucas Hygate crawls around Beaconsfield's Angell Woods on his hands and knees, sifting through the litter that covers the ground.It's part of an initiative he calls Trash Talk, with the goal to get people out in the West Island to clean up litter and then transform it into art."We want to bridge the gap between environmentalism and pop culture," said Hygate."We want to make cleaning up fun for everyone involved."A group of volunteers have so far focused their efforts in Angell Woods, an area, they say, which is littered with trash.Rusted out Coke cans from the 1970s, broken glass and plastic bags cover the forest floor."Hundreds of people walk through [Angell Woods] every day and don't realize how much garbage is actually here," said Trash Talk volunteer Malcolm Adamson."[People] put it at the back of their minds. They know it's filthy but don't know how filthy it actually is."On one of their clean-up sessions, the volunteers managed to clean up 1,250 pounds of garbage from a small section of the forest. About 700 pounds of the trash was made up of broken glass.One man's trash…So, what is Trash Talk's plan for all that garbage?"What we're going to be doing at our clean-ups eventually is creating a sculpture, directly on the site," said Hygate."These are going to be sculptures that are going to be built with an individual's trash, a citizen of the West Island's trash."Hygate said he was inspired to start Trash Talk by similar initiatives he saw online.The initiative has garnered support from Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle."The importance of the trash cleanup undertaken by these young men goes far beyond the local community," he said at the latest council meeting."Much like they have inspired me and our council as a whole, I am confident they will inspire others to follow their lead. Our planet urgently needs more eco-warriors like them."Hygate says that while Trash Talk may be small, its impact could be huge if everyone did the same."In order to start a wide-scale change, you need to start somewhere," he said.
A Saint John drone pilot is pursuing a complaint with Transport Canada after his unmanned aircraft was almost hit by a helicopter this month in the sky above a crowd of hundreds of people and boats in Belleisle Bay."There was a near disaster," said Jim Turnbull of 12 O'Clock High Drone Services.Turnbull said he had been hired by the Bruce family to shoot still photos and high-definition video of Lestock, a fundraiser for the Leslie E. Bruce Environmental Scholarship at the University of New Brunswick."That fundraising event was for a great cause, and the day almost ended really early, too early, just because of some irresponsible activity."Following the rulesUsually pilots of traditional aircraft are the ones complaining about drones."But here's a situation … where the drone pilot did everything possible correctly, professionally and by the book."Yet, there was still a near miss that "could have been a catastrophe," said Turnbull. Ten days earlier, Turnbull and his business partner had applied for and received a special flight operations certificate, he said, to fly over the event on Glenwood Wharf Road, near Caton Island, between noon and dusk on Aug. 3."We were pretty confident that we had that airspace booked." Turnbull said they arrived at about 1 p.m., checked the site and weather and cordoned off a launch pad and landing area. He was about five minutes into his first flight, gathering still shots above the wharf, when his spotter saw a helicopter approaching "fast and low" from the north-northwest. "It was shocking," said Turnbull.He never expected to see a helicopter, or any other aircraft, in the area because his drone flight plans should have been posted in the notice system run by Nav Canada. All pilots are supposed to check notices to pilots called "NOTAMs" before taking off. And if the helicopter pilot had seen it, he should have avoided the area."The whole purpose of the special flight operation certificate is to remove such hazards," Turnbull said.Seconds to make decisionBut there was the helicopter, said Turnbull, at tree-top level, about 60 metres above the water. He said it was a blue Bell JetRanger with white trim."I had seconds to decide what my options were going to be."He briefly considered trying to descend or climb but hoped if he stayed put, the helicopter would pass beneath him. It did.Turnbull estimated that a collision was missed by a mere 75 to 80 feet or about 22 to 24 metres. "If he had … hit my drone, what we're talking about here is ... the equivalent of somebody dropping a brick off an overpass and hitting a car."It would have taken out the windshield, said Turnbull, and the pilot wouldn't have had time to react before crashing into the crowd. Turnbull is convinced the helicopter pilot was oblivious to the danger.Returned again"He turned around, did another 360, went over the crowd and then came back again out of the north," he said, this time passing over the drone, by 140 to 150 feet, or about 42 to 45 metres.Turnbull is still disturbed by what might have happened."Am I pretty shaken by it still? Sure, no question. "I just want that pilot to sort of sharpen up."But according to Canadian Aviation rules, even though Turnbull had notified authorities about his drone flight plans and received permission to be there, it was still up to him to get out of the helicopter's way."Drone pilots are responsible for being aware of other traffic and must yield to other aircraft," said Alexandre Desjardins, a senior communications adviser with Transport Canada.The rules also say that helicopters are supposed to stay at least 1,000 feet (about 304 metres) above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 2,000 feet (about 609 metres). Helicopter flew under droneAccording to Turnbull, his drone was at a height of about 280 or 300 feet when the helicopter flew beneath it.Non-commercial pilots who have been caught flying too low or recklessly have been fined between $750 and $7,500, according to recent enforcement notifications on Transport Canada's website.The department's Atlantic region enforcement unit is "in the compliance verification stage," with respect to Turnbull's complaint, Desjardins said in an email."If warranted, an investigation will be carried out," he said, adding the department wouldn't speculate on a timeline.Turnbull said he was interviewed by a Transport Canada investigator on Tuesday.
A 46-year-old Toronto man was shot and killed early Sunday morning in an industrial area in North York, police say, prompting a homicide investigation.Toronto police were called to 172 Toryork Drive, near Finch Avenue West and Weston Road, just after 5 a.m., said Duty Insp. Norm Proctor.A man was found outside with a single gunshot wound and pronounced dead on scene, Det. Terry Browne told media later Sunday. Browne says approximately 100 people were around the area for an after-hours party in a nearby plaza when the shooting happened, but there were no witnesses on scene when police arrived.Although police haven't confirmed why the victim was in the area, Browne says it's likely the man was "in, around, or in the general area of the party." Browne said it appears the victim was just a regular civilian out for an evening of socializing. Compared to the amount of people in the area, he says it's "extremely disturbing" that more people haven't come forward with information."The number of calls received is both disappointing and ridiculous," Browne said. Police continue to appeal to anyone with information to come forward.
OTTAWA — A group of two dozen Canadian academics took a deep dive into the promises and policies of the Trudeau government as part of a new book that examines the prime minister's pledge-fulfilment record since the Liberals won power in 2015.The researchers' efforts explore more than 10 key policy areas from the Liberals' election vows four years ago. Here's a sampling of their conclusions:Support for the middle classThe book says the Canadian economy has expanded and the jobless rate has fallen to near-historic lows since the start of the Liberal mandate. But it points out that average real weekly earnings for middle-class jobs slipped 0.2 per cent over that period. For all occupations, the research found 1.1 per cent growth overall with increases of 0.2 per cent for the bottom earners and 0.7 per cent for higher earners. "These results show that the Liberal party is right in targeting the middle class, but it has not yet succeeded in curbing the economic forces that place this segment of the population in a difficult position in the current economic context," the book said.Indigenous peoplesThe book concludes that when it comes to the federal relationship with Indigenous Peoples, the Liberals' ambitions exceeded achievements. The researchers called the Liberal plan "bold agenda" for this policy area and categorized the promises assessed in the book in two distinct areas: reinvestment in services, and renewing the relationship. "Despite the goodwill to implement the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, it is difficult to imagine that in a four-year term it would be possible to revolutionize a 150-year-old system that is fundamentally colonial," the book said.Health policyThe authors of the chapter on health policy found that, in general, the Liberal government's actions showed a return to a more-interventionist approach in this policy area. The Trudeau government, they wrote, sought to expand the scope of the Canada Health Act to include home care, mental health and pharmacare. The Liberals also focused on harmonized, national performance indicators as part of its commitment to produce results.The Canadian Press
The problem of incivility in the workplace isn't just about grand displays of disrespect, says an industrial psychologist.Incivility can also be as simple as where you place exclamation marks in an email.Psychologist Shelley Parker offers this example: "Should we discuss today's meeting?!?!" Parker, who works with companies on reducing workplace incivility, said carelessly worded emails and conversations can cause anxiety and hurt employees' mental health."The individual who is receiving the information either verbally or by email, basically they're left questioning, 'What did I just hear or what did I just read? Is that meant to be a slam at me, or am I just over-reading something?'"So it's one of those insidious, little, subtle messages [that] kind of niggles away at you as you think about it, and it doesn't leave you with a good feeling."YikesParker shared a couple of examples of bad workplace emails with Information Morning Fredericton.In one exchange, someone asks for information on a topic, and the respondent then spends time crafting a detailed response only to receive this email in return: "Thanks. Never mind. I'll ask someone else."Parker has also seen people sending emails that ask for something time-consuming close to quitting time.She cites an email received at 4 p.m."I need you to create a few charts before end of day today if you know how. Everyone else is already doing important work and I thought you could handle this. If you need further explanation you must see me A.S.A.P. because I have other important things I have to attend to."Some write rude and disrespectful emails that target one individual but are sent to a group of people.This can make people reluctant to talk to co-workers for fear they may be seen as incompetant.Tips and tricksOther than not acting like a jerk with your co-workers and employees, there are a few things Parker recommends to defuse incivility in the workplace.Parker said that some emails are obviously written to be rude, but the rudeness that comes across in other emails may be harder to interpret."When you receive an email, for example, and you're questioning the tone, the intent, just simply send it back and question the sender," said Parker."Say 'What is it that you're meaning by this? What is your exact message?' And ask for clarification."Misunderstandings can happen, and people can misinterpret an email's tone, but there are still bullies out there working.Being behind a screen can embolden people to just be jerks, she said, which can lead to serious problems for their co-workers. Parker will be speaking Sept. 5 in Fredericton about tools for promoting respect in the workplace. The event at the Delta hotel is sponsored by the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre on Family Violence and is being held during what the provincial government has declared "Respectful Workplace Week" in New Brunswick.
Trouble has been brewing in Witless Bay over property being built across from an ecological reserve for puffins for over a year, and now it's the subject of a documentary. Along with its scenery on the coast of Newfoundland, roughly 30 kilometres south of St. John's, the town has a Puffin Patrol, a service Juergen and Elfie Schau created to rescue lost pufflings – baby puffins – and return them to the reserve. And as filmmaker Beryl Shereshewsky puts it, "There's way more to this story than just saving the puffins." It might seem like it's a small town story, but in reality what's happening there is being echoed everywhere in the world. \- Beryl ShereshewskyThe conflict unfolding between concerned residents of Witless Bay and a family building a structure in the area — combined with the adventures of the Puffin Patrol — attracted Shereshewsky and fellow filmmaker Philip Robibero to travel from New York City to make a documentary about it last August. The Flock was released this week, created for Great Big Story, part of CNN-owned Global Media Company.Battle of Witless BayShereshewsky and Robibero discovered the story of the town's controversy on Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia members of the public can contribute to. "I was reading about the town of Witless Bay and there was a part where there was like, some kind of controversy bar in the page. And it was saying that the town council had recently hired a lawyer to ... intimidate the town, because there's some crazy things going on on social media. So we kind of dove into that," said Robibero. People were pretty open to talking to us, and were really honest on camera. \- Beryl ShereshewskyLorna Yard runs a local news publication in Witless Bay, and is vehemently opposed to the construction of a small house in a location called Ragged Beach, which is across the water from the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, an island chock-full of puffins.Yard, and other concerned citizens, believe that it is environmentally unsafe for development to take place so close to the reserve. The Churchill family, who own the property near Ragged Beach, have told CBC News they feel attacked by Yard and see no issue with their little house. And the filmmakers believe that battle presents themes of climate change that are indicative of a global issue."It might seem like it's a small town story, but in reality what's happening there is being echoed everywhere in the world. You know, human development, where people are living closer to the coast, interactions with animals. How do you create that balance? How do we make sure that everybody is happy?" Shereshewsky said.Word travels fastThe filmmakers said when they arrived in Witless Bay for a week in August 2018, getting puffins on film was a challenge – and they only saw four between their timing and the fog."We were a little unlucky in that most of the puffins had been caught by then," Robibero told the St. John's Morning Show.However, they were lucky when it came to people to interview for their documentary. "Gossip gets around pretty quickly in small towns like Witless Bay. So yeah, it almost seemed like everyone knew who we were within like two days," said Robibero"People were pretty open to talking to us and were really honest on camera," added Shereshewsky.Keeping it impartial was key In a documentary that centres around a heated debate between two sides, the filmmakers said remaining impartial was tough. "We're there to document something that's happening. We're not there to pick a side," said Shereshewsky.The reaction from viewers has been split, and Shereshewsky takes that as a good sign."There have been people that have fallen on both sides, where some people have left the film really kind of believing in Lorna's cause. Then other people have left the film really believing in Anne Marie [Churchill]. For me, that was actually really validating… We don't want our opinions to come through in this edit," she explained.Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
It's not exactly a savoury topic, but outhouse maintenance is a big deal in the backcountry. And in some parts of British Columbia, dealing with human waste costs tens of thousands of dollars. The number of visitors to B.C. nature sites and campgrounds is growing every year, prompting B.C. Parks to look for more eco-friendly and cost-efficient alternatives to the dug-out pit toilets of traditional outhouses. And the technology they're bringing in? Foot pumps and feces-eating worms.The outhouses, which use urine-diversion toilets, work exactly as their name implies: they separate solid waste from fluids. This means less waste needs to be pumped out and disposed of because more than 90 per cent ends up back in the ecosystem. "The mixing of pee and poo is really quite new ecologically. It came about when humans put toilets into cities and castles," said Geoff Hill, director and founder of Toilet Tech Solutions. The Seattle-based company makes the eco-friendly outhouses for parks across North America, including the ones in B.C. The idea was based off a similar model used in Europe. The province has been looking for non-traditional pit toilet alternatives like composting ones for decades, says B.C. Parks, but recently settled on the urine-diverting technology. There are about 20 of these outhouses in the province right now, with the first ones appearing in parks a few years ago. Several more are being built this fall. The number of people camping, boating and taking day trips to B.C. Parks has steadily risen in recent years, rising from just over 25 million in 2016 to more than 26 million visitors last year.Data from 2019 isn't available yet.'Backcountry innovation'Unlike a pit toilet that needs regular maintenance and frequent pump-outs, the new outhouses decompose human waste on-site. "B.C. Parks tends to be a leader for all of North America, they've always been on the edge for backcountry innovation," said Hill. The toilet has a conveyor belt passing under the seat, collecting the waste, which is controlled by a foot pump. Rather than flushing, the user steps on the pump a handful of times until the waste slides out of sight. From there, urine is diverted through a pipe and eventually ends up in the soil. With its high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, it acts as a fertilizer and is absorbed as a nutrient source for plants and microbes.Solid waste is pumped by foot to a chamber where worms and other organisms decompose it — which is known as vermicomposting."Just like every other mammal, every deer and squirrel turd that hits the ground out in great Mother Earth, bugs come up through the soil ... and they start eating the poop," he said. "The whole soil ecosystem, one of its main functions is to consume the detritus — which is plants and animal tissue."The black residue left behind by the bugs and worms, along with things like tampon applicators and other garbage, have to be disposed off separately once every decade or two. Long-term savingsInstalling a new urine-diversion toilet isn't cheap: it costs between $20,000 to $50,000, according to B.C. Parks, compared to $5,000 to $15,000 for a traditional pit toilet. Although the initial cost is higher, B.C. Parks says it saves money over time.A traditional outdoor pit toilet, located within a kilometre or less to a road, costs about $230 a month for routine maintenance, and a single pump-out runs into the hundreds of dollars. For backcountry locations deeper in the woods, which are harder to access and usually require air transport, operating costs are higher still. Flying out waste can cost up to $4,000 and some locations require multiple fly outs per year, according to B.C. Parks. "Over the long term, we are seeing both environmental improvements and operational cost savings," said Tyler Hooper, a public affairs officer with B.C. Parks, in an email.Strathcona Provincial Park has three urine diverting outhouses and is bringing in three more in September, with plans for an additional five in the coming years. Kootenay Lake Park is installing a new one in the fall.