• Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promises tax cut to save average taxpayer hundreds of dollars
    News
    CBC

    Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promises tax cut to save average taxpayer hundreds of dollars

    Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer unveiled a new tax cut plan Sunday that he says will save taxpayers hundreds of dollars a year, a key plank of the Tory platform to make life more affordable.Scheer said, if elected, a Conservative government would cut the tax rate on taxable income under $47,630 to 13.75 per cent from 15 per cent.Based on the party's calculations, the average single taxpayer would save about $444 a year. A two-income couple earning an average salary would save about $850 a year."We're going to deliver a tax cut targeted specifically at taxpayers in the lowest-income tax bracket. This means that every Canadian will see their income taxes go down and those in the lowest tax bracket see the biggest benefit of all," Scheer said at a campaign stop in Surrey, B.C."This means more money to pay the bills, to save up for your kids' education or maybe even finally afford a family vacation," he said.Cut will be phased inThe party said the tax cut will be phased in over the course of a four-year mandate starting with a reduction to 14.5 per cent on Jan. 1, 2021, then to 14 per cent by Jan. 1, 2022 and then to 13.75 per cent on Jan. 1, 2023.Based on Canada Revenue Agency data from 2017, about 34 per cent of country's 27.8 million taxpayers have taxable earnings over $47,630 and thus will be able to claim the maximum benefit of this cut.The other 66 per cent of all tax filers have lower taxable earnings and will see proportionally less of a benefit from the cut.The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), the agency of Parliament that provides independent, non-partisan financial analysis, said the Conservative promise will cost the federal treasury about $14.075 billion in lost revenue between 2020-21 and 2023-24.In subsequent years, the tax cut will mean roughly $6 billion less a year in federal revenue.The costly cut is similar to a major tax change made by the former Conservative government.Under Stephen Harper, the government cut the Goods and Sales Tax (GST) to six per cent in 2006 and then again to five per cent in 2008. According to PBO calculations, the cut cost the federal treasury about $14 billion a year in lost revenue.Still committed to balancing the booksDespite the price of his proposed tax cut, Scheer said he is still committed to balancing the federal budget in a "responsible" timeframe."We're going to get back to balanced budgets while we find ways to lower taxes and put money back in the pockets of Canadians," he said, while adding a Conservative party would not cut social transfers to the provinces for programs like health care and education.While initially promising an accelerated schedule of getting back to fiscal balance in two years, Scheer has since said he will balance the books within five years.The tax cut announced Sunday is not unlike the Liberal government's "middle class tax cut," which was implemented after the last federal election.However, that cut targeted the middle-income bracket — which applies on taxable income between $47,630 and $95,259. The Liberals reduced the rate of that bracket to 20.5 per cent from 22 per cent.Taxpayer's federation likes itThe Canadian Taxpayers Federation, an advocacy group that lobbies for lower taxes and smaller government, praised the Conservative plan Sunday, saying it will deliver "broad-based tax relief.""Affordability is a key issue in this election campaign and leaving billions in the pockets of Canadian taxpayers is a great policy," said Aaron Wudrick, the federal director of the federation. "This income tax cut is exactly what taxpayers need: it would save Canadian families about $850 a year."However, it's not just the first income tax bracket rate that would change with this proposal.The Conservatives have already recalculated their previously announced tax credit proposals — for public transit and maternity and parental leave benefits — to account for the lower overall tax rate that would be in place as a result of this income tax cut.Scheer did not say how it would affect other federal non-refundable tax credits — such as those for volunteer firefighters, search and rescue volunteers, home buyers, people with adoption expenses and for interest on student loans, among other eligible categories — which are all currently based on the lowest tax bracket of 15 per cent.On the affordability theme, Scheer and the Conservatives recently unveiled a campaign ad featuring the party's election slogan: "It's time for you to get ahead."More tax promises comingThe Conservatives are expected to unveil a series of campaign commitments in the same vein as this tax cut. Already, they have promised a non-refundable tax credit on maternity and parental leave Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. They've also vowed to remove the federal GST from sales of home heating fuels.Scheer has also promised to reinstate the federal tax credit for transit passes, which, according to party estimates, would save a family of four transit users in the Greater Toronto Area nearly $1,000 a year.Like his provincial conservative counterparts, Scheer has railed against the federal Liberal government's carbon tax and he has vowed to scrap it if elected. The Liberals maintain the initiative will lower greenhouse gas emissions and will be rebated to most families at tax time.Canada's tax system is a progressive one with graduated brackets, meaning rates vary according to the amount of income you earn — and you pay different rates on different portions of your income.In 2019, the income tax brackets are as follows: * 15 per cent on the first $47,630 of taxable income, plus * 20.5 per cent on the next $47,629 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 47,630 up to $95,259), plus * 26 per cent on the next $52,408 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $95,259 up to $147,667), plus * 29 per cent on the next $62,704 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 147,667 up to $210,371), plus * 33 per cent of taxable income over $210,371

  • North Korea leader Kim invited Trump to Pyongyang in letter: report
    News
    Reuters

    North Korea leader Kim invited Trump to Pyongyang in letter: report

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited U.S. President Donald Trump to visit Pyongyang in a letter sent in August amid stalled denuclearisation talks, a South Korean newspaper reported on Monday, citing diplomatic sources. Kim, in the letter sent in the third week of August, spoke of his "willingness" for a third summit and extended an invitation for Trump to visit the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, the Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing an unidentified source. Trump on Aug. 9 said he had received a "very beautiful letter" from Kim.

  • Vancouver mayor calls on federal leaders to act on overdose crisis
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Vancouver mayor calls on federal leaders to act on overdose crisis

    VANCOUVER — The mayor of Vancouver says the city that opened North America's first supervised injection site following a surge in heroin-related deaths wants all federal party leaders to consider a proposal to allow substance users access to pharmaceutical-grade heroin.Kennedy Stewart is aiming for a Health Canada exemption from federal drug laws so diacetylmorphine, a safe substitute opioid, could be distributed through a non-profit organization to prevent overdose deaths from potentially dangerous drugs laced with fentanyl."We have thousands of addicts in this city and I think the scale of the problem just isn't understood," he said in a recent interview.Stewart said he has had informal talks with three of the four major party leaders: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, the NDP's Jagmeet Singh, and Green Leader Elizabeth May. He has tried to set up a meeting with Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.Insite, a Vancouver facility where people shoot up their own substances under medical supervision, opened in 2003 with an exemption from drug laws by the Liberal government after intense lobbying by health officials, drug users, and local and provincial politicians.The Conservative government led by Stephen Harper vigorously opposed the site, saying it fostered addiction. The Tories fought to shut it down before losing a Supreme Court of Canada battle in 2011.Since then, eight more supervised injection sites have opened in British Columbia. Alberta now has eight sites, Ontario is home to 22 and Quebec has opened four of them, all in Montreal, says Health Canada, which is considering four more applications from Ontario, two from Alberta and one each from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.Scheer's press secretary, Daniel Schow, said the Conservative party does not support safer opioids or decriminalization.“It is tragic that we have failed these Canadians to the point where drug injection sites are often the only focus of discussion instead of a comprehensive approach to addiction," Schow said in a statement.“Drugs such as heroin, crack cocaine, and meth are extremely dangerous substances that tear families apart and have lasting effects on individuals who choose to consume them."Singh said on the second day of the election campaign that people struggling with addiction should get health care for a chronic condition and not be criminalized if their drugs are for personal use."Thousands of Canadians are dying and we've got to do things differently," he said during a stop in Brampton, Ont., adding that mental health issues must also be treated. "We can't continue down the same path. If we want to change the results we've got to change our approach."May also stressed the need to address the opioid crisis as a health-care issue and called for the declaration of a national health emergency."Drug possession should be decriminalized, ensuring people have access to a screened supply and the medical support they need to combat their addiction," she said in a statement.Trudeau has said no to decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use.Data from the BC Coroners Service show that between 2016 and June 2019, over a quarter of the 4,559 overdose deaths in British Columbia occurred in Vancouver, the city hit hardest in Canada by the opioid epidemic. Statistics by the Public Health Agency in June showed 11,577 people died across the country from opioid-related overdoses between June 2016 and December 2018.Stewart said providing a safer supply of drugs to people who are struggling with addiction is an innovative and practical response to the overdose crisis.He said he isn't pursuing decriminalization as an option because it's a toxic drug supply that's killing people."I don't need that kind of massive policy change to reduce overdoses here in the city. What I need is a federal health exemption. That's it," he said.Dr. Keith Ahamad, an addiction specialist at St. Paul's Hospital in downtown Vancouver, wants illegal drugs to be regulated."(Trudeau) has previously used that exact argument for creating a regulatory framework for cannabis in Canada and this is exactly what we need to do for other substances."Decriminalization is also important in reducing stigma against drug users so they don't fear getting help for their addiction and should include education, social supports and treatment through the health-care system, which has made Portugal's decriminalization model a success, Ahamad said."In Canada we have a system right now where the vast majority of addiction care is being provided by unskilled and sometimes lay people. It's not regulated," he said."It's an election issue because currently we are hemorrhaging money into the downstream consequences of bad drug policy and prohibition. Overdoses and overdose deaths and all of the money that we're pouring into all of that right now is really a direct cause of bad drug policy."Donald MacPherson, director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition at B.C.'s Simon Fraser University, said the overdose death toll demands a quick response through a safe supply of drugs that could be distributed through pharmacies, community health clinics and overdose prevention sites."It's great that Conservatives advocate for expanding treatment. So do all the other parties and so do people who advocate for safe supply. You just need it all at this point," said MacPherson, who worked as the first municipal drug policy co-ordinator in North America when he held the post in Vancouver between 2000 and 2009.Regulating illegal drugs would take years if a government was willing bring in legislation but providing safer drugs is critical during the overdose crisis, he said.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.Camille Bains, The Canadian Press

  • Oh my curd: Authentic Quebecois poutine finds a home in Manchester
    News
    CBC

    Oh my curd: Authentic Quebecois poutine finds a home in Manchester

    For some people, the taste of home can come in the form of a treasured family recipe, or a familiar flavour that provides a rush of nostalgia.For Graham and Vincent Bernier, that taste is of fries, gravy and Quebec cheese curds.The married couple, made up of Quebecer Vincent and Brit Graham, had a one time enjoyed poutine to their hearts' content while living in Canada."It was kind of a revelation," said Graham of sampling poutine for the first time, more than a decade ago."You wouldn't think something so simple would be so tasty."But when the couple relocated to the United Kingdom, they found that something was sorely lacking."Every time we visited [Canada] I had as much poutine as possible," said Graham."And returning to the U.K., we couldn't find it anywhere, at least not an authentic version. So we set out on a journey to try and make it ourselves."That's why the two opened Blue Caribou Canteen in Manchester, England.At first, it wasn't easy to find a locally produced cheese that would live up to their expectations."Finding the correct, authentic cheese was the stumbling block," said Graham."Eventually we found a local dairy to help us make the closest, most authentic version you can find in the U.K."He told CBC Montreal's Let's Go that it took two years to get the cheese right, but it was worth it.The Blue Caribou officially opened in 2016.The Berniers recently got a chance to show off their Quebecois cuisine to a wider audience by appearing on the Television show Million Pound Menu — its where restaurateurs compete to impress a set of industry investors with a pop-up shop."It was very exciting to showcase the best Quebec has to offer," said Vincent.Some of their menu offerings include: maple butter on fries that as dusted with bacon salt, poutine with pastrami and pickles, and a vegetarian poutine made with mushroom gravy. The two impressed the panel of judges on the BBC/Netflix show with their food, but didn't end up striking an investment deal.Still, Vincent is proud of the homestyle food they're serving up."We can compete with the best poutine in Montreal," he said.

  • All things vegan and vegetarian at 3rd annual Peterborough VegFest
    Global News

    All things vegan and vegetarian at 3rd annual Peterborough VegFest

    It was all things vegan and vegetarian at Millennium Park in downtown Peterborough on Sunday. Despite the rain, the third annual Peterborough VegFest drew large crowds. Mark Giunta was there and has more.

  • News
    CBC

    Montreal judge accuses SPVM officers of racial and gender profiling

    A Municipal Court judge has accused two Montreal police officers of racial and gender profiling, and dismissed all charges against a Montreal woman who was pulled over in November 2017. "This police intervention has all the appearances of a fishing expedition and of an arbitrary detention motivated by racial or sexual profiling, or both at once," Judge Randall Richmond wrote in his ruling Thursday. In November 2017, Vanessa Anna Baptiste was driving her father's car to Notre Dame Island, heading there to pick him up from the casino, with her male friend riding in the passenger seat. As she drove along Papineau Avenue, she crossed paths with a Montreal police vehicle on the corner of Ste-Catherine Street. She continued northbound, toward the entrance of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, and watched as the police vehicle made a U-Turn and navigated around other cars, until it caught up with hers, court documents said. According to the documents, the police then drove behind Baptiste's car and turned on their sirens about halfway across the bridge, signalling they were pulling her over. As one of the officers approached her vehicle, Baptiste already had her license, registration and proof of insurance in hand, the court ruling states. Baptiste then told the two officers she did nothing wrong and accused them of pulling her over because of the colour of her skin. At this point, the officers removed her from her car and handcuffed her behind her back, the ruling said, with Baptiste's documents and cell phone falling on the car seat in the process. After looking at the documents, the officers dealt her two fines: one for refusing to hand over documents and one for screaming. The officers claimed they had pulled her over because they saw that the woman was driving a vehicle belonging to a man. They later claimed that one of her break lights was also out.The two officers said they could see a woman and a man inside the car and that they were able to look up the vehicle's license plate, but that it was too dark to see the colour of their skin. Judge denounces choice of words In their description of what happened that night, the officers repeatedly described Baptiste as "hysterical" and claimed she "screamed her head off." "The word 'hysterical' is derogatory and suggests that a person is out of control," said Richmond, citing a previous ruling of his. He pointed out that the word "hysterical" comes from the Greek word for uterus. It was used for decades to describe a mental disorder thought to only be suffered by women, but this is no longer recognized in the field of psychology. "Far too often, shouting men are described as loud, and shouting women are dismissed as hysterical," Richmond continued. Richmond did not find the officers' version of events to be credible. He did not find it possible that officers could see the license plate from where they were initially, and did not believe that the officers couldn't see the colour of the driver's skin. Richmond also pointed out that no fines or warnings about a defective brake light were issued to Baptiste and said that detail was only added on later. He went on to say that while Baptiste did scream at officers, she was justified in doing so. Richmond added that protesting an arrest believed to be illegitimate is a right protected by both Canadian and Quebec charters. "A woman driving a vehicle belonging to a man is not a valid motive for interception, and protesting against racial profiling is not an infraction," Richmond concluded.

  • In fashion: Edmonton's second-hand market event draws hundreds
    News
    CBC

    In fashion: Edmonton's second-hand market event draws hundreds

    Edmonton's growing thrift culture was on full display this weekend as hundreds flocked to a second-hand market event which exceeded organizers' expectations. The Wardrobe Exchange, a two-day curated shopping event which wrapped up Saturday at Epcor Tower, drew about 750 shoppers.    The event is an opportunity for local designers and boutiques to move old or returned stock at discounted prices, and for individuals to clear out their personal closets.The first Wardrobe Exchange event took place last spring, drawing over 400 guests. Organizers expected 600 to attend this weekend's public second-hand market which had 60 vendors selling used men's and women's clothing and accessories.  "Shopping from thrift stores and consignment stores is the cool way to shop right now." \- Ryan Sokalski, VendorThe event underscored the growing demand and need for second-hand fashion in Edmonton, organizer and online second-hand shop owner Jennifer McConaghy said. "We want our clothing to be used more circularly within the local community as much as we can," McConaghy said. "Sustainable fashion is really growing and it's important for our environment …  It takes a lot of resources to make jeans for example, so the more we can reuse that's already made, the better, rather than buying it brand new."Vendor Ryan Sokalski said buying second-hand is becoming more popular.  "I honestly think that shopping from thrift stores and consignment stores is the cool way to shop right now," Sokalski said. "There's no stigma against it anymore."Clothes not sold at the event were donated to Goodwill. Organizers plan to hold the exchange again next spring.

  • News
    CBC

    Northern Vancouver Island considering 'hut-to-hut' system for rugged North Coast Trail

    A challenging, but scenic trail in a remote part of Vancouver Island could soon be linked with huts enabling more people to visit the area.The North Coast Trail is 43 kilometres long, runs from Shushartie Bay — north of Port Hardy — to Cape Scott, and is part of Cape Scott Provincial Park.The trail was constructed between 2008 and 2010, says Pat English, economic development manager with Regional District of Mount Waddington.'Gaining attention'"It's fairly new, but it's been gaining a lot of attention," English told Gregor Craigie, host of On the Island. While the trail is becoming more popular each year, it is not an easy one to take on. Those hiking the rugged trek need to be prepared for five to seven days on the trail and exposure to the often stormy conditions on the North Island.In order to open the trail up to a wider range of hikers, English says the district is considering a range of shelter options, including yurts and multi-unit accommodations. "They would provide hikers with a dry, clean place where they can shelter from the elements and spend a much more enjoyable time," he said. To determine the best hut-to-hut system for the trail, the regional district, located on the Queen Charlotte Strait coast of northern Vancouver Island, is asking for public input for an online survey that asks what kinds of amenities and facilities people want.'Expand the experience'English acknowledges that some hikers may be opposed to the hut-to-hut system. "We have heard the hut-to-hut system would detract from the wilderness experience. And that's something we have to look at very closely."He says the system has been well developed in Europe, parts of the Eastern U.S., New Zealand and most recently on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast."There's always purists who quite rightly enjoy the wilderness experience. But we would like to be able to expand the experience to other users as well."English says the district is consulting with First Nations over the hut additions. The survey period ends on October 13. After, the regional district will host an open house community meeting on the North Island about the findings.

  • News
    CBC

    Are we there yet? U.S. company says pressurized tube travel is coming soon

    A company that has been busy shooting people through the Nevada desert in pressurized steel tubes at break-neck speeds says it is getting ready to introduce the public to what it says is the future of transportation technology.Virgin Hyperloop One is testing the first hyperloop system in the world, which is a vacuum tube that can carry pods with up to 28 passengers faster than traditional trains. The mode of travel uses magnetic levitation technology, meaning the pods hover above the steel tube, and test runs have seen passengers move at over 380 kilometres an hour.Diana Zhou, director of project strategy for the company, says there is already interest from governments and regional planning groups around the world to jump on the hyperloop bandwagon.Zhou told The Early Edition host Stephen Quinn that construction on a 120-kilometre tube between the Indian cities Mumbai and Pune could begin in the state of Maharashtra as early as 2020."It's really the only way to move people faster, safer, in a more environmentally-friendly way than we have today," said Zhou. She told Quinn levitation technology reduces track maintenance costs because there is "no friction, no aerodynamic drag," and a controlled operating system means there is no need for drivers, which Zhou says reduces the risk of human error. According to Zhou, the transport mode runs on electricity and requires less infrastructure building than other forms of rapid transit, which she says means less impact on the environment. Zhou said the company first tested its prototype just north of Las Vegas in May 2017 and has been "refining and optimizing for commercial deployment" since then.The technology is here much sooner than you think," said Zhou.To hear the complete interview with Diana Zhou on The Early Edition, click on the audio link below:

  • Black Fox Farm and Distillery celebrates annual pumpkin festival
    News
    CBC

    Black Fox Farm and Distillery celebrates annual pumpkin festival

    Fall is just around the corner, and Black Fox Spirits near Saskatoon is kicking things off with a festival celebrating pumpkins. Black Fox Farm and Distillery, located a few kilometres southwest of Saskatoon, is hosting its annual pumpkin festival. "We absolutely love pumpkins around here, [the festival] is something we've been doing now for seven years," Black Fox owner Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote told CBC Radio."Every year we look forward to planting [pumpkins] and watching them grow, and then even better, when we get to harvest them." The pumpkin festival features family-friendly activities, horse and tractor rides and games like pumpkin hockey. Stefanyshyn-Cote said pumpkin hockey is a skills competition-type event, where players try to hit certain targets with pumpkins.Participants in the free activities who win get a free pumpkin. Pumpkin soup, pie and donuts will also be available.  Stefanyshyn-Cote and her husband are third generation farmers. She said she didn't grow up around pumpkins, and guessed that might be why she's drawn to them now. Pumpkins, she said, are a lot of fun. There's a wide variety of colours they grow in, they're "cheerful" and they make people smile. "People like the look of them, I think they associate them with fun activities," Stefanyshyn-Cote said. "Everything from fall and pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup, that's got to make people smile."Last year, Stefanyshyn-Cote said the festival wasn't able to happen because the pumpkins actually froze. She said this year, the weather looks like it will cooperate for the festival and the 13 varieties of pumpkins she and her husband planted are looking great.

  • Saskatoon Heritage Society seeks city council help to revive part of historic Capitol movie theatre
    News
    CBC

    Saskatoon Heritage Society seeks city council help to revive part of historic Capitol movie theatre

    The Saskatoon Heritage Society is looking for city council's support in honouring a unique part of the city's past.The group wants to restore and publicly display artifacts from the Capitol movie theatre. For 50 years, the building reigned as the city's grand movie palace and doubled as a public gathering place until its bitterly-opposed demolition in 1979."This year [Dec. 1] marks the 40th anniversary of the demolition," Peggy Sarjeant, the society's president, recently wrote to city councillors. "Memories of this grand theatre abound."Located downtown on 2nd Avenue — where the Scotia Centre mall stands today — the Capitol boasted a massive 1,561-seat auditorium and the one-part-glamorous, one-part-gaudy decor that distinguished the "atmospheric" theatres built in the late 1920s.The Globe and Mail's current architectural critic recently named the Capitol one of "10 iconic Canadian buildings that we've lost."The theatre played first-run movies and also hosted many civic events: on-stage cooking shows for Depression-era housewives, live plays performed by University of Saskatchewan students, hypnotism shows by Reveen.When the theatre was demolished despite a "Save the Cap" campaign in 1979, several artifacts were stored in a city warehouse — everything from the stage's painted backdrops to the large columns that lined the theatre's carpeted ticket-line.The items remain there, gathering dust."These artifacts are large and impressive and, once restored, could be brought together to replicate the entrance and part of the interior of the theatre," Sargeant said. "It's time we found a home for these artifacts — somewhere the public can view them and catch a glimpse of the former grandeur of the theatre."Sarjeant mentioned the city's planned downtown entertainment district but added, "We're not pinpointing anything" location-wise.Second homesMany other Capitol artifacts found their way in Saskatoon homes and businesses.A theatre "exit" sign bids visitors adieu at the Saskatoon Public Library's local history room, for example, and Saskatoon-area resident Richard Perry made off with rolls of auditorium carpeting that had been dumped in an alleyway during the demolition."The carpet was really incredible in that theatre," Perry said. "So I gathered a few soaking wet pieces, threw them in my old Volvo station wagon and said, 'If nothing else, I could use it in the back of my car or something.'" * Watch below: 5 Saskatoon Places With Capitol Theatre RelicsPerry's wife Verna said recapturing the theatre's opulence would be no easy task. "I think it would be very difficult [to] do it justice, to really give people the feeling, if they hadn't been [there]," she said. 'We have enough on our plate'City councillors are scheduled to hear from Sarjeant Monday morning at city hall.It's a tough sell for Coun. Darren Hill. "I'm not prepared to consider any new capital projects," Hill said. "However, I would not rule out displaying them in a current building."We have enough on our plate right now, and my priority is to see the arena and convention centre studies through."Not that Hill doesn't have memories of the Capitol. He remembers seeing "Jaws" at the Capitol when he was seven."I clearly remember being scared to go to the washroom at the theatre because I thought the shark would come out of the plumbing and get me!" he said.

  • News
    CBC

    Meet the woman making quilts for Yukon veterans

    Linda Gerein had just retired when her husband brought home a brochure for this quilting program for military veterans about three years ago.Gerein is a quilter. Her father and grandfather were both veterans, and Gerein was already thinking: "I need to do something with my time, something meaningful."Then, she noticed Yukon didn't have a regional representative for Quilts of Valor - Canada, so she offered to do it. "Here I am three years later still making quilts," she said.  Since Gerein started three years ago, 10 quilts have been given to Yukon veterans. Gerein's made six herself, while the other four came from other quilters in Yukon and around Canada. When veterans are presented their quilts, they're wrapped around their shoulders. "It's meant to be a hug from a grateful nation," says Gerein. "It's a way of saying: what you did matters and that people care and that we want to support you in whatever you're dealing with as a result of your service."Quilts of Valor - Canada was started by Lezley Zwaal in Edmonton in 2006. The charity's mission is "to ensure that injured Canadian Forces members are recognized for their service and commitment to Canada" by presenting these quilts for comfort.  "Sometimes they feel a little forgotten when they come back and they're struggling with PTSD or whatever medical issues they may have," she said. "It's a small thing but it's a way to give something back. It's something physical and tangible for them to have."And I've heard lovely stories of people who've received quilts where they'll use their quilt after they had a bad day — they come home, they wrap up in their quilt, sit down in their recliner and just chill."At least 30 Yukon vets need a quilt A quilter of over 30 years, Gerein says she's given so many quilted gifts to friends and family. "I think they're getting tired of soft, squishy presents under the tree," she said with a chuckle. "I always say it lets me quilt without guilt."The quilts are given to veterans who have been injured during their military service.Gerein says the Royal Canadian Legion identified 30 veterans in the Yukon who need a quilt, but she knows there are more. "I'm hoping that Yukoners will come forward to identify other people who aren't necessarily legion members but who are eligible."She also hopes Yukon quilters interested in donating a quilt, blocks, or their time will also reach out so those waiting for quilts don't have to wait so long.

  • Dreamy, confident shows mark London Fashion Week
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Dreamy, confident shows mark London Fashion Week

    LONDON — Fashion devotees basked in sunny weather and strong, sometimes whimsical collections as London Fashion Week neared its climax Sunday with runway shows by Roland Mouret, Victoria Beckham, Simone Rocha and others throughout the city.A fleet of black chauffeured Mercedes whisked VIPs from venue to venue, but those who preferred to walk saw the British capital at its best with glimpses of the street style that helps give London its credibility in the fashion competition with Paris, New York and Milan.Two days of shows remain, with Burberry and Christopher Kane on tap.ROLAND MOURET'S COLLECTON FULL OF OPTIMISM DESPITE WOESRoland Mouret's spring 2020 collection was inspired by his observation of a worrying symmetry between New York in the '80s, enamoured of its own affluent progressiveness while on the verge of bankruptcy, and today's social, environmental and political turbulence."It was a time when people were dressing up amazingly while people were dying in the street. Now we have the same kind of interaction through our media. You go from the new launch at Selfridges and the next day there's someone dying," he said after the show in a rarely seen courtyard at the Royal Academy of Arts.Despite that bleak starting point, his show was full of optimistic, even dreamy, colours cut in relaxed silhouettes, with lots of shimmering sequins.The designer, who made his name with the figure-hugging Galaxy dress he debuted in 2005, and which is still in production today, sent out a collection that nodded to the '80s via soft tailoring (a revolutionary concept led by Giorgio Armani and made famous by Richard Gere in "American Gigolo"), wide shoulders and relaxed American sportswear staples. Those were reframed by Mouret as a low-slung blue sequin skirt worn with a white blouse and a rope belt that looked like it was filched from the nearest yacht.The wolves of Wall Street were alluded to through the corporate appeal of checked suits, the double-pleated fronts on gorgeously fluid wide-legged trousers and stock broker-approved wide lapels that were deployed across jackets and coats. The motif especially stood out on an oyster sequin blazer with a contrasting blue lapel, which was teamed with a blush pink sequin skirt and a white bohemian blouse.SIMONE ROCHA SHOWS SERENE, OFFBEAT COLLECTIONSimone Rocha continues to impress and to draw new admirers as her collections grow in sophistication without sacrificing the look that has made her unique. Her colour palette is simple: white and blue, white and red, white and black, but the embroidery and layering are remarkable.The models' hair seemed sculptural, adding texture and depth to the outfits, as did the elaborate braided straps to some of the handbags, which were similar to detailing on various outfits.Rocha also is improving her staging. With her designer father, John Rocha, watching from the front row, the show unspooled with a certain dignity and serenity, the models walking slowly in a circle on the stage of the Alexandra Palace, a 19th Century landmark in north London.Rocha continued what has become her tradition: the use of some older models and some who were not rail-thin. The additions added spice and variety. Some of the other models broke with tradition by smiling at the audience, and one blew a kiss to a friend near the end of the show. It added to the celebratory feel.STILL BUZZING ABOUT NAOMI CAMPBELL'S GALAMuch of the buzz Sunday focused on the success of Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief gala the night before, which continued for hours after the late-night show with a dinner in the heart of the British Museum.Campbell has become a master at organizing big, complex events for her charity efforts, and this was no exception. She managed to procure one of the most prestigious sites in London and filled it with a glamorous crowd.She even returned to the runway, proving without a doubt she can still model any time she chooses.Gregory Katz, The Associated Press

  • It's the tail end of 2019, and that means a new MerB'ys calendar
    News
    CBC

    It's the tail end of 2019, and that means a new MerB'ys calendar

    The year 2020 hasn't changed the vision of the MerBy's. The Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club launched next year's calendar Saturday with the continued goal of dismantling toxic masculinity and raising funds for inclusive causes.Copies feature bearded people stretched out and sporting elaborate tails. The 2018 and 2019 editions raised more than $500,000 for charity.Planned Parenthood's Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Health Centre will be the main beneficiary of the 2020 calendar proceeds, and the Home Again Furniture Bank and the St. John's SPCA will also receive grants."In the past, the money that's been raised is more than our annual operating budget, so this is going to be huge for us, regardless of how much has been raised," Shannon Driscoll, Planned Parenthood's client services co-ordinator said."It's pretty life-changing for us as an organization."Driscoll hopes to hire an educational co-ordinator with the money raised, and give other programming some breathing room. "Last year when we had a co-ordinator we did about 20 presentations a month. Right now we have maybe three on the books just because we know we can't commit the time," she said. Hasan Hai, one of the leading MerB'ys, said Planned Parenthood's application stood out in terms of who and how the group helps."They particularly service marginalized communities and they're providing sexual health services to all and sort of equalizing the playing field there," Hai said. "Our whole thing, as far as an organization is, again, embracing diversity, and diverse groups from various communities — marginalized communities, various genders, backgrounds etcetera."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Labrador West moms team up to give kids somewhere warm to play in winter
    News
    CBC

    Labrador West moms team up to give kids somewhere warm to play in winter

    A new not-for-profit group in Labrador West hopes to keep local kids playing no matter how low the temperatures go.   Sonja Pritchett and Jenny Sullivan of Indoor Play Labrador are planning to open the Kids Club, an indoor playground that can be enjoyed all year long."It's been a need in our community for a long time," Pritchett said.  The plan is for the facility to have slides, tunnels, swings, monkey bars and things to climb, as well as a separate toddler space for kids under three years of age."[Younger kids] can develop gross motor skills, with large soft things for them to play with, stack on, climb on," Pritchett said."They can interact with their parents there, they can interact with other children."An indoor playground would offer Labrador West kids a chance to stay active during the area's long and frigid winters, when playing outside isn't always an option. "There's a lot of programming for children in town but it doesn't always fit with people's work schedules, child care, and this would be available seven days a week — probably 10-12 hours a day," Pritchett said. "It's at your leisure, when it works for you. You don't have to worry about whether naptime is going to conflict with swimming or if your work schedule conflicts with the gymnastics schedule."Long winters, restless children (and parents)With the sub-zero temperatures Labrador experiences during its lengthy winters, keeping kids active and entertained can become a challenge. "Myself in the winter, when we wanted to get out of the house we go to Walmart," Pritchett said."Both of us valuing healthy and active lifestyles, we want our kids to be able to move, even in December when its –45," Sullivan said. Sullivan and Pritchett, along with others, have been working on the plan and financing to open the indoor playground since March of this year, with hopes of having the doors open in 2020.  We want our kids to be able to move,  even in December when its –45. \- Jenny SullivanPlans for the structure are still in the works, but the women want it to be a place everyone can enjoy, with a welcoming entrance, a place for all the gear winter requires, and somewhere for children to have a drink or a snack in between playing while parents relax.The indoor playground would also offer a space to book birthday parties, the women said."[It's] another gap which we've identified in our community; there's a lack of space to hold birthday parties for children," Pritchett said. Accessibility is also important, as Labrador City recently introduced a barrier-free business grant to encourage businesses to become more accessible. "There'll be a wheelchair-accessible washroom," Pritchett said. The two women intend for the indoor playground to offer the flexibility that programmed activities can't when the weather makes it difficult to play outside."Your kids are in one or two things a week and they have to wait to go. Some parents are home with their children. and OK, well, today the program that's offered clashes with naptime, so unfortunately we're not getting out of the house today in February," Sullivan said.They're hoping the space will benefit both parents and kids."When we have the playground open I could call a friend, we can decide amongst ourselves what time works best, and every single day there would be an opportunity to go down — kids can climb, play, they can just hang out," Sullivan said.That socialization is good for parents too, she said."Parents need out too, so I think that can be a bonus for everyone in the family."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • After the Gold Rush: 160 years later, Barkerville includes First Nations' stories at living museum
    News
    CBC

    After the Gold Rush: 160 years later, Barkerville includes First Nations' stories at living museum

    Every summer, 60,000 tourists flock to Barkerville Historic Town and Park to marvel at rustic gold rush buildings and interact with actors portraying Chinese miners, American gold panners, dance hall girls, and a hanging judge.The actors, hired by the museum and dressed in historically accurate costumes, roam the dusty streets and precariously raised sidewalks as they entertain and educate about the Cariboo Gold Rush.But for 50 years, at the largest living history museum in western North America, tourists never saw an Indigenous character.That changed this summer when Barkerville, which is located about 700 kilometres north of Vancouver, recruited its first Indigenous interpreter.James Douglas who heads public programming at Barkerville described the move as historic."A place which has been a bastion of B.C. heritage tourism for more than 50 years now finally has a First Nations' voice," Douglas said.Barkerville, he said. is primarily known for telling the settlers' myth. That will change with a First Nations interpreter on staff.Different take on ConfederationBarkerville hired Mike Retasket, a former chief of the Bonaparte Indian Band, for the position.Retasket, 60, of the Shushwap Nation, has worked as an environmental activist and Indigenous consultant, and helped create B.C.'s First Nations Leadership Council. Over the summer, Retasket roamed the Barkerville streets with the other costumed characters, dressed in beaded buckskin, his grey hair parted into two braids.Earlier this month, as tourists gathered around the porch of a dry goods store, costumed characters launched a historical skit about Confederation, and this time, a First Nations character had a speaking part. In character, Retasket stepped up to deliver his lines, slowly and thoughtfully. "We welcome you here. When you first came, there were only Indians. On our land."Later, in an interview across the street in a historic gold-measuring office, Retasket, elaborated on the First Nations' perspective on an area that became the epicentre of B.C.'s  gold rush in the  mid-19th century.Long before the gold rush, seven different First Nations travelled through the Barkerville area and gathered medicinal plants, he said. First Nation travellers knew about gold in the area, but mined it sparingly for medicines."We took what we needed," Retasket said. "There was more of a rush for blueberries and soap berries than gold."'We were dispossessed'But life changed when miners poured into what later became Barkerville, Retasket said."When the first gold claim was staked, it displaced us from the ability to use this land," he said. "Not very long after that, we were dispossessed from the land. Displaced and dispossessed."Nonetheless, Retasket said First Nations helped early gold miners with provisions. A First Nations fishery on the Bowron River provided food.Retasket shared these stories over the summer with thousands of tourists.Judge Begbie's courtroomHe also talked with visitors about a controversial historical figure, Justice Matthew Begbie, B.C.'s first chief justice, known to some as the hanging judge.Begbie is reviled  for his role in hanging six Tsilhqot'in chiefs in 1864.His place in history is so contentious that New Westminster decided this year to remove Begbie's statue from the courthouse grounds. And yet, for years, Barkerville has offered visitors a historic re-enactment of Begbie's courtroom. Tsilhqot'in Chief and Tribal Chair Joe Alphonse has called on Barkerville to review that portrayal. Retasket said Begbie's legacy is mixed. But he said watching the Begbie re-enactment at Barkerville scared him."If I had crossed paths with him [in the 1860s] out on the land,...it would have been a very, very difficult time. He was judge and jury and some of his decisions are very questionable." History as reconciliationRetasket sees his work in Barkerville as an act of reconciliation.And it's work that's going on across Canada. Interpretation Canada, a national association of heritage interpreters, told CBC it's "an important topic of discussion."We have been asking tough questions about our role in reconciliation for a few years now," said Pam Murray, Interpretation Canada's chair."It is critical for indigenous interpreters to ...to speak their own truths, especially the truths that make settlers uncomfortable."

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    12 dead, 25 missing in boat accident on southern India river

    HYDERABAD, India — A sightseeing boat capsized on a swollen river in southern India on Sunday, killing 12 people and leaving 25 others missing, an official said.Andra Pradesh state's home minister, M. Sucharita, said there were 61 people — 50 passengers and 11 crew members, all of them Indian nationals — on board the boat when it capsized on the Godavari river.A search operation was underway to try to find the missing people.Twenty-four people have been rescued so far while 25 others are missing, Sucharita said.The accident occurred near Kachuluru village in East Godavari district, 380 kilometres (236 miles) east of the state's capital, Hyderabad. The boat was heading from Singanapalli to Papikondalu, a famous tourist spot.Sucharita said tour boats had been barred from operating on the route following the recent flooding of the river and it was not clear how the boat that capsized had managed to take out the tourists."Stern action will be taken against the culprits," Sucharita said.Apart from tourists, residents in the area depend on boats and ferries to travel between villages on the banks of the Godavari.In May 2018, 30 people were killed when a similar boat carrying local people capsized not far from the scene of Sunday's accident. A few months later, a boat carrying 80 tourists caught fire when a cooking gas cylinder exploded, but there were no casualties.Omer Farooq, The Associated Press

  • News
    CBC

    Police seeking at least 7 suspects in shooting that killed innocent teen boy

    A 17-year-old boy is dead and five others were wounded after gunfire erupted in Mississauga on Saturday evening, Peel Regional Police say.Speaking to reporters from the scene Saturday night, Chief Chris McCord said among those injured are a 13 year-old, a 16 year-old, two 17 year-olds and a woman in her 50s. One of those victims is in life-threatening condition, while the others are being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, McCord said. Police are now searching for what they believe are "multiple individuals armed with semi-automatic weapons," who fled from the area after the shooting."There is a concern for public safety," McCord said, though he added police have combed the area and don't have reason to believe the suspects will return. Peel Regional Police were called to an apartment building on Darcel Avenue near Morning Star Drive and Goreway Drive at 6:22 p.m. ET. Multiple vehicles with bullet holes could be seen in the area.Investigators believe the shooting took place at a parkette behind the building. McCord told reporters that investigators have information that a music video was being filmed behind the building, but it's unknown if the shooting was related to that filming in any way.There was a heavy police presence in the area for much of the evening as officers combed through the building to rule out any other victims or possible suspects."It is a large scene and a very dynamic investigation," police spokesperson Iryna Yashnyk told reporters earlier in the evening.Police had several units in the area Saturday night, including tactical and K9 teams. Investigators spoke with several witnesses and are canvassing for video.Police are working on notifying the victim's next of kin and say the homicide bureau has been notified.

  • Girl with spinal condition 'unregistered' as Hinton dance school reviews disability policy
    News
    CBC

    Girl with spinal condition 'unregistered' as Hinton dance school reviews disability policy

    A seven-year-old girl with a spinal disability has been told she can't immediately resume her lessons at the Hinton dance school where she has enjoyed ballet and hip-hop classes for the last four years while the school assesses its policies for disabled students.Ian Rosseel said his daughter Alexis, who has a rare spinal condition that causes her to need a wheelchair or walker, was "unregistered" from the Hinton School of Dance because the academy is looking at a new policy dealing with students with disabilities. Born with caudal regression syndrome, a disorder that impairs the development of her lower body, Alexis is unable to fully bend her knees and move her ankles, so she uses the wheelchair and walker to travel longer distances.After enrolling his daughter for the upcoming year, Rosseel said the school told him on Aug. 21 that his daughter had been "unregistered" from dance classes until a draft policy is reviewed by insurance providers and lawyers. "We registered with the local dance school once again and we were unregistered by them, saying they need to put in a new policy about dancers with disabilities," he said.Rosseel said the treatment is unfair and has started a petition on her behalf. In an email statement to CBC News, Melissa Pattison, the school's executive director, said: "The Hinton School of Dance has, since its inception, strived to foster an inclusive and accommodating environment for all of its students. We are committed to providing exceptional-quality dance instruction in a nurturing, positive and safe environment," the statement reads. 'That's not the point of inclusion' Rosseel said the draft copy of the new policy states that students with disabilities can only be enrolled in the school once they have medical clearance. Once they have clearance, they would be put into "an accessibility class." "They want to put a class just for her, or have a minimum of six kids with disabilities to a maximum of eight, which is not what we want. We want her to be with other kids. That's the point of inclusion ... not to segregate her and put her as her own," he said."This is discrimination, you can't just treat her different than the other kids.". A draft copy of the policy sent to CBC News states that students with disabilities need a doctor's letter outlining their disabilities, medical concerns, physical limitations, restrictions and a "list of permitted and capable movements and activities set out by the specialist." If the student meets all these requirements, they would be placed in an "accessibility class" where "any specialty equipment must be supplied and stored by parents."The proposed policy also states that if there are not enough registrants for an accessible class, the student would be put in a private class. 'No new policy has been put in place' Pattison emphasized that the draft policy is not in place yet and has been provided to parents "for the sole purpose of requesting their feedback."The parents were made aware, more than once, that the policy was only a rough draft," Pattison said. The school's board of directors said it drafted the new policy up as part of the school's "due diligence" around various considerations including insurance."Any changes done relative to our enrolment processes has nothing to do with any individual registrant," the board said in an email to CBC News. In her emailed statement, Pattison said: "Underlying all of this, however, is the paramount requirement that we maintain a safe environment for all of our students and instructors."This requires HSD to comply with its insurance requirements and to ensure each instructor is able to assess and maintain safety in class while accounting for the class size, difficulty of movements and any limitations particular students may have," the statement reads.if a particular class or discipline may be unsafe for a student, the school will help find suitable alternatives, she said.Rosseel said his petition 'Let Alexis Dance, published on Avaaz.com two days ago, now has approximately 1,600 signatures. "My girl loves dancing and that is our main goal, is to get her to dance again and without repercussions of this," he said. "There's all kinds of kids out there...with different disabilities and challenges they have in their life, and they should all be accepted and found a place for, and not stuck in their own class all by themselves."

  • 2 birds with 1 stone fruit: Kooteney fruit pickers feed needy families and keep bears away
    News
    CBC

    2 birds with 1 stone fruit: Kooteney fruit pickers feed needy families and keep bears away

    A group of volunteers are picking fruit in the West Kooteneys for the dual purpose of keeping grizzly bears away and feeding families in need.Kim Watt, the co-coordinator of fruit harvesting with Grizzly Bear Solutions, is based in North Shore, just outside of Nelson, B.C.She says the program started because of an increased number of grizzly bears coming into town, attracted by the fruit trees."There's an area with an old population of old orchards and lots of trees that are not necessarily managed [so] there's lots of food for [the bears] when they do come down," Watt said.Watt, and her co-coordinator Krista Robson, are seeking anyone with fruit trees in their backyard or old orchards without the time or ability to harvest the fruit.Instead of leaving the fruit for the bears, they are organizing volunteers to pick the fruit. The bounty is then distributed between the volunteers, homeowners, and local organizations like daycares, elementary schools, and other community groups in need. Watt says there's plenty of fruit to be picked. For instance, she says, volunteers picked nearly 1,500 pounds or 700 kilograms of fruit from one homeowner this week. "Each volunteer took home about 200 pounds of fruit, so that was a unique situation because the homeowner didn't want any," she said. Her group will be doing some canning and food preservation workshops so people have some ideas with what to do with the excess fruit. They're also planning on renting a fruit press later this month to make fresh juice.In the meantime, the bears are still making their way down to the orchards."There's definitely lots of signs that they're eating a lot of fruit right now," Watt said, adding that volunteers are bear aware when they're picking by staying in groups and scouting the area ahead of time to make sure they don't interrupt any bears. Any homeowner in the area interested in having their fruit harvested can contact Grizzly Bear Solutions.

  • Aldi hopes to ease any no-deal Brexit impact
    BBC News

    Aldi hopes to ease any no-deal Brexit impact

    Aldi boss Giles Hurley says retailer is working to ease any no-deal Brexit impact on customers

  • Cyclists getting ticketed for no insurance blame confusing e-bike legislation
    News
    CBC

    Cyclists getting ticketed for no insurance blame confusing e-bike legislation

    College student Jason McCracken bought his electric bike last year to save money and, he says, act in a more environmentally conscious manner.But this summer he was hit with nearly $600 in RCMP tickets and towing fees for failing to obtain insurance — even though ICBC does not offer insurance for his particular kind of bike."I'm just worried if I go back to college with my e-bike, they'll give me ... maybe 10 tickets in a row," he said.While McCracken's bike looks like a scooter, ICBC defines it as a "motor-assisted cycle," which needs to be equipped with bicycle-style pedals, have a maximum motor speed of 32 kilometres per hour and an an electric motor of 500 watts or less.ICBC's website says insurance and a licence are only required for e-bikes classified as limited speed motorcycles or scooters, which do not have pedals and  run at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour.McCracken is one of three Victoria e-cyclists CBC spoke to who say the Integrated Road Safety Unit has been unfairly doling out tickets for no insurance.Kelly Goldbeck from KGeez Cycle store in Victoria says there are far more of his customers than that being unfairly ticketed and he's fed up with it."You can ride them just like a bicycle in the bike lanes" he said.You must be pedallingBut officers with the Integrated Road Safety Unit  in Greater Victoria say these kinds of e-bikes are a nuisance when it comes to enforcing a clear law that cyclists need to be aware of.IRSU commander Sgt. Ron Cronk said while many of these bikes are built with a throttle to allow cyclists to coast without pedaling, B.C.'s regulations say motors are meant only to "assist the pedaller."Section 3(2) of B.C.'s Motor Assisted Cycle Regulation says "the motors of a motor assisted cycle must turn off or disengage if the operator stops pedalling, an accelerator is released or a brake is applied." "If you can start from a stop [by] twisting the throttle and not pedaling, you are now considered a [Class 5] motor vehicle, and the bike has to be registered and insured," said Cronk. "There's certainly a lot of confusion out there," said Cronk. "Dealerships that are selling these things need to be regulated, because they're giving misinformation."E-cyclist wins in courtBut the court has, in some cases, been hesitant to side with the police when it comes to addressing the confusion around cycling regulations. Local cyclist Evan Laine took his ticket to traffic court in June where Justice Hunter Gordon waived the no-insurance fee, after learning that ICBC wouldn't insure Laine's bike."It strikes me as the wrong application of the law to require someone to be insured that couldn't be … even if they wanted to," Gordon concluded in a recording of the hearing.Laine said ICBC's website was confusing and contradictory to the way the RCMP interpret the law, as it says "it is not necessary to always be pedalling" a motor-assisted bike. 'Just electric scooters with pedals'At the end of the hearing, Const. Mike Christians, who issued Laine's ticket, responded to the judge's decision."My enforcement pattern likely will not change as a result of the court findings today," he said. Christians told the judge that motor-assisted cycles are "just electric scooters with … pedals attached that don't actually do anything." "What part of this vehicle is a bicycle?" he said, adding he saw the bikes as an "attempt to bypass the law." Christians cited a similar case in 2012, where the judge ruled in the police's favour. But that judge also suggested the regulations be reviewed as e-bikes become more popular.ICBC is misleadingB.C. lawyer Paul Hergott, who researched the issue in 2013, said police are interpreting the law correctly, but the explanation on ICBC's website is misleading for cyclists who rely on it for the rules."There needs to be clarity," said Hergott. "The government has not stepped in to prevent this problem."Hergott suggested that a e-bike sellers be required to give information handouts to those purchasing the bikes and that the legislation be revised to reflect how e-bikes actually operate.A Ministry of Transportation document on its new active transportation strategy says "the Motor Vehicle Act was identified as a key piece of legislation that needs to be updated to include … new mobilities (such as e-bikes and scooters)."A ministry statement says "the Province is currently evaluating the legislative, regulatory and policy frameworks" for e-bikes.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    No objective standard: Toronto anti-noise blitz yields few results

    TORONTO — A crackdown on excessive vehicle noise announced by Toronto's mayor and police in July appears to have done little beyond nabbing scores of motorists in too much of a hurry.The downtown blitz aimed at muffling the worst offenders resulted in 95 tickets, almost all for speed, police said."Noise from vehicles was not observed much by the involved officers," said Sgt. Brett Moore, with traffic services.One problem, he said, is the lack of an objective standard for measuring when vehicles are too loud."An offence is committed when a police officer is able to articulate how a vehicle's tires, motor or exhaust was unreasonable," Moore said. "The Highway Traffic Act does not provide a quantitative measurement for excessive noise."The aim of the campaign that ran July 15-19 was both to curb, and raise awareness of, noise pollution from cars and motorcycles whose deafening roars are not only annoying, but, according to science, potentially harmful. Mayor John Tory and police held an outdoor news conference in the tony Yorkville neigbourhood to announce the campaign."My wife has explained this many times to me as being simply an outcropping of the inadequacies that certain people feel — mostly men — who drive these cars around," Tory quipped at the time, adding that such "inconsiderate conduct" had no place in the city and was "indefensible."Rod Jones, the city's director of bylaw enforcement, said the July announcement was also designed to draw attention to bylaw changes that take effect on October 1.Among other things, the new bylaw will prohibit anyone from making "unnecessary motor vehicle noise." Examples given are sounding a horn, revving an engine, or squealing tires, although first-responder sirens are exempt.However, the only objective sound standard in the new bylaw applies to motorcycles, which will be prohibited from noise levels exceeding 92 dB(A) — a weighted measure of loudness — at 50 centimetres from the exhaust during idling.The city is also setting up a dedicated noise team comprising 24 enforcement officers with more powers to issue compliance orders. Fines will rise to a maximum of $100,000 and directors and officers of a corporation can be held liable. Sound engineering experts are also helping develop "technical investigative techniques," the city said.The number of noise complaints in Toronto reached 12,974 last year, up from 11,297 in 2015, according to city figures. Police issued 600 tickets last year to drivers for loud mufflers and causing unnecessary noise."We know that it happens far more that this," Moore said.According to the World Health Organization, noise goes beyond irritation and can cause a number of short- and long-term health problems, such as damaged hearing."Excessive noise seriously harms human health and interferes with people's daily activities at school, at work, at home and during leisure time," the health organization says. "It can disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects, reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour."Tory also said the city was considering using the audio equivalent of red-light cameras, such as those used in Edmonton to crack down on scofflaws. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

  • Roughriders' win another last minute thriller
    News
    CBC

    Roughriders' win another last minute thriller

    With members of the 1989 Grey Cup team in attendance, they no doubt had flashbacks and goosebumps recalling their glorious victory thirty years ago.When Riders' kicker Brett Lauther calmly walked up and booted the game winner through the uprights with under a minute to play Saturday night, perhaps for the '89ers, it was like Dave Ridgway kicking the cup winner all over again.That '89 championship team is lost on the present-day Riders as most weren't even born yet, so it's not like they won it for the legendary heroes of yesteryear.But Lauther is sharp enough though to know his craft and honour those who played before him."I wouldn't compare this to that at all, that team was amazing." said Lauther moments after his 39-yarder to beat the Alouettes 27-25."Ridgway is the best kicker to ever play here so I just trying to make that kick for the guys after letting them down earlier in the game."Lauther could have just as easily been the goat.Just two weeks after his walk-off game winning field goal beat the Blue Bombers in the Labour Day Classic, Lauther was uncharacteristically 'off' Saturday night against Montreal.Like Ridgway was the 'Robo-kicker', Lauther is usually Mr. Automatic.He missed one from 33 yards and even shanked a convert. A night like that would put bad thoughts in the heads of plenty of kickers, but for Lauther who spent a good portion of the game apologizing to his teammates, he knew he had a chance to make up for it."I knew I was going to make that, I was confident the whole time, if you're at this level and you're dwelling over missing kicks you're just going to put your team in bad positions."An eight and four record with one third of the season to go is not a bad position at all."Football is not Figure Skating"Credit to one fan on the post-game phone-in show, "football is not figure skating, it doesn't have to be smooth and pretty."Saturday's Riders-Alouettes tilt was far from a classic so it's good there are no points for style.But at least they literally played the full 60 minutes.Something the two teams were unable to do in last month's weather-shortened Riders' victory in Montreal.Credit Saturday also goes to the big screen in Mosaic Stadium keeping the fans largely entertained when the game couldn't.Glad to see the Roughriders have seriously upped their entertainment package.Gone are the days of throwing a cheerleader up in the air or Gainer clanging his 'D-Fence' signs hoping to wake up an unconscious crowd.Today it's timely movie clips of classic pep talks from football coaches and the Rocky theme when the game is on the line.You haven't lived until you've seen Cody Fajardo lip-sync to Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up'.And you thought Fajardo was just another quarterback.I'm sure there were fans ready to give up on Mr. Fajardo after a stinker last week in Winnipeg and another struggle against the Alouettes.But the kid has a thing for the dramatics as he has driven the team to last minute victories in three of the last four home games.He had doubts whether a team would want to sign him to a contract extension after his performance in the Banjo Bowl.But his stock must be up again.After all, he was signing babies after the game.You know you're in the big time when parents want your John-Henry on the back of their sweet bundle of joy.With the Riders' heading into yet another bye week, Fajardo will be sticking around town this time.Perhaps, now is a good time to stop talking about that new contract, and sign the thing.

  • Airline watchdog looking into complaints, vaping illnesses rise: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet
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    Airline watchdog looking into complaints, vaping illnesses rise: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

    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.Watchdog investigating Air Transat and SwoopHave you ever had a bad experience on a flight and wondered if your airline crossed the line? Canada's airline watchdog is now investigating after multiple complaints were made about a burst of flight cancellations from low-cost carrier Swoop and an Air Transat flight delay in Rome that left passengers stranded on the tarmac for hours.What you should know about vaping illnessesIf you've been following the news that health officials in the United States have reported hundreds of serious respiratory illnesses among people who use e-cigarettes, including at least six deaths, you've likely wondered what this means for Canadians. Doctors here say the news is concerning.Passengers with disabilities say new rules increase air travel barriersWhile the new guidlines were ostensibly designed to make air travel more accessible, many advocates are saying they don't go far enough — and in some cases mark a step backward.Was your leather made in Brazil?If you've noticed fast-fashion retailers like H&M are trying to be more transparent about environmental issues, you're not alone. H&M will no longer purchase Brazilian leather over concerns about how cattle farming may be contributing to Amazon wildfires. In 2018, Marketplace investigated what really happens after we recycle our clothes at H&M.Canada's noisiest restaurants: Take our surveyWe want to hear about Canada's noisiest restaurants, and we need your help. Take our brief survey here.What else is going on?The latest in recallsTo eat or not to eat: We want to hear from youDoes your family go to war over milk, eggs and the latest food trends? Tell us all about your food dilemmas by emailing katie.pedersen@cbc.ca.This is your MarketplaceSave the date! Our season premiere airs Friday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m./8:30 p.m. NT. You can watch it on CBC TV, the CBC Gem app or YouTube. We're excited to show you what we've been working on, as our team of investigative journalists puts everyday products and services to the test. You can catch up on previous Marketplace investigations on CBC Gem.