• News
    Reuters

    Iran says U.S. bases and aircraft carriers within range of its missiles: Tasnim

    An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Sunday that U.S. bases and aircraft carriers in the region were within range of Iranian missiles after the U.S. accused Iran of leading attacks on Saudi oil plants, raising tensions in the Middle East. Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group said it attacked two Saudi Aramco oil plants on Saturday at the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry, knocking out more than half the Kingdom's output. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of being behind the attacks, ruling out Yemeni involvement and denouncing Tehran for engaging in false diplomacy.

  • Portrait project connects young artists to kids in refugee camps
    News
    CBC

    Portrait project connects young artists to kids in refugee camps

    Mirella Frost wanted her students at St. Patrick's High School to become global citizens.That's why Frost, the head of the Ottawa school's creative arts department, got in touch with the Memory Project, a U.S.-based non-profit that gets high school students to sketch portraits of children around the world living in difficult conditions."It's important that they feel empathy [and] they can connect to these students in such a way," Frost told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning earlier this week. Because of this project, I was connected to a place I've never been to. \- Shela Lamug, student"It's reaching beyond the classroom. It's deep learning at its best."Through the Memory Project, Frost's art club students were connected with young boys and girls attending school at refugee camps in Afghanistan.Using their photographs as a reference, the St. Patrick's students carefully sketched portraits of the children in Afghanistan. They then shipped the portraits overseas. 'A way to connect'Earlier this month, the St. Patrick's students watched a video of their portrait subjects beaming as they received the drawings."I feel like I made someone happy by drawing him, and I hope that he also becomes inspired and that he becomes passionate and takes art someday," said 17-year-old Shela Lamug, who sketched a 12-year-old boy named Abdul."Because of this project, I was connected to a place I've never been to. It was, like, a way to connect with children across the world who are suffering."Nathan O'Hare sketched a portrait of a young girl wearing a hijab decorated with jewels and flowers.O'Hare said what he found most fascinating about the project was how his art could bring joy to someone from a completely different background, living on the opposite side of the world."They know nothing about me other than, like, what I sent in return," he said. "I think that's probably the craziest part for me."'So proud'In all, 10 of the art club students took part in the Memory Project initiative this year, said Frost, who learned about it through a niece attending school in Florida.It's not the first time she's organized this initiative: two years ago, her students sketched students living in difficult conditions in Syria."I want them to connect to students across the globe, to these children who [are often] suffering," Frost said."It makes me so proud that they wanted to participate in this. It's just an extremely rewarding project."

  • LRT's early champions mark bittersweet victory
    News
    CBC

    LRT's early champions mark bittersweet victory

    As politicians cut the ribbon on Ottawa's Confederation Line on Saturday, there were dozens of public transit advocates quietly watching from the sidelines, knowing they'd all had some small part to play in the decades-long struggle for light rail in Ottawa."It's hard to believe, but it has taken 30 years," said longtime LRT proponent and former city councillor Peter Harris, who remembers when the crusade began. Attitudes change. It's just an evolution of thinking. \- Peter Harris, former Ottawa city councillor"That was back in 1989. The region of Ottawa-Carleton had a whole different philosophy on transportation. They were sold on the bus transitway. They had plans in the works to do expressways for cars."Harris believes LRT's arrival could have come much sooner if there had been the political will."I opposed the bus tunnel, and I was told at the time I should know better."Unsung heroesDavid Jeanes, another early proponent of commuter rail, helped launch Transport 2000, later renamed Transport Action Canada, and was front and centre in 1997 when the former regional council finally decided to explore the possibility of LRT."Despite the 22 years that have elapsed ... I am pleased that we are finally getting a viable system," Jeanes said. "It includes many elements that I have been one of the first to promote, including the airport extension, which I had proposed back in 2000, the Parkway-Richmond Road routing, which I proposed in 2008, the location of the tunnel portals which I proposed to the task force in 2007, and the retention of a Trillium Line maintenance facility in the vicinity of Walkley Yard."There were others along for the ride, Jeanes said, and they became known as Friends of the O-Train."Tim Lane, Michael Richardson and Steven Fanjoy were the driving force behind the Friends of the O-Train opposition to a combined bus transitway/LRT across downtown, instead promoting east-west electric LRT only in the core."Harris added to the list of citizens who helped shepherd in the LRT era in Ottawa."I teamed up with Michel Haddad and Greg Ross, and we formed Citizens for Alternative Transit," Harris said. "We did our research and had a meeting right in regional headquarters. It had about 200 people. And CP Rail sent a representative, Bombardier, Siemens, on what we could do with rail, what had been done in other cities, and I was impressed with the number of people in Ottawa that really knew about rail."'A cuckoo choo-choo'While the movement had political allies including Coun. Pierre Bourque and Mayor Bob Chiarelli, there was no shortage of opponents, among them Knoxdale-Merivale Coun. Gord Hunter, who was concerned about the cost."I thought it was a cuckoo idea, a cuckoo choo-choo. It just didn't make sense to be doing it," he said. The City of Gatineau was planning to expand its bus networ despite the opportunity to tie into Ottawa's proposed rail system, and the National Capital Commission said it had no interest in the plan. The head of Ottawa's airport authority showed a similar lack of enthusiasm."Eventually the faces changed, people retired, the head of OC Transpo moved on," Harris said. "And now the Ottawa airport is for rail. So things change. Attitudes change. It's just an evolution of thinking. I think support was always there, but you had to somehow facilitate the discussion, and I think that's what the volunteers and the community have done over the years." Still, Harris can't help thinking about what might have been. Growing suburbs such as Barrhaven and Greely continue to grapple with gridlock, with no relief in sight. Scrapping the previous light rail plan, which cost the city millions in legal penalties, has put any solution even further out of reach."The route was already there. It would have been finished a long time ago," Harris said. "In hindsight, I think that was a mistake. But there's not much we can do about it now."

  • When Down syndrome was a life sentence
    News
    CBC

    When Down syndrome was a life sentence

    As a child, Catherine McKercher always told people she had two siblings, but that wasn't the truth. Her brother, Bill, who was born with Down syndrome, didn't live at home. "The truth was just too complicated. We had four children in the family, [but] the youngest of us didn't live with us," she said. "It was just easier over the years to say there's just three of us." I have very few memories of him when he was living at home, but I do remember he had a terrific laugh. \- Catherine McKercher, authorMcKercher, a former Carleton University journalism professor, has written a book about her brother and his treatment at the Ontario Hospital School, an institution in Smiths Falls, Ont. Shut Away: When Down Syndrome was a Life Sentence chronicles both her brother's story and the broader history of the institutions in which children like him lived — including the slow process of shutting them down.   Few memoriesBill stayed with the family until he was about two, but would spend the rest of his life at the institution. He died there from liver failure at the age of 38."I have very few memories of him when he was living at home, but I do remember he had a terrific laugh, and he loved to laugh and we liked to perform for him," McKercher told CBC's Ottawa Morning. "He was the world's best audience."There were several institutions across Ontario that housed people with intellectual disabilities, and McKercher said it was common when her brother was born in the 1950s for families to send children to live there."If you had a child with a handicap, there was something kind of embarrassing or shameful, especially if it was an intellectual handicap," she said.'Violence to your soul'Delving into her brother's file, McKercher found many instances when psychological or medical issues were ignored. The institutions were crowded and noisy, and many patients suffered abuse. It was no place for a child to grow up, she said."Just the day-to-day life in an institution did violence to your soul."During her research, McKercher discovered that the government knew the institutions were failing residents, but reform was slow to come. "The province knew for a long, long time that these facilities were not delivering progress and happiness, but changing the system was not easy," she said.McKercher's parents had both passed away by the time she received Bill's file. She said those discoveries would have been difficult for them."It would have been hard to do this book while they were alive, because they would have had to confront all our failings on this," she said.McKercher said she had a part in that, too."I should have been a better advocate for him. I let him be my parents' child, rather than my brother."

  • Biscuits and Christmas pudding? No problem for this Great Canadian Baking Show 'nan'
    News
    CBC

    Biscuits and Christmas pudding? No problem for this Great Canadian Baking Show 'nan'

    For Mary Lou Snow, growing up on the Avalon meant baking was less of a specialty skill and more of an expectation."All through my life, of course in Newfoundland, you start out with white bread. You know — your mom, your aunts, everybody made white bread," Snow said.The 67-year-old college physiotherapy instructor from Conception Bay South, who jokingly referred to herself as the "nan" of the third season's cohort of The Great Canadian Baking Show, already knew she could whip up a scrumptious treat or two.But it was her friends who convinced her to do it on television.They "pushed me to my limit and said I should go for it," she said, laughing. I don't think I went in it to win. I think I went in it for the experience, for Newfoundland. \- Mary Lou SnowAfter an online application round and then an in-person audition — which involved baking her goods and nervously loading them on a plane to Halifax, where she then added the final touches — Snow was in."Baking is definitely a science but you have to be creative as well … make it pretty, plate it, that sort of thing," Snow said, describing the hard-sauce dressing and even saucier inner core of the Christmas pudding she brought the judges."That's my own recipe I've been using for years."Of course, the audition also involved a surprise, on-scene baking test.But Snow found herself more than comfortable with the baking-on-the-fly assignment: biscuits."I didn't know [what it was going to be], but I felt very confident. I wasn't apprehensive at all," she recalled. "Biscuits are something we make in Newfoundland all the time."Representing NewfoundlandSnow couldn't let any of the show's secrets slip, but said each episode — taped and wrapped up before the season airs next week — had its challenges.The notorious technical bake, she confirmed, gave her the hardest time. "That would have been definitely the most difficult because we … had no idea how they wanted it," she said. "We're not professional bakers."Details of the upcoming season were kept safe, but Snow was able to disclose snippets of life as a baking show star. While the magic of television makes it seem like the contestants have only a few minutes to think about how they'll approach a signature dish, Snow says they actually have a week to think about each one and practise at home."They give us just a general idea. And then we have to make it real with our own spin on it," she said.The third dish category, the "showstopper" bake, didn't leave Snow flustered either."I think being my age and seeing all the younger contestants — I'm traditional. And I made sure [the producers] knew that in the basic interview, that I'm not, myself, a showstopper," she said."So I don't think I went in it to win. I think I went in it for the experience, for Newfoundland — to present somebody from Newfoundland."The Great Canadian Baking Show premieres Sept. 18 on CBC.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Keepers of the Language: Inuktitut helps host stay in touch with his roots
    News
    CBC

    Keepers of the Language: Inuktitut helps host stay in touch with his roots

    CBC is doing a series of stories to recognize that the United Nations has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The observance is meant to raise awareness about the consequences of losing endangered languages, and to establish a link between language, development, peace and reconciliation.Qavavao Peter, host of CBC Nunavut's morning radio program Qulliq, is a man between two worlds.Born and raised in the small hamlet of Cape Dorset, Peter now lives — and broadcasts — in the territorial capital of Iqaluit. A long-time broadcaster, he's broken up several stints at the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation and CBC with work as a heavy equipment operator. And, unlike many of CBC's Indigenous language hosts, Peter hosts a blended program: half in English, half in Inuktitut."It's a bit of a challenge," Peter said of flipping between languages. "When I first started, it was quite difficult ... but after some time, you get so used to it, it just becomes a normal thing."From Cape Dorset to the CBCIt's been a long journey from Cape Dorset to the CBC for Peter. While working for the hamlet as a water truck driver, he began his broadcasting career by becoming the part-time host at the community's small radio station. There, he broadcast in Inuktitut and English, something that would come in handy as he became the voice many Nunavummiut start their day listening to.After stints at the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation as both a host and a puppeteer on a children's program — "I had fun with it," he said — Peter again found himself back in Cape Dorset working as a heavy equipment operator.Then, six years ago, he saw an ad for a technical operator position at the CBC in Iqaluit. Applying on a whim, he was hired. Eventually, he became the host of the station's lunchtime program and, finally, of Qulliq, where he's been for the last three years. Peter said the move to Iqaluit with his family hammered home the importance of his work. He noted that in Iqaluit, far fewer youth are fluent in Inuktitut than in the communities, where a traditional lifestyle is more prevalent."There's not a lot of people that fluently speak Inuktitut in the city, especially," he said. "So I thought that would be a good way to help get our language back."I started seeing my family, my cousins that were living in the city who started losing their language. And I just didn't want my kids to go through that."Now living in the city himself, Peter emphasizes the importance of his mother tongue to his own children, admitting that sometimes he pretends not to understand them in English, so they speak to him in Inuktitut.'I'm here to help'In addition to giving him another opportunity to revitalize Inuktitut, Qulliq gives him an avenue to stories about life on the land — something that he largely left behind when he moved to a broadcasting career."When I was back [in Cape Dorset], every weekend, I would go fishing or geese hunting," he said. "At the time, we were able to go hunt caribou.""It makes me remember all the stuff that I have done out on the land: how to survive, and what I need."Now a prominent voice in Indigenous language broadcasting, Peter's advice for Inuit looking to follow in his footsteps is simple: don't do it on your own."At first, it's going to be nerve wracking," he said. "But there's always people around here [to help], especially in this beautiful place that I've got. "So just know that in here, there's always the support. Someone's always going to help. I'm here to help. So if you ever need anything, just let me know."

  • News
    CBC

    Where the party leaders are on Day 5 of the federal election campaign

    Here's what you need to know about where the federal leaders are on Day 5 of the campaign.You can watch streaming video of available live events on this page throughout the day.All times are Eastern Time unless otherwise noted.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer: * 1:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m. PT) Will make an announcement and hold a media availability in Surrey, B.C. * 9 p.m. (6 p.m. PT) Campaigning with Conservative candidate Byron Horner at Parksville Community Centre, Parksville, B.C.People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier: * Campaigning in Beauce, Que.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh: * 12 p.m. Announcement with Alexandre Boulerice and Pierre-Luc Dusseault, Sherbrooke, Que. * 3:30 p.m. Campaign stop with Brigitte Sansoucy, Saint-Hyacinthe, Que. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau: * Visiting local businesses with the Liberal candidate for Northumberland—Peterborough South, Kim Rudd, in Cobourg, Ont. * 5:00 p.m. Will deliver remarks at the "She The North" rally for Bianca Andreescu, Mississauga Celebration Square, Mississauga, Ont. * 7:30 p.m. Will deliver remarks at a Mid-Autumn Festival rally with the Liberal candidate for Markham—Unionville, Alan Ho, at King Square Shopping Centre in Markham, Ont.Green Party Leader Elizabeth May: * No event details.BQ Leader Yves-François Blanchet: * Details to come.

  • No laughing matter: Critics and audiences debate whether Joker and Jojo Rabbit go too far
    News
    CBC

    No laughing matter: Critics and audiences debate whether Joker and Jojo Rabbit go too far

    UPDATE: Jojo Rabbit won TIFF's top prize, the People's Choice Award, on Sunday afternoon.As the city burns, a clown puts his fingers in his bloody mouth and pulls his cheeks into a leering red grin. His crowd of followers bellows in approval.During the Second World War, a young boy learning to be a good Nazi charges into the forest, with Adolf Hitler skipping merrily at his side. Those are two distinctive images from two movies dividing audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. You could say TIFF has been a festival of extremes. This is where the race to the Oscars begins, and at this point, it could be Mister Rogers and the Joker in a dead heat.A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood features Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, the convivial children's television host. The role fits Hanks as snugly as Rogers's sweater. Hanks nails Rogers's singsong voice as well as the intense interest he showed in everyone he met. But while A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a feel-good tearjerker, Joker is quite the opposite — a grimy descent that serves as the origin story for one of the most iconic DC Comics characters.There have been many Jokers, but with Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, the man who becomes the murderous clown, we see the person under the face paint, his bitterness building into a brutal crescendo of violence. While many of the cast on the red carpet for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood said they felt the world could use more Mister Rogers right now, Joker is just as much a reflection of our time — albeit, a cracked and twisted view some critics have called irresponsible.Writing in Time magazine, Stephanie Zacharek described Joker as a prime example of the "emptiness of our culture" and called Arthur the "patron saint of incels."While Hollywood Reporter awards columnist Scott Feinberg considers Phoenix an Oscar contender, he warned the film could incite "real-world problems."In the Globe and Mail, Sarah Hagi said Phoenix's Joker represents an ideology, "becoming more vigilante than villain."Speaking to CBC News at the TIFF premiere of the film, Joker director Todd Phillips defended his work."I think a lot of the criticism comes from people who haven't seen the movie yet. We've only showed the movie in Venice and nobody there had that reaction ... I would say, see the movie and judge for yourself."Last weekend, the competition jury in Venice awarded Joker the festival's highest honour, the Golden Lion, the first time the prize has gone to a film inspired by a comic book. Psychos, drivers and clownsThere's nothing novel about a film that explores the minds of deeply disturbed characters.Think of American Psycho, or Taxi Driver, or A Clockwork Orange — there have always been films that attempt to take us inside the headspace of disturbed individuals.As Patrick Bateman, Christian Bale exemplified the shallow single-mindedness of the 1980s in American Psycho.As Travis Bickle, Robert De Niro embodied a desperate sense of loneliness in Taxi Driver. For his role in Joker, Phoenix dropped more than 50 pounds, transforming into a sinewy scarecrow, topped with a smiling face, absent any joy. Like many of the films at TIFF such as The Laundromat, Hustlers and Parasite, the backdrop of the Joker is a place of economic disparity. This Gotham is plagued by garbage strikes and super rats. Thugs roam the streets while Thomas Wayne promises to save the upper crust from the chaos. Almost by accident, the Joker becomes a symbol to the angry masses who want to pull Gotham's gleaming towers down. With the dingy colour scheme and sickly lighting, director Todd Phillips pays homage to, or perhaps outright borrows from, Taxi Driver. But whereas Travis Bickle articulated his own warped view of the world, Arthur Fleck could be seen as a product of his environment. Arthur is like a weed growing in an abandoned garden. He's the result of a life of neglect, abuse and mental illness. Someone who is ignored and mocked. It's only when Arthur guns down a trio of rich business bros who are bullying him that the citizens of Gotham finally take notice.For director Phillips, there is a sense of inevitability to the character."Our vision was a guy who ultimately has to become the Joker, so there's gonna be a little bit of anger and rebellion in him."Judging Jojo Rabbit's satirical take on Nazi Germany While the potency of Joker's punchline is no laughing matter, it's the very fact that Jojo Rabbit presents a comedic take on Adolf Hitler that has some critics concerned. The film, directed by Taika Waititi, follows the life of a young German boy named Jojo during the final days of the Second World War. Jojo dreams of being a good Nazi and is helped by his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, played by Waititi. Waititi plays the dictator in the irreverent style the actor/director is known for. The film opens with Hitler acting as Jojo's life coach, teaching him how to do a proper "Heil Hitler!" salute and preparing him for his first day of Hitler youth camp. Waititi first became interested in making the film after his Jewish mother gave him the book Caging Skies, which formed the basis of the screenplay. Speaking with CBC News at the world premiere in Toronto, he said his original intention was to make a film about intolerance and bigotry. But as hate groups seemed to proliferate and Nazis began to reappear in the news, Jojo's story became even more relevant, he said. Waititi points to a 2018 poll in the United States that suggested 66 per cent of millennials didn't understand the relevance of Auschwitz."They didn't know what it was, or where it was, or what it meant," Waititi said of the Nazi concentration camp where Jews were murdered en masse during the Second World War. "So I think more than ever, it's vital that we [remind] people of what happened."But some critics have suggested Waititi could have gone much further. Variety critic Owen Gleiberman says Jojo Rabbit is a movie "that pretends to be audacious when it's actually quite tidy and safe." Indiewire's Eric Khon writes Waititi's whimsical approach "makes Life is Beautiful look like Shoah."While some critics questioned the wisdom of portraying Hitler as a hipster idiot, Roman Griffin Davis, who played young Jojo, says the film shows the effects of the dictator's reign. "He's portrayed as a terrible person, through seeing Germany and these little boys terrified. Yeah, it might seem a bit odd, but he's still portrayed as an evil man."What some of the initial reactions to the trailer missed is the heart of the film, which focuses on Elsa, the young Jewish woman whom Jojo's mother is hiding from the authorities.  Sweetness and shockFrom the film Boy to Hunt for the Wilderpeople to even Thor: Ragnarok, Waititi excels at stories with hidden centres of sweetness. For all their posturing, his heroes are often quite innocent, as is the case with Jojo, a boy who is desperate to join the cause, until he meets a real Jew. As Elsa says to him at one point, "You're not a Nazi, Jojo. You're a 10-year-old kid who likes dressing up in a funny uniform and wants to be part of a club."True, Jojo Rabbit doesn't peer into the heart of darkness of the Third Reich, and many of the more monstrous crimes of the Nazi regime happen off camera.But as Waititi brings us into Jojo's world, there is a moment where the inhumanity and indifference of the Nazi regime hits home. A moment that left audiences in Toronto gasping.  Speaking to CBC News, Waititi underlined the importance of finding new ways to explore intolerance."If that involves having to bring in fantasy characters and using magic realism and using different techniques and sometimes comedy, so be it. We have to keep telling these stories."

  • Major installation to bring King-Liberty bridge 1 big step closer to completion
    News
    CBC

    Major installation to bring King-Liberty bridge 1 big step closer to completion

    After years of manoeuvring around construction, Torontonians will see major progress on the construction of the King-Liberty Pedestrian Cycle Bridge over the weekend.The goal of the bridge is to connect the densely-populated Liberty Village area with King Street West. Frank Claritzio, a director with the city's engineering and construction services department, says this weekend's work will see two large steel bridge spans hoisted by cranes over the train tracks and bolted together."It's a very technical operation," Claritzio told CBC Toronto. From there, the bridge will be finished with a concrete deck, security system and an elevator, he said, with work expected to be complete by spring of 2020. Access problem "Liberty Village is such a vibrant and thriving area, but it's very hard to get to," Kevin Rupasinghe with Cycle Toronto said.As of right now, the only ways into the area are via Strachan Avenue, Atlantic Avenue, or through the Exhibition GO station tunnel."For folks that live there it's hard to access key transit routes or destinations in the area. This will help immensely in terms of giving people access," Rupasinghe said.He says residents choose to walk or bicycle when it feels safe, and if there's a direct way to get where they need to go."I think this bridge will [provide] an opportunity to choose that mode of transportation more often."The bridge will stretch above the Metrolinx rail corridor and across Douro Street, south of King Street West, to the western edge of Western Battery Road into the centre of Liberty Village. The project was initially approved by city council in 2011.Claritizio says that eight-year delay can be chalked up to the long list of tasks the city had to sort out before construction could begin, including working with Metrolinx, utilities providers and various property owners. "It's a very dense urban environment and it's a very complex project," he said. Construction will affect transit, close streetsNitish Bissonauth, a spokesperson with Metrolinx, says customers should give themselves extra time to travel in the area on Sunday.The rail corridor will be shut down with buses replacing the early morning Union-Pearson Express trains."We're looking forward to this bridge," he said."It's obviously going to connect two very vibrant and exciting neighbourhoods and it'll give better access to the Exhibition GO station as well. The first bus replacing the Union-Pearson service will leave Union Station at 5:05 a.m. and Pearson Airport at 5:37 a.m. on Sunday.Replacement buses will run every 20 minutes until train service resumes at 8:30 a.m. During that time, buses won't stop at Weston or Bloor."We want to make sure they're able to get the destinations on time so we will have extra staff to guide customers at both Pearson and Union Station as well."Road closures on Douro Street and Western Battery Road have also been in place since early September. They will reopen on Monday, Sept. 16.

  • Best Buy, Staples accused of 'urging' customers to pirate TV shows with devices sold in stores
    News
    CBC

    Best Buy, Staples accused of 'urging' customers to pirate TV shows with devices sold in stores

    Premium TV network Super Channel has filed a lawsuit against four Canadian retailers for allegedly selling "pirate devices" and educating customers how to use them to watch TV without paying for it. In a court document filed in Federal Court this week, Super Channel accuses Best Buy, Staples, Canada Computers and London Drugs of copyright infringement, claiming their employees are "urging" customers to pirate online content using streaming devices that are sold in store. The four retailers "are advertently contributing to the creation of a culture of widespread infringement and theft," Super Channel alleges in the document. "Their actions are high-handed and unfair to their customers and causing damage to the plaintiff."Also listed as defendants in the lawsuit are customers who bought the "pirate devices" and received accompanying advice in store. They're currently listed as "John Doe customers" because Super Channel doesn't have their names, although it plans to pursue this information. The network wouldn't name each of the "pirate devices" involved, but said that the case includes Android boxes, which have become the scourge of the cable industry. When special software is added and the boxes are connected to TVs, they can be used to stream unauthorized content — including movies and TV shows that Super Channel owns the rights to in Canada.Customers only pay a one-time fee for the box, usually around $60 to $200.Caught on cameraAs part of its case, Super Channel claims to have more than 100 hours of undercover video gathered by private investigators who visited multiple Best Buy, Staples, Canada Computers and London Drugs locations, posing as customers curious about pirating content. Super Channel provided CBC News with a segment of the video. It includes audio allegedly from employees from each of the four retailers, who offer advice about in-store devices that can be set up to stream shows without paying for them. "This gets you free content, like free TV and movies," someone said in one audio clip from the video."You don't have to pay for anything else when you pay for this," said another.Super Channel CEO Don McDonald said he was "shocked" when he viewed the footage. The video captures more than 150 incidents supporting Super Channel's case, he said, and that the employees involved in promoting these devices range from floor staff to higher-ups. "Managers that are not kids — they're in their 30s and 40s, telling people how to do it," McDonald said. "It is rampant."Why would store staff assist customers? In the court document, Super Channel alleges the motive is "to encourage and increase the sales of the pirate devices."Best Buy, Staples, Canada Computers and London Drugs — which each received copies of the lawsuit this week — told CBC News that they deny the allegations and follow Canadian copyright laws. "[We] believe that the claims are entirely without merit," a Best Buy spokesperson said in an email. "We respect and value intellectual property, and believe content providers and artists should be fairly compensated for their work."McDonald said that Super Channel showed the video to the four retailers in the spring, but that failed to put a stop to the problem. "I wanted them to be step up and be a champion in changing the culture," he said. "They didn't see the light."CBC News asked each retailer about their meeting with Super Channel. Only London Drugs responded, stating that the network refused to disclose which products it took issue with."Nevertheless, we took the opportunity to remind our employees of the importance of Canadian copyright compliance and adherence to our code of conduct," London Drugs spokesperson Wendy Hartley said in an email. War on piracySuper Channel is seeking damages for loss of business due to the retailers' customers pirating its content. It also wants a permanent injunction to prevent Best Buy, Staples, Canada Computers and London Drugs from selling and promoting "pirate devices.""We want the stores to stop. We want the stores to say, 'Hey this is wrong,'" said McDonald. The lawsuit is just the latest attempt to curb piracy in Canada. In 2016, Bell, Rogers and Videotron launched a legal battle in Federal Court, targeting smaller dealers who sell Android boxes pre-loaded with software used to pirate content. The case is ongoing and the list of defendants has ballooned from five in 2016 to more than 130 today.Last year, Bell and Rogers also joined a coalition of more than 30 members, including CBC and Super Channel, which proposed blocking Canadians from websites offering pirated content. However, the plan was rejected by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which said it didn't have jurisdiction to enforce it.Critics have argued it's impossible to stamp out technology that enables piracy, so the best solution is to offer affordable and easily accessible programming.McDonald estimates Super Channel loses about $12 million a year from subscribers who turn to piracy. He said he hopes the lawsuit will help change the culture of piracy by sending a message that it's not acceptable "This affects our business and it's the wrong thing to do," he said. "If we can even start to make a dent in this from an awareness point of view, then we are on the right track."

  • Even in an 'affordable' Canadian city, cost-of-living squeeze has people putting pressure on politicians
    News
    CBC

    Even in an 'affordable' Canadian city, cost-of-living squeeze has people putting pressure on politicians

    Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu lies on the banks of a picturesque river about half an hour's drive from Montreal, its main street a collection of charming cafes and historic storefronts. There are many lists of Canada's most affordable cities based on different criteria, and Saint-Jean ends up on nearly every one — but even so, people are feeling the pinch.That's because the cost of living in this "affordable" city of nearly 100,000 is still only 3 per cent below the national average, according to figures compiled by global relocation firm Salary Expert."Anxiety about the cost of living consistently polls as one of the top issues in this campaign," says CBC political analyst Eric Grenier. "Canadians report concern over the cost of groceries and fuel in particular."Household expenses for the average Canadian have been climbing, from food and fuel to house prices and rent. For every dollar Canadians earn they owe an average of $1.77, and that debt continues to grow. All of which is making cost of living a big issue heading into the federal election, according to a CBC-commissioned poll.That's the case even in this Quebec community, where residents typically face less financial pressure than many of their fellow Canadians.Small edgeOn the surface, much about Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in unremarkable. The median age is 42, compared to Canada's 41. Individual income averages $34,058, about $150 less than the rest of the country.Ultimately, though, it comes down not just to how much you make but how much you spend, and this community has a small edge."We have low housing prices," says city councillor Maryline Charbonneau. "A high quality of life that is still affordable."The average home purchase price in the community is $315,000 compared to the Canadian average of $480,000.High employment rates help to make the home-price-to-household-income ratio 4.24, half of what it is in many other major centres. That makes home ownership an option earlier in life, plus paying off the mortgage possible much sooner, allowing residents to allocate more of their income to other expenses or savings.It's an economic advantage many residents are well aware of. Anais Buro has lived in many places and the most recent of her 22 moves was to this community, and when asked if she'll ever move again her reply is a very direct: "Hopefully not!"Other costs are low, too. Saint-Jean borders vast farmland that supplies inexpensive fresh produce four months of the year.Plus, child care is not a crushing expense, due to large provincial subsidies. At most, people like Buro would pay $21.95 a day per child, though it can be as low as $8.05. In other provinces, daycare rates are at least double, if spots are even available."I think it's really sad to think that families have to worry so much," says Buro of places where daycare is more expensive and harder to find. "We've heard of families [in other provinces] who waited till the first child was in school before they had a second. That's something we don't even think about here."The majority of those who live in the French-speaking community also work here, making the commute not only easy, but coming home for lunch a routine.For those who don't work locally, the city has a busy and sleek bus terminal, with 40-minute dedicated-lane service to downtown Montreal. Regular commuters pay as little as $8 roundtrip. A comparable ride on neighbouring southern Ontario's GO Transit runs $18.And since residents live outside a major city but far enough to not be considered a suburb, car insurance rates are lower than in many comparable communities. Of course, even Saint-Jean is not a utopia."Public transport is not that accessible, especially for people not going downtown," says Buro. "So we have to have two cars just to get around. Once we've paid for that it feels like there's not much left."Councillor Charbonneau commutes daily to Montreal, but admits she'd like to see government invest more in transit and "put more money into other forms of active transportation" to allow residents to move easily without using their cars through the city.Quebec continues to offer generous rebates on the purchases of new electric vehicles, but for those who still can't afford one, gas prices are among the nation's highest — often 12 cents more than next door in Ontario.And all the services and incentives need to be paid for, which explains why Quebecers have shouldered the highest total tax burden in the country since 1982. Taxes are, by far, the single largest expenditure of any family.An individual living in Quebec earning $50,000 would pay $10,380 in combined federal and provincial tax, according to a tax calculator developed by Thomson Reuters. In Ontario, the burden would be $8,660 or the Yukon, $8,309."We feel like we're being taxed like we're in the higher levels, although we are considered middle class," Buro adds.Common worriesAll of which leaves Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu just slightly ahead of most other Canadian communities when it comes to cost of living. And that has residents paying attention to what the federal parties vying to lead the country in the upcoming election plan to do in terms of reducing the overhead.And if those in one of Canada's most affordable cities are feeling the financial squeeze, imagine other parts of the country, particularly the Greater Toronto Area and B.C.'s Lower Mainland where living costs in nearly all categories have been on the rise for years, even as income has failed to keep pace.Housing prices increased 44 per cent nationally between 2013 and 2018, for example.Property taxes have also shifted northwards as provinces from coast to coast have downloaded responsibilities (and the costs that go with them) to towns and municipalities.With various polls pointing to the rising cost of living as a primary concern of voters heading into the next election, the parties have taken note, says Eric Grenier."The Conservatives have made it the centrepiece of their campaign, while the New Democrats are also trying to capitalize on that anxiety and concerns about income inequality."The Liberals, meanwhile, are pointing to housing policy changes, including a program to provide first-time buyers with 5 per cent towards the purchase of a home.Many across the country, even in "most affordable" Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, indicate they'll be looking for a candidate, party or leader who can help improve their financial situation. In CBC's poll, for example, one-third of Canadians surveyed said it was their No. 1 concern."Family issues are most important to me for the election," a Saint-Jean resident told CBC News while out with her family at an annual end-of-summer fair.Meanwhile, some in Saint-Jean say they would settle for a government that has a plan to at least slow the rising costs of daily life."Anybody who's going to help us maintain this quality of life is definitely going to have our vote," says Buro.And with that, she returns to her backyard chickens, collecting the eggs they produce for her daily. Sometimes it's the less tangible benefits that make a place desirable.

  • News
    CBC

    Stellarton develops new water conservation measures

    The Town of Stellarton has a developed a new policy to conserve water when levels in the East River become low.Stellarton gets its drinking water from the river and for the past five years, water levels have dropped during the summer months.The province had asked for a water conservation plan by the end of October."When flows reach certain levels in the river, we have to restrict water use for residential and commercial businesses," said Blaine Murray, the town's engineer."A flow meter will be installed in the next couple of months."Murray said water levels will be monitored between July and September. As the river drops, there will be three stages of conservation.Restrictions on outdoor useMayor Danny MacGillivray said stage one will restrict the use of outdoor water — such as filling pools, washing cars and watering lawns — to every second day.He said stage two will be using outdoor water twice a week, and stage three will be "no outdoor use, period."Town council approved the policy on Monday, but Coun. Simon Lawand questioned how it will be enforced."This is a great plan," said Lawand. "The question I have is how are we going to control it?"Town officials agreed that the next step is to turn the policy into a bylaw so the rules can be enforced by either a bylaw officer or police."This [policy] is mandatory — we have to do this," said Murray. "But it's also good stewardship of our natural resources."Other councillors warned that if residents don't follow conservation restrictions during droughts, than other less desirable changes could be imposed."I have a concern that if we don't do something, then down the road we'll be forced to put water meters [on residences]," said Deputy Mayor Bryan Knight. "That's not something I want to see."Currently only commercial businesses in Stellarton have water meters. Residents pay a flat fee for their water.

  • Decks collapse during firefighter event; at least 22 injured
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Decks collapse during firefighter event; at least 22 injured

    WILDWOOD, N.J. — A home's multilevel deck collapsed Saturday evening at the Jersey Shore during an event weekend, trapping people and injuring at least 22, including some children, officials said. No deaths were reported.The collapse happened around 6 p.m. Saturday in Wildwood during the annual New Jersey Firemen's Convention.It was unclear how many people were on or under the decks at the time, or how many were firefighters, but authorities said those who were trapped were quickly removed.The annual convention attracts thousands of current and former firefighters to the resort town. Firefighters were likely among those hurt or trapped.Cape May Regional Health System said 21 people were taken there, at least three of them children. Eleven patients had been released by 10 p.m., including all the children who were admitted, hospital spokeswoman Susan Staeger said.AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City said at least one additional person was taken there.The conditions of the remaining hospitalized people wasn't known.Photos and video on social media showed firefighters trying to lift a piece of decking. Images showed multiple levels of decking ripped away from the building and reduced to beams and splintered wood.The decks appeared to have been attached to a three-story building and topped by a fourth-floor overhang. The second and third levels appeared to have pancaked onto a first-floor deck. The overhang looked intact.Nearby resident Joann Devito saw the collapse from a deck across the street."I was sitting on the deck up there, and I heard this noise, so I turned and looked and saw the whole thing caving in," she said. "I saw two women running and screaming. It was horrible."Wildwood Fire Chief Daniel Speigel said authorities would not make a statement Saturday amid attempts to clean up and investigate. More information is likely on Sunday, he said.The Associated Press

  • Peel police says there is 'genuine concern for public safety' after Mississauga shooting
    Global News

    Peel police says there is 'genuine concern for public safety' after Mississauga shooting

    Peel Regional Police Chief Chris McCord said Saturday that the suspects in a shooting in Mississauga shooting were armed with semi-automatic weapons and while authorities had confirmed the suspects did not appear to be in the area anymore, there was a "genuine concern for public safety."

  • Two students dead, several seriously injured in Vancouver Island bus rollover
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Two students dead, several seriously injured in Vancouver Island bus rollover

    Two University of Victoria students died and more than a dozen other people were injured Friday after a bus on its way to a marine research centre rolled over on a narrow gravel road on Vancouver Island.The incident happened between the communities of Port Alberni and Bamfield, said the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria, which received a call for assistance at around 10 p.m."It's pretty austere out there. Lots of trees, lots of hills, lots of rugged terrain, and the weather wasn't really co-operating," said navy Lt. Tony Wright, a public relations officer with JRCC.The pilots couldn't land the helicopters at the scene so ambulances took the injured to an airport in Port Alberni, he said. From there, three people were airlifted to hospital.Two of them were in critical condition and one was in serious condition, said Andrea Visscher, a spokeswoman for British Columbia Emergency Health Services.Fourteen others in stable condition were taken by ground transportation to local hospitals, she said. BC EHS couldn't provide an update on any of the injured people's conditions."Once they're admitted into hospital, we don't get any further updates from them," Visscher said.A school bus drove 29 others away from the scene, she said.The RCMP is investigating the cause of the crash.The Wilson's Group, which owns Wilson's Transportation Ltd., said in a statement that one of its buses was involved in the accident."Our immediate concern is with the passengers, the driver and their families," read the statement. "Management and ownership is working with authorities and the University of Victoria to address those immediate concerns."Wilson's Transportation is a charter bus company that serves Victoria and Vancouver Island, according to its website. It operates more than 140 vehicles.A statement from the university said the students on the bus were headed to the Bamfield Marine Science Centre."Our heartfelt thoughts go out to the students' families and loved ones, to whom we offer our sincerest condolences," said Jamie Cassels, the university's president.The research centre also acts as a shared campus of several post-secondary institutions, according to its website.An employee who answered the phone Saturday declined to comment on the centre's programs or why the students were travelling there, but according to its website it offers summer field courses, as well as a five-course fall semester program in marine sciences.Robert Dennis, chief councillor for the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, was driving home with his wife when they passed by the scene"There were some people laying on the ground, laying on what appeared to be blankets and were being looked after by the rest of the students," he said."They were definitely panicked."The bus was overturned and about six to nine metres down an embankment, he said, adding that it rested against some trees, which seemed to have stopped it from rolling further down.People were helping remove others from the bus and getting them up to the roadway, Dennis said, adding that he and his wife provided them with water and a rain poncho for warmth. He said he and his wife stayed at the scene to help in any way they could.Dennis said the area has no cellphone reception and he estimates he was at the scene for about two hours until first responders showed up.He said the incident occurred on a "dangerous" narrow stretch of the road, noting that the First Nations community has been asking the provincial government for the road quality to be improved for years. They would like to see it chipsealed, which he says would be a better pavement surface.The road is more than 80 kilometres long and mostly gravel, said Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions. It was once mostly heavily used by logging companies, she said, but now it's also frequented by tourists and people living in coastal communities."It's a challenging road at the best of times. It's narrow and (winding)," she said, adding its condition is not up to standard. "It's a concern for sure."The city has supported the First Nations community's call for improvements, she said, reaching out to the provincial government as well.She'd like to see it paved or chipsealed, receive regular maintenance and increased lighting, and offer cellphone service for at least emergency calls.But, she noted, the section of road was graded the day before the crash. She said Western Forest Products maintains that portion of roadway, and workers have agreed to continue to maintain it despite currently being in strike action.Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

  • Class sizes swell across Calgary as enrolment rises 2,000 students year over year
    News
    CBC

    Class sizes swell across Calgary as enrolment rises 2,000 students year over year

    Enrolment is up by 2,000 students across the Calgary public school system this year, and everyone is feeling it.One Calgary parent says her child's Grade 6 class has 38 students. She's worried her daughter will be lost in the mix."Everybody likes to be recognized and acknowledged, and it just comes down to the amount of attention these kids can get," Lucyna Pielak told CBC. "I don't think they're going to be able to get enough, the teachers just can't be enough for every kid with that many people."Pielak said it's frustrating to hear the same story year after year, with few solutions in sight."The thing that bugs me is that everybody's pointing fingers. It all comes down to the budget, it comes down to the government — this government, that government. This hasn't changed in years, it's getting worse and worse and worse. I just think whatever they're doing, I know it's a really complex system … but the way they're managing it has to change somehow."Pielak said she's concerned the system is failing her daughter, Fiona MacKay, 11."There's lots of noise, teachers are getting frustrated I think, and it's been harder for me to concentrate," MacKay said after she arrived home from school — where there are 39 students in her Grade 6 French immersion classroom at David Thompson School. "It gets really hot in there, and it gets kind of dizzy and it's hard," she said. "There's always people that are talking, like, in a class of 20 kids, if someone whispers no one will hear it. But then if there's a bunch of other people whispering it kind of becomes distracting if the teacher is talking."Calgary Board of Education enrolment is at 125,000 students, up 2,000 since last year."This is an Alberta problem, this is province wide, where our classrooms are oversized mostly because they're underfunded as far as ideal conditions for teachers," said Mario Vergara, president of Calgary Separate School Board, Local 55. "It's up to the provincial government to make sure those classrooms are funded appropriately. It's the provincial funding that has diminished over the years." Vergara said teachers do the best they can with the class sizes they're given."Teachers will do the best they can. It's up to parents really to take a look at their MLA's, talk to them, those are the people that will make a difference. Talk to the premier and the Minister of Education and really, get the funding that is needed in those classrooms."Bob Cocking, president of Calgary Public Teachers, ATA Local 38, agreed there's not enough money to hire teachers to keep up."Every year, there's always 1,500 to 2,000 new students coming into our schools, and that's always going to be the case — we're a growing city so our schools are trying to keep up with that. We only have 20 high schools. It's just unfortunate that sometimes you're bursting at the seams, so in those cases you're going to have larger class sizes."The solution doesn't necessarily hinge on the upcoming provincial budget, Cocking said."It's almost too late in a sense, all the staffing is done in the spring so May, June we're staffed and to try to create classrooms after the fact, is really difficult," he said.The provincial budget is expected in late October.

  • Little harvest, big impact: Alberta volunteer farmers help battle global hunger
    News
    CBC

    Little harvest, big impact: Alberta volunteer farmers help battle global hunger

    A group of volunteer farmers say roughly 300 acres of Alberta barley could help raise close to half a million dollars to battle global hunger. About twenty farmers with Share the Harvest took to their tractors and combines in Gibbons, about 30 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, on Saturday. The group partners annually with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, which uses proceeds from the barley harvest to support their food and agricultural projects in nearly 40 countries across Africa, Asia and Central America.  "We are blessed to live in a land of abundance and had a desire to share with others," said Shaun Galloway, a director with Share the Harvest. The farmers expect to sell the barley harvest for around $125,000. The proceeds go to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, which will then match the proceeds up to around $500,000, Galloway said. "There's a million ways to help others and this is just one that our farmers are involved in," said Galloway. "We can use our circle of influence to help others. that's why I do it, that's why the other guys do it."Community affairThe harvest was a community affair, with about 50 people sharing a barbecue and watching the combines plow the barley field. The inputs, from fertilizers to seed, were provided by agriculture companies. About half the farming land was donated by Suncor. Share the Harvest is asking the public to sponsor the remaining farmland, which was put up for use by a member of the group. Canadian Foodgrains Bank says it helped over 800,000 people in 36 countries last year through its member agencies. The charity says it provided $23 million for food assistance programs alone.  A large part of the charity's support comes from growing projects such as Share the Harvest, says regional coordinator Terence Barg. The charity helps coordinate over 200 growing projects across Canada, including 34 in Alberta. "I think many Canadians believe we can do something to make a difference in the lives of people that are hungry," Barg said. The latest United Nations report estimates roughly 821 million people are undernourished globally.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    One dead, five injured in Saturday evening shooting in Mississauga, Ont.

    MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police in Mississauga, Ont., were looking for multiple suspects after a Saturday night shooting in the city west of Toronto left one person dead and five others wounded.Peel Regional Police Chief Chris McCord told a late night news conference the gunfire erupted near a parkette behind an apartment building in a residential area just after 6 p.m.He said a 17-year-old old boy died at the scene and that five others — a 13-year-old, a 16-year-old, two 17-year-olds and a woman in her 50s — were injured. McCord said one of the wounded was in serious condition and that the injuries suffered by the other four were not considered life-threatening.The chief said that based on eyewitness accounts there were multiple shooters firing semi-automatic weapons, and he noted that "a lot" of shell casings were found scattered over a wide area.He added that it was too early in the investigation to speculate on a motive, determine whether the shooting was targeted, or gang related, or to provide any suspect information.He said officers were canvassing the area looking for possible surveillance camera video that might give them a clearer picture of what happened.The wounded were being treated at trauma centres around the Greater Toronto Area. McCord said some of them made their own way to hospital before police arrived, while others were found in different locations inside the apartment complex.Tactical officers continued an "extensive" search of the neighbourhood late into the night, but McCord said the suspects had fled the area."At present, with the police presence in the area tonight, there is no individual still in this area that should cause the residents cause for concern for their own personal safety," said McCord.A music video was being filmed near the scene of the shooting, however, McCord said he didn't know if it was in any way linked to the case. Police said several vehicles in the area had been struck by gunfire and they were trying to determine if any of them belonged to the shooters.Investigators were also talking to a number of people McCord said had run from the scene as shots rang out, but the chief was quick to add that there was nothing to indicate, at this stage of the investigation, that any were possible suspects. Police were also asking anyone with information that might help with their investigation to contact them. The Canadian Press

  • Despite panic, no evidence of shooting at movie theatre
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Despite panic, no evidence of shooting at movie theatre

    ARLINGTON, Va. — Authorities in northern Virginia say they have found no evidence that a shooting occurred at a movie theatre that's part of a popular mall.Reports of a shooting had prompted panic and a large police presence Saturday night. But the Arlington County Police Department later tweeted that authorities had completed a preliminary search of the theatre at the Ballston Quarter mall in Arlington without finding any evidence that a shooting took place.As fears over the possibility of a shooting dissipated, many continued to eat and drink inside restaurants and bars in the area.Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage says police planned to clear and search the whole mall, not just the theatre, as a precaution.Authorities say one person suffered a minor injury while evacuating.The Associated Press

  • This Greenfield Park shop doesn't only save old bikes — it's a 'haven' in the community
    News
    CBC

    This Greenfield Park shop doesn't only save old bikes — it's a 'haven' in the community

    By the time Joey Vine showed up to his store in the early afternoon after volunteering at a nearby mission, someone was already waiting.Marquis Dupasquier, sitting on a stool next to the shop's entrance, is like many of Vine's patrons in that he is also a friend. And if you were to stop by a few hours later that day in September, you might think the whole neighbourhood is pals with Vine."It's nice to come and just hang out. You don't get that at any other store," said Dupasquier, who had dropped by to see if Vine could mend a seized pedal.Friends and shoppers alike come to Quinn Antiques to get their bicycles fixed and trade vintage bikes and records, but what they're really there for is Vine."With Joe, we talk about anything. We talk about the past, the present and the future," Dupasquier said. "He's an icon in the area."Vine — a gregarious retired bond futures trader who sports a cowboy hat, shin pads and bright yellow vest to work — is in the business of making the old new again.Many of the shining bikes neatly lined up in front of his store were once destined for the scrap yard. As Vine puts it, he "brings them back," giving them a new life and another "a decade or two" of use.Vine, 55, has painstakingly built up the store he opened nine years ago in Greenfield Park. Today, it has become a community hangout and repository for miscellaneous objects: old cameras, magazines and dishes, an impressive collection of 10,000 records and the 40 or so 20th-Century bicycles outside. Those bikes aren't supposed to be there, though. A City of Longueuil bylaw forbids merchants from displaying anything outside their store. Exceptions are made for establishments serving food, if they buy a permit.Vine has tried to convince the city to issue him a permit, but he says that they've fined him "numerous times" instead. At first, he paid the fines — amounting to about $4,000 — out of pocket. Then, construction overhauling the street in front of Quinn Antiques nearly drove him out of business. "And it was: 'forget about it'," he said.He opted to work the rest of the fines off in community service hours at the Mission Nouvelle Génération in Brossard. It's been two years since Vine finished working off another $6,000 in fines, and he continues to volunteer at the mission every Tuesday and Thursday morning."I fell in love with the place," he said.He established a program where he and two other mechanics fix bikes they find, and give them to the mission to sell at a low price. In exchange, the mission has created a space in their warehouse for them to work, amid stacked boxes of donations."This is our jungle," Vine said, walking inside. Bicycle wheels decorate the metal wall above a work table and bikes of different sizes lie all around.The mission is also where Vine met David Phelps, a 49-year-old from Scarborough, Ont., who used to volunteer at the meat counter. On his breaks, Phelps would watch Vine work."I used to work on my own bike as a kid and I told Joe how I would fix it and he said, 'that's all wrong,'" Phelps said. Still, Vine saw in Phelps skills he didn't have."Bottom brackets, bearings, I can change a tire in under two minutes," Phelps said. "I do jobs that Joe just won't touch."The two have now become inseparable. When Vine graduated university in political science, he joined his father at the Montreal Stock Exchange. He started as a stock broker, then took a position as a bond futures trader with Merrill Lynch, then Goldman Sachs. Eight years later, at 30, he became an independent trader. In the next 16 years, Vine said, he would grow "too old" amid an industry that was modernizing "too fast." "Once [the Stock Exchange] computerized, it's you against the Borg. The whole world changes," Vine said, polishing a Czechoslovakian bike the colour of a robin's egg he dated to the early 1970s. So he had to find a niche, he said. Not that the digital age has been any kinder to the world of antique stores. "E-commerce has taken over, never mind Ebay, Facebook and all those sites," Vine said, starting to smile."The bikes? They're hard to ship. They don't fit in an envelope!"The evening light was starting to set in and three of Vine's friends were laughing and drinking wine on benches outside. Vine's two youngest children, 11 and 12, rode a pair of cruisers he'd refurbished for them.Phelps pulled up to the store in his silver Chevrolet Cavalier with a trunk filled with food he'd earned volunteering at the mission. Philippe Abran, Vine's next door neighbour, and Steven Avila, a former employee, started the charcoal barbecue behind the store. Abran says the group "saved me." After a painful separation, Abran says he started "from Square Zero." Vine and Phelps fed him at their daily barbecues, and Abran helped cook. "I would actually have to go so far as to call it a sanctuary because it's just kind of a haven for people," Abran said. Vine estimates he's put more than 500 bikes back on the road, not including those he's fixed at the mission. He hopes to make the program there "bigger and better," with more volunteers and equipment.Each year, he says he sells more bikes at Quinn Antiques than the last — he was at 103 at the time of his interview with CBC News. As Vine hauled the bikes back inside at dusk, Phelps was now the one on the stool by the door, keeping a watchful eye on the group as they finished their food."He's usually here until 9:30 at night," Phelps said of Vine. "He calls it the all-night bike shop and social club. I added the social club.""The people who come by to see him are like an extended family to him. He protects them, they protect him.""I feel that nothing can go wrong here."

  • OPINION | Candidates promise change, but who's ready to fight for it?
    News
    CBC

    OPINION | Candidates promise change, but who's ready to fight for it?

    Electoral campaigns are exciting times — so full of hope and promise. Lofty platforms and grand ideas for change give voters something to look forward to, but it's not easy for newly sworn in politicians to keep their promises once elected. The parameters of controversy can be high, especially when standing firm on a decision that has strong opposition. Tackling controversial issues is not something that most politicians can do with diplomacy and those in the assembly going rogue run the risk of getting shuffled — or having voters less inclined on voting them back in next term. So how does a member of the N.W.T. Legislative Assembly make a stand without putting their career on the line? How do you stand alone on an issue when main priorities in the assembly are determined by consensus? Strategic initiatives are put forward by an appointed standing committee deemed proficient in reviewing the forecasting needs of the territory. This work trickles directly down into the recommendations for the annual budget. But, since the government of the Northwest Territories is a public government, when people want change — when they actively lobby and advocate for it — they need to be heard and due diligence must be taken into effect. Even when strict agendas are already set, they must be shifted. Like a bad home renovation, things get put off, dismissed and pushed aside and at the end of a four-year term, some politicians are worn out and tired because they are trying to get through piles of unkept promised legislation. Most of that will likely be waiting for the next set of MLAs to come in and pick up where they left off, and the cycle continues.Safe accomplishments or lasting change?The leaders of the next Legislative Assembly must ensure that they know what the real northern issues are in their assigned portfolios.Health and housing are huge problems right now and have been for a long time. To many, the Housing Corporation is operating like a ruthless for-profit operation, when they should be looking for ways to mitigate the cost of housing. The mental health support system seems to be failing miserably, to the point that if a person wants help, it's a far cry until its answered, if it's even answered at all.    Indigenous governments should have the first and last say on northern land, and the territorial government seems to still be in denial of this. What are the recent accomplishments of the N.W.T. government that have drastically changed the lives of people in the territory? We've seen sights set on increasing tourism, mining and resource development (which was and still is the Northwest Territories' biggest industry) and infrastructure, through the building of the Deh Cho Bridge, the development of the Mackenzie Valley all-season highway, a road through the mineral-rich Slave Geological Province, and the all-season road to Whati. But besides these infrastructure projects, there has been slight progression on things that affect residents directly: public housing, education, or mental health supports, to give some examples. Even when it comes to infrastructure, these projects have been on the safe side; most relating to the decades-long dependence on resource development. The government has been operating in a way that is very safe. Nothing changes. We haven't done anything worthy of attention or significance to the rest of the world, yet we are in a perfect location to be able to do just that. Who will step up?Which leaders of the next Legislative Assembly will stand out amongst the rest and opt to be on board for the coming technological revolution? The N.W.T. is under a monopoly when it comes to internet, when the southern provinces have access to high speed packages with unlimited bandwidth. The N.W.T. doesn't have university legislation yet, despite the growing need, and our Grade 12 students aren't graduating with the rest of the country, many in communities requiring a year of upgrading after they graduate. And if this next government wants to make the environment a priority, it's going to take a lot more than environmentalists to believe in setting up electric car power stations and green office buildings with solar roofs. It's going to take a set of agreed priorities that are outside of the box.  A large reason for this stagnancy is that the government isn't moving over and creating space for Indigenous governments that are rightfully owed their overdue sovereignty. Indigenous governments should have the first and last say on northern land, and the territorial government seems to still be in denial of this. I'd like to see which new leaders are going to stand up and openly recognize this as fact.  So, who will commit to the daunting task of becoming a renegade in the Legislative Assembly this next term? It takes a pounding of the fist on the table in order to get things done. It takes a certain residual demeanour and a tough attitude in order to be heard. But that's the only way to gain authentic credibility — and to drive real change.This column is part of CBC's Opinion section. For more information about this section, please read this editor's blog and our FAQ.

  • Downton Abbey movie exciting for etiquette lovers
    News
    CBC

    Downton Abbey movie exciting for etiquette lovers

    The movie Downton Abbey is now playing at the Cineplex in Charlottetown, and few people are more excited than etiquette expert and certified butler John Robertson.The TV series, which follows wealthy aristocrats in 20th century England, ended in 2015 after six seasons. The movie picks up where the television show left off, in the year 1926."England has just come through the general strike. Lindbergh has just flown the Atlantic solo. Very exciting times," Roberston said in an interview with Island Morning."But the movie focuses entirely and intensely on a single event in the family's life — a royal visit. So that will still only be the backdrop for the plausible or possibly implausible plot lines. But the budget has been huge and the sets and the costumes and the pageantry alone will be worth seeing."Downton Abbey has always been "ferociously accurate" in its research and presentation, especially with the historical detail in the settings, social customs, attitudes, clothes and hairstyles, Robertson said."So even at times when the plot lines were pure rubbish it was still fascinating to watch."Robertson said a royal visit would have been huge in the 1920s."It would have been far more extravagant than we would ever imagine today. The entire household would go into overdrive from the moment the visit is announced and happily so, it was a great, exciting endeavour," he said."But for the host family it's a mixed blessing. Hosting the king and queen ... gave your house great status. But they were a huge financial burden."Robertson said it was interesting in the TV series to see the women's costumes and hairdos progress from pre-First World War to the mid-1920s. It coincided with a "monumental change in British society" and the role of women.Robertson couldn't help but watch it through the eyes of a butler."What I observed in the television series over the whole 15-year period no matter how the clothes and styles changed, how the technology advanced, how their roles changed, they maintained their standards of civility and respect throughout all. And that's my takeaway."More P.E.I. news

  • Meet Adam Essien, The Dad Who Accidentally Became A Champion For Kids With Autism
    News
    HuffPost Canada

    Meet Adam Essien, The Dad Who Accidentally Became A Champion For Kids With Autism

    TORONTO -- The minister never responded to Adam Essien's email, but the response he did receive from others lasted for months. The father-of-two, who lives in Stoney Creek, Ont., emailed Ontario's minister of children, community and social services in February. He copied others, including staff at the Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre, where his son attends programs for autism."I've had hospital managers come up to me and say, 'That email made my weekend! I shared it with my husband!'" he told HuffPost Canada. "And my wife is standing there like, 'Who is this woman and why is she talking to my husband?'"In the email, Essien argued that Ontario should define services for kids who have autism, including speech therapy and applied behaviour analysis (ABA), as "medically necessary." That way, they would be covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). 'An atrocity'A few weeks earlier, Minister Lisa MacLeod had announced that her government would clear a long waiting list for services by providing funding for families. The money would be capped at $20,000 a year for children under the age of six and $5,000 a year for kids under 18. Families would be cut off after receiving $140,000. Essien calls the plan "an atrocity." The Progressive Conservatives have since backtracked and pledged to redesign the program.Watch: Ontario Premier Doug Ford demotes Lisa Macleod in a cabinet shuffle. Story continues after video. Once he saw the impact of his email, Essien decided to dedicate more time and effort into advocating for his son and other children like him."It spun out of control within a matter of six to eight weeks. I thought, 'You know what? If it's going to be like that, I might as well ride it,'" he said."I am the last guy who should be doing it. I'll admit it. I'm not that type of guy. I'm a programmer, I'm not an advocate."In the spring, Essien launched a website and a petition, calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to designate autism services as medically necessary. More than 6,000 people have signed it. I’m not that type of guy. I’m a programmer, I’m not an advocate.Adam Essien"The treatment is a medical treatment and it has been misclassified," Essien said.He said there are therapy providers and even government staff who have said privately that they support his petition, but they're "handcuffed" by their jobs and can't speak publicly. "The people who have a lot of influence ... can't say anything because their jobs are on the line, their funding's on the line," he said. "They stand to lose a lot more than we do as parents."One PC MPP has expressed some support for the idea. Roman Baber, the MPP for York Centre, said that the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services might be the wrong department to handle this. A spokesperson for Baber confirmed to HuffPost that he made the comment at an event for Hispanic parents of kids with autism, but said the MPP did not want to comment further. Ontario's Ministry of Health won't cover autism therapies because they're not provided by a physician, government spokesman David Jensen told HuffPost by email. He said OHIP covers relevant services, like the diagnosis of autism, that are provided by a medical doctor. "Ontario is taking a cross-government approach to how we can better integrate health and social supports to meet the needs of children with autism and their families," Jensen said. He said the two ministries are collaborating to regulate the clinicians who do ABA, which will standardize services across the province. Ontario is taking a cross-government approach to how we can better integrate health and social supports to meet the needs of children with autism and their families.David JensenEssien said it's "not a valid argument" to say that only a physician's services should be covered by OHIP. He noted that in the United Kingdom, autism services are provided by the National Health Service. Coverage for these services would go a long way for families. This summer, Essien and his wife paid $2,200 a month to secure 40 hours of ABA therapy for their son. That was after they moved from Mississauga to Stoney Creek just to access services at all. "I couldn't even get on a waitlist to get on a waitlist for services for the boy in Mississauga," said Essien.It's paid off. Their son, whose name Essien does not want published, has really improved this summer. "He's not severe but he's not mild either … He struggles with the ability to talk to other people, particularly kids his own age."This summer at camp, he started to play with other kids, said his dad. "That's been a lot of fun to watch," Essien said. And it's "in large part" due to the ABA therapy. But Essien and his wife could only afford that much therapy by using money from an inheritance and a retroactive tax credit for children with disabilities. "It took some real creative financing" to not "plunge ourselves into debt," Essien said."The financial gymnastics that I had to pull off were ridiculous. Somehow, I managed, but I realize that most people can't." READ MORE... * Greta Thunberg On Having Asperger's: 'Being Different Is A Superpower' * What Ontario Can Learn From The U.S. On Funding Autism Treatment * Ontario PCs To Regulate Therapists Who Work With People With Autism He said a public system that gave every family access to quality services would benefit the entire population. "I want [my son] to get what he needs but I want these other kids to get it too. Because if they get it, a large percentage of them -- if not all of them, are going to thrive, are going to succeed, are going to be productive members of society," Essien said."They're going to help other people in turn. These kids have talent. These kids have gifts. These kids have abilities that we should be unlocking but, for political reasons, we're not."

  • Crews extinguish shed fire after neighbours report hearing an explosion
    News
    CBC

    Crews extinguish shed fire after neighbours report hearing an explosion

    A shed fire that brought fire crews and Newfoundland Power to the scene caused a commotion in a downtown St. John's neighbourhood early Sunday morning.  St. John's Regional Acting Platoon Chief Gina Burke says firefighters were called to the Franklyn Avenue area just after 3 a.m. after receiving reports of an explosion.Two separate calls to 911 had indicated "loud bangs" had been heard.When crews arrived, a backyard shed was engulfed in flames. Burke said firefighters gained access from Prince of Wales Street through a nearby alleyway. She said due to the close proximity of houses, siding on some of the nearby homes had melted.Crews put out the fire in about 30 minutes.First responders notified some of the area residents, although evacuation was not necessary in the end.Newfoundland Power was also contacted as overhead wires could have been affected. No electricity was lost.There were no injuries reported.The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is investigating.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Dead rats, old food are contaminating blue bags and fouling this recycling plant
    News
    CBC

    Dead rats, old food are contaminating blue bags and fouling this recycling plant

    A lot of disgusting garbage is showing up at the recycling facility in Corner Brook, and the company that runs the plant says that's affecting its ability to recruit and keep workers. Dwight Whynot, president of Scotia Recycling, said workers have had to sort through things like used syringes, dirty diapers and even animal carcasses in blue bags at the Corner Brook operation."The other day, I had actually had a dead rat in a rat trap show up in a bag," said Whynot.None of the items he mentioned belong in a blue bag but should instead have been placed at the curb in a clear garbage bag, as Western Regional Waste Management rules require.Whynot estimated that contamination rates in the region are as much as 30 per cent higher than what his workers see in other locations.He's asking people to become informed about what's permitted in blue bags, and to realize that after their waste is picked up, someone at his plant has to deal with whatever gets sent their way.Two problemsAs Whynot sees it, there are two factors leading to problems with recycling in the region.First, people are putting items in the blue bag that just don't belong there, including textiles and Styrofoam, in addition to the things that are more repulsive. It can be quite disgusting. \- Dwight WhynotBut he said workers are also sorting through a lot of food containers that do belong in the bag, but that have food still in them or that haven't been rinsed out."It can be quite disgusting when that happens." said Whynot, adding that it can lead to bad odours and can attract maggots and even rodents."People just need to be a little bit more careful what they put in the blue bag."Hard to keep workersWhynot said one result of the lack of compliance is that contaminated blue bags end up being sent to the landfill, although he noted that each bag is sorted through so one improperly rinsed container won't lead to a whole bag being trashed.Whynot praised some residents in the region for going to the effort to properly clean and sort items for their blue bags, but he said it takes only one or two contaminated bags in a load to cross-contaminate the sorting line.He said the biggest challenge for him as an employer has been in keeping workers. He said the turnover rate is much higher than in other locations where Scotia Recycling operates. Just respect the fact that there's somebody on the other end of that blue bag. \- Dwight Whynot"That has presented a great challenge for us keeping and retaining people on a daily [and] weekly basis," Whynot told CBC Radio's Newfoundland Morning.Whynot is asking people to remember that his workers have the job of sorting through each and every blue bag they put out."Just respect the fact that there's somebody on the other end of that blue bag, sorting it and trying to make recycling work for the province, so that would be a huge help for us," he said.Don't know, don't careAs for why people would be choosing to contaminate the recycling stream, Whynot said he believes some people just aren't aware of which items go in their clear garbage bag and which ones go in the blue bag.He's recommending that people check out the website for Western Regional Waste Management to ensure they're only putting recyclable items in the blue bag.But Whynot said he believes there's also still frustration with the new expanded recycling program, which began in July 2018 and involved a switch from black bags to clear bags for garbage."New program on the garbage side, so I'm sure some people are almost kind of hiding some things in the blue bag, too," he said."When you do have a garbage bag limit for a household, sometimes if you exceed that, then you end up putting some things in the blue bag."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador