A series of multi-vehicle pileups shut down Highway 1 in both directions near Canmore, Alta., on Wednesday with reports of up to 40 vehicles in the ditch due to snow and icy roads.The province issued a critical emergency alert at 6:50 p.m., warning of dangerous highway conditions on Highway 1 between Canmore and Cochrane, west of Calgary. The alert was cancelled shortly after 9 p.m.The agency told drivers trapped on the highway to shelter in place.RCMP said at 4:25 p.m. that traffic was being turned around at Dead Man's Flats, and they were advising drivers to stay off the Trans-Canada. The highway reopened at 9 p.m., but RCMP said drivers were being warned to stay off Highways 1 and 2 until conditions improved. EMS said eight people were taken to hospital, including three children, all of whom are in stable non-life-threatening condition.Five ambulances took the patients to hospitals in Canmore and Calgary, EMS said.Road and weather conditions were poor, leading to lengthy delays, police said.One driver told CBC News they had been sitting at a standstill for nearly an hour as of 4:30 p.m., while another said other cars on the road were sliding toward the ditch. A photo shared with CBC News showed a jackknifed semi behind a long line of vehicles."Cars were literally just flying off the road," said Chantel Westguard, who drove through the impacted stretch of highway around 4 p.m.She said she saw at least three major crashes, and cars slowing down approaching the pileups were flying into the ditch."There were a couple accidents that definitely, you know, did not look very good."Emergency crews were on scene.Exshaw fire chief Rick Lyster tweeted that there were serious multi-vehicle collisions requiring hydraulic tools for extraction, and that first responders vehicles were being rear-ended."Don't drive if you don't [have] to," he wrote.Alberta Transportation said Highway 1X and Highway 1A were available as detours, but they were backed up as well.A snowfall warning for Canmore and Kananaskis called for up to 10 centimetres to fall Wednesday evening.Environment Canada said the heavy snowfall would cause poor visibility, and suggested drivers prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions.The heavy snowfall was expected to move south over the course of the evening and taper off overnight.Airdrie RCMP said the severe weather was causing extremely poor visibility and slippery conditions across southern Alberta, and suggested travel be avoided if possible.
The Quebec government is being taken to court over its decision to cancel a backlog of more than 18,000 immigration applications as it overhauls its system for selecting newcomers. An association representing Quebec immigration lawyers filed an injunction request Wednesday seeking a halt to the policy. It wants the Immigration Department to be ordered to resume processing the applications.
TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford suspended a member of his caucus Wednesday for comments made as parents of children with autism packed the legislature's galleries, angry about funding changes they say are woefully inadequate.Some of the parents said that Randy Hillier said "yada yada yada" to them near the end of question period, but Hillier said the remarks were directed at the NDP.Nevertheless, Ford suspended Hillier indefinitely from the Tory caucus, saying his comments were disrespectful to parents of children with autism."Mr. Hillier's comments crossed the line and that is unacceptable," the premier said.Hillier, for his part, said he was sorry if the comments meant for the NDP had upset the families."I apologize to the parents present who may have felt that my comments were directed at them," he said. "They were not, and never would be."Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod announced autism funding changes this month that would see families get up to $20,000 per year for treatment for children under six and $5,000 a year for children six to 18, up to a lifetime maximum of $140,000.But intensive therapy can cost up to $80,000 a year, and parents — some of whom watched question period Wednesday while wiping tears away — are calling for funding to be based on children's individual needs, instead of just their age.Nancy Silva-Khan is the mom to seven-year-old twin boys on the severe end of the autism spectrum. They are currently in 30 hours a week of publicly funded therapy at a cost of $120,000 for both children. When the new program takes effect in a few weeks she will get less than $10,000 per year to pay for their therapy."They have chosen to provide a grain of rice for a therapy famine experienced by the autism community," Silva-Khan said.Her boys have made great strides in therapy, she said, including learning to feed themselves with a spoon and undress themselves."They no longer hit me while bathing," she said. "They have stopped violently banging their heads on the window of a vehicle whenever stopped at a red light. My boys can now scream 'ma' when they need me. Intensive (applied behaviour analysis) therapy works, regardless of age."Stephanie Ridley, mom to a seven-year-old boy who is non-verbal, said the amount of funding each family will get will not be enough for many children, using an analogy."Every kid in this province, (MacLeod) says, deserves a pair of glasses, and they just got them all with no lenses," Ridley said. "Not every kid needs intensive therapy. We're just asking for what each kid individually needs."MacLeod has said that her goal with the new program is to clear a backlog of 23,000 children waiting for treatment, saying it's unfair that only about 8,400 are currently receiving funded therapy. She said that the flow of kids coming off the wait list had slowed to a trickle, leading her to believe that if she didn't make changes, they would stay on that list forever.But many of those on the list say they'd rather wait for full funding.Only families with an adjusted annual net family income of under $55,000 will be eligible for the maximum annual amounts, with funding determined on a sliding scale up to a $250,000 income.Parents, who are planning a protest at the legislature March 7, said they won't back down in demanding changes."If they want to keep doing this, we'll keep dancing," said Kristen Ellison, mom to an eight-year-old in treatment for 25 hours a week. "We can't do it every day, but there's a parent behind us who will replace us when we have to fall back. I am not going away."Allison Jones, The Canadian Press
A massive organized crime investigation that produced 6.6 million pages of information and was connected to what Calgary police defined as a "gang war" on city streets has resulted in two men being convicted of a dozen charges involving guns and drug trafficking. On Wednesday, lawyers for Ziad Mohamed Jeha and Ibrahim Said Borhot and the Crown proposed a six-year prison sentence after giving two years credit for the time they've served in custody and for living under strict bail conditions. Originally, the two men faced 32 charges stemming from the large-scale, 10-month organized crime investigation involving Calgary police, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, the RCMP, as well as the Canada Border Services Agency.
In Washington, the U.S. State Department dismissed Putin's comments as "propaganda designed to divert attention from what Washington alleges are Moscow's violations of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Putin said Russia was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first step to deploy missiles in response to Washington's decision this month to quit a landmark Cold War-era arms control treaty.
The Liberals used their majority Wednesday to defeat an opposition motion calling for a public inquiry into allegations that the Prime Minister's Office pressured Jody Wilson-Raybould to help SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution. The former attorney general herself abstained, telling the House of Commons she didn't think it appropriate to vote on a matter in which she was personally involved. "I understand fully that Canadians want to know the truth and want transparency," said Wilson-Raybould, who has cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse comment on the matter since the allegation from anonymous sources first surfaced two weeks ago.
Former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould spoke in the House of Commons Wednesday for the first time since the SNC-Lavalin scandal began, saying she hoped to one day "speak her truth" to the house.
Alberta Opposition Leader Jason Kenney says a United Conservative government would work to reduce bureaucratic bloat in health care and explore private delivery options. Privately delivered care for minor procedures is improving wait times in other jurisdictions and any changes he made would still be funded under public health, Kenney said Wednesday. Kenney made the comments as he revealed the broad strokes of his party's health platform ahead of the spring election.
A security bug is allowing users to bypass new privacy controls introduced by Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp on iPhones this month, the service said on Wednesday after users posted about the problem on social media. The disclosure comes as messaging and other applications race to improve security and privacy and as Facebook Inc is addressing criticism for not safeguarding privacy. WhatsApp's new privacy feature allows iPhone users to require Touch ID or Face ID — fingerprint or facial recognition — to open the app but users were able to bypass those log-in methods by using the iPhone's "share" function to send files over WhatsApp.
About half of Canada's inmates were abused as children, suggests a new study out of McMaster University.Medical student Claire Bodkin led a team that studied data from 30 years of research into Canadian inmates. Their work was published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH). The researchers found 65 per cent of female inmates experienced abuse in general, and half of them were sexually abused.Bodkin said only one study in the data evaluated reported the prevalence of abuse among men. The researchers found abuse rates involving male inmates were at 35.5 per cent, with 21.9 per cent of them having experienced sexual abuse. If we had more resources at the preventative level, before people got in conflict with the law, that would be really amazing. \- Ruth Greenspan, John Howard SocietyThe team did a statistical analysis of the results to reach the conclusion that half of inmates had been abused, Bodkin said."That's an alarmingly high number."These are the other researchers involved in the work, which included going over 34 studies from territorial, federal and provincial prisons and jails: * Fiona Kouyoumdjian and Lucie Pivnick, both McMaster. * Susan Bondy of the University of Toronto. * Carolyn Ziegler of Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital. * Ruth Elwood Martin of the University of British Columbia.Bodkin said understanding people who have been incarcerated — including reoffenders — will go a long way in helping prevent crime. Prisons need to take trauma into account in how they deal with inmates, Bodkin said."Regardless of where you stand politically, I think everyone can agree that prison is not a healthy place for people, and that it's a symptom of multiple other things that have gone wrong."So "how do we need to think about the impact of childhood trauma? How do we prevent childhood abuse from happening in the first place?"The findings aren't surprising to Ruth Greenspan, executive director of the John Howard Society of Hamilton, Burlington and area in Ontario."Many resort to their own abuse of themselves," she said. "There's a lot of addiction, self-mutilation, self-harm, and suicide, which again, are all indications of having suffered a lot of trauma. PTSD is something you see when you work with this population."There have been some great programs over the years to address trauma among people who commit crimes, she said. But the funding comes and goes.On the whole, there aren't enough free resources for individuals — before, during or after prison, said Greenspan.Prevention 'would just save so much money'"If we had more resources at the preventative level, before people got in conflict with the law, that would be really amazing," she said."If we prevented it, we would just save so much money in the criminal justice system. And I don't think we're there yet."For her part, Bodkin has done some clinical training with men during and after prison. Some have "really expansive trauma histories," including severe abuse as children, she said."We suspected it was high, but there wasn't good research out there that led to a national perspective in Canada."As for what constitutes abuse, Bodkin and her team used a World Health Organization definition, which means attendance at a residential school wasn't considered, although that research would be useful too, Bodkin said.At any given time, 41,000 people are incarcerated in Canada, and a disproportionate number are Indigenous.
LONDON — The Latest on the Brit Awards ceremony (all times local):10:30 p.m.The U.K. music industry's Brit Awards have been handed out during a slick, surprise-free ceremony that set out to celebrate female talent after past allegations of neglect.Manchester quartet The 1975 was named best British group and also took British album of the year for "A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships."DJ Calvin Harris was named producer of the year, while his U.K. chart-topping collaboration with singer-songwriter Dua Lipa, "One Kiss," was declared best British single.Women dominated this year's nominations, outnumbering men for only the second time in the Brits' four-decade history. Lipa and singer-songwriter Anne-Marie started the night with a field-leading four nominations each.Singer Paloma Faith slammed the dearth of female performers at last year's Brits ceremony. She said she was pleased to see the situation "rectified" Wednesday.Lipa, soulful singer Jorja Smith, Jess Glynne, girl group Little Mix and Pink were among the female acts during the show.___8:30 p.m.The ceremony for the U.K. music industry's Brit Awards opened with a high-voltage performance from "The Greatest Showman" star Hugh Jackman.A silver-spangled Jackman and dozens of dancers performed the title song from the hit movie musical to kick off the slick awards show at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday night.Dua Lipa, whose star status was cemented by two Grammy awards earlier this month, was up for four trophies, including single of the year for both "IDGAF" and One Kiss," her collaboration with Calvin Harris.Most winners of the U.K's Brit Awards are chosen by music-industry members, but several are selected through a public vote.___11:30 a.m.Home-grown talents Dua Lipa, Anne-Marie and George Ezra lead nominations for the U.K. music industry's Brit Awards , set to be handed out at a ceremony featuring performances by "The Greatest Showman" star Hugh Jackman and DJ Calvin Harris.Lipa, whose star status was cemented with two Grammy awards earlier this month, is up for four trophies, including single of the year for both "One Kiss" and "IDGAF."Karate black belt and singer Anne-Marie also has four nods, including best British female solo artist, while Ezra has three.Women dominate the nominations, after past criticism that the Brits have failed to reflect the diversity of British music.Pink is due to receive an award for outstanding contribution to music during Wednesday's ceremony at London's O2 Arena, hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall.The Associated Press
In the letter written in 1917, a soldier named Earl Sorel tells his friend’s sister about her brother's death at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Sorel says he was wounded in an artillery barrage and his friend dragged him to the safety of a shell hole. Amanda Kehler says at first she simply wanted to return the letter, but now she and the men's relatives agree it should be shared with others.
Last week saw parts of the world blanketed in snow, ice and flowers, with Valentine’s Day falling in the dead of winter. While people from Canada to Gaza stopped to smell the roses, thousands of right-wing demonstrators gathered in Spain to protest the country’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. The week also brought healing in Paradise, Calif. where residents are beginning to rebuild following the devastation of the Camp Fire in November, and in Parkland, Fla. where a community marked the first anniversary of the deadly Parkland school shooting on Feb. 14, 2018. From back-to-back ice storms to the dark, hidden world of forced rhubarb farming, here are some of the most compelling images from last week.
A mother of two in the Mauricie region says the fees the municipality of Trois-Rivières is now charging for non-residents to use the city's sports facilities are so high they could prevent her sons from playing baseball this season. The city has increased the fees for non-residents to play on the city's hockey, soccer and baseball teams. St-Arnaud told Quebec AM the fees her sons pay will more than double, from less than $400 last year to $1,000 for both kids this coming season.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX rose 93.80 points, or 0.59 percent, to 16,031.24. * Leading the index were Semafo Inc , up 6.9 percent, Teck Resources Ltd , up 5 percent, and Aphria Inc , higher by 4.9 percent. * Lagging shares were Uni-Select Inc , down 22.7 percent, Fortuna Silver Mines Inc, down 7.9 percent, and Aritzia Inc, lower by 7.9 percent. * On the TSX 148 issues rose and 85 fell as a 1.7-to-1 ratio favored advancers. There were 13 new highs and 1 new low, with total volume of 267.9 million shares. ...
A federal plan to spend $638 million on housing for Indigenous people living in cities and urban areas won't provide enough money or address the basic causes of Indigenous homelessness, say people who work on programs in the field. “It’s not enough,” said Marc Maracle, the executive director of the Gignul Non Profit Housing Corporation, an Indigenous housing co-operative in Ottawa. The other third is for renovations and improvements to existing units that house Indigenous families in urban areas.
When winter weather hits, Joannie Cowie feels like a prisoner in her own home.It's very frustrating. I can't get out without help ... I think I have the right to be independent as a Canadian," she said.At the age of six, a severe asthma attack left her paralyzed and in a wheelchair. She was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disease in which a person's immune system attacks their nerves.She currently lives in community housing through the River Park Non-Profit Housing Corporation in LaSalle. But according to Cowie, staff members who shovel snow outside of her home often leave large portions of the driveway and entrance ramp untreated, leaving her unable to go outside.Whenever Environment Canada issues a special weather statement, Cowie said she feels "stuck.""It's a very strong barrier. I know the people of Windsor-Essex try and keep their roads clean ... but it still needs work done," she said, adding her the wheels of her chair "take a beating" when rolling through snow and ice. A scary example of that happened this past Family Day, when Cowie was getting out of the car to transfer herself into her wheelchair. She had purposely worn running shoes that day so she had more traction on the ground.But when Cowie stepped out, her left, paralyzed leg slid out from underneath her, "turning in a circular motion.""All I could hear was a crackling noise, almost like popcorn," she said, adding she waited until she couldn't bear the pain of her injuries anymore before getting the leg checked out at the hospital."I had multiple fractures underneath my foot and in the ankle area. I just was at the fracture clinic this morning on Ouellette."Daughter pitching in during the winterIt's not the first time this has happened. Cowie recalls an incident from last year in which she left her house to head to a doctor's appointment."I actually fell in my driveway. If it wasn't for my daughter, I probably would've broken two legs, an arm," she said, adding the fall left her "bruised" and "shaken up."That incident was especially devastating for her daughter, Victoria Cowie, who said she things can get "quite stressful" whenever winter weather is expected."When the people from our housing come to shovel the driveways, they don't always shovel exactly a width of a wheelchair, so I go back out, re-shovel it and salt it again," said Victoria.She said if her mom was left in the home on her own, going outside around snow and ice would be next to impossible."She can't push herself, so I push her everywhere," she said, adding the driveway is already steep enough to send her mom rolling into traffic without the dangers of untreated ice on the ground.Salt demand has been 'crazy'The nightly freeze from temperatures below zero are causing many to reach for the salt — and it's selling out in some stores in Windsor.Home Hardware just received a shipment of salt, but doesn't expect it to stay on the shelves too long.Assistant manager Tammy Dagenais said demand for salt has been "crazy," with customers picking up "two or three" bags at a time.
A Regina woman and a veterinarian are warning pet owners to keep anything that might contain a common sugar substitute away from dogs after a recent scare involving a seemingly harmless pack of gum. Keiza Pynn, a CBC employee, was startled on Valentine's Day when her puppy accidentally ingested 50 pieces of sugar-free gum containing xylitol. The sugar substitute is known to be toxic to dogs.
Additionally, Invesco says a new commitment from the province to provide up to $3.1 million in labour rebates over the next four years could see the company's staffing reach the 600 mark. Invesco manages assets worth $930 billion for clients around the world, according to the head of the company's Charlottetown office, Andrew MacDonald. MacDonald was one of the original hires who started working for the company in Charlottetown in 2007.
"It's just not real yet, I don't think," his sister Trudy McKibbon told CBC Wednesday. Duskocy-Propper, 26, was visiting a house in Borden-Carleton, P.E.I. Monday evening when someone came in and shot him in the chest, said McKibbon. It's crazy that something like this happened to him," said McKibbon.
TORONTO — The Law Society of Ontario says it will create a unisex space where barristers appearing before the province's top court can change into their robes and network.The regulator says it will transform what is now the men's robing room at the Osgoode Hall courthouse in Toronto into a gender-neutral facility, which will require modifications to ensure personal privacy in the washrooms.The law society says it is working out the details as well as the timeline of the project as it works to ensure the facilities are "inclusive and welcoming."The announcement comes after a Toronto lawyer launched a petition to scrap a small change room reserved for so-called "lady barristers" in favour of a unisex space.The online petition created by Breanna Needham highlighted the discrepancy between the women's space, which holds 12 lockers, and the men's, which has close to 70.Needham said the robing rooms also serve as spaces where lawyers discuss their work and make connections, and women should not be excluded from those potentially career-advancing experiences.The issue has surfaced in the past and some other courthouses in Ontario already have unisex common areas, she said.As of Wednesday afternoon, the petition had close to 900 signatures.Needham welcomed the announcement, calling it "good news" on Twitter. "Looking forward to hearing more about these changes (& the anticipated timeline)," she wrote.Lawyers are required to wear black, flowy robes to appear in Superior Court and at the Ontario Court of Appeal, and the law society says on its website that it is "generally bad form" to wear robes outside the courthouse."Change is coming!," the society said in a series of tweets Wednesday. "Once complete the space will be open to all. ... In the meantime, please continue to respect people's privacy." Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press
A fundraising effort for a Syrian-refugee couple who lost all seven of their children in a house fire on Tuesday in the eastern Canadian city of Halifax has raised C$339,042 ($257,357) from nearly 6,000 people in 24 hours, according to online fundraiser GoFundMe. With the children’s father in the hospital with life-threatening injuries and the mother stricken with grief, the community will hold a vigil for the family Wednesday evening in Halifax, according to one of the groups that helped resettle the refugees. Family friends of the victims, the Imam Council of Halifax, and the Hants East Assisting Refugees Team (HEART) Society initiated the GoFundMe crowd-funding drive for the Barho family, according to the website.
Yukon's Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services Society confirms that it has "begun to issue layoff notices" to staff, and blames the move on complaints made last fall to the territory's Registrar of Societies. In a news release posted on the door of Many Rivers' Whitehorse office on Wednesday, the society also said it was "pursuing every option in attempts to keep its doors open" despite the layoff notices. Many Rivers said the notices — issued days after staff returned to work following a months-long strike — were necessary because of an "anticipated stoppage of funding" from the territorial government.
Actor and activist Terry Crews will speak about the role that men can play to create a safer world for women and girls in front of an Edmonton crowd Wednesday evening.
VANCOUVER — Searchers discovered the body of a missing snowshoer in avalanche debris on Vancouver's North Shore on Wednesday, two days after he was swept away.Peter Haigh of North Shore Search and Rescue says searchers made the discovery on Runner Peak, north of Mount Seymour.He says the BC Coroners Service will investigate the cause of death but the man appears to have suffered trauma when the avalanche hit.The mother of the 39-year-old Surrey, B.C., snowshoer has identified him as Remi Michalowski.The man was hit by an avalanche on Monday that pushed his 30-year-old companion up against a tree but left him uninjured and able to call for help.The younger man was airlifted out of the area late Monday, while darkness and a subsequent snowstorm forced suspension of search efforts for almost 36 hours.Searchers with specially trained dogs returned to the challenging area Wednesday morning to search through the debris pile left by the avalanche.Haigh is urging hikers to be careful on the slopes."Avalanches, they're so bloody dangerous and they're so unpredictable. It's very, very frustrating," he says.Avalanche Canada has upgraded the slide risk to "considerable" in the treeline of the south coast mountains where the man's body was found.A post on the Avalanche Canada website says "an unusual, weak layer makes steep and convex terrain features particularly dangerous."Heavy snow has fallen across southern B.C. over the last 10 days and Avalanche Canada says 30 to 50 centimetres of new snow on the south coast mountains is poorly bonded to the base, with the problem especially pronounced on the North Shore.(The Canadian Press, News1130)The Canadian Press