How did Albertans dress for the cold 100 years ago? Layering like crazy

For as long as people have lived in Alberta, they've had to dress for the biting cold of winter.

Over 100 years ago, however, there were no down-filled parkas or top-of-the-line thermal boots — so what did settlers in the province don for winter drudgery?

We've dug up photos from the Glenbow Archives to show what Albertans wore to face the freezing cold.

Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, University of Calgary

"One thing [you'll see] is a lot of wool," said Meg Furler, a costume designer at Heritage Park who has studied anthropology and material culture.

"Your base layers — the layers closest to your body — would be all cotton or linen, sometimes wool … you're looking at adding a lot of layers to your body, because the more layers you add on that traps in that warm, warm air that your body is giving off."

On a typical day, a man or woman would wear around three base layers with their clothes on top of that, Furler said.

A man would start with breeches, wool stockings and a shirt.

Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, University of Calgary

For women, it would get more complicated, with stockings, a corset, corset cover, dresses and a petticoat.

"You could have a wool petticoat. Honestly, I would highly recommend that on a day like today," Furler said. "Having worn one, it's basically like having a wool blanket. It's very cozy and lovely."

Boots were made from leather, perhaps with a rubber sole, and maybe even oiled up to be made waterproof.

Archives and Special Collections, University of Calgary

Fibbing about fur

Fur featured heavily in the 1900s Albertan wardrobe. Whether you were rich or poor, there were offerings at different price points.

"You could order a new fur coat through the Eaton's catalog and have that shipped to you," Furler said. "It's very accessible at different price points."

Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, University of Calgary

Much like in fashion today, people may have fibbed about the quality of the clothes or fur they wore. 

"You could have a lovely squirrel stole … but you probably wouldn't tell people that it was squirrels," Furler said.

"There's just nothing new in fashion. We look for different ways that we can make things look nicer and feel like we got a really good deal on them."

Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, University of Calgary

Scandalous zippers

Clothes were constructed to be held together by buttons, snaps, hooks and eyes or simple ties.

Metal zippers did exist at the time, but were prone to breaking, and were typically used in work clothing or for children's apparel.

Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, University of Calgary

"It was really considered indecent for a lady to have a zipper on her clothing, because then she could remove it too quickly," Furler said.

Tune in live to The Homestretch at 4:45 p.m. to hear more from Heritage Park costumer designer Meg Furler on Albertan winter fashion in the early 1900s.

Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, University of Calgary
  • What Pierre Poilievre's exit means for the Conservative leadership race
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    CBC

    What Pierre Poilievre's exit means for the Conservative leadership race

    Jean Charest was probably in — and then he was definitely out. Rona Ambrose was thinking about it — then she stopped. Peter MacKay is in and, by all accounts, still is. Pierre Poilievre was going to throw his hat into the ring, too. Until he wasn't.Yes, the Conservative leadership race we all expected has not quite materialized.Poilievre's surprise announcement on Thursday that he would not mount a bid for the leadership leaves the contours of this campaign ill-defined. The Ontario MP was widely considered to be the main competition for MacKay, the former cabinet minister and last leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party.Poilievre did have a path to victory. As the only major candidate with roots in Western Canada — he was born and raised in Alberta — Poilievre had the potential to take the lane as the candidate of the West, where the party's caucus, membership and donor base are disproportionately located.Watch: What high-profile exits mean for the Conservative leadership race He had the chops to be a player in Quebec. Only a few days ago, he was on Radio-Canada and, by speaking decent French and expressing views on social conservative issues that were in line with mainstream opinion in the province, dispelled the two biggest concerns Quebec Conservatives had with Andrew Scheer's election performance.Combined with his track record as a partisan pitbull for Stephen Harper, he appeared to be the most likely recipient of votes from members opposed to MacKay — and to any swing back to the old PC wing of the party that took a back seat to the Reformers after the 2003 merger.An opening for O'TooleWith MacKay and Poilievre on the ballot, there didn't appear to be much room for Ontario MP Erin O'Toole, who finished third in the 2017 leadership race and will be mounting a second attempt. He ran his last campaign as a consensus candidate in the centre of the party, gaining the support of members who voted for moderates like Lisa Raitt and Michael Chong and disproportionately ranked O'Toole as their second choice.MacKay is well-positioned to occupy this lane. He has already received the endorsement of three MPs who backed O'Toole in 2017. Even MacKay's regional base overlaps with O'Toole, who had his best results in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.Atlantic Canada is likely to be MacKay's fiefdom: he represented a riding in Nova Scotia for nearly two decades, the same seat his father Elmer occupied for even longer, and he has the backing of Tim Houston, the provincial PC leader in Nova Scotia.But there is now an opportunity for O'Toole to take up the space left vacant by Poilievre.That will be no easy task. But by the process of elimination, O'Toole has the best shot at it. Instead of being squeezed out between MacKay and Poilievre, O'Toole merely has to position himself to the right of MacKay as the only acceptable option for members looking for an alternative.An opening for someone elseOther names probably will join MacKay and O'Toole on the ballot. Ontario MPs Marilyn Gladu and Derek Sloan have indicated they want to run. The 12th place finisher in 2017, businessman Rick Peterson, says he will take another kick at the can, as have a number of former staffers and failed election candidates.But until these people meet the Conservative Party's demanding qualification requirements, or give some tangible evidence that they are serious contenders, this looks like a two-horse race.It's a race with no frontrunner from Quebec and nobody from Western Canada. Only a single candidate has a name that a majority of Canadians can recognize: Peter MacKay.So, will this be it?Justin Trudeau's Liberals are in their second term and were reduced to a minority government only last fall. The Conservatives continue to run roughly even with the Liberals in national polls. The next leader of the Conservative Party has a good shot of becoming the next prime minister — certainly a better shot than appeared to be the case in 2017.Charest's decision on Tuesday left Quebec up for grabs. On Wednesday, Ambrose left the field wide open in Western Canada. Poilievre relinquished his contender status on Thursday, along with all the organizers and donors his candidacy would have taken off the table for other candidates.This race looks a lot different than it did on Monday. Anyone who had ruled out a bid at the beginning of the week might want to take the weekend to think it over again.

  • N Korea names sharp-tongued army figure as foreign minister
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    The Canadian Press

    N Korea names sharp-tongued army figure as foreign minister

    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — North Korea has named a sharp-tongued former army officer with little foreign policy experience as its top diplomat, in a possible indication it will take a harder line with Washington in stalled nuclear negotiations.Ri Son Gwon's new title as foreign minister was disclosed Friday in a Korean Central News Agency dispatch that said he attended a reception for foreign diplomats in Pyongyang the previous day. South Korean and other outside media outlets have recently reported North Korea informed foreign diplomats in Pyongyang of Ri's job last week.In his speech at the banquet, “Comrade Ri Son Gwon said that the Korean people have turned out in the general offensive to break through head-on the barriers to the advance of socialist construction by dint of self-reliance ... and made public the foreign policy stand of the (North Korean) government," KCNA said.Ri, an outspoken retired army colonel who previously headed a government body responsible for relations with South Korea, has taken part in numerous inter-Korean military talks over the past 15 years. But Ri, who is also an alternate member of the ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, lacks experience in negotiations with the United States and other countries.In South Korea, he is most known for what were seen as rude remarks to South Korean businessmen visiting Pyongyang in September 2018. While they were eating naengmyeon, Korean traditional cold noodles, Ri asked them: “Are naengmyeon going down your throats?” in apparent dissatisfaction with a lack of progress in efforts to promote inter-Korean economic projects, according to South Korean officials and lawmakers. Many conservatives in South Korea strongly criticized him.Ri replaced Ri Yong Ho, a career diplomat with broad experiences who had taken part in nuclear negotiations with the United States since early 2018. It wasn’t immediately known what happened to Ri Yong Ho, whose name was last mentioned in KCNA last August.Analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at South Korea's private Sejong Institute said Ri Son Gwon’s appointment signalled North Korea would further harden its stance toward the U.S. and bolster a push to cement its position as a nuclear state.“From now on, it’s difficult to expect meaningful progress in North Korea-U.S. diplomacy,” Cheong said.Nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea have progressed little since the breakdown of the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam in February 2019. Kim recently said North Korea would strengthen its nuclear arsenal and unveil a new “strategic weapon” after the U.S. failed to meet a year-end deadline set by him to make concessions.A senior State Department official told reporters Wednesday that Washington was aware of Ri Son Gwon’s reported appointment and hopes North Korea will understand the importance of resuming diplomacy.“There’s nothing to be gained by not talking. It’s only to their benefit, so we encourage them to talk,” the official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly to the matter. “It is slow, patient, steady diplomacy. We’re going to stick with that plan.”___Associated Press writer Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.Hyung-Jin Kim, The Associated Press

  • Canadian experts returning home after probing Tehran plane crash, TSB says
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    The Canadian Press

    Canadian experts returning home after probing Tehran plane crash, TSB says

    OTTAWA — The Transportation Safety Board said Thursday Canadian investigators will be on hand "wherever and whenever" Iran finally downloads the information contained on the black boxes from the Ukrainian jetliner shot down in Tehran on Jan. 8.In a written update on Canada's involvement in the investigation, the agency said the two TSB air-crash investigators who went to Iran eight days ago to join the probe into the plane disaster are returning to Canada. But the TSB said when the flight-data and cockpit voice recorders are ready for download Canada will send a second team of specialists to participate.Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne demanded Iran send the boxes, which are heavily damaged, to either France or Ukraine to be downloaded. Canada argues that Iran does not have the technology to do it.The TSB investigators spent the last two days in Kyiv with Iranian and Ukrainian teams in part to begin assessing whether the recorders can be processed in Ukraine.However the TSB said Thursday the black boxes are still in Iran and Iranian authorities are looking at trying to download the information there.Canada's request for the recorders to be sent to Europe was echoed by the United Kingdom, Sweden, Afghanistan and Ukraine, all of which also lost citizens in the crash. Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed minutes after take-off on Jan. 8, killing all 176 people on board. Three days later Iran admitted the plane was downed by at least one missile from a surface-to-air battery.Ottawa said 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents of Canada were on the flight. In all 138 of the passengers were on their way to Canada, many of them students and professors returning after the December break. The Canadian Press has identified 93 passengers with ties to this country.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a Liberal caucus meeting Thursday that Canada is pushing Iran hard for answers."We will continue to be there for families and communities who are suffering and trying to rebuild their lives at a time of bleakness," he said. "But we will also keep working on the international stage to get answers, to get justice, to work with our allies, friends and partners around the world to ensure that we are getting the answers for Canadians that they need to get to be able to get closure and to move forward as a country on this national tragedy."The TSB noted that getting information from the black boxes is not the only thing left for the investigators to do."While this activity may provide additional critical data, there is much more analysis required of all the information gathered in order to determine the many factors that caused or contributed to this accident," the TSB said.The two Canadian investigators spent six days in Tehran meeting with officials from the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau of the Islamic Republic of Iran, visiting the accident site and examining wreckage that had been moved to a separate location.The TSB says Iran has been "co-operative and helpful" with the Canadian investigators thus far, and allowing Canada more access than is required under the Convention on International Civil Aviation. However Canada is seeking even more from Iran, asking to be allowed to participate in all aspects of the investigation, and to get access to all relevant data."Adding Canada's world-class expertise in independent air transportation safety investigation to this international effort would mean a lot to those affected by this tragedy, whether in Canada, in Iran, in Ukraine, and around the world," the TSB said. "It could become a significant example of co-operation in the aviation industry on the world stage."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2020.Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

  • B.C. transportation minister 'frustrated' by ridesharing delay in B.C.
    Global News

    B.C. transportation minister 'frustrated' by ridesharing delay in B.C.

    Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena explains the demand for ridesharing licences in British Columbia and how the Passenger Transportation Board is working through the applications.

  • Probe into fatal Australia bushfire plane crash complicated by dangers
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    Reuters

    Probe into fatal Australia bushfire plane crash complicated by dangers

    MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian officials were working on Friday to extricate the bodies of three U.S. firefighters from a plane that crashed in remote bushland, as the area's "active" bushfire status complicated an investigation into the accident. "We are very much into the evidence gathering phase of the investigation," Greg Hood, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the investigation, told reporters. Coulson Aviation, the Canadian firm that owned the plane and employed its crew, revealed on Friday that all three were former U.S. military members with extensive flight experience: Captain Ian H. McBeth, 44; First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson, 42; and Flight Engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr., 43.

  • Woman pleads guilty to helping cover up Candace Stevens's homicide
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    CBC

    Woman pleads guilty to helping cover up Candace Stevens's homicide

    A Moncton woman has confessed she helped cover up the crime of the man who killed Candace Stevens in 2018.Wendy Losier, 42, was charged earlier with comforting or assisting James Curtis, also known as James Knight, on Oct. 26, 2018, for the purpose of enabling him to escape. She was also accused of transporting Stevens's remains on Oct. 27.Court documents show Losier pleaded guilty to the charges before the Court of Queen's Bench on Wednesday.The documents present the first picture of what happened the day Stevens was shot to death at Curtis and Losier's home in Fredericton.Stevens's remains were found inside a hockey bag on Oct. 27, 2018 in Upper Derby, near Miramichi. She was the mother of a young girl and was working at a Fredericton spa at the time of her death.Curtis was the same man who opened fire at a Walmart in 2018, then died at the end of a lengthy police chase.How the night unfoldedThe court documents reveal Stevens showed up at 530 Regent St. in Fredericton on Oct. 26, 2018, looking to speak with someone by the name of "Nick."She believed he was responsible for shots fired at her car. Stevens "physically assaulted" Curtis and Losier, the documents say.Curtis tried to calm Stevens down and said he was on his way to call "Nick" to discuss the damage to Stevens's car.Documents show Stevens tried to push her way up the stairs, shoving Losier against a TV and coffee table. Curtis returned with a gun in one hand and a cellphone in the other.When Losier left the two alone and went back upstairs to her bedroom, she heard between two and five gunshots coming from downstairs.Autopsy results found multiple gunshot wounds to Stevens's chest and abdomen, which caused lethal bleeding. She also had multiple illicit drugs in her system.When Losier came back downstairs to see what happened, she saw Stevens lying on the floor, begging for help.Still holding onto the gun, Curtis ordered Losier to pack a bag. He told her they were going to Miramichi. He then made some phone calls to people saying, "I need help" and "I'm coming to the Miramichi."Curtis was "white as a ghost" and crying when he told Losier he shot and killed Stevens.  But with the help of a friend, whose name was not mentioned in the documents, Curtis moved Stevens's body to the basement, while Losier smoked drugs and packed a bag upstairs.Losier told police they were high on crystal meth and Curtis was snorting pills.Body wrapped in blankets, plastic bagsThe duo slept at a friends' place that night and returned for the body the next morning, although Losier refused to go back inside the building. They also brought an undisclosed number of guns with them. Curtis packed Stevens's body into a large hockey bag. Her body had been wrapped in hospital blankets with a yellow cord and plastic bags held together with red tuck tape.Her body was placed in the trunk of Losier's Saturn Ion.They were on their way to Miramichi when Curtis stopped the vehicle on a dirt road off Highway 8 near Blackville, where Curtis left the hockey bag on the dirt road.Afterward, they stayed together at Curtis's parents' home in Miramichi. There, Curtis told his mom that he shot someone and that person died.While they were there, the Regent Street apartment where Stevens died was also set on fire. At the time, Fredericton police said Stevens's death was considered a homicide, and the house fire was connected to her death. A sentencing hearing for Stevens will be held in Fredericton on Feb. 21.

  • 'Life changing': Youth leaders revel in the chance to hear Barack Obama speak
    News
    CBC

    'Life changing': Youth leaders revel in the chance to hear Barack Obama speak

    Trevaun Douglas never imagined he would ever be in the same room as Barack Obama, let alone meet the former U.S. president.So it's taking some time for the reality of their encounter to sink in — a moment Douglas is calling a "life-changing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."It was so crazy. I felt like my whole body was just like, 'I'm really at this moment speaking to Obama," he told CBC News.Douglas was one of 500 young people chosen through a campaign called CreateFate to see Obama speak Thursday at the Metro Convention Centre. The 22-year-old was in the VIP line and hoping to get a photo, when Obama smiled at him and said, "Whoa, you're a strong guy." Douglas, who is a personal trainer, started to laugh. Then he told the former president about his efforts to positively impact kids and youth in his Lawrence Heights neighbourhood. "He told me to just keep going and don't stop," said Douglas."I'm going to go with his advice."According to organizers, there were 6,000 people in the audience and for every ticket purchased, one was given to a young leader.Greta Thunberg 'speaks for a generation'The sold-out forum about the future of work was hosted by the Economic Club of Canada and the Global Institute for Conscious Economics. In a conversation with Economic Club President and CEO Rhiannon Rosalind, Obama touched on leadership, mental health, and his favourite thing about Canada."You're just so reasonable," he said. "Canadians are super reasonable." Obama also said it's clear not everyone shares his mindset when it comes to the enormous global challenge of climate change."I instituted higher fuel-efficiency standards on cars, and the subsequent administration has now tried to actively reverse them," Obama said of President Donald Trump. "If we can't even do that, where we're going to say, 'We're not going to drive gas guzzlers' when other countries don't even have cars, then it's going to be almost impossible to solve the problem."It will require a "surge of energy" from citizens to put pressure on large institutions to tackle greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate global warming, Obama said. It's a cause, he said, that younger people increasingly understand and are willing to take on."Which is why you have somebody like a Greta Thunberg who gets so much traction," he said. "Because she speaks for a generation that is going to have to deal with this mess in a way that somebody like me, who's 58, is not going to have to deal with it." Global Ambassador for the New EconomyThe event opened with remarks from Kiana 'Rookz' Eastmond, 31, who is a music entrepreneur and the founder of Sandbox Studios, an urban music recording studio in Toronto.She shared her story of dropping out of high school and breaking down barriers, thanks to people who invested in her. "It's amazing what happens when people believe in you. Take a moment every single day to think about that," Eastmond said. "Don't leave here without opening the door for someone else."Eastmond launched the CreateFate campaign in advance of the event, in which she invited young leaders to share their own stories of building their path toward success. Douglas and Dymika Hart were two of the people who answered that call on social media.Hart is a graphic designer who runs a six-person, all-woman team called UNSGND, which creates branding for small businesses and recording artists. "Obama actually defines 'Create Fate,'" she said. "He was an unlikely candidate, the very first black president. He proves to me that I can be in rooms that I'd never dream of being in."The conversation affirmed to me a lot of the things that I know to be true as a young business leader. He touched on having diverse teams, not limited to race but also skill set, age, mindset," she said. "I think everything that he said just showed me I'm on the right path."

  • News
    CBC

    Jason McKay testifies he heard strange voice say 'kill her' before stabbing his wife twice

    Jason McKay testified that he heard instructions from a growly voice before he stabbed his wife twice with a jagged dagger."Kill her, she has no heart,'" he heard, according to his testimony. Jason, 47, spoke in his own defence on Thursday at Regina's Court of Queen's bench. McKay is on trial for second-degree murder for the 2017 death of his wife, Jenny. He said that on Sept.5, 2017, Jenny was upset after being fired, so they drank Twisted Teas together at home before grabbing two bottles of wine. Jason testified his memory becomes unclear after the point he was sipping on the first glass of wine with Jenny at their kitchen table."I don't know if I blacked out or... it's just the last thing I remember," he said. Then he began to describe a series of blackouts. It began with Jenny on top of him, with a 20 inch dagger in her hand, dressed in a black cloak. He told court that his next memory is of Jenny on the floor — in her pink shirt. "I heard voices telling me to 'kill her, she has no heart.'" He said he watched himself crawl toward her as he then "grabbed the dagger and stabbed her twice in the neck."He said the next thing he remembers is being at the kitchen table with Jenny, as a second Jenny lay on the floor. McKay went on to describe two men and one woman in dark clothing entering his home, with the woman saying  "DOA." Crown prosecutor Adam Breker noted McKay's testimony of "visions" differed from what he told police officers after his arrest.. Jason said he had no memory of speaking with police after his arrest. Crown prosecutor Adam Breker questioned why Jason did not mention hallucinations cloaks, daggers or dark figures in the home over the course of interviews with police. Breker referred to Jason telling a police officer that he remembered Jenny on top of him wielding a steak knife. Jason had said he grabbed her arms and was able to tossed it aside. He asked why his memory had apparently changed. "Is it possible that it's just come to you within the last seven days?" Breker asked. Throughout examination, Jason maintained that he was plagued by memory gaps after the first sip of wine.Alcohol and medication Jason had been on anti-depressants for months at the time of Jenny's death. He said he believed the pills had caused hallucinations, delusions and out-of-body experiences. He had previously told police he needed his medication because it made him "level." When asked by Hynes if he thought what happened had been real, Jason said no."It was like a dream,"  he said.Jason told Hynes that he did not willingly kill his wife, but that he will be forever remorseful.Pharmacology expert Steven Richardson testified that it was possible McKay had "islands of memory in the sea of amnesia" based on the knowledge that he had consumed four cans of Twisted Tea, some red wine and his anti-depressants. "In a period of amnesia, he would not be able to appreciate the consequences of his actions," Richardson said. Breker will cross examine the expert on Friday.

  • Mr. Peanut Is Dead. Which Canadian Mascot Should Be Next?
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    HuffPost Canada

    Mr. Peanut Is Dead. Which Canadian Mascot Should Be Next?

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  • Canadian Pacific grain car rolls out of control, derails near Field, B.C.
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    CBC

    Canadian Pacific grain car rolls out of control, derails near Field, B.C.

    A Canadian Pacific Railway grain car rolled away at high speed for more than six kilometres last week at Field, B.C., near where a derailment killed three crew members almost one year ago.Sources told CBC News the car had been stopped in the rail yard in Field — about 80 kilometres west of Banff along the Trans-Canada Highway — to undergo maintenance and inspections and was being reattached to the train to return eastward when the runaway occurred last week. The car rolled west along the track.Canadian Pacific confirmed that a single railcar containing grain was involved in an "uncontrolled movement" in Field on Jan. 14 and that the incident has been reported to the Transportation Safety Board.The investigation team is following up with the railway company, and the occurrence is currently being assessed," a TSB spokesperson said in an email."There were no injuries, no dangerous good involved, it did not traverse any public crossings, and there were no conflicting train movements."CP said its own investigation determined the incident was caused by human error and that the employees involved have accepted responsibility for their actions.  "Appropriate corrective measures have been taken. We have no further comment," a railway spokesperson said in an email. On Feb. 4, 2019, three crew members were killed when a CP freight train rolled out of control and derailed coming down the mountain east of Field.

  • Cold-stunned iguanas falling from trees in Florida
    Yahoo News Canada

    Cold-stunned iguanas falling from trees in Florida

    Residents of south Florida are on alert for falling reptiles as the temperatures in the region drop.Reports of iguanas falling from trees have come from several cities in Florida, where temperatures have reached below 10°C (50°F). The cold-blooded reptiles appear to be frozen stiff, or laying on the ground after falling from tree branches. Iguanas, an invasive species in Florida, are unable to self-regulate their temperature, which means their bodily functions slow down when no external source of heat is present, to the point where they go into a state of hibernation.While the iguanas appear dead, most are actually fine once they warm up.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Supreme Court refuses to hear human smuggling case, affirming acquittals

    OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has effectively upheld the acquittal of three people who were charged with human smuggling after a rickety ship arrived off the coast of British Columbia carrying hundreds of Tamil migrants.In a decision Thursday, the high court turned down the Crown's application for an appeal hearing in the case.In August 2010, the Canadian navy intercepted the cargo ship MV Sun Sea carrying 492 people from strife-torn Sri Lanka and escorted it to CFB Esquimalt, near Victoria.Lesly Emmanuel, Nadarajah Mahendran and Thampeernayagam Rajaratnam were charged with violating the Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act by organizing, inducing, aiding or abetting the illegal entry of people into Canada.The Crown alleged the men were part of a human-smuggling operation linked to organized crime.Emmanuel, who captained the ship, testified that he boarded as a passenger, then reluctantly took the helm to avert disaster for the vessel.The Crown accused Canadian citizens Mahendran and Rajaratnam, who were not aboard the ship, of helping organize the voyage.Both argued the evidence that led to their identification was seriously flawed.The three men were acquitted in early 2017 by a jury in B.C. Supreme Court.Last June, the B.C. Court of Appeal upheld the verdicts, saying the Crown had not demonstrated a reasonable possibility that any errors committed by the trial judge affected the outcome.As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for refusing to hear the case.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2020.The Canadian Press

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Symptoms, diagnosis of coronavirus

    OTTAWA — Canada's chief medical officer, Theresa Tam, says there is a low risk of an outbreak here of a coronoavirus that has killed least 17 people in China and infected another 500. Here are some of the other things she said on Thursday:Symptoms — The coronavirus's symptoms are extremely similar to those of the common flu. Those include coughing, a fever and a general feeling of being unwell. Those infected could also have difficulty breathing. Those who have been infected will usually start to feel symptoms after about 14 days. Those who do not display symptoms are not considered to be infectious.Diagnosis — The first step is to identify a potential way a person might have caught this particular virus. This usually involves a review of the person's travel history to see if there is a link to Wuhan or another area of infection. Provincial health-care systems will then screen for common ailments such as the flu to determine whether that is the culprit. Formal tests for the coronavirus are being done by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.The Canadian Press

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    The Canadian Press

    Animal shelter says "world's worst cat" is up for adoption

    BAKERSVILLE, N.C. — The “world's worst cat” is available for adoption — just ask the Mitchell County Animal Rescue organization in North Carolina.The shelter about 55 miles (89 kilometres) northeast of Asheville is waiving adoption fees in the hope that someone will take the cat named Perdita off their hands.The group says on its Facebook page, “We thought she was sick. Turns out she’s just a jerk.”A tongue-in-cheek profile of the foul-tempered feline says her dislikes include “dogs, children, the Dixie Chicks, Disney movies, Christmas and last but NOT least ... HUGS.” It says she likes lurking, pretending to be sick and “staring into your soul until you feel as if you may never be cheerful again ...”It adds, “She's single and ready to be socially awkward with a socially awkward human who understands personal space. "Shelter Director Amber Lowery says 4-year-old Perdita came to the facility on Christmas Eve, The Charlotte Observer reported. Since then, the shelter has had to warn visitors that Perdita’s attempts to draw passersby to her cage are actually a ruse that will not end well.“I’m looking at her right now, and she’s rolling around in her little bed, looking all sweet and cute, but the minute you try to rub her, she slaps you. We thought she was in pain and took her to the vet and he said: ‘No, this cat is just a jerk’,” Lowery told the newspaper.Her Facebook post has drawn thousands of “likes” — and a followup post says more than 50 applications to adopt her have been submitted.One person wrote on the shelter's Facebook page that they hoped Perdita finds “the goth home of her dreams.” The shelter replied, “Us too ... like soon.”The Associated Press

  • 'Isolated' Sandy Hill development approved with limited parking
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    CBC

    'Isolated' Sandy Hill development approved with limited parking

    The city's planning committee has approved four new student-focused apartment buildings in an "isolated" portion of Sandy Hill, despite significant opposition from the community over a lack of parking.Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury described the area along Robinson Avenue, cradled between Hwy. 417 and the Rideau River, as a remote single-road neighbourhood with only one street in and out.If council approves the committee's recommendation, the small neighbourhood will see 328 new units on the street, but with fewer parking spaces than the city's rules require. While each of the six-storey buildings are required to have 17 parking spaces under the city's rules, the project was approved despite having only three each. The nine-storey building the developer proposed that requires 81 spaces was approved with only 53. Instead, the developer offered one bike parking spot per unit. Fleury, who represents the area, put forward a motion to hold the developer to the required 132 required parking spaces, but he was voted down seven to one, with only River ward Coun. Riley Brockington supporting him.Petition gatheredCommunity members gathered 92 signatures for a petition against the proposal because of the lack of parking, while also expressing concerns about building rental units geared toward students. The residents were represented Thursday by lawyer Scott McAnsh, who told planning committee it's not realistic to think people will be able to do without a car in the neighbourhood.For example, the community is a 24-minute walk to the nearest grocery store, he said."Being so isolated and removed from services means people who move there are likely to come with a car," McAnsh said. Without adequate parking, those residents will probably park on the already limited spaces on the street — an extra "pressure that's [been] dumped on the community," said McAnsh.Close to LRT, but walkability concernsA consultant hired by the developer, however, suggested increasing density in the area would attract more amenities, like grocery stores. "That synergy will come," said Kersten Nitsche with Fotenn Planning and Design.   "We're providing that density to support those future amenities. Really, we're just looking at parking today."The developer argued the buildings will be only about an eight-minute walk to the nearby Lees LRT station, but Fleury explained the route is not very walkable, especially in the winter. In 2014, the city voted to keep the established parking requirements in place, despite the proximity of the LRT line — and even as it waived the requirements on nearby streets.Fleury said that's because city staff at the time recognized the unique nature of the Robinson Village neighbourhood.He can't understand why they've now changed their minds and are recommending the project go ahead with less parking. "It's inconsistent," Fleury said. The building will be geared toward students, according to the city's report, and will include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. City council will debate the proposal next week.

  • Second day of search yields no sign of French snowmobilers missing in Quebec
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Second day of search yields no sign of French snowmobilers missing in Quebec

    ST-HENRI-DE-TAILLON, Que. — It was an exuberant group of French travellers who set off from Christine Reis' inn north of La Tuque, Que., on Tuesday morning, eager for the second day of a multi-day snowmobile trip around the province's picturesque Lac-Saint-Jean.The eight tourists and their guide had arrived Monday evening, undaunted after a full day of riding from their departure point in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, an hour-and-a-half north of Montreal. While many tourists are wearied by the strenuous journey, Reis said this group of friends seemed in shape and eager to continue their journey."They were very happy. It was their first day, and they were happy to tell (us) they were going to go all around the Lac-Saint-Jean and go to Monts-Valin, a choice destination because there's a lot of snowfall," she said in a phone interview.They had an experienced guide, Benoit L'Esperance, whom she described as a "kind, conscientious" person with years of experience who brought groups there a few times a year.Tuesday, however, would end in disaster.For reasons that remain unclear, the group left the safety of the marked trail through the woods and ventured towards the icy expanse of Lac-Saint-Jean. Between St-Henri-de-Taillon and Alma, the ice gave way, leaving L'Esperance dead and five others missing after plunging into the frigid waters. Three others made it to safety.On Thursday, the second day of a massive search effort, snowmobilers, ice rescue specialists, a drone and provincial police investigators scanned the area where the snowmobilers disappeared, about 200 kilometres north of Quebec City.For the families of the missing French snowmobilers — identified by police as Gilles Claude, 58, Yan Thierry and Jean-Rene Dumoulin, both 24, Julien Benoit, 34, and Arnaud Antoine, 25 — it was an agonizing wait for news.Claude Abel, mayor of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines in northeastern France near the German border, said he knows two of the five missing snowmobilers. He said the whole region was upset and doing its best to support the families."All we can do in this situation of waiting and worry is to bring a little support to the family and loved ones," he said in a phone interview.Abel said the two men in their 20s or 30s were motorsport enthusiasts and experienced snowmobilers who had been to Canada before."They were young people full of plans, who loved life," he said in a phone interview.Meanwhile, French biathlete Fabien Claude, who is the son of missing man Gilles Claude, dedicated his first podium finish, a bronze Thursday in the World Cup event in Pokljuka, Slovenia, to his father following the "tragic accident in Canada."The athlete and his two brothers, fellow biathletes Emilien and Florent Claude, posted the same photo to their Twitter accounts, with a caption that read: "A special day, and a star that will be with us all our lives. We love you, Papa."For L'Esperance's family and friends, shock was giving way to sorrow. The 42-year-old Montreal-based guide died in hospital Tuesday night after searchers found him several hours after the accident.Riel Langlais Harvey, a friend and former snowmobile guide, described L'Esperance as a calm and funny man, a joker and father, who loved Quebec's wilderness and sharing it with others.Above all, he was an experienced guide with over 15 years experience who had taken a number of safety courses at the company the two of them formerly worked for, his former colleague said.He said his friend knew the Lac-Saint-Jean region well and had been there often, even if he didn't live there."For sure he did not voluntarily go towards the water," he said. "Because we all know that this area, at a certain point, doesn't freeze."While he doesn't know what happened, Langlais Harvey said conditions constantly change on the trail, meaning guides have to make split-second decisions on where to go, whether to turn back and how to meet clients' requests while keeping them safe."We make the best decision based on what we think in the moment, and if it's good or bad, we have to live with it," he said.The search effort on Thursday involved police and Canadian Forces helicopters surveying the area from the air and a side-scan sonar providing images of the bottom of the lake. Police divers used underwater propulsion to cover a larger area, and 30 police officers were pursuing searches on the ground.Six snowmobiles were located under the water by divers Wednesday and Thursday, but there was no sign of the snowmobilers as of late Thursday.In the days following the accident, questions have swirled about why the group would have veered so far off the marked trail in an area that is known to be dangerous due to thin ice and swift currents.On Thursday, Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx announced the Quebec government would require guides and tourists who use off-road vehicles to follow a training course.She said eco-tourism companies would have to complete an accreditation process with the province in order to be eligible for funding.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2020.—By Morgan Lowrie in MontrealThe Canadian Press

  • Do you recognize any of these faces?
    News
    CBC

    Do you recognize any of these faces?

    The RCMP has released the results of a unique facial reconstruction project for 14 unidentified men whose remains were found in British Columbia as far back as 1972.The collaboration with the New York Academy of Art saw sculptors use 3D-printed copies of skulls provided by the BC Coroners Service as a base on which they built up layers of clay to create an approximation of what the person looked like when alive.A fuller description of the finished reconstructions can be found here. Anyone with tips is asked to contact the local police department where the person went missing.  More information can be found on the federal government's Canada's Missing page.All photos courtesy of Charity Sampson PhotographyMale, aged 25-40, discovered in North Vancouver, 1994 * Suspicious death. * Healed fracture to his right wrist. * Asian, medium build. * Stained teeth.Male, aged 45-70, discovered in Vancouver, 1990 * Several healed fractures, including one on the right side of the skull. * Caucasian with long, brown hair. * Six feet tall Male, aged 30-49, discovered in Delta, 1998 * Asian, with long black hair and good teeth. * Wearing dark Bugle Boy brand T-shirt. * Wooden cross necklace on cord.Male, aged 40-60, discovered in Burnaby, 2019 * Green hoodie with "Athletic" on front. * May have gone missing in 2013. * Black, straight ponytail.Male, aged 30-49, discovered on Whistler Mountain, 1987 * May have been from South Africa or the United States. * Caucasian, approximately five feet nine inches, 150 pounds. * Long brown hair.Male, aged 40-55, discovered in Parksville, 1992 * U.S. currency in pocket. * Recently had surgery for ingrown toenails. * Healed collarbone fracture.Male, aged 50-65, discovered in West Vancouver, 1996 * Healed injuries possibly from major accident including: * severe injuries to his right arm and leg * a fractured skull, nose and ribsMale, aged 25-40, discovered in Lytton,  2016 * Good dental work. * May have died several years earlier.Male, aged 45-55, discovered in Richmond, 2008 * Suffered from heart disease. * Full set of dentures. * Indigenous.Male, aged 30-49, discovered in Coquitlam, 1998 * Visibly decayed teeth and missing upper left front tooth prior to death. * Left knee deformity. * Osgoode-Schlater's disease.Male, aged 20-40, discovered on Hollyburn Mountain, 1984 * Tan suede cowboy boots, Double H brand. * Caucasian, medium build. * Black leather braided belt.Male, aged 18-35, discovered in Chilliwack, 1972 * Brown hair, brown eyes. * Well looked after teeth. * Slender build.Male, aged 40-60, discovered in Port Moody, 1995 * Osteoarthritis in neck and back. * Wearing Edmonton Psychiatric Centre underwear. * White, slender build.Male, aged 30-50, discovered in Richmond, 2004 * Good dental work with gold tooth in left lower jaw. * Caucasian, six feet tall.

  • Windsor, Ont. pharmacist with record of misconduct among 6 charged in Toronto opioid trafficking ring
    News
    CBC

    Windsor, Ont. pharmacist with record of misconduct among 6 charged in Toronto opioid trafficking ring

    A Windsor, Ont. pharmacist is one of six people charged in connection to an opioid trafficking ring in Toronto.John Gerges, who previously identified himself to CBC News as the operations manager of the Olde Walkerville Pharmacy on Wyandotte Street East, was one of two pharmacists connected to the ring. Gerges has a history of professional misconduct.York Regional Police charged Gerges with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, as well as one count of possession of a forged document.Const. Laura Nicolle told CBC News that in December 2019 officers with her organization carried out a search warrant in Toronto that led to "several arrests at the time."In total, investigators with York Regional Police seized more than $500,000 worth of opioid drugs, more than $220,000 in cash and one firearm.Toronto residents Walter Jovel, Sahir Shemun, Sandra Youssef, as well as Vaughn residents Blarsn Zaro and Firas Georges, were charged in connection to the ring. History of professional misconductAccording to online Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) records, Gerges is currently registered at the Totten Pharmacy in Windsor, as well as the Mill St. Pharmacy in Tilbury, Ont. He registered with the OCP in 2011.His OCP record lists a number of professional misconduct concerns for which he was disciplined, including dispensing an incorrect number of tablets to a patient, failing to maintain accurate records, as well as failing to maintain "the standards of the profession."Gerges was suspended from May 2017 to September 2017.Among the concerns listed in Gerges's OCP record is the trafficking charge he received in December.CBC News first became aware of Gerges's record in 2019, after U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took part in an insulin caravan that visited the Olde Walkerville Pharmacy. At the time, Gerges identified himself as John George. A subsequent Radio-Canada investigation, however, revealed that no one named "John George" is registered with the OCP., nor is the position of "operations manager" defined by the college.  [Gerges] had connection to a number of pharmacies in [the] area. \- Const. Laura Nicolle, York Regional PoliceA number of other pharmacists at the Olde Walkerville Pharmacy also had concerns attached to their OCP files.Nicolle said Gerges "had connections to a number of pharmacies in [the] area."Despite the concerns attached to Gerges's file, he was still allowed to sign off on narcotics. Gerges currently under investigation by the OCPA spokesperson for the OCP said though Gerges maintains his license, court-imposed restrictions mean he's not allowed to work in a pharmacy, nor is he allowed to enter the pharmacy section of a store without a legitimate medical reason."Mr. Gerges is currently under investigation by the college and all registrants are required to renew their certificate of registration annually," wrote the spokesperson, in an email. According to the OCP, if an investigation results in a referral of allegations to the college's discipline committee, a pharmacist's certificate of registration can be suspended or revoked, if a committee panel "finds a registrant guilty of professional misconduct or incompetence."'Most pharmacists really uphold, follow the rules,' says local pharmacistTim Brady, business owner of Brady's Drug Stores in Belle River, Ont. and Essex, Ont., said he was shocked when he first learned about the charges laid against Gerges. "Most pharmacists really uphold the rules so when you see someone who has historically broken them again and again you wonder at what point does it stop," he said. According to Nicolle, this isn't the first time officers pursuing a drug trafficking case have found connections to licensed pharmacists. Mo \- Tim Brady, Owner, Brady's Drug StoreStill, Brady emphasized that "most pharmacists really uphold [and] follow the rules.""We've been voted one of the most trustworthy professions and we want to keep that status," he said. "So we'll work even harder, all the other pharmacists work even harder to combat this type of action."

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Appeal court rules some changes to jury selection process were misapplied

    TORONTO — Scores of criminal cases heard in Ontario in recent months could require new trials after the province's highest court ruled Thursday that recent changes to the jury selection process had been improperly applied.The Court of Appeal for Ontario unanimously upheld the constitutionality of sweeping legal reforms brought in through Bill C-75, which took effect on Sept. 19. These changes include eliminating "peremptory challenges," a mechanism that allowed lawyers for either side to dismiss a certain number of prospective jurors without explanation.But the three-judge appeal panel said anyone who chose to be tried by a jury before the new rules kicked in is entitled to proceed with peremptory challenges, even if the trial itself begins after that date."For the purposes of determining the temporal scope of the legislation, this loss of one aspect of the accused's right to participate in the selection of the jury affects in a negative way the accused's right to trial by jury as it existed before the amendment," the panel said in its ruling."Therefore, the amendment is presumptively prospective. Nothing in the language of the amendment or in the material placed before this court rebuts that presumption."The court said, however, that another new rule tasking judges with making the final decision regarding the impartiality of prospective jurors should be applied to all new and pending trials, because that change is purely procedural.The federal Liberal government modified the jury selection process following the controversial acquittal of Gerald Stanley, who was charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Indigenous man.The jury weighing Stanley's fate had no Indigenous members, and the federal goverment said the changes in Bill C-75 aimed to make juries more representative.The new rules were challenged by Pardeep Singh Chouhan, whose first-degree murder trial had reached the jury selection phase on the same day the changes laid out in the legislation came into force.Chouhan's lawyers had argued before his trial that scrapping peremptory challenges infringed on his constitutional right to be tried by an independent and impartial jury, and would in fact lead to less representative juries.That argument was rejected by the presiding judge, who found that while those accused of a crime are entitled to be tried by a representative jury panel, they are not entitled to a jury that "reflects the proportionality of the population" or is composed of members of their same demographic group.Ontario Superior Court Justice John McMahon also ruled the changes should be applied to every jury selected after they came into force, even for cases already in the system where the accused had opted for a jury trial.The appeal court agreed that the new rules did not contravene constitutional rights but overruled the lower court on how to apply them.Defence lawyer Daniel Brown, vice-president of the Criminal Lawyers' Association, said the ruling will have significant repercussions. The association intervened in the case, siding with Chouhan."It is clear from this ruling that a failure to permit a jury to be selected under the old rules will result in a new trial and all those cases in the court system over the last 4 1/2 months are impacted by this decision," he said.Brown said it's unfortunate the legislation didn't provide more guidance on how it should be applied."It's also a shame that the government didn't ... seek a reference to the court of appeal at the outset, meaning they could've had an answer to this question before they started doing new jury trials if they thought the law was unclear, instead of waiting for all the cases to be in the court system and have them potentially overturned."A spokeswoman for Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey said the Crown is reviewing the ruling, and would provide no further comment.This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Jan. 23, 2020.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

  • News
    CBC

    Aviva Fortunata will hit the theatre stage of her childhood dreams

    Former Calgarian Aviva Fortunata has returned from away to hit the stage in Calgary Opera's production of Norma at the theatre of her childhood dreams."The Jubilee was the theatre I grew up going to shows, the opera, musicals — everything. Even then, my goal was to get up on that stage, by hook or by crook," Fortunata told The Homestretch.She says Norma is a complex story about a druid priestess."She is supposed to be this virgin priestess in charge of her group of druids, but she secretly has a family with their mortal enemy, the Romans. The opera is her trying to get out of this mess.""Part of the challenge with Norma and any kind of dramatic role is knowing how far you can push it dramatically without sacrificing any of the vocal quality and still be able to do all the crazy vocal fireworks that Vincenzo Bellini has written but still give a true performance, emotionally."Her career opportunities currently have her split between Toronto and Berlin.Fortunata says Norma is one of her more challenging projects to date."It's been called the Everest of soprano roles and it really is, because it just keeps going and going and going," she said."The stakes are so high. She is crazy vengeful, crazy in love. There is so much betrayal and war and everything going on. It's coming at her from all sides."Norma at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium runs Feb. 1, 5 and 7 at 7:30 p.m.

  • Mudslide forces evacuation of 6 homes in Burnaby's Westridge neighbourhood
    News
    CBC

    Mudslide forces evacuation of 6 homes in Burnaby's Westridge neighbourhood

    Residents of six homes in the Westridge neighbourhood of Burnaby were evacuated Thursday after a retaining wall at a property in the 7300-block of Braeside Drive gave way in a mudslide.According to a city spokesman, a five metre by 20 metre section of the wall came down at around 9 a.m., damaging a garage on the property below. No one was hurt."As a precautionary measure we emptied the houses in case of any further sliding of the slope or the remainder of the wall coming down," said Burnaby public works manager Brian Carter.Carter says BC Hydro has disconnected a line feeding electricity to the hydro poles in the area. The neighbourhood where the slide happened is on the northwest side of Burnaby Mountain."Some of the slide material has come to the bottom of one of the poles and we want to make sure that we protect the public by making sure that they are de-energized," he said.City engineering staff and the Burnaby Fire Department are on the scene. A geotechnical engineer has been called in to assess if there is further risk to the area.Residents were told it was safe to return to their homes later Thursday after the assessment was complete, said city spokesman Chris Bryan.Power remains disconnected from several homes.The city will begin removing soil from the lane and some sections of the retaining wall on Friday, he added. The cause of the wall failure has not yet been determined. Burnaby, like most of the South Coast, has been under a rainfall warning since Wednesday that has only recently been lifted.

  • News
    CBC

    Elderly driver sent to hospital after alleged 'road rage' assault

    Charlottetown police have charged a 27-year-old Queens County man with assault causing bodily harm after an alleged incident on a roundabout. Police say they responded to several 911 calls Tuesday night reporting an assault occurring on the arterial highway, near the Upton Road roundabout. Two vehicles were driving west when a collision occurred, police say, then one of the drivers got out of his car and opened the other driver's door and repeatedly punched the elderly male driver. "Our investigation has led us to believe that this was a case of road rage," said Deputy Chief Brad MacConnell. The witnesses took video on their phones which "is quite disturbing to watch," MacConnell said. "It's lucky his injuries weren't more serious."  'Senseless act of violence'Police say the accused returned to his vehicle and left the scene."We located a 79-year-old gentleman who was suffering from some injuries," said MacConnell. The victim was transported to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and treated for injuries and has since been released."It seems like a senseless act of violence — maybe some misinterpretation of facts that were happening on the roadway," he said. "Regardless of what the driving habits were that precipitated the event, it shouldn't have resulted in that." Witnesses were able to obtain the licence plate of the suspect's vehicle, and police say that led to the arrest of the 27-year-old man Wednesday.He appeared in provincial court Thursday afternoon for a remand hearing and is scheduled to return to court at a later date.More P.E.I. news

  • Rental construction boom helping fuel Cape Breton wallboard plant expansion
    News
    CBC

    Rental construction boom helping fuel Cape Breton wallboard plant expansion

    Nova Scotia's only gypsum wallboard plant is expanding.Cabot Manufacturing in Point Tupper is spending about $6.5 million to upgrade its plant and add to its product line.Company president Marcel Girouard said the expansion is being driven in part by the boom in urban condo and high-rise apartment construction, and a trend toward higher ceilings.Girouard anticipates the expansion will create as many as 40 new jobs.The expansion comes on the heels of a rocky period for the industry in recent years, which is a result of the 2008 financial crisis and the corresponding slowdown in housing construction.The previous owner of the Point Tupper plant, Federal Gypsum, went bankrupt in 2008.Girouard said Cabot has benefited from it's affiliation with Acadian Drywall Ltd., which bought the Point Tupper plant in 2011 and has an established distribution network.Cabot currently sells its products across Canada and exports to the United States and other countries.Raw material comes from all over North America, with some coming from Nova Scotia.Girouard sees potential for gypsum mining to return to Cape Breton."We've done some drilling on some land not far from the plant, so we'll see what happens," he said.Increasing demand for gypsum boardsGeorge Karaphillis, the dean of the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton University, said the housing market being on an upswing and a trend toward energy efficient buildings are good news for Cabot."The economists are predicting something like an 11 per cent annual increase in the demand for gypsum boards worldwide," said Karaphillis. "It's in demand pretty much everywhere."He said natural gypsum is a sustainable material and has good insulating properties.Nova Scotia Business Inc. is providing a rebate that will cover 25 per cent of the expansion costs.MORE TOP STORIES

  • News
    CBC

    'It puts a bad taste in my mouth': Councillor aims to make racist covenants history

    A few generations ago, the only way Marcus Wong could have lived in the posh West Vancouver neighbourhood where he grew up was as a servant. And while that's no longer the case, land title documents for an unknown number of homes in the British Properties — a tony, hillside neighbourhood with panoramic views of Vancouver — still have covenants that say people of colour can't live there. Now Wong is trying to change that. Next week, the West Vancouver councillor will introduce a motion that will begin the process of identifying and removing any remaining covenants in the district that discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, ancestry or religion. The proposal also prohibits the creation of such clauses in the future. Coun. Craig Cameron will second Wong's motion.On CBC's On the Coast on Wednesday, Wong read from one of the racist covenants he had tracked down."The first part says that the grantee shall not assign or transfer the set lands to anybody of African or Asiatic race or descent," Wong told host Gloria Macarenko."And, as well, no person of either African or Asiatic race or descent shall reside on the premises except as servants."It puts a very bad taste in my mouth."'These covenants ... have no place in our society'Wong views his work to remove discriminatory clauses from land titles as part of a greater project toward inclusiveness. "I think of, for example, the Order of Canada's motto: '[They] desire a better country,'" Wong said."This isn't just my country, it's not just your country, it's our country. So, if we truly want this country, Canada, to be better then we need to take all the measures possible to make sure that it is a better country."In a statement provided to CBC News, British Pacific Properties — the developer behind the original British Properties neighbourhood — said it supported Wong's motion, along with any further steps the municipality might take. "These offensive, restrictive covenants are found on properties throughout the province, and although they are void and unenforceable, they have no place in our society," it said.The family-owned business declined to be interviewed. This type of discriminatory practice was not unique to West Vancouver, with such clauses found across Canada. Section 222 of British Columbia's Land Titles Act makes such covenants void. Since 1978, the Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA) has also allowed landowners to remove discriminatory clauses from their titles free of cost. Rather than trying to locate the covenants one by one, Wong hopes the district will work with the LTSA to streamline the process and remove racist clauses in large batches. Now is an appropriate time to get started, he said."The Asian Lunar New Year is coming up. It's a time for renewal, a time for turning a new leaf."

  • News
    CBC

    Hello, 911, is a potato a weapon?: Sask. RCMP releases annual list of worst 'emergency' calls

    Saskatchewan RCMP's annual ReasonsToNotCall911 campaign rolled out this week.Its goal of the annual list is to highlight situations where calling 911 is not appropriate.One 2019 caller wanted to know whether a potato would be considered a weapon in a fight. Another person called 911 to report that their fiance was not helping with wedding planning.Other highlights included:  * Someone reporting that their "personal intimate device" had been taken, but that the thief had left the container behind. * A person inquiring whether throwing a pickle at someone would get them arrested.  * Someone asking 911 to pick up their medication because they could not reach their pharmacy over the telephone.  * A woman who called 911 and asked them to come help her reach something from the top shelf in her home.  * One person found a "quite large insect" in their toilet. They called 911 to have RCMP help them remove it. RCMP spokesperson Rob King said that while some of these calls may be funny, they clog up the lines, something that could be trouble when actual life threatening situations happen. "I just think the proper use of 911 when there's an actual emergency, all of the things that we include in our list were not actual emergencies. In fact most of aren't even police matters," King said. "Every phone call that comes in, it takes time. Even if you determine right away that it's not something important, you may be on the phone with someone for three, four, or five, or 10 minutes. So that's taking time away." RCMP wants remind everyone thatl 911 is only for life-threatening emergencies.You can also call 311 to report to your local RCMP detachment centre if you have a complaint or emergency.