Monty Python collaborator Neil Innes dies aged 75

Neil Innes at the 50 Years: The Beatles panel discussion at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City in 2014. (Kris Connor/Getty Images)

The musician and comedian Neil Innes has died at the age of 75, his agent has confirmed.

The agent, Nigel Morton, said the death was unexpected and that Innes had not been ill.

Innes first became famous as a member of the humorous art-pop group the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and was known for his frequent collaborations with Monty Python comedy troupe.

Read more: The stars we’ve lost in 2019

His work with the Pythons – including writing music for albums including Monty Python's Previous Record and The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief – led him to be known as the “Seventh Python”, also the name of the 2008 musical documentary about his career.

Innes (second left) with Pythons Terry Gilliam (far left), Eric Idle (centre right) and Terry Jones. (Pierre Vauthey/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)

Innes penned original songs for the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail including Knights of the Round Table and Sir Robin, as well as acting in the picture in minor roles.

Innes went on to have a small role in the troupe’s 1979 film Life of Brian.

He was also only one of two non-Pythons to have been credited as a writer for the group’s TV show, the other being future Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy author Douglas Adams.

Monty Python And The Holy Grail lobbycard, 1975. From left: Neil Innes, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman and Michael Palin. (LMPC via Getty Images)

Innes’s group the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band first achieved public prominence with a performance in The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour film in 1967.

Their song I'm The Urban Spaceman – produced by Paul McCartney – reached No 5 in 1968 and earned Innes an Ivor Novello award.

Later he was also a member of the parody band The Rutles, the subject of Python Eric Idle’s Beatles-spoofing mockumentary All You Need Is Cash.

Tributes have poured in for Innes, with actor Mark Gatiss tweeting: "Neil Innes has gone. As a Python-obsessed teen I saw him at Darlington Arts Centre & missed my bus home to catch his brilliance. I used to record ‘The Innes Book of Records’ on C-60s & marvel at his talent. I still hum ‘I like Cezanne, says Anne’. Sweet dreams, sweet idiot."

Comedian and actor Diane Morgan said: "Fairwell Neil Innes. One of the nicest people I’ve ever met and a towering talent."

While writer and director Edgar Wright posted: "If it's true that the great Neil Innes had sadly passed away, please let me raise a glass to the man. Forever a fan of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Allow me to share a favourite clip of them in action (with a bonkers Innes guitar solo too). RIP Neil."

With reporting from PA.

  • Protesters abandon Quebec rail blockade after show of force by police
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    The Canadian Press

    Protesters abandon Quebec rail blockade after show of force by police

    ST-LAMBERT, Que. — A blockade south of Montreal that halted rail traffic and frayed nerves since Wednesday was abandoned late Friday after riot police arrived to enforce a court injunction.The roughly two dozen protesters, acting in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs contesting a British Columbia natural gas pipeline, had begun dismantling the encampment earlier in the evening following discussions with police.They took downs tents and carried items such as sleeping bags, pots, propane tanks and a wood stove to the edge of a security perimeter established earlier in the day by Longueuil municipal police.Then at around 10 p.m., a spokesman wearing a ski mask and sunglasses announced the rail blockade in St-Lambert, Que., was ending but said the fight was not over."Even though the colonial police is removing this barricade with violence and contempt, others will emerge," he said. He added that until the federal government listens to the hereditary chiefs, the RCMP leaves Wet'suwet'en territory and Coastal GasLink scraps the contentious pipeline, "the colonial Canadian state will be totally paralyzed."Emotions flared earlier in the day as the protesters dug in next to Canadian National Railway tracks despite being served with an injunction Thursday that ordered that the site be cleared. Quebec Premier Francois Legault called for the injunction to be enforced "rapidly."Police arrived in large numbers Friday afternoon near the encampment. There were several rounds of talks between police and the masked protesters, and as the impasse continued, some people chose to leave.The blockade interrupted freight traffic as well as passenger service for suburban commuters and Via Rail travellers.Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project that would carry natural gas to the B.C. coast, though others in the community support the pipeline.Countrywide protests and blockades followed a move by RCMP to enforce a court injunction this month against the hereditary chiefs and their supporters, who had been obstructing an access road to a Coastal GasLink work site.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday called the blockades around the country unacceptable and said they have to come down."Let us be clear: all Canadians are paying the price. Some people can't get to work, others have lost their jobs," Trudeau said. "Essential goods ... cannot get where they need to go."Jean-Yves Lessard, who joined the St-Lambert protesters on Friday morning, said Trudeau's government was to blame."If they had done what they needed to at the beginning, people wouldn't be here," he said."Sadly, it's bad for the economy and business, but it's not them you should be angry with. Tell Trudeau to go and sit down with the hereditary chiefs."Legault said he would leave it to police to enforce the injunction."We need these tracks for transporting cargo, to avoid job losses, to avoid losses for companies," he said. "The law has to be respected, and obviously I hope it is done in an orderly fashion."The premier estimated losses to the provincial economy due to the rail blockades at up to $100 million a day.Denis Bisson, who owns a company north of Montreal that sells slate flooring and countertops, stopped by the blockade Friday. He said he depends on the rail line to supply his business with raw materials from a quarry in Nova Scotia. Switching to flatbed trucks would quadruple the cost per load, he said."I'm afraid it's going to last two or three weeks, and I'm beginning to be out of stock in my yard," he said, holding a sign that read in French "hostage for one day or every day?!"A protester told him they were standing up for Indigenous rights and the environment."But they are hitting people that have nothing to do with that," Bisson said. "They're making people pay for something that we're not involved in."The injunction granted to CN Thursday by Superior Court Justice France Dulude authorized "any police services or peace officers" to assist the company in executing the order in St-Lambert.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2020.Sidhartha Banerjee and Stephane Blais, The Canadian Press

  • School bus draped with message targets UK's Prince Andrew
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    The Canadian Press

    School bus draped with message targets UK's Prince Andrew

    LONDON — A yellow school bus with a banner depicting the face of Britain's Prince Andrew drove past Buckingham Palace on Friday, urging him to testify in the investigation of the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.The stunt organized by American lawyer Gloria Allred sought to pressure Queen Elizabeth II's son to reveal what he might know about the disgraced financier. Allred represents some of Epstein's victims and has demanded that Andrew co-operates.The message, featuring pictures of Andrew, said: "If you see this man please ask him to call the FBI to answer their questions."Andrew has stepped back from royal duties following a catastrophic BBC interview in which he categorically denied having sex with a teenager who says she was trafficked by Epstein. Britain’s newspapers and social media commentators slammed the royal for defending his friendship with Epstein and for failing to show empathy for the convicted sex-offender’s victims.U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman told reporters in January that Andrew has provided “zero co-operation” to the FBI and U.S. prosecutors seeking to speak with him about Epstein.The statement by Berman, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, was the first official confirmation that the leading U.S. law enforcement agency had sought — and failed — to obtain evidence from Andrew, third child of the monarch, despite his pledge to co-operate with legitimate law enforcement agencies.Andrew was reported to be "angry and bewildered" at the comments by American authorities, with the Telegraph quoting a source as saying: "The duke is more than happy to talk to the FBI but he hasn't been approached by them yet."The American prosecutors have since stood by their statements.The FBI declined to comment.The Associated Press

  • Alberta doctors getting ready for court fight against new pay, benefits deal
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    The Canadian Press

    Alberta doctors getting ready for court fight against new pay, benefits deal

    EDMONTON — The head of the Alberta Medical Association says it's preparing for a court fight after the province cancelled its master agreement this week and announced a new pay and benefits deal."Absolutely we are taking legal action," Dr. Christine Molnar said Friday in an interview. "I see this as a fundamental violation of our right for representation."She said that denying doctors binding arbitration is violating their rights under the Canada Health Act and the charter."This is not the environment that we wanted," Molnar said. "We wanted to work collaboratively with the government to get sustainable health care for Albertans."Molnar said different legal firms are exploring a possible challenge, but it may be difficult. While the AMA bargains for doctors, it is not a union."We are not protected under labour legislation. And so nothing we do legally is going to be easy, that's for sure," she said.Molnar made the comments a day after Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced Alberta was terminating the master agreement, even though the current deal doesn't end until March 31.Shandro said the current $5.4-billion yearly compensation for doctors won't change. But he said new fee and billing rules will be put in place April 1 to prevent an estimated extra $2 billion being added in the next three years to the physician budget.The United Conservative government had said the changes are manageable because Alberta doctors make more than physicians in other provinces, taking in almost $390,000 in gross clinical earnings in 2018-19 — $90,000 more than doctors in Ontario.The AMA disputes those numbers, saying they are based on faulty comparisons.It said it commissioned its own study that found Alberta doctors get $386,000 a year on average, which is more than the national average of $346,000, but reflects the reality that wages across Alberta's job spectrum are higher."We are not out of line (on wages)," Molnar said.She said there is a shortage of physicians in Canada and Shandro's plan risks seeing doctors leaving Alberta.She also said she is hearing from family practitioners who are crunching the numbers. They say the new changes, including fee reductions for extra-long visits by complex-needs patients, mean they will lose money.Dr. Bailey Adams told reporters she is looking at having to cut office expenses and change patient visit rules to keep the doors of her family practice open under the new fee rules."I'm drafting letters to my patients today that say, 'I'm sorry. From now on, you get to discuss one concern per visit.' And on average right now, I'm discussing three to seven concerns per visit," said Adams, who spoke at an Opposition NDP news conference.The province cancelled the master agreement using powers it granted itself in legislation passed last fall. The move followed failed negotiations with the AMA.Molnar said the association had offered savings of $150 million a year and was preparing to ask for arbitration when Shandro cancelled the agreement.Premier Jason Kenney, speaking to reporters in Calgary, said even with looming changes to physician pay in the province, Alberta's doctors will still be the best compensated in Canada."If (doctors) want to leave the province with the best compensation and the lowest taxes, I hope they wouldn't do so, but it wouldn't be very sensible," Kenney said. "It wouldn't be a very logical decision to make."Alberta has more than 10,800 doctors split evenly between general practitioners and specialists. Most work in urban areas.— With files from Bill Graveland in CalgaryThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2020Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

  • Ottawa, province, First Nations sign deal to protect southern mountain caribou
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    The Canadian Press

    Ottawa, province, First Nations sign deal to protect southern mountain caribou

    VANCOUVER — A historic agreement to save endangered southern mountain caribou in northeast British Columbia has been recognized as reconciliation in action, coming on the same day tensions peaked in Canada over Indigenous land rights and resource developments that have resulted in blockades and arrests.Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said Friday the agreement represents bold action to support the survival and recovery of an iconic caribou population, which is down to 230 animals, but he also said the deal represents successful co-operation on a challenging issue."This is a very good day," he said during a news conference. "This agreement is a model for caribou recovery efforts across this country. By entering into this partnership agreement, we are supporting reconciliation as well as environmental stewardship."The federal and B.C. governments along with the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations signed the long-awaited agreement to protect the endangered herd in the Dawson Creek area of B.C.Wilkinson said the 30-year partnership agreement includes habitat recovery measures, maternal penning to protect young caribou from predators and a commitment to protect 700,000 hectares of critical habitat.Saulteau Chief Ken Cameron said the agreement sends a message that goes beyond the caribou habitat and should be viewed as a signal that respectful negotiation and co-operation produces results."Most Canadians, and myself included, are starting to wonder if there was anything real to the word reconciliation," said Cameron. "Today is an example that we can achieve reconciliation."In Ottawa on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the rail barricades — erected in support of Wet'suwet'in hereditary chiefs' opposition to a natural gas pipeline in their territory — had to come down and the onus was on the chiefs to come to the table.Wet'suwet'in Nation Chief Woos responded, saying they agree to negotiate, as long as the RCMP leaves their territory in northern B.C. and the pipeline builder, Coastal Gas Link, stops its work.Chief Roland Willson, of the West Moberly First Nations, said his people have deep spiritual and survival links to the caribou and now that the species is struggling to survive, the time has come to help the threatened animals."We are interconnected with them," he said. "They are a part of our lives. They were there for us when we needed them. We have to be there for them now."Local residents have voiced concern about the impact the caribou recovery plan may have on their communities.A West Moberly issued a statement saying "the partnership agreement will not close hiking, fishing or camping sites in the back country, and will not shut down mills, mines, or pipelines."B.C. Forests Ministry statistics estimate the province's caribou numbers have dropped from about 40,000 animals over the last century to about 15,000. Southern mountain caribou populations now total fewer than 3,100. The central group of southern mountain caribou has about 230 animals.The partnership deal focuses on saving the central herd, but the federal and B.C. government reached a bilateral agreement to work towards protecting the remaining herds, said Wilkinson.The minister acknowledged the negotiation process to reach the deal created issues among communities and industries in the northeast over concerns the protection plan would hurt business and restrict recreational land access."We certainly recognize the challenges and some of the legitimate concerns raised on this issue over the past year by local communities and industry and that is why we are working together to directly support affected communities and industries through a range of measures," said Wilkinson.B.C.'s forest industry said it supports caribou recovery efforts, but the agreement will result in fewer areas to work and could hurt local economies."We are deeply disappointed that the separate partnership agreement signed today permanently removes a significant amount of fibre from the timber harvesting land base and creates additional operational uncertainty," said a joint statement from the BC Council of Forest Industries and the Forest Products Association of Canada.B.C.'s Opposition Liberals said the plan ignores residents of rural B.C. who believe protecting caribou was placed ahead of their livelihoods and recreational interests. The Liberals say the deal was largely negotiated without input from local governments and industry officials."Moving ahead without any meaningful input from the general public shows (Premier) John Horgan's disregard for this entire region of B.C.," said the area's Liberal MLA Mike Bernier in a statement.Horgan appointed former Liberal cabinet minister Blair Lekstrom last year to review those concerns and make recommendations to the government, but Lekstrom recently quit, saying the New Democrats were not prepared to reopen the deal to allow more local participation.The agreement was praised by environmental groups who say habitat destruction has put caribou on the brink of extinction.Wilderness Committee caribou campaigner Charlotte Dawe said the plan makes caribou recovery its top priority."I look forward to the day when Chief Ken Cameron and Chief Roland Willson can watch as caribou migrate over hilltops in the high hundreds, a sight that hasn't been seen in the Peace region for decades," she said in a statement.B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson called the deal historic."The caribou is a keystone species, an indicator of the health of the land," he said.— By Dirk Meissner in Victoria.This report by The Canadian Press was first published on February 21, 2020.The Canadian Press

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    The Canadian Press

    SARS lessons help Canada prep for COVID-19, but hospital capacity a worry

    OTTAWA — Canadian medical experts say the country's already overstretched emergency rooms would find it difficult to cope if a true outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, were to take hold in Canada.So far, the virus has been relatively contained to mainland China, thanks in part to one of the largest quarantines in modern history."We must not look back and regret that we failed to take advantage of the window of opportunity that we have now," Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, said in a message to all the world’s countries Friday.The risk of contracting the virus in Canada right now is extremely low, and public health officials have been lauded for their efforts to detect and isolate the nine cases confirmed in the country so far.The hundreds of patients across the country who have tested negative for the virus are also a sign that containment efforts are working as they should.But Canada’s most recent case in British Columbia has raised fears about where and how the disease is being transmitted abroad. Unlike others who've imported the virus from China or from people who have recently been to China, the woman in her 30s contracted the illness while in Iran."Any imported cases linked to Iran could be an indicator that there is more widespread transmission than we know about,” said Canada's chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam Friday.Canada has taken major steps to prevent the kind of shock that befell Ontario during the outbreak of the coronavirus known as SARS in 2003 that led to 44 deaths. Creating the Public Health Agency of Canada, which Tam heads, is one of them.The country is now better co-ordinated, has increased its lab-testing capabilities and is prepared to trace people's contacts to find people who might have caught a contagious illness without knowing it.But once the number of incoming cases reaches a critical mass, the approach must change, according to infectious-diseases physician Dr. Isaac Bogoch of Toronto's University Health Network.He likens the response to trying to catch fly balls in the outfield: as the number of balls in the air increases, they become harder and harder to snag."Every health care system has limits," Bogoch says. "The question is, if we start getting inundated with cases, how stretched can we get?"Many emergency-room doctors argue Canada's ERs are already as stretched as they can get and are worried about what would happen if they suddenly had to start treating COVID-19 cases en masse.From the public-health perspective, the greatest challenge may be as simple communicating across all parts of the health system across the country, said Dr. Jasmine Pawa, president of the Public Health Physicians of Canada."We cover a very wide geographic area," she said, though she added that Canada has made great strides over the course of the SARS experience and the H1N1 flu outbreak in 2009.Dr. Alan Drummond of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, who works at the hospital in Perth, Ont., says he doesn’t want to fearmonger, especially considering all the lessons Canada has learned from past outbreaks, but the reality of life in the ER gives him pause.“Our day-to-day experience in crowded hospitals, unable to get the right patient in the right bed on a day-to-day basis … makes us really question what the integrity of our health-care system would be like in a major severe pandemic,” Drummond says.He envisions that a disease like COVID-19, if it spread widely, would have a major impact, including the possibility of cancelled surgeries and moving stable patients out of hospitals who would otherwise stay."I think there would have to be hard decisions made about who lives and who dies, given our limited availability by both speciality and (intensive-care) beds and we would probably see some degree of health-care rationing," he says.The problem may be even more pronounced because of Canada’s aging population, he said. The virus tends to hit older people harder, according to observations made in China and abroad, and is also particularly dangerous for people with other health problems.Older people also tend to stay admitted in hospital beds even when they are in relatively stable condition because of a lack of long-term-care beds across the country.That keeps emergency rooms from being able to move acute patients out of the ER and into those beds, limiting hospitals' capacity to handle new cases.Tam agreed Friday that hospital capacity is a "critical aspect" of Canada’s preparedness for a potential coronavirus outbreak, but said even very bad flu seasons can have a similar effect on emergency rooms."If we can delay the impact of the coronavirus until a certain period, when there’s less influenza for example, that would also be very helpful," she said.She also suggested people who are concerned about the possibility that they’re developing COVID-19 symptoms should call ahead to a hospital so they can make proper arrangements for containment and isolation.Canada is doing its best, along with every other country in the world, to seize this time of relative containment and plan ahead, Tam said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2020.Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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    CBC

    Jason Kenney announces $40M for 'renewal' of Glenbow Museum

    Alberta Premier Jason Kenney pledged $40 million on Friday for the renovation and "complete renewal" of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. The institution, which houses art and historical artifacts, is seeking a total of $115 million to complete the project. * Watch the video above to listen to the announcementKenney said he hoped the provincial government contribution would spur private donations and he encouraged the City of Calgary to also provide funds. "I believe today's commitment will make it much easier for the board to go out and find those contributions."Kenney said he wants to see the institution transform into one of the top cultural institutions in Canada.The Glenbow introduced new CEO Nicholas Bell last year with a mandate for "a full transformation of its building and exhibit spaces." Gallery spaceBell said on Friday that he wants the Glenbow to be "one of the most ambitious and progressive museum spaces in Canada."Much of that focus will be on art and culture.Kenney stressed that Calgary is an outlier among major cities for not having a significant public art gallery. The announcement comes just one month after another significant art institution opened its doors. Contemporary Calgary, which revamped the old Planetarium space on the west side of downtown, focuses on contemporary art and hopes to fund a major expansion of the space.It is seeking $30 million from the Alberta government to help finance its expansion.

  • News
    CBC

    It shouldn't be a crime to raise funeral money through lotteries, raffles, MLA says

    Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu MLA Pat Angnakak is asking the government of Nunavut to check itself on how it regulates legal, or illegal, fundraisers done through lotteries and raffles.  Earlier this week the Department of Community and Government Services issued a public service announcement to warn Nunavummiut that lotteries and raffles held without a government- or municipality-issued license are illegal. Under the Nunavut Lotteries Act only charitable organizations, non-profits and religious groups are allowed to run lotteries. That means people who hold 50/50s, bingos or the like without a licence can be prosecuted. "Individuals who wish to fundraise for personal reasons through raffles are not eligible for a lottery licence," the announcement reads. "If you are concerned of possible fraud from an unlicensed lottery, please contact your local RCMP detachment."Angnakak said fraudsters and scammers should be prosecuted, and lotteries shouldn't be used to pay for "Vegas vacations" or "buying a new truck." But, given the high crime rates and serious violence seen in the territory, Angnakak questioned the wisdom of having law enforcement penalize people who are raising money for a good cause. "When it comes to desperate people who are looking to raise a few dollars to help with funeral-related expenses or travelling to be with a dying relative we need to take a more humane approach," she said. "Prosecuting someone in these circumstances is not the best use of our governments time and resources."When Angnakak asked Community and Government Services Minister Lorne Kusugak for his opinion on the regulation of unlicensed lottery and raffles in communities, he said, "I believe it's my right not to state an opinion on this issue." Kusugak was also unaware of any prosecuted offences related to unlicensed lotteries within the last year.  Angnakak called the current Lotteries Act out of date, it having been brought in from the Northwest Territories and only updated a few times. She asked to see an overhaul of the act, and for lottery games and fundraisers that are common in Nunavut, like Chase the Ace, to be reflected in those changes.

  • 'Like losing a family member': Community mourns loss of Jane and Finch rec centre to fire
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    CBC

    'Like losing a family member': Community mourns loss of Jane and Finch rec centre to fire

    Residents in the Jane and Finch area say their community has lost its heart.A fire ripped through Firgrove Learning and Innovation Community Centre (FLICC) last week, leaving kids without a place to gather and organizers scrambling to keep programs running.The space is a non-profit community centre that opened in 2008.Now, those who loved the facility are wondering what will be done with the building."To see this gone, its very hard," said 13-year-old Tahmya Anderson as she fought back tears. Anderson says she's been going to the recreation centre with her mom since the building opened."Now she picks me up from school and we go home and there's nothing really to do," she said. Watch: Jane and Finch community mourns the loss of their recreation centre to a devastating fireThe space was home to after school programs for children, community sewing circles for adults, computer literacy classes, virtual learning and food banks.Janessa Dacosta, 9, is one of the many children who say they've benefited from those after school programs. Dacosta has been going to FLICC since she was five years old."It was fun for me and I could do a lot of stuff. I loved drawing but now I have to find somewhere else to do that," she said. Dacosta says she cried when she saw the building burning because it reminded her of the drawings she had posted on walls inside.Many of the people who frequented the rec centre consider themselves part of an extended family, said Christine Prevedel, an after-school program co-ordinator. "As soon as the school bell rang, this is where everybody was going to be," she said.Vanesha Cardwell has spent 17 years in the neighbourhood and says it was a safe space for many youth.  "Many young people that were affected by gang violence or problems at home, they would come to the rec centre to talk to someone about it, they were heard," she said.'It's like losing someone'Executive Director Lorraine Anderson, who is also Tahmya Anderson's mother, is still coming to terms with what happened.She hasn't been back to the building since it burned through the night on Feb. 12."It's like losing someone. It's like losing a family member, what this centre has inside is a lot of memories, a lot of love, a lot of care," she said. It took just two hours for the blaze to burn through 12 years of work. Everything from the children's artwork to newly donated soccer equipment to computers were lost, says Anderson. Now staff faces a tough logistical challenge."Finding new spaces to hold homework help, family barbecues, summer camps and food banks are going to be really hard but we just go day-by-day," she said.  An uncertain futureFor now, programs like the women's exercise group are running in an adjacent building, while kids do school work in the next room.Meanwhile, the blaze is still under investigation by Ontario's Office of the Fire Marshal and Toronto fire services.It is believed it began in a computer room, firefighters said, though it remains unclear how it may have started.Anderson says the building is likely going to be demolished as a result of the city's Jane Finch revitalization project. Toronto Community Housing says it's assessing the damage to see just how bad it is before deciding on what to do next."We do know it's an important part of the community so we're going to be looking at things with that in mind" said Bruce Malloch, TCH's director of strategic communications.

  • Tragedy stole Aly Jenkins from her family, the sport she loved is helping them heal
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    CBC

    Tragedy stole Aly Jenkins from her family, the sport she loved is helping them heal

    MOOSE JAW, Sask. — It was supposed to be Aly Jenkins's moment.The promising Saskatchewan curler so badly wanted to wear her provincial colours one day and play in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Canada's crown jewel for women's curling.But on that first Sunday of competition at this year's tournament it was Jenkins's husband, Scott, and their three children who stood at ice level inside Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Sask. Aly Jenkins wasn't there. But her presence could be felt by everyone inside the arena."It was a tough decision to come," Scott said this week. "I think she'd be proud. I think she might think I would just fold maybe and not come. But she always pushed me to do these things so that's why I'm doing it."It had been just four months since Aly had died giving birth to the couple's third child. She had suffered an amniotic embolism, a rare complication during childbirth and almost unthinkable for a healthy 30-year-old.It sent a chill through the curling community.WATCH | Devin Heroux reports on Aly Jenkins' story for The National:In the days that followed, people from across Saskatchewan, Canada and around the world rallied around Scott and his family, doing whatever they could to help him make it to the next day."I can't thank them enough," Scott said. "I wish there was a way I could thank every single one, and help them with something they're struggling with."This past Sunday, at the opening weekend of this year's Scotties, Curling Canada honoured Aly.WATCH | Tribute for Aly Jenkins:In front of a capacity crowd, Scott, his four-year-old son Brady, one-year-old daughter Avery, and new baby Sydney courageously walked out onto the ice surface area in front of a crowd of thousands.  Scott held Brady, with Aly's former curling teammates holding Sydney and Avery nearby. They played a video tribute honouring her, highlighting Aly's love of curling, zest for life and infectious smile. Tears streamed down their faces as photos of Aly flashed across the screen inside the arena.It was devastating and beautiful.Scott had to be there. For Aly. For his healing process. And to help his kids know their mom."Just trying not to let them forget. That's my biggest worry right now is them forgetting her," Scott said. "They ask about mom. Not as much lately which scares me."The 'miracle' babyOctober 20 was supposed to be the perfect day.It was Scott's birthday. It was also the day Aly, a physiotherapist, went into labour.Scott doesn't want to revisit it. But all he does is revisit it, over and over in his mind — their drive to the hospital, being in the delivery room and then the chaos that followed."We were joking and laughing when we arrived. It was my birthday. So we were talking about having the same birthday and all the stuff and trying to have this baby on the same day. She was all excited for that," Scott said."Everything switched in a hurry."Aly was in a lot of pain. She quickly got an epidural. But nothing was getting rid of her severe pain. Her heart rate started dropping. Aly was having trouble breathing."All of a sudden in the blink of an eye everything just dropped," Scott said. "She had a seizure and all the machines were dinging and ringing. They grabbed me and I went out to the hallway and I collapsed. They had nurses on me and then I saw them take her away.""It was the last time I saw her," Scott said. One doctor came in and told me when Aly passed away, for some reason, everything started to change with Sydney. \- Scott JenkinsFor hours doctors tried everything to save Aly, pumping litre after litre of blood into her. Nothing worked. While that horrifying situation was unfolding doctors were also trying to save the baby."Sydney wasn't breathing for the first two minutes or three minutes," Scott recalled.Sydney had no brain function. Her lungs weren't working. It wasn't looking good."I was running up and down floors to try to meet doctors," Scott said. "I remember every second of it. It's crazy."And then a miracle moment."One doctor came in and told me when Aly passed away, for some reason, everything started to change with Sydney," Scott said.Sydney started breathing.WATCH | Curling helping Aly Jenkins's family ease the pain:Doctors thought Sydney would be in the hospital for at least 30 days recovering, hooked up to machines. Scott left the hospital nine days later with a healthy "miracle baby.""She's the last person that was with Aly. I see so much of her in Sydney. She's a fighter like her mom," he said.Picking up the piecesScott, 31, is now adjusting to life as a single father, on leave from his sales job with a construction company.In his Warman, Sask., home he's filling bottles, changing diapers, playing mini sticks, trying to maintain normalcy for kids who need love and fun. The routine of parenthood, but underlying it all, his grief. There are two TVs, one for Avery's cartoons and one for Brady's shows. Sometimes Scott is able to watch sports late at night if he doesn't fall asleep on the couch after another exhausting day.He's finally getting a routine down, but wouldn't have been able to do it without the help of his parents and Aly's parents who drop by the house on a daily basis."They've been amazing. I couldn't have done without them. Just the daily challenges," Scott said. "I can't just curl up in bed and sulk. We have three kids so I keep pushing."But he has his moments. When all he wants to do is cry. Avery is too young to know what's happening right now. But Brady is acutely aware of his dad's feelings, stepping up to help as much as he can."He's an eight-year-old in a four-year-old body. He doesn't complain about anything. He'll help me with the bottles and diapers. He cleans up. Avery is my little Aly. She's feisty just like her mom," Scott said.   "We have our moments. I try to keep it away from them as much as possible when I'm upset."Brady knows. He always says we're okay, and gives a hug. It's special."Back to the ScottiesEverywhere Scott turns he's reminded of his high school sweetheart.The two met when they were in Grade 11 during a golf tournament in Waskesiu, Sask. They immediately fell in love.For the next number of years, Scott would drive four hours almost every week from Prince Albert, Sask. to Fort Qu'Appelle, Sask., where Aly grew up, to spend the weekend with her. They had been inseparable ever since."We were drawing up something pretty perfect," Scott said.Five years ago, in February 2015, the two made the drive together from Warman to Moose Jaw and dreamed of their future.It was the previous time the Scotties was held in Saskatchewan. Scott remembers the drive along the expansive prairie landscape with Aly like it was yesterday."She was so excited. Her dream was to make it and I knew she would have one day for sure," he said.They spent that week in the Mosaic Place stands together, laughing, cheering, and imagining Aly being on the ice one day."I know exactly where we were sitting," Scott said, pointing to the spot. "Across the rink. Right over there."This week, Scott had to make the drive without her. As he walked up to the arena with Avery in his arms and Brady walking beside him holding his hand, Scott shared memories with them of that time with Aly."That connection to curling is going to keep it together for sure," Scott said. "It's forever going to be attached with mom and curling,"Not long after Scott and his family arrived, he was met by Rachel Homan, the three-time Scotties champion from Ottawa.She gave birth to her first child, a baby boy, this past summer, and news of Aly's death hit her in a visceral way. She immediately reached out to Scott and the pair had remained in contact, Homan offering whatever support she could.On this day, the two hugged each other on the Mosaic Place concourse with their two babies in their arms."It's devastating and emotional so I just wanted to reach out to see if there was anything I could do to support or help," Homan said.  "Being through a similar experience but obviously a different ending.  I just can't even imagine going through that."Homan is the skip of Team Ontario. They decided to put stickers with Aly's name on their brooms to honour her throughout this year's tournament.It's little things like this that keeps Scott going."The curling community is quite amazing and I'm so grateful to be a part of it," Scott said. "We're all a big family."Aly's teammates were her second family.Nancy Martin and Sherry Anderson were two of the last curlers to be on the ice with her. They came within a shot of making it to the Scotties in 2019 — they so badly wanted to play a role in helping Aly achieve her dream."I think you saw probably on our faces when we lost last year she was down and beside me and the tears were rolling," Martin said. "It was heartbreaking to lose that game. You always think there's another year." You wanted her to experience the joy of the win and getting to go and play in the Scotties. \- Sherry Anderson, Jenkins's former teammateAnderson has been to the Scotties a number of times; she knows what it takes to win at that level. And she knew Aly was good enough to one day be there."You wanted her to experience the joy of the win and getting to go and play in the Scotties because that is every female's dream in Canada, to go to the Scotties and perform. So, it was hard."The two have kept in touch with Scott and the kids, helping out as much as they can. And like Scott, Martin and Anderson have been overwhelmed by how the curling community has rallied together in the wake of this tragedy."I think the one thing that blew me away was it was curlers. Friends of friends of friends curlers who didn't know Aly that reached out to us and it really made me realize what a small community we have really," Martin said.  "We all have each other's back."Keeping Aly's memory aliveIn Scott's bedroom, in the corner beside the bed, sits a duffel bag.Scott points to it, the emotions beginning to bubble up inside him."She packed that before going to the hospital," he says.Aly's previous two deliveries were lengthy and so she wanted to be prepared for her third.Scott can't bring himself to open the bag to see what's inside.Some days are better than others. But there are these daily moments, out of nowhere, where he's hit by the reality that Aly isn't there to watch their three beautiful children grow up."Every day it's something. And that's what hurts. Avery started to talk a lot more and little things like that set me off because it's just stuff that I wish Aly could have witnessed."I see them growing up and doing things their mom would've been so proud of."He has her phone. Aly recorded moments together with Brady and Avery — at the park, at the curling rink, in the kitchen with the kids. Scott will watch those videos from time to time to remind him of her.Aly loved being a mom."She kept the family together. I have to learn so many new things now. She took care of everything around this family."And in some ways she's still taking care of them, through the community she leaves behind, and the rinks that were her second home.

  • Privacy watchdogs to probe Clearview AI's facial-recognition technology
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Privacy watchdogs to probe Clearview AI's facial-recognition technology

    OTTAWA — The federal privacy watchdog and three of his provincial counterparts will jointly investigate Canadian use of facial-recognition technology supplied by U.S. firm Clearview AI.Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien says he will be joined in the probe by ombudsmen from British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. The investigation follows media reports that raised concerns about whether the company is collecting and using personal information without consent.Clearview AI's technology allows for the collection of huge numbers of images from various sources that can help police forces and financial institutions identify people.Therrien's office says the four privacy regulators will examine whether the organization's practices comply with Canadian privacy laws.It also says privacy regulators in every province and territory have agreed to develop guidance for organizations — including law enforcement — on the use of biometric technology, including facial recognition.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2020.The Canadian Press

  • Roman Forum find could be shrine to Rome's founder, Romulus
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Roman Forum find could be shrine to Rome's founder, Romulus

    ROME — Italian archaeologists unveiled to the press Friday an exciting new find from the Roman Forum, which they say could be the lost shrine dedicated some 2,600 years ago to Romulus, Rome's legendary founder and first king.Visually, the discovery first announced Tuesday is not very remarkable: Peering down in an excavated space beneath the Curia Julia, or ancient senate house, one sees something resembling a stone washtub that archaeologists say is a sarcophagus, or stone coffin. There's also a cylindrical stone block, possibly an altar.Both items are made of tuff, carved from the Capitoline Hill that overlooks the Forum, and which is home to today's City Hall.The recently excavated area “represents a place, which in history and in the Roman imagination, speaks about the cult of Romulus.” said archaeologist Patrizia Fortini.Fortini says no one's hypothesizing the sarcophagus actually ever contained the bones of Romulus who, with his twin Remus, established the city near the Tiber River around 753 B.C. and founded the kingdom of Rome. It likely dates to the 6th Century BC, some 200 years after Romulus' time.“We don't know whether Romulus physically existed" the way he was described in legends, Fortini said.But some ancient sources claimed that Romulus was buried in the area of the find, and the sarcophagus could have served as a memorial.Alfonsina Russo, the archaeologist in charge of the site, noted that according to some ancient traditions Romulus was killed and chopped to pieces, or ascended into heaven.“Therefor this cannot be his tomb, but it is very likely, we believe, that this is a memorial site, a cenotaph,” Russo added.While excavations continue, authorities hope the public will be able to stroll underground to view the find in about two years.Legends hold that Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf as babies, but later Romulus killed his twin brother in a dispute over the founding of Rome.Frances D'Emilio, The Associated Press

  • 'West Side Story' opening draws protesters on Broadway
    News
    The Canadian Press

    'West Side Story' opening draws protesters on Broadway

    NEW YORK — There was a chorus outside the Broadway Theatre on Thursday at the opening night of a new revival of “West Side Story” but what was being sung was a protest chant.A group of about 100 people demanded the removal of cast member Amar Ramasar, who was fired and then reinstated last year at New York City Ballet for sharing nude photos of women and sexually explicit texts.The protesters chanted "Hey hey, ho ho, Amar Ramasar has got to go!” before the curtain went up even as the opening night celebration drew such stars as Andrea Martin, Julie Taymor, Vanessa Hudgens, Alec Baldwin and Iman.Protests outside Broadway shows are relatively rare but have occurred by anti-Scientology activists outside “All My Sons” starring Katie Holmes in 2008 and outside “The Scottsboro Boys” in 2010 by people upset by that show's material.Alexandra Waterbury, a former student with the City Ballet's affiliated school, the School of American Ballet, alleged in 2018 that Ramasar and two other men shared nude photos of her, taken without her knowledge, with other men in the company.Since, then, there’s been a petition to remove Ramasar from “West Side Story,” where he plays Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. Producers in a statement last week backed the actor, noting that the incident took place in a different workplace and “has been both fully adjudicated and definitively concluded according to the specific rules of that workplace.”“There is zero consideration being given to his potentially being terminated from this workplace, as there has been no transgression of any kind, ever, in this workplace,” the statement read.Protesters held signs that read: “Boo Bernardo” and “Keep Predators Off the Stage.” One of the organizers, Megan Rabin, said she wanted alleged abusers to know they’ve been put on notice."I hope that we can set the precedent that Broadway is no place for a sex offender. There's no place in the spotlight for a sex offender, and men who abuse their power will face consequences for it,” Rabin said.Actor's Equity Association, which represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers, issued a statement saying it is trying to ensure that all Broadway actors work in a harassment-free environment.“Everyone at ‘West Side Story’ should be able to go to work and perform feeling safe and protected in their workplace. Equity has been in communication with the general manager and the members of the show. As a union, Equity’s role is to ensure that our members are protected in the workplace and we take that responsibility very seriously. Equity will continue to hold all employers to their legal obligation to maintain a safe and harassment-free environment," said Executive Director Mary McColl.Ramasar and another dancer were initially terminated by New York City Ballet. The third dancer resigned before he could be fired. Their union, the American Guild of Musical Artists, appealed the firings to the arbitrator, and both were reinstated last year. Ramasar did not return to the ballet company.___Associated Press writer Mark Kennedy contributed to this report.John Carucci, The Associated Press

  • Iran reports 2 more deaths, 13 new cases of new coronavirus
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Iran reports 2 more deaths, 13 new cases of new coronavirus

    TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian health authorities Friday reported two more deaths from the new virus that emerged in China and said the fatalities were from among 13 new confirmed cases of the virus in Iran.The report by the semiofficial Mehr news agency came as Iranians voted in nationwide parliamentary elections. After authorities reported two earlier deaths this week, the death toll from COVID-19, the illness caused by virus, stands at four in Iran.So far, 18 cases have been confirmed in Iran, including the four who died.The spokesman of the health ministry, Kianoush Jahanpour, said the newly detected cases are all linked with city of Qom where the first two elderly patients died on Wednesday.Jahanpour said the new cases were either from Qom or had visited the city recently. He said four of them have been hospitalized in the capital, Tehran, and two in northern province of Gilan.Minoo Mohraz, an Iranian health ministry official, said the virus “possibly came from Chinese workers who work in Qom and travelled to China.” She did not elaborate. A Chinese company has been building a solar power plant in Qom.In Lebanon, Health Minister Hamad Hassan on Friday reported the Mediterranean country’s first case of the new virus.At a news conference in Beirut, he said the patient was a 45-year-old woman who arrived Thursday on a flight from Qom. He said the woman was in “good health” and the ministry was also following up on the cases of two other people suspected of having the illness.The woman and two other suspected victims were quarantined at the Rafik Hariri government hospital in Beirut.Concerns over the spread of the virus, which originated in central China, prompted authorities in Iran this week to close all schools and Shiite seminaries in Qom, about 130 kilometres (80 miles) south of Tehran.Also, earlier news reports said Iran had recently evacuated 60 Iranian students from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the epidemic. The students were quarantined upon their return to Iran and were discharged after 14 days without any health problems.Qom is a popular religious destination and a centre of learning and religious studies for Shiite Muslims from inside Iran, as well as Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. It is also known for its cattle farms.Iran once relied heavily on China to buy its oil and some Chinese companies have continued doing business with Iran in the face of U.S. sanctions. Unlike other countries — such as Saudi Arabia, which barred its citizens and residents from travelling to China — Iran has not imposed such measures. But it has suspended all passenger flights with China for the past two weeks, allowing only cargo flights.Iran's civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said on Thursday that the “cargo flights, if necessary, are under supervision, and controls imposed by the health ministry are carried out."In Turkey, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said officials have started to screen travellers arriving from Iran at border gates and are refusing entry to anyone with signs of illness. He also said Iranians who have travelled to Qom in the past 14 days will be refused entry.The new virus emerged in China in December. Since then, more than 76,000 people have been infected globally, in as many as 27 countries, with more than 2,200 deaths being reported, mostly in China.The new virus comes from a large family of coronaviruses, some causing nothing worse than a cold. It causes cold- and flu-like symptoms, including cough and fever, and in more severe cases, shortness of breath. It can worsen to pneumonia, which can be fatal. The World Health Organization recently named the illness it causes COVID-19, referring to both coronavirus and its origin late last year.There have been few virus cases in the Middle East so far. Nine cases have been confirmed in the United Arab Emirates, which is a popular tourist destination, and one case in Egypt. Of the nine in the UAE, seven are Chinese nationals, one is a Filipino and another an Indian national.Iran's neighbour Iraq, which has reported no cases of the virus, took measures to contain it by suspending visas on arrival for Iranian passport holders and direct flights between the two countries.Iraq's top Shiite cleric weighed in, using his weekly sermon at Friday prayers to urge authorities to be prepared for any outbreak."The level of preparations should match the level of the threat," said Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, calling on officials to boost preparations to avoid the danger.Also Friday, one of 11 Israelis who were flown home after being quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan has tested positive for the virus, the first case to be reported inside Israel, the Health Ministry.The Israeli cruise ship passengers, who had all initially tested negative, arrived on a charter plane overnight. They were met by medics in protection suits and immediately taken to the Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv, where they will be kept in quarantine.Another four Israelis were hospitalized in Japan after testing positive for the virus. Israel has cancelled all flights to and from China, and is requiring Israelis returning from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore or Thailand to be quarantined at home for two weeks.___Associated Press writers Joseph Krauss in Jerusalem, Zeina Karam in Beirut and Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey contributed to this report.Nasser Karimi, The Associated Press

  • News
    CBC

    Fires force House of Nazareth to delay turning old shelter into transitional housing

    Plans to turn an old emergency shelter for homeless people into transitional housing are on hold after the shelter caught fire three times earlier this week. Jean Dube, the executive director of House of Nazareth, said his focus is still to move forward with converting the building into transitional housing units for people moving from shelters into affordable housing.Although the decision to rebuild the structure will depend on the total cost of the damage and whether House of Nazareth has enough money to do so. "That's the big question right there," Dube said. "Where do we go from here? … I want to wait and see what the outcome is when all the numbers fall on table and [what] our capacity is to move forward as well."Moncton's old House of Nazareth on Clark Street initially caught fire in the washroom on Monday, then again on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the fire was rekindled around 7:30 a.m. between the ground floor and second floor of the house.House of Nazareth opened its new homeless shelter on Albert Street last week, and no one was living or working in the Clark Street building. But some equipment, furnishings, food, clothing and archives inside the old house had not yet been transferred. "I'd like to get in there and get the archives … it's the history of the House of Nazareth. We've helped people there for 40 years."Investigators told Dube on Thursday he may be able to enter the building.Investigators also told him the building's structure was comprised, and it may be a writeoff. 'I'm getting ready for that type of news — that it's a total loss," he said. The house and surrounding property are now barred to the public until further notice. "Right now we just want to keep the site safe make sure that nobody goes in there and gets hurt."No one was injured in the fire, but the building was heavily damaged. RCMP are investigating.

  • Spin Master to turn 'Paw Patrol' into first of multiple feature films
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Spin Master to turn 'Paw Patrol' into first of multiple feature films

    TORONTO — Preschool puppy series "Paw Patrol" is heading to the big screen.Spin Master Corp. says it's turning its popular franchise into an animated feature film that will hit theatres in August 2021.The TV series has been a consistent winner for young viewers, who catch it on Netflix and several provincial networks in Canada, as well as globally on Nickelodeon."Paw Patrol" follows the adventures of a tech-savvy boy and his pack of rescue dogs, each of whom have special abilities and cool vehicles. The show has also spawned a massive merchandise and clothing line.Spin Master says the film will be directed by Cal Brunker, whose other kids' titles include "Nut Job 2" and "Escape From Planet Earth." The Toronto company's entertainment division will produce along with Nickelodeon Movies, while Paramount Pictures will handle distribution.Spin Master says the film is the first "of a number of feature films" in the works. Its other toy lines include Bakugan, Air Hogs and Hatchimals.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2020The Canadian Press

  • OSSTF president says Ontario protest a 'demonstration of unity'
    Global News

    OSSTF president says Ontario protest a 'demonstration of unity'

    Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation President Harvey Bischof said on Friday that the mass protests happening across Ontario and at Queen's Park in Toronto was a "demonstration of unity" by unions with their membership, as well as the parents and students who support them. The protests are being held the same day all four major school unions are holding a provincewide strike.

  • 'I started crying, I started dancing': Rencontre student wins $100K scholarship
    News
    CBC

    'I started crying, I started dancing': Rencontre student wins $100K scholarship

    Lydia Hardy of Rencontre East, roughly 200 kilometres south of Grand Falls-Windsor, won a scholarship valued at $100,000 — now she's ready to do for the world what she did for small-town Newfoundland.Rencontre East has a population of less than 150, but now can boast that one of their own is among the most recent Loran Scholar recipients, a four-year award for undergraduates who show character, service and leadership.When it comes to living in a tiny community, Hardy said people don't often speak about their struggles in rural communities where everybody knows everybody. She was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at 11 years old. That same year she came out as bi-sexual."Right now I'm still the only openly gay person living in my community," she said."A lot of people haven't had exposure to the LGBT community, but I found them generally accepting and supportive of me."Hardy took things in stride, opting to take the reins and lead the charge in breaking the stigma within her community. She successfully obtained a government grant to renovate her school's bathrooms to double as safe spaces. Hardy has worked summer jobs with MOWI, a Norwegian-based seafood company, her local town council and is an advocate for human rights.But, now it's time for Hardy to leave behind her tightknit community, at least for the time being, but the dedicated student says she's ready to go, albeit with fond memories."Growing up as a kid in Rencontre, we just had all the freedom in the world. There was never any safety issues. Everyone was family," Hardy, a student of St. Stephen's All Grade, told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show."I've learned the most valuable life lessons here ... but I'm ready to move on now to bigger things."  Almost 5,200 applicantsThe award gives Hardy an annual living stipend and matching tuition from one of Loran Scholar's 25 partner universities, plus summer internship funding, one-on-one mentorship and the opportunity to connect with other "high-potential" youth through the foundation's gatherings.She was flying home from Toronto — where the 88 finalists had travelled for the last part of the scholarship's selection process — and she got stuck in Montreal due to flight cancellations. It was then she got the call that was one of the winners. "I dropped to the floor, I started crying, I started dancing," Hardy said.Loran Scholar's Foundation said 5,194 students applied for the 2020 scholarship — only 36 were chosen overall. Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Botched float plane theft leaves 3 aircraft damaged in Vancouver harbour
    News
    CBC

    Botched float plane theft leaves 3 aircraft damaged in Vancouver harbour

    On a bright February morning on Vancouver's seawall, several people stood gawking at the float plane terminal in the harbour below, wondering why a plane in the water was docked in the wrong spot and missing a wing.The right wing of the Seair float plane had been sheared off at the base. The de Havilland Beaver was floating backwards at another company's dock, its severed wing nowhere to be seen."I'm wondering where the wing went. It's probably at the bottom or somewhere," said Bob McKnight, who made a special trip to the seawall after seeing photos online of the hamstrung plane. "It's not often you see a wingless Beaver."The float plane was one of three damaged Friday when someone tried to steal the Seair aircraft from the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre in the middle of the night, taking it across the harbour and into the other planes.Police said someone reported a man trying to take the plane from the Seair terminal at around 3:30 a.m. PT.The suspect never took off, but managed to taxi around the corner to the neighbouring Harbour Air terminal. He then crashed into a plane owned by Harbour Air, according to a statement.A second Harbour Air plane was also damaged in the incident, bringing the total to three.One wing on a Harbour Air plane was badly bent in the middle, its tip hanging down toward the water. The drooped section was later removed as officials investigated, leaving the de Havilland Single Otter with just a stub.Vancouver police Const. Tania Visintin said no one was hurt in the incident. No one has been arrested, but investigators were still on scene well into Friday morning.McKnight and other passersby buzzed with theories."I thought, 'Wow, did they get the guy? And did he know what he was doing?" McKnight said."Obviously [he] knew how to start it, I guess."Harbour Air temporarily re-routed flights to the company's terminal at YVR in Richmond, but normal service soon resumed. The airline flies between Vancouver, Whistler, Seattle, the Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands and parts of Vancouver Island.Seair said late Friday morning it was still rerouting its passengers to its terminal at YVR as police investigate the incident. The company flies between Vancouver and Nanaimo, as well as the Gulf Islands.

  • News
    CBC

    Mont Sainte-Anne ski lift comes to sudden stop, injuring 21

    A ski lift at Mont Sainte-Anne came to a sudden stop Friday morning, leaving 21 people injured, including 12 who were taken to hospital by ambulance.Skier Jacques Hardy said the abruptness of the stop caused the gondola he was in to swing almost completely around the lift cable."We started to swing from one side to the other," he said. "We almost did a 360. Two of the three cabin windows came out and another passenger almost fell out. We had to hold him by his feet."Radio-Canada anchor Patrice Roy was on board one of the gondolas when it stopped and described the suddenly violent motion that ensued."All of a sudden, pow! It started to swing massively," he said. "It was swinging so much that there were gondolas a little above us that hit the lift tower."Roy said the windows broke on those gondolas and the skiers' skis were dislodged from the external carrier and fell to the hill below.The ski resort later restarted the lift and checked passengers for injuries when they disembarked.Mont Sainte-Anne is located 40 kilometres northeast of Quebec City.The lift has 80 gondolas that can carry up to eight passengers each, said Maxime Cretin, vice-president and general manager of the eastern region for Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, which owns the resort.Cretin said that they will be launching an investigation to find out what caused the incident. He said compensation for those who were injured is possible if the investigation finds that the resort was responsible for the accident.

  • Survivor: German shooter emptied magazine, calmly walked out
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Survivor: German shooter emptied magazine, calmly walked out

    HANAU, Germany — Piter Minnemann and his friends were eating when they heard shots fired outside the door of the snack bar in Hanau where they had gathered.Minnemann, 18, recalled that he had just got his pizza when the first shots were heard at the Arena Bar. It was the second site targeted in Wednesday night's shooting of nine people by a German man who had posted an online rant calling for the “complete extermination” of many “races or cultures in our midst."“We thought it was a blank gun or something. We thought nothing of it,” he said. “Then the man came in, he fired.”The gunman shot two people before coming into the bar, where “he aimed right at us — he shot the first one in the head,” Minnemann said.A pregnant woman jumped out of the window, he said.“He came, fired, emptied his magazine, then everything was quiet, then he walked out normally," he recalled. “I opened my eyes, I saw that I was alive, I was happy. I asked if people were OK but Edris — I don't know if he's still alive but I think he survived — he had a hole in his throat and he said, ‘I’ve been hit, I’ve been hit,' my other friend Momo was hit in the shoulder.”In all, Hanau native Minnemann said he lost four or five “friends I have known for years.”He spoke to The Associated Press next to a statue of the Brothers Grimm, the collectors of folk and fairy-tales who hailed from Hanau, in the town's main square. That memorial is now festooned with flowers and candles in memory of Wednesday night's victims.“I still can't believe it, in some situations it's as if nothing happened, but when I see the people crying, when I see this, then it becomes true again, ... then you see that it is real," he said. “But otherwise, I can't believe that this happened to us, us of all people, in the very place where we are every day, where we chill out every day.”“I thought it was some kind of gang stuff at first,” Minnemann said. He recalled that there were 12 or 13 people at the scene at the time of the shooting. Many others died, he said — “I was very lucky.”Another witness of the shooting at the Arena Bar told Turkey's Haber television that he and his friends heard five or six shots outside before the gunman entered.“He shot the first people he saw in the head. A man fell to the floor,”Muhammed Beyazkender, who was lying in his hospital bed with a bandaged shoulder, said on Thursday. “Then he fired at all of us. I got shot in the arm while I tried to hide behind the wall.”Beyazkendersaid he lay on the floor on top of someone, and someone then lay on top of him, and someone else then on top of him.“There was a kid underneath me with a hole in his throat,” he said. “The kid said to me: ‘my brother, I cannot feel my tongue; I cannot breathe.’ I said to him, recite the Kalima Shahadat prayer (from the Qur’an). He recited the Kalima Shahadat, he called on everyone to recite it. There was no other sound, just the two of us. I didn’t see him escape or anything.”—-This story has been corrected to fix the spelling of the hospitalized survivor's name. It is Muhammed Beyazkender, not Beyazkender Muhammed.Christoph Noelting, The Associated Press

  • News
    CBC

    Edmontonians frustrated with cul-de-sac snow clearing

    Winter's end can't come soon enough for some Edmontonians. More people have called 311 to complain about snow removal this winter compared to last, according to city officials who spoke at Wednesday's council meeting. Specific numbers were not provided.Several councillors said they, too, have been getting more complaints about snow removal operations.Of those complaints, many have been from residents who live on a cul-de-sac and are waiting for bladers to come through, said Coun. Andrew Knack."It was about four weeks ago that I started to see a pretty substantial pick up, to the point where I think it's far more than I've seen in any year that I've been on council," said Knack.The cul-de-sac conundrumThe city's approach to snow removal on cul-de-sac streets differs from other roads in the city.Crews clear roads based on the city's snow and ice clearing policy, which is currently a priority-clearing system. But culs-de-sac are not actually part of the policy, according to parks and roads spokesperson Zak Fairbrother.Culs-de-sac are bladed after residential streets, he said. In part, that's because they require special blading equipment.In an emailed statement, Fairbrother said the city currently doesn't have the equipment to blade culs-de-sac "due to the tight-turning radiuses," so a contractor takes on the job. The city did not specify how many culs-de-sac exist in Edmonton; cul-de-sac blading will start next week. We essentially have two standards of treatment. \- Ward 9 Coun. Tim CartmellWard 9 Coun. Tim Cartmell, who has also received numerous complaints, said it's unacceptable for the city to offer substandard snow clearing for residents who live in a cul-de-sac."I do have a concern about where this leads," said Cartmell.  "We essentially have two standards of treatment. One for residential streets and another for residential streets that are cul-de-sacs. It's an equity piece there. It's not clear and at the very least we need to clear that up and clearly communicate to people what they can expect."Cartmell said any future discussions should be about making the city's snow removal policy work for all residents. "Clearly our constituents are not happy with the level of service that is being provided. I think we need to analyze that and examine why our constituents might be feeling that way and how to improve the situation for them," Cartmell said Thursday.Councillors will resume their snow removal discussions Friday morning. City administration will bring any proposed changes to the snow removal policy to council in June.

  • MLA Natalie Jameson hopes to bring 'new perspective' to PC cabinet
    News
    CBC

    MLA Natalie Jameson hopes to bring 'new perspective' to PC cabinet

    Natalie Jameson, MLA for Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park, has become the most recent addition to Premier Dennis King's cabinet, being sworn in Friday morning.Jameson was named minister of environment, water and climate change — a portfolio previously held by Brad Trivers, who will stay in cabinet as minister of education and lifelong learning. Jameson was also named as the minister responsible for Charlottetown and for the status of women, absorbing those files from ministers James Aylward and Darlene Compton respectively.She is one of only two women in the PC caucus, and becomes only the second woman in the King cabinet. She's also the only MLA the current PCs have elected in Charlottetown.Oil and gas industry experienceSpeaking immediately after her swearing-in, Jameson said she brings a "new perspective" to cabinet."I have small children, I have renewed energy. I certainly feel that I'm going to add another voice to the table in terms of representing women and of course the residents of Charlottetown," she said.Jameson also brings a decade of experience working in the oil and gas sector in Alberta, work which continued right up until she was elected in July 2019.Now she will take charge of efforts to reduce P.E.I.'s carbon emissions to meet an ambitious new target written into law through a bill passed by the Green Party."I think we all bring a variety of experience and expertise to anything that we do," Jameson said of her work as a recruiter and marketing representative for Obsidian Energy."That to me was 10 years of extremely professional experience where I gained a lot of skills and expertise and I think that fundamentally it'll just help me." Finding 'economic opportunities' in changing environmentAfter reiterating his government's commitment to act on climate change, King outlined the credentials of his new climate change minister. We'll be holding her to account to make sure that she is fulfilling the role. — Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker"The Natalie Jameson that I've come to know in the last year is a passionate Islander," he said. "She is very, very aware, having two young children, the importance of having a healthy environment.… I think her background gives her a unique look at many, many things of course, like all of us. But I'm probably more focused and excited about what she will do moving forward."King said he expects Jameson not just to lead the province in meeting its emission reduction target, but also to help "find the economic opportunities that are wrapped up inside of a changing environment. I want Prince Edward Island to be innovative in leading that charge."For his part, Opposition leader Peter Bevan-Baker welcomed the news of Jameson's appointment."That work of hers is in the past," said Bevan-Baker. "And I would hope actually that from that part of her life she could bring forward some knowledge of how that sector actually works and to use that effectively and positively in her new role."If the Greens don't feel the new minister is committed to bold action on the environment, Bevan-Baker said the party's reaction would be the same regardless of who the minister is or what's in their work history."We'll be holding her to account to make sure that she is fulfilling the role that she is mandated to do as minister of climate change," he said.Water Act, one of first prioritiesThis has brought King's cabinet to 10 members. That means only three MLAs from his caucus are not cabinet ministers.Jameson was elected in the deferred election held on July 15, 2019. She currently serves on the special committee on poverty.One of Jameson's first tasks will be the proclamation of the Water Act.Last month, then Environment Minister Brad Trivers said when the act is proclaimed it will likely include a continued moratorium on high-capacity wells. That is expected this spring. King introduced his first cabinet less than a year ago, during a ceremony in Georgetown, P.E.I., on May 9, 2019. Shortly after last year's election, the incoming premier suggested a mixed-party cabinet was possible, but in the end he opted for an all-PC cabinet.More from CBC P.E.I.

  • All three of Ontario's confirmed coronavirus cases cleared
    News
    The Canadian Press

    All three of Ontario's confirmed coronavirus cases cleared

    TORONTO — All three people in Ontario confirmed to have had the novel coronavirus are now cleared of the illness.Ontario health officials say the last of the three patients to have some remaining virus in her system has now had two negative tests at least 24 hours apart, which is the standard for being cleared.Ontario's three confirmed coronavirus patients were a married couple from Toronto and a university student living in London, Ont., all of whom had recently travelled to the region of China at the centre of the global outbreak.The Toronto man had to be hospitalized upon his return, while his wife had been in self-isolation at home with milder symptoms.The university student had such a mild case that initial tests came back negative, and she was only confirmed to have had the virus through a second round of assessments.Health officials have confirmed nine Canadian cases of the virus known as COVID-19, but the bulk of the cases globally have been in China where more than 75,000 people have contracted the virus and at least 2,200 have died.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2020.The Canadian Press

  • Canadian man dies in Cuba while waiting for flight home on stranded island
    News
    Yahoo News Canada

    Canadian man dies in Cuba while waiting for flight home on stranded island

    Canadians were stranded on Cuba's Cayo Large del Sur after its airport reported a damaged runway.

  • Former Ontario medical officer of health says it's not surprising to see new outbreaks of COVID-19
    CBC

    Former Ontario medical officer of health says it's not surprising to see new outbreaks of COVID-19

    'We shouldn't panic,' says Dr. Richard Schabas, noting the virus appears to spread slowly and there are ways to defend against it.