World’s largest aircraft will take off next year with 385ft wingspan

Rob Waugh
Contributor
Stratolaunch’s plane is a six-engine, twin-fuselage airplane — the largest ever built by wingspan

The world’s largest aircraft will take to the skies in 2019 with a 385-foot swingspan – built to launch satellites into space.

The first test flights of the Stratolaunch ‘mothership’ will take place next year – with the goal of a commercial launch by 2020.

The vehicle will carry one of four satellite-carrying vehicles which it will drop at high altitude, before they blast into space.

They include a Pegasus rocket, which can carry payloads of up to 370kg, and which will launch with the aircraft in 2020, if all goes according to plan.

 

Stratolaunch, the commercial space company led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has unveiled a set of rocket-powered launch vehicles that will one day travel with the world’s largest airplane to send satellites into space.

Stratolaunch CEO Jean Floyd said, ‘We are excited to share for the first time some details about the development of our own, proprietary Stratolaunch launch vehicles, with which we will offer a flexible launch capability unlike any other.

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‘Whatever the payload, whatever the orbit, getting your satellite into space will soon be as easy as booking an airline flight.’

  • Why Trudeau's Trans Mountain do-over might need Indigenous investment
    News
    CBC

    Why Trudeau's Trans Mountain do-over might need Indigenous investment

    That the federal cabinet would (again) approve the proposed expansion of the Trans-Mountain pipeline was never really in any doubt.After spending $4.5 billion to buy the line last year, and with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's repeated assurances that the project would go ahead, the real question was how far the government would go to accommodate the concerns of those Indigenous communities who oppose it.The answer, according to the prime minister, is — far enough to satisfy last year's federal Court of Appeals ruling that found the first round of talks with those groups left much to be desired."Missing was a genuine and sustained effort to pursue meaningful, two-way dialogue," Justice Eleanor Dawson wrote for the court last summer, in the process overturning the original approval of the project.The government responded by hiring retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to lead the new round of consultations.The prime minister told reporters yesterday that Natural Resources Minister Amerjeet Sohi held 46 meetings and personally met with 65 Indigenous groups as part of the process.The result? Eight steps to accommodate some of the concerns brought forward by Indigenous groups, most of them intended to help monitor and respond to spills and to protect habitat."We listened to community concerns and we are acting on community ideas," Trudeau said at Tuesday's news conference announcing cabinet's decision."We're working with Indigenous communities to co-develop and implement real accommodation measures to make our environment, our coast and our communities safer, healthier and better protected than ever before."All this work is supposed to lead to that elusive "social licence" Trudeau so often mentions when talking about the public support required for major energy projects like Trans Mountain to succeed.But at least some Indigenous leaders are adamant that they will not extend that licence.See you in courtFor example, the Coldwater Indian Band in central B.C. wants the route changed to keep the pipeline away from its only source of drinking water. That demand has yet to be met, although the natural resources minister says talks continue.Both Coldwater Chief Lee Spahan and the president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, Grand Chief Stewart Philip, insist the second round of talks was no better than the first.Philip spoke to CBC News before the prime minister even announced the cabinet decision to say that another legal challenge would be coming."If it is another approval, it will trigger further lawsuits, further uncertainty and delays," he said.Brad Morse, dean of the law school at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, said one of the issues that could still be raised in a legal challenge of the project is the concept of "free, prior and informed consent" as set out in UNDRIP, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People."I won't be surprised if at least some of the opposing First Nations formally file a statement of claim asserting Aboriginal title or outright ownership of land through which the pipeline will travel, asserting they have the right to withhold their consent, which must be obtained per UNDRIP," he said.Canada has yet to ratify the non-binding UN declaration. While it's been endorsed by the Liberals, the private member's bill sponsored by retiring New Democrat MP Romeo Saganash is stuck in the Senate, with little prospect of passage before Parliament rises at the end of the week.How Indigenous communities could buy inBut Morse also sees a possible game-changer: an Indigenous group, or groups, buying a stake in the company.Indigenous groups interested in buying into Trans Mountain, he said, will "argue the duty to consult has been extensively addressed."However, First Nations also need to be involved in the ongoing construction and environmental management of the project as the best way to ensure that their Aboriginal and treaty rights to their reserves and other traditional territories are met, and environmental concerns are ensured to be handled effectively."One of the groups working to buy a majority stake in Trans Mountain is Project Reconciliation, founded by Delbert Wapass, a former chief of the Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan."Ownership gives First Nations a role in protecting the environment," he said in an interview Tuesday. "To me it is a game-changer. It's the ability to change the narrative in our communities, using economic development as a path forward."Other Indigenous leaders have made similar statements since the Trudeau government decided to buy Trans Mountain."If you want to talk about truth and reconciliation, I mean, this is a good way to start," Chief Mike LeBourdais of the Whispering Pines Band said in an interview with CBC's The House earlier this year. His community lies along the route.The federal government says it plans to begin meeting with interested Indigenous groups soon, and it's open to selling some or all of its stake to those investors. It's also pledging to commit all the profits, and the proceeds from eventually selling the line, to green projects.But for now, the Trudeau government owns Trans Mountain — and along with it, any political risks incurred by approving a pipeline over the continued objections of some Indigenous communities along the route.In his summary of the consultations, Iacobucci said the government demonstrated that it had listened to the concerns and proposed reasonable measures to accommodate them.But that judgment is unlikely to be the last one this project faces.

  • News
    CBC

    'Roll up your windows:' Victoria police say vehicle theft on the rise

    While you may be tempted to roll down your car windows during a warm summer drive in Victoria, the city's police department says drivers should remember to roll them up when parked.Over the past two months, a spike in the number of thefts from vehicles in the 1600-block of the Hillside neighbourhood have police worried about a possible record high number of thefts in 2019.Victoria Police Constable Matthew Rutherford said that residential areas are popular places for theft, as they are more quiet during the night and "allow people to work in the cover of darkness."Patrol officers have increased their presence in the Hillside area, and are encouraging drivers to remove valuables like wallets and cell phones, to lock their doors, and to park in areas with lots of pedestrians.Thefts numbers jumpThe number of thefts from vehicles has increased dramatically in Victoria and the neighbouring Township of Esquimalt over the past few years. The police website says the numbers jumped from around 1,100 in 2016 to over 1,700 in 2018.Rutherford said the past few months in particular have seen a steady increase in the number of thefts, adding that there were about 30 last weekend alone.Some Victoria-area drivers have a tendency to be complacent when it comes to securing their vehicles, he said. "They'll run inside to grab a coffee [...] and they'll leave their cell phone on the car seat."Rutherford urged people to report a theft immediately, as the number of reports determines where police prioritize their resources. Many instances of theft go unreported, he said.Police say they have not determined the cause of the theft increase. No culprits have been caught."We're just hoping education (on the issue) will hamper these thieves," said Rutherford.Police encourage bystanders who witness someone trying the door handles of vehicles to call 911.

  • News
    Reuters

    Euroclear to press ahead with blockchain pilot for commercial paper

    Securities house Euroclear said on Wednesday it would push ahead with building a pilot blockchain-based platform for issuing and settling commercial paper transactions used by companies to grease the wheels of the economy. The $1.2 trillion European commercial paper (ECP) market refers to short-term securities issued by large companies and banks to avoid cash crunches when they need to pay staff or meet other short-term obligations. Brussels-based Euroclear said that it, along with the European Investment Bank, Spain's Santander bank and consultants EY completed a "proof of value" study into an end-to-end blockchain platform for issuing and settling of European commercial paper.

  • Canadian mining company liable for pollution flowing from Kootenays to U.S.
    News
    CBC

    Canadian mining company liable for pollution flowing from Kootenays to U.S.

    Vancouver-based mining giant Teck has run out of appeals after polluting the Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt in Washington State for decades from its huge lead-zinc smelter in Trail, B.C.The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear Teck's appeal of the case brought by the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) in Washington State.The CCT successfully argued Teck used the Columbia River in southeastern B.C. as a "convenient disposal facility for its wastes." "This is a battle that the Colville Tribes has been fighting for at least 20 years," said CCT Chairman Rodney Cawston.The Supreme Court's decision to not hear Teck's appeal leaves a previous ruling in place, awarding over $8 million in legal costs to the tribes. It also makes Teck responsible for cleaning up the damage from decades of pollution."Our reservation is situated just below the Canadian border and so a lot of those heavy metals and the waste coming from that corporation was coming down into the upper waters of the Columbia."The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals originally ruled Teck routinely discharged thousands of tonnes of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead into the Columbia from its smelter, and that those pollutants flowed downstream into Washington State and Lake Roosevelt, a reservoir created by the Grand Coulee dam.  Teck appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the court will not hear the appeal, which means the original judgment stands.Teck accused of decades of pollutionThe U.S. border is about 15 kilometres from the smelter and Teck was essentially accused of using the Columbia River as a toxic discharge system by flushing away slag and heavy metals that blackened beaches downstream.Teck maintains it has spent millions of dollars cleaning up the Columbia River and a Canadian company should not be held liable for historic pollution under the Americans Comprehensive Environmental Response Cleanup and Liability Act."While we believe that the application of U.S. environmental laws to industrial facilities is wrong in principle, we have consistently said that if there are real risks to human health [from] the environment associated with historic emissions from Trail operations either in Canada or the U.S., Teck will take appropriate steps to address them," said Teck spokesperson, Chris Stannell. Teck has fought the case since it was launched by the tribes in 1999. The State of Washington joined as co-plaintiff in 2004.Clean up"It's not only for the Colville Tribes, but just for the safety and protection of all the people who access the Columbia River or Lake Roosevelt," said Cawston.Teck maintains it has spent over a billion dollars to improve its environmental record at the Trail smelter, cutting air and water emissions by 95 per cent and millions more on river studies and clean up.

  • Puppy dog eyes are no accident, research study shows
    News
    CBC

    Puppy dog eyes are no accident, research study shows

    Certain dogs have a way of speaking to humans in a way that is almost hypnotic — the thing we call puppy dog eyes. It turns out puppy dog eyes are no accident. They're a survival mechanism.Duquesne University professor Anne Burrows spoke to the Calgary Eyeopener on Tuesday about a new research study she conducted into how dogs have developed their puppy dog eyes.This interview has been edited for clarity and length.Q: Explain what's happening when the dog is giving you puppy dog eyes?A. The dogs that do that are really good at manipulating people to do something for them.We know that people tend to adopt dogs that make this facial expression — more rapidly than dogs that don't do it. So it's something that's really important to people and it's something that works for dogs.Me personally, when my dog does that to me, I'd drop whatever I'm doing and it typically ends with me giving her a treat.Q: I've got a dog. I know when the dog's doing it to me, and I even kind of know what it's about. But you actually went further. You became interested in researching the science behind puppy dog eyes. So what's actually happening behind those eyebrows?A. There's a muscle right in the eyebrow region that elevates the eyebrow.And if you look in a mirror and make a worried face, you can see that area on yourself. And dogs — all the dogs that we dissected except for one — had that, but none of the wolves that we dissected had it.So we thought that must be a really important muscle and a really important facial expression.Q: So let me get this right: dogs are direct descendants of wolves. We agree on that, right?A. We agree on that. Most people do.Q: So the earliest wolves are wolf-dog hybrids that came around the fires looking for bones or scraps, and the ones that  survived the longest were the ones that could make that face?A. It seems like people must have bought in and kept breeding those dogs that either did make this facial expression — or it could be that it's just linked to traits related to non-aggressive behaviour. We selected for dogs to have smaller teeth to not bite us or eat our babies. Maybe this facial expression came along with those gentle traits.Q: So the dogs that were better at giving you puppy dog eyes lasted longer than the dogs that didn't?A. That seems to be pretty accurate.Q: And we kept selecting them. So we have a role in the evolution of our own manipulation is what you're telling me?A. Oh, we did it to ourselves. Yes.Q: What did they do to dogs to discover this. Can you describe your process?A. We did a study about five years ago looking at who gets adopted in dog shelters and we've found that dogs that make this face got adopted quickly. So we decided to take a look at the anatomy under that. We wanted to compare it to wolves. So we got some domestic dogs specimens, we got some wolf specimens — and these were all specimens that had died in other settings. We didn't kill any specimens for this study. We dissected the faces and found this muscle in dogs and not in wolves.Then we also videotaped dogs and wolves' faces and found that wolves don't do this.So it genuinely is something that's linked to dogs and their special co-evolution with humans.It's something that's really important to us.Q: And there are some breeds of dogs better at it than others. Does the husky do sucky face as well as my Yorkie?A. That's debatable. We did not find this muscle in the husky, which is really interesting because huskies are considered to be an ancient dog breed much closer to the origin of dogs. The toy companion breeds like the Yorkie are much further away from wolves and all of the small dogs that we dissected had this muscle.So our next steps include getting a wider sample of these ancient dog breeds to see what they look like.Q: Just curious how many hours of photos and videos of dogs making that face you've looked at over the last few years.A. You probably wouldn't want to know. There's an insane number of hours.Q: It doesn't mean you can't trust your dog. He still loves you even if he is manipulating you, right?A. Well of course, and we love them right back.With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.

  • Job vacancies up almost 10% from last year: StatsCan report
    News
    CBC

    Job vacancies up almost 10% from last year: StatsCan report

    Job vacancies rose nearly 10 per cent between the first quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2018, a new Statistics Canada report has found.Based on the agency's Job Vacancy and Wage Survey, which surveys 100,000 job locations across Canada, the report found there were 506,000 job vacancies in the first quarter, up 44,000 — or 9.6 per cent — from the same time last year.It also found that job vacancies increased in six provinces and one territory in the first quarter of 2019.Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut all saw increases over the quarter."Today's job vacancy numbers continue the upward trend in job vacancies we've seen over recent years," said Brendon Bernard, a labour market economist for job site Indeed Canada.Bernard noted that the pace of increase in job vacancies is slower than it was throughout 2018 when the economy was posting year-over-year growth around 17 or 18 per cent. "So the increase cooled off a little in the first quarter but overall the trend is still up," said Bernard. "That upward trend is really continuing in the big three provinces where labour market conditions have improved in recent years. Quebec's growth was the highest at 23 per cent with 21,400 more job vacancies compared with the first quarter of 2018, bringing the current total to "The job opening rate in B.C is also really high right now," said Bernard. It saw job vacancies rise 10.1 per cent by 9,300 new vacancies. Ontario's growth was the third highest at 6.9 per cent with 12,400 additional openings. Ongoing trouble in Alberta and SaskatchewanThe situation isn't as rosy in the resource-dependent provinces.In both Alberta and Saskatchewan, the job vacancy rate is below the national average."In the end of 2018 we saw real troubles in the resource sector," said Bernard. Although the industry rebounded somewhat in the first quarter, "the job vacancy numbers suggest that employers still are feeling the heat from those earlier issues."The survey breaks out job vacancy data by industry as well, showing noticeable decline in the first quarter in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extractions"That's most likely going to be felt in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and there are going to be ripple effects through the broader economy as well."Industries with biggest growthThe report found that job vacancies increased in seven out of 10 of the largest industrial sectors in Canada.Topping the list were positions in health care and social assistance, which increased 9,900 new vacancies, or 19 per cent, over the same quarter last year.Positions that fall under the banner of professional, scientific and technical services — which include many high-tech jobs as well as professionals in accounting and law — saw the second most growth in actual vacancies at 9,100, or 28 per cent over that same year.These sectors were followed by manufacturing, retail trade, and accommodation and food services in the biggest year-over-year growth.Small businesses hardest hitWhile the job vacancies bode well for Canadians with the right skills in most of the country, they pose a challenge for some businesses.Small businesses are the hardest hit by labour shortages, said Ted Mallett, vice president and economist for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)."For a small firm with only five employees, if they're missing one that's 20 per cent and it has a pretty big effect on their capability to provide goods and services to their customers."CFIB members report that hiring and retaining workers is becoming a bigger part of their management requirements given rising expectations of workers. "They have to think more carefully about what their compensation practices are, what their workplace practices are," said Mallet."Small firms even in some of the smaller cities across the country are beginning to find it difficult to find sufficient numbers of people."Dylan Saunders, an analyst for Statistics Canada and author of the latest job vacancy report, said nearly four-fifths of all new job vacancies in the first quarter of 2019 were for permanent positions."Permanent positions were up from 74.7 per cent of all vacancies in the first quarter of 2016 to 79.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2019."

  • News
    CBC

    Calgary seeks public input on residential street parking changes

    Street parking in neighbourhoods can be a hotly debated topic — and the city wants to hear about it from all Calgarians.Calgary is undergoing a review of the residential parking permit program in hopes of balancing the changing needs of citizens.Calgarians and businesses have been invited to provide input online before June 26 at engage.calgary.ca/rpp.There are 80 residential parking permit zones across each quadrant of Calgary. Only people who live in those zones may park on those stretches.Between the 80 zones, more than 40,000 parking permits are issued each year.That's exponential growth, the city says, since the parking permit program began in 1974.Anyone interested — even if you don't live in such a zone — is invited to attend one of two open houses. There's one Tuesday from 5:30-8 p.m. at Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association, 1320 5th Ave. N.W., and another on Saturday at Cardel Rec South, 333 Shawville Blvd. S.E., from 9 a.m. to Noon.City administrators will attend to explain how street space is shared and how the permit program is financed. The options for offering input come as a result of feedback gathered earlier this year from 900 participants, who shared their thoughts on the current program.

  • Fast-growing Sooke district receives funding for 3 new Vancouver Island schools
    News
    CBC

    Fast-growing Sooke district receives funding for 3 new Vancouver Island schools

    The B.C. government has announced funding to build three new schools in the Sooke district, one of the fastest-growing in the province.Premier John Horgan and Education Minister Rob Fleming said the province will provide $88.6 million to build a 500-seat elementary school and a 700-seat middle school in Langford, located on southern Vancouver Island."These two new state-of-the-art schools coming to Langford will deliver the modern learning environments our children need, while also providing spaces for community organizations and events," said Horgan at the announcement in Langford on Monday.The province also announced it will provide $18.6 million for a new secondary school site in Langford with the Sooke School District contributing $250,000 to the project. There is no start date for that school which is expected to accommodate 800 students.The middle and elementary schools will be built on a 6.5-hectare site purchased in 2017 with $23.3 million from the province and $1.6 million from the Sooke School District. The location is less than five minutes from Belmont Secondary School. "We've been waiting a long time for this announcement," Ravi Parmar, chair of the Sooke School District told Robyn Burns, host of All Points West."Government, prior to making this announcement, has allowed us to start work in terms of consulting with architects and design firms as well as also looking at levelling the land," Parmar said.The new elementary school and the middle school are both expected to be ready in September 2022, according to the province. Quick enrolment climbThe Sooke School District has 11,000 students and is seeing population growth of four to five per cent each year. Surrey — B.C.'s other fastest-growing school district —  has a one per cent per year growth projection. The Sooke district estimates enrolment growth over the next 10 years will total at least 2,000 more students.The province and school district credit this growth to the area's appeal to young families.Both Langford's middle and elementary schools are overcapacity and rely on portable classrooms."We're really excited to open these schools so we can have portables be temporary solutions for our growing enrolment challenges," said Parmar. Parmar projects that construction will begin as soon as January 2020.Listen to the full interview here:With files from All Points West and CHEK News.

  • News
    CBC

    P.E.I. looking to add propane-powered school buses by 2020

    Students on P.E.I. could soon be travelling on propane-powered buses.In his address to the Atlantic committee of the Canadian Propane Association in Morell on June 13, Premier Dennis King said the P.E.I. government is looking at adding propane-powered buses to the school fleet as early as the fall of 2020.That was welcome news to the propane association, which has been lobbying for more use of the buses across the county.Nathalie St. Pierre, president of the Canadian Propane Association, said the buses run "the same, basically, as a normal bus," but are lower in greenhouse gas emissions.'Safe and clean environment'"The advantage is that you have a lot less —up to 98 per cent less — particulate, which is damage for the environment. And it runs really well in the cold weather. And, most importantly, it provides a safe and clean environment for the children."New Brunswick is getting 16 propane-powered school buses this summer for use in the fall, St. Pierre said.The average base price of a propane-powered school bus is about $122,000.More P.E.I. news

  • News
    CBC

    Edmonton lifts affordable-housing moratorium in core neighbourhoods

    Edmonton city council has lifted a moratorium on affordable housing in five neighbourhoods, convinced that a new policy and approach will ensure non-market projects are distributed more evenly throughout the city. Council agreed Tuesday to allow affordable housing projects in Alberta Avenue, Central McDougall, Eastwood, McCauley and Queen Mary Park where the moratorium has been in place since 2012.The mayor said he believes the attitude toward affordable housing is changing, that experts see it as part of the solution to social challenges."Housing is one of those anti-poverty measures, that will make a difference and will improve things," Don Iveson said Tuesday. "I think we've shifted here from saying affordable housing is a problem and there's a stigma around it. We really rejected that premise here today and said 'No, affordable housing is part of the solution.'"Coun. Tony Caterina said the pause on affordable housing in those neighbourhoods served its purpose but was a "big hammer, pretty blunt."  "The pause in my mind, has achieved what we were hoping it would do — invest in housing for everyone in the city." Caterina said he was pleased council approved the policy in August 2018 to have affordable housing spread out across the city at a rate of about 16 per cent per neighbourhood. "That was huge, I didn't think it would happen, honestly. I didn't think we'd actually get to that point. I didn't know if we'd get to five per cent or eight per cent of 10 per cent." The city's housing and homelessness department is compiling a list of potential locations for permanent supportive housing projects, which is expected by the fall.

  • Who should bear the financial risk of flooding? Report lays out three options
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Who should bear the financial risk of flooding? Report lays out three options

    The federal government could help mitigate the cost of flood damage by creating a "high-risk" insurance pool to help lift the burden off the public purse, says a report released Tuesday by the Insurance Bureau of Canada. The high-risk scheme is one of three options laid out in the report, a product of months of work by a national working group co-chaired by the bureau and Public Safety Canada. For those that do, insurance payouts have surged to about $1 billion per year over the past six years, based on estimates in the report.

  • Opposition from neighbours halts pop-up bistro in Glebe
    News
    CBC

    Opposition from neighbours halts pop-up bistro in Glebe

    The digging has stopped and the construction machinery has been removed for now, but residents who live across the street from Patterson Creek are still angry they weren't consulted about the National Capital Commission's plans to install a pop-up bistro in their residential neighbourhood.The NCC had planned to set up three temporary bistros housed in shipping containers this summer, one at Patterson Creek in the Glebe, another in Confederation Park and a third at Remic Rapids near Tunney's Pasture.It's part of two-year pilot plan designed to "enhance the urban park experience" in the capital, according to the NCC.Construction began at the Patterson Creek site Monday, but complaints from nearby residents to their city councillor prompted the NCC to suspend the operation. A public meeting has been scheduled for Monday evening.Liquor licence applicationDavid Sutherland lives on nearby Linden Terrace, and enjoys setting off on his kayak from the boat launch at Patterson Creek, which connects to the Rideau Canal under the picturesque Queen Elizabeth Driveway bridge.Sutherland said he only noticed the liquor licence application attached to a railing last week as he lowered his kayak into the water."Then they started digging on Monday," he said.Sutherland said he's worried about the noise, garbage and traffic congestion a drinking establishment will bring to the quiet park. "At the risk of sounding like a Glebe Nimby, I'm just not for it," Sutherland said.'Innappropriate for this area'Wendy Myers, another Linden Terrace resident, agrees."A bistro is inappropriate for this area," she said. Myers is part of group collecting signatures for a petition to stop the bistro. She said it's not just people who live in the area who opposed the idea, but also others who enjoy the park as it is. 'If people are initially kind of opposed to an idea, they're going be really opposed if you don't consult them properly on it.' \- Coun. Shawn Menard"Which is to enjoy a little green oasis in this beautiful place," Myers said.Capital ward Coun. Sean Menard said the NCC approached his office about the Patterson Creek location in May. Menard said he wasn't opposed to the idea, but said the NCC made a big mistake by failing to consult nearby residents."If people are initially kind of opposed to an idea, they're going be really opposed if you don't consult them properly on it."Menard said he asked the NCC to halt construction after hearing from numerous irate homeowners.Nic Dolcetti-Koros and James Moreira, university students who often bike through the leafy park, said they'd enjoy stopping for a drink alongside the inlet. "It would definitely be nice to have a place like this to come to have a drink or something," Moreira said.

  • RTG promises to hand over LRT to city in August
    News
    CBC

    RTG promises to hand over LRT to city in August

    Rideau Transit Group is now telling the city it will hand over the $2.1-billion Confederation Line in the second or third week of August, according to Mayor Jim Watson.That would mean the system would open to the public during the busy back-to-school season in September, Watson said Tuesday afternoon following a closed-door meeting.City officials and councillors Allan Hubley and Stephen Blais met with the Rideau Transit Group consortium, including executives from French train maker Alstom, Ellis Don, and Dragados, as well as an executive from STV Inc., who is providing the city independent oversight.Alstom's CEO had come all the way from France at the mayor's request for the hour-long meeting."We were polite but firm that we were not satisfied with the progress this city building project has met so far," Watson told reporters late Tuesday afternoon.Watson said he's asked transportation manager John Manconi and city manager Steve Kanellakos "to continue to keep RTG's feet to the fire over the coming days and weeks.""We'll accept nothing less than the high quality, safe, world-class system that we bought on behalf of Ottawa taxpayers and transit riders," he said.4th time delayedThe mayor called for the face-to-face executive meeting after Ottawa's light rail system was recently delayed a fourth time, missing a hand-over target of June 30.Watson had promised to tell the companies he was angry, give them a "stark reality check," and urge them to "get their acts together." The pressure and phone calls from city officials are working, said RTG CEO Peter Lauch."We've seen a marked improvement in Alstom's performance in the last few weeks. They've brought in global experts from other cities."Alstom told the city Tuesday it expects to complete the trains, which staff have identified as the biggest outstanding issue, by July 7.Problematic train brakes and doorsThe biggest, most time-consuming issues relate to the train brakes and doors. Suppliers had been testing five pieces of brake hardware per train car and swapping some out. As for the doors, technicians were making adjustments to make sure they close correctly and that sensors note obstructions.Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge said most of the 34 train vehicles have now been retrofitted.Asked whether the issues had come up in its other Citadis models, Poupart-Lafarge said "every train is different and therefore these problems are unique to this type of vehicle.""It's not unusual to get to issues when we start to test the trains," Poupart-Lafarge added.For its part, RTG said it is tracking Alstom's progress and will not yet commit to a precise handover date in August. It was obligated to set one back on May 31, but hasn't."We've given some dates in the past that we've not committed to. We don't want to disappoint again," said RTG's Lauch.Back in February, for instance, Lauch assured councillors the system would hit a March 31 deadline, but it came and went."When I gave that date, at that time, I was confident," he said Tuesday."It wasn't something that I just dreamt up," Lauch added, saying circumstances beyond the company's control arose shortly after.RTG has also missed formal deadlines on May 24 and Nov. 2 in 2018, as well as another, non-contractual target of June 30."We don't want a fifth missed date. That would be completely unacceptable," said Watson."They get it that this is their time to perform and we have great expectations that they will live up to these dates."Watson also stressed that once the consortium sets the specific handover date, if it fails to meet that deadline, it would face another $1 million penalty.RTG had earlier submitted paperwork, believing it was finished construction and hoping to trigger its first payment in months, but both the city and an independent certifier disagreed, and sent the consortium back to do more work.

  • Hundreds gather to participate in Empower Toronto discussions
    Global News

    Hundreds gather to participate in Empower Toronto discussions

    Hundreds of people attended a five person panel on Tuesday night about how the city can become more autonomous from the Province. As Erica Vella reports, one of the main ideas that was discussed was the possibility of Toronto becoming a charter city.

  • Abused children's centre becomes political football in Surrey police debate
    News
    CBC

    Abused children's centre becomes political football in Surrey police debate

    Coun. Brenda Locke of Surrey is criticizing a plan that could reduce the number of police officers assigned to the child and youth support centre known as Sophie's Place.But Mayor Doug McCallum says that Locke's concerns are a veiled attempt at "fear mongering" around Surrey's plan to create an independent city police force to replace the RCMP."Coun. Locke campaigned on and voted in favour of a city police force," wrote McCallum in a statement."Not only has she broken her word to the Surrey residents who voted for, her but she is now dragging in Sophie's Place and all the good work that everyone does there for political purposes. That, to me, is unconscionable and irresponsible."This morning Locke released a statement through a public relations firm stating that the Surrey Policing Transition Report, "lacks needed support for abused children" because it calls for seven police officers to be assigned to Sophie's Place, as opposed to the 11 which were agreed upon by Surrey city council in February."It will just be untenable for the officers and for the children who are already vulnerable," Locke told CBC. "They will not get the kind of service that they need."But McCallum says the numbers in the report are "just a starting point." "Officers can be moved and added to sections as deemed appropriate by the Surrey Police Chief," said McCallum. "It should be noted that under the new SPD model the seven officers dedicated to Sophie's Place would be [complemented] by, and part of, a larger special investigations section."Sophie's Place treats children under the age of 18 who are victims of mental, physical and sexual abuse. It is currently undergoing an expansion which will see client numbers increase from 180 per year to 300. Sophie's Place CEO Gerard Bremault says the recommendation for seven officers in the transition report is worrying."Eleven police was what was agreed on and unanimously supported by counsel and the mayor in February and we're grateful," he said. "What we see in the [policing] plan seems to be different, so it raises concern of how we will implement [our expansion plan] going forward."Bremault said the officers who work at Sophie's Place are part of the centre's multi-disciplinary care model and specialize in investigations that are often sensitive in nature.McCallum and Locke both ran for the Safe Surrey Coalition which promised to make Surrey safer and more accountable to its citizens by creating a city police force. The Surrey Policing Transition Report, which outlines how the city will transition from the RCMP to a city police force, was released earlier this month.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    'Codco' star Greg Malone to run for federal Greens in Newfoundland this fall

    Greg Malone, a former star of the Codco TV sketch comedy series, will be running for the Green Party of Canada in the upcoming federal election.The party said Tuesday Malone will carry its colours in the Newfoundland riding of Avalon.Malone rose to prominence for his part in the Newfoundland-focused series from the late 1980s and early 1990s, but has also had a long history of activism.Following the 1993 AIDS-related death of his Codco co-star, Tommy Sexton, Malone worked to destigmatize the disease and to raise awareness to the needs of people living with HIV.Malone has also recently been a motivational speaker on several issues including AIDS, globalization and the environment.Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said in a statement today she was a fan of his work and of his dedication to activism."He has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the health care issues facing persons living with HIV-AIDS," May said. "He also campaigned successfully to stop the privatization of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro."Greg will be a wonderful standard bearer for the Greens in Newfoundland, Labrador and Canada."The Canadian Press

  • Americans arrested for bomb threat and defamatory post get bail in St. John's
    News
    CBC

    Americans arrested for bomb threat and defamatory post get bail in St. John's

    Two American women were granted bail Tuesday in St. John's after allegedly making bomb threats and publishing defamatory statements on Twitter.Hepzibah Nanna, 28, and Sharyn Richardson, 42, must each pay $2,500 in bail, and must abide by several conditions handed down by the judge.The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said it was called to the St. John's International Airport about suspicious activity Friday. The two women allegedly made a bomb threat on Twitter, and after an investigation, police officers arrested the two women at the airport on Sunday. Nanna, a resident of Maryland, and Richardson, who is from Texas, must live at their American addresses and are not allowed to fly.The judge also ruled the women have to stay away from weapons, are not allowed to contact the victims of their alleged defamatory tweets and must stay off social media.Large online followingIt is unclear why the women were in St. John's, however according to a website allegedly run by Nanna, she was on a "revival tour" that advertised a stop in Prince Edward Island this month.Nanna has 90,000 followers on Facebook, where she does live video sermons for her followers.She also has several books listed on Amazon and refers to herself as having a "radical, hold-nothing-back, intimate, heart-to-heart relationship with Jesus."She also indicates online that she is a survivor of Satanic ritualistic abuse and is now a spiritual advisor for others.The women's next court date is set for August 2.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • PHOTOS: Toronto celebrates Raptors victory with parade through the city
    Yahoo Canada News

    PHOTOS: Toronto celebrates Raptors victory with parade through the city

    Thousands of Toronto Raptors fans took to the streets to celebrate the Canadian team’s historic victory as NBA champions.Players rode through the city on double-decker buses, with Toronto superstar Drake, as people waited to get a glimpse of the team and the Championship trophy.

  • News
    CBC

    Public health issues warning after measles case in Laval

    Provincial health authorities say someone carrying the measles virus may have exposed others to it in Laval last Thursday.The infected person visited a Walmart in Sainte-Dorothée sometime between 1:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. June 13.They then went to the Carrefour Laval shopping centre during the afternoon between 2:15 p.m. and 4 p.m.Authorities say the following people should be evaluated for a prevention shot: people with a weakened immune system, babies younger than 12 months and pregnant women who are not adequately vaccinated against measles.Anyone who is a part of these groups is being advised to call Info-Santé at 811. The preventative treatments must be administered by June 20 to be effective, the Quebec's Health Ministry said in a news release.The ministry added that anyone who is not part of the mentioned groups doesn't need special intervention.People who visited those locations should watch for symptoms up until early July — it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show.Symptoms include: fever, cough, runny nose, stuffy nose, red and watery eyes and tiny white spots in the mouth.A person can be contagious four days before a rash appears and up to four days after.Measles is highly contagious and is most often spread when people first get sick or before they know they have measles.

  • Ontario Line dubbed 'Mystery Line' as province plans to submit business case by end of June
    News
    CBC

    Ontario Line dubbed 'Mystery Line' as province plans to submit business case by end of June

    The province's proposed Toronto subway relief line alternative, the so-called Ontario Line, is likely only at the two per cent mark for design work, city councillors heard from TTC staff on Tuesday.But even as concerns about potential delays and unknowns grow — with one councillor dubbing it the "Mystery Line," as city officials remain in the dark on the timelines and cost breakdown — the Ministry of Transportation plans to submit a business case by the end of June."The provincial government doesn't know what the hell they're doing," said Coun. Joe Cressy, a critic of the province's transit plans, during an interview in council chambers.The downtown relief line was already at 15 per cent design, he noted.TTC and city staff told council it took a full year to get to that point, which also followed years of planning beforehand and an environmental assessment, which has not been completed for the longer Ontario Line.With those details in mind, Cressy said the 15-kilometre line stretching between Ontario Place and the Ontario Science Centre would take longer to build — despite the province's belief it will be delivered by 2027."It means more people packed into subways waiting for transit relief," Cressy said.The new details emerged on Tuesday as council discussed the city's ongoing talks with Premier Doug Ford's government over the province's plans to expand, and eventually take over, Toronto's subway network.TTC staff told councillors the discussions have included looking at around 40 possible alignments for the line, which has since been whittled down to around four.Previous details from the province note the project would be "largely consistent" with the north portion of the relief line, stretching from Pape station to a new terminus at the Ontario Science Centre, and extending from a planned west terminus of Osgoode station through the King and Bathurst area to a new terminus Ontario Place.In response to questions from CBC Toronto, Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Andrew Buttigieg did not provide details on the specific alignments being considered or the level of design work completed so far, but  the ministry is working to submit a business case "at the end of June," he said."The Ontario Line is currently in the planning, design and engineering phase," he said in the statement.Councillor calls for release of 'secret information'According to the province's budget, the "freestanding" line would not share a track or resources with the subway system, and would use a lighter, more modern and cheaper trains.In council chambers on Tuesday, Coun. Mike Colle pressed TTC staff on what they know about "secret information" regarding the technology under consideration for what he called the "Mystery Line.""The specific technology has not been identified," responded TTC CEO Rick Leary.City and TTC staff also told councillors they have yet to see the province's timelines or cost breakdown for the project, which the province previously has said costs roughly $11 billion in total."The City's previous planning on the relief line is being utilized and we're working with Infrastructure Ontario to look at new, innovative ways to get transit built faster, and at less cost," Buttigieg said.While some members of council are questioning those claims, and whether the city should remain at the table given all the unknowns, Mayor John Tory insisted the city needs to "move forward with the process" of getting answers to the city's more than 60 technical questions on the transit plans.Following his remarks to council, councillors overwhelmingly rejected a motion from Coun. Josh Matlow to break off talks tied to a subway upload in a vote of 7-19.Speaking on behalf of his motion, Matlow said it's all just a "one-sided discussion."

  • Catching a taxi at Charlottetown Airport better, but not yet 'perfect'
    News
    CBC

    Catching a taxi at Charlottetown Airport better, but not yet 'perfect'

    A couple returned on a flight to P.E.I. late Saturday evening to discover not enough taxis outside of Charlottetown Airport.Jessie Inman said they arrived around 11:30 p.m. and ended up outside with around 15 other people — all waiting for a taxi.After 40 minutes, she said only one cab came and her husband was concerned that it might be much longer before any more taxis would arrive.So they decided to take matters into their own hands."We went and we rented," Inman said. "We were lucky we got a very large van and we had room for ... five groups and we simply shared the cost of the vehicle rental and we took it back the next day but we were able to drop off four different couples or groups of people at several locations."Inman said the airport commissioner was being very helpful, but not enough cabs were showing up."I was glad that we did it because everyone was talking about the fact that this is not a good reception, to arrive for their vacation and not have a way to get to their accommodation."The Charlottetown Airport Authority said this is an unusual event since they changed the rules around which taxi companies could go to the airport.CEO Doug Newson said they moved away from a contract with a single cab company to opening it up to any registered taxi that can do pick ups at the airport.Much better service"We've gone from basically having 30-35 cars with one taxi stand to about 115 licensed taxi drivers in the city that can now come to the airport," Newson said.That has led to a dramatic decrease in the number of complaints from people stuck outside waiting for a cab.Newson said there is always an option to pre-arrange a taxi.They also have low parking fees and free parking for an hour, intended to make it easier to either leave your car at the airport or have someone pick you up.Newson said they have received only a handful of formal complaints about the taxi service over the last year, where previously, they could get that many in a month."Although it may not be perfect … the stats and the numbers would show that wait times are down and the number of cars that are here as flights arrive are certainly up," Newson said.Charlottetown Airport Authority also hired full-time commissioners to help passengers find transportation and raised the amount that cab drivers can charge to take passengers to and from the airport.The airport collects data on the number of cabs that show up and the number of cabs used to try and predict how many may be needed in the future. But some passengers may be parked or have rides, so it can often be a challenge to figure out how many is the right number of taxis per flight.Newson said the bigger planes flying into Charlottetown in recent years has meant that there are even more people needing transportation."There is probably on average 12 cars required for those planes, some days it might be 15," Newson said. "The other night there was 20 required."CBC spoke with a couple of cab companies that serve the Charlottetown area on Tuesday about the lack of taxis at the airport.They said opening up the contract to all companies has helped, as well as increasing the airport fares.The challenge, they said, can be balancing loyal, regular customers with meeting demand at the airport.More P.E.I. news

  • News
    CBC

    Regina City Council votes to have gyms in industrial areas as a permitted use

    Regina City Council has voted to keep gyms and fitness facilities as permitted uses in light industrial and industrial prestige areas. They also voted to have gyms in heavy industrial areas be a discretionary use.This comes after significant public pushback to the original proposal to not allow any new gyms in those areas. All of this will now go before the public again for four weeks, then council will discuss it again.More than 170 people weighed in on the gym changes, whether in person at the Monday meeting or via a letter to council. Mayor Michael Fougere said that had a big impact on council's decision Tuesday. "We felt strongly that if it it isn't broke let's not try to fix it," Fougere said during a break. "The delegations were ... pretty persuasive."Coun. Joel Murray is the one who put forward the proposal to have things remain the way they are. He said that the official community plan has a lot of great goals, but sometimes it doesn't line up with how things are going in the city, like in this case."The community has really rallied around folks in the Warehouse District providing these services, and they're very happy about it," he said.Murray also said that a lot of these places are providing youth programming in areas close to North Central, so it's easier for families to just walk.Another change councillors voted on was a residential zoning issue that would affect where density boosting efforts would be focused. The city was considering a change to the zoning in the area from a R1-Residential to RN-Residential Neighbourhood — a change to allow more than single detached houses. Councillors decided to keep neighbourhoods zoned R1 as R1, which basically means that those zones will continue to have single-family homes. As for the sign and zoning bylaws as a whole, council has tabled them both so that the changes can be advertised and the public can take a look at them.  Reporter Emily Pasiuk was at council Tuesday night. Follow her tweets here:On mobile? Click here for Emily's tweets.

  • California police put Robocop on patrol in park
    AP Canada

    California police put Robocop on patrol in park

    A Southern California police force is welcoming a robot to the department. Huntington Park police say "HP RoboCop" will provide 360-degree high-definition video footage. (June 18)

  • Why students made traffic signs at this school in eastern P.E.I.
    News
    CBC

    Why students made traffic signs at this school in eastern P.E.I.

    Students at École La-Belle-Cloche in Rollo Bay, P.E.I., are taking traffic-calming measures into their own hands and trying to get drivers to slow down with 55 homemade signs.On Tuesday morning, parent volunteers installed the signs, and Marise Chapman, the school's principal, said she noticed a change right away."We've seen a tremendous difference, even today, because we can hear them slowing down," she said."We just would want that to happen regularly."'RCMP have been great'Chapman said speeding in the area has been a constant concern since the school opened last spring."I think this has been on the agenda for our parent committee every month now since last year," she said.Parent Melissa MacDonald said members of the school community have written letters to local representatives, the Department of Transportation and RCMP, but the speeding hasn't stopped."The RCMP have been great. They've been working with us, with regular patrols ... but they can't spend all day, every day here in front of the school. They're busy people with lots of other things to do as well," she said.'We'd hate to see an accident happen'Chapman said she hopes the student-made signs will bring more concrete action from provincial officials by the beginning of the next school year."We've exhausted, we felt, every avenue to have local officials look at a speeding radar or something, a sign, a flashing sign of some kind to bring attention to motorists," she said."With the school year coming to an end, we felt it was the right time to maybe put some more information out there and hopefully have something in place for September."MacDonald said the Department of Transportation did adjust a few signs to make them more visible to drivers, and changed markings on the road, but parents and school officials aren't satisfied."You know, we'd hate to see an accident happen and I know it's costly to have that equipment put in place and maintained but I don't know if you can put a price on a life," said Chapman.Chapman also pointed out the concern isn't just that students would get hit by cars, but that a high-speed accident on the road could send debris flying, posing a danger to the kids.People unfamiliar with areaMacDonald said she thinks people in the area still aren't used to having a school right on that stretch of Route 2."There's lots of people who aren't familiar to the area that pass by as well. So we're just looking for some markings to be increased, so everyone's aware."Chapman agreed with MacDonald's assessment."People aren't used to the area," she said. "They might not realize that it does go down to a 60-zone during the day and they carry on going, you know, in the excess of 90-plus kilometres per hour and that's the danger for us."Chapman said she just wants to ensure the area is safe for students."Children will be children. They'll chase balls, they'll chase balloons and if something ever happened, you know, I don't think we could live with each other or live with it," she said."The parent committee will keep pushing until they have something that they are satisfied with."The province didn't respond to a request for comment before the time of publishing.More P.E.I. news

  • Weekend memorial events set for singer-musician Dr. John
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Weekend memorial events set for singer-musician Dr. John

    NEW ORLEANS — Weekend memorial services have been scheduled in New Orleans for singer and musician Malcom "Mac" Rebennack Jr., better known by his Voodoo-inspired stage name, Dr. John.Rebennack, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, died June 6 at age 77. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival says memorial services are set for Saturday at the historic Orpheum Theater in downtown New Orleans. Public visitation starts at 7 a.m. and runs until 10:30 a.m.A service running from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Orpheum will be invitation only but will be broadcast on WWOZ FM. There was no immediate word on any music and entertainment stars who might attend.That will be followed by a public "second line parade" that will begin at the theatre.The Associated Press