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UPDATE: Man found dead on ferry identified – BC

by admin on 05/09/2018

UPDATE: The unidentified man who was found dead aboard a B.C. ferry on February 19 has been determined to be Ray Nelson, aged 56, of Port Alberni.

The BC Coroners Service has provided some photos of a man in the hopes someone will know him and help to identify him.

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The man was found dead on board a BC Ferries vessel on Feb. 19.

He was seen walking around the Departure Bay terminal in Nanaimo and talking to people for about an hour before the last sailing. He then boarded the ferry for Horseshoe Bay as a foot passenger shortly before it departed at 9 p.m. The man was later found collapsed on the upper car deck, and could not be resuscitated.

The Coroners Service and West Vancouver Police say there is no evidence of foul play in his death.

The man is Caucasian and is estimated to be between 50 and 60 years old. He had light blue-green eyes and a fair complexion, with light brown hair in a ‘buzz-cut’ style. He was 178 cm. (5 ft., 10 in.) tall and weighed 72 kilograms (160 pounds).

He also had the following tattoos:

    Large wolf-like animal with bared teeth, right forearm.Celtic band, right upper arm.“Thumper” rabbit, right pelvic area.

    He was wearing glasses, a black-and-white checked shirt over a light-weight black jacket, jeans, and black Nike shoes with a fluorescent green/yellow swoosh. He did not have any luggage.

    Anyone with information which may help identify this man is asked to call:

    * Coroner Lisa Graham at 604 660-2556

    * West Vancouver Police Sergeant Anne Mason at 604 925-7316

    * West Vancouver Police non-emergency number at 604 925-7300

    ©2014Shaw Media

Crude oil in Lac-Megantic disaster as explosive as gas: tests

by admin on 05/09/2018

TORONTO – The crude oil that exploded during a fatal derailment in Quebec last year that killed 47 people had characteristics similar to that of unleaded gasoline, a highly flammable liquid, Canada’s transportation safety agency said Thursday.

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  • Lac-Megantic mayor wants railway tracks re-located outside of town

  • Lac-Megantic train explosion raises questions about transporting oil in B.C.

The Transportation Safety Board said in a newly released report that the crude tested by Canada’s transportation agency had a low flash point, which refers to the temperature at which the crude gives off enough vapour to ignite in air.

Last July, a runaway train with 72 tankers of oil derailed and exploded in the small Quebec town of Lac-Megantic near the Maine border, destroying the town’s centre.

The transportation board said Thursday that the lower flashpoint of the oil on the train explains in part why it ignited so quickly once the tank cars were breached.

“The large quantities of spilled crude oil, the rapid rate of release and the oil’s high volatility and low viscosity were likely the major contributors to the large post-derailment fireball and pool fire,” said the agency.

The board also noted that the oil involved in the accident should have been classified as a more dangerous flammable liquid than the train’s placards indicated. The report said the oil from the cars was a Class 3, PG II product, although it had been documented as a less volatile, Class 3 PG III.

The agency took oil samples from nine tank cars that were intact after the crash and subjected them to a rigorous analysis.

The samples were consistent a light, sweet crude oil, with volatility comparable to that of a condensate or gasoline product.

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board investigation into the Lac-Megantic explosion continues.

In this July 6, 2013 file-pool photo, emergency workers examine the aftermath of a train derailment and fire in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

Concerns about transporting oil by train were heightened after the fiery train crash, along with a string of other explosive accidents across North America, which prompted the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue an alert about the potential high volatility of crude from the Bakken oil patch.

The U.S. agency said that light crude oil from the Bakken oil region, which straddles North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, may be different from traditional heavy crudes because it is prone to ignite at a lower temperature. The sprawling oil shale reserve is fueling the surging industry in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, which is now the second-largest U.S. oil producer behind Texas.

Experts have said that lighter crudes, which contain more natural gas, have a much lower flash point.

The amount of oil moving by rail in the U.S. has spiked since 2009, from just more than 10,000 tanker cars to a projected 400,000 cars in 2013.

©2014The Canadian Press

Marois won’t rule out referendum

by admin on 05/09/2018

MONTREAL – Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois is not ruling out an independence referendum if she is re-elected with a majority government.

On the other hand, she says she might not hold a vote on taking Quebec out of Canada.

The PQ leader is also inviting Quebecers who don’t want a referendum to vote for her party when they go to the polls in the April 7 provincial election.

Marois told a news conference in Drummondville on Thursday the PQ will examine Quebec’s place within Canada if her government regains power.

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She promises no one will be taken by surprise because she has nothing to hide.

“When we decide to hold a referendum, there will be discussions with Quebecers,” Marois said.

“We’re not trying to hide anything, we’re not going to do anything in the middle of the night and there will have to be a certain consensus. I’m not going to discuss strategy in public but there is no promise to hold a referendum and there is no promise not to.”

Most Quebecers have expressed a continuing distaste for referendums after divisive votes in 1980 and 1995 won by federalist forces.

Marois has been criticized by some separatists for not pushing the issue harder, resulting in some PQ members joining other fringe sovereigntist parties.

Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard and Francois Legault, leader of the Coalition for Quebec’s Future, have said a vote for the PQ is a vote for another referendum.

Both opposition leaders focused on the economy on the second day of the campaign.

Couillard promised to create 250,000 jobs during the next five years if he is elected premier.

In the meantime, Legault pledged to give families a break of $1,000 by 2017-18 by gradually abolishing a health tax and a school tax.

©2014The Canadian Press

Mother of dead soldier says one-cent cheque ripped open wounds

by admin on 30/08/2019

HAMILTON, Ont. – The mother of a dead Canadian soldier sent a one-penny payout cheque received a formal apology from Canada’s defence minister on Thursday along with a promise to take another look at whether his death was related to his military service.

Breaking her public silence, Denise Stark said she thanked Rob Nicholson for the apology, which came in a morning phone call after days of questions in the House of Commons.

“I explained how our wounds had been re-opened since receiving the cheque,” Stark said.

“He acknowledged how insensitive this was.”

WATCH: Minister of Defence apologizes for 1 cent cheque sent to dead soldier’s mom

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  • Defence minister apologizes after one-cent cheque sent to dead soldier’s mom

  • Legion to take list of demands to parliamentary committee

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In October 2011, 10 months after returning from a seven-month tour in Afghanistan, Cpl. Justin Stark, 22, killed himself.

The family of the reservist with the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada had considered his estate long settled when the cheque for one cent in her son’s name – dated Feb. 28 – arrived from Public Works.

The cheque was marked “CF Release Pay.”

Stark said she didn’t believe the incident was malicious or personal.

Nicholson promised to take a look at a military board-of-inquiry finding that the soldier’s death was not related to his experiences serving in Afghanistan, said Stark, her husband at her side.

“Wayne and I continue to be dissatisfied at the board’s confident conclusion that Justin’s tour in Afghanistan did not cause him trauma,” his mother said.

Stark stressed there would be no financial gain in having his death linked to his military service.

“It only involves having the recognition that those who died in theatre also have.”

Nicholson called the incident a “bureaucratic screw-up.”

He also promised to investigate to see whether the same thing had happened to others with the aim of ensuring it did not happen again.

“The death of a child is tragic but a death related to war … I just don’t have the words to describe,” she said choking up.

“Then add to that, a death by suicide – it just adds another layer to my grief.”

Wayne Stark thanked Nicholson for taking the situation seriously, and New Democrat MP Wayne Marston, who raised the issue in the Commons.

“We also hope this will help to bring positive changes to the treatment of our veterans and the families of our fallen,” he said.

In Ottawa on Wednesday, Treasury Board President Tony Clement accused a civil servant of making “a very insensitive and terrible error.”

He said the individual involved “should come forward and apologize.”

Donna Lackie, president of the Government Services Union, said this week the data and information used to create the Public Works cheque would have come from the Department of National Defence.

The department would have no way of knowing why the cheque was requested, or the background of the person whose name was on it, she said.

“It’s not the first time a one-cent cheque has gone through,” Lackie said.

The Simcoe Reformer reported that in 2011 that Stark spent much of his tour of duty working to secure the town of Nakhonay, a small village 15 kilometres southwest of Kandahar city squarely in the heart of Taliban territory.

Several tribunals were held to determine whether his death was related to his work as a soldier, with a preliminary finding that it was not related to his service, according to his mother.

Keven Ellis, a family friend who heads a motorcycle group that supports veterans, the North Wall Riders Association, said the already emotionally distraught mother had been “devastated” by the cheque incident.

-With files from Terry Pedwell in Ottawa

©2014The Canadian Press

Former RCMP officer, minor hockey coach, charged with sexual assault of minors

by admin on 30/08/2019

A former RCMP officer and a minor hockey and baseball coach has been charged with sexually assaulting eight minors in the late 70s and early 80s in Clearwater, B.C.

58-year-old Alan John Davidson was arrested on Thursday in Calgary, Alberta.

Insp. Brendan Fitzpatrick, operations officer for the RCMP’s BC Major Crime Section, said Davidson coached minor hockey and baseball in the Thompson and Okanagan area, starting in the late 70s.

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The investigation into Davidson began in November 2012, when a man came forward to Burnaby RCMP, saying in the early 80s he was attending high school in Clearwater when he had allegedly been sexually assaulted by his minor hockey coach.

Fitzpatrick said this man indicated the possibility that others on the team may also have been similarly assaulted.

Following further investigation, another witness came forward and said he had been sexually assaulted by his baseball coach.

Eight victims have now come forward citing similar allegations of assault. All of those victims are male.

The investigation then extended into Alberta and Saskatchewan as Davidson was an RCMP officer in those provinces following the allegations of assault.

Video: RCMP announce charges laid against Alan John Davidson

He served in the RCMP for 14 years, from February 1982 to August 1996. He completed basic training in Regina before being posted to Coronach, Sask. He was then transferred to Lloydminster, Alta. in 1983, Yorkton Saskatchewan and then North Battleford, Sask. He retired in August 1996 and moved to Alberta to pursue a personal business opportunity.

Fitzpatrick said at this time they have no information and are unaware of any alleged offences that may have occurred during Davidson’s time as an RCMP officer.

However, investigators believe there may be other victims connected to this investigation. They are appealing for any other victims to come forward.

“I would also like to commend those individuals who came forward after all these years, considering the traumatic nature of the allegations,” said Fitzpatrick. “A great deal of work has been done to date, however our investigation is ongoing and we respect that there could be other individuals out there with information connected to our investigation. It is important for you to please contact the police.”

To assist potential victims and witnesses in recalling memory, the RCMP has released a timeline of where the accused had lived and worked over the last three decades.

1970s to 1981 – Clearwater, BC
August 1981 – February 1982 – Regina, Saskatchewan
February 1982 – December 1983 – Coronach, Saskatchewan
December 1983 – April 1986 – Lloydminster, Alberta
April 1986 – August 1993 – Yorkton, Saskatchewan
August 1993 – 1996 – North Battleford, Saskatchewan
August 1996 onwards – Alberta (currently resides in Calgary)

If anyone has any information they are asked to call the toll free tip line at 1-877-687-3377.

Davidson’s next court appearance will be April 3 in Kamloops.

©2014Shaw Media

Buck back with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers – Winnipeg

by admin on 30/08/2019

Buck Pierce speaks to the media about his new role with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

WINNIPEG — Quarterback Buck Pierce, who announced his retirement Tuesday, is back with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Pierce will join head coach Mike O’Shea’s staff as running backs coach.

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  • The Buck stops here

“Buck has been through the trenches as a quarterback in this league. He has great experience, and will be a valued asset to our coaching staff,” O’Shea said in a team media release. “He will be able to relate to our players very well, and the ability to add a former CFL quarterback to our staff was important to us. He will be a great teacher to our running backs and a strength to our offensive staff.”

Pierce spent nine seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Bombers and B.C. Lions. He finished with 15,289 yards passing and 76 touchdowns.

RELATED: The Buck stops here

“Deciding not to play football anymore was a difficult decision, but having the opportunity to rejoin the Bombers in a coaching role was really a perfect fit. I am thrilled they wanted me to be a part of what I believe will be a great thing here in Winnipeg. I said when I was traded that I hoped one day I would be back in some capacity, and today is a really special day for my family and me,” said Pierce.

Though he played as a quarterback, Pierce should know a thing or two about running with the football. He carried the ball 233 times during his CFL career for 1,684 yards and 14 touchdowns.

©2014Shaw Media

Canadian rapper K’naan linked to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o

by admin on 30/08/2019

TORONTO — Lupita Nyong’o had her brother at her side when she won the Best Supporting Actress award at the Academy Awards on March 2, but she celebrated with Canadian rapper K’naan.

The pair was photographed making the rounds in L.A. after the Oscars, sparking rumours of a romance.

As she arrived for a post-Oscars talk show appearance, K’naan was spotted holding her golden statuette.

The 31-year-old Mexican-born actress made her feature film debut in 12 Years a Slave and currently appears in the thriller Non-Stop. She previously worked as a production assistant on movies like 2005’s The Constant Gardener.

Nyong’o, who has remained tight-lipped about her private life, has also been linked by tabloids to Best Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto.

Last year, K’naan moved to New York City, where Nyong’o lives. He is currently in Los Angeles working on a movie about Somalia.

The 36-year-old has not commented on a possible relationship with Nyong’o but mentioned her in an Instagram post last month.

Born Keinan Abdi Warsame in Somalia, K’naan came to Toronto as a teenager.

He has released five full-length albums and earned five Juno Awards.

K’naan’s breakthrough song, “Wavin’ Flag” — co-written by Bruno Mars — was chosen as Coca-Cola’s anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was re-recorded by a group of Canadian musicians to raise funds for victims of the Haiti eathquake.

His most recent single is “Hurt Me Tomorrow.”

K’naan was previously married and is the father of two sons.

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©2014Shaw Media

Russian soldiers expelled from Canada

by admin on 30/08/2019

WATCH: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird wants to send a powerful message to Russia

TORONTO – Nine Russian soldiers taking part in military exercises in Canada have been expelled from the country after Prime Minister Stephen Harper cut all bilateral military activities with Russia.

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The soldiers, six from Saint-Jean, Que., two from New Brunswick’s CFB Gagetown and one from Gatineau, Que., were told to leave the country within 24 hours and will be leaving Saturday, a government source told Global News.

Canada condemns Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine

Prime Minister Harper said Canada remains extremely concerned about the crisis in Ukraine and reiterates his call for Russia to “respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“Today, our Government is taking additional measures to further increase pressure on President Putin and the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops to their bases by imposing a travel ban against a number of individuals responsible for threatening the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. This ban will prevent these individuals from travelling to Canada,” Harper said in a Friday statement.

In response to the Russian incursion into Ukraine’s Crimea region, Harper said Tuesday: “I have this morning directed that, effective immediately, all planned bilateral activities between the Canadian Armed Forces and the military of the Russian Federation be suspended.

“This includes exercises, such as NORAD’s Exercise Vigilant Eagle, and scheduled meetings.”

Harper said the Canadian government views the crisis “with the gravest concern.”

Canada won’t recognize Crimean referendum

On Thursday Harper said Canada won’t recognize Crimean’s forthcoming referendum on joining Russia.

Lawmakers in Crimea voted unanimously to split from Ukraine and join Russia, and will hold a referendum March 16 to allow voters on the disputed peninsula to weigh in on the decision.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said it’s impossible to organize a meaningful referendum in the 10-day time frame proposed.

He said Canada is deeply concerned about Russia’s military actions.

“This is a vestige of another century,” he said. “It’s a Soviet-style tactic that’s unacceptable for a G8 country and unacceptable in 2014.

“We’re going to condemn it in the strongest of terms and work with friends and like-minded allies to see it reversed.

“It’s going to be a challenging issue.”

with files from The Canadian Press

WATCH: Ukraine’s UN ambassador says the world only has “a couple of days” to bring Russia to the table

©2014Shaw Media

Alberta, Manitoba, B.C. top 3 at curling’s Brier in Kamloops – Winnipeg

by admin on 29/07/2019

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – The favourites going into the 2014 Canadian men’s curling championship are the favourites coming out as the round robin draws to a close with Alberta, Manitoba and B.C. sitting one, two, three.

Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton and B.C.’s John Morris won their final round-robin games Thursday night to finish the Tim Hortons Brier preliminary robin at 9-2.

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Alberta’s Kevin Koe sits at 9-1 with only one game left Friday morning, after a 9-6 win over Prince Edward Island Thursday afternoon. If he wins Friday, the final three in order will be Alberta, Manitoba and B.C.

All that’s up for grabs is the fourth and final playoff spot. Saskatchewan and Quebec, at 6-4, are leading the race but Newfoundland and New Brunswick are hanging in at 6-5. Saskatchewan and New Brunswick play Friday morning.

“There’s still some hope,” Quebec skip Jean-Michel Menard said of his chances to reach the three vs. four playoff game, although he has to face Alberta.

One scenario could even see four teams needing to work through tiebreakers Friday, if both Saskatchewan and Quebec lose.

“If both of the teams lose there’s four teams at 6-5, which looks like a messy tiebreaker, so hopefully we don’t have to go through that,” Menard said.

Saskatchewan’s Steve Laycock knows his path to the playoffs.

“Win our last and either get some help from Alberta or play a tiebreaker,” said Laycock.

Morris said they will be happy to get into the playoffs through the three vs. four game. He got passed by Manitoba Thursday morning when he lost 7-6 to Stoughton in an extra end.

“We’re prepared to go through the three-four game we’re prepared to go to the one-two game, it doesn’t matter,” he said after his final game at night.

“If we have to play a few extra games in this spiel, we’ll get our money’s worth.”

Stoughton noted the strange way the tiebreaker system works that could actually change the order if Alberta loses to Quebec Friday. B.C. would move into top spot leaving Alberta in second and Stoughton in third.

“Its kind of interesting, I mean Koe can actually pick who he’s going to play,” said the Manitoba skip and three-time Brier winner.

He admitted that isn’t a likely outcome, since Koe will be trying hard to win to get hammer and choice of rocks going into the page playoffs.

Manitoba gave up three in the first end to Ontario Thursday night but quickly gained control again to come back and win 8-6.

“It seems like the theme of the week but year. It was well played again, he makes what, a double raise double? There was nothing we could do about it.”

In his afternoon game, Koe had a similar experience. He started with a big four in the first end and a deuce in three but gave up a single and a three to keep the Islanders close. They even managed the rare occurrence at this Brier of a steal against Koe.

“We got up early and then I just threw one bad shot and gave up a three ender (and) after that they started making a lot of shots,” he said. “We definitely could have made it easier on ourselves.”

But with a win Friday in their final game against Quebec, he gets hammer and choice of rocks for the one vs. two playoff. It’s an experience Koe says he has never had, either in 2010 when he won the Brier or in 2012 when he came second.

“It’ll be a different feeling, not having our backs against the wall,” Koe said.

Stoughton started the Brier with four wins — though none were decisive — before losing to Alberta and Quebec. He admitted both he and third John Mead needed to pick up their game.

The Thursday morning game wasn’t mistake-free for Manitoba or B.C., but the last and most costly miss was made by the hometown favourites.

After exchanging deuces in the first two ends, it was singles until B.C.’s Jim Cotter missed a key double with his last rock in eight, letting Stoughton draw to the button for two to go ahead 6-5.

“It was a real tough double,” said Morris. “We missed it by a hair.”

Cotter was a little happier Thursday night as they beat Laycock and Saskatchewan 6-3.

“We bounced back,” he said. “We had a solid team game. We were definitely a little better than this morning.”

Greg Balsdon and Ontario were sitting at 4-6 with one game left to play friday morning after losing to Manitoba.

The Northwest Territories-Yukon team of Jamie Koe was tied with Eddie MacKenzie out of P.E.I. at 3-7 with one game left, Jeff Currie and Northern Ontario were finished at 2-9 and Nova Scotia’s Jamie Murphy was winless at 0-10 with their final game against Ontario Friday.

©2014The Canadian Press

Pope Francis needs ‘to do more’ when it comes to sexual abuse: survey – National

by admin on 29/07/2019

TORONTO – Although most Canadians view Pope Francis and his “simpler lifestyle” in a positive light, 42 per cent don’t think the pontiff has done enough on the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, according to a recent survey.

Released on Friday, the Angus Reid Global survey asked respondents from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom their views on Pope Francis as the pontiff marks his one year of papacy on March 13.

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Overall, from the three countries surveyed, Canadians identified themselves as having the strongest ties to the Catholic Church.

According to the findings, a majority of the respondents—both Catholic and non-Catholic Canadians—view the Pope as having a positive effect on the church. While nearly two in five of Canadians said that while Francis has improved their view of the Catholic Church, only 14 per cent of non-practicing or “lapsed” Catholic Canadians said they would explore coming back to the church.

Less focus on sexuality, more focus on poverty

Canadians are the most enthusiastic about Francis’ desire to move the church’s focus away from issues of homosexuality and reproduction by putting more emphasis on poverty. Over 56 per cent of non-Catholics and 72 per cent of Catholics viewed Francis’ comments in a positive view.

Action still needed on sexual abuse

When it came to dealing with sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, the survey found that 42 per cent of Canadians say Pope Francis did not do enough in his first year. This number drops to 32 per cent among practicing Catholics.

Americans are most forgiving on this issue with 33 per cent of those surveyed saying they believe Francis has done enough.

READ MORE: Vatican comes under sharp criticism for sex abuse

Francis is coming under increasing criticism from victims’ advocates who say the pontiff simply needs to do more when it comes to dealing with the issue of sex abuse.

Three months after the Vatican announced a commission of experts to study best practices on protecting children, no action has been taken, no members appointed, no statute outlining the commission’s scope approved.

Living a simpler, less luxurious life

Eighty-two per cent of Canadians said they have “positive feelings” about the pontiff giving up the “the trappings of luxury in his daily life.”

READ MORE: Pope offended by his own myth, mystique

In an interview on Wednesday, Francis said he found the hype that is increasingly surrounding him “offensive.”

“The pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps calmly and has friends like everyone else. A normal person,” he said.

– With files from The Associated Press

©2014Shaw Media

Canadian economy sheds 7,000 jobs, unemployment rate stable – National

by admin on 29/07/2019

OTTAWA – Canada’s jobs market continues to sputter as the economy gave back some of January’s gains by shedding 7,000 workers overall in February, a disappointment to those hoping for a strong start to the year.

The loss was tiny in relative terms and insufficient to alter the 7.0 per cent unemployment rate.

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But after last week’s news of stronger fourth quarter economic growth than forecasted, and an encouraging 29,000 employment increase in January, economists had expected that February would also see gains in the order of about 15,000 jobs.

The setback in February continues a pattern of up and down months in the Canadian labour market, which has been virtually stalled since last August.

While the last 12 months has seen a pick-up of 95,000 workers – a weak number – Statistics Canada notes that “there has been little overall employment growth in Canada since August 2013.”

The softness was reflected in the employment rate, which held steady at 61.6 per cent, still about two percentage points below the pre-recession highs.

There were 15,500 fewer people classified as employees but 8,600 more people became self-employed.

There were some bright spots in the employment report, which is one of the most important barometers of how the economy is doing.

Despite the overall loss of jobs as 25,900 fewer people were in part-time work, as full-time employment rose by 18,900.

As well, the weakness came in the public sector, as declines in health care and social assistance, education services as well as transportation and warehousing contributed to a 51,000 dip in the labour pool. Private sector employment rose by 35,200.

Regionally, Quebec and British Columbia both had off employment months of 25,500 and 10,400 respectively, while Alberta and Nova Scotia saw gains of 19,000 and 2,900.

By industry, there were 9,000 more workers in natural resources and 7,900 more in agriculture in February, but 25,000 fewer in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing. Manufacturing saw a small pick-up of about 5,000, while construction lost 3,600.

In a separate report, Statistics Canada said the country’s trade deficit had significantly narrowed to $177 million in January from $922 million the previous month, although most of the improvement had little to do with jobs generating exports. In fact, in volume terms, exports fell 5.3 per cent, while a sharp decline in imports and better prices helped the bottom line.

©2014The Canadian Press

Birthday surprise revealed for Michigan boy ‘with no friends’ – National

by admin on 29/07/2019

TORONTO – A Michigan boy received quite the birthday surprise Friday morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Colin, who will turn 11 on March 9,  has been diagnosed with issues similar to Asperger’s Syndrome. In February, Colin’s mother Jennifer set up a Facebook page for her son, which quickly went viral with people sending well wishes from all around the world.

Thinking he was on “Good Morning America” (GMA) to help with a video game segment, the birthday boy was all smiles to learn that he and his family were on the show to celebrate his birthday.  Surrounded by dozens of balloons and a birthday cake, the GMA hosts also announced that Colin and his family were leaving to Walt Disney World that afternoon to celebrate his birthday.

According to Jennifer, Colin’s condition affects his social skills and “makes it difficult for him to maintain friendships at school.”

READ MORE: ‘Secret’ Facebook page for Michigan boy with ‘no friends’ goes viral

Jennifer says when she asked her son if he wanted a party for his birthday he told her there wasn’t a point because “he has no friends.”

“He eats lunch alone in the office everyday because no one will let him sit with them, and rather than force someone to be unhappy with his presence, he sits alone in the office,” reads a Facebook post from Feb. 2.

“So I thought, if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party. Please join me in making my very original son feel special on his day.”

The Facebook page “Happy Birthday Colin” has over 2.1 million ‘likes’ and countless video messages and posts from people worldwide.

On 桑拿会所, people used the hashtag #HappyBirthdayColin to send Colin birthday well-wishes:

Jennifer says she asked people who knew him not to reveal the surprise prior to his birthday and says, before today, her son was unaware of the overwhelming social media campaign surrounding him for his birthday, even though children told Colin they saw his story on TV.

Colin’s mom says her son has also received over 40,000 letters, packages and cards from people around the world.

SEND COLIN A BIRTHDAY WISH: To wish Colin a happy birthday on his Facebook page, click here.

Here’s a look at some of the well-wishes Colin has received:

The Ladies of Alpha Xi Delta at Indiana University wish Colin a ‘Happy Birthday.’

The Rosenberg Police Department in Texas also sent a message:

When asked about her son, Jennifer says he is a kid who loves his Nintendo 3DS, and Pokemon and is “obsessed” with Doctor Who.

“He loves his family, especially his little sister. He’s loving and caring to everyone. He gets picked on at school a lot, but despite his Momma’s requests not to, he always asks the principal to not punish the offenders, because everyone deserves forgiveness,”  she wrote.  “He’s an amazing boy, and I swear I’m not just saying that because he’s my baby.”

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  • ‘Secret’ Facebook page for Michigan boy with ‘no friends’ goes viral

©2014Shaw Media

Ukraine decides against boycott, will compete in Sochi Paralympics – National

by admin on 29/07/2019

SOCHI, Russia – Ukraine will compete in the Winter Paralympics in Sochi despite Russia’s military moves in Crimea.

The Ukrainian Paralympic Committee decided against boycotting the games, announcing a few hours before Friday’s opening ceremony that its athletes would stay.

The decision came after discussions between Ukrainian officials and athletes over whether to pull out in light of the crisis back home and Russia’s military takeover of the Crimean peninsula.

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“We are staying at the Paralympics,” Valeriy Sushkevich, president of the National Paralympic Committee of Ukraine, said at a news conference.

However, he added that the circumstances were far from ideal.

“I don’t remember a situation when the organizing country during a Paralympics started an intervention on the territory of a country taking part,” Sushkevich said, according to the R-Sport agency. “I don’t know what to extent the team can focus on the result now.”

The Ukrainian official said the team would leave Sochi if there is any escalation of military conflict.

“I declare should this happen we will leave the games,” Sushkevich said. “We cannot possibly stay here in this case.”

He said he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday night to discuss the situation and request peace during the games.

Suskevich said he did not receive any guarantees but it was important that Putin agreed to listen.

Putin and IOC President Thomas Bach are expected to attend Friday’s opening ceremony. Several countries have decided not to send political leaders or dignitaries to the ceremony in protest of Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s decision to compete in Sochi was welcomed by the International Paralympic Committee.

“We want sport to prevail and a full complement of teams to compete in what we are confident will be a fantastic Paralympic Winter Games,” IPC President Phillip Craven said.

“All week the IPC has been working closely with the Ukrainian Paralympic Committee in an effort to keep them here in Sochi. The talking point of Sochi 2014 needs to be great sport and great athletes, not global politics.”

The IPC has appealed for Russia to recognize the U.N.’s Olympic Truce, which asks warring parties to cease hostilities during the Olympics and Paralympics.

About 575 athletes from 45 countries are due to compete in the 10-day Paralympics. Five sports are on the program – alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.

©2014The Canadian Press