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Edmonton public disappointed no new schools announced in Budget 2014 – Edmonton

by admin on 29/04/2019

EDMONTON – Alberta’s education system will be seeing a boost in funding compared to last year, but school boards worry it will not be enough to keep up with the growing demand.

The government will spend about $6.5 billion on Kindergarten to Grade 12 education to accommodate more than 18,000 new students this year, Finance Minster Fred Horner said.

“So Alberta’s kids will continue to have access to leading edge learning opportunities and so we can continue to strengthen the best education system in Canada,” he said as he tabled his budget Thursday.

Watch below: Budget 2014 looking to support the ‘best education system in Canada’

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  • Alberta government unveils balanced 2014 budget

  • WATCH: 2014 Alberta Budget speech highlights

That amounts to about a 3.2 per cent increase in operational funding, or $217 million in additional dollars.

“That’s a huge increase by anybody’s margins nowadays,” said Education Minister Jeff Johnson. “Alberta continues to be the best-funded education system in the country, so if you boil down our dollars to a per capita or a per student basis, we rival anybody and are at the tops of the country.”

While the increase is welcome news to the Edmonton Public School Board, the board chair says she’s disappointed to hear there will be no new schools built, apart from the ones previously announced by the province.

“We need new schools,” Sarah Hoffman said. “And to hear that there isn’t any money in the budget for new schools is a big disappointment for us and for our parents.

“We’ve had 46 new neighbourhoods built in Edmonton since 2005; those families are expecting schools. And also, families living in mature parts of the city are expecting their schools to be well maintained.”

READ MORE: Alberta government to build three new Edmonton schools

Infrastructure isn’t the only concern for the province’s educators. The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) says the budget will do little to improve “eroded classroom conditions.”

“It will not resolve the significant class size problem that exists in schools today. The government is building new schools, but it also needs to put teachers in them,” said ATA President Mark Ramsankar.

Johnson maintains this budget is delivering on promises and announcements made by the government.

A division-by-division breakdown of the budget number’s has been posted on Alberta Education’s website.

Follow @CaleyRamsay

With files from Ross Neitz, Global News.

©2014Shaw Media

2 women injured after shooting inside York University Student Centre – Toronto

by admin on 29/04/2019

Watch the video above: Security stepped up on York University after shooting. Mark McAllister reports. 

TORONTO – Toronto police are asking for the public’s help identifying a man they believe fired a gun inside York University which ended up injuring two female students Thursday night.

The shooting happened just after 10:30 p.m. in a food court at the Student Centre.

Police say a man was traveling through the area when he discharged a firearm.

One of the victims was shot in the leg and suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.

A report by York University’s student newspaper, Excalibur, said the second woman was injured by splinters when the bullet pierced through a chair.

The shooting prompted a campus lockdown which was lifted at about 1 a.m.

Police believe the two women were not targeted.

WATCH: New footage show the moments following a shooting at York University Thursday. WARNING: Video contains graphic images which may offend some viewers. Discretion is advised. 

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The male suspect is described as black, mid-20s, 5’8″-6′, with a black hooded sweatshirt and black coat. Anyone with information is urged to contact police.

York University’s President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri released a statement Friday expressing his thoughts and concerns for the two students injured in the shooting.

“Our immediate focus is on supporting the two students and their families, and in providing counseling support for York Community members,” Shoukri wrote.

“Senior University representatives have been with the victims at the hospital, and I am appreciative to hear that both are receiving the treatment they need. I am thankful to understand their injuries are non-life threatening.”

The president’s statement also mentioned that the University has taken measures to enhance safety on campus, including increasing security patrols and Toronto police presence.

A spokesperson for the school confirmed to Global News the increased security will be reevaluated following next week “based on the status of the case and campus security requirements.”

The Excalibur posted a video of the incident on YouTube showing paramedics attending to one of the victims.

©2014Shaw Media

“#PrayForEddie” tweets Luongo; Canucks continue spiral with 6-1 loss

by admin on 29/04/2019

The Vancouver Canucks have been the worst team in the NHL in 2014, and it doesn’t show signs of stopping soon.

A 6-1 loss to the Dallas Stars tonight was the latest step in the descent of the Canucks this season.

Dallas quickly jumped on a listless Canuck team, scoring three goals on Eddie Lack in the first 12 minutes, and prompting a sympathetic tweet from Roberto Luongo.

But Luongo’s prayers didn’t count for much on this night, as Dallas scored three more times, with Tyler Seguin eventually notching a hat trick. Lack was pulled after the second period when the score was 5-1 and replaced by Jacob Markstrom, one of the two players acquired for Luongo earlier this week.

In 24 games since the beginning of 2014, the Canucks have won just five games, gained 13 points, and scored 38 goals – all worst in the NHL by considerable margins.

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Vancouver’s only goal came on a fluky play, as an Alex Edler dump-in hit a stanchion and allowed Zac Dalpe to shoot into a wide open net at 18:15 of the second period. It was their first goal in over 140 minutes.

“It’s like the team is completely incoherent now, they don’t seem to play well with one another,” said Squire Barnes on News Hour Plus.

“It is shocking how quickly it went from decent to horrible. Yes they’ve had injuries, but it’s more than injuries. They are the lost boys.”

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  • Canucks fans upset with Luongo trade, direct their anger at GM

    Luongo’s surprise trade the beginning of Canucks rebuild?

©2014Shaw Media

Save the Children PSA imagines civil war in the UK – National

by admin on 29/04/2019

TORONTO – Save the Children UK has released a short PSA (above) stylized after the popular ‘Second a Day’ videos that have been circulating on the Internet.

The video, titled ‘Most Shocking Second a Day Video,’ shows a young British girl having her life torn apart by war.

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It opens with the girl blowing out candles on her birthday cake. We then get a glimpse of her happy life with quick shots of her playing with toys, spending time with family, and going to school.

Look closely and you’ll see signs in the background that not all is right.

A newspaper headline reads “Government declares Martial Law,” neighbours are arguing, news clips show airstrikes, and people are frantically running out of houses with their belongings.

We then see the girl in the midst of an explosion. Then dirty and cowering in the back of car with sirens and flashing lights going off.

In the end the girl appears to be in a hospital gown as she’s given something on a metal dish with a candle in it in place of a birthday cake. It then fades to the words “Just because it isn’t happening here, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”

The video was produced by Save the Children to mark the 3-year anniversary of the crisis in Syria, which, according to a report from last November,  has claimed the lives of over 11,000 children.

The campaign has had over 8 million views since being uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday.

SOUND OFF: Do you find the PSA effective in getting the message across? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

©2014Shaw Media

Winnipeg’s firefighters join the battle against frozen pipes – Winnipeg

by admin on 29/04/2019

WINNIPEG – The Serfas family has been without water for seven days, and on Thursday, they received a gift they won’t soon forget.

Three 20-litre jugs of water, courtesy of Winnipeg’s fire department.

“It felt really good and they were so friendly and so considerate, it made me feel good,” Audrey Serfas told Global News.

They’re among the hundreds in the city without water, but one of the first to have water delivered to their home.

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More than 700 properties in Winnipeg have no running water because pipes are freezing and the city is unable to thaw them as quickly as new ones freeze.

City officials said it’s all hands on deck.

“We’re viewing this as a city emergency,” said Diane Sacher, Manager of Water Services. “Not just a department emergency — we’re applying all resources that are available.”

As of Thursday, Winnipeg’s bravest are stretching their resources to become the city’s newest water lifeline.

About a dozen fire halls will be turned into watering stations where empty jugs can be refilled. Residents unable to leave their homes can have water brought to their doors.

“When we’re in a situation like this, we’re in an anomaly,” said Bill Clark, acting chief of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service. “It’s a weather-related event and it’s a situation we will engage in the community to enhance the comfort level and livability.”

Earlier this week, the city said it would install hoses between houses without water and neighbouring properties as an interim solution — but only 89 homes have had them installed so far. City officials said those who want a hose installation can have it done the day it’s requested.

“If your water line is frozen and you contact us right away, we can get you water service almost immediately as long as you have a co-operative neighbour,” said Mayor Sam Katz.

As the backlog of frozen pipes grows, and with the frost more than 1.5 metres deep, some Winnipeggers fear they’ll be forced to live with these conditions into the summer.

©2014Shaw Media

DFO plans to rescue trapped sea lion next week – BC

by admin on 29/03/2019

A sea lion trapped in what appears to be fishing line near Fanny Bay on Vancouver Island will have to wait a little longer to be rescued.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says an expert team and resources required to set the animal free should be ready to go by next week, but there is no guarantee that the disentanglement will be successful.

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The sea lion that has been named Kiyo by local residents has its neck wrapped up twice by what appears to be fishing line that is now growing into his skin.

Wildlife photographer Netonia Chatelaine has been documenting Kiyo’s struggle for the last two weeks and says she is concerned about his well-being.

“As I keep taking photos, I can see [the line] is growing into his skin now, and it is pretty heart-wrenching to see. [He] is screaming for help, and we are his only voice.”

But, Lisa Spaven, marine mammal research technician with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says Kiyo appears to be in good condition.

“Although it is entangled and has probably been this way for a year or more, its wound is not infected. It appears to leave the area to feed. It is alert from time to time,” says Spaven. “These are all good signs that it is not in dire straits yet.”

DFO has been in consultation with marine mammal rescue at the Vancouver Aquarium and their veterinary staff.

“We have been working to devise a plan,” says Spaven. “This is a very precarious situation in that the animal is not in an ideal location for disentanglement. We are making sure that we’ve got all of our ducks in a row, so that we can have the most successful effort possible.”

She says to remove the line, they would have to tranquilize Kiyo, who may drown if the tranquilization cocktail is not exactly right.

“When these animals get spooked, they jump in the water. That is their first instinct. Once they are in the water, recovering an animal this large is very challenging.”

Another challenge in helping Kiyo is assembling a team with enough expertise to attempt the rescue.

Spaven says DFO has not done a lot of disentanglements of sea lions here in B.C. because of lack of experience.

“Disentanglement is not a perfect science and we are always trying to tweak our technique. We do not want to kill an animal in our attempt to save it. Because [Kiyo] is not at death’s door, we have some time to make sure we are doing the right thing.”

Spaven says it is very easy for marine mammals to get entangled in all sorts of debris.

“Best thing people can do is, if they see debris in the water or on the beach, to pick it up. And if it is too big to pick up, certainly report it.”

Mayor Nenshi says he expected more from provincial budget – Calgary

by admin on 29/03/2019

CALGARY- Mayor Naheed Nenshi says even though the City of Calgary was promised a lot leading up to today’s provincial budget, in the end, the city got very little.

Nenshi says early analysis of the budget shows very little money was allotted for public transportation to be used in the GreenTRIP transit program.

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“We set aside nearly $1 billion at the municipal level,” says Nenshi.  “We got that money and that will build seven busways across all of the city touching every quadrant and the GreenTRIP money that was reaffirmed today is a part of that so I was very happy to see that. However, our needs are $13 billion… so if you want to see more LRT, you want to see more rail, then the federal and particularly the provincial governments need to come to the table in a much more significant way than they have.”

He also says the province’s commitment to build over 450 new housing units across Alberta is inadequate, saying the city of Calgary alone could use all those units. Nenshi says he plans to approach the Redford government for more money to secure more affordable housing for Calgarians in need of it.

But Nenshi also points to some positive news in Finance Minister Doug Horner’s budget. The new budget reveals $1.8 billion has been allocated to completing the southwest Calgary ring road. The province says it will tender contracts for the 41 kilometre section in several stages. But the Redford government says it still cannot predict when the project will be finished as it is still waiting for Ottawa’s approval of its deal with Tsuu T’ina First Nation.

-with files from Gary Bobrovitz

©2014Shaw Media

Customer voices concerns over security with nighttime drop off at auto repair shops – Calgary

by admin on 29/03/2019

CALGARY- Andreas Sofocleous needed to get new tires for his pickup truck last month.He arranged to leave it outside a Blaskin and Lane service centre the night before his morning appointment. Story continues below

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“I spoke with the guy at the counter on the Saturday when we negotiated the price of the tires,” says Sofocleous. “I notified him that I would be dropping it off after hours and he told me to use the drop slot on the door.”     He says as soon as he slipped the keys through the slot and they fell on the floor, he had second thoughts.Later that night, the business was broken into and Sofocleous’ keys and truck were stolen.He says the business told him they weren’t responsible since it was a break-in and his vehicle was outside.Insurance experts say that may be true if the garage or dealer isn’t found to be negligent or careless.“If the vehicle was easily stolen, easily vandalized or damaged because we didn’t take enough reasonable steps for the protection of that vehicle, there’s a very good chance that garage man’s going to be liable”, says Ross Bucsis with Palliser Insurance.But Sofocleous says he feels they should have better security for key dropoff.“I dropped my key off the way they instructed and in the drop box they supply and it was inside their facility at the time my key was taken and my truck was stolen.”The Independent Automotive Association says there are no standards or guidelines for night time dropboxes.“They range from a slot in the door to a box behind it, to sometimes even drop on a carpet which we don’t recommend at all,” says Art Wilderman with the IAA. “Some of them are like bank safes you can drop into, it’s just a matter of what the shop has decided to invest in with what they can afford to invest in.”Sofocleous is speaking with a lawyer about suing the business and for that reason Blaskin and Lane will not talk about the situation.

©2014Shaw Media

2 killed as gangs clash with residents over barricades in Venezuela – National

by admin on 29/03/2019

CARACAS, Venezuela – A National Guardsman and a civilian were killed Thursday as gangs of government supporters on motorcycles rode into east Caracas neighbourhoods to remove street barricades placed by opposition protesters.

The pitched battle in a mixed industrial and residential district heightened tensions on the same day the Venezuelan government expelled foreign diplomats for the second time in a month.

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More than 100 men on motorcycles carrying pipes and rocks swarmed Los Ruices in the incident, trying to force their way into some buildings. Residents screamed “murderers, murderers” from rooftops and the motorcyclists taunted them from below, urging them to come down and fight.

Venezuelans fed up with food shortages and unchecked violence have been staging nearly daily street protests since mid-February, snarling traffic with barricades of garbage, furniture and burning tires. At least 21 people have been killed in related violence, by government count, in the country’s worst unrest in years.

President Nicolas Maduro’s administration shows no signs of crumbling from several weeks of nearly daily demonstrations, but the country appears in a stalemate. Protesters are mostly from the middle and upper classes although they do include poorer Venezuelans who don’t protest in their home districts for fear of pro-government paramilitaries.

Sucre Mayor Carlos Ocariz said residents of Los Ruices reported hearing gunshots after motorcyclists began dismantling the barricades. Some apartment dwellers began banging pots and raining down bottles to express their anger, he said. In the melee, a 24-year-old motorcycle taxi driver was shot dead.

“I’m not going to be irresponsible and accuse anyone,” Ocariz said. “I condemn the violence and the shots must be investigated, but I also reject the brutal repression” of security forces.

When National Guardsmen arrived to secure the area, a 25-year-old sergeant was shot through the neck and killed. Ocariz said that according to district police, who report to him, in both cases the men’s wounds seemed to indicate the shots came from above.

Pro-government motorcycle gangs who reside in slums served as street-level enforcers for the late President Hugo Chavez and continue to menace opponents of the ruling socialists. The opposition claims they are bankrolled by the government.

Maduro, meeting with U.S. actor Danny Glover, said on state TV that the slain motorcyclist, Jose Gregorio Amaris, used his motorcycle as a taxi and was clearing debris in order to do his job.

He called those who build street barricades “vandals who hate the people” and said a second motorcyclist was seriously injured.

Among opposition demands is that the government disarm the motorcycle-riding paramilitaries, called “colectivos.”

A day after Maduro said he was breaking diplomatic relations with Panama over its push for Organization of American States-sponsored mediation in the crisis, his government expelled Panama’s ambassador and three other diplomats, giving them 48 hours to leave.

Last month, Venezuela expelled three U.S. diplomats, accusing them of conspiring with the opposition, a claim that Washington denied.

Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said Venezuela also had suspended debt negotiations over $1 billion owed to Panamanian exporters.

In the latest development affecting what the opposition calls a full-scale government assault on freedom of expression, a newspaper critical of the government said it was the target of a criminal defamation suit filed by National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello.

Editor Teodoro Petkoff wrote in the paper, TalCual, that the Caracas judge overseeing the case had ordered him and three other executives as well as columnist Carlos Genatios not to leave the country without permission.

Cabello accused the newspaper of printing something he claimed never to have said: That if people don’t like crime they should leave the country.

A conviction would carry a prison sentence of two to four years.

Associated Press writer Christopher Sherman and cameraman Marko Alvarez contributed to this report.

©2014The Canadian Press

Iveson disappointed with lack of direct LRT funding in provincial budget – Edmonton

by admin on 29/03/2019

EDMONTON – Mayor Don Iveson says he’s a little disappointed the province did not allocate any new funding specifically for Edmonton’s southeast LRT expansion in its 2014 budget Thursday.

“There’s no new commitment to transit here,” he said. “(We are) not in a position to celebrate anything today.”

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  • WATCH: 2014 Alberta Budget speech highlights

  • Critics slam Alberta’s ‘debt-ridden’ budget

The City of Edmonton has secured commitments for all but $365 million for its $1.8 billion Valley LRT Line to Mill Woods. The City expects $150 million to come from the federal government, and was hoping to see the remainder of the money come from the province.

As late as Wednesday, during his State of the City address, Iveson made a personal plea to Premier Alison Redford for LRT funding.

“Madam Premier, never has the opportunity and timing to fully build out Edmonton’s LRT network been more worthy of your government’s leadership, commitment and support,” he said. “Show that you understand the needs of this city in the same way that my council does. Show Alberta’s capital city that we are worth investing in.”

READ MORE: Mayor Don Iveson makes his first State of the City address to record crowd

Thursday’s budget outlined a slight increase to funds available to municipalities through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI), and a three-year roll out of previously announced GreenTrip funding.

“You are seeing dollars that have been positioned into our cash flow to fulfill the commitment of the second $1 billion,” Finance Minister Doug Horner said of the GreenTrip fund.

“We’re committed to it,” added Transportation Minister Wayne Drysdale. “I’ve talked to Mayor Iveson and he’s advocating strongly on behalf of the City. And he’s told me they don’t need the money in the first couple years.”

But Iveson says he needs a real commitment by the province by April, or he worries the city may lose the federal funding.

“My interpretation of long-term commitment to GreenTrip isn’t just saying ‘we’re going to roll out all the money we announced several years ago by 2019.’ And announce this year’s money like it’s new, when it’s actually money that we’re putting into the NAIT line today, because it’s money that has been announced previously.

“Today wasn’t the drop-dead date for southeast LRT completion by 2019. Really, the end of April is. So we have a few more months to continue discussions with the province on this,” he said.

While he remains optimistic, Iveson showed clear frustration at City Hall Thursday, saying he’s received “mixed messages” from the province over the past several weeks.

“If we haven’t found a way to do it, then we’re going to lose another construction season and the province will have to explain who should be paying for the $60 to $80 million worth of cost escalation, and answer to the people of Mill Woods who have been waiting 40 years for this LRT line.”

A few Edmonton city councillors also expressed their frustrations with the budget via 桑拿会所 Thursday afternoon.

Iveson says the city will continue to work with the province to try to find a way to make the expansion possible.

Follow @CaleyRamsay

With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News.

©2014Shaw Media