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Sidney Crosby calls proposal to name Cole Harbour street after him ‘a compliment’

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

Sidney Crosby appeared pleased and possibly slightly embarrassed that a street in his Nova Scotia hometown might be renamed in his honour.

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“I don’t know,” the 28-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins captain said candidly after the NHL Awards in Las Vegas Wednesday night when asked what he thought about Halifax council’s vote to consider a Sidney Crosby street.

“Um, it’s a compliment. Definitely something that I don’t think necessarily needs to be done, but like I said it’s a compliment if they feel that strongly and want to do that then that means a lot to me.”

Crosby’s childhood coach proposed renaming Forest Hills Parkway in suburban Cole Harbour after the Penguins won their second Stanley Cup this month, with Crosby named MVP.

The local councillor, Lorelei Nicoll, brought the idea to regional council, which voted unanimously Tuesday to ask staff to prepare a report before a vote next month.

READ MORE: Council to debate renaming street in Sidney Crosby’s honour

Speaking to reporters in Las Vegas Wednesday, Crosby acknowledged the place his hometown has in his heart.

“You know, I think about Cole Harbour all the time, you know, my friends back there, and growing up there and everything that came along with that, so it’s a special place to me.”

Crosby also strongly hinted he will take the Stanley Cup with him to Nova Scotia, as he famously did after the Penguins won their first cup in 2009.

Back then, a military Sea King helicopter carrying Crosby and the cup landed on the flight deck of HMCS Preserver at the Halifax Dockyard. He stepped onto a wharf, the cup aloft over his head, to cheers from hundreds of fans. Thousands lined a parade route in his honour.

Asked if he’d try to top that moment with his second cup, Crosby said: “I don’t know if I’m going to try.

“It was pretty special … going up in the helicopter and bringing the cup in that way.

“I think second time around, those memories are unique and special; you don’t try to repeat them necessarily, you just try to reach as many people as you can and you know, that’s what I’ll do for a couple days as best as I can.”

Crosby is wildly popular in his hometown, where a “temporary” exhibit on him has remained open since 2008 at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.

According to Halifax municipal policy, a street can only be renamed for someone who is retired or has fulfilled “25 years or more of volunteer service.”

READ MORE: Pittsburgh Penguins beat San Jose Sharks to win Stanley Cup

However, Coun. Gloria McCluskey told her colleagues on Tuesday Crosby qualified as an exception, despite being only three 25 years ago.

“He’s such an ambassador for us, and he’s such a mentor for all the kids,” she said.

While no councillor contested the worthiness of the Pittsburgh Penguins captain, some raised concerns other worthy people were being overlooked.

“There are more than just athletes in the city. There are all kinds of individuals that are deserving of something,” Coun. Stephen Adams said. “We should be all-inclusive and allow everybody to be considered – not just athletes, as good as they are.”

With files from Joshua Clipperton in Las Vegas

Crown didn’t prove case against Travis Vader: defence

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

EDMONTON – The lawyer for a man accused of killing Lyle and Marie McCann, burning their motor home and hiding their bodies says the case against his client is just speculation.

Brian Beresh told a court in Edmonton the Crown has failed to prove the most basic elements of its case against Travis Vader.

In his closing arguments, he says there’s no evidence the St. Albert couple was even murdered.

“There is an absence of fundamental evidence in this case,” he stressed.

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    Beresh says the Crown’s chain of circumstantial evidence is good enough for vigilantes, but not the courts.

    READ MORE: Closing arguments underway in Travis Vader murder trial 

    The McCanns disappeared on July 3, 2010.

    Their bodies have never been found.

    READ MORE: ‘I plead not guilty to that charge’: Travis Vader at start of McCann murder trial 

    Thursday was the second day scheduled for closing arguments in the trial.

    Justice Denny Thomas said he will plan to have a verdict ready for Sept. 15.

    With files from Global News

Saskatchewan hunting guide, American hunters fined for illegal hunting

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

A Saskatchewan hunting guide and two American hunters have been fined a total of $9,800 for illegally hunting in the province.

An investigation into the trio started in November 2015 after a conservation officer stopped them in the Grand Chevlot Pasture, north of Payton, for a compliance check.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan beaver derby causes controversy

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    The officer found that the hunting guide, George Keewatin, was only authorized to provide guiding services on the Mosquito First Nation.

    The nearest Mosquito First Nation land was more than 70 kilometres away.

    The hunters had deer licences that were only valid on First Nations reserve land.

    “This type of activity hinders other outfitters who are following the rules,” said Ken Aube from the Ministry of Environment.

    “Our laws to manage outfitting, outfitter allocations and areas are designed to provide effective management of wildlife populations to ensure hunting opportunities are available now and into the future.”

    READ MORE: Three men face steep fines for illegal hunting near Weyburn, Sask.

    Keewatin, who is from Kamsack, pleaded guilty to guiding without a licence and was fined $7,000.

    The two hunters paid a voluntary fine of $1,400 each and were given a one-year hunting suspension.

Bowmanville Zoo to close after former director charged with animal cruelty offences

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

The Bowmanville Zoo is closing at the end of its 2016 season due to a significant decline in attendance, months after the zoo’s director was charged with animal cruelty-related offences amid allegations of abuse.

Angus Carroll, director of communications for the zoo, said it was “with great sadness” the facility was forced to close after attendance fell by more than 65 per cent following the allegations of animal mistreatment, which stemmed from a video released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in December.

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“The untrue allegations made by PETA in regards to a tiger incident have created a climate in which the zoo can no longer operate. People are staying away because they believe PETA’s allegations,” he said.

“The fact is, PETA released only a short piece of a long video and then misrepresented what transpired, even in that short part. What they said is not true, but it doesn’t matter. The damage is done.”

The hidden camera video appeared to show zoo director Michael Hackenberger hitting a tiger with a whip during a training session, while overheard saying he can use it to “carve my initials in their side.”

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it began investigating alleged abuse at the Bowmanville Zoo immediately after reviewing the PETA footage.

On April 13, the agency said Hackenberger was charged with four counts of causing an animal distress and one of failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for an animal. Three of the distress charges relate to the use of a whip.

READ MORE: Bowmanville Zoo director faces animal cruelty charges after questionable training practices

“Bowmanville Zoo owner Michael Hackenberger was caught on camera mercilessly whipping a tiger and boasting about the pleasure that he derives from intimidating and dominating animals—which dispels all doubts that this animal prison not only should close but also never should have been opened in the first place,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in an emailed statement to Global News.

“If that weren’t enough, there is also the tape of a TV segment in which Hackenberger swore at a baboon who failed to obey him quickly enough. The man’s a bully, he’s facing prosecution from the Crown for cruelty, and some condos will go nicely in Bowmanville.”

Caroll added that the Bowmanville Zoo – established in 1919 – is the oldest private zoo in North America. He said it was sad to see it closing three years shy of its 100th anniversary.

Bowmanville Zoo ‘upset’ animal park is closing after 97 years

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Bowmanville Zoo ‘upset’ animal park is closing after 97 years

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Bowmanville Zoo ‘exhausted’ all options in attempt to stay open

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Bowmanville Zoo explains timing of closing

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Bowmanville Zoo looking for new homes for animals



“The zoo attendance is down dramatically, and in fact that hardly captures it. Catastrophically. So, there just isn’t enough money to run this zoo at this time,” he said, adding that dozens of employees would lose their jobs.

“They can see that there aren’t many people here. Many of them are heartbroken to say the least. People think running a zoo is just a bunch of animals in cages but that’s just not the case. A lot of our handlers and keepers are very attached to the animals and they’re very sad.”

Caroll said the zoo was working to find new homes for certain animals, with large predators taking priority.

READ MORE: New PETA video shows questionable training practices at Bowmanville Zoo

“The large cats, wolves, baboons. We believe we’ll find homes for all the animals but that may take some time. There probably will be animals on this property for a year, maybe more,” he said.

“All options that we have have been exhausted. You can’t run a zoo without paying people to take care of it and the money to run it and we feel this is a tragic example of being tried in the public court before being tried in the real court.”

Caroll said Hackenberger believes he is innocent of all charges, which is something he said the zoo staff agree with.

READ MORE: Dozens gather in front of Bowmanville Zoo to protest animal abuse allegations

“But the verdict is in, people vote with their feet. And they have voted here. There are people staying away in droves and we can’t afford to operate the zoo,” he said, adding that there had not yet been discussions with the Toronto Zoo on the transfer of animals.

“It depends on people. It seems like a silly answer but it’s the only one. If people started to come back to the zoo in droves would that make a difference? Yes. But the sort of PR campaign that’s been carried on against the zoo by PETA is very effective and they’ve convinced a lot of people that the work we do here is not important.”

Caroll said zoo officials would put their “anger aside” over the allegations to support the staff and animals, but added it looked like this was the zoo’s “last chapter.”

The OSPCA said in a statement Thursday they could not comment on the details of the case because it remains before the courts.

With files from and Christina Stevens

‘We care Sandra. We want to help’: Police make plea to Giesbrecht, mother of missing children

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

WINNIPEG —; Winnipeg police are asking Sandra Giesbrecht, the mother who allegedly abducted her two children, to “do the right thing” and bring her kids home.

Montana, 11, and Josh Giesbrecht, 9, went missing from a residence in the St. James area near Lumsden Avenue Monday night. They are believed to be with their mother who police have issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for.

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READ MORE: Canada-wide arrest warrant issued for Sandra Giesbrecht, mom alleged to have abducted 2 kids

Detective Sgt. Shaunna Neufeld from the Winnipeg Police Missing Persons Unit, made a public announcement Thursday, asking Giesbrecht, 44, to come forward.

“I’m asking Sandra for you to connect with me so we can talk. I know in your heart you want to do the right thing,” said Neufeld.

Neufeld said she has reached out to Giesbrecht every day since the investigation started, letting her know she wants to “to resolve this peacefully.”

“I understand that you are in a difficult situation. I want to help you,” pleaded Neufeld. “I’m a mother too Sandra, of three children and I know the unconditional love you have for your children.”

WATCH: Winnipeg Police Missing Persons Unit detective outlines the facts as they are currently known in the disappearance of the Giesbrecht children

Winnipeg police make plea to Sandra Giesbrecht, mother of missing children

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Winnipeg police make plea to Sandra Giesbrecht, mother of missing children

02:02

Canada-wide arrest warrant issued for Sandra Giebsrecht

00:52

Giesbrecht children believed to have been picked up by small white four-door vehicle



Giesbrecht is alleged to have abducted or had help abducting her two children who are not supposed to be in her custody.

READ MORE: Court documents foreshadow possible parental abduction of Giesbrecht kids

Police said they have a better description of the car believed to be used in the alleged abduction.

“It may have been an eco-type, small, four door white car with black trim around the windows,” said Neufeld. “We believe Sandra used this vehicle to take the kids.”

Detectives want anyone who may have been in contact with Giesbrecht, or her children, over the past three days to reach out.”

“You need to do the right thing,” said Neufeld. “Those of you who have been in contact or supporting Sandra, you need to help us all as a community bring this to a peaceful quick conclusion.”

Sandra Giesbrecht.

Winnipeg Police Service handout

Giesbrecht and her ex-husband have been embroiled in a bitter custody battle for nearly three years. Just a few months ago he was given sole custody of the children.

“This is really, really important and if you have information this is not about taking sides,” said Christy Dzikowicz from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. “This is about getting these kids home safely. This isn’t a good situation for them to be in. There is no time for hesitation.”

A Canada-wide warrant for Giesbrecht was issued on Wednesday and remains in effect. Everyone involved in the case want to see these two children brought home safely.

“A life running from the police and from this situation and from home isn’t good,” said Dzikowicz. “This would not be a joyful situation. This would be a stressful situation. It’s a bit of a desperate situation.”

Montana is about 4’5” and was wearing a yellow Minion t-shirt when she was last seen. Josh is 4’2” and was wearing a blue sweater over a baseball t-shirt.

Police are not issuing an AMBER Alert because they do not feel the case meets the criteria for one.

READ MORE: When are AMBER Alerts issued?

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact the Winnipeg Police Service Missing Persons Unit at 204-986-6250.

WATCH: Canada-wide arrest warrant issued for Sandra Giesbrecht

Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron new faces of Chinese anti-meat campaign

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron have been tapped by Chinese officials to help lead a campaign encouraging Chinese to eat less meat.

The Hollywood celebrities’ photos will appear on billboards across China alongside Chinese actress Li Bingbing, and they will appear in commercials urging people to eat less meat, according to environmental advocacy group WildAid, which has partnered with the Chinese Nutrition Society in this campaign.

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    The government’s new dietary guidelines, released in May, suggest that Chinese people eat between 40-75 grams of meat per day — reducing their current meat consumption by half.

    By comparison, Canadians eat about 237 grams of meat per day, according to 2014 statistics from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

    In a video produced by WildAid, Cameron says that he supports eating less meat for environmental reasons. “How can I call myself an environmentalist if I’m contributing to environmental degradation by what I eat?”

    In one of the commercials, Schwarzenegger staggers through a desert, presumably blighted by the environmental effects of meat agriculture.

    “Less meat. Less heat. More life,” says the sweaty celebrity in the commercial.

    Like the American food pyramid, China’s new “dietary pagoda” has a base of grains, followed by fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, dairy and sweets.

What’s open and closed this Fête nationale

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

MONTREAL – Rushing out the door to head to the bank? Need to stock up on goodies at the grocery store for your Fête nationale barbecue party?

You might want to check this list of what’s open and closed this Saint-Jean-Baptiste holiday:

What’s open

Small grocery stores and dépanneurs as well as some restaurants, gas stations, bookstores and other local stores will be open.

Montreal ecocentres will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in keeping with regular summer schedules

Pickup services for household garbage, green waste, kitchen waste, recyclables and bulky items will take place following regular schedules, except in the following boroughs:

Lachine: Garbage pickup will take place on Monday, June 27.Ville-Marie: Pickups are cancelled.Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension: Garbage and bulky item pickups are cancelled. The food waste pickup scheduled for Friday, June 24 in designated areas is postponed until Saturday, June 25.

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READ MORE: 6 summer markets you must visit in Montreal

Public markets, including Jean-Talon, Maisonneuve and Atwater, will be open to allow you to celebrate the culinary arts of the province. Schedules differ.

The Bonsecours Market will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Pointe-à-Callière Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.

The Biodome will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Botanical Garden and the Insectatarium will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

What’s closed

Federal and provincial government offices, as well as most municipal offices will be closed inlcuding borough offices, Accès Montréal and other points of service.

The municipal courthouse on Gosford Street will also be closed. For information, call: 514 872-2964

Banks, large grocery stores, most retail stores and malls will be closed as will all SAQ locations.

Most arenas, swimming pools, libraries and sports centres, will be closed, though exterior pools and tennis courts may be open.

Transport

The STM, STL and RTL will be running on a holiday schedule. Certain STM bus routes have been modified to accommodate Fête Nationale celebrations, check the STM website to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

AMT commuter trains will run on modified schedules depending on the line.

Parking meters are still operational and parking restrictions apply.

Jessica Mitchell, Canadian country singer, hears her song on radio for first time

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

It’s rare to capture the moment when a musician catapults into the next realm — from obscurity into the public eye — but Toronto-based country singer Jessica Mitchell managed to do just that.

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Mitchell, born in Toronto but raised in London, Ont., shot a video of herself in her car hearing her new song Workin’ on Whiskey on the radio for the very first time. The singer posted to Facebook, and as of this writing, the video has over 50,000 likes.

READ MORE: Dolly Parton to play in rural Canada for 2016 North American tour

In the video, which you can watch above, Mitchell chokes back tears and is blown away by the experience.

“All of this has been overwhelming in such a great way,” Mitchell said to Global News. “My heart is full of love and appreciation for the people in my corner right now, both fans and family. I’m taking it all in stride and enjoying reading the amazing messages from everyone that are full of love and hope. The world is a wonderful place. I’m grateful.”

Mitchell has a debut EP out, Hold Onto The Light, which is available on iTunes. She has spent the last few years travelling between Toronto and Nashville, collaborating with some of the top songwriters in country music.

Previously, she had been repeatedly told that she’s “not a radio artist,” and several stations refused to play her music, deeming it “too dark.”

READ MORE: Country music labels remain silent as artists condemn LGBT laws

At the CMAO Awards, Mitchell’s performance of Workin’ on Whiskey got the night’s only standing ovation.

Country 104 in London played the single Wednesday in what could very well be the start of an amazing career; she has been called “Country’s Adele.”

Mitchell is currently touring as the opening act for actor and musician Kiefer Sutherland.

Follow @CJancelewicz
2015 CMA Award Top Nominees | PrettyFamous

Why the Arctic snow is turning pink and why it’s a bad sign

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

While pink snow has been known to occur in the Arctic, a new study reveals that it is playing a bigger role in the changing climate.

Pink snow occurs as a result of algae. During the months that it’s warm in the Arctic, a thin layer of meltwater forms on ice and snow. The sunlight and the water are ideal growing conditions for algae and they begin to thrive.

READ MORE: Warming Arctic creating smaller migratory birds

The problem with the pink snow has to do with albedo, or the amount of reflectivity an object gives off. White reflects the most light; darker colours absorb light. The more algae that forms, the less sunlight it reflects.

Snow algae bloom in red on ice and snow and thereby darken the surface. This accelerates the thawing of ice.

Liane G. Benning, GFZ

The researchers from German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ and the University of Leeds studied 40 samples from 21 glaciers across the Pan-European Arctic, from Greenland, Iceland and parts of Sweden.

What they found was that the same algal species was responsible for causing the pink snow across the Arctic. This creates a sort of snowball effect: the more glaciers and snow melt, the more algae forms. The more algae forms, the more sunlight it absorbs, causing more melting.

GFZ scientists investigate the snow algae to get more information on the diversity of these micro organisms.

Stefanie Lutz, GFZ

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    That is bad news for the Arctic, a region that is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet. The researchers found that the algal blooms were decreasing albedo by 13 per cent over one melt season.

    READ MORE: This is what the melting Arctic sea ice looks like

    “Our results point out that the ‘bio-albedo’ effect is important and has to be considered in future climate models,” said lead author Stefanie Lutz in a statement.

    The scientists hope further research will be conducted to better understand the role micro-organisms are playing in a changing climate.

    Follow @NebulousNikki

Federal government creates housing working group with Ontario and B.C.

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

TORONTO —; The federal government is creating a working group on housing with the Ontario and British Columbia governments as well as officials from Vancouver and Toronto amid warnings that housing prices in those cities are rising at an unsustainable pace.

Overall, the housing market is “sound,” but pockets of risk have emerged since the financial crisis, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a speech Thursday.

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The government has already taken steps to protect borrowers and lenders, Morneau said, but more steps can be taken, if warranted, to help maintain a stable housing market.

READ MORE: New home construction surges in BC, Ontario as more condos go up

“These measures are taking some time to take effect, but we do know that they will help,” he said. “I want to say though, if further steps are warranted, further steps can be taken to protect both borrowers and lenders, helping to maintain a strong, stable and secure housing market and the economy over the long term.”

Morneau recently increased the minimum down payment for homes over $500,000, a measure aimed specifically at cooling the Vancouver and Toronto markets.

The working group has not yet been formed – Morneau said he spoke to the respective finance ministers and mayors about it earlier this week – but it will meet through the summer to review factors that affect housing supply and demand, affordability and stability of the market.

“While the federal government does have some levers under its control, we don’t have all of them,” he said.

“This, in our estimation, is a shared responsibility with provincial governments and municipalities having regulatory and taxation powers to respond to unique local concerns.”

The Bank of Canada has warned that housing prices in Vancouver and Toronto are rising at an unsustainable pace that is beyond local economic fundamentals.

It noted that year-over-year house price growth in the greater Vancouver area hit 30 per cent last month, up from 15 per cent in December. In Toronto, the report said prices increased 15 per cent, compared to 10 per cent six months ago.

The Toronto Real Estate Board has reported that the average price for a detached home in the city last month was $1.28 million, while the average price for all homes was $782,051.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said that its benchmark price for detached properties has risen above $1.5 million.