Reported flu cases increase slightly in Saskatoon

Nov 15 2018

SASKATOON – There are renewed calls from the Saskatoon Health Region to roll up your sleeves and get a flu shot. Officials say they have seen a slight increase in the number of confirmed influenza cases.

There have been 67 cases reported so far this season.

That’s a big change from the 451 cases reported at this time last year.

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  • Should you be worried about H1N1 in Saskatchewan?

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  • Flu season off to slow start, expected to increase in coming weeks

    “This hasn’t been a typical influenza season, and we are just now beginning to see an upswing in confirmed influenza cases that could last well into March,” said Dr. Simon Kapaj, the region’s deputy health minister.

    “Of particular concern are the health risks that seasonal influenza poses to our most vulnerable populations, including the elderly, young children, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems or other chronic health conditions, and their caregivers.”

    Officials expect influenza activity in the province will peak in the third or fourth week of February.

    READ MORE: Why this year’s flu season is off to a slow, nearly non-existent start

    Those looking to get a flu immunization shot can do so by booking an appointment with their nearest public health office, making an appointment with a doctor or visiting a pharmacy offering the vaccine. More information is available online from the health region.

    To date, over 83,000 people in the Saskatoon Health Region have been immunized, including 63 per cent of the region’s staff.

    Meaghan Craig contributed to this story

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WATCH: Hé Ho, Festival du Voyageur gets ready to open to public

Nov 15 2018

WINNIPEG —; Manitobans, get ready to put on your sashes and throw on your plaid, the 47th annual Festival du Voyageur is about to kick off. The ten day winter event begins Friday at 5 p.m.

Festival organizers, as well as Premier Greg Selinger, Mayor Brian Bowman, and MP Dan Vandall were outside Fort Gibraltor Thursday morning to give the public a sneak preview.

READ MORE: MAP: Festival du Voyageur snow sculptures around Winnipeg

“It’s a great honour to be here,” Bowman said. “To welcome Winnipeggers, Canadians and visitors from around the world, who will be visiting us at the Voyageur Park. It’s a beautifu festival that celebrates our Francophone and Métis culture.”

Premier Greg Selinger, MP Dan Vandal and Mayor Brian Bowman celebrating the Festival du Voyageur.

Global News

Official Festival Family, The Sorin family.

MP Dan Dan Vandal helping unveil the CMHR exhibit, Let Them Howl.

This year’s festival has lots of new events, such as a Valentine’s Day “Single’s Day”,  Karaoke Night, as well as a board game night.

WATCH: Mayor Brian Bowman, Premier Greg Selinger and MP Dan Vandall outside Fort Gibraltor Thursday morning, celebrating the Festival du Voyageur

Mayor Bowman calls for residents to ‘Be Voyageur’


Mayor Bowman calls for residents to ‘Be Voyageur’


Premier Selinger kicks off Festival du Voyageur


Saint Boniface–Saint Vital MP hypes up Winnipegers for Festival du Voyageur

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Although there is plenty of new activities to take in, there will also be all of the old favourites. Snow and ice sculpting, traditional arts and trades and crafts demonstrations, snowshoe workshops and tours will run throughout the festival.

READ MORE: Festival du Voyageur showcases this year’s entertainment line up

“Winnipeg is buzzing with excitement and people are embracing winter like never before,” said Dan Leclerc, president of Festival du Voyageur. “Tomorrow Voyageur Park will open its doors and welcome tens of thousands of visitors.”

The organizers also unveiled the new Canadian Human Rights Museum exhibit, Let Them Howl, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of Manitoba women winning the right to vote.

CMHR Exhibit: Let Them Howl

Festival du Voyageur kicks runs from February 12 to the 21.

The ten day festival pass for adults costs $32. Youth between the ages of 13 and 17 can get the pass for $16, while kids aged six to 12 cost $11 a head. Kids under the age of five get in free. Eager beavers can knock a few bucks off each of those prices by buying pre-sale tickets.

Single-day passes cost $18 for adults, $11 for youth and $9 for kids over the age of five.

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Undercover Uber: The inside scoop on ride-sharing

Nov 15 2018

MONTREAL – With tensions rising between Uber and the taxi industry, the pressure is on municipal and provincial governments to find solutions.

Montreal taxi drivers have been protesting the ride-sharing service, shutting down streets and blocking access to the airport.

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Some have even gone as far as smashing the phone of an Uber-driving cabbie.

Drivers claim the ride-sharing service is against the law and is eliminating their jobs, but that didn’t stop the City of Edmonton from legalising the service.

READ MORE: Edmonton paves the way in Canada for Uber

This puts the ball into the court of the provincial governments to figure out their stance on the issue.

For now, Quebec has agreed to call a parliamentary commission to look into Uber’s entry into the marketplace.

Quebec’s Transport Minister Jacques Daoust warned that “disruptive technologies” like Uber are probably here to stay, but that a solution has to be found.

Christopher Nardi, a journalist at the Journal de Montréal, sat down with Senior Anchor Jamie Orchard to discuss his first-hand experience working as an undercover Uber driver for a week.

“Just in my first day, I was really stunned to notice all the clients are really young,” Nardi said.

“I can count on my two hands the number of clients I had over 30.”

He believes the demographic of Uber users reflects the service’s low price and convenience, since students were his biggest clientèle.

He mused that the large attraction to Uber could mean the future of transportation may very well be ride-sharing services rather than the conventional taxi system.

WATCH: Montreal taxis fight Uber

Taxi drivers confront Uber


Taxi drivers confront Uber


Montreal taxi drivers continue fight against Uber


New Montreal taxi laws come into effect


Montreal taxi mystery shoppers

Nardi revealed many Uber drivers feel threatened by their taxi counterparts; passengers will often sit in the front seat or retrieve their own luggage from the trunk to “look more subtle in case taxi drivers are on the hunt.”

“They’ve developed tricks actually so that they kind of pass the test when taxi drivers are looking for them,” he said.

Nardi noted passengers even refrained from checking their phone too often while waiting for an Uber driver to avoid detection.

Despite the possibility of threats, he said Uber will pay any tickets or fees incurred upon drivers, including impounding charges if a car is seized.

Based on his experience, Nardi said Uber tries to make it very appealing for drivers to join the service, having no signup fees, no set schedules and no extra insurance required.

On the other hand, becoming a taxi driver in Montreal requires licenses and permits, as well as 150 hours of training.

The Commission des transports du Québec estimates the average cost of the permit at $189,180.

Taxi drivers claim it is unfair that their jobs are being taken by ride-sharing services and autonomous drivers who don’t have proper permits.

All the same, Nardi foresees change and modernisation in the taxi industry following Edmonton’s legalisation of Uber, and insists the question is not if it will be legalised in Quebec, but when.

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Trudeau casts doubt on balanced-budget campaign vow

May 14 2019

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is backing away from a campaign vow to balance the public books before the end of his government’s four-year mandate – a pledge that was central to the Liberal election platform.

As a result of a weakening economy, the government’s upcoming 2016-17 budget plan will show a deficit larger than the Liberals’ promised $10-billion shortfall cap, Trudeau told Montreal’s La Presse newspaper.

Just how big that deficit will be remains unclear.

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If the economy continues to deteriorate, it will be difficult for the Liberals to live up to their pledge to balance the books in 2019-20, Trudeau said in the interview published Thursday.

READ MORE: Has Trudeau’s Liberal government delivered 100 days in?

Less than two months ago, Trudeau insisted that the Liberal plan to make good on that key balanced-budget promise was “very” cast in stone.

The doubts raised by Trudeau offer a glimpse of the fiscal pressure faced by the Finance Department as it crafts the government’s first federal budget, expected late next month.

“If we look at the growth projections for the next three or four years, it will be difficult (to return to balance),” Trudeau was quoted by La Presse as saying.

READ MORE: Deficits could total $90B over Liberals’ first mandate

“But everything we’re doing is aimed at creating economic growth. When predicting the level of growth four years in advance, governments often miss the target.”

Trudeau said the Liberal government still intends to fulfil its other, more flexible “fiscal anchor” – lowering the debt-to-GDP ratio in every year of its mandate.

By zeroing in on debt-to-GDP, economists say the Liberals could run annual deficits of up to $25 billion in the coming years and still push the ratio downwards, as long as the economy grows at a decent pace.

READ MORE: Trudeau and UN chief Ban Ki-moon to talk climate, refugees, peacekeeping

The Liberals have promised to run deficits in the coming years in order to be able to spend billions on projects like infrastructure, which they predict will create jobs and help revive the economy.

Along with infrastructure spending, the Liberals have also pointed to their other economy-boosting plans. They include cutting taxes for middle-income earners – offset in part by raising taxes on the highest earners – and revamping child benefits so they help more families.

Those measures, however, will lower revenues destined for the public treasury over the coming years.

At a news conference later Thursday, Trudeau dodged questions about whether his government would be able to balance the budget in four years.

“We continue to recognize that the Canadian economy is facing real challenges in terms of growth, in terms of jobs for the middle class,” Trudeau said after a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“Our entire framework is about turning around the low-growth rates that Canada has been facing. And we’ve seen, with falling oil prices, that there is a trajectory that continues to look difficult for Canada.”

Ottawa’s goal is to generate the kind of growth that will benefit not just the federal balance sheet, but the entire economy, he added.

During the fall election campaign, Trudeau promised to keep deficits below the $10-billion mark in 2016-17 and 2017-18 unless the economic situation got radically worse.

“Yes, we will go over $10 billion,” he told La Presse. “By how much? We are in the process of examining that.”

Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose blamed “out-of-control Liberal spending” for breaking the $10-billion deficit promise.

“Unfortunately, it is today’s Canadian families – and generations to come – who will pay the price for Liberal mismanagement,” Ambrose said in a statement.

In recent months, the Canadian economy has sputtered in large part due to the steep drop in commodity prices.

On Wednesday, a National Bank of Canada report said the country’s fading economic prospects could put the Liberal government on track for $90 billion in deficits over its four-year mandate.

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Dog in Oklahoma badly injured from chemical exposure, abandoned in ditch

May 14 2019

WARNING: Story contains content that may not be suitable for all viewers. Discretion is advised.

A six-month-old dog in Oklahoma, believed to have been badly burned by chemical exposure, is improving, according to animal hospital officials.

Zorro, named after the fictional TV and film character because of the fight ahead of him, was found  on Feb. 9, abandoned in a ditch with chemical burns all over his body as well as inside his body.

Animal hospital officials believe Zorro was exposed to methamphetamine, which he either swallowed of inhaled, because his “eyes, tongue and intestinal tract all show signs of chemical burns.”

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“His eyelids are burned, his corneas are burned, his tongue is swollen and ulcerated.  I don’t know if he swallowed it or inhaled it, but his whole intestinal tract is burned,” said Dr. Cari McDonald, a veterinarian at Horizon Animal Hospital, to KOTV News.

It’s also believed the dog had been underfed for some time upon discovery.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in here.  [We] were all in tears,” said McDonald.

On Feb. 11, the hospital Zorro was being treated at updated the public on the puppy’s condition, reading in part: “He’s doing great today … One of his eyes is open more, and he seems to be recognizing us. He is out of his bed and walking around.”

Since the  news of the abandoned dog being found, donations have been pouring in to help with the treatment and recovery of Zorro.

“People keep giving; the love this puppy has been shown is so wonderful,” said Joleen Hansen to KOTV, the clinical manager at  Horizon Animal Hospital. “Last check, we met our goal and have received thousands more than asked.”

So far, Zorro’s treatment has included a blood transfusion and pain medication.

Police continue to investigate the exact cause of Zorro’s injuries.

No word on any suspects.

Follow @alleywilson_

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‘Deadpool’ review: Juvenile-yet-adult humour comic fans will love

May 14 2019

Oh, to be a teenage boy again.

From beginning to end, Deadpool is just that: a journey back into the realm of juvenile humour, with fart jokes, dick jokes, and enough swearing to make the Trailer Park Boys blush. It feels like an adolescent wrote the script, and what’s supposed to be a wink-wink nudge-nudge superhero film turns into just the kind of movie it’s out to mock.

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Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, Deadpool is meant to be subversive, poking fun at a genre that’s going stale. The ultimate irony is it ends up being another formulaic superhero movie: sad backstory, hero falls in love with girl, something happens to girl, hero comes back from adversity to defeat the big baddie and get the girl. The only thing that separates it from the glut of other superhero movies is the endless jokes, dark and vulgar, which come at a rapid-fire clip. Sarcasm drips off the screen at all times.

WATCH: Here’s why Deadpool isn’t a movie to take your kids to

All of that said, the movie is as true to the comic as it can be. Directed by Tim Miller, who’s sitting in the director’s chair for the first time (he’s done a couple of short films in the past), the Deadpool visuals are hypnotizing and unexpectedly gory. Ryan Reynolds as the titular Deadpool is perfect for the role, his comedic timing spot-on and his superhero body chiselled to insane proportions. Morena Baccarin as Deadpool’s love interest (but she’s so much more than that) is a welcome surprise; often robotic in her performances, Baccarin looks cool and relaxed here. One can only wish she had more screen time.

Deadpool’s pal Weasel (T.J. Miller) is similarly underused. Too bad, because he has some of the film’s funniest lines.

So are you saying that only Deadpool comic-book fans will enjoy this movie?
No, not exclusively, though they will enjoy it more because they have a point of reference. Fans of dirty humour and the aforementioned topics of penises, sex and farts will find a literal smorgasbord in this film. Deadpool’s backstory is enough to hold interest, but due to the film’s back-and-forth-through-time structure, you’ll get to the film’s halfway mark and it’ll slowly dawn on you that nothing’s really happened yet.

Fight sequences are run-of-the-mill as far as superhero movies go, but there’s an added kick (sorry) to the proceedings, which is probably due to director Miller’s previous experience with visual effects and on-screen artistry.

WATCH: Hilarious Shock Top Super Bowl ad has Deadpool star T.J. Miller match wits with an orange

Do the jokes hit their mark?
Probably about 50 per cent of the time. Reynolds has proven himself adept at physical comedy (believe it or not in The Proposal and even as far back as Van Wilder), and while his timing is on, the writing isn’t. There are chuckles to be had, and maybe one or two guffaws, but overall it’s hit-or-miss.

That said, there was uproarious laughter emanating from some pockets of the theatre, so some people definitely thought the film was hilarious. Depends on your humour preference, it seems.

You say it’s teenage humour, so can I take my teenager(s)?
With the film rated R, all young ‘uns will need to be accompanied by an adult. Really, it’s up to you if you want your teenager to watch this kind of movie. Its humour may be juvenile, but there is ample nudity within the first 30 minutes, lots of swearing, and the gore is so… well… gory that moviegoers were turning their heads away. To compare, if you can handle The Walking Dead, you can handle this.

It is definitely way too much for kids younger than 13, unless you have hyper-developed offspring. If so, kudos! Grab some popcorn and settle in.

WATCH: Betty White offers hilarious, expletive-filled review of Deadpool

What’s the bottom line?
Great for fans, fun for newbies, Deadpool is a comic-book romp. For the more serious folks, this probably isn’t for you. When the movie’s jokes flop, it can get awkward, but there’s no time to dwell. In a matter of mere seconds, Reynolds and crew deliver another one. If anything, Deadpool can’t be accused of being boring.

‘Deadpool’ opens in theatres on Feb. 12.

Follow @CJancelewicz
Deadpool (2016) | PrettyFamous

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Man accused of killing Winnipeg grandmother denies 2011 murder

May 14 2019

WINNIPEG —; Seventy-three-year-old grandmother, Elizabeth Lafantaisie was attacked, sexually assaulted and strangled to death five years ago inside the Summerland Apartment parkade on University Crescent.

It’s alleged she was stuffed in the trunk of her car, and the suspect then drove the vehicle to an Osborne Street car wash before ditching it on Lewis Street in Osborne Village.

“I didn’t kill anybody, I didn’t killed anybody man, that’s the furthest thing from my mind,” Thomas Brine said when detectives asked him who killed Lafantaisie.

Brine has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder. His two week murder trial began Feb. 8.

READ MORE: Murder trial underway for man accused in murder, sexual assault of Winnipeg grandmother

Elizabeth Lafantaisie, 73, was sexually assaulted and strangled to death in 2011.

Janine Gosselin

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READ MORE: Suspect in Winnipeg grandmother’s murder admits to being in parkades around her murder

In police interview that was played to the jury on Thursday, Brine agreed to take officers to where he ditched a car he stole from a parkade on Pembina Highway.

Brine then told detectives to take him to the rear of the Racquet club on River Avenue, where he claimed he threw the car keys in the snow near a garbage bin.

“Somewhere between there,” Brine said in the interview. “I’m not sure how close to the building.”  He then pointed officers between a staircase and BFI garbage bin.

Detective Sgt. Wesley Rommel said he went to look where Brine told him the keys were.

“I got out and looked for the keys and couldn’t find any,” Rommel said.

Rommel said Brine told him, “It looks like it snowed since, maybe they’re covered.”

They drove down River Avenue and Brine told officers to “turn right here.”

They turned onto Lewis Street.

“I think it was one of these streets man, I was so high I can’t remember,” Brine said.

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Last occupiers of Oregon wildlife refuge surrender to FBI

May 14 2019

BURNS, Ore. – Surrounded by FBI agents in armoured vehicles, the last four occupiers of a national wildlife refuge surrendered Thursday.

The holdouts were the last remnants of the group that seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2 and demanded that the government turn over the land to locals and release two ranchers imprisoned for setting fires.

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Meanwhile, Cliven Bundy, who was at the centre of a 2014 standoff at his ranch in Nevada, was arrested late Wednesday in Portland after encouraging the Oregon occupiers not to give up. Bundy is the father of Ammon Bundy, the jailed leader of the most recent occupation.

On Thursday, the elder Bundy was charged in the 2014 standoff. Federal authorities may have feared Bundy’s presence would draw sympathizers to defend the holdouts.

READ MORE: FBI releases video of shooting of Oregon occupier Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum

A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas charged the 69-year-old Bundy with conspiracy, assault on a federal officer, obstruction, weapons charges and other crimes. He’s accused of leading supporters who pointed military-style weapons at federal agents trying to enforce a court order to round up Bundy cattle from federal rangeland.

It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer to represent him ahead of a court appearance in federal court in Portland.

Federal authorities say the Bundy family has not made payments toward a $1.1 million grazing fee and penalty bill.

WATCH: Nearly six week long armed standoff at a government wildlife refuge ends. Brian Mooar reports.

The holdouts and 12 others connected with the occupation have been charged with conspiracy to interfere with federal workers.

A live stream of a telephone call indicated that the last four occupiers had surrendered Thursday morning.

The occupiers were 27-year-old David Fry of Blanchester, Ohio; Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nevada; and married couple Sean Anderson, 48, and Sandy Anderson, 47, of Riggins, Idaho.

READ MORE: Oregon standoff dwindles to 4 holdouts demanding no arrests

In the live stream, Fry said the three others had surrendered but he refused to. He later said he was giving up. The FBI did not immediately confirm that the three surrendered.

The FBI began moving in on the holdouts Wednesday evening, surrounding their encampment with armoured vehicles.Over the next several hours, the occupiers’ panic and their negotiation with FBI agents could be heard live on the Internet, broadcast by a sympathizer of the occupiers who established phone contact with them.

Fry, an Ohio resident, said he was declaring war against the federal government.

“Liberty or death, I take that stance,” he declared and later said he was pointing a gun at his head.

Fry could be heard yelling at an FBI negotiator: “You’re going to hell. Kill me. Get it over with.”

The occupiers calmed down after a while, and arrangements were made for them to surrender at an FBI checkpoint on Thursday.

A Nevada lawmaker has been key in getting that agreement. Michele Fiore is also a friend of the Bundy family. She came to Portland on Wednesday to show support for Ammon Bundy. When she heard the FBI had surrounded the refuge, she called into the online talk show to try to calm down the occupiers.

Fiore rushed to Burns to help negotiate a peaceful surrender of the occupiers.

The Oregon standoff began Jan. 2 when Ammon Bundy and his followers took over the refuge south of Burns to protest prison terms for two local ranchers accused of setting fires on federal lands, and to demand that the refuge be handed over to local residents.

Federal agents, Oregon state troopers and sheriff’s deputies monitored the occupation to avoid a confrontation. There were growing calls for the FBI to act, including from Oregon’s governor.

They did, on Jan. 26. On that day, Ammon Bundy and other occupation leaders were heading for the town of John Day to give a talk on federal overreach. FBI agents and Oregon state troopers stopped the group’s two-vehicle convoy. Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was shot dead in that confrontation. The FBI says he was going for a pistol inside his jacket pocket. Ammon Bundy and four others were arrested.

A total of 12 people were arrested that week. Most of the occupiers fled the refuge after hearing they would be arrested if they left quickly. Four stayed behind, saying they feared they would be arrested if they left.

Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said Wednesday night that the situation had reached a point where it “became necessary to take action” to ensure the safety of all involved.

One of the occupiers rode an ATV outside “the barricades established by the militia” at the refuge, Bretzing said in a statement. When FBI agents tried to approach the driver, Fry said he quickly returned to the camp.

The FBI placed agents at barricades around the occupiers’ camp, Bretzing said.

“It has never been the FBI’s desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue,” he said. “And to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully.”


Associated Press writers Martha Bellisle in Seattle and Terrence Petty in Portland, Oregon, contributed to this report.

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Clinton says Sanders making promises that ‘cannot be kept’ at Milwaukee debate

Apr 15 2019

MILWAUKEE – Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battled for the crucial support of black and Hispanic voters in Thursday night’s Democratic debate, a polite but pointed contest that marked a shift in the primary toward states with more minority voters.

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After splitting the first two states in the state-by-state primary contest with Sanders, Clinton also deepened her assertion that her unexpectedly strong rival was energizing voters with promises “that cannot be kept.” And she continued to closely align herself with President Barack Obama, who remains popular particularly with black Democrats.

READ MORE: Hillary Clinton campaign targets black, Latino voters

Seeking to boost his own support with minorities, Sanders peppered his typically economic-focused rhetoric with calls to reform a “broken criminal justice system.”

“At the end of my first term, we will not have more people in jail than any other country,” he said.

In one of many moments of agreement between the candidates, Clinton concurred on a need to address a criminal justice system that incarcerates a disproportionate number of minorities. But she cast her proposals for fighting racial inequality as broader than his.

“We’re going to emphasize education, jobs and housing,” said Clinton, who was endorsed earlier in the day by the political action committee of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The candidates both vowed to pursue comprehensive immigration reform, using the emotional issue to draw a contrast with Republicans who oppose allowing many of the millions of people in the United States illegally to stay. Both disagreed with a new series of raids authorized by Obama to arrest and deport some people from Central America who recently came to the country illegally.

“We should be deporting criminals, not hardworking immigrant families who do the very best they can,” Clinton said.

WATCH: Bernie Sanders joins Late Show’s Stephen Colbert

Both candidates were largely restrained in their head-to-head contest — a contrast to their campaign’s increasingly heated rhetoric on the campaign trail. While Clinton played the aggressor in the previous Democratic debate, she is mindful of a need to not turn off Sanders’ voters, particularly the young people that are supporting him in overwhelming numbers.

Clinton is hoping to offset Sanders’ backing from those young Americans by drawing support from the black and Hispanic voters who make up a big share of the electorate in Nevada, South Carolina and other states that come next on the primary calendar.

In the more crowded Republican field, South Carolina is next. Billionaire Donald Trump, fresh from a commanding win in New Hampshire, will be tested by the state’s more conservative voters.

The former secretary of state sought to discredit some of the proposals that have drawn young people to Sanders, including his call for free tuition at public colleges and universities and a plan for a government-run, single-payer health care system. Clinton said those proposals come with unrealistic price tags. And she accused Sanders of trying to shade the truth about what she said would be a 40 per cent increase in the size of the federal government in order to implement his policies.

Sanders didn’t put a price on his policies, but neither did he shy away from the notion that he wants to expand the size of government.

WATCH: Trump, Sanders win big in New Hampshire primary

“In my view, the government of a democratic society has a moral responsibility to play a vital role in making sure all our people have a decent standard of living,” Sanders said.

Sanders has focused his campaign almost exclusively on a call to break up big Wall Street banks and overhaul the current campaign finance system that he says gives wealthy Americans undue influence. His campaign contends that his message will be well-received by minority voters, arguing that blacks and Hispanics have been hurt even more by what he calls a “rigged” economy.

Sanders’ strength has startled Clinton’s campaign. He defeated her by more than 20 points in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, drawing the majority of men, women, independents and young people.

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Late Montreal flu season means overcrowded emergency rooms

Apr 15 2019

MONTREAL – The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is asking parents to think carefully before taking kids to the emergency room, especially if they have the flu or gastro.

“Most of these illnesses can be cured at home,” explained Harley Eisman, Director of Pediatric Emergency Services at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

“Our first priority is to deal with those who are gravely ill and injured.”

Eisman said not only are patients with the flu probably going to end up waiting longer than those with more serious conditions, they could also put other patients at risk.

“It’s common to see a patient come in with gastro and leave with a respiratory illness,” he said.

The Glen site is seeing line-ups at the Montreal Children’s Hospital ER, Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

Sebastien Gagnon-Dorval/Global News

According to the MUHC, the ER generally sees between 240 and 260 patients a day.

In the past two weeks, because of the late flu season in Montreal, that number has exceeded 300 people.

Gaetan Barrette at the MUHC, Wednesday, December 23, 2015.

Global News

In Quebec City, Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said part of the problem is that ERs are the only medical facilities that are readily open.

Clinics don’t open long enough, he said and recommended that the province implement “extended opening hours, seven days a week, for everybody.”

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Friends and family remember twin brothers killed at Canada Olympic Park

Apr 15 2019

CALGARY – Those closest to two Calgary twins stood in front of over 2,000 mourners Thursday sharing memories of Jordan and Evan Caldwell.

The pair died in a tobogganing tragedy at Canada Olympic Park (COP) early Saturday morning. Police said they snuck in after hours and were killed while taking their toboggans down the icy bobsled track. The pair was pronounced dead at the scene and six others were rushed to hospital.

READ MORE: Canada Olympic Park incident – what we know about the injured teens

The memorial service filled Central Campus of Centre Street Church to capacity with friends, family complete strangers and even former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

A memorial table was set up in honor of Evan and Jordan Caldwell at a public service held on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016.

Global News / Jill Croteau

A memorial table was set up in honor of Evan and Jordan Caldwell at a public service held on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016.

Global News / Jill Croteau

Among those in attendance were the teenager’s mother, father and sister. The boy’s father, Jason, delivered a heartfelt eulogy.

“We were invited to stand at top of bobsled track; it looks like a lot of fun,” said Jason. “Jordan and Evan’s death was a metaphor: the top of the tracks so smooth and so straight and inviting. Just over the crest, the track disappears down the hill. No one knew and none of us do know what’s around the corner.”

WATCH: Thousands turned out for the funeral for twin brothers Evan and Jordan Caldwell Thursday. Here are a few moments.

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  • Grief counselors visit schools of Evan and Jordan Caldwell after their bobsled track death

  • Luge track operator, WinSport, likely not liable for teenagers’ deaths: lawyer

  • Five things about the Calgary luge and bobsled track where two teens were killed

    The boys’ sister, Katie, also gave a special, heartwarming tribute, saying that “two of the biggest pieces” of her heart are gone.

    Through tears, Katie said Jordan and Evan were kind, fun-loving pranksters.

    “Pranks between those two boys was almost their own love language, but their jokes never went too far and would have never been this cruel. Evan and Jordan would never have wanted for us… to suffer like this,” she cried.

    A friend of the boys, Noah Bensler also spoke. “We were gonna grow old and fat together make fun of each other and tell bad jokes,” said Noah. “We were gonna be best friends for life.”

    “Jordan and Evan   – you were are and always will be my best friends.”

    Ahead of the memorial, Pastor Glen Nudd from Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel read a statement on behalf of the Caldwell family.

    “We are so grateful for the prayers and support that we have received,” Nudd read. “Thank you for sharing this day with us, as we celebrate the lives of our boys and as we say goodbye.”

    The boys were buried at a private graveside service Thursday morning.

    WATCH: Pastor Glen Nudd speaks to media before the funeral for twin brothers Evan and Jordan Caldwell.

    “We miss them so much already, but we know we will be with them in heaven one day,” the Caldwell family said in a previous statement. They said that Jordan and Evan were “bright lights to all who knew them.”

    “Our brief 17 years with them were a gift: filled with much love, laughter, and fond memories.”

    Following Thursday’s service, the family released a second statement, expressing gratitude for the “outpouring of support and love from across the Calgary community and across the country.”

    “Many have expressed their desire to support the young people who are still recovering from their injuries,” the family added. “If you would like to make a contribution, please visit this website https://fundrazr长沙桑拿/campaigns/316Fy5.”

    Both Ernest Manning High School and Westmount Charter School are providing grief counseling to students and staff who knew the teens.

    READ MORE: Twins who died in Calgary bobsled track crash remembered as top students, volunteers

    – With files from Jill Croteau and

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Plastic industry wants Brossard to back off proposed shopping bag ban

Apr 15 2019

BROSSARD, Que. – Big Plastic is laying down the legal gauntlet against a Montreal suburb that is looking at banning plastic bags later this year.

The Canadian Plastic Bag Association served the City of Brossard with a legal letter on Thursday demanding it back off on its proposed shopping-bag bylaw.

Officials in the town are expected to pass a bylaw next Tuesday that would see a ban come into effect by September.

ChangSha Night Net

READ MORE: Retailers urge Brossard to back down on plastic bag ban

The association called for consultations, suggesting the bylaw is “abusive and unreasonable,” is based on faulty information and doesn’t consider the negative impacts of a ban.

“All stakeholders – even those most negatively affected by a ban like convenience store owners, retailers and bag manufacturers – have been completely shut out,” said Marc Robitaille, president of a company that manufactures plastic bags. “All we want is an open dialogue and working with the scientific data.”

In a brief reply, Brossard spokesman Alain Gauthier said municipal lawmakers intend to forge ahead with its plan.

Shopping-bag detractors say they are a source of pollution, end up in landfills and take a long time to decompose.

The plastic-bag industry disputes that, calling them “multi-purpose” and cites statistics suggesting 93 per cent of bags are either reused or recycled.

The use of shopping bags has fallen dramatically in Quebec thanks to public awareness campaigns and a five-cent charge brought in by many retailers.

Quebecers now use roughly a billion bags a year, less than half from nearly a decade ago.

READ MORE: Walmart is about to start charging you for plastic bags

It’s not just in Quebec where the bag debate is in full flow – plastic and retail industry representatives are dealing with possible bans in Victoria and Vancouver.

Toronto tried and failed in 2012, while at least five smaller Canadian municipalities have instituted bans.

In 2007, Leaf Rapids, Man., became the first Canadian municipality to prohibit single-use plastic shopping bags. They are also forbidden in the Quebec towns of Huntingdon and Deux-Montagnes, Thompson, Man., and Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality in Alberta, which includes Fort McMurray.

Brossard residents going about their shopping expeditions on Thursday didn’t expect anything to change. Most of those who were encountered had reusable bags under their arms as they entered a local grocery store.

“I’m OK with it (the ban),” said Benoit Masse, juggling a mix of plastic and reusable bags after buying a few too many items. “I’m for it as long as they offer bigger reusable bags to haul your groceries.”

The Quebec branch of the Retail Council of Canada is against the bylaw and is urging the city to reconsider.

“It has to be harmonized, we don’t want to have a patchwork of regulations in (some) cities and the rest of the province,” said Luc Tremblay, the council’s director of government relations.

Fadi Nasra, owner of Boutique Denise, a Brossard clothing store, recently bought 3,000 plastic bags for use in his shop. He wasn’t aware of the impending ban, but expects some backlash.

“It’ll cause some problems for sure, not all customers will accept not getting a bag,” Nasra said. “But if they come up with a (cost-effective) replacement, it doesn’t bother me to replace them, for the sake of the environment.”

WATCH: The Retail Council of Canada lashed out at the South Shore city of Brossard, claiming its plastic bag ban isn’t actually good for the environment. Global’s Anne Leclair reports.

Brossard elected to go faster than other area municipalities.

The Montreal Municipal Council, which came down in favour of a ban last December, announced a working group Thursday to tackle the finer points of prohibting bags in 82 Montreal-area communities – including Montreal itself, which had public consultations last year. The city’s environment commission recommended the same target date the other communities are looking at – Earth Day 2018.

Tremblay says Brossard’s bag ban will just result in people going out and buying other kinds of plastic bags for use around the house.

“We think it’s a false problem, a false debate,” Tremblay says.

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Killer Nicholas Rasberry freed on bail pending appeal of manslaughter conviction

Mar 15 2019

CALGARY – A Calgary man found guilty of stabbing his neighbour 37 times has been granted bail pending his appeal.

Nicholas Rasberry, 32, was convicted of manslaughter in the death of teacher Craig Kelloway, 31, inside Rasberry’s Auburn Bay home in May 2013.

READ MORE: ‘I pray every night for justice for Craig’ – Calgary murder victim’s mother

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  • Nicholas Rasberry agrees to forfeit portion of cash bail

  • Killer Nicholas Rasberry arrested for breaching bail condition, accused of impaired driving

  • Nicholas Rasberry sentencing set for Dec. 11 in fatal Auburn Bay stabbing

    He was sentenced to seven years minus time served, but filed an appeal of his conviction and sentence in mid-December.

    On Thursday, the Court of Appeal granted bail to Rasberry pending the outcome of his appeal.

    For Kelloway’s mother, Monica Kelloway, the news was a devastating blow.

    “We are disappointed. I don’t understand the justice system, it doesn’t make sense,” Kelloway told Global News from her home in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.

    Rasberry’s bail announcement comes on the same day the court denied bail to high profile fraudster Milowe Brost. Brost is appealing his conviction and sentence in one of the largest ponzi schemes in Canadian history

    “If anything, the Ponzi guy should have gotten bail and Rasberry should have been kept in jail,” Kelloway said. “I don’t understand this.”

    Kelloway’s mother is also outraged the “rape allegations” against her son continue to surface.

    “It bothers us that Nicholas Rasberry murdered our son but he’s trying to destroy his reputation,” she said. “He stabbed my son 37 times, broke two knives and a big butcher knife he bent like a banana. What person would do such a thing and then be allowed to walk the streets?”

    Lawyers for Rasberry have cited eight grounds for his appeal, including an “unreasonable verdict” and a “harsh and excessive sentence.” Rasberry maintains he isn’t a flight risk and poses no danger.

    “He wants this all over, so he’s not going to be jumping for joy or whatever, he just is focussed on coming to a conclusion and he’s anxious to get to court and to move ahead, ” defence lawyer Hersh Wolch said.

    The Crown had already filed an appeal seeking a conviction of second-degree murder or a new trial.

    READ MORE: Court shown video of crime scene knives during Rasberry murder trial

    During his trial, Rasberry admitted to stabbing Kelloway, but said it was self defence after Kelloway threatened to sexually assault both him and his wife.

    Rasberry and Kelloway lived two doors apart but hadn’t met until the day Kelloway was killed. The two men and their wives had gotten together for drinks and a barbecue. Later that night, Rasberry called 911 saying he had stabbed Kelloway. He told the operator that Kelloway had tried to have sex with him after their wives had gone to bed.

    – With files from .

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