23. 01. 2019
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Why there’s no need to pick a career in the first week of university

Why there’s no need to pick a career in the first week of university

TORONTO – Students who worry too much about picking the “perfect” major as they enter university aren’t necessarily setting themselves up for success, say experts who caution that school should be seen as time to learn, network and explore different career paths.

“Sometimes university is about more than getting it perfectly, it’s often about the journey,” said Eileen Chadnick, a career coach with Big Cheese Coaching in Toronto.

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“You may start in a career and you may, through trial and error, change it, so don’t worry about having all the answers before the first semester of university. Go in with an open, curious mind.”

Students today have access to an unprecedented amount of information over the Internet, so focusing on something they are passionate about and using their time at university to learn how to think and to meet people is as important than any particular content expertise they may gain, said Sharon Irwin-Foulon, executive director of Career Management and Corporate Recruiting at the Ivey Business School at Western University.

“Often you want to stay in your dorm room and study and get 90s, but I’m not sure that that’s actually going to impact your career and the satisfaction you get out of your career,” said Irwin-Foulon.

“Being able to interact with different personalities, getting a network of like-minded people who have had this shared experience, I would argue is just as important as the degree content itself.”

The way the job market is evolving is another reason why getting set on one track too early can be a mistake.

“You’ve got jobs that are being created that didn’t exist five years ago,” Irwin-Foulon. said. “Being too rigid is the tricky part, or doing a degree because you think it will get you a job.”

Abdallah Al-Hakim, 36, has a PhD in science but works for a California-based technology company, and says he would encourage students to look at their options early and often.

“Educationally, I was definitely in one track; I was following the path you would follow to become a professor at a university,” said Al-Hakim, from Hamilton, Ont., who earned a PhD in science and did a post-doctorate focusing on biochemistry before deciding a life in science wasn’t for him.

“The issue with science is that there are a lot of PhDs that are graduating every year and there just aren’t enough faculty positions.”

Al-Hakim set out to explore alternatives and spent a year of his post-doctoral talking to as many people as he could, including those who had left a career in science.

After meeting with several players in Toronto’s start-up scene, he realized he would enjoy working for a small, fast-paced company where he could immediately see the results of his work and, nine months later, landed a contract in a small Toronto company. He was eventually hired by a bigger startup, and recently became a marketing automation consultant with Blue Jeans Network, a U.S. technology company focused on video communications.

“I wish that after high school or maybe before my master’s (degree) I’d stopped and looked at my options and maybe even worked,” Al-Hakim said.

“Working is really the best thing to figure out what you want to do.”

Nathan Laurie, president of online student job board Jobpostings桑拿按摩, says it’s never too early to start thinking about a career.

“I would talk to as many people as possible about what they’re considering doing,” said Laurie.

Speaking with parents’ friends, looking up industry organizations or following people who work in a field you’re interested in are all good ways to learn more about it.

“I also think you’re allowed to change your mind as many times as you want through your career, and many people do.”

Given the cost of education, “it’s a good idea, if you’re not feeling good about what you’re taking, to stop, re-evaluate and reconsider what you want to do, and then move forward when you have a new plan,” Laurie said.

Whatever you choose to do, Irwin-Foulon urges all first-time students to make sure they are choosing their career for the right reasons.

“Do it because it legitimately interests you and you are in the zone and you’re engaged with it,” she said.

“You don’t know what you don’t know, so go and be open to learning things about yourself, things about the world and don’t do it because your parents told you to, don’t do it because you’re supposed to, don’t do it because it’s going to get you a job.”

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23. 01. 2019
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Father of Magnotta’s alleged victim wants ‘obscene’ evidence kept under wraps

Father of Magnotta’s alleged victim wants ‘obscene’ evidence kept under wraps

MONTREAL — The father of murder victim Lin Jun is having a difficult time dealing with the death of his son.

Twice last year, he broke down in court when gruesome evidence was played during Luka Magnotta’s preliminary inquiry.

Lin Diran does not want a repeat.

READ MORE: Grieving father breaks down, leaves court, at Luka Magnotta hearing

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With the trial a week away, lawyers for the grieving father are requesting that certain exhibits be played in court once to the jury – but they should never be made public.

“Those exhibits should not be distributed, or published, or reproduced,” says Benoit Lapointe, Lin Diran’s attorney.

“In our view it represents obscene material.”

READ MORE: Letters from Luka Magnotta: accused killer thanks “fans” for numerous gifts sent to prison

Luka Magnotta is charged with murdering and then dismembering Concordia University student in May 2012.

The alleged crime was videotaped.

Justice Guy Cournoyer appeared sensitive to the father’s request.

He didn’t render a final decision, but he suggested only a portion of the police evidence should remain sealed.

Media lawyer Mark Bantey agrees with the judge’s reasoning.

TIMELINE: The Luka Rocco Magnotta case

“The position of the media I represent is that other exhibits are not obscene,” says attorney Mark Bantey, who represents Global News.

“They are shocking, not obscene.  They should be made public.”

The 32-year-old suspect sat in the prisoner’s box as lawyers debated the delicate topic Thursday.

Magnotta’s appearance has changed – his weight gain is noticeable.

Some say he’s put on about 40 pounds.

Gallery: Jun Lin’s life in photos

Pretrial hearings continue Friday and next Wednesday at the Montreal Courthouse.

Next week, defence lawyer Luc Leclair is expected to file a motion on behalf of Magnotta’s family.

Some of his relatives could be called as witnesses and Leclair is asking the court to conceal their identities.

Justice Cournoyer denied a similar request this week.

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23. 01. 2019
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What happens to unruly passengers who divert your flight?

What happens to unruly passengers who divert your flight?

WATCH: Two Toronto-area women face multiple charges, after a ruckus on a Sunwing flight bound for Cuba, that had to turn back with a military escort. Vassy Kapelos reports.

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TORONTO –Flight diversions have made headlines for a number of reasons as of late: From smoking in the bathroom, to fighting caused by a gadget that prevents the person in front of you from reclining, to intoxicated rants involving pelvis thrusting and/or chewing through restraints.

The latest incident started with two twentysomethings en route to Cuba drunkenly smoking in the bathroom, and escalated to a physical altercation and “non-credible” threat; it ended in a diversion back to Toronto flanked by two CF-18 fighter jets. National Defence estimated the total operating cost of one CF-18 at $16,750 per hour, which means at least $33,500 of taxpayer money was spent Wednesday evening.

Unruly passenger incidents are an “escalating problem,” occurring over 28,000 times between 2007-2013, according to the  International Air Transport Association (IATA).

“Due to loopholes in existing laws, there are many cases where those who commit serious offenses are not punished,” said the IATA website section on unruly passengers.

The organization cautioned that current regulations are “inadequate to deal with the scale of today’s problems,” and said flight diversions could cost airlines up to US$200,000.

But IATA is working with the International Civial Aviation Organization (ICAO) to improve regulations, and build upon the 50-year-old Tokyo Convention that currently governs offences that happen during flights.

Adopted on April 4, 2014, the Montreal Protocol will impact two main areas: jurisdiction—making it possible to extend the jurisdiction over offence to the destination country of the flight as well as the country of aircraft registration—and right of recourse—providing more clarity on the airline’s right to reclaim the costs incurred.

“This closes a loophole which allowed many serious offences to escape legal action,” said IATA.

But the protocol has not yet been ratified by any States, and needs 22 States’ approval before it comes into force.

Currently, the worst consequences for a flight passenger so unruly the plane must be diverted off its path is a fine of $100,000 or five years of jail time under the Aeronautics Act.

But looking back at similar incidents, it appears unlikely that anyone pays the maximum price.

Flights can be stressful enough without the threat of an unruly passenger.

AP Photo/Gail Burton

I’ll “send your genitals to your mother”

An Air Transat flight from Vancouver to the United Kingdom on March 27, 2013 had to make an emergency landing in Iqaluit, Nunvaut after a 39-year-old man had to be restrained by flight crew and passengers.

Drunk and unruly, Darren Cosby punched a coffee maker, “jokingly” grabbed a flight attendant by the throat, and spit on those trying to restrain him, according to Crown prosecutor Amy Porteous. He was able to get out of plastic wrist restraints twice, bent back the thumb of someone trying to restrain him and tried to bite those holding him back.

He said he would “slit their throats,” and “send their genitals to their mothers,” and thrust his pelvis at flight attendants, according to courtroom proceedings reported by the Nunavut’s Nunatsiaq Online.

Cosby was arrested when the flight landed, and the plane continued to the U.K.

Charges of uttering threats, causing a disturbance and mischief, were stayed April 4. He pleaded guilty to one count of unruly behaviour under the Aeronautics Act and was given credit for nine days spent in jail. Cosby was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and reimburse Air Transat for approximately $13,875, according to the report.

Smoking charges dropped, $500 for other offences

A flight diversion to Bermuda that cost Sunwing approximately $40,000 in February 2013 was caused by a Cape Breton, N.S. family who allegedly smoked in the bathroom and became unruly.

Daryl McWilliams of the Sunwing Travel Group says the plane was flying from Halifax to the Dominican Republic and was forced to make an emergency landing, then put up 180 passengers overnight and bring in a mechanic. The plane resumed its flight the next morning.

Three members of a four-person family were arrested by the Bermuda police and appeared in Magistrates’ Court in Hamilton, Bermuda. The father pleaded guilty to behaving in a disorderly manner by using abusive and offensive language, and the mother pleaded guilty to disobeying a lawful order by a flight attendant.

The Crown elected to offer no evidence on the smoking (which the defendants denied), and the smoking charges were dropped. Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner fined David MacNeil Sr. and Donna MacNeil $500 each for their offences, ordering that the fines be paid immediately or they would spend up to 10 days in prison.

When asked if Sunwing was suing the family for a reported $50,000 in lost costs, the airline confirmed Thursday it has served a Statement of Claim against the MacNeil family in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Spokesperson Rachel Goldrick said the “matter is proceeding through the normal court process.”

Not everyone wants to party in the lavatory with an unruly flyer.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Party in the lavatory with a grinding pelvis?

An intoxicated Calgary man caused an emergency landing in Edmonton on a flight from London to Calgary in August 2012. For what? It started with pelvis grinding.

Thirty-six-year-old Justin Frank was grinding his pelvis two inches from a flight attendant’s face, asking if she wanted to “party in the lavatory” before grazing her breast in an attempt to grab her buttocks.

Frank also punched a TV screen before being wrestled to the ground by crew and passengers, then restrained until the emergency landing.

He pleaded guilty to assault, mischief and failing to follow directions of a flight crew. In February 2014, he received a one-year suspended sentence and was ordered to pay $15,200 in restitution to Air Canada as well as a $4,000 fine. Frank was also ordered to participate in any alcohol counselling that his probation officer ordered.

BlackBerry execs fired, fined after chewing through restraints

Two vice-presidents at Research in Motion caused an entire plane of Air Canada passengers to go into lockdown for the final hour of their trip because of their unruly and belligerent behaviour.

George Campbell, 45 of Conestogo, Ontario, and Paul Alexander Wilson, 38, of Kitchener, Ontario, were charged and pleaded guilty to mischief after kicking seats, yelling and swearing at flight staff and passengers. They reportedly mixed sleeping pills with alcohol on a flight from Toronto to Beijing that had to make a landing at Vancouver International Airport.

Crown counsel Gerri-Lyn Nelson said Wilson tried to break plastic restraints with his mouth and “ultimately chewed through the restraints,” according to the Toronto Star.

Both men were fired after the incident, and spent two nights in police custody.

The breakdown of the costs of the incident, which included $75,475 in extra fuel, $42,200 in pay for the crew and $2,560 in navigation service was given to court, according to the Globe and Mail.

The men were initially ordered to pay $35,878 each, but a court of appeal reduced each to about $10,528, reported the Globe. They each received a suspended sentence and probation for one year, and were banned from flying with Air Canada.

Air Canada occasionally bans troublesome passengers from booking tickets with their airline.

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23. 01. 2019
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Sim Bhullar looking to leave his mark on the NBA – Toronto

Sim Bhullar looking to leave his mark on the NBA – Toronto

TORONTO – Sim Bhullar is making a name for himself by becoming the first player of Indian descent to sign a contract with an NBA team.

The seven foot five inches tall, 360 pounds centre recently signed an undisclosed contract with the Sacramento Kings and says the accomplishment has already garnered a lot attention for the sport of basketball in India, a country where cricket is king.

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

“I think, probably close to a million kids already started playing basketball because of that, I got messages on Facebook saying kids, just all over India have started picking up basketball and stuff so that’s pretty crazy.”

Bhullar played two seasons for New Mexico State, where he averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. He twice earned Western Athletic Conference tournament MVP honours and led the Aggies to back-to-back NCAA tournaments. He went undrafted in June and helped the Kings win the NBA’s Summer League tournament in Las Vegas in July. He will be competing for a spot behind starting centre DeMarcus Cousins who has already given him some tips.

“He told me the adjustment period takes a little bit, but when you get used to it, the speed of the game and stuff you should be good. He told me to work out, work hard every day and just keep pushing yourself and you’ll be great one day.”

Bhullar’s former high school coach Paul Melnik believes that he has what it takes to make it in the NBA.

“I think with proper training, guidance, diet and his work ethic, I think the sky is the limit. I think he can progress to be possibly an NBA all-star at some point,” says Melnik.

As for the possibility of playing for the Toronto Raptors one day, Bhullar says a close family friend is trying to make that happen.

– With files from The Associated Press

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23. 01. 2019
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Edmonton arena a top project on continent: Oilers owner – Edmonton

Edmonton arena a top project on continent: Oilers owner – Edmonton

EDMONTON – The owner of the Edmonton Oilers says the booming, oilsands-driven economy of northern Alberta is behind the early success of the city’s downtown makeover featuring a new arena for his team.

“I don’t think there’s a better market anywhere to do what we’re doing,” Katz said Thursday as he unveiled a new website on the billions of dollars on construction planned for the Alberta capital’s core.

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“From an investment point of view, this is as much a play on Alberta and where Alberta’s going – and particularly northern Alberta – as anything.”

Katz pointed to $284 billion in investment planned for the oilsands by 2035. Six million people are expected call the province home by then, two-thirds of them in northern Alberta.

“That’s our market.”

Phase 1 of the Arena District plans include more than 1,000 residential units, 1.3 million square feet of office space, more than 215,000 square feet of retail, a public square, a community ice rink, and an “upper scale hotel” – all linked by walkways and designed to be used winter and summer.

Katz said a new arena for his NHL team and flush times in his hometown have combined for a “once in a generation” chance to revitalize a downtown that has often been called dowdy, or worse.

“This was the vision from the beginning,” he said.

“We planned this before we bought the team. It’s very satisfying to see it come out of the ground.”

Those plans haven’t been without controversy.

It took years for city council to come to a funding agreement with Katz, who owns the Rexall pharmacy chain. Councillors wrestled with the issue of putting up hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for an arena to house a hockey team owned by a billionaire.

The total tab for 18,559-seat facility is $480 million. Edmonton taxpayers are to pay $219 million, Katz’s share is $143 million. Another $125 million will come from a ticket tax.

Work on the arena is now underway.

More than $2.5 billion in construction has already started or is expected to start in the area district in the next six months. More than 9,000 square metres of retail space has already been spoken for.

Earlier this week, engineering firm Stantec signed a lease on space in a 62-storey office tower to be built in the arena district.

READ MORE: Design unveiled for record setting 62-storey Edmonton tower  

Katz said there may not be a development anywhere in the continent that can match the scale of what’s happening in downtown Edmonton.

Construction is expected to extend into the next decade.

“This isn’t just an Edmonton story. This is a Canadian story.”

(Watch below: a fly-through of the arena district. Supplied by the Edmonton Arena District)

With files from Global News

©2014The Canadian Press

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23. 12. 2018
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Lawyers request extension for Matthew de Grood’s mental health review – Calgary

Lawyers request extension for Matthew de Grood’s mental health review – Calgary

CALGARY- The man accused in Calgary’s worst mass murder made a court appearance on Thursday.

Matthew de Grood appeared via CCTV from the Edmonton Remand Centre, to face five counts of first-degree murder following a horrific stabbing back in April.

Zackariah Rathwell, 21, Jordan Segura, 22, Josh Hunter, 23, Kaitlin Perras, 23, and Lawrence Hong, 27, were celebrating the end of the school year when they were killed.

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READ MORE: Site of Calgary’s worst mass murder up for sale

De Grood’s defence team has requested an extension for his mental health review, so the doctor has more time to compile his findings. The report will be presented to court, and includes a psychiatric assessment as well as interviews with de Grood and his parents.

“His parents are doing as well one would imagine under the circumstances,” says lawyer Allan Fay. “They have been up to Edmonton a number of times, so they’re appreciative of that opportunity.”

READ MORE: Calgary concert to honour Brentwood murder victims

The report will be used to determine whether de Grood can be found criminally responsible for the five young adult’s deaths.

“It’s important to know that this report is opinion evidence from one witness,” says prosecutor Neil Wiberg. “At the end of the day, the judge or jury has the final say in determining issues such as this.”

De Grood will be transferred back to Calgary on September 19, and the report is scheduled to be released on September 26.

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23. 12. 2018
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Legal-aid lawyers take action over funding

Legal-aid lawyers take action over funding

CALGARY – Alberta’s legal-aid lawyers are threatening to clog the courts with applications from people denied coverage to draw attention to what the lawyers say is a severely underfunded system.

Ian Savage, president of the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association in Calgary, says the government has raised the bar so high that people living on income support or with major disabilities can’t get a legal-aid lawyer.

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“This is what the government is now forcing us to do — bring applications on behalf of individual clients in court to direct the government to give them coverage for legal aid or a defence lawyer,” Savage said Thursday.

“They’re going to have to pay in some fashion or another for these representations like they would have anyway under the legal-aid system before.”

The province raised legal-aid eligibility thresholds by about 30 per cent in 2010.

Last month, Legal Aid Alberta closed six regional offices and laid off staff in Calgary, Whitecourt and Lethbridge. Lawyers threatened job action to try to pressure the government to provide an additional $8 million a year to fund legal aid.

Justice Minister Jonathan Denis has rejected calls for increased funding and has instead asked the federal government to provide more money to Alberta. He has said he is willing to look at what can be done in next year’s budget for legal aid.

Earlier this month, Alberta’s assistant chief Judge Larry Anderson indicated he would stay charges in three criminal assault cases, unless legal aid provided lawyers to the defendants. Anderson pointed out the three accused were on social assistance and living below the poverty line, but their income was still too high for legal help.

“Is that what Albertans want? We think not,” Savage said.

“They’ve raised the criteria to an artificial level such that people on (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped), people with brain injuries, people with ongoing mental health issues, cannot actually get a lawyer. It’s ridiculous.”

The lawyers say they have created a website, Missingadvocate杭州夜网, to ensure Albertans do not fall victim to unfair trials or miscarriages of justice.

Alberta Justice arranged legal-aid funding for the three defendants referenced by Anderson days before his deadline.

Follow @BillGraveland on 桑拿会所

©2014The Canadian Press

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23. 12. 2018
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Two sides to the e-cigarette debate

Two sides to the e-cigarette debate

SASKATOON – An electronic cigarette seller in Saskatoon says he supports some regulation of the industry. Mitch Tarala runs Vapor Jedi, which has grown rapidly, along with the popularity of e-cigarettes.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a report calling for stricter regulation of the industry, including banning sales to minors, and banning their use indoors.

“I’d like to see age restrictions,” Tarala told Global Saskatoon’s Morning News. “Here, as a store policy we don’t sell to anyone under 18, we don’t even let them come in the store.”

However, Tarala says he also does not want to see over-regulation. For example, he’d like bars to be able to decide for themselves if they’ll allow “vaping,” as it’s called, inside.

“I would like to see it left up to businesses.”

Watch below: Mitch Tarala says e-cigarettes are a positive thing by helping people switch away from something that is harmful


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The Canadian Cancer Society has a different view. Donna Pasiechnik, who is the Canadian Cancer Society’s manager of tobacco control for Saskatchewan, said the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, especially among youth, is ringing some alarms.

“There’s a perception among young people that electronic cigarettes are harmless,” she told Global’s Morning News. “Many kids who might not otherwise smoke are choosing to try electronic cigarettes, and that can lead to tobacco use and addiction, which is a concern.”

She added the Canadian Cancer Society has tried to reduce tobacco use for decades, and they don’t want those gains eroded.

“The last thing we need are young kids trying electronic cigarettes, thinking they’re safe, and getting hooked on nicotine – that’s what we’re trying to avoid.”

Watch below:  The Canadian Cancer Society recommends not using e-cigarettes until it is approved by Health Canada

Like WHO, the Canadian Cancer Society wants to see more regulations, including no sales to minors, and a ban on indoor use. Pasiechnik added there is a lack of information on their long term health effects.

WHO says e-cigarettes are less toxic than conventional cigarettes, but may also contain nicotine and other compounds. Those are some of the reasons why it wants the industry regulated.

In Canada, there is little regulation of e-cigarettes, although Health Canada does recommend against using them.

Tarala admits e-cigarettes may not be completely safe – but for people who smoke, he thinks it can be an alternative.

“It’s helping a lot of people to switch away from something that’s known to be harming them, turning to something that’s provably safer, maybe not completely safe, but definitely safer than smoking tobacco,” he said.

“I don’t think it should be looked at as negatively as its going.”

A WHO official told reporters on Tuesday that e-cigarettes are a story of both risk, and promise.

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23. 12. 2018
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PQ hopefuls wary of PKP’s wealth – Montreal

PQ hopefuls wary of PKP’s wealth – Montreal

QUEBEC CITY – “We don’t want a race to chase money, we want a race of ideas.”

Thirty-six-year-old leadership hopeful Alexandre Cloutier said times have changed and politics shouldn’t be about money.

“What we don’t want is candidates like me who have a mortgage to pay and if you ask people like me to get half a million dollars tomorrow, we may have a problem to participate in the debate,” he said.

Story continues below HangZhou Night Net

As the race to replace Pauline Marois picks up steam, Cloutier and fellow contender Martine Ouellet are asking the party president to cap the expense ceiling at a quarter of a million dollars and to limit individual contributions to $200 instead of $500.

“It will give everyone a fair shot,” Ouellet argued.

READ MORE: PQ leadership race gains momentum

The man considered to be the early favourite in this race is well-connected multimillionaire Pierre Karl Péladeau.

He did not want to comment.

Though the idea seems to please, some, like Bernard Drainville, aren’t convinced it’s necessary.

While he was a cabinet minister, Drainville modified the Election Act to lower contributions.

“In the case of leadership races, there is no public financing right, so this is the reason why we lowered the threshold at $500 but we didn’t go lower,” he explained.

The aspiring leaders – their number swelling to 8 now – will keep their portfolios when the Assembly resumes sitting September 16th.

They’ll be on double duty, said PQ Interim Leader Stéphane Bédard, campaigning and making sure the Liberal government maintains services to the population and respects workers.

“There have already been social tensions and there could be more,” said PQ MNA Nicolas Marceau.

“We think again the ball is in the hand of the government.”

All expect a busy Fall, with protests looming and a government program review that is bound to cause conflicts.

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23. 12. 2018
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‘Coolest Cooler’ beats Pebble to become top Kickstarter project – National

‘Coolest Cooler’ beats Pebble to become top Kickstarter project – National

TORONTO – For more than two years the Canadian-made Pebble smartwatch has been a shining example of how crowdfunding can launch entrepreneurs into full-blown success.

Since raising over $10 million on Kickstarter in 2012, Pebble has held its title as the highest-funded project in the history of the site – until now. Turns out, a fully loaded picnic accessory is much “cooler” than a smartwatch.

The “Coolest Cooler,” a high-tech cooler with a massive amount of features, has raised over $11 million in funding in eight weeks, stealing the title of most-funded Kickstarter project right out from under Pebble.

Listen: Why is the ‘Coolest Cooler’ so cool?


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What makes a cooler so special, you ask?

Well, not only does it include a number of high-tech features – like a waterproof Bluetooth speaker, a USB charger and built-in LED lights – it has a built-in blender, cutting board, bottle opener, and storage for plates and cutlery.

Like the cooler and Pebble (which connects to iPhone and Android), many top Kickstarter projects have been tech-related despite the fact that in the site’s early years, films were the most popular type of project.

The Ouya gaming console, which earned more than $8 million in funding from over 63,000 backers, is now the third-highest funded project in the site’s history. The Pono music player, which earned over $6 million in funding earlier this year, now takes the fourth spot.

READ MORE: How Pebble thrusted crowd-funding into the spotlight

However, both the Coolest Cooler and Pebble impressed with how quickly they reached their fundraising goals – Coolest Cooler hit its initial fundraising goal of $50,000 in just 36 hours.

Pebble reached a goal of $100,000 in only two hours.

But there are many other tech-based Kickstarters that are setting impressive records in their own ways – some of which are also Canadian.

Little Robot Friends

Created by Toronto-based tech company Aesthetec Studios, “Little Robot Friends” more than doubled its initial fundraising goal in 2013.

The tiny autonomous robots are designed to interact with their human owners with preprogrammed “personalities” that affect how they respond to different stimuli. For example, you can program your robot friend to be afraid of the dark – but if you can teach it to be braver by touching its hair.

The project garnered over $123,000 in funding from just over 1,300 backers, surpassing its initial goal of $55,000.

Chameleon

Chameleon garnered attention on Kickstarter for its customizable Android home screen app, which allows users to set up multiple home screens with app layouts on their smartphone or tablet.

Designed by Ottawa-based Teknision, the project reached its initial fundraising goal of $30,000 in just one day and had earned over $66,000 by the time its campaign ended in July 2012.

However, at the time of this publishing the app only has a three star rating (out of five) on the Google Play Store.

bKey

Montreal-based creators Shaun Teblum and Rob Gold have managed to secure over $52,000 in funding for their cable-free emergency smartphone battery dubbed bKey.

The device looks like a USB key, but consists of a lithium ion battery that can last up to 30 minutes of smartphone use. Users charge bKey through its USB port and plug it into their phone using an adapter.

With eight days left in its campaign, bKey has managed to double its initial fundraising goal of $25,000 through only 1,271 backers.

Alpha

Alpha, a heart rate monitor created by Vancouver-based MIO CEO Liz Dickinson, raked in over $321,000 in funding in 2012.

Dubbed the “holy grail of heart rate monitors,” the device can get an accurate electrocardiography (ECG) reading from the user’s wrist and is accurate at speeds of up to 20 kilometres per hour.

Alpha reached its initial fundraising goal of $100,000 within a week of launching on Kickstarter.

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