24. 09. 2018
Premier Wall zeroing in on Ontario in push for freer trade

Premier Wall zeroing in on Ontario in push for freer trade

REGINA – Ahead of the premiers meeting in Charlottetown this week, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is again garnering national attention by putting the focus on internal trade.

Certain barriers make it difficult for companies to do business in other provinces and Wall believes some Saskatchewan sectors are getting short changed.

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“I think the outlier here is the province of Ontario. Arguably, the most important cylinder in the engine of Canada’s economy is engaging in protectionism,” said Wall to reporters in Charlottetown on Wednesday.

Wall said local construction contractors in Ontario have a competitive advantage – as much as a ten per cent head start over outsiders.

However, his comments are not sitting well with the Ontario Premier.

“Rather than coming at it in a sort of confrontational way, I’d like to sit down and have a discussion about where the real problems are,” said Premier Kathleen Wynne. “We’ve got companies from around the world that are taking part in building in Ontario, so obviously we haven’t closed our borders.”

Freer trade between the provinces has been on Wall’s radar for some time. Back in July, he and the other western premiers proposed a new plan but now he needs the other premiers on board.

“If Ontario is not at the table and not going to play ball, that really is going to limit any progress we can make,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Trade barriers exist in many sectors; however some are simply a result of each province doing things a different way.

“A business that sells first aid kits has to comply with multiple provincial jurisdictions and regulations,” said Braun-Pollon

The Saskatchewan Construction Association said increasingly local contractors don’t even bother bidding on projects elsewhere and even worse, out of province competitors sometimes have an edge in Saskatchewan.

“They have subsidies and other benefits in Ontario,” said Mark Cooper, president of the Saskatchewan Construction Association. “It means we have Saskatchewan companies that are losing opportunities to work here and they also don’t have opportunities to work there.”

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24. 09. 2018
Halifax language mapping research crosses the Atlantic

Halifax language mapping research crosses the Atlantic

HALIFAX – Scientists at the IWK in Halifax have developed an algorithm to help doctors better pinpoint the brain’s language centres, and now the research is going international.

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Research scientist Dr. Tim Bardouille, who is also a professor at Dalhousie’s School of Physiotherapy, has been working on the algorithm for the past few years, which will be used in magnetoencephalography, also known as MEG, scans.

MEG scans give doctors a 3D and 360-degree view of the brain and can offer more detail than the traditional MRI scan.

The study involves setting patients up with the MEG, showing them a series of pictures and having the patients say the name of what those pictures are.

“We can look at what’s happening in your brain in just a split second, frame by frame,” Bardouille said. “Then we can isolate the part of the activity that’s related to actually thinking of the name that you have to say.”

The algorithm is meant to streamline work for doctors.

“Getting from sitting in the scanner to a picture of your brain, there’s a lot of steps in that process. Some of them require expertise to be completed. What we’ve done is we’ve automated that entire process so it’s basically a one-click process. You get the scan. You press a button. You get the brain image out.”

The research focuses primarily on epileptic patients, although researchers are also looking at patients with aphasia and who have trouble understanding and initiating speech.

Bardouille said the algorithm is particularly important for patients with epilepsy since their brains rewire where language comes from, meaning it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint exact locations of language centres in the brain.

He adds finding those specific centres are critical, especially if the patient needs surgery to remove the part of the brain that is generating epilepsy.

“If you’re going to do surgery on the brain, you want to be really careful about the areas that you target. Particularly to keep the areas that are most important for things like walking, talking and using your hands,” he said.

“This study is looking particularly at saving those areas that are involved in talking and understanding language.”

Currently the Wada test is used for language mapping, but it can be invasive and risky for patients. Bardouille said using the MEG scan instead is advantageous for patients because it is non-invasive, thereby more scans can be done faster, which could take patients to surgery faster.

He also said that the algorithm makes MEG scans more consistent, meaning a scan done in one part of the world will look exactly the same as a scan done on the other side of the globe.

“The MEG scans can tell you which areas are involved in producing language within a centimetre. That’s really helpful information for surgeons. But one of the problems is MEG labs all around the world will take a different approach to how they take the brain scan and turn it into a pretty picture.”

“That variability makes it difficult for us to get a large scale assessment of this technique. Having this algorithm allows us to do this in a consistent way.”

The IWK researcher has partnered with scientists in Helsinki, Finland to test the new technology in a clinical trial.

Jyrki Makela, a neurologist and senior lecturer at Helsinki University, said Helsinki has a long tradition in MEG scans.

He is hopeful for what the algorithm could add to the current process of language mapping.

“In normal subjects, it seems to be working beautifully and although we have several ways to localize speech that we use in Helsinki, we would like to improve those possibilities,” he said.

“If we can make really precise maps of individual features of speech and organization in patients, this will be tremendously useful for surgery.”

Makela expects to scan and test between 20 to 25 patients in Helsinki for the clinical trial. Roughly the same number will be tested here in Halifax.

Researchers expect results of the collaboration to be completed in one year and then, after that, they hope to expand to other centres around the world.

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24. 09. 2018
Canada Post earns profit, gets boost from parcels and lower pension costs – National

Canada Post earns profit, gets boost from parcels and lower pension costs – National

OTTAWA – The Canada Post Group of Companies reported Wednesday a net profit of $67 million in the second quarter, boosted by growth in its parcel delivery business and lower pension costs.

The result was up from a loss of $50 million in the same period a year ago as revenue for the group, which includes the postal service, the Purolator courier service and other businesses, totalled $2.007 billion for the 13 weeks ended June 28, up from $1.862 billion a year ago.

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All that prompted a call from the union representing many of its workers to find alternatives to cutting services.

“When our post office has been profitable for most of the last two decades, the types of cuts that Canada Post and the (federal) Conservatives are trying to impose on us are completely unnecessary,” Denis Lemelin, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said in a statement.

“We need to do what the rest of the world is doing and make the post office a better service, not a lack of service.”

Canada Post, the group’s largest division, earned $42 million in the second quarter, compared with a loss of $71 million in the same period a year earlier.

The traditional post office segment saw its revenue from operations climb 10 per cent to $1.56 billion, up from $1.35 billion in the comparable period of 2013, helped by higher stamp prices, provincial elections in Ontario and Quebec and increased parcel shipments.

Transactional mail revenue was $823 million, up from $732 million a year ago, even as the volume of mail slipped 2.3 per cent. Parcel revenue increased by 11.3 per cent to $353 million in the second quarter compared with $322 million a year ago.

Direct marketing revenue slipped to $308 million from $310 million, while other revenue totalled $75 million, up from $71 million in the same quarter last year.

Also helping boost the results was a $58-million reduction in employee benefit costs due to strong pension fund investment returns and an increase in interest rates used to calculate pension costs. However, the company warned that future employee benefit costs, including pensions, continue to be “high volatile and unpredictable.”

Meanwhile, Purolator earned $20 million for the quarter on revenue from operations of $427 million, up from a profit of $18 million on $412 million in revenue in the same quarter last year.

Canada Post’s logistics business, which includes SCI Group, earned $3 million on $52 million in revenue from operations, up from $2 million on $43 million in revenue a year ago.

The Crown corporation announced a plan late last year to phase out home delivery within five years and raise stamp prices.

It also said it would look to eliminate 6,000 to 8,000 positions over the same time period, mainly through attrition.

Canada Post said it continues to stay on course with its plan to cut down operating costs. In February, it installed community mailboxes for 100,000 addresses in 11 communities across Canada.

A total of 1.17 million conversions will be completed by 2015. It also raised prices for letter mail to better reflect inflation and operating costs.

©2014The Canadian Press

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24. 09. 2018
Scotiabank on Dilworth robbed — again

Scotiabank on Dilworth robbed — again

KELOWNA — Bank robberies are nothing new in Kelowna. They happen at various branches but for some reason robbers like to target a particular branch – the Scotiabank on Dilworth Dr.

The most recent incident happened Tuesday.

“A lone male suspect entered the bank with his face covered and deployed a bear spray into the facility and fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash,” says RCMP Cst. Kris Clark.

The robber got away.

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Police have been visiting neighbouring businesses looking for leads, including at Chris Elliott’s business next door.

“A police officer was in this morning and said: ‘Yeah, this bank has been hit several times,’” says Elliott of ABC Hobby & Games.

On Wednesday, a security guard was posted outside the bank, something employees tell Global Okanagan news they’ve been asking for.

Jonathan Wright runs a business in the same mall.

“The guy ran by me and I didn’t realize that. I thought it was kind of funny because who jogs in a jogging suit at 31 degree weather?” says Wright of Havana Room & Mini Market.

And wright has seen his fair share of robberies at the same branch.

“I would think at least six in 15 years I’ve been here.”

He figures it’s the layout of the mall and where the bank is located that is so attractive to robbers.

“It’s just too easy to get in and out of that bank and I think that’s why. They either run down the alley or they run across the highway and they’re gone,” says Wright.

And he says the security guard will also soon be gone.

“They usually have them there for a month, six weeks. I would imagine it’s bank policy and then they’ll leave. So they’ll have them there for a month to six weeks.”

Scotiabank won’t comment on the robbery citing security reasons.

RCMP say the Dilworth branch has been robbed at least five times since 2011.

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24. 09. 2018
UPDATE: Maintenance crews fix unsafe rails near Lake Shore Blvd. – Toronto

UPDATE: Maintenance crews fix unsafe rails near Lake Shore Blvd. – Toronto

TORONTO – The city has taken responsibility for unsafe rail lines along Lake Shore Boulevard West near Carlaw Avenue – or least a city-owned company has.

The Toronto Port Lands Company (TPLC) own the tracks that cross over a bike path where a number of cyclists have been injured and on Thursday, maintenance crews managed to fix the problem with the rubber moulding.

The area around the track had come loose over the last couple of weeks. Tri-athlete Lynn O’Connor ended up with scrapes and bruises along one side of her body after falling.

“Who’s responsible? Why is it like that? It’s been like that for some time,” O’Connor said. “The bike path was built three or four years ago and it is dangerous.”

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When the problem was brought to the attention of TPLC on Monday, they said it was up the city to fix it. Managers with the city’s Transportation Services department claimed it was up to TPLC.

On Tuesday, Global News was told TPLC would replace the rubber on Wednesday but as of Wednesday morning, nothing had been done.

“We need to look at areas and get them fixed,” Public Works and Infrastructure Chair Denzil Minnan-Wong said. “If there’s a bike trail that’s dangerous we need to fix that.”

The Toronto Port Lands Company is owned by the city of Toronto.

Watch: (Aug. 25) Several cyclists hurt near dangerous part of road on Lakeshore

But dangerous tracks aren’t isolated to the city’s lake shore.

Issues with decommissioned streetcar tracks near St. Clair Avenue are supposed to be resolved this month after two years of studies and reports.

A memorial still stands on Wychwood Avenue near St. Clair Avenue West where Joseph Mavec died in 2012. City crews are expected to start covering the tracks with a “thermoplastic paint” before Labour Day.

“We miss spots from time to time and if we find out there’s a problem, we should repair them,” Minnan-Wong said. “The finger pointing should stop and getting things done should be the priority.”

Other locations where the material would be used are on Strathmore Boulevard close to Woodbine Station and Kipling Avenue north of Lawrence Boulevard.

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24. 09. 2018
Saskatoon schools remain under construction as classes loom – Saskatoon

Saskatoon schools remain under construction as classes loom – Saskatoon

Watch above: school construction delays mean different learning environments for students

SASKATOON – Construction crews are working hard so that Holy Cross High School will be ready for students on Tuesday, according to a Greater Saskatoon Catholic School superintendent.

“There’s lots of touch up painting going on, there’s some ceiling tile being put into place,” said John McAuliffe, the school division’s superintendent of education facilities.

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“Right behind us, at this doorway, there’s grouting going onto new tile,” said McAuliffe, while gesturing to the new entrance that he said will be open for students on Tuesday, the first day of class.

Saskatoon’s largest Catholic high school has been going through a roughly $21-million renovation process. A new student common area has been completed, as well as an industrial arts classroom. However, a new gym is still under construction and will not be in use at the start of the school year.

Renovations went on throughout the 2013-2014 academic year; those enrolled at Holy Cross made their way through cramped and noisy hallways on a daily basis.

“Definitely the first semester it was distracting to listen to all the jack hammers and hammers in class,” said Gavin King, who graduated from the high school last year.

“It was white noise after awhile.”

McAullife assured that “there will be a huge difference between last year and this year” for students, even though some areas of the building will continue to be blocked off.

“The inconvenience isn’t going to be what it was,” explained McAullife, who added that major construction could be wrapped up by the end of the year.

“At the end of the day they’re going to see a product, I would say, most, if not all students will say, that was worth it,” he added.

Holy Family & Willowgrove not ready for start of school year

Construction at two elementary schools in Saskatoon’s new Willowgrove neighbourhood have forced officials to re-route students to nearby schools until the new facilities are complete.

“Because Willowgrove is not open, as disappointed as I am, we had to implement a contingency plan,” said Ray Morrison, chair of Saskatoon public schools.

Students enrolled at Willowgrove School will be transported to Ecole Forest Grove School and Dr. John G. Egnatoff School. Those slated to attend Holy Family will start their year at Father Robinson and St. Volodymyr School.

Students enrolled in the uncompleted schools will have the same classmates and teachers that they will have once they move into their new facility. Both school boards hope the buildings will be able to accommodate children by January.

“For some young people, transitions are hard,” said Morrison, who noted that the school board had been in contact with parents affected since last February.

“We think that by connecting those students with their teacher and building those linkages so the teacher can get to know the students, the students can get to know each other, that they’ll operate as a class and hopefully on January 5th they’ll just go to a new building.”

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24. 09. 2018
Heading back to school may be stressful for children – Toronto

Heading back to school may be stressful for children – Toronto

TORONTO – Heading back to the stress of a new grade, new school and maybe new friends can be stressful for many children.

Eleven year old Jordan Lau will be starting Grade 6 next week and admits he is a bit nervous about going back to school.

“The usual stuff, what teacher, how many friends – I haven’t seen them in two months,” he said.

For elementary children who are starting school for the first time it can be tough says Dr. David Scwartzbein, the chief of psychological services at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).

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“They’ve never been to school.  They’re strangers in a strange land and that makes people nervous. Am I going to be able to cope?” he said.

Schwartzbein adds students in middle and high school are typically anxious because they have some experience but still worried about fitting in with other students.

“It’s stressful because they’re more worried about fitting in.  They’ve had experiences,” he said.  “Maybe they’ve struggled in the past either academically socially or emotionally.  That makes them a bit more vulnerable.”

In Depth: What you need to know for back to school season

A survey by the Canadian Association of Mental Health found 26 per cent of Ontario students in Grades 7 to 12 experienced symptoms of psychological distress such as depression or anxiety.

The Toronto District School Board found secondary school students were more likely to report experiencing emotional challenges than middle school students in grades 7 and 8.  For instance, while over a third of the Grade 9-12 students said they were under a lot of stress (38 per cent) and nervous or anxious (34 per cent) all the time or often, the respective percentages for the Grade 7-8 students were 18 per cent and 26 per cent.

Schwartzbein says it’s better to ask questions instead of telling kids not to worry and things will get better.

“You can just say tell me what are some of the thoughts you have about going to school?  What’s in your mind?  What do you think it’s going to be like?  And then – listen.”

If your child is worried about a new environment, visit the school.  If making new friends is stressful, role play with your child.

There are some cases where a child’s anxiety is considered more serious.

“Sometimes they’ll want to avoid the situation altogether or in some cases they’re so anxious they won’t speak,” said Schwartzbein. “If that persists more than a month it’s time to speak with professionals in the school.”

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24. 09. 2018
Businesses try to lure Weston Dressler back to Sask. – Regina

Businesses try to lure Weston Dressler back to Sask. – Regina

REGINA – Rider Nation’s courtship of Weston Dressler has reached a fever pitch as local businesses try to sweeten the offer.

Italian Star Deli started the wave Wednesday morning on 桑拿会所 by offering the star receiver free sandwiches and his own spot on the menu, with one catch – he must decide to return to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

“Free paninis for a year and a sandwich named after him, it’s on the table,” said Carlo Giambattista, the shop’s owner. “His agent should get ahold of my agent and we should negotiate.”

Evidently, Dressler is no stranger to the deli, with photos of Giambattista and Dressler on the wall.

Rider fans have been on pins and needles, waiting to see if he’ll sign a new deal with the team after a short stint with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.

Other groups followed on social media with their own freebies, from cupcakes to car washes, trying their best to lure Dressler back to green and white colours.

“This (menu) board hasn’t changed for 40 years, but we’re putting a new board up if he signs,” Giambattista said. “One sandwich, number seven.”

What if Dressler chooses to sign with another team?

Giambattista joked, “If he doesn’t sign, we’re going to approach Rob Bagg!”

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24. 09. 2018
Family wants answers about 80 minute ambulance wait – Lethbridge

Family wants answers about 80 minute ambulance wait – Lethbridge

August 9th will remain one of the scariest days in young Dylan Court’s life.

It was the evening of his brother’s wedding when the 18-year-old and his family were getting ready to head home. Court jumped out of his friend’s parked jeep, tripped and went head first into the pavement. “Everything kind of just went black and white. Closed my eyes and I was gone,” he said.

“I honestly had no idea what was going on. I just woke up in the hospital and I was just stunned. Like why am I here? What’s wrong?”

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Court’s parents took him to the nearest hospital, Raymond General Hospital. However, he suffered severe head trauma and needed extensive treatment. An ambulance was called to bring him to Chinook Regional Hospital, 36 km away. His parents said it took 80 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.

Court eventually made it to Lethbridge, where doctors were able to keep him stable. His family says the situation could have been much worse, because of how long it took the ambulance to get to Raymond. “That’s ridiculous. This was life or death. Like the ER staff worked hard to keep my child alive,” said Tanya Court, Dylan’s mom.

“We walked away from this. Another parent will not walk away, and I don’t want that to happen because it is not necessary at all.”

Court suffered a severe concussion from the fall. He’s now back at home recovering, trying to get back into his normal routine.

He said he won’t stop until he gets answers.

“I had to wait that 80 minutes that’s kind of pathetic in my personal opinion.”

Statement from Alberta Health to Global News:

“We have contacted the family directly to discuss their concerns and assure them that a review has been undertaken. The family has been invited to participate in the review and we will provide them with our findings and any recommendations that come from this review.”

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24. 09. 2018
Humber students get a lesson on sexual decision making – Toronto

Humber students get a lesson on sexual decision making – Toronto

TORONTO – Humber College has brought in an acclaimed author and public speaker to teach students lessons they didn’t learn through textbooks or classroom lectures prior to their post-secondary education.

“Most students in high school don’t get lessons on sexual decision making. High schools like to think: ‘well that kind of stuff is not happening in high school,’ which is insane,” says Mike Domitrz, creator of the Can I Kiss You program, which is aimed at educating students on how to protect themselves from sexual assault.

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“We teach three main skill sets: one, how to ask first before engaging in sexual intimacy; two, how to intervene when you see someone at a party using alcohol to facilitate a sexual assault; and three, how to open the door to survivors,” says Domitrz, who was motivated to create this program after his younger sister was raped in 1989.

“I was enraged, I was furious, and what I realized was that that was not going to help.”

The award-winning American speaker and author channeled his energy into learning about consent and how to empower teens to take control of their relationship choices.

“He speaks to students on a very non-judgemental and non-condescending level. He helps them understand the issues in a way that’s very real,” says Jen McMillen, Dean of Students at Humber College.

Domitrz wraps his lessons in humour and provides very practical advice.

“You should be able to look your partner in the eye and say: ‘hey, we’re having a great time tonight, can I give you a kiss?’ You ask, and what it does is that it tells your partner how much you are into them and gives them a choice and shows respect.”

When alcohol is present Domitrz says it’s best to “get a group of friends together, go check in on the person who has been drinking and make sure they have friends who are getting them home. You want to intervene so this predator does not get this person alone.”

Molly Mackenzie attends Humber and says the insight is valuable.

“Especially in residence I feel like it’s a lot bigger of a deal because you’re going out drinking and not making the smartest of decisions some of the time,” she said.

The knowledge also cuts across cultural lines and puts everyone on the same page.

“What some might perceive as being sexual assault others may not, so therefore it’s putting a clear line [in the sand] so that everyone gets an understanding of how to treat everyone equally,” says Dallas Knowles, a residence assistant at Humber College.

Domitrz speaks at around 90 to 100 campuses a year.

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