Edmonton Mac’s store reduces hours after overnight murders

Written by admin on 26/04/2020 Categories: 老域名出售

EDMONTON – A convenience store that was the scene of one of two “barbaric” murders early Friday morning has cut back its hours.

The Mac’s store on 82 Street and 32 Avenue in south Edmonton has permanently changed its hours to 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. It will no longer be open 24 hours a day.

The second Mac’s store involved in the two deaths – in Pleasantview – will still remain open 24 hours a day.



  • Edmontonians pay respects to murdered Mac’s store employees

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    At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 18, Mac’s employee 35-year-old Karanpal Singh Bhangu was fatally shot at the Mill Woods location. Just 14 minutes later, at a different Mac’s store near 108 Street and 61 Avenue, another employee was killed. He has been identified as 41-year-old Ricky Massin Cenabre.

    “It’s heinous acts,” said Police Chief Rod Knecht. “These were extreme acts of violence. I’ve talked to the investigators before I came in here and they say it was over-the-top violence… Absolutely unnecessary, gratuitous, evil.”

    READ MORE: ‘Unnecessary, gratuitous, evil’: 2 clerks shot to death in Edmonton robberies 

    The police chief said the clerks did not resist the armed robbery, didn’t fight back and likely didn’t expect to be “executed.”

    Knecht said minimal amounts of money were stolen from both locations in the armed robberies.

    A memorial grows in front of a Mac’s convenience store in Edmonton, Dec. 21, 2015.

    Wes Rosa, Global News

    A memorial grows in front of a Mac’s convenience store in Edmonton, Dec. 21, 2015.

    Wes Rosa, Global News

    One of the Mac’s stores in Edmonton involved in two deadly shootings.

    Wes Rosa, Global News

    A sign at a Mac’s store involved in a deadly shooting announces new hours, Dec. 21, 2015.

    Wes Rosa, Global News

    Mac’s Convenience stores Western Canada is making a $30,000 donation to a fund to honour the victims.

    The company set up a bank account with CIBC to accept donations in support of the victims’ families. Anyone wishing to contribute can do so in person at any CIBC branch, through a wire transfer or email transfer to [email protected]老域名出售. The password is “family,” the account name is “Mac’s Convenience Stores Inc. (Edmonton Family Support Fund),” the transit number is 00009 and the account number is 80-87717.

    “In the midst of tragedy, we are extremely impressed and grateful at how our neighbours and communities have rallied around these heartbreaking events,” Mac’s Western Canada VP Bonnie Birollo said.

    Three people were charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths, including a 13-year-old who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

    Colton Steinhauer and Laylin Delorme are also charged in the murders.

    READ MORE: Youth accused in Edmonton Mac’s murders cries in court 

    All three appeared in court (two via CCTV) Monday.

    Steinhauer and Delorne’s cases were adjourned until Jan. 11, 2016.

    The youth will be back in court Jan. 4.

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NFL argues Goodell had authority to suspend Brady for ‘Deflategate’

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NEW YORK – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had clear authority under a union contract to suspend New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games in the “Deflategate” controversy, the league told an appeals court on Monday.



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    In a brief filed with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, the league argued that the contract specifically “grants the commissioner authority to discipline players for conduct detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence in, the game of professional football.” The brief accused the NFL Players Association of trying to misapply the league’s “uniform policy,” which restricts punishment for first-time offenders, to Brady’s case.

    READ MORE: Headset-gate? New England Patriots already involved in scandal after first game

    Under the contract, Goodell “was entitled to conclude that, unlike wearing the wrong colour shoes or failing to tuck in one’s jersey, Brady’s unique and aggregate misconduct posed a threat to the integrity of and public confidence in the game,” the NFL lawyers wrote.

    The appeals court is hearing the NFL’s appeal of a ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman that nullified Brady’s suspension on allegations that the star quarterback conspired to gain an advantage by having team employees underinflate balls at January’s AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts and then obstructed an internal probe, including destroying his cellphone. The Patriots won, 45-7.

    The lower-court judge found the league’s discipline of Brady was based on “several significant legal deficiencies,” including that it failed to adequately provide notice that a lengthy suspension could result from deflating footballs.

    In papers filed earlier this month, the union accused Goodell and the league of making a “sweeping grab for power that is contrary to collectively bargained penalties.” Under the “equipment violations” provision, the league must provide notice in bold, italicized type that “First offences will result in fines,” the union said.

    A three-judge panel will hear oral arguments in March before issuing a decision weeks or months afterward.

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Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue passes controversial budget amid criticism

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SAINTE-ANNE-DE-BELLEVUE – The town of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue narrowly passed a controversial budget Monday night, averting massive financial difficulties.

The budget jumps from $17.7 million to $18.1 million over last year.

It includes a tax hike and an administrative position slotted in for the mayor, raising the ire of some vocal residents.

“This little town is small and we need to live within our means,” Michele Cossais said.

Mayor Paola Hawa said the increases were due largely to incremental rises in collective agreements with workers.

Residents concentrated their comments on an administrative position slated to aid the director general.

“I challenge anybody to find another city on this island who doesn’t have an assistant for the director general,” Hawa said.

Adding to the controversy, Ste. Anne’s was stuck in a stalemate because of the November death of Councillor Andrée Deschamps, meaning it had difficulty passing anything with a six-person council.



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Trust fund set up to help family after father and 5-year-old son killed in crash

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LETHBRIDGE — It was a tragic scene; Henry Thiessen and his five-year-old son Banny were killed in a crash on Highway 3 near Taber earlier in December.

His wife Margaritha and their three-year-old son Corny survived, left to rebuild a life without their husband and brother.

Banny’s uncle, Peter Klassen, was one of the first people to arrive on scene. The crash happened on the highway, right in front of his house.


“It was very hard, very sad,” he said.

“When I got there she was trying to break the window and she couldn’t get out of the door.

“She tried to talk to Henry and get an answer out of him, then she reached in the back to Banny and didn’t get an answer out of him.”

The Thiessen family has had struggles over the last couple of years. Klassen has arranged for a trust fund to be set up to help the family with expenses.

“The trust fund was set up for Margaritha to pay for house rent and pay for groceries or whatever she needs to live off.”

The family had struggled financially after Henry, a farm labourer, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and his ability to work was limited.

One of Banny and Henry’s favorite pass times before he was diagnosed was riding in the tractor together, doing farm work.

Klassen said Margaritha and Corny are doing well, all things considered. Corny is recovering from injuries including a broken arm and leg. Any support to help them get back on their feet is welcomed.

Donations can be made at any ATB Financial branch in Alberta through the “Margaritha Thiessen In-Trust” fund. The family thanks members of their church, Banny’s school and the larger community for their support.

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Texas prosecutor: No indictment in Sandra Bland’s jail death

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HEMPSTEAD, Texas – A grand jury decided on Monday that no felony crime was committed by the sheriff’s office or jailers in the treatment of a black woman who died in a Southeast Texas county jail last summer.

But prosecutor Darrell Jordan said the Waller County grand jury reached no decision on whether the trooper who arrested 28-year-old Sandra Bland should face charges. The grand jury will return in January to consider that issue.

The Chicago-area woman was pulled over July 10 by a Texas state trooper for making an improper lane change. Dashcam video showed their interaction quickly became confrontational and she was arrested for assault.

Bland was taken in handcuffs to the county jail in nearby Hempstead, about 50 miles northwest of Houston, and remained there when she couldn’t raise about $500 for bail. She was discovered dead in her jail cell three days later, hanging from a cell partition with a plastic garbage bag used as a ligature around her neck.

WATCH: Sandra Bland’s family files lawsuit against county officials


Bland’s relatives, along with supporters fueled by social media postings, questioned a medical examiner’s finding that Bland killed herself. Cannon Lambert, an attorney representing Bland’s family, said Monday the decision is consistent with what the family believes has so far been an attempt by authorities to cover up the events after Bland’s arrest.

“They continue to do things we are disappointed in,” he said.

Bland’s mother and sisters spoke at a news conference in Chicago before Monday night’s announcement, where they said they had no faith in the grand jury.

Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, said she wants to see all the evidence and is frustrated by delays in the case. Attorney Larry Rogers acknowledged grand juries usually meet in secret, but said the process “screams of a coverup.” He said lawyers haven’t been able to examine a Texas Rangers report on the incident because it’s grand jury evidence.

In the days after her death, county authorities released video from the jail to dispel rumours and conspiracy theories that Bland was dead before she arrived at the jail or was killed while in custody. County officials said they themselves received death threats.

Her arrest and death came amid heightened national scrutiny of police and their dealings with black suspects, especially those killed by officers or who died in police custody.

“After presenting all the evidence as it relates to the death of Sandra Bland, the grand jury did not return an indictment,” Jordan, one of the five special prosecutors, said after the grand jury met Monday for about 11 hours. “The grand jury also considered things that occurred at the jail and did not return an indictment.”

Grand jurors considered evidence collected by a team of five special prosecutors named by the county’s district attorney, Elton Mathis.

WATCH: Hours of footage of Sandra Bland in jail released

“Having an independent committee to evaluate the case, that can be a positive thing in a situation like this,” Brian Serr, a law professor at Baylor University said.

Among evidence presented in the secret grand jury proceedings were the findings of a Texas Rangers’ investigation.

“There’s nothing in there that shows anything happened but she killed herself,” Mathis had said.

Lambert said late Monday he believes prosecutors’ decision to have the grand jury return in January is another attempt to delay releasing the report. He said he expects to file a motion in court asking a judge to compel Texas authorities to turn over the document.

Bland’s sister didn’t immediately respond to a phone message requesting comment on the grand jury’s decision, and Reed-Veal couldn’t be reached for comment late Monday.

Royce West, a Dallas Democrat who has been a vocal leader in the case, and one of two black Texas state senators, also had said he was “comfortable” with the medical examiner’s determination.

But Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court in Houston against the trooper, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Waller County and two jail employees. State lawyers have asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

WATCH: Dashcam video shows confrontation between Sandra Bland and Texas state trooper

The Bland family attorneys contend Waller County jailers should have checked on her more frequently and that the county should have performed mental evaluations once she disclosed she had a history of attempting suicide. In her lawsuit, Reed-Veal also contends that the trooper who arrested her daughter, Brian Encinia, falsified the assault allegation to take Bland into custody and that jail personnel failed to keep her daughter safe.

County officials have said Bland was treated well while locked up and produced documents that show she gave jail workers inconsistent information about whether she was suicidal.

Encinia, who in June completed a year-long probationary stint as a new trooper, has been on administrative duty since the Bland death.

Dashcam video from his car showed Encinia at one point holding a stun gun and yelling at Bland, “I will light you up!” after she refuses to get out of her car. The director of the Department of Public Safety, Steve McCraw, has said Encinia violated internal policies of professionalism and courtesy.

Melissa Hamilton, visiting criminal law scholar at the University of Houston, said Bland had no legal right to remain in her car after the trooper ordered her out.

“Whether you like it or not, the Supreme Court has made it clear police are in charge at a traffic stop, and they can make anybody get out of the car – driver or passenger – for no reason whatsoever,” she said. “The idea for that is to allow police to control a potentially dangerous situation.”

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Documents reveal Canadian teenager target of GMO lobby

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At the time, Rachel Parent was 14 years old and had a growing social media following. Her message to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food was attracting attention – including from those who promote GMOs in the U.S. Their internal emails reveal they were discussing how they could counter her message.

“To think at this point, I was on their radar and I had no clue,” Parent said.


The strategizing was revealed in emails, along with thousands of other pages of documents released in a freedom of information request by US Right to Know (USRTK), a non-profit advocacy group funded by the Organic Consumers Association concerned with the safety of GMOs.

The documents shed light into the increasingly nasty and divisive public relations war over GMOs.

“It’s mostly scientists that they attack, but Rachel is a standout. The agrichemical industry is plainly quite threatened by this teenage schoolgirl, so that’s why they’re after her,” Gary Ruskin, the co-director of USRTK said.

READ MORE: Meet Rachel Parent — the teen fighting for GMO labelling in Canada

The documents show that professors and academics were contacted by companies like Monsanto and the industry trade association’s public relations firm to provide expert opinion and offer credibility in a complicated debate.

But not all the academics revealed their connection to Monsanto or the agrichemical industry.

One professor at a renowned American university volunteered as a science expert to help spread a pro-GMO message. His name is Kevin Folta, chairman of the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida.

But to understand why Kevin Folta focussed on Rachel Parent, is to understand his relationship with Monsanto and the agrichemical industry.

Folta began corresponding with Monsanto in 2013, according to emails released by USRTK. From there a relationship began with Monsanto, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), and Ketchum, a public relations firm hired by the trade association, the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI).

“I’m glad to sign on to whatever you like, or write whatever you like….I’d be happy to write the op-ed on making decisions on facts,” Folta wrote in an email in October 2014 to Monsanto.

“He’s literally a mouthpiece for them…Monsanto says jump, and Kevin Folta says ‘how high’?” said Ruskin.

When asked, USRTK also said third-party academics were enlisted by the pro-GMO labelling side.

The documents show Folta wrote articles, blog posts, contributed to industry website GMOAnswers老域名购买, attended public hearings, forums and events to explain and defend GMO technology; he also lobbied Congress and other government agencies.

During these appearances and in his writings Folta has repeatedly referred to himself as an “independent scientist.”

The documents reveal that Monsanto, the Biotechnology Industry Organization and Ketchum reimbursed Folta’s travel costs. After the emails were released, Folta admitted as much in his blog posts.

In August 2014, Monsanto also gave Folta an unrestricted $25,000 grant telling him in a letter it “may be used at your discretion in support of your research and outreach projects.”   

Folta wrote in a blog post that he planned to use the grant for an “outreach program, which covered the costs for me to travel and teach scientists how to talk about science.”

“Kevin Folta is one of the principal attack dogs of the agrichemical industry. He maintains extremely tight communications with Monsanto and the agrichemical industry’s PR firm Ketchum,” said Ruskin.

Folta vehemently denies these claims, telling Global News in an email, he is not an agribusiness GMO advocate. He said he speaks publically, writes, and joined the public relations campaign to defend GMO technology which he believes is safe, reiterating he speaks freely expressing his own scientific opinions.

“I don’t care about the companies. They don’t sponsor my work, I never received anything from them personally, I don’t care about them,” he wrote.

“Because I am effective at communicating the science, activists have tried hard to connect me to being some sort of pawn of these companies. It is nonsense.”

READ MORE: Genetically modified ‘Arctic Apple’ approved by Health Canada

Charla Lord of Monsanto told Global News in an email, “the relationships between the public and private sector are critical and have existed for decades,” said Lord. “We see public-private collaborations as essential to the advancement of science, as well as to educating and sometimes correcting misinformation the public has about plant biotechnology.”

Trish Jordan, also of Monsanto Canada told Global News that Monsanto does not ask academics to keep their relationships with the company under wraps.

“No, absolutely not. We fully understand that transparency is expected. It’s a goal of ours,” Jordan said.

“Holding Activists Accountable”

In a 2013 email, a Monsanto executive contacted scientists and professors from various universities suggesting topics. That email proposed Folta write about “Holding Activists Accountable.”

The email to Folta went on to say: “Demonstrate how activists’ messages and tactics regarding Genetically Modified (GM) crops and plant biotechnology undermine worldwide efforts to ensure a safe, nutritious, plentiful and affordable food supply using responsible and sustainable agricultural practices.”

“The key to success is participation by all of you – recognized experts and leaders with the knowledge, reputation and communication experience needed to communicate authoritatively to the target groups. You represent an elite group.”

The email also suggested Folta show how “activist campaigns… spread false information that goes unchallenged and results In further erosion of the public’s confidence in agricultural innovation.”

Video about Rachel Parent

Later that year, while attending a roundtable in Washington, D.C., Folta was asked by public relations firm Ketchum to make a video about Parent.

The email request to Folta read, “How do you agree/disagree with 14-yr old GMO Labeling activist Rachel Parent, who is, in her own words ‘not anti-science’ but ‘for responsible science and ethical progress?’”

But, the email added, “we try to refrain from personally attacking folks, so don’t worry too much about Rachel specifically.”

Nine days later, a video appeared online that was quite specific, entitled, “How do you agree/disagree with 14 year old GMO Activist?”

The video discussed Parent’s activism, her belief that all GMO food products should be labelled, and addressed her apparent lack of scientific knowledge.

“So when I think about answering Rachel Parent, who’s the activist child – well, young woman – who’s running the website ‘Kids Right to Know…The things I just adore about Rachel is that she’s clearly very articulate, clearly intelligent,” Folta said in the video.

“The problem that I have is when Rachel starts to let non-scientific thinking really kind of cloud her final decision-making process.”

Parent said she finds the tone of the video “almost degrading.”

She also defended the information on her organization’s website as scientifically sound.

“People can say whatever they want about me, but as long as I know what I am doing is right, their opinion doesn’t matter.”

Ketchum, the public relations firm for the industry trade association, said the question for the video about Parent was submitted by a user of GMO Answers老域名购买. According to Ketchum, since 2013, GMO Answers has responded to “more than 1,000 questions by top experts in their field” from people submitting questions from around the world.

‘I have an idea. I can provide content’

Eleven months after the video was posted, Folta volunteered his own strategy to Ketchum: a website to counter Parent and her organization’s website, Kids Right to Know, according to an email obtained by Global News.

“There was a discussion this morning about kidsrighttoknow老域名购买, the junk information site piloted by Rachel Parent as a figurehead,” Folta wrote in an email to a Ketchum employee.

“Today, I purchased kidsrightotruth老域名购买 and want to populate this.  I have no time, but I have an idea. I can provide content.”

“Can you see if ketchum might have some interest in actually hosting the site w/GMOanswers etc and maybe helping me with someone to do the design? I can provide content.”

The response from the Ketchum employee: “Kevin, I’ll kick this around to our team and see what they recommend!”

According to Ketchum, the website is not in development, “no, Ketchum is not working with Kevin Folta to design or host a website.”

“It was definitely eye opening,” said Parent. “On one hand I was really surprised and disappointed that a professor from a university would want to target and discredit our website, which is really dedicated to youth.”

“And on the other hand, I was pleased to know that Kids Right to Know is making an impact… so it was a bit of bitter sweet.”

Despite her age, now 16, Parent has become the face for the GMO labelling battle in Canada. A Consumers’ Association of Canada – Decima Poll shows close to 90 per cent of Canadians want mandatory GMO labelling.

Health Canada and U.S. health and agriculture officials say GMOs are safe and scientific studies back that up.  Industry, however, is concerned consumers are making decision based on fear, not facts.

Opponents, including Parent, disagree and believe the scientific research government regulators rely on is often funded by the same companies that benefit from the sale of GMOs.

She argued there is science that proves GMOs do pose a health risk, so labelling is needed.

Folta spoke about the unfounded concerns about GMOs during an appearance on a Global News morning show in Winnipeg in 2014, saying they are “very safe and very effective.”

University of Florida

As for the University of Florida, U.S. colleges place great importance on the independence of their research.

The university said in an August statement that “Folta has no relationship with Monsanto in research or teaching.”

As for the $25,000 grant given to Folta, Monsanto told Global News, “We were happy to support Dr. Folta’s outreach program to increase understanding of biotechnology….We funded Dr. Folta’s proposal through an unrestricted grant to the University of Florida.  An unrestricted grant to a university is much like a gift: it can have no strings attached.”

According to the university’s statement, the funds were reallocated to “the campus food pantry.”

The university said its decision to reallocate the $25,000 grant from Monsanto “came when his (Folta) home address and other personal information appeared among comments on Facebook.   Obscene, inflammatory posts also appeared on Craigslist, presumably with the intent to incite local violent action.”

Folta also made a clear distinction that neither his research nor department was ever sponsored in his blog.

“When people would ask me about Monsanto, I’d simply reply, “I don’t work with them,” or “They don’t sponsor my research,” wrote Folta. “Both statements are true. More importantly, both statements are the most telling questions a scientist can answer —; Who are your collaborators? Who pays for your lab’s work?”

Folta admitted in a Sept. 2015 blog post there were “many things I could have done differently.”

He said many of the released emails and quotes have been taken out of context, and the focus is no longer on the science but on his actions. Folta has also stopped his blogging and curtailed his social media activity.

In the same post, he explains he has gone back into his records to provide a “complete accounting of my outreach and extension activities. You’ll find how much I was reimbursed for airfare, who paid for the rental car, and who bought the dinner. You’ll see how much was offered as an honorarium or speaker fee, and where that money went. The painstaking detail is necessary, and I think defines a new standard of transparency and a new tool to cultivate trust.”

As for Parent she continues her quest to get GMO ingredients in food labelled, and she knows she faces some serious opposition.

“We are still going strong with our message of right to know…we’re just appealing to simple transparency,” said Parent.

Global News requested an interview with Kevin Folta for this story, but was told by Folta the university denied the request.

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Father angry over system’s handling of troubled daughter

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It’s one of the few decisions Destiny Gettings’ mother said she had the right to make. It also happened to be one of the hardest.

“Destiny is under the ministry care for 45 days, at this point under a temporary custody order. She’s in a group home,” Jackie Gettings said.

This came after Jackie was told she could not force the 15-year-old to be stabilized in hospital.


Despite fears the drug-addicted, mentally-ill teen was suicidal, Destiny twice convinced psychiatric staff she should be discharged.

“I know what my daughter needs,” Jackie said. “Because of their legislation and their rules I can’t get her that help.”

READ MORE: Fraser Valley mother desperate to get help for troubled teen daughter

Now, another B.C. parent says the system needs to change.

Rick Falcon lost his daughter Adriana in 2013 after a brutal rape led her into a downward spiral of substance abuse.

“Everything we ran into was just voluntary. There was nothing involuntary that I think, ultimately would have saved her life.”

A new documentary tells Adriana’s story and highlights her father’s efforts to get her help.

“They did everything they possibly could and in the end she checked herself out of a mental health facility because at 14 years old she had the right to do so. And I say in the documentary Rick did not have the right to save her,” filmmaker Kimothy Walker said.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development writes:

“Going beyond the limitations of currently available options…Would require the enactment of specialized legislation authorizing the involuntary detainment of youth. The potential costs and benefits of such an approach must be carefully considered.”

“If you don’t have the beds, you can’t keep them,” Sue Hammell, NDP Critic for Mental Health, said.

“If we had the beds, they would probably be held longer.”

Falcon says any promise of beds must come with a change in policy.

“I don’t think all the beds in the world are going to make a difference if they don’t have that in place,” he said.

Jackie Gettings says Falcon’s story hits close to home.

“It’s almost like a mirror,” she said. “Seeing that Adriana didn’t make it through is something I live in fear of every single day.”

-With files from John Hua

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Sask. finance minister talks infrastructure, CPP

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REGINA – Highways, hospitals and water treatment plans – the kind of investment you can touch is what Saskatchewan’s finance minister wanted to hear about in Ottawa.

The meeting of provincial finance ministers Monday comes at a time when low resource revenues in Saskatchewan are making it tougher to invest.



  • Finance ministers to meet in Ottawa to confront Canada’s new economic reality

    “In this particular year, if we could roll out infrastructure dollars or stimulus dollars sooner rather than later … it would help bridge that gap,” Kevin Doherty told reporters.

    The Liberal government promised to double infrastructure spending in Canada; there’s still no word on when, but there is hope that new shovels could be in the ground sometime in 2016.

    “Doing it in a rapid way is important because we recognize, to have economic impacts we want, we need to move forward quickly,” said federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

    WATCH BELOW: Infrastructure spending remains vague following finance ministers’ meeting

    It would be good news for cities that have a lengthy wish list, including road and transit upgrades.

    Regina Mayor Michael Fougere recognizes the ask from municipalities across the country is $130 billion, “way past what the province or federal government could actually fund,” he said.

    “So we have to be very strategic. What’s the biggest need, provincially and locally, to make sure that works?”

    Status quo on CPP

    Another issue at the top of Doherty’s list is the Canada Pension Plan, as he spoke against a proposed increase to the mandatory contribution from employers, saying it would further injure an already slumping economy.

    Canada’s provincial finance ministers will meet again next year on changes to the Canada Pension Plan.

    Global News

    At the end of Monday’s meetings, it appears that’s now a factor in CPP reform taking a backseat.

    “We’ve agreed on a path forward with respect to coming back a year from now to talk about potential options, including not doing anything,” Doherty said.

    This will provide more time to see how other methods operate, such as Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA), before the federal government imposes what Doherty calls a “broad based solution.”

    Follow @mikemckinnon

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Obama blames poor communication, media for unpopular ISIS strategy

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U.S. President Barack Obama says a lack of communication by his government paired with the media’s need for ratings as reasons why his strategy to combat Islamic State militants isn’t more popular with the public.

“(ISIS) combines viciousness with very savvy media operations and as a consequence, if you’ve been watching television for the last month, all you have been seeing, all you have been hearing about is these guys with masks or black flags who are potentially coming to get you,” Obama said during a year-end interview with NPR.

The president said he understands public concern but he believes, “the power of the United States and its allies are not threatened by an organization like this.”

WATCH: Could Canada’s mission against ISIS be expanded?


Obama said that the coverage of ISIS has been “saturated” as the media chases eyeballs and clicks.

“Look, the media is pursuing ratings,” he explained. “This is a legitimate news story. I think that, you know, it’s up to the media to make a determination about how they want to cover things.”

But Obama believes his administration shares the blame for what he perceives to be more concern than necessary.

READ MORE: US power grid vulnerable to foreign hacks

“I think that there is a legitimate criticism of what I’ve been doing and our administration has been doing in the sense that we haven’t, on a regular basis, I think described all the work that we’ve been doing for more than a year now to defeat (ISIS),” the US president said.

Obama also moved to allay the public’s fears over the threat from ISIS.

“They can hurt us, and they can hurt our people and our families. And so I understand why people are worried,” he said. “The most damage they can do, though, is if they start changing how we live and what our values are, and part of my message over the next 14 months or 13 months that I remain in office is to just make sure that we remember who we are and make sure that our resilience, our values, our unity are maintained.”

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Lethbridge charities push for last minute donations before Christmas

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LETHBRIDGE – With only a few more days until Christmas morning, Lethbridge charities are hoping for a last minute donations push ahead of the holidays.

“We are a little bit less than what we brought in last year,” said Interfaith Food Bank executive director Danielle McIntyre. “We’re encouraging people to still give.”



    Lethbridge food banks prepare for busy holiday season

    The Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots see increase in demand

    Voices of YQL: Debbie Woelders, Lethbridge Food Bank

    The Interfaith Food Bank has been busy stocking its shelves for the city’s less fortunate all December long. Recently, it started to hand out Christmas food hampers with enough food for the month, as well as a special Christmas meal.

    Items for the hampers are purchased in the fall, but Interfaith banks on donations to support them through the winter months.

    “We cross our fingers and hope the financial contributions come in during the Christmas season to help us pay those bills,” said McIntyre. “It’s never ever too late to give to the food bank. Financial gifts, non-perishable food items, toys and what not… we will always accept them.”

    The Salvation Army has also been busy this holiday season. Toys for tots wraps up Tuesday and is still short of donations in the older age range. The kettle campaign is just short of reaching its final goal of $125,000, it’s currently just below $100,000.

    “We’re hoping that this last week will be the big push for people to give generously to our campaign,” said Salvation Army’s Peter Kim.

    The Lethbridge Food Bank has been handing out Christmas hampers and hoping to have the stock to last during January and February. Executive director Debbie Woelders said that because of the generous people in Lethbridge, their numbers are right where they hoped to be.

    “It’s just so wonderful,” said Woelders. “We couldn’t do it, we could not feed this many families, we’re doing over 700 hampers in December. That’s a lot of families, and 40 per cent of those are children. We couldn’t do it without the support of Lethbridge.”

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