WATCH: Armstrong couple’s wedding plans burn up in house fire

Posted on 11/09/2018

ARMSTRONG – An Armstrong couple is reeling after their wedding plans went up in smoke along with their home this weekend.

Sunday an early morning blaze caused significant damage to the house on Lockhart Drive where the couple had been planning to get married at the end of August.

Glen Goodridge woke up around 4:30 Sunday morning and saw a glow out his window.

He looked out to see the whole back balcony engulfed in flames.

“If we were asleep God knows what would have happened,” says Goodridge.

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The couple was hosting friends and family that night but all seven people in the home and their dog were able to get out safely.

“We were very lucky to get everybody out,” says Goodridge.

The home was fully involved when fire crews arrived and sustained extensive damage.

Goodridge and his fiancé, Denise Sherwood, were just finishing up renovations to the house and had planned to get married in the backyard next month.

Now the charred deck is a horrible reminder of what happened.

“We want to get married,” says Goodridge standing in his backyard, “we’ve got to come up with a different place. We were going to get married right here underneath the tree.”

Firefighters were able to recover Sherwood’s wedding dress.

“In this situation if we can make something bad a little better then we will do what we can,” says Alastair Crick of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department.

The wedding gown suffered smoke damage, but Sherwood is optimistic it can be cleaned.

The couple did have insurance on their home but it could take the better part of a year for them to rebuild.

B.C. aspires to trade Chinese currency

Posted on 11/09/2018

VANCOUVER – In a bid to lure more Chinese investment into the province, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark has billed Vancouver “the most Asian city outside of Asia.”

Clark told an elite trade delegation Monday that the province is ramping up efforts to make trade deals with Asian nations, in part by charting a route to build the first international trading centre for the Chinese currency.

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“Most of the world thinks of Asia still, or calls Asia the Far East. We call Asia the West,” she told about 80 senior business executives with the APEC China Business Council to Canada, which represents some of the largest private and state-owned enterprises in China.

In fact, Clark told the invite-only forum her staff reoriented a massive map outside her Vancouver office, and now one side shows western Canada, while the other side displays eastern Asia.

“Which is now, we believe, the centre of the world,” she said. “The decision to build relationships was eminently obvious for us.”

The goal is to establish Vancouver as the first offshore settlement centre for the Chinese currency renminbi — also known as RMB or yuan — in North America, Clark said. The government also wants to persuade five Asian head offices to set up in B.C. from any business sector by 2020, which would be aided by the currency arrangement.

Fifteen global investors are already doing big business in B.C., and the government will introduce legislation in the fall to help convince new, major investors from China to come on the board, Clark added. She outlined a list of reasons why the room should view B.C. as a safe harbour for investment, explaining the government looked to Asia after its biggest trade partner in the U.S. reeled during the economic crisis of 2008.

She was asked later about what the government is doing to regulate or vet investors to ensure the money filtering into the province is legitimate.

“We don’t regulate the private sector from that perspective in British Columbia,” she told reporters, “but we regulate to ensure that we are looking after the environmental and social needs of the province.”

Clark said Vancouver is “actively lobbying” for the RMB centre and believes it makes the better argument over its Toronto competitor. Regardless of which city potentially wins its bid, Clark said the federal government will be instrumental by making the connection between the Bank of Canada and People’s Bank of China.

She said the government hopes to win a decision within a year and believes achieving the RMB settlement status would encourage international banks to locate in Vancouver.

A survey released last week by global banking firm HSBC found that even as the Chinese currency increasingly gains clout around the world, many businesses investing in the country have yet to embrace it.

“Strikingly, around two-thirds of businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong think that foreign firms that do business in RMB benefit financially and build stronger trading relationships,” wrote Simon Cooper, CEO of Global Commercial Banking with HSBC.

“Overseas companies do not all share this view, with awareness of the RMB’s potential advantages varying significantly around the world.”

Clark has led five international trade missions to Asia. The government has built four trade and investment offices throughout China, has doubled their staff, and set up former cabinet minister Ben Stewart as a new, permanent special representative who is based in Beijing.

Last fall, the B.C. government also became the first foreign government to issue bonds into the Chinese RMB market, issuing a one-year-term bond that raised about $428 million Canadian.

About one-quarter of the province’s population is of Asian descent.

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Expert outlines next steps in investigation of missing Calgary family – Calgary

Posted on 11/09/2018

CALGARY- Despite murder charges pending against one man following the disappearance of a Calgary boy and his grandparents, experts say there is still a lot of work left for police.

Five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes, have not been seen since June 30. Despite an Amber Alert, hundreds of tips from the public and an exhaustive search, they have not been found.

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On Monday, police announced that murder charges were pending against a person of interest in connection with their deaths.

“It’s a piece by piece investigation that has been adding information over the last two weeks,” forensic psychologist Dr. Patrick Baillie told Global News. “Obviously there’s a very large piece that’s still missing which is where the bodies of these three individuals are located, but we know from the initial information that there was a violent incident at the Liknes house.”

READ MORE: Police confirm ‘violent incident’ occurred inside missing family’s home

Police said they decided to pursue murder charges after reviewing evidence over the weekend.

“The two charges of first and second degree, they mean that they already have enough information to form an opinion that the killings of the two grandparents, Kathryn and Alvin Liknes, were planned and premeditated,” Baillie explains. “Whereas the second degree charge related to Nathan O’Brien suggests that was more impulsive.”

He adds that the news is disappointing for everyone who has been following the case.

“For the Liknes and O’Brien families, this is merely the next stage of the process for them. There isn’t any closure in knowing this outcome…they’ve indicated that they need to have the bodies of the family members, and go through a ceremony in their own regard.”

READ MORE: Tributes pour in, as search for missing Calgary family turns to heartbreak 

Baillie thinks the public could help bring an end to the case, which the family desperately needs.

“We’ve finished the Amber Alert, but there’s still some critical information that somebody has that would assist police and the families in locating these three individuals.”

For now, everything depends on what police are able to learn through the course of their investigation.

“To the best of my knowledge there hasn’t been any confession in the case, there hasn’t been an admission of responsibility,” Baillie says. “There are all these smaller pieces of evidence that come together to create the whole package, but there still could be some additional information out there that would assist in an effective prosecution that would address the questions that a court needs to have addressed in a case like this.”

Councillor wakes up to alarming surprise – Lethbridge

Posted on 11/09/2018

It was an alarming wake-up call that Councillor Blaine Hyggen won’t soon forget.

“I think it was 1:20 in the morning. Dog was making a fuss outside, I had heard a sliding vehicle door, van door. So got up and walked over to our window,” he said.

Hyggen couldn’t believe what he saw next. He says someone jumped into his white van, and drove off with it.

Once Hyggen heard police were in pursuit of his stolen vehicle, he started driving around to find it himself and when he did he was shocked to see what happened.

“When they first told me it was taken, and it was down in the alley, I thought someone had just got out and they took off and I would be able to take my van home. When I saw it on the roof it was definitely non-salvagable at that point.”

Councillor Blaine Hyggen’s van flipped over after two male suspects stole the vehicle from his home.

Courtesy: Blaine Hyggen

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After the vehicle rolled over, the two males jumped out and fled the scene in opposite directions.

Hyggen said he is sad to lose the family van, but it’s not a major loss. “It’s unfortunate the vehicle’s gone but personally I don’t feel too violated over it,” he said.

“We bought the van in brand new in 99, so it’s kind of like you know we call it the white bullet. It’s kind of like, rest in peace white bullet.

Lethbridge Regional Police have one suspect in custody and have charged them with one count of theft of a motor vehicle and dangerous driving.

Police are still searching for a second individual they believe is involved in this incident, and they are asking the public to contact them with any information regarding the case.

Seven years later, Mississauga wedding supplier exposed by Global News jailed, ordered to pay brides back – Toronto

Posted on 11/09/2018

TORONTO- Seven years after brides complained about his conduct, a Mississauga-based wedding supplier was ordered to spend ten days in jail and pay $18,000 in restitution for breaching the Ontario Consumer Protection Act.

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Karl Usmani of Kitchener, Ontario was sentenced on July 3 by Justice of the Peace, Eileen Walker, of the Ontario Court of Justice. Usmani was convicted of engaging in an unfair practice, failing to refund payment within 15 days of notice of cancellation of the consumer agreement, and failing to provide a consumer with a proper contract containing the information required by the Consumer Protection Act.

“We’re pleased with the result and this individual has been sent a strong signal that this is not the way to do business in the province of Ontario,” said David Orazietti, minister of government and consumer services.

Global News first became aware of complaints against Usmani and Global Wedding & Events Co. Ltd. in 2007. His title at the time was officer and director of the company. In a news report in October of that year, several future brides said Usmani had accepted deposits but had not followed through with providing services.

“It’s nine days before the wedding, I haven’t seen the flowers, just one centrepiece, it looks like crap,” said Tatiana Kouchil in 2007. She later hired other vendors to provide flowers, a limousine and photography services that she had originally planned to buy from Usmani, who accepted a $1,000 deposit.

Other consumers, including Bones Arruda, complained Usmani and Global Wedding didn’t attend scheduled appointments.

“If someone is not going to show up on time for their appointments, how are you going to trust them on the most important day of your life?” Arruda said at the time.

The court action involved eight customers. In one case, a couple’s photographer did not show up to certain events. Another couple’s wedding photos were not printed as promised and the quality was poor. In other cases, couples who tried to cancel their bookings did not receive refunds as required under the law.

Toronto event planner Arthur K says it’s important to find the right vendors when planning a wedding.

“It’s a lot to manage–you need someone with experience who knows the industry,” K said. He also advises consumers to consider buying event insurance. It can result in compensation if a supplier doesn’t deliver as promised. But the most important advice, he says, is doing research before signing deposits or contracts.

“You need to do your due diligence, find reputable suppliers that has a good online presence, reviews, and have been in industry for awhile.”

HIV on the decline in B.C., but not among gay and bisexual men – BC

Posted on 11/09/2018

B.C.’s provincial health officer says that while we are making progress on reducing new HIV infections, gay and bisexual men are not experiencing the same reduction.

Dr. Perry Kendall released a new report today, showing a disproportionate number of new HIV diagnosis among gay and bisexual men, and a lack of improvement compared to other at-risk groups.

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In 2011, gay and bisexual men accounted for 57 per cent of all new HIV infections and 45 per cent of all people with HIV in B.C.

“While many communities in British Columbia are seeing a dramatic decline in HIV infections thanks to harm reduction and prevention programs, and advancements in diagnosis and treatment, the sub-population of gay and bisexual men is not experiencing this reduction,” said Kendall.

The report contains several recommendations including developing a comprehensive provincial health strategy focused on gay and bisexual men; expanding access to HIV and STI testing; and a strategy to better meet to gay and bisexual men’s health care needs regarding mental health and substance abuse.

“This report recognizes that HIV is a complex issue, and to prevent infections we need to shift our focus to the underlying drivers of the epidemic in our society, including the continued stigma related to both HIV and sexual orientation,” said Dr. Mark Gilbert, physician epidemiologist at BC Centre for Disease Control and co-author of the report. “This information and the recommendations provide a clear path to reduce HIV infection among gay and bisexual men in B.C.”

Quebec’s Royal 22nd Regiment guards Buckingham Palace as guard changes

Posted on 11/09/2018

Watch:  If you’ve been to London, chances are you’ve seen the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. But history was made on Monday, when Canadian soldiers had a turn standing guard. Stuart Greer explains.

LONDON – A contingent from Canada’s fabled Royal 22nd Regiment is standing on guard for the Queen today.

About 70 members of the unit’s ceremonial guard are in London to protect Buckingham Palace.

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Related

  • 6 things you may not know about the Van Doos

    Van Doos Royal Guards in London

It’s the first time the francophone regiment has stood guard at Buckingham Palace since 1940, when it was done at the request of King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth.

That also marked the first time the King’s Guard Sentinels got commands not only from a non-British unit but also in French.

READ MORE: 6 things you may not know about the Van Doos

The changing of the guard ceremony, which is a must-see for tourists besides being a famous military ritual, consists of the old guard handing over responsibility for Buckingham Palace’s safety to the new guard.

The responsibility is given to active infantry regiments who have shown discipline and precision in their movements.

Watch: Scenes from the Van Doos’ changing of the guard ceremony in London

The Canadian High Commission in London tweeted photos and video of the ceremony where the soldiers in red tunics and high fur busby hats marched smartly to complete the handover.

They will assume the duties until July 19.

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

Canadian Van Doos Royal Guards stand guard at Buckingham Palace in London, England on July 14, 2014.

Global News

The trip to London is part of commemorative activities by the regiment to highlight its history and that of the military in Canada.

The regiment’s delegation will also visit First World War battlefields at Ypres and Passchendale in Belgium as well as Vimy Ridge in France.

The Royal 22nd Regiment, one of three regular force infantry regiments in the Canadian Armed Forces, has been involved in all the armed conflicts and many of the peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in which Canada played a role.

“Members of the Royal 22nd Regiment do Canadians proud, whenever and wherever they are called upon to serve,” said Lt-Gen. Marquis Hainse, commander of the Canadian Army, in a statement.

Alain Forand, a retired major-general who served with the Van Doos, described the ceremony as “a historic moment” for the regiment.

Watch: More from the Changing of the Guard

©2014The Canadian Press

Australian van service stirs controversy with raunchy advertising – National

Posted on 11/09/2018

WARNING: Language in article may offend some readers.

TORONTO – An Australian camper van service has come under fire after a Change杭州夜网 petition called the company out over its “misogynistic and degrading” slogans.

Paula Obrbea started the petition after her 11-year-old daughter spotted one of the Wicked Campers’ vehicles over the weekend while driving with her grandfather.

The van in question had the phrase; “In every princess, there’s a little slut who wants to try it just once,” painted across the back.

“My daughter was upset by this because she felt, as a girl, that the slogan was referring to her and it made her fear being perceived that way – especially by someone she may cross paths with who may agree with that perspective,” Obrbea wrote on the petition page.

The van that provoked Paula Obrbea to start an online petition against Wicked Campers.

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Based in Brisbane, Wicked Campers launched in 2000 as a way to offer discounted van rentals. Now with 34 locations around the world, including the United States and Canada, the company’s fleet of graffiti-covered vans have become popular among backpackers and younger travellers on a budget.

Other offensive phrases featured on Wicked Campers’ vans include: “A wife: An attachment you screw on the bed to get the housework done,” “I wouldn’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die!,” “Fat girls are harder to kidnap,” and “Save the whales, harpoon a Jap.”

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The company has been the subject of complaints in the past and the Queensland government plans to debate later this month whether their slogans should fall under the same policies that governs outdoor advertising.

“I think people would be absolutely horrified if the same messages on Wicked [vans] were on roadside billboards and the impact is exactly the same,” Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson told Australian news site SBS.

Wicked Campers’ Leanne Webb says they “don’t try to be controversial.”

“We just want to have a good time. We poke fun at everything more broadly, it’s never specifically targeted at anyone in particular at all,” Webb told SBS.

Obrbea doesn’t see it that way.

“I agree with free speech, but where is the line? At what point do we say no, that’s not morally correct?” Obrbea told Australia’s ABC News.

Obrbea’s petition, which is addressed to Wicked Campers founder, John Webb, had over 85,000 signatures as of this writing.

Leanne Webb said the company is not worried about the negative publicity.

“We think it’s fantastic, things are more fun when they’re banned,” she told SBS.

“It’s great that people get offended. It’s great that people have opinions because it means they know what they like and what they don’t like.”

SOUND OFF: Do you feel Wicked Campers’ slogans should be banned? Let us know on 桑拿会所 @GlobalNews or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Edmonton launches new 311 app – Edmonton

Posted on 11/09/2018

WATCH: The city has unveiled its new, free 311 app. As Emily Mertz explains, it’s an easier way for people to report issues like potholes and graffiti.

EDMONTON – Reporting potholes became a whole lot easier on Monday with the launch of Edmonton’s new 311 app.

The city says the free mobile app is a faster and more convenient way for residents to report potholes, damaged sidewalks, damaged trees, litter and graffiti.

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  • Have a complaint for the City of Edmonton? There will soon be an app for that

“The goal of all of this is to build new ways for citizens and the city to interact and to share information with each other,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

“The new app opens a new channel for Edmontonians and city staff to work better together.”

To use the app, take a photo of the problem and write a brief description of it. The GPS pinpoints the location and the photo is instantly uploaded to the app’s display. The 311 centre receives this information and passes it on to the appropriate city department.

The app is a part of the Edmonton’s Open City initiative, which aims at opening new channels of communication between Edmontonians and the city.

“We’re pleased now to have this free, new, easy-to-use channel to hear from Edmontonians about challenges they’re seeing in our city,” Iveson said. “This is how we build a great city.”

By launching the app, the city hopes to increase the number of service issues reported.

Through traditional channels, the city receives about 27,000 complaints annual on potholes, sidewalks, trees, litter and graffiti.

The city will continue to update the app and hopes to increase the number of service issues that can be reported.

The app is now available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

The cost of developing the app is expected to come in under $100,000.

Honeybee program adds buzz to Vancouver streets – BC

Posted on 11/09/2018

VANCOUVER – Beekeepers and a developer have teamed up on a sweet idea that they hope will add buzz to the streets of Vancouver.

Milross Gardens is a 540-square-metre lot in the shadow of the Georgia Viaduct near Chinatown that’s owned by the developer Amacon.

Under a program announced Monday, Amacon and the non-profit group Hives for Humanity, announced the garden is also the new home for two honeybee hives, two queen bees and 40,000 to 60,000 insects.

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Hives for Humanity spokeswoman Sarah Common said pollinators, like bees, are responsible for two thirds of everything people eat, but their populations are suffering because of habitat loss and agricultural practices that rely on chemicals.

“We’re hoping to demonstrate innovative uses of space in the city where we can create pollinator sanctuaries in the middle of all of the traffic and the hubbub,” she said.

In fact, 40 of the garden’s 130 raised-planting boxes grow plants that are essential to pollinators.

Yet, there are all sorts of other useful “nooks and crannies” in the city, she added, and they range in size from less than a square metre to the size of the garden.

Amacon spokeswoman Melissa Howey said the new program means the gardens will also offer free, Monday night workshops, so people can learn about bees, gardening and urban agriculture.

“Today is just a celebration of the garden, of the gardeners themselves, of the bees, of Hives for Humanity and just this partnership that we’ve started,” she said.

There’s a plan that’s even bigger than Milross Gardens, said Common, and her group hopes to create corridors throughout the city, so bees can move about and connect with other bees.

“They make everything bloom, and they get the fruits and the vegetables producing,” she said. “So supporting them really, you know, increases the vibrancy of our lives.”

To accomplish its goal, Hives for Humanity partners with other non-profits, community gardens, businesses, developers, schools, residents with backyards and even prisons, said Common.

Residents who agree to house a couple hives in their backyards get some of the honey produced, she said, adding the rest is sold to support its programs.

“We profile our honey by community,” she said. “There’s an incredible diversity of flavour by community, so, like, if you’re over on Commercial Drive your honey will taste quite different than it will from these Milross Gardens, just based on what the bees are foraging.”

A recent report by an international panel of 50 scientists, known as the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, concluded that two widely used pesticides were killing bees and other insects and harming the environment.

The task force called on tighter regulations for the pesticides, while environmental groups called for their outright ban.

Health Canada said it was monitoring crops this growing season. It also said it could impose restrictions after careful evaluation of the impacts of pesticides.