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2 youths arrested in connection with Iqaluit Northmart fire

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Two youths have been arrested with arson charges pending in connection with a fire that destroyed the warehouse of Iqaluit’s largest grocery store.

The fire was extinguished overnight after raging for 22 hours. No injuries were reported.

RCMP announced Friday morning in a news release that police are working with the Nunavut fire marshal’s office and have two youth in custody, with criminal charges pending for arson —​ disregard for human life.

The youth were not named in the release.

RCMP District Commander Mark Crowther said in the release that police and fire personnel « are working diligently to ensure public safety and bring those responsible to justice. »

Iqaluit’s mayor, Madeleine Redfern, tweeted early Friday that the fire at Iqaluit’s Northmart was « largely out » overnight. She said firefighters were able to save the building’s main store, though it suffered significant smoke and water damage.

« It will take time to assess and undertake the necessary repairs and replacement of the lost sections of the other buildings, » said Redfern. 

A total of six fires burned in the community Thursday, destroying Northmart’s warehouse area — where food that comes up by sealift is stored — and threatening nearby elders’ residences.

Firefighters from other Nunavut communities, including Pangnirtung and Cape Dorset, flew to Iqaluit Thursday to support local crews.

Firefighters from the communities of Pangnirtung and Cape Dorset were flown in to help fight the fire. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

After suspending delivery for the day in order to allow crews to fight the fire, Iqaluit’s trucked water services resumed Friday morning. However, Redfern says the city is still asking residents to conserve water.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. Iqaluit RCMP said they would provide a statement Friday morning.

Nutrition North may help hold down prices

The fire led to immediate concerns about food security in Nunavut’s capital city, with many concerned about where non-perishable goods would be stored and the cost in shipping them to Iqaluit.

The city’s sealift season — barges carrying food and goods for residents — recently ended, and any replacement goods will need to be flown to Iqaluit.

« I think the biggest impact that we’ll see is a whole year’s supply of dry goods, everything they brought in by sealift, is gone, » said Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo. « Northmart is the largest retailer in Iqaluit … so all your flour, sugars, diapers, cleaning supplies, canned goods … I’m sure they had all their Christmas stock in, Easter. All that’s gone. »

Tootoo says he has spoken with both of Iqaluit’s major retailers to ensure prices remain stable in the community. Yesterday, Alex Yeo, the president of Canadian retail for the North West Company, said prices will not rise as a result of the fire.

However, federal Northern Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says his office is looking into using the Nutrition North food subsidy program to ensure that prices remain stable. 

The wreckage of the Northmart warehouse was still smouldering Friday morning. The main store was saved, but the warehouse, which stores non-perishable goods, was destroyed. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

« I don’t want people in the North to be gouged, whether deliberately, or simply by virtue of a lack of supply, » said LeBlanc. « The price cannot be pushed up because of a circumstance like this, so we will work with the territorial government to ensure we do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen. »

LeBlanc said his department will work with other levels of government to ensure a stable supply of food and goods to the capital, and that the federal government has offered a military airlift to the community, if needed.

« For the moment they believe the situation is under control, and they have the resources they need, » said LeBlanc. « But we will continue to work with them. »

The fire has forced residents in nearby homes to evacuate 1:33

With files from Kieran Oudshoorn, Hannah Thibedeau and Heather Hiscox



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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