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Call of the Wilde: Montreal Canadiens dominate the Ottawa Senators again



The Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators seem to be developing a healthy dislike for each other. Tempers quickly flared in their return encounter in Kanata.

The Habs won the first encounter 5-2 in a game that was not lopsided for most of the contest before Montreal pulled away. The game was certainly closer than the score and one expected the Senators would be even hungrier in the back end of the home and home.

READ MORE: Call of the Wilde  — Montreal Canadiens dominate the Ottawa Senators

Wilde Horses 

There are times that it seems certain that Jesperi Kotkaniemi is slowing down because of a competitive, energy-draining hockey game every two nights. Other times it looks like he is just getting better and better and not tiring at all. Kotkaniemi with a sublime pass in the first period to Artturi Lehkonen. It happens so rarely that someone can see the ice at a high speed at any age, but to have a vision and a sense for the run of play at 18 is simply amazing. His passing is already there at an NHL level. Kotkaniemi will figure it out from a goal scoring point of view soon. He has the shot to score at least 25, but he hasn’t figured out yet when to use it or how to get into the dirty zones for easy goals from a short distance because of his slender body. When he adds some pounds on the frame so he can compete around the slot and in front of the net, he is going to be able to get that strong shot away a lot more. The ceiling on Kotkaniemi keeps getting higher. At first, it seemed 55 to 60 points was a marker to regularly attain, but now it feels like the ceiling for Kotkaniemi could be in the 70 to 75 range. The way that Kotkaniemi plays defensively means that with 70 points, the Habs have finally found their first-line centre.

WATCH: Call of the Wilde — Breaking the losing streak?

It seems as if the short time away from playing has helped Mike Reilly. This is a player with some end skills offensively at times. He skates well. He can join the rush with great confidence around the net. His first pass is strong as well. If he could only be ready to make the physical commitment when the game gets punishing, he would certainly be a regular in the NHL instead of someone still finding his way to being in the lineup in all 82 games. The Minnesota Wild also had him in and out at times. This spring, it appeared he would be in for all of them, but his game fell off in physical commitment. He’s back and the Habs hope that it is to stay.

READ MORE: Call of the Wilde — Montreal Canadiens continue losing streak against Buffalo Sabres

Paul Byron’s absence the month that he was injured was most certainly felt. He is such a versatile player. He’s used on the penalty kill with his speed making a difference. It’s the same speed that makes him an excellent three-on-three overtime player. He can play on just about every Habs line. His first goal was outstanding in this one. Great finish for a guy no one ever thought could have a 20-goal season. He would have gotten 20 in this season too if he could have stayed healthy, but his role seems a bit diminished at this time. Byron added an empty netter for six on the year as perhaps he is still entertaining another 20-goal campaign. It would be no surprise to see that his role would increase as the season progresses, as he is reliable defensively as well.

READ MORE: Call of the Wilde — Montreal Canadiens beat New York Rangers

A word has to be said about the Habs defence since the return of Shea Weber. The Habs captain has been back for five games and in those five games the Habs are dramatically outshooting their opposition. The Habs have held two teams to 22 shots. They are getting over 40 shots per game like it’s the new 30, including a 49-shot performance against Carolina. The Habs are simply a much more organized team since Weber’s return. Every defender on the Habs seems less challenged, less scrambled, more able and also rested. It’s amazing to watch one player come back to take an important 25 to 30 minutes on to his shoulders facing the best the other club has to offer and to see that make the other five better at what they do. It’s the trickle down effect and Weber is making all those under him on the depth chart better.

WATCH: Call of the Wilde — Mixed results 

Brendan Gallagher is tied for the team lead with Max Domi with 13 goals. Gallagher continues to amaze. Not because he has screws in his hand and continues to score, but that he finds a way to the front of the net so often to become one of the Habs top scorers year after year. Gallagher scored with a deflection just in front of Craig Anderson. With his frame, Gallagher should not be so relentless in front of the net, but he works so hard and he has so much courage that he does things that he should not be able to do. If you are underestimating Gallagher, you are all but assuredly making a mistake.

READ MORE: Call of the Wilde — Montreal Canadiens come up short against San Jose Sharks

Andrew Shaw seemed to be languishing in the first 10 games of his season. He was doing nothing on the fourth line and it kind of looked grim for him. He got a promotion to the top line with Domi and Jonathan Drouin turned his season around. Another goal in this contest on a gorgeous pass from Drouin, who gets yet another point. Shaw’s recovery has been a big reason that the top line is at such a torrid scoring pace. It’s Domi and Drouin who do the pretty work, and Shaw who does the dirty work, but if no one is there to go win the puck in the corner, then the pretty players don’t have the puck at all to complete the action. The best line is one player who goes and gets it, one player who takes it and passes it, and then the one player who finishes it. When all three players can bring all three skills of winning pucks, passing pucks and shooting pucks, then you have a seriously good line. This is the first time in a long time that the Habs have had a line like this — and especially connecting is the duo of Drouin and Domi who you can easily see staying together for a long time.

Wilde Goats

A second straight game where the Habs don’t have a single goat on the night. There were no passengers as they beat the Senators by the same 5-2 score. The shots on goal showed the domination as the Habs held an advantage of 18 to three in the third period. The shots overall were 42 to 21. That’s three games out of five since Weber’s return that the Habs have that type of massive margin. The low of the season is in. If there are no serious injuries to vital players then the low point of the season, which is five straight losses, is in.

Wilde Cards 

The preliminary rosters are now set for the World Junior Championships in Vancouver and the Habs will be well represented. They may have as many as nine players in the event with a likelihood of seven overall. The two that are most unlikely to go include Kotkaniemi because he is needed to play for Montreal. It is not expected that the Habs who are trying to win a playoff spot will allow their budding star to leave. The other is Joni Ikonen who has been injured. He is ready soon to play but may not have enough games under him and enough confidence to crack the Finnish lineup.

WATCH: Call of the Wilde — The Price is wrong

Of the seven who are more likely to attend, it is the two Canadians who may have the hardest time to make their teams. Nick Suzuki is top 10 in scoring in the Ontario Hockey League but he will still have a hard time to crack a powerful Canada roster. Suzuki was a late cut last year. The other with expected difficulty is Josh Brook, who was the captain for the Western Hockey League team when they took on the Russians, but he will still be hard pressed to make it among strong blue liners like Evan Bouchard and Noah Dobson.

READ MORE: Call of the Wilde — New Jersey Devils embarrass Montreal Canadiens

The other five seem like locks to make their respective teams. For Russia, Alex Romanov continues to play better and better since becoming a shocking second-round pick last June by Trevor Timmins. For Finland, Jesse Ylonen is a lock to make his squad. Two Americans are all but set. Ryan Poehling was on the club last year and he is expected to be the second-line centre behind Jack Hughes. Cayden Primeau is set to make the club in net, but no idea if he will be the starter for the Americans. The final player is centre Jacob Olofsson who is expected to have a big role with the Swedish team. For Habs fans, this should be the most enjoyable World Juniors ever.

READ MORE: Call of the Wilde — Montreal Canadiens lose to the Boston Bruins

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Small Alberta village honours founding families for Black History Month




Long before the province officially recognized Black History Month, the tiny village of Breton in north-central Alberta had been commemorating and honouring the African American immigrants who helped settle the area.

“It started out as very low-key, very humble beginnings with the local tea here at the museum,” said Breton and District Historical Museum curator and manager, Allan Goddard. “At that time, we still had a number of the first generation family members that were still alive.”

Alberta officially recognized Black History Month for the first time in 2017 but the folks in Breton have been celebrating their founding families annually since the mid-90s — around the same time the federal government began recognizing it.

John Ware legacy carries on as Calgary celebrates Black History Month

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Every February the museum holds a special event to commemorate those who helped settle the area which was originally known as Keystone.

At this year’s event, 89-year-old Vant Hayes, who was born in Keystone, shared stories of his and his family’s life in the area.

“My parents came at the turn of the century,” Hayes said. “We lived in a log house and I’m not kidding you, the weather we had a day or two here, we get up in the morning and the water in the pail would be frozen.”

Hayes’ family was one of 52 that immigrated to the area at around the same time. Many, like his parents, were fleeing areas in the southern United States where state and local racial segregation were being enforced and violence was escalating.

“The African American settlers who founded Keystone in 1910, 1911 — they were leaving some very harsh conditions in primarily Oklahoma but some other states too,” Goddard said.

“At that time period, the Jim Crow laws were in effect and [immigrants] looked northward to Canada,” Goddard said. “Supposedly all homestead land was available and conditions of more tolerance.”

Edmonton man shines light on Alberta’s racist past with interactive archive

Hayes didn’t provide details but alluded to stories he was told of violence his parents experienced in both Mississippi and Oklahoma.

While the family wasn’t completely free from racism once they arrived in Alberta, Hayes beamed when he talked about how his family was one of the first to help settle the area.

“I’m the only one left,” he said.

His sentiment is echoed by others whose families also helped settle other parts of Alberta.

“Our people did come up in the early 1900s to help settle the Prairie provinces so we are a part of the development of Alberta and Saskatchewan, so it’s important that the roots are told,” said Deborah Dobbins, whose family settled in the Wildwoods area of Alberta.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Eat Smart kale salad kit recalled due to possible Listeria contamination




This 340-gram Eat Smart brand Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Bag Kit, with a best before date of Feb. 16, has been recalled in N.L., N.B., and Ontario. (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

A ready-to-eat salad kit has been recalled in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Ontario due to possible Listeria contamination.

On Feb. 17, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued the recall for the 340-gram Eat Smart brand Sweet Kale Vegetable Salad Bag Kit.

Codes on the products being recalled have UPC 7 09351 89145 8 and best-before dates of Feb. 16.

Anyone with the product at home should throw it in the garbage, the CFIA says on its website.

The CFIA website said the distribution may also be national, but the recall notice as of early Monday morning lists just the three provinces.

CFIA’s food safety investigation is ongoing, and may lead to other recalls, according to the website.

According to the website, there have been no reported illnesses connected with eating this product.

Symptoms of Listeria can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness.

Food contaminated with Listeria may not look or smell spoiled, but can still make you sick.

Pregnant women infected with the bacteria may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, but the infection could lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or stillbirth, CFIA says on its website.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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Man beats fentanyl trafficking charge due to charter violation. Here’s the video of the dog sniffing the car




A B.C. Justice recently threw out the case against a man charged with trafficking 27,500 fentanyl pills.

In a decision published in January, he said it wasn’t clear if the dog sat or not.

And new video, obtained exclusively by Global News, shows the entirety of the traffic stop, including the moment the dog investigates the vehicle.  

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READ MORE: Did the drug-sniffing dog sit or not? Debate leads to man’s acquittal in B.C. fentanyl bust

Here’s why the extent of the dog’s sit matters: If the dog properly sat down, it would have indicated the dog was “in odour,” meaning it had found drugs.

But in the case of Sandor Rigo, who was stopped on a Chilliwack highway in April 2017, the dog, named PSD Doods, was unable to sit down all the way. The police officer who made the stop said this was because a curb was in the way.

An officer who stopped Rigo – only identified by the Justice’s decision as Corporal Catellier – said he believed the dog was in odour and had the car towed so it could be thoroughly searched. Police say over 27,000 fentanyl pills were found in the wheel well.

The dash-camera video from the RCMP vehicle, obtained by Global News, offers a partial view of what happened.

The video shows the officer pulling over Rigo, who was driving a Dodge Caravan. The officer can be heard asking Rigo where he was going and why he appeared to be shaking. Rigo answered that he was picking up used tires from a friend and he was shaking due to hypoglycemia, a condition which requires people to eat frequently to keep their blood-sugar levels stable.

Rigo was then asked to exit his van and sit in the RCMP vehicle. That’s when Cpl. Catellier brought PSD Doods to sniff the outside of the van.

RCMP PDS Doods sniffs Sandor Rigo’s van.

HO / RCMP dashcam video of traffic stop

The dog can be seen sniffing the outside of the driver’s side of the van. She is then directed to the passenger side of the van, which is out of view of the dash camera, and next to a high concrete curb.

On the video, the moment in question can be heard, but only partially seen. The officer repeatedly says, “Good girl,” to PSD Doods, as she is seen at the side of the car. .

A partially obstructed view of PSD Doods sniffing Sandor Rigo’s vehicle.

Court Handout

An expert witness in court said the dog wasn’t showing other signs of being in odour — which normally includes wagging her tail.

Vancouver Island police seize huge trove of guns, explosives, homemade silencers

But the officer testified at the time that she displayed the other signs when she was out of sight of the video.

In his decision, which was made public in January 2018, Justice Michael Brundrett said since the dog was only shown in a “partial form of ‘alert,’” there wasn’t reasonable grounds to search the vehicle.

Brundrett said Rigo’s charter rights were violated, specifically articles 8 and 10(b), which pertain to the right to be secure against detainment, search and seizure, and the right to a lawyer.

Because of this, all evidence collected after the charter breach had to be thrown out.

Criminal lawyer Dino Bottos said even if the officer is proven correct because drugs were found in the car after the fact, in cases like these the public has to remember that “the ends do not justify the means.”

He said the judge has to maintain impartiality.

When a judge excludes evidence obtained during an unlawful search and seizure, he or she is doing so not to favour a particular accused, but rather to uphold what is written into our Constitution,” he explained. 

Anything obtained after the charter violation – in this case that would be the physical drugs as well what appears to be a video of Rigo’s confession – is “considered fruit from the poisonedtree.”

“If we’re serious about protecting rights and freedoms, that means that we need to exercise control over police state actions,” Bottos explained. “Which means in this case, when there is a breach of a right, then the only reasonable remedy is to exclude the evidence found as a result of that breach.”

Almost a dozen Canadians died every day from opioid overdoses last year. Since 2016, more than 8,000 have lost their lives, primarily to fentanyl. In British Columbia, the problem has become so bad that life expectancy has dropped for the first time in decades.

WATCH: Global News investigation into the deadly fentanyl trade in Canada

The amounts traffickers are bringing in are believed to be so vast that investigators suspect their money laundering has disrupted the Vancouver-area housing market. It has also put a spotlight on casinos. But when police seize their illicit cash, traffickers often just walk away, seemingly unfazed.

Brundrett said in his decision that it was a serious case, because of the “evils” of fentanyl trafficking, but the integrity of the justice system had to be taken into account.

*With files from Sam Cooper 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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