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An Edmontonian sent a Hawaiian to Alaska: How the cross-border pizza party took off

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Edmontonian Michael Cormier was on the phone with a pizza joint in Anchorage, Alaska, last Thursday, valiantly trying to fend off a recommendation to order a Reindeer Pizza.

The air traffic controller was placing an order for pies to be sent to colleagues working at Anchorage’s Ted Stevens international airport, a cheesy show of support for the American air traffic controllers are contending with a government partial shutdown. 

But that act of comfort food solidarity has since snowballed across the country, with operators across the country delivering slices across the border as a show of support for their American colleagues.

« I knew there was a shutdown and I heard they weren’t getting paid, » Cormier said in an interview Monday with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM. « I didn’t believe it.

« And I thought well, it would be nice if I could just do something to show them that not everybody has forgotten that they’re out there working when other people aren’t, so I arranged them some pizza. »

It took a while for Cormier, an air traffic controller with Nav Canada in Edmonton, to find a place that would accept a Canadian credit card and get the idea cleared with airport security, but soon his colleagues were chowing down on some fresh pies. 

« I’m sort of a pepperoni guy but he picked Hawaiian, meat lovers and some sort of barbecue chicken, » Cormier said  CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM. 

« We actually had to talk them out of ordering a reindeer pizza. It sounded a little bit too exotic to me. »

With few other U.S. government services running due to the shutdown, some 10,000 American air traffic controllers have been working without pay since late December.

Their union filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington on Friday, asking for an order compelling the government to pay them what they’re owed.

In addition to Anchorage, Cormier collected enough to buy pies for controllers in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Then, as they say in airport lingo, it took off from there.

The next thing we knew, our members were buying pizzas left, right and centre.-Peter  Duffey

Peter Duffey, the head of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, said other facilities across Canada decided to join in.

« The next thing we knew, our members were buying pizzas left, right and centre for the colleagues in the U.S, » Duffey said Sunday in a phone interview.

« As it stands right now, I believe we’re up to 36 facilities that have received pizza from Canada, and that number is growing by the hour. »

Duffey estimated that as of Sunday afternoon, some 300 pizzas had been received by American controllers, many of whom took to social media to express their gratitude.

Duffey said many union members had been looking for a way to show solidarity with their American colleagues, who have been working without pay due to the partial shutdown.

« Air traffic control is a very stressful job, » he said.

« They say you have to be 100 per cent right, 100 per cent of the time. People just don’t need to be reporting to work with the added stress of worrying about how to pay their mortgages and grocery bills on top of it. »

Cormier said there’s a bond between Canadian and American air traffic controllers since the two work closely together to manage cross-border airspace.

Air traffic controllers provide essential services and are unable to suspend work or take any other job action during the government shutdown, he said. He wanted them to be recognized for working hard without a paycheque.

« Not a lot of people were aware they were working and it’s not the kind of job where they could slack off, » Cormier said.

« They were doing the job the same as they did every day of the year, 24 hours a day and somebody should actually notice what they were doing.

« That was the whole idea. If you worked with someone and you knew they weren’t getting paid, wouldn’t you buy them lunch? »

With files from the Canadian Press 



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Anglais

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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