Body recovered from southeast Calgary house levelled in explosion


A body has been recovered from a southeast Calgary house destroyed in a weekend explosion, police confirmed  Monday. 

The fiery explosion occurred in the community of Douglas Glen around 4:20 a.m. MT Sunday.

Calgary police have taken over the investigation but would not comment further on the case. 

Neighbours said the owner of the home is out of the country, but someone who had been renting it was unaccounted for.

Calgary fire department spokesperson Carol Henke said more than 25 calls were made to 911 in the early morning hours Sunday.

Henke said crews called to the 300 block of Douglas Glen Close S.E. found one home destroyed and at least two others damaged. 

One home was levelled and several others were damaged by an apparent explosion in the southeast Calgary community of Douglas Glen early Sunday morning 0:27

« Some callers were several blocks away, » Henke said Sunday. She said crews found a « fully involved house fire with flames spreading to neighbouring residences. » 

Strong winds and cold temperatures hampered efforts to get the flames under control. 

It was –17 C at the time and winds were gusting up to 40 km/h, according to Environment Canada.

« The debris pattern around the neighbourhood would indicate there was an explosion, » Capt. Paul Frederick of the Calgary fire department said Sunday.

Henke is asking anyone who has photos or videos linked to the fire to email them to her

A map showing the community of Douglas Glen in southeast Calgary. (CBC)


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Missionaries land safely in Calgary after fleeing unrest in Haiti


A dozen missionaries working in Haiti landed safely at the Calgary airport on Sunday after violent riots centred in the country’s capital stranded them for days.

Working for the aid group Haiti Arise, the missionaries had been stranded at a compound near Grand Goave, about 65 kilometres west of the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

« I was sad to leave because I have family down there and friends. And it was different because I hadn’t been in that kind of situation before in all the times I’ve been to Haiti.… It is scary because I know a lot of people in the general area where the riots are happening, » said 12-year-old Miesha Honorat, whose parents co-founded the group and whose father remains in Haiti.

« He didn’t want to send the wrong message, that anytime there’s something wrong we just all leave, » said Lisa Honorat, Miesha’s mother.

Around two dozen Haiti Arise missionaries, who had planned to return on Wednesday, were airlifted by helicopter to Toussaint Louverture International Airport in three waves on Saturday. From there, the group flew to Miami, where they spent Saturday night.

While 12 missionaries returned to Alberta on Sunday, at least a dozen other members of the group are still waiting for flights out of the U.S.

The cost of the evacuation for the whole group is about $6,900, which they are paying themselves.

They were originally scheduled to leave the country on Wednesday, however the ongoing protests meant ground travel was impossible as several of the main streets and roads are blocked or damaged.

Honorat said the family remains committed to their humanitarian work and plans to return once circumstances are safer.

« They always bounce back somehow. So we just try to be there and support and help in any way we can, » she said. 

Most of last week’s demonstrations occurred in Port-au-Prince, with protesters demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse over skyrocketing inflation and the government’s failure to prosecute embezzlement from a multi-billion dollar Venezuelan program that sent discounted oil to the country.

Protests are expected to resume this week.

A group of missionaries from Alberta wait for a helicopter to take them to the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on Saturday. (Haiti Arise/Facebook)

On Tuesday, Global Affairs Canada issued an advisory warning against all non-essential travel to the country. On Thursday, it advised against all travel.

The Canadian Embassy in Haiti was also closed on Wednesday due to the unrest.

Working in the country since 2002, Haiti Arise has three compounds near Grand Goave.

Among the Canadians trapped in Haiti were missionaries, medical personnel, tourists and students. Many have been slowly making their way to the airport via helicopter or, in some cases, dangerous road journeys.

Demonstrators run away from police who are shooting in their direction, as a car burns during a protest demanding the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in Port-au-Prince on Tuesday. The protests have blocked access to the airport. (Dieu Nalio Chery/Associated Press)

Some 113 Quebec tourists who had been trapped at a Haitian resort by the protests were also evacuated to the airport by helicopter and were flown to Montreal Saturday night on a chartered commercial flight.

Air Transat also said a group of high school students from Victoriaville, Que., and their chaperones, who had been on a humanitarian trip, were on a flight that was expected to land in Montreal on Sunday evening.

Also travelling home on Sunday were another group of Christian missionaries based out of Montreal, who had been staying in a village some 200 kilometres west of Port-au-Prince.

Michel Bougie, a spokesperson for La Bible Parle, said the group had to hire a Florida-based plane service to get its 26 members to the airport after the Canadian government didn’t step in to offer any practical help.


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Calgary orthodontists stepping up after patients allege they paid for services they didn’t receive – Calgary


The Alberta Dental Association and College (ADA&C) says it’s “aware of a disruption” at a Calgary orthodontist’s office that has drawn outcries online over services that were allegedly paid for but not completed.

In an email confirmed to Global News from late January, Dr. Richard Halpern writes to his patients that “for several personal reasons I am no longer able to provide you with orthodontic care.”

Calgary mother wants changes after 6-year-old son dropped off at wrong bus stop

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On a number of online review sites, commenters who claim they were patients say they paid for services that were not finished by the time of that email and beyond.

“We understand patients have been given contradictory information and are understandably confused and frustrated,” read a statement from ADA&C CEO Dr. Randall Croutze.

“The ADA&C, along with the Alberta Society of Orthodontists (ASO), have reached out to the larger orthodontic community in Calgary and area to help provide resources for these patients, including being as accommodating as possible regarding treatment fees.”

When asked to provide his side of the situation, Dr. Halpern said he “cannot provide any comment.”

In an email, ASO President Greg Barnett said: “the most heartbreaking cases are the ones who have paid up front, or at least are done paying their contract, but still have braces on and require months of further treatment, retainers, etc.”

“Orthodontists are aware of this terrible situation and are jumping in to help,” Barnett’s email read.

“We understand the frustration and sense of panic patients are having and want to reassure them that the rest of the profession in Calgary and beyond is stepping up to help.”

Former Calgary renovation company under review for alleged unfair or misleading practices

The ADA&C is advising any impacted patients to not postpone any treatment they need because of this incident. Halpern’s office will open again next Tuesday after the long weekend for patients to access their records.

Halpern’s late January email also states that patients would be left in the care of two other orthodontists, who told Global news in a statement that their “concern for the patients that would be left stranded required us to step in an interim basis to assess the unfortunate decision.”

The ADA&C is now working with “the orthodontists involved to ensure continuity of care for these patients, and that the integrity of patients’ records are upheld,” according to Croutze’s statement.

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


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Explosion blows bathroom door off hinges in northeast Calgary home


Fire officials say a hair dryer left plugged in created enough heat to cause a can of dry shampoo to explode in a northeast Calgary on Thursday afternoon.

A woman phoned 911 about 1 p.m. to report hearing an explosion on the second floor of her Coral Springs home.

She went upstairs to find a bathroom door had been blown off the hinges and some towels were on fire, which she put out.

When fire crews arrived, they found remnants of a small explosion and fire.

« The bathroom sustained damage to the door, cabinet and bathtub tiles as a result of the blast, » reads a Calgary Fire Department press release.

« The investigation will now focus on the hair dryer to determine any possible malfunction of the appliance. »

The fire department also shared some fire prevention tips, including:

  • Always unplug appliances such as curling irons, flat irons and hair dryers when not in use.
  • When done using appliances which create heat, place them on a hard, non-combustible surface and away from anything that can burn, until they have cooled down.
  • Use extreme caution with aerosol cans as they can cause a dangerous explosion if heated.
  • Always read the manufacturers instructions and warnings on all household products.
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home​.

For more fire safety information can be found online.


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Calgary committee hears concerns about supervised consumption site – Calgary


Social agencies and members of the public presented concerns about Calgary’s supervised consumption site to the community services committee on Wednesday.

Police and fire officials spoke about the increased social disorder and spike in crime in the area. Alberta Health Services officials talked about steps it is taking, such as increasing security patrols in the area.

Effect on residents

Residents living near the consumption site at the Sheldon M. Chumir Centre spoke of how they feel unsafe in the area.

“People like my daughter and granddaughters have to walk in fear as they go to work or school,” said Sherry Crawford in her presentation to the committee. “You imply that all lives matter yet you are deliberately choosing to prioritize addicts’ lives over those of my daughters and granddaughters.”

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Calgary city council votes to study safety initiatives for downtown safe consumption site

Jessica McEachern, a peer support worker at the site, said the increased security in the area has a negative impact.

“It’s really disheartening as people that I see that have come and been using the site from the beginning to now… they feel they can’t trust us anymore because of the increased police presence around,” she said.

Resources and strategies

Ward 8 Coun. Evan Woolley said strategies, such as daily needle clean-ups and police patrols, are already being used to help address social disorder. He added that working to provide supports to the site will help the surrounding neighbourhood.

“Ensuring that we have the wraparound supports and that the wraparound supports are working, we will see better outcomes in terms of social disorder and crime in the community that we’re experiencing and having challenges with,” he said.

Spike in crime around Calgary supervised consumption site leads to questions about resources

Calgary deputy police chief Ryan Ayliffe said officers have made a point of directing more resources at that area.

“That includes changing shifts, re-deploying officers from bikes, re-deploying beat officers,” Ayliffe said. “We have engaged in other investigative resources in the area to supplement some of our investigative tactics.”

Ayliffe said that police alone won’t be able to address issues in the area.

“There’s nothing an officer possesses in their tool belt that can allow them to work on these problems in isolation,” Ayliffe said. “We have to work with all the partners in the city and in the province and federally to resolve the root issues of these problems.”

Impact on future projects

Concerns surrounding the site have led an east Calgary community association to withdraw support for another proposed supervised consumption site.

HIV Community Link hopes to have a mobile supervised consumption site operating in neighbourhoods like Forest Lawn. The project has not yet been approved by Health Canada and specific locations have not been determined.

Calgary supervised consumption site given 1-year extension by Health Canada

Troubled by the CPS report outlining significant increases in drug-related calls and violent crime in the area surrounding the Chumir site, the Forest Lawn Community Association said it would not support having a safe injection site in their neighbourhood.

“Given that the only information we have comes back with such a negative response, we just can’t take that risk,” association president William Carnegie said.

“Right now, I just don’t see anything going forward where we can support it.”

However, HIV Community Link believes its mobile site won’t experience the same sort of social disorder seen at the Chumir site.

“We’ll be a low-volume service that will be in a neighbourhood a few hours at a time rather than a large service that’s operating 24 hours a day,” executive director Leslie Hill said.

She added that the organization will have outreach teams to help ease any concerns community members have. Security teams could also be added as a precaution.

WATCH: People living near the Sheldon M. Chumir Centre supervised consumption site delivered impassioned pleas for change to a City of Calgary committee on Wednesday, as officials grapple with public safety issues surrounding the site. Blake Lough reports.

City administration is being asked to consider feedback in developing recommendations in response to the 12 items up for study from Woolley.

On Feb. 25, city council will get an update on actions taken to address social disorder and public safety.

The issue will head back to committee in the second quarter of the year.

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


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Extreme cold postpones Special Olympics ski race in Calgary


An extreme cold warning forced Special Olympics organizers to postpone alpine events that were scheduled for Saturday at WinSport in Calgary.

Jill Moore with Special Olympics Alberta said it was not an easy decision.

“With the low temperatures and wind chill, it’s not safe for our group to be out there,” said Moore.

Sixty-five skiers are still hoping to compete in slalom, giant slalom, and super-G events on Sunday. Moore said organizers will decide on Saturday night whether or not to hold the race Sunday.

Most of Alberta won’t break free from Mother Nature’s icy grip this weekend

However, the day wasn’t wasted for alpine athletes.

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Skiers and coaches filled the stands to cheer on their fellow athletes, taking in speed skating Saturday morning followed by figure skating in the afternoon.

Special Olympics ski racer Andreas Walther said he enjoyed the break from the cold.

“I like watching the sports inside rather than outside,” he said.

Killing 2 Olympic sports with 1 closure: Group petitions to save Calgary’s ski jumps

Others, like Sarah Blenkin, said she’d rather be out racing.

“I don’t mind watching [other athletes],” said Blenkin, “but I trained hard.”

Winsport also cancelled youth and preschool ski lessons on Saturday, and closed the tube park until Tuesday.

EMS urged anyone headed outside to cover all exposed skin and to pay special attention to eyes and ears. Even the lightest wind can cause frostbite in minutes, officials said.

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


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Franchise show highlights investment opportunities during Alberta downturn – Calgary


The Canada Franchise Association (CFA) is arguing that Alberta’s economic downturn is the appropriate time for residents to look at becoming a franchisee as a way to make an income during tough times.

“Franchising is a great way for people to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves,” Sherry McNeil, the president and CEO of the CFA, said in an interview Saturday.

Longtime Calgary business Lou’s Auto Body celebrates 50 years of success — despite downturn

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“If they’re experiencing an economic downturn, or maybe they’re worried about the job market or their job has disappeared, or they’ve been downsized, franchising provides them a different option to earn a living.”

McNeil made the argument at the annual Franchise Canada Show in Calgary at Stampede Park. She said the field gives potential business owners a chance to become entrepreneurs, but with the support system that an established brand brings.

Calgary businesses should expect lingering challenges in 2019: Calgary Chamber of Commerce

“There’s a franchise for almost everything out there,” McNeil said.

“The investment range can be anywhere from $50,000 all the way to over $1 million.”

The franchise industry generates $96 billion dollars annually in Canada and is made up of more than 75,000 units, according to the CFA.

The Franchise Canada Show will wrap up in Calgary on Sunday at Stampede Park.

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


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Calgary joins list of cities grappling with costs of crumbling Olympic venues


Welcome to The National Today newsletter, which takes a closer look at what’s happening around some of the day’s most notable stories. Sign up here and it will be delivered directly to your inbox Monday to Friday.


  • Calgary is latest city to face problems keeping expensive former Olympic venues operating.
  • At Issue tackles the issues fuelling the increasingly heated debate over the future of Alberta’s energy industry.
  • How a Toronto professor’s chance discovery turned into a Grammy-nominated album.
  • Missed The National last night? Watch it here.

Aging Olympic venues

Last November, Calgarians rejected a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics over fears of spiralling costs.

But now the bills are coming due all the same.

Yesterday, WinSport, the not-for-profit corporation that operates the legacy venues from the 1988 Games, announced that it doesn’t have the money for long-planned renovations to the city’s sliding centre, and might be forced to shutter the bobsleigh, skeleton and luge track come next fall.

The project to replace the refrigeration system and make other needed upgrades had already received $10 million in provincial funding and a promise of a further $7 million from Ottawa. However, WinSport says that won’t be nearly enough, estimating the total costs to be at least $25 million, plus decades of future operating subsidies that currently run at $750,000 a year.

Sport federations had been assured that the project was going to go ahead regardless of the 2026 Games bid, which called for the refurbishment and reuse of the 1988 venues. Now they face months of uncertainty as WinSport tries to pry more money out of the Alberta and federal governments.

A skeleton athlete trains on the 1988 Calgary Olympic track at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary in October 2018. The facility is estimated to need at least $25 million in maintenance work to keep it operating. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Of course, Canada does have another world-class sliding facility in Whistler, a legacy of the 2010 Olympics. Canada’s high-performance sliders already train and compete there as well, so moving the national team programs and world cup races from Alberta to B.C. would be more of an inconvenience than an impossibility.

But the closure of the Calgary venue would severely hamper the kids’ camps and development programs that produce the next generation of athletes, and have helped Canada to eight Olympic medals in bobsleigh and skeleton since 2006.

Nor is it the only post-Games problem that the city is facing.

Two of the three neighbouring ski jumps at Canada Olympic Park, now in a state of terminal disrepair, are scheduled to soon be torn down. The 90-metre tower will survive, but only for use as a zipline launch and to boost cellphone signals.

Several other ’88 venues are also in dire need of renovations, including the speed skating oval — at least $15 million for foundation work and ice plant upgrades — and the cross-country and downhill ski areas in Canmore and Nakiska.

And then there’s the ongoing fight with the Calgary Flames over their desire to replace the aging Saddledome with a new NHL rink, to be largely paid for by the public.

Steam rises from buildings near the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alta. The Calgary Flames want the old stadium replaced with a new NHL rink. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

For all the focus on the cost of hosting an Olympics, relatively little attention gets paid to the price of keeping the venues going after the circus leaves town.

Utah has earmarked $40 million US to keep its 2002 Games sites in good shape as it pursues a possible bid for another Winter Olympics, and now there are calls for a further $15 million in order to attract more international competitions.

Although increasingly, host nations seem to be leaning towards the other choice — just letting stuff fall apart.

A year after the Pyeongchang Games, many of the 2018 venues sit idle. The sliding centre is closed — ironically, South Korean athletes now train in Calgary — and the speed-skating arena is without ice. The hockey arena has been used three times since the games finished, and the figure skating venue has hosted two concerts.

All of which is better than Rio, Athens and Beijing, where many Summer Games facilities have basically been left to rot.

A view from the stands in Rio de Janiero’s derelict Olympic Aquatics stadium in May 2017, less than a year after Brazil’s Games. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Even the biggest, shiniest Olympic jewels — the cavernous stadiums that host the Opening and Closing ceremonies and track and field — are perpetual white elephants.

London Stadium, now home to the Premier League’s West Ham United, is costing British taxpayers somewhere between $74,000 and $431,000 a game — estimates vary — in a cut-rate lease that runs for 99 years.

And a Harvard Business School study released last fall concluded that most Olympic stadiums are set up to fail, built too big, indebted and ugly to succeed as homes for pro teams or cultural events.

None of which will come as news to Montrealers.

The « Big Owe, » built for the 1976 Summer Games but not paid off until 40 years later, still needs a $250 million replacement roof.

The Olympic Stadium in Montreal, seen here in November 2017, is still waiting for the design of its new $250 million roof to be approved. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

Yesterday, the Régie des installations olympiques announced that the work will be pushed back another year as they try to make sure that the new roof will actually work, since two previous versions ripped.

The new lid is scheduled to be in place by 2023, and will hopefully last until the city hosts some FIFA World Cup matches in 2026.

At Issue

Tonight’s At Issue panel tackles the problems fuelling the increasingly heated debate over the future of Alberta’s energy industry, writes Rosemary Barton.

From the low price of Canadian crude, to a lack of pipelines, it’s safe to say Alberta’s economy is facing serious challenges.

This week I travelled to Edmonton as part of our National Conversation series. With the federal election now just eight months away (yes, the countdown clock is on) and a provincial election before that, we wanted to talk about the future of the province and hear from Albertans directly.

And we wanted the provincial government’s perspective, too.

Premier Rachel Notley told me she still believes a pipeline is the best and safest option to move oil to market. But given the current stalemate, she has no choice but to keep looking to railcars (remember she announced the province would be purchasing 7,000 railcars last fall).

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley answers questions from the audience at CBC’s The National Conversation event in Edmonton. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

So is Ottawa doing enough to help Alberta? And should Notley be doing more to stand up to the federal government?

The premier says she is, but many who were in the audience for our event in Edmonton or submitted questions for Notley online felt otherwise.

She says it’s all about explaining to Canadians why they should care about Alberta’s success.

But there are, of course, politics at play here.

I also sat down with Notley’s political rival, United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney, who says Notley’s mistake was focusing her energy on one pipeline to solve the provincial economy’s problems.

Jason Kenney and Rosemary Barton talk Alberta politics over coffee. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Tonight on At Issue, we’ll take this opportunity to talk about Alberta’s economic woes, the political implications, and ask where both the province and the federal government go from here.

Plus whatever else comes our way — a lot can change in a few hours in Canadian politics. Andrew Coyne, Chantal Hébert and Althia Raj will join me for my favourite night of the week.

See you then.

– Rosemary Barton

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Yiddish Glory at the Grammys

Producer Greg Hobbs describes how a Toronto professor’s chance discovery turned into a Grammy-nominated album.

When Yiddish Studies professor Anna Shternshis found herself in the unlikely position of overseeing the production of a musical recording, she discovered that musicians can connect with the past in ways historians might not be able to.

Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II is a Grammy-nominated collection of songs written by Jewish Red Army soldiers, refugees and victims of the Ukrainian ghettos.

University of Toronto Professor Anna Shternshis in her office at the University of Toronto. Her work led to the making of the Grammy-nominated album ‘Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II.’ (Anand Ram/CBC)

The works were discovered by Shternshis during the early 2000s in a box at the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine, while she was working on a project about the decline of Yiddish culture in the Soviet Union. They are unique, in that they were written in Yiddish from the perspective of those battling through one of the darkest periods of the 20th century for Soviet Jews, as they experienced it.

« The rumours that the songs were collected existed, » says Shternshis, who teaches at the University of Toronto. « But scholars believed that this collection was destroyed and never survived the war. »

Some of the documents came with musical notations, others were just lyrics.

Early in the production process, when Shternshis was working with Russian songwriter Psoy Korolenko to put music to the lyrics of a piece called Purim Gifts for Hitler, Korolenko said he wanted to add a line.

« I said to Psoy, ‘this is a terrible idea,' » recounts Shternshis, who was trying to be as authentic as possible to the originals.

Shternshis displays photos she took of lyric sheets of Yiddish songs from the World War II era that were thought to have been lost. (Anand Ram/CBC)

Purim Gifts is a defiant song decrying Hitler’s attempts to defeat the Jews. As the translated lyrics go, « You’re not my first enemy, before you I’ve had many others. »

While first performing the song on behalf of Shternshis at an academic conference, Korolenko insisted on adding a well-known Yiddish and Hebrew saying that translates as, « The Jewish people live on and on. » It was a rousing moment that the audience loved, although it made Shternshis uncomfortable.

To her astonishment, she later discovered an earlier handwritten version of the song in a different section of the Vernadsky Library. In that version, the lyrics ended with the very same line, « The Jewish people live on and on. » It turns out that this is what the original author had intended before Stalin’s censors got their hands on the lyrics.

It was eye-opening for Shternshis.

« Musicians can really get what the other musicians were saying, many years later, better than a historian, » she says.

Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II is nominated for a Grammy in the World Music Category. For more on the collection, watch tonight’s The National on CBC Television and streamed online.

– Greg Hobbs

Juno Award-winning jazz vocalist Sophie Milman performs an anti-fascist song titled Chuvasher Tekher (Daughters of Chuvashia), written during World War II, which is on the Grammy-nominated album Yiddish Glory:

A few words on … 

The passing of one of Parliament Hill’s good guys.

Quote of the moment

« It’s my last name, I’ve always had it. I’m not ashamed of it. There’s nothing bad about it. »

– Melville, Sask., resident Dave Assman (pronounced « Oss-men ») reacts to the government’s rejection of his Seinfeldesque request for a personalized licence plate.

Dave Assman says he’d like a licence plate personalized with his name, because he’s proud of it. (Submitted by Dave Assman)

What The National is reading

  • PMO pressed Wilson-Raybould to abandon prosecution of SNC-Lavalin (Globe and Mail)
  • It’s official: 2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record (NY Times)
  • ‘Torn apart’ by Brexit: Northern Ireland residents fear border could reignite violence (CBC)
  • France recalls Italian ambassador after ‘unfounded attacks’ and « provocations’ (France 24)
  • Calgary teachers’ conference cancels convicted murderer’s presentation (CBC)
  • Brazil’s ex-president Lula convicted in second corruption case (Al Jazeera)
  • U.K. students paid up to £3,500 to catch potentially deadly diseases (Telegraph)
  • Arrow killing ruled a homicide (CBC)
  • 8 hospitalized for burns after trying ‘boiling water challenge’ (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Bounty hunters had access to U.S. cellphone customer location data for years (Motherboard)

Today in history

Feb. 7, 1997: Keith’s beer becomes available outside the Maritimes

The Halifax-brewed, kind-of India Pale Ale, taps into some expansion money from its Belgian-based parent company to offer drinkers in Ontario and elsewhere an authentic taste of Nova Scotia.

Alexander Keith’s beer becomes available outside the Maritimes. 1:30

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Calgarian now $16.3 million richer after Lotto 6-49 jackpot win – Calgary


A Calgary man who won $16.3 million from a Lotto 6-49 draw says he doesn’t want to change “much” about his life.

“I have a lot to learn about how to manage this much money,” Alfonso Buonomo explained in a Thursday news release from the Western Canada Lottery Corporation. “I want to be smart, learn how to invest it properly and let it snowball.”

Buonomo discovered he had won the jackpot from the Jan. 2 draw while checking his tickets a Co-op gas bar on Symons Valley Road N.W.

“I actually thought the prize amount was a barcode number when I first scanned the ticket,” he said. “I was shocked! I couldn’t move.”

Check your tickets! $16M winning lottery ticket sold in Calgary

Buonomo was on his way to get groceries when he stopped at the gas bar. He started to go home, but decided he needed some time to think. So, he turned around to complete his initial errand.

Buonomo said his first priority will be to pay off the mortgage on his home.

“My brother-in-law told me not to get a Lamborghini,” he laughed. “I’d be happy with a new motorcycle and a second vehicle.”

Buonomo bought his winning ticket at the same gas bar where he discovered the win.

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


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ATA cancels controversial guest scheduled to speak at Calgary Teachers’ Convention – Calgary


The Alberta Teachers Association says it has cancelled a controversial guest scheduled to speak at the Calgary City Teachers’ Convention this week.

The union’s president Greg Jeffery broke the news from an unverified tweeter account at 9:20 p.m. Wednesday.

“After reviewing concerns shared about Andy Evans speaking at Calgary Teachers’ Convention, I have consulted with @CCTCA organizers and we will be cancelling AARC’s session. I sincerely regret the impact this has had on survivors, victims and their supporters,” he said.

Convicted murderer Andy (Andrew) Evans was scheduled to join the Calgary Police Service in a session at the convention.

Calgary police said Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC) invited them to speak at the convention to help educate others about addiction.

According to the schedule summary, Evans was to be speaking about adolescent addiction and his journey through addiction.

After serving seven years for second-degree murder, Evans was granted parole in 2014.

Nicole Parisien was strangled by Evans, a former UBC rugby player, while working at an illegal massage parlor in Vancouver.

Evans was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of getting out for 10 years. However, the Criminal Code allows parole eligibility three years before the official date of release to ease an eventual transition back into society.

READ MORE: Family outraged woman’s killer granted day parole after 7 years

After Evans was granted day parole, he moved back to Calgary where he’s currently the quality assurance coordinator at the AARC. He’s also a member of the Calgary Rams Rugby Club.

Initial concerns about him being a guest at the convention came up on a social media post wondering if it was the same person who served time for the murder Parisien in Vancouver.

In a statement on Tuesday, the organizers of the conference said they stood by their decision to keep Evans as a speaker:

“Teachers are smart and thoughtful professionals capable of examining contentious issues and sensitive topics with critical thought. For this reason, the association’s convention organizers do not shy away from scheduling controversial sessions or speakers. We trust in the professionalism of teachers to understand and appreciate different perspectives on issues that relate to their work.”

News of the cancellation spread quickly on social media on Wednesday evening:

The Calgary City Teacher’s Convention runs from Feb. 14 to 15.

With files from Global News’ Blake Lough

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


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