Halifax Convention Centre holds open house to celebrate first birthday – Halifax


The Halifax Convention Centre has left its mark on downtown Halifax and on Sunday the building opened its doors so it could leave a mark on the public.

Jan. 12 and 13 saw the convention centre host an open house to mark its first birthday. More than 1,500 people streamed through the doors over the two-day period to get a glimpse of the inside of the glass and metal behemoth that dominates the city’s downtown core.

“We’re incredibly proud to open our doors and welcome the community to come in and see our space,” said Erin Esiyok-Prime, director of marketing and communications for the Halifax Convention Centre.

“There’s definitely an interest from the community to see our space, check out the different views of the building and just have fun.”

READ MORE: Changes proposed for reporting and oversight of Halifax Convention Centre

Artists from the East Coast Music Association played during the day and Taste of Nova Scotia vendors offered snacks and goodies for visitors.

Built with $169 million in taxpayer funding, the 120,000-sq.-ft. Halifax Convention Centre was part of a massive $500-million construction project, that began in January 2013 and opened several years behind schedule.

Attendees to the Halifax Convention Centre’s first birthday open house were able to take in free music, enjoy snacks and tour the building.

Alexander Quon/Global News

The entire one-million-square-foot development known as the Nova Centre, includes a hotel, office tower and public plaza.

Although the hotel portion of the facility has yet to be opened, the convention centre has hosted more than 140 events including the Federal Conservative Convention and the 2018 Liberal National Convention.

One of the city’s newest professional sports franchise, a professional soccer team, even chose to reveal their name at the convention centre.

WATCH: Halifax Wanderers named as city’s newest professional sports team

Esiyok-Prime says the centre and its team are proud of the work they’ve done and are happy to help draw national and international travellers to Halifax.

With over 85 events already booked for 2019, the convention centre is set to continue providing a place for conventions and events to be hosted.

“We are not slowing down,” said Esiyok-Prime. “2019 is shaping up to be another amazing year.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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


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Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls inquiry holds final hearings in Ottawa


The national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls concludes its evidence gathering activities this week as final submissions from parties with standing will be heard in Ottawa.

Watch live here throughout each day.

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls holds hearings in Ottawa December 10-14. 0:00

The inquiry granted official standing to approximately 100 parties, including persons or groups who demonstrated they had a substantial and direct interest in missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, as well others with expertise and perspectives deemed essential for the inquiry to fulfil its mandate.

On Monday, the inquiry is expected to hear from representatives of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Quebec Native Women, Native Women’s Association of Canada, and Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada.

Later in the week Amnesty International Canada, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action and Partners Canada Without Poverty, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and other national and regional parties will address the commissioners.

The full schedule is available here.

Commissioners are expected to submit their final report to the federal government by April 30.


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Kingston committee holds public meeting to discuss how to use solar energy community fund – Kingston


Kingston’s rural advisory committee held a public meeting at the Glenburnie Fire Hall, where very few members of the Kingston community attended on Monday night.

City staff discussed a few ways that they can use the solar renewal energy community benefit fund based on some of the input that they’ve received from community members.

“We have heard from our ‘get involved’ page, we’ve heard that you know exercise equipment on the K&P trail, we heard from some councillors again in respect to the tree-planting properties,” said the community projects manager for the city, Julie Salter-Keane.

The city receives $92,000 from Samsung each year in exchange for providing rural space to the tech company for their solar projects.

Kingston city staff propose funding to revamp busy intersection

City staff had launched a “get involved” public input page about a month ago, where the public can give their opinions on how the community benefit fund should be used.

The page will be open to the public until Tuesday at 4:30 pm. If anyone from the community still wants to provide their input, they can reach out to their local councillors and they will pass their ideas forward.

There are three requirements that the city has laid out for the allocation of the funds. The money can either go towards tree planting, towards updating parks, or for acquiring parklands in rural areas of Kingston.

Kingston: The electric city

City staff will continue gathering input from the public and they will present a formal report to council early next year with a recommendation.

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


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Patrick Brown holds narrow lead in Brampton mayoral race, poll finds


A new poll suggests former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown holds a narrow lead over incumbent Linda Jeffrey in the Brampton mayoral race.

According to a survey by Mainstreet Research, 43.9 per cent of decided voters that were polled were in favour on Brown, while 39.3 per cent supported Jeffrey.

A new poll shows that fomer PC leader Patrick Brown leads Linda Jeffrey in the Brampton mayoral race, which will be decided on Monday.
A new poll shows that fomer PC leader Patrick Brown leads Linda Jeffrey in the Brampton mayoral race, which will be decided on Monday.  (Vince Talotta / Toronto Star)

Quito Maggi, the president of the research company, said while Brown has an advantage going into the final weekend of the election, Jeffrey is “still very much in this race.”

“Brown has the advantage coming into the final weekend,” said Maggi. “But his lead is barely outside the margin of error and will still need to have a strong get-out-the-vote effort to see himself over the line on Monday.”

The survey also categorized residents by gender, showing that Brown was the most favoured candidate amongst men, while Jeffrey was with women — but not by major margins. Among decided female voters, 43.8 per cent picked Jeffrey while 41.1 per cent chose Brown.

Brown stepped down from the Ontario PC leadership in January, in the wake of a CTV News story in which he was accused of sexual misconduct involving young women. He has denied the allegations and is suing CTV for $8 million.

After Brown and Jeffrey, other candidates polled at much lower numbers with John Sprovieri holding at 6.6 per cent with decided voters.

The survey results also showed that 17.4 per cent of residents remain undecided.

The poll, conducted on Oct. 19, surveyed residents in 517 Brampton residents that were 18 years or older through automated phone calls. Mainstreet Research said the margin of error is 4.29 per cent margin of error, meaning its accurate 19 out of 20 times.

Voting day is Oct. 22.

Premila D’Sa is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @premila_dsa


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West Island Cancer Wellness Centre holds first fundraising run in Kirkland – Montreal


Being surrounded by support when you have cancer can make all the difference in the world, as it has for Betty Rodrigues.

“I’m blessed,” she told Global News.  “I have my children, I have my boyfriend and his family, and I’m surrounded by love. A lot of people aren’t.”

Rodrigues is being treated for ovarian cancer and since September, for a few times a week, she gets part of that help at the West Island Cancer Wellness Centre, a yellow house on Barry Street in Kirkland.

West Island Cancer Wellness Centre in Kirkland. (Global News)

New West Island Cancer Wellness Centre opens its doors

“[I do] yoga, the meditation, the reiki massages,” she says.  “And it gets me out of the house and not thinking about what’s happening to me.”

Volunteers at the centre have been giving cancer patients and their families non-medical assistance for more than a decade.  Centre founder and executive director Debbie Magwood says though medical treatments are obviously key, other kinds of treatment are important, too.

“There’s so many other psychosocial components to being diagnosed with cancer that we need to consider,” Magwood said.

But she says the centre needs all the financial help they can get in order to keep going.  That’s why they had their first ever five-kilometre run and walk for families, organized by Surrey House Communications, to raise cash for their services.

WATCH: Focus Montreal: West Island Cancer Wellness Centre

“Counselling services, meditation services, nutrition, yoga classes, massages, things of that nature,” explained Rodrigues’ boyfriend Fernando Dargenio, describing some of those services.  It was partly his idea for Rodrigues to go to the centre.

The event happened on a pedestrian path in Kirkland Saturday afternoon with just over a hundred participants dressed like superheroes — hence the name: “Hero Run.”

Annual walk aims to raise awareness of bladder cancer

“People who donate to us are our heroes because, without them, we couldn’t exist,” said Magwood.

Each participant paid $25.00 to register and all the funds go towards the services.

It didn’t matter to Rodrigues that she was going through treatment.  Because the centre has been so supportive to her and her family, she made up her mind to do the entire walk, so that other cancer patients can benefit from the centre too.

“There’s a lot of love, you know,” Rodriques said. “There’s a lot of love in that little yellow house.”

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


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