‘A major challenge:’ Report by railway in fatal B.C. derailment studied impacts of winter weather


A report by the railway company involved in this week’s deadly derailment in the Rocky Mountains details how challenging it is to run trains in frigid temperatures.

« Harsh winter conditions are an inescapable reality in Canada’s northern climate, » says a document titled White Paper: Railroading in the Canadian Winter on Canadian Pacific Railway’s website.

« Winter has a profound impact on a railway’s operations and its ability to maintain service for its customers. »

A Vancouver-bound train with 112 grain cars was parked with its air brakes engaged on a grade east of Field, B.C., when it started moving on its own around 1 a.m. Monday. The train sped up to well over the limit before 99 cars and two locomotives hurtled off the tracks. It was about –20 C at the time.

Engineer Andrew Dockrell, conductor Dylan Paradis and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer died in the crash.

The white paper said cold increases air leakage from a train’s air-brake system that results in varying air pressures between the head and tail end of a train.

Trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer, left, engineer Andrew Dockrell, centre, and conductor Dylan Paradis, right, were killed when a CP train derailed near Field, B.C., early Monday. (Facebook)

« This is a major challenge. »

Trains are shortened whentemperatures dip below –25 C to ensure pressure remains consistent throughout their entire length, the report said.

A union representative has said the derailed train was shorter than the 135 cars CP has run in recent years. But a veteran Boston-based engineer said 112 cars is still large for a train of full grain hoppers.

« Our forefathers in the business would never have put a train together that big under those climatic conditions and expected it to run smoothly, » said Joe Mulligan with Railroad Workers United, a volunteer-run group of rank-and-file railroaders across North America.

The Transportation Safety Board has said the train was parked for two hours before it began to move on its own. Handbrakes were not applied, the board said.

« It would have taken an awful lot of handbrakes to hold a train back that big, » said Mulligan, who added there was nothing to be done once the train was in motion.

The Calgary-based railway said in the report that it also places locomotives at different points along a train in the winter. Distributing power that way makes it quicker to pressurize air brakes. The train that derailed had a locomotive at the front, middle and end.

‘Things break that normally don’t’

In extreme cold, dryers are used to prevent moisture from getting into the brakes, which means it takes longer to pressurize them and do the required safety checks, said the winter railroading report.

« This unavoidably increases the train’s terminal dwell time. »

The white paper also said train speeds must be reduced in frigid temperatures — by at least 16 km/h below –25 C and by at least 32 km/h at –35 C.

Will Young, a locomotive mechanic based in Kansas City, Mo., and an organizer at Railroad Workers United, said cold weather takes a toll on many train components.

« Things break that normally don’t. Steel just becomes brittle. Rubber seals just harden and don’t work. »

Young said he suspects some sort of mechanical issue caused the braking system to lose power. That could have set off the chain of events that led to the catastrophe.

« It only takes that ever-so-slight touch of momentum. »

The spiral tunnels and location of CP Rail derailment. The train started moving on its own and derailed before it reached the second tunnel. (CBC)


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Broken-down train causes major morning delays on Kitchener GO line


A broken-down train on the Kitchener GO line caused major delays and serious headaches for commuters on Monday morning.

Metrolinx said a train broke down just west of the Acton GO station at around 6:30 a.m.

Frigid weather creating operational delays for TTC, GO Transit, UP Express

It’s an area where GO trains only operate on one track.

The most significant delays were felt west of the incident in areas around Guelph and Kitchener.

The Malton 8:33 a.m. train was cancelled and the Georgetown 7:14 a.m. train had only six cars.

Metrolinx said delays were starting to ease at around 8 a.m.

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


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Major police presence in Edmonton’s Gold Bar neighbourhood Wednesday night – Edmonton


A major police presence could be seen at an alley in the Edmonton community of Gold Bar late Wednesday night.

A Global News crew at the scene said eight police cruisers and an ambulance were seen by the alley, which was taped off as of 10:45 p.m.

A vehicle in the alley was also taped off as well as a nearby apartment building.

Police have not released details about what prompted the large emergency response in the area of 48 Street and 101A Avenue.

More to come…

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


Source link

قالب وردپرس

30-vehicle pileup shuts down major highway west of Edmonton


A 30-vehicle pileup caused a traffic jam on a major highway near Edmonton after a tractor-trailer jackknifed in the eastbound lane.

The collisions took place around 11:30 a.m. local time Saturday on Highway 16 eastbound between Spruce Grove and Acheson, said RCMP Staff Sgt. Rodney Koscielny.

« We had vehicles hitting the ditch [and] hitting each other, » he said.

A second tractor-trailer was also involved in the pileup.

Koscielny said fire and EMS both responded to the collision.

No injuries have been reported.

Stony Plain RCMP are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Traffic was rerouted through Spruce Grove and vehicles were able to pass through the scene around 3 p.m., Koscielny said.

RCMP advised people to stay off the roads as heavy snowfall created « extremely poor road conditions » in the Edmonton area on Saturday.

« There’s dozens and dozens of collisions all over the Edmonton region, » Koscielny said. « The roads are still in treacherous driving conditions. »


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Flour, frozen fruit get increased subsidies in major Nutrition North update


Diapers, macaroni, spaghetti, dried beans and frozen french fries are among the new items now going to be subsidized under the Nutrition North program, the federal government announced today in Iqaluit.

Frozen fruits and vegetables, milk, infant food and formula, and bannock-making ingredients — flour, cooking oils, butter and lard — will also receive higher subsidies as part of the long-awaited changes to the program.

Most of the changes derived from feedback the government received during its 2016 consultation tour of 18 northern communities, in which northerners griped about how the current food list was developed through a southern lens, and didn’t take into account local diets.

Northerners asked for flour to receive a higher subsidy, in order to ease the cost of making bannock, along with other staples like rice, pasta, coffee, tea and other nutritious dried foods.

As part of the higher subsidies, the government has created a new category, officially designated as the « targeted (highest) » subsidy level. On the list is frozen fruits and vegetables, fresh milk, and infant food and formula.

The two other subsidy levels will also receive a boost, with the « higher » level increasing by at least $0.15 per kilogram in all eligible communities. The « lower » level rates will increase to $1.00 per kilogram in 76 communities where the rate was less than $1.00 per kilogram before.

The increase to the lower levels will make a big difference in some Northern Ontario communities, where subsidies were around $0.05 per kilogram.

The program, launched in 2011, provides subsidies on shipping to retailers on a list of products the government deems to be nutritious or essential.

The government is also expected to tighten up the eligibility criteria for retailers to receive Nutrition North subsidies, while also putting money toward helping smaller retailers meet their reporting requirements under the program — larger retailers show subsidy amounts on receipts at the checkout counter.

Other changes to the program include more flexibility for paying for personal orders — the 2016 consultations revealed concerns for northerners who don’t have credit cards — as well as providing funding for smaller retailers to meet the program’s reporting requirements, like showing the subsidy savings on receipts.

The government said it will also support communities who can get cut off from the south during the year, allowing them to be eligible for a subsidy on an expanded list of food and non-food items.

Labrador MP Yvonne Jones, the parliamentary secretary to Northern Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, in Iqaluit in May. (Nick Murray/CBC)

The long-awaited updates to the $100-million program are the first major changes to Nutrition North under the Liberal government, aside from when it added 37 more northern communities to the program in October 2016.

During a funding announcement in Iqaluit in May, Labrador MP Yvonne Jones said « a new program around food security » would be announced in the following months.

The updates also come on the heels of a federal funding boost from the government’s fall economic statement last month, which committed to boosting Nutrition North’s budget by $11 million to $14 million starting in 2019/20, and the addition of a harvesters’ support grant program to help offset the costs of traditional hunting.

A sign at the Iqaluit Northmart in October assures customers that the Nutrition North subsidies are passed on to the customers. There have long been concerns over the program’s transparency. (Nick Murray/CBC News)

New Inuit to Crown working group

Another key change on the Nutrition North file is the announced creation of an Inuit to Crown working group, which will focus on food security.

The move is in response to criticisms from Inuit leaders, who complained the federal government was not listening to Inuit in reviewing Nutrition North. Those concerns came to a head in April, when all Inuit regions left the government’s Indigenous working group on food security, in protest.

At the time, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Natan Obed wrote to then-northern affairs minister Carolyn Bennett that the consultation structure of the Indigenous working group did not embody an approach that recognizes the specific needs of Inuit.

This new Inuit to Crown working group will be separate from the Indigenous working group, which will continue its consultation mandate with First Nations and Métis groups.


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Supreme Court decision on Vice Media a major ‘setback’ for investigative reporting in Canada: experts – New Brunswick


The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to compel a Vice Media reporter to hand over material about an accused terrorist will have a damaging effect on investigative reporting across the country and weaken Canadian democracy, say experts and press freedom advocates.

On Friday, Canada’s highest court ruled in a 9-0 decision that Vice reporter Ben Makuch will have to turn over any communications with Farah Mohamed Shirdon, a Calgary man who left Canada to join the so-called Islamic State.

Jeffrey Dvorkin, director of the journalism program at the University of Toronto Scarborough, said the decision is a major “setback for journalists in Canada” as it could leave them open to being perceived as operating as “police agents.”

“Anytime a journalist says to a confidential source, ‘I promise keep your name out of the story,’ now journalists can’t give that guarantee,” Dvorkin said. “We are going to see more intimidation from organizations that are going to prevent journalists from doing their jobs.”

READ MORE: Canadian jihadi Farah Mohamed Shirdon killed in Iraq airstrike in 2015

Dvorkin said that confidential sources, like whistleblowers, might think twice about speaking with a journalist if security agencies can compel journalists to reveal information.

“This is going to be the detriment of journalism and our democracy in general,” he said.

The Supreme Court decision centers on several articles written by Makuch in 2014 based on interviews he had with Shirdon, an outspoken Canadian ISIS member who was infamously featured in a propaganda video that showed him ripping up his Canadian passport and throwing it in a fire.

Shirdon was charged by RCMP with six terror-related offences and investigators obtained a production order in 2015 for Makuch to hand over any communications with the suspected terrorist in order to build their case.

Global News first reported in September 2017 that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq, found that Farah Mohamed Shirdon was killed in the city of Mosul on July 13, 2015.

VICE Media and Makuch had fought to have that production order overturned in three lower courts, but the decision was upheld by the Supreme Court on Friday. Several civil liberties groups and media outlets, including Global News, acted as intervenors in the case.

READ MORE: Vice Media challenges RCMP demand for reporter materials in top Ontario court

Writing on behalf of the majority, Justice Michael Moldaver said the production order for Makuch’s materials should stand because disclosure of the materials would not reveal a confidential source as Shirdon used the media to publicize extremist views.

“Mr. Makuch’s own conduct shows that the relationship was not confidential in any way,” Moldaver wrote. “It was Mr. Makuch, not the police, who identified Mr. Shirdon to the public, by publishing the articles that linked Abu Usamah to Farah Shirdon and the YouTube video.”

“The production order strikes a proportionate balance between the rights and interests at stake,” the court ruled. “The order is narrowly tailored, targeting only the journalist’s communications with the source, and those communications are not available from any other source.”

Vice media said the court’s decision “has failed to recognize the importance of a free, and independent press.”

“Today’s decision will no doubt have a chilling effect on both sources, who may be reluctant to talk to reporters, and on journalists themselves, who could be less inclined to report on sensitive issues,” Vice said in a statement. “We strongly believe that the journalism — which is already under attack across the globe — needs to be free from state intervention.”

Karyn Pugliese, with the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, said the ruling is a “dark day” for Canada and reporters will now have to reevaluate when to offer sources anonymity.

“It’s not just about media rights, it’s about the public interest,” she said. “If people are afraid to come forward because they see us as agents of the police — that’s concerning — people won’t come forward.”

WATCH: Canadian terrorism researcher comments on death of Canadian foreign fighter

In its ruling, the Court avoided the Journalistic Sources Protection Act that the Trudeau government enacted in 2017, which aims to shield sources from police investigation.

“Going forward, this new regime will govern production orders relating to ‘journalists,’ even where no confidential source is involved, the facts in this case arose before the JSPA was brought into force,” the court said

Dvorkin said the JSPA is still “very murky” and has yet to be tested in court and it does not put journalists’ sources entirely beyond the reach of a court orders.

A spokesperson for Public Safety Canada said in an email that the ministry is reviewing the decision, which they said attempted to “strike a balance between” the priorities of security agencies and the rights of a free press.

“The intersection between the two is crucial to our democracy. That’s why a unanimous ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada is ‎so significant,” said Scott Bardsley in an email. “We all need to examine and understand the Court’s analysis.”

*With a file from Mike Armstrong

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


Source link

قالب وردپرس

No major impact expected from mega RoyalMount project on Montreal businesses – Montreal


A city of Montreal commission says the proposed mega-project in the Town of Mont Royal known as RoyalMount won’t have a major impact on Montreal businesses.

The commission presented its findings on the possible impacts of the project at a public hearing.

It showed the mega-mall would have a small impact on downtown Montreal stores.

Businesses and shopping centres located near the project, such as Rockland Centre, Marché Central and Place Vertu will see “medium” impact.

Côte Saint-Luc city councillor says heated sidewalks are ‘the way to go for the future’

“We will see as soon as the project will finish,” said Audrey Febvre, general director of Experience Côté-de-Neiges , a non-profit organization representing the area’s businesses. “I’m just concerned because they have a big offer on restaurants and a cultural offer.”

The developer also had the chance to present their project to the city and the public in attendance.

“I think it’s a chance for everybody to know better about RoyalMount. We didn’t have the chance to present it properly,” said Claude Marcotte, the executive president of Carbonleo, the developer.

Febvre said the presentation made the project more clear but argued “it’s a little bit useless,” because the decision was already made. The project has been given the green light by the Town of Mont Royal.

Traffic concerns 

The project is planned to be built at the junction of Highways 15 and 40.

“It’s one of the places in Montreal — in all of Canada actually — where there are the most traffic jams, so adding one car there is a concern,” said Éric Alan Caldwell, executive committee member responsible for transport and urban planning at the City of Montreal.

Massive mega-mall project proposed for TMR

The developers proposed several traffic mitigation measures, such as adding synchronized traffic lights and rearranging the service road on Highway 40 towards Chemin de la Côte-de-Liesse east to add two more lanes.

The commission said the measures were good.

Carbonleo says it’s in talks with Transports Quebec and it will be willing to cover a minimum of 50 per cent of the costs.

The company would also cover the $22-million cost associated with adding an overpass connecting the De la Savane metro station to the project.

The Association des Sociétés de développement commercial de Montréal (ASDCM), an organization representing 16,000 businesses says it’s concerned about the message this mega-project is sending.

“Traffic, greenhouse gas, overconsumption… What values does adding another mega shopping centre in the heart of Montreal really support?”

The organization said it will be presenting a brief to the city’s commission next month.

Anyone who wishes to submit a brief or an opinion to the commission can register with the city before Friday, Dec. 7.

The next public hearing will take place on Dec. 19. The city will present its recommendations on Jan. 24, 2019.

Infighting escalates with legal action at English Montreal School Board

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


Source link

قالب وردپرس

Fiery crash in New Glasgow shuts down section of major road


A main road in New Glasgow, N.S., was forced to close for an hour Tuesday night following a fiery two-vehicle crash.

New Glasgow Regional Police say the crash along East River Road, in front of the Aberdeen Hospital, was reported around 4:45 p.m.

Police say the crash involved a Volkswagen car and a SUV travelling southbound.

Both drivers and the three passengers in the SUV were uninjured, according to police, but the Volkswagen sustained significant damage after catching fire.

The SUV sustained minor damage.

READ MORE: N.S. teen charged with public mischief for allegedly faking abduction

Police say the Volkswagen was towed from the scene, causing the section of East River Road to close for an hour.

The cause of the crash is still being investigated.

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


Source link

قالب وردپرس

New Canadian pregnancy guideline shows exercise cuts odds of major complications by 40%


A new Canadian guideline for exercise during pregnancy found that physical activity is not associated with fetal complications and can reduce the chance of developing a major pregnancy complication.

Following three years of researching 675 unique studies, the 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity Throughout Pregnancy was released on Thursday morning. The previous guideline was 15 years old.

“It was high time that we developed these guidelines,” said Margie Davenport, an associate professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation at the University of Alberta.

“There’s been an incredible amount of new information that’s come out looking at the safety and benefits of being active during pregnancy.”

The overarching recommendation is that all pregnant women, with the exception of those who shouldn’t exercise for medical reasons, should be physically active, which differs from the 2003 guideline.

“There’s no bad time to start physical activity when you’re pregnant,” Davenport said.

She said even for women who were not physically active before becoming pregnant, the same recommendations apply.

The guideline includes six recommendations, including pregnant women should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.

“So that would be equivalent of a brisk walk, gardening, going for a swim,” Davenport said.

Six recommendations

  1. All women without contraindication should be physically active throughout pregnancy
  2. Pregnant women should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week
  3. Physical activity should be accumulated over a minimum of three days per week
  4. Pregnant women should incorporate a variety of aerobic exercise and resistance training activities to achieve greater benefits
  5. Pelvic floor muscle training (e.g. Kegel exercises) may be performed on a daily basis to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence
  6. Pregnant women who experience light-headedness, experience nausea, or feel unwell when they exercise flat on their back should modify their exercise position to avoid the supine position

Prenatal exercise can reduce odds of major complication

The research found prenatal exercise is not associated with fetal complication such as miscarriage, stillbirth and preterm birth.

“The three biggest fears that pregnant women have told us is: they’re going to have a higher risk for miscarriage, they might be more likely to have a preterm delivery, and they might have a smaller baby,” Davenport said. “The evidence that we’ve found in our systematic reviews suggests that this is not actually a concern.

“Pregnant women (who exercise) are not at a higher risk for miscarriage, preterm birth or having a small baby.”

READ MORE: Having preeclampsia can double a woman’s risk of heart disease

In fact, women who exercise during pregnancy can expect a 40 per cent reduction in the chance of developing a major pregnancy complication such as pre-eclampsia, gestational hypertension or gestational diabetes, Davenport said.

“If we can prevent these complications from developing in the mom, we might actually be able to impact the life-long health of both the mother and the baby.”

However, despite the recommendations, Davenport said pregnant women should not feel guilty for being inactive.

“If there are days when you can’t be physically active, you do need to listen to your body and take the time to rest and recover.”

What kind of exercise is not recommended?

Pregnant women should avoid exercise that involves physical contact or danger of falling.

“Great examples are downhill skiing or horseback riding.”

The guideline also strongly recommends that pregnant women avoid scuba diving, exercising at a high altitude and in excessive heat.

READ MORE: C-section births nearly doubled worldwide over 15 years: study

Are there pregnant women who should not exercise?

The guideline suggests that pregnant women with certain conditions should not exercise:

  • Ruptured membranes
  • Premature labour
  • Unexplained persistent vaginal bleeding
  • Placenta previa after 28 weeks’ gestation
  • Preeclampsia
  • Incompetent cervix
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • High-order multiple pregnancy (e.g.,triplets)
  • Uncontrolled type 1 diabetes
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Uncontrolled thyroid disease
  • Other serious cardiovascular, respiratory, or systemic disorder

The guideline was reviewed and approved by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and has been endorsed by groups including Alberta Health Services, Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine, Canadian Association of Midwives, Ontario Public Health Association, ParticipACTION and Perinatal Services BC.

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


Source link

قالب وردپرس