Teens are sleep deprived, suffering due to early school start times: study

Pushing first class to later in the morning could do wonders for chronically sleep deprived teens, according to a new study.

Teenagers often get a bad rap: they’re seen as “tired, irritable and uncooperative” because they choose to stay up too late, and lazy for not wanting to get up early, the study states. But teens don’t run on the same inner clocks as everyone else, and experience “a major biological shift in their sleep patterns” during puberty.

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The findings were published in the Learning, Media and Technology journal and recently presented at the British Science Festival.

Researchers from Harvard and Oxford studied the difference between conventional 9 to 5 schedules, referred to as “social time”, as opposed to the “biological time” the body naturally follows. They found there is no other time than during the teenage years that these two schedules differ more greatly. Adolescents’ biological time dictates a need for nine hours of sleep, and later sleep and wake times.

READ MORE: Tips for parents: making sure your children get enough sleep

When a teen’s alarm goes off at 7:00 a.m., it’s the equivalent of a 4:30 a.m. alarm for the average person in their 50s.

The result of an early wake up call goes beyond sleepy teens; chronic sleep deprivation can produce negative effects, both mental and physical, on the body.

“This level of sleep loss causes impairment to physiological, metabolic and psychological health in adolescents while they are undergoing other major physical and neurological changes,” the study states.

“Failure to adjust education timetables to this biological change leads to systematic, chronic and unrecoverable sleep loss.”

The study is not unique in its findings: in August the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that most middle and high schools in the United States were starting their days too early.

“Getting enough sleep is important for students’ health, safety, and academic performance,” said lead author Dr. Anne Wheaton. “Early school start times, however, are preventing many adolescents from getting the sleep they need.”

In 2014 the American Academy of Pediatrics called a lack of sleep among adolescents “an important public health issue that significantly affects the health and safety, as well as the academic success, of our nation’s middle and high school students.”

READ MORE: Doctors say schools should start later so kids can sleep longer

All three studies urged the same conclusion: let the teens sleep.

The most recent study states that at the age of 16, the biological wake up time is around 8:00 a.m., and school should begin between 10:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. At 18 the biological wake up time is closer to 9:00 a.m., and a class time of 11:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. would be most beneficial.

The researchers concluded that syncing up educational start times to teens’ body clocks would be a “a relatively simple step” to boost students’ performance and reduce health risks without having to alter teaching methods or at any great expense.

“Good policies should be based on good evidence, and the data show that children are currently placed at an enormous disadvantage by being forced to keep to inappropriate education times,” the study states.

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Ontario mother outraged after bus driver leaves 6-year-old daughter at park alone

WATCH ABOVE: Just two days into the new school year, a six-year-old girl was dropped off by a school bus at a park by herself — rather than being walked over to after-school care. As Caryn Lieberman reports, the situation could have escalated into something much worse.

TORONTO — A Bradford, Ont. mother is outraged after her six-year-old daughter was mistakenly dropped off at a park about 20 minutes from their home, rather than sent to after-school care.

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Juliette, who prefers not to use her last name, told Global News she was mortified to learn that her daughter was put on a school bus rather than walked over to the YMCA daycare, which is attached to the W. H. Day Elementary School.

“I talked to her teacher in the morning and let her know that she would be going to the YMCA care and she went though her folder and said yeah, she did have a list,” Juliette said.

“She just basically had to walk down the hall.”

Melanie Slade-Morrison, a spokeswoman for the Simcoe County School Board, said the school board was “apologetic to the family,” adding that this was an “isolated incident.”

Slade-Morrison insisted the Board isn’t looking to assign blame, but is looking at where there may have been breakdowns in communication.

Juliette said that her daughter Sarena should have been picked up at the bus stop where she was dropped off Tuesday.

When Sarena got off the bus, no one was there to pick her up as her parents assumed she was in her after-school program.

The bus stop is next to a park, so Sarena played there for 45 minutes by herself.

“I’m mortified, I’m sick to my stomach,” said Juliette.

“She went into the park and played for about 45 minutes by herself.”

That’s when a passerby noticed her and asked if she could help.  Juliette had written the name of the school on Sarena’s backpack so the woman called the school, which then alerted her parents as to where she was. Eventually Sarena’s aunt rushed to the park to pick her up.

Juliette, who works as a Doula and registered massage therapist and was in a Toronto hospital helping to deliver a baby, said she asked Sarena if she considered walking home from the park but the little girl said she wouldn’t leave the area because her mom taught her never to cross the street alone.

©2015

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Big grocery chains about to put the squeeze on shoppers: report

Consumers may be about to feel the full weight of the country’s two dominant grocery chains, both of whom have added considerable heft and could be planning to start throwing it around, according to experts.

With job cutsand store closureslargely behind them, Loblaw Co. Ltd. and Empire Co. Ltd. (owner of Sobeys and Safeway) are now turning their combined attention toward the end-game of their blockbuster acquisitions of Shoppers Drug Mart and Safeway, respectively, last year: netting a bigger slice of cash from shoppers, experts say.

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“The big consolidations of 2014 should finally begin to bear fruit,” CIBC World Markets retail stock analysts said in a recent research report.

The fruit will come in the form of pricing and promotional strategies that mean lesshead-to-head competition between chains, and more sales squeezed from customers, the analysts said.

“Already we have seen some coordination of advertising programs to avoid direct item conflicts,” the CIBC report said. “But more importantly, the reduction in the number of competitors in both drug and food makes price checking and price signalling that much easier,” the analysts said.

“It fosters a much calmer, more coordinated market.”

Loblaw announced in July it was closing 52 unprofitable stores over the next year to help boost its bottom line. That announcement followed a similar one from Empire in mid-2014 that it was closing about 50 locations following its $5.8-billion purchase of Safeway Canada.

The pair of mega-deals, which were approved by regulators after Loblaw and Empire agreed to sell offsome stores, mean about half of Canadian supermarket sales are controlled by the two retailers, CIBC estimated.

MORE: Are discount grocery stores becoming a myth?

Click here to view data »

Scrutiny urged

Loblaw and Empire each argued that their added scale would benefit shoppers by allowing the retailersto buy more wholesale volumes. The savings they got from the bulk purchases would give them the flexibility to pass the discounts onto customers, they said.

But consumer groups and some academics warned when the deals were first announced that shoppers could suffer from higher prices.

“We view this as a loss of competition,” Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, said of the deals.

MORE: Scrutiny urged over supermarket mega-mergers

In a paper published on the Loblaw-Shoppers transaction, Douglas West, an economist and chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Alberta, called for an extensive analysis of prices on overlapping product lines.

“You have all these local markets across the country and the competitive intensity will vary by market,” West said at the time.

“I live in a little suburb of Vancouver, and we’ve got a Safeway and a Sobeys,” the CAC’s Cran said.

The loonie’s sharp decline as well as skyrocketing meat prices have already accelerated growth in supermarket prices. Food inflation remained relatively stable for several years following the recession, but began rising sharply at the beginning of 2014, Statistics Canadadata show.

MORE: Shoppers spending more on food thanks to loonie’s drop

Click here to view data »

Loblaw did not respond to requests for comment.On a conference call Thursday, Empire executives said hiccups with theirintegration efforts in the latest quarter had createddelays in introducing the grocer’s new pricing strategies, but the holdupsweren’t significant.

Next year

CIBC’s analysts said Loblaw and Empire still have work to do, but their respective pricing strategies should be fully phased in by next year. “By 2016, the most important element – pricing strategy – should be determined and coordinated,” the report from Aug. 12 said.

Empire is clearly showing it’s still a work in progress. The company said Wednesday earnings fell 14 per cent compared to the same period last year, citing costs associated with the integration of Safeway.

“From a pricing and promotional point of view it’s been more business as usual, with a few experiments here and there,” Marc Poulin, Sobeys CEO said on the call.“We’ve always said we want to make the transition to the new systems and processes first and foremost before we look at the way we market.”

MORE: Facing leaner times, Alberta grocery shoppers ‘trade down’

Belt-tightening among shoppers in Western Canada, where Safeways outnumber Sobeys, could also keep a lid on price growth, experts say.

Supermarket prices in regionssideswiped by the oil downturn will be difficult to raise and could actually tick lower, Kenric Tyghe, a retail stock expert at financial services firm Raymond James, said. “Necessitated by a more price sensitive Western Canadian consumer.”

Still, grocery shoppers elsewhere won’t likely seeanything close to lower food prices, the CIBC research note said. Next year “should be the culmination of consolidation: a distinctly less competitive marketplace.”

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Saint-Lambert residents support limited religious institutions: mayor

WATCH ABOVE: Raw footage of the municipal council in Saint-Lambert Wednesday night.

SAINT-LAMBERT – It seems there won’t be new religious institutions setting up in Saint-Lambert anytime soon.

The city’s municipal council met Wednesday night to consider their contentious zoning proposal to limit the number of religious institutions.

READ MORE: ‘Discriminatory and unconstitutional’: religious groups react to Saint-Lambert zoning decision

According to Mayor Alain Dépatie, the majority of citizens support the proposal, which would limit the number of zones open to religious institutions to nine – down from the previous 19.

WATCH: Saint-Lambert zoning laws hurt religious groups

Eight of those zones are already occupied by Christian institutions.

The mayor said the city is simply reviewing its zoning regulations and defended itself against accusations of discrimination.

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Banks not ready to meet customer needs for mobile payments: report

TORONTO – A new report from CenturyLink suggests that some of the highest-level executives at Canadian banks believe their companies may not be ready to meet the mobile banking needs of their customers.

CenturyLink surveyed 50 high level or C-suite executives from financial services institutions about how customer needs are changing in light of the digital revolution.

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Nearly half – 46 per cent – of respondents said they did not think their company had the IT infrastructure, systems and processes in place to meet customer demands for mobile payments.

And 40 per cent said they didn’t think their companies had the IT infrastructure to satisfy client expectations even for core banking services.

CenturyLink, a global communications and technology company, conducted telephone interviews with the executives between May 1 and 13.

The entrance of technology companies into the financial services space has been the subject of heated discussion among banking executives in recent months.

Chief executives of some of Canada’s biggest banks have commented during their annual general meetings about the need to adapt or risk losing market share to new entrants.

Online peer-to-peer lenders threaten to snatch customers from the banks, while tech giants such as Apple and Google have launched mobile payment processors that could weaken the relationship between banks and their clients.

Royal Bank’s chief executive, Dave McKay, has stressed the need to work with early-stage financial technology companies in order to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

TD Bank CEO Bharat Masrani has urged financial regulators to introduce rules governing the new entrants, which are not subject to the same regulations that banks and other financial institutions must adhere to. That gives them an unfair advantage and could threaten the stability of the country’s financial system, Masrani said.

Meanwhile, CIBC CEO Victor Dodig has said that reports about technology companies snatching market share away from the banks are overblown.

“Will clients move in droves to these new technology platforms to do their lending? I don’t think so. It won’t happen that quickly,” Dodig said in an interview following his speech to the Empire Club of Canada in June.

Roji Oommen, managing director of financial services at CenturyLink, says mammoth institutions like banks tend to be slow to adapt to change.

“They’re very good at very carefully deploying technology, very slowly and risk adversely, over a multi-year program,” Oommen said.

“In the mobile space, you need to be able to move much quicker. Your customers are being spoiled by Google and Apple and the like, and the expectation is that you need to adapt very quickly.”

Oommen said that if banks don’t improve their online user experience, their ability to sell consumer credit products, car loans and mortgages may become diminished.

“To improve customer lifetime profitability, the art of cross-sell is really important,” Oommen said. “The risk is that they will be relegated to a segment of the industry where they’re handling savings and chequing accounts, which is the low margin stuff.”

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UN refugee agency chief in Jordan ties growing aid crisis to migration to Europe

AMMAN, Jordan – The influx of refugees to Europe was triggered in part by donors taking the “cheap option” and not giving enough aid to displaced Syrians in Middle Eastern asylum countries, the head of the U.N. refugee agency in Jordan said in an interview.

Andrew Harper also called on Jordan to speed up security vetting for Syrian refugees, who must wait for weeks in a remote desert area during the process. “It’s not a place where anyone should have to be,” he told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

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Harper’s comments reflected the growing frustration of those aiding more than 4 million Syrian refugees in host countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. Severely underfunded aid groups have had to slash food and cash support in recent months, leading to growing desperation.

Harper said refugees feel betrayed by the international community and the aid agencies. This, he said, “is a reason why we are seeing movement back into Syria, and in many cases, movements continue on into Europe and further afield.”

“The smartest move would have been for Europe and the Gulf states and everyone to provide more support to countries like Jordan and Lebanon two or three years ago when we were asking for it,” he said.

“(The donors) sought the cheap option which was to provide us with peanuts in order to deal with the worst humanitarian situation for decades,” he added.

The U.N. refugee agency has a funding shortfall of 50 per cent, or $500 million, for the Syria crisis this year, he said.

Harper said resettlement in Europe will only make a small dent and the international community must do more to help the millions who remain in the Middle Eastern asylum countries and displaced inside Syria.

“It just makes sense, for no other reason than that it is more cost-effective to address humanitarian needs in countries of asylum, such as Jordan and Lebanon, than it is to deal with them once they get to Europe,” he said.

The agency chief said he believes migration from regional hotspots – Iraq, Yemen and Libya in addition to Syria – will only increase.

“No one in the world is going to be isolated (from) this,” he said. “When you’ve got millions of people who have been bombed, who have been impoverished and who have got no future, they will move to all corners of the world.”

The European Union is imploring member countries to better share the burden of refugees flooding the continent, but the numbers being discussed are small compared with the half-million who have already arrived and hundreds of thousands more on their way.

Many refugees hope to settle in wealthy nations like Germany and Sweden and the EU is struggling find a more equitable solution that would also send a fair share of refugees to less-desirable and less-welcoming places such as Slovakia and the Baltics.

Meanwhile, Harper noted that Jordan has increased restrictions for Syrians wanting to enter Jordan and called on authorities to speed up the entry process.

Jordan hosts about 630,000 Syrian refugees, who now make up about 10 per cent of the country’s population.

Jordan’s formal crossings with Syria are closed and it funnels refugees through informal passages in an eastern desert area. They are kept waiting, often for weeks, near a berm in a remote area just inside Jordan, and only several dozen per day are permitted to move deeper into the kingdom after security checks.

Harper said that while Jordan has legitimate security concerns about extremists, it should expedite the screening and move it from the desert to recognized refugee camps.

There are “hundreds, if not more, women, children, elderly and sick we need to prioritize,” he said, adding that those waiting lack proper shelter or sanitation.

Brig. Gen. Saber al-Mahayreh, the commander of Jordan’s Border Guard, said the military is allowing refugees to enter according to a set of priorities.

“They come in every day and we let them enter. Maybe we can’t let all of them come in at one time,” he told reporters in a briefing at his headquarters Thursday. He did not respond to questions about hundreds being forced to wait in the desert.

Harper also called on Jordan to consider issuing work permits for 50,000 to 100,000 Syrian refugees so they can be less dependent on aid.

Jordan has restricted labour rights for refugees, fearing a rise in high domestic unemployment. Harper noted that tens of thousands of Syrians already work illegally. The refugees, many of them skilled, are willing to do manual labour that is traditionally shunned by Jordanians and currently performed by migrant workers.

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Class action lawsuit launched against Hydro One alleging bad billing practices

TORONTO – A class action lawsuit has been launched against Hydro One claiming customers were victims of a new billing system brought in by the utility.

The statement of claim, filed Wednesday in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, alleges widespread billing problems after Hydro One introduced the new management system in May 2013.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Bill Bennett, a Gravenhurst, Ont., resident is the proposed plaintiff in the suit who allegedly experienced numerous billing issues including unexplained increases in cost.

The claim says Bennett, for example, received an envelope from Hydro One in April 2015 that contained nearly 40 revised bills for a four-year period that represented about a 185 per cent increase in the cost of his electricity bills.

Daffyd Roderick, the director of corporate affairs with Hydro One, says he cannot comment as the matter is before the courts. The suit is claiming damages for $125-million.

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10 ridings the Liberals need to win to get out of 3rd place

Over the past week, the polls have been kind to the Liberal Party.

The seat projections? Not quite as much.

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As the federal election campaign passes the halfway point, the Conservatives, NDP, and Liberals are still deadlocked in a three-way race. And while multiple polls now show the Liberals inching ahead of the Conservatives into second place nationally, most experts seem to think it wouldn’t guarantee them the second highest amount of seats.

Analysis by the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (LISPOP) projects the Liberals to win 103 seats, compared to 106 for the Conservatives and 128 for the NDP.

See the LISPOP map below: 

»

Click to explore the latest seat projections in your riding

Conservative
Leaning Conservative
Liberal
Leaning Liberal
NDP
Leaning NDP
Bloc Québécois
Leaning Bloc Québécois
Too Close to Call
Independent

Note: “Leaning” indicates a 5% to 10% lead. “Too Close to Call” indicates a difference under 5%. Courtesy of Lispop苏州纹眉.

Over the last decade, the Liberals have lost support in suburban Ontario to the Conservatives, and support in Quebec and Toronto to the NDP. So while their vote is fairly evenly distributed across the country, there are few seats where they’re expected to win by a blowout.

So if the Liberals were to get out of third place this election, where would their wins be?

If you look at the polls, it wouldn’t come from seats in Quebec or rural Ontario that the party won in the Jean Chretien era.

Instead, it would come from dominating in Canada’s biggest cities—Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and others—which have become more valuable than ever after the addition of 30 new seats.

Here are 10 seats from coast to coast where a Liberal victory would likely be part of a bigger wave for the party.

1. Cumberland—Colchester

Riding boundaries for the electoral district of Cumberland-Colchester

Elections Canada

2011 result (based on current boundaries): 3rd place, 18.4%
Current LISPOP projection: Too close to call

Outside of Cape Breton Island and Scott Brison’s riding of Kings-Hants, it’s been a while since the Liberals were competitive in rural Nova Scotia, but they have their eyes set on Cumberland—Colchester, where they finished a distant third in 2011 to CPC MP Scott Armstrong.

The biggest reason for their high hopes? Their candidate, the popular former MP Bill Casey. He served as a Progressive Conservative MP in this area from 1988 to 1993 and again from 1997 to 2003. He was re-elected as a Conservative MP in 2004 and 2006, left the party in 2007—but still won in the 2008 election as independent.

He retired in 2009, and is now attempting a political comeback as a Liberal.

If Casey wins here, it likely means the party swept most of Atlantic Canada, giving them a large buffer when election results come in from the rest of the country.

2. Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle

Riding boundaries for the electoral district of Dorval-Lachine-LaSalle

Elections Canada

2011 result (new seat, but based on results in polling stations within the boundaries): 2nd place, 29.4%
Current LISPOP projection: Leaning NDP

The Liberals were only able to win seven seats on the island of Montreal last election, their worst result in modern Canadian history. Getting out of third place means restoring their historical dominance here, especially on the west side of the island, and it comes from wins in ridings like Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle.

It’s in an area the Liberals had only lost once in the last 50 years prior to 2011. Neither their candidate, lawyer Anju Dhillon, or the NDP incumbent, Isabelle Morin, is particularly high-profile.

If the polls hold, the NDP are expected to hold onto a vast majority of their newly-gained seats in Quebec, but Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle is one the Liberals believe they can take.

3. Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs

Riding boundaries for the electoral district of Ville-Marie-Le Sud-Ouest-Île-des-Soeurs

Elections Canada

2011 result (based on current boundaries): 2nd place, 27.5%
Current LISPOP projection: NDP

Another Montreal riding in an area the Liberals have traditionally dominated, this new riding combines bits of Jeanne-Le Ber, Westmount—Ville-Marie, Laurier—Sainte-Marie and Outremont. There is no incumbent in this riding, which will likely come down to a battle of the lawyers—Allison Turner for the NDP, and Marc Miller for the Liberals.

4. Brampton Centre

Riding boundaries for the electoral district of Brampton Centre

Elections Canada

2011 result (new seat, but based on results in polling stations within the boundaries): 2nd place, 25.4%
Current LISPOP projection: Too close to call

Between 1993 and 2008, the Liberals won every single seat contested in Brampton. In 2011, they lost all three seats.

Thanks to redistribution, Brampton now has five electoral districts, and the Liberals are optimistic they can win every one. Perhaps their biggest challenge will come in this new riding, where lawyer and immigration consultant Ramesh Sangha goes up against Conservative MP Bal Gosal.

Had this seat existed in the last election, the Conservatives would have taken it by 21 per cent more votes than the Liberals. Simply put, if the Liberals can pull off a victory here, it bodes well for their chances in the rest of Brampton, Mississauga, and scores of other ridings in the “905” belt.

5. Scarborough Southwest

Riding boundaries for the electoral district of Scarborough Southwest

Elections Canada

2011 result (based on current boundaries): 3rd place, 29.3%
Current LISPOP projection: Too close to call

Another GTA riding expected to be a close three-way race on election night.

Similar to Brampton, the Liberals won every single seat in Scarborough from 1993 to 2008, but came away with just two of five in the 2011 election.

They’re hoping for a sweep of the now-six ridings on election day, and perhaps the most hotly-contested of them is Southwest Scarborough.

The biggest wild card? Whether former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair—perhaps the Liberals’ highest profile new candidate in Ontario this election—helps or hurts the party in this diverse, working-class riding.

But much like a win in Brampton Centre over Gosal will mean a very good night for the Liberals throughout Brampton and Mississauga, a win in Scarborough Southwest over Harris will mean a good night in Scarborough.

6. Toronto Centre

Riding boundaries for the electoral district of Toronto Centre

Elections Canada

2011 result (based on current boundaries): 1st place, 39.4%
Current LISPOP projection: Too close to call

Both the NDP and Liberals will put considerable expenses into taking this prominent riding.

The southern half of Toronto has slowly moved from a Liberal to NDP stronghold in the last decade, but the Liberal party retains considerable strength in the area.

In Toronto Centre, they’re running Bill Morneau, a former chairman of the C.D. Howe Institute. The NDP are countering with Linda McQuaig, a high-profile author and journalist who lost here to Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland in a 2013 byelection.

However, the riding’s boundaries have shrunk and are now much more friendly to the NDP than before—had they been in effect in 2011, the Liberals would have won with 39.7 per cent, followed closely by the NDP with 36.5 per cent.

7. University-Rosedale

Riding boundaries for the electoral district of University-Rosedale

Elections Canada

2011 result (based on current boundaries): 2nd place, 30.6%
Current LISPOP projection: Leaning NDP

The other high-profile NDP-Liberal battle in the heart of Toronto is in University-Rosedale. Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland decided to run here rather than Toronto Centre after redistribution. She goes up against the NDP’s Jennifer Hollett, a former  journalist with a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard.

The riding includes both university students in the areas surrounding the University of Toronto, and some of Canada’s wealthiest families in Rosedale.

But between the new boundaries, the Liberals’ improved fortunes in Ontario (if you believe the polls), and the significant media attention Freeland has received in the last two years, it’s anyone’s guess who should be considered the favourite in University-Rosedale.

8. Calgary Centre

Riding boundaries for the electoral district of Calgary Centre

Elections Canada

2011 result (based on current boundaries): 2nd place, 17.5%
Current LISPOP projection: Leaning Conservative

With the NDP’s strength in Quebec and the Conservative’s strength in rural Ontario, it becomes most imperative for the Liberals to pick up some seats in western Canada, where they won just three ridings in 2011.

Their best chances will come in the centre of large cities. In Calgary Centre, the party is running former provincial MLA Kent Hehr, who was elected by comfortable margins in Calgary-Buffalo in both 2008 and 2011.

He goes up against Conservative MP Joan Crockatt, who eked out a tight 2012 byelection victory over the Liberals and Green Party.

A Liberal hasn’t won in Calgary since 1968, but the demographics of the city’s centre are rapidly changing, and this could be a riding where strategic voting plays a factor.

9. Edmonton Centre

Riding boundaries for the electoral district of Edmonton Centre

Elections Canada

2011 result (based on current boundaries): 3rd place, 22.4%
Current LISPOP projection: Leaning NDP

Popular Conservative MP Laurie Hawn is retiring, and all signs point to this being a tight three-way race on election day.

Anne McLellan held this riding for the Liberals from 1993 to 2004, and the party would like it back with Randy Boissonnault, a consultant and former journalist.

But it won’t come easy: the NDP dominated in Edmonton in this year’s provincial election, and are running a strong candidate in Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. And the Conservatives are running a strong candidate as well in James Cumming, the former President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.

10. Vancouver Granville

Riding boundaries for the electoral district of Vancouver Granville

Elections Canada

2011 result (new seat, but based on results in polling stations within the boundaries): 2nd place, 30.1%
Current LISPOP projection: Leaning Liberal

A new riding in the centre of Vancouver, this is a difficult riding to project because of the many diverse neighbourhoods it includes, from the working-class Mt. Pleasant to the wealthy Shaughnessy.

The Liberals have been targeting this seat for some time, nominating former Assembly of First Nations B.C. regional chief Jody Wilson-Raybould last year.

The candidates she is up against are no pushovers: the Conservatives have nominated Erinn Broshko, managing director at Rand Investments, while the NDP have chosen Mira Oreck, director of public engagement at the Broadbent Institute, and someone who has been campaigning with NDP leader Tom Mulcair in high-profile events in Toronto.

But some analysts are projecting over 10 seats for the Liberals in British Columbia, which would be the most they’ve won in this province since 1968. If they’re to do that, they have to win in places like Vancouver-Granville, where they’ve had some traditional strength.

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Vancouver Whitecaps, B.C. Lions compete for fans, but who is winning?

WATCH: The B.C. Lions and the Vancouver Whitecaps don’t compete in the same sport, but they do compete for fans. Barry Deley looks at who is winning.

The Vancouver Whitecaps and B.C. Lions share a stadium and attract roughly the same number of fans to their home games, but the two teams appear to be heading in opposite directions.

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The Whitecaps, who currently sit atop MLS standings after a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, have developed a young, diverse fan base that brings an undeniable buzz and energy to B.C. Place.

“You only need to look out at the crowd or watch the crowd coming in on a game day and it’s families, it’s ethnic groups, hipsters–I think that’s what they call them–so from that perspective we feel like we’ve got a fan base that can grow with us,” said Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi.

The Lions are struggling to attract a younger, more diverse demographic and their 4-5 record isn’t helping matters. The Leos have reduced seating capacity, but still have 6,000 to 7,000 empty seats per game.

“We have an older demographic, but one that continues to trend in the right way with younger people, but I’d say not to the same ratio as the aging demographic is,” said Lions President and CEO Dennis Skulsky.

Youth sports may be a factor. Around 130,000 kids play soccer in B.C. compared to just a few thousand who play football. The Whitecaps work with BC Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association to get young players in the stands.

“Every game day we have a youth soccer group in and that number can be anywhere from 1,000 up to 2,500,” said Lenarduzzi.

Geography may also be an issue. Many Lions fans are based in the Fraser Valley, which translates into a long drive into downtown Vancouver to watch a losing team.

Skulsky admits the team has to get back to its winning ways if it wants to attract fans of all ages.

“The best marketing is winning, the second best marketing is winning. The third best marketing in this marketplace is playing an exciting brand of football. You need that to attract people and to keep them here,” said Skulsky.

-With files from Barry Deley

©2015

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Woman killed in brazen shooting along 16 Avenue NW identified

CALGARY – Police are investigating a fatal shooting that happened in front of North Hill Centre on Wednesday, and looking for a man who may have been injured in the attack.

The brazen attack involved “multiple shots” and took place in the intersection of 16 Avenue N.W. and 19 St N.W at around 11:15 p.m.

When emergency crews arrived, they found a woman in her mid-20s suffering from serious injuries who was sitting in the driver’s seat of a white sedan. Paramedics rushed her to hospital in critical, life-threatening condition where she later died. Calgary police have identified the victim as 23-year-old Kallen Carothers.

Global News has learned Carothers worked at a Calgary Moxie’s Grill & Bar.

“It’s just a tragic,” said Moxie’s vice president Jim Weidinger. “She was super friendly and social, and just got along well with everyone. She really will be missed.”

Sources have identified the victim in a brazen Calgary shooting Sept. 9, 2015 as Kallen Carothers.

Obtained by Global News

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Witnesses reported hearing several shots fired and seeing a man, who had been in the vehicle’s passenger seat, leave the scene. Investigators believe that man may have been injured in the shooting.

“We want to find this gentleman who may have been injured,” said Calgary Police Duty Inspector Paul Wyatt at an afternoon news conference.

Wyatt described the man as black, believed to be in his 20s between five foot ten and six feet tall with a thin build. Wyatt said the man was wearing white pants at the time.

Investigators have been canvassing nearby businesses to find out if anyone captured the shooting on CCTV video, or if any of the cameras in the area caught the possible shooter or the passenger on tape.

WATCH: A fatal shooting on one of Calgary’s busiest roadways has left one woman dead and homicide investigators searching for suspects. Global’s Jenna Freeman reports.

Officers don’t believe the incident was random, and think it was a targeted attack. Wyatt said a dark sedan was seen leaving the area. Police said there were no persons of interest or suspects as of 1 p.m.

Police later expanded the original crime scene to include a nearby parking lot, where blood was found.

“It’s safe to say CPS is concerned about the prevalence of gun attacks that have been happening in the community,” said Wyatt. “We’re acutely aware of the rise in shootings recently and we’re looking into it.”

The Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit is leading the investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call police or contact Crime Stoppers.

GALLERY: Brazen shooting on 16 Avenue N.W.

Calgary police investigate a brazen shooting along 16 Avenue N.W. on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Global News

Calgary police investigate a brazen shooting along 16 Avenue N.W. on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Global News

Calgary police investigate a brazen shooting along 16 Avenue N.W. on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

Nathan Luit / Global News

With files from Jenna Freeman and Nancy Hixt

©2015

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Rivero, Techera score in the second half to lead Whitecaps over Rapids 2-0

VANCOUVER _ Four minutes was all it took for the Vancouver Whitecaps to turn a frustrating night into a comfortable victory.

Octavio Rivero and Cristian Techera scored in the second half Wednesday as Vancouver overcame a sluggish performance to defeat the Colorado Rapids 2-0.

What had been a dull affair finally got an injection of excitement in the 73rd minute when Rivero headed home his 10th goal of the season off a lovely ball over the top from Techera before the pint-sized midfielder buried his sixth of the campaign in the 77th to seal it.

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“You can play all the pretty football you want _ all the exciting stuff _ the quick transitions, get bums off seats and you get three points,” said Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson. “(Or) you can play with not much quality and have a moment of magic and get three points. So we’ll take the three points.”

The win moves the Whitecaps (15-10-3) into top spot in Major League Soccer with 48 points, two ahead of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Colorado (8-10-9), which came in having won three straight, is fighting for its playoff life in the Western Conference and already had two victories over Vancouver in Commerce City, Colo., earlier this season.

“It was always going to be a banana skin for us, but the guys showed great character to keep going,” said Robinson. “When you’ve got quality in your team, like we have, you can change a game in a moment and that’s certainly what happened.”

Both from Uruguay, Rivero and Techera have been instrumental in the Whitecaps’ attack as they continue to churn towards their first home playoff date since joining MLS with six league matches left in the regular season.

“Me and Octavio, we get along pretty well,” Techera said through a Spanish interpreter. “It’s nice we have that same understanding (on the pitch).”

Prior to the breakthrough in the second half, it looked like the Rapids might at least get a point out of the game. Both teams were coming off 10-day breaks and neither generated much going forward, with Vancouver noticeably lacking a sense of urgency early on and Colorado content to sit back.

“From the first five minutes they took about 10 seconds every time to take a throw in,” said Robinson. “You do that away from home.”

WATCH: Whitecaps vs B.C. Lions

The Whitecaps were without midfielder Matias Laba and defender Kendall Waston after both were sent off in Vancouver’s 2-0 road loss to the Houston Dynamo on Aug. 29, while striker Darren Mattocks (Jamaica), Russell Teibert (Canada) and Sam Adekugbe (Canada) were all away on international duty.

Pa-Modou Kah returned to the lineup after suffering a facial fracture last month, partnering with rookie Tim Parker in the centre of defence, while captain Pedro Morales dropped deeper in the Whitecaps’ five-man midfield to take up Laba’s spot.

Morales was subbed off with a tight right hamstring at halftime – Robinson didn’t sound overly concerned afterwards – with Kianz Froese taking his place.

The Whitecaps came out with more intent after the break, with Rivero rising to meet a Jordan Harvey cross in the 55th minute before Kekuta Manneh sent another shot just wide moments later.

The Rapids’ only real opportunity came two minutes before Rivero gave the Whitecaps the lead when substitute Kevin Doyle’s header was stopped and held on the line by Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted.

“We didn’t click attacking-wise (until the goals), but we certainly defended very well. Maybe a year or two ago we might have lost that game 1-0,” said Robinson. “When you don’t play well and
you can win it’s always a good sign.”

Notes: The Whitecaps’ next game is a home date against Honduran side CD Olympia in CONCACAF Champions League play next Wednesday…. The Rapids hosts D.C. United in MLS on Saturday.

©2015Canadian Press

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Helicopters pluck residents to safety as rains lash Japan

WATCH ABOVE: An entire city in Japan has been flooded by a tropical storm on Thursday, washing away homes and forcing residents to the top of their houses. Jeff Semple has the story.

JOSO, Japan – Raging floodwaters broke through a berm Thursday and swamped a city near Tokyo, washing away houses, forcing dozens of people to rooftops to await helicopter rescues and leaving one man clinging for his life to a utility pole.

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There were no immediate reports of casualties, but rescue officials said they were overwhelmed by pleas for help. More than 30,000 people fled their homes, and hundreds more were stranded by the water.

As heavy rain pummeled Japan for a second straight day, the Kinugawa River broke through a flood berm at 12:50 p.m., sending water gushing into the eastern half of Joso, a city of 60,000 people about 50 kilometres (30 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

Aerial footage showed a wide swath of cityscape underwater, more than one story deep in some places. The rains came on the heels of Tropical Storm Etau, which caused flooding and landslides elsewhere Wednesday as it crossed central Japan.

Raw Video: Japanese town virtually submerged by flood waters

Japanese broadcasters showed live aerial footage of rescuers being lowered from helicopters and clambering onto second-floor balconies to reach stranded residents.

In one dramatic scene, a rescuer descended four times from a military helicopter over 20 minutes to lift up four people one by one as a deluge of water swept around their home.

People inside houses wait to be rescued as the houses are submerged in water flooded from a river in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.

Kyodo News via AP

Nearby, a man clung to a utility pole as the waters rose. He was taken up by a rescue worker who had to be first lowered into the rushing water so he could make his way over to the man.

Others waved cloths from their decks or roofs to get attention as torrents of water washed away cars and knocked over buildings. Photos from Japan’s Kyodo News service showed people waiting for help on top of cars and a 7-Eleven delivery truck, surrounded by water that nearly submerged the cars.

WATCH: Japan reels from flooding after typhoon.  CBS’ Seth Doane reports.

By evening, muddy water was still rising on a street heading to Joso City Hall, and police were blocking traffic in that direction.

“Looks like this place is going to be flooded soon,” said Shogo Kobayashi, a 29-year-old resident of a nearby town who came to check on friends in Joso. “I’m getting scared.”

Akira Motokawa, a city evacuation official, told national broadcaster NHK that rescuers have been unable to keep up with the volume of calls for help.

As of 7 p.m., authorities had rescued 70 of the 176 people who had requested help. Another 100 people were reported trapped on the second floor of a flooded supermarket, and 80 more in a nursing home.

More than 31,000 people in the affected 37 square-kilometre (14 square-mile) area shelter at schools, community centres and other safer areas. Defence troops were delivering food, blankets and water to about 780 people in several communities who were stranded but not seeking rescue.

A person inside a house waves to a helicopter as the house is submerged in water flooded from a river in Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.

Kyodo News via AP

Dozens of residents had evacuated to City Hall, carrying small bags of personal items. They rested in conference rooms, and the waiting area on the first floor opened for them to stay overnight.

Soldiers in camouflage uniforms and helmets rushed around, while wet uniforms and raingear hung from chairs to dry.

Tokyo was drenched with rain, but the hardest-hit area was to the north in Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures. One woman was missing hours after a landslide hit houses at the foot of a steep, wooded incline. Bullet train service was partially suspended.

The Fire and Disaster and Management Agency said 15 people were injured by Etau, including two elderly women who were seriously hurt when strong winds knocked them over.

Moritsugu reported from Tokyo.

©2015

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Blame game being played out inside lumbering Conservative campaign

WATCH ABOVE: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is feeling the pressure to do more for refugees trying to flee Syria. Jacques Bourbeau reports. 

WELLAND, Ont. – The blame game has begun in earnest among some senior Conservatives, as interpersonal rivalries bubble away below the surface and longtime stalwarts worry about the state of the campaign.

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Stephen Harper himself finds himself an even more solitary figure this week, with his right-hand man and friend Ray Novak dispatched to work in the party’s war room in Ottawa rather than accompany the leader. Campaign manager Jenni Byrne is also back in the capital this week.

Where lively personalities such as Sen. Mike Duffy and the late finance minister Jim Flaherty used to pump up events during the 2011 election, the energy of the campaign now often rests almost solely on Harper’s shoulders.

READ MORE: Voters think Mulcair, Trudeau are better choices to deal with shaky economy: Ipsos poll

On Wednesday, for example, Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson appeared only for introductory and closing comments at an event, despite the Syrian refugee crisis continuing to dominate headlines.

Indeed, Harper should be showcasing the experience and expertise his cabinet has gained, suggested one longtime Conservative activist.

“In a very long campaign like this you can afford to take ministers along with you. He has a lot of advantages as the incumbent.”

Disadvantages, too – most notably the inertia and sluggishness that can naturally afflict a party that has spent nearly a decade in power.

Several senior Conservative insiders – speaking to on the condition of anonymity for fear of party reprisals – had different opinions and gripes about what is ailing the campaign.

READ MORE: Haven’t paid attention to the election campaign? Here’s what you missed

They all agreed it clearly “wasn’t firing on all cylinders,” as one person put it.

One source said cabinet ministers are being encouraged by party stalwarts to speak to Harper about how the campaign can be helped.

Regional organizers and ministers are not being consulted regularly nor drawn into the loop on issues as they arise in the campaign, the source said. The assessment is one of a general lack of nimbleness, which means Harper’s rivals have been able to frame parts of the electoral debate.

“It’s down to the bunker,” said another, noting Harper has made the circle of advisers around him even tighter than previous elections.

One Conservative went so far as to call it “open mutiny,” saying many Tories are simply not pitching in to help with the campaign out of disenchantment.

READ MORE: Here’s what the leaders have promised in exchange for your vote

Campaign manager Jenni Byrne is a polarizing figure, with some defending her record as a competent strategist and organizer. Others say her hyper-partisan instincts have resulted in Harper being poorly advised on the Syrian refugee crisis in particular.

“(Byrne) speaks to the worst instincts in Harper,” said another Conservative.

While the core “base” of the Conservative party might not be in favour of bringing in more refugees, the issue is one that has Canadians talking and the premiers and mayors across the country springing to action.

Harper repeats his campaign promise to bring in another 10,000 Syrian refugees, but the government’s current 10,000 promise has brought in only 1,074 people to date. He will not comment on how the government is speeding up the process.

At a campaign Q&A event with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in Welland, Ont., supporters heckled reporters as they asked a series of questions about the crisis spreading across Europe.

Byrne’s decision to travel on and off with Harper on the road rather than manage the campaign full time from headquarters in Ottawa is also being raised repeatedly as a bad idea – it’s hard to see the big picture from inside the election-bus bubble.

Her brittle relationship with campaign chairman Guy Giorno is another factor in the bellyaching behind the scenes. Some Conservatives are loyal to Giorno, while others say Byrne is unfairly bearing the brunt of the blame.

“If Ray (Novak) is back in the war room and Harper needs someone with him he can trust, Jenni (Byrne) would fill that role,” said an Ottawa insider.

Meanwhile, there are dark stories travelling through the ranks about poor polling numbers in places like Edmonton, where several seats could be in jeopardy.

When asked by a reporter Wednesday how he was going to give his campaign a boost, Harper repeated his main message.

“For our government, we’re going to continue a plan that created jobs, a plan based on a balanced budget and lower taxes, and I’m convinced that will be the choice of voters,” Harper said.

©2015

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