Monthly Archives: January 2019

Frost advisory ended for Regina, Prince Albert and eastern Sask.

UPDATE: All advisories mentioned in this story have ended

A frost advisory has been issued for Regina, Prince Albert and other parts of east-central and southeastern Saskatchewan. Environment Canada says frost may damage some crops in frost-prone areas.

A ridge of high pressure will bring clearing skies and light winds to parts of the province Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

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The agency says much of the southeast corner of Saskatchewan and the northern grainbelt are likely to see frost by morning as temperatures fall to zero.

Environment Canada recommends taking preventative measures to protect frost-sensitive plants and trees.

Frost advisories are issued by Environment Canada when temperatures are expected to reach the freezing mark during the growing season, leading to potential damage and destruction to plants and crops.

For weather on the go download the Global News SkyTracker weather app for iPhone, iPad or Android.

Frost advisory ended for:

Prince Albert – Shellbrook – Spiritwood – Duck LakeMelfort – Tisdale – Nipawin – Carrot RiverHumboldt – Wynyard – Wadena – Lanigan – Foam LakeFort Qu’Appelle – Indian Head – Lumsden – Pilot ButteYorkton – Melville – EsterhazyHudson Bay – Porcupine PlainEstevan – Weyburn – Radville – MilestoneMoosomin – Grenfell – Kipling – WawotaCarlyle – Oxbow – Carnduff – Bienfait – StoughtonKamsack – Canora – Preeceville

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It’s time for another Republican debate. Here’s what you need to know

The stage is set for the next Republican presidential debate. Outspoken billionaire Donald Trump is proving more popular than ever, but the list of those posing a challenge to his White House aspirations is shifting and this debate could change the race — a race that is more than 400 days from its finish.

The Republican candidates will face off on Wednesday, in a debate hosted by CNN at the Ronald Regan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

This time, there will be more candidates taking part in the main prime time debate and fewer in the earlier debate for those who don’t have the public support but still have their hats planted in the presidential hopeful ring — often referred to in the media as the “Happy Hour” or “kids’ table” debate.

Here’s what you need to know about the debate and what’s changed since the last one.

Donald Trump is even further ahead

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he leaves a rally organized by Tea Party Patriots in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015.

Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

As with last month’s debate, Trump will stand centre stage when the debate gets underway Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

WATCH: Donald Trump on how great he’s doing in polls, lack of positive media coverage

Three polls released in the lead up to the CNN debate show Trump remains, at this point, the man to beat for the Republican nomination.

Washington Post/ABC News poll published Monday showed support for Trump hitting a new high, with 33 per cent of Republicans and “Republican-leaning independents” backing the former reality TV star — a 9 per cent rise from a poll conducted ahead of the Fox News debate on Aug. 6.

READ MORE: Trump calls U.S. ‘a dumping ground for the rest of the world’

A second poll released Monday, by Monmouth University, also gave the billionaire a wide lead, with the support of 28 per cent of Republican or “likely Republican” voters in the key state of New Hampshire.

And even in a New York Times/CBS News poll out Tuesday that put Trump slightly lower at 27 per cent support nationally, he’s still several points ahead of his closest rival.

Ben Carson moves closer to centre stage

In this Aug. 27, 2015 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks in Little Rock, Ark. August is typically one of the worst fundraising months for any politician. But it was Ben Carson’s best yet.

Danny Johnston/AP Photo

Trump was flanked by rivals Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during the last debate, but their political fortunes have lost some luster since that time.

Bush will be at Trump’s side once again, but lagging behind in third place according to the Washington Post/ABC News poll, with just 8 per cent support, and further behind in the Monmouth University poll, tied for fifth place with 7 per cent.

The change is not just due to Trump but a surge by fellow political outsider Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who was the first person to separate conjoined twins who were joined at the head.

Carson had single-digit support going into the Fox News debate, but still made it to the main stage with the other Top 10 candidates. This time, he’s solidly in second place.

Tuesday’s New York Times/CBS News poll showed Carson is just 4 percentage points behind Trump, with 23 per cent support among Republicans nationally.

The Washington Post/ABC News and the Monmouth University polls also indicated a growing number of Republicans and Republican-oriented voters are getting behind the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, garnering 20 per cent and 17 per cent support in the respective polls.

And if an earlier Monmouth University poll is any indication, Carson is, at this point, Trump’s biggest threat.

READ MORE: Donald Trump says he has no problem apologizing ‘if he’s ever wrong’

Poll results released Aug. 31 put Carson and Trump neck-and-neck in Iowa, where primary and caucus season kicks off on Feb. 1, 2016.

Carly Fiorina gets a spot in prime time and has Trump in her sights

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive waves as she and supporters march in the Labor Day parade Monday, Sept. 7, 2015, in Milford, N.H.

Jim Cole/AP Photo

Like Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina’s star began shining brighter after the previous debate. In fact, Fiorina’s performance in the early debate — she didn’t have the support to make it to the main debate at that time —was considered among the best of the bunch.

Her performance earned her some gains in the polls, enough to warrant her becoming the 11th person on the stage. There should be 10, but thanks to a lack of polls in the weeks following the Fox News debate, Fiorina was able to edge her way in with an average of 2.2 per cent support from 14 polls over two months.

But the sole woman bidding for the GOP nomination has moved ahead of some of the Republican heavyweights she’s challenging: the Monmouth University poll has her tied with Jeb Bush for fifth place in New Hampshire while the Washington Post/ABC News poll has her at 2 per cent support, ahead of Walker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

READ MORE: Most Canadians would vote Democrat, Trump first choice among Republican candidates: poll

Fiorina might not be a threat to Trump, but the two candidates have been engaged in a pre-debate war of words in recent days.

Trump took what some saw as a sexist jab at the businesswoman, asking: “Would you vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”

But, Fiorina said she’s ready to take on “the entertainer who’s running for office.”

WATCH: ‘I have such respect for women’: Donald Trump on how he cherishes females

The ‘kids’ table’ gets smaller

With Fiorina moving into the main debate, the slate of also-running presidential hopefuls taking part in the earlier debate was already down by one. But that crowd shrunk even further with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropping out of the race altogether.

Perry was in the early debate last time and with less than 2 per cent support by the Thursday deadline, he called it quits.

He was, however, at the front of the pack that was trailing behind. Now taking the stage at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday are former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

And not taking the stage at all is 16th Republican candidate Jim Gilmore. The former governor of Virginia took part in the early Fox News debate, despite only jumping into the race just one week earlier. With less than 1 per cent support, he didn’t qualify to take part in the CNN debate.

Also taking part in the primetime debate are Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky congressman Rand Paul, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

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Will the Liberals make apartment-hunting easier?

The Liberal Party is getting into the rental market.

Leader Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday he’ll eliminate the GST on new rental construction, provide $125 million in annual tax incentives to refurbish existing rentals, and direct the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to provide financing for rental construction as part of a larger affordable housing plan whose details haven’t yet been fully revealed.

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  • The rental crunch: How a lack of apartments is affecting Canadian cities

It sounds like good news for anyone who’s endured marathon apartment searches in Canada’s most housing-strapped cities. But critics note just adding rental space isn’t enough: You have to make it affordable.

READ MORE: The rental crunch – How a lack of apartments is affecting Canadian cities

Vancouver city councillor Geoff Meggs is watching. “It’s good for the rental sector, very good for tenants and their families,” he said. Half of Vancouver households rent their homes, he said, a statistic that is also true for Toronto.

In Vancouver, said Meggs, the rental market is so tight that many tenants are spending much more than 30 per cent of their income on shelter costs – a standard threshold of housing affordability. And, according to numbers from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, vacancy rates in the city were at just 1 per cent in 2014.

Cities can’t necessarily count on the private market to create new units.

“The development sector tends to build condominiums because they get their money back right away and they have a very favourable tax situation,” Meggs said. “Rental housing takes longer to get a payout and the tax regime is not as favourable. We really need to see those changes and I think we’d see a big uptake in this whole area.”

Vancouver desperately wanted to encourage more rental construction, said Meggs, so the city agreed to waive certain development charges and parking requirements for developers who promised that a new building would remain a rental for 60 years or the lifespan of the building (whichever is longer).

Although that initiative has seen some success – Meggs says Vancouver is now adding roughly 1000 rental units per year – federal programs like those proposed by the Liberals and NDP would help a lot, he said.

“I think it would produce tens of thousands of units and billions of dollars in economic activity.”

“The benefits are long-term. The rental housing sector is a big part of our economy anyway, but it has been really constrained by a lack of new construction.”

Marion Steele, associate professor emeritus of economics at the University of Guelph, said the problem isn’t just a tight rental market: Lower-income individuals are being priced out, period.

“It’s the problem of the amount of the rents relative to income,” she said. “We’ve got to recognize that big cities need low-income people to do some of the work as well as high-income people.”

One way to encourage low-income people to stay in a city is to offset their high housing costs with a subsidy, she said.

Another is to build more rental housing geared to the lower-income market. That could mean rent geared to income, or rents “substantially below” market rate, she said.

“I think the Liberal proposal to remove the GST [on new rental developments] is a start,” she said, but by itself it won’t encourage enough construction. She’d like to see an affordable housing tax credit like that used to encourage low-income rentals in the U.S.

Under the American program, owners of some affordable housing projects receive tax credits. Most units have to be rented out to tenants who make below the local median income and developers compete for a limited number of credits. The program has been fairly successful in the U.S., Steele said.

But why should Ottawa get involved in rental housing at all? While governments have tussled over whose responsibility this should be – and calls for a national housing strategy have so far gone unaddressed – Steele said it ultimately comes down to cash.

“It’s the federal government that has the money.”

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U.S. teen charged with encouraging boyfriend to kill himself

FAIRHAVEN, Mass. – At first glance, the text messages appear to show a disturbing case of cyberbullying: one teen urging another to kill himself.

But the texts were not sent by a school bully. They were from a 17-year-old girl to her boyfriend, whom she called the love of her life.

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“You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t,” Michelle Carter allegedly wrote to Conrad Roy III the day he parked his truck outside a Fairhaven Kmart and killed himself through carbon monoxide poisoning.

Prosecutors have charged Carter with involuntary manslaughter in Roy’s 2014 death. They say that in the week before Roy killed himself, Carter assisted by urging him to overcome his doubts about taking his own life, pressuring him to do it and even telling him to get back in his truck after becoming frightened that the plan was working.

READ MORE: Cyberbullying linked to risk of depression in kids, teens: research review

Carter’s lawyer has strenuously denied that she pushed him to kill himself and has asked a judge to dismiss the case.

In their written response, prosecutors included text exchanges between Carter and Roy that they say support their claim that Carter caused her boyfriend’s death by “wantonly and recklessly” helping him poison himself.

Roy, 18, had a history of depression and had attempted suicide two years earlier, taking an overdose of the painkiller acetaminophen.

“You can’t keep living this way. You just need to do it like you did the last time and not think about it and just do it, babe,” Carter texted him.

Carter’s lawyer, Joseph Cataldo, said her texts amount to speech protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He said it’s clear from the exchanges that Roy had made up his mind to take his own life and Carter, now 18, did not cause his death.

“He got the generator, he devised the plan and he had to go find a spot. He parked, he had to get the gas for the generator, he had to turn the generator on, he had to sit in that car for a long period of time. He caused his own death,” Cataldo said.

“He had thought this out. He wanted to take his own life. It’s sad, but it’s not manslaughter.”

After his earlier suicide attempt, Roy spent time in a psychiatric hospital and received counselling, said his aunt, Becki Maki. In the weeks before his death, he was excited about graduating from high school and receiving his sea captain’s license, she said.

“He did not have the signs of someone who was considering that,” Maki said.

Carter and Roy met about two years earlier while each was visiting relatives in Florida. They kept in touch, mostly through texts and email, upon returning to Massachusetts. They lived about 50 miles apart and hadn’t seen each other for about a year before Roy died.

Roy used a gasoline-operated water pump to poison himself with carbon monoxide.

While discussing the plan, Carter appears to taunt Roy. “But I bet you’re gonna be like ‘oh, it didn’t work because I didn’t tape the tube right or something like that,” she wrote. “I bet you’re gonna say an excuse like that … you seem to always have an excuse.”

Cataldo said Carter had tried repeatedly to talk Roy out of killing himself and only decided to support his plan when it became clear she could not change his mind.

About a month before his suicide, she suggested that he seek treatment at a psychiatric hospital where she was receiving treatment for a condition Cataldo would not disclose. Roy refused and later twice suggested that they both kill themselves, like Romeo and Juliet, Cataldo said.

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Parti Québécois set to renew sovereignty push ahead of 2018 election

QUEBEC – The Parti Québécois is set to embark on a campaign to promote sovereignty, with the goal being to convince Quebecers of its merits before the 2018 election.

Leader Pierre Karl Péladeau said the party wants to be ready by the next provincial vote to be able to respond to its rivals’ attacks on sovereignty.

Péladeau wants all Quebec nationalists and pro-independence supporters to focus on what they have in common.

He said in Quebec City Wednesday that the best way to defend the interests of Quebecers is to make Quebec a country.

There are reports Péladeau wants to create a so-called “training school” where the merits of independence would be taught.

The PQ leader was short on details when asked about the school.

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