- Police detonate ‘suspicious package’ at Exhibition GO Station
- Metro Vancouver moves back to Stage 2 water restrictions
- Ex-tennis pro James Blake claims improper force by NYPD during mistaken arrest
- ‘I don’t think about the other parties’: Elizabeth May dismisses vote-splitting concerns
- Financial literacy a growing concern for B.C.’s students
WATCH ABOVE: Situation left confused travelled stranded, crammed in to Union Station. Mark Carcasole reports.
TORONTO – A “suspicious package” found on the tracks of the Exhibition GO Train Station wreaked havoc during the rush-hour commute Wednesday causing widespread delays and cancellations.
Police said they received a report of a cylindrical package just before 4 p.m. Police closed all four tracks at the station as a precaution and service was suspended on the Lakeshore West line while a bomb-disposal squad investigated.
Item they’re examining is pipe shaped. Also a Dora The Explorer backpack on scene. Several evidence markers. pic.twitter杭州桑拿/jogSiyQfPp
— Mark Carcasole (@MarkCarcGlobal) September 9, 2015
A second package discovered at the station was determined to be a child’s backpack.
Service was also disrupted on the Lake Shore East, Barrie, Kitchener, Milton, Richmond Hill and Stouffville lines as a result of the investigation.
The package was detonated around 6:30 p.m. and just after 7 p.m. GO Transit said it had been given permission to resume service through Union Station.
LSW Update: Police have allowed us to reopen Exhibition GO to normal #GOtrain service. Thanks again for your patience this evening.
— GO Transit (@GOtransit) September 10, 2015
Exhibition Station has since reopened following the police investigation with service returning to normal.
Metro Vancouver is moving back to Stage 2 water restrictions after being under Stage 3 restrictions since July.
“Recent heavy rains have restored Metro Vancouver’s reservoirs to acceptable water levels,” reads a Metro Vancouver statement.
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“Metro Vancouver staff have continuously monitored the water levels in our three reservoirs as well as our daily water consumption, and now that the reservoirs are within the seasonal average, we can return to Stage Two water restrictions,” said Carol Mason, Commissioner of the Greater Vancouver Water District and Metro Vancouver’s Chief Administrative Officer.
The following restrictions are now in place:
According to officials, private and commercial washing of driveways, sidewalks, and parkades as well as pressure washing are allowed for health and safety purposes, but not for aesthetic purposes. Sports and sand-based playing fields may only use the minimum level of water needed to keep them in usable conditions.
Lawn sprinkling is permitted once a week in the morning but prohibited during evening hours when demand is highest. Water use is also prohibited for public and commercial fountains and water features.
• For residences, even-numbered addresses may water their lawn between 4-9 a.m. on Monday, and odd-numbered addresses may water between 4-9 a.m. on Thursday
• For non-residential property, even-numbered addresses may sprinkle lawns between 1-6 a.m. on Wednesday, and odd-numbered addresses may water lawns between 1-6 a.m. on Tuesday
• Municipal parks must also follow the once-weekly lawn sprinkling times
-With files from Amy Judd
WATCH ABOVE: Ex-tennis star James Blake thrown down, mistakenly arrested by NYPD. Hena Daniels reports.
NEW YORK – Internal affairs detectives are investigating claims by former tennis professional James Blake that he was thrown to the ground and then handcuffed while mistakenly being arrested Wednesday at a Manhattan hotel, police said.
Blake, 35, who is biracial, told the Daily News of New York he wasn’t sure if he was arrested because of his race but said the officer who put him in handcuffs inappropriately used force.
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“To me it’s as simple as unnecessary police force, no matter what my race is,” he told the newspaper. “In my mind there’s probably a race factor involved, but no matter what, there’s no reason for anybody to do that to anybody.”
The agent who represented Blake when he was a professional tennis player, Carlos Fleming, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.
WATCH: NYPD officer’s road rage tirade caught on camera
Stephen Davis, the New York Police Department’s top spokesman, said a co-operating witness misidentified Blake to detectives investigating fraudulently purchased cellphones as one of two people he recognized as being involved with the scheme.
“Once Blake was properly identified and found to have no connection to the investigation, he was released from police custody immediately,” Davis said in a statement. “In regards to the alleged improper use of force, the police commissioner directed the internal affairs bureau to investigate.”
Officers arrested a suspect in the cellphone scam at the Grand Hyatt New York during a controlled buy earlier Wednesday, police said. It was after that buy that a deliveryman with the cellphone company pointed out Blake and another man in the hotel lobby as having purchased cellphones the day before, they said.
The second man was taken into custody, police said. A security guard at the hotel, himself a former member of the NYPD, recognized Blake, prompting the arresting officers to confirm his true identity.
Blake’s last tournament as a professional was the 2013 U.S. Open, where he lost in the first round of singles and doubles. He was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world and reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals, including at the U.S. Open in 2005 and 2006.
Blake was born in Yonkers and went to high school in Connecticut, then attended Harvard before turning pro in 1999.
WATCH ABOVE: Global’s Vassy Kapelos sits down one-on-one with Green Party leader Elizabeth May
VANCOUVER – Despite polls showing the NDP in the lead, Green Party leader Elizabeth May isn’t worried about splitting the vote in her home province of B.C.
“I don’t think about the other parties actually much at all,” May told Global News in an interview Wednesday. “We’re offering British Columbians the strongest voice in Parliament.”
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READ MORE: Green Party platform promises cash for infrastructure, eliminate tuition
May is currently the Green Party’s only elected member of parliament. Bruce Hyer, the other, crossed the floor from the NDP in 2013.
The Green Party also released their full election platform Wednesday, pledging billions of dollars for the environment, infrastructure, health care and support for seniors – all without running a deficit.
May says she expects her party to have presence in B.C., but didn’t pinpoint by how many seats.
“We’re the only party that is prepared to say that we won’t allow tankers out of this port right behind me,” May said, referring to Vancouver’s port.
“We’re the only party that is offering British Columbians and committing to British Columbia that we will defend our coast.”
Though Conservatives hold a majority of seats in B.C., the NDP is currently polling as much as ten points ahead of every party.
READ MORE: Mulcair, Trudeau, Harper campaigning in vote-rich Ontario
University of British Columbia political scientist Max Cameron thinks many British Columbians who could vote either NDP or Green will direct their vote to the party they believe has the best chance of beating Conservatives.
“The Greens have a real problem, which is that they may be closer to the preferences of some progressive voters but the danger is that they could divide the vote,” Cameron said. “I think that’s likely something that will suppress the Green vote.”
Cameron does, however, think May’s seat on Vancouver Island is fairly safe.
At a campaign stop in Niagara Falls, NDP leader Tom Mulcair dismissed concerns the Greens could take away NDP votes in other parts of B.C. – though he wouldn’t mention the Green Party or May by name.
“I always try to respect my adversaries and that doesn’t change from party to party, because they all have their different strengths,” he said. “But I do know that in B.C. and across Canada, people want change”
May is adamant British Columbians, among others, will see it differently.
“We want…Canada to wake up to a big Green surprise the morning after the election.”
When students graduate from high school, it used to be a solid understanding in reading, writing, and arithmetic would put them in good stead.
But a growing chorus of people say financial literacy may be the most important subject taught in high school and that B.C. students are falling woefully behind.
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“Unfortunately, many people are learning about financial literacy and how to manage money through the school of hard knocks. And that’s a really tough teacher, because they’re learning by mistakes,” said Scott Hannah of the B.C. Credit Counselling Society.
“[Students] come to us with a high level of stress, which obviously impacts their ability to study for school, and worried about [whether they will] have enough funds to live on through the course of a term, and they’re dealing with credit card debt too. That’s pretty common what we’re seeing in schools today.”
According to a 2013 Ministry of Education survey of high school graduates, only 17 per cent said schools were doing enough when it came to lessons on spending and saving.
This year? The Ministry scrapped the question altogether.
“They didn’t need to,” said Hannah.
“They know the answers, very plainly. They’re not doing a good enough job, and unfortunately parents aren’t doing a good enough job teaching them good money practices. The challenge is how do we introduce these concepts?”
In a statement, Minister of Education Mike Bernier defended the government’s record in light of the satisfaction survey.
“Our staff will be working with school districts to see how we can encourage participation and improve the overall satisfaction of students, staff and parents in our education system,” he wrote.
The government will introduce financial literacy into the math curriculum next year, but Hannah argues it should be discussed within the context of many different subjects, rather than a match course that many students find imposing.
“The challenge for our schools is this is not a one-term solution, this is going to take a decade to really manifest itself and grow so we’re graduating students with those skill sets. But it’s got to start now.”
Money pressures lead to plagiarism?
B.C. students carry $29,000 in student loans on average, the third highest in Canada.
“Students who cheat are doing it out of desperation. A student who is cheating is cheating because they can’t afford to fail a class or afford another year of school,” argues Simka Marshall, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-BC.
SFU Criminologist Rob Gordon agrees that financial pressures can manifest themselves in plagiarism.
“It’s certainly one of the issues. Students have to do spend more time raising money than they have in the past, and that reflects in a number of the ways – in the quality of the work, but their willingness to cut corners,” he says.
While financial pressures and the increased availability of online essay mills have seemingly made plagiarism more prevalent, Gordon says it’s hard to say whether it is actually on the rise.
“We don’t know. What we identify is probably the tip of the iceberg, but how big it is, we don’t know for sure,” he said.
“When this university began 50 years ago, I would guarantee there was cheating in the first term.”
WATCH ABOVE: As Canadians respond to the Syrian refugee crisis it’s more important your money goes to the right place and the right people. As Jayme Doll reports, it’s donors like you who play a crucial role in keeping charities accountable.
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CALGARY – Albertans have rallied in support of Syrian refugees, mourning thousands who’ve died trying to reach safety, and personally donating to the cause. Donors can play a crucial role in keeping charities accountable and making sure the money goes to where it’s needed, by carrying out a few simple checks.
The Red Cross is on the ground in Europe and the Middle East, making an international appeal for contributions. The Alberta government said it will contribute $75,000 to the Canadian Red Cross and match up to another $75,000 in donations made by Albertans to the organization.
READ MORE: Will this photo help people grasp the desperation of Syrian refugees?
But how much of that money goes to refugees themselves?
The Red Cross said out of the funds raised through this appeal, a maximum of five per cent will go to fundraising costs associated with it—the rest will go directly to the people who need it.
“Our field staff right now, working, supporting this crisis, are volunteers,” said Canadian Red Cross’ Jenn McManus. “The money is going to temporary shelter, basic needs like clothing, shelter, and water, and medical assistance for the refugees coming into the region.”
Samaritan’s Purse has six people on the ground running programs and providing aid for refugees in Europe and the Middle East. Its overhead cost tops out at 10 per cent, but that covers everything from marketing to keeping the lights on in its offices. The group said 90 per cent of the money it raises goes straight to the cause.
“Money is going directly to purchase food, relief supplies, to refugees who are moving with literally the clothes on their backs,” said Brent Davis of Samaritan’s Purse.
Both organizations have earned “A plus” in MoneySense Magazine’s annual charity ranking. But there are other charities out there, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning Canadians to do their homework before donating.
“We encourage people to ask the charity: where is the money going? And do they have people on the ground?” said Leah Brownridge of the BBB.
It’s estimated there are 350,000 refugees from Syria alone currently on the move, with a long list of aid organizations trying to help. While there haven’t been any reports of scams in Calgary as of yet, the BBB says unfortunately whenever there is crisis, there will be people trying to take advantage of generosity. The group warns about donating online, especially if you’re receiving what could be spam messages. It advises Canadians check to see if charities are registered with the Canada Revenue Agency.
READ MORE: World mourns drowned Syrian boy Alan Kurdi
With files from Erika Tucker
KELOWNA – Thousands of refugees are continuing to flee from Syria to any country that will take them, but an Okanagan couple is wondering why Canada isn’t doing more.
Jim and Wendy Scorgie worked as international teachers in Aleppo in 2001. They recount meeting so many sincere, kind-hearted people, including a fellow teacher named Marwa Saffaf.
When war broke out in Syria, the Scorgies were living in Kelowna. They put out a call on facebook in 2013 to see if any of their friends overseas needed help; Marwa responded.
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From there the Scorgies tried to get Marwa and her three young boys to Canada. They helped her file for a visitor’s visa two separate times, but both applications were denied for no apparent reason.
“We didn’t feel her application was given a fair look,” said Wendy Scorgie.
She and her husband then talked to Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Dan Albas, who gave them some suggestions on federal programming, but says there isn’t much else he can do.
“In all cases we can help people identify programs, pass them on and help the family,” says Albas, “but it’s not the politicians that decide…immigration officers judge a visa application on its merits.”
“It’s as if we know the holocaust is underway and we’re doing nothing about it,” says Jim Scorgie, “If you can’t move quickly at a time like this there’s something wrong with our bureaucracy and decision making that doesn’t allow us to make fast decisions to help people that are dying.”
For two years the Kelowna couple continued to try to help Marwa find a new home, but by May of 2015 the fighting had literally reached her door. The Scorgie’s knew time was running out.
“The war, as she said it, the war was over their heads,” says Wendy, “It just became reality our friends were in the middle of a war zone. Our [old] house was in the middle of a war zone.”
Marwa’s husband illegally fled to Germany in hopes his family would be able to seek refuge status and join him. But the wait was more than a year, so Jim and Wendy jumped into action, paying the way for Marwa and her three young boys to make it to Istanbul.
The Scorgies made the trip to Turkey to meet Marwa and her family when they arrived.
“We get there and we see three little pairs of running shoes and a big pair and we thought ‘they made it, they made it!’,” says Wendy.
Now the next step is to reunite Marwa with her husband in Germany, a process that has started but is still underway.
The Scorgies have started a “Go Fund Me” account called “Rescue Marwa” and they say the response so far has been amazing.
Watch above: Saskatoon city council and the RM of Corman Park want dog owners to leash their pets at Chief Whitecap Park because of recent attacks. Joel Senick finds out what concerns park users have and whether a simple solution can be found.
SASKATOON – A new design plan for Chief Whitecap Park contains a fenced off dog park that is expected to be constructed in 2016. The details were unveiled at a public open house Wednesday by the City of Saskatoon and the Meewasin Valley Authority.
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“We just want a safe area both for the non dog walkers and the dog walkers,” said Brad Babyak, the City of Saskatoon’s integrated facilities supervisor.
The fenced off area will be built in two phases, both of which cover roughly 40 acres. When both phases are complete, the area will be roughly 80 acres.
“That’s two times the size of Kinsmen Park,” said Babyak.
“That’s a fairly large, significant area; even though it’s fenced, you probably won’t even realize it’s fenced.”
News of a possible enclosed area was not received well by Wendi Stoeber, who was walking her dogs in the park Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s lovely out here, there’s lots of space for them to run, we have access to the river,” said Stoeber.
“I think it would be a huge loss, but I guess we have to go with what they say,” she added in regards to the proposed fenced area.
The park’s initial master design plan was put forth in 2010. Other changes unveiled Wednesday include an extra proposed parking lot and the relocation of the Meewasin Trail to the top of the bank, instead of the eastern portion of the park.
READ MORE: Who should pay for dog complaint investigations at Chief Whitecap Park
Another change came around the area of law enforcement. The City of Saskatoon’s Animal Control Agency will enforce its by-laws at the site. Previously the RM of Corman Park imposed the law at the park, even though the majority of its users are from Saskatoon.
The plan still needs to be approved by city council and the RM of Corman Park. Much of the project still depends on future capital budget requests.
Athletics at Coaldale, Alberta’s Kate Andrews High School, will have a much different feel in 2015.
“Our football program is on a one-year leave of absence,” said Kate Andrews athletic director Kevin Holland.
The Kate Andrews Pride is not fielding a football team this year. After a dismal turnout to the team’s spring camp, the school was forced to make a difficult decision.
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“We met with our parents in April and said, ‘hey let’s get 25 kids out for spring camp’ and it didn’t happen,” said Holland. “We were in the mid-teens and half those kids had never played football before. They were honest with me and they said, ‘I’ll try it, but I’m not sure.’ So we just felt at that time, we just couldn’t go forward.”
The move comes as a shock to many, but a shortage of players is something the school has been dealing with for years.
“A year ago we probably didn’t have enough kids to field a team,” said Holland. “We were in the low twenties, but we had such a talented group of Grade 12 [students] we persevered and got through the year.”
It’s tough news to hear, for the few dedicated students that love the game, including Kate Andrews Grade 12 student Blake Thompson.
“It was heartbreaking, because my senior year I wasn’t going to be able to play football, and it’s one of the sports that I love,” said Thompson.
But the school is letting some of its lions step outside the pride.
“We put the word out to the schools in Lethbridge and it allowed our kids to go play at an existing program,” said Holland.
Four players have changed uniforms this season, including Thompson, who has joined the program at Winston Churchill High School.
“I was super pumped, because I was actually going to play volleyball just to do something over the break, but I heard I could play football, so I was super jacked.”
Kate Andrews plans to revisit its football program’s future later this year.
WATCH ABOVE: In honour of the Queen’s remarkable achievement, the Naval Museum of Alberta held a special ceremony Wednesday, which included the addition of some new items. Global’s Doug Vaessen reports.
CALGARY – Calgarians joined the celebrations happening around the world in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Wednesday.
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The Naval Museum of Alberta held a special ceremony, which kicked off with the naval tradition that calls for a tot of rum and a toast to the monarchy. Four new ship models that will be added to the museum’s collection were unveiled, including the last of three aircraft carriers in Canadian history.
“When you look at the name of all of our ships, HMCS Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship, every one of our ships honours Her Majesty,” said Commander Janet McDougall, of HMCS Tecumseh.
HMCS Bonaventure was large enough to land jets. The ship was laid down in 1943 as part of the British Royal Navy just before Capt. Bill Wilson was preparing for D-Day, and later joined him in the Canadian Navy.
“She was well-manned, our sailors and pilots were the best. But it took almost a quarter of the people in the sea-going navy to man it,” said Cpt. Bill Wilson, who is now retired from the Royal Canadian Navy. “It was a big aircraft carrier and we just couldn’t provide all the troops necessary, so she was sold for scrap.”
The HMCS Nipigon, a Cold War destroyer, the Huron A Tribal Class destroyer and the Saguenay were also added to to the museum’s growing collection.
“I have always had a dream…to sail in the navy, but back then women weren’t allowed in the navy, so the first chance I got a chance to sail, I sailed on this ship,” said Lt. Rose Tanchyk, who served on HMCS Nipigon. “We were the first women on a combat ship ever.”
The last time Queen Elizabeth II was in Calgary was in 2005 to mark Alberta’s centennial.
“Every time the Queen has come to Canada she has said that Canada very much feels like a second home,” said Josh Traptow, of the Monarchist League of Alberta.
With files from Global News