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.

©2015

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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

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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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©2015

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Saskatoon Blades prospect Josh Paterson hoping for opportunity to shine

Watch above: The Saskatoon Blades are still considered a young team this season. Jack Haskins reports on a 16-year-old forward whose set on becoming an impact player.

SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Blades are still considered young in their rebuild. Josh Paterson is one of those prospects who are not only set on making the team but becoming an impact player for the hockey club.

Paterson, who is from Edmonton, got his first taste of a WHL training camp in 2014 but he is now eligible to play at 16 years of age.

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“It’s a lot more fun knowing that you can be part of something, like a team that’s good and moving forward in their rebuild,” said Paterson.

READ MORE: Cameron Hausinger hoping to earn spot on Saskatoon Blades roster

The Blades selected Paterson 25th overall in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.

He knew that if he wanted to compete at this level of hockey, he would have to bulk up. Over the past 16 months, he’s packed on 14 pounds of muscle and is now over 190 pounds.

“He’s such a smart player and he has ability and now that he has the size and strength, all that’s going to accumulate to some pretty great success here,” said Bob Woods, the Blades head coach and general manager.

The forward has made it clear he will do whatever it takes to make this team. That means, going all out at every practice.

But what he is really looking forward to is showing his stuff in an actual game.

“I can’t wait to play the next couple pre-season games. It’s always fun being in the game and having that chance to win,” said Paterson.

Paterson may get that opportunity to help the Blades pick up their first win of the pre-season as Saskatoon heads to Prince Albert Friday to take on the Raiders.

Jack Haskins contributed to this story

©2015

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Right at Home: A strong style, Brutalist decor hefts some weight this fall

Muscular. Brawny. Disruptive. They don’t sound like descriptors for home decor, do they?

Yet they perfectly describe one of the most interesting new directions in furniture and accessories: Brutalist decor.

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Brutalist architecture was popularized by Le Corbusier in the 1950s. A departure from the intricate Beaux Arts building style, it was all about spare geometric forms, and materials like unfinished concrete, steel and glass. New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art is a Brutalist design by Marcel Breuer. Paul Rudolph designed the Art and Architecture Building at Yale.

The style moved into interior decor that also played with abstract forms and rough textures, adding an earthy colour palette and incorporating other materials like wood, plaster and marble. Furniture by designers like Paul Evans and Curtis Jere found fans, and the style caught fire during the ’60s and ’70s. There are nice examples on the sets of the movie American Hustle and TV’s Mad Men.

So why is Brutalism once again having a moment?

“Brutalism is derived from the French word ‘brut,’ or raw, and I think it’s that sense of rawness that design lovers are attracted to today,” ventures Anna Brockaway, co-founder and curator of the online vintage-design marketplace Chairish. “Because of their brawny heaviness, imperfect finishes and rough, uneven dimensions, Brutalist pieces deliver gutsy gravitas to a space.”

Jeni Sandberg, a modern-design dealer and consultant in Raleigh, North Carolina, adds, “Brutalist works make perfect high-impact statement pieces, and collectors are snapping up pieces like wall sculptures and chandeliers.”

And New York designer Daun Curry says, “Design should challenge us, and creating contrast in an environment gives urgency, interest and dimension. Brutalist design is fascinating because it balances delicacy with harsh materiality.”

This photo provided by Kelly Wearstler shows the Astral rug that brings Brutalist imagery to the floor.

Kelly Wearstler via AP

Curry’s favourite sources include 1st Dibs and Flair Home Collection. The former offers vintage pieces like a 1967 Paul Evans patchwork steel cabinet, and a Lane dresser with a Brutalist sculptured wood mosaic. Flair has a collection of Brutalist objets d’art in various metals and gilded plaster.

Kelly Wearstler’s Apollo stool is an artful stack of black or white marble circles; her Elliott chair is a sexy mix of curvy bronze and exotic fish leather; and her Array, District and Astral rugs bring Brutalist imagery to the floor.

James Bearden’s blackened steel Skyscraper floor lamp for Studio Van den Akker combines architecture and function.

At Arteriors, long a source for Brutalist style, round slabs of forged iron form the industrial-chic Potter lamp. The Payne chandelier is a kinetic arrangement of hand-cut, gold-leafed iron shards, while a copse of welded iron sticks forms the Ecko lamp. Armor-like metallic circles and squares form the Ulysses and Monty pendants.

“I recommend picking one statement-making piece to anchor a space, like a chandelier, credenza, cocktail table or wall sculpture, and then mixing in pieces from other eras and styles,” advises Brockaway, of Chairish.

“Also, many Brutalist pieces are dark in coloration, so I prefer to balance them with a lighter surrounding palate.”

Think powerful yet playful, more Mad Men than Mad Max.

©2015The Associated Press

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First Nations say change in B.C. is too slow

VANCOUVER – The chasm that exists in the relationship between British Columbia’s political and aboriginal leaders was clearly defined Wednesday as talks got underway at a Vancouver hotel in the second annual all-chiefs meetings.

While B.C.’s Aboriginal Relations Minister John Rustad said there has been remarkable achievements on economic and social fronts with First Nations, chiefs are threatening to go back to court battles and protest camps if things don’t improve.

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About 500 First Nations leaders are meeting with Premier Christy Clark and members of her cabinet this week with the expectation of signing a joint government-First Nations working agreement.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said they’re giving the government a one-year deadline to negotiate a reconciliation deal.

“The underlying message is if we don’t make any progress within the space of the next year, I would suggest all of this will fall through and it will be back to the courts and pretty much back to the barricades,” said Phillip.

Last year’s landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision that granted the Tsilhqot’in Nation aboriginal title to 1,700 kilometres of land in B.C.’s Nemiah Valley remains the driving force behind the reconciliation initiative prompted by Clark and First Nations leaders.

The decision is the first in Canadian history where aboriginals have been granted title to land they claimed as their own. Tsilhqot’in Chief Roger William said the ruling gives First Nations a legal tool to use as leverage in negotiations with governments and resource developers.

Legal scholars and political experts have suggested the ruling gives aboriginals massive powers on land-use issues, especially resource development. B.C. First Nations are seeking government support for aboriginal rights and title to lands, which also includes revenue sharing.

Phillip said all involved must have the courage to move forward, build consensus and silence those who predict Armageddon if First Nations are given an equal voice in building and sharing B.C.’s economic future.

Clark has said ignoring the Supreme Court ruling puts B.C.’s future in peril, prompting her to meet with the chiefs and councillors from B.C.’s more than 200 First Nations.

Phillip said chiefs left last year’s meeting disappointed because the province did not adopt a four-point statement that established government support for their rights and title to lands.

“The last time we couldn’t even agree on a public statement,” said Phillip, adding when it comes to reconciliation B.C. is at “strike two.”

“We need a legislative framework and a policy framework we can rely on that allows us to reconcile aboriginal title rights interests and other Crown and industry interests. We don’t have that.”

Phillip said the economy of B.C. hangs in the balance and all parties are aware of the gravity of the situation.

Rustad said the provincial government’s relations with First Nations over the last decade on numerous economic and social fronts have been ground-breaking.

The handful of First Nations who have negotiated land-claims treaties have produced spectacular results, but the process takes too long, he said.

“We need to be able to find a way to do this in a much more expedited manner.”

While much of the conference is closed to the media, Clark is expected to make a public address before the chiefs on Thursday.

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Victoria man faces 13 charges after attempting to lure underage girls online

A 28-year-old Victoria man is facing 13 charges after attempting to lure underage girls online.

Victoria Police Special Victims Unit (SVU) detectives have so far confirmed five victims, whose ages range from 12 to 17 years of age. None of the victims were physically harmed. Detectives are also looking at the possibility of more victims that have not yet come forward.

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The man has been charged with three counts of child luring under the age of 14, two counts of luring under the age of 18, four counts of communicating/obtaining sexual services of a person under 18, two counts of uttering threats and three counts of breaching probation.

Three of the charges are due to the suspect breaking his probation conditions, which prohibited him from contacting young girls online.

The 28-year-old suspect has been taken into custody.

This incident, detectives said, is a good reminder to parents and teens about what it takes to be careful online especially when it comes to geolocation settings for online photos and social media sites.

“When you post online, it’s important to know who can see information about you,” SVU Det. Sgt. Kristi Ross said.

“That doesn’t just include what you say or photos you share. You need to check the location settings on your devices to ensure you know when and where you’re posting your geolocation information. The best thing to do is to turn it off by default. ”

Officers point to cybertip杭州丝足 as a strong resource for parents to help inform their children about how to stay safe online.

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

WATCH ABOVE: A new poll for Global News shows more Canadians think Tom Mulcair and the NDP are best to deal with the country’s floundering economy. Eric Sorensen reports.

It’s no secret that Conservatives hope to convince voters that Stephen Harper is the best candidate to get Canada out of recession.

But, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News, most voters aren’t buying the party’s messaging.

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Canadians now see both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau as better candidates to fix Canada’s shaky economy. But what’s more, they are also seen as better choices to be Canada’s next prime minister than the man who has been at the helm for the last nine years, according to the Ipsos poll.

Mulcair is favoured by 36 per cent of respondents while 33 per cent prefer Trudeau. Only 31 per cent of people think Harper is the best choice to get Canada out of recession.

When Ipsos asked a similar question in April, the order was reversed: 45 per cent of people saw Harper as best able to deal with the economy, while 27 per cent preferred Mulcair, and 27 per cent favoured Trudeau.

“What was [Harper’s] strength has moved over to other players,” John Wright, senior vice president of Ipsos said in an interview Wednesday.

And when it comes to which leader would make the best prime minister, Mulcair once again comes out on top with 39 per cent. Justin Trudeau has the support of 32 per cent of voters, while only 29 per cent think Harper would make the best prime minister.

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

The reversal is, at least in part, due to the Conservative reluctance to define Mulcair, Wright said.

“The conservatives are masters at defining the opposition. Right now they have left Mr. Mulcair alone outside of some rhetoric at the podium,” Wright said. “They basically have ignored him in terms of defining who he is and have concentrated primarily on defining Mr. Trudeau, and now to their peril.”

Wright said the Conservatives’ focus on Trudeau has allowed Mulcair to slip into the frontrunner position untested. But, Wright said, he’s now the target.

“Thomas Mulcair is going to be attacked now from four sides,” Wright said. “He’s going to be attacked by the Conservatives, the Liberals, the Bloc Quebecois and anybody else who disagrees with the NDP. That is what’s being set up here.”

The poll results reflect seat projections and polling which have the NDP as the frontrunner in the campaign as it moves into the second, post-Labour Day phase of a historically long campaign. The latest estimates project the NDP could pick up 128 seats, the Conservatives 106, and the Liberals 103 – though the Liberals have been picking up momentum.

According to Wright, the Conservatives should be worried about more than Harper not being seen as the best economic manager. What’s more is his policies aren’t resonating as strongly as those from Liberal or NDP camps.

Eighty-six per cent of voters support decreasing taxes for the middle class – a Liberal policy. Forty-four per cent of people “strongly support” the policy.

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

Eighty-five per cent support (49 per cent strongly support) increasing corporate taxes – an NDP policy.

Eighty-two per cent support (46 per cent strongly support) increasing taxes on high-income earners – a Liberal policy.

“If you look at that list there, most of the Conservative planks are way down [at] the bottom,” Wright said.

READ MORE: You can vote right now, if you want to – what you need to know

Though Conservatives do have some favourable policies to voters, according to the Ipsos poll, the number of people who strongly support their plans are relatively few when compared to rival Liberal or NDP policies.

Eighty-one per cent want a balanced budget (also an NDP policy) but only 37 per cent strongly support the plan.

Approximately 81 per cent want to expand broadband Internet to rural communities but only 30 per cent say they strongly support the policy.

And 77 per cent want to continue the Universal Childcare Benefit – but only 35 per cent strongly support it.

One of the least-favoured policies is a Liberal policy – increasing the deficit to fund public infrastructure projects; 61 per cent (and only 11 per cent strongly support) of people support that, according to the Ipsos poll.

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Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos Reid.” This poll was conducted between September 4 and September 8, with a sample of 949 Canadians from Ipsos’ online panel and is accurate to within 3.6 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

View the full Ipsos tables below: 

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Warrants issued for 2 more Calgary men in Coventry Hills unlawful confinement

CALGARY – Calgary police issued arrest warrants for two additional suspects in connection to an unlawful confinement and robbery that took place in Calgary’s northeast last Wednesday.

Warrants were issued Tuesday for 20-year-old Colton Eli King and 33-year-old Michael Warren Stoffels for charges related to extortion, robbery, assault, threats to cause bodily harm or death, and unlawful confinement.

Police were called to the 100 block of Coventry Road N.E. at about 4 p.m. Sept. 2 after a “partially bound, injured man” ran out of the house. The victim, a man in his 30s, was taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries, according to police.

READ MORE: 2 charged in unlawful confinement case after ‘bound, injured man’ runs out of Calgary home

Calgary police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Michael Warren Stoffels in relation to a Sept. 2 unlawful confinement incident.

Calgary Police Service

The victim met the young female on a bus, exchanged contact information, then went to the home intending to meet with her. Police said further details are under investigation.

A neighbour, who did not wish to be identified, told Global News last week she called 911 after she saw the victim run out of the front door of the home, screaming he was going to be robbed.

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  • 2 charged in unlawful confinement case after ‘bound, injured man’ runs out of Calgary home

“I saw him run out the front door screaming, ‘help me, help me,’” she said. “I have never heard anybody scream like that in my life…He had duct tape around his throat and around his wrists, and he was bleeding from the nose and his toe, and said they took pliers to his nose and his toes.”

A female youth, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was charged last Thursday with one count of robbery, common assault and unlawful confinement. Calgarian Samuel Chase, 19, was also charged with one count of assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, and unlawful confinement.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

Watch below: Calgary police have charged two men in a bizarre incident that includes a man being held against his will in a home in northeast Calgary. Global’s Jill Croteau reports Sept. 3, 2015.

©2015

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AFN Chief Bellegarde will vote for first time in a federal election

OTTAWA – Everyone should vote – even community leaders who strive to be non-partisan – the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations said Wednesday as he reversed an earlier decision not to cast a ballot on Oct. 19. Just a week ago, the AFN issued a statement encouraging First Nations people to vote in the federal election.

At the time, however, Chief Perry Bellegarde revealed that, as a personal choice, he had never voted in a national election and wasn’t planning to do so this time either.

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After returning home to Saskatchewan last weekend, Bellegarde got an earful from his constituents, who told him he needs to lead by example.

IN DEPTH: Federal Election 2015

“I listened to a lot of First Nations elders and chiefs and citizens and young people, right from across the territories,” Bellegarde said.

“The message to me was consistent and very clear. It’s important for me to get out and vote because we’re urging First Nations citizens to get out and vote and it just makes sense for the national chief to be part of that as well.”

Bellegarde says he didn’t vote in the past in the interest of being non-partisan, having been told that aboriginal leaders in Canada must work with the entire Crown, regardless of the party that’s in power.

But he now says he’ll vote because he doesn’t want to give aboriginal voters a reason not to go to the polls.

“I don’t want my not voting to be an excuse for First Nations people not to participate in the upcoming election.”

The Assembly of First Nations has concluded aboriginal voters could be a deciding factor in as many as 51 ridings.

And in a close race, voter turnout could be crucial in determining the outcome.

Turnout in elections by Aboriginal Peoples has typically been abysmally low. The average turnout for eligible voters on First Nations reserves in 2011 was estimated at 44 per cent, well below the overall 61 per cent turnout, according to Elections Canada.

Bellegarde said he has not yet decided who he will vote for and won’t make his decision public, although he has been encouraged by statements issued by the Liberals and New Democrats.

“The Liberals have talked about the major investments in (aboriginal) education, to close the gap that exists,” he said.

“Both (Liberals and New Democrats) have made comments about calling an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls,” he added.

“So the theme is starting to resonate.”

READ MORE: Federal election 2015: Your riding’s candidates and voting history

The AFN is encouraging all parties to commit to aboriginal priorities that also include increased funding for First Nations training, child welfare, health care and police services.

The organization has delivered voting kits to all First Nations chiefs, with information on the voting process, how to get ballot boxes to remote locations and the new voter identification rules brought in by the Conservatives under the Fair Elections Act.

The law requires every voter to produce one piece of government-issued ID that includes their name, photo and address, such as a driver’s license.  Failing that, two pieces of ID must be shown, one of which must include the voter’s address. Critics have warned the proof of residency rule could prevent people from voting,
particularly on reserves where there are often no addresses.

To overcome that new hurdle, the AFN voter kits include form letters that chiefs or band managers can sign to verify residency for eligible voters.

©2015

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