Archive for: ‘August 2019’

YMCA to close downtown Edmonton housing facility, displacing 120 residents

24/08/2019 Posted by admin

About 120 residents will have a year to find new housing after the YMCA of Northern Alberta announced it is permanently closing its downtown Edmonton housing facility.

After a two-year review of the YMCA’s downtown programs, the president and CEO of YMCA of Northern Alberta said the facility will be shut down by Oct. 31, 2017. Nick Parkinson said the decision to close was not taken lightly.

“We’ve made a very tough decision,” Parkinson said Friday. “The building is at end of life.”

ChangSha Night Net


  • 180K pounds of garbage removed from 950 Edmonton homeless camps this year

  • Event connects growing number of homeless Edmonton youth with resources

  • Homelessness down in Alberta; majority of homeless found in Calgary

    Parkinson said the facility operated at annual loss of $100,000 to $150,000 and projected to increase.

    The housing facility on 100 Street and 102A Avenue opened in the 1950s as a youth hostel, mainly for travellers. Over the years, the needs of the population the YMCA serves have changed but the facility hasn’t. Because the facility supports people who stay long-term, the single-room occupancy model it currently runs is no longer viable for residents.

    “The rooms that we have right now are eight by 10 (foot) rooms,” Parkinson explained. “There’s no washroom in them, there’s no kitchen facilities in them. There’s a bed and a dresser, essentially.”

    “Could we actually renovate the building to add more of those rooms to create a viable operating model? We’ve worked with architects over the past two years, and unfortunately, we couldn’t create enough units to create a viable operating model… We currently are running at an operating deficit and that is projected to get worse.”

    Residents were notified Friday of the closure. Marc April has lived at the YMCA downtown on and off for 20 years. While he knew the old building would have to close down eventually, he said he was shocked to learn the organization wasn’t going to build a new facility. He said he’s going to miss the sense of community.

    “I’ve gravitated to the community here,” he said. “People come from different walks of life and hearing their stories and talking about yours and everything else, it’s always been a great thing to come be in here. Even if you leave, you always somehow come back.

    “No matter what, you can always come back and it feels like home. I mean, I don’t have a whole lot but it’s still my home.”

    April is working towards getting his Class 3 driver’s licence in hopes of getting a job driving somewhere. At this point, he’s not sure where he’ll go once the housing facility closes.

    “I am going to miss places like this that have this community. I don’t know where else to find it,” he said. “It’s really going to be a sad day when it closes down.”

    Parkinson said the YMCA will sit down with every resident in order to provide the support they need to find new housing.

    “The Y is not closing out. We’re committed to working with this population and helping people find permanency and supporting them through that transition,” he said.

    “What’s really important is, we’re not closing in a month and we’re not closing in two. We’re closing in 365 days. And that’s been very purposeful because as an organization that’s committed to people, we want to make sure that we rehouse people.”

    The YMCA of Northern Alberta has an affordable housing facility east of downtown Edmonton. It also provides housing in Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray.

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Tom Cochrane at unveiling of Calgary exhibit: ‘it’s humbling to be part of the cultural mosaic of Canada’

24/08/2019 Posted by admin

Canadian icon Tom Cochrane was in Calgary Friday at the National Music Centre (NMC) unveiling of a new temporary exhibit in his honour.

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    Tom Cochrane speaks with Shannon Cuciz at the Heritage Classic

    The Showcase: Tom Cochrane exhibition will show off some of his awards and artifacts, including the 1963 Gretsch guitar he used in the music video for “Big League” and seen on the cover of his Victory Day album with Red Rider. It will also feature the outfit worn in the music video for 1991 hit “Life is a Highway.”

    When asked if he ever gets sick of hearing people request “Life is a Highway” his short answer was: no.

    “I think Mick Jagger said that once, he said, ‘how could I ever get tired of ‘Satisfaction’ or one of those songs that just gets people off to such a degree that you get this energy—both psychic and physical energy—coming back from the audience?

    “I never take that for granted. I never get tired of that.”

    The exhibit is the first at Studio Bell to display content from the EMI Music Canada Archive, which was donated to the University of Calgary earlier this year, the NMC said in a release. It runs from Friday to April 30, 2017.

    “It’s wonderful to have a place like this that really celebrates our culture and reminds people what our culture is and where we’ve come from,” Cochrane said. “It’s flattering and it’s humbling to be part of the cultural mosaic of Canada and for this building to celebrate that, I think it’s so very, very important.”

    Watch above for an interview with Global News photographer Nate Luit, in which Cochane explains how he stays young, which bands he looks up to and why the National Music Centre is important for the next generation.

    For details on Tom Cochrane’s upcoming tour, visit tomcochrane长沙桑拿.

RCMP not responsible for death of Sheldon Thunderblanket: IIO

24/08/2019 Posted by admin

The suspect wanted in a Saskatchewan homicide and the shooting of a B.C. RCMP officer near Golden, B.C. died of a head trauma, according to an Independent Investigation Office of B.C. report released on Friday.

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The IIO’s forensic investigator found that despite being shot by police, Sheldon Kyle Thunderblanket died of a head trauma consistent with hitting a rock.

Thunderblanket was found dead in a river by police on Oct. 12 after a manhunt.

READ MORE: Tami Frank identified as murder victim in Saskatchewan shooting that left another person injured

The incident began on Oct. 11 when RCMP were conducting a check-stop on Highway 1 in Golden in connection with a possible theft. The driver of a stopped vehicle failed to comply with police direction, got out of his car and allegedly fired shots at an officer.

RCMP Cst. Amber Brunner

The Golden Star

The officer, confirmed to be RCMP Cst. Amber Brunner, was shot in the arm. In a Facebook statement, the City of Revelstoke said the officer had reconstructive surgery done on her hand and arm and is recovering.

The driver, Thunderblanket, was also fired at and hit in the forearm. The suspect then fled on foot, stole another nearby vehicle at gun-point and fled the area.

Golden residents rally around RCMP


Golden residents rally around RCMP


Suspect in Golden manhunt found dead


Witness video shows RCMP officer shot in Golden B.C.


Suspect’s vehicle remains on highway after RCMP shooting in B.C.


Suspect wanted in massive manhunt around Revelstoke may be dead


Police name Sheldon Kyle Thunderblanket as dangerous suspect on the loose near Revelstoke, B.C.


Manhunt for suspect in RCMP shooting continues


Massive manhunt after RCMP officer shot near Golden, B.C.


RCMP officer shot near Golden, B.C. at traffic stop

Police picked up the trail of the stolen vehicle connected with Thunderblanket later that day and attempted to stop it with two spike belts. According to the IIO investigation, the vehicle failed to stop and shots were fired by police. No one was hit or injured in the confrontation.

The suspect continued to drive and eventually got out of the vehicle, cross the highway and go down a steep embankment. A K-9 unit was used but police were unable to find the suspect and eventually called off the search at 11:40 p.m. on Oct. 11.

Police continued the next morning and at 10:10 a.m. on Oct. 12, found Thunderblanket dead in a river.

After an investigation of witnesses, police officers and evidence from the scene, the IIO concluded there was no connection between the actions of the police and the death of Thunderblanket.

Dozens of Alberta ranches quarantined for bovine tuberculosis

24/08/2019 Posted by admin

About 30 southeastern Alberta ranches are being quarantined after bovine tuberculosis was reported in a single cow from the province that was slaughtered in the United States.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Friday its veterinarians and inspectors are making contact with cattle producers in five Alberta agricultural zones and are working with provincial authorities to investigate the report.

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READ MORE: ‘Right now it isn’t what we are looking at’ – Alberta environment minister on mass elk cull

“The investigation is ongoing and it is not yet known how many animals will require testing,” said agency spokesman Denis Schryburt in an email.

“The number of animals requiring testing will depend on a number of factors such as whether additional animals test positive and the movements of exposed animals to other locations.”

He said the affected cow came from a ranch near Jenner, about 250 kilometres east of Calgary. The agency said the United States Department of Agriculture reported the case of bovine TB in September.

READ MORE: Cherryville hunters asked to help track tuberculosis

The quarantine means that animals must remain on the ranch unless they are moved directly to an inspected slaughter facility, said Schryburt.

Bob Lowe, chair of the Alberta Beef Producers, said ranches under quarantine could face additional costs of housing and feeding their livestock as winter sets in, instead of selling the animals.

“As far as the Canadian cattle industry is concerned, it’s not a problem at all. It’s not a border issue, it’s not affecting markets,” he said.

“But if you’re one of the producers that’s quarantined, it’s devastating.”

If any infected cattle are found, the entire herd would have to be destroyed, he added.

Bovine TB is a reportable disease in Canada and has been subject to a mandatory national eradication program since 1923, the agency said.

It added that Canada is considered to be officially free of the disease although isolated cases may occur. It said the finding does not affect Canada’s current status.

The agency said that bovine TB generally does not pose a threat to public health in Canada but individuals who have extended, close contact with an infected animal while it is alive are at risk of contracting the disease. Wildlife may also transmit the disease to livestock.

Search for Chinese sailor called off, racing team urges US to keep looking

24/08/2019 Posted by admin

KAPOLEI, Hawaii – The racing team of a Chinese professional sailor who went missing on a mission to set a solo trans-Pacific world record is imploring the U.S. Coast Guard to resume its search for him.

In a post titled “Who can help us save Guo Chuan?” the team said Friday it was disappointed the search for Guo was suspended two days ago. It also said members had written a letter to the Coast Guard for help.

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“We are deeply saddened by the decision to suspend the search and beg you to continue searching until there is confirmation that he has lost his last chance for survival,” the group wrote in the letter, according to the statement on its official social media page.

READ MORE: Canadian solo world sailor Derek Hatfield dies at 63

“Guo Chuan’s crew will assist regardless of cost, if you could just tell us what to do,” they said in the statement.

The search was suspended Wednesday after a U.S. Navy crew from the USS Makin Island went aboard Guo’s 97-foot trimaran about 620 miles northwest of Oahu and found only his life jacket.

The Coast Guard often receives requests from family and friends of people missing in the ocean but can’t resume the search unless there’s new information, Chief Petty Officer Sarah Mooers said.

“It’s incredibly sad and it’s unfortunate this happened,” she said. “We never like suspending a search. Unfortunately after a certain point it becomes necessary.”

The last indication that Guo was aboard the vessel was Monday, she said: “Four days is a long time for something or someone to move adrift.”

Guo “was a professional mariner with a deep passion for sailing,” said Capt. Robert Hendrickson, who directed the Coast Guard’s search. “Our deepest condolences go out not only to his family and friends but also to his racing team and the sailing community.”

WATCH: Sailor rescued after spending 66 days at sea

Lt. Ben Powers, the Coast Guard pilot who was air commander in the search, said waves, wind and darkness hampered the effort.

“It was pretty frustrating not to find him, not to hear him,” Powers said Thursday at Air Station Barbers Point in west Oahu. “The hardest thing we do is search for a person in the water because it’s a huge ocean.”

Guo, 50, was the first Chinese person to sail around the world in 2013, according to his website, guochuanracing长沙桑拿. He left San Francisco on Oct. 18 to challenge the solo nonstop trans-Pacific world record of 21 days.

Powers piloted one of the HC-130 Hercules planes that participated in the search. He said he spent hours scanning the ocean for Guo through 4-to-6-foot waves. There was no moon, he said, so illumination was low even with night-vision goggles.

Rescuers radioed Guo every 15 to 30 minutes, Powers said. There was no response.

READ MORE: B.C. sailor rescued after being trapped in Arctic ice for 10 days

“When the person’s in the water basically the only thing above the water is the person’s head,” Powers said. “So that’s really what we’re looking for – something the size of a human head from an aircraft from 300 to 700 feet.”

Guo’s team said a company that operates helicopters for tourism in Honolulu has expressed its willingness to provide up to 10 helicopters for the search. It said they can only travel 500 kilometres (310 miles) without stopping and would need a ship to serve as a platform for refuelling on the sea.

The team is in contact with commercial ships but the nearest one is hundreds of miles away because Guo Chuan was taking a non-traditional route, it said.

Guo’s sailboat, the Qingdao China, is adrift, and its main sail has been taken down, the Coast Guard said. Guo’s racing team plans to recover the sailboat, the Coast Guard said.