21 child murderers have been sent to Indigenous healing lodges since 2011: data

Nearly two dozen child murderers have been sent to Indigenous healing lodges since 2011, according to data from Public Safety Canada.

Healing lodges held four offenders convicted of first and second-degree murder of children during the 2011-12 fiscal year. The following three years saw 10 more offenders sent to the facilities.

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Another seven were transferred to healing lodges after Justin Trudeau succeeded Stephen Harper as prime minister in 2015, reveal the figures shared with Global News by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s office.

In total, 21 child murderers have been transferred to healing lodges since 2011. Over half of them (14) were held there while the Conservative government was in power,

As of Sept. 23, 2018, there were 11 convicted child-killers held in healing lodges.

READ MORE: Terri-Lynne McClintic is back in prison, Rodney Stafford says ‘it makes me feel amazing’

The data was released to Global News on Tuesday following widespread outrage over the transfer of Terri-Lynne McClintic — convicted in the 2009 rape and murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford — to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan in October.

McClintic was moved out of the healing lodge and into an Edmonton prison last week, Tori’s father Rodney Stafford told Global News Radio. Stafford had previously organized a rally in Ottawa calling for the government to put McClintic back behind bars.

Goodale also announced last week that the Liberal government was implementing new rules governing the assessment and transfer of inmates from conventional prisons to healing lodges.

WATCH: Terri-Lynne McClintic sent back to penitentiary

“At the request of the minister, corrections officials reviewed inmate transfer policies. Based on their recommendations, the government strengthened the governance and oversight of transfers to healing lodges,” a spokesperson for Goodale told Global News in an email accompanying the data.

“The murder of a child is odious and utterly reprehensible, and perpetrators must be held fully accountable for their crime. At the same time, our correctional system must also strive for rehabilitation so we can have fewer repeat offenders, fewer victims, and ultimately safer communities.”

EXCLUSIVE: McClintic’s brother says ‘she’s no more Indigenous than I am green from the planet Mars’

Goodale’s spokesperson added that Correctional Service Canada only approves offenders for transfer to healing lodges “following a thorough risk assessment,” while prioritizing public safety.

He also insisted that that healing lodges “have a record of successfully dealing with difficult cases, and can be the right correctional approach for certain offenders.”

WATCH: Conservative MP pleased McClintic back behind bars, calls on government for better checks and balances

Indeed, research out of Northern Arizona University showed that six per cent of healing lodge residents had re-offended while they were on conditional release, compared to a federal re-offending rate of 11 per cent.

However, a 2002 study showed higher rates for re-offending among healing lodge residents than among offenders in minimum security — it was 19 per cent, “significantly higher” than the rate among Indigenous offenders who were released from minimum security (13 per cent).

READ MORE: Inmate escapes from healing lodge near Maple Creek, Sask.

That study was updated in 2011, and it showed that among Indigenous offenders, conditional releases were “as likely to be maintained in the community as conditional releases for aboriginal offenders from minimum security institutions for men and multi-level security institutions for women.”

— With files from Amanda Connolly and Jesse Ferreras

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‘It’s like he took a grinder to it’ : Scrap metal business turns in stolen cenotaph plaque

FREDERICTON – The thefts of plaque from two cenotaphs in Fredericton have police on the hunt for who’s responsible.

A plaque was taken from the Barker’s Point Cenotaph on Saturday, Oct.17. It’s replacement value is $3,000.

This week, three plaques went missing from the New Brunswick Provincial Cenotaph in Fredericton. Their replacement value is $10,000.

Fredericton Police say they are actively investigating the thefts.

Best Metals owner Iaan Brown said he believes the Barker’s Point Cenotaph plaque landed at his scrap metal business on Oct. 17.

He said he paid the man $110 for the plaque. Shortly after, he realized what he had received after seeing the plaque on 桑拿会所 and the news.

Barker’s Point Cenotaph. Courtesy: Fredericton Police

Courtesy: Fredericton Police

“This guy completely defaced the plaque,” Brown said. “It’s like he took a grinder to it.”

Brown said the only reason he could identify it was the torch on the right side of the plaque.

He said the same man came in with several more plaques the following Tuesday, Oct. 20. His employees recognized him and took a picture. Brown also took a picture of the man’s car before he fled.

“He must have sensed it. He threw them in the back of his trunk and sped off.”

Brown reported the incident to police.

Mayor Brad Woodside is urging all local scrap metal dealers to watch for the plaques.

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Land transfer taxes up for review, could double across Ontario

TORONTO – It may soon get significantly more expensive to own a home in Ontario.

The province is currently in the process of holding public consultations to amend the Municipal Act which includes giving every municipality outside of Toronto the power to charge the Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT).

Ontario has already given permission for Toronto to impose the tax back in 2008.

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“It’s before us now as a consultation process to review the municipal act and that’s all this is, no decisions have been made,” said Finance Minister Charles Sousa.

“We’ve uploaded quite a bit with regards to the demands we put on municipalities.”

Sousa said the land transfer tax is part of the province’s review of the municipal act, which is set to be completed this week. He added that if the legislation is enacted it could come into effect by the spring of next year.

“We’re having a discussion with municipalities who have felt for some time a bit beleaguered on the fiscal front ever since the downloading days of the old government and we’re still recovering from that, we’re uploading costs,” said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Ted McMeekin.

“Should all municipalities have the same tools the city of Toronto has and if not, why not? So that’s part of the discussion we’re having.”

Those looking to purchase a home for $445,000 will therefore have to pay $5,375 in the Provincial Land Transfer Tax and an additional $4,625 for the new MLTT.

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) issued a media release Tuesday decrying the province’s move to double the tax on home purchases.

“The Ontario Liberals wrote to us in May 2014, during the election, stating that ‘they had no plans to extend these powers to municipalities’,” said Patricia Verge, president of OREA.

“On behalf of home buyers, we want them to remain good on this election promise and that means Ontarians need to send a strong message that the government must rethink its plan to double the land transfer tax burden on home buyers.”

During question period at Queen’s Park on Tuesday, the Progressive Conservatives demanded the Liberal government to guarantee they won’t allow municipalities to impose the extra tax.

The Association claims the MLTT in Toronto has already stiffled home purchases in the city and is costing the economy billions of dollars.

“Over five years, it is estimated that 38,227 housing transactions did not occur in Toronto because of the MLTT,” the OREA said in a media release.

“With every home transaction generating $55,000 in consumer spending on things like renovations, furniture, appliances, and fees to professionals, the MLTT has cost the City of Toronto $2.3 billion in lost economic activity and 15,000 jobs.”

The OREA has since launched an online campaign to urge the public to oppose the move.

Kamal Aurora says she is buying a new home in Oakville, Ont., adding that she hopes to sell the home she currently has.

“Maybe I won’t be able to sell my house, that would affect me,” she said. “Homes are already getting expensive, it’s not a good decision.”

With files from Adam Miller

©2015

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Loss of whale poop disrupts planet’s ecosystem: study

It turns out that the giant animals that once roamed the land and the oceans were vital in the planet’s health and overall formation. In particular, their poop.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science concluded that nutrients from their feces were transported from the depths of the ocean and spread through waterways and eventually inland and up to the mountaintops.

This diagram shows an interlinked system of animals that carry nutrients from ocean depths to deep inland —; through their poop, urine, and, upon death, decomposing bodies.

Diagram from PNAS; designed by Renate Helmiss

However, since the declines of such giants —; including the whales which at one time numbered in the hundreds of thousands, rather than the thousands we have today —; has resulted in the decline of this type of recycling system, something that the study’s authors feel are vital.

“This broken global cycle may weaken ecosystem health, fisheries, and agriculture,” says Joe Roman, a biologist at the University of Vermont and co-author on the new study.

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The authors said that the ability of animals to transport nutrients from “hotspots” has dropped eight per cent, before the extinction of about 150 species of mammal megafauna at the end of the last ice age.

It’s probably no surprise to learn that humans have had a hand in disrupting this ecosystem balance. Whale-hunting has resulted in the loss of a particularly important nutrient —; phosphorus —; by more than 75 per cent.

“This once was a world that had ten times more whales; twenty times more anadromous fish, like salmon; double the number of seabirds; and ten times more large herbivores —; giant sloths and mastodons and mammoths,” said Roman.

The authors also concluded that if we could re-establish whale populations, it could help increase the ocean’s ability to absorb climate warming carbon dioxide.

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©2015

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Saskatoon Blades acquire local talent in trade with Calgary Hitmen

SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Blades have added some local talent to the roster. On Tuesday, the team announced it acquired Terrell Draude, 18, from the Calgary Hitmen in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.

The centre is from the nearby city of Warman, Sask.

“We are excited to bring Terrell back closer to home. His size and skill will be great additions to our hockey club,” said Blades head coach and general manager Bob Woods.

READ MORE: Home sweet home for Saskatchewan products at NHL pre-season game

Calgary selected Draude 39th overall in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.

The six-foot three, 209-pound centre posted a breakout 2014-15 season. Draude more than quadrupled his points from his rookie campaign, finishing with 12 goals and 18 assists with the Hitmen.

In Saskatoon, he rejoins former teammates Cameron Hebig and Wyatt Sloboshan. They played together in 2012-13 with the Saskatoon Contacts of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League (SMAAAHL).

The Blades take on the Edmonton Oil Kings at 7:05 p.m. CT on Thursday at SaskTel Centre.

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  • Saskatoon Blades mount 3rd-period comeback past Medicine Hat Tigers

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Weyburn, Sask. man fined $5K for illegal hunting

A Weyburn, Sask. man has been fined after he was found guilty of illegal hunting in the province. Dustin Hoskins, 35, was fined $5,000 and handed a two-year hunting suspension after two bull moose and a white-tail deer were illegally shot in November 2011.

Conservations officers found he had falsified documents by using another person’s First Nations treaty number. Hoskins was also found to be in possession of a black bear rug.

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“People who kill animals illegally are stealing from the law-abiding hunters of our province,” said Ken Aube with the Ministry of Environment

“Our laws are designed to provide effective management of wildlife populations to ensure hunting opportunities are available now and in the future.”

READ MORE: New Saskatchewan hunting regulations in place on Canada Day

Hoskins was fined $2,100 for unlawfully hunting moose, $1,400 for unlawful possession of a white-tail deer, $700 for unlawful possession of a black bear and $480 for falsifying a document.

He was also fined $320 for resisting arrest.

A second Weyburn man, Corby Obyrne, was found guilty of aiding and abetting Hoskins and was fined $1,500. He was also handing a one year hunting suspension.

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High hopes for NYC’s ‘Lowline’: The quest to grow gardens underground

The future of urban green space is blossoming 22 feet below the concrete jungle that is New York City’s Lower East Side.

It’s called the “Lowline.” Billed as the world’s first underground park, it will be a subterranean version of the city’s popular High Line, an elevated green oasis built on defunct railroad tracks.

The project itself is years away. Its backers have $0 of the estimated $70 million they’ll need to get it going.

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But a small-scale prototype of the space-age garden just opened up down the block, giving tourists, students and passersby the chance to check out the buried green space.

The unique environment is a testing ground for the ultimate plan, which is to turn an abandoned 1908 trolley terminal into a football field-sized underground garden by 2020. Project co-founder James Ramsey says they hope to grow 60 species down there — “from mosses and ferns to strawberries and even pineapples.”

How will they pull it off? By harnessing the sun’s rays using giant mirror-like “heliostats,” magnifying those rays, transporting them underground through a fibre-optic “helio tube,” then using a dome to disperse them across the green space.

Ramsey likens it to an elaborate plumbing system. He admits it’s a “kooky” idea.

The architecture firm owner and former NASA engineer had the brainstorm in 2009 when he learned of the long-forgotten trolley terminal.

His friend Dan Barasch was exploring a project that would bring art to the city’s subway system. The two combined their interests into the idea of an underground garden.

“It’s almost sort of a new form of horticulture that we’ve developed,” the 38-year-old said. “The conditions we’re creating are really quite specialized and unlike any existing environment in the world.”

He said NASA uses similar optical devices on a much smaller scale.

“We have a self-contained environment almost a bit like The Martian.

(Spoiler alert: In that film, Matt Damon finds a way to grow crops on Mars.)

In addition to looking cool, Ramsey said, the Lowline would also provide badly needed green space, which is at a premium in NYC’s concrete jungle.

“I think one of the big challenges here is, ‘Okay, we [build] up, up, up. But that just means we’re increasing the density of our cities. And as our cities become more dense, we have to get a little more innovative about solutions for creating space for people,” he said.

“This is one potential solution.”

This Aug. 15, 2012, photo provided The Lowline shows the abandoned trolley terminal deep underground in New York’s Lower East Side, which may one day house a park. The project-in-the-works, history meets 21st century technology; will employ the latest solar technology to illuminate the subterranean space, filtering the sun via a collector at street level. (AP Photo/The Lowline, Danny Fuchs)

Rendering of the Lowline, courtesy of Raad Studio.

The newly-opened Lowline Lab serves as a testing ground for the actual Lowline, mimicking its environment and using its technology to keep the greenery alive.

The lab has only three of the roughly 200 heliostats that would be required for the actual Lowline.

Visitors can drop in for free every weekend until March 2016 to experience the space firsthand. During the week, students visit on field trips to learn about the science, technology, engineering, art and math behind the project.

Lowline co-founder Dan Barasch told CBS News that the idea has the potential to be used in many other kinds of contexts.

“There are a lot of spaces from hospitals to prisons to schools that don’t have natural access to the sun,” Barasch said.

But even if this experiment works, it could be tough to replicate.

For one thing, it’s pricey: The Lowline team raised about $200,000 in its second Kickstarter campaign. That was just to fund the lab. Up to $70 million more will be needed to get the actual project off the ground.

A financing campaign will be launched once negotiations over the land are complete with the city and Municipal Transit Authority (the land is currently leased to the MTA by the city). The backers hope to get some of the cash from crowdfunding and government grants.

Seed money, one could say, to grow their unorthodox brand of urban agriculture.

Follow @TrishKozicka

©2015

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Ontario Progressive Conservatives want auditor general to investigate union payments

TORONTO – Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives plan to ask the auditor general to look into $3.74 million the government paid unions representing teachers and education workers over the past three rounds of bargaining.

Tory MPP Lisa MacLeod will introduce a notice of motion Wednesday at the public accounts committee, of which she is vice-chair, asking the auditor general to investigate those payments as well as $4.6 million that is being paid to school boards for their bargaining costs.

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But the Liberals have a majority on the committee, which means they could easily block the motion.

READ MORE: Union payouts an ‘investment’ in bargaining, education minister says

MacLeod, though, is hopeful because the Liberals previously agreed to a motion asking Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk for a Pan Am Games audit.

“A sum of money this large going undocumented to some public-sector unions who ran attack ads – it doesn’t look good,” said MacLeod, referring to anti-Tory advertising during the last provincial election.

“I think it would be important that the auditor review those numbers and make sure the money wasn’t misappropriated, although I believe it has been.”

Education Minister Liz Sandals has defended the payments as being necessary because the transition to a new bargaining system made this round quite lengthy.

READ MORE: Elementary teachers’ pay could be docked if work-to-rule expanded: Wynne

And the ministry has said that it was appropriate to make similar payments in 2008 and 2012 to three education unions because it involved voluntary discussions that were a precursor to the new system.

Sandals said she is not at all concerned about a possible auditor general investigation.

In the last provincial election, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario put $250,000 each toward third-party advertising from the Working Families coalition, a group of unions that comes together each election to run anti-Tory ads.

ETFO, which is still in negotiations and has said it won’t take government money for bargaining costs, spent another $1.3 million on election advertising in 2014. OECTA spent a further $2.2 million and OSSTF spent $386,000.

The committee would vote on MacLeod’s motion next Wednesday. She is concerned the practice is more widespread than the government is saying.

“We know some unions have indicated it hasn’t, but we have over 4,000 collective agreements” in the broader public sector, she said. “Can you imagine if each time we sat down for a collective agreement we gave the union we’re negotiating with one million dollars?”

©2015

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Mayor Atchison reaches milestone, confirms bid to run for fifth term

SASKATOON  – He’s done what no Saskatoon mayor has done before – today, October 27, 2015, Don Atchison becomes the city’s longest serving mayor. Atchison was sworn in exactly 13 years ago – on October 27, 2003.

October 27, 2015 – Don Atchison becomes Saskatoon’s longest serving mayor.

File / Global News

“When I started as a city councillor 21 years ago, I never dreamt that I would become the mayor,” said Atchison.

Both Henry Dayday and Cliff Wright served one day short of 13 years. In 2012 mayoral terms extended to four years instead of three and with that, Don Atchison now embarks on a milestone 13 years as mayor.

READ MORE: City of Saskatoon welcomes provincial budget

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Notable projects under his leadership include his vision for River Landing, the completion of Circle Drive with the construction of the South Bridge, and also his effort to make an appearance at an infinite number of community events – events that often take him away from his family and wife.

“The only event that I have been to every year, since becoming the mayor, is our anniversary. I’ve missed kid’s birthdays, Mardele’s, I’ve never been at home for my birthday and you know a lot of times there’s a question of why and with the children and with Mardele, it’s always been accepted,” he said.

Atchison confirmed with Global News he will run again in the next election, set for autumn 2016.

©2015

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Okanagan tire company independently tests its products for winter driving

VERNON – A well-known Okanagan based automotive company claims it’s the first Canadian tire retailer to independently test tires in winter conditions.

Kal Tire says it hired an independent testing company to rate 19 of its most popular tires for ten conditions including braking, cornering, hydroplaning and road noise.

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“We wanted to give drivers greater and more relevant information about how tires really perform in everyday winter conditions in Canada, and we also wanted to be able to show people how 3-season (all-season), all-weather and winter tires compare in their performance,” says Kal Tire spokesperson,Carey Hull, in a news release. “Between the range of tests conducted, the calibre of the drivers and the technology used to capture the data, this is an incredibly sophisticated and comprehensive tire testing program.”

The key findings:
Winter tires, on average, stopped 14.68 metres sooner on ice compared to 3-seasons
-Winter tires stopped in 30.1 m
-All-weather tires stopped in 35.5 m
-3-season tires stopped in 44.8 m

All-weather tires, on average, stop 77 cm sooner on wet pavement (from 70 km/hour) and 33 cm sooner on dry pavement (from 90 km/hour) compared to 3-season tires.

Winter tires are nearly three times better at holding corners on ice than 3-seasons.

Studless winter tires aren’t noisy. On average, all-weather and 3-season tires emitted the same amount of road noise, and winter tires were 1.6 per cent quieter than all-weather and 3-season tires.

On slush straight-line tests, professional drivers rated:
-Winter tires an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars
-All-weather tires an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars
-3-season tires an average of 2.4 out of 5 stars

Comprehensive results are available at Kal Tire outlets and on-line at kaltire长沙桑拿/testing.

The company says it will release test results on a further 57 passenger and truck tires in the spring.

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After peaceful split, Mi’gmaq chief says government should improve consultations

MONCTON – The Assembly of First Nations Chiefs in New Brunswick will continue to exist until the next fiscal year, says Mi’gmaq Chief George Ginnish.

Then, the Mi’gmaq chiefs will form their own group. This comes after New Brunswick’s Maliseet chiefs announced they would be forming their own representative body, leaving the Assembly.

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“The Mi’gmaq First Nations have said it’s important for us to work together especially given the approach that government and business take in regards to the consultation,” Chief Ginnish said in an interview with Global News Monday.

Chief Ginnish stressed the split was peaceful, that it happened because of a difference of opinions, not out of malice.

“We still have an Atlantic Policy Congress that represents the entire Atlantic and we’ll work together with anybody that sees the benefit of doing that,” he said.

“As it is now, this group has decided that they’re better to represent themselves. That’s not an issue with us. We’re going to continue to work on behalf of our people to the best of our ability. That’s our responsibility.”

He said his disappointment lies with the provincial and federal governments, that they’re not completely adhering to their duty to consult aboriginal groups at a critical time.

Ginnish, chief of the Eel Ground First Nation, says his people have a right to be consulted and included in all discussions, including on major projects like the Energy East Pipeline and Sisson Brook Mine.

“This is not where we expected it would be. It’s not living up to the spirit of the agreement. We’ve had to do that with the previous two premiers and we’ll do that again with the current premier,” he said.

He said Mi’gmaq First Nations are not looking to stop all development but that their Aboriginal and Treaty Rights must be respected during the process.

In March, Premier Brian Gallant said at least one person in each government department would be trained on the duty to consult, which is the Crown’s obligation to consult aboriginal groups on decisions.

When asked, repeatedly, about progress, Global News received a statement from Ed Doherty, Minister Responsible for the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat.

“Government will work with the First Nations community to look for opportunities in areas of partnership and co-operation,” it read. “We respect the heritage and culture of our First Nations community and our government remains committed to working with all First Nation Chiefs and councils.”

“One of our elders speaks to this. He says for too many years, we’ve stood by the side of the road and we’ve watched trucks drive by with our resources,” Ginnish said.

“We’ve had lip service from government saying we want to talk about revenue, resource-sharing, it’s important that First Nations be part of that. The talk has been great but it’s time to walk the talk now.”

©2015

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Thousands of young people pack Saddledome for WE Day

CALGARY —; A whopping 16,000 excited students from across Alberta jammed into the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Tuesday for WE Day.

The inspirational event began in Ontario 20 years ago, and has since spread to three countries. WE Day celebrates the difference young people make in their world through volunteerism.

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    The enthusiasm of empowerment at We Day

Students from over 650 schools around the province were joined by world-renowned speakers and performers including The Band Perry, Marlee Matlin, Henry Winkler, Kardinal Offishall, SonReal, Silken Laumann, Francesco Yates, the Kenyan Boys Choir, JRDN, Jessi Cruickshank, Joseph Boyden, Spencer West and more.

“Every time I walk into the WE Day stadium I’m in awe of the commitment and passion I witness in every single one of the young people in the audience,” said Oscar-winning actress and social activist, Marlee Matlin, in a statement. “These individuals are continuing to create such positive change in the world and WE Day is a platform to help empower youth to lead the change we need to see.”

Matlin uses sign language to share her personal story about overcoming obstacles, and encourage youth to turn their dreams into realities.

Annually, 200,000 students coast to coast, from over 10,000 schools, earn their tickets to WE Day by volunteering in their communities.

“By bringing together 16,000 young change-makers today, students from across Alberta will know that they’re not alone and that collectively, they are making their voices heard,” said co-founder Craig Kielburger.

Alberta students logged more than 560,800 hours for local and global causes and raised $1.8 million in support of local and global organizations.

©2015

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Near-death Saint-Lazare accident leads to call for safety

SAINT-LAZARE —; Andre de la Bastide is thankful to be alive after surviving a harrowing crash along chemin St-Louis.

“I was lucky,” he said.

He was also good. Because he works as a heavy equipment technician, he had special training.

He was heading southeast on the road toward Bedard avenue in Saint-Lazare.

The sunlight shone right into his eyes at rush hour and he found himself having to swerve right to miss a car that had drifted into his lane.

He slammed his Mercedes van into a hydro pole, shearing it off and crushing his vehicle.

The pole missed him, but live electrical lines were down nearby.

“I could hear the crackling of the electricity.”

Careful not to touch metal, he crawled out of the wreckage and a neighbour called 911.

He now feels lucky to be alive, and he wants the city of Saint-Lazare to add railings and cut branches to make the area safe.

City officials said they’re looking into the matter.

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  • City of Montreal wants safer streets for cyclists and cars

©2015

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