Monthly archives: January 2019

WATCH: “It was a difficult marriage”Winnipeg Jets coach, players react to Kane’s comments

WINNIPEG —; Instead of talking about taking on the LA Kings, Winnipeg Jets players were speaking out at Tuesday’s practice about former Jets forward Evander Kane.

Kane spoke harshly about his time in Winnipeg and the Jets organization in The Hockey News magazine out on shelves this week.

While in Winnipeg, Kane made headlines for using a homophobic slur on 桑拿会所, posting pictures of a stack of money to his ear as well as one of him doing push ups with money on his back, not paying a traffic ticket.

ChangSha Night Net

READ MORE: Evander Kane takes one last shot at Winnipeg in The Hockey News

“I just didn’t feel as though (the Jets) had my back at all. It would have been so simple to just squash it and put it to bed. It just became kind of a big deal,” Kane told The Hockey News.

Winnipeg Jet forward Chris Thorburn said Tuesday he wasn’t surprise by his former teammate’s comments.

“It’s just unfortunate,” said Thorburn. ” I feel bad that he feels that way, obviously he had some experiences that nobody knows about, including myself.”

WATCH: Winnipeg Jet Chris Thorburn reacts to article on Evander Kane’s Winnipeg experiences

Thorburn said he was close with Kane until Kane was traded to Buffalo last season.

“He had some bottled up emotions apparently,” Thorburn said, “Those are his feelings and his thoughts.”

The cover of the November 9th The Hockey News.

The Hockey News

In the article Kane said he didn’t feel support in the locker room.

“I’m sacrificing my body playing through the pain, doing everything I can to help that team with the feeling knowing guys don’t have my back,” Kane was quoted.

Paul Maurice told reporters Tuesday it is clear Kane’s feelings towards Winnipeg were there for a while.

WATCH: Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice responds to article on Evander Kane’s feelings about time in Winnipeg

“This is not a one day event and it is clear from his article these are things that bothered him right from the start,” Maurice said. “Regardless of whether we tried to make it better enough for him it didn’t happen and in the end it was a difficult marriage that separated amicably.”

The Hockey News issue featuring Kane hit store shelves Tuesday morning.

As of noon McNally Robinson only had a handful of copies left on shelves and the Dominion News already sold out.

©2015

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UPDATED: Internal memos show SaskPower knew of multi-million dollar carbon capture losses

REGINA – When SaskPower held a grand-opening celebration for its $1.5-billion carbon capture and storage facility last October, it was already well aware the losses were piling up.

Briefing notes prepared by SaskPower show the government knew delivery of carbon dioxide (CO2) was falling behind to the tune of $7 million on September 29, 2014 – three days prior to the launch with much fanfare.

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Related

  • Slow SaskPower carbon capture performance costing millions

  • SaskPower says carbon capture and storage is working, despite critics

A memo prepared for Bill Boyd, the minister responsible for SaskPower, on October 6, 2014 (four days after the launch), estimated the total to be in the range of $8.7 million to $10 million.

“I think there could have been more disclosure.” – SaskPower minister Bill Boyd

The notes were obtained by the Opposition NDP and provided to reporters Tuesday (see below).

READ MORE: Slow SaskPower carbon capture performance costing millions

SaskPower signed a contract with Alberta-based Cenovus Energy in 2012 to provide a minimum volume of CO2 captured at Boundary Dam, with penalties for not reaching that mark.

By the end of 2014, the deficit reached $12 million, according to notes revealed Monday by the NDP and buried in a single line on page 59 of SaskPower’s annual report.

“I think there could have been more, probably, disclosure around that,” Boyd admitted Tuesday after defending the merits of the project.

“We still believe it’ll meet its targets going forward. Obviously there were some startup problems with respect to it.”

SaskPower CEO Mike Marsh said Monday the facility is still running at less than half its projected capacity and could be penalized for another $5 million this year.

“We’re working through design and technical issues every week, our operating staff are working through them, every week and every month, and performance is getting better and better and better,” he told reporters.

Some of the carbon dioxide released at Boundary Dam is liquefied and sold to oil companies to help extract more crude from the ground. SaskPower has a 10-year contract with Cenovus to buy the captured gas.

The Crown was expecting 800,000 tonnes of CO2 to be produced this year, but Marsh admitted that figure will more likely be around 400,000 tonnes. At the price of $25 per tonne, the shortfall is $10 million.

“Clearly that is not acceptable … we want to see much higher efficiency from this facility,” Boyd said.

It means just a little over one year after launch, the carbon capture facility could already be costing taxpayers $27 million in penalties and lost revenue.

SEE BELOW: SaskPower briefing note from Sept. 2014 (Obtained by NDP – highlighting by government officials)

Penalties in 2015

On Tuesday, NDP SaskPower critic Cathy Sproule asked for confirmation of how much SaskPower expects to pay in penalties for 2015, questioning Marsh’s estimate of $5 million.

The NDP also cited cases where SaskPower officials said the carbon capture facility was operating at over 80 per cent of its capacity, including a committee meeting in November 2014.

Boyd argued the projected $5 million loss in 2015 will be offset by $11 million in revenue for selling the carbon to to Cenovus.

A February 2015 report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said the financial costs of the project are high and the environmental rewards remain unproven, arguing that SaskPower could see up to $1 billion in operating losses over the next 20 years.

The briefing notes revealed this week pin responsibility for the delays on SNC Lavalin, saying the engineering firm was slow to address basic design problems and “is more concerned about getting paid … than fixing the deficiencies of our plant.”

Marsh said Monday the province is pursuing legal action to recover some of the money, but it may not happen until some time in 2016.

With files from

Follow @mikemckinnon

©2015

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New taxes and benefits: Alberta budget 2015 highlights

CALGARY – The NDP government released its 2015-2016 budget Tuesday afternoon. Here are some of the highlights for Albertans.

Cigarettes

The tax on a carton of cigarettes will go up by another $5 to $50, effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. The tax on loose tobacco will rise 3.75 cents to 37.5 cents per gram. The tax on cigars will be increased to 129 per cent of the taxable price of the cigar, with a minimum tax per cigar of 25 cents and a maximum of $7.83.

ChangSha Night Net

Related

  • Alberta government adds menthol to flavoured tobacco ban

  • Alberta government keeps spending, runs $6.1B deficit

READ MORE: Alberta budget – What’s in it for Calgary?

Liquor

Liquor mark-ups will increase by five per cent as of Wednesday. So, consumers will pay two cents more for a bottle of beer, on top of the eight cents added in the March budget; and 18 cents more for a bottle of wine, on top of 16 cents added in March. The budget says the mark-up structure was “refined to promote made-in-Alberta products.”

Fuel

The locomotive fuel tax is jumping four cents effective Nov. 1.

The NDP didn’t touch taxes on what we pay at the pump, since the Progressive Conservatives’ increase of four cents in March. The PC government said at that time Alberta’s gas tax hadn’t been increased since 1991 and remains the lowest in the country.

READ MORE: Winners and losers of the 2015 Alberta NDP budget

Insurance premiums

There will be a one per cent increase to the insurance premiums tax, which takes effect April 1, 2016. The NDP noted it was also proposed in March.

The increase will mean a three per cent tax on premiums for life, accident and sickness insurance; and a four per cent tax on premiums for other insurance. The government estimates these increases will generate an estimated $158 million in revenue in 2016‑17.

READ MORE: Calgary cancer centre, Edmonton hospital funding still falls short

Tax breaks for the poor

A new Alberta Child Benefit and changes to the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit mean families with incomes of $0 to $41,220 a year will be eligible for supplements for each child, to a maximum of $2,750 per year starting July 1, 2016. This is slightly different than the PC’s proposal, which set a minimum income requirement to be eligible for the tax credit. The NDP says the ACB will help support 235,000 children and their families.

The NDP government previously reversed a number of other fees introduced by the PCs in March, including a health levy that applied to people making more than $50,000 a year and fee increases for land titles, motor vehicles, vital statistics, and public land rent for dispositions. The NDP also previously announced it would freeze post-secondary tuition this year and for two more years beyond.

READ MORE: Calgary, Edmonton ring roads to see $2.9B over 5 years, says Alberta budget

Watch below: ‘It was challenging’: Finance Minister Joe Ceci on putting together Alberta budget 2015

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify the fuel tax increase is for locomotive fuel.

©2015

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Meet the millennial entrepreneurs teaching seniors how to use tech

Technology has become such a pervasive part of our lives that many children now know how to navigate an iPad before their first birthday. But there is a large part of the population that has been left out when it comes to tech adoption – seniors.

And while some millennials may not have the patience to teach their grandparents about the Internet, or show them how to use a smartphone, one group of Toronto-area university students has turned it into a business.

ChangSha Night Net

Dubbed “The Gadget Guides,” co-founders Moe Elmaleh, Corey Freeman, and Ami Moyal have been busy travelling to retirement residences around the GTA to offer hands-on lessons, teaching seniors to use smartphones, tablets and computers.

The idea was inspired by Moyal’s grandparents, who relied on FaceTime to stay in contact while living in different countries.

“They were clinging to technology because they needed it – it was all they had,” said Moyal. “At that point I thought, why don’t all seniors do this.”

Turns out, demand is high for this type of program.

Over the past month they have expanded their client base from four retirement residences to over 15. But they have also found great success in private lessons, where they travel to seniors’ homes for one-on-one personally tailored lessons.

They now see about 40 to 50 clients on average per week.

“For the most part, they just want to see why everyone is on their phones all the time – why everyone is so involved with technology,” Moyal said. “I believe that the days of veering away from technology are gone – seniors want to learn about it and be involved with it.”

READ MORE: More seniors are online, but tech adoption remains slow for some

According to Freeman, each lesson is quite different – depending on the group, or person, and how comfortable they are with their device – but The Gadget Guides teachers cover everything from video chatting, to how to use apps like Google Earth.

“A couple of weeks ago we were teaching a class and we happened to stumble upon the Google Earth app on iPad. They were amazed to see that not only could you go back to a city to see an aerial view, but get right down to street view,” said Moyal.

“[One of the seniors] was almost in tears when he was able to see the house that he proposed to his late wife in. That was one of the highlights that I’ve had in a session.”

According to a 2014 study by U.S.-based Pew Research, seniors still lag behind the rest of the adult population when it comes to tech adoption.

Only 18 per cent of seniors surveyed said they would feel comfortable learning to use a smartphone or tablet on their own and 77 per cent of seniors said they would want someone to help teach them about the device.

And although some seniors may face physical or health limitations that change the way they interact with technology, Moyal said Gadget Guides has proven anyone is capable of being a tech expert.

“Before, I thought there was some sort of limitation – because our generation has grown up with all of this technology, but I firmly believe that anyone can pick up an iPad or a tablet and learn it. It’s all your mindset,” he said.

“That’s the number one thing this has taught me. That when you change your mindset and open your mind to anything, you are more than capable of doing it – regardless of age and your preconceived limitations.”

©2015

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Teal pumpkins to raise awareness about food allergies this Halloween

Halloween can be a tough time for children with food allergies and their families, but one organization in Canada is trying to make trick-or-treating safer and more inclusive this year.

Allergy Canada is encouraging Canadians to place a teal-coloured pumpkin in front of their home as part of the Teal Pumpkin Project to show they have non-food treats available for children with food allergies and other kids for whom candy is not an option.

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The project is an international initiative, but launched in the United States last year to raise awareness of food allergies and promote inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.

Beatrice Povolo with Food Allergy Canada says this is the first time teal pumpkins will show up on people’s porches in Canada.

“There are 2.5 million people in Canada who are affected by food allergies, more than 300,000 of them are children” says Povolo. “It is a growing public health issue that we don’t have a cure for and avoiding what you are allergic to is key.”

To raise awareness, people are asked to paint their pumpkin teal and provide non-food treats like stickers, glow sticks and playing cards.

Teal is the designated colour for food allergy and anaphylaxis awareness.

Home owners can also display a teal pumpkin poster in their window to explain their intentions and pledge to participate online.

Allergy Canada suggests the following tips for parents to keep their home “allergy-safe” this Halloween:

Make sure an adult is with younger children at all timesRemind children of the no-eating rule while they are out trick-or-treatingServe a hearty dinner to lessen the temptation of snacking while outHave kids carry their auto-injector (EpiPen® or Allerject™) with them and wear MedicAlert® identificationGet your kids to wash their hands as soon as they get homeCheck all treats at homeHave the kids read all ingredient labels, with adult supervision, to check for their allergensRemember- no label, no candy!Sort the treats into three piles- keep, give away (your work, local food bank, seniors homes) or throw out

Tips for the community:

Ask when kids come to the door: “Does anyone have a food allergy?”Be prepared – have food packages/labels nearby, so you can check ingredients if askedThink outside the candy box – have non-candy items, such as stickers and pencils, in case your treats are not suitable for kids with certain allergies

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