Edmonton plan to eliminate poverty in a generation raises questions

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EDMONTON –  It’s an ambitious goal, but city council has approved a plan that calls for poverty to be eliminated in a generation.

“The causes of poverty are complex,” Mayor Don Iveson said this week.

And the road map laid out by EndPovertyEdmonton, the task force that was launched last fall, hopes that 35 broad-based actions will help people most in need.

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    “In many aspects the work has started in the community,” said Cheryl Whiskeyjack, a member of the task force. “This will be galvanized and co-ordinate all the work that’s happening out there currently.”

    Among the series of actions include more chances for vulnerable people to take part in all city committees, an annual Day of Dignity to recognize and honour human rights, and a new Aboriginal culture and wellness centre.

    “The city does have a roll in bringing community together,”the mayor said.

    “They’re also not here to see how people live everyday,” social worker Brandie Hermary said.

    The poverty elimination vision comes with a cost of just over $27 million over five years starting in 2017. Community partners have stepped up to provide just over $11 million of that. City council will be approached this fall to provide nearly $16 million over five years.

    “A lot of what we’re going to be able to provide through the city is actually Family and Community Social Services (FCSS) money which is provincial social service prevention money that flows through the city,” the mayor said. Iveson added the request for funding the initiative should not cost property taxpayers “a whole lot, nor should it.”

    But is another layer of bureaucracy needed? Steps to deal with this social issue are being worked on on multiple fronts. The province has committed to increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018.  And the city is seven years into its 10-year plan to end homelessness.

    “I think it’s a lot easier said than done to actually eliminate poverty in a generation,” Hermary told Global News. Hermary offers a simple idea that could make a big difference.

    “Lower rents would be amazing,” she said.

    “The rich get richer, the poor get poorer,” said Ron Vermillion.

    Vermillion also has some skepticism. The Edmononton resident has lived in poverty for decades.

    “You can’t, you can’t eliminate poverty,” Vermillion said bluntly.

    While the overarching goal is to eliminate poverty in a generation, the task force has set forward an initial target of lifting 10,000 people out of poverty by 2021.

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Oil’s steady climb bolsters small business confidence in Alberta

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Oil prices briefly hit $50 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since October 2015. While the price slipped to just below that point, ending the trading day at $49.48, some small businesses in Calgary said the price bump is bumping up their bottom line.

The owner of Purple Perk Coffee said his business has been improving ever since the price of oil started its long, slow climb up from bottoming out around $27 a barrel in January.

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    Small business confidence gets stronger in February: CFIB

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    “Last year we saw a panic in everyone’s eyes,” Paul Overholt said. “When oil went above $40 a barrel you saw the confidence come back, today we see a twinkle in those same eyes.”

    The price above $50 only lasted for about half an hour on Thursday, before falling again. Still, it has been making steady progress over the last five months, and that’s been reflected in Alberta’s small business confidence.

    It gained six points in May to 34.6, according to the Business Barometer index published monthly by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

    But the Alberta results are far below the national average of 58.2, and still several points below the lowest mark from the 2008 recession.

    READ MORE: Rising oil prices push Canadian dollar to 9-month high

    “Only time will tell if that’s part of a longer-term trend, and certainly we have a long way to go before we can say there’s sunny days, sunny ways ahead,” said Richard Truscott, with the CFIB.

    Calgary energy executives said higher prices for six months to a year are what’s really needed, with an average of $60 a barrel for more oilsands projects to make a profit and stop cutbacks in investment and staff.

    “I think the reality is, in order to develop upstream we are going to need higher prices long term,” said Al Monaco, president of Enbridge. “But in the immediate short term here, I think it’s been very positive.”

    READ MORE: Loonie rises to highest level of 2016 as oil prices also climb

    Some analysts believe disruptions in oilsands production because of the Fort McMurray wildfire are partially responsible for the price climb.

    Several major oilsands companies expect to be back at full production by July 1.

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Kahnawake looking out for lone wolf near Diabo Road

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KAHNAWAKE —; Residents in Kahnawake are on the lookout for a wolf after resident Dennis Leborgne noticed what he thought could be paw prints embedded in the ground.

“It could be a lone wolf,” he said.

Leborgne sent Arnold Lazare, the director of public safety for the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, photos of the prints.

A public advisory was issued – in essence telling people in the area of Diabo Road not to wander outside if they don’t need to.

This paw print is larger than a pencil, and officials believe it could belong to a wolf.

Dennis Leborgne

Days later, another member of the community came out to say her bull mastiff was attacked by a large animal she believed to be a wolf.

According to Lazare, there aren’t any other large dogs in the area.

Arnold Lazare has a garage full of cages —; there are a lot of wild animals around Kahnawake.

Billy Shields/Global News

Nicki Fleming, a biologist with the Ecomuseum, explained there are grey wolf populations in Ontario and Quebec.

The closest one to Kahnawake, however, would be around Mont Tremblant.

Gargamel, the male wolf at the Ecomuseum.

Billy Shields/Global News

Lone wolves are known to leave their natural habitats to seek new turf to hunt and it’s possible that such a wolf wandered south all the way to Kahnawake, Fleming said.

However, many view the prospect of a wolf in Kahnawake as being remote.

“It could be that’s what [that paw print photo] is,” said Joe Delaronde, spokesperson for the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake.

But, he added, “it would be a first.”

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North Okanagan alternate school closures spark controversy

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SPALLUMCHEEN – A North Okanagan family is speaking out against the North Okanagan – Shuswap School District’s plan to close alternate school programs for kids with mental health and behavioral challenges.

An Armstrong mom fears shuttering the programs will compromise her son’s future but the school district argues the move will allow them to provide more services to a larger number of kids.

In the wake of a car accident in 2011, Devin Caza, 11, lives with a list of conditions including PTSD, OCD and ADHD.

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The family was living in Ontario at the time and his mother, Stephanie Hatherill, said he was having a lot of trouble in school there.

Hatherill said Devin was bullied and so anxious that he couldn’t learn.

“Things got really bad to the point where he did some things like setting fires and running away from the school constantly,” she said.

The family moved to B.C. for a fresh start and Devin was accepted into an alternate program in Armstrong at the end of last September.

“He was actually progressing and doing very well. Our family started becoming a family again. [Before] it was just so broken that we thought that we would never get our lives back and Devin wouldn’t have a future,” said Hatherill.

However, now four of the school district’s five alternate programs, in Armstrong and Salmon Arm, are slated to close. Students, including Devin, are expected to move back to their neighbourhood schools.

Instead, the district plans to provide mental health and behavioral programming in neighbourhood schools. The district has argued that will allow them to provide more support to a larger number of students.

The school district’s director of student learning, Morag Asquith, points out the alternate programs that are closing only serve 32 students each year.

“We have over 200 to 300 students that we were not servicing,” said Asquith. “Keeping our alternate programs in our system really did take away from the other students that required those services.”

The district also says that the restructuring will mean two full time positions will be added.

“For the first time in seven years we are able to say that we are adding supports for special needs students rather than taking away,” said Asquith.

However, Hatherill is hoping school officials will change their minds and keep the alternate programs open.

“I feel like without [the alternate program] Devin doesn’t have a future and these poor children don’t have a future. They need help,” Hatherill said.

Right now, three alternate programs are set to close by September and a fourth will shut its doors part way through the next school year.

A fifth alternate program for older students in Salmon Arm will remain open.

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Environmentalists concerned with Wall’s rhetoric on climate change

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REGINA – More than 150 people met in Saskatoon Wednesday night to discuss the province’s environmental policies, all while a petition criticizing Wall’s rhetoric on climate change circulates online.

A line in Wall’s throne speech rubbed the Climate Justice Saskatoon group the wrong way. The source of the discontent stems mostly from what the premier says refers to the controversial Leap Manifesto.

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The speech, read by the lieutenant-governor on May 17, did not mince words against Leap supporters.

“There are some in this country who, given the opportunity, would shut down major parts of Saskatchewan’s economy and put thousands of hard working Saskatchewan people out of work, all in the name of some misguided dogma with no basis in reality.” – throne speech

Wall has passionately opposed the document, which outlines how to best transition to renewable energy.

READ MORE: What is the Leap Manifesto? Talk of the NDP convention explained

Justin Fisher with Climate Justice Saskatoon believes that opposition is anti-environment in nature.

“Saying that the Leap Manifesto is not based in reality kind of amounts to the same thing. It’s interesting to talk about specific policy recommendations but it’s a document that’s based on the best climate science available,” he explained.

An online petition says Wall’s remarks in the throne speech “looked very much like denial of the science of climate change.”

However, the premier says the province is doing its part, focusing its efforts on carbon capture technology.

READ MORE: Carbon capture essential for action on climate change: Wall

“You bet it should be about carbon capture and storage. [It] doesn’t matter if I believe in it or not. The United Nations and the International Energy Agency believe that this is essential to the world dealing with climate change issues.”

Wall also pointed to his promise of 50% renewables by 2030 to be achieved through flare gas, wind and solar projects.

While the premier staunchly defends his position on climate change efforts, the Climate Justice group remains unconvinced.

“If he believes climate change is a misguided dogma then that’s pretty unacceptable in this day and age.”

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More than 4,000 migrants rescued in single day

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ROME — More than 4,000 would-be refugees were rescued at sea Thursday in one of the busiest days of the Mediterranean migrant crisis, and at least 20 died trying to reach Europe as Libyan-based smugglers took advantage of calmer seas to send desperate migrants north.

The death toll was likely to grow far higher, however, as the Libyan coast guard also reported two overturned boats between the coastal cities of Sabratha and Zwara. Only four bodies were found, raising fears that the rest of those on board had perished.

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READ MORE: Dramatic images capture the moment a boat carrying hundreds of migrants sank, killing 5

Overall, the Italian coast guard said it had coordinated 22 separate rescue operations Thursday that saved more than 4,000 lives.

“That probably is a record,” said coast guard spokesman Cmdr. Cosimo Nicastro, noting that previous highs have been in the range of 5,000 to 6,000 over two days.

One 5-year-old boy got special treatment: He was airlifted from his rescue vessel to the island of Lampedusa, suffering from hypothermia, Nicastro said.

At least one smugglers’ boat sank off Libya’s coast, and 20 bodies were spotted floating in the sea, said Navy Lt. Rino Gentile, a spokesman for the EU’s Mediterranean mission. Photos tweeted by the mission showed a bright blue dinghy submerged under the weight of migrants waving their arms in hope of rescue as an EU aircraft flew overhead.

None had a life jacket.

WATCH: Italian coast guard captures over-crowded migrant boat capsizing in the Mediterranean

Two Italian coast guard ships and the Spanish frigate Reina Sofia responded to the scene. Nicastro said 96 people were rescued.

Barbara Molinario, spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency in Italy, said favorable weather conditions in May to October often encourage migrant crossings. She said prior to the recent rescues, some 40,000 people had been rescued so far this year, compared to 47,500 over the same period in 2015.

Among those coming ashore Thursday in Sicily were the survivors of a dramatic capsizing a day earlier off Libya’s coast. Footage provided by the Italian navy showed the steel-hulled smuggler ship rocked under the weight of its passengers and finally flipped, sending migrants into the water or clambering up the side.

The Italian navy vessel Bettica brought the survivors and five bodies ashore in Porto Empedocle, Sicily. Red Cross workers took at least one migrant away in a stretcher, while rescue teams in white hazmat suits carried children down the plank to shore.

READ MORE: Smuggling networks netted nearly $6 billion in 2015 getting migrants into Europe

In other rescues, a Libyan navy spokesman said a total of 766 migrants were rescued by the Libyan coast guard on Thursday.

Col. Ayoub Gassim said they were found in two groups: one of 550 near the western coastal city of Sabratha and the second of 216 off Zwara.

He said two other capsized boats were found empty in waters between the two cities and only four bodies were retrieved, with the rest of those aboard feared dead. He said he had no other details, including how many migrants had been aboard the boats.

Before this week’s deaths, the International Organization for Migration said only 13 people had drowned in the month of May, compared with 95 last May and 330 in May 2014. It said the figures “indicate that migrant fatalities may at last be declining” thanks to beefed-up coast guard monitoring along the North African coast.

However, improved weather conditions appear to have led to an increase in the number of migrants risking the crossing.

WATCH: European Union to control influx of migrants

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Funeral for pregnant woman fatally shot in Toronto to be held Friday, baby stable

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A funeral will take place Friday for a 35-year-old Toronto woman fatally shot in the city’s west end while 24 weeks’ pregnant with a baby boy.

The family of Candice “Rochelle” Bobb, who was gunned down while sitting in the back seat of a vehicle at around 11:00 p.m. May 15 in the Garland Boulevard and Jamestown Crescent area in Rexdale, said the visitation and funeral would take place Thursday and Friday in Brampton.

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Family members are requesting privacy at this time out of respect for Bobb’s two other young sons, a 16-year-old and 12-year-old.

READ MORE: ‘Public outrage will not be enough’: Toronto police chief pleads amid spike in gun violence

Bobb was with three other passengers in the vehicle who were unharmed when the shooting took place and police said she was not the intended target.

Bobb was rushed to a nearby hospital but attempts to revive her were unsuccessful and she later died of her injuries, while her son was delivered via an emergency C-section.

The family provided an update on the child’s condition and said he continues to gain weight but remains in serious but stable condition.

WATCH: Shooting death of pregnant woman shines spotlight on increase in gun violence

Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said May 17 that the shooting of Bobb “shocked the city” and that it reminded residents of the “threats we face” amid a recent spike in gun violence.

Saunders added that “public outrage will not be enough” and called for more cooperation from the public as the city has seen the number of homicides rise to 30 so far this year, compared to 15 by this time in 2015, 20 in 2014 and 22 in 2013.

READ MORE: Baby in stable condition after pregnant woman shot dead in Toronto

Toronto Mayor John Tory echoed the call for public assistance, condemning the deadly shooting as a “travesty” and saying no child should enter the world without a mother.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7400, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 老域名购买按摩论坛老域名购买222tips老域名购买, or by texting TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).

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A baby is transported to a trauma centre after its pregnant mother was shot and killed in Rexdale on May 15, 2016.

Global News

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Proposed cell phone tower angers River Heights residents

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WINNIPEG —; Residents in River Heights are seeing red at the thought of having a new cell phone tower feet away from some property lines.

MTS is proposing to erect a tower at 413 Niagara Street on a property in the residential neighbourhood that is already occupied by a relay station.

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    “The structure is designed to really seamlessly blend into the neighbourhood aesthetic,” said company spokesperson Jeremy Sawatzky. “It’s 18 metres. It’s a thin pole, essentially, that is shrouded in what will be a brick chimney.”

    RELATED: BCE to buy Manitoba Telecom Services in $3.9B deal

    But residents in the area aren’t happy with the proposal.

    “As a person living in River Heights I am concerned,” said Rachel Larkins.

    The tower will be three times the height of the nearest building and roughly 15 feet away from the closest home.

    “It’s very close. We sit on our deck and we’ll see this structure,” she said. “It’s going to be an eye sore. As a property owner in River Heights our property value is going to go down.”

    The company is required to notify all homeowners whose properties fall within a specific radius of the proposed project. In this case, that was 19. But residents in the area believe the company should have notified everyone in the community.

    RELATED: Cellphone plan prices in Manitoba: Bell versus MTS

    While many residents agreed cell phone service in the area can be spotty, they are upset MTS has chosen this specific location right in the middle of a residential neighbourhood.

    “In no way are we opposed to better cell service in our area,” said Sherry Torchinsky. “But there has to be a better location then right outside our windows.”

    While Torchinsky agrees it is not aesthetically the best spot for the tower, what’s more upsetting for her is the fact the property is deemed residential and MTS doesn’t seem to have to abide by the same by-laws as homeowners in the area.

    “There are zoning restrictions. We are putting a new air conditioner in and (there are restrictions on) how close it can be to our neighbour’s property,” she said. “I’m not sure why they can whatever they want. We can’t put a deck in our backyard that is more than two feet above ground.”

    But cell phone towers fall under federal regulations jurisdictions.

    A spokesperson for MTS could not address those specific concerns but told Global News it is still in the consultation process.

    “We are still in the process of consulting with the public. We want to hear feedback and continue listening to them,” said Sawatzky.

    Global News has obtained a letter that was sent to some residents in the area from a strategy group on behalf of MTS.

    It outlines that the company wants to build an 18 metre shrouded antenna on site “to enhance capacity and coverage of the date and voice cellular networks around the area of River Heights.”

    Current area in River where cell tower is proposed to be built.

    MTS

    A look of what the cell tower would look like in the area.

    MTS

    Design of the cell phone tower feet away from some property lines in River Heights.

    MTS

    Area affected.

    MTS

    The residents plan to protest against the proposal at an MTS open house on June 1 at the Corydon Community Centre.

    Homeowners said they plan to present a petition from those who live in the area and are opposed to the cell tower.

    BELOW: Letter sent to residents in the area from a strategy group on behalf of MTS

    Letter to customer from MTS.

    MTS

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Wynne praises Notley in Edmonton, says climate plan gives ‘social licence’

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EDMONTON – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has met with Premier Rachel Notley in Edmonton and is praising Notley’s climate change plan.

Wynne says Notley’s blueprint to reduce Alberta’s carbon footprint gives the province more social licence to pitch for more energy infrastructure such as pipelines.

Wynne says Alberta’s actions also benefit the rest of the country as it wrestles with issues surrounding environmentally responsible development.

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    Wynne made the comments in a joint news conference with Notley. The premiers also announced a plan to pursue joint initiatives in areas such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and ramping up renewable energy use.

    “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a challenge shared by all provinces and, by working together, we can advance clean technology, diversity our respective economies and create good jobs,” Notley said.

    Notley’s government is implementing a climate plan that includes a broad-based carbon tax, a cap on oilsands emissions and the phase out of coal-fired electricity.

    READ MORE: Alberta’s Notley, Ontario’s Wynne discuss Energy East pipeline

    Wynne said it’s easier for Ontario to support projects like the Energy East pipeline because of the work Alberta is doing on reducing its environmental impact.

    “It convinces me that this conversation which is a national conversation is a much easier one because of the work that Alberta is doing, absolutely.”

    Wynne and Notley met in Toronto in January to discuss issues, such as action on climate change, the Canadian Energy Strategy and the proposed Energy East pipeline.

    Following that meeting, the Ontario premier expressed that she sided with Alberta’s environmental and energy strategy.

    READ MORE: Justin Trudeau sides with Notley, Wynne on Energy East

    “We have to understand that there are environmental concerns, and you know the changes that Premier Notley’s government has made now make that conversation much easier,” Wynne said.

    With files from Slav Kornik, Global News

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Corey Feldman reveals disturbing Hollywood child sex abuse details

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Corey Feldman, star of such ’80s films as The Goonies and Stand By Me, often finds himself at the centre of controversy. As a good friend to late singer Michael Jackson and Corey Haim, Feldman has frequently been asked questions about whether or not he was ever sexually abused, and if it ever happened to him personally with Jackson. (For the record, he denies the Jackson charges vehemently, but has conceded before that he was sexually abused.)

Now, Feldman is once again fielding questions about child sexual abuse in Hollywood, this time in reference to fellow actor Elijah Wood’s thoughts on the subject. Wood said last week that Hollywood is in the midst of a child sex-abuse scandal that isn’t going to stop any time soon.

READ MORE: Corey Haim’s mother lashes out at Corey Feldman and his memoir

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Feldman, 44, warns of a “growing” danger of Hollywood predators on social media.

“This [Hollywood] is a place where adults have more direct and inappropriate connection with children than probably anywhere else in the world,” he said. “I’m not able to name names. People are frustrated, people are angry, they want to know how is this happening and they want answers and they turn to me and they say, ‘Why don’t you stand up and name names and stop hiding and being a coward?’ I would love to name names. I’d love to be the first to do it. But unfortunately California has a statute of limitations that prevents that from happening. Because if I were to go and mention anybody’s name, I would be the one that would be in legal problems, and I’m the one that would be sued.”

Feldman says the abusers in Tinseltown also throw parties and invite mostly kids and “a handful” of adult men.

Feldman’s late friend, Canadian actor Corey Haim (they even had their own show together, The Two Coreys), apparently had it far worse than Feldman. Haim, who died at 38 in 2013 after a decades-long drug addiction, was abused more frequently and more severely, according to Feldman.

“He had more direct abuse than I did,” Feldman said to THR. “With me, there were some molestations [sic] and it did come from several hands, so to speak, but with Corey, his was direct rape, whereas mine was not actual rape. And his also occurred when he was 11. My son is 11 now and I can’t even begin to fathom the idea of something like that happening to him. It would destroy his whole being.”

READ MORE: Corey Haim’s mom opens up about son’s snubs

Allegedly, Haim and Feldman were abused by the same network of child predators.

“I believe that Haim’s rapist was probably connected to something bigger and that is probably how he has remained protected for all these years,” Feldman said. “This person uses intimidation and threats as a way to keep people quiet. And all these men were all friends. Ask anybody in our group of kids at that time: They were passing us back and forth to each other.”

In what can only be described as terrifying and traumatizing, Feldman still occasionally runs into one of his alleged former abusers.

“We’ve run into each other many times but no, I’ve never confronted him,” he said.

Feldman has undergone extensive therapy over the years, and claims he’s much happier now.

To read Feldman’s full (and at times harrowing) interview, head on over to THR.

Follow @CJancelewicz
Corey Feldman Timeline | PrettyFamous

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