Monthly Archives: November 2018

You are browsing the site archives by month.

Alberta man has brand new house demolished after court finds he built it without proper permits

A brand new house in the village of Carmangay, Alta. was torn down in just hours Thursday morning, after a court order was issued to demolish the home.

The village claims the Carmangay man who built the house did so without the correct permits.

READ MORE: Readers react with acceptance, vitriol after town tears down Alberta man’s house

ChangSha Night Net


  • Halifax mansion tenant comes home to see rental property being demolished

  • Tennessee man allegedly bulldozes neighbour’s house after heated dispute boils over

  • Stunning 97-year-old West Vancouver character home may be demolished

    Kym Nichols, the mayor of Carmangay,  said a development permit was taken out, as was a building permit, but the building permit was for a garage, not a house.

    “He just figured he could build however he wanted, to build wherever he wanted to build,” Nichols said.

    The homeowner was then issued several stop work orders in addition to orders from bylaw officers and RCMP to cease construction.

    After the homeowner failed to comply, Nichols said she felt she was left with no other choice than to take the matter to court.

    “We went to court to get a court order to get him to stop building,” she said.

    “He continued to build and continued to ignore the court order.”

    Members of the community told Global News the man built the house himself.

    A new house in Carmangay is reduced to rubble after the town issued a court order to demolish the home.

    Christina Succi / Global News

    “He was hand-digging the basement at first, then I seen him slowly put the concrete up, the walls up, the roof go on,” village resident Jan Haake said.

    Neighbour Wyatt Dahl sympathizes with the property owner, but agrees with the town’s decision.

    “It’s a shame that his hard work and money went into this,” Dahl said. “But the law is there for a reason.”

    Nichols said the homeowner was given ultimatums to move the structure or dismantle it. The court order stated three separate deadlines were set to comply, none of which were met.

    “This was absolutely the last resort,” Nichols said. “None of us wanted to see it come to this.

    “We were hoping he would comply at some point.”

    Global News was unable to speak to the homeowner and he was not on the premises when the demolition began.

    Carmangay is about a 45 minute drive northwest of Lethbridge and about an hour and 45 minutes southeast of Calgary.

Toronto’s executive committee endorses road tolls, other new tax proposals

Members of Toronto’s executive committee have voted to ask the province for the power to toll local roads, such as the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) and Gardiner Expressway, and to potentially impose several new taxes.

The move comes after Mayor John Tory, who chairs the committee, announced his plans to support tolling the DVP and Gardiner during a luncheon speech at the Toronto Board of Trade on Nov. 24 – a departure from previous comments against imposing tolls.

ChangSha Night Net

The committee also voted to ask the province for authority to impose a hotel and short-term accommodation rental tax, an alcohol tax at LCBO stores and “clear authority” to require collection of taxes by other entities in 2017.

READ MORE: Toronto Mayor John Tory advocates for tolls on Gardiner, DVP

For the 2018 and future budgets, the committee asked for reforms to allow for graduated residential property tax rates, parking sales tax, municipal income tax and sharing the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) with other cities.

In addition to other possible taxation measures, councillors asked the budget committee to review several other initiatives to raise money in 2017, such as a dedicated property tax for capital projects and changes to the Municipal Land Transfer Tax.

“These are measures which do in fact represent what the city manager called today ‘a good start.’ And it’s a good start on the challenges facing our city,” Tory said Thursday, while reiterating his push for more money to fund transit and infrastructure.

The report outlining the potential new taxes had councillors speaking out on both sides of the issue.

Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti, who attended Thursday’s meeting with a pair of boxing gloves, said he is ready to oppose the proposed tax measures.

“I’m not going to budge on this and I will do what it takes to make sure the city of Toronto knows what’s going to hit them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Coun. Joe Cressy said the city needs a way to pay for investing in infrastructure.

“Torontonians cannot afford to continue having our transit fall further and further behind, or have our Toronto Community Housing fall further into a state of disrepair. If we’re going to build a strong city, we’re going to have to put our money where our mouth is and pay for it,” he said.

The recommendations approved by the executive committee on Thursday still need to be reviewed and voted on by City Council at its next meeting, which is scheduled for Dec. 13.

Mark McAllister contributed to this report

Ziferblat’s ‘coffee office’ model charges for time, not food

On a Monday afternoon, the narrow street outside the Ziferblat cafe is quiet; but inside, the 6,000-square-foot coffee shop is packed with dozens of customers.

The cafe first opened in Manchester, England in 2014, and now serves around 12,000 customers per month. Part of its recipe for success: all of the cafe’s food, drinks and 100 MB of wifi are free.

ChangSha Night Net

“When we first opened this, we were terrified,” recalls Ben Davies, the cafe’s marketing manager. “But I think this is something that isn’t currently provided.”

Here’s the catch: The cafe’s name, Ziferblat, is Russian for “clock face.”

Ziferblat’s customers only pay for the time they spend: six pence, or around 10 Canadian cents, per minute.

READ MORE: Addicted to coffee? Your DNA may be to blame, study suggests

They check-in and check-out, like a hotel. And during their stay, customers can eat and drink as much they like.

An array of fresh, locally-baked cakes, cookies and sandwiches are spread across a table buffet-style. There’s also tea, espresso and coffee machines, and customers are encouraged to help themselves.

“We have had some people who come in here with a spoon and eat two full chocolate fudge cakes. But generally they’re few and far between. And normally they don’t come back,” Davies laughs.

He says their average customer spends 83 minutes here. And most consume far less than you might expect.

“The fact that you have the free choice makes you not want to ‘take the mick,’ or take the entire jar of biscuits,” says customer Luke Halliwell, while sipping a latte and playing a board game with a friend.

“I just have a few (biscuits), because I’m here to relax and enjoy my time.”

Ziferblat’s real secret to success isn’t the customers who play cards or catch-up with friends; it’s the people who come here to work.

Web designer Mark Butler’s head is buried in his laptop. He comes here five days a week; He used to work from home, he says, but “you get cabin fever and you miss human contact.”

So he tried working in traditional cafes; “In a coffee shop you tend to get that vibe where the staff, after half an hour, are glaring at you, waiting for you to buy something else. Whereas it’s a lot more relaxed here. And the wifi is better.”

READ MORE: Caffeine doesn’t tamper with heartbeat, study suggests

Unlike some coffee shops, Ziferplat has no minimum spend. And once you’ve paid for five hours, the rest of the day is free.

In the United Kingdom, around 16 per cent of workers are self-employed. In Canada, freelancers represent around 10 per cent of the workforce. And the number continues to rise.

“You see a lot of people working freelance nowadays,” says Davies, who estimates that half their business comes from customers who use it as an office.

“We’re trying to solve that coffee shop office problem. And people do treat us like a co-working space.”

And that “coffee office” — or “coffice” — business is booming. The Ziferblat cafe is now opening branches throughout the U.K. And the business model is being adopted across Europe and North America, feeding the growing appetite from self-employed workers.

Australian students make $2 version of malaria drug price-hiked by Martin Shkreli

In September 2015 biotech executive Martin Shkreli became one of the most reviled men on the internet after purchasing the rights to an anti-malaria drug that treats malaria and hiking the price of the drug from US $13.50 to $750 a dose.

Now a group of teenagers from Sydney, Australia have added on to the outrage by recreating the life-saving drug in their school lab for about US $2 per pill.

ChangSha Night Net

Daraprim, a drug used to treat infections caused by parasites, saves millions of lives a year and is on the World Health Organisation’s list of essential medicines.

READ MORE: Martin Shkreli raffles off chance to punch him in the face

The grade 11 chemistry students at Sydney Grammar school worked on the project with the Open Source Malaria consortium, an organization with the goal of using publicaly available drugs and other medical approaches to cure the disease.

The student involved in the project, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the controversy surrounding medication was an initiative to make the experiment a successful one.

“The background to this made it seem more important,” said 17-year-old James Wood.

“Working on a real-world problem definitely made us more enthusiastic,” said another 17-year-old student, Austin Zhang.

READ MORE: Company behind 5,000% drug price hike being investigated by US Senate

The students made 3.87 grams of the active ingredient in Daraprim, which is normally worth about US $110,000.

However, because Touring Pharmaceuticals controls the sales and distribution of the drug, Shkreli’s former company would have to approve a trial comparing the drug with its patent to grant it a generic drug listing.

When Shkreli raised the price of Daraprim by more than 5,000 per cent the world reacted with outrage —; even former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton chimed in on the controversial move.

Shkreli then made the news for other non-flattering acts, including using profits from his business moves to purchase exclusive rights to Wu-Tang Clan album for US $2 million. Shkreli was also charged with fraud over a hedge fund he ran.

Shkreli has since responded to the attention the Australian students have been receiving by lashing out at the media for reporting a “dumb story.”

World AIDS Day: Saskatoon’s HIV rates more than twice the national average

In conjunction with World AIDS Day taking place on Dec. 1, the Saskatoon Health Region (SHR) released a report that reveals the city’s HIV infection rates and what is being done to decrease the numbers.

The Saskatoon Health Region’s updated ‘Better Health For All’ report shows the city’s 2015 HIV infection rates were more than twice the national average, breaking a five-year downward trend:

Saskatoon: 14.6 in 100,000 in 2015Canada: 5.8 in 100,000 in 2014 (latest national data available)

READ MORE: World AIDS Day put spotlight on high Sask. HIV rates

Deputy health officer Dr. Johnmark Opondo said there was a 55 per cent increase in reported cases this year.

“We had come down to about 31 cases a year but last year, we went up to 51 cases,” he said from the Saskatoon Health Region office.

The increase in reported cases is mainly due to people not using clean needles for injection drug use and unprotected sex:

Injection drug use (IDU) accounted for 65 per cent of transmission in 2015Heterosexual sex accounted for 16 per cent of HIV transmission in 2015Male sex with other males also accounted for 16 per cent of transmission in 2015

ChangSha Night Net


  • Prince Harry and Rihanna take HIV tests in Barbados for World AIDS Day

  • Smoking is now more likely to kill HIV patients than the virus itself

  • Saskatchewan Ministry of Health addresses HIV and AIDS in the province

    According to the SHR, the key to decreasing infection rates is to educate the public on the importance of regular testing and providing those in need with access to ongoing treatment.

    “You can imagine if we’re able to do this across a large number of individuals who are HIV-infected, we’re reducing the amount of HIV that’s circulating in the community,” Opondo said.

    “This combined effort in testing and treatment probably explains the downward trend in the Saskatoon Health Region.”

    Seven out of 10 HIV-positive individuals identify as First Nation or Métis in Saskatoon, with contaminated injection drug use as the number one cause of infection.

    “We look at the mental health of the people and what is happening to them. Why are they self-medicating and using drugs?” All Nations Hope Network CEO Margaret Poitras asked.

    “It’s all (part) of the trauma that’s come from the residential schools and from colonization.”

    READ MORE: South African HIV vaccine trial could be ‘final nail in the coffin’ for the disease

    She has been working to find the root causes for the high rates of HIV among indigenous people for 17 years.

    However, HIV rates are now decreasing. Only 35 cases of new infections have been reported in 2016 and the Saskatoon Health Region said it believes that is due to an increase in testing, education and long-term treatment.

B.C. woman kills baby before writing university exam and stuffing body in box

A mother who drowned her newborn son in a sink before leaving her home to write a university exam has avoided time behind bars, though a judge described her actions as “abhorrent.”

Courtney Saul, 19, was sentenced to two years’ probation in provincial court in Kamloops, B.C.

READ MORE: Woman charged in death of her newborn

ChangSha Night Net

Saul was a student at Thompson Rivers University when her baby, George Carlos, was born on Dec. 15, 2011.

Court heard Saul gave birth alone in the bathroom of a basement suite where she was living.

“She held the baby for some time, but she had an exam that day,” Crown lawyer Will Burrows said. “Because she had the exam, she didn’t know what to do. She finally decided she should drown the baby. She did that in the sink and then she went to her exam.”

Afterwards, Saul wrapped the baby’s body in a T-shirt and a shower curtain and placed it in an empty computer box. She put the box inside a backpack, which she placed in the trunk of her car.

Saul would later tell investigators she hoped to bury the baby in her hometown of Lillooet.

The body was discovered three weeks later, when she loaned her car to an acquaintance, who was involved in a collision.

Firefighters opened the trunk to cut power as a safety precaution. A police officer noticed a backpack in the trunk and opened it, revealing a computer box with an odd bulge. He opened the box and found the baby’s body.

Saul was later arrested. While in custody, police recorded a conversation she had with her mother.

“During her meeting with her mom, Ms. Saul admits she’d had the baby,” Burrows said. “She said she didn’t know she was pregnant until very late in the pregnancy.”

Saul confessed to police and was charged with infanticide. Court heard the charge was stayed a short time later and, in 2015, Saul was charged with second-degree murder.

In August, following a decision from the Supreme Court of Canada earlier this year, Saul’s charges were downgraded back to infanticide.

She told police the pregnancy was the result of a sexual assault. She said she’d passed out at a party and woke up without her clothes on.

“She believed someone had sexual intercourse with her while she was unconscious,” Burrows said.

Saul and her mother cried in court as the offence was detailed.

Defence lawyer Murray Armstrong noted the circumstances.

“This is certainly a tragedy in all senses of the word,” he said, adding Saul remains troubled by the events but is moving forward.

“Nothing is going to change what happened, but certainly now Ms. Saul is not a risk to anybody,” he said. “In terms of punishment, there’s no punishment greater than the guilt and remorse she feels.”

When asked by Judge Len Marchand whether she had anything to say, Saul, who has since moved back to Lillooet, managed six words before crying.

“I know I made a mistake,” she said.

Marchand noted Saul’s remorse, but also the seriousness of her offence.

“It is an abhorrent act and it was inflicted on a vulnerable and completely helpless person,” he said.

But Marchand said mitigating factors — including Saul’s lack of a criminal history and the circumstances of how she became pregnant — were powerful.

In addition to her two-year probation term, Saul was ordered to surrender a sample of her DNA to a national criminal database.

Alberta government setting up all-party committee to examine child’s death after being in kinship care

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story originally indicated Serenity died while in kinship care. However, on Oct. 6, 2017, Alberta’s Ministry of Children’s Services clarified that although it was through the kinship care program that she was put in the care of the man and woman now facing charges, they were later given permanent guardianship, meaning Serenity was no longer in kinship care. It was at some point after this development that Serenity died. 

ChangSha Night Net


  • Children in provincial care need better protection from online sexual exploitation: Alberta advocate

  • Alberta reports urge child welfare system changes after finding aboriginals account for 69%

  • Alberta’s child advocate calls for changes

    The Alberta government is setting up an all-party committee to explore the circumstances surrounding the death of four-year-old girl who was in government care.

    Human Services Minister Irfan Sabir says the panel will look for ways to prevent a recurrence of the fate that befell the young girl, named Serenity.

    “It’s a deeply concerning issue for everyone in this house,” Sabir told the legislature during question period Thursday.

    Sabir said he met and talked with Serenity’s grandmother earlier this week.

    Serenity’s case became public last month when Child and Youth Advocate Del Graff urged better safeguards in kinship placements after the malnourished, bruised, and severely underweight girl died in 2014.

    READ MORE: Alberta’s child advocate calls on province to do more to protect kids

    Subsequent media reports detailed medical records that were denied to Graff and revealed the girl’s body showed signs of physical and sexual abuse and that she had suffered a massive brain injury.

    Progressive Conservative Leader Ric McIver, who had been pushing for an all-party inquiry, said there is no more important purpose for governments than to take action to protect children in care.

    He said it’s an issue that crosses party lines and is one that defies easy solutions.

    “If it was easy to fix, it would’ve been fixed,” he said.

    “Maybe it’s time we all put our heads together, made a team effort out of it, and did something for the kids that are actually in our care.”

    Serenity died while under kinship care, which places children not in foster care but in the care of other family members.

    Premier Rachel Notley told the house last month that since the death changes have been made to the system, and more resources are available.

    READ MORE: Wildrose calls for emergency debate on ‘secrecy’ surrounding death of child in care

    Watch below: A rare emergency debate was called in the Alberta Legislature on Nov. 21, 2016. MLAs discussed how to protect children in the care of the government. Sarah Kraus has more and explains what sparked the debate.

    Graff’s report, issued Nov. 15, stated that the girl was born to First Nations parents and placed in kinship care on a central Alberta reserve after her birth father was found to be abusive to the birth mother. The birth mother was a drug abuser at the time.

    The main guardians underwent security checks, but not other adults in the home.

    Soon after, said Graff, there were reports that Serenity was not well, was undernourished, and had bruises.

    The birth mother asked that Serenity, and the two half-siblings with her, be moved out to foster care, but a caseworker could not substantiate her concerns and the case was closed.

    In September 2014, medical reports released not to Graff but leaked to the media last month said Serenity was taken to hospital in central Alberta with dilated pupils, severely underweight, hypothermic, and with multiple bruises, including around her pubic area.

    She had a massive brain injury, was put on life support and died soon after.

    Her guardians said she fell off a swing.

    A police investigation remains underway.

Blind kitten rescued in Regina

Oracle isn’t a typical kitten. She was born blind without any proper eyes.

The eleven-week-old cat was diagnosed with microphthalmia, which means her eyes are underdeveloped and not visual, Brie Hamblin, Regina Humane Society’s veterinary care director said.

Oracle was found outside in an industrial yard and brought to the Regina Humane Society a couple of weeks ago.

ChangSha Night Net

“Basically, she does have eyes, but they’re very, very tiny and for all intents and purposes, she’s blind,” Bill Thorn, Regina Humane Society’s director of marketing and public relations, said.

“When she came in, she was very fearful, and she would hiss at any movement, any sound, in a defensive way,” Thorn said.

He doesn’t know how Oracle ended up outside by herself, but he suspects somebody dropped her off.

“She was found by herself, that’s all we really do know. She may have been dropped there by somebody,” he said.

“It’s possible she was from a litter nearby, although typically if there was a mom with some kittens hiding in a shed she wouldn’t let the kitten wander off like that.”

Thorn said it was concerning that Oracle was found outside in the cold.

“The dangers from traffic, from people, from toxins and this time of year the cold. We get a lot cats in that have frozen ears, sometimes worse, sometimes deceased because they’ve literally frozen to death,” he said.

Oracle is now in a foster home with a staff member who has experience rehabilitating feral kittens.

“So far she’s responded quite well to her environment, starting to learn that the world isn’t as scary as it seems and starting to play a little bit more like a kitten,” Thorn said.

Oracle needs to have her tiny eyes removed, Brie Hamblin, Regina Humane Society’s veterinary care director, said.

“They’ll build up debris and be at risk of infection and whatnot for later in life, so we’re just waiting for her to get bigger so we can perform those procedure,” she said.

Blind animals usually have heightened senses such as hearing and touch, Hamblin said.

“In her case I imagine she hears very, very well,” she said.

“She will develop a blind map of her environment eventually in the future and be able to navigate around whatever home she goes to quite well.”

Hamblin said it’s common for animals to have one eye affected by micropthalmia but not both eyes.

“Animals usually do quite well without sight,” said Thorn. “We’ve seen them here at the shelter on a somewhat regular basis. They come in and they can’t see or there’s some sort of infection, but they do tend to be very resilient.”

The Regina Humane Society estimates it will cost almost $4,000 for Oracle’s surgery and care if there are no unforeseen problems. The Regina Humane Society is hoping donations to its faith fund will help cover Oracle’s costs.

Reserved seats being offered at Country Thunder Music Festival

Concertgoers hoping to score the best seats for the Country Thunder Music Festival no longer need to wait in the gopher run.

The country music festival, formerly known as the Craven Country Jamboree, is now offering reserved seats.

Festival-goers willing to pay up can skip lines that often start the night before.

The gopher run will still happen and 2,500 wristbands will be handed out, which is 500 less than last year, Kim Blevins, Country Thunder Music Festival’s general manager, said.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Same party different name: Craven Country Jamboree rebrands

  • Charges stayed against man, youth of lighting kitten on fire at Craven Jamboree

  • Craven Country Jamboree cleanup expected to be completed earlier than usual

    “So now we offer options for everyone,” Blevins said.

    “We offer standing room for those kids that like to party and dance. We have a reserved seating area for somebody if they want to have that seat for the weekend. We have an upgraded, more of a VIP experience and the platinum experience, and we still have that tradition of the gopher run.”

    Those that purchase the $600 platinum experience will have access to a special bar area, private washrooms and different food, Blevins said.

    Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Toby Keith and Dallas Smith are just some of the performers scheduled to take to the stage at next year’s festival.

    Tickets went on sale at noon on Thursday.

    Country Thunder Music Festival will be held in Craven, Sask. from July 13 to 16, 2017.

Saskatoon to get new French immersion program in its west side

The Greater Saskatoon Catholic School (GSCS) division plans to add an eighth French immersion program next school year to meet the demand of the city’s growing west side.

Division officials determined that St. Peter School in Dundonald would be the best location for the new program, since it’s located near a number of Saskatoon’s growing neighbourhoods.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Board tightens belt, approves budget

    READ MORE: Saskatoon school boards experience rapid student growth

    Currently there are only two schools that offer French immersion located in Saskatoon’s west side.

    “If you look at the growth of our city and you look at the west-sector growth with the four phases that are outlined … that will house around seventy-thousand people,” Darryl Bazylak, a GSCS education superintendent, said.

    “With that comes more families, more interest in different programming and French immersion is no different with that.”

    Enrolment at École St. Gerard, one of the two west side programs, has grown from 380 to 575 students in nine years according to the school’s principal Gisele Jean-Bundgaard.

    “It’s been steady throughout every single year,” Jean-Bundgaard said.

    “We have a lot of newcomer families, especially from the Philippines and from Vietnam, joining our St. Gerard family.”

    READ MORE: New Saskatoon joint-use schools on schedule to open next fall

    GSCS officials determined that extra capacity created by the new joint-use schools opening in 2017 will allow them to move students from École St. Gerard to St. Peter. So far 119 students have confirmed their plans to move to the new program, while 25 others are undecided.

    “[There was] getting to be a lot of modulars there, smaller playgrounds and smaller green space, so it was time and our community was saying that by their enrollments,” Bazylak said of École St. Gerard.

    Bazylak added that the division is sympathetic to the fact that change can be hard for some students. He said officials “can work on a transition plan between the two elementary schools.”

    “[Students] can still do some things together because their friends of five or six years will still be at École St. Gerard,” Bazylak said.