Monthly Archives: November 2018

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World AIDS Day put spotlight on high Sask. HIV rates

For the past ten years, rates of HIV diagnosis in Saskatchewan have been consistently higher than the national average in Canada.

Saskatchewan compared to Canada in HIV diagnosis rates.

Saskatchewan Ministry of Health

Since 2009, rates trending were trending down but last year saw a dramatic spike. According to Saskatchewan’s deputy chief medical health officer, Dr. Denise Werker, the spike is due in part to the use of needles.

“In Saskatchewan, intravenous drug use is a very important driver of transmission… [it’s] one of the most efficient ways of transmitting HIV,” Werker said.

ChangSha Night Net


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

  • Saskatchewan physicians call for state of emergency over HIV epidemic

    READ MORE: Justin Trudeau hoists World AIDS Day flag on Parliament Hill

    Of the 160 new HIV cases last year, 129 people identified as aboriginal.

    Jann Ticknor with the Saskatchewan Indigenous Strategy on HIV and AIDS said the stark contrast can be linked to a number of complexities like residential schools or injection drug use.

    “The most common piece that people who inject drugs share is they were abused sexually as children and so when we start to put pieces together about why people inject drugs…  we start to understand HIV might look like here,” Ticknor said.

    “People call it an epidemic, people call it a pandemic, people call it a state of emergency. I call it time to act.”

    According to the province, testing for HIV in Saskatchewan has increased —; an average of six per cent —; since 2006.

    Now, being diagnosed with HIV is no longer considered a death sentence.

    “It’s easier to manage living with HIV than it is to manage with diabetes. Our message is know your status, get tested,” Ticknor said.

    Dr. Werker said there is treatment for HIV that can help a person who is infected lead a near normal life with a normal life expectancy.

    “For the last couple of years we’ve been spending more efforts and expanding outreach and testing in these rural and remote communities,” Werker said.

    In October, the Ministry of Health joined forced with about 180 partners, including indigenous leaders, clinicians, and health regions, to implement a multi-year plan to address HIV.

    Flash Mob

    A group of grandmothers also hoped to bring awareness to the prevalance of HIV and AIDS by holding a World AIDS Day flash mob.

    The Grandmothers 4 Grandmothers group danced to The Eurythmics’ “Sisters are Doing it for Themselves” at the University of Regina’s Riddell Centre.

    The flash mob was playful way to draw attention a serious problem.

    “Just remind people that AIDS is very prevalent. There are hundreds of thousands of people on the continent who have the disease, who are dying of the disease… this is an awareness event.”

    Follow @ChristaDao

Alberta Art Gallery’s upcoming exhibit buoyed by record-breaking Canadian art sale

The Art Gallery of Alberta says the record-breaking sale of a Canadian painting last month is building quite a buzz around Canadian art and history just as the gallery gets set to unveil a new exhibit featuring some of the country’s most celebrated landscape artists.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Art Gallery of Alberta wants free admission for guests

  • Art Gallery of Alberta exploring all options to make up for revenue shortfall

  • Bleak financial picture paints uncertain future for Art Gallery of Alberta

    “It’s one of the exhibitions we’re putting on to celebrate the sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary of confederation,” Catherine Crowston, executive director of the AGA, said Thursday. “It’s really a celebration of Canada through the seasons and across the country.”

    The coming exhibit, set to open to the public on Saturday, is buoyed by the fact it will feature a painting by Lawren Harris – “Athabasca Valley, Jasper Park.” That’s because the art world is abuzz with the Nov. 23 sale of Harris’ “Mountain Forms” piece, which broke a new barrier for the most expensive Canadian artwork ever sold when it was snapped up for a cool $9.5 million, $11.2 million when you factor in the purchaser had to pay an 18 per cent buyer’s premium, an auction house fee.

    READ MORE: Lawren Harris painting ‘Mountain Forms’ smashes Canadian art record at auction

    Watch below: The Lawren Harris painting “Mountain Forms” set a new Canadian record for most expensive art piece when it was sold at an auction in Toronto on Nov. 23, 2016.

    “When something like that happens… I think people stop and look and maybe think more about, ‘Look at these paintings and how can they be of such value and what were the artists thinking about when the created them?’” Crowston said.

    “It actually makes people stop and think Canadian art has value.”

    The Ontario-born Harris, who passed away in 1970, was part of the venerated Group of Seven, an iconic group of Canadian landscape painters known for their prolific artwork in the 1920s and early part of the 1930s. According to Crowston, the work done by Harris and the Group of Seven represents more than just beautiful artwork but also helped to define the story of Canada.

    READ MORE: Rare Lawren Harris oil sketch sets record at auction in Toronto

    “Artists like Lawren Harris, the Group of Seven and many of the artists in this exhibition, help us really to form what our idea of Canada really is,” she said. “You get kind of a breadth of the different types of landscapes across Canada.”

    Crowston points out that the Group of Seven, and Harris in particular, was captivated by Alberta’s mountains which feature heavily in the AGA’s upcoming exhibition.

    While it remains to be seen whether Harris’ record-breaking sale is an anomaly or the beginning of a curiosity for all things Canadian in the art collection world, Crowston says she hopes it serves as a catalyst for the country’s creative class to build a wider audience for its work.

    READ MORE: 3 Lawren Harris paintings fetch over $3 million at auction in Vancouver

    “Wonderful Canadian artists like Lawren Harris are breaking into the U.S. market and hopefully that’s something where we might build bridges with U.S. museums and have Canadian art spread around the world.”

    -with files from Fletcher Kent.

Calgary couple’s car slapped with stolen licence plate while they slept

Calgary police say vehicle licence thefts are big business, with an average of 7,000 stolen licence plates a year.

Last month, Alyssa Julie and her boyfriend noticed the plate on their car was loose. Then, they noticed it wasn’t their licence number.

READ MORE: Calgary drug trade behind rise in licence plate thefts

It turns out their legal plate had been replaced with a stolen one.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Police cracking down on obscured licence plates

  • Alberta licence plates won’t be redesigned: Premier Prentice

    “I never check my licence plate when I go out to the car,” Julie said. “He only checked it because he was putting something in the trunk and just noticed it was rattling.”

    Calgary Police Det. David Bailey works with the Auto Theft Unit and says thieves use legal plates on stolen vehicles or sell the licence for drugs or money.

    “A vehicle is a commodity. The actual theft of a licence plate is a crime itself and then a lot of them are then used in further offences.”

    There are products you can buy to secure your licence plate, like tamper-proof screws, which need a special tool to remove them. Another option is to attach a frame over the licence to make it hard for thieves to remove it.

    “The more screws the better,” said Jody Blood with Auto Value Parts in northeast Calgary. “Licence plates do require four screws, so if you could put in all four, it would take more time for thieves to take them off.”

    Julie and her boyfriend bought the anti-theft screws.

    READ MORE: Calgary woman’s stolen vehicle quickly recovered thanks to viral Facebook post

    Police say to avoid being a target, park in a well lit area, park so your plate is always visible and walk around your car before you get in to check it.

Nestle promises products with 40% less sugar are just as tasty

Nestle, the world’s largest packaged food group, said it had devised a new technology that has the potential to reduce sugar in some of its confectionery products by up to 40 percent without affecting the taste.

The maker of KitKat and Aero bars said its researchers have found a way using only natural ingredients to change the structure of sugar particles. By hollowing out the crystals, Nestle said each particle dissolves more quickly on the tongue, so less sugar can be used in chocolate.

ChangSha Night Net

READ MORE: How much sugar should you be eating? How to follow WHO guidelines

“Our scientists have discovered a completely new way to use a traditional, natural ingredient,” the company’s chief technology officer, Stefan Catsicas, said in a statement late on Wednesday.

The announcement comes as a global obesity epidemic ramps up pressure on processed food makers to make their products healthier. Nestle and its peers have all been working to reduce sugar, fat and salt, as consumers increasingly opt for fresher, healthier options.

Nestle said it was patenting its findings and would begin to use the faster-dissolving sugar across a range of its confectionery products from 2018.

Nestle is not the first company to experiment with designer molecules.

READ MORE: No M&M’s in McFlurries and Blizzards? Mars may be removing its candies from fast food desserts

PepsiCo in 2010 piloted a designer salt molecule that it said would allow it to use less sodium without affecting the taste of its snacks, which include Walkers crisps and Cheetos.

The World Health Organization updated its sugar recommendations in 2014: sugar intake should be just five per cent of your total calories, half of what the global health agency had recommended years ago.

For an average woman who eats about 2,000 calories a day, that’s roughly 25 grams of sugar – less than half of a can of pop, about two portions of yogurt or an entire Caramilk bar.

*with files from Carmen Chai

‘No’ to safe injection site on Leon: Kelowna Chamber of Commerce

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is standing in solidarity with the Downtown Kelowna Association in opposing a supervised consumption site on Leon Avenue.

Interior Health identified a building owned by the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society as a possible location for a safe injection site on Nov. 24.

WATCH:  Safe drug injection site identified and mobile unit proposed in Kelowna

ChangSha Night Net

Shortly after the announcement, the Kelowna business association sent out a press release announcing its opposition to the proposal.

WATCH:  Kelowna business association opposes proposed safe injection facility location

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce represents almost 1,400 members throughout the greater Kelowna area.

“We have heard loud and clear from our members located downtown that the number of individuals congregating, damaging property and driving off customers is already intolerable. We do not believe that the addition of the safe consumption site will improve public safety or promote a healthy business environment on Leon Avenue,” Chamber president Tom Dyas said in a press release.

The release goes on to say:

It has been the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and DKA’s priority for years to make the Leon area safer for our members and the public, and to revitalize that area for development. The DKA is seriously concerned that a supervised consumption site at that location will undermine public safety in the Leon area and will present a roadblock to revitalization. We think that they are right.

Interior Health is still determining if it will submit an application to the government asking permission for a supervised consumption site.

It is still in the consultation phase, and businesses and individuals are being encouraged to fill out an online survey on the Interior Health website.

Surveys must be completed by Dec. 15.

Montreal pit bull ban: Quebec Court of Appeal reinstates bylaw

Montreal’s controversial breed-specific legislation was overturned in Quebec’s Court of Appeal Thursday.

It had been previously suspended by the Superior Court on Oct. 3.

READ MORE: Montreal seeks right to appeal ruling that suspended pit bull-related measures

ChangSha Night Net


  • Montreal seeks right to appeal ruling that suspended pit bull-related measures

  • No charges for Montreal pit bull owner involved in fatal attack

  • Montreal pit bull ban: Quebec judge suspends controversial bylaw

    “Though the fight is not over, we are extremely disappointed by [the] decision and particularly preoccupied by not being able to continue finding adoptive homes in Montreal for all of our healthy and behaviourally sound dogs, regardless of their physical appearance,” said SPCA spokesperson Alanna Devine.

    “The Montreal SPCA has, at the core of its mission, the protection of all animals, regardless of species or breed.”

    The controversial legislation was introduced by the City of Montreal on Sept. 27.

    READ MORE: No charges for Montreal pit bull owner involved in fatal attack

    The lifting of the suspension order means many of the bylaw’s provisions targeting pit bull-type dogs will come into force, including the muzzling of certain dogs.

    The City of Montreal cannot issue euthanasia orders based on breed or physical appearance, prohibit someone from reclaiming their lost dog based on breed or physical appearance and must allow all dogs to continue to be adopted to families residing outside of Montreal.

    READ MORE: Montreal pit bull ban: Quebec judge suspends controversial bylaw

    In their decision, the three judges of the Court of Appeal said they would limit the extent of the bylaw until a Superior Court hearing next year.

Around 10,000 toys collected during the annual Toy Drive Live

The tenth annual toy drive was once again a huge success as an estimated 10,000 toys were collected for needy families in the GTA along with $8,000 in financial donations.

“The need to donate toys to children so that they can have the Christmas they deserve is growing every year,” said Toronto Fire Services Capt. Rick Berenz.

Large crowds came out to Toy Drive Live at CF Shops at Don Mills

Global News

For the tenth year in a row, Global News partnered with Toronto Fire Services to help collect toys for deserving families across the GTA.

“We’ve got around 70 off-duty firefighters here. You can tell by the smiles on their faces they absolutely love it,” said Berenz.

Susan Hay with firefighters at Toy Drive Live

Global News

Global News anchors Alan Carter and Farah Nasser got into the spirit and anchored the nightly newscast live on location Thursday evening amid hundreds of people who came down to celebrate the season of giving.

Donated gifts began arriving even before the event began at 5:00 p.m. By the end of the night there were bags of toys piled around the Christmas trees.

Bags of toys donated by the public at Toy Drive Live

Global News

There was also plenty of entertainment to keep the crowd energized.

This year featured a full range of Corus Entertainment personalities, including favourites from YTV like Carlos from “The Zone”.

AM640 and 102.1 The Edge also joined forced with Global News to celebrate the season by offering activities for the public.

And of course the night would not be complete without a visit from Santa himself. He joined ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey to spread holiday cheer to the hundreds that gathered at CF Shops at Don Mills for the annual tradition.

ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey with Santa Claus at Toy Drive Live

Global News

For those who couldn’t make it, donations will be accepted at any local Toronto fire station until Christmas, and monetary donations will be accepted throughout January at CanadaHelps长沙夜网.

ChangSha Night Net

Canada looking for ‘positive’ role with US over Russia ‘challenge’

OTTAWA – Canada wants to work with the United States to face the “challenge” posed by Russia, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said Thursday.

Dion steered clear of weighing in directly on comments Donald Trump made during the U.S. election campaign in which he praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But the minister said Canada and the U.S. have a shared interest in dealing with Russia’s incursion into Ukraine.

ChangSha Night Net

“We want to have a very positive and constructive role to play in our relationship with the United States bilaterally and also what we can do together in the world, including facing the challenge (of) Russia,” Dion said in an interview.

READ MORE: Putin hopes to strengthen US-Russia ties with Trump as president

Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula in 2014 and its backing of separatist rebels in the country’s east have prompted NATO to bolster its military footprint in eastern Europe.

“The NATO policy is deterrence and dialogue. Canada was alone to do deterrence without dialogue and we are correcting that,” said Dion.

The Conservative opposition has criticized Dion and the Liberals for re-engaging with Russia, accusing it of “cosying up” to the “Putin regime.” Former prime minister Stephen Harper avoided direct contact with Putin at international events during most of his last two years in office, as his government downgraded diplomatic contact.

Dion said after the U.S. election that Canada would maintain sanctions on Russia. Last week, his spokesman Joseph Pickerill told that Canada’s diplomatic re-engagement with Russia did not mean “business as usual.”

“The duration of our sanctions are clearly linked to Russia’s complete implementation of the Minsk agreements and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty,” he said.

“Conversely, Canada, together with its G7 partners, stands ready take further restrictive measures should Russia’s actions so require.”

READ MORE: With an eye towards Donald Trump, Stephane Dion says Russian sanctions must be upheld

On Thursday, European Council President Donald Tusk said it would be hard to preserve the West’s unity on Moscow after Trump is sworn in on Jan. 20.

Tusk told a Polish television station that in a recent conversation he had with the president-elect, Trump was more concerned with Britain’s decision to leave the European Union after this summer’s Brexit vote than he was about Russia.

Dion refused to be drawn into a discussion about Trump’s Russia policies.

He said the government’s “policy” is not to speculate on what the Trump administration might do once in power.

John Brennan, the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, was not as reluctant. He told the BBC earlier this week that Trump should be “wary” of Russia’s promises and criticized it for its role in helping the Syrian government wage its costly civil war.

Peter Kent, the Conservative foreign affairs critic, said it is too early to say whether Trump will temper his campaign rhetoric on Russia.

“We hope that among the foreign policy experts he engages in his administration there will be cautionary voices urging great care in dealings with Russia,” Kent said.

READ MORE: Russia’s ambassador to Canada calls Donald Trump win ‘promising’

Kent said he is concerned with “the government’s muted voice regarding the defenceless civilians of Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria” and its desire to “get to the table with Russia on Arctic issues.”

Brennan also told the British broadcaster it would be “the height of folly” to tear up the 2015 Iran agreement, which restricts Iran’s ability to take part in certain nuclear activities in exchange for lifting sanctions.

Dion also said he wants to see the nuclear deal with Iran preserved, something Trump has said he wants to scrap.

“We think it’s a deal (that is) good for the world, and we support it,” Dion said.

Kent said given that Trump has already “modified” a series of campaign promises, it’s not clear the nuclear deal with Iran – which the Conservatives opposed in the last days of their government and in opposition – is in any jeopardy.

Pledge Day kicks off in Calgary, supporting grassroots children’s charities

At four years old, Cade Huitema has a difficult, yet inspiring story to tell.

“Around his first birthday he started to regress and he was later diagnosed with Krabbe Disease,” Cade’s mother Melissa Huitema said.

WATCH: Health FYI – Parents push for early screening for Krabbe Disease

ChangSha Night Net


    Health FYI: Krabbe Leukodystrophy

    Calgary Children’s Fund: Pledge Day at CHQR 770

    The rare genetic neurological disease impacts about one in 100,000 births. Most children die before their second birthday.

    But by three years old, Cade defied doctors’ expectations. His parents looked to preschool.

    “GRIT [Getting Ready for Inclusion Today] is an integrated inclusion program that provides services for children with special needs,” Annette Eckel said. She’s the fundraising coordinator for the program Cade is now part of.

    He visits weekly and his teacher spends time with him at home.

    “One day his teacher came and discovered that he was actually trying to communicate with us by moving his finger,” Huitema said.

    His teacher realized Cade could not only understand conversation, but was eager to communicate.

    “You can ask him a question and he knows exactly what’s going on. He will reply with kind of a yes, no gaze at this point. So he will look left for ‘no’ and right for ‘yes’,” Huitema said.

    GRIT is just one of the programs supported by Pledge Day, an annual radiothon hosted by News Talk 770.

    For over 40 years the event has raised money to help kids in need throughout the Calgary area.

    WATCH: Calgary Children’s Fund Pledge Day 2015 at CHQR 770 

    Last year over $300,000 was donated to the Calgary Children’s Foundation, which supports grassroots charities that can’t often host their own massive fundraisers.

    GRIT is one example.

    EvenStart is another. The preschool program is set up for children experiencing trauma, crisis, poverty and neglect in their early years. It provides education and therapy to about 200 Calgary kids in a classroom setting.

    “They have quite often speech and language delays and a lot of emotional and behavioral struggles,” educational support coordinator Lea Blust said.

    “This provides a sense of consistency, the ability to develop these really positive relationships with adults – to be cared for and nurtured, and at the same time to be challenged.”

    Pledge Day starts at 6 a.m. Friday and continues until 6:30 p.m.

    Donations can be made in person at Corus Centre on 17th Avenue all day Friday, or online.

Saskatchewan Roughrider Joe McKnight killed in Louisiana shooting

Joe McKnight, a Saskatchewan Roughrider running back as well as a former NFL player, was shot to death in an apparent road rage incident in Terrytown, Louisiana, on Thursday afternoon.

Police said the shooting took place at an intersection around 2:45 p.m. ET, after an argument.

ChangSha Night Net

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s department confirmed to Global News that one person was in custody and being questioned in relation to the incident Thursday evening. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said that McKnight was standing outside his car when he was shot by 54-year-old Ronald Gasser.

Gasser stayed at the scene and relinquished his weapon to responding officers.

Police say officers attempted to revive McKnight with CPR, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities say Gasser was released from custody overnight.

Col. John Fortunato is a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. He tells news media outlets Gasser hasn’t been charged yet and the shooting is still under investigation.

The body of former NFL player Joe McKnight lies between the shooter’s vehicle at left and his Audi SUV at right as the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office investigates the scene in Terrytown, La., on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016.

Michael DeMocker /NOLA长沙桑拿 The Times-Picayune via AP

The 28-year-old, who was born in Louisiana, is the second CFL player to die in a shooting this year. Calgary Stampeder Mylan Hicks was killed in September during a shooting at a Calgary bar.

READ MORE: Mylan Hicks’ mother visits Stampeders, sits behind bench at Grey Cup

McKnight was signed by the Roughriders in 2016 after starting the season with the Edmonton Eskimos. Prior to playing in the CFL, McKnight was drafted by the New York Jets in 2010 out of the University of Southern California and also played for the Kansas City Chiefs.

McKnight is the second former NFL player this year to die in the New Orleans area as a result of a possible road-rage incident. Former New Orleans Saints player Will Smith was killed in April in a shooting that was sparked by a traffic altercation.

Terrytown is a suburb of New Orleans.

WATCH: Sheriff Newell Normand with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office discusses the shooting of Joe McKnight 

Riders president and CEO Craig Reynolds said he was saddened to hear of the loss.

“Losing a member of our Rider family this way is an unthinkable occurrence. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s family, teammates and coaches,” he said in a statement.

“On behalf of our Board of Governors and the entire CFL family, I’d like to convey my deepest sympathies to all those close to Joe McKnight, especially his loved ones and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ organization at this difficult time.” Jeffrey L. Orridge, CFL commissioner, said in a statement.

Reggie Bush, a running back for the Buffalo Bills and former teammate played with McKnight at the University of Southern California and tweeted, “RIP my brother Joe McKnight this one hurts bad.”

Other former teammates, friends and associates took to social media top express their shock and grief.

*With files from Peder Myhr, David Baxter and the Associated Press

*a previous version of this story said McKnight was drafted out of South Carolina. He was in fact drafted out of Southern California.