Archive for November, 2018

Nov 21 2018

Procession route lined with white ribbons ahead of Const. David Wynn’s regimental funeral

WATCH ABOVE: It started with eight white ribbons and has quickly transformed into something organizers never quite imagined. As Eric Szeto reports, the white ribbon campaign to honour Const. David Wynn has not only taken over St. Albert, it’s transcended provincial borders. 

EDMONTON — As people across the country prepare to say their final goodbyes to St. Albert RCMP Const. David Wynn, the procession route for his funeral was lined with hundreds of white ribbons on Sunday.

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  • Thousands pay respects to St. Albert RCMP Const. David Wynn at regimental funeral

  • ‘We’re saying our goodbyes today’: wife of St. Albert RCMP Const. Wynn

  • Five things to know about RCMP regimental funerals

  • St. Albert RCMP shooting highlights dangers faced by first responders

Organizers of the United in Light white ribbon campaign say the ribbons are a symbol of community support. The white ribbons have been hung all around St. Albert since last weekend’s shooting inside a local casino.

The white ribbon campaign was started by Debbie Raymond, who has lived in St. Albert since 1988. She said she simply couldn’t sit idle following the tragedy.

“This is an incredible community and I just felt, ‘Wow, this is a dark time. We need to do something,’” she said. “The white ribbons are significant to show everyone that we’re going to put some light back into our life here in St. Albert.”

Raymond knew she couldn’t do it alone, though, so she enlisted the help of a friend and quickly the pair was joined by hundreds of people offering to help. The campaign is now nation-wide.

“[There] are literally white ribbons from coast-to-coast now,” said Raymond.

“The RCMP offices and dispatches throughout the country are displaying white ribbons and bows. How many are in their communities? We just have no idea,” she explained. “Our best guess is between 15,000 and 16,000 bows and ribbons in our community alone.”

While the enormity of the campaign was Raymond’s vision when she set out six days ago, she says she’s incredibly overwhelmed by how wonderfully people have embraced it.

“St. Albert truly is a remarkable place. This is one of the most amazing communities to live in,” she said. “We’re resilient and you know what? This has been a very dark time and we will be okay. We are going to get through this.”

Wynn, 42, and Auxiliary Const. Derek Bond, 49, were investigating a report of a stolen vehicle inside the Apex Casino last Saturday when they were both shot by 34-year-old Shawn Rehn. Bond was released from hospital after being shot in the arm. Wynn never regained consciousness after being shot in the head; he passed away in hospital Wednesday morning.

READ MORE: Alberta RCMP officer involved in weekend shooting dies

Condolences have been pouring in from across the country since last weekend’s tragedy.

On Sunday night, the St. Albert Merchants hockey team will show its support for the fallen officer by donating all of the proceeds from ticket and 50/50 sales to a trust fund that’s been set up in Wynn’s memory. The players will also be wearing RCMP stickers on their helmets for the rest of the season to show their support.

The game starts at 8 p.m. Sunday at St. Albert’s Akinsdale Arena.

The St. Albert Alliance Church is opening its doors between 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday evening for a public visitation for Wynn. Family, friends and emergency personnel were given the chance to pay their respects earlier Sunday afternoon.

An RCMP regimental funeral will be held for Wynn at Servus Place in St. Albert on Monday afternoon. Thousands of people are expected to be in attendance, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Global News will be livestreaming the funeral.

Hundreds of white ribbons line the streets of St. Albert Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 – one day ahead of Const. David Wynn’s regimental funeral.

Eric Szeto, Global News

Hundreds of white ribbons line the streets of St. Albert Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 – one day ahead of Const. David Wynn’s regimental funeral.

Eric Szeto, Global News

Hundreds of white ribbons line the streets of St. Albert Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 – one day ahead of Const. David Wynn’s regimental funeral.

Eric Szeto, Global News

Hundreds of white ribbons line the streets of St. Albert Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 – one day ahead of Const. David Wynn’s regimental funeral.

Eric Szeto, Global News

A memorial remains outside the St. Albert RCMP detachment Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 – one day ahead of Const. David Wynn’s funeral.

Eric Szeto, Global News

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Nov 21 2018

B.C. politician Jenny Kwan to run for federal NDP seat in Vancouver East – BC

WATCH: MLA Jenny Kwan has announced she’s jumping into federal politics, seeking to succeed Libby Davies as the MP for Vancouver East. As Nadia Stewart reports, she becomes the second declared candidate in the NDP race.

VANCOUVER – A veteran member of British Columbia’s legislature is going to try to jump to federal politics.

Jenny Kwan says she’ll attempt to get the NDP nomination for the riding of Vancouver-East for this year’s federal election.

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The seat is coming open because high-profile New Democrat MP Libby Davies announced last month she will not run again.

Kwan announced her plans to seek the nomination in the riding of Vancouver East on Sunday, while surrounded by members of the diverse neighbourhood’s aboriginal and Chinese-Canadian communities.

“What we need is someone who is fearless in Ottawa to take on the Prime Minister,” she declared in her speech. “Some might say I am a fighter and I’m not afraid to take on Stephen Harper.”

The riding has long been an NDP stronghold and the race for the coveted nomination is shaping up to be a tight one.

Kwan will square off against another member of the B.C. New Democrats, Mable Elmore, who announced in December that she also intends to seek the nomination.

Scott McLean, SFU’s director of media and community relations, is also seeking the NDP’s nomination. However, most observers believe the race will be between the two NDP MLAs.

“It’s going to be a close race. I don’t think it’s a flip a coin thing, but I would not underestimate Mable Elmore,” says Global News legislative bureau chief Keith Baldrey.

“Nominations are not like general elections. It comes down to how many party members you can sign up and recruit in a short period of time.”

Vancouver East is among the poorest federal ridings in Canada. Its troubled Downtown Eastside area has seen high rates of missing and murdered aboriginal women, and Kwan made that issue a major focus of her announcement.

Her news conference, held at an aboriginal centre, opened with endorsements by several First Nations supporters. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said he believed becoming an MP was Kwan’s “destiny.”

“I believe that Jenny Kwan was born with purpose, and that purpose was to make this a better world. And I believe that her going to Ottawa as the MP for the Downtown Eastside is just simply part of her fulfilling her purpose,” he said.

When Kwan took the podium, she promised that if she made it to Ottawa, she would push for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has dismissed calls for such an inquiry.

“How many more indigenous women and girls have to go missing before we have a national inquiry?” asked Kwan. “If this were happening with any other community, would it be tolerated? Absolutely not.”

The politician’s long tenure in the legislature has not been without controversy. Last year, she wound up repaying $35,000 for European and Disneyland trips for her family that had been initially paid for by the Portland Hotel Society.

Her ex-husband, Dan Small, was a former executive of the society, which was publicly funded to provide social services to residents of the Downtown Eastside. Kwan told reporters on Sunday that the matter is a “deeply personal issue” that she has handled.

“What I heard from the people in the community and what they’ve said to me is that they want me to move forward and to seek the nomination,” she said. “Ultimately the people will see my record and the work that I’ve done and they’ll make their decisions.”

– With files from Global News

Nov 21 2018

#Steamyweek brings attention to local greasy spoons – Montreal

WATCH: We all love Poutine Week and who can forget Burger week? But it seems these are not enough for Montreal. A group has now come up with Steamy Week. Rachel Lau has more.

MONTREAL – It’s pretty cold this time of year, so one group of Montrealers is asking everyone to get…steamy.

“It’s a really quintessential Montreal food,” said Clea Desjardins, one of Steamy Week‘s founders.

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    Montreal’s Poutine Week kicks off

    Le Burger week continues with a homegrown twist.

    Poutine Week

“It’s something that people are kind of weirdly proud of even though it’s so humble. They have their favourite spots for the steamy, they have their favourite toppings.”

Steamy Week has no affiliation to Burger Week or Poutine Week, but there’s no denying it’s all about Montreal’s infatuation with food.

“They’re irresistible,” said Stephanie Friedman.

“It’s the bun, it’s the hot dog, the way it’s cooked. I can’t resist.”

Desjardins insists steamies are so much more than just your average North American hot dog.

“Steamy week’s all about the greasy spoons,” she told Global News.

“You can’t go to Macdonald’s and get a steamy, you can’t go to Burger King and get a steamy.”

Steamy week not only celebrates some of Montreal’s best stadium food, it also sheds a spotlight on some of the city’s oldest, dearest and most local greasy spoons.

“They’ve been around forever and they’re known around Montreal and they have the best food,” said Jeremy Friedman.

For Montreal’s most beloved local restaurants, this is war, well a friendly food battle.

“There’s always the fun competition with a bit of truth to it,” said Louis Stavropoulos, the manager at Green Spot.

“There’s always a little bit of ‘eh, mine’s better than yours.’”

Steamy Week means a lot to the restaurants who are struggling.

“It’s very good for the local economy and for the restaurants that are having a hard time right now,” said Stavropoulos.

“It helps, it gives a push.”

In this new age of social media, Desjardins says she loves how excited Montrealers are to share.

“People are really getting around #semainesteame or #steamyweek, just tagging their photos, making their comments and getting out there and saying ‘this is my favourite spot for a steamy, what’s yours?’” she said.

“The steamy is not going anywhere and I think Steamy Week is here to stay too.”

Montrealers are taking the idea of tweeting and instagramming pictures of what’s on their plates to a whole new level.

“People are coming in and as soon as we bring their plates, the smart phones are out and everybody’s snapping, everybody’s snapping,” said Stavropoulos.

Steamy Week is on until January 29.


Nov 21 2018

Egypt: 15 killed in clashes between Islamists, police

WATCH ABOVE: Footage of anti-government protesters clashing with police in Egypt

CAIRO – Anti-government protesters fought street battles with police in Cairo and other cities on Sunday, the fourth anniversary of the country’s 2011 uprising, as clashes left at least 15 people dead and dozens injured. Another two people died when an explosive device they were planting under a high-voltage tower in the Nile Delta exploded prematurely, according to security officials.

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Most of the deaths took place in Cairo’s eastern Matariyah district — an Islamist stronghold where police used tear gas and birdshots to disperse supporters of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group armed with firebombs and rocks. At least nine protesters and one police conscript were killed in the clashes there, the officials said.

READ MORE: Security tightened in Egypt as activists mourn latest death

Two other protesters and two policemen were killed elsewhere in Cairo on Sunday, and one in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The violence underscored the continued turmoil roiling the Arab world’s most populous nation four years after the 18-day uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Although small and scattered, Sunday’s violence is likely to impact on Egypt’s image as it prepares to host an international donors’ conference in March and in which President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government has high hopes for the ailing economy.

It also casts a light on the multitude of challenges faced by el-Sissi, who since taking office in June has been struggling to revive the economy, battle an Islamist insurgency and deal with dissent by both Islamists loyal to Mohammed Morsi — the elected president he ousted in 2013 — and the secular and liberal groups behind the 2011 uprising.

Both camps are targeted in crackdowns by el-Sissi’s government, but show no sign of being able to overcome mutual distrust and join forces. A career army officer, el-Sissi says his priorities are fixing the economy and battling the insurgency. He has resisted growing calls for reform, while influential media loyal to him has begun regularly maligning the 2011 revolution and its activists.

READ MORE: Guarded optimism over possible pardon for Mohamed Fahmy

The Health Ministry said 37 people were injured in Sunday’s clashes and the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police, said that a total of 134 protesters were arrested nationwide.

By early evening, debris covered the site of the Matariyah clashes and a cloud of tear gas hung over the area. Several cars were damaged, including one that was on fire. Another video shot there earlier on the day showed pedestrians and communal taxis caught in the crossfire between the two sides as gunshots rang out. The videos are consistent with Associated Press reporting on the clashes.

Cairo, a city of some 18 million people, appeared mostly deserted Sunday, with many residents staying home to avoid being caught up in any turmoil. Police sealed off the city’s main squares, including Tahrir — birthplace of the 2011 uprising — and beefed up security at vital state installations.

In Downtown Cairo, el-Sissi supporters clashed with mostly young critics of the general-turned-politician in pitched street battles. Police later used tear gas and birdshots to disperse the president’s critics, who fled to side streets with riot policemen chasing after them.

The protests and stepped-up security in Cairo and elsewhere came as activists mourned the death of a female protester shot Saturday in downtown Cairo while taking part in a gathering commemorating protesters killed in the 2011 revolt.

READ MORE: Baird hopes for resolution in Fahmy case ‘sooner rather than later’

Activists blame police for the death of Shaimaa el-Sabagh, a 32-year-old mother of one from Alexandria. The government says it is investigating the incident.

Videos posted online show el-Sabagh, a member of the leftist Popular Alliance party, with other protesters carrying placards and chanting “bread, freedom and social justice” — the chief slogan of the 2011 uprising. She and others carried wreaths of flowers they intended to place at nearby Tahrir Square in memory of the fallen protesters.

In the videos, two masked, black-clad police officers point their rifles in her direction before gunshots ring out. The next frame has her on the ground. She is later shown carried by a male protester as blood seeped out of her mouth. The videos are consistent with AP reporting on the shooting.

Chanting “down, down with military rule!” hundreds attended her funeral in Alexandria on Sunday without incident. A white banner bearing her image was hoisted by the mourners.

The prominent Hisham Mubarak Law Center said in a Facebook post that five of el-Sabagh’s fellow protesters who had given investigators their account of the incident were themselves charged with assaulting police and taking part in an illegal demonstration.

There was no immediate confirmation from authorities of the group’s claim, but a lawyer who witnessed the shooting as she sat with her family just meters (yards) away at a restaurant posted on Facebook on Sunday her voluntary testimony to investigators. She said that she too was accused of participating in an illegal protest before she was released.

“The regime has decided to frighten and silence all voices,” wrote the lawyer, Azza Soliman, who testified that the police shot el-Sabagh.

El-Sabagh’s death is the second of a female protester in recent days. Islamist Sondos Reda was shot dead during a Friday protest in Alexandria. Activists also blame the police.

El-Sissi’s government has shown zero tolerance for street protests since a law adopted in 2013 banned all demonstrations without prior permission. Dozens of activists have been convicted and jailed for violating the law. A parallel crackdown is targeting Morsi supporters, with thousands from his Muslim Brotherhood group imprisoned or facing trial.

“You can only deal with terrorism when you have free people, not slaves,” Elhami el-Mirghani, a senior official in el-Sabagh’s political party, told a news conference Sunday. “And this regime is the biggest creator of terrorism.”

Sunday’s protests were mostly in response to a call for demonstrations by an Islamist coalition led by the Brotherhood. Separately, a prominent Qatar-based cleric loyal to the Brotherhood called on Egyptians in an address posted on YouTube to go out and protest in large numbers.

“Don’t be lazy, God will hold you accountable if you waste this opportunity,” said Youssef al-Qaradawi, the cleric.


Nov 21 2018

‘Potentially historic’ winter storm bearing down on U.S. Northeast – National

WATCH ABOVE: New Yorkers are being told to prepare for the worst storm in the big apple’s history. Weather specialist Michell Jobin reports.

NEW YORK – A winter that has largely spared the Northeast thus far is about to arrive with gusto: A storm the National Weather Service called “potentially historic” could dump 2 to 3 feet of snow from northern New Jersey to Connecticut.

A blizzard warning was issued for New York and Boston, and the National Weather Service said the massive storm would bring heavy snow and powerful winds starting Monday and into Tuesday.

A storm currently making its way across the U.S. Midwest threatens to dump several feet of snow from New York to Boston early this week.


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“This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference Sunday.

De Blasio held up a piece of paper showing the city’s top 10 snowstorms and said this one could land at the top of a list that goes back to 1872. “Don’t underestimate this storm. Prepare for the worst,” he said as he urged residents to plan to leave work early Monday.

READ MORE: Winter returns next week to Halifax, with storm expected Tuesday

Boston is expected to get 18 to 24 inches of snow, and Philadelphia could see 14 to 18 inches, the weather service said Sunday.

A weekend storm that had brought snow and slush to the Northeast — the first real snow of the season for many areas — was just a warm up.

“Looks like our luck is about to run out,” said John Paulsen as he gassed up his sport utility vehicle in New Jersey. “I can’t complain too much since we’ve had a pretty mild winter, but I don’t know if I’m ready for a foot or so of snow all at once.”

The storm system driving out of the Midwest brought snow to Ohio on Sunday and was expected to ultimately spread from the nation’s capital to Maine.

Lesser totals were forecast for the Washington area — a coating or a bit more — with steadily increasing amounts expected as the storm plods its way north. The storm promised treacherous travel by both land and air throughout the busy northeast corridor.

Travel expected to be hazardous

At New York’s Penn Station, Cicero Goncalves was waiting for a train to Vermont, where he’s going snowboarding, because he expected the flight he had hoped to take would be cancelled.

But the 34-year-old flight attendant from Queens counted himself and his travel partner as lucky. “We’ll get there before it snows, and we’re coming back when the storm is over, on Thursday,” he said.

Preparations large and small were in effect elsewhere in New York. A Manhattan Home Depot store sold about twice as many shovels over the weekend as it normally does while transit officials hoping to keep the subways running smoothly planned to use modified subway cars loaded with de-icing fluid to spray the third rail that powers trains.

Farther north, a blizzard warning was issued for Boston from Monday night through early Wednesday. Wind gusts of 60 mph or more are possible on Cape Cod, forecasters said.

Wyatt Baars, manager of the Charlestown Ace Hardware in Boston, sold out of his bags of ice-melting pellets. But he said a New Hampshire distributor is helping him and delivering more.

“Everybody is preparing for the storm,” he said. “When we have something this big on the horizon, everybody comes in for the ice melt, snow shovels, snow brooms.”

Snow plow driver Al Laplant expected to be out clearing roads of Simsbury, Connecticut this week, just as he has for more than two decades.

“We’ll be out there until the storm’s over and then at least three hours after cleaning up,” he said as he attended a home show in Hartford. “We’ll be out there through the whole storm.”

But even for a plow driver, the snow is no cake walk.

“It’s kind of exhilarating,” he said. “But at the same time, I’ve been doing it for 27 years, so I’m kind of tired of it myself.”

Associated Press writer Pat Eaton-Robb in Hartford, Connecticut, contributed to this report.

©2015The Associated Press