Archive for December, 2018

Dec 16 2018

Saskatchewan businesses encourage staff to stand to ward off disease – Regina

REGINA – A new Canadian study suggests the average person spends more than half of their day being sedentary, and now some Saskatchewan businesses are working to keep staff on their feet at work.

Story continues below



  • Why too much sitting time increases risk of disease even if you exercise

Dr. David Alter, the senior scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute led the study, and said even 30 minutes to an hour of exercise a day may not counteract the effects of hours logged behind a desk or sitting on the couch for the remainder of the day.

“What we found was that sitting time is linked to higher risk of death, higher risk of heart disease, higher risk of cancer, cancer-related deaths, heart disease-related deaths and diabetes,” he added.

Developing technology is helping people spend more time on their feet during a work day.

Mauro Montanini is the general manager of Avanti Office Products in Regina and said he’s seen a steady increase of local businesses invest in desks that convert from a seated position to a standing one.

“That can lead to reduced absences, increased productivity, lower health costs. All those factors make it a business decision that it pays to invest in this technology,” he said.

Other Saskatchewan employers have embraced the benefits that come with encouraging their staff to stay active throughout their shift.

The president of Phoenix Group, Pam Klein, said the company implemented a ‘Wellness Room’ where staff can work out.

“It’s not a big financial contribution, it’s not a lot of time, but the output, and the moral and attitude is only good,” she explained.

The company also encourages breaks and brings in a yoga instructor for employees to do some exercise over the lunch hour, which employee Kaila MacDonald said helps when you’re staring at computer most of the day.

“It’s tough to sit for that long but when you’re encouraged to take a break it’s not that bad.”

It’s unclear the amount of activity needed to offset the negative health risks that come with all that sitting, but the study suggests the more time on your feet, the better.

Dec 16 2018

Seized horses lead to animal cruelty charges for Armstrong man

WATCH: Officials are investigating a shocking case of animal neglect in the Okanagan. Kimberly Davidson of Global Okanagan reports.

ARMSTRONG–Criminal charges have now been laid against the owner of 16 horses seized from a property near Armstrong in December.

He’s also being forced to get rid of the rest of his 100 horse herd.

69-year-old Gary Roberts is charged with two counts of animal cruelty and one charge of uttering a threat.

Story continues below


READ MORE: 16 inadequately fed horses seized from Armstrong farm

The seized horses, now living in foster care, were extremely malnourished and skinny.  In the last month, three have died.

“We did unfortunately lose three of the foals,” said Kathy Woodward, senior animal protection officer with the BC SPCA.  “They were in very poor condition when they came into our care and we were unable to save them. The other 13 are doing really well.”

Woodward is hopeful the SPCA can start placing the surviving horses by the middle of February.

In the meantime, a sale is set for February 7 at Valley Auction in Armstrong to auction off the other 100 horses Roberts owns.

While the SPCA’s animal protection officers would like to see the horses go to good homes, they caution against people rushing to “rescue” the animals without seriously considering their own resources.

“They’re hearts are in it but caring for a horse through the winter is a very expensive hobby.   A lot of our files come from people who get in to help but then get overwhelmed.”

Gary Roberts is out on bail. He’s scheduled to appear in Vernon court on January 29.

WATCH: The horses were seized from Roberts in December

Dec 16 2018

Saskatoon event celebrates girls’ involvement in athletics – Saskatoon

Watch above: The “Girls Rock” event brought together dozens of girls to celebrate their involvement in sports. Amber Rockliffe was at SaskTel Centre to see how women in sports are having a positive impact on these youth.

SASKATOON – The Girls Rock event brought together dozens of girls to celebrate their involvement in sports. Potential athletes gathered at the SaskTel Centre on Sunday.

Story continues below



  • U of S Huskies women’s hockey team makes history

“We have a whole bunch of girls – ringette teams and hockey teams – and even just any lady can buy a ticket for today,” explained Blair Farthing, the communications manager for the Saskatoon Blades, who hosted the event.

University of Saskatchewan Huskies alumni Misty Alexandre was a guest speaker. She was the captain of her hockey team and now works at a law firm in Saskatoon.

She said her participation on the team helped her career.

“Whenever you’re applying for a job, for example, sports are a real asset for you. Employers know that athletes have an incredible work ethic and commitment and they’re team players,” she explained.

READ MORE: First bronze for Huskies women’s hockey team

Alexandre said community support for women’s teams is growing. Athletic scholarships, team funding and mentorship programs help young women balance their studies with team involvement.

“I think women’s sports in general has come so far, especially since growing up when I was a kid. I see so many different opportunities, so many teams,” Alexandre explained.

And like many positive role models, she believes it’s only going to get better.

“I’m very excited to see where these girls take it in the next 20 years.”

Dec 16 2018

After dove debacle, Vatican makes balloons new peace symbol

VATICAN CITY – Dove lovers, rejoice.

Balloons, not doves, were released as a gesture of peace Sunday in St. Peter’s Square, a year after an attack by a seagull and a crow on the symbolic birds sparked protests by animal protection groups.

For years children, flanking the pope at a window of the papal studio overlooking the square, set free a pair of doves on the last Sunday in January. The Catholic Church traditionally dedicates January to peace themes.

Story continues below


READ MORE: Pope Francis sounds off on freedom of speech and birth control

Last year, the feel-good practice became a public relations disaster. After the children with Pope Francis tossed a pair of doves from the window, first a seagull and then a crow swept down and attacked the doves. Those doves’ ultimate fate was unknown.

Advocates for animals demanding an end to dove releases swiftly appealed to Francis, the first pontiff to adopt the name of Francis of Assisi, the saint famed for his love for birds and other creatures of the wild.

“Here’s the balloons that mean, ‘peace,’” said Francis when children in the square let go of their balloons.

READ MORE: Pope Francis leaves Asia after trip to Philippines and Sri Lanka

Gulls nest atop the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, not far from the Tiber River, and scavenge for garbage. One animal advocacy group likened freeing doves in Rome to issuing a death sentence.

Another saint, Pope John Paul II, began the dove release tradition to draw attention to the need to work for peace in the world. Since then, children have been invited to join pontiffs at the window to release a pair of doves.

Until this year.

The Vatican didn’t mention last year’s flap when it said in a statement Sunday that children would release balloons, including a hot-air balloon containing messages of peace. One of the children at the window read a speech about peace.


Dec 16 2018

Regina police officer brings “Christmas all over again” to family centre – Regina

REGINA – A local police officer delivered about 1,000 donated toys on Friday to a non-profit organization following a toy drive last weekend.

“It’s a great feeling. We had such a great turn out. The community really showed their support in this, and I couldn’t be more happy,” said Const. Desiree Mills.

She, along with a few of her fellow officers, personally delivered the toys to the North Central Family Centre.

Mills and her work partner collected the toys from friends and coworkers last Saturday and Sunday. The idea came to her while decluttering her home of toys after Christmas.

“It’s just like Christmas all over again,” said Sandy Wankel, the centre’s executive director. “All I can just say is that we’re so thankful to live in a city like Regina where people’s hearts just are open like this.”

The toys will be given out as gifts for good behavior, helping around in the centre, and other good deeds to the up to 75 kids who use the centre daily.

“All these toys are going to be put to good use,” Wankel added.

Mills plans on turning the toy drive into an annual event.