Archive for February, 2019

Feb 16 2019

West Island teen rehab centre settles into new home in the Laurentians – Montreal

MONTREAL — The new Portage teen drug and alcohol rehab facility relocated from the West Island to the Laurentians over the holidays.

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  • Portage Beaconsfield looking for new home

Even though the view is breathtaking, Lac Echo, located an hours drive north of Montreal, is not where the teens and staff want to stay.

“We wanted to remain on the West Island.”

“Our roots were there, we had been there for 14 years, all our partners are there, the parents are there… so it’s been hard,” Seychelle Harding told Global News.

READ MORE: Portage Beaconsfield looking for new home

Teaming up with the government, Portage spent five years searching for a new spot on the West Island, to no avail.

Last month, they were forced to move out of their home in Beaconsfield, to make way for a new Batshaw facility for at-risk teens.

READ MORE: Batshaw breaks ground for new Beconsfield facility

“It was small, it wasn’t modern or nice but it was their home, so they miss that but there’s no chance of returning to that location,” explained Harding.

Now, they’re sharing facilities with the French Portage adolescent and adult programs.

“It’s been stressful.”

“For both the community and the staff, a lot is going on, a lot of emotions,” said case-worker Stacey Jourdain.

They have even lost some of their employees who couldn’t make the drive up.

This is the same problem many parents have also been experiencing.

“We had our family support groups every Wednesday at the centre in the West Island,” Jourdain explained.

“So the kids got to cross paths with their parents at least once a week.”

“Now there’s sort of a disconnect.”

Sixteen-year-old Demetria spent the last six months in the rehab program, battling a drug and alcohol addiction.

“It was like a home.” 

Although the new facility has more space, access to a lake and even more activities, she said it just doesn’t feel the same.

“Once you walk in you feel cosy, there’s a family vibe for anyone who walks in.”

Portage has opened an office in Pointe-Claire for admissions and after-care.

As for getting a treatment facility back in the West Island, they’re remaining optimistic — but not holding their breath.


Feb 16 2019

SAG Awards: The winners list

LOS ANGELES  — A complete list of winners at Sunday’s 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards:


Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Supporting actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

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  • SAG Awards: ‘Birdman’ cast wins top honours

  • PHOTOS: Red carpet hits and misses at SAG Awards

Supporting actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Cast: Birdman

Stunt ensemble: Unbroken

“If people are saying I’m the front-runner, that’s a beautiful thing. It’s more attention for the movie. I’m delighted to be the front-runner, may it all happen.” — J.K. Simmons backstage on his status as the favourite to win the supporting-actor Oscar for Whiplash.


Actor in a comedy series: William H. Macy, Shameless

Actress in a comedy series: Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black

Comedy series cast: Orange is the New Black

Actor in a movie or miniseries: Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart

Actress in a movie or miniseries: Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge

Drama series cast: Downton Abbey

Actor in a drama series: Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Actress in a drama series: Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder

Stunt ensemble: Game of Thrones

“Twenty-eight. I had just gotten out of Julliard and thought I could conquer the world. I didn’t know better. I didn’t know life was going to be hard yet. I liked bathing in that ignorance.” — Viola Davis backstage on what age she would choose to stay.

©2015The Associated Press

Feb 16 2019

SAG Awards: ‘Birdman’ cast wins top honours – National

LOS ANGELES — The backstage farce Birdman topped the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, winning best ensemble cast, even though its star, Micheal Keaton, was upset by Eddie Redmayne in the most outstanding actor category.

Oscar favorites Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette and J.K. Simmons cemented their front-runner status in a ceremony that often serves as a kind of preview to the Academy Awards.

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  • PHOTOS: Red carpet hits and misses at SAG Awards

READ MORE: Red carpet hits and misses at SAG Awards

Redmayne, who stars as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, was the somewhat surprise winner in a category expected to go to Keaton for his career-capping performance as a Hollywood has-been trying to mount a comeback on Broadway. Redmayne dedicated his award – “this very wonderful skinny man” – to sufferers and victims of ALS.

Moore, widely considered the best-actress favorite, won most supporting actress for Still Alice, in which she plays an academic with early onset Alzehimer’s Disease.

Accepting the award for most outstanding supporting actor for his performance as a domineering jazz teacher in Whiplash, Simmons thanked all 49 actors who appear in the drama.

“All of us actors are supporting actors,” said Simmons, a veteran character actor. “Each of us is essential, completely crucial to the story because if there’s one false moment, the train comes off the rails.”

Boyhood star Patricia Arquette added the latest in a string of awards Sunday, taking the supporting actress honor for her performance, filmed over the course of 12 years.

“I can’t tell you what this means to me,” said Arquette. “I’m a fourth-generation actor. My family has been committed to acting for over a century, through feast or famine.”

Sunday’s show kicked things off with a pair of wins for the prison series Orange Is the New Black, honoring it as best ensemble in a comedy and naming Uza Abuda most outstanding actress in a comedy series. Abuda won over a number of veteran stars, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep) and Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie).

Best ensemble cast in a drama series went to Downton Abbey, the second time the series has won the category.

Eddie Redmayne

Getty Images

On Saturday night, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman took the top award from the Producers Guild Awards, suggesting it may be formidable competition to the perceived front-runner, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. The last seven PGA winners have also won best picture at the Academy Awards.

Because actors make up the largest portion of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the SAG Awards are also considered one of the most telling Oscar previews. Individually acting winners usually mirror each other exactly, or very nearly. Last year, the top four winners – Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o, Jared Leto – all went on to win Academy Awards after first scooping up SAG awards.

The predictive powers of the SAGs have been more checkered in matching its top award with eventual best-picture Oscar winners. In the last six years, SAG best-ensemble and Academy Award best-picture winners have lined up three times (Argo, The King’s Speech and Slumdog Millionaire), while diverging just as often. Last year, the actors chose American Hustle over eventual Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave; in 2011, they picked The Help over The Artist; and in 2009, Inglourious Basterds defeated The Hurt Locker.

Two actors who usually reside on the big screen won the SAG awards for performances in a miniseries or TV movie: Mark Ruffalo (for A Normal Heart) and Frances McDormand (for Olive Kitteredge). Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), William H. Macy (Shameless) and Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder) also collected awards.

Davis thanked the producers of the legal dram “for thinking that a sexualized, messy, mysterious woman could be a 49-year-old, dark-skinned African American woman who looks me.”

Debbie Reynolds, the Singin’ in the Rain star, was honored with the SAG lifetime achievement award, which her daughter, Carrie Fischer, presented. The 82-year-old Reynolds embarrassed Fischer with a story, recalling that her bun in the famous musical led her to warn her daughter ahead of playing Princess Leia in Star Wars.

“I said, ‘Well, Carrie, be careful of any weird hairdos,’” said Reynolds. “So luckily George [Lucas] gave her two buns.”

She also remembered 1964’s The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

“In that movie I got to sing a wonderful song ‘I Ain’t Down Yet,’” said Reynolds. “Well, I ain’t.”

©2015The Associated Press

Feb 16 2019

“I’m just happy to be alive”: Julie Abrahamsen speaks after her rescue

WATCH: Julie Abrahamsen’s first public comments after being rescued, and the story of how she was found.

For three nights, 20-year-old Julie Abrahamsen slept under rocks and trees in the Whistler backcountry, rationing a half container of pasta, hoping against all odds she would find a way back to her apartment.

“The hardest part was the nights. It was so cold. I didn’t have too much clothes. Some were wet, so I tried to make the best solution and get some sleep, but it was hard,” she said.

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  • Missing snowboarder Julie Abrahamsen found alive near Whistler Blackcomb

  • ‘The most awesome second in my life’: Dad of missing Whistler snowboarder grateful for daughter’s safe return

Abrahamsen, who lives in Norway, had been vacationing in Whistler for all of January and staying in an apartment with other tourists. She didn’t return from Whistler Blackcomb on January 21, and search crews were notified of her disappearance on January 23.

In the early afternoon of January 24, she was spotted by search and rescue crews in a helicopter. A short time later, she was back with her friends, suffering only from mild frostbite on her hands and bruises on her legs.

READ MORE: Missing snowboarder Julie Abrahamsen found alive near Whistler Blackcomb

“When I saw the helicopter…I was thinking ‘are they coming for me?’ I was really excited, and tried to run as fast as I could to the river.”

She crossed a creek near Wedge Mountain, five kilometres away from the Blackcomb Mountain ski area she had left four days earlier.

“She went in and out of the creek another of times. We had to go back uphill, and snowshoe down to her,” said Brad Sills, a senior manager with Whistler Search and Rescue.

Sills says there were several reasons the rescue had a happy ending, including a pilot who had noticed tracks in the backcountry on January 23, and a new electronic tracking system at Blackcomb that let crews know the last time she went up a lift.

“It’s a great survival story.”

Abrahamsen also credited the warmer than normal weather in the mountains.

“I think I would say I was lucky with the weather,” she said. “It wasn’t as cold as it normally is. It was pretty mild.”

After she was rescued, there was a trip to the Whistler Medical Centre – and a phone call with grateful parents.

“That was most awesome second in my life,” said Peder Knud Abrahamsen from his home in Son, Norway. “We were in deep, deep, deep grief and panic about our little girl, knowing that she was out there in the mountains alone. We were praying and hoping she was alive, fearing that she was injured or even worse.”

READ MORE: Dad of missing Whistler snowboarder grateful for daughter’s safe return

Abrahamsen says “she’s not ready” to explain how she got lost, and police say she wasn’t reported missing for two days because she had only known her roommates for a few weeks.

But what truly matters is that she’s alive.

“Thank you to everyone that’s been helping with the case, especially to the rescue staff and the doctors in Whistler,” said Abrahamsen.

“I’m just happy to be alive.”

Julie Abrahamsen, who hadn’t been seen in three days after going snowboarding, was found near Blackcomb Mountain on January 24, 2015.

Pat Bell/Global News


Feb 16 2019

McMorris wins second gold at 2015 Winter X Games

ASPEN, Colo. – Canadian Olympic bronze medallist Mark McMorris won the gold medal in the men’s slopestyle snowboard event Sunday at the Winter X Games. The Regina native was fourth after the first run, but landed a second run of 96 points to claim his second gold of the 2015 X Games.

He also won the big air snowboard title earlier in the week, finishing just ahead of Maxence Parrot of Bromont, Que. McMorris now has 10 career X Games medals including five gold.

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  • Olympic snowboarder Mark McMorris in good spirits despite rib fracture

READ MORE: Canadians Hill, McMorris win X Games gold

“What I did on the top section made the difference,” said McMorris, 21, who also won two gold at the 2012 X Games. “The variations I did on the first three rails with the 270’s. I’m extremely happy. This is so cool.”

“I thought after 2012 I never get that feeling again, to get it back is a dream come true.”

Stale Sandbech finished second with a first-run score of 95, while Sweden’s Sven Thorgren was third with 92. Montreal’s Sebastien Toutant was fourth with 87.33.

“I’m just glad I’m riding with this curb because everyone is riding so well,” said McMorris. “I was pretty nervous going into my second run and whether it could take down Stale. Everybody just rode so cool.”

In women’s slopestyle, Norway’s Silje Norendal was first with 93.66 points. Jamie Anderson of the United States was second with 91.33 and Christy Prior of New Zealand third with 89.33.

Spencer O’Brien of Courtenay, B.C., was fourth with 87.33.

Canadian Olympic bronze medallist Mark McMorris collected his second gold medal this week at the X Games on Sunday winning the men’s snowboard slopestyle competition.