The Canadian Armed Forces are feeling the strain of demand as calls to respond to natural disasters increase.
On Tuesday, Maj-Gen. Paul Prévost, a senior officer with the Strategic Joint Staff, addressed the House of Commons committee on National Defense and told MPs the anticipated increase in intensity and frequency of extreme weather events across Canada, as well as the broader changes in the Arctic, may lead to growing demands for military emergency assistance.
Prévost said the Forces has 63,871 regular members, 29,247 reservists and 5,241 Canadian Rangers.
“In total, I would say (we’re) 10,000 short on personnel (of) where we would like to be and for that reason (it’s) all hands on deck right now in order to recruit and retain as many CAF members as we can,” Prevost said.
There is approximately 700 Canadian Armed Forces personnel across three provinces, in seven different regions working alongside federal, provincial, territorial and municipal partners to assist Atlantic Canada in the aftermath of post-tropical storm Fiona.
A defence policy revision is expected this fall, which will include information about the Canadian Forces’ response to disasters.
Despite the challenges of fitting in part-time solider work with a full-time job, one reservist said the skills he’s acquired, the places he’s been and people he’s been able to help, have made it all worthwhile.
“I’ve been in the army reserves for 22 years and I joined as an opportunity to develop my leadership skills in a real-world environment and certainly in a demanding environment,” said Lt.-Col. Drew Beauchamp, the commanding officer of the Calgary Highlanders.
“For young folks who are looking for an opportunity to learn leadership and an opportunity to serve their country, there’s no better place than the army reserves,” added Beauchamp who was also part of Queen Elizabeth II’s royal funeral procession in London in September.
📍 Nova Scotia: Upon receiving a request for assistance, the @CanadianForces were immediately on the ground to support Nova Scotians after Hurricane Fiona. Tomorrow, we’ll be deploying an additional 200 personnel to complement the approximately 350 troops on the ground right now.
The Montreal Gazette will no longer be printing its Monday edition of its newspaper, announced Postmedia on Thursday. This comes as the company says the decision reflects the "rapidly changing news consumption habits of readers, the needs of our advertisers and the escalating costs of printing and delivering a printed product." Global's Phil Carpenter has more.
An Ontario courthouse will hear the legal battle between the owners of multiple media consortiums including the Toronto Star on Monday.
According to the Superior Court of Justice docket, Jordan Bitove and NordStar Capital Inc., an investment company owned by Bitove and his partner, Paul Rivett, are scheduled to appear tomorrow on University Ave. in Toronto.
Last month, Rivett filed an application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice seeking a court order to wind up the media company.
He cited “irreparable” damage to the relationship with Bitove as the application delves into the erosion of their partnership.
According to the application, immediately dissolving NordStar, which purchased Torstar Corp. in 2020 for $60 million, is the only way to create a clear path forward for the companies under the umbrella.
NordStar also controls six regional daily newspapers in Ontario, including The Hamilton Spectator, flyer distribution services and NorthStar Gaming Inc.
“Given the operational state of the companies, the applicants, employees of the controlled companies, and Torstar’s news readers all stand to suffer irreparable harm if interim relief is not granted,” the filing says.
Rivett claims Bitove changed his mind about previously agreed upon plans and failed to provide a budget at the Toronto Star.
He has asked the court to appoint PrincewaterhouseCoopers to manage an asset sale to resolve the “impasse” between the two parties.
The filing says Bitove ignored proper corporate governance and disregarded his responsibilities at Torstar and Nordstar.
According to the document, Bitove resigned from Nordstar’s board of directors on Aug. 13.
Before joining up with Bitove, Rivett was previously president at Fairfax Financial. Bitove is known for helping launch the Toronto Raptors basketball team and was also part of the ownership consortium that built the SkyDome, now known as the Rogers Centre.
After the court order was filed, Bitove said he is making “no apologies” for the way he runs the newspaper business, noting in a statement he has worked to make the company resilient, more accountable and more competitive.
“I’ve done this to ensure that the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, can continue to deliver the news, opinion and stories our diverse audiences seek and the investigative journalism our democracy depends upon — while upholding The Star’s incredible legacy and building a brighter, stronger future,” he said.
The court application has “disheartened” Unifor, which represents more than 10,000 media workers. Unifor Local 87-M represents many Toronto Star employees.
“(The) unexpected news was completely disrespectful to the hard-working Toronto Star staff who felt blindsided by this information — or rather, lack-of,” said Unifor national president Lana Payne in a statement.
“Journalists and media workers often put their lives on the line to provide fact-based reporting to the public and they deserve better.”
“It truly was the saddest of situations,” said Const. Maury Tyre.
“A group of privileged youth taking on some of our towns least privileged and hoping to provoke a street war. In recent weeks, similar events have occurred where jacked-up pickups have chased and egged the homeless and thrown rocks.”
Police said none of the teenagers and youths were above the age of 19 years old and had travelled to the downtown core for “one reason only.”
For the past two and a half years, Vancouver business owners have been plagued by crime and street disorder. The VPD says commercial break and enters and mischief with glass broken in the downtown core are up 64% since 2019 and as Kristen Robinson reports, one of the suspects in a recent window smashing rampage is a career criminal from Alberta.
Vancouver police say commercial break and enters and mischief incidents with glass broken in the downtown core have increased 64 per cent since 2019 and Global News has learned one of the suspects in a recent window-smashing rampage caught on camera in Gastown is a convicted killer from Alberta.
Curtis George McCallum, 48, is accused of throwing a brick into several windows at the TD Canada Trust branch at 109 West Hastings Street on Sept. 12, causing almost $70,000 in damage.
McCallum’s criminal history dates back to 1992 in Edmonton. In 2009, he was sentenced to nine years in prison for manslaughter and aggravated assault in the Christmas Eve 2006 killing of his aunt and the stabbing of her common-law husband.
“It is very terrifying for everyone in the neighbourhood to know that individuals such as this are out and about,” said Shelley Klassen of Shelley Klassen Studio Boutique.
Klassen said she and her Richards Street dress shop staff are regularly battling broken windows and chasing down suspects to retrieve stolen items after she estimates street disorder increased ten-fold during the pandemic.
While on statutory release from prison in July 2013, McCallum was the subject of a Canada-wide warrant for being at large.
According to the Edmonton Sun, he turned himself in four days later.
In June 2015, Alberta court records show McCallum was accused of breaking into an Edmonton woman’s home and assaulting her.
In Oct. 2016, he was charged with assaulting two women in Edmonton — one with a weapon, a glass bowl.
In Dec. 2019, McCallum was sentenced to four days in jail and 18 months probation for a May 2019 assault with a weapon in West Kelowna.
After the window smashing at the Woodward’s building in Vancouver last month, McCallum was arrested and charged with mischief to property over $5,000. He has since been released from custody for a court appearance on Oct. 12.
WATCH: The Green Pig Country Market is the latest proof that a little creativity and community help can go a long way. Robert Lothian reports.
Less than two weeks after a fire destroyed their main building, staff at the Green Pig Country Market in Salisbury, N.B., are back to work.
For the time being, customers hoping to pick up fresh vegetables will do so under a tent.
Dawn Beckwith, the co-owner of the market, said she had no doubt they would find a way to bring this fall experience back to finish the season.
“I guess we got creative, and we still had a lot of vegetables left to sell, lots of veggies left to harvest, so we decided to set up an outdoor market to try to move some of those,” Beckwith said Sunday afternoon.
On Sept. 19, a fire requiring 70 firefighters from five different departments fully engulfed the market.
In the days that followed, the Green Pig received overwhelming support from community members near and far.
According to Beckwith, returning the market to an operational level has included support from churches, sports teams and area residents.
The “heartwarming” response came as a shock, she admitted.
“I just didn’t realize how many people, I guess, had Green Pig in their heart. I guess it’s just such a charming place, and it’s just touched everybody over the years, whether they’re just passing through or whether this is some place they come to every week for their groceries.”
The vast majority of the food sold at the market is Green Pig-grown.
It’s the “community-based” and “friendly” approach of the market that draws people from across the province, said Steve Gallant.
The outdoor event manager at the Green Pig admitted he was surprised the market bounced back in such a strong fashion.
“We had the fire in one week, the next weekend we had a hurricane, so it was a double whammy. The hurricane did some damage to us and damaged our corn maze a little bit, but we cleaned it up, pushed everything back, and have it as good as we can make it.”
For now, Beckwith said their focus remains on finishing the season, with the expectation they will be open every day until Halloween.
As for next year, she said they will have plenty of time to get creative on plans for the market.
— with files from Nathalie Sturgeon and Karla Renić
Markus Niemelainen is a soft spoken man who is often described as a loud hockey player.
The humble Finnish defenceman is a man of few words, but you can hear him when he hits the ice for the Edmonton Oilers. He’s established himself as a bone-rattling body checker. He’s reinforced that reputation during the Oilers pre-season, having dished out several big hits that are both eye-popping and ear-popping.
“It usually gets the guys fired up. It’s fun,” chuckled Niemelainen.
“When he’s on the ice, the physicality level goes up. He defends hard. He’s not afraid to be in the shooting lane. He catches people by surprise sometimes with his level of timing and his ability to close quickly. He’s a great skater. He’s had a really good first part of training camp,” said head coach Jay Woodcroft.
Niemelainen, 24, grew up in Finland. As he progressed through his hockey career, he realized he had to find a way to stand out. It turned out hitting was his path to the pros.
“I tried to be a skilled guy once. It didn’t work out,” said Niemelainen.
“In order for him to carve out a niche at the National Hockey League level, he had to find a way in. He dedicated himself to adding that layer to his game. It’s not surprising him to Dave Manson and myself. We saw this everyday in Bakersfield,” said Woodcroft.
Making adjustments is a big part of Niemelainen’s journey. He was drafted into the OHL by the Saginaw Spirit and moved there when he was 17.
“It was different for sure, different culture and that kind of stuff. It was a long season and sometimes I missed my friends and family. But I got used to it,” recalled Niemelainen.
On Sunday, the Oilers assigned Xavier Bourgault, Seth Griffith, Noah Philp, Michael Kesselring, Philip Kemp, Olivier Rodrigue, Alex Peters, and Luke Esposito to Bakersfield in the AHL. Greg McKegg was played on waivers for the purpose of reassignment.
The Oilers will host the Vancouver Canucks in a pre-season game Monday night at Rogers Place. The game is on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m. The game will start at 7 p.m.
Interior Health has issued a warning against the use of Ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19, after flyers were found circulating in Kelowna.
According to Interior Health, leaflets have been promoting the sale of Ivermectin, which is authorized by Health Canada for human use as a prescription antiparastic drug for parasitic worm infections but not meant to prevent or treat COVID-19.
“Ivermectin (veterinary or human versions) is an antiparasitic drug that has not been authorized for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19,” read the Interior Health social media post.
“Using this product may cause serious health problems.”
WARNING – leaflets promoting the sale of Ivermectin are circulating in Kelowna. Ivermectin (veterinary or human versions) is an antiparasitic drug that has not been authorized for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Using this product, may cause serious health problems. pic.twitter.com/F0Y7s2nwdD
Back in October of last year, Health Canada issued a reminder to Canadians not to use Ivermectin for COVID-19, following a spike in reports to poison centres.
“It is illegal in Canada to sell or advertise a drug in a false, misleading or deceptive manner. The Department took action and directed advertisers to remove the non-compliant advertisements,” read the Health Canada release.
If you are concerned or are experiencing symptoms after using Ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19, Health Canada advices that you call your local poison centre.
An 11-year-old St. Thomas, Ont., girl is fighting the clock to receive life-saving treatment for Stage 4 melanoma.
Kristy and Dave Costa’s daughter, Lacey, has had an intense battle with cancer for nearly a year.
Before cancer, Lacey was described as an inquisitive girl who loved helping others and animals, according to her mom.
But now, her parents say their daughter spends most of her day in bed with a 24/7 pain pump attached to her body to give her some relief.
“She’s a warrior through this,” her mom told 980 CFPL. “She’s really trying to remain positive, (but) the more she continues on and the harder day-to-day tasks become, you can see a little bit of that light changing.”
Throughout Lacey’s medical journey, her parents say their daughter was neglected by the health care system.
Kristy and Dave say they sought medical attention for their daughter on multiple occasions but was either ignored, postponed or not properly examined.
“It’s really been a fight to get the required people to look at her and do the tests… it was exhausting to just continue to push harder. That shouldn’t be an obstacle that parents should have to overcome.” said Dave.
“Even now, it’s still frustrating. We’re still fighting and pushing for things we think should be there.”
“Watching our little girl go through this is devastating,” her mom said, her voice shaking. “It feels like she’s been let down.”
“I think our system is very strapped in resources and the perception that everything is covered is not the case,” her dad added.
Kim O’Neill-Del Guercio still remembers meeting Lacey for the first time when she was three years old.
She remembers her pink ballet skirt as well as her excitement that lasted throughout the years.
“She’s one-of-a-kind. I don’t know what else to say about her. She’s just the most amazing little girl.”
O’Neill-Del Guercio is the owner of the O’Neill Academy of Dance and one of Lacey’s dance teachers.
She says Lacey had danced at the studio for eight years and joined the competition team two years ago.
“The studio was her life… This is really her happy place,” O’Neill-Del Guercio told 980 CFPL.
She describes Lacey as wonderful, funny and strong.
“My Lacey is such a special girl, and she’s the funniest, wittiest, most sarcastic girl” O’Neill-Del Guercio laughed. “Her one-liners and comebacks are hilarious.”
Lacey stopped dancing when her cancer got worse, but her dance teacher says she still competed for an entire season from February to April after her left-hand partial amputation in December.
But starting in April, Lacey began to feel pain, which impacted her dancing.
“We could see it in class. She’d complain that her left leg was sore. She was having trouble jumping.”
The cancer had spread and Lacey was unable to finish the competition season.
“When we come in to teach, there’s a dancer missing… and that’s difficult. Kristy not being in the lobby… there is somebody missing,” O’Neill-Del Guercio sighed.
The dance studio owner says they’ve tried to keep Lacey involved and connected via Zoom calls, but “it’s not enough. It’s not what’s going to make her happy… It’s heartbreaking. You want her to be in (the dance studio).”
Lacey’s conditions are life-threatening, her parents say.
“We’ve already had conversations with the oncologist about end of life and DNRs (do-not-resuscitate orders), so they’re definitely prepping us for that situation,” said Dave. “(The doctors) shared with us that she has possibly weeks to months to live unless we can get something working.”
Kristy and Dave say their daughter’s condition was “100 per cent preventable.”
“If people were curious and suspicious in a timely manner, this wouldn’t have metastasized to the way it did,” said Dave. “This was not a cancer that was growing inside of her that was not visible. It was a tumor on her hand that was visible and nobody had a sense of urgency about it.”
“But it’s already too late, because now, it has metastasized,” Kristy added.
The family is seeking second-line immunotherapy combined with targeted therapy for their daughter, but the treatments are costly; around $20,000 every three weeks.
O’Neill-Del Guercio has set up a GoFundMe to support Lacey’s treatments with a goal of raising $75,000.
TORONTO – Whit Merrifield has never played in Major League Baseball’s post-season but as the playoffs approach for the Toronto Blue Jays he knows one thing: his team is eager to get started.
Teoscar Hernandez had two home runs, one a solo shot and the other a two-run blast, to help Toronto down the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Sunday. Merrifield also had a solo home run and added an RBI single as the Blue Jays closed in on home-field advantage in the first round of the American League’s post-season having clinched a berth on Thursday.
“Guys are hungry not just to get to the playoffs but to make a run. We have the guys to do it. We have the talent to do it,” said Merrifield, who has a .382 batting average in his past 10 games. “Just a matter of getting hot at the right time and put things together and being sound in all facets of the game when Friday comes.”
Toronto swept the three-game series with Boston to wrap its final homestand of the regular season. The win helped the Blue Jays tighten their grasp on home-field advantage in the first round of the American League playoffs.
The Blue Jays kick off a three-game series in Baltimore on Monday to finish off the regular season.
If Toronto can stay ahead of the Seattle Mariners in the wild-card standings it will host all three games of its AL wild card series starting Friday. If the Mariners catch them, the Blue Jays would be on the road.
“You’ve got to have like seven suitcases packed,” joked Toronto interim manager John Schneider. “But we’re ready to deal with it however it shakes out. I’m just excited that we’re in this position.”
George Springer drove in a run with a fielder’s choice in the seventh inning to back a lengthy day for the Toronto (90-69) bullpen after starting pitcher Kevin Gausman left the game with a cut on the middle finger of his throwing hand. He allowed two runs on four hits, striking out four, over three innings before giving way to Zach Pop (4-0) of Brampton, Ont.
“I just think that with the post-season coming up, I didn’t want it to get any worse and possibly it not get any better for that start,” said Gausman who, along with Alek Manoah, will likely start in next weekend’s playoff series. “Unfortunate, obviously, I would have loved to stay out there. (…) but I thought it was the smart move.”
After Pop’s two innings Adam Cimber, Anthony Bass, Yimi Garcia and closer Jordan Romano of Markham, Ont., each pitched an inning. It was the first time in franchise history that the win and the save in a game were earned by Canadians on home soil.
Bobby Dalbec supplied all of the offence for the Red Sox (75-84) with a solo home run and an RBI single that drove in two runs.
Michael Wacha (11-2) lasted four innings, allowing five runs on six hits and a walk. He struck out four. Eduard Bazardo, Kaleb Ort and Franklin German came out of Boston’s bullpen.
Dalbec got the Red Sox on the board in the second inning, hitting a single to score J.D. Martinez and Abraham Almonte. Those were the first runs Boston had scored in the series after losing to the Blue Jays 9-0 and 10-0 on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Hernandez replied for Toronto in the bottom of the second, smashing the first pitch he saw from Wacha 430 feet into the second deck at Rogers Centre.
Merrifield tied it up in the next inning with his solo shot. Like Hernandez’s first home run, his bomb went into the second deck, flying 404 feet into the stands above the Blue Jays’ bullpen to the delight of the 43,877 in attendance.
Hernandez handed Toronto its first lead of the game in the fourth, putting an 84.2 m.p.h. change-up from Wacha into the foul netting in left field for his 25th home run of the season. That brought home Vladimir Guerrero Jr., for a 4-2 lead.
The Blue Jays scored again in the same inning when Merrifield’s single gave Danny Jansen ample time to run home from second.
Dalbec scored the final Red Sox run of the game when he launched a no-doubter off Bass to cut Toronto’s lead to 5-3 in the seventh inning.
Springer re-established Toronto’s three-run lead in the bottom of the inning. His infield dribbler gave Merrifield enough time to slide home.
ON DECK — José Berríos (11-7) will take the mound as the Blue Jays travel to Baltimore. Dean Kremer (8-6) is scheduled to pitch in the opener of the three-game series.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2022.