Monthly Archives: November 2018

Kelowna Gospel Mission needs volunteers to man new courtyard

The homeless in Kelowna have a safe outdoor space to enjoy but now staff at the Gospel Mission need help to ensure it can stay open.

The mission tore down its neighboring retail space to make way for a new courtyard.

“We are almost done construction and so we have a soft opening so people can come inside now,” said emergency service manager Phillip Whatman.

Staff at the mission believe the new courtyard will help provide a safe alternative for those who stay in places that put them at odds with the police, business owners and people who prey on the homeless.

WATCH BELOW: Gospel Mission’s new plan to get homeless off the street

But now that there’s been a soft opening, there’s one more step before the mission can keep the doors to the courtyard open: they need people to help run it.

“Depending on if we have staff or volunteers to man it, so we are just trying to get a lot of volunteers to join our project and just having a kind of sanctuary for those who don’t have a place to go,” Whatman said.

Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact the Gospel Mission for details.

~ With files from Angela Jung and Kelly Hayes

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Rio 2016: Penny Oleksiak, Olympic gold medalist and Drake loving teenager

Despite her star-making performance at the Rio Olympic Games, Canadian swimming phenom Penny Oleksiak is also a typical teenager who loves doughnuts, Drake and hanging out with friends.

Oleksiak’s family talked about how they are handling the 16-year-old’s sudden rise to the top of the athletic world on Saturday.

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READ MORE: Penny Oleksiak makes history after winning gold in the 100-metre freestyle

“We’re still stunned,” said Penny’s mother, Alison. “We’re a little bit in awe of the baby of the family and what she’s achieved. I’m a little panicked on how to handle a teenager after that resume as well.”

That resume now includes an Olympic gold medal in the 100m freestyle, a silver in the 100m butterfly and two bronze, one in the 4x200m freestyle relay and another in the 4x100m freestyle relay. On Saturday night she looks to go for her fifth medal at the Rio Games, swimming in the 4×100 individual medley.

WATCH: Women dominating for Canada at Rio Olympics. Vassy Kapelos reports.

Despite her sudden success, the fact that Oleksiak is still a teenager was a point the family was keen to make during the press conference.

“You know, she’s got two more years of high school, to be frank,” said Alison.

“We’ve been very up front with any of the coaches she’s had over the past couple of years that she is a typical teenager,” Alison said. “There’s going to be points throughout the year where she’s going to want to go to prom, she wants to hang out with her friends and she’s going to want to eat a lot of doughnuts because she loves doughnuts.”

READ MORE: Canada’s newest swimming phenom Penny Oleksiak sets Canadian record at Rio

However, a bonus for being a “typical teenager” while simultaneously becoming one of Canada’s most decorated athletes, is the chance of connecting with your pop idols.

Penny got wind of the fact that Toronto rapper Drake began following her on Instagram. The news sent her to 桑拿会所.

Drake then responded on Instagram with a post featuring a photo of the Olympian. Underneath the caption it said, “OVOPenny aka @typicalpen we are so proud of you!! Can’t wait to see you when you are back from Rio at a show!”

Despite all of the attention, even from world famous rappers, Oleksiak’s siblings said they are going to try and keep their sister’s head firmly planted on her shoulders.

“Giving her that normality that a lot of people won’t,” said Hayley, a rower at Northeastern University. “Not blowing smoke up her butt, I guess, and kind of keeping her humble and being the same way we were before.”

WATCH: Canada’s lucky Penny shines in the pool with gold medal win

Her brother Jamie, an NHL defenceman with the Dallas Stars, acknowledges all of the attention can be a lot to handle for someone so young.

“All the attention Penny’s been getting is a lot for anybody, let alone a 16-year-old,” Jamie said. “We’ve always kind of done a good job once we’re in the household, we’re just a regular family and she’s still our sister, just our sister with some Olympic medals.”

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‘I’ve miled out three cars myself’: Edmonton super fan drives in for every Riders home game

Connie Dobson isn’t your average Riders fan. The “Travelling Rider Fan” as she’s known, has driven from Edmonton to Regina for the past decade, attending every home game.

The season ticket holder’s passion for the game started at a young age, when she would attend Roughrider games with her dad.

“When I was a kid, we would spend 12 hours, coming here for quite a few games, not all but quite a few… Then it just never stopped,” Dobson explained.

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“When I turned 18, I started getting my season tickets on my own and been in my section ever since.”

Dobson said she’s scheduled her days around Riders games, and the mileage on her cars is proof.

“My current car has 300,000 kilometres on it and it’s five years old,” she said.

“I’ve miled out three cars myself.”

Ever since she became a season ticket holder, it’s also been tradition to attend pre-Riders tailgate parties, where she’s made friends who she now calls family.

“It’s absolutely crazy. I don’t know how many cars she’s worn out but, it’s absolute dedication,” Rick Gallinger, host of the tailgate party said.

“Connie’s here all the time, she never misses.”

Norm Peel has also known Dobson for over a decade. He said her commitment to the sport is unparalleled.

“There’s people I know will drive from Kindersley, Prince Albert, Saskatoon but I don’t know anyone who drives from Edmonton for every game,” he laughed.

Dobson is celebrating her 30th birthday this year, and to ring in the milestone, she said she’s not just attending home games this season.

In fact, she’s travelling to all 18 Riders games.

“East coast to west coast, every game, all games, all preseasons games. I just bought my grey cup tickets last week, so should be pretty good,” she said.

For someone who has driven over 60,000 kilometres, football is anything but just a sport.

“When tough times happen, I always have the Riders,” she said.

“Football season is always right around the corner. Nothing lasts forever, but this is something that’ll last forever…,” she emotionally explained.

Follow @ChristaDao

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Perseid meteors put on a show (and you can still catch them)

The Perseid meteor shower was expected to put on a great show last night and, if you had clear skies, you likely weren’t disappointed.

READ MORE: How you can watch the Perseid meteor shower

People around the world were able to see meteors streaking across the sky, from dim ones to fireballs.

A green and red Perseid streaks across the sky near Regina, Saskatchewan, in the early morning of Aug. 12, 2016.

Courtesy Notanee Bourassa

A Perseid streaks across the sky with the Andromeda Galaxy (lower right) in Aven, Switzerland on Aug. 11, 2016.

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The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year and is best seen from North America where the constellation Perseus (the area from which the meteors appear to emerge, hence the name) rises high in the night sky.

On average, the Perseids have a maximum of around 100 meteors per hour in dark skies. This year’s activity was predicted to be double that, a result of Jupiter’s gravity having moved the stream closer to Earth’s orbit.

A meteor streaks across the sky in the early morning during the Perseid meteor shower in Ramon Crater near the town of Mitzpe Ramon, southern Israel, August 12, 2016.

REUTERS/Amir Cohen TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

If you were clouded out, don’t fret: Earth is still in the stream of debris shed by Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. As Earth passes through the stream left over from its earlier orbits, the dust grains burn up in our atmosphere, producing the meteors we see. And, though the Perseid shower runs from July 13 to Aug. 26 and peaked Thursday night into Friday morning, you will likely still be able to see meteors tonight and over the weekend.

A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky above Aven, Switzerland on August 11, 2016.

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WATCH: What causes meteor showers?

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Ontario doctors set to vote on new 4-year fee deal

TORONTO —; Some Ontario doctors are urging their colleagues to reject a new fee agreement with the government when they vote on the deal Sunday, even though they’ve been without a contract for two years.

The four-year deal would increase Ontario’s $11.5-billion physician services budget by 2.5 per cent a year, to $12.9 billion by 2020, and gives doctors the power to co-manage the system with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

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It also provides one-time payments in each of the four years of $50 million, $100 million, $120 million and $100 million, which would be reduced if actual expenditures exceed the physician services budget.

READ MORE: Ontario doctors opposed to new fee agreement delay vote on tentative 4-year deal

The Liberal government last year unilaterally imposed fee cuts for some doctors’ services, but the new deal promises no more unilateral cuts over four years.

Doctors were scheduled to have a non-binding vote on the agreement between the Ontario Medical Association and the ministry, the results of which would have been “considered” by the 275-member OMA council as it decided on ratification.

But physicians unhappy with the deal, especially the fact they did not get binding arbitration, got enough signatures on a petition to force the OMA to hold a general meeting and give every doctor a binding vote.

“The vote that will occur as part of the general meeting will provide a binding decision by OMA members on the tentative PSA,” said OMA president Virginia Walley.

READ MORE: Ontario doctors’ group warns patient wait times will rise with new fee deal

Groups calling themselves Concerned Ontario Doctors and the Coalition of Ontario Doctors staged rallies and protest marches urging physicians to vote against the deal.

Dr. Keith Meloff, a neurologist, warns the provision for doctors to co-manage the health-care system could make lifer harder for physicians.

“We have to chose between saving money for the ministry – that is what this deal says – and saving a life, and I think that is an impossible choice,” said Meloff.

Dr. David Jacobs, a radiologist and chair of diagnostic imaging for the OMA, said doctors aren’t looking for more money for themselves, but worry the fee agreement could send wait times “through the roof,” even though they have more to do with hospital funding than physicians’ fees.

READ MORE: Ontario doctor group disappointed in deal between OMA and province

“No one is asking for a raise,” said Jacobs. “What we’re asking for is that the government fulfil its responsibility to fund health care at an adequate level, so that you and I and all the patients in Ontario can be cared for. That’s all.”

The OMA knows the deal “isn’t perfect,” said Walley, and that some doctors are angry, especially at what she called the “disrespect” shown them by the government.

“The instability, the unpredictability for their practices, I understand fully must be a dreadful experience for them,” Walley said. “And the government has made unilateral actions which in many cases have been very misguided.”

The government wouldn’t agree to binding arbitration, but both sides agreed the OMA can continue its charter challenge of the issue in court, whether or not the new agreement is ratified, added Walley.

READ MORE: Ontario reaches tentative agreement with Ontario Medical Association

She said the fee agreement “significantly improves on the problems with the government’s previous underfunding of growth” in the health-care system, and brings funding stability to doctors after two years of uncertainty.

“Once there was something that looked to our board of directors as potentially acceptable to members, we’ve taken it to members to get their opinions,” she said.

“Most of the people I speak with, that I hear from, are in fact supportive of the agreement and understand the stability it’s going to provide for the profession.”

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Thousands show their pride in Kelowna march

Thousands of people filled the streets of downtown Kelowna on Saturday for a march which made its way from Stuart Park to City Park, all in the name of pride.

From rainbow crosswalks to Mayor Sugarplum getting attention from across the country, many say Kelowna has transformed when it comes to pride.

But it wasn’t that long ago that the local pride parade was considered a controversial event.

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    These days however, thousands of people, including politicians, are lining up to take part.

    READ MORE: Gray proclaims Gay Pride Week in Kelowna

    “Canada is an inclusive country and we’ve seen the lesbian, bi and trans-sexual communities in U.S. targeted in Orlando, I think it’s a positive message for local, elected leaders to be here,” said MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola Dan Albas.

    WATCH BELOW: Kelowna residents honour Orlando victims at candlelight vigil

    Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr was the marshall for the We Are One march; and for the first time in the local event’s history, the premier was also on hand.

    “I want people in B.C. and Canada to know that our government really supports the human rights that everybody has. No one should suffer from discrimination,” premier Christy Clark said.

    While there have been many strides, Kelowna mayor Colin Basran said there’s still a long way to go.

    “Some people still aren’t comfortable being who they are and that I have a real problem with,” Basran said.

    About 4,700 people took part in the pride march.

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    How Pride Parade changed Toronto social landscape



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PQ leadership hopeful, Martine Ouellet, wants Quebec athletes to compete under Quebec Flag

Parti Quebecois leadership hopeful, Martine Ouellet, has once again raised the idea of creating a Quebec contingent  for international sporting events.

At a press conference in Montreal Saturday, Ouellet said that if she were elected to lead the province, she would set aside up to $10 million for the creation of teams to represent Quebec on the international stage.

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    The financing would allow athletes to bear the “Fleur-de-Lis” Flag  and represent “la Belle Province” at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, or to sport a blue and white jersey at the World Hockey championships.

    “We have extraordinary talent and I want to make it possible for these passionate athletes to shine on the world stage, showing their true colours, those of Quebec,” Ouellet said.

    She added that too often Quebec athletes feel discriminated against, and they have to be free of that political climate.

    READ MORE: PQ leadership candidate says he will implement Charbonneau recomendations

    She pointed to the case of  Quebec swimmer, Jennifer Carroll, who was reprimanded by Swimming Canada after brandishing the Quebec flag while on the medal podium at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 .

    Ouellet did concede that athletes could choose to remain part of Team Canada, at least until Quebec becomes an independent nation.

    Ouellet said she would finance the measure by repatriating funds sent annually to Ottawa by Quebec’s education ministry to support Quebec athletes.

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John Hart power plant billion-dollar rebuild

It opened in 1947 and for 69 years it stood the test of time, but now that we know more about earthquakes, the John Hart power station is a disaster waiting to happen. So BC Hydro is going underground.

“The existing intake is about 600 metres downstream from where we currently are and the new intake is going to go underneath the dam and then drop about 80 metres into a power tunnel that will lead to the new power house,” Project Manager Brian Knoke said.

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When then Premier John Hart was in power, World War II was raging and most government programs were put on hold.

But the Hart power station was still built, and Vancouver Island had its own power-generating source.

“At the time industry was just starting to get going,” BC Hydro Site Manager Amy Stevenson said.

Metal was so scarce at the time that most of the water pipes are constructed of wood soaked in creosote.

READ MORE: BC Hydro offering to buy 11 homes due to seismic threat

But the pipes will soon disappear as almost everything will move subterranean. Staff has just finished blasting a cavern that’s as long as a football field.

Having an entire generating station embedded in rocks solves a lot of the seismic issues. There are also plans to reinforce the earth and dam as well.

Because of the way the water comes in at a point much deeper in the reservoir there are reliability improvements.

“We use the same amount of water but with better technology and a good design we can make better use of what we have,” Stevenson said.

“We’ve got more efficiency, which gives us more energy and some more capacity too.”

They way they’ve re-engineered the dam spillway will keep fish happy as well. BC Hydro says the water pouring out of the reservoir and into an arm of the Campbell River will be more regular and distributed more evenly.

“Campbell river is the salmon capital of the world we say, so having reliability for fish so that flow keeps going into the river is key,” Stevenson said.

When the project is finished, BC Hydro expect to power about 80,000 homes.

The project is expected to take five years to finish and is estimated to cost one billion dollars.

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Rio 2016: How did the Refugee Olympic Team do?

The Refugee Olympic Team has made history by being the first of its kind.

They arrived at the Olympic Athlete’s village on Aug. 3, two days before the Opening Ceremonies, to cheers, dancing and music, according the official Rio 2016 website.

FULL COVERAGE: Rio 2016

Though none of them have won medals, most of them say the chance to compete at the Olympics is enough. Here’s a look at how the athletes have done:

Paulo Amotun competes in the Men’s 1500m heats on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Paulo Amotun, athletics

Paulo Amotun was formerly from South Sudan, and has been training in Kenya. He  competed in the men’s 1500-metres on Tuesday, Aug. 21. Amotun posted a time of 4:03.96 seconds but didn’t qualify for the semi-finals.

“I was one of those refugees there in the camp, and now I have reached somewhere special,” he told the UNHCR in June. “If I perform well, I will use that to help support my family, and my people.”

Rami Anis of the Refugee Olympic Team reacts after the Men’s 100m Freestyle heat on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Rami Anis, swimming

Rami Anis didn’t qualify for the men’s 100m freestyle on Tues. Aug. 9. Though the Syrian finished sixth in his heat, the crowd cheered loudly for him, making him the star of the pool.

He also came 40th in the 100m butterfly

“It’s wonderful to be the star of an event like this, at which refugees have drawn so much attention,” Anis said after his race, rio2016长沙桑拿 reports.

“This is a dream and I don’t want to wake up too soon.”

Yiech Pur Biel of the Olympic Refugee Team talks while attending a press conference given by the Olympic Refugee Team on July 31, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Yiech Pur Biel, athletics

Yiech Pur Biel came to the refugee team from South Sudan and he finished last in the men’s 800m race on Friday. He hopes to inspire other people in his position.

“I can show to my fellow refugees that they have a chance and a hope in life,” Biel told the UNHCR in June.

Linda Bolder of Israel competes against Yolande Bukasa of the Refugee Olympic Team during a Women’s -70kg bout on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 2 on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Yolande Bukasa, judo

Yolande Bukasa competed in her weight class in Judo on Thursday but didn’t win her first match.

“I’m very happy even having lost, because I had the chance to fight at the Olympics,” she said after her match. “Someday I think there will be a plaque commemorating the fact that I took part in the 2016 Olympics.”

James Chiengjiek of the Olympic Refugee Team talks while attending a press conference given by the Olympic Refugee Team on July 31, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images

James Nyang Chiengjiek, athletics

James Nyang Ciengjiek, from South Sudan, competed in the men’s 400m Friday and came in last place.

He told rio2016长沙桑拿 that he was enjoying interacting with the other athletes.

“The interaction between the peoples in the athletes’ village is one of the best things of the Olympic Games. It is absolutely incredible,” he said.

Ethiopian runner Yonas Kinde of the Refugee Olympic Team attends a press conference on August 2, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Yonas Kinde

Yonas Kinde from Ethiopia competed in the men’s marathon on Sunday. He came in an impressive 90th out of the 140 people who finished the race.

“I normally train every day, but when I heard this news [about the refugee team] I trained two times per day, every day, targeting for these Olympic Games,” he said in June.

“It’s a big motivation.”

Anjaline Lohalith of the Olympic Refugee Team talks while attending a press conference given by the Olympic Refugee Team on July 31, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ()

Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, athletics

Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, from South Sudan, competed in the women’s 1500m on Friday. She came 40th overall and didn’t qualify.

But she’s said it doesn’t matter how she places in the race, it’s just important she competed.

“It will inspire other refugees because wherever they are they will see that they are not just the ‘other people’,” she told the UNHCR in June. “They will have that encouragement that they can compete in anyway.”

Rose Nathike Lokonyen from the Refugee Olympic Team waits to compete in the Women’s 800m Round 1 heats on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Rose Nathike Lokonyen, athletics

Rose Nathike Lokonyen, a 23-year-old from South Sudan, raced in the women’s 800-metres on Wednesday, Aug. 17.

She posted a time 2:16.64 seconds and came in 61st.

“My dream, my first priority, is to help my parents and my siblings and then after that to help my fellow refugees,” she told rio2016长沙桑拿.

Yusra Mardini of the Refugee Olympic Team competes in heat one of the Women’s 100m Butterfly on Day 1 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on on August 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Yusra Mardini, swimming

Yusra Mardini may have come 41st overall in women’s 100m butterfly but she was first in her heat, which she said felt “amazing.”

“Everything was amazing. It was the only thing I ever wanted was to compete in the Olympics,” she said after match. “I had a good feeling in the water. Competing with all these great champions is exciting.”

She also competed in women’s 100m freestyle, but didn’t qualify.

Mardini made headlines earlier this year when she and her sister jumped into the water to pull their boat to safety while fleeing Syria.

Donghan Gwak of Korea competes against Popole Misenga of the Refugee Olympic Team during a Men’s -90kg bout on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 2 on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Popole Misenga, judo

The 24-year-old from the Congo won his first Judo match on Wednesday but lost his second when he was pitted against top-ranked South Korean Dongham Gwak.

That didn’t stop the crowd from chanting his name during the match, though. He told reporters after the match that it was an honour to face a world champion.

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Flag raising and ‘Ride for Pride’ kick off Moncton Pride Week festivities

The flag is up and Pride Week has begun in Moncton.

The day kicked off with the flag raising in Riverview and the first annual ‘Ride for Pride’ took place Saturday afternoon.

Jacob Veal attended the flag-raising and says seeing the flag go up has just as much significance and meaning as it did the first time he saw it happen.

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“It’s always amazing every year that we do it.  It kind of brings a tear to your eye every year a little bit and you just enjoy and you feel a sense of proudness and your chest puffs up and it’s just one of those amazing things that our community can do for us,” Veal said.

Veal was one of 15 people who also took part in the first annual ‘Ride for Pride’ —; promoting inclusion, and honouring victims of the Orlando night club shooting.  

He says the shooting left him wondering if something similar would happen in Canada, but he says people need to know that it’s safe for them to be open who they really are.

“I feel like we have support in most of the community and so I just want them to be proud of who they are and be themselves,” Veal said.

The ride started at La Bikery and went through Riverfront park.  Participants paused at the halfway point for a minute of silence to honour the victims of the Orlando shooting. The ride went 4.9 km to coincide with the 49 people who lost their lives.

River of Pride Media and Public Relations Coordinator Charles MacDougall says pride has been celebrated in Moncton for 17 years, and that it is getting better every year. He says it’s exciting to see the longevity and growth of Pride Week.

“This is our biggest Pride yet,” MacDougall said.

Veal says his advice for anyone who is feeling hesitant about coming out is to talk to a friend, a counsellor, or reach out to local organizations.

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