Newer, faster STARS Air Ambulance moves from Calgary to Edmonton

Posted September 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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STARS Air Ambulance has moved its fastest helicopter from Calgary to Edmonton, partly in an effort to save money in challenging economic times.

WATCH: STARS Air Ambulance plays a vital role in Alberta’s emergency services

All flights out of the Calgary base now use one of two older helicopters.

STARS says the decision to stop flying one of each out of Calgary was mostly made to reduce risk.

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    They said it’s challenging for pilots to switch back and forth between two aircraft with different technology, plus it saves about $500,000 on training and maintenance costs.

    STARS officials said the decision to base both newer helicopters in Edmonton was also because of geography and reach, as there are more remote missions in northern Alberta than in the southern part of the province.

    In addition, STARS training captains–who have the most experience flying the newer helicopters operationally–are based in Alberta’s capital.

    READ MORE: Newly named helipad pays tribute to STARS Air Ambulance founder

    The new helicopter was purchased with money raised in a capital campaign, not through the STARS lottery.

    Officials acknowledge that moving the newer aircraft to Edmonton could raise questions for its donors.

    STARS says while the older helicopters are slightly slower, the difference in flying times is almost negligible and offset by less logistical decision-making required at deployment.

    The medical care provided on board both types of helicopters is identical, STARS said.

    Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to say the changes save about $500,000 on training and maintenance costs. The article originally said it saved $500 million. We regret the error.

Jane Philpott: health care funding for provinces has strings attached

Posted September 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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OTTAWA – Health Minister Jane Philpott is hinting that provinces won’t get a promised $3-billion infusion of health care funding in the coming federal budget unless they commit to spend it on home care.

The federal minister said Tuesday she wants that money to be in the Trudeau government’s second budget early next year.

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    But she tied the budget to her upcoming negotiations with her provincial counterparts on a new health accord.

    “I’m saying I’ve got money on the table and there has been no firm decision in terms of how that’s going to be divided up, how it’s going to be spent, what Canadians are going to get for that money,” Philpott said.

    “So those are things that it would be really good to talk about, because I want that $3 billion for home care to be in the 2017 budget, but I have a responsibility to Canadians to hear what we’re going to get for those further investments.”

    Asked if the money will be left out of the budget if the provinces don’t commit to spend it on the priorities identified by the federal government, Philpott did not answer directly.

    WATCH: Saskatchewan uses cutting edge robotics to improve health care in remote regions 

    “I am pretty determined to make sure that’s in the budget, but again … $3 billion is not an insignificant amount of money. What’s the most fair way to divide that money? What can Canadians expect for that money?”

    Philpott’s veiled warning comes on the heels of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newfound willingness to play hardball with the premiers on climate change.

    Trudeau announced Monday that the federal government will unilaterally impose a floor price on carbon pollution – $10 a tonne starting in 2018 and rising to $50 a tonne by 2022 – in any province or territory that doesn’t impose its own carbon price or set up a cap-and-trade system. The revenue would be returned to the province in which it was generated.

    READ MORE: Canada’s health care system needs money, and fast: Quebec minister

    The announcement was blasted by Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and prompted environment ministers from three provinces to walk away from meetings with federal counterpart Catherine McKenna, where they were supposed to be negotiating a pan-Canadian climate deal.

    Trudeau appears poised to rile even more provinces over health-care funding.

    Premiers are seeking a first ministers meeting with Trudeau to push their demand that federal health transfers to the provinces continue to rise by an automatic six per cent each year, as has been the case since Ottawa agreed to a 10-year health accord in 2004.

    Trudeau has so far not said yes to a meeting and has indicated that his government intends to stick with the unilateral decision of the previous Harper government to limit annual increases in health transfers to a maximum of three per cent, starting next year.

    READ MORE: Federal Budget 2016: what about health care?

    Philpott, who is scheduled to meet her provincial counterparts on Oct. 18, said transfer payments are a matter for finance ministers. As far as she’s concerned, negotiations on a new health accord will focus on the separate $3 billion over four years that Trudeau promised “as an immediate commitment” during last fall’s election to bolster home care, including palliative care – money that did not materialize in the Liberal government’s inaugural budget.

    She added mental-health services, affordable prescription drugs, innovation and indigenous health to the list of federal priorities. A Health Department official was unable to clarify later whether the federal government is willing to come up with more money for those priorities or if they are to be funded out of the $3 billion.

    Some provinces, particularly Quebec, strenuously object to the notion of federal conditions on how they spend health-care funds. And none are likely to enthusiastically embrace Philpott’s priorities as long as the federal government refuses to reconsider scrapping the six-per-cent annual increase in transfer payments.

    Asked Tuesday if there’s any wiggle room for increasing health transfers by more than three per cent, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the Liberals promised “very clearly” that three per cent “is the place where we should be at.”

    “We also gave some specific initiatives that we know are important – home care, we talked about the issue around how we buy pharmaceuticals, mental health, palliative care,” he added.

    “So we’ll be working together with the provinces to get to an answer that will make a real difference for Canadians over the long term.”

Study suggests Fitbits don’t help to drop pounds or improve health

Posted September 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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LONDON – Wearing a fitness tracker may help you keep tabs on how many steps you take, but the devices themselves — even with the lure of a cash reward — probably won’t improve your health, according to the biggest study yet done on the trendy technology.

Scientists say that although the activity trackers may boost the number of steps people take, it probably isn’t enough to help them drop pounds or improve overall health.

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    “These are basically measuring devices,” said Eric Finkelstein, a professor at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, who led the research. “Knowing how active you are doesn’t translate into getting people to do more and the novelty of having that information wears off pretty quickly.”

    READ MORE: How inaccurate is your fitness tracker in counting calories?

    Finkelstein and colleagues tested the Fitbit Zip tracker in a group of 800 adults in Singapore, by dividing them into four groups. Of those people, more than half were overweight and obese and about one third were active.

    A control group got information about exercise but no tracker and a second group got the Fitbit Zip; everyone in those groups also got about $2.92 a week. Participants in the last two groups got the tracker and about $11 for every week they logged between 50,000 and 70,000 steps. One of the groups had the money donated to charity while the other kept the cash.

    After six months, people with the Fitbit and who got the cash payment showed the biggest boost in physical activity. But after a year, 90 per cent of participants had abandoned the device. The physical activity of the Fitbit wearers did not decline over the year as much as it did for those who were not given a tracker, but the higher activity level wasn’t enough to produce any improvements in weight or blood pressure.

    “These trackers can encourage people to take more steps, but it still seems like these random extra steps aren’t enough to really improve your health,” Finkelstein said. He said what’s needed is more “active steps,” or what would amount to brisk walking or more rigorous exercise.

    READ MORE: Why fitness trackers don’t actually help you lose weight

    The study was paid for by Singapore’s ministry of health and published online Tuesday in the journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

    The results seem to reinforce those of another recent study, published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In that study, conducted over two years, researchers found that adding wearable activity tracking devices to a diet and fitness program didn’t result in more weight loss. Those who didn’t wear devices lost about five pounds more than those who wore them, but both groups slimmed down and improved their eating habits, fitness and activity levels.

    Fitbit, in a statement responding to the study published Tuesday, said: “We are confident in the positive results our millions of users have seen from using Fitbit products.” The statement went on to say that it was in the process of improving its trackers.

    READ MORE: Trying to lose weight? Here’s how many calories you cut with each glass of water

    Finkelstein said that some of the newer fitness trackers have more advanced features, like prompts to exercise and ways to link to social media, but he still thinks it is unlikely people will radically change their exercise regimes without a more comprehensive approach.

    Some experts said the results were disappointing, if not unsurprising.

    “We should not be so naive to believe that simply by giving a sleek-looking gadget to someone, they will change deeply-rooted lifestyle habits,” said Emmanuel Stamatakis, a physical activ

    ity expert the University of Sydney who was not part of the research.

    READ MORE: Fasting for weight loss? Here’s why scientists say it works long-term

    Others said the trackers might be more useful if they were aimed specifically at unhealthy people.

    “People who are active are already motivated so they don’t need these devices,” said Lars Bo Andersen, of Sogn and Fjordane University College in Norway.

    Fitbit shares have fallen by half since the beginning of the year, to just under $15 a share.

    ___

    Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner contributed to this story from Chicago.

Chilliwack Cattle Sales to plead guilty in high-profile animal cruelty case

Posted September 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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It’s been more than two years since a high-profile case of farm-animal cruelty came to light but on Tuesday in provincial court, Chilliwack Cattle Sales (CCS) and one of its directors issued an intention to plead guilty.

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Twenty counts of animal cruelty were laid against CCS and seven of its employees in connection to a 2014 undercover video that showed cows being beaten.

The B.C. SPCA recommended the charges after receiving graphic video of cows being kicked, punched and beaten with rods. In one instance, a cow is hoisted up by a forklift from a chain wrapped around its neck and dragged out of its pen as a worker shouts, “Leave her like that.”

READ MORE: No charges 1.5 years after B.C. animal-cruelty case

The footage was collected using secret cameras as part of an undercover operation conducted by the animal-rights activist group Mercy For Animals.

According to the B.C. SPCA, 16 of the 20 counts fall under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and involve alleged acts of cruelty against dairy cows. Four of the counts are under the Wildlife Act and concern the treatment of a pigeon.

WATCH: 20 animal cruelty charges laid against Chilliwack Cattle Sales, Ltd.

The cattle company’s lawyer, Len Doust told the court on Oct. 4 that CCS and one of the Kooyman brothers would plead guilty at their next court appearance on Dec. 15.

Doust couldn’t say which charge they intend to plead.

The B.C. SPCA said the case marks the first time a B.C. company has been held accountable for acts of animal cruelty on a farm.

WATCH: BC SPCA reacts regarding cow abuse video

The case was called one of the worst cases of farm-animal cruelty in Canada by a B.C. animal rights group.

Days after the video went public, the B.C. Milk Marketing Board said it would not accept milk from Chilliwack Cattle Sales until its operations had been independently audited, and that any of the company’s milk currently in its possession would be destroyed.

The farm’s owner, Jeff Kooyman, said at the time that the video was “horrifying to watch” and pledged to work with the SPCA on better training for staff.

The trial date is set for Dec. 15.

Don Atchison pledges expansion of Saskatoon’s attainable housing program

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Saskatoon mayoral candidate Don Atchison wants to expand the city’s current attainable housing program if re-elected.

On Tuesday, Atchison stated his intention to grow the program to include a wider variety of housing options in areas throughout the city.

“We need to look forward to the year 2023, where in fact we should have 8000 attainable, affordable housing units in the city,” Atchison said.

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    The city’s housing program should support singles, couples and families with children, Atchison said.

    He said the city should consider ‘tiny homes,’ but stressed that he wasn’t referring to the trailer-style tiny houses that have grown in worldwide popularity in recent years.

    “What I see happening instead is being able to build a structure that would have 330 square-foot tiny homes in it, maybe all the way up to 880 square-foot homes in it,” Atchison said.

    READ MORE: Charlie Clark to introduce community safety plan if elected Saskatoon mayor

    Properties wouldn’t be owned by the city, Atchison said, but city officials can offer tax abatements and cash incentives to developers.

    Election day is Oct. 26.

Donald Trump says not paying taxes ‘smart’, Americans believe it is ‘unpatriotic’: poll

Posted August 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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NEW YORK – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says paying no income tax would make him “smart.” While nearly half of Americans agree with him, more people think it is “selfish,” and “unpatriotic,” according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.

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Some 67 percent of Americans said it is “selfish” for a presidential candidate to pay no taxes, while 61 percent said it is “unpatriotic,” according to the poll, which allowed respondents to pick more than one adjective to describe paying no taxes.

READ MORE: Hillary Clinton hammers Donald Trump on taxes as he declares his brilliance

At the same time, the results showed grudging respect for a candidate who can figure out how to reduce their tax bill. Some 46 percent of Americans, including 35 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Republicans, thought a presidential candidate who pays no taxes is “smart.”

Trump’s taxes have become a big campaign issue after the New York Times released a portion of his 1995 tax returns last week and estimated that Trump likely paid no taxes for a number of years. The celebrity real estate developer, who is the first presidential candidate in decades to refuse to release his full tax returns, didn’t deny the report. He later said that he had “brilliantly used” U.S. tax rules to his advantage.

InsideGov | Graphiq

During the first presidential debate with his rival Democrat Hillary Clinton last month, Trump responded to Clinton’s allegation that he paid no federal taxes by saying that would make him “smart.”

“What is he trying to say: that those of us who pay taxes aren’t intelligent?” said poll respondent Yonna McNerney, 41, of Denver.

McNerney, a mother of three who works at a telecommunications company, said it was unacceptable that someone who wanted to be president would not pay taxes. McNerney remains uncommitted in the race, and Trump’s comments about taxes haven’t changed her mind one way or the other.

READ MORE: Donald Trump says veterans with PTSD aren’t as ‘strong’ as others

April St. Aoro, 46, who works for a manufacturing firm near St. Cloud, Minnesota, was more understanding of Trump’s point of view, though she also remains undecided in the race.

“I think all of us are trying to pay as little taxes as possible,” St. Aoro said.

Respondents were slightly less critical when asked to describe a private citizen paying no taxes.

Some 64 percent agreed it was “selfish,” while just over half agreed it was “unpatriotic.” Some 50 percent, including 37 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of Republicans, agreed that it was “smart.”

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English in all 50 states. Respondents were asked what they thought of “a private citizen who has found a way to pay no income taxes,” and given the choice to agree or disagree to the words “smart,” “selfish,” and “unpatriotic.”

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They were then asked the same set of questions about a presidential candidate.

The Sept. 28-Oct. 3 poll included 1,948 American adults, including 893 Democrats and 635 Republicans. It has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 percentage points for the entire sample, 4 percentage points for Democrats only and 5 percentage points for Republicans.

These Vancouver homeowners made over $1M last year by doing nothing

Posted August 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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You could work as long or as hard as you can to make a living in Vancouver.

Or you could own a single-family home in the city and earn twice as much by basically doing nothing.

A sold home is pictured in Vancouver on Feb. 11, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

That’s the conclusion of Dr. Jens von Bergmann, a data visualizer with Vancouver-based firm MountainMath.

He analyzed BC Assessment data for 2016 and found that people who owned single-family homes in the city last year earned double what local residents did by working.

In other words, a select group of lucky Vancouverites made $1 million or more last year by “twiddling their thumbs.”

This map highlights properties whose land value grew by over $1 million last year:

This map shows Vancouver single-family homeowners who made $1 million on their properties last year.

Jens von Bergmann/MountainMath Software

And this map shows how much land values grew all over the city in 2016:

Red colours indicate that Vancouver land values grew by anywhere from $1 million to $2 million last year. Yellow colours indicate land value growth of closer to $50,000 per year.

Jens von Bergmann/MountainMath

Von Bergmann’s latest research comes a year after he completed a similar project which found that single-family homeowners could earn more by holding on to their properties than the whole population of Vancouver did by working.

He was inspired to do the research after seeing how much assessed values were increasing, and he was looking for something to compare them to.

READ MORE: Chip Wilson’s Vancouver home now worth over $75 million

This time, however, “the comparable doesn’t even work anymore,” von Bergmann told Global News.

“Just single-family houses alone went up twice as much, the rise was twice as much as the income of the City of Vancouver.”

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Figuring out Vancouver’s cumulative income required some estimating, as Statistics Canada only has data up to 2014.

Von Bergmann extrapolated the data for the two years up to 2016 and came up with an estimate of $26.8 billion of pre-tax income, or $22.3 billion after-tax.

That number is dwarfed by the land value increase for single-family homes — $46,717,326,799, according to von Bergmann’s research.

That’s about $239 per hour last year alone. It was $126 per hour in 2015.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver homeowners face home assessment ‘sticker shock’ as real estate market poised to cool further

Of course, these increases don’t necessarily mean that homeowners immediately brought in $1 million just by owning their homes — it’s not like they can access the money until they sell.

The data is also based on the BC Assessment, which only accounted for home values as of July 1, 2016, before B.C. slapped a 15 per cent Property Transfer Tax on foreign buyers on Aug. 2.

A sold sign is pictured outside a home in Vancouver, B.C., on June, 28, 2016. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says home sales in Metro Vancouver in September fell by 32.6 per cent compared to the same month last year.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Von Bergmann thinks it’s possible that the new tax could dampen home values.

But he remains concerned that rising property values could mean that the next generation can’t buy a home in the city.

“If I look at my son who is now seven years old, I would like to tell him that if you work hard and study hard, you can be whatever you want to be,” von Bergmann said.

Now, he said, members of his generation often need a financial boost from their parents to make it happen.

“And it’s just not the story I want to tell him.”

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Andrew Harris returns to practice field

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WINNIPEG —; A familiar face was back on the field on Tuesday as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers returned to practice.

Running back Andrew Harris was back taking part in drills after sitting out the last three games with an ankle injury.

“It feels good,” said Harris. “Still going to see how it responds tomorrow, but I felt good today, felt normal. It’s been a slow process. Like I said, today was a good day though.”

RELATED: ‘The sky’s not falling’: Blue Bombers Matt Nichols after second straight loss

Harris hasn’t played since getting injured against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the second quarter of the Banjo Bowl back on Sept. 10.

“Initially, after the first game there I thought I’d be able to come back right away, but it just didn’t progress the way I wanted it to,” Harris said.

WATCH: Raw Andrew Harris Interview

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There’s still no guarantee he’ll be able to play on Saturday against the B.C. Lions though, as they’ll wait to see how his body responds to the wear and tear of practice.

“We’ll wait til probably tomorrow morning to get another evaluation to see how he is after today’s practice, but he practiced hard today,” said head coach Mike O’Shea.

In 11 games this season Harris has racked up 677 yards rushing with four touchdowns. He also has 381 yards receiving.

RELATED: Herb Gray latest inductee into Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Ring of Honour

Saturday’s contest is a game Harris had circled on the calendar for quite sometime. He doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to face his ex-team for the first time after playing his first six seasons in the CFL with the Leos.

“Today was the first time I really got out and tested it, live action, had the pads on today. You can cut with no one around you but when you got guys trying to tackle you and hitting you, that’s when it’s a real test.”

O’Shea also updated the injury situation of a few other players. The status of defensive back Bruce Johnson is still up in the air. Linebacker Ian Wild should play this week and they’re hopeful safety Teague Sherman can return to face the Lions. Receiver Darvin Adams hasn’t played since July after injuring his shoulder but the club is hoping he can return after their bye week for their final two games of the regular season.

WATCH: Raw Mike O’Shea Media Briefing

Vaudreuil-Dorion SPCA dog park closed over quirk in bylaw, will soon re-open

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Last week, the dog run behind the SPCA Ouest de l’Ile was shuttered – shut down by city workers who said the organization was skirting a municipal bylaw that prohibits high fences in front yards.

The move was counter-intuitive; the group’s dog run is actually behind the building’s front entrance.

The problem, Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon explained, is that the city considers the SPCA to have two front yards because it owns frontage on two separate streets.

The SPCA’s address is actually listed on Boulevard-Cité des-Jeunes but the property in the rear lies on Montée Labossière.

Under municipal bylaws, the fence there is too high to be by the street.

“By our bylaws, you cannot build certain things on the front,” he said.

“Because this building has two fronts, [city workers] decided the fence cannot be there.”

Pilon said the city and the SPCA have come to some sort of arrangement: either by moving the dog park, changing it or by simply having the city reclassify the property somehow.

However, he stressed the organization would have to apply for a construction permit with Vaudreuil-Dorion.

By the end of the day Tuesday, a GoFundMe site had already raised almost $3,000 for the cost of the improvements.

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Mother of dismembered Calgary woman talks missing and murdered indigenous women

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WARNING: This story contains graphic content. Discretion is advised.

Stephanie English was devastated in June when news of her daughter’s death shook her family. The body of 25-year-old Joey English was discovered in a treed area in Calgary, but some of her body parts have still not been found.

“My grandchildren are motherless. The justice system is failing us. Promises are being broken,” English said.

“I don’t understand. What more can we do?”

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    “I haven’t had closure for my daughter. I’m still waiting to bring her home – her body parts are still in the landfill,” English said.

    The death is an example of what is being called a crisis in Canada by organizers of Sisters in Spirit vigils.

    October 4 is a day of vigils in over 50 communities remembering missing and murdered indigenous women and girls and working towards a solution.

    READ MORE: MMIW inquiry chief commissioner worries expectations won’t be met

    University of Lethbridge natives studies professor Dr. Linda Many Guns believes the government’s national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls is missing the mark.

    “The questions that are being asked aren’t about identifying bodies, they were about: who are the perpetrators?” Many Guns said.

    “The focus needs to be on developing a system that’s going to stop the murders rather than just identifying the people that are missing.”

    WATCH: Missing and murdered indigenous women remembered at Lethbridge vigil

    English and her family spoke publicly about Joey’s death Tuesday morning at a special presentation at the University of Lethbridge. While she was filled with so much heartache, there was a heavy emphasis on the future.

    “We have to stand together as one for that to change. It just takes one person, but a lot of support to stand behind that one person to change those laws,” English said.

    READ MORE: Global’s continuing coverage of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls

    “We are all created as one person, one human being. Let’s treat everybody the same,” Joey’s grandmother Patsy English said.

    A candlelight vigil is being held at 7 p.m., Oct. 4 in Galt Gardens to honour murdered and missing aboriginal women and girls.