Calgary’s ‘poop palace’ wins Teddy Waste Award from Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Written by admin on 27/07/2019 Categories: 广州桑拿网

CALGARY – The City of Calgary has received a dubious honour thanks to a local wastewater facility sometimes referred to as the “poop palace.”

The Forest Lawn Lift Station moves wastewater from low-lying areas to higher ones, then using gravity to allow it to flow to the Bonnywbrook Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The city decided to revamp the lift station as part of its WATERSHED+ initiative. The new lift station, completed in 2015, features a map of LED bar lights that change colour based on how fast water inside is pumping.

Upon opening, the new station proved controversial, with area residents creating the “poop palace” moniker.

WATCH: The City of Calgary was the winner of the Municipal Teddy for it’s ‘poop palace’, a waste-station art project in Forest Lawn. Gord Gillies reports.

On Wednesday, The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTP) gave Calgary a Teddy Waste Award in honour of the project, which cost $236,000.

“Most people would agree that our waste water is something to manage discreetly, rather than celebrate with an expensive hilltop art project,” CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick said.

WATCH: The City of Calgary explains plans for revamping the Forest Lawn Lift Station



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    Other Canadian cities nominated for a municipal Teddy include Victoria, Peterborough and Saskatoon – which received two nominations.

    The CTF said Victoria’s nomination was for spending $10,000 to install musical sensors on stairwell railings in a municipal parking garage, while Peterborough paid two of its police chiefs severance payments even though they didn’t lose their jobs.

    Saskatoon, received a nomination for a $5.3 million money-losing parking system that doesn’t work well in cold weather, and also for spending $462,000 on a decorative lighting system on a bridge that was subsequently torn down.

    READ MORE: Liberals, Bombardier, PEI tourism ‘honoured’ with taxpayer waste awards

    The tongue-in-cheek pig-shaped Teddy Awards are handed out annually by the CTF to government’s worst waste offenders. The awards are named after Ted Weatherill, the former chairman of the Canadian Labour Relations Board, who racked up nearly $150,000 in expenses – including $700 on a lunch – and was fired in the late 1990s.

    CLICK HERE for a full list of 2016 Teddy Waste Award nominees and winners.

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Alta. man charged following fatal highway crash in North Battleford

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One person is dead after a semi slammed into their vehicle Tuesday afternoon on the outskirts of North Battleford, Sask. It happened around 4:40 p.m. CT at the intersection of highways 16 and 40 next to the Western Development Museum.

Mounties say a westbound semi lost control, went across a ditch and smashed into a SUV waiting for the traffic light to change.

The impact of the crash pushed both vehicles to the train tracks.

The driver of the SUV was killed instantly. His name has not been released.



    UPDATE: 3 dead, 5 hospitalized in Highway 16 crash west of Saskatoon

    The role of a collision reconstructionist

    One man dead after fatal collision on Highway 39 northwest of Weyburn

    READ MORE: Concerns grow about safety of Highway 16 after 3 killed in collision

    The semi driver was arrested at the scene. Harry Weiss, 64, appeared in North Battleford court Wednesday charged with impaired operation of a vehicle causing death and dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death.

    The accused, of Barrhead, Alta., was remanded in custody until his next appearance which is scheduled for Thursday.

    Traffic was restricted in the area for several hours while a traffic reconstructionist carried out an investigation.

    WATCH BELOW: Accident reconstructionists piece together puzzle

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Hesitance from Edmonton mayor over funicular in river valley

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Construction will soon start on a mechanized way to get into the heart of the city’s river valley trail system.

The City of Edmonton Executive Committee approved an environmental assessment report Tuesday, putting the city one step closer to having a funicular.

A funicular is a tram that moves up and down and there are plans to start building one at 100 Street near Hotel MacDonald. The project would end in the trail system near Low Level Bridge. It was approved by city council last June.

A proposal is on the table to build a funicular in Edmonton’s River Valley.

Courtesy, City of Edmonton

A proposal is on the table to build a funicular in Edmonton’s River Valley.

Courtesy, City of Edmonton

A proposal is on the table to build a funicular in Edmonton’s River Valley.

Courtesy, City of Edmonton

A proposal is on the table to build a funicular in Edmonton’s River Valley.

Courtesy, City of Edmonton

A proposal is on the table to build a funicular in Edmonton’s River Valley.

Courtesy, City of Edmonton

A proposal is on the table to build a funicular in Edmonton’s River Valley.

Courtesy, City of Edmonton

A proposal is on the table to build a funicular in Edmonton’s River Valley.

Courtesy, City of Edmonton

A proposal is on the table to build a funicular in Edmonton’s River Valley.

Courtesy, City of Edmonton


Trail users told Global News Tuesday night they are excited about the project, which would create barrier-free access to the trail system.

“It’s good to get people down here, more access,” Mark Woodhouse, who was running in the River Valley with his dog, said.

“This is really the aspect of the city we should probably tout the most,” said runner David Falk, who uses the trail system approximately five times a week.

“It’s a large green space and most cities don’t have it. It’s not a normal thing and if it makes it accessible to more of the population, I don’t see how that can be a bad thing.”

But while trailer users praised it, there was some hesitation from Mayor Don Iveson, who said he felt backed into the project.

“We were pushed by the deadline – particularly for the federal funding – into a series of decisions,” he said, adding he thinks the funicular will be “quite beautiful.”

“I’m not sure, if the dollars were unrestricted, which is what we always want, we want flexible unrestricted dollars that we can put to areas of highest use. I’m not sure it would be this quite honestly.”

Iveson said there may be better uses for the money, but at this point, it’s now or never since the funding will soon expire for the project, which includes a viewing area, a bridge and a wider staircase.

“If it was up to me, I might be doing something different. Is there another footbridge we could build? Are there other trail extensions we could build within the river valley? But really, this is the only thing we can do that will meet the timeline,” he said.

Iveson said the project will take two phases: the frame and structure then the actual funicular railway. The entire project has a price tag of $24 million. The River Valley Alliance, the province and the federal government are all chipping in money. The city is responsible for $500,000 plus maintenance and operations.

The mayor pegged those costs as between $500,000 to $1 million.

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2 men dead after murder-suicide on UCLA campus

Written by admin on 25/08/2019 Categories: 广州桑拿网

Two men are dead following a murder-suicide on the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) campus.

William S. Klug, a professor of mechanical engineering, was gunned down in an engineering building office, according to a law enforcement official.

The other man, whose body was found in the same area, has yet to be identified.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said a note was found near the bodies.

“I don’t know if it’s a suicide note, I don’t know if it’s a confession, I don’t know what it is,” said Beck.

The bodies were found in a small office, Beck confirmed, and a gun was found in close proximity.

All classes were cancelled for the day and are expected to resume Thursday.

Classes cancelled at UCLA following fatal shooting


Classes cancelled at UCLA following fatal shooting


UCLA Police confirm two people dead following on-campus shooting


Note, gun found in close proximity to shooting scene at UCLA

The school urged students to “go to a secure location and deny entry (lockdown)” after the shooting in an engineering building on campus.

The school is in its final weeks of classes for the term, with finals set to begin next week.

Both campus police and the LAPD responded to multiple reports of shots fired.

Helicopter footage from NBC Los Angeles showed police tactical officers running towards the entrance of the science building.

Dozens of emergency vehicles were on scene as well as SWAT teams; a bomb squad was on campus as a precautionary measure.

A UCLA student told CBS News that police stormed the building amid reports of a shooting.

“One of my friends was in Boelter, in class and she said a bunch of police with like machine guns came and told them to just run,” the student told the news station in a phone interview.

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Dozens of stores, pharmacies, banks reopen after Fort McMurray wildfire

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The first wave of Fort McMurray residents was able to return home Wednesday for the first time since a voracious wildfire forced a mass evacuation of the entire city.

Starting June 1, a voluntary re-entry plan will see groups of residents come back in a phased approach as to not to gridlock highways or overwhelm local services.



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    READ MORE: ‘It’s eerie’: Thousands of residents return home after Fort McMurray wildfire 

    Officials with the municipality were expecting between 14,000 and 15,000 people to come back on Wednesday. And, while the city certainly doesn’t look like the one they left one month ago, there is some sense of normalcy returning to Fort McMurray.

    By June 1, there were five grocery stores up and running, five pharmacies, 10 gas stations, 10 hotels and 11 banks open.

    “Depending on the nature of the business you’re in – today will be the first entry day for anyone in the downtown – it might be a few weeks to clean off shelves and do what they need to to make their work environments appropriate,” Mayor Melissa Blake said.

    Businesses open in Fort McMurray as of June 1, 2016.

    Courtesy: RM of Wood Buffalo

    Businesses open in Fort McMurray as of June 1, 2016.

    Courtesy: RM of Wood Buffalo

    Businesses open in Fort McMurray as of June 1, 2016.

    Courtesy: RM of Wood Buffalo

    Businesses open in Fort McMurray as of June 1, 2016.

    Courtesy: RM of Wood Buffalo

    Blake said the city wanted to ensure essential services were in place on the first day of re-entry.

    “Our grocery stores were imperative, the gas stations… the pharmacies, just the really critical things for people and they did get an early-entry permit.”

    Still, the mayor said operations are far from regular.

    “What people will not experience is what they had when they left. You’re still going to be on diminished supply,” the mayor said. “Be prepared of course when you come in with things that are essential to them that may not exist in the community.”

    The Stoney Creek Save-On Foods opened its doors Wednesday. Everything in the store had to be thrown out and the entire building cleaned. The shelves were restocked in a matter of days.

    “In the last week to 10 days, we’ve pulled everything out, cleaned everything, wiped it down and restocked,” general manager Craig Anderson said. “It’s been four straignt days of cleaning and then the last two days, rebuidling and replenishing to be ready for business today.”

    George Cloete is the associate owner of the Shoppers Drug Mart in downtown Fort McMurray. He describes the last week as a whirlwind.

    “If I say chaos, I literally mean chaos.”

    Still, in an unbelievable amount of time, the team was able to get the store ready.

    “We started cleaning and stock arrived, in pallets and pallets and pallets,” Cloete said. “I never thought we’d be able to do it. What we did in six days typically takes six weeks for a team to do.”

    ATCO had re-lit pilots for natural gas in 1,776 homes.

    There were 15,000 people who qualified for re-entry Wednesday. Zone 1 includes Lower Townsite, Anzac, Fort McMurray 468 First Nation and Gregoire Lake Estates, which has more than 5,410 dwellings.

    READ MORE: ‘Welcome Home Fort McMurray’: Signs welcome residents forced to flee Fort McMurray wildfire 

    Thousands of workers with various organizations – including Alberta Health Services, the municipality, Telus, Transportation, Sheriffs, RCMP, Shaw, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and Firesmart – are also on scene.

    The mayor said another challenge for local businesses will be supporting anyone whose home was lost or damaged by fire.

    “The understanding of who in their employee base has been impacted and what are their needs going to be,” Blake explained. “Normalization is certainly the destination we’re pursuing but the path that each individual business will take will follow differently.”

    “We’ve been supported so much, it’s time for us to support each other.”

    There are more than 700 staff with the Insurance Bureau of Canada currently in Fort McMurray. Another 744 are expected to arrive shortly, bringing the total to 1,554.

    Taxi service is scheduled to resume June 1.

    The wildfire remains out of control and is roughly 581,000 hectares. Nearly 2,400 firefighters and support staff are battling the blaze, which is not causing imminent threat to the community of Fort McMurray.

    The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Municipal Law Enforcement Services in cooperation with the Alberta SPCA and many other animal welfare organizations conducted the largest pet evacuation in Canadian history.

    Since the fire, 1,177 animals have been rescued. More than 1,078 have been reunited with their owners.

    Follow @Emily_Mertz

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Halifax councillor wants children’s school bus access criteria updated

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Every morning, a group of about 20 elementary school students get ready for school and wait along Beaverbank Road in Beaverbank, N.S.

Although multiple school buses pass them, none stop to pick the children up.

It’s been a recurring problem for the community dating back two decades. The only transportation students can access to get to their school is a Halifax Transit bus.


The issue of transit service was a hot topic at Halifax City Council this week. Staff wanted to eliminate free rides for the twenty students who attend Beaverbank-Monarch Elementary School.

While debating the bylaw, concerns were raised about why these kids don’t have to pay to use the city buses, when others do.

“We pay our taxes, so why do we have to pay to send our kids on the bus to go to school?” said Diane Lane, a parent of a Beaverbank-Monarch student. “Either let us have our [Halifax] Transit or give us a stock bus, it’s as simple as that.”

The province of Nova Scotia provides funding to individual school boards who then arrange transportation to students. The problem in this case is that the students technically live within a standard walking distance to the school.

Students face dangerous walking journey

That criteria is based off a direct line of travel —; which in this case would see students walk through a wooded area and skirt along a swamp. The only alternative would be to travel along Beaverbank Road, which sees more than 14,000 vehicles daily.

“A number of years ago there was a student who was actually walking to the school, was cutting through a wooded area and actually fell into, or somehow ended up drowning in a lake that’s down here,” said Brad Johns, councillor for the area.

Johns is hoping the Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) can consider updating the criteria they use to determine walking distance for students, so more children can have access to transportation.

“This is not a unique situation across the municipality. I get calls all the time about people —; particularity with students who are in the elementary schools —; who are complaining about the distance their kids have to walk to school,” said Johns.

HRSB member Gin Yee says across Nova Scotia there is only transportation funding available for students who live 3.6 kilometers from school.

In Halifax, the criteria is different —; students are eligible to be bused to school if they live more than 2.4 kilometers away. Yee doesn’t think the standards will be changing anytime soon, saying it’s a matter of budget.

After much debate, councillors voted in favour of keeping the bus route as is. The matter will be before a public hearing in June. If it passes, the service will continue for the students of Beaverbank-Monarch Elementary School as long as its needed.

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Manitoba Bisons name Gene Muller as director of athletics and recreation

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WINNIPEG – The faculty of kinesiology and recreation management and Bison sports made a big announcement on Wednesday, naming Gene Muller the new director of athletics and recreation for the University of Manitoba.


Muller, 49, takes over from Colleen Dufresne who announced her retirement in April after a 32-year career with Bison sports —; the last 15 of which were spent as athletic director. Under Dufrense’s leadership, four Bison teams won Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championships, as well as nine Canada West conference championships.

READ MORE: Manitoba Bisons athletic director elected to universities world governing body

A native of South Africa, Muller has served as director of the U of M’s Active Living Centre since October 2014, however his coaching resume is packed with accomplishments. He was the bench boss for South Africa’s women’s national field hockey team at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games and also consulted with the Australian field hockey team during the 2008 Olympic Games. Additionally, Muller was named CIS women’s field hockey Coach of the Year in 2001 as head coach of the Bison’s squad.

“Gene’s resume speaks for itself. We are tremendously fortunate and honoured to have someone with such comprehensive international experience and tangible success leading our sports and recreation services programs,” said Douglas Brown, Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management in a press release.

READ MORE: Active living centre opens at U of M

Muller has held many hats during his 15-year high-performance coaching and management career, including being at the helm for over 300 international matches. Among his prior titles are Women’s National Coach for the South African Hockey Association, Men’s National Coach for Field Hockey Canada, Women’s National Coach and director of player performance for the Irish Hockey Association and the General Manager of the high performance and national teams for Field Hockey Canada.

Muller had many people to recognize following the news.

“I am both honoured and excited to be appointed as the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management’s Director of Athletics and Recreation. We are fortunate to have a great team of coaches, administrators, directors and coordinators. They fuel my optimism for the future of Athletics and Recreation at the University of Manitoba. I have been lucky to get to know all the staff and coaches of Bison sports. I want to take the opportunity of thanking Coleen [Dufresne] for her impact on Bison sports —; her retirement leaves a void. I am thankful for her generous help in transitioning to the new position,” Muller said in a press release.

Muller will move into his new role starting on September 1, 2016.

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‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’: This is what Ron and Hermione look like

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On Tuesday, Pottermore, the all-things-Harry Potter website, revealed key cast member photos of the Potter family as they’ll appear in the London stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

READ MORE: A new Harry Potter book is coming

Pottermore released further images Wednesday, this time showcasing the Granger-Weasley family, a.k.a. Hermione Granger and Harry Potter’s best friend, Ron Weasley.

Set 19 years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Granger and Weasley have a daughter, Rose. Her picture was also released. Weasley will be played by Paul Thornley, Granger by Noma Dumezweni, and Rose by Cherrelle Skeete.

READ MORE: Black Hermione cast in new Harry Potter play, J.K. Rowling approves

There was some internet backlash when it was announced that a black actress would be playing Hermione, who’s played by Emma Watson in the movies. Some people claimed it was jarring to switch the character from white to black.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling even stepped into the fray, insisting that she never clearly stated what skin colour Hermione has.

Hermione Granger (Noma Dumezweni)

Ron Weasley (Paul Thornley)

Rose Granger-Weasley (Cherrelle Skeete)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth story in the Potter saga, has its world premiere in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre on July 30, 2016.

READ MORE: Emma Watson, Harry Potter star, named in Panama Papers

The play is based on an original new story by Potter writer J.K. Rowling, along with co-writers Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.

Follow @CJancelewicz
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) | PrettyFamous

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Meet the woman behind #OscarsSoWhite hashtag

Written by admin on 27/07/2019 Categories: 广州桑拿网

TORONTO – It all started January 2015.

April Reign, managing editor of BroadwayBlack广州桑拿网, settled on to her couch eagerly awaiting the 2015 Oscar nominations announcement.

“I’ve been a watcher of the Oscars for over 30 years,” Reign said.

But as each of the nominees were announced, Reign noticed an unsettling trend.

“Picture after picture after picture came up and there were no people of colour, there was no one from a marginalized community, there were no one from LGBT community people represented,” she said.

“I was disappointed and frustrated with the lack of representation in film and so I took to social media to vent that frustration.”

Reign composed a simple, but poignant 45 character tweet that would start the #OscarsSoWhite phenomenon.

#OscarsSoWhite they asked to touch my hair. 😒

— April (@ReignOfApril) January 15, 2015


“It was a lark. It was something funny and cheeky,” Reign said.

“And then the conversation turned into something much more serious and it became a rallying cry to have more in depth discussion on this issue.”

Now, more than one year since the hashtag’s composition, it’s still relevant.

“[It] experienced a resurgence,” she said.

“This year was disappointing and a lot of people thought that 2015 was just a fluke but when we saw 2016 and there still was not any significant inclusion in film of marginalized communities, I think people started to realize that perhaps this was a pattern.”

Reign said movies like “The Martian”, with the lead character being played by Matt Damon could have considered casting actors of colour.

“Matt Damon did a great job in it but there’s nothing to say that a person of colour could have not played that role,” she said.

“Similarly, a movie like the ‘Danish Girl’ with Eddie Redmayne, he was great playing a transgender woman and was nominated, but the movie ‘Tangerine’ was overlooked by the Academy and one wonders why a transgender woman could not have played the role that Eddie Redmayne did. Those are the sort of issues in respect to inclusion that #OscarsSoWhite speaks to.”

Since the #OscarsSoWhite resurgence, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said she has since redoubled efforts to diversify its membership.

“I am very energized  by the fact that the academy  has made some structural changes, which is more than I could have imagined,” Reign said.

“The systemic change that they are making is historic. It hasn’t happened in the 80 year history of the awards.”

But this is just the beginning Reign said, adding she no longer wants to have these discussions.

“What I would like to have happen is that we don’t have to have these discussions anymore. We shouldn’t be able to pick on one hand the  number of people of colour or the number of people in marginalized communities that have been nominated.”

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Handwritten letters dating back to WWII show side of Alberta man his grandchildren never knew

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EDMONTON — An Alberta family says letters penned by their grandfather in the Second World War reveal a side of him they never got the chance to know.

On Wednesday morning, Jason Rasmussen and his sisters, Trish Rasmussen and Kristen Evans, were reunited with the letters their grandfather, Gen. Mungo Clark, wrote and mailed home during his time overseas in the 1940s.

“The things he must have seen and had to do to stay alive, to survive. I can’t wait to read all of these with our family and our kids,” Jason said.


“This is like a small treasure for us,” Trish added.

The letters were seized by Rimbey RCMP after officers found them inside a stolen vehicle on Feb. 5. When officers realized the sentimental value the letters had, the search began for their rightful owners.

READ MORE: Handwritten letters dating back to 1946 found, Alberta RCMP look for owners 

The letters mean a great deal to the central Alberta trio – their grandfather passed away in 1995. Reading them now, Clark’s grandchildren are seeing a softer side of him; a side that showed great love and admiration for his family.

“I was too young to really have a good conversation with him before he died and so reading this as a conversation is indescribable,” Kristen said.

“Very caring, very loving. We never saw that when I knew him. Never saw that,” Jason said.

The grandfather they knew was cold. He showed all the signs of what is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder.

“My grandpa, in his later years, was not the same man as before the war so I think it would be really nice for my mom to see a sentimental side to him because she certainly didn’t see that in his later years,” Trish added.

Jason recalled times when a slamming a door too hard would cause his grandfather to jump out of his skin.

“Being on the frontlines, the things that he must have seen or had to do? That would change anybody,” Jason said.

“Unfortunately, back then it was alcohol, that’s how they dealt with it and that’s how my grandfather dealt with it and it’s really sad. It’s really sad.”

What makes the discovery of the letters even more significant is that the family didn’t even know they existed. Before learning of them last week, the only keepsakes they had of their grandfather was a small box of documents from the war, which includes his discharge papers.

“This is serendipity, right? We found something good that we weren’t even looking for,” Trish said.

RCMP are still investigating to determine where the letters were stolen from.

Gen. Mungo Clark’s letters Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016.

Fletcher Kent, Global News

Gen. Mungo Clark’s letters Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016.

Fletcher Kent, Global News

Cst. Jonathan Maillet with Kristen Evans (L), Jason Rasmussen (C) and Trish Rasmussen as they look through their grandfather’s letters Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016.

Fletcher Kent, Global News

Rimbey RCMP are looking for the owners of these letters which date back 1946. The letters were written between a Margaret Clark and a Gen. Mungo Clark.

Courtesy, Rimbey RCMP

Rimbey RCMP are looking for the owners of these letters which date back 1946. The letters were written between a Margaret Clark and a Gen. Mungo Clark.

Courtesy, Rimbey RCMP

Rimbey RCMP are looking for the owners of these letters which date back 1946. The letters were written between a Margaret Clark and a Gen. Mungo Clark.

Courtesy, Rimbey RCMP

Follow @CaleyRamsay

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Saskatchewan indigenous groups look to build bonds with refugees

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SASKATOON – An indigenous welcome event Wednesday in Saskatoon for recent refugees will go a long way in creating a lasting relationship between the two groups, according to organizers.

“When you don’t know each other, there’s that prejudgment and lack of understanding,” said Beulah Gana, the director of the Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies.

“With understanding of each other’s culture and where you are coming from, there’s a welcoming community.”



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    Roughly 200 refugees took in Wednesday’s event at Holy Family Cathedral, which was organized in part by Gana. It featured speeches from indigenous groups, who explained parts of First Nations history and certain customs.

    “We want to just provide an event that says that we’re behind you and we want to support you in any way that we can,” said Brad Bird, the cultural coordinator for the Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan.

    “We want to ensure that they have a good understanding of where we come from as an aboriginal community, how the community around us was built.”

    READ MORE: Syrian refugees thank Saskatoon for warm welcome

    Similar events are planned in Regina and Moose Jaw over the coming days. Organizers say the effort is in response to the Syrian refugee crisis and is open to all refugees who have arrived in Saskatchewan since the start of November.

    “This country embrace and hug us and we not forget these warm moments and I think these unforgettable moments for us,” said Raad Al Jamous, one of Saskatoon’s Syrian refugees who participated in Wednesday’s event.

    “I found warming, welcoming, that make me to forget the cold weather here in Saskatoon.”

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Marco Muzzo apologizes for killing 3 children and grandfather, will learn fate March 29

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NEWMARKET, Ont. – A drunk driver who killed three children and their grandfather in a horrific crash told the grieving family Wednesday that he wished he could erase his “inexcusable” actions, but his apology was rejected by the children’s parents.

Marco Muzzo, 29, faced a packed courtroom as he expressed the sorrow and regret he said have been consuming him since the Sept. 27 tragedy in Vaughan, Ont.

“I am tortured by the grief and the pain that I have caused the entire family,” he said.


“I will forever be haunted by the reality of what I have done. I am truly sorry.”

His voice trembling at times, Muzzo acknowledged that his words could bring no consolation to those whose lives have been irreparably harmed by his behaviour.

But he vowed to work to make amends by educating others on the dangers of drunk driving.

“I will spend the rest of my life attempting to atone for my conduct,” he said.

READ MORE: 3 findings from Marco Muzzo’s psychiatric report

Muzzo pleaded guilty earlier this month to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

Nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, his five-year-old brother Harrison, their two-year-old sister Milly, and the children’s 65-year-old grandfather, Gary Neville, died after the van they were in was hit by an SUV.

Jennifer and Edward Neville-Lake, whose family was decimated in the crash, left the room as Muzzo took the stand and did not return until he was back in the prisoner’s box.

Outside court, Jennifer Neville-Lake said the couple had no interest in what Muzzo had to say and questioned the sincerity of his remorse.

“There’s nothing he could absolutely say that would have any impact on me on my life so I don’t want to listen to the man who is responsible for killing my children,” she told reporters outside the court. “There’s nothing he can say, his actions spoke louder than words.”


I stand here before you today with great remorse, sympathy and unimaginable regret. As I listened with horror yesterday to the details of the catastrophic consequences of my actions, I knew that my words would be of no consolation. Ever since the tragedy that occurred as a result of my inexcusable conduct, I have wanted to say that I am sorry and apologize to your family from the bottom of my heart.

I am at a loss for words and I am on a constant search for the right way to express to you my sorrow. I know that there are no actions that can ever change what has happened. I know that there is no steps that I can take to bring back your children Daniel, Harrison, and Millie Neville-Lake and your father Gary Neville – I pray that I could – but I cannot. I wish that I could undo the heartbreaking experiences that your mother Neriza Neville and grandmother Josephina Frias had to witness and continue to live through. I am tortured by the grief and the pain that I have caused your entire family and the tragic effect that this has had on so many others and its impact upon the community.

I could never have imagined the degree of suffering and pain I have caused. If I could reverse the hands of time, I would without hesitation. I want nothing more than to attempt to bring some peace to your hearts and minds.

I wish that I could be able to give back to your family for all I have taken. I will spend the rest of my life attempting to atone for my conduct – by devoting myself to education the public of the disastrous consequences of drinking and driving.

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. I pray every day for the loss of your family and to help diminish the extreme sadness and grief you feel. As God resides in our hearts, and your family resides with Him, I hope that you can find some comfort in your faith.

I will forever be haunted by the reality of what I have done and I am truly sorry.

The family has even requested a court order barring Muzzo from contacting them from behind bars, though his lawyer said Muzzo would respect their wishes without an official restraint.

Just a day earlier, Neville-Lake had stared down Muzzo as she delivered an emotional statement to the court, saying his actions had shattered her world and robbed her of her identity as a mother.

It’s common for mourning families to dismiss the apologies offered by drunk drivers, said Andrew Murie, CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada. And while offenders often vow to change, few fulfil their promises, he said.

Muzzo’s lawyer, Brian Greenspan, said his client is “grief-stricken” and takes full responsibility for his actions.

READ MORE: Marco Muzzo speaks for first time at sentencing hearing

The crash was the result of a “terrible decision made by a very good person” who had otherwise led a “virtually exemplary” life, he said.

The Muzzo family, one of Canada’s wealthiest, owns the drywall company Marel Contractors and is worth nearly $1.8 billion, according to Canadian Business magazine.

Dozens of people, including relatives and employees of the family business, wrote letters denouncing what they called an unfair portrayal of Muzzo in the media.

A neighbour said Muzzo, who he has known for years, was always willing to lend a hand, while an employee described him as “humble beyond words and loved by everyone.”

His fiancee said the pair were inseparable and had spent the last few years building their home. They were set to be married in October, but those plans were derailed after Muzzo’s arrest.

A compassionate and helpful man, Muzzo took over caring for his family after losing his father to cancer a decade ago, Taryn Hampton said in her letter.

Marco Muzzo, right, leaves the Newmarket courthouse surrounded by family, on February 4, 2016. A sentencing hearing is scheduled today for the 29-year-old who pled guilty to driving drunk and causing a horrific crash that killed three children and their grandfather.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

The Crown, meanwhile, compared Muzzo’s actions to walking down the street with a loaded gun.

“It is time to send a message,” Crown lawyer Paul Tait said in calling for a sentence of 10 to 12 years and a ban on driving for eight to 10.

“Every drunk driver makes a choice and in this case that choice resulted in catastrophic consequences for the victims’ family,” he said. “An entire generation of the Neville-Lake family was wiped out in one fell swoop.”

There is no maximum sentence for impaired driving causing death and Tait said the judge could impose a sentence beyond what he requested, noting that it would set a strong precedent.

The defence has argued an eight-year sentence would be sufficient, with credit for the four months he has already spent in custody.

A psychiatric report filed with the court Wednesday said Muzzo is showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and mild depression.

READ MORE: Marco Muzzo: Why a similar case attracted an 8-year prison sentence

Dr. Graham Glancy, who conducted the evaluation, said Muzzo shows “considerable remorse” and appears “distressed and tearful” at times, particularly when discussing the crash.

The psychiatrist said Muzzo told him he was stunned by the breathalyzer results, which court has heard were between two and three times the legal limit.

He said Muzzo recalled drinking until 3 a.m. the night before the crash but feeling fine in the morning. Muzzo remembered having three to four drinks on a plane before taking the wheel, but did not feel drunk.

Court has heard he was returning from his bachelor party in Florida on a private plane and picked up his car at Pearson International Airport.

Muzzo is to be sentenced on March 29.

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