Earth’s General Store closing in downtown Edmonton

An organic health food store in downtown Edmonton is closing its doors.

Earth’s General Store posted on its website that it’s given notice to its landlords that it will shut down its location on 101 Avenue and 104 Street on Oct. 31.

“It is with an extremely heavy heart that I have to announce that we are in the position where we are closing our downtown store on Oct. 31, 2017,” owner Michael Kalmanovitch wrote.

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“I tried to squeeze another month before giving our notice to see if things improved but had to finally resign to the reality – things are not improving and I have to minimize our losses.”

READ MORE: Local store issues ultimatum to downtown Edmonton: ‘use us or lose us’

In January, Earth’s General Store issued an ultimatum to the community that it would close its downtown location if business didn’t pick up, and that didn’t happen, according to Kalmanovitch’s online post.

“When Sobeys closed down I was concerned that we would not be able to meet the demand for good quality groceries at fair prices and offering organic foods. This demand not materialize,” Kalmanovitch wrote.

“The downtown store has never made money. It always ran at a deficit. It was propped up by the Whyte Avenue store but extra funds from Whyte have diminished and I am simply running out of money.”

READ MORE: Edmonton downtown development focus for city and business community 

Kalmanovitch apologized to his employees and the downtown community, who he said he “failed.”

“I am not a businessman. I am a person that does business. I think a ‘good’ business person would have done things a bit differently since their value system has a different focus and that a ‘good’ business person would have seen the writing on the wall a while ago and pulled out of this venture but I see more than just the return on investment of a financial return,” Kalmanovitch wrote.

Kalmanovitch said there is a possibility of opening Earth’s General Store at a different location but sales will need to increase for that to happen.

Boston Red Sox apologize for fans hurling racial slurs at Baltimore Orioles fielder Adam Jones

Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy is apologizing for fans at Fenway Park taunting Baltimore Orioles centre fielder Adam Jones with racial slurs.

Kennedy also apologized Tuesday for a fan throwing peanuts at Jones during Monday night’s game. He said the organization is “sickened by the conduct of an ignorant few.”

Jones, who is black, said he was “called the N-word a handful of times” in quotes reported by USA Today Sports and The Boston Globe.

“It’s unfortunate that people need to resort to those type of epithets to degrade another human being,” Jones said.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, in a tweet Tuesday, also called the behaviour by fans “unacceptable and shameful.”

“This is not what Massachusetts & Boston are about,” the tweet said.

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READ MORE: Blue Jays beer-throwing suspect charged with mischief

Jones, a five-time All-Star, said he has been the subject of racist heckling in Boston’s ballpark before, but this was one of the worst cases of fan abuse he has heard in his 12-year career, according to USA Today Sports.

USA Today Sports reported that Red Sox officials confirmed that a fan threw a bag of peanuts at Jones and was ejected from the stadium.

“It’s pathetic,” Jones said. “It’s called a coward. What they need to do is that instead of kicking them out of the stadium, they need to fine them 10 grand, 20 grand, 30 grand. Something that really hurts somebody.”

The Red Sox said they are reviewing what happened at the game, but that any spectator behaving poorly forfeits the right to be in the ballpark and could be subject to further action.

The Orioles’ 5-2 victory marked the latest testy game between the AL East rivals this season, including a dustup in Baltimore a week ago.

In the teams’ previous meeting at Camden Yards, Boston reliever Matt Barnes sent a pitch that whizzed behind Manny Machado’s head and hit the slugger’s bat. Barnes was suspended four games and fined.

Machado had rankled the Red Sox with a hard slide into second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s left leg two days earlier. Pedroia missed a handful of games.

Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy hit Mookie Betts near the left hip with a fastball Monday night, prompting loud boos.

CETA to provide ‘modest’ gains for Canadian economy: PBO

OTTAWA – Canada’s free-trade pact with Europe is poised to produce “modest” economic gains that work out to an average annual income boost of $220 per Canadian, the federal budget watchdog says in a new report.

The parliamentary budget officer released a study Tuesday that estimates the trade deal would have lifted Canada’s overall economic output in 2015 by 0.4 per cent or $7.9 billion, had it been implemented at the time.

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READ MORE: EU expects Canada to ratify CETA in coming weeks, official says

Canadian exports of goods to the EU would have increased $4 billion, services would have been up $2.2 billion and investment would have grown by $3.1 billion, the analysis found.

But the report did put the overall projected improvement into perspective by noting that Canada boasts a $2-trillion economy.

“CETA will lead to some gains for Canada, but they will be modest,” the report said, referring to the deal’s full name: the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

“The work outlined in this report projects a small, but positive, overall effect on Canada’s economy … Starting from relatively low levels, exports of goods will increase by 9.3 per cent and services by 14 per cent.”

READ MORE: Trudeau says CETA will benefit all Canadians, experts not so sure

The PBO based its analysis on 2015 because projecting into the future would have been more difficult. It was also the most recent year for which a complete set of economic data was available.

The budget office predicted some Canadian sectors will likely see slower growth under the agreement, including some dairy and agricultural products, textiles and some machinery and manufactured goods.

On the other hand, the report predicts sectors including transport and motor vehicles, some metals and wheat will likely grow more quickly.

The report focused on the parts of the agreement that it said could be studied analytically.

WATCH: Canada-EU CETA deal impact on Canadian businesses and consumers (Feb. 2017)

The areas analyzed included tariff reductions on goods, reduction in trade barriers for services and intellectual property as it relates to royalty payments for patented drugs. The report also examined the overall impact that the deal might have on Canada’s gross domestic product through investment.

“With the signing of CETA, questions arise concerning the magnitude of the benefits and impacts, as well as how they will be distributed,” said the report by Jean-Denis Frechette’s office.

“Liberalizing trade is intended to bring benefits through greater specialization … but the impact on sectors could be uneven.”

Parliament is expected to ratify CETA in the coming months. Once approved, about 90 per cent of the deal would come into force under provisional application.

The deal is expected to come into force amid concerns in corporate Canada over protectionist policy proposals under discussion in the United States.

READ MORE: Cheaper wine, cheese and avocados: How trade deals impact the price of your favourite things

Frechette’s office predicted that strengthening business ties with the EU will make Canadians a little less dependent on their existing trade partners, predicting that Canada’s annual exports to the U.S. could decline by 0.4 per cent or $1.4 billion, while exports to the rest of the world could fall by 0.7 per cent or about $384 million.

Last year, Canada exported about $39.8 billion worth of merchandise to the EU, making it Canada’s second-largest export destination, the report said. In comparison, Canadian merchandise exports to China were about $21 billion.

“But this is still only a tenth of the exports that go to the United States,” the PBO said.

“Canada’s sales of oil and gas to the United States alone are worth more than all the goods and services it sells to the EU.”

Premier and mayor mark 1 year since wildfire: ‘Fort McMurray, you are strong’

Speaking in Fort McMurray one year after the wildfire forced a massive evacuation, Alberta’s premier called Wednesday “a sombre anniversary” while the region’s mayor said it was also a time to “reflect on the remarkable experiences of the past year.”

Community events were quiet and respectful — something the region’s officials heard was how residents wanted to mark the day.

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“When you have a milestone event like this one, the importance of recounting the progress that’s actually being made is helpful in some people’s recovery, ignoring the date entirely for some people who just don’t want to face it as a reminder is another thing that’s important to respect,” Wood Buffalo Mayor Melissa Blake said. “So, the low-key events that we have staged down at MacDonald Island are supportive of the desires of the community.

“To offer these different things, whether it’s spiritual or cultural or artistic or yoga at five in the morning… Everybody needs to do their own thing to mark this day.”

Premier Rachel Notley also noted the day was one to mourn the loss of two young people killed in a crash on Highway 881, fleeing the fires: Emily Ryan, 15, and Aaron Hodgson, 19.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray triplet killed fleeing fires was daughter of deputy fire chief 

“We also remember all that the fire took from people: their homes, their baby photos and all the cherished belongings that helped to anchor so many cherished memories.”

Watch below: Premier Rachel Notley marks 1 year since Fort McMurray wildfire: ‘This is a very difficult day’

“This is also an opportunity to extend our gratitude to our brave emergency responders, whether they were from Alberta or came to help from beyond our borders.”

The premier said everywhere she goes, she is asked about Fort McMurray.

“Everywhere, the sentiment is the same… Your province is very, very proud of you. People from the U.S. to China to Japan are inspired by the bravery, strength and resilience this community did show and continues to show.

“Albertans have long known the people of Fort McMurray are as caring and resilient as they come,” Notley said. “The evacuation proved that to the world.”

READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire victims praise Canadian Red Cross’ help: ‘Thank you to the nation’ 

Blake also spoke about how overwhelmed she was by the support of Canadians, through the Red Cross, to help people that were complete strangers.

“We thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” the mayor said.

“To all the Canadians from coast to coast to coast who opened their hearts and homes to us, we will forever be in your debt. During the darkest time in our history, these overwhelming acts of kindness and compassion sustained us.”

“Strangers housed us, fed us, clothed us, even filled our tanks with gas… Our entire community has been personally touched.”

Watch below: Mayor Melissa Blake marks 1 year since Fort McMurray wildfire

Roughly 20 per cent of the community has decided not to return to Fort McMurray since the fire. However, Notley said the school population showed a 94 per cent retention rate as of September.

When asked about calls for another access route out of the city, the premier said the transportation ministry was working with the municipality on possible options. The Alberta government has already dedicated $5 million towards a feasibility study, with the municipality also putting in $5 million.

“That’s the first step,” Notley said, adding she anticipates the study will begin “very soon.”

Notley and Blake were joined by several emergency officials, including the municipality’s new fire chief, RCMP supervisor, and members of the Recovery Task Force.

READ MORE: ‘We pulled it off’: Suncor airport supervisor recounts converting hangar into hospital 1 year after Fort McMurray wildfire 

Both speakers stressed the importance of reaching out for help processing emotions and grief in the wake of the disaster.

“I’ve spoken to many residents who are dreading this day,” Blake said. “Others will want to mark it privately.

“Mental health matters and it is OK to reach out.”

Watch below: Family of teens killed fleeing Fort McMurray wildfire reflects on past year

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

Notley and Blake reiterated that progress is being made but there is still a long road ahead.

“Yes we have come a long way and it’s encouraging to see,” Blake said. “But it’s still early days.”

“We know the journey is not over,” Notley added. “We are still with you.

“Wood Buffalo and Fort McMurray, you are strong.”

For complete coverage of Fort McMurray: The Road Back, click here.

Watch below: Fort McMurray wildfire one year later: hear from residents and the premier

Global Edmonton anchor Shaye Ganam speaks with Premier Rachel Notley as Fort McMurray marks one year since the 2016 wildfire on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

Christine Meadows, Global News

Mayor Melissa Blake, Premier Rachel Notley and Minister Danielle Larivee mark one year since the Fort McMurray wildfire on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

Reid Fiest, Global News

Mayor Melissa Blake, Premier Rachel Notley and Minister Danielle Larivee mark one year since the Fort McMurray wildfire on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

Christine Meadows, Global News

People attend a Fort McMurray park on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 to commemorate one year since the wildfire.

Fletcher Kent, Global News

B.C. would tax U.S. coal, Liberal leader promises

MERRITT, B.C. – British Columbia Liberal Leader Christy Clark appears to be betting that the simmering softwood dispute with the United States is fertile ground for votes as she increased the pressure in the trade spat Tuesday, promising a hefty carbon tax on U.S. thermal coal.

Clark said she would tax the coal that’s shipped through the province’s ports to make it uncompetitive and defend workers from the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump.

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“Now is the right time to do it, the right time to send a strong message to the Trump administration and U.S. lumber barons that we will not back down in the face of their aggressive attacks on workers here in British Columbia,” said Clark, who has pushed hard on the issue in the latter stages of the provincial election campaign.

FULL COVERAGE: BC Election 2017

If the federal government doesn’t act on her request to ban the coal, she said the Liberals would develop regulations that impose a carbon price of about $70 per tonne if they are re-elected in the May 9 election.

“The levy would make thermal coal shipped through British Columbia utterly uncompetitive in the global market,” she said while campaigning in Merritt.

The plan escalates a threat she first made last week after the American’s imposed an average duty of 20 per cent on Canadian softwood lumber.

The coal moves through B.C. ports to be shipped to China, but Clark says it’s among the dirtiest and most carbon-intense methods to generate power and heat. About 6.6 million tonnes of thermal coal was exported through B.C. ports last year, 94 per cent of that came from the United States.

NDP Leader John Horgan said that if Clark was serious about thermal coal she could have done something about it years ago, accusing her of only reacting now because of the election.

“I think this is reckless, it’s irresponsible,” he said at a campaign stop in Kamloops. “If we don’t get a good deal on softwood lumber, it’s going to mean thousands of jobs are at risk and the only job Christy Clark cares about is hers.”

About 30 supporters gathered on a bank of the South Thomson River to meet Horgan, who said if each of them represented 1,000 people that would total the 30,000 people in the city the NDP says don’t have a family doctor.

“That’s a crisis. It hasn’t been addressed because of 16 years of neglect by the B.C. Liberals,” said Horgan.

The NDP would invest in public health care, including building a new patient care tower at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, and urgent care centres across the province to fill the gap between walk-in clinics and clogged emergency rooms, Horgan said.

“It’s time we had a government that’s working for you, and in seven days we’re going to get that,” he said.

Liberal Health Minister Terry Lake, who isn’t running for re-election in Kamloops-North Thompson, showed up at Horgan’s campaign stop. The NDP has not won the riding since 1991, but Horgan said he thinks they can be successful there.

Lake said the NDP is exaggerating when it says 30,000 people lack a family doctor in Kamloops, but added access to primary care is a challenge.

“There’s no magic bullet that’s going to solve this problem overnight and I think it’s disingenuous for Mr. Horgan or anyone else to claim that they can do that,” he said.

Horgan’s campaign cited a media story from last November quoting telemedicine provider Medview MD for the 30,000 figure.

As Lake spoke to reporters, NDP supporters carried signs that said “700,000 without a family doctor,” a reference to the total number of people the party says lack a primary care physician.

“Hire more nurses!” said Diane Lingren, a nurse with 10 years of experience, wearing her blue scrubs.

“We are,” responded Lake.

“No you’re not. You’re filling vacant spaces,” she said, shaking her head.

Lingren said nurses are working short-staffed and under-supported with patients being treated in hallways. People look at the wards and say, “Oh, it’s just like ‘M.A.S.H.’ in here,” she said.

Green party Leader Andrew Weaver campaigned in Vancouver on Tuesday, attacking the NDP for making “disturbing” multibillion-dollar promises without saying how it would be paid for.

The Liberals and NDP have also failed on climate change and getting the province ready for the new economy, he said.

“We recognize that if we want to be leaders in tech innovation we must also embrace the tech innovation that we want to be leaders in,” he said.

“B.C. Liberals have no plan, the B.C. NDP have a plan to come up with a plan to develop a plan, and the B.C. Greens actually have a plan for a prosperous future.”

With more rain expected, Quebec towns deal with flooding

Quebec’s public security minister is preaching patience and says flooding fears will remain for the next several days as more rain is expected in the coming days.

Numerous Quebec municipalities that border streams and rivers are dealing with flooding as heavy precipitation and mild temperatures have caused water levels to rise rapidly.

READ MORE: Rigaud declares state of emergency as water levels continue to rise

Martin Coiteux took stock of the situation Tuesday in Shawinigan, Que., about halfway between Montreal and Quebec City.

READ MORE: Flooding northwest of Montreal, Laval flood watch continues

He says with more rain coming, he expects authorities will need to keep close watch for at least another week.

WATCH BELOW: Flooding in Quebec

Rigaud flooding forces residents out of homes

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Rigaud flooding forces residents out of homes

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Overflowing rivers cause flooding in Quebec

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200 homes flooded in Sainte-Thérèse, cleanup underway

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Residents forced from their homes after flooding in Sainte-Thérèse



Coiteux says civil security officials in various parts of the province have the situation under control and doesn’t believe the province needs the help of Canadian Forces personnel.

READ MORE: Rigaud officials trying to stem the tide of worst flooding since ’98

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told reporters in Ottawa says his government is ready to respond if asked.

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Related

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  • Rigaud declares state of emergency as water levels continue to rise

  • Flooding northwest of Montreal, Laval flood watch continues