With all eyes on the real estate markets in Ontario cities, the London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors is trumpeting April as a record month for home sales.
An announcement from LSTAR says 1,220 homes were sold in the month, marking an increase of 14.2 per cent over April of 2016.
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“This represents the best results ever for April since LSTAR began tracking sales data in 1978,” the association said in a statement.
The most significant increase was in condominium sales, which went up by more than 25 per cent since last year. The 971 detached home sales signified an uptick of 11.7 per cent over 2016.
LSTAR’s president, Jim Smith, said this makes a continuation on what’s been a banner year for the organization with every month breaking previous records.
“After the first four months, we’re about 25 per cent ahead in home sales compared to 2016,” said Smith. “It just shows how desirable the region is, when you consider affordability, accessibility and lifestyle. London and St. Thomas have so many features that make them an attractive destination to live, work, raise families and retire. We’ve got farm-to-table restaurants, London Knights hockey, big-name concerts and culture such as the North American Railway Hall of Fame, and the Grand Theatre.”
In St. Thomas specifically, the average home price has increased by over nine per cent since March to $270,439 —; well behind the average London price of $347,062.
The term “burning up the course” will take on new meaning this summer in Mill Woods. ATCO will be on site for a good chunk of the summer, burying deeper natural gas pipelines that need to be lowered because of Valley Line LRT construction.
At some point during the process there will be flaring.
READ MORE: City chooses TransEd Partners to work on Valley LRT project
Joan Kirillo, the business manager with MCARFA, the not-for-profit agency that runs the course in partnership with the city, only found out late last week how extensive the job will be this summer.
“They’re not telling us enough information,” Kirillo told reporters after appearing before city council’s executive committee Tuesday.
“I’ve been working with the city on this since 2012 and I’ve always been told: there’s no relocation of the pipelines.”
“It wasn’t until somebody sent me an email about moving one of our gates that is on that area that they went, ‘Oh, by the way, the relocation is happening.’”
IN PICTURES: Ready to ride? New images reveal more of what Edmontonians can expect from LRT’s Valley Line
City Coun. Mike Nickel was also shocked by the turn of events.
“I know so little about it, that’s my point. I’d like to know because I think my constituents would like to know exactly what they’re doing, when they’re doing it, what mitigation, if any, needs to be done.
“I mean, when you’re flaring a gas line in the middle of a city, wouldn’t you like to know? I would.”
Kirillo has asked for compensation from the Valley Line LRT project since work will begin this month, and she said the email from ATCO indicates the pipeline work will be between July 25 and Aug. 31. A pump house on the corner of the property at 66 Street needs to be moved, which also means pipelines have to be moved as well and buried deeper.
READ MORE: Open house for Mill Woods Town Centre redevelopment to accommodate Valley Line LRT
“Those pipelines have to be lowered. My understanding from the pipeline companies [is that] they have to be lowered because of the vibrations of the train. So they’re lowering them under 66 Street which means directional drilling, which could be okay, but where they’re showing the dig sites it’s right on our No. 3 green, right beside it.”
She’s been told that compensation will be on a “case-by-case basis.”
“That’s a really good lawyer answer, isn’t it?” she said.
Staff at the course, at the height of golf season in the summer, numbers about 50, Kirillo said.
“As people who are employing people and running businesses to hear, ‘We don’t pay,’ that’s just a standard law answer. Good on them, but we won’t give up.”
“There are 80 golf courses within 20 minutes of Edmonton. If we don’t have a full facility that’s really run properly, people will just go somewhere else.”
READ MORE: TransEd kicks off construction on Valley Line LRT Bonnie Doon stop
Nickel has asked questions before about performance measures from TransEd, the P-3 consortium building the Valley Line.
“P-3s only work well if there’s good communication between the partners and right now I’m not seeing it.”
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has bowed out of an annual fundraising event originally set up for veterans of the war in Afghanistan, an event whose main beneficiaries include military personnel returning from combat.
The embattled defence minister is, however, pressing ahead with a speech Wednesday to members of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, billed by his department as an update on “the state of Canadian defence.”
Sajjan had been scheduled to speak at the 8th annual “To the ‘Stan and Back” event Tuesday, but founder Cheri Elliott said she was told a scheduling conflict had arisen and he would not be able to attend.
READ MORE: COMMENTARY: Sajjan under fire
“The official reason for his not being able to attend is he was asked to be elsewhere at the time. That is what I was told,” said Elliott, who is the mother of a serving Canadian Forces member.
The minister spoke at the same event last year, which raises money for service members as well as first responders dealing with PTSD and other psychological trauma.
Sajjan, a former soldier and veteran of the Afghan war, was back in question period Tuesday, where he again met sustained fire for having exaggerated his role in Operation Medusa, a key battle involving the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan in 2006.
READ MORE: Reality check: What Harjit Sajjan said about Operation Medusa vs. what really happened
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood alongside his embattled defence minister as interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose picked up where she had left off, again calling for Sajjan’s resignation.
Ambrose accused Sajjan during question period of having embellished his military record for political gain, while Trudeau praised Sajjan’s “exemplary record” as a soldier, police officer and minister.
The prime minister also rebuffed NDP calls to open an inquiry into the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan, which Sajjan had earlier refused.
The partisan bickering on Tuesday extended beyond question period, as the Liberals pushed back a so-called opposition day that they had promised to the Conservatives for Thursday.
WATCH: Is Justin Trudeau hurting his own credibility by standing behind Harjit Sajjan?
Conservative House leader Candice Bergen accused the government of postponing the opposition day until next week to avoid a full day of questions about Sajjan’s comments and conduct.
Central to that would have been a non-binding motion the Tories say they intended to table and which would have seen MPs vote on whether they still had confidence in the defence minister.
“The minister of defence has to resign, and this is a motion that would have forced the prime minister and the minister of defence to address this,” Bergen said.
“It would have been all day on Thursday, and instead they’re running scared.”
WATCH: Tories demand Defence Minister Sajjan to step aside
Government House Leader Bardish Chagger, however, said the scheduled opposition day had to be postponed because more time was needed this week to debate a bill that would implement the budget.
“There’s a slight tweaking taking place in the calendar because we do need to debate certain pieces of legislation,” she said.
Meanwhile, a watchdog group that tracks military imposters says many veterans are still upset with Sajjan despite his apology Monday, but that Ambrose went too far in accusing him of “stolen valour.”
“A new urban national park on the island would not only respond to a need, but would also send a strong signal in favour of the protection and preservation of our green spaces,” said Eric Alan Caldwell, the party’s urban planning spokesperson.
He explained other national parks around Montreal like Oka, Îles-de-Boucherville, and Mont-Saint-Bruno are filled to capacity with over 1.7 million annual visits.
The creation of a Pierrefonds-West national park would consolidate 16 square kilometres of territory, encompassing the Morgan Arboretum, the Bois-de-la-Roche Agricultural Park, l’Anse-à-l’Orme, and the Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park.
The party’s leader said the area would almost be equivalent to Îles-de-Boucherville and Mont-Saint-Bruno combined.
“It is up to us to protect them for future generations and to ensure that our families will continue to enjoy them in the years to come,” she said.
“We want all Montrealers to benefit from these pristine natural areas.”
Public hearings on the future of the land begin Tuesday, May 2 at 7 p.m. at Pierrefonds-Roxboro City Hall.
All public hearings are taking place at Pierrefonds-Roxboro City Hall (13664 Pierrefonds Blvd.):
May 2 – 7 p.m.May 8 – 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.May 9 – 7 p.m.May 10 – 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.May 11 – 1 p.m.May 15 – 1.p.m. and 7 p.m.
A documentary released Wednesday includes never-before-seen video and photos of the heroic efforts displayed by RCMP members during the Fort McMurray wildfire.
Footage captured by an RCMP videographer starting on May 4, 2016, combined with video from cameras mounted on RCMP vehicles during the May 3 evacuation, make up the 14-minute documentary.
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The film, called Boots on the Ground: Nature of the Beast, was produced by Alberta RCMP.
RCMP Sgt. Jack Poitras says the footage is “compelling.”
“I think the public would like to see what the event was like from the members’ point of view,” he said. “It gives you a whole new perspective on their dedication.”
READ MORE: All of Fort McMurray evacuated as wildfire intensifies
In a news release, the RCMP said the video “captures breathtaking… images and footage of the fire’s devastation and the brave men and women who remained on duty to ensure the safety of Fort McMurray residents.”
Poitras says the video from the dashcams is time-stamped and there’s a moment that captures the exact turning point in the emergency.
“It was 3:30… and it goes from clear as day to when you can’t see anything at all.”
The documentary was made public exactly one year after the wildfire forced 88,000 people out of the region.
“Most people were fairly calm when you spoke to them,” Wood Buffalo RCMP Sgt. Jonathan Baltzer says in the film. “And if you looked in their eyes, they weren’t.”
WATCH: Dashcam video shows tense moments as Beacon Hill residents escape flames
“I have so much respect for the work that our employees put in during the Wood Buffalo wildfires,” said Deputy Commissioner Todd Shean, commanding officer of K Division. “They worked tirelessly to ensure the safe evacuation of the residents.”
“Our job is to protect and preserve life, first and foremost,” Baltzer said.
READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: 1 week after mass exodus of 80K people, fire grows to 229K hectares
Poitras said about 140 RCMP officers were stationed at the Wood Buffalo detachment when the fire hit.
Instead of fleeing or trying to protect their own homes, members got to work in the region, many of them directing traffic during the mass exodus. Many officers worked 72 hours straight; others even longer. Fifteen officers lost their homes in the fire.
“Everybody called it ‘The Beast’ because it was so out of control, it was so unpredictable,” Baltzer said. “You look at the aftermath of it and it just seemed fickle. It would pick off two dozen houses and it would leave three. They would be untouched and then on the other side there would be another two dozen houses gone.
“It almost seemed taunting. And anything that’s that dangerous to begin with, that seems to be able to have a mind of its own… to just flaunt its power, almost, saying: ‘I’m going to do this and there’s nothing you can do about it,’ we should have been terrified.
“We should have been absolutely terrified. But we had a job to do.”
RCMP officers ran door to door through the smoke, making sure neighbourhoods were evacuated. They gave rides to people who needed help getting out, including a woman confined to a wheelchair whose home later burned to the ground.
“It’s very emotional,” said Wood Buffalo RCMP Supt. Lorna Dicks, who was interviewed for the documentary. “I look at that video… and just the pride I have in all the RCMP officers that responded that day. They put themselves in the middle of the fire, they put their lives on the line and put everything at risk to get the community out.
“The incredible amount of pride I feel for those first res ponders, it overwhelms me.”
Watch below: The RCMP in charge of the Wood Buffalo detachment on May 3, 2016 opens up about that day
“While the detachment didn’t burn, we lost access to both police stations up there,” Poitras said, adding they had to set up a mobile command post. That, and the remote location of Fort McMurray, compounded the challenge.
“If you run out of supplies, where do you go?
“You realize that in some other incidents that we’ve had… you have cities around you you can go to,” Poitras said.
“It was quite a logistical feat.”
READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: Mounties secure city, prevent intruders from entering
In the days that followed, Wood Buffalo RCMP received support from several detachments across Alberta, B.C. and the Maritimes.
During the next few weeks, RCMP secured the evacuated areas, assisted with animal rescues and continued to escort residents from camps north of the city. Then, in June, the RCMP worked with the municipality on the phased re-entry plan.
Click here to watch the Alberta RCMP’s wildfire documentary.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama broke his 杭州桑拿会所 silence Tuesday to support Jimmy Kimmel’s plea for Obamacare after the talk show host revealed his newborn son had heart surgery.
“Well said, Jimmy. That’s exactly why we fought so hard for the ACA, and why we need to protect it for kids like Billy. And congratulations!” Obama tweeted with a link to Kimmel’s Monday night opening monologue.
Well said, Jimmy. That’s exactly why we fought so hard for the ACA, and why we need to protect it for kids like Billy. And congratulations! https://t.co/77F8rZrD3P
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 2, 2017
Obama had not tweeted since March 23.
Kimmel held back tears when he told the Jimmy Kimmel Live audience his son needed heart surgery just three days after he was born.
READ MORE: Jimmy Kimmel chokes up talking about his son’s heart surgery, 3 days after he was born
Kimmel explained a nurse had detected his son had a birth defect called tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia – a hole in the wall separating the right and left sides of the heart and a blocked pulmonary valve.
His son was transferred to another hospital where surgeon spent three hours operating on him.
“He went in with a scalpel and did some kind of magic that I couldn’t even begin to explain,” Kimmel said.
After thanking family, friends and hospital staff for the support for the family and his son’s treatment, Kimmel criticized President Donald Trump proposed $6 billion cut in funding to the National Institutes of Health.
“If your baby is going to die but it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” Kimmel said. “I think that’s something, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right? I mean we do.
Kimmel called on politicians to not let “partisan squabbles” divide them on issues such as a child’s access to medical treatment.
“No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life,” he said.
“It just shouldn’t happen, not here.”
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also shared Kimmel’s monologue on 杭州桑拿会所, thanking the late night talk show host for sharing his story.
Watch & prepare to tear up. Thanks @jimmykimmel for sharing your story & reminding us what’s at stake w/health care.https://t.co/2kTEeUEG2f
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 2, 2017
“Watch & prepare to tear up. Thanks @jimmykimmel for sharing your story & reminding us what’s at stake w/health care,” Clinton tweeted.
– –Global News reporter Jesse Ferreras contributed to this report.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of West Island have been in their current office space in Dorval for the last six years.
However, the organization admits it has limitations.
“It’s really a maze,” said interim executive director, Julie Ogilvie. “It doesn’t work well when one case worker is having a confidential meeting, and another one needs to bring someone in, because they have to go through [the office to get to the other] and interrupt.”
At the moment, @BBBSWestIsland offices are in Dorval. But soon, they’ll be moving to a new space, where the rent will be completely free. pic.twitter杭州桑拿/GbRVGVYdy9
— Felicia Parrillo (@feliciaparrillo) May 2, 2017
Though Big Brothers and Big Sisters is a big organization, the West Island division is quite small.
Right now, they directly impact about 160 people, so the $24,000 a year they pay in rent can be quite a burden.
To help with the high tab, Traffic Tech came up with an idea.
The transport company recently moved into a brand new building in Kirkland, and they offered Big Brothers and Big Sisters some office space.
“We’re a large business. This is our Canadian headquarters, and Traffic Tech and Brian Arnott [owner] have given up space to Big Brothers and Big Sisters for a 15-year donation for a space and a lease.”
[email protected] is donating office space to @BBBSWestIsland free of charge. Tune into @Global_Montreal tnte for more pic.twitter杭州桑拿/jXOL7wUJyD
— Felicia Parrillo (@feliciaparrillo) May 2, 2017
The new space will consist of a conference room and six closed-door offices.
Each of those offices have big windows, lots of space, and a lot of light.
On top of that, the building is in the perfect location to help children who need mentors.
“We service everyone from Verdun to Rigaud,” said Ogilvie. “We even have some children in Laval. So being up closer to the [Highway] 40, it just puts us a lot more central for our community.”
A community that is also in need of help.
The organization needs volunteers.
They currently have 60 kids on a waiting list for a mentor.
The extra funds saved by their lease will help.
“Freeing up these resources that we are currently spending on rent, and allowing us to put that directly towards the kids and the programs, will allow us to service those 60 kids that are waiting.”
At the moment, their new space in Kirkland is under construction.
It’s expected to be ready for the new neighbours by mid-June.
UPDATE: All advisories mentioned in this story have ended
Environment Canada says conditions were favourable for the development of funnel clouds in Saskatoon and others parts of Saskatchewan Tuesday.
According to the federal agency, these types of funnel clouds are generated by weak rotation and normally don’t pose a danger near the ground. However, there was a chance of them turning into weak landspout tornadoes.
Fog advisory ended in all parts of central Saskatchewan
READ MORE: How you can stay safe and save lives this severe weather season
If a funnel cloud develops nearby, people are advised to prepare to take shelter.
For weather on the go download the Global News Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad or Android.
Saskatoon started the day with thick fog, dropping visibility down to 200 metres as we fell below the freezing mark this morning.
Once the fog lifted this morning, mostly cloudy skies moved in as we warmed up into low double digits by noon.
Here’s a look at the #skstorm sliding through the Saskatoon area this afternoon https://t.co/gW9W4CH5W1 #yxe #Sask pic.twitter杭州桑拿/utdtmyiuK8
— Peter Quinlan (@PQuinlanGlobal) May 2, 2017
@PQuinlanGlobal South of Pike Lake. pic.twitter杭州桑拿/RW67BQRD0H
— Glenn Thomson (@Glennthomson2) May 2, 2017
Thunderstorm now moving into Saskatoon & is reported at the airport: https://t.co/gW9W4CH5W1 #yxe #skstorm #Sask pic.twitter杭州桑拿/6RUzSIjbpI
— Peter Quinlan (@PQuinlanGlobal) May 2, 2017
There is a risk of cold core funnel clouds in the Saskatoon area today with enough vorticity (or rotation) in the lower atmosphere to sustain such features in the convective clouds this afternoon.
Thunderstorms will roll through this afternoon as we warm into the mid-teens with some heavier rain associated with these storms.
Clouds will clear back out tonight as we cool back toward, but just above freezing for an overnight low.
We’ll start the day in the sunshine on Wednesday with some higher cloud moving in during the day.
Temperatures should climb a bit further into the mid-teens with an afternoon high around 17 degrees.
A massive upper ridge will punch in the heat for the rest of the week, bringing in Saskatoon’s biggest warm up so far this year.
Partly to mostly sunny skies are expected both days with daytime highs jumping from the low 20s on Thursday into the mid 20s by Friday.
Massive upper ridge builds in the heat and sunshine later this week.
It looks as though the heat will peak on Saturday with a daytime high in the mid-to-upper 20s as clouds roll back in during the day with mostly cloudy skies and a chance of thunderstorms Sunday, but the mercury should still climb into the low 20s.
Here is your Saskatoon SkyTracker 7-Day Weather Forecast.
This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Braden Ottenbreit at Narrow Hills Provincial Park:
May 2: This Your Saskatchewan photo was taken by Braden Ottenbreit at Narrow Hills Provincial Park.
Braden Ottenbreit / Supplied
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