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Digital odometer tampering ‘being done more often than not’: expert – Halifax

A Nova Scotia Community College instructor has been called as an expert witness three times in the past two years for alleged digital odometer tampering in the province.

“If it’s possible, I’m sure it’s being done more often than not,” said Dave Giles, an automotive instructor. “It’s not as difficult as it used to be.”

Two of the cases involved private sales while the other involved a dealership, he said.

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READ MORE: At least 15 victims involved in odometer fraud: Calgary police

The instrument can be tampered with using an odometer correction tool, which can be purchased online for as low as $50 and plugs into the data link connector in cars.

Giles said it’s relatively easy to use the tool to tamper with an odometer.

“RCMP in Nova Scotia have seen a very limited number of cases involving odometers being tampered with digital devices,” said Cst. Mark Skinner, a media relations officer for Halifax District RCMP.

Doing so could meet the definition of fraud under in the Criminal Code of Canada, he added.

While the devices are legal, using them to scam someone isn’t.

“Penalties could range a fine to time in jail,” he said.

John Sutherland, the executive vice president of the Nova Scotia Automobile Dealers Association, said he hasn’t heard of any instance of digital odometer tampering in the province.

The association represents new car franchise dealers, who also sell used cars.

He said nearly half of used cars are sold through private deals.

To prevent getting scammed, he recommended buyers order a car history report prior to purchasing.

“That gives you a little bit of background on the vehicle,” said Sutherland, adding that it would show which show prior odometer numbers.

Despite the easiness of the tool, there are several other computers in cars that keep track of the numbers, and managing to change them all would not be profitable, said Giles.

Of course, getting caught would probably not be cost-efficient either.

Ultimately, with cars generally lasting longer than in prior decades, mileage isn’t as important as it one was, Giles added.

Featured

EXCLUSIVE: City puts Montreal’s historic Snowdon Theatre up for sale

MONTREAL – It was a thriving movie theatre for decades, bringing together thousands of Côte-des-Neiges and NDG residents.

Then it served as a permanent home for the Flex-Art gymnastics club.

But more recently, it’s been boarded up and left to deteriorate.

Now, the City of Montreal has put the iconic Snowdon Theatre on the market.

No price has been set; instead, potential buyers need to deposit $10,000 to make an offer.

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    READ MORE: Flex-Art gymnasts fighting to keep space in Snowdon

    One group that’s interested in taking back the building is Flex-Art.

    The gymnastics club was kicked out three years ago and has since been operating out of temporary locations, most recently the NDG Community Centre.

    Supporters who want to save the theatre argued the city and borough should re-open it to the Flex-Art gymnastics club.

    “I would absolutely love to see the gymnastics facility return to where it should be on the top floor because it was a thriving place where little girls loved to go and do their sport,” Kristian Gravenor, NDG resident, told Global News.

    Flex-Art members argued the borough has not been forthcoming in describing all the renovations that are required.

    Borough officials insisted it would cost at least $3.8 million to renovate the theatre, built in 1932.

    It’s an amount Russell Copeman argued the borough can’t afford.

    Copeman said Flex-Art is welcome to submit a bid to move its club back inside.

    “Even if they bid one dollar, our services downtown will evaluate the various bids that come in and a decision will be made,” he told Global News.

    Bidding on the building may be the best chance Flex-Art has to move back into the historic site.

Featured

4 dead in La Loche, Saskatchewan school shooting

Four people have been killed in a shooting at a school in the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche.

RCMP have confirmed that one male was taken into police custody outside the school and a firearm was seized. Aside from the deceased there are an unknown number of people injured in the shooting.

READ MORE: ‘They were good students’: community mourns La Loche victims at vigil

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The four people killed have been identified as Marie Janvier of La Loche, brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine of La Loche, and Adam Wood of Uxbridge, Ont.

RCMP Chief Supt. Maureen Levy offered little details on the shooting during a news conference in Regina Friday evening.

“We are in the early onset of the investigation and we want to ensure the integrity of the investigation.”

READ MORE: What we know about the victims of the La Loche school shooting

The RCMP are investigating two locations, the local high school and the 300 block of Dene Crescent in La Loche.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan school shooting: What we know about La Loche

La Loche Community School said on its Facebook page there was an emergency situation at the Dene Building and asked the public to stay away while the RCMP investigated.

A STARS air ambulance from Saskatoon was dispatched to the La Loche area, according to the STARS 桑拿会所 account.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke from Davos, Switzerland about the incident, initially reporting that five had been killed.

“I want to thank the first responders who acted quickly and bravely,” Trudeau said.

READ MORE: A history of school shootings in Canada

Premier Brad Wall said in a statement he was shocked by “the horrific events today in La Loche.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims, their families and friends and all the people of the community,” Wall said. “Thank you to the RCMP and all the emergency personnel who responded quickly to the shootings.”

According to the school’s Facebook page, La Loche Community School is for pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 students, and houses approximately 900 kids in two buildings.

WATCH: “The country’s heart is breaking for the people of La Loche:” Trudeau on school shooting

Buckley Belanger, the NDP MLA for the area told Global News that the community of La Loche is pulling together to deal with the tragedy.

“La Loche is a great community. They’ve done so many wonderful things and I’ve said to a number of people that the school system in La Loche is a beacon of hope,” Belanger said. “I just pray and I hope everyone prays along with me that everyone else is safe and for those that may have been impacted by this, that there are prayers needed all around.”

“Everybody is just showing tremendous leadership,” Belanger said. “Hopefully when all this is over with, we have the strength to continue the work that’s needed to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Georgina Jolibois, the NDP MP for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding, Tweeted she is “praying for those affected by the shooting at La Loche Community School and thinking about my family members who are at the school.”

In a statement Jolibois said the shooting hits close to home.

“As the former mayor of La Loche, I am shocked and saddened by the shooting in the Dene Building at the La Loche Community School in my riding. The shooting hits close to home for me as my family members attend the school,” Jolibois said.

“The community of La Loche is strong and closely knit. We have faced adversity in the past and we will persevere. My thoughts and prayers are with all students, staff and families affected as we begin on the path of healing as a community.”

La Loche is a remote Dene Nation community of about 3,000 people located roughly 600 kilometres from Saskatoon.

Dole extends tainted salad recall further across Canada

Dole Foods announced Saturday that the recall of various pre-packaged chopped salads, salad blends and kits, and leafy green products due to Listeria has been extended further across Canada.

The recall, which was initially for three provinces and over 20 U.S. states, now includes Ontario, Quebec and the entire Atlantic region.

The company was forced to close down a plant in Springfield, Ohio after an outbreak of Listeria linked to Dole packaged salads.

The affected products have been sold in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador but the vegetable products from the company’s plant may have also made it to other provinces as well.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is currently investigating after seven people were hospitalized in a Listeria outbreak. In one case, a person has died but it has not been determined if Listeria contributed to the death.

WATCH: Woman reflects on experience with Listeria

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Listeria is a type of bacteria that can be found in food, soil, plants, sewage and other places in nature. Eating food with Listeria can cause a serious disease, called listeriosis, and can occur by eating meat, fish, dairy products, plants or vegetables contaminated with Listeria.

Consumers are advised that while food contaminated with Listeria may look and smell fine, it can still cause issues. Listeria symptoms may include any/or all of the following: vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness.

The packaged salads have been sold under the brand names: Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar and President’s Choice.

The source of the outbreak has not been confirmed, however the agency is investigating prepackaged leafy greens, salad blends, and salad kits.

The American Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said in a statement that one person has died and 12 have been hospitalized in the U.S. by a multi-state listeria outbreak tied to Dole’s packaged salads.

Dole Food Co. officials notified the CDC on Jan. 21 that they had stopped production at a processing facility in Springfield, Ohio.

READ MORE: Dole Foods withdraws salad in Canada, U.S. in deadly listeria outbreak

“CDC recommends that consumers do not eat, restaurants do not serve, and retailers do not sell packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio,” the CDC said in a statement.

Those who are at highest risk of serious illness, according to Health Canada, include pregnant women and unborn or newborn children, adults 65 and over, and people with weakened immune systems.

High-risk individuals should follow safe food handling practices and avoid high risk food items such as uncooked meat and vegetables, unpasteurized milk and cheeses, ready-to-eat meats such as hot dogs and deli meats, and refrigerated smoked seafood and fish.

– With files from Andrew Russell

March held in Montreal for victims of Burkina Faso attacks

MONTREAL – In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that killed six Quebecers in Ouagadougou last week, the Burkinabe Association of Greater Montreal organised a march Saturday to honour the victims and condemn the violent act.

READ MORE: 6 Quebecers killed in Burkina Faso terror attack identified

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    “Some people in the community contacted us to say we have to do something to show other people from Canada, from Quebec here, that we’re gonna be with them during this hard period,” said Aziz Daboné, the association’s president.

    Members of the community held signs with the names of each of the victims and vowed they would never forget them.

    Demonstrators sang the Burkinabe national anthem, before observing a minute of silence in memory of the many lives lost last week.

    “We are here today to show our compassion to all the family and the friends of the victims of what happened in Ouagadougou on January 15,” said Mahamadi Savadogo, who took part in the demonstration.

    The march started at 11 a.m. at Place-des-Arts metro station at the corner of Jeanne-Mance Street and President-Kennedy Avenue, and ended at noon at Place Émilie-Gamelin.

    Though the attention was turned to last week’s Ouagadougou attacks, demonstrators say the march was also an act of solidarity with victims of terrorism around the world.

    “There is not ideology to kill people for free,” said Ada Nayihouba, who was born and raised in the Burkinabe capital. “So we are against that way of living. That is why we are here this morning.”

    Montreal police were informed of the march and took all the necessary precautions to ensure the smooth-running of the event.

    WATCH BELOW: Burkina Faso terror attacks

    Husband of Burkina Faso victim speaks out

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    Husband of Burkina Faso victim speaks out

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Trudeau addresses phone call with husband of Burkina Faso victim who hung up on him

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Couillard on Burkina Faso, Indonesia

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Justin Trudeau offers condolences for Burkina Faso victims

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6 Quebecers killed in Burkina Faso terror attacks

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6 Canadians killed in attacks in Burkina Faso

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At least 20 people are reported dead in Burkina Faso’s capital

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Popular hotel part of attack on Burkina Faso’s capital



Half of local TV in Canada could go off air by 2020: report

OTTAWA – Nearly half of the country’s local TV stations could be off the air by 2020 without a boost in revenues to pay for local programming, the national broadcast regulator has been told as it prepares to open public hearings into the viability of local TV.

The warning comes in a study submitted to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in advance of hearings that begin Monday.

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Conventional, private TV stations have seen revenues decline by about 25 per cent since 2010, said the report, jointly prepared by the consulting firm Nordicity and communications lawyer Peter Miller.

But many stations that are holding their own for now could close over the next four years, potentially costing nearly 1,000 jobs, said the report submitted by the advocacy group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

“In our view, the most likely scenario over the short-to-mid-term is a material, but not fatal, erosion of traditional television,” said the report.

Declining TV revenues can be blamed partly on the viewing habits of so-called millennials, who have turned away from traditional TV and instead watch programming online, it said.

But recent changes to CRTC regulations will cause revenues to drop even further, the report warned.

It cited the unbundling of TV packages as one measure that will erode revenue streams.

Effective March 1, cable and satellite TV service providers will be required to offer customers a small basic service, capped at $25 a month, along with a so-called pick-and-pay menu of individual channels, along with any bundles of TV channels they have on offer.

While it could result in savings for some consumers, the move will also reduce revenues that would otherwise go toward Canadian programming, said the report.

“Without broadcast regulation and Canadian ownership requirements, spending on Canadian programming could be less than a third of what it is today,” the report added.

Canada’s broadcasters spent roughly $4.1 billion in 2012-13 to produce programming with approximately $1.3 billion of that coming from government-backed subsidies of one form or another, according to the study, which cites figures released by the CRTC during its recent Let’s Talk TV hearings.

The rest of the money comes from the broadcasters themselves.

In launching the hearings into local TV, the regulator said it’s convinced there’s already enough money in the broadcasting system to ensure stations can create quality local programming, including local news coverage.

But it said there may have to be a rebalancing of resources within the system.

“The approach that the commission will eventually adopt will need to ensure that all elements contribute in an appropriate manner to the creation and presentation of local programming that meets Canadians’ needs,” the CRTC said.

The regulator also lamented that, despite being invited to do so, few interveners have to date brought forward proposals for ensuring Canadians are better served with high-quality local news and other programming.

But “robbing Peter to pay Paul” won’t alleviate the revenue crunch that has backed some TV stations against a wall, said Friends of Canadian Broadcasting.

“Just redistributing the funds that the cable and satellite companies pass on from their subscribers would be, at best, a stop-gap measure and not a solution to the problem,” said group spokesman Ian Morrison.

There is particular concern for independent stations in small and medium-sized markets that aren’t affiliated with the big broadcasting conglomerates.

The situation for many of those stations was already dire a year ago, when the Small Market Independent Television Stations Coalition submitted a request for emergency, interim funding.

In response, the commission did little more than acknowledge their concerns, said Morrison, who accused the CRTC of having its head in the sand over the issue.

“The commission, in our judgment, has not been taking it seriously,” he said.

“But we think it’s really serious. These are often the only television source of local news and information.”

“I hope the CRTC goes into the hearings with an open mind.”

‘They were good students’: community mourns La Loche victims at vigil

The tight-knit community of La Loche, Sask., came together to mourn the victims of Friday’s deadly school shooting. People gathered at a vigil at the high school Friday night to pray together, and a small memorial of candles and items has appeared.

A substitute teacher at the school told Global News his cousin was one of the victims.

“[Friday] was a hard day, we have lost family members, friends,” he said. “It affects all of us, not just because I work here, but as a community. Everybody knows each other…”

READ MORE: 4 dead in La Loche, Saskatchewan school shooting

He said the four people killed consisted of two students, one teacher and one teacher’s assistant.

“The students that were killed today, they were good students.”

4 people confirmed dead in La Loche shooting

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4 people confirmed dead in La Loche shooting

01:00

Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic dedicates win to La Loche

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La Loche RCMP update school shooting

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‘This is truly a tragedy’: Saskatchewan RCMP official gives update on fatal school shooting

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1 male in custody in relation to Saskatchewan school shooting, says RCMP official

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Ralph Goodale comments on La Loche school shooting

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‘Every parent’s worst nightmare’: Justin Trudeau on Saskatchewan school shooting

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‘The country’s heart is breaking for the people of La Loche’: Trudeau on school shooting



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Global News also spoke to the aunt of one of the victims who said her nephew was one of the first people injured in the attack.

“Everybody was shocked, like, everybody,” she said in a phone interview.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan school shooting: What we know about La Loche

The boy was airlifted to Saskatoon along with others who were wounded in the incident.

Buckley Belanger, the NDP MLA for the area told Global News he is also upset by the tragedy.

READ MORE: A history of school shootings in Canada

“La Loche is a great community. They’ve done so many wonderful things and I’ve said to a number of people that the school system in La Loche is a beacon of hope,” Belanger said. “I just pray and I hope everyone prays along with me that everyone else is safe and for those that may have been impacted by this, that there are prayers needed all around.”

RCMP investigation

The lone male suspect in the shooting is in custody and being questioned by RCMP. Police also said the firearm used in the attack has been confiscated.

Prior to entering the school, the suspected gunman allegedly opened fire at a residence in the area.

FULL COVERAGE: La Loche school shooting

Police have yet to offer a possible motive for the shooting.

With files from Global News

Editor’s note: This story has been updated since the introduction of a publication ban.

La Loche shooting casts shadow over Trudeau talks at World Economic Forum

DAVOS, Switzerland – Friday’s mass shooting at a school in La Loche, Sask., is casting a shadow over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s final day at an international summit of financial and economic elites.

The shooting was the first thing Trudeau talked about with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam during their meeting Saturday morning at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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The RCMP confirmed that four people were killed, a number of others were wounded, and that a lone male suspect was arrested after shots rang out at the Dene community’s junior and senior high school.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan school shooting: What we know about La Loche

Trudeau told Salam the tragedy has seen Canadians pull together yet again for a community needing support. The prime minister added that the question now is how to prevent such tragedies from reoccurring

Salam lamented that these kinds of shootings are happening everywhere – “as if they have become the fashion.”

FULL COVERAGE: La Loche school shooting

4 people confirmed dead in La Loche shooting

00:48

4 people confirmed dead in La Loche shooting

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Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic dedicates win to La Loche

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La Loche RCMP update school shooting

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‘This is truly a tragedy’: Saskatchewan RCMP official gives update on fatal school shooting

02:02

1 male in custody in relation to Saskatchewan school shooting, says RCMP official

04:07

Ralph Goodale comments on La Loche school shooting

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‘Every parent’s worst nightmare’: Justin Trudeau on Saskatchewan school shooting

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‘The country’s heart is breaking for the people of La Loche’: Trudeau on school shooting



A Canadian look at Bernie Sanders’ presidential plan

WASHINGTON – For an American presidential contender, Bernie Sanders is considered a pretty radical left-winger: a proud socialist who boasts of corporate America hating him, warns of an oligarchy destroying democracy and promises tax hikes to be offset by more generous social programs.

But what if he were Canadian? Where would the senator sit on Canada’s political spectrum — far left, centre-left, centre, or centre-right?

Some of Sanders’ policies:

HEALTH

—Create single-payer health system.

In Canada: The status quo. Every major Canadian party professes support for universal, government-run medicare — which Sanders sometimes points out.

TAXES

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—Income-tax hikes. To pay for his health plan, he proposes a 6.2-per-cent premium on employers, a 2.2-per-cent tax on income. People earning more than $250,000 would get progressively higher increases, topping out at a 13-per-cent hike for incomes above $10 million. Sanders insists employers and taxpayers would come out ahead — by saving on insurance.

READ MORE: Democratic primary candidates embrace Barack Obama legacy

In Canada: This would feel familiar. The increases would bring U.S. taxes closer to the northern neighbour’s — perhaps higher in some cases, depending on the state and province, the tax bracket and how much of the employer premium gets passed on to workers.

WATCH: Trump takes aim at rivals calling Bernie Sanders a ‘whacko’ and Jeb Bush a ‘maniac’

It’s difficult to draw a sweeping conclusion because every jurisdiction taxes differently, said UBC economist Kevin Milligan. That being said, “(Sanders’ plan) would certainly close the (tax) gap — and potentially quite a bit of the gap (with Canada),” Milligan said.

—Higher estate taxes. In the U.S., inheritance below $5.4 million is federally exempt. Sanders wants the threshold lowered to $3.5 million.

In Canada: Inheritance from a parent is generally subject to capital gains, which redistributes wealth from one generation to the next.

POVERTY

—Boost the minimum wage. It’s currently $7.25 federally in the U.S. Sanders wants to make it $15.

In Canada: This would be dramatic too. Even in Canadian dollars, $15 would be almost one-third higher than the highest provincial minimum wage.

INFRASTRUCTURE

—A major spending boost. Sanders wants $1 trillion for improved roads, bridges and transit over a five-year time frame.

In Canada: This would be a sizeable increase. The Liberals have promised to spend C$125 billion over 10 years. The previous Conservative government spent $33 billion starting in 2007, and had another program underway.

TRADE

—Cancel trade deals, notably NAFTA. Sanders has advocated this position for decades.

In Canada: This would leave Sanders to the left of any major party, none of which has proposed NAFTA’s cancellation. Polls have shown mixed feelings about past trade deals among Canadians, but they and their politicians are generally more supportive of them than their American neighbours.

EDUCATION

—Free tuition at public colleges.

In Canada: A big change. Canadian postsecondary institutions charge tuition — albeit generally much lower than in the U.S.

FAMILY POLICY

—Introduce parental leave. The U.S. is the only industrialized country without paid leave for new parents. Sanders wants that changed. He proposes 12 weeks’ paid leave.

In Canada: He’d be slashing a social program. Every Canadian province offers about three times what Sanders is proposing, with some offering up to 52 weeks.

WATCH: Bernie Sanders campaign depicts Hillary Clinton as part of Washington ‘establishment’

—Create a universal childcare and pre-kindergarten program.

In Canada: This would go farther than just about any Canadian province. Quebec pioneered the $5-a-day public day-care model in the 1990s. Federal parties have since promised to replicate it nationally, without success.

FINANCIAL REGULATION

—Break up the big banks.

In Canada: Not much of an issue. Unlike their U.S. peers, Canada’s big banks weathered the financial crisis without bailouts. Canada has different financial regulations, and also blocked bank mergers under the Chretien-Martin Liberals.

—Cap credit-card interest rates at 15 per cent.

In Canada: There aren’t any such caps on Canadian credit-card rates, although there are different caps on payday loans.

LABOUR

—Bolster collective bargaining with an Employee Free Choice Act. A key feature would make it easier to form unions. In addition to the current method of voting to certify, Sanders proposes adding a so-called card-check option that would create unions when a sufficient number of workers sign cards.

READ MORE: Sharp exchanges in fourth Democratic primary debate

In Canada: This would restore the previous status quo. Card checks were undone last year by a private member’s bill supported by the then-Conservative government.

POLITICAL FINANCING

—Limiting money in politics. Sanders wants more public financing, tighter limits on third-party spending, more disclosure requirements and a constitutional amendment giving politicians the right to regulate campaign spending — overriding recent Supreme Court rulings.

In Canada: It’s complicated. Different courts, different political culture. In some ways, Stephen Harper was more progressive than Sanders on the financing issue. He completely banned corporate and union donations and limited personal donations to $1,500 (2015 limit). On the other hand, Harper did away with public support for parties, which Sanders favours.

La Loche school shooting: a timeline of events

LA LOCHE, Sask. – Four people were killed and seven others were injured in a mass shooting Friday at a school and home in the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche. A 17-year-old has been charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.

Here is what we know about how it happened:

Before 1 p.m.

Two teen brothers are gunned down in a home on in the 300-block of Dene Crescent. There is a chilling exchange between friends chatting online. “Just killed 2 ppl,” a young man wrote to his friends. “Bout to shoot ip the school.”

300-block of Dene Street where two brothers were gunned down at the start of a shooting rampage in La Loche, Sask.

Jacqueline Wilson / Global News

Shortly after 1 p.m.

Police begin receiving calls from frantic students and teachers saying there is a shooter in the school. Students, just returning from lunch, flee for their lives. Some run for the doors, others hide in gym dressing rooms for several hours.

The outside of La Loche Community School is shown on Friday Jan. 22, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joshua Mercredi

Between 1:08 p.m. and 1:10 p.m.

Police begin arriving at the school. Officers see the outside door has been shot. They see a shooter inside and chase him deeper into the school.

1:15 p.m.

Police challenge the shooter and he surrenders without negotiation or incident. Officers find nine people shot. Teacher’s aide Maria Janvier, 21, is dead at the scene. Teacher Adam Wood, 35, is rushed to hospital, but cannot be saved.

Adam Wood and Marie Janvier were killed during a school shooting in La Loche, Sask., on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016.

Handout, Facebook compilation

After 1:15 p.m.

Police receive a call about a body in a house. They rush to the Dene Crescent home and find Drayden Fontaine, 13, and Dayne Fontaine, 17, dead.

Dayne (L) and Drayden (R) Fontaine were killed during a school shooting in La Loche, Sask., on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016.

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FULL COVERAGE: La Loche school shooting

Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic dedicates win to La Loche

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Canadian tennis star Milos Raonic dedicates win to La Loche

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RCMP official gives new details in La Loche school shooting

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We’re strong and resilient and we’ll heal together: La Loche NDP MP

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Students greatest need is positive intervention and professional support: school official

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4 people confirmed dead in La Loche shooting

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‘This is truly a tragedy’: Saskatchewan RCMP official gives update on fatal school shooting

02:02

1 male in custody in relation to Saskatchewan school shooting, says RCMP official

04:07

Ralph Goodale comments on La Loche school shooting

01:10

‘Every parent’s worst nightmare’: Justin Trudeau on Saskatchewan school shooting

00:56

‘The country’s heart is breaking for the people of La Loche’: Trudeau on school shooting



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Notorious Surrey park is going to the dogs

A Newton park known for attracting illegal activity is set to become a destination for dogs.

A vacant lot in the area of King George Boulevard and 70 A Avenue in Surrey has become a magnet for illegal dumping, prostitution and drug use.

Rob Miyoshi works for Team Tidy, one of two community workers tasked with keeping the area clean. He said he sees more than just litter.

“I see a lot of down and out people and a lot of prostitution,” said Miyoshi.

Residents say the activity has been bothering them for years.

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“I would like to see the prostitution moved along, I would like to see the drug activity moved along and I would like to see something done about these empty lots, make it more family friendly which I know that’s in the works right now,” said Tabitha Nasmith, ACORN Neighbourhood’s chair.

Now the plan is to make the space welcoming for families – and dogs.

Value Property Group, the Metro Vancouver company that now owns the lot, will spend $40,000 to turn it into a dog park. It’s an idea some residents, the city and the Newton Business Improvement Association are welcoming.

“I think it’s about time that we tried new initiatives to see if we can fix the problem in the area,” said Philip Aguirre, the BIA’s executive director.

The city of Surrey is also throwing in a $3,000 enhancement grant.

No one is actually sure whether this idea will work, as it hasn’t been tried in Newton before. It’s why some neighbours aren’t sold.

“Tell the district to go and do a survey because a dog park’s not gonna work here,” said Diane Monds, who’s lived in the area for more than two decades.

But the city says once this space becomes a park, there’ll be more consequences for those who misuse it.

“Because it becomes a defacto city park, that allows our by law officers to patrol the park and issue tickets to anybody that’s in the park after dark, which are the bylaws in the city,” said Surrey city councillor Bruce Hayne.

The “Bark Park”, as it is being called, is set to officially open sometime this spring.

Air Force says human error damaged nuclear-armed missile in silo

WASHINGTON – Errors by three airmen troubleshooting a nuclear missile in its launch silo in 2014 triggered a “mishap” that damaged the missile, prompting the Air Force to strip the airmen of their nuclear certification and quietly launch an accident investigation, officials said Friday.

In a statement released to The Associated Press, the Air Force declined to provide key additional details or a copy of the report produced last November by the Accident Investigation Board, saying the information was classified and too sensitive to be made public.

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Under the Air Force’s own regulations, Accident Investigation Board reports are supposed to be made public. The Air Force did release a brief summary to the AP after it repeatedly sought answers for more than a year. The summary said the full report was classified on Nov. 9, 2015, by Gen. Robin Rand, who took over as commander of Air Force Global Strike Command in July 2015.

The Air Force said the accident caused no injuries and posed no risk to public safety. It said top Pentagon officials were briefed on the results of the investigation in December, as were members of Congress.

READ MORE: Trudeau to head to Nuclear Security Summit in effort to get rid of nuclear weapons

The damaged missile was removed from its underground silo, which is designated Juliet-07 and situated among wheat fields and wind turbines about nine miles west of Peetz, Colorado. The silo, one of 10 in a cluster, or flight, that straddles the Colorado-Nebraska border, is controlled by launch officers of the 320th Missile Squadron and administered by the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.

The accident follows a period of turmoil inside the nuclear missile corps that the AP revealed in a series of articles and amid an emerging national debate about the costs and benefits of investing hundreds of billions of dollars to modernize the entire strategic nuclear force at a time when war craft is changing.

The Minuteman 3 is the only land-based intercontinental ballistic missile in the nuclear force. First deployed in 1970, it long ago exceeded its planned service life, and the Air Force is developing plans for a replacement.

The Air Force’s brief summary of the Juliet-07 mishap said the Minuteman 3 missile “became non-operational” during a diagnostic test on the evening of May 16, 2014.

The next morning a “mishap crew” chief, who was not identified, “did not correctly adhere to technical guidance” during troubleshooting efforts, “subsequently damaging the missile.” No further details about the damage or errors were revealed.

The investigation report summary said the actual cause of the accident, established by “clear and convincing evidence,” is classified. It said there were four contributing factors to the accident, of which it identified two. One was the mishap chief’s failure to follow technical guidance. The other was that the mishap chief “lacked the necessary proficiency level” to anticipate the consequences of his actions during the troubleshooting.

In seeming contradiction of that second point, the Air Force said in its separate statement to the AP that the mishap team chief was properly trained for the task he was performing. It said he and two other airmen on his team were immediately stripped of their certification to work with nuclear weapons. They remained decertified for “over a year,” until they were retrained and returned to nuclear duty.

Lt. Col. John Sheets, spokesman for Air Force Global Strike Command, said it is possible that some or all of the three could still face disciplinary action.

To prevent a recurrence of their mistake and the accident it caused, the Air Force said it has “strengthened” technical guidance, modified training curriculum and shared information about the conditions that led to the mishap with other units that operate Minuteman 3 missiles.

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Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein was commander of the ICBM force at the time of the incident. The AP requested an interview with him but the Air Force declined to make him available. Weinstein is now the top staff officer on nuclear matters at Air Force headquarters in the Pentagon.

When the AP inquired about the accident in December 2014, Sheets said no details could be released until after the accident investigation board had completed its work and presented its findings to the commander of Global Strike Command. He assured the AP that the investigation report would be made public, although when the AP filed a request for it in March 2015 under the Freedom of Information Act, the Air Force denied the request, saying the information was “exempt from mandatory disclosure” and would be withheld from release because it consisted of “advice, opinions, evaluations or recommendations.”

Sheets later said the report was not yet complete but would be made public as required under Air Force regulations. He subsequently amended that, saying senior officials had decided the information was too sensitive to release.

The Air Force’s own legal office says the purpose of an accident investigation is to provide a publicly releasable report of the facts and the circumstances of the accident. An Air Force order dated April 14, 2015, is explicit about this.

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“An accident investigation conducts a legal investigation to inquire into all the facts and circumstances surrounding Air Force aerospace and ground accidents to prepare a publicly releasable report” and to obtain evidence for use in litigation and disciplinary action.

At times the Air Force has been slow to acknowledge its nuclear missteps. In 2014 then-Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed worry that personnel failures were squandering public trust in the nuclear force. He ordered an independent review, which was underway at the time of the Juliet-07 accident. The review team was not told of it, however, because “the accident was going through the investigative process” at the time, the Air Force told the AP.

The most recent previous Air Force investigation of an accident at an ICBM launch silo was in 2008. That investigation, which was publicly released, found that a fire in a launcher equipment room went undetected for five days. It uncovered the remarkable fact that the Air Force was using duct tape on cables linked to the missile.

The fire was caused by a loose electrical connection on a battery charger that was activated when a storm knocked out the main power source. The fire ignited a shotgun storage case, incinerated shotgun shells, ignited and melted duct tape at the opening of the launch tube, charred an umbilical cable in several places, and burned through wires in a pressure monitoring cable.

Long-running Nanaimo newspaper, in business since 1874, to shut down today

NANAIMO, B.C. – The Nanaimo Daily News will stop publishing today, ending 141 years in business.

The newspaper on Vancouver Island made the announcement Friday on Facebook and 桑拿会所, thanking its advertisers and readers for their support.

The paper, which publishes five times a week, will close on Friday. Its website lists 10 staff members on its news team, including three reporters and a photographer.

ChangSha Night Net

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    Black Press bought the paper from Glacier Media in December 2014. The media company also owns the Nanaimo News Bulletin, which publishes twice a week.

    Rick O’Connor, Black Press CEO, said the decision to close the paper was not taken lightly.

    He said Nanaimo Daily News staff had made a number of improvements to the content and format of the paper over the past 10 months. While the improvements were well-received by existing readers, they did not translate into an increase in paid circulation or advertising revenue, he said.

    “As a result Black Press was unable to develop a sustainable business model that would offset the high cost base of the Nanaimo Daily News in relation to its low paid circulation base,” he said in a statement.

    “The cost of supporting the operation of the Daily News has been substantial and we didn’t feel those losses would be reduced in the future.”

    O’Connor said Black Press will continue to invest in the twice-weekly Nanaimo News Bulletin and will expand its efforts to cover local issues.

    “The community newspaper model continues to enjoy strong readership and advertising support, making it a highly effective local media option with a bright future in the print and digital space,” he said.

    “Black Press is very appreciative of the support readers and advertisers have afforded the Nanaimo Daily News and Nanaimo News Bulletin over the years and we will continue to work hard to make a meaningful contribution to life and commerce in Nanaimo and the region.”

    On its website, Black Press says it is the largest independently owned newspaper company in Canada, with operations in British Columbia and Alberta.

    It also has holdings in Washington, Hawaii, California and Ohio, and employs 3,500 people.