NFL Play 60 campaign promotes exercise at Royal Vale School

MONTREAL —; Royal Vale School hosts an annual flag football tournament that has grown so fast in popularity – that the NFL took notice.

The organization’s Play 60 campaign planted its flag in the school’s backyard, the first time it’s ever done something like this in Canada, to sponsor the event, held by the Greater Montreal Athletic Association, a coalition made largely of English schools.

READ MORE: Quebec native the father of sports mascots worldwide

To celebrate the Play 60 campaign, NFL Indianapolis Colts players, cheerleaders, team mascot ‘Blue’ and the first female coach in NFL history – Dr. Jen Welter – attended the tournament.

Royal Vale School gym teacher Norman Katz was involved in a charity jump rope competition when he received a text from NFL Canada.

Billy Shields/Global News

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    “Royal Vale School has shown, within four short years, that they have been able to grow the tournament from four to 17 schools,” said Tammy Johnson, a spokesperson with NFL Canada.

    Royal Vale officials were thrilled that the league sponsored their games.

    Gym teacher Norman Katz said he was participating in a charity jump rope event when he received a text message from NFL Canada.

    “It was like a Cinderella story,” he told Global News.

    Play 60 is a football exhibition that the league puts on in schools across the United States, in an effort to promote exercise for both boys and girls.

    This year, the program is slated to come to three other Canadian schools.


Calgary teen with rare genetic disorder has unforgettable moment on rugby pitch

The Forest Lawn High School rugby team didn’t win a single game this season–but it doesn’t matter.

No one will remember the final scores or their record. But they will remember May 16.

In the final game of the season against the best team in junior rugby, Doug Jarvis–a Grade 10 student with a rare genetic disorder–not only got on the field, but stole the spotlight.

Click through the photo gallery below to see Doug in action:

Doug’s school picture at Forest Lawn in August.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug showing off his Forest Lawn Titans jersey.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug on the practice field at Forest Lawn with his teammates.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug Jarvis dancing on the practice field at Forest Lawn High School.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug in the huddle during football season with the Forest Lawn Titans.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug on the sideline, in uniform during a high school football game.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug on the sideline during a Forest Lawn Titans game.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug running onto the field during a division 3 game against Lester B. Pearson.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug showing how much weight he’s lost since the start of the school year in September.

Rolene Maliteare

Weighing 170 pounds.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug with his grandma from Dauphin, MB.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug with his mom, Rolene, and siblings.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug posing with his teammates on the Forest Lawn wrestling team.

Rolene Maliteare

Doug in his ‘Yes I Can’ T-shirt. It’s a motto he lives by.

Rolene Maliteare

In the dying seconds, Doug grabbed the ball and ran the length of the field to score his first-ever try–a moment captured in the video above.

His teammates, elated by the triumphant moment, hoisted him onto their shoulders and carried off the star of the game chanting his name: “Jarvis, Jarvis, Jarvis!”

“I’ve never been so proud of my son, to see what he’s accomplished,” said his mother, Rolene Maliteare. “He’s a special gift from God, that boy.”

WATCH: Calgary teen with rare genetic disorder has unforgettable moment on rugby pitch

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    Doug became the star of Forest Lawn athletics this year, and not because he led the team in touchdowns or tries, but because he led them in personality and positivity.

    “You see him yelling and screaming ‘let’s go guys’. Just the most energetic and happy guy to be around…even on the worst of days,” fellow Grade 10 student Samuel Steward said.

    Born with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), Doug has an insatiable appetite, low muscle tone and a learning disability.

    “Overall, he just wants to eat all the time. Food is his favourite thing,” Maliteare said. “It’s his passion.”

    WATCH: Global Calgary learns how Doug Jarvis’ positive attitude has impacted other students, when he visits with his mother Rolene Maliteare and his coach Keith Daye

    Doug has a new passion now: sports.

    Never one to turn down an opportunity, it all started on registration day when a student invited him to join the football team. Doug obliged.

    “Doug approaches it in a simple way that I wish a lot of other people could. Somebody said, ‘here’s an opportunity,’ he said ‘OK, I’m in,” Forest Lawn wrestling coach Keith Daye said.

    At the start of the school year, Doug weighed 257 pounds.

    WATCH: Global cameras were running when the Forest Lawn Titans handed the ball over to their most valuable player for an unforgettable moment.

    By the end of the season Doug had played Titans football, wrestling and rugby. He also lost nearly 100 pounds.

    “He was diabetic, Type 2 on insulin,” Rolene said. “No more insulin. No more finger pokes.”

    “Just a totally different kid than he was a couple years ago. I just think, if he can do it, why can’t other people do it? He inspires me every day, and I’m his mom.”

    According to the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research Canada (FPWR Canada) the disorder affects one in 15,000 people. The most dominate symptom of PWS is extreme hunger, which means a person never feels full. There are currently no effective treatments to regulate appetite in PWS.


Over 32 million Twitter passwords have been leaked online

桑拿会所’s hacking woes may be just beginning. Tens of millions of 桑拿会所 passwords and login credentials have been leaked online and are reportedly for sale on the dark web.

According to Leaked Source, a website that collects and analyzes leaked data, a user by the name of Tessa88 is selling over 32 million 桑拿会所 password and email combinations. It is believed the user is asking for around 10 bitcoins, approximately C$7,323 at time of publishing, in exchange for the data.

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Over the last week, a growing number of celebrities – including Drake, Kylie Jenner and the NFL – have had their 桑拿会所 accounts taken over by hackers who use the accounts to poke fun at their victims and spark rumours of celebrity deaths.

READ MORE: Drake, Kylie Jenner, now the NFL – why are celebrity 桑拿会所 accounts being hacked?

It’s unclear why or how so many accounts are being hacked, but some have speculated hackers were using information from a recently released database of passwords and user names stemming from old data breaches at LinkedIn and Myspace to hack the accounts.

However, this latest data dump does not appear to be connected to those data breaches.

Leak Source believes the passwords in this new data dump may have been obtained through malicious software that tricked users into handing over their login information.

“The explanation for this is that tens of millions of people have become infected by malware, and the malware sent every saved username and password from browsers like Chrome and Firefox back to the hackers from all websites including 桑拿会所,” read the organizations blog.

桑拿会所’s chief security officer Michael Coates confirmed Thursday that the company is aware of the situation, adding, “We’re confident that our systems have not been breached.”

He also said 桑拿会所 is working with Leaked Source to obtain the stolen data.

What should you do if you are a 桑拿会所 user?

In the wake of this data dump and the recent increase in account hacking, 桑拿会所 has been actively encouraging users to increase the security on their accounts.

First, you should consider changing your 桑拿会所 password. We have compiled a list of tips to help you create a secure password here.

READ MORE: How to protect yourself from security breaches on social media sites

You may also want to turn on two-step authentication for your 桑拿会所 account. This means you will add your cellphone number to your 桑拿会所 account; once activated, you will be required to input a six-digit code sent via text message, along with your password, each time you sign in to your account.

The idea is that a potential hacker would have a much harder time accessing your account without access to your phone.

Instructions to turn on two-step authentication for 桑拿会所 are available here.


How to make sure your contractor is following workplace safety rules

Nova Scotia’s workplace safety inspectors are on a province-wide blitz this month, enforcing fall protection procedures and ensuring equipment is in place at construction sites.

The month-long focus on fall protection comes one week after 46-year-old Joseph Isnor was sentenced to jail for failing to enforce fall protection rules on construction sites where he and a crew were operating.

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READ MORE: First ever jail sentence handed to NS repeat workplace safety offender

The 15-day jail sentence marks the first time that someone in Nova Scotia has been sentenced to prison time under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Isnor was sentenced for three separate sets of charges, for each set he faces five days of jail time to be served consecutively on weekends.

The news on Thursday of Isnor’s jail sentence came on the same day as news of a fatal workplace acccident in Bedford. Officials are still investigating the circumstances around the man’s death.

Four tips to make sure the contractor you hire is following workplace safety rules*

Check the labour department’s workplace safety convictions list to see if the person or company you’re hiring has been convicted. The current list is available here. It is updated regularly and the latest edition of it can be found further down on this webpage.Ensure the contractor has Workers Compensation Board insuranceAsk whether all employees have fall protection trainingAsk whether all employees have access to fall protection equipment

*Tips from Scott Nauss, senior director of inspection and compliance with the labour department’s occupational health and safety team.


Closing arguments heard at trial into 2013 swarming death of Lukas Strasser-Hird

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

Closing arguments were delivered to the jury and packed courtroom Thursday in the 2013 swarming death of Lukas Strasser-Hird.

Strasser-Hird was beaten, kicked and stabbed outside of a southwest Calgary bar on Nov. 23, 2013. He died several hours later in hospital.

Assmar Shlah, Franz Cabrera, Jordan Liao and Joch Pouk are all on trial, accused of the second-degree murder of the 18-year-old. A fifth man – Nathan Gervais – is charged with first-degree murder. He went missing weeks before the trial and a warrant remains out for his arrest.

READ MORE: Canada-wide warrant issued for Calgary man accused in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death

Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of the Lukas Strasser-Hird case

‘I couldn’t do anything about it’: Friend of Lukas Strasser-Hird witnessed swarming attack


‘I couldn’t do anything about it’: Friend of Lukas Strasser-Hird witnessed swarming attack


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The absence of Gervais played heavily into all four defence attorneys statements. In his closing arguments, Crown prosecutor Ken McCaffrey insisted “that fact does not make any of these four men any less guilty.”

Gavin Wolch, representing accused Franz Cabrera, asked the jury to find his client not guilty.

“You can’t convict a young man of murder because he said stupid things when he was drunk,” Wolch said.

READ MORE: ‘It’s a horror story in there,’ father says as Strasser-Hird swarming trial enters 5th week

He was referring to several comments witnesses testified he made to them following the incident, as well as text messages he sent, including one that reads, “Bro, I just stabbed someone for Assmar.”

Wolch claimed the comments were “mostly equivocal drunken ramblings.” He also stressed the high level of intoxication of his client, which McCaffrey strongly contested.

READ MORE: ‘I couldn’t do anything about it’ – Friend of Lukas Strasser-Hird witnessed swarming attack

David Chow, who is defending Joch Pouk, admitted Pouk is guilty of assault, but said he should be acquitted of second-degree murder because he disengaged when more assailants stepped in.

He said his client was “championing” his friend who he believed had been sucker-punched by the deceased. He referred to all the accused as “kids” at the time of the attack, adding, “at 20 you haven’t earned this distinction of manhood yet.”

READ MORE: ‘I didn’t murder anyone’: accused in Lukas Strasser-Hird swarming death

McCaffrey disagreed, saying, “Lukas’ death was caused by the intentional and depraved actions of these four men and Mr. Gervais.”

He referred to a conversation Pouk had with an undercover police officer following the incident about being “f–ked and looking at doing 15 years.”

“I ask you, if he’s not guilty, how could he be f–ked?” McCaffrey said to the jury. “He said his friends ratted him out —; I say because there was something to rat out —; and he said ‘all four of us were involved.’”


Ottawa slammed on First Nations funding for child welfare, suicide prevention

OTTAWA – The federal government is still racially discriminating against aboriginal children in its delivery of services on reserves, First Nations advocate Cindy Blackstock told a Commons committee on Thursday.

READ MORE: 87% of Canadians believe aboriginal people experience discrimination: survey

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Her testimony comes amid an ongoing tug of war over the government’s response to a landmark ruling from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

One of the central issues is the $71 million the government earmarked in this year’s budget for child welfare — a figure far from sufficient, Blackstock said, pegging the actual need at around $200 million.

Blackstock also challenged the notion that there’s a capacity issue for the delivery of child welfare services.

The government has presented no evidence that more than 100 First Nations agencies, including many which have operated for more than two decades, are somehow all incapable of addressing and implementing services, Blackstock told the committee.

“I think that’s akin to really saying ‘we can’t treat you equally because you’re not capable,’” she said.

“If this was a gender or pay equity issue, I don’t think anybody would get away with saying women aren’t worthy of being treated equally today … that’s the type of argument we are seeing there.”

Responding to the tribunal is not a matter of juggling priorities but an issue of legal compliance, Blackstock added.

“That’s the uncomfortable reality we need to deal with … it is not (about) nice statements by me or by the government,” she said. “It is real change in federal government policy and funding levels.”

On Wednesday, Blackstock’s organization — the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society — submitted a strongly worded submission to the tribunal in response to the government’s compliance reports on child welfare.

READ MORE: What happened to Jim? Experiments on Canada’s indigenous populations

In April, the tribunal ordered the federal government to provide detailed calculations and evidence on why it believes the last budget meets its obligations.

It also gave the Indigenous Affairs Department two weeks to confirm it has implemented Jordan’s Principle — a policy designed to ensure First Nations children can get services without getting caught in red tape.

The tribunal orders followed its January judgment that found the federal government discriminated against children on reserves in its funding of child welfare services.

Isadore Day, the Ontario regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations and the lead for its health portfolio, also pressed the government on Thursday to deliver concrete financial commitments for First Nations mental health.

Funding is critical to address the suicide crisis across the country, he said, noting the federal budget does not contain “historic” funding commitments to address this issue.

“It is status quo,” Day said in an interview. “Let’s face it: we don’t just need words, we need action … If these are preventable deaths, let’s do the investment that we need to.”

One of Day’s central recommendations is a call for bolstered funding for First Nations mental wellness teams across the country — a push backed by NDP indigenous affairs critic Charlie Angus.

At a recent Commons committee, Health Department official Tom Wong admitted the existing 10 teams fall far short of what is needed.

“As I said before, 10 teams is not sufficient and so we would like to actually increase it,” he said.

“If we look at 80 teams, we would be looking at $40 million to $50 million.”


Stepmother accused in suitcase murder trial ‘failed’ as parent, Crown tells jury

TORONTO —; A woman accused of killing her stepdaughter was the architect of the girl’s misery, prosecutors argued Thursday as they recounted for a Toronto jury the harrowing starvation and abuse the teen was subjected to more than two decades ago.

The assertion from the Crown was made in closing arguments at the trial of Elaine Biddersingh, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Melonie Biddersingh.

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The girl’s body was found in a burning suitcase in an industrial parking lot north of Toronto in 1994 but went unidentified for years until 2011, when Biddersingh told an Ontario pastor the girl had “died like a dog.”

READ MORE: Religious confessions highlighted in suitcase murder trial

Melonie’s father, Everton Bidderisngh, was found guilty in January of first-degree murder in his daughter’s death, but jurors at Elaine Biddersingh’s trial were instructed to disregard that conviction as “completely irrelevant” to their case.

“Elaine failed in her duties as a parent,” Crown prosecutor Anna Tenhouse told the jury. “Elaine was the mastermind and Everton was the fist.”

Melonie came to Canada from Jamaica in 1991 with two brothers to live with her father and her stepmother in Toronto. The trial has heard that the children, who had lived in extreme poverty, saw the move as a great opportunity that would lead to a brighter future.

“Instead of dreams, that petite little girl endured abuse and in a short three and a half years she lost weight and she pined away, all at the hands of Elaine and Everton Biddersingh,” Tenhouse said.

READ MORE: Pastor tells suitcase murder trial of stepmother’s confession that led to break in case

Melonie’s younger brother died in an accident in 1992, the trial heard, and Melonie and her older brother Cleon’s treatment worsened significantly over time.

“The children were scared of Elaine,” Tenhouse said. “She ruled the house.”

The trial heard directly from Cleon, who testified about the prolonged physical and emotional abuse his sister suffered.

Melonie was kicked, slapped and thrown against walls by her father, her stepmother once threw a mug at her head so hard it broke, she routinely had her head put down a flushing toilet, she was deprived of food, made to sleep on the floor, confined to the apartment and eventually chained to the furniture, the trial heard.

READ MORE: First-degree murder trial begins for woman charged in stepdaughter’s death

“Elaine was convinced Melonie had brought a curse on her home,” Tenhouse said. “Elaine played a role in everything that happened in that apartment.”

The trial also heard from Cleon that Melonie’s physical abuse often followed heated fights between his father and his stepmother.

“Everton never initiated a beating unless it was about something Elaine complained about,” Tenhouse said. “Melonie seemed to get the worst of the punishments.”

The children were not sent to school, the trial heard. They were saddled with a host of chores, and Melonie in particular had to clean the house, wash clothes in a bathtub and was responsible for caring for Biddersingh’s baby girl, the trial heard.

READ MORE: Everton Biddersingh sentenced to life in prison for murder of daughter in 1994

As Melonie’s condition worsened under the treatment of her father and stepmother, she cried with pain, had trouble moving and was clearly in need of medical attention, Tenhouse said.

“Everyone in the apartment knew that Melonie was sick,” Tenhouse said. “Cleon said Melonie looked like someone who was dying. No one came to Melonie’s aid.”

Medical evidence called in the trial indicated Melonie was severely malnourished and had 21 healing fractures when she died.

One night, Melonie’s father woke Cleon to tell him the girl had run away and he and Elaine were going to look for her, court heard. When the couple returned hours later, they told Cleon to dispose of the cardboard Melonie slept on and the chains used to confine her.

The trial has head that Melonie drowned or nearly drowned, inhaling water shortly before her death.


Cenovus, CNRL restart oil production at Pelican Lake facilities as nearby wildfire burns

Two days after an encroaching wildfire prompted an evacuation and shutdown of Cenovus Energy’s oil production facility at Pelican Lake, the energy firm said it was in the process of resuming oil production there on Thursday.

“Essential staff returned to our Pelican Lake operations late yesterday and are now in the process of restarting oil production in a safe and orderly manner.,” the company said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

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    READ MORE: Cenovus bringing essential workers back to Pelican Lake facility, says wildfire being held

    According to Cenovus, the wildfire – which was first detected a kilometre away from its main complex Tuesday – continued to burn but was being held by firefighters working with Alberta Forestry.

    At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, the fire was reported to be about 75 hectares in size but was moving away from nearby oil facilities.

    Cenovus said the air quality at its main Pelican Lake complex was at acceptable levels Thursday afternoon but said regular monitoring of air quality would continue.

    The Calgary-based company did not say when production at the facility will return to normal levels.

    READ MORE: Cenovus oil facility in Alberta shuts down over nearby Wabasca wildfire

    Earlier this week, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) had also temporarily stopped producing 800 barrels a day and moved non-essential personnel from the project’s northern camp.

    On Thursday, CNRL said it has resumed normal operation at Pelican Lake.

    “With the protection and safety of our people and assets as the utmost priority, Canadian Natural continues to closely monitor the wildfires in the Wabasca, Alberta region near our Pelican Lake operations,” a company statement said. “The wildfire remains a safe distance from our operations.”

    Pelican Lake is about 400 kilometres southwest of Fort McMurray.


Fatality inquiry on hold as police review investigation of Edmonton man’s death

A fatality inquiry has been stayed while police continue to review their investigation into the death of a mentally ill man who was under the supervision of Alberta Health Services.

An inquiry into the April 2013 death of Cameron Bisset, 54, had been scheduled for September. But on Monday, the Crown stayed the hearing. A police spokesperson said the homicide section is reviewing its file and that further information would be available later this month.

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Bisset’s emaciated body was found slumped over a bedside table in the apartment where he lived alone, under the supervision of AHS.

An autopsy report concluded he died of upper-gastrointestinal hemorrhaging due to a pair of ulcers and that malnutrition and schizophrenia were also factors.

In February 2015, George Bisset said he believes the health-care system failed his brother.

READ MORE: AHS mental health supports in the spotlight in light of 2013 death of Edmonton man

At the time, Global News reached out to AHS and police for comment, but requests were denied.

In a letter to George Bisset, AHS said: “After a careful review we have concluded that the mental health care and treatment provided by the Edmonton Zone Addiction & Mental Health programs was appropriate both with regard to the level and standard of care.”

An internal police report obtained by Global News contradicts those claims. Shortly after Cameron Bisset’s death, Edmonton police conducted a Professional Standards Branch investigation. The findings: Cameron Bisset’s care was far from perfect but no one person could be blamed for his death.

While the investigating officer found “for a variety of reasons I do not have any reasonable suspicion that anybody involved in his care meets the thresholds for (criminal) offences, … it is not to say that there were no issues with Cameron’s care.”

The report questions where responsibility for Cameron Bisset’s care lay, and noted there were dozens of people in several positions involved in his care.

Then-NDP health critic David Eggen, now the minister of education, said Bisset’s death, though tragic, was not “entirely surprising” because of the lengths to which the system is stretched.

“There’s been a lot of pressure on the capacity for our system to look after the people that are the most vulnerable in our society,” Eggen told Global News.

“The worst thing is we see more of these cases than ever before. For every one that we actually get illumination on there’s 10 more people out there suffering, or more.”

With files from Kerry Powell, Eric Szeto and Caley Ramsay.


Tips to save money as food prices rise

The cost of groceries in New Brunswick has increased drastically over the past four years.

For people who would normally spend $10,000 a year on groceries, by the end of 2016 they will have spent an additional $320 on the same items.

READ MORE: Low loonie drives up grocery bills 4.1% as food prices ‘accelerate’

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Katharine Hartnett says she’s notice the increase, and tells Global News it’s changing the way she shops.

“We do spend more money on groceries, and I find it difficult because everything is going up in price —; but our salaries,” Harnett said.

Harnett says she’s started to grow her own vegetables in order to keep herself and her family healthy, ensuring they still get nutritious food.

“I’ve planted my own kale, my own zucchini, and my own cucumbers,” Hartnett said.

Foundation Health Centre registered dietitian Jenn Traboulsee says there are some simple ways people can save money that still allow them to eat a balanced meal.

“I hear a lot about the cost of meats and stuff have gone up, but there’s other protein sources out there. So a lot of times I emphasize legumes —; which would be like your chickpeas, your lentils and your beans,” Traboulsee said.

Traboulsee says there are some frozen items that can be just as healthy as fresh ones, and are extremely cost effective, specifically frozen or canned vegetables.

“A lot of times those frozen and canned items are picked when they’re ripe, and then they are frozen or canned immediately. So a lot of times they might be more nutrient-dense than actual fresh produce,” Traboulsee said.

She also says that there’s a misconception about fast food being cheaper than healthy food. Items like fast-food cheeseburgers may cost less than a bag of apples from the grocery store, but she says you’re getting more calories and less nutrients.

READ MORE: Canadians snubbing certain fruits and vegetables due to high produce prices

Traboulsee also suggests that people can go through flyers and find coupons one day and then plan their grocery list based on what items are on-sale. She says it’s important to be organized, and that meal planning will save you money in the long-run.

Another cost-saving option is to purchase weekly grocery boxes.

In many cities, shoppers can find locally grown produce boxes, along with other types of foods such as a variety of meats.

Real Food Connections in Fredericton offers weekly produce boxes for $25.

Locally grown foods are price-stable, says Real Food Connections co-owner and president Levi Lawrence.

“Most of our local producers are pricing their food on what it costs them to grow it, and that’s a very different strategy than at the supermarket level,” Lawrence said.


Stanley Cup finals: Pittsburgh Police remove couches from houses near stadium ahead of Game 5

Police in Pittsburgh are being cautious ahead of a potential Stanley Cup win Thursday night.

Public works crews spent the day collecting close to two dozen couches from porches of houses near the Consol Energy Center.

City officials are worried they may be set on fire if celebrations get out of hand after the game.

READ MORE: ‘Temporary’ Crosby exhibit in Halifax too popular to close

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The Pittsburgh Penguins are playing the San Jose Sharks in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final. They have already won three games, and if they win Thursday night, they’ll win the cup.

Police say they want to make sure hockey fans celebrate responsibly if that happens.

“If the Penguins are fortunate enough to win we want to see on the morning news the good things… the Pittsburghers celebrating. We don’t want to see any folks destroying or upsetting the apple cart here in Pittsburgh,” Guy Costa, the city’s chief of operations, told KDKA-TV.

Extra police will be on hand for crowd control, and fans will only get 90 mins after the game ends before they will be asked to leave the premises.

The city could be trying to prevent something like what happened in Vancouver in 2011 – when riots broke out after the Canucks lost the cup.

READ MORE: Last two Stanley Cup rioters sentenced to time behind bars for assault

Businesses and civilians suffered losses estimated at $2.7 million and $540,000, respectively, while the cost to the City of Vancouver, B.C. Ambulance Service and St. Paul’s Hospital was $525,000.

A report says the city spent over $5 million prosecuting cases that stemmed from the riot.



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The last time the Penguins won the cup was in 2009, and there were no riots then.

Police say they don’t expect any this time either, but are only being cautious by removing the couches.

“If there’s no fuel, chances are there won’t be any fire and we’re going to try and limit the fuel sources that people will have that access to,” Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said.

The couches will be held until the end of the Stanley Cup.

*With files from .


At 76, Lethbridge woman signals trend of seniors working longer

A Lethbridge woman says the key to living a long and healthy life is to keep working.

Johanna Hribar has worked at a London Drugs store in Lethbridge for over 25 years, and at 76 years old, Hribar is part of a growing trend in Alberta.

According to the latest Alberta government statistics, there has been a steady increase in the percentage of seniors working since 2009.

However, Trevor Lewington of Economic Development Lethbridge believes that it could be a choice made by seniors, rather than a reflection of the current state of the economy.

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  • Alberta program provides loans to seniors for home repairs, renos

    “I hope it’s not a reflection of economic times, but that more seniors are choosing to work, because they are healthier and want to be an active member of society.”

    Hribar echoes Lewington, and says working keeps her young.

    “I love to work and I don’t like to sit at home and do nothing,” Hribar said.

    “I love the people I work with.”

    Hribar is among a group of seniors who work as cashiers at London Drugs. Her colleagues say she brings wisdom and classic customer service to the store.

    “She is so caring. Once you meet her you can’t help but be infatuated with her,” assistant manager Nicole Moriyama said.

    A recent widow, Hribar says working is what gets her up in the morning, and that she plans to work until she dies.

    “If you have a positive attitude, that’s one of the most important things in life,” Hribar said. “I hope they can keep me fore a little bit longer.”


Reality check: Can Canada’s red-hot housing markets be reined in?

The Bank of Canada’s ominous warning Thursday cut no corners: skyrocketing housing prices in Vancouver and Toronto are not sustainable.

While some are being shut out of the market, those who jumped in are financially stretched. Should there be a correction, a lot of people could be in serious trouble, the report warned.

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READ MORE: Vancouver housing prices jump over 30%; Toronto also sees spike

So what can be done to control sky high real estate prices in Canada’s hot spots?

The foreign ownership question

Foreign ownership of Canadian real estate increasingly gets the blame for pushing up prices, especially in Vancouver. But put down the pitchforks: the hard data to prove it just isn’t there.

“We don’t really know about foreign ownership as much as we would like to,” said professor William Strange from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, adding that it’s largely folktales painting a picture of empty downtown highrises, bought and paid for with foreign money.

“And that can matter in a lot of ways.”

READ MORE: Foreign buyers to blame for housing crisis: study

There’s been suggestion of creating a special tax for foreign owners of Canadian real estate.

Strange says the first thing we need to do is figure out how many foreigners are truly sitting on property, and base any tax changes on basic principles of fairness.

“If it’s just, ‘these darn foreigners are changing our world,’ I don’t think that’s what Canada is about,” said Strange.

He says one change could be to assess if foreign owners are paying their share of the costs of public services.

“But just objecting because it’s foreigners who are buying it seems not to be in our interest.”

The province of B.C. is starting to track citizenship of real estate owners, as housing affordability reaches crisis levels.

“So much of the [affordability discussion] has focused in part in the absence of reliable data on what exactly is going on. Who is buying, where are they from,” B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong said in February.

“We think it’s time to start collecting again.”

WATCH: Are foreign buyers getting first dibs on Vancouver’s homes for sale?

Cameron Muir, chief economist with the British Columbia Real Estate Association says he’s eager to see the results, so the “extent and depth” of foreign ownership can truly be examined. But he doesn’t expect it to be a game-changer.

“I think the data to date certainly suggests it’s a factor, but not a sufficient factor to cause the kinds of housing demand that we’re seeing today.”

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) says rates of foreign ownership sit around 3.3 per cent in Toronto and 3.5 per cent in Vancouver when it comes to condos.

Muir says the bulk of B.C. buyers live and work in their communities.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said we need better data on foreign ownership of Canadian real estate, but said we must be wary of imposing hostile measures.

READ MORE: Want to buy a house in Canada? It’ll cost you 400 weeks of work

“We have to be very, very cautious about restricting foreign investment in our country,” Trudeau told Global News last December.

Ultimately, Strange said, we should be happy the rest of the world sees Canada as a place to park its money.

“I think that if we tell foreigners that they’re not welcome to invest in Canada we’re going to find there’s lots of consequences for Canadian businesses,” Strange said.

The single detached home: the unicorn of real estate

Sorry, first-time home buyers: a single detached home is likely out of your league. There is simply not enough of the prized real estate to go around.

“Single detached homes… comprise just five per cent of the Metro Vancouver housing stock,” said Muir, calling them “a luxury product.”

READ MORE: Owning home becoming pipedream for many house-hunters in Toronto, Vancouver

Both Toronto and Vancouver lack more land to build more.

“There is no building out,” said Muir. “There really is no ability to sprawl anymore than has already occurred.”

Strange says in Toronto there is simply not enough supply for everyone to have a nice big house on their own lot.

READ MORE: More access to real estate data a win for consumers

“That’s just not going to work. There’s no way we can accommodate all the growth that’s projected for Toronto. There has to be higher-density development to fit people in.”

Condos, townhouses and other multi-housing structures are becoming the norm, especially for the first-time home buyer.

“Within Toronto we’re talking about [building] up rather than talking about going out,” said Strange.

Even with a shortage of supply, B.C. is seeing a buying frenzy.

“We’re experiencing record consumer demand,” said Muir. “Home sales in the province this year are going to be at all-time record levels.”

It’s not just Metro Vancouver; Victoria and Kelowna are posting housing demand records as well.

“That of course has drawn down inventories,” Muir said, adding there are supply lows not seen in decades in some areas.

“That’s caused quite an imbalance between supply and demand, and causing prices right now to accelerate.”

The possible solutions

Vancouver should see respite in the coming years thanks to a building boom currently underway.

“We’re in a housing cycle that happens every several years in which consumers decide they’re going to buy. And that’s really leading to the record levels,” said Muir.

That’s where the Vancouver market is now: at high tide. And when the demand is great, builders react.

READ MORE: Feds considering luxury tax to cool housing market

“The lag between getting that signal in the marketplace —; supplies get drawn down. It takes a number of years for all these housing units to be completed, to be added into the marketplace,” said Muir.

“In between that, we tend to see rising prices. So we get this ramp up in prices and then a plateau. And that’s quite common in the Vancouver housing market.”

WATCH: Vancouver’s piping hot real estate market spreads to suburbs

There are a record number of homes under construction in Metro Vancouver, Muir says. But he doesn’t expect real estate prices to ever bottom out.

“Collapse is a pretty charged word.”

He agrees with the Bank of Canada’s comments; growth of 20 per cent year after year is not sustainable. But there will always be people who want to buy real estate in and around Vancouver.

“The regional housing market has many points of growth in which housing demand is very strong.”

More can be done by governments to relax restrictions on Toronto’s housing supply, Strange says.

“This is a competitive market. It’s partly us doing this to ourselves, getting carried away in our enthusiasm,” said Strange.

“And the government does make it a bit harder by regulating supply strictly, and probably needs to find ways to reduce it at least in some parts of the city.”

There are also plenty of places in Canada with plentiful and reasonably priced real estate, but the communities might lack jobs or desirability. Unless that changes, people will flock to the country’s hubs for employment, which tend to be the priciest areas.

“Handling the scale at which Canada has changed is a challenge. And we’re going to need to be at the top of our game to address it,” Strange said.