Monthly Archives: February 2019

Alberta is moving to bring in new rules to get a better handle on which children are immunized so that the province can better respond to outbreaks.

The government has introduced a bill that would allow health officials to cross-match immunization records with school enrolment lists to see who is being overlooked.

Parents of students with missing immunization records would be asked to provide the information, get the immunization, or sign a form saying they did not wish to immunize their children.

READ MORE: Alberta father calls for mandatory vaccinations after son exposed to measles 

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says health officials are missing immunizations records for an estimated 15 to 25 per cent of school-age children.

She says updated information would allow school officials to react faster in outbreaks to protect the health of all children.

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“Immunization has saved countless lives from diseases like measles, whooping cough and polio,” Dr. Karen Grimsrud, Chief Medical Officer of Health, said. “These amendments will give public health professionals better data on who is and isn’t immunized in the event of an outbreak, allowing health professionals to quickly identify children who are at risk and intervene to protect their health and the health of others.

“These amendments will also give us stronger tools to encourage parents to immunize their children and protect them from preventable diseases.”

The Edmonton Catholic School Board said it “applauds” the move, while the Alberta School Councils’ Association said it “welcomes a conversation on comprehensive school health and protecting the well-being of all students.”

Children who do not get immunized can already be directed to stay home if certain highly contagious vaccine-preventable diseases break out at their schools.

Click here to read Bill 28: Public Health Amendment Act.

With files from Global News

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The father of the 26-year-old Baltimore, Md., man who was fatally beaten outside of a Toronto nightclub on Saturday is struggling to comprehend the death of his oldest child.

“I’ve dealt with loss and I’ve gone through the death of my father in 2010 and my son’s mother about three years ago and this is hard,” Tobias Jones told Global News affiliate station WJZ 13 during a telephone interview Monday.

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“I told myself when I got through those things, ‘Please, don’t never put me through the loss of a child’ – and that’s what I’m dealing with now.”

Julian Jones, who was engaged to be married, was at the Blnd Tger club on College Street with other American citizens for a close friend’s bachelor party when they were approached by a group of men outside of the club before 2:30 a.m.

READ MORE: American man killed outside Toronto nightclub identified by police

As Julian and his friends tried to walk away, he got separated from them and that’s when police said he was punched in the face causing him to fall and hit his head. Investigators said the suspects then stomped on Julian’s head. He died before he could make it to hospital.

Tobias said he was astonished and hurt after learning his son died while visiting Canada.

“My son was loving, kind, sharing, respectful and he had hope for mankind. He thought people would get better … I used to tell him on a regular basis that I was proud to have him as my son because he was a great son, a great brother, a great man,” Tobias said.

“He was on the path to become a great husband and after getting married, he’d have some children and be a great father.”

Toronto police homicide squad Det. Rob North said the attack on Julian was not provoked.

“Based on the witnesses we have spoken to, Mr. Jones did absolutely nothing wrong and unfortunately met his demise,” he said.

Investigators want to speak with seven to nine men who were seen heading south on Manning Avenue and North said two of the men are wanted by police in connection with the death.

The first suspect is described by police as 26 to 27 years old with a slim build and short black hair. He was last seen wearing a black top with black pants. The second suspect is described as 26 to 27 years old with a “football player’s” build and a full beard. He was last seen wearing a black fitted top and black skinny jeans.

READ MORE: American man killed while visiting Toronto for bachelor party: police

Police have received video of the men, including the suspects and officers are encouraging them to speak with investigators before their photos are released.

Meanwhile, Tobias said he is worried if those responsible for the assault “are not stopped, they’ll do it again.”

“My belief is every time I can pull myself together enough to have a conversation with a TV station or a newspaper, it’s helping me refuel myself because everything that I’m trying to do right now is in the honour of journey and spirit – and everything that I’m trying to do is for his spirit so he can live on in us,” he said.

Anyone with information is being asked to call police at 416-808-1400 or 416-808-7400, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

WATCH: Toronto police have identified the American man who died after he was assaulted outside of a nightclub in Little Italy Saturday. Erica Vella reports. (Nov. 6)

TORONTO – The Canadian dollar gained against a broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Monday as oil prices rose after U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton got a boost ahead of Tuesday’s election.

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The FBI said on Sunday that Clinton would not face criminal charges related to her use of a private e-mail server. A Clinton victory is seen as less of a threat to Canada’s trade-intensive economy.

“We’ve seen a bit of a pop in crude oil prices, which is helping the Canadian dollar out a bit,” said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at Scotiabank.

“I think it’s a little bit of relief that maybe the election is not going to deliver the shock that had been feared last week.”

READ MORE: BC lays out West Coast spill response needs

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who opinion polls showed gaining on Clinton recently, has said he would renegotiate or scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement if he is elected.

The Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project on Monday showed Clinton will a 90 percent chance of defeating Trump.

Oil rose, helped by a commitment from OPEC to stick to a deal to cut output, but prices remained more than $7 below last month’s high due to persistent doubts over the feasibility of the group’s plan. U.S. crude prices settled up 1.9 percent at $44.89 a barrel.

Canada is a major oil exporter.

The Canadian dollar settled at C$1.3372 to the greenback, or 74.78 U.S. cents, stronger than Friday’s close of C$1.3403, or 74.61 U.S. cents.

READ MORE: Oil industry group projects modest rebound for oil and gas drilling in 2017

The currency’s strongest level of the session was C$1.3300, while its weakest was C$1.3416.

On Friday, the loonie hit its weakest level since March at C$1.3466.

Against the Mexican peso, the Canadian dollar touched its weakest level since Oct. 26, at 13.8646 pesos.

The peso strengthened on increased bets of a Clinton victory. It had been losing strength in recent sessions as opinion polls showed the race tightening.

READ MORE: Oil prices fall but Canadian dollar’s decline stemmed by US election uncertainty

Mexico, along with the United States and Canada, is a member of NAFTA.

Speculators raised bearish bets on the Canadian dollar to the most since March, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. Net short Canadian dollar positions rose to 15,960 contracts in the week ended Nov. 1 from 13,324 in the prior week.

Canadian government bond prices were lower across the yield curve in sympathy with U.S. Treasuries as investors reduced demand for safe-haven assets.

The two-year bond fell 6 Canadian cents to yield 0.553 percent, and the benchmark 10-year <CA10YT=RR> declined 57 Canadian cents to yield 1.222 percent.

The Calgary Police Service (CPS) has confirmed a man was charged Sunday in an unusual incident that involved a long-barrel blowgun.

Police said they received a call from a member of the public Sunday who reported seeing a man with what looked like a rifle under the overpass at 34 Avenue and Deerfoot Trail S.E.. Police said the caller told them the man appeared to be pointing the weapon in different directions.

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Police said they approached the area with caution and observed the man from a distance to gather more information. According to CPS, it looked like the man had a long gun and was actively aiming it at something in the area, however, it did not look like there were any members of the public in the area.

In a release, police said they chose to have their HAWCS helicopter fly in since attending police did not see a way to approach the man without a direct confrontation. CPS said a short time later, they witnessed the man loading the weapon into a rifle case and walking on a path up a hill on the east side of Deerfoot Trail, which is where they were able to intercept him.

According to police, the weapon turned out to be a three-foot long blowgun with a copper barrel, a wooden handle and a plastic stalk, all of which was covered with black tape. They said wooden darts were also located within the rifle case. Officers reported locating some cans under the overpass which had holes in them believed to match the diameter of the darts.

Police believe the man was doing target practice in a public place with the blowgun, which is a prohibited weapon.

Ryan Herman Thiel, 26, of Calgary has been charged with one count of possession of a weapon or imitation for a dangerous purpose.

Chris Jones wasn’t taking the bait.

Following Saskatchewan’s season-ending 41-18 loss to the B.C. Lions on Sunday, veteran quarterback Darian Durant told reporters his contract talks with the Roughriders were “pretty much at a standstill.” Durant, 34, the club’s starter since ’09, is scheduled to become a free agent in February and admitted adopting the mindset that negotiations will last until February.

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    READ MORE: Veteran QB Darian Durant says contract talks with Saskatchewan Roughriders stalled

    On Monday, Jones, the Riders’ head coach/GM, reiterated Durant remains the club’s starter. Saskatchewan (5-13) finished last in the West Division standings in Jones’ first season with the franchise.

    “Darian’s been with this organization a long time,” Jones said. “He’s won a Grey Cup and so he’s the guy we feel like is our starting quarterback.”

    “That’s why we initiated the talks prior to the season being over (in September). Darian’s certainly earned the respect that he can say what he wants. But at the same time … I’m the kind of guy that likes to keep things in-house. But that’s Darian’s option to do what he needs to do.”

    Jones cautioned reporters “not to make this a me-versus-Darian Durant thing,” noting talks with starting quarterbacks involve numbers where two sides try to reach the middle ground.

    When asked about Saskatchewan’s quarterback depth, Jones said the B.C. loss was a good chance to evaluate the team’s younger passers. Mitchell Gale, G.J. Kinne and Brandon Bridge all logged significant playing time, with Bridge, a native of Mississauga, Ont., finding the most success.

    “We feel very confident we can win with one of those four,” Jones said.

    READ MORE: Lions down Riders 41-18 to clinch home field in CFL’s West Division semifinal

    Jake Waters seemed poised to also be in the quarterback mix prior to suffering a shoulder injury against the Lions on Oct. 29.

    Jones gave the Riders a failing grade this season for good reason.

    “You win five football games, that’s not very good,” he said. “You’ve got 18 opportunities to win.”

    Jones expects to keep his coaching staff intact for next season and plans to see far less turnover on his roster. Jones said there are six or seven key free agents he’d like to re-sign but wouldn’t divulge who.

    But Jones will do that soon to give those players he’s no longer interested in as much time as possible to find jobs with new teams.

    Rebuilding an offensive line that allowed 57 sacks — second only to Montreal (64) is a priority.

    “We’ve got to protect he quarterback,” Jones said. “That’s the one area we may address in free agency.”

    “We’ve got to look at every option there. And certainly we’ve got to look at the option of changing the ratio and leaving an American at guard.”

    READ MORE: Rider fans say goodbye to old Mosaic Stadium with final kickoff

    The linebacking corps also poses some unique choices for Jones and position coach Phillip Lolley. Jeff Knox Jr., Greg Jones, Otha Foster III, Henoc Muamba and a healthy Samuel Eguavoen can all vie for starting spots, Jones admitted.

    One alternative is keeping all five players and rotating them in and out of different schemes, Jones said. But that will depend on Knox and Foster both wanting to try to crack NFL rosters.

    On the immediate horizon, Jones will visit seven player-evaluation camps before Christmas, all in the United States.

    “We’ve targeted where all the NFL players have come from and we have a map of the United States that shows (target areas) — Texas, Florida, California, the Atlanta area, Ohio, Detroit,” he said. “If we find one guy out of those seven workouts, then that’s successful.”