Community rallies behind Vaudreuil senior facing eviction

Written by admin on 16/11/2018 Categories: 老域名购买

VAUDREUIL-DORION – People in Vaudreuil-Dorion are rallying around 81-year-old Peder Mortensen, who’s being threatened with eviction.

Mortensen has lived in his hand-built house in the community for more than 60 years.

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    READ MORE: Vaudreuil resident heartbroken over city’s plan to demolish his home

    Now, the mayor is calling it a fire hazard and insists he has to go.

    Global News’ request for access to the documents outlining the problems with Mortensen’s house was denied.

    Without a doubt, the 81 year-old’s home is quite unique.

    “I’ve been living here for so long, it can’t be such a bad house,” Mortensen said.

    He’s got bags full of leaves hanging in his yard, which he says reduce sound.

    He also has homemade insulation: a retractable window covered in tin foil.

    “I’m not able to tell how long I’m going to live – I’m 81 – but I’m going to hang on as long as I can,” Mortensen said.

    Some would consider his home odd, but the retired engineer says everything has a reason for being there.

    His neighbours say they know and love him for that.

    “I’ve been in this community for 40 years and I remember seeing Peder ride his bicycle around all over town,” said Jamie Nicholls, a former MP for Vaudreuil-Dorion.

    “He was really a symbol of sustainability for our community.”

    After Global News reported that the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion is seeking an injunction to demolish his home – citing fire hazards – the neighbours rallied behind Mortensen.

    WATCH: Vaudreuil tries to evict senior

    “I was shocked, he’s been living here since the 60s all through,” said Ed Schiller, who has been Mortensen’s neighbour since 1971.

    Thursday morning, they started a petition and plan to bring it to the mayor once it reaches 2,000 signatures.

    By 5 p.m. the same day, they had collected 373 signatures.

    “We’ll do whatever we have to do make sure we’ll make him happy,” said Charlie Berkovitz, a neighbour across the street.

    Nicholls is also crowdfunding to build Mortensen a sustainable house. if need be.

    READ MORE: Montreal senior who faced home eviction can stay for another year: Quebec Rental Board

    “It was important for me because he has lived so frugally, so simply, so light on the Earth, that perhaps we should recognize that fact,” he said.

    Guy Pilon, Vaudreuil-Dorion’s mayor, said pressure from the community doesn’t change things.

    “I don’t think people would let an animal live in a place like that,” Pilon said.

    “I wouldn’t let an 82 year-old man live on that.”

    The mayor said he’s received one phone call so far and a couple of Facebook messages – one all the way from Alberta – speaking out in support of Mortensen.

    He insisted people simply aren’t aware of the danger Mortensen is, in as he showed Global News pictures of the interior of the home, which included piles of pasta and juice boxes.

    READ MORE: Elderly Montrealer takes eviction fight to rental board

    Regardless, Pilon said he’s open to finding a solution.

    But he insists keeping Mortensen’s home as is is not an option.

    Sylvan Schneider, a real estate lawyer, said it is a tricky situation.

    “An old man shouldn’t be kicked out of his home and the city has their rights in order to ensure the safety of the municipality,” he said.

    Schneider pointed out the city is within the law, but wondered if there could be a different approach.

    “I think sitting down and both parties amicably resolving this matter would be, in my opinion, the best interest for the resolution of both parties involved,” he said.

    The city says it’s arranging a meeting with Mortensen for next week.

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Woman says she was harassed in Walmart bathroom after being mistaken as transgender

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Aimee Toms was washing her hands in the women’s bathroom at Walmart in Danbury, Conn., last week when a woman approached her and said, “You’re disgusting” and “You need to leave.”

The 22-year-old claims she was harassed by the woman after apparently being mistaken as transgender.

Toms’ pixie haircut was covered by a baseball cap when the woman allegedly said, “You are not supposed to be here,” before flipping her off.

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READ MORE: Liberals unveil bill to protect transgender people from hate speech

“She thought I was someone who was transgender. She thought I was a dude who was hiding in the women’s bathroom,” Toms said.

Toms has now responded in a video posted to Facebook condemning discrimination against transgender people.

“After experiencing the discrimination they face firsthand, I cannot fathom the discrimination transgender people must face in a lifetime,” she said.

She hopes her video will help others understand that transgender people deserve to be treated equally.

“It really got my gears turning as to how amazingly ridiculous this is becoming as an issue.”

“I don’t know if many of you know this but you’ve probably used the bathroom with somebody who is transgender before.”

READ MORE: One Montreal family’s fight for transgender rights

Toms believes the incident happened because of the controversy sparked by a law that was passed in North Carolina that mandates bathroom access according to birth sex.

She believes people have developed unjustified fears of being attacked by someone who could abuse transgender bathrooms.

She explained that if someone wants to commit a crime in a bathroom, they are going to do it anyway regardless if it’s a transgender bathroom.

Global News has reached out to Walmart for comment but after 24 hours the request was not returned.

Toms’ video “rant” on Facebook about her experience at Walmart has gone viral and has been viewed more than 180,000 times.

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‘It only takes a split second’: victim of distracted driving joins police in long weekend warning

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After the recent introduction of three demerit points to Alberta’s legislation, distracted driving has dropped for the first time in five years, but only slightly.

Since the legislation was first introduced in 2011, the number of distracted driving tickets increased annually. Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey attributes this phenomenon to the increase in cell phone usage. The fine increased in 2015 (from $172 to $287 currently). Stacey says it made no difference.

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    “We honestly didn’t see too much of a difference with the fines going up, but so far this year in 2016, with the introduction of the demerit system, we’re down just a little bit in the amount of tickets we’ve written. It’s early but we’re still down a little over 200 tickets from the same time last year,” Stacey said.

    This time last year there were 2,212 distracted driving tickets issued compared to the 1,934 issued in 2016 to date. Though not drastic, the decrease has Stacey optimistic for the future.

    “I’m hopeful, let’s put it that way…We’ve written less tickets and, anecdotally, I’m hearing from my officers that they aren’t seeing quite as much of it. That’s inspiring for me. And personally I haven’t seen as much either, but we still see some and we still are doing the enforcement,” Stacey added.

    Take Our Poll

    There’s little way of knowing how many crashes are directly the result of distracted driving. It requires drivers to self-disclose whether or not they were distracted at the time of the crash, which is rare. But Stacey said he does expect that roads are getting better.

    “Would I say the roads are a bit safer? I hope so.  And I hope the trend continues, I really do.”

    Kevin Smith’s truck was written off when his vehicle hit a driver he alleges was distracted who went through a red light on Country Hills last January. He echoes Stacey’s sentiment.

    “It happens so quick and people don’t understand. It only takes a split second.”

    Witnesses told police they saw the 17-year-old driver that went through a red light texting before the accident. Kevin Smith’s truck was totaled.

    Smith suffered from broken ribs, whiplash, and extensive soft tissue injuries after the crash. He deals with pain and soreness on a daily basis.

    The impact from the collision extends further into his life as well, as he owns a fitness studio and is a personal trainer who is expected to keep up with his clients. He also has two young and playful children at home. He says despite this lasting effect, he knows that he is lucky to have survived the crash.

    “I know I’m lucky. Pain will subside, the discomfort will subside. But I’m lucky that I’m still walking, playing, and here for my family,” Smith said.

    READ MORE: Cell phone jammer that could stop you from distracted driving 

    Stacey likens the adjustment to distracted driving legislation to seatbelt legislation and  suggests it may take some time.

    “When that [legislation] came in in the 80s almost nobody wore their seatbelt and there was a lot of resistance to that legislation. Now a whole generation or two later, we’re seeing a 95 per cent compliance rate with seatbelt usage.”

    This week is the RCMP’s road safety week. They’re launching an online campaign called “Leave the Phone Alone” and are asking Canadians to commit publicly, with an online pledge, to avoid all distractions while driving.

    Editor’s note: Global News was contacted by someone who claims to be the other driver in the case referenced above. While he admitted to making an unsafe left turn, he denies being distracted.

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SaskEnergy and SaskPower applying for rate adjustments

Written by admin on 26/04/2020 Categories: 老域名购买

REGINA – SaskPower and SaskEnergy are applying for rate adjustments with the Saskatchewan Review Panel but each crown is singing a different tune.

SaskPower is requesting a rate increase of 5 per cent effective July 1, 2016 and five per cent effective Jan 1, 2017. That means the average customer will pay an additional $6 per month in 2016 and $6 per month in 2017 on their electricity bills, if approved.

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    “We understand our customers need reliable power, and in light of our challenges with aging infrastructure and keeping up with growing demand, we need additional funding to continue to provide that for the people of Saskatchewan,” said SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh.

    SaskEnergy is proposing a 2.3 per cent decrease in 2016 rates which would save the average customer around $1.70 per month.

    The typical SaskEnergy residential customer will see an annual savings of $20 and small-to-large commercial customers will see decreases ranging from $180 to $3,000 a year, if approved.

    “SaskEnergy is facing many of the same challenges as other Canadian natural gas utilities to maintain the high safety standards our industry has set and our customers expect,” said Doug Kelln, President and Chief Executive Officer, SaskEnergy.

    “These rate changes, if approved, allow us to pass along lower market prices to reduce heating bills while continuing to invest in a safe natural gas system.”

    All told, the average residential customer can expect an increase of $4.30 per month later this year.

    You can view full copies of the SaskPower and SaskEnergy rate review applications at saskratereview老域名出售

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Fort McMurray wildfire: evacuation order lifted for some work camps north of the community

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Fire officials in Alberta are hoping cooler temperatures and some rain this weekend will enable them to hold the Fort McMurray wildfire in place. While it’s not a lot, the Fort McMurray region received two millimetres of rain overnight Friday and into Saturday morning.

Mandatory evacuation orders were lifted Friday night for a number of work camp sites in Alberta’s oilsands near Fort McMurray, according to a tweet from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

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    The tweet appeared shortly before 11:30 p.m. and said the mandatory evacuation order had been lifted for Millennium Camp, Borealis Camp, Hudson Camp, Noralta Camp, Ruth Lake Camp, Suncor Base Plant and Syncrude Mildred Lake Plant. Officials said the orders were lifted because “conditions have improved in areas north of Fort McMurray.”

    A number of the camps were put under an evacuation order on Monday when the wildfire began behaving unpredictably again and shifting winds were considered a threat to the camps.

    Fire Status

    The wildfire burning near Fort McMurray shrunk slightly between Thursday and Friday, from 505,645 to 503,671 hectares as cooler temperatures and rain moved into the region.

    “Cooler, damper conditions” have improved both the firefighting situation and the air quality, Shane Schreiber, managing director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency said.

    As of Saturday afternoon, the wildfire covered about 504,443 hectares, including 741 hectares in Saskatchewan.

    The air quality remained at a six out of 10 in Fort McMurray Friday morning and Chad Morrison with Alberta Wildfire said the blaze was being held at just over half a million hectares.

    “From a firefighting perspective, we expect to hold this fire over the weekend,” Morrison added. “These are great firefighting days for us.”

    He said while there hasn’t been significant rain on the fire itself, the area has seen cooler weather.

    Fort McMurray wildfire: No significant rain has fallen on the fire yet

    WATCH: Chad Morrison with Alberta Wildfire said Friday that so far, there has not been significant rainfall on the massive wildfire which devastated Fort McMurray and still continues to burn.

    Morrison said crews have been able to strengthen the “dozer line” (a barrier created by bulldozers), the helicopters have been very effective and it’s now safer for firefighters to secure the fire perimeter and extinguish hot spots.

    “As every day goes by we continue to run this thing down and continue to secure it,” Morrison said.

    Morrison also said an additional 500 firefighters will be brought in next week. The week after that, another 500 are expected.

    The crews will come from other parts of Alberta, Canada and, if still required, international partners.

    “We’ve had great offers and great support from our international partners,” Morrison said.

    WATCH: Alberta Wildfire manager Chad Morrison said an additional 500 firefighters will be brought in next week. The week after that, another 500 are expected.

    READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire nearly as big as PEI, crosses Saskatchewan border

    The fire grew to the size of Prince Edward Island on Thursday. The area burned by the Fort McMurray wildfire is bigger than the entire area burned in all of last year’s wildfire season, Alberta Wildfire’s Chad Morrison said. The fire continued to spread northeast, away from the oilsands facilities and into remote forested areas.

    The fire crossed the Saskatchewan border on Thursday, burning about 700 hectares northeast of Gordon Lake. It’s still about 30 kilometres away from La Loche, the nearest Saskatchewan community.

    Officials said there was no direct threat from the flames, in part because of the lake next to the village and because last year’s fires mean there’s less brush and trees to burn. Smoke was seen as a bigger concern in nearby La Loche.

    Oilsands sites

    Morrison said industrial firefighters were working alongside woodland firefighters to continue to secure borders around oilsands facilities and camps.

    He said there have been “no further impacts on the city, industrial facilities, or camps.”

    A mandatory evacuation order remained in place for the Suncor and Syncrude sites. However, as fire guards around those sites continue to be enforced, Morrison remains hopeful.

    “We continue to have firefighters deployed around the oilsands,” he said. “We feel that given current conditions… the sites at this time – there’s no immediate threat.”

    “Actually, that will be one of the safest places to be,” he added.

    Restoration work:

    Within the City of Fort McMurray, ATCO has restarted work on restoring power.

    “They have re-evaluated and triple checked,” Schreiber said. “They will pick up where they left off in areas where it is absolutely safe to do so.”

    Meanwhile, workers are trying to re-establish water access in the community, flushing and repairing lines.

    “There will be non-potable water available for re-entry on the 1st of June…but we’re recommending people bring potable water with them when they return.”

    Schreiber added the boil water advisory will likely remain until the middle of June.

    Work continues to restore electricity, gas power, water and sewage systems. Gas has been restored to about 75 per cent of Fort McMurray. Electricity has been restored to more than 90 per cent of the city.

    The vehicle retrieval process continued Friday.

    “Highway 63 is open but controlled and subject to periodic closures,” Schrieber said.

    WATCH: Fort McMurray wildfire update: Air quality, highway closures, and return dates for evacuees

    Air quality:

    Alberta Health Services’ Chief Medical Officer of Health wants to see consistent conditions before residents are allowed back into Fort McMurray.

    “At this point, we’re working on what that number should look like,” Dr. Karen Grimsrud said. She said the decision should be made based on the air quality health index and the long-term weather forecast.

    She stressed the June 1 re-entry date is conditional on a number of basic factors, including that air quality is acceptable.

    “There have been extreme fluctuations in air quality… Not only in Fort McMurray,” Grimsrud said.

    In the city, air quality has varied, “at times reaching near-record levels and at times reaching low levels,” she said.

    AHS said anyone with respiratory issues like asthma, COPD, pregnant women or those over 65 years old should not return to the community on June 1.

    An air quality advisory was reinstated in Edmonton Thursday afternoon as heavy smoke from the northern Alberta wildfires was blown into the region.

    READ MORE: AHS reinstates air quality advisory as smoke drifts into Capital Region

    Support for evacuees:

    The province has so far distributed more than 35,000 pre-loaded debit cards to Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees, totalling $75 million.

    READ MORE: Man accused of using fake ID to get Fort McMurray wildfire funds

    For those displaced by mandatory evacuation orders (Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation), the province announced the Wildfire Evacuee Transitional Accommodation Benefit.

    The government will provide short-term funding for eligible evacuees who do not have insurance or have insufficient insurance to pay for temporary accommodations.

    Applicants must be registered with the Red Cross and be establishing a temporary residence within Alberta. Evacuees can apply by calling 310-4455 or in person at Alberta Works offices.

    Wildfire Evacuee Transitional Accommodation Benefit by Anonymous QRCBjQd5I7

    With files from Karen Bartko, Global News

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Calgary parents accused of not treating diabetic teen plead not guilty to first-degree murder

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WARNING: This story contains content some readers may find disturbing. Discretion is strongly advised.

Two parents accused of killing their teenage son pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in a judge-alone trial Tuesday.

Emil and Rodica Radita were arrested in February 2014. Police allege they denied Alex (Alexandru) Radita treatment for diabetes, which ultimately killed him. Court heard Tuesday Alex weighed 37 pounds when he died.

One paramedic testified Emil Radita told her he called EMS four hours after he found his son lying in bed, emaciated and cold to the touch.

Scroll down to read tweets from court in our live blog

Alexandru Gabriel Radita

Obtained by Global News

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    Police were called to the Radita home in the community of Citadel on May 7, 2013. The 15-year-old was found dead inside.

    The first witnesses in the trial were officers and paramedics who attended the home; photos of the crime scene were shown in court.

    Paramedic Deborah Baumback said there were between 15 and 20 people at the Radita home when she arrived. She said they were “praying and chanting.”

    Baumback said she went upstairs to find Alex in a bed in the middle of a room. Two men were also in the room, including Alex’s father, and Baumback said she asked the other man what was going on. She said he replied, “no English.”

    “I recall the patient being…on the bed,” Baumback said. “Covered up to the neck under the blanket.”

    “I actually remember walking in the room thinking, ‘what the hell is that?’ … His eyes were open, staring at the ceiling.”

    Baumback said Alex looked “mummified.” She uncovered him to find he was wearing a diaper and a T-shirt.

    She described him as “extraordinarily skinny” and “extremely, extremely emaciated.”

    “Every rib could be seen,” she said. “He was cool to the touch.”

    Despite efforts to resuscitate him, Alex was declared dead by paramedics on scene.

    Baumback said she asked Alex’s father what happened.

    “He told me that the patient had been diagnosed with diabetes a month earlier,” she said.

    Baumback testified Alex’s father also told paramedics Alex was on two types of insulin and that he had chronic diarrhea.

    Alex’s dad told Baumback he came home at 6 p.m. the night before, saw the patient in his current state, called the church over, then called EMS at 22:07—four hours later.

    She testified she asked when the last time Alex saw a doctor. His father said a month ago, when he said his son was diagnosed with diabetes.

    Court had previously heard in the Crown’s opening statement that Alex was diagnosed with diabetes when he was three years old.

    A Calgary police officer who searched the home said she was looking for items related to treating diabetes, and found several boxes of insulin syringes, which were nearly full.

    Cst. Jean Dewitt said officers seized baby food from the home, and believed that’s what the teen may have been fed.

    A letter believed to be written by one of Alex’s siblings was found in a recycling bin outside the home. In part, the letter said the boy saw his brother’s face and it was “scary.” The letter said he grabbed his hand and prayed, then looked at his face and “he looked dead.”

    Global’s transcription of the letter presented in court Tuesday:

    “I walked past my mom’s room, I saw her lifting my brother Alex. I saw his face, it was so scary. I went to ask my brother to pray with me so he’ll get better, I went ahead of him and grabbed my bible. I went to my moms (sic) room to read to him, I grabbed his hand and looked into his face. It looked like he was dead, I started to pray, my family heard and noticed, they started to pray … the Holy spirit said he was in paradise, my brother.”

    An autopsy revealed Radita died from a bacterial sepsis (Staphyloccus Aureus) from complications of neglect and starvation, due to the Type 1 diabetes.

    Alex was diagnosed with diabetes when the family lived in British Columbia.

    Crown prosecutor Susan Pepper alleged the young man didn’t receive adequate care from his parents, and that a doctor was concerned the Raditas were faking blood sugar readings to make Alex appear as though he was fine.

    Pepper said records suggested a steady decline in purchases of diabetes-related supplies. She said Alex was isolated from society, both physically and “psychologically confined.”

    The prosecutor alleged the Raditas failed to provide the necessities of life, and the boy died “painfully” and “profoundly lonely.”

    Court documents show Alex had been removed from the Radita home by child welfare because the parents weren’t properly treating the diabetes. A judge later returned him to his parents’ care.

    The union for social workers in B.C. told Global News the Radita file had been closed prior to the family leaving the province, which absolved B.C. officials of the responsibility to tell any other jurisdictions.

    Officials in Alberta said they were never made aware of a need for Child and Family Services involvement to monitor Alex’s treatment.

    Calgary police allege Alex was not given the necessary treatment once the family moved to the city, and the teen’s health declined to the extent that he was confined to his room and subsequently died.

    He was home-schooled and did not have a family doctor in Alberta, and police allege he had never seen a physician in the province.

    Although the motive for allegedly not providing treatment is unknown, police said they didn’t believe it was based on religious beliefs.

    Diabetes specialist and University of Calgary professor of medicine Dr. David Lau told Global News the death shocked him.

    “It’s totally unconscionable that a person with diabetes—be it Type 1 or 2—would die from not receiving proper treatment,” said Lau in 2014, after police announced the charges.

    The trial is scheduled to last five weeks.

    LIVE BLOG: Global News’ Jill Croteau is live at the trial of Emil and Rodica Radita, who are charged with first-degree murder in the 2013 death of their diabetic son, Alex Radita.

    With files from Jill Croteau

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New bike path to open this fall on Dorval’s Cardinal Avenue

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DORVAL – Montreal has announced it’s building a new bike path along Cardinal avenue in Dorval, starting at Des Sources Boulevard.

Jason Forte, a Dorval resident who was biking along Bord du Lac on Friday afternoon, says biking in Dorval isn’t always safe.

“The current bike path they have could be better because it forces me to ride along traffic a lot,” said Forte.

It’s why he doesn’t bike much. But the new bike path is welcomed news and might make him change his mind.

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    “I think it’s great, Montreal is one of the best cities to bike in North America, so it makes sense that they should have more bike paths,” added Forte.

    The new bike path is adding 2.5 kilometres of route and will connect with an existing one close to the airport, near Albert de Niverville Blvd.

    The mayor of Dorval, Edgar Rouleau, says it’s been a long time coming and that they’ve been asking for this bike path for almost five years.

    Finally getting the go-ahead, he says, makes way for bigger plans.

    “We’re doing Dorval avenue this year, were in tender now,” said Rouleau.

    Rouleau added the plan is to build a bike path on Dorval Avenue that will end up joining the existing one on Lakeshore.

    READ MORE: Montrealers celebrate the joys of winter cycling

    This is all part of a bigger project.

    The Montreal agglomeration, responsible for bike paths, is investing $15 million dollars in extending routes, including some in the West Island, Beaconsfield, Pierrefonds and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

    “It’s all about territorial equity,” said Marc-Andre Gadoury, a spokesperson on cycling for the city of Montreal.

    READ MORE: Champlain Ice Control Bridge re-opens to cyclists and pedestrians

    Gadoury says the ultimate goal is to have less people in cars and more people on their bikes.

    “Maybe it [the West Island] was forgotten in terms of transit, but now we’re really pushing forward to more secure bike paths for West Islanders.”

    Gadoury says the bike path should be ready to use in the fall.

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Family of Alberta woman granted assisted death speaks out

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The family of an Alberta woman suffering from a mental condition is thanking the courts for granting her a doctor-assisted death.

The woman, known in court documents as E.F., has severe conversion disorder, which has left her effectively blind, unable to eat and in constant pain.

A Court of Queen’s Bench judge allowed her an assisted death earlier this month and the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the decision this week.

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    In a written statement, the family said it hopes the federal government will follow the ruling.

    “We thank Madam Justice Bast as well as the Court of Appeal of Alberta for honouring her wish,” said the statement, released Friday by the woman’s lawyer.

    “We plead with the Attorney General of Canada to respect these decisions.”

    The Appeal Court ruling criticized the federal government’s proposed legislation on assisted death. The court said the bill doesn’t comply with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision as it excludes people suffering solely from psychiatric conditions.

    The appeal judges also said the government shouldn’t restrict assisted dying only to those near death.

    The top court has given the federal government until June 6 to come up with a new law but it’s unlikely Bill C-14 will pass before the deadline.

    READ MORE: Doctors worry assisted death will become legal without a law

    Legal experts believe that in the absence of a new law, the Supreme Court ruling will become the law of the land. Advocates say the practice would likely end up being regulated by professional medical colleges.

    E.F.’s family said her mind is sharp and she knows what’s going on in the news.

    “She has urged us time and time again to arrange for her to speak with politicians, lawyers and advocacy organizations — anyone with answers on how she could achieve her wish.”

    READ MORE: Assisted-dying in Canada: What you need to know about the new law

    The statement describes how the 58-year-old woman has lived in agony for the last eight years.

    “It began with an intense pain on her left side and then spread relentlessly, savage like wildfire, over her entire body. She says it feels like she’s under a constant barrage of arrows from an archer’s bow. Her searing migraines are nightmares from which she cannot wake.”

    Severe conversion disorder is a psychiatric condition that results in physical problems. The Appeal Court ruling said involuntary muscle spasms in E.F.’s body have left her virtually blind and in constant pain.

    “She can no longer eat, dress, bathe or move …,” said the family statement.

    “The pain makes it impossible for her to sleep without the help of strong medication. She cannot speak more than few words without gasping from the pain.”

    The woman feels like a prisoner in her own body, the family said.

    “She has lost hope that a cure for her condition exists, and for at least two years, she has asked to be put to rest.”

    The family did not say when E.F. plans to die but asked for privacy in “our last precious days together.”

    The court ruling said the doctor who is to assist E.F. in her death is from British Columbia.

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Fire engulfs abandoned restaurant at end of California pier

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SEAL BEACH, Calif. — Fire raged through a vacant restaurant on the ocean end of Southern California’s Seal Beach Pier early Friday, leaving the structure in ruins, with much of its roof collapsed.

A fleet of fireboats raced to the scene and directed water cannons toward the flames while 70 firefighters battled the blaze from atop the pier.

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Fire engines initially pumped water out to the firefighters through the pier’s fire protection standpipe but it failed and they were forced to lay more than 1,500 feet of fire hose, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.

The fire was largely quelled in about 90 minutes, but a persistent sea breeze continued to make it smolder and flare into the afternoon, Concialdi said.

READ MORE: ‘I was shocked and so happy’: Detective attends graduation of girl he saved from fire 18 years ago

A firefighter suffered a minor injury and was taken to a hospital, he said.

Firefighters found no one inside the structure, formerly a Ruby’s Diner that closed in 2013, and has been fenced off for years.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

Witnesses reported fire near the restaurant around 7:35 a.m., Concialdi said. It’s unclear whether the fire started in the building or on the pier itself.

The pier remained stable but was to remain closed for inspection by structural engineers, authorities said.

Located just south of the giant twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Seal Beach is a quiet city of just over 24,000. Its pier was first built in the early 1900s and was rebuilt after being badly damaged by a storm in the 1980s.

READ MORE: Thousands of tiny red crabs stranded on California beach

“It’s just very sad,” said Kelly Wyatt, 53, who walked down to the beach when she heard the pier was burning. “It’s a small town, it’s a close community, and our pier is an integral part of where we live.”

Local resident Dennis Scheele, 60, said he was awakened by sirens and went down to the pier.

“I saw a lot of smoke … it looked like flames on the front side of the restaurant,” he said.

He noted that the end of the pier has been blocked off for several years and people had been frustrated by that and because the vacant building was becoming something of an eyesore.

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Rare albino gopher ‘Snow’ found in southern Alberta

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His name is Snow and he’s not a rat, hamster or guinea pig.

He’s a rare albino Richardson’s Ground Squirrel, or more commonly known as a gopher.

“No one believed, not a single person believed until they actually saw him with their own eyes,” said Austin Kary, the man who found the albino gopher at a work site near Coaldale.

Wildlife Biologist Shane Roersma with Lethbridge College said the white rodent is a rare find.

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    “It’s definitely an albino gopher. You can tell by the fact that any exposed skin is pink and the eyes are red, so it’s a lack of pigment all together.”

    Kary said when he found Snow all the other gophers were picking on him.

    “He would be in the middle and two gophers would come running at him from different angles.”

    “It was kind of interesting watching him defend himself.”

    Seeing a gopher in southern Alberta can be very common, but Roersma said only a few people will ever see one this unique.

    “Albinism is more rare than people might think, some biologists estimate maybe one in 10,000 births, but probably even more rare to see it than that because the chances of an albino individual surviving are quite low, little bit more conspicuous in the environment, higher rates of predation.”

    READ MORE: Early spring means early gopher population boom in Calgary

    Roersma added there is a good chance more than one albino baby was in the same litter as Snow.

    “The gene that prevents melanin from actually being produced – which is the true natural colour – it’s a recessive gene so both parents have to have that recessive gene and would produce some offspring.”

    Snow is proving to be quite clever. Kary said he figured out his cage in no time.

    “He pokes his nose out and gets the top locks off, so he can get out the top.”

    Kary will be releasing the little guy back into the area where he found him, hoping others can enjoy his unique appearance.

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Syncrude says bison herd holding up well as Fort McMurray wildfire rages nearby

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A vicious wildfire nicknamed “the beast” hasn’t caused too much trouble for nearly 200 beasts that roam a reclaimed oilsands mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta.

Greg Fuhr, vice president of mining and extraction with Syncrude Canada, said Friday that the bison herd on the company’s Mildred Lake property is doing well, even with fires raging nearby.

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    Syncrude was one of the oilsands sites evacuated early this week as the flames encroached, but critical staff who remain have checked in on the animals daily.

    READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: Oilsands work camp destroyed as flames threaten other sites

    “We ensure before we leave that the water troughs are full and that they’ve got a lot of feed there,” Fuhr said in an interview.

    The full-time manager of the Beaver Creek Wood Bison Ranch has also flown in periodically, most recently on Friday. He reported back that the ruminants are “acting very normal” and that a few calves have even been born over the past day or so, said Fuhr.

    READ MORE: Why experts say Alberta oilsands sites are considered resilient to wildfires

    When the wildfire began to cause serious problems for the city of Fort McMurray, about 50 kilometres south, on May 3, the animals were corralled into one area.

    The pasture they’re in is far to the north and has a big buffer zone separating it from the boreal forest. The workers have checked to make sure that the fence surrounding them is in good shape, so they don’t wander out.

    Wood bison are “adaptable” creatures and the smoke hasn’t bothered them, said Fuhr.

    “Actually, one of the interesting things about the smoky conditions is that the number of insects that would typically irritate them are not around.”

    READ MORE: Oil worker nervous as Fort McMurray wildfire moves north

    The herd, co-managed with the Fort McKay First Nation, lives on a depleted oilsands mine that’s been filled in and planted with vegetation. Syncrude brought the bison to its property in 1993 to help it learn about how the reclaimed land would support large mammals.

    The herd’s population has fluctuated over the years, but sat at 190 prior to this year’s calving season.

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Edmonton Oilers’ new home to feature Las Vegas-style scoreboard

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In just a few months, the Edmonton Oilers will be playing in their new arena, a highly-anticipated sporting venue featuring all the latest bells and whistles including a mammoth scoreboard.

This scoreboard is being built to do much more than provide fans with scoring and penalty details and will certainly not be using the analog or “lightbulb”-driven displays or animations.

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    The scoreboard at Rogers Place will be high-definition and massive- weighing as much as eight African elephants – and so perhaps it’s not surprising that it was built in a city known for doing things over the top: Las Vegas.

    READ MORE: Edmonton downtown arena doors open for public sneak peek

    Currently, the scoreboard at the Oilers’ former home, Rexall Place, measures 16 feet by 9 feet. The new one, currently being assembled, will measure 38 feet by 22 feet. That size increases when you factor in the scoreboard’s housing: 46 feet wide (nearly blue line to blue line), 46 feet deep and 36 feet high.

    A look at the frame for a colossal new scoreboard being put up in Edmonton’s Rogers Place.

    COURTESY: Jeff Nash, Oilers Entertainment Group

    “We wanted to give the same high-quality view,” Vernon Mason, director of production systems and services with the Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG), said. “We didn’t want to treat the people on the side any better than the people on the ends.”

    Mason added that because the scoreboard’s screen will be high-definition, it had to be built a certain size.

    “To achieve the main replay board being high-definition, the scoreboard needs to be a certain size so that was one of our starting points. We wanted all four of the sides to be fully high-def.”

    The countdown to the downtown arena’s opening in less than four months has many hockey fans excited to see the building for themselves.

    “I’m assuming the new rink is going to have better traffic flow inside and that will lead to a better overall game experience,” Oilers season ticket holder Jordan Slator said, adding that he believes the colossal new scoreboard will be appreciated by fans.

    “I was fortunate enough to go to a Houston Rockets game a couple of years ago down in Houston, and they have an enormous scoreboard. So, I have actually experienced what kind of an immersive experience a huge scoreboard can be,” the season ticket holder said.

    READ MORE: Take a tour inside Edmonton’s Rogers Place

    The OEG was originally looking at the potential of an even larger scoreboard before determining it would have been too imposing.

    “There will always be some dimension on somebody’s scoreboard that is larger than ours,” Mason said. “But in every way that a fan would care – every metric – we’re the largest scoreboard in the NBA, the NHL and without a doubt, we’re the best quality scoreboard.”

    For now, the complex task of actually putting up the scoreboard is ongoing but it is expected to be turned on in about a month.

    -With files from Vinesh Pratap.

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David Hasselhoff broke: Actor claims he has less than $4,000 left

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David Hasselhoff, best-known for his work on ’80s show Knight Rider, ’90s beach drama Baywatch and his post-TV musical career, claims he’s flat broke and wants his ex-wife to stop harassing him.

According to the Hoff (as he’s known), he’s currently got less than $4,000 in his bank account.

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READ MORE: Pamela Anderson officially joins The Rock’s Baywatch movie

His ex-wife, Pamela Bach, 52, is allegedly after spousal support to the tune of $252,000 a year, but Hasselhoff, 63, insists he doesn’t have any to give. He is currently seeking to lower that monthly payment as the two battle it out over spousal support.

Future acting prospects aren’t looking very good, either, he claims.

Hasselhoff says poor ticket sales cut his European tour short, and at best, his reality show Hoff the Record is a gamble in terms of solid income.

He insists he’s trying to stay “relevant” in pop culture. Indeed, he’s making an appearance in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Baywatch movie. He admits to grossing $112,000 per month, but spends $66,000 and gives Bach the rest, which doesn’t leave him with much.

READ MORE: Kelly Rohrbach to play Pamela Anderson’s C.J. role in Baywatch movie

TMZ says Hasselhoff has a total of $1.79 million in real estate, retirement savings, cars, jewelry, art and other smaller assets.

Bach’s account is very different, claiming he’s worth over $120 million, with real estate all over the world.

The divorced couple, who split in 2006, has a court hearing at the end of May. Hasselhoff got engaged to his 34-year-old girlfriend Hayley Roberts earlier this month.

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David Hasselhoff Timeline | PrettyFamous

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