Monthly Archives:July 2019

QUEBEC CITY – Premier Philippe Couillard was categoric Tuesday when discussing the future of school boards in the province.

He told reporters at the National Assembly that, while no decision has officially been made, it is looking increasingly likely that school boards will be abolished.

READ MORE: Quebec’s English school boards fight for survival

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  • Quebec’s English school boards fight for survival

Couillard said that the Jennings report on the future of school boards has been presented to Education Minister François Blais.

READ MORE: Quebec national assembly returns after summer break

“What we want to do is shift the centre of gravity of the system towards the school, the teachers and the parents,” said Couillard.

“The education project should be set up and imagined at the school level and the regional organization, or however we may call it, is going to be there to help the school and not direct the school.”

READ MORE: Can Quebec school board elections be saved? Should they be?

Though the province recognizes the importance of maintaining school boards for the English speaking population and the vital links those institutions play in the community, the Premier said there needs to be another way to maintain such relationships.

The Jennings report is set to be made public at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning in Montreal.

WATCH: Quebec school boards fight for survival

©2015

A dangerous street race through a residential neighbourhood in Beverly Hills has residents outraged after it was caught on camera this past weekend.

However, L.A. Police now say the men involved may avoid prosecution due to diplomatic immunity.

Residents captured the two high-performance cars, a white Porsche 9/11 and a yellow Ferrari LaFerrari, tearing through a residential neighborhood at around 6:45 p.m. PT Friday afternoon in the 700 block of North Walden Drive.

Amateur video shows the two drivers speeding, running stop signs and barreling through four-way stops, and at one point almost hitting another vehicle as they race down crowded residential streets.

Eventually, the Ferrari was forced to pull into a driveway with smoke pouring from its engine block, either from the race or from repeated “burnouts”.

WATCH: Ferrari, Porsche tear through residential neighborhood in Beverly Hills

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“My boys were out in the street biking and it was very scary. They were passing the stop sign several times for a good 20 minutes,” Roya Levian, a witness, told CBS 2 in Los Angeles.

READ MORE: Father of injured Surrey boy says drivers treat residential streets like a racetrack

Freeland journalist Jacob Rogers says he attempted to confront the drivers after they had pulled into the home, but the men claimed they were protected by diplomatic immunity.

“He told me verbatim, ‘I could have you killed and get away with it,’” Rogers told NBC Los Angeles. “I told him, ‘the press is allowed to be here on the sidewalk on a public street.’”

“He said, ‘F*** America’ and threw a cigarette at me.”

Police confirmed in a press release that the men are of Qatari descent and may in fact be protected by diplomatic immunity.

Police say they’ve taken the complaints from residents and are working with the U.S. State Department to determine what course of action to take.

Meanwhile, residents just want to feel safe walking down their own streets again.

“God knows if they could like hit one of us or something,” Joe Nouri told KTLA-5 News.

©2015

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is funding up to 400 more midwife-assisted births.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said Tuesday that an additional $1.8 million in funding will see the number of births with midwives increase to about 2,774 this year.

Hoffman said continuity of care for women and babies is so important and this gives women a safe option for delivering their babies.

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“I’m a firm believer in the right health care services delivered in the right place by the right health care professional, and that’s exactly what midwives provide,” said Hoffman.

Alberta has publicly funded midwifery care since 2009.

Nicole Matheseon, president of the Alberta Association of Midwives, said more and more women want the continuous, personalized care that midwives provide.

“Now more expectant mothers have the opportunity to decide what’s best for them – giving birth in a hospital, in a birth centre or at home,” said Matheseon.

There are currently 94 midwives practising in the province, an increase of 163 per cent in the past five years.

©2015

UPDATE 9 P.M. MT: Remains of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette found, Amber Alert dropped

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CALGARY – Devastated by the murder of her close friend, the godmother of abducted two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette, missing since the early hours of Monday morning, made an emotional plea for the young girl’s safe return Tuesday.

“We miss you, Hailey, and we can’t wait–we can’t wait to have you come home and we can have your snuggles and your laughs and just hear your voice,” said Rebecca Harrington, who said she’s close friends with both sides of the family. “Your dad loves you very much–loves you more than anything in the world, sweetheart. And we can’t wait for you to come home.”

Hailey’s dad, 27-year-old Terry Blanchette, was found murdered in the family home in Blairmore, Alta. on Monday morning. One person has been arrested in relation to his murder and his daughter’s disappearance.

MORE: Man arrested, Amber Alert continues for Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

“She’s the most energetic kid you’d ever see,” said Harrington. “She’s running, she’s laughing, she does a scrunchy-face…she scrunches up her nose and gets so excited,” she said.

“Her dad was the highlight of her life. That kid had everything she needed.”

Terry Blanchette with daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

Courtesy Facebook

Terry Blanchette with daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

Courtesy Facebook

Terry Blanchette with daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

Courtesy Facebook

Terry Blanchette with daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

Courtesy Facebook

Harrington said she received a call from Hailey’s mother, Cheyenne Dunbar, in the early stages of the investigation. She said she started to hear rumours of murder, but “didn’t want to think the worst.”

“I got a call from Amanda, his sister, she called to tell me personally Terry had been murdered and Hailey was abducted,” said Harrington.

“I dropped to the floor and my life just–they mean so much to me. I wasn’t sure what to do.”

Watch below: Video coverage of the abduction of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette and murder of her father

Amber Alert continues as crews search for Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

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Amber Alert continues as crews search for Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

01:50

Alleged murder, possible abduction and the search for Hailey continues

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Amber Alert continues for Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

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Amber alert investigation continues day after father found dead, 2-year-old daughter missing

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Amber Alert still in place Monday night after two-year-old abducted

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Two-year-old girl’s grandfather speaks out during Amber Alert

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RAW: Grandfather of Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette speaks to Global News

03:33

Amber alert issued for abducted toddler

13:52

RAW: RCMP update Amber Alert and homicide in Alberta




Harrington said Blanchette was the “most outstanding single dad” she’s ever seen.

“He stepped up. He had a full-time job. He had two days off a week, and those two days were days for Hailey,” she said. “Any extra money went to her…he always put himself last.”

“I’ve seen such a change in the past two years that it’s incredible to see how he has evolved.”

Blanchette had a minor criminal history, including assault and theft, according to Calgary court records. Most recently, he pleaded guilty to assault and theft under $5,000 in July 2013 and paid a fine.

READ MORE: What we know so far about Terry Blanchette and daughter Hailey

Harrington said she’s heading to be with Blanchette’s family. She said Dunbar is in Crowsnest Pass with her mother, doing “as best she can.”

“It’s scary. I’ve talked to her on the phone…it’s her daughter; it’s her baby. Her baby is missing and she doesn’t know why…the father of her child, dead–all in one go. And no one can say anything. No one has answers.”

Harrington said Blanchette and Dunbar were separated before Hailey was born, but got together briefly for their daughter’s sake.

“From then on out, it was quite a rocky relationship but they did it for Hailey. They wanted to make it work for her. They didn’t want her to have separated parents. They wanted their daughter to have her mom and dad but it just didn’t work. But for them, Hailey is their number one.”

Harrington said the couple had shared custody of Hailey.

The Amber Alert was dropped Tuesday night.

TIMELINE: Abduction of 2-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette

With an interview from Global’s Tracy Nagai

©2015

Toronto goes a little bit crazy at film festival time. Fans go ga-ga over the big stars in town, said stars do some serious partying and strange things happen. We can’t recount every weird occurrence from 40 years of TIFF – and there are plenty of them – but these are some of the highlights.

2015: Crowd hates the hug

Sir Patrick Stewart sure seems like a friendly and approachable star, but there are limits.

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One presumed superfan learned that — to her likely embarrassment – after making an overly intimate request.

At a press conference for Green Room, where Stewart plays a neo-Nazi gang leader, a woman stood up and said, “Since I’ll probably never get to do this another time, Patrick, can I have a hug?”

The request wasn’t as cute as she thought. After a second of stunned silence, the crowd booed her down and Stewart moved on to another question.

2011: Clooney’s caustic response

It’s not just the fans who ask silly questions either. Nobody looks to TIFF interviews for hard-hitting media questions, and every year brings fresh headlines of “Actor X responds to reporter’s dumb question.” In 2015, Legend star Tom Hardy captured headlines with his blunt response to a query about his sex life.

But perhaps the most stinging reporter rebuke came in 2011 when George Clooney humiliated a People magazine writer for a silly softball question. Paul Chi asked Clooney what was harder: directing movies or conducting a fairly public Hollywood love life.

Clooney clearly didn’t appreciate the question and embarrassed the hapless reporter with the following exchange:

Clooney: “What’s your name?”
Reporter: “Paul.”
Clooney: “What’s your last name, Paul?”
Reporter: “Chi.”
Clooney: “Everyone remember Paul Chi and his hard-hitting interview. Go back to your editor and tell them you asked that question, Paul.”

2007: Where there’s smoke, there’s ire

In the movie The Game, Sean Penn’s character lights up a cigarette in a fancy San Francisco restaurant, only to be told that it’s illegal in California. His response: “F—k California!”

Life imitated art in 2007 as Penn carelessly smoked through a press conference in the Sutton Place Hotel, despite the provincial ban on smoking during indoor events. Penn took plenty of criticism, and the province’s minister of health promotion admonished TIFF organizers to remind stars about Ontario smoking laws.

Despite the uproar, Penn escaped unpunished. The hotel was fined $600.

2004: Ed Harris explains violence … sort of

You’ll rarely see a press conference go from “lighthearted” to “painfully awkward” to “finished” as fast as this one. In case you couldn’t figure out that the film A History of Violence is about, well violence, actor Ed Harris made a clumsy attempt to explain.

1991: Premiere not a priority for director

The Fisher King isn’t among director Terry Gilliam’s best-received films, and it seems the auteur himself wasn’t too jazzed about it back in 1992. Or at least there was a more entertaining show in town.

Festival organizers were frantic when the director disappeared just before the premiere. He was eventually found at the SkyDome enjoying a Blue Jays game.

In his defence, the Jays were looking pretty good that year, just one year away from their first World Series win. And can you expect a Monty Python member and the creator of Brazil to behave in any rational way?

1987: Giant hassle

TIFF has morphed into a world-class festival that attracts major names, but the biggest star – literally – came to town back in the late ‘80s.

Pro wrestler Andre the Giant came to TIFF in 1987 to help promote The Princess Bride, but his sheer size created headaches for festival personnel. At 7’4″ and weighing over 500 pounds, the French heavyweight couldn’t fit into an average theatre seat, and needed a custom-built one for the movie premiere.

Then-theatre manager Don McKellar, who would go on to a distinguished directorial career, recalled that Andre required a seat exactly twice the size of a normal one.

©2015