Archive for July, 2019

TORONTO — A free after-school program in the GTA provides children and teens whose parents are incarcerated with opportunities to engage in the arts, a variety of sports and enjoy a home cooked meal together.

F.E.A.T. stands for Fostering, Empowering and Advocating Together for children of incarcerated parents.

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“When I was teaching out West, I had three students who had a dad who was in custody and these children were struggling,” said Jessica Reid, co-founder of the program.

“It was something that I personally could relate to because I was separated from my father for 24 years.”

Jessica united with her father Derek in June of 2011. The impact of being separated for more than two decades was enough to fuel their passion to make a difference in the lives of children.

“These children are so small and they go through so much,” said Karolina Budrewicz, a F.E.A.T. mentor. “But then you see how strong they can actually be and it is quite inspiring to be honest.”

The children are also given a platform to talk about their thoughts and feelings while learning healthy coping strategies from mentors.

“I know that even if I tell these people and they didn’t have the same problem, I wouldn’t have an issue where they go around and tell everyone,” said F.E.A.T. participant Rayshawn. “They would keep it to themselves and help me with it.”

Every year around 350,000 children across Canada are affected by parental incarceration.

“They remain innocent and forgotten victims in this country,” said Reid. “This doesn’t have to define them. Their parents actions don’t have to be their future.”

©2015

TORONTO – The ongoing Syrian crisis has sparked a possible new settlement program backed by Councillor Joe Cressy.

“The refugee crisis is not just a Middle Eastern issue, it’s not just European issue, it’s a global humanitarian issue and all of us have a role to play, including our city,” Cressy said.

“We have a history – and a proud history – of opening our borders and our doors in times of crisis and this program will help us establish and do just that.”

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The settlement program would see pre- and post-settlement supports for refugee arrivals put in place, using city departments like Toronto Public Health as well as facilities and resources.

“Prior to their arrival, the city would put into place an inter-agency task force that would work with organizations like Lifeline Syria and the Canadian Red Cross to coordinate arrival,” Cressy said.

“After arrival, it will be a range of supports that it will bring to bear, from employment support, to housing support, to health support related to dental care and psychological treatment.”

READ MORE: 5 things the Canadian government can do to immediately help Syrian refugees

The report is seeking the approval of a one-time $600,000 infusion from the city’s Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve to fund the settlement program.

The $600,000 cost would, in part, cover a possible assurance fund that would cover start up costs for refugees if a sponsor experiences change of financial circumstances and are unable to continue to support the refugees.

“These are bonds that are put into place to backstop private sponsors,” the councillor said.

“If you are a private sponsor you have to put out money. If you suddenly don’t have the financial means, we don’t want the refugees to suffer, so it’s looking at creating assurance bonds.”

READ MORE: ‘No hope’ of family reunion, says Syrian refugee living in B.C.

Cressy hopes to see a strong show of support for the report from the executive committee.

“Refugees are coming to Toronto and we have to be prepared to support them.”

©2015

SASKATOON – A teen is facing a number of charges after allegedly robbing a Saskatoon drug store. The robbery happened Friday morning at the store located in the 200-block of Acadia Drive.

According to the police report, the teen entered the store, pointed both a rifle and handgun at employees and demanded cash. He then took off in a vehicle.

Officers were able to identify the suspect and determine the vehicle had been reported stolen. He was found at a nearby residence where police seized several imitation guns.

READ MORE: Three arrested in Wilkie, Sask. pharmacy break in

The 17-year-old is facing 10 Criminal Code charges including armed robbery, possession of stolen property, weapons-related offenses, breach of probation and breach of an undertaking.

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Related

  • Five arrested in three separate Saskatoon incidents

  • Prince Albert police charge 3 in armed robbery

  • 4 Sask. Mounties involved in police vehicle collision

©2015

UPDATE: All advisories mentioned in this story have ended

A frost advisory has been issued for Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and other parts Saskatchewan.  Environment Canada says plants and crops may be damaged or destroyed by frost overnight into early Tuesday.

Saskatoon is likely to fall a degree or 2 below freezing early Tuesday morning for the first time in nearly four months.

The last time the mercury fell into minus territory in the city was on May 29, 2015 when an overnight low of -2.8 was reached.

Clear skies and light winds are expected to prevail Monday night into Tuesday morning as a high pressure system drops in cool air that will pull much of central Saskatchewan below zero.

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READ MORE: Warm, dry weather needed for 2015 Sask. harvest

This is the final frost advisory of the season for the province as Environment Canada issues frost advisories in central and southern Saskatchewan whenever temperatures are expected to fall below freezing between the May long weekend and September 21.

The advisory also spans to cover much of Alberta including the cities of Edmonton and Calgary where patchy frost is expected.

The agency recommends taking preventative measures to protect frost-sensitive plants and trees.

Watch below: How gardeners can protect plants against frost

Tuesday is the final full day of summer with autumn officially beginning Wednesday at 2:55 a.m. CT.

After a frosty finish to summer, the first few full days of fall are shaping up to be much more summer-like with daytime highs approaching the low 20s.

For weather on the go download the Global News SkyTracker weather app for iPhone, iPad or Android.

Frost advisory ended for:

SaskatoonReginaLloydminsterMartensville – Warman – Rosthern – Delisle – WakawPrince Albert – Shellbrook – Spiritwood – Duck LakeKindersley – Rosetown – Biggar – Wilkie – MacklinOutlook – Watrous – Hanley – Imperial – DinsmoreThe Battlefords – Unity – Maidstone – St. WalburgMeadow Lake – Big River – Green Lake – PiercelandFort Qu’Appelle – Indian Head – Lumsden – Pilot ButteLeader – Gull LakeSwift Current – Herbert – Cabri – Kyle – Lucky LakeShaunavon – Maple Creek – Val Marie – Cypress HillsMoose Jaw – Pense – Central Butte – CraikAssiniboia – Gravelbourg – CoronachMoosomin – Grenfell – Kipling – WawotaCarlyle – Oxbow – Carnduff – Bienfait – StoughtonEstevan – Weyburn – Radville – Milestone

©2015

(*EDITOR’S NOTE: On Nov. 4, 2016, the charges against Lt.-Col. Mason Stalker were dropped by the Alberta Crown.)

READ MORE: Alberta Crown withdraws sex crime charges against high-ranking military officer 

EDMONTON — A high-ranking military officer accused of sex offences has chosen to have a jury trial.

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  • Canadian Forces officer charged with sexual assault

Lt.-Col. Mason Stalker, 40, commander of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton, was arrested in July on 10 charges.

The charges, including sexual assault, relate to alleged incidents involving a military cadet in Edmonton between 1998 and 2007.

“A victim came forward to us in April of this year,” said Francis Bolduc, Commanding Officer of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service. “He came forward with information and we initiated an investigation that resulted in charges.”

“These are serious and significant charges under the Criminal Code of Canada,” said Bolduc.

READ MORE: Canadian Forces officer charged with sexual assault 

A justice official says a preliminary hearing in the case is to begin Aug. 2.

No trial date has been set.

Stalker has been suspended from his post pending the outcome of the court case.

With files from Global News

©2015