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April, 2019

Calgary makes list of top 10 weather stories of 2014 – Calgary

Calgary weather can be unpredictable and at times downright dangerous, so it’s no surprise that two memorable storms in the Calgary area have made Environment Canada’s list of the top 10 weather stories of the year.

Airdrie to Calgary Hailer

A severe hail storm that formed along the foothills and moved east comes in at number seven on the top 10 list. Three waves of tennis to baseball-sized hail hammered Airdrie over a period of 24 hours. The hail shattered windows and shredded the siding of homes. Hundreds of vehicles were severely damaged and outside Airdrie, some farmers saw their crops destroyed.

Six people in Airdrie were sent to hospital after they were injured by hailstones.

The total damage came in at $450 million.

Huge hailstones shattered windows and shredded siding on homes in Airdrie on August 8. 2014.

Courtesy of Richard Stroobant.

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  • Long winter, ice storm, Snowtember make list of Top 10 weather stories

  • Airdrie hail storm declared a ‘catastrophe event’

    City hopes to finish Snowtember cleanup by mid-November


Snow in September in Calgary isn’t unusual, but no one was prepared for the snow and cold that descended on the city for three days beginning September 8th.

“Snowtember”, a freak three-day storm, takes the number 10 spot on the top 10 list.

Just a day after  Calgarians were enjoying temperatures of  25 C, a mass of Arctic air moved in, dumping up to  45 centimetres of snow on some neighbourhoods.  That’s the highest early September snowfall in the past 130 years.

An estimated 500,000 trees across the city were damaged or destroyed as branches and tree trunks snapped under the weight of the heavy, wet snow. The falling branches brought down power lines, cutting electricity to 74,000 homes and businesses.

Jean Rivers inspects the damage to her trees as snow continues to fall in Cremona, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Calgary, and much of the rest of Southwestern Alberta. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh


The storm caused an estimated $18 million damage and the cleanup and recovery continues even now.

So, with 2014 almost behind us, what will next year bring?

“It’s not just normal weather anymore,” says Environment Canada meteorologist Dave Phillips. “Normal is to expect the unexpected.”

New Brunswick to fight $105M lawsuit filed by energy company – New Brunswick

FREDERICTON, N.B. – The Province of New Brunswick intends to fight a $105-million lawsuit filed by a natural gas exploration company last month.

Calgary-based resource company Windsor Energy is suing the New Brunswick government and former Natural Resources Minister Bruce Northrup, for defamation. He claims his company’s been “done wrong on a very high level.”

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“We had hoped that we could settle something with the government prior to coming to this stage,” said Windsor Energy’s CEO Khalid Amin in an interview with Global News on Aug. 15.

“We had informed of our intentions and the strength of our case and the things that have been done wrong. But they chose to bury their heads in the sand and consequently we filed suit.”

In documents obtained by Global News, the province filed a ‘notice of intent to defend’ with the Fredericton courthouse on Sept. 8.

The suit stems from public statements made by then-Minister of Natural Resources Bruce Northrup back in 2011.

At that time, the company had a license and was exploring about 150,000 net acres near Sussex, N.B. for possible shale gas resources.

But a complaint was made when the company conducted seismic testing inside the town’s municipal border before getting their written permission.

On November 2, 2011 Northrup said in a press release that the department had done an investigation, and had turned their findings over to the RCMP.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Ray Rice video: Abuse victims share their #WhyIStayed, #WhyILeft stories – National

WATCH: NFL star Ray Rice is now gone from the game, but the pressure is still top officials in the league. It was only after the video of Rice punching his wife was released that the league acted. Many think Rice isn’t the only one who should be punished. Mike Drolet reports.

After a video of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee was released this week, Beverly Gooden decided to speak about her own story on 桑拿会所.

Gooden is behind the 桑拿会所 hashtag #WhyIStayed.

Celebrity gossip site TMZ obtained and uploaded security footage of the now-former Baltimore Ravens running back slugging his then-fiancée in an elevator following an argument, knocking her out, then dragging her limp body into the corridor.

Gooden, on her 桑拿会所 account, said she hadn’t seen the video nor did she need to.

The assault happened in February and Rice was charged with aggravated assault in March: he later made a plea bargain and got out of serving any time behind bars.

The day after he was indicted, the pair got married.

Following the release of the video, amid criticism lobbed at Ray Rice, as well as the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL for their handling of the situation, some questioned why Janay Rice went through with the marriage.

READ MORE: Janay Rice defends her husband, suspended NFL running back Ray Rice

Gooden didn’t speculate why Janay Rice didn’t leave her partner, instead sharing her own experience.

“For over a year, I was physically abused by my ex-husband. When TMZ released the video of Ray Rice punching, dragging, and spitting on his wife this morning, the internet exploded with questions about her. Why didn’t she leave? Why did she marry him? Why did she stay?

“Leaving was a process, not an event. And sometimes it takes awhile to navigate through the process,” Gooden, a human resources manager and an author, said in blog post.

READ MORE: Social media reacts to Ray Rice video, Ravens contract termination

Gooden, in a series of tweets, went on to explain not only the reasons she stayed, but also provided some details of the abuse she endured at the hands of her husband.

Gooden’s tweets struck a chord and brought about a conversation about domestic abuse online.

“People don’t realize that we’re asking the same question everyone else is asking. We’re wondering why we’re still there and why we’re even trying,” Gooden told the Washington Post.

Her tweets and her hashtag prompted other women and men to discuss why they didn’t leave their abusive partners.

“It’s not easy to leave when you are threatened with additional violence,” Gooden told Mic “It’s not easy to leave when you remember how it used to be, or when they romance you during the good times, or when they promise it is the last time. Or when there are children involved. Because you believe in love and you believe in them.”

Gooden eventually left her spouse, as did many others who followed the #WhyIStayed conversation.

Gooden told the Washington Post the online conversation borne out of her original hashtag helped her feel less isolated. “I really hope this will help move the conversation from ‘Why doesn’t she leave?’ to ‘Why does he hit,’” she said.

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Chronic health conditions cost Alberta billions annually: auditor general

EDMONTON – The auditor general says caring for people with chronic health conditions in Alberta costs the provincial government billions of dollars each year.

The auditor general’s report on chronic disease management finds conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes are arguably the biggest challenges facing the system.

(Read the full report below)

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    Making lifestyle changes rare, even after diagnosis with chronic disease: report

    Albertans need to wake up to health-care costs: Liepert

Merwan Saher looked at figures from 2012 and 2013 where about 735,000 people in the province were known to have at least one chronic condition. Their cost to the healthcare system was $4.5 billion. That cost doesn’t include things like lab tests, long-term care and home care.

The auditor says Alberta does a good job providing care for people with chronic diseases, but that the care tends to be fragmented.

Saher has made several recommendations around setting expectations for care, strengthening supports for family physicians, and sharing information between different sectors of the healthcare system to avoid gaps and duplication of services.

Saher’s report points out that the top 10 per cent of healthcare users – most of whom have at least one chronic condition – account for more than 75 per cent of healthcare spending. He says the way to lower that cost is to slow the progression of the diseases by better managing their conditions.

Auditor General Alberta report on Chronic Disease Management

B.C. balances budget, expects $266 million surplus for 2014-2015

B.C. is on track for a balanced budget and an increased surplus, Finance Minister Mike de Jong announced Tuesday.

The province says the year-end surplus for 2014-2015 is projected to be $266 million, up $82 million from Budget 2014.

Revenues have reportedly improved by $515 million, but the province says they have been partially offset by higher expenses due to forest fires and floods.

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    BC teachers will vote to end dispute if government agrees to binding arbitration

The province says taxpayer-supported debt is now $785 million lower than Budget 2014 – something that’s key to maintaining B.C.’s triple-A credit rating.

The finance minister used today’s budget announcement to reiterate the government’s position that public sector union agreements need to fall within the government’s so-called “affordability zone.”

“The current budget forecast is built around assumptions – that includes the assumption that all labour agreements will be reached within the current affordability mandate. Under the Economic Stability Mandate, public-sector employees have the opportunity to share some of the benefits if economic growth surpasses the Economic Forecast Council’s forecast for real GDP growth,” said de Jong.

B.C.’s real GDP is forecast to grow by 1.9 per cent in 2014, down one-tenth of a percentage point from Budget 2014.

Retail sales are up 5.6 per cent year-to-date in June, mostly due to gains at car and parts dealers, food and beverage retailers and gas stations.

Housing starts are also up 4 per cent over 2013.